10.05.2007
FLUG REVUE

News in Brief

Kurzmeldungen<br /> +++<br /> On 23 April, an Indian rocket of the type PSLV-C8 took off to its first commercial launch and successfully put the Italian astronomic research satellite AGILE into orbit at an altitude of 550 km.

The rocket took off on schedule from the Satish Dhawan Space Center in Sriharikota, 80 km north of Chennai, at 12:00h CET. The launch services were performed by COSMOS International Satellitenstart GmbH, the launch service operator of OHB-System AG. In the past, COSMOS International used to perform satellite launches only by means of Russian COSMOS-3M rockets. For the small Italian satellite intended to absorb cosmic gamma radiation and X-rays, however, an orbit close to the equator was necessary. This orbit is ideally reached from the Satish Dhawan Space Center.
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Boeing and Virgin Atlantic announced an environmental partnership, which includes an order for 15 787-9 Dreamliners, marking the largest 787 order to date for Europe. The order, worth approximately $2.8 billion at list prices, was previously listed on Boeing's Orders and Deliveries Web site and attributed to an unidentified customer. The order also includes options for an additional eight 787-9s and purchase rights for an additional 20 787s. The environmental partnership includes a joint biofuel demonstration aimed at developing sustainable fuel sources suitable for commercial jet engines and the aviation industry. The demonstration, scheduled for 2008 using a Virgin Atlantic Boeing 747-400, is being worked jointly with GE Aviation and Virgin Fuels. Further details will be announced later this year. In addition, Boeing and Virgin Atlantic are working together on reducing fuel burn and cutting aircraft emissions on the ground by exploring alternatives to traditional aircraft operations at airports. For example, Boeing and Virgin Atlantic are partnering on trials of towing airplanes to "starting grids," areas close to the active runway to start engines preflight, with a goal of reducing fuel consumption and carbon emissions by up to 50 percent, as well as limiting community noise. Trials conducted thus far at London's Heathrow and Gatwick Airports and San Francisco International Airport have produced positive results, and work continues to develop alternative operational procedures at the world's busiest airports.
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Concurrent, a leading provider of time-critical Linux operating systems and integrated software and computer solutions for mission-critical applications, and The FTI Group, a member of the Aviatronics consortium of well-known German suppliers in aviation and aerospace industries, announced a partnership to deliver simulation systems and services within Europe, most notably to Airbus projects in Germany. The Airbus A400M High Lift System hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) test stand was a solution recently delivered by the Concurrent/FTI team.  The system will be used to test the A400M aircraft's high-lift control computers which are responsible for controlling the trailing-edge flaps that generate higher lift during take-off and landing.  The system leverages The MathWorks' popular MATLAB/Simulink modeling and test management software for rapid simulation development and test.
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Alenia Aeronautica has delivered to Boeing the first horizontal stabiliser of the new 787 Dreamliner, manufactured at its Grottaglie plant. The stabiliser has been transferred from Foggia to the Grottaglie Airport, where it has been loaded onboard the Dreamlifter, a 747, ad-hoc modified by Boeing. The Dreamlifter has arrived for the second time at Grottaglie Airport to transport the stabiliser to Everett for assembly on the 787 prototype. The horizontal stabiliser, consisting of 2 monolithic cocured boxes and a central junction base, is 20 metres long and, like the 787 fuselage and wings, is made of carbon fibre materials. The cocured box of the 787's horizontal stabilizer produced in Foggia is to date the biggest composite monolithic structure ever built for a commercial airplane and is manufactured in a one-shot autoclave polymerization cycle starting from 27 wet uncured components. This is Alenia Aeronautica's proprietary technology and represents an innovative production process making Foggia one of the most important plants in the world for composite material production.
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Aviation Partners Boeing has officially launched the 767-300ER Blended Winglet program with FAA certification anticipated in the fourth quarter of 2008. Three airlines on three different continents have already placed firm orders for 68 767-300ER Blended Winglet systems. The benefits of Blended Winglets for 767-300ER operators -- both passenger and freighter versions -- include average annual fuel savings per aircraft of 350,000 gallons (1,330,000 liters), payload improvements of up to 12,000 pounds (5,447 kilograms) and a range boost of up to 360 nautical miles (667 km). A high-utilization global aircraft, like the 767-300ER, is expected to achieve up to a 6% savings in fuel consumption with Blended Winglets. In addition to the cost savings and associated environmental benefits, this technology will extend the life cycle of the 767-300ER, increase its residual value, and provide current 767-300ER operators wanting to transition to 787's with a 'bridge' to available delivery positions.
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Boeing named Randy Tinseth vice president, Marketing, for Boeing Commercial Airplanes. Tinseth will be responsible for marketing Commercial Airplanes' entire family of products and services through a wide range of activities, such as understanding market requirements, contributing to Commercial Airplane's planning and product development, supporting market positioning and sales activities, as well as hosting the Commercial Airplanes blog, "Randy's Journal." The position reports to Mike Cave, vice president, Business Strategy and Marketing. Tinseth, 47, succeeds Randy Baseler, who is retiring April 30.
