27.04.2008
FLUG REVUE

2008-04-27 - News in BriefNews in Brief

Kurzmeldungen<br /> +++<br /> The executive board of Thielert Aircraft Engines GmbH, Lichtenstein, Saxony/Germany, has filed for the opening of insolvency at the county court Chemnitz concerning the assets of the company due to immediate illiquidity.

Thielert Aircraft Engines GmbH is a full subsidiary of Thielert AG. The going concern of Thielert Aircraft Engines GmbH can only be ensured permanently by restructuring activities with the support of investors, due to the fact that the Holding Thielert AG is not capable to do so anymore. As a consequence Thielert Aircraft Engines GmbH aims for an insolvency plan proceeding. The insolvency plan shall be presented to the court and all creditors by the new appointed executive board and the interim insolvency administrator until the opening of the insolvency proceeding. A successful continuation of business in the insolvency plan proceeding is required.
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Expedia  announced it has signed a new multi-year agreement with Air Berlin Group, Germany's second largest airline and the third largest carrier in the European leisure market. Under the agreement, all of Air Berlin's fares, schedules and inventory will be available worldwide on Expedia- and hotels.com-branded points of sale, as well as through Expedia Corporate Travel. "As Air Berlin continues to grow the number of travelers we serve, Expedia is the ideal partner to enhance our position in the online market," said Thorsten Scherzer, Vice President Distribution of Air Berlin Group. "We are pleased to be able to reach Expedia's millions of travelers worldwide."
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Aurora Flight Sciences announced that it has been awarded a contract to develop a radical new aircraft that can stay aloft for up to five years. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) made the award under a program known as "Vulture". The objective of the Vulture program is to develop an aircraft capable of remaining on-station uninterrupted for over five years to perform intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance (ISR), and communication missions over an area of interest. The technology challenges include development of energy management and reliability technologies capable of allowing the aircraft to operate continuously for such extended durations. Vulture, in effect, will be a retaskable, persistent pseudo-satellite capability, in an aircraft package. Aurora's design is called "Odysseus". The concept uses solar energy to power the aircraft during daylight, and stored solar energy to power the aircraft at night. The aircraft is designed to fly in the stratosphere throughout its mission. Aurora's teammates on the program include BAE Systems, C.S. Draper Laboratories, and Sierra Nevada Corporation. BAE will focus on payloads, sensors, and concept of operations and employment. Draper Labs will develop the extremely high reliability electronics and control systems necessary to achieve such very long flights. Sierra Nevada Corporation is a specialist in autonomous refueling systems.
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BAE Systems has cut metal on its first component for the F-35 Lightning II production aircraft. This opening cut, on a component part of the aft fuselage, signifies a major milestone for the F-35 Lightning II programme. The metal cut is for the first production F-35 Lightning II aircraft which will enter into service with the US Air Force (USAF) in 2010 and follows the production contract announcement made in December last year. The contract - a Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) contract - is worth £25m to BAE Systems and will see the production of two conventional take off and landing variants. The component was cut by BAE Systems' supplier Hyde, at their Manchester factory. The component will move to BAE Systems' Samlesbury site in Lancashire for further manufacturing work before all parts are assembled together before being shipped to programme partner, Lockheed Martin's site in Texas for final assembly.
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The Space Based Space Surveillance (SBSS) System Block 10 team, led by Boeing with Ball Aerospace and Technologies providing the space vehicle, today announced completion of the payload electronics, high-speed gimbal and testing of the space vehicle's visible sensor, enabling the start of payload integration and test. The SBSS gimbal and visible sensor enable responsive tasking as events in space warrant. The Boeing-provided onboard payload computer performs immediate detection of space objects and provides future capability for improved Block 10 performance. Boeing's architectural analysis shows this combination of capabilities significantly improves space situational awareness. "With the completion of the visible sensor, gimbal and payload electronics, 85 percent of the SBSS flight hardware is complete," said Jeff Osterkamp, Ball Aerospace vice president for National Defense Solutions and Program Management. "The integration of the milestones demonstrates the team's ability to develop state-of-the-art systems."
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Rolls-Royce has appointed Ken Roberts as President, Helicopter Engines, effective immediately. Roberts, based in Indianapolis, Indiana, US, will be responsible for the global leadership of the company's helicopter engine business. Prior to this appointment, Ken served as Executive Vice President of Helicopters with overall responsibility for strategy, business development and other areas. He also led a team of regional vice presidents focused on customer and partner relationships.
