The U.S. Navy’s MQ-4C Triton unmanned maritime surveillance aircraft is progressing through its flight-test program, but still without a “sense-and-avoid” system that would protect against collisions with other aircraft. The program office said it is taking a “layered approach” to meeting the requirement until it finds a technology solution.
The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) aims to put all unlicensed repair and support companies across the country out of business, according to a senior official with the agency. The regulatory body plans to launch the effort “soon” with the help of the police.
Rebuffing descriptions of the CSeries’ sales performance as “sluggish,” Bombardier says it welcomes comparisons between its airplane and those that Boeing and Airbus offer in the 100- to 149-seat market segment. In a recent market analysis, the Canadian airframe maker cites firm order figures for the CSeries of 201 aircraft from 18 customers, compared with 47 from three customers for the Airbus A319neo, 55 from two customers for the Boeing 737-7 Max, and 100 from two customers for the Embraer E190/195 E2.
F-35 manufacturer Lockheed Martin will retrofit early production lots of F-35Bs delivered to the U.S. Marine Corps with modified bulkheads to address cracking issues that came to light during durability testing of ground articles last fall. It will build redesigned bulkheads into the fighter beginning with low-rate production lot (LRIP) 9, said Rear Adm. Randy Mahr, deputy program manager with the Pentagon’s F-35 joint program office (JPO).
The economic downturn over the past couple of years has resulted in negative growth for Indian general aviation, which has “hit rock bottom,” according to Rohit Kapur, president of the country’s Business Aircraft Operators Association (BAOA). Nevertheless, the Indian bizav community hopes that a general election next month will result in more decisive political leadership and effect change to a regulatory environment that many agree has stifled growth in their own industry and the wider Indian economy.
RwandAir of Kigali, Rwanda, took delivery of a dual-class Bombardier Q400 turboprop in late February, marking the fulfillment of an order announced last April.
RwandAir deputy CEO Jean Paul Nyirubutama accepted the aircraft during a delivery ceremony at Bombardier’s Toronto assembly site. Plans call for the airplane, which features a 67-seat interior, to replace RwandAir’s 37-seat de Havilland Canada Dash 8-200.
Colombia’s Avianca Airlines and ATR have signed a 10-year maintenance contract covering the Medellin-based carrier’s new fleet of ATR 72-600s. Under the so-called Global Maintenance Agreement, ATR will provide repair and overhaul services for the fleet and completely manage line-replaceable units, the maintenance and availability of aircraft parts and components, the advanced exchange pool of services, and a parts inventory at its logistics center in Miami. In late 2012 Avianca signed a purchase agreement with ATR for a fleet of 15 ATR 72-600s, and took an option for 15 more.
Russian Helicopters is launching a new phase of modernization at the Ulan-Ude Aviation Plant to re-tool and upgrade the factory. The first stage involves modernizing and expanding the production of protective coatings. “Project development started last year, to meet the need to increase efficiency and to ensure the products made are of the highest possible quality,” said Russian Helicopters CEO Alexander Mikheev. As a result, the plant will be ready to start production of the Mi-171A2, an upgraded version of the Mi-8/171.
Chartright Executive Helicopters will operate a depot for AgustaWestland in Toronto that will stock parts for the AW109, AW119 and AW139s. Chartright is an authorized AgustaWestland service center.