Vol. 44 No. 20
Farnborough Airshow News
Spartan Gets Teeth
Irkut Advances MC-21
CFM Leaps Ahead
ADAS Protects Helicopters
Alenia Aermacchi is unveiling a new armed version of the C-27J Spartan military transport that will be better protected for more diverse missions.
Russia’s Irkut is stepping up efforts to get its own new narrowbody contender to market, fueled by cash from defense exports.
The Airbus A320neo program has been a sales springboard for CFM’s Leap X engine family, which is also set to power China’s Comac C919 twinjet.
Raytheon’s new ADS sensor package guards against rotorcraft accidents in poor visibility conditions.
AINonline.com Videos Visit ainonline.com for full coverage of the Farnborough Airshow, including AINtv videos, blogs and podcasts.
New bosses, but battles still rage
Boeing has its new 787 Dreamliner on display but is also unveiling new leadership at its commercial aircraft division.
by Gregory Polek & Ian Goold
Boeing and Airbus have both arrived at the Farnborough International 2012 show under new leadership, but don’t expect any cooling in the hostility between the world’s top-two airliner manufacturers. The U.S. airframer is expected to draw the first blood in the orders battle today if, as is expected, Air Lease Corp. confirms an anticipated order for 50 or more of Boeing’s new 737 MAX narrowbodies. Airbus isn’t set to hold its main show press conference until Thursday morning, but show-goers should be ready for some commercial retaliation here at Farnborough before then. The European airframer’s new president and CEO, Fabrice Bregier, who has taken over from newly promoted EADS chief executive Tom Enders, is expected to spring some sort of surprise, and senior Boeing executives have alerted the press to be on standby for big news right through show week. The change of leadership at Boeing Commercial Airplanes has been more dramatic, with the U.S. manufacturer expediting the retirement of CEO Jim Albaugh just a little more than a week before the show. His replacement, Ray Conner, indicated to journalists in London yesterday that he will not be rushed into decisions
Mother Nature, red tape causing show headaches
Farnborough is for flying, but a combination of near-Biblical flooding and Olympic-size bureaucratic snarls have cut down the roster of performers.
More than a week of almost incessant torrential rain will do little to dampen the industry’s ardor for this morning’s opening of the 2012 Farnborough International Airshow. But it has certainly posed huge challenges for organizers who have worked around the clock to try to minimize the anticipated disruption (see page 4). Another setback emerged on Friday when it was confirmed that the eagerly anticipated appearance by a pair of Sukhoi Su-27 fighters from the Russian Knights aerobatic display team has been cancelled.
The main reason seems to have been difficulties in getting UK visas for team members–a headache that has also posed problems for other trade visitors from countries requiring a visa. Delays in visa processing have been blamed on a backlog ahead of the London Olympic Games, which start just over two weeks from now, on July 27. One more flying display absentee is the A400M military transport. Last week, it was officially named the Atlas but continuing engine trouble will keep it out of the Farnborough skies this week (see page 86). o
by Charles Alcock
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Continued on page 86 u
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Higher load factors. Lower costs. When will your revenues profit from the A380?
Operators love the aircraft that passengers love to fly.
. Love at first flight.
perform in the UK this summer. In early May, 10 of the jets were dismantled for airfreighting to Manchester by Korean Air Cargo 747 freighters. They were taken by road to RAF Leeming for reassembly and test flights. There followed a private display at RAF Scampton, home of the Red Arrows, who were reportedly very impressed. The Black Eagles then flew on both days at the RAF Waddington airshow, before moving on to RAF
Thailand signs up for latest Black Hawk Thailand has signed a letter of offer and acceptance covering two Sikorsky UH-60M Black Hawk tactical transport helicopters. They are being acquired through U.S. Foreign Military Sales channels and, after delivery to the Royal Thai Army, will be the first examples of this new generation of Black Hawk operating in Southeast Asia. The UH-60M is the current standard production model being delivered for export and to the U.S. Army, which expects to receive its 500th machine this summer. Powered by two General Electric T700-GE-701D turboshafts driving a redesigned rotor, the “Mike” model sports a digital glass cockpit and advanced flight control system, among other improvements. The purchase by the Thai army is part of an ongoing overhaul of the service’s assault transport capability, which also saw the arrival last year of six Mil Mi-17V5s. Thailand has proved a good market for Sikorsky over the years. The Royal Thai Army already operates earlier S-70A-43 Black Hawks, while the Royal Thai Navy has S-70B-7 Seahawks.
PARKING ALERT!!!!! Extreme wet-weather conditions at the Farnborough International Airshow site have necessitated that the organizers issue a parking alert: u If you have a car park pass, carry on to the designated area. u Traffic marshals will direct all vehicles to parking areas. They may be saturated grass, so bring suitable alternative footwear–“wear your Wellies.” u Do not stop or drive on grass areas (except as directed). u Park in designated parking areas only. u Queen’s Parade car park will be closed. All vehicles will be directed to nearby alternative hard-standing parking areas that will be serviced by regular, free shuttle buses into Gate B. Estimated journey time is 10 minutes. There are quick and easy public transport options available. Please visit http://www.farnborough.com/general-info/getting-there for more information.
James Holahan, Founding Editor Wilson S. Leach, Managing Director Editor-in-chief – R. Randall Padfield INTERNATIONAL EDITOR – Charles Alcock Pressroom managing Editor – Ian Sheppard PRODUCTION DIRECTOR – Mary E. Mahoney PRODUCTION editor – Lysbeth McAleer the editorial team Bill Carey Mark Huber David Donald Vladimir Karnozov Thierry Dubois Neelam Mathews Richard Gardner Nigel Moll Ian Goold Chris Pocock Kirby J. Harrison Gregory Polek
Peter Shaw-Smith Matt Thurber Aimée Turner Paulo Valpolini Harry Weisberger
A T I N
the production team Mona L. Brown (IT coordinator) R Jane Campbell E B L Alena Korenkov John Manfredo Mark Phelps Colleen Redmond Annmarie Yannaco O Photographers R T Y David McIntosh Mark Wagner press room administrator – Susie Alcock C
BLACK EAGLES PHOTOS: CHRIS POCOCK
The Korean T-50 jet aerobatic team has been wowing the crowds at the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) at Fairford this past weekend. But Farnborough airshowgoers have been denied the chance to see their dynamic eight-ship display. Only a solo performance by one of the Korean-built supersonic trainers is being allowed here. The Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF) went to extraordinary lengths to
FOUNDED IN 1972
by Chris Pocock
Fairford for the RIAT show. At a validation display there last Thursday witnessed by AIN, spectators applauded spontaneously as the black-white-and-yellow jets re hearsed a dynamic routine that included multiple splits and rejoins during a total of 22 maneuvers. Lt. Col. Kim Young Hwa said the Black Eagles reformed on the Korean Aerospace Industries (KAI) T-50B in 2009,
Black Eagles soaring, but not at Farnborough
Lt. Col. Kim Young Hwa
having previously flown, in turn, F-5As (1967-78) and A-37Bs (1994-2007). The pilots are all flight instructors with at least 800 hours’ fast jet experience. The Black Eagles are a full-time team that has performed 150 times in Korea since their routine was approved in April last year. So why aren’t they performing here at Farnborough? “Given our location, which is surrounded by built-up areas, there are very stringent rules in force,” Farnborough International Ltd. (FIL) flying display director Rod Dean told AIN. In recent years, he continued, only the Red Arrows have been allowed to fly here. Dean explained that the current rules had been established when the UK Ministry of Defence was still running the airfield. Therefore, the FIL management and Flying Control Committee turned down the Korean request for the Black Eagles to appear here. After the Black Eagles leave Fairford this morning, they will make one formation flypast here–at 11:30. Three of the jets will then land–one for static display, one for the flying display and one spare. o
Farnborough Airshow News
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Final AF447 report suggests crew confusion In its final report into the loss of an Air France Airbus A330 over the South Atlantic on June 1, 2009, French air accident investigation agency BEA (Bureau d’Enquetes et d’Analyses) has managed to explain most–but not all–of the pitch-up inputs by the pilot who was flying the aircraft at the time of the accident during the last minutes of Air France Flight 447. The report, published on July 5, said that the pilot flying (PF) kept pulling the stick and this caused the Airbus A330 to stall and prevented a recovery. In a tense press conference held last Thursday at Le Bourget Airport in Paris, BEA director Jean-Paul Troadec and his team pointed at human-machine interface issues that made the situation extremely confusing for the crew. All 228 occupants died when the aircraft, flying from Rio to Paris, crashed at night while negotiating a region with heavy thunderstorm activity. BEA had published an interim report in July 2011. A major new finding in the final report concerned the flight
director, which normally displays symbology on the pilots’ primary flying displays that give guidance on control inputs to reach a desired steady-state flightpath. After the autopilot and autothrottle disengaged, as the flight control law switched from normal to alternate, the flight director’s crossbars disappeared. But they then reappeared several times. Every time they were visible, they prompted pitch-up inputs by the PF, investigators determined. It took them a long time to “rebuild” what the flight director displayed since this is not part of the data recorded by the flight data recorder. The BEA acknowledged that the PF might have followed flight director indications. This was not the right thing to do in a stall but it seems that the crew never realized that the aircraft was in a stall. Moreover, the successive disappearance and reappearance of the crossbars reinforced this false impression, the investigators suggested. For the crew, this could have suggested their information was valid.
The flight data recorder on board Air France Flight 447 was not able to record flight director behavior. Accident investigators had to “rebuild” data to learn what happened.
In normal law green chevrons would show up as an attitude guide
Speed characteristics Vmax and “green dot”
Flight-director symbology confused the Air France pilot flying Flight 447 as it switched back and forth between “normal law” and “alternate law.” In fact, they were in a stalled condition and should have disregarded the flight director.
by Thierry Dubois
multi-tasking yak-130 The first military aircraft developed in Russia with computer-aided design software, the multi-mission Yak-130 can fulfill a range of roles. In service with the Russian and Algerian air forces, it can serve as a trainer/attack aircraft and a ground-support bomber. Look for a full story in Tuesday’s issue of Farnborough Airshow News.
None of the pilots recognized that the flight director was changing from one mode to another because they were just too busy. The PF may have trusted the flight director so much that he was verbally agreeing to the other pilot’s pitchdown instructions, while still actually pitching up. Reviews Recommended
The BEA’s report includes significant recommendations about the flight director. One of them calls for European Aviation Safety Agency to review its “display logic.” The flight director should disappear or present “appropriate orders” in a stall. The investigators made it clear that from the start the crew should have followed a procedure called “unreliable indicated airspeed,” which involves disconnecting the flight director. They also concluded that the still-connected flight director behaved in a way that is not specific to the A330. However, Leopold Sartorius, head of the investigation’s avionics systems working group, said he did not conduct an exhaustive study on other airliners to determine whether the flight director would have behaved in the same way. The BEA investigation has explained why the PF pulled his stick after the autopilot disengaged. But he also pulled the stick back at the beginning of the fatal sequence. This was probably to correct what was later determined to be an altimeter error. The only remaining question concerns the period between autopilot disengagement and the first stall warning. During these
6 Farnborough Airshow News • July 9, 2012 • www.ainonline.com
five seconds, the PF kept giving nose-up inputs to the controls, but the BEA can’t say why. The crew (or part of it) trusted the flight director but seemed to ignore the stall alarm even though it sounded more than 70 times. While this fact amazed many industry experts when it was revealed a year ago, the BEA has found possible explanations. First, the crew was not familiar with this audio alarm, due to a lack of training. More generally, the BEA refers to shortcomings in their “knowledge of the aircraft and its protection modes.” A review of pilot training “did not provide convincing evidence that the associated skills had been correctly developed and maintained.” Also, the crew may have thought the buffeting, aerodynamic noise and even an acceleration cue on the primary flight display were symptoms of excessive speed. The aircraft, in fact, was in completely the opposite situation in that it was flying far too slowly. Another reason for having ignored the stall alarm could have been a matter of sheer perception, Troadec said. “Audio alarms are no longer heard in some situations,” he admitted. This has prompted the BEA to recommend the addition of a visual stall warning. Inspection Failures
Among the new recommendations are some relatively surprising ones, about problems with the safety oversight of Air France. The BEA refers to failures in inspections conducted by the French civil aviation
authority (DGAC), which it said, “did not bring to light the fragile nature of the crew resource management.” Nor did DGAC officials identify the weaknesses of the two copilots in manual airplane handling. BEA concluded that the DGAC needs to be reorganized to make its safety oversight function more effective. Another recommendation is that there needs to be better recruitment and training of safety inspectors. Troadec labeled the crew’s work during the fatal few minutes as “destructured.” One difficulty was the lack of a clear display of the airspeed inconsistencies even though the computers identified them. Some systems generated failure messages only about the consequences but never mentioned the origin of the problem. This prompted a recommendation that a blocked pitot tube should be clearly indicated to the crew on the flight displays. Investigators determined that the A330 pilots being startled by the chain of events played a major role in the destabilization of the flight path and the BEA report recommended more training for dealing with unexpected situations. Ultimately, safety comes from both the pilots’ cognitive abilities and the signals they receive, Troadec concluded. o AINonline iPhone App NOW AVAILABLE
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Bombardier’s CSeries gets ‘conditional’ order by Ian Goold
Bombardier has a tentative that are insurmountable.” He 12th customer for its new CSeries said Bombardier is in touch with jetliner, the Canadian airfram- supplier Parker Aerospace about er’s commercial aircraft president software quality, which he conMike Arcamone announced at firmed is an “issue.” Meanwhile, final assembly the Farnborough International show site yesterday. The new of the first CSeries continues and as-yet-unidentified customer and the manufacturer is already has placed a “conditional order” assembling the cockpit structure for five 100- to 125-passenger for the fifth airframe, according CSeries 100s and five 120- to 145- to Dewar. All airframe parts are seat CSeries 300s, nominally val- on schedule–albeit a time table that Bombardier admits has ued at about $1 billion. The agreement introduces become compressed. The CSeries center fuselage a new transaction term among CSeries deals. Previously an- assembly is expected to be comnounced arrangements have in- plete by the middle of this month volved firm orders, lease op- before being moved to Montretions, purchase rights and letters al for final assembly. Bombarof intent covering “up to” a cer- dier expects the Chinese-manutain number of aircraft. Ar- factured rear fuselage barrel to be shipped from Asia camone said the “next week,” said the bashful customer has program manager, while “compelling reasons” the aft fuselage is “esfor requesting anosentially” complete. nymity, while proIn the empennage gram manager Robassembly, the tailplane ert Dewar declined being provided by Itat yesterday’s meetaly’s Alenia is to be ing to confirm or deshipped “during the ny that the customsummer,” with fuseer is present at this Bombardier commercial lage doors due to leave week’s show. aircraft division president Nor Although Bom- Mike Arcamone maintains Bombardier’s bardier acknowledged that, based on current data, thern Ireland factory in August. Dewar last year that it had the manufacturer can fly used up any mar- the CSeries jetliner before said development of the Pratt & Whitney gin in the program next year. geared turbofan enschedule, Arcamone emphasized yesterday that, de- gines is progressing “extremespite widespread skepticism ly well,” with the powerplant among analysts and other in- “basically” on schedule to meet dustry observers, with the avail- fuel consumption targets. Including the latest booked able information, he believes the company “will meet our mile- business, Bombardier has firm stone” of flying the aircraft by orders for 138 CSeries airthe end of this year and seeing it crafts, has lease options on 124, enter service within 12 months; granted purchase rights coverthe larger CSeries 300 is still set ing 10 aircraft, taken a condito begin operations not later tional order for 15 and received letters of intent involving up than 2014 (see page 73). Asked about problems with to 45 units. Some 70 of the the airliner’s fly-by-wire controls, firm orders are from GermaDewar acknowledged: “Yes, we ny’s Lufthansa and U.S. carrier o face some challenges, but none Republic Airways.
Rockwell Collins has developed this large-screen LCD panel upgrade for Boeing 757 and 767 airliners.
Retrofit brings 757 & 767 into NextGen compliance by Chad Trautvetter Rockwell Collins and Boeing are to unveil, today, a flight-deck retrofit program for the Boeing 757/767 that includes large-format LCD screens, NextGencapable communication and surveillance systems and a commander-side head-up display. NextGen is the new air traffic management system for the U.S. Inspired by flight-deck improvements offered on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, the upgrades are due to be certified for installation on 757s/767s in the second quarter of 2014. Installation downtime “should be on the order of days, not weeks,” a Rockwell Collins spokesman told AIN. “The open-architecture design of the advanced systems that Rockwell Collins developed for the Dreamliner is what makes its
seamless integration into other platforms possible,” said Jeff Standerski, vice president and general manager of Rockwell Collins Air Transport Systems. “With more than 1,600 Boeing 767 and 757 aircraft currently in operation, airlines worldwide will benefit from the high levels of efficiency and situational awareness enhancements this new technology brings, all while being installed cost-effectively with minimal aircraft downtime.” As part of the retrofit, three 15.1-inch LED-backlit LCD screens replace the six legacy CRTs to display electronic flight instrument and engine indicating crew alerting system data. Each of the three LCDs has two independently controlled display windows, allowing for a one-forone display replacement.
To keep costs down and installation time to a minimum, the flight-deck upgrade will use as much of the original avionics architecture as possible. Systems that will be retained include the Boeing 757/767 flight management system computers and control display units. The retrofit’s advanced Next Gen communication and surveillance systems, which are optimized for viewing on the new LCD screens, will include provisions for next-generation air transportation systems such as ADS-B IN and controller-pilot data link. It will also have airport taxi maps and surface guidance, with future capabilities expected to include electronic approach charts. The integrated HGS-6700 head-up display will have future synthetic-vision system capability. It is designed to enhance crew situational awareness, as well as to allow more efficient flight operations (including departures and approaches in low-visibility conditions), thunderstorm diversion and real-time flightpath monitoring. o
Space Ship 2 Makes international Debut A replica of the Virgin Galactic Space Ship 2 “VSS Enterprise,” which was used recently for glide testing, is parked in the Farnborough International Airshow static display. Visitors are able to see the innovative hinged-wings, designed by Burt Rutan when he was at Scaled Composites. SS2 is carried to 50,000 feet by the White Knight 2 mother ship and is then dropped so that SS2 can fire up a hybrid rocket motor (testing of which has just started) to boost it up to above 100 km altitude. Then the six “astronauts” and two pilots will take off their seatbelts for a few minutes to experience near-weightlessness and stunning views of the Earth, before strapping in again for the re-entry. This is when the wings “feather” to brake the aircraft, which doesn’t get hot enough to need anything more than composite structure in its airframe as it circles down. It finally makes a conventional glide landing with wings straight.
China’s first private regional airline, China Express, based in Guiyang, has finalized a $264 million deal for six Bombardier CRJ900 NextGen regional jets. The value could rise to $491 million if the carrier, which will become the first to operate NextGen models in the country, exercises options for five more of the jets. Its current fleet consists of five Bombardier 50-seat CRJ200s. “As the only aircraft manufacturer with three distinct and optimized families of aircraft in the 60- to 149-seat market segment, Bombardier is well positioned to support the growth of China’s air transport network,” said Mike Arcamone, president, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft. –I.G.
8 Farnborough Airshow News • July 9, 2012 • www.ainonline.com
China Express Signs for CRJs
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by Chris Pocock The pressure on government spending is forcing even the defense industrial giants to adapt. One example is Lockheed Martin’s IS&GS division, which is promoting a supermarket-style choice of intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) products and services, with trademarked branding to match. The U.S.-based group has
named the core offer Net Dragon. It consists of a contractor-owned, contractor-operated (CoCo) model that pitches Lockheed Martin (LM) into a market that has traditionally been serviced by smaller, specialist outfits. Customers can choose from various Dragon options according to their requirements, and quickly field an
But What About the Dragon Lady? Absent from Lockheed Martin’s IS&GS Dragon line-up is the most famous LM product to carry that name. True, the U-2 Dragon Lady is the responsibility of a different LM division–Aeronautics–but with the evergreen spyplane about to enjoy a new lease on life, it seems strange that LM has done little to promote what is arguably the most capable multi-intelligence aircraft ever built. All through this year’s controversy in Washington over the Pentagon’s decision to keep the U-2 and ground its replacement, the Global Hawk Block 30 UAV, LM has kept a low profile. Northrop Grumman has deployed copious media and lobbying resources to try and reverse the move. But the case for the U-2 has been left to a dedicated group of ISR-savvy airmen and officials in the Pentagon, supported by some specialist contractors–and the combatant commanders who enjoy an everyday feed of valuable imagery and signals intelligence from the high-flying platform. LM Aeronautics has valuable contracts for all U-2 depot maintenance and considerable field support. The company also stands to gain substantial revenue from engineering the various upgrades to the Dragon Lady that are now in prospect. So do the providers of sensors and communications systems to the aircraft, especially Goodrich, L-3 Com and Raytheon. Over the next five years, the Air Force is planning an annual spend of $50 million on U-2 upgrades and another $15 million on research and development. Goodrich ISR makes the U-2’s Senior Year Electro-Optical Reconnaissance Systems (SYERS), a multispectral imaging system. Its coverage will be extended from six to ten wavebands, and a new gimballed version designated MS177 will migrate this unique capability from the aircraft’s nose to one of the wing pods. This will allow the U-2 to simultaneously carry the Raytheon Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar System 2 (ASARS-2), which is also nose-mounted. This high-resolution sensor could also be upgraded to an ASARS-3 version with an active array. The wing pods currently carry only the U-2’s SIGINT system, either the older RAS-1R system supplied by Raytheon, or the newer Airborne Signals Intelligence Payload (ASIP) from Northrop Grumman. Additional ASIP systems that were to be procured for the Global Hawk Block 30 will now be carried by the U-2 instead. Another sensor might also be carried in the U-2’s wing pods. L-3 Wescam has proposed that its turret-mounted high-specification 474 EO/IR full motion video system be added to the Dragon Lady. Significant improvements to the U-2’s data links, electronic warfare system and airframe are also in prospect. These include a reduction in the cockpit altitude from 29,000 feet to 15,000 feet. This initiative is already funded and is expected to reduce or eliminate the risk to pilots of decompression sickness (DCS). –C.P.
A U-2S equipped with the nose-mounted ASARS-2 radar sensor and a SIGINT system in the wing pods, both supplied by Raytheon. New sensors and airframe upgrades are in prospect for the evergreen spyplane.
The Dragon Star concept extends to smaller platforms, such as Dash 8 or King Air twin-turboprops. LM says any of these types of aircraft can be equipped with a variety of sensor combinations and multiple communication systems configured for a particular mission. According to Mark Gablin, director of the airborne reconnaissance systems division at IS&GS, the company is completely sensor agnostic. “We have designed a very agile service architecture…a ‘hardback’ to which you can plug and play,” he explained. Gablin told AIN that IS&GS expects to bid for a contract from the European Union’s Frontex program, which will be a CoCo operation. The company will team with Diamond Aircraft of Austria, with which it demonstrated a DA42 light twin
12 Farnborough Airshow News • July 9, 2012 • www.ainonline.com
LM offers ISR dragons with different scales
affordable ISR capability. “Security budgets are decreasing, yet the demand for ISR remains constant,” said Jim Quinn, vice president of C4ISR Systems for IS&GS. “We can provide the ISR capability that customers need without them having to incur the expense of owning the assets.” For instance, the Dragon Star Airborne Multi-Intelligence Laboratory (AML) that was displayed here at the Farnborough International Airshow two years ago, has recently gone under contract to the Italian air force, which is using it to develop ISR concepts of operations and validate future requirements. The Italians are also using another branded offer from IS&GS called Dragon’s Den. This is the ground station component, which comes in various configurations from a single computer workstation up to a trailer-like shelter. LM is providing the flight crew and maintenance personnel for both the aircraft and three intelligence-processing systems. LM’s Italian contract lasts for one year, with an option to extend to two years. The AML–a converted Gulfstream GIII business jet–is fitted with equipment from Flir Government Systems, Rockwell Collins, DRS and L-3 Communications. “With its open architecture and configurable exterior, the Italian air force can integrate additional C4ISR software and hardware in a matter of hours rather than days,” said LM.
A synthetic radar aperture image captured by the Phoenix Eye sensor, designated AN/ APY-12, which is available for export.
equipped with a Selex Galileo radar to the EU last year. The Dragon Shield concept adds palletized or containerized ISR installations that can be added or removed from aircraft according to requirements. For instance, LM designed a rollon, roll-off signals intelligence (Sigint) package for the Airbus Military C295 aircraft operated by the Finnish air force. This follows the company’s earlier experience in designing the Senior Scout Sigint pallets for U.S. Air Force C-130 airlifters. Dragon Stare covers the addition of (typically) electrooptical/infrared (EO/IR) video systems into aircraft or into pods attached to their exterior. But it also includes radars such as LM’s own AN/APY-12. Separately, Dragon Scout is a multi-sensor configuration for customers with enduring requirements and large geographical areas of interest. This concept has not yet been converted into hardware. Gablin told AIN that the new Gulfstream 650 jet is the favored platform. Although Lockheed Martin says the Dragon series of ISR offerings is sensor-agnostic, the company does have significant in-house capability. This includes a reconnaissance radar business in Phoenix, Arizona, that
is currently marketing a multimode system called Phoenix Eye, also designated AN/APY-12. The radar is cleared for export to countries that include Italy, Korea, Sweden and Taiwan. The Arizona facility traces its heritage to the original development of imaging synthetic aperture radar (SAR) by Goodyear in the early 1950s, and to the system that was designed for the SR-71 Blackbird. The company has developed more than 500 SARs that have been installed on 30 different aircraft. Today, it produces SARs in three frequency bands, and has annual sales of more than $50 million. Phoenix Eye is an X-band sensor that derives from the system that was fitted to the Hawker 800 reconnaissance jets that were sold to the Republic of Korea Air Force some years ago. Phoenix Eye offers three SAR modes plus two GMTI (ground moving target indicator) modes. One of these is a wide area moving target indicator (WAMTI) that can scan thousands of square miles and overlay the MTI onto a map in less than a minute, according to LM. Phoenix Eye has been repackaged as a smaller system “because today’s customers are asking for multi-intelligence capability so we need to save space,“ according Continued on page 16 u
PHOTOS: Chris Pocock
The Gulfstream GIII that Lockheed Martin has converted as the Dragon Star Airborne Multi-Intelligence Laboratory (AML) is now working for the Italian air force.
LM offers ISR dragons uContinued from page 12
GOOD FLYING! PILATUS WISHES YOU AN EXCELLENT AIR SHOW! Come and visit us at the Static Display www.pilatus-aircraft.com
16 Farnborough Airshow News • July 9, 2012 • www.ainonline.com
to Robert Robinson, LM’s senior manager for tactical reconnaissance systems. Robinson told AIN that the company can adapt the sensor’s aperture and power requirements to the customer’s specification, while retaining the core digital receiver/exciter and processor. Phoenix Eye has been demonstrated on pods fitted to an F-15 and an F-16, and sold to the U.S. Army for the Airborne Reconnaissance Low-Multifunction (ARL-M) program. This is a surveillance adaptation of the Bombardier Dash 8 airliner that serves in Korea. LM’s sensor replaced a similar one supplied by Raytheon because it offered, “much improved resolution and far greater range. The GMTI is the best-in-class for its price,” Robinson claimed. The radar data is processed onboard, including the GTMI, then datalinked to ground stations. LM was able to adapt its sensor to the existing aperture on the ARL-M, and phase it in over four years, Robinson noted. Tracer is a low-frequency SAR that LM began developing within the foliage penetration (FOPEN) research effort sponsored by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA). Operating in VHF or UHF bands, it overcomes the obscuration that hampers the detection of camouflaged targets in X-band. The sensor was further developed as an Advanced Concept Technology Demonstrator (ACTD), and has since been fitted to the Ikonos, a version of the MQ-1 Predator that is operated by NASA. LM has also developed a Ku-band radar at Phoenix, but that is for a potential classified application. o
The new MC-27J Spartan model will feature an ISR package, as well as fire-control equipment and an LW30mm link-fed gun.
Armed C-27J Spartan features ISR capabilities by Paolo Valpolini Alenia Aermacchi is unveiling a new armed version of the C-27J Spartan military transport here at the Farnborough International Airshow. The new MC-27J model will feature an intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) package, as well as fire-control equipment and an LW30mm link-fed gun. The Spartan has served in Afghanistan as part as the intertheater air-lift system, taking off and landing from short unprepared strips to transport troops, resupply forward operating bases, and air drop supply pallets when landing was impossible or too dangerous. The option to take an armed version of the twin turboprop could greatly enhance
its possible roles in war zones. Alenia Aermacchi has worked with U.S. group ATK to toughen up the Spartan, which features a high level of commonality with the larger C-130J while promising substantially lower acquisition and operating costs. To date, the C-27J has attracted 89 firm orders, with the latest customer being Australia, which placed a contract for 10 in May. The new version of the Spartan does not come as a surprise, with Giuseppe Giordo, Alenia Aeronautica CEO, having announced the development at the 2011 Paris Air Show. Moreover at the same event the company exhibited a Spartan in a command-and-control version, equipped with Selex
CMC demos Next Gen touchscreen cockpits by Matt Thurber Esterline CMC Electronics has something new to show Farnborough International Airshow visitors, a touchscreen display that is part of CMC’s new Cockpit 4000 Next Gen, a technology demonstrator for future military training and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance attack aircraft. CMC is also demonstrating the Cockpit 9000 system at its stand (Hall 1 Stand B11), as well as upgraded electronic flight bags (EFBs) and a new digital head-up display (HUD). Cockpit 4000, CMC’s original glass-panel avionics suite, is currently flying on the Hawker Beechcraft T-6B/C and AT-6, Korea Aerospace KT-1C/T and BAE’s Hawk Mk51 and Mk66. “We feel we are in strong positions in the trainer market,” said CMC president Greg Yeldon. The Next Gen version combines Cockpit 4000’s existing three five-by-seven-inch displays and the upfront control panel’s switches and knobs into one large 7- by 20-inch display that is also a touchscreen. Also on display is CMC’s new digital light engine SparrowHawk HUD, which features an LCD to project the images onto the combiner glass, instead of a CRT as used on the current SparrowHawk HUD.
CMC has demonstrated to potential customers the digital HUD, especially the unit’s ability to retrofit existing SparrowHawk HUDs with the new digital light engine. “It would be a significant life cycle cost savings,” said Jim Palmer, vice president of aviation products, pointing out that the new HUD has much longer
Sistemi Integrati FlexMis C2 suite, with two consoles and three seats, capable of being quickly installed and removed, showing the aircraft’s flexibility. The MC-27J adopts a modular solution based on mission kits or pallets that will allow the aircraft to cover a broad range of capabilities such as command and control, ISR, communications rebroadcast, as well as direct and indirect fire support, with the latter role being carried out with the use of air-launched guided munitions. Mission packages can be quickly removed to
bring the aircraft back to its original tactical transport role. This modularity makes the MC-27J much more than a simple gunship, but in that role the Italian airframer claims that it outperforms most existing platforms. The aircraft’s endurance and defensive aids suite make it a valuable platform for the other specialized missions that in many services are carried out by aircraft with limited performance, many of which are becoming obsolete. The C-27J is capable of taking off in 1,902 feet from unprepared
strips with a maximum takeoff weight of 67,240 pounds, with a range of more than 2,000 nm and a 13,228-pound payload. Alenia is responsible for the integration of the systems on the aircraft and any structural modifications, while ATK handles the overall mission and weapon system design, integration and installation. Ground and flight-test activities will soon be carried out in the U.S. The two companies forecast a market for about 50 multi-mission aircraft of this category in the next 20 years. o
mean-time-between-failure and uses less power. Another advantage of the digital light engine is the ability to display images instead of just symbology on the HUD. This could include synthetic-vision and enhancedvision (infrared) images. CMC’s HUD is a military product, positioned because of its size and weight for the trainer market. In the general aviation market, CMC has signed up two customers for the SmartDeck integrated cockpit: Cobalt’s Co50 piston single and Evektor’s EV-55 twin-turboprop. CMC’s thirdgeneration infrared enhanced vision system, the SureSight
CMA-2700, is in full production and flying on new Bombardier Global 5000s and 6000s equipped with the Rockwell Collins Pro Line Fusion-based Vision cockpit. The CMA-2700 will next be certified on Bombardier’s Challenger 605. Cockpit 9000, also being demonstrated at the CMC stand, has been installed in 17 of the 25 Saudi Arabian and Chilean C-130s contracted for the avionics retrofit. During the past year, 10 C-130s received the Cockpit 9000 upgrade. “Putting ten back in service over a twelvemonth period has been pretty impressive,” Yeldon said, “and we’re proud of that accomplishment. We’re still pursuing a number of opportunities in the C-130 upgrade market. We see it as a very strong market for CMC.”
for the performance Vnav FMS upgrade on the Airbus A310, in a program with the Canadian Department of National Defense. “That opens a significant market with Airbus and their operator community,” said Yeldon. On the air transport front, CMC’s approved CMA-5024 GPS landing sensor system is available for operators that can use satellite-based augmentation systems to shoot LPV approaches. “It’s a simple installation from a wiring standpoint,” said Palmer, “and doesn’t touch the FMS, so it is a standalone navaid that will allow LPV approaches in areas where there is not a lot of ILS coverage.” CMC retains a strong share in the commercial and military electronic flight bag (EFB) markets. The company plans to deliver more than 100 military TacView EFBs for the C-130H, and the U.S. Air National Guard is considering installation of the TacView on the 200-aircraft KC-135 fleet. The civil PilotView is certified on a variety of business jets and Boeing aircraft, both for Class 2 and 3 applications. “The reality is budgets are under pressure everywhere,” Yeldon concluded, “and there’s a lot more emphasis on what we can provide, which is low-cost flexible solutions into the retrofit market. The strength of CMC is that we’re OEM and retrofit, commercial and military, and in today’s environment having strong retrofit [programs] is a positive.” o
1,000 C-130 Candidates
Esterline CMC is showing its Cockpit 4000 Next Gen, a technology demonstrator for future military training and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance attack aircraft.
18 Farnborough Airshow News • July 9, 2012 • www.ainonline.com
About 1,000 C-130s are possible candidates for a Cockpit 9000 retrofit, which brings the workhorse into the modern era with capabilities such as RNP, Waas LPV and the latest radio communications features. “This is because of our FMS,” said Patrick Champagne, vice president of cockpits and systems integration. “It’s the heart of that cockpit solution and brings the capability to interface with modern systems that need to be compliant with efficient operations in [today’s] airspace.” CMC expects shortly to receive a technical standard order, followed by a supplemental type certificate (STC)
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Taranis and Mantis gather speed as BAE brings UAVs into focus by David Donald Visitors to the BAE Systems pavilion here at Farnborough are being greeted by a model of a UCAV (unmanned combat air vehicle) representing a notional shape that could one day be a joint Anglo-French design. The UCAV model reflects the UK group’s refocusing of its show presence on “air” products, and the hugely important part unmanned systems are expected to play in the company’s future. “What we’re trying to develop is a product range that encapsulates the future of British aviation,” said Tom Fillingham, the company’s director of future combat air systems. “We need to satisfy a range of requirements from various customers.” Two years ago BAE Systems unveiled its Taranis low-observable UCAV technology demonstrator, and a year later it outlined plans to jointly develop with Dassault the Telemos MALE (medium altitude, longendurance) air vehicle based on the BAE Systems Mantis
demonstrator. Both programs are making significant progress. Taranis began life as a UKonly technology demonstrator, with BAE Systems heading a joint MoD/industry team. Now painted grey with low-visibility RAF roundels, the single air vehicle (Serial Numbered ZZ250) is in a secure facility at BAE Systems’ Warton plant in northwest England while it undergoes a thorough test and development phase leading to a first flight scheduled for early next year. Rolls-Royce, which supplies the aircraft’s Adour 951 engine, is undertaking integration tests of the entire intake/engine/exhaust system. The engine is installed, but has not yet been started. One crucial campaign that has been successfully conducted is pole testing of the vehicle’s radar cross section, undertaken at Warton’s radar cross section range. According to Fillingham, the results were “very promising,” and led to the UK Ministry of Defence asking for further RCS tests to corroborate the initial results. While Taranis is a UKonly program, a UCAV is covered by the Anglo-French strategic defense agreement, and results from tests will feed into a joint program for what is now being termed FCAS (future combat air system). Dassault also has a UCAV demonstrator in the shape Taranis, left, is seen during the pole testing that revealed highly promising radar cross section results. BAE Systems’ Jetstream 31 flying testbed, below, is outfitted as a surrogate UAV. Pilot and co-pilot perform takeoffs and landings, and are on hand to take over control from the unmanned systems in an emergency. The aircraft has two test engineer/system operator stations in the cabin.
of the Neuron, which has been developed jointly with a number of other European nations. BAE Systems and Dassault are hopeful of progressing FCAS through the receipt of an 18-month demonstrator preparation phase program (DPPP) contract, which could be awarded this summer–possibly this week. A successful DPPP could lead to a design and development contract for FCAS. BAE Systems and Dassault also hope to win an 18-month
could enter service around 2020. A framework for intended workshare breakdown will be part of the TMRS process. In the meantime, BAE Systems is reviving the Mantis with its own money, having assigned up to approximately $7.8 million to the project this year. The demonstrator undertook a successful flight test campaign in Australia before being mothballed. The company has decided to dust it down for renewed tests to support development of new software, and as part of a longer term commitment to the Telemos MALE program, although it will not be flown as part of the TMRS contract. “We wanted to carry on our own activities internally,” explained Fillingham.
the MoD over the use of one of three or four possible locations. Mantis will take up the baton of advanced unmanned systems testing from the Herti. BAE Systems took the decision earlier this year to “quarantine” the Herti program and migrate the technology to the Mantis. Key technologies to be explored and developed are systems for senseand-avoid, weather-avoid and emergency landing functions. Many of these systems are being developed using the company’s Jetstream twin turboprop surrogate UAV testbed. This former regional airliner is part of the ASTRAEA (autonomous systems technology related airborne evaluation and assessment) program involving numerous UK industry players. Later
The BAE Systems Mantis is set to fly again, primarily to continue in-house advanced unmanned technology development.
technology maturation and riskreduction study (TMRS) award for the Telemos MALE deep and persistent ISTAR program. The contract could be signed and announced around the time of the Farnborough show. It would be worth around £15 million to BAE Systems and its key suppliers. Telemos is to be based on the Mantis concept, which flew in technology demonstrator form in October 2009. A Telemos vehicle is far from being defined, and even details such as whether it will have jet or turboprop engines have not been decided. The Mantis demonstrator was designed so that either type of powerplant could be installed. A successful TMRS phase could lead to a design and development contract for the Telemos vehicle, which
20 Farnborough Airshow News • July 9, 2012 • www.ainonline.com
The Mantis air vehicle is now being checked over so it can fly again. Taxi trials are due before year-end, with a first flight expected in early 2013. Whereas the first test campaign was conducted at Woomera in Australia, BAE Systems is to start flying the Mantis again in UK airspace, and is negotiating with
this summer the Jetstream will begin a series of more than 20 flights demonstrating its capabilities while operating in shared airspace. BAE Systems is testing the system in preparation for this campaign, and is using a Piper Seminole twin as a “target” aircraft to test the Jetstream’s senseand-avoid technology. o
Satcom Direct’s Europe office supports clients at F’boro In-flight communications specialist Satcom Direct opened its new local office just in time for this year’s Farnborough International Airshow. On June 21, the Florida-based group began operations from its UK premises in Hangar Two at Farnborough Airport as a tenant of TAG Aviation, which owns and operates the site. The new international office will give Satcom Direct’s European customers more convenient access to its avionics and testing laboratory, training facilities, operator support services and maintenance. The company also is extending its wireless connectivity service to customer aircraft flying into Farnborough Airport. “With the continuing demand
for airborne connectivity, Satcom Direct knows it is critical to answer our customers’ communications needs and support requirements with European-based operations,” said Jim Jensen, founder and owner of Satcom Direct. To schedule a tour of the new facility go to www.satcomdirect.co.uk or email email@example.com. Satcom Direct provides satellite voice and broadband data solutions for flight deck and cabin communications serving bus iness, military, government and head-of-state aircraft. The company is a premier Inmarsat Distribution Partner, Iridium Service Partner and preferred reseller of ViaSat Yonder systems. –C.A.
