27.11.2007
FLUG REVUE

2007-09-30 - News in BriefNews in Brief

KURZMELDUNGEN<br /> +++<br /> Munich and Frankfurt airports have announced plans to introduce an emission-linked component in take-off and landing fees for a three-year test phase. The pilot project was developed by the German Airport Transport Initiative in consultation with the Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Affairs, and will introduce a charge of 3 euros per kilogram of nitrous oxide (NOx) emissions for all airlines landing in Frankfurt and Munich effective January 1, 2008.

"With these emission-linked airport fees we will achieve two effects," says Dr. Michael Kerkloh, the CEO of Munich Airport. "We create an incentive for airlines to operate aircraft with the lowest possible NOx emissions and send a long-term signal to manufacturers to forge ahead with technological innovation." The change will not generate more revenues for the airports. The additional expenditures of the airlines for the emission-linked fees will be offset by an equivalent reduction in the fixed fees based on the maximum take-off mass of the aircraft type flown by the airline. "It would be counterproductive to weaken Germany's competitiveness in the aviation sector with higher fees. However, we can exert a positive ecological impact broadening our range of instruments to improve our overall environmental performance by means of financial incentives," says Dr. Wilhelm Bender, the CEO of Fraport AG. By launching emission-linked airport fees, the aviation sector is making an active contribution to environmental protection that has the support of the German Airports Cooperative and the German Airlines Association (BDF).
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In its 16th annual Business Aviation Outlook issued today, Honeywell forecasts delivery of approximately 14,000 new business aircraft from 2007 through 2017, generating industry sales of $233 billion. 2007 marks the fourth year of industry expansion since the last trough in 2003. Year-to-date, the number of aircraft delivered is up almost 11 percent compared with the same point in 2006 and industry-wide sales are up just over 12 percent, according to Honeywell Aerospace. For 2007, Honeywell Aerospace forecasts deliveries of over 1,000 new business jets for the first time in history, up from 861 in 2006. Deliveries in 2008 are expected to exceed 1,300. Year to date new jet orders have risen over 100% over first half 2006 levels. Available measures of total industry book to bill ratio have exceeded 2.0 thus far in 2007. "Industry growth has moved into unparalleled territory," said Rob Wilson, President, Business & General Aviation, Honeywell Aerospace. "2007 is a record year for the industry," Wilson said, and "order intake across most business jet categories remains very strong, with little discernable effect from recent stock market fluctuations and with backlogs exceeding two and one half years worth of deliveries, 2008 will likely be another banner year for the industry." The 2007 survey indicates record aircraft deliveries will continue into 2008. North American purchase expectations declined slightly, but expectations in all other world regions expanded significantly. Overall, respondents to this year's survey said they expect to replace or expand the equivalent of about 33 percent of their fleets over the next five years, up from about 26 percent in the 2006 survey. The increase in overall purchase expectations is supported by the increasingly global nature of the industry. International buyers now account for about 50 percent of the new aircraft deliveries projected over the next five years. Purchase expectations trended up in Asia, Africa and the Middle East and rose strongly in Europe. Aggregating all regions, five-year purchase expectations were well above the 24 percent average recorded over the last six years. Between 2008 and 2012, the 2007 survey forecasts demand for 4,600 aircraft globally, not including demand from Fractional ownership or branded charter start up businesses.
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clickair, the expanding Spanish low cost carrier, will mark its first birthday on 1 October, on target to carry 4.5 million passengers by year end on 50 domestic and international routes. With a fleet of 22 dedicated Airbus A320 aircraft (up from an initial three when it started out in October 06) clickair has progressively bolstered its market share to now command the largest, individual share of traffic at Barcelona El Prat Airport, its home base, accounting for 14% of traffic movements with the highest number of foreign destinations from Spain's second largest city.  In August, clickair carried 438,650 passengers, surpassing Spanair (SAS Group) and Vueling, also Barcelona-based, to make it the second largest operator at the airport. In the first eight months of the year, clickair flew a total 2.65 million passengers from the Spanish cities of Barcelona, Valencia, Malaga, Seville, La Coruna, Vigo, Santiago and Bilbao, including some 1.9 million originating from Barcelona.  "This performance in our first year is more than satisfactory," said CEO Alex Cruz, noting that clickair is set to take the ranking of No 1 in Barcelona in the near future.
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Saab's Executive Vice President and Deputy CEO, Ingemar Andersson, is to relinquish all duties at Saab AB. "Ingemar and I have concluded that our collaboration is not functioning satisfactorily, so that the company can be taken forward effectively. I have therefore taken the decision that Ingemar will be leaving Saab", says Saab's CEO and President Åke Svensson. "I would like to point out that, over the years, Ingemar Andersson has done an excellent job with the operational work in those business units that he has been responsible for", says Åke Svensson.
