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Friday, May 27th, 2022

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Joby ahead of schedule as it receives FAA’s Part 135 Certificate

California-based Joby has received its Part 135 Air Carrier Certificate from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) which now allows the company to operate its electric vertical and take-off (eVTOL) aircraft on a commercial basis. However, before the aircraft becomes fully operational Joby still needs to obtain two further FAA approvals, the aircraft’s Type Certificate and also a Production Certificate.

The company had not anticipated receiving its Part 135 certification until the second half of the year, so it is well on schedule to launch its eVTOL services in 2024. The five-stage process to obtain Part 135 certification involved the submission of more than 850 pages of manuals for approval while Joby’s initial cadre of pilots was also required to demonstrate mastery of the company’s procedures and training under FAA observation.

Bonny Simi, Head of Air Operations and People at Joby, and one of the company’s FAA-approved pilots, said: “The procedures we’ve prepared lay a foundation for our future eVTOL operations. Over the coming months, we will use our Part 135 certificate to exercise the operations and customer technology platforms that will underpin our multi-modal ridesharing service, while also refining our procedures to ensure seamless journeys for our customers," adding that: “Receiving this certificate ahead of schedule is a testament to the incredible dedication and hard work of our team.”

Recently Joby announced its partnership with aviation training specialist CAE to develop and qualify flight simulation training devices that the Company will use to train commercially rated pilots. Joby’s eVTOL aircraft is designed to cover a range of 150 miles on a single charge, flying at speeds of up to 200 mph. The aircraft has successfully met its target for take-off and landing low noise emissions after acoustic testing with NASA.

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Qantas rolls out next generation airport kiosks

Qantas has begun rolling out next-generation airport kiosks, which will make the airport experience faster and easier for customers travelling on domestic flights.

The national carrier has started a limited trial of new self-service kiosks in Terminal 3 at Sydney Airport. After fine tuning the new technology with customers, the airline expects to have them fully installed in Sydney by early June and around 140 kiosks installed across all major domestic airports by September. These will replace the existing kiosks that customers use to check in and print baggage tags.

With more than three quarters of customers already checking in online and using digital boarding passes on their smartphone, the new kiosks will primarily be used for bag tag printing. Customers will also be able to use the new kiosks to purchase additional bags.

The new technology is up to four-times quicker than the existing kiosks, with the process to print a bag tag now taking just 20 seconds on average.

Any customers who haven’t checked in prior to arriving at the airport will be able to use QR codes at the kiosks to quickly check-in online and receive a digital boarding pass. Customers will still have the option to be checked in by a customer service agent if needed.

The increased use of digital boarding passes will also help reduce paper waste. Pre-COVID almost 25 million paper boarding passes were printed each year which can’t readily be recycled. Qantas committed in 2019 to phase out the use of paper boarding passes as part of its zero waste to landfill targets.

Kaman Corporation to acquire Parker-Hannifin Aircraft Wheel & Brake division

Kaman Corporation has entered into a definitive agreement with Parker-Hannifin Corporation (Parker), under which Kaman will acquire Parker’s aircraft wheel & brake division (Aircraft Wheel & Brake) for US$440 million (£349 million), subject to a customary working capital adjustment and the receipt of all necessary regulatory approvals.

Parker is divesting Aircraft Wheel & Brake in order to secure approval from certain governmental authorities in connection with Parker’s previously announced offer to acquire Meggitt PLC.

Aircraft Wheel & Brake has been a trusted provider of mission-critical wheel and brake technology products and solutions for more than eighty years. With a strong product portfolio supporting more than 100 platforms, Aircraft Wheel & Brake specialises in wheels, brakes and related hydraulic components for fixed-wing aircraft and rotorcraft. They have long-standing global relationships with leading military and general aviation customers providing customised proprietary designs, protected by intellectual property. Aircraft Wheel & Brake operates out of one centralised facility in Avon, Ohio, providing a full suite of capabilities including design, development and qualification, as well as manufacturing and assembly, product support and repairs.

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WestJet ratifies ten-year agreement with WestJet flight dispatchers

WestJet has released that WestJet flight dispatchers, represented by the Canadian Airline Dispatchers Association (CALDA), voted more than 90% in favour of a ten-year agreement. The ratified agreement starts June 1, 2022 and expires on May 31, 2032.  

"As our industry continues to recover, this ten-year agreement will help the long-term sustainability of WestJet and demonstrates our commitment to our WestJetters, our guests and the communities we serve," said Diederik Pen, WestJet Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer. "Our flight dispatchers exemplify true professionalism, dedication and help to ensure our operation runs smoothly day in and day out. The Canadian economy continues to transition from the challenges we faced during the pandemic. We welcome the ratification of the agreement and look forward to further collaboration to advance the recovery of Canada's travel and tourism industry."

Boeing starts new A-10 wing deliveries to U.S. Air Force

Boeing, in partnership with Korean Aerospace Industries and other key suppliers, has delivered the first new wing set for the A-10 Thunderbolt II fleet to the U.S. Air Force. The wing set arrived earlier this month to Hill Air Force Base in Ogden, Utah, where the Air Force has started aircraft integration.

Boeing was awarded the contract in August 2019 and is currently working to provide the Air Force with 50 wing sets. Each wing set consists of outer wing assemblies, centre wing assembly, control surfaces and the fuselage integration kit. The upgraded wings are more durable, more efficient and easier to maintain, extending the A-10 flying life to 10,000 hours.

The A-10 wing programme was previously a dry line, with tools and equipment housed in long-term storage. Boeing Global Services revived the tooling and activated the supply base within 12 months of contract award. The company’s previous experience with the A-10 includes delivering 173 enhanced A-10 wing assemblies under a separate contract.

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Embraer, ITA and FAPESP to invest in Engineering Research Centre to accelerate the future of air mobility

Embraer, ITA (Technological Institute of Aeronautics), and FAPESP (São Paulo Research Foundation) have announced the approval of a joint investment of R$ 48 million (£8 million) in an Engineering Research Centre (ERC) for the future of air mobility over the next five years.

This unprecedented research in Brazil will gather representatives of the scientific community and professionals of the aeronautical industry in activities that are based on three pillars: low carbon aviation, autonomous systems and advanced manufacturing. The initiative creates a favorable environment for knowledge dissemination, highly qualified human resources training and production of high-impact scientific publications.

“We are very excited with the approval of the Engineering Research Centre focused on the future of air mobility, in partnership with ITA and FAPESP,” said Luís Carlos Affonso, Embraer’s Senior Vice President of Engineering, Technology, and Strategy. “I am certain that the centre will be a benchmark of enterprise-government-academia cooperation toward the zero-carbon aviation of the future, generating value to society as a whole.”
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