16.02.2008
FLUG REVUE

2008-02-17 - News in briefNews in brief

Kurzmeldungen<br /> +++<br /> Airbus has announced its selection of Messier-Bugatti, a SAFRAN Group company, for the design, development, production, integration and support of the electronic and hydraulic landing and braking control systems for its new A350XWB long-range commercial jet.

The contract covers all "ATA32" systems: braking, steering, landing gear extension/retraction, and tire, brake and landing gear monitoring systems. With this latest contract, coupled with Messier-Dowty's selection as supplier of the main landing gear, the SAFRAN Group will supply most of the A350XWB's overall landing/braking system. This represents total revenues of 6 billion euros over 20 years, including services.
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Leaders of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) announced that the 2007 year-end shipment figures for the general aviation industry have led to another record high in industry billings. Speaking at GAMA's Annual Industry Review and Market Outlook Briefing, GAMA Chairman and Chairman and CEO of Cirrus Design Corporation, Alan Klapmeier, reported that a strong worldwide market, especially outside of North America, was a driving factor for general aviation in 2007. "As these economies continue to expand, we expect general aviation to play an ever increasing role in these regions." Klapmeier added, "Manufacturer backlogs are strong and we think this bodes well for 2008 and the years beyond." Record industry billings totaled $21.9 billion, eclipsing last years' figure by 16.5 percent. Year-end, worldwide shipments of general aviation airplanes totaled 4,272 units, the most in more than a quarter century and up 5.4 percent over the previous year's total of 4,053 units. Aside from the record set for year-end billings, the industry also experienced an all-time high in business jet shipments, delivering over one thousand units for the first time in history. The piston airplane segment was down 2.9 percent in 2007, but still posted the second best year in over two decades. Total units decreased from 2,755 in 2006 to 2,675 in 2007. Shipments of turboprops increased 11.4 percent, up from 412 units in 2006 to 459 units in 2007. Business jet shipments reached an all-time high of 1,138 units, up 28.4 percent over last year's figure of 886 airplanes.
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EADS signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Kazakh titanium supplier UKTMP and Aubert & Duval (A&D), a major supplier of metal-based aircraft components on Friday. The MoU covers the supply of titanium to Airbus and other Divisions of EADS. It is potentially worth in excess of one billion US dollars. The agreement was signed in Astana on the occasion of the offical visit of the French Prime Minister François Fillon. The supply partners are to set up a joint venture, UKAD, for the purposes of transforming the titanium ingots delivered by UKTMP and improving the vertical integration of the titanium supply chain to EADS and Airbus. This approach will contribute to securing stable prices and quantities from the raw material supply to the manufacture of the semi-finished or finished product.
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EADS signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Kazyna Sustainable Development Fund for astrategic partnership in the development of the aerospace industry and related services in Kazakhstan. This agreement with Kazyna envisages feasibility studies for the financing of aerospace projects. The agreements were signed on the occasion of the offical visit of the French Prime Minister François Fillon. In addition EADS also signed a roughly US $ 1 billion MoU with the Kazakh titanium company UKTMP and the metals and alloys specialists Aubert & Duval (A&D). This MoU covers the supply of titanium and the manufacture of finished and semi-finished products for Airbus and other Divisions of EADS. EADS intends to contribute with its Kazakh partners to the development of the aerospace industry and related services in Kazakhstan through its broad know-how and experience in various aerospace sectors.
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Embraer has signed a firm order with the Moldovan flag carrier Air Moldova for one EMBRAER 190 jet. The contract includes purchase rights for another aircraft of the same model. Delivery is scheduled for March 2010. "We are very proud to have Air Moldova join our E-Jets customer community," said Mauro Kern, Embraer Executive Vice President, Airline Market. "The EMBRAER 190 will provide flexibility and performance, and will reduce operating costs when compared to a conventional narrowbody, without compromising cabin comfort." Air Moldova links the Moldovan capital, Chisinau, to 13 cities in Europe and the Middle East and intends to deploy its new EMBRAER 190 for opening new markets and complementing its narrowbody fleet. The aircraft will be configured in a single-class cabin with 114 seats.
