The supply of parts, assemblies and services for Boeing products has created valuable new economic opportunities in Southeast Asia in recent years. In fact, since 2009, Boeing suppliers have established aerospace manufacturing centers for commercial aircraft production in five Southeast Asia countries: Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Singapore. Meanwhile, Boeing suppliers in other countries, including Australia and Malaysia, have added new commercial or defense manufacturing capacity to their portfolios.
By most accounts the fourth quarter of last year was active. While not atypical for that period, the activity was a good sign for the market that tradition seems to be intact, or at least reestablished after being pushed off course a few years ago. With the U.S. economy doing incrementally better, the hope is that this activity will spill into the first quarter and beyond. Many eyes now are cast upon Europe, where last month S&P lowered its credit ratings on nine nations.
General Electric has named West Star Aviation’s East Alton, Ill., facility a member of the GE authorized service center network. The West Star facility is capable of servicing and supporting the GE CF34 engine, including related parts and products. The CF34 powers Bombardier’s Challenger jets. West Star’s Grand Junction, Colo., base has been a GE authorized facility for more than six years. West Star East Alton added nine employees recently to expand its Bombardier service program.
Pre-owned business aircraft inventories continued to decline in October, but asking prices–especially for jets–have yet to find a bottom, according to data released this week by industry research firm JetNet. Business jet inventory in October stood at 13.9 percent of the in-service fleet, down 1.3 percentage points from a year ago.
Smyrna Air Center has begun a flight test/data recording program with the new GE H80, 800-shp engine on the King Air 90 series. The engine is the next step up in performance for the Power90 Conversion.
PPG Aerospace is introducing new materials for improved aircraft windshields and windows.
Alamo Plating and Metal Finishing of Converse, Texas, a specialist in decorative plating, has introduced a new finishing process called water-transfer printing. The process in its basic form begins with a pre-printed, high-definition pattern on a water-soluble transfer film. The film is then “floated” in the surface in a processing tank of water.
HighTech Finishing recently expanded its facility, adding 15 new tanks to allow the company to offering plating on plastic. “Many aviation manufacturers are employing new methods to decrease aircraft weight, and using plastic can be one of the options,” explained v-p of marketing Rick Niefield.
After some years in development, Hostel Drap of Monistrol de Montserrat, Spain, has come up with a unique, one-time-use, cloth napkin, which private and business aviation operators may find particularly handy.
“While the pre-owned business aircraft market continues to show improvements, all indicators have been slow to recover in the first nine months of 2011,” industry research firm JetNet said in a market report released on Friday.