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Bristow Helicopters has announced an investment of over a £70 million in the North Sea energy industry after officially unveiling six new helicopters. The six state-of-the-art Sikorsky S-92 aircraft will service offshore installations out of Scatsta Airport in Shetland and underline Bristow's commitment to the oil and gas sector. Alan Grant, head of commercial at Bristow's European Business Operations Unit in Aberdeen, said: "Once again this significant investment shows our commitment to the North Sea. We will continue to invest as part of our company's continuing drive to enhance the safety of the many thousands of passengers we transport offshore each year in support of the oil and gas industry.  A lot of hard work by Bristow staff has gone into making all this possible and we are very excited about the arrival of all the S-92s." The new fleet replaced Tiger helicopters at Scatsta and increases Bristow's passenger capacity.  All six helicopters are operational. The company's multi-million pound outlay includes the helicopters, training, tools and equipment.
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Lufthansa is further expanding its services to key Indian cities for business and leisure travellers alike. From 1 July 2008, Germany's largest airline will launch a new route from Frankfurt to Pune in western India. In all comfort passengers will be able to reach Pune non-stop, six times a week in an Airbus A319 which has been refitted as a Business Jet. "The Lufthansa services are increasing in line with the ongoing, very dynamic economic development in India," said Dr. Karl-Rudolf Rupprecht, Senior Vice President Hub Management Frankfurt. "With seven non-stop destinations and 55 flights per week, Lufthansa remains the leading European airline in India. We have almost quadrupled our flights to India since 2001, when we operated 15 flights per week to three destinations." Lufthansa will operate services to Pune as all-Business Class flights. The Airbus A319 has been refitted as a Business Jet and is operated by PrivatAir, a VIP and business aviation specialist. The aircraft has 48 modern lie-flat seats which, when fully reclined, provide an almost horizontal sleeping surface measuring two metres (6'6") in length. Bigger seat pitches, more generous table-top areas, power ports for notebooks as well as a reading lamp that is integrated into the seat provide ideal conditions for business travellers to work during the flight. Thanks to the spacious layout of the cabin, passengers travel in an extremely quiet and relaxed atmosphere and can enjoy individualised inflight service.
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Boeing and U.S.-based commercial jet airplane leasing company Aviation Capital Group (ACG) announced an order for 17 Next-Generation 737 airplanes. This order, valued at more than $1 billion at current list prices, was previously accounted for on Boeing's Orders and Deliveries Web site attributed to an unidentified customer. "Today's order reflects ACG's commitment to its customers by offering the most technologically advanced, fuel efficient and highly flexible aircraft in the industry," said R. Stephen Hannahs, group managing director and CEO of ACG. "It is our strategy to build a portfolio that includes the highly versatile Next-Generation 737 aircraft, which are fuel efficient, retain high value and are in demand by airlines around the world." With the announcement, ACG has ordered a total of 81 Boeing airplanes -- 76 Next-Generation 737s and five 787 Dreamliners. This includes 15 Next-Generation 737s in which ACG acquired delivery positions from Delta Air Lines in 2006. ACG's current fleet contains 129 Boeing aircraft.
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Boeing  has been awarded a $3.8 million Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) contract for Phase 1 of the Vulture air vehicle program, an effort to create a new category of ultra-long-endurance aircraft. DARPA's Vulture program calls for developing technologies and ultimately a vehicle that can deliver and maintain an airborne payload on station for an uninterrupted period of more than five years using a fixed-wing aircraft. Boeing is teaming with United Kingdom-based QinetiQ Ltd. for the program. The yearlong Phase 1 covers conceptual system definition, and formal reliability and mission success analysis, concluding with a System Requirements Review. It also requires conceptual designs for sub- and full-scale demonstrators. "Boeing has worked closely with DARPA on a number of innovative programs in the past and we welcome this important opportunity to again team with them to define a new air vehicle system with unprecedented reliability and endurance that significantly extends current aircraft and spacecraft capabilities," said Pat O'Neil, program manager, Boeing High Altitude Long Endurance Systems. "We will combine our strengths in highly reliable aerospace systems development with the unique capabilities of our teammates, QinetiQ, Versa Power Systems and Draper Laboratory."
