The Hermes 450 UAV designed by Israel’s Elbit Systems has been acquired as a surveillance platform by at least 10 countries, including Singapore, but only the UK has requested major changes.
Singapore Air Show » February 14, 2012
Speaking to the Chinese media during his visit to Beijing last October, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said Russia and China have much to gain from jointly developing a widebody airliner. He called for more joint Sino-Russian projects in space and aeronautics, as well as other high-technology spheres, stating that these may produce “huge economic effect for development of both countries.”
European low-cost carrier Easyjet announced on the eve of the show that it will be the first airline to test the electric taxiing system that Safran and Honeywell are developing to save fuel (see page 58). With the first operational trials due to take place in 2013, Easyjet’s role will be to help establish whether the estimated savings can be realized. The system enables an aircraft to taxi without its engines, by using the auxiliary power unit to power electric motors in the main wheels.
Fuel system specialist Woodward, here at the Singapore Airshow (Booth E35) for the first time, is highlighting its contribution to the in-development CFM International Leap engine family. Woodward is providing Leap’s fuel system, including (but not limited to) actuators and air valves. The Fort Collins, Colorado-based company claims to have displaced other suppliers, such as Honeywell and Arkwin, from the new turbofan program.
Dassault has offered to adjust the Rafale package for Switzerland to reduce cost and prevent the confirmation of the Saab Gripen as that country’s new fighter. The move follows the leaking of the Swiss air force evaluation report on the competing fighters, which also included the Eurofighter. The Rafale was the clear winner of the SAF evaluation, with the Eurofighter second, but the Swiss government opted for the cheaper Gripen package. This was worth $3.4 billion and included 22 jets. The potential new French offer is $3 billion for 18 aircraft, according to reports in the Swiss media.
U.S. ambassador to Singapore David Adelman will cut the ribbon to open the U.S. International Pavilion at the Singapore Airshow this morning. He will be joined by General Gary North, U.S. Pacific Air Forces commander, and Nicole Lamb-Hale, U.S. assistant secretary of commerce for manufacturing and services.
The U.S. pavilion will showcase the products and services of 70 companies, 25 of which are exhibiting at the Singapore Airshow for the first time. The 1,400-sq-m pavilion has been organized by Kallman Worldwide.
The Singapore Airshow will retain its world top-three ranking with a 2012 event that will be bigger than any of its predecessors, according to show organizers Experia Events. Covered exhibit space for this year’s show total 50,000 sq m–5 percent bigger than in 2010. Outdoor space spanning 100,000 sq m has been filled with more than 65 aircraft–up from around 50 two years ago.
Gulfstream Aerospace comes to Singapore with, among other things, a G450 demonstrator aircraft fitted with its new Elite interior. The all-new optional package features elements from the company’s flagship G650, and is also available for G550 aircraft as well. AIN got a taste of the new cabin during a pre-show demo flight, courtesy of the U.S. manufacturer.
France’s Dassault Rafale fighter won India’s $10 billion-plus medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA) contest for 126 combat jets because its direct acquisition and life-cycle costs were 22 to 25 percent lower than those of the Eurofighter Typhoon. This verdict came from “a top [Indian] defense ministry source” quoted by The Times of India newspaper in Delhi last Friday. AIN believes that the report is credible. Negotiations on the contract should be completed by October, the source added.
The new Rolls-Royce factory in Singapore could be producing half of the company’s large commercial engines by the middle of this decade. The 1.65-million-sq-ft campus at Seletar Airport has cost more than $450 million to build, with some of the funding coming from the island republic’s Economic Development Board. Rolls-Royce managers expect to assemble engines and make fan blades more efficiently here than in the UK, thanks to the clean-sheet, all-under-one-roof building designs.
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