03.08.2008
FLUG REVUE

2008-08-04 - News in BriefNews in Brief

Kurzmeldungen<br /> +++<br /> Ryanair, Europe's largest low fares airline, on 28 July announced a Q1 profit of €21m down €118m (or 85%) as fuel costs almost doubled and yields fell due to the absence of Easter in this quarter and its presence in the prior year comparable.

Despite the absence of Easter, traffic grew by 19% to 15m, as average fares (incl. bag charges) fell by 8% to €42, while total revenues grew 12% to €777m. Unit costs excluding fuel fell by 6%, including fuel they increased by 18%, due to higher oil prices and longer sector lengths. Ryanair's CEO Michael O'Leary said: "Trading conditions have been difficult in Q1 as we suffered the loss of Easter and the impact of higher fuel prices. Oil prices almost doubled in Q1 from $61 to $117 (per barrel) as our fuel bill rose 93% to €367m. Fuel now represents almost 50% of our total operating costs compared to 36% last year. We have recently announced capacity reductions for the coming winter at our two highest cost airports in Stansted (15 aircraft grounded) and Dublin (4 aircraft) where regulatory failure has allowed these monopolies to further increase their already high airport charges. These high costs make it more profitable to ground some aircraft rather than fly them at Dublin and Stansted this winter. Despite these cutbacks, Ryanair's traffic will still grow by approx. 9% this winter as we switch route and capacity growth to lower cost airports and bases. Accordingly, passenger volumes for the year will grow by 14% to 58m, slightly lower than the 16% previously guided. The outlook for the remainder of the fiscal year which is entirely dependent on fares and fuel prices remains poor. The emerging economic recession in the UK and Ireland caused by the global credit crisis and high oil prices means that consumer confidence is plummeting, and we believe this will have an adverse impact on fares for the rest of the year. We will respond as always with lower fares and aggressive pricing to keep people flying and maintain our high load factors. We now believe that our average fares for the year may fall by as much as 5% if European airfares plunge this winter. Ryanair will lead this downward pricing at a time when most of our competitors are hoping to raise fares and fuel surcharges. The market this winter will be heavily impacted by the timing and scale of EU airline bankruptcies and consolidations which are inevitable at these higher oil prices. Ryanair's better than anticipated savings which will flow from capacity and cost reductions already achieved will partly offset these lower yields. On the basis of our existing fuel hedges, Q4 oil prices at approx. $130 per barrel, and average fares falling by 5% for the full year, we expect to record a full year result of between breakeven and a loss of €60m. 
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Dubai based Emirates Airline has signed a Letter of Intent (LoI) for 30 Airbus A350XWB plus 30 A330-300s. The agreement was signed between Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive Emirates Airline and Group and Tom Enders, Airbus President and CEO on the occasion of their first A380 delivery in Hamburg, Germany. At the 10. Dubai Airshow in 2007, Emirates signed a firm order for 70 A350 XWBs with an option for 50 more. Today's agreement includes the firming up of 30 of these A350 XWB options and will eventually increase Emirates' total order for the A350 XWB to 100. Sheikh Ahmed said, "Dubai's aims to attract 15 million visitors a year by 2012 and Emirates is forging ahead with expansion plans. The A350 XWB and A330 will enable Emirates to expand using modern fuel efficient aircraft and alongside the A380 will be key tools in achieving our goals."
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Pilatus Aircraft announced that the PC-12 fleet has now surpassed the important milestone of 2 million flight hours. Operators worldwide have come to rely on the aircraft's distinctive efficiency, performance and thorough reliability. Introduced in 1994, the PC-12 fleet continues to grow through recognition of its excellent abilities and outstanding utility. Today the global fleet numbers in excess of 800 aircraft.