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Raytheon has won the U.S. Air Force's competition to upgrade a satellite communications system that provides protected communications to warfighters around the world. The contract, valued in excess of $75 million, is for development and production of the Minuteman Minimum Essential Emergency Communications Network program upgrade, or MMPU. Raytheon began work on the current MMP solution for the Air Force in 1999 as part of a study contract. "This award is further testament to our unparalleled expertise in protected satellite communications and advanced extremely high frequency, or AEHF, communications across the services," said Jerry Powlen, vice president, Raytheon Network Centric Systems' Integrated Communications Systems. "The MMPU contract, along with our protected SATCOM contract for the Navy Multiband Terminal and our efforts on the Army's Secure Mobile Anti Jam Reliable Tactical Terminal, demonstrates our innovative technology solutions."
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Eos, the "Uncrowded, Uncompromising" choice for travel between New York and London today announced that it is expanding its schedule and route network with daily service between London's Stansted Airport and Dubai International Airport starting on July 6, 2008. Eos will also enhance its existing service to the New York/New Jersey metropolitan area with the launch of service between New Jersey's Newark International Airport and London's Stansted Airport effective May 5th. Eos will begin issuing tickets for travel between Newark and London starting mid-February and will begin issuing tickets for travel between London and Dubai in March.
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Munich Airport is a giant among European airports in terms of growth: With the biggest passenger increase in its history – a gain of 3.2 million – the airport ramped up its passenger volume to a new record level of approximately 34 million in 2007. This represents a 10.4 percent increase over the previous year. Among Europe's Top 10 airports, only Madrid achieved a faster growth rate. The booming traffic figures were also reflected in the airport's business results: After depreciation and taxes, FMG, the Munich Airport operating company, preliminary figures show after-tax earnings of approximately 45 million euros. Total revenues amounted to approximately 793 million euros. In terms of the entire FMG Group – in other words including the subsidiaries – our total revenues actually topped the 1 billion euro mark for the first time. Thanks to the above-average traffic growth again last year Munich Airport solidified its hold on seventh place in the rankings of Europe's busiest airports. In the global ranking Munich also moved up again, rising from 30th to 28th. "With this performance, the Munich hub has stepped up the speed of its rapid rise in the rankings of the global air transportation hubs. This is a substantial boost to our economy and especially for employment and prosperity in Bavaria," said FMG CEO, Dr. Michael Kerkloh, at the annual press conference.
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EADS Defence & Security (DS) in Spain, through its integrated business unit Military Air Systems, has been awarded a contract for the integration of an automatic flight inspection system in a Cessna Citation V C.560 aircraft for the Spanish Air Force, resulting of a public tender process. The Spanish Air Force has awarded a budget of Euro 8 million for execution of this contract. Among the available automatic flight inspection systems, EADS DS has selected the UNIFIS 3000 system, produced by the Norwegian company NSM, a leading company in inspection equipments for the navigation aids systems, as the best choice. A second-hand Cessna Citation V C.560 aircraft, in which the mentioned integration will be carried out, has also to be acquired. The Spanish Air Force has specifically requested the selection of this model of aircraft, presenting similar characteristics of several further aircraft (TR-20) already in operation by the Cartographic Centre of the SAF. On top of its role as integrator, EADS DS will be responsible of the entire logistic support, including technical documentation, training courses and spares.
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The Lockheed Martin A2100 communications satellite fleet recently achieved a major milestone by accumulating 200 years of successful in-orbit operations.The A2100 satellite series, designed and manufactured at Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems (LMCSS), currently consists of 34 satellites featuring 1254 transponders with an accumulated lifetime of over 7800 years of successful operations in orbit. The first A2100 satellite, AMC-1, was launched Sept. 8, 1996 for SES AMERICOM. SIRIUS 4, the most recent A2100 spacecraft, was successfully launched on Nov. 18, 2007 for SES SIRIUS. Upcoming launches include AMC-14 for SES AMERICOM in mid-March and VINASAT-1, built for Vietnamese Posts and Telecommunications Group, in April. AMC-14 will carry a demonstration active phased array (APA) payload consisting of a receive mode APA antenna, allowing customers enhanced flexibility on orbit. VINASAT-1 represents the first ever spacecraft procurement by the nation of Vietnam.
