Farnborough Airshow News
Vol. 44 No. 22
Airbus A380 Wing Mods
Lynx Wildcat Flies
Hurkus UAV To Fly in 2013
After fatigue cracks were detected in early models, as of the end of 2012 all A380s will incorporate newly designed wing ribs.
IndiGo of India, Cebu Pacific Air of the Philippines and Norwegian Air Shuttle–a few of the airlines that agreed to geared turbofan deals for the A320neos at the show.
After initial release to service, the British Army’s new helicopter made its first flight on June 18. The army is to receive 34 examples and the Royal Navy 28.
Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) is proud of its new indigenouslydesigned and -built basic trainer. The company is hoping for an order from the Turkish Land Forces.
VIDEOS on AINtv
Will Chinese seal Hawker Beechcraft deal?
mid-summer air fair MARK WAGNER
While trudging through the mud from chalet to the static display, perhaps you can remember this overview for some much needed perspective.
Big Bucks Abound Day two of the 2012 Farnborough International airshow saw airliner orders flowing more freely, with deals worth at least $16 billion signed on Tuesday. Boeing stayed in pole position with almost $11 billion of new business, while Airbus snared one of its rivals’ existing customers to land a $4.2 billion deal for the new A350XWB (see page 37). The Russian Superjet 100 attracted its first Western buyer in a $175 million contract for five aircraft. Bombardier was bolstered by another letter of intent calling for up to 20 of its new CSeries narrowbody (see page 4).
Boeing inks three partnerships by Chris Pocock Boeing announced three significant new defense partnerships here yesterday, although one partner was not identified. The American group signed a memorandum of understanding with Elbit Systems to promote the Hermes 450 and 900 UAVs in the U.S. and some international countries; it extended collaboration
with Embraer to the A-29 Super Tucano (see full story, page 38); and it revealed discussions with the maker of a super midsize business jet that would serve as the platform for a medium-sized maritime surveillance aircraft (MSA), with mission systems derived from the P-8 Poseidon, E-3 AWACS and Wedgetail AEW aircraft
(based on the 737 airframe). Tim Peters, Boeing vice president surveillance and engagement, said the company hopes to announce the selected MSA aircraft by the end of the year. Boeing’s research indicates that the maritime surveillance market will be worth more than $10 billion over the next 10 years. Chris Chadwick, Boeing Military Aircraft president, told AIN that the company is aiming to provide a lower-cost option “by removing some bells and
Log onto AINonline.com for the latest coverage from the Farnborough Airshow.
Continued on page 38 u
Farnborough Airshow News
FOUNDED IN 1972 James Holahan, Founding Editor Wilson S. Leach, Managing Director
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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
It seemed as though the crews of these three AgustaWestland demonstrators could reach out and hold hands: (left to right) the AW169, due for certification in 2014; the medium-twin AW139, certified in 2003; and the AW189, due for certification by the end of next year.
Anglo-French UAV studies not yet confirmed by partners by Chris Pocock BAE Systems canceled a briefing here yesterday on Anglo-French collaboration for the next generation of UAVs. The company had hoped that ministers from both countries would be ready to announce joint funding for further studies of medium altitude long endurance (MALE) UAVs and a future combat air system (FCAS). In briefings last month, BAE officials expressed guarded optimism that the deals could be struck. They still hope for approval of the studies this month. But the recent change of government in France has slowed the process, and may even have confused it. New French defense minister Jean-Yves Le Drian has said that the German and Italian aerospace industries
might become partners in joint European UAV development. The British government, on the other hand, is on record as preferring bilateral cooperation only. More immediately, Le Drian is due to announce this week whether France will stick to a plan to procure the Voltiger MALE system that was outlined by the previous government. Intended as an interim solution to an urgent requirement to support French troops in Afghanistan, the system was proposed by Dassault and based on the IAI Heron TP platform. But no contract was signed, and French troops are leaving Afghanistan later this year. Various alternatives have been suggested, including an upgrade to France’s
existing Harfang MALE system based on the smaller IAI Heron, or even a buy of Reaper UAVs from the U.S. The UK Royal Air Force (RAF) already operates Reaper UAVs in Afghanistan. These were acquired under an urgent operational requirement (UOR) and are not funded from the core defense budget. They are supposed to be withdrawn in 2015 after most British troops leave Afghanistan. The RAF has been pleased with the Reapers in operation, but has raised concerns over the lack of operational sovereignty. However, two recent developments have allayed some of those concerns. The RAF Reaper ground station has been relocated from the U.S. to the UK, and the U.S. has conceded that non-American payloads can be integrated on the Predator/Reaper via a new open architecture. If the UK were to take the Reaper into the core defense budget and prolong its service life, the case for speedy development of the proposed Anglo-French Telemos MALE could be undermined. o
Sukhoi and Bombardier seal deals • Interjet, the Mexican-based Western launch customer for the Sukhoi Superjet 100 (SSJ100), has converted its five options into firm orders (nominally valued at $175 million), bringing its total acquisition to 20. Sukhoi is scheduled to deliver the low-cost operator’s first SSJ100 to Russo-Italian marketing company SuperJet International (SJI) next month for handover by year-end. SJI has signed a memorandum of understanding with Interjet under which its Toluca facility will be appointed an authorized service center for line and base maintenance. The Interjet SSJ100 fleet is covered by a 10-year support agreement.
• Latvian carrier Air Baltic has signed a letter of intent for 10 Bombardier CSeries CS300 twinjets worth $764 million (at list prices), with purchase rights for 10 more. Deliveries are to start in the first quarter of 2015. Air Baltic currently has eight Bombardier Q400s in its fleet, along with 10 Fokker 50s, 16 Boeing 737-300/500s and two Boeing 757s. “The CSeries will be replacing our [older] fleet,” said Martin Gauss, CEO of Air Baltic, who joined the airline last year after the departure of Bertholt Flick. “Economy-wise, we will have big savings,” the former Deutsche BA boss added.
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fair farnborough With all the latest in aeronautical innovations chock-a-block on the ramp, once again, the Farnborough International airshow becomes the center of attention for all things with wings. It happens every other year.
Brimstone may get its sea legs
by David Donald
Airbus considers long-term daughter-of-Beluga requirements
MBDA reported here yesterday that it has carried out initial studies into creating a naval version of its successful dualmode Brimstone (DMB) missile, including firing on a remotecontrolled boat from a Tornado fighter-bomber. It is now exploring a second application as well: shipborne DMBs to keep multiple small-boat attackers at bay. Through successful operations in Afghanistan and Libya the DMB has become “the [UK]
undertaken against the RIB target, which was maneuvering in sea state 3 at around 20 knots. Launching the DMB was a Tornado GR4 of No. 41 Squadron, the RAF’s operational evaluation unit. The aircraft was equipped with the standard Litening targeting pod, and the missile was used in its dual-mode function. In this the Litening is used to provide laser guidance for the fly-out, but the missile’s millimeter-wave (mmW) radar seeker takes over for the terminal phase. Rather than designate the target for precision attack, the Litening is used to “anoint” the target, as Morgan put it, “so that the missile knows where it is going. Then the missile switches to mmW to take out any spot-jitter.” During the MBDA-funded and MoD/QinetiQ-supported
Airbus is considering replacing its A300-600ST Super Transporter–dubbed the “Beluga” by virtue of its whale-like proportions–and expects to consider all possibilities, including development of a follow-on A330/ A340-based design. The Beluga has been used since 1996 to carry major subassemblies between partners’ factories and final-assembly lines. Programs executive vice president Tom Williams believes that while the five current aircraft offer sufficient capacity to support current production plans, “in the longer term, in perhaps 2020-24,” there will come a point when Airbus will require a replacement. “We have a kind of route map of how we will do it. There is no detail, but there are some contingency plans,” Williams told AIN. “We use the Beluga fleet now predominantly, but we can offload some [of those payloads] to other modes.” A recent new Airbus deal with Lufthansa Technik contracts the maintenance organization to provide Beluga component supplies through 2025. As long ago as 2008 the manufacturer reviewed long-term requirements ahead of Beluga-replacement evaluations. Airbus mainly uses dedicated roll-on/roll-off ships to carry A380 subassemblies and also uses maritime container services to feed the Chinese A320 assembly line. The European manufacturer expects to revisit all its interfactory transport requirements, which currently include movements by road and water. –I.G.
Piaggio funded to build two maritime patrollers by Chad Trautvetter Piaggio Aero Industries has launched a new maritime patrol version of the P.180 Avanti II twin pusherprop. Yesterday at the Farnborough International airshow, Abu Dhabi Autonomous System Investments (ADASI) signed up to be the launch customer for the new model, providing financing for the Italian manufacturer to build a pair of the new Piaggio Aero MPA prototypes. First flight is anticipated in 2014. An entry-into-service date has not yet been disclosed, nor would Piaggio reveal how many MPAs are on order by the Abu Dhabi-based firm. It is also unclear who will be ADASI’s target market, since the aircraft ordinarily would be bought by government agencies.
Saab’s defense and security division has been tapped as the MPA’s systems supplier and, in coordination with Piaggio, is to develop and integrate a full suite of airborne sensors and surveillance systems for various special missions. This
Piaggio has given the go-ahead to a maritime patrol version of its Avanti II twin turboprop. First flight of the aircraft, which will have a larger wing, is scheduled for 2014.
encompasses land, coastal, maritime and offshore security roles. However, the MPA’s first application will be dedicated to maritime patrol, so a high-performance search radar and EO/
IR sensors suite will be the first special-mission systems integrated into the aircraft. The company called the MPA an “evolution” of the Avanti II platform. It will have a larger, reinforced wing that allows for a higher maximum takeoff weight and additional fuel capacity. A Piaggio official told AIN that the MPA would retain the same Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-66 engines that power the Avanti II. According to Piaggio, the special-mission aircraft will have an endurance of more than 10 hours, a maximum range of 3,300 nm and a ceiling of 41,000 feet. Top cruise speed is projected to be 350 knots. “I’m proud that Piaggio Aero has been selected by ADASI, the company that manages many complex programs for the UAE armed forces,” said Piaggio Aero CEO Alberto Galassi. “The newly designed Piaggio Aero MPA aircraft will allow us to diversify our business profile with the development of this new state-of-the-art multirole platform.” o
6 Farnborough Airshow News • July 11, 2012 • www.ainonline.com
The recent dual-mode Brimstone firing against a realistic FIAC target is seen from a barge-mounted camera and through the Litening targeting pod of the Tornado launch aircraft.
RAF’s weapon of choice,” according to MBDA’s Frank Morgan, who nevertheless posed the question, “How can we expand and explore the capability of the system, especially its ability to pinpoint very small targets?” One answer lies in its employment on anti-FIAC (fast inshore attack craft) operations, which have grown in significance as the threat of piracy, terrorist actions and asymmetric naval warfare has increased. Initial studies suggest that the most immediate potential applications for this capability are fast jets and surface vessels. Beginning in March this year MBDA has flown a number of trials of DMB against a remotecontrolled six-meter RIB (rigid inflatable boat) target. Initial flights were seeker data-gathering missions, followed by firing of telemetry rounds. On June 25 a full live warhead test was
trial the DMB scored a direct hit on the RIB. “We were very pleased with the result,” reported Morgan. “We got detonation very close to the target.” The vessel stopped immediately, and sank soon after. Validation of DMB against FIAC-type targets answers the fast-air requirement, but now MBDA has unveiled a new program for a surface vessel-based system. Known as Brimstone Sea Spear (not to be confused with the newly unveiled Spear air-launched weapon), the surface system is intended to equip small vessels for defending against FIAC swarm attacks. The weapon would have only mmW guidance, but would be capable of being launched in salvoes to handle multiple threats. MBDA envisions a weapon launched from multiple canister racks that could be pedestalmounted on vessels of a minimum size of 15 meters. o
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2011 was good to P&W but this year looks better
Rolls-Royce announced the Trent 1000-TEN (for Thrust Efficiency New technology), a more fuel-efficient Trent 1000 variant that leverages some technologies being developed for the company’s XWB engine program.
R-R launches improved Trent 1000 by Chad Trautvetter
Malaysia Signs for Trent 900 TotalCare Package Malaysia Airlines has signed up for Rolls-Royce’s TotalCare support program for the Trent 900 engines on its fleet of six Airbus A380s. It already has the customer support arrangement for the Trent 800 turbofans on its fleet of 17 Boeing 777s. n
technologies from the XWB. From the Advance 3, the -TEN uses the advanced high-pressure turbine and refined air system, the latter of which automatically adjusts the cooling airflow via a design that uses no moving parts. Thanks to these advances, Rolls-Royce maintains that the Trent 1000-TEN engine will “ensure the lowest ‘real-life’ fuel burn for every model of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner,” as well as provide “the lowest net fuel cost and carbon emissions.” The powerplant will deliver “the same Trent engine family dependability that our customers have come to expect,” noted Eric Schultz, president of Rolls-Royce’s civil aerospace large engine programs. To date, there are 10 Trent 1000-powered Boeing 787s in
service that have completed more than 14,000 hours of operation (more than 4,000 passenger flights) with an engine dispatch reliability exceeding 99.9 percent. This is the best ever reliability figure for a widebody powerplant on entering service, according to Rolls-Royce. The Trent 1000 has been selected in eight of the last nine 787 Dreamliner engine decisions and now has a total of 24 customers around the world. o
scimitar city The eight-blade scimitar props on the Airbus A400 Atlas are perhaps the military transport’s most distinctive feature. Its swept blades are made from woven composite material, the four massive Hamilton Sundstrand propellers have a strong visual impact. Continuing engine concerns nevertheless meant no A400 displays at the show.
Trent Treatment Rolls-Royce is making further performance improvements to its Trent 700 engine, which powers the Airbus A330. Technologies from the Trent 1000, Trent XWB and BR725 engines are being incorporated into this latest Trent 700 variant, increasing efficiency by at least 1 percent. The improvement program, which will also focus on engine service support, is expected to be finalized this year, with enhanced engines set to enter service in 2015. Improvements will also be available for retrofit to the current engine fleet. The program, announced here at the Farnborough show, is in addition to enhancements introduced in 2009 that incorporated Trent 900 and Trent 1000 technology, delivering a 1-percent reduction in fuel consumption.–C.T.
8 Farnborough Airshow News • July 11, 2012 • www.ainonline.com
Rolls-Royce unveiled a new, more efficient 787 engine variant yesterday at its main Farnborough press briefing. The Trent 1000TEN (Thrust Efficiency New technology) leverages new technologies from the in-development XWB engine for the Airbus A350XWB. The more efficient Trent 1000-TEN will be rated for up to 78,000 pounds of thrust, enabling it to be used as a common powerplant for all Boeing 787 variants, namely the -8, -9 and, if it is launched by the U.S. aircraft manufacturer, the -10X. Entry into service for the TEN engine is slated for the first half of 2016. According to Rolls-Royce, the -TEN will have a 3-percent efficiency gain over the “package B” Trent 1000s that are now being delivered to customers. An interim 74,000-pound-thrust “package C” variant, which will have a more modest 1-percent efficiency improvement, is scheduled to enter service in early 2014 to coincide with initial deliveries of the 787-9. The Trent 1000-TEN draws on various concepts developed for the Trent XWB and Advance 3 demonstrator programs. It borrows the “rising line” intermediate-pressure compressor, highpressure compressor and blisk
After generating $12.7 bil- and Bombardier CSeries. Reacting sharply to rival lion in revenue in 2011 and having won the first three launch CFM International’s statement orders for the Airbus A320neo here at the Farnborough Interre-engined narrowbody, Pratt national airshow this week that the Leap-1A engine for & Whitney presithe Airbus A320neo will dent David Hess was be cheaper to operate naturally in an upover 15 years compared beat mood when he to the PW1100G, Hess faced reporters at the said, “Their claim defies show yesterday. the laws of physics and Asked about the economics…if CFM was move by P&W and able to produce the geared MTU earlier this year turbofan, they would be to purchase Rollsmanufacturing it.” Royce’s share in the Quizzed about what International Aero EnDavid Hess Pratt & Whitney might gines, he replied, “The acquisition will simplify our offer by way of powerplant for global market strategy [to] align the envisioned 777X developwith our partners and…optimize ment, Hess said it will respond to Boeing’s request for proposal deals for the A320.” This week Hess was named with “a geared engine with the as board chairman of IAE. He same fuel burn as in the narsaid Rolls-Royce remains “an rowbody segment.” Rival Genimportant part” of IAE in sup- eral Electric is developing a new porting legacy engines, add- GE9X turbofan for the twinjet. While the decision on the ing that preparations are under way to switch the production assembly location for the Airline to focus on the new Pratt bus A320neo engine is await& Whitney geared turbofan ed, it has been decided that engines for the new narrowbod- MTU will assemble 30 percent o ies such as the Mitsubishi MRJ in Europe. NEELAM MATHEWS
by Neelam Mathews
Superiority: The New Benchmark
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Airbus expands C295 role as military sales pick up by David Donald Having taken just five orders for new aircraft in 2011, Airbus Military now has 25 sales already for 2012, and is cautiously optimistic about more before year end. At the heart of the turnaround is the light tactical transport family. While overshadowed in the glamor stakes by the A400M and A330 MRTT, the C212, CN235 and C295 continue to be popular choices for transport and surveillance tasks. The recent sale of five C295 tactical transports and three C295MPAs to Oman, plus a CN235 to Cameroon, highlights the importance of the family to the manufacturer. Airbus Military is continuing to develop the C295, in particular, to meet new requirements. The aircraft is being improved
in terms of power ratings, aerodynamics, systems and weapon options. Last year Airbus Military and engine maker Pratt & Whitney began a study to allow the C295’s PW127 turboprops to be operated at higher ratings. The new ratings, which will be certified in the next few months, allow TOGA (takeoff, go-around) power to be extended into the climb regime, and for maximum climb power to be extended into initial cruise. The rewriting of the aircraft flight manuals has been mainly introduced to improve hot-andhigh performance and will have the effect of increasing available payload at higher altitudes, as well as slightly reducing overall fuel consumption. Airbus Military has also
designed wingtip extensions for the C295, which have been tested in the wind tunnel and are due to start flight tests at the end of this year. The upturned winglets will improve lift-to-drag ratio and add to ceiling/payload/endurance performance for a weight penalty of around 220 pounds. Winglets on AEW Version
Winglets have been tested on a tunnel model in airborne early-warning configuration, and this special-mission version could benefit from performance increases. The C295AEW first flew on June 7 last year, and completed initial flight tests by the end of July. Radar and mission system development continues, with Elta providing the radar, and a number of air forces
are interested in this low-cost AEW solution. Airbus Military reports “preliminary discussions with three countries.” Another mission to which the C295 is well-suited is maritime patrol, and Airbus Military sees a healthy market for the C295 in this domain. To that end it is currently integrating the MBDA Marte Mk 2 missile to give the aircraft an anti-ship capability. The C295MPA has three hardpoints under each wing (rated for loads of approximately 1,764, 1,100 and 660 pounds) and can already drop the Mk 46 torpedo in the anti-submarine role. Captive-carry trials with the Marte are due to begin this month, with separation trials due for September and firing trials set for October/November.
