Volume 5 Issue 9 Sept 2018

On the Boeing Front

                    Boeing Making Steady Progress With 777X (Part 1)

Engineers have attached the first fuselage barrels for the first Boeing 777-9s—the static test airframe and the first flight test example—and moved them into systems installation, Boeing reported in late June, and the first pair of wings have emerged from the horizontal build line at the company’s wide body plant in Everett, Washington. 

Scheduled to complete the static test airframe by the end of the year, Boeing has moved the wings for the larger of the two 777X variants into letdown and systems installation, while at the 1.3-million-sq-ft composite wing center(CWC), the company has begun fabricating wings for the fifth airplane. So far, Boeing has sent four sets of wings out of the CWC and into spar assembly.

Boeing has now completed 98 percent of its engineering releases, leaving “very few left to do”, according to a company spokeswoman, who reported the remainder involves mainly systems. In the factory, Boeing has completed the static test rig in Everett, and now is loading it with all its test equipment, while the fatigue test rig has reached the halfway point of construction.

Meanwhile, the airplane’s folding wingtips have arrived from their production site in St. Louis for the static airplane and the first-test article. One of the airplane’s most visually distinguishing characteristics, the 12-foot-long folding wingtip will allow regulators to classify both airplanes as Code E, meaning they will fit the same size parking space the 777-300ER now uses.

The Airbus A380, conversely, operates as a Code F airplane, significantly limiting the number of airports it can use.

See more about this subject in my October report.

Source : ainonline/Boeing/Boeing pictures

 

ON THE AIRBUS FRONT

           Airbus BelugaXL Completes First Flight in Toulouse 

Airbus’s first BelugaXL has completed its first flight, paving the way for a 10-month long test certification campaign and a planned entry into service next year.

The BelugaXL, powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engines, took off from Blagnac in Toulouse, southwest France, where Airbus is based ,on July 19 and landed four hours and 11 min. later, Airbus said.

The aircraft, with its livery designed to look like a smiling beluga whale, the result of a vote by Airbus’s 20,000 employees, is the first of five BelugaXL’s that will enter service in 2019, gradually replacing the existing five BelugaST transporters Airbus uses to carry complete sections of its aircraft from production sites across Europe to final assembly. 

Airbus launched the BelugaXL, in November 2014 to address transport and ramp-up capacity requirements beyond 2019.The new oversize air transporters are based on the A330-200 freighter, with a large re-use of existing components and equipment. It has a payload lifting capacity of four tons greater than the current Beluga A300-600ST.  

Source : Airbus/Airbus Picture         

                                   

REGIONAL/BUSINESS JETS

Transport Canada Certifies 90-Seat Cabin for Bombardier’s Q400 Aircraft

Bombardier Commercial Aircraft announced on August 1 that its 90-passenger Q400 aircraft certification has received its certification from Transport Canada, becoming the first in-production commercial turboprop in the world to reach that capacity.  

Todd Young, head of the Q Series Aircraft Program, said “This milestone certification showcases the unique versatility of the Q400 turboprop and continued commitment to the evolution of the program”. 

The 90-seat configuration represents another step in Bombardier’s continuous improvement of its Q400 aircraft. Other improvements under development    

includes a 2,000 lb- increase in payload capacity and an escalation of the A-Check and C-Check intervals from 600/6000 to 800/8000 flight hours.  

Launch customer for this aircraft is SpiceJet of India.

Source : Bombardier Commercial Aircraft

            

       Rockwell Collins Signs Contracts with AVIC For MA700 

Rockwell Collins has signed master contracts with China’s AVIC Aircraft to supply its Pro Line Fusion avionics suite and air data systems for the MA700 twin-engine turboprop. AVIC Aircraft also has designated the Rockwell Collins HGS 3500 Head-up guidance System as an option.

AVIC Aircraft plans to fly the first MA700, powered by Pratt & Whitney Canada PW150C engines in November 2019 and to obtain certification from the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) in late 2021.

Pro Line Fusion on the MA700 features four, 14-in. widescreen primary and multifunction flight displays and Multifunction weather radar with predictive windshear capability.

Avionics work will take place at Rockwell Collins facilities in the U.S. and Hyderabad, India as well as at the company’s Rockwell Collins CETC Avionics Co. joint venture in Chengdu, China.

Source : ATW/Picture Rockwell Collins

                                                                 

OTHER AVIATION NEWS

  Canadian North, First Air Will Merge to Serve Canadian Arctic  

Calgary-based Canadian North and Ottawa-based First Air airlines have announced plans to merge—the latest step in the carriers’ efforts to combine air services to best meet the needs of the communities in the Canadian arctic.

The two carriers plan to operate under the Canadian North name with an administrative headquarters in Ottawa. The deal, which requires regulatory approvals is expected to close this year.

The two carriers provide key passenger and cargo connections between communities in Canada’s northern region as well as links to the country’s major metropolitan areas down south.

The two carriers said combining forces ”is the only viable way” to meet air service demands in the Canadian north. A 2017 investigation by Canada’s Competition Bureau concluded that a merger’s benefits would outweigh its drawbacks. 

First Air operates a fleet of 20 aircraft, including 13 ATR 42s, five Boeing 737-400s and two 737-200s, Canadian North has 16 aircraft, including 10 737-300s, three 737-200s, and three de Havilland Twin Otters. 

Source : ATW/Picture Canadian North

 

   Cathay Pacific Announces New Seattle to Hong Kong Direct Service  

Cathay Pacific, one of Asia’s best-known airlines, announced plans to debut nonstop service between Hong Kong and Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in April 2019.

The four-times weekly service will see Seattle-Tacoma become the airline’s eighth passenger gateway in the United States, and its 10th in North America.

Cathay Pacific currently serves Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York(JFK), Newark, San Francisco, Toronto and Vancouver. A new Cathay Pacific service to Washington, DC will commence on the 16th of this month.

Cathay Pacific Chief Executive Officer Rupert Hogg said the Seattle route, which will be operated by the airline’s Airbus A350-900 aircraft, underscores the airlines expansion strategy to connect new destinations not otherwise served from Hong Kong.

CX857 will depart Seattle on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday mornings at 1:05 a.m., arriving in Hong Kong the following day at 5:25 a.m. This early morning arrival allows passengers to connect with every Cathay Pacific flight across Asia—including, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta and over 20 gateways in mainland China—without a lengthy layover in Hong Kong. The return flight, CX858, will depart Hong Kong at 11:55 p.m. (local time) on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday arriving Seattle at 9:00 p.m.(same day).

Source : World Airline News/Cathay Pacific Picture

 

 Iran Air Receives Five ATR 72-600s Before Return of US Sanctions  

European turboprop manufacturer ATR delivered five ATR 72-600 aircraft to Iranian flag carrier Iran Air just before US sanctions came back into force. The carrier has now received 13 out of an order of 20 aircraft, the Toulouse-based manufacturer said.

