Friday, December 20th, 2019

Rolls-Royce reveals single-seater all-electric plane destined for the record books

In a hangar at Gloucester Airport in the U.K., Rolls-Royce has unveiled its all-electric aircraft which it hopes will enter the record books next year as the fastest all-electric plane. The single-seater aircraft is part of Rolls-Royce’s ACCEL initiative (Accelerating the Electrification of Flight) with which it is aiming to champion electric flight, in conjunction with a raft of partners including, but not limited to YASA which specializes in the manufacturer of electric motors and controllers and Electroflight, an aviation startup company.

50 percent of the project’s funding is provided by the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI), in partnership with the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and Innovate UK. Rob Watson, Director of Rolls-Royce Electrical said: “Building the world’s fastest all-electric aircraft is nothing less than a revolutionary step change in aviation and we are delighted to unveil the ACCEL project plane. This is not only an important step towards the world-record attempt but will also help to develop Rolls-Royce’s capabilities and ensure that we are at the forefront of developing technology that can play a fundamental role in enabling the transition to a low carbon global economy.”

The ionBird test airframe, named after the electrical technology propelling the aircraft, was also unveiled. The ionBird will be used to test the propulsion system before it is fully integrated into the plane. ACCEL will have the most power-dense battery pack ever assembled for an aircraft, providing enough energy to fly up to 200 miles (London to Paris) on a single charge. The propeller is driven by three high power density axial electric motors and when compared to a conventional plane, the propeller blades spin at a far lower RPM to deliver a stabler and much quieter ride. Combined they will continuously deliver more than 500 horsepower for the record run which will have a target speed in excess of 300 mph and which is planned for spring next year.

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Pratt & Whitney names Ashmita Sethi Managing Director-India

Pratt & Whitney has appointed Ashmita Sethi to the position of Managing Director for India.

As Pratt & Whitney’s senior-most in-country leader, Sethi will provide strategic direction for the Company’s growth and business goals in India, and drive all of Pratt & Whitney’s operations in India, including customer relations and support, the company’s Customer Training Center in Hyderabad, Communications and Governmental Affairs.

Sethi brings more than 20 years of experience from the defense and aerospace industry to this role and joins Pratt & Whitney following a distinguished career in corporate and public affairs and communications with Boeing and Rolls Royce.


BAA Training Vietnam to start 2020 with 90% of utilization

BAA Training Vietnam, a brand-new aviation training center in Vietnam, ends the year with the outstanding results of the first quarter of operations as it is about to enter 2020 with 90% utilization of the first Airbus A320 full flight simulator.

The branch of BAA Training – a globally recognized aviation training provider and one of the top three biggest, independent aviation training centers in Europe, has been established in Vietnam in 2018 as a response to growing pilot demand in Vietnam and the Asia-Pacific region. As the construction of modern and spacious 3000 m² training facilities has been completed in 2019, BAA Training Vietnam started operating its first Airbus A320ceo full flight simulator at the end of the third quarter.

Within three months of operations, BAA Training Vietnam used more than 1400 hours of the full flight simulator providing wet and dry lease services for such airlines like Bamboo Airways, VietJet, and others. In addition the academy prepared 34 pilots for Airbus A320 aircraft type during this time, entering from Vietnam, Japan, South Korea, Australia, and other countries.


Airbus begins deliveries of first A350 XWBs with touchscreen cockpit displays

Airbus has commenced deliveries to airlines of the first A350 XWBs equipped with pioneering new touchscreen cockpit displays. Specially developed for the A350 XWB together with Thales, they will confer enhanced operational efficiencies, greater crew interaction, cockpit symmetry and smoother information management. On December 18, China Eastern Airlines took delivery in Toulouse of the first A350 XWB equipped with the new devices. To date, around 20 airlines have selected the option for their new A350 XWBs.

Of the A350 XWB cockpit’s six large screens, three can now become touch capable: the two outer displays plus the lower-center display. These displays now offer touchscreen capability for the pilots when presenting Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) applications. This new method of input complements the existing physical keyboard integrated into the retractable table in front of each pilot and also the keyboard and trackball “keyboard-cursor control unit” (KCCU) located on the center console.


ORIX Aviation and GE Aviation sign asset transfer system agreement for leasing market

GE Aviation has teamed up with ORIX Aviation to provide the Asset Transfer System (ATS) to enable ORIX Aviation to connect records and data across the global aviation community. Their trial service is expected to start this month.

