The British government has sought to exclude Russian officials from this year’s Farnborough International Airshow (FIA) by refusing to issue its usual special invitations for the country’s official delegation. According to the Russian embassy in London, some Russian business visitors have been denied UK visas, preventing them from traveling to this week’s show.
News and issues concerning aerospace companies, including formations, acquisitions, mergers and financials; and announcements of significant aircraft sales, delivery statistics and personnel appointments.
The UK’s new military air safety regime has contributed to the delayed entry into British service of some new platforms, such as the Airbus A330MRTT Voyager tanker, the Thales Watchkeeper UAS and the L-3 Integrated Systems Airseeker (the UK version of the USAF’s RC-135 Rivet Joint SIGINT aircraft). As a result, some UK aerospace industry managers have expressed dissatisfaction with the Military Aviation Authority (MAA), in off-the-record comments to this editor and others.
Airbus A350-1000 manufacturing is under way, with Airbus reporting last month the laying up of the first carbon fiber elements, to be followed in the coming weeks by the first cutting of metal parts, according to program executive vice president Didier Evrard. Establishment of systems-installation design maturity is said to be “on plan,” while work continues on the variant’s structural design phase, which will permit the start of engineering drawing. Structural design maturity “incorporating all requirements” also was completed by mid-June.
It might seem only a year or two since Airbus launched the A380 and just months since the mighty, double-deck behemoth entered service, but the European manufacturer has delivered more than 130 since operations began, almost six years ago, in October 2007. The aircraft, which typically accommodate about 500 passengers (depending upon customers’ cabin configurations), have an average daily use of more than 13 hours, says Airbus. Of the 324 examples that had been ordered by late June, the backlog of 192 includes 20 booked this year.
Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) is showcasing its T129 ATK attack helicopter and its Anka Male UAV here at Farnborough International Airshow for the first time. The burgeoning aerospace giant needs to find export customers soon if TAI is to go some way toward self-sufficiency. It is no surprise then that marketing efforts of the T129 ATAK (tactical reconnaissance and attack helicopter) have been stepped up this year, with the company also displaying it at the Bahrain International Airshow in January and ILA Berlin in May.
Most aerospace and defense executives think their companies would improve their ability to collaborate with suppliers in engineering and manufacturing design by making more use of product lifecycle management (PLM) processes, but few of them believe their companies are making significant progress in this regard. This was the main conclusion of a new survey on product engineering and manufacturing published ahead of the Farnborough International Airshow by Accenture (Chalet J/1).
It is ironic that a Scottish entrepreneur who failed to make a success of two innovative aviation projects has had more success in what many would consider the much riskier world of land-speed record breaking.
A qualified pilot, Richard Noble created ARV Aviation in 1983 to design and build an all-British light aircraft: the Super2, which was powered by a Hewland AE75 three-cylinder two-stroke engine, but only 35 were made before production ceased.
You may not think art and aviation mix–but think again! Artist Tatiana Ojjeh has, with the support of various sponsors including Farnborough Airport owner TAG Aviation, brought a creative experience to the show in one of the old, vast wind tunnels–situated in the old Royal Aircraft Establishment buildings on the opposite side of the airfield from the Farnborough Airshow site.
Farnborough airshow attendees who want to indulge in the creative experience of light and sound that is the Wind Tunnel Project (www.thewindtunnelproject.com), can visit the old tunnel sites during the airshow.
TAG Aviation is providing shuttle buses to the site for visitors this week. There is parking near the wind tunnels for those who want to make their way there independently. The address is: Buildings Q121 and R52, Hall Road, Farnborough, Hampshire, GU14 7JP.
This week’s Farnborough International Airshow promises to be another busy one for dealmakers like Michael Richter, managing director and head of aerospace and defense with investment bank Lazard. Even compared with the periods around the 2012 Farnborough show and the 2013 Paris Air Show, he sees rising levels of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity in the commercial aerospace sector. He also anticipates some degree of recovery in defense industry M&A activity, reversing a period of relative inactivity in a sector that has been impacted by uncertainty over military budgets.