With the rapid development of China’s economy, business aviation is viewed by many in the country as a so-called “Blue Ocean industry” with vast potential. As estimated by Embraer in its last market forecast, by 2020 China may represent a market for as many as 635 business jets. Bombardier is even more optimistic, projecting a need for almost 1,000 more business jets in the coming decade.
Sukhoi announced this week that the “design and development” (D&D) phase of the Russo-Indian prospective multifunctional fighter (PMF), also known as the fifth-generation fighter aircraft (FGFA), has been completed. The aircraft is a joint development with India of the T-50 that Sukhoi has already designed and flown for the Russian Air Force. “The airplane has been shaped completely,” the manufacturer stated.
The Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF) has chosen the Raytheon Advanced Combat Radar (RACR) for its pending upgrade of 134 F-16C/Ds, for delivery beginning in late 2016. The Koreans are the first to choose between the RACR and the rival Scaleable Agile Beam Radar (SABR) from Northrop Grumman, which previously supplied all radars for F-16s. At least another 500 F-16s belonging to Singapore, Taiwan and the U.S. Air Force could be upgraded with advanced electronically scanned array (AESA) radars such as the RACR and the SABR.
The Obama administration has proposed a $526.6 billion defense budget for Fiscal Year 2014 that continues funding for developmental priorities, including the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the KC-46A tanker and a future long-range bomber. The President’s base defense budget does not include funding for overseas contingency operations in Afghanistan and does not reflect budget cuts mandated by sequestration.
King Schools announced several updates and additions to its online pilot training programs this week at the Sun ’n Fly-in in Lakeland, Fla.
After a 10-year hiatus, Piaggio America is exhibiting at the Sun ’n Fun Fly-in, which is being held this week in Lakeland, Fla. The West Palm Beach, Fla.-based North American sales arm of the Italian aircraft manufacturer is displaying a demonstrator Piaggio Avanti II twin turboprop until the airshow ends on Sunday. The Avanti II will also participate in the aircraft flying display this afternoon at the airshow, Piaggio added.
Hard to believe it, but there are still a few people out there who don’t know the story of the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP). These women, 1,104 who made the cut, volunteered for duty during World War II, and flew every aircraft that was manufactured for the fight, from trainers to bombers to fighters. They delivered aircraft from factories, ferried aircraft all over North America, towed targets for gunnery training and tested aircraft to make sure they were safe before they were deployed in battle overseas.
When Bell Helicopter sold its remaining stake in the BA609 civil tiltrotor program to partner AgustaWestland about two years ago, industry analysts figured that Bell was exiting this niche market. But might not be the case, since Bell unveiled a next-generation tiltrotor–the Bell V-280 Valor–yesterday at the Army Aviation Association of America (Quad A) convention in Fort Worth, Texas.
As expected, President Obama’s budget for Fiscal Year 2014, released yesterday, includes a proposed aviation user fee–just as previous budgets have since 2007 when the Bush Administration first floated the idea.
The second-annual Asian Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition (ABACE) kicks off next week at the Hawker Pacific Business Aviation Centre FBO at Shanghai Hongqiao Airport in China, and it promises to play a vital role in stimulating and facilitating growth in the adoption of business aircraft as productivity tools in the region.