Airbus Defence and Space has confirmed an anticipated order from the Republic of Singapore Air Force for six A330 MRTT tanker/transports. The selection of the Airbus rather than the Boeing KC-46A was first revealed yesterday via the Singaporean ministry of defense’s Twitter account. At the same time, the country’s Ministry of Defense also confirmed that it is to order two more Sikorsky S-70B Seahawk maritime helicopters for the naval air arm’s 123 Squadron, raising the total number to eight.
There is a new entrant in the (slow) race to bring a supersonic business jet to market, Spike Aerospace. Headquartered in Boston, Spike Aerospace was founded by engineers and consultants with experience working at Airbus, Boeing, Eclipse, Gulfstream, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and NASA. The Spike S-512 is targeting a Mach 1.6 cruise speed and Mach 1.8 maximum speed.
Sandel Avionics received multi-model STC approval from the FAA for its helicopter terrain awareness and warning system, HeliTaws. The approved model list (AML) STC for Part 27 and Part 29 helicopters allows models to be added progressively by updating the AML listing, provided similarity and differences are substantiated. Sandel’s ST3400H Part 27 AML-STC covers the Airbus Helicopters AS350 series, while the Part 29 approval is for Bell 412s. It is working on adding the Bell 206 and 212 series, as well as the Airbus Helicopters EC130.
Nepal-based Shree Airlines took delivery of the first of five AS350B3es it ordered last year from Airbus Helicopters. Shree Airlines will use its B3e fleet for search-and-rescue, aerial work and disaster relief missions in Nepal. It also plans to expand passenger transport and utility mission operations into Bangladesh, Bhutan and Myanmar.
Airbus Corporate Jets has appointed Benoit Defforge managing director. He will also maintain his previous role as head of the Airbus Corporate Jet Centre (ACJC).
Bill Chiles, president and CEO of helicopter operator Bristow Group, announced he will retire at the end of July but will remain with the company in a consulting role for another two years. He will be replaced by senior v-p and CFO Jonathan Baliff.
Every year since the start of the great economic downturn of 2008, the business aviation industry has watched business jet deliveries dwindle and searched for signs that the market might have finally hit bottom. The downward slide was finally arrested last year, according to year-end numbers released last month by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association. For the first time since 2008, worldwide deliveries of business jets were higher than the previous year, with manufacturers handing over 678 jets last year, six aircraft (1 percent) more than in 2012.
The 2014 Singapore Airshow (February 11-16) fulfilled its promise as Asia’s leading aerospace and defense industry gathering, with an exhibitor base of more than 1,000 companies from 47 countries, representing about a 10-percent increase on the last staging of the biennial event.
Airbus Helicopters (Booth No. 523) is introducing a “pay as you fly” component support program (CSP) for operators of new and used helicopters. The program features “aggressive” flat per-flight-hour charges billed monthly and has a flexible buy-in. It includes customized customer maintenance forecasting. The Airbus CSP will initially be available for all EC120, EC130, AS350, AS355, EC135, EC145, EC155, AS365, AS332 and EC225 models.
Sometimes an understanding means the potential for sales, and sometimes it is the beginning of something much, much broader. That was the case when Portland, Ore.-based Erickson and Airbus Helicopters came together yesterday at Heli-Expo 2014 to sign an MOU to explore new opportunities between the two companies. This comes on the heels of two acquisitions in 2013 by Erickson, namely Evergreen Helicopters and Air Amazonia.
Airbus Helicopters saw stable revenues and profit last year: €6.3 billion ($8.7 billion) and €397 million ($546 million), respectively, according to the financial results Airbus Group unveiled on Wednesday in Toulouse. The company delivered 497 helicopters and recorded orders for 422 more, compared with 469 the previous year. However, the value of the orders increased year over year, by 7 percent, to €5.8 billion ($7.9 billion). The civil market accounted for 55 percent of revenues. The backlog, as of December 31, stood at 995 helicopters worth €12.4 billion ($17 billion).
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