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Farnborough Airshow News

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F-35 AT CENTER STAGE A Royal Air Force F-35B and two Typhoon fighters have been flying in formation with the Red Arrows over the Royal International Air Tattoo this past weekend. A similar formation will open the Farnborough 2016 show today.

UK set to ink defense deals Brexit concerns cast shadows over Britain’s aero showcase as F-35 makes its debut by Charles Alcock

by Chris Pocock It’s going to be a busy Farnborough, defense-wise. The UK will confirm orders for Boeing’s P-8 Poseidon ­mari­time patroller and AH-64E Apache Guardian attack helicopter this morning. The

Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II stealth fighter will open the show in a formation flypast with the Red Arrows, and the Embraer KC-390 is making its Continued on page 78 u

Foreign visitors hoping to catch a glimpse of the legendary British stiff upper lip could be in luck this week at the Farnborough International Airshow, with the UK aerospace industry having

to put a brave face on the June 23 referendum vote that is set to cast the country out of the European Union (EU). The industry faces uncertainty as to what the

Powerplants

Continued on page 78 u

Manufacturing

Regional Airliners

Military Aviation

Alcoa Bets Big On Aerospace Materials

Mitsubishi Accelerates MRJ90

Rolls Is Behind F-35B’s VTOL Capability Rolls-Royce Trent XWB-97 Progressing Russia Gets Serious About MC-21

Combining 3D printing and the latest metallurgies in one location, Alcoa’s new Pennsylvania-based technology center is all about helping aerospace manufacturers realize their design and engineering objectives. Page 17

After beefing up portions of the prototype’s airframe and applying the design changes to production aircraft, Mitsubishi says it is ahead of its original target date for certifying and delivering its new MRJ90 regional jet. Page 32

After some 15 years in development, Rolls-Royce’s LiftFan technology is what powers the vertical flight capability on display this week when the Lockheed Martin F-35B makes its first visit to Farnborough. Page 46

The engine manufacturer is “really happy” with results from its testing of the new engine, and is establishing a second Trent XWB production line at its Derby, UK, base. The Trent XWB is the exclusive engine for the Airbus A350 XWB. Page 62

WHO IS THE WORLD’S LEADING TRAINING SYSTEMS INTEGRATOR? We are.

New Aircraft Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev lent his prestige to the June 8 rollout ceremony of the Irkut MC-21-300 narrowbody twinjet, underscoring what many in the West view as a renewed commitment to the program. Page 68


Boeing happy with 737 Max 8 program

Farnborough Airshow News

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FOUNDED IN 1972 JAMES HOLAHAN (1921-2015), FOUNDING EDITOR WILSON S. LEACH, MANAGING DIRECTOR EDITOR-IN-CHIEF – Charles Alcock EDITOR - INTERNATIONAL SHOW EDITIONS – Ian Sheppard PRESS ROOM MANAGING EDITOR – Mark Phelps THE EDITORIAL TEAM David Donald Vladimir Karnozov Rick Adams Andrew Drwiega Reuben F. Johnson Caroline Bruneau Curt Epstein Jennifer Meszaros Bill Carey Chris Pocock Ian Goold Samantha Cartaino Mark Huber Gregory Polek Pete Combs James Wynbrandt GROUP PRODUCTION MANAGER – Tom Hurley PRODUCTION EDITOR – Lysbeth McAleer THE PRODUCTION TEAM Martha Jercinovich John A. Manfredo Mona L. Brown Jeb Burnside Alena Korenkov Grzegorz Rzekos PHOTOGRAPHERS David McIntosh; Mark Wagner

by Gregory Polek

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PHOTOS: DAVID McINTOSH

Above, Boeing’s fourth 737 Max 8 airframe makes a low pass down Farnborough’s runway during a validation flight before the airshow opened. At right, the company’s 737 program head, Keith Leverkuhn, has reason to smile, thanks to the type’s success.

GROUP PUBLISHER – David M. Leach PUBLISHER – Anthony T. Romano ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER – Nancy O’Brien ADVERTISING SALES – NORTH AMERICA Melissa Murphy – Midwest +1 830 608 9888 Nancy O’Brien – West +1 530 241 3534 Anthony T. Romano – East/International +1 203 798 2400 Joe Rosone – East/International/Middle East +1 301 834 5251 Victoria Tod – Great Lakes/UK +1 203 798 2400 ADVERTISING SALES – INTERNATIONAL – Daniel Solnica – Paris MARKETING MANAGER – Zach O’Brien AUDIENCE DEVELOPMENT MANAGER – Jeff Hartford MANAGER OF ONSITE LOGISTICS – Philip Scarano III GROUP BRAND MANAGER – Jennifer Leach English ADVERTISING/SALES SECRETARY STAFF – Cindy Nesline

Leverkuhn also revealed the existence of a few “hot spots” in the supply chain, as it prepares for what he called a steep rate ramp in Renton, where Boeing now builds 42 NGs a month on two lines. “It’s currently a go-slow line, but it’s not going to be a go-slow line for very long,” he said, referring to the third line now dedicated to the Max. “So we’re going to get that line up to rate before we introduce the Max onto either of the other two lines.”  o

U.S. EDITORIAL OFFICE: 214 Franklin Ave., Midland Park, NJ 07432 Tel: +1 201 444 5075 WASHINGTON, D.C. EDITORIAL OFFICE: Bill Carey (air transport and defense) bcarey@ainonline.com Tel: +1 202 560 5672; Mobile: +1 202 531 7566 Kerry Lynch (business aviation) klynch@ainonline.com Tel: +1 703 969 9155 EUROPEAN EDITORIAL OFFICE: Ian Sheppard Hangar 9, Redhill Aerodrome, Surrey RH1 5JY, UK Tel: +1 44 1 737 200948; Mobile: +1 44 775 945 5770 isheppard@ainonline.com CR

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DIRECTOR OF FINANCE & HUMAN RESOURCES – Michele Hubert ACCOUNTING MANAGER – Marylou Moravec SALES ASSISTANT – Nadine Timpanaro ACCOUNTING/ADMINISTRATION STAFF – Mary Avella; Bobbie Bing

Aircon Plant Area

keys to helping Boeing meet its dispatch reliability goal—a materials and aerodynamic upgrade to the low-pressure compressor in the airplane’s Leap-1B turbofans. Leverkuhn said he expects delivery of the first pair of engines—equipped with the socalled Block 2 modification—in about four weeks. Those engines, said Leverkuhn, will likely go on the third flight-test airplane. Number 2 will get the next pair. “There’s a very small test program necessary for us to validate what that’s about, and then we’ll just continue on with our regular certification,” he noted.

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The fourth of seven airplanes that have so far rolled off the Boeing narrowbody assembly line in Renton, Washington, the Boeing 737 Max 8 on display here is taking a brief break flight testing—which is currently focused on ETOPS plus function and reliability testing. The other three test articles continue to collect flying hours toward expected certification in the first half of next year. Speaking with a group of reporters in front of the airplane on the eve of the show, Boeing 737 program head Keith Leverkuhn revealed that the four test airplanes have now flown some 800 test hours during just over 300 flights, including a pair of so-called “fly-turn-fly” days, designed to more realistically simulate scheduled operations. The exercise, said Lerverkuhn, reflects Boeing’s “Right at First Flight” effort, which arose out of its stated intent to ensure the same 99.8 percent dispatch reliability rate the 737NG now delivers. “I’m happy to say there was one squawk on the airplane, so that was good,” said Leverkuhn. “We took a delay on one of our fly-turn-flies, but it was our documentation; it wasn’t the airplane.” CFM International holds one of the

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C Series set to enter SWISS service Friday by James Wynbrandt 26 percent larger than a Boeing 737’s, and are positioned higher up on the fuselage—no need to bend your neck or hunch down to look out of the window. C Series seats, at 19 inches, have a one-inch width advantage over Airbus and two inches over Boeing. Meanwhile, the fiveabreast configuration (three on the right, two on the left) means that at 80 percent load factor, an airline standard for evaluating aircraft economics, every passenger could have either a window or aisle seat. Bombardier added an extra inch to the middle seat on the right side, taking a bit of the sting out of being relegated to the interior position. Under the command of captain Esteban Arias and first officer Daniel Dion, acceleration and climb on takeoff were impressive. “That was our London City departure,” Fred Cromer, president, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft, announced over the intercom—alluding to the London airport accessible only to aircraft that meet steep climb and descent performance profiles, as does the C Series (The type will

KC-390 tanker/transport debuts at Farnborough

Bombardier’s CS100 FTV5 demonstrates a London City Airport departure.

need to go through specific performance testing at the airport to satisfy the CAA). Cromer noted that in a 42-seat, all businessclass configuration, a CS100 could fly from London City Airport to New York non-stop. During the flight, with the CS100’s 20-inch aisles, passengers were able to pass by a standard serving cart during service, and doubtless passengers seated on aisles aboard these aircraft will have less concern about carts colliding with overhanging limbs. Given the roomy cockpit, pilots will likely enjoy the experience, as well. The C Series uses the Rockwell Collins Pro Line Fusion flight deck found in many advanced business jets—its first application in the commercial market—which provides HUDs (Head Up Displays) for both pilot positions. The forward and aft lavatories were also more spacious and less

Among other passenger-pleasing features, the CS100’s interior features large overhead bins.

PHOTOS: MARK WAGNER

After a two-year delay, Bombardier’s C Series singleaisle jet, purpose-built for the 100- to 150-seat market, will enter service this Friday with launch customer Swiss International Airlines. Based on a demo flight Bombardier (Chalet C3) hosted here yesterday aboard FTV5, a fully configured CS100 flighttest aircraft, passengers should welcome its addition to the commercial fleet. To avoid any confusion, FTV5 is in Swiss livery but Swiss is due to bring its first aircraft here too, to park it on the static display. “We have the widest cabin in the [single-aisle] market, the widest seats, the widest aisle, and the largest [overhead] bins,” said Rob Dewar, vice-president, C Series program, ticking off some of the selling points of the CS100 and CS300 during the one-hour flight out over the Isle of Wight. Even on a grey, drizzly morning, the cabin felt open and not cramped upon boarding, a feeling that persisted once we were seated. The windows are 50 percent larger than an Airbus A320’s and

cluttered than competitors’, and dispense with the usual credenzalike structure anchoring the sink. Throughout the flight the cabin sound level was impressively low. (I didn’t hear the thrust reversers on the landing rollout, though they were deployed.) During the flight, Cromer called service entry “another milestone” in what he acknowledges is a long road ahead. But

with recent large orders from Delta Airlines and Air Canada, and the planned certification later this year of the CS300, he said the program is now “exactly where we want to be.” Meanwhile, attendees can tour the interior of Swiss’s first CS100 here on the static display (at Outdoor Exhibit 26), before it reports for passenger-hauling duty on Friday.  o

The prototype Embraer KC-390 multi-role military transport makes an approach to Farnborough in advance of the show’s opening. The type’s second airframe took to the air on its maiden flight in May.

Making a welcome appearance in the static display at Farnborough is the Embraer KC-390, representing the first public outing for the type as it takes a break from its flight test campaign for a brief EMEA sales and demonstration tour. As well as a firm order from the home country of Brazil, Embraer has also received intentions to order from the other program partner nations, comprising Argentina (6), Chile (6), Colombia (12), Czech Republic (2) and Portugal (6) for a total of 60, as well as interest from a number of other air forces. Jackson Schneider, president and CEO, Embraer defense & security, spoke with AIN last Thursday as the KC-390 was landing at TAG Farnborough Airport for the show. “We are very optimistic regarding the KC-390,” he said, “now we have 350 flight hours, focused on a

general assessment of performance and flying qualities.” The aircraft, which is powered by two IAE V2500 jet engines, made its maiden flight in February 2015 and is being presented as “a new concept as a multipurpose airplane,” said Schneider, and will even be presented for civil certification at some point. The second prototype made its first flight in May. Some testing has taken place in Portugal recently, being presented to the Portuguese air force. The country is a major program partner and is believed to be preparing to place an order. Schneider said Portugal is “very committed” to the program, with the industrial plant at Evora a major part in subassembly manufacturing, including wing skins. “After Farnborough we are planning to show the aircraft to three or four other countries,” he told AIN. Then it will return to

DAVID McINTOSH

by Ian Sheppard

flight testing, which has already covered “the full flight envelope, reaching cruising speed of Mach 0.8 and [altitude of] 36,000 feet.” The company has also performed an aerial refueling assessment—hose & drogue extension—“and it’s stable. We have not tested actual refueling yet, but cargo airdrop and paratroop initial evaluation have been completed.” The aircraft has two doors that can be used for paratroop drops, and

it can be refueled from tankers and refuel other aircraft, such as fighters—making it a true “force multiplier.” Testing between now and the end of the year will cover refueling tests “including with helicopters”; pressurization and further avionics systems testing; artificial ice assessment; a crosswind campaign in South America, where winds are very demanding; and the aerial refueling, with dry contacts first. So the program is

“on track for IOC [initial operational capability] in the second half of 2017…The third aircraft will be the first to be delivered to the Brazilian air force, which has ordered 28.” “I believe that Farnborough will help with our sales campaigns,” he concluded, adding that the Czech Republic “will probably be on the list as it is one of the partners in the program,” and that an Asian country has been a “surprise” potential customer.  o

www.ainonline.com • July 11, 2016 • Farnborough Airshow News  3


Flying display safety rules change little after review by David Donald

Textron, Thales unleash UAV-delivered Fury by Charles Alcock Textron Systems (Outdoor Exhibit L2-L5) is introducing a new smart weapon for UAVs that could be operational by year-end. Working with Thales UK, the company recently completed initial trials of the 13-pound Fury lightweight precision-guided glide weapon and now is preparing for further tests for the U.S. Special Operations Command. According to Brian Sinkiewicz, Textron’s senior v-p and general manager for precision weapons systems, prospective users of the new weapon are looking for something specifically developed for delivery from a UAV. “They want flexibility, low cost and for it to be tailored for specific capabilities and target sets,” he told AIN. “Fury is very precise with low [rates of] collateral damage.” Fury has been developed for UAVs like Textron’s Shadow. In early tests, an inert version was delivered from 8,000 feet and around 70 knots at the U.S. Army’s proving ground in Yuma, Arizona, to demonstrate its guidance capability. The weapon uses an inertially guided system with GPS, as well as a semi-active laser that allows for more accuracy against moving targets.

According to Sinkiewicz, the size, weight and capability of the Fury will enhance a UAV’s endurance and allow it to carry more weapons. For the currently unweaponized Shadow, it will bring completely new capability, with capacity for a pair of Furys. It could also increase the firepower of the Predator and Reaper UAVs, with the ability to carry up to 24 of the new weapons in addition to its standard Hellfire missiles. Textron plans calls for it to deliver the first Furys to U.S. Special Operations forces for trials as soon as the weapon’s terminal laser guidance capability is deemed ready for service. Thales UK intends to work with the British Ministry of Defence to set up a separate evaluation. “We’re looking to get this out into the market ahead of our competitors, because there is currently nothing specifically tailored for UAVs like this,” said Sinkiewicz. It will likely compete with ATK’s Hatchet or Raytheon’s Griffin weapons. “To date, the tests have demonstrated that the lightweight weapon features a mature and proven warhead and accurate guidance system paired with a fully integrated aircraft solution,” he concluded.  o

CONNER SAYS BOEING COULD BUILD BIGGER 777X Boeing Commercial Airplanes (BCA) could build a larger version of its new 777X widebody airliner if the market demands it, CEO Ray Conner said yesterday. “It would be pretty straightforward for us,” Conner told reporters during a roundtable meeting in London. “We already have the -9, the -8; this could be an extension of the family depending on what the customers really want. We have the ability to do it.” The 777-8X will accommodate 350 seats, with range of more than 9,300 nautical miles. The 777-9X will accommodate 400 seats and fly more than 8,200 nautical miles, said John Wojick, BCA senior vice president of global sales and marketing. Boeing’s 777 sales have outpaced sales of the Airbus A350-1000 by four to one. However, Wojick acknowledged that Boeing has sold just 32 widebodies of all types this year. “My boss likes to tell me that’s clearly not good enough,” he said.  —B.C.

In the run-up to Farnborough, there had been fears that new CAA regulations regarding air displays introduced following the Shoreham tragedy last year (in which a Hawker Hunter crashed, with several fatalities) would severely mute this year’s flying display. However, thanks to Farnborough’s already stringent regulations, changes to the display will be minor, and visitors will continue to enjoy a spectacular air show, as in previous years. That’s the view of John Turner, Farnborough’s flying display director, who explained the regulations and changes to AIN.

and undertakes risk and safety assessments, clearing much groundwork before any flying takes place. Farnborough then insists on validation for each display, having first agreed with the pilot(s) on the routine, checking also that it meets regulations. Every display, whether it is a practice or validation, is monitored using an electro-optical sensor supplied by QinetiQ. This provides the flight control committee with a highly accurate plot of the aircraft’s track and altitude, eliminating any uncertainty

Flight displays by aircraft like this Airbus A400M will go on in the aftermath of the 2015 crash of a Hawker Hunter in Shoreham.

DAVID McINTOSH

Textron Systems and Thales have jointly tested the new Fury lightweight precision-guided glide weapon from a Shadow tactical UAV.

spectators that may want to watch from outside the airfield boundary, some roads and the canal are closed during the display. Warning notices have been issued to those who may venture onto the MoD lands so that they are fully apprised of potential risks. Away from the aerobatic area, display participants are expected to comply with the standard Air Navigation Order that covers flight anywhere, such as no maneuvering beyond 90-degree bank, and altitude restrictions over congested areas. For the large aircraft displaying at Farnborough, this implies that they can continue to perform similar routines to previous years, while fast-jet aerobatics can still perform their full routines, just further to the west and with wider landing patterns.

“The event at Shoreham led to regulation changes that put more focus on third parties— those who live outside the airfield, those who are driving past, and—at Farnborough—even people in canal boats. The risk to the crowd was also looked at again. The principles behind the new regulations are absolutely sound, but the challenge has been to implement a rule-set that has not been tested in practice.” To begin with, Turner and his team looked at the measures already in place, over and above the previous CAA regulations. The airshow already has an independent safety audit team that examines the display and aircraft movements from a number of aspects, including the display routines, air traffic control and maintenance management. The team reviews documentation

4  Farnborough Airshow News • July 11, 2016 • www.ainonline.com

during debrief. The committee itself is made up of test pilots, senior pilots and display supervisors. Having such a high-level committee is particularly important for credibility at Farnborough, where many of the display crew are test pilots themselves. Another safety regulation already in place is what is known as the “Farnborough bowl,” a reference to instructions that display routines are devised so that aircraft climb away from the airfield and descend toward it. In the light of the new CAA regulations, and the need to further address the issue of third parties and the local population, Farnborough has introduced a set aerobatic area that includes portions of the airfield and Ministry of Defence land to the west. To safeguard

Farnborough’s new regulations have been in development since February, with display pilots being given advance notice of what form they were likely to take. CAA approval was received around two weeks before the show started. “What we are seeing from validation, it’s working really well,” reported Turner. One routine that is sure to draw a lot of attention is that of the Lockheed Martin F-35B, which includes a hovering segment. Asked whether the F-35 display posed any unique challenges for the air show, Turner replied that, “For us it’s just another new aircraft…and that’s something we do really well!” o


AT LOCKHEED MARTIN, WE’RE ENGINEERING A BETTER TOMORROW.

© 20166 LO L CKH KHEED EED EEDD MA M RTI R N CORPP ORA RT O ATIO TIOON


EMBRAER UPDATES ITS COMMERCIAL MARKET FORECAST During a presentation to the media at Embraer’s Evora plant in Portugal in June, Luis Carlos Affonso, COO of Embraer Commercial Aviation, said the E-Jet had so far notched 1,700 net orders with 1,200 aircraft delivered to date since 2004. The E2 firm backlog stands at 267 (650 including options, commitments etc.), he added. Affonso explained that the Brazilian manufacturer had updated its commercial forecast to 6,400 aircraft 2016-2035—“so not a big change” over its previous forecast. “The main drivers of demand are the same— DAVID McINTOSH

direct replacements, right sizing, regional aviation development (in India

Embraer executives are all smiles. From left: Marco Túlio Pellegrini, president and CEO, executive jets; Paulo Cesar de Souza e Silva, president and CEO; Jackson Schneider, executive v-p, defense and security; John Slattery, president and CEO, commercial aviation.

Embraer brings a trio of new aircraft to FIAS by Ian Sheppard Brazil’s Embraer has a major presence at this year’s Farnborough Airshow with new products from each of its three divisions–—defense, commercial and executive aviation. It is the international airshow debut for the KC-390, a multipurpose airlifter, while the 190E2 regional jet and Legacy 500 are both making their Farnborough debuts. The manufacturer also its own new standalone building at the show (Outdoor Exhibition 6), away from the main chalet lines. The 190E2 that is here at the show is the first E2 prototype, which flew for the first time in late May and is now progressing with flight testing. It has now flown 50-60 hours. The E2 is powered by Pratt & Whitney PW1900 geared turbofans rather than the GE CF34s that power the E1, and

has a breadth of other improvements including revamped wings that are unique for each variant, the 190E2, 195E2 and 175E2. This year’s Farnborough is significant for Embraer for another reason. Former CEO Frederic Curado has just retired, and Paulo Cesar de Souza e Silva took the reins on July 1. John Slattery, who has now taken over Silva’s previous position as CEO of Embraer’s Commercial Aviation division, told AIN last week, “I have taken the reins from Paulo Cesar e Silva who is now our group CEO. I was Paulo’s copilot for the past five and a half years. So we have continuity—I think our customers appreciate this. My vision for where commercial aviation is going won’t be fundamentally different from the path we’re already on.”

EMBRAER AND BOEING TEAM ON KC-390 SALES, SUPPORT Embraer and Boeing have signed a teaming agreement to jointly pursue opportunities for both aircraft sales and sustainment of the Brazilian company’s KC-390 tanker/transport. The signing represents the affirmation of an intention first announced by the two companies in 2012. Under the terms of the agreement, Embraer would provide the aircraft, while Boeing Global Services and Support would provide in-service support. Embraer Defense & Security’s president and CEO, Jackson Schneider, remarked that, “The expansion of our relationship makes the best medium-sized airlift product available to customers, bolstered by the best support available.” Boeing GSS president, Ed Dolanski, added that the agreement, “underscores our commitment to branch out beyond the traditional OEM role into services for non-Boeing aircraft. Our advantage is Boeing’s global reach, which provides greater flexibility, enabling us to quickly respond to customers.”  —D.D.

He added, “For the past six or so years he had created a robust organizational structure that works very well. We have three priorities: first is to maintain our momentum on sales for both the E1 and E2, the second is to deliver the E2 on schedule, and our third priority is to maintain our reputation for customer support—we call it customer care.” Slattery said, “The guidance we’re giving now [for E2 entry into service] is the first half of 2018—and as we go through 2017, it’ll be up to Luis [Carlos Affonso, COO Commercial Aviation] if he wants to revise the guidance.” Saulo Passos, global head of marketing and communications for Embraer, said Embraer’s pavilion at the show is some 600 square meters and connected to its static area, which is three times the size of previous shows. “So we’re going to have the theory and practice at the same time, and the full line of products will be there for people to see [including over the public weekend].” He continued, “The KC-390 will be there but we are not anticipating a flight for it. It will be very first show globally for that. Also the [A-29] Super Tucano will be there for the first time as well,” he said. The media were able to see this aircraft at Embraer’s OGMA subsidiary near Lisbon last month, where it was on a stopover en route to the show from Brazil. Embraer also maintains Hercules transport aircraft, performs F-16 upgrades and has a growing support business for the E-Jets at the OGMA facility. “We’ll also be showing radars and ATC systems, and the Legacy 500 is making its show debut too,” said Passos. “And we will have an E2 cabin mockup inside our pavilion too.” o

6  Farnborough Airshow News • July 11, 2016 • www.ainonline.com

for example), 100-seaters for U.S. majors, LCCs [low-cost carriers] in Asia and Europe and turboprop replacement.” With the latter, he said this was especially the case with the 175E2, “which will be almost as efficient as a turboprop, even in short missions.” While conducting a factory tour after the Evora presentations, Embraer held a brief ceremony to celebrate the cutting of the first metal for the very first 175E2. Affonso said, since 2012, the 70- to 130-seat airliner segment had grown faster than the narrowbody segment, and he predicted this would continue in the future, although the regional segment is still only 15- to 20 percent of the narrowbody segment in terms of deliveries. The 190E2 offers 16 percent lower fuel consumption over the current E190—the engine giving an 11 percent net gain (the bigger nacelle knocks back the overall efficiency gain from the P&W engines), while 1.5 percent is gained through the use of fourth generation fly-by-wire and 3.5 percent from efficient aerodynamics (wing, landing gear, etc). According to Affonso, the 195E2 will have the same empty weight as Bombardier’s CSeries CS100 with 10 percent more capacity. “The baseline E195E2 carries more passengers, so has a lower cost per seat, and likely lower cost per trip than the CSeries.” He explained that maintenance costs would be better. With more and more airlines looking at the entire lifecycle costs, Embraer claims that compared to the CS100 it will offer 25 percent lower airframe directmaintenance costs per seat. “There are a lot of elements that will provide for this benefit, but as one example, consider 2,500 hours utilization a year for the E2.” Another attraction for airlines is that the E2 will have a common type rating to the E1, allowing mixed fleet operations and only a three-day course (without the need for simulators) for an E1 pilot to fly the E2. Testing continues at Embraer’s Gaviao Peixoto fight test airfield in Brazil, with the second prototype set to join the program. Affonso said that “Aircraft number three is not far behind—we’re finalizing final assembly and it will probably fly in next couple of months.” The fourth is on the assembly line and will fly early next year—“there is a bigger gap as it will have the interior and will be dedicated to lighting and HIRF [high intensity radio frequency] testing etc.,” said Affonso. Concluding his presentation, Affonso said “We are going to use the same final assembly line for both types [E1 & E2], so we are building flexibility into the system as for at least three years, 2018, ’19 and ’20, we will be building both. And there is no cut-off date for E1 production— it will happen at a point where the rate of the E1 would be too small. But a customer who has E1s may want more.” He added: “We didn’t have a dip while customers waited for the E2—we are [building] around 100 planes this year. Our production line is reasonably full for next year, and the following year is the first year of the E2.”

P&W Geared Turbofans Affonso addressed the issues that had been causing problems for the Airbus A320neo aircraft, with slow start-up times resulting. “Our engines do have some of the issues found in the other applications, but by the time we get there they should have been sorted out,” he said. “Our engines are smaller but our modifications will be there at EIS.” He concluded, “There is no impact on the flight test campaign from these issues…” —I.S.


MARK WAGNER

Aerospace industry’s breadth, depth exhibited at U.S. pavilion

The Bell 525 cabin mockup incorporates numerous technologies for passenger privacy, utility and convenience.

Bell, MAG unveil luxury cabin for the 525 VIP market by James Wynbrandt Bell Helicopter (Chalet L2) and interiors specialist Mecaer Aviation Group (MAG, Hall 1 Stand A140) unveiled here at Farnborough the Grandeur luxury interior for the Bell 525 Relentless, on display at the show in a full-scale cabin mockup. Featuring the latest advances in ergonomic design, noise perception, functionality and comfort, the Grandeur interior offers multiple choices for finishings and seating configurations. An inflight Entertainment Enhanced Lounge (I-FEEL) incorporates Wi-Fi, moving maps, ambient light controls and audio/ video functions, all controllable via smart device or smart watch. Large cabinets

Bell Mourns Pilots Bell has cancelled a scheduled press conference here at Farnborough on the 525 program following the July 6 crash of a Bell 525 flighttest vehicle, which claimed the lives of the two test pilots onboard. It remains to be seen how the tragedy will affect the certification program, which had been scheduled for completion next year. The prototype that crashed was the first of three flying in the test program. Two more are in production, expected to join the program later this summer. —J.W.

provide plenty of storage space, and the monitors mounted on them can retract into the consoles. Electro-chromatic controls change cabin windows from clear to full tint, while a Speech Interference Level Enhanced Noise System (SILENS) with limousine-style privacy window quiets the cabin, allowing passengers to converse without using headsets. Cabin configuration options allow customers to choose a layout best suited to their needs. With oversize windows, large individual swiveling seats and options like a wrap-around divan, the design brings rotorcraft interiors to a level previously associated with high-end business jets. Armando Sassoli, co-general manager of Italy’s MAG, called Grandeur “the perfect blend of style and technology,” while Bell’s Patrick Moulay, executive v-p of global sales and marketing, asserted the interior “is taking luxury helicopter transport to a new level.” The “super medium” category Relentless is the only commercial helicopter to incorporate fly-by-wire technology, and is on track to become the fastest, having exceeded 200 knots in high speed testing. No price for the Relentless has been announced, but it’s expected to list for between $20 million and $24 million. o

A total of more than 360 U.S. exhibitors are here at the show, representing almost one quarter of the show total, with the U.S. International Pavilion being home to around 220 of these companies. The theme of the week is “Ask America” with show attendees being invited to explore how U.S. companies can meet their aerospace needs. Occupying more than 4,000 square meters (43,000 square feet) spanning Halls 2, 3 and 4, the pavilion is organized by Kallman Worldwide, in association with the U.S. departments of Commerce, Defense and State. The opening ceremony and ribbon cutting for the U.S. pavilion is set to take place today at approximately 11 a.m. at The Hub (Hall 3 Stand E22) with guests of honor being invited including General Frank Gorenc, USAF, commander air forces Europe and Africa Elizabeth Dibble, U.S. Chargé D’Affaires at the U.S. Embassy in London and U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker. “When U.S. companies commit to exhibit at Farnborough, they’re saying they believe in the power of this event to attract real businesses prospects and customers,” said Kallman Worldwide’s president and CEO, Tom Kallman.

