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LATEST NEWS

Tuesday, December 1st, 2020

Thales and StandardAero achieve world’s first four-axis autopilot test flight for Airbus AS350 and H125 helicopters

Thales and Standard Aero StandardAero have announced the successful first flight test of a revolutionary compact autopilot system for the Airbus AS350 and H125 helicopter. This is a key milestone which lays the groundwork for this critical phase of the Supplemental Type Certification (STC) process and the launch of this unique autopilot solution to the light helicopter market by the middle of 2021.

Flight testing will continue throughout this winter at StandardAero’s Langley, British Columbia, Canada facility, and WeatherTech, the well-known automotive accessories company, will be its launch customer. The Autopilot will initially be certified for installation on both the Airbus AS350 and H125 helicopter platforms.

"The launch of this flight test program is a key milestone for StandardAero and Thales. This product combines Thales’ Autopilot experience, based on billions of flight hours accumulated and outstanding customer satisfaction, with StandardAero’s extensive aftermarket capabilities in aircraft modification and certification. We aim to bring a user-friendly solution offering an unparalleled level of safety and reliability to the light helicopter market," said Jean-Paul Ebanga, Thales Vice-President of Flight Avionics activities.

The Thales/StandardAero compact autopilot is an intuitive automatic flight control system on the AS350/H125 that increases safety by reducing pilot workload. It provides stability augmentation, attitude retention and flight director modes such as altitude or heading hold.

“This state-of-the-art, four-axis autopilot system has been designed as a straightforward retrofit and provides pilots with simplified operation that will help reduce wear and tear on the helicopter while making flying in normal and adverse conditions much easier and safer for the crew and passengers,” said Elvis Moniz, Vice President of Product Development for StandardAero’s Helicopters business unit, adding: “Moreover, with the increase in EMS flying and recent CFIT related helicopter accidents, anything that can help pilots navigate more safely is of paramount interest.”

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e-Starling soars to new heights with successful test flight of half scale fully electric aircraft

Another crucial milestone has been met in SAMAD AEROSPACE’S Starling program. November 2020 has seen the successful conventional take-off and landing (CTOL) flight test of the company’s 50% scale fully electric aircraft.

During the CTOL flight test (November 2020) the aircraft took off at a length of 250 meters, demonstrating a great potential for short take-off and landing (STOL). Take-off and landing were smooth, and the vehicle maintained a comfortable cruise at a speed of (90 mph) airborne for over five minutes. The flight tests included evaluations on aircraft flight dynamics, performance as well as handling qualities. As the e-Starling adopts a semi blended wing body (BWB) design, it requires a low angle for take-off; it is important to understand when the aircraft is capable of taking-off and at which speed.

Apart from slow and fast taxiing on the runway as well as take-off and landing; the half scale demonstrator also performed banking manoeuvers in addition to tests on yaw, pitch and roll. The results show very stable in terms of handling quality. Among other tests of subsystems were brake, telemetry, redundancy links, and ensuring the center of gravity (CG) of the aircraft is at the correct design place. The aircraft’s performance matched the predicted calculations made during preliminary and detailed design stages.

“The data provided by the flight tests were sufficient and invaluable for us to feed into fine tuning the aircraft for auto pilot to allow us to conduct a subsequent test on auto pilot mode,” said one of the engineering crew on-site.

Samad Aerospace has been developing its unique manned and unmanned aircraft with two scaled prototypes (10% and 20%) successfully built, flown, and showcased in reputable international air shows such as Singapore, Geneva and Farnborough. Preparations for the e-VTOL flight tests are already well underway. 2021 will see the completion of the 50% e-VTOL version of the e-Starling.

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BOC Aviation delivers first two new Airbus A321neo aircraft to Middle East Airlines

BOC Aviation has delivered the first two of five new Airbus A321neo aircraft for lease to Middle East Airlines. The aircraft will be powered by Pratt & Whitney’s PurePower® PW1100G-JM engines.

Mohamad EL HOUT, Chairman – Director General, Middle East Airlines, said: “We are pleased to work with BOC Aviation, our long-term partner who has confidence in MEA’s capability and potentials. The new arrival in our fleet will further enhance our commitment to offer our passengers the best product and continued modernization of the fleet despite the local and international challenges.”

Polícia Rodoviária Federal of Brazil orders six AW119Kx helicopters

The Polícia Rodoviária Federal (PRF) of Brazil will introduce into service six AW119Kx single engine helicopters. The first aircraft is expected to be introduced in Brazil beginning next year, with the delivery of the remainder helicopters to the operator planned to be completed by mid-2021. The AW119Kxs will be operated by the Air Operations Division (DOA) from its bases in the five Regions of Brazil to perform a range of missions including transport, rescue, emergency medical service, firefighting, surveillance and law enforcement.

The selection of the AW119Kx by the PRF was made following a rigorous assessment of technical capabilities to best meet the law enforcement agency’s needs. The handover of these helicopters will further expand the fleet of Leonardo helicopters used by law enforcement, rescue and public service operators across Brazil which already includes the AW119 single engine type in addition to the AW109 light twin and AW139 intermediate twin models.

