Piaggio Aero has announced the first major order for its Avanti EVO, the prototype of which is making its airshow debut here at Farnborough (Farnborough Airshow News, Monday, July 14, page 82). Hong Kong-based Bravia Capital has signed an order for 10 aircraft with options for another 40. Deliveries are planned to begin in the first quarter of next year.
More orders for the just-launched Airbus A330neo helped deliver another $50 billion day at the Farnborough International Airshow. AirAsiaX topped the sales ledger with a $13.8 billion memorandum of understanding for 50 of the Rolls-Royce Trent 7000-powered A330-900neos and it will take delivery of its first aircraft in 2018.
Leasing groups Avolon and CIT Group signed $7.7 billion worth of MoUs that will see each of them take 15 A330neos. CIT also ordered five A321neos.
In his last act as British Defence Secretary, Philip Hammond and his French counterpart, Jean-Yves le Drian, signed an agreement at the Farnborough Airshow yesterday to launch a two-year co-operative feasibility study for an unmanned combat air vehicle (UCAV). The Future Combat Air System (FCAS) deal is worth £120 million (more than $180 million) for six industry partners: BAE Systems, Dassault Aviation, Rolls-Royce, Safran, Selex and Thales.
The Eurofighter Typhoon IPA5 has arrived at Farnborough carrying precious cargo. Beneath the nose radome is the first flight- test example of the Euroradar Captor-E WFoR (wide field of regard) electronically-scanned radar. The sensor was installed only recently and, after a few shakedown flights, the aircraft was ferried south from BAE Systems’ airfield at Warton, Lancashire, for the show.
Designing a new aircraft in the 90-seat class is no longer a priority, ATR CEO Patrick de Castelbajac explained yesterday here at the Farnborough International Airshow. “It was something my predecessor was very keen on, as were probably 95 percent of our employees and a number of our customers,” he stated. However, he pointed out that major shareholder Airbus Group believes “the timing is not now” for such an ambitious project.
Messier-Bugatti-Dowty–part of Safran Group (Hall 4 Innovation Zone Stand A7), which is providing the landing gear for the Airbus A350–has signed a contract with Japan’s Kobe Steel to supply the French company with titanium forgings for the main landing gear of the Airbus A350 XWB.
Nine heavy hitters from the Lockheed Martin F-35 program fronted Tuesday’s media briefing here at Farnborough. But even three senior Pentagon officials, one Air Force general and five industry chiefs could not conjure the actual hardware–although the good news at the show yesterday was that the F-35 was given clearance to fly with “a restricted flight envelope.” The four F-35Bs slated to fly to the UK were have been grounded at NAS Patuxent River after a June 23 engine fire at Eglin AFB in Florida.
The Bauhaus Luftfahrt aerospace think-tank in May unveiled a concept for a “propulsive fuselage” aircraft, opening a new possibility for fuel burn reduction. It is part of a European Union-funded project in cooperation with a number of research centers, as well as MTU Aero Engines and Airbus Group Innovations (OE13). The latter company is also studying a hybrid-power regional airliner with Rolls-Royce (Hall 4 Stand H3). Meanwhile, it is flying a hybrid-lift quadcopter demonstrator for unmanned military and civil missions, the Quadcruiser.
Textron’s Lycoming Engines division has found new markets for its man-rated piston engines in the unmanned aerial systems (UAS) segment. For Lycoming, which is celebrating its 85th year manufacturing aircraft engines, its participation in current UAS developments isn’t the company’s first foray into providing engines for unmanned aircraft.
Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation here on Monday announced a memorandum of understanding for 20 firm MRJ90 regional jets, with purchase rights for an additional 20 of the type, with Eastern Air Lines Group. Deliveries are scheduled to commence in 2019 and Boeing will support the aircraft.
Eastern Air Lines president and CEO Edward Wegel said the aircraft would be used on routes from the airline’s main base in Miami, Florida, to Latin America and the Caribbean. They will be operated in an 82-seat, two-class configuration, he added.