02.03.2008
FLUG REVUE

2008-03-02 - News in briefNews in Brief

Kurznachrichten<br /> +++<br /> American Eurocopter marked the delivery of the first EC225 in the United States during a ceremony at the Eurocopter booth at Heli-Expo 2008.

The helicopter was delivered to Era Helicopters LLC, a subsidiary of SEACOR Holdings Inc. Era Helicopters will take delivery of three additional EC225's this year, two in 2009 and two more in 2010.
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AgustaWestland announced that Copterline of Finland has taken delivery of the first of two AW139 helicopters at AgustaWestland's Vergiate facility. It will soon enter service operating scheduled flights between Helsinki, Finland  and Tallinn, Estonia. The second AW139 is scheduled to be delivered in April this year.
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Simplex Manufacturing Company announced the introduction of its newest Fire Attack system, the Model 326, which was a joint development between AgustaWestland and Simplex for AgustaWestland's new AW139 helicopter.  Following flight testing at AgustaWestland's facility in Philadelphia, the first of two aircraft with the Model 326 installed will be delivered to the Los Angeles City Fire Department early this summer. The Model 326 utilizes a carbon graphite matrix in a highly conformal and aerodynamic design giving it a high VNE speed.  Total volume is more than 400 gallons and the newly designed hover refill system fills the tank in approximately 45 seconds.  The Model 326 also utilized an integrated camera system to monitor the hover pump and dump doors, displaying the information through the cockpit installed Honeywell Primus® multifunction display.
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Evergreen Helicopters has signed contracts for four S-76C++ helicopters, the model of the proven S-76 workhorse currently in production. The helicopters will serve in a variety of missions including offshore oil, utility, emergency medical service, and search and rescue. The first of these aircraft is slated to be put into service this summer.
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In a ceremony at Heli-Expo, Sikorsky and VIH Aviation Group celebrated the recent signing of contracts to provide four additional S-92 helicopters to support offshore oil operations. The aircraft will be used by VIH's subsidiary, Cougar Helicopters Inc. These most recent purchases increase the current VIH/Cougar inventory to eleven S-92 aircraft.
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Simplex Manufacturing Company announced today the single largest order in its history from long time partner and customer, LG International of Seoul, South Korea. LG international placed an order to design and deliver 25 units of a new 5 ton (metric) Simplex Model 348 Fire Attack system for the Russian built Kamov Ka-32 helicopter series.  The design will be a joint effort between LG International, Kamov and Simplex. The Model 348 will utilize a new electronic door control operating system and incorporate Simplex's latest generation hover pumps for rapid filling.  The first unit is scheduled to be delivered toward the end of 2008 and will be certified by the Russian Interstate Aviation Committee. Simplex has already delivered more than 50 of its 3 ton Ka-32 helicopter Fire Attack systems for fire fighting operations in Korea and elsewhere over the past 15 years.
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AgustaWestland announced that Sloane Helicopters has signed a contract for thirteen additional helicopters comprising one AW119 Ke single engine, three AW109 Power and seven Grand light twin and two AW139 medium twin turbine engine models. The contract is valued at approximately US$ 87 million (Euro 60 million). This latest order is part of the framework of the multi-year contract and distribution agreement signed in February 2006 which agreed the acquisition of a minimum of 44 helicopters to be delivered through to the end of 2010. This order and the ones signed in February 2006 and in March 2007 bring the total number of firm orders to 25.
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AgustaWestland announced that Synergy Aerospace, a division of Synergy Group, has signed a contract for ten additional helicopters comprising four AW109 Power and four Grand light twin and two AW139 medium twin turbine engine models. The contract is valued at approximately US$ 72 million (Euro 49 million). This latest order is part of the framework of the multi-year contract and distribution agreement signed in July 2006 which agreed the acquisition of 56 helicopters. This latest purchase is additional to the 30 helicopters already ordered by Synergy Aerospace. The helicopters will be used primarily for VIP/corporate and offshore transport and will be produced at AgustaWestland's production facilities in Philadelphia, USA and Vergiate, Italy.
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AgustaWestland and leading Italian fashion design house Versace, announced the expansion of their existing cooperation to offer AgustaWestland customers a range of exclusively designed cabin interiors and layouts for its AW139 medium-twin turbine helicopters. One of the exclusive Versace AW139 interiors was unveiled at Heli-Expo 2008 in Houston, Texas today. This unique AW139 interior employs the finest materials and the highest standards of craftsmanship. The large cabin space offered by the AW139 allows a wide range of layouts and equipment options to be selected, enabling customers to tailor the helicopter to their specific needs.
