Tuesday, September 10th, 2019


Blown cargo door sees Boeing halt 777X load testing

Boeing has announced the suspension of load testing for its 777X aircraft after a cargo door exploded outwards during a high-pressure ground stress test, as reported in the Seattle Times. The ‘aircraft’ in question was a static test model used for ground testing and is not intended for flight.

In a statement, Boeing spokesman Paul Bergman said: “During final load testing on the 777X static test airplane, the team encountered an issue that required suspension of the test,” adding that “Overall testing is continuing.” The blown cargo door occurred during a final testing phase that has to be passed in order for the aircraft to obtain certification from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Such testing involves subjecting aircraft to stresses and loads that are well in excess of those likely to be encountered during normal flight conditions. This is a second setback to the timing of the 777X program after problems with the General Electric Co engine saw first flights now delayed until 2020.

According to Boeing, the 777X will be the largest and most efficient twin-engine jet available. The twin-aisle wide-body aircraft will have two models, the 777-8 which can carry 384 passengers in a two-class configuration, and the 777-9 which can carry 426 passengers in a two-class configuration.


Acro’s Series 3ST seats for Onur Air

AerCap has selected Acro’s Series 3ST seat for two A320 aircraft. AerCap, a global leader in aircraft leasing and aviation finance and Acro have a long-standing relationship. Acro has supported the lessor for several years with their seating requirements on a range of aircraft leasing programmes.

On this occasion, AerCap has leased the two A320 aircraft to Turkish low-cost carrier, Onur Air. Based at Istanbul Airport, Onur Air operates its service throughout more than 120 international destinations scheduled and non-scheduled in 25 countries, serving over 100 million passengers since 1992.

IAG traffic and capacity statistics for August 2019

IAG traffic in August increased by 6.6% versus the same period last year, while capacity rose by 4.5% compared to August 2018. The load factor for the month increased 1.7 points to 88.7% compared to the previous year.

TP Aerospace

Qatar Airways to launch direct flights to Luanda, Angola

Qatar Airways will launch its new service to Luanda, Angola, starting March 2020. The service, which operates up to five-times weekly to the capital and largest city of Angola will be operated by a Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft, featuring 22 seats in Business Class and 232 seats in Economy Class, and is the award-winning airline’s first gateway to the African nation.

Perched on the Atlantic coastline, Luanda, offers pristine beaches, sweeping ocean vistas and insight into a rich heritage. This up-and-coming destination is set to become a favourite with travellers looking to combine natural beauty, history and culture with a vibrant urban experience.

Qatar Airways currently operates a modern fleet of more than 250 aircraft via its hub, Hamad International Airport (HIA) to more than 160 destinations worldwide.

Spirit Airlines unveils new, ergonomically designed seats

Spirit Airlines is advancing its promise to invest in the Guest experience by unveiling new, more comfortable seats that provide additional usable legroom. Spirit’s new seats, created by UK-based Acro Aircraft Seating, integrate state-of-the-art design features, including thicker padding, ergonomically designed lumbar support, and additional pre-recline. Middle seats will also gain another inch of width, and every seat will gain nearly an inch of pre-recline compared to Spirit’s current seating configuration, with exit rows adding even more.

Spirit’s new seats, padded with ultra-light weight foam and made of a composite skeleton, will add comfort without increasing weight, maintaining high fuel efficiency on Spirit’s Fit Fleet™. According to ergonomics experts, these innovative enhancements allow for a wider range of healthy postures and movements, offering an additional two inches of usable legroom compared to industry-standard flatback seats with the same pitch. The new, softer seats include a full-size tray table and an elevated literature pocket and are designed in a matte-black color with border stitching in Spirit’s signature yellow. Installation of the new seats will begin in November and continue through 2020 on all new Spirit deliveries.

In addition, Spirit is adding comfort to its Big Front Seats™, making the best value in the sky even better. Spirit’s updated Big Front Seat™ will feature a new ergonomically improved headrest with plush memory foam, additional memory foam in the seat cushion for comfort and thigh support, and sleek Spirit-branded aesthetic with yellow and black stitching. Guest feedback and survey results helped guide these design enhancements with manufacturer HAECO Cabin Solutions.


IBA launches iQ Engines, prescient valuation tool for operators, lessors and the aviation finance industry

IBA, the independent aviation advisory, valuation, and consulting firm has launched iQ Engines. This unique module combines IBA’s deep industry knowledge and values expertise to guide stakeholders on engine values.

Terry Dawson, Managing Director – Digital at IBA, leads the Firm’s data intelligence services and business strategy for the IBA.iQ platform. He comments, “Engines form a substantial proportion of an aircraft’s value ranging from 40 to 50% when new to over 80% when the aircraft reaches sunset stage. The operating life of an engine can be extended with qualified maintenance to restore much of its value; making aircraft engines an attractive and relatively secure investment proposition.”

