04.01.2008
FLUG REVUE

2007-09-16 - News in briefNews in Brief

KURZMELDUNGEN<br /> +++<br /> Two weeks after his arrival in Toulouse, Airbus President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Tom Enders has appointed his top management team.

The new Airbus Executive Committee (EC) will comprise nine members, three less than previously. Confirmed EC Members are Chief Operating Officer (COO) Fabrice Brégier, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Hans Peter Ring, COO Customers John Leahy, Executive Vice President (EVP) Programmes Tom Williams; EVP Engineering Patrick Gavin, and EVP Operations Gerald Weber. New appointees to the Airbus Executive Committee are Thierry Baril (42) as EVP Human Resources, effective October 1st 2007, and Klaus Richter (43) as EVP Procurement, who will join Airbus on November 1st 2007. Since the departure of the previous function heads, HR and Procurement have been lead by EADS HR Director Jussi Itävuori and Tom Williams respectively. Furthermore, Christian Scherer (45) is appointed EVP Strategy and Future Programmes, reporting directly to the CEO. The appointments were agreed by EADS CEO. Fabrice Brégier, Airbus' No. 2, will continue to have operational responsibility for Power8, the company's wide-ranging restructuring and change programme. His other main responsibilities include the EC functions Operations, Engineering and Procurement, and the A350 programme.  
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Japan has launched its Kaguya moon spacecraft on 13 September. The three-ton lunar orbiter was propelled into space by a H-2A rocket from the Tanegashima Space Center launch site. The probe was slated to circle the Earth twice before beginning a five-day trek to the moon, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has said. Formally known as SELENE, short for SELenological and ENgineering Explorer, Kaguya carries 14 science instruments and two small microsatellites to make detailed maps of the moon's surface, probe its interior and study the lunar gravitational field. Kaguya's 55 billion-yen (about $480 million) mission is slated to run about one year. The mission's launch comes after eight years of development and a series of delays, most recently due to improperly installed condensers on Kaguya's small satellite passengers.
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AeroVironment, a leader in unmanned aircraft systems and efficient electric energy systems, today announced that it has received an order to supply the Danish Army Operational Command with RQ 11 B, Raven B small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS). The order includes 12 systems, logistics support and training services, for a total value of $2.4 million.  Each Raven B system typically consists of three aircraft, a hand-held ground control station, a remote viewing terminal, systems spares, and related services. Three of the Raven B systems are planned for delivery to the Jægerkorpset (Army Special Forces), with the remainder destined for troop testing by deployed units at the Danish Army's Artillery Training Center. 
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A second incident has occurred involving the collapse of a right main landing gear shortly after touchdown on a Q400 aircraft operated by SAS. The first incident occurred at Aalborg, Denmark on September 9, 2007. The second incident occurred on September 12, 2007 at Vilnius, Lithuania. There were no reported injuries amongst the crew of four and 48 passengers on board the second aircraft. As a precautionary measure, Bombardier and Goodrich, the landing gear manufacturer, recommend in an All Operator Message (AOM) that operators of Q400 aircraft having accumulated more than 10,000 landing gear cycles (a cycle is one take-off and landing), be grounded until an inspection of the landing gear is carried out. Bombardier has delivered more than 160 Q400 aircraft to airlines around the world, of these there are currently about 60 Q400 aircraft with more than 10,000 landing gear cycles. Transport Canada (TC) has been briefed on these recent events and Bombardier is working with TC to establish the requirement for further corrective actions, if required.
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Rockwell Collins' HGS-6605 Head-Up Guidance System (HGS) will be a new option for Bombardier Challenger 605. "This agreement builds on a long tradition of providing Bombardier with industry-leading head-up display technology. We've had a successful track record with our systems on Bombardier Challenger 604, CRJ and Q-series platforms, and we look forward to delivering the latest advancements on the Challenger 605," said John Desmond, vice president, Head-Up Guidance Systems for Rockwell Collins. "With this agreement, even more Bombardier operators will enjoy the benefits of enhanced low-visibility operations, improved energy management and dependability." "The Bombardier Enhanced Vision System featuring the Rockwell Collins HGS, combined with the Challenger 605 jet's Pro Line 21 flight deck is outstanding," said Eric Martel, vice-president and general manager, Challenger and Global programs. "We are delighted to offer such a fantastic option to our customers." The Rockwell Collins HGS-6600 series, featuring advanced active-matrix liquid crystal display technology, presents critical flight information in the pilot's forward field of view.  Aircraft flight path and attitude symbols appear overlaying the outside scene enhancing situational awareness, improving energy management and increasing touchdown precision. The Rockwell Collins industry-leading HGS provides the brightest image over the widest head up display field-of-view while significantly improving installed head clearance.