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At the 60 th annual Convention of the NBAA (National Business Aviation Association) in Atlanta, Georgia, Microturbo announced the launch of its e-APU program, for a new Auxiliary Power Unit, specially designed and optimized to meet the specific needs of the business aircraft market. The key features of this new generation of Auxiliary Power Units are a streamlined architecture with two axial turbine stages and a high pressure cycle based on proven technologies, ensuring remarkable reliability, availability and performance. The e-APU delivers electrical power ranging from 15 to 90 kWe, making it a perfect match for the requirements of future business jets with their higher demand for electrical power. It also boasts an extended operating envelope of up to 51,000 feet in flight, with a maximum starting altitude at 41,000 feet.
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FlightSafety International has received two awards from the National Training & Simulation Association. The awards are presented each year to non-Department of Defense individuals or teams for outstanding achievements in the development or application of models and simulators. The first award was presented to FlightSafety and Moog FCS for the introduction of the first successful heavy all electromechanical motion system for flight simulators. FlightSafety has produced 48 electric motion and control loading equipped simulators for 22 business, commercial and military aircraft types to date. The fleet has accumulated over 100,000 hours and is growing at a rate of over 10,000 hours per month. The simulators have been qualified by the FAA, CAA, LBA, DGAC, and EASA aviation authorities and are in service at FlightSafety Learning Centers, military installations and commercial customer sites worldwide.
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Airbus has developed a comprehensive avionics enhancement package for A320 Family aircraft called the In-Service Enhancement Package (ISEP) This new package will help A320 Family operators adapt their fleet to compete in the increasingly challenging market conditions of today. ISEP is a compilation of fully proven Airbus Service Bulletins, selected for their impact on residual value, and key airline drivers such as OR (Operational Reliability), DMC (Direct Maintenance Cost), Spares costs, weight reduction and importantly operational savings such as reduced fuel burn, through optimized route determination for example. It provides a core platform for bringing earlier aircraft to current production standards in important areas and is designed to bridge the gap between previous and later deliveries in terms of operational performance. "Operators can use avionics evolutions as a powerful lever to achieve greater operational performance. ISEP is an innovative Airbus response to fulfilling the needs of our customers, who face ever challenging economic conditions in conjunction with air traffic growth", said Charles Champion, Executive Vice-President, Airbus Customer Services. The package was formulated to enable a step change in capability in two key areas: Air Traffic Communications and Navigation. Concerning Navigation, the new Required Navigation Performance function (RNP) for example, contributes to the reduction of track miles and makes flight operations more flexible, thus reducing delays, flight cancellations or flight diversions.
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Airbus' A380 MSN009 test aircraft, powered by the new Engine Alliance GP7000 engines will embark on a series of four tours as part of its technical route proving. During this certification exercise, which aims at accumulating 150 hours of "typical airline" continuous operation, the A380 will visit destinations in South America, North America, the Middle East and Asia-Pacific. The A380 will first go to Bogota, Colombia (26th and 27th September), returning to its home base in Toulouse, South West France. It will then fly to the USA, landing at Windsor Locks, Connecticut; Hebron, Kentucky and San Francisco, California (2nd till 5th October) and back to Toulouse. The route proving will continue, flying to Dubai; Melbourne, Australia; Manilla and Luzon in the Philippines and back to Dubai before returning to Toulouse (8th till 13th October). The next destinations to be visited are Bogota, Colombia; Vancouver, Canada and Osaka, Japan (15th to 19th October).
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Pratt & Whitney Canada has received type certification from Transport Canada for its PT6A-67P engine, selected to power the next-generation Pilatus PC-12 business turboprop aircraft. A derivative of the popular PT6 family, the PT6A-67P is rated at 1,200 shp (1,824 thermal eshp). It delivers 15 per cent more thermodynamic power to the new PC-12 aircraft for faster climbs and higher cruise speeds. "We are delighted to work with our long-time customer Pilatus to build on the success of its flagship PC-12 business turboprop with our PT6A-67P engine," said Michael Perodeau, Vice President, Corporate Aviation, P&WC. "The PT6A series continues to lead today as a result of the improvements we inject into these highly dependable engines as well as our excellent customer support."
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FMG, the Munich Airport operating company, welcomes the announcement in Munich of the implementation agreement for the construction of the Transrapid maglev (magnetic levitation) rail link between Munich's main railway station and Munich Airport. "This is a key move to secure Munich's competitiveness that will generate an enormous boost for the economic development of the entire region. For Munich Airport this is a tremendous opportunity to continue its success story," said Dr. Michael Kerkloh, CEO of FMG. The maglev train, which will depart the Munich city center for the airport every 10 minutes, and will take just 10 minutes for the trip, will establish optimal linkage between the mainline railway system and the air transportation network. Kerkloh added, "In the future this will make it much more appealing for our passengers to come to the airport by rail. With the construction of a third runway and the implementation of the maglev rail link, our airport will remain future ready and competitive for a long time to come."
