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Tuesday, November 9th, 2021

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Embraer unveils the Energia family - four new aircraft concepts en route to 2050 carbon neutrality

Brazilian plane manufacturer Embraer has just unveiled its latest-technology Energia family of four renewable-energy-propulsion aircraft. The concepts are the fruits of Embraer’s collaboration with an international consortium of engineering universities, aeronautical research institutes, and small and medium-sized enterprises in order to better understand energy harvesting, storage, thermal management and their applications where sustainable aircraft propulsion is concerned.

The four aircraft in question vary in size and design, capable of carrying between nine and 50 passengers. The Energia Hybrid with expected technology readiness in 2030 will have hybrid-electric propulsion, reduce CO2 emissions by 90%, will have nine seats and a rear-mounted engine. The Energia Electric will have full electric propulsion, zero CO2 emissions, nine seats, an aft contra-rotating propeller, and will be technology ready by 2035. The Energia H2 Fuel Cell will have hydrogen electric propulsion, zero CO2 emissions, 19 seats, rear-mounted electric engines, and will be technology ready by 2035. The Father of the family is the Energia H2 Gas Turbine with hydrogen or SAF/JetA turbine propulsion, up to 100% CO2 emissions reduction, 35 to 50 seats, twin rear-mounted engines and a technology readiness in 2040.

Currently each of the four aircraft is undergoing evaluation for its technical and commercial viability. While the Energia concepts are still on the drawing board, Embraer has already made advances in reducing its aircraft emissions, having tested drop-in sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), mixes of sugarcane and camelina plant-derived fuel and fossil fuel, on its family of E-Jets. The company is targeting to have all Embraer aircraft SAF-compatible by 2030.

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Astronics reports net loss of US$7.2 million

Astronics Corporation has reported financial results for the three and nine months ended October 2, 2021.

Consolidated sales were up US$5.3 million from the third quarter of 2020. Aerospace sales were up US$13.2 million, or 16.0%, and Test System sales decreased US$7.9 million. Total sales and volume continued to reflect the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global aerospace industry. Supply chain pressures impacted delivery schedules and costs, limiting the company’s ability to respond to accelerated or quick-turn delivery requests from customers and delayed shipments that otherwise would have been made during the quarter. The company estimates that revenue would have been US$8 million to US$10 million higher in the third quarter if its supply chain was functioning normally.

The company was awarded a grant of up to US$14.7 million as part of the Aviation Manufacturing Jobs Protection (AMJP) programme. The grant will be recognised ratably over the six-month period of performance. In the third quarter of 2021, US$1.1 million was recognised as an offset to cost of products sold.

Consolidated operating loss improved measurably over the prior-year period as higher volume reflecting improvements in the commercial aerospace and the benefit of the AMJP helped to offset the impacts of supply chain constraints.

Consolidated net loss was US$7.2 million, compared with net loss of US$5.3 million in the prior year. The prior-year net loss benefitted from a US$3.1 million tax adjustment related to a revised state income tax filing position.

Consolidated adjusted EBITDA was US$2.8 million, or 2.5% of consolidated sales, compared with adjusted EBITDA of US$(0.1) million, or (0.1)% of consolidated sales, in the prior-year period.

Sequentially, compared with the second quarter of 2021, while revenue remained consistent, net loss improved to US$(7.2) million from $US(8.1) million, and adjusted EBITDA improved to US$2.8 million from US$0.4 million.

Bookings were US$153.5 million in the quarter resulting in a book-to-bill ratio of 1.37:1. Backlog at the end of the quarter was US$354.4 million. Approximately US$113.3 million, or 32%, of backlog is expected to ship in the remainder of 2021.

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New Atlantic Strategic Partnership for Advanced All-domain Resilient Operations (ASPAARO) brings together nine companies with world-leading capabilities

Northrop Grumman and Airbus Defence and Space, together with seven industrial players, have established ASPAARO, the Atlantic Strategic Partnership for Advanced All-domain Resilient Operations. ASPAARO will bid to undertake the Risk Reduction and Feasibility Studies (RRFS) for the NATO Support and Procurement Agency as part of the Alliance Future Surveillance and Control (AFSC) programme.

The feasibility studies are a key milestone in the AFSC programme which aims to support NATO and NATO nations as they consider the Alliance’s future tactical surveillance, command and control capabilities after the current Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) fleet reaches the end of its service life in 2035.

Following the delivery of a High-level Technical Concept in 2020 by three of the team members (Airbus, Lockheed Martin and MDA), Airbus continues to support NATO in the concept stage of the AFSC programme together with Northrop Grumman and a strong transatlantic team including Lockheed Martin (US), BAE Systems (UK), KONGSBERG (Norway), MDA (Canada), GMV (Spain), Exence (Poland) and IBM (US).

ASPAARO offers an unparalleled set of skills and capabilities that will address the threats of today and tomorrow and will fulfil the Alliance’s requirements across all domains. The industry team will leverage its multi-domain concepts, advanced technologies and integrated designs to pave the way to a fully interoperable architecture between NATO nations while further driving innovation through combined access, investments and experience.

Northrop Grumman President of Aeronautics Systems Tom Jones emphasised ASPAARO’s focus on the NATO customer’s mission requirements. “ASPAARO brings together the best industrial capabilities across the NATO community to address increasingly vital surveillance and command and control needs. In a rapidly evolving threat environment NATO needs the strategic advantage that advanced surveillance and control provides; ASPAARO is committed to delivering those unmatched capabilities to the NATO AFSC programme.”   