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Hawker Beechcraft Corporation (HBC) achieved certification by the Federal Aviation Association on the newest aircraft in the Hawker family, the new light-midsize Hawker 750, on February 8, 2008. The Hawker 750 utilizes the fuselage and wings of the world's best-selling, midsize Hawker 800-series, providing the largest cabin in the light-midsize aircraft segment. "The Hawker 750 has opened a new customer segment for Hawker Beechcraft Corporation and has been so successful that the next available units are in 2010," said Brad Hatt, president, Commercial Aircraft. "This aircraft has the perfect combination of reliability and operating efficiency, while incorporating a large luxurious cabin with internal and external baggage areas."
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Lufthansa Technik was recently assigned a special task: From now on, the Hamburg-based company will support the Airbus A320 research aircraft belonging to the German Aerospace Center (DLR) under a Total Technical Support TTS contract. The contract will initially run for a period of two years, with the option of a two-year renewal. The DLR uses the Airbus A320 for a wide variety of tasks in the context of its world-renowned research activities. One particular challenge of this maintenance program is the fact that the DLR aircraft spends far less time in actual flight than normal commercial airliners. No more than 200 flight hours have been scheduled for the coming period due to the special nature of research and experimental flights. Each flight requires intensive preparation and follow-up work, including what are often very substantial modifications to the equipment of the aircraft itself. The recently agreed all-inclusive service package to be provided by Lufthansa Technik includes the supply and repair of components and all necessary checks of the aircraft and its engines. In addition, Lufthansa Technik will assist the DLR with future modification work.
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Boeing and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines celebrated the delivery of the airline's first 777-300ER (Extended Range). The airplane joined KLM's fleet of 15 Boeing 777-200ERs when it arrived at Amsterdam Schiphol airport on Wednesday, Feb. 13.
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SAFRAN, the international high-technology group with leadership positions in its core businesses of aerospace propulsion, aircraft equipment, defense & security and communications, announced its results for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2007. The Group's operating income jumped over 50% to Euro706 million, and net income more than doubled, despite an unfavorable U.S. dollar exchange rate. 2007 sales were Euro 12,003 million, a 5.9% increase over 2006. At December 31, 2007, net debt stood at Euro169 million, versus €419 million a year earlier. A dividend of 0.40 euro per share will be proposed at the Annual General Meeting of Shareholders. Chief Executive Officer Jean-Paul Herteman said: "I am delighted to announce that our Group surpassed its financial objectives for 2007. In addition to a 5.9% increase in sales, already announced, we have posted an operating margin of euro706 million, equal to 5.9% of sales, outpacing our initial objective of 5%. This figure also represented an increase of nearly 52% over the previous year. The Group's share of net income stood at Euro406 million. These results once again demonstrate SAFRAN's ability to resist the impact of fluctuations in the U.S. dollar. We were able to offset this impact through a two-pronged approach, by improving our productivity and through a structural increase in the sale of spare parts, which generate high margins. This performance is also reflected in significant cash generation, resulting in free cash flow of Euro428 million for 2007. We will propose to the Annual General Meeting of Shareholders a dividend of 0.40 euro per share, in line with our results, our outlook and our policy of a 40% payout."
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Boeing completed Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certification requirements for Japan's first KC-767 Tanker, receiving the FAA stamp of approval in the form of a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC). "The Japan Air Self-Defense Force asked us to complete passenger and main deck cargo certifications beyond what is normally performed on military aircraft, and we have received our FAA STC for those capabilities," said George Hildebrand, Boeing KC-767 Japan program manager. "Boeing is ready to deliver the first tankers in Japan's history and the most advanced tanker in the world today."
