13.10.2008
FLUG REVUE

2008-10-13 - News in BriefNews in brief

Kurzmeldungen<br /> +++<br /> Snecma (SAFRAN Group) announced that Silvercrest is well on its way to meet its aggressive objectives in terms of environment. The successful high pressure core demonstrator test campaign, completed earlier this year, is now fully analyzed and paves the way to the announced 15% fuel burn improvement and 50% NOx margin vs ICAO CAEP6 standard.

The future Silvercrest engine also aims to reduce noise by 20 dB versus Stage IV. "Snecma is committed to reducing fuel burn without compromising maintenance costs," said Francois Planaud, general manager, commercial aircraft engines. "Our goal with Silvercrest is to provide business aviation customers with the specific requirements they are seeking, while reducing the impact the engine has on environment."
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Gulfstream Aerospace demonstrated its second-generation Enhanced Vision System (EVS II) on its wide-cabin, high-speed Gulfstream G150 experimental flight-test aircraft during the National Business Aviation Association's (NBAA) 61st Annual Meeting and Convention.  The EVS was operational but not certified. Gulfstream anticipates receiving a Supplemental Type Certificate in the first quarter of 2009 to install EVS II on G150 aircraft. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certified EVS II for installation on large-cabin Gulfstream aircraft in late 2007. The Gulfstream EVS II generates actual, real-time images of the aircraft's surroundings using an infrared camera mounted in the nose of the aircraft. The system dramatically increases situational awareness at night by allowing pilots to see terrain, runways, taxiways and approaches that are undetectable by unaided sight. Developed in cooperation with Kollsman Inc., EVS II is 22 pounds lighter, has four times the computational power and features four times the memory of the original EVS, which the FAA certified on Sept. 14, 2001.
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Hawker Beechcraft Corporation (HBC) announced the new Beechcraft King Air 350i - a dramatic technological leap forward for what is the most successful turboprop family of all time. The new King Air 350i sets all-new standards in cabin luxury, entertainment and flexibility and is now the greenest choice available to business travelers. The new King Air 350i delivers unmatched fuel efficiency and the lowest operating cost per seat mile making it the greenest business aircraft available today. The King Air 350i was launched at the 2008 National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) Annual Meeting and Convention in Orlando. The new Beechcraft King Air 350i highlights four key areas of interior upgrades: The Most Advanced Infotainment System in the Business - Rockwell Collins Venue(TM) integrated Cabin Management System (CMS) featuring video screens, iPod connectivity and much, much more; Category-Busting Cabin - Re-designed with an emphasis on luxury, passengers will think they have stepped into an aircraft costing many millions more; a New Standard of Quiet - An exclusive multi-step noise reduction process drops sound levels by 4 dBA making the King Air 350i quieter than many competitive jets; revolutionary new Beechcraft FlexCabin(TM) capability - a whole new way of reconfiguring the cabin, dramatically increasing mission flexibility. The King Air 350i will be the first turboprop aircraft on the market to sport the new Rockwell Collins Venue cabin management system. The system supports multiple Personal Entertainment Devices (PEDs), including DVD, CD and MP3 player, Apple iPod(R), Sony PlayStation and Xbox 360 gaming consoles, laptop computer, digital and video camera, USB data-storage devices and future HDMI devices.
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Associated Aircraft Group (AAG) announced the launch of a new executive helicopter service called AAG Global that can carry passengers with speed and comfort to destinations around the world. The announcement came during the National Business Aviation Association annual meeting. "AAG Global will be providing the industry's first executive helicopter service to clients traveling internationally," said AAG Global Executive Vice President Tom McQuade. "Travelers will be assured seamless access to the most efficient travel no matter where in the world their travels take them." The international network of AAG Global Member/Operators flies Sikorsky S- 76(R) helicopters, the industry standard for executive aircraft. Network members must meet and maintain AAG Global Standards of Excellence for safety and service. The standards were developed exclusively for AAG Global and will be audited by Aviation Research Group/U.S., Inc. (ARG/US). The standards address every aspect of service from the interior outfitting of the aircraft to client preferences in onboard catering. Pilot qualifications, ease of flight reservations, safety inspections and timeliness in departures and arrivals are some of the Standards of Excellence provided by AAG Global Member/Operators.
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Thales UK announced that it has signed an agreement with Rolls-Royce, Converteam and L-3 for the manufacture of an integrated power and propulsion system for the UK's Future Aircraft Carrier (CVF) programme. The announcement, worth a total of £235 million, is a vital milestone in the development and manufacture of the 65,000 tonne vessels - HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales - which are due to enter service in 2014 and 2016 respectively. As a founding member of the Aircraft Carrier Alliance (ACA), Thales UK has responsibility for leading the power and propulsion element of CVF and through this alliance approach, has been instrumental in bringing together these leading companies in their specific fields to present a collective arrangement with a single common objective. As part of this agreement, Thales is responsible for procurement, including contracting directly with Wartsila for the supply of the vessel's main and emergency diesel driven generators. The company is also responsible for systems design, overall systems integration, ship integration (with shipyards), programme management and safety analysis. Rolls-Royce will supply the gas turbines, shaftlines/propellers, steering gear/rudders, stabilisers and low voltage system. Converteam will provide the high voltage system and propulsion converters/motors and L-3 will supply the integrated platform management system.
