Last month Lockheed Martin chose Smiths Aerospace and Eaton Aerospace to participate in testing the F-35 JSF program’s approach to performance-based logistics (PBL) during the first phase of low-rate initial production of the multi-role stealth aircraft. The U.S. Department of Defense selected the F-35 as a candidate pilot program in 2004 to test revised contracting, budgeting and financing processes for PBL agreements.
News and issues concerning aerospace companies, including formations, acquisitions, mergers and financials; and announcements of significant aircraft sales, delivery statistics and personnel appointments.
Airliners now entering revenue service will be around for the next few decades, over which time forecasters expect the cost of kerosene to rise significantly. Higher oil extraction costs and likely carbon dioxide (CO2) emission limits will no doubt radically alter air transport economics. The industry will simultaneously have to drastically reduce CO2 emissions from aircraft engines and find alternative fuels for them.
Airbus statistics appear to support Boeing’s contentions that the average size of airliners is going to shrink. Smaller aircraft carry lower sticker prices and Airbus figures suggest Boeing’s backlog comprises aircraft with fewer seats and lower average values than those in the Airbus order book. The U.S.
Here at this week’s Paris show, Airbus is introducing the A350, a larger variant of the A330 being presented at a global show for the first time. The latest model follows a disappointing period in orders for Airbus twin-aisle twinjets. During last year and up until early this May, Airbus took orders for just 28 A330-200s (19 percent of the market) against a combined 121 for the Boeing 767 and its replacement, the 787.
“When China wakes, it will shake the world.” French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte’s assessment now lies at the heart of a major polemic between the U.S. and the European Union over the EU’s proposal to lift its arms embargo on the People’s Republic of China.
Airbus and Pilatus have selected Barco’s latest glass cockpit for their respective A380 superjumbo and PC-21 training aircraft. The Belgian avionics company is also working on several air traffic control projects involving its display technology.
Air systems specialist Liebherr Aerospace Toulouse (Hall 2B Stand I6) is betting on regional jet production growth. The company counts both established and emerging regional jet players among its customers for products ranging from engine bleed air to integrated air management systems. Nevertheless, Airbus remains one of Liebherr’s major customers and the company has taken part in a recent joint equipment support initiative.
Adour Compétitivité (AC), a French association of small and medium enterprises (SMEs), is helping its members in an original way. SMEs often face strategic or organizational problems but do not have the resources necessary to solve them. From its offices in southwestern France, the Pau-based association provides experts to identify problems and find the right specialists to solve them.
The air transport industry in Europe employs about 3.1 million people, and if air traffic doubles in 15 years as expected, the sector will contribute up to 13 percent of Europe’s gross domestic product. A thriving aerospace industry is therefore a key factor in the 25-nation European Union’s “Lisbon Strategy” to become the “most competitive economy in the world.”
Tests currently under way at the Airbus UK facility in Filton are exploring technologies aimed at extending the use of advanced composite materials on the main wing of future airliners such as the A350.