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MD Helicopters announced a major new contract with California Shock Trauma Air Rescue -CALSTAR for 5 new MD 902 EMS helicopters.  With options, the deal could expand to 10 additional new MD 902 helicopters over the next 7 years.  When complete, the deal will expand the CALSTAR fleet to 15 MD 902 aircraft.
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AgustaWestland announced that Grupo INAER of Spain has committed to purchase eighteen helicopters including six AW119 Ke single-engines, two AW109 Power and seven Grand light twins and three AW139 medium twins in 2008. These helicopters will be delivered by 2010. Grupo INAER is one of the leading Spanish Companies providing a wide range of helicopter services including scheduled passenger transport flights, search and rescue, EMS and fire-fighting applications operating in Spain, Portugal, Italy and France. The AW119 Ke will be used for firefighting missions while the AW109 Power, the Grand and the AW139 will be configured to perform EMS operations. Moreover the AW139 will be used for search and rescue and scheduled services roles.
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American Eurocopter announced that JLT Group Incorporated has purchased six EC155s. JLT Group, with its aviation arm Corporate Concepts International, Inc., plans to integrate the helicopters into its rotorwing activities to meet the needs of a variety of customers, including EMS, VIP and Offshore clients. The EC155s are scheduled for delivery in 2010.
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Soloy Aviation Solutions has obtained approval from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) for it's Honeywell engine conversion for the AS350B2 helicopters and expects validation this week.  The data used to approve the Soloy FAA Supplemental Type Certificate, SR01647SE, was reviewed and scrutinized by EASA certification regulators to confirm the design and regulatory requirements are met with the Soloy AS350SD2 configuration.  Over the last 18 months Soloy worked tirelessly with the European authority to gain approval for all of the 27 member countries. "This approval opens the way for European operators of aircraft produced under DGAC TC No. 84 to have the same engine option for these very popular helicopters as currently enjoyed by operators in the United States, Canada, New Zealand and Australia," says David Stauffer, Soloy's C.E.O.  "Proven benefits of enhanced performance, maintenance cost reduction and reduced fuel consumption are becoming well-known in the industry as more and more of the Honeywell LTS101-700D-2 engine kits are installed. Since receiving the STC in 2006 over 70 AS350B2's have been converted.
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Sikorsky and customer PHI celebrated the execution of options for 12 additional aircraft for the PHI fleet, and the milestone achievement of 20,000 fleet hours with the Sikorsky S-92 helicopter, at a ceremony at Heli-Expo. Under the options contract, PHI will acquire six S-76C++ helicopters and six S-92 helicopters, scheduled to be delivered in 2009 and 2010. The aircraft will be used to support offshore oil missions world wide.
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Norrlandsflyg AB and Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. in a ceremony at Heli-Expo today announced that the Swedish helicopter operator has agreed to delivery position agreements for eight S-76D helicopters, the next generation model of the Sikorsky S-76 helicopter.
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Bell Helicopter announced the sale of a 412EP model medium lift helicopter to the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department. This 412 will join a previously purchased Bell helicopter to give the citizens of San Diego access to 24 hour, seven days a week emergency response capability.
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Boeing and RAK Airways held a signing ceremony for the procurement of four 737-800s with purchase rights for two additional 737s. The deal is valued at approximately $300 million at list prices. RAK Airways is the fourth national airline of the UAE. The airline was established in February 2006 under an Emiri Decree by H.H. Sheikh Saqr bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah. Ras al Khaimah is the UAE's northernmost Emirate and recently announced an ambitious expansion plan that includes opening economic free zones to attract international business, tourists and a growing residential market.
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The Lufthansa Group's revenue totalled EUR 22.4bn (previous year: EUR 19.8bn) at the end of the financial year 2007 according to preliminary figures. The operating result of EUR 1,378m (previous year: EUR 845m) exceeded the profit target. The positive business development and income from portfolio management also made their mark on the net profit for the period of EUR 1,655m (previous year: EUR 803m). In continuation of the Group's dividend policy and in view of the sound operating performance, the Executive Board proposes to the Supervisory Board to submit a dividend proposal of EUR 1.25 per share for the previous financial year to the Annual General Meeting, an increase of EUR 0.55. The Supervisory Board's meeting will be held on 10 March and the Annual General Meeting on 29 April 2008.
