A ceremony commemorating the delivery of the 1,000th Embraer E-Jet last Friday not only gave the Brazilian company a chance to celebrate the success of the past 10 years, but also to offer a glimpse at what it hopes proves an equally auspicious future. An E175 painted in American Eagle livery, the 1,000th airplane went to long-time customer Republic Airways. The company placed an order for 47 of the 76-seat airplanes at the beginning of the year and holds options on another 47.
American Airlines has spent some $400 million in the past few years to retrofit its existing fleet for the planned NextGen flight environment in the U.S. But at this stage it has not seen the operational benefits it had hoped for, according to the airline’s director of airspace modernization and advanced technologies.
Russia’s Tactical Missile Corporation is negotiating with Dassault Aviation for the possible use of its missiles on the Rafale combat jets that have been selected by the Indian Air Force (IAF). The corporation, whose Russian acronym is TRV, told journalists attending last week’s Maks air show in Moscow that the Indian air force has large stocks of Russian air-launched weapons, which drives its interest in adapting them to the French warplane.
Moscow-based training organization ViraZH has ordered 79 Skyhawks to re-equip its flight schools throughout western Russia. Under an agreement signed today at the JetExpo show at the Russian capital’s Vnukovo-3 Airport, Cessna will start supplying the piston singles in next year’s third quarter and by the time all the deliveries have been made ViraZH will be fielding one of the world’s largest Skyhawk fleets.
The premier position of the UK aerospace industry on the Lockheed Martin F-35 program was highlighted by a briefing and presentation at the Defence Security and Equipment International (DSEI) show in London this week. Some 500 British companies are involved in producing “15 percent of each of the 3,100 F-35s that will be built,” according to Steve O’Bryan, vice president for F-35 program integration at Lockheed Martin. The company has calculated that the program will secure 24,000 high-technology jobs in the UK through 2039.
BAE Systems Regional Aircraft is proposing an air-to-air refueling (A2R) version of the BAE146/Avro RJ regional jet airliner. The business previously proposed and engineered a firefighting tanker version, 12 of which are now in service. It also proposed a military convertible version, which has been introduced by the UK Royal Air Force. These aircraft were all conversion of used passenger aircraft, which are readily available at $2 to $5 million each from airlines and leasing companies, including Falco Regional Aircraft, which bought the large BAE portfolio of 146s and RJs a few years ago.
The Russian government has finalized a follow-on order for four Tupolev Tu-204-300s with VIP interiors. The Kremlin’s Special Air Detachment, the government flight department that transports Russia’s senior political leaders and high-ranking officials, already operates two of the type.
Ilyushin Finance Co. (IFC) is entering the business aviation market with plans to have some of the airliners it has on order for its lease portfolio outfitted with VIP interiors. For the most part, the aircraft to be offered for lease for private and corporate clients will be Russian-made airliners, such as the Tupolev Tu-204 and Antonov An-158, but IFC also has orders for new aircraft such as Sukhoi’s Superjet SSJ-100 and Irkut’s MC-21.
Two UK airports have joined to create a “National Aeronautical Center” (NAC) to develop, test and demonstrate unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). West Wales Airport at Aberporth and Newquay Cornwall Airport in southwest England will jointly offer their facilities and runways, along with access to offshore testing areas, to UAS developers.
A bankruptcy hearing for Avantair held yesterday in Tampa, Fla., brought some needed good news for share owners of the 56 ex-Avantair Piaggio Avantis, with the Italian OEM unveiling a path for them to get their aircraft back in the sky. These aircraft, which haven’t flown since early June when Avantair shut down, were officially grounded by the FAA last month when the agency revoked their airworthiness certificates.