Falko, the company formed with the backing of New York-based Fortress Investment Group to acquire BAE Systems’ regional aircraft portfolio, plans to pursue a strategy whereby it will purchase regional aircraft for leasing to its customers–a complete about-face to BAE’s approach, which centered on managed disposal of a once-vast fleet numbering more than 500 aircraft.
Plans call for narrowbody production at both Airbus and Boeing to reach 42 a month by 2014, but the extent to which either company can extend its rates much beyond that level will depend on the supply chain more than the potential capacity at the airframers’ respective factories.
Mexico seeks to expand its participation in the aerospace manufacturing sector, and has ambitions of becoming a world aerospace hub. That was the principal topic of the Second Annual Baja California International Aerospace Supplier Forum, a business-to-business exhibition and networking event held last month.
Prominent U.S. defense programs are feeling pressure from more than just Congress and Pentagon cost police. Before and during the Paris Air Show, Boeing’s KC-46A tanker and Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Lightning II faced flak from the aviation press and, in the latter case, an ally’s speech.
BAE Systems has announced a plan to implement a new “regionalized” strategy to support the Latin American market, where some 90 of its aircraft are now in service with nearly 40 operators. The company unveiled the new support strategy at its first ever Americas operators’ conference, held in Lima, Peru, May 23 and 24.
EADS has unveiled two new futuristic “Flightpath 2050” aircraft. The Zero Emission Hyper Sonic Transport (ZEHST) would fly above the atmosphere to avoid dumping pollutants in it, except for a relatively small amount during takeoff. The descent would be a unpowered glide, apart from restarting the engines for the final approach and landing. A steep climb on takeoff would leave a relatively small noise footprint around the airport.
The Moroccan aerospace industry has made significant strides in recent years to position itself as a lower cost base than nearby Europe. But this could be undermined if mounting political unrest in the north African country boils over into violence.
CEO of EADS North America Sean O’Keefe believes that there is a bright side for his company in losing the massive U.S. tanker contract. Most of all, he said, “It was a good way to demonstrate what we could do and it validated what we can do.”
Airbus Military wants to boost revenue derived from support services from the current 10 to 15 percent of the total to between 30 and 40 percent during the next five years. It is offering to the customers that are buying the A330 tanker and the A400M airlifter a menu of options that have been developed from training and maintenance contracts for the CN235 and C295 military transport aircraft.