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Alenia Aeronautica has signed a contract with the Italian Coast Guard to supply a third ATR42MP Surveyor in basic configuration, without the specific mission equipment. A subsequent contract will cover the integration and the installation of the mission systems on the aircraft, which will be carried out at the Turin and Brindisi plants of Alenia Aeronavali, a subsidiary of Alenia Aeronautica.
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ACROHELIPRO Global Services Inc. (ACROHELIPRO) officially took the name of its parent company on February 25, 2008 - Day 2 of Helicopter Association International's Heli-Expo 2008. Mr. Donald Jackson, Donald K. Jackson, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Vector Aerospace made the official announcement during a customer / industry media event at the Vector Aerospace booth, in front of an audience of more than 150 interested customers, media and helicopter operators from across the industry. This announcement initiates the first phase of a Vector-wide initiative to transition all maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) assets; including ACROHELIPRO, Atlantic Turbines International, Sigma Aerospace and the newly-acquired Defence Aviation Repair Agency (DARA), to the Vector Aerospace brand in 2008.
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The Miniature Air Launched Decoy, a Raytheon state-of-the-art, low-cost, modular air- launched programmable flight vehicle, successfully completed government and Raytheon seamless verification team flight testing Jan. 11. This sets the stage for the MALD™ to enter low rate initial production (LRIP) later this year. The testing, which began in June 2007, put the MALD through a series of flight profiles including jettison and powered flight tests from both F-16 and B-52 aircraft. The MALD, which weighs less than 300 pounds and has a range of approximately 500 nautical miles (about 575 statute miles), succeeded in 33 of 35 tests.
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AgustaWestland and Heliflite Pty Ltd of Australia announced that Heliflite Pty Ltd of Australia have signed a contract for eleven new helicopters, comprising three AW119 Ke light single, two AW109 Power, five Grand light twin and one AW139 medium twin turbine helicopters. This contract is part of the framework of the existing multi-year contract and distribution agreement between AgustaWestland and Heliflite. The overall contract is valued at approximately US$ 68 million (Euro 47 million).
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Pratt & Whitney selected Hamilton Sundstrand to provide engine controls and accessories for the company's next generation of engines for the new Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ), Bombardier CSeries and Cessna Citation Columbus business aircraft. Under the agreement, Hamilton Sundstrand will provide the engines' control, fuel, pneumatic and thermal management systems.
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Honeywell announced that its tenth Turbine-Powered Civil Helicopter Purchase Outlook projects deliveries of  roughly 4,450 new civil use helicopters during the five-year period 2008 - 2012, driven in part by strong demand for light single and intermediate twin-engine models offering newer technology.Corporate, emergency medical services (EMS) and law enforcement helicopters combined are expected to account for more than 65% of all new civil rotorcraft sales during the five-year forecast period. Some key findings revealed by the annual survey of civil helicopter operators' purchase expectations are: Estimated Civil helicopter deliveries were up 25-30% in 2007 and are expected to rise again in 2008, as helicopter manufacturers increase production to satisfy strong demand for new aircraft around the world; civil helicopter sales during the five-year period 2008-2012 are predicted to be up to 50% greater than in the five-year period 2003-2007; Global demand could exceed 10,000 new civil helicopters during the 2008-2018 period. Honeywell Aerospace's 2008 survey has reaffirmed avionics capabilities, performance and power, along with cabin volume as the top criteria operators consider when selecting new helicopters," said Mike Cuff, Honeywell Vice President, Helicopters & Surface Systems.  "The decision to acquire new helicopters is driven primarily by the age of current aircraft which is usually reflected in an operator's desire for better technology, more range, more power, cargo or passenger capacity and lower operating costs.  Survey results have now improved for the last five years, and OEMs report strong sales activity supporting our view that helicopter demand has great long range prospects in a growing global economy." Near-term increases in demand is supported by ongoing strong worldwide demand for corporate, EMS, law enforcement, oil and gas and utility helicopters, expanding economies in emerging regions, the strength of many international currencies and continued exploration and support activity in oil producing regions. In North America, law enforcement applications fell back in line with other popular rotorcraft use categories with 20% of all mentions this year, similar to other planned use categories such as Corporate at 20% and Utility at 23%.  Emphasis on security and police capabilities remains high but is more balanced with other applications. EMS applications held steady at 26% of planned new purchases in North America from 25% in the 2006 survey, and is the largest single end use category cited by the survey respondents for new helicopters in the region.  Planned purchases for corporate use in North America nearly doubled from 11 % a year ago to 20% of the total in this year's survey. "The 2008 outlook projects annual turbine helicopter delivery levels exceeding 800 units in the near term, with survey findings indicating that latent demand could drive rates of over 1000 units a year even if capacity limits are not encountered," Cuff said.  "The gains seen in the 2008 outlook are also supported by potential new OEM entrants offering affordable high value platforms stimulating demand and drawing new operators into the turbine segment."
