Thursday, January 24th, 2019


Boeing successfully completes first test flight of autonomous passenger air vehicle (PAV) prototype

Boeing has successfully completed the first test flight of its autonomous passenger air vehicle (PAV) prototype in Manassas, Virginia. Boeing NeXt, which leads the company's urban air mobility efforts, utilized Boeing subsidiary Aurora Flight Sciences to design and develop the electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft and will continue testing to advance the safety and reliability of on-demand autonomous air transportation.

The PAV prototype completed a controlled takeoff, hover and landing during the flight, which tested the vehicle's autonomous functions and ground control systems. Future flights will test forward, wing-borne flight, as well as the transition phase between vertical and forward-flight modes. This transition phase is typically the most significant engineering challenge for any high-speed VTOL aircraft.

Powered by an electric propulsion system, the PAV prototype is designed for fully autonomous flight from takeoff to landing, with a range of up to 50 miles (80.47 kilometers). Measuring 30 feet (9.14 meters) long and 28 feet (8.53 meters) wide, its advanced airframe integrates the propulsion and wing systems to achieve efficient hover and forward flight.
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Safran acquires stake in OXIS Energy

Safran has acquired an equity interest in OXIS Energy through its Safran Corporate Ventures subsidiary, which invests in disruptive technology businesses.

OXIS Energy, a leader in lithium-sulfur cell technology for high energy density battery systems, has already been granted 173 patents with 96 pending. Benefiting from more than 15 years of R&D in the field of lithium-sulfur chemistry, interest in its work from different industry sectors is growing significantly.

Safran Corporate Ventures is participating in a £7 million round of fresh funding alongside Aerotec and new investors, including Arkema. The investments made by these companies take the total capital raised to just under £24m and include Samsung Ventures which contributed to the fund in December 2016. The capital raised will be used to commercialize and automate the process of mass production of rechargeable Lithium Sulfur cells/modules, using state of the art digital manufacturing
machinery for worldwide distribution to manufacturers of vehicles. OXIS intends to focus on the aviation, defense and the heavy electric vehicles markets, such as buses and trucks.

Simultaneously, OXIS announces the signature of two Joint Development Agreements with its partners. Firstly, Safran and OXIS will cooperate on high energy density battery cells for the aviation industry. Secondly, Arkema and OXIS have defined a common roadmap to further improve battery lifetime and energy density.
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United Technologies reports 2018 net income of US$5.3 billion

United Technologies Corp. has reported fourth quarter and full year 2018 results above expectations and announced an outlook for continued sales, earnings and free cash flow growth in 2019.

Full year sales of US$66.5 billion were up 11% over the prior year, including 8 points of organic sales growth, 1 point of net acquisitions impact and 1 point of foreign exchange tailwind. The remaining 1 point of growth was driven by the adoption of the new Revenue Standard and the absence of a customer contract settlement incurred in 2017.

Full year GAAP EPS of $6.50 was up 14% versus the prior year and included US$1.11 of net restructuring charges and other significant items, including a US$692 million tax charge primarily related to undistributed foreign earnings. Adjusted EPS of US$7.61 was up 14%.

Net income for the year was US$5.3 billion, up 16% versus the prior year. Cash flow from operations was US$6.3 billion and capital expenditures were US$1.9 billion, resulting in free cash flow of US$4.4 billion.
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Newark Airport New Jersey flights disrupted after drone sightings

The appearance of two drones flying nearby Newark Airport yesterday (Tuesday) caused considerable disruption to inbound and outbound flights, with flights being grounded at one point. A pilot at nearby Teterboro airport had reported sighting a drone that came within 30 feet of his aircraft which promoted the actions at Newark. Commenting on the incident, a statement from the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) confirmed that: "At approximately 5pm, we received two reports from incoming flights into Newark that a drone was sighted at about 3,500 ft above Teterboro, New Jersey.

“At that point, flights arriving into Newark were held for a short duration. Since then, and with no further drone sightings, arrivals have been resumed.

“However, we still have a ground stop in place at other airports departing for Newark until a backlog of arrivals can be cleared. We expect that to be lifted soon."

Commenting on the incident, United Airlines, which uses Newark as a hub, said: "The impact to our operations has been minimal so far. We are working closely with the airport and the FAA to return
our operations to normal as quickly as possible."

While nowhere near as disruptive, this incident is reminiscent of events which took place at the U.K.’s Heathrow and Gatwick airports just prior to Christmas last year. All flights were held for an hour at Heathrow after a potential drone sighting, while at Gatwick grounded all flights between December 19 and December 21 after continual drone sightings during that period. Over 140,000 passengers had their flights disrupted at the beginning of the busy holiday season.
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SWISS to fly to Larnaca from Geneva

SWISS is expanding its route network from Geneva by offering a new connection to Larnaca (Cyprus) from July 3. This coastal resort joins the list of new summer destinations announced by SWISS in December.

Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS) is adding the Cypriot city of Larnaca to its destinations departing from Geneva, offering its passengers six new destinations for the summer of 2019. With the addition of the new flights to Ibiza, Mykonos, Brindisi, Faro, Alicante and Larnaca, the company will fly to 43 direct destinations from Geneva.
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SAS expands fleet with lease of three A321LR aircraft

SAS has signed a leasing agreement with ALC (Air Lease Corporation) which means SAS will expand its aircraft fleet with three Airbus A321LR. This gives SAS an opportunity to offer travelers more
intercontinental routes, fewer stopovers and shorter travel times to and from Scandinavia. The first aircraft will enter into service in the first half of 2020.

SAS has signed a leasing agreement with ALC (Air Lease Corporation) which means SAS will expand its aircraft fleet with three Airbus A321LR. This gives SAS an opportunity to offer travelers more
intercontinental routes, fewer stopovers and shorter travel times to and from Scandinavia. The first aircraft will enter into service in the first half of 2020.

The aircraft type Airbus A321LR is a narrow-body specially configured to fly longer distances than a standard A321neo. The aircraft has sufficient range to reach Northeast US, one of the most important intercontinental markets for SAS. The A321LR can also reach destinations in Canada, the Middle East and India from Scandinavia.

SAS is now in the process of deciding on the first routes and cabin configuration of the aircraft. The new routes will gradually be communicated from spring 2019.
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airBaltic to perform up to 73% more flights from Tallinn in 2019

In 2019, airBaltic will perform up to 104 weekly direct flights from Tallinn to 12 different destinations. It is an improvement of 73% compared to 2018.

Martin Gauss, CEO of airBaltic: “We are continuing to improve our offering from Tallinn. This year we are launching three more exciting destinations, and increasing the number of weekly flights also on most other routes we serve from Tallinn.”

“In order to serve the growing range of destinations, as of summer 2019 we will base two of our new Airbus A220-300 aircraft in Tallinn. This aircraft offers excellent flying experience to the passengers with such benefits as wider seats, larger windows and more hand luggage space among many others,” Martin Gauss added.

In 2018, airBaltic has carried over 440.000 passengers to and from Estonia. The airline has carried 14% more passengers in Estonia than the previous year.
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TP Aerospace

West Star Aviation completes new hangar at ALN

West Star Aviation has completed the construction on a new 60,000 ft² hangar at its East Alton, IL (ALN) location. The state of the art hangar is now operational and accepting customers for service.

The hangar features 40,000 ft² of hangar space and 20,000 ft² of back shop and office space which supports West Star's growing capabilities, allowing the company to fully expand upon existing aircraft maintenance programs. This additional growth will initially employ 28 technicians to support the expansion, in addition to their existing hiring efforts.

"We are excited to expand our East Alton facility. With the new hangar completion, we occupy over 380,000 ft² of space at the St. Louis Regional Airport," said Scott Sweeney, General Manager, West Star Aviation. "Having a new hangar provides us the added capacity to continue offering world-class service to our customers and ensure we meet requested deadlines," Sweeney continued.
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French airline APG Airlines and Blue Air from Bucharest now new BARIG members

The private airline Blue Air with headquarters in Bucharest and French airline APG Airlines are as of now new members of the Board of Airline Representatives in Germany e.V. (BARIG), the association representing the mutual interests of meanwhile over 120 national and international airlines in Germany.

The French company APG Airlines headquartered in Paris and with the home base in Toulouse (airport Blagnac) offers scheduled flights between Toulouse and Lorient as well as individual business charter flights including VIP services. Flights are performed with a King Air 350i from the aircraft manufacturer Beech Aircraft.

The Romanian airline Blue Air carries over two million passengers annually and commands a route network of more than 100 destinations in Europe and the Near East. The airline offers flights on a regular basis from four airports in Germany to Bucharest, Bacau, Iasi and Sibiu. The Blue Air fleet currently comprises 26 Boeing 737 and is targeted to be expanded by another twelve Boeing 737-MAX8 aircraft in 2019.
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Airbus Helicopters sees strong sales increase in 2018

Airbus Helicopters delivered 356 rotorcraft and logged gross orders for 413 helicopters (net: 381) in 2018 (up from 350 gross orders in 2017), maintaining its lead in the civil & parapublic market while reinforcing its position in the military market thanks to key successes with international campaigns.

The company also booked 148 orders for light twin-engine helicopters of the H135/H145 family and secured 15 orders for the next-generation H160. At the end of last year, the overall backlog increased to 717 helicopters.

In 2018, Airbus Helicopters delivered the first of 100 H135s for China in Qingdao, where a dedicated final assembly line will serve the growing demand of the Chinese market for civil & parapublic helicopters. Meanwhile, Hong Kong Government Flying Service took delivery of the first H175s in public services configuration.

Last year also proved successful for the Super Puma family which demonstrated its versatility by being selected in key military campaigns, while attracting new civil & parapublic customers with
repurposed H225s previously operated on the oil & gas market. Likewise, 2018 proved to be a very positive year for the NH90, which attracted orders for 28 units in Qatar while being selected by Spain in the frame of a follow-on order for 23 units.

Key programme milestones were achieved in 2018, including the power-on and ground testing of the CityAirbus electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) technology demonstrator, ahead of a maiden flight expected early 2019. The first H160 in serial configuration entered flight trials in 2018, while the VSR700 unmanned aerial system demonstrator performed its first unmanned flights at the end of the year.
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