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Lockheed Martin announced that it has successfully mated the spacecraft bus and the payload for the first Space-Based Infrared System (SBIRS) geosynchronous orbit (GEO-1) satellite. SBIRS will provide early warning of ballistic missile launches and support other missions simultaneously, including missile defense, technical intelligence and battlespace awareness. The GEO-1 bus is the structural foundation of the satellite and includes an integrated propulsion system as well as other critical subsystems for communications, attitude control, thermal control, command and data handling.
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Kaman Corporation's Helicopters Segment will play a key role in future Sikorsky BLACK HAWK and SEAHAWKâ helicopter production under a three-year Memorandum of Agreement recently executed between Sikorsky Aircraft and Kaman. Kaman will join a significant number of cabin, cockpit, tail cone and landing gear assemblies for UH-60L, MH-60S, and UH-60M BLACK HAWK and SEAHAWK helicopters. Work will be performed by Kaman's existing workforce of highly skilled engineers, technicians, assemblers, and support personnel at HeliworX, the company's rotorcraft innovation and manufacturing support center in Bloomfield, Conn. The BLACK HAWK and SEAHAWK helicopters are in service with a range of customers worldwide, including the U.S. Army and U.S. Navy. HeliworX leverages Kaman's existing organizational infrastructure and the depth of its helicopter experience to meet a growing need for value-added engineering, manufacturing, and integration services. With capabilities ranging from the manufacture of metallic and composite subassemblies to all-composite rotors, to airframe integration and installations, HeliworX brings a new level of competence to America's rotorcraft supply chain, Bordonaro said. "Prime contractors know they can count on Kaman to deliver the products they need and the quality they expect for a value-added solution."
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Boeing and Arik Air, Nigeria's newest commercial carrier, announced an order for 10 Next-Generation 737-800s, four 787-9s and one 777-300ER (Extended Range). The order is valued at approximately $1.8 billion at list prices. The 777-300ER was previously booked as unidentified on Boeing's Orders & Deliveries website. Arik's 10 737-800s and four 787-9s will be added at the next scheduled website update.
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Even with the massive declines in U.S. funding for anti-ship missiles, Boeing remains this market's top provider. According to Larry Dickerson, Senior Missile Analyst at Forecast International, "Boeing's current success is based on international orders for its Harpoon II, but a future surge is attributed to U.S. Navy plans to acquire the Harpoon III." Forecast International's "The Market for Anti-Ship Missiles" analysis reports that nearly 13,000 anti-ship missiles worth an estimated $7.9 billion will be built over the next 10 years. Boeing is expected to garner about $1.5 billion in revenues from anti-ship missile sales during that time, followed by MBDA with $789 million in sales. "China will build the largest number of anti-ship missiles and generate a lot of revenue, but Beijing's export successes have been minimal," said Dickerson. "Chinese missiles are appealing to countries with limited budgets or those without access to weapons from Europe, North America or even Russia. North Korea and Iran fall into this latter category." Russia will manufacture nearly as many missiles as the United States, but the value produced will be considerably less. "Low prices, even for advanced missiles, do not always translate into large market share," notes Dickerson. "Russia has been unable to expand its customer base beyond old Soviet clients."
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NetJets Europe announced a comprehensive new programme to address climate change. The NetJets Europe Climate Initiative will ensure that the carbon emissions from all the company's activities will be fully neutralised by 2012. "Our programme is unique, comprehensive and far-reaching" says Mark Booth, Chairman and CEO. "We believe it positions NetJets Europe as an industry and commercial leader in addressing climate change. We are tackling issues in a meaningful way today, but our ultimate objective is to help find a solution to aircraft emissions long term." The company is investing in technological innovation that, if successful, can bring about dramatic change to aviations environmental impact. NetJets is supporting research at Princeton University in the development of an ultra-low emission jet fuel for today's jet engines. According to Mark Booth, "we want to see if we can fix the problem, not just mitigate it". The company spent significant time securing an offset provider and emission reduction projects that they are confident will genuinely benefit the environment. After reviewing 29 different providers, NetJets Europe is working with EcoSecurities which is based in Oxford, England. The company is investing in Verified Emissions Reductions (pre-registration offsets) from Kyoto-level CDM registered projects to offset the carbon emissions of both the company and its clients. Particular care has been taken to ensure that the offset projects undertaken are genuinely additional under the definition introduced in Article 12.5 of the Kyoto Protocol. Only projects which achieve CO2 reductions that would not have happened without carbon financing are certified under the Kyoto Clean Development Mechanism (CDM).
