Volume 2 Issue 4 April 2015

ON THE BOEING FRONT

Boeing ecoDemonstrator 757 Flight Tests Focus on Aerodynamic Efficiency

Boeing has begun several months of flights with ecoDemonstrator 757 to evaluate new technologies to improve commercial aviation’s efficiency, reduce noise and carbon emissions. Boeing is collaborating with TUI Group and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) on ecoDemonstrator 757 tests.

The 757 flight tests continue the ecoDemonstrator Program’s multi-year effort to accelerate testing, refinement and use of new technologies and methods that can improve aviation’s environmental performance.

“The ecoDemonstrator 757 furthers our commitment to accelerate innovative technologies for current and future airplane programs.” said Mike Sinnett, vice president of Product Development, Boeing Commercial Airplanes.” The Boeing ecoDemonstrator program is focused on putting new, more environmentally efficient technologies and airplanes in the hands of our customers sooner.”

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On the left wing, Boeing will evaluate technologies to reduce environmental effects on natural laminar flow as a way to improve aerodynamic efficiency. As an example, the ecoDemonstrator 757 will test a Krueger shield that can protect the leading edge from insects.

On the right wing, NASA  will test bug-phobic coating to reduce the residue left by bug strikes on the leading edges of aircraft wings; the goal is to enable more drag-reducing laminar flow over the remainder of the wing.

On the vertical tail, NASA and Boeing are testing active flow control to improve airflow over the rudder and maximize its aerodynamic  efficiency.

TUI Group, the world’s largest integrated tourism group, is collaborating with Boeing as way to reduce carbon emissions.

Source : Boeing/TUI Group/Photo

ON THE AIRBUS FRONT 

Airbus Celebrates Delivery of its 9,000th Aircraft 

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Airbus has celebrated the delivery of its 9000th aircraft at a ceremony in Hamburg, Germany on March 20th 2015.The aircraft is the first A321 to be delivered to Vietnamese carrier VietJetAir and will join the carrier’s all Airbus A320 Family fleet flying on its Asia-Pacific network.

VietJetAir first took to the skies at the end of 2011 and now operates a fleet of 22 A320 Family aircraft on a network covering Vietnam and a growing number of destinations across Asia. The A321 delivered is the first of seven ordered by the airline as part of a major aircraft acquisition plan for up to 100 A320 Family aircraft announced in 2014.

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Since delivering its first A300 in 1974, Airbus has developed a comprehensive product line. Today this includes the single aisle A320 Family and the A330 twin Aisle, the A350XWB and the world’s largest aircraft the A380.

Source : Airbus/Airbus Photos

BUSINESS/REGIONAL NEWS

Bombardier to Use Additional  CSeries Aircraft

The fifth and final test vehicle for the initial CS100 version of Bombardier’s CSeries airliner has begun flying, but additional aircraft will be used in the test program in a bid to meet the target of certification toward the end of this year.

Aircraft FTV5, the first CSeries fitted with a finished interior, made its first flight from Mirabel, near Montreal,on March 18. A second followed March 19.The aircraft is being used to test passenger-related systems.

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CSeries testing has passed the 1,200 hour mark, but the total now includes flying FTV7, the first test vehicle for the stretched CS300, which made its first flight from Mirabel in February. Bombardier has said certification is expected to take around 2,400 hr.

To meet its certification target this year, Bombardier plans to use the first production CS100 in the flight-test program.

The first CS300 will also be used to fly test points for the smaller CS100, said Rob Dewar, vice president for the CSeries program. This is because of the high degree of commonality between the versions.

Firm orders for the CSeries still stand at 243 aircraft, but total commitments including options are now 603. This  includes a letter of intent to purchase 20 CS100, with options for another 20, for the new airline Flymojo announce by the Malaysian government on March 17.

Source: Flightglobal/Ed’s Research

OTHER AVIATION NEWS

Air Madagascar Re-Fleets with ATR

Air Madagascar has ordered three ATR 72-600 turboprops in a deal worth approximately $77 million, and is leasing two more of the type from Ireland based Elix Aviation Capital.

The first of the two leased aircraft was formally delivered on March 11th, with the second due to next month. The Three purchased from ATR will be delivered from 2017.

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The arrival of the aircraft will enable Air Madagascar to renew and expand its fleet of  ATRS, which currently consists of one ATR 42-500 and two ATR 72-500s,significantly increasing seat capacity on the carrier’s main domestic routes on the Indian Ocean island nation.

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Air Madagascar transports nearly 600,000 passengers annually, with 75% of those on its regional or domestic network. The carrier is long standing ATR customer, having introduced its first of the type, an ATR 42-300,in 1996 and introducing the -500 since 2005.

