06.04.2009
FLUG REVUE

News Update 6 April 2009 - News in Brief

Short stories from around the aerospace industry.

Kurzmeldungen
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On 29 March 2009, Air Berlin PLC was informed that the Turkish ESAS Holding A.S. which, inter alia, operates Pegasus Airlines, on 28 March 2009, concluded a share purchase agreement for the acquisition of approximately 15 percent of the voting shares of Air Berlin PLC. According to ESAS Holding, the execution of the share purchase agreement is subject to the approval of the German Federal Cartel Office. ESAS Holding A.S. will be represented on the Board of Air Berlin PLC with one Non-Executive Director. With this share purchase agreement, Air Berlin PLC, Germany's second largest airline and the fifth-largest airline in Europe, has obtained a second new major shareholder, after, on 27 March 2009, a subsidiary of TUI Travel PLC had already acquired a minority interest not exceeding 20 percent, in the company. ESAS Holding A.S. now holds the majority of the equity stake previously owned by Len Blavatnik. At the beginning of January, Blavatnik had notified Air Berlin PLC that he had sold his shares.
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On January 30, the SAS Group reached an agreement with Initiatives Empresarials Aeronàutiques, S.A. ("IEASA"), a company comprising , Consorci de Turisme de Barcelona, Catalana d'Inciatives, Volcat 2009 and Fira de Barcelona, whereby IEASA would acquire a majority stake of 80.1% in SAS' subsidiary Spanair S.A. ("Spanair") for a cash consideration of 1 EUR. Following the transaction, SAS remains a 19.9% minority shareholder in Spanair and acts as its industrial partner to assist in the implementation of its strategic plan, which aims at further strengthening Spanair's position in Spain and as the leading carrier in Barcelona. The transaction was completed, following receipt of all necessary regulatory clearances by SAS and Spanair, including approval from Spain's competition commission (CNC).
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EADS Sogerma and Lufthansa Technik have agreed on a multi-year cooperation in the area of premium first-class interiors. EADS Sogerma will offer the “aerosleeper” – Lufthansa Technik's concept for an optional Premium class bed assembly – as an integrated superior variant of its “Super First-Class Seat Ultimate 17”. The combined premium first-class product will be marketed under the name “Ultimate Sleeper”. In the “aerosleeper”, Lufthansa Technik's business unit Innovation has found a solution to the age-old comfort problem of passenger seats. Previous concepts always required a compromise between optimal seating comfort and sleeping comfort: in the reclined position, even the highest-quality first-class seats always developed a few hollows and bumps that kept the passenger from sleeping comfortably. The sophisticated design concept of the “aerosleeper” solves this problem by incorporating, alongside the actual seat, a genuine bed that can be folded out over the fully reclined seat as and when required.
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Houston gave Qatar Airways a big Texas welcome as the inaugural flight of the Boeing 777-200 Long Range aircraft touched down at George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH). The special airport celebration began with a classic water cannon salute as the jet pulled up to the terminal. A crowd of Houston business professionals, government officials, city employees and economic development leaders gathered in a lounge at Houston's hub airport as Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker addressed everyone who gathered for the festive celebration of the new international air service. "Passenger demand prompted this new route and I am absolutely thrilled we are able to bring our award-winning Five Star service to this wonderful gateway," says Al Baker. "Houston is the first new route for Qatar Airways in a robust year of growth."
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Data Link Solutions (DLS) has opened its Link 16 European Service and Support Facility in Heidelberg, Germany. The facility will serve the company's European customers of Multifunctional Information Distribution System (MIDS) terminals and also provide support services associated with Link 16 terminal, applications and integration support. DLS has delivered over 4,000 Link 16 terminals in various airborne, maritime and ground applications. Data Link Solutions' European Service and Support Facility will be located within Rockwell Collins Deutschland GmbH's facility at Grenzhoefer Weg 36, 69123, Heidelberg, Germany, and will be operated by Rockwell Collins Deutschland personnel under a subcontract with Data Link Solutions. Rockwell Collins Deutschland is an affiliate of Rockwell Collins, Inc.