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Pratt & Whitney Canada's new PW535E turbofan engine for Embraer's Phenom 300 light business jet has crossed the first run milestone, reaching its full takeoff thrust of 3,360 pounds at the company's test facilities in Longueuil, Que. "The PW535E development program is progressing very well, as confirmed by this key milestone," said Dan Breitman, Vice President, Turbofan Development, P&WC. "With all performance expectations met to date, we now look forward to working with Embraer to bring the PW535E to market." The PW535E turbofan was chosen by Embraer in May 2005 to power the Phenom 300. This new member in the successful PW500 engine family features advanced technologies in the turbine and compressor areas that increase thrust and improve fuel consumption. The PW535E engine is also equipped with full-authority digital engine control (FADEC). Certification of the PW535E is targeted for the third quarter of 2008.
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CAE has launched an expansion of its global training network by adding 16 new business jet training programs to its operations. With this expansion, CAE will offer training on 90 percent of all business aviation platforms. The new training programs address the six largest business jet aircraft manufacturers: Bombardier, Cessna, Dassault Falcon, Embraer, Gulfstream and Hawker Beechcraft. The training programs will be located in the United States and in a range of global locations. The new programs will enter service within the next two years. In addition, CAE announced that its Gulfstream 550 full-flight simulator located at Emirates-CAE Flight Training in Dubai has been certified Ready for Training; also that its Sikorsky S-76B simulator located at CAE SimuFlite's North East Training Centre has received Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Level D qualification – the highest qualification for flight simulators.
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Grob Aerospace CEO Niall Olver announced that firm orders for the spn light business jet globally had now passed 70 units, as interest in this very unique aircraft continues to grow following the company's introduction of the new Porsche Design Studio spn interior at EBACE, Geneva in May this year. The raft of orders since EBACE has come from primarily corporate customers across predominantly Europe and the USA, adding to earlier announced orders for the spn across four continents, including a couple of strategically key commitments out of operators in the Middle East. "As the company continues to add more sales resource and support infrastructure globally to the spn program" says Olver, "interest in the aircraft continues to build." To only very recently Grob Aerospace's marketing and sales focus had been quite deliberately Europe and North America.
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Rockwell Collins has unveiled its next generation of avionics for the business jet market with the introduction of Pro Line Fusion, a new avionics solution that combines the success of Pro Line 21 with key technological advancements. The announcement was made today at the National Business Aviation Association's (NBAA) 60th Annual Meeting and Convention in Atlanta. Pro Line Fusion, which provides an integrated flight deck to ensure interoperability between systems, will debut on the Bombardier Global family. Pro Line Fusion will feature high resolution 15-inch diagonal LCD displays working in concert with Head-Up Guidance Systems (HGS), graphical flight planning, synthetic and enhanced vision and Rockwell Collins' award-winning MultiScan Hazard Detection system. Voice recognition technology will be a future capability of the system. "Pro Line Fusion is a true example of Rockwell Collins' mission to innovate with a purpose. By uniting new capabilities with the best of Pro Line 21, we've created a system that will deliver unprecedented levels of flight deck capability and operational efficiency to our customers," said Denny Helgeson, vice president and general manager of business and regional systems for Rockwell Collins. "We look forward to revolutionizing the airspace with the introduction of Pro Line Fusion."
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Mercury Computer Systems announced that it was selected by BAE Systems to provide a Synthetic Vision display for a rotorcraft brownout landing system. This is the second contract award from BAE Systems for Mercury to provide VistaNav(TM) Synthetic Vision technology for a brownout landing system. The first award, from BAE Systems Australia, was announced in March 2007. Rotorcraft brownouts are intense, blinding dust clouds that result from helicopter rotor downwash, which is the forcing of air downward during the creation of lift from dry, dusty terrain. As a result, pilots cannot see nearby objects that provide the outside visual references necessary to control the aircraft near the ground during landing and take-off operations. "We're pleased to be working with Mercury to help solve the very serious challenge civilian and military helicopter pilots face when trying to safely land in zero-visibility conditions," said John McKelvey, Business Development Director - Defense Avionics at BAE Systems. "This contract expands our breadth of engagement to provide a viable, dependable solution to a growing problem that affects all rotorcraft that take-off and land in arid conditions, from medflight crews to deployed military troops."