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On March 9, 2007 in Helsinki, the Finnish military, represented by Army Aviation Division of the Ministry of Defence, signed a contract with HFTS for the use of NH90 Simulators in Bückeburg. The training of the Finnish NH90 personnel will begin in 2009. The contract runs three years (plus two years optional) and calls for over 1500 training hours. For HFTS Finland is the second foreign customer next to Sweden. With this contract, HFTS will make a significant contribution to the basic and advanced training of Finnish NH90 pilots. The NH90 Simulators from HFTS are currently being completed on the airfield of the Army Aviation School in Bückeburg. This is part of the first privately financed initiative for flight training of NH90 personnel.
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Spanair is continuing its international expansion with a new route which has been offering daily flights both ways between the cities of Munich and Bilbao since April 15. The carrier has strengthened its presence on the German market by offering more direct flights between Germany and Spain. Spanair is also offering daily flights both ways between the Bavarian capital and Barcelona.
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AgustaWestland and Saab Training Systems have jointly developed an airborne Cabin/Door Gun Training System that utilises existing helicopter weapon installations. It takes skill and lots of practice to hit targets with a machine gun from a fast moving helicopter so the new Cabin/Door Gun Training System, which enables any flight to be utilised as a training mission, allows gunners to build up highly realistic experience without the need for live firing or dedicated gunner training flights. The system provides low cost, high fidelity training for air gunnery and aircrew co-operation, which can only improve aircraft and aircraft crew survivability in combat situations. The system utilises the new BT 46 Mk II simulator, providing maximum degree of realism in combination with a integrated mission recorder. The mission recorder gives immediate feedback as well as comprehensive After Action Reviews and valuable analyse of training performance.
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Boeing and Aviation Capital Group (ACG) announced that the leasing company has placed an order for 15 Next-Generation 737s and five 787 Dreamliners. The order, worth approximately $1.6 billion at list prices, was previously attributed to an unidentified customer on the Boeing Orders and Deliveries Web site. ACG's current fleet contains 138 Boeing aircraft, which includes Next-Generation 737s, 737 Classics, 757s and 767s.
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CAE signed a contract with an undisclosed customer to provide a full suite of Boeing 757 simulation equipment, including two full-flight simulators (FFSs), one Level 6 flight training device (FTD) and a suite of CAE Simfinity training devices. At list prices, including some buyer-furnished equipment, the contract is valued at more than C$34 million and brings the total full-flight simulator (FFS) sales that CAE has announced in fiscal 2008 to five.
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Bombardier Aerospace announced that Horizon Air of Seattle, Washington, has placed a firm order for 15 Bombardier Q400 airliners and has taken options on an additional 20 Q400 aircraft. With this order, Horizon Air continues to be the largest North American operator of the Q400 aircraft. The airline serves 49 cities in the Western U.S. and Western Canada. Based on the list price for the Q400 aircraft, the value of the contract for the 15 firm-ordered aircraft is approximately $393 million US.
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Boeing confirmed an order by Air Canada for 23 Boeing 787 Dreamliners. The order brings to 37 the number of 787s ordered by the airline. Air Canada has ordered more Dreamliners than any other carrier in the Western Hemisphere. The 23 787s are worth approximately $3.5 billion at list prices. The order brings the total number of announced firm 787 orders to 567 from 44 customers. As part of today's deal, Boeing and Air Canada agreed to cancel two 777 freighter orders. Air Canada was the 25th airline to select the 787 Dreamliner when, in 2005, it ordered 14 ultra-efficient 787s.
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Korean air force student pilots began flight training in the T-50 Golden Eagle aircraft for the first time April 17. Twelve officers took part in the training flights, receiving instruction in various maneuvers for about an hour. The T-50, co-developed by Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) and Lockheed Martin, is Korea's first indigenous supersonic aircraft and the world's only high performance, supersonic trainer in production today. The T-50 is exceeding the expectations of operational pilots with its technological advances and capabilities. KAI is the prime contractor for the T-50 and Lockheed Martin is the principal subcontractor assisting with development and international marketing.
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London-based Indian entrepreneur, Naresh Goyal, confirmed details of an aggressive USD3.7 billion investment programme aimed at transforming his airline, Jet Airways, into a top five global carrier. The investment includes the order of 30 new long-haul aircraft and a complete refurbishment of its on-board products and services to offer air travellers the very best in comfort and luxury in the skies. In a first across all UK to India routes Jet Airways has launched exclusive 'private suites' in First Class as well as new fully flat beds in Première (business class) and a uniquely designed economy seat. All the new products will take to the skies in early May 2007 on the London Heathrow-Mumbai route as the airline receives the first of its 20 new wide-bodied aircraft, a Boeing 777-300ER (B777). The new cabins will be rolled out on all of Jet Airways' 27 weekly flights from London Heathrow to major cities in India (Mumbai, Delhi, Amritsar and Ahmedabad) over the next two years as nine further B777 aircraft and 10 Airbus A330-200 aircraft are delivered from their manufacturers. Jet Airways remains set to pursue its vigorous growth strategy by continuing to invest in new aircraft and expand its international route network over the next few years. In addition to the wide-bodied aircraft order the airline holds options to buy further aircraft of each type and has recently signed to purchase ten Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft with deliveries commencing in 2011. The airline has also announced that it will start flying between India and the United States (via Brussels) from August 2007.
