Lufthansa Technik is developing a next-generation patient transport unit with accompanying oxygen supply and medical equipment interface, it announced at the Dubai air show. The company is also touting its “floor panel hard-points,” designed to enable heavy VIP cabin interiors in carbon-fiber fuselages.
Airbus is highlighting two corporate jets, an ACJ318 and an ACJ319, in this year’s Dubai Airshow static display. Constellation Aviation Services operates the Airbus ACJ318, which features lounge areas at the front, plus a private office/bedroom with en-suite bathroom at the rear. Emirates Executive began offering VVIP charters earlier this year with the Airbus ACJ319, featuring private suites, lounge areas and a bathroom with a shower.
Having teamed up earlier this year on a project to conceive lightweight multi-purpose airplanes for passenger transportation, Russian and Austrian designers have recently revealed the first models of what they envision as low-cost 9- and 19- seat aircraft powered by two diesel engines.
With 36 A380 aircraft in the fleet as of late September and a further 104 now on order, the aviation community is trying to calculate what will happen to Emirates’ superjumbo fleet when the time comes to retire the type, at around halfway through its lifetime. Some analysts believe that, given a lifespan of 25 years, a proxy for the useful life of a modern widebody aircraft, the A380 will face problems in the secondary market when major leases come to an end after the standard 12-year term.
Switzerland-based AeroEx (Stand 3260), a firm that specializes in supporting operators for their back-office safety tasks, is offering help for compliance with the new Third Country Operators (TCO) rules (the so called “Part-TCO”) that will soon be enforced by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), subject to approval by the European Parliament and Council.
Delta Air Lines plans to begin distributing Microsoft Surface 2 tablet computers to its Boeing 757 and 767 pilots beginning in January. Pilots will use the computing device as an electronic flight bag (EFB) to store electronic charts and documents, reducing weight and improving workflow on the flight deck, the airline said. Delta joins other U.S. carriers that have incorporated tablet computers in their flight decks. Delta is the first major airline to select Microsoft’s Surface 2; other carriers, including United, Alaska and American, have selected the Apple iPad.
Economic growth, aviation deregulation, a growing middle class and aggressive tourism marketing continue to drive business in the regional markets of Asia-Pacific, where well entrenched budget carriers such as Malaysia’s AirAsia and Indonesia’s Lion Air face increasing competition from new low-cost startups. In neighboring India, three of every four airline seats now belong to budget carriers.
Lack of infrastructure and regulatory cohesion challenge the growth of the Asia-Pacific region’s airlines, said Andrew Herdman, president and director general of the 15-airline Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA). Herdman and other industry officials warned of rising air traffic congestion at AAPA’s 57th Assembly of Presidents, held November 14 and 15 in Hong Kong.
Saab’s Skeldar V-200 unmanned air system (UAS) has been undertaking anti-piracy patrols in the troubled waters off the Horn of Africa and southern Arabia. The rotary-wing, heavy fuel engine UAS has been flying from the Spanish navy offshore patrol vessel (OPV) BAM Meteoro, operating in concert with a manned helicopter to support the European Union’s Naval Force Somalia (also known as Operation Atalanta) anti-piracy mission. Saab earlier this year announced a contract to “deploy the Skeldar UAS for maritime operations,” but at the time did not name the customer.
Rockwell Collins (Stand 2659) announced at the Dubai Airshow several contracts with Middle Eastern airlines and business aircraft operators for avionics, in-flight entertainment (IFE) systems and flight support services. Other agreements, with air forces and aircraft manufacturers, have been disclosed, too.