Bombardier expects the largest airplane it has ever built–the 100-seat CRJ1000–to take to the skies for the first time this month, on schedule and on budget. Plans call for the only CRJ1000 prototype to embark on a 14-month flight test regime expected to result in certification and first delivery to launch customer Brit Air in the fourth quarter of next year.
Farnborough Air Show » July 14, 2008
As Anatoly Belov contemplates his new joint role as RSK MiG’s new general designer and general director, he faces a situation in which the famous Russian fighter house has both opportunities and challenges to keep its domestic and export customers happy. The company expects to build around 300 to 350 new aircraft over the next decade.
With the attachment of its wings and the hanging of the engines last month, Boeing’s first P-8A Poseidon reconnaissance aircraft is right on schedule and could soon be earning its first international order, according to the manufacturer.
France’s Safran is to supply major equipment packages for the new, all-composite Learjet 85, adding to its growing presence aboard Bombardier business aircraft. Under the terms of a deal signed in Montreal on July 4, Safran subsidiaries Messier-Bugatti and Aircelle will respectively provide the landing gear and nacelles and their associated systems.
Raytheon is launching here at Farnborough the latest member of its growing family of AESA (active electronically scanned antenna) radars. Known as the Raytheon advanced combat radar (RACR, “racer”), the new sensor is aimed at both the retrofit market, for aircraft such as the F-16, F/A-18 and others, or for installation in new-build fighters.
Since April 1 a new service managed by QinetiQ has met the UK’s aerial target requirements. Known as the combined aerial target service, or CATS, the new arrangement streamlines the provision of target facilities to UK forces, providing cost savings and greater flexibility.
Intended to arm the ‘Euro-canards’ (Gripen, Rafale and Typhoon) and possibly integrate into the RAF’s JSFs, the MBDA Meteor ramjet-powered missile is taking giant strides towards service entry. Recent successful guided firings have paved the way for trials of production-representative missiles, keeping the program on track for an in-service date of 2013.
Jet fuel prices are soaring, capital markets are drying up, Western economies at best are stalled and defense budgets are under threat as shrinking tax bases swell national debts to unsustainable levels. But you won’t find many prophets of doom among the top aerospace executives gathered here for the 2008 Farnborough International show.
Anyone in the air transport sector who remains unconvinced by the clarion calls for aviation to be held accountable for its impact on the environment will surely accept that sustained increases in the cost of jet fuel have removed any remaining doubt about the imperative for the industry to make more efficient use of this life-blood commodity.
Diehl Aerospace, the product of a merger between two German companies, is celebrating its second anniversary this month and joining French group Thales
in a deal to acquire Airbus’ factory in Laupheim, Germany. The two companies were declared preferred bidders for the site on May 30.