Mexico’s fast-growing aerospace sector is here at the Paris Air Show in strength once again (Hall 3 Stand D24), and the latest projections for its future suggest it is set to get bigger still in the next six years or so. Much of the growth in the past few years has come from foreign OEMs opening new facilities and expanding existing properties in their increasingly urgent pursuit of lower production costs and access to markets.
Paris Air Show » June 15, 2009
CFM International (Hall 2 Stand B149) is studying a next generation of turbofans to power single-aisle commercial aircraft, hoping to secure a role in future replacements for the Airbus A320 family and the Boeing 737. Under the LEAP-X advanced turbofan program, joint venture partners Snecma and General Electric are pursuing innovations such as increased use of composite materials in engines.
Embraer expects to deliver 30 percent fewer airliners this year than it shipped in 2008, and roughly half the number of Legacy and Lineage corporate airplanes. This is a set of circumstances that Fred Curado, the Brazilian company’s CEO, knew full well would result in the need to shave headcount and the kind of political pressure he hadn’t faced since succeeding Mauricio Botelho as head of the company in April last year.
How much more performance can be extracted from the King Air twin turboprop to satisfy surveillance requirements? The latest Model 350ER offers almost double the range and payload of the early King Airs, first flown more than 40 years ago. But in a quest to offer short-field performance from hot-and-high airfields, Hawker Beechcraft Corp.
Embraer has received a $1.3 billion contract to design and deliver a new military transport, called the KC-390. The Brazilian air force set the requirements and expects the aircraft to enter service in 2015, with the delivery of two prototypes.
Cobham Avionics (Hall 2 Stand E83) has just released its new large-format IDU-680P integrated flight display. According to the Arlington, Virginia-based manufacturer, the six- by eight-inch portrait display is an extension of its certified IDU-450 landscape display currently in use in helicopter OEM applications.
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the world famous Paris Air Show. The event has come a long way since it was first staged at the Grand Palais in the center of the French capital in 1909, and has long since established itself as a truly global gathering of the aerospace and defense industries. French journalist Gil Roy explains how the event got off the ground while aviation itself was still very much in its infancy.
As for much of the aerospace sector, the need to make air transport greener is driving much of the research-and-development effort at GKN. For instance, explained chief technology officer Phil Grainger, GKN is working on a next-generation composite wing that would not need spars. This would obviously reduce airframe weight but production costs would actually rise because of the need to change the way the wings are assembled.
Market conditions have hardly been kind to aerospace these past six months or so, but when a company is celebrating its 250th birthday–as GKN is this year–it can probably afford to take the long view.
They’ve done it with the Chinook, now they’re doing it with the Apache. Boeing expects that the AH-64 production line will still be running in 2040, thanks to a strategy that offers a continuing series of upgrades that can be efficiently incorporated on a single production line that recycles used aircraft as well as producing new ones.