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Tuesday, April 5th, 2022

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Lilium commences flight tests at ATLAS Flight Test Center in Spain

Lilium has announced it is to begin flight tests with its fifth-generation technology demonstrator, Phoenix 2, at the ATLAS Flight Test Center in Jaén, Spain. ATLAS (Air Traffic Laboratory for Advanced unmanned Systems) is the first facility of its type in Spain and unique to Europe, created exclusively for and dedicated to the testing of light and tactical Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) and Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS).

Lilium has developed the first all-electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) jet and the company will be extending the flight envelope through the full transition and high-speed flight. This next phase of testing comes on the back of successful tests performed in Germany last year. Lilium will also be introducing Phoenix 3, its latest demonstrator jet, for its maiden flight in Spain in the summer this year. It is anticipated that Phoenix 3 will significantly accelerate the flight test campaign, allowing Lilium to increase learnings and reduce programme risks.

The modern facilities and support from the Andalusian Foundation for Aerospace Development (FADA) and Center for Advanced Aerospace Technologies (CATEC) have played a major role in setting Lilium up for a successful flight test campaign. Daniel Wiegand, Co-Founder and CEO of Lilium said: “We are excited to have kicked off our next phase of flight testing in Spain. This step takes us even closer to reaching our goal of creating a sustainable and accessible mode of high-speed, low noise regional air mobility.”


Asia Cargo Network’s RGA-Black Stone Airlines takes off

After receiving its second newly approved Air Operator Certificate (AOC) in Indonesia on March 28, which is its third  airline AOC in the region, the Asia Cargo Network group launched RGA-Black Stone Airlines with its inaugural flight departing last week on March 30, 2022. Setting out of Soekarno-Hatta International Airport (CGK) in Jakarta. The flight headed to El Tari International Airport (KOE), then Komodo International Airport (LBJ).  

RGA-Black Stone Airline’s President Director, Mr Zack Isaak explained, “RGA-Black Stone Airlines looks to plug gaps in the Indonesian domestic market by providing solutions for local air cargo transportation needs. Using aviation market intelligence tools and through group experience in our existing cargo networks, we aim to improve niche transportation routes that are currently untapped by the local cargo airlines, while establishing new routes regionally with other countries in the near future.”

In addition, RGA-Black Stone Airlines plans to expand its wings into passenger flight routes to Saudi Arabia doing Umrah and Hajj pilgrimages in the third quarter of 2022. The operations will be performed utilising four units of A330 passenger aircraft.


Liebherr Group reports significant boost in turnover in 2021

In 2021, the Liebherr Group achieved a turnover of €11,639 million. Compared to the previous year, the company posted an overall increase of €1,298 million or 12.6 %. As a result, the Liebherr Group was almost able to match its previous record year in 2019 in terms of annual turnover. Liebherr recorded a significant increase in sales revenues compared to the previous year. The Liebherr Group grew in eleven of its 13 product segments and in almost all of its sales regions.

In 2021, the Liebherr Group achieved a net profit for the year of €545 million, a value above the level before the pandemic. Operating results and the financial result grew considerably compared to the previous year. The 2021 business year also saw a significant increase in the number of employees. At the end of the year, the Liebherr Group employed 49,611 people worldwide. Compared to the previous year, this constituted an increase of 1,686.

Air Lease Corporation adds 32 Boeing 737 MAX jets to orderbook

Aircraft lessor Air Lease Corporation (ALC) is expanding its airplane portfolio with an order for 32 additional Boeing 737-8 and 737-9 jets. As the travel market recovers, ALC is increasing its 737 MAX family offering to meet airline demand for modern, fuel-efficient and sustainable operations.

ALC continues to grow its investment in the 737 MAX family. In February the lessor added 18 737 MAXs to its portfolio. With the new order, ALC has 130 737 MAXs in its backlog.