“The global reputation of this show speaks for itself.” Exhibitors vying for military, commercial and space business in Europe and around the world include: Tamarack Aerospace (Hall 3 Stand E68), highlighting its active winglet technology, promising three to four times the fuel burn reduction of passive winglets; Cubic Global Defense (Hall 2 Stand C2), showcasing its Air Combat Maneuvering Instrumentation systems; oil & gas industry stalwart K&B Industries, which recently expanded into the aerospace industry, and is displaying machined parts designed for aerospace applications; and Aero Specialties (Hall 3 Stand E68), which is celebrating its President’s “E” award for excellence in exporting, bestowed by the U.S. government in May. Also new this year, Kallman and show organizers at The Hub will hold a weeklong series of forums featuring panel discussions on “Cultivating Business Relationships,” “Identifying Global Opportunities,” and “Creating the Future.” Among the panelists is Apollo 15 astronaut Al Worden, a graduate of the U.K.’s Empire Test Pilot School. —J.W.

CFM International (Outdoor Exhibit 22) is preparing its support network for the entry into service of its new Leap series of engines with six customers this year. Within three years, it expects 50 airlines to have taken delivery of airplanes powered by the engine series chosen for the Airbus A320neo, Boeing 737 Max and Comac C919. “We are right where we want to be,” said CFM executive vice president and general manager François Bastin at a pre-Farnborough press briefing. “We’re not bragging. We’ve tested this engine inside and out.” Increasing “time on wing” perhaps

represents the biggest concern, according to the company; learning the differences in operational profiles among the various customers and training them on the maintenance tasks will go a long way to ensuring the new engine performs as well as the legacy CFM56, some 1,700 of which it plans to deliver this year. “We want to be prescriptive,” said CFM executive vice president Allen Paxson, who stressed the importance of analytics to the company’s ability to prescribe maintenance recommendations. For a full update on CFM’s Leap programs, please refer to page 44. —G.P.

8  Farnborough Airshow News • July 11, 2016 • www.ainonline.com

MARK WAGNER

CFM prepares Leap support

DOUBLE TROUBLE This close-up of the aft end of a McDonnell Douglas/Boeing F/A-18 Hornet on display at Farnborough International Airshow 2016 offers a detailed view of the carrier-based jet’s two General Electric F404 engine exhausts and its arresting tailhook. First entering service in 1983, the Hornet is a multi-role fighter and ground-attack platform capable of Mach 1.8 speeds and routine, all-weather operations from aircraft carriers throughout the world.


Airbus expands and refines air-to-air refueling platforms by Chris Pocock Building on the hard-won experience of developing the A330MRTT (MultiRole Tanker Transport), Airbus Defence & Space is exploring automatic air-to-air refueling (AAR), and developing a refueling kit for the C295 airlifter. The company is also trying to make good on a promise to have helicopters refuel from the A400M airlifter. Manual AAR is very complex, according to Airbus D&S head of engineering Miguel Angel Morell. The company has developed image-processing software that automatically steers the refueling boom toward the receiver aircraft’s receptacle. This could reduce risk and save time in operations, it says. The boom operator would still manage the initial extension of the boom and its disconnection and retraction. The software has been successfully trialed in the company’s A330MRTT engineering simulator, and in flight— although not yet as far as making contact. Those ultimate flight trials will follow at the end of the year. According to Morell, the Royal Australian

Air Force—launch customer for the A330MRTT—is very interested. Boom operators are also being offered a new on-the-job inflight training opportunity. A “synthetic” receiver aircraft could be displayed on their monitoring screens, integrated with real images of the boom and environment. This “augmented reality” system has been trialed on the company’s A310 AAR testbed. A prototype hose-and-drum mounted on a pallet has been fitted to the C295. The hose feeds through a tunnel that is fitted to the airlifter’s ramp. It has been deployed inflight and found to be stable between 95 and 140 knots indicated airspeed (IAS). An Airbus Helicopters H225 Caracal heavy helicopter has been flown behind the C295 to check for airflow issues. These have bedeviled the A400M helicopter AAR program, but there have been “no issues” with the C295, according to Morell. Dry contact flight trials are scheduled at the end of the year, after a fully-instrumented helicopter joins the program. Turboprop aircraft and UAVs could also be refueled from the C295. Up to

The A400M can now refuel fighters and transports from underwing pods, but helicopter stability in trail has proved problematic. A longer hose may be the solution.

seven metric tons of fuel can be dispensed; from the C295’s internal fuel tanks, and also from an auxiliary fuel tank fitted in the fuselage. The A400M is now cleared to refuel fighters and transports from underwing pods. The helicopter problem could be solved by using a longer hose: 120-feet instead of 80-feet. But the diameter of the hose must be reduced if it is to fit within the existing Cobham Mk908E pod, and it may have to be stiffened to prevent oscillation. Aerodynamic data has been obtained from wind tunnel tests at French research agency Onera and is now being analyzed. Airbus D&S hopes to proceed to flight tests before the end of the year. But the French air force couldn’t wait. It ordered two

Lockheed Martin KC-130Js (and two C-130Js) last November. However, the French air force is a new customer for the A330MRTT, one of seven, giving Airbus 85 percent of the market, according to Jeronimo Amador, the company’s head of marketing for derivatives. He said that the 96 percent availability demonstrated by the 27 aircraft in service is the highest of any military aircraft. The company is exploring Link 16 data relay via Satcom or UHF radio, and an airborne laser terminal for wideband data relay, such as video. The A330 airliner is now available with an increased mtow (max takeoff weight) of 238 metric tons, increasing payload/range by 20 percent, Amador said.  o

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www.ainonline.com • July 11, 2016 • Farnborough Airshow News  9


Saab is targeting year-end for first flight of latest Gripen

Larger and smarter than its predecessor, the Gripen E was rolled out on May 18.

by David Donald Around the end of the year Saab expects to fly the new Gripen E for the first time. The latest generation of the Swedish warplane represents a major enhancement in capabilities and a thorough overhaul of every element of the basic design. Following on from the Gripen Demo technology demonstrator that has been testing various elements of the new fighter for some time, the first new-build Gripen E was rolled out at Linköping on May 18 and is now in the hands of the flight test team preparing for its first flight. Known to Saab as 39-8, the first aircraft is one of three preproduction test aircraft authorized by the Swedish government. While the first aircraft is to concentrate initially on aircraft systems and aerodynamics trials, the second aircraft, 39-9,

is due to fly next year with some tactical systems installed. The third test aircraft is to join the test fleet in 2019 with a representative IOC (initial operating capability) fit and software load, known as MS (mission system) 21. Saab is also working on the follow-on MS22, which adds greater functionality. Series production of the first batch of 96 Gripen Es for Sweden (60) and Brazil (36) is already underway. The initial production aircraft is scheduled to be for Brazil. It will be used to test the Brazil-specific elements of the system. Thanks to the increased use of groundbased test rigs performing much of the work, Saab estimates that the amount of flight time required to clear the Gripen E is roughly one-third that needed for the Gripen C/D.

Designing the Smart Fighter Drawing on technology from its work on commercial programs, and from the Neuron UCAV (unmanned combat aerial vehicle) demonstrator, Saab has implemented state-ofthe-art development and production processes for the Gripen NG with an aim of reducing production costs by 40 percent. Taking this step, in which paper has been completely eliminated from the design process, represents a major investment for Saab. “The old way was not possible,” stated Lars Ydreskog, head of Aero Operations. “We had the courage to go all-in. If you do it in small bits and pieces you will not succeed.” At the heart of this is modelbased systems engineering (MBSE), in which the whole aircraft, its systems and their functions are designed on a single 3D computer model. By creating this model, design errors in both software and hardware can be detected at an earlier stage than using traditional methods, in turn allowing them to be fixed in the model rather than in hardware/software. This leads to fewer changes arising from component tests, and even fewer from flight trials, which become more of a validation exercise. Through using the MBSE model individual engineers can make changes to their own detailed area of the design, and test them to ensure that those changes do not affect the

overall system. Furthermore, the use of MBSE and model-based design allows the production process to be more accurate, with the verification of parts assembly fit being tested prior to production of the parts themselves. Gripen has been designed with a segregated avionics architecture that allows changes to be made to tactical functions without affecting flight-critical functions. Combined with the MBSE approach, this allows the aircraft to be tailored to meet customer requirements, or to have improvements and upgrades added, with considerable development cost reductions, and on a much shorter timescale. MBSE also allows production to begin with higher levels of maturity than is typical, and even the first Gripen E required fewer man-hours to build than the 204th Gripen C/D. The learning curve of production, quantified by the number of man-hours required to build each successive aircraft, is accelerated considerably by MBSE. Saab has calculated that the Gripen NG production will be “fully learned”—when it has reached its minimum number of manhours required to build an aircraft—by the 30th aircraft on the production line, rather than the 180th that would typically be the case when employing traditional methods. Over a production run of 100 aircraft that saves around 50 percent of required man-hours. —D.D.

Development of the Gripen E comes at a time when Sweden has opted to increase its defense spending in the light of increasing tension in the Baltic region. As well as this increase in capability, the focus of Sweden’s attention has shifted from overseas multi-national operations to national and regional defense. Sweden faces the threat of a new generation of Russian aircraft and missiles in the Baltic. To maintain a credible counter the Gripen E introduces increased range and endurance, better communications and electronic warfare suite, AESA (active electronically scanned array) radar, longer-range and ‘smarter’ weapons, lower signature and impressive sensor fusion. “It’s important to have equipment designed for the Nordic environment,” Peter Hultqvist, Sweden’s defense minister, told AIN. “It’s necessary for us to invest in a new generation of JAS Gripens. We need a higher level of capability in these aircraft.” These features are being introduced to “overcome numerical inferiority” according to Major General Mats Helgesson, chief of the Swedish air force. “Through the use of good technology and tactics we will prevail in the air war.” Sweden expects to receive its first Gripen E in 2019, leading to an IOC standard in 2021

10  Farnborough Airshow News • July 11, 2016 • www.ainonline.com

The latest MS20 software load allows the Gripen C/D to carry the Meteor long-range airto-air missile and the Small Diameter Bomb.

Continued on next page u

The first Gripen E undergoes assembly in the Linköping factory.


and the air force’s six current JAS 39C/D squadrons converting between 2023 and 2026. The first squadron is likely to be one of the two based at F7 Såtenäs, the home of the Gripen training center. Having operated as training units for some time, F7’s two squadrons were brought into to the front-line at the start of the year. Sweden has ordered 60 Gripen E single-seaters, which will replace around 100 JAS 39C/Ds, leveraging the significant additional capability of the new aircraft to offset the decrease in numbers. With Russian sabre-rattling in the Baltic showing little sign of abating, some Swedish politicians have called for an increase in the Gripen E purchase. “There is always debate around the size and number,” remarked Hultqvist. “If we need more then that will be a new decision.” Brazil and Beyond

Saab achieved its first export success for the Gripen NG with a sale to Brazil of 36 aircraft, comprising 28 Gripen E single-seaters and eight Gripen F

two-seaters. Illustrating Saab’s ability to transfer technology, Brazilian industry is playing a major role not only in the production of Brazil’s aircraft, but also in the development of the two-seater and other variants, such as the proposed Sea Gripen carrier version. With an eventual Brazilian requirement that could reach 100 aircraft, and the possibility of sales to other nations in Latin America, the establishment of a production facility in Brazil in conjunction with Embraer was a natural move. The operation is centered on Gavião Peixoto, where a development and flight test center are being established alongside production facilities. Saab is also offering the Gripen NG to India as part of the ‘Make in India’ initiative. Under the proposal Saab would include transfer of state-of-the-art technology, the establishment of an aerospace cluster including a manufacturing facility, the creation of a local supplier base, and the employment of a well-trained Indian workforce for engineering and manufacturing.

“We believe that there is an opportunity for us with the MRCA [Rafale] program being limited to 36 aircraft,” said Saab’s head of Gripen, Jerker Ahlqvist. “There’s a need for a large number of fighters over five years as the MiGs are phased out. We would use Brazil as a model for technology transfer, although India is potentially much bigger.” A number of other nations are being targeted as potential customers for Gripen NG. Finland is viewed as a major opportunity as it looks for a Hornet successor. Sweden has formed increasingly close defense ties with Finland in recent times, and the advantages of having a common fighter type are seen as being potentially attractive. Elsewhere in Europe the Gripen NG is competing in Belgium, and Saab believes that the Swiss requirement, for which the Gripen was initially selected, will be revived. Saab is still marketing the current C/D model strongly, with prospects in a number of nations. Slovakia is the closest to a decision with a requirement

Gripen E

for eight aircraft. With the Czech Republic and Hungary already operating the Gripen C/D, Saab notes that additional operators in the region call for establishing a training and technical support center in central Europe. New-look Gripen C/D

Since it will be some while until Gripen NG is available, Saab continues to tweak the JAS 39C/D. In April the latest software version, MS20, was released for Swedish service, to be rolled out across the sixsquadron fleet over the summer. MS20 brings a host of new features, not least of which is the ability to operate with the MBDA Meteor long-range

air-to-air missile, significantly enhancing the aircraft’s beyondvisual-range air combat capabilities. Another important weapons enhancement is the ability to carry the GBU-39 small diameter bomb, giving the aircraft a low-collateral damage precision attack capability. Other features include improved Link 16 datalink, a second datalink for digital close air support, night reconnaissance capability, improved CBRN (chemical biological, radiological, nuclear) characteristics, and logistics/ maintenance improvements. Saab stresses the speed with which new-build Gripen C/Ds could be delivered, claiming a lead time of just 18 months from contract signature. o

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www.ainonline.com • July 11, 2016 • Farnborough Airshow News  11


ALIS in wonderland; how to de-risk F-35 mx? by Bill Carey Prime contractor Lockheed Martin says it is keeping to the current schedule to deliver a third and final development version of the F-35 fighter’s maintenance backbone—the Autonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS). The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) has identified the ALIS system and completing F-35 mission systems software as “the most prominent, current technical risks” to the multinational fighter program. The ALIS “system of systems” is an information technology infrastructure that captures and analyzes aircraft condition data from the F-35, supporting fleet operations, maintenance, fault-prediction and supply chain management. Lockheed Martin (Outdoor Exhibit 8; Hall 3, Stand A26) has committed to completing ALIS Version 3.0 when the F-35 system development and demonstration (SDD) phase ends in October 2017. Nearer term, the company is focused on supporting the planned declaration this year of F-35A initial operational capability (IOC) by the U.S. Air Force. That will happen with Version 2.0.2 of ALIS, which as of mid-June was in the certification test phase, said Dave Scott, Lockheed Martin v-p training and logistics solutions business development.

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“We will build the final development version—the full ALIS 3.0 capability—in 2017, coincident with the end of the SDD phase,” Scott told AIN in a recent interview. “We are tracking to that schedule, but most of our focus right now is on achieving the 2.0.2 configuration release and fully supporting the U.S. Air Force IOC capability. It’s very important to maintain that schedule and commitments.” As the SDD phase winds down and as F-35 production deliveries to the U.S. military services and partner nations increase, the ALIS system—representing the long-term sustainment piece of the F-35 equation—is drawing more attention. The F-35 Joint Program Office (JPO) “recognizes that ALIS is one of the most significant technical and schedule risks on the program,” Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan, F-35 program executive officer, stated in testimony to a U.S. House Armed Services subcommittee in October. “For too long, the program treated this crucial element of the F-35 weapon system as a piece of support equipment instead of the very complex, software intensive, total logistics and maintenance system it is. We are now treating ALIS as if it were its own ‘weapon system.’” ALIS is operating at 12 different sites, Scott said, including 10 on military bases in the U.S., one on board the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp, and one at Cameri Air Base, Italy, the site of an F-35 final assembly and checkout facility for the Italian air force. The system hardware consists of three main components: a standard operating unit (SOU) or server used by each F-35 squadron; a central point of entry (CPE) at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, and eventually at each partner nation; and an Autonomic Logistics Operating Unit (ALOU) at Lockheed Martin’s Fort Worth, Texas, location. Describing the workflow, Scott said that maintainers download health and diagnostic data from the F-35 using a handheld Toughbook ruggedized computer, or “portable maintenance aid.” The data from individual aircraft is entered into

Lockheed Martin Mission Systems and Training in Orlando, Florida, provided this photo of its ALIS operations center.

the squadron’s SOU and sent to the national CPE, which connects the bases and distributes software. The data is further communicated to the ALOU, a computer server that collects all F-35 fleet information. “Similar to the way that commercial airlines and companies maintain a worldwide understanding and trend analysis on [their] fleets, to a degree we will be able to do that—allocate spare parts on the fly, automatically connect in to our spares ordering system or back through the supply chain to build new parts,” Scott explained. First among the U.S. services, the Marine Corps declared IOC of the F-35B short takeoff and vertical landing variant of the fighter with a deployable version of ALIS 2.0.1 in July 2015. Version 2.0.2 for all of the services adds a planning tool for deployments, enabling maintainers to create packages of support equipment, test equipment and spares to travel with the aircraft; and a networking capability that allows them to stay connected or to connect periodically to the main ALIS systems in order to upload and download data. Another capability provides for tracking of life-limited aircraft parts “with a great degree of fidelity,” Scott said. Version 2.0.2 also combines the management of F135 engine maintenance within ALIS. In March testimony before the same House tactical air and land forces subcommittee, Bogdan said this capability and life-limited parts tracking posed a schedule risk. “The development of these capabilities is proving to be difficult

12  Farnborough Airshow News • July 11, 2016 • www.ainonline.com

because they require integration with Lockheed Martin’s and Pratt & Whitney’s enterprise resource planning systems, or the ‘back end’ of ALIS,” Bogdan stated. Pratt & Whitney in a March statement said it was working with Lockheed Martin and the JPO “to accelerate the test schedules and to ensure an ALIS 2.0.2 release with propulsion will not impact airworthiness, aircraft and engine availability, or spare parts management,” Defense News reported. Deferred Capabilities

The progression of ALIS to a mature system has not gone exactly as planned. In its Fiscal Year 2015 annual report, released in January, the DOD’s Office of the Director for Operational Test and Evaluation (DOT&E) devoted several pages of its F-35 program summary to ALIS, describing numerous system issues. “Although the program adjusted both schedule and incremental development build plans for ALIS hardware and software multiple times in 2014, it held the schedule more stable in 2015 by deferring capabilities to later software versions,” the DOT&E said. “The program office released several new versions of the software used in ALIS in 2015. However, each new version of software, while adding some new capability, failed to resolve all of the deficiencies identified in earlier releases.” A planned radio frequency data link capability that would enable the F-35 to transmit information to the ground while airborne—called the Prognostics

and Health Management downlink—was planned for release in ALIS 2.0.0, but has been “deferred…indefinitely because of security concerns,” according to the DOT&E. More recently, the Government Accountability Office (GAO), reporting to Congress in April, flagged several “functionality” issues with ALIS that could, if unresolved, present cost and schedule implications as the F-35 program approaches key milestones. The watchdog agency also questioned the accuracy of a DOD estimate that ALIS will cost $16.7 billion over the 56-year service life of the fighter, including the $562 million cost of developing the system. A Pentagon-commissioned study in 2013 estimated that schedule delays and performance issues could add anywhere from $20 billion to $100 billion in additional costs, the agency said. Before declaring IOC of the F-35B, the Marine Corps tested ALIS aboard the Wasp, but the tests did not assess deployability and were not considered “operationally representative,” the GAO said. In December, the service participated in an exercise near the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms, California, that included a short-range, domestic deployability test. “According to DOD officials, the results were positive in that the Marine Corps transported the system to Twentynine Palms from its Yuma base and set it up within two hours; however, this test did not include long-range, overseas, ship-based, or combat scenarios,” the agency related.


Pilots, maintainers and officers at three of five F-35 sites the GAO visited raised doubts that the system can be deployed as planned to forward locations. “For example, users are concerned about the large server size and connectivity requirements, and whether the system’s infrastructure can maintain power and withstand a high-temperature environment,” the agency said. There have been other, recent exercises that have helped prove ALIS deployability, Scott said. In February, testers from Edwards Air Force Base in California deployed with the system to Mountain Home AFB, Idaho, which is not currently an F-35 operating base. In June, the 34th Fighter Squadron at Hill AFB, Utah, conducted F-35 sorties at Mountain Home AFB. “All of these are deployments to test the ability of the F-35 and the ability of ALIS to meet the deployment, which means technical capabilities, the handling of the equipment, the ruggedized nature, the ability to set up off-site at these different locations,” said Scott.

Among other issues, the GAO said maintainers it interviewed were concerned that with just one national CPE and a lone ALOU, the system lacks redundancy. There is “no backup system for continuity of operations if either of these servers were to fail. Specifically, squadron leadership at two sites expressed concern about how the loss of electricity due to weather or other damaging situations could adversely affect fleet operations if either the central point of entry or the ALOU went offline.” Security Concerns

Further, the system presents a security risk in that classified information is moved from the aircraft to the network on compact discs, and the ALOU and CPE could also be vulnerable, the agency said. “The ALOU has off-site backups,” Scott asserted, when asked about system redundancy. “It’s a critical information technology system so it’s highly redundant with backups.” Scott continued: “Right now, per the contract and what has been funded, there is only the

Air Force technician at Eglin AFB in Florida consults an ALIS portable maintenance aid.

one ALOU, located in Texas. There are discussions going on about ‘maybe there is a need for another one,’ but it’s fully backed up with redundant systems and power supplies associated with it.” It is also possible to work offline on ALIS without connecting to the CPE or the ALOU for up to 30 days, depending on the squadron’s operational tempo, by keeping information

stored on the SOU. “The system is designed for deployability, for remote operations, for disconnected operations for a period of time,” Scott said. In a statement responding to the GAO’s findings, the JPO said “there were no surprises” in the report, and that ALIS-associated issues are well known to the U.S. military services, international partners and i­ndustry. The program office initiated a

“technical roadmap” effort earlier this year to define ALIS priorities that will be completed this summer. It is also ­responding to other GAO recommendations on improving cost estimates and training on the system. “As with any big and complex program, new discoveries, challenges and obstacles will occur,” the JPO said. “The F-35 is still in development, and this is the time when technical challenges are expected. However, we believe the combined government and industry team will resolve current issues and future discoveries. The team’s commitment to overcoming these challenges is unwavering and we will maximize the F-35’s full capability for the warfighter.” Scott concluded: “The feedback that the contractor team is getting from the users, [and] from the maintenance personnel who are using ALIS every day, is it’s a wonderful system that is maturing rapidly and providing capabilities that they currently don’t have. As we make improvements and as we make the planned updates to the system, we’re seeing a lot more positive comments.”  o

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Boeing now has clearer view of its New Midsize Airplane by Gregory Polek Boeing’s work on what it calls the airlines to consider completely new route NMA, or New Midsize Airplane, has ad- structures. Airlines wanting to perform vanced over the past six months to the transatlantic missions would account point where Boeing Commercial Air- for a large piece of the overall market planes vice president and general man- opportunity for Boeing, said Delaney, but so would those eyeager of ­airplane development ing intra-Asia and EuropeMike Delaney characterized Middle East services. the prospects of a launch as a “Most people start their matter of “when” rather than route planning on an east“if.” Boeing has now talked to west kind of vector,” said 36 potential customers about Delaney. “Now all of a suda market space that would reden people start thinking quire specifications that roughabout a north-south kind of ly fall within those of the 757 scenario. So people are really and the 767. Analysis now starting to think about this as suggests a need for a target a unique market niche.” capacity of between 200 and BCA vice president and From a technical stand270 passengers and a range of general manager of airplane development Mike Delaney point, Boeing believes it has 4,800 to 5,000 nautical miles. “You have three groups of custom- developed all the elements it needs in ers,” said Delaney. “You’ve got guys that areas such as the wing on the 777X and want to fly more people, you have guys composite body of the 787. However, that want to fly more range, and then much work remains with engine comyou’ve got the group that wants to fly panies to determine the proper thrust more people and more range.” range and sizing, as does analysis of In fact, Boeing sees the NMA filling a how Boeing itself can produce the aircompletely new market niche, prompting plane at a cost that allows for the proper

price to customers by the middle of the next decade. “We are not there yet; but in the last six months [we] have closed the gap pretty good,” said Delaney. “I’m much more optimistic that we can figure our piece out by the middle of the next decade and I’m pretty sure one or more of engine partners will figure it out because they won’t want to be left behind.” Delaney explained that although the 787 cost more to develop than expected, the journey from initial design to the final product taught Boeing how to build a composite wing at what he called metallic economics. The company’s new composite wing center at Everett for the 777X provides a platform the NMA. “There are a whole bunch of lessons or objectives in this [CWC] building beyond just supporting our 777X program,” said Delaney. “It’s just like anything; we expect ourselves to get better and more efficient as we understand the process engineering, as we understand the materials, as we understand the way to make it, as we understand the effects of defects, all the things you go through into the manufacturing.” For the fuselage, Boeing has yet to decide whether the NMA would use composites or metal, but in either case it thinks it understands how it wants to proceed, added Delaney. The cross section remains a significant consideration, as does the choice between a single-aisle

or twin-aisle configuration. “There’s two big decisions: it’s your payloadrange curve and it’s your cross-section,” said Delaney. “The payload-range curve we’ll get done through our customers… They’re sort of telling us that piece of the equation. The second piece of the equation is what we choose to do to compete in that market, how to put those 200 to 270 people into a fuselage.” For the propulsion system, one of the three major engine companies will need to develop a 40,000-pound-thrust engine that can offer what he called the next step beyond their current technologies. BCA vice president of product development Mike Sinnett continues to work with the engine companies on determining the proper fan diameter, pressure ratios and engine cycle that the NMA will need. Once you determine the proper fan diameter, explained Delaney, engineers need then to understand how to wrap it with the right nacelle because one could easily lose gains associated with a larger fan diameter in drag associated with a poorly designed nacelle. Delaney estimated the total market for the NMA, including some overlap with existing narrowbodies and widebodies, ranges between 4,000 and 5,000 airplanes. He also said any decision to proceed with the NMA doesn’t preclude a version of the 737 larger than the Max 9, studies into which continue.  o

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16  Farnborough Airshow News • July 11, 2016 • www.ainonline.com

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Alcoa wants to resolve your materials challenge “Airframe and engine OEMs—bring your challenges to us. We have the material expertise, resources and the personnel to ‘crack the code,’” promised Alcoa executive Eric Roegner. The senior executive is here at the Farnborough International Airshow (Chalet C27 and Hall 4 Stand B120) with the U.S. company’s management team, and news on Alcoa’s commitment to additive technologies (3D printing), castings, hybrids, extrusions and machined components. Late last month during a media event at the Alcoa Technology Center in New Kensington, Pennsylvania, just outside Pittsburgh, Roegner told reporters, “We’re truly material agnostic.” Kicking off the event, Ray Kilmer, executive v-p and chief technology officer at Alcoa, pointed out the ubiquity of Alcoa’s expertise on lightweight metals and other materials. “If it moves, we’re on it,” he boasted, adding that Alcoa products are found not only in structures, but engines as well, dating back to the Wright Brothers, whose fourcylinder engine had an aluminum crankshaft. “Ninety-three percent of aluminum alloys that have ever flown are from Alcoa,” Kilmer said. Alcoa is in the midst of a complex corporate restructuring and rebranding phase. Expected to be completed sometime in the second half of this year, the changeover will see Alcoa’s aerospace businesses become part of a new business entity known as Arconic. Focused in part on materials for aeronautical structures, engines (primarily turbine blades), industrial turbines and aerospace fasteners, Arconic’s future focus builds on Alcoa’s rich history of supplying lightweight metals for flying machines. The separation is currently pending approvals from the Alcoa board of directors, the U.S, internal revenue service and other regulatory agencies. For now, at least, the company is still “Alcoa.” 3D Printing Advantage

Roegner explained Alcoa’s “material agnostic” stance, meaning it now counts additive manufacturing—better known as 3D printing technology—to

its mix of products and services. “We’re known for our legacy capabilities with sheet, machining, casting, hybrid, extrusion; and now we’ve added printing and powder technology,” he said. Alcoa has doubled down on its commitment to 3D printing technology with last week’s opening of an entirely new powder atomization building at its New Kensington facility. Building F replaces an older structure with a top-tier 3D metal powder producing facility, where proprietary titanium, nickel and aluminum powders can be produced in quantities and blends optimized for designing, manufacturing and certifying aerospace parts. Announced just months ago in September 2015, the new building is part of a $60 million investment in additive manufacturing materials. Alcoa chairman and CEO Klaus Kleinfeld said, “We are combining our expertise in metallurgy, manufacturing, design and product qualification to push beyond the possibilities of today’s 3D printing technologies for aerospace and other growth markets.” Alcoa sees its advantage in 3D printing for the aerospace industry as a “one-stop shop” for aircraft and engine designers and manufacturers. Rod Heiple, director of R&D (and chief of “disruptive technologies”) at the Alcoa research center said the potential for additive manufacturing in aerospace is immense, but echoed Roegner’s comment that the relatively new industry is currently in the “Wild West” phase of expansion. Heiple said, “Today’s 3D printing materials work [for some applications], but aren’t optimized for aerospace. Alcoa has the background to understand the interdependencies of all requirements for materials in the aerospace field. As researchers, we get excited by design opportunities with additives. But it’s not a simple process, especially with aerospace.” Heiple illustrated his point with a diagram showing how product design (working with customers to develop problemsolving parts) is entwined with expertise in materials. Resins and powders for the 3D printing process need to be appropriate

MARK WAGNER

by Mark Phelps

Embraer’s E-Jet E2 family of medium-range jetliners is designed to replace the company’s current E-Jet series. Alcoa is now Embraer’s sole provider of aluminum sheet and plate for the new type’s wing skins and fuselage components.

for aerospace applications. There are also important manufacturing concerns, such as ensuring the part can be safely and cost-effectively manufactured with current machines and—perhaps more important—with an eye toward future advances in manufacturing technology. Finally, there is certification and qualification. In aerospace, more so that just about any other field, the path toward acceptance of a part by certification authorities must be painstakingly detailed and fully documented. “That’s where Alcoa has the experience and the history,” said Heiple. Not All About 3D Printing

Not all of what’s new is quite so disruptive. Old-school aluminum sheet for airframes has also come a long way. In fact, one airframe manufacturer has already answered Roegner’s call for challenges in “cracking the code.” Late last month, Alcoa announced Brazilian airframer Embraer had signed a $470 million multi-year contract with Alcoa’s aluminum sheet and plate division as sole provider for wing skins and fuselage sheets on the E-Jet E2 family of airliners. This represents a shift by Embraer from using “commodity” sheet aluminum, to a proprietary Alcoa formula. Launched at the 2013 Paris Air Show, the E2 narrowbody medium-range jet is scheduled for certification and entry into service in 2018.

