2008-12-01 - News in BriefNews in Brief

Kurzmeldungen+++ The European Commission has selected Rolls-Royce to lead the development of two engine demonstrators as part of the Clean Sky Joint Technology Initiative to accelerate the delivery of cleaner and quieter engine technologies. Rolls-Royce will receive up to EUR 53 million from the European Commission and benefit from the work of partners valued at EUR 82 million over seven years to 2015.

The two demonstrators will enhance the development of new technologies for the next generation of narrow and wide-body aircraft engines. These will help Rolls-Royce to meet the demands of its customers by reducing CO2, NOx and noise emissions and reducing the time it takes to bring them to market. Colin Smith, Director, Engineering & Technology, for Rolls-Royce, said: The Clean Sky Joint Undertaking from the EC will enable us to build and test truly innovative engine technology demonstrators. This is an essential step that will help us invest in new, more environmentally-friendly products that support our customers needs.
First Aermacchi MB-339CM for Malaysian Air Force takes to the air
The first MB-339CM advanced trainer for the Malaysian Air Force made a successful first flight on 25 November from the Alenia Aermacchi facilities at Venegono airport.The flight, carried out by Alenia Aermacchi Chief Test Pilot Quirino Bucci with Chief Flight Test Engineer Carlo Monti, lasted about one hour and entailed the functional check of all on-board systems and particularly of the new avionics. The first flight marks an important MB-339CM program goal. In January 2009 the Malaysian pilot training activities  which are slated to begin at Alenia Aermacchi  will proceed and the delivery of the first two aircraft is scheduled for the first quarter of 2009.
Pratt & Whitney Canada (P&WC) has received Transport Canada type certification for its new PW207D1 and PW207D2 engines selected to power the Bell Helicopter 429. New additions to the PW200 family, the PW207D1 and PW207D2 engines are marketed by P&WC Turbo Engines Corp. (P&WCTEC), a subsidiary of P&WC. Today , more than 800 PW200-powered helicopters are in operation in 56 countries, having accumulated over 2.8 million hours of operating time. Key operating segments include law enforcement, emergency medical services and corporate markets. The PW200 family of engines is a leader in light twin engine sales and is the industry's benchmark for dependability, dispatch reliability, operating economics and easy maintenance.
Lockheed Martin has attained full function capability in all the systems integration laboratories that support the VH-71 presidential helicopter program, after completing the Master Systems Bench (MSB) located at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, MD. The NAS Patuxent River MSB, part of the Systems Integration Laboratory, contains all of the aircraft avionic systems installed in a full-scale VH-71A cockpit and rear cabin, with out-the-window visual displays and aircraft simulation allowing full mission scenarios to be "flown" while on the ground. This enables the flight test pilots and engineers to conduct valuable training, perform system analysis and debug problems on the ground. "Having a fully capable laboratory at the Navy's Presidential Helicopter Support Facility is a huge plus in optimizing flight test time," said Jeff Bantle, Lockheed Martin vice president and general manager of the VH-71 program. "Ground testing provides a big cost and time savings for the program, because it reserves air time and fuel for airworthiness tests and certifications."
Goodrich Corporation has received a contract from the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) for the first operational satellite system in support of Operationally Responsive Space (ORS).The satellite, designated ORS Sat-1, is to be manufactured and integrated by Goodrich's ISR Systems team in Danbury, Conn. ORS is focused on the ability to quickly and affordably implement space capabilities that benefit the warfighter. Goodrich has partnered with ATK Space Systems, based in Herndon, Va. for the ORS Sat-1 project. ATK will provide the satellite bus, or spacecraft vehicle platform.
EUROJET has achieved two notable milestones for its EJ200 programme. The EJ200 engine achieved over 100,000 Engine Flying Hours in the Eurofighter Typhoon fleets of the Air Forces of Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain and Austria at the end of October. The multi-role combat aircraft was introduced into service of the Air Forces in 2003 and is presently operated by 10 units across five nations. With the addition of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as the programme's second export customer, 707 aircraft are under contract. EUROJET has also delivered its 500th EJ200 engine. The landmark engine was assembled at MTU Aero Engines in Munich and was delivered to the German Air Force in early November.
During a ceremony held at AgustaWestland's Yeovil facility, the first two Apache AH Mk.1s equipped with a new sighting and targeting system were handed over to the UK Ministry of Defence, following the achievement of Release to Service on 14th November 2008. The sighting and targeting system, known as M-TADS/PNVS (Modernised Target Acquisition Designation Sight/Pilot Night Vision Sensor) along with TEDAC (TADS Electronic Display and Control) will provide Apache AH Mk.1 crews with greater situational awareness and combat effectiveness. Additionally the new system will also deliver significant whole life cost savings over the service life of the aircraft. The M-TADS Contract has been an excellent example of industry (AgustaWestland, Lockheed Martin, Boeing and QinetiQ) and the Ministry of Defence teams working as partners to benefit the performance and flexibility of a project.
