Two Chinese attack helicopters made their airshow debut during Airshow China at Zhuhai this week. A Z-10 from the Changhe Aircraft Industries Group made a daily flying appearance in its latest configuration. The smaller Z-19 from Harbin Aircraft Manufacturing was shown in public for the first time.
The Pentagon notified the U.S. Congress on November 9 of a proposed foreign military sale (FMS) of 25 Lockheed Martin C-130Js and KC-130Js to Saudi Arabia, a transaction valued at $6.7 billion. The sale to the Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF) would be the largest FMS in the history of the C-130J program, according to Lockheed Martin.
German police raided offices belonging to EADS and Eurofighter in the Munich area on November 7, in connection with the long-controversial sale of Eurofighter jets to Austria. A public prosecutor said that the raids were prompted by information from Austria.
Lockheed Martin, the largest U.S. government contractor with $46 billion in annual sales, appointed its first female chief executive on November 9 after CEO-in-waiting Christopher Kubasik resigned over a “close personal relationship with a subordinate employee,” the company announced. The Bethesda, Md.-based company named Marillyn Hewson, 58, to take over as president and CEO on January 1, succeeding outgoing CEO Robert Stevens.
Israel had prevented Boeing from delivering two Wedgetail AEW&C aircraft to the Turkish air force, but has now agreed to lift its restriction, according to a November 9 report in the Turkish newspaper Hurriyet. AIN understands that the Elta division of Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) provides the vital electronic support measures (ESM) system for all the Wedgetails sold to date–four to Turkey, four to Korea and six to Australia. Northrop Grumman provides the core AEW radar system. Both Boeing and IAI declined to comment on the matter.
Charter operators might see pilots and fleets grounded because of a change made last year to the FAA Inspector’s Handbook. The handbook clarifies FAR 135.337 by stating: “Before an air carrier authorizes a contract instructor or nominates an individual to become a contract check airman, the air carrier must provide its POI [principal operations inspector] with evidence that these individuals have completed at least one air carrier’s initial training and qualification curriculum as a flight crewmember for an operator certificated under the same CFR part.”
Gulfstream Aerospace has established a satellite flight department in Hong Kong to support Gulfstream operators in Asia, the Savannah, Ga.-based aircraft manufacturer announced yesterday at Airshow China 2012 in Zhuhai. Five pilots–three large-cabin demonstration pilots, one mid-cabin demonstration pilot and a chief pilot–staff the office.
The Boeing 737 Max program has reached the development stage known as “firm concept,” following months of study into changes to the original design needed to effect a 13-percent operation cost improvement over the existing 737NG.
Few would argue with the characterization by a senior Western airframe manufacturer of the Comac C919 as “a serious project by a serious company.” But the clumsy effort by the Chinese conglomerate to certify the ARJ21 regional jet begs the question: Do serious intentions necessarily equate to a serious product?
Rockwell Collins China managing director Ron Ho believes business for aircraft head-up displays (HUD) in China will soon be looking up. “We have been working with the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) for the past 10 years on the HUD project,” he explained.