Embraer believes the market segment in which the E2 fits is expected to sell 6,350 new aircraft in the next two decades, and the Brazilian OEM lays claim to better than half of the current orders with its current crop of E-Jets and counts on maintaining that market share with the E2 going forward. Mark Stuckey is Alcoa’s v-p, global aerospace and defense. “Flat roll” sheet aluminum is one of his specialties, and in a time when all the buzz seems to be about carbon fiber composites and/or 3D additive technologies, he pointed out that there are situations “where aluminum is still best.” In fact, he said, much of the structure of a composite airframe such as the Boeing 787 Dreamliner is still aluminum—including wing ribs and large base structural components such as spars and wing center sections. As far as skins, in particular, wing panels must be flexible, especially in tension on the bottom and compression on top, for when wings bend in flight. Advanced aluminum formulas, perhaps incorporating a blend of titanium and/or nickel, rival composites when it comes to optimizing the skins for performance, strength, weight and cost, he said. Fuselage skins have their own particular requirements. For example, the wider (and larger) the skin, the fewer fasteners are required, reducing weight and also rendering the structure less susceptible to problems with expansion and contraction from pressurization

cycles. Stuckey pointed out that business jets, which typically fly at higher altitudes and have correspondingly more robust pressurization systems, benefit most from advanced formulas and production processes in fuselage skins. Alcoa is in the process of installing a $190 million aluminum “stretcher” that will be capable of processing the largest ever cross-section of sheet plate. The stretching process essentially grips each end of a sheet of metal and pulls until the entire sheet expands by “a few percent.” This aligns the stresses within the metal ensuring it will not curl up “like a potato chip,” said Stuckey. The new stretcher can not only accommodate thicker sheets, but also larger panels. It’s scheduled to enter service in mid-2017. Stuckey also discussed how Alcoa is now becoming more involved in delivering completed or pre-machined parts, as opposed to simple plates. He also talked about Alcoa’s advances in hybrid composite/metal sheeting, known as fiber-metal laminates, or FMLs. “There’s less corrosion with FMLs,” he said, “and that extends inspection intervals, saving the cost of maintenance. They’re lighter, too.” Explaining why it’s difficult to place a quantitative number on how much weight advanced structures can save, Stuckey and Roegner said that increasing strength in one area of an airframe can enable multiple other structures to be made lighter. o

www.ainonline.com • July 11, 2016 • Farnborough Airshow News  17


DAVID McINTOSH

Irish carrier CityJet now has the first of 15 Sukhoi SSJ100s that it is leasing from Superjet International.

Superjet sale to Ireland’s CityJet marks European market entry by Charles Alcock also include a new flap setting to improve takeoff performance and modifications to the braking system software to reduce landing distance. The manufacturer is working on changes to the flight controls to allow a slower approach speed as part of an overall plan to improve the SSJ100’s runway performance. In October 2015, the aircraft completed EASA certification for Cat IIIa, P-Rnav and Vnav approaches. “We see big opportunities for a 100-seater aircraft because we can deliver better quality

air transportation for lowand medium-density routes that allow passengers to avoid low-cost carriers, deliver better yields to airlines and connect more city pairs,” Superjet International sales and commercial director Eduardo Munhos de Campos told AIN. “We worked with CityJet to identify an ideal solution for them, not only for the aircraft but also a package to support the aircraft. This solution mitigated the perceived risk of being the first [SSJ100] operator in Europe and it has

Tough Competition

Superjet won the Irish carrier’s business in competition with Embraer’s E190 and Bombardier CRJ900. According to the manufacturer, the SSJ promises cash operating costs per 500 nm trip that are 10 percent lower than its direct rivals and 30 percent less than the smallest narrowbody twinjets (e.g. the Airbus A319). For the CityJet contract, Superjet International established an Ireland-based leasing company to act as the conduit, but it will be directly responsible for supporting the operator. The Venice, Italy-based company installs cabin interiors after the aircraft are delivered green from Sukhoi’s Russian factory.

The contract has included training CityJet pilots (14 so far and 14 more by the end of 2016) as well as maintenance technicians who will provide line support in Dublin. Under requirements of Irish aviation authorities, Superjet will provide training pilots to accompany the new CityJet crews for a specified number of initial flights as they build experience in the new type. In addition to its Venice customer care and training center, Superjet International has support warehouses in the Russian capital Moscow and Fort Lauderdale, Florida, as well as a spares distribution center in Frankfurt, Germany. In Frankfurt and Fort Lauderdale, it is partnered with Lufthansa Technik. During the week of the Farnborough show, Superjet is due to deliver two Sukhoi Business Jet versions of the SSJ100 to Thailand’s air force. It has previously sold a VIP version of the aircraft to the government of Kazakhstan. The fly-by-wire SSJ100’s features a cockpit suite developed by Thales (and including sidestick controls) and a pair of SaM146 turbofans developed by Powerjet, the joint venture between France’s Safran and Russian engine maker Saturn. Italian design group Pininfarina developed the cabin, which features rows of two- and threeabreast seats, each 18.5 inches in width. The aisle is 20 inches wide and with a height of 7 feet.  o

TWO-WAY STREET AgustaWestland’s AW159 Wildcat is one of the Royal Navy’s newest acquisitions. It’s in widespread use aboard the Royal Navy’s frigates and destroyers. These two examples exercised over the main runway during set-up for the Farnborough International Airshow 2016.

DAVID McINTOSH

The Sukhoi SSJ100 airliner on display here at the Farnborough International Airshow represents an important sales breakthrough for the Russian-made narrowbody. It is the first of two 98-seat SSJ100s so far delivered to European launch customer CityJet out of a total of 15. It will operate them under 12-year leases from the Superjet International, a joint venture between Russia’s Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Company and Italy’s Leonardo-Finmeccanica group. According to Superjet International CEO Nazario Cauceglia, a third aircraft will go to CityJet’s Dublin headquarters in October and another five aircraft will be delivered during the first half of 2017. The remaining eight SSJ100s are due to follow from the end of 2018. The reason for the delay is that these aircraft will include significant upgrades to allow the twinjet to operate at steep approach, shortfield airfields like London City Airport, which is a key destination for CityJet. Once certified, these upgrades will be retrofitted to the first batch of SSJ100s. Standard performance for the current 101,150-pound mtow SSJ100 is a 5,679 feet takeoff length and 5,348 for landing. The aircraft can fly sectors of up to 1,645 nm, with Mach 0.81 maximum speed and a 12-minute time to climb to FL300. New winglets designed by Sukhoi are the main feature of the upgrade package, which will

opened up the market for us in a big way.” CityJet mainly operates out of Dublin, Cork and London City with service to cities in France, the Netherlands, Belgium and Italy. It intends to phase out its current fleet of 18 Avro RJ85s and also operates 6 CRJ900s. Until the upgraded SSJ100s enter service, the initial aircraft will be used for wet lease and charter services. Superjet’s other export success is Mexican carrier Interjet, which has now taken delivery of 23 out of the 30 SSJs that it ordered. CityJet holds options for another 16 of the aircraft as part of a deal said to be worth more than $1 billion, including support services.

18  Farnborough Airshow News • July 11, 2016 • www.ainonline.com


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Boeing meeting 777’s automation challenges by Gregory Polek While Boeing continues to express confidence in its ability to smoothly manage the transition between the current generation 777 airliner and the new 777X, one of the keys to its success hangs on preparation for a new automation process. That has proved every bit the challenge some had anticipated. While speaking with a group of reporters just before the show in the 777 factory in Everett, Washington, BCA (Boeing Commercial Aircraft) v-p of 777 and 777X operations Jason Clark characterized as “really hard” the learning process associated with the move to a fuselage automated upright build, or FAUB. “There’s nothing easy about bringing on a pathfinder technology,” he said. “And if it was, well, gee whiz, we probably would have done it 20 or 30 years ago.” Robot The Riveter

Top, a 777 aft fuselage sits in mobile cradles as a robot is positioned to fasten its panels as part of Boeing’s FAUB process in Everett, Washington. At right, the type’s assembly line will see major changes as Boeing works to increase automation of the 777 and forthcoming 777X manufacturing process.

reach the milestone. Still, the company insists the delay will not block the so-called “critical path” to 777X EIS (entry into service) in 2020. Clark explained that the challenges lie not with the automation itself, but rather in what he described as “our own condition of assembly” and “how we prep.” “The very first position is where we bring the panels in from the heavy industries over in Japan or Spirit [Aerosystems] and we basically tack them together,” he explained. “Well, this airplane was designed in

DAVID McINTOSH

Used for the first time last fall, the build process serves as something of a centerpiece for Boeing’s continuing evolution toward car-industry style automation. For example, it will allow the company to remove all of the body-structures tools in favor of a process using cradles and automated guided vehicles that “pulse” throughout the production system. At the same time, the company plans to remove all the tooling associated with

the wing-to-body join, also in favor of a cradle-based production system. Under the traditional process, employees build fuselage sections in an upside-down configuration. They drill and fasten the panels together using power tools, a repetitive and tiring job that places a lot of stress on their shoulders and  hands. Once complete, a crane places the section onto a large turning fixture that rotates it in an upright position. The turned section then gets moved via crane to its next location for work to continue through completion. Using automated guided robots designed by Kuka Robotics, FAUB drills and fills some 60,000 fasteners that attach the panels comprising the 777’s forward and aft body sections. The new process uses automated guided vehicles (AGVs) to move the components of FAUB into position, including work stands, fuselages and the robotic arms that drill and insert fasteners. The robots, positioned inside and outside the fuselage, not only drill the holes, but also act as a bucking bar and perform dynamic riveting. Boeing has so far sent 15 airplane fuselages through the new system, said Clark. However, it had hoped to fully move to the new process by the end of the summer. It now has given itself another year to

SINGLE-SEAT SWEDE A Swedish Air Force Saab JAS 39 Gripen arrives for the Farnborough International Airshow 2016. The singleengine fighter is popular with numerous militaries, including those of Brazil, Thailand, Hungary and South Africa.

20  Farnborough Airshow News • July 11, 2016 • www.ainonline.com

an era when that’s not what you did. We brought them into large tool jigs and put them back into the shape of the tool. Dialing It In

“We’ve changed the tooling philosophy so what we’re going through is some of those learnings, working with our suppliers, working with our own internal engineering to really modify how it goes together. When it goes together well, then it moves into the second position, where the automation comes on…It takes a while to get it all effective, you’ve got to dial it in over time. Right now we’re in that dialing phase.” The effort involves retraining mechanics and changing some installation plans, added Clark. “It’s hard on our guys,” he explained, “that first time around, and we’re only 15 barrels in. But with every barrel, we’ve gotten better.” In another key effort to “derisk” transition from the 777 to 777X, low-rate initial production of the first twentythree 777-9s will happen where the company had placed the

now decommissioned surge line for the 787 in the Everett factory, what Boeing calls the 40-24 bay. That means Boeing will build the fuselages—forward, middle and aft bodies— with FAUB in the main flow of the existing 777 line and move them onto the low-rate line until about 2020. “We do that because it is a major de-risking element,” said Clark. “When we have to inject a new derivative into the main line, it really struggles as it gets into the final assembly area because the flows are so extensive within that production system. So it really bogs down the main production system for final assembly. [Instead], you take all that risk and put it over on the other line and you can learn it at the pace [production] needs to be at.”  o


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P&W lauds GTF record as production picks up by Charles Alcock In recent weeks, Pratt & Whitney (Outdoor Exhibit 3 & 4) has been increasingly vocal in insisting that its powerplant offering for the Airbus A320neo has overcome early teething troubles and has succeeded in making a strong entry-into-service over the first six months of 2016. At media briefings held at its U.S. headquarters last month, the engine maker found it hard to conceal frustration at what it views as overstated criticism by customers. In Pratt & Whitney’s view, the facts speak for themselves: it expects to have delivered 200 examples of the PurePower PW1000 Geared Turbofan (GTF) family by the end of 2016, and the majority of these will be the PW1100G turbofan for the A320neo. According to engineering vice president Tom Prete, all production engines now being delivered include a fix to resolve “rotor bow” issues that had required longer than acceptable start times. Also resolved are software issues that had caused nuisance alerts in aircraft operated by Lufthansa. The “rotor bow” issue necessitated some modifications to overcome thermal deformation and slight rotor-shaft misalignment caused by asymmetric cooling when insufficient heat has dissipated following previous engine shutdown. “It was mainly a geometric issue in the length of the rotors that changed the bow of the rotor, and we learned it a little late in the program,” Prete told reporters. “There is no drama around this, and we will drop the motor start times by two times.” Pratt & Whitney has felt the heat from senior Airbus executives who have expressed public empathy for disappointed customers such as Qatar Airways chief executive Akbar Al Baker. Last month, during the IATA annual meeting in Ireland, Al Baker unleashed some characteristically blunt invective against the engine maker and declared that he is cancelling initial orders for five PW1100G-powered Neos. “Lots has been written about the Neo [engines], some of it true and some of it untrue,” said Pratt & Whitney president Bob Leduc. “I won’t debate our customers, but I will just state the facts. Some of what has been said is grandstanding.”

The facts that Leduc wanted to see on the record include, as of June 7, three airlines (Lufthansa, IndiGo and GoAir) were operating seven Pratt-powered Neos, and had logged more than 2,000 cycles and 2,600 flight hours without any engine shutdowns or rejected takeoffs and with a dispatch reliability rate of 99.7 percent. “Also, we’ve hit all the noise and emissions targets from the start, which is rare; normally there needs to be a performance improvement package to achieve this,” he stated. He confirmed that the new engine is matching its promise of 16 percent reduction in fuel burn (compared to the existing A320ceo’s engines), plus a 75 percent reduction in noise levels and 60 percent fewer carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide particulates emitted. GTF Family Gears Up

The “rotor bow” issue is not a concern for the other members of the GTF family as they are fanrather than core-mounted to the pylon. But Pratt & Whitney is also busy expanding production for the PW1500G that powers Bombardier’s C Series narrowbody imminently entering service with launch customer Swiss, as well as for the PW1900G on the new Embraer 190-E2 (which made an earlier-than-anticipated first flight on May 23), plus the PW1400G for the MC-21 rolled out last month by Russia’s UAC group and the PW1200G for the Mitsubishi Regional Jet. According to Pratt & Whitney senior vice president Danny Di Perna, PW1100Gs will account for around 75 percent (or 150) of the 200 GTF engines targeted for delivery by the end of 2016. The engine maker has promised Airbus

Pratt & Whitney has pledged to build enough PW1100G geared turbofans (GTFs) to support at least 56 Airbus twinjet deliveries by year end.

to produce sufficient PW1100Gs this year to support a total of at least 56 aircraft deliveries. Also, Bombardier will take delivery of around 30 PW1500Gs, with a mix of production examples of the PW1200G going to Mitsubishi and a small number of compliance engines joining the MC-21 and E2 flight test programs. Annoying eleventh-hour design changes apart, the main challenges are now squarely on the shoulders of the manufacturer’s production team, who have the champagne-problem of delivering on the unprecedently high backlog of orders for the GTF engines. Not only does Pratt & Whitney need to produce far more engines, far more quickly; it needs to make them more profitably. “We will be bringing down the cost [of production],” said Gregory Hayes, president and CEO of parent company UTC. “Now GTF is costing $10 million per engine to make and this

needs to be less than $2 million. Over the next 15 years Pratt & Whitney will double the number of engines it has in service.” Part of this challenge is the complexity of a supply chain that includes no fewer than 1,600 suppliers (of which some 500 or 600 are defined as “product” suppliers) contributing around 85 percent of each engine. Hayes told reporters that 44 percent of suppliers are still underperforming, stressing that, “we have a lot to do on this to achieve cost reduction.” Balanced against the need to reduce production costs is the imperative to ensure that Pratt & Whitney’s assembly lines in Middletown, Connecticut, and West Palm Beach, Florida, can maintain annual production rates that are set to reach around 800 engines for all members of the GTF family. The company now holds orders for around 7,100 GTFs and commitments from around 70 customers in

30 countries, amounting to an eight-year backlog. The key to this is a policy of having no-single-point-of-failure redundancy, meaning that there must always be an alternative source of components in the event of one supplier—or Pratt & Whitney, itself—having an interruption in production. In practice, this doesn’t mean that all components and structures are completely dual-sourced, but rather that there is always a back-up plan to keep production flowing. “No-single-point-of-failure is our biggest challenge, and we’ve never had this before,” said Di Perna. “You could have two sources for everything, but it comes with extra expense in raw materials and engineering effort. But this [production ramp up] will pay off in spades over the next seven years.” Pratt & Whitney is now about halfway through implementing a $1.3 billion investment in boosting its assembly and test facilities. The company is also ramping up recruitment in these areas, having previously downsized in response to declining demand for legacy engines, such as the IAE V2500 for the current generation of A320s. Addressing his president’s concern that almost half of all suppliers are underperforming, Di Perna put the statistic in context by adding that more than half are, in fact, performing at least to the standards of Pratt & Whitney’s Gold Supplier designation. By the end of the decade, the company’s goal

Pratt & Whitney bristles at some criticisms leveled at its PW1100 line related to Airbus A320neo delays.

22  Farnborough Airshow News • July 11, 2016 • www.ainonline.com

Continued on page 24 u


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P&W lands GTF record

program], and that’s the beauty of a no-single-source policy,” said Di Perna. “It is very difficult to manuContinued from page 22 age a supply chain of 500 to 600 is that all suppliers will meet its [product] suppliers; we’ve tried to Gold or Green standards. trim down the number to focus on “The presidents of under-per- spending more on a smaller numforming suppliers get direct calls ber of companies, we have Ad PC-21 & PC-12 - (Junior Tabloid 199 x and 264) from us, and the ones that don’t trimmed the base. But for the GTF respond [to improvement targets] ramp-up, we had to contradict this will be selected out [of the GTF approach to protect ourselves.”

AIN

A key factor in convincing suppliers to step up their standards and level of commitment to the GTF programs has been to make longer “life-of-program” agreements that ensure a viable return on investment. Pratt & Whitney is demanding more from suppliers of items such as forgings and castings, but Prete indicated that companies are willing Geared turbofans from Pratt & Whitney, like this PW1100G-JM, are built in Connecticut and Florida. Dispatch reliability is 99.7 percent, says P&W.

to respond to this because of the clear rewards and credible time schedules. For instance, specialist metals group Alcoa invested $15 million in its Indiana facility specifically for GTF work. At the same time, Pratt & Whitney itself has integrated its powder and nickels forging capability in Georgia to be more selfsufficient. The company can now produce machined engine cases at its facilities in Maine and Poland. The Middletown and West Palm Beach final assembly lines are fed with pre-packaged kits of components processed at a new distribution center in New Hampshire run for it by express package distributor UPS. “We’re no longer chasing low labor costs,” Di Perna told AIN. “We do some work in China, but we don’t do anything in India. Poland is great for us; it’s not the lowest cost but the capability is excellent. We’re more automated and technology driven now and this has meant a change in strategy that has seen us put more work into North America.” Meanwhile, Pratt & Whitney engineers are already engaged in what Prete characterized as the evolution that will follow the GTF revolution. “We’re looking at higher bypass fans and lower fan pressure ratios to drive further propulsion efficiency, with incremental improvements to the thermal efficiency of the core,” he said. Pratt & Whitney insists that bettering the leap forward in operating economics already achieved can only be possible with its geared turbofan technology and believes that rivals will eventually have to adopt this engine architecture. Quizzed about what the company might offer Boeing for its supposedly planned successor to the 737 Max narrowbodies, Leduc predicted that by 2018 or 2019 it will be able to demonstrate the potential for further 6to 10 percent improvement. “We want to be ready for whatever Boeing or Airbus may do next, and without a gear, that would be hard,” he concluded.  o

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GE9X stays on track for 2017 flight tests by Charles Alcock It is now three months since GE Aviation started ground testing the first full GE9X development engine at its Peebles, Ohio facility. That was on April 11 and, according to the manufacturer, this First Full Engine to Test (FETT) stage has been achieved much earlier than usual for a complex powerplant development—just six months after the design was finalized— and this stands the GE9X in good stead to complete certification as planned in 2018. The 100,000-pound-thrust engine is the sole powerplant for Boeing’s new 777X longhaul airliner. With a front fan that is 134 inches (3.4 meters) in diameter, the GE9X lays claim to being the largest-ever commercial aircraft engine. Technology standouts for the 27:1 pressure ratio engine, which has an 11-stage high-pressure compressor, include a composite fan case and 16 fourth-generation carbon fiber composite fan blades. The GE9X promises a 10 percent reduction in fuel burn compared to the GE90115B engines that power the existing 777-300ER, and a 5 percent improvement in specific fuel consumption compared to any currently available twinaisle airliners, plus noise compliance within ICAO Stage 5 limits. GE (Chalet P2) has made extensive use of carbon matrix composites (CMC) in both the combustor and turbine. The high-pressure turbine features CMCs in the stage one and two nozzles and stage one shrouds, and blades that use advanced cooling technology; while the 3D lightweight low-pressure turbine blades are produced at Avio Aero using a titanium aluminide (TiAl) additive-manufacturing process. The engine includes the thirdgeneration TAPS III (twinannular pre-mixing swirler) combustor which pre-mixes air and fuel prior to combustion for leaner burn, creating fewer harmful emissions than conventional combustion systems. The unit includes 3D additive-manufactured fuel nozzle tips, a new combustor dome design and

ultra-lightweight, heat-resistant CMC inner and outer liners. GE began maturation testing for the GE9X some five years ago and its approach from component level preparation all the way up to the FETT stage has been to demonstrate complete operability as an integrated propulsion system. Next year, certification and flight testing will begin on GE’s flying test bed aircraft. New Program Chief

Ted Ingling, the newly appointed general manager of the GE90/9X program, told AIN that eight engines will be involved in ground testing, with a ninth set aside for flight testing. “In the tests so far the engine is performing absolutely as expected. This is a full shakedown of the engine that will allow us to verify the architectural choices before we make the second engine,” he explained.

“We’re looking at fundamental architectural choices that would be harder and more difficult to change in the future.” So far, the GE9X has met all expectations in terms of thrust and operational requirements, claimed GE. “There have only been a few minor items to tweak, such as mechanical issues in the airfoil stage,” said Ingling. “It’s all in a very sound position and that allows us to quickly move on to start testing the second engine early in 2017.” The company has already started making components for this second ground-test engine. While the first FETT engine will not officially be part of the certification program, GE plans to use it for some icing testing next winter in order to get a year’s head start on this phase of the development. Meanwhile the Boeing 747-400 flying test bed has already been prepared to accommodate the larger engine. GE’s main partners in the GE9X program are Japan’s IHI Corporation, Safran subsidiaries Snecma and Techspace Aero, and MTU Aero Engines of Germany. To date, the U.S. company has booked orders for around 700 of the new engine. o

With a front fan of 134-inch diameter, the GE9X is set to be the largest commercial aircraft engine.

VIKING TO ACQUIRE BOMBARDIER’S AMPHIBIOUS AIRCRAFT British Columbia-based Viking Air has agreed to acquire fellow Canadian airframer Bombardier’s worldwide amphibious aircraft programs, including the CL-415 waterbomber and the earlier CL-215 and CL-215T versions, the two companies announced last month. The transaction, which is for an undisclosed price, will help Bombardier to bolster

Viking Air is adding the Bombardier family of waterbombers to its product portfolio.

26  Farnborough Airshow News • July 11, 2016 • www.ainonline.com

a balance sheet that has been dented by various program cost overruns in its commercial and business aircraft activities. The deal, announced last month, will transfer the type certificates for all variants of Bombardier amphibians to Viking (Outdoor Exhibit 28), ending a chapter for the Montreal-based OEM that stretches back nearly a half-century. Bombardier

(Chalet C3) built its first CL-215 in 1967, and its last CL-415 last December, before it paused the program. They remain the only Western aircraft purpose-built for firefighting. “This transaction supports our goal of rebuilding a clear path to profitable earnings growth and cash generation,” said Bombardier president and CEO Alain Bellemare. “While the Amphibious Aircraft program is part of our long history, this divestiture positions Bombardier to better focus on our core, higher growth businesses, business jets, commercial jets and rail transportation.” The move follows Viking’s successful revival of the de Havilland Twin Otter. It restarted the production line for the twin-engine utility turboprop—now known as the Twin Otter Series 400—after acquiring the Type Certificates from Bombardier for all out-of-production de Havilland aircraft in 2006. “This acquisition expands Viking’s capabilities in product support and parts into another vital niche aviation segment, and ensures that a unique and important Canadian innovation stays in Canada,” said David Curtis, Viking president and CEO. “We are proud to add another iconic Canadian aircraft program to Viking’s stable; our aim is to take the 415 to its highest potential and keep these aircraft in service for decades to come.” Viking will support the approximately 170 amphibious aircraft currently in service from a newly acquired and refurbished 50,000-sq-ft hangar in Calgary, and once the transaction is approved by regulators it plans to add up to 40 employees to its workforce in Victoria and Calgary.  –C.E.


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is no business case.” He cited Singapore Airlines’ selection of the long-range A350-900ULR (to replace the A340-500) rather than the 777-9: “So the market is very healthy.” Development of the -900ULR appears to endorse Rao’s view about the basic A350’s adaptability by providing an aircraft to fly 19-hr sectors between Singapore and New York. A. DOUMENJOU

In June, Asian operator Cathay Pacific Airways became the sixth carrier to fly the Airbus A350-900 twin-aisle twinjet.

