Boeing still believes that the KC-767 is the right-size airplane to meet the KC-X tanker requirement, despite the U.S. Air Force’s selection of the larger Airbus A330MRTT, now voided. “I’m not convinced that they want a bigger airplane,” Chris Chadwick, president of Boeing Military Aircraft told AIN as the show opened.
Farnborough Air Show » July 14, 2008
CFM International partners General Electric and Snecma have extended their successful 34-year partnership until 2040 and revealed plans to develop an all-new engine, provisionally called the Leap-X. The engine will provide 16 percent more fuel efficiency than today’s CFM56; however, it will not be offered for retrofit to existing aircraft.
Bombardier announced here yesterday the long-anticipated launch of its C-Series family of single-aisle airliners. The company also revealed that final assembly will occur in Mirabel, Quebec, laying to rest any speculation that production would move south of the U.S.-Canada border, specifically to Kansas City. Bombardier president and CEO Pierre Beaudoin called it “an historic day for Bombardier.”
Bell Helicopter will likely confirm another one-year delay for the civil BA609 Tiltrotor program during a press conference here today, judging by a new development schedule released by program partner AgustaWestland. This year, the company expects a postponement of certification from “2010/2011,” as announced in June 2007, to “2011/early 2012.”
Lockheed Martin has selected GE Aviation to supply the open systems avionics solution for the Block 7.0 communications/navigation/identification for the C-130J flight deck avionics system. The contract has an estimated value of more than $30 million over the life of the program, excluding production. It involves more than 230 aircraft operated by the U.S. Air Force and other international air forces.
Chinese regional carrier Kun Peng Airlines has placed an order for five Embraer 190s in a deal that further sets the foothold the Brazilian manufacturer has gained in mainland China.
Dr. John Green, who chairs the science and technology sub-group of industry environment group Greener by Design, would like to outlaw the sale of aircraft that are capable of ranges greater than 3,000 nm.
His reason is a compelling one. As he told last week’s NACRE conference in London, flying 8,000 nm in three hops instead of one uses just half the fuel. “So why aren’t people doing it,” he wondered.
IAI’s Conformal Airborne Early Warning aircraft, top right, arrives at Farnborough for its first public appearance. Underneath all the bulges and fairings lurks a Gulfstream G550 bizjet airframe, which has been heavily modified to carry the conformal arrays for the Elta EL/M-2085 airborne early warning radar.
BAE Systems unveils the Mantis UAV at its outdoor exhibition site today. The Mantis, shown in full-scale model form, is armed with GBU-12 laser-guided bombs and Brimstone missiles on its six weapon pylons. The twin-prop, T-tailed vehicle is equipped with a multi-sensor turret and radar under the fuselage, and a satcom antenna in the upper nose section. It employs a triplex flight control system.
The U.S. KC-X tanker win in February was a major breakthrough for EADS (as part of the Northrop Grumman team), which has established operations in Mobile, Alabama, already and started to relocate A330 freighter activity there, too. But the champagne corks are back in after the U.S. GAO in June upheld seven points in Boeing’s protest at the U.S. Air Force procurement.
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