A C295MPA delivers a Mk 46 anti-submarine torpedo. Airbus Military is now integrating the Marte Mk 2 missile to provide an anti-ship capability.
A third generation of FITS (fully integrated tactical system) has been developed for the C295, and the maritime aircraft for Oman will be the first to have this new system. The new FITS uses extensive COTS elements and is more user-friendly than earlier versions. It is also netcentric-ready, and Airbus Military has been working closely with Spain’s Guardia Civil to prove this capability. Other improvements in the works are an option for a headup display and enhanced vision system, giving an infrared picture for improved safety at night and in bad weather. This is due to enter flight test in the middle of next year. Ready for test later this year is an OBIGGS (onboard inert gas generating system) that reduces vulnerability in hostile tactical situations. In May this year Airbus Military delivered a C295 to the Ghana air force. This aircraft was significant for being the first built to a more flexible and costeffective system known as BRG (basic reference groups). In this process the subassemblies are fitted with as many systems as possible, with the result that final assembly time is reduced with significant cost savings. Future Versions
With Elta radar the C295AEW offers an attractive low-cost AEW capability. Flight characteristics were validated this time last year.
India’s Axis eyes European acquisition by Neelam Mathews As Indian companies strive to ascend the aerospace engineering value chain, they have big ambitions to build partnerships and tap defense offsets at various stages of product development. These include design, analysis, optimization and validation, virtual prototyping and testing, digital manufacturing, product data management and technical publications. Backed by a $1.2 billion fund, Axis Aerospace Technologies (AAT) wants to make an acquisition in Europe related to engineering design services. “The company we are looking at must have a good customer base,” vice chairman Sudhakar Gande told AIN. The mid-sized acquisition is expected to be in the range of
$10- to $25 million. Gearing up for the barrage of defense offsets to come, AAT’s desired takeover target will cover project lifecycle management. “We will [also] strengthen our capabilities through acquisitions in embedded systems and other areas,” Gande added. AAT (Hall 4 Stand F5) has increased its revenues at around 50 percent year-on-year for the last three years, and it expects to grow at a similar pace in 2012. With revenues of $55 million last year, the company employs 1,500 engineers who service more than 70 customers and delivery centers handled by sales offices in 12 locations worldwide. Last year, Airbus chose Axis subsidiary Cades as its offshore development center (ODC) for
fuselage design. Work packages for the European airframer include concessions (handling manufacturing and a ssembly deviations), product design, modification and weight reduction on aerostructures, service repair manual and life extension tasks for in-service aircraft on the A380, A350XWB, A330, A340, A320 and A400M platforms. AAT expects to get AP1020 authorized signatory status for design changes from Airbus by the end of the year. “This will enable us to win even more complex design work packages,” explained Gande. “It will be continuous business as we become part of their supply chain. This will also enable us to sign concessions on their behalf.” Last year, AAT signed a cooperation agreement with Germany’s Premium Aerotech for ODC aerostructures engineering services. The Indian firm mainly works on composite primary structures for fuselages, as well as providing design support and stress and fatigue
10 Farnborough Airshow News • July 11, 2012 • www.ainonline.com
analysis for Premium, which is a major supplier to Airbus and other airframers. Major AAT clients include Bombardier, DCNS, Thales and Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd., as well as India’s defense ministry and defense research & development organization labs. AAT also has ambitions in electronic warfare and recently developed EW systems for classroom training for the Indian military. The company is currently working for Dassault on Mirage upgrades. “Defense offsets will be a significant part of our long-term growth plans. However, winning defense offsets involves very long sales cycle times,” said Gande. AAT interests in aerospace life cycle support extend to the Devanhalli Aerospace Park in Bangalore, where the company has been acquiring governmentowned land. It plans to use this to develop a facility for manufacturing aerospace components, as well as for training and maintenance. o
With the MPA version in service and the airborne early-warning version in the middle of a four-year development, Airbus is looking at further special missions for the C295. A multi-intelligence ground surveillance/Sigint version is being offered, with a variety of sensor options such as SAR/GMTI radar, EO/IR sensors and ESM/Elint antennas. Up to eight onboard operator consoles could be accommodated, based on the FITS developed for the MPA aircraft. Another option is a gunship version. Airbus Military and ATK have developed a gunship version of the smaller CN235 for the Royal Jordanian Air Force, and two aircraft are undergoing conversion. A similar capability could be applied to the C295, perhaps as a palletized “roll-on, roll-off” option. A palletized spraying system has already been designed for dispersing oil spills and other pollutants, and Oman is taking this as part of its eight-aircraft purchase. A natural development would be a fire-fighting kit, and this is being proposed by Airbus Military. o
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Improvements to B747-8 yield results by Gregory Polek Lukewarm market reception and performance deficiencies that continue to fall short of the new 747-8’s original design specifications might have elicited a fair share of skepticism from various industry quarters, but they haven’t deterred Boeing from declaring that “prospects look quite good” for the stretched, reengined and re-winged jumbo jet, now in passenger operation with Lufthansa Airlines and five cargo customers. In fact, last month, 747 program vice president and chief project engineer Bruce Dickinson told reporters at a briefing at the company’s widebody factory in Everett, Washington, that the cargo airplane’s “real-world” fuel efficiency has proved 1 percent better than forecast estimates for this point in time, as engineers work toward meeting all performance guarantees in 2014. “We’re not done; we’re never done,” said Dickinson. “Continuous improvements are all about what we’re doing… The improvements in aerodynamics and weights continue, they’re identified…” A performance improvement package (PIP) for the airplane’s new General Electric GEnx-2B turbofans would account for most of the original 3-percent improvement needed to meet Boeing’s original promises. The PIP, including a new low-pressure turbine design, redesigned high-pressure compressor airfoils, as well as an “upgraded” combustor and improved high-pressure turbine aerodynamics, would gain certification in the second quarter of 2013, according to GE’s schedules. Flight Management Upgrades
Although not considered a major contributor to the airplane’s fuel-efficiency shortfall, the airplane’s flight management computer (FMC) from Honeywell had assumed a high priority for Boeing and its customers well before its entry into service with Cargolux last October. In fact, during last year’s pre-Paris Air Show briefings in Everett,
Boeing has delivered 11 airplanes so far this year and is building two 747-8s a month at its factory in Everett, Washington.
program head Elizabeth Lund revealed range from roughly 7,650 to 8,000 nm. The that the FMC hadn’t performed up to 747-8 Freighter does not use the tanks. Although Lufthansa doesn’t yet need expectations. Although Lund said it could do all that the prior FMC could all the extra range the tail tanks would do in the 747-400, it took close to anoth- deliver, the absence of fuel in the tail of er year before Boeing finally “rolled in” the airplane does actually produce some some improvements and new features fuel-burn penalty because the condition changes the airplane’s cenabout two months ago. ter of gravity. Once it cer“Our third block point tifies the tanks, it will, in will include some capabilifact, regain the resulting ties around required navigalost fuel efficiency. “We’re tional performance (RNP), still working on all the and that allows for just a litdetails of what the solutle more efficient approachtion will be,” said Dickines, a little more opportunity son, “but we’ve got it just for operational advantagabout finished.” es,” said Dickinson. Boeing plans to fit a Finally, Boeing continsingle instrumented flight ues work toward a soft- Boeing 747 program vice test airplane with the PIP, ware solution to certify tail president and chief project the FMC improvements fuel tanks meant to hold engineer Bruce Dickinson and the tail tank reactivaanother 3,300 gallons of cited 2014 as the year the tion for simultaneous cerjet-A in the Intercontinen- 747-8 will meet all its original performance specifications. tification by the end of tal. Computer simulation testing showed that the airplane would next year, said Dickinson. The engine experience some minor structural flutter PIP alone should bring performance in the event of a failure of the R3 under- to within 1 percent of specification, wing, mid-spar strut-to-wing fitting, one while aerodynamic upgrades and weight of six connecting the outboard engines reductions account for much of the balto the wing, when the tanks held more ance. “We don’t have very far to go,” said than 15 percent of their capacity. As a Dickinson. “And we’re confident we’ll result, Boeing had to decommission the hit it because we have completely audited fuel tanks to gain certification of the through all of our experts the numbers for the improvements that are coming.” variant last December. Designed to operate 15 percent The tanks raise the 747-8’s total fuel capacity to 64,055 gallons, extending its more efficiently than its GE-powered The first 747-8 passenger airliner takes off from Frankfurt on its maiden revenue flight on June 1.
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predecessor, the 747-400, the 747-8 relies largely on a new supercritical wing for its performance benefits. The engine, meanwhile, represents fifth-generation technology and resists deterioration over time far better than its precursors, translating into better midlife performance and less cost for customers, said Dickinson. Two Deliveries Per Month
As if mid-June twenty 747-8s had entered service–specifically, 16 freighters, three VIP airplanes and a single Intercontinental. Boeing had delivered 11 airplanes this year, and the first at a twoper-month rate since it announced an increase in production output from 1.5. Boeing’s most recent corporate guidance specifies planned delivery of between 70 and 85 Dreamliners and 7478s combined, split roughly evenly, suggesting a total of between 35 and 43 this year for each. Although some 747-8s scheduled for delivery remain in change incorporation in San Antonio, Texas, Boeing has already sent “a number of airplanes straight through the factory,” said Dickinson. Meanwhile, the OEM has watched market interest gravitate toward the passenger model as cargo markets continue to experience weakness, according to Dickinson. Now holding firm orders for 106 airplanes, Boeing still counts among its list of customers only three passenger airlines, accounting for 27 airplanes. However, a deal with Air China for five awaits government approval, while Russia’s Transaero has yet to convert a memorandum of understanding for four and an unnamed airline’s commitment for 15 remains off the books. “Part of it is, a number of airlines wait until the airplane gets out there,” said Dickinson. “So a lot of people are watching.” o
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BAE’s BLAST imagery turns murky into clear Of 130 U.S. rotorcraft lost in combat zones to non-hostile reasons between 2002 and 2008 around half were attributed to DVE (degraded visual environments), CFIT (controlled flight into terrain) and wire/obstacle strikes. These losses accounted for 49 percent of the 189 fatalities. Such compelling figures underline the importance of the efforts being undertaken to tackle DVE issues and to
Using 94-GHz millimeter-wave seeking technology, BLAST can depict a landing zone (top) in the symbology of a helmetmounted display (bottom).
enhance situational awareness to reduce CFIT and strikes. BAE Systems is developing a system known as BLAST (brownout landing-aid system technology) that uses 94-GHz millimeter-wave technology to see objects through a range of DVE conditions, such as sand, dust, fog, rain and snow. Adapted from the MBDA seeker developed for the Brimstone missile, BLAST’s Sandstone seeker provides terrain and obstacle imagery into head-down, head-up
and helmet-mounted displays. Displays have been adapted to use standard U.S. Army BOSS and the UK’s LVL symbology. BLAST imagery can be fused with DTED (digital terrain elevation database) information to provide a dynamic synthetic display of the landing zone. Millimeter-wave imagery could also be fused with infrared imagery for even greater situational awareness enhancement, something that BAE Systems is working on. As well as generating landing zone imagery, BLAST can be used during en route transit, detecting and warning of obstacles and wires that are uncrated in the DTED database. Compared to other millimeter-wave DVE systems, BLAST offers the ability to be easily directed, so that it can look into turns. BLAST and its Sandstone sensor was first tested at Yuma from a tower, before flying in a Bell UH-1 Huey in 2009. During 2010 the system received maturity updates and was tested aboard a Sikorsky CH-53 of the Marine Corps. Further improvements were tested last year, and trials continue in 2012. An important feature of BLAST is its ability to track other helicopters, and a test has already been run with a second helicopter involved. Another capability that has been demonstrated is the ability to see people on the landing zone. U.S. tests are continuing with a UH-60 Black Hawk, but BAE Systems is also gearing up for a demonstration/trials campaign for the French special forces. The sensor is to be mounted on a Puma helicopter with trials scheduled to begin either late this year or early in 2013. o
by David Donald
hail Colombia Fresh from its appearance at the Royal International Air Tattoo, is this C-130H Hercules, which is based in Bogota, Colombia. The Colombian air force operates a fleet of eight C-130s–a mix of B and H models–in personnel-transport and cargo roles, as well as flying humanitarian missions and medical evacuations.
Saab plans training base for African Gripen pilots Saab is to establish an advanced training center for Gripen pilots at Overberg air force base in South Africa, the Swedish company announced this week. The center will act as a fighter weapons school and will specialize in honing the skills of experienced pilots. The first course will take place late next year, and the syllabus will focus on advanced multi-role
Overberg Air Force Base in South Africa will be home to a fighter weapons school for Saab pilots.
GKN’s wing-design center now open UK-based GKN Aerospace has opened a new engineering and technology center at its site at Filton, near Bristol, as part of an ongoing program to add to its global engineering capability. The center, GKN’s fourth, will focus on future wing structure design and manufacture. “Bristol is now established as the heart of our global wing structures manufacturing activity,” said technical director Rich
Oldfield. “With the National Composites Center close by and strong links into local academic research programs, this is the ideal base for developing our engineering capability.” With more than 50 permanent staff in place at the Filton center already, eventually more than 100 engineers are expected to be based at the site, providing integrated design and build capability, said the company.
aspects of Gripen operations. AFB Overberg’s location provides access to extensive airspace with varying terrain. The courses will be run in the South African summer, providing excellent meteorological conditions at a time when such advanced training would be difficult to undertake in the Northern Hemisphere. Mixed in with advanced operational flying
exercises and academic instruction will be survival training in the African environment. The establishment of the fighter weapons school is being overseen by the Gripen User Group, which includes all current Gripen-operating nations. Under the auspices of the group, a number of “Lion Effort” joint exercises have been undertaken, the most recent of which was held at Ronneby in Sweden earlier this year. Gripen aircraft from Sweden, Czech Republic, Hungary and South Africa took part, while Thailand sent observers.–D.D.
The Filton center will integrate with the company’s other established engineering centers on the Isle of Wight in the UK and in St. Louis, Missouri, and Garden Grove and Santa Ana, California, as a single global engineering force to support more than 25 GKN Aerospace manufacturing centers worldwide. Each site will concentrate on a defined area of expertise in product design and analysis
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and advance new manufacturing technologies and techniques, while drawing on the experience of the whole force. Futures Day
GKN Aerospace is a silver sponsor of the Farnborough International show’s Futures Day on Friday and also for the Innovation Zone. On Futures Day, two young GKN engineers, Laura Cundy and Karen Murphy, will talk to an audience of young people from around the country about “Making Things Fly.”