Emirates close to deciding: A350 or B787 by Ian Goold Emirates Airline was understood last month to be close to choosing between the Airbus A350-900/-1000 and the Boeing 787-9/-10 after two years’ evaluation. The airline dropped an order for 70 A350s on June 1, 2014. Virgin Atlantic is another carrier thought to be negotiating business that could be announced here at the show. A month ago, Virgin was reportedly close to finalizing a contract covering eight A350-1000s. The Emirates cancellation followed Airbus’s reengining of the stretched A350-1000 with more powerful Rolls-Royce Trent XWBs that made the aircraft different from that initially contracted with the Gulf operator; meanwhile, the shorterrange 787-10 has entered the fray. Airline president Tim Clark is reported to be looking more closely at the 325-passenger A350-900 than at the -1000 and to have described a not-yet completely defined further stretch as “-1000-ish” rather than a distinctly different variant. One carrier definitely interested in a future longer “-2000”

model is Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific Airways, which in June became the sixth A350900 operator, introducing its first example of the aircraft— the 24th example so far delivered. The Asian carrier is already a customer for the 366seat Series 1000 initial stretched model, and has 48 A350s on order altogether, along with more than 20 Boeing 777-9s; Cathay also flies more than 50 777-300ERs. Cathay Pacific will be able to fly the -1000 to U.S. East Coast destinations, but the aircraft cannot reach southeastern points or potential Latin American destinations. Accordingly, it is talking with Airbus about a new, larger variant that would permit non-stop service to locations such as Miami. “The beauty of the A350 is its ability to grow,” said Airbus strategy and marketing executive v-p Kiran Rao, who confirmed that the company is talking to airlines about development requirements, although he said “not all” operators need a bigger aircraft. Nevertheless,

he claimed that a further stretch to, say, 400 seats “would not need the work Boeing had to do to go from the 777-300 to the planned 777X.” Apart from A350-2000, other epithets used for potential longer variants of this latest Airbus twin-aisle twinjet include A3501100 and even -8000. Chief operating officer (customers) John Leahy would like to see an early development decision, perhaps before next year, believing this is vital in a market that might prove to be relatively small. Waiting to Be Asked

Leahy, who calls the hypothetical model “the -2000” sees the upcoming Series 1000 as occupying “the sweet spot in the market” that will account for “the majority of sales.” Nevertheless, he acknowledges that Airbus is showing potential customers “a very good [-2000] product on paper.” Airbus chief executive Fabrice Bregier has said that any A350-2000 decision is unlikely to come as early as this week here at Farnborough. Rather

FARNBOROUGH TRADE GROUP SELECTS NEW MEMBERSHIP CHAIR As the UK’s Farnborough Aerospace Consortium (FAC) prepared for this year’s Farnborough Airshow, Andrew Barnett, chief technology officer of Barnbook Systems, was named as the new membership chairman for the not-for-profit organization, which includes national and international firms ranging from small companies to prime contractors, along with several aviation research centers. The trade group, which began in 1997, will this year present its largest stand ever in Hall 1 as part of the UK pavilion. “Farnborough International Airshow is one of the major dates on the FAC’s calendar to champion its members and help them win business in a global marketplace,” said Barnett. “I am looking forward to helping more businesses benefit from membership of the consortium and the success it can bring.”

“We are pleased to welcome Andrew, who will be a valuable asset as we look forward to continuing to help our members and membership to grow and thrive,” noted FAC CEO David Barnes. “As one of Europe’s leading aerospace trade bodies, our success has been built on the strength of our membership.” Benfits of membership in the group include access to its Supply Chain in the 21st Century (SC21) initiative, global marketing opportunities, attendance at exhibitions at reduced cost, networking and inclusion in the FAC directory. Meanwhile, Barnett’s Barnbrook Systems (Hall 1, Stand B120) is exhibiting at Farnborough for its 11th successive show. The company, which specializes in safety critical switching and control technologies, is displaying its BlueCube remote condition monitoring system. —C.E.

28  Farnborough Airshow News • July 11, 2016 • www.ainonline.com

he is waiting for the industry to request the upgrade: “We are ready to develop [it] as soon as we see [a] market [and] with relatively small effort. Should airlines approach us with clear demand, we can get it to market relatively quickly.” A longer A350—to compete against the planned 777-9— is understood to have been defined, using the existing wing and engines with minor modifications. But a go-ahead also assumes that current aircraft do not fill the bill. Both Bregier and Leahy question Boeing’s decision to launch the 777X in late 2013 with orders and various “commitments” for 259 (an odd number until one reflects that that was exactly the size of the then-total order book for the A380). “I don’t believe the market changed dramatically two years ago when Boeing added 50 seats [over the capacity of the 777-300ER],” said Leahy. He questioned whether the market could accommodate a third 400-seat design alongside the 777-9 and 747-8. Indeed, “nose-to-nose” against the 777-9, Leahy sees the A3501000—which is expected to enter service in December 2017 (at least two years ahead of the 777-9)—as “a pretty good alternative. They have 30-40 more seats, but we have a lower cost per seat.” Bregier characterized the increased passenger volume in the 777-X as a tacit admission by his U.S. competitor that the 777-300ER is no longer rightsized for the market—Boeing believing that demand had suddenly shifted upwards by about 10 percent. However, asked about talk of a further stretch damaging sales of the A350-1000, Bregier said: “It is not cannibalization if there

Moving on Down the Line

Production of the first A3501000s is said to be on schedule, with the first aircraft, manufacturer serial number (MSN) 59, at Station 18 for fuel-system and radio tests by late May. By that time, the second and third examples (MSN 65 and 71) were in the final-assembly area at Station 30. The first customer aircraft, and 20th A350 for Qatar Airways, is MSN 88. With the first flight expected by the fourth quarter of this year, the new variant has entered customization. This phase is acknowledged by chief operating officer Tom Williams as offering a challenge and has been causing Airbus headaches because of late delivery of cabin equipment from suppliers: “Customization was the real cause of the ‘meltdown’ on A380,” he said. Williams also cited planned delivery of 50-plus A350s in 2016 as “a big challenge, a huge step up [representing] dramatic change”—which has already seen “some hiccups.” Nevertheless, he has been encouraged by the “very good” condition of major subassembly sections delivered to Toulouse, where there were more than 40 A350s in final assembly before June. By early June, nine A350s had been delivered this year, including two on the same day. MSN 37, the fourth Singapore Airlines machine, had flown and engine running was under way with Cathay’s second example (MSN 34) and the initial Ethiopian Airways aircraft (MSN 40). Engines had been installed on MSN 36, one of a number running behind schedule for Qatar Airways (although delivery of another—MSN 21— was described by airline chief executive Akbar al Baker as being “imminent.”) Aircraft undergoing cabin or engine fitting were said to include MSN 41, 44, 45, and 48, while MSN 50 (the second for Thai Internal) had emerged from the paint shop, according to local sources. Meanwhile supplier Premium Aerotec had begun pre-assembly of the 100th A350 fuselage section.  o


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Boeing hands over ‘Little Bird’ to Saudi Arabia National Guard by Bill Carey By the end of this month Boeing will— if everything goes to plan—have delivered the first AH-6i Little Bird light attack/ reconnaissance helicopter to inaugural customer Saudi Arabia, which is the recipient of a new wave of U.S. weaponry. The manufacturer has also established a contract outline with the U.S. Army to quickly supply up to 72 Little Birds to unspecified foreign buyers. During a press trip Boeing (Chalet B6, Outdoor Exhibit G4) hosted at its helicopter assembly facility in Mesa, Arizona, on June 7, reporters viewed the first AH-6i planned for delivery to the Saudi Arabia National Guard (SANG). The helicopter— numbered 61001—was undergoing the final week of the build process, prior to being flight tested and delivered. The expression “God Bless You” was painted on its fuselage, which is typical for Saudi aircraft. Seven of 24 AH-6is specified in a 2014 foreign military sale (FMS) were cycling

through assembly. Fuselages for the first AH-6is manufactured for Saudi Arabia are being provided by Mesa-based MD Helicopters, with sub-assembly taking place in Monterrey, Mexico. The Defense Contract Management Agency, a component agency of the U.S. Department of Defense, will perform acceptance flight testing of the helicopters before turning them over to the Saudi government. It is expected that several Saudi pilots will train in Mesa, as well as pilots who will then serve as instructors in Saudi Arabia. Mulitple Weapons

Single-engine AH-6is can be fitted with a combination of: semi-active laser Hellfire missiles; 70 mm rockets; M-134 mini gun; and .50 caliber GAU-19B machine gun. The aircraft’s integrated digital cockpit and mission computer were derived from those in the AH-64 Apache, and it carries an L-3

British trio offer airport defense against drones by Chris Pocock A trio of small British companies claim to have developed the world’s first integrated system to counter unauthorized UAV flights near airports. Their Anti-UAV Defence System (AUDS) has been selected by the FAA for evaluation at U.S. airports, following successful initial trials by the U.S. government at the end of last year. AUDS consists of a small Ku-band radar from Saffron Walden-based Blighter Surveillance Systems, cameras from Horsham-based Chess Dynamics, and a radio frequency (RF) inhibitor

The new Anti-UAV Defence System is to be evaluated at several U.S. airports.

from Wappenham-based Enterprise Control Systems. The radar can detect a drone six miles away and cue the infrared and daylight cameras to track it, before the inhibitor blocks the radio signals that control it. The whole process typically takes only 8-15 seconds. “AUDS is able to operate in complex airport environments night and day whatever the weather, and without disrupting other airport equipment,” said Mark Radford, CEO of Blighter. “The operator can effectively take control of a drone and force a safe landing inside or outside the airport perimeter,” he continued. AUDS can help track down the offending UAV operators and provide evidence for prosecution in the form of video footage or radar tracks. “We believe we have a world-beating product that competes even with systems based around expensive military 3D air security radars,” said Colin Bullock, CEO of Enterprise. “And AUDS is available at commercial prices.” Radford said that the system passed an initial set of U.S. government trials at the end of last year. It also performed well in UK-government trials last May. The three companies have been providing their respective technology to government and commercial customers for some years. AUDS is supported and integrated in the U.S. and Canada by Liteye Systems of Centennial, Colorado, which also has a UK office in Colchester.  o

30  Farnborough Airshow News • July 11, 2016 • www.ainonline.com

The single-engine AH-6i light attack helicopter can be fitted with multiple weapons, including a machine gun, mini-gun, rockets and semi-active laser Hellfire missiles.

Wescam MX-15Di sensor turret with laser rangefinder/designator and laser pointer. In April, the U.S. Army issued a “sources sought notice” requesting information on industry’s capability to produce 72 AH-6is over a three-year period. The first 12 production aircraft, spares and equipment would likely be directed to Boeing “through a binding FMS letter of offer and acceptance (LOA) executed bilaterally between the U.S. government and the foreign country customer who is funding the effort,” according to the notice. The remaining 60 aircraft would be subject to “foreign country customers” executing LOAs for their production and delivery. Mark Ballew, Boeing director global sales and marketing for attack helicopters, said the notice sets out to establish a contract vehicle to expedite sales of the helicopters under U.S. Foreign Military Sales rules. He acknowledged that Jordan has previously expressed an interest in acquiring Little Birds, but he declined to identify other potential customers. The first AH-6i deliveries originated in a series of U.S. arms sales to Saudi Arabia announced in October 2010. The largest component of the package—valued at

$29.4 billion—called for the supply of 84 Boeing F-15SA fighters and the upgrade of 70 existing F-15S strike fighters to the SA standard. Boeing rolled out the first F-15SA from its St. Louis facility in April 2013, and U.S. Air Force plans called for delivering the fighters to Saudi Arabia between 2015 and 2019. Simultaneous with the F-15 announcement, the Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress of an estimated $25.6 billion sale to Saudi Arabia of 36 AH-64E Apaches, 36 AH-6is, 72 Sikorsky UH-60M Black Hawks and 12 MD Helicopters MD-530Fs for operation by the SANG. Separate sales for $3.3 billion and $2.2 billion called for supplying 24 AH-64Es to the Royal Saudi Land Forces, which has operated Apaches since the 1990s, and 10 to the Royal Guard. Boeing started delivering AH-64Es—the latest model Apache—to Saudi Arabia in early 2014. The Army awarded the manufacturer a $234 million FMS contract in August 2014 to supply 24 AH-6is to the SANG, the first customer of the light attack helicopter variant. Boeing started final assembly of the Little Birds in December 2015.  o

SAFRAN AND SAFETY LINE TEAM TO CUT AIRLINE FUEL BILLS WITH OPTICLIMB SYSTEM Engine maker Safran (Chalet C6) has teamed with French start-up Safety Line in an effort to help airlines reduce fuel consumption. The companies have signed a memorandum of understanding with the intent of integrating Safety Line’s OptiClimb solution into Safran’s SFCO2 service offering, which addresses airlines need to cut both fuel consumption and emissions by analyzing operational and maintenance aspects of performance. According to the companies, through the use of the program carriers can reduce their consumption by up to eight percent, which for a fleet of 20 single-aisle jets flying an average of 3,500 hours a year would equate to savings of $6 million and 42 metric tons of CO2 not released into the atmosphere. Working with the French research institute INRIA, Safety Line’s OptiClimb focuses on the climb phase of each flight, as data from flight recorders are analyzed to define each aircraft’s aerodynamic characteristics precisely to determine the ideal climb profile. Transavia France recently employed the solution after a successful four-month trial, while Ethiopian Airlines currently opted for Safran’s SFCO2 service. “Our new joint offering, leveraging the respective areas of expertise of Safran and Safety Line, addresses the need for today’s airlines to reduce fuel consumption, not only to lower their own costs, but also to help protect the environment and allow the sustainable growth of air traffic,” said François Planaud, head of Safran Aircraft Engines services and MRO division. “Safran is very proud to be teaming up with a dynamic French start up, and to show that a major international corporation knows how to maintain its agility by working with an ecosystem of innovative partners such as Safety Line.”  —C.E.


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Mitsubishi plans to ferry the MRJ test airplane, FTA 1, to the U.S. for the balance of its flight testing.

Mitsubishi ramps up MRJ90 tests; early certification seen as possible by Gregory Polek Mitsubishi Aircraft hopes to advance the start of flight testing of the first MRJ90 in the U.S. from the fourth quarter of this year to some time in the summer, raising the possibility that it could gain certification as much as two months earlier than the official delivery target of mid2018. Speaking with AIN ahead of the Farnborough Airshow, Mitsubishi Aircraft head of strategic marketing Hideyuki Kamiya reported that since MRJ FTA-1 resumed flight testing in Japan in February and FTA-2 flew for the first time in May, results have proved encouraging enough to consider ferrying the airplane to the U.S. ahead of schedule. “To expedite to the summer, if we continue to see flight testing go smoothly, and if we get approval [from the U.S. FAA and Japan’s JCAB], it’s not such a difficult target I think,” said Kamiya. Mitsubishi (Chalet D7, Outdoor Exhibit 7) flew the first flight-test aircraft three times last November before withdrawing the machine from operation to incorporate planned structural and systems changes. In late January, Mitsubishi revealed details of the strengthening modifications, deemed necessary after static test results begun in May 2015 indicated a weakness in the airframe and wing attachment. As a result, it installed additional “plates” to reinforce parts on the center wing box. Mitsubishi then changed the design for the production airplanes to account for more robust structure. Other improvements incorporated during the pause in flight-testing included software

updates. However, Kamiya contradicted reports that Mitsubishi needed to perform structural reinforcement of the landing gear. “After initial taxi tests, we knew we needed to adjust a sensor,” he said. “But it was really not a big deal.” After flying 22 test missions with FTA-1 by early May, Mitsubishi expressed eagerness to start flying out of Moses Lake, Washington, as soon as possible, allowing it to take full advantage of the area’s more favorable flying conditions, lack of airspace congestion and unfettered access to the airport’s runways due to a lack of scheduled service there. In Japan, the airplane could fly at most twice a day, explained Kamiya, because of the congested skies and ofteninclement weather the company regularly encounters. Other testing sites in the U.S. include Gunnison-Crested Butte Regional Airport in Colorado for high-altitude takeoff and landing

trials, Roswell International Air Center in New Mexico for special runway testing and McKinley Climatic Laboratory in Florida for extreme environment testing. All told, Mitsubishi plans to ferry four of the five flight test articles to the U.S., while the fifth, FTA-5—painted in the livery of launch customer ANA— performs autopilot testing in Japan. As FTV 1 and 2 perform functional and performance testing, plans call for FTA-3 to test flight characteristics and avionics and for FTA-4 to perform interior, noise and anti-icing trials. Processing of flight test data will take place at Mitsubishi’s engineering center in Seattle, established last August in collaboration with locally based Aerospace Testing Engineering & Certification (AeroTEC) specifically to administer MRJ testing in the U.S. Kamiya said early fuel burn tests validated claimed consumption rates, and that the test pilots

reported that handling characteristics have proved “better” than what they experienced in the simulator. European Goal

From a marketing perspective, Kamiya confirmed that Europe stands as a prime target for Mitsubishi. As of May holding firm orders for 223 airplanes, 170 of which came from U.S. airlines, Mitsubishi continues to work with the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA)—as well as the FAA—in anticipation of an eventual presence in Europe. Its first sale there remains elusive, however. Kamiya explained that prospective customers have indicated they want to wait for Mitsubishi to disclose more flight test results before making any firm decisions. “This is not only the case with European airlines,” said Kamiya. However, he acknowledged that the proposed 100-seat MRJ100X largely emerged as a product of European demand. In the U.S., scope clause language in mainline pilot contracts continues to limit airplanes at regional airlines to below the maximum takeoff weight of the MRJ90, which U.S. airlines have expressed a desire to configure

Mitsubishi has painted MRJ FTA 5 (foreground) in the colors of launch customer ANA ahead of planned autopilot tests.

32  Farnborough Airshow News • July 11, 2016 • www.ainonline.com

in a dual-class, 76-passenger cabin layout. (Mitsubishi lists the MRJ90’s standard single-class capacity at 88 passengers.) If scope clauses in the U.S. do not loosen in time for planned first deliveries of the MRJ90 in the second half of 2018, Mitsubishi’s two biggest customers—SkyWest and Trans States Airlines—can exercise rights to convert their orders to the lighter MRJ70. However, Mitsubishi’s schedules call for certification of that airplane roughly a year after its target for the MRJ90, meaning yet another delivery delay for the U.S. customers. Of course, Mitsubishi now stands liable for four major delays of the MRJ90, the most recent of which moved planned certification from the second quarter of 2017 to the second quarter of 2018. Confirming the latest delivery-schedule revision in late December, Mitsubishi acknowledged that a new program review reflected additions to and revisions of original test items, as well as its joint engineering work with U.S. partners aimed at ensuring a “better-integrated” aircraft. The review resulted in a new MRJ development structure intended to ensure “prompt execution” of all activities, with roles and responsibilities assigned among three engineering bases in the two countries. Tokyo-based Mitsubishi Aircraft looks after type certification documentation and coordination with airworthiness authorities, flight tests, manufacturing preparation and customer support. In the U.S., the Seattle Engineering Center has taken over design development and responsibility for innovating technological “solutions.” This fourth MRJ delay, which follows discussions with U.S. partner AeroTec, allowed for at least a two-month test schedule buffer. U.S. flight tests and support, including data analy­ sis and report writing, take places at AeroTec’s Moses Lake Test Center at Grant County International Airport in Washington state. AeroTec provides data analysis, FAA certification and flight-testing services to manufacturers like Honeywell and Lockheed Martin and aircraft modification companies such as Aviation Partners Boeing and Raisbeck Engineering. After consulting AeroTec, Mitsubishi took a “more realistic” approach to scheduling the MRJ flight-testing. Discussions had stimulated caution last year as the manufacturer approached the MRJ’s flight readiness.  o


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UTAS technology team solves the tough problems by Charles Alcock Four years on from the merger that brought Goodrich and Hamilton Sundstrand together to form UTC Aerospace Systems (UTAS), the combined group has quietly established itself as the industry’s largest and most diverse systems specialist. With annual revenues of around $14.3 billion, UTAS is about twice as large as any of its rivals and at a pre-Farnborough show press briefing, its president David Gitlin predicted that it will sustain an average annual compound growth rate of around 6 percent, due mainly to the fact that on new aircraft programs

such as the Bombardier C Series and the new Boeing Max and Airbus Neo narrowbodies, it has around twice the equipment content as on the aircraft these are replacing. For today’s complex aircraft programs, UTAS is firmly of the conviction that bigger is better when it comes to being able to deliver strong engineering resources. “The big OEMs are looking for partners with the capability to step up and deal with complex programs and be able to reach for whatever technology they need,” said engineering v-p Geoff Hunt.

A big driver of the need for superior engineering brainpower is that the innovations setting new aircraft apart from their predecessors have a habit of creating new challenges. A classic example is the new PurePower PW1000 family of geared turbofan engines developed by UTAS’s UTC sibling Pratt & Whitney. With a bypass ratio of 12:1 (compared with 5:1 for previous generations of engines), these have a much larger fan diameter (81 inches versus 63 inches on the IAE V2500 engine). “You can’t just scale up the nacelle proportionately because this would result in an unacceptable penalty in terms of drag and weight,” explained Hunt. “A second problem is that since we want to run engines hotter, we need to find a way to manage and dispose of this heat, requiring

The UTC Aerospace Systems advanced icing wind tunnel in Burnsville, Minnesota, is capable of simulating airspeeds up to Mach 0.9, air temperature down to -76 deg F and altitudes up to 47,000 feet. The extreme testing environment enables UTC to develop its sensor product portfolio for improved performance in the most demanding environmental conditions.

Customer Support: UTAS Has You Covered The past few years have seen UTC Aerospace Systems (UTAS) expanding its customer service network in response to demand for more customized and responsive support. In 2015, it added three new parts-distribution centers in Singapore, China and Europe. It also opened a new maintenance facility in Dubai, specifically to support Gulf carriers Emirates, Etihad, Qatar Airways, Kuwait Airways, Air Arabia and Royal Jordanian. The global network now consists of 54 maintenance providers and 29 distribution sites. According customer support v-p Ajay Agrawal, just over half of UTAS’s 1,500 customers are now covered by long-term support contracts—up from 30 percent just four years ago. The company’s Customer Response Center in Windsor Locks, Connecticut, oversees more than 11,000 cases each year and helps to achieve on-time resolution of aircraft-on-ground situations at a rate of around 98 percent. UTAS also is stepping up the extent to which it leverages so-called big data to better predict technical issues with a view to manage maintenance more efficiently and avoid unnecessary flight cancellations. For Singapore Airlines, it has combined its big data expertise to analyze on-wing performance data and correlate this with engineering models from the OEM to implement corrective actions in a way that avoids schedule interruptions. —C.A.

more efficient heat exchangers. We need to make sure that the benefits of the new engines aren’t offset by issues like this.” The PW1100G engine for the A320neo is installed much closer to the wing than its V2500 predecessor. So when UTAS developed its nacelle, the company had to take a new look at how and where to install key systems such as the Fadec to avoid a drag penalty. This was partly achieved by combining functions such as the fuelpump, metering and control systems into one package that fits under the cowl. Working the Details

UTAS also introduced elements such as robot-drilled

34  Farnborough Airshow News • July 11, 2016 • www.ainonline.com

UTC Aerospace Systems’ ram air turbines are at the heart of an aircraft emergency power system. If the aircraft loses power, the ram air turbine deploys from the wing or fuselage and “windmills” to generate sufficient electrical power from the airstream to control and land the aircraft.

perforations in the nacelle skins and honeycomb structures to improve the acoustics, greater use of single-panel complex shapes and the use of titanium in critical areas such as bypass ducts so that high temperatures would not be a limiting factor. It also managed to reduce the size of the advanced integrated drive generators (managing variable speed input and constant speed electrical output) with some innovative mechanical engineering. Further innovation came from using additive manufacturing to make the heat-exchanger core for more efficient thermal management of the engine systems. New aircraft programs, such as the Boeing 787, Airbus A350, Embraer 190 E2, C Series and the Lockheed Martin F-35, incorporate pioneering work that UTAS has done in advancing the trend for more electric aircraft. Tim White, president of the company’s electric systems division, explained that pneumatic and hydraulic power enabled engineers to more efficiently manage power loads, delivering more power for less fuel burn and environmental impact. The “more-electric” trend also has resulted in reduced assembly time by putting power distribution closer to the systems they support so that, for example, on the 787 about 20 miles of cabling was eliminated. Having invested approximately $3 billion in more-electric aircraft research and development over the past decade, UTAS is now funding further work in the following areas: aircraft architecture optimization; low spool power extraction; mega-watt generators; increased power density; smart solid state distribution systems eliminating electro-mechanical relays with devices with

embedded intelligence to collect data; advanced emergency power system; and more-electric flight and environmental controls. The company, which has no fewer than 15 laboratories working on these issues, believes that further advances will contribute to a 20 percent improvement in fuel consumption, an 85 percent reduction in noise, 50 percent cut in carbon emissions and a 20 percent reduction in per hour operating costs. In UTAS’s sensors and integrated systems division much of the focus is on developing smarter products through miniaturization and increased functionality. It also is investing in offering greater lightweight wireless connectivity and more intuitive software. Simpler is Better

As part of the drive toward more intelligent aircraft, UTAS is developing smarter sensors to improve situational awareness. It was the first company to certify an integrated air data system with half the required number of sensors, by combining multiple functions into one sensor and combining it with a computer that feeds air data directly to the aircraft’s avionics system. Among the many UTAS development facilities is an icing wind tunnel in Minnesota. This can simulate an array of different flight conditions, including dry air, rain, ice and mixedphase flows. The company is working on a new laser-based ice detection system. Gitlin confirmed that UTAS could be back in the market for further bolt-on acquisitions. In particular, it may be looking to expand its portfolio in the area of avionics to complement its existing work with flight control systems.  o


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CAE now offers upgraded visuals and a common data base for its simulators. (CAE)

CAE

CAE in the Region

CAE enhances its RAF Benson training complex by Chris Pocock It is still “the jewel in the crown” of CAE’s simulation business, according to Ian Bell, the company’s vice-president and general manager for Europe, Middle East and Africa. In the 18 years since the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) tapped the Canadian company to provide the Medium Support Helicopter Aircrew Training Facility (MSHATF) at RAF Benson, the complex has been significantly enhanced. For example, CAE (Chalet B38) networked the six dynamic simulators so that Britain’s Chinook, Merlin and Puma pilots can realistically practice combined operations. And the facility has evolved to provide realistic pre-deployment training. It will soon be offering

rehearsal training at short notice for specific missions-to-come. Still, the primary task of the MSHATF remains initial conversion of pilots onto type, through classroom instruction as well as simulator training. Overall, the facility is helping the MoD achieve its cost-saving ambition of increasing the proportion of synthetic versus actual flying training. The ratio has always been 70:30 for the Merlin, and will soon be the same for the Puma now that an upgraded Mk 2 version is coming into service. Cost Saver

According to Andrew Naismith, managing director of CAE Aircrew Training Services

at Benson, the cost of synthetic and often at night. Thanks flying is just 5-10 percent what to training in the MSHATF, actual flying costs. It is also the RAF has only suffered more environmentally friendly, three incidents of minor damand “better than real-world age in such landings, Naismith training in many cases,” he said. claimed. More graphically, he Naismith does not accept the illustrated the value of emercontention of Chinook crews gency training that can only be that their current synthetic- done in a simulator. A Danish live ratio of 45:55 is lower than EH101 crew saved their aircraft the other two types because when all three engines failed their flying is more compli- on climbout from a confined cated. The recent move of the area. “They relied on the ‘musRAF’s Chinook Operational cle memory’ that they learned Conversion Unit (OCU) to here,” he said. Benson “will hopefully change Until recently, the two Merlin that within a year, with MoD (RAF EH101) simulators at agreement,” he added. Benson were the only ones availFor sure, Chinook pilots on able for EH101 pilot training. actual deployment are more Therefore, aircrews from the likely to find themselves landing other six military customers for in dusty, ‘brown-out’ conditions, Continued on page 38 u

CAE has 25 training sites in Europe, 17 of them in the UK, including a large training center in its regional headquarters at Burgess Hill. Some 500 of the company’s 8,000 worldwide employees are in the UK. According to regional vicepresident Ian Bell, the UK is a strategic market because many nations adopt British defense philosophies and practices. CAE has won contracts to provide various systems as part of the UK’s new Military Flying Training System (MFTS), despite this being managed by a company half-owned by rival training systems provider Lockheed Martin. Contracts in Europe during the past year have included a Predator UAS simulator for the Italian air force, and an upgrade of the German navy’s Sea King helicopter training device to a fullmission simulator. CAE also provides the Medallion 6000 visual system for the German Air Force Eurofighter training devices. The company has been nominated by Airbus D&S, and Leonardo-Finmeccanica as preferred supplier of simulators for the C295 airlifter and the M346 jet trainer respectively. CAE has a joint venture with the Italian company to offer comprehensive training for its former-AgustaWestland helicopter range. The gap between the company’s larger civilian business and the defense business is narrowing, Bell said. He said that CAE is seeking to become “a long-term partner for mission readiness.” It established an office in Abu Dhabi in 2012, and subsequently won a contract to support the UAE’s special forces. —C.P.