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In a ceremony held in Lisbon, Embraer announced plans for implementing two new industrial units dedicated to manufacturing complex airframe structures, one focused on metallic assemblies and the other on composites, both of which to be located in the city of Évora, Portugal. The event was attended by the Prime Minister of Portugal, José Sócrates Carvalho Pinto de Souza, the President of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, Embraer's President & CEO, Frederico Fleury Curado, as well as government and press officials from both countries. "We are pleased to announce new investments in Portugal, which represent another important strategic step towards improving Embraer's productivity and competitiveness, whilst also supporting Company's growth and its global presence," said Frederico Fleury Curado, Embraer President & CEO. "We firmly believe that these technological state-of-theart operations will represent an important contribution to the region of Évora, as well as to Portugal and to the European Union, one of our largest and most important markets, both for our supplies and aircraft sales and services."The selection of the city of Évora resulted from a careful evaluation of several factors, including potential access to qualified labor, logistical infrastructure and the existence of a technological center dedicated to aeronautics, as set forth in the municipal master plan. The new factories will be highly automated and use state-of-the-art manufacturing processes, coherently with the Company's lean manufacturing initiatives. They will represent an estimated investment of € 100 million (metallic) and € 48 million (composites) over the next six years, according to their respective implementation schedules. These investment amounts were already considered in Embraer's long term planning and do not alter any of its economical and financial guidances.
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Following GE's acquisition of certain assets of Walter Engines, GE Aviation is launching a new turboprop derivative engine, the M601H-80, for the utility, agriculture and retrofit aircraft segments. The new derivative engine will be offered to customers starting at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2008. The new M601H-80 engine will incorporate GE's 3D-aero design and advanced materials into the engine's hot-section compressor and turbine as well as a new nozzle guide vane material in the gas generator and power turbine, new materials in the combustor liner and GE's blisk design in the axial compressor. These advanced technologies and designs will improve fuel efficiency by 7 percent compared to the existing M601F engine and offer increased temperature margin to improve hot day takeoff and high altitude cruise speeds. The M601H-80 engine will have an extended service life of 3,600 hours and 6,600 cycles between overhauls. The new derivative engine will offer power up to 800 shaft horsepower (shp). The new hot section will also be available as an upgrade to existing M601F engines.
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The first aircraft sections for the new Airbus single-aisle assembly line in Tianjin arrived at the A320 Final Assembly Line (FAL) site in the early morning of 25th July. Six jigs loaded with parts for an A320, coming from the Airbus production sites in Europe, departed from Hamburg on a container ship on 24th June. It carries the forward and rear fuselage section, a pair of wings, the horizontal and vertical tailplane and engine pylons. The sections arrived at the Tianjin Harbour at 06:30am on 24th July, then were transported from the harbour to the FALC site by road at 3:00 o'clock in the morning of 25th July. The assembly process of the first aircraft, which is for Sichuan Airlines, will start in August 2008. Delivery of the aircraft is scheduled for mid 2009. By 2011, the production ramp-up will reach 4 aircraft per month.
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Goodrich has signed an agreement with Bourns, Inc. to acquire the Chicago Aerial Industries (CAI) and Pacific Optical Division (POD) assets of Recon/Optical, Inc. (ROI), a leading provider of low-to-medium altitude airborne reconnaissance cameras and optical products for the homeland security and military market. The transaction closed today; terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. ROI employs approximately 170 people at facilities located in Barrington, Ill. and Riverside, Calif. Major customers include original equipment defense contractors as well as U.S. and allied military forces around the world. Primary products include dual-band and infrared framing cameras, imagery and data exploitation systems, and sophisticated optical devices. The company was founded in 1922, and in 2007 generated over $27 million in revenue.
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Boeing, industry teammates and the U.S. Missile Defense Agency have completed installing the high-energy laser aboard the Airborne Laser (ABL) aircraft and have begun testing the laser with its chemical fuel at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. The tests involve flowing the laser's chemicals through the laser to confirm sequencing and control. Once these tests are completed, the test team will fire the laser aboard the aircraft on the ground for the first time. "The Airborne Laser team has done a great job preparing the high-energy laser for these fuel tests, which will lead the way toward achieving 'first light' of the laser aboard the aircraft," said Mike Rinn, Boeing vice president and ABL program director. "Once again, we made and demonstrated enormous progress toward ushering in a new age of directed-energy weapons."
