Phase two manufacturing of sheet metal airframe fabrications and composite materials for the civil market has started at the Smiths Aerospace structures facility at Suzhou in China’s Jiangsu province, about 80 miles west of Shanghai. The first phase of the facility, opened last year, manufactures precision-machined aircraft engine components.
Paris Air Show » June 14, 2005
Smiths Aerospace is supplying its new generation cockpit voice and data recorder (VADR) systems for the MH-47 Chinook and MH-60 Black Hawk helicopters operated by the U.S. Army’s 160th Special Operations Regiment and the U.S. Coast Guard’s HH-60 Jayhawk and HH-65 Dolphin. Manufactured at Smiths’ facilities in Michigan, the VADR is claimed to be the most capable and reliable solid-state recorder on the market today.
The European Aviation Safety Agency and the Direction Générale de l’Aviation Civile of France have issued approvals for limited use of Honeywell’s runway awareness and advisory system (RAAS) in Europe. The EASA STC covers RAAS installation on the Learjet 31, 35, 36, 55 and 60, while the French authority approved the system for the Boeing 777.
Stores management systems for maritime patrol aircraft are proving a good earner for Smiths Aerospace. The company’s selection to provide the equipment for the 80 P-X replacements for Japan’s P-3 fleet is valued at more than $40 million: production is due to start in 2008 at Smiths’ Michigan and Florida facilities.
The landing gear extension and retraction system for the Airbus A380 and the Boeing KC-767A tanker mission system are among Smiths Aerospace’s most visible contributions to this year’s Paris Air Show, but they are just the tip of a highly diversified iceberg, according to the group’s president, Dr. John Ferrie.
Malaysian discount-fare airline AirAsia finally chose an engine type for the 60 Airbus A320s it ordered in two batches last December and in March. CFM International will supply its CFM56-5B as specified under a firm order signed here yesterday for 120 engines and nine spares valued at some $750 million at list price.
Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker and Lufthansa Technik CEO August Henningsen yesterday celebrated the signing of agreements whereby Lufthansa will provide engine maintenance and live TV installations for select aircraft operated by the Arabian flag carrier.
Here at the Paris Air show on Monday, Sukhoi unveiled a mockup of its Russian Regional Jet (RRJ) forward fuselage section, including the new flight deck supplied by Thales. The RRJ is the first Russian-made commercial aircraft with fly-by-wire side-stick controls and has Category IIIa landing capability as standard; Category IIIb is optional.
France’s beleaguered President Jacques Chirac opened the 46th Paris Air Show here at Le Bourget yesterday. While his visit is intended primarily to cheerlead the country’s own aerospace and defense industry, he has lately proved to be a best friend to foreign exhibitors, too.
International Aero Engines (IAE) is talking with Airbus and Boeing about a prospective powerplant for a next-generation 150-seat airliner to follow on from the A320 and 737 families. “The timing is not clear, but our technology programs suggest that a new design must represent a step change from current engines,” said president Mark King. IAE comprises Japanese Aero Engines, MTU Aero Engines, Pratt & Whitney and Rolls-Royce.