04.05.2009
FLUG REVUE

News Update 4 May 2009 - News in Brief

Our weekly news roundup from around the aerospace industry.

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First-quarter earnings for the SAS Group amounted to MSEK -934. Key ratios from the SAS Group's first quarter report: · Earnings before nonrecurring items for the first quarter amounted to MSEK -934 (875), a decline of MSEK 59; the Group carried 5.7 million passengers; earnings for the first quarter were weak as expected and amounted to MSEK -934 before nonrecurring items in continuing operations. In addition, nonrecurring items pertaining to restructuring costs related to Core SAS totaled MSEK -95.
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On 28 April, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) released March data for scheduled international traffic. Passenger demand fell to 11.1% below March 2008 levels. Airlines cut international passenger capacity by 4.4% resulting in an average load factor of 72.1%. This is 5.4 percentage points below the average load factor recorded in March 2008. Freight demand was relatively stable at -21.4% compared to March 2008. “The global economic crisis continues to reduce demand for international air travel,” said Giovanni Bisignani, IATA's Director General and CEO. IATA estimates that international revenues in March will be impacted with a decline of up to 20%. “Airlines cannot adjust capacity to match demand. Load factors have dipped sharply from last year. All of this is hitting revenues hard,” said Bisignani. “The only glimmer of hope is that cargo demand has stabilised this month although at the shockingly low level of -21.4%,” said Bisignani. For the fourth consecutive month international cargo demand is hovering in the -21% to -24% region as a result of the sharp drop in world trade. “It's not the end of the recession, but we may have found the floor,” said Bisignani. Rising concerns over Swine Influenza could have a significant impact on traffic. “Safety, as always, is our number one priority. IATA is working in close cooperation with the World Health Organization to ensure an efficient response of the air transport industry to the challenges that Swine Influenza will present,” said Bisignani. “It is still too early to judge what the impact of Swine Flu will have on the bottom line. But it is sure that anything that shakes the confidence of passengers has a negative impact on the business. And the timing could not be worse given all of the other economic problems airlines are facing.”
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Boeing and civil defense and aerospace company Danish Aerotech have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that outlines opportunities for Danish Aerotech to provide select F/A-18E/F Super Hornet logistics support capabilities. If the Royal Danish Air Force names the Super Hornet as its New Combat Aircraft, Boeing and Danish Aerotech could partner in a Performance Based Logistics (PBL) program for long-term support of the strike fighter aircraft and other platforms.
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Boeing has passed a major milestone in the design of the 747-8 Intercontinental, completing 25 percent of the design releases for the new passenger airplane. This means a quarter of the information needed to build parts and tools for assembly has been completed and released for fabrication or procurement. "We have made tremendous progress on the design engineering," said Mo Yahyavi, vice president and general manager for the 747 Program. "The engineering is proceeding as planned and we are a step closer to bringing the 747-8 Intercontinental to market." Since much of the design is the same as the 747-8 Freighter, which Boeing is building first, the engineering focus is on work that is unique to the 747-8 Intercontinental, comprising mostly fuselage and interior design. The most obvious difference is that the 747-8 Intercontinental fuselage will boast an extended upper deck.
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Raytheon launched its first GBU-53/B Small Diameter Bomb II as a control test vehicle (CTV) flight. A U.S. Air Force F-15E fighter aircraft released the GBU-53/B in flight. After safely separating from the aircraft, the weapon deployed its wings, performed a series of preprogrammed maneuvers and flew to a predesignated position. The mission met all primary test objectives. The seeker on Raytheon's GBU-53/B leverages the company's experience with the proven Non Line-of-Sight-Launch System Precision Attack Missile.
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Boeing, industry teammates and the U.S. Missile Defense Agency have begun Airborne Laser (ABL) flight tests with the entire weapon system integrated aboard the ABL aircraft. "With ABL's return to flight, we are on the verge of fully demonstrating the unprecedented speed, mobility, precision and lethality that ABL could provide to America's warfighters," said Michael Rinn, Boeing vice president and ABL program director.
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Sikorsky Global Helicopters announced it has delivered six S-300CBi helicopters to Bristow Academy, a Florida-based flight training school. All six aircraft will join Bristow's fleet of 48 S-300CBi helicopters, currently used for training instruction at Bristow's three U.S. locations in California, Florida, and Louisiana.