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General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI), along with its "Team Sky Warrior" partners AAI Corporation and L-3 Communication Systems-West, today announced the successful first-attempted automatic takeoffs and landings of a Sky Warrior UAS controlled from the AAI-developed Extended Range/Multi-Purpose (ER/MP) One SystemGround Control Station (OSGCS).  Three automatic landings were successfully executed at GA-ASI's El Mirage Flight Operations Center in Adelanto, Calif., on August 29, followed by three successful automatic takeoffs on September 26.  GA-ASI's Sky Warrior aircraft was under full line-of-sight command and control through the L-3 Communication Systems-West Tactical Common Data Link (TCDL).  Automatic takeoff and landing utilizing TCDL represents a significant technical advancement in ER/MP UAS Program development and an important step in the maturation of diverse technologies prior to fielding the system, which is expected in July 2009.
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Pratt & Whitney Canada announced that its PW535D turbofan engine has been selected to power Hawker Beechcraft's new Hawker 450XP light business jet. The PW535D, rated at 3,000 pounds of thrust, will feature advanced technologies in the turbine and compressor areas that increase thrust and improve fuel consumption. The engine is also equipped with full-authority digital engine control (FADEC). Certification of the PW535D is targeted for 2009.
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Dassault Falcon announced the launch of 'EASy Phase II', a host of enhancements to the award-winning flight deck that will include synthetic vision technology. The synthetic vision system is being developed in conjunction with Honeywell Aerospace and will be offered as an option in new aircraft and as a retrofit in all EASy (Enhanced Avionics System) models. "When EASy was introduced, it was a revolutionary advancement in cockpit technology and a giant step forward for business aviation," said John Rosanvallon, President and CEO of Dassault Falcon. "And today EASy continues its development with the addition of synthetic vision that will move today's most advanced flight deck further ahead into the future." The Synthetic Vision System displays a high-resolution three dimensional digital image on both pilots' primary display units (PDU) during all phases of flight. What the pilot sees through the windshield on a clear day will be displayed on the PDU in a synthesized picture in all flying conditions including terrain data and manmade obstacles. The data is derived from the onboard Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System (EGPWS) which enables map displays and alerts pilots if terrain is approaching the aircraft's intended flight path. The terrain data is continuously updated from user experience encompassing 800 million flight hours.
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Dassault Falcon recently revealed plans to establish a factory-owned Falcon Service Center at Sorocaba Airport (SOD) in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The new service center will help to support a fast growing Falcon fleet that in Brazil that is anticipated to double in size to over 50 airplanes in the next three years. The project is expected to be completed in the coming months and open in the fourth quarter of 2008. "Dassault's new service center in Sao Paulo is a direct result of our commitment to a Brazilian market that has always been very pro-Falcon," said John Rosanvallon, President and CEO of Dassault Falcon.
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Pratt & Whitney Canada has received Transport Canada and FAA type certification for its new PW617F engine, selected to power the Embraer Phenom 100 very light jet (VLJ). The PW617F engine, chosen by Embraer in May 2005 to power the Phenom 100, provides 1,615 pounds of thrust and features a dual-channel, full-authority digital electronic control (FADEC) system. P&WC's new PW600 engine series incorporates the latest advanced technologies to set a new standard in customer value and environmental friendliness, offering a step change in performance, operating economics and durability with excellent fuel consumption combined with very low carbon emissions. Members of the family have captured the lion's share of the emerging VLJ market with the PW615F selected to power Cessna Aircraft's Citation Mustang and the PW610F powering the Eclipse 500, in addition to the PW617F and Phenom 100 combination.
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Emirates Investment & Development Company PSC (Emivest), the majority shareholder of Sino Swearingen Aircraft Corporation (SSAC), unveiled a new company name -- Emivest Aerospace Corporation -- signaling its latest expansion into the aircraft manufacturing sector. Members of the new Emivest Aerospace Corporation management team announced the company's strategic direction and new name during a press conference at the National Business Aviation Association 2008 Annual Meeting and Convention in Orlando, Fla. Emivest Aerospace Corporation, formerly SSAC, is a leading manufacturer of light jet aircraft, a rapidly growing industry sector. Buti Saeed Al Ghandi, Chairman of both Emirates Investment & Development Company PSC and Emivest Aerospace Corporation, said: "Emivest's board of directors have played a critical role in the company development, with their vast experience and skills in transforming our acquisitions into larger, more efficient and ultimately more profitable companies, which in turn makes them more valuable, this is Emivest's aim for SSAC." Anthony Power, CEO, Emivest Aerospace Corporation, said, "The projected growth of the business aviation sector is quite strong throughout the world. Emivest Aerospace Corporation is positioned perfectly to capitalize on heightened demand in the light jet sector, and our new name symbolizes our renewed commitment to innovation-driven growth."
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An MOU (Memorandum of understanding) was signed between the Swedish National Space Board and the Japanese space agency JAXA. The purpose of this Agreement is to define guidelines for considering potential future collaboration and to establish general procedures for conducting cooperation in areas of mutual interest in the field of space for peaceful purposes. For SSC the signing is of vital importance for future cooperation with JAXA, within different space areas. Amongst other space disciplines, SSC supports JAXA in several satellite missions and SSC is also hosting two Japanese satellite antennas at Esrange Space Center, the operational bas of SSC in northern Sweden. A third antenna is under construction and will be ready for operations in the summer of 2009.
