23.03.2009
FLUG REVUE

Weekly News 23 March 2009News Update 23 March 2009 - News in Brief

Short stories from around the aerospace industry.

Kurzmeldungen
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Air Europa and Spanair and have signed a cooperation agreement that includes codesharing on their combined domestic network, enabling both carriers to offer customers improved connections and an expanded network. The codeshare agreement covers 13 domestic routes, taking advantage of the strong network that both companies operate, providing the Spanish and international travellers more and enhanced travel alternatives. This codeshare routes will be effective as of March 29. It will include flights operated between Madrid and A Coruna, Alicante, Almeria, Bilbao, Jerez, Menorca, Malaga, Santiago de Compostela, Valencia and Vigo; and from Barcelona to Jerez, Malaga and Seville in the published schedules and frequencies of each carrier.
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New survey findings show airlines worldwide lost over $1.4 billion to online fraudsters in 2008, about 1.3% of worldwide airlines' online revenue. The data comes from a new independent Airline Online Fraud Survey commissioned by CyberSource Corporation in association with Airline Information LLC and completed January, 2009. Airlines are on the front line of the battle against online fraud--33% of the industry's revenues derive from eCommerce, three times the proportion of sales transacted online by non-travel companies--so efficient management of the problem is of critical concern to the airlines. According to survey data, the ways airlines manage fraud vary significantly by airline category. In 2008, business-class airlines, with higher-priced tickets to protect, typically embraced profit protection measures, whereas low-cost carriers tended to focus on revenue capture. On average, business airlines used the most fraud detection tools (6.5 tools per business-class airline), had the highest rate of manual review (47%), and rejected more bookings due to suspicion of fraud (3.6%). Conversely, low-cost carriers used the least number of automated screening tools (4.9 tools per low-cost carrier), were less likely to manually review bookings (13%), and rejected fewer bookings due to suspicion of fraud (2%). The result of these differing strategies is that in 2008 business airlines lost 1.1% of their revenues to fraud and low-cost carriers, by contrast, lost 1.6%.
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Honeywell announced that Qantas Airlines has received approval by the Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) to use the Honeywell SmartPath Ground-Based Augmentation System (GBAS) at Sydney International Airport for satellite-based landings on their A380 aircraft. The Honeywell SmartPath GBAS is the next-generation navigation technology that supports precision approach and landings using Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite data and transmits digital guidance signals to aircraft systems. Airservices Australia, with whom Honeywell has worked on SmartPath GBAS in a coordinated effort, has been actively engaged in the use of GBAS technology since 1999 and has been operating the Honeywell SmartPath GBAS ground station in Sydney since November 2006. Qantas had previously been approved to fly GBAS approaches with their Boeing 737 fleet, recording more than 1,600 GBAS landings in Sydney to date with precision guidance provided by Honeywell's SmartPath GBAS. A GBAS landing on the A380 was first demonstrated during the Airbus A380 test flight in Sydney in June 2007. Honeywell provides the Flight Management System and 11 other products and systems for the Airbus A380.
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NASA has selected United Launch Services of Littleton, Colo., for the launch of two Science Mission Directorate and two Space Operations Mission Directorate payloads under the NASA Launch Services contract. The launches will occur on Atlas V expendable launch vehicles. The total value of the award is approximately $600 million, which includes the launch services for the rockets, plus additional services under other contracts for payload processing, launch vehicle integration, and tracking, data and telemetry support. The launches will be from Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. The four payloads are the Radiation Belt Storm Probes mission, the Magnetospheric Multiscale mission, and the Tracking and Data Relay Satellites K and L, or TDRS-K and TDRS-L, missions.
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Boeing successfully completed the first test flight of the U.S. Air Force's third C-130 Avionics Modernization Program (AMP) aircraft on Jan. 17, three weeks ahead of schedule. The flight marked another milestone for the most comprehensive C-130 avionics modification ever conducted. The H3 aircraft accomplished both functional check flight and acceptance check flight tests. Boeing test pilot Mike Leone conducted the two-hour flight from the Boeing facility in San Antonio.
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The U.S. Air Force accepted delivery of Raytheon Company's first Miniature Air Launched Decoy low rate initial production unit. MALD protects aircrews and their aircraft by duplicating the combat flight profiles and signatures of U.S. and allied aircraft. MALD is a state-of-the-art, low-cost flight vehicle that is modular, air-launched and programmable. It weighs less than 300 pounds and has a range of approximately 500 nautical miles (about 575 statute miles).
