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Wednesday, December 2nd, 2020

Germany’s Condor ends shield proceedings – announces the company is again financially healthy

While remaining an asset of the now defunct Thomas Cook Group, Condor Flugdienst GmbH (Condor) the German charter airline, has announced that it is once again a healthy company.

On September 25, 2019 Condor obtained credit facilities of €380 million (US$460 million) while on December 19, 2019 "Schutzschirmverfahren" (protective shield proceedings) began under the Frankfurt jurisdiction.

"Condor is leaving what is probably the most challenging time in the company's history behind it today and is beginning a new chapter. For our customers and partners, this means that they can continue to rely on Condor," says Ralf Teckentrup, CEO of Condor.

Through numerous cost-cutting measures which came about through the carrier’s restructuring, operations now have a more secure foundation. Operating out of new cost-efficient premises and subsequent to viable collective agreements with several unions, 4,200 jobs are now safer as a result of new-found operational flexibility. "Following the successful restructuring, Condor is now much leaner and more efficient. The airline is in pole position as soon as tourism starts up again," said Prof. Dr. Lucas Flöther, administrator of Condor's protective shield proceedings at its conclusion. "Condor is thus the first company in this industry to have undergone a protective shielding proceeding so successfully. All parties involved have done everything possible to save the company. The whole process was first-class teamwork".


Recaro Aircraft Seating to equip Avolon's A320 and B737NG with BL3530 SPRINT seats

Aircraft lessor Avolon and Recaro Aircraft Seating have signed an order for twenty shipsets of the SPRINT seat, consisting of fifteen shipsets for use on Avolon's A320 aircraft and five shipsets for the B737NG aircraft; the seats will be delivered in the first half of 2021.

To meet the needs of customers with tight aircraft transition schedules, Recaro rolled out the SPRINT program in 2019 as a customer service solution with only two months from order to delivery. The SPRINT program allows customers to select the e-leather cover colour from five pre-defined and pre-certified colours for the BL3530 seat. SPRINT standard configurations are available for Airbus A319, A320, A321 and Boeing 737 aircraft.

Boeing completes autonomous teaming flights

Boeing has completed flight tests with five high-performance surrogate jets operating autonomously in a team at the new Queensland Flight Test Range in Cloncurry, Australia.

Boeing’s advanced autonomy technology, including on-board command and control and data sharing capabilities, were tested using the 3.4-meter (11-foot) aircraft. Testing lasted ten days, with aircraft incrementally added until the five operated together. During testing, the aircraft reached speeds of 270 kilometers (167 miles) per hour.

The activity was the final milestone delivered in partnership with the Queensland government as part of Boeing’s Advanced Queensland Autonomous Systems Platform Technology project. During the project, Boeing has worked with over 90 personnel from a number of small-to-medium enterprises including RFDesigns, Amber Technology, Premier Box, McDermott Aviation and Five Rings Aerospace.

Technology and capabilities proven under this program will form part of the Boeing Airpower Teaming System and future Boeing autonomous platforms.


Kaman expands composite repair to aftermarket through partnership with C&L Aerospace

Kaman Composites – Wichita, an indirect subsidiary of Kaman Corporation, has announced the expansion of its composite repair services to the business jet aftermarket with MRO provider and distributor, C&L Aerospace, a C&L Aviation Group Company of Bangor, Maine.  Kaman Composites named C&L Aerospace its exclusive distributor for composite structural repairs out of its FAA Part 145 Repair Station in Wichita, Kansas. 

“Historically, Kaman Composites has provided structural repair exclusively for military programs,” explained Malissa Nesmith, Senior Director of Business Development for Kaman Composites. “However, this collaboration with C&L expands our repair services into the business aviation aftermarket, which we are looking forward to supporting.”

Kaman Composites and C&L Aerospace will be offering structural repairs for a variety of business jet platforms, including Textron and Bombardier platforms. Last year, Kaman Composites formed the Radome Center of Excellence, which provides not only radome production, but also design and engineering services. Radome repair will be one of the capabilities offered through C&L Aerospace.


Airflow partners with VerdeGo Aero

Airflow, an aerial logistics company building next-generation aircraft and services, has partnered with VerdeGo Aero, an aerospace electric powertrain technology company. They are teaming up to explore using the VerdeGo Aero hybrid-electric powertrain system in the Airflow eSTOL (electric Short Takeoff and Landing) aircraft.