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Boeing first-quarter net earnings increased 27 percent to $877 million, or $1.13 per share. Revenue grew 8 percent to $15.4 billion and earnings from operations rose 36 percent to $1.3 billion, yielding an 8.5 percent operating margin. The higher first-quarter operating margin reflects the company's exit from the Connexion by Boeing business and lower expense from compensation plan changes, both of which were implemented and disclosed during 2006. The margin also reflects a planned and previously disclosed increase in research and development spending, which is expected to moderate later this year. Given anticipated performance for the remainder of the year, including growth in airplane deliveries and expansion of business unit margins, Boeing reaffirmed its financial guidance for 2007 and 2008. Boeing's backlog at quarter-end reached a record $262 billion, up 23 percent in the last twelve months due to continued strength in commercial airplane orders and additional defense orders. "These results are in line with our expectations for the quarter and represent solid progress toward the high goals we have for ourselves in 2007 and beyond," said Boeing Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer Jim McNerney. "Our record backlog, increasing productivity, and the progress of our development programs have us on track to achieve our growth and profitability objectives." Boeing Commercial Airplanes (BCA) first-quarter revenues increased 7 percent to $7.6 billion on an 8 percent increase in deliveries to 106 airplanes, as well as higher commercial aviation services revenue. BCA delivered a higher proportion of single-aisle airplanes than in last year's first quarter. Operating earnings were $706 million and operating margins were 9.3 percent. Margins in the latest quarter reflect higher operating leverage and productivity improvements offset by planned R&D spending that was $258 million higher than in the first quarter of 2006. R&D is forecast to decline in the second half of the year which, along with increased airplane deliveries, is expected to drive BCA margin expansion consistent with company guidance.
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Volga-Dnepr Group of Russia has reported a 55 per cent increase in sales in 2006 compared to 2005, with revenues reaching a record US$725 million. In terms of sales volumes, Volga-Dnepr is the third largest Russian airline for both passenger and cargo segments. Building on another record year in 2005, the Group's increased income in 2006 was the result of the successful development of its air charter transportation business using AN-124-100 and IL-76 cargo aircraft and the expansion of AirBridge Cargo Airlines, its scheduled cargo business that operates a fleet of Boeing 747 freighters. Over the 12 months, Volga-Dnepr Group's AN-124-100 air charter business grew by 26 per cent, while its IL-76 cargo operations achieved a 114 per cent improvement. Revenues from the Group's scheduled cargo operations rose by 96 per cent. Volga-Dnepr Group is now forecasting that sales in the current year will reach US$1 billion. In 2006, the Group's airline businesses transported over 155,000 tonnes of cargo, making Volga-Dnepr Group the number one cargo carrier in Russia (in 2005, according to ATI, Volga-Dnepr was the 33rd largest cargo airline in the world). Of this total, 98 per cent of the cargo carried was transported on international routes. The Group says its aircraft have now successfully operated to more than 900 airports in 150 countries. Once again, Volga-Dnepr Group was the world's largest transporter of outsize and heavyweight air cargo with a 52.4 per cent share of this specialist world market for unique cargo services. The year saw significant growth in the revenue contribution to the Group's charter sales from long-term contracts. In particular, Volga-Dnepr and Antonov Airlines' joint projects - the global companies Ruslan SALIS GmbH and Ruslan International, launched in 2006 - developed successfully. Ruslan SALIS provides strategic cargo transportation for NATO and EU countries. As part of this long-term project, Volga-Dnepr successfully completed 220 flights and transported 13,500 tonnes of cargo in 2006, generating total sales of US$70.2 million
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United States based lessor Aviation Capital Group (ACG) has placed a firm order for 20 Airbus A320 Family aircraft. The order is for four A319s, 14 A320s and two A321s. ACG, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Pacific LifeCorp, already has more than 70 A320 Family aircraft in its portfolio and this latest addition to their fleet represents the first direct transaction between ACG and Airbus. "The Airbus A320 Family is a popular, highly fuel efficient aircraft and very much in demand," said R. Stephen Hannahs, ACG Group Managing Director and CEO. "Our decision to buy more of the A320 range fits in with our long term strategy of providing modern, efficient and productive aircraft. Airbus' A320 Family fit all these criteria in addition to offering greater cabin space for added passenger comfort."  
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NASA's Aeronomy of Ice in the Mesosphere (AIM) spacecraft, the first mission dedicated to the exploration of mysterious ice clouds that dot the edge of space in Earth's polar regions, successfully launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., at 1:26 p.m. PDT on Wednesday, April 25. The mission will study clouds that are noctilucent, meaning they can be seen from the ground only at night, when they are illuminated by sunlight no longer visible from the Earth's surface. The Stargazer L-1011 aircraft released a Pegasus XL rocket at a drop point over the Pacific Ocean, 100 miles offshore west-southwest of Point Sur, Calif. AIM was launched at an azimuth of 192.5 degrees into a circular polar orbit of 375 miles with an inclination of 97.7 degrees. At approximately 1:36 p.m., communications from a Tracking Data and Relay Satellite confirmed spacecraft separation, and the solar arrays deployed autonomously soon thereafter.
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US Air Force officials announced today the way ahead for the replacement combat search and rescue helicopter, the CSAR-X. In an effort to foster open communications and a fair and open competition, the Air Force expects to release a draft Request for Proposal amendment to the CSAR-X offerors in May, and will conduct meetings with the offerors to address comments and answer questions prior to the release of the official RFP amendment. "We believe the RFP amendment will meet both the letter and spirit of the GAO [Government Accountability Office] recommendation," said Sue C. Payton, Service Acquisition Executive.