The Asset Transfer System is a collaborative tool that streamlines and simplifies the way that leased asset documentation is managed between airlines and lessors by allowing operators to organize records in accordance with industry standard. The system enhances the efficiency of lease returns several ways by helping operators harmonize and standardize files, perform collaborative document reviews with their lessor partners, and transfer files through an intuitive digital user interface.

ATR delivers first green financed aircraft

ATR has delivered the first green financed aircraft to Swedish regional airline Braathens Regional Airlines, BRA. The aircraft is leased from Avation and is financed by Deutsche Bank. It is part of a new order for five ATR 72-600 aircraft, all purchased by Avation from ATR and leased to BRA.

Upon completion of the order in early 2020, the airline will itself operate an entirely ATR fleet, comprised of 15 ATR 72-600 aircraft.

Vigeo Eiris, an independent agency providing Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) ratings, expressed the opinion that the project of replacing ageing regional jets with new ATR 72-600 aircraft is aligned with the Green Loan Principles (GLP) established by the Loan Market Association in 2018.


LOT Polish Airlines leases four Airbus A320 aircraft from Avion Express

Avion Express has reached an agreement to wet-lease four Airbus A320 aircraft to the Polish National Airline LOT.

Under the ACMI agreement, signed until May 31, 2020, two Airbus A320 aircraft will start flying for LOT Polish Airlines from January 14, 2020 and the other two will commence flight operations on February 1, 2020.

All of the aircraft will be deployed in Warsaw, whereas flights are set to be conducted within the
domestic and international area.

EME Aero obtains EASA 145 certification as maintenance shop

EME Aero, Engine Maintenance Europe service center, a 50/50 joint venture between Lufthansa Technik and MTU Aero Engines, has completed the aviation authority certification process and obtained EASA 145 certification as a maintenance organization on December 12, 2019. Site completion and the official opening of the company is planned for spring 2020.

This certification is a pre-requisite for EME to start operations and work for customers around the world. The company will initially perform shop visits for the Pratt & Whitney PW1100G-JM GTF engine model. In the following years, the PW1500G and PW1900G models will be added to EME’s portfolio.

EME Aero was founded less than two years ago. Since then, the company has completed various milestones in the course of building one of the largest and most advanced MRO service centers for Pratt & Whitney Geared Turbo Fan engines worldwide. Both shareholders have invested nearly €150 million. The shop, which is based on an efficient flow line principle, is designed for an annual capacity of up to 450 shop visits. The EME Aero workforce will also gradually grow as the numbers of in-service GTF engines increase. By 2026, EME is expected to have a workforce of around 1,000 employees.


Air Partner Remarketing completes sale of ATR 72-500

Air Partner Remarketing, a division of global aviation services group Air Partner and an aircraft remarketing agent, has sold one ATR 72-500, MSN 499. Air Partner acted as the exclusive remarketing agent for Helitaviation 11 Europe Limited.

The aircraft was purchased on Monday December 16, by RAF-AVIA in Latvia. RAF-AVIA operate a large fleet of AN26 aircraft and this will be their second ATR 72F. The aircraft was originally delivered to American Eagle in 1997 and subsequently acquired by Helitaviation who converted the aircraft to cargo.

ATP Flight School addresses pilot shortage with new southwest location in Tucson

ATP Flight School's newest training center is now open at the Tucson International Airport. Part of a nationwide network of 38 locations, the Tucson facility marks ATP's third location in Arizona, complementing operations in Mesa and Scottsdale.

The strategic location of the new Arizona location makes airline-oriented flight training more accessible in the southwest, addressing the mounting pilot shortage. Offering the Airline Career Pilot Program, students training in Tucson are now able to take advantage of the most efficient path to a successful airline pilot career. Starting with zero experience, students can achieve pilot certification in just nine months. Benefits like a guaranteed flight instructor job allow graduates to quickly gain experience and meet airline hiring requirements, while partnerships with 20 air carriers provide a streamlined path to all major airlines.

Students training at the Tucson facility will utilize ATP's fleet of Cessna 172 Skyhawks. These aircraft are part of a 2019 fleet order for up to 100 airplanes, placing the latest in glass cockpit technology directly in students' hands to prepare them for their career. ATP's dedicated network of 14 maintenance centers professionally maintains the reliability of this young fleet. Located at the nearby Phoenix-Mesa Gateway airport is the largest of these maintenance bases, where ATP also operates its exclusive CFI Academy and provides training for Arizona State University's (ASU) professional pilot program.


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