36  Farnborough Airshow News • July 11, 2016 • www.ainonline.com

CHRIS POCOCK

CAE

Below, the Medium Support Helicopter Aircrew Training facility (MSHATF) was built by CAE and provided to the UK Ministry of Defence in 1999. Right, Puma and Chinook dynamic simulators in the MSHATF.


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Saab keeps hand in unmanned systems Orders that Saab landed in 2013 to supply Gripen NG fighters to Sweden and Brazil caused the manufacturer to divert resources from—but not abandon—its interest in unmanned aircraft. Saab (Outdoor Exhibition 14) retains a 47-percent ownership stake in the fledgling UMS Skeldar joint venture, a company formed around its Skeldar V-200 tactical unmanned helicopter. Announced in December, UMS Skeldar offers the 518pound mtow V-200 and a mix

of smaller fixed- and rotarywing unmanned aircraft developed by UMS Aero Group of Switzerland. Alternative Capital Management of Zurich backs UMS Aero and has 53-percent ownership and three of the five seats on the UMS Skeldar board of directors, with Saab claiming two. The joint venture’s headquarters are in Möhlin, Switzerland; it opened a new production facility in Linköping, Sweden, in March. A participant in the Dassault

Aviation-led Neuron program to build an unmanned combat air vehicle demonstrator, Saab has an abiding interest in unmanned aircraft technology. The Swedish manufacturer developed the current version of the Skeldar tactical helicopter around 2011 and provided it to the Spanish navy under a service contract in 2013. But orders that year for the new Gripen E/F from Brazil and Sweden created a “resource issue,” said Carl Foucard, who previously worked for Saab

CAE enhances RAF Benson

During a recent media demonstration, instructors in the TCC generated AH-64 attack helicopters, an AWACS and a Tornado combat jet for the Blue Force. A cyber-MiG-29 supplemented with a surface-to-air missile represented the Red Force. Naismith said that networking simulators for helicopters is more difficult than for fixed-wing aircraft, but a common database (CDB) is solving that issue. This is related to the introduction of CAE’s Medallion 6000 visual systems, which are replacing less detailed Harmony visuals provided by Rockwell Collins. CAE has made the investment in the CDB, but it’s not proprietary, Naismith said. CAE first employed the CDB 10 years ago when it won a mission rehearsal contract from U.S. Special Operations Command. Now the CDB allows the MSHATF to offer similar rehearsals. Already, “no British medium helicopter aircrew goes anywhere without pre-deployment training here,” said Naismith.

Simulation training for the rear crews of helicopters is still an ambition for CAE. Naismith said that CAE’s home country, Canada, has taken the lead here. The process is complicated by the number of tasks to be simulated. “We’ll probably start with gunnery training,” he said. “We’ll have to go through the same cultural acclimatization process as we did with the pilots,” he added. This potential capability will form part of a review–due next year–of CAE’s contract to provide and run the MSHATF. This will be halfway through the anticipated 40-year lifespan of this “private finance initiative” (PFI)-based program. The MoD guarantees a minimum usage and pays by the hour. British company Serco provides the ex-military instructors under subcontract to CAE. Ahead of the review, CAE has won a contract to upgrade two of the three Chinook simulators at Benson to the Mk 6A standard, including its digital automatic flying control system.  o

uContinued from page 36

this helicopter have all trained here. This has helped the development of standard emergency procedures for the type, Naismith noted. Four other countries have sent Chinook pilots here for training, and two others for Puma training. They collectively log about 2,000 hours, compared with 9,000 hours ‘flown’ annually by the MoD’s pilots. CAE (Chalet B38) and the MoD share the revenue. More ‘thirdparty flying’ could be done, but unlike many civilian simulator facilities the MSHATF does not operate on a 24-hour basis. Joint Exercises

A Tactical Control Centre (TCC) within the building at Benson manages the ‘Thursday Wars’ when trainee pilots in the simulators learn how to fly with other friendly assets against airborne and ground-to-air threats.

CAE

Instructors in the Tactical Control Centre can network the simulators at Benson to provide trainee helicopter pilots with real operational scenarios.

38  Farnborough Airshow News • July 11, 2016 • www.ainonline.com

BILL CAREY

by Bill Carey

UMS Skeldar featured a scale model of the Skeldar V-200 at the Xponential 2016 conference in New Orleans in May.

before leaving to become UMS Skeldar head of sales and deputy head of business development. “There was an executive board decision from Saab that all resources had to go into these two contracts,” Foucard told AIN. “We saw that it’s difficult to have a small product [the Skeldar] within a company where you have to focus on these enormous contracts. Everyone realized after a while that this is not a good set-up; we need to spin it off into another company.” UAS Knowledge

Saab still wanted to retain its expertise in unmanned aircraft for possible future developments. “They want to have that knowledge within the company if they [decide] to develop an unmanned group in the future,” Foucard explained. “But they don’t want to invest heavily in keeping knowledge without a product.” Forming UMS Skeldar “was a good way to keep the knowledge partly owned by the company so that knowledge doesn’t get lost,” he added. The Linköping facility had 14 full-time employees and occupied half of the available factory building, Foucard said. It accommodated two assembly lines, with room for growth to four lines. “Following the landmark agreement between UMS Aero and Saab, it made complete sense for UMS Skeldar to open this facility under its own brand, not only because of the ease by which we are able to integrate the manufacturing expertise from Saab for the Skeldar, but also to add the capability of organizing demonstration flights close by,” said CEO Jakob Baumann, a former two-star general with the Swiss armed forces, at the opening. The V-200 was prominently displayed at the UMS Skeldar exhibit at the Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (Auvsi) Xponential conference in New Orleans in May. The company was focused not on the hard-to-penetrate U.S. market, but on Latin America as a promising region for its unmanned aircraft line. It had

earlier appeared at the Singapore Airshow in February and at the Defence Services Asia exhibition in Kuala Lumpur in April, as southeast Asia is another of the company’s target markets. At the time of the Xponential conference, the V-200 was contending for a Royal Australian Navy requirement for an unmanned rotary-wing aircraft to perform maritime and littoral intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions. The RAN has a future frigate program and “it’s clear from the customer, they want to have drones on those frigates,” said Foucard, who placed the cost of a Skeldar system with two helicopters, basic sensors and a ground station at €4 million ($4.5 million). The Skeldar faced competition from the Schiebel Camcopter S-100 and the considerably larger Northrop Grumman MQ-8C Fire Scout. UMS Skeldar had also demonstrated the V-200 for a utility company in Norway, and at Xponential UMS announced that operator Nordic Unmanned had received Europe’s first national license to use the helicopter commercially, following Norwegian Civil Aviation Authority approval. In addition to the V-200, the company also provided the F-330, a 52-pound, catapultlaunched fixed-wing aircraft with eight hours’ endurance, to the Indonesian Army and Singaporean police. It lists the Abu Dhabi Autonomous Systems Investments Company as a “strategic partner” and reported a further service contract in UAE. The F-330, the larger F-720 fixed-wing aircraft (551 pounds) and the 330-pound mtow R-350 unmanned helicopter offer a progression in capability to the Skeldar V-200 for customers who may not have a wealth of experience in using unmanned aircraft. “A cheaper fixed-wing such as the F-330 is a good, cheap stepping stone to a platform with more capability,” said Foucard. “We see customers who could have combinations of fixed- and rotary-wing platforms,” he added.  o


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Spirit AeroSystems preps ‘rate-ready’ work mandates by Bill Carey When Boeing ramps up production of rate increases and the quality and delivery the 737 narrowbody airliner in Renton, expectations,” he said. “That’s the first priWashington, there are repercussions in ority—meet the current commitments.” Wichita, Kansas. There, in America’s heartSpirit is “rate ready” to support land, Spirit AeroSystems—a former Boeing Boeing’s plan to increase 737 producdivision and now the manufacturer’s big- tion from 42 to 47 aircraft per month in gest supplier—must adjust its operations 2017, Gentile said. The company is supaccordingly to meet the rate increase. porting the 787 ramp-up this year from In fact, Spirit (Chalet C18) is essen- 10 aircraft per month to 12. With Airbus, tial to any Boeing ramp up—the aero- Spirit is rate-ready to supply wing parts structures company builds 70 percent of for 48 A320s per month inceasing to 52; the airframe of the 737 and its military on the A350XWB it can support eight airderivative, the P-8A Poseidon. Each eve- planes per month, increasing to 10 and 12 ning it ships two 737 fuselages by rail from in the future. its sprawling Wichita facility to Renton in “They’re all going up in rate, so we just the Pacific Northwest, the start of a 10-day have to meet those rate requirements,” journey; and a tradition best observed Gentile said. “If Boeing does go from 42 from Savute’s Italian Ristorante on North to 47 [on the 737] then 52 and 57, that’s Broadway St., the locals say. a significant increase. We have embedded Though it’s not outwardly evident, growth; we need to make sure we invest Spirit also builds the forward fuselages, in that and drive our core business. If we engine pylon and wing sections of the can invest in facilities, automation, plant Boeing 787, 767 and 747 widebodies. equipment to improve our productivity or Since spinning off from Boeing in move work to places where it’s more com2005, the company has acquired con- petitive—anything we can do along those tracts for major content on the Airbus lines will improve our margins as we grow.” A350 XWB (composite center fuseMaking Rate lage) and wing-structure packages on the A320 narrowbody and A380 superNot surprisingly, “making rate” was a jumbo. It is supplying engine pylons for recurring theme among executives who led the Bombardier C Series and Mitsubishi tours of Spirit’s cavernous, historic faciliMRJ regional jets and the nacelle and ties. Founded by Stearman Aircraft in 1927, thrust reversers of the Rolls-Royce BR725 the Wichita site was later used by Boeing business-jet engine. to build the B-29, B-47 and B-52 bomb“We’re not an original equipment ers. Spirit’s buildings may be old, but within manufacturer, so our name doesn’t go on their walls the company has brought to bear the products we build,” explained outgo- robotics and other state-of-the-art equiping president and CEO Larry Lawson in ment to keep pace with modern aerospace. a video. “People a lot of times confuse In Plant 2, a half-mile-long factory us with other companies. Of course, if where 737 fuselages are constructed, Spirit they were at any airport and they were has deployed 30 automated fastening to look out the window, they would see machines to join interior panels and strucSpirit products.” tural skins—equipment that supports “rate Now the ultimate preparedness” for Boeing’s responsibility for matchproduction ramp-up to ing rate increases associ47 narrowbodies, said Jim ated with the re-engined Hans, director of 737 auto737 Max, the 787 mation and final assembly. Dreamliner and the Airbus “Each section shell has an A320 and A350XWB, automated component; that falls to Lawson’s succesis why we remain as comsor—Tom Gentile—who petitive and effective as we joined Spirit in April as are,” he asserted. executive vice president In another building that and COO after serving was substantially damas president and COO of aged by a tornado in April GE Capital. Last month, New Spirit AeroSystems CEO Tom 2012 but returned to serin an announcement that Gentile has his marching orders. vice within a week, Spirit caught analysts by surwas churning out 737 prise, Spirit revealed that Lawson is retir- thrust reversers at four halves per airplane ing after three years at the helm and that and readying Kuka robots to perforate Gentile, 51, will replace him, effective the skin panels for acoustic attenuation. July 31. “We will use these as needed for rate,” said During a roundtable meeting with M.L. Anderson, director of operations for invited reporters in late June, Gentile nacelles and composites. said that honoring the company’s delivSpirit’s composite fuselage facility ery commitments across all programs is housed a massive Electroimpact automated first among his marching orders from the fiber placement machine, which moves on board of directors. “We have to meet the a track to apply resin-impregnated carbon

42  Farnborough Airshow News • July 11, 2016 • www.ainonline.com

Though this scene looks like it belongs in the U.S. Northwest, it’s actually a railway line in the heartland outside Wichita, Kansas, where Spirit AeroSystems makes and ships fuselages for Boeing and others.

fiber to build up 787 fuselage section 41, the composite nose and forward fuselage of the Dreamliner. Spirit also “stuffs” the fuselage section with the necessary electronics and wiring harnesses, shipping seven finished cockpits per month to Boeing’s Dreamliner assembly line in Everett, Washington, and five to the 787 line in North Charleston, South Carolina. The company’s Airbus work packages are concentrated at facilities it acquired after the Boeing spinoff. Spirit produces the Section 15 composite center fuselage of the A350XWB at a plant it opened in July 2010 in Kinston, North Carolina; it then ships the section to its facility in Saint-Nazaire, France, for assembly prior to delivery to Airbus in Toulouse. Spirit also produces A350 front spar segments in Kinston and ships them to its facility in Prestwick, Scotland, for assembly into the aircraft’s fixed leading edge prior to delivery to Airbus. The Prestwick location, called Spirit AeroSystems Europe, produces the leading and trailing edges of A320 wings. Master Contract

Another of Gentile’s marching orders from the board is to close master contract agreements with Boeing as well as Airbus. When Canadian private equity firm Onex acquired Boeing’s Wichita division and operations in Tulsa and McAlester, Oklahoma, in July 2005 for $1.2 billion— renaming them Spirit AeroSystems—the transaction included a 10-year “sustaining agreement” to guide the ongoing working relationship with Boeing, Gentile said. (The 787 program was a separate agreement.) Boeing programs provide 85 percent of Spirit’s annual revenue of $6.7 billion, and concluding a new master agreement—already a year late— is important for both companies. “Both companies would like to get a deal done so that we have a permanent framework under which to operate going forward,” Gentile said. “From our standpoint, we would like to get a deal, but we have interim arrangements in place that establish pricing for the 737 and the Max and also the 787 and all of its various

derivatives. Those interim arrangements have satisfactory economics.” Though Spirit could operate under those agreements “indefinitely” if necssary, “we’d prefer to get a permanent arrangement,” he added. “Boeing is our biggest customer; their success is our success. We want to do everything we can to make them more competitive.” Gentile is also charged with driving Spirit’s “growth agenda,” which could involve both organic growth within the company and acquisitions of other aerostructures companies, suppliers or aftermarket businesses, he said. A first-tier supplier to the commercial aerospace industry, Spirit is also involved in the military market—it provisions Boeing 737 and 767 structures for assembly of the P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft and KC-46A Pegasus aerial refueling tanker, respectively. The company is supplying the forward fuselage section of the U.S. Marine Corps’ new CH-53K King Stallion heavy helicopter and it produced the fuselage of Bell Helicopter’s V-280 Valor tiltrotor, which will compete in the U.S. Army’s joint multi-role technology demonstration effort. But the biggest military prize of all could be the U.S. Air Force’s coming B-21 long-range strike bomber. In March, Spirit was among suppliers the Pentagon identified as participating on the bomber team with Northrop Grumman, which won the potentially $80 billion program over Boeing and Lockheed Martin. As with all companies involved in the highly secret program, Spirit executives were guarded in discussing the B-21. But they did speak of increasing the company’s overall military business from 3-to-5 percent of annual revenue to potentially 15 percent in the future—growth to which the B-21 will contribute. Gentile said that he still didn’t have the necessary security clearance to know details of the B-21 program. “But it’s a significant program, and it will provide a strong foundation,” he said. “I think defense and military will be a material portion of Spirit’s activities in the future.” o


By late June, the Rolls-Royce Trent 1000-TEN had recorded more than 200 flying hours during 39 flights in “a very challenging program.”

Rolls’ Trent 1000-TEN enlisting new customers by Ian Goold UK aero engine maker Rolls-Royce has welcomed Ethiopian Airlines as the prospective latest operator for the Trent 1000 engine, along with two other new customers in the past 12 months— France’s Air Austral and El Al of Israel—and a repeat order from Norwegian Airlines. Air China and Air Europa have introduced Trent 1000 (T1000)powered 787 services this year, while Ethiopian introduced its first 787 on June 30. The manufacturer (Chalet D3, Hall 4 Stand B18) also is looking forward to flight-testing the latest Trent 1000-TEN (for Thrust, Efficiency and New-technology) aboard the Boeing 787 and formal certification of that sub-variant, as the T1000 fleet passes 2 million engine flight-hours (EFH) and around 450,000 engine cycles. Project director Gary

Moore says that Pack B and C upgrades are demonstrating good reliability. Taking account of the improvements, the new T1000-TEN will deliver all of its performance requirements, according to Moore. The new 76,000-pound-thrust model introduces several features developed for the Airbus A350’s more-powerful Trent XWB, including a “rising-line” compressor and three-stage bladed disc (“blisk”) at the front of the high-pressure compressor. R-R says that on flights of up to 3,000 miles the -TEN is expected to offer a specific fuel consumption advantage of some 3 percent, although this differential decays over longer sectors. For flights of average 787 range, the basic T1000 delivers a fuel-burn advantage “well ahead” of the GEnx-1B at shorter ranges, according to R-R. An “additional 1 percent”

is said to accrue from superior performance retention through the life of the engine. Dispatch reliability up to March was 99.9 percent (and 99.93 percent for Pack C models), compared with an “unforgiving” market expectation, according to Moore. The math associated with R-R’s reported in-flight shutdown (IFSD) rate of 0.002/1,000 EFH suggests there have been four such events, while Moore reports no high-speed aborted take-offs. Working with EASA

R-R is working closely with the European Aviation Safety Agency to complete certification reports and analysis. It has agreed with Boeing on the following: type certification, flight compliance engineering, and stability auditing to show the engine’s envelope before Boeing pilots see it demonstrated on the Rolls-Royce 747 flying testbed. The stability audit (to check pressure margins) was completed on the seventh T1000-TEN (Engine serial number [ESN] 11007), which was then replaced by ESN 11008 to fly the production standard bill of materials.

Moore said that the Pack C improvement have provided “a great configuration,” and that R-R has ensured it has “taken the time to repeat on the T1000TEN what we had done before” on other engines. Part of this exercise has seen further work on ESN 11002, which has been used to establish sea-level performance, to confirm that the -TEN has inherited the best characteristics of the earlier Tent XWB. Similarly, ESN 11003—used in altitude performance, crosswind and icing tests—has repeated the exercises “to ensure robustness,” said Moore. ESN 11005, a T1000-TEN earmarked for extended-range, twin-engine operations (ETOPS), has begun the work, which is expected to receive approval by the end of

this year, with 3,000 flight-cycles expected to have been logged by entry into service. Meanwhile, T1000-TEN ESN 11007 had recorded more than 200 FH during 39 flights by the second half of June in what Moore characterizes as a “very challenging program.” ESN 11008 is the first example whose assembly has moved to production part numbers. The initial flight-compliant units were dispatched to Boeing two months ago and are being prepared for flight test by the airframe manufacturer. While Moore would clearly like to see the T1000-TEN airborne on a 787 within three months of having been shipped to Everett in May, he settled for saying that the challenge is “to fly on the 787 in the time frame of this quarter.”o

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www.ainonline.com • July 11, 2016 • Farnborough Airshow News  43


CFM sees history on its side as Leap engine comes of age by Charles Alcock CFM International president and CEO Jean-Paul Ebanga has a keen sense of history, and why wouldn’t he? The Franco-American joint venture between Safran and GE lays a reasonable claim to being the most successful aerospace joint venture in history, with more than 30,000 aircraft engines delivered since its foundation back in 1974. “Farnborough 2016 is a major landmark in CFM’s history, because it marks the end of one of the most demanding and fascinating periods of our history,” he told AIN in an interview before this week’s Farnborough International air show. At face value, his comment implies that the company is now set for a period of calm. On the contrary: it is embarking on a period of unprecedented production rates that will require it to deliver on a backlog of just over 10,500 of its new Leap engines to power the new A320neo and 737 Max narrowbody airliners that Airbus and Boeing, respectively are bringing to market. Assuming China’s Comac ever delivers on its so-far unfulfilled ambitions to bring the C919 to market, Leap will power that aircraft, too. During the month of May, CFM achieved simultaneous FAA/EASA certification for both the A320neo’s Leap 1A turbofan and the Leap 1B for the 737 Max. “Now [June 8] we’re contemplating entry-into-service [for the A320neo] in a few weeks, and what we have done to prepare for this is not just about the product, it was not just about the supply chain,” Ebanga said. “We’ve been working for four years on the three pillars of this program: right product, right supply chain and having the right product support. Selling an engine takes a year, at most; it takes 30 years to support it and ensure that the customer gets the lifetime costs that were promised.” Four years ago, CFM (Outdoor Exhibit 22) resolved to adopt a dual-source policy for all Leap engine components. “It

was a bold decision as most CFM56 parts [CFM’s legacy engine] are single source,” said Ebanga. “But for Leap, because of the production ramp-up and the need for risk mitigation, we thought that the set up for our supply chain requires us to go the extra mile with dual-source. Another key decision is that most of the suppliers we have are existing CFM56 suppliers, and so we know them very well and we’ve learned to work together well. This is a key foundation.” Process apart, the Leap program’s main claim to fame is new technology that CFM says will deliver a 15 percent improvement in fuel efficiency compared with existing CFM56 engines. One key factor on CFM’s technology palette is the ceramics matrix composites used for the Leap engine’s shroud and first stage compressor. Another is the proprietary TAPS II (twin annular pre-mixing swirling) combustor that cuts nitrous oxide (NOx) emissions in half.

Above, CFM International is rapidly increasing production rates for its Leap 1A engines. Left, CFM president and CEO Jean-Paul Ebanga.

‘Olympian’ Ramp-up

“We decided to do all this work inhouse and to build new factories in New Hampshire [GE] and France [Safran] to make all the major parts as part of our risk mitigation mindset,” said Ebanga. “At peak rates of production we’ll be making 1,700 engines per year; that’s 36,000 fan blades.” CFM views the production rampup process as being similar to what an athlete would do in preparation for the Olympics; building up stamina to be ready for when maximum output is required through its Run@Rate program. “Over the past few years we’ve trained the muscle of CFM and its supply chain to be ready for this huge rate of production,” Ebanga explained. “We have approached this situation in a systematic way, not a reactive way, so instead of sending people all over the place to support the weakest parts

of the supply chain and guess where the problems could be, we’ve tried to understand what rate will be needed a year from now and stretch ourselves now to get to this speed to see where the potential weaknesses might be.” This approach has resulted in hundreds of process changes, such as adjusting maintenance intervals on production machinery and investing in more laser machines to overcome envisioned bottlenecks. From the earliest stages of the CFM International’s Leap 1A engine for the Airbus A320neo achieved dual FAA and EASA certification on May 31, 2016.

44  Farnborough Airshow News • July 11, 2016 • www.ainonline.com

Leap engine development, every phase of the work has been subject to a dual review, or tollgate, process that challenges those responsible to prove that their approach is viable. While Leap 1A production is accelerating for the A320neo, the 1B turbofan is now busily engaged in Boeing’s certification program for the 737 Max. The airframer has four test aircraft flying, and CFM reported that the powerplant has performed flawlessly, so far. It aims to get the 1C engine for Comac’s C919 certified by the end of this year. According to Ebanga, continued uncertainty across the global economy has done nothing to dent the Leap program’s unprecedented backlog of orders, adding that CFM is currently logging new sales at a rate that is roughly double what it achieved this time last year. He pointed to rising airline revenues as a backdrop to this continued demand, and more specifically, the strong motivation carriers have to boost profit margins with more efficient equipment. But Ebanga is not complacent about the twists and turns of market conditions. Casting his mind back to 2008 when CFM announced the Leap program at that year’s Farnborough show, he reflected that just a few weeks later, the world economy was rocked by one of the most severe financial crises ever. “The key lesson was that even though we faced this terrible period, Safran and GE never gave up or eased the level of commitment [to the program],” he said. “Throughout the difficult years, we kept investing to do the right thing. Having two companies so closely aligned and committed for such a long time is remarkable, and this is part of the fabric of CFM’s success.”  o


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With its vertical flight component, the F-35B can operate from aircraft carriers without the need for complex and costly catapults and arrester gear.

LiftFan adds STOVL to F-35B’s capabilities by Richard Gardner If the Lockheed Martin F-35 makes its long-anticipated appearance at the Farnborough International Airshow, it will be the most significant new military aircraft to be seen in the skies over Southern England for many years. It has been a long wait for British eyes, the nation being the first overseas partner to sign up to the Joint Strike Fighter program, as it became. Britain joined following the signing of a government-to-government memorandum of understanding way back in 1995. It was a momentous decision for the UK government at the time, as the JSF design and configuration was yet to be confirmed, and experimental prototypes of the two rival projects, from Boeing and Lockheed Martin, would not fly for another five years.

For the UK, this would also prove to be an irreversible and game-changing decision, for the chosen JSF design, won by Lockheed Martin with the F-35, would be produced not only in conventional land-based and carrier based versions, but also with full Short Take-Off and Vertical Landing (STOVL) performance, in the form of the F-35B. This variant was destined to replace the Harrier and Sea Harrier with the U.S. Marine Corps and the UK’s Royal Air Force and Royal Navy. The latter service will become totally dependent on the new aircraft to provide future air defence and attack capability for its new generation of super-carriers, which will not have catapults or deck arrester equipment. Meanwhile the U.S. Marine

The F135 engine comes from Pratt & Whitney, but the LiftFan tecnology that supplies the F-35B’s vertical flight capability comes from Rolls-Royce.

46  Farnborough Airshow News • July 11, 2016 • www.ainonline.com

Corps will also be depending on the same V/STOL design (as it is known across the Atlantic) to operate from the short decks of its assault carriers and from short airstrips at forward operating bases. UK engine maker Rolls-Royce was the key to providing the advanced technology propulsion solution that could be integrated into a supersonic, low observable airframe. By deciding to partner (through BAE Systems) with the U.S. JSF Program, the UK abandoned its own advanced Harrier replacement projects to cooperate in building a joint STOVL version of the JSF and to share development costs and benefit from the 3,000-plus production program envisioned for the new multi-role aircraft.