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Pratt & Whitney, in partnership with the United States Air Force and the Egyptian Air Force, announced today the opening of the F100 engine line at the Helwan Depot located at the Helwan Air Base in Egypt. The Egyptian Air Force's F-16 fleet is powered by the F100-PW-220/220E propulsion systems. As part of Pratt & Whitney's Customer Support program, the Egyptian Air Force's Helwan Depot received facility upgrades in 2005 to 2006 that included delivery of essential F100 engine support equipment, as well as an onsite Pratt & Whitney Field Support Representative who will provide ongoing technical support to the Air Force. The first module, a Low Pressure Turbine (LPT), was produced from the F100 line this April.
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Northwest Airlines announced that Mesaba Airlines, which today emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, has been acquired by Northwest Airlines. Mesaba, which becomes a wholly-owned subsidiary, operates a fleet of 50 regional aircraft under the Northwest Airlink banner. "Mesaba Airlines has served our customers for more than 22 years and today, Northwest is pleased to strengthen this long-standing relationship," said Doug Steenland, president and chief executive officer, Northwest Airlines. "The acquisition of Mesaba by Northwest ensures that our passengers will continue to enjoy conveniently-timed flights that connect to the Northwest global network through our three domestic hubs at Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul and Memphis." Mesaba filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on October 13, 2005. Northwest acquired Mesaba after that airline was successfully restructured under the guidance of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Minnesota and Mesaba's Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors (OCUC). Mesaba, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Northwest Airlines, operates as a Northwest Airlink partner under service agreements with Northwest Airlines. The airline serves 72 cities in the United States and Canada from Northwest's three major hubs: Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul and Memphis.
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Boeing has delivered the first full-rate production Combat Survivor Evader Locator (CSEL) radios, 5,053 units, to the U.S. Department of Defense, bringing the total number of CSEL radios delivered to the warfighter to 11,436. CSEL is the U.S. Department of Defense's program of record for Combat Search and Rescue communications. To date, the Joint Services have ordered 16,272 CSEL radios and support equipment, including a second $36 million full rate production order. Boeing's CSEL communications system has been authorized for use in Afghanistan and Operation Iraqi Freedom since December 2005.
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CAE announced at the International Training and Education Conference (ITEC) that the company recently has been awarded a contract by Helicopter Training Media International GmbH (HTMI) to lead the design and development of NH90 helicopter virtual maintenance trainers for the German Armed Forces. Under terms of the contract, CAE will be responsible for developing the NH90 virtual maintenance trainer (VMT) software, simulation-based maintenance training courseware, instructor operator stations and training management system. The NH90 VMTs will be based on CAE Simfinity technology. Under the prime contractor HTMI, CAE will provide, along with Thales Services, Rheinmetall Defence Electronics GmbH (RDE) and Eurocopter, a comprehensive maintenance training solution, with RDE providing NH90 cockpit hardware mock-ups and Eurocopter providing aircraft-specific data and services. The NH90 VMTs will include a virtual representation of all the NH90 aircraft systems so maintenance personnel can practice diagnosing and troubleshooting maintenance problems. More than 650 failure scenarios and malfunctions will be included in the NH90 VMTs, and maintenance personnel will be able to practice appropriate repair procedures virtually. The NH90 VMTs will be delivered to German Army and Air Force bases in Fassberg and Kaufbeuren in early 2009. HTMI is a joint venture owned equally by CAE and Thales and will serve as prime contractor on the NH90 maintenance training program. HTMI was established by CAE and Thales to serve as prime contractor and design authority for developing NH90 training equipment, including full mission simulators, rear crew trainers, and virtual maintenance trainers.
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In a first-of-its-kind dual missile defense test onApril 26, Raytheon-produced Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) and Standard Missile-2 (SM-2) simultaneously engaged targets over the Pacific Ocean. This was the first time a U.S. Navy ship demonstrated simultaneous ship engagements against both cruise and ballistic missile targets. It was the eighth successful intercept for the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense system's SM-3. The SM-3 Block IA destroyed a short-range ballistic missile target in space while SM-2 Block IIIA engaged a cruise missile threat at a lower altitude. Both intercepting missiles were fired from guided missile cruiser USS Lake Erie (CG 70) by the ship's crew. The ballistic missile target was launched from the U.S. Navy's Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai. The subsonic cruise missile target was launched from a range aircraft. This test, Flight Test Mission-11, was the second with the Block IA version of SM-3, and the first IA with a full-capability solid divert and attitude control system. Raytheon is delivering Block IA rounds for operational use on Navy cruisers and destroyers.
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Boeing confirmed that Russia's S7 Group has ordered 10 Next-Generation 737-800s and secured purchase rights for an additional 10 of the world's most popular jetliner. The aircraft have been carried as "unidentified" on the Boeing order Web site since last November. At list prices, the order is valued at $705 million. Moscow-based S7 Group will operate the aircraft through S7 Charter, a newly-established charter airline that will use its 737-800s on routes connecting Moscow to numerous popular resort destinations outside of Russia.
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Boeing and Arik Air announced an order for three 787-9s, two 777-200 LRs (Longer Range) and two 777-300ERs (Extended Range) at the delivery ceremony for two new 737-700s that will soon begin operations from the airline's home base in Lagos, Nigeria. The list-price value of the new order is approximately $1.5 billion. The airplanes were previously listed as unidentified on Boeing's Orders & Deliveries website. Arik Air is the fourth airline on the African continent to order Boeing's fast-selling 787 Dreamliner, as well as the fourth to order the market-leading 777. Boeing is currently working with Arik Air as the airline moves toward achieving Category 1 status with the FAA so that it may fly direct routes to and from the U.S.