The aircraft took off from Toulouse on Aug.4, arriving in Tehran’s Mehrabad International Airport after refueling stop for a welcome ceremony that took place Aug.5. 

This is an important decision for ATR,” the manufacturer’s CEO Christian Scherer said. “The next step will consist of working on getting an appropriate authorization from the US administration to ensure a reasonable level of maintenance.”  

The company now faces “challenges” over the remaining aircraft Iran Air ordered for which ATR received a first US license in 2017, before the revocation, Scherer said.

Source : ATW/Picture ATR    

      

LATEST NEWS

  • El Al took delivery of its latest 787-9 featuring a retro livery of the Israeli flag -carrier. El Al adopted the livery on 707s, the carriers first jets, from 1961. 

  • Turkish Airlines has taken delivery in mid-July of the first higher capacity A321neo ACF(Airbus Cabin Flex) that can accommodate up to 240 seats in a single-class layout, in combination with a space-saving aft galley. 
  • Boeing plans to establish 100,000 sqft autonomous aircraft research and development facility at MIT in Cambridge, MA; facility will house engineering teams from Aurora Flight Sciences.
  • Cebu Air has agreed to lease five A320neos from Avolon for delivery starting in 2019.
  • Pobeda Russian airlines wholly owned subsidiary of Aeroflot, has agreed with Boeing for the order of 15 737 MAX8 aircraft, with delivery from autumn of 2019.
  • British Airways announced on July 19th a commitment for three 777-300ER.The airline will take the 777s on an operating lease with a leasing company.
  • Jeju Air becomes first low-cost carrier in Korea to own and operate 737-800. The delivery marks the first of three new 737-800 NGs the airline has on order with Boeing. 

  • Air China has become the first mainland Chinese carrier to take delivery of an Airbus A350, after the airframe secured Chinese validation of the type’s certificate in mid-jury.
  • CDB Aviation Lease Finance will convert its order for eight Boeing 787-9s into one for 22 additional 737 Max 8s.
  • China Airlines has revealed a special carbon fiber livery for its 14th and final A350-900. 

 

AIR CARGO

                Expanding Freight Firms Deliver Big Deals to Boeing

A raft of cargo deals were announced during the Farnborough Air show for a mix of new and converted aircraft. The biggest deal came at the start of the of the show, when DHL Express announced an order for 14 Boeing 777-200LRFs worth $4.7 billion.

The German express shipper expects the first four of the aircraft to be delivered in 2019, and has also taken purchase rights and options on a total of seven more.

Volga-Dnepr placed a firm order for five 747-8F Freighters and a commitment of 29 777-200LRFs. The Russian cargo airline is also in discussion with Boeing about further orders of new and converted 767 freighters and converted 737-800 BCFs.

Qatar Airways finalized an order for five 777-200LRFs, confirming a deal announced as a commitment in April.

Lessor GECAS is to take up to 35 more 737-800 BCFs, building on its current commitment for 15. The deal comprises firm orders for 20 conversions and options on 15 more.

Source : Flightglobal/Boeing 

                   Ethiopian Airlines, DHL Form Logistics Joint Venture

Ethiopian Airlines and DHL have agreed to form a joint-venture company to create what they call the leading cargo logistics provider in Africa. Named DHL-Ethiopian Logistics services, the company will base its operations in Ethiopia and do business throughout A, thereby improving Ethiopia’s logistics infrastructure and connections.

Under the terms of the contract, Ethiopian Airlines takes majority stake in the joint venture and has agreed to provide regulatory and operational support, while DHL establishes air, ocean, and road freight connections between Ethiopia’s main trade hubs and the rest of the world.

The joint venture builds on an extended partnership between Ethiopian and DHL Global Forwarding, which since 2010 has supported the maintenance, repair, and overhaul(MRO) operations of Ethiopian Airlines’ commercial segment, providing logistics services for aircraft parts, engines, and mechanical modules to textiles, utensils, food. and beverages via air and ocean freight between Europe and Asia.

Source: Ain International 

 

 Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul News

                    SR Technics to Expand in Malta 

Having signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) in May 2017 to expand its aircraft maintenance facility in Malta, SR Technics furthered its plans on Monday August 6 by penning a contract with national economic development agency Malta Enterprise and Malta Industrial Parks which oversees the management of government-owned properties.

The new 322,000 square foot facility located at Malta International Airport will accommodate wide body and narrow body aircraft and will hold greater workshop space which will enable increased capacity for heavy maintenance work, C-checks and cabin modifications or retrofits to up to six narrow body aircraft at a time. The investment will stand at a reported $40.5 million.

Construction is expected to begin this year with four bays scheduled to be completed by November 2019.Initial focus will be on Airbus A320 family and Boeing 737NG aircraft.

Source : SR Technics/Picture SR Technics

 

 

                      LATEST MRO NEWS

  • AJW Group secured a 5-year power-by-the-hour Airbus A320 contract with Cambodia Airways, which is scheduled to begin operations later this year.
  • Turkish Technic was selected by Russia Nordwind Airlines to replace the landing gear on a Boeing 777.
  • Monarch has an Air Transat contract for Airbus A310/A330 line maintenance at Glasgow.
  • EFW(Elbe Flugzeugwerke) delivered its first converted Airbus A330-200P2F to EgyptAir.  EFW says EgyptAir ordered Three A330-200 PSFs.

  • S7 Technics opened a new line maintenance station at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport.

 

                      

 

Researched and Compiled by : 

Ed Kaplanian    Commercial Aviation Advisor  

Contact – ekaplanian@msn.com

Editor:   Lee Kaplanian  

Volume 5 Issue 6

On The Boeing Front

                              Boeing Celebrates Flyaway of First BBJ Max

On April 16, Boeing celebrated the flyaway of the first BBJ MAX airplane, from the air-framer’s  facility in Seattle on the first stage of its journey to becoming a fully outfitted BBJ Max 8.

The plane was flown to Delaware Coastal airport. Local company Aloft AeroArchitects will now install Its PATS auxiliary fuel tank, which will boost the aircraft’s range to 6,640nm (12,230km)—some 3,000nm more than the standard Max 8, which entered service in 2017, and 800 more than the BBJ2 which it replaces.

The green BBJ Max 8 is scheduled to arrive for outfitting in the fourth quarter at Comlux Completions in Indianapolis. The finished aircraft will be handed over to its undisclosed customer in the second half of 2019.

“We are excited to see the first BBJ Max come to life and fly through the development milestone,” says Boeing Business Jets president Greg Laxton. ”In the past few weeks, the airplane has achieved factory rollout, first flight, multiple certifications, and now flyaway,” he adds.

