Volume 5 Issue 8 The Kaplanian Report

ON THE BOEING FRONT

Boeing Creates One-Stop Shop for Jets and Services in Airbus Battle

Boeing has reorganized its sales operations as part of a push into services that has helped it take a lead over rival jet maker Airbus this year.

Boeing set up a standalone division in 2017 to build a $50 billion business in services for the civil and defense aircraft. These can include repairs, crew rostering, parts and even wind forecasts. It previously offered fewer, more dispersed services.

Now sales of jetliner services have been brought under the same umbrella as plane sales, headed by senior vice president Ihssane Mounir, Boeing Co’s overall commercial sales chief.

The previously unreported move, which started late last year designed to increase the number of deals and boost profits as it will make it easier for Boeing to sell high-margin services at the same time as it sells planes. The change comes as airlines try to keep a lid on costs by planning jet purchases and long-term operations together.

“We approach the campaigns in a much more comprehensive way than we have ever done before” said Mounir, whose role was expanded to include responsibility for jetliner-related services across the group.

Though Mounir will oversee certain services sales, income will still be reported under the Boeing Global Services unit.

Boeing has sharpened its sales offensive by deploying both Mounir and Commercial Airplanes CEO Kevin McAllister, a former General Electric steeped in analytics.

Source : Reuters/Boeing

Boeing to Take 80% in Embraer’s Commercial Business

Following months of negotiations, Boeing and Embraer have signed an MOU to set up a joint venture(JV) comprising Embaer’s commercial aircraft and services business.

The non-binding agreement, announced July 5, sees Boeing to take 80% stake in Embraer’s commercial operations, while Embraer will control the remaining 20%. Management of the new company will be based in Brazil and will be led by a president and CEO who will report to Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg.

Boeing will “have operational and management control of the new company,” it said.

The companies expect the transaction to close by the end of 2019 following all shareholder and regulatory approvals, including support by the Brazilian government.

The proposed transaction values Embraer’s commercial aircraft business at $4.75 billion, Boeing therefore pays $3.8 billion for the 80% stake. Financial and operational details and a definitive agreement still need to be worked out ”in the coming months.”

Separately, the two companies announced they will also cooperate in developing new markets and applications for defense products, most notably, the K-390 military transport aircraft. For these activities, another JV will be set up.

Source : Boeing/Picture Boeing-Embraer        

           

ON THE AIRBUS FRONT

  Airbus Completes Takeover of Bombardier Series Program

Airbus and Bombardier confirmed the transaction transferring majority control of the Series program to Airbus was completed as scheduled on July 1.

Under the terms of the agreement reached in October 2017, Airbus now owns a 50.01% stake in the Series Aircraft Limited Partnership(CSALP), Investissement Quebec owns approximately 34% and Bombardier holds 16%.

CSALP’s head office and primary Series final assembly line will remain based in Mirabel, Canada. Philippe Balducchi, who formerly was Airbus Commercial Aircraft’s performance management chief, has taken over as the head of CSALP.

The 110-150-seat narrow body aircraft, which is available in two variants (the CS100 and CS300), will immediately become part of Airbus’ portfolio.

Bombardier has indicated its primary focus will return to the regional aircraft market and its CRJ and Q400 programs.

Source : ATW/Airbus/Airbus Picture

              

                          Airbus BelugaXL rolled out of Paint Shop

Airbus has painted its first BelugaXL freighter in a distinctive beluga livery chosen by its employees.

The initial aircraft—formally designated the A330-700L—registration number WBXL. It is one of five BelugaXLs, fitted with Rolls-Royce Trent 700 power plants, which will be manufactured to replace the A300-600 ST Beluga fleet.

The First aircraft is due to commence flight-testing this summer. Airbus will introduce the BelugaXL to service with its logistics and specialized transport arm next year. The aircraft will be capable of carrying two A350 wings simultaneously.

Source : Airbus/Airbus Picture

                   

REGIONAL/BUSINESS JETS

                Textron is Halting Production of the Cessna CitationX+

Textron Aviation calls time on Citation X after a 22-year run. The announcement follows several years of low delivery output for the Rolls-Royce AE 3007C-powered all-metal aircraft—the fastest business jet on the market with top speed of Mach 0.935.

