Wednesday, October 2nd, 2019

Singapore likely venue for Volocopter’s commercial launch

Volocopter, the Bruchsal, Germany-headquartered aircraft manufacturer specializing in electric multirotor helicopters, has announced that Singapore is now the forerunning venue for its commercial launch.

Volocopter is an 18-rotor drone electric air taxi developed with the intention of providing the capability of a short-hop air taxi service which will prove a viable option at the same price as a limousine ride. The company’s principal hurdles to date have been a lack of infrastructure, regulation and safety concerns. In addition, Singapore currently lacks helipads, while strict rules concerning the flying of drones will also need to be resolved. Volocopter hopes to conduct public test flights in conjunction with Singapore regulators within the next few months, while it is also eyeing up similar operating opportunities in Dubai and Germany.

The current time schedule for the provision of a fully operational air taxi service is within a period of two to three years. Backed by Daimler, Intel and Chinese car maker Greely, which each hold a ten percent stake in the company, Volocopter has so far recorded over 1,000 test flights, some human-operated and others remotely or autonomously operated. Singapore has attracted Volocopter through its proactive attitude towards autonomous vehicles; currently it plans to operate unmanned buses in three of its districts beginning 2022.

Speaking to Reuters news agency, joint Volocopter founder Alexander Zosel said: “For the commercial routes, we have two customers profiles: one is a business customer, so perhaps from the airport to the business centre, or for tourists flying from Marina Bay to Sentosa.” Marina Bay is Singapore’s business district and Sentosa is its popular resort island.

SR Technics

ST Engineering completes acquisition of Newtec Group NV

Singapore Technologies Engineering (ST Engineering) announced that further to its announcement made on March 27, 2019, its subsidiary Singapore Technologies Engineering (Europe) has completed the acquisition of a 100% ownership in Newtec Group NV (Newtec) following the fulfilment of completion conditions, including the receipt of applicable regulatory approvals.

This Newtec acquisition, together with the recent acquisition of Glowlink Communications Technology, which possesses advanced satellite communications anti-jamming technology, will enable ST Engineering to harness their unique capabilities to create a highly differentiated global satcom business group. ST Engineering is now in a stronger position to lead in innovation and the transformation of the satcom industry to enable Smart Cities globally.

To drive higher brand visibility, Newtec will be renamed as ST Engineering iDirect (Europe) NV.

Airbus inaugurates new A320 structure assembly line in Hamburg

Airbus has inaugurated its highly automated fuselage structure assembly line for A320 Family aircraft in Hamburg, showcasing an evolution in Airbus’ industrial production system.
With a special focus on manufacturing longer sections for the A321LR, the new facility features 20 robots, a new logistics concept, automated positioning by laser measurement as well as a digital data acquisition system. These will further support Airbus’ drive to improve both quality and efficiency while bringing an enhanced level of digitalisation to its industrial production system.

For the initial section assembly, Airbus is using a modular, lightweight automated system, called “Flextrack”, with eight robots drilling and counter-sinking 1,100 to 2,400 holes per longitudinal joint. In the next production step, 12 robots, each operating on seven axes, combine the center and aft-fuselage-sections with the tail to form one major component, drilling, counter-sinking, sealing and inserting 3,000 rivets per orbital joint.

Besides the use of robots, Airbus is also implementing new methods and technologies in material and parts logistics to optimise production, improve ergonomics and shorten lead times. This includes the separation of logistics and production levels, demand-oriented material replenishment as well as the use of autonomous guided vehicles.

The Hamburg structure assembly facility is responsible for joining single fuselage shells into sections, as well as final assembly of single sections to aircraft fuselages. Aircraft parts are equipped with electrical and mechanical systems before eventually being delivered to the final assembly lines in France, Germany, China and the U.S.


CAE inaugurates new commercial aviation training centers in London Gatwick and Manchester

CAE has inaugurated two new CAE training centers in the United Kingdom -London Gatwick and Manchester- to support the start of its 10-year exclusive pilot training agreement with easyJet announced in November 2018, as well as the growing training needs of airlines in Europe. A third training center will be inaugurated in Milan, Italy, on October 10. CAE also recently expanded its Barcelona, Spain, training center.

“These new training centres and our expansion in Europe underscore the important role that CAE plays in helping the industry build and grow a strong pipeline of professional pilots. We thank our partners for their continued trust, and we look forward to welcoming their pilots at our state-of-the-art facilities,’’ said Marc Parent, CAE’s President and CEO. “The start of training at the new CAE London Gatwick and CAE Manchester centers is an important milestone marking the growth of CAE’s global network to 59 civil aviation training centers and flight academies. Through the long-term agreement with easyJet, and training partnerships with Virgin Atlantic, BA CityFlyer, Norwegian, TUI UK, LOT Polish Airlines and SAS Ireland to name but a few, CAE continues to be further recognized as the training partner of choice for airlines in Europe and around the world.’’

Boeing to sharpen company focus on product and services safety

Boeing Chairman, President and CEO Dennis Muilenburg has announced several immediate actions he is taking to strengthen the company's enduring commitment to product and services safety.

The actions follow recent recommendations from the Boeing Board of Directors that were the result of a five-month independent review of the company's policies and processes for the design and development of its airplanes by a specially appointed committee, initiated by Muilenburg following the Lion Air Flight 610 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 737 MAX accidents. Recommendations from the Committee on Airplane Policies and Processes—supported by extensive outreach to internal and external experts—focused on further improving safety throughout the company and the broader aerospace ecosystem.

