CFM International is confident Comac’s C919 program is progressing on a sound basis, but the engine manufacturer does have contingency plans for the Leap-1C turbofan it has designed for the narrowbody to mitigate program risks in case further delays arise.
Gore Design Completions (GDC) last week received the first of two Boeing 787-8 Dreamliners for which it will produce luxury cabin interiors on behalf of private owners. The second aircraft will arrive at its facility in San Antonio, Texas, in the third quarter of this year and the elaborate completions projects for each of the widebodies are expected to last three years.
The vibrant aerospace sector here in Singapore is perhaps best illustrated by the activities of Singapore Technologies Aerospace (ST Aerospace, Booth G01/L01). Last week, the company celebrated a $20 million revamp and expansion of its original home at Seletar with an official opening.
Rolls-Royce and Cathay Pacific have agreed a TotalCare support contract for Trent 700 engines that power Cathay Pacific group’s 60 Airbus A330 aircraft in-service and on-order with Cathay Pacific group airlines, Rolls-Royce announced in Singapore on Monday. The contract runs for as long as Cathay Pacific and its sister company Dragonair operate the Trent-powered A330s.
Cathay Pacific became the first airline to operate any Trent engine when its Airbus 330s entered service in 1995 and today it stands as the largest Rolls-Royce Trent 700 customer.
PT Dirgantara Indonesia (Booth E35), also known as Indonesia Aerospace (IAe), delivered its first complete main fuselage assembly for the EC225/725 helicopter series to Airbus Helicopters (formerly Eurocopter) last December. The company had previously supplied five upper fuselage sections, as well as 23 tail booms, in a $43 million long-term deal struck in 2008 that called for a total of 125 component sets. Now IAe has been entrusted to supply integrated fuselages. This year, it will supply one every 10 weeks, and one tail boom every three weeks.
For Franco-Italian regional turboprop manufacturer ATR (Booth E01), the Asia Pacific region now takes top spot in its geographic sales rankings, but orders from China still seem to be eluding the company. Last year ATR saw orders and deliveries grow again, reaching record levels and steady profitability, but it has yet to convince shareholders Airbus Group and Finmeccanica to launch a new larger turboprop in the 90-seat category.
Crane Aerospace and Electronics has announced that its SmartStem wireless tire pressure system has been certified for use with Boeing 737NG aircraft. It is already approved for use with the Boeing 747-400, 777 and 787, and with numerous business jet types. The system comprises high-accuracy sensors that replace standard wheel fill stems, and a handheld reader that takes quick and accurate tire pressure readouts without gas loss. The ease and speed of use of the system promotes daily checks, with improved safety as a result, and an increase in tire life.
Asia Pacific governments have long considered development of their aerospace industries a prime opportunity for technology renewal and overall economic growth. Several big OEMs have answered the call to help, allowing countries such as Singapore and Malaysia to develop into some of the world’s most active aerospace manufacturing, services and technology centers. Others, such as the Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia, show particular promise due to their rapidly expanding economies and young, energetic populations hungry for jobs.
As Rolls-Royce (Booth N23) prepares to begin a two-year development and testing phase for the latest Trent engine–the Model 1000-TEN, designed to power Boeing’s stretched 787-10 large twin-aisle twinjet–it has completed three full demonstrators and is building a fourth that will be used in a 500 flight-cycle trial.
Airport authorities in Birmingham, Ala., were in the process of reopening the airport’s longer Runway 24 on August 14, at the time a UPS Airbus A300 crashed while attempting to land on Runway 18. A FedEx jet, in fact, landed on Runway 24 just a few minutes after the UPS accident. The NTSB will hold a hearing on the accident February 20 in Washington.