It will be replaced by the slower but larger cabin Longitude as Cessna’s only super-midsize offering. Certification and service entry of the 10-seat twin are scheduled for this quarter.

Textron Aviation does not disclose when the final CitationX+ will roll off the production line, however, the Wichita headquartered airframer says it “continuously monitors the market as it fluctuates and adjusts its product offerings and adjusts its product offerings as necessary”.

Flight Fleets Analyzer records annual deliveries of eight examples of CitationX+ in 2015 and four each in 2016 and 2017—significantly down on the model’s 2000 peak of 37 units.

The Company says the Citation X “has become a beloved aircraft by operators and passengers alike,” with 338 examples delivered globally: 314 of the X and 24 of the X+ model.

Source : Flightglobal/Picture Textron Aviation                                                                                                  

               Pilatus PC-24 Begins Rough-Field Certification Tests

Pilatus Aircraft’s PC-24 made its first landing on an unpaved runway on June 19, following the arrival of flight-test aircraft P01 at Woodbridge airfield in the UK for a two week program of rough-field approval testing.

The PC-24 is designed to take off from and land on runways of only 2,810ft (856m), including grass and gravel strips. This feature gives the aircraft access to cover 20,000 landing sites around the globe.

“This sort of mission would not be conceivable without the PC-24’s rugged landing gear, clever flap systems and special wing design,” says Pilatus chairman Oscar Schwenk.” The PC-24 was designed with exactly this sort of operation in mind.”

The Swiss airframes sold 84 positions within36h of the order book opening in 2014.A second order round is planned for 2019.

Source : Pilatus/Picture Pilatus Aircraft               

                                                 

OTHER AVIATION NEWS

                           Emirates and Flydubai Edge Closer Together   

Dubai-based LCC flydubai has deepened its partnership agreement with local full-service carrier Emirates Airlines by adopting the Emirates Skywards product as its loyalty program.

The LCC said this “strategic move builds on the success of the initial phase of the extensive partnership.”

The agreement. announced in July last year, incorporates codesharing, but also includes several initiatives spanning the commercial, network planning and airport operations fields.

Under the adoption of Emirates’ loyalty program, members of flydubai’s OPEN loyalty program will be enrolled into Emirates Skywards from Aug. 1.  They will accumulate Skywards Miles and tier points when traveling with either airline. 

Source : ATW/ Picture Emirates

          Norwegian Installs New Slimline Seats on Its Boeing 737 MAXs

LCC Norwegian has introduced its first Boeing 737 MAX with a cabin featuring new slimline seats that the airline says are designed for more comfort on longer routes and will give taller passengers more personal space.

Norwegian is installing the new Recaro BL3710C seat on its latest aircraft. The leather seats have 30in seat pitch and are 16.8in wide. The airline says that the new seats are designed to add space at knee-level. Norwegian claims it is the first airline to install the new seat.

Norwegian has more than 100 Boeing 737 MAX on order and will take delivery of 12 this year.

Each seat weighs around 10kg-1kg (2.2lbs-0.45 lbs) less than the seats they replace, which reduces the weight of the aircraft by more than 200kg(440lbs) overall, improving fuel burn.

Source : Norwegian/PictureNorwegian                                                                                                  

Grounded COMAC C919 Test Aircraft Fly Again After Modifications

The first two Commercial Aircraft Corp.of China (COMAC) C919 flight test aircraft returned to the air on June 22 after weeks on the ground for what industry sources described as modifications.

The development program for the narrow body airliner is proceeding according to plan, COMAC said when announcing the latest flights. ”Developmental test flights, static tests, and on ground, post-sortie onboard tests and optimization are being carried out inane orderly manner,” the state manufacturer said.

The first prototype, unit 101, is at Xian, a northwestern city where program supplier Aviation Corp.of China (AVIC) has a flight-test base; the aircraft flew for 3hr.10 min. on June 22.Aircraft 102 is at Shanghai, the location of the program’s final assembly plant; its latest flight lasted 1 hr.34.min.