The helicopters will feature an advanced customized configuration including, among others, a Garmin G1000NXi glass cockpit, an infrared capable electro-optics system, rescue hoist, cargo hook, bambi bucket to counter fires, rappelling kit on both sides for special forces operations, advanced communication systems.

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IBS Software and CargoAi announce partnership to boost air cargo revenue

IBS Software is offering its iCargo customers the opportunity to increase their reach to the market and thereby scale their cargo revenues through a new partnership with CargoAi. By partnering with CargoAi, IBS’ customers can extend their presence in new and existing markets by leveraging on digital sales and distribution services. This is a real ‘helping hand’ both for business and for digitalization within the industry.

IBS Software has been working with CargoAi since July 2020 to build a rich integration between iCargo and CargoAI using a scalable, API based architecture. “Through this partnership, CargoAi and IBS Software have invested in creating platform-level integration to give our customers more choices on channels to digitally connect with their clients, faster time-to-market for such capabilities, and to do so with very little effort,” says Ashok Rajan, SVP & Head of Cargo & Logistics, IBS Software. He adds: “We believe that innovation can be fast-tracked by partnering with companies like CargoAi bringing in new and improved ways of doing business like in sales and distribution, which is still very antiquated and legacy-based in the air cargo industry.”

Keen to offer a ‘digital ecosystem’ to its customers, IBS Software is making its motto of ‘Partnering for Innovation” a reality. With this API based integration between platforms, airlines using only have to turn on the switch for e-bookings from all over the world to reach their system. The process couldn’t be easier for airlines – only a few days of tests are required between the platforms to get on board with CargoAi and no expensive bespoke IT development or complex system integration projects is required to deliver this capability. All the work has been done ahead of time by the two partners.

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Praetor fleet launch customer Flexjet takes delivery of first Praetor 600 jet

Embraer has delivered the first jet in a fleet of Praetor 600s to Flexjet. The aircraft will be used for the company’s burgeoning operations in Europe. Flexjet is the Praetor fleet launch customer, having received the first-ever Praetor 500 less than a year ago, in December 2019. The deal, valued at up to US$1.4 billion, was announced at NBAA-BACE 2019 and comprises a fleet of Praetor 600s, Praetor 500s, and Phenom 300s.

Embraer and Flexjet enjoy a long-standing, successful partnership. In 2003, Flight Options — which merged with Flexjet in 2015 — became the first fractional ownership program to introduce the Legacy Executive Jet. In 2010, they introduced the Phenom 300, and in 2012 the company took delivery of Embraer’s milestone 100th Phenom 300. Then in 2015, Flexjet became the first fractional provider to offer the Legacy 500, later taking delivery of Embraer’s milestone 1000th business jet — a Legacy 500 — in 2016. The Legacy 450 then joined the Flexjet fleet in 2016.

David Coleal named CEO of Incora

Incora, a leading provider of comprehensive supply chain management services to the global aerospace and other industries, has announced the appointment of David Coleal as group Chief Executive Officer.

Coleal has more than two decades of senior leadership experience within the aerospace and defense sectors, including serving as president of Bombardier Aviation and executive vice president at Spirit AeroSystems.

Effective November 30, 2020, the appointment comes at a significant time for the company as it embarks on the next phase of its growth trajectory, driven by an unrelenting focus to provide Incora’s customers with leading-edge solutions for the global supply chain. Incora is dedicated to understanding customer needs and providing innovative new products, services and customized solutions that deliver on its promise of reducing complexity and increasing reliability for customers.
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American Cargo operations conducting trial flights from Miami to South America

The American Airlines Cargo team is preparing for its critical role in transporting the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine once approved. In mid-November, American’s cargo operation began conducting trial flights, in conjunction with pharmaceutical and cargo partners, from Miami to South America on its Boeing 777-200 aircraft. The trial flights simulate the conditions required for the COVID-19 vaccine to stress test the thermal packaging and operational handling process that will ultimately ensure it remains stable as it moves across the globe.

While the situation will be unique, the task is not new to American — the airline’s cargo operation has been shipping life-saving medicine for more than eight decades. Since the beginning of the pandemic, American has been transporting hundreds of thousands of pounds of personal protective equipment (PPE), medical equipment, COVID-19 test kits and pharmaceuticals to help battle the coronavirus. As a recognized expert in cold chain logistics, American has been involved in transporting components for Phase III COVID-19 vaccine trials, including quickly and safely carrying test vaccines and specimens to research facilities around the world.

Many vaccines, including the COVID-19 vaccine, need special handling to keep a consistently cold temperature throughout their journey. American has an established network of facilities and team members who specialize in temperature-critical shipments and are familiar with handling the variety of requirements that different pharmaceuticals may need.
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Tamar Jorssen
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Email: tamar.jorssen@avitrader.com
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Tamar