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Boeing and New Delhi-based SpiceJet announced that the airline has ordered 10 Next-Generation 737-800s. The order, valued at more than $700 million at list prices, follows previous orders in February 2005 and August 2006 for a total of 30 737s. The 10 737s will be fitted with Blended Winglets, which will improve fuel efficiency, increase range, and reduce CO2 emissions and takeoff noise.
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L'Avion, the first French airline focused only on business class, announced encouraging passenger statistics for flights from Newark to Orly since its launch just three months ago in January 2007. The data shows that customers are pleased with this exclusive service offering and that the airline is building significant momentum in a previously untapped market. Specific findings include: Solid load factor consisting of 60%; 10 points higher than originally predicted; consistent on-time arrivals and departures of 98%; higher than anticipated recorded ticket sales in both France and the U.S.; significant number of recurring passenger counts; record rate of customer satisfaction for those surveyed. L'Avion is now currently distributed through online travel agencies such as Cheap Tickets, Tour Operator (Travelbound). And, customers now have access to travel insurance through Europeenne D'Assurance. Finally, passengers can sign up for L'Avion's newsletter keeping them up to date on special offers/promotions as well as events that are happening in Paris.
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The UK MOD announced on 25 April that the RAF's ten remaining Jaguar aircraft will leave service after 33 years at the end of April 2007. In July 2004 MOD announced the Jaguar would reach the end of its distinguished service during 2007. The ageing Jaguar is being replaced by the much more capable multi-role Typhoon aircraft, with the Tornado fleet taking on the bulk of the Jaguar's air-to-ground role. As the RAF has no plans to use the Jaguars on operations, the decision has been taken to take them out of operational service on 30 April 2007. This decision will ensure that the Typhoon's air-to-ground capability can be established more quickly. Many Jaguar personnel will re-deploy to the Typhoon Force ahead of their planned dates and be part of the work-up for operational deployment of the aircraft. No 11 Squadron, the first squadron to bring in the Typhoon's air-to-surface capability, will now be able to establish itself in its permanent accommodation sooner, and build on the momentum it has created thus far.  
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With the completion of a planned and harmonious succession process, Embraer's Board of Directors last Monday elected Frederico Fleury Curado as Embraer's new President and CEO. Mauricio Botelho will stay on as Chairman of Embraer's Board of Directors. The meeting of the Board of Directors was preceded by a General Shareholder's Meeting and a Special Shareholder's Meeting, with a quorum representing more than 75% of the total Company shares. At the same time, Mauro Kern Junior took over the position of Executive Vice-President, Airline Market, replacing Frederico Fleury Curado.
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The Engine Alliance has successfully achieved European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) CS-E (Certification Standard-Engine) certification for the GP7200, the Engine Alliance powerplant for the Airbus A380. The GP7200 is the first large commercial engine to certify according to the full EASA validation requirements. This follows U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) airworthiness certification granted to the GP7200 in December 2005. The GP7200-powered A380 flight-test program has achieved more than half of its test objectives and accumulated 111 flights and 1,348 engine flight hours to date. The aircraft successfully completed natural icing tests earlier this month and will next conduct noise testing in Spain. Joint EASA and FAA aircraft certification is expected by yearend. In addition to flight-testing, GP7200 factory engine endurance ground testing has amassed 4,349 hours and more than 13,000 cycles. The EA will launch a service readiness endurance test program this summer designed to accumulate an additional 3,000 cycles of maturity prior to entry into service.  
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MTU Aero Engines Holding AG generated significantly increased revenues and earnings in the first quarter of 2007, sustaining the momentum of the strong performance in 2006. Revenues im-proved by 12% in the first three months of 2007, rising to Euro640.6 million (1-3/06: Euro574.5 million). MTU's earnings rose significantly, with adjusted EBITDA reaching Euro90.6 million – an increase of 32% compared with the €68.8 million earned in the first three months of 2006. Adjusted net income for the first quarter 2007, at Euro26.1 million, remained more or less unchanged compared with the same period in 2006, when it amounted to Euro25.8 million. This year, however, it includes a nonrecurring charge for the early redemption premium in connection with the high-yield bond. Excluding this exceptional charge, adjusted net income increased by 45% to Euro37.5 million in the first quarter 2007. "With these results we have established a very sound basis from which to meet the targets for 2007," commented MTU CEO Udo Stark. "Besides achieving successful results on an operational level, we have also again improved our strategic position in the early months of this year. At end-March we increased our share in the F414 engine program by roughly one additional percentage point. This is the engine that powers the F/A-18 Super Hornet." After having previously increased its share in the F414/F404 U.S. military engine program to 5%, MTU now holds 5.9%.
