Wednesday, August 31, 2011
AviTrader Daily Aviation News Alert
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February 28, 2015 · 89 Views
There is no question that safety is paramount in any airline – anything akin to an accident can have a dramatic effect on an airline. You only need to look at what has happened to a carrier such as AirAsia after three major crashes in such close relative proximity involving Southeast Asian planes. After such events airlines across the globe tend to re-examine their own safety procedures and records, and after a series of what United called four “safety events and near-misses”, they have issued a warning to its pilots about what is seen as unacceptable safety standards. While on the one hand the incidents may unsettle the travelling public, the fact United are adopting such a strong stance over what were not accidents, but incidents, is reassuring.
Among these incidents was the requirements of pilots to pull a plane up rapidly to avoid it crashing into the ground, and a plane landing with fuel reserves that were lower than safety regulations allows. A United spokesman stated that: “We are open and direct with our pilots, as we are with all of our employees. The language that we used is strong, and that’s because safety is our top priority. This enables us to recognise potential issues and adjust our actions to ensure the safety of customers.” He also added that United freely participates in all voluntary US FAA safety programmes.
The last major incident involving a full-size passenger plane was back on 13th March 2014 involving a US Airways’ Airbus 320 with 154 passengers and crew on board. Its tail hit the runway and it then broke its nose gear before skidding 600m down the runway after an aborted take-off. Prior to take off the pilot had noted that the wrong runway 27R, instead of 27L, had been put into the Multifunctional Control Display (MFCD). In turn the co-pilot changed the setting, but then forgot to re-enter the take-off V-speeds or a “flex temperature” subsequent to correcting the runway details. This created a thrust shortage on take-off as the flight computer needs the V speeds to calculate take-off power required. No passengers were hurt on board, but two passengers were injured during the rapid evacuation of the plane.
February 20, 2015 · 285 Views
The bitter dispute between US- and Gulf-based airlines has reached a new level after Emirates flatly rejected an open apology made concerning what was seen as incredibly tactless and insensitive remarks made by Delta’s Chief Executive, Richard Anderson. The unfortunate incident relates back to comments made by a group of American airlines that a number of the larger Gulf carriers had benefited from state subsidies amounting to a figure in excess of US$40bn. As a consequence the American airlines either wanted to renegotiate or scrap the current Open Skies agreement.
Offended by such claims, the Gulf carriers retaliated by questioning whether or not US airlines had received government subsidies totaling US$5bn in the wake of 9/11. Unfortunately Delta’s Anderson, responding to this claim on CNN, said: “It’s a great irony to have the United Arab Emirates from the Arabian Peninsula talk about that, given the fact that our industry was really shocked by the terrorism of 9/11, which came from terrorists from the Arabian Peninsula.” While the UAE and Qatar, two of the States’ allies who have offered either military or logistical support for international operations were particularly upset by these comments, Delta simply made it clear that Anderson had been responding to claims regarding post 9/11 subsidies. “He didn’t mean to suggest the Gulf carriers or their governments are linked to the 9/11 terrorists. We apologize if anyone was offended.”
Unfortunately the largest of the three main Gulf carriers did not see this as acceptable. “We believe that the statements made this week by Mr. Anderson were deliberately crafted and delivered for specific effect,” it confirmed in a statement. However US airlines continue to complain that they have lost significant numbers of bookings since 2008 as a result of Gulf competition and cited documents they indicate demonstrate aid which has allowed their competitors to offer cheap fares. In retaliation, Gulf officials say that most US carriers do not fly the same routes and are losing business only because they offer an inferior service.
This is not a dissimilar situation to the one between Gulf airlines and European carriers, including Lufthansa, and coincidentally has come at the same time as US airlines are trying to have US Exlm Bank closed down. They believe Gulf carriers are benefitting to a greater degree from the export credit agency. The tit-for-tat dialog continues with Western airlines showing concern for the safety of thousands of service industry jobs, a complaint to which Gulf carriers have responded by making it very clear they support at least as many jobs in the aerospace sector with their huge orders for aircraft.
December 2, 2014 · 198 Views
On the 7th January 2013 a fire was reported on board a Boeing 787 Dreamliner while parked at Boston’s airport in the USA. The fire was put down to a problem with one of the plane’s lithium-ion batteries. A week later an All Nippon Airways 787 Dreamliner had to make an emergency landing after smoke was discovered inside the plane which was subsequently traced back to another lithium-ion battery. As a consequence of this incident, all 787 Dreamliners were grounded until April of that year until further acceptable testing and improvements were carried out to the battery system on board the plane. The battery itself was manufactured by GS Yuasa and comprised eight individual cells making up a combined weight of 63lbs.
