President Bush participated in the events at Kitty Hawk, N.C., on December 17 to mark the 100th anniversary of manned, powered flight, and although the weather exercised its right to rain on the great parade, the spirits of the 35,000+ people in attendance remained high.
Former Sino Swearingen senior v-p of sales and marketing Gene Comfort is suing the SJ30-2 manufacturer for alleged promised bonuses, vacation pay owed, wrongful termination and economic and emotional damages.
Piaggio Aero Industries, manufacturer of the Avanti turboprop twin, says it will develop a business jet. The Italian airframer is considering which of two designs to develop, but must first reach agreement with a “strategic partner” to make the project a reality. “The concept is almost frozen.
With one carrier-borne squadron already operational, deliveries to the French air force well under way, an impressive range of weapons already qualified and significant upgrades now funded, the Rafale program comes to the 2005 Paris Air Show in very good shape. Together with partners Snecma and Thales, Dassault has produced another warplane that is the pride of all France.
Progress in the Eurofighter Typhoon program remains slow, although steady. In recent months, single-seat production aircraft with added functionality have been delivered to all four partner air forces. Air-to-air missile firings against targets representing sophisticated threats have taken place. Flight tests of the latest flight control system software are under way.
In the last two years, France’s radar and airborne electronics firm Thales has enjoyed steady progress in the development and integration of new radar and avionic modes for the Dassault Rafale fighter, the latest being the F3 configuration. The French government signed a production order for this configuration in December and it should be fully deployed by 2008.
Piaggio Aero Industries yesterday sold a Piaggio P.180 Avanti II to an undisclosed French customer. The new twin turboprop pusher will be delivered in January 2008. The deal was struck here at Le Bourget by the Italian manufacturer’s French agent Theirry Boutsen.
Norway has added another €12.5 million in funding to its €23.2 million Eurofighter industrial agreement, which provides local defense companies with access and high-technology work connected with the four-nation fighter jet. The Eurofighter consortium is wooing the Norwegian air force for an order, as an F-16 replacement. Beneficiaries of the agreement include radar house Ericsson and software company EPM Technology.
Rohde & Schwarz–supplier of the VHF/UHF transceivers, based on its M3AR family, for the first batch of Eurofighter Typhoons–will also supply updated versions of the same radio communication equipment for the second batch of 236 aircraft. The German company will modernize radios, which will include a new data modem, together with partners Selenia Communications and Indra Sistemas.
The new combat aircraft requirement in India is a hot topic in the chalets here this week, thanks to its size and–for Boeing and Lockheed Martin–the prospect that this country could become a customer for U.S. warplanes for the very first time. Meanwhile, Lockheed seems likely to clinch the sale of 24 new F-16C/D Block 52 fighters to India’s prospective adversary, Pakistan, later this year.