The BBJ Max 8 was launched in 2014 as the first member of the re-engined BBJ family. This will be followed by the BBJ Max 7 and BBJ Max 9.

Source : BBJ/Picture Boeing

                      

ON THE AIRBUS FRONT

                          First A350-900ULR Starts Flight-Test Campaign

Airbus has conducted the maiden flight of its A350-900ULR, the heavier and longer-range variant of the twinge tailored to operate specialized long-haul routes. The initial aircraft, MSN216, departed the air-framer’s Toulouse headquarters on April 23rd.

It features three primary modifications, of which two will be applied to all new-build A350-900s.

Airbus has hiked the maximum take-off weight to 280t, and increase on the previous figure of 275t.It has also incorporated a series of aerodynamic changes which, it says, will contribute to a 1% fuel-burn saving.

These include a further slight twist of the wings taller winglet, trailing-edge extension and clean-up of the upper wing fairing. All these adaptations will become standard on the -900.

The ultra-long range-900ULR will have dedicated changes, primarily a higher fuel capacity. The center wing tank will not be increased in size but re plumbing of interior installations will provide access to another 24,000 liters ( 6,340 ) gallons of existing volume.

Airbus puts the reference range of the -900ULR at 9,700 nm compared with the standard 8,100nm of the basic -900. Singapore Airlines has ordered seven-900ULRs and is set to take delivery of the first -900ULR this year, although Airbus declines to narrow the handover window beyond a second-half timeframe.

The first A350-900 ULR) for Singapore Airlines has been revealed in the Airline’s livery following completion of painting in Toulouse.

The aircraft is now set to move to the next stages of production, including the installation of engines and cabin furnishing, before starting ground and flight tests.

The Aircraft is scheduled for delivery to Singapore Airlines after all the testing is completed.

Source : Airbus/Flightglobal/Picture Airbus

                    

REGIONAL/BUSINESS JETS

                              Pilatus Aircraft Has Delivered  its Second                                PC24 To Its US Dealer

Pilatus Aircraft delivered its second PC24 to its US dealer and maintenance provider Western Aircraft. The Handover  comes as the first production example enters service with fractional ownership company Plane Sense.

Pilatus plans to deliver 23 of the super tight business jets in 2018, from an order backlog of 84.

Western Aircraft says it has seen strong demand for the PC-24, ”With more than a dozen offers to buy the first aircraft”. Despite the demand Western plans the second aircraft to its inventory, where it will be used for ad hoc charter and for the coming year as a Company demonstrator.

PlaneSense, one of Pilates’s largest customers, has an order for six PC-24s, but is keen to acquire additional aircraft to bolster its fleet of 36 PC-12s.

Source : Pilatus                                                                                                                                          

                          American Orders 15 E175s and 15 CRJ900s

American Airlines has ordered 15 Bombardier CRJ900s and 15 Embraer E175 regional jets, deals with a combined list price value of roughly $1.4 billion.  Deliveries of the CRJ900s with 76 seats to American Subsidiary PSA Airlines will begin in the second quarter of 2019 according to Bombardier media release.

The Bombardier commitment, including an additional 15 CRJ900 options, has a value at list prices of $719 million. Bombardier stated that the aircraft will be outfitted with the Company’s new “Atmosphere” cabin, which includes overhead bins that can accommodate large roller bags.

Embraer will deliver the 15 E175s with 76 seats to American Subsidiary Envoy from March 2019 to November 2019, the manufacturer says.

That deal, including options for 15 more E175s, has a value at list prices of $705 million. It follows an order by American for 10E-Jets in October 2017.

Source : American/Bombardier/Embraer

                                                                     

OTHER AVIATION NEWS

                       ANA Unveils the Features of The New Airbus A380s 

All Nippon Airways (ANA) three A380s will be exclusively introduced to the Tokyo-Honolulu service and each cabin is specially designed to meet the passenger’s needs on this route.

Honolulu is loved by many Japanese families, couples, newlyweds and Hawaii is a popular destination for their vacations and honeymoons. With this in mind, ANA aims to make their experience onboard more comfortable by strategically designing the cabin features in order to meet their unique needs while providing them with a once in a lifetime experience.                       In March 2017, ANA announced the special livery motif FLYING HONU. At the time, the design ANA introduced was blue, an homage to the Hawaiian blue sky.

Since then ANA announced two more colors, green and orange. The emerald green is inspired by the crystal clear waters of the Hawaiian ocean and orange is a reference to the beautiful Hawaiian sunset.

In order to make this triad, the FLYING HONUs, more familiar to everyone, ANA has created a character for each aircraft. The blue character is named “Lani” meaning sky, while the emerald green character is named “Kai” meaning ocean, and the orange character is named “Ka La” from the Hawaiian word meaning sunset.

The Cabin interiors have also been strategically designed in order for the passengers to feel the spirit of Hawaii from the moment they board the aircraft.

The walls and lights have been arranged in such a way as to illustrate Hawaii’s enviable blue skies, sunrises, sunsets, night skies and iconic rainbows.

Source : ANA/Worldairlinenews/ANA Pictures                                                                                     

                              Air Italy Displays Livery on 737 Max 8

Air Italy has unveiled the first aircraft featuring its new livery. The first 737 Max 8 has been painted with the scheme, which incorporates the maroon shade prominent in the branding of shareholder Qatar Airways.

Air Italy, formerly Meridiana, had only previously shown the livery as a digital mock up.

In March, the full-service carrier announced that it would be adding five A330-200s and three 737 Max 8’s to its fleet as the summer season commences.

The aircraft are being leased from 49% shareholder Qatar Airways as Air Italy embarks on a rapid short-and long-haul expansion program with Milan Malpensa as its focus.

Flights under the new brand name commenced on March 1st, operated with 737s and Boeing 767s still bearing Meridiana’s livery. Those aircraft will be phased out as the A330s and 737 Max 8’s enter the fleet.

In May 2019, the airline is set to begin receiving Boeing 787s, also leased from Qatar Airways. Air Italy will have a fleet 50 aircraft by 2022.

Source : Flightglobal/Pictures Boeing                                                                                                  

                                  Worries Over Low-Cost Correction

A period of good economic conditions has led to complacency among low-cost carriers that is ripe for a “correction”, in the view of former EasyJet chief executive Ray Webster.

Speaking at the Routes Europe conference in Bilbao on April 23, Webster—who was chief executive of EasyJet between 1996 and 2006—said that outlook for low-cost airlines was “quite worrying” as they were unprepared for future economic shocks.

A period of “very good” economic conditions has been punctuated by the lack of a “serious downturn or runaway fuel prices”, he states.

As a result, carriers have not been put under”pressure” and so have “incrementally added Costs” and lost efficiencies over time, while not experiencing the typical “ Peaks and troughs” of the market.