Nearly two years later and the results of the investigation into the first incident have concluded that the lithium-ion battery installed in the plane should not have received certification by the FAA. The National Transport Safety Board (NTSB) were also critical of Boeing who they believed had erroneously ruled out the chances of thermal runaway in its assessment of the battery’s safety. Boeing’s battery tests to obtain original certification included crushing battery cells, driving nails through them and deliberately introducing short circuits to cause failure. Boeing found “nothing adverse happened” while these tests were carried out, and so deemed the battery’s box and internal protection to be of an acceptable standard. Boeing stated that it had followed the certification process set out by the FAA. It would seem that while the cause of the fire has been clearly identified, responsibility for its occurrence has not been accepted in full by anyone.
November 5, 2014 · 161 Views
Back in February this year, Rolls-Royce, the FTSE-100 engine maker, lost over £3bn of its value after shocking the market with its first profits warning in a decade. To announce a second one this October has created considerable concern and Rolls-Royce has decided that over the next 18 months they need to reduce costs by up to £80m a year by axing 2,600 jobs, the majority of which will be in the aerospace sector in Britain and the United States. The focus is on Rolls-Royce’s key Trent engines as they move from the development to the production phase, which consequently requires fewer engineers.
Back in February John Rishton, Rolls-Royce group’s Chief Executive, had admitted that the future was “bumpier than I had expected”, while blaming the current problems on deteriorating economic conditions and a tit-for-tat trade war between the EU and Russia over the Ukrainian crisis which had affected its nuclear and energy business as well as its power-systems unit. This week Rishton has had to admit that “We are taking determined management action and accelerating our progress on cost. The measures announced today will not be the last; however they will contribute towards Rolls-Royce becoming a stronger and more profitable company.”
Another consequence of the situation is the unexpected departure of Finance Director, Mark Morris, leaving the company after 27 year without any explanation. He will be replaced by David Smith, who is being promoted from Finance Director of the Rolls-Royce Aerospace division. This second profit warning saw share value fall 11% to 832p, wiping a further £2bn off the company’s value. However, news of the redundancies was well received by investors and the share price rallied by 2%, currently standing at 832p. This is clear confirmation of comments made by Espirito Santo’s analyst, Ed Stacey, who indicated that investors would be expecting a clear message from the new Finance Director and tight control on all finances.
March 25, 2014 · 110 Views
Air France-KLM selected the GEnx-1B engine to power its 25 Boeing 787 Dreamliners and 12 leased 787 aircraft. The total engine order is valued at more than $1.7bn. Air France-KLM and GE Aviation have also signed an agreement that will allow Air France-KLM to offer maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services for the GEnx-1B engine. Under this agreement, Air France-KLM will be licensed to perform maintenance and overhaul work on the GEnx-1B engine and GE will provide technical support and assistance on overhaul workscoping and component repair licenses, comprehensive material support and training.
March 7, 2014 · 76 Views
International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC) has closed a new senior secured term loan of $1.5 billion. The loan will bear interest at LIBOR plus 275 basis points with a 0.75% LIBOR floor, is priced at 99.5% of par value, and will mature in 2021. The collateral used to support the transaction has an initial weighted average age of 9.1 years. It will be secured primarily by a first priority-perfected lien on the equity of certain of ILFC’s subsidiaries, which directly or indirectly own a pool of aircraft and related leases. ILFC plans to use the proceeds for general corporate purposes, including purchasing aircraft and supporting the company’s liquidity cushion.
