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Wednesday, March 9th, 2022

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Fortescue Future Industries and Airbus join forces to focus on zero-emissions green hydrogen

It has been announced that green hydrogen company Fortescue Future Industries (FFI) and Airbus have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) whereby the two companies will focus on the implementation of green hydrogen as a fuel within the aviation industry. The target is to see a green hydrogen-based aircraft enter into service by 2035.

Unlike ordinary hydrogen currently being used for aircraft propulsion units, green hydrogen is made from water using 100% renewable electricity. Part of the work will focus on green hydrogen regulations, infrastructure and global supply chains – from the production of green hydrogen, right through to its delivery to airports and transfer onto aircraft.

According to the MoU, FFI will provide cost outlook and technology drivers on the various elements of the supply chain and will build infrastructure deployment scenarios for the supply of green hydrogen to targeted airports. Airbus will provide characteristics on fleet energy usage, scenarios for hydrogen demand in aviation, refuelling specifications and aviation regulatory framework.

“The time is now for a green revolution in the aviation industry. This exciting collaboration brings together leaders in the aviation industry with leaders in green energy for a pollution-free future,” said FFI founder and Chairman, Dr Andrew Forres. Airbus Vice President of Zero Emissions Aircraft Glenn Llewellyn said, “the future of air travel is green,” adding that “Airbus has identified green hydrogen as the most promising option for decarbonisation to meet our environmental challenges. You heard it here first: We are starting the green aviation revolution.”

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AACC partners with Safran to develop commercial aircraft and military rotary landing gears MRO capabilities

Saudi Aircraft Accessories and Components Company (AACC), a subsidiary of Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI), has announced the signing of a four-year partnership agreement with Safran Landing Systems to expand its maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) capabilities to offer commercial aircraft and military rotary landing gears overhaul services in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

As one of the largest MRO service providers in the Middle East, AACC currently offers landing gear MRO services for F-15, C-130 and Typhoon military fixed wing aircraft. Thanks to this partnership with Safran Landing Systems, AACC will significantly enhance its MRO capabilities in the Gulf region.

In addition to contributing to the MRO development in the Kingdom, the strategic partnership will lead to the creation of new quality jobs for Saudis and the transfer of new skills and knowledge, as well as generating additional business in France and the United Kingdom.

This contract will also benefit from Landing LifeTM, the support and services offer, which covers all Safran Landing Systems' after-sales business and aims.

STAT MedEvac orders ten new Airbus H135 helicopters

STAT MedEvac has committed to ordering ten new H135 helicopters as part of a fleet renewal initiative for its air medical operations. STAT’s total Airbus fleet, a mix of H135 and H145-family aircraft, operates out of 18 bases.

STAT MedEvac has flown Airbus helicopters since commencing operations in 1985 and has a longstanding history with the H135 family – it was the first air ambulance programme in North America to operate the EC135 in 1997, the first single-pilot IFR programme with an EC135 in US. Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS), the launch customer of the latest H135 variant in North America and the launch customer of the Helionix-equipped version in 2019.  The Pennsylvania-based critical care transport provider is the clinical arm for the Center for Emergency Medicine of Western Pennsylvania and is also the largest single branded, non-profit medical transport system in the Eastern United States.

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Former CEO of Airbus Defence & Space becomes new CEO of Volocopter

Dirk Hoke, former CEO of Airbus Defence & Space, has been named as Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Volocopter, the pioneer of urban air mobility (UAM) by the company’s Advisory Board, starting September 2022. He will follow Florian Reuter, who has led Volocopter from a five-person start-up to a 500-strong global company with unicorn status over the past seven years.

Hoke brings extensive experience in leading big tech entities within Airbus and Siemens from a technical, strategic and commercial side. His strong track record in transformation and digitalisation made him the candidate of choice. Volocopter makes the dream of electric flight in cities come true and aims to be the first UAM developer to go to market.