“Futures Day is an important opportunity for us to reach out to young people already interested in aviation but who may not have considered engineering as a career. As a country, we have a real shortage of engineers with the vital skills our manufacturing industrial base will need for the future prosperity of the country,” said Oldfield. GKN Aerospace operates in three main product areas: aerostructures, engine components/ subsystems and special products. It recorded sales of £1.5 billion ($2.3 billion) in 2011.–N.M.
by Chris Pocock While the C-17 program has long been a leader in performance-based logistics (PBL), for many defense contractors PBL still represents a “paradigm shift” that they have yet to understand, let alone implement. For the C-17, PBL dates from 1998, when the U.S. Air Force first signed up for what is now known as the Globemaster III integrated sustainment program (GISP). All seven international customers for the C-17 have since joined the innovative scheme. “We have provided tailored support solutions, maintaining the highest level of aircraft readiness,” said Gus Urzua, Boeing’s vice president and general manager, C-17 GISP. “There’s no other weapon system in the U.S. inventory that has reduced the flight-hour cost as we have–and while improving performance,” he claimed. The C-17 fleet has enjoyed an 86-percent missioncapable rate in recent years, while flight hours costs dropped by 29 percent from fiscal year 2004 to 2011. “We measure monthly against 11 performance metrics. Boeing has exceeded every one by huge amounts,” said Lt. Col. Jeff Hayden, C-17 chief of program integration for the U.S. Air Force. In the GISP, Boeing provides guaranteed availability to the USAF and is paid by the flight hour. Most of the contract is firm fixed-price, although there is some target-cost-incentive fee pricing. There is an annual renegotiation. The international customers have bought into the USAF’s GISP contract, but not via traditional foreign military sales procedures. The customers specify the level of availability that
they require, the number of hours they expect to fly, and their types of missions and concepts of operation. This affects the pricing–for instance, some operators fly their engines harder than others. Therefore, there are various annexes to the agreement. One of them provides Boeing personnel for flightline maintenance of the three NATO strategic airlift capability (SAC) aircraft at their home base in Papa, Hungary. The operators of all the other C-17s retain this task: the USAF (216 aircraft, with seven to come), Australia (five, with one to come), Canada (four), Qatar (two), the UAE (six) and the UK (eight). India is joining the GISP next year, when the first of its 10 C-17s is due for delivery. The GISP has sustained a doubling of the airlift workload every year since 2006. Interestingly, as the sole source provider of C-17 support, Boeing subcontracts the main USAF C-17 depot at Warner-Robins U.S. Air Force Base in Georgia where about 14 C-17s are undergoing work at any one time. About the same number can be found at Boeing’s own large maintenance facility at San Antonio, Texas, at any one time. The workforce at Warner-Robins will carry out more than one million hours of work on C-17s in Fiscal Year 2012.
methods of support in which suppliers bill the customer for new or overhauled parts, and the PBL approach. “Every time I saw a part coming into the shop, I saw revenue. Now I see cost,” Urzua explained. Hayden noted that Boeing has the responsibility to incentivize the suppliers. “It’s a win-win situation,” he said. “The USAF is buying an outcome; they give up some control,” Urzua noted. Urzua also said Boeing has spent about $100 million on IT support for the GISP: modeling and forecasting tools, asset visibility, supply chain management and “military airplane health management.” An accrualsbased accounting system is used. Boeing has some 300 staff deployed to the 19 locations where C-17s are based. They have also worked in the field to recover damaged aircraft, including those involved in four serious mishaps in Afghanistan: a Taliban shoulder-fired SAM damaged the engine of
The foreign buyers of the C-17 enjoy access to “a virtual fleet,” with all the attendant economies of scale. “Of course, the USAF is the biggest partner and we must trust that our voice is heard,” he noted. But each foreign customer has staff located within the program office, “not on the other side of the runway as is usual in the FMS acquisition model,” Burke added. This provides unprecedented oversight and accountability, he said. All aircraft are built and upgraded to a common standard; the fleet is currently being
modified to the Block 17 standard, which then requires only a software upgrade to reach the current production Block 18 configuration. The virtual-fleet concept has allowed the foreign buyers to achieve “50 to 80 percent savings” on management support costs, Burke claimed. Hayden noted that customers for a PBL contract should take care when specifying the standards that their contractor should meet. For instance, the GISP contract with Boeing calls for only 69 percent availability. “I could mandate 85 percent but I don’t need it,” he said. The limiting factors include downtime for modifications and the availability of trained crews. The aircraft is capable of flying 1,400 hours per annum and crews are definitely the limiting factor, Burke agreed. According to Hayden, in 2009 the USAF evaluated whether or not to take C-17 support back to traditional methods. “But the savings achieved by the PBL model amounted to $400 million over five years and $12.8 billion over the expected 30-year life of the program,” he said. A new 10-year deal for the GISP was therefore negotiated from Fiscal Year 2011. However, the USAF intends to cut a direct contract with Pratt & Whitney for F117 engine overhauls from 2014. Urzua admitted that the engines account for 50 percent of the GISP contract and the USAF “will save on our ‘pass-through’ costs.” The product support management role will also return to the USAF, with a combined Boeing-USAF program office to be established at Warner-Robins. o
C-17 sustainment plan has worked wonders
Boeing has delivered 216 of a planned 223 C-17s to the U.S. Air Force. The company is responsible for all except frontline support of the fleet via an innovative performance-based logistics program.
one aircraft; the nose landing gear of another collapsed when it veered off a runway; a third made a wheels-up landing after the crew forgot to extend the landing gear. In the most recent accident, at forward operating base Shank last January, serious damage was sustained when an aircraft overran the runway. Trevor Burke, the C-17 technical manager for the NATO Airlift Management Agency, provided an international perspective on the GISP. He admitted that international customers are inevitably tempted to mandate the development of local support, including heavy maintenance, to boost their domestic industrial base. But in the C-17 case, this “competing agenda” was outweighed by the capabilities and cost savings that were on offer via the GISP. All C-17s go to San Antonio or Warner-Robins for upgrades and a corrosion check and repaint every five years. But the two-year inspections are done at the home bases.
‘Everybody in the Pool’
The five USAF commands and the international customers share a common spare-parts pool. Urzua provided an interesting comparison between the traditional, transactional
going green Maybe it’s aviation’s pervasive sense of efficiency, but there appears to be a common tone among many exhibitors’ booths: green. Asco Industries is a designer and manufacturer of high-lift structures and mechanical assemblies. Someone at the company also knows how to design an attractive hall stand.
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Singapore Airshow aims to set record by Thierry Dubois reached almost 45,000. The 2012 show set a record for the largest-ever number of top-level delegations, with 266 from more than 80 countries. There were around 900 exhibitors. Early bookings for 2014 are said to be well under way. “Over 75 percent of exhibitors have already reaffirmed their commitment,” said Lim. An “aviation training and simulation zone” will be introduced, as a testament to the industry’s growing importance. An analysis by business information specialist Visiongain estimates the sector’s revenues to $3.2 billion this year. Simultaneously, an “aviation
MicroPilot UAV system shows ‘smaller is better’ by Richard Gardner When it introduced its first miniature autopilot for unmanned air vehicle use in 1994, MicroPilot (Hall 4 Stand C18d) was hardly prepared for the subsequent explosion in demand for ever-smaller UAV platforms. Today, the Manitoba, Canadabased company has more than 750 customers in 65 countries and manufactures the world’s smallest autopilots and associated software, as well as accessories and customized UAV training and integration services. The autopilot devices are so small they fit in the palm of a hand and weigh only 28 grams (one ounce). They have GPS waypoint navigation with altitude and airspeed hold, and are completely independent in operation, meaning that the UAV can take off autonomously or can be used with bungee or hand launch. Single Circuit Board
The autopilot has an open architecture and is fully integrated with three-axis gyros and accelerometers, and these and the GPS, pressure altimeter and pressure airspeed sensors are all on a single circuit board. The system, despite its size, has extensive data logging and telemetry capabilities. A UAV configuration wizard and installation video simplifies the set-up process. The company’s Horizon ground-control software provides
a user-friendly point-and-click interface for mission planning, parameter adjustment, flight monitoring and mission simulation. It runs on a Windows computer or laptop and has video support, giving the user access to critical information in real time. Up to eight userdefined sensors can be configured and displayed in three different formats. MicroPilot is now bundling together its airside and groundside UAV system components into a comprehensive UAV autopilot package, MO2128LRC. The “LRC” stands for long-range communications and refers to the system’s most significant benefit, an integrated, redundant, long-range data communications link allowing greater operating range and flexibility (taking range out to 11 nm from the ground operator). Using standard off-theshelf modems, it adds radiocontrol information to the existing ground- control system data link and a second, redundant data link, reducing possible failure modes. In the event of both an autopilot and communications failure, a failsafe “watchdog” timer activates a parachute. As many customers in the agricultural, energy supply and resource management sectors can testify, automated UAV systems can provide a reliable,
security zone” will appear. The sector’s revenues are estimated at $22.3 billion this year. The “unmanned systems zone,” which debuted in 2012, will make a return in 2014, and will feature a new demonstration area. Streamlining Security
Lim promised that the organizing team would strive to offer a “more streamlined experience” in terms of show security constraints. Exhibitors have expressed dissatisfaction to AIN about the requirement for companies to leave the site during the busiest part of the show set-up, something that doesn’t h appen at other major international airshows. robust and low-cost alternative to helicopters and light aircraft when aerial surveys and checks need to be carried out. The type of UAV used can be fixed-wing or a mini-rotary-wing device. The operator simply launches the UAV, which is small enough to be carried to the site in an automobile or pick-up truck. It will then embark on the preprogrammed flight pattern, sending back sensor images and/ or data, with full facilities for recording and archiving, for easy recall, before returning to the takeoff point. This can be achieved autonomously from takeoff, though the operator can intervene to change the flight pattern if need be. It is a simple concept that has become a popular reality and can be acquired through MicroPilot subsidiary CropCam. o
EADS unit offers speedy prototyping EADS Innovation Works is here at the show with an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that was built using a rapid-prototyping method known as additive layer manufacturing (ALM), or 3-D printing. EADS is exhibiting it to demonstrate the possibilities ALM offers. The plastic-material drone here can’t fly, but EADS plans to manufacture a metal one that will be able to fly. Four students from the University of Leeds designed the aircraft and using ALM technology, they were able to optimize its structural and aerodynamic
billion last year. Growth is continuing, notably thanks to the development of the Seletar Aerospace Park. Moreover, the Asia Pacific region’s commercial fleet is expected to grow at an average annual rate of 5.3 percent until 2019. o characteristics, such as wing twist. “This would otherwise be difficult and expensive to realize for an aircraft of this scale,” according to EADS. In addition, several different, detachable pairs of wings can be designed to adapt the aircraft for different missions. A new wing can be “printed” relatively quickly. The metallic version will be manufactured at EADS’ Filton, UK ALM facility. More precisely, EADS will use the direct metal laser sintering technique. The idea is to “grow” the part from a fine powder of metal (this is also true for nylon and carbon-reinforced plastics). A high-power laser is directed at the material powder, melting it into solid shape. This is done repetitively, layer by layer. Compared to a machined part, an ALM part typically can be 65 percent lighter.–T.D.
Singapore Airshow organizers believe they can set new attendance records at the next running of the event, Feb. 11-16, 2014, at the Changi Exhibition Center. Angelica Lim, general manager of Experia Events’ aerospace and defense group, told AIN about some planned changes, including new themed areas for simulation and security. The records Experia is hoping to break are those for “the number of trade visitors, highlevel delegations, static and flying aircraft, [number of] chalets and the overall space taken up,” said Lim. At this year’s event, held in February, visitor numbers over the four trade days
Despite this complaint, a post-show survey indicated overall customer satisfaction. It ranked Singapore airshow as the most important aerospace and defense show after the Paris Air Show. According to Lim, 87 percent of the exhibitors had “their objectives met.” In terms of nationalities, show organizers hope for “enhanced Chinese presence” in 2014. They are also hoping for “more robust participation from India, Japan, Korea and our neighboring countries,” and “a stronger European presence.” Lim is confident that Singapore is the right place for a show in the region. The rival Asian Aerospace 2013 show in Hong Kong has been cancelled, which suggests that she is right. Singapore’s total aerospace sector output hit a record $6.2
functionally fine art There are some stands here at Farnborough that might not look out of place among the art galleries of London’s Mayfair district. Finely tuned machinery can be as pleasing to the touch as fine art, sometimes even more so.
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Runway overruns top Airbus R&D list by Ian Goold The emergence of “new competitors in very powerful places around the world” has led Airbus to pursue new technologies as a way to differentiate itself, said strategy and future-programs executive vice president Christian Scherer. For instance, despite the tough economic times, the European airframer is investing $2.5 billion in environmental research-and-development work this year alone. Contributing to this up-front spending is the saving Airbus has made by launching the A320neo, which has “bought a lot of time and money to research properly, instead of running around like a headless chicken,” said Scherer. This would provide an opportunity for Airbus to distance itself from what he characterized as new-generation “wannabes” that have made “the major mistake of bringing nothing new to the party.” The A320neo move could save perhaps $9 billion in short-term expenditure, while keeping A320 operating costs a step ahead of aspiring market entrants. Current technologies in which Airbus is engaged include biofuels, composite materials, sharklet wingtips and bionic structures. Scherer also identified a range of solutions with potential: materials management, upgrades, airport operations, connectivity, training and air-traffic management.
and that the next Airbus aircraft would have “a very different cockpit.” Part of the future would be the emergence of “rupture” technologies that would set new standards, Scherer said,
adding that he expects Airbus to bring a new standard of cockpit commonality to the market. Future aircraft configurations could include high rear-mounted engines driving contrarotating
open rotors, according to research and technology senior vice president Axel Krein. Airbus is working with engine manufacturers Rolls-Royce and Safran. They have tested a windtunnel model and could operate A340 test-bed flights during 2014-16, ahead of a possible A320-replacement launch before 2020, said Krein. Airbus is also
considering fuel cells to replace auxiliary power units and ramair turbines as supplementary or replacement power sources. “It would be irresponsible not to fly [such technology] in the next five years,” Scherer said. “[Openrotor technology] is the numberone chance to reduce fuel burn until there is propulsion more efficient than the propeller.” o
Airbus has established a business development “nursery” to incubate ideas that can be harvested as future businesses, of which just one example is the manufacturer’s runway-overrun prevention system (ROPS). This would contribute to reduced aviation insurance claims, since “landing excursions are the number one source of claims.” The manufacturer said ROPS options for all aircraft models are “nearly certified.” Another example of Airbus innovation is the Elise system of advanced instrument-landing simulation that could indicate electromagnetic or other signal disturbance generated by buildings or temporary structures. Elise could “almost calibrate” the potential interference from objects and therefore might be able to permit, say, building development nearer to runways. Scherer said he could imagine the evolution of pilots from “drivers to machine-tool manager,”
GOOD FLYING! PILATUS WISHES YOU AN EXCELLENT AIR SHOW! Come and visit us at the Static Display www.pilatus-aircraft.com
www.ainonline.com • July 11, 2012 • Farnborough Airshow News 17
Boeing looks to ease sole-supplier threats by Gregory Polek Boeing’s well-documented de velopment struggles with the new 787 Dreamliner raised questions over the wisdom of its plan to reduce the number of its suppliers and to place more responsibility with them for design and management of their own supply chains. However, at the time, the industry’s supplier base had become “thicker,” meaning it had added more layers, resulting in more specialization and incentive for OEMs such as Boeing to lean more heavily on their Tier 1 and Tier 2 suppliers to conduct their own supply management functions. But now, Boeing has established a goal of spreading risk within its supply chain by actively seeking more than one source for given components across its commercial airplane line, raising new questions about whether it has reconsidered the philosophy it adopted more than a decade ago. “Where we see a commercial threat associated with sole-source suppliers, we are looking hard at what we should do to address that,” said BCA vice president and general manager for supplier management Kent Fisher. “There’s a spectrum of places
where I feel like, commercially, I’m being taken advantage of from a sole-source perspective.” Qualifying Suppliers
Fisher wouldn’t identify any of the companies in question, but he stressed that several opportunities exist to use two sources, ranging from Tier 1 down to Tier 4 suppliers, for both new and existing programs. “We have to qualify suppliers at the lower levels to let our Tier 1s and [Tier] 2s use them, and we’ll look at qualifying additional suppliers for certain things,” said Fisher. However, that does not necessarily reflect a retreat from Boeing’s move to minimize its supplier base and place more supply-chain management responsibility on its Tier 1 and Tier 2 partners, he insisted. “The dual sourcing is about business continuity and getting better commercial terms where we can,” said Fisher. “There are certainly suppliers that have taken advantage of a unique position in the supply chain and used it, I think, to earn unreasonable profits.” Meanwhile, Boeing’s production rate increases across its product line has driven what Fisher characterized as
Cytec demonstrates new resin infusion process Composite material specialist Cytec Engineered Products (Chalet C4-5) has two factory expansion projects under way. The company is also here at the Farnborough International Airshow discussing a new process that combines low-cost manufacturing and the ability to produce primary structure components. The first project is the restart of a plan to expand carbon fiber manufacturing at its Piedmont, South Carolina facility. The expansion will double Cytec’s capacity for polyacrylonitrile-based (PAN-based) carbon fiber production. U.S.-based Cytec uses these fibers in the manufacture of pre-impregnated materials (prepregs). Construction is expected to be completed by the end of 2013, with commercial fiber
production anticipated for 2014. Meanwhile, in Greenville, Texas, Cytec is expanding its factory and associated infrastructure. This will support a new impregnation line, which will increase the site’s carbon fiber-reinforced prepreg capacity by 20 percent. Commercial production in the new facility is expected to begin in 2015. Both projects support “growing demand for Cytec’s composite materials products in the aerospace industry,” the firm said. Cytec’s workforce, now at 2,000, is thus growing. James Pigford, director of program management, told AIN the Boeing 787’s production start has been a favorable factor. Cytec is also busy developing more straightforward composite manufacturing techniques. For
Sprit Aerosystems rolls out a 737 fuselage from its Wichita plant following an April tornado that halted operations for more than a week. A sole-source supplier, Spirit earned praise from Boeing for its responsiveness in the wake of the disaster.
