Robinson Helicopter enjoyed a robust first six months, producing 234 aircraft–76 R66 turbine singles and 156 R44s. Sales of the R66 have been particularly strong, even as the base price of that aircraft was raised to $822,000, effective July 1. In response to demand for the R66, Robinson plans to raise production of that aircraft from four to six per week by year-end, increasing Robinson’s total aircraft production to 13 per week from the rate of 10 per week at the beginning of the year and the current rate of 11 per week.
A two-year global consultation conducted by Airbus found that people still see a need to meet face-to-face despite the increased use of social media, a conclusion that bodes well for the future of air transport.
Bombardier Aerospace closed its Farnborough International Airshow order book last Thursday by announcing a firm order for six Q400 NextGen turboprops by Chorus Aviation of Halifax, Nova Scotia, the parent company of Jazz Aviation. The transaction, valued at $189 million, involved the conversion of six of 15 options taken by Jazz Aviation in 2010. The aircraft will be operated under the Air Canada Express banner.
Ontario, Canada-based aerospace structural, landing gear and engine components manufacturer Noranco sealed a five-year deal with Goodrich’s landing gear business this week at the Farnborough Airshow. The agreement calls for Noranco to supply Goodrich with complex titanium landing gear components for the Airbus A380.
Mecaer Aviation is to design and manufacture the landing gear system for Bell Helicopters’s new 525 Relentless twin. The Italian company, which already provides landing gear for the existing 429 model, will be responsible for engineering, system integration, and the production of a complete ‘bolt-on’ system, comprising nose and main gears, electro-mechanical actuation, the braking system, wheels, tires and control panel. Mecaer also provides landing gear for AgustaWestland.
The Omega Air KDC-10 tanker is here to remind visitors that a contract air refueling service is readily available. It brought the two Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornets across the Atlantic to Farnborough last week; the U.S. Navy is Omega’s prime customer, buying about 85 percent of the Irish company’s tanking output, which was nearly 1,600 hours last year with the KDC-10 and three KC-707s.
Denmark’s Terma is showing off, for the first time here at the show, the multi-mission pod (MMP) it has developed for the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. The MMP began life as the gun pod for the F-35, which Terma designed and developed on behalf of General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products, but the company has developed it into a more versatile pod that should prove attractive, in particular, to overseas operators of the JSF.
Russian manufacturer Irkut is studying airborne radar candidates for its Yak-130 combat trainer. Konstantin Popovich, Irkut v-p and head of the Yakovlev Engineering Center, announced at a Farnborough International airshow briefing yesterday that three radar options are being considered, from three designers–Phazotron, Ramenskoe-based NIIP and St. Petersburg-based Leninets.
Mitsubishi Aircraft received a huge dose of credibility at the Farnborough International airshow yesterday by announcing a 100-aircraft commitment for MRJ90s from the largest regional airline holding company in the world–SkyWest Airlines. The agreement in principle, signed just this week, potentially raises the MRJ regional jet family backlog to 170 airplanes and gives Mitsubishi its second major U.S. customer.