DHL Group continues fleet modernisation, acquiring more 777 Freighters

DHL Express has placed an order for six additional 777 Freighters with Boeing. The purchase takes DHL Express' order book total to 28 777 Freighters since it placed its first direct order in 2018.

"With the order of six new, large wide-body freighter aircraft, we continue to invest in our future and further enhance the capability and reach of our global air network. The Boeing 777 Freighter is the most fuel-efficient aircraft in its class and will connect DHL's global hubs in Cincinnati, Leipzig and Hong Kong as well as serving other key markets," said Geoff Kehr, Senior Vice President, Global Air Fleet Management, DHL Express.

The 777 Freighter improves fuel efficiency and reduces CO2 emissions by 17% compared to legacy airplanes. DHL Express has taken delivery of 15 777 Freighters to date.

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Sikorsky, United Rotorcraft prepare for S-70™ FIREHAWK® helicopter demand

Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company, and United Rotorcraft, a division of Air Methods Corporation, have signed a marketing teaming agreement that formalises how both companies will collaborate to meet growing global interest in the S-70™ FIREHAWK® helicopter. The agreement will enable the team to identify demand and more quickly build and configure new production FIREHAWK helicopters for government agencies worldwide that require a highly effective solution to attack increasingly deadly wildland fires.  

The agreement will allow United Rotorcraft to contract for bulk orders of S-70 Black Hawk® aircraft, much as it did in August 2021 with an initial five-aircraft order from Sikorsky. Four of the five aircraft will arrive at United Rotorcraft’s Englewood, Colorado completions facility this year from the S-70 production line at PZL Mielec, a Lockheed Martin company in Poland. The first aircraft of the bulk order will be modified to the FIREHAWK configuration for delivery in 2023 to the State of Colorado.

An S-70 BLACK HAWK aircraft becomes a FIREHAWK helicopter when United Rotorcraft adds a 1,000-gallon (3,785-liter) water tank system, a raised landing gear (to accommodate the tank) and associated integrated avionics, a process that typically takes six months. United Rotorcraft has been the FIREHAWK completion teammate of Sikorsky since the late 1990s working closely with Sikorsky and first customer County of Los Angeles Fire Department, which today operates two S-70i™ and three S-70A™ FIREHAWK aircraft. Other operators include CAL FIRE and the City of San Diego Fire-Rescue.

United Rotorcraft recently introduced a digital control mode that gives either pilot greater control of water released to suit the type of fire, and in 2023 will offer both the currently available aluminium tank and a new lightweight, composite tank option.

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Aero Controls adds 777 flap transmissions repair capability

Aero Controls continues to expand Boeing 777 component repair capabilities with the addition of the SB 777-27A0123 flap transmissions repair which includes inspection and replacement of the ratchet pawls.

Customers may provide the top kits PN 005W0134-1 and Aero Controls will provide the labour to repair, service and test the units. In the event there is suspect damage to the pawls, further inspection and additional repairs may occur and the services will be charged on a time and material basis. Average turn time is 10 days.

Vega Offshore utilises Rusada’s ENVISION

Romanian Oil & Gas operator Vega Offshore has chosen Rusada’s ENVISION software to manage its airworthiness and maintenance operations and is now fully live on the system.

Vega Offshore has a fleet of Airbus H155 helicopters to provide services to the offshore Oil & Gas industry. From its bases in Constanta, Romania it operates passenger and cargo flights for producers, as well as medevac and search and rescue services if the need arises.

Vega Offshore will use ENVISION to manage a number of different functions, including continuing airworthiness, maintenance planning and tracking and inventory management.

Rusada’s European client services team completed the project over the course of six months, during which time they configured process flows, trained staff and migrated over Vega’s existing data. As a result, the operator is now up and running on ENVISION and is successfully using it for day-to-day operations.
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Tamar Jorssen
Vice President Sales & Business Development
Email: tamar.jorssen@avitrader.com
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Tamar