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The baseline for Hermès and Eurocopter was a reappraisal of the helicopter's potential as a form of personal transportation, from an uncompromisingly user-centric point of view. With a determination to address even the most challenging design issues, 'l'Hélicoptère par Hermès' represents a new approach to the business aviation marketplace, and a unique opportunity for the partners to expand their activities into new territories. "Rotary aircraft offer the crucial missing link in end-to-end transportation solutions. It's the ideal 'first mile, last mile'  solution for getting between mid-town and the airport," explains Eurocopter Senior Executive Vice President Philippe Harache. "Helicopters, given their flexibility, are a perfect complement to business jets. While growth in business aviation is robust—with promising upside potential in both the U.S. and other key markets—it is a segment that also places an  extremely high premium on quality of design. Given its knowledge, background and expertise in addressing such demanding audiences, the House of Hermès represented the indispensable partner required to bring the project to maturity." Adds François Taverne, Chairman Hermès Gainier: "This is a genuine collaboration in industrial design and one that is unusual given our respective areas of expertise. By working so closely together, and combining the talent of Eurocopter's engineers with that of our designer, Gabriele Pezzini, and our skilled craftsmen, both companies have taken a major step forward in improving the experience of travel by helicopter". The EC 135, Eurocopter's best-selling light multimission, twinengined helicopter, was selected by the new combined team for its maiden effort. Combining a spacious cabin, ample storage compartment, unobstructed flat floors, room for four passengers and pilot, and lateral sliding doors, the EC135 provided an ideal template for the Hermès designer and craftsmen.
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Embraer has signed Executive AirShare, of Kansas City, Mo., to a fleet expansion order of three Phenom 100 and two Phenom 300 aircraft, with options for an additional three Phenom 100 and two Phenom 300 jets. Last May, the U.S. fractional aircraft ownership company placed an order for seven Phenom 100 jets, plus seven options for additional aircraft of the same model. The total value of the new agreement is US$ 22.24 million, and could double, if all options are exercised.
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Eagle Creek Aviation Services, a U.S.-based full-service aircraft sales, management and maintenance provider, confirmed five additional Phenom 100 aircraft options, today, from its original order announced in October 2006. The total value of the new agreement is US$ 14.9 million. "This additional order from Eagle Creek confirms the wide acceptance of our Phenom jets," said Luis Carlos Affonso, Embraer Executive Vice President, Executive Jets. "As Eagle Creek continues to expand services to their customers, we are proud to be part of this success by delivering modern aircraft, with high levels of comfort and reliability."
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Garmin International announced that EADS Socata has selected the Garmin G1000 integrated avionics suite for the TBM 850, the world's fastest single engine civilian turboprop. "The TBM 850 is a proven turboprop aircraft that offers jet-like performance and excellent short-field capability," said Gary Kelley, vice president of marketing. "We already have a great relationship with Socata based on our experience of providing them Garmin panel mount equipment for the TBM 850. We look forward to taking our relationship to the next level by offering TBM 850 customers the unparalleled avionics integration only found in the G1000."
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PlaneSense, the fractional aircraft ownership program managed by New Hampshire-based Alpha Flying, Inc., has announced it will enhance its current fleet of Pilatus PC-12 turboprops in 2008 with the Grob spn light twin jet. Alpha Flying has placed 25 firm orders and options for the new aircraft. PlaneSense's successful business model for regional operations created by founder George Antoniadis in 1996 capitalizes on the PC-12's superb cabin size, extremely efficient economics and exceptional short-field performance, allowing flights into thousands of smaller airports not served by the major airlines or most private jets. PlaneSense currently focuses its services east of the Mississippi.
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The new US Airways - the result of a merger between America West and US Airways two years ago -- officially became one airline in the eyes of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) today as the FAA granted the airline a single operating certificate. "This is a very important milestone, reflecting two years of hard work combining and refining two sets of policies, procedures, manuals, checklists and computer systems for virtually every area of the airline," said US Airways Chairman and CEO Doug Parker. "Achieving an integration of this magnitude in just 24 months is unheard of in the airline industry and a fantastic result." Senior Vice President of Technical Operations, Hal Heule, who led the effort, congratulated the Operations and I.T. teams and thanked the FAA for their guidance, oversight and support. "This very complex process proceeded on time, smoothly, and was a testament to cooperation between our work groups and regulators. I'm very proud of this team and the important work they accomplished here," Heule said. Work toward a single certificate began shortly after the merger of US Airways and America West on Sept. 27, 2005. It involved integrating into one the separate airlines' information technology systems and flight operations computer systems, airport, maintenance and on-board policies and procedures. The certification became official after the integration of the airlines' flight operations systems this week.