Webster forecasts that oil producers could raise prices, which would have a “dramatic” impact on airline bottom lines.

Source : Flightglobal     

      

LATEST NEWS

  • Southwest Airlines orders 40 more Boeing 737 MAX jets worth $ 4.68 billion.
  • Bombardier concluded a firm order with Ethiopian Airlines for 10 new Q400 aircraft, plus five options. Based on list prices, the order is valued at $332.
  • Qantas has firmed options on six additional Boeing 787-9s, once delivered, the new jets will take its 787 fleet to 14 aircraft and will be powered by GEnx engines.
  • Uzbekistan Airways finalized an order with Boeing for one Boeing 787-8, valued at $239 million at current list prices.
  • Primera Air European leisure carrier has taken delivery of its first Airbus A321neo is the first of three A321neos that Primera will lease from GECAS.
  • Taiwan’s Far East Air Transport will take the 11 Boeing 737 Max 8s it plans to acquire on operating lease.
  • Drukair of Bhutan has signed a purchase agreement with Airbus for a single A320neo.                                                                                       
  • Lufthansa orders up to 16 Airbus and Boeing aircraft. The orders include 12 A320 family aircraft and four 777s, two 777-300ERs for Swiss and two 777 Freighters for Lufthansa Cargo.                                  
  • British Airways has put its first Airbus A320neo into service with a flight to Lisbon, Portugal.                                                                                
  • Austrian Airlines modified its livery showing much larger Austrian titles on the fuselages well as red bleed from the flag scheme onto the aft fuselage on the first 777-200ER.                                                                                                                                                                                                

AIR CARGO

                            Boeing Delivers the First 737-800 Converted                                    Freighter

On April 19th Boeing announced the delivery of the first 737-800 Boeing Converted Freighter(BCF) to GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) and the freighter will be operated by West Atlantic Group, based in Sweden.

West Atlantic will receive four 737-800 Converted Freighters within the next 11 months, once delivered, the company will operate 23 Boeing 737 freighter aircraft.                                                                                                  

“We are very proud to be the launch customer for the 737-800BCF, and pleased to supply this inaugural aircraft to West Atlantic,” said Richard Greener, GECAS’ Senior Vice President & Manager, Cargo Aircraft Group”.

Boeing’s Current Market Outlook forecasts over the next 20 years, customers will need more than 1,100 standard-body converted freighters.

Boeing has received 45 orders and commitments, from seven customers including: YTO Airlines, based in Hangzhou, China; China Postal Airlines based in Beijing, China: GECAS, based in Ireland; Air Algeria, based in Algiers, Algeria; LAS Cargo, based in Bogota, Columbia; Cargo Air, based in Sophia, Bulgaria; and an unannounced customer.

The 737-800BCF has 12 pallet positions which provide 4,993 cubic feet(141.4 cubic meters) of cargo space on the main deck of the 737-800BCF.this is supplemented by two lower-lobe compartments, combined providing more than 1,540 cubic feet(43.7 cubic meters) of space for revenue-generating cargo.

Source : Boeing/GECAS/Boeing Picture

       

            Brazil-Based Cargo Carrier Modern Logistics & Harley-Davidson                                                

In April of this year Brazil Cargo carrier and motorcycle maker Harley-Davidson entered into a partnership that will help bikers get their motorcycles faster.                                                                                                 

Harley plans to increase output at its Manaus-area factory and use Modern Logistics’ road and airfreight network to transport bikes to 21 Brazilian dealerships.

The new bikes will be flown to Brasilia or Viacopos, and then trucked the rest of the way, reducing average delivery times by four days.

Modern Logistics uses 737-400SFs for the purpose.

Source : Air Cargo World/ModernLogistics Picture

   

  Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul News

                                  Engine OEMs Transition From Old to New

Engine OEM representatives discussed navigating challenges around support and spares when transitioning from old to new engine programs at Aviation Week Network’s Engine Leasing, Trading &Finance event in London.

GE aviation, Pratt& Whitney and Rolls-Royce have expressed overall satisfaction with their new-generation engine programs despite some growing pains related to entry-into-service phase and the transition from older programs to newer ones.

In a panel on new engine programs held at the event on May 2, Paul Finklestein, marketing director at Pratt & Whitney, acknowleged the struggles encountered by Pratt & Whitney on the PW1100G greed turbofan(GTF) program over the past few years.

Currently in operation on around 150 aircraft comprised of Airbusa320neo, Bombardier Series and as of early-May, Embraer E190-E2 aircraft Finklestein said the modifications have smoothed over some of the challenges with the engine program.

Meanwhile, Brian Ovigton, engine services marketing director at GE Aviation, said the OEM experienced a relatively smooth entry-into-service (EIS) of its new engine type—the CFM LEAP family for the 737 MAX and the A320 new narrow bodies and the GEnx, an option for the 787 and the 747-8.Both engines have yet to experience AOG incidents, he said. 

Alastair Knox, head of aircraft transitions at Rolls-Royce, said the British engine makers “very pleased” with the results of the Trent XWB, found on the Airbus A350 aircraft and the Trent 1000 powering the Boeing 787. 

Despite Rolls-Royce’s satisfaction with new engine types, Knox said there are some challenges to consider dependent on the size of the carrier awaiting new models to enter their fleets.

Source : Aviation Week

 

                                  MRO LATEST NEWS

  • Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering Company Celebrates a Milestone ( HAECO) Xiamen-based business unit has completed its 3000th maintenance check since it started operations in March 1996.To mark the occasion some of the firm’s staff posed in front of the milestone aircraft, Boeing 777-300ER before its redelivery to Cathay Pacific.                                                                                                                
  • Safran has an AirAsiaX contract to maintain Airbus A330 landing gear at Singapore through 2025.
  • GE Aviation Acquired a stake in Avionica as part of an agreement to form joint venture to provide wireless data collection and processing for connected aircraft.
  • All Nippon Airways (ANA) will bring its Boeing 737-500 out of retirement in July as a dedicated maintenance training jet to help assure its maintenance technicians have the best tools for training and to ensure the highest level of quality maintenance. ANA is the first Japanese airline to incorporate a non-operating fully functional jet into its training program.                  

 

 

 

 

Researched and Compiled by :

Ed Kaplanian    Commercial Aviation Advisor 

Contact – ekaplanian@msn.com

Editor:   Lee Kaplanian 

Volume 3 Issue 3 March 2016

ON THE BOEING FRONT

 Boeing Launches 737-800 BCF Program

Boeing has launched the 737-800 converted freighter program, with orders and commitments for up to 55 conversions. In a statement, Boeing says the modifications will be done at selected facilities near conversion demand, including Boeing Shanghai.

