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.
Boeing said its Maritime Surveillance Aircraft (MSA) demonstrator, a modified Bombardier Challenger 604, completed its first flight on February 28 from Toronto’s Pearson International Airport. Subcontractor Field Aviation conducted the four-hour test flight.
Trip support group UAS is boosting its ability to help operators across Africa with the opening of a new headquarters for the continent located in Johannesburg, South Africa. The new facility will be managed by Wynand Meyers, the Dubai-based group’s newly appointed director of business development for Africa.
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.
Boeing has announced the receipt of a new order for its P-8A Poseidon maritime patroller. Worth $2.4 billion, the contract covers 16 new aircraft for the U.S. Navy. Significantly, the order moves the program into full-rate production, earlier aircraft having been ordered on a low-rate initial production (LRIP) basis. A move to full-rate production had been delayed while Boeing proved that the P-8 could meet its 25-year life, plus other mission-related requirements.
Rolls-Royce on Wednesday revealed plans for a new generation of engine designs to replace the current Trent family. The first, called Advance, would reach the market by the end of this decade, burning at least 20 percent less fuel and emitting 20 percent less CO2 than the first generation of Trent engine. The second, dubbed UltraFan, would enter service by 2025 and use a geared design and a variable-pitch fan system capable of delivering at least a 25-percent improvement in fuel burn and emissions.
Finding new life for military surplus helicopters is the ultimate in recycling, and Portland, Ore.-based Columbia Helicopters (Booth No. 4706) has everything it needs to recycle the three rugged Boeing CH-47D Chinooks it purchased recently from the U.S. government.
At Heli-Expo 2014 Kaman Aerospace Group (Booth No. 4922) announced that it is expanding its reach. The OEM supplier of helicopters, rotor blades and rotary-wing UAVs and other aerospace components has opened new offices at Clemson University’s graduate campus in Charleston, S.C. The plan is to recruit talent and put a team of Kaman engineers at the nearby Boeing facility in North Charleston. The team is part of the company’s participation in the stress analysis work on Boeing 787 Dreamliner production.
Advanced Helicopter Services (Booth No. 2715) announced at Heli-Expo 2014 that it has acquired Cascade Airframe Repair based at Boeing Field in Seattle and will add it to the list of its helicopter service companies in the Pacific northwest. Cascade is an Airbus Helicopters and MD Helicopters service center as well as an FAA-approved repair station.
On February 11 a U.S. Navy Boeing F/A-18F Super Hornet made the type’s first flight equipped with an infrared search and track sensor. Developed by Lockheed Martin, the IRST sensor is intended to give the Block II Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler a long-range, passive detection and tracking capability against multiple air targets to augment the aircraft’s APG-79 AESA radar and other sensors. Fleet fielding is scheduled for 2017.