Source: Elix Aviation Capital

Singapore Airlines Looks to Buy Korean LCC Jeju Air

Singapore flag carrier Singapore Airlines (SIA) has been in talks to buy around 20% of Korean low-cost carrier(LCC) Jeju Air in the lead up to its initial public offering later this year.

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In a statement to the Singapore Stock Exchange, SIA confirmed ”that discussions have taken place on possible equity investment in Jeju Air.” SIA added that further public announcements could be on the way.

The deal would give SIA Group considerably more access to expanding Korea-China market, where full service carriers are seeing high levels of competition from other LCCs such as Air Busan, Eastar, Jin Air and T’Way.

SIA started talks to buy into Jeju Air with its parent Aekyung Group late last year, prior to the LCC’s plan to go for a Q4 2015 IPO to raise $180 million for expansion of its fleet and network, principally deeper into China’s second tier cities. Late last month, Jeju Air introduced a new 3 weekly Daegu-Beijing service using Boeing 737-800 aircraft.

Source : ATW

GE Honda Aero Engines Receives US Approval for HF120 Production 

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GE Honda Aero Engines has cleared a key milestone for its HF120 turbofan, which powers the HondaJet light twin-engined business jet, with the US Federal Aviation Administration granting production approval for its new manufacturing plant in Burlington, Massachusetts.

This validation comes more than two years after the 2,095 lb thrust engine, developed by GE Aviation and HondaJet,secured US approval. It allows the company to build the powerplant to type design specification without FAA oversight.

The $4.5 million HondaJet is the first platform for the HF120, although it has also been selected by US engineering company Sapphire for its Cessna CitationJet upgrade program.

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HF120 production was initially performed at Ge’s Lynn, Massachusetts, facility before its transition to Burlington late last year. The 2,000 square feet plant has capacity to build 500 engines a year. It will also carry out engine maintenance, repair and overhaul work.

The HondaJet is scheduled for certification and service entry in the coming weeks. The six-seat aircraft is being assembled in nearby Greensboro, North Carolina.

Source : Flightglobal/GE Aviation

Mangoes Anyone? 

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This past December, LAN Cargo set a new monthly record for the transportation of mangoes from Peru to Europe, shipping 525 tons of the tropical fruit using two 767 freighters.  The mangoes were flown from Lima to Sao Paulo, there operations teams at Guarulhoes ensured that the cold chain was maintained before onward shipping to Europe.  LAN is responsible for transporting approximately 35 percent of Peruvian mangoes to Europe.  Expect tropical salads to be a big hit this year on Parisienne cafes.

Source:  Air Cargo World

LATEST NEWS IN BRIEF  

  • Rockwell Collins was selected by China Eastern Airlines to supply avionics, including Head-up Guidance System for its 20 Boeing 737NG starting in 2016.
  • Avolon delivered the first of four Boeing 787-9s to Virgin Atlantic, which has a further line in its fleet.
  • Boeing Shanghai Aviation has signed a maintenance agreement with Russia’s Transaero   Airlines for its Boeing 767s.
  • Swiss International Airlines (SWISS) has announced a commitment to purchase three additional 777-300ERs. The order will be posted on Boeing’s Order and Deliveries website when finalized.
  • ANA finalized an order for three 787-10 Dreamliners on March 2nd..  The order was announced as a commitment in January of this year.
  • Turkish Airlines has placed a firm order for four additional Airbus A330-200 freighters that will be operated by its Turkish Cargo business.
  • The Industrial & Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) has placed a firm order for 30        Commercial Aircraft Corp. of China (COMAC) ARJ 21-700 regional aircraft.
  • Vietnam Airlines’ first Airbus A350-900 aircraft has left the paint shop, revealing a new livery for the  carrier.

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  • Qantas’s first 747-400 has flown into retirement after completing an historic ferry flight to Illawarra Regional airport on March 8th.
  • Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Company (SCAC)  is going to deliver 44 Sukhoi Super Jet 100 jets in 2015.
  • BAE was selected by Boeing to supply the final piece of the revamped fly-by-wire control system on the 777X currently in development.
  • Air Tahiti Nui (ATN), the major carrier of French Polynesia, has decided to order four Boeing 787-9 aircraft to replace its fleet of Airbus A340-300.
  • Pilatus Aircraft recently delivered its 1300th turboprop PC12 to Surf Air,a private air travel club based in California.
  • Gulfstream on March 12th, the National Aeronautic Association announced GulfStream will be awarded the 2014 Robert J.Collier Trophy, ‘For the development of the Gulfstream G650 business Jet, which strengthened business aviation through significant technological in aircraft performance, cabin comfort, and Safety.”