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NASA hosted a meeting of space agencies from nine countries last week to discuss the next steps in the ongoing scientific exploration of the moon. The meeting laid the groundwork for a new generation of lunar science. Discussions, led by NASA Headquarters officials, were held at NASA's Lunar Science Institute, located at the Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, Calif. Representatives from space agencies in Canada, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the United Kingdom, and the United States attended the meeting. During the meeting, attendees discussed cooperation on an international activity called the International Lunar Network (ILN). The network is designed to gradually place 6-8 fixed or mobile science stations on the lunar surface. The stations will form a second-generation robotic science network to replace hardware left by the Apollo Program to study the moon's surface and interior. NASA plans to place its first two ILN landers on the surface of the moon in 2013-14. The landers are being developed under the Lunar Precursor Robotic Program at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center. Huntsville, Ala.
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The world's smallest full authority helicopter made its first flight at Prox Dynamics facilities in Asker, Norway. The flight lasted for more than 2 minutes, and was considered a major success. Hornet-1 is the first prototype of Prox Dynamics advanced Nano-UAS PD-100 Black Hornet.
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The Turbine 340, a new Rolls-Royce Model 250-powered executive transport aircraft, was unveiled by O&N Aircraft Modifications, Inc. at the Rolls-Royce exhibit at EAA AirVenture. The aircraft is a twin-engine Cessna 340 converted from its AvGas piston engine configuration to incorporate Model 250 B-17 series turboprops. The Turbine 340 made its successful first flight in early July and will begin extensive flight testing next month to complete its FAA Supplemental Type Certification. Diane Olson, O&N President, said: "The launch of this executive transport aircraft opens up a new market for O&N, providing a comfortable, cabin-class aircraft capable of flying into and out of very small airports.
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Boeing  began final assembly of the second P-8A Poseidon for the U.S. Navy on July 24 in Renton, Wash. The aircraft, S1, is the program's static test vehicle and will be used to test the airframe's structural strength. The start of final assembly follows Spirit AeroSystems' delivery of the aircraft's fuselage to Boeing. S1 is one of five P-8A test aircraft -- three flight-test and two ground-test -- that the Boeing-led team of CFM International, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, Spirit AeroSystems and GE Aviation is building for the Navy as part of a System Development and Demonstration contract.
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In the first half-year 2008 the Lufthansa Group reported revenue of EUR 12.1bn (previous year: EUR 10.1bn) and increased the operating result by EUR 219m to EUR 705m. This reflects the altogether stable operating performance and an earnings contribution of EUR 157m from the fully consolidated SWISS. Net profit for the period came to EUR 402m. Last year's figure of EUR 992m included book gains from the sale of the Thomas Cook stake (EUR 503m) and the share buy-back by WAM Acquisition S.A. (EUR 71m). The Executive Board continues to expect that for the full year 2008 it will follow up on last year's operating result. Risks lie in a renewed and lasting increase in fuel prices, a sustained decline in the world economy and acute in the as yet unforeseeable effects of the strike actions in the course of ongoing wage negotiations.
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History was made today in Oshkosh, WI, as the Rocket Racing League's Rocket Racer took to the skies above EAA AirVenture in the first public display of the future of sports and entertainment. The Rocket Racing League is a new entertainment sports league combining the thrill of flight with the power of rockets. "Today was truly a milestone not only in the history of the Rocket Racing League and aviation in general, but in the future of sports and entertainment," said Rocket Racing League founder and CEO Granger Whitelaw. "This first flight proves that by bringing together the technological and business development power of the aerospace industry, we have changed the future of sports and entertainment." At approximately 2:30pm CT today, two-time NASA Shuttle commander and Rocket Racing League test pilot Rick Searfoss ignited the Rocket Racer's rocket engine and took to the skies above Oshkosh for a 10-minute demonstration flight. The Bridenstine DKNY Rocket Racer is based on Velocity Aircraft's canard airframe that is outfitted with an XCOR Aerospace LOX engine capable of 1,500-2,000 lbs. of thrust.
