As oil and gas wells overflow in Kazakhstan, Air Astana–the national carrier of the newly enriched former Soviet republic–is looking deep into Asia to expand its network. Its inclusion on the European Union blacklist, which frustrates its ambitions to expand west, lies at the heart of its strategy. Air Astana’s discussions over a code-share partnership with Royal Jordanian, which follows an analogous strategy, is no coincidence.
The Thales-supplied tower ATC system chosen for the upcoming data communications trial at Memphis International Airport will, when active, become the first such product from the French aerospace and defense group ever to operate in the U.S. The automation system and controller display interface, used for managing aircraft on the airport surface, forms part of an integrated air traffic management system widely used outside the U.S. called TopSky.
CFM, the 50/50 joint venture between GE and Snecma, has embarked on a “major” risk-abatement plan to ensure a smooth production transition from its CFM56 to the new Leap-1A, B and C engines, chosen to power, respectively, the Airbus A320neo, the Boeing 737 Max and the Comac C919 single-aisle airliners. “Transitioning from 1,600 engines per year to the same output of another type in two years, this is something the industry has never done before,” François Harant, Snecma’s supply chain director, told AIN.
The business aviation industry lost a visionary leader yesterday evening, October 18, when Albert Ueltschi, founder and chairman emeritus of industry training provider FlightSafety International, died peacefully at his home in Vero Beach, Fla. at the age of 95. Growing up during the Great Depression in rural Kentucky in a family of modest means, he was bitten by the flying bug early on and decided to become a pilot.
Flight-testing of the Lockheed Martin F-35 is ahead of the 2012 plan, and software development is making up lost ground, now standing at two months behind schedule. Steve O’Bryan, Lockheed Martin’s v-p for F-35 program integration and business development, told a meeting in London sponsored by The Air League that the F-35B STOVL version that the UK will buy is 40 percent ahead on flights and test points. Of the nine million lines of software code in the aircraft, 87 percent is now in flight test, with another 6 percent in laboratory tests.
Honeywell has been asked to quote for the supply of 270 F125IN turbofan engines to replace the twin Rolls-Royce Adour Mk 821s on India’s 125-strong fleet of Jaguar strike aircraft. The F125IN is 600 pounds lighter than the Adour and is expected to enable 25-percent-shorter hot-and-high takeoffs. India’s Jaguars have become overweight and underpowered as a result of avionics and systems upgrades.
Fuel efficiency and its effect on the useful life of aging aircraft is a dominant factor in the thinking of aircraft leasing companies, which are increasingly helping credit-squeezed carriers to refresh their fleets. Their presence in the market for airliner acquisition has continued to grow in the last two decades, with operating leases now thought to account for almost 40 percent of total deals today.
Switzerland-based aviation maintenance and completion services firm Amac Aerospace has been granted Boeing 747-400 and 747-8 Part 145 approval, meaning that it can now provide base and line maintenance services on these types. The Boeing approvals come on the heels of Amac Aerospace gaining its European EASA Part 145 approval to undertake heavy base maintenance on the Boeing 777 and Airbus A330 and A340.
Bombardier Aerospace has approved a second line maintenance facility in India. Air Works in New Delhi is authorized to work on the Challenger 604, Challenger 605, Global Express and Global Express XRS. The facility will complement Air Works’ center in Mumbai, which has been part of Bombardier’s authorized service facility network since 2008.
CRS Jet Spares, a business aviation aftermarket parts supplier, has been authorized to be Securaplane’s sales and service center in Brazil. The authorization is an extension of the relationship the two companies have in the U.S.
The CRS base of operations in Fort Lauderdale makes it geographically desirable as a gateway for the South American market. CRS also plans to establish a facility in Brazil that will be a sales, logistics and service center supporting the aftermarket needs of Gulfstream, Challenger, Hawker, Falcon and Lear operators.