 

AIR CARGO

EVA Refleets as Martinair Defleets

In the Netherlands, it appears that time for talking has ended, as Air France-KLM has taken the axe to subsidiary carrier Martinair. Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, Taiwan based EVA Air is looking to the future, with plans to place an order for five 777Fs.

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The disappearance of Air France, KLM and Martinair as major players in the main-deck freight business has been underway for some time now, effectively since the Air France/KLM merger. At a press conference in mid-March, Air France-KLM announced massive job cuts at Martinair, saying that

330 employees, including 110 of the carrier’s pilots, would be let go. On the fleet side, all six Martinair’s MD-11Fs will be retired, leaving Air France-KLM with two 777Fs based in Paris operated by Air France and three 747-400Er based in Amsterdam.

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In Taiwan EVA Air  reported strong growth in both cargo traffic and cargo revenue this year, while the carrier plans to reduce the number of freighters in its fleet, it has also made a decision to refleet with new production 777Fs. Eva Chairman Chang Kuo was recently quoted in China Times as the first phase of a massive fleet renewal will involve replacing its eight 747-400 freighters with five new 777Fs. There has been no announcement about the timing of the order but recent reports in China Aviation implies that it will be sooner, rather than later.

Source: Cargo Facts/China Times

                 Northern Air Cargo a Niche Air Cargo Carrier

As a docent at the Museum of Flight in Seattle located at Boeing Field I thought I knew most airline liveries, however, while on duty as a docent the past few weeks I kept seeing one of Northern Air Cargo planes parked not far from Clay Lacy’s hanger on the field and asking myself who is Northern Air Cargo and decided to investigate and discovered that Northern Air Cargo is the cargo carrier that assists the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race called “The Last Great Race” that has been held in Alaska since 1973.

Just like those early mushers, Northern Air Cargo (NAC), Alaska’s largest all-cargo airline, also delivers goods in support of that race that celebrates their arduous journey. This year the ceremonial start was held on March 7th in downtown Anchorage, as usual, but the actual race started in Fairbanks due to lack of snow. NAC was there in its 33rd year of ferrying about 75 tons of dog food, sleds, kennels, snow machines, chain saws, camera equipment, plywood, heaters, propane tanks, perishables and general gear to support the mushers and their dogs.

The carrier uses a 737-200 freighter and a 737-300 freighter for the race, operating one flight a day, three or four days a week, to drop supplies at three hub locations along the trail-the towns of McGrath, Unakakleet and Nome, where the race ends.

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No stranger to flying in sub-zero conditions, NAC, founded in 1956, flies to 14 points in western and northern Alaska. One of NAC’s largest customers is the Red Dog Mine, a zinc-lead mine in Northwest Alaska near Kotzebue, which NAC has been servicing for 20 years. The oil companies that are active in Prudhoe Bay, at origination of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, are also frequent customers.

Interesting discovery on my part. I also discovered that NAC is also tied to freight routes in much warmer-even tropical climates. When Hawaii’s Aloha Airlines went bankrupt in 2008, Saltchuk Resources, which bought NAC in 2006, bought the air freight portion, Aloha Air Cargo, based in Honolulu, which is predominantly inter-island service, with one weekly frequency between Los Angeles and Hawaii. using a 767-300 freighter.

Dave Squire is the chief operating officer for both NAC and Aloha Cargo in Hawaii which make up the vast majority of Northern Air Service’s business. The company also keeps a couple of aircraft in Laredo, Texas, for expedited on demand charters, mostly carrying auto parts between the U.S. and  Mexico. Approximately 68 percent of cargo on NAC carriers freight and 32 percent is mail.

Source:   Air Cargo World/Ed’s Research

Researched and Compiled by : Ed Kaplanian

                                                              Commercial Aviation Advisor  

                                                              Contacted@kaplanianreport.com

Volume 1 Issue 5 December 2014

ON THE BOEING FRONT

Boeing Begins Flight Testing ecoDemonstrator 787

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Boeing has begun flight testing more than 25 new technologies aimed at improving aviation’s environment performance through every phase of flight.

The Boeing ecoDemonstrator Program accelerates the testing, refinement and use of new technologies and methods that can improve efficiency and reduce noise.

This new round of testing, using 787 Dreamliner ZA004,will evaluate software and connectivity technologies related to operational efficiency, remote sensors to reduce wiring; aerodynamic and flight control improvements for greater fuel efficiency and icephobic wing coating to reduce ice accumulation.

“The ecoDemonstrator is focused on technologies that can improve airlines’ gate-to-gate efficiency and reduce fuel consumption emissions and noise,” said Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Ray Conner.

