Wednesday, April 11, 2012

AviTrader Daily Aviation News Alert

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Honda Aircraft Company receives its first ever type certification from the FAA

March 30, 2015 · 47 Views

Based out of Greensboro, North Carolina, the Honda Aircraft Company has received its first provisional type certificate for the all-new Hondajet Model HA-420. Melvin Taylor, who is the manager of the FAA’s Atlanta Aircraft Certification Office (ACO) stated that: “It is a pleasure for the Atlanta ACO to issue Honda Aircraft Company a provisional type certificate for the Model HA-420. It is a milestone event for a first time aircraft manufacturer to receive its first type certificate. This issuance speaks well to the hard work put forward by all the Honda and FAA staff working in a collaborative manner. The Atlanta ACO takes pride in being part of Honda’s introduction of such an advanced and uniquely designed aircraft to the aviation market. We look forward to continuing our collaboration with Honda as we move to final completion of their HA-420 approval.”
Honda Aircraft Company President and CEO, Michimasa Fujino, is reported as saying: “Provisional type certification for the HondaJet is a tremendous milestone for the program, and we are pleased to reach this significant step toward customer deliveries and entry into service. Honda Aircraft has completed nearly all of the testing and reports required by the FAA, and we are very close to achieving final type certification for the world’s most advanced light jet.”
A provisional type certificate is a design approval granted by the FAA and is often issued for business jets when nearing final certification. As such, Honda Aircraft Company has shown that the HondaJet is safe and meets PTC-defined airworthiness standards. There are four HondaJets in the flight test fleet which have performed to the level expected and which have flown more than 2,500 combined hours. The flight test program conducted thorough testing for certification at over 70 locations in the United States. Subsequent to this provisional type certification Honda Aircraft Company is aiming for final FAA type certification within the next few months, after completion of testing and receipt of final approval by the FAA.
The Hondajet is seen as a revolutionary design for a business aircraft with the engines located over, as opposed to under the wings. According to Honda Aircraft Company’s website, the aircraft is “A breakthrough in aeronautics, the Over-The-Wing Engine Mount was engineered and proven by Honda after more than 20 years of extensive research and development. This innovative technology not only breaks the conventional mold set by the aerospace industry, but also provides category-leading advancements such as a more spacious cabin, noise reduction, and increased fuel efficiency.”


Emirates reject Delta’s apology regarding Anderson’s 9/11 comments

February 20, 2015 · 384 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.


Design flaws led to 787 battery fire

December 2, 2014 · 241 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.


Rolls-Royce forced to axe 2,600 jobs after second profit warning this year

November 5, 2014 · 195 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.


Air France-KLM selects GEnx engines for Boeing 787 fleet

March 25, 2014 · 127 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.


ILFC closes $1.5bn senior secured term loan

March 7, 2014 · 92 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.


Airbus Commercial reports another year of financial improvement

February 26, 2014 · 136 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).


Boeing Commercial Airplanes reports full year revenue of $53bn

January 29, 2014 · 98 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.


A350 XWB in Bolivia for high altitude testing

January 9, 2014 · 109 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.


Firefly welcomes first ATR 72-600

July 5, 2013 · 112 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.


GE’s Passport engine begins first full engine test

June 26, 2013 · 51 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.


Rolls-Royce wins order from CIT to power 23 aircraft

May 22, 2013 · 91 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.


Transaero Airlines finalizes order for four 787 Dreamliners

April 9, 2012 · 16 Views

Boeing and Transaero Airlines of Russia recently signed an order for four 787-8 Dreamliners. The signing ceremony for the order, valued at $744m at list prices, has been held onboard the 787 during a demonstration flight for Transaero’s executives, employees and special guests.


BAE Systems to supply Avro RJ D-C cargo hold modification kits to Swiss Air Lines

April 9, 2012 · 42 Views

BAE Systems has won a contract from Swiss International Air Lines to supply D-C cargo hold fire detection and suppression system modification kits for the conversion of the airline’s 20-strong fleet of Avro RJ jetliners.

Swiss has taken the decision to modify its aircraft ahead of a possible European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) mandated requirement. Both the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) have mandated this upgrade and, as a result, BAE Systems Regional Aircraft has in the past provided modification kits to airlines in these countries.