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As part of Airbus' commitment to offering its customers the most eco-efficient aircraft and also to driving down aircraft related maintenance costs, the Airbus A320 test aircraft successfully performed the first in a series of test flights on 26th February, powered for the first time by International Aero Engines' new SelectOne standard engine. The SelectOne is the new version of the V2500 engine and is designed to be more fuel-efficient, therefore with lower CO2 emissions and also offers airlines longer on-wing time, which means reduced maintenance costs. During the flight tests, all aspects of the engine's performance and handling characteristics will be examined and lead to the airframe engine combinations certification to allow deliveries in the third quarter of 2008. The engine will be available for the A319, A320 and A321. These flight tests are taking place in Toulouse at Airbus' flight test facilities and will continue for the coming few weeks. This follows the successful introduction of the latest CFM56-5B Tech Insertion engines from CFM International, which took place in autumn 2007. The engine provides longer time on wing and lower maintenance costs together with a forecast reduction in fuel burn than the previous version. At the end of January 2008, nearly 100 A320 Family aircraft had been delivered with the CFM Tech Insertion engines.
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Space Systems/Loral (SS/L), a subsidiary of Loral Space & Communications and the world's leading provider of high-power commercial satellites, announced that it has been awarded a contract to manufacture a new spacecraft for SES NEW SKIES, a subsidiary of SES (Euronext Paris and Luxembourg Stock Exchange: SESG). Designed as the largest most powerful satellite in the SES fleet, NSS-14 expands and enhances the company's ability to provide Fixed Satellite Services (FSS) to the Americas, Europe, Africa and the Middle East. NSS-14 is the second satellite contract that SES NEW SKIES has awarded to SS/L and it is designed to be located at 338 degrees East, one of the most highly demanded orbital locations for trans-Atlantic traffic. The spacecraft is a state-of-the-art, hybrid C- and Ku-band satellite that includes SS/L's heritage ion propulsion system and a 15 year design life.
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CAE announced that its first CAE 5000 Series full-flight simulator (FFS), an A320 FFS located at CAE's Burgess Hill training centre in the United Kingdom, has achieved Level D certification, the highest qualification for flight simulators. The CAE 5000 Series A320 FFS was certified to Level D by the UK's Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). The CAE 5000 Series FFS, designed and developed by CAE in consultation with customers and suppliers as a completely new "clean sheet" full-flight simulator, was delivered on time and on schedule.
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Thales Alenia Space announced the signature of a contract with Eutelsat Communications, one of the world's leading satellite operators, to manufacture and deliver Eutelsat's W3B communications satellite. As prime contractor, Thales Alenia Space will be in charge of the design, manufacturing, test and delivery of the satellite. Planned for a launch during the second quarter 2010, W3B will provide broadcast and telecommunications services over Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Based on Thales Alenia Space Spacebus 4000C3 platform, the satellite will be colocated at 7o degrees East with Eutelsat's W3A satellite. Designed with a lifetime of more than 15 years, W3B will provide 3 Ka and 53 Ku-band transponders, will feature a maximum launch mass of 5.4 tons and will deliver more than 12 kW of electrical power at end of life. W3B will be equipped with 3 deployable and 2 fixed antennas.
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Bombardier announced that the first Challenger 890 corporate shuttle has entered service with Calgary based Suncor Energy Inc., a major North American developer of oil sands. The aircraft will join Suncor's Challenger 850 corporate shuttle, in operation since March 2006. A rapidly growing company based in Alberta with more than 6,500 employees, Suncor Energy currently operates a shuttle service for its personnel between their Calgary headquarters and Fort McMurray, Alberta. The addition of the new Challenger 890 aircraft is a reflection of the company's significant growth. The new jet will shuttle workers from across Canada to the Fort McMurray oil sands.
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Boeing has been awarded a $280.5 million U.S. Army contract for 11 new CH-47F Chinook helicopters, increasing the number of new Chinooks on contract to 59. Aircraft deliveries under this award will begin in 2011. "This new contract award represents a long-term commitment to supporting our warfighters," said Ken Eland, Boeing CH-47F program director. "Our commitment is to continue the high level of quality and performance we established in 2007."