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MBDA, a subsidiary of BAE Systems, EADS and Finmeccanica, has registered a sales turnover of 2.7 billion euros for 2008 (compared to 3 billion euros achieved in 2007). Order intake for the year stood at 2.35 billion euros (compared to 2.5 billion for the previous year). The order book stands at a high level with a back log of 11.9 billion euros as at 31st December 2008, a figure that represents approximately four years of operations for the Company. Domestic order intake reached 1.35 billion euros, a level comparable to that achieved in 2007, while export orders reached 1 billion euros with further major contracts expected in 2009. Sales and order intake figures reflect the comparative strength of the euro against the pound sterling, the currency in which the British customer is invoiced. Commenting on these results, Antoine Bouvier, Chief Executive Officer of MBDA, said: “In global terms 2008 was a positive year for MBDA with orders stable, our position consolidated and our international strategy confirmed. In France the Livre Blanc for defence and national security confirmed that the country, via Franco-British co-operation, will continue to contribute to the continuity of Europe's capabilities in the missile industry sector. In the UK, MBDA has become a key player in the country's defence industrial strategy (DIS) following its selection as head of the industrial grouping known as Team Complex Weapons which aims to preserve the UK's operational sovereignty in the area of missiles”.
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Ryanair announced a further series of route, flight and frequency cuts at Dublin Airport from July, as the impact of the €10 tourist tax and other Government price hikes cause numbers at Dublin to decline – down 12% in February alone. Ryanair confirmed that these latest cuts were being implemented in response to the decision of the Government owned Irish Aviation Authority to increase ATC charges by 12% this summer, at more than 12 times the rate of inflation. From July 2009 Ryanair will close four routes from Dublin to Basel, Doncaster, Oporto and Teesside, and reduce frequencies on eight more routes from Dublin to Aberdeen, Biarritz, Billund, Bournemouth, Carcassonne, East Midlands, Malaga and Rome (Ciampino). These cuts will result in one additional based aircraft (five in total) being switched from high cost Dublin Airport to a low cost Ryanair European base in July.
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Boeing and Terma A/S signed a Memorandum of Agreement that aims to provide Terma a minimum of 30 percent of the industrial-cooperation investments outlined in Boeing's Super Hornet proposal to Denmark. The Super Hornet strike fighter is one of three finalists in Denmark's New Combat Aircraft competition. "With Boeing's wide scope of business in the defense industry and as a leading producer of civilian and military aircraft, Boeing is an extremely attractive partner for Terma," said Terma CEO Jens Maaløe. "We are cooperating with Boeing on a number of projects, and are looking forward to developing our business further to the benefit of both companies." As the first in a series of projects under this broad cooperation agreement, Boeing has selected Terma's Electronic Warfare Management System (EWMS) suite as a preferred advanced electronic warfare solution for a number of CH-47F Chinook helicopter offerings to international customers whose requirements extend beyond Boeing's baseline CH-47F offering.
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The Board of Directors of Dassault Aviation, which met on March 18, 2009, chaired by Mr Charles Edelstenne, approved the accounts for the past year. Consolidated orders amount to EUR 5.82 billion. They include in particular the sales of 115 Falcon. Consolidated 2008 sales amount to EUR 3.75 billion. Consolidated operating profit is EUR 434 million. It accounts for 11.6% of consolidated sales. Consolidated net profit (total Group and net attributable Group profit) amounts to EUR 373 million. It accounts for 9.9% of consolidated sales. The net consolidated earnings per share is 36.8 euros.
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SuperJet International - the regional jet marketing, customization, and support company for the Sukhoi Superjet 100 regional aircraft, has selected Lufthansa Technik Logistik GmbH (LTL) as the exclusive global logistic provider to manage the Sukhoi Superjet 100 spares distribution centres worldwide. The new partnership will take advantage of Lufthansa Technik Logistik's facilities based at Frankfurt International Airport, equipped with a brand new fully automated warehouse, as well as LTL existing worldwide network. As for several major customers worldwide, LTL already has significant experience in the management of services for Russian airlines. Sören Stark, Managing Director of LTL states: “SuperJet International is highly committed to offer premium after sales services for operators worldwide. By selecting LTL as the global logistic provider, SJI consequently pursues its customer orientation and guarantees firstclass material supply. We are convinced that SuperJet International and its customers will benefit from LTL's industry leadership in MRO logistics.”