February 26, 2014 · 80 Views
In 2013, Airbus achieved a new industry record of 1,619 gross commercial orders (FY 2012: 914 gross orders) with net orders of 1,503 aircraft (FY 2012: 833 net orders), excluding ATR. Gross orders comprised 1,253 A320 Family aircraft, 77 A330s, 239 A350 XWBs and 50 A380s. Fourth-quarter orders included Emirates Airline’s agreement for 50 A380s and Etihad Airways’ order for 50 A350 XWBs, 36 A320neos and one A330-200F. Airbus Military (now part of Airbus Defence and Space) received 17 net orders (FY 2012: 32 net orders). Airbus’ net order intake increased sharply to €202.3bn (FY 2012: €88.9bn). At the end of 2013, Airbus’ consolidated order book was valued at €647.4bn (year-end 2012: €525.5bn). The Airbus Commercial backlog was worth €627.1bn (year-end 2012: €505.3bn), comprising 5,559 Airbus aircraft (year-end 2012: 4,682 units) and representing over eight years of production. Airbus Military’s order book was worth €20.8bn (year-end 2012: €21.1bn). Airbus series aircraft deliveries increased to 626 aircraft (FY 2012: 588 aircraft, including three A330s without revenue recognition). Airbus Military delivered 31 aircraft (FY 2012: 29 aircraft). Airbus’ consolidated revenues increased seven percent to €42,012m (FY 2012: €39,273m), reflecting higher commercial and military aircraft deliveries. The Division’s consolidated EBIT rose to €1,710m (FY 2012: €1,252m). Airbus Commercial’s revenues rose to €39,889m (FY 2012: €37,624m). The Airbus Commercial reported EBIT was €1,595m (FY 2012: €1,147m) with the EBIT before one-off at €2,216m (FY 2012: €1,669m). Airbus Commercial’s EBIT before one-off benefitted from the improved operational performance, including favourable volume, some better pricing and an improvement in A380 losses. It also included higher A350 XWB programme support costs. Revenues at Airbus Military rose to €2,893m (FY 2012: €2,131m), driven by the A400M ramp-up and higher volumes from both light and medium transport planes and tankers. The EBIT at Airbus Military was €166m (FY 2012: €93m).
January 29, 2014 · 74 Views
Boeing Commercial Airplanes fourth-quarter revenue increased to $14.7bn and full-year revenue increased to a record $53bn on higher delivery volume. Fourth-quarter operating margin improved to 10.3% and full-year operating margin grew to 10.9% on the higher volume, favorable delivery mix and continued strong operating performance. During the quarter, the company launched the 777X with 259 orders and commitments. During the year, the 787 program completed first flight of the 787-9, successfully launched the 787-10 and began operating at a 10 per month production rate in final assembly. The 737 program delivered at a record production rate of 38 per month and has won nearly 1,800 firm orders for the 737 MAX since launch. In 2013, a record 648 commercial aircraft were delivered. In January 2014, the company reached an eight-year contract extension through 2024 with the International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers District 751 (IAM). Commercial Airplanes booked 465 net orders during the quarter and 1,355 during the year. Backlog remains strong with 5,080 airplanes valued at a record $374 billion.
January 9, 2014 · 66 Views
The A350 XWB development aircraft, MSN3, is in Bolivia where it will perform a series of tests at the high altitude airfields of Cochabamba and La Paz. Cochabamba is around 8,300 feet above sea level, and La Paz is one of the world’s highest airports at 13,300 feet. Operations at such high altitude airfields are particularly demanding on aircraft engines, Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) and systems. The aim of these trials is to demonstrate and validate the full functionality of engines, systems, materials as well as to assess the overall aircraft behaviour under these extreme conditions. A number of take-offs with all engines operating and with simulated engine failures are being performed at each of the airfields to collect data on engine operating characteristics and validate the aircraft take-off performance. The autopilot behaviour will also be evaluated during automatic landings and go-arounds. Since the A350 XWB’s first flight with MSN1 on June 14th 2013, over 800 flight test hours have been performed in close to 200 test flights by both MSN1 and MSN3. In total the A350 XWB flight test campaign will accumulate around 2,500 flight hours with the fleet of five aircraft. The rigorous flight testing will lead to the certification of the A350-900 by the European EASA and US FAA airworthiness authorities, prior to entry into service in Q4 2014.
July 5, 2013 · 67 Views
Firefly, Malaysia Airlines’ subsidiary carrier has taken ownership of its first brand-new ATR 72-600. The aircraft is the first of 20 latest generation firm ATRs, plus 16 options, ordered by Malaysia Airlines in December 2012. Firefly currently operates 12 ATR 72-500s, and with the arrival of the new ATR 72-600s will almost triple its exclusively ATR 72 aircraft fleet, taking the total to over 30 aircraft.
June 26, 2013 · 39 Views
Certification testing is underway on the first Passport development engine at GE Aviation’s Peebles Testing Operation in Ohio. The engine began ground testing on June 24th and ran for more than three hours, reaching more than 18,000 lbs. of standard day sea-level takeoff thrust. Eight Passport engines and one core will be involved in the engine certification program. Flight testing on GE’s flying testbed is scheduled for 2014. Engine certification is expected in 2015. The Passport engine certification program follows three years of validation testing. GE Aviation has conducted validation tests on the fan blisk design, including two fan blade-out rig tests, ingestion tests and a fan aero rig test to demonstrate fan efficiency. Testing is complete on the third eCore demonstrator, and GE has accumulated more than 300 hours of testing on eCore demonstrators to date.