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Rockwell Collins announced it will be offering a new line of High-Definition (HD) displays for business jets. This program rounds out the capabilities of the recently announced Venue High-Definition (HD) cabin management system which includes a 10.6" HD display for in-seat and bulkhead applications. The new displays will be available fall 2009. The new line of HD Liquid Crystal Displays (LCD) will be available in a range of sizes from 15" to 32". Final sizes are dependent on display glass availability and specific customer program requirements. Displays will be equipped to support High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) and High Definition Serial Digital Interface (HD-SDI) inputs, as well as analog inputs for applications still relying on standard definition video. They will all be widescreen 16:9 format.
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AgustaWestland announced that Helicopteros de Guatemala has been appointed AgustaWestland Independent Sales Representative for Guatemala. This agreement represents one of the latest moves to strengthen and expand AgustaWestland's position in Central America.
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BAE Systems unveiled its latest image generation technology for head-up displays for the commercial aerospace market at the National Business Aviation Association's annual convention in Orlando. The company demonstrated its Q-HUD system, which is 50 percent smaller and lighter, offers improved performance, and increases headroom in the cockpit — at lower cost than current-generation HUDs. The Q-HUD system uses patented waveguide technology to render imagery on a display glass in the pilot's windshield. This novel image generation concept eliminates the need for the complex projection-lens configuration common to traditional HUDs. The result is a low-profile unit that fits in the smaller cockpits of many business and regional jets.
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Boeing has been awarded the initial phase of a new three-year U.S. Air Force contract to continue the C-17 Globemaster III Sustainment Partnership (GSP) program following a decade of comprehensive logistics support of C-17 fleets around the world. The Air Force awarded Boeing $514 million of the estimated $3 billion performance-based logistics (PBL) contract on Oct. 1, covering the beginning of fiscal year 2009. Boeing's proposal included a significant decrease in dollars per flight hour that will save the Air Force more than $200 million over three years compared with the previous GSP contract. Through the GSP program, Boeing and the Air Force work together closely to manage a full range of C-17 sustainment activities, from field support to depot-level maintenance to supply-chain management, as well as aircraft modifications and upgrades. The PBL-style contract allows customers to pay for a specified level of readiness versus individual parts or services.
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NASA has awarded research contracts worth a total of $12.4 million to six industry teams to study advanced concepts for subsonic and supersonic commercial transport aircraft that could enter service in 25 to 30 years. NASA's Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate selected teams led by The Boeing Company, GE Aviation, Lockheed Martin Corporation, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Northrop Grumman to receive separate 18-month study contracts valued at approximately $2 million each. The focus of the studies is on commercial transports that can overcome significant performance and environmental challenges for the benefit of the general public. The work is intended to identify key technology development needs, such as advanced airframes and propulsion systems, as well as breakthroughs that will enable such vehicles to enter service in 2030-2035. The vehicles represent a research and development generation known as "N+3," denoting three generations beyond the current commercial transport fleet. "The future of air transportation is all about protecting the environment and responding to increasing energy costs in a balanced way," said Juan Alonso, director of NASA's Fundamental Aeronautics Program at NASA's Headquarters in Washington. "We will need airplanes that are quieter and more fuel efficient, and cleaner-burning fuels to power them. We are challenging industry to introduce these new technologies without impairing the convenience, safety and security of commercial air transportation."
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Diamond Aircraft flew its D-JET for the first time with the new Williams FJ33-5A engine on October 5. "This is an important milestone for the D-JET program as we will be using this and subsequent aircraft for actual certification flights," said Peter Maurer, President of Diamond Aircraft. D-JET S/N 003, flown by Chief Test Pilot Daniel Ribeiro and Flight Test Engineer Gerard Struthers, departed from Diamond Aircraft's London, Ontario facility for a successful 1.4-hour flight with completion of all intended test points. Serial number 003, originally powered by the Williams FJ33-15 engine, had first flown on April 14th 2008.  Following Diamond's decision in March 2008 to upgrade from the FJ33-15 to the FJ33-5A (formerly designated FJ33-19), S/N 003 was reconfigured to accept the new engine, with new engine inlets and fairings, as well as other detail aerodynamic modifications, including the production version of the winglets. Although the D-JET will be certified initially with a derated version of the FJ33-5A engine, the configuration is designed to accept the higher thrust rating that Williams International plans to release in future, based on the expected successful in-service experience with the current engine. "When Williams introduced the new engine, we had to decide whether to continue with the original FJ33-15 or upgrade to the FJ33-5A right away, even if it meant a program delay," added Maurer. "In the interest of all D-JET owners, we chose to upgrade to the larger engine and create an optional future performance upgrade path. This decision has been universally welcomed by our customers, as it will preserve the value of even the first delivered aircraft."
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YourJet, a startup air taxi company, has selected the Diamond D-JET to inaugurate jet air taxi operations to serve more than 4,300 airports within a 700-mile radius of its base in Louisville, Kentucky. YourJet, which plans to begin initial operations later this year with a Diamond DA42, has ordered six D-JET aircraft with options for additional aircraft.
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EADS Socata unveiled initial information on the company's next generation aircraft project, providing details at a news conference with Chairman and CEO Jean-Michel Léonard during the National Business Aviation Association's 61st Annual Meeting & Convention. Code-named NTx, the new aircraft will be larger than the company's highly successful Very Fast Turboprop TBM 850, and aims at completing Socata's range on the upper end. Using a twin-engine configuration to offer a large scope of potential applications, the NTx will have greater useful load, more payload capability and a bigger cabin than the TBM 850. Powerplant applications for the NTx are still under discussion. Although, the launch date is not yet determined, the manufacturer is working on a schedule and expects to be able to officially launch the program before the end of 2009.