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GKN buys VolvoAero for engine parts prowess GKN Aerospace is set to create a $1.4 billion engine components business when it completes its acquisition of Volvo Aero, announced last week. The UKbased group is to pay approximately $981 million for Volvo Aero, which already supplies components for all major aircraft engine manufacturers. According to GKN Aerospace CEO Marcus Bryson, Volvo’s strength in designing, engineering and manufacturing metallic components for engines will complement GKN’s expertise in making composite structures. “We see this as a real strategic asset because they have a very high level of engineering capability in aero engines, partly due to their role in developing the Saab Gripen engi ne,” he told AIN. “We have had very strong feedback from Volvo’s customers.” Volvo tends to work on components for the back end of engines, while GKN focused on the front end. It has substantial
work on both the new General Electric GEnx and Pratt & Whitney Geared Turbofan powerplant families. Last week Volvo Aero delivered its first components for the PurePower PW1100G to Pratt & Whitney in the U.S. Those parts will be installed on the firstengine-to-test, which is scheduled to run later this year. The engine is slated for a 2015 entry into service on the new Airbus A320neo narrowbodied airliners. Bryson revealed that GKN has been targeting a takeover of Volvo, which has 3,000 employees in Sweden, Norway and the U.S., for about five years. Agreement over the acquisition was reached after GKN and Swedish automaker Volvo had previously discussed a possible joint venture in aero engines. Bryson said GKN will not retain the Volvo name and the new unit’s corporate identity and management structure will be settled once the deal has passed regulatory approval. o
by Curt Epstein
hover power AgustaWestland's AW101 settles to a soft landing here at Farnborough. Known as the EH01 until 2007 when UK’s Westland merged with Italy’s Agusta, the medium-lift helicopter has military and civil mission capability. It is built in factories in Yeovil, UK, and Vergiate, Italy, and serves the military forces of Britain, Italy, Denmark, Portugal, Canada and Japan.
Largest-ever U.S. contingent is here by Gregory Polek Kallman Worldwide has organized the largest U.S. contingent of small- and mediumsized enterprises ever to gather at a Farnborough International Airshow, with the help of the Small Business Administration’s State Trade and Export Promotion (Step) grant program. Displays covering nearly 38,000 sq ft house more than 220 companies in Halls 2, 3 and 4. Step grants have helped pay for the exhibits of many small companies, here as part of more than 20 state groups. A new free App (available at MyAirShowGuide.com) allows users to search, locate and arrange for meetings with exhibitors in advance. Exhibiting companies include the following: Airfloat (Hall 2 Stand B17) Airfloat from Decatur, Illinois, helped pioneer air bearing (or air caster) technology, creating heavy-load movement solutions for nearly 50 years. At the show, Airfloat unveiled a new assembly transporter that uses the technology to automatically transport aircraft from station
to station during the manufacturing process. Albany Engineered Composites (Hall 3 Stand A10) AEC of Rochester, New Hampshire, designs and manufactures composite components for aerospace, defense and other highperformance applications. Here in Farnborough, AEC is displaying the 3-D reinforced composite fan blade and case for CFM’s new Leap engines. AEC has begun construction of a 353,000-sqft facility in Rochester to support Leap component manufacture. Beaver Aerospace & Defense (Hall 2 Stand A14) Beaver from Livonia, Michigan, makes ball screws, electromechanical actuators, ball splines and gears installed on some of the most advanced aircraft, missiles and space exploration systems in the world. It boasts an on-time delivery rate exceeding 99 percent. Connecticut Coining (Hall 2 Stand B14) A first-time exhibitor at Farnborough, Bethel-based
Connecticut Coining boasts more than 50 years of experience working with a wide range of exotic metals in high-voltage and aerospace applications. Its factory houses 50 presses, up to 500 metric tons; die engineering and manufacturing facilities; and 20 CNC machines. Flight Display Systems (Hall 2 Stand B7) Flight Display Systems from Alpharetta, Georgia, is showcasing its 21-inch widescreen cockpit display, which provides 1080-pixel high-definition visuals as well as NBG, touchscreen and quad-screen capabilities. “Cockpit space is limited and these monitors display a lot of information, even in extreme viewing conditions,” said Nick Gray, the company’s director of international sales. Harlow Aerostructures (Hall 3 B19) A leading supplier of complex machine structural components, Wichita, Kansas-based Harlow has grown over the past 10 years from a small machine shop to a
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major contractor to the commercial, business jet and military aerospace industries. It has played key roles in throttle quadrant design and development, structural assemblies, t-columns, cargo barrier doors, floor beams and bulkheads. Lamboo Inc. (Hall 2 Stand B17) Springfield, Illinois-based Lamboo Elite products include engineered bamboo veneer, components and panels that exceed strength and durability requirements for military applications and cargo aircraft, while helping to fulfill environmental sustainability mandates. Lamboo Elite panels and veneers accept stain or dye to match a variety of colors, as well as satin to high-floss finishes specific to each project. Makino (Chalet 5) Aerospace manufacturing equipment highlighted at the show by Mason, Ohio-based Makino include a T2 five-axis horizontal machining center for large titanium parts; a G7 multifunction machining center for grinding, drilling, boring and milling; A8, A12 and A20 five-axis horizontal machining centers for large aluminum structural part
production; and a D300 fiveaxis machining center for making small engine components. State of South Carolina (Hall 3 Stand A10a) South Carolina governor Nikki Haley and commerce secretary Bobby Hitt have made the trip to Farnborough to talk about business advantages in the southeastern state, whose highest profile resident–Boeing–assembles 787 Dreamliners. Also home to facilities and offices established by GKN Aerospace and Michelin, South Carolina promotes itself as an international gateway, using seaports such as the Port of Charleston as a major hub for commerce and trade. Skytronics Inc. (Hall 2 Stand A14) As an approved FAA repair station for commercial and military aircraft ball screws and actuation systems, Skytronics serves as the OEM for the horizontal stabilizer trim ball screw assembly for the Boeing 747/737/727/720/707 and KC-135, as well as the KC-135 trim actuator. The El Segundo, California-based firm promotes itself as a leader for repair and overhaul of HSTAs, GRAs and flap actuators and their associated ball screws. o
Embraer’s 20-yr view eyes $315B market by Gregory Polek A new market forecast released this week by Embraer suggests a projected need for 6,795 new aircraft in the 30to 120-seat capacity segment over the next 20 years. Valued at $315 billion, the market would reflect a 5-percent annual increase in world demand for air transport in terms of revenue passenger-miles. According to the Brazilian manufacturer, the “center of gravity” of the market will move eastward, most notably to Asia and, to some extent, southward to Latin America. By 2031, it projects Asia Pacific and China will become the largest airline markets in the world, accounting for 34 percent of global revenue passenger miles. Europe and North America will follow at 21 percent each, it added. A 7.2-percent growth rate will make the Middle East the fastest growing market, said Embraer, closely followed by China and Latin America (7.0 percent each), Asia Pacific (5.8 percent), the CIS (5.6 percent) and Africa (5.3 percent). Of course, developed economies will grow slower; for example, North America will see a 3.2-percent rate of growth, while Europe is higher at 4.1 percent. The strong pace of economic growth in emerging markets, the rise of an urban middle class, economic growth of small and mid-size cities, fuel prices, environmental concerns, increased airline competition and the continuous search for business efficiency all will affect the balance and magnitude of demand in the air transport industry, noted Embraer. In dividing demand by size category, Embraer sees 405 deliveries in the 30- to 60-seat segment, 2,625 in the 61- to 90-seat sector and 3,765 in the 91- to 120-seat grouping. Meanwhile, North America’s share will account for a 32-percent share of deliveries, followed by Europe and the CIS (28 percent), China (15 percent), Latin America (11 percent), the Middle East and Africa (7 percent) and Asia Pacific (7 percent). o
According to this week’s market forecast from Embraer, demand for 91to 100-seat airliners, such as its EMB190 on show here at Farnborough, will be 3,765 aircraft over the next 20 years. The display aircraft wears the livery of Ukrainian carrier AeroSvit, which operates the country’s largest network of scheduled services.
Su-35 Multirole Fighter by Andrew Johnson
The development and production of the Su-35 (the Russian modification Su-35S) 4++ generation super-maneuverable multirole fighter is one of Sukhoi’s top priority jobs. The official joint acceptance tests are now under way. In March this year, the fourth series-produced Su-35S was handed over for tests. The first and second Su-35 underwent preliminary flight tests, which fully proved the asserted main specifications of the aircraft and its suite of onboard equipment. They also demonstrated its super-maneuverability, checked the stability and controllability, and confirmed the powerplant parameters and navigation system operability. The maximum close-to-land speed is 1,400 km/h; at altitude, 2,400 km/h. The operational ceiling is 18,000 meters. The radar control system’s target detection range in the air-to-air mode is over 400 km, which considerably exceeds that of the currently in-service aircraft. The phased antenna array radar detects targets at a longer range and simultaneously tracks and engages more of them (tracking of up to 30 and engagement of up to 8 air targets, plus an option of simultaneous monitoring of the in-air and on-land situation and tracking of 4 and engagement of 2 ground targets). The onboard optic radar detects and tracks several targets at a range of more than 80 km. The system is ready to undergo operational suitability tests. All work associated with the acceptance tests of the new fighter proceeds according to the approved plan. Before the end of the year it is planned to test the airborne weapons in operation. Even today, the flight test results testify that the performance of the Su-35/Su-36S is much superior to that of similar in-service counterparts, whereas the onboard weapon suite performs a wide range of missions and tactical tasks. The aircraft’s designed potential is
essentially higher than that of the 4 and 4+ generation tactical fighters like Rafale and EF 2000, and upgraded F-15, F-16, F-18 and F-35. Thus, it is a potent rival to the F-22A aircraft. The Su-35 employs many advanced technologies widely used in the frontline aviation’s advanced airborne complex (FAAAC). In a way, this is a platform for optimizing advanced technologies used in the fifth-generation aircraft now under test. This applies, in the first place, to a new avionics suite integrated on the basis of the information control system (ICS) built using the latest information technologies employing stand-by multiple processor computers and high-speed information exchange channels ensuring complex hypothesis processing of information obtained from surveillance and aiming systems and providing the pilot intellectual support in the performance of difficult combat missions. The Su-35 extensively uses situation awareness technologies applied in the spherical information field and the real-time mode resorting to the capabilities of the communication system, the aircraft’s radar, optronic surveillance and reconnaissance systems as well as on-land control systems of various levels. In addition, the aircraft is fitted with new engines (similar to those on the FAAAC) featuring an added vectored thrust, built-in auxiliary powerplant (BIAPP), and a new radar. The Su-35 differs in having a wide range of airborne-guided munitions for target engagement at short, medium and long distances plus unguided weapons. The aircraft can carry an 8,000 kg combat load. The Su-35S is series-produced by the Yu.A.Gagarin Aircraft Production Association of Komsomolsk-on-Amur (KnAAPO) incorporated by Sukhoi. The production proceeds in compliance with the statesponsored contract concluded in 2009 for the supply of a large batch of aircraft for the Russian Defense Ministry during the period till 2015.
www.ainonline.com • July 9, 2012 • Farnborough Airshow News 23
Boeing outlook shifts to larger jets, more units by Ian Goold flights–and Boeing expects that rate to be sustained throughout the next 20 years. Passenger numbers are seen as increasing by 4 percent a year, as average journey lengths increase by almost a tenth. Reduction in Regionals
The predicted demand comprises 23,240 single-aisle aircraft (68.4 percent); 7,950 twin-aisles (23.4 percent); 2,020 regional jets (5.9 percent); and 790 large jetliners (2.32 percent). Equivalent proportions in Boeing’s outlook 10 years ago were: 51.5 percent single-aisles, 20.8 percent twinaisles, 17.7 percent regional jets and 3.95 percent large aircraft. Tinseth said Boeing is watching the “very competitive” regional jet market, which now comprises five manufacturers. “I don’t think we’ll enter [that sector] in the future, but we are watching carefully because that is where the next competition will come from.” The substantial reduction foreseen among regional jets alongside growth in both the single- and twin-aisle sectors (and a less-predictable market for large aircraft) suggests that average aircraft size is increasing, despite Boeing’s long-proclaimed protests to the contrary.
Boeing Commercial Airplanes is looking forward to continuing industry resilience, with its latest current market outlook (CMO) projecting a $4.5 trillion market for 34,000 new airplanes, for delivery 2012-31. This compares with a predicted 20-year requirement for just fewer than 24,000 units it forecast in 2002. Ten years later, Boeing’s annual forecast has seen a shift toward larger aircraft with a steady decline in perceived future demand for regional jets (fewer than 90 seats) and a volatile market for large jetliners (747 size or bigger). “[The market] has proven to be resilient, even during very challenging years,” said marketing vice president Randy Tinseth. “[It] is broader, deeper and more diverse than we’ve ever seen it.” Pointing out that world air travel (measured in revenue passengermiles/kilometers) has grown at 5 percent a year since 1980, Tinseth said this period included “four recessions, two financial crises, two Gulf wars, one oil ‘shock,’ one near-pandemic and [the] 9/11 [terrorist attacks].” Nevertheless, air travel had continued to grow–with demand having been met by increased frequencies and more nonstop
wheels up super hornet Boeing’s F/A-18F demonstrator pulls in the gear (a/k/a “undercarriage”) in preparation for its show routine. Designed as a replacement for the Grumman F-14 Tomcat, the original F-18 Hornet entered service with the U.S. Navy in 1999. The upgraded Super Hornet is 20 percent larger and has a maximum all-up weight 15,000 pounds greater than that of the original Hornet. U.S. Navy Captain Frank Morley, program manager, will deliver an overview briefing on the F/A-18E/F (and EA-18G Growler) program later today.
Outlining the new forecast last week, Tinseth said, “[Historic] demand has been met by more flights to more places, rather than by bigger aircraft.” He conceded that in the coming 20 years size might increase by “four to five percent,” and he pointed out that the outlook figure for largeaircraft demand had fallen. An indication of the challenge facing aerospace soothsayers is the very volatility of Boeing’s perception of the largeaircraft market over the past 10 years: in 2002, such models accounted for 3.95 percent of forecast 20-year requirements, compared with the latest 2.32 percent, while its estimates for unit numbers has swung between a high of 990 in 2006 and a 40-percent-lower 585 in 2004, the year before Airbus flew the A380. In a thinly disguised jab at Boeing’s European competitor, Tinseth said, “The A380 has gone pretty much as we expected, [but]
the CMO is a little more rosy than the market has been.” He expected deliveries of such aircraft to be divided evenly between Airbus and Boeing. Fewer Freighters
With the cargo market remaining “sluggish,” Boeing has revised its 20-year forecast for freighters downward, although it still projected the fleet will almost double from 1,740 aircraft to 3,200 by 2031. “Additions will include 940 new-production freighters (market value $250 billion) and 1,820 airplanes converted from passenger models.” Boeing predicts that cargo traffic will grow at 5.2 percent per year during 2012-31, lower than the 5.5-percent growth forecast it had stuck with since 1980, but still above the forecast expansion in the passenger-jet market. “Growth [in the cargo sector] is tied very much to the [global] economy, so it is a little bit more vulnerable,” averred Tinseth.
Bell names six key partners on 525 Relentless program familiar farnborough The distinctive control tower and hangar architecture leave no doubt that Boeing’s Dreamliner (wearing the livery of Qatar Airways) is on scene at Farnborough International Airshow 2012. Dire predictions of rain and flooding challenged show organizers and participants, alike.
Bell Helicopter has announced key program suppliers for its new 525 Relentless twin. They include GKN Aerospace and Triumph Group for airframe structure machining and composites; Kuka for major structural tooling; Goodrich for ice protection; Israel Aerospace Industries for passenger seating; and Mecaer
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for wheeled landing gear. Larry Thimmesch, Bell vice president for commercial programs, said the company is transitioning from the preliminary to the detailed design phase on the 16- to 18-passenger 525. Bell unveiled the new 18,000pound rotorcraft in February. It will be powered by a pair of
The new cargo carriers will be either large (176,400 pounds) or medium-size (88,200 to 176,400 pounds) freighters, said Boeing. “No new standard-body freighters [99,225 pounds] will be required,” according to the forecast. “It’s no surprise that the lion’s share [72 percent] of the market will be taken by big freighters like the 747-8F and [the balance by] medium-size aircraft,” said Tinseth. There would be 1,120 standard-body conversions from passenger aircraft, which explains the lack of new-builds in this segment. Of the 34,000 aircraft required, a little over 40 percent will serve as replacements, with just 5,780 current units seen as remaining in service in 2031 (many having been converted for freight operation). The next 20 years will see a change in airline business models, concluded Tinseth, as a continuing increase in low-cost carrier capacity eats further into traditional airline networks. o GE CT7-2F1 engines (1,800 shp each) driving an all-composite five-blade main rotor system and a four-blade tailrotor. The 525 will feature the Garmin G5000H touchscreencontrolled glass-panel integrated avionics suite with four main displays and Telligence voice-command capabilities, two key components of Bell’s new “ARC” (awareness, react and control) cockpit. The U.S. manufacturer is targeting certification in 2015 (see page 56). –M.H.
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MBDA’s Meteor missile expands ‘no escape zone’ by Chris Pocock MBDA has successfully completed firing trials of Meteor, the missile that will be carried by the Dassault Rafale, Eurofighter Typhoon and Saab Gripen, and the company is now preparing to start production. The collaborative effort by six European nations has been nine years in development but has produced a beyond visual range air-toair missile (BVRAAM) that is “vastly superior to anything else in the market,” according to chief engineer Andy Bradford. When it received the development contract at the end of 2002, MBDA was set the task of producing a missile with a “no escape zone” that was larger than any other AAM, specifically the Raytheon AIM-120 AMRAAM. This has been achieved by combining a clever boost-ramjet propulsion system with an active radar seeker derived from MBDA’s Aster and Mica missiles. According to Bradford, control of the propulsion system gives the Meteor a decisive edge. He explained that compared to current medium-range AAMs, the booster on Meteor is smaller but the missile sustains a high cruise speed throughout the intercept sequence, and may even accelerate as it closes on the target. The weapon’s electronics and propulsion control unit (EPCU) calculates the appropriate cruise speed depending on the launch condition and the target’s altitude, and adjusts the ramjet’s air intake and duct covers accordingly. The distance that the Meteor has to fly is unknown as yet–the target may be maneuvering, for instance. The EPCU
monitors that distance and the missile’s remaining fuel. When the range to go indicates that the missile won’t run out of fuel if it accelerates, the throttle is fully opened to maximize the intercept speed. If the target is at maximum range, there will be little if any acceleration. “The aim is to turn all of the fuel into speed by target intercept, but not before,” Bradford explained. “The Meteor’s reach and supersonic speed dominates the engagement space,” he continued. For the first time, MBDA has detailed the long and painstaking process of ground and air tests that has brought the Meteor to production-ready status. The contract included staged payments that were made only when certain milestones were reached. The Meteor first got airborne in 2005 on a Rafale launched from the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle. But the seven early demonstration firings were all done from a Gripen on the Vidsel range in Sweden, starting in 2006. These flights were from the Gripen’s rail launcher. They were followed by four tests of the ejector launcher on a Eurofighter, at various altitudes and g-loads. Having flight-tested various intercept profiles, MBDA defined the changes required in the next batch of missiles–the preproduction standard. The first of these guided firings (GFs) was from a Gripen in mid-2009 in a snapdown, tail-chase engagement. That tested the seeker against background clutter. Then came five ejector-launched GFs over the Hebrides range in northern Scotland from UK Royal Air Force Tornado F.3 interceptors
operated by QinetiQ. GF2 was a tough test of the missile’s ability to snapup through thick air in a tail chase. GF3 then tested highaltitude performance, GF4 was a longer snap-down tail chase against background clutter and GF5 was a high-speed head-on engagement at “well in excess of 100 kilometers,” said Bradford. The Meteor’s actual maximum range is classified. Finally, GF6 was another long-range and head-on engagement in March-April of this year that fully tested the missile’s data link to and from the launch aircraft. Bradford noted that the targets for all except GF5 were high-subsonic Mirach drones with a radar cross section “equivalent to a real-world fighter,” according to Bradford. GF5 engaged a BQM-167 drone. “All the targets conducted a final evasive maneuver,” added Bradford. There have since been three more firings from the Tornados over the Aberporth range off the coast of Wales, to test the Meteor’s performance against countermeasures (chaff and jammers). MBDA admitted to setbacks in the test program. A total of 21 firings were required to achieve the 16 successful ones described above. For instance, just one incorrect line of new software code defeated the first attempt to demonstrate GF3, by causing the location data transmitted from the aircraft to the missile to be misinterpreted. GF4 had to be reflown after a telemetry problem, and so did GF6 after a connector/cable problem prevented the motor from igniting. “There were no short cuts in this development, we had six nations watching us all the time,” Bradford noted. The last three firings on the Aberporth range were all first-time successes and direct hits, he added. The warhead and seeker have yet to be tested in combination,
Switzerland has selected the Gripen E/F to replace its F-5 fighters, but the deal has yet to be approved by Parliament. If it goes ahead, the Swiss could borrow some Gripen C/Ds from Sweden, like this one flying here, until the next-generation machines are ready.
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swedish gripens for switzerland?
A Tornado F3 launches an MBDA Meteor missile during guided firing trials in the UK.
A Missile of Many Parts The six nations that have collaborated to develop the Meteor are France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden and the UK. The industrial partners are:
Assembly and tests, electronic propulsion and control unit, AC power supply (with Roband UK); telemetry break-up subsystem (with SBD); transient voltage suppressor, inert forebody, transport container
MBDA France Italy Bayern Chemie
Saab Bofors Dynamics
Data link (Rafale) Seeker Booster and ramjet Fins, interconnects, structure (with Hydes UK), data link production (Typhoon/Rafale) Inertial measurement unit Battery pack Proximity fuse Data link development (Typhoon/Rafale) Fin actuator Warhead
but Bradford is confident that enough firings have been conducted. “We’ve collected vast amounts of data to prove the model,” he said. Interspersed with the firings have been more than 40 captivecarry flights to test the seeker and a host of ground trials. These included structural and reliability testing, more than 100 warhead firings by Bayern Chemie in Germany and intensive munition trials to satisfy the French authorities that the Meteor could go to sea with the naval Rafale. The missile must be able to withstand 1,000 hours of airborne captive carry (although the motor must be changed at 500 hours). What comes next? MBDA has already delivered some groundhandling training missiles from its factory in Lostock, Scotland. That site will carry out final assembly for all six nations, once they have signaled final acceptance. MBDA expects them to do so by the end of the year. Only Germany has yet to confirm a production contract. The first integration firing from the Gripen has already been completed, and live captive-carry trials have been flown on the Rafale. Those warplanes should
be carrying the Meteor in operations by 2015. As for Eurofighter, the main integration contract has not yet been finalized, which could delay the projected UK inservice date of July 2015. MBDA has just finished work on a preliminary contract with Lockheed Martin to study how Meteor will fit into the F-35’s internal weapons bay. Wind tunnel tests to study the airflow around the bay doors as the missile is ejected will be next. The UK’s first operational F-35s will carry AMRAAMs, but the Meteor is scheduled for the stealth fighter’s Block 4 software release. MBDA reports significant export interest in the Meteor. The U.S. has no equivalent– unless a secret (“black”) program is under way. Operational analysis conducted by the company suggests that a fighter firing the Meteor is six to eight times more likely to survive an air-to-air engagement against a representative threat than one equipped with a currently available medium-range AAM. However, it remains to be seen whether the European governments that sponsored the development will be willing to share Meteor’s advanced technology with many other countries. o
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Rolls and Boeing near 787-10X power deal by Ian Goold Rolls-Royce was close to reaching an agreement with Boeing on the requirements for a Trent 1000-powered 787-10X just ahead of the Farnborough International Airshow. The planned new version of the Dreamliner widebody could become a formal program later this year, possibly linked to the prospective launch of an upgraded 777. The UK engine manufacturer believes the Trent 1000’s core is large enough to provide the necessary thrust and is keen to establish a formal agreement, said program director Simon Carlisle. He expects the two companies to confirm a deal, perhaps as early as this week’s Farnborough, covering service entry in early 2016. Last month, “quite detailed” discussions about thrust requirements were “in the final throes,” Carlisle said. A study engine being considered for the 787-10X is expected to offer “about 76,000 pounds thrust,” but would be capable of more. It has to meet improved fuel-burn standards and other reliability and maturity requirements, he added. Stimulated by the launch of the Airbus A320neo narrowbody, the upcoming A350XWB, and muted market response
to the 747-8, Boeing faces several considerations as it plans strategy for the mid-years of this decade, including decisions awaited by engine manufacturers. These cover (in likely order) 787-9 completion for service entry before mid-2014, the 787-10X, re-engined 737 MAX development, 777 upgrades and a possible further 747 stretch.
Compared with the 787-8 now in service, which has a 502,000-pound takeoff weight and 7,630-nm range, the RollsRoyce 787-10X study covers a much heavier 553,000-pound aircraft with shorter range, but with 33-percent-higher capacity for 323 passengers. German carrier Lufthansa and lessor Air Lease Corp. (ALC) are seen as potential
launch customers for the 78710X, which could replace older models such as the Airbus A330-300 twinjet and the fourengine A340-300 and A340-600. ALC has been asking Boeing for a heavier -10X that would offer an additional 400 nm range. More Than an Upgrade
An engine for the 787-10X will be more than an enhanced-performance upgrade, a significant improvement for the basic Trent 1000, according to Rolls-Royce officials. Technologies employed on the powerplant would “read across” from the Trent XWB and the manufacturer’s environmentally friendly engine demonstrator. Possible architectural changes could involve a modified turbine, perhaps including an extra stage, or an upgraded compressor. Boeing revealed a possible 787-10 variant at the 2007 Paris Air Show. To obtain the increased cabin capacity, the design is expected to include additional stretches (over the 787-9) in the aft-fuselage Section 47, center-fuselage Sections 46 and 43, as well as the forward Section 42. The latest concept eliminates an earlier extension to Section 41 behind the cockpit. For the moment, RollsRoyce’s “most significant” preoccupation is to complete development of the Package C performance improvement for the upgraded 74,000-poundthrust Trent 1000 that is the launch engine for the 787-9, scheduled to enter service with
Rolls-Royce test runs of its upgraded Trent 1000 Pack C variant have covered more than 70 percent of the test schedule and demonstrated 80,000 pounds of thrust.
Air New Zealand in 2014. The upgrade is expected to provide a one-percent performance improvement over powerplants equipped with the current 70,000-pound-thrust Package B standard introduced on All Nippon Airways 787s earlier this year. The upgrade benefits from Trent XWB development for the Airbus A350 and various R-R demonstrator programs that also contribute technology to the 787-10X-study engine, which is expected to provide a similar improvement over the Pack C. Initial Certification for 787-8
The Trent 1000 has been chosen by 47 percent of 787 operators, including ANA.
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The Trent 1000C will be certified initially for use on the 7878, although the first delivered engine will be for the 787-9, said Carlisle. (Pack C can be retrofitted to an engine with the existing Pack B, but the earlier upgrade cannot be fitted to a 787-9.) By the beginning of last month, Rolls-Royce had completed 76 hours of Pack C running since the initial run in April, covering 70 percent of the test schedule, during which 80,000 pounds of thrust had been demonstrated in a test bed at the manufacturer’s Derby headquarters in England. An eight-week test program was scheduled for completion in June.
Two Trent 1000 Package C engines have been built for initial flight testing on RollsRoyce’s own Boeing 747-200 flying test bed, with a three-month program scheduled to begin during mid-2012 to optimize “a new advanced turbine-case cooling system” to improve efficiency. Carlisle said the upgrade is on track for the delivery of first engines to Boeing, where they will be test flown on the 787-8 next year. Rolls-Royce said the Trent 1000’s “sophisticated” health monitoring system has been providing “very valuable” operational service information that sometimes has enabled the manufacturer to anticipate airline questions. Carlisle said operational experience is accruing “very rapidly,” and will have doubled by the end of next month, by which time there will be 14 such aircraft in service. The Trent 1000 has been chosen by 47 percent of Boeing 787 customers, while engine selection by two major operators–Air France-KLM and Singapore Airlines–was still outstanding last month. Trentpowered 787s have completed more than 3,000 flights. o
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ITT Exelis Symphony suite brings ADS-B data to airlines by Bill Carey ITT Exelis has created a web-based operations management application suite for airlines and airports based on the surveillance data it collects as provider of the automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) radio network in the U.S.
In June, the U.S. company announced a contract award from the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) to apply its Symphony OpsVue airport management system at Washington Dulles International. This followed an agreement
ITT Exelis’ Symphony OpsVue operations management system visualizes the airport in two or three dimensions.
reached in April to provide Symphony OpsVue at Philadelphia International Airport. The latter airport also licenses the Symphony EnvironmentalVue system, a module within the Symphony suite. Symphony OpsVue draws from multiple surveillance sources–radars, multilateration, ADS-B–to visualize the airport surface in two or three dimensions. It is a first step toward “collaborative decision making” among airport stakeholders, providing a common picture of airport activities based on surveillance data supplied to the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) through the ADS-B network, said Ted Carniol, ITT Exelis general manager of commercial aviation solutions. The OpsVue system and sister EnvironmentalVue, RevenueVue and MobileVue modules are hosted applications based on cloud-computing architecture. “These are web-hosted applications all running off the same NextGen [nextgeneration air transportation system] database,” said Carniol. The MWAA is using Symphony OpsVue to monitor taxi times for all flights on the Washington Dulles airport surface. The system sends automated alerts as email or text messages when taxi-time thresholds are exceeded. It comes with the 1.7 software release, “which doubles the amount of data available” and adds customized two- and three-dimensional models of airspace, runways and gates, according to ITT Exelis. The system also incorporates a “geofencing” capability that enables users to create a virtual perimeter around a specific geographical area at the airport to track the volume, speed and movement of aircraft within that area. OpsVue for Airports
Philadelphia International Airport is using Symphony OpsVue to better monitor operations against the FAA’s threehour tarmac rule, which requires, in the case of long takeoff delays, that passengers be afforded the opportunity to deplane on the ramp, at a gate or at an alternate deplaning area no later than three hours after the cabin door is closed. The system keeps track of the current taxi time for each flight and sends text messages when certain time thresholds are crossed–for example, at 60, 90, 120 and 150 minutes. The airport can then proactively manage delays, Carniol said.
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“In Philadelphia, the airport operations superintendent will receive an email if a flight has been on the surface for more than two hours,” Carniol explained. “On a good night, if you are at Philadelphia between 5:30 and 7:30, there’s a big departure push and you may have 20to 30-minute taxi times when there’s no weather, no traffic flow restrictions. When you throw weather into the mix and you start closing departure fixes, maybe have to close a runway, things could turn south pretty quickly. Having this system gives [operations managers] an easy way to view and understand which flights have been taxiing the longest and allows them to better manage the situation.” The former ITT (the company’s defense and air traffic management businesses were renamed ITT Exelis in 2011) was awarded a contract from the FAA in August 2007 to build the nationwide ADS-B network, which is expected to be completed in 2013. The FAA owns the surveillance data that is generated by the system and piped to ATC facilities; ITT Exelis owns the infrastructure and has the right to sell some surveillance data. At the last Farnborough International Airshow in July 2010, the company said it would make available surveillance data collected from the ADS-B network to customers such as airlines, airports and aviation service providers for fleet management and tracking applications. In November that year, ITT acquired the airport operations solutions group of SRA International, including what Carniol described as a rudimentary version of Symphony OpsVue. Carniol said Chicago’s Department of Aviation started a trial of the Symphony suite in May. Other trials had started or were planned at Houston’s Hobby and George Bush Intercontinental airports; Dallas-Fort Worth; Las V egas McCarran; San Diego’s Lindbergh Field; John Wayne Airport in Orange County, California; the New York City-area LaGuardia and Newark Liberty airports; Bradley International Airport near Hartford, Connecticut, and T.F. Green Airport near Providence, Rhode Island. Trials were also planned with U.S. carriers Spirit Airlines, JetBlue and FedEx. ITT Exelis is focused on rolling out the Symphony suite to the U.S. domestic market initially, after which it will pursue international customers. o
Viking Air expects to deliver 16 of its Viking 400 utility turboprops this year before ramping up to 21 in 2013.
Global demand grows for updated Twin Otter t-prop by Curt Epstein It was just two years ago at the 2010 Farnborough International Airshow edition that Canada’s Viking Air made its debut as an airframer, showing off the first production its Viking 400, the first newly built model of the twin turboprop formerly manufactured by de Havilland of Canada as the Twin Otter. Now the company has returned to Farnborough’s static display, ready to hand over its latest 400, the 16th it has built since the restart of production. Having supported the de Havilland fleet for nearly 40 years, Viking acquired the original idle type certificates for the aircraft in 2006 (in fact, it acquired the TCs for the entire de Havilland lineup from the DHC-1 Chipmunk to the DHC-7 “Dash 7” turboprop-liner) from Bombardier. Based on a study, which predicted at the time the need for up to 480 Twin Otters worldwide over the next 10 years, Viking decided to update the design to operate in the 21st century and restart production. That first aircraft was given Serial Number 845, continuing de Havilland’s production line, which had ended 22 years previously. While 16 aircraft in two years is a good tally for some manufacturers, Viking acknowledged that it encountered some difficulties meeting its initial expectations, but has since ironed out any early bumps. “We have slowly ramped up both our production and delivery centers and we have now reached a drum beat that allows an aircraft to roll off the line every 18 business days,” said Robert Mauracher, Viking’s v-p of business development,
who added that the airframer expects to deliver a total of 16 new aircraft this year before ramping up to 21 in 2013. Since 2010, Viking has more than doubled its staff to a current total of approximately 500 employees split between its head office and parts production factory in Victoria, British Columbia, and its final assembly facility in Calgary, Alberta. Aircraft Modernization
While the new $6 million aircraft maintains much of its Twin Otter DNA, it did have more than 400 changes from the legacy version, mainly in situations where more modern solutions currently exist or where the company could “add value through technology.” The modernization includes adding upgraded Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-34 engines (an option for the -35 version for improved hot-and-high performance has been discarded due to lack of customer interest), and the Honeywell Primus Apex avionics suite. To trim weight, Viking chose to use composite doors and nose on the versatile aircraft, which can operate on wheels (at least three different types, according to operating area), floats or skis. Standard “commuter” seating on the turboprop gives room for 19 passengers, while a “quick-change” VIP interior puts club seating up front reducing the seating to 10 passengers. According to Mauracher, two customers have so far ordered the convertible option, while another two have selected a full permanent VIP seating configuration, the first of which is
expected to be completed next summer. In terms of certifications, Viking has ticked them off as needed in terms of order destinations. It has been certified in Canada, as well as by the European Aviation Safety Agency, Switzerland, Uganda, Seychelles, Maldives, Australia, Papua New Guinea, Peru and Libya. Only last month did the aircraft earn its certification from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, reflecting Viking’s lack of alacrity in seeking approval in what is otherwise the world’s biggest aircraft market. “We’re nothing in North America; our market is the rest of the world,” said Mauracher, adding that more than 90 percent of his company’s order book consists of orders outside North America. Asia alone presently accounts for 37 percent of Viking’s order book, which stands at 83 of the turboprop twins valued at nearly $500 million. Viking is set to earn Russian approval and, according to the company, also on tap for the remainder of the year are certifications from Indonesia, China, Turkey, Vietnam and Nigeria, demonstrating the diversity of the company’s customer base. This week the company is expected to announce its first orders from China. Meiya Air, based on the island of Hainan, made a firm commitment for two 400s with an option for an additional three, while Viking concluded a firm deal for 10 more with another company that is to become its Chinese sales representative. Though Viking has placed only 16 aircraft in service, their owners apparently
are impressed with them. Launch customer Zimex Aviation has purchased another, while Florida-based aircraft leasing and reseller Loch Ard Otters has added four firm orders to its original total of seven. While dispatch reliability for such a small sample is hard to calculate, due to a lack of reliable data, some operators are reporting a better than 99-percent availability rate. Based on those results and on lower than anticipated warranty claims, Viking said so far the aircraft is performing even better than expected. Another variant of the 400, intended for government and military use and known as the Guardian, has also been seeing increased interest. Designed for tasks like maritime patrol, the modified version is designed to operate at an allup gross weight of 14,000 pounds. It will feature additional fuel tanks for extended range operations and can be equipped with search radar and an electro-optical infrared sensor turret. According to Mauracher, approximately one third of the company’s order book consists of Guardian 400s. “A lot of customers now are looking at the Guardian option because they like the up-weights and they are operating in a restricted military or government category, anyway.” Viking plans to complete the first airframe destined for Guardian conversion (one of six destined for Vietnam) by the end of the year. The aircraft will then go for completion and is expected to enter service next year. o
Flying Displays won’t be the same without John Blake The air show community is mourning the loss of one of its most abiding personalities following the death on May 23 of legendary flying display commentator John Blake. He passed away at the age of 87 at a nursing home in southern England. While serving in the Irish Guards during World War II, Blake participated in the Normandy Invasion. Later in the conflict he lost his right hand during a training accident when a fellow soldier dropped a live grenade, which exploded as Blake attempted to get rid of it. After the war he attended art school and eventually became a Fellow of the Guild of Aviation Artists. While employed as the librarian for the Royal Aero Club in the 1960s, Blake was asked to provide commentary at a small airshow, which led to a career as one of the world’s leading flight display announcers, known for his vast subject knowledge as well as for his wit. –C.E.