In addition to the previously announced permanent Aerospace Safety Committee of the Boeing Board of Directors, Muilenburg shared that Boeing is standing up a new Product and Services Safety organization that will further strengthen the company's safety-first focus. This organization will unify safety-related responsibilities currently managed by teams across several Boeing business and operating units.

The team will be led by Vice President of Product and Services Safety Beth Pasztor, who will report jointly to the Boeing Board of Directors Aerospace Safety Committee and Greg Hyslop, Boeing chief engineer and senior vice president of Engineering, Test & Technology. The organization will bring together teams across Boeing—and external talent where needed—to elevate awareness and
reporting of, and accountability for, safety issues within the company, further improving enterprise-wide product and services safety .

Pasztor, a 34-year Boeing veteran, previously served as vice president of Safety, Security & Compliance for Boeing Commercial Airplanes, where she was responsible for integrating product safety and regulatory compliance actions and initiatives.

The organization is responsible for reviewing all aspects of product safety, including investigating cases of undue pressure and anonymous product and service safety concerns raised by employees. Pasztor also will oversee the company's Accident Investigation Team and safety review boards, in addition to the enterprise Organization Designation Authorization—the company's engineering and technical experts who represent the Federal Aviation Administration in airplane certification


SGS acquires majority stake in ARGUS International

SGS, the certification, verification, and inspection company, has acquired a majority stake in ARGUS International. The acquisition aims to strengthen SGS’ aviation auditing and consulting services and increase market penetration through the organizations leveraged synergies.

“ARGUS is a globally recognized brand name in the airline, business aviation, fixed-wing, and rotary engine markets. Its broad client base and international activities will help SGS grow and keep pace with the increasing global demand of air traffic and safety”, said Frankie Ng, CEO of SGS.

ARGUS International, PRISM, and ARGUS PROS will continue to operate as distinctive businesses within SGS’ Certification and Business Enhancement (CBE) business unit.

Embraer Praetor 500 receives EASA and FAA approval

Embraer’s new Praetor 500 midsize business jet was granted its Type Certificate by EASA (European Union Aviation Safety Agency) and by the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration). The Praetor 500 received regulatory approval from Brazil’s Civil Aviation Authority (ANAC—Agência Nacional de Aviação Civil) in August, less than a year after having been announced in October 2018 at NBAA-BACE.

The Praetor 500 surpassed its certification goals achieving an intercontinental range of 3,340 nautical miles (6,186 km—NBAA IFR Reserves with four passengers), a high-speed cruise of 466 KTAS, a full-fuel payload of 1,600 lb (726 kg), a takeoff distance of only 4,222 ft (1,287 m) and an unfactored landing distance of 2,086 ft (636 m). For a 1,000-nautical-mile mission, the take-off distance is a mere 2,842 ft (867 m).


CAVU Aerospace acquires two Boeing 747-400 aircraft

CAVU Aerospace has acquired two Boeing ex United Airlines 747-400 aircraft, N104UA MSN 26902 and N116UA MSN 26908, for dismantle. The dismantling of the airframes has begun.

"We are committed to increasing value by delivering quality material to the aftermarket with accurate documentation” said CAVU Aerospace Founding Partner, Ken Kocialski. He continued, "the
acquisition of these aircraft enhances our material service offering to continue to support the 747 market.”

Once material is removed from the aircraft it will be inspected on-site and will enter into the CAVUSmartTags™ removal tag system. This assures that documentation is accurate and allows for real-time visibility of the assets.

After repair and overhaul, the material will be available to end users on an exchange as well as outright basis. In the very near future, CAVU Aerospace will increase its offering with the opening of its CAVU Component Repair Facility in Mesa, Arizona.

Saudi Arabian Airlines takes delivery of first 787-10 Dreamliner

Saudi Arabian Airlines (SAUDIA) has taken delivery of its first 787-10 Dreamliner from Boeing. The new aircraft will play a key role in the airline’s fleet and network expansion. The largest member of the Dreamliner family sets the benchmark for fuel efficiency and operating economics and will complement SAUDIA’s fleet of 787-9.

In addition to the 787-10, SAUDIA operates 13 787-9 Dreamliner airplanes, and 33 777-300ER (Extended Range) jets.

GA Telesis

737 MAX grounding hits flydubai first half 2019 financial results hard

Dubai’s state-owned carrier, flydubai, has announced that the continued grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX has put the carrier under unprecedented financial pressure, resulting in a January-to-June loss of US$53.6 million.

Prior to the grounding, flydubai had anticipated expanding its current fleet of aircraft to 62, but instead this will only grow to 43 this year. flydubai is one of the largest 737 MAX customers with 14 of the currently grounded jets out of an existing order of 250. When the 737 MAX was first grounded, the airline’s chairman indicated that it would turn to Airbus for replacements. However, Chief Executive Ghaith al-Ghaith, issued a statement saying: “We are in ongoing discussions with Boeing, as our long-standing partner, to resolve the unprecedented nature of this grounding and the significant impact it has had on our business and growth strategy.”

Having posted a loss of US$43.6 million last year following a first-half loss of US$86 million, the carrier was optimistic of returning to profitability this year, prior to the 737 MAX debacle. The current six-month loss is a 38% reduction when compared to the first half of 2018, while total revenue remains unchanged from the same six-month period at US$759 million. ASKM was reported at 12,877 million; down 14.9% compared to the period ending 30 June 2018. Passenger numbers dropped to 5 million during the first six months of the reporting period; a decrease of 7.5% as a result of the reduction in capacity.


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

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