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Flexjet, the fractional business jet ownership program of Bombardier, announced a new program providing Flexjet owners the opportunity to offset carbon emissions each time they fly. Climate Care, a world-leading carbon offset provider and a division of JPMorgan's environmental markets group, has been selected as Flexjet's partner in this environmental initiative. Beginning October 2008, all new and existing Flexjet owners may join this voluntary program to offset CO2 emissions to make their flights carbon neutral. Program participants will pay a per-hour fee sufficient to fund activities that generate an equal reduction in emissions. Funds from the offset program will be invested in Climate Care projects worldwide, which reduce carbon emissions and distribute renewable, sustainable technology. As part of the program, Flexjet will also offset all non-owner flights, including flights for demonstration and maintenance purposes. "Flexjet is pleased to offer its owners the opportunity to take responsibility for their flights and help offset their carbon emissions," said Fred Reid, President, Bombardier Flexjet. "We realize that until technological advances produce truly low emissions aircraft, the best opportunity to minimize climate impact is to balance flight emissions with projects and technologies that reduce environmental impact around the world."
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JetCorp Technical Services announced its newest executive interior product line, the Renaissance Series CRJ100/200. Two of the VIP-configured airframes are scheduled for a fall delivery to launch customer AeroManagement, a VIP aircraft management company. As the executive conversion market continues to expand, St. Louis, MO-based JetCorp is well positioned to become a leading service provider in this market. "The Renaissance Series represents an important growth in scope for JetCorp. We have integrated our skills in maintenance, avionics and cabin entertainment, and interior design, allowing us to convert commercially-configured aircraft into luxurious private jets," said Bill McLendon, President, JetCorp. "We are extremely pleased with the progress of the first two aircraft and are looking forward to delivering both later this fall. JetCorp continues to be uniquely focused on meeting and exceeding the expectations of our customers."
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Less than a year after reaching its previous milestone, Norsk Helikopter has reached the 30,000 fleet hour milestone with its Sikorsky S-92 helicopter, Sikorsky Aircraft announced. The aircraft achieved the milestone on Sept. 29. The achievement follows the fleet hour milestone of 20,000 hours with the Sikorsky S-92 helicopter, reached on Nov. 26, 2007. In 2006, Norsk became the first offshore oil operator in the North Sea to reach 10,000 fleet flight hours with the S-92 helicopter. It has continued to expand its fleet of Sikorsky helicopters, now employing a total of seven S-92 helicopters. The company expects to receive two more S-92 helicopters into its fleet in the near future.
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On October 7, the start of the technical activities on the new technologies for the passengers transport aircraft of the future: the Green Regional Aircraft, a project led by Alenia Aeronautica, a Finmeccanica company. In Caserta, on 7 and 8 October, representatives from the programme partners: industries, research centres  - about 25 – attend an international meeting, organised by Alenia Aeronautica, on planning methodologies and procedures, times, deadlines and budget of the innovative project. The new eco-compatible regional aircraft could enter into service before 2020, while flight tests will begin in 2013. Six technological platforms are part of the largest and most ambitious European research programme ever financed within the aerospace field, the Clean Sky JTI (Joint Technology Initiative), and Alenia Aeronautica leads the regional ecological aircraft programme – the Green Regional Aircraft - with EADS CASA as co-leader.
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Petters Aviation, LLC and its subsidiaries, including MN Airlines, LLC, d.b.a. Sun Country Airlines filed for protection under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code. The decision to file for bankruptcy was based upon the adverse effects from recent events at Petters Group Worldwide Inc. This move affords us protection while we reorganize the business to be successful. Sun Country will continue to operate business as usual. We will continue to fly our normal schedule. We will continue to operate under the same guidelines with regards to ticketing, refunds, changes and all other transactions. We want to be clear that Sun Country customers have nothing to worry about if they have purchased a ticket on the airline. We are meeting our financial obligations and have every confidence we will continue to fly. Our credit card bank retains the funds until the passengers fly and would refund those funds if for some reason any flights were cancelled.
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AgustaWestland announced that Ornge of Ontario, Canada, has ordered ten AW139 medium twin helicopters with an option for two additional aircraft. The overall contract value is about US$120 million. The aircraft will be equipped with full aero-medical interiors and be equipped also with a full de-icing system for operation in adverse weather conditions. Ornge is a charitable organization that coordinates all aspects of Ontario's aero-medical transport system. Ornge operates one of the largest aero medical and critical care land transport medicine programs in North America and currently has more than 300 employees in eight areas of operation. This includes over 200 paramedics, pediatric transport nurses and transport medicine physicians. Ornge's expertise in transport medicine lies in its ability to serve more than 12 million Ontarians throughout a geographic area of 1 million square kilometres, delivering its scope of services through comprehensive door-to-door acute care aero medical transport. Ornge utilises over 30 bases across the province, 9 of which are staffed 24 hours, 7 days a week.