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Pratt & Whitney was awarded a $69.3 million production contract for F135 engines to power the F-35 Lightning II. The F135 engine low rate initial production contract will support two conventional take-off and landing (CTOL) F-35 production aircraft. Engine deliveries are scheduled to begin in June 2009. "This award marks the transition from development to production of the F135 CTOL engines, and is the next major step toward making the F-35 available to our customers," said Bill Gostic, vice president, Pratt & Whitney F135 engine program. "The first F135-powered F-35 aircraft is scheduled for delivery to the U.S. Air Force's Eglin Air Force Base in Florida in 2010." Pratt & Whitney's F135 recently exceeded 8,400 system development and demonstration ground test hours, reflecting the F135's maturity and reliability. The F135 powered the F-35 Lightning II's first flight on December 15, 2006, and continues to power the flight test program with 19 flight tests to date. The technologically advanced F135 is an evolution of the highly successful F119 engine for the F-22 Raptor. By the time the F-35 enters operation in 2013, the F119 engines will have logged more than 584,000 flying hours and the F135 will have logged more than 16,000 flying hours.
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The JPO is staffed by personnel from Eurocopter and the MOD's Defence Equipment and Support organisation, who will initially manage the Assessment Phase of the programme, and subject to satisfactory completion and approval, will move on to manage the Development and Manufacture phase in 2008. The JPO will also manage the Puma and Gazelle Through-Life Support (TLS) programme. The upgraded Pumas, to be fitted with new avionics including glass cockpits, and more powerful Makila engines, will be known in service as the Puma HC Mk2. The opening ceremony was conducted by Olivier Lambert, Eurocopter's Senior Vice-President Sales and Customer Relations, and Jonathan Lyle, MOD's Director General Helicopters.
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A four-year, 1.8 billion-mile flight to asteroid Vesta started with the rumble and roar of a Delta II rocket Sept. 27 that hurtled the Dawn spacecraft off a launch pad in Florida and into space. Launch controllers at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station monitored a near-perfect countdown leading to launch, and then applauded as the rocket's three stages performed perfectly in dispatching Dawn on its way. Dawn spread its solar panel "wings" after reaching orbit. It will depend on a modestly powered set of ion engines to maneuver itself around Earth and Mars on its way to Vesta and the dwarf planet Ceres in the asteroid belt. It will closely study each body during a mission slated to end in 2015. The Dawn mission will explore Vesta, and later Ceres, because these two asteroid belt behemoths have been witness to so much of our solar system's history. "Visiting both Vesta and Ceres enables a study in extraterrestrial contrasts," said Dawn Principal Investigator Christopher Russell of the University of California, Los Angeles. "One is rocky and is representative of the building blocks that constructed the planets of the inner solar system. The other may very well be icy and represents the outer planets. Yet, these two very diverse bodies reside in essentially the same neighborhood. It is one of the mysteries Dawn hopes to solve."
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Following the level D certification of the AVIOR LD laser projection system, Lufthansa Flight Training (LFT) successfully tested the new projection system of Rheinmetall Defence in the period from January to July 2007. With that, this innovative laser projection system has reached another significant milestone on its way to series production. On the basis of a cooperation agreement, the two companies joined together in close teamwork to equip an Airbus A340 simulator provided by LFT with the new laser projection system. In this way, it became possible to already examine the integration capabilities of the system during its installation in an existing simulation environment. This was followed by trials in continuous operation. During the 6-month test phase, AVIOR LD gave practically trouble-free service for over 3000 hours of routine training operations. During the entire test run, LFT examined the system thoroughly for reliability, image quality, visual comfort of the crew, and laser safety. A questionnaire was also produced for the instructors and users of the simulator to query the main aspects in short form. According to these polls, the laser projection system proved to be very reliable, offering clear advantages in presentation quality regarding depth of focus, brightness and contrast. In addition, the instructors assessed the visual impression made by the system as being most agreeable for the pilots.
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AeroVironment announced that it has received a contract from the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) for the development and military utility assessment of its Global Observer unmanned aircraft system (UAS).  This contract initiates a Joint Capabilities Technology Demonstration, or JCTD.  The JCTD is sponsored by multiple U.S. government organizations.  The contract calls for the development of up to three Global Observer aircraft over the next three years to demonstrate the ability to operate in the stratosphere for up to 7 days without landing.  The basic contract, which will be funded under a cost-plus fixed-fee arrangement, provides for the development and delivery of the initial Global Observer aircraft, and is valued at approximately $57 million.  The contract also includes options for the development and delivery of up to two additional Global Observer aircraft, resulting in a potential contract value of $108 million. Multiple government organizations are sponsoring the JCTD program, reflecting broad interest in its potential capabilities for military applications.  The JCTD is intended to demonstrate the tactical utility of a hydrogen-powered UAS for long duration (five to seven day) missions at altitudes from 55,000 to 65,000 feet.  Global Observer builds on over two decades of AV's development and flight experience with stratospheric unmanned aircraft systems, including the record-setting Pathfinder and Helios solar-powered aircraft.  A system consisting of two or three aircraft will provide continuous ISR or communications relay over an area of interest.