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Thale cress has been growing on board the COLUMBUS module of the International Space Station ISS since 28 February, marking the commencement of the first biological experiment on board the COLUMBUS. The first results are to be available in two weeks' time. Funded by the German Aerospace Center DLR and known as WAICO, this experiment aims to explore the effects of weightlessness on root growth compared with gravity conditions on the earth's surface. The French astronaut Léopold Eyhardts has defrosted the plant seeds and planted them in eight special containers. The experiment will be concluded after 14 days of plant growth, during which time the progress of the plants will be photographed daily. The seedlings will then be chemically fixed and rinsed fully automatically. After that, they will be taken back down to earth on the next shuttle flight, after which they will be evaluated by scientists. The OHB model provides for fully automatic execution of the experiment. WAICO was designed, developed and built for ASTRIUM GmbH in Friedrichshafen and the European Space Agency ESA. OHB was also materially involved in the preparations of the biological samples and the components of the experiment.
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Boeing is continuing to support the U.S. Air Force's KC-10 Extender aerial refueling tanker fleet under the KC-10 Contractor Logistics Support program. The company received a $307 million contract extension in January that allows KC-10 support to continue uninterrupted until a new competitive contract is awarded this summer. Boeing provides depot-level maintenance and modifications, supply-chain management and other critical support tasks to the Air Force from its Support Systems facility in San Antonio, pictured here. Support Systems employees returned 45 KC-10s to the Air Force last year. The service currently operates nearly 60 KC-10 aircraft.
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ESA Director General Jean-Jacques Dordain and European Commission Director General for Enterprise & Industry Heinz Zourek signed in Brussels an agreement which establishes the allocation of an EC budget of Euro624 million to ESA as a contribution to the implementation of the GMES Space Component (GSC). This will be provided in two stages: Euro419 million for Segment 1 and Euro205 million for Segment 2 of the GSC programme. Segment 2 will be submitted for subscription by ESA's Member States at next November's ministerial-level Council meeting. "This marks a further step in the growing partnership process that sees ESA and the EC develop joint programmes for the benefit of all citizens in Europe. Within the framework agreement that links the European Community and ESA, and in accordance with the European Space Policy adopted in May 2007, ESA will develop and deliver the space infrastructure (the Sentinels) which will respond to the requirements defined by the EC concerning the GMES services dedicated to environment and security, two of the main concerns of  our fellow citizens", said Jean-Jacques Dordain. It is worth recalling that ESA Member States have already raised (in two phases: 2005 and 2007) €758 million for Segment 1.
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Orbital Sciences Corporation announced that it has been selected by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Arlington, VA, to develop a Phase 1 concept for System F6 (Future Fast, Flexible, Fractionated, Free-Flying Spacecraft united by Information eXchange). DARPA is the central research and development organization for the Department of Defense (DoD). It manages and directs selected basic and applied research and development projects for DoD, and pursues research and technology where risk and payoff are both very high and where success may provide dramatic advances for traditional military roles and missions. The objective of the F6 program is to demonstrate the feasibility and benefits of a satellite architecture in which traditional "monolithic" spacecraft are replaced by clusters of wirelessly-interconnected spacecraft modules.
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Northrop Grumman and Space Systems/Loral, a subsidiary of Loral Space & Communications, announced that they are pursuing a group of initiatives that stands to broaden each company's opportunities to provide the U.S. government with cost-competitive satellite systems. The resulting agreement also will enable Space Systems/Loral (SS/L) to expand its manufacturing capacity as needed, in order to address near-term increased satellite demand, through use of the satellite test facilities and services at Northrop Grumman facilities in Redondo Beach, Calif. "The agreement with Northrop Grumman will allow SS/L to cost-effectively add capacity to address increased near-term commercial satellite opportunities,'' said Pat DeWitt, chief executive officer, Space Systems/Loral. "The agreement will also streamline the process for our companies to collaborate on providing the world's best satellites for both civil and defense applications.''  
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In an agreement signed with Intelsat in January, Sea Launch will deliver two communications satellites built by Orbital Sciences Corporation to Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit. These Land Launch missions are currently planned for 2009 and serve to re-purpose manifest slots previously planned for two other Intelsat spacecraft. The Intelsat 15 (IS-15) satellite will replace Intelsat 709 currently positioned at 85 degrees East Longitude. The high power Ku-band payload will provide video and data services for the Middle East, Indian Ocean Regions and Russia. Based on Orbital's STAR spacecraft bus, IS-15 will produce 4.6 kW of payload power and feature two 2.3 meter dual-grid deployable reflectors as well as one 1.4 meter dual-grid deck-mounted antenna.  