Unit 101 has been modified on the ground and undergone strength calibration, COMAC said, without referring to the duration of the period of non-flying. Work also included modification and calibration of the water ballast system used in flight testing. For Unit 102,COMAC said such tasks as checks on stability control have been completed. That aircraft will shortly move to COMAC’s test base at Dongying, in the eastern province of Shangdong.

COMAC said it is trying to make the first C919 delivery in 2021, following achievement of airworthiness certification in 2020.

Source : ATW/Picture COMAC

 

  LATEST NEWS

  • Ethiopian Airlines has taken delivery of its first of 30 Boeing 737 Max aircraft on July 1.

  • Iberia took delivery of its first A350-900 incorporating a “wing-Twist”. The wing twist was originally introduced on the A350-1000 and will become standard on all A350s.

  • Aegean Airlines has firmed up an order for 30 Airbus A320neo covering 10 A321neos and 20 A320neos.
  • GOL of Brazil has taken delivery of its first Boeing 737 Max 8 which was financed under a sale-and leaseback with DAE Capital that it finalized in early 2017.The deal also covers four more Max deliveries this year.
  • Jet Airways has disclosed that it is purchasing 75 additional Boeing 737 Max jets. The airline has already taken delivery of its first of 150 737 Max airplanes Jet has on order with Boeing.
  • HNA Group of China has signaled its intention to add 200 Comac C919s and 100 ARJ21s regional jets to its group fleet under a commercial pact struck with COMAC.
  • Bamboo Airways proposed Vietnamese startup airline has booted its fleet plans with a major commitment for 20 Boeing 787-9s, with deliveries tentatively set to occur in April 2020.

  • Bahamasair has agreed to purchase a Boeing 737-700 from AerCap with delivery of the aircraft expected in December of this year.
  • WestJet ULCC subsidiary Swoop took to the skies on June 20 with an inaugural flight from Hamilton to Abbotsford, marking the next major development in what is an expanding Canadian Low-cost airline scene.
  • Okay  Airways has taken delivery of the first of 10 Boeing 737 Max 8s it has on firm order.
  • Sources : Boeing, Flight international, Air Transport World & Ed’s Research

 

AIR CARGO

                     AirBridgeCargo Adds Budapest Freighter Call

AirBrigeCargo (ABC) Airlines has added a twice-weekly call at Budapest airport to its schedule as it looks to continue growing Asia-Europe volumes.

The new service will deploy Boeing 747 fighters and will operate on Tuesdays and Saturdays offering 139 tons of capacity on each flight.

Sergey Lazarev, general director, AirBrigeCargo said: ”Budapest has been expanding at a fast clip, upgrading its facilities, infrastructure, and solutions for freighter carriers and following a cargo-friendly strategy”.

“Its advantageous central location in Europe makes Budapest Airport a perfect location for carriers operating between Asia and Europe. On top of this, we foresee an upsurge of e-commerce traffic with swelling demand for internet purchases among European consumers.”

Budapest Airport chef executive Jost Lammers said: “From next year on our cargo partners in Budapest can operate from our brand new Cargo City which will provide 20,000 square meters(21,528 square feet) of warehouse space, including for AirBridgeCargo staff.”

Source : aircargonews/Picture AirBridgeCargo

    

        Boeing, FedEx Express Announce Order for 24 Freighters

On June 19,2018 Boeing and FedEx Express announced a new order for 12 767-300ERF Freighters and 12 777-200LRF freighters as the world’s largest air cargo carrier continues to invest in the industry’s most capable freighters to better serve its customers.

“We are taking another positive step in our fleet modernization program as we add more efficient, lower emission aircraft to our global fleet,” said David L. Cunningham, President and CEO of FedEx Express. ”The Boeing 767 and 777 Freighters have brought greater efficiency and reliability to our air  operations. The 777, with its tremendous range characteristics, has allowed us to provide faster transit times around the globe. We are excited to add more of these aircraft to our fleet.”

