Flush with a $200 million cash infusion from Indian billionaire Vijay Mallya and a $170 million order book, turboprop and very light jet maker Epic Aircraft announced today at the NBAA Convention that it is in initial talks with EADS unit Airbus Industries on a technology- and knowledge-sharing agreement.
The European general aviation industry has created a counterpart to the U.S. General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) in an effort to head off the threat posed by a barrage of new EU regulations.
Ronald Zilberbrand resigned from Chicago-based JSSI International, the company that he co-founded. He was president of the company and executive v-p of 154 West Holdings, a holding company with direct ownership of JSSI. He has resigned to pursue other interests. JSSI CEO Rick Haskins is assuming the role of JSSI International president until a successor is named.
Business aircraft continue to assume roles in the airline industry. EADS Sogerma Services of Toulouse, France, has begun converting the first of two Airbus A319s for new careers as “premium class” aircraft operated by Saudi Arabia’s National Air Services on scheduled and charter flights. The conversion includes heavy maintenance, a reconfiguration and refurbishment of the cabins and new exterior paint.
John Douglass, who became only the seventh full-time chief executive of the Aerospace Industries Association in 1998, plans to retire as the group’s president and CEO on December 31. The AIA was founded in 1919 and counts Orville Wright and Glen Curtiss as early members.
Eurocopter has launched a 50,000-sq-ft extension of its customization, subassembly and maintenance facility at Mexico City International Airport. In addition, in May the European manufacturer signed three training agreements in the country. The first, with the Mexican Polytechnical Institute, creates a course in aeronautical engineering for helicopters.
Aerion, the U.S. company seeking to attract risk-sharing partners for a proposed supersonic business jet, has announced a number of design changes that it said are necessary to achieve weight and performance targets. The Mach 1.8 airplane’s forward fuselage has been reshaped to provide a slightly raised cockpit, larger cabin and reduced drag. Cabin height and width have grown slightly, as has the width of the cabin floor.
EADS Socata said Airbus has selected it to manufacture the nose fairing for the A330-200F freighter. Socata has supplied the airplane’s belly fairing for almost a decade.
Eurofighter’s first export sale–to Austria–has not been a happy experience, although the company has met all its schedule and performance commitments to date. The first of 18 aircraft is already flying, the second will fly soon, there are four more in final assembly and parts for the other 12 are already in production. The first Austrian pilots have been trained on the aircraft in Germany.
Eurofighter GmbH has finally been empowered to write real subcontracts with penalty clauses for Typhoon production with the four partner airframe companies (Alenia, BAE Systems, EADS-Germany and EADS-Spain) that are also its shareholders. “It’s a revolution! We’re becoming a normal type of business now,” Aloysius Rauen, the CEO of Eurofighter, told Aviation International News here yesterday.