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Boeing celebrated a milestone for the T-45 Goshawk, the U.S. Navy's premier jet trainer aircraft, which this week flew its 800,000  hour in its 15th year of service with the Naval Air Training Command. The twin-seat, single-engine Goshawk prepares student aviators to transition to front-line Navy and Marine Corps fleet aircraft. The Goshawk is a component of the fully integrated T-45 training system, which comprises high-fidelity instrument and flight simulators, computer-assisted classroom learning, an automated training-management asset and contractor logistics support. More than 3,000 student aviators from the Navy, Marine Corps and several international militaries have received instruction on the system at naval air stations in Meridian, Miss., and Kingsville, Texas, before earning their coveted "Wings of Gold."
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In 2007 the air rescue alliance TEAM DRF was alerted to more missions than ever before. The number rose to 39,111 missions: 2,612 or 7.2 percent more missions were flown compared to the year before.  Among the most frequent reasons for missions were life-threatening illnesses – such as heart attacks or strokes – as well as accidents. In Germany alone the TEAM DRF-helicopters transported 3,685 patients who had suffered apoplexy to specialised hospitals. Additionally the crews brought quick help to 3,084 patients with heart attacks. 3,168 persons who had been injured in road accidents got fast help by emergency physicians flown in by TEAM DRF-helicopters. On average the TEAM DRF-crews were on mission 107 times a day. One main reason for the increase in the mission numbers is to be found in the structural changes the German health system is un-dergoing currently. Regions of weak infrastructure are confronted with a growing lack of ground-based emergency physicians. As a consequence, the air rescue provided by the TEAM DRF is gaining more and more importance for a complete medical emergency care of the population. Due to the implementation of modern therapies and the changes in hospital structures emergency patients are transported to more distant specialised clinics once they have been given first treatment on the spot. Furthermore, the number of transports between hospitals is growing in order to transport patients under intensive care to specialised centres where they can be provided with the best care possible.
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CAE announced that its new company in India, CAE-Macmet, has been awarded contracts by India's Ministry of Defence valued at approximately C$7 million to provide simulation systems to both the Indian Navy and Indian Air Force. CAE-Macmet will provide the Indian Navy with an action speed tactical trainer (ASTT) and provide the Indian Air Force with two Dornier DO-228 flight training devices and one MiG-21M fixed-base simulator. CAE-Macmet was established last year following CAE's acquisition of Macmet Technologies, a leading simulation company of India. The CAE-Macmet ASTT will be delivered to the Indian Navy Maritime Warfare Centre at Kochi. The ASTT is a tactical training system used by Navy commanders to practice and rehearse tactical doctrines in typical combat situations encountered at sea. CAE-Macmet will also network the new system to an existing ASTT system in use at the Maritime Warfare Centre at Mumbai. This would be the first time in India that two simulation systems at different geographical locations would be networked together. The MiG-21 simulator will be delivered to the Indian Air Force station in Gujarat. The simulator will feature a dome display with 330 by 210 degree field-of-view, electric control loading system, and a fully representative cockpit of the MiG-21M fighter aircraft. The Indian Air Force operates a fleet of more than 100 MiG-21 aircraft.
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Hawker Beechcraft Acquisition Company (HBAC) reported sales of $2,793.4 million and operating income of $148.3 million for the nine months ending December 31, 2007. During this time period, the Company delivered 351 business and general aviation aircraft. Included in the operating results were non-recurring, non-cash charges of $105.2 million resulting from the step-up in the cost basis of finished goods and work in process inventory in accordance with purchase accounting related to the acquisition of the business from Raytheon Company and $48.1 million in increased depreciation and amortization expense, also non-cash, due to the purchase accounting step-up in the cost basis of long term assets. The Company, including its predecessor Raytheon Aircraft, delivered 430 business and general aviation aircraft in 2007, comprised of 162 jet, 157 turbo-prop and 111 piston aircraft, as compared to 400 in 2006. The company obtained FAA type certification for three of its newest King Air models during the fourth quarter and delivered four King Air 350ER's, 24 King Air B200GT's and 10 King Air C90GTi's. The Company recorded net bookings of $5.1 billion for the nine months ending December 31, 2007, resulting in a record backlog of $6.3 billion.