TITAN Aviation Fuels® acquires European-based aviation fuel reseller AKRYL

TITAN Aviation Fuels®, one of the largest suppliers of aviation fuel products in the United States for the past 45 years, has announced the acquisition of AKRYL, an aviation fuel reseller with a world-wide digital fuel procurement platform based in Geneva, Switzerland.

TITAN Aviation Fuels, already a well-established aviation fuel brand throughout the United States, will use the AKRYL acquisition to expand its aviation fuel supply footprint to Europe, Africa, and the Middle East.  The addition will allow the expansion of the TITAN Contract Fuel Programme to US- and Canadian-based customers traveling abroad.

AKRYL is an aviation fuel reseller with an on-line digital fuel procurement platform that allows flight departments to view fuel pricing in real time and make fuel purchases world-wide. This programme can be integrated with a customer’s operations software to enable a uniquely streamlined and efficient way to manage their fuelling operations. 

AKRYL will be rebranded as TITAN Aviation Fuels and will maintain offices in Dublin, Ireland and Geneva, Switzerland.


IBC Advanced Alloys launches copper alloy casting operations in new expanded Indiana Facility

IBC Advanced Alloys a leading beryllium and copper advanced alloys company, has launched copper alloy casting at its new and expanded copper alloy foundry facility in Franklin, Indiana. The launch of production at the new facility marks the effective completion of a two-year consolidation of three production facilities into a single vertically integrated manufacturing operation dedicated to producing copper and copper alloy products. The consolidation is expected to generate significant efficiencies and production cost savings for the Copper Alloys Division, as well as enable the division to expand production and its exposure to new markets.

The IBC team successfully produced several two-ton billets of beryllium-copper alloy material last week at the expanded Franklin plant, including the first billet of beryllium-copper alloy pictured at right. IBC then processes these billets by cutting, forging, heat treating, and machining into a wide variety of custom alloy products for customers in industries such as electronics, oil and gas, automotive, defense, aerospace, injection molding, and others.

IBC invested approximately US$6 million to expand and modernise its Franklin facility and consolidate its former Missouri and Pennsylvania foundries to the new plant.


Jordi Boto becomes new CEO at Elbe Flugzeugwerke

Jordi Boto has been appointed CEO of Elbe Flugzeugwerke GmbH (EFW) and started in his new role on April 1. Boto is the successor of Dr Andreas Sperl, who left the company after more than 15 years of growth. Prior to the appointment, Boto was COO, responsible for driving the ramp-up of the conversion from passenger-to-cargo aircraft at EFW since November 2020.

He brings more than two decades of global experience in the aviation industry to EFW, including key positions at Airbus. Under his leadership, key milestones have been achieved, both at Airbus as well as at subsidiaries and supplier companies. This included the success story of ATR, now one of the world's leading manufacturer of regional turboprop aircraft.

Volare Aviation opens dedicated helicopter facility at London Oxford Airport

Volare Aviation, the private aviation company delivering aircraft sales, charter, aircraft management, engineering and refurbishment under one roof, has formally opened a dedicated helicopter maintenance, management and refurbishment facility in Hangar 14, Bay 2, at its London Oxford Airport home. Up to 12 twin-engine executive helicopters can be worked on simultaneously in the 16,000 ft² space. The business offers expertise in interior and exterior work on pre-owned Leonardo, Airbus and Sikorsky models - from leather stitching on seats through to paint work.

"Opening this new helicopter facility enables us to deliver one of the most comprehensive services on the market to helicopter owners,” said Volare Aviation founder and Chairman Dustin Dryden. “From this fully accredited facility, with international approvals including EASA, UK and US FAA, we have the ability to purchase, refurbish, manage and maintain owners’ helicopters all under one roof - from one location.”

A significant part of London Oxford Airport’s ongoing strategic plan, in addition to investment in new hangarage, was the addition last year of seven new ICAO/EASA/CAA-compliant helipads.

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Tamar Jorssen
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Email: tamar.jorssen@avitrader.com
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