The U.S. Navy on May 7 announced a $1.24 billion contract award to Sikorsky Aircraft to begin engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) of the long-delayed VXX Presidential Helicopter Replacement Program. The EMD contract calls for Sikorsky to modify and deliver six civil-certified S-92s and two trainer simulators by October 2020.
The Russian unmanned combat air vehicle (UCAV) program revealed as long ago as 2007 may have reached the flight test phase. The evidence comes from a near midair over Arkhangelskoye on February 17, reported by the pilots of two L-29 jet trainers belonging to a civilian flying club based at the Barataevka airfield near Ulyanovsk. The L-29 pilots rapidly altered heading and altitude to escape collision with an unidentified flying object that they described as “a heavyweight unmanned air vehicle”.
Dassault Aviation joined the Falcon 5X’s main center fuselage subassemblies–the front and rear lower subassemblies and the upper subassembly–in mid-April, the company announced on Thursday. This is a milestone for the 5,200-nm wide-cabin twinjet, which the French OEM expects to fly in the first half of next year and enter service in 2017.
Calling this the year of design execution for the Boeing 737 Max, program chief Keith Leverkuhn finds himself immersed in the challenges of orchestrating the re-engined narrowbody project to support a factory production rate due to rise to 47 a month around the time the first Max 8 enters service in 2017.
With improved customer service finding new emphasis in many boardrooms–and aftermarket support becoming a growing revenue source–Safran subsidiaries Turbomeca and Sagem Avionics recently unveiled plans that highlight the roles technology can and will play in delivering support services.
Boeing said that it recently flew its AH-6i light attack/reconnaissance helicopter for the first time in production configuration. Flight status moves the program “another step closer to full-scale production,” the manufacturer said on May 1.
The business jet industry continued to build on its delivery momentum from last year, according to first-quarter delivery statistics released today by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA). OEMs handed over 154 business jets worldwide in the first three months, a 19.4-percent increase over the 129 delivered in the first quarter of last year.
Bombardier Aerospace’s first-quarter revenues declined year-over-year by 8.6 percent, to $2.1 billion, the Canadian aircraft manufacturer reported today. Bombardier executives attributed the lower quarterly revenue in part to the sale of its Flexjet fractional ownership business last year and lower sales of pre-owned aircraft. Meanwhile, its order backlog for both commercial and business aircraft grew to a record $38.5 billion, 40 percent of which is for aircraft under development.
First-quarter revenues at Textron Aviation, which includes Cessna and Beechcraft, were up $77 million, to $785 million, thanks to the mid-March acquisition of Beechcraft, higher jet deliveries and higher aftermarket sales but offset by fewer pre-owned sales and falling revenue at CitationAir. The division recorded a profit of $14 million in the quarter versus a loss of $8 million a year ago, helped by firmer pricing and higher jet volumes.
Genesys Aerosystems (née Cobham) announced a deal yesterday with Air Medical Group Holdings for 210 HeliSAS systems to be installed in the operator’s fleet of Bell and Eurocopter EMS helicopters at subsidiaries Air Evac, Med Trans, EagleMed and Reach. The HeliSAS two-axis autopilot and stability augmentation system will be fitted to Air Medical Group’s fleet of helicopters over the next three years.