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The £124m Taranis unmanned air vehicle (UAV) technology demonstrator programme led by BAE Systems, has moved closer to reality. The release of computer-aided design (CAD) models to the manufacturing team for the first machined parts allows the machine tools to be prepared and programmed in advance of the first metal for Taranis being cut later this month. These first parts include a centre fuselage frame and a major machining within the intake duct. The release of the design models represents a significant transition from the design phase into the detailed design and manufacturing phase of the programme.  
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BAE Systems and the Defence Equipment and Support organisation have taken another significant step towards establishing a Partnered Through-life Availability Support solution for the Typhoon weapon system. The signing of a £10.9 million, two year contract will deliver a 50% increase in on-aircraft maintenance and upgrade capability at RAF Coningsby to meet the demands of the expanding Typhoon force, and will establish an initial BAE Systems maintenance presence on the RAF site. This contract follows on from a Whole Aircraft Scheduled Maintenance and Upgrade contract signed at BAE Systems Warton site last November and supports the underlying principles behind the Government's Defence Industrial Strategy by strengthening through-life support and ensuring continued sovereign capability. Under the contract, the Typhoon Maintenance and Upgrade (TMU) facility at RAF Coningsby, will be jointly managed and manned by BAE Systems and the RAF, minimising aircraft down-time by conducting scheduled maintenance at the same time as ongoing aircraft upgrades. The contract builds on the proven principles of the Harrier 'Joint Upgrade and Maintenance Programme' and the Tornado 'Combined Maintenance Upgrade' contracts and is part of the overall Defence Logistics Transformation Programme.  
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Pratt & Whitney qualified the F135 engine test cell at Patuxent River (Pax River) Naval Air Station in Maryland. Modifications of the existing engine test cell were required to handle the 40,000 pounds of thrust produced by the F135. Pratt & Whitney's F135 propulsion system powers the F-35 Lightning II advanced military aircraft. "By upgrading the Pax River test facility, we've added our third and final flight test center to perform carrier variant (CV) and short take-off/vertical landing (STOVL) propulsion system tests," said Bill Gostic, vice president, Pratt & Whitney F135 engine programs. "We are excited to partner with the Department of the Navy in support of the F-35 Lightning II flight test program."  
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Finmeccanica would like to state that the Turkish government has announced via its website that it has reached an agreement with AgustaWestland, a Finmeccanica company, in partnership with the Turkish Aviation Industry (TAI), in relation to the ATAK (Tactical Reconnaissance and Attack Helicopter) programme for the Turkish armed forces. Under the terms of the contract, Finmeccanica will supply 51 A129 helicopters for an estimated value, for AgustaWestland, of around EUR 1.2 billion. As explained in the statement issued by the Turkish government, the details of the contract will be announced during an official ceremony currently being finalised.
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Astrium has selected Arianespace to launch four satellites of the space segment of the ELISA demonstrator. The four ELISA satellites will be placed in heliosynchronous orbit by a Soyuz rocket to be launched from the Guiana Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana. They will be auxiliary passengers on the launch of the first Pléiades satellite in late 2009. Astrium is lead manager for the program, working with co-contractor Thales for French MoD procurement agency DGA. Astrium is prime contractor for the demonstration program, which comprises four satellites, each weighing about 135 kg. The satellites are built on a Myriade platform designed by French space agency CNES. ELISA (ELectronic Intelligence by SAtellite) satellites will use radar transmitters to map the entire globe, with precise feature definition. They are a first step towards the future ROEM (Renseignement d'Origine ElectroMagnétique) electromagnetic reconnaissance program.