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Boeing forecasts that Latin American airlines will need 1,730 airplanes worth $120 billion over the next 20 years, according to an analysis presented Monday at the Latin America Airfinance Conference in Rio de Janeiro. Air travel within Latin America will grow 6.6 percent during this period, well above the world average growth of 5 percent -- second only to China's 8.8 percent forecasted growth rate. The "Current Market Outlook" is Boeing's analysis of the future of commercial aviation over the next 20 years. Compiled annually, it presents global and regional insights into aviation growth.
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AgustaWestland is pleased to announce that Synergy Aerospace, a division of Synergy Group, has signed a contract for twelve more helicopters including AW109 Power, Grand and AW139 models. This latest contract 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 order is additional to the eighteen 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. "Our alliance with Synergy Aerospace has further strengthened AgustaWestland's presence in the Brazilian market", said Renzo Lunardi, Senior Vice President Commercial Business Unit, AgustaWestland. "This purchase, which follows the one signed last March ensures that future operators of AgustaWestland helicopters in Brazil will receive attractive delivery positions and a level of service that is second-to-none."
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The Airbus Corporate Jetliner (ACJ) Family has reached the milestone of 100 sales, worth $5.5 billion based on list prices, just ten years after programme launch in 1997. Initially comprising just one model, the Airbus ACJ, which evolved into a corporate jet from the A319, the family first expanded to include an A320 Prestige and, more recently, an A318 Elite. "Our initial forecast was for annual sales in this top-end category of just twelve aircraft a year, of which we expected to win a half," comments Airbus Chief Operating Officer, Customers, John Leahy. "We've done rather better than that and, with corporate jet customers increasingly recognising that they get a lot more for their money with our aircraft, we expect to do even better in the future," he added.
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The focus in the EU-US aircraft dispute is now shifting to the EU's challenge to US subsidies to Boeing (WTO case DS353) - the first panel hearing in this case will take place on 26-27 September 2007. The core of the EU's challenge is the lavish R&D support provided by the US Department of Defense and NASA through various means, as well as Boeing-specific support provided at state and local level, such as subsidy packages tailor-made for Boeing in the states of Washington, Kansas and Illinois. The support clearly aims at weakening Airbus' position and competitiveness and boosting that of Boeing. Although the US tries to dismiss the challenges using smoke and mirrors, US federal law makers, high-ranking officials, and local politicians have all acknowledged the vital role this support plays for Boeing. Former Washington State Governor Gary Locke has said that the Washington State support is designed to help "Boeing beat Airbus" and to "give Airbus executives many sleepless nights for years to come". Former NASA Langley Director J.F. Creedon is on the record as saying that "the reason that there is a NASA Langley and the other aeronautics centers is to contribute technology to assure the pre-eminence of US aeronautics".
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Boeing delivered the first production EA-18G Growler to the U.S. Navy ahead of schedule and within budget. "The Growler team put together a program plan that...has remained on cost and schedule, while meeting or exceeding all performance parameters. I don't get to say that very often about our programs," said The Hon. Delores Etter, assistant secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition, during the delivery ceremony at Boeing Integrated Defense Systems facilities in St. Louis. "We have a great start to a total procurement of over 80 Gs, which will operate in our fleet for decades to come." The U.S. armed forces' newest airborne electronic attack (AEA) aircraft combines the Super Hornet's proven airframe and mission systems with a next-generation airborne electronic attack suite. By using the Super Hornet airframe, the EA-18G program and the Navy can leverage the existing capabilities and known reliability and maintainability characteristics of the F/A-18E/F to provide an advanced AEA platform at a fraction of the cost and time of a completely new aircraft. Unlike the two aircraft already in flight test, the EA-18G Growler delivered today was entirely assembled and tested on the same production line as the existing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet.
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The GE Rolls-Royce Fighter Engine Team has successfully fired the augmentor on the F136 test engine for the first time as part of a testing regimen that will continue through this fall at the US Air Force testing facility in Tennessee. The augmentor, also known as an afterburner, which provides a very rapid increase in thrust, was fired successfully to full power during tests conducted at GE test facilities in Cincinnati. Turbomachinery checkout testing will continue in Cincinnati prior to the engine being shipped to Arnold Engineering Development Center in Tennessee to simulated altitude testing. Presently, the turbomachinery components are being validated in original F136 prototypes built by the Fighter Engine Team before the Development and Demonstration (SDD) program was formally launched in August 2005 with a $2.4 billion contract award. Using a pre-SDD prototype allows risk-reduction testing to be conducted at lower cost.
