The Thales-supplied tower ATC system chosen for the upcoming data communications trial at Memphis International Airport will, when active, become the first such product from the French aerospace and defense group ever to operate in the U.S. The automation system and controller display interface, used for managing aircraft on the airport surface, forms part of an integrated air traffic management system widely used outside the U.S. called TopSky.
CFM, the 50/50 joint venture between GE and Snecma, has embarked on a “major” risk-abatement plan to ensure a smooth production transition from its CFM56 to the new Leap-1A, B and C engines, chosen to power, respectively, the Airbus A320neo, the Boeing 737 Max and the Comac C919 single-aisle airliners. “Transitioning from 1,600 engines per year to the same output of another type in two years, this is something the industry has never done before,” François Harant, Snecma’s supply chain director, told AIN.
Honeywell Aerospace (Booth No. N4100) has recently signed new partnerships that will enhance the flight planning capabilities available to business aviation pilots and operators through its Global Data Center (GDC), including new runway analysis data, expanded international trip support and added weather radar capabilities.
After four months of intense negotiation, a deal for the sale of Hawker Beechcraft to Superior Aviation Beijing collapsed October 18 with an announcement by HBC that the parties could not come to terms and it would proceed with the stand-alone plan of reorganization.
The business aviation industry lost a visionary leader yesterday evening, October 18, when Albert Ueltschi, founder and chairman emeritus of industry training provider FlightSafety International, died peacefully at his home in Vero Beach, Fla. at the age of 95. Growing up during the Great Depression in rural Kentucky in a family of modest means, he was bitten by the flying bug early on and decided to become a pilot.
Flight-testing of the Lockheed Martin F-35 is ahead of the 2012 plan, and software development is making up lost ground, now standing at two months behind schedule. Steve O’Bryan, Lockheed Martin’s v-p for F-35 program integration and business development, told a meeting in London sponsored by The Air League that the F-35B STOVL version that the UK will buy is 40 percent ahead on flights and test points. Of the nine million lines of software code in the aircraft, 87 percent is now in flight test, with another 6 percent in laboratory tests.
Iraq has agreed to acquire 28 Aero Vodochody L-159 advanced trainer/light attack aircraft from the Czech Republic, the two countries announced on October 15.
Honeywell has been asked to quote for the supply of 270 F125IN turbofan engines to replace the twin Rolls-Royce Adour Mk 821s on India’s 125-strong fleet of Jaguar strike aircraft. The F125IN is 600 pounds lighter than the Adour and is expected to enable 25-percent-shorter hot-and-high takeoffs. India’s Jaguars have become overweight and underpowered as a result of avionics and systems upgrades.
The Russian defense ministry has decided to modernize the air force’s surviving MiG-25 spyplanes for service until 2020. The venerable aircraft will receive a modern navigation suite based on Glonass receivers and laser gyroscopes; digital photo and video cameras; and a new “radio-technical reconnaissance complex.” The latter will include a new side-looking radar for surface surveillance and various communications and electronic intelligence-gathering systems.
Fuel efficiency and its effect on the useful life of aging aircraft is a dominant factor in the thinking of aircraft leasing companies, which are increasingly helping credit-squeezed carriers to refresh their fleets. Their presence in the market for airliner acquisition has continued to grow in the last two decades, with operating leases now thought to account for almost 40 percent of total deals today.