Efforts to reduce the thousands of gallons of jet fuel now being burned each year just to move aircraft to and from runways are very much in evidence at the 2012 Farnborough International airshow. No fewer than four new products vying for the attention of airline and airport managements, including efforts by Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI), L-3, Safran/Honeywell and WheelTug, and they each have taken a different approach.
Auxiliary power unit
Hamilton Sundstrand has signed an agreement with Fokker Services to provide spare parts in support of Fokker repair work at its Amsterdam facility. The purchase contract, which runs through 2016, is valued at $33.2 million. It covers “integrated drive generators and other equipment” for aircraft built mainly by Airbus, Boeing, Bombardier and Fokker.
The U.S. company has also announced three maintenance and support deals with airlines here at the show:
Turbomeca subsidiary Microturbo (Stand 1543) has completed the first flight tests of its new auxiliary power unit (APU) for the AgustaWestland AW189 helicopter. In-flight start has been demonstrated already, and the test unit has also successfully restarted one of the main engines in flight. “The e-APU60 is performing accordingly with our ambitious goals,” said Pierre-Yves Morvan, Microturbo’s CEO.
Turbomeca subsidiary Microturbo has completed the initial flight tests of its new auxiliary power unit for the AgustaWestland AW189. In-flight start of the e-APU60 has been demonstrated already, and the test unit has also successfully restarted one of the helicopter’s main engines in flight. Meanwhile, the e-APU60’s certification program is progressing well, with approval slated for next May.
Dallas Airmotive’s regional turbine center at Singapore’s Seletar Aerospace Park celebrated its official opening with a ceremony on Monday led by general manager Francis Lee. The center will offer authorized Honeywell services for auxiliary power units (APUs) and business aviation engines, and respond to aircraft-on-ground (AOG) situations.
Push-back tugs and taxiing aircraft with engines powered up may well, in a few years, be seen as remnants of the past. Two exhibitors here at the Singapore Airshow are studying electric motors that would drive the aircraft’s wheels on the ground.
The AgustaWestland AW189 medium twin helicopter will be the first civil application for Microturbo’s e-APU, an auxiliary power unit that delivers essentially electric power.
Aircraft auxiliary power units (APUs) can now remain on while radiation checks are conducted on aircraft entering the country, as long as the exhaust vents for those units are eight feet above the ground or higher. NBAA said the shutdown requirement emerged when Customs agents began screening all aircraft arriving in the U.S. using radiation isotope identifier devices, causing “significant ground delays.”
Airbus is cooperating with Parker Aerospace (Hall 5 D203) to explore ways to improve the efficiency of fuel cells for aviation applications such as on-board power generation. The objective is to develop a technology demonstrator, which will be followed by a flight-test campaign around the middle of the decade.
It’s less than two years since Alain Bellemare became president of Hamilton Sundstrand at the end of 2009 at the height of the aerospace industry’s most recent downturn. So this is his first Paris Air Show at the helm of the U.S.-based group and he’s in a hurry to make his mark with a plan to grow its annual revenues from around $6 billion now to $10 billion by 2015.