Modifications required include the installation of a large main-deck cargo door, a cargo-handling system and accommodation for non-flying crew or passengers. The first 737-800 Boeing Converted Freighter is expected to be delivered in the fourth quarter of 2017.

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The aircraft will have the capacity to carry up to 52,800 pounds of cargo, and a range of about 2,000nm. Boeing says 12 pallet positions, comprising 11 standard pallets and one half-pallet, will provide 5,000 cubic feet of cargo space on the main deck. There will also be two lower-lobe compartments, which will provide a further 1,540 cubic feet of cargo space.

GECAS will provide the initial aircraft for conversion, and has also ordered five conversions. Hangzhou-based YTO Airlines and Beijing-based China Postal Airlines have meanwhile signed for 10 conversions each. YTO has also committed to 10 additional conversions. An unannounced customer meanwhile has signed for five conversions with two commitments.

Boeing adds that it has also secured a further 13 commitments from China’s SF Airlines, Bulgaria’s Cargo Air, and an unannounced customer. The 737-800 BCF will primarily be used to carry express cargo on domestic routes.

“While the recovery of the global cargo market has been slow, we see demand for freighters, such as the 737-800 BCF, that will carry express cargo on domestic routes,” says Stan Deal, senior vice president, commercial aviation services, Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

Source : Flightglobal/Boeing/Photo Boeing

 

ON THE AIRBUS FRONT 

Airbus Group Lifts A330 Output Goal As Profits Meet Expectations                                                         

Airbus Group performed a partial U-turn on plans to cut production of its profitable A330 aircraft on Wednesday February 24th, easing the delicate transition to newer models.

The European plane maker said it now plans to build seven A330 wide body jets per month  from 2017; partially unwinding recent staggered cuts in output to six from 10 a month as it prepares for its new A350 jetliner and an A330 upgrade (the A330neo) .

Demand for the current generation of jets such as the 250-to 300-seat A330 faces a broad decline as a new generation of fuel-saving airplanes enters the market.

The move to reconsider the decline of one of its two main sources of cash and profits came weeks after Iran provisionally agreed to buy 45 A330 jets as part of a $27 billion deal following the lifting of sanctions. Airbus said it would have gone ahead anyway because of other deals.

“That should be enough to put a floor under production until a revamped version of the A330 enters service at the end of 2017”, Chief Executive Tom Enders said.

Source : New York Times.90

 

BUSINESS/REGIONAL NEWS

Embraer Rolls Out E190-E2 Aircraft

Embraer has rolled out its first next-generation E-Jet, an E190-E2, at its factory in Sao Jose dos Campos, Brazil. The E-190-E2’s first flight is slated for the second half of 2016 with first deliveries expected to take place in 2018. The E2s are exclusively powered by Pratt & Whitney PW1900G geared turbofan engines.

Before a crowd of several thousand Embraer employees and invited guests – following flyovers from aircraft from Embraer’s three aviation divisions (commercial jets, executive jets and defense systems) and a welcome greeting from Embraer president and CEO, commercial aviation Paulo Cesar Silva – the doors of hanger F-300 slowly opened to reveal the first assembled prototype of the E190-E2jet, which gradually rolled out onto the tarmac before stopping, its nose several meters away from the gathered crowd.

“The rollout on February 25th marks the completion of the assembly of the first E190-E2 and paves the way for the start of the tests that will lead to first flight,”  Embraer SVP operations and COO-commercial aviation Luis Carlos Affonso said.

Four prototypes of the E-190-E2 will be created for the aircraft’s certification process. Assembly of the second prototype is underway; it recently had its wing junction completed, Affonso said.

To date, the E2 program has 640 commitments, comprising 267 firm orders and 373 options and purchase rights.

Source : ATW/Embraer Photo

 

    Gulfstream Starts G600 Systems Testing on Iron Bird

Gulfstream has begun simulated flight tests on the G600 Iron Bird ground rig preparation for the first large-cabin, long-range business.

During the 30 minute “flight”, the Iron Bird-housed at the airframe’s Savannah, Georgia headquarters-simulated taxi, take-off and landing, says Gulfstream. It also performed simulated maneuvers and transitions at different altitudes and airspeeds.

“This first flight sets in motion the testing and validation required for the G600’s actual first flight,” says Dan Nale, Gulfstream’s senior vice-president for programs, engineering and test. ”With the Iron Bird, we can confirm the characteristics of the system components, improve the integration maturity, make modifications and provide those benefits in a lab environment, all while on the ground and still in design stage, to the benefit of the flight-test aircraft.”

Gulfstream says the first G600 flight-test model and structural test vehicle are in production in Savannah.The 6,200nm (11,500km) Pratt & Whitney Canada PW815Ga- powered twin is scheduled to enter service in 2019 – a year behind its shorter-range stablemate, the G500.

Source : Flightglobal/Gulfstream

 

OTHER AVIATION NEWS

GE Aviation Finishes the Assembly of the First GE9X Test Engine

GE Aviation has completed the assembly of the first GE9X test engine at its Peebles, Ohio facility. It will shortly begin ground runs of the 100,000 kb-thrust (445kN)-class power plant for the 777X.

“The engine is assembled, it is just a matter of adding lots of instrumentation,” says GE9X program manager Bill Millhaem. Tests will begin “soon” he says, although declines to offer a precise date.

The GE9X features a basket of advanced technologies as GE strives to reduce weight and improve engine performance to deliver a 10% reduction in specific fuel burn over the  current-generation GE90.

These include use of ceramic matrix composites (CMC) on the inner and outer combusted liners, plus stage 1 and 2 nozzles and stage 1 shroud in the high pressure turbine.

“The first engine to test (FETT) wraps up the extensive technology maturation program for the GE9X engine program. It began five years ago and has included component-level, system-level and core demo testing to validate the advanced technologies and materials in the new engine,” GE said in a statement.  The CMC parts have so far performed “phenomenally”,said Millhaem.

The maiden sortie of the GE9X, using a company owned 747-400 flying testbed, is due to take place in mid-2017.  Engine certification is scheduled for October 2018.

Source : Flightglobal/GE Aviation

 

 Ryanair to Offer All Business 737-700 for Charter

Budget carrier Ryanair is to offer a Boeing 737-700 for corporate charter services, the aircraft configured with just 60 business class seats.

Ryanair – which acquired a 737-700 last year, indicating it would serve as a back-up and training jet – says that it is offering charter with the type.  The carrier’s regular mainline fleet comprises the larger 737-800.

The aircraft will be operated on routes up to 6 hours and the passengers will be offered a cabin fitted with leather seats, at a pitch of 48in, and fine dining on-board catering.

The airline will provide the cockpit and cabin crew.  Its a charter for hire division says the aircraft will be made available on a “cost per hour” basis, with overall quotes depending on the departure and arrival airport. “We offer the most competitive rate in Europe,” it said.