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Airbus has selected Rockwell Collins to provide information management and navigation capabilities for the A350 XWB aircraft. This award comes in addition to Rockwell Collins' fully integrated Communication Global Work package, the Avionics Data Network, Landing Guidance Systems and the Trimmable Horizontal Stabilizer Actuator (THSA) for the A350 XWB. Rockwell Collins expects the potential value of the entire program to be $2.5 billion. "The award means that the A350 XWB will have more Rockwell Collins content than any Airbus platform in history," said Kelly Ortberg, executive vice president and chief operating officer for Commercial Systems at Rockwell Collins. "As a core system supplier and integrator, we look forward to working closely with Airbus to bring the best value and capabilities to this aircraft." The latest contract award calls for Rockwell Collins to provide its Information Management Onboard solution, which is a hosting platform for flight operations, aircraft maintenance and airline applications. Information Management Onboard includes a standard Class 2 electronic flight bag interface, while flight operations and aircraft maintenance functions will be developed by Airbus. Rockwell Collins will provide the hardware platform, system software and system integration.
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Bombardier announced that London Air Services (LAS) has placed firm orders for five Learjet 85 aircraft, valued at approximately $86 million U.S., based on the 2008 list price of typically equipped aircraft. LAS is the first Canadian operator to place a firm order for the all-composite jet.
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Honeywell announced it has delivered the Nitrogen Generation System (NGS) for the Boeing Next-Generation 737 aircraft. The NGS delivers nitrogen enriched air to the aircraft center fuel tank, significantly reducing flammability and increasing commercial aircraft safety. On July 16, 2008, the Department of Transportation, National Transportation Safety Board, and Federal Aviation Administration jointly announced that within two years, all new aircraft must include technology designed to reduce the risk of center fuel tank fires. The Honeywell NGS is the first fully FAA-certified fuel tank inerting solution for commercial transport aircraft. Honeywell is developing additional systems for the Boeing 737-300/400/500, 777-200/300, 747-400, and the 747-8 aircraft.
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Bombardier Aerospace announced the delivery of the 200th Challenger 300 aircraft to VistaJet, a privately owned business aviation solutions company headquartered in Switzerland. The milestone aircraft is one of a trio of Challenger aircraft delivered to VistaJet in July, including a Challenger 605 and Challenger 850 business jets. The aircraft will enter service with VistaJet's rapidly growing fleet on August first. VistaJet's fleet currently features more than 35 medium to ultra long-range jets - from the premium Learjet 40 XR aircraft to the Global Express XRS jet, the ultimate business aircraft - all with an average age of less than two years. The company expects to grow its fleet to 98 aircraft once all jets on order including options have been delivered.
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EADS continued its robust underlying performance in the first half of 2008 and achieved significant efficiency improvements across all Divisions despite programme challenges the Group is still facing. Within an uncertain macro-economic environment EADS registered a remarkable order intake reflecting the quality of its commercial and defence product portfolio. The Group confirms its full-year 2008 EBIT guidance of € 1.8 billion in spite of an A380 charge. Airbus continued to ramp-up deliveries and handed over 245 aircraft (H1 2007: 231 aircraft) to its customers. Just recently, Emirates became the second operator of the A380, receiving its first aircraft from the delivery centre in Hamburg. The Military Transport Aircraft Division rolled out the first A400M from the final assembly line in Seville; first flight is expected in autumn. Eurocopter registered a strong order intake bringing its order book to a record high. Astrium made substantial progress in completing the military satellite communication system Skynet 5. The Defence & Security Division expanded its secure communications business and forged ahead in its Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) activities. Revenues increased by 8 percent to € 19.7 billion (H1 2007: € 18.4 billion) reflecting growth across all five Divisions despite a negative US dollar headwind. Higher Airbus deliveries (245 units, including four A380s, compared to 231 aircraft in the same period of 2007), increased volumes at Eurocopter, Astrium and Defence & Security and an A400M milestone achievement demonstrate the strong commercial momentum in the first half of 2008. Self-financed R&D expenses decreased slightly to € 1,130 million (H1 2007: € 1,266 million), but are expected to grow over the full year mainly in the context of Airbus' aircraft development programmes, especially for the A350.