May 22, 2013 · 53 Views
Rolls-Royce has won an order from US leasing company CIT Aerospace for Trent XWB engines, to power ten Airbus A350 XWB aircraft and Trent 700 engines to power 13 Airbus A330 aircraft. The Trent XWB engines will power ten CIT A350 aircraft that were announced in January 2013 which were in addition to five A350 XWB aircraft already on order. The Trent XWB, specifically designed for the Airbus A350, is the fastest selling Trent engine ever, with more than 1,200 already sold. The engine variant that will power the A350-800 and -900 was awarded European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) type certification in February. The engine will power the first flight of the Airbus A350 XWB this year and the aircraft’s first in-service flight in 2014.
August 29, 2011 · 21 Views
Ascent Aviation Services reported the promotion of Melisa Ley to Controller. Ms Ley is directly responsible for overall operations, direction, coordination and continuous imrovement of th Accounting Department by maximizing return on financial assets while establishing financial policies, procedures, controls and reporting systems.
August 29, 2011 · 18 Views
Lao Airlines, the national carrier of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Laos), has signed a contract with Airbus for the purchase of two A320 aircraft, becoming a new Airbus customer. The aircraft will be operated by Lao Airlines on routes linking Vientiane to key destinations in South East Asia, including Bangkok and Singapore. Powered by CFM56 engines from CFM International, the aircraft will feature a high comfort two class layout seating 126 passengers in the main cabin and 16 in Business Class.
August 29, 2011 · 18 Views
Air Austral took delivery of its first Boeing 777-200LR on August 26th. As one of the newest members of the 777 family, the 777-200LR has the capability to connect non-stop virtually any two cities in the world. Air Austral’s 777-200LR will enable the airline to fly non-stop from Mayotte, a French Department north of Madagascar, to Paris. Air Austral currently operates a fleet of six 777-300ERs and 777-200ERs. With this delivery, Air Austral becomes the second carrier in Africa to take delivery of the 777-200LR airplane.
August 29, 2011 · 16 Views
Indian carrier SpiceJet has taken delivery of the first two of 15 Q400 NextGen turboprop aircraft ordered in December 2010. SpiceJet will use its Q400 NextGen aircraft for high-frequency, point-to-point services to regional cities, complementing its larger jet aircraft that connect major Indian cities. SpiceJet currently serves 22 destinations in India, Nepal and Sri Lanka. SpiceJet has also signed a 10-year agreement under Bombardier’s comprehensive SmartParts program that will provide a wide spectrum of cost-per-flight-hour maintenance for the airline’s full fleet of Q400 NextGen aircraft.
August 29, 2011 · 15 Views
RUAG will be unveiling its newly built Hall 8 in Emmen, a multi-functional industrial hall for various product cycles. The hall offers almost 2,600 m² of flexible space for final assembly and MRO/upgrades of aircraft and helicopters. With approximately 900 m² of additional floor space, it provides a modern working environment with workshops, storage space, offices and recreation rooms spanning three floors. The hall, which measures around 54 m x 54 m and is 10 m high, has a sustainable architecture and fulfils tough process and safety standards. It is currently being used for the ongoing series upgrade program for the Swiss Air Force’s TH89 Super Puma transport helicopters.
August 29, 2011 · 20 Views
Lufthansa Technik and SCHOTT have agreed to work together more closely on cabin lighting for passenger planes. A contract to this effect was signed by Andrew Muirhead, Director of Innovation for Lufthansa Technik AG, and Dr. Armin Plichta, General Manager of Aviation for the Lighting and Imaging division of SCHOTT AG, in Hamburg on August 25. Conceived to be a “one-stop shop” strategy, the collaboration will cover the entire process chain, ranging from the design of lighting to manufacturing, installation and approvals, but also service over the course of the entire product lifecycle. Lufthansa Technik will concentrate on the area of lighting control, approval and validation and provide installation, maintenance, repair and upkeep services. SCHOTT Lighting and Imaging will be contributing its expertise and experience in the area of lighting systems.
August 29, 2011 · 18 Views
Boeing announced a series of executive leadership changes designed to strengthen customer-facing organizations globally. Marlin Dailey, vice president of Sales for Boeing Commercial Airplanes, is named president of Boeing Germany, Northern Europe/EU and Africa. Jim Albaugh, president and chief executive officer, Boeing Commercial Airplanes has named Ray Conner to the new position of senior vice president of Sales and Customer Support. Conner was vice president and general manager, Supply Chain Management and Operations. Lou Mancini will continue to lead Commercial Aviation Services, reporting to Conner. Stan Deal was named to succeed Conner as vice president and general manager, Supply Chain Management and Operations. Lianne Stein, vice president of Boeing International and president of Boeing Germany, is appointed vice president of Global Corporate Citizenship, succeeding Anne Roosevelt, who will retire August 31. Antonio De Palmas, president of Boeing European Union and NATO relations will continue the important role of representing Boeing with EU and NATO stakeholders.
