Unseasonably bad weather at the 2012 Farnborough International airshow required exhibitors and visitors alike to dig deep into the reserves of resilience and flexibility that they have had to draw on in business conditions that remain uncomfortably unpredictable. But despite the near-relentless British rain, the event delivered no small amount of encouragement for the aerospace sector (primarily on the commercial side of the fence) and plenty of points of interest for industry watchers.
Associated Air Center (AAC) has taken the art of cabin completion and refurbishment to a new level with the June 28 opening of a 4,000-sq-ft design center at its Dallas Love Field site.
“The bulk of all interiors we provide to our customers are conceived, detailed and built by our own internal design department,” said v-p and general manager Chris Schechter. “This new design center will showcase the best of what we do at AAC: creative and innovative design, talented craftsmen and an overall commitment to quality.”
Chinese domestic production of civil helicopters is set to grow, but not as quickly as the country’s authorities predict, according to a local market analyst. Matthieu Devoisselle, co-founder of Avia-Tek, a Shanghai-based aerospace consultancy firm specializing in emerging countries, regards government forecasts as unrealistic. But Chinese manufacturer Avicopter does have reason to be optimistic, he adds.
Russian Helicopters unveiled a full-size mockup of the reworked Kamov Ka-62 medium twin at the HeliRussia 2012 show in Moscow in May.
Hawker Beechcraft (HBC) has introduced a limited-time sales promotion providing three years of complimentary maintenance to customers in North America who place an order for a Beechcraft King Air 350i or King Air 250 on or before September 15 this year.
Eurocopter’s subsidiary in the Southern Cone has formed a partnership with Servicios Aéreos de Los Andes and opened its first certified service center in Peru. The new center, based in the city of Ayacucho, will offer Eurocopter AS350B3 customers a maintenance center certified at the operational and intermediate (O&I) level.
The center will carry out inspections up to 600 flying hours and will replace small and large components, including gearboxes, blade and hub units, and electrical and avionics systems.
When Hawker Beechcraft announced on July 9 it was in negotiations that might result in its acquisition by Superior Aviation of Beijing, the most common response was, “Who?”
Superior Aviation is a Chinese aviation technology firm with a mission, according to Superior Aviation CEO Tim Archer, “to promote economic and industry development in the southern part of Beijing City.”
A U.S. bankruptcy court has cleared the way for Hawker Beechcraft to begin “exclusive negotiations” for China’s Superior Aviation Beijing to acquire the civil aviation interests of the financially troubled group.
L-3 Platform Integration, one of the premier cabin outfitters of widebody bizliners, had “a great year” last year, and with contracts in hand to do the interior completion on two new Boeing 747-8s, this year and beyond look bright as well.
Ken McKelton, v-p of head-of-state programs at the Waco, Texas-based center, pointed out that the shop has done green completion and major refurbishment work on no fewer than a dozen widebody airliner conversions in its 40-year history.
Russia was a priority for Bombardier long before it dispatched Q400 C-GLKU on a worldwide tour. Now, with issuance of Russian certification of the high-speed turboprop on June 6, Bombardier redoubled its marketing efforts in the promising market, sending the Q400 demonstrator to Moscow, Saratov, Kazan, Tyumen, Yekaterinburg, Kemerovo, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, Yakutsk, Magadan and Anadyr from May 21 to June 9. Over the next 20 years, the Canadian manufacturer expects Russia to need some 200 large turboprops and, as of now, Bombardier builds the biggest and fastest, albeit also the most expensive.