Recently retired U.S. Air Force chief of staff Gen. John Jumper has just lived through a tumultuous tour of duty. Little did he know where the job might take him on his first day in office, which was more than a little disrupted by the events that morning. The date was Sept. 11, 2001.
Dubai Air Show
A complex chain of illegal sales, technology proliferation and cooperation between countries the Bush Administration regards as rogue states has produced what some fear may have increased the threat to naval vessels operating in the Arabian Gulf.
Middle East air passengers can soon look forward to using their personal cell phones in flight. Mobile phone technology specialist OnAir of Geneva, Switzerland, will begin tests on the commercial use of mobile phones aboard TAP Portugal Airbus A321s later this year. According to OnAir CEO George Cooper, Gulf state airlines will likely be among the first to offer the service.
Widespread testing has proven that new technology allows for in-flight use of cell phones without disrupting terrestrial networks. Now developers face the challenge of winning airworthiness approval for the systems and the licenses to use the relevant frequencies.
Airbus To Test Medical Site for Cabins Airbus is preparing to test a dedicated medical area intended to accommodate all the equipment that airlines need for dealing with in-flight emergencies or when carrying sick or injured passengers. Airbus plans to evaluate the new unit, which can go virtually anywhere in the cabin according to airline preference, on the first cabin-fitted A380 development aircraft during route-proving flights.
Seabird Aviation Jordan (SAJ) plans to place the two-seat, Lycoming O-360-B2L-powered Seeker SB7L-360A aerial surveillance platform into serial production next year. Designed in Australia and assembled in Amman, Jordan, the Seeker on exhibit here at the Dubai drew a purchase order from the Iraqi Coalition Provisional Authority last year. It also recently has undergone an assessment by the U.S. military and government.
The first Bell/Agusta BA609 tiltrotor performed its first full conversion to airplane mode in Texas this past August. The maneuver has become routine, and the ground-breaking aircraft has gone on to pass the 250-knot airspeed milestone.
Television images last May of Saudi commandos dropping from a Kawasaki-Vertol KV 107IIA helicopter in a dramatic rooftop assault to free hostages from terrorists has underscored the importance of rotary-wing aircraft to Middle Eastern governments. The current heightened security state, with its emphasis on anti-terrorist operations, has made helicopters the airborne assets of choice for close-in, fast-reaction operations.
This past year has seen Embraer’s influence traverse industry sectors and spread to every corner of the globe. No longer simply a regional airline supplier, the Brazilian company has seen its products find homes with the likes of Air Canada, Finnair, Hong Kong Express, Panama’s Copa and India’s Paramount Airlines.
Boeing has appointed former Saudi Arabian Airlines executive Ahmed Jazzar to the new position of president of Boeing Saudi Arabia, overseeing all the group’s activities in the country. Sales and marketing responsibilities will remain with the various Boeing business units, namely Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Integrated Defense Systems, Connexion by Boeing and Boeing Capital Corp.