The F-35B had to incorporate as much commonality with the conventional F-35A and C models as possible, but the need to provide a safe and robust STOVL system within the tight physical constraints of a relatively small airframe posed a major design challenge for all concerned. The chosen “LiftSystem” includes a center-mounted LiftFan and a downwardswivelling rear nozzle, with flight stabilization provided by ducted roll posts under each wing. Unlike early VTOL projects from the 1960s, which used separate lift fans for vertical thrust, the F-35B features a main engine, the Pratt & Whitney F135, connected to the LiftFan by a shaft and high-speed clutch, developed by Rolls-Royce. Together, the LiftSystem components provide more than 40,000 pounds of downward thrust, and are activated by the pilot pushing a single button. This thrust is almost twice that of the Rolls-Royce Pegasus engine that powers the Harrier. The forward-mounted 50-inch diameter two-stage contra-rotating LiftFan delivers some 20,000 pounds of cold thrust and incorporates a host of experience from more than 60 years of STOVL technology, as well as more recent innovative Rolls-Royce powerplant developments, such as the latest hollow-blade disk technology and a thrust-vectoring variablearea vane-box nozzle. The driveshaft and clutch deliver up to 29,000 shaft horsepower from the main engine to the LiftFan, while the hydraulically activated roll-post nozzles direct 1,950 pounds of bypass thrust from the main engine and provide roll control and stability. The main engine directs 18,000 pounds of thrust via a rear nozzle, which can rotate through 95 degrees in just 2.5 seconds. In conventional flight, the main engine can take the aircraft supersonic with afterburner (or “reheat” in the UK). 15 Years of Development

Rolls-Royce first became involved in the F-35 System Development and Demonstration (SDD) phase of the program in December 2001, following the Continued on page 48 u


Rolls-Royce’s LiftSystem, which provides the F-35B’s vertical flight component, translates more than 40,000 pounds of engine power into downward thrust.

all its unique features, offering an unbeatable combination of stealthy operations, extreme situational awareness and the ease of STOVL handling. Recent Progress

LiftFan adds STOVL to F-35Bs uContinued from page 46

selection of the Lockheed Marin F-35 concept in October 2001. In April 2004, the first STOVL engine was tested and in November 2008 the company received its first production contract for the LiftSystem from Pratt & Whitney, with testing in a hover pit commencing in March 2009. The story of the development of the F-35B’s propulsion system follows a similar path to that of the program as a whole, with many changes and delays along the way. Plans for an alternative main engine to the P&W F135 were later dropped on cost grounds. This despite the fact that the F136, which was being developed by GE and Rolls-Royce was showing signs of being a more capable main engine,. As flight tests on the F-35B progressed, various over-heating issues arose that led to pauses, which in turn led to cost increases as temporary and then permanent fixes were identified, tested and finally adopted. With such a complex aircraft, with so many highly innovative technical features, it was hardly surprising that development cost increases and delays would occur, and overcoming these many issues regularly brought the program under very close DoD scrutiny as the battle to keep the JSF budget affordable continued. The program became the subject of intense political debate. However, while all the industrial partners struggled to stick to ever-extending block-capability clearance timescales,

the sheer industry and service momentum that had built up started to turn the situation around, enabling the revised Initial Operational Capability goals to be reached. As more service test-pilots and future instructors sampled the F-35B, they became very enthusiastic advocates of the aircraft, happily extolling the outstanding flight stability in the hover and at slow forward speeds, especially transitioning to a landing. With a lift thrust that allows a payload in excess to that carried by the Harrier, and the ability to bring home unused ordnance in a rolling vertical landing, the F-35B’s unique STOVL capabilities, combined with stealth and high speed, promise to bring a step change in air operations from carriers and land bases. The LiftSystem has now been evaluated in severe conditions, including operating in crosswinds as high as 20 knots, while still keeping within stability requirements. Early issues involving the robustness of some components have been overcome, and revised cooling solutions have solved the over-heating problems. Speaking recently to the author, the UK’s Chief of Staff for the joint RAF/ RN Lightning Force and designated future Commander of the famous 617 Squadron, Wing Commander John Butcher, confirmed that the F-35B is very easy to fly in the transition and landing/ take-off modes. In his opinion, it will allow pilots, whether from the air force or navy, to adapt easily to carrier deck or traditional land-based operations. Butcher has considerable Harrier experience and said that the highly automated design of the STOVL version of the Lightning II will indeed enable pilots to fully exploit

48  Farnborough Airshow News • July 11, 2016 • www.ainonline.com

As the first appearance of the F-35 in UK skies approached, AIN sought the views of Rolls-Royce’s Jarrett Jones, v-p F-35B LiftSystem, concerning the program’s progress since the last Farnborough show. Asked what have been the main challenges to overcome, he replied, “We’ve introduced some improvements to the durability of the clutch, which provides enough torque to turn the London Eye, through new materials, which has given us full engagement life for the clutch plates. We have also improved the interstage vanes, which has cleared the full environmental envelope.” Asked what the main advances have been in the past two years, he said, “In partnership with Pratt & Whitney, we’ve passed some major test milestones over that period which have paved the way to unrestricted operations. These include the successful completion of the Eglin climatic testing, which subjected the LiftSystem to a full range of hot, cold, icing, humidity, solar and rain conditions. We also carried out successful rain and water-ingestion testing on the LiftFan. “Another successful completion was the second aircraft sea trial [DT-2] and Operational Test [OT-1] on the USS Wasp, demonstrating operational capability.” He added that full envelope flight tests were successfully completed to validate robust mechanical and control systems functionality, together with incorporating block upgrades to interstage vanes. Asked if the flight tests were reflecting accurately what was expected in simulations of the control and performance aspects of the propulsion program, Jones confirmed that the LiftSystem operation and performance had met or exceeded predictions throughout the flight envelope. One of the issues that has been subject to some speculation concerning F-35B operations has been linked to landings on ship decks and runway surfaces. Asked if tests had indicated that ingestion or surface damage had required any new attention or changes, Jones said, “Both shipboard deployments were completed without any surface damage to the USS Wasp landing surfaces and no deterioration has been accumulated on the PAX [Patuxent River test facility] runways during flight testing. We’ve also not encountered any LiftFan damage due to ingestion of surface material during the flight test program.” The UK has said that rolling vertical landings will be a feature of operations from its new RN aircraft carriers. Jones underlined the fact that the LiftSystem was designed for such rolling vertical landing capability and this had been successfully demonstrated during the flight test program, so it won’t make any difference to operating flexibility or require

any design changes in the system, he said. Another subject that often surfaces when looking at future F-35B operations by the UK services concerns what is being put in place for the shipboard support of the LiftSystem aboard the new carriers. Jones said, “Ski-jump takeoffs have been demonstrated during the flight test program in support of the UK aircraft carrier application, and maintenance trials will be conducted during the third aircraft carrier sea trial scheduled for later this year. Our plans for supporting both the USMC and UK Royal Navy shipborne operations are well developed and we are also working on our support capability plan for the overall UK fleet.” Completion of the SDD phase for the LiftSystem is on schedule, and the sand ingestion test is the last one left to complete. It will demonstrate the durability of the LiftSystem when operated in remote or sandy environments. Jones said that as well as providing actual hardware and testing activities, Rolls-Royce has pursued more than 150 cost-cutting initiatives to further improve the value of the system to its F-35B customers. There can be no doubt that, for RollsRoyce, the success of this most challenging program has been an important achievement in its ongoing engagement in top-end military engine technology. Delivering the lift system for such a key application has become one of the most essential elements in the company’s long-term future. Being responsible for the world’s only vertical lift technology in production— and for the world’s premier next-generation multi-role combat aircraft—is certainly keeping Rolls-Royce at the forefront of defence air systems innovation. o

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Embraer touts ‘maturity’ of E2 program

AviSilfirst i­nto

assumed responsibility for wing assembly in 2006. Other subassemblies now in São José dos Campos include the forward fuselage and the lower center fuselage section 2. In France, Latecoere’s work on the passenger and emergency exit doors has progressed well, said Affonso, as has Aernnova’s empennage work in Spain. Responsible not only for systems integration and final assembly but also for fabrication of a high proportion of the airplane’s structural components, Embraer builds the E2’s wings,

earlier delivery to the E190-E2’s launch customer, the identity of which remains undecided. “I wish, but my engineers here are saying they would like to use the full time to get an even more mature aircraft at EIS [entry into service],” said Silva. “I think this is a very good idea. So let’s not rush, but be sure that as it goes into EIS, it will be a terrific aircraft by all means.” In terms of production, the program’s capacity can reach 13 airplanes per month, said Affonso. Although Embraer built the E2 prototypes on the existing E-Jet assembly line, it must install all new rigs for the new airplanes because of the fairly extensive design changes between the E1 and E2. Apart from the new engines, the most significant change involved the wings, assembly of which now takes place in São José dos Campos. Still building the E1 wings at its plant in Gavião Peixoto, Brazil, Embraer decided to move the function for all three E2 models to its main plant to help streamline the production system and reduce logistics and inventory costs. Originally a site occupied by former E-Jet wing producer Kawasaki Heavy Industries, the Gavião Peixoto plant has belonged to Embraer ever since it

some 75-percent of the fuselage and the landing gear. Fuselage subassembly suppliers include Triumph, which builds the sections just aft of the wings and ahead of the empennage. Other suppliers and partners include Liebherr, (control systems for flaps and slats), Rockwell Collins (horizontal stabilizer control system), UTC Aerospace Systems (wheels, brakes, APU, electrical system), Intertechnique (engine and APU fuel feed, pressure refueling, fuel transfer, fuel tank inerting and ventilation, and fuel gauging and control) and Crane Aerospace & Electronics (electronic control module for landing gear, brake control systems and proximity sensors). Apart from the switch in engines from the GE CF34s used in the E1s to the Pratt & Whitney geared turbofans in the E2s, what Affonso termed important supplier changes included the switch from UTAS to Liebherr for the engine bleed-air system. Others involved the award for pilot seats to England’s Ipeco in place of Zodiac. Affonso also said that Embraer decided to “verticalize” its structural supply base, taking responsibility for the forward fuselage section 1 and center fuselage 3 from Latecoere, for example.  o

by Gregory Polek Now preparing to fly the third E190-E2 prototype, Brazil’s Embraer arrives here at Farnborough on a decidedly high note as its latest airliner program progresses faster than even company executives had expected. Almost two months into a flight test program that original schedules suggested wouldn’t start until some time in the second half of the year, Embraer (Stand OE6) has distinguished itself not only with the speed at which the E2 program has advanced, but in the apparent precision with which engineers predicted its design would mature. The fact that the airplane already weighs less than the original target reflects its ear­ ly maturity, Embraer Commercial Aviation COO Luis Carlos Affonso told AIN ahead of the show. “This is very rare, to have an airplane at this stage of a program that is not overweight,” he said. “This gives us lots of reassurance that this, indeed, ­ will be a very efficient airplane. “Another important goal that we had was to not put so much energy on the first airplanes, that the others would take too long or would get delayed,” said Affonso. In all, the program schedule calls for 2,000 flighttest hours, roughly the same number needed to certify the ­recently introduced Legacy 500 business jet. The first E190-E2 flew for the first time from the company’s facilities in São José dos Campos, Brazil, on May 24. During the three-hour, 20-minute maiden mission, Embraer captain Mozart Louzada and first officer Gerson de Oliveira

retracted the landing gear, flew the airplane to its maximum altitude of 41,000 feet and its top cruise speed of Mach 0.82 and engaged its new fly-by-wire system in normal mode. “The message is the airplane is very mature, very robust; all the investments we made in modeling, simulation, the iron bird and all the tests we did on the ground really paid off,” said Affonso. Common Type Rating

Louzada reported that the E2’s handling characteristics precisely mimic those of the E1 despite the relatively extensive changes to the wing and the new airplane’s significantly heavier Pratt & Whitney PW1900G engines. “Most important for us in terms of the pilots and crew that will be in the cockpit is that the design driver that we established from the beginning was a common type rating,” said Louzada. “A very good thing is when you sit in the cockpit, even though you see different technologies… the pilot will feel completely at home…I would say there is no difference at all [between the E1’s and E2’s flight characteristics.] By ‘tricking’ the fly-by-wire system, which is a closed-loop technology, we were able to make the E2 fly exactly like the E1.” Affonso attributed the early maturity mainly to the proficiency of the project team and the experience the company has gained from its busy development schedules. “In this project, really we have applied everything that we have learned [from past projects],” he explained. “Yes, we had

DRALLIM TAPPED FOR RELENTLESS HOOK Helicopter cargo hook specialist Drallim Industries (Hall 3, Stand A61) recently announced that its Hawk 8000-pound cargo hook system has been selected by Bell Helicopters for the new 525 Relentless model. The keeperless hook is based on the company’s core design which has a maximum operating load capacity of 10,000 pounds, and is designed with a safety factor of 4:3, increasing the safety margin and operator confidence, according to the manufacturer. “We have been supplying helicopter cargo hooks to the rotarywing industry since 1959,” said Phil Wilson, aerospace divisional manager for the UK-based company. “Our legacy products have a long and successful track record of safety and reliability. Bell Helicopter’s 525 Relentless is chock-full of technology so we feel especially privileged to have one of our leading-edge cargo hook systems installed on such an innovative and prestigious platform.” Drallim’s Hawk cargo hooks meet U.S. FAR 29.865 standards for human and non-human external cargo loads across the spectrum of light-, medium- and heavy-lift rotorcraft platforms. —C.E.

some buffer, but things went better than expected in terms of the functioning of the systems, the design, the build of the structures.” One of the other keys to the program’s apparent maturity lies not only in Embraer’s main São José dos Campos campus, site of final assembly and now wing assembly, but across town in the

minimize the cost of instrumentation,” he said. “But we changed our minds here and spent some more money on instrumentation to have more flexibility.” No Rush to EIS

Embraer Commercial ation CEO Paulo Cesar va told AIN that the early flight won’t likely translate

Despite a new wing and heavier engines, Embraer’s E190-E2 is designed so pilots will find it behaves just like its predecessor.

Eugênio de Melo facility, where the static/fatigue test airframe and the E190-E2 iron bird nests. The iron bird does not include an airframe, but it incorporates the E2’s components and systems, such as hydraulics, avionics and flight controls. The iron bird has so far performed 18,000 hours of tests since it began “flying” in mid-2015, and plans call for another 10,000 hours before expected certification in the first half of 2018. Test Aircraft

The program calls for the use of four flight-test airplanes. It expects the fourth—equipped with a full interior—late this year or early next year. While Embraer outfitted the first three airplanes identically to aid in schedule flexibility, plans call for the first airplane to perform mainly lowspeed and flight quality testing and the second airplane primarily high-speed testing. By the end of the campaign the first two airplanes will both participate in takeoff and landing performance testing, while the third concentrates on systems, explained director of flight operations and flight test engineer Alexandre Figueiredo. “Sometimes [other flight test campaigns] have different instrumentation between airplanes to

50  Farnborough Airshow News • July 11, 2016 • www.ainonline.com


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ATR pitching its -600s to U.S. regional carriers by Gregory Polek ATR has turned its attention to the U.S. market for its 600-series turboprops after several years of absence from scheduled service. As if to underscore the seriousness of its new marketing effort, it took an ATR 72-600 on a nine-city demonstration tour of North America this past spring, including a stop at the annual Regional Airline Association convention in Charlotte, North Carolina. ATR chief executive Patrick de Castelbajac, a former executive with Airbus in charge of the U.S. market, knows North America well, and harbors no illusions about the challenge a return of ATR to the region presents. “My experience with the U.S. airlines is they are very pragmatic people, they’re very rational people,” said de Castelbajac. “We didn’t place sufficient focus on the U.S. for a long time… When you have so much growth [in other parts of the world] and the U.S. doesn’t necessarily welcome you with open arms, you go to all the other places where people are asking you to come.” In fact, ATR (Chalet B25) has now sold more airplanes in Asia than in Europe, and holds a 90 percent share of the turboprop market in the Far East. Now counting more than 200 operators, ATR enjoys a broader market presence in terms of sheer numbers than does Boeing with the 737. Recently, growth has slowed somewhat, however, giving ATR another reason to prepare for a future that includes a presence in the biggest market in the world. Still, de Castelbajac harbors no intention to price the airplane well below cost simply to gain entrée into the U.S. “We certainly are willing to do a lot of discounting for U.S. carriers, but we’re not desperate to the point of having to take huge losses,” he said. “I don’t intend to buy my way in.” ATR has already addressed one clear prerequisite, as de Castelbajac explained, for attracting U.S. business in offering a forward passenger entrance, allowing access through jet bridges. It also has put more emphasis on multi-class cabins, another requirement of many potential U.S. customers. “The market here is very demanding in terms of comfort, so we also need at least two-class, sometimes three-class, which is

something that we were not necessarily keen on doing,” said de Castelbajac. “But we understand that it’s not a matter of whether we are keen or not keen, it’s a market requirement.” Half owned by Airbus and half by Leonardo-Finmeccanica,

nautical miles, where block time differences between a jet and ­turboprop are negligible. “There are five destinations from Charlotte that people fly to several times a day that are less than 100 miles away,” said de Castelbajac. “So that means basically you’re talking 20-minute flights, and we would do them in 23 minutes—except we burn 60 percent less fuel.” However, de Castelbajac admitted that ATR hadn’t yet entered end-stage talks with a U.S. airline, and he acknowledged that

of narrowbody production at Airbus and Boeing. For next year, ATR will watch how the market develops during the rest of 2016. “The market is slowing down a little bit, and we need to see…if this will last or not,” he said. “So we’ll just be rather conservative and stabilize at around 90, 90-plus, and then we’ll see. It will depend on a couple of things–whether India will really go big, and I believe that will be the case. And we need to see if we can break into China.”

you discuss it with them…when you see the models…it sometimes looks like an ATR, it sometimes looks like a Bombardier; sometimes I hear it’s going to be a 90-seater, sometimes I hear it’s going to be 70. “But for me the good thing about them launching the 700 is it kind of acknowledges the need for a turboprop in China.” Both China and India appear good prospects for a long-proposed 100-seat turboprop, launch of which remains stalled by hesitancy on the part of Airbus.

ATR understands it will have to address comfort as an issue in the U.S., planning on two-class, and three-class configurations of its -600 models.

ATR enjoys access to engineering resources and supplier relationships from the European consortium in particular that competitors do not, giving the ATR 72 what de Catelbajac described at cutting edge technology in the cockpit as well. “When Airbus invests billions into a system, we can benefit from part of this without investing what we would normally invest if we were a third party,” explained de Castelbajac. The new Thales flight deck in the 600-series ATRs and, of course, modern, quieter Pratt & Whitney PW127M engines represent two of the big differences between what the company offers today compared with the typical turboprop now flying in the U.S., which averages some 21 years of age. Meanwhile, as airlines jettison aging, less efficient regional jets and drop many of the routes on which they used to fly, ATR sees an opportunity to market both its 50-seat ATR 42-600 and 70-seat ATR 72-600 for segments of less than 300

in many cases a shortage of pilots has prompted airlines to prioritize routes served by mainline jets. In fact, over the past 10 years 400 regional routes have closed while only 200 have opened, resulting in a net loss of 200 routes, primarily to small communities. While de Catelbajac also attributed much of that phenomenon to airlines’ recognition of the cost ineffectiveness of 50-seat regional jets, ATR plans to do its part to address the cockpit crew problem with a new U.S. pilot training center to open by next February. As of May the company hadn’t decided on the location, but southern Florida appears a likely option given its North American headquarters and warehouse presence in Miami, said an ATR spokesman. After delivering 88 airplanes, ATR registered record revenues of some $2 billion last year. This year it plans to produce some 90 airplanes, as it manages what de Castelbajac called a supply chain challenge exacerbated by rapid acceleration

52  Farnborough Airshow News • July 11, 2016 • www.ainonline.com

ATR CEO Patrick de Castelbajac banks on pragmatism from U.S. carriers, as they phase out their aging regional jets.

While regional aircraft account for some 20 percent of the world’s fleet, in China they account for roughly two percent, noted Castelbajac, clearly suggesting an opportunity for ATR. No ATRs now fly in China, whose own turboprop program—the Xi’an MA700— would conceivably address a need Castelbajac considers substantial. “I don’t know what [the MA700] is today, because when

Meanwhile, de Castelbajac dismisses suggestions that Leonardo-Finmeccanica could pursue the project on its own given ATR’s long association with such an influential industry player as Airbus. “There are two legs we are standing on and I think we need both,” he said. “I don’t think it would be reasonable for any shareholder to go on its own. Because our position in the market is quite a strong one, so to say basically ‘I disregard all this capital I’ve built over the years’…I’m not sure it’s the right thing to do. “Second…Airbus has amazing know-how in terms of developing new aircraft, so to say we will do a regional aircraft without Airbus, it is not something I would recommend,” concluded de Castelbajac. “My belief is one day ATR will do it, but there is no point in rushing.”  o


BOEING

This year, Boeing Aircraft is celebrating its 100th anniversary. First incorporated in 1916 by budding pilot and aviation enthusiast William Boeing, the company has become synonymous with the U.S. airline manufacturing industry, and also relies heavily on its military successes, present and past, for its corporate identity. In the first three issues of AIN’s Farnborough Airshow News, Pete Combs delves into the company history. Look out for parts two and three in our July 12 and 13 editions, or find the entire text online at our website, AINonline.com Model 40

Model 8

Far from the plants where airplanes are built, away from the excitement of engineering discovery and the glamor of test pilots’ derring-do, Michael Lombardi’s domain is a large room on the basement level of a nondescript building at Boeing’s Bellevue, Washington campus. It is a bunker crammed with papers, blueprints, models—even a mannequin in a flight suit. Here, Lombardi quietly and faithfully sifts through reams of corporate documents, pores over correspondence and delicately catalogs precious artifacts. This is the place in the Boeing collective brain where memories are stored. As Boeing gears up to celebrate its centennial, this is Ground Zero.

In the Beginning…

Like many aviation ventures, the Boeing Company started as a love story between a young man and an airplane. It was 1909, at the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition in Seattle. William Boeing, the 28-year-old son of a wealthy German mining and lumber magnate, was enthralled. He was a tinkerer, a perfectionist who often toyed with designing boats. Fascinated by vehicles that could sail the sky, Boeing was determined to learn all he could about this new endeavor called “aviation.” “At that time I was merely desirous of learning to fly,” Boeing told writer Harold Crary. “In August [1914], I started a course under the tutelage of Lloyd Smith. On completing the course, I ordered for my personal use a plane known as Model TA from the Martin factory. The machine was delivered to me in October of 1915 and, being convinced that there was a definite future in aviation, I became interested in the construction as well as the flying of aircraft.” Perhaps his interest in building aircraft was spurred by a crash that partially wrecked the Martin hydroaeroplane. Martin told Boeing it would take months to fabricate the necessary replacement parts. Boeing told his close friend, Lt. George Conrad Westervelt (USN), “We

Model C

could build a better plane ourselves and build it faster.” Westervelt went to work on designing the aircraft he and his friend called the “B&W”—for Boeing and Westervelt. But before they began to assemble it, Westervelt wanted to make sure it was safe. That led to a radical new procedure that is employed by aircraft designers to this day; Westervelt, a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, sent a scale model of the plane to his alma mater for evaluation. The model spent six hours in the university’s wind tunnel before Westerveldt pronounced it airworthy. Boeing aeronautical engineer Sarah Musi sits in the company’s archival bunker, her hands covered with white cotton gloves. Gingerly, she unfolds an ancient piece of paper covered with lines and plot points. It is the first-ever wind tunnel data from the B&W test. Though aeronautical researcher (and tower designer) Gustav Eiffel in France and the Wright Brothers in the U.S. had used their own wind tunnels in early experiments, the technology was not in common use at this early stage of aviation. “This was new,” Musi told AIN, her eyes gleaming. “Nobody in the United States was doing this. From tribal knowledge and memory, aircraft designers would fly first and test later. That is not what we’re about today. Now, we spend years in wind tunnel testing before we build anything. Back then, they spent all of six hours.”

B&W

54  Farnborough Airshow News • July 11, 2016 • www.ainonline.com

B-1 (Model 6)

The design proved stable. Based on that, Boeing and Westervelt started work on their “B&W,” a boxy-looking biplane on floats. Exactly a month later, Boeing established Pacific Aero Products (on July 15, 1916), employing 21 men and women who, on average, earned 23 cents an hour. Less than a year later, business was booming. Pacific Aero Products, newly renamed the Boeing Airplane Company, began building the Model C, a floatplane designed to train Navy pilots. By the end of World War I, Boeing employed 355 workers. But when the war ended in late 1918, peacetime amounted to hard times for the fledgling company. The Boeing Airplane Company began making furniture, cases for photographs, even materials used to manufacture women’s corsets. In the meantime, Boeing was trying to convert the process of building military aircraft to making airplanes for civilian purposes. At times, Boeing had to use money from his successful timber business to keep the aircraft operation going. There was little market for the Model C in a market flush with military surplus planes. So one day, Boeing and pilot Eddie Hubbard took off for Vancouver, British Columbia with 60 letters on board for the Canadian Exposition—in the process, inventing “air mail.” In 1919, the Boeing B-1 (also known as the Model 6) flying boat took to the sky, the first outright civilian design in the company’s short history. Only one was built, but it was the beginning of a new phase for Boeing. The following May, the Model 8 made its first flight and soon became the first aircraft to fly over Mt. Rainier. In 1925, convinced that an air-cooled radial engine would be more efficient and practical than an inline liquid-cooled powerplant, the company used a radial in the design of the Model 40, built to replace the worn-out de Havilland DH-4s carrying mail. With the Model 40, Boeing won a government contract to fly mail between Chicago and San Francisco, a route later flown by the tri-motor Model 80. “It is a matter of great pride and satisfaction to me to realize that within the short space of 12 years, an infant company with a personnel of less than a dozen Continued on page 56


BOEING

Boeing-Designed Aircraft B&W Model 1

a lot of the structural programs used in the

extensive military service with the Army and Navy

First flight: June 15, 1916

XP-8 design (see below). It was a much better

prior to World War II.

men has grown to be the largest plant in America, devoted solely to the manufacture of aircraft, and at the present time employing approximately 1,000 men,” Boeing told reporters in 1928.

This utility seaplane was William Boeing’s first

aircraft than many of its predecessors, owing

project, undertaken with his friend, Lt. George

in large part to its air-cooled 425 hp Pratt and

Model 95

Conrad Westervelt (USN). They both had devel-

Whitney Wasp engine. Although it never saw

First flight: Dec. 29, 1928

oped a yearning to fly. But after Boeing’s Martin

combat, the Model 69 gained fame as the air-

A mail and cargo carrier for Boeing Air Transport.

First Airliner

Hydroaeroplane was damaged in a crash, replace-

craft flown by the Three Sea Hawks, the U.S.

ment parts were impossible to find. So at Boeing’s

Navy’s first-ever precision aerobatic team.

Boeing executives quickly realized that the future of flight was in all-metal aircraft rather than the steel-tube, canvas, wood and wire airframes that prevailed until the late 1920s. In 1930, the company built the first two Monomail aircraft—fast and sleek, but underpowered. Without a better powerplant and a constant-speed propeller, the Monomail was considered a failure. But the company profited from the knowledge it gained, and in 1933, Boeing introduced the twin-engine Model 247, considered the world’s first “modern” airliner. Built completely of metal, the 247 included a fully cantilevered wing, retractable landing gear and de-icing boots. In an era of spotty engine reliability, the 247 could fly on just one powerplant in an emergency. It was faster than the best fighters of the era, capable of carrying 14 passengers and a crew of three from New York to San Francisco in less than 20 hours.

Model 40A

These were Boeing’s first monoplane fighters,

First flight: May 20, 1927

high-wing aircraft fully constructed of metal. Both

Model C

Built by Boeing to fly mail between Chicago

were experimental versions, but did not attain

First flight: Nov. 16 1916

and San Francisco. Twenty-four were deliv-

production status.

The first “all-Boeing” aircraft design, the Model C

ered by 1 July 1927. They flew in the Boeing Air

seaplane was built as a trainer for the U.S. Navy.

Transport livery.

“better and faster” than the Martin aircraft.

Boeing executives knew the 247 presented a tremendous advantage and decided to keep that advantage to themselves. UATC, Boeing’s airline division (later United Air Lines) ordered the first sixty 247s off the drawing board, meaning competing airlines would not have access to the new design for years. Infuriated, companies like TWA turned to the Douglas Aircraft Corporation and its DC-2 design. It was a blow from which the 247 never really recovered. Boeing built just 75 of them while Douglas went on to build 198 DC-2s, 607 DC-3s and, during World War II, more than 10,000 C-47s and other military variants of the DC-3.

Parting Company

By the late 1920s, Boeing’s Seattle-based company had its hands in just about every aspect of aviation, from manufacturing to maintenance, from flight training to scheduled air service. It was one of a number of burgeoning airlines that competed for passengers and for government contracts to carry the mail. By 1928, Boeing had garnered more than a third of the nation’s commercial air routes. The airlines became profitable thanks in large part to contracts with the Postal Service to carry airmail. But in 1934, as the nation’s financial crisis deepened, profitability was viewed with deep suspicion and regulators pounced on the young airline industry. One aspect of this was suspected collusion involving airmail contracts. William Boeing went to Capitol Hill to defend himself and his wide-ranging company before a Senate committee investigating the airmail scandal. Although the Senate investigators found the airlines in general and Boeing in particular had done nothing wrong, Boeing’s company was to be broken up, divided into: United Aircraft, which included Pratt & Whitney, Sikorsky Aviation (not yet building helicopters) and Hamilton-Standard Propeller; United Air Lines; and the Boeing Aircraft Company. His aviation dreams shattered, the aviation pioneer sold his interests in the company that bore his name and retired to a life of horse breeding and real estate. William Boeing died September 28, 1956.  o

Models 200/221 Monomail First flight: May 6, 1930

Boeing built 50 Model Cs, including one used by

Model 66 (XP-8)

Rather than relying on sheer horsepower to

First flight: July 14, 1927

increase performance, these aircraft were

Model 6 (B-1)

Although it never entered production, the Model

designed to be sleeker and faster than their

First flight December 27, 1919

66 became a demonstration platform for a num-

biplane predecessors. But where the airframe

Only one of these pusher-prop seaplanes was

ber of Boeing technological advancements.

was revolutionary, powerplants had yet to

Boeing himself to deliver the first airmail.

built—sold to Boeing test pilot Eddie Hubbard

catch up. The Monomail was underpowered and

and used to fly the mail between Seattle and

Model 77 (F3B-1)

Victoria, BC, Canada.

First flight: Feb 3, 1928

flopped as a result.

These fighter-bombers served aboard the USN

Model 7 (BB-1)

Model 96 (XP-9)

carriers Saratoga and Lexington. A total of 74

First flight: Nov. 18, 1930

First flight: January 7, 1920

were built.

This fighter was actually the first monoplane

Two of these aircraft, a seaplane and a land-

Model 247

Models 202/205 (XP-15/F5B-1) First flight: January 1930

urging, they decided to build their own airplane,

fighter to start its way through the Boeing factory,

based aircraft, were built as smaller versions of

Model 6E/204

the Model 6. They were used to fly mail

First flight: March 4, 1928

and passengers.

