Fly Comlux has added an Airbus ACJ318 to its managed fleet. The aircraft was previously managed by another operator but is now part of the Comlux stable in the Middle East. It is operated purely for its owner and will not be available for charter.
Airbus Helicopters is increasing the mtow of the EC175 medium twin by 660 pounds, to 17,180 pounds, thus offering an equivalent growth in payload or an extra 40 nm in radius of action. Certification at the higher weight is expected in 2016, following a flight-test campaign scheduled for next year.
Now on a demonstration tour, the current version of the EC175 is visiting three locations serving the North Sea this week–Norwich, England; Aberdeen, Scotland; and Stavanger, Norway–all major bases for offshore oil-and-gas operations.
AIN had the opportunity to fly in Embraer’s Legacy 500 test aircraft (serial number 4) on April 8 at the manufacturer’s headquarters in São José dos Campos, Brazil. The first-ever press flight in the type had to be granted special authorization from the Brazilian aviation authority ANAC as it previously was restricted to Embraer’s flight-test team.
Comlux has increased its managed fleet to 19 jets with the addition of an Airbus ACJ318. The aircraft is based in the Middle East and will be operated by a European crew entirely for the private use of its undisclosed owner.
According to the group’s president and CEO, Richard Gaona, Comlux’s approval to operate under ETOPS 180 extended-range-over-water rules and conduct Cat IIIB approaches has been a key differentiator from rival management companies. For Airbus aircraft alone, the company has logged more than 12,000 flight hours over the past six years.
In the annual announcements by Airbus, Boeing, Bombardier, Embraer and other aircraft manufacturers about the half-million or so additional pilots who will be needed to fill cockpits over the next 20 years, often overlooked is the need for an even greater number of maintenance technicians: about 600,000 by 2031, according to Boeing’s most recent forecast. So if there is already, or will soon be, a shortage of qualified pilots, is there not also a shortfall in maintenance personnel? And not just in commercial aviation but business aviation and civil helicopter operations as well?
Bombardier Aerospace has started assembling major structures for the first flight-test vehicle (FTV1) of the Global 7000 and 8000 program, the Canadian aircraft manufacturer announced yesterday. FTV1 will be a Global 7000 prototype, a company spokeswoman told AIN.
Calling this the year of design execution for the Boeing 737 Max, program chief Keith Leverkuhn finds himself immersed in the challenges of orchestrating the re-engined narrowbody project to support a factory production rate due to rise to 47 a month around the time the first Max 8 enters service in 2017.
Delta Private Jets has opened a new 40,000-sq-ft comprehensive maintenance, repair and overhaul facility at its headquarters at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport.
The EASA has certified the redesigned vertical bevel gear shaft for the Airbus Helicopters EC225, which has suffered in-flight failures and a nine-month grounding in 2012 and 2013. Manufacturing of the redesigned gear shaft is under way for production aircraft and for retrofits, and installations for both applications are slated to begin in the second half of this year.
Boeing CEO Jim McNerney seized the chance to impress upon securities analysts on Wednesday his confidence in the company’s ability to execute a smooth transition between production of the current 777 line and the 777X around the turn of the decade. Now delivering 8.3 of its flagship widebodies a month, Boeing expects some “feathering” of production once it approaches the point at which it fully integrates the 777X, said McNerney.