Source : Flightglobal/RyanairPhotos

 

Emirates Tim Clark Blasts Airbus for Confused Strategy On Wide Body Jets                                             

Emirates President Tim Clark faulted Airbus for lacking a coherent strategy on its biggest airliners; saying the plane maker should focus on an upgrade of its A380 super jumbo rather than spend resources on yet another variant of its new A350.

“Airbus’s thinking has become increasingly hard to read and talk further extending the stretched A350-1000 makes little sense”, Clark said on Thursday, March 10th at the ITB travel fair in Berlin. He added that he is not sure the manufacturer could afford to fund the project along the upgraded A380 he is keen to buy.

“There seems to be a certain amount of cloudiness,” Clark said. “They’ve got the A380 and then bingo, out pops the new A350-1000. I am not quite sure how that’s going to pan out.”

As the world’s leading wide body operator, Emirates exerts influence over the models that Airbus and The Boeing Co. develop.  The Dubai based carrier has made the A380 the centerpiece of its fleet, adding flourishes such as bars and showers. Emirates is eager to buy as many as 200 upgraded planes, even as a lack of orders from other carriers puts the model’s future in doubt.

Clark is evidently running out of patience after John Leahy, Airbus’s sales chief, said on March 1st, that there’s “nothing imminent” about the A380 re-engining plan and that even if the  Neo were available, Emirates is “not in a position to go ahead” until the mid-2020s because of lack of airport space.

Clark said that’s wrong and the Gulf carrier would be happy to take the aircraft from 2021 if Airbus builds it. Airbus said it could not immediately comment.

Airbus’s increasing focus on a double-stretch A350 is of less interest to Emirates because the plane would compete with the largest version of Boeing’s revamped 777X – an aircraft it’s already taking. Clark said a bigger A350 would add weight and create issues at airports from the extra length.

Source : Bloomberg/Emirates

 

LATEST NEWS IN BRIEF  

  • Air Canada on February 17th Air Canada announced that it has entered into a Letter of Intent with Bombardier Inc. to acquire up to 75 Bombardier CS300 aircraft powered by Pratt & Whitney PW1500 G engines.
  • Etihad Cargo has taken delivery of a new Boeing 777-200 LRF freighter that will enable the freight arm of Etihad Airways to continue its expansion plans into 2016.

  • Boeing gets U.S. license to talk deals with Iranian airlines about buying jetliners; but it would need additional U.S. approval to make sales.
  • British Airways jet that caught fire in Las Vegas airport last year is being repaired and will reenter service. A team from Boeing carried the repair and the aircraft has flown to Victorville, California for painting.

  • Oman Air  has agreed to a three year wet leasing deal for two Kenya Airways Boeing 787-8s.
  • Ukraine International Airlines will replace its 737 Classic fleet with newer types through the end of 2018. The carrier took delivery of a 737-800 on January 22nd and announced plans to expand the fleet with six of the type this year.
  • Iran Air placed a firm order for 20 ATR 72-600s and took options on a further 20, valued at $1.1 billion at list prices.

  • Travel Service Czech leisure carrier is aiming to operate 40 Boeing 737-MAX 8s by 2025 and has just leased a further 16 aircraft, increasing its commitment to 25 of the type.
  • Air Niugini ordered four Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft. The previously unidentified order adds to the Papua New Guinea national carrier’s fleet of Next Generation 737s and 767-300ERs.

  • Philippine Airlines signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to purchase six A350-900s. The Order is valued at $1.8 billion at list prices.
  • Airbus the first Airbus A321neo equipped with CFM International Leap-1A engines completed its maiden flight on February 9th from Hamburg, Germany.

 

AIR CARGO

     Kalitta Air to Diversify with 767 Freighters 

Kalitta Air relies on a fleet of 747 freighters for the long-haul flights it is known for carrying large payloads, including heavy machinery, delicate medical equipment, perishable foods, even livestock. So what’s with 767s the cargo carrier is now purchasing? 767s may be the go-to freighters for the integrators, but they’re rare in general freight world.

The answer is a combination of fleet maintenance requirements and a strategy shift at the Michigan-based carrier.  “The time is right for Kalitta to develop in the domestic market”, said Pete Sanderlin, the vice president and general manager, and the number two guy behind CEO and owner Conrad “Connie” Kalitta. Right now, Kalitta Air operates thirteen 747 freighters, three of which are 30 years old 747-200s.Sanderlin said it’s getting difficult to secure parts for the -200s,and since five of the 747-400s are tied up in DHL operations,Kalitta Air does not have many freighters available for other business.

The Airline recently purchased four 767-300 passenger aircraft, two of which are being converted to freighters by Bedek in Tel Aviv.  ”We got them because we want to diversify,” Sanderlin said, adding that most of Kallita’s work is on the international stage.  “We do little in the U.S. domestic market,” he said.  But the plan is to test the waters with the new freighters.

Of course, bringing in new freighter type does not mean abandoning the old. In addition to acquiring the 767s, Kallitta Air also plans to expand its fleet with more 747s. In fact, Sanderlin said they are in negotiations right now to purchase another 747-400 freighter.

Kalitta Air is not a huge airline, but with 1,500 employees and almost 20 freighters, it’s not small by any means.  In addition to the airplanes, Kallitta Air has its own engine shop, airframe maintenance facility and training facility with three simulators, which Sanderlin said is unmatched by carriers of its size.

Perhaps one reason Kallita Air has continued to thrive is because it does so much in house. Another reason is leadership. ”Connie is very close to the business, very hands on,” Sanderlin said. He added that he and Kalitta make most of the decisions together.

Source : Air Cargo World /Picture Kallitta

 

MILITARY

                        Boeing’s Second KC-46A Achieves First Flight 

Boeing’s second functional KC-46A has joined the fledgling pegasus fleet as the US Air Force’s next-generation tanker program advances towards a production decision by the Pentagon in April or May.

The fourth engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) aircraft took flight from Boeing’s Paine Field in Washington state on the second of this month and landed at Boeing Field in Seattle.

The company announced the flight in a statement and confirmed that the second 767-2c aircraft (EMD-3) used for FAA and military type certification will join the tanker program in April.

“Adding a second tanker to the flight test program is very important as we move into the next phase of testing,” US Air Force KC-46 system program manager Col. John Newberry says.  ”The team will initially use the aircraft to test mission system avionics and exterior lighting. Later, it will share the air refueling effort with the first KC-46.”

Adding the second fully configured tanker will help Boeing move through “receiver certification” for 18 aircraft types.  KC-46 has already demonstrated functionality with the Locheed Martin F-16, Boeing F/A-18 and refueling from a Boeing KC-10.