the company’s most proactive effort ever toward managing the supply base. So-called production readiness assessments have always included general appraisals of suppliers’ management of their own supply chains, engineering and manufacturing capability and quality assurance. Last year, however, Boeing augmented those activities with a process of reviewing more than 1,000 suppliers’ specific plans for achieving the rate increases. “So we would go and ask each one of them, ‘Are you purchasing more equipment? Are you hiring more staff ? Are you sending work out of your example, its new Prism EP2400 resin infusion system brings easier, out-of-autoclave production to primary aircraft structures. Thanks to its low cure temperature, it does not need an autoclave. Hence, lower capital, tooling and manufacturing costs, according to the firm. In addition, part size is no longer limited by the autoclave’s size. Resin infusion enables complex textile geometries. “This process gives more freedom,” Pigford said. With the EP2400, these benefits are brought to primary structure manufacturing. He further explained that his engineers have created “a new class of toughness” in infused products.–T.D. AINonline iPhone App NOW AVAILABLE
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facility to other suppliers?’” said Fisher. “We reviewed those plans in some detail with them and then worked on a collaborative basis if we saw any issues.” Monitoring Mode
Since collecting and evaluating those plans, Boeing has now moved into what Fisher called a monitoring mode, which, he said, has progressed “relatively well.” “As we’ve moved through the rate breaks over the past year or so, the performance of the supply chain has been very strong,” he added. “We’ve seen record low supplier cost shortages on our programs…We have a long way to go, however, and I don’t want to declare success until we get through all of the rate increases.” Boeing then sends experts in various fields to individual suppliers to address whatever production difficulties it might encounter. Most often, he added, success will depend the cooperation showed by the supplier. “And we are not shy about implementing that if we see a need,” said Fisher. Of course, schedule changes initiated by Boeing itself could stress suppliers as well, Fisher acknowledged, and he named several accommodations the OEM has made. In some cases, the sides have arrived at a compromise shipping schedule, allowing, for example, suppliers to ship earlier than Boeing’s strict schedule might require to allow their production systems to flow more smoothly. In fact, Boeing has learned from the way some of its Tier 1 suppliers manage their own supply chains and incorporated some of those methods itself.
Kent Fisher, BCA vice president and general manager for supply chain management, considers the implications of more frequent use of two suppliers for the same part.
Of course, others have proved rather poor at supplier management, said Fisher. “We really try to be collaborative,” he stressed. “I don’t know if every supplier would describe it that way, but we try to come in and understand the total circumstances of that supplier and find a solution that keeps these factories moving.” One Tier 1 partner deserves particular praise for its responsiveness under particularly trying circumstances, said Fisher. Wichita-based Spirit Aerosystems, supplier of most of the Boeing 737 fuselage along with major parts for virtually the entire line of Boeing commercial airplanes, never missed a delivery despite serious tornado damage in April that closed its operation for more than a week. “We are aware that there are many facilities, not just in Wichita, that are difficult to replace,” said Fisher. “So if something happens we will have to overcome interruptions in supply and I think that the way that we’ve approached that is by dedicating our resources and counting on the kind of performance that we saw out of the Spirit team.” o
Advanced cameras and millions of data points measure each fan blade to within a fraction of a hair’s width. Because reliability is at the heart of everything we do, it’s quite understandable why, during manufacture, we use millions of data points from advanced cameras to measure the dimensions of each blade to within an accuracy of 40 microns. That’s less than half the width of a human hair. It’s this attention to detail which maximises operational efficiency for our customers. Making the extraordinary, ordinary.
Trusted to deliver excellence
Airbus beefs up A380 wing to address fatigue cracking by Ian Goold Airbus is producing a “final fix” to strengthen parts of the A380’s wing structure that have developed cracks on early examples of the very-large airliner. Aircraft now in production will be modified and the changes will be retrofitted to in-service aircraft. The cracks occurred on wing-rib feet that fasten skin panels to internal wing ribs. An inspection and repair program, approved by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), permits continued safe operation of almost 80 aircraft that have been delivered to customers, according to programs executive vice president Tom Williams. The Airbus executive has acknowledged his embarrassment about the problem because the A380 wing was developed in Britain early in the last decade during his tenure as the UK program manager, so “my fingerprints are all over the A380 wing,” he said. Speaking as he was the outgoing Airbus chief executive shortly before becoming chief executive of parent company EADS in June, Tom Enders conceded that the situation was not good for the manufacturer. Airbus thought it understood the properties of the A380 wing materials and the interface between carbonfiber and metal, but “found out the wrong way we didn’t know everything,” said Enders. “It has
cost the company a great deal of money and [harmed our] reputation.” In its 2012 first-quarter results, EADS said the final retrofit fix is more complex than initially anticipated in March. “Therefore, the group updated the cost for the retrofit solution, leading to an additional charge of €158 million [about $200 million] in the first quarter,” he said. Altogether, Airbus has registered charges of €264 million (about $330 million) to cover modification of the 30 A380s it plans to deliver this year. All A380s delivered from early 2014 will be to this standard. Before then Airbus plans new 575- and 490-metric-ton (about 1.268 million pounds and 1.08 million pounds, respectively) maximum takeoff weights offering operators some 500 nm more range or eight tons (about 17,640 pounds) extra payload. The changes mean an A380 could fly 525 passengers from London to Perth, Australia, said Airbus. Operating at 510 tons (almost 1.125 million pounds) mtow with 670 passengers, a “regional” A380 could fly from Hong Kong to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, or beyond Australia, according to Williams. Improved engines will be available from both suppliers, including new optional thrust settings for operations from short, hot or high runways. Also
Following the discovery of cracks in some wing-rib “feet” where skin panels are attached, Airbus plans to provide replacement parts for wings in service or awaiting final assembly. After modification, A380s may be flown without additional inspections, at least until they achieve their 19,000-flight-cycle design service objective.
coming are structural design and system improvements to reduce weight and increase reliability. Modified Wings
From the end of 2012, the A380 will feature modified wings that incorporate a revised design for certain ribs following Airbus’s analysis of cracks discovered earlier this year in feet (or brackets) that attach the ribs to the outer skins, known as “covers,” in Airbus parlance. The manufacturer will revert to the use of metal in place of the composites material chosen originally to save weight in the wing-rib panels (or webs) and is planning to provide parts for in-service aircraft modification from early next year. The change brings A380 wing-ribs into line with other Airbus models that have metal wing ribs. In the future, all wing-rib feet will be
Airbus asks passengers to predict future cabin preferences Airliner manufacturers aren’t mind readers, so it isn’t easy for them to work out what passengers will request beyond the current generation of cabin services. To find out with more certainty, Airbus has surveyed more than 10,000 people who could be passengers four decades from now to learn their preferences. The result is the Airbus Concept Cabin, which shows how things might be. Aircraft interiors marketing head Zuzana Hrnkova said that first-, business-, and economy-class sections will become known as “‘Vitalizing,’ ‘Interaction’ and ‘Smart Tech’ zones for a bespoke inflight experience.” The new classes of traveler accommodation will address perceived individualized requirements such as relaxation, recreation, interaction or business meetings with people on the ground. “By offering different levels of experience within each zone, airlines
Airliners of the future could have bionic airframe structures constructed like a bird’s skeleton and coated with a biopolymer membrane controlling the skin’s opacity, thus permitting 360-degree exterior views and making windows obsolete.
would be able to achieve the price differential they need to operate a successful business, give more people access to the benefits of air travel and still look after the environment,” said Hrnkova, who summarized many possible technological innovations available to a future passenger generation. The 2020 jetliner could sport a bionic airframe constructed like a bird’s skeleton to provide required fuselage strength, while using extra available cabin capacity. This structure would be coated with a biopolymer membrane controlling levels of humidity, natural light and temperature, including the skin’s opacity/transparency, thus giving 360-degree exterior views on demand and making windows obsolete. Future passenger cabins also would be fully ecological, said Hrnkova. Fully recyclable plant fibers could be grown and customized to replace nonrenewable metal or plastics materials. Future materials might comprise fluid and gas rather than being solid. In fact, Hrnkova said morphing materials that change shape and return to their original form are possible, being metals or polymers with a memory, or covered with a skin to generate a changed shape. So-called self-reliant materials would clean and repair themselves, while surface coatings inspired by nature would be used for seat fabrics and carpets; paints would seal scratches. Future smart materials could perform numerous functions, recognizing passengers who would be connected wirelessly to the aircraft. Cabin elements could be created through additive layer manufacturing or three-dimensional printing techniques that simplify production of very complex shapes and waste less material, according to Hrnkova. Finally, smart solutions such as energy harvesting would collect excess energy from window-blind solar panels and passengers body heat to power cabin equipment, while pictorial scenes could be projected as virtual decors for cabin wall panels. –I.G.
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manufactured from 7010 Aluminum, rather than 7449 material, making them “similar to other Airbus aircraft,” according to Williams. “All aircraft delivered from early 2014 [will be] to this standard. There will be no weight increase and thus no impact on aircraft performance.” Airbus is planning to provide parts for retrofit to the current A380 fleet, and aircraft already in production, during the first quarter of 2013. After modification, they may be flown without the need for “extraordinary inspections or interventions” at least until they achieve their design service objective (or “life”) of 19,000 flight cycles. Wing sets for as many as 50 aircraft in various stages of construction had been delivered to the final-assembly line in Toulouse from Airbus UK by the beginning of last month. Each A380 wing has up to 60 ribs, with about 4,000 rib feet per wing set, although only about 20 brackets have been subject to cracking. The work to overcome the problem involves changing the relevant composite wing-rib panels and associated rib feet, said Williams. An “intensive testing and analysis” exercise is under way. “The method and timing of the modification is being discussed with airlines to align with their operational needs,” he said. An Airbus investigation revealed two material problems, identified as Type 1 “micro” cracks in the wing-rib feet and, more significantly, Type 2 examples that must be inspected when aircraft have reached 1,300 flight cycles. “The cracks result from material choice, thermal distortion at extreme low temperature and stresses generated during assembly. [The] final fix for all aircraft is being designed– for delivered aircraft and new production [examples]. It will restore the full life capability of the wing without performance impact,” according to Williams. He said that Airbus had not used carbonfiber composites for wing-rib construction on previous models and that the A380’s designers were “pushing hard” to reduce weight. By using the composite material for wing-rib webs and conventional aluminum-alloy for rib feet, the manufacturer had been able to save about 660 pounds from the weight of each wing. o
PAPUA NEW GUINEA
View the Series 400 on static display or visit Viking Pavilion OE26 for more information.
Rolls advances its Vision for post-2020 new technology by Ian Goold A composite fan blade, a real Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 high-bypass powerplant and a model of the Trent XWB being developed for the Airbus A350 are on the manufacturer’s stand here at Farnborough (Hall 4 Stand H3, and Innovation Zone) to illustrate the state of the engine maker’s art and where the company expects to go next. In what the UK-based group calls a “relentless pursuit of technology,” Rolls-Royce is “always looking at 15 to 20 different designs beyond 2020,” according to strategic marketing vice president Robert Nuttall. As the manufacturer continues various engine core and systems demonstrator programs, it is considering the technologies required for future commercial and large corporate aircraft. Rolls-Royce studies alternative applications for its research results, so future programs must accommodate different possibilities, said Nuttall. Some research addresses outside requirements, a current example being the RB3025 project geared to a Boeing request about an engine for a future 777-size aircraft (see box); other work is driven by internal needs. Underlining the long-term nature of research and development, Nuttall said tomorrow is “six or seven years away, so it will be [that long] before [a newly launched project] enters service, plus a ten-year development program.” A key element in Rolls-Royce philosophy is its three-phase Vision program. “Vision 5” describes available, off-theshelf technologies that could be incorporated into new products or used to
update existing engines. Developments at the validation stage and due to be commercially available in the medium-term (up to 10 years ahead) are dubbed Vision 10, while technologies at the emerging (or unproved) strategic research stage and aimed at future generations up to two decades hence are classed as Vision 20. Unconvinced of the business case for commercial aircraft re-engining programs such as the Airbus A320neo and Boeing’s 737 MAX (and having failed two years ago to dissuade the two airframe manufacturers otherwise), Rolls-Royce officials remain adamant that the future lies in developing projects that match airframes and engines from the start. “We want to design an airplane and an engine that are made for each other, to focus on driving a level of technology that is not going to be available in 2014 or 15 [for new designs planned to enter service in mid-decade],” Rolls-Royce senior vice president Dominic Horwood told the U.S. Pacific Northwest Aerospace Alliance last year. Accordingly, the engine maker is looking much farther into the future, having dissolved its interest in International Aero Engines (which continues to make V2500 engines as a Pratt & Whitney, JAEC and MTU partnership) in favor of a new 50:50 joint venture with P&W to develop engines to power the next generation of mid-sized airliners (120 to 230 seats). Regional and Corporate Applications
Smaller members of a family of such engines also could be used on future regional airliners and medium- and largesize business jets. Focusing on highbypass-ratio geared turbofan technology, the joint venture will collaborate on studies for future propulsion systems, including advanced geared engines, open-rotor technology and other advanced configurations. For some time, it has been working on new Advance2 and Advance3 two- and three-shaft engine series. Led by German subsidiary Rolls-Royce Deutschland’s two-shaft center of excellence
Rolls-Royce has devised an all-new RB3025 engine concept following a Boeing request for a powerplant to equip a future 777size aircraft in around 2020.
in Stuttgart, Advance2 work considers requirements for aircraft from mediumsized business jets up to 150-passenger narrowbodies. Rolls-Royce believes it can produce a good engine by using a fan derived from its large engines attached to a core based on the E3E efficiency, environment and economy technology-demonstrator that entered test four years ago. A slightly smaller fan would be used for large corporate and regional jets; removal of a compressor stage will permit the basic core to be used for midsize business aircraft. Advance2 features a “world-leading” 22:1 high-pressure compressor ratio and two-stage HP turbine. The Advance3 program is based on the Trent 1000-derived environmentally friendly engine (EFE) technology demonstrator core and is aimed at providing three-shaft engines for commercial widebodies such as the prospective Boeing 777X expected to enter service around the end of the decade. Advance3 incorporates “lean-burn” combustion and technology from the advanced low-pressure system (ALPS) demonstrator project. EFE is part of the UK National Aerospace Technology Strategy program that aims to develop measures that will reduce noise, fuel burn and emissions. One element of EFE includes an active bladetip clearance-control system. Nuttall said that a “most sensitive area” of engine technology is loss of efficiency because of leakage around blade tips.
Rolls Offers RB3025 for New Triple Seven
A composite fan blade can be seen on the RollsRoyce stand here at Farnborough alongside a Trent 1000 high-bypass engine and a model of the Trent XWB being developed for the Airbus A350.
An all-new RB3025 engine concept has been created by Rolls-Royce following a Boeing request also extended to General Electric and Pratt & Whitney for a powerplant for a future 777-size aircraft in around 2020. The current 777 is powered exclusively by the GE90. Rolls-Royce has selected a 132.5-inch diameter for the composite fan for the 99,500-pound-thrust engine, which will sport a 12:1 bypass ratio and a 62:1 overall pressure ratio that would be the h ighest achieved on a commercial aircraft. The UK manufacturer predicts a “better than 10-percent” improvement in specific fuel consumption, compared with current GE90-115B engines powering the 777, and a 15-percent margin over its own Trent 800 on some older 777s. The RB3025 derives much from its present Trent 1000 and XWB powerplants, with strategic marketing vice president Robert Nuttall attributing remaining technology to R-R’s “Advance3” environmentally friendly engine (EFE) development program (see main story). Boeing is expected to require engines for two models of its future large twin-aisle twinjet, and RollsRoyce is likely to offer a de-rated variant of a basic unit to meet the lower power requirement. –I.G.