Source : Boeing/FedEx/Picture Boeing

 

MAINTENANCE, REPAIR & OVERHAUL

                                   AFI KLM E&M Adds LEAP Capabilities                                                                            

Franco-Dutch maintenance provider AFI KLM E&M has received FAA approval to provide on-wing and on-site services for CFM LEAP engines. The scope of that work may include engine build-ups, borescope inspections, or changing line replaceable units.

“AFI KLM E&M is now approved to offer its services to all operators of the LEAP-1A and LEAP-1B engines equipping the A320neo and the Boeing 737 MAX worldwide,” says Anne Brachet, EVP of the MRO provider.

AFI KLM E&M already has similar approval from EASA and while that certificate is more relevant given the company’s far bigger line maintenance presence in Europe than the US, the FAA award is further demonstration of its commitment to new technology engine maintenance.

Motivation for this comes from the current wave of overhaul demand stemming from the LEAP’s predecessor, the CFM56-5B/7B, which was a key element of AFI KLM E&M’s sales last year. LEAP overhauls will only occur from 2019 onwards and it will take significantly loner for LEAP maintenance demand to overtake that of the CFM56, but in the meantime, there will be plenty of lighter maintenance work.

“We’re establishing capabilities first and foremost inner own shops, on the GE side and the Safran side, but also, when customers are interested, we are working with third-part MRO providers,” CFM’s Alan Kelly told Engine Yearbook 2018.

Source : mro-network         

               

          HIGHLIGHTS FROM FARNBOROUGH AIR SHOW                                

   Farnborough Rolls Out Stealth Orders For Commercial Airliners

Airbus was dominant in capturing single aisle orders for their A320 and A321 and the new A220 airliners, Boeing did not do so bad on their MAX line up either.

Boeing, on the other had, was dominant in capturing both the twin aisle and the cargo  market.  The 777-200LRF captured orders from DHL, Cargo Logic and Qatar.            The so-called dead 747-8 Freighter continues to stay alive.

In the recent Farnborough air show order tracker generated by Flightglobal, the following are the totals:

Order Commitments: thru July 19th   1,263

Options :                                                   201

Total :                                                     1,464

Of the total orders commitments announced during the air show, 1,263 order commitments, plus 201 options.  In summary, Boeing said on Thursday July 19th, it had won 528 new orders and commitments at the show, buoyed by demand for freighters as air cargo markets rebound.

Airbus said it had won 431 new orders and commitments, including 60 for its newly rebranded A220, former Bombardier Series.

Not covered much during the show are the deals Boeing Global Services and Boeing subsidiary Aviall announced during the show.  Overall a successful show, the opinion of this writer.

Source : Boeing/ Flightglobal

 

                      Boeing’s Brand Value Soars in Latest Survey

Prior to the opening of the Farnborough Air Show, It was announced that Boeing is the most powerful brand in aerospace and defense.  That claim hardly was surprising, given that it is also the biggest company.  In fact, according to a new survey by brand valuation and strategy consultancy Brand Finance, the top 10 most valuable brands in the industry belong to 10 of the largest businesses by turnovers ranked by Flight Global’s Top 100.

However, what is revealing is that Brand Finance reckons Boeing’s brand is worth just short of $20 billion; more than $3.5 billion more than it was valued at in 2017, and almost $9 billion than arch-rival Airbus.

The increase in Boeing’s brand equity is down to several factors says Brand Finance consultancy.  These include that it passed the 1,000-order mark with the 787; commenced production of the 777X, and just as the report was being published, announced its new venture with Embraer on commercial aircraft.

 

Source : Flightglobal/Brand Finance Consultancy.

Researched and Compiled by :

Ed Kaplanian    Commercial Aviation Advisor 

Contact – ekaplanian@msn.com

Editor:   Lee Kaplanian 

Volume 3 Issue 4 April Kaplanian Report

ON THE BOEING FRONT

Boeing Selected Panasonic Avionics to Supply the Cabin Services System for the 777X

Panasonics Avionics has been selected by Boeing to supply the cabin services system (CSS) for the 777X.

The win extends Panasonic’s CSS win streak on next generation Boeing wide bodies; the company also supplies the CSS on the 787 and the 747-8 intercontinental.