This resurrected B-1D design was intended for

Models 214/215 (Y1B-9/YB-9)

civil transport. Boeing’s Canadian subsidiary built

First flight: April 13, 1931

Model 8 (BB-L6)

four of them, designated C-204s. Another 15 were

Built at company expense, these aircraft

First flight: May 24, 1920

constructed between 1928 and 1929.

were intended as proof that the monoplane

This land-based aircraft was covered with wood

but was delayed.

concept would greatly improve the perfor-

instead of fabric, becoming the first airplane to fly

Model 81 (XN2B-1)

mance of bombers, traditionally the slowest

over Washington’s Mt. Rainier.

First flight: June 21, 1928

aircraft in the fleet. But for all their advances

Two of these primary trainers were built for use at

in airframe and powerplant technology, they

the Boeing School of Aeronautics in Oakland, CA.

still featured open cockpits.

This was the first successful Boeing fighter

Model 80

design, establishing the company’s reputation

First flight: July 27, 1928

Models 248/259 (P-26 “Peashooter”)

as a military aircraft manufacturer. Boeing

The Model 40A proved so successful on the

First flight: March 20, 1932

eventually built 157 Model 15s, including variants.

Chicago-San Francisco mail and passenger runs

Contemporaries of the Japanese Claude

that Boeing decided to follow it up with the much

fighters and similar in design, the Peashooters

Model 21 (NB-1/NB-2)

larger Model 80. Capable of carrying 12 passen-

were sent to China to battle against the

First flight October 20, 1923

gers with a cabin that featured hot and cold run-

invading Japan air forces in the late 1930s.

Boeing built 77 of these trainers, based on the

ning water, the Model 80 was soon followed by

The Army ordered 136 of them.

Model 15 design, between 1923 and 1927.

the Model 80A, which could carry 18 passengers.

Model 15 (PW-9/FB) First flight: June 2, 1923

While many European airlines employed men as

Model 40

Model 236 (XF6B-1)

stewards on their flights, Boeing hired registered

First flight: Feb. 1, 1933

First flight: July 7, 1925

nurses—all females—to staff the cabins of the

Aside from the Stearman, this fighter was the last

These aircraft were designed to fly a single pilot

Model 80s. A total of 16 Model 80 and its variants

biplane Boeing ever built.

and 1,000 pounds of mail, the first non-military

were built.

design Boeing delivered since 1920.

Model 64

Model 83/Model 89 (F4B/P-12)

Model 247 First flight: Feb. 8, 1933

First flight: June 25, 1928

Heralded as the first modern airliner, this

First flight: Feb. 1926

The most popular military design by Boeing to

twin-engine commercial aircraft was all-

This floatplane trainer was designed for the mili-

date, the Model 83 and its close relative, the

metal and could accommodate 10 passen-

tary at Boeing’s own expense, but did not result in

Model 89, set the standard for American air

gers, a flight attendant and two flight officers.

a contract for the company. As a result, only one

power between World Wars. In all, 586 of these

Although only 75 were built and the Model

was built. It was used for a time as Boeing’s com-

aircraft were built until production ended in 1933.

247 was a distant second to the commer-

pany aircraft before it was sold.

cial success of the Douglas DC-2 and DC-3,

Model 40B-4

several of the Boeing twins were in commer-

First flight: Oct. 5, 1928

cial service well into the late 1960s. The last

First flight: Oct. 7, 1926

Built to carry airmail, the Model 40B-4 was the

known flying model was recently delivered to

The FB-5 was the most widely produced version

major production model of this type. Most flew for

the Museum of Flight in Seattle.

of the Model 15 fighter

Boeing’s airline subsidiaries.

Model 69 (F2B-1)

Model 235 (F4B-4)

First flight: Nov. 3, 1926

First flight: May 5, 1929

The first Boeing fighters to feature retractable

Boeing built 35 of these fighters, incorporating

A derivative of the popular F4B, this aircraft saw

landing gear and cantilever-wing construction.

Model 67 (FB-5)

56  Farnborough Airshow News • July 11, 2016 • www.ainonline.com

Models 264/273 (YP-29/XF7B-1) First flight: Sept. 14, 1933


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Ukraine’s aerospace industry: is it primed for NATO-vation?

Once a mainstay of the USSR’s military industrial complex, Ukraine now faces the daunting task of addressing markets other than Russia, its primary customer since the fall of the Soviet Union. Products include: the Antonov An-124 heavy lifter (right); air-to-air missiles (below); and airdefense radar systems (left).

by Reuben Johnson If there was an award for the most promising—yet unfulfilled—aerospace industry, it might be that of the former Soviet republic, Ukraine. For many years, Ukraine’s industry has been providing engines, radars, avionics and missiles to Russian enterprises for final installation in finished products being rolled out of factories in places such as Moscow, Komsomolsk-on-Amur and Kazan. But since military conflict broke out between Ukraine and Russian-backed fighters in 2014, exports of military-use items from Ukraine to Russia have been embargoed. Ukraine now has to find a way forward in the world market on its own. The best-known products of Ukrainian industry are probably the massive Antonov An-124 Ruslan and An-225 Mriya cargo lifters, which are the two largest aircraft in the world. At the Farnborough International Airshow this week, the country’s aerospace export agency Ukroboronprom (Hall 2 Stand A210) is presenting a full-scale model of the new An-178 medium-sized military transport aircraft. The collapse of the former Soviet Union’s governmental structures happened so quickly that Russia, Ukraine and other former Soviet republics found themselves holding pieces of a once centrally-planned aerospace empire while not having much of a plan for how they would move forward as separate entities. After The Fall

“Some Russian planners could see the end coming—the fall of the Soviet empire,” said a former high-ranking Ukrainian military intelligence official speaking to AIN on condition of anonymity. “Already in the late 1980s there were valuable military assets being moved out of Ukraine and into Russia so that they would be on Russian soil when the end came for the USSR. But there was no way to relocate the massive Ukrainian defense industrial network into Russia— there were just too many assets that could not be moved.” Other than the Antonov design bureau and its associated production plants, Ukraine had on its territory a number of valuable aerospace industrial assets. Several of these are showcasing their products and capabilities here this week: • Numerous specialized firms in the area of radar and electronic warfare technology. Several of these enterprises had personnel break away and form smaller, private firms that exist to this day. Many advancements and improvements for the Mikoyan MiG-29 and Sukhoi Su-27’s internal avionics were developed by these entities. • Air defense systems design, configuration and production assets. Some of the USSR’s main air defense educational assets also were resident in Ukraine. Some

of these companies today have developed modern, digital upgrades for Soviet-era air defense systems that give these platforms a new lease on life. • The city of Zaparozhye is home to the dual enterprises of the IvchenkoProgress aeroengine design bureau and the Motor Sich engine production center. Among other products, the company manufactures the Klimov TV3-117 series of helicopter turboshaft engines that are used in the popular Mil Mi-17 helicopter and its derivatives. Some 95 percent of Russian helicopters are fitted with engines from Motor Sich. • Ukraine also was the home to major production centers and design houses for the missile industry. The line of famous Vympel air-to-air missiles (AAM) like the R-27 (AA-10), the R-73 (AA-11) and R-77 (AA-12) were all initially produced at the Artem plant in Kiev. • One of the manufacturing enterprises for the Phazotron N019 and N011 radar sets that are used in the MiG-29 and Su-27 are produced at the Novator plant in Khmelnitskiy in the western region of Ukraine. This factory became the supplier for many of the radar sets provided to the People’s Liberation Army Air Force (China’s PLAAF) for its Su-27s and its reverse-engineered copies of the aircraft, designated as J-11B. Where Are The Markets

As mentioned above, after independence Ukraine initially was providing the same components for military products sold to Russia’s export customers that it had always supplied to Russia’s military as well. Some of the sales made to foreign clients in the early 1990s (at a time when Moscow was desperate for export orders) could not have been brought to contract completion without Ukrainian industry. The production of the first batch of Su-27SK fighters sold to Beijing in 1991 required deliveries of products from 44 separate Ukrainian enterprises. Ukraine also provided training for maintenance personnel, support systems, missiles and

58  Farnborough Airshow News • July 11, 2016 • www.ainonline.com

other major components. In all, up to 60 percent of all Ukraine defense exports were being sold to Russia. But, a decade later, the number of Ukrainian firms still participating in the delivery of components for follow-on orders to China totaled only 14. Only two plants in Ukraine were still producing parts for the final assembly of the Su-30MKI that has become the backbone of the Indian Air Force. This pattern of Moscow “weaning” its industry off of its dependence on Ukraine continued in other nations as well that were customers for Russian weapon systems, like arranging things so that as many parts as possible for Malaysia were provided by Russian enterprises. But with the total ban on any products from Ukraine being shipped to Russia, Ukraine’s enterprises have had to come up with plans to stay in the market, but without supporting Moscow’s military ambitions in the process. One example would be the helicopter engines that are produced at Motor Sich. Ukraine now ships the engines required directly to the customers that are users of Russian helicopters. Motor Sich and others have even developed upgrade programs for the M-17 and other helicopters that are independent of Russia. “In the past we would not have gone off on our own and have risked incurring the wrath of the [Russian] OEM,” said one Ukrainian enterprise representative. “But in the current environment no one is going to ask the Russians for ‘permission’ to do anything.” The AI-222-25 engine is sold to the PLAAF to power the Hongdu L-15 jet trainer that is being exported from China. The engine is also being developed in several higher-thrust versions for additional applications.

Both U.S. and other NATO-nation analysts see that there is still a substantial market for Ukraine to be able to support the armed forces of NATO states and other nations still operating Russian-designed equipment. Upgrades of the MiG-29, Mi-17 and Mi-24 and others could be a lucrative business. These countries are sometimes not in the position to acquire new, Western model platforms immediately. One promising project is the An-178 twin-jet transport. There has been some investment in the program by China, and analysts describe it as an airplane that could compete someday with the Lockheed Martin C-130 and other similar aircraft. The missile design bureau of Luch in Kiev has—along with others—also developed derivatives of the R-27 missile that could turn this design into an effective surface-to-air missile in the same manner that Raytheon’s AIM-7 and AIM-120 AAMs have been adapted for air defense roles. “There are numerous SA-6, SA-8 and even SA-3 batteries still in use around the world,” said a Ukrainian defense enterprise director. “Countries still want to keep operating them. We can upgrade them here in Ukraine, which relieves them of the need to ask for Moscow’s very expensive engineering solutions.” But many of the same countries also need new missiles to go with the upgraded air defense launchers and radars, he explained. “Adding one of the Raytheon missiles to these SAM units or some other AAM that has been converted for an air defense application, like the Diehl IRIS-T, is just too expensive for most of the nations using these older Soviet-era air defense systems.” What Ukraine lacks, however, is a comprehensive plan for restructuring its defense industrial structure, explained a former U.S. defense official. “The country needs to simultaneously rebuild its industry to be compatible with NATO, develop products that support its troops in the field fighting against pro-Russian separatist units in the Donbas, and produce innovations that can be sold on the world market.” The Ukroboronprom presence at Farnborough also includes maintenance, repair and overhaul specialist Mykolayiv Aircraft Repair Plant, defense development and production group Mayak and export/import agencies Ukrspetexport and Ukrinmash. o


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The H225M (left) during the recent firstfiring trials of the HForce generic weapons system. The HForce package is now being adapted to the smaller H145M (right), prior to a first flight early next year.

Airbus HForce casts civil helicopters in military roles by Chris Pocock Airbus Helicopters and its predecessors have been highly successful producers of civil helicopters—big, medium and small—over a 50-year period. At the same time, the company’s experience with the dedicated Tiger attack helicopter over the past 25 years has been mixed, with development delays, funding holdups and failed sales campaigns. This helps explain why it is now adapting its commercial range for attack purposes. The marketing handle for this drive is “HForce,” and the aim is to use a “modular, incremental

approach to producing affordable, high-performance multipurpose military helicopters,” according to Christian Fanchini, senior operational marketing manager. The former French Army helicopter pilot described progress in the two-year-old initiative during a mid-June media briefing at Airbus Helicopters’ Donauwörth site in Germany. Any of the company’s 11 current civil helicopters could theoretically be adapted with the generic HForce weapons system. For now, though, Airbus Helicopters is concentrating on the

H125 single-engine machine, the H145 light twin and the H225 heavy helicopter. These were formerly designated the AS350B3, BK117D/EC145T2 and EC725 respectively. As military helicopters, the suffix ‘M’ is added to the new designations. Fanchini reported on the first HForce firing campaign, which took place in late May/ early June on the H225M. The 11-ton, 19-passenger machine was fitted with an L-3 Wescam Mx15 EO/IR sensor/rangefinder turret and a Rockwell Collins FMC-4000 mission computer.

60  Farnborough Airshow News • July 11, 2016 • www.ainonline.com

Airbus Helicopters developed the software and added special firing grips to the controls. The pilots wore Thales Scorpion helmet-mounted sight displays (HMSDs). The H225M was armed with FN Herstal 12.7 mm HMP400 machine guns; a 20mm Nexter cannon; and a 70mm FZ rocket pod, all on specially-designed mounts. Those weapons are all ballistic, but guided weapons such as Hellfire anti-tank missiles, Mistral air-to-air missiles and laser-guided rockets can be added if customers request them.

The latter can help the helicopter stay out of range of hostile 7.62mm ground fire, but armor has been developed for them, as well as self-sealing fuel tanks. Pilots can fire the weapons through the HMSD, or a gunner can fire through the turret. This can be slaved to elevation, allowing firing to be done while in the hover. Airbus Helicopters (Outdoor Exhibits 13, 25) plans to qualify the H225M by the end of next year. Meanwhile, it plans to add the same HForce weapons system to an H145M and fly it early next year. The H145M has already achieved major sales success in the U.S., where the army chose it for training and ordered 350. The German army has bought 15 for special operations, and examples for the Australian and Thai armed forces are currently in production at Donauwörth. It can be variously equipped for medevac, SAR and ISR missions. o


AIA urges aerospace industry to go global

With over 30 years of operating history and more than 1,200 copies in service, Toulouse-based airframer ATR is confident it will have a growing share of the expanding worldwide market for new turboprops. This Braathens ATR 72 from Sweden is on the Farnborough static display this week.

DAVID McINTOSH

by Bill Carey

ATR confident in continued growth of turboprop market; and its share by Ian Sheppard Toulouse-based manufacturer ATR (Chalet B25) comes to Farnborough full of confidence as the Franco-Italian company (owned 50:50 by Airbus Group and Leonardo-Finmeccanica) continues its extraordinary revival of a turboprop airliner market many once thought was dead. Some 10 years after it began a comeback from a virtual shutdown, ATR produced 88 aircraft last year, 70 percent of a growing worldwide turboprop fleet, and is confident of making 100 aircraft this year—and at least maintaining that over the next 20 years. It predicts it could take 80 percent of a market for up to 2,800 aircraft (112 a year)—and now has the capacity to produce 120 a year if demand requires it. Speaking to reporters last week, v-p marketing Zuzana Hrnkova said ATR is “the reference in this market segment” and has delivered 1,270 aircraft from a total that has now reached 1,530 firm orders—making its order share 80 percent since 2010, and “40 percent of all regional aircraft up to 100 seats.” Revealing the company’s new market forecast Hrnkova said that ATR had created a new “flow model” for predicting new city pairs (routes), related to factors such as population, airport activity, GDP and distance. For 2016-2035 this forecasts a 3.2 percent per annum rate of fleet growth for route creation, while ATR sees 3.5 percent for growth on existing routes but a

decline of 2.9 percent as existing turboprops are traded out for larger (i.e. jet) aircraft. “So the average annual growth will be 3.9 percent over the next 20 years, assuming GDP growth of 3 percent.” She said the key point is that 50 percent of growth will come from route creation. “We predict more than 3,000 new routes will be opened, and this will require 900 turboprop aircraft.” The 2,800 total turboprops splits into 600 in the 40- to 60-seat category (that the ATR 42 could fulfil) and 2,200 in the 61- to 80-seat range (where the ATR 72 sits). Of the 2,100 turboprop airliner fleet now, ATR forecasts that 1,100 will remain in 2035, 1,000 will be replacement aircraft, and the other 1,800 will be to provide for growth (given the average of 3.9 percent). In terms of geographical split, ATR forecasts as follows: Asia Pacific (excluding China) 28 percent; China 10 percent; Latin America and the Caribbean, 14 percent; Europe and the CIS, 21 percent; North America, 16 percent; and Africa and the Middle East, 11 percent. Hrnkova added that there was little evidence of demand at present for a 90-seat turboprop—suggesting that the business case was not there yet. “We have not excluded any possibility in aircraft improvement and development,” she told journalists. Meanwhile ATR head of market strategy Bertrand Pabon, who led the

team compiling the new forecast, suggested that a “100-seat turboprop could stimulate the market.” Product Improvements

Hrnkova said, “Our strategy is to maintain our strength and continuously innovate and improve our product.” To that end, she said the company’s engineers were working on cockpit avionics “Standard 3” for introduction in 2018, and this will be able to accommodate the in-development ClearVision system (which is being shown by ATR’s static display). The system, which allows “equivalent visual operations,” includes a Skylens Head Wearable Display (HWD) and EVS infrared camera, allowing approaches to lower minimums in low-visibility conditions, enhanced further by overlaying synthetic 3D terrain. “This extends the flexibility of operations…and helps to avoid unstable approaches,” said Hrnkova. She also reflected on improvements over the past few years, including the upgrade to the -600 Series for both the ATR 72 and 50-seater ATR 42, with the Armonia cabin; a new high-density configuration that was certified last December (Cebu Pacific of the Philippines is launch customer); and the CargoFlex combi option that entered service with PNG Airlines last year. In addition, a new Smart Galley, which can be quickly reconfigured depending on requirements, is now available.  o

The U.S. Aerospace Industries Association’s (AIA) theme for this year’s Farnborough Airshow—“Global Partnerships Take Flight”—says a lot about the aerospace industry, if not about relationships among sovereign governments. After missing the 2014 Farnborough Airshow, the F-35 Lightning II, a prime example of a multinational program among governments, will finally take flight at this year’s airshow. “With a great deal of credit to the F-35 being a multinational program, I think it’s easy for folks to forget that pretty much every system that’s going to be on display at the show is a multinational system,” said Remy Nathan, AIA vice president for international affairs. “We’re clearly a global network and a global industry.” At the same time, the airshow convenes in the immediate aftermath of Britain’s June 23 “Brexit” vote to withdraw from the 28-nation European Union. Viewed in the context of the F-35 partnership, the political break-up separates the UK from F-35 operators (and EU member states) Denmark, Italy and the Netherlands—although all remain partners in the NATO alliance. While the ramifications of the EU divorce remain unclear, the AIA (Hall 2, U.S. Pavilion Booth A22), speaking for the U.S. aerospace industry, expressed a determination to work through any complications. “For the U.S. industry we have confidence that we will figure out a way to make it work,” said Nathan. “The UK relationship is very significant to us in aerospace and defense, as is the EU relationship. All three parties are going to be actively

managing the way forward.” On the commercial side of the industry, in areas such as regulation and aircraft certification, there is already significant “engagement and cooperation,” Nathan noted, among agencies such as the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and the European Aviation Safety Agency, which is an EU entity. “Everyone believes in harmonization,” he said. “You’re going to see some blips and maybe some wiggle there, but I’m not expecting there to be suddenly three major certification processes completely distinct from one another.” AIA supports the presence of U.S. government aircraft and aircrews at Farnborough. This year, U.S.-flagged aircraft on display will include the Lockheed Martin C-130J, F-16 and Lockheed-Sikorsky MH-60 Black Hawk, Boeing F/A-18, F-15, P-8 Poseidon and AH-64 Apache, and the Alenia C-27. The American public as much as anyone should take notice of the solid U.S. presence, Nathan said. “I think it’s a good opportunity to draw some attention from a U.S. audience, both American citizens and political types,” he offered. “In this election year, we’ve seen quite a lot of talk about trade and the concerns that people have with it, and the U.S. being left behind in some ways. Here you’ve got an industry in the U.S. that’s a global leader. You look around Farnborough and you can see it happening—we’re not the only game in town. We’re trying to take the attitude as industry, as ‘Team USA’ in general, that we cannot take our track record of success for granted.” o

MARCEL DASSAULT HONORED BY FRENCH AIR FORCE French aviation giant Marcel Dassault (1892-1986) has been honored by the French air force’s Ecole de l’Air by bestowing his name on the 2015 class of officer graduates. Out of more than 80 such classes to have emerged from the world-renowned academy, only two have previously been named for civilians: Louis Blériot and Clément Ader. Born as Marcel Bloch, Dassault’s first major contribution to the French air force was to develop the Eclair (“Lightning”) propeller in 1916. In 1934 the current company was founded, Bloch adopting the name Dassault after World War II. The company has delivered nearly 4,200 aircraft to the French air force. —D.D.

www.ainonline.com • July 11, 2016 • Farnborough Airshow News  61


RAYTHEON LEADS LEONARDO’S T-X BID

MARK WAGNER

On parade outside the Leonardo-Finmeccanica chalet (L1) is an M-346 advanced jet trainer representing the company’s bid to win the U.S. Air Force’s potentially lucrative T-X competition. When it was known as Alenia Aermacchi, the Italian company originally planned to offer a U.S.tailored M-346 on its own, designating its T-X competitor as the T-100. In January 2013 Alenia teamed with General Dynamics as prime contractor, but the U.S. company withdrew just over two years later. On February 22 this year Raytheon announced that it would be the prime contractor leading the T-100 team, which includes the Italian airframer, engine supplier Honeywell and training systems/simulator specialist CAE.  —D.D.

Trent XWB-97 is progressing well by Ian Goold British engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce (R-R) is “really happy” with good Trent XWB97 performance results that have generated a “high confidence of achieving targets.” By mid-June, test engines had completed more than 1,350 hours and 1,950 cycles, built “upon the solid foundation of Trent XWB-84,” said head of marketing Tim Boddy. The Trent XWB is the exclusive powerplant for the Airbus A350 XWB, for which the airframe manufacturer had (by June) orders from 42 customers for 802 aircraft, including 181 stretched, XWB-97-powered A350-1000 models and 16 shorter-body A350-800 variants. By then, 24 XWB-84-engined A350-900s were flying with six operators: Qatar Airways, Vietnam Airlines, Finnair, LATAM, Singapore Airlines, and Cathay Pacific. Overall, the Trent XWB engine fleet had completed more than 37,800 individual flights, logging very close to 110,000 engine flight-hours. The leading engines had recorded 1,127 flights and almost 6,400 hours, respectively. Boddy said that the fleet is “working well,” with R-R “very satisfied” after some 18 months of operations with what he described as “the bestever” entry into service. Following what the executive terms “major industrial investments,” R-R (Chalet D3,

Hall 4 Stand B18) is establishing a second Trent XWB production build line at its Derby, UK main base, to support planned higher assembly rates for up to 20 engines per month (to power 10 A350s). Manufacture is being ramped up over about two years from 2.6 a week in late 2015 to 4.9 (including about one TXWB97) a week before 2018. R-R expects to build one XWB per day by next year, having successfully achieved a parts-supply and production trial that saw “four engines assembled in four days.” Maximum production should reach 6.4 XWBs per week by mid-2019, with monthly output comprising about 17 XWB-84s and around ten -97s. By last month, some 139 engines were “in the production cycle and, with the manufacturer maintaining a current throughput of three a week, perhaps as many as 165 are now undergoing assembly or have been delivered. To demonstrate production capacity, which R-R is “constantly testing,” the company will try “to ‘pulse’ at five a week.” Meanwhile, Boddy says that engine-maker is “building in” technology by taking what he termed “development learning” from XWB-97s (that generate up to 97,000 pounds of thrust) back into the XWB-84 (up to 84,000 pounds thrust)—an

exercise the company hopes will yield a 1 percent improvement in specific fuel consumption in the planned Trent XWB-84 EP (Enhanced Performance) model. For this variant, R-R has a series of modifications and changes in different areas of the engine: • Intermediate- and high-pressure compressors: Improved stator-blade aerodynamics; •C  ombustor and high-pressure turbine: Redesigned combustor port, “low-flow” turbine blade and nozzle guide vane, increased hade-angle blade tip, and reduced cooling-seal segment; • Intermediate-pressure turbine: “Low-flow” turbine blade and nozzle guide vane, and re-balanced stage loading; • Low-pressure turbine: Improved

inter-stage sealing, and aerodynamic redesign around higher radius; and • Whole engine: Re-profiled outer-turbine annulus, “highflow”/high-authority turbine-case cooling, secondary air system optimization, and improved sealing. Looking to the Future

Five months after announcing the XWB-84EP, R-R already has its eyes on the next events in what it dubs a “continuous improvement journey.” An initial engine run in early 2018 will follow a critical design review for the new variant in the latter part of next year—for which Singapore Airlines is the launch customer. R-R hopes to see the engine making a first testbed flight in early 2019 before entering service aboard ultra-long-range variants of the A350-900 early in the following year, according to general program timelines. The company expects to

Rolls-Royce has been flight-testing the 97,000-lb-thrust Trent XWB-97 on this Airbus A380 testbed. Pictured is the engine’s first test flight in November 2015.

62  Farnborough Airshow News • July 11, 2016 • www.ainonline.com

“deliver the first Trent XWB84EP to Airbus by the end of 2019,” said Boddy. The A350-1000’s Trent XWB-97 powerplant sports a higher-flow fan, larger core, and “high-capability” turbines, while maintaining the earlier variant’s aerodynamic lines. More than 70 percent of XWB97 certification tests have been completed, with R-R having operated as many as six engines simultaneously. The work began with a 150-hour first engine run that Boddy believes provided a “very good demonstration of maturity.” Regarding further Trent XWB development to address any stretch beyond the A3501000 (in a possible new model variously dubbed A350-1100, -2000, and -8000), Boddy said that R-R is “ready to offer a technology solution” to meet any requirement and is seeking to provide “maximum commonality with all the thrust you need.”  o


DAVID DONALD

Rafael’s Drone Dome system can be assembled into an easily deployable unit controlled from a single-person, two-screen operator station.

Israel’s Rafael creates protective ‘Drone Dome’ by David Donald Rafael (Chalet C22) has developed a system that counters the growing threat of microand nano-UAVs. This threat has proliferated with the growing commercial availability of small drones, which pose dangers of both intrusive and more malicious natures. “As part of our multi-layered defense solution, all with the purpose of sealing the skies against a variety of

aerial threats, we have addressed a new threat—hostile drones,” explained Rafael’s president and CEO, Yoav Har-Even. “Drone Dome is an innovative end-toend system designed to provide effective airspace defense against hostile drones used by terrorists to perform aerial attacks, collect intelligence and other intimidating activities.” First unveiled at the LAAD

show in Brazil in April, Drone Dome provides 24-hour 360-degree coverage and a fast response time. It incorporates a Rada RPS-42 radar and a Controp MEOS electro-optical system equipped with long-range daylight TV and thermal imaging sensors. Also included are radio signal detectors. The system can be configured as a single deployable unit, or can be implemented as a tailored installation to provide protection for highvalue fixed installations. Detection of a drone threat is typically achieved at a range of around 2 miles (3 kilometers), whereupon the system analyzes the vehicle’s guidance and communication frequencies. Drone Dome can be operated by a single person, with screens showing a local situation map with drone track(s) and imagery from the EO/IR sensors. Additional sensors can also be networked to expand the coverage area. Neutralization of the drone is accomplished using jammers supplied by Netline. They can be directionally targeted against the drone’s communications, or against its GPS guidance. The operator can activate the jammers manually, or the system can deploy them automatically, according to pre-set algorithms.o

Rafael Offers Wide Range of Missile Solutions “Rafael has a long legacy of developing missile technology,” noted Yoav Har-Even, president and CEO of the Israeli company. “We are constantly working on upgrading our family of products, and have recently added more range to the I-Derby, taking it to 100 kilometers [with the I-Derby ER], as well as a software-defined radar seeker. And Python 5 continues to be one of the world’s best air-to-air missiles.” For more than 60 years, Rafael has been developing and delivering air-to-air missiles, including five generations of short-range missiles and two of medium-range weapons. Thirteen air forces use the company’s missiles, and they have notched more than 140 aerial victories. In recent years, the company has expanded its expertise into the surface-to-air missile sector, utilizing both Python 5 and Derby in its Spyder air defense system. Proving to be a crucial system in protecting the population in Israel is the Iron Dome short-range defense system. “With 90 percent interception rate and over 1,500 interceptions, Iron Dome has proven time and again to be a game-changer, significantly reducing the strategic threat posed by ballistic missile and rocket attacks, at an affordable price,” said Har-Even. “Iron Dome continues to undergo upgrades and improvements to give it the capacity to deal with more challenges, more effectively.” Rafael (Chalet C22) has also developed the David’s Sling mediumrange air defense system in partnership with Raytheon. The highly advanced system is now being delivered to the Israeli air and space force after four successful tests. Another product line is the Spike family of multi-purpose precision attack missiles. On show at Farnborough is the latest member, the 18.6mile (30-km)-range Spike NLOS that can be fired from several air, sea and land platforms. The missile can be fitted with a variety of warhead types, and has a versatile guidance system that allows it to be reprogrammed in flight via a datalink. —D.D.