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Lufthansa continues to climb and records further distinct increases in traffic figures and results in an improved economic environment during the first quarter. At 36 million euros, the Lufthansa Group recorded a positive first-quarter operating result for the first time after four years. "The figures speak for themselves", said Lufthansa Chairman and CEO Wolfgang Mayrhuber, when presenting the quarterly figures. "The Group is doing well and will continue to maintain our successful course. The success of the company is based on the strong customer orientation of all our staff, successful cost management and the company's solid financial structure." Amidst hard-fought competition, the business segment Passenger Transportation made a considerable contribution to the improvement of the result. Decisive factors were the positive development in the traffic region Europe, the expansion of the route network and the successful marketing of the betterFly fares. The high demand in intercontinental traffic and for premium products also played a role in Lufthansa's good performance during the first three months of the year. "Our course is clear: we want to continue to grow in profitability. This is why we recently ordered 45 of the most modern aircraft in the world for the expansion and modernization of our regional fleet. We want to continue to convince through quality and performance and also in future justify the confidence of our customers," said Wolfgang Mayrhuber and added that Lufthansa will continue to offer attractive prices coupled with the highest quality. The Group result in the first quarter rose to 554 million euros. Mayrhuber explained "the company is focussed and has continued to maintain its clear orientation towards the core competences." The agreement that was concluded with KarstadtQuelle AG in December 2006, concerning the sale of Thomas Cook AG, came into effect during the first quarter. The Lufthansa Group achieved a profit of 499 million euros from the sale of its shares in Thomas Cook.
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SAS Braathens, Norway's largest scheduled airline, will become SAS Norge on June 1. The name change, which was proposed by SAS Braathens' CEO Ola Strand, was approved by the company's general assembly. "The time is right for changing our name and identity, now when the operational integration is completed," said John Dueholm, Chairman of the Board of SAS Braathens. "For 60 years we have been an important part of the infrastructure which ties Norway together. This is not going to change. With 18 domestic destinations we serve more regions of Norway than any other carrier. This will continue to be our primary market," Strand said.
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Recent discussion in hearings on Capital Hill, and elsewhere on an executive agency proposal to achieve greater efficiency in unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) procurement is being confused with joint operational employment of those UAVs. "These are two related, but distinctly separate issues," said Lt. Gen. David A. Deptula, the Air Force Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance. The discussion has also illuminated a fundamental misunderstanding of Service roles and missions. "UAV capability is not an extension of the ground force, it is an extension of the Joint force; the Air Force provides the expertise in the aerial domain, as the ground forces do on land." said General Deptula. According to DoD Directive 5100.1,"Functions of the Department of Defense and Its Major Components," one of the USAF primary functions is to "furnish aerial imagery." "The last thing we need is to turn back the clock on Goldwater-Nichols reforms by allowing Services to develop redundant and wasteful crossover capabilities, thereby rejecting the premise of Joint warfighting," General Deptula said. General Deptula stated that the Air Force agrees that demand for UAVs exceeds supply and will continue to exceed it--even after all the Services have built all their programmed UAVs. "This only reinforces the notion that the best possible way to get ISR from these limited UAVs to our joint warriors on the ground is to allocate them as directed by the Joint Force Commander," said General Deptula. He went on to use an analogy of a city consisting of 50 blocks, where the mayor owns five fire trucks. "If the mayor designated one truck to one block, those five fire trucks would be assigned to only five blocks--that's the Army approach. If a fire broke out in a block outside those five, no fire truck would respond. The joint approach that the Air Force supports would leave it up to the mayor--or Joint Force Commander--to allocate the five fire trucks based on which blocks needed them most," he said. "That is the role the joint force commander delegates to the joint force air component commander."
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The Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Program has achieved another significant milestone with the approval of funding for Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP). As of 23 April 2007, the first JSF test aircraft has completed 14 test flights. Test pilots have been impressed by the aircraft's maturity so early in the test program and its excellent handling qualities. The aircraft has already been flown to 30,000 feet, 0.8 Mach, and 16 degrees Angle of Attack with all systems working as designed. This success, and progress in the broader JSF Program, has led to US Under Secretary of Defense (Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics) approving the release of full funding for two Conventional Take-Off and Landing Variant (CTOL) aircraft in LRIP Lot 1, and long lead funding for the six CTOL and six Short Take-Off and Vertical Landing variants in Lot 2. This significant milestone was achieved on 19 April 2007. As well as the first two LRIP aircraft in production, the end of 2007 will see another 20 test aircraft in production/assembly. The head of the JSF Program, BRIGGEN C.R. Davis said "While the LRIP 1 jets do not constitute a huge leap in production, they signify the start of many deliveries to our war fighting customer."  
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Norway and Saab, through Gripen International, have signed a Letter of Agreement regarding the future development of the Gripen fighter. The total value of this agreement is some 150 million Norwegian Kronor (approx. $25 million). This agreement strengthens Gripen's chances of being selected as the future fighter aircraft for the Norwegian Air Force. The Norwegian Defence Minister Anne-Grete Strøm-Erichsen and the Swedish Defence Minister Mikael Odenberg, signed a Memorandum of Understanding on co-operation in development work on the future versions of Gripen. This agreement is an important step for Gripen as a candidate to be selected as Norway's future fighter aircraft, which is planned to be in-service with the Norwegian Air Force around 2015. Through this agreement, the Norwegian authorities and Norwegian commercial companies will get an extensive understanding and insight into the Gripen system, leading to Norwegian participation in future development work in co-operation with Saab. There was also a Letter of Agreement (LoA) signed between the Norwegian authorities and the Saab subsidiary Gripen International. This agreement will enable Norwegian companies to work on advanced development work in a range of high technology areas, such as composites, communication systems, studies and integration work for Norwegian weapon systems, ammunition, logistics and data systems. The total value is worth some 150 million NOK for a period of two years, with the option to further extend the agreement. At this time, Norwegian companies will take part in an increased industrial cooperation connected to the development of the future Gripen.