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Boeing and Airbus have signed an agreement to work together to ensure global interoperability in air traffic management as part of an effort to help reduce the impact of aviation on the environment. The companies will seek the acceleration of improvements to the world's air transportation management system in order to increase efficiency and eliminate traffic congestion. Scott Carson, Boeing Commercial Airplanes president and CEO, and Tom Enders, Airbus president and CEO, signed the agreement between the two industry leaders at the sidelines of the third Aviation and Environmental Summit in Geneva. "Airbus and Boeing are great competitors, and this has been a critical element that has sharpened our focus and efforts toward making aviation more efficient," Carson said. "While our approaches often differ, we are working towards the same goal – to reduce aviation's environmental impact." "I am convinced technology and innovation hold the key to reducing aviation's environmental impact and increasing eco-efficiency," Enders said. "And competition is a great motivator for this. Where Boeing and Airbus share a common position on the environment and safety, it is in all our interests that we cooperate to achieve our common goals more quickly." The initiative by Airbus and Boeing to work together to help the aviation sector and governments choose the most direct path to a modernized air traffic management system is part of a three-pronged approach to help improve the environmental performance of aviation. The other two prongs are competition, which is critical for environmental and technological advances that result in new aircraft programs such as the Airbus A380 and Boeing 787, and support for industry alignment on environmental positions where appropriate. In the last 40 years, the aviation industry has made significant improvements in aircraft efficiency with reductions of 70 percent in CO2, 90 percent in noise and 90 percent less unburned hydrocarbons. The Advisory Council for Aeronautics Research in Europe (ACARE) targets reductions of 50 percent in CO2 and 80 percent in NOx by 2020. A modernized air traffic management system will be a key contributor to reaching this goal.
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The Shareholders of Cargolux Airlines International S.A. approved the Company's financial statements for 2007 as foreseen in its charter. The company's production, as measured by flown tonne kilometers (FTKs), was 4.6% higher than in 2006. Tonnes sold went up by 7.9% to 702,765 tonnes. Based on IATA statistics and measured by international FTKs, Cargolux's global market share was about 4%, a slight progression on the year before. Load factors developed well and increased to 72.8% or by 0.4 percentage points on the previous year. Average system yield (US$/kg) was US$ 2.36, up 3.9% on 2006, mainly due to successive increases of the fuel surcharges. Capacity, as measured by available tonne kilometers, increased by 4.1% due primarily to the LX-WCV delivery in the summer. Additional capacity was sourced via wet-leases. The company had to operate in a difficult environment characterized by only modest, sub-trend growth of the air cargo market in 2007 (+4.3%), increased competition from both Asian start-up airlines and maritime transportation – which has become more efficient and offers to some customers a less costly transportation alternative – and very high fuel prices. Revenues went up 11.8% to reach US$ 1,679.7 million. Fuel expenses increased by 7.9% to US$ 627.3 million, representing 39.7% of total cost. But for the provision mentioned below, the pre-tax profit would have been US$ 105.3 million, up 24% on 2006 (NB: 54% of the pre-tax of 2006 was derived from the capital gain related to asset sales). On December 21, 2007, the company and some 20 other carriers received a statement of objections from the EU Commission in connection with the anti-trust proceedings initiated by the commission on February 14, 2006. The company decided to provision the 2007 accounts with a USD 155 million charge to cover the company's potential exposure in relation to those proceedings. This provision is not to be deemed an admission of guilt of wrong doing on the company's part but is a precautionary measure, consistent with the prudence with which the company generally prepares its accounts. The provision resulted in a net after tax loss of USD 47.1 million versus a net after tax profit of USD 82.6 million in 2006. Therefore the shareholders decided to forego any dividend payment with respect of 2007. Despite the loss, the financial condition of the company remains strong. At year-end 2007, the net gearing stood at 61.3% and net adjusted (to take into account off balance sheet debt related to leasing) was 105%.
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The Netherlands awarded Raytheon a competitively bid contract for the combat-proven Enhanced Paveway II precision-guided munition (PGM) April 8. The contract, which is a direct commercial sale for an undisclosed sum, will provide the Netherlands with 200 kits to convert 500-pound "dumb" bombs into the GBU-49, a precision weapon that has been used extensively in Iraq.
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FSC has announced it will set up a simulator training centre at Berlin-Schönefeld. The simulator training centre will be brand new and will be based on the concept of FSC's training centre at Amsterdam-Schiphol. FSC has acquired land for the training centre close to Berlin's future main airport Berlin Brandenburg International (BBI). The training centre will be able to accommodate up to twelve full flight simulators and has a dedicated area for cabin crew training facilities. The core of FSC's simulator fleet in Berlin will exist of Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 NG full flight simulators as well as other commercial and business aviation simulators. "We see a growing demand for simulator capacity and crew training and Berlin fits perfect in our picture to serve our existing and future customers" said Capt. Bob van Balen, managing director of FSC.
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AgustaWestland and Alitalica of Italy are pleased to announce the signing of a collaboration agreement to establish the first helicopter hub in Italy at Rome's Urbe Airport, according to their respective competencies. Through this agreement AgustaWestland will set up a helicopter maintenance centre for its helicopters while Alitalica will offer passenger hospitality services, passenger transport provision and corporate helicopter management services. The helicopter hub is expected to achieve operational readiness in 2009. Representatives from AgustaWestland and Alitalica together with aviation sector dignitaries attended the signing ceremony held at 'Circolo Canottieri Aniene' in Rome last week.