“Panasonic’s CSS is a scalable, database driven, Ethernet-based network that provides core cabin functions – such as passenger address, cabin inter phone and environmental controls,” Panasonic said in a statement.  ”CSS directly integrates with external subsystems – such as cabin lighting and other airplane member systems across the airframe networks, including the inflight entertainment and connectivity solutions.”

Boeing completed firm configuration for the 777-9X in August 2015. Orders and commitment for the 777X total 320 aircraft from six customers.  The 777-9X is slated to enter service in 2020, followed by the smaller 777-8X in 2022.

Source : ATW/Boeing

 

ON THE AIRBUS FRONT 

Airbus Launches New Cabin Brand “Airspace by Airbus”

On March 23rd Airbus launched the “Airspace by Airbus”, bringing together an enhanced experience for passengers and optimum performance for airlines – based on four dimensions: comfort, ambience, service and design.

Introduced with Airbus’ wide body A330neo (new engine option) – and incorporated on the A350 XWB – Airspace cabins offer a more relaxing, inspiring, attractive and functional environment for travelers and optimizes the use of cabin space for operators.
csm_A330neo_Airspace_by_Airbus_Ambience_e23cddabea

Signature design elements recognizable throughout all Airspace cabins include wider seat, larger overhead storage bins, spacious, contemporary lavatories with antibacterial surfaces, along with unobstructed under-seat foot space.  Other features are a unique and customizable welcome area at the main passenger boarding door, the latest in LED technology for ambient lighting, as well as clean shapes and surfaces throughout the interior.

Features for operators include a range of new galley/lavatory options – such as modular Space-Flex to maximize trolley capacity, wheelchair-accessible lavatory configurations to suit individual airline requirements and freeing up of main deck space to allow for additional seating.

Source : ATW/Airbus

 

BUSINESS/REGIONAL NEWS

  Qatar Executive Adds Second G650ER

Middle Eastern VIP operator Qatar Executive has added a second Gulfstream G650Er to its fleet.  The handover comes three months after the first ultra-long-range type joined the company’s line-up of high-end business aircraft from Airbus and Bombardier stables.

The lead pair are part of a 2014 order from Qatar Airways subsidiary for up to 30 Gulfstream business jets, including six G650ERs and 24 G500 and G600s, for which it is the launch customer.

The flagship G650ER was selected, Qatar Executive says, for its market leading 7,500 (13,890km) range, which allows passengers “to fly non-stop from the Middle East to North America or from destinations in Asia to Africa.”

Qatar’s G650ERs have a two-cabin configuration, with capacity for up to 13 passengers.

Source : Flightglobal

 

OTHER AVIATION NEWS

Scoot, Tigerair to Merge, Expand Reservation Systems

Singapore based long-haul, low-cost carrier (LCC) Scoot and regional LCC Tigerair will finalize a merger of their reservations systems by the end of 2016, according to Scoot CEO Campbell Wilson. “This will make Tiger our biggest partner,” he said. He said two LCCs already shared ground handling and other operational facilities and costs, and that a more complete integration of ticketing systems would bring a greater ability to capitalize on potential opportunities across the two carriers.

Both LCCS are Subsidiary airlines of parent Singapore Airlines, which Wilson says is working to develop long-term working structures that are shared between the two carriers.

Wilson added that Scoot would expand its fleet of 10 Boeing 787s with another 10 787s by the end of July 2019, which would enable it to add routes to India, China and northeast Asia.

Source : ATW/Scoot

 

Rolls-Royce Has Successfully Completed First Flight of The Trent 1000 Ten

Rolls-Royce has successfully completed the first flight of its new Trent 1000 TEN (thrust, efficiency and new technology) engine which will power the Boeing 787 Dreamliner family of aircraft.

Capable of up to 78,000 lbs thrust, it will be available to power all three variants of the Boeing 787: the -8, -9 and future -10.

The engine’s first flight was on a Boeing 747 flying test bed which took off from an airfield in Tucson, Arizona. A distinctive paint scheme on the engine nacelle-depicting a “perfect ten pin ”bowling image – easily identified the Trent 1000 TEN engine on the aircraft.