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Boeing and Oak Hill Capital Partners, a leading private equity firm, today announced an order for six Boeing 777 Freighters. The order is valued at about $1.4 billion, at list prices. The six-airplane order brings Boeing's total for the twin-engine freighter to 71 airplanes from 10 customers since its launch in May 2005. Oak Hill will be purchasing these planes through a new aircraft leasing platform that it is establishing in connection with the purchase. Rowan Taylor, a partner with Oak Hill Capital Partners, added, "This is an important component of Oak Hill's overall aerospace investment strategy. We look forward to continuing to work with the Boeing team to expand our aircraft portfolio."
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Austrian Chief Executive Officer Alfred Ötsch today offered the following summary of the newly-released figures: 'Our operating result (EBIT) improved significantly in the first quarter of 2007 compared to the previous year, rising from EUR –50.1m to EUR –19.0m, and now forms a sound basis for the further development of the financial year 2007. Last year's successful capital increase and steady implementation of our redimensioning processes throughout the company are key factors in our future. The restructuring measures and closure of unprofitable long-haul routes are already well underway, and a social plan has been worked out and agreed with the Staff Council for employees affected both directly and indirectly by the changes. The impact of our and service offensive are already measurable in passenger figures and we will continue with the quality focus in 2007: the refitting of our long-haul Business Class sections with lie-flat sleeper seats is largely complete, and we expect passengers to be enjoying DO&CO catering on board our flights from the summer of 2007 onwards.'
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The first aircraft in the Limited Series Production of Tejas, indigenous Light Combat Aircraft, (LSP-1), has made its successful maiden flight at HAL airport in Bangalore. LSP-1 would be the first aircraft to roll out of HAL production hangar, marking the beginning of series production of Tejas for induction into the Air Force. The flight in Bangalore on Wednesday lasted for 47 minutes, during which all the systems of the aircraft functioned "perfectly well", Defence Research and Development Organisation said. Flown by Group Captain A P Singh, the aircraft has covered an altitude up to 11 km at a supersonic speed of 1.1 Mach, DRDO said in its release.
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In a resolution on the global satellite navigation system GALILEO, the European Parliament expresses deep concern about the slowing down of negotiations for the franchise contract and voices fears about the increasing overall costs of this EU programme. Any further delays to the project should be kept to a minimum, say MEPs, and GALILEO should be fully operational by 2011. The deployment and operation of GALILEO, financed by both public and private funds, is supposed to be managed by means of a "concession" issued to a private consortium as part of a public-private partnership. Parliament is "deeply concerned by the fact that the concession negotiations have been at a standstill for several months". Such delays would have a significant impact on the overall cost of the project. MEPs "overwhelmingly" support the clear mandate given to Jacques Barrot, Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for the Galileo Programme, to submit to the June Council: a credible roadmap for coming to contractual conclusions as soon as possible, possible solutions for securing the long-term financial obligations, a scenario for the earliest possible provision of EGNOS satellite navigation services, and alternative scenarios for the realisation of the programme, especially for costs, risk and affordability. The House also urges the Council to keep any further delays of this project to a minimum. Furthermore, the Commission should submit two progress reports to the Parliament: one by mid-July 2007 and another one "well before" the negotiations reach the point that a revised proposal for a modified legal base for financing the Galileo Programme being made available.  
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ATR and Madrid-based Swiftair announced the signature of a contract for 3 new ATR 72-500s for a total value of about US $ 55 million. The airline, which currently operates 16 ATR aircraft, is now adding to its fleet for the first time the new -500 series ATR aircraft. Swiftair plans to operate 30 ATRs in 2010. These three aircraft, configured with 68 seats, will be delivered in December 2007 and by mid 2008, and will be equipped with the new "Elegance Cabin", Light Emitting Diode (LED) and with the newest technological innovations in the field of communications and navigation aid tools.  
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Given their unmatched and time tested surveillance capabilities, unmanned aerial systems (UAS) are being regarded as the aerial platforms of the future. The number of unmanned aircraft deployed overseas has increased exponentially over the last few years, further confirming their growing value to the U.S. military as well as other foreign militaries worldwide. However, despite the bright future of unmanned aviation in the military, a possible reduction in defense spending in coming years could pose a threat to several developmental UAS programs. The UAS industry will have to focus on technology advancement and timely system production in order to keep developmental programs on time and financially supported. New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, North American Unmanned Aerial Systems Market Analysis, reveals that the revenue in this market totaled $1.3 billion in 2006 and estimates this will more than double by 2013. The increasing need for timely intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) is a key driver for growth in the North American UAS market," notes Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Lindsay Voss. "UA systems continue to prove themselves in Iraq and Afghanistan, providing critical intelligence data that could minimize casualties in potentially lethal missions." With the possibility of future defense cutbacks looming for other defense programs, UA systems expect to receive substantial funding in the future. Furthermore, UA systems technology is constantly advancing and becoming more focused on meeting the needs of the war fighter. As the U.S. Armed Forces move toward network centricity, UAS programs will be vital components to military success. Government funding for many of these programs will reflect this importance. Nevertheless, as programs such as the Air Force/Navy joint unmanned combat aerial system (J-UCAS) and the Army's future combat systems (FCS) have shown, defense funding for high-tech UAS programs in the U.S. as well as Canada is unpredictable. With costs from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan escalating, and high-priced military programs being forced to compete for funding, several developmental UAS programs could struggle to become military programs of record.  