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The aviation services industry has a new player -- gategroup, an umbrella brand representing global airline catering provider Gate Gourmet and its recent acquisitions.  "We are proud and excited to introduce gategroup, a unique partnership of 11 brands that offer airline and other travel-industry customers comprehensive end-to-end solutions. These range from cuisine to cabin cleaning to sophisticated supply chain management and everything in between," said David Siegel, Chairman and CEO of gategroup. At the group's core is Gate Gourmet, the world's largest independent provider of airline catering, provisioning and logistics. Over the past year, Gate Gourmet embarked on a strategic plan to update its business model through acquisitions to expand choices for its customers. "We felt we needed a new brand with a clearly defined identity to reflect the diversity of the group, yet with an identification that honors our past and retains the market recognition enjoyed by Gate Gourmet. The gategroup name fulfills that need," Siegel said.
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Boeing and Tata Industries of India have agreed on a plan to form a joint-venture company that will initially include more than US$500 million of defense-related aerospace component work in India for export to Boeing and its international customers. Under the memorandum of agreement signed by Boeing and Tata, it is contemplated that the joint-venture company will be established by June 2008, and shortly thereafter will begin work building Boeing aerospace components. "I am very excited to announce this agreement," said Jim Albaugh, president and CEO of Boeing Integrated Defense Systems. "It represents another step in our commitment to India, in this case by linking the capabilities and heritages of these two companies, in order to bring real and lasting value to India's aerospace industry, while making Boeing products more globally competitive."
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Test pilot students at the renowned Empire Test Pilots' School (ETPS), MOD Boscombe Down in the United Kingdom, will continue to have access to fly Sweden´s new generation Gripen fighter under the recently signed agreement with Saab. The agreement marks the 10th anniversary of collaboration between Saab and ETPS, which is an integral part of the UK Aircraft Test and Evaluation Centre (ATEC), and is operated by QinetiQ in partnership with the UK MOD. This new agreement for 2008 will mirror the structured approach of the successful 2005-2007 campaigns, with two flying training campaigns in Sweden per year.  The 2008 training campaigns will be for seven international students, each of whom will fly up to 11 hours on Gripen across seven sorties with their ETPS Instructor Pilots (IP's).
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Composite Engineering Inc (CEi) announced the recent successful flight demonstration of their newest unmanned aerial target system.  The new aircraft, called the BQM-167X accomplished sustained supersonic flight at the US Navy Pt. Mugu Test Range on January 31, 2008.  The flight was part of a demonstration contract awarded to CEi by the US Navy in September of 2006 for an advanced high performance aerial target system capable of very high subsonic low altitude performance. Designed and manufactured by CEi at their Sacramento Ca. facility, the aircraft is propelled by a Microturbo turbojet engine from their Grand Prairie Texas facility and an avionics suite manufactured by Microsystems, a Herley Industries company located in Ft Walton Beach Florida.
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The GE Rolls-Royce Fighter Engine Team has successfully completed its Critical Design Review, a major milestone in the F136 engine development program. The F136 engine is a 40,000+ lb. thrust combat engine that will be available to power all variants of the F-35 Lightning II aircraft for the US military and eight partner nations. During Critical Design Review (CDR), the US Government's Joint Program Office for the F-35 Lightning II validates and approves the design of the engine. During that review, every aspect of the engine design is analyzed and evaluated in order to proceed with the building of the first full development engines. The process involved 80 detailed component and module design reviews, involving technical experts from the JPO, General Electric and Rolls-Royce. Completion of CDR is an important step that signifies the F136 program is moving from early design phases toward production.
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Bombardier Aerospace announced that Mohammed Abu Ghazaleh, chairman of Arab Wings, has placed a firm order for a high-speed Global 5000 jet, with the Global Vision cockpit, making him the Middle East launch customer for the all-new flight deck. Scheduled for delivery in 2011, the aircraft will be operated by Arab Wings and available for charter from its Amman, Jordan, base. "The Global 5000 jet offers a luxurious cabin, a sleek interior and exceptional performance," said Sameer Hdairis, general manager, Arab Wings. "The addition of this state-of-the-art jet to our fleet along with our widebody Challenger 604, and Challenger 605 aircraft, enables us to offer a superb range of charter options to our customers."