Iain Dudley, Head of Marketing, Trent 1000 said : “We are delighted that the first flight went smoothly and we look forward to a successful program on the 747 test bed before flight testing begins on a Boeing 787 later this year. We know that this engine will deliver a step-change in efficiency and performance for the 787 when it enters service.  In fact it’s perfect for it.”

The Trent 1000 is already the most reliable engine on the 787 and was the first to power both the -8 and -9 versions into service. Over one and a half million flying hours have been successfully achieved and now the TEN version is set to deliver new levels of fuel efficiency and thrust for customers.

Trent 1000 engines were the first to put the Boeing 787 into service in 2011 with ANA of Japan and the first to put the 787-9 into service last year with Air New Zealand.

Source : Rolls-Royce

 

 Rolls-Royce and El Al Sign 787 Trent 1000 Service Deal

On March 21st, 2016, El Al announced in a media release that Rolls-Royce will provide support for the Trent 1000 engines that will power El Al’s incoming fleet of Boeing 787s.

El Al says the deal reflects the strength of a business relationship with Rolls-Royce that has been ongoing for more than 50 years. It adds that the agreement is the “largest ever business arrangement between the United Kingdom and Israel.”  El Al did not provide the value or length of the agreement: the carrier’s media representative did not immediately provide additional details.

In August 2015, El Al stated it would buy and lease a total of 15 787s to replace its 747-400s and 767-300ERs.

The carrier plans to begin flying the first eight 787-9s starting in 2017 and the first of seven 787-8s starting in 2019.  In October, El Al announced it opted for all 15 of the 787s to be powered by Trent 1000s.

Source : Flightglobal

 

Cayman Airways to Replace Fleet

Cayman Airways will replace its fleet of aging 737-300s classics with four new 737s over the next four years.

The government has approved a fleet modernization plan for the national airline to replace the four 737-300 jets; which are between 15 and 20 years old, with new 737-8Max planes straight off the Boeing production line.

The 737-8Max planes have 40 more seats and burn 20 percent less fuel than the 300-series. Mr  Fabian Whoms, Cayman Airways CEO said the technical advances made by Boeing in developing the next generation aircraft made the arrangement possible.

The airline will bring a different Boeing 737-800 plane into service as an interim measure; it intends to replace the entire fleet of 737-300s on a phased timetable between 2018 and 2020.

By 2020, the airline will have a full fleet of four 737-8Max aircraft.

Source : Cayman Compass

 

LATEST NEWS IN BRIEF  

  • Air India agreed to lease 14 LEAP-powered A320neos from ALAFCO for delivery in 2017-2019.
  • GoSky of Slovakia took delivery of one Boeing 737-800 aircraft on March 18th.
  • Aegean Airlines has taken delivery of the final of seven Airbus A320ceos.  It has 61 of the type in its fleet.
  • Aircelle (Safran) began the manufacturing of titanium engine exhaust systems for Boeing’s new 777X, marking an on-time industrial activity startup on Aircelle’s first major role as a supplier to Boeing.
  • GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) delivered a new leased Boeing 737-800 aircraft to Chinese airline Okay Airways to expand the Carrier’s fleet.

  • Mitsubishi Aircraft completed construction of new 44,000 sq m MRJ final assembly hanger to build up to 10 aircraft per month; it will now start installing related tooling.
  • Air France has cancelled its remaining pair of Airbus A 380s in favor of taking three additional A350-900s.  Deliveries of the A350s have been rescheduled from 2018 to 2019 and 2020.
  • Boeing started major assembly of the first 787-10 Kawasaki Heavy Industries started installation of the circular frames into the mid forward fuselage on March 14th,two weeks ahead of schedule.
  • Embraer, the Brazilian manufacturer, announced on April 4th that E190-E2 completed the first engine run. The E190-E2 is powered by two PW1900G turbofans that are rated at Up to 23,000 .lb – thrust each for take-off power.
  •   Air France-KLM Group chairman and CEO, Alexandre de Juniac, is set to replace the retiring Tony Tyler as IATA’s DG and CEO after a unanimous recommendation by the IATA board of governors.