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MTU Aero Engines in April recorded an unusually high volume of orders under its V2500 program stake: its share in the 218-engine deals amounts to 185 million U.S. dollars, or about 117 million euros at current rates of exchange. The engines power Airbus A320 jetliners to be delivered primarily to US Airways, Hainan Airlines and British Airways in the years ahead. MTU has an 11 percent role in the V2500 engine consortium IAE (International Aero Engines).  
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Alteon Training, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Boeing Company, announced it has launched Simulator Management Services to expand its current Training Services offerings. Alteon Simulator Management Services offers customized updates, upgrades, and modifications to flight training devices and full flight simulators worldwide.  This element of the new service line comes through the assimilation of the highly experienced Boeing Simulator Services group.  A host of tailored upgrades are available including: implementation of new aerodynamics, engine and flight controls model releases, visual system updates, software and hardware updates, data additions, configuration changes, and worldwide qualification assistance. This team of experts provides customers with support in simulation engineering, simulator data, logistics and modification management. In addition to the described specific hardware work, Alteon continues to provide ongoing simulator maintenance and operations services to airlines worldwide.
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Boeing delivered a detailed, 7,000-page proposal offering its advanced F/A-18E/F Super Hornet to the Indian Air Force as part of India's Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) competition. "Our proposal team worked diligently to fully understand and meet the requirements set out by the Indian Ministry of Defense (MOD). We are offering India the best-value, most advanced and proven multirole combat fighter in production today," said Jim Albaugh, president and CEO, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems (IDS). India issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) for 126 new multirole combat fighters in August 2007. Boeing completed its proposal before the initial March 3 deadline, which the MOD rescheduled for April 28. The Super Hornet variant being offered to India, the F/A-18IN, is based on the F/A-18E/F model flown by the U.S. Navy and currently being built for the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). Advanced technology -- such as Raytheon's APG-79 Active Electronically Scanned Array radar -- and proven reliability are drawing U.S. and international customers' increasing interest in the aircraft as a cost-effective and lethal air defense.
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Biman Bangladesh Airlines and Boeing announced the airline's order for four 777-300ER (Extended Range) and four 787-8 Dreamliner airplanes at a signing ceremony in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh. Biman Bangladesh Airlines, which began as a government-owned national carrier in 1972, became Bangladesh's largest public limited company in 2007. The order for new Boeing airplanes represents a major step forward in the airline's reorganization and growth plans. The airline also has purchase rights for four 777s and four 787s.
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Boeing's first-quarter 2008 earnings per share increased 43 percent to $1.62 as net income rose 38 percent to $1.2 billion and operating margin rose to 11.3 percent, driven by solid overall execution in both its commercial airplane and defense businesses as well as lower unallocated costs. Boeing's quarterly revenue rose 4 percent to $16.0 billion while its operating cash flow more than doubled to $1.9 billion reflecting the strong operating earnings and higher commercial airplane orders. Free cash flow increased to $1.5 billion. Boeing reaffirmed its 2008 earnings per share guidance at between $5.70 and $5.85. For 2009, Boeing expects EPS between $6.80 and $7.00 per share on strong production program performance and decreases in R&D and pension expense. "We're off to a good start in what we expect to be another strong year of financial performance for Boeing," said Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Jim McNerney. "We are methodically working through our challenges, including the start-up of the 787, and our people remain focused on satisfying our customers and leveraging growth and productivity into better bottom-line and top-line performance for our company." Total company backlog at quarter-end reached a record $346 billion, up 32 percent in the last year, with growth in the quarter driven by commercial airplane and V-22 multi-year orders.
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CAE announced it has been selected by Alenia Aermacchi (AAEM) as preferred full-mission simulator supplier for the M-346 aircraft, AAEM's new generation advanced lead-in fighter trainer. As part of the M-346 program, AAEM has awarded CAE a contract for the design, development and validation of the Initial Training Capability for the simulator as a part of the ground-based training system. The contract was awarded during CAE's fiscal year 2008 and is included in the more than C$730 million military order intake announced on April 7. As part of the overall M-346 ground-based training system, CAE will initially design and manufacture a prototype M-346 flight training device (FTD). The M-346 FTD will feature a high-fidelity replica of the M-346 cockpit with CAE's Medallion-6000 image generator driving a dome display that includes liquid crystal on silicon (LCoS) projectors. CAE will also provide a simulation-based development and validation environment so AAEM engineers and test pilots can perform a range of tests as the M-346 completes its development.