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Canadian officials accepted a U.S. Air Force offer to use Spangdahlem as the springboard to support to its deployed troops throughout Southwest Asia. Under an agreement with close allies Germany and the U.S., Canada has begun to implement a plan to use Spangdahlem AB as a critical transit and marshalling center for existing and potential international Canadian Forces commitments. "With the mission in Afghanistan, we have experienced the challenges of maintaining a 12,000 kilometer (7,400) supply chain, and it hasn't been easy," said Maj. Gen. Daniel Benjamin, the commander of the Canadian Operational Support Command. "Our first priority was Europe in the development of what will eventually become a network of hubs worldwide to meet any contingency that causes our government to deploy troops for military or humanitarian purposes. Spangdahlem was in the top ranks on a short list for the first hub, and we are grateful for the enthusiastic response that expedited the final choice." The base has been used by the Canadian Forces since mid-2007 as an occasional refueling stop in flights to Afghanistan and other theaters, but that role is about to be expanded later this year. A small team of Canadian Forces personnel will be working with their U.S. Air Force counterparts to coordinate a regular weekly rotation of three to five operational support flights.
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In 2009 the average aircraft utilization for the world's commercial fleet is expected to drop by 4% compared to 2008, according to the latest Commercial Aircraft Fleets and Utilization Forecast from OAG, the world's leading aviation data business. This is revealed in OAG's most recent study of the global MRO (maintenance, repair and overhaul) service demand projection for the next decade, developed in partnership with AeroStrategy. The utilization forecast, which drives MRO demand, takes into consideration the significant global downsizing in schedules frequency and capacity that have been filed with OAG in the past six months. Global aircraft utilization typically grows at an average of 3.4% per year. John Weber, Managing Director, OAG Aviation, said: "Scheduled airline frequency and capacity cutbacks made over the past six months will have a significant impact on planned aircraft utilization, with a corresponding short-term downturn in demand for MRO services. We are projecting a worldwide drop of -4% in average aircraft utilization in 2009 compared to 2008, with only modest recovery in 2010. Normal levels of aircraft utilization growth are not expected to return until 2011."
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Patria and EADS-CASA have signed a framework agreement covering maintenance, inspections and repairs of C-295 transport aircraft. According to the agreement Patria maintains the Finnish Air Force's C-295 aircraft as a subcontractor to EADS-CASA. The agreement enables CASA-Patria cooperation also concerning maintenance of other customers' C-295 aircraft.
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Bombardier Aerospace announced that it is now offering a Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) capable Flight Management System on Learjet 60. The new system is available as a Supplemental Type Certificate for in-service Learjet 60 aircraft customers. "This is more great news for all our Learjet customers operating in North America," said Leon Botteron, regional vice president, Bombardier Business Aircraft Service Centers. "Consistent with Bombardier's commitment to providing our customers with the latest technology, it will give them more flexibility when landing their aircraft and improve safety and efficiency in all phases of flight."
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Sukhoi Civil Aircraft announced that the first two Sukhoi Superjet 100 series aircraft have been delivered to the M.M. Gromov Flight Research Centre in Zhukovsky for Flight Certification Testing. The two aircraft, Sukhoi Superjet 95001 and 95003 were flown from Komsomolsk to Zhukovsky via the Siberian city of Novosibirsk. Both planes will continue the certification flight test campaign at the SCAC flight test center, which is furnished with a full set of test equipment and software packages required for flight data processing. Conducting the certification test program at the flight centers is expected to accelerate the certification test program owing to better logistics of data processing and interaction with certification authorities. “The schedule of the SSJ100 certification tests is truly tough,” said Igor Vinogradov, First VP on Program Coordination, Sukhoi Civil Aircraft. “Within a limited time frame two test aircraft have completed more than 130 flights totaling more than 400 hours in the air.” To date, flutter safety tests as well as the first stage of the tests on high angles of attack and stall control have been completed. Both aircraft demonstrated the flutter margin within a whole range of operating altitudes and speeds. The flight control system was checked at direct and normal modes of the remote control system.