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www.ainonline.com • July 9, 2012 • Farnborough Airshow News 33
L-3 Wescam is launching a new version of its lightweight MX-10 EO/IR turret here at Farnborough. The MX-10D includes a target designator and has already been tested at the Yuma Proving Grounds, Arizona, mounted on an MD500E armed helicopter equipped with Hellfire missiles.
Wescam pushes boundaries of full-motion video quality by Chris Pocock Airborne full-motion video technology (FMV) is advancing so fast that the NATO standard (STANAG 4609) cannot keep pace, according to George DeCock, director of international EO/IR sensors, L-3 Wescam. The digital revolution has been closely followed by high-definition TV, uncooled infrared detectors, fouraxis stabilization and processing and display innovations.
In the meantime, the seemingly insatiable demand for FMV on every kind of platform–from small UAVs to helicopters to big transports–has attracted plenty of competitors offering sensor balls. But in terms of variety of products and customers, Wescam retains a leadership position. When that NATO STANAG was last revised in October 2009, it stated that the desirable goal of 1920- by 1080-pixel
Wescam Devices Operate on More Than 70 Aircraft
Austrian National Police
Canadian Armed Forces
Catalunya (Spain) Police
S-100 Camcopter UAV
Latvian Air Force
Norwegian Air Force
UK Royal Navy
Lynx Wildcat helicopter
U.S. Air Force
Wescam lists no fewer than 33 different fixed-wing aircraft and 38 helicopters to which its sensor balls have been fitted, including UAS. They have also been fitted to airships, hybrids and aerostats. According to L-3’s annual report, the integrated sensors business–mostly Wescam– achieved $775 million in sales in 2011. Here is a selection of L-3 Wescam customers.
The range of L-3 Wescam sensor balls is seen here.
Synergies Between Systems and Platforms Start to Pay Off for L-3 L-3 Communications CEO Michael Strianese has been urging the focus of L-3’s marketing efforts. “We see this as a truck,” said Gautier. various divisions of this diverse defense systems and services group “It’s highly capable and, in its class, offers significant payload and weight to collaborate more fruitfully. A prime example of this has been L-3’s capacity. This is a real discriminator.” expansion into the unmanned air systems (UAS) sector, allowing it to offer Gautier maintains that L-3 has started to get some recognition in more flexible platforms for its products in the fields of C3 ISR (command, the highly competitive and very dynamic UAS sector by offering greater control, communications, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance) flexibility and adaptability for changing missions by having platforms that and electronic systems. It also offers the manned Spydr ISR platform. provide greater operational endurance and scope for expanding payload The U.S.-based group can now fairly claim to be a fully integrated at competitive prices. Research-and-development efforts have focused on UAS platform provider, which better enables it to compete with other finding ways to adapt UAS fuselages and empennages in ways that allow defense groups prominent in different sensors to be fitted. The Viking 400 is L-3’s mid-tier offering in the unmanned systems this field from North America, The main Viking 400 payload sector. The company has been working at ways to make Europe and Israel. The largest is the MX-10 EO/IR sensor with both fuselages and empennages of this and other platforms member of its UAS family is the full-motion video (see main s tory). more adaptable in terms of payload that they can carry. medium-altitude, long-endurance “It is a system for expeditionary (MALE) Mobius, which it has forces and can take other payloads, been demonstrating and develallowing us to exploit the majority of oping since 2009. mission areas,” said Gautier. However, Todd Gautier, presAt the light end of the UAS ident of L-3’s Precision Ensector, L-3’s portfolio was expandgagement Sector, told AIN that ed by the acquisition a few years Mobius is not currently the ago of Airborne Technologies, a group’s most immediate market specialist in small, expendable sysprospect, with defense customer tems. The only publicly displayed attention shifting to medium-altitude, smaller systems. “Mobius is ready product in this line has been the Cutlass. to go [into service] but where we see the market right now is that U.S. In budget-constrained times, part of L-3’s UAS research-and-develforces are pulling out of Iraq and Afghanistan and so requirements for opment effort has been to make systems easier to operate and mainMALE [aircraft] will come down,” he said. “It is still a great hope for the tain, as well as more versatile through greater integration of systems future and, as we move away from the current war footing, the focus is and subsystems. Other work has focused on reducing the weight and more on the cost of systems. Mobius has always been a significant val- power requirements of UASs so that smaller systems can do work that ue play for customers because you get a lot for a very attractive price. It previously has been the domain of larger UAVs. There is also now a will become more successful.” greater emphasis on interoperability of the systems carried by the For now, the new Viking 400 mid-tier UAS that has evolved from an UASs and other battlefield platforms–an approach made possible by earlier platform with more than 10,000 flight hours in service is the main greater use of common interfaces.–C.A.
34 Farnborough Airshow News • July 9, 2012 • www.ainonline.com
high-definition motion imagery was still five years away. In fact, it is already available. As DeCock noted, many of us have HD TV screens in our living rooms now. “The future is 1080p...you need only a two or four times zoom to get a great result,” he said. “Today’s HD sensors allow a precise count of illegal immigrants, and an ability to identify exactly who are their facilitators,” said Hugo Zeler of CAE Aviation. This Luxembourg-registered company, which has no connection to flight training group CAE, specializes in contract ISR flying for European agencies and governments, using Wescam turrets fitted to Casa 212s, Merlins, BN-2Ts and Cessna 208s. Zeler also praised advances in infrared sensors that, for instance, “now make it easy to detect oil spills.” Those infrared advances include new detectors that don’t need the tubing and wiring associated with cryogenic cooling, and an extension from the original longwave into mid-wave and now even shortwave (LWIR, MWIR and SWIR). As for resolution, DeCock said true HD IR is now in prospect. “We’re not there yet, but it’s almost already as good as lowlight TV,” he added. Size and Aperture
Miniaturization is another factor. Wescam began by developing the 21-inch diameter MX-20 turret, which weighs 200 pounds. Now, it also offers the 16.5-inch MX-15 weighing 100 pounds and the 10.25inch MX10 series weighing just 37 pounds. The number of sensors that can be packed into the turrets has increased. For instance, the MX-15Di offers 10, including daylight and lowlight zoom and spotter TV, a thermal imager, plus laser rangefinder, illuminator, spot tracker and designator. Even the MX-10 offers up to six sensors. But size does still matter, according to DeCock, and so does aperture. “The bigger the turret, the better the range,” he noted. Today, Wescam describes the
family of sensors, L-3 is demonstrating its Video Scout video exploitation and management system at the Farnborough International Airshow (Outside Exhibit 14). o George DeCock and Hugo Zeler spoke at the Airborne ISR Conference organized by Defence IQ www.defenceiq.com
MX-20 as ideal for high-altitude, long-range maritime patrol and persistent surveillance. “With a 20-inch HD turret you can classify and identify a vessel at over 35 miles” and read license plates at two miles,” he said. Seven years ago, L-3 bought Sonoma Design Group, a competitor to Wescam that had secured classified U.S. government contracts for bespoke, high-end FMV sensor turrets. Today, the Sonoma-developed 474HD and 494HD systems carry the Wescam branding. Thanks to long focal lengths and large apertures, they offer very high resolution at very long range in the visible, MWIR and SWIR wavebands. AIN has seen a remarkable SWIR image of the International Space Station taken by the 474HD at 200 miles range. The laser designator on this sensor has a range of more than 20 miles. It has flown on the highaltitude WB-57 research aircraft, which reaches 65,000 feet. The recent drive to provide wide-area surveillance means that the bigger turrets are being packed with nine or more cameras whose imagery can be stitched together in processing. The BAE Systems Argus and the Sierra Nevada Gorgon Stare are examples being introduced by the U.S. Air Force. Meanwhile, Wescam has a research-and-development contract from the U.S. Navy for another wide-area sensor that would be small enough for carriage by the Marine Corps’ RQ-7 Shadow UAV, thanks to an advanced staring focal plane array.
A still of video imagery (left) taken by the Mx-15HD turret shows the high definition now available. At right, infrared imagery from an Mx-15HD. IR resolution is not yet high definition, but it’s getting there.
Wherever they go, there you are.
Wescam has incorporated advances in image processing into a system called TacPED. Portions of the image can be enhanced for contrast and resolution. Visible and infrared images can be fused to improve interpretability. They can also be “blended,” with an image analyst able to select variable ratios of EO to IR content. Now that GPS/INS systems can be integrated with the sensors, images can be geo-located, and referenced to maps. With such a diverse customer base (see box), Wescam has set up a network of nine service centers and field representatives. Now it is also offering a remote diagnostic testing capability by way of a satellite link. Customers can connect their MX turrets by cable to a satellite modem so that Wescam technicians can log on to the fielded unit to perform maintenance checks. In addition to its Wescam
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www.ainonline.com • July 9, 2012 • Farnborough Airshow News 35
The order backlog for Embraer’s E-Jet family of airliners is slipping, but the manufacturer is convinced that its fortunes will improve due to fresh demand from the U.S. market and revived interest in its re-engined aircraft.
Embraer anticipates strong U.S. sales surge by Thierry Dubois Unfazed by a fast-depleting order backlog, Brazilian manufacturer Embraer is betting on a sales surge in North America for its E-Jet airliners. This anticipation is partly due to expectations of long-awaited reforms to U.S. “scope-clause” trade union restrictions based on aircraft size that currently prevent regional airlines from operating with crews from their associated mainline carriers. Meanwhile, Embraer’s design office is also busy defining a re-engining program for the popular regional jets, along with recently announced interim improvements to the aircraft. These are being pursued through the G2 program, which should offer fuel-burn reductions by next year. As of late March, the EJet backlog had dwindled to $14.7 billion, its lowest level in more than five years and representing only 240 aircraft. The 100-seat E190 accounts for the largest proportion of that total, at 150 airplanes. Meanwhile, 44 of the smaller E175s,
Embraer Opens Farnborough Office Embraer’s European headquarters for executive jet sales and marketing started operating at Farnborough Airport in January this year. It employs 11 and covers Europe, the Middle East and Africa, said Luiz Fuchs, Embraer Aviation Europe’s president.–T.D.
39 E195s and just seven E170s accounted for the remainder. At a press briefing ahead of the 2012 Farnborough International Airshow, Paulo Cesar Silva, Embraer’s commercial aviation president, shrugged off the suggestion that this might be a matter of concern. “We are quite bullish regarding the North American market,” he said, while admitting that there have been very few sales there over recent years. “The U.S. market is more sustainable [now], so it is time for U.S. airlines to buy new aircraft. This has started already.” Optimism for U.S. Market
Indeed, North America accounted for only 20 percent of 2011 revenues at Embraer. By contrast, it accounts for 35 percent of the customer base (including the installed base and the backlog). In addition, an estimated 33 percent of U.S. flights operated by narrowbodies carry 105 passengers or fewer. Therefore, Embraer is hoping that airline efficiencydrives will lead to sales in the 70to 120-seat segment occupied by the company’s regional jets. The company is also eagerly awaiting “scope clause” relief at U.S. airlines. For example, American Airlines’ Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection predicament is expected to cause the proportion of its jets in the 61- to 90-seat segment to increase to far above the current 29 percent of its fleet. A similar trend is forecast with carriers such as Delta
and Continental (which is now merged with United Airlines). All this combines into a “huge opportunity,” in Silva’s words. Embraer predicts a global market for 3,110 jets in the 61- to 120-seat category between 2011 and 2020. Extended to the 30to 120-seat segment and to the 2011-2030 period, the forecast predicts that one third of the deliveries will take place in North America. Another reason for optimism is the greater proportion of sales accounted for by aircraft lessors. Last year, lessors accounted for 64 of a total 124 E-Jets ordered. “They see E-Jets as very desirable aircraft,” said Silva. Separately, asked about cancellations, he answered that he has not seen any–only delivery deferrals. Meanwhile, Silva does not see turboprops as a threat. “It is a small market; last year’s high level of sales was atypical,” he asserted, referring mainly to record sales by Europe’s ATR group. In last year’s revenues, commercial aviation accounted for 64 percent, while executive jets and defense activities represented 19 and 15 percent, respectively. Despite the growth of the military and executive jet branches, Embraer expects commercial aviation to remain its main pillar. G-Jets on the Horizon
The manufacturer is to introduce gradual improvements on its E-Jets over the next three years, before the 2018 entry into service of the E-Jets “G2,” as Embraer is designating the re-engined variants (although “G-Jets” could be a name that catches on). A fuel-burn improvement package is to be unveiled this year. It will consist mainly of new winglets and
36 Farnborough Airshow News • July 9, 2012 • www.ainonline.com
some aerodynamic clean-up, according to Silva. Not all models will enjoy the same efficiency gain. The E175’s fuel burn will be cut by 5 percent, while the E190’s consumption will decrease by 3 percent. The improvement will be progressively available on new-built E-Jets. “One percent next year and more in 2014,” Silva said, but no retrofits will be offered. Coming soon, too, are increased maintenance intervals, as well as structural and prognostic health management (both next year). In 2015, unspecified “advanced avionics features” are due to be incorporated, along with a new cabin interior (the latter will be available for retrofit). “The G2 will be an evolution of the E175, E190 and E195,” Silva clarified. The slow-selling E170 is excluded. Therefore, instead of 70 to 122 seats, the E-Jet G2 will cover capacities from 78 to 122 seats. With the G2, “we want to maintain our competitive advantage over narrowbodies,” Silva explained. Embraer is claiming today’s E-Jets have an edge, in some segments, over the current Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 families. To keep it competitive with the re-engined A320neo and 737 MAX, the E-Jets also need less thirsty engines. This has prompted Embraer to talk to Rolls-Royce and General Electric, Silva said, seeking at least 10-percent lower fuel burn. The E175 G2 could be fitted with GE’s in-development NG34 turbofan, while CFM Leap-Xs could power the larger models: the E190 G2 and E195 G2. Other changes are not defined yet. Embraer’s executives want to select an engine first and go from there. A larger fan, for example, may call for a longer
Indian E-Jet Repo “Frustration” Asked about the supposedly promising Indian air transport market, Embraer’s commercial aviation president Paulo Cesar Silva said this country was his “frustration.” The company had a bad experience with a small start-up airline (understood to be Paramount Airways), where hopes for success never materialized. “Repossessing our two E-Jets was costly and they were in poor condition,” he recalled. In its current condition, dominated by a very large state-owned company, India “is not a market for us,” he stated. –T.D.
landing gear. Designing a new wing is also in the cards–maybe two wings, as one may not meet the needs of the entire family. By early next year, Embraer is planning to start offering the E-Jets G2 on the market, and full program launch is expected in the second half of 2013. The manufacturer had considered launching larger aircraft–direct competitors to Airbus and Boeing products– but decided against it in late 2011. “We could find no good business case,” Silva acknowledged. Nevertheless, he is confident that an all-new Embraer narrowbody would have been more efficient than the reengined A320 or 737. The fact that Airbus and Boeing had already taken so many orders for the A320neo and the 737 MAX played against any move in this direction. o
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Landing gear overhauls demand prods Liebherr to grow in U.S. The aerospace and transportation systems division of the Liebherr Group represented only 11 percent of the multinational group’s 2011 turnover of €8.3 billion ($11.5 billion). And its customer service facility in Saline, Michigan, a city of 9,000 people near Detroit, is a long way from Liebherr’s headquarters in the picturesque town of Bulle, Switzerland. But the close embrace of the
Work-order packages lay near a U.S. Army UH-72A Lakota main rotor actuator. The Liebherr-Aerospace Saline facility repairs and assembles four components for the helicopter.
family-owned business was evident when Liebherr-Aerospace Saline inaugurated a new addition June 14. Invited guests and customers filed past framed photographs in the Saline reception area of the late Hans Liebherr, who established the business in 1949 as a manufacturer of mobile tower cranes, and his son and daughter Willi and Isolde, who run it now from Switzerland. In attendance were the French and German leaders of the aerospace and transportation systems division, including Francis Niss, the Toulouse-based division president, and Arndt Schoenemann, who manages the division’s manufacturing plant in Lindenberg, Germany. Liebherr-Aerospace & Transportation is one of 10 divisions within the Liebherr Group, which is widely known as a manufacturer of cranes, construction machinery and mining equipment. Liebherr-Aerospace manufactures landing gear and flight control/actuation systems in Lindenberg and air management systems in Toulouse. The company has manufacturing facilities in Guaratingueta, Brazil, and Nizhny Novgorod, Russia. The group’s components fly on
PHOTOS: BILL CAREY
by Bill Carey
Saline, Michigan mayor Gretchen Driskell and Philip Liebherr, a third-generation member of the ownership family, cut the ribbon for the new 33,000-sq-ft expansion at Liebherr-Aerospace on June 14. They were flanked by Alex Vlielander, Liebherr-Aerospace Saline president, left, and Francis Niss, Liebherr Aerospace & Transportation division president, right.
Airbus, Embraer, Bombardier and Sukhoi airliners, Bombardier and Dassault business jets and AgustaWestland and Eurocopter helicopters. Liebherr has also gained a foothold with Boeing on the 747-8 freighter and passenger versions. It supplies the aircraft’s air management system, which uses bleed air from the engines to supply the cabin. Liebherr (Hall 4 E6) is returning to the Farnborough International Airshow after a long absence, caused in part because the biennial UK event skirted ILA, the Berlin air show, which is scheduled this year in September. The aerospace division
employs 2,000 people in Lindenberg and 1,100 in Toulouse. It has wholly owned service stations in the U.S., Canada, France, Germany, Singapore and China. It also participates in service joint ventures with Germany’s Diehl Aerospace and France’s Thales and Zodiac Aerospace in the commercial market, and with Diehl, Thales and France’s Sagem in the military market. Aftermarket support provided by the six owned service stations, which include Saline, generated $392 million in 2011, representing 31 percent of the aerospace division’s total sales, said Charles Thoyer-Rozat, executive vice president
of customer support services. Ninety per- Eurocopter BK 117 helicopter. Lieb- manufacturing take place in the U.S. cent of that business comes from com- herr Saline claims to have conducted Liebherr Saline assembles four compomercial and regional aircraft repairs; less the first Embraer ERJ145 landing gear nents (three part numbers) of the Lakooverhaul in 2005. This year, it started ta–the main and tail rotor actuators and than 10 percent is military business. “The locations of these [service] sta- the first landing gear overhauls of two hydraulic valve blocks and reservoirs– tions have been carefully selected to pro- Embraer E170/190/195 series E-Jets which it delivers to American Eurocopter vide comfort to the customers by working operated by Air Canada. for installation in Columbus, Mississipin the same time zone and, as much as pi. During a plant tour, Jochen Faber, LiLakota Support we can, speaking the same language and ebherr Saline vice president of operations, sharing the same culture,” said ThoyerIn 2009, Liebherr-Aerospace opened said the company produces one shipset per Rozat. “This is the ‘proximity’ parameter a new final assembly line in Saline to week, and had delivered 220 of the 352 of our strategy equation.” support EADS North America in sup- planned shipsets to American Eurocopter. Liebherr components supplied plying the UH-72A Lakota light utilThe plant does other military work. on Embraer, Bombardier and Air- ity helicopter (LUH), a military version Liebherr and Israel’s Rafael Advanced bus airplanes and Eurocopter and of the Eurocopter EC145, to the U.S. Defense Systems produce a cooling unit AgustaWestland helicopters operat- Army. EADS’s contract award from the used by Northrop Grumman for the Liting in North and South America cycle Army in 2006 stipulated that most of the ening targeting and surveillance pod through Saline for repair or equipped on U.S. Air Force overhaul. The aerospace comF-16, F-15, A-10 and other airpany’s presence there dates craft. The cooling unit is serto 1989, in what started as a viced in Saline. field service location for AirThe aerospace facility embus A320 operators. Liebploys 130 workers on site and herr Gear Technology and last year generated revenue of Automation established the $70 million. plant in 1986 to support the The latest expansion of the Detroit automotive industry. plant by 33,000 sq ft increasThe facility obtained Part 145 es the Liebherr-Aerospace footrepair station accreditation print in Saline to 100,000 sq ft of from the U.S. Federal Aviaworkshops, warehouse and oftion Administration in late fice space, with another 30,000 1991. sq ft assigned to sister compaThe first component on nies Liebherr Gear Technoloits capability list was the An A&P mechanic works on the nose gear of an Air Canada Embraer E170 in Liebherr- gy, Liebherr Automation and tail rotor actuator of the Aerospace’s Saline plant. Landing gear overhauls are driving growth at the company. Liebherr-Components.
“Really, the success that Liebherr has seen in being a supplier to airframers trickles down to Saline as a service center,” said Alex Vlielander, Liebherr-Aerospace Saline president. “The better able Liebherr as an OEM can win programs on aircraft types around the world translates, four or five years down the road, to how Saline is able to grow.” Among guest speakers at the opening was Saline mayor Gretchen Driskell, who began her address in German and said, “Liebherr has been an important part of our community for many years. The city greatly appreciates the fact that Liebherr continues to choose to expand in our community. We know that there is a very competitive environment for locating business, and we pledge to continue to work with Liebherr to be the most competitive location.” Liebherr said the expansion will help accommodate future service on the new Bombardier CSeries and Airbus A350XWB landing gear. On June 11, the company delivered, from Lindenberg, the first instrumented nose gear for an A350 flight-test aircraft, Schoenemann told AIN. Liebherr-Aerospace is also supplying the landing gear and integrated air management system of the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (Comac) C919 narrowbody airliner and comparable systems on the Comac ARJ21 regional jet. o
The regional jet, that’s truly international The Sukhoi Superjet 100 is a regional jet like no other. Developed in collaboration with the very best names in the industry, to meet the growing demands and challenges of commercial airlines, this next generation aircraft is setting a new benchmark in the 100 seater market. Certified by the European Aviation Safety Agency and combining state-of-the-art avionics, lower emissions, reduced operating costs and excellent reliability, the Sukhoi Superjet 100 is proving to the world that it offers the complete solution. To find out more, visit us at Farnborough Airshow.
Certified for operations from airfields of up to 14,000-foot elevation, the A400M had little trouble operating from the 13,325-foot AMSL airfield at La Paz.
Approved A400M ready for a busy year by David Donald This year should prove to be a momentous one for the Airbus Military A400M. On the last day of April, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) granted the multinational airlifter–also dubbed the Grizzly–its initial type certification shortly after the five-aircraft test fleet had notched up the type’s 1,000th flight. Test activity is in full swing as the program prepares to achieve its next major milestone: delivery of the first customer aircraft at the end of the year. On November 23 last year, an A400M entered final assembly at the Airbus Military plant in Seville, Spain. While the five previous flying airframes were destined for the development fleet, MSN7 is to be the first aircraft for the French Armée de l’Air. In order for the aircraft to be handed over around the end of the year, the A400M team has to achieve a number of goals. EASA certification was the first major hurdle, confirming that, in the words of Cédric Gautier, A400M program chief, “We have a sound aircraft.” In May, the last of the trials aircraft, MSN6, began functionality and reliability (F&R) testing, covering 300 hours. A successful completion of F&R will result in full EASA certification, with initial military qualification to be achieved later in the year. The first flight of MSN6 had been put back to December 20 last year because of engine problems, and also so that it could be completed to as near to production standards as possible. It is, consequently, shouldering most of the certification work. Following last year’s highpressure compressor and gearbox problems, which are now fixed, new engine issues arose earlier this year. The start of the F&R campaign was delayed due to excessive vibrations being
detected in one of MSN6’s engines. An engine-change allowed F&R to continue, albeit with a one-month penalty. Earlier, MSN4 suffered a propeller gearbox failure. Gautier remained sanguine that the root cause analyses would not reveal any major problems, but added that, “We need to fly intensively to recover the time.” He also conceded that F&R tests might have to be re-flown if there was an engine or gearbox modification. Production Aircraft
Prior to delivery, MSN7 will undergo a short development test campaign to certify new modifications and functions before it is handed over to the French air force. MSN8, also for France, entered final assembly on March 9 this year and should fly before the end of 2012, and Airbus Military began the assembly of MSN9 last month. This is to be the first aircraft for Turkey, and is due to fly in the first quarter of next year. The first three aircraft will have IOC/entry-into-service (EIS) release, which allows them to operate as logistic transports. In 2013, the Service Operating Clearance (SOC) 1 will be released, providing initial aerial delivery capability. Subsequent releases will be SOC1.5 (2014: full aerial delivery and initial tanker), SOC2 (2015: enhanced tactical mission and additional performance), SOC2.5 (2017: enhanced tanker and search and rescue) and SOC3 (2018: low-level flight). Earlier aircraft will be brought up to later standards as appropriate. The IOC/EIS standard has no defensive aids subsystem (DASS), while a partial DASS is fitted to SOC1 and a full DASS implemented at SOC1.5. Airbus Military plans to deliver three aircraft in 2012/13, seven or eight in 2014, and then
ramp up to full-rate production by the end of 2015, with 2.5 aircraft delivered per month. Currently, MSN10 to 15 are in various stages of pre-assembly production, and long-lead items have been launched for another four or five aircraft. According to the production plan, the UK will receive its first aircraft (MSN16) in 2014, followed by Germany (MSN18) and Malaysia (MSN22). Spain gets its first aircraft (MSN46) in 2015, while Belgium/Luxembourg gets MSN133 in 2018, by which time the full operating clearance should have been released. Test Achievements
While production ramps up, the test team has been extremely busy, both in the air and on the ground. Static tests
for both civil and military certification have been completed on the MSN5000 test article, while fatigue tests are around half complete. More than 12,500 simulated flights have been undertaken as the fatigue test campaign aims to take the airframe to 2.5 times its design life. In the air, the five development aircraft are well past 3,000 hours and 1,000 flights, although, as Fernando Alonso, senior vice president for flight and integration tests, pointed out, flying hours account for only 13 percent of the total test time since the first flight. Among recent test achievements were seven takeoffs and landings at Hyères in crosswinds gusting to 37 knots, completion of anti-icing trials in late May and a hot-and-high campaign at La Paz in Bolivia and Lima, Peru. Eleven flights were undertaken, including takeoffs from La Paz’s El Alto airport at 13,325 feet AMSL. Refueling receiver trials have been performed with RAF VC10 and Voyager aircraft. Initial dry contacts were made with a VC10 last year, and in May two flights were flown behind a Voyager, with 30 dry contacts performed. Another 25 contacts were made behind a VC10 and last month trials began with a Transall tanker. Meanwhile, early trials of the A400M as a
There’s no substitute for doing it for real: MSN4 proves that it can easily accommodate a German army NH90 during trials last month.
“Grizzly 2” kicks up the dust during grass strip trials in Germany.
40 Farnborough Airshow News • July 9, 2012 • www.ainonline.com
tanker have begun, testing the wing pod and fuselage refueling unit from an aerodynamic and handling standpoint. According to Alonso, there were “no issues on handling, no issues on performance.” Hose extensions are due to be performed soon. In early May, noise tests were successfully completed at Morón, Spain, demonstrating the A400M’s low noise levels both inside and out. Later in the month, MSN2 began unpaved runway tests on the grass strip at Cottbus-Drewitz, including rejected takeoffs. Last month MSN4 went to Holzdorf in Germany for loading tests with NH90 and EC725 helicopters. The A400M has also been on the road. “Since the end of last year we have spread our wings,” said Alonso. “We have a great product and we are delighted to show it around.” As well as its South American trip, the A400M visited Southeast Asia earlier this year on its first real marketing tour which included Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand. Major tests planned for the remainder of the year include airdropping of loads, military communications trials and tests of the DASS. The climatic envelope will be expanded further with hot weather tests at either Al Ain in the United Arab Emirates or Tozeur in Tunisia, and additional cold weather trials. As well as preparing the aircraft for EIS, Airbus Military is busy implementing training and support for the new aircraft. Airbus is providing an EIS team of engineers to support the new type and has nearly completed development of the ground equipment. Technical documentation is being compiled and ground support systems are in the final stages of development and testing. An international training center was established in Sevilla in October 2010 and will begin A400M flight crew training in September. It will have a comprehensive suite of training aids, including full-flight simulator, loadmaster workstation trainer, cargo hold trainer and various computer-based training systems. The first two French crews will also use development aircraft MSN6 so that their training is complete before the end of the year. France is also establishing its own national training center at the A400M’s first operating base at Orléans, which is scheduled to begin training crews in September 2013. A UK national training center opens in March 2014, while Germany is also establishing its own training capability. o
Motor Sich drives next-generation Ukrainian helicopter Motor Sich JSC is one of the world leaders in the development and production of aircraft engines. Our company was entrusted with development of the helicopter industry in Ukraine. Production of Ukrainian helicopters with Ukrainian engine is the final goal. It was decided to start this project by re-engining the Mi-8T and Mi-2 helicopters. The Mi-8T is the most popular helicopter in the world (in total, more than 11,000 helicopters, including the Mi-8MT and Mi-17 helicopters, have been produced). Series production began after completion of official certification tests in 1964. Today, the helicopter is operated in more than 50 countries of the world. It is in service in countries such as the CIS, Japan, China, Germany, Poland, Sudan, Egypt, Peru, etc. The Mi-8 helicopter has more than 30 civil and military versions specialized for various purposes. Analysis of operational data of the fleet of helicopters shows that the fleet of Mi-8T helicopters equipped with TV2-117 engines is five times greater than the fleet of more advanced Mi-8MTV helicopters powered by the TV3-117 engines. The annual amount of flying hours of the Mi-8T helicopters is also five times greater. Meanwhile, the time between failures of the Mi-8T helicopter is 1.56 times greater than that of the Mi-8MTV. The majority of failures are related to the TV2-117 engine. Considering the high degree of operational reliability of the Mi-8T helicopter and the fact that the airframe has sufficient service life remaining, it would be appropriate to replace the TV2-117 engine (which is no longer in production) with the TV3-117VMA-SBM1V, series 4E, engine, which is a modified version of the TV3-117VMA-SBM1V engine. For both improved performance and service hours, the TV3117VMA-SBM1V, series 4 and 4E, engines (featuring either air or electrical starting systems) have inherited the best system architecture that has been developed in order to ensure higher parameters and overhaul periods that were optimized on the basis of the TV3-117VMASBM1V engine. The latest version has improved takeoff power and free turbine rotational speed similar to
that of the TV2-117A (AG) engines. The advantages of the TV3117VMA-SBM1V, series 4E, engine in comparison with the TV2-117 engine are as follows: • maintenance of takeoff power of 1,500 h.p. up to the temperature of +55 °C (instead of +15°C) up to an altitude of 4,600 m (instead of 1,600 m); • increased service life: time before the first overhaul – 5,000 hours/ cycles (instead of 1,500 hours), and total service life – 15,000 hours/ cycles (instead of 12,000 hours); • low specific fuel consumption; • simplicity of field maintenance, high maintainability and reliability; • stable operation under dusty and smoggy conditions; • low life-cycle costs. As a result, the TV3-117VMASBM1V, series 4E, engine has higher service life and technical characteristics in comparison to the TV2-117A (AG) engine. It is more efficient in a wide range of flight altitudes and temperatures. The TV3-117VMA-SBM1V, series 4E, engine improves such helicopter performance characteristics
TV3-117VMA-SBM1V, series 4E, engine
as: hover and service ceiling (by 30% and 40%, respectively), flight range and hourly fuel consumption. Thus, in the course of the Mi-8T upgrading, it is necessary and advisably to perform the following improvements: • to extend the total service life of the helicopters by 8 years (TBO); • to install airborne avionics in the helicopter in compliance with ICAO requirements for airworthiness, as well as for navigation, and communication equipment; • to provide the possibility for efficient, ’round-the-clock operations of the helicopter in visual and instrument meteorological conditions, mountainous and flat terrains, as well as in hot climate; • to improve flight and operational characteristics of the helicopter with powerplant output equal to that of the TV2-117AG engine.
V.A. Boguslayev, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Motor Sich JSC
For implementation of the helicopter program, Motor Sich JSC has founded a design bureau specializing in the design, engineering, manufacturing, modernization and overhaul of the helicopters. The production of the helicopters was founded in 2011. The ability and competence of the new subdivision is confirmed by Certificate No. CP0009 of the State Aviation Service of Ukraine, which has declared Motor Sich JSC as designer of aviation equipment. The new subdivision has the following tasks: • r e-engining of the Mi-8 helicopter into the Mi-8MSB version; • p roduction of different versions of the re-engined and updated Mi-8MSB, MSB-2 and Mi-2 helicopters depending on their functions (transport, passenger, VIP, medical, search and rescue, etc.); • c reation of a new Ukrainian light multi-purpose helicopter with takeoff weight of 5 to 6 tonnes; • arranging cooperation with leading aviation companies for upgrading of the existing aircraft and the development of new aviation equipment; • c reation of training centers specializing in training and improvement of the professional skills of customers’ personnel in flight support and maintenance of the helicopter equipment. The Mi-8MSB medium-class, multi-purpose helicopter modernized by Motor Sich JSC is intended for passenger and freight transportation, training, search-and-rescue
Mi-8MSB helicopter at Heli-Russia-2012 exhibition
activities, as well as for aero medical and fire-fighting services. In addition to replacement of the engine, upgrading of the helicopter includes work on the airframe, separate systems and airborne equipment. Maximum weight of cargo transported in the cargo compartment is 4,000 kg. Maximum weight of loads transported with an external sling system is 3,000 kg. First flight of the upgraded Mi-8MSB helicopter took place at
the Motor Sich JSC airfield on June 16, 2011. Quality indices of the helicopter performance characteristics with the upgraded powerplant and transmission system are now confirmed during special tests in high-mountain and hot-climate conditions. Thus, Motor Sich JSC, stepby-step, continues to master production of helicopters and looks forward for cooperation with foreign manufacturers of helicopter equipment.
Meet at Farnborough International Hall 3 Stand B30
Motor Sich JSC 15, Motorostroiteley Avenue, Zaporozhye, 69068, Ukraine Phone: (+38-061) 720-48-14 • Fax: (+38-061) 720-50-05 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org www.motorsich.com
P&W’s PurePower program powers up by Gregory Polek Delays associated with the Pratt & Whitney PW1217Gpowered Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ) haven’t deterred the U.S. engine maker from proceeding with its test program as planned. Meanwhile, the company is also preparing the PW1524G– the engine destined to power the Bombardier CSeries–for an imminent final round of flights aboard one of Pratt & Whitney Canada’s Boeing 747SP test beds based in Mirabel, Quebec. Next, right around the time it expects the PW1524G to gain certification during this year’s fourth quarter, P&WC plans to start ground testing the first PW1100G for the A320neo airliner–the third and, judging by early sales performances, most commercially promising of the four aircraft programs on which the company’s “geared turbofan” technology has al ready won a place. In the process of making parts for the first PW1100G, the company had completed more than 85 percent of that engine’s design by the time it held its annual “Media Day” at its Hartford, Connecticut headquarters in early May. Having finished its 60-hour flight test program on the fourth PW1217G and in the process of preparing the sixth PW1524G for an imminent final round of flight trials, Pratt & Whitney hasn’t allowed delays associated with the MRJ or skepticism surrounding the commercial viability of the Bombardier CSeries to temper its resolve. Current schedules show the CSeries engine program running some six months ahead of that for the MRJ, Pratt & Whitney head of development programs Bob Saia told AIN in May. At the time, P&WC’s CSeries program had produced five production, or test, engines. “I use the word production because if I call them development [engines] people sometimes think they’re just experimental engines, but they’re really product engines,” explained Saia. Stub-wing Testing
The MRJ engine–the fourth of the series of eight test engines for that program–had just begun its flight test regimen on a 747SP specially modified with a “stub wing” attached to the upper part of the test bed’s fuselage. Featuring a 56-inch diameter, the PW1217G generates between 15,000 and 17,000 pounds of thrust–not enough,
first customer engine is delivered we will be on our specification… Right now, I’m pleased.” Saia also expressed satisfaction with the progress the company has made toward future fuel burn and other performance improvements. For example, he mentioned tests on a new coating for turbine airfoils that would lessen the cooling flow required while maintaining the part’s lifespan.
explained Saia, to safely operate in place of one of the four Pratt & Whitney JT9Ds on the company’s traditionally configured 747SP test bed. “We’d probably be able to get the airplane home, but it wouldn’t be optimal,” said Saia. “For engines rated below 20,000 pounds of thrust, we needed to put on this stub wing to keep full safety and functionality of the aircraft. Any program from the MRJ and lower in thrust will go on the stub wing.” Also planning to build eight PW1524G test engines before delivering the first customer example to Bombardier for installation on a CSeries prototype, Pratt & Whitney expected to fly the sixth engine of that series “some time in mid-summer.” It plans to use that engine, designated number 806, to validate
the Neo’s PW1100G. For example, said Saia, designers have managed to minimize the parasitic fuel burn that can be produced by the application of air pressure to bearing compartments or oil cavities. “We actually tested that on an engine [at Pratt & Whitney’s test facility in West Palm Beach, Florida] recently,” said Saia. “So we did the test, saw the back-to-back improvement in fuel efficiency and we can actually predict what it’s going to be at altitude. When the next engine goes to test it will have that feature and then we’ll measure it.”
