23.02.2009
FLUG REVUE

News in brief - 23 February 2009News Update 23 February 2009 - News in Brief

Short stories from around the aerospace industry.

Kurzmeldungen
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Following the creation of the European Customer Service Centre (CSC) in October 2007, Eurocopter is opening a second centre in Hong Kong (CSC Asia-Pacific) to better serve customers in the Asia Pacific region. Eurocopter’s Asia-Pacific customers today operate 1264 Eurocopter helicopters in service. The daily operations of CSC Asia-Pacific will be managed by “Helicopter CSC Limited” together with 12 local professionals. Mr. Derek Sharples, Eurocopter’s Executive Vice-President Customer Support states at this occasion, “The setting up of this Customer Service Centre in Hong Kong and the choice to entrust its operations to a dedicated local team is perfectly in-line with Eurocopter’s global service strategy, focussing on proximity to our customers, innovative services and information management. Eurocopter’s strength has always resided in its ability to tap into local expertise and resources and adapt to the different business, cultural and social ractices of each country“. CSC Asia-Pacific is supported locally by a logistics warehouse thanks to which the kentre can directly handle about 70% of the routine spare and AOG requests in Asia Pacific. As for PBH parts, CSC Asia Pacific will handle between 80-90% of the requests directly by mid 2009.
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Pratt & Whitney's Columbus Engine Center has become the first in the world to retrofit an International Aero Engines (IAE) V2500-A5 engine to the V2500 SelectOne engine. Benefits of the retrofit include up to an additional one percent lower fuel burn, and corresponding lower CO2 emissions, as well as noise reduction and lower overall operating costs. The V2500-A5 engine, registration V10301, which belongs to US Airways, has been in service since Feb. 16, 1998. It has more than 38,000 hours on wing with nearly 15,000 cycles.
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Sikorsky Aircraft announced today that Local 1150 of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, representing 5,100 hourly employees at the company’s Stratford, Bridgeport and Shelton, Conn., and West Palm Beach, Fla., facilities, has ratified a new, five-year labor contract. Laurie Havanec, Vice President, Human Resources at Sikorsky, said, "We are extremely pleased with the ratification of this five-year agreement. The long-term labor stability this five-year agreement provides will be beneficial for our employees and our customers in these challenging economic times. The negotiating teams on both sides worked hard to reach an agreement that meets employees’ needs while helping Sikorsky to remain competitive. “
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Heli-Expo promised to be another big one. It will feature a record number 583 exhibitors, including 88 first-time exhibitors, and 73 helicopters are scheduled to be on the show Flor, HAI said in a preview on tue event in Anaheim, California.
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The high-energy laser built by Northrop Grumman Corporation successfully fired multiple long-duration blasts onboard the U.S. Missile Defense Agency's (MDA) Airborne Laser (ABL) during intensive ground tests concluded Feb. 12. Lasting up to three seconds each, the lethal-power firings were conducted to 'tune' the megawatt-class laser by adjusting and balancing the mixture of chemicals that fuel its engine for peak operating efficiency. These settings can now be used for future testing, including the planned shoot down of a ballistic missile later this year. Long-duration operations of the Chemical Oxygen Iodine Laser (COIL) followed 'first light' of the high-energy laser through ABL's onboard beam control / fire control (BC/FC) system in the aircraft's hangar at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., in November 2008. They were conducted by MDA, ABL prime contractor The Boeing Company, and Northrop Grumman.
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Kaman Helicopters is again expanding the firefighting capabilities of K-MAX helicopters. The company is developing an innovative, powerful water cannon that will deliver water directly to the source of a fire, according to Mark Tattershall, Director of Marketing & Business Development for Kaman Helicopters. The cannon will shoot water from the front of the helicopter, enabling more direct, effective coverage when fighting fires in high rises or private homes, for example.
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Honeywell announced that its LTS101 model turboshaft engine for the Eurocopter BK117 helicopter has been improved and will deliver 15 percent more power for takeoff and 18 percent more power for hot day operations. “By incorporating a cooled Gas Producer turbine assembly, the LTS101-850 increases available power and more than doubles Gas Producer disk life to 15,000 cycles, which results in reduced operating costs,” said Doug Kult, Honeywell Director of Sales, Helicopter and Surface Systems. “In addition to the increased takeoff power, the LTS101-850 produces an 18 percent hot day increase and a 16 percent increase in OEI (One Engine Inoperative) power,” Kult said. Honeywell is currently working to complete the Supplemental Type Certificates (STC) needed to install the engine in the aircraft. Certification is planned for early 2010.