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The active control senses dynamically what is happening, compared with current systems that sense temperature and control fuel flow to pre-set parameters. According to Nuttall, “The question is: ‘Can you sense the [blade-tip clearance] in real time and adjust it as necessary?’” The LP system uses a composite fan and casing (for comparison with established titanium equipment) and is on schedule for testing beginning in 2014. Other demonstration work also planned for testing in two years’ time includes the advanced low-emissions combustion systems (ALECSYS) “lean-burn” demonstrator program that has been under way for “some considerable time.” The program uses an “advanced active-control”system involving valves to meter fuel flow and an “innovative” thermal-management system to reduce mean peak temperatures and the time engine parts are exposed to that level of heat. Nuttall said that ALPS and ALECSYS work involves two separate engines for two separate flying-testbed programs. Rolls-Royce does not see any imminent move into the application of openrotor technology, but it has been working on such a powerplant that could become available during 2020-25. The manufacturer wants first to complete any related flight-testing “so that we can have an informed design.” It is not proposing open-rotor flights before the second half of this decade, according to Nuttall. After completion of wind-tunnel tests with potential open-rotor blade designs, Rolls-Royce became convinced the technology will be quieter than current equivalent-size engines. Using generic round numbers, Nuttall said such designs are expected to offer 10 percent better fuel consumption but would be 10 percent “less quiet.” Meanwhile, the company sees open-rotor propulsion as “the only real game-changer relative to an advanced turbofan, and the only thing that can deliver clear daylight–10 percent better.” o
P&W gears up to deliver PW1100Gs for the A320neo
Helmet display serves as the eyes of the JSF
with additional options and a long-term PureSolution maintenance agreement. Deliveries are scheduled to begin in 2015. “With oil prices on the rise, we are more satisfied than ever with our selection,” said IndiGo president Aditya Ghosh. “As a result of the lower engine operating cost, we are confident we can maintain our competitive low fares,” added Ghosh. Cebu Pacific Air’s order to power 30 A321neos also includes a 10-year PureSolution maintenance package for each engine. Deliveries are scheduled to begin in 2017. The carrier currently operates 10 Airbus A319s, 20 Airbus A320s and eight ATR 72 500 turboprops. Between 2012 and 2021, Cebu Pacific plans to take delivery of 22 more Airbus A320s and the 30 Airbus A321neos, and it also holds options for another 10 Neos. o
BAE Systems is now bringing ‘active inceptors’ to civil craft by Bill Carey BAE Systems is migrating “active inceptor” control technology from military aircraft to civil applications– enabling direct pilot inputs into the flight controls of commercial fly-by-wire (FBW) aircraft. The UK-based company is developing its civil active control stick (ACS) for an unnamed commercial launch customer. Active inceptor technology was developed for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and JAS 39 Gripen fighters and the UH-60 and CH-53 helicopters. Active control sticks also will be implemented on the Embraer KC-390 military transport, which is being developed for dual military and civil certifications. The KC-390 is expected to enter service in 2016. Active inceptors enable pilot inputs to be transmitted to the actuators controlling flight surfaces in an aircraft’s FBW system, providing “stick to surface” functionality. In turn, the system provides tactile cues or resistance back to the pilot to mimic the feel of the aircraft. Passive inceptors are those that provide tactile information through the use of springs and dampers. Advantages of active inceptors, according to BAE, include increased pilot awareness of flight modes and conditions, and warnings of impending flight envelope limits through tactile feedback. Helicopter pilots experience improved handling while hovering or flying at low speeds, or in degraded visual conditions. “What it means is that we can actually change the characteristics of the stick and
do it in real-time,” working in conjunction with the FBW system, said Nigel Wright, BAE Systems director of flight controls and displays, Commercial Aircraft Solutions. BAE accomplished the first flight of a multi-redundant, safety critical ACS on the X-32 and X-35 Joint Strike Fighter candidates in 2000, and started development of an active sidestick controller on
Asgeir Nyseth, left, COO of Norwegian Air Shuttle, signed a memorandum of understanding with Todd Kallman, right, president, Pratt & Whitney’s commercial engines to equip 50 of Nyseth’s airline’s Airbus A320neo twinjets with P&W’s PurePower PW1100G-JM engines. Nyseth said, “We chose the PurePower engine because we believe it offers the greatest long-term benefits.”
the winning Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II in 2001. It started development of the first production helicopter active cyclic and collective controls in 2005. The ACS civil certification effort for the unnamed launch customers began in 2010, followed by the KC-390 active stick development this year. BAE claims to be the only manufacturer with active inceptors in production, providing “a tremendous tie-up” with the company’s military and commercial FBW systems, said Wright. “We’ve been on quite a journey with this product and invested quite a lot of money to move it forward,” said Wright. “It isn’t quite as simple as taking a passive inceptor and bolting on a motor.” o
Vision Systems International (VSI), the joint venture company of Rockwell Collins and Elbit Systems of Israel, is displaying the advanced helmetmounted display system (HMDS) of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and other helmet display systems at its Farnborough International airshow stand. F-35 manufacturer Lockheed Martin has recently reported progress with three fixes intended to mitigate night-vision, latency and jitter problems identified by Joint Strike Fighter pilots with the Gen II HMDS. The joint venture also is displaying its Targo HMD and joint helmetmounted cueing system (JHMCS). The Targo helmet display is a low-cost solution for light-attack, airlift and trainer aircraft. The JHMCS, VSI’s first product, is a joint U.S. Air Force and Navy helmetmounted display qualified on the F-15, F-16 and F/A-18 fighters. Over 4,000 systems have been fielded, according to VSI (Hall 2 Stand B15).–B.C.
Vision Systems International, a cooperative venture between Elbit and Rockwell Collins, makes the helmet-mounted display for the Joint Strike Fighter.
a merlin symphony The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight draws many Farnborough visitors outside of the halls to gaze up in awe–and listen. With four Rolls-Royce Merlin V-12 engines aboard the RAF Lancaster bomber and a fifth in the nose of the Spitfire Mk Vb, the sound is unmistakable. For those who appreciate the history of these historic aircraft–and the Spitfire is an acutal combat veteran–the piston-tympany is music to the ears.
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Pratt & Whitney had a strong start at the Farnborough International airshow Monday, when its PW1100G geared turbofan engines were selected by two budget Asian carriers–India’s IndiGo and Cebu Pacific Air of the Philippines–to power the Airbus A320neo family aircraft they have on order. Indigo’s deal represents one of the largest orders in the U.S. engine maker’s history, said the OEM. The U.S. engine manufacturer also announced that Norwegian Air Shuttle signed a memorandum of understanding to power 50 Airbus A320neos with PW1100Gs, with first delivery scheduled for 2016. With its fleet of 57 new Airbus A320s, Indigo is already India’s largest budget carrier (and its only profit-making one). Its agreement for 150 Airbus A320neos includes 300 firm orders for engines,
by Neelam Mathews
Joyce remains ‘positive’ as engine backlogs grow Forecasting order announcements for engines worth up to $10 billion by the end of this week’s Farnborough International airshow, GE Aviation president and chief executive David Joyce described the atmosphere so far as “more subdued” than the “wild” Paris Air Show last year, but nevertheless still “very positive.” Joyce cited backlogs of “six to seven years” for General Electric’s widebody-airliner engines, with outstanding orders for its CFM International joint venture with Safran covering “four to five” years’ production. With GE ramping-up manufacturing rates to match buoyant
GE Pushes Ahead with Engine for 777X General Electric is stepping up studies to provide a new engine for Boeing’s planned 777X. GE90 program manager Bill Millhaem has confirmed that the proposed GE9X turbofan will deliver 10 percent greater fuel efficiency than existing engines in the family. The U.S. engine maker expects to achieve a first run of the highpressure compressor rig early in 2013. The first test of the full core should be achieved by 2015.–I.G.
market requirements, he expects to see an almost 10-percent production increase for GE, CFMI and the GE/Pratt & Whitney Engine Alliance (EA) commercial powerplants this year, from 2,200 in 2011 to 2,400, and a similar 200-unit growth next year to 2,600 engines. Widebody-engine deliveries are said to have doubled since 2009 to this year’s planned 480, with production of 564 foreseen in 2013. The workhorse CFM56 remains the “key production driver,” according to GE, accounting for 1,400 of last year’s engines, with up to 1,600 such units earmarked for manufacture in 2014. There are some 26,000 GE, CFMI and EA engines in service, a population expected to increase to 45,000 by 2020. Confirming the continuing “outstanding performance” by its new GEnx engine, GE Aviation has deployed 60 field service engineers to meet all arriving Boeing 787 and 747-8 flights to ensure a smooth entry into service. With close to 100 such powerplants said to be performing “extremely well” in the field, by early this month they had welcomed more than 2,100 flights at almost 50 airports in nearly 30 countries. GEnx engines have accumulated 130,000 plus flight hours
MBDA’s Spear for F-35 MBDA has unveiled a mockup and video depiction of SPEAR, a turbojet-powered air-surface missile for the UK Royal Air Force. SPEAR stands for selective precision effects at range and the missile is intended for launch from the stealthy Lockheed Martin F-35 (Joint Strike Fighter) at ranges in excess of 100 km. MBDA describes SPEAR an all-weather, day/night, networkcentric, low collateral-damage weapon that flies at high subsonic speeds. It is capable of dealing with an extremely large target set ranging from fast-moving maneuvering vehicles (including main battle tanks), hardened structures, air defense units and missile launchers, to naval vessels. It will have a multimode seeker, a multi-effects warhead and GPS/ INS guidance with a data link for mid-course target updates. SPEAR is being designed so
that four can fit into each of the F-35’s two internal weapons bays. However, the length of the missiles may have to be reduced from that seen in image below now that the UK has reverted to the F-35B, which has a shorter weapons bay than the F-35C. The missile is carried upside down in the F-35 and has pop-out wings. A new launcher will be designed. The concept of operations includes launching multiple missiles against difficult targets, such as an air defense system, with the
by Ian Goold
Zimex accepts its Second Viking 400 Here at the Farnborough International airshow, Swiss operator Zimex Aviation took delivery of its second Viking 400 from Canada’s Viking Aircraft. Zimex, which was launch customer for the modernized version of the de Havilland Twin Otter, received its first aircraft at the 2010 Farnborough show; it is now deployed on charter operations in Uganda.
and more than 28,000 flight cycles since entering service last October, according to program general manager Chuck Nugent. More than 140 are planned for 2012 production, with 200 engines scheduled for next year and an annual capacity for 300 expected in the next few years. As GEnx maturation continues, GE Aviation will continue tests to accumulate an additional 25,000 cycles by 2016, equal to about 20 years’ actual service. It will have conducted five shop visits on the maturation engine before the first such exercise on a customer unit. The established GE90 engine that powers all Boeing 777s has been celebrating the passage of milestones with more than 1,400 weapons approaching from different angles. MBDA UK managing director Steve Wadey said the new missile would be “vital for future multi-role missions of the F-35.” He expressed confidence that SPEAR would attract other customers and would be carried by other platforms. The missile is already in the assessment phase, which will include an air launch and ignition of the turbojet. The UK Ministry of Defence will decide in 2014 whether to proceed to a demonstration phase and eventual manufacture.–C.P.
RAF F-35 stealth fighters will carry MBDA’s Spear missile.
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now in service, accumulation of more than 30 million flight-hours and delivery of 1,000 GE90115B models since entry-intoservice eight years ago. Last year, GE Aviation received operator commitments covering 400
engines, exceeding 2007’s previous record level of 250 units. The company expects to produce more than 180 GE90 engines this year, up from 170 in 2011, with production expected to climb to 225 engines in 2014. o
GEnx engines have logged more than 130,000 flight hours since entering service on the Boeing 787 since entering service last October.
Russian leasing company signs deals for 25 aircraft Russian leasing group Ilyushin Finance Corp. (IFC) has signed an agreement for 15 aircraft from the Antonov An-148/158 family of regional airliners, valued at around $420 million based on list prices. IFC will in turn resell the aircraft to its new partner in Panama. South American Aircraft Leasing will place the twinjets with local carriers, with an initial three An-158s due to be delivered from December 2012. Five more An-158s and seven An-148s are due to be delivered between 2013 and 2014. South American Aircraft Leasing intends to provide customer support and arrange repair and maintenance for the aircraft. The partnership with
IFC is intended to create easier access to the Antonov. IFC also has ordered 10 Aircraft Industries’ L-410 UVP E-20 twin turboprops, with options for another three. Deliveries of the 19-seaters are scheduled for 2013 and 2014, possibly 2015 if the options are exercised. The contract is valued at $80 million. The L-410 UVP E-20 is a new variant of the Let 410 that dates back from the Soviet era. Let successor Aircraft Industries is based in the Czech Republic but owned by Russian investors.–T.D.
Sea Sparrow joins Norway’s NASAMS stable by David Donald Last month Raytheon and Kongsberg conducted the first firing of the Evolved Sea Sparrow missile (ESSM) from the NASAMS (Norwegian advanced surface-to-air missile system). The June 24 firing at Norway’s Andøya Rocket Range not only validated the ability to fire the ESSM with the system, but also the ability to integrate an older-generation Hawk high-power illuminator into the system. The NASAMS was developed by Raytheon and Kongsberg to answer a Norwegian requirement for medium-range air
defense, and is the first such system with active radar missile capability. The system has subsequently been sold to Chile, Finland, the Netherlands, Spain and the U.S. At the heart of the NASAMS is the fire distribution center that coordinates the actions of launch units. Missiles can be launched from open rails or canisters. The standard weapon for the NASAMS is the active-radar AMRAAM, but the imaging infrared AIM-9X can also be used, providing the system with a dual-mode capability. The addition of
the semi-active ESSM makes it the third missile to be integrated with the NASAMS, although it requires an additional illuminating radar, such as the Hawk unit used in the Norwegian test. Last year the NASAMS team also fired a German Diehl-BGT IRIS-T missile in a demonstration of the ability of system to fire non-U.S. missiles. o
Raytheon’s Evolved Sea Sparrow missile system is fired from a NASAMS system last month.
Bombardier sizes up the prospects for a stretched, 90-seat Q400 “There will be tradeoffs [but] a Q400X stretch to 90 seats would bring added productivity,“ he stated, “and the Next Gen does have seat-growth potential.” He also pointed out that the 360-knot cruising speed of the aircraft and the new 2-plus-1 business class cabin layout–with large overhead bins–provided a similar flight experience to jets, including comparable point-to-point times on many services. The Q400 design could, he said, grow further if that was the way to go. With potential re-engining options opening up (with suppliers such as General Electric and Pratt & Whitney Canada well on the way to offering optimized powerplant solutions), this possible future roadmap might be one reason why Bombardier is quietly confident that the Q400 Next Gen is currently on a roll, not experiencing just a temporary surge owing to the growing ATR backlog. This year has brought in much-needed new orders and options, including sales of up to 45 from Canadian airline WestJet, and up to 20 for Eurolot in Poland, with more expected very soon. This renewed sense of confidence is reflected in the increasing pace of production at Toronto. o
It seems that much discussion is still under way at Bombardier as to whether or not it should launch a stretched, 90-seat model of its Dash 8 Q400 Next Gen turboprop. Speaking during a pre-show media briefing in Toronto, home of the Canadian manufacturer’s turboprop airliner family, Philippe Poutissou, vice president marketing at Bombardier Commercial Aircraft, said the company carried out extensive studies to investigate what potential customers might be looking for. Bombardier’s arch rival in the turboprop regional market, Europe’s ATR, has been on a sales high in the last couple of years, albeit with just one family product line, and has been considering an all-new 90-seater. Bombardier has a broader commercial family in development, and production ranging from the CRJ regional jet family and the Q400, to the new CSeries airliner, to its expanding Global and Learjet business jet families. The company has, therefore, felt able to resist market pressure to press ahead and has taken the time to carry out significant market research while also waiting to see what course of action ATR might pursue. Bombardier’s forecasts indicate a possible market for some 2,400 new deliveries in the combined turboprop sector over the next two decades. “[However], there are many questions to ask before making any decisions on this,” commented Poutissou. “We need to hear what [customers] most want to see, given that they want increased capacity. Will it come through a product featuring much new technology, or will maximum commonality with existing fleets be a priority?” The Bombardier executive added that timing would also be an important factor.
To stretch, or not to stretch the Q400 turboprop? That is the question execs are pondering at Bombardier.
www.ainonline.com • July 11, 2012 • Farnborough Airshow News 27
news clips z IAI Chosen To Develop and Produce Amos 6
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) was recently selected by Space Communications (Spacecom), the Israeli satellite fleet operator, as a supplier for the development and production of the Amos 6 communication satellite, which will replace the Amos 2 satellite. The contract is valued at around $200 million and represents a coup for the company, which reportedly fought off stiff competition from the likes of U.S. company Loral. “The Amos 6 communications satellite will incorporate new technologies that represent a significant leap forward in the capabilities of IAI and the state of Israel in space,” said Joseph Weiss, IAI’s president Joseph Weiss, president and CEO. The new satellite is scheduled for launch in 2014 or 2015 and will be and CEO of Israel Aerospace Industries. located at 4 degrees West.
z VSMPO Contracted for Comac 919 Forgings
Arkia Israeli Airlines has signed a purchase agreement for four Airbus A321neos here at the Farnborough International airshow. A new Airbus customer, Arkia will use its aircraft in an all-economy class configuration, seating 220 passengers. Engine selection will be announced later, Airbus said.
z New-generation TCAS from ACSS Enters Service Aviation Communication & Surveillance Systems (ACSS) announced here that the first Bombardier Q400 equipped with the TCAS 3000SP (surveillance processor) has been delivered to Polish airline Eurolot. ACSS is a joint venture between L-3 Aviation Products (70 percent) and Thales (30 percent). The TCAS 3000SP has been developed to operate in the NextGen air traffic management environment, and features the latest TCAS Change 7.1 software. Last December this iteration was mandated by EASA for all new aircraft operating in European airspace. TCAS 3000SP has become the standard traffic collision and avoidance system to be integrated into the Thales avionics suite for the Q400 twin-turboprop regional airliner.
z CTT Wins Zonal Drying Contracts for VVIP 747-8s Sweden’s CTT Systems is to provide Cair zonal drying equipment for two Boeing 747-8 VVIP aircraft. The first is for a head-of-state corporate Boeing 747-8 being completed by L-3 Platform Integration of Waco, Texas. The second is under a contract with Amac Aerospace of Switzerland. Both Cair installations are to be performed next year. The Cair system offers 20-percent humidified cabin air without creating condensation. The use of evaporativecooling technology is also claimed to preclude the transfer of bacteria within the aircraft. CTT zonal drying is standard equipment on the new Boeing 787. Optional humidifiers are available for 787 and Airbus A380 crew-rest areas and 787 flight decks. CTT is also set to provide Cair equipment for a corporate Airbus A330-200 being completed by Dallas-based Associated Air Center, which previously has installed such systems on Airbus A319s, Boeing 767s and BBJ1s.
