Monday, March 25th, 2019


Officials from three American carriers visit Boeing to assess 737 MAX upgrade

With Boeing 737 MAX jets still grounded worldwide, representatives from Southwest Airlines Co, American Airlines and United Airlines who respectively operate 34, 24 and 14 MAX jets, visited Boeing’s plant at Renton, Washington this weekend, which is a clear indication that the software patch the plane maker is creating is nearing completion. According to a Southwest Airlines’ spokeswoman, Southwest’s delegation includes experts from its technical pilot and training teams who will review documentation and training associated with Boeing’s updated speed trim system.

American Airlines’ pilots told Reuters last Thursday that they also planned to test Boeing’s software upgrade this past weekend in Renton, Washington, where Boeing makes the jets and has two simulators, while a United Airlines’ spokesman also confirmed that the carrier would also be in attendance.

Boeing shares have fallen 14 percent since the Ethiopian crash, and it is likely it will still take several weeks for regulatory approval for the software patch and associated pilot training to be completed, after which the 737 MAX will be able to take to the skies once again.

Push for new fuel-efficient engines may be the root cause for Boeing's 737 MAX problems.

In a recent article in the New York Times, an excellent account of how Boeing opted to upgrade the 737 to compete with the new Airbus A320 highlights aerodynamic problems created with the installation of the new-fuel-efficient engines.

A main selling point of the new A320 was its fuel-efficient engines. To match Airbus, Boeing needed to mount the Max with its own larger and powerful new engines.

Just as Mr. Albaugh (the then chief executive of Boeing commercial airplanes division) had predicted for Airbus, the decision created a cascade of changes. The bigger engines altered the aerodynamics of the plane, making it more likely to pitch up in some circumstances.

To offset that possibility, Boeing added the new software in the Max, known as MCAS, which would automatically push the nose down if it sensed the plane pointing up at a dangerous angle. The goal was to avoid a stall. Because the system was supposed to work in the background, Boeing believed it didn’t need to brief pilots on it, and regulators agreed. Pilots weren’t required to train in simulators.”

The article adds:

“The new software system is now a focus of investigators who are trying to determine what went wrong in the Ethiopian Airlines crash and the Lion Air tragedy in Indonesia. A leading theory in the
Lion Air crash is that the system was receiving bad data from a faulty sensor, triggering an unrecoverable nose dive. All 737 Max jets around the world are grounded, and Boeing has given no estimate of when they might return to flight.“

TP Aerospace

TransDigm completes acquisition of Esterline Technologies

TransDigm Group Incorporate has successfully completed the acquisition of Esterline Technologies Corporation, a supplier of products to the global aerospace and defense industry.

Under the terms of the merger agreement, Esterline shareholders will receive US$122.50 per share in cash, without interest.  The transaction is valued at approximately US$4.0 billion in total consideration, including the assumption of debt. The acquisition was previously announced on October 10, 2018. 

The acquisition of Esterline expands TransDigm’s platform of proprietary and sole source content for the aerospace and defense industries, including significant aftermarket exposure. Esterline, with fiscal year 2018 revenue of US$2.0 billion, has attractive platform positions in both the OEM and aftermarket and has substantial content on many important commercial aircraft variants, many regional and business jet aircraft and major defense platforms.

GA Telesis

Aeroflot Group passenger traffic up 17,2% in February 2019

Aeroflot PJSC has reported operating results for Aeroflot Group and Aeroflot – Russian Airlines for February 2019.

In February 2019, Aeroflot Group carried 3.9 million passengers, a year-on-year increase of 17.2%. Aeroflot airline carried 2.6 million passengers, a year-on-year increase of 15.9%.

Group and Company was up 17.5% and 11.5% year-on-year, respectively. Capacity rose by 18.4% for Aeroflot Group and by 12.5% for Aeroflot airline.

Aeroflot Group’s passenger load factor was 77.5%, representing a 0.6 point decrease versus the same period a year earlier. The passenger load factor at Aeroflot – Russian Airlines decreased by 0.7 points year-on-year to 75.3%.

Sikorsky-Boeing SB 1 DEFIANT™ helicopter achieves first flight

The Sikorsky-Boeing SB 1 DEFIANT™ helicopter achieved first flight on March 21, at Sikorsky’s West Palm Beach, Fla., site. The aircraft, developed by Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin Company and Boeing, will help inform the next generation of military helicopters as part of the U.S. Army’s Future Vertical Lift program.

With its two coaxial main rotors and a rear mounted pusher propulsor, DEFIANT is unlike production rotorcraft available today. It represents a leap forward in technology to achieve the U.S. government’s desire for vast increases in speed and range while improving maneuverability and survivability in a cost-effective way.

DEFIANT aircraft’s use of X2™ Technology will allow the Army to penetrate from strategic standoff and exploit gaps created in complex Anti-Access Area Denial systems against near-peer adversaries.