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Pratt & Whitney's F119 engine, which powers the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor, has surpassed 100,000 operational flight hours of service for the U.S. Air Force. The accomplishment marks a significant milestone for the only operational fifth generation fighter engine in service today and demonstrates the maturity of the propulsion system.
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Frasca International, Urbana, IL has been selected to provide a new King Air B200GT FTD to Serco Group plc ("Serco") as part of the prestigious RAF Cranwell Multi-Activity Contract (MAC). The new Frasca King Air B200GT FTD will feature the Collins Pro Line 21(tm) fully integrated avionics system, an enclosed instructors station, and Frasca's Graphical Instructor Station (GISt(tm)). Other features include Frasca's TruVisionTM Global visual system with a 220 degree display system and a custom RAF Cranwell visual database. Serco currently operates two additional Frasca B200 FTD's.
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The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has selected Lockheed Martin as the systems integrator and Raytheon Company as the radar developer for Phase 3 of its Integrated Sensor is Structure (ISIS) program. Under the contract valued at just under $400 million, Lockheed Martin will lead an industry team in the design, build, test and flight-demonstration of a one-third scale airship featuring Raytheon's new, low-power density radar. The autonomous flight test system will operate on station for 90 days, proving several key technologies with an anticipated total demonstration of one year. "The development of high energy density power systems, an extremely lightweight radar solution and an advanced flexible composite material were necessary to make a stratospheric airship like ISIS possible," said Eric Hofstatter, Lockheed Martin ISIS program manager. "This is an extremely advanced machine that represents a dramatically different approach to persistent real-time intelligence gathering and to the overarching utility of airships." "The operational goal for ISIS is to look for airborne and ground-based targets and to communicate directly with the battlefield from a single antenna for up to 10 years," said Michael Wechsberg, director of radio frequency systems programs for Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems.
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STRATEGIC Airlines have confirmed the signing of a lease agreement for an Airbus A330-200 aircraft, to service their ongoing contractual commitments. The aircraft has been leased through Swiss Airlines International, and will replace Strategic's currently chartered Airbus A330-300.
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Space debris is a current and growing threat to U.S. exploration activities, and leaders must make situational awareness a top national priority, AIA President and CEO Marion Blakey said in congressional testimony Tuesday. In written testimony submitted to the House Space and Aeronautics Subcommittee, Blakey detailed the challenges created by tens of thousands of man-made objects orbiting the Earth. These items, which include both functioning satellites as well as debris, must be carefully monitored to ensure the safety of humans traveling in space and aboard the International Space Station, as well as critical U.S. space assets. "As the number of nations placing objects in space grows, risks to U.S. space systems and our ability to operate in space also increases," Blakey wrote. "Space technology is a critical infrastructure that contributes to a strong and secure America. It needs to be adequately protected."
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The world's airlines have scheduled 6% fewer flights for April 2009 compared with the same month last year, with a 3% drop in seat capacity, according to the latest statistics from OAG, the world's leading aviation data business and part of UBM Aviation. This is the ninth successive month of declines, and represents a reduction of more than 136,000 flights and 9 million seats year on year. The total number of flights scheduled to operate worldwide this month is 2.34 million, offering 287.3 million seats to travelers around the globe.
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After completing testing of the flight control laws of the new A330 MRTT as a receiver aircraft with the Airbus Military A310 Boom Demonstrator, in which the A310 tanker made more than 80 con-tacts, Airbus Military has further validated the receiver flight control laws of the A330 MRTT with a French Air Force KC-135 Aircraft. Two flights involving 20 contacts have been performed between the first Royal Australian Air Force KC-30A (A330 MRTT) and the French KC-135 aircraft. The support of the French Air Force to the Australian A330 MRTT program has been possible thanks to a technical agreement between the Minister of Defence of the French Republic and the Minister for Defence of Australia on co-operation in the field of defence armament concerning tanker aircraft in which a series of flight trials will be performed with a French tanker and different receiver aircraft.
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Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Flight Test Center welcomes back Sukhoi Superjet 100 S/N 95001, returning from Arkhangelsk after successful completion of natural icing tests. The aircraft departed to Arkhangelsk, North Russia on April 11, 2009 and performed since than five flights, required to “catch the ice”. Arkhangelsk has been chosen to host natural icing tests due to high possibility of conditions, favorable for icing. The flights had been performed between Murmansk and Arkhangelsk – on the shore of the White Sea. Natural icing tests challenge both active anti-icing protection and passive ability of the aircraft to resist against handling qualities deterioration caused by icing. Anti-icing system heats the front edge of the wing, engine inlets, and receivers on the aircraft surface and deices the windscreen. In case of anti-icing system failure, passive protection becomes crucioal – it relates to ability of the aircraft to retain good aerodynamic characteristics despite wing and empennage icing.
