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Friday, June 26th, 2020

Lufthansa shareholders agree on stabilization measures

The shareholders of Deutsche Lufthansa AG have voted in favor of accepting the capital measures and the participation of the Economic Stabilisation Fund (WSF) of the Federal Republic of Germany in Deutsche Lufthansa AG. The corresponding proposal received the necessary majority at the Extraordinary General Meeting.

The package provides for stabilization measures and loans of up to €9 billion. The WSF will make silent capital contributions of up to €5.7 billion to the assets of Deutsche Lufthansa AG. It will also establish a 20% stake in the share capital of Deutsche Lufthansa AG by way of a capital increase. This capital increase was approved at the Extraordinary General Meeting.

The shareholders also voted in favor of granting two conversion rights for parts of the silent capital contributions. These conversion rights are intended, on the one hand, to safeguard the Federal Government in case of a takeover of Lufthansa and, on the other hand, to secure the interest payments for the silent capital contribution. Both conversion rights can be transformed into a further five percent of the company’s share capital should these conditions be met. The package will be supplemented by a loan of up to €3 billion with the participation of KfW and private banks.

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Embraer Services & Support completes first Praetor 500 conversion

Embraer Services & Support has completed the first conversion of a Legacy 450 to a Praetor 500 for an undisclosed customer. The conversion was performed at the Embraer Executive Jets Service Center at Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, Connecticut.

In order to generate the impressive range improvements synonymous with the Praetor 500, the level-sensing wiring in the fuel tanks were replaced, the over-wing gravity fueling ports were moved, the fuel-measurement system was relocated, and the wing ribs were reinforced to hold additional weight. These adjustments entailed updates to the flight control systems, including a new avionics load for the acclaimed Collins Aerospace Pro Line Fusion flight deck. Most noticeably, the iconic swept winglets of the Praetor were installed, and the placards and logos were replaced to officially convert the Legacy 450 into a Praetor 500. The conversion was made possible by the expertise of structures and avionics specialists, A&P mechanics, logistics teams, and engineers from Embraer operations around the globe.

The full process to convert a Legacy 450 (2,900 nautical miles range) into a Praetor 500 (3,340 nautical miles range) can be performed at the Bradley Service Center, as well as at Embraer-owned Service Centers in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Sorocaba, Brazil, and Le Bourget in Paris, France.

Emirates Engineering modifies 10 Boeing 777-300ER aircraft for additional cargo capacity

Emirates has introduced additional cargo capacity by using Boeing 777-300ER aircraft with seats removed from the economy class cabin. The measure has been introduced in response to the strong air cargo market demand for the rapid, reliable and efficient transportation of essential commodities such as Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), pharmaceuticals, medical equipment, food, machinery and other supplies around the world.

Emirates SkyCargo will be operating 10 Boeing 777-300ER aircraft with economy class seats removed, allowing for up to 17 tons or 132 cubic meters of additional cargo capacity per flight on top of the 40-50 ton cargo capacity in the belly hold of the widebody passenger aircraft. The modified Boeing 777-300ER aircraft are being deployed on routes to key production and consumer markets where Emirates SkyCargo sees maximum demand for movement of urgently required goods.

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GKN Aerospace continues jet engine biofuel testing

FMV (Swedish Defence Materiel Administration) has contracted GKN Aerospace Sweden to continue biofuel testing of the RM12 engine. The biofuel for this test is an ATJ (alcohol to jet)-SKA developed and manufactured by Swedish Biofuels AB. The test is part of a bilateral biojet-project collaboration between FMV and USAF/NAVAIR, which started in October 2013 and will be completed in the fall of 2020.

GKN Aerospace Sweden is Type Certificate holder for the RM12 engine and has reviewed fuel
specifications and material compatibility for all fuel-wetted components in the engine in order to ensure safe engine operation during this test. Performing this test in a test cell will give more in-depth information to see potential differences in engine data compared to earlier flight test results with this 50/50 mix.

In March 2017 a Gripen C/D with an RM12 engine completed a successful flight demonstration powered by 100% renewable biofuel, showing excellent performance both in-flight and on the ground. The biofuel used in 2017 (CHCJ-5) was developed by the US company ARA on a USN/NAVAIR contract, and was fully interchangeable with normal jet fuel and approved for a limited flight test. No engine changes or modifications were required for this demonstration.

The 2020 test will demonstrate the capability in the engine test cells, flexibility in measurement systems, designing and feeding fuel to the engine. Both FMV and GKN Aerospace are strongly committed to renewable fuel and reduction of the environmental impact of aerospace. GKN Aerospace is also involved in the Clean Sky program which is the largest European research program developing innovative, cutting-edge technology aimed at reducing CO2, gas emissions and noise levels produced by aircraft.

Air bp appoints Martin Thomsen as new CEO

Air bp has announced that Martin Thomsen will assume the role of Chief Executive Officer, Air bp, on July 1, 2020. He will succeed Jon Platt, who has successfully led the business since 2016 and who will retire from bp later this year after a distinguished career spanning over 30 years.