The Kamov KA-62 is a civil variant of the manufacturer’s KA-60 military model. Powered by two 1,282-shp Rybunsk RD-600V turboshaft engines, it can carry 14 passengers and has a published cruising speed of 148 knots.
New specs for 737 MAX will add 540 nm of range Boeing plans to raise the maximum takeoff weight of the 737 MAX by some 5,000 pounds over its current generation of narrowbodies, resulting in as much as 540 nm more range. The new specifications, outlined by Boeing at the Farnborough International airshow yesterday, will help the airframer better cover the market segment now occupied by the out-of-production Boeing 757, said vice president of 737 MAX product marketing Joe Ozimek. “This will allow our customers the flexibility to open up new markets,” said Ozimek. “A lower operating empty weight but higher maximum takeoff weight allows customers to increase payload or range of the airplane beyond what the main competition can offer.” Carrying a maximum takeoff weight of 181,200 pounds, the MAX 8 will fly 162 passengers as far as 3,620 nm, compared with the 3,080 nm the 737-800 now offers. The MAX 9, meanwhile, will fly 180 passengers as far as 3,595 nm, compared with the 3,055 nm the 737-900ER can manage. Finally, the 737 MAX 7 will fly 126 passengers as far as 3,800 nm, compared with the 737-700NG’s 3,400 nm. Boeing expects the MAX to burn, on average, 13 percent less fuel than the 737NG and
28 Farnborough Airshow News • July 11, 2012 • www.ainonline.com
8 percent less than the Airbus A320neo. Schedules call for completion of firm configuration next year, followed by detailed design in 2014, aircraft assembly in 2015, first flight in 2016 and entry into service in 2017.–G.P.
z Arkia Orders Four Airbus A321neos
Kamov ka-60 gets a friendlier face
Boeing’s v-p 737 MAX product marketing Joe Ozimek at a press briefing yesterday.
Raytheon wins $4.7m pact Raytheon has received a $4.7 million contract from the U.S. Army to develop three of the six components of the service’s Air Soldier system. Air Soldier follows on from the earlier Air Warrior system and covers a suite of wearable electronic devices that enhance life-support and
Russia’s VSMPO-AVISMA Corp., specialist manufacturer of products made of titanium and aluminum alloys, steel and nickel, and Shanghai Aircraft Manufacturing Co. (SAMC) have signed a long-term purchase contract for titanium forging products for the Comac C919 aircraft program. VSMPO-AVISMA is to manufacture titanium closed-die forgings. The two companies are also in discussions for semifinished machining of the die-forgings.
Raytheon is to develop three components of the Air Soldier suite of wearable electronic devices for air crews.
tactical capabilities for helicopter crew. Under the engineering and manufacturing development contract Raytheon will design, develop and qualify the soldier computer, personal display and mission display modules. Worn on the pilot’s body vest, the soldier computer module is the main processor and storage component. The personal display module is a wristor knee-worn display unit, while the mission display module is a larger, removable tablet-style display mounted in the cockpit. The system allows the pilot to maintain situational awareness when outside the helicopter, either during dismounted operations or if downed. The displays can show various tactical displays, such as a moving map; the system has its own GPS to enable accurate tracking. Air Soldier links into the personal survival radio system.–D.D.
Boeing South Carolina rolls out first Dreamliner Boeing made history a few weeks ago when it rolled out the first commercial airliner built outside of its manufacturing base in the Puget Sound region of Washington state: a 787 Dreamliner produced at its new final assembly plant in North Charleston, South Carolina. For the U.S. airframer, it was a breakthrough after a changed approach to manufacturing that has been far from straightforward and uncontentious. Some 7,000 employees and visitors gathered in front of the massive final assembly building April 27 as a procession of speakers including South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham and Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO Jim Albaugh framed the moment. Dreamliner No. 46 emerged from the hangar in a cloud of manufactured smoke, the words “Made with pride in South Carolina” and the state symbol of a Palmetto tree and crescent stenciled near its nose. Weeks later, on May 23, employees assembled in the building to watch a live broadcast as the 787 took off from Charleston International Airport on its maiden flight. Troubled History
But history is seldom tidy. Boeing erected the final assembly facility only after purchasing in stages the troubled Global Aeronautica joint venture of Vought Aircraft and Alenia Aeronautica. This group had been responsible for integrating 787 center fuselage sections at the site adjacent to Charleston airport, then shipping them to Everett, Washington, for the aircraft’s final assembly. Boeing announced its selection of the North Charleston site for a new 787 final assembly line in October 2009 and broke ground that November. The decision to open a second Dreamliner assembly line in South Carolina, a “right-towork” state that allows individuals to decide whether or not to join a union, was threatened by a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) complaint alleging that it amounted to retaliation against Boeing’s unionized work force in Washington state. The NLRB dropped its unfair labor practices case in December after Boeing
and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers agreed on a new four-year contract that includes a Boeing commitment to build the reengined 737 MAX in Renton, Washington. Today the North Charleston complex covers 2.5 million square feet, about half of that space devoted to final assembly and delivery activities, and employs 6,000 people working two shifts five days a week. Thin-film solar laminate panels on the assembly building roof generate the equivalent of 20 percent of the electricity used by the plant. The site has “zero waste to landfill” status, with all waste converted to biomass or recycled. During a plant tour coinciding with the first 787 rollout, Jack Jones, Boeing South Carolina general manager, was asked to compare the manufacturer’s union and non-union work forces. “I worked in a union shop [in Washington state] for 32 years,” he said. “There’re some great, great [workers] up there.
PHOTOS: BILL CAREY
by Bill Carey
Jack Jones, left, Boeing South Carolina general manager, fielded questions from reporters April 27 during a plant tour that coincided with the rollout of the first 787 Dreamliner produced at the manufacturer’s North Charleston final assembly facility. A crowd of 7,000 Boeing employees and visitors were on hand when Dreamliner No. 46 was towed from the massive final assembly building.
It’s just all about leadership and how leadership interacts with their people. “Up in Seattle, the leadership deals with the union leaders; that’s how you negotiate with employees. Here, we are
developing a culture of trust and respect and that’s where it’s different. I think people see it and believe it, and we have a great relationship with our people.” The 642,720-sq-ft assembly facility in North Charleston was completed in June 2011, joining existing buildings involved in 787
aft- and mid-body fabrication, integration and assembly. The rear and central fuselage sections are advanced to final assembly on site or ferried by the modified 747 Dreamlifter cargo plane to Everett for final assembly. Boeing executives say the complex covers the production Continued on page 31 u
The 787 Is a Showcase for Honeywell’s Latest Systems The 787 is a veritable showcase for the latest technology from U.S. avionics and aircraft systems group Honeywell. The new widebody carries the most comprehensive array of Honeywell equipment on any Boeing airliner, including triple-redundant flight control electronics, liquid-crystal display electronic flight instrumentation, next-generation dual flight management systems, an enhanced ground proximity warning system, navigation radios and antennas, integrated air data, attitude/heading and earth reference systems, external cargo and service, as well as internal cabin lighting, engine anti-ice valves and air/oil heat exchangers for oil and generator cooling. The Honeywell offering for the Dreamliner also includes a crew information system with maintenance data storage and retrieval and communications management functions. According to Honeywell, its avionics suite carries integration and reversionary capabilities to new levels, with the ability to display and control flight management functions on primary flight and multifunction display screens as well on pedestal-mounted control display units. The Dreamliner flight deck has no mechanical circuit breakers. Breakers are all controllable on the flight management CDU screen. The 787 offers operators an RNP.1 autoland capability option for flight down to a 100-foot ceiling. At a recent presentation of the aircraft near its Phoenix, Arizona headquarters, Dave Douglass, Honeywell vice president for Boeing business, pointed out that the 787 flight control system saves several thousand pounds of weight compared to that on the earlier 777 aircraft. The company achieved this by eliminating long cable runs between flight control electronics and control surface actuators, which also provides greater integration and faster response to control inputs. Also contributing to the weight savings is a higher level of software integration with refined LRU packaging compared to the Boeing 777. Douglass said the Dreamliner has its own unique avionics system architecture compared to the 777. “There’s some common functionality between the 787 and the Triple 7, but the 787 FMS and FCS give us improved route planning, climb and descent optimization,” he explained. Another new feature is an engine-out, real-time “diminished aircraft condition” set of displays and annunciations that clearly display systems status
and call out appropriate procedures. Crew resource management on the 787 is simplified and enhanced by an architecture and assignment of specific avionics control and programming duties to the captain and first officer, eliminating the possibility of conflicting actions or omitted necessary tasks. “Both pilots know exactly what they are supposed to do and what not do,” explained Boeing flight test pilot Ed Wilson. “There’s no overlap or redundancy in performance and, most importantly, nothing missed. It really does lower the stress level and, with such a nice control feel, makes the airplane a pleasure to fly.” A coordinated Boeing-Honeywell effort to achieve automatic flight control system functionality involved the close cooperation of engineers from the Boeing Defense Systems Apache attack rotorcraft facility in nearby Mesa, Arizona, and their Honeywell neighbors in Phoenix. Overcoming schedule challenges, the team met or exceeded first flight schedule milestones, including exercising the autoland capability. n
www.ainonline.com • July 11, 2012 • Farnborough Airshow News 29
Lessors have mixed opinions on mega-orders syndrome
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by Gregory Polek The trend over the last few years in which customers have placed extremely large orders for airliners has raised questions about the underlying reasons and its potential effect on OEMs that continue to raise production rates in response. The practice seems most prevalent among customers for narrowbodies, prompting both Boeing and Airbus to project rate increases to beyond 40 per month in the coming years and raising concerns within some circles of a socalled bubble in the sector. In an informal poll of several hundred aircraft traders and lenders taken during the recent ISTAT airline finance conference, 74 percent thought narrowbody
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blanket judgment. “You have to look at each individual circumstance,” he said, while noting that the 100 Boeing 737900ERs that Delta Air Lines ordered last year will replace 28- to 30-year-old 757s. Hazy called this past January’s Norwegian Airlines order for 100 B737 MAX8s, 22 B737-800NGs and 100 A320neos a mission to “be both offensive and defensive,” and follow a strategy designed to react to a possible implosion at SAS. Finally, he explained, both Lion Air, which in February placed an order for 201 B737 MAX9s and 29 B737-900ERs, and Air Asia, which holds orders for 200 A320neos, plan a pan-Asian expansion beyond their predominant markets
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30 Farnborough Airshow News • July 11, 2012 • www.ainonline.com
Less than five years ago it seemed almost routine for airlines and leasing groups to sign massive orders with the main airframers, as then Dubai Aerospace Enterprise CEO Bob Johnson (foreground, right) is seen doing here with Airbus executives at the 2007 Dubai Air Show, but now some in the aircraft finance sector are questioning the wisdom of this buy-big approach to fleet growth.
rates from 2013 to 2015 would prove too high. Only 9 percent rated narrowbody rates too low, and 17 percent “just right.” Meanwhile, some of the industry’s highest profile leasing company executives offered mixed, but carefully considered, reactions to what CIT Group Transportation Finance president Jeffrey Knittel called the “mega order syndrome.” “There’re still a number of egos running airlines around the world,” quipped ILFC chief executive Henri Courpron, “but for a number of reasons it doesn’t make sense to place small orders. As you start a business, you need to give visibility to the investors, you need to give visibility to the community around you and the people committed to your growth. So that comes with a fleet plan. “This said, there seems to be a little bit of exuberance in airplane orders,” added Courpron. “But this will sort itself out… Boeing and Airbus are doing their jobs.” Air Lease chairman and CEO Steven Udvar Hazy similarly refused to offer a
of Indonesia and Malaysia. “So each of these mega orders has its own flavor of ice cream,” said Hazy. Gecas leasing group boss Norman Liu noted that customers have spread such orders over eight to ten years, making the delivery schedules manageable. “The ones I get a little bit nervous about are the ones in which they start talking about leasing company ventures or when everybody has the same idea but it’s in the same region,” Liu cautioned. Finally, Awas leasing group CEO Raymond Sisson reached the most absolute conclusion. “I think manufacturers are trending production rates too high temporarily,” he said. “I believe you will see that contract in time, as the delivery world matches the order world more closely. “As a lessor, I have a great deal of trouble making sense of speculative orders,” he added. “When you talk about Neo and MAX availability between 2017 and 2018, that’s a long time to be taking a risk on escalation.” o
Engine Options Reduce 787 Operating Cost Boeing’s 787-8 is offered with both the 74,000-pound-thrust Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines and General Electric’s GEnx turbofans. The GEnx family has a thrust range of from 53,000 to 75,000 pounds. The Trent 1000, which is the launch engine for the 787 family, powered the first commercial Dreamliner, which was delivered in December to launch customer All-Nippon Airlines. ANA achieved a 90-percent dispatch rate in the first three months of scheduled operations. According to Rolls-Royce, around three quarters of 787 orders to date have been for aircraft powered by the Trent 1000. The GE engines received final U.S. certification in March. The first GEnx-1B powered Dreamliner went to Japan Air Lines on March 26 for JAL’s Boston to Tokyo route, which were the first 787 operations in the U.S. GE claims a 15-percent improvement in specific fuel consumption for the GEnx
South Carolina’s first Dreamliner uContinued from page 29
cycle from “freezer to flight,” a reference to carbon fiber tape that is infused with resin and kept in cold storage, then wound into fuselage sections and cured. The mid-body building is where Dreamliner fuselage barrels manufactured by Alenia Aeronautica in Italy (sections 44 and 46); the forward fuselage from Kawasaki Heavy Industries in Japan (section 43) and center wheelwell and center wing tank (section 11/45) from Japan’s Fuji Heavy Industries are joined and stuffed with wiring. The fuselage subassembly facility under Global Aeronautica was the “main problem” behind 787 production delays, but is no longer an issue, said Will Geary, Boeing mid-body director of operations. “Traveled work” items, or unfinished subcontractor tasks left to be completed at final assembly,
family compared to comparably sized turbofans, and calls it the “cleanest, quietest, most passenger-friendly commercial engine ever produced.” The GEnx is the quietest based on the ratio of perceived decibels to pounds of thrust of engines for medium size, long-range airliners, and is said to have emissions “95 percent below current regulatory standards” with a 30-percent longer on-wing duration, in large part due to having 30 percent fewer parts than engines it replaces. Part of the reason for the Dreamliner having markedly quieter cabin interiors than comparable widebodies is the use of a new scalloped engine exhaust nozzle fairing configuration. Advanced engine acoustic linings and new fans with larger, slower turning blades also contribute to the 787 registering an 85dB noise level in the airport environment, which Boeing claims represents a 60-percent smaller noise footprint than those of comparable airliners. –B.C.
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have been reduced to “less than five” of 4,000 total tasks in the mid-body section. “Suppliers are meeting my expectations, both on schedule and on the completeness of their work,” Geary said during the plant tour. “My number-one goal is to achieve rate,” he added. According to Jack Jones, Boeing South Carolina general manager, “It’s not unusual to get travelers–work that doesn’t get completed inside your factory. A couple of hundred travelers is not unusual on typical programs. This airplane, the very first one ever built here, is going to roll out with 100 or less travelers.” The 787 production rate in South Carolina this year is described as “transitional.” Jones said Boeing plans to ramp up to final assembly of 3.5 aircraft per month by late 2013 or early 2014. The balance of seven or more Dreamliners per month will come from Everett. o
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www.ainonline.com • July 11, 2012 • Farnborough Airshow News 31
The FAST Museum occupies the building in which the RFC headquarters was established in 1912. The new RFC/Royal Aircraft Factory exhibition there is open every weekend.
Below, Matthew Boddington, pilot/owner of the replica BE2 observation aircraft with Wing Cmdr. Nick Tucker-Lowe, commanding officer of the RAF No. 2 Squadron, celebrated the centenary of the venerable BE2 as well as the centenary of the Royal Aircraft Factory and the Royal Flying Corps at Farnborough on April 12. The RFC was formed in May 1912 in the headquarters building seen here in the background.