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The ninth and final VH-71 to be built under “Increment 1” of the US Presidential Helicopter Replacement Programme departed AgustaWestland's Yeovil facility on its way to the United States for completion by prime contractor Lockheed Martin. The aircraft will depart the UK for the US later this week aboard a US Air Force C-17 transport aircraft. Giuseppe Orsi, CEO, AgustaWestland said at the delivery ceremony “The delivery of the final aircraft today has been achieved just over four years after the contract was awarded in 2005. All the aircraft delivered are completely compliant to the specifications required by the U.S. Government and the progress achieved in such a short period of time is uncommon for an acquisition of this size and complexity. The whole VH-71 team can be proud of this remarkable achievement”.
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Vision Systems International has received several new contracts with a total value of more than $120 million. Boeing awarded VSI a contract for the delivery of more than 550 additional Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing Systems (JHMCS). VSI also received direct contracts from the U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force for spares and Ground Support Equipment (GSE) in support of the JHMCS program. Under the production contract, VSI will provide JHMCS hardware, including spares, technical support and GSE for the Full Rate Production - Lot 5 (FRP-5) acquisition. This procurement fills U.S. government domestic requirements for the U.S. Air Force F-15E and F-16, Air National Guard F-15, U.S. Navy F/A-18C/D/E/F/G single seat and dual seat platforms, as well as foreign military sales production and spares commitments including: Australia (F/A-18), Belgium (F-16), Turkey (F-16), and other countries. Deliveries under FRP-5 will commence this year and continue through 2010.
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Cessna's revenues decreased $477 million in the first quarter from the same period last year. This decrease primarily reflects the delivery of 69 business jets compared to 95 during the same quarter last year, partially offset by higher pricing. Segment profit decreased $117 million primarily due to the lower volume and higher inventory write-downs for used aircraft. These items were partially offset by a $50 million pre-tax gain on the sale of a customer maintenance tracking service and pricing in excess of inflation. Cessna backlog at the end of the first quarter was $13.0 billion, down $1.5 billion from the end of 2008, reflecting 92 net cancellations during the quarter.
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Bell's revenues and segment profit increased $168 million and $16 million, respectively, in the first quarter. Revenues increased due to higher volume and pricing. Segment profit increased due to the impact of higher volume and pricing in excess of inflation, partially offset by start up costs for the 429 program and other miscellaneous items. Bell backlog at the end of the first quarter was $6.1 billion, down slightly from the end of last year, reflecting deliveries of commercial units.
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Diamond Aircraft Industries' DA42 MPP, equipped with one laser scanner and two SPECIM Hyperspectral Sensors, successfully detected land mines and explosives out of an altitude of 500 feet above ground. The exercise was executed with the help of the Austrian Military (Bundesheer) in Großmittel, Lower Austria. The results have been very positive, all the explosive materials based on TNT and Nitropenta have been detected. “We are very happy to have soon a unique solution to one of the world's dirtiest problems. There are still millions of mines and explosives that have to be eliminated in various countries” said Christian Dries, CEO Diamond Aircraft. The DA42 MPP is a platform, which carries various kinds of sensors and performs for surveillance and reconnaissance in Africa, South-America, Europe and even Iraq.
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On the 26th of April at Dzyemgi airfield in Komsomolsk-on-Amur, the accident occurred with the third flying prototype of the Su-35 fighter while taxiing and rapid running due to the aircraft coming out of the runway. The test-pilot Evgeny Frolov safely bailed out and is uninjured. The third Su-35 prototype has been planned to join two prototypes which are under testing and up to now have made more than 100 flights.
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Since its creation in January 2009, Aerolia has shown its determination to conquer sales markets throughout the world and with all manufacturers. With a wide range of products and services, the Aerolia teams can respond to calls for tender as a « build to print » production partner or with global « design & build » solutions. It is in the framework of this industrial and business strategy that Aerolia has just won a contract for hydraulic and cabin systems tubes and pipes to equip the whole Airbus A350 XWB fuselage. In competition with several other major aeronautical equipment manufacturers, the know-how and competitiveness of its teams have made the difference and are the reason why Aerolia is present on this highly competitive and coveted market.
