Military aircraft requirements in the Middle East and Asia worth billions of dollars remain unresolved, and will be a major talking point at next week’s Dubai Air Show. Most of the major aerospace companies will have a presence at the show, although the venue is unlikely to provide confirmation of any major order.
A Dassault Falcon 7X flies near the Burj Khalifa (just outside of the frame of this photo), the tallest building in the world, here in Dubai. Dassault, which also manufactures the Rafale fighter, has a strong business jet presence in the Middle East region, with more than 60 Falcons based here and 12 due for delivery over the next two years. Some 40 percent of Middle East sales are Falcon 7Xs–the French company’s flagship product.
Oman Air officials may confirm during the Dubai Air Show whether it will still take the six Boeing 787s it is supposed to be leasing from Aviation Lease and Finance Co. (ALFACO). The Arabian Gulf carrier has been in negotiations with Boeing over demands for compensation that it wants for delays in the delivery schedule for the new widebody.
Later this year the Irkut Corp. will deliver the first Yak-130 advanced trainers to the Algerian air force. The North African air arm already has personnel training on the type at the company’s Irkutsk facility in Siberia, where Algerian pilots undertook their first solo flights in September.
Despite CEO Frederico Curado’s recent expression of reticence over the possibility of re-engining of Embraer’s E-Jet line of airliners, the Brazilian company apparently has decided to spend $2 billion on a project to do just that by 2018.
JetBed began offering its patented design in 2008 and it has since become the gold standard for sleeping flat in a small aircraft cabin. Its beds weigh 20 to 26 pounds and deploy from a single integral bag when placed on the floor between two or four facing seats. The foundation inflates in less than a minute with the aid of a portable, rechargeable battery pump.
For ATR, 2011 is already a record year for sales of its regional airliners, but the European manufacturer could have more business to announce soon.
An avionics retrofit for Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters is being proposed as part of a new partnership between the multinational Cobham Group and Carson Helicopters of the U.S. Cobham has provided avionics to most aerospace majors, while Carson has specialized in airframe modifications to enhance the performance of S-61 helicopters.
Elbit Systems’ Brazilian subsidiary, AEL Sistemas, will supply the self-protection suite and directed, infrared countermeasures for the new Embraer KC-390 military airlifter, as well as the pilots’ head-up display (HUD) system, the companies announced late last month. AEL earlier was selected to provide the aircraft’s mission computers.