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Increased exports of aerospace products in the final quarter of 2007 sent the aerospace industry's trade balance into record territory last year, with a final tally of $60.4 billion. "The sustained growth in aerospace trade is a good sign not only for our industry, but the U.S. economy as a whole," AIA President and CEO Marion Blakey said. "Our industry's track record as a major net export earner for the United States helps to offset the nation's chronic trade deficit." Aerospace industry exports soared to almost $97 billion in 2007, a nearly 14 percent increase over the $85 billion worth of aerospace products exported in 2006. Civil aircraft exports, which accounted for almost 50 percent of total aerospace exports, dominated the growth. Military-related exports accounted for almost $13 billion of the total. "Airlines from around the world are stocking up on U.S. aircraft because of growing demand in both emerging and established markets," Blakey said. "This is a very hot market despite economic uncertainty." Imports of aerospace products increased to $36.5 billion in 2007, up from $30.5 billion in 2006. One-third of that growth was related to commercial transport aircraft and increased imports of regional jets.
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The world's first A380 full-flight simulator (FFS), designed and manufactured by CAE for Airbus, has achieved Level D certification, the highest qualification for flight simulators. The CAE-built A380 FFS was certified to Level D by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). EASA was represented by members of the French Direction Générale de l'Aviation Civile (DGAC), the United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authorities (CAA) and the German Luftfahrt-Bundesamt (LBA). "The qualification of the A380 simulator has been a great success thanks to the flexibility and expertise of the CAE team working closely with Airbus," said Jacques Drappier, Vice President, Training and Flight Operations, Airbus. Airbus is using the A380 FFS to deliver all initial training to customers who will take delivery of the A380 aircraft, which entered service last year.
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US Air Force officials released Amendment 6 to Request for Proposals for the Combat Search and Rescue helicopter. New information and schedules in vendors' January 7, 2008 Amendment 5 proposals will require more time for review and extend the contract award process, making Amendment 6 necessary. Amendment 5 to the RFP was released to offerors on November 15, 2007 to meet requirements of a Government Accountability Office decision on a protest filed by Sikorsky and Lockheed Martin. Both Amendments allowed offerors to update both cost and non-cost data in their proposals. Amendment 6 extends the planned contract award date and updates development timelines, schedules and realign funding. The exact award date has not been established. The Air Force will take as much time as necessary to evaluate the proposals to provide the best value for the taxpayer and the warfighter. This amendment also incorporates the latest changes to specialty metals legislation, adjusts the award fee plan to increase the objective measurable criteria in accordance with the latest OSD guidance, and shifts the date for the Initial Operational Capability. Despite the shift, the Air Force's sense of urgency in delivering this capability to the warfighter remains the same.
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Northrop Grumman has been awarded a contract by the U.S. Air Force Aeronautical Systems Center for the development and flight-testing of a signals intelligence sensor payload for the U.S. Air Force MQ-1 Predator Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) and for the preliminary design of an expanded sensor package for the MQ-9 Reaper UAS. Under this 18-month, cost-plus-incentive fee contract valued at $54.9 million, Northrop Grumman will develop and flight-test the Airborne Signals Intelligence Payload 1C (ASIP-1C) sensor on the MQ-1. The sensor is scheduled to complete factory tests in December, complete flight tests in May 2009, and achieve operational fielding in 2010. Northrop Grumman will develop a preliminary design for an expanded ASIP-2C version of the sensor to provide a signals intelligence capability for the MQ-9 as part of the contract.
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Northrop Grumman has received a $79.4 million contract for Global Hawk Multi-Platform Radar Technology Insertion Program (MP-RTIP) sensors as the first element of the lot 7 production contract. An initial $33.89 million has been obligated to begin procurement of three MP-RTIP sensors. The sensors will be carried on the RQ-4 Block 40 Global Hawk high-altitude long-endurance (HALE) unmanned aerial system (UAS) currently in production. The first flight with the MP-RTIP sensor is scheduled in early 2009. The Block 40 Global Hawk is also being considered to provide NATO with an organic capability through the NATO Alliance Ground Surveillance program.
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The mirror of the Herschel telescope has now been assembled with the payload and service module, completing the spacecraft structure - an important milestone in the days following through to launch. The sunshield and solar arrays were assembled with the cryostat and service module on 11 April. The telescope was assembled on 16 April. The spacecraft will be subjected to several mechanical tests over the next few weeks. The telescope mirror of the Herschel infrared observatory is a 3.5-m diameter technological marvel. It is made from 12 silicon-carbide petals brazed together to form a single structure and coated with a layer of reflective aluminium, forming a remarkably lightweight mirror.
