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Monay, March 7th, 2022

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Jet Aviation Australia sells five Bell 407GXi helicopters to Nautilus Aviation

Jet Aviation Australia has sold five Bell 407GXi helicopters to Nautilus Aviation. As Bell’s independent representative for Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and New Caledonia, Jet Aviation Australia has also been commissioned to customise the five helicopters. Staggered redelivery will commence in late 2022.

Nautilus Aviation is a privately owned helicopter operator in Australia with a mixed turbine fleet of Bell 206, 206L4, 505, 407 and 412EP helicopters. In 2018, it was the first helicopter operator in Asia Pacific to take delivery of the Bell 505.

Aaron Finn, CEO of Nautilus Aviation, said, “Nautilus Aviation has been operating helicopters for more than 25 years. Based on our helicopter fleet and steadfast commitment to the safety of all passengers and personnel, we have earned and developed a reputation for quality. The Bell 407GXi helicopter has great all-round visibility for tourism and we appreciate Bell’s outstanding customer service. After careful consideration of our operational requirements and a commitment to further reduce our environmental footprint, I am confident these new fleet additions will enhance our reputation and position us for growth as the Australian economy continues its recovery from the pandemic.”


Ethiopian Airlines signs MoU with Boeing for five 777-8 Freighters

Ethiopian Airlines has signed a memorandum of Understanding with Boeing, confirming its intent to purchase five of the industry’s latest, fuel-efficient freighters, the Boeing 777-8. The order will enable the African airline to deal with increasing global cargo demand from its Addis Ababa hub and to facilitate future, long-term sustainable growth.

The Boeing 777-8 was only launched in January of this year and has already received 34 firm orders. While the plane may carry virtually the same payload as the 777X family of jets, it operates at 30% better fuel efficiency, emissions and operating costs. At present, Ethiopian Airlines operates nine 777 Freighters, connecting Africa with more than 40 cargo centres throughout Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Americas. Additionally, the company’s fleet includes three 737-800 Boeing Converted Freighters and a combined commercial fleet of more than 80 Boeing jets including 737s, 767s, 787s and 777s.

Jet2 orders CFM LEAP-1A engines to power up to 75 Airbus A321neo aircraft

UK-based Jet2 plc has selected CFM International’s advanced LEAP-1A engines to power its order for up to 75 Airbus A321neo aircraft. The order includes spare engines and a long-term services support agreement. Jet2 plc has been a CFM customer since 2002 and has selected the LEAP engine as part of its fleet renewal strategy.

“The LEAP engine has been demonstrating significant improvements in terms of CO2 and noise emissions that will help us optimize our operations and provide a more comfortable customer experience. We are also going to increase the use of Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF) with the LEAP engine to address our ambitious sustainable goals ” said Philip Meeson, Executive Chairman of Jet2 plc.

CFM’s advanced LEAP-1A engine continues to set new industry standards for fuel efficiency and asset utilisation, logging more than 15 million engine flight hours in commercial operation. The fleet is providing 15% better fuel consumption and lower CO2 emissions, as well as a significant improvement in noise compared to previous generation engines.


SR Technics opens new six-bay hangar in Malta

MRO service provider SR Technics has anounced the opening of a new six-bay hangar including significant back-shop facilities for its Centre of Excellence (CoE) for aircraft maintenance in Malta. This project will enable SR Technics to continuously provide high-quality aircraft maintenance and cabin modification services, now for up to six narrow-body aircraft of the B737 and A320 families simultaneously.

Besides offering new opportunities to customers located within the EMEA region in a very central hub for the aviation industry, SR Technics Malta will eventually employ around 500 highly trained professionals. The SR Technics Centre of Excellence for narrow-body aircraft maintenance in Malta has been offering efficient high-performance maintenance services since 2010 which are based on safety, quality and reliability. The attractive platform combines proven quality and technical excellence with advantageous commercial terms.

AEI receives UK Civil Aviation Authority STC approval for B737-800SF freighter conversion

Aeronautical Engineers (AEI) has released that the UK Civil Aviation Authority has approved AEI’s STC (ST02690LA) for the 12-pallet position B737-800SF freighter conversion. AEI currently has FAA, CAAC, EASA, TCCA, Cayman, Guernsey, and now UK-CAA approvals for its B737-800SF freighter conversion.

The first AEI B737-800SF converted freighter for which this approval will apply just arrived in the UK and will begin operations shortly with an undisclosed customer. This is the first CAA approval that AEI has gained from the UK authorities. In the past when the United Kingdom was part of the European Union, EASA governed STC approvals. However, since Brexit, STC approvals in the United Kingdom are now handled by the UK Civil Aviation Authority.