Source : Flightglobal/Boeing

  

Researched and Compiled by : Ed Kaplanian

Commercial Aviation Advisor

Contact – ed@kaplanianreport.com

Volume 2 Issue 10 The Kaplanian Report

ON THE BOEING FRONT

 The Venerable Boeing 767 Lives on as a Freighter

Boeing is planning to increase production of its wide-body 767 aircraft to 2.5 a month in 2017. The proposed plans come after American courier delivery major FedEx signed a $10 billion deal to purchase 50 additional 767-300F airliners in July.

Boeing currently produces the 767 at a monthly production rate of 1.5, which will be increased to two in early 2016.

gallery-full-05

Since 1981, the company has built passenger and freighter versions of the jet at its Everett assembly line. It was the second twin-aisle aircraft designed to accommodate up to 290 passengers and the second twin-aisle aircraft to be built at the Everett site after the 747.

A Boeing spokesman was quoted by The Wall Street Journal as saying: ”Increasing the production rate in 2017 provides flexibility needed to address additional commercial orders while meeting all our customer requirements.” According to reliable sources Boeing is negotiating with FedEx rival UPS for another large order and there is a Chinese express-cargo carrier considering a move into the wide-body market, with the 767 as a likely candidate.

In addition, Boeing is preparing to commence production of a modified version of the 767, which will serve as the future refueling tanker for the US Air Force (the KC-46) and had it first flight on September 25th, 2016.

Source : Aerospace-Technology/Ed’s Research/Photo Boeing

 

ON THE AIRBUS FRONT 

 Airbus Details Dimensions of A330-Based Beluga

Airbus’s new Beluga XL transport will be some 4.3 m (14.1ft) longer than the A330-200 on which the aircraft is based.

The Beluga XL, which will succeed the smaller A300-600ST within the airframe’s logistics fleet, has reached design freeze.

Airbus has disclosed that it will be 63.m (207 ft) in length while its wing span will remain  unchanged from the A330-200’s at 60.3m (97 ft)

The Aircraft’s next development stage will be the detailed design freeze.

Airbus says a review has shown that the Rolls-Royce Trent 700-powered jet is sufficiently “robust and mature” to move out of the concept phase. Final assembly is scheduled to begin in 2017.

The Beluga XL will be around 1.5m (4.9 ft) taller at fin than the A330 counterpart.

Airbus projects that it will have a maximum take-off weight of 227t compared with 155t for the current A300-600ST.

The XL, with an 8.8m-diameter fuselage, will be able to transport a maximum payload of 53t over a range of 2,200nm.   Airbus expects to put the Beluga XL, of which it will construct five, into service in 2019.

Source : Flightglobal

 

BUSINESS/REGIONAL NEWS

 Embraer Begins Assembling the First E190-E2

Two years after the launch of the program at the Air Show in Le Bourget, Paris, the first E-Jets E2 family, an E190-E2, is beginning to be assembled at the company’s factory in Sao Jose dos Campos.  Embraer has already received the first sub-assemblies from suppliers in several countries and the assembly of the first prototype is moving forward as planned.

“It is exciting to see the E2 taking shape with the large amount of sub-sets arriving to our Sao Jose dos Campos facility, where the final assembly will soon begin,” says Luis Carlos Affonso, Senior Vice President & COO, Embraer Commercial Aviation.

At Embraer’s plant in the city of Evora, Portugal, the first sub-assemblies for the wings and central fuselage are ready. In Spain, Aernnova AEROSPACE S>A. is finishing the assembly of the vertical empennage; the company will also supply the horizontal empennage. In the Czech Republic, Latecoere finished the baggage doors and they have already been sent to Brazil to be installed in the aircraft.

In the United States, Triumph Aerostructures, which is also responsible for the rudder and elevator, is assembling section three and the aft of the fuselage; these are the only large segments that will not be manufactured by Embraer.

Eleb, an Embraer wholly owned subsidiary, with 35 years of experience in designing and manufacturing landing gear, was chosen to supply the landing gear of the second-generation E-Jets, and it is working to conclude the first sets.

The first delivery of an E-Jets (the E190-E2 is planned for the first quarter of 2018.  The E195-E2 is scheduled to enter service in 2019 and the E175-E2 in 2020.

Source : Embraer

 

OTHER AVIATION NEWS

Lufthansa Technik Completes First BBJ Split Scimitar Winglet Modification 

German maintenance, repair and overhaul provider Lufthansa Technik has become the first European company to install Aviation Partner(API’S) new split scimitar winglets(SSW) on a Boeing Business Jet.

The modification took 10 days to complete and comes on the heels of EASA approval for the aerodynamic wingtip-developed jointly by API and Boeing.

The SSW retrofit involves replacing the BBJ’s current winglet tip caps with an aerodynamically shaped similar tip cap, and adding a smaller, similar-shaped vertical strake.

Lufthansa Technik said that in order to install the winglets, its engineering team were required to “reinforce various areas on the inside of the aircraft structure, particularly in the wing tanks”. The project also in evolved “complex painting tasks…to match the aircraft’s current paint  scheme”, it adds.

API launched the retrofit program two years ago for owners and operators of BBJ, BBJ2 and BBJ3 VIP airliners (BBJ is based on the 737-700, BBJ2 is based on the 737-800 and the BBJ3 is based on the 737-900 airliners)

According to Seattle, Washington-based API, the new winglet helps to reduce drag on long-range flights and boosts range by around 2%-or as much as 120nm ( 220km).

Lufthansa Technik is now in talks with other BBJ owners looking to modify their aircraft with the SSW adaption.

Source : Flightglobal / Lufthansa Technik

 

Rizal Ramli Urges Garuda to Cancel Airbus A350 Purchase Plan

After being on the job one day, recently appointed Coordinating Maritime Affairs Minister Rizal Ramli has made news by requesting national flag carrier Garuda Indonesia cancel its fleet expansion plan.

“I made the request to President Jokowi. I don’t want Garuda to go bankrupt again. In July it agreed to buy 30 Airbus A350 using $44.5 billion loan from China Aviation Bank. The aircraft is only suitable for Jakarta-North America and Jakarta-Europe route.” said Rizal.

According to Rizal, the international routes planned by the carrier are unprofitable. Airlines in Southeast Asia that offer similar routes, such as Singapore Airlines, have poor financial performance, he pointed out.

Rizal added that Garuda’s routes to Europe only had a 30 percent passenger load factor. Instead of expanding its international routes it would be better if Garuda concentrated on the domestic and regional markets.

“We can rule the regional market in five to seven years. When we are strong enough, then we can go onto the next step. The President has agreed to the cancellation of the purchase of the Airbus 350 and we will summon the Garuda management to change its plans,” said Rizal.

