The Lockheed Martin F-16 Block 60 operated by the United Arab Emirates air force could be described as military aviation’s version of a “missing link.” Its on-board systems are the most advanced of any F-16 ever built, so much so that it bridges the gap between the futuristic capabilities of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and the previous F-16C/D Block 50 series.
Dubai Air Show
The Komsomolsk-on-Amur Aircraft Production Association (Knaapo) has launched series production of the six-seat Be-103 light amphibious aircraft. Forty aircraft intended for export deliveries in 2005-2007 are now in production and total orders amount to 100 units.
Etihad Airways will take delivery of its first 777-300ER on January 6, almost three months later than originally planned. The Abu Dhabi-based airline placed an order for five of the airplanes last December, at which time Boeing promised to deliver the first this past October, followed by two each in November and December.
Emirates Airline and Lufthansa Technik subsidiary Hawker Pacific signed a contract here yesterday covering exchange, overhaul and support of the landing gear on the carrier’s 21 Boeing 777-200, -200ER and -300 aircraft. The three models have respective maximum takeoff weights of 545,000, 632,000 and 660,000 pounds.
Business is booming for Farnborough International, the company formed by the Society of British Aerospace Companies (SBAC) at the beginning of this year to run the UK’s own international airshow.
Aero Vodochody is demonstrating its L-159B advanced jet trainer at Dubai 2005 in a dynamic flight display, nurturing continuing hopes of sales in the region.
Jet Aviation held the official grand opening of its new Dubai FBO and maintenance center Sunday night in front of local dignitaries and officials. The first full-service FBO in the United Arab Emirates, Jet Aviation Dubai’s maintenance center technically opened in May and has since gained approval to provide in-house customs as well as immigration and security clearance.
Boeing Business Jets is ready to offer a BBJ 3 based on the biggest and longest-range member of the new generation 737 family, the 737-900ER, and is about to convene the first 787 completion center conference to address requirements for VIP versions of the 787 Dreamliner.
Tbilisi Aircraft Manufacturing (TAM) has concluded an agreement with Oregon-based Epic Aircraft to license-build the Epic Jet and market it in East Europe. The all carbon fiber aircraft powered by two Williams FJ33 engines is scheduled to begin flight trials in the first quarter of next year, leading to certification in mid-2007.
On Sunday night a Brazilian air force Embraer EMB-145 ANEW&C landed at the Dubai airshow to make the type’s first appearance outside South America, at the start of Operação Guardião–a demonstration tour that will also take the aircraft to December’s LIMA show in Malaysia. The aircraft flew from Brazil with six stops along the way.