In the aerospace world, the West is definitely looking east these days. Western manufacturers see Asia and eastern Europe as important emerging markets and as sources of low-cost production capacity. But some parts of the West are trying to persuade other Westerners that they don’t have to look quite so far east for the value and opportunity they crave.
Both Boeing and Airbus have come to the Paris Air Show without permanent leaders. EADS has missed its target of June 1 to find a successor for Nöel Forgeard at Airbus and to complete its own management restructuring. Forgeard in effect still acts as CEO of Airbus while serving alongside Thomas Enders as co-chief executives of EADS.
EADS has initiated talks with Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) with a view to offering the T-50 for the Eurotrainer requirement. A team from EADS visited KAI last month to discuss the modifications that would be necessary to “Europeanize” the advanced trainer that is already in production for the RoKAF, and a return visit by a Korean delegation is planned.
During the Cold War, the Coordinating Committee for Multilateral Export Controls (CoCom) produced the yearly list of items that U.S., European, and Japanese firms were enjoined not to sell to the Soviet Union or any of its client states. The system worked reasonably well, and Soviet military designers were forced to develop their own sophisticated guidance systems, precision machine tools and other advanced technology.
John Douglass, president and CEO of the U.S. Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) firmly backs the Bush administration’s decision to proceed with its case at the World Trade Organization on the question of alleged direct and indirect subsidies provided to Airbus by four European Union member states.
Europrop International (EPI) performed the first TP400-D6 engine control and monitoring system (CMS) test in Villaroche late in May, the consortium announced just before the show. The TP400 is the turboprop engine designed for the Airbus A400M military transport aircraft.
Thales Aerospace boss François Quentin sees in-flight entertainment (IFE) equipment as the fastest growing of the division’s businesses. It will improve the civil/military balance and the proportion of U.S. revenues, he said. Quentin is also keen on explaining how Thales’ so-called multi-domestic strategy is paying off.
A new office has been launched by the Society of British Aerospace Companies (SBAC) to help represent and support the 140 companies and 30,000 employees in the aerospace and defense industries in Scotland. Until SBAC Scotland was formed, the country was the only part of the UK that did not have a representative body covering these industries.
The landing gear extension and retraction system for the Airbus A380 and the Boeing KC-767A tanker mission system are among Smiths Aerospace’s most visible contributions to this year’s Paris Air Show, but they are just the tip of a highly diversified iceberg, according to the group’s president, Dr. John Ferrie.
The Nordam Group and 3M’s Aerospace and Aircraft Maintenance Division announced they will begin collaborating on projects to serve customers around the world. Leveraging its expertise in making existing products and line lines “better,” 3M will provide technology and expertise to the Nordam Group to help it improve its product and service portfolio.