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The nuclear enterprise, cyber organization, end strength, force shaping, and command and control of Air Force operations were just some of the topics discussed when Air Force senior leaders met at CORONA on Oct. 1-3 at the U.S. Air Force Academy.  Secretary of the Air Force Michael B. Donley set the tone stating, "Over the past two days we addressed several issues, making decisions on key Air Force missions necessary to move our Air Force in the right direction." The Air Force Chief of Staff, Gen. Norton Schwartz, followed with comments on the importance of the conference saying, "CORONA is a forum for decision. The teamwork manifested in this room will allow us to accomplish what our Air Force needs done." As a follow-up to the recent nuclear summit, the briefings and decisions at CORONA were dominated by discussions on the nuclear enterprise. Discussions included options to reconfigure the command structure for nuclear forces, roles and responsibilities of the Nuclear Weapons Center, the required skills and force development for personnel conducting the nuclear mission, and stand-up of the new nuclear-focused staff element organization within Air Force headquarters. The leadership also decided to establish a nuclear focused major command to concentrate Air Force support for the nuclear and deterrence missions. In addition, the senior leaders discussed the Air Force active duty end strength ceiling, now to be 330,000 personnel, and addressed which missions and functional specialties should obtain additional allocations based on emerging missions as well as critically-manned career fields. Leadership also decided to establish a Numbered Air Force for cyber operations within Air Force Space Command and discussed how the Air Force will continue to develop capabilities in this new domain and train personnel to execute this new mission.
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Embraer and Vibroair Flugservice GmbH & Co. KG signed a contract for two Phenom 300, one Legacy 500, and one Legacy 600 executive jets. The Legacy 600 is scheduled for delivery in 2009, and is already included in Embraer's second quarter 2008 firm order backlog. The Legacy 600 will be dedicated to private charter operations in Europe, and will be based at Dusseldorf Airport. "Vibroair has selected Embraer as its long-term business aircraft partner. Our Legacy 600 will be operated throughout Europe as a VIP aircraft, affording our customers comfortable trips in a very spacious cabin with the ultimate in onboard technology," said Michael Viehof, CEO of Vibroair. "We will continue to expand our operations with the addition of the comfortable new and innovative Phenom 300 and Legacy 500 jets."
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TAM announced its entry into the Star Alliance, the largest global alliance in commercial aviation, currently made up of 21 of the world's largest airlines and three regional companies that jointly operate more than 18,100 flights daily. "This is a very important step forward for TAM since through our alliance membership we will gain further international brand recognition," said Captain David Barioni Neto, CEO of TAM. "Joining Star Alliance will further bolster our ongoing quest for Service Excellence, Technical and Operational Excellence and Excellence in Management, which are the three pillars of our strategy." "Thanks to TAM, Latin America will no longer be a white spot but rather a hot spot on our world map," said Jaan Albrecht, CEO of the organization, during the official announcement today. "We are very proud to have TAM as a future member; their decision to join Star Alliance clearly reflects the ongoing importance of alliances today," continued Albrecht. TAM already has codeshare agreements with Lufthansa, TAP and United, all Star Alliance members, and has just signed an agreement with Air Canada, also part of the global alliance. Once the Brazilian company completes the integration process, the Star Alliance route network will expand to more than 1,000 destinations in 170 countries, offering more than 20,000 daily departures. This will further solidify Star Alliance's leadership among world alliances.
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EADS North America marked a major industrial milestone for the U.S. Army's UH-72A Lakota Light Utility Helicopter program, delivering its first final assembly line (FAL) aircraft from the Eurocopter production facility at Columbus, Mississippi. This key step – which was achieved on schedule – is part of EADS North America's commitment to establishing full production of the UH-72A in the United States. The Laokta's industrialization is the responsibility of the American Eurocopter business unit of EADS North America, and is performed in a 220,000 sq. ft. purpose-built factory at the Golden Triangle Airport Industrial Complex. A phased stand-up of the UH-72A production line was developed to deliver aircraft quickly after the Light Utility Helicopter's contract award to EADS North America in June 2006. This allowed the company to meet the Army's urgent need for a new light utility helicopter, while simultaneously implementing a low-risk plan to transition to full-scale U.S. production of the UH-72A. The production transition process involves three major overlapping production phases – Light Assembly Line (LAL), Full Assembly Line (FAL) and Production Line (PL).
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Embraer announced a three-percent increase in the price of the Phenom 300, effective November 1, 2008. The executive jet is already flying in the certification and maturity campaigns, and will be priced at US$ 6.85 million for U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certification, based on January 2005 economic conditions, in the baseline configuration. "Since its launch, in May 2005, the Phenom 300 has enjoyed great market acceptance, comprising one-third of the more than 800 Phenom jets on order," said Luís Carlos Affonso Embraer Executive Vice President, Executive Jets. "Even with this increase over the 2005 introductory price, the Phenom 300 continues to be attractive, as the best combination of comfort, performance, cabin space, and baggage volume in the light jet category." The first Phenom 300 performed its maiden flight on April 29 of this year, and has accumulated more than 100 test hours, to date. The second Phenom 300 flew on August 5, while the third and fourth aircraft are in the assembly and sub-assembly phases, respectively.
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CAE is adding a second Bombardier CRJ full-flight simulator (FFS) to its Madrid training centre, doubling its CRJ platform capacity in the region. The simulator will be a CRJ200 Level D that will support the currently installed CRJ200/900 Level D FFS. It is scheduled to enter into service in early 2009.
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Bombardier Aerospace announced that Brit Air (Morlaix, France) has signed a contract to acquire six additional Bombardier CRJ1000 NextGen jetliners. The transaction involves the conversion of six options taken with Brit Air's original order for eight CRJ1000 NextGen aircraft. That order was announced on February 19, 2007. Based on the list price for the CRJ1000 NextGen jetliner, the order announced today is valued at approximately $299 million US.
Brit Air, a wholly owned subsidiary of Air France, is one of three launch customers for the CRJ1000 NextGen aircraft program. The airline's fleet currently includes 15 Bombardier CRJ100 and 15 Bombardier CRJ700 regional jets.