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Armenia flag carrier Armavia has taken delivery of its first new A319. The aircraft was handed over to Armavia's President, Mikhail Bagdasarov, at a ceremony held at the Airbus factory in Hamburg, Germany. Operated under a lease agreement with ILFC, the new A319 will increase the airline's Airbus fleet to five aircraft. Armavia's A319 features the all-new cabin that recently entered service on all members of the A320 Family, and which provides more passenger comfort in a more modern and brighter environment. The aircraft, powered by CFM International CFM56 engines, can accommodate 134 passengers in a two-class cabin layout. The airline plans to operate this aircraft on its international routes, such as to Moscow, Paris, Amsterdam, Saint Petersburg, Zurich, Berlin, Athens, Kiev, Odessa, Simferopol and Dubai.
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British Defense Secretary John Hutton announced on Wednesday that the United Kingdom will purchase three Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II operational test aircraft, signaling the U.K.'s commitment to the upcoming Operational Test and Evaluation phase of the Joint Strike Fighter program. Hutton made the announcement during a visit to Washington, D.C. The F-35B is the first aircraft to combine stealth with short takeoff/ vertical landing (STOVL) capability and supersonic speed. It will be the next-generation fighter for the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force, and will be flown from the two new Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers. The U.K. plans to bring 138 F-35s to the fleet.
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Turkish Aerospace Industries, Inc. (TAI), a major international supplier to Northrop Grumman Corporation on the F-35 Lightning II aircraft program, has produced and delivered its first structural assemblies for the jet. The metallic assemblies, which contain more than 100 parts each, represent the next major step forward in TAI's evolving role as a second source supplier of complete F-35 center fuselages. The company delivered its first F-35 composite parts in late 2008. The assemblies from TAI will be used in center fuselages for F-35 conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) variants. Northrop Grumman, a principal member of the Lockheed Martin-led F-35 industry team, is currently assembling those CTOL center fuselages in Palmdale, Calif., as part of the second phase of F-35 low rate initial production.
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Ceremonies were held at Lockheed Martin in Fort Worth, Texas, to commemorate the F-16 Peace Xenia IV program for Greece. The ceremony marks an important production milestone, demonstrating that the program is on schedule and on budget. This F-16 acquisition is the fourth for the Hellenic Air Force (HAF) and the nation of Greece. Lt. Gen. Ioannis Giagkos, chief of the Hellenic Air Force General Staff, accepted the first Peace Xenia IV F-16 Block 52 advanced aircraft on behalf of his nation and expressed satisfaction with its timely delivery. "I am grateful to everyone who contributed to the design and construction of this ultra-modern weapon system. With these new aircraft, the defense and deterrent force of the Hellenic Air Force will be significantly enhanced," he said.
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NASA and the European Space Agency have selected 10 proposals for science instruments to fly aboard a spacecraft that will study the sun from a unique vantage point in space. The European-led mission, called the Solar Orbiter, will be positioned about one-fourth the distance Earth is from the sun. The location ultimately will enhance the ability for scientists worldwide to forecast space weather. Space weather can produce electromagnetic fields on Earth that induce extreme currents in wires, disrupting power lines, causing wide-spread blackouts and affecting communication ables that support the Internet. Severe space weather also produces energetic solar particles and the dislocation of Earth's radiation belts, which can damage satellites used for commercial communications, global positioning and weather forecasting. Additionally, space weather poses risks to astronauts.
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International Launch Services (ILS) and SES announced three new launch assignments under the Multi Launch Agreement that was signed in June 2007 between ILS and SES Satellite Leasing Limited, SES' satellite procurement and leasing company in the Isle of Man. This innovative agreement was designed to provide SES with increased flexibility in their launch plans and improved schedule assurance. Two of the primary missions will be NSS-14 for SES NEW SKIES and Sirius 5 for SES SIRIUS. These missions are scheduled respectively for late 2010 and 2011. NSS-14 is poised to be the largest satellite in the SES NEW SKIES fleet and will enhance what is already the largest neighborhood in the Atlantic Ocean region at 338 degrees East. Sirius 5 is a multi-mission satellite for the SES group serving Northern Europe and the Baltic region as well as the African markets with Ku- and C-band from the orbital location of 5 degrees East.
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Raytheon delivered the fifth and final Sentinel R Mk 1 aircraft to the U.K. Royal Air Force (RAF) at its base in Waddington. To mark the completed delivery of all Airborne Stand-Off Radar (ASTOR) equipment and to highlight the capabilities recently demonstrated by the successful recent trials deployment to Afghanistan of ASTOR assets, the U.K. Ministry of Defence (MoD) hosted an event at the base, home to 5 (AC) Squadron, the ASTOR prime customer.
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