Thomsen has been with bp for 15 years and has held several positions across the downstream business. He joins Air bp from his previous position as retail director and fuels country integrator for Austria, Switzerland and Turkey. Martin’s previous roles include fuels general manager Turkey, retail operations manager Spain, commercial ‎optimization fuels Iberia and retail Europe strategy and business development.‎

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Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo completes second flight from Spaceport America

Virgin Galactic has announced the successful completion of the second SpaceShipTwo test flight from Spaceport America. This flight follows the completion of the first test flight from the company’s commercial headquarters in New Mexico on May 1, 2020, and marks another important milestone as the team progresses toward the launch of Virgin Galactic’s commercial service.

This glide flight, flown at higher speeds, allowed the team to continue to evaluate systems and vehicle performance in advance of future rocket-powered space flights from the company’s new operating base in New Mexico. Flying VSS Unity in glide configuration at higher speeds enables certain vehicle systems to operate close to the environment seen during phases of rocket boost on a spaceflight. The spaceship achieved a glide speed of Mach 0.85 after being released from the mothership VMS Eve at an altitude of 51,000 ft. Unity completed multiple test-points before touching back down smoothly for a runway landing at Spaceport America.

The pilots performed a series of maneuvers with Unity designed to gather data about performance and handling qualities while flying at higher speeds. This data will be verified against similar maneuvers that were performed in the previous glide flight to enhance aerodynamic modelling.

The test flight was conducted under a set of stringent operational protocols to ensure safety against COVID-19. These protocols include changes to the work areas and procedures to enforce social distancing as advised by state guidelines as well as universal mask usage.

Last weekend, the Company’s Spaceship and Propulsion teams completed a full ‘wet dress’ rehearsal designed to check out the new facilities and equipment at Spaceport America. During this rehearsal, the teams positioned the spaceflight system on the runway and loaded VSS Unity with
active propellant.

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Testing for COVID-19 virus now available directly at Václav Havel Airport Prague

Passengers and visitors can now be tested for the virus causing COVID-19 directly at Václav Havel Airport Prague. Testing is performed by an accredited GHC Genetics laboratory. The new service will facilitate safe travelling and also reduce the spread of the disease. Both passengers and the general public can use the testing directly at the airport.

Prague Airport has set up a total of three check points where GHC Genetics healthcare professionals provide the testing. One check point is located in the public area of the airport in the connecting corridor between Terminal 1 and Terminal 2. It is intended primarily for the general public and for departing passengers who need a negative test result to enter their final destination. The other two check points are located airside in the non-public area of both terminals.

Testing is available to passengers and the general public at Václav Havel Airport Prague daily from 4.00 am to midnight. However, the operating hours of the check points will be adjusted according to the current air traffic. The samples taken at the airport are analysed at a remote workplace fitted for the purpose and the test results are shared with the tested person in a standard mode within a maximum of 12 hours via e-mail.

However, there is also an express testing service available, under which the results are communicated to the passenger within only three hours. This mode is most suitable for departing passengers who need a negative COVID-19 test result to enter the country of arrival and for arriving passengers requiring a negative test result to quickly enter the Czech Republic. They can wait for the results directly at the airport and only enter the Czech territory with a negative result.

Honeywell releases update to its Honeywell Forge platform

Honeywell has released an update to its Honeywell Forge platform for business aviation flight departments that includes multiple integrations and new features. The updates include a new integration with Professional Flight Management’s scheduling software and a new cabin connectivity analytics dashboard. Additionally, the beta version of a propulsion data reporting system will now integrate aircraft health data with Maintenance and Service Plan (MSP) monthly reporting.

“Since Honeywell Forge launched to support business aviation in March, we have been focused on continuously innovating the platform and expanding the integration with key partners so our customers can get a clear picture of how their aircraft is using data, and how they can better manage their costs,” said John Peterson, vice president and general manager, Software and Services at Honeywell Connected Enterprise, Aerospace. “We are continuing to invest in best-in-class features and functionalities as we expand our platform into a solution that addresses all our customers’ needs with a seamless, simple experience.”

Honeywell is also launching expanded access to the digital Automatic Terminal Information Service (ATIS), which is a continuous broadcast of recorded relevant information accessible to pilots near airports or other high-traffic areas. Previously, some pilots could not access digital ATIS due to incompatible datalink avionics in their aircraft, but now with Honeywell Forge, they will be able to access this vital airport information worldwide.

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U.S. FAA finalizes directive relating to 737 MAX potential engine power loss

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has finalized its directive relating to the inspection of a key 737 MAX component that, if faulty, could result in engine power loss. The airworthiness directive was initially produced in February in response to a service bulleting issued by Boeing back in December 2019.

The directive related to concerns that certain 737 MAX exterior panels on top of the engine may lack the electrical bonding necessary to ensure adequate shielding of underlying wiring from the electromagnetic effects of high-power radio frequency transmitters and other sources. The FAA warded that it: “could potentially lead to a dual-engine power loss event and/or display of hazardously misleading” data, which could result in a “forced off-airport landing.”

Boeing has confirmed that it supports “the FAA’s airworthiness directive, which makes our recommended action mandatory” in addressing the potential impact of electrical energy on the 737 MAX. In December, Boeing said the issue affected airplanes built between February 2018 and June 2019 and that “the protective foil inside the composite panels may have gaps.”

Post inspection, airlines will replace any excessively reworked panels and modify an assembly, thus ensuring adequate electrical bonding.
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