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Less than a month after launch, the NASA-French space agency Ocean Surface Topography Mission (OSTM)/Jason 2 oceanography satellite has produced its first complete maps of global ocean surface topography, surface wave height and wind speed. The new data will help scientists monitor changes in global sea level and the distribution of heat in the ocean. This information is used to monitor climate change and ocean circulation, and to enable more accurate weather, ocean and climate forecasts. The data reveal patterns of sea level anomalies, which are used by scientists to calculate the speed and direction of ocean surface currents. The new mission extends a 16-year continuous record of global sea level measurements begun in 1992 by the NASA/Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES) TOPEX/Poseidon mission and continued by the two agencies on Jason 1, launched in 2001. Data from TOPEX/Poseidon and Jason 1 shows that mean sea level has been rising by about .12 inches a year since 1993.
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EADS Military Transport Aircraft Division delivered on July 24 the fifth HC-144A (CG01-05) maritime patrol aircraft to Lockheed Martin in support of the US Coast Guard Deepwater programme at EADS MTAD facilities in San Pablo, Seville, Spain. Today the HC-144A aircraft departs Seville for Elizabeth City, North Carolina.
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SAFRAN released its results for the six months ended June 30, 2008. First-half 2008 key figures revenue: €5,057 million, up 2.8% on first-half 2007, or 14.8% like-for-like (based on a constant group structure and exchange rates). Profit from operations: €474 million, profit from recurring operations totaled €328 million (versus €381 million in first-half 2007 excluding communications and €311 million including communications), representing 6.5% of revenue including a €355 million negative currency impact .
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Vision Systems International has been awarded an initial contract at more than $17 million from Boeing for the Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System (JHMCS) in 145 F-15E Strike Eagles. The contract includes dual-seat capable JHMCS hardware and pilot equipment to include helmets and visors. Initial deliveries have already commenced and will continue through mid-2009. The JHMCS provides the pilot with "first look, first shot" high off-boresight weapons engagement capabilities. The system enables the pilot to accurately cue onboard weapons and sensors against enemy aircraft and ground targets without the need to aggressively turn the aircraft or place the target in the Head-Up Display (HUD) for designation. Critical information and symbology, such as targeting cues and aircraft performance parameters, are graphically displayed directly on the pilot's visor. This information, combined with the display of data-link cues, as well as navigational and aircraft performance parameters, provides the pilot with a tremendous increase in situational awareness.
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Lockheed Martin completed its initial deliveries of aircraft to the U.S. Navy's first operational MH-60R helicopter maritime strike squadron, the HSM-71 Raptors, ensuring the squadron is ready for its deployment with an aircraft carrier strike group. The San Diego-based pilot and crew departed with the aircraft July 24 for the three-day journey home from Owego, NY. Lockheed Martin is the prime air weapons systems integrator for the MH-60R, the Navy's most advanced submarine hunting and surface warfare helicopter. The team has integrated and delivered 11 aircraft to HSM-71.
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NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, also known as LRO, has completed the first round of environmental testing at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. These tests ensure the spacecraft is prepared for its mission to collect the highest resolution images and most comprehensive geological data set ever returned from the moon. The objective of the mission is to map the lunar surface in preparation for human missions to the moon, which are planned to occur by 2020.The first two tests for the orbiter were the spin test and vibration test. The spin test determines the spacecraft's center of gravity and measures characteristics of its rotation. During vibration testing, engineers checked the structural integrity of the lunar probe aboard a large, shaking table that simulated the rigorous ride the orbiter will encounter during liftoff aboard an Atlas rocket.
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In conjunction with the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) submitting a tender to Norway for 48 Gripen aircraft on the 28th April this year, Saab has also submitted proposals for industrial collaboration. Saab handed over supplementary reports of these industrial collaborations to the Norwegian Ministry of Defence. "We have been in discussion with over 200 Norwegian SMEs and larger companies since Saab offered the industrial collaboration with Norway three months ago. Together, we have defined well over 150 different collaboration projects. As part of this work we have been able to identify partners across all of Norway's provinces. In April, we could already guarantee industrial collaboration equivalent to 100 percent of the order value, but we have since seen even greater potential," says Åke Svensson, CEO and President of Saab.
