Saab has completed integration of the MBDA Meteor BVRAAM on the Gripen. Next year the Swedish air force fighter will be the first to go operational with the new missile, according to Saab. The Dassault Rafale and Eurofighter Typhoon will also carry the Meteor. The Gripen previously conducted the first eight developmental test firings of the ramjet-boosted missile.
A preliminary report into a February 20 elevator disconnect incident on a Virgin Australia ATR 72 showed that maintenance technicians at Sydney Airport initially misdiagnosed the extent of the damage that occurred during that February arrival. The twin turboprop was later cleared to re-enter service and flew 13 more trips before severe damage to the tail was discovered in the area where the horizontal and vertical stabilizers were joined.
Airbus Helicopters recently exhibited some new EMS equipment for the just-certified EC145T2 light twin. Developed with Mecaer, the new cabin installation is available with an “EMS fixed provisions” option. This provides standardized interfaces for customized hardware, thus reducing the outfitting lead time of an interior for medical operations.
The companies have walked away from an agreement announced last year to partner on a new 5,000-pound helicopter. They continue to operate the HeliVert joint venture that produces AW139s for the Russian and CIS markets.
After five harsh years, the business aviation market is indeed showing signs worthy of optimism, according to responses from JetNet IQ’s most recent industry survey, released last month at the company’s fourth annual summit in New York City. Each quarter the company polls hundreds of business jet owners and operators to read the business climate they are facing, and in the latest round, 54 percent overall (and 59 percent of U.S.
The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has certified the new Pratt & Whitney Canada PW127N turboprop to power the ATR 72-600. The PW127N offers 4.5 percent more takeoff power for better hot-and-high performance. Plans call for the PW127N to progressively roll into Avianca’s ATR fleet throughout this year and next. ATR expects to deliver the first Avianca ATR 72-600 equipped with the new engines “in the coming weeks,” allowing the airline to benefit from better takeoff performance at high-altitude airports such as its hub in Bogota, Colombia.
Mitsubishi Aircraft took delivery early last month of its first Pratt & Whitney PurePower PW1200G geared turbofan at the Mitsubishi Regional Jet’s (MRJ) final-assembly factory in Aichi Prefecture, Japan. Delivery of the engine from Pratt & Whitney’s Mirabel Aerospace Center in Quebec marks a major milestone toward final assembly of the first MRJ90 flight-test aircraft, which Mitsubishi expects to fly during next year’s second quarter.
The first Sukhoi Superjet 100 destined for the new regional division of Russia’s UTair rolled out of its paint hangar at Spektr-Avia in Ulyanovsk, Russia, on May 29. Scheduled for delivery to UTair Express by early this month, the airplane features a special livery developed by UTair Group and Sukhoi Civil Aircraft. Featuring bright folk patterns in the traditional Russian style, the paint job took more than 120 gallons of enamel and 3,600 feet of stencil to complete.
John Bingham, who has been president and CEO of Piaggio America and chief marketing officer at parent company Piaggio Aero Industries since 2009, left the company on May 30. The company said the move was a planned departure, but was delayed until after it had announced the upgraded Avanti Evo at EBACE in mid-May. Giuliano Felten, Piaggio Aero’s executive senior vice president of civil sales, took over as president and CEO of Piaggio America early last month.
Transatlantic ferry flights of four Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning IIs, due to make their international debut in the UK, were delayed this week by the engine fire that occurred June 23 at Eglin AFB. As a result, tentative plans to fly one or more of them over the naming ceremony for the UK’s new aircraft carrier were cancelled. HM The Queen will formally christen the big ship named after her, at Rosyth dockyard in Scotland on July 4.