Alenia Aermacchi and Italy’s Ministry of Defense signed an agreement at the Paris Air Show to jointly define specifications and collaborate on a new “basic-advanced” jet trainer, the M-345 HET (high-efficiency trainer). The new trainer would be a further development of the company’s M-311 design, with entry into service between 2017 and 2020.
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) announced new features on the sensors available for the Predator/Reaper series. The company’s Lynx Block 20A multimode radar now has a “VideoSAR” software system and the ability to auto cross-cue to an EO/IR sensor.
F-35 engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney has started sustainment planning for the aircraft’s F135 turbofan even as F-35s continue flight-testing. “The F135 program is in an interesting place,” Bennett Croswell, Pratt & Whitney Military Engines president, said at a Paris Air Show press briefing on June 19. “We’re in all three phases of the lifecycle of the program. We are still in development; we are producing F135 engines; and now we are in sustainment as well.”
On its third test flight, the Airbus A350XWB flew past President Francois Hollande this afternoon on the final business day of the 2013 Paris Air Show. After two hours of cruise flight tests, the new aircraft made a curving descent toward Runway 27 for a single flyby.
CFM International, the General Electric/Snecma joint venture, expects to begin a second phase of ground testing for its 3-D woven resin transfer molding fan with its Moteur à Aubes de Soufflante en Composite Taille (Mascot) 2 fan-demonstrator engine. The fan is “foundational technology” for the CFM Leap engine that is scheduled to enter service in 2016.
At the Paris Air Show this week, Viking Air sold four Twin Otter Series 400s to Aerostar Leasing and an another seven to existing customer Vityaz Avia of Russia. The combined deals are worth approximately $70 million.
The Farnborough International airshow facilities will soon see almost $39 million in upgrades, the show organizer announced this week at the Paris Air Show. These upgrades will be accomplished in two phases–the first of which includes building a permanent Chalet Row A and the latter involving erecting a permanent Hall 1.
As expected, the FAA has published an Airworthiness Directive for 800-series Hawkers equipped with Aviation Partners (API) winglets.
International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC) has been busy announcing a procession of airframe and engine deals here in Paris. On Tuesday, the company announced it had signed for CFM International Leap-1A engines to power a further 20 Airbus A320neo jetliners. That brought the total backlog to 60 shipsets. With the aircraft scheduled to begin deliveries in 2016, the new order is valued at $510 million.
AgustaWestland announced several AW139 orders and an AW189 milestone at Paris 2013. The Finmeccanica company (Chalets A232, A260) signed a contract for the sale of its first AW139 medium twin-engine helicopter in Senegal. The contract includes in-country support services and training for both aircrew and maintainers. The helicopter will be operated by Senegal’s air force.