Typically, engineers expect an engine program to start with a 2- to 3-percent margin of fuel burn deficiency. As the program
Pratt & Whitney next-generation product family v-p Bob Saia, right, briefed reporters on the test status of the PW1217G in front of the company’s 747SP test bed. The second 747SP test bed, below, carries the PW1217G on a stub wing specially designed for testing engines rated for less than 20,000 pounds of thrust.
the final software load for first flight of the CSeries, expected late this year or early 2013. Originally planning to fly the PW1524G on its primary 747SP for some 60 hours, P&WC ultimately flew two test engines– numbers 804 and 805–for a total of 245 hours, in a desire to adjust software logic to improve highaltitude, low-speed start times, for example, and some uncooperative weather at the test center in Mirabel, Quebec, outside Montreal. “In Montreal we’ve suffered quite a bit with a lot of icing and…a lot of unstable air [between 5,000 and 10,000 feet] during the winter months,” said Saia, “so part of the reason we got extra hours is it took us time to find the right quality of condition that we wanted to test in.” Having accumulated more than 3,000 hours and 9,000 flight cycles combined on the PW1524G and PW1217G, Pratt & Whitney has already applied lessons learned to the design of
progresses, that margin gradually diminishes until, hopefully, the manufacturer approaches its guarantees by the time the product enters service. In the case of the PW1500G, Pratt & Whitney started with between a 1- and 2-percent margin due to all the ground- and flight-testing its GTF demonstrator performed before the first CSeries engine went to test. In total, the GTF d emonstrator completed more than 400 hours of testing, including 50 hours aboard a PW&C 747SP demonstrator during 12 missions and some 75 hours aboard Airbus’s A340 demonstrator over the course of 27 flights. “We did a lot of early learning that typically we would do on the first product design,” stressed Saia. “The first engines we’re testing are within about a percent of our specification. We know why they’re there and we’ve got optimization throughout the engine. We’re confident that when the
bofans, but the one following that. “We think the geared turbofan is a step that, with continued improvement, could be the fundamental architecture of the future for the next twenty-plus years,” said Adams. In terms of future applications beyond the size needed for the A320neo, P&WC has studied increasing the fan diameter from 81 inches to as wide as 146 inches–enough to power, most notably, a new version of a Boeing 777. And, it has encountered no technical barriers, said Adams. He did acknowledge certain manufacturing challenges associated with the much higher thrust and bypass ratio that a 777 engine would require, however. “We’d be breaking scale of items like fan blades larger by far than any we’ve produced before,” he said. “Right now our 777 engine has a 112-inch fan. We’d be looking at diameter ranges between 138 and 146 inches. So the physical size of the parts
42 Farnborough Airshow News • July 9, 2012 • www.ainonline.com
Geared to the Future
In fact, according to Pratt & Whitney senior vice president for operations and engineering Paul Adams, the company already has begun studying not only the next generation of geared tur-
has some unique manufacturing challenges associated with it.” Few machining facilities in the U.S. carry the capability to machine an inlet case that would need to span more than 12 feet in diameter while holding the kind of precision tolerances such an application would require. One fundamental challenge associated with the large engine business versus the small engine business, explained Adams, centers on the fact that as the sizes of the parts increase the sizes of the equipment to manufacture them also must increase. “In all honesty, I’m actually more concerned about the manufacturing elements of a large GTF than I am doing a [large]
GTF from a technical standpoint,” said Adams. In terms of materials, increasing the size of the GTF to power a 777-size airplane wouldn’t “fundamentally” require any changes apart from what ordinarily happens during the transition from one generation of engine to the next, he added. “We’re always being pushed to develop new materials in every product,” said Adams. “I don’t expect that to be size specific, but I do think as we go into this next generation of GTF, the expectations are higher…and that would force us to look at the technology, the engine architecture and also the material systems to try to push up the limits.” o AINonline iPhone App NOW AVAILABLE
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Rolls-Royce is banking the money it is making from selling its stake in the International Aero Engine joint venture to Pratt & Whitney and it will keep earning flight-hour payments for the V2500 engines produced by IAE for the next 15 years.
V2500 remains cash cow for Rolls as Trent engine’s footprint grows by Ian Goold Rolls-Royce will not be rushing to spend the proceeds from selling its 32.5-percent equity and program shares in International Aero Engines (IAE) to Pratt & Whitney (P&W), according to civil aerospace president Mark King. The $1.5 billion cash sum will be retained for general corporate purposes, said the company, which is making a “modest” financial investment in P&W’s PW1100G-JM geared turbofan (GTF) powerplant offered for the re-engined Airbus A320neo program. The transactions will improve Rolls-Royce’s profitability in the civil aerospace sector over the next few years, with the majority of value being derived from V2500 engine flight-hour payments that the UK manufacturer will receive from IAE for 15 years. Rolls-Royce operating profits arising from restructuring of IAE are expected to be over £140 million ($217 million) in the first year, reducing slowly in successive years. Under a new 50/50 jointventure partnership announced alongside the sale of RollsRoyce’s IAE shares last October, the two companies are to develop high-bypass geared turbofan engines for future midsize (120 to 230 passengers) commercial jetliners, for which 20-year demand is put at “nearly 45,000” engines. Rolls-Royce remains committed to IAE and its customers and is responsible for high-pressure compressor, fan blade and disk manufacture, and final assembly of (and engineering support for) 50 percent of V2500 engines. For its part, P&W continues to lead IAE with partners Japanese Aero Engine Corp. (JAEC) and
Germany’s MTU Aero Engines, both of which will join the new partnership. Trent Keeps Flowing
Despite a “challenging, uncertain [and] volatile world outlook,” Rolls-Royce faces a welcome future of growth that will see its global footprint increase and the in-service Trent engine fleet treble in size as the air transport industry sees the “arrival of the next generation of widebody [jetliners],” said King. Within the next six years, the company will have its products on six new
aircraft types–including the Airbus A350, Boeing 787-9 and Cessna Citation Ten–bringing to 30 the number of platforms powered by its products. The growth will see some 2,000 Trent engines delivered in the next five years, compared with the 18 years that elapsed while the initial 2,000 examples were entering service, and means that Rolls-Royce has had to increase its support network to service the aftermarket. Last year, the UK engine manufacturer delivered some 17.5 million pounds of installed
Quest steps up expansion in engineering services by Neelam Mathews Quest Global Engineering (Hall 3 Stand B9), a diversified aerospace and defense engineering services company, is aiming to increase its current year revenues of $168 million to $300 million, based on the assumption that it can sustain its recent growth rate of 40 percent compound annual growth. The Singapore-based group employs 3,400 people across 30 global delivery centers. According to Ajit Prabhu, CEO, who founded Quest along with fellow U.S.-trained engineer Aravind Melliger, growth will also come from acquisitions. So far Quest has expanded its portfolio of niche engineering companies in Western Europe and the U.S., which offer capability in embedded systems and a strong aftermarket presence. For example, last year Quest
acquired UK-based GKN Aerospace Engineering Services, to which it had been outsourcing for several years and which is a preferred supplier to the company. “This acquisition enhances our engineering capabilities close to our customers in Europe,” said Prabhu. “With this enhanced capability and our low-cost centers in India using our localglobal approach, we will be able to deliver high-quality services at optimized costs to our aerospace and defense customers, especially in work streams such as design, stress, concessions, continuous product development and manufacturing engineering.” The new Quest subsidiary’s customers include Agusta-Westland, Airbus, Boeing, BAE Systems, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Rolls-Royce and Sikorsky. These airframers all
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supply chain in a “deliberate move to a smaller number of larger [contractors].” It also is trying to ensure dual capability so that it can move production if necessary. thrust, an annual level that King “We have a lot of time to predicts will rise to about 30 mil- ensure our supply-chain capaclion pounds in future. The cur- ity to support [A350 production] rent Rolls-Royce engine fleet ramp up,” said King. “We want is providing about 400 million to make sure there are options pounds of installed thrust, with [to maintain] business contithe order backlog covering a nuity; a dual-source capabilfurther 200 million pounds, with ity [and] to give more flexibility, the prospect of a further 100 more options.” He conceded that million pounds involved in cur- the company is vulnerable to any possible delays in the A350 prorent sales campaigns. “[This] is why we have gram. “It is a risk, [but] we have invested in capacity, tooling and the A380, A330 and corporateaircraft markets [as training,” said King. offsets],” he said. That capacity investIn a briefing ment includes the ahead of this week’s recent establishment Farnborough Internaof almost 1,660,000 tional Airshow, King sq ft of space in a new said the Trent 1000’s facility at Seletar in entry into service on Singapore to support the Boeing 787 has “significant increase “gone better than we in Trent manufactur- Rolls-Royce civil aerospace could have hoped,” ing capacity.” with more than 2,000 The growth also president Mark King means that the company is commercial flights having been employing more engineers completed since the troubled than ever, with King report- airliner’s delayed appearance ing a 20,600-strong workforce in September 2011 and up to engaged on civil engines. “We eight flights a day being flown are not going to be short of by individual aircraft. Testing of the Trent XWB for engineering capacity; the challenge will be which programs to the A350 has been going “really well” on the A380 flying testput them all on.” As Rolls-Royce gears up bed, demonstrating the technolfor Trent XWB production for ogy and providing a platform on o the A350, it is rationalizing its which to build, he added.
have tapped the company for product development, manufacturing and life-cycle support. Quest’s acquisition of Interface in Spain gives it access to systems engineering and engineering technical data capabilities. “Aerospace OEMs are looking for service providers capable of managing large work package execution and managed services solutions,” added Prabhu. “Both these acquisitions add on a nearsite presence that makes our engineering solutions compelling to our key customers.” Prabhu’s optimism seems well placed. Recently, Quest won the order for setting up an Airbus offshore development center (ODC) in Bangalore for A350XWB wings and is scaling up its operation as that program progresses toward certification. The facility is also supporting engineering work for other single-aisle, long-range and widebody programs for the European manufacturer. “After having supported the Airbus design and engineering sites in the UK, the plan
in the coming months would be to expand engineering support in France, Germany and North America,” said Prabhu. He expects the ODC will gain the confidence of other EADS divisions to increase their business with Quest. “Customers are looking at the ODC as a new business model to globalize their engineering needs,” he added. Plans are being firmed up that, between now and 2015, will see Quest investing $50 million in Singapore, where it relocated its headquarters from the U.S. in 2010. Singapore’s strong talent pool, excellent market connectivity, coupled with its vibrant oil and gas and aerospace sectors encouraged Quest to move. A new center of excellence is planned to offer value added engineering services. Quest generates 40 percent of its revenue in the U.S., 50 percent in Europe and 10 percent in the Asia Pacific region. o
Selex Galileo leads Europe’s e-scan drive
Left, this model depicts the Selex Galileo Raven ES-05 radar installation for the Gripen E/F, complete with Skyward G infrared search and track sensor. The orange-painted plates above and to the side of the nose are the conformal antennas for the company’s advanced SIT426 IFF system.
by David Donald
E-scan for Fire Control
Selex Galileo is involved in fire control technology as the lead partner in the Euroradar consortium that is developing the Captor-E AESA radar for the Typhoon fighter, and through its own Vixen range of e-scan radars. The Vixen 500E has been selected to replace APG-66 radars in the U.S. Customs and Border Protection fleet of Cessna Citation interceptors. It is currently undergoing operational test and evaluation. Planned for service with Tranche 3A aircraft, the Captor-E radar has yet to receive production funding, but development is in full swing. “We are cracking on as industry with the full-scale development,” reported Bob Mason, Selex Galileo’s senior v-p marketing and sales for radar and advanced targeting. “Hardware is now coming together and we will deliver the radar in the second quarter of next year.” Partner nations are yet to decide on the way forward for Captor-E beyond the current
On May 16 this Predator B, below, demonstrated the Seaspray 7500E radar to a number of nations. As well as highlighting the radar’s capabilities, the demonstration proved a new open architecture developed for the Predator B to allow sovereign capabilities to be integrated.
development activity. “We’re still in discussion with the nations as to what they are going to do,” said Mason, “but I believe things are starting to narrow down. Those that have got money will join the program at some stage. The program hasn’t stopped. It hasn’t been delayed by the prevarication of the nations. The aim is to get it flying [in a Typhoon] next year, and it will.” In the meantime, Selex Galileo is also involved in a UKonly technology demonstration program known as Bright Adder. No details have been publicly released about this e-scan radar, but it could provide an option for the RAF’s Typhoons. Bright Adder is understood to offer advanced features that are of particular interest to the RAF, such as an electronic attack function. As well as its involvement in the Typhoon program, Selex Galileo is providing the ES-05 Raven e-scan radar for the Saab Gripen E/F, which has been selected by Sweden and Switzerland. Raven was evolved from the company’s Vixen 1000E, and a development radar with a fixed antenna was earlier flown in the Gripen Demo in support of Saab’s bid for the Indian MMRCA fighter requirement. Raven has been developed considerably in the meantime. It is in a production-ready configuration that is at least “two generations” beyond the fixed antenna radar, according to Selex Galileo. The first radar set has undergone final roof-testing at the company’s Crewe Toll facility in Edinburgh and is now fitted in the Gripen NG demonstrator. Flight trials will get under way immediately after the show. Both Captor-E and Raven employ mechanical repositioners to alter the antenna’s field of regard. A fixed e-scan antenna has a look angle of roughly 60-degree off-boresight, but the repositioner allows the radar to scan across the entire forward hemisphere, and even beyond the 90-degree “3-9 line.” This offers significant tactical benefits, including the ability to undertake 90-degree “f-pole” maneuvers during beyond-visual-range missile engagements. Captor-E and Raven employ different methods of antenna
With facilities in Italy and the UK, Selex Galileo lies at the heart of radar developments in Europe. Not only is the company heavily involved in two of Europe’s three new-generation fighter programs, but it is also making important strides in the field of surveillance radars for patrol aircraft, helicopters and UAVs. Active electronically scanned antenna (AESA), or e-scan, technology is at the center of this capability. Selex Galileo continues to derive good business from the mechanically scanned radar market. The Grifo radar has proved very popular for fighter upgrades and has been supplied to Pakistan for F-7 and Mirage modernizations, as well as for a number of F-5 upgrade programs. The radar is being evaluated as a potential upgrade for the U.S. Navy’s F-5 adversary fleet. The Gabbiano surveillance radar family has also achieved success, having been selected for a variety of platforms such as the Elbit Hermes 450 and Embraer KC-390. However, it is e-scan technology that is driving the future of Selex Galileo’s radars, both for fire control and search radars.
repositioning, however. The Captor radar’s antenna is mounted on two angled swashplates that rotate in combination or opposition to reposition the antenna. This arrangement avoids any rotation of the antenna, so the polarity of the embedded IFF (identification friend or foe) antennas is maintained. Advanced IFF
By contrast, the Raven employs an angled antenna mounted on what is, in effect, a rotating drum. This offers significant advantages, but has also required the solving of some technological hurdles. One of them is the development of a sophisticated 360-degree joint, derived from the oil industry that allows the passage of radio frequency signal, power and coolant through it as the drum mounting rotates. Because the antenna rotates, it cannot mount IFF aerials, as they would change polarity with the rotation. To overcome this issue Selex Galileo has devised the SIT426 active e-scan Mode 5/S IFF system, which it claims is the most advanced in the world. It is the first IFF to use conformal e-scan arrays, three of which are mounted around
the fixed portion of the nose behind the rotating antenna. This arrangement poses its own issues, such as the requirement to sensor-fuse data from the radar and IFF to ensure accurate alignment between the two. In the Captor-E the radar and IFF share the same antenna, so do not require data fusion. In the Gripen installation, however, the fact that the IFF is separate allows it to work in close conjunction with other sensors, such as infrared search-and-track and electronic support measures. The biggest advantage of the system is its field of regard, which easily matches that of the radar. The side-facing arrays allow aircraft to be interrogated from a parallel track, which is of particular use in a cross-border air defense scenario and is something of which more traditional IFF installations are incapable. Advanced E-scan for Surveillance
Selex Galileo has achieved notable success with its e-scan surveillance radars. The Seaspray is fitted to the U.S. Coast Guard’s HC-130 Hercules, and been selected for King Air 350ER multi-role enforcement aircraft.
In the UK it is installed in the Lynx Wildcat. On April 4 a Seaspray 7500E radar made its first flight installed in a General Atomics Predator B as part of an SPCD (sovereign payload capability demonstration), later undertaking a successful display of its capabilities to an international audience. Selex Galileo has a number of e-scan developments under way, including installing a Sespray 5000 into the low-cost Tecnam patrol aircraft being offered by Indra. A Seaspray is also fitted to the “Caledonian Vixen” Cessna Caravan II aircraft on show here, which the company uses as a demonstrator. The company revealed it is working on a new-generation Seaspray with a small conformal flat-panel array that could appear around 2015/16. PicoSAR is another Selex Galileo product that has attracted a lot of attention. This is a compact X-band SAR/ GMTI radar that is ideal for light aircraft, helicopter and UAV applications. o
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Strong defense sales fund Irkut’s new MC-21 airliner Irkut is pursuing its ambition of capturing a 10-percent share in the world market for narrowbody airliners by funding its new MC-21 twinjet largely from funds earned from fighter sales. The Russian airframer now claims a 15-percent share of Russia’s overall military exports by value. Since 1996, the Sukhoi Su-30MKI/ MKM series of twin-seat multirole fighters have been Irkut’s main earner, with 294 deliveries so far. After the Russian defense ministry awarded orders for 55 Yak-130 lead-in fighter trainers and 30 Su-30SM strike fighters in November 2011 and March 2012, respectively, Irkut’s backlog rose to $7 billion. The company’s revenues in 2011 amounted to approximately $1.54 billion–almost twice as much as they were in 2006, and 5.3 percent greater than in 2010. Gross profits (before tax) were approximately $389 million and net profits reached $24.5 million. Irkut (Hall 1 Stand E8) has amassed civil jetliner experience through an existing cooperation with Airbus. Its main production site, Irkutsk Aircraft Plant (IAZ), has been involved in making A320 parts under a contract signed in December 2004. Deliveries commenced in 2008, including nose gear bay, keeling and flaps fittings, and are continuing at a rate of 12 shipsets per month. The Russian company had hoped this alliance would lead to it developing a next-generation narrowbody with Airbus, but after protracted negotiations failed, it decided to proceed with the MC-21 on its own, an approach that secured the official blessing of the Russian government in 2010. “The market is tired with the duopoly of Boeing and Airbus,” Irkut president Alexey Fedorov commented. The program has been budgeted at an initial amount of around $4.56 billion, which includes some $3.23 billion for research and development and another $1.33 billion for modernizing the manufacturer’s production technology. There will be three base models in the MC-21 family. In an all-economy configuration with 32-inch seat pitch, the MC-21-200 offers 150 seats, with the larger MC-21-300 having 181 seats and the MC-21-400 having 212. In addition to a stretched fuselage, the biggest model–the MC-21-400–features a larger wing, with a span of almost 121 feet, compared with just less than 118 feet for the other two versions. Each of the three models is to be available in a basic variant with 1,900 nm range and in an ER version able to fly 2,700 nm. Eight test airframes, including six flying prototypes, are to be constructed for test and certification purposes before deliveries commence in 2016. IAZ general manager Alexander Veprev told AIN in May that the factory has already started manufacturing long-cycle parts for MC-21 prototypes.
The MC-21 design team’s main target is to cut cash operating costs by 12 to 15 percent compared with those of the A320 family. Irkut has predicted that, with a Mach 0.8 cruise at 41,000 feet, the airliner will be 23 percent more fuel efficient that the A320s–with 13 percent of than efficiency coming from the engine p erformance, 6 percent from improved aerodynamics and 4 percent from weight reduction. It also said the MC-21’s max takeoff weight will be 9.5 percent lower than that of an A320. Operational turnaround time will be
reduced by six or seven minutes, which Irkut claims corresponds to an additional 150 flights per year. Airlines will have the choice of two powerplants for the twinjet: the Pratt & Whitney PW1400G or Russia’s Aviadvigatel PD-14. Other Western partners on the MC-21 program include Zodiac Aerospace, Rockwell Collins, Eaton and Meggitt, among others. Composite Wing
The wing design comes from AeroComposite and its subcontractor Sukhoi Design Bureau. The fully composite wing will have aspect ratio increased to 11.5, and lift-to-drag ratio that should be 6 percent more efficient than that of the A320’s, while weighing 15 to 20 percent less. Together with other improvements in airframe and propulsion system, the MC-21 promises 15 to 25 percent lower fuel burn compared to in-service narrowbodies. The MC-21 wing boxes are being manufactured by AeroComposite in cooperation with Austria’s FACC. The aerostructures manufacturing process is also benefiting from technological input from foreign partners such as Cytec, Hexel, Niat, Diamond and Premium Aerotec. In 2010, Irkut opted to take a chance on largely untried “vacuum infusion” technology for its composites manufacturing plan for the MC-21 in the hope that it would result in lower manufacturing costs. This approach avoids the need for traditional large autoclaves such as those used for Airbus and Boeing airframes. It has already produced a sample wing box through the new technique. Unlike the wing, the MC-21 fuselage
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by Vladimir Karnozov
Irkut embarked on its MC-21 program (mockup above; model below) after failing to reach agreement with Airbus to cooperate on a narrowbody airliner development.
is predominantly of metal construction, using the latest metal alloys, including aluminum-lithium, and with wing attachment points made of titanium. Overall, the aircraft composition includes: composites, 38.5 percent; aluminum alloys, 39 percent; titanium, 12 percent; steel, 7.5 percent; and other materials, 3 percent. Irkut is also modernizing its production facilities, investing in computerintegrated technology in a bid to reduce manufacturing costs. Germany’s Durr Systems has been contracted to develop and install an automated assembly line with initial capacity to produce 60 aircraft each year. Provision will be made for this to increase to 84 units. The MC-21 features a cabin interior developed by the France-based Zodiac group. In standard six-abreast layout the economy class features 18.5-inch wide seats and a 20-inch aisle. Thanks to a wider fuselage and thinner walls, the MC-21 cabin is three inches wider than that of the existing A320 at head level and six inches wider than the Boeing 737 at shoulder level, according to Zodiac. Russia’s Central Aerohydrodynamic Institute (TsAGI) is responsible for managing the MC-21 certification process, with flight-testing due to begin in 2015. The institute is already active in research on composite airframes and is conducting trials of the MC-21 wing specimens. In January this year, the first wing box cracked in what TsAGI described as “an unexpected area” while “under excessive loading.” The second wing box has remained under a continuous test cycle. The first wing box was intended to validate the technology being used, to
Commercial Support In Play for Irkut’s MC-21 Irkut’s business plan for its MC-21 narrowbody jetliner calls for a total of 1,200 aircraft to be produced, including 257 delivered by 2022, of which 30 percent would be for the Russian domestic market. As of May, Irkut had garnered orders and commitments for 190 airplanes. Crecom Burj Resources of Malaysia became the launch customer for the program at the 2010 Farnborough International Airshow by signing a firm order for 50 airplanes. In 2011, Aviacapital Service (ACS), the leasing arm of the Russian Technologies State Corporation, signed for 35 MC-21300s and 15 MC-21-200s. At catalog prices, this deal would be worth $3.8 billion, not including options for 35 additional aircraft. Ilyushin Finance has signed for 28 firm orders and 22 options. On the eve of this year’s Farnborough show the leasing group’s general manager, Alexander Routsov, told AIN that IFC has yet to specify which engines will power its MC-21s. He indicated that the company’s inclination is to support Russia’s Aviadvigatel PD-14 engine, “provided their prices are generous, coming with appropriate OEM support and guarantees.”–V.K.
evaluate design solutions and to conduct tests for structural integrity and strength. It also was subjected to preliminary frequency and stiffness tests, and employed in a separate research effort examining the effects of typical wing damage observed in airline operations. In March, TsAGI received the third wing box, which had been improved based on the results of earlier testing. It is being subjected to a wide range of trials, including structural integrity, frequency and strength. A few weeks ago, TsAGI reported the completion of the MC-21 scaled model and the start of testing in its T104 wind tunnel. The purpose of the testing is to determine the impact of the aircraft’s engines on flaps and slats in cruise, takeoff and landing configurations, as well as on horizontal control surfaces of the empennage, and horizontal stabilizer performance in wingin-ground effect situations. o
Imagine. The cockpit of the future just might be the one you’re already flying. Garmin GTN™/ G500™ avionics update. This is where the transformation begins: With Garmin’s dual-screen G500 electronic flight display and our newest GTN™ 650/750 series of integrated avionics. Combining full WAAS LPV approach capability with touchscreen data entry and radio tuning – as well as remote transponder and audio processor control 1 – this futuristic GTN lineup brings a whole new level of efficiency to flight. An optional scaled version of Garmin’s SVT ™ synthetic vision creates a 3-D “virtual reality” view on the G500’s primary flight display (PFD), while the big GTN 750 screen provides a second multi-function display (MFD) in the avionics stack, for extra versatility in configuring flight and map data, terminal procedures, traffic displays, weather, and more. Victor Airways and Jet Routes can be overlaid on the map. And electronic FliteCharts® and SafeTaxi® diagrams, come preloaded as well2. Various PilotPak™ combos offer deep savings on database updates. Plus, other upgrade options include geo-referenced approach charts3, advanced autopilot interfaces, and worldwide datalink solutions – so you can tailor your new Garmin cockpit to any level of capability you’d like. Follow the leader.
NASDAQ GRMN ©2012 Garmin Ltd. or its subsidiaries 1
Transponder and audio systems sold separately. Remote audio processor functions available on GTN 750 series only.
Initial U.S. FliteCharts® will disable when data is over 6 months out-of-date. Updates available on single-cycle or annual basis.
Jeppesen subscription required for use with optional Garmin ChartView™, sold separately.
New Rockwell cockpits approach airline service by Matt Thurber Rockwell Collins (Hall 4 F9) continues to gain share in the air transport market, with a number of new regional jets featuring the company’s avionics, and Boeing’s 787 and the upcoming Airbus A350XWB also incorporating significant amounts of the company’s products. Its Pro Line Fusion integrated flight deck, which recently entered service on Bombardier’s Global 5000 and 6000 long-range business jets, is slated for Bombardier’s CSeries and Mitsubishi’s MRJ. Pro Line Fusion was also selected by Embraer for its KC-390 military tanker and the Legacy 450 and 500. Other Pro Line Fusion customers include the Gulfstream G280 and Bombardier Learjet 85. China’s Comac C919 and ARJ21 airliners feature integrated Rockwell Collins flight decks. On the “selectable” side, where airlines pick and choose different avionics products as opposed to a fully integrated flight deck, “We have extremely robust market share and capture
rate,” said Kent Statler, Rockwell Collins executive v-p and COO, Commercial Systems. The business aviation market is much different from the airline market, Statler explained. Business aircraft manufacturers seek the latest technology, and often that spawns developments in the airline market. “If you’re spending that much money for an airplane,” he said, “especially at the top end of that segment, they want the latest and greatest features. Technology is very important to them. The transfer of some of those technologies into the air
A new compact HUD from Rockwell Collins will extend the market for such units into smaller aircraft, as small as single-engine turboprops.
Ilyushin will soon offer Western jets for lease by Vladimir Karnozov Ilyushin Finance Co. (IFC), Russia’s oldest and largest aircraft leasing company, is planning to procure Western aircraft types to help the vast country’s airlines to meet soaring demand. Airline traffic grew 13.4 percent in 2011 and has continued at a similar pace this year. Russia’s own aerospace industry currently produces very few commercial airplanes but airlines have often had barriers put in the way of deals to procure Western types. However, the logjam seems to have been broken, temporarily at least, and during 2012 IFC intends to buy 10 Western turboprops to add to the 20 CSeries jets it ordered last year from Canada’s Bombardier. It has also ordered 20 An158s from Ukraine’s Antonov. IFC’s aircraft assets comprise 33 An-124s, Il-96s, Tu204/214s and An-148s, which in total are worth more than $1.1 billion. This year IFC added a
level-D full-flight simulator for the An-148, in which it invested approximately $20 million. Last year, the lessor registered revenues of almost $167 million and an $8.3 million profit. The leasing group’s general manager, Alexander Roubtsov, told AIN that the first pair of Ukrainian-built An-158s would be delivered to airline customer by year-end. Meanwhile, IFC is in the process of accepting its first An-148-100E from Russia’s Vaso and placing it with Angara Airline, which signed for three such airframes with two options. The “E” version differs from the six An-148-100Bs already with IFC in having an English-language cockpit and higher maximum takeoff weight. The carrier plans to operate them from Irkutsk to six unpaved aerodromes in Siberia using subsidies from local authorities for “support of socially important transportation services.” About
Rockwell Collins’ Pro Line Fusion integrated flight deck, which recently entered service on Bombardier’s Global 5000 and 6000 longrange business jets, is slated for Bombardier’s CSeries and Mitsubishi’s MRJ.
customers are interested in newer products, such as synthetic vision and touchscreen avionics displays.
transport side is very slow.” Boeing, for example, incorporates products from many different suppliers, but the result is a variety of models that remain familiar to any Boeing pilot. “Whether they’re flying a 737, 777 or 787, it feels like a Boeing,” Statler said. “That’s very important, especially when you get into the size of the fleets–that it has a common user-interface–because they want pilots to be able to move from one aircraft to another and not feel like they’re having to relearn a whole new cockpit. Or to go through another week of training because there is so much difference between the two. The cost of training and not having a standardized cockpit is more than offset by the value of a little faster processor in a certain box.” That said, Rockwell Collins spends a lot of money on research and development for all market segments. And air transport
Interest in another Rockwell Collins technology, head-up displays (HUD) made by its Headup Guidance System subsidiary, is growing, too. Southwest Airlines and Alaska Airlines both have HUDs installed in their entire fleets. HUD is standard in a dual configuration in Boeing’s 787, Statler said, “and we’re in discussions on taking that even broader across the commercial fleet.” A new compact HUD will extend the market for the units into smaller aircraft, as small as single-engine turboprops. The pinnacle of HUD technology is the Rockwell Collins system that is installed in the Pro Line Fusion-equipped Global 5000 and 6000. These are the first aircraft to feature
40 percent of the 315 civil aerodromes in Russia have unpaved runways. Landing a $20 million asset on unpaved airstrips in Bodaibo, Imama or Lensk, for example, represents a serious test. “It is perfectly fine to operate this airplane that way, provided the unpaved strips keep dry through summer or frozen in winter, but we will probably have to restrict operations to certain airfields in spring and autumn when their runways turn into mud,” said Roubtsov. “This is exactly the market niche for the An-148. And if the airplane proves capable of operating in the Siberian climates, I am sure it will take this market niche and also
those in Africa and the Middle East. Entering service with Angara, the An-148 is, figuratively speaking, going into the operational environment it was designed for.” Later, IFC plans to try a synthetic-vision system in the An-148 cockpit as this technology promises to considerably widen permissible weather conditions when making landings at poorly equipped airdromes. Russian avionics house Transas offers such a system, Roubtsov said, “but so far none of our airline customers has agreed to have this option, on price considerations. So we decided to operate the An-148 ‘as is’ for a while and come back to the synthetic vision later.”
Russian leasing group Ilyushin Finance is preparing to start investing in Western airliners, but the most recent addition to its portfolio was a first example of the Russian Antonov An-148 twinjet.
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synthetic vision displayed on the HUD. “We’re the only one that can bring synthetic vision onto a Head-up Guidance System display,” Statler said. “We continue to see large traction in China. We believe probably in the 2013 or 2014 [time frame] there will be a mandate that HUD will be required on all Chinese national carriers– the narrowbodies. Our ability to have the only certified HUD on Boeing aircraft and the integrated HUD that can fly on narrowbody aircraft gives us a solid tailwind as we look forward over the next five years.” The Comac C919 will employ a system leveraging features of the Rockwell Collins Paves 3 and Venue cabin systems. “Paves 3 is a digital IFE system designed to move away from an integrated system,” Statler said, “where if one box goes down, you lose the whole flight.” o It is normal practice for Siberian airlines to cancel flights to remote airports for a week or so due to weather conditions, but Roubtsov said that this practice cannot continue. “One day they will have to replace the ageing An-24s with more modern and expansive machines. [However], to operate them profitably, the airlines have to fly much.” The An-148 has proved itself capable of high utilization rates in service with Rossiya. Its fleet of six aircraft performs 15 round-trips daily, and demonstrates average monthly flight time of 300 flight hours per airframe. “During initial operational service most of the teething problems have been cured, although we are still fighting some minor defects, most of them being computer glitches. We continue perfecting software packages and replacing certain chips with more modern and reliable ones.” This summer IFC is to take its fourth four-engine Il96-400T freighter and is deciding whether to place it with Polet, which already operates three, or to lease it out to the Russian armed forces as a special-mission platform. o
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CFM Leaps toward service entry by Curt Epstein CFM International remains on track with the development process of the Leap series of engines that it laid out four years ago. The 50/50 partnership between General Electric and Safran subsidiary Snecma announced it has recently frozen the designs for its new Leap 1A and 1C engines destined for use on the Airbus A320neo and the Chinese Comac C919 narrowbody airliners, which are scheduled to enter service in 2016. The 40-year-old U.S.-French joint venture saw a tremendous industry appetite for the developing powerplant at last year’s Paris Air Show. According to a CFM spokeswoman, prior to the event, the company had 200 orders on the books, but, by the time the dust settled in Paris four days later, that total had skyrocketed to more than 1,100. The company currently has 3,626 orders and commitments for the 20,000- to 34,000-poundthrust Leap series engines, which have been selected to power more than 1,800 aircraft, including 578 A320neos (Leap 1A), 235 Comac C919s (Leap 1C) and 1,000 Boeing 737 MAXs (Leap 1B). Those engines are worth a potential $43.5 billion, a number that is expected to grow here at this week’s Farnborough International Airshow. For the A320neo, the company shares the powerplant market with Pratt & Whitney’s PW1000G, and it currently claims a 54.2-percent share of engines for that aircraft. “We don’t necessarily target a market share above 50 percent,” said Cedric Goubet, CFM International’s executive vice president. “Our target is a balanced market share of 50-50.” The engine design for the Leap 1B lags the others by nine months, reflecting Boeing’s pause in announcing the launch of the 737 MAX. CFM, which is the sole source supplier on the Boeing and Comac aircraft, has told the Seattle airframer that it is ready and willing to accelerate the pace of its engine development should Boeing require it earlier. The new engine will eventually succeed the company’s popular CFM56 series, which, at more than 22,000 copies, has seen three decades of service. CFM promises to imbue Leap with the same reliability and maintenance costs of the earlier engine, as well as make notable improvements in several areas such as fuel efficiency (15 percent
improvement), nitrous oxide emissions (50 percent lower than current CAEP 6 requirements) and noise (compliant with new Chapter 5 regulations). GE and Snecma split the component design for the new powerplant, with GE’s engineers handling the core and Snecma tackling the fan, fan case and lowpressure turbine duties. CFM has released the engine’s cross section for the first time and it shows off some of the features, which contribute to its efficiency gains over the previous model. The new fan has 18 blades compared to up to 36 for the -56 series. Those blades as well as the fan case are constructed of carbon fiber woven in three dimensions and resin cured in a new proprietary process that results in an extremely durable part. The blades are larger yet lighter than their metal counterparts, requiring little to no maintenance or cycle limitations and are expected to last the life of the engine. The use of the new composites for the fan was one of the ways Snecma was able to increase
Global Research Center in upstate New York will make its debut on the Leap engine. Carbon matrix composites (CMC) will be used to make the stageone turbine shrouds. Consisting of fibers of silicon carbide measuring one fifth the diameter of a human hair and embedded in a silicon matrix, a part made of CMC has one third the weight of a comparable structure made out of nickel alloy and can operate in higher temperatures thus reducing the need to route cooling air from the compressor.
hot-gas path were replaced with CMC, it would result up to a 1.5-point decrease in fuel burn, which over the span of 10 years would equate to approximately $700,000 in savings for a typical twin-engine narrowbody passenger aircraft at today’s fuel prices. While currently limited to static parts, Correa said the use of CMC for rotating parts is on the roadmap but not until the technology is fully validated. “CFM has fantastic reliability,” said Correa during a preshow tour of the facility. “We’re not going to put anything into an engine that doesn’t preserve that level of reliability.” Additive Manufacturing
Another family of technologies known as additive manufacturing will also be used to create parts for the new engine. While
The General Electric/Snecma partnership has frozen the designs for the Leap 1A, above, and 1C engines destined for use on the Airbus A320neo and the Chinese Comac C919.