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Patria has delivered the first NH90 transport helicopter to the Finnish Defence Forces a week ahead of the schedule agreed last December. The Patria assembled helicopter was handed over at the Roll Out event of the helicopter assembled in France. The Finnish Defence Forces now have two helicopters of this kind. The delivery was the second one made by Patria, the first Patria assembled NH90 helicopter was delivered to the Swedish Defence Material Establishment (FMV) in autumn  2007. Patria has the first NH90 assembly line established outside the NAHEMA countries and contractually assembles 50 helicopters as subcontractor to Eurocopter.  In December 2007 Patria and NHIndustries agreed on closer cooperation in life cycle support in the Nordic countries.
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Airbus announced a general price increase for its aircraft. On top of the 2.74% normal escalation for the year 2007, the price increase comprises an additional two million US Dollars per single-aisle aircraft and four million US Dollars per wide-body long range and A380 Family aircraft. The new pricing will apply as of 1st May. The price increase is mainly triggered by the weak US currency and the overall increase of world market's raw material prices – especially with regards to metal. It is the first time since 2003 that Airbus applies a price increase above escalation. The US dollar is at its lowest rate in 20 years. Over the last 12 months the Euro vs. US Dollar exchange rate moved from 1.35 to almost 1.60, which translates into a devaluation of more than 15 per cent. Prices for metal-products (aluminium plates, stainless steel etc.) have gone up by at least 6.5 per cent, and costs for industrial products in the euro-area increased by 5 per cent in the course of 2007. Titanium, steel, aluminium, aluminium-lithium still account for at least 40 per cent by weight in modern aircraft design. "We have to keep pace with the world market price developments and secure profitable deals", said John Leahy, Airbus' Chief Operating Officer Customers. "Additionally, our modern portfolio of aircraft is delivering an excellent return on investment and an outstanding value for money to our customers. Our state-of-the-art aircraft are setting the benchmark regarding eco-efficiency, delivering more value with less environmental impact, and providing more with less. This translates into real savings, since fuel expenses today can be up to 40 percent of an airline's operational cost."  
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MTU Aero Engines Holding AG improved its EBITDA by 9% in the first three months of 2008, from Euro90.6 million in the equivalent period of 2007 to Euro98.3 million. The EBITDA margin increased by 1.5 percentage points to 15.6%. Revenues of Euro630.0 million were generated in the first three months of 2008, remaining close to the previous year's level (1-3/07: Euro640.6 million). After adjustments for the U.S. dollar exchange rate, revenues increased by 10%. MTU's first-quarter net income more than doubled to Euro44.2 million (1-3/07: Euro18.0 million). The 2007 figure includes a nonrecurring charge for the early redemption premium in connection with the high yield bond. Excluding this exceptional charge, net income increased by 40%. "These results show that MTU is still a highly profitable company, despite the continuing unfavorable U.S. dollar exchange rate situation," commented CEO Egon Behle. "The first quarter's results substantiate our expectations for the financial year 2008 as a whole. We are confident that we will reach the targets we have set, and we intend to optimize costs still further in order to do so."
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The United States Coast Guard (USCG) has selected the SELEX GALILEO SEASPRAY 7500E AESA surveillance radar system for its HC-130H radar upgrade program. This follow on contract for the production element has been awarded after successful demonstration of this revolutionary technology. The contract valued at US$32 million for this phase, is scheduled to run over the next four years. A total of 15 HC-130H aircraft will be upgraded to a new level of capability. The SEASPRAY 7500E electronically scanned array (ESCAN) radar, which operates using a dedicated multi station display suite and surveillance/SAR, will be the primary sensor on the USCG's front line long range maritime surveillance aircraft.
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NASA has selected General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems, Inc., to build the Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM) spacecraft.Under the terms of the $116,306,179 delivery order, General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems will be responsible for the design and fabrication of the LDCM spacecraft bus, integration of the government furnished instruments, satellite-level testing, on-orbit satellite check-out, and continuing on-orbit engineering support. They also will provide a spacecraft/observatory simulator. LDCM is a component of the Landsat Program conducted jointly by NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) of the Department of Interior. NASA is providing the LDCM spacecraft, the instruments, the launch vehicle, and the mission operations element of the ground system. USGS is providing the mission operations center and ground processing systems, as well as the flight operations team.
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NASA has awarded Space Exploration Technologies, or SpaceX, a NASA Launch Services contract for the Falcon 1 and Falcon 9 launch vehicles. The NASA Launch Services contracts are multiple awards to multiple launch service providers. Twice per year, there is an opportunity for existing and emerging domestic launch service providers to submit proposals if their vehicles meet the minimum contract requirements. The contract is an Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract where NASA may order launch services through June 30, 2010, for launches to occur through December 2012. Under the NASA Launch Services IDIQ contracts, the potential total contract value is between $20,000 and $1 billion, depending on the number of missions awarded.