The fleet of BAe 146/Avro RJs operated by Cobham Aviation Services in Australia, as well as the original fleet of Avro RJs operated by Mesaba Airlines in the United States (now largely operating with CityJet in Ireland) have been converted. In addition, BAE Systems has supplied kits to TNT Express for the upgrading of their fleet of European-based BAe 146QT freighters.


Crane appoints presidents of Aerospace and Electronics Groups

April 9, 2012 · 28 Views

Crane announced the appointment of Robert (Bob) Tavares as President of the Electronics Group of Crane Aerospace & Electronics, and David Bender as President of the Aerospace Group of Crane Aerospace & Electronics. Previously, Bender was president of both the Aerospace Group and the Electronics Group.


Airbus starts final assembly of first A350 XWB

April 9, 2012 · 14 Views

Final assembly of the first A350 XWB is now underway at the brand new final assembly line in Toulouse. This latest step in the A350 XWB’s progress is achieved as Airbus starts joining the 19.7 metre long centre fuselage with the 21 metre long front fuselage. This first A350 XWB airframe will be used for the static structural tests that all new aircraft undergo as part of their certification process. The assembly of the first flying A350 XWB, MSN1, will start during summer. The centre fuselage was delivered to Toulouse on Wednesday 4th April 2012 by Beluga from Airbus in St Nazaire, France. The front fuselage was previously delivered from St Nazaire to the A350 XWB final assembly line on the 23rd December 2011. Delivery and installation of the aft fuselage from Hamburg, Germany will take place in the coming weeks, followed by the wings delivered from Airbus’ wing assembly site in Broughton, UK.


MTU Maintenance Canada and Fokker Services sign engine accessory repair services agreement

April 9, 2012 · 22 Views

Fokker Services and MTU Maintenance Canada signed an engine accessory repair services agreement for the support on various engine accessory components. The agreement signed is valid for three years with annual renewals agreed to by both parties. The agreement includes a range of accessory components supporting MTU maintenance Canada and engine repair shop in Germany – MTU Maintenance Hannover GmbH. The work is being accomplished on various engine types, but mostly on CF6-50 and CF6-80. The work will be carried out by Fokker Aerotron (USA) in Georgia and Fokker Services (NL) in Amsterdam.


Copa Holdings announces monthly traffic statistics for March 2012

April 9, 2012 · 15 Views

For the month of March 2012, Copa Holdings’ system-wide passenger traffic increased 22.5% year over year, while capacity increased in the same proportion.  System load factor for March 2012 was 76.0%, flat when compared to March 2011.


Republic Airways reports March load factor of 80%

April 9, 2012 · 64 Views

Republic Airways reported that March traffic was in line with the same month last year, on a decrease in capacity of 2%. Consolidated load factor was 80% in March of 2012 versus 78% in the same month last year.


Boeing and Embraer sign agreement for broad business cooperation

April 10, 2012 · 37 Views

Embraer S.A. and Boeing announced a cooperation agreement to work together to benefit their customers, their companies and the global aviation industry. The agreement establishes an important relationship between two of the world’s largest aerospace companies to cooperate in ways that enhance operational efficiency, safety and productivity, improve customer satisfaction and create value for both companies and their customers. Frederico Curado, President and CEO of Embraer S.A., and Jim Albaugh, President and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, signed the agreement during the visit of Brazil’s President to the United States and following the annual meeting of the U.S.-Brazil CEO Forum, a public-private partnership between the United States and Brazilian Governments which brings together chief executive officers from both countries. Curado and Albaugh are co-chairs of the CEO Forum’s aviation subcommittee. Boeing and Embraer have agreed to pursue several areas of cooperation, including commercial aircraft features that enhance safety and efficiency, research and technology and sustainable aviation biofuels. They will also look for other areas to work together to bring mutual benefit and value to customers.


United Continental reports March 2012 operational performance

April 10, 2012 · 25 Views

UAL’s consolidated traffic in March 2012 increased 1.0% and consolidated capacity decreased 1.1% versus March 2011. The company’s consolidated load factor in March 2012 increased 1.7 points to 81.5% compared to March 2011.


Constant Aviation becomes Rolls-Royce Authorized Service Center

April 10, 2012 · 26 Views

Constant Aviation, a maintenance, repair, and overhaul facility, has been appointed by Rolls-Royce as an AE 3007 Authorized Service Center. Constant Aviation is now able to offer Legacy 600/650 operators in-house engine maintenance, on-site parts and warranty claim processing.