August 30, 2011 · 14 Views
3 Points Machining and Aerospace has established a new aerospace manufacturing and repair facility in Charlottetown. This new facility will result in faster turn-around times on aircraft parts and lower the repair costs of high-quality products. The provincial government indicates that the opening of this facility will help to create as many as 22 jobs in Prince Edward Island in one of the fastest growing and strongest industries in the Atlantic region. The Government of Canada, through ACOA, invested $500,000 towards the purchase of necessary equipment at the new facility. The Government of Prince Edward Island supported this project through the Department of Innovation and Advanced Learning with a $1.9 million secured, repayable loan. The company was also eligible to apply for the Innovation and Development Labour Rebate Program with support up to $531,000 based on job creation.
August 30, 2011 · 18 Views
Jet Aviation Basel recently signed a contract with a long-standing customer to perform cabin modifications and general refurbishment of an Airbus 330-200 aircraft. To reduce the required downtime of the aircraft and to ensure timely completion and redelivery, Jet Aviation will prepare all required parts in advance of the Airbus’s arrival at the facility, scheduled for the end of 2011. These critical requirements were identified during Jet Aviation’s “upfront” staging process.
August 30, 2011 · 21 Views
Boeing’s board of directors has approved the launch of the new engine variant of the market-leading 737, based on order commitments for 496 airplanes from five airlines and a strong business case. The new 737 family will be powered by CFM International LEAP-1B engines optimized for the 737. Deliveries are scheduled to begin in 2017.
Boeing has named Bob Feldmann vice president and general manager of the new engine 737 family. With 35 years of aerospace experience, Feldmann most recently led the Surveillance and Engagement division within Boeing Military Aircraft, a unit of Boeing Defense, Space & Security that includes several commercial derivative programs based on the 737 platform. He has been instrumental in leading the successful development of complex programs such as the EA-18G Growler and the P-8A Poseidon.
Michael Teal has been named vice president, chief project engineer and deputy program manager. Teal’s most recent role was vice president and chief project engineer on the 747-8 program, where he was instrumental in managing the airplane’s configuration and integration, performance, safety, test and certification.
August 30, 2011
Monarch Aircraft Engineering (MAEL) has extended its line maintenance technical handling agreement with Aer Lingus.The agreement will see MAEL continue to provide support to the Irish operator’s fleet of Airbus A320’s at their line stations in Gatwick.
August 30, 2011 · 17 Views
Boeing has unveiled the 737 MAX, the name of the new engine variant of the market-leading 737 launched on August 31. The new family of aircraft – 737 MAX 7, 737 MAX 8 and 737 MAX 9 – builds on the strengths of the Next-Generation 737.
“The 737 MAX offers airlines the right solution and the best choice for creating the most successful future with improved profitability,” said Nicole Piasecki, vice president of Business Development and Strategic Integration, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “The 737 MAX will deliver maximum efficiency, maximum reliability and the Boeing Sky Interior will continue to offer maximum passenger comfort. We call it the 737 MAX because it optimizes everything we and our customers have learned about designing, building, maintaining and operating the world’s best single-aisle airplane.”
The 737 MAX will deliver big fuel savings that airlines will need to successfully compete in the future. Airlines will benefit from a 7 percent advantage in operating costs over future competing airplanes as a result of optimized CFM International LEAP-1B engines, more efficient structural design and lower maintenance requirements.
August 30, 2011 · 133 Views
Kansas City based Jet Midwest and MRO Jet Midwest Technik have partnered with Phoenix Aerosolutions on a program to convert Fokker 100s to 14,000 kg freighter aircraft. A former Air France F.100 was acquired earlier in the year for design and the program is now well underway and the cargo door opening is on target to be cut in early September with certification to occur in early 2012. The program was conceived by Phoenix Aerosolutions founder and engineer Stan Mounce to achieve an aircraft capable of bridging the cargo gap between turbo-prop and larger 727 or 737 aircraft. ” The very low cost of operation, modern cockpit and the current age of the global fleet of 179 Fokker F.100 aircraft, make it an ideal candidate aircraft for cargo conversion” says Stan Mounce. The conversion will allow up to 11 LD-3 or 14 LD-2 containers. The work will be performed at Kansas City based MRO Jet Midwest Technik and has a projected price of between $1.4 million-$1.6 million.