French regions Aquitaine and Midi-Pyrénées have formed an organization called the “Aerospace Valley” to bid for government-endorsed “competitiveness area” status in the fields of aerospace and on-board systems. The French government is expected to name 10 to 20 such areas in mid-July, giving participants a certain status that will lead to industry recognition and access to new financial backing.
News and issues concerning aerospace companies, including formations, acquisitions, mergers and financials; and announcements of significant aircraft sales, delivery statistics and personnel appointments.
“We’re getting bigger–but we’re still manageable,” said Tom Cassidy of General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc (GA-ASI). The firm best known for the UAV that rewrote the rules of air warfare–the Predator–now employs more than 1,200 people at nine locations in southern California.
The dramatic victory of Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko and his self-styled Orange Revolution in December last year has brought numerous changes to the government of this former Soviet republic–many geared toward ultimate integration into the European Union (EU).
Like a country doctor on a series of house calls, CAE president and CEO Bob Brown has seen his share of ill health in the Canadian aerospace industry over the past few years. Last year at Bombardier, he took the fall as CEO for the financial troubles that continue to this day. At Air Canada, as chairman of the board, he helped guide the airline out of bankruptcy.
In an effort to save weight and improve reliability, Honeywell has asked its engineers to develop systems that will replace traditional aircraft hydraulic and bleed-air systems with all-electric architecture. The U.S.
EDO Corp. is headquartered in New York and has grown by acquisition into a significant defense supplier. It now employs 2,700 people. Revenues last year totaled $461 million. As well as weapons release equipment, the company’s product range includes rugged electronics for defense applications, composite structures, electronic warfare systems, antennas and communications/network systems.
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.
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.