How can the Rafale be produced–and offered for export–at an economic price when the production rate is only about one aircraft per month? Official French statistics give a unit production cost of only ?64- to ?70 million in 2008 prices, depending on variant, excluding amortization of development costs, but including value-added tax of 19.6 percent (which would not be payable on export aircraft).
Dubai Air Show » November 15, 2009
The Dassault Rafale combat jet may yet prove to be an export winner, despite no such orders being placed to date. The OEM is negotiating a contract with the United Arab Emirates air force, and Kuwait has formally expressed interest in the aircraft.
A series of new deals involving customers from the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent have fattened Honeywell Aerospace’s already substantial order book. Here at the Dubai Airshow this week, the U.S. group (Stand A470) expects to announce some $500 million worth of new business, anchored by contracts involving some of Dubai’s closest neighbors.
Airbus’s new A330-200F freighter flew for the first time early this month, officially marking the start of a 180-hour flight-test and certification campaign with a four-hour test mission over Toulouse, France.
This milestone flight conforms to a schedule that calls for type certification in March and first delivery of the first production example to launch operator, Etihad Crystal Cargo, next summer.
Boeing has finished installing reinforcements within the side-of-body fuselage on the first 787 Dreamliner, the company announced last Thursday, and expects to complete the installations on the static test airframe and the second flight-test airplane in the coming soon. The modification entails installing new fittings at 34 stringer locations within the joint where the wing attaches to the fuselage.
It is not too late to sign up to exhibit at next year’s Farnborough International airshow, but the remaining chalets and indoor exhibits are selling fast.
Sonny Perdue, governor of the U.S. state of Georgia, is here
leading a 30-member strong delegation of government officials and representatives of aerospace and aviation companies headquartered in his state. Georgia is a first-time Dubai show exhibitor at Stand E636B and Chalet A67.
Operators are expected to begin installing Esterline CMC Electronics’ new 10.4-inch Class 2 PilotView electronic flight bag (EFB)–selected by Boeing for its Next-Generation 737s and BBJs–on 737NGs starting in the third quarter of 2010, according to Esterline. Plans call for the Class 2 EFB system to come installed on production airplanes and be available for retrofit.
Cairo-based Spot Air (Stand E740) is making its Dubai Airshow debut after announcing early this month the opening of a new office in Hannover, Germany. Spot Air is the exclusive general sales agent for the Egyptian A320 operator Almasria Universal Airlines and now can offer full charters and split-seat charters to German operators on routes to Egypt and the Gulf region.
Business aviation group Comlux is to expand its services into the FBO sector by establishing a new facility at Paris Le Bourget Airport. The new base, being developed in partnership with Landmark Aviation, is due to open in March 2011.