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Rockwell Collins, as a member of the Raytheon, Rockwell Collins, Northrop Grumman and SAIC team, has been selected by the U.S. Navy to execute the Joint Precision Approach and Landing System (JPALS) Increment 1 program. The program value for Rockwell Collins is $94 million. Rockwell Collins will provide Global Positioning System (GPS) and communications subsystems, systems engineering, test and logistics support. JPALS Increment 1 provides the Navy a secure, all-weather shipboard landing system. It will use GPS technology and provide a survivable, day-night precision approach and landing capability for vessels afloat. Increment 1 will provide joint operational capability for U.S. forces to perform missions from shipboard environments under a wide range of meteorological and terrain conditions.
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2007 was a good year for aviation safety in Europe. The number of fatal accidents involving aircraft registered in Member States of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) performing commercial air transport operations dropped from six in 2006 to three in 2007. This accounts for only some 5 per cent of all fatal accidents that year. Regarding aircraft registered in the rest of the world, the number of fatal accidents in the same type of operation increased from 36 in 2006 to 54 in 2007 and is above the decade average (52). Nevertheless, and despite the tragic accident of a Spanair MD-82 on 20 August 2008 which caused 154 fatalities (not subject of the report), the trend for the decade still indicates that the number of accidents worldwide in commercial air transport is declining. The report also includes data on accident rates for commercial helicopter operations, for aircraft involved in General Aviation and for light aircraft. The Annual Safety Review is compiled by EASA to inform the public of safety levels in civil aviation. The data used are provided by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), the NLR Air Transport Safety Institute and the Agency's 31 members, which include the 27 Member States of the European Union, as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.
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The State of Qatar has signed a $393.6 million contract with Lockheed Martin for the purchase of four C-130J Super Hercules airlifters plus training and spares with deliveries to begin in 2011. Qatar's new C-130Js will be the longer fuselage or "stretched" variant of the C-130J. Since this is Qatar's first experience with C-130s, the package being provided by Lockheed Martin is a complete solution. The package includes four aircraft, training of aircrew and maintenance technicians, spares, ground support and test equipment, servicing carts, forklifts, loading vehicles, cargo pallets, and a team of technical specialists who will be based in Qatar during an initial support period.
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Boeing announced a new rotorcraft program, the AH-6 light attack/reconnaissance helicopter. Designed on a combat-proven platform with a heritage of successful service with Special Operations, the AH-6 is designed to meet the current requirements of international military customers while maintaining flexibility for future growth. The AH-6 features an Electro-Optical/Infrared forward-looking sight system as well as a mount for weapons that have been qualified on the aircraft, including Hellfire missiles, the M260 seven-shot rocket pod, a machine gun and a mini-gun integrated with a sensor system. A communications package allows the AH-6 to connect to other aircraft and* to ground stations. Boeing will produce the AH-6 at its Rotorcraft Systems facility in Mesa, Ariz., and will draw on that organization's existing secure supply base to ensure on-time, on-cost delivery.
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In late September Alenia Aermacchi test flew the first MB-339CD upgraded to Batch 2 standard. Over the following days the aircraft completed its company test flights and is now ready to be submitted to the Italian Air Force for its official acceptance. This the first of 14 trainers covered by the agreement signed in October 2007 between the Italian Air Force and Alenia Aermacchi, a Finmeccanica Company. The deal provides for the upgrading to Batch 2 standard of 14 MB-339CD advanced trainers built to Batch 1 standard under a previous 1995 contract and already in service with the Italian Air Force. The 14 reconfigured aircraft will be redelivered in the course of 2009, under a schedule agreed with the Italian Air Force. The 14 MB-339CD trainers are being upgraded mainly in their avionics system, improving their identification, communications and positioning systems, adding a digital map system and integrating night vision and embedded simulation capabilities.
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GE Honda Aero Engines has begun releasing hardware designs and receiving manufactured hardware for its first HF120 development engine, in preparation for formal certification testing. While the first HF120 development engine will begin assembly later this year, the program has experienced one of the most extensive engine test programs prior to the official start of FAA certification testing. To date, GE Honda Aero Engines has built and tested 10 HF120 engine cores and 10 full engine demonstrators.
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The Lockheed Martin F-35A successfully flew from Fort Worth, Texas, to Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., on Oct. 1 to begin expanded flight testing and initiate test activities at Edwards. Flying non-stop for more than 1,000 nautical miles, this was the aircraft's first long-range, cross-country flight."The ferry flight out was perfect," said F-35 Test Pilot Jeff Knowles. "The aircraft performed exactly as expected. Inflight refueling was flawless and we landed with no maintenance discrepancies. We couldn't have asked for a more successful first long-range flight." During the F-35's deployment to Edwards, the flight test team will conduct ground and flight test activities for propulsion, aerial refueling and logistical support, and will hold training exercises for the test team.
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Nordic Aviation Capital ("NAC") is the new name of NAC Nordic Aviation Contractor, the world's largest independent regional aircraft lessor.  The name change and new corporate identity, launched to coincide with this week's ISTAT European Conference in Prague and the ERA annual gathering in Manchester, reflects better on what the company does today.  "This year – our 18th year of operations – seemed an appropriate time to implement a new corporate identity," said Jan Melgaard, CEO. Since its founding in 1990, Nordic Aviation Capital has built up a significant portfolio of primarily turboprop aircraft – currently an 80-strong fleet, including some jets.  NAC is renowned for its work in helping to finance aircraft where access to aircraft financing is very limited, or simply non-existent. Nordic Aviation Capital also provides aircraft to well known carriers such as SAS, US Airways and TACA;  regional carriers including Wideroe, Aer Arann and Cimber Air, as well as providing aircraft to airlines in emerging markets.   For example, Nordic Aviation Capital has placed 10 ATR 42 aircraft with UTair in Russia.