GE’s engineers are handling the core for the new Leap series of engines, while Snecma handles the fan, fan case and low-pressure turbine.
its size (especially on the 1A and 1C, which have a diameter of 78 inches as compared to 69 for the 1B). The use of a larger heavier metal blade would have necessitated a thicker fan casing to protect against blade-out situations. With the new composite fan and case, CFM was able to nearly double the bypass ratio from the -56’s, while simultaneously reducing the on-aircraft weight of the engines by nearly 1,000 pounds. Another new material technology developed by GE’s
This leaves more for thrust generation and adds to the overall increase in engine efficiency. Since the early 1990s GE has accumulated nearly one million hours of testing on the materials, including their use on industrial gas turbines manufactured by the company. Though the company has taken the first steps to introduce this material to the engine, according to Sanjay Correa, vice president of the CMC program at GE Aviation, if all the appropriate parts in the
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the manufacturer declined to identify exactly which parts will be constructed using the processes, which build them a layer at a time, the resulting parts are lighter than their traditionally cast counterparts, with strength added only where operating stresses require it. Eventually the method of production will earn additional savings by reducing the “buy-to-fly” or raw materials wasted to produce parts. Also factoring heavily in the engine design is research, which
will enable it to withstand flowpath temperatures with less cooling while simultaneously maintaining durability. Using computational fluid design and real-world testing, GE’s engineers investigated the optimum patterns for developing protective “cooling films” on critical hot-section components. Shared Design Features
Despite its name, the new engine was not a leap of faith in terms of architecture, borrowing tried and proven designs from current engines such as the GE90 and the GEnx. According to the company, the powerplants share so much in terms of design that any future upgrades to one of them will easily translate to the others. The engine’s combustor is the lean burning twin-annular premixing swirler (TAPS) II design found in the larger GEnx, which results in lower emissions as well as reduced maintenance costs to the combustor and highpressure turbine as a result of more uniform temperatures. The efficient debris rejection system modeled after the GE90’s inward opening variable-bleed valve doors promise the new engine better fuel burn retention than engines with non-inward opening doors by reducing the amount of debris that reaches critical engine components. By including a smaller version of the 10-stage compressor found in the GE90 and GEnx, the manufacturer managed to double the pressure ratio from the earlier -56. As a result of all the improvements in cooling, materials and efficiency, the engine will run hotter than the CFM56 to achieve improved fuel burn, but CFM said, initially, it will not run as hot as larger engines from CFM partner GE, in order to preserve its time-on-wing in a high-cycle environment. “Once we get out into service and we see how the engine is operating, if it’s operating as we expect it to, we can get a pretty quick performance improvement just by running the operating line up and running the temperatures up to levels that we run today on the widebody engines,” said Ron Klapproth, product strategy manager for GE Aviation. According to CFM, it successfully tested the eCore demo 2 at the end of May, one month ahead of schedule, and will have eCore 3 scheduled to run early in 2013. The first full engine test is slated for the third quarter of next year, followed by the commencement of flight testing on the company’s testbed in 2014. o
European debt crisis limits finance options for airlines by Gregory Polek With European banks under increasing pressure to cut back on lending and boost capital reserves in response to the continent’s worsening public debt crisis, airline treasurers and finance bosses worry that a new credit crunch will
continue to limit their options for financing aircraft acquisitions. The situation is likely only to be exacerbated as banks adjust to the tougher capital reserve requirements of the new Basel III regulations, which will be in full force by 2019. Q Aviation Management CEO Greg May, US Airways vice president and treasurer Tom Weir, United Airlines senior v-p of finance and treasurer Gerry Laderman, WestJet vice president and treasurer Candice Li and Atlas Air vice president and treasurer Ed McGarvey (l to r) commiserated about the state of the European bank debt market and its effect on potential acquisitions at a recent finance conference in the U.S.
Calling the situation “disappointing” during the recent ISTAT aviation finance conference held in Scottsdale, Arizona, United Airlines senior vice president of finance and treasurer Gerry Laderman lamented what he characterized as an “overreaction” by some governments in Europe to compel their banks to carry more capital. Admittedly, he was speaking before the full extent of banks’ potential exposure in countries like Greece and Spain became more apparent during May and June. Laderman’s counterpart at US Airways, Tom Weir, noted that his airline accessed the European bank debt market “pretty much exclusively” for deliveries in 2008 and 2009. “We loved to have the flexibility of floating rate debt and prepayability, so it was a market that we favored over the capital markets,” said Weir. By last year, however, circumstances had changed “pretty significantly,” due to the lack of participation in senior-tranche financing by European banks. “This year things have only gotten worse,” said Weir. “We’ve seen, for example, a lot of sale-leaseback proposals where the lessors were fairly confident in getting leverage from European banks and ultimately weren’t able to get there. As to the reaction to it, right now as we look at sale-leaseback opportunities as a form of financing, we are looking at lessors that either have a committed line that is a committed warehouse facility already, or are not bank-leveraging themselves in that market. So it’s a subset of lessors that we can talk to.” Airlines’ Muted Optimism
Weir did express hope that some institutional debt would surface to take up the senior tranche of some of the transactions. “There’s an idea knocking around out there that that’s in the offing, but we actually haven’t seen a firm commitment for senior debt,” he said. While Laderman concurred that the European lending environment has only deteriorated this year, he too expressed some hope that institutional investors will serve as a substitute under the premise that aircraft carry some of the most attractive kind of collateral against which one can lend. “Hopefully more institutions see that and we’ll have some sort of substitute for the European
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banks that have shut down their aviation lending practice,” he said. Vice president and treasurer of Atlas Air Ed McGarvey described something of a turning point in the summer of 2011, when pricing and liquidity costs, particularly among German banks, were “ratcheting up,” and French banks, which he said he saw “pulling back in.” “We’ve seen the same thing,” said McGarvey, referring to the lack of availability of bank debt. “When we took delivery of three 747-8 Freighters at the end of 2011, and we were fortunate to have a range of European bank financing for those three aircraft in 2010 and very early 2011…We actually had some concern because our last two deliveries were in late December and our commitment ran to the end of December.” Since that time, said McGarvey, Atlas has entered the market for financing four-year-old and six-year-old 737800 passenger airplanes. “The pricing on those aircraft is more expensive than a 747-8 Freighter, which in theory is a little harder asset to finance…So it just shows what’s happened to the number of people who were willing to come in and bid on the aircraft–that pool has shrunk dramatically.” Even the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which had issued a warning to European banks to cut back lending even further to preserve liquidity, stressed, in its April Global Financial Stability Report, the need for “balance.” “So far, current policies have prevented a ‘credit crunch,’ but if financial stress intensifies, a large-scale and synchronized deleveraging by European banks could do serious damage to asset prices, credit supply and economic activity in Europe and beyond,” said José Viñals, financial counselor and head of the IMFs Monetary and Capital Markets Department. o
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Spirit’s nacelle walls can take more heat by Charles Alcock Spirit Aerosystems is ready to introduce its new composite “hot rigid wall” for use in engine nacelles. The U.S. company is offering the technology to engine manufacturers that have to deal with the higher core and exhaust temperatures resulting from higher-efficiency turbofan designs. The so-called wall uses a series of structural, composite “plates” to shield thrust reversers from the increased temperatures. According to Spirit, it has identified high-temperature composites for nacelles as the number-one must-have item for future designs. Spirit is exhibiting a sample of the new composite here at the Farnborough International Airshow (Hall 3 Stand A13). Over the past four years, the U.S. company’s Propulsion Systems & Structures division has developed carbon-reinforced laminates and a high-temperature adhesive, both of which are expected to find uses in the increased temperature environments of future powerplants.
readiness-level six (with nine being the highest). In addition to possible use with future
engines, Spirit believes that it might also make sense for retrofit on high-volume new products like the re-engined Airbus A320neo narrowbody airliner. The new laminate is expected to help manufacturers reduce the cost of manufacturing composite structures. In some cases it will avoid the need to use an autoclave to complete structures.
Here at the Farnborough show, visitors can see a fan cowl using the new laminate. Pylon Progress
Meanwhile, Spirit is far advanced in its work on the engine pylons for both the new Mitsubishi MRJ airliner and Bombardier’s CSeries. More than 90 percent of the engineering
design has been released for the MRJ pylon and almost the same for the CSeries. Spirit also is working on a new titanium honeycomb structure that could be used for the inner walls of nacelles, avoiding the need for insulation there. This is part of an effort to explore how “exotic” metals can be used in place of composites. o
Come see us at Farnborough Hall 4, Stand 4
“We’re very excited about working with the engine companies,” said John Pilla, senior v-p and general manager of Spirit’s propulsion segment. “They want higher efficiency and more thrust, but with that comes more heat.” The new “wall” has so far withstood temperatures up to 850-deg F for up to an hour, and Spirit also has done longer tests at 600-deg F. Now it is working with materials that can endure even greater heat. “One of the advantages is that whereas manufacturers now use heat- or insulation-blankets, this [composite] is thinner so it provides more room to minimize the geometry of the nacelle,” Pilla told AIN. “This covers all of today’s needs and those of future nacelles and it is very close in terms of weight. It is thinner but the weight is virtually the same [as heat blankets].” The “hot rigid wall” could be in production within two or three years, with the technology currently being at
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Boeing bows to demands for more ‘tailored’ fleets by Gregory Polek
Inter-Asian operation of 787s often demands less range than that offered by today’s 787-8.
Airline demands for range and pay- fuel-price environment, they are looking load characteristics better tailored to for airplanes that more uniquely fit the their specific needs have prompted a routes and the missions in their networks,” shift in how Boeing approaches optimi- said Piasecki. “So if they don’t have to be zation of the various airplanes within a carrying around a whole bunch of fuel given family. Most recently, studies cen- because really they’re flying only 5,000 tered on market demand for a poten- nautical miles per day, they no longer want tial third version of the 787 Dreamliner, that airplane.” Just a decade ago, she recalled, Boeing commonly known as the 787-10X, have sent Boeing in a direction toward an air- set a goal to offer an 8,200-nm range plane that offers perhaps less range than across its entire line of widebodies. Since expected in exchange for still better eco- then, the OEM’s philosophy has shifted along with its customers’ priorities. nomics, for example. “We’re beginning to think of range During a pre-show briefing at the comdifferently, where there’s pany’s wide body plant a mid-range type of in Everett, Washington, widebody market and a Boeing Commercial Airlonger haul market. Both planes (BCA) v-p of busiare very viable, but we see ness development and straprobably more segmentategic integration Nicole tion over the next 20 years– Piasecki alluded to plans in how airplanes operate for a 15-percent increase and, therefore, in the airin passenger capacity complanes we choose to deliver pared with the upcominto the market,” she said. ing 787-9, which itself will Meanwhile, Boeing gen hold 40 more passengers erally sees airlines demandthan the 787-8. But while ing more large airplanes in 787-8 flies as far as 8,200 nm and specifications for Nicole Piasecki, Boeing Commercial the twin-aisle market, with the exception, perhaps, of the -9 show a range of be- Airplanes vice president of business development and strategic what it categorizes as the tween 8,000 and 8,500 nm, integration, explains how Boeing Boeing has identified an op- has reacted to customer demands for very-large segment, where its most recent 20-year timal range of just 6,800 nm tailored fleets. forecast reflects somewhat for the 787-10X. Most widebodies operate in what Pias- less optimism than it showed even in last ecki identified as “that medium-range year’s market outlook. Boeing, said Piasecki, faces two major segment” covering the inter-Asia market, domestic China, the Middle East to decisions in the coming months: the Europe and over the Atlantic Ocean. The first surrounding the launch of the 787787-10X, she said, would make a “very 10X, and the second involving the open “trade spaces” identified by 777 program low-cost people mover.” “As airlines have changed some of their vice president and general manager Scott buying behavior in this high and volatile Fancher in his references to the 777X.
The 777X family, under study for about the past 18 months, would replace the 777300ER and, according to Boeing, offer the best payload-range capability in the widebody market. Production Rate To Increase
Reacting to what Piasecki called an industry starved for widebody equipment, Boeing, which now builds seven 777s a month, plans to “break rate” in October and deliver the first airplane built at a planned 8.3 per month in February. “We look at not just product technology but production technology because we know we have to build airplanes that our customers can afford and that we can make money on,” she said. “Since I’ve mentioned production, it’s not just Boeing that we look at. But as we look at these multiple programs, we look all the way down through the supply chain. In our operations organization they’re as much a part of these product conversations as, for example, is Mike Delaney, our head of engineering.” Piasecki recalled Boeing’s experience in the early 1990s, when it launched the 777 and, soon after, began development of the 737NG. By the time it had finished with the development of those programs, the company experienced a “dip” in activity, during which it lost engineers. Now, said Piasecki, the company sees an opportunity to maintain a stable level of investment in engineering resources, which will benefit not only Boeing but also its customers for many years. Schedule Discipline
Despite Boeing’s interest in what Airbus ultimately unveils with its A350-1000, the U.S. OEM needs to maintain schedule
Plans call for Boeing to deliver the first 777, built at a rate of 8.3 per month, from Everett, Washington, in February.
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discipline to get enough equipment to the customers that need it. Still, Boeing won’t rush the 777X because it doesn’t need to do so yet, according to Piasecki. “It would be inappropriate for me to say that it [the A350-1000] did not influence [the 777X decision],” she said. “We know the A350-1000 will be something that it isn’t today because the market hasn’t embraced it yet. So we are interested to know what it is because we are going to be better than whatever it is.” Notwithstanding earlier signals sent by BCA chief executive Jim Albaugh that he intends to approach the board with a proposal by the end of the year, there remains plenty of time to adjust to whatever Airbus does, she added, even while work on such areas as technology readiness studies, engine audits and production system changes continue unabated as Boeing prepares the 777X for entry into service by the turn of the decade. “When we’re ready to go to the board and we have confidence in the investment we’re proposing, that it will be enduring, we will go to the board,” said Piasecki. “Right now we have a set of customers that are willing to make decisions and at some point we’ve got to be responsive to their needs as well.” Responding to those needs might mean waiting for Airbus, however, because customers want competition and, therefore, a firmly defined A3501000 against which to judge the merits of the new 777. As always, Boeing needs to strike a kind of balance between its own needs and its customers’ desires. But, with the 777X, it must consider so many more variables than it does in the case of the 787-10X. The stretched Dreamliner would amount to an extension of an existing family, while the 777X could mean a substantial reconsideration of an airplane that still carries strong appeal in the market. Plans already call for an allnew wing and new engines, as well as changes to the interior to enhance passenger comfort. “The 787-10X is a much more straightforward work statement and is really about completing the 787 family,” said Piasecki. “It, too, will go to the board when Jim [Albaugh] feels comfortable that it’s the right thing to do given everything else on our plates. But I have a positive outlook on both those airplanes.” o
Bell’s Relentless 525, which was unveiled in March, is on track to make a first flight around the turn of 2013/14 and then enter service in 2015. A mockup of the super-medium twin is on display here at the Farnborough International Airshow.
Bell unveils 525 Relentless mockup as super-medium twin helo takes shape by Charles Alcock Bell Helicopter is pressing ahead with the secondary design phase for the development of the new 525 Relentless helicopter that it launched in February. Here at the Farnborough International Airshow, the U.S. airframer is displaying a mockup of the super-medium twin, which is on track to make a first flight around the turn of 2013/14 and then enter service in 2015. “We’re now getting into the detailed design in a secondary level that includes [plans for] on-condition monitoring, ergonomics and maintenance access, and ensuring that the aircraft is corrosion averse,” Larry Thimmesch, Bell’s vice president of
new programs, told AIN. Engineers are building a series of mockups aimed at “validating the intersections between the customer and the product.” Also at Bell’s headquarters in Texas, a simulation cabin has been built to serve as a full aircraft simulator for ground testing. It is being used to develop the mathematical models and control laws that will determine how the aircraft is handled and how it maneuvers. The unit also is being used to validate ergonomic design within the cockpit. A systems integration lab is also being used to validate all aircraft systems ahead of any flight testing.
With work continuing with the Relentless customer advisory panel, some digital design models have already been released to the production department. This means that work on the flying prototypes can get under way. “Nothing has changed in our intent,” said Thimmesch when asked whether certification and service entry goals are on track. “But our biggest focus now is getting it right from a customer perspective. [Certification] will be quicker than we have done it in the past.” Bell, which has yet to confirm a list price for the 525, is not yet taking firm orders from prospective customers as it continues to consider different aircraft configurations and applications. The customer advisory panel will continue giving input right up to the 525’s entry into service. Largest Civil Model
Bell’s new ARC (awareness, react and control) cockpit in the Relentless will feature Garmin’s G5000H touchscreen-controlled, glass-panel integrated avionics suite with four main displays and Telligence voice-command capabilities.
Entry to the 525’s 4.5-foot-tall cabin is through a pair of hinged doors located between the cockpit and the first row of four seating areas or through a pair of large aft sliding doors. Each seating area offers four-abreast seating, for a total of 16 passengers.
The Relentless is the largest civil helicopter in Bell’s history. The program is a major departure for a company that, since the Vietnam War, has counted on military sales for a large share of its revenue. The new rotorcraft is an 18,000-pound-“plus” ship with an expected range of more than 400 nm, a speed near 150 knots and a ceiling of 20,000 feet, aiming it squarely at the oiland-gas market. U.S. offshore operator PHI is the nominated launch customer and also heavily participated in the customer advisory panel that shaped the 525’s design. It and other operators told Bell that they wanted an affordable new aircraft that delivers improved payload range capability, a spacious cabin, more cargo volume and improved situational awareness. The helicopter’s value proposition is to offer medium
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helicopter economics while delivering large helicopter comfort and capabilities. It will be powered by a pair of General Electric CT7-2F1 engines (1,800 shp each) driving an all-composite five-blade main rotor system and a four-blade tailrotor. The rotor system and transmission have been optimized for the engines. The aircraft will incorporate a triple-redundant fly-by-wire flight control system with a BAE Systems flight computer that borrows lessons learned on the Bell/Boeing V-22 and AW609 tiltrotors. Garmin G5000H
The big helicopter also will feature the new Garmin G5000H touchscreen-controlled, glasspanel integrated avionics suite with four main displays and Telligence voice-command capabilities, two key components of Bell’s new ARC (awareness, react and control) cockpit. The ergonomic cockpit features pilot seats that J-track, pushing back and swiveling outward, for ease of egress. Right-hand, fly-bywire side sticks replace the conventional cyclics. The ARC cockpit promises flight crews a higher level of comfort and awareness, including the ability to see over the helicopter’s nose. ARC is intuitive and can sense, for example, when system failures require an autorotation and it automatically sets up the helicopter to enter one. “In critical situations the system identifies the problem and does something about it,” said Thimmesch. While chock-full of new technology, Thimmesch said that the 525’s cockpit will not be so complicated as to befuddle pilots. “This is the first touchscreen interface in a Part 29 helicopter, but we are not overdesigning this thing so it is the Starship Enterprise. This technology makes sense to the operator,” he said. That includes “unparalleled” real-time health usage and monitoring systems data transmitted via uplink with trend monitoring and diagnostic capabilities.
The 525’s composite and metal airframe also features an emphasis on ease of maintenance and durability. “Our design goal is to be able to remove and replace any [line replaceable unit (LRU)] aircraft component in ten minutes, and that includes access,” said Thimmesch. “To do that we used quarter-turn fasteners for nonstructural aircraft panels and standard link fasteners to get around structural panels. Also, you don’t have to remove one LRU to get at another,” he said. Monolithic Composites
Thimmesch said Bell evaluated more than 20 years of data to identify maintenance-cost drivers for the offshore industry in designing the 525 and found that 32 percent of maintenance is related to fighting corrosion. The manufacturer is using monolithic composites in places susceptible to corrosion, such as the lower airframe structures, and also designing in floor drainage. The 525’s tailboom has been designed to provide less resistance and more lift that translates into higher hover-out-of-groundeffect altitude than conventional designs. The boom’s aerodynamic shape will allow 88 more horsepower to be directed to the main rotors compared with conventional designs. It directs downwash to provide counter-torque. Entry to the 525’s 4.5-foottall cabin is through a pair of hinged doors located between the cockpit and the first row of four seating areas or through a pair of large aft sliding doors. Each seating area offers comfortable four-abreast seating, for a total of 16 passengers; the company also has a higher density version in mind. The new helicopter will be built at the Bell’s Amarillo, Texas plant, currently home of the Bell/Boeing V-22 final assembly line. That program has been a cash cow for the company, but is widely seen as winding down in the face of anticipated Pentagon budget cuts. It is likely that Bell will offer a military variant of the 525 in the future. Program costs are estimated near $500 million and are part of a $1 billion facility, research-and-development and inventory investment program the company announced earlier this year. o
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Regional 20-year Unit Deliveries (20 to 149 seats)
Bombardier forecasters see uneven recovery by R. Randall Padfield Bombardier Aerospace’s latest annual 20-year forecast of the market for single-aisle airliners and business jets generally sees these sectors “trending positively” as they continue to recover from the downturn in deliveries that began in 2009. Broadly speaking, the Canadian airframer’s forecasters see the commercial aircraft market (up to 145 seats) taking a hit from dips in global domestic product (GDP) around the world and inflated oil prices. At the same time, they expect business jet deliveries to hold steady before increasing again. Getting specific, Bombardier’s forecast for the 20- to 149seat commercial aircraft market, which includes both turboprops
and jets, calls for 12,800 deliveries from 2012 to 2031 that will generate more than $630 billion in sales revenue. This is a decrease of 300 aircraft (2.3 percent) compared to the company’s 2011 forecast, caused primarily by a lower forecast (by IHS Global Insight) of global GDP and a sharp increase in forecast oil prices. Breaking the forecast into more specific categories, Bombardier predicts 300 aircraft deliveries in the 20- to 50-seat category (worth $180 billion); 5,600 deliveries in the 60- to 99-seat category and 6,900 deliveries in the 100- to 149-seat category ($449 billion). Bombardier expects North America to lead the way in aircraft deliveries over the forecast
business jet 20-year revenue forecast by category ($ billion)
Source: Bombardier Business aircraft market forcast, revenues in constant 2011 billings$
GE, Pratt eye market for bigger turboprops by Thierry Dubois Pratt & Whitney Canada (P&WC) and GE Aviation are working on new-generation turboprop engines for the 90-seat regional aircraft that may be launched in the coming years. While P&WC is studying a clean-sheet design, dubbed Next-Generation Regional Turboprop (NGRT), GE is planning on a derivative of the GE38 turboshaft: the CPX38 The NGRT is being designed for 90-seaters, in the 5,000- to 7,000-shp power range. The precise level of power will depend on the cruise speed and size of the aircraft. “With the same
technology, we could go up to 8,000 shp,” said Richard Dussault, Pratt & Whitney Canada’s marketing v-p. “In April, we started running some stages of the compressor,” Dussault told AIN. As part of a technology demonstration program, P&WC (Hall 4 Stand D12) is designing a core engine that may run as soon as mid2013. The entire compressor is scheduled to run in January next year. Engineers will endeavor to validate the compressor’s key parameters–airflow, efficiency and pressure ratio–before building the rest of the core.
Total world 2012-2031
12,800 period, taking in an expected 4,730 new aircraft, followed by China (2,220 aircraft) and Europe, including Russia and the CIS (2,240 aircraft). In the business aviation segments in which Bombardier competes, the forecast predicts a total of 24,000 business jet deliveries from 2012 to 2031, representing about $648 billion in industry revenues. In the short term, the forecast predicts that deliveries will lag orders as manufacturers attempt to maintain backlog levels. Business jet industry deliveries this year will likely remain on par with last year. Bombardier expects business jet deliveries to return to sustained growth starting in 2013, with the large aircraft category demonstrating the fastest growth. Over the forecast period, Bombardier predicts that North America will continue to lead The core will be made of the compressor, P&WC’s Talon combustor and a high-pressure turbine that will draw elements from the PW1000G geared turbofan. Should the company find a launch customer in the coming months, the core may start running in 2014. If that happens, engineers would use the extra time to design a core that will be more representative of the production configuration. Flight tests will be part of the development program. At its flight test center at Montreal Mirabel airport, P&WC has added a dedicated pylon, for turboprops and small turbofans, to one of its Boeing 747 SP flying testbeds. “One of our differentiators is our ability to test, validate and certify a complete propulsion system
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Continued on next page u
the world in business jet deliveries with 9,500 aircraft, followed by Europe with 3,920. China will become the third largest market for business jet deliveries, with 2,420 deliveries from 2012 to 2031. Key growth markets foreseen by the 20-year forecast include Brazil, India, Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), Indonesia, Mexico, South Korea and Turkey. As with most forecasts in these unsettled economic times, there is good news and bad news, with some news falling on both sides of the equation. An example of the latter is the increasing emphasis on “green” initiatives and regulations, explained Mairead Lavery, Bombardier Aerospace’s vice president, strategy, business development and structured finance. On the one side, more fuel-efficient engines and
Pratt & Whitney has already run some compressor stages of a clean-sheet regional turboprop engine design, right, while GE is using the in-test GE38 turboshaft, above, as a basis for the CPX38.
airplanes reduce aircraft operating costs and are arguably better for the earth’s climate, but countering this are the increasing cost of operations in the form regulations, such as Europe’s emissions trading scheme. Most factors influencing the forecast, however, fall clearly on the positive or negative side. On the positive side are the increasing numbers of billionaires around the world (business aviation), the increasing middle class (commercial aircraft), replacement of current airline fleets and expansion of scope clauses in the U.S. (commercial aircraft) and (for both) the acceleration of economic trade and technological breakthroughs. Lowering sales, deliveries and utilization of all aircraft are, or can be, higher fuel prices, geopolitical events, terrorism, economic protectionism, world recession and natural disasters. o
GE’s H80 Bids for Position in PT6 Territory GE is close to having its 800-shp H80 turboprop flying on certified aircraft, thus throwing the gauntlet to the ubiquitous Pratt & Whitney Canada (P&WC) PT6A engine. The first H80-equipped Ayres Thrush 510G cropduster was to be delivered in June. Smyrna Air Center is flight-testing an H80-powered King Air C90, aiming for STC in the third quarter of 2012. Next year, entry into service of the Let 410 19-seater is planned after it is certified by the European Aviation Safety Agency. The Technoavia Rysachok light utility/training twin is to receive certification late in the same year, from the Russian authorities. Compared to competing engines like the PT6, the H80 has
GE, Pratt eye bigger turboprops uContinued from preceding page
with the nacelle, propeller and accompanying control system,” Dussault emphasized. Certification could happen in 2017, should the program be launched next year. The NGRT’s main features are fuel burn and maintenance. Over in-service PW100s, it would cut fuel consumption by 20 percent. In addition, maintenance should be simplified thanks to the Fadec’s diagnosis and prognosis capabilities. Time on wing should increase and maintenance costs be cut by 30 percent, according to Dussault.
lower direct ownership costs, GE claims. The absence of fuel n ozzles mean there is no need for nozzle inspection, nor is there need for hot-section inspection. Several other versions of the H80 are being studied. Shaft horsepower ratings would range from below 600 to over 1,000. “We are currently talking to a potential launch customer for one variant,” Paul Theofan, president and managing executive of GE Aviation’s business and general aviation turboprops, told AIN. This year, GE will produce 50 to 70 copies of the H80, mainly for the Thrush 510G. Next year, production is to increase to 125. EASA certified the H80 late last year and U.S. authorities followed suit in March this year.
“Although others have made efforts to launch similar products, none have come close to the PT6,” a P&WC spokesperson told AIN. She claimed the PT6A has 10 times more flight hours than its closest competitors. In addition, its in-flight shutdown rate is 10 times better than the industry standard, she said. Just as GE, P&WC is targeting re-engining opportunities. The “converter enhancement program” allows modifiers or converters to install new engines on any type of aircraft. For example, the engine upgrade package provided by Blackhawk Modifications for the Cessna Caravan earned U.S. certification last year. The conversion includes a replacement of the 675-shp PT6A-114A with a factory-new 850-shp PT6A-42A.–T.D.
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Meanwhile, GE (Hall 4 Stand B7) is studying its CPX38 turboprop for aircraft “for 70 to 90 seats and higher.” Its power would be in the 4,000- to 6,000shp range. No hardware change would be needed from a 70- to a 90-seat application, just tailoring the cycle, Tim Varga, GE’s manager of small commercial turboprop programs, explained to AIN. As the GE38 turboshaft is in development, some tests have been performed for a potential turboprop derivative. Specific high-altitude testing has been done, for example, to measure fuel efficiency and margins. The GE38 is to power the Sikorsky CH-53K heavy twinengine helicopter. The CPX38 could enter into service in 2017 if launched now. Typically, such a test program would use four to six test engines, Varga said. He insisted turboprops need to maintain a competitive advantage over turbofans. Therefore, a lot of effort is to focus on cutting fuel burn further. o
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AW aims for commonality among growing helo fleet by Paulo Valpolini AgustaWestland has clearly looked to the example set by leading airliner-makers Airbus and Boeing when it comes to instilling its so-called New Generation Helicopter Family with a strong sense of both commonality and flexibility in terms of applications. The Italian rotorcraft group wants to give operators options to build their fleet through the different weight classes it will soon cover with its new AW139 (6.4/6.9 metric tons), AW169 (4.5 metric tons) and AW189 (8 metric tons) models. The AW169 prototype made its first flight in mid-May, joining the AW189, which started its flight-test program in December 2011. The AW189 is due to complete certification in its offshore configuration in the second half of 2013, with the AW169 following in the second half of 2014. The AW139 is already in service and has been gathering new orders at a healthy rate. The family commonality, in terms of maintenance and training considerations, is particularly apparent in the cockpit, and also in key components such as gearboxes and rotorheads. Among other systems, the
three helicopters feature the same pilot seats and trim actuator arrangements, while commonalities between the AW139 and AW189 include the main- and tailrotorhead scheme, which have the same number of blades. This said, the AW189 rotor is of a new generation compared with that of the AW139, as it adopts new blades featuring anhedral tips. This leads to a considerable improvement in hover performance. Other major improvements are the increased ground clearance, which is 4.7 inches greater that that of the AW139, and new 24- by 9.2-inch main wheels versus the 18 by 7 inches of the smaller helicopter. The new landing gear also includes new nosewheels, contributing to far better handling on unprepared surfaces, as well as a hard-landing capacity. New Avionics Suite
The helicopter has a new avionics suite, based on Rockwell Collins’ multifunction displays (MFD), with each pilot having two of them at his disposal: an outer one for flight data and one toward the center for mission data (MFD information being wholly interchangeable,
however). Although it has different avionics compared to the AW139, information is presented on the MFDs following the same philosophy. Circuit breakers are all solid state, which considerably reduces their dimensions and thus allows for an increase in the upper transparent surfaces in production models. AgustaWestland advertises a maximum occupant load of two pilots plus 18 passengers, although the oil and gas operation maximum is 16 passengers to adhere to emergency egress regulations. However, for other missions this means that the new helicopter might erode the lower niche of the 19-passenger aircraft currently in service. The main competitor for the AW189 is Eurocopter’s EC175, and these will be joined by the new Bell 525 Relentless (see page 56). The AW189 is aimed at replacing older types such as the Puma/Super Puma family of helicopters. In early June the first AW189 prototype logged more than 80 flight hours, and the pace of certification work was stepped up last month when a second prototype joined the campaign. Sibling Commonality
With the AW169, the prototype of which flew in May last year, this smaller member of the family shares much in common with its larger siblings,
AgustaWestland’s new 4.5-metric-ton AW169 (foreground) made its first flight in mid-May. It shares much in common with its larger siblings–the AW139 and AW189.
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There are now two AW189 prototypes flying as the eight-metric-ton model is readied as a replacement for Eurocopter’s Pumas and Super Pumas.
AgustaWestland has sold more than 500 copies of its AW139 and anticipates demand for 900 helicopters in the AW139 class over the next 20 years.
plus specific features involving the dynamic components and avionics. The AW169 rotor blades share the same innovative design introduced on the AW189, although the rotorhead damping scheme is new. Dampers are installed between the blades to further improve the dynamic behavior that in turn provides an exceptionally low vibration level, increasing passenger comfort while ensuring higher reliability of onboard equipment. The AW169 is not equipped with an APU so AgustaWestland chose to install a clutch on the transmission that disengages the first stage, allowing the rotors to stop with engines running, and providing power to utilities such as air conditioning. In the actual prototype, the four control display units located between the two pilots’ seats are of the standard type, while AgustaWestland looks at replacing them with two touch-screen CDUs. This will allow not only a streamlining of the cockpit but also an assisted management of emergency situations, as the right-hand page will popup automatically, saving considerable time and allowing a quicker reaction by the pilot. The AW169 maintains a higher ground clearance compared to the AW139, and its prototype is equipped with a fixed landing gear. However, the company has already developed a retractable landing gear, the helicopter being proposed to
the market with both options. The AW169 competes against the EC145, EC155 and previous Dauphin variants, as well as the AgustaBell AB412, Sikorsky S-76D and Bell 429 helicopters. As for the current order situation, numerous AW139 users have already acquired some of the new machines, including the Bristow Group, which ordered six AW189s for offshore operations; the Bond Aviation Group, which ordered both the AW169 and AW189 to be used for offshore and emergency medical services; Weststar, which owns 10 AW139s and acquired both the AW169 and AW189 to complete its offshore offer; and Gulf Helicopters, whose 12 AW189s will give the operation a longrange capability to complement its AW139 fleet. An unusual customer is Lease Corporation International, which has previously focused on VIP/corporate fixedwing aircraft but last February decided to move into the rotarywing business and acquire a fleet made up of AW139, AW169 and AW189 helicopters, fully endorsing the AgustaWestland family concept. As of mid-June, the AW189 had bagged more than 50 firm orders and options, while the AW169 had a similar number of orders worldwide. o
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Already the most accurate and flexible of the Royal Air Force’s “smart” munitions, the Raytheon Paveway IV missile could gain even greater accuracy and flexibility if a series of improvements are implemented.
Raytheon UK’s Paveway IV could be getting even smarter by Chris Pocock No civilian casualties...low collateral damage...restrictive rules of engagement. Today, the air-ground attack mission is more demanding than ever. The Paveway IV precision-guided weapon produced by Raytheon UK is already the Royal Air Force’s smartest bomb. A proposed series of improvements should make it even more flexible and accurate. “The RAF has released more than 1,000 Paveway IVs in three years, achieving close to 100 percent reliability,” claimed T.J. Marsden, chief engineer for the weapon, in a recent briefing at Raytheon UK’s Harlow facility. He described how a five-year development program from 2003 added dual-mode guidance and sophisticated fuzing to a 500-pound warhead. Paveway IV entered service in November 2008 on the RAF’s Harrier GR.9s, which have since been retired. It was soon also qualified on the Tornado GR.4, and integration on the RAF’s Eurofighter Typhoons is nearly done. The weapon will also be carried by the UK’s F-35 Lightning II stealth fighters, externally or internally. It is replacing the RAF’s earlier generation of Paveway II smart bombs, which have warheads twice the size. This means that more weapons can be carried, and more targets covered, per sortie. The guidance is by laser and/or a second-generation GPS-aided inertial navigation system (GAINS). The latter includes Raytheon UK’s own anti-jamming technology. Through clever electronics design, the weapon’s azimuth and impact angles can be preprogrammed, as can three fuzing options–airburst, impact or post-impact. These options can be set before takeoff, but can also be changed from the cockpit in flight before release. This feature “gives aircrew huge flexibility in achieving the exact effect desired,” said an RAF weapons instructor. He also praised the “generous launch envelopes.”
The fuze, which is supplied by Thales Mission Electronics in the UK, also features a safety function that will not allow an off-course munition to arm. Other key subcontractors include Portsmouth Aviation (the tail fins) and EDO MBM Technology (aircraft connectors and containers). Parental Control
Although Raytheon UK holds overall design authority (DA), the Paveway IV’s electronics controller and warhead design was done in the parent company’s missile business in Tucson, Arizona, which retains the DA for these elements. But two new UK-designed warheads are in prospect, provided that the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) proceeds with an upgrade program called SPEAR (selective precision effects at range) Capability 1. Marsden explained that Raytheon UK is exploring the blast and fragmentation
The Tip of the Spear The UK Ministry of Defence has conceived three elements of its SPEAR (selective precision effects at range) program: • Capability 1 is the various proposed upgrades to the Paveway IV described in this article; • Capability 2 is an improved version of the Brimstone 2 missile that MBDA produced as an urgent operational requirement (UOR). It added a laser seeker to the original millimeter wave seeker, so that the 110-pound weapon could be used against small targets in urban areas; • Capability 3 is a new weapon reportedly in the 200-pound class, to be produced by the Team Complex Weapons construct that the UK has created. MBDA will be revealing more detail on this weapon at Farnborough this week.–C.P.
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effects of a possible low collateral damage warhead. The group funded some smaller companies and universities to do finite element modeling, work which will now be taken further in a ministry of defense contract. By using the best possible tools to assess potential designs, Marsden explained that expensive manufacturing and testing of prototypes can be reduced. The new warhead would be the same size, shape and mass as the current one, to minimize the work needed to integrate it onto the airframes. The same would apply to the proposed compact penetrator warhead. Raytheon is working on this with Thales and QinetiQ, which already has a MoD contract to explore a long, thin warhead encased within a shroud. At the moment, the RAF uses Raytheon’s much larger 2,000-pound Enhanced Paveway III to penetrate hard targets. Paveway IV already has some capability against moving targets, thanks to the “pursuit mode” of laser guidance. But by introducing a digital laser seeker and a “proportional navigation” guidance mode, that capability can be enhanced thanks to a higher trajectory and greater maneuverability, Marsden said. The company believes that, when
combined with the low collateral damage warhead, the moving target capability would make Paveway IV particularly effective against “time-sensitive targets, such as leadership, even when encountered in urban areas.” Raytheon claims that Paveway’s IV’s range is already “significantly greater than any other precision-guided bomb.” But there is potential to double the range through addition of a pop-out wing kit. Together with a possible data link, these upgrades may also be implemented in the SPEAR program (see box, below, left). The RAF is the sole user of Paveway IV at the moment. Marsden said there is some export interest, and the “hardback” design of the weapon would allow an easy fit to different aircraft. However, according to the UK National Audit Office (NAO) in 2007, the MoD allocated nearly $90 million so that BAE Systems could integrate the Paveway IV onto the Typhoon. Would other warplane primes charge similar sums? The weapon itself is described by Raytheon as “low-cost.” According to the same NAO report, the unit production cost of the 2,300 Paveway IVs that the MoD originally ordered was just $48,000. o
Purpose-Built UAS Bomb Ready for Live Tests Raytheon’s new small tactical munition (STM), which the U.S. group claims is the first purpose-built weapon for tactical unmanned air systems (UAS), could be in active service within a few months. The U.S. group told AIN it is currently integrating the STM on “a couple of platforms that we can’t disclose,” while reporting interest from the U.S. Marines in weaponizing their Shadow UAS with the new device as well as possible special forces applications. J.R. Smith, business development manager of Raytheon Missile Systems, said that this summer the company expects to conduct a live warhead demonstration. “We’re just tweaking the software and running some environmental tests,” he explained. The STM is 22 inches long, 3.6 inches in diameter and weighs 13.5 pounds, and could be used on a UAS with a payload as low as 50 to 60 pounds. According to Smith, it also has value for use on larger UAS that would be more operationally flexible if they carried a larger number of weapons. For instance, the Predator would be able to carry 12 STMs, compared with just two of the larger Hellfire missiles. “This would have helped [in the NATO campaign] over Libya,” he commented. Importantly, the STM has a full logical interface and users can change laser codes and fusing to control targeting and detonation. The weapon has the ability to attack moving targets and has two modes of guidance, semi-active laser and GPS/INS. “This is relevant to the strict rules of engagement,” said Smith. The STM’s seven-pound warhead is tailor-made for smaller UAS by Nammo-Tally. It can be used to attack personnel, light vehicles and structures.–C.A.
