Monday, April 15th, 2019


Stratolaunch Roc – the world’s largest aircraft – makes successful maiden flight

Designed to fly satellite-carrying rockets to an altitude of about 35,000 feet (10,700 m), Stratolaunch Systems Corp’s Roc, the world’s largest aircraft, performed its maiden flight over the Mojave Desert in California on April 13. Lasting for over two hours and reaching an altitude of
17,000 feet, the successful flight was for the purposes of testing the aircraft’s performance and handling qualities.

Stratolaunch was formed in 2011 by the late co-founder of Microsoft, Paul Allen, with the intention of building an aircraft capable of carrying payloads of up to 500,000 pounds in the form of rockets and other space vehicles in an attempt to cash in on the anticipated future high demand to put satellites into orbit. Stratolaunch has boasted that its aircraft would make satellite deployment as “easy as booking an airline flight,” through providing the capability of an air launch to rockets.

Built for Stratolaunch by Scaled Composites, the Mojave-based aerospace company that also built SpaceShipOne, and constructed of carbon composites, the twin-fuselage aircraft has a wingspan of 117 meters, which is longer that an American Football field measured from end zone to end
zone, and a fuselage length of 73 meters. It has two sets of twelve landing gear wheels and two nose gear wheels, with the pilot, co-pilot and flight engineer located in the right-hand fuselage cockpit and flight data recording equipment housed in the left fuselage. The plane is powered by six Pratt & Whitney PW4056 engines and has a maximum take-off weight capacity of 1,300,000
pounds, requiring a runway length of 12,000 feet.

The aircraft was given the nickname ‘Roc’ after Sinbad’s Roc, the mythical bird that was so large it could carry and elephant.


UAS, Honeywell, and Hongkong Jet to sign partnership deal

UAS International Trip Support and Honeywell are joining forces to provide global connectivity to the business jet fleet of leading Asia Pacific business aviation charter and management group Hongkong Jet with the implementation of UAS LinkEvolution™ for flight services and communication combined with Honeywell GoDirect cabin services for passenger connectivity. The agreement will be formalised at a signing ceremony on the opening day of ABACE 2019 on Tuesday April 16th.

UAS LinkEvolution provides seamless global connectivity to the cockpit using powerful datalink satellite communications networks. The forward-looking datalink solution delivers worldwide ACARS (datalink) service, as well as unlimited access to all worldwide VHF networks, including ARINC and SITA, as well as Inmarsat and Iridium satellite networks. It will also enable Hongkong Jet’s fleet of several Gulfstream G650/G550, Falcon 8X, BBJ’s, and ACJ319 aircraft to keep abreast of datalink regulations and remain compliant, regardless of where the aircraft are flying.

The strategic alliance between the two companies originated in May 2017, when UAS International Trip Support and Honeywell ratified a partnership to expand Honeywell's flight deck and cabin connectivity services through UAS LinkEvolution.

Neste and Air BP ready to deliver sustainable aviation fuel to Sweden

Neste, one of the leading renewable products producer from wastes and residues, and Air BP, the international aviation fuel products and services supplier, have entered into an agreement to deliver sustainable aviation fuel to airline and airport customers in Sweden in 2019.

Neste and Air BP announced in 2018 their plans to explore and develop supply chain solutions for delivering sustainable aviation fuel to airports and airlines. As a next step in their collaboration Neste will combine its expertise in the production and blending of sustainable low-carbon aviation fuel with Air BP’s recognized excellence in safe, efficient and effective aviation fuel distribution solutions to jointly develop a viable supply-chain solution for sustainable aviation fuel to the Swedish market.

Currently, sustainable aviation fuel offers the only viable alternative to fossil liquid fuels for powering commercial aircraft. The sustainable aviation fuel which Neste produces has proven its technical capability in thousands of commercial flights. It is produced from non-palm renewable and sustainable raw materials, and can reduce up-to 80% of greenhouse gas emissions over its life-cycle compared to conventional jet fuel.

GA Telesis

Delta Air Lines posts 2019 March quarter profit of US$730 million

Delta Air Lines has reported financial results for the March quarter 2019. Delta's adjusted operating revenue of US$10.4 billion for the March quarter improved 7.5%, or US$728 million versus the prior year. March quarter 2019 GAAP pre-tax income was US$946 million and net income was US$730 million.

Delta generated US$2 billion of operating cash flow, as improved profitability and the seasonal build of cash were partially offset by the US$1.3 billion profit sharing payment to employees for 2018 performance.  Delta generated US$760 million of free cash flow during the quarter after the investment of US$1.3 billion into the business primarily for aircraft purchases and improvements.

HILITECH opens new production plant

HILITECH has officially opened its new production plant in the Austrian town of Kindberg. HILITECH is a joint venture of F. LIST GMBH, an internationally active provider of high-end business jet interiors, and Hintsteiner Group GmbH, a leading expert in lightweight composite technology for motorsports and defense applications.