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International Launch Services (ILS) announced a contract with S2M, a provider of media-rich, mobile entertainment to the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), to use a Proton Breeze M vehicle to launch the first dedicated mobile television satellite for the MENA region. The companies made the announcement during the Satellite 2008 industry conference in Washington, D.C. The Proton Breeze M is Russia's leading heavy-lift vehicle, which launches from facilities at the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan. ILS has exclusive rights to market the Proton rocket worldwide to commercial satellite operators. Khrunichev Space Center of Moscow, one of the cornerstones of the Russian space industry, manufactures the Proton and is in a partnership with ILS.  
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Finmeccanica, via SELEX Communications subsidiary Sirio Panel, has signed two contracts worth over USD 100 million with Airbus, to develop and supply avionics interface control units and manufacture the cockpit lighting system for the new Airbus A350 XWB (eXtra Wide Body). Sirio Panel will develop the pilot/system interface of the Integrated Control Panel and the cockpit illumination system (Cockpit General Illumination). The order covers 12 control panels, 15 up front control panels using LED technology, and dimming units. The cockpit illumination system, comprising 22 lights with an option for a further 18, allows the pilot to illuminate specific areas, such as maps or other units. The light intensity can be varied using the dimmers. Airbus previously chose Sirio Panel to supply control panels for the A400M, which are similar to those ordered for the A350 - testimony to the excellent performance offered by this product.  
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Rolls-Royce forecast an increase in the civil helicopter business when it announced its annual ten-year forecast of worldwide turbine helicopter deliveries. Ken Roberts, Acting President of the Rolls-Royce Helicopter business, said: "The projection of deliveries for the next ten years shows an industry operating at levels approaching capacity. This is due to two reasons, the highly successful sales figures from 2006 and 2007, and the ramping-up of military programs awarded in the last several years." He also believes that the new, light, single-engine turbine helicopter market is about to expand, with entries like the R66 offering turbine performance at prices well below the current entry-level units. The Rolls-Royce forecast projects deliveries of 15,711 turbine helicopters, valued at $141 billion for the airframes, and $13.3 billion for engines during the ten year period 2008-2017. The civil unit forecast has increased nearly 50 per cent compared to the previous projection, primarily due to new entry-level turbine helicopters. It now stands at over 9,095 civil helicopters to be delivered during the period, with an overall airframe value of $31.5 billion and engine value of $4.2 billion. "Clearly, the public is seeing a benefit from helicopter usage, with the oil and gas industry, police, air ambulance and private owners all looking for new, purpose-built aircraft," said Roberts. The Rolls-Royce forecast also projects 6,616 new military helicopter deliveries during the ten year period, with an airframe value of $109.7 billion and installed engine value of $9.1 billion.  
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AgustaWestland announced that Aerolíneas Ejecutivas (ALE) of Mexico has signed a contract for fifteen additional helicopters comprising four AW119 Ke single engine, four AW109 Power and five Grand light twin and two AW139 medium twin turbine engine models. The contract value is worth approximately US$ 83 million. This latest order is part of the framework of the five-year contract and distribution agreement signed in August 2006. This order and the one signed in March 2007 brings the total number of firm orders to 38.
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The composite technology, design and construction of the Boeing 787 was proven during a series of testing scenarios conducted beginning in late 2007 and concluding this week. The tests were performed on a composite fuselage test section and are part of Boeing's certification efforts for the 787. "The tests were very successful - they couldn't have gone any better," said Kevin Davis, 787 fuselage authorized representative and leader of the testing. Boeing engineers proved the composite barrel design through a series of incremental tests that first took the barrel to limit load, a test condition that simulates the most extreme conditions expected to be experienced in the life of the airplane. Next, the test article was taken to 150 percent of limit load -- a condition called "ultimate load," the level required for certification. Finally, the team pushed the composite section past ultimate load well beyond ultimate load to a destruct-condition maneuver beyond two and a half times the force of gravity.
