Aviation

July 15, 2014 - 6:50am
Turbomeca’s Ardiden 3G turboshaft engine has been chosen to power the Kamov Ka-62 helicopter; it is due to complete European certification in mid-2015.

Driven by the ambition to become world’s third largest turboshaft engine manufacturer after General Electric and Pratt & Whitney, France’s Turbomeca is pressing to establish a Russian partnership to develop and coproduce a new 3,000-shp engine based on the existing RTM322 powerplant and using the new Tech3000 core.

July 15, 2014 - 6:30am
Airbus and its partners hope to see the first light trainer versions of its electrically powered E-Fan aircraft enter service at the end of 2017.

The Airbus-led effort to develop viable electrically powered aircraft was boosted by the first public flight of the first E-Fan aircraft on April 25. The first of the two- and four-seat E-Fan light training aircraft are due to enter service by the end of 2017, but the wider success of the program–which eventually hopes to prove the case for electrically powered regional airliners–is contingent on its developers achieving further technology breakthroughs in harnessing the new power source.

July 15, 2014 - 6:20am
Along with Thailand’s Board of Investment, Amata Corp., a developer and manager of industrial parks in Southeast Asia already established in Bangkok, Chonburi and Rayong, as well as in Vietnam, has big plans for an aerospace cluster in Thailand, which could include MRO facilities serving airlines such as Thai Airways.

In view of its success in nurturing a thriving automobile industry–the ninth largest in the world–and as Asia edges toward becoming the world’s largest growth market for aviation, Thailand’s Board of Investment (BOI) is considering building an aerospace industry starting with Tier 2 and Tier 3 suppliers servicing global OEM supply chains.

July 15, 2014 - 6:10am
Pat Shanahan, Boeing Commercial Airplanes senior v-p of programs

Boeing Commercial Airplanes has finally reached a period of stability after several years of struggle with the 787 Dreamliner and a three-year period in which it executed 15 production-rate increases across its product line, according to senior v-p and general manager of airplane programs Pat Shanahan.

July 15, 2014 - 6:00am
The Trent 900EP2 is the new-build standard for the engine that is to power the Airbus A380.

Rolls-Royce (Hall 4 Stand H3) is maintaining a continuous effort to improve in-service Trent performance, both for production engines and as retrofits. The newest version of the Trent 1000–the TEN for the Boeing 787-8,-9 and -10–is to be certified next year.

July 15, 2014 - 3:00am

The U.S. Army’s 1-229th Attack Reconnaissance Battalion (ARB), based at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state, has fielded the latest model Boeing AH-64E Apache Guardian attack helicopter in Afghanistan with impressive results, Army and Boeing officials said. The deployment has also afforded the “Tigersharks” an opportunity to direct unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) using the AH-64E’s UAS tactical datalink.

July 15, 2014 - 2:30am

The two huge hangars at Cardington airfield, 50 miles north of London, stand as witness to the golden age of the airships in the 1930s. Inside one of them, a successor to those giants of the sky is being prepared for flight. British company Hybrid Air Vehicles (HAV) is pursuing the goal held by so many proponents of lighter-than-air (LTA) and related technology for so many years. The goal of revolutionizing the air cargo market–and maybe also the persistent surveillance market–with buoyant lift.

July 15, 2014 - 2:30am

Roger Munk’s sudden and untimely death in February 2010 at the age of 62 robbed the airship industry of a true pioneer. He had led a series of British companies specializing in lighter-than-air technology (LTA) for nearly 40 years. HAV was his latest company, founded in 2007 to take forward the hybrid concepts that, he eventually concluded, offered more promise for the future than conventional airships. Before that, his life had been starred with technical success and marred with financial failure.

July 15, 2014 - 2:30am

In recent years, major aerospace companies such as BAE Systems, Boeing and EADS have all expressed interest in lighter-than-air and hybrid air vehicles, for ISR and remote heavy airlift applications. But apart from HAV, only Lockheed Martin (LM) has progressed beyond the drawing board.

In the 1990s, prompted by Fred Smith of Federal Express, the renowned Skunk Works in Palmdale, California, studied concepts for a huge cargo-carrying hybrid named the Aerocraft.

July 15, 2014 - 1:20am
Farnborough 2014

Day one of the 2014 Farnborough International Airshow proved to be a lucrative one for just about all manufacturers of airliners and the engines that power them. An approximate estimate of business announced here yesterday quickly topped $50 billion.

 
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