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The first six Indian Air Force (IAF) flying instructors have successfully completed their 'Convex Flying Programme' on the BAE Systems Hawk 132 aircraft. Once the first Hawks have been delivered to the Indian Air Force later this year, these instructors will develop the new advanced fast jet training system and begin training students who will be the IAF's next generation frontline pilots. Under the 10-week programme the pilots carried out ground school training and UK orientation simulator sorties at RAF Valley, avionics training at BAE Systems Brough, and sea survival training, prior to undertaking flying training. The flying phase covers 15 flights per pilot (including night flying) over a 5-week period, demanding a particularly high flying rate.  
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Boeing recently delivered a refurbished E-4B National Airborne Operations Center to the U.S. Air Force Strategic Command after completing programmed depot maintenance (PDM) at its modification center in Wichita, Kan. "With a small fleet of four aircraft, it is critical that we deliver this important national asset on cost and on schedule per the commitments we've made to our customer," said Andy Reheis, Boeing E-4B program manager. "Our employees take great pride in being able to return this asset to the customer so that it can perform its mission, and it shows in their performance."
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The SAS Group has agreed to sell its 55% holding in the Spanish ground handling company Newco Airport Services to Teinver. Teinver holds 100% of Newco after the transaction. The transaction value and positive effect on net debt and cash for the SAS Group amount to MSEK 400. The equity value is MSEK 320. The capital gain amounts to approximately MSEK 170. "The divestment is a part of Strategy 2011 launched in June and this is the first part to be completed. We are confident that the new majority owner will continue to develop the business in a growing Spanish market", says Mats Jansson, SAS Group President & CEO.
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Boeing, Air New Zealand and Rolls-Royce announced a Memorandum of Understanding to conduct a biofuel demonstration flight designed to help accelerate the development of viable and sustainable alternative fuels for commercial aviation uses. Boeing is exploring second-generation biofuel feed stocks and processes that have the potential to reduce greenhouse gases throughout their entire lifecycle. The demonstration flight is planned for the second half of 2008 using an Air New Zealand Boeing 747-400 equipped with Rolls-Royce engines. Boeing is in discussions with fuel-source providers around the globe to identify potential biofuels that are available in suitable quantities for laboratory and jet-engine performance testing and in compliance with stringent aviation requirements. Additional details will be announced closer to the actual demonstration flight date. "Our near-term goal in this pioneering effort is to identify sustainable alternative bio-jet fuel sources for the planes that are flying today," said Craig Saddler, president of Boeing Australia. A significant first step is identifying progressive fuel sources that will provide better economic and environmental performance for air carriers, without any change to aircraft engines or the aviation fuel infrastructure."
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Cessna announced an order for 30 Citation Mustangs from an undisclosed European air-taxi operator. "This is a very significant order on a number of fronts," said Trevor Esling, Cessna vice president, International Sales. "Foremost, it is a departure from our usual customer profile and shows the Mustang is very attractive to the large-fleet air-taxi market. It is telling evidence of the suitability of the Mustang for the European market. It also demonstrates the durability of the airframe for the demands of high-utilization operators." Until now, most of Cessna's 350-plus orders for the Mustang are from individual owner-operators, corporate flight departments or smaller-fleet charter companies. This order represents Cessna's largest order to-date for the Mustang.
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Cessna announced at the opening of the National Business Aviation Association annual meeting it has an order from Lufthansa Flight Training for four Citation CJ1+ aircraft for its new pilot training program. The aircraft are scheduled for delivery between October 2008 and mid-2009. The aircraft will be used for basic jet training at Lufthansa's training center in Bremen. "Lufthansa is one of the premier airlines in the world, and its training program is an industry leader, so being chosen for this says a great deal about the CJ1+," said Trevor Esling, Cessna vice president, International Sales. "The combination of advanced avionics, performance and handling characteristics, durable design and low cost of operation make it an ideal aircraft for this high-utilization environment."
+++
Cessna announced that the Citation X featuring Elliptical Winglets made its maiden flight on Tuesday, Sept. 25. The aircraft left Wichita's Mid-Continent Airport at about 1:30 p.m. and returned approximately 90 minutes later. Pilots Mike Voigt and Scott Foster were pleased with the performance of the systems and instrumentation. The aircraft flew again on Wednesday to begin collecting data to support Winglet Technology LLC's effort to obtain FAA and EASA supplemental type certificates (STC's) for its patented Elliptical Winglet. Cessna and Winglet Technology engineers expect higher weight/altitude/temperature limits allowing more flexibility when operating from hot/high airports, improved climb performance that allows higher initial cruise altitudes for some takeoff weights, higher maximum cruise speeds at high altitudes, and longer range for a given payload throughout the operating envelope. The STC for the Citation X is targeted for the second quarter of 2008.