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After having obtained its Final Qualification in December 2008 allowing the Tiger HAP to enter into operational service, the granting of its Initial Operational Capability (IOC) was proposed to the French Army Staff on the 10th April 2009. The release of this official proposal has been made possible after: A comprehensive review held on 3rd April 2009 at STAT (Section technique de l'Armée de Terre) Premises in Versailles of the actual operational performances of the weapons system, the logistic support put in place and the doctrine studies carried out, and the success of the gun firing by the 5°RHC with the “HAP Std1 Ready to Deploy” on 9th April 2009 in Captieux under the monitoring of Gal Jumelet, the current 4th Airmobile Brigade Commander. The recognition of this IOC will open the doors for the deployment of a module of 3 Tiger HAP at any operational theater and this for a long period.
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Alan Edgar Bristow passed away on April 26, 2009. Bristow, a former chief executive of British United Airways was the founder of one of the world's largest helicopter companies, Bristow Helicopters, where he served as managing director and then chairman from 1954 to 1985. An astute businessman, test pilot, and helicopter pioneer, Bristow was loyal and generous to his employees. His helicopters played an important role in the development of North Sea oil and operated in nearly every country in the world. Bristow was hired as Westland Aircraft Company's first helicopter test pilot in 1947. He later moved to Paris, were he managed and flew a helicopter operation that included flying up and down the Seine with a pair of circus trapeze artists tethered beneath his helicopter. Later, after founding Bristow Helicopters, Bristow was convinced that North Sea gas and oil exploration was a direction the company should embrace, and it proved to be a profitable decision. In 1968 he took over as chief executive of British United Airways and restored it to profitability, before selling it to Caledonian Airways three years later and returning to Bristow Helicopters.
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The signing of the procurement contract on 6 April between the Swiss procurement authority armasuisse and the contractual partner Pilatus Aircraft Ltd., Stans, on the supply of a PC-21 simulator for the Swiss Air Force is the continuation of a German-Austrian-Swiss success story. A team was formed by Pilatus, AMST of Ranshofen, Austria, and the Military Air Systems Business Unit of EADS Defence & Security (DS) of Manching, Bavaria, to provide ground-based training systems for the high-performance turboprop trainer Pilatus PC-21. armasuisse is now the third customer to have entered into a contract with the three companies. As the manufacturer of the training aircraft, Pilatus is the leading company vis-à-vis the customer for the PC-21 training systems; its role within the simulator team is to supply structural and aircraft electronics components and the aerodynamic and system models of the real aircraft.
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The French Defense Ministry has ordered five additional EC725 helicopters from Eurocopter as part of the government's economic recovery plan. This new acquisition is part of the plan to revitalize the economy, which the French government introduced in December 2008. The five helicopters are scheduled for delivery between late 2010 and early 2012. The contract was placed by the French DGA (Délégation Générale pour l'Armement) and comprises the delivery of five EC725s plus the related support services. It secures work for 100 Eurocopter personnel and 150 suppliers' employees over a period of 3 years.
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Boeing has successfully completed the system-level Preliminary Design Review (PDR) for its Tracking and Data Relay Satellite system (TDRS) K-L program, an important design milestone as the program moves toward integration of the TDRS K satellite for NASA. The comprehensive five-day review was held in El Segundo in March and attended by NASA project, program and Headquarters officials. The PDR, which followed the successful delta integrated baseline review completed earlier this year, is the result of a series of monthly reviews and ongoing partnership between Boeing and NASA to execute to plan. It included presentations on systems engineering, program management, safety and mission assurance, the spacecraft, the launch vehicle, the ground segment and mission operations.
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Northrop Grumman has delivered to the U.S. Air Force the first operational B-2 Spirit stealth bomber to be equipped with a newly modernized radar. The aircraft was officially handed off to the Air Force on March 17 at Whiteman Air Force Base, the operational home of the B-2 fleet and the 509th Bomb Wing. The updated aircraft is the first of several operational B-2s that will be equipped with the new radar as part of the system development and demonstration (SDD) phase of the Air Force's B-2 radar modernization program (RMP). The Air Force plans to use the updated aircraft to conduct additional field testing of the radar. Data gathered from these decisions will support future fielding decisions. In December, Northrop Grumman was awarded a $468 million contract to begin the production phase of the RMP. The contract, which includes low rate and full rate production phases, will support installation of the radar on the balance of the B-2s not involved in the SDD program.