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PHI unveiled the first dedicated 24-hour offshore air medical helicopter. The new air medical Sikorsky S-76 C++ is specifically designed to serve the oil and gas industry. Its unique onboard medical capabilities and clinical expertise will bring a new level of care for those working offshore. This service is a joint undertaking between PHI’s oil and gas and air medical group, which safely transports 30,000 patients per year in helicopters and airplanes across the country. The helicopter is equipped with cardiac monitors with 12 lead EKG capabilities, defibrillator with pacing capability, transport ventilators and IV pumps, and a dedicated life port medical interior with 2-patient capability. Along with the most advanced medical equipment, the aircraft is manned with the finest and most extensively trained pilots and medical crews in the industry. This service is the first to offer Advanced Critical Care Life Support Capabilities to those working hundreds of miles offshore in the Gulf of Mexico.
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Stork Aerospace subsidiary Fokker Services, having recently entered into a manufacturing licence and forging supply agreement with Messier-Dowty Limited for Messier-Dowty-designed replacement Fokker 100 aircraft landing gear components, today announced that it has signed a contract with Heroux-Devtek Inc, to manufacture and supply those replacement components. Under the terms of agreement, Héroux-Devtek will supply complete aftermarket kits. Deliveries are expected to begin in the spring of 2010 and should be completed by the end of calendar year 2013. Based on current projections, the total value of the contract is estimated between $ 11 and $ 17.7 million.
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Jean-Paul Herteman, SAFRAN’s Chief Executive Officer, stated: "The Group met its financial and strategic targets for 2008. Profit from recurring operations amounted to €652 million including a €646 million negative currency effect. Orders remained very strong and we took a number of significant steps during the year to implement our strategy of refocusing and expanding our business as a major equipment supplier (Tier-1) for the aeronautics, defense and security sectors. These steps included: Definitively withdrawing from the communications, ie broadband and mobile phone businesses, which was achieved in line with the planned financial and social conditions. Adapting the Group’s organizational structure in order to consolidate its skills in embedded electronical systems and power electronics, and to combine services and OE activities in civil engine business. Carrying out targeted acquisitions in the security industry via the purchase of SDU, a leading European supplier of secure identification documents, and Printrak (Motorola’s US-based biometrics business). The size of the Group’s installed fleet, the competitive positioning of its products and technologies and the excellence of its transatlantic partnership with GE, which has been recently renewed until 2040, are all major strengths for SAFRAN in the current economic situation. In addition, Group’s improvement plan has been reinforced to reduce structural costs and enhance manufacturing productivity. 2009 will be a year of challenges which SAFRAN will be able to face and will emerge from even stronger."
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A U.S. Air Force/Lockheed Martin team announced today that the Defense Satellite Communications System (DSCS) III constellation has surpassed 200 years of on-orbit operations, the longest total operational experience of any U.S. military communications satellite constellation. Lockheed Martin designed and built 14 DSCS spacecraft for the Military Satellite Communications Wing at the Air Force's Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif. The system provides uninterrupted secure voice and high-data rate communications to Department of Defense users; essential tools in monitoring events and deploying and sustaining forces anywhere in the world.
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Looking to reinforce the value of business aviation to American workers, policymakers, companies and communities across the U.S., the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) and General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) unveiled a comprehensive new joint advocacy campaign with a familiar name: “No Plane No Gain.” “The contributions of business aviation to our nation’s employment, commerce, competitiveness and health are profound but not always well understood,” said GAMA president and CEO Pete Bunce. “We are launching this new multi-media educational campaign to get the word out that business aviation is working for America. It is responsible for well over 1 million manufacturing and service jobs, and is one of the few industries that contributes positively to our nation’s balance of trade. It is also serving as a lifeline for communities all across the country that are seeing scheduled airline service being reduced or eliminated.”
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Airbus has selected two SAFRAN Group companies, Messier-Bugatti and Labinal, to design, develop and manufacture critical systems and equipment for its new A350XWB long-haul commercial jet. Messier-Bugatti will supply the wheels and carbon brakes, based on SepcarbIII OR carbon disks, today’s benchmark, with the lowest rate of wear and best friction performance in the world. Messier-Bugatti will also supply the two nose wheels and eight main wheels for the different versions of this aircraft. The wheels and brakes for the A350XWB will be “eco-designed” and “eco-produced”, in particular using hydro-soluble paints and completely eliminating chrome. Messier-Bugatti had already been selected in February 2008 to provide all landing and braking control systems for this new family of commercial jets: braking, steering, landing gear extension/retraction and wheel, brake and landing gear monitoring. The contract won by Labinal covers a comprehensive electrical package for the new A350XWB. The company is responsible for the integrated design and build of the Electrical Wiring Interconnect System package for the entire A350XWB fuselage.
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The Italian Ministry of Defense has confirmed that Lockheed Martin has met the industrial benefit requirement associated with Italy's acquisition of 22 C-130J aircraft five years ahead of schedule. As a result of Lockheed Martin's completion of this commitment, more than 70 partnerships within Italy's industrial community were implemented. These projects are projected to provide in excess of $2 billion in long-term economic impact to the Italian economy. A majority of the projects associated with the Lockheed Martin-Italy industrial return requirement have involved a wide range of Italian companies, including small and medium-sized enterprises. Initiatives included technology transfers, establishment of licenses or direct investment by Lockheed Martin within Italian industry.