The Indian Space Research Organisation's lunar orbiter Chandrayaan-1 released a probe that impacted close to the lunar south pole on 14 November. Following this, the instruments on the spacecraft are being switched on to get the science observations started. The Moon Impact Probe was dropped close to Shackleton crater, a place close to the south pole, where ice may exist in areas that are never illuminated by the Sun. It carried three instruments: a video imaging system, a radar altimeter and a mass spectrometer. The imaging system took pictures of the Moon as it approached the surface, the radar was used to determine the altitude, and the mass spectrometer was used to study the thin lunar atmosphere. The probe was released from the spacecraft at 15:36 CET (20:06 Indian Standard Time), on 14 November and took 25 minutes to reach the surface. As it descended, the probe transmitted pictures to the orbiter that were later downloaded to Earth. The Terrain Mapping Camera, TMC, and the Radiation Dose Monitor, RADOM, were functional by that time on the orbiter. After the impact of the probe, the remaining orbiter instruments were switched on consecutively for their commissioning activities.
In a step that promises to greatly improve the efficiency of air transportation for millions of Americans, FAA Acting Administrator Robert A. Sturgell gave the green light to nationwide deployment of a system that allows aircraft to be tracked by satellite rather than radar. Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) will reduce the risk of midair collisions and weather-related accidents, provide more efficient routes in adverse weather, and improve situational awareness for pilots. "The next generation of air travel has arrived," Sturgell said. "ADS-B is the backbone of the future of air traffic control. NextGen is real and, as of today, NextGen is now. President Bush just last week stated that modernizing our aviation system is an urgent challenge, and today's announcement demonstrates that the Department of Transportation and the FAA are taking concrete steps to do just that." An executive order signed by President Bush on Nov. 18 accelerated the implementation of NextGen, stating that it is the policy of the United States to establish and maintain an air transport system that meets the present and future needs of this country.
In just 16 years, GE Aviation's CF34 engines for regional jets have surpassed 50 million hours - a figure reflecting the growing significance to GE of this relatively new commercial aviation segment. GE helped to usher in the era of modern regional-jet travel in 1992, when the first CF34-powered Bombardier CRJ100 entered revenue service. Today, more than 4,200 CF34 engines power 50- to 120-seat aircraft  models produced by Bombardier of Canada and EMBRAER of Brazil.
Airbus regrets to confirm that an A320 operated by XL Airways Germany and owned by Air New Zealand was involved in an accident on 27 November. The aircraft was operating a flight from Perpignan, France with seven passengers on board. The aircraft involved in the accident was MSN (Manufacturer Serial Number) 2500, delivered in July 2005. The aircraft had accumulated approximately 7000 flight hours in some 2800 flight cycles. It was powered by IAE V2500 engines. At this time no further factual information is available. In line with ICAO Annex 13 international convention, Airbus will provide full technical assistance to the investigation authorities of France, who will be responsible for the investigation into the accident. A team of 5 specialists from Airbus is being dispatched to the site.
TAT Groups leasing subsidiary, AIR Ltd., took delivery of an ATR 72-500 aircraft which marks the 40th ATR aircraft delivered to the TAT Group. The aircraft will be leased to Bangkok Airways. Coincidentally, both TAT Group and Bangkok Airways are each celebrating their 40th anniversary this year. The delivery ceremony was held at the Final Assembly Line of ATR in Toulouse. With the delivery of this 70-seat ATR, Bangkok Airways brings its ATR 72-500 fleet to 9 aircraft, with an additional aircraft to be delivered next year. The carrier started operating ATR aircraft in 1994 and has become one of the largest operators of ATRs in South East Asia. With the delivery of this new aircraft, the airline will grow the total capacity of its ATR fleet and will be able to face its increasing flight demand, notably to and within the region.
In the third quarter of 2008, Air Berlin increased its operating income by 57 percent over the corresponding quarter of the previous year. Net profit increased by 43.2 percent. This was the first quarter ever, in which turnover exceeded EUR 1 billion. "This is the best quarterly result in our company history," stated Air Berlin's CEO Joachim Hunold. The efficiency program decided on by the Board of Directors in the spring of 2008 is bearing fruit. Although the number of passengers transported in the third quarter decreased from 8.8 (Q 3/07) to 8.6 million due to the elimination of unprofitable flight routes, revenue per available seat kilometre increased from 6.64 to 7.66 Eurocents, i.e. an increase of 15.3 percent. Turnover increased from EUR 978 to EUR 1,062 million, i.e. an increase of 8.6 percent. Air Berlin's EBITDAR (Earnings before interest, leasing expenses, depreciation, amortization, interest and taxes) increased from EUR 177.7 to EUR 209.7 million, i.e. an increase of 18 percent. Due to increased revenues and reduced expenditures, Air Berlin's EBIT (Earnings before interest and taxes) increased to EUR 89.1 million (Q 3/07: EUR 56.8 million), i.e. an increase of 57 percent. Net consolidated income improved from EUR 31.9 to EUR 45.6 million, i.e. a 43.2 percent increase.

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