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AAI Acquisition, Inc. (AAIA), a U.S. company and the successor to the former Adam Aircraft Industries, announced today that significant steps have been made in its plan to resume operations. Key to the comeback is the naming of veteran aviation executive Jack Braly as the new president and CEO of the company. AAIA purchased the assets and intellectual property of the former Adam Aircraft from the bankruptcy court in April 2008. Adam Aircraft declared bankruptcy in February, 2008. AAIA also announced that it has completed its business organization process and will focus on FAA certification of its A700 very light jet (VLJ) from its headquarters at Centennial Airport in Englewood, Colorado. Certification is projected for early 2010. "We are working diligently to gain certification of the A700, with the goal of getting this jet into production," said Braly at EAA Airventure in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Braly said the FAA has given the company notice that the A700   certification basis has been accepted, and AAIA has resumed the testing process. AAIA is the first U.S. investment by the partnership of Industrial Investors Group and Kaskol, two Moscow, Russia-based private equity firms. The investors were made aware of the opportunity by former Colorado Governor Bill Owens, who serves on the board of directors of another one of Industrial Investors Group's holdings. In a two-step approval process, AAIA's purchase of the assets of Adam Aircraft first gained approval of the bankruptcy court, and then in July, 2008, from the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Braly said AAIA has begun recruiting and hiring. The company already has 150 employees, many of whom previously worked for Adam Aircraft. Braly said the advantage to AAIA is that the retained employees have intimate knowledge of the design and capabilities of the A700, which will be key to remaining FAA related activities in the certification process. AAIA's plans show employment levels growing to around 300 by the end of 2008, and to over 500 by the end of 2009.
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British Airways presented its interim management statement for the quarter ended June 30, 2008. Highlights: Profit before tax of £37 million (2007: £298 million - restated); operating profit of £35 million (2007: £266 million - restated); fuel costs up 49 per cent; winter schedule capacity reductions of 3.1 per cent versus last year (6.4 per cent against plan); more than six million passengers through Terminal 5 since March 27; Iberia merger talks under way. British Airways' chief executive Willie Walsh, said: "We are in the worst trading environment the industry has ever faced. The combination of unprecedented oil prices, economic slowdown and weaker consumer confidence has led to substantially lower first quarter profits. "Fuel prices have doubled in the past year. A successful hedging programme mitigated the impact but nevertheless fuel costs at £706 million were up £233 million in the quarter. We expect our fuel bill to top £3 billion this year - the equivalent of more than £8 million every day. "We are well prepared. Since year end we have adapted our plans to reflect the fast moving and challenging conditions. We have reduced capacity in the winter schedule without compromising our network and at the same time we have the flexibility in the business to capitalise when conditions improve. We have revised our capital expenditure plans and are focusing on cost control. "We have ordered six new Boeing 777-300ER aircraft for delivery beginning in 2010. They are 23 per cent more fuel efficient than the Boeing 747-400 and give us additional flexibility in the longhaul fleet.
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The U.S. Department of Defense has released $1 billion of funding to acquire six Lockheed Martin F-35B short takeoff/vertical landing (STOVL) aircraft as part of the second Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) contract for the F-35. The LRIP 2 contract, worth $2.2 billion for a total of 12 aircraft, was awarded in May. At that time the government authorized six conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) F-35As, with release of $933 million, and gave provisional approval for the STOVL jets pending certain requirements. Those stipulations were met by the first flight of the initial F-35B test aircraft on June 11 and by completion of a propulsion system review on July 22. The government exercised the option for the STOVL aircraft and released the $1 billion on July 22. The government had previously released long-lead funding of $158 million in July 2007 for the 12 LRIP 2 aircraft. An additional $110 million of sustainment options remains to be authorized in the 4th quarter of 2008.
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The Portuguese Air Force announced the selection of Northrop Grumman Corporation's third-generation LITENING Advanced Targeting (AT) system for their F-16 Advanced Targeting Pod upgrade program. Under the terms of the contract, Northrop Grumman will deliver 12 targeting pods and spares to the Portuguese Air Force beginning this year, with final deliveries in 2009. To date, over 550 LITENING targeting pods have been ordered by the United States Air Force and allied nations. More than 470 of the systems have been fielded, the largest number of any advanced targeting and sensor system. LITENING is combat proven on the AV-8B, A-10, B-52, F-15E, F-16 and F/A-18 aircraft. Together, all variants of the LITENING AT pod have amassed over 865,000 flight hours, with more than 410,000 of these hours posted in combat arenas. Moreover, LITENING is the pod of choice for the F-16 platform and has been integrated on F-16 Blocks 15, 25, 30/32, 40/42, and 50/52, amassing more than 420,000 cumulative flight hours.