Rosoboronexport widens client base, boosts sales by Vladimir Karnozov Geopolitical shifts, including regime-change in Libya, the stiffening of international sanctions against Iran and violent unrest in Syria, are among the trends compelling Russian military export agency Rosoboronexport to keep looking for new clients worldwide. This is, to a large degree, one of its primary motives for exhibiting at the Farnborough International Airshow. But despite the aforementioned problems, Russian military equipment sold well last year with Rosoboronexport reporting deliveries valued at approximately $12 billion–representing almost a 16-percent increase on 2010. This followed a period of stagnation around 2007 to 2009, when the annual totals had dipped to between $7.5 billion and $8.5 billion. According to Rosoboronexport CEO Anatoly Isaikin, Russian military exports have not been impacted by the continuing economic downturn because its clients are mainly in the Asia Pacific and Middle East regions, which have not been as badly impacted as Western states. “Our deliveries haven’t been affected by the crisis as we haven’t got any volume decrease,” he told AIN. Being the only authorized supplier of weapons to foreign countries, Rosoboronexport
(Hall 1 Stand E4, E9, E11) is responsible for 90 percent of the nation’s arms exports. The rest of the total is accounted for by sales of spare parts and modernization programs for systems delivered earlier and executed by a dozen of Russia’s authorized OEMs. As of late 2011, Rosoboronexport’s order backlog stood at $35 billion, with the company last year clinching new orders worth around $7 billion. This is somewhat less than in preceding years, and an indication of the aforementioned shrinkage in its client base. Prior to the demise of its former long-term leader Muammar Gaddafi, Libya alone had been expected to buy about $2 billion worth of equipment. Besides, over the past few years China has been decreasing its intake of Russian weapons and increasing exports of its own systems, further darkening the future prospects for Rosoboronexport. The share of aviation products in Rosoboronexport’s deliveries is currently somewhere between 50 and 65 percent. Sukhoi and MiG fighters, along with Mil and Kamov helicopters, remain the best selling items. Air defense systems come second, with 14 percent of the total. Last year Azerbaijan surfaced as a large importer, taking
deliveries of Almaz S300PMU2 air defense systems and helicopters. It took fifth place in the customer hierarchy after India (21 percent), Algeria (12 percent), Vietnam (11 percent) and Syria (8 percent). The Sukhoi Su-30 fighter continues to top the export list in terms of value, with last year’s deliveries totaling 36 aircraft worth $1.69 billion in 2011– equating to about $47 million each. India took 16 aircraft plus 10 kits for local assembly, Algeria and Vietnam received eight each and Uganda four. Mikoyan designs are second in the export stakes, with its 2011 deliveries valued at $800 million. The lion’s share of these orders came from India, which has continued to take newly built MiG-29K/KUB deck fighters (16 already delivered and 29 more on order), and introduce into service MiG-29s upgraded into the UPG version. Finalé for the Fulcrum
Meanwhile, production of the classic Fulcrum design is about to close down after completion of Myanmar’s order for 24 MiG-29UB/SEs, which is expected this year. Peru and Syria are understood to have completed the upgrade of their Fulcrum fleets, with the latter country also having modernized its older MiG-23MLD interceptors. The country may also take a number of MiG-29M/M2 multirole fighters along with additional Buk antiaircraft systems. A pair of Ilyushin air lifters went to Jordan last year. India is negotiating to take additional
Russian fighters and helicopters remain the best selling military hardware for Rosoboronexport.
A50 intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance platforms from the Russian airframer. Although rumors are circulating about pending export sales of the newest Ka-52 and Mi-28N attack helicopters, these are yet to prove true. But the old-but-gold Mi-24/25/35M rotorcraft are continuing to sell well. Last year Azerbaijan took four Mi-35Ms; Brazil, six; and Peru, two. Myanmar received four used ones from Russian army stocks after repair and refurbishment. Uganda acquired older Mi-24s. India and Afghanistan have taken delivery of improved Mi-17 transport helicopters with added attack capability. These feature modern glass cockpits and state-of-the-art night-vision systems, both from Russian providers. Also, the Mi-17 family has been recently exported to Iraq, Azerbaijan, Peru, Indonesia, Thailand, Bangladesh, Kenya, Sudan, Ecuador, Argentina and Poland. Unnamed
Aviator Hotel provides an exquisite show experience The Aviator Hotel adjacent to the show site is welcoming its corporate hospitality guests, who have a prime spot at the hotel’s private terrace from which to watch the daily flying display after they enjoy lunch in the Brasserie. The hotel, which is part-owned by Farnborough Airport owner TAG Aviation, said “bookings for the Brasserie tables have already been taken from financiers, legal teams and a strong contingent of business aviation executives.” The majority of the private dining rooms and meeting rooms at the hotel are booked throughout the show. Corporate hospitality clients are being treated to a champagne reception, followed by a
three-course lunch created by head chef Luke Wheaton, and then summer cocktails served on the terrace, which overlooks the runway. The Aviator’s Sky Bar is open throughout the evening and the terrace opens to other hotel guests and restaurant diners from 5 p.m. “Our aim is to provide our corporate clients with something exclusive and very special for the airshow this year,” said hotel general manager Michael Helling. Three McLaren cars parked in front of the hotel are sure to attract interest from show visitors. Formula 1 racing team and car manufacturer McLaren is based nearby at Fairoaks Airport. –I.S.
One of the best vantage points for the aerial display, the Aviator Hotel hosts corporate events during this week’s Farnborough International Airshow 2012.
customers also have received some of the helicopters through UK broker Exclusive Aircraft. China has taken nine Ka-31 helicopters and hundreds of Russian-built D30KP2 and AL31F/FN aero engines to power its own aircraft and as replacements for worn-out items on Ilyushin and Sukhoi jets in the inventory of People’s Liberation Army. The war in Libya stimulated interest in Russian air defense systems. Azerbaijan has taken two squadrons of the S-300PMU-2 Favorite long-range surface-toair missiles (SAMs). These are rumored to have been built for Iran but were never delivered due to stricter rules imposed by the international community. Meanwhile, Syria is understood to have taken delivery of the Buk-M2E medium- and Pantsyr S1 short-range SAMs. Egypt, too, has been taking both brand-new SAMs and upgrading in-service systems. This year Russia is expected to export 50 Sukhoi fighters, including 30 kits, to India under the big license production program. On the eve of this year’s Farnborough show Uganda was reported as having accepted the last two airframes in its order for six Su-30MK2 twin-seat multirole fighters. Rosoboronexport won this contract in April 2010 and finalized it a year ago with a reported value of $740 million. This year’s expectations cover additional MiG-29K/KUB de liveries to India along with more MiG-29UPG upgrades. Quizzed as to why the MiG-35 might have missed out on the recently awarded Indian medium multi-role combat aircraft tender, Isaikin suggested that this may have been because, unlike the winning French Dassault Rafale, it isn’t yet in series production. But he insisted that the Russian fighter, as well as the Mi-28N attack helicopter (which also lost a Indian tender won by Boeing’s Apache), have strong export prospects. o
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Airbus announces latest timetable for A320neo Late last month Airbus froze the design of its A320 New Engine Option (A320neo), the newly re-engined version of its established single-aisle family that will serve as an interim step toward an all-new narrowbody design that may not enter service until 2030 or later. The European manufacturer has just released its “master development schedule,” which foresees first flight by the end of 2014. Airbus believes that the full suite of game-changing engineering advances needed to justify an all-new design remains more than 10 years away. Short-term prospective improvements, such
officer-customers John Leahy. To support A320neo development, Airbus is employing a “minimum-change” strategy that involves reinforced wing structure, fuselage and passengercabin adaptations, a reinforced center wingbox, new pylons (or struts) and modified engine systems. The wing reinforcement is restricted to the outer span and is “weight neutral,” according to Airbus programs executive vice president Tom Williams. A320neos will be approved on the current type certificate and flight crews will not need a new type rating. Airbus A320neo chief engineer Pierre-Henri Brousse
On its A320neo, Airbus offers a choice of P&W PW1100Gs or CFM Leap-1As.
as innovative composites and metallic materials, new engines and aerodynamic concepts, alternative fuels and advanced airtraffic management advances will all become available in the remainder of this decade, and Airbus is specifically supporting development in these areas. The world will probably have to wait until after 2025 for greater leaps, the company believes–including nanotechnology structures, open-rotor engines, laminar-flow and “smart” wings, fuel-cell technology and new cockpits. Launched in late 2010, the Neo is to be available with new, more-efficient Pratt & Whitney PW1100G geared-turbofan (GTF) or CFM International Leap-1A engines and sharklet wingtips. After months of vacillation, during which it argued that such evolution was unnecessary, U.S. competitor Boeing followed Airbus into the reengining game in mid-2011 when established customer American Airlines chose the A320neo. Previously, Boeing had developed the “next-generation” 737NG only after United Airlines had ordered the A320, according to chief commercial
said official closure of the concept stage means the design is frozen; the performance confirmed; and all aerostructures, engines, nacelle and system suppliers are “engaged.” With budget and market assumptions also in place, Brousse said Airbus would go to detailed design and begin to cut metal “in the near term,” perhaps as early as this month. An early stage in manufacture has been forging of a forward lateral spar for the first A320neo pylon. Williams said the A320neo is unusual because the “very convincing” business case for the program means that the Airbus shareholders have been pressing the manufacturer’s management to proceed, rather than having to be persuaded to authorize the project. Design of the aircraft is scheduled to be complete in about 12 months, with final assembly set to begin in mid-2014. First flight is planned near the end of that year, with service entry by 2016. Brousse acknowledged the schedule is tight, but described progress with engine and nacelle developments is “very good” and airframe design and powerplant integration progress as “steady.” o
king air serves in the royal air force One has to wonder if, when Beechcraft management named its turboprop twin project in 1963, the marketing department anticipated the possibility it would end up in the service of Britain’s Royal Air Force.
Nexcelle completes testing on its IPS thrust reverser by Curt Epstein General Electric/Safran joint venture Nexcelle has successfully completed the test program for the thrust reverser on next-generation integrated propulsion systems (IPS). The technology, which the company says will deliver lower life-cycle costs and a 1.5-percent reduction in fuel burn, will be applied to powerplant such as the CFM International Leap-X1C engine for the Comac C919 regional jetliner, and the GE Passport, slated for use on the Bombardier Global 7000 and 8000 business jets. Using Nexcelle’s new nacelle demonstrator, known as Panache (Pylon and Nacelle Advanced Configuration for High Efficiency) the system was installed on a CFM56-5C engine and logged more than 47 hours of operation on a test stand at GE Aviation’s Peebles, Ohio facility. The test runs–which included 200 cycles simulating normal deployments, rejected takeoff deployments and aborted landings–were completed a week ahead of schedule, demonstrating, according the company, the maturity of the IPS design and hardware. Nexcelle completed the fullscale component test during May and is now tearing down the engine to examine the hardware. The trials included more than 100 test cycles in which the thrust reversers were deployed normally and also as if being operated for aborted takeoffs and landings. Company president Huntley Myrie told AIN that the successful tests will reduce the risk factor associated with the development schedule for the new technology and for its operational performance. “Now we will go through a lot of data reduction and the next step will
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be to use the information to refine the model and we will use this to finalize the industrialization plan,” he explained. Nexcelle’s new thrust reverser configuration features a singlepiece composite O-duct that supplants the two-piece “D” doors found in traditional reversers. The composite structure offers the benefit of reduced weight as well as elimination of the traditional flow-path bifurcation, increasing the efficiency of the reverser. Another design feature has the entire O-duct moving aftward into the reverse thrust position thereby eliminating the use of drag links in the secondary flow-path. The company has employed an electrical thrust reverser actuation
system (Etras) on the unit instead of the hydraulic system actuators used in most current production engines. As demonstrated on the Airbus A380, the benefits of Etras include greater reliability, improved maintainability and additional weight savings. At the conclusion of the tests, the system hardware was said to be in excellent condition. The Panache demonstrator components were returned to Aircelle’s headquarters in Le Havre, France, and GE’s Middle River, Maryland aircraft systems production site for detailed inspection. Nexcelle is integrating five components in the IPS, including the exhaust, “and they all have to come together seamlessly for the engine to work,” explained Myrie. “We are working on an optimized solution across all the [IPS] components so there is more flexibility in the system. Having one systems integrator working on this means less [program] management burden for the airframer.” o
Nexcelle has completed 200 test runs on its new thrust reverser system, using its Pylon And Nacelle Advanced Configuration for High Efficiency, or PANACHE.
by Ian Goold
news clips z Safran Brakes for Norwegian 787s Norwegian Air Shuttle has selected Messier-BugattiDowty wheels and electric brakes for its new Boeing 787s, the equipment manufacturer announced here at the show. Deliveries of the new airliner are scheduled to begin in 2013. The Safran company’s electric brakes have been designed to reduce weight while improving service availability, simplifying maintenance and increasing durability. Here at Farnborough International, Messier-Bugatti-Dowty is exhibiting at Hall 2 Stand C16.
z Dunlop Rolls Out New Tires
z GKN Ships 750th Tornado Spares Assembly GKN Aerospace has just shipped the 750th spares assembly for the Tornado fighter from its plant in Cowes, Isle of Wight, UK. The company was awarded a maintenance contract by BAE Systems in 2006 as part of the ATTAC (availability transformation: Tornado aircraft) agreement. Under the contract, which runs until at least 2016, GKN Aerospace is responsible for a range of Tornado aircraft structures, including ammunition boxes and rudders. Tornado work has increased significantly in recent years due to operational commitments in Iraq and Afghanistan, and GKN Aerospace has increased its output by 25 percent to meet the extra demand. As well as Tornado work, the Cowes facility overhauls structures for a wide variety of aircraft types, including the Airbus A380.
z IAE Lands Follow-On V2500 Order from ICBC China’s ICBC Financial Leasing has placed a firm order for V2500 engines to power five Airbus A320s. In a $90 million deal to be announced by International Aero Engines at the Farnborough International airshow, the transaction calls for deliveries to take place from 2013 to 2015. ICBC has ordered V2500s for 20 A320s, following an initial order during the Singapore Airshow in February involving 15 A320s. IAE also is expected to announce today that Mexican low-fare carrier Volaris has amended its existing V-Services fleet-hour agreement to add coverage for another 26 V2500 engines. Volaris currently flies 35 V2500-powered A320s and holds firm orders for another 13. In a further announcement at the show, IAE is expected to reveal that long-time customer Monarch Airlines signed a $250 million fleet-hour maintenance deal recently to support 16 A321s. “We needed flexibility and an innovative approach to our engine repair and overhaul strategy and one that continued to provide both high levels of maintenance quality and predictable cost,” explained Monarch technical director Mick Adams. “IAE worked closely with our team and provided the option that worked best for our engine fleet,” he said.
fly home from farnborough in style Based right here at Farnborough Airport, Acropolis Aviation’s Airbus ACJ319 is available for VVIP charter service. The stylish interior is by Alberto PInto, completed by Airbus in Toulouse.
Airbus to start building A320 plant in Alabama by Gregory Polek Airbus plans to start building a new A320-family assembly plant in Mobile, Alabama, next summer, the European airframer confirmed last week. The move heralds yet another expansion of its narrowbody production. Scheduled for completion at the beginning of 2016, Airbus estimates the plant will produce between 40 and 50 A319s, A320s and A321s annually. Plans call for the first aircraft to roll off the new production line in 2016. While many expect the $600 million investment in the U.S. will accompany a less tangible cost in the form of worker and government opposition in Europe, the payback in lower wages and production costs (due to the relative weakness of the U.S. dollar compared to the euro) apparently proved enticing enough to outweigh any threat of political fallout at home. The new factory might also help U.S. airlines to make the case for buying A320s as they will carry the “made in America” stamp. Another factor is that Airbus at present controls only 20 percent of the U.S. market for narrowbody jets. Once the Mobile plant opens, Airbus will operate A320 assembly sites on three continents. The A320 facility in Tianjin, China, which Airbus opened in September 2008 along with a Chinese consortium consisting of the Tianjin Free Trade Zone and Avic, had delivered 80 A320s as of
March this year. “The time is right for Airbus to expand in America,” said Airbus president and CEO Fabrice Bregier. “The U.S. is the largest single-aisle aircraft market in the world–with a projected need for 4,600 aircraft over the next 20 years–and this assembly line brings us closer to our customers.” The deal to build the assembly line in Mobile marks the consummation of a long courtship between EADS (parent company of Airbus) and Alabama officials, whose efforts to attract Airbus to build aerial tankers with Northrop Grumman fizzled out after the U.S. Air Force
finally awarded the contract to Boeing last year. A “rightto-work” state, Alabama bars the practice of requiring union membership as a condition of employment. Nonunion workers would staff the new Airbus factory and earn significantly less than their counterparts in Europe, or Boeing workers in the Puget Sound area of Washington state. Boeing, of course, enjoys similar benefits in South Carolina–another right-to-work state–where nonunion employees assemble 787 Dreamliners. Another incursion onto U.S. soil by EADS in 2004 has since paid significant dividends, helping it win a contract in 2006 to supply UH-72 Lakotas to the U.S. Army. The American Eurocopter plant in Columbus, Mississippi, also produces A350 B2 and B3A Stars for a range of customers. o
olympic defender RAF Eurofighter Typhoons will carry out the assignment to fly protective top cover during the coming Olympic Games in London. Originally a cooperative design project involving Britain, Germany, Italy and Spain, the Typhoon most recently distinguished itself in service over Libya.
Dunlop Aircraft Tyres is unveiling the latest products in its commercial aircraft line here at the show (Hall 4 Stand C13). The UK-based firm has introduced a new radial main wheel tire for the Franco/Italian ATR 72 regional airliner and has started flight trials for radial main wheel and bias nosewheels on the aircraft’s smaller sibling, the ATR 42. The company is also debuting its second-generation radial tires for the Embraer 170/175 family of regional jetliners, the majority of which are currently equipped with Dunlop tires, according to the company. The developmental version of the tire, exhibited for the first time here at Farnborough International 2012, will offer airlines improvements such as increased landing life and reduced weight. Through its Asian joint venture distribution and retreading business, Dunlop Taikoo (Jinjiang) Aircraft Tyres Ltd., Dunlop said it has more than doubled sales of tires in China over the first six months of 2012 as compared to the same period in the previous year. The business, which started operating in 2009 in conjunction with Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering, serves customers in India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Taiwan and the Philippines. It saw volume of retreads in the region grow by 114 percent over the same period.
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Canadian flight-test program ramps up biofuel blend ratio by Nigel Moll Canada’s National Research Council (Hall 4 Stand C18B) has been flighttesting its Dassault Falcon 20 fueled by biofuel while sampling the exhaust using a probe fitted to a Lockheed T-33 chase plane. The NRC believes the exercise to be a world first. The flights took place in May and June this year and pushed the mix 10 percent beyond the certified 50/50 blend of fossil fuel and the biofuel, which is produced from a new, domestically grown feedstock crop derived from Brassica carinata and optimized for aviation use by Agrisoma Biosciences. Flights at an even split and at a ratio of 60-percent bio and 40-percent fossil were made under various conditions. The T-33 pilots took up formation on the Falcon to position the old trainer’s wing-mounted sensor pods in the slipstream of the Falcon. “The T-33 flies about 1,000 to 2,000 feet in trail and measures the whole wake of the Falcon,” Stewart Baillie, director of the flight research lab at the NRC Institute for Aerospace Research, Ottawa, told AIN. “The Falcon is not that heavy, and the T-33 is a robust old airplane, so we can get pretty close too–about a wingspan separation.” Preliminary results of the sampling indicate that “particulate emissions, including aerosols of black carbon, sulphates and by-products of the combustion of aromatic compounds, are significantly lower from biofuels than from jet-A1.” Analysis continues. What’s more, said Baillie, the performance of the Falcon 20 operating on biofuels was essentially the same as operations under jet-A1 on the ground, in cruise and during in-flight engine restarts. “The use of the biofuels did not demand any change to our ground handling, fueling or fuel system or engine maintenance practices.”
variety of aircraft, including airliners, business jets and general aviation.” As part of a joint research project with collaborators NASA, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and Transport Canada, NRC researchers are also continuing to work at advancing the fundamental understanding of icing research, among other things. A ice crystal accretion in the engine core, Montreal-based company called New- this time in relation to humidity. As merical Technologies International has part of the same research, the NRC also taken out a license to use the NRC’s pat- confirmed the importance of ice crystal ented system for predicting the shape size to the process of ice crystal accreand structure of ice accretions that can tion in the engine core. “Many jet engine power-loss events affect flight safety. Baillie said, “This have been observed since ‘morphogenetic’ modeling 1990 at altitudes above 23,000 technology can simulate the feet/7,000 meters, usually conformation of rough and dissidered to be the upper limit continuous ice structures and for the altitude at which water predict ice accretion density droplets can exist in liquid and ice surface roughness. It form,” according to the NRC. is the only numerical algo“These events, which have typrithm that inherently covers ically occurred in the anvil the prediction of all types of region of deep convective sysice formation under changing tems at tropical latitudes, have atmospheric conditions. The included engine rollback, technology can predict realflameout and stall, as well as istic-looking, three-dimenStewart Baillie damage to the low-pressure sional icing structures called ‘lobster tails’ that form on swept wings, compressor from shed ice.” A comprehensive review of 46 and it can emulate the formation of runback ice accretions and rivulet structures power-loss incidents since 1990 has that might occur on wings downstream built a general belief that such events from an anti-icing system. The technol- result from atmospheric ice crysogy has potential applications for a wide tals entering the engine core, partially
melting and then refreezing on internal components. This project, conducted in collaboration with Boeing, to prove that ice crystals could form in an aircraft engine at temperatures above the melting point of ice “represented a significant step forward in the understanding of how ice builds in aircraft engines under ice crystal conditions,” said Baillie. Certification standards in North America and Europe will start to evaluate the ability of commercial jet engines to eliminate or withstand this type of ice build-up beginning this year, and current research data from the NRC and its collaborators will inform these regulatory bodies. The NRC has recently improved its 22.5-inch, altitude-icing wind tunnel, used for developmental and certification work with small models, wing sections and so on, to make it more responsive to client needs. The addition of a second vacuum pump to the tunnel allows researchers to simulate flight at altitudes as high as 25,000 feet, a significant improvement over the tunnel’s previous ability to simulate flight at 5,000 feet under normal icing conditions. o
watch this! Famous for its aviation-geared timepieces, Breitling also fields the world’s largest civilian jet aerobatic team. Based in Dijon, France, the team operates Aerovodochody L-39 Albatros jets, spicing up its routines with formation and individual jet aerobatics. The team is performing during the daily flying displays here at Farnborough.
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PHOTOS: DAVID McINTOSH
Ideal Energy Feedstock
The feedstock crop used for the biojet fuel was grown in the summer of last year by Agrisoma Biosciences with the support on the NRC’s plant biotechnology expertise. This crop has all the features necessary to make it a sustainable energy feedstock crop, according to the NRC. “It is a nonfood, industrial oilseed, uniquely suited for production in semiarid areas unsuitable for food oilseed production, with excellent agronomic characteristics,” the council said. Brassica carinata is a “hardy plant, a type of mustard, almost like a weed in that it grows where other crops could not grow, and it’s got some interesting characteristics right at the molecular level that allow it be a particularly effective fuel feedstock,” noted Baillie. NRC is also supporting work on
F-35 team responds to latest critical report by Bill Carey and Chris Pocock aircraft are to be acquired by the U.S. through 2037, but the total investment is now $395.7 billion. That is a 42-percent increase over the previous 2007 baseline, the GAO said. It said that affordability is a key challenge as pressures on the overall U.S. defense budget increase. Below, we summarize some of the GAO’s comments, and recent responses by Lockheed Martin officials: • Cost overruns on the first four annual procurement contracts are more than $1 billion, of which the U.S. government is paying $672 million. Deliveries of the 63 aircraft are more than one year late on average. Concurrency costs of at least $373 million have been incurred. During briefings in midJune, O’Bryan said the cost of the F-35 has dropped by more than 46 percent from low-rate initial production (LRIP) Lot 1 through 4. An F-35A now costs “around $70 million” in 2012 U.S. dollars when measured by unit recurring flyaway cost, including the F135 engine and mission systems. “I expect to continue to drop it,” he said of the jet’s cost. “People think the F-35 is costing more and more. It’s getting less and less.” O’Bryan said he had not evaluated the GAO’s assessment that cost overruns for the first four production contracts exceeded $1 billion. But he suggested
The F-35B STOVL version of the Joint Strike Fighter went to sea for the first time last October, Lockheed Martin officials have again defended the program from a barrage of criticism.
that the agency’s report to Congress is based on outdated information from 2011. He said the GAO’s estimated concurrency cost is a “government number.” The international contribution to the program by the eight F-35 partner nations has saved the U.S. government billions of dollars, O’Bryan said, including $5 billion for the system development and demonstration phase and “a couple billion” for nonrecurring tooling and sustainment costs. Long-term sustainment costs, including shared parts bases and logistics, will yield further savings. “The U.S. government saves about $11 million an airplane just from the contribution of the partners,” he said. “We’d expect more savings from Israel, Japan and any other international countries that sign up to the F-35 program.”
How To Calculate F-35 Unit Cost and Operating Costs–Vexed Questions According to the latest GAO report, the program acquisition unit cost (PAUC) of the F-35 will be $161 million. That figure includes amortization of the development cost across the expected production run. But how much should acquisition officials reckon to pay for their F-35s, going forward? Of course, that will depend what F-35 variant they buy, in what quantity and when. The GAO report also gives a forecast for the average production unit cost (APUC): $137 million. This includes the amortized cost of support equipment, plus initial spares and training, and various other costs that a customer will incur before its shiny new jets are ready to fly in operations. Again, the APUC assumes that very large production run. But Lockheed Martin maintains that the unit recurring flyaway cost (URFC) is the best yardstick. The company told AIN: “Each customer has a unique set of requirements and options for their aircraft and the way they intend to support and use them. Since not all customers want the same options, the best place to begin and compare to other aircraft is the basic cost of the aircraft, which is
established through the URFC.” Others disagree. In a comment posted online to a previous AIN story on F-35 unit costs, reader Geoff Koh said: “The more complex, stealthy and high-tech the platform is, the more the ‘other’ portions associated with procuring a jet (that is, other than simple URFC) will end up costing the customer.” In the latest U.S. selected acquisition report (SAR), the average URFC is given as $78.7 million for the F-35A, $106.5 million for the F-35B and $87 million for the F35C,in 2012 dollars. That assumes a total production run of 2,443 aircraft for the U.S. plus 697 for the international partners and 19 for Israel. The forecasting of F-35 operating costs is also contentious. The GAO report noted that the sustainment affordability target for the F-35A ($35,200 per flight hour) is much higher than the current cost for the F-16 it will replace ($22,500 per flight hour). But program officials told the GAO that there are substantive differences between legacy and F-35 operating assumptions, which complicate direct cost comparisons. –C.P.
Chairman and CEO Robert Stevens also focused on the positive on June 19 when asked about the performance of the F-35 program. “We want and would love to see an environment where there is greater convergence around what the expectations are on programs, what their complexity is, what resources are necessary to execute them,” he said. “…We’ve experienced some of the challenges that were predicted and forecast. We’ve had some headwinds and, frankly, we’ve done pretty well with some of the other challenges the program had.” • Although developmental flight testing gained momentum and met most objectives in 2011, it is only about 21 percent complete, with the most challenging tasks still ahead. Lockheed Martin announced in May that the F-35 systems development and demonstration (SDD) fleet surpassed 15,000 test points during the first four months of 2012, reaching roughly 25 percent of the SDD program requirement of 59,585 test points by Dec. 31, 2016. O’Bryan described 2011 as “all and all, an excellent year” for the flight-test program, with 972 flights completed. Vertical landings by the F-35B short-takeoff vertical-landing (STOVL) variant increased to 268 last year from just 10 in 2010. The BF-2 STOVL test aircraft completed the first shipboard vertical landing on the U.S.S. Wasp off the coast of Virginia on October 3, followed by the first short takeoff the next day. As of June this year, the program was 35 percent ahead of its 2012 plan, at 546 actual flights versus 546 planned, O’Bryan
“We live in a goldfish bowl,” sighed Lockheed Martin F-35 vice president customer engagement Steve O’Bryan. Speaking in London last March, he was referring to the stream of official reports, testimonies and comments that examine the Joint Strike Fighter program. This year alone, five major documents on the F-35 have reached the public domain. In January, a Pentagon operational test and evaluation report surfaced. In March, the latest selected acquisition review was released. Also in March, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) testified to Congress. In April, there was a report by Canada’s Auditor General on that country’s acquisition of the F-35. Then came last month’s latest report by the GAO to Congress. Its title–“DOD [Department of Defense] Actions Needed to Further Enhance Restructuring and Address Affordability Risks”– set the downbeat tone that prevailed throughout the 50-page document. The GAO described the “relatively poor cost, schedule and performance outcomes” that have dogged the F-35 program. It claimed that recent DOD reviews had endorsed the GAO’s oft-repeated warnings about the concurrency of development and production. A new program baseline was established in March of this year, the GAO reported. A total of 2,457
said. A total of 1,001 test flights are planned. Each of the three F-35 variants–CTOL, STOVL and CV–are ahead of plan in both flights and test points. “I don’t want to get into an irrational exuberance on where we are,” O’Bryan said. “We’re off to a great start. We’re doing well and we need to keep focused on the plan.” • Ground testing discovered F-35C tailhook design issues that have major consequences, according to DOD officials. Aircraft structural modifications may be required. O’Bryan acknowledged that problems with the F-35C tailhook design are delaying the first test flights to an aircraft carrier, but said the plan is to “go to the boat” with a redesigned tailhook in early 2014, “well in time to make” the U.S. Navy’s planned initial operational capability for the F-35C carrier variant. The distance between the main landing gear and the tailhook on the F-35C is the shortest of any naval carrier aircraft, and the hook must be hidden to maintain the aircraft’s stealth profile, O’Bryan said, explaining the design challenge. The redesigned hook shank has a lower center of gravity, or, in effect, a sharper point, to catch the arresting wire on the carrier deck, he said. In addition, a “hold-down damper” is being modified to keep the hook from bouncing or skipping on the deck. “The good part is this whole assembly is a removeand-replace assembly so any modification that we make to it is an easy fix,” he said. The redesigned tailhook is being tested by doing “rolling arrestments” Continued on next page u
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F-35 in the public eye uContinued from preceding page
with an F-35C at the Navy’s Patuxent River, Maryland and Lakehurst, New Jersey carrier suitability test sites. • Developing and integrating the more than 24 million estimated lines of software code continues to be of concern. The 9.5 million lines onboard the aircraft has grown 37 percent since the critical design review in 2005. The Block 1 training software was not delivered as scheduled in 2011, and neither was the Block 2A software providing
initial war-fighting capability released to flight test. Initial air-to-ground capabilities have been deferred from Block 1 to Block 2 (however, some weapons have been moved from Block 3 to Block 2). Of 9.3 million lines of Block 2A software code, 87 percent was flying in the aircraft and 94 percent was undergoing lab testing, O’Bryan said. The F-35 Joint Program Office, Lockheed Martin and the U.S. government “believe the variance is small, it’s contained and we have adequate schedule and resources to complete the development,” he said. Four
makes flight symbology difficult to read and is “tactically significant” for engaging weapons, will be addressed by incorporating micro-inertial measurement units (IMUs) to stabilize the image. IMUs have been installed in the laboratory and will be tested in flight this summer. At the same time, Lockheed Martin will continue pursuing the alternate helmet display from BAE Systems, which had not yet flown on the F-35. “Until we are sure that we can meet the needs of the warfighter, we’re going to have a dualpath development” with the alternate display, O’Bryan said. • The autonomic logistics information system (ALIS) is designed to improve aircraft availability and lower support costs, but it is not fully developed and the current configuration is not adequate for deployed operations. Lockheed Martin executives say the ALIS prognostic aircraft health management system is evolving and accumulating data as the F-35 flight-test program advances. The system is already operating at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida, where the first military pilots and maintainers are undergoing training at an F-35 Integrated Training Center. As of May, 12 low-rate initial production F-35As for the U.S. Air Force and F-35Bs for the Marine Corps had arrived at the air base. O’Bryan said 90 percent of the ALIS system capability at Eglin AFB will be achieved by 2013. Joanne Puglisi, director of F-35 training at Lockheed Martin’s Global Training and Logistics center in Orlando, Florida, said the progress of the ALIS system has not affected the start of F-35 training. “ALIS, like every thing else, is going through its development; the training system is going through its development,” she said. “ALIS is down at Eglin today operating. It is supporting the operations that we’re doing there today.” o Robert Stevens, Steven O’Bryan and Joanne Puglisi commented during Lockheed Martin briefings in mid-June at Arlington, Virginia; Fort Worth, Texas; and Orlando, Florida.
aircraft had flown 55 flights with Block 2A software at Edwards Air Force Base, California, operating the electro-optical targeting system (EOTS) and AN/APG81 radar. Test flights were beginning with external stores, and initial weapons separation tests are planned in the fourth quarter. O’Bryan said additional resources have been brought to bear for software testing, including a laboratory costing $100 million. Also, the modified Boeing 737 avionics testbed known as the CATBird will be used more during testing. “Is the hardest integration testing yet to go? Absolutely,” he said. “We believe we are recovering schedule. The test of that will be when we release the complete Block 2A software to flight test sometime this summer.” • The helmet-mounted display is integral to mission systems functionality and concepts of operation, but development remains problematic. According to O’Bryan, Lockheed Martin is making “lots of progress” with fixes intended to mitigate night-vision, latency and jitter problems experienced by pilots with the current Gen II helmet-mounted display from Vision Systems International, the joint venture of Rockwell Collins and Elbit Systems of America. However, the company continues developing an alternate helmet display from BAE Systems with detachable night-vision goggles. Critical design reviews of both systems are planned in the fourth quarter. To improve night-vision acuity, an upgraded ISIE 11 electron bombarded active pixel sensor from Intevac of Santa Clara, California, will be mounted on the helmet and in the nose of the aircraft. The higher resolution sensor will be tested this summer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Lincoln Laboratory, O’Bryan said. Latency in acquiring imagery from the F-35’s distributed aperture system, quantified in milliseconds and described as “excessive” in a 2011 review by the DOD, can be improved with “software tweaks,” he said. The issue of helmet display jitter, which the DOD said
speedtwin revival seeks investors Originally developed in the early 1990s, the updated Speedtwin Comet is currently being shopped as a potential trainer/light-attack platform by its current steward, Speedtwin Developments, based in nearby Horsham. Investors are encouraged to watch its aerobatic display.
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For engineered aircraft fluid controlvalves. Canyon Engineering Products. The leading provider of engineered aircraft fluid control valves to the world’s leading aircraft platforms. World class quality and delivery. S.S. White Technologies supplies the flexible rotary shafts used to synchronize the thrust reversers on the Rolls-Royce Trent XWB. The flexshafts shown here are the silver cables running through the red boxes and around the circumference of the engine. The company also supplies flexshafts for wing flaps and slats.
Farnborough Hall 4, Stand F7
S.S. White’s flexible shafts make debut at Farnborough by R. Randall Padfield
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While certainly some professional attendees at this year’s Farnborough International Airshow must know what a flexible rotary shaft is and what it can do, there’s a good chance that many, if not most, visitors do not. So, S.S. White Technologies, Inc. (SSWT), a first-time Farnborough exhibitor (Hall 4 Stand 4), is here to shed some light on its main product. In fact, there are very few powered aircraft in the world that don’t use at least one SSWT flexible rotary shaft, according to Brian Parlato, SSWT’s vice president of sales and marketing, who is attending the show along with Steve Grimes, head of the company’s UK facility. Tracing its roots to a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania tooth factory founded by Dr. Samuel Stockton White in 1844, S.S. White began making flexible rotary shafts for dentist’s drills in 1874. The privately owned company is now headquartered in Piscataway, New Jersey, and has other manufacturing facilities in Milton Keynes, England, and Wadhwan, India. The company made its first flexible shafts for aircraft in 1917 and claims to be the leading supplier of flexshafts for all applications, including those for aerospace. The two main aviation applications of SSWT’s flexible shafts are for engine thrust reversers and wing flaps and slats. For the former, the flexshafts drive and synchronize the linear actuators that operate the thrust-reverser doors on the jet engines. For the other application, the shafts perform similar functions for the flaps and slats on commuter-size commercial jets, such as the Embraer 175. A typical flap-and-slat configuration requires five flexible shafts on each wing. In addition, SSWT makes the small, flexible cables that drive tachometers. “So
any aircraft that has a tachometer in it is probably going to have an S.S. White flex shaft,” Parlato told AIN. SSWT’s other main enterprise is building components for the aerospace industry, which the company evolved from its design and fabrication of flexshafts for cars, using computer numerical control (CNC) machines at its facility in India. Last year the company delivered more than 25 million flexible shafts to the automotive market. Capitalizing on this experience, SSWT has “transferred its knowledge of highquality, tight-tolerance CNC machining and started making all of the components that go into our aerospace assemblies,” explained Parlato. With its 32 CNC machines, SSWT is now producing components for other aerospace companies. Here in Farnborough, S.S. White Technologies is introducing its new Flexcellant lubricant, which will increase the time between lubrication intervals of its flexible rotary shafts from about one-and-a-half years to at least five years, Parlato said. “Maintenance cost of the shafts is significant, because it is often hard to get to the shafts in the aircraft and re-greasing the shafts is an involved job,” he explained. A proprietary process, Flexcellant uses a dry-film lubricant (not Teflon, but similar) and a high-temperature aerospace grease. The lubricant has passed endurance tests for the life of the shaft, which is designed and tested to last the life of the aircraft, as long as the shafts are maintained. Because Flexcellant is a new product, the company plans to recommend that the Flexcellant-lubricated shafts be serviced every five years. SSWT is introducing its new website at Farnborough and plans to announce a “big contract award,” said Parlato. o
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A third assembly line in Renton to accommodate 737 MAX production would occupy space next to the current Line 1.