+++
Gulfstream Aerospace introduces PlaneConnect a maintenance data link that automatically transmits aircraft maintenance information from airborne PlaneView-equipped Gulfstream business jets to ground-based operations centers. Gulfstream is the first business-jet manufacturer to offer a service of this kind, which can result in faster turnarounds when in-transit aircraft require spare parts or attention from maintenance technicians. PlaneConnect is available on G550, G500, G450 and G350 business-jet models. Gulfstream President Joseph T. Lombardo explained the value of real-time reporting of potential maintenance issues. "The ability to send systems status and maintenance data to the ground and directly to the people responsible for the maintenance while the aircraft is still in flight is a great advantage," Lombardo said. "Before the aircraft even lands, the necessary spare parts and expert technicians can be in place, therefore minimizing any downtime." PlaneConnect also will generate data that Gulfstream will use to gain additional insight into maintenance trends for its fleet of business jets.
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Quest Mexicana SA de CV - a new start-up airline based in Cancun, Mexico – has signed leases with BAE Systems Regional Aircraft for four BAe 146-200 regional jetliners. The airline will concentrate its operations primarily in the south-eastern region of Mexico in the Yucatan Peninsula and will operate under the name of Ka'an Beel Air (KBA), which means 'skywalker' in the Mayan language. Quest Mexicana is part of the Lomas Travel group of companies founded in 1982, which owns hotel resorts, water and land sports marinas, tour operators and vehicle hire operations. It has a 40% market share of incoming travellers, equivalent to over five million passengers a year and the airline is seen as an important growth tool.
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The Government Accountability Office (GAO) reconfirmed the selection of the C-27J Spartan for the U.S. Army and the U.S. Air Force Joint Cargo Aircraft (JCA) program. The services previously selected the C-27J, offered by L-3 Communications, Alenia North America (a Finmeccanica Company), Boeing Integrated Defense Systems, and Global Military Aircraft Systems (GMAS), in an open competition. "We are pleased that the GAO confirmed the selection of our C-27J offering - we have had confidence in our JCA offering and our team from the beginning. The C-27J is the right choice for the JCA mission," said Bob Drewes, President and Chief Operating Officer, L-3 Integrated Systems Group. "Today's announcement by the GAO reconfirms that our aircraft and our team represent the best value solution for the warfighter," said Giuseppe Giordo, president and chief executive officer, Alenia North America. "This decision also validates a detailed and exhaustive competitive process during which the U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force both recognized the unique capabilities of our C-27J aircraft, our team and our JCA offering as a whole."
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With the forthcoming introduction of the winter schedule on 28 October 2007, Austrian Airlines is once again placing a strong accent on the expansion of its successful Focus East strategy. By making frequency increases to no fewer than eight cities in Eastern Europe, the Austrian national carrier is underlining its leading role and strong market presence in Central and Eastern Europe and setting the benchmark for connections to eastern economic centres of genuine quality. Chief Executive Officer Alfred Ötsch made the following statement: 'High flight frequency is decisive in modern journey planning, especially for business travellers. Now that we have increased the number of connecting flights we offer, however, those unexpected meetings lasting extended periods no longer need be a problem. Tourists will also benefit from this greater flexibility, and can now begin their journey at a time that suits them. We currently offer passengers 45 destinations and almost 600 flights a week to Central and Eastern Europe. In addition to this, passengers can enjoy the very best service on the ground and on board our aircraft, top catering by Do & Co, benefit from the Miles & More frequent flyer programme – and all at an extremely attractive price-performance ratio.'
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Rolls-Royce and Cessna Aircraft celebrated the delivery of the 5000th Citation business jet in a ceremony at the National Business Aviation Association Annual Meeting and Convention in Atlanta, Georgia. This milestone delivery was of an AE 3007 powered Citation X. The Citation X, the fastest business jet in operation, is powered by the Rolls-Royce AE 3007C engine. With 6442lb-thrust, this engine allows the aircraft to cruise at Mach 0.92 or approximately 600 miles per hour. Last year, Rolls-Royce and Cessna celebrated 10 years of the Citation X program. The AE 3007C engine has surpassed two million engine flying hours on the more than 250 Citation X aircraft in service. The Cessna Citation X aircraft and design team won the prestigious Robert J. Collier Trophy in 1996, which is awarded annually "for the greatest achievement in aeronautics or astronautics in America, with respect to improving the performance, efficiency, and safety of air or space vehicles, the value of which has been thoroughly demonstrated by actual use during the preceding year."
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On 28 September, Air Berlin's CEO, Joachim Hunold, made the following statement: "We welcome Lufthansa's decision not to exercise its pre-emption right with regard to Condor. This means that as far as we are concerned everything is going to plan and as announced. We can take over Condor in two stages: in February 2009 we can buy 75.1 per cent of the airline, and the remaining 24.9 per cent in the following year. This is of course subject to the usual proviso, in other words to approval by the cartel office. After the rapid integration of LTU, we can now prepare our take-over of Condor in peace."

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07.11.2016

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