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Tuesday, January 26th, 2021

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Frontier Airlines selects P&W engines to power 134 Airbus A320neo Family aircraft

Frontier Airlines has selected Pratt & Whitney GTF engines to power its 134 Airbus A320neo family aircraft. The engines will power 49 A320neo, 67 A321neo and 18 A321XLR aircraft, with the first of these aircraft currently scheduled for delivery in 2022. Pratt & Whitney will also provide Frontier with engine maintenance through a long-term EngineWise® Comprehensive service agreement.

Headquartered in Denver, Colorado, Frontier Airlines is a portfolio airline of Indigo Partners. The airline is a first-time Pratt & Whitney customer and will operate their GTF-powered A320neo family aircraft on domestic and international routes in North America.

The other three airlines affiliated with Indigo Partners – Volaris in Mexico, JetSMART in Chile, and Wizz Air in Hungary – are all long-time Pratt & Whitney customers which operate both A320ceo family aircraft with V2500® engines and A320neo family aircraft with GTF engines. Together, the four Indigo Partners' affiliate airlines have committed to 539 GTF-powered aircraft.

IAI signs deals to supply Heron MK II UAV systems to Asian country

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has signed two deals, one to sell and one to lease two Heron MKII UAV systems to a central Asian country. The systems include reconnaissance payloads, Heron MK II drones and land arrays.

The Heron MK II reaches an altitude of 35,000 feet, maximum speed of 140 knots, and can stay in the air for up to 45 hours. Thanks to improved production technologies, the Heron MK II has a wider and stronger chassis enabling quick and easy maintenance without affecting the UAV’s net weight. The UAV enables the use of new configurations and has a long-range reconnaissance sensor and radar. It can carry a range of additional payloads like COMINT and ELINT equipment.

The UAV’s outstanding characteristic is its standoff capability, i.e. the capability of gathering intelligence on targets from a long distance (dozens of miles) with no need to cross borders, thanks to its ability to carry larger, improved sensors. In addition, the Heron MK II boasts improved avionics and an improved and reinforced engine.

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Swansea University and Faradair Aerospace strengthen relationship for U.K. aerospace revival

Swansea University and Faradair Aerospace are to expand their relationship with the British company’s commitment to bring back large-scale aircraft production to the U.K. and deliver 300 home-designed, sustainable aircraft for regional air mobility and special missions by 2030.  The enhanced collaboration will see the University’s Bay Campus become a training ground for engineers and interns as Faradair develops new technologies for use on its clean-sheet Bio Electric Hybrid Aircraft (BEHA). 

Neil Cloughley, Founder and CEO of Faradair said. “Swansea has been part of this program for four years now and we are delighted to reinforce our position in  making Swansea a long-term partner of this world-leading aviation initiative, and thus Wales, a long-term partner in BEHA’s success.  We plan to have 30 engineers based at the Bay Campus working on BEHA developments by the end of 2021 and there will be opportunities for undergraduate and postgraduate students also.”

The widened partnership with Swansea University follows Faradair’s announcement in December that it had attracted a strong consortium of global partners for the BEHA*, an aircraft specifically designed for low cost, quiet, environmentally friendly flight - qualities that enable it to deliver Air Mobility as a Service (AMaaS) for all.

In line with U.K. Government ambitions for sustainable air transport, the British-designed and built BEHA will emerge in hybrid electric/ turbine configuration, but engineered for evolution into a fully electric net zero commercial aircraft when power generation technology delivers the power density levels required for an 18-seat utility aircraft.

The ambition is to deliver an initial portfolio of 300 Faradair-owned BEHAs between year 2026 and 2030. Of these, 150 aircraft will be built in firefighting configuration, 75 as quick change (QC, passenger to cargo) aircraft, deployed at general aviation airfields globally, and 50 as pure freighters. The final 25 aircraft will be demonstrated in non-civilian government roles, including logistics, border and fisheries patrol, and drug interdiction.

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S7 Technics’ volume of maintenance work increased 2.5% in 2020

At the end of the 2020, S7 Technics specialists have performed 413 A-Checks and 84 C-Checks which is an increase of 2.5% compared to 2019. In 2020, the company's technical specialists spent 2.035 million standard hours, which is 5.5% less than in 2019, due to a decrease in the number of linear forms performed due to the limitations associated with the pandemic.

Specialists of the engine repair shop repaired and handed to customers over 21 engines, some of them were repaired by specialists of the engine repair shop on the provider’s base at  Mineralnye Vody.

During 2020, S7 Technics has restructured its operations, focusing on the most popular services among customers: base maintenance, engineering services and redelivery checks. These measures helped to evenly distribute the loading of hangars, since a large amount of base maintenance was performed during the summer period, when the intensity of fleet operation by airlines was reduced. Over the past year, S7 Techniques specialists have completed 11 redelivery-checks.

Working in the new environment also led to an internal reallocation of engineering and technical specialists to the most relevant areas of work. The measures taken made it possible not only to avoid cuts in production staff, but also to recruit qualified specialists, while other companies reduced the number of staff to minimize costs.

RwandAir opts for TRAX eMRO

RwandAir has decided in favor of eMRO software to implement a complete, user-friendly, and web-based solution. RwandAir is the flag carrier airline of Rwanda. It operates domestic and international services to East Africa, Central Africa, West Africa, Southern Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia, from its main base at Kigali International Airport. The airline has passenger air transportation as its core activity, supplemented by air cargo services. RwandAir has a mixed fleet of 12 aircraft that includes Airbus A330s, Boeing 737NGs, Bombardier CRJ-900NGs, and DHC-8 Q400s.

eMRO is a leading-edge device-agnostic application designed to cater to virtually every aspect of aircraft maintenance and fleet management. Deployed via any web browser, this technology lets users stay connected no matter where they are. Through this application, maintenance operations can be managed from a desktop or remotely from a phone or tablet. eMRO is a fully integrated product which allows complete information flow between the modules throughout the system.

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U.K. government signs £30 million contract with Sprint for fighter drone project

As part of a major £1.5 billion investment in military research and development, the U.K. government has signed a £30 million design and manufacture contract with the Belfast arm of Sprint AeroSystems for an unmanned fighter drone. In 2020 the U.S. group acquired the former business in Northern Ireland from Bombardier. The deal is to include a full-scale vehicle flight-test program by 2023.

According to the British government, the drones will be manufactured to act as a “loyal wingman” to the RAF’s Typhoon jets, capable of shooting down enemy aircraft. The program will also include the U.K. unit of Northrop Grumman, an American global aerospace and defense technology company, and if the initial phase of the project is successful, it is anticipated that the drones will be deployed alongside fighter jets by the end of the decade. (£1.00 = US$1.37 at time of publication.)
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Tamar Jorssen
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Email: tamar.jorssen@avitrader.com
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Tamar