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The EA-18G Test Team at NAWCWD China Lake conducted its first AIM-120 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM) live fire on July 23, marking another critical milestone for the Growler test program. The EA-18G is an electronic attack variant of the F/A-18F undergoing developmental test as an eventual replacement for the EA-6B Prowler. In addition to being the first AIM-120 firing, this event marked the first release of any ordnance off the versatile platform. As part of the integrated test and evaluation of the aircraft, the Growler test team comprised of both developmental and operational testers executed a successful shot, demonstrating a lethal, self-contained air-to-air capability that the electronic attack community has previously relied on other aircraft to provide.
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The project to assess the strategic options for Austrian Airlines AG was initiated by the Management Board with the assistance of Boston Consulting Group (BCG) on 9 June. further result potential from internal optimisation and any additional potential based on a strategic partnership were examined. Today, the Management Board of Austrian Airlines AG presented a report containing the following results to the Supervisory Board. "From the company's business point of view, there is a clear recommendation in favour of a strategic partnership. The key factors are that important parameters, such as economies of scale, purchasing synergies as well as improving the international sales strength and long-term financial stability, can only be met together with a strategic partner. Independently of this, a series of internal optimisation measures needs to be implemented by us; however, structural weaknesses can only be remedied by means of a partnership. In addition to synergies in expenses and profits, the strategic orientation could also be of immediate importance for a potential partner. Financial stability must also apply for the partner, regardless. After the order for privatisation has been given, the next steps will be undertaken by the owner", says CEO of Austrian, Alfred Ötsch. A stand-alone solution remains conceivable nevertheless. However, due to the difficult business environment (high cost of kerosene, global economic recession and aviation crisis), this option would necessitate drastic measures that surpass those steps required for company optimisation which have in part already been initiated by far. These measures would be introduced and implemented in accordance with developments in the airline sector, resulting in negative consequences which will also be clearly felt by the business location and the Viennese hub as well.
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Lufthansa and the ver.di trad union reached a new agreement at their pay negotiations. From 1 July 2008, the 34,000 on the ground staff are to receive a pay rise of 5.1 per cent and a further increase of 2.3 per cent from 1 July 2009. Additionally, the employees are to get a one-off payment, including a performance-related component depending on their business segment, of up to 2.4 per cent of their annual remuneration. The pay settlement is for 21 months, ending on 28 February 2010. It means in effect that Lufthansa is raising the individual pay of employees by 4.2 per cent over a period of twelve months. A similar offer is in the offing for cabin crew, taking into account the specifics of their working conditions. It is, however provisional on pay parity for cabin crew staff and pending agreement between Lufthansa, ver.di and UFO, the flight attendants' union. The pay agreement with UFO expires on 31 December 2008. In the aftermath of strike action over several days, Lufthansa Executive Board Member Human Resources Stefan Lauer said the pay settlement is a compromise at the bearable limit. "It is certainly not painless for either side. It is, all in all, only acceptable in view of the duration of the settlement and the performance-related one-off payment. It is imperative, however, that the increased costs be compensated by higher productivity. Resolution of the pay dispute on their own initiative by Lufthansa and ver.di is an important message to our customers as well as our staff and to Germany as an economic base. We will go to every length to resume flight operations quickly for our customers in the customary reliability and quality."
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The Customer Service team at Cessna has created two solutions that offer single-engine piston customers performance and safety enhancements. The company made the announcement today at the Experimental Aircraft Association's AirVenture 2008. Cessna owners now can have their local Cessna authorized service facility install a Ballistic Recovery Systems (BRS) parachute designed for their model 172/182. The system uses a small portion of a baggage compartment without causing aerodynamic changes to the airframe. Another new aftermarket option available through Cessna authorized service centers is the AmSafe Aviation Inflatable Restraint (AAIR) system for Cessna models 177, 182, 206 and 210. The self-contained, self-powered airbag system weighs only two pounds per passenger placement and is compatible with standard seats and seatbelt attach points.