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CAE and AgustaWestland consortium, Rotorsim, has signed a three-year contract to provide NH90 flight simulation training to the Norwegian armed forces. Rotorsim, equally owned by CAE and AgustaWestland, will offer initial type, recurrent and mission training for the Norwegian NH90 aircrews. The aircrew will fly Norway’s NH90 NATO Frigate Helicopter (NFH) from the new Fridtjof Nansen Class Frigates and the Nordkapp and Svalbard Class Coast Guard vessels.  The training will begin in 2011, once the Rotorsim NH90 full-mission flight trainer (FMFT) is operational. This contract represents the first NH90 third-party training contract for Rotorsim. Rotorsim offers full-flight and mission simulation training at the AgustaWestland Training Academy in Sesto Calende, Italy. Rotorsim is the prime contractor responsible for the development of the Joint NH90 Training Program (JNTP) for the Netherlands Ministry of Defence. In 2011, Rotorsim will take delivery of one NH90 FMFT and an NH90 virtual sensor trainer for training rear crew sensor operators.  Following delivery of the NH90 training devices to the Rotorsim training facility, Rotorsim will deliver aircrew simulation training services to the Netherlands and now to Norway.
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The first Air France A380, powered with Engine Alliance GP7200 engines, successfully completed a 4-hour inaugural test route flight from Airbus, Toulouse on Feb. 12, 2009. The aircraft flew to Airbus Hamburg on Feb. 16, where it will be painted in Air France livery, and its interior will be customized for the airline. The A380 is scheduled for delivery to Air France in October. The aircraft is the first of 12 A380s Air France has on order, and all 12 will be powered with Engine Alliance GP7200 engines. Air France is the second customer for the joint venture company of GE Aviation and Pratt & Whitney, whose GP7200 engines entered service with Emirates last August.
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The Boeing Standoff Land Attack Missile Expanded Response (SLAM ER) weapon system scored a direct hit against a remote-controlled, land-based moving target Jan. 15 in a flight test conducted at the U.S. Naval Air Warfare Center in China Lake, Calif. "SLAM ER has demonstrated its effectiveness against stationary targets, moving surface-ship targets and, now, land-based moving targets," said Jan Browne, director of Stand-off Strike Weapons for Boeing. "This advanced capability provides an added level of security for our warfighters." The test concluded a successful, four-part series of developmental/operational flight tests funded by the U.S. Navy Rapid Technology Transfer program. Previous test flights included engagement with remote-controlled mobile targets in 2006 and an operational test launch earlier in January.
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On behalf of the Eurofighter consortium, EADS proposed to establish a long-term strategic partnership with Indian aerospace and defence companies. Speaking at a press conference during Aero India 2009, Bernhard Gerwert, CEO of Military Air Systems, an integrated Business Unit of EADS Defence & Security, said in Bangalore: "We have a strong interest to create a long-lasting strategic partnership with Indian aerospace and defence companies and we are committed to bring our capabilities, skills and technologies into this win-win-partnership." The CEO said: "India is our partner of choice and therefore we invite India to join the Eurofighter Typhoon programme as a partner. We are ready to listen and to learn from our Indian customers and industrial partners." A competitive Eurofighter Typhoon bid proposal and a comprehensive offset offer were submitted to the Indian authorities in 2008. Since then, 25 Memoranda of Understandings (MoUs) were already signed to enhance the industrial cooperation with India's aerospace and defence industry. The Eurofighter Typhoon partner companies are confident to fulfill the 50 percent offset obligation of the Request for Proposal (RFP) and will offer India access to an international sourcing network of unparalleled scope.
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Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) continue to be the most dynamic growth sector of the world aerospace industry, report Teal analysts in their latest integrated market analysis. Teal Group's 2009 market study estimates that UAV spending will almost double over the next decade from current worldwide UAV expenditures of $4.4 billion annually to $8.7 billion within a decade, totaling just over $62 billion in the next ten years. The study suggests that the US will account for 72% of the worldwide RDT&E spending on UAV technology over the next decade, and about 61% of the procurement. "We expect that the sales of UAVs will follow recent patterns of high-tech arms procurement worldwide, with Europe representing the second largest market, followed very closely by Asia-Pacific," said Teal senior analyst Steve Zaloga, one of the authors of the new, 364-page study. "Indeed, the Asia-Pacific region may outpace Europe in UAV development."
The sixth edition of the sector study, World Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Systems, Market Profile and Forecast 2009, examines the worldwide requirements for UAVs, including UAV payloads, and provides ten-year forecasts by country, region, and classes of UAVs.