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Northrop Grumman announced its Bat line of small unmanned air systems (UAS). The Bat systems will have wingspans ranging from 6.5 to 33.2 feet. The Bat UAS product line is the formerly known KillerBee product line recently acquired by Northrop Grumman from Swift Engineering. Northrop Grumman is engaging Swift Engineering to continue to work on design refinement, product line development, flight test support and manufacturing. Product development will be managed by Northrop Grumman's Aerospace Systems sector.
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Lockheed Martin recently delivered the 50th C-5 Galaxy strategic airlifter upgraded with Avionics Modernization Program (AMP) improvements. AMP is the first part of the two-phase C-5 modernization program. The aircraft, delivered to Air Force Reserve Command's 433rd Airlift Wing at Lackland AFB, Texas, is now equipped with a state-of-the-art glass cockpit with modern avionics and flight instruments. "This delivery brings the Air Force one step closer to realizing the full capability of an upgraded and more efficient C-5 fleet," said Lorraine Martin, Lockheed Martin C-5 program vice president. "We're currently running two very successful AMP production lines. This effort, along with the upcoming second phase of the C-5 modernization program, will ensure the Air Force has a C-5 fleet that will be highly effective for the next 40 years." The AMP installations are taking place at Dover AFB, Del., and at Travis AFB, Calif. The fleet-wide AMP modifications are scheduled to be completed in the second quarter of 2014. A total of 111 C-5s are scheduled to be modified with AMP upgrades.
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Thales announced it has received ETSO C106 certification from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) for its primary reference Air Data Unit 3200 for helicopters. A key component of any navigation system, Thales's ADU 3200 is capable of generating primary flight information such as altitude, airspeed and temperature by measuring static pressure, total pressure and temperature. This flight safety system for helicopters offers an exceptional reliability of 14,500 flight hours.
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Jet Aviation Zurich recently installed the first precision navigating system (P-RNAV) into a Cessna 650 Citation III. Following significant engineering and interior pre-work by Jet Aviation Zurich's technical teams, the 22-year old Cessna 650 underwent a comprehensive avionics, refurbishment and soundproofing upgrade. The project included the installation of all new state-of-the-art avionics equipment and the refurbishment of the entire cabin while maintaining the highest noise reduction standards. Jet Aviation Zurich added four more systems as part of the avionics upgrade: a new high-performance weather radar with a new multi-function radar display, a cockpit voice recorder, an enhanced ground proximity warning system, and a runway awareness and advisory system that increases safety on ground as well as for the final approach. All equipment was installed and certified according to EASA standards. The cabin was enhanced with a new seating configuration upholstered in beige leather and with a thermally isolated soundproofing installation.
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Deutsche Lufthansa AG has made an operating loss of 44 million euros in the traditionally tough first three months of 2009. In the current business year the biggest German airline was not able to live up to its record success of the previous year, due to a world-wide depression as well as the on-going poor economic climate. “The current crisis is putting a strain on our profits,” said Stephan Gemkow, the Chief Financial Officer for Lufthansa, of the company's first quarter figures, “but our foundations are solid and we have the right instruments to take counter action. Now we will see who is prepared and able to react effectively against these difficult conditions. Lufthansa is a strong company and can hold its course, even in difficult times.” Concerning the performance of the particular business units in the first quarter of 2009 Gemkow said: “Our strategy has not changed from being oriented towards creating a sustainable value enhancement. At the same time Lufthansa benefits from the wide-ranging array of business units. We are developing our core business through the expansion of our passenger airline group and the further strengthening of our alliances and partnerships, in order to emerge from the current financial climate stronger than ever.” Lufthansa's business unit passenger airline group had to deal with a distinct decrease in its operating result, due to the depression and the resulting reduction of traffic revenues. Considering the prolonged reduction in demand, the capacities have been reduced further. Logistics showed a significant slump in revenue and operating result in the first three months. To counter this development, measures such as a reduction in capacity, a cost-reduction programme and short-time work at German locations are being applied. In contrast to this Lufthansa Technik showed an increase in revenue in the first quarter. However, due to a record date effect in inventory valuation, the company showed a lower operating result compared to the first quarter of 2009. The difficult economic conditions have caused a slump in revenue and operating result in IT services. The business unit catering has seen a reduction in demand, but the operating result increased partly due to a one-time items completion of a judicial arbitration settlement.