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Boeing moved the 787 Dreamliner static test airframe from its Final Assembly facility in Everett to its structural test rig this evening. The test rig is located only 1,000 feet away from Final Assembly at the Everett factory. Some assembly remains to be completed on the static airframe. That work will be completed concurrently with test set-up. Test set up is expected to begin immediately, with tests commencing this summer. "During static tests we apply loads to the airplane structure to simulate both normal operation as well as extreme flight conditions," said Randy Harley, vice president of Engineering & Technology for the 787 program. "We monitor the airplane to confirm analytical predictions and make sure the structure holds up to these conditions."
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Airbus forecasts that the Chinese Mainland will need some 2,800 new passenger aircraft and freighters from 2007 to 2026, with a total market value of US$ 329 billion. It represents 11.6 per cent of the world total demand for over 24,000 new aircraft in the next 20 years. According to Airbus' 2007-2008 Global Market Forecast (China) issued today, mainland China will need some 2,800 new passenger and freighter aircraft over the next 20 years, including more than 1,900 single aisle aircraft, nearly 700 twin-aisles and 190 very large aircraft (VLA). The number of VLAs, such as A380, needed on the Chinese mainland is forecast to be on rise as international traffic from and to China is to greatly increase and to be highly concentrated. The passenger traffic is expected to grow five-fold and the passenger aircraft fleet will triple on the Chinese mainland. A total of 2,670 new passenger aircraft are needed in the next 20 years on the Chinese mainland.  
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As a result of fuel prices rising to an all-time high of USD 1,116.8 per ton on 16 March 2008 (Jet Fuel Rotterdam) and the sharp price competition with low-cost carriers, which brought down average yields, the adjusted EBIT of Austrian Airlines for the first quarter stood at EUR –42.2m compared to EUR –20.6m the previous year. Driven by the price competition at the Vienna location and the fall in production on long-haul routes, flight revenue, at EUR –40.2m, was down on the previous year; the increase in fuel expenditure of EUR 20.5m compared to the previous year, when adjusted to account for production, meant it was not possible to compensate for this reduction in expenses for materials and services. The fact that the closure of long-haul routes at the end of the first quarter last year is producing a distortion in the quarterly comparison needs to be taken into account. The EBIT was EUR –50.1m, compared to EUR –12.5m the previous year. Revenue overall was at EUR 525.3m in the first quarter and 6.4% down compared to the previous year. The reduction in flight revenue in the first quarter on scheduled routes, a decisive proportion of which was driven by the redimensioning of the long-haul segment, was compensated in part by the Group's continued expansion into its core markets, producing flight revenue of EUR 500.4m (-7.4% compared to last year). Flight revenue from the charter segment, which is included in this figure, was EUR 29.8m in the first three months of the year, with the trend steady. In addition, the reduction in operating revenue of –6.7% to EUR 543.4m was caused by a reduction in the result from the disposal of tangible and intangible assets, and despite higher revenues from aircraft leases and personnel provision. 
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Australia's largest airline, Qantas Airways, has awarded Lufthansa Technik an extensive contract for the technical support of the GE and CFM 56-7 engines in its Boeing 737, 767, 747 and Airbus A330 fleets. The corresponding agreement was now signed in Sydney. In the course of the 10-year contract Lufthansa Technik will also purchase a 50-percent stake in the Qantas engine overhaul company, Jet Turbine Services (JTS) of Melbourne. Some 600 engines will be processed at the repair shop in Australia over the next ten years. The stripping down, assembly work and testing for the engine types CF6-80, CFM56-7 and CFM56-3 will be carried out at JTS in Melbourne. The repair of engine parts and components will mostly be carried out at Lufthansa Technik in Hamburg. Lufthansa Technik and Qantas will hold equal shares in the joint venture, Jet Turbine Services Pty Limited, which currently has a workforce of 140. Both partners will invest in the modernisation and expansion of the company. In future, besides the engine overhaul services which it has hitherto provided, the company will also offer other products and technical services like flap tracks and carriages overhaul of Qantas wide body aircraft. The partners in the joint venture are also discussing an extension of their product range that will take in new customers from the South-East Asia region.
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The Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) has successfully re-boosted the International Space Station (ISS) to a higher altitude. "This was an important event for Astrium, as it validated one of the major tasks of the ATV's inaugural flight, demonstrating the ability of the 'Jules Verne' to lift the ISS back into the correct orbit," said Alain Charmeau, CEO of Astrium Space Transportation. "The operation was performed with the same propulsion system used to manoeuvre the ATV itself. This 'double use' was taken into account from the outset of the project of the European Space Agency and incorporated in the design of the propulsion system, both in terms of the engines employed and the amount of fuel required," explains Nicolas Chamussy, ATV Programme Manager at Astrium. The orbital altitude of the ISS steadily declines as a result of atmospheric drag. It therefore has to be regularly re-boosted by increasing its speed, which causes it to rise. What is more, space debris circling the Earth sometimes crosses the orbital path of the space station and threatens to hit and puncture its inhabited sections, putting the lives of the crew at risk. The re-boost function makes it possible to perform escape manoeuvres to avoid such debris in the interest of crew safety.