Separately, Garuda Indonesia vice president for corporate communication M.Ikhsan Rosan said the carrier had not made a final decision on the purchase of the Airbus A350. Ikhsan said the carrier was considering whether it would use Airbus A350 or Boeing 787.

“It is true there was a signing ceremony in Paris with Airbus in June, but it was a letter of intent,” said Ikhsan.

Source : Jakarta Post

 

Bombardier Seeking Investors for all Business Units : Sources

Canada’s Bombardier Inc is exploring the sale of a stake in any of its business areas, not just its rail unit, to ensure it can finish development of its delayed C Series jet, according to sources familiar with the situation.

The Montreal-based company has hired investment bankers to look at a variety of financing options, the sources said, including selling aerospace or rail assets in full or in part, forming joint ventures or bringing in private equity investors. One source familiar with the company’s thinking said Bombardier hoped to secure some additional source of cash, through the sale of a business unit or another arrangement, perhaps with Canadian government, before its third-quarter earnings report on October 29th.

A banking source said the company is not desperate for cash but wants to be proactive and shore up its stock, which has dropped more than 50 percent in the last year as it pushes to bring the new C Series jet into service, years late and billions over budget.

In May, the company said it planned to file late this year to launch an initial public offering for a minority stake in its rail unit, Bombardier Transportation. Spokeswoman Isabelle Rondeau said that the plan had not changed.

“Everything is on the table,” said the source familiar with the Company’s thinking.

“They’re aggressively looking worldwide for some sort of capital infusion. At the end of the day, they need more cash to keep the C Series going, because the future of the company depends on that Plane”

“We are in constant contact with Bombardier and won’t comment on rumors,” a spokeswoman for Quebec’s economy minister said.

Source : The Globe And Mail

 

LATEST NEWS IN BRIEF  

  • British Airways receives the first 787-9, and will enter service on the 25th of this month.
  • Aeroflot drops plans to acquire Transaero. The Russian government will allow Transaero to enter bankruptcy placing the carrier’s future in serious doubt.
  • Mitsubishi Aircraft has narrowed the target schedule for the first flight of the MRJ to the last week of this month. Between Oct. 26th and Oct. 30th.
  • Blue Air(Romania)  is set to establish a base in Turin, Italy with effect from 26th of this month. The airline has a fleet of Boeing Classic aircraft composed of 737-300, 400s and one 737-500.

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  • Airbus flies the second CFM International Leap-powered A320neo into the type’s flight-test campaign.
  • Alaska Airlines has become just the second North American carrier to achieve Fast Travel Platinum status, which is awarded by IATA to airlines that offer four or more Fast Travel compliant options to at least 80% of their passengers.
  • Boeing employees in Renton, Wash. have started the final assembly of the first 737 MAX 8,  the first member of Boeing’s new single-aisle family, on schedule.  More Detailed report on this aircraft will be coming in my next report.
  • Emirates celebrated the Boeing 777 fleet completing 859,000 flights while logging over 4,720,000 flight hours since its first delivery in 1996.
  • Scandinavian Airlines has taken delivery of its first 242t Airbus A330-300; making it the first carrier in Europe to receive the higher-weight, longer-range-300 variant.
  • Flybe UK regional introduced its first ATR 72-600 series aircraft into its fleet, on lease from Aviation PLC. It will operate from Sweden in the livery of Flybe’s new partner in Northern Europe, Scandinavian Airlines (SAS)

  • Jetstars transition to an all Boeing 787-8 long-haul fleet is almost complete after the low-cost carrier’s 11th and final Dreamliner on firm order entered revenue service in mid September.

 

AIR CARGO

Atlas to Operate B767 Converts for DHL

US aircraft lessor Atlas Air will operate two Boeing 767Fs leaded by its Titan Aviation arm to DHL Express.

Atlas Air will operate the aircraft, which are being converted from passenger to freighter configuration, through sister company Polar Air Cargo Worldwide, linking the flights with Polar’s existing services for DHL and other customers.

The new operation represents a continued expansion of Atlas Air’s crew, maintenance and insurance(CMI) service. The operation is expected to begin in late 2015 and early 2016 following the conversion of the two 767s.

“By growing our CMI operations, we continue to diversify our business mix and to drive more predictable revenue and earnings streams,” said William Flynn, president and chief executive of parent group, Atlas Air Worldwide.

The company will operate 20 aircraft in its CMI operations when these units commence service.

Source : aircargonews/Atlas Air

 

MILITARY NEWS

Boeing to Lead $ 4 Billion F-15 Jet Fighter Contract 

An aging but formidable fighter jet is being given new relevance in a bid to fill the gap created by delays in the world’s most expensive new generation combat aircraft program.

Boeing was named the first week of this month as prime contractor on a $4 billion contract to install a new, all digital electronic warfare and threat detection system on the F-15 fighter, which made its first flight more than 40 years ago and was never been defeated in air-air combat.

Often described as the backbone of the US Air Force’s air superiority, the F-15 tactical fighter jet was due to be replaced in the 2020s by more advanced fifth generation aircraft such as the F-35.

However delays in developing and fielding the F-35, and cutbacks in the procurement of another fighter-the F-22- prompted the USAF to extend the life of the F-15 until 2040.

BAE Systems of the UK will develop the electronic warfare suite in a deal worth some $1 billion over 10 years, of which $67 million will be booked this year. BAE said the contract was significant milestone in the group’s plan to extend the electronic combat solutions business. The new system will replace the current Tactical Electronic Warfare Suite developed by Northrop Grumman, which has been in use since the 1980s.

The new threat detection system will be installed on more than 400 F-15 Es and F-15 Cs.

Source : Financial Times

 

          Boeing’s KC-46 Pegasus Hits a Key Milestone 

Boeing seems to get a bum rap from the so-called analysts, who think that they know better what happens at Boeing with every product they come up with.  The same applies to the KC-46 tanker.

Fortunately, the project is back on track, on September 25th Boeing completed an initial four-hour test flight for the first KC-46 tanker. There is plenty of testing left to do, but Boeing will salvage the KC-46 program and turn a decent profit as Boeing know how to build airplanes.

The initial flight conducted last month checked the plane’s basic systems. According to the company, ”Boeing test pilots performed operational checks on engines, flight controls and environmental systems and took the tanker to a maximum altitude of 35,000 feet prior to landing.”

Boeing still expects to be able to test the refueling system and then do aerial refueling trial runs before the end of the year.

In the opinion of this writer and shareholder of The Boeing Company the KC-46 program will be a great success, the same as the 787 program, which got its share of bad publicity from the so-called financial experts

Source : Ed’s opinion/Picture Boeing

 

 

Researched and Compiled by : Ed Kaplanian

Commercial Aviation Advisor

Contact – ekaplanian@msn.com