On more than 20,000 ft² in the first expansion stage, over 100 professionals (planned by 2020) develop and manufacture innovative cabin systems, linings and composite components, mainly from carbon fiber. HILITECH’s components count among the lightest on the aircraft market; its portfolio ranges from single components – like sliding doors, tables, toilet seats, shower trays etc. – to full lining accoutrements, high-class cabinets and decorative carbon surfaces and applications.

HILITECH components are delivered as a complete and tested interior solution, combined with the benefit of high-quality veneer processing and high-gloss finish by and through F/LIST. With special production methods and a unique combination of materials, HILITECH has been able to reduce the weight of components by up to 25% compared to conventional construction techniques. Multiple areas of application and the variety of components in business jets demand variable manufacturing processes, tool application and materiality define the final product. For this reason, all tooling is done in-house, for maximum precision and flexibility, via a highly modern production infrastructure including autoclave-/prepreg-technology, vacuum processes, compression molding, wet laminate technology, rapid prototyping technologies, CNC milling, prepreg cutter and 3D scanning.


HAECO Group selects Boeing as supply chain solution provider

Boeing and HAECO Group have signed a consumables and expendables services agreement naming Boeing as an integrated supply chain solution provider for global MRO support.

The agreement, managed by Boeing Distribution Services Inc. (BDSI), accelerates availability of Boeing’s parts and products to customers and takes advantage of stock availability and process efficiencies realized through Boeing’s acquisition of KLX Aerospace Solutions, now known as BDSI.

Boeing will support HAECO with its portfolio of Boeing proprietary parts, vendor parts and distributed products that are readily available from multiple centers of excellence around the globe.

SAS reports March load factor of 70.4%

2.5 million passengers travelled with SAS in March, an increase of some 70 000 compared to last year. Compared to March 2018, capacity and the number of passengers in scheduled traffic increased by 1.1% and 3.1%, respectively. The load factor for March was down by 2.8 points to 70.4% when compared to the previous year.

Alaska Air Group reports March 2019 operational results

Alaska Air Group has reported March and year-to-date operational results on a consolidated basis for its mainline operations operated by subsidiary Alaska Airlines and for its regional flying operated by subsidiary Horizon Air Industries and third-party regional carriers SkyWest Airlines and Peninsula Airlines, a subsidiary of RAVN Air.

On a combined basis for all operations, Air Group reported a 0.5% increase in traffic on a 1.3% increase in capacity compared to March 2018. Load factor decreased 0.7 points to 84.2%.


Contrail Aviation Support completes 26 key transactions during fiscal year 2019

Contrail Aviation Support, a commercial aircraft trading, leasing and parts solutions provider has successfully completed a record 26 key asset transactions during FY 2019 ended March 31, spanning acquisitions, leases, and sales of commercial aircraft and jet engine parts. Total annual sales dollar volume not disclosed. Contrail is a business unit of AIR T, INC., a diversified holding company that is organized as a portfolio of powerful business and financial assets.

Acquisition: Contrail acquired two A319-100 aircraft powered by V2500-A5 engines subject to stub-lease from a major global lessor. Two 737-700 aircraft, each equipped with two CFM56-7B22 engines from a major global lessor. One A320-200 aircraft, equipped with a V2500-A5 engine from a major US-based private equity fund. Contrail acquired two run-out CFM56-7B engines from an aircraft and engine asset specialist and one run-out CFM56-3C1 engine from a European engine specialist company.

Leases: Contrail leased three CFM56-7B26 engines, two engines to a major global MRO and one engine to a prominent European airline. Contrail leased one CFM56-5B1 engine to a major carrier in Latin America and two A319-100 aircraft powered by V2500-A5 engines subject to stub-lease, with an Asian carrier.

Sales: Contrail has sold eight CFM56-7B22 engines, three engines to a boutique aviation investor, one engine to a global engine leasing and trading company, one engine to a European based aircraft and engine asset specialist and three engines to a US-based private equity fund. One CFM56-7B26 engine, subject to lease to a major US-based aviation company.

Furthermore Contrail sold two 737-700 airframes to AirCo and one A320-200 airframe to a US-based airframe parts company.

Universal Avionics receives STC for InSight™ Touchscreen Control

Universal Avionics (UA) has received FAA Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) for the company’s new touchscreen EFIS Control Display Unit (ECDU) for the InSight Display System. Designed for efficiency, the Touch ECDU provides fast, easy access for InSight user control and input.

This latest offering further improves the InSight Display System, providing the ultimate in operator choice; the ECDU is now available in touchscreen or non-touchscreen versions. Both ECDU models combine multiple InSight System controls, including the flight displays, FMS, radios, traffic, and terrain into a centralized control device.

AMROS Global

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AIR Convention Asia
May 1 - 3, 2019 – InterContinental Bangkok Hotel, Bangkok, Thailand

Aviation Festival Americas 2019
May 13 - 15, 2019 – JW Marriott Marquis, Miami, FL, USA

Managing Technical Aspects of a Leased Asset & Maintenance Reserves Seminar Training Seminar
June 11 - 12, 2019 – Novotel Barcelona City Hotel, Barcelona, Spain

Paris Air Show 2019
June 17 - 23, 2019 – Le Bourget, Paris, France
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