Farnborough marks another rich centenary of av heritage Royal Aircraft Factory were officially created, paving the way for a new combined British military air arm and an official center for aviation research and development. The RFC grew out of the previously fragmented activities carried out by the British Army and Royal Navy, supported by visionary individuals and small pioneering airplane companies. The Royal Engineers Air Battalion, based at Farnborough, and a Naval Wing, based at Eastchurch, would form the basis of the new joint air service, developing what had been a mix of enthusiastic and negative official views on aviation, but bringing, at last, government support for a cohesive organization that recognized the potential of air power. And with increasing aviation progress in other European countries, it was clear that more technical effort was needed if Britain was to be
The Black Sheds, the row of elderly aircraft hangars situated at the eastern edge of the Farnborough airfield, close to the runway’s final approach, have been an iconic feature at every airshow held at this historic Hampshire location. But the protected Listed Grade 2 structures have been standing there for a lot longer. In fact, they originally housed some of the earliest British military aircraft as squadrons were formed during the years that led up to World War I. Close by, just behind the Black Sheds, alongside Farnborough Road and surrounded by a number of preserved classic British-built jets, is a large white building [also a Listed historic site] that was originally the headquarters of the Royal Flying Corps (RFC). In April this year a double centenary was celebrated here, for it was on April 13, 1912, that the RFC and the
by Richard Gardner
Production at the Royal Aircraft Factory workshops (above) increased to meet demand for factory-built airplanes during World War I. At left, a Royal Aircraft Factory BE2 flies over Farnborough Common in 1912. Both photos are part of the new exhibition at the FAST Museum.
32 Farnborough Airshow News • July 11, 2012 • www.ainonline.com
able to grow a home aviation capability that might supply the future needs of the army and navy. Since the end of the 19th century the area around today’s show site has been involved in military aviation, first with the move of the army’s Balloon School and Balloon Factory from nearby Aldershot to Farnborough, and later as kites and airships were also built and test flown at what was then Farnborough Common. It was from the raised ground close to the Black Sheds that Samuel Cody made the historic first successful flight in the UK of a controlled, powered aircraft on Oct. 16, 1908. Little did anyone realize at the time that over the next decade British air power and manufacturing would see massive expansion with the production and operation of more than 22,000 military airplanes. In 1914, the Royal Navy resumed control of its own air service, the RNAS, which was merged with the RFC in 1918 during the formation of the Royal Air Force. World War I introduced the concept of air warfare–a third dimension over the battlefield–which has remained dominant in military strategy to this day. This was truly the dawn of military aviation, and Farnborough was at its heart, with the operational administration of early flying units and, in the Royal Aircraft Factory, a growing capacity to design, build and test not only engines and airplanes, but everything to do with equipping and operating them. While engine and aircraft production subsequently reverted to commercial manufacturers, the research and development continued after 1918, when the factory became the Royal Aircraft Establishment–the world famous RAE. This year, on April 12, a replica BE2 returned to Farnborough’s skies and parked in front of the original RFC headquarters. The original BE2, which first flew 100 years ago, was designed by Geoffrey de Havilland and built at the Royal Aircraft Factory. The building, now the
museum of Farnborough Air Sciences Trust (FAST), is located alongside the famous Black Sheds, where many early RFC squadrons were formed and based. Participating at the celebrations marking this centenary were representatives from the first three RFC air squadrons, which went on to become RAF Nos. 1, 2 and 3 Squadrons, and representatives from the RAF Odiham base, which is only five miles from Farnborough. Later, an Army Air Corps Apache joined the BE2 and a DH Dragon Rapide in a fly-past over the former RFC headquarters. That building is now known as Trenchard House, in memory of Hugh Trenchard, “The father of the RAF.” Trenchard worked in an office there before taking the RFC squadrons to the Western Front in France. Local Member of Parliament and defense minister Gerald Howarth opened a new exhibition in the FAST Museum dedicated to the pioneering RFC and Royal Aircraft Factory activities during the 1912-18 period. Providing a direct link with today’s RAF front line was Wing Commander Nick Tucker-Lowe, commanding officer of No. 2 (Army Cooperation) Squadron, based at RAF Marham operating Tornado GR4s. This unit, which begins another operational deployment to Afghanistan this summer, painted one of its Tornados with a special commemorative tail decoration featuring a BE2, the first aircraft type the squadron flew in May 1912 at Farnborough. The FAST Museum is accessible from Farnborough Road and is open every weekend throughout the year. During the Farnborough International airshow period it is closed while prebooked events take place during the day, with limited access available after 4 p.m. during show week. o For further information visit the FAST website: farnboroughairsciences.org.uk.
new helicopter will be based, allowing common logistics and a better exchange of experiences. The first three helicopters, in army configuration, were retained by AgustaWestland at Yeovil, where the company ensures “factory delivered training” to army-qualified instructor pilots.
Back to School
AgustaWestland’s Lynx Wildcat shares little with its ancestor, the Lynx. Only the rotor blades and rotor head are the same.
by Paulo Valpolini AgustaWestland’s AW159 Lynx Wildcat has moved closer to being fully operational. The initial release into service for the British Army model was issued last April and the first operational flight came on June 18. The AW159 is the successor of the Lynx helicopter family although the only major components in common with the earlier Lynx design are the main rotor blades and rotor head. The program includes the manufacturing of 34 helicopters for the British Army and 28 for the Royal Navy. The UK Ministry of Defence’s intention was to have in service a medium helicopter with improved performance, maximizing endurance and range while increasing sensors and mission payloads. With the new airframe, the AW159’s maximum takeoff weight (mtow) has increased to six metric tons compared to the 5.3 tons of the current SuperLynx, and it has a growth capacity up to 6.25 tons. Current LHTEC CTS800 engines can provide 1,400 shp maximum output each (1,281 shp continuous), the transmission being able to accommodate 1,960 shp (that will become 2,150 shp with the adoption of a new output stage). The new tail rotor is already designed for the 6.25-ton model, while the legacy rotor, which features a manual blade-folding system, allows the use of the AW159 at six tons mtow. The flight-test program is going according to schedule,
and in late May about 500 of the planned 600 flight development hours had been flown, three trials helicopters being available to the company at Yeovil. Those three aircraft are part of the 62 ordered, and at the end of the production they will be refurbished to standard configuration and handed over to the customer. Helicopter performance test ing has been finished, including the demanding hot-and-high trials that were carried out in Colorado in summer 2010, the vast majority of the remaining 100 hours being dedicated to the navy variant. A first ship-andshore trial period was carried out in November 2011, while a second session in rougher seas and with rolling deck was completed in January 2012. A third and final testing period aboard ship will be conducted in late 2012/early 2013, depending on Royal Navy ship availability. Sea Legs
The naval variant can carry out ship operations from rolling decks up to 23 degrees and sea state 6, and is oriented mostly toward antisubmarine and antisurface warfare missions. In the latter configuration, a typical payload would include defensive aid subsystems, Thales lightweight multi-role missiles and auxiliary fuel tanks to provide a 145-nm (270-km) radius of action. Sensors include a Selex Galileo 7400E 360-degree active-array radar and an L3 Wescam
Goodrich life raft holds six The value of a life raft in a post-emergency situation is compromised if rescue services cannot see it. Accordingly, enhanced visibility from the air is a major characteristic of the six-person Winslow Ultra-Light raft being shown here at Farnborough International by Goodrich (Outdoor Exhibit 4). The raft features dual buoyancy tubes, a triarch automatically inflating canopy providing good headroom and an inflatable, insulated double-floor to offer protection from hypothermia. Boarding aids ensure survivors can quickly enter the raft, even when wearing survival suits. –I.G.
AW159 Lynx Wildcat is out of the bag on time
MX-15Di optronic suite. Surface surveillance, third-party targeting in AsuW missions, boarding party and counterterrorism missions, as well as utility missions are also part of the AW159 roles. The army variant will lack the radar and will be equipped with door gun posts for a machine gun. All Lynx Wildcats will be based at RNAS Yeovilton, where both the navy and the army units equipped with the
Two five-week courses for five pilots are being scheduled and are due to be completed late this month. The first three army AW159s were delivered to Wildcat Fielding Team (army) at Yeovilton, where army instructors will ensure type conversion for the pilots assigned to the new helicopter, while four more were planned to be delivered by late June. Type conversion will be followed by conversion to role, where pilots will learn the operational use of the helicopter, leading to the IOC [initial operational capability] for the army, scheduled for 2014. The company will be involved in the army trials, a combined team ensuring maximum learning from that phase. In September it will be the turn of navy instructor pilots to carry out
their type conversion on the Wildcat, navy initial release into service being planned for November this year, followed by deliveries to Wildcat Fielding Team (navy). The first helicopter aimed at the Fleet Air Arm is the eighth and should fly in the second half of July and the navy is planning its IOC in 2015. AgustaWestland is building the Wildcat Training Facility at Yeovilton and will install the two full-flight simulators, a flight-training device and cockpit procedures trainer, as well as maintenance training devices; it will then be delivered to the UK MoD, although the company is to be retained to run the facility. As for export opportunities, AgustaWestland currently sees them as mostly naval. The Wildcat was shortlisted in Denmark, where the company is currently in negotiation with the defense ministry, as well as in South Korea where the Super Lynx is already in service; in both cases, the AgustaWestland helicopter is bidding against the Sikorsky MH-60R Seahawk. A choice might be announced in both nations before the end of this year. o
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With Middle Eastern airlines Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airways experiencing exponential growth in the Arabian Gulf, there is a growing requirement for qualified pilots. The Gulf Aviation Training Event (GATE) will bring a panel of industry experts together to discuss and debate the pilot shortage in the region. Scheduled for September 16-17 at the Al Bustan Rotana Hotel in Dubai, the conference, themed Breaking the Paradigms: Flight Training at $150 a Barrel, will be led by Capt. Ed Davidson, senior v-p for air transport consultancy Tetra Tech. The GATE panel includes Capt. Martin Mahoney, Emirates senior v-p for flight training; Eng. Ismaiel Al Balooshi, director of flight safety and operations for the United Arab Emirates; and Mike Varney, a training consultant with the International Air Transport Association. Concurrently, the Gulf Air Traffic Management conference will address air traffic management (ATM) developments. Produced by F&E Aerospace, as is the GATE event, it will include a summit titled, ATM Imperatives: Protecting the Gulf’s Economic Growth.
z UK To Receive A400M Thales Full-Flight Simulator Airbus Military will supply a Thales full-flight simulator (FFS) for the A400M Atlas airlifter to the UK Royal Air Force in spring 2014, ahead of the aircraft’s entry into RAF service in late 2014. A joint venture between Airbus Military and Thales will maintain the FFS, which will be located at RAF Brize Norton, where all 22 UK Atlas aircraft will be based. This is the fourth FFS to be procured for the A400M program, the previous three being for France, Germany and for the Airbus Military International Training Centre in Seville, Spain. Thales Training and Simulation is producing them in its Crawley, UK facility. Airbus Military said the software and data package is being developed to Airbus commercial standards to reduce the time it takes for changes to the aircraft to be reflected in the simulators.
z Gripen Shows Off New E-Scan Radar
Five days after delivery, this Galileo E-Scan radar was here on a Saab Gripen.
Saab and Selex Galileo revealed the Gripen NG’s new repositioning AESA (active electronically scanned array) radar for the first time in public here at the Farnborough International airshow. Selex Galileo delivered the preproduction ES-05 Raven radar to Saab on June 12. Five days later, in time for the show, it was fitted in the Gripen NG. A second identical radar, complete with repositioning system, is being retained at Selex Galileo’s Edinburgh facility for roof tests.
z S-92 Certified for Sea State 6 Conditions The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has approved the Sikorsky S-92 helicopter for sea state 6 conditions, completing the S-92A emergency flotation system sea-state expansion for additional mission capability. The European Aviation Safety Agency has also certified the system and approval by Transport Canada is expected soon. Meanwhile, Sikorsky Aerospace Services has launched new mobile applications for the Sikorsky360 web portal to provide access to maintenance information for customers.
z Marshalls Extends C-130 Support Capability Lockheed Martin signed an agreement with Marshall Aerospace this week that makes the Cambridge, UK-based company the first in the world to be authorized to install C-130 center wing boxes. The CWB is the main load-bearing component in the C-130 airframe and is the one that largely determines the aircraft’s service life. Therefore, replacing the CWB can give the Hercules many years more life. Marshall Aerospace is already the first C-130J heavy maintenance center in the world, and the authorization for CWB work places the company well for long-term global fleet sustainment.
Dassault toasts rollout of the 200th Falcon 7X The 200th large-cabin, longrange Falcon 7X business jet has rolled off the production line at Dassault’s Bordeaux-Merignac production facility in southern France, the French aircraft manufacturer announced here at Farnborough. The aircraft is slated to enter final cabin completions this week, the French manufacturer announced here at the Farnborough International airshow. “We are especially proud of this milestone,” said Dassault Falcon president and CEO John Rosanvallon. “The 7X is clearly the best seller in the current Falcon family and remains one of the most sought after jets in its category.” To date, Dassault Falcon has delivered more than 150 fully outfitted Falcon 7Xs, while another 80 are in various stages of production or cabin completions. The Falcon 7X fleet has logged more than 130,000 flight hours since the first aircraft went into service in 2007 and is in operation in 32 countries around the world. Rosanvallon said that in the five years since the business jet entered service, it has developed
dozens of new options that give customers a “wide range of desirable features.” In particular, the company has focused on developing features that increase cabin comfort, including a recently added option for a shower aboard the trijet. A First entering service five years ago, the Falcon 7X is the best seller of the Dassault business jet line. The 200th example will enter the completions facility this week.
Russian Helicopters’ FBW to be replaced in Ansat twin by Thierry Dubois Russian Helicopters is rede- Serial production should then veloping the Ansat light twin start in January. The next step will be certihelicopter with conventional flight controls instead of the fication by the European Avifly-by-wire (FBW) system with ation Safety Agency, which is which it has been flying to date. hoped for 2013 or 2014. “We are developing a new It is primarily targetfuel system to comply ing the Russian marwith European requireket but has broader ments,” Ansat marketviews for the mid term. ing director Andrey The airframer has perIvantsov, said here formed the first demat the Farnborough onstration flight with a International airshow hydromechanical flight yesterday. Prospective control system. countries and regions, The testing proin addition to Russia gram, which involves Andrey Ivantsov, two prototypes for marketing director for and later South Asia flight and ground tests, Russian Helicopters. and Africa, would then include Eastern started last year. The Europe. manufacturer has filed The FBW control system in an application with the Interstate Aviation Committee’s Air the original Ansat met “an unexRegistry for additional type cer- pected obstacle, as no FBW tification. It expects to achieve it civil helicopter had been cerin the fourth quarter of this year. tified before and no standard
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BMW-designed interior option, launched in 2009, introduced subtle curves throughout the interior, creating better flow and visually expanding the cabin. Dassault has also incorporated new features as standard equipment since entry into service, such as a Rockwell Collins cabin entertainment system equipped with an interactive 3-D moving map and an audio/ video on demand solution that was first installed on a customer 7X in May. –C.T.
z Gulf Aviation Event Addresses Pilot Shortage
requirements existed.” Russia’s defense ministry currently uses about 25 helicopters of the type, FBW-equipped, for pilot training. Ivantsov said that once certification rules are defined for FBW helicopters Russian Helicopters will apply for approval. In addition to the new control system, an autopilot will be standard on the redeveloped Ansat. A lot of optional civil equipment will be available, said Ivantsov. Two Fadec-controlled Pratt & Whitney Canada PW207Ks, each providing 630 shp at takeoff, power the Ansat. Ivantsov emphasized that the helicopter may be the first light twin equipped with anti-icing systems for both the main and the tail rotors. The Ansat can fly at 145 knots, its service ceiling is 18,000 feet and it can carry up to eight passengers or two stretchers plus three paramedics. Cabin volume stands at 282 cu ft. o
news clips General Electric said yesterday that component efficiency improvements on its CF6-80E1 engine would provide up to a 1-percent improvement in fuel efficiency for Airbus’s planned extended-range A330. The airframer announced plans for the new development with an increased maximum takeoff weight at the Farnborough International airshow on Monday. The U.S. engine manufacturer expects to deliver the enhanced engine for the first 240-metric-ton A330 in 2015. “Since GE Aviation’s CF6-80E1 engine entered service on the A330 in 1994, GE Aviation and Airbus have committed to investing in the engine and aircraft to provide additional benefits to customers,” said Chuck Williams, general manager of the CF6 program at GE Aviation. “The enhancements to the engine and aircraft will allow for an increased payload, greater range and lower operating costs on the CF6-80E1 engine,” he added. The improvements will become the production standard for all new CF6-80E1 engines, said GE, while current operators can incorporate many of these enhancements at engine overhaul. GE has delivered more than 500 CF6-80E1 engines for the Airbus A330.