Supplier partners for the ecoDemonstrator 787 technologies and flight tests also include Rolls-Royce, Honeywell, Rockwell Collins, General Electric and Panasonic.

Source : Boeing/Boeing Pictures

 

ON THE AIRBUS FRONT 

Airbus to Develop Five New Beluga Transport Aircraft

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The Airbus XWB and A330 have been approved for common type rating for pilots training to fly the aircraft.

The new regulatory approval means that pilots who are qualified and current on the A330 can start training to fly the A350XWB by undergoing “differences training” only.

Differences training does not require the use of ground-based full-flight-simulators and reduces pilot training time to just eight days-as much as 65% less than a standard transition course.

It also means that airlines operating both types of aircraft can create a pool of pilots able to fly both the A330 and A350XWB in a single-fleet flying(SFF) concept, allowing for increased scheduling flexibility and mobility.

Source : ATW/Airbus Photos

 

BUSINESS/REGIONAL NEWS

Falcon Aviation Services Firms Up Bombardier Q400 Order

Abu Dhabi’s Falcon Aviation Services has confirmed an order for three Bombardier Q400 NextGen turboprops. Bombardier said the aircraft form part of a letter of intent for five Q400 NextGen’s signed by Falcon at last July’s Farnborough Airshow.

Based on list prices, the three aircraft are worth approximately $90.3 million and represent the next stage in Falcon’s policy of increasingly moving into the leasing market. Currently, most of Falcon’s activities are centered on a fleet of helicopters that undertake oil and gas support work in the Persian Gulf, plus corporate jet, MRO and aircraft management services.

Including this latest transaction, Falcon has booked firm orders for six Q400 NextGEN aircraft this year. In October, it placed one with Senegal Airline on wet lease.

At Farnborough, Bombardier and Falcon also announced a memorandum of understanding to collaborate in addressing the need of modern aircraft in Africa.

“Our fleet of Q400 NextGen aircraft will allow us to present operators with a host of aviation solutions from leasing to turn-key operations that will offer avenues for increased profitability,” Falcon COO Mahmoud Ismael said at the signing ceremony for the latest three aircraft at Bombardier’s Mirabel, Quebec, facility.

“Over the next 20 years, Africa is expected to take delivery of 700 new aircraft in the 20-to 149-seat market segment; receiving 5.3% of forecasted world demand in these segments,” said Ryan Debrusk, Bombardier’s VP-sales for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Source: Bombardier/Falcon Aviation

 

OTHER AVIATION NEWS

CFM56 Aftermarket Boom Is Imminent

As the CFM56 order book cools, the aftermarket heats up.

CFM’s new Leap engine family booked 1,393 orders in 2013-or 63 more than it took for the CFM56. The figures mark the first time that the new model surpassed its predecessor in annual order book figures. While the Leap’s future is bright, it will take some time for the model to move past the venerable incumbent as an aftermarket revenue generator.

Demand for more efficient narrow body lift drove Airbus and Boeing to develop new versions of their successful A320 and 737 families, but demand for more immediate lift pushed them to raise production rates on the current versions. With the A320neo and the 737MAX still several years away from full production-entry into service slated for 2015 for the neo and 2017 for the MAX-operators are adding current-generation versions as fast as the manufacturers can build them. This has helped push CFM56 deliveries to record levels. The 2012 figure of 1,442 engines produced was double that of 2002, and delivery figures have risen steadily since, topping 1,500 in 2013 and slated to reach 1,550 this year.

The production surge, combined with on-wing life exhibited by current-configuration, second-generation engines-CFM56-5’s and -7s-means that about 40% of the nearly 20,000 CFM56’s in service have yet to undergo initial shop visits, which usually take place from seven to nine years after entry into service. A Bernstein Research analysis earlier this year determined that 80% have yet to reach subsequent shop visits, which are more lucrative for service providers because of the amount of material needed to complete the overhauls.

“Much of the recent growth in CFM56 aftermarket work has been driven by the second-generation CFM56 engines coming off wing for their first and second shop visit,” Bernstein noted in its report. Citing the trends, Bernstein projects a 9% compound annual growth rate in shop visits through 2019.

Source: Aviationweek/Bernstein Report

JAL Says Skymark Seeking Tie-Up Talks

Japan Airlines said Skymark Airlines had sought talks to discuss a possible business tie-up that would put one of the country’s few remaining budget carriers under the wing of a bigger rival.

“We received the request from Skymark Airlines on the possible cooperation,” a spokesman fro JAL said.

“We will start to discuss some possible cooperation but at the current stage, there is no decided agreement,”  he added.