  • Exclusive Boeing said it will buy seats directly from new supplier, LIFT by EnCore of Huntington Beach,California for its 737.

 

Air Cargo

  Air France- KLM Moves to Protect Perishables with “Kold Kart” Dolly

When on the ground in high temperature locations, the ruination of perishable cargo or pharmaceuticals is a real issue.  Air France-KLM – Martinair Cargo’s most recent weapon in the war against temperature incursions is the “Kold Kart”, a new dolly system that maintains proper temperature while shipments await transfer to planes or trucks.

After testing the product,  AF-KLM found that Kold Kart was able to protect temperature-sensitive commodities while reducing waste and extending the shelf life of products being shipped.  Once perishable container shipments are weighed and checked in for a flight, they are placed inside a Kold Kart dolly.  The dolly is then moved onto the tarmac area and held until it can be pulled by a tug to the outbound aircraft.  The Kold Kart unit also has a conveyor floor that permits container shipments to roll in and out of the dolly.

For inbound shipments, the dolly meets the aircraft and perishable containers are off-loaded from the aircraft to the Kold Kart dolly and pulled back to the cargo building.  The temperature can be set anywhere the customer requests.

Source : Air Cargo World/Air France-KLM Cargo

 

MILITARY

     How the Very First Air Force One Was Saved – Columbine II, President Eisenhower’s Ride  is Back in Action – Part I

Getting a 70-year-old Lockheed C-121 Constellation ready to fly cross-country isn’t easy.  Besides making sure the large airframe is structurally sound, you have got to get four enormous 18-cylinder,2,500-horsepower radial engines running reliably.  Karl Stolzfus had plenty of motivation to see this project through. In doing so, had been saving and preserving history: the first Air Force One.

First Lady Maimie Eisenhower named the airplane “Columbine II” after the official state flower of Colorado, her adopted home state.  Her husband, President Dwight D.Eisenhower, was traveling in Columbine II in 1953 when air traffic controllers became confused.  An Eastern Airlines commercial flight (8610) had the same call sign as the President’s (Air Force 8610) and the two aircraft accidentally entered the same airspace.  The potentially dangerous situation spurred creation of the unique call sign “Air Force One” for Columbine II, and the name stuck for all subsequent presidential planes.

Columbine II was built as a VC-121A transport for the Air Force in 1948, but converted to VIP configuration for President Eisenhower and re-designated VC-121E.

It served Ike from late 1952 through 1954 when it was replaced by another VC-121E, this one called “Columbine III.” (it currently resides at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force in Dayton, Ohio).  Columbine II remained as a “spare” Air Force One into 1955, when it was transferred to Pan American airlines, serving on special assignment to the government of Thailand as the “Clipper Fortuna.” The aircraft later returned to Air force transport duties until its retirement in 1968.

It was a derelict by the early 1980s but was restored using parts from another VC-121 in 1989-90. The Air Force One went on  to  the air show circuit in the early 1990s.  When the owner lost interest, it was put up for sale in 1998.  Nobody wanted Eisenhower’s ride at the time and it was flown to Avra Valley Airport near Tucson in 2003.

Karl Stolzfus is the owner of Dynamic Aviation, a Virginia-Based contractor that provides the federal government and other clients with aircraft and crews for tasks from surveillance to data acquisition.

Rather than let Columbine II languish, Stolzfus bought the airplane and starting in March of 2015, a team of engineers from Dynamic aided by volunteers from Texas-based Mid America Flight Museum, travelled to Avra Valley and retired Columbine II to air worthiness.   According to Brian Miklos,who lead the Dynamic’s team, says the constellation was in reasonably good shape, considering its history, but needed work.

“The Airframe and the hard parts of the airplane were great condition but all the soft components, hose and seats, were brittle from the desert environment.  We had to replace all of that.  We did not do that much  engine work, we just made sure the top-ends were well lubricated and replaced engine accessories.”

Source : Popular Mechanics

Story of the restoration of this aircraft will continue in my May Report

 

 

Researched and Compiled by : Ed Kaplanian

Commercial Aviation Advisor

Contact – ed@kaplanianreport.com