TAI’s Hurkus turboprop expected to fly next year
z Raytheon To Provide Podded ISR AESA
by David Donald
Raytheon has been awarded a contract to provide four podded dismount detection radar (DDR) systems to the U.S. Air Force. The SAR/GMTI (synthetic aperture radar/ground moving target indicator) sensors are for carriage by General Atomics MQ-9 Block 5 Reaper UAVs, and the new radars will provide operators with the ability to find and track individuals and vehicles. The Block 5 is the forthcoming upgraded version of the Reaper. DDR was initiated in early 2011 as a QRC (quick reaction capability) program for fielding in Afghanistan. Raytheon was originally handed a $76 million contract in February, but the award was subject to an appeal by Northrop Grumman. The U.S. Government Accountability Office rejected that appeal on May 25. Little detail has been revealed about DDR, other than it is an AESA (active electronically scanned antenna) radar. Mounting such a system in a pod allows it to be moved between individual platforms, and possibly platform types, to match mission requirements.
z Engine Lease Finance Adopts CFM Portable Engine Lease Finance (ELFC) has become the first CFM International (CFMI) spare-engine lessor to use the manufacturer’s portable maintenance for lessors (PML) program under a memorandum of understanding that could be formally ratified by year’s end. The scheme allows CFMI to provide engine maintenance, repair and overhaul services for leased fleets under PMLs that will be transferable between lessees, enabling them to more accurately predict maintenance costs, while permitting lessors to control such costs throughout the life of an aircraft, said CFMI.
z Piemonte Region Promotes Aviation Interests Supported by the Torino Chamber of Commerce, 16 exhibitors from Piemonte, a region in northwest Italy, are presenting their systems and components and the services they collectively offer at the Farnborough International airshow (Hall 1 Stand C13B). The programs include: Green Glider, an ultralight electric propelled plane; a navigation system for launchers; and environmental sensors are on display.
z Airbus Cuts First Metal for A320neo Airbus announced that the first “cutting of metal” for the A320neo took place in Toulouse recently. This took the form of machining an engine pylon component at the Saint-Eloi factory, which specializes in pylons and nacelles. The A320neo pylon uses more titanium and some “advanced architectures” developed for the A380 pylon. The A320neo targets 15-percent fuel savings compared to previous models; customers have a choice between the CFM Leap or Pratt & Whitney PW1100G geared turbofan.
multi-tasking target system From Sacramento, California, Composite Engineering’s BQM-177i target system is configurable for up to eight simultaneous target profiles. It can carry 45.35 kg on each wing station and can cruise as low as 3.4 meters agl.
Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) rolled out the first prototype of its Hurkus trainer on June 27 in the presence of Turkey’s Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and yesterday it revealed details of the program here at the show. Designed entirely in Turkey by a team led by Aylin Ararat, the new aircraft is named after Vecilis Hurkus, a famed aviation pioneer whose achievements included being the first Turkish pilot to score an aerial victory; the establishment of the country’s first airline; and the design and manufacture of several aircraft types. A replica of one of Hurkus’s designs was built to coincide with the new trainer’s rollout ceremony. A program for the development of an indigenous basic trainer was first authorized in January 2005, with a development contract being awarded to TAI (Hall 4 Stand H2) on Mar. 15, 2006. The contract covered the design and manufacture of four airframes, comprising two flying prototypes and two for static and fatigue tests. A preliminary design review was held in August 2007, and a critical design review was conducted two years later. First Flight Next April
Following last month’s rollout, the first prototype (registered TC-VCH) has entered the final testing phase prior to making its first flight, scheduled for next April. Civil type certification by the European Aviation Safety Agency and Turkish authorities is planned for December 2014. Hurkus has been designed to fulfill a Turkish air force
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requirement for a primary and basic trainer, and negotiations are ongoing regarding a production contract. TAI hopes that Turkish Land Forces aviation will also adopt the Hurkus for its training needs. The air force is in the process of overhauling its training program, and TAI is currently building 40 KT-1T trainers under license from Korea Aerospace Industries to begin the replacement of the air force’s aging Cessna T-37s. The company is also modernizing 55 Northrop Talon supersonic jet trainers with new avionics, and delivered the first T-38M back to the air force this April. Hurkus is similar in general layout to other modern turboprop trainers, but has some notable differences. A requirement was a very low stall speed, and the design is the only aircraft in its class to feature area-extending Fowler flaps. Combined with an
z GE Boosts CF6-80E1 for A330
advanced TAI-designed aerofoil section they bestow a stall speed of just 77 knots. At the other end of the speed regime the 1,600-shp Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A68T pushes the Hurkus along at a 310-knot cruising speed. Endurance is 4 hours 15 minutes and g limits are +7/-3.5. The stepped cockpit provides excellent fields of view from both cockpits. The front seat offers forward visibility down to 10 degrees below the horizon, while the aft seat has a creditable 5 degrees of forward vision below the horizon. Both cockpits are fitted with MartinBaker Mk 11BN zero-zero ejection seats. Hurkus-A is the initial version, with a cockpit certified to civilian EASA CS-23 standards. Following will be the HurkusB, featuring GPS/INS, mission computer and a mil-spec cockpit with three large multifunction screens and a head-up display. TAI is planning further variants, including a surveillance version with an electro-optical sensor turret and a close-air-support version known as Hurkus-C, with three hardpoints under each wing and a seventh on the centerline. o
The prototype Hurkus is rolled out at TAI’s Akinci works near Ankara. Aylin Ararat, inset, leads the design team that has produced the turboprop trainer.
Two lessors hop on board the Boeing bandwagon Boeing’s 737 MAX program picked up further market momentum yesterday as a pair of high-profile leasing companies–GECAS and ALAFCO– committed to a total of 120 airplanes worth almost $11 billion at list prices. The larger of the two deals, inked by U.S. leasing giant GECAS, covered 75 of the future CFM International Leap 1B-powered narrowbodies, as well as 25 of the current singleaisle 737NGs. Potentially worth some $9 billion at list prices, that contract calls for delivery of twenty-five 737NGs starting in 2015, followed by the 75 MAXs in 2018, GECAS chief executive Norman Liu revealed during a Farnborough International airshow press conference yesterday. Middle East Deal
The second commitment, signed by Kuwaiti lessor ALAFCO, covered twenty 737
delivery of the last airplane in July 2011. GECAS, meanwhile, already carries some 380 Boeing 737NGs in its product portfolio. “A couple of years ago we placed an order for 40 newgens [New Generation 737s], and basically we placed them all out,” said Liu. “So the 25 units that ship in 2015, 2016 and a little bit in 2017…hey, it’s because we’ve run all out. “Right now we wish we had some more [NGs],” added Liu. “They’ve been great assets and we think we’ll have similar success with the MAX.” Liu expressed a desire to convert the commitment to a firm order for the airplanes as soon as possible. “We’re going to start working on a contract in the weeks ahead,” said Liu. “We’re very anxious to get it signed.” The contract contains the “convertibility” for GECAS to opt for the larger MAX 9s, which, said Liu, will account for
Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO Ray Conner and GECAS chief executive Norman Liu seal a deal for 100 Boeing 737s here at the Farnborough International airshow.
MAX 8s worth some $1.9 billion at list prices. ALAFCO chairman Ahmad Alzabin hesitated to talk about delivery schedules because, he said, negotiations over a firm order hadn’t reached that advanced stage. Although the contract marked the first foray into the strategically vital Middle East market for the MAX program, Alzabin wouldn’t rule out placing the airplanes with airlines outside the region. ALAFCO ordered six 737800s in March 2007 and took
“a fair chunk” of the deliveries. MAX 8s, however, will account for the majority, he added. The pair of deals brings to three the number of leasing companies with which Boeing has signed major contracts at the show. After signing a deal for 75 MAXs with California-based Air Lease Corp. on Monday, Boeing holds firm orders for 549 of the CFM Leap1B-powered jets, while its commitment tally stands at more than 1,000. o
by Gregory Polek
heavy wing loading Though designed as a trainer, the Yak 130 is also a capable attack platform. Its array of available under-wing ordnance is evident in this photo of the demonstrator alighting here at the Farnborough International airshow.
Cathay dumps 747 for A350-1000s by Ian Goold Cathay Pacific Airlines has confirmed its plan to replace its aging Boeing 747-400 fleet with Airbus A350-1000s in a new $4.2 billion deal signed at the Farnborough International airshow yesterday. The Hong Kong-based carrier has placed new orders for 10 aircraft, and will convert 16 existing orders for the A350-900 into the larger variant. Acquisition of the A3501000s is subject to the approval of the airline’s board of directors, but with chairman Christopher Pratt and chief executive John Slosar having flown all the way to the UK to participate in an Airbus press conference this would seem to be a foregone conclusion. The A350-1000s will be powered by two 97,000-poundthrust Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines–the most powerful ever developed for an Airbus aircraft–which would be covered by a long-term TotalCare service support contract. The Cathay A350-1000s typically will accommodate 350 passengers in a three-class cabin configuration and are planned to be able to fly 8,400 nm nonstop. The wider A350 family, dubbed XWB for “extra wide body” by Airbus, is a new mid-size, longrange design comprising three models seating between 270 and 350 passengers and scheduled to enter service in 2014. The manufacturer claims firm orders for 548 aircraft from 34 customers.
The announcement came seven days after the airline declared in a company environmental report that it might not have found the most effective sustainability solutions. “But we are striving to find them,” it said. A year ago, at the Paris Air Show, Airbus confirmed that, with engine supplier Rolls-Royce, it had decided to review the A350 design and performance criteria in a bid to attract customers for the largest variant. The more powerful Trent XWB extended range by an additional 600 miles but the program would run two years later than originally scheduled. “Our Job To Listen”
Yesterday, Airbus said it is possible that any airline wanting to fly the A350 at the original lighter -1000 specification (the manufacturer held orders for 74 of them at the time of the design review) would be able to operate at a lower gross weight with derated engines. Slosar acknowledged that Cathay had “not been shy” about making its requirements known before Airbus reworked the design. It required passenger comfort, environmental efficiency and good operating economics. Airbus president and chief executive Fabrice Bregier said it is part of the manufacturer’s job to listen as had been confirmed by the “very successful” launch of the A350-900. The Cathay official said he
believes Airbus is making very good progress on development of the higher-weight A350-1000, which the airline always had in mind when choosing a new aircraft. The greater range of the latest variant would enable Cathay to operate “nonstop to anywhere in the world that we [fly to].” But Slosar deflected questions about any aspirations to order the larger A380 quad-jet, saying that the airline’s operation of large twin-engine widebodies had been “a huge success” with four 15-hour flights a day between Hong Kong and New York. Nevertheless, one “should never say ‘never’; the efficiency of long-haul [services] is very important for ‘Hong Kong to the world’ and ‘the world to Hong Kong’ [operations].” o
Drukair orders A319 with ‘sharklets’ Following a memorandum of understanding established last February, Bhutan national carrier Drukair has placed a firm order for an Airbus A319 equipped with “sharklet” wingtips to complement the two A319s it has in its fleet. The additional capacity will support planned new Drukair routes, such as flights to Singapore and Hong Kong, and increase current services.–I.G.
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Embraer and Boeing partner on Super Tucano
Embraer and Boeing signed an agreement here yesterday to collaborate on the integration of new weapons on the A-29 Super Tucano single-engine turboprop trainer. The deal adds yet another twist to the saga of the U.S. Air Force Light Air Support (LAS) program, where the Super Tucano is pitched against the somewhat similar Hawker Beechcraft AT-6. Embraer and Boeing said their new cooperation would not only enhance the Super Tucano solution for LAS, it would exceed the requirement “in ways that are important to the customer.” There is a wider context to the news; Embraer and Boeing signed a broad cooperation agreement in April, followed two months later by a deal to collaborate on Embraer’s new KC-390 airlifter. “Why not space in the future?” said Luiz Carlos Aguiar, president of Embraer Defesa & Seguranca. “This agreement enables integration of Boeing products
like JDAM [missiles] on a highly affordable turboprop aircraft that offers unique close-airsupport capabilities to customers worldwide,” said Dennis Muilenberg, president and CEO of Boeing Defense, Space and Security. The Super Tucano is being offered for the LAS requirement by Sierra Nevada Corp. (SNC). Chris Chadwick, president of Boeing Military Aircraft, told AIN that his company offered “weapons capabilities that SNC does not have.” Coincidentally, Boeing is aiming to fill Brazil’s requirement for 36 new fighters with the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, against stiff competition from the Dassault Rafale and Saab Gripen. Meanwhile, the collaboration on the KC-390 includes technical exchange on innovation and design that leverages Boeing’s C-17 heavy airlifter experience. A joint global market study is under way to assess the market potential, said Aguiar. o
Signing a partnership pact are Embraer president of defense and security Luiz Carlos Aguiar, left, and Boeing president and CEO of defense and security Dennis Muilenburg.
Boeing inks three partnerships uContinued from page 1
whistles” from the larger, Boeing-designed aircraft. Debbie Rub, Boeing vice president missiles and unmanned airborne systems, explained that Elbit’s Hermes product line “complements the Boeing unmanned portfolio while addressing an important need for U.S. warfighters and allies.” Boeing is developing a high-altitude long-endurance (HALE) unmanned vehicle: the Phantom Eye. It offers small
UAVs via the Insitu subsidiary. The Hermes 450 and 900 are medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) vehicles. Interestingly, a triangular relationship between Boeing, Elbit and Embraer has been established in Brazil, where Boeing is pitching the F-18 Super Hornet fighter. AEL Sistemas, the Brazilian subsidiary of Elbit, was chosen earlier this year by Boeing to provide large cockpit displays for the F-15 and the F-18 fighters. It would therefore come as no surprise to learn that the Embraer Legacy 600 is Boeing’s preferred business jet for the MSA. o
by Neelam Mathews & Chris Pocock
A visit from Britain’s Prime Minister may have the Eurofighter Typhoon upgrade program on more solid ground.
Typhoon upgrade path now on firmer footing by Chris Pocock Boosted by a visit from British Prime Minister David Cameron on Monday, yesterday Eurofighter described an upgrade path for the Typhoon that finally appears to be on a firm footing. “The integration of the Meteor missile, an electronically scanned radar, enhancements of the defensive aids system…would all boost the world-beating capabilities of this fantastic aircraft. This progress is good for industry, export customers and the RAF,” the prime minister commented. Eurofighter chief executive officer Enzo Casolini reported that the four partner nations had issued a request for quotations (RFQ) on the e-scan version of the Captor radar earlier this month. The consortium would respond by October and a contract would be signed by mid2013. Test flights could follow by the end of that year, leading to service entry in 2015, he said. The industry partners and the
Euroradar consortium have been pre-funding the development. The Captor-E will feature mechanical repositioning of the antenna for enhanced performance, as previously shown in model form. But according to Berndt Wuensche, chairman of the Eurofighter supervisory board, the double swashplate mounting has been dropped in favor of a single swashplate solution. However, he hinted that the consortium would price both options when it responds to the RFQ. Casolini said a contract to integrate the MBDA Meteor beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile would be in place by the end of the year. The consortium was proposing a mid-2015 target for operational clearance, he added. The latest edition of Eurofighter’s in-house magazine gives mid-2016 as the target date. There was much talk of the complicated nomenclature by
Airbus EFB functionality on an Apple iPad Fifteen years after provision of the first electronic flight bags (EFBs), airlines will soon be able to download the first Airbus aircraft performance-calculating applications for pilots to use with their iPads. Part of the “FlySmart with Airbus” range, the applications will offer an alternative to PC-operating system EFBs, claims the manufacturer. Pilots will be able to carry out aircraft performance calculations and consult Airbus operations manuals. “By combining EFB content with the iPad, pilots [can] optimize performance while saving cost, weight, and time,” said Airbus customer services executive vice-president Didier Lux. The manufacturer will introduce the equipment for standard use by its flight-test and training department and licenses for the applin cations will be available to Airbus customers.
00 Farnborough Airshow News • July 11, 38 7, 2012 2012• •www.ainonline.com www.ainonline.com
which various software and hardware enhancements are described. In summary, they have recently included the helmetmounted sight–“an enormous step,” according to BAE Systems chief test pilot Mark Bowman– as well as display improvements and MIDS enhancements. Bowman said the Typhoon has “started to move forward into a true multi-role capability.” However, operational clearance of the long-awaited full integration of dual-mode laser/GPS-guided bombs (EGBU-16 or Paveway IV, with onboard designation from Litening III pods) is apparently still 18 months away. No one mentioned the Storm Shadow or Taurus cruise missiles or the Brimstone close-support weapon, but the Eurofighter magazine promises integration of the former “by 2015,” with the latter following. The previously slow pace of upgrades has dented the jet’s export prospects. Eurofighter officials still talk of making a revised offer to India should negotiations for the Dassault Rafale falter. The Typhoon is a contender for the 60-aircraft Korean Fighter Program III. The consortium has made generous technology transfer and coproduction offers in an attempt to boost the Typhoon’s chances against the front-running U.S. candidates: the Boeing F-15SE Silent Eagle and the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II. Malaysia was also mentioned, even though that country has not confirmed a budget for a new fighter buy. o AINonline iPhone App NOW AVAILABLE
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Published on Jul 10, 2012