Still stunned by the Pentagon’s scrapping of the U.S. Air Force Global Hawk Block 30 program, Northrop Grumman said here at the show yesterday that it’s too early to determine whether the decision will impact the cost of other Pentagon UAV programs based on the big-winged jet. The Block 20 Battlefield Airborne Communications Node (BACN), the Block 40 Multi-Platform Technology Insertion Program (MP-RTIP) and the U.S. Navy Broad Area Maritime Surveillance (BAMS) programs were all unaffected by the decision.
Embraer announced at the Singapore Airshow that it has made substantial interior improvements to the Legacy 600/650 family, which will be available for aircraft produced this year. “Key to this is our effort to reduce cabin sound levels, which set a new benchmark for the Legacy 600 and 650 class of aircraft,” said Embraer Executive Jets president Ernie Edwards.
With its Trent 1000 engines finally in commercial service on the delayed Boeing 787 platform, Rolls-Royce is stepping up efforts to advance further applications of the powerplant. It has started development of the Trent 1000C1 engine, also known as Pac C, that will be able to manage higher loads necessitated by the -9 aircraft’s changed wing and thrust profiles. “It delivers 74,000 pounds of thrust at economic performance levels,” reported Trent 1000 project manager Simon Carlisle in a pre-show briefing.
Korean Air has selected the Pratt & Whitney PW4170 Advantage70 engine to power five new Airbus A330-200s. Valued at some $200 million, the firm deal covers 10 engines.
Pratt & Whitney offers the Advantage70 as both a new engine and as an upgrade kit for existing PW4168 engines. The upgrade includes a suite of technology enhancements Pratt & Whitney can incorporate during engine overhauls, and promises a 2-percent thrust increase, more than 1-percent reduction in fuel burn, increased durability and lower maintenance costs.
GE Aviation is to expand its manufacturing and R&D capacity in the U.S. with three new facilities to open by 2013, the company announced Tuesday. It expects its production rates to grow from 3,000 commercial and military engine deliveries in 2011 to 3,400 deliveries in 2012 and 3,800 deliveries in 2013, requiring $580 million in plant, equipment and tooling during the 2011-2012 time frame across its network of 55 U.S. operations.
Fiji’s national carrier Air Pacific has placed a $210 million order for Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engines to power three Airbus A330-200s due to enter service in 2013. Air Pacific currently operates a fleet of six Boeings, and this is the first time it has selected a Rolls-Royce powerplant. The contract includes Rolls-Royce’s TotalCare service support.
Component specialist Aviall Services and Helicopter Service Co. (HSC), a subsidiary of Russian manufacturer Russian Helicopters, have signed an agreement to support rotorcraft powered by Rolls-Royce M250 engines. HSC, which operates the only M250 authorized support center in Russia, will buy parts for M250 engines and other helicopter parts directly from Aviall. Currently there are more than 100 M250-powered helicopters in Russia, mostly Kamov Ka-226 light twins.
The pair of Singaporean F-15SG fighters on static display here are the most advanced Strike Eagles ever built–but not for much longer because the huge order from Saudi Arabia that was confirmed recently allows Boeing to fit a fly-by-wire system.
China Eastern has selected Honeywell to provide a variety of its products and services for its fleet of Boeing 737 NG and Airbus A320 airliners. It will supply wheels and brakes for the 737 NGs to improve performance and reduce operating costs, for both new-build aircraft and as upgrades to the existing fleet. It also will provide 131-9 auxiliary power units for the 50 A320s that China Eastern has on order.
Thai Aviation Industries (TAI) and Rockwell Collins have just completed a major avionics upgrade for the Royal Thai Air Force’s C-130 Hercules fleet. The upgrade began five years ago and was accomplished in two phases, each covering six aircraft. The program allows the C-130 fleet to meet CNS/ATM (communications, navigation, surveillance/air traffic management) mandates until at least 2020, in turn allowing unrestricted access to global airspace.