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The U.K.'s Royal Air Force completed capability demonstration trials of Raytheon Paveway IV. The trials showed the full range of operational capabilities of the RAF's next-generation general purpose air-to-ground weapon system. The Paveway IV Weapon System is a low-cost, day-night, all-weather, general purpose precision-bombing capability. "Paveway IV is a very capable weapon system indeed," said U.K. Royal Navy Capt. Howard Holdsworth, Ministry of Defence Freefall Integrated Project team leader. "In the past 12 months, we have completed an exceedingly challenging, rapid development program." The trials, which demonstrated Paveway IV integration with RAF Harrier GR9 strike aircraft, included the release of 14 operational weapons demonstrating capability across the full range of Paveway IV operational parameters.
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The United States Air Force's Defense Support Program (DSP) Flight 19 satellite, built by Northrop Grumman was decommissioned following nine years of service. Northrop Grumman personnel stationed at the company's Telemetry and Orbital Test Station in Redondo Beach, Calif., terminated the downlink to Flight 19 at the Air Force's command. Flight 19 was launched on April 9, 1999 on a Titan IV launch vehicle with an Inertial Upper stage (IUS) rocket. Six hours following the launch, the two stages of the IUS failed to separate completely, leaving the satellite out of control and in a useless geo-transfer orbit (at approximately 320 kilometers and a high apogee altitude at about 34,000 kilometers).
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Elbit Systems announced that it was awarded yet another contract to supply the Australian Army with more Skylark I UAV systems for an estimated value of several million dollars. This is the Australian Department of Defence's third Skylark(R) order, following the initial order for the Australian Army in 2005. Haim Kellerman, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Elbit Systems UAS Division, said, "Australia's decision to equip its Army with an additional set of Skylark I UAV systems underscores recognition of the UAV systems' capabilities and added value to soldiers in active war zones." The Skylark I, advanced mini-UAV system, is a unique man-pack configuration designed for day and night observation and data collection "beyond the hill" up to distances of 10-15 km. The mini-UAV system is equipped with an exceptionally quiet electric motor, totally autonomous flight and outstanding observation capabilities allowing for easy operation and orientation. The system can be launched by soldiers after a brief training period. The Skylark I system enhances ground forces' tactical performance in various mission scenarios.
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Lockheed Martin informed its Michoud Operations workforce that employee reductions would begin in the fall of 2008 and continue through September 2010 as a result of the build-out of External Tanks to support the planned fly-out of the Space Shuttle program. Reductions will impact operations in Huntsville, AL, the Kennedy Space Center, FL, and New Orleans, LA where the External Tank is designed and assembled at the NASA Michoud Assembly Facility. Lockheed Martin currently employs 2,445 at the three sites. Workforce reductions are necessary as various production activities near completion on the 154-foot long, 28-foot in diameter non-reusable External Tanks. All tanks necessary to support the remaining 10 planned Space Shuttle missions currently are in production, with two scheduled for delivery to NASA by the end of 2008. Since program inception in 1973, Lockheed Martin has delivered 124 External Tanks to NASA.
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Jet Aviation Dusseldorf announced at Farnborough International Airshow that it was recently appointed by Piaggio Aero as an Authorized Service Center for the P.180 Avanti / Avanti II aircraft. Jet Aviation Dusseldorf has been performing maintenance work for P.180 Avanti /Avanti II for many years and has now received the Piaggio Aero Service Center Authorization. "With more than 10 years experience on the P.180 Avanti aircraft, our Dusseldorf MRO team has achieved an excellent reputation for servicing Piaggio Aero's P.180 Avanti /Avanti II," said Johannes Turzer, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Jet Aviation Dusseldorf and added, "The appointment as Piaggio Aero Authorized Service Center underlines their trust towards our Dusseldorf team and capabilities."
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FLUG REVUE 12/2016

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12/2016
07.11.2016

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