For Sikorsky, 2013 was a mixed bag, according to company president Mick Maurer, who gave his company’s year-end summary presentation this morning. While the company reached a record backlog of more than $15 billion, it also recorded an 8-percent drop in sales, to $6.3 billion, the decrease driven largely by a drop-off in U.S. government orders on both the OEM side and the aftermarket side last year.
Extant Components Group, a U.S.-based specialist in legacy electronics manufacturing and obsolescence management, recently signed a significant new contract with an unnamed major aerospace OEM. The November 2013 agreement has prompted a wave of investment in new equipment at the Melbourne, Florida factory of its Symetrics subsidiary, which is providing continuing manufacturing repair, obsolescence management and technical support for a series of vehicle health management systems (VHMS) used in fighters, trainer and light attack aircraft.
Last year “should mark a bottom” for the business jet market, but the path of recovery is “unclear,” according to J.P.Morgan’s latest business jet monthly report. “We estimate that there were about 650 business jet deliveries last year, which would represent a 43-percent decline over five years. Deliveries in 2014 should be up–we estimate by about 10 percent–with help from new and upgraded platforms,” it noted.
OmnAvia, a Winston Salem, N.C.-based distributor of fine leathers and woven fabrics for aircraft interiors, recently introduced its Alcantara aviation collection.
According to OmnAvia, Alcantara is “a material that is impossible to pigeonhole.” The Italian-made product, developed as an artificial substitute for suede, is a combination of polyester and polyurethane that offers the look and feel of suede.
Heli-One has enhanced its website so customers can go to its helicopter Exchange Parts Inventory Channel (Epic) pages. The Epic feature enables customers to do more by connecting them to two searchable databases: Heli-One’s exchange component pool database or its surplus parts inventory database of almost 1,900 items.
Custom Aircraft Cabinets, manufacturer of cabinetry and upholstered components for high-end aircraft interiors, recently doubled its fabrication capacities to 146,000 sq ft.
The Sherwood, Ark. company is equipped to provide precision routing, edge-fill operations and insert production. It also recently added a Thermwood multi-purpose three-axis M43-510 CNC router to its existing Thermwood three-axis M45-510 CNC router. “The addition of the second router provides us much-improved downstream capacity and it immediately gives us superior flexibility in both quality and flow time.”
As the Great Recession moves into its sixth year, the market for used business aircraft remains something of a quagmire, with some models still searching for a price bottom. But there are bright spots where values have stabilized, and inventory overall is headed in the right direction.
U.S.-based AkzoNobel Aerospace Coatings, a division of International Paints, has reported qualification of one of its base-coat products to the Aerospace Material Specification (AMS) standard, which governs the use of metals for aircraft manufacture and MRO.
From the fashion runways to airport runways, Townsend Leather has turned this fall’s fashion trend of lace into a new aircraft interiors product line, which makes its debut here at NBAA. According to the third-generation family-owned company, the new gaufrage-embossed center-cut hide, entitled Lace Weave, combines the delicacy of lace with the durability and performance of its highest-quality leather. The product has no pattern-match lines and can be customized with numerous finishing techniques including hand-dippings and antique effects.
Liebherr-Aerospace (Booth C11407) may not be a household name in the U.S., but the company is a supplier of numerous components used in aircraft for most of the major aircraft and missile manufacturers in the world, and has been doing so for more than 50 years. In a 58-page promotional magazine created specifically for NBAA 2013 visitors, the company lists 26 aviation customers, from Airbus to Thales.