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Wednesday, May 26th, 2021

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SMBC orders 14 more 737 MAXs – expands MAX portfolio to 121 jets

As airlines adjust to the return to air travel, SMBC Aviation Capital (SMBC) has confirmed it has ordered 14 further 737-8 jets from Boing Co.

"We are pleased to have concluded an agreement with Boeing for the purchase of 14 low-cost-carrier-configured 737 MAX aircraft which is an aircraft we are seeing increased customer demand for following its successful return to service," said Peter Barrett, CEO of SMBC Aviation Capital.

Including these 14 jets, SMBCs portfolio of MAX-family jets has been extended to 121 aircraft. The 737-8, a 737MAX variant, is proving a popular choice with carriers as a single-aisle jet which reduces fuel use and CO2 emissions by up to 16%, as well as lowering operating costs. In the first quarter of 2021, SMBC delivered 13 of the 737-8 variant to customers, including 11 to Southwest Airlines in the U.S. and two to TUI in Europe.

"SMBC has been actively managing its portfolio in a very dynamic market. With this new order for the fuel-efficient 737-8, the lessor is well positioned to help its customers capture domestic travel demand in several countries and regions," said Ihssane Mounir, Boeing senior vice president of Commercial Sales and Marketing. According to Boeing, this SMBC purchase follows recent orders and commitments from Alaska Airlines, Southwest Airlines, and United Airlines, with the total number of gross orders and commitments for 737 MAX-family aircraft this year now above 250 airplanes.

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Honeywell, Denso ascend into urban air mobility with expanded alliance

DENSO, a leading mobility supplier, has signed a long-term agreement with Honeywell, establishing an alliance focused on electric propulsion units to meet new aerospace needs. Drawing from their automotive and aerospace backgrounds, the companies will develop and manufacture electric propulsion systems for aircraft, initially prioritizing the urban air mobility (UAM) segment with a focus on air taxis and delivery vehicles.

Honeywell and Denso are in advanced discussions with current and prospective customers and intend to deliver flight test configurations of the electric propulsion systems within the next year. This focus on electrified power sources will not only help the companies fulfill UAM’s promise of providing cleaner, safer, more efficient, quieter and freer-moving transportation in and between cities, but also strengthen each company’s efforts to achieve carbon neutrality by 2035.

The formal alliance follows the companies’ initial teaming agreement in 2019. DENSO’s ability to produce quality components at mass scale paired with Honeywell’s storied aerospace expertise make for an alliance ready to take UAM to new heights. Additionally, the alliance’s electric propulsion systems will integrate seamlessly with Honeywell’s fly-by-wire, avionics and actuation systems, extracting the most thrust and lift from every watt of electricity.

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Embraer presents ERJ 145 semi-private jet aftermarket modification

Embraer has developed a semi-private configuration for ERJ 145 jets as an aftermarket solution, which includes premium seats for the utmost comfort to passengers. The conversion will be possible through a supplemental type certificate (STC), currently under development by Embraer, and all ERJ 145 are eligible to be converted to a semi-private aircraft.

“Embraer constantly assesses customer needs to offer innovative solutions and support new market requirements, which is why we developed the new semi-private conversion,” said Marsha Woelber, Head of Worldwide Executive Jets Customer Support & Aftermarket Sales, Embraer Service & Support. “We have identified this opportunity given the growing number of aircraft with semi-private interiors, which have doubled in two years, from 21 in 2019 to more than 40 in 2021. With the pandemic, we believe this number will increase even more.”

The 50-seater ERJ 145 aircraft can now be configured from 16 to 28 premium seats with one seat configuration on each side of the aisle, increasing social distancing and comfort. Other features are a flat floor and the removal of the overhead bins, which widen passengers’ personal space. The full conversion process can be performed at Embraer Owned Service Centers.

Embraer is targeting passengers who usually travel first class and may require more suitable flight options. The ERJ 145 semi-private jet allows these customers to avoid main crowded airports and save time, providing a premium experience to the passengers who will board from and disembark at a private terminal.

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Garmin International acquires Scottsdale-based AeroData

Garmin® International, a unit of Garmin, has announced the acquisition of AeroData, a privately held provider of aircraft performance software and services tailored to commercial and business aviation. AeroData’s portfolio includes products such as runway analysis, takeoff, and en route performance, weight and balance, automated passenger and cargo load planning, global airport obstacle database, around-the-clock NOTAM monitoring, and other customized software solutions.

One of the largest aircraft performance, load planning, and weight and balance providers for air transport aircraft, AeroData serves more than 135 airlines worldwide with continued expansion underway. Offering performance data to more than 70% of airline flights in North America, AeroData supports all major commercial aircraft including Airbus, ATR, Boeing, Bombardier and Embraer.

Headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona, AeroData will continue to operate from that location under the AeroData brand. Financial terms of the acquisition have not been disclosed.

GA Telesis Engine Services appoints new managing director

GA Telesis Engine Services OY (GATES), the engine heavy maintenance unit of global aviation integrator GA Telesis, has appointed Carsten Holm as Managing Director. Holm will be responsible for operational and P&L results for the GATES operation in Finland while also overseeing regulatory compliance. Before being named Managing Director, Holm was GATES' Chief Operating Officer, driving production, engineering, and planning processes.

He joined GA Telesis in 2015, holding several positions of increasing responsibility, including Chief Commercial Officer and Vice President of Technical. Prior to joining GATES, he gained extensive experience with management and technical positions at the Danish cargo airline, Star Air.

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Airbus performs first five-bladed H145 retrofit of DRF Luftrettung helicopter

Airbus Helicopters, in cooperation with DRF Luftrettung, has performed the first retrofit of a four-bladed H145 helicopter into the new five-bladed version. The helicopter, an H145 of the German HEMS operator, was first delivered in 2018 and will be deployed at DRF’s base in Villingen-Schwenningen, Germany.

The upgrade to the five-bladed version can be performed by every Part145 maintenance organization by following the associated service bulletin issued by Airbus Helicopters. It consists in exchanging the rotor system, updating the helicopter’s Helionix avionics suite and installing a new horizontal stabilizer.

The innovative five-blade bearingless rotor increases the useful load and further enhances the mission capabilities of the aircraft, while eliminating rotor hub maintenance.

Vortex Aviation appoints Mitch Schuldiner as Director of Operations for Davie, Florida engine shop

Vortex Aviation, the global On-Wing and quick-turn turbine engine repair organization has appointed Mitch Schuldiner as Director of Operations for its Davie, Florida engine shop.

Schuldiner is an aviation industry veteran who brings over 30 years of experience to Vortex Aviation. His contribution further strengthens the company's leadership team as it provides innovative engine on-wing and quick-turn repair services to a diverse customer base.

As the Director of Operations, he will provide operational oversight of on-wing and off-wing maintenance, repair, and troubleshooting at the Davie, Florida engine shop ensuring continuous production of services is consistent with established standards and applicable regulatory requirements.
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