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Velocity, Inc., a leading manufacturer of home-built canard design airframe kits, today announced receiving a purchase order of 20 Velocity XL-5 aircraft. The announcement is the first major sales contract secured by Sebastian, FL-based Velocity, Inc., since their April 2008 acquisition by Rocket Racing Composites Corp., a division within Rocket Racing Inc., the parent company for the Rocket Racing League, the new entertainment sports league that combines the exhilaration of racing with the power of rocket engines. Velocity's XL-5 airframe is the same airframe being used for the Rocket Racing League's Rocket Racers. The Velocity XL-5 is an easy to build, easy to fly, true high performance airplane with the ability to make 1000 NM + cross country trips while carrying up to five people and baggage in comfort -- at speeds in excess of 200 mph. "This 20-plane order is the culmination of six months of hard work by the Velocity team," said Scott Baker, president of Velocity, Inc. "Since the acquisition by Rocket Racing Composite Corp., there has been a lot of interest and feedback from the public in Velocity, Inc. contributing to many of the technology advances that are planned for the Rocket Racer models. These new developments in performance and comfort benefit Velocity owners who use their aircraft for personal and business travel." Based on the current momentum, interest, and customer feedback Velocity is currently developing and designing two new models to be introduced in 2009.
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Delta Air Lines customers flying Business class between the United States and London's Heathrow Airport will enjoy the comfort of a 180-degree full flat bed on every flight beginning summer 2009. Delta customers also will enjoy the convenience of a third daily nonstop flight between New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and London-Heathrow, operated by joint venture partner Air France.  The service will complement Delta's two existing flights between New York and Heathrow and one flight between Atlanta and Heathrow and will give customers the scheduling flexibility of a morning, early evening or late evening departure.
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Lufthansa Technik's Completion Center in Hamburg is being significantly expanded to cope with the extremely high demand for customized interior completion of large and very large VIP and government aircraft. From 2010 onwards, the Hamburg site will have the capacity to outfit three widebody aircraft with VIP cabins simultaneously. Meanwhile, the specialists on site have signed contracts or letters of intent for three Boeing 747-8s and three Boeing 787s. In addition to contracts for outfitting two Airbus A330s and two Airbus A340s by 2011, letters of agreement have been signed for three Boeing 747-8s and three Boeing 787-8s, to be completed by 2018. Lufthansa Technik is currently negotiating with another six customers on Boeing 787 completions, and a further five customers would like to have their 747-8s outfitted in Hamburg, too. The widebody completions scheduled between 2009 and 2011 include the two new Airbus A340s acquired by the German government for its air force (in addition to two Airbus A319s), which will be delivered in 2010 and 2011.
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MTU Maintenance Berlin-Brandenburg is broadening its service offerings: in partnership with Lufthansa Bombardier Aviation Services GmbH at Schönefeld, the engine specialists are now offering complete maintenance packages for Bombardier Learjet 60 business aircraft and their PW305A engines. The agreement was signed at Ludwigsfelde. Dr. Wolfgang Konrad, president and CEO of MTU Maintenance Berlin-Brandenburg, emphasized during the signing ceremony that the two parties teaming up here, both of them established players in the aviation industry around the German capital, showed that "in the service sector, Berlin-Brandenburg is catching up with other European centers of excellence in the dynamically growing corporate aircraft market".
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Goodrich has received FAA Supplemental Type Certification (STC) for a lightweight durable fan cowl design for V2500-A5 engine nacelles. Goodrich's Aerostructures business unit, through its Alabama Service Center in Foley, Ala., will provide a one-piece, or monolithic, fan cowl as part of its Prime Solutions(sm) aftermarket support program. The monolithic fan cowl, developed in collaboration with Bombardier Aerospace of Belfast in Northern Ireland, offers a number of advantages over the existing fan cowl design. It uses a resin transfer infusion process developed by Bombardier that replaces the fan cowl's traditional honeycomb interior with a monolithic structure. The resulting one-piece components are more durable and longer lasting than their predecessors, thus reducing repair costs. In addition, the new Integrated Drive Generator (IDG) oil servicing access door will reduce on-wing maintenance time for operators by eliminating the need to open the fan cowls when the IDG is serviced.
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As part of the exclusive negotiations held between the Daher group and EADS for the acquisition of a majority interest by Daher in EADS Socata, EADS has announced that the Central Councils and Works Councils of the three entities have all voted in favour of the acquisition. Establishing links between Daher and EADS Socata should lead to the creation of a major player in Aerostructures, Business Aviation and Services, and give rise to the development of joint projects in these three areas, particularly on the A350 for which Socata will be a tier-one partner. "With Daher, Socata has found a solid partner. This opens up new prospects of development. It will obviously remain a major supplier for EADS, namely on the A350 programme," said Louis Gallois, CEO of EADS. "We are today delighted that the great majority of EADS France and EADS Socata staff representatives have understood and support the initiative."
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Cessna this month will achieve its planned full-rate production level on the Citation Mustang. Cessna will average three Mustangs rolling off the production line each week at its Independence, Kan., manufacturing facility. At full rate, employees on the Mustang line are scheduled to deliver 150 entry-level business jets per year starting in 2009. The Citation Mustang, along with the entire line of Citation business jets, is on display this week at the National Business Aviation Association Meeting and Convention. The current fleet of Citation Mustangs totals roughly 115 aircraft that have accumulated more than 19,000 flight hours, and the high-time aircraft has logged more than 500 hours.