Horizontal Build Line
by Gregory Polek As Boeing designers work toward firm configuration of the new 737 MAX narrowbody airliner next year, improvements to the current 737 family c ontinue apace, while program v-p and general manager Beverly Wyse oversees preparations for the next production rate break. Now building thirty-five 737NGs a month, the company’s plant in Renton, Washington, early this year increased its rate from 31.5 “nearly flawlessly,” said Wyse, thanks to what she described as an intense focus on the fundamentals of ensuring that suppliers and Boeing itself had put enough capacity in place well in advance of the actual rate break. Next, Boeing expects to raise production to 38 in April of next year and, finally, to 42 about a year later. “All of the data we have says those transitions are on plan,” said Wyse. Judging by the continued strength in narrowbody demand,
particularly from emerging markets, Boeing sees little choice but to continue its push to raise output. “What we hear from our customers is, especially in these next three to five years, we’re underserving the market just slightly,” said Wyse. “That is, customers that tell us they would take earlier, increased numbers of positions in the next three to four years if we could provide them.” Although Wyse wouldn’t venture to project the timing of any rate increase beyond 42 a month, she said the company has begun studies into the prospect, and it appears highly likely that Boeing will need to add a third line in Renton as it introduces production of the 737 MAX in 2017. Preliminary plans call for the third line to run parallel to today’s Line 1, where it now builds 21 airplanes a month. By that time
Just weeks before this year’s Farnborough International Airshow, Boeing took reporters on a tour of its Renton facility, highlighted by a rare look at the 4-20 Building, where two years ago it switched from the traditional method of assembling wings in a vertical position to one that uses a horizontal build line in an effort to foster efficiency as it continues its rate hikes. By 2014 it expects to employ a second horizontal build line, or HBL 2, for which it has already begun preparing floor space. By 2017 the facility expects to build wings for both the 737NG and 737 MAX and is likely to continue to do so for at least two years, until a full transition to MAX production takes place. Meanwhile, Boeing continues to add new features to the NG, following last year’s introduction of a performance improvement package (PIP) that has delivered between a 1- and
Changes to the 737NG embodied in the 737 MAX center around new CFM International Leap-1B engines.
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Boeing tweaks 737 as it prepares to MAX out
the shorter Line 2, which now produces 14 airplanes monthly, will have progressively raised its output, to 17, then to 19 and, finally, to 21 as well.
systems and wing revisions to support the extra weight of the airplane, she added. Plans call for a new, “advanced technology” winglet designed by Boeing to aid fuel efficiency by 1 to 1.5 percent, while an aftbody aero improvement–involving removal of the NG’s vortex generators, a rede2-percent fuel-burn reduction. sign of the auxiliary power Further PIP developments will unit inlet and an extension of produce another 0.2 to 0.3 per- the tail cone to do away with cent of improvement by the blunt end on today’s 737–would fourth quarter of 2013, accord- cut fuel burn by another 1 percent; flight deck revisions would ing to Wyse. Plans for further enhance- support certification and new ments include what Wyse char- engine requirements. Having now completed the acterized as a fairly major packso-called aerodynamage to extend B, C ic trades, designers and D check intervals expect to complete all that would result in a architectural trades 7-percent cut in scheby this year’s third duled maintenance quarter, said Wyse. burdens and increasAlthough she hesitating in-service times. ed to offer specifics, Finally, a modishe did mention defication to the new sign work on new digSky interior planned ital-bleed and fly-byfor introduction by wire spoiler systems. 2014 would involve Planning for a supa slim-line “S-wall” Boeing 737 program plemental type cerin the lavatory that manager Beverly Wyse would allow another said she hopes to limit the tificate based on the NG, Boeing exseven inches of space transition from 737NG to pects no “significant” and give airlines an MAX to two years. option to reconfigure the cabin to changes to the architecture that would affect performance or add three more passenger seats. the aircraft’s overall capabiliBoost Demand ties, however. “Our intent is to Boeing expects the improve- largely use the same production ments to boost already strong system that we have today,” said demand for the NG, and not Wyse. “So, while we may have only from its established opera- gauge-ups, it’s not going to tor base: over the past five years be a whole new digital design it has introduced 28 new cus- or fundamentally restructuring tomers. By late June the com- the aircraft.” Also reluctant to quote pany had delivered more than 7,000 737NGs and its backlog any percentage of commonstood at 2,605 airplanes. Wyse ality between the NG and said it would likely collect its MAX, Wyse questioned the 10,000th order in a matter of basis for Airbus’s claims that a month or two. Boeing has the A320neo will be 95 percent sold out all delivery slots into common to the current A320. “I the second half of 2016. Only could pick a metric, and say it “minimal” capacity remains in will be 96 percent common,” she said. “But basically what we’re 2016 and 2017. By that time Boeing expects focused on right now is just to have flown the first MAX 8, making the minimum number the core product of the three- of changes to the aircraft that airplane family. Scheduled for will provide us with the maxientry into service in 2017, the mum amount of performance MAX represents “the next big benefits for the customers.” Boeing expects the MAX to step” in the 737’s evolution with its new CFM Leap-1B engines, burn, on average, 14 percent less new nacelle package and new fuel than the 737NG uses and 8 struts to support the heavier percent less than the Neo. Schedules call for completion powerplants. An eight-inch nose gear extension will pro- of firm configuration next year, vide the clearance to allow for followed by detailed design in a wider fan, now fixed at 69 2014, aircraft assembly in 2015, inches, said Wyse. Boeing intro- first flight in 2016 and entry into o duced the rest of the fuselage, service in 2017.
Tight schedules don’t dampen Bombardier’s faith in CSeries
Bombardier CSeries flight test vehicles undergo assembly in the Saint-Laurent facility in Montreal, Quebec.
by R. Randall Padfield Bombardier is adamant that the first CSeries100 single-aisle airliner will fly before the end of this year, despite the perception among outside observers that a lot of work remains to be done in less than six months. Here at the 2012 Farnborough International Airshow, the Canadian airframer will be hoping to boost the order backlog for the program “The CSeries program is on track. Every day there is progress,” maintained Mike Arcamone, president of the Canadian airframer’s commercial aircraft division, during a pre-Farnborough International Airshow press briefing in June. He told reporters that first flight is just a step in the program and that the
main focus was to get the CS100 entered into service by the end of 2013 and the CS300 in service by the end of 2014. At the start of his briefing, Arcamone attempted to preempt what he considered an inevitable question by saying, “Am I happy with the CSeries sales? Yes, I am.” He said Bombardier has logged orders for 317 aircraft from 11 customers. “To get comfortable, we’d like to have 20 to 30 customers,” he added when pressed. The CSeries is Bombardier’s entry into the 100- to 149-seat commercial aircraft market, now dominated by the Boeing 737 and Airbus A320 families, but also occupied by the Embraer 190/195, and with new models being offered, including
the Avic ARJ-900, Comac C919 and Mitsubishi MRJ. The CS100 will seat 100 to 125 passengers, while the longer 130 will seat 120 to 145. Customers took delivery of 5,100 aircraft in this market segment last year.
Wooden mockup plays critical role in CSeries Aircraft builders often construct mockups for marketing purposes. This life-size mockup of the Bombardier CSeries 100 has an entirely different purpose–one that is critical to the new single-aisle airliner meeting its entry-into-service deadline, planned for the end of 2013. Its role is to uncover the inevitable kinks in the assembly process and, as a result, reduce the learning curve typical with the introduction of a new aircraft model by as much as 50 percent. Built and housed in Bombardier’s complete integrated aircraft system test area (Ciastra) at the OEM’s Mirabel Airport facility north of Montreal, the mockup will help production-line workers and engineers determine the best ways to quickly and safely assemble
the new CS100 and CS300 airliners. To jumpstart the project, the company selected some 45 employees, all of whom had previously offered the most suggestions on how to improve their jobs, to work on the mockup and find answers to the question, “What can we learn about the assembly process before doing it on the real aircraft?” explained Francois Minville, vice president of manufacturing for the CSeries. “We identified about 150 areas to study,” Minville said. “Our target for this year is to find 1,000 things that can be improved. We’ve already found more than 600” as of mid-June. The focus is on the sequence of the work, the standard of the work and the health and safety of the employees. “This is the biggest airplane that
The CS100 mockup provides Bombardier production workers and engineers with hands-on experience in the assembly of the new single-aisle airliner.
Bombardier has ever built,” Minville said proudly, adding that it is the first time the company has used a wooden mockup in this role. “You can’t put a cost on it.” Time Dividends
If the wooden mockup and numerous other aspects of Bombardier’s overall plan to reduce the time needed to design, develop, test, validate, certify and manufacture the new CSeries aircraft are successful, the payoff will be in the delivery of aircraft to customers on time and at a much lower cost than if the project were delayed by frequent assembly-line slowdowns. This will also be a good incentive for current and future customers to order more airplanes from Bombardier.–R.R.P.
According to Bombardier’s latest market forecast, published last month (see related story on page 58), the company predicts that 6,900 aircraft will be delivered in this category over the 20 years from 2012 to 2031. According to Arcamone, he believes the CSeries jets can take half of this market. Arcamone took over as president of Bombardier Commercial Aircraft division on February 1 this year. He had spent 30 years in the automobile industry, with his most recent previous post having been as CEO of General Motors in Korea. Rob Dewar, Bombardier CSeries program manager, explained that the structures for the first flight test vehicle (FTV1) would be completed by the end of September and FTV1 itself would be assembled about a month later. Although he would not say when the airplane would be rolled out, he repeated with conviction that the major entry-in-service goals would be met. “We have 18 months to get ready for first delivery,” Dewar said. “We’re working 24 hours a day and are on track to meet our milestones.” A Bombardier “change board” meets daily to consider proposed changes to the aircraft “with rigor and discipline,” to help ensure adherence to the schedule. Arcamone attributes the company’s focus on “parallel development” and intense testing of all aircraft components and systems to his confidence in Bombardier’s ability to meet the goals of the tight schedule. Integral to this was the selection of CAE and its Augmented Engineering Environment in 2009 to support the design, integration and development of the CSeries aircraft. CAE is also developing the airplane’s first flight simulator, scheduled for delivery at entry into service. Meanwhile, more than 200 systems are being tested by other suppliers around the world. Bob Saia, Pratt & Whitney vice president of next generation products, said the PurePower PW1000G turbofan for the CSeries has completed 2,800 hours of testing, with several critical tests due to be completed over the next few months. He said the engines are on schedule for certification in the fourth quarter and delivery before the end of the year, in time for first flight. o
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French helicopter engine maker Turbomeca is one of the more than 100 aerospace firms currently operating in the Charlotte, North Carolina area. The Safran subsidiary has been operating a 110,000-sq-ft manufacturing facility in Monroe, North Carolina, since 2008.
Charlotte bids to be the new Seattle or Toulouse by Curt Epstein
Where are the great aviation clusters in the United States? Seattle? Wichita? Los Angeles? Yes, all of the above, and in Charlotte? Where? Charlotte USA, an economic development organization representing 16 counties in both North and South Carolina, is here at the Farnborough International Airshow (Hall 2 Stand B23) to convince the world that it has the right ingredients to make it a hotbed of aerospace enterprise. “If you look at the changing location of aerospace, particularly major production facilities, our site is centrally located,” David Swenson, senior vice president of the Charlotte Regional Partnership, told AIN. “Within the growing southeast [U.S.] marketplace…major companies like Boeing, HondaJet, Spirit Aerosystems, Gulfstream, Embraer… need a central point to the marketplace. When you look at the cluster of them and where their supplier base is, that’s Charlotte USA.” In Boeing’s case, the state of South Carolina’s so-called “right-to-work” union-busting laws [also on the statute books in North Carolina] were undoubtedly a factor. The airframer made little secret of its desire to shake off the shackles of trade union power in its home state of Washington. Its decision to open a
Aurora hails low-cost Diamond ISR platform Aurora Flight Sciences is displaying its Diamond DA42 optionally piloted aircraft (OPA) on the Diamond Aircraft stand here (OE18). The low-cost intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) solution is compatible with NATO standards, and “combines the best of manned and unmanned surveillance aircraft capabilities,” said U.S.-based Aurora. Called the Centaur, the OPA can be self-deployed, as its ground control equipment fits in the aircraft’s cargo compartment. Conversion from manned to unmanned-configuration takes two crewmembers less than four hours.
production line for the 787 Dreamliner in Charleston, South Carolina, prompted a legal challenge and political row, but just a couple of months ago Boeing rolled out the first of the new widebodies to be produced on the East Coast. In 2002, the region began casting its eye on industries to target for development. With a history of machine building for the automotive and textile industries, the region–which is also the de facto home to America’s motor sports sector–had a workforce that could easily be adapted for the aerospace sector, according to The Centaur OPA is capable of fully autonomous operation, including waypoint navigation, with control via a Ku-band satellite datalink. A video link is beamed to a C2 station or Rover vehicle. Control when unmanned is via the existing Aurora system, which has been shown to be reliable, with high levels of redundancy in line-of-sight (LOS) and beyond-line-of-sight (BLOS) operations. The company points out that the aircraft is “an excellent solution for clandestine operations” as it “blends in visually into the general aviation landscape to a casual observer.” Unmanned, the aircraft can fly for 24 hours with a 200-pound payload (or less time with up to 800-pound payload) and a range in excess of 2,000 nm. Top speed is 175 knots with a normal operating speed range of 135 to 160 knots. Service ceiling is 18,000 feet manned or, if unmanned, the aircraft can operate at anything up to 27,500 feet. The Centaur OPA is a result of the strategic alliance with AAI Unmanned
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Chris Platé, executive director of economic development and aviation for the North Carolina city of Monroe, which is part of Charlotte USA. “That precision machine that is required in aerospace was almost in the DNA of the labor force that we have here, so it was an easy transition.” Platé told AIN that the area wanted to attract a sector of manufacturing that would not necessarily be “off-shored” so easily because of the intellectual property associated with the defense and security nature of the aerospace industry.
Aircraft Systems, an arm of Textron Systems, that Aurora announced in October last year. The aim was to integrate AAI’s universal ground control station with the Centaur OPA, “potentially creating commonality between Centaur and U.S. Army unmanned aircraft.” The Austrian-built DA42 aircraft which forms the basis of the Centaur has many advantages for military and other buyers, such as low noise, low IR-signature, fuel-efficiency and good performance. As the Centaur multi-purpose platform it already had a detachable nosepod capability, belly-pod capability and pre-installed wing conduits with sensorpayload hardpoints.–I.S.
Since then, Monroe, one of the industrial powerhouses in the region, has attracted more than $600 million in investment by aerospace companies concentrated in a seven-mile radius. Those 16 companies are involved in areas ranging from component manufacturing to metal alloy production to recycling and account for nearly 3,000 employees, or more than one out of every four members of the city’s industrial workforce. For the entire Charlotte USA region, the totals swell to more than 100 companies engaged in aerospace activities, accounting for nearly 20,000 jobs. Those firms range from the wellknown such as Goodrich, Safran subsidiary Turbomeca, Michelin and BAE Systems; to the lesser known, such as titanium and exotic alloy processing specialist ATI Allvac, military aircraft seat supplier Oro Manufacturing, and even Cyril Bath, a French machine manufacturer that is a direct supplier to Boeing, producing the titanium ribs for the 787. On June 13, United Technologies announced its decision to headquarter its Aerospace Systems division in Charlotte, following the completion of its acquisition of Goodrich, which is already based in the North Carolina city. The move is expected to create 325 new jobs. The economic development agency seeks not only to attract the investment of new companies and the addition of employees to the region, but works to actively aid existing local companies in transitioning into the aerospace industry. One such firm is GM Nameplate. “Most people wouldn’t recognize that name, but they are a huge player on Boeing aircraft,” said Platé. The company had a plant in Monroe that formerly supplied badging for the automotive and other industries. With the urging and assistance of the Monroe economic development board, the company struck a deal with Boeing to redirect the facility to aerospace production. It now provides virtually all signs, labels and badges in the 787 cabin. Another area in which the aerospace industry receives support from the region is in training. Local universities and community colleges have partnered with the regional association to tailor study programs to meet industry worker needs. Charlotte USA representatives arrived at Farnborough equipped with a “wish list” of other aerospace industries they are looking to attract to the region to further improve the diversity of its aerospace offerings, based on discussions with its member companies. Among them are metal treatment, machining, avionics and fastener manufacturing firms. o
THE WORLD IS COMING
17-21 NOVEMBER 2013 The Dubai Airshow moves to Dubai World Central
Constellium boosts recycled content in Airware alloys by Thierry Dubois Aluminum product developer Constellium (Hall 4 Stand H11) is increasing the percentage of recycled metal in the aircraft parts it produces, as it vies to lower the cost and environmental impact of using metals and to prove that composites are not the answer to everything. The French group’s latest Airware technology is now at the production stage for new airliner programs such as the Airbus A350 XWB and the Bombardier CSeries. The value of alloys has grown with the addition of elements such as copper, silver and lithium. One kilogram (2.2 pounds) of aluminum costs about $2, while one kilogram of lithium–the lightest available metal–costs around $100. Despite the small proportions used in aerospace alloys (aluminum-lithium
Aerospace’s Environmental Impact Growing Fast The environmental impact of aerospace is growing faster than that of the automotive industry. The aerospace industry is to multiply its impact by 1.8 between 1990 and 2030, according to Christophe Villemin, Constellium’s president, Global Aerospace, Transportation & Industry and vice president, Research & Technology. Meanwhile, the car industry’s growth impact will be “only” 1.2:1.–T.D.
Kilfrost introduces sustainable de-icing fluid Kilfrost (Hall 4 Stand G4) is introducing what it claims to be the first aircraft de-icing fluid made from sustainable sources. The new corn-based DF Sustain fluid is an environmentally friendly alternative to monopropylene glycol and it has already been approved by aviation authorities in the U.S. and Japan. All Nippon Airways successfully tested the fluid over the winter of 2011/12 and Air New Zealand has ordered some supplies. According to Kilfrost CEO Gary Lydiate, DF Sustain can operate at much lower temperatures than traditional fluids, having been tested down to minus40-deg C in the north of Finland. It also allows aircraft to hold on the ground for longer times before having to be de-iced again. The raw material used to make DF Sustain has been developed by a joint
alloys contain around 2 percent lithium), alloy prices go up very easily. This has prompted Constellium to recycle more offcuts from machined work. “Last year, 77 percent of the aluminum alloys we produced for aerospace applications were coming from recycling,” said Bruno Chenal, director of technology and innovation, during a recent visit to Constellium’s Issoire factory in France, where the proportion of recycled metal used is targeted to reach 80 percent by 2015. Constellium changed its name from Alcan Engineered Products last year, soon after an ownership change. The new shareholders are Apollo Global Management (51 percent), Rio Tinto (39 percent) and the French government-backed investment fund FSI (10 percent). The global aerospace, transportation and industry division has 42 percent of its business in aerospace, and its main customers are Airbus, Bombardier, Boeing, Dassault, EADS, Embraer, Korea Aerospace Industry, Lockheed Martin, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and SpaceX. It employs 3,300 in Europe and the U.S. Green and Lean
From an environmental standpoint, Chenal explained that recycling one pound of aluminum eliminates 11.4 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions. Measured in venture of DuPont and Tate & Lyle. UK-based Kilfrost has been producing de-icing and anti-icing fluids for more than 80 years and is one of a small number of suppliers. According to Lydiate, the barriers to entering the market are quite high because of the burden of regulatory approval by the authorities in the home countries of its client airlines, as well as by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration. The price of fluids fluctuates with the cost of monopropylene glycol, which is largely dependent on the state of crude oil markets. Kilfrost is continuing research-anddevelopment efforts to find more efficient and cost-effective fluids. At the same time, the company has established production facilities in North America and may yet establish a permanent base in China, where it sees air transport expanding fast. “We are already assisting Chinese customers with training and want to keep pushing the green agenda,” concluded Lydiate. The privately owned company has increased its workforce by 100 percent in the past three years, having enjoyed a 93-percent annual profit growth since 2008. Last year, 76 percent of its sales were overseas; it supplies de-icing and anti-icing fluids to operators in 63 countries across five continents. –C.A.
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Aluminum product developer Constellium is increasing the percentage of recycled metal in the aircraft parts it produces. It is at the production stage for programs such as the Airbus A350 XWB and the Bombardier CSeries.
energy consumption, recycling one pound of aluminum uses just 5 percent of the energy needed for producing one pound of “new” metal. This is where ecologic and economic efforts meet. Energy accounts for one third of “new” aluminum production costs. To increase the proportion of recycled aluminum, most efforts are done in cooperation with customers. Airbus, Boeing, Embraer, Bombardier and other clients are encouraged to have every machining process included in a “closed loop” for Constellium to salvage offcuts. The aluminum producer’s factories have about three quarters of their needs filled by such procedures. In addition, more plates are premachined at the supplier’s facilities. This does not save turnings but at least most of them stay at the aluminum production facility. Logistics is the main limit of the recycling ratio, Chenal conceded, while another limiting factor is the possible presence of lubricant in the offcuts. There is a risk of creating oxides in the recycled metal, if the offcuts are not fully dried. Some aircraft manufacturers, such as Dassault at its factory in Seclin, France, are starting to introduce “dry” (without lubricants) machining processes. Constellium’s latest technology has been dubbed Airware–a range of patented specifications for alloys, production techniques and recycling processes. Even the recycling methods for turnings are proprietary, and during the visit to the Issoire factory, journalists were not permitted to enter the brand-new Airware building. For the Airware technology, Constellium claims a weight advantage of up to 25 percent, thanks to the combination of the alloy’s reduced density and new design possibilities. Moreover, heavy maintenance intervals are extended to 12 years, thanks to better resistance to fatigue and corrosion. One feature is that cracks tend to propagate less, leading to extended fatigue life of airframe structures. Key to Airware alloy recycling is the ability the company recently acquired to
Bruno Chenal, Constellium’s director of technology and innovation, said the company has found ways to produce lighter alloys and, just as important, to recycle them, as they contain valuable metals.
keep the lithium. A very reactive metal, lithium used to be lost in the recycling process. More generally, “five years ago, we still could not recover all the valuable ingredients–lithium, copper, silver–we use in our alloys,” explained Christophe Villemin, president of Constellium’s global aerospace, transportation and industry division. For Airbus, the company will supply light alloys for A350 wing structural parts. The materials will be in the form of sheets and extrusions. For Bombardier, it will provide Airware plates, some of them pre-machined, for the CSeries’ fuselage. Constellium is continuing to research new alloys and processes. It is part of Europe’s Clean Sky initiative in a Dassault-led project. Chenal is also betting on aviation’s graveyards. Thousands of aircraft, stored in places like the Nevada desert, could become valuable commodities, he believes. Constellium estimates that the aluminum content of these aircraft could be $70,000 per airframe. o
A H OT E L B Y TA G Located directly alongside TAG Farnborough Airport. Hospitality at Aviator presents the style alternative for visitors to Farnborough Airshow
w w w. av i at o r B Y ta G . c o M
Latest T-6 trainer aims to show its versatility
Hawker Beechcraft’s T-6C single-engine turboprop trainer completed a world tour in mid-May, and has flown across the Atlantic Ocean to join the company’s static display here at the Farnborough International Airshow.
by Matt Thurber
Esterline CMC Cockpit 4000
The original T-6A Texan II was replaced by the T-6B, equipped with the Esterline CMC Cockpit 4000 glass-panel avionics system with SparrowHawk head-up display (HUD). The T-6A has glass instruments, but in a nonintegrated setup unlike the Cockpit 4000, which features three integrated five- by seven-inch displays, an upfront control panel, an L-3 standby ADI and the HUD. The T-6C version includes the hardpoints developed for the Hellenic T-6A for mounting of external fuel tanks and stores. Production of the USAF’s order for the T-6A has been
completed, and the Navy’s T-6B deliveries are about halfway complete, according to Hess. “The Mexican air force wants this same ‘dumb’ weapons capability integrated onto the T-6C,” he said. “So there will be an analog stores-management system, which gives them basic weapons capability. They want to procure the aircraft first and then they’ll do a retrofit of their aircraft into a weapons configuration.” In mid-May, Hawker Beech craft completed a world tour with the T-6C. The airplane spent two months flying from the company’s headquarters in Wichita, Kansas, to Canada, Greenland, Iceland, England, Italy, Greece, Egypt, United Arab Emirates, India, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, the Philippines, Japan and Russia and back to Wichita. The T-6C logged 166 hours, including 126 ferry hours and 40 hours flying 43 demonstration sorties. Maintenance during the trip included one landing light replacement, a set of main tires, a 100-hour inspection and five quarts of oil added. Fuel burn for the trip averaged 393 pounds per hour.
The Hawker Beechcraft T-6C here at the Farnborough International Airshow flew across the Atlantic Ocean to join the company’s static display, demonstrating the single-engine turboprop trainer’s versatility. Its appearance at the show happens against the backdrop of the still unresolved question of whether the U.S. Air Force (USAF) will reverse its contentious, earlier decision to select Embraer’s Super Tucano for its light-air-support requirement in preference to the T-6’s AT-6 sibling (see below). More than 760 T-6 Texan IIs have been delivered to the U.S. Navy and Air Force and six other countries’ military forces since deliveries began in 2000. The T-6 was originally developed for the USAF and Navy Joint Primary Aircraft Training System (JPATS) in the early 1990s, competing and winning against six other airplanes, including Cessna’s twin-engine CitationJet and Embraer’s Super Tucano. “It is a marvelous airplane,” said Derek Hess, vice president of light attack programs for Hawker Beechcraft Defense. “The training capacity that it offers young students in the [U.S.] Air Force far exceeds what I’ve learned on.” As a former military pilot, Hess trained in a Cessna T-37. The T-6A has been weaponized and tested at the 46th Test Wing at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. Added stores included external fuel tanks, HMP-400 .50-caliber gun pods, 500-pound general-purpose bombs, BDU33 practice bombs and 2.75-inch rockets. It was developed for Greece’s Hellenic Air Force.
The T-6C is equipped with the Esterline CMC Cockpit 4000 glasspanel avionics system with SparrowHawk head-up display (HUD). The integrated setup features three five- by seven-inch displays, an upfront control panel, an L-3 standby ADI and HUD.
An “attack” AT-6 version took flight in 2009, featuring a more powerful 1,600-shp Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-68D replacing the T-6 variant’s 1,100shp PT6A-68. The AT-6 is the airplane that Hawker Beechcraft offered for the USAF’s lightair-support (LAS) competition. The LAS requirement includes 20 airplanes, training devices and support for the Afghan National Army Air Corps. The USAF had awarded the LAS contract to Sierra Nevada, which fielded Embraer’s Super Tucano for the program. However, in March, the Air Force canceled the contract and said it would issue a new request for proposal (RFP), which it did on May 4; the deadline was June 18. It also said it is targeting source selection for the LAS program in early 2013. For Hawker Beechcraft, of course, the AT-6 makes the most sense for fulfilling the LAS contract. “It leverages all the investment that went forward,” Hess said, “both on the T-6A, B and C, A-10C and MC-12W programs to give the user community, which
in our case is the U.S. Air Force and its partner nations, something familiar to operate. “What we ended up doing,” he said, “is taking the [Lockheed Martin] A-10C mission computer and put it into the AT-6.” The mission computer is integrated with the Esterline CMC Cockpit 4000 avionics in the AT-6. Add the more powerful PWC engine and a higher maximum takeoff weight of 10,000 pounds, he said, “and we produce a better shaft horsepowerto-weight ratio than [the T-6C], so it’s a little rocket ship, if it’s not loaded up.” An L-3 Wescam MX-15Di infrared sensor is mounted on the bottom forward fuselage of the AT-6. This is the same sensor used on USAF’s Project Liberty MC-12W King Air 350s, also built by Hawker Beechcraft. “All we’re doing is taking parts off established USAF programs and integrating them,” Hess said. “It leverages the people, the
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platforms and the programs.” The advantage of the AT-6 platform, Hess pointed out, is that it can effectively fulfill a variety of missions at relatively low expense. “Training and counterinsurgency and irregular warfare–you get those capabilities by using the aircraft systems in a slightly different way.” During U.S. Air National Guard operational assessment exercises in 2010, two AT-6s flew 182 sorties, logging 249.4 hours and burning 124,530 pounds of fuel. This is about the same amount of fuel that four to six F-15s would gulp during one combat sortie, according to Hess. An AT-6 flew from Wichita to London, he said, “in four hops in our deployment configuration with four external fuel tanks. Between here [Wichita] and London it took 7,309 pounds [of fuel], which is [about] the amount an F-16 uses in a single sortie.” No matter what happens to the LAS program, Hawker
Beechcraft sees a market for the AT-6. “Take the [Northrop] F-5 program, the Air Force built 1,200 T-38s and sold 2,500 F-5s around the world,” Hess explained. “We believe there is a very large market, and it is for nations that can’t afford F-35s or even F-16s, yet still have a need to conduct counterinsurgency operations. The LAS aircraft will naturally be used in that role beginning in Afghanistan, but the USAF has also indicated that there are 27 nations with which it would like to have this kind of relationship that would benefit from an airplane like the AT-6. “We’ve made what we believe is prudent investment in demonstrating the technology and the capability to go with that market,” concluded Hess. o
Before this week’s Farnborough show, Matt Thurber (right) took the chance to fly the T-6C trainer with Randall Black, senior test pilot/demo pilot T-6 for Hawker Beechcraft Defense. You can read Matt’s pilot report at www. ainonline.com/T6-pilot-report.
Airbus unfazed by tight A350 schedules by Ian Goold Airbus is still aiming at a first-half 2014 entry into service for the new A350XWB twin-aisle twinjet, with executive vice president and program head Didier Evrard conceding that the schedule is “tight, but feasible.” In late May, he said the immediate challenge was to complete the first airframe for ground testing and overseeing the supply chain. With total orders for the three A350 variants standing at 548 at the beginning of June, Airbus hopes to book 30 overall this year. With such a backlog, chief operating officer for customers John Leahy said his principal challenge is to find production slots, including for the top-ofthe-line A350-1000, for which no orders have been taken since 2008 and for which service-entry has been delayed until 2017. Nevertheless, Leahy declared himself to be “pretty comfortable” with the A350-1000’s sales prospects against Boeing’s planned 777X variants. “[They] started talking about [the upgraded model] only when the A350 came out. They know the 777-300ER doesn’t compete with the -1000,” which is fully booked until late in this decade. Airbus claims a 600-nm range and 25-percent fuel-burn/passenger advantage over the current 777-300ER.
The order book comprises 118 A350-800s, 368 -900s, and 62 -1000s–the latter being for Asiana Airlines, Emirates Airline, Etihad Airways (which has retained orders for 12 for delivery from 2017 after having cancelled 13 further examples), and Qatar Airways. At last month’s [June] International Air Transport Association assembly in Beijing, Leahy said that an order announcement covering the 350-passenger -1000 here at Farnborough was a “possibility.” The Hazy Factor
One potential customer remaining to be convinced about the A350’s operational charms is Air Lease chief executive Steven Udvar-Hazy. Previously, as the then-boss of ILFC, and supported by GECAS and Singapore Airlines, he persuaded Airbus to drop its original A330-derived A350 proposals in favor of the new design. He is concerned about weight growth and guaranteed performance. Airbus has confirmed that two of the five planned A350 development aircraft will have furnished airline interiors. The first, Serial Number 002, is to be laid out in a two-class, 252-passenger configuration, with 42 businessclass seats in a 1+2+1 arrangement and 210 nine-abreast,
The major Airbus A350 sub-assembly sections arrive in Toulouse (France) from the various sites all over Europe already fitted out and tested, making it possible to reduce the systems work required on the final-assembly line.
economy-class passengers accommodated in 70 triple-seat units. Both aircraft will be used to validate what Airbus calls a new “customization concept” based on pre-developed packages at each end of the cabin and at two mid-cabin stations, including one at Door 2. Each package consists of one or more monuments and their related interfaces. The two aircraft will undertake evacuation tests, early long flights and ETOPS route-proving services. The initial static-test airframe is MSN 5000, rolled out earlier this year, with Airbus now concerned with getting MSN 001 to the flight line by the middle of 2013 to meet the first-half 2014 service-entry target. “We still have to demonstrate that we can certificate in one year,” said Evrard. Installation of equipment was “very well advanced” on MSN 001 by the beginning of June and detail parts and assemblies continued to arrive from partners and suppliers. The tailplane
Airbus Optimizes A350 Production Process The A350XWB final assembly procedure, which takes place near the equivalent A330 area, has been thought out with efficiency in mind to obtain a shorter assembly time and a more effective test program, according to Airbus. The location is said to permit optimization of the industrial processes by making best use of existing production infrastructure. In a change from its previous aircraft programs, the landing gear and systems are installed in parallel with the assembly of the fuselage, wings and tailplane, as well as with the first step in the cabin-installation operation. This enables the functional tests to be started earlier than in the previous final-assembly process. The major A350 subassembly sections arrive at the final assembly line in Toulouse from the various Airbus sites all over Europe already fitted out and tested. “This makes it possible to reduce the amount of work required on the systems on the final-assembly line,” said the manufacturer. The procedure begins with the installation of the galley units and crew-rest compartments inside the three fuselage sections at Station 59 before the start of final assembly, which proceeds with the mating of the three forward-, center- and aft-fuselage sections at Station 50. Installation tasks can then be performed within the complete fuselage while those sections are being assembled. The next stage begins at Station 40, where the wings,
tailplane and tailfin are attached, along with the main landing gear and engine pylons, and the first phase of cabin installation continues. Power to the aircraft is then switched on for the first time, permitting functional tests to begin even b efore the completion of fuselage-wing attachment. Assembly continues at Station 30, with ground testing of the avionics, electrical and mechanical systems, and furnishing of the cabin with passenger seats and other fittings. At this point, the A350 completion process moves to the A330 final assembly line, where external tests covering cabin pressurization, communication systems, calibration and testing of the fuel gauges, and cargo and passenger doors are performed at Station 18, before the aircraft is moved to one of the four paint halls dedicated to the Airbus long-range aircraft family. The last step takes place at Station 20 with completion of the flight deck and cabin furnishing (including installation of in-flight entertainment systems, curtains and safety equipment) and attachment of the engines. The aircraft then moves into the flight-test phase ahead of hand-over to the customer at the Henri Ziegler delivery center. “When A350 production reaches full capacity, the complete process–from the beginning of final assembly through to delivery to the customer–will take two-and-a-half months, which represents a 30-percent time saving compared with the other programs,” according to Airbus. n
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was “almost ready to ship,” while Airbus had accepted the first set of aircraft doors–the first such all-carbonfiber-reinforced plastics units on a commercial aircraft. Seven ship sets, each comprising 11 doors–from Eurocopter in Germany and the ailerons from Turkish Aerospace Industries. Airframe Testing Imminent
Final assembly was well under way, with Airbus due to begin preparation of the statictest specimen for full-scale airframe testing. “We are near the end of the journey,” said Evrard. He reported that a cargo substructure crash test of the lower fuselage “went very well,” confirming validity of the manufacturer’s “modeling.” Rest rigs for major landing-gear tests are being prepared in the building previously used for similar work on the A380.
TE’s CeeLok gives faster connection TE Connectivity is featuring the recently launched CeeLok FAS-T Connector system at its Farnborough International Airshow display (Hall 4 Stand A17). CeeLok is made by the U.S. group’s aerospace, defense and marine division and the new product is designed to fill the need for rugged, small form-factor 10-gigabit Ethernet connectors. Existing network solutions typically use one-gigabit Ethernet, but there is a growing need for faster networking technologies, according to TE Connectivity, and “the 10-gigabit Ethernet protocol has emerged as the solution of choice.” While greatly enhancing the network speed capability, CeeLok FAS-T connectors also weighs much less, uses less space, are more able to withstand harsh environments and minimize crosstalk
Meanwhile, a big challenge for Evrard has been a new wing assembly system for which drilling of upper and lower skins (dubbed “covers” by Airbus) has been slower than expected, but is expected to become an asset over time, especially when production speeds up. On the thorny topic of keeping to the production schedule, Evrard said there is a “manageable amount” of out-ofsequence work. “Outstanding work targets have been defined to maintain efficiency and meet quality ‘gates,’” he explained. Having acquired a German supplier earlier this year to ensure continuity of parts, the European manufacturer is well aware of the program’s potential fragility. “Suppliers are in reasonable shape, but we have to watch the financial situation,” concluded the head of the A350 program. o while enhancing noise cancellation. The shell size of the CeeLok connector is just 0.75 inch, and the connector uses a 0.698-inchdiameter panel cutout. Noise canceling and decoupling to minimize crosstalk is enabled by the unique T-shaped pin pattern. “This pattern was selected,” according to the company, “based on an existing TE Connectivity commercial connector interface that had met 10-gigabit Ethernet data transmission through signal integrity 3-D modeling software analysis and physical testing.” CeeLok FAS-T is compatible with Cat5e, Cat6a and other protocols such as 90-Ohm USB 2.0 to 110-Ohm IEE FireWire. While incorporating all these improvements, FAS-T is also “mechanically robust and easily field repairable,” according to TE Connectivity. Also available to complement CeeLok FAS-T connectors, the company added, “are band straps, termination devices, molded boots, wire and cable and complete har nessing capabilities.”–M.T.