Skymark would codeshare some flights with JAL and cooperate in sales, the Nikkei newspaper reported, although it said the tie-up was unlikely to involve a capital injection from JAL.

A spokeswoman for Skymark declined to discuss what cooperation the two were discussing.

Skymark, which began flying in 1998, had been a rare case of a small carrier in Japan able to thrive without becoming an affiliate of either JAL or Japan’s other carrier, ANA.

Source : Airwise/Ed’s Research

Safran Opens Composites Plant for LEAP Jet engine

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On November 24th, French President Francois Hollende inaugurated a $200 million Safran plant in eastern France designed to make carbon-composite parts for its new LEAP aircraft engine.

LEAP is the latest engine produced by the CFM International joint venture between Safran and General Electric, and will power the next generation Boeing 737 MAX jets and many of the A320neo family jets made by Airbus.

The factory at Commercy, near Metz, is sister plant to one opened in New Hampshire in March by Safran in partnership with Albany International, which makes industrial fabrics for the paper making industry and composite parts for aerospace.

Both plants will make “3D woven” fan blades and fan cases.

Together, the two companies expect by 2019 to be making 32,000 thousand composite fan blades a year, up from 600 in 2013.

Safran and GE are expected to use more composite parts as they prepare the next version of LEAP with extra weight savings.

Source : Yahoo Finance

 

LATEST NEWS IN BRIEF  

  • Lufthansa Technik has broken ground in Puerto Rico for an overhaul facility that will do base maintenance onAirbus family aircraft.
  • Ruili Airlines has taken delivery of its first purchased Boeing 737-700 purchased directly from the manufacturer. The aircraft registered B-5829 is the first of eight orders for the variant ordered by the Kunming-based carrier
  • yourfile
  • Lion Air will place an order for 40 additional ATR 72-600 turboprops. Prior to this order, Lion Air had 18 ATR 72-600s in its backlog.
  • Boeing South Carolina has started final assembly of the 787-9 Dreamliner at its South Carolina facility. United Airlines will take delivery of the first South Carolina-built 787-9.
  • Air France-KLM’s Engineering & Maintenance has secured initial approval to service General Electric GEnx engines for its on-order Boeing 787 fleet.
  • NokScoot the long-haul, low-cost carrier NokScoot has unveiled the first Boeing 777-200 painted in its distinct livery.

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  • Frontier Airlines has placed its first Airbus A321 order, inking a deal for nine of the type to join its all-Airbus fleet.
  • Delta Airlines Confirmed an order an order for 25 A350-900s and 25 A330-900neos.
  • Saudi Arabian Airline(Saudi) announced an order for 12 777-300ERs with an option for 10 more. The order was previously attributed to an unidentified customer on Boeing’s orders and deliveries website. The airline also announced an order for eight 787s.
  • Airbus The final assembly of the first A330 with the new 242 ton Maximum Take-Off-Weight reaches final assembly in Toulouse, France.

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  • AFI KLM will provide component support for all of LATAM Airlines Group’s Boeing 767s,777s and 787s.
  • MTU Aero Engines will provide services for GEnx turbine center frames worldwide in the GE MRO network.

Air Cargo

ANA, United Prepare for Joint Cargo Venture

For the first time between freight carriers from the U.S. and Asia, Japan’s All Nippon Airways Co.(ANA) and Chicago based United Airlines are preparing to launch an air cargo joint venture that will help both carriers manage trans-Pacific shipments more efficiently.

On Friday, November 21, ANA filed its application with the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism for antitrust immunity, which will help clear the way for partnership to begin.

The two carriers are not exactly strangers, as both are members of the Star Alliance global airline network and have been participating in a similar agreement with their passenger flights since 2011. But once the legal hurdles are completed, ANA and UA will be able to jointly manage scheduling, pricing and sales of trans-Pacific cargo, making it easier for both carriers to compete with budget passenger airlines. Shippers will also have more flexibility in choosing routes and finding cargo space.

ANA also has plans to launch a similar cargo venture with Germany’s Lufthansa AG between Asia and Europe later this year or in early 2015.

United Cargo, which manages shipments on more than 700 United passenger aircraft worldwide, has seen revenue-ton-kilometers rise 12.3 percent in the first three quarters of 2014, compared to the same period in 2013. ANA Holdings expanded its cargo operations about five years ago, forming the ANA Cargo unit to manage ten 767-300 freighters that operate the carrier’s cargo hub on the island of Okinawa.

Source: ANA Cargo/United/United Photo

 

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We look forward to bringing new issues in 2015.

Researched and Compiled by : Ed Kaplanian

Commercial Aviation Advisor

Contact – ed@kaplanianreport.com