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Boeing celebrated a trio of Small Diameter Bomb (SDB) delivery milestones -- the 1,000th SDB I, the 200th BRU-61/A Bomb Rack Unit Carriage System and the first 50 Focused Lethality Munitions (FLM) -- demonstrating a commitment to providing effective solutions to the U.S. military. The milestones were observed with a ceremony at Boeing's St. Charles, Mo., Weapons Programs facility. "I am very proud of the U.S. Air Force and Boeing SDB team for working together to make these achievements possible," said Debra Rub-Zenko, vice president, Boeing Weapons Programs. "SDB is a great program that provides extremely effective weapons capability to current and future warfighters." Because of its small size and robust performance, the SDB I weapon system, which includes the four-bomb capacity BRU-61/A carriage system, greatly increases the mission capability of current and future platforms. Boeing delivered the first production SDB in May 2006 and entered full-rate production in December 2006. Currently, more than 24,000 weapons and 2,000 carriages are in Air Force procurement and budget plans. The Air Force is investing $1.2 billion for production of the system, with deliveries planned beyond 2015.
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Boeing delivered its 1,400th 747, a 747-400 Freighter delivered to GE Commercial Aviation Services (GECAS) for lease to AirBridgeCargo Airlines, a subsidiary of the Volga-Dnepr Group. "We are honored to receive the 1,400th Boeing 747," said Gennady Pivovarov, senior vice president of Production, AirBridgeCargo Airlines. "The 747 is a high-quality, reliable airplane that plays a critical role in our success." The 1,400th 747 is the seventh 747 freighter in the AirBridgeCargo Airlines fleet, joining five 747-200/-300 Freighters and a 747-400 Freighter. The Volga-Dnepr Group also has ordered five of Boeing's new 747-8 Freighters, the highly efficient and more capable next model in the 747 freighter family. The 1,400 747 airplanes assembled at the Everett site have established a strong track record. The 747 has completed more than 17 million flights through 2007. It has logged approximately 89 million flight hours or more than 10,000 years of flight time. The airplanes have flown approximately 42 billion nautical miles (78 billion kilometers), which is equivalent to making nearly 203,000 trips to the moon.
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Bombardier Aerospace announced the official opening of its manufacturing facility located at the Querétaro Aerospace Park in Mexico. This new facility complements Bombardier's existing manufacturing sites located in Canada, Northern Ireland and the United States. Manufacturing operations in this facility began in the second half of 2007. Currently, Bombardier Aerospace has approximately 900 full-time employees working at its facilities in Mexico where they manufacture electrical harnesses and structural aircraft components. These components include the Challenger 850 mid-fuselage, the Q400 aircraft flight control work package (rudder, elevator and horizontal stabilizer), and the Global family of aircraft aft fuselage. By the end of 2008, Bombardier Aerospace expects to employ 1,200 full-time staff.
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US Airways  employees demanded that management address workers' issues and work with labor groups to turnaround the fledgling airline. Employees picketed corporate headquarters with a large, 30-foot rat as a symbol of US Airways management's anti-worker tactics. The following statement is from the US Airways Labor Coalition, which represents the customer service representatives, dispatchers, fleet service, flight attendants, flight crew training instructors, maintenance training specialists, mechanic and related, pilots, simulator engineers, and all other labor groups at US Airways. "Shared fury and frustration among the employees of US Airways brought us together today in an effort to get management to complete the merger that began nearly three years ago. We are furious that, due to management inaction, we have become the poster child for what not to do in a merger. We are frustrated with management's hands-off approach to resolving labor issues. "Instead of working with labor to develop long-term solutions that would fix the problems plaguing our airline, US Airways management continues employing tactics that demoralize its workers. As a result, employee morale is at an all-time low, our stock has plummeted, and our passengers are left literally holding their bags. Management's quick-fix is to hire more executives and bunker down together to ignore these problems, hoping that they will resolve themselves.
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Fraport AG is selling its wholly-owned ICTS Europe Holdings B.V. subsidiary to Deutsche Beteiligungs AG and one of its managed co-investment funds. Under the contract signed today, a purchase price of EUR100 million has been agreed, payable by the purchaser once contractual conditions have been satisfied. The complete transfer of ICTS Europe Holdings B.V. will take place when payment has been made by the purchaser. ICTS Europe Holdings B.V. has been a wholly-owned subsidiary of Fraport AG since 2002 and is now active at about 81 locations in 24 countries. With a staff of about 10,100, the company focuses its operating business on providing security control of passengers at various airports - excluding Frankfurt and Frankfurt-Hahn. For the year 2007, ICTS Europe Holdings B.V. reports revenues of about EUR320 million.