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Bell Helicopter announced that it has been awarded a contract by the U.S. Army to modify an additional 27 OH-58D aircraft under the Kiowa Warrior Safety Enhancement Program (SEP). These 27 aircraft will form Lot 12 of the Kiowa Warrior SEP program. Work on the aircraft will begin in April 2009. Completed aircraft are scheduled to be delivered back to the Army at a rate of three per month beginning in September 2009.
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After safely reaching its launch pad at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, space shuttle Atlantis now awaits liftoff for its target May 12 STS-125 mission to the Hubble Space elescope. Atlantis arrived at Launch Pad 39A at approximately 9:10 a.m. EDT Tuesday on top of a giant crawler-transporter. The crawler-transporter left Kennedy's Vehicle Assembly Building at 3:54 a.m., traveling less than 1 mph during the 3.4-mile journey. The shuttle was secured on the launch pad at 11:17 a.m. Atlantis' 11-day mission is the final shuttle flight to Hubble. During five spacewalks, the shuttle's seven astronauts will install two new instruments, repair two inactive ones and replace other Hubble components.
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Eurocopter announced the acquisition of 80% of Euroheli's Corporation's shares from ITOCHU Corporation. .As a result, Eurocopter's share of the business will increase from 10 % to a high of 90%. ITOCHU Corporation keeps 10% of the company's shares and remains an important partner for Eurocopter in the country. Eurocopter is now the major shareholder of Euroheli, its former helicopter distributor in Japan. As at 1st April 09, Euroheli's staff and activities have been merged with that of Eurocopter Japan (ECJ). The new enlarged ECJ subsidiary will continue to be headed by Mr. Stephane Ginoux, the current CEO. With a staff strength of around 60 employees, it becomes the first foreign aircraft manufacturer in Japan to carry out direct sales and customer support activities for Eurocopter's entire range of civil and military helicopters. Mr. Lutz Bertling, CEO of Eurocopter stated on the establishment of ECJ, “This investment is completely in-line with our business strategy of being multi-local players in all Eurocopter's key markets. It proves our commitment to Japan based on our 40 years of experiences in the market. Through this acquisition, we will be able to consolidate our strength and capabilities in Japan thanks to Euroheli's pool of professional and experienced staff. With an increase in resources and a reinforced presence in the country, Eurocopter will be in a better position to serve our existing civil and governmental customers as well as to further develop our activities in the defence market”.
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SkyTeam announced new initiatives that include a new alliance organization, a new managing director, a new fare pass, a timeline for the opening of its co-located facility at London Heathrow Terminal 4, and the debut of the first plane with the new alliance livery. The alliance released the news in conjunction with a press briefing in Milan by the SkyTeam Steering Committee. Leo van Wijk, chairman of the SkyTeam Governing Board, announced that SkyTeam is moving toward a centralized SkyTeam management entity. Some of the functions that will be handled by the central organization include: marketing, sales, airport synergies and transfer product, cargo, advertising and brand, alliance operations, finance and corporate communications. Marie-Joseph Male has been appointed the managing director of SkyTeam's newly created management and support organization. Mr. Male, who has extensive experience with Air France in the Commercial and International areas, will be responsible for finalizing the organizational structure of SkyTeam, including the appointment of a management team. The goal is to have the structure and management team in place by late 2009.