Gulf Coast Avionics and Pacific Coast Avionics add Flight Companion from Matchbox

April 10, 2012 · 62 Views

Gulf Coast Avionics and Pacific Coast Avionics have added the Flight Companion from Matchbox to their product offerings. The FC-1 Flight Companion is a new lightweight multi-functional electronics instrument that provides a variety of alerts to assist pilots with their cockpit management functions. Flight Companion capabilities include an altitude alert system that alarms with change of more than plus-or-minus 100 feet from a pre-set altitude and a tank timer that provides a 30 minute tank countdown and an LED flash alert that the tank is being timed out. In addition to the Flight Companion, a related Matchbox product called the DVM828 is a self-contained digital voltage monitor that plugs directly into an existing cigarette lighter connector and monitors the status of the aircraft battery and charging systems.


Finnair reports load factor of 78% in March 2012

April 10, 2012 · 29 Views

Finnair traffic measured rose by 11.6% and the overall capacity grew by 3.6% year-on-year. Passenger load factor improved by 5.6 points and was 78.0%.


HAITEC Aircraft Maintenance signs GTA with Pullmanturair

April 10, 2012 · 29 Views

HAITEC Aircraft Maintenance GmbH based in Hahn, Germany, signed a GTA with Pullmanturair (based in Madrid, Spain) for their fleet of B747-400s, on April 10th. The first aircraft already arrived for maintenance activities (Maintenance Checks and SB/AD incorp.) for approx. 10 days at their facility in Hahn.


Monarch Aircraft Engineering to provide line maintenance to Air France in Malaga

April 10, 2012 · 26 Views

Monarch Aircraft Engineering has signed a line maintenance technical handling agreement with Air France. With immediate effect, Monarch Aircraft Engineering will provide full maintenance support for the French carrier, who operates a three times weekly service into Malaga on an Airbus A320 aircraft.


MTU Maintenance to provide further support for JetBlue Airways’ IAE V2533 engines

April 10, 2012 · 26 Views

MTU Maintenance Hannover continues to provide support to U.S. carrier JetBlue Airways. The airline has been sending its IAE V2527 engines to the Hannover shop on an exclusive basis since 2005.  The carrier now has further entrusted MTU Maintenance with the maintenance, repair and overhaul which now covers all of its V2533s, the most powerful V2500 version on the A321. The amended contract will run until 2020 and includes a five-year renewal option. JetBlue has opted to convert an existing A320 order for 30 aircraft into A321s. U.S. low-cost carrier JetBlue Airways, headquartered in New York, currently operates a mixed fleet of 172 Airbus A320 and Embraer aircraft and has another 126 planes, mainly A320s and A321s, on order.


Air Charter Services PVT becomes new PC-12 Sales and Service Center in India

April 10, 2012 · 25 Views

Pilatus Aircraft appointed Air Charter Services PVT (ACSPL) as its official PC-12 Sales and Service Center in India with responsibility for India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Burma and Thailand. As the official Service Center, the New Delhi-based facility will manage aircraft sales and carry out all aspects of PC-12 maintenance and warranty work. Sales of the PC-12 have increased steadily since it was first launched in 1994. Total aircraft sold now exceed 1100.


GOL receives authorization to provide maintenance services for other aircraft models

April 10, 2012 · 26 Views

GOL Linhas Aereas Inteligentes S.A. has received authorization from the National Civil Aviation Agency (ANAC) to provide conventional and electrostatic painting, weighing and recalibration services for other companies’ aircraft in its Maintenance Center in Confins, Belo Horizonte. The agency’s authorization, which also represents a new revenue source, covers Boeing 737-700 and 737-800 Next Generation aircraft, identical to those of GOL’s fleet, as well as Boeing 737-300 aircraft, part of Webjet’s fleet, and other models from other manufacturers which are capable of fitting into the painting hangar. GOL’s Aircraft Maintenance Center was expanded in 2010, to reach its current capacity of up to 120 aircraft per year. The expansion absorbed investments of R$65m, enabling the Center to undertake heavy fuselage maintenance, preventive maintenance, aircraft painting and internal aircraft configuration for GOL’s entire fleet.