On display in the Thales pavilion, the AESA (active electronically scanned array) version of the RBE2 radar will soon become the first of its kind to go operational in Europe. The first French air force Rafale squadron to convert to the new fighter will receive four AESA-equipped aircraft in October. The first production radar was delivered last October and is completing operational testing at Mont de Marsan airbase.
The successful first flight of the Airbus A350 XWB in Toulouse last Friday was a major milestone in the program and one to be celebrated by the manufacturer and its major suppliers. Rolls-Royce (Chalet B89), in particular, was pleased to see its Trent XWB engines power the aircraft from Runway 32L at Blagnac airfield for its 4hr 05min maiden flight.
As well as being a well-known manufacturer of UAVs and provider of special-mission aircraft conversions, Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI, Chalet A206, Static B37 & B40) produces a wide range of sensors and payloads that are employed in the ISR (intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance) role. A selection is being presented here at Paris, with a number of new systems on show.
With president and CEO Joseph Weiss completing his first year in office, IAI has a relatively new cadre of top management executives, but remains focused on the development of new systems and technologies to face future challenges. A key element of the company’s strategy for sustained growth and development is cooperation with its customers, with governments and with other companies, both at home and overseas.
GE Aviation has started building components and is “on track” with its GE9X engine development to meet Boeing’s objective of improving fuel burn by 10 percent on the new 777X widebody.
The Farnborough International Airshow facilities will soon see almost £25 million in upgrades that Gerald Howarth, a UK Member of Parliament, said are a “real step-change forward that demonstrates a commitment to having the premier venue for airshows.” Announced yesterday here in Paris, the facilities upgrade will be done in two phases–the first of which includes building a permanent Chalet Row A and the latter of which involves erecting a permanent Hall 1.
From Henri Mignet’s tiny ‘Pou-de-Ciel’ to the latest composite designs, France has a long history of innovative light aircraft. One chapter of that story is being celebrated here at the Paris Air Show with the display of the Moynet Jupiter 360, a tandem-engine light twin that first appeared at the Paris show in 1965. The airplane is undergoing restoration with the aim of having it back in the air in 2015 to mark the 50th anniversary of its first flight and its debut appearance at Le Bourget.
Turning heads at Le Bourget whenever it takes to the skies is Kamov’s Ka-52 helicopter. Its co-axial rotor blades and comprehensive weapons suite mark it out from the herd and, amazingly for a helicopter, it even has ejection seats. With the Ka-52 now in Russian army service and being touted for export, the design bureau is busy working on a maritime version for the Russian navy.
Worldwide Aeros’s Aeroscraft cargo-carrying airship could change the way transport logistics have traditionally been done with airplanes, trains, ships, trucks and other vehicles. According to Worldwide Aeros (Hall 6 B30) CEO and chief engineer Igor Pasternak, two versions of the Aeroscraft will be available, one offering a 66-ton payload and a larger version with a 250-ton payload. The U.S Department of Defense (DOD) has invested more than $60 million in the Aeroscraft airship over the past seven years and ordered 24. Deployment is expected by 2021, he said.
Boeing fired the starting pistol on the much-anticipated launch of the 787-10 here yesterday, in the process collecting order commitments for 102 airplanes from five customers across Europe, Asia and North America. Air Lease, United Airlines, GE Capital Aviation Services, British Airways and Singapore Airlines form the group of launch customers.