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The U.S. Army Product Manager for Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (SUAS) and AeroVironment (AV) recently conducted a continuous 30-hour demonstration of persistent surveillance of a point target using AV's RQ-11B Raven small unmanned aircraft system. The demonstration at Camp Roberts, Calif. followed an inquiry from Pentagon officials regarding the potential for AV's Raven small UAS to perform low-cost, tactically relevant persistent surveillance. The continuous 30-hour duration represents a prolonged tactical level surveillance mission similar to what would typically be performed at the battalion or lower level. Using one standard production Raven baseline system, which consists of three aircraft and two ground control stations, the demonstration provided continuous surveillance using only two-person crews operating in eight-hour shifts. Employing the autonomous guidance capability incorporated into the Raven small UAS, operators rotated the aircraft over a surveyed point target, a residential building on the base, maintaining unbroken surveillance throughout the demonstration, and reported activity at the target site. In addition to recording the imagery, the demonstration team streamed a live video feed from the operation via webcast throughout the event.
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Embraer named ABS Jets as its authorized sales representative (ASR) in the Czech Republic and in Slovakia, this week. The deal with the Czech company was announced on the opening day of the fourth AERO Friedrichshafen Trade Exhibition for General Aviation. ABS Jets is also an Embraer authorized service center and one of the largest Legacy 600 operators in Europe, and will be selling Embraer's full Executive Jets portfolio.
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CAE announced that it will invest up to C$714 million in Project Falcon, a research and development (R&D) program that will span five years. The goal of Project Falcon is to expand CAE's current modelling and simulation technologies, develop new ones and increase its capabilities beyond training into other areas of the aerospace and defence market, such as analysis and operations. The Government of Canada will participate in Project Falcon through a repayable investment of up to $250 million. This investment is being made through the Strategic Aerospace and Defence Initiative (SADI), which supports strategic industrial research and pre-competitive development projects in the aerospace, defence, space and security industries.
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Over the past month, CAE signed contracts to design and manufacture three full-flight simulators (FFSs) and associated CAE Simfinity training devices valued at C$33 million at list prices. The contracts are with first time simulation equipment customers Avianca Airlines and Sofia Flight Training, as well as Emirates-CAE Flight Training (ECFT). In addition, CAE announced that a contract signed earlier this fiscal year to provide a Boeing 757 FFS to Flight Training Finance (FTF) was terminated. However, CAE then sold the Boeing 757 FFS to an undisclosed customer. During CAE's fiscal year 2009, the company received orders for 35 FFSs, but due to the termination will officially report a net total of 34 FFS orders.
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The Office of Naval Research's (ONR) "Ion Tiger" unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) will test a hydrogen-powered fuel cell design this spring, which will attempt to travel farther and carry heavier payloads than earlier battery-powered designs. Nearly undetectable from the ground, UAVs are widely used by the military to scan terrain for possible threats and intelligence. Now, fuel cell powered UAVs are taking flight as an ONR-sponsored program to help tactical decision-makers gather critical information more efficiently and more quietly. Piloted remotely or autonomously, UAVs have long provided extra "eyes in the sky" especially for missions that are too dangerous for manned aircraft. This latest technology is showcased by Ion Tiger, a UAV research program at the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) that merges two separate efforts - UAV technology and fuel cell systems. In particular, the Ion Tiger employs stealthy characteristics due to its small size, reduced noise, low heat signature and zero emissions.
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Embraer now has another member of its E-Jets family, the EMBRAER 190, formally beginning its steep approach campaign to enable operations at London's premier business airport, London City (LCY). This certification is expected to be earned by the end of 2009. "The EMBRAER 170 concluded its LCY certification in 2007 with a simple and efficient steep approach solution based on its fly-by-wire flight controls," said Mauro Kern, Embraer Executive Vice President, Airline Market. "With the EMBRAER 190 certification expected by the end of this year, Embraer will be able to offer great flexibility to European carriers, so they can better match capacity to demand in the highyield business travel markets connecting to London's financial heart."
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Clarifying comments made in the press, EADS confirms that it remains fully committed to the construction of the A400M that will be the most complete high performance military plane for the coming decades. The group reaffirms that the contract signed in 2003 does not provide the necessary conditions for the successful development of the programme, firstly because of an unrealistic timetable, and secondly because the commercial nature of the contract does not fit to the reality of a military programme containing high technological risks. EADS wishes that the three months moratorium period as proposed by OCCAR be used by all partners of the programme to put it back on tracks within conditions acceptable by all parties.