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Polish privatization agency ARP confirmed that Aero Vodochody remains the only company to continue to the next stage of the negotiations on the privatization of the Polish aerospace producer PZL Swidnik. “We are glad that we have succeeded in entering the next stage of negotiations as the only partner in such competition we had in Poland. Although the negotiations are not by far at their end, I am convinced that our bid brings an interesting and perspective business plan, the aim of which is to create a new European aerospace holding together with PZL Swidnik and to further strengthen our position on the market of international aerostructures. Of course, mutual synergies will allow us to offer even better services to our customers and attract new, said Igor Hulak, President of Aero Vodochody.
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The Australian Minister for Defence, the Hon. Joel Fitzgibbon MP, today announced the Government has accepted the reality that it will be necessary to bring forward the retirement of Australia’s remaining thirteen DHC-4 Caribou aircraft to December 2009. “The Government has been left with little choice but to retire the Caribou and has reluctantly agreed to do so despite the fact that poor planning by the former Government has denied us the opportunity to produce a replacement aircraft before 2013,” Mr Fitzgibbon said. “After 45 years of tireless and distinguished service with the Royal Australian Air Force, the Caribou fleet is suffering badly from a range of ageing aircraft issues, and contains asbestos parts which I am determined to weed out of the Defence Force.”
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Lufthansa has selected CFM International's CFM56-5B engine to power 27 new Airbus A319/A320 aircraft in a firm engine order valued at approximately $375 million. The airline is scheduled to take its first new aircraft later this year, with deliveries continuing through November 2012. Lufthansa took delivery of its first CFM-powered aircraft in 1986 and today operates more than 150 CFM56-powered Airbus and Boeing aircraft.
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The first aircraft in the latest order of 31 Saab Gripen for the Swedish Armed Forces took to the air for the first time on February 16. In November, the last aircraft in the third batch for the Swedish Air Force was delivered to the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration. Production is now continuing with the 31 aircraft that were ordered in 2007. "In addition to the order of 31 aircraft to Sweden, we also have the production of aircraft for Thailand and South Africa on the assembly line", says Christer Lindell, Programme Manager, Saab Aerosystems.
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The German Air Force delegation safely landed at their respective home bases late Tuesday 17th February, thus successfully completing participation at AERO INDIA 2009. After a stop-over at Riyadh’s King Khaled International Airport in Saudi Arabia, all four EUROFIGHTER fighter aircraft, an Airbus A310 (Passenger) along with an Airbus A310 MRTT (Multi Role Transport Tanker) successfully concluded a challenging deployment to Asia after participating in the biennial air show. The first ever deployment of EUROFIGHTER over a distance of about 5,000 miles was successfully conducted and supported by the first operational air-to-air refuelling with MRTT. The deployment provided broad experience to include both technical and logistical procedures and know-how for future activities and operations. Chief of Staff for the German Air Force, Lieutenant General Klaus-Peter Stieglitz, expressed his satisfaction during his visit to India: “This air show is tremendous and we were able to demonstrate parts of our capabilities very successfully. With EUROFIGHTER and MRTT in operation, the German Air Force will be well prepared for future challenges.” All four fighter aircraft touched down at Laage/Rostock Air Base last night and were warmly welcomed by ground crews of Fighter Wing 73 “Steinhoff”.
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Vector Aerospace Helicopter Services North America , the world’s largest independent provider of helicopter maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) announces that Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approval for a Vector-developed Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) has been granted to Carson Helicopter Services for a five panel configuration of a Sagem Avionics, Inc. (SAFRAN Group) Integrated Cockpit Display System (ICDS or glass cockpit) for installation in the Sikorsky S-61 helicopter. Elvis Moniz, Director of Operations for Vector-Langley explains this important upgrade to the S61 is part of a modernization program envisioned by Frank Carson, an internationally recognized pioneer in the helicopter industry. “Working with Mr. Carson and Sagem in developing this upgrade over the past several years has culminated in the solution we have today,” says Moniz. “ “This system upgrade, in addition to other enhancements being developed by Carson undoubtedly improves operational capability and safety, and will help ensure the longevity of the international S61 fleet, which currently numbers more than 600 aircraft operating in a variety of commercial and military roles." The highly anticipated S-61 configuration includes five Active Matrix Light Crystal Display (AMLCD) 10-inch displays and integrates Primary Flight Instruments, EICAS -Engine Instruments/Caution Advisory System and other Multifunction Display system functions including moving maps, enhanced vision (when linked to a camera) and TOPS – Terrain Obstacle Proximity System.  An updated digital fuel indicating system, dedicated 6 inch AMLCD displaying Caution advisory information, dual solid state AHRS system (virtually eliminating all traditional gyroscopic devices), cargo hook and fire tank parameters are also part of the aircraft modification and upgrade.
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