Air Côte d'Ivoire chooses AFI KLM E&M component support for A319-100 aircraft

AFI KLM E&M and Air Côte d'Ivoire have signed an agreement covering component support for the Ivoirian carrier's four A319-100s and two A320-200s.

The contract covers the future A319neo and A320neo aircraft scheduled to join Air Côte d'Ivoire fleet from 2020. The services delivered by AFI KLM E&M include repairs, spares pool access, the provision of a Main Base Kit, and logistics support.

Nordic Aviation Capital successfully completes Senior unsecured private placement

Nordic Aviation Capital (NAC) has successfully completed its third Senior Unsecured Private Placement issuance. The issuance was launched at US$250 million and was substantially oversubscribed allowing NAC to source a total of US$786.25 million.

The new transaction consists of five and seven year tranches, with the proceeds being used to refinance aircraft within NAC's portfolio. They will rank pari passu with all other unsecured indebtedness of the issuer, a wholly-owned subsidiary of NAC. This private placement issuance is a landmark transaction for the 29-year-old company and a further significant step in migrating to unsecured financing.

Component Control

ST Engineering launches SERIS® Airport Analytics for enhanced airport operations

ST Engineering’s Electronics sector has launched SERIS® Airport Analytics to address the rising air traffic volume faced by global aviation markets.

As pressures intensify with surging air transport demands, SERIS® Airport Analytics is designed to enhance airports’ operational performance through data-driven and fact-based decision-making. Leveraging its advanced intelligence capabilities powered by machine learning and artificial intelligence, airport operators will be able to reduce delays in air traffic flow and congestion in airports during peak times, delivering a more seamless travel experience to passengers.

“Cities are facing urbanisation pressures like infrastructure challenges on land, at sea, and in the air. As a leading Information Communications Technologies provider and co-creator of smart city solutions, we help our customers adapt to new challenges and meet resource demands through the use of cutting-edge technologies,” said Mr Low Jin Phang, General Manager of Info-Software Systems, Electronics, ST Engineering.

For airports, ST Engineering’s portfolio ranges from Robotics and Automation to Aviation Security and Advanced Simulation solutions. In Airport Operations, its integrated SERIS® Airport Operations Centre System enables Airport Collaborative Decision Making (A-CDM) and day-to-day operations. Airport Analytics further expands its solution portfolio for airports.

JetBlue introduces all-new, ultra-comfortable and fully connected Airbus A320 aircraft

JetBlue's newest cabin experience has entered into service, bringing to the skies the widest seats available for this aircraft, custom-designed seatback inflight entertainment (IFE) with 100+ channels of DIRECTV and hundreds of free movies and shows, ability to pair your mobile device to the screen, easy-to-reach power sources at every seat, and expanded coverage of free Wi-Fi connectivity almost everywhere JetBlue flies.

JetBlue’s Airbus A320 aircraft, which make up the majority of the airline’s fleet, are being updated for the first time since the airline disrupted the industry with onboard live television and all-leather seats in 2000.

The restyling effort has been several years in the making, with the latest aircraft marking the first to receive this all-new 2019 design. The aircraft re-joined JetBlue’s fleet March 20, with roughly a third of JetBlue’s A320 aircraft scheduled for restyling completion by the end of the year.


Planet Nine Private Air places fourth Falcon 7X into service

Planet Nine Private Air, the Van Nuys, California based private charter operator and aircraft management company, has added its fourth ultra long-range Dassault Falcon 7X aircraft to its Part 135 certificate.

The aircraft, registration no. N996MS, is a low-time aircraft with less than 500 hours flown. It is offered with the distinctive Planet Nine 14-seat luxury executive interior, with Wi-Fi and IFE from Swift Broadband.

CRENO delivers 20th large CNC machine in China to AVIC

CRENO, one of the leaders in high tech machining solutions, pursues its development in China as it prepares to deliver to AVIC, the Chinese OEM, a 2 in 1 computer numerical control capable of machining composite parts as well as cutting honeycomb ultrasonically.

Specialized in the aeronautics industry, a high consumer of composites, CRENO will deliver its 20th specialized large machine to China. The machine will be implanted in Jinan, on one of AVIC’s locations, a Chinese equipment manufacturer and major actor of the COMAC program.

This 2 in 1 solution will enable machining of composite parts as well as ultrasonic cutting of honeycomb, a process where CRENO is a world renown pioneer. Compared to traditional techniques, ultrasonic cutting processes are dust free and as a result improve significantly the
workspace environment and cleanliness. It equally enables high quality precision cutting, with no deformation and is up to three times faster.

This tailor-made 5 axes CNC machine has been conceived according to detailed customer specifications in answer to AVIC’s needs.

Precise to a hundredth of a millimeter, the machine measures 6m long, weighs 30 tons and has a large vertical height axis (2.2 meters).


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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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