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Embraer reinforces that its hedging policy does not have any speculative component and that the derivative instruments in place are exclusively held to protect its operations against a potential loss arising from adverse changes in interest and foreign currency exchange rates. Embraer also emphasizes that an increase in the exchange rate (R$/US$) may have a positive influence on its operational results. Therefore, the protection instruments currently held by the Company are only NDFs (Non Deliverable Forwards) and plain vanilla interest rate swaps, without any leverage component. In addition, Embraer informs that it does not have any dual indexation contract or target forward transactions.
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Embraer and LAM - Linhas Aereas de Mocambique signed a contract for two EMBRAER 190 aircraft, plus two purchase rights for the same model. The total value of the deal is US$ 75 million, at list price, and could double, if all purchase rights are exercised. "We welcome LAM, the newest Embraer operator on the African continent, who raises our E-Jets customer base to the outstanding mark of fifty airlines," said Mauro Kern, Embraer Executive Vice President, Airline Market. "It is a privilege to have our E-Jets chosen as a tool for modernizing LAM's fleet. The company will expand its presence in the domestic segment and in the southern region of Africa, and will be able to offer its customers advanced, reliable, and highly comfortable service."
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Eurofighter Simulation Systems (ESS) has awarded Indra, Spain's leading IT multinational and one of the main players in Europe, a EUR29m contract to produce the second batch of Eurofighter simulators. This second batch involves the production of 15 new simulators for the four nations that form the core of the programme: the UK, Germany, Italy and Spain. Under the terms of the contract, Indra will produce the instructor position for six of the new ASTA (Aircrew Synthetic Training Aids) simulators for the EF-2000, the alternative aircraft for all the new simulators, and will integrate and start up the two new Spanish simulators that are to be installed at the Moron and/or Albacete air bases. The so-called alternative aircraft, designed by Indra, is a unique feature of the ASTA simulators, and can be transformed into 15 different types of aircraft so that an instructor at the controls of an ASTA can pass off as another plane. This is how it appears to a student Eurofighter pilot training on another simulator connected with it on line. In this way, the trainee receives more realistic instruction by fighting an enemy plane or collaborating with a friendly aircraft.
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At the NBAA Lufthansa Technik presented niceview, its latest innovation in the field of infotainment (passenger flight information and moving map system). niceview provides worldwide high-resolution 3-D maps and virtual flight views as well as a multitude of informative screens. The system utilizes the latest 3-D rendering technologies and offers a vast choice of data options compared to previous generations of moving map and in-flight information systems. High Definition Video Output (HDTV) ensures first-rate video quality. With niceview, passengers will not only be enjoying in-flight entertainment, but will also stay informed about their entire journey. Every passenger can experience a virtual 3-D view from a window seat or from the cockpit, no matter if it is day or night and independent of any weather condition. Also, any information data received by niceview from aircraft systems can be configured to be shown on aircraft displays as overlays, including ticker or banner views. Additionally, niceview is able to show pictures, movies, and multi-channel audio.
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Lufthansa Technik is increasing its capacity for customized completions of VIP and business aircraft by setting up a single-aisle completion line at its American subsidiary Bizjet in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The new facility will begin outfitting Airbus A318 Elites with individually customized cabins from 2009 onwards. Later it will also provide extra capacity for other aircraft, the company announced on October 5 at the world's largest business aviation convention, NBAA 2008, in Orlando. The demand for VIP and executive jet completions is so strong that the Completion Center in Hamburg cannot handle all orders on its own. The present need to expand production capacities in this area is due, in particular, to the market success of the Airbus A318 Elite program, in which Lufthansa Technik is Airbus' contracted completion partner. So far, Lufthansa Technik has delivered three A318 Elites, and it is currently working on four more aircraft of this type in Hamburg. In May 2009, completion will begin on the first A318 Elite in Tulsa, where three single-aisle completion lines will be ready for use by 2011.
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EADS Elbe Flugzeugwerke GmbH (EFW) received the fuselage of an Airbus A320 aircraft for training purposes. The aircraft bearing the manufacturer serial number (MSN) 004 has ended its inservice period for passenger services. As of the end of 2011 Airbus A320- family aircraft will be converted from passenger into freighter configuration. The fuselage, coming from Toulouse, weighs about 25 metric tons and has been transported by the Airbus A300-600 ST transport aircraft "Beluga", especially designed for transports between Airbus production sites. "With the fuselage we are able to test structural components, tools and procedures under close to reality conditions – important hands-on experience in this seminal project" said President and CEO of EFW, Dr. Andreas Sperl.
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The second candidate for the Partial Tiger Replacement (PTR) landed in Emmen this morning. With the arrival of the French Rafale aircraft in Switzerland, the second series of flight and ground tests for the PTR is about to begin. In November, the third and last candidate, the EADS Eurofighter, will follow. Two Rafale aircraft landed at the Emmen (LU) airbase. These two-seaters will be stationed in Switzerland for about a month from 9 October 2008. As part of the flight and ground tests from Emmen as main airbase, around 30 flights are planned, some of which will be carried out at night. In addition, about 50 sorties will be made with F/A-18 and F-5 aircraft, which will serve as targets and for flight tests within the PTR - F/A-18 formation. The evaluation flights are part of current flying contingents and will not lead to additional flight movements at the respective airbases.
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