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Synergy Aerospace, the Latin-American consortium, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for ten A350-800s and ten options. This further commitment comes in addition to the 47 A320 Family aircraft and ten A330-200s that its subsidiaries already have on order, making it a key customer for Airbus in Latin America. Synergy Aerospace, is a shareholder of Avianca and SAM in Colombia, Oceanair in Brazil and VIP in Ecuador.
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The first A330 MRTT prototype MSN747 has landed at EADS MTAD facilities in Getafe, Madrid after completing Phase 1 of the flight testing that has been primarily devoted to civil certification. EADS MTAD has officially announced the conclusion of a key Australian A330 MRTT programme milestone. Flight Test Phase 1 has been conducted in just 3 months logging up a total of 63 flights and 202 flight hours. During this phase, the A330 MRTT has proven to be extremely reliable fulfilling the flight test programme in accordance to the flight test schedule. The A330 MRTT has behaved as expected, showing that the modifications introduced to the MRTT configuration (including refuelling pods and boom) had no significant effect on the aircraft's performance. The flight test programme has met all defined test objectives. The flight test campaign was oriented to analyze the behavior of the aircraft with regard to the following disciplines: anemometry & clinometry, handling qualities, buffet, flutter, loads, performance, flight controls (new tanker and receiver adapted control laws), new autopilot mode (bank angle) and the antenna re-location.
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Rockwell Collins announced that a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) for its Pro Line 21 Integrated Display System (IDS) on King Air 200 aircraft with a SPZ 200 autopilot is now available to dealers. The installation was completed by Superior Aircraft Maintenance in Medford, Ore. "This announcement marks our ongoing effort to make more Pro Line 21 IDS STC's available to our dealers around the world, which ultimately reduces downtime and lowers operators' installation costs," said Denny Helgeson, vice president and general manager, Business and Regional Systems for Rockwell Collins. " Other Pro Line 21 IDS STC's owned by Rockwell Collins include the Falcon 50, Piaggio P-180 and Hawker 800A. Pending STC's include the King Air C90 and Falcon 20.
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Lufthansa Passenger Airlines have continued their growth in the new year and fully sold its expanded capacity in the market. Revenue passenger kilometres went up 7.0 per cent on the previous year and the passenger load factor improved by 0.9 percentage points to 76.9 per cent. Passenger numbers showed a correspondingly sharp rise of 7.6 per cent to 4.1 million. In January Swiss International Air Lines welcomed 0.9 million passengers on board. With capacity increased by 10.8 per cent, the passenger load factor decreased by 1.1 percentage points on the previous year. Together, Lufthansa and SWISS carried 5.1 million passengers. The overall passenger load factor was up 0.5 percentage points to 76.5 per cent.
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For Austrian Airlines, the highest priority at all times is the safety of the passengers and employees of the company. Additional improvements for more security have been implemented during the last months together with the local authorities. Having conducted a detailed examination of conditions in Iraq, and based on the security situation as it stands at present, Austrian Airlines will resume flights to Erbil from 2 April 2008 onwards. The situation in the region is still being continuously monitored in cooperation with the security authorities, enabling the company to act without delay in the event of any irregularities or changes in the situation. Three flights a week (on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays) are planned for April and May and four a week (including Sunday) from June onwards. As a result, a direct service to Erbil will be reincorporated into the Austrian route network, opening up numerous new connecting flights for passengers.
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Harris Corporation, an international communications and information technology company, is providing its JTRS-approved Falcon III AN/PRC-152 handheld radios to the U.S. Army to extend the communications capabilities of soldiers serving in mountainous and urban environments. The Army is installing Falcon III AN/PRC-152 radios in Shadow 200 Unmanned Aerial Vehicles as part of a relay system to significantly extend the distance communication signals can travel. The radios provide critical aerial communication links for soldiers on the ground operating in obstructed line- of-sight environments. The Army selected the Falcon III AN/PRC-152 after extensive performance testing and field evaluations involving several potential vendors.  
