The Neuron UCAV demonstrator was officially unveiled last week inside a hangar at Istres airbase in southern France to representatives of the six governments funding the €400 million ($520.4 million) effort. France, Italy and Sweden each produced UCAV-like flying prototypes before joining Greece, Switzerland and Spain on the Neuron project in 2006.
Jay Johnson, president and CEO of Gulfstream Aerospace and Jet Aviation parent company General Dynamics, said yesterday that Gulfstream had a “banner” fourth quarter, with deliveries of 35 green aircraft–including 12 G650s–versus 20 jets in the same period in 2010. For 2011, Gulfstream shipped 107 jets, eight more than in the previous year.
Cessna Aircraft and Bell Helicopter parent company Textron yesterday reported a loss of $19 million in the fourth quarter, versus a $60 million profit in the same period in 2010, despite increased revenues and profits at the two aerospace units. Though Cessna delivered 12 fewer Citations in the quarter compared with the previous year–67 versus 79–revenue climbed by $51 million, to $1.011 billion, thanks to a higher sales volume of pre-owned jets, piston singles and Caravan turboprop singles.
Airlines continue to defy the notion of austerity during economic hard times, as Boeing and Airbus collect a bounty of orders during a record spending spree for narrowbody airplanes.
Earlier this month a BeechJet 400A left Fort Lauderdale’s Banyan Air Service for Argentina outfitted with the Thrane & Thrane Aviator 200 Swift Broadband system. “About half our customer base is in South America, and that market is about to explode,” Brian Wilson, Banyan’s director of avionics, told AIN.
Bombardier Aerospace delivered 163 business jets during the 11-month fiscal year that ended December 31, compared with 155 shipped during the 12-month Fiscal Year 2010. (FY2011 was only 11 months because Bombardier’s board of directors voted to change the financial year-end from January 31 to December 31, effective Dec. 31, 2011.)
Eurocopter announced today that its 2011 revenues reached a record €5.4 billion ($7 billion), a 12-percent increase over the previous year. However, deliveries totaled 503 helicopters, short of the 527 handed over in 2010.
Last year, the manufacturer received net orders for 457 rotorcraft, prompting CEO Lutz Bertling to declare that the helicopter market has now recovered. He emphasized the low number of cancellations last year–only 15.
When the U.S. Air Force announced on December 22 that it had selected Sierra Nevada and its Brazilian partner Embraer as the winner in the competition to build a light air support aircraft, not everyone was happy, in particular Wichita-based Hawker Beechcraft, a competitor for the same contract.
In what stands as approximately the 40th airworthiness directive (AD) affecting the Airbus A380, the EASA mandated inspections and possibly repairs on the double-decker’s wing rib feet last Friday after operators found cracks on several aircraft. The AD applies to 20 of the 68 A380s in service.
Sikorsky Aircraft named 35 suppliers participating in an industry-funded effort to build two prototype S-97 Raider helicopters for evaluation by the U.S. military. The Raider is a follow-on to the company’s X2 technology demonstrator with coaxial contra-rotating main rotors and a pusher propeller.