From The Black Knights of Singapore to the Black Eagles of Korea, another fast jet aerobatic team performing here. But although show-goers will inevitably compare the two, Black Eagles team manager Lt. Col. Park San Hyoun says that for a true comparison to be made, “We would both have to be flying the same aircraft.” Instead of competing, he says, “we’re here to enjoy and give pleasure to the crowd.”
Bell Helicopter (Chalet CD11) is exhibiting two of its products at the Singapore 2014 airshow, the Bell 407GX single and the Bell 429 light twin. The show also marks the debut here of the cockpit demonstrator for the Bell AH-1Z Zulu attack helicopter. Meanwhile, the U.S. Marine Corps is displaying the Bell Boeing MV-22 Osprey in both the static and flying displays.
A team from UTC Aerospace Systems (Chalet CD07) is here promoting the DB-110 dual-band airborne reconnaissance sensor, and talking of a multispectral upgrade to come. The podded sensor flies on the F-16s of nine air forces, on the new Saudi air force F-15s, and on Japan’s P-3s. It first entered service on the Tornado strike aircraft of the UK Royal Air Force, where it is named the Raptor system.
Embraer is endeavoring to boost executive jets sales and support its existing fleet in Asia, and says that the market is developing well despite widespread red tape that impedes business aviation in the region. On the static display here at the Singapore Airshow, the very large-cabin Lineage 1000E–Embraer’s largest business jet–is making its Asian debut.
Cirrus Aircraft (Booth A05) is here exhibiting an SR22T light piston single, hoping to lure local high net-worth individuals with a new-generation light aircraft and accompanying services. Cirrus Malaysia Singapore, the dealer Cirrus Aircraft has appointed for these countries, is just starting to sell SR20s and SR22s. Under the Wings Over Asia organization, it is to offer a service center at Seletar Airport.
Rising military tension in north Asia sparked by China’s escalating defense spending and erratic posturing by North Korea is driving growth in Honeywell’s defense business. The need to maintain operational availability for the large installed base of U.S.-made aircraft operated by Japan, South Korea and Taiwan is spurring strong demand for spares and product support, according to Mark Burgess, senior director with Honeywell Aerospace Asia Pacific (Booth 23, Chalet CS42).
EASA has given FL Technics Jets of Vilnius, Lithuania, a certificate of approval to provide line and base maintenance services for the Bombardier CL-600-2B19 series (CRJ100/200/440 and the CRJ200-derived Challenger 850). In early 2012, FL Technics Jets became the first authorized Hawker Beechcraft service center in Eastern Europe. Soon afterwards the company became the first authorized service center for Tronair ground support equipment in Eastern Europe, Russia and the CIS.
The war of words between the system integrators and radar houses that are chasing the F-16 upgrade market intensified here this week. With 3,500 Fighting Falcons still flying, at least one-third of which might be upgraded, the stakes are high. Here in Singapore, BAE Systems Inc. and Raytheon are hoping that the local Ministry of Defence will entertain their rival proposals for a contract that could be worth almost $2.5 billion, and consider them above the solution offered by Lockheed Martin (LM) and Northrop Grumman (NG).
CFM International is confident Comac’s C919 program is progressing on a sound basis, but the engine manufacturer does have contingency plans for the Leap-1C turbofan it has designed for the narrowbody to mitigate program risks in case further delays arise.
Raytheon has warned against overreliance on stealthy platforms alone in future air combat. Despite their low radar cross-sections (RCS), fifth-generation fighters such as the F-35 can be detected by modern air defense systems. To defeat these defenses, air forces should take full advantage of the latest sensors and weapons that can be carried on less stealthy aircraft, the company said.