The rebirth of the Asian Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition (Abace) in Shanghai was, by common consent, a resounding success–especially considering the many challenges that organizer NBAA faced in running a modern trade show in China’s main business city. The March 27-29 event drew 156 exhibitors in a 43,000-sq-ft space provided by Shanghai Hawker Pacific Business Aviation Service Centre at Hongqiao Airport. The static display was populated by some 27 aircraft and was overlooked by eight exhibitor pavilions occupied by companies too large to exhibit inside the main hangar.
Aviation International News » May 2012
A low-cost obstacle detection system suitable for civilian helicopter use is under study at Eurocopter. Using automotive radar sensors, the company is confident it can help helicopter pilots in the landing and takeoff phases.
The majority of obstacle warning systems for helicopters are expensive and often bulky, heavy and power-greedy, essentially limiting the market to military operators.
Cannes-Mandelieu Airport has apparently reached an accommodation with its neighbors, who threatened to shut down the airport permanently four years ago. According to Umberto Vallino, marketing and statistics manager for the airport, the key is a noise-abatement effort launched in April using a computer program developed by A-Tech Acoustic Technologies of Brussels, Belgium.
Cessna’s new Citation M2 will share a production line with the Citation Mustang in Independence, Kan. “We have capacity there,” said Brian Rohloff, Cessna business leader for the Mustang and M2 programs.
The Namibia Wam system was supplied by Era, of the Czech Republic, and employs 36 widely separated and unmanned ground stations that listen for aircraft transponder replies to radar interrogations and then retransmit those replies to a central processing station. In Namibia, which has no radar, selected listening posts transmit pseudo, but otherwise identical, radar interrogations.
Anti-icing surfaces under development at GE and EADS could one day reduce and possibly even eliminate the need for existing anti-icing techniques. Research organizations at the two major aerospace companies are currently working on surfaces that would naturally repel ice without using energy.
Last month AIN reported on the disturbing increase in reports of GPS interference and deliberate jamming and raised the question of continuing GPS reliability if these incidents (attributable to small portable jammers used by truckers to obfuscate their whereabouts) increase in numbers and transmitted power.
It’s clear that the final release of the FAA’s Authorization Act has given a new fillip to the agency’s NextGen implementation activity. The 2012 Plan, released in March, has a much more upbeat flavor than its 2011 predecessor, which essentially looked backwards at accomplishments in 2010, when most activities were still in their early stages. Back then, the potential future benefits of NextGen were just that–potential.
Eurocopter’s three-year effort to revamp its EcoStar was unveiled earlier this year with a strong initial order book for more than 100 helicopters. The company expects certification of the $2.5 million single-engine EC130T2 later this year. “We listened to our customers,” said Janick Blanc, Eurocopter vice president for light helicopter programs.
Apparently, the company got an ear full.
Strong deliveries of the S-92 medium twin will boost civil activity at Sikorsky this year, according to recently released 2011 results and 2012 outlook. President Jeff Pino is expecting S-92 handovers to leap by 42 percent and overall civil deliveries by approximately 30 percent.
This year’s plans call for delivery of approximately 260 civil and military rotorcraft, with civil revenue expected to exceed $1.1 billion. Operating profits are predicted to be in the $50 million to $75 million range, down from $820 million last year.