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Dassault Falcon announced on 30 April that the newest member of the Falcon family of business jets, the 4000 nm Falcon 2000LX, has received certification from the FAA.  EASA certification was granted on April 23rd. The first delivery will be made in early May. The 4,000 nm range 2000LX offers the same spacious, quiet interior as the 2000EX EASy but the capability to serve a more extensive city pairs. The 2000LX will be able to connect New York to Moscow; Paris to Mumbai; Dubai to London and Hong Kong to Brisbane non stop.  It also offers a 10 to 15% climb speed improvement (over the Falcon 2000EX) allowing it to reach 41,000 ft in just 18 minutes.  The Falcon 2000LX comes standard with the award-winning EASy flight deck which has won high marks and praise for its integrated features and intuitive displays.
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Spirit AeroSystems reported first quarter financial results reflecting solid operating performance as the company returned to full-rate production by the end of the quarter following the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) strike at The Boeing Company in the third and fourth quarters of 2008. Spirit's first quarter 2009 revenues were $887 million and operating income was $98 million, as the impact from the Machinists' strike at Boeing carried over into the first quarter of 2009, resulting in reduced unit delivery volumes, revenues, and earnings compared to the first quarter of 2008. Net income for the first quarter of 2009 was $63 million, or $0.45 per fully diluted share, compared to $85 million, or $0.61 per fully diluted share, for the same period in 2008. During the first quarter of 2009, Spirit gradually returned to full-rate production following a Machinists' strike at The Boeing Company. Spirit continued to utilize a reduced work week schedule early in the first quarter and returned to full work weeks as the quarter progressed. As a result, first quarter 2009 ship set deliveries to Boeing were 30 units below pre-strike delivery levels, resulting in a revenue reduction of $256 million and a reduction in earnings per share of $0.18.
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Boeing and the UK Royal Air Force (RAF) today announced that the RAF fleet of six C-17 Globemaster III airlifters has surpassed 50,000 flying hours in eight years of service. A mission out of Afghanistan on Tuesday, April 28 helped the fleet achieve the milestone. The C-17s, assigned to 99 Squadron at RAF base Brize Norton near London, provide critical airlift capability for the Joint Rapid Reaction Force. Brize Norton is the RAF headquarters for strategic air transport and air-to-air refueling. The RAF marked another notable C-17 achievement in March when RAF Squadron Leader Keith Hewitt logged 5,000 flying hours in the aircraft. Hewitt is on
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Boeing delivered the 75th 777 commercial jetliner to Emirates. The Dubai-based carrier is one of the largest operators of Boeing's popular twin-aisle, long-haul airplane. Emirates is expected to become the world's largest 777 operator later this year.
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Goodrich has acquired Cloud Cap Technology, Inc. (CCT), a leading provider of proprietary end-to-end avionics solutions for small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and sensors for manned vehicles. The transaction closed; terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. CCT, a privately-held company, has been in business for more than 10 years and employs roughly 30 people at its Hood River, Ore. facility. Its products are used on most of the small UAV models in operation or under development today. Primary products include autopilot flight management systems, inertial measurement sensors and stabilized imaging microgimbals. "This acquisition provides Goodrich with an increased presence in the rapidly growing small military UAV market, and also expands our ability to offer complete ISR imaging solutions for these platforms," said Curtis Reusser, Segment President, Electronic Systems at Goodrich. "CCT's experience in providing powerful integrated solutions can dramatically reduce the time required to implement new unmanned aircraft systems, and we are pleased to have their advanced proprietary products join our broad portfolio of high-tech systems."
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Raytheon has purchased rights to the technology and name of the KillerBee unmanned aircraft system from Northrop Grumman. Under the agreement, Raytheon will submit the KillerBee for the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps' Small Tactical UAS and Tier II competition. "We're competing for STUAS Tier II but that is only the beginning," said Bob Francois, Raytheon Missile Systems Advanced Programs vice president. "Raytheon has rights to produce, improve and sell KillerBee IV and our plan is to continuously mature the system and tailor it to meet the needs of allied warfighters around the globe." The KillerBee UAS features a blended-wing aircraft body design. It also has common systems for land or sea launch, recovery and ground control. The unique design of KillerBee enables growth for future payloads and additional mission capabilities.
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