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Pratt & Whitney has successfully completed Phase I sea-level performance and acoustic testing on the full-scale Geared Turbofan demonstrator engine ahead of schedule. The engine will now be configured with the flight nacelle system for Phase II ground testing beginning in April in preparation for flight testing on Pratt & Whitney's 747SP flying test bed in mid-2008. Pratt & Whitney is a division of United Technologies Corp. "The Geared Turbofan engine's performance has been outstanding and all initial test results have validated the game-changing benefits of this new product," said Bob Saia, vice president, Pratt & Whitney Next Generation Product Family. "The initial results surpassed our pre-test predictions, demonstrating the fuel burn, noise and emissions characteristics of this new architecture. We look forward to fully analyzing all of the data from these initial tests and entering into the next phase of the development program." The Geared Turbofan demonstrator engine has logged a total of 130 hours since ground testing began in November 2007. Running from idle to full power, Phase I testing validated the design of the fan, low pressure compressor, fan drive gear system and thermal management system to demonstrate the Geared Turbofan engine's operational efficiency.  
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With the space sector currently contributing approximately £7 billion to the UK economy, Science and Innovation Minister Ian Pearson announced how the UK would continue to be at the forefront of this expanding sector. This will include: Continued UK involvement in Earth observation, space science and telecoms developments; establishing an international space facility at Harwell, Oxfordshire, which will focus on climate change, robotic space exploration and applications; closer involvement in international initiatives on the future shape of space exploration to the Moon, Mars and beyond; and, setting up a National Space Technology Programme to support the development of new, innovative technologies and services. Ian Pearson said: "Space technology is a vital part of our everyday life, and satellite communications and space technology provide strong business opportunities for the future. Applications from space underpin today's major business sectors. They provide essential information to understand the Earth's environment, changing climate and weather and they enable great strides to be made in the scientific understanding of our Solar System and beyond; and, provide innovative tools for enhancing our quality of life."
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Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) has selected five companies as partner suppliers to provide major systems for the Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ), a next-generation regional aircraft. After formal decision of authorization to offer (ATO) in October 2007, MHI has been conducting full-scale marketing activities of the advanced regional jet to potential customer airlines worldwide. The selection of the partner suppliers announced today is another significant step forward toward the formal decision on the MRJ program launch currently scheduled for this spring. The five partner suppliers announced today - three U.S. and two Japanese companies - and the systems they will provide are: Parker Aerospace (head office in California and Hydraulic Systems Division in Michigan): Hydraulic system; Hamilton Sundstrand Corporation (head office in Connecticut and Aerospace Div. in Illinois): Electrical power system, air management system, auxiliary power unit, inert gas system, high lift actuation system, and fire & overheat protection system; Rockwell Collins (head office in Iowa): Flight control system; Nabtesco Corporation (head office in Tokyo): Flight control system; Sumitomo Precision Products Co., Ltd. (head office in Hyogo): Landing gear.  
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Bell Helicopter Textron was awarded a not-to-exceed $19,893,884 cost-plus-fixed-fee delivery order against a previously issued basic ordering agreement (N00019-06-G-0001) for two non-recurring engineering (NRE) efforts associated with the manufacture of a minimum of 40 build new AH-1Z aircraft for the U.S. Marine Corps.  
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QinetiQ welcomed a joint report on lunar exploration by NASA and the British National Space Centre (BNSC) that outlines next steps in possible US-UK co-operation on space exploration. The report identifies the MoonLITE mission, in which QinetiQ is set to play a key role, as "the primary mission for potential cooperation." MoonLITE, which stands for Moon Lightweight Interior and Telecoms Experiment, is a UK-led robotic mission that could pave the way for future human activities on the Moon. The mission would involve sending an orbiter to deploy small missile-like probes called penetrators that would impact the lunar surface at high speed and embed instruments into the ground. As part of a consortium led by the Mullard Space Science Laboratory at University College London, QinetiQ would be responsible for supplying the impact resistant penetrator bodies for the mission. Once deployed the scientific instruments within the penetrators would send measurements back to the Earth, revealing the internal structure of the Moon.