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Last week, the Czech-and-Slovak private equity group Penta concluded its first acquisition in Western Europe by purchasing the British company Rotortech Limited, which manufactures composites for the aviation industry. The newly established company will be called Rotortech Aero Composites and after restructuring, it will probably become part of AERO Vodochody, which Penta owns as well. Immediately after the contract was signed, a new management team was established in the company, comprising of representatives from Penta and AERO Vodochody. "The acquisition of Rotortech confirms Penta's long-term interest in the aviation industry. AERO Vodochody is ready to increase the volume of production and compete with leading suppliers in the aviation industry. The acquisition of composites technology through Rotortech will boost AERO's position on the world's market of aerostructures and make it easier for the company to acquire new contracts," says Marek Dospiva, a partner at Penta.
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A cooperative effort between the U.S. Navy, U.S. Army, U.S. Marine Corps and Northrop Grumman Corporation resulted in the first ever transport of a Navy MQ-8B Fire Scout Vertical Take-off and Landing Tactical Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (VTUAV) in a Marine Corps KC-130T aircraft, flown by Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 234, Naval Air Station-Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth, Texas. As part of an ongoing Navy Fire Scout contract, this aircraft was transported from Northrop Grumman's Unmanned Systems Center in Moss Point, Miss., to Naval Air Station Patuxent River for flight test operations. The Navy is continuing Fire Scout developmental testing at nearby Webster Field, St. Inigoes, Md. A Navy MQ-8B Fire Scout was first loaded onto the KC-130T followed by an Army MQ-8B Future Combat Systems (FCS) Class IV UAV. Only the Navy Fire Scout was airlifted, but loading both vehicles demonstrated that a KC-130T tandem loadout is possible. Because transportation requirements for the KC-130 are the most restrictive, this flight certification will be updated to include other aircraft such as the C-5 and C-17. The vehicles were loaded using common procedures for both services, further demonstrating the versatility of the Fire Scout design. This activity allowed the Army to review MQ-8B FCS Class IV UAV transport capabilities early in the development process.  
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The Royal Australian Air Force's giant Boeing C-17A is now ready to perform operational tasks for Australia. The C-17 Globemaster has successfully completed eight months of intensive Introduction-into-Service activities, and has achieved Initial Operating Capability (IOC). Air Force has introduced this strategic asset safely, efficiently and in a relatively short period," Chief of Air Force Air Marshal Geoff Shepherd said. RAAF's first C-17 was delivered in December 2006, the second in May 2007. A further two will be delivered by mid-2008. The fleet of C-17A aircraft will provide a quantum leap in the Australian Defence Force's ability to rapidly airlift cargo and equipment in support of military and humanitarian operations. The C-17A is able to provide responsive global airlift – especially in crisis situations. The Globemaster has a load capacity of almost four times that of the C-130 Hercules. The C-17 project's A$2.2 billion budget includes the construction of permanent facilities for No. 36 Squadron and its support agencies at RAAF Base Amberley.  
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British Army intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities in southern Iraq were significantly boosted in mid-June when Hermes 450 unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) began operating in the region. Thales UK was awarded the Urgent Operational Requirement (UOR) contract by the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) earlier in the year to supply UK forces on current operations with Tactical UAV systems to provide an urgently needed enhanced intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance (ISTAR) capability. This UOR is being fulfilled by Thales UK through a highly innovative service provision contract and is delivering high-quality imagery and image intelligence to the Land Component Commander. The contract includes the provision of Hermes 450 UAV systems, as well as training of the UK MoD staff in the use and maintenance of the system, and the provision of contractor logistic support (CLS) and programme management services.
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AirCell, the leading wireless data and voice communications provider in business and commercial aviation, announced it is partnering with Virgin America to offer broadband Internet services for passengers traveling in the continental U.S. sometime in 2008. AirCell's new service will allow Virgin America guests to check e-mail, surf the Web, tap into an office network and stay current on the latest news, using either Virgin America's Red(TM) inflight entertainment system or their own Wi-Fi enabled laptops, Smartphones, PDAs, BlackBerrys and portable gaming systems -- while in flight. As part of the partnership, AirCell and Virgin America will integrate AirCell's broadband service into Virgin America's groundbreaking inflight entertainment system, Red(TM). In a first-of-its-kind deployment, Virgin America will launch the service across its entire fleet of aircraft.
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The Czech national carrier CSA Czech Airlines has purchased a further eight A319s, firming up options placed in the initial contract signed with Airbus in April 2005. CSA has now firmly ordered a total of 20 Airbus single aisle aircraft and holds another four on option. CSA Czech Airlines had selected the A320 Family to replace the older generation aircraft in its core European fleet, following a thorough evaluation of both the A320 Family and competing types.