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Morocco's flag carrier Royal Air Maroc and ATR announced an order for 2 ATR 42-600s and 4 ATR 72-600s, plus options for 2 additional ATR 72-600. The aircraft will be operated by Royal Air Maroc Express, the new regional subsidiary of the airline, which will be launched in summer 2009 and which has been created in cooperation with the Moroccan Public Authorities. The deal has been unveiled on the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the opening of the route Toulouse-Casablanca by Aéropostale, the French Air Post Service. These ATR 42-600s and ATR 72-600s, configured with 48 and 70-seats respectively, will be equipped with a new avionics suite featuring the most advanced technologies in navigation aid and communication tools. The aircraft will also be equipped with an enhanced cabin in order to offer higher comfort to the passengers. Deliveries of the new aircraft will start in spring 2011. Meanwhile, ATR will lease 4 ATR 72-200s to Royal Air Maroc in order to support the launch of the new subsidiary carrier.
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Raytheon unveiled Responder, an innovative payload design concept featuring a suite of interchangeable mission-specific sensors that could be deployed rapidly to meet immediate customer needs. Introduced at the National Space Symposium, the Responder concept offers electro-optical and radio frequency payload configurations. Because the basic payload designs employ standard plug-and-play technology for easy integration with the sensor, Responder can significantly reduce total program cost and schedule. According to Bill Hart, vice president for the company's Space Systems group, Responder is based on experience Raytheon gained through its fast-track ARTEMIS and Mini-RF programs. Both were designed, built and delivered within 18 months of contract initiation. "The Responder approach directly addresses the military's defined need to be able to effectively augment or reconstitute critical space capabilities and infuse them with new technologies and operational innovations," Hart said. "With the basic building blocks matured through company-financed research and development and government contract work, we can respond swiftly to meet urgent customer needs."
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Rockwell Collins announced planned updates for its Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) transponder offerings for business aircraft. "As we continue to move toward the next generation of more efficient air traffic management systems, Rockwell Collins' transponder offerings will play a critical role in helping business jet operators meet future mandates," said Greg Irmen, vice president and general manager, Business and Regional Systems for Rockwell Collins. An update to the Rockwell Collins's TDR-94/94 D transponders -the TDR-94D-409 - offered primarily as a retrofit solution, is now available to comply with the new ADS-B mandate in Australia, and the pending 2009 restrictions in the Hudson Bay. The updates are available through a recently issued sales bulletin titled, "Mode S Elementary/Enhanced Surveillance and ADS-B." Today more than 15,000 aircraft are already equipped with the TDR-94/94 D transponders.
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The U.S. Air Force awarded Raytheon a contract to upgrade guidance and control sections for the air-to-ground Maverick missile. "The military is successfully employing laser-guided Mavericks against moving targets and in urban environments," said Harry Schulte, Raytheon Missile Systems vice president of Air Warfare Systems. "This contract is a win for the warfighters, because it gives them a reliable combat-proven weapon they can take to war almost immediately." The contract initiates engineering efforts required to restart the laser-guided Maverick production line and will incorporate state-of-the-art laser-seeker technology. The contract will result in the upgrade of up to 450 laser Maverick guidance sections for the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy.