AEI is currently the only conversion company to have ETOPS 180 approval on the 737-800 freighter conversion. Additionally, AEI can convert all 737-800 line-number aircraft including those with Split Scimitar winglets.

The AEI converted B737-800SF freighter offers a main deck payload of up to 52,700 lbs. (23,904 kg) and incorporates eleven full height 88” x 125” container positions, plus an additional position for an AEP/AEH. The conversion also incorporates new floor beams aft of the wing box, a large 86” x 137” main cargo door with a single vent door system.


ATI Engineering Services orders four Cessna Grand Caravan EX aircraft for Tunisian Air Force

Textron Aviation has been awarded a contract by ATI Engineering Services, for four Cessna Grand Caravan EX aircraft for the Tunisian Air Force.

“The fleet of Grand Caravan EX single-engine turboprops will aid the Tunisian Air Force in intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance operations in the country,” said Bob Gibbs, Vice President, Special Mission Sales for Textron Aviation. “The aircraft is engineered for challenging missions, high payloads and short, unimproved runways, while delivering single-engine economy and simplicity. It is a perfect match for this mission throughout Africa.”

ATI Engineering Services will modify and equip the aircraft with an electro-optical/infra-red sensor, operator console, tactical radio, video data link and night vision compatible lighting. These are the first Cessna Grand Caravan EX aircraft for the Tunisian Air Force.

Since 2014, the US Government has provided grant aid funding for 16 Grand Caravan EX aircraft procured through Foreign Military Sale cases throughout Africa, with Tunisia being the latest recipient. US Africa Command (AFRICOM) intent is to field multiple iterations of this configuration throughout Africa and to streamline logistics support and enhance partner nation interoperability, both of which is expected to reduce costs to the partner nation and to the US Government.

Pratt & Whitney to develop advanced engine in collaboration with Air Force Research Laboratory

The US Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) has awarded Pratt & Whitney a contract for a ground test demonstration programme for a novel architecture using a rotating engine detonation concept to be jointly executed by Pratt & Whitney, Raytheon Missiles & Defense and Raytheon Technologies Research Center.

“Pratt & Whitney’s GATORWORKS was able to complete initial concept development well ahead of schedule and we will continue leveraging our digital and agile capabilities to accelerate progress on this programme,” said Dave Stagney, director of GATORWORKS. “Given the need for this critical engine technology, the Raytheon Technologies team will utilise its advanced resources and expertise to meet the technical objectives in an expeditious fashion.”

The AFRL programme office is a key partner enabling the joint Raytheon Technologies team to work in sprints to mitigate the highest risks for an advanced product while accelerating technology maturation.

“AFRL is excited to work with Pratt & Whitney to advance this novel and military relevant propulsion architecture. Pratt & Whitney has made considerable progress developing this concept to date and we look forward to successfully demonstrating this important technology in collaboration with the RTX team,” said Dr. Michael Gregg, Director, Aerospace Directorate, AFRL.

The engine is being designed to fly at higher Mach speeds which will enable and broaden future vehicle designs and applications and will be a key element of Pratt &Whitney’s high-speed engine portfolio to meet future customer requirements.


Etihad Airways selects Jeppesen FliteDeck Advisor for 787 Dreamliner fleet

Boeing has been selected to provide Etihad Airways with the Jeppesen FliteDeck Advisor digital solution for the carrier’s 787 Dreamliner fleet to optimise operational efficiency and reduce fuel consumption.

Etihad has already found benefits from the use of FliteDeck Advisor. During a trial on several of its 787 Dreamliners, the airline found that the digital solution delivered cruise fuel savings of 1.4%, saving an average of 350 kilogrammes of fuel and 1,100 kilogrammes of CO2 per flight.

“We have been very pleased with the fuel and cost savings we have achieved with FliteDeck Advisor,” said Sulaiman Yaqoobi, vice president of Flight Operations, Etihad Airways. “FliteDeck Advisor was tested as part of the Etihad Greenliner programme and it is great to now see it deployed across the 787 fleet, helping Etihad achieve efficiency gains and reduce CO2 emissions.”

Since 2019, Boeing and Etihad have collaborated on sustainability efforts centred on the airline's 787 Dreamliner fleet, including on Etihad’s participation in Boeing’s ecoDemonstrator programme, where the FliteDeck Advisor solution was initially trialed. In 2021, the two companies renewed and expanded their sustainability alliance to focus on enhancing the efficiency of navigation and flight operations, airframe technologies and sustainable practices to reduce emissions.

Jeppesen FliteDeck Advisor analyses airplane-specific performance metrics for all Boeing aircraft, including changes over time with aircraft age and maintenance action. The tool enables flight crews to make small, real-time adjustments to their course, altitude and speed to optimise fuel use and minimise the carbon footprint of each flight.

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Tamar Jorssen
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