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MacAir Airlines of Queensland, Australia, introduced into service Australia's first ATR 42-500 turboprop aircraft, launching a new era for Australian regional aviation, and further expanding the ATR presence in the Australasia-Pacific Islands region. The aircraft commenced service at 11:30 am, operating a flight from the coastal city of Townsville to the regional mining centre of Cloncurry. The MacAir ATR 42-500 – the largest aircraft in the carrier's fleet - will also be used to support several "fly in-fly out" services to remote mining communities in outback Queensland.
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The Danish and Swedish defence ministers Sören Gade and Sten Tolgfors, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) regarding Gripen during a visit to Saab in Linköping, Sweden. Denmark is planning to replace its ageing F-16 fleet of 48 aircraft within the next 10 to 15 years, and intends conducting a comprehensive evaluation of different aircraft types before making its selection. The MoU guarantees that all relevant Swedish information which is needed for the Danish evaluation of the Gripen fighter will be available. The signature of the MoU by the two defence ministers took place in the presence of the 'Gripen DK Team', comprising representatives from all the key industrial partners and suppliers from the Danish aerospace and defence industry. Sweden's new Defence Minister Sten Tolgfors said "This is an important agreement. We are very glad that Denmark is conducting an open and transparent selection process in considering the different candidates. We are confident that Gripen is a very competitive alternative which has already attracted significant international interest"  
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The Austrian Air Force has taken delivery of its second Eurofighter Typhoon weapon system following the arrival of the aircraft in Zeltweg. Industry test pilot Martin Angerer flew the aircraft from EADS Military Air Systems' Manching facility and, with the signature of the relevant handover documentation, the second Eurofighter Typhoon has been officially accepted into the ranks of the Austrian Air Force
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Travel Service a.s., the biggest private airline in the Czech Republic, and Lufthansa Technik, the leading provider of maintenance, repair and overhaul services for aircraft, their components and engines, have signed a new Total Engine Support TES contract. The airline currently operates eight aircraft, but plans to expand its fleet to 13 planes by 2010. Under the TES contract, Lufthansa Technik will maintain the engines  of the Boeing 737 NG aircraft over the next eight years. The services to be supplied under the agreement cover every aspect of the CFM56-7B engines.
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An unmanned Foton spacecraft, carrying a payload of more than 40 ESA experiments, was successfully launched. The Soyuz-U launcher lifted off from Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, at 13:00 CEST (11:00 GMT). Nearly 9 minutes later, the Russian Foton-M3 spacecraft separated from the rocket's upper stage and was inserted into a 300 km orbit that will carry it around the Earth once every 90 minutes. The Foton will spend 12 days in orbit, during which time the onboard experiments will be exposed to microgravity, and in some cases, to the harsh environment of open space, before re-entering the atmosphere and landing on the steppes near the Russian-Kazakh border. The 400 kg European payload includes experiments that will contribute to advances in many areas of research. The scientific experiments come from a wide range of scientific disciplines, including fluid physics, biology, protein crystal growth, meteoritics, radiation dosimetry and exobiology (life beyond Earth). The technology-related experiments may lead to more efficient oil extraction processes, better semiconductor alloys and more efficient thermal control systems.
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Ryanair launched its 'Manifesto for Malpensa' in response to Alitalia's plan to cut half of its 340 daily flights from the airport. As Lombardy's largest low fares airline, Ryanair is determined that the people of Lombardy should remain connected to the rest of Italy and Europe despite Alitalia's plans to abandon the region. Ryanair has demonstrated the ability of its low fares to deliver rapid growth at hundreds of European airports and in less than ten years has developed a network of 144 routes to/from 22 Italian airports. Despite this unprecedented growth, the number of passengers enjoying low fare flights in Lombardy remains massively underdeveloped, and by working with Orio al Serio to the east of Milan and Malpensa to the west of Milan, Ryanair's Manifesto for Malpensa would remove this inequity. In the greater metropolitan area of London (pop. 7 m) for example, 18 m passengers annually enjoy Ryanair's low fares at 3 London airports yet in Milan which has the same greater metropolitan population of 7m inhabitants, this number is 6 times lower. There is clearly room for growth to both the east and the west of Milan and Ryanair's manifesto for Malpensa would ensure that Lombardy realises its true potential once passengers have an alternative to the excessively high fares charged by Alitalia.

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