Having an accurate picture of historical, current and future values is essential for those buying, selling, financing, investing in or operating aircraft engines. The iQ Engines module combines IBA’s core expertise in aircraft and engine appraisals with market and data intelligence to analyse factors that can impact the value of aircraft engines.

IBA.iQ clients can access single engine or portfolio valuations by engine type, thrust and variant.

Financiers and owners expect to be able to closely monitor the value of their assets and want to keep abreast of factors that could impact that value. As Dawson explains, “This module delivers our deep engine valuation expertise to our customers; helping them to understand and track engine values over time. That capability is critical in a range of activities from making strategic
investment/divestment decisions and carrying out market placements, to conducting transaction due diligence and benchmarking asset performance across different engine types. Although valuations do remain relatively stable for popular engine types, major technology changes, performance improvements and maintenance events may result in step changes in value for older variants, and sometimes new models.”

HAECO Group appoints new CEO

HAECO has appointed Frank Walschot as Chief Executive Officer with effect from December 1, 2019. With over 30 years of experience in the aviation industry, Walschot is a recognised industry leader and aviation executive, most recently as Chief Executive Officer at SR Technics.

He has previously worked in the aviation MRO industry in Europe, the United States, Singapore, and Mainland China.

Bombardier MRO

Astronics to provide USB-C in-seat power system for EL AL Airline’s Boeing 737-800 fleet

EL AL Airlines, Israel’s national carrier, has successfully completed the first of 15 installations of Astronics’ newest EmPower® in-seat power system. Astronics was selected to provide the modern and high power passenger electronic device (PED) charging technology available for EL Al’s Boeing 737-800 fleet.

EL AL is installing a combination EmPower outlet unit featuring both USB Type-A and USB Type-C connectors in the economy class cabin seating. With power delivery capability of up to 60W, the USB-C connector will power and charge the latest customer PEDs, including smartphones, tablets and USB-C equipped laptops. Additionally, EL AL is installing Astronics’ 110VAC and USB outlets in its business class cabins.

Mesa gives Mitsubishi Aircraft major boost for SpaceJet M100 program

Mitsubishi Aircraft has announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Mesa Airlines for an order of up to 100 of the newly branded SpaceJet M100 76-seat regional aircraft, previously known as the MRJ100 in a 70-seat configuration.

The MoU was signed at the annual Regional Airline Association held in Nashville between September 4 and September 7 and calls for Mitsubishi Aircraft and Mesa Airlines To “commence formal negotiations for the purchase .” The deal proposes a firm order for 50 of the Pratt & Whitney PW1200 geared turbofan-powered aircraft and obtaining purchase rights for a further 50. Deliveries would be expected to commence in 2024.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries announced earlier this year that it had acquired the Bombardier CRJ program for US$550 million in cash and US$200 in assumed liabilities. The deal was seen as a major fillip for the beleaguered MRJ program which has been continuously beset by delays. “Mesa Airlines’ selection of the SpaceJet M100 confirms that our aircraft fulfils current and future needs in this industry, and that airlines are ready to move our discussions forward," commented Mitsubishi Aircraft president Hisakazu Mizutani. “With its large cabin, comfort, new technology and low operating costs, the Mitsubishi SpaceJet M100 can deliver this premium experience within US scope clause," said Mesa chief executive Jonathan Ornstein. Mesa Airlines is part of the Mesa Group and is a major U.S. regional carrier headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona with a combined fleet of 144 Bombardier and Embraer aircraft operating under the names of United Express and American Eagle.


Liebherr-Aerospace on Board VRT-500

Liebherr-Aerospace has signed an agreement with VR-Technologies, a subsidiary of Russian Helicopters, to be the supplier of the environmental control system for their new civil helicopter VRT-500.

The agreement to supply the light single-engine multi-purpose VRT-500 helicopter with the environmental control system includes the cooling system as well. VR-Technologies
anticipates the VRT-500’s breadth of application to be quite diverse – from private use, taxing, tourism, news/media and logistics all the way to rescue and ambulance services.

The forecast for deliveries of the VRT-500 is quite solid. The helicopter was first revealed to the world in 2018. Liebherr-Aerospace is proud to share the news that they will partner with VR-Technologies“ which channels the proven expertise in developing helicopters with today`s market demands.


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MRO Europe
October 15 - 17, 2019 – ExCel London, London, UK

Advanced Engineering 2019
October 30 - 31, 2019 – NEC, Birmingham, UK

EyeforTravel Revenue Optimization and Marketing Summit
November 26 - 27, 2019 – Hotel Novotel Amsterdam City, Amsterdam, NL

Manufacturing World
February 26 - 18, 2020 – Makuhari Messe, Chiba-city, Japan