On September 12, Europe’s EADS unexpectedly assigned a schedule and a market segment to its “E-Thrust” hybrid propulsion concept, which was revealed at the Paris Air Show this year with Rolls-Royce. The “E-Airbus,” under its new moniker, is to enter into service in 2030 as a regional aircraft, probably a 70- to 100-seater. The announcement came during a conference organized by the French government in Paris about its industrial policy.
A ceremony commemorating the delivery of the 1,000th Embraer E-Jet last Friday not only gave the Brazilian company a chance to celebrate the success of the past 10 years, but also to offer a glimpse at what it hopes proves an equally auspicious future. An E175 painted in American Eagle livery, the 1,000th airplane went to long-time customer Republic Airways. The company placed an order for 47 of the 76-seat airplanes at the beginning of the year and holds options on another 47.
American Airlines has spent some $400 million in the past few years to retrofit its existing fleet for the planned NextGen flight environment in the U.S. But at this stage it has not seen the operational benefits it had hoped for, according to the airline’s director of airspace modernization and advanced technologies.
Snecma plans soon to start another phase of open-rotor engine testing using a one-fifth scale model, in a research and technology effort that epitomizes how laborious developing a new commercial engine concept can be. The concept, based on contra-rotating high-speed propellers, may not find itself in service before 2025. Nevertheless, trials aimed at cutting noise while retaining the huge efficiency advantage of the open rotor’s architecture are well under way.
The premier position of the UK aerospace industry on the Lockheed Martin F-35 program was highlighted by a briefing and presentation at the Defence Security and Equipment International (DSEI) show in London this week. Some 500 British companies are involved in producing “15 percent of each of the 3,100 F-35s that will be built,” according to Steve O’Bryan, vice president for F-35 program integration at Lockheed Martin. The company has calculated that the program will secure 24,000 high-technology jobs in the UK through 2039.
The Russian government has finalized a follow-on order for four Tupolev Tu-204-300s with VIP interiors. The Kremlin’s Special Air Detachment, the government flight department that transports Russia’s senior political leaders and high-ranking officials, already operates two of the type.
Ilyushin Finance Co. (IFC) is entering the business aviation market with plans to have some of the airliners it has on order for its lease portfolio outfitted with VIP interiors. For the most part, the aircraft to be offered for lease for private and corporate clients will be Russian-made airliners, such as the Tupolev Tu-204 and Antonov An-158, but IFC also has orders for new aircraft such as Sukhoi’s Superjet SSJ-100 and Irkut’s MC-21.
Flexjet has named Dr. Kenneth Cooper, inventor of aerobics, and his son, Dr. Tyler Cooper, as the fractional provider’s official health advisors. As part of its new alliance with Cooper Aerobics, the doctors will educate Flexjet share owners about health, wellness and travel in upcoming issues of the company’s magazine that is distributed to customers.
Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Company has produced the first VIP version of its new Superjet SSJ-100 airliner. The first example of the Sukhoi Business Jet was on display at last month’s MAKS airshow in Moscow. It is due to go to Russian defense export agency Rosoboronexport by year-end. This aircraft is based on the standard SSJ-100 model but future SBJs will be based on the long-range version of the narrowbody.
Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE) has terminated discussions with BBA Aviation about combining unspecified parts of its business. DAE, a Dubai-based MRO, aircraft completions and aircraft leasing company, entered into the discussion with British aircraft services firm BBA late last month to explore merging some of their assets. Reuters reported the talks centered upon an estimated $4.2 billion deal focusing on DAE’s StandardAero. StandardAero did not respond to requests for further comment.