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The European Community, represented by the European Commission, has become the owner of the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS) infrastructure and entrusted the company ESSP SaS with the operation of the system. EGNOS is the precursor of Galileo, the global navigation satellite system that the European Union is developing. EGNOS offers all users of satellite radio navigation a high-performance navigation and positioning service in Europe. The system is composed of three transponders installed in geostationary satellites and a ground network of about 40 positioning stations and four control centres, all interconnected. EGNOS can help to improve the accuracy of the current GPS civil signals by augmenting them and thereby increasing the reliability and accuracy of the signals. It will be used foremost for safety-critical transport applications (for example in the aviation and maritime sectors). The EGNOS system was developed within the framework of the European Space Agency's Research Programme under the aegis of a trilateral agreement between the European Commission (EC), the European Space Agency (ESA) and Eurocontrol. More than €600 million were invested over the last 12 years to develop the EGNOS system, involving a considerable number of European industrial companies. In this new phase, the Commission has become the owner of the entire system infrastructure on behalf of the European Community. ESSP SaS will be under contract to the Commission to manage the operations and maintenance of the EGNOS system. This enterprise based in Toulouse, France, was founded by seven air navigation service providers: Aena (Spain), DFS (Germany), DSNA (France), ENAV (Italy), NATS (UK), NAV Portugal and Skyguide (Switzerland). The European Space Agency will maintain the role of design and procurement agent through a Delegation Agreement recently signed by Mr Matthias Ruete, Director General of DG TREN, representing the Commission, and Mr Jean-Jacques Dordain, Director General of ESA.
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On 25 March, ESA and CNES, the French Space Agency, signed a 435 million Euro contract assuring the availability of the CSG launch range for ESA programmes and activities and for the exploitation of Ariane, Vega and Soyuz launchers over the period 2009 to 2013. The signature ceremony took place at the Guiana Space Centre (Centre Spatial Guyanais – CSG), Europe's Spaceport located in Kourou, French Guiana. Antonio Fabrizi, ESA Director of Launchers, and Joël Barre, Director of CNES/CSG, signed the contract in the presence of ESA Member States' Delegations to the Launchers Programme Board.
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Israel Aerospace Industries' (IAI) sales in 2008 reached $3.6 billion, as compared with $3.3 billion in 2007, an increase of 9 percent. 2008 net profit reached $91 million, compared to $118 million in 2007, a decrease of 23 percent. IAI's backlog as of December 31st, 2008, reached $7.1 billion, reflecting two years worth of sales. Cash flow from current projects reached $123 million. In the fourth quarter of 2008, sales reached $803 million, compared to $912 million in the fourth quarter of 2007, a decrease of 12 percent. 2008 fourth quarter net profit reached $16 million. Before taxes, the company earned $30 million in the fourth quarter of 2008, compared to $9 million in the fourth quarter of 2007, an increase of 233 percent. In the fourth quarter, $17 million was allocated for employee early retirement expenses. At the board meeting in which IAI's 2008 financial figures were confirmed, Yair Shamir, Chairman of the Board, said: "IAI grew in 2008 by 9 percent compared to last year, while 81 percent of company sales are to foreign customers. Sales to the civilian market make up 39 percent of total sales. Sales in the defense sector grew by 14 percent compared with a 1 percent growth in the civilian market. The decrease in civilian market sales in the fourth quarter reflects the grave worldwide financial crisis. To IAI, financial strength, a wide product range, and diverse customers are key to helping the company stand firm during this worldwide economic rollercoaster. There are, of course, also business opportunities that may arise as a result of the current situation."
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With five missions the Sky-Y, Alenia Aeronautica's unmanned technological demonstrator, has completed its first series of tests in Italy. With this tests campaign the Sky-Y has today accumulated three test phases, two in Sweden and one in Italy. Thanks to the Permit To Fly granted by ENAC - Ente Nazionale per l'Aviazione Civile (National Agency for the Civil Aviation), the Sky-Y has accomplished this flight testing cycle in an area in the Puglia Region, defined for this purpose. The test campaign in Italy of the Sky-Y, the only European-made unmanned vehicle to make flight tests and the only one equipped with European sensors and production systems, has taken place in March, and has allowed the testing of some automatic functions of the ground surveillance mission systems; these are key elements to fully assess the operational capabilities of the production machines which will have in the future to be used for this role. In particular, the tests campaign has brought to continuing the carrying out of the tests on the EOST-45 electro-optical sensor of SELEX Galileo – started in Sweden in the 2008 Autumn - and on the real-time data transmission via satellite.
