Aircraft

July 12, 2014 - 4:28am

When taking the helm of a company that already owns a substantial portion of the regional aircraft market, one might be tempted to wonder if there’s anything more to be done. But Patrick de Castelbajac, who was appointed CEO of ATR at the beginning of June, knows there’s plenty of work left to do.

July 11, 2014 - 2:00pm
Boeing and Air Lease Corporation in late May celebrated the direct delivery of the first of 15 777-300ERs from ALC’s existing order pipeline with the manufacturer. Boeing expected to deliver the second 777-300ER for ALC to British Airways this month.

Boeing sees little chance that it will have to cut production of the 777 during the transition to the 777X, notwithstanding recent conjecture from analysts that a so-called sales “drought” since the launch of the program during last year’s Dubai Air Show could portend a period of market weakness–and a possibility that it won’t find enough orders to maintain its 8.3-per-month rate into 2020.

July 11, 2014 - 7:30am

Lessons learned from early missteps associated with the Boeing Dreamliner’s production system have helped cut unit costs on the 787-8 by some 15 percent over the past year and generate a 10-percent flow reduction since December, according to Boeing 787 vice president and deputy general manager Kim Pastega. Now building eight airplanes a month at is main plant in Everett, Washington, and two at its new factory in Charleston, South Carolina, Boeing has also seen a unit cost improvement of 30 percent in the recently certified 787-9 over the first six airplanes built.

July 11, 2014 - 7:21am

Analysts expect established trends in predicted long-term jetliner requirements to continue, with little change to the market breakdown by aircraft size, according to the latest Boeing 20-year forecast statistics, unveiled in London on July 10.

July 11, 2014 - 7:15am
The CH-53K “King Stallion,” one of the first all-digitally designed helicopters, was assembled inside a 3-D virtual reality lab at Sikorsky’s headquarters before any metal was cut or composites were laid out.

Powered ground tests of the Sikorsky CH-53K, the U.S. Marine Corps’ future heavy-lift helicopter, are now well under way at the company’s West Palm Beach, Florida facility in the run-up to first flight later this year. The first ground-test vehicle (GTV1) started systems testing in late April, about a week before the first flying article was rolled out on May 5. Operational service of the mostly composite helicopter, which has been dubbed the “King Stallion,” is expected in 2019.

July 11, 2014 - 7:13am

Sikorsky Aircraft powered on its S-97 Raider prototype on May 28 at the company’s development flight center in West Palm Beach, Florida, marking the successful installation of the avionics system and a major step toward completing the assembly of the new light tactical rotorcraft. A contender for the U.S.

July 11, 2014 - 7:00am
The RAF’s Voyager fleet has been cleared for protected air transport operations with the defensive aids suite, allowing the aircraft to operate into theater. Voyager operations to Afghanistan began just before Christmas 2013.

Airbus Defence and Space Military Aircraft (Outdoor Exhibit 13) has announced that it will begin deliveries of an improved version of the A330 multi-role tanker transport in late 2017. The initial A330 MRTT Enhanced aircraft will be the first of six that were ordered by Singapore earlier this year. Subsequent production aircraft will all be of the new version.

July 11, 2014 - 6:40am
The AV Sparrow from Torquing Group.

Consumer electronics manufacturers, former toy and hobby suppliers, research university spinoffs and major aerospace companies are among the entities vying for a share of the simmering commercial market for small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) generally weighing less than 20 pounds. They are advancing numerous fixed- and rotary-wing designs, some of which were displayed at the Unmanned Systems 2014 conference in May and others elsewhere. Following is a description of some, although by no means all, of the recent showings:

July 11, 2014 - 6:30am
To mark the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings this year, the RAF painted on a Eurofighter Typhoon the invasion stripes that were used to distinguish allied aircraft in 1944.

Multi-role functionality has been a long time coming for the Eurofighter Typhoon. But the four-nation industrial consortium building the combat jet says the Phase 1 Enhancements (P1E) package that is now entering service represents a “paradigm shift” in capability.

The commander of the UK Royal Air Force (RAF) Typhoon force, Air Cmdr. Gary Waterfall, said the new package allows the RAF to drop 500-pound Paveway IV “smart” bombs “at the moment of our choosing, on targets of our choosing, with a multitude of fuse settings, impact angles and arrivals.”

July 11, 2014 - 6:20am

Embraer is unveiling its cabin interior for the new -E2 version of its established regional-jet series, which are marketed generically as E-Jets, here at the Farnborough Airshow this week. Maintaining the same four-abreast fuselage cross section, the -E2 models are principally re-engined variants of the E175, 190 and 195 powered by Pratt & Whitney geared turbofans–the PW1700G on the E175 and the larger PW1900G on the heavier E190 and E195.

 
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