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Delta Air Lines takes another step forward in its strategy to become customers' global airline of choice with delivery of the first of eight Boeing 777-200LR Longer Range jets scheduled to enter its fleet by early 2009.  By adding the world's longest range commercial jetliner to its fleet, Delta bolsters its ability to connect customers and cargo between virtually any two cities around the globe, nonstop. The aircraft will enter scheduled service March 8 flying between Atlanta and Los Angeles and will fly on March 9 from Atlanta to Tokyo. "This 777-200LR marks an important milestone for Delta as our first new delivery from Boeing in six years, as well as another step forward in creating a truly global airline," said Edward Bastian, Delta president and chief financial officer. "This aircraft, along with seven more 777-200LRs we'll add over the next year, will allow us to connect customers nonstop to most any point across Asia, India and the Middle East from our hubs in Atlanta and New York."
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Bombardier announced that it delivered 361 aircraft for the fiscal year ended January 31, 2008. This represents an increase of more than 10 per cent over the 326 aircraft deliveries in the previous fiscal year. Additionally, the Company received 698 aircraft orders compared to 363 for the same period during the previous year. "This has been an excellent year for orders and deliveries at Bombardier Aerospace. Our business aircraft unit in particular reached historic highs in orders and deliveries, mirroring an upsurge in the global industry. Add to this significant demand for our regional aircraft - particularly larger regional jets and turboprops - and Bombardier continues to be well positioned today and in the future," said Pierre Beaudoin, President and Chief Operating Officer, Bombardier Aerospace. For the fourth consecutive year Bombardier Business Aircraft saw an increase in deliveries and orders, resulting in a record year. In fiscal year 2007/08, Bombardier delivered 232 business jets, compared to 212 for the same period last fiscal year - an increase of approximately 9 per cent. For the fourth year in a row, Bombardier has maintained its leadership with 26 per cent of the market share on a revenue basis. An intake of 452 orders, compared to 274 for the previous year, represents a book-to-bill ratio of 1.95. In the fourth quarter alone, Bombardier received orders for 154 business aircraft compared to 117 orders last year. In fiscal year 2007/08, Bombardier delivered 128 regional aircraft, compared to 112 from the same period last year - an increase of approximately 14 per cent. Reflecting the continued shift in demand towards larger regional jets and turboprops, 47 Q400 aircraft were delivered in fiscal year 2007/08, compared to 31 for the same period last year. Fifty-six CRJ900/ CRJ900 NextGen aircraft were delivered in 2007/08, compared to 50 for the previous fiscal year.
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CAE has signed contracts to design and manufacture four full-flight simulators (FFSs) and associated CAE Simfinity training devices valued at C$52 million at list prices. The contracts are with Lufthansa Flight Training and Xiamen Airlines and bring the total FFS sales that CAE has announced year to date in fiscal 2008 to 35. Lufthansa Flight Training GmbH (LFT) has ordered a CAE 5000 Series Airbus A320 full-flight simulator (FFS) and a CAE 7000 Series Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental FFS. China-based Xiamen Airlines has ordered two CAE 7000 Series Boeing 737-800 full-flight simulators (FFSs) along with a suite of CAE Simfinity(tm) training devices.
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Goodrich announced that it has signed an agreement to acquire TEAC Aerospace Holdings, Inc. (TEAC), a leading provider of proprietary airborne mission data, video recording and debrief products for the defense industry, and cabin video systems for commercial airlines. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. TEAC, a Thayer | Hidden Creek portfolio company, employs roughly 85 people at its Monterey Park, Calif. facility. Major customers include all branches of the U.S. military, allied governments, leading defense contractors, and major airlines worldwide. The company has been in business for more than 30 years, and in 2007 generated over $50 million in revenue. "This acquisition provides Goodrich with additional presence in advanced military aircraft data collection as well as post-flight debrief capabilities," said Curtis Reusser, Segment President, Electronic Systems at Goodrich. "In addition, TEAC's extensive installed base of analog systems provides significant retrofit opportunities for their new digital offerings. We are proud to have their advanced proprietary products for fixed-wing information management join Goodrich's broad portfolio of high tech systems."
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On 19 February, in Kubinka near Moscow, NPK has performed ground run-up of engines of first prototype Su-25UBM combat trainer with modernized airborne equipment, thereby the cycle of state tests of this advanced Russian aircraft has been started. The more powerful R-195 engines are installed on up-to-date combat trainer-attacker, providing installation of radically new system of aircraft power supply that, in its turn, allowed installing a modern avionics.  
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Embraer has signed Finnair to a new firm order for three more EMBRAER 190s. The total value of the agreement, at list price, is US$ 112.5 million. The aircraft will be configured with 100 seats in a comfortable dual-class layout, and first delivery is scheduled for 2010.
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