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Delta Air Lines' maintenance division, Delta TechOps, today announced it has finalized new five-year contracts with Global Aviation Holdings subsidiaries World Airways and North American Airlines. These agreements mark the third contract extension between Delta TechOps and the airlines, and will result in more than 13 years of partnership. The new contracts, worth more than $200 million, include several expansions to the previous agreements. TechOps will perform component repair, inventory exchange programs, and drop-in A & C-check support for World and North American. TechOps will also provide time and material engine maintenance for World's PW4000 and CF6-80C2 engines and be the exclusive provider of 331-200 APU repairs for North American.
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Lufthansa Cargo is laying on a direct connection ex Frankfurt to the Vietnamese capital Hanoi (HAN) from 30 March 2009. The airfreight subsidiary in the Lufthansa Group will be operating once-weekly freighter services with an MD-11F to the six-million strong Vietnamese metropolis. After a brief stopover, the flight will continue to Hong Kong before returning to Frankfurt. Further capacities to and from Vietnam are available to Lufthansa Cargo customers in the belly holds of Boeing 747-400 passenger aircraft operating Lufthansa flights thrice weekly between Frankfurt and Ho Chi Minh City (SGN). Come 6 April 2009, Lufthansa Cargo will be drawing a further industrial region into its freighter network in India, with a weekly two-way freighter flight to Hyderabad (HYD) from Frankfurt. This new flight ideally augments the capacities already available on Lufthansa passenger flights. With this addition to the network, Lufthansa Cargo is the first airline to offer a freighter service to the south Indian metropolis.
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Boeing announced an agreement with Times Aerospace Korea, LLC (TAK) to jointly develop a wing assembly for the 2,000-pound Joint Direct Attack Munition Extended Range (JDAM ER). "This teaming agreement is a prime example of Boeing Weapons Programs' efforts to form strategic partnerships as we develop the systems our global customers need," said Debra Rub, Weapons Programs vice president. "Our alliance with TAK is an important step forward in bringing the expanded capability of JDAM ER to the warfighter."
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VISTAGY, a leading provider of industry-specific engineering software and services, today announced that Premium AEROTEC has purchased FiberSIM software. FiberSIM will be used to design and manufacture large composite sections to support the company's current programs. Premium AEROTEC selected FiberSIM based on its past success working with VISTAGY and with the aim of meeting aggressive cost cutting initiatives and delivery schedules. Premium AEROTEC was particularly focused on finding a solution that could support multiple design methodologies to enable the most efficient composite engineering processes. To meet that goal, Premium AEROTEC wanted to find a partner that would help them reduce errors and subsequent design revisions; automate tedious non-value added tasks, such as redundant data entry; enhance downstream consumption of data; and ultimately improve overall engineering productivity.
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British Airways is to resume flights to Saudi Arabia, with five services a week from its London Heathrow hub to both Jeddah and Riyadh from Sunday (29 March).  It will serve Riyadh with Boeing 777s, and Jeddah with 767s.  BA suspended operations to Saudi Arabia in March 2005 because of the poor commercial performance of its flights, but the country has remained on the oneworld network through flights by other member airlines.  Royal Jordanian serves both Jeddah and Riyadh along with Dammam with Riyadh also receiving Cathay Pacific flights.
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The Meridiana Group has selected a comprehensive package of aeronautical IT solutions from Lufthansa Systems. The second largest Italian airline group will use Lido RouteManual navigation charts, the Lido FMS navigational database and the Lido OC flight planning solution for Meridiana and Eurofly. Since all selected IT solutions are based on the same aeronautical database, the Meridiana Group will benefit from a high degree of integration and more efficient flight operations processes. Both companies signed a five-year contract to this effect which also includes hosting services for Lido OC.