VerdeGo Aero's diesel (Jet-A) hybrid system combines a 180KW generator with a high-power battery pack that reduces emissions and fuel burn by 35% compared to conventional turbine powertrains. Integrating VerdeGo's
hybrid-electric powertrain to the eSTOL platform enhances the aircraft's mission capabilities by extending range to four to ten times that of a battery-electric system.

This partnership shows the advancement of electric propulsion systems for aircraft that will provide long-range capability, reduce turnaround time on the ground, and enable multiple back-to-back missions before refueling or
recharging. Airflow's eSTOL platform will be one of the first electric aircraft designed for aerial logistics, providing a higher payload at a lower cost than eVTOL cargo aircraft.

"Our ability to rapidly move cargo from a warehouse directly to another warehouse helps e-commerce companies centralize inventory and reduce carrying costs. These capabilities are made possible by continued strategic partnerships like VerdeGo Aero," stated Marc Ausman, Airflow CEO.

"VerdeGo Aero is excited to be applying its hybrid-electric powertrain systems for the Airflow eSTOL aircraft. VerdeGo's hybrid powertrain will enable the Airflow eSTOL to play a significant role in cargo and logistics missions around the world." - Eric Bartsch, CEO & Co-founder VerdeGo Aero


EmbraerX and Airservices Australia release concept of operations for Urban Air Mobility

EmbraerX, Embraer’s disruptive business subsidiary, and Airservices, Australia’s civil air navigation service provider, have developed a new concept of operations (CONOPS) for the air taxi market, also known as urban air mobility (UAM). Going forward, Eve Urban Air Mobility Solutions, the new EmbraerX spin-off, will be responsible for this partnership with Airservices and for the development of urban air traffic management solutions.

Australia is one of the countries benefitting from this innovation revolution and is attracting industry interest and investment, largely due to strong government support and a world-leading aviation safety record. This CONOPS was created to help safely introduce and accelerate the growth of the UAM market in Australia.

This CONOPS explores new and practical concepts to safely facilitate the introduction of the air taxi industry. Using the city of Melbourne, Australia as a model, the CONOPS examines how existing air traffic management solutions can initially enable UAM operations while simultaneously preparing for scale of operations through new traffic management technologies.


GA Telesis closes acquisition and sale of five Bell helicopters

GA Telesis (GAT) has closed the acquisition of five Bell helicopters while also concluding the sale of five Bell helicopters. All transactions have been executed by GA Telesis Rotorcraft (GATR).

This is the second portfolio acquisition closed by GATR since its formation in November 2019, with the initial transaction covering seven Bell 206L4 models. The acquisition of the five helicopters consisted of two Bell 206L4 and three Bell 206B3 models.

Concurrent with the purchase transaction, GATR sold the three 206B3s and the other 206L4 helicopters from the acquisition, along with a second 206L4 from GATR’s existing fleet.


British Airway's Queens of the Skies saved for future generations

British Airways' Queens of the Skies will continue to inspire aviation enthusiasts across the U.K. for years to come, after permanent homes have been found for its remaining retro-liveried Boeing 747 aircraft – the last to leave the British Airways fleet.

The aircraft, registrations G-BNLY and G-BYGC, are this month due to depart from British Airways’ engineering base in Cardiff, where they will be waved off by the British Airways engineers who for many years have proudly maintained the 747 fleet. The pair were among several aircraft painted in heritage liveries to mark the airline’s centenary last year.

Adorned in the iconic Landor livery, used between 1984 and 1997, G-BNLY has been given a new lease of life as a permanent exhibit at Dunsfold Aerodrome in Surrey. It will join its sister 747, G-CIVW, which was retired in late October and features the current Chatham Dockyard livery.

G-BYGC, painted in the BOAC ‘Gold Speedbird’ livery used between 1963 and 1974, will make the short journey from Cardiff Airport to the Bro Tathan business park in the Vale of Glamorgan. It will be maintained as a heritage piece by aviation specialists eCube Solutions to showcase the pre-eminent contribution British Airways’ 747 fleet made to U.K. aviation.

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