ADAS imaging system makes helicopters safer Raytheon has successfully completed a demonstration of its advanced distributed aperture system (ADAS) and is looking forward to further development of what it believes to be highly promising technology, as it stitches together images from several sensors to provide spherical coverage around the aircraft. The ADAS is generating solid interest from the U.S. military that could lead to a formal request for information from Special Operations Command early next year. Along with other industrial players, Raytheon is also taking part in a major NATO study that is tackling the subject of helicopter operations in degraded visual environments. Raytheon’s ADAS is being focused on the rotary-wing world, where this technology offers great benefits in terms of flight safety. The ADAS provides helicopter crews with a significant tool to avoid collisions with terrain or obstacles in degraded visual conditions. The system can be integrated with other technologies, such as terrain matching and radar imaging, to enhance safety further, and in itself offers additional functionality. The ADAS comprises six sensor groups distributed around the airframe, each with a 93- by 93-degree field of view to give spherical coverage and
large (2048 by 2048) focal plane arrays. Sensors comprise cooled high-resolution mid-wave and near-infrared units that are matched pixel-by-pixel. Operators can choose either MWIR or NIR imagery, or a fused image that enhances the image by drawing on the benefits of both systems. MWIR is particularly good in very dark conditions in which traditional nightvision systems typically struggle, whereas near-IR is good in conditions when manmade light is prevalent. Local area processing provides significant image enhancement. Imagery from the ADAS is presented on a helmet-mounted display with fully overlapped binocular 30- by 40-degree field of view. Raytheon is using a BAE Systems helmet similar to the Striker developed for the Typhoon fighter, which has highly accurate head-tracking capability. Using the Striker, the ADAS has demonstrated visual latency of less than 50 milliseconds: any greater delay can result in some disorientation for pilots. Raytheon has also incorporated active noise reduction ear-cups into the helmets, as well as 3-D audio, for greater comfort and enhanced directional awareness. During demonstrations held earlier this year Raytheon used a U.S. Army UH-60 Black Hawk fitted with the ADAS
by David Donald
i know it’s been raining, but... Umbrella-clutching Farnborough show attendees might have been somewhat concerned, at first, to see this naval version of NH Industries NH 90 medium-weight helicopter hovering over the rain-drenched grounds.
system, supporting three helmet-mounted displays. The combination of helmet and the ADAS allows crewmembers to see everything around the helicopter, effectively allowing them to see through the aircraft’s skin in any direction. Each crewmember can use the system independently. For pilots, the system has obvious benefits in terms of navigation and lowlevel flight safety, but it also enhances the ability of other crewmembers to perform obstacle-clearance observation and aid them in gun firing. With space and weight at a premium in many helicopters, the ability of systems to multi-task is appreciated. The ADAS offers a number of other functionalities, including hostile fire indication (HFI) and infrared search and track (IRST). For HFI the system uses the MWIR to detect, classify and locate hostile small arms fire, anti-aircraft artillery and rocket-propelled grenade launches. Warning of man-portable surface-to-air missile launches is also provided. Alerts can be provided in the helmet display and through directional audio, with cues to the threat position and time-to-impact predictions. These, in turn, allow appropriate countermeasures to be employed or fire to be returned. In the IRST function the system can passively track up to 128 aerial targets. Tackling DVE
Raytheon’s advanced distributed aperture system uses six radar sensor groups distributed around the airframe to display terrain and/or obstacles in low-visibility conditions. The company conducted demonstrations earlier this year using this Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk.
The ADAS is one of several technologies that can be fused together to enhance safety in degraded visual environment (DVE) conditions, which include not only the well-known “brown-out” conditions of dust kicked up in rotor downwash, but also “white-out” (blown snow), fog and low light. Symbology of known terrain and obstacles (derived from digital terrain elevation data) can be superimposed on the ADAS
imagery to provide enhanced situational awareness in DVE. The system allows aircrew to designate a landing zone prior to takeoff or in flight, the helmet display showing symbology that allows them to fly safely through DVE to the landing point. Following the successful demonstration this year Raytheon is working on a hardened military specification system. Further
flight trials are to be undertaken in October in the “sandbox” at the Yuma Proving Grounds in Arizona as part of the U.S. Army’s Deep (degraded environment enhanced pilotage) program. Work also continues on reducing Swap (size, weight, aperture, power) requirements, and the design of A-kit equipment for UH-60 and CH-47 helicopters. o
Easyjet re-ups brake pact by Thierry Dubois Goodrich has been awarded a contract extension to continue to maintain and overhaul the wheels and brakes of Easyjet’s Airbus A320-family fleet. Meanwhile, the U.S. equipment manufacturer also revealed that it has demonstrated the performance of its carbon brakes on U.S. Air Force’s C-130s, for which retrofits have already started. On Easyjet’s fleet of more than 200 A319s and A320s, the 10-year contract extension covers “the provisioning and maintenance, repair and overhaul support of wheels and carbon brakes.” Goodrich’s Hatfield, UK service center will provide the services. The company’s Duracarb material results in a brake that achieves a claimed 2,000 cycles between shop visits. Separately, Goodrich recently completed flight-testing of a new carbon brake (using the same material) for the U.S. Air Force’s fleet of C-130 transport aircraft. Thanks to a significant reduction in brake cooling time, it enables quicker aircraft turnaround. “Successful U.S. Air Force flight-testing demonstrated the current 65-minute mandatory steel brake cooling time after a heavy landing can be reduced to just five minutes when using our new carbon brakes. This now allows the aircraft and flight crew
to quickly depart tactical areas after unloading cargo, without having to wait over an hour for the brakes to cool down,” explained Jeff Atkinson, director of military programs at Goodrich’s wheels and brakes business. C-130 retrofit activity started earlier this year. Goodrich claims new C-130 boltless wheels and carbon brakes provide eight times longer brake life than the current performance. In addition, wheel life is said to be six times greater. Goodrich (Outdoor Exhibit 4) is also upgrading its Enterprise Customer Portal (ECP) website with streamlined search feature and easier navigation. Some 1.8 million activities took place through the website last year. Customers use it to search for parts and repair capabilities, as well as to place orders. A joint venture with Messier-Bugatti-Dowty, GoodrichMessier recently won Airbus’ Gold award for Best Improver. This sanctioned “zero rejects with on-time delivery performance of 97 percent in 2011.” Goodrich-Messier supplies wheels and brakes for the Airbus A330/340. It received the award at the annual Airbus Supply Chain and Quality Improvement Program review day in Toulouse. o
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CAE gets a head start on CSeries training role by R. Randall Padfield As Bombardier works day and night to achieve its goal of flying the first CSeries test airplane by the end of this year, its many suppliers are working just as hard to make sure they meet their goals, defined by the Canadian airframer as “delivering out-of-the-box maturity on schedule and on specification.” Training systems specialist CAE is one of those suppliers, and in fact plays a central role. After conducting a competitive bidding process, Bombardier selected CAE in 2009 to provide
“Out-of-the-box maturity” means having a training program and simulator technology in place when the aircraft enters service. For Bombardier’s CSeries,CAE is the contractor charged with that responsibility.
support in the design, integration and development of the single-aisle CSeries. What CAE is doing for Bombardier is related to, yet quite different from, the activities CAE is best known for, namely, simulator-based flight training. “We have packaged a whole series of tools and software, which are aimed toward the development of engineers in the aerospace sector,” explained Marc St-Hilaire, vice president of advance technology and innovation at CAE. “We’ve labeled this the Augmented Engineering Environment (AEE). What it does is take the definition of aircraft, piece-by-piece as it is defined by the aerospace engineer, and builds a simulation model to deliver to the OEM so–along with all the other models–we can assemble a virtual simulated aircraft much earlier in the development timeline than has been done before.” CAE markets this AEE package to aircraft OEMs. Besides Bombardier, CAE has sold AEE to Mitsubishi for the MRJ and to NAL of India for its turboprop single. CAE also supplied an engineering simulator to Embraer in the mid-1990s to develop its fly-by-wire system. “When we sell this capability to the OEMs,” St-Hilaire said, “we say, ‘Try to picture a six-month delay at the end of your program and assign a value to this.’ You run into figures like $300- to $400 million. This is the type of benefit you can achieve by finding and fixing any errors six months before.” CAE begins by creating “a virtual
aircraft in software, using generic models,” St-Hilaire said. “Early in the CSeries program, during the joint-definition phase, we built–with Bombardier and its suppliers–a complete CSeries [aircraft], all virtual. These simulation models are now being used to power the static ISTAR [Integrated System and Testing Rig] and the ESim, at CAE.” ISTAR is located in Bombardier’s Ciasta facility at Montreal’s Dorval Airport, where the CSeries will be assembled. Ciasta stands for the Complete Integrated Aircraft Systems Test Area. AEE connects the Bombardier test rig (ISTAR), with the CAE ESim test cockpit, to the complete virtual aircraft. ESim will not have motion, but will have a complete visual system. Test pilots will be able to fly it as they do a training simulator. It will be used to integrate the fly-by-wire control, avionics, landing gear, Fadecs, all the systems with real hardware, and real LRUs. “ISTAR and ESim will allow us to test the dynamic interface,” said StHilaire. “Dynamic interface means that I’m expecting this type of behavior, and I’m communicating an order to you and I’m expecting that type of response. Typically, the OEM would discover the dynamic interface only after it puts the aircraft together, when all the boxes start exchanging in real time. With AEE technology, you can start connecting the boxes in the system and testing them dynamically much earlier in the program. “With ESim you have a cockpit that is talking to a bunch of line-replaceable
CAE’s full-flight ESim for the CSeries (above) incorporates a cockpit with real-world line-replaceable units (LRUs) with simulated mechanical components.
units (LRUs), which are essentially electronic avionics and control-system boxes, while all the mechanical components are simulated,” St-Hilaire explained. “So you are in a mostly digital world talking to real LRUs. This gives you the flexibility to drill down into the data buses and box-to-box exchanges. This way you can intercept a data bus and read what is on it and analyze it. So it is really essential to troubleshooting box-to-box issues, snags and intercommunication.” ISTAR also interfaces with real LRUs, but has mechanical actuators and hydraulic circuitry, too. The system “flies” without leaving the ground. “ISTAR is mostly a mechanical rig, with big power actuators pushing and real boxes controlling them,” said St-Hilaire. “So, for this purpose, we cannot intercept data between the actuator and the box because we need to leave
this system alone to maintain its integrity with the aircraft. So you have the virtual aircraft commanding the box and the box commanding the actuator. The main objective of the ISTAR is to load and exercise the mechanical system.” The scale of the CSeries program makes it CAE’s biggest AEE project to date and St-Hilaire is confident AEE, ISTAR and ESim will help Bombardier meet its timeline goals. “Now that we have started to test and certify, where you see real systems being activated in a dynamic environment, it’s fabulous. This will be a huge benefit to the schedule,” he concluded. CAE will also support CSeries entry in service with a full-flight simulator. This will be delivered this summer for the flight-test program, and initially will be qualified as level C. o
CAE Expands the Training Network CAE executives have rushed to Farnborough from Barcelona, Spain, where the company last week inaugurated a new center for commercial aircraft pilots and cabin crew near the main operating base of Vueling Airlines, the new facility’s anchor customer. The Canada-based group also recently expanded its training network by opening a new facility in South Korea and acquiring Oxford Aviation Academy in the UK. The new Spanish facility, which has annual capacity to train 600-plus pilots and 1,000 cabin crew every year, features an Airbus A320 full-flight simulator (FFS), is expandable to four simulator bays and offers training to other A320 operators. CAE is recruiting cabin crew candidates for Vueling Airlines and will offer 20-plus training courses annually, each catering for about 30 students. Barcelona is CAE’s third training location in Spain after a Madrid facility, which has been operating since 2002, and a Boeing 737NG unit at Palma, Mallorca. Also last week, CAE announced orders from three continents for FFSs and other training devices worth about $50 million. The orders cover an Airbus A330 FFS for Russia’s Aeroflot, a Boeing 787 unit to Air Canada and a 737NG unit to the Kunming Aviation Safety Training Centre in China. CAE has also booked sales for two integrated
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procedures trainers (IPTs) and two virtual maintenance trainers (VMTs) with Air Canada, and various flight-training devices and simulator updates to other undisclosed customers. Jeff Roberts, president of CAE’s civil simulation products, training and services group, told AIN that the latter equipment includes Airbus pilot-
Vueling Airlines CEO Alex Cruz, left, and Jeff Roberts, president of CAE simulation products, look over a model of the full-flight simulator.
transition trainers (APTs) and Airbus competencetraining classrooms, simulator visual updates and replacements, a simulator relocation for an OEM partner, simulator avionics suite and instructor-operator station software updates and maintenance/ flight-training devices (M/FTDs). Aeroflot’s CAE 7000-series FFS will be
delivered to Moscow Sheremetyevo Airport next year, with the carrier also using CAE capacity in Brussels, Madrid and Rome. A similar 787 device, IPTs and VMTs will arrive in Toronto for Air Canada in 2013. Also next year, China’s Kunming Aviation Safety Training Center will receive its 7000-series 737NG FFS with a “third-generation” CAE Tropos 6000 visual system. Later this year, CAE will open a new training center near Seoul’s Gimpo International Airport in South Korea to train 737-800 pilots. The facility will initially offer a 737-800 FFS and IPT, with additional training capacity to be added as necessary for operators in Korea and Japan. An earlier Korean unit offers third-party training on an A330 FFS in the Asiana Airlines training center. In June, CAE agreed business worth more than $65 million covering four FFSs, training devices and updates including an FFS for an unspecified mediumsized transport aircraft being developed by China’s Avic, an A330 FFS to Singapore Airlines, an A320 FFS to China Southern Airlines/CAE joint venture Zhuhai Flight Training Center and an Embraer ERJ190/195 to an undisclosed European customer. CAE also sold simulator updates and training devices to various customers, including Simfinity IPTs, APTs, FTDs and Simfinity Virtual Simulators (VSIMs). –I.G.
by Gregory Polek
Few expected CFM International to match its record sales campaign of 2011 this year, but after his company sold 900 engines through the first six months of 2012, one might excuse company chief executive Jean-Paul Ebanga for a moment to allow him to catch his breath. But preparations for further production rate increases and testing of the already wildly successful Leap family of turbofans won’t leave much time for rest, as Ebanga leads CFM into some uncharted territory, from both a technological standpoint and by virtue of the sheer number of engines the 50-50 joint venture of GE and France’s Snecma must put into service over the coming years.
CFM’s CEO Jean-Paul Ebanga speaking at a Farnborough press conference.
Ebanga has no intention of spoiling the company’s reputation for never delaying an airplane delivery, nor to interrupt the respective narrowbody programs under development by Boeing, Airbus and China’s Comac. “CFM is the only company in the aerospace industry able to execute 21 times in a row an entry into service of a new product without any problems, that is, on time and on spec,” said Ebanga. How well CFM executes the introduction of the Leap powerplant, according to the CFM boss, will reflect the discipline the company showed during the process of choosing the aircraft programs on which it would actively seek a place for the new family of engines. During a July 7 press conference in Farnborough, Ebanga told reporters that the company consciously opted to pursue the propulsion contract for the Comac product over those of the Bombardier CSeries or Irkut MS-21, for example. “When you want to be right on execution, you need to carefully select
what kind of target you are pursuing,” said Ebanga. “If you go after every target on the radar screen, you will end up screwing up the program. So basically what we did was a careful assessment of all the newcomers to compute what will be the one offering the most potential in terms of market position and we ended up concluding it would be the C919 program. And we fought for that.” Of course, execution also depends on a consistent commitment to investment. Speaking with AIN just before the start of the Farnborough International show, Ebanga also pointed to the billions of dollars of investment General Electric and Snecma have committed over the years to develop an efficient technology “pipeline.” Although he couldn’t disclose specifics, over the past five years GE and Snecma have spent between $1 billion and $2 billion annually on CFM, said Ebanga, who expressed particular satisfaction with the manner in which the company has managed the level of risk inherent in the Leap, a program that promises a long-term “step change” in performance and fuel efficiency. Faith in the Leap
“In terms of the technologies, we are summing this all up in a model that we call the proven breakthrough,” said Ebanga. One example of a “proven breakthrough” lies with the technology applied to the Leap’s 3-D woven carbon-fiber fan blades, the first generation of which GE employed on the GE90. “We have a unique way of bringing breakthrough technologies on the market,” the CFM boss added. “Not only are we able to make this step change in terms of technologies but also because GE had the first experience with the GE90 carbon blades, we already accumulated more than 28 million hours in service–not testing, but true service. So not only are we introducing this new technology of RTM (resin transfer molding) fan blades, but we are able also to bring in the experience from these hours of service on the GE90.” By the time the RTM fan blades reach the market with the Leap 1A on the Airbus
A320neo Market Share
Chosen as the exclusive supplier on both the Boeing and Comac products, CFM shared the spoils on the A320neo with Pratt & Whitney, whose PW1000G geared turbofan took an early lead in race for placement on the Airbus product. Since last year’s Paris Air Show, however, CFM has secured the propulsion contracts on 578 neos, for a 54.2-percent share. In all, it holds orders for more than 3,600 Leap engines. It hasn’t yet seen a proportionate decline in demand for CFM56s, however. In fact, it sold 1,500 CFM56s last year, roughly the same number it sold in 2010, and its backlog for CFM56s remains higher than that for the Leap. To underscore the continued viability of the CFM56 market, a company spokeswoman said on Saturday she expected an order for the legacy engines each day of the Farnborough show. “Even though we have on the news all these stories about the Leap, we want to make sure our CFM56 customers don’t feel left behind because this is an absolutely critical franchise,” said Ebanga. As if to prove that point, the 2010 certification of the CFM56-7BE for the Boeing 737NG brought a 1 percent fuelburn reduction and a 4-percent
CFM’s Leap X engine runs on a developmental test stand. The new turbofan has garnered a 54.2-percent market share on orders for the Airbus A320neo.
maintenance cost benefit, while the CFM56-5B PIP (performance improvement package)– introduced last October in LAN Airlines A320s–yield a 0.5-percent drop in fuel burn and raise endurance on all life-limited parts to 20,000 cycles. Along with the 1,500 CFM56s, the company last year sold 3,056 Leap engines for a combined value of $51.7 billion at list prices. Acknowledging that 2011’s dizzying sales pace could not continue indefinitely, Ebanga said he sees a return to the longterm trend lines that suggest sales of 20,000 narrowbody airplanes over the next 20 years. “We’ve lived through ups and downs since the beginning of this industry,” he noted. “I think last year was a bit of [an anomaly] because of the launch of these new programs such as the neo… The fact that things are slowing down a little bit is nothing abnormal; it’s just that we’re back to a more normal pace of business.”
Accordingly, the volume of sales at Farnborough won’t match last year’s total at the Paris show, Ebanga predicted. By the time last year’s show started, CFM had sold only 200 engines– and all for the Comac product. By the end of the show, its total had reached 1,110, finally quieting skeptics’ questions over the early lead the Pratt & Whitney product had built. “We are not looking for the Farnborough airshow to replicate what we did in Paris, just because we don’t need to do it,” he said. Scheduled to build 1,440 CFM56s this year, the company plans to increase that rate to more than 1,500 in 2013 and to 1,800 in 2018, by which time it expects to be producing Leaps and CFM56s simultaneously. Much depends on how the airframers manage their backlogs, but the company estimates the effective end of CFM56 mass production some time in 2019. o
right this way With all the challenges show organizers and exhibitors faced this year, just getting on the ground here at Farnborough has to be considered a significant achievement.
CFM’s Ebanga won’t rest on last year’s laurels
A320neo, the GE90’s carbonblade technology will have accumulated 40 million hours of operational experience, estimated Ebanga. So far having frozen the design on the Leap 1A and the Leap 1C for the Comac C919, CFM expects development of the Leap 1B for the Boeing 737 MAX to lag by roughly nine months, precisely in line with the schedules established by the airframers.
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news clips z Flexjet Confirms Orders for Lear 70s
Flexjet, Bombardier’s U.S.-based fractional ownership operation, has confirmed the first firm orders for three of the airframer’s new Learjet 70 business aircraft. In May, the operator announced plans to become the launch customer for the new light jet and the Learjet 75, both of which are derivatives of the 40-series Learjets. The Flexjet Learjet 70/75s will feature the company’s new interior design updates, including honey-colored wood, light beige leather seats and accents of red throughout the cabin and galley. Highlights include a newly created workspace based on ergonomics and modern style, enhanced seat comfort and noise reduction measures. The company also intends to provide in-flight connectivity for its passengers. It will likely opt for the Aircell WiFi system.
z Airbus Testing A350XWB and Nacelle System
z Sagem and MTU Join Forces on Control Software Sagem, part of France’s Safran Group, and Germany’s MTU Aero Engine have formed a 50-50 joint venture company for equipment control software and hardware. Dubbed Aerospace Embedded Solutions (AES), the new company will provide “safety-critical” products for military and civil aviation with applications including engines, landing gear and thrust reversers. “Control computers are increasingly sophisticated,” Marc Ventre, Safran’s deputy CEO, operations, told AIN. The creation of AES Marc Ventre brings together existing capabilities of both companies. The TP400 turboprop that powers the Airbus A400M and the MTR390, the turboshaft used by the Eurocopter Tiger, are examples of products on which AES will focus. AES will be headquartered in Munich, Germany, and most of its first 200 engineers will come from MTU. Sagem’s Christophe Bruneau will be the CEO and MTU’s Thomas Faehr will be chief technical officer. Operations are due to start “by the end of the year,” said the companies.
z Canyon Valves Isolate Hydraulic Pressure Canyon Engineering Products (Hall 4 Stand F7) has developed a line of dual- or multiple-port manual rotary-select valves that enable aircraft operators to isolate hydraulic pressure, at up to 5,000 psi, from specific systems to permit aircraft ground maintenance. The company’s rudder isolation valve, operating with 7.92 U.S. gallons per minute flow rate at up to 7.25 psi differential pressure, has an overall weight of 1.05 pounds, while another product is a threeport, two-position valve to isolate nosewheel door actuators for servicing. Canyon has other valves to control flow from an aircraft hand pump to the hydraulic accumulator or to control pressure to multiple hydraulic systems.
z Hamilton Sundstrand Ramps Up 787 Production Hamilton Sundstrand has ramped up its operations and supply chain to support Boeing 787 production. It has already delivered some 85 shipsets. The 787 contains nine major Hamilton Sundstrand systems, one of them being the electric starter/generators. They start the engines and provide a total 1.5 megawatts–five times the electric power on a Boeing 767.
artistic reflections Aircraft design isn’t all about numbers, formulas and calculations. Sometimes, you can’t help but pause and appreciate the beautiful lines and almost liquid reflected light on an aesthetically impressive machine.
SSJ partners looking to bounce back after accident by Gregory Polek Two months after suffering a fatal accident involving a demonstration airplane once used for air show appearances, Sukhoi Superjet (SSJ) program partners Sukhoi Civil Aircraft (SCAC) and SuperJet International (SJI) are hoping to dampen further speculation about the disaster, at least for this week. Helping it with this will be an Aeroflot SSJ in the static display, and a possible follow-on order from Mexico’s Interjet. The Aeroflot jet–Serial Number 95016–arrived in Farnborough on Sunday afternoon and may remain here until Tuesday. Although, from a commercial perspective, the program staged a fairly quick rebound after the accident with the sale of six SSJ100-95s to Russia’s Transaero two weeks ago, SCAC and SJI representatives will undoubtedly face more questions here at the Farnborough show about the May 9 crash that took the lives of 45 people. “The accident in Indonesia, even though it is absolutely unfair and severe, shall fill us up with the strength to work even more intensively and self-sacrificing in order to implement the program…in the memory of our colleagues and partners we’ve lost,” SCAC president Vladimir Prisyazhnyuk told AIN just before the start of the show. “The majority of our customers, partners and other stakeholders assured us that they believe in the SSJ100 aircraft’s success and will support us in running this program.” As such, SCAC continues to plan for an aggressive acceleration
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of production, from a planned 20 airplanes this year–following an increase to three a month in the third quarter–to 60 airplanes in 2014. This past January SCAC increased the capacity of its Komsomolsk-on-Amur factory by transferring the fuselage assembly shop to its KnAF branch and adding two workstations in the final assembly process, according to Prisyazhnyuk. In May, Ulyanovsk-based Aviastar began performing interior installation, allocating a dedicated workspace in a hangar
Armavia SSJ100’s regularly perform flights from Yerevan to 34 airports in Russia, Ukraine, Georgia, Western and Southern Europe and the Middle East. Daily aircraft utilization has reached 16.5 flight hours, while the longest distance exceeded 2,100 nm, on a route from Yerevan to Madrid. Aeroflot’s eight SSJ100s have performed scheduled flights from Moscow to 27 destinations in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Europe. From the third quarter of this year Aeroflot will receive its SSJ100 aircraft with so-called configuration Full, which meets all performance specifications guaranteed by Sukhoi prior to certification. Under an agreement with SCAC, the airline will begin to return its aircraft with
An Aeroflot SSJ–Serial Number 95016– arrived at Farnborough yesterday afternoon.
Airbus has completed the first phase of the A350XWB flight test bed (FTB) campaign, including testing of the Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engine and Goodrich nacelle system. The campaign comprises more than 100 hours of running time and nearly 80 flight hours. Engine and nacelle operations were “extensively checked and test measurements were performed at all power settings throughout the flight envelope,” said Airbus, which added that “positive trends were noted…engine and system behavior was very satisfactory and no reliability issues were encountered…engine handling was excellent.” The tests also confirmed that the engine is “on track to deliver its [required] specific fuel consumption.” The second phase of the FTB campaign will start later this summer in an effort to consolidate results obtained in Phase 1, do some fine-tuning and undertake a hot-weather campaign.
that allows it to mount interiors on four SSJ100s simultaneously. Meanwhile, the outsourcing of “essential” work from KnAF to subcontractors continues, and the establishment of the delivery center in Ulyanovsk has begun. “We also permanently improve final assembly technological processes and production management,” said Prisyazhnyuk. In service since the spring of 2011, the SSJ100 as of the end of June had carried some 300,000 passengers on almost 5,000 revenue flights, accumulating 9,700 flight hours in the process.
configuration Light to the manufacturer in 2013 as each aircraft accumulates 3,000 flight hours. “These results achieved through joint efforts of Aeroflot, Armavia, SCAC, SuperJet International and [engine maker] PowerJet sometimes exceeded those of many other new aircraft types in the first year of their commercial operations,” noted Prisyazhnyuk. SJI is preparing crewmembers for the SSJ100 and has trained 102 pilots, 28 flight attendants and 312 technicians working for both Aeroflot and Armavia. o
ATR 42-600 approved, joins turboprop revival ATR’s 50-seat 42-600 turboprop was certificated by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) late last month, bringing to fruition a test campaign that saw the larger, 70-seat ATR 72-600 gain certification in May last year. The aircraft have been updated with glass cockpits and modern avionics systems along with other refinements, including the Armonia cabin designed by Italian car designer Giugiaro. The first example is to enter service later this summer with an undisclosed customer. “We are pleased to see that the entire ‘-600’ family is now ready to operate for our customers,” said ATR chief executive Filippo Bagnato. “Today we are the only manufacturer of 50-seat aircraft in the world.” The company at present has orders for 15 ATR 42-600s, which have sold in smaller numbers compared to the popular ATR 72. It now offers only the -600 variant of each. Bagnato, commenting on prospects for selling more ATR 42-600s, concluded that “the U.S. market [in particular] represents a strong potential for the ATR 42, as this is a market with an
increasing number of equivalentsize jets grounded as they became inefficient and do not provide business opportunities any more. There are more than 250,000 frequencies in North America operated by 50-seat jets that are not operated in a profitable way. ATR has identified 500 aircraft in the 50-seat market in its 20-year forecast, for replacement of jets and also Saab 2000s, Bombardier Dash 8-300s and Fokker 50s. There is also a market for the ATR 42-600 to replace 30-seat aircraft where traffic demand is growing. There are 1,000 aircraft in the 30-seat market–for example, the Dornier 328, Embraer 120 and Saab 340–that need replacement over the next few years. The avionics upgrade includes five LCD screens, new communication, navigation and monitoring systems, flight management system (FMS), autopilot, alert management and multi-purpose computer (MPC–integrating aircraft maintenance and protection functions, and more). ATR has enjoyed considerable success by way of orders in recent years thanks to high fuel prices and the efficiency of
Eurocopter EC175 twin makes its Farnborough debut by Thierry Dubois Eurocopter’s new EC175 medium-twin helicopter is appearing in the daily flying display here at the Farnborough International Airshow for the first time. Mainly aimed at the offshore oil market, the helicopter is scheduled to receive certification by the end of this year. Two prototypes have flown since the beginning of the test program in 2009.
Eurocopter’s mediumtwin EC175 is here at the show in search-andrescue (SAR) uniform. It’s also aimed at the offshore oil market.
Last spring, Transport Canada certified Pratt & Whitney Canada’s PT6C-67E turboshaft for the new helicopter. The 1,775-shp PT6C features a dual-channel Fadec [full-authority digital engine control]. Meanwhile, the airframer has revealed the precise maximum takeoff weight for the helicopter, at 16,535 pounds, for a useful
by Ian Sheppard
vintage vulcan fly-by In the days leading up to the Farnborough show, the crew of Avro Vulcan XH558 practiced its display routine with Kev Rumens at the controls, including validation flights over Farnborough. It then landed at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire with hopes it would participate in the show here during the week, depending on weather.
turboprops compared with jets on shorter routes. “We are in a substantial ramp-up,” explained Bagnato. “From 15 aircraft delivered in 2005 to 54 in 2011. This year we are ramping up to 70, 80 in 2013 and 85 in 2014. ” The European manufacturer achieved an 80-percent share of the market for 50- to 90-seat regional aircraft in 2011, and has recorded 70 percent of total turboprop aircraft sales since 2005. The company now has more than 180 operators in more than 90 countries, and delivered its 1,000th aircraft (to Air Nostrum) on May 3. Turboprop Revival
“Currently we have a historical backlog of more than 200 aircraft–and this makes more than three years of production,” Bagnato told AIN. “We estimate that there will be a demand for more than 2,000 50- to 90-seat load of 7,271 pounds. The radius of action, with two pilots and 16 passengers, stands at 135 nm. With 12 passengers, this increases to 190 nm. A high-density version, with 18 passengers, could fly 100 nm off the coast, according to Eurocopter. The EC175’s cruise speed is close to 140 knots. A search-and-rescue version is being developed, too, and will be fitted with an electro-optic turret under the nose. The cabin, 12.5 feet long and 6.5 feet wide, provides room for “a comprehensive medical installation, the operator console, crew and passenger seats– all while preserving room to maneuver stretchers from the hoist through very large sliding doors,” according to the European airframer. The EC175 is competing with AgustaWestland’s in-service AW139 and in-development AW189, as well as the Bell 525 Relentless, launched last winter. It is a joint program with China’s Avicopter. The Chinese version, dubbed AC352, will have Turbomeca engines. o
turboprops in the next two decades.” This is a remarkable turnaround for turboprop airliners, a category that almost died out ten years ago. “We have sold more than 1,200 aircraft since the beginning of the program in 1981 and almost 50 percent of these orders have been booked since 2005, after the so-called ‘jet mania’ years,” added an ATR spokesman. Exact figures for 2012 are to be provided at the Farnborough airshow, added the spokesman. Following this week’s Farnborough International Airshow, various airlines are poised to receive ATR 72-600s; among them: Brazil’s Azul, Spain’s Air Nostrum, Morocco’s Royal Air Maroc and Brazil’s Passaredo. In the static display at the show are an ATR 72-600 and a concept car designed by Giugiaro. Asked about its plans for
a new-design turboprop aircraft, Bagnato told AIN that the company is evaluating aircraft with substantial efficiency gains (some 20 percent lower operating cost per seat) and totally new engines. It also wants to increase the use of composite materials (up to 30 percent of the aircraft structure) and to further increase passenger comfort. “The idea is that all these improvements can also be developed in the 50- and 70-seat versions of the ATR aircraft,” he concluded. ATR estimates that the cost would be “around half the cost” of developing a new regional jet aircraft. “We are talking of below $2 billion. Some engine manufacturers have clearly already studied the engine for a 90-seat turboprop, which may accelerate, from a technical point of view, and entry into service of the new aircraft,” he concluded. o
Raytheon says cooperation with FAA key to NextGen by Bill Carey Raytheon’s funding of the deployment of satellite-based surveillance at the largest terminal ATC facilities in the U.S. is a good example of the type of public/private partnership needed to advance the country’s Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen), according to the U.S. group. Andy Zogg, vice president of Raytheon’s airspace management and homeland security business area, said the company’s initial funding to deploy automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) capability at 11 terminal radar approach control (Tracon) facilities “probably took 18 months” out of the program schedule. Under the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration’s terminal automation modernization and replacment (TAMR) Phase 3 program, the so-called IIIE Tracons are being upgraded from
2013 to 2015 with Raytheon’s standard terminal automation replacement system (STARS), which will be able to receive and display ADS-B position reports from aircraft. The Dallas/Ft. Worth Tracon will be the first to integrate ADS-B. Raytheon (Outdoor Exhibit 9) is also working with the FAA on eventually integrating ADS-B at smaller terminal IIE facilities, Zogg said. Last December, Raytheon was awarded a contract from the U.S. Air Force to incorporate ADS-B with the service’s APX-119 transponders “well in advance” of the FAA’s mandate for ADS-B Out capability for aircraft to broadcast their position by 2020. Industry/government partnerships expedite NextGen in the U.S. and the Single European Sky ATM Research (Sesar) program in Europe. o
www.ainonline.com • July 9, 2012 • Farnborough Airshow News 85
by Chris Pocock Urena-Raso, Airbus Military CEO, told AIN at RIAT. “I’m sure that we will still achieve initial military qualification by the end of the year,” he continued. Last Thursday, A400M program chief Cedric Gautier said that civil certification had been delayed by at least a month from the late July target. One month ago, he described the new engine issues that arose earlier this year
Europe’s A400M airlifter was named Atlas, after the Greek god who carried the world on his shoulders, last Friday in a rain-soaked ceremony at the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT), RAF Fairford. The aircraft, which is the first production representative aircraft (MSN6), repositioned from Fairford to the Farnborough static park yes-
Europe’s A400M heavy-lift transport is here with an appropriate new name, but technical teething difficulties prevent it from flying in this week’s air displays.
following fixes to last year’s high-pressure compressor and gearbox problems (see page 40). At the naming ceremony, British defense procurement minister Peter Luff described the A400M as “a hugely important program for the European
terday. However, Airbus Military has canceled plans to fly in the daily display, admitting that “engine maturity challenges” had not yet been solved. “We are working like mad with EPI [Europrop International] to find solutions,” Domingo
Crane inks two big orders on eve of show opening more than 25,000 fuel flow transmitters in service. In addition to ensuring high levels of accuracy, they are also noted for reliability with a mean time between failure of 50,000 hours. In another development,
GE Aviation has selected the manufacturer of engineered industrial products Crane Aerospace & Electronics to provide the fuel-flow transmitters for GE Aviation’s Leap-X and Passport 20 engines. “We expect this to be one of the largest fuel-flow transmitter programs in our history,” said John Higgs, Crane’s vice president of fluid management systems. The fuel-flow transmitters measure fuel-flow rate in mass, not volume, for higher accuracy. The Leap-X engines are designed for single-aisle airliners, including the Comac C919 and Airbus A320neo. The GE Passport 20 engine will be used on business aircraft, including the Bombardier Global 7000 and 8000 models, for which entry into service is planned in 2014. U.S.-based Crane now has
Crane has been selected by Cessna Aircraft to provide the braking system for the new Citation Latitude mid-size business jet, the prototype of which is expected to make its first flight in mid-2014. Entry into service is expected in 2015. Crane (Hall 4 Stand F14) also produces landing gear, cabin systems, microelectronics, microwave and power systems, as well as sensors.–N.M.
Rodney Mack Crane, director Business Development, holding Cessna Latitude brake control unit and a CFMI Leap X fuel flowmeter.
00 Farnborough Airshow News • July 9, 86 7, 2012 • www.ainonline.com
Airbus has not one, but two A380s on display. This one is from Malaysia Airlines.
A400M is now ‘Atlas,’ but airlifting must wait
aviation industry.” He added, however, “There is still a great deal of work to be done before entry into service.” Air Chief Marshall Sir Stephen Dalton, chief of the UK Royal Air Force, said the Atlas offers a step change in capability because it could “project air power direct into the battlespace.” Airbus Military said the A400M flight-test program has logged nearly 1,200 flights and more than 3,500 hours. Recent months have seen successful tests of the aircraft’s air-to-air refueling capability as both a tanker and a receiver; the loading of helicopters; and the first tests of the defensive-aids subsystem. The first three customer aircraft are now in final assembly at Seville, Spain. A report on the program last week by the armed forces and foreign affairs committee of the French Senate on the A400M was noticeably more upbeat than its previous one two years ago. The A400M was potentially “the best military transport in the world because it is the only one of such size with both strategic and tactical capabilities,” the report said. But the senators warned about slow progress by the partner nations in agreeing on common support arrangements for the aircraft, once they are in service. They also called for a single European military certification for the A400M to improve the aircraft’s export prospects. o
New bosses, but jabs will be familiar
boss said the proposed 787-10X development will get a green light only when and if “we feel we have the right airplane.” One uContinued from page 1 key decision will be engine selecabout the prospective launch of tion, and the airframer is known the new 777X and 787-10X air- to be in advanced stages of disliners–despite earlier indications cussion with Rolls-Royce on from his predecessor that these another Trent turbofan derivaprograms were already taxiing at tive (see page 30). pace toward board approval. Conner was less guarded On the 777X, Conner said he in his comments about Airis not working to what bus’s recent move to was understood to have open a U.S. factory in been a year-end deadMobile, Alabama. He line for taking a program vehemently rejected launch decision to Boeany suggestion that ing’s board. He insisted this would improve the that the company will use European group’s proswhatever time it needs to pects of selling aircraft be sure it is ready to proto U.S. carriers, arguceed and that it has all Boeing’s brand new ing that these clients the necessary resources in CEO, Ray Conner don’t care where their place. More specifically, it is still fleets are assembled. “We comevaluating prospective engine and pete purely on performance, cost, value and relationships,” wing choices for the new model. Similarly, the new Boeing he concluded. o
Elbit reveals two infrared countermeasures systems Here at the Farnborough International airshow Israeli electronics house Elbit Systems (Hall 1 Stand C14) is highlighting two new systems that expand the company’s portfolio in the field of aircraft protection. J-Music is a new DIRCM [directed infrared countermeasures] system intended for large aircraft, while the All-in-Small is a compact unified protection suite that has both fixed- and rotary-wing applications. Produced by Elbit’s Elop business, J-Music is the latest member of a family of DIRCM systems. It is based on the technology employed by C-Music, which is a podded system with DIRCM and the PAWS infrared missile warning system. C-Music was selected by the Israeli government to protect civil airliners and VIP transports. J-Music is also intended for installation on large aircraft, but is a distributed system of DIRCM turrets that interface with existing missile warning systems. A similar system (called Music) has been selected by Italy for transport
aircraft and helicopters. Elisra is another Elbit business involved in aircraft self-protection, specializing in electronic warfare. The All-in-Small is its latest product, a compact sys-
Turret of Elbit’s J-Music directed infrared countermeasures system for large aircraft.
tem that combines a multi-spectral defensive aids suite and electronic support measures into a single LRU (line replaceable unit). As well as an electronic warfare controller, All-in-Small incorporates a digital radar warning receiver, IR missile warning system, advanced laser warning system and chaff/flare dispenser.–D.D.
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Farnborough Airshow News 7-9-12 Day 1 Issue