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Reed Exhibitions today announces the partnering with Asian Business Aviation Association (AsBAA) to launch a new event 'Asian Business Aviation' as a valued addition to its Asian Aerospace Show, scheduled for September 8-10, 2009 in Hong Kong.  The new partnership will facilitate a networking platform and dedicated conference for the business aviation fraternity at this popular Show which joins the world's top buyers and service suppliers in the aviation industry with Asia. Although a relatively new entity in Asia, and despite the world economic turndown, 2008 was a record year for the business aviation market, especially in Mainland China.   Accurately predicted by industry experts, Asia's aviation market has experienced substantial growth over the past ten years and continues on an upward trend.
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The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the U.S. government executed a Letter of Offer and Acceptance to purchase Raytheon Company's AIM-9X missile. Saudi Arabia is the world's 10th country to employ the AIM-9X Sidewinder infrared-guided, air-to-air missile. "The AIM-9X will provide our Saudi Arabian allies with unparalleled capability, a small logistical footprint and ease of integration onto its existing fighter aircraft," said Capt. Jeffrey Penfield, the U.S. Navy's Air-to-Air Missile program manager. "AIM-9X has demonstrated its reliability during ongoing operational deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan and in extensive user-driven test programs with the U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force." Under the agreement, the U.S. government will provide the RSAF an undisclosed quantity of tactical and training AIM-9X Sidewinder missiles for its F-15 fighter aircraft.
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BAE Systems' 500th radiation-hardened space computer has taken flight on a NASA mission to find habitable planets in the Milky Way. The RAD750 computer aboard NASA's Kepler spacecraft is part of the company's third generation of radiation-hardened single-board computers. With 500 systems placed in orbit, BAE Systems is the leading provider of computers capable of withstanding the radiation, temperature, vibration, and other extremes encountered in space flight. The computer aboard the Kepler Mission controls the NASA spacecraft, managing its directional orientation and other functions, processing large volumes of scientific data, and running the software that keeps the satellite in orbit.
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SR Technics Group (SR Technics) announced that it has concluded a statutory consultation period with the representatives of its 1,135 employees at Dublin Airport. These discussions followed the announcement on February 12, 2009 of the Group's plans to close its operations at Dublin Airport. The wind-down plan for the Dublin facility foresees that Line Maintenance operations will continue for a defined period with the intention of transferring this business to an alternative provider later in the year. Other activities will either continue in a reduced way to finish the current work in progress or be wound down immediately where maintenance work has been completed. As a consequence of this plan, SR Technics confirmed with regret that approximately 600 employees will be made redundant on Friday, April 3, 2009. It is expected that a further 100 employees will be made redundant in April, while all remaining activities are expected to be wound down or transferred to other providers by August 31, 2009. Throughout the consultation process, SR Technics has sought at all times to find a fair and equitable agreement with employee representatives considering the very serious financial and commercial challenges facing the business in the current market environment.
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The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced that all 224 of its member airlines, comprising 93% of all scheduled international air traffic, are listed on the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) registry. “Today is a momentous day for aviation safety - our number one priority. IATA membership is now synonymous with best practice in airline safety. This is a great achievement and an important mark of quality for all IATA airlines. This in turn is a reassurance for travellers everywhere of aviation's serious commitment to safety,” said Giovanni Bisignani, IATA's Director General and CEO. Qatar Airways was the first airline to have its IOSA audit in September 2003. A total of 9 carriers had their memberships terminated as a result of not meeting the 2006 or 2007 milestone deadlines. A further 8 resigned their memberships at the end of 2008 as they needed more time to complete preparations for a successful audit. One airline lost its IATA membership on 31 March 2009 as a result of being unable to complete the registration process. “The vast majority of IATA member airlines completed the IOSA process. We are now working with those airlines not able to make the deadline to bring them up to the high IOSA standard as soon as possible,” said Bisignani. IOSA standards are available free-of-charge to any commercial airline. In 2009 IATA will invest US$ 8 million to fund IOSA audits for its member airlines. Non-IATA members can undergo an IOSA audit by contracting with one of the 8 accredited audit organisations.
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aerokurier iPad-App