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The US Air Force announced that the office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Acquisition, Technology and Logistics) has certified the C-5 Reliability Enhancement and Re-engining Program for 49 additional aircraft. The C-5s approved include 47 C-5Bs used for inter-theater airlift and 2 C-5Cs used primarily for domestic missions supporting the space program. Three C-5s have already been modernized. The restructured program did not include the 62 C-5A models. Continuing the C-5B RERP allows the Air Force to modify aircraft with better, newer structures with defensive systems at an overall savings to the taxpayer. The overall objective of the RERP is to improve C-5 fleet reliability, availability, and aircraft performance. The program has been re-designated as an Acquisition Category 1D and the Department of Defense will have executive oversight. All C-5s are still programmed to receive the Avionics Modernization Program (AMP) modification, which replaces obsolete navigation, communication and surveillance equipment. AMP provides the digital architecture backbone needed for RERP. Projected RERP cost overruns led the Air Force to submit a Nunn-McCurdy cost-breach declaration to Congress last year. 
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NASA has awarded a contract modification valued at $812.5 million to ATK Launch Systems, of Brigham City, Utah, for continued delivery of space shuttle reusable solid rocket motors. The modification changes the current contract to align production to launch schedule requirements through Sept. 30, 2010. The modification reflects adjustments made in the shuttle manifest and makes deliveries consistent with the planned retirement of the space shuttle in September 2010. ATK Launch Systems Inc. will produce and refurbish flight and ground-test reusable solid rocket motors for the Space Shuttle Program on this cost-plus-award fee contract, which was awarded in October 1998.
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Final assembly started on 15 February on the second flight-test airplane for the all-new Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Loaded snugly into the first position of the 787 production system, workers in the Everett, Wash.-based factory can now begin joining together the fuselage sections and wings. All major joins take place in this position. While this is the second of six flight-test airplanes, this Dreamliner is actually the fourth on the production line. It follows the two airplanes that will be used for static and fatigue testing.
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Boeing has signed an associate contractor's agreement (ACA) with five other aerospace companies to work together on the Ares I upper stage. The agreement will save NASA time and resources by ensuring its contractors work together seamlessly. The ACA was formed with those companies that have key contracts with Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) in Huntsville, Ala., on the Ares I upper stage. Participating companies include Aerojet, Boeing, Hamilton Sundstrand, Jacobs Engineering Group Inc., Moog Inc., and Teledyne Brown Engineering Inc. "The Ares I upper stage associates are being proactive and using the resources of our respective companies to resolve technical issues before they become problems for NASA," said Jim Chilton, Boeing vice president and program manager of Exploration Launch Systems. Roger Campbell, Ares I upper stage program integration manager for Boeing, added, "NASA has encouraged us to use this approach to work together, transition complementary activities and resolve issues ourselves wherever possible." Boeing uses a similar approach on the International Space Station program.
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Reduced A380 transition training for A320 Family, A330 or A340 qualified pilots has been jointly approved by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA). The latest approval was obtained for the transition training from A320 Family aircraft to the A380 on 7th February 2008. This means that, for example, a pilot flying Airbus' smallest aircraft, the A318, can be qualified to fly the A380 in 13 working days. It offers operators significant cost savings since training times can be halved compared to standard type rating courses. Reduced transition training, known as Airbus Cross Crew Qualification (CCQ), is only possible due to the unique flight operational commonality between Airbus fly-by-wire aircraft. Fifteen Airbus models, from the A318 through to the A380 and including the three new models of the A350 XWB Family, feature very similar flight decks and similar handling characteristics thanks to fly-by-wire technology. Commonality is a fundamental design criterion for Airbus as demonstrated by the fact that CCQ is available now for all combinations of Airbus fly-by-wire aircraft in service.
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China Eastern Airlines took delivery of the third of its three Airbus A300-600Fs at EADS EFW´s facility in Dresden, Germany. The airframe bearing the Manufacturer Serial Number (MSN) 525 was formerly operated by the Chinese airline itself as a passenger aircraft. The conversion into freighter configuration started in late September 2007. China Eastern Airlines` first and second A300-600 aircraft bearing the MSN 532 and 521 were both converted in 2007.
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07.11.2016

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