A decision on the contract award for the Risk Reduction and Feasibility Studies for NATO AFSC is expected in 2022.

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Defense Logistics Agency to partner with Boeing for another ten-year supply chain support

The Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) and Boeing have agreed to a follow-on contract for future sustainment support of military services across multiple Boeing platforms, enabling Boeing and DLA to continue support through the extension of existing programmes up to a ceiling value of US$15 billion over 10 years. Boeing will continue to provide an inventory of parts and logistics support and services to maintain nearly every Boeing military platform, including the KC-46 Tanker, AH-64 Apache, F-15, and F/A-18.

This is the second contract under the Boeing Captains of Industry (BCOI) programme, which was stood up in support of DLA’s initiative to create a more efficient defene supply chain. Rather than having thousands of contracts for individual parts, Boeing and DLA collaborate to forecast the need for common parts and components across platforms, which are then pooled under a single contract.

Boeing has a large and diverse global supply chain network supporting both proprietary parts and common consumables for a wide variety of Boeing and non-Boeing platforms and products. Boeing is also utilising its digital capabilities to provide enhanced supply chain solutions. Additionally, Boeing leverages its global distribution business to expand its offerings across commercial and government markets, which requires experience with Federal Aviation Agency rules and procedures – particularly for commercial derivative aircraft like the KC-46.

Since the first BCOI contract was awarded in 2014, the US Government has awarded Boeing more than US$6 billion in supply chain support contracts.

Direct Maintenance to restart line maintenance activities in Africa

Direct Maintenance, a certified line maintenance service provider, part of Magnetic Group, has announced the restart of its line maintenance activities in Africa with the recent re-opening of its line maintenance station in Kilimanjaro International Airport in Tanzania. The line maintenance station was launched due to the maintenance service agreement between Direct Maintenance and Edelweiss, a Swiss leisure travel airline.

Direct Maintenance will be providing line maintenance services  for the airline’s A340 fleet in both Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) and Abeid Amani Karume International Airport  in Zanzibar (ZNZ) and will be performing daily, weekly and transit checks.

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AMETEK MRO Singapore appoints Greg Mariotto as Director of Operations

AMETEK Singapore has appointed Greg Mariotto as Director of Operations, Singapore. Focused on driving the facility to be best-in-class from an operational performance perspective, Mariotto will be responsible for production, engineering, purchasing and quality.

Mariotto foresees a significant focus on the development, implementation and use of lean manufacturing and continuous improvement protocols over the next 12 months.

Mariotto joins AMETEK MRO with more than twenty years’ experience within the aviation MRO sector, most recently with Collins Aerospace and he is a qualified AS9100 and AS9110 trainer.

Boeing projects Asia Pacific commercial aviation market valued at US$6.8 trillion by 2040

Boeing estimates that air travel within Asia Pacific markets will account for nearly half of global air traffic by 2040, driving 20-year demand for 17,645 new airplanes valued at US$3.1 trillion. To support its commercial aviation industry, Asia-Pacific countries also will require aftermarket services valued at US$3.7 trillion. Boeing provided the data in its 2021 Commercial Market Outlook (CMO), the company’s long-term forecast of demand for commercial airplanes and services.

The Asia Pacific region has diverse air travel markets, including mature economies in Northeast Asia and Oceania as well as rapidly growing aviation markets in China, South Asia and Southeast Asia. With the travel recovery enabled by rising COVID-19 vaccination, Asia Pacific carriers are well-positioned to capitalize on recovering business and leisure travel as well as air cargo transportation, according to Boeing.

“We have seen strong resilience in Asia Pacific traffic when restrictions are lifted and passengers feel confident about travel,” said Darren Hulst, Boeing vice president of Commercial Marketing. “Carriers with efficient and versatile fleets will be positioned to meet passenger needs and air freight demand with airplanes that reduce fuel use, emissions and operating costs.”

Boeing’s CMO analysis addresses 20-year demand for the five regions within Asia Pacific: Southeast Asian countries seeing rapid economic growth will also see fleet growth and passenger traffic well above global averages. Low-cost carriers are forecast to expand intra-regional networks with single-aisle jets, while open skies and trade agreements will enable carriers to invest in fuel-efficient widebodies to serve long-haul routes. Southeast Asia is forecast to need 4,465 new airplanes valued at US$765 billion and commercial aviation services valued at US$790 billion by 2040.

In Northeast Asia, mature economies will continue to support a balanced air travel market across domestic, regional and long-haul travel segments. Fleet replacement will account for nearly 75% of new deliveries as airlines look to improve sustainability and fleet versatility. The region is expected to need 1,385 new airplanes valued at US$310 billion as well as services valued at US$555 billion in the next 20 years.

In Oceania, commercial aviation serves as critical transportation infrastructure across long distances and island nations. Domestic and regional travel accounting for 80% of passenger traffic will drive single-aisle demand, while versatile widebody jets such as the 787 Dreamliner will support long-haul and international network development. Oceania is projected to need 785 new jets valued at US$135 billion and services valued at US$165 billion by the end of the forecast period.

Boeing previously released its China CMO forecast. The South Asia forecast will be highlighted in coming months.
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