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Arianespace and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) have agreed to combine their satellite launch offerings by Ariane 5 and H-IIA to better serve customers in Japan and worldwide. Arianespace and MHI will jointly propose to potential customers launch services such that the customer's satellite may be launched on either one of the two launch vehicles. That is a further development in the commercial cooperation of Arianespace and MHI since the inception of the very successful Launch Services Alliance, which provides back-up launch services. Ariane 5 and H-IIA are the most reliable launchers on the market today. "I am very pleased that we will be able to offer to our customers launch Service & Solutions which adds the very reliable H-IIA to our own fleet of Ariane 5, Soyuz and Vega" declared Jean-Yves Le Gall, Arianespace's Chairman & CEO.  
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The US Navy's next-generation electronic warfare aircraft has completed the first phase of test and evaluation, and is set to receive hardware and a final build of software that will make it the world's most capable aircraft of its kind. The EA-18G Growler has finished an ambitious regimen of flight tests since the arrival of Growler test prototype aircraft EA-2 at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md. in late November. The team has implemented a new concept of Integrated Test and Evaluation, concurrently completing both system developmental testing and an independent fleet operational assessment within the first 90 days of flight test. Feedback from operational testers is being immediately incorporated into development of the platform and its systems, which will provide a more capable system to the fleet and, in this case, is shortening the development time needed to deliver the aircraft to the fleet. The EA-18G mission systems test team and aircrew from Flight Test and Evaluation Squadrons VX-23 at Pax River, VX-31 and VX-9 at NAWS China Lake, Calif., and Boeing contractor crews have had a single Growler flying up to four times a week to complete the rigorous test schedule.  
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Gulfstream Aerospace delivered its 150th Gulfstream G200 business jet today. The large-cabin, mid-range G200 is one of six business jets – at varying size, price and performance points – offered by Gulfstream. "With more than 200,000 flight hours accumulated, the G200 fleet has established a proven track record in terms of performance, quality and reliability," said Pres Henne, senior vice president, programs, engineering and test, Gulfstream. "We will continue our effort to improve the G200's already best-in-class dispatch reliability, which has now reached 99.75 percent." Since Gulfstream acquired the G200 product line in 2001, the company has made significant improvements to it. Within the first year, Gulfstream redesigned the G200's interior, reducing the aircraft's weight by some 600 pounds. In 2004, Gulfstream began offering installations of Safe Flight's Enhanced AutoPower® automatic throttle system (ATS). Also in 2004, the G200 received type certification from the European Aviation Safety Agency. In February 2005, Gulfstream began offering high-speed Internet in-flight capability.
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Diamond Aircraft and Jeppesen have joined forces to deliver an online private pilot training course, tailored to Diamond airplanes. Plans also include additional Diamond-specific online course packages that would follow the private course. Jeppesen is a subsidiary of Boeing Commercial Aviation Services. Training course materials will be delivered online to students. The course is designed to provide airplane-specific training on systems, procedures, real-life operational scenarios, and avionics, such as the Garmin G1000. Diamond said that instructors would have access to the Jeppesen Learning Center, which will provide a centralized location to manage, track, and store student training progress and records.
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TAM and TAP Portugal, a Star Alliance member, are executing a Memorandum of Agreement establishing a comprehensive alliance that comprises several areas, taking advantage of the synergies arising from their respective networks, products and services in the routes connecting Brazil and Portugal. By next July, the companies will implement a code share, which will translate into a significant increase of flight options for passengers, as well as into the linkage of the companies' mileage programs, TAM's Fidelidade and TAP's Victoria. For TAM, the agreement will allow the commercialization of TAP's flights operated between Brazil and Portugal (Lisbon, Porto, Faro and Funchal), strengthening TAM's position in the international market with European Leisure passengers traveling mainly to the northeastern Brazil. On the other hand, for TAP, it will involve domestic destinations operated by TAM to several Brazilian capitals and cities such as Belem, Manaus, Sao Luiz, Ilheus, Porto Seguro, Campo Grande, Cuiaba, Aracaju, Vitoria, Belo Horizonte, Curitiba, Goiania, Florianopolis, Joao Pessoa, Maceio, Navegantes, Porto Alegre and Foz do Iguacu, among others, in addition to cities in South America (Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Santiago, Chile). TAM and TAP also intend to extend cooperation to other international routes operated by both companies from their hubs, subject to the authorization of the involved countries.
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The Expedition 15 crew aboard the International Space Station completed its first week of station orientation as the crew worked with experiments and hardware maintenance. Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin and flight engineers Oleg Kotov and Suni Williams began the week with a couple light duty days after the busy handover operations with the former crew. Expedition 14 Commander Michael Lopez-Alegria and Russian crewmate Mikhail Tyurin, accompanied by spaceflight participant Charles Simonyi, returned to Earth on Saturday, April 21, and are at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, Russia, for several weeks of post-mission debriefing and rehabilitation. This week, the station crew members participated in several drills to maintain their medical and emergency proficiency. Yurchikhin and Kotov began sessions throughout the first two weeks of their residence to orient themselves with the station's operating systems. Williams, who served as an Expedition 14 crew member, is aiding Expedition 15 with their station orientation.
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07.11.2016

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