Comlux has taken delivery of its first Airbus ACJ321. It is now being outfitted by Comlux America in Indianapolis and is slated for delivery next year. Additional center tanks are also being installed to give the ACJ321 extra range. “This is an important year for Comlux because we are celebrating our 10th anniversary. We started to operate the ACJ family in 2006 and to date we have flown more than 15,000 charter hours on our Airbus fleet,” said Richard Gaona, president and CEO of Comlux, the Aviation Group.
Airbus Corporate Jet Center is the first completion shop to install and activate a Ku-band-based “global communication suite” on a single-aisle Airbus, in this case an ACJ319. Installed in close collaboration with Panasonic, the system’s Ku-Band antenna provides “superior performance” at high latitudes and in the equatorial region, offering high-speed data and live TV anywhere around the world. Ku-band antennas are typically used by airlines, though ACJC said demand is picking up for this technology in the business jet market.
Some aircraft have had better safety records over the past decade than others, according to data produced by airlineratings.com. Not surprisingly, newer Western-built airliners, such as most Boeing, Airbus, Embraer and Bombardier models, are rated the safest. The least safe aircraft include the Czech Let-410, which has experienced 20 accidents over the past 10 years; both the Ilyushin Il-72 and Antonov An-12, which logged 17 each; and the de Havilland Canada Twin Otter, with 18.
As predicted, most airliner makers went home from last week’s Paris Air Show with yet longer backlogs of orders. Factoring in all the provisional sales (those covered by options, letters of intent or a memorandum of understanding), manufacturers announced something like $170 billion in new aircraft and engine business at Le Bourget.
On its third test flight, the Airbus A350XWB flew past President Francois Hollande this afternoon on the final business day of the 2013 Paris Air Show. After two hours of cruise flight tests, the new aircraft made a curving descent toward Runway 27 for a single flyby.
International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC) has been busy announcing a procession of airframe and engine deals here in Paris. On Tuesday, the company announced it had signed for CFM International Leap-1A engines to power a further 20 Airbus A320neo jetliners. That brought the total backlog to 60 shipsets. With the aircraft scheduled to begin deliveries in 2016, the new order is valued at $510 million.
ST Aerospace announced that it has been awarded an exclusive component maintenance-by-the-hour contract worth $28 million by Spring Airlines Japan. This contract involves component repair management support for 22 of Spring Airlines Japan’s Boeing 737-800s.
Under the agreement, ST Aerospace will provide support for component repair and warranty management, as well as consignment and pool access to its global rotables inventory pool. It expects the new contract to take effect in the second half of 2013 and stretch over eight years.
SS White Technologies (Hall 6, A60), supplier of aerospace flexible rotary shafts, is providing its shafts to transmit power to activate the thrust reversal actuation systems on the nacelle of the Pratt & Whitney Pure Power engine for the Airbus A320neo. The company is also providing flexible shafts to activate bomb bay doors on the new Kawasaki P1 maritime patrol aircraft presently under development to replace the PC-3 fleet. The first two operational aircraft were delivered in March.
GE Aviation’s aerostructures division has started building a 97,000-sq-ft composites factory at Hamble in the UK. The work is part of a $50 million investment at the site to support its role in making wing components for the new Airbus A350 XWB airliner and is due to be completed in early 2015.
EADS is demonstrating here at Le Bourget a number of electric- and hybrid-propulsion technologies developed under its commitment to reduce aircraft CO2 emissions. In cooperation with Royan Aero Composites, EADS has developed and built the E-Fan fully electric general-aviation training aircraft and, separately, has engineered with Diamond Aircraft and Siemens the Diamond Aircraft DA36 E-Star 2 hybrid-electric motor-glider. EADS also cooperated with Rolls-Royce on the future distributed-propulsion system concept, and all three projects are dubbed “E-aircraft.”