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Diamond Aircraft Industries will equip Indira Gandhi Rashtveni Urani Akademi (IGRUA) with 14 DA 40-TDI with Garmin G1000, two DA 42-TDI aircraft and three simulators from Diamond Simulation. IGRUA is the national premier flying school in India and provides CPL with multiengine endorsement. It also trains pilots from other S.E. Asia countries and is known for setting the standard in flight training in S.E. Asia. It is currently led by Air Vice Marshal (Retd.) SC Malhan, a distinguished officer of the highly professional Indian Airforce. IGRUA is currently growing its output to 100 pilots a year. This government contract has been achieved together with Diamond´s distributor in India, PCI ltd.
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Khrunichev Space Center and its partner International Launch Services today announced a broad-based quality initiative for Khrunichev and all of its subcontractors. "This will reinforce our dedication to quality across the board, ensure we improve our performance and enhance our position as a leading space company," said Vladimir Nesterov, Khrunichev General Director. Key elements of the quality initiative are as follows: Appointment of a Deputy Director General responsible for Quality Control and Management, reporting to the General Director; Incorporation of the new subsidiaries (Khimmash [DBKhM], Voronezh [VMZ] and Polyot) into a unified Khrunichev Quality Management System (QMS); Recertification of the QMS to the latest international quality standards by a certified independent auditor; Continued yearly audits and recertification; Increased Quality Awareness/Excellence Program; Re-evaluation of all factors to improve the launch vehicle design quality; and Enhanced customer visibility into product and process quality. "This is a broad-based initiative and not just focused on the specific issues related to the AMC-14 Proton Breeze M failure," Nesterov said. "The substance of this initiative is demonstrated by the commitment of resources and management attention to implement it."
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CAE is growing its pilot provisioning initiative to address the global pilot shortage. The company has signed agreements to source, recruit, and train more than 600 candidate pilots for Jazeera Airways, Kingfisher Airlines and Wizz Air over a four year period. The contracts were awarded over the last few months during CAE's fiscal year 2008. "We're delighted that Wizz Air, Kingfisher Airlines, and Jazeera Airways have recognized CAE's leadership in recruiting and training pilots," said Jeff Roberts, Group President, Civil Training & Services and Innovation. "Over the past 12 months, CAE has already recruited and trained more than 700 pilots through its pilot supply programs. We look forward to recruiting new pilots that will help these airlines continue to grow and prosper." Jazeera Airways is a low-fare airline based in Kuwait and Dubai that flies to destinations in the Middle East, Europe and India. Under the terms of the contract, CAE will source, recruit and conduct A320 type rating training of trainees proposed to be employed or contracted by the airline. Training will take place in the Emirates-CAE flight training centre in Dubai and in the CAE Madrid training centre in Spain.
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The Lufthansa Group has posted a record first-quarter result of 188 million euros for 2008. Despite a challenging economic environment, marked by record levels in oil prices, uncertainties due to the crisis in the financial market and increased competition, the Group was still able to significantly increase its result and passenger figures. Lufthansa has therefore succeeded in continuing from where it left off with the positive developments of the previous year. "We have had an excellent take-off into 2008", said Lufthansa Chairman and CEO Wolfgang Mayrhuber, when presenting the quarterly figures. "We are on the right course, we are standing out from the crowd and we have reached a respectable cruising altitude. Our distinct customer orientation and the targeted employment of funds, as well as our careful course and continuous improvements to efficiency will allow Lufthansa to achieve further controlled and profitable growth." All the business segments of the Lufthansa Group increased their operating profit to contribute to the improved result. The Passenger Business segment was again able to score points amidst the hard-fought competition. The attractive premium products, the selective expansion of the route network and the successful integration of SWISS also played a major part in the excellent quarterly result. Mayrhuber emphasized that it was of great future importance that the airlines of the Lufthansa Group had succeeded in further improving their already strong positions in the corporate customer business. The Logistics business segment also achieved an excellent first quarter result thanks to a rise in revenue accompanied by cost saving measures. Both business segments were able to successfully compensate the rise in fuel prices. The MRO and Catering business segments managed to improve their profitability in spite of the negative currency exchange factors. In the IT Services business segment, the positive effects of the implemented restructuring measures were already felt in the first quarter.
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FLUG REVUE 12/2016

FLUG REVUE
12/2016
07.11.2016

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