CAE adds $77 million in new military contracts by James Wynbrandt Canada-based training provider CAE reported this week at Farnborough that it has won new defense contracts valued at more than $77 million to provide a range of simulation products and training support services for global military customers. “Our expertise as a training systems integrator and experience on enduring military aircraft platforms is providing us numerous opportunities round the world as defense forces look

to expand their use of simulation for integrated mission training,” said Gene Colabatistto, CAE’s group president, defense and security. Key deals include new contracts, as well as extensions to current agreements. Among them, Lockheed Martin has signed the company to provide synthetic training equipment for the rotary-wing element of the U.K.’s Military Flying Training System (UKMFTS),

FARNBOROUGH SHOW’S ‘MEET THE BUYER’ PROGRAM EXTENDED TO THREE DAYS Here at Farnborough Airshow, a three-day “Meet the Buyer” program will allow participants to network with peers in the industry, schedule appointments with businesses and meet potential clients and partners. At the last Farnborough show in 2014, the Meet the Buyer program saw approximately 300 companies participate in the then two-day program. Six months later, Farnborough officials announced that the program generated a total of £4.7 million ($6.7 million) in revenue for n some of its attending businesses. 

At left, Chuck Morant (l), CAE’s v-p of global strategy and business development, Defense and Security, shakes hands with Sean Gustafson, Draken’s v-p of business development, after the two inked a partnership deal calling for joint pursuit of new training and simulation opportunities like the one pictured above.

which CAE already supports. CAE will also provide seven flight training devices (FTDs) and one command and tactics trainer for the Airbus Helicopters H135/H145 family, having recently been selected as the rotor-wing training platform for the program. The FTDs, scheduled for delivery in 2018, will be equivalent to Level 4/5 flight simulation training devices, and will be networkable for teaching multiship tactical formations. All the devices will incorporate the CAE Medallion-6000 image generator and databases built

to the Common Database standard, which enables distributed, interoperable mission training. Lockheed Martin also awarded a five-year extension to CAE’s contract to provide in-service support for the Royal Canadian Air Force’s (RCAF’s) CC-130J aircraft maintenance technician training program. Support services include device upgrades, hardware and software engineering, and obsolescence management. Meanwhile, L-3 MAS has extended CAE’s in-service support for the RCAF’s CF-18 fleet, to continue handling avionics

software upgrades, integrated logistics support and data-management services. Earlier this year, CAE, in partnership with Draken International, submitted a bid for the Contracted Airborne Training Services program to the Government of Canada, to include electronic warfare and target towing operations. Award of the 10-year contract is expected by year end. Here at the show, CAE and Draken signed an agreement to pursue additional opportunities in providing partnered adversary and threat training services.  o

www.ainonline.com • July 11, 2016 • Farnborough Airshow News  63


PHOTOS: MARK WAGNER

Bell’s innovative V-280 Valor advances tiltrotor development by Charles Alcock & Mark Huber Bell is continuing to work on its V-280 Valor Joint Multi Role Technology Demonstrator (JMR-TD) third generation military tiltrotor. A mock-up of the aircraft is on display here at the Farnborough International Airshow (Textron, Outdoor Exhibition area L2). In April it successfully joined the wing and Israel Aircraft Industries nacelles to the Spirit AeroSystems-built fuselage at its assembly center in Amarillo, Texas. Late this fall Bell will begin installation of GE Aviation T64-GE-419 engines and main gearboxes prior to tether tests, leading up to a planned first flight in September 2017. In an interview ahead of this week’s show, Bell Helicopter CEO Mitch Snyder argued that the V-280 is in pole position to win the U.S. military’s Future

Vertical Lift Program for a nextdecade to replace the Army’s Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawks and the Bell UH-1 operated by the Marines. Bell is competing against the Boeing Sikorsky Defiant. “We have the proven technology—a straight wing with no gearboxes and the nacelles completely tilt so everything stays level,” he said. “This aircraft offers tremendous reliability and provides higher performance.” First flight will provide Bell engineers with the data needed for the full-scale engineering, manufacturing, and development phase of the program. Concurrent to this activity, development is continuing in the company’s flight control systems lab in Fort Worth, Texas. The lab integrates pilot inputs with flight control computers and flight

With V-280 wing-mating accomplished earlier this year, Bell plans to begin installing the two GE T64 turboshaft engines this fall. The V-280’s airframe makes extensive use of composite materials and chemical bonding, and eliminates traditional loading ramps in favor of sliding fuselage doors for quicker ingress/egress.

controls, providing data for software that works with the hardware controlling flight loads and hydraulic performance. The V-280 includes the extensive use of monolithic honeycomb and carbon-core composite components in the fuselage, wings, tail structures, ruddervators, and the widespread use of chemical bonding in place of traditional fasteners to affix substructures. “We have improved the manufacturing processes to arrive at a revolutionary aircraft with reduced sustainment costs and simplified maintenance procedures,” said Bell executive v-p of military business development Lisa Atherton. The JMR-TD program could involve deliveries of as many as 4,000 aircraft by the year 2030 under a contract potentially worth $100 billion. The UK’s Ministry of Defence has shown interest in the program, which will likely lead to significant foreign military sales. Bell (Outdoor Exhibition L2-L5) designed the V-280 to have a cruise speed of 280 knots and a 500- to 800-nautical mile combat range with 11 to 14 troops; a 2,100-nm ferry range; a 12,000+-pound useful load; and the ability to take off in 6K/95F conditions (up to 6,000 feet pressure altitude and up to 95 degrees Fahrenheit). The V-280 differs in design substantially from its older V-22 cousin, which has now logged more than 300,000 flight hours

64  Farnborough Airshow News • July 11, 2016 • www.ainonline.com

Bell’s V-280 tiltrotor represents the third generation of the helicopter-fixed wing hybrid platform. Above left, the proposed V-280 primary flight display is a single touchscreen glass panel extending across the cockpit in front of the pilots. The mock-up, above right, demonstrates how the V-280’s engine nacelles and rotors are designed to pivot in flight while its wing remains stationary (the rotors are driven via shafts from engines in the fuselage). A scale model, above, depicts the V-280’s wing, tail and engine/rotor assemblies configured for storage or shipping.

and is reportedly the busiest aircraft in service with the U.S. Marines. Rather than a rear ramp, it has a V-tail and two six-footwide sliding fuselage side doors for faster ingress/egress. Nextgeneration troops also will be able to wirelessly recharge their various high-tech, battery-powered gear from power sources built into the seats. On the V-22, the engines, gearboxes and prop-rotors all rotate as thrust direction is changed; on the V-280 only the gearboxes and prop-rotors rotate. The V-280 will have 50 percent more flapping capability in its rotor system than that on the V-22, giving it greater agility in all axes. Touchscreen Marvel

While a final avionics configuration is still many years away, Bell is displaying a single-screen touchscreen instrument panel in the V-280 mock-up designed to use the foundation of the PDAS (pilot displayed aperture system) currently flying in the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II fighter and developed by Northrup Grumman. PDAS in the F-35 provides 360-degree situational awareness by sending high-resolution real-time imagery to the pilot’s helmet from six infrared cameras mounted around the aircraft, while the system’s software prioritizes threats, and provides “data fusing.”

“The screen behaves like a tablet, with pinch, zoom and swipe capability,” explained Bell V-280 project engineer Jeremy Chavez. “This cockpit will be operational in 10-15 years. The pilots who will be flying this are eight years old today. They are growing up with smartphones and tablets, so this kind of interface would be highly intuitive for them and that is what we want to implement in the design. We want them to be able to absorb as much information as they can, but display it in an intuitive way that is aiding the flight—not going through subsystem after subsystem to locate the information, but having it where you need it, when you need it; and then you close it out when you don’t need it.” The screen itself would be constructed from a series of small “plug and play” display modules that fit together into one giant mosaic, thus insulating the whole system from failure in the event of a ballistic impact or other cause. Data from a dead module would automatically transfer to the live part of the mosaic, ensuring no data was lost. “If you take a ballistic impact, 95 percent of the screen is still intact,” Chavez said, while admitting that Bell engineers have a way to go before the system is ready to fly. “But we’re very excited,” he said.  o


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Airbus’s supply chain strengthens weak links by Ian Goold Straightening out costly and disruptive kinks in its production processes is a key priority for Airbus in 2016. As the first half of the year came to a close, the European airframer appeared to be making some progress on issues that have dogged both its A350XWB and A320neo programs. In late April, Airbus Group CEO Tom Enders acknowledged that the company was having to redouble its efforts to clear unspecified supply chain bottlenecks for the A350, with a focus on reducing the backlog of outstanding work and reducing recurring costs. Despite describing these issues as “increasingly challenging” in its first quarter results statement for 2016, Airbus remains committed to achieving a monthly production rate of 10 aircraft by 2018 (see story 756AirbusA350 on page ??). Meanwhile, Airbus is now hopeful that technical issues with the Pratt & Whitney PW1100G-JM engines for the A320neo have been ironed out to the extent that it can reverse a trend of delayed deliveries during the second half of 2016. Pratt & Whitney has made a firm commitment to deliver sufficient engines, incorporating fixes for engine start-time and software nuisance alerts, to support at least 56 aircraft deliveries. Deliveries of A320neos powered by the rival CFM International Leap 1A engine have been progressing according to plan. In early June, Airbus Com­ mercial president Fabrice Brégier conceded: “We are late. I fully understand why customers are not satisfied.” Delayed PW1100G deliveries prevented Airbus from completing numerous Neos in the first half of the year, with June seeing at least 25 engine-less examples parked at Toulouse, a number that Airbus said would start to reduce “soon, very soon.” But in an early June press briefing Airbus Commercial president Fabrice Brégier acknowledged the frustration of early operators when he conceded: “We are late. I fully understand why customers are not satisfied.” Some operators—including Germany’s Lufthansa and Indian low-cost carrier Indigo—took delivery of six early-production Neos. Pratt & Whitney said that

it is now working with these airlines to retroactively install the fixes at their convenience. On June 2, India’s GoAir received its first Neo and this entered service a week later. Engines with “very small” modifications to shafts and compressors—to allow faster start-ups that otherwise delay departures—began arriving by mid-June, according to A320 Family program head Klaus Roewe. The delay had been well signposted, since Airbus reported in January that 2016 Neo shipments would be “backloaded”—that is, delivered later in the year. Roewe says that “in the autumn time-frame” Neo engine startup time will have been reduced to match current-model A320 “Ceo” engines. He confirmed that updated software to overcome “headache” faults that generated rogue reports from the full-authority digital engine control (fadec) system has been installed on all aircraft, with each delivered Neo demonstrating fuel performance better than guarantees. Ceos for Neos?

In view of the knock-on effects of the production delays, it also emerged last month that some Neo customers expecting 2017 deliveries have been invited to accept Ceos instead, with Airbus confirming that delivery of such models might continue into 2019. Previously, all aircraft had been expected to be Neo variants by that time. The situation arose as Airbus works to increase A320 production, described by chief operating officer Tom Williams as one of two challenges facing the European manufacturer (the other being to increase the A350 manufacturing rate). The manufacturer has studied (but dismissed) a higher build rate than the current 60/month target: “There’s no investment plan beyond 60, and there are no [available] slots to sell,” according to Williams. Saying that the “sun never sets of A320 production,” he acknowledged that establishment of a fourth German final-assembly line in former A380 hangars at Finkenwerder in Hamburg (in addition to lines in China, France, and the U.S.) would help to amortize the very-large

Airbus is hopeful that issues with Pratt & Whitney’s PW1100G-JM geared-turbofan (GTF) engines are behind them, and deliveries of A320neos can begin to catch up.

airliner’s development as related costs now will be charged to the single-aisle program. To further enhance production efficiency, Airbus has designated Toulouse as an A320 cabin-furnishing location, so that aircraft are no longer flown to Germany for completion. A320 family product development continues apace, with Roewe noting availability of up to six more seats and higher passenger-exit limits by the end of this year, improved pilot operations, low-speed performance, and 35,000-pounds thrust for A321 high-temperature/-altitude operations during 2017, and further A321 capacity growth to 240 passengers by the beginning of 2019. Contributing to increased capacity have been the introduction of “slim-line” seats, so-called Space-flex rear galleys, “reducedfootprint” (aka “smaller”) lavatories, and new door configurations permitting up to 20 more passengers in each variant. Asked in late May about the implications for the A320 program of any Boeing move to increase capacity of its competing CFM International Leap1B-powered 737 Max designs, Williams pointed to “strong A320neo and A321neo positions.” Regarding a possible enlarged Max 7, which hypothetically could be a shortened Max

66  Farnborough Airshow News • July 11, 2016 • www.ainonline.com

8 fuselage on the current Max 8 wing (at existing Max 8 take-off weights to provide greater Max 7 range), he said a more important consideration is what Canadian manufacturer Bombardier might do to offer a C Series model with more than 130 seats. Strategy and marketing executive v-p Kiran Rao believes that—at about 27 percent— there is too big a proportionate increase in seat numbers between current Max 7 and Max 8 models. This compares with a roughly 20 percent gap between A319neo, A320neo, and A321neo variants. Airbus officials dismiss suggestions that Boeing might consider Neo engines for a larger Max variant, citing the 737’s lower ground clearance. “They can’t take ‘our’ engine as it is, but it is available,” said Roewe. “Boeing will also have to address commonality [issues].” Williams does acknowledge that Airbus might have to respond if its U.S. competitor

offers a new, larger “Max 10” variant. “We have [an A321neo] backlog. Whatever Boeing does, we will have to [consider] what to do,” with options including a refined A321neo wing, carbonfibre unit, or a new wing. Although Airbus has a three(and at one time four-) model A320 family, officials do not expect great demand for the 124seat A319, except perhaps from low-cost carriers employing highdensity 148-passenger configurations. Rather, the manufacturer sees demand for larger models. “The market has moved,” according to Rao. While he conceded that “a lot of airlines need smaller aircraft” like the A319, he conceded that the 150-seat A320 remains the “optimum size…but going forward we might see [requirements for bigger aircraft].” A321s comprise 40 percent of current A320 family deliveries and a greater proportion next year, according to chief operating officer (customers) John Leahy.  o


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Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev addresses a crowd of wellwishers following the unveiling of the first MC-21 narrowbody.

Russia shows serious intent with MC-21 roll-out Irkut had hoped to fly the first airplane by the end of this year. However, during the rollout ceremony Medvedev referenced plans for first flight “within a year,” and UAC officials acknowledged that a previously quoted target might prove optimistic unless all goes exactly to plan. Rather, that milestone appears most likely to happen in or around February 2017, according to a UAC spokesman. Speaking with reporters in the Eastern Siberian capital Irkutsk, Irkut vice president of marketing Kirill Budaev referenced the potential to replace some of the Western partners on the program in the future, but he conceded the need for Russian companies to develop to Western standards before the OEM would consider any

German company. “We can rely on such a big player and then if airlines say we want something more focused, we used to work with other MRO providers. We can authorize them; we do not have to build our own infrastructure…sales goes first, and then the customer service follows. It makes no sense to create something special, for example, in Australia, if sales will not be there.”

such move. “We are trying to keep a balance,” he said. “For sure we have an interest in both [Western and Russian suppliers]. We need to satisfy international airlines and they need international suppliers for sure. And we need to satisfy the Russian aviation industry because we need to force them to develop. We expect that, sooner or later, local Russian manufacturers will be at least at the same level as international ones.” Irkut will also need the help of international suppliers to provide customer support networks, added Budaev. In fact, Irkut has already signed a memorandum of understanding with Lufthansa Technik for MRO support. “They have quite a wide network,” Budaev said of the

VLADIMIR KARNOZOV

A grand unveiling of the Irkut MC-21-300 on June 8 established a relatively firm project timeline for the 160to 212-seat narrowbody and exacted a measure of vindication for what many in the West have disparaged as a fringe project. In attendance at the ceremony, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev spoke of the prestige the program has brought to the country, as well as its importance to helping move its economy forward. He also congratulated Irkut’s employees for their role in shaping the future of Russia’s return to prominence in commercial aircraft manufacturing. Expecting the MC-21 to gain Russian certification in 2018, United Aircraft Corp. (UAC, Chalet A5, 1/B180) subsidiary

UAC

by Gregory Polek

The third Pratt & Whitney PW1400G geared turbofan sits ready for installation on the second MC-21 in Irkutsk.

68  Farnborough Airshow News • July 11, 2016 • www.ainonline.com

wings on the A350 and 787, respectively. Both of the MC-21’s chief competitors—the Boeing 737 Max and Airbus A320–use metal wings. Still, UAC president Yury Slyusar acknowledged the difficulty the MC-21 will encounter competing against the Western duopoly, whose well-established support networks and long history of sales to airlines around the world Irkut can only hope to one day match. “We do underWestern or Russian Engines? stand that it will not be easy,” Perhaps the program’s most he said. “But we are sure that prominent Western supplier, the MC-21 is really nowadays Pratt & Whitney, has now the most competitive aircraft shipped three PW1400G geared in its class. And that’s why we turbofans out of an order for 100 believe this aircraft will meet the engines, a pair of which will pow- demands of passengers, airlines er the MC-21 on its first flight. and so on—due to its innovation, An alternative powerplant—in such as engines, such as avionics, the form of the domestically de- such as composite wings.” While UAC’s definitive plans signed PD-14 turbofan—began flight tests on an Ilyushin Il-76 call for that innovation to extend to the smaller, 150-seat MC-21test bed earlier this year. Apart from the new en- 200, Slyusar suggested the comgine choices, either of which­ pany has seriously revisited prosIrkut claims will produce a pects for a larger version airplane 15-percent operating cost ad- in the form of the MC-21-400. “I vantage over the current Airbus think that this project will be disA320, the MC-21’s most rad- cussed during 2017, not earlier,” ical advance centers on its car- confirmed Slyusar, who also acbon fiber wings, which take the knowledged the potential for furairplane’s composite content ther competition from Boeing in to 30 percent. AeroComposit the sector the MC-21-400 would in Ulyanovsk, Russia, builds the occupy, or the so called “Middle wings using an out-of-autoclave of the Market (MOM).” “We should take into conresin transfer infusion process never before tried on a commer- sideration the plans of our cial aircraft. Both Airbus and colleagues; that’s why we [plan Boeing use a more expensive to] make a decision ratioprocess that requires an auto­ nally,” he said. clave to cure their composite Continued on page 70 u


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UAC shoulders risk for MC-21 composite wing by Vladimir Karnozov United Aircraft Corp. (UAC) has always been keen to stress that the long-awaited MC-21 twinjet is more than just a low budget alternative to Western narrowbody rivals like the Airbus A320neo and the Boeing 737 Max. Starting with its all-new high-aspect ratio wing, the new Russian contender makes extensive use of weight-saving composites. The MC-21 airframe also uses advanced aluminum struc­ tures from European metals specialists including Brotje and Durr. The center wing, wing consoles, control surfaces and empennage are all made of composites. These parts are supplied to UAC subsidiary Irkut from the newly-built factories in Ulianovsk and Kazan run by AeroComposite. They are made using innovative and cost-saving vacuum infusion techniques that eliminated the need for big autoclaves. Even though this technology has yet to be declared mature enough for mass production, AeroComposite has already manufactured the parts for the MC-21 operable prototype. To make 20-meter-long (66 feet) wing consoles, AeroComposite uses an automated system to lay down a pre-form as a set of twenty-four carbon shapes each 6mm wide. Then it goes

into a so-called vacuum sack, where a binding substance is applied. Firming up is done in a special heating device (different to typical autoclave as it develops lower temperatures). According to Irkut, no other manufacturing techniques would make it possible to build a wing that combines its advanced aspect ratio, lift/drag characteristics and weight efficiency. The MC-21 wing is said to contribute an eight percent reduction in f­ uel burn out of the total of 20 percent overall promised fuel economy. Nonetheless, UAC and Irkut are taking something of a gamble on such relatively untested technology as vacuum infusion in order to take a technological leap forward with the MC-21. Performance Benefits

“In my view, the MC-21 represents the best offering in the global market for narrow body jetliners when it comes to quality/price ratio,” declared Alexander Roubtsov, general director of Russian aircraft leasing group Ilyushin Finance Company (IFC). “Compared to other types available today, it is eight to ten tons [up to 22,000 pounds] lighter. Consequently, it burns less fuel. The next advantage is passenger cabin, which is 10 to 20 centimeters

Azerbaijan Airlines CEO Jahangil Asgarov (right) celebrates the deal for 10 MC-21s with IFC general director Alexander Roubstov (center) and UAC president Yuri Slyusar (left).

[almost 8 inches] wider than the competition. This ensures higher passenger comfort and shorter turnaround times in airports.” On the day of its roll-out in Siberia on June 8, UAC secured a new letter of intent for 10 MC-21s from Azerbaijan Airlines (Azal). The list of prospective MC-21 operators also includes Cairo Aviation, NordWind and IrAero. In addition, Aeroflot and Red Wings have previously agreed to introduce the new type on lease from Aviation Capital Service (ACS) and IFC, respectively. Azal chief executive Jahangir Asgarov told AIN that the document calls for 10 aircraft to be acquired through to 2028 from IFC. “By March next year we shall sign a memorandum of understanding. That document shall determine the exact number of aircraft, their exact delivery dates and prices, depending on interior options and a few other details,” he explained, while insisting that this is contingent on the new aircraft making

its first flight by that time. “Before proceeding further, we want to see the aircraft in the air and understand if it flies well.” Irkut president Oleg Demchenko has pledged to achieve the first flight no later than the first quarter of 2017. According to IFC’s Roubtsov, it is slated for December 2016 or January 2017. Domestic Market

Apart from Azal, Egypt’s Cairo Aviation is the only other non-Russian airline to commit to the new aircraft. In November 2015, Cairo Aviation agreed to buy 10 MC-21-300s to replace its Tupolev Tu-204120 airliners. So far, only two domestic carriers to sign MC-21 direct purchase agreements are NordWing Airlines in 2010 (3 firm 2 options) and IrAero in 2013 (10). IrAero is based in the same city as UAC’s Irkutsk Aviation Plant, where the MC-21 is assembled. In response to Russia’s economic slow-down and

MC-21 shoulders Russia’s burden Addressing production capacity, Slyusar said Irkut could build as many as 72 aircraft a year in its newly refurbished and modernized final assembly hall in Irkustk. While the company’s need—or ability—to deliver six airplanes per month won’t likely materialize for several years, Budaev said the production plan satisfies the company’s projected demand for 1,060 MC-21s over the next two decades. Slyusar, meanwhile, expressed satisfaction with the early level of commercial interest in the product: so far the MC-21 has drawn firm orders for nearly 200 airplanes, including 50 from launch customer Aeroflot. Immediately following the rollout ceremony, the program received a new commercial boost in the form of letter of intent from Azerbaijan Airlines

VLADIMIR KARNOZOV

uContinued from page 68

The second MC-21 airframe undergoes assembly at the Irkut factory in Irkutsk, Eastern Siberia.

(AZAL) covering the lease of 10 MC-21-300s through Ilyushin Finance. The signing ceremony marked only the third such deal from a foreign airline for the model. Holding a firm order for six MC-21-300s, Egypt’s Cairo Aviation stands as the only

confirmed non-Russian customer for the airplane. Malaysia’s Crecom Burj Resources placed a tentative order for 50 airplanes at Farnborough 2010 that has yet to become firm. As for the heavy imbalance toward Russian customers,

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Budaev called the phenomenon “normal” and pointed to the program’s international supplier base as proof of its global stature. “Sometimes we call the MC-21 an international plane with Russian brains,” he quipped. Budaev added that

the collapse of the ruble currency, the airline reduced its fleet of Bombardier CRJ regional aircraft to just six -200s and now mainly uses the ancient Antonov An-24 turboprops. However, last month IrAero accepted its first 87-seat Sukhoi Superjet 100 (SSJ100) on operating lease terms from UAC subsidiary Sukhoi Civil Aircraft. It remains to be seen how the larger MC-21 will fit into the carrier’s current route network. The Superjets were formerly operated by Red Wings, which returned a pair of the aircraft to the manufacturer and three more to state-backed leasing group GTLK. Red Wings intends to add eight Tu-204s to its fleet while waiting for the more fuel-efficient MC-21. Flagcarrier Aeroflot also plans to tap the promised performance benefits of the MC21, and intends to lease an unspecified number of aircraft from government-controlled lessor Aviation Capital Service, which holds 50 firm orders and 35 options. Other lessors that have signed for the MC-21 are ILC with 22 firms and 28 options (a deal signed in 2010), VEBLeasing with 60 (2011 and 2013) and Sberbank Leasing with 20 (2013). The total backlog (including commitments) is 175 units, but this number includes a contract signed by Malaysia’s Crecom back at the 2010 Farnborough International Airshow—about which little has been heard since.  o program leaders see “big potential” in Latin America, Africa and in Asia, particularly for the MC-21-300, whose seating capacity falls between the A320 and A321—exactly where UAC’s market studies show the greatest demand. Featuring the widest fuselage of any narrowbody on the market, the MC-21 offers both cabin comfort for fullservice airlines and cost advantages for low-fare carriers, according to UAC and Irkut. The MC-21’s list price of $91 million suggests a 15-percent lower acquisition cost than that of the current A320. “For sure we are looking at Europe as well, because airlines there need to find unusual or ambitious solutions to survive because of the strong presence of low-fare airlines,” said Budaev. Last year’s order for Sukhoi Superjets from Ireland’s CityJet “is a very good sign” for the MC-21 program, he concluded. o


IAI builds the Gulfstream G280 midsize business jet before sending them to Gulfstream’s Savannah plant in the U.S. for completion.

IAI restructures to grow civil work by Charles Alock Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI, Chalet A29) has a strong association with the defense sector, with many of its most highprofile programs being in the military domain. However, as the group deals with the impact of reduced defense spending it is looking to boost the civil side of its business and is encouraged by recent growth in demand for the passenger-to-freighter airliner conversions offered by its Bedek subsidiary and also for aircraft maintenance work. The civil market still accounts for just 25 percent of IAI’s balance sheet, but this is rising. Under the leadership of corporate executive vice president Gadi Cohen, the group is in the process of restructuring its commercial aviation division, while also trying to reduce costs. The final plan has yet to be determined, but IAI’s goal is to expand its commercial revenues

around five core areas: the manufacturing work it does for Gulfstream’s G150 and G280 business jets; aerostructures; airliner conversions; maintenance repair and overhaul (MRO); and possible, but as-yet undefined, new aircraft activity. “We intend to reshape our activities and focus on our centers of excellence,” Cohen told AIN. “We may abandon some parts manufacturing where this work can be done more economically by other parts of our supply chain.” IAI expects the restructuring process, which is part of a group-wide effort to

improve profitability and eliminate duplicated effort, to be completed in the next 8 to 12 months. New 737 Conversion

Over the past 40 years, IAI’s Bedek Aviation division has converted more than 200 legacy Boeing 737s, 767s and 747s into freighters. Its engineering team is now working on a conversion package for the newer 737NG model, with a new supplemental type certificate for the 737-700 version expected to be approved in the fourth quarter of this year, followed by another covering the -800 next year.

IAI executive vice president Gadi Cohen is leading the group’s efforts to boost the civil side of its business.

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Bedek is now doing the first conversion of the 737700BDSF freighter prototype. This features a new 84-inch by 134-inch cargo door on the left side of the fuselage and modification of the main deck into a Class E cargo compartment that can accommodate 10 ULD freight containers, providing a useful load of 3,673 cubic feet and up to 45,000 pounds. IAI’s maintenance, repair and overhaul subsidiary has capability covering classic Boeing and McDonnell Douglas airliners, as well as the Airbus A320 and A340 series, the Lockheed L-100 and C-130, as well as the Gulfstream G100/150/200 series business jets, the Bombardier Challenger 600 family and the legacy Hawker 800 series. It also has extensive engine maintenance and component repair capability, as well as a team that provides civil helicopter upgrades. As part of its ongoing effort to strengthen its presence in Asia, IAI has formed an MRO joint venture with Lingyun (Yichang) Science and Technology Group in China’s Hubei province. The new operation will focus on supporting the company’s growing number of Boeing narrowbody airliners. Generally speaking, the business jet sector continues to be discouraging for IAI, but Cohen insisted that this may be no more than a temporary trend that is impacting all manufacturers. “We still expect to see the continuation of a slower recovery and we will maintain production rates [for the G280

IAI’s Bedek division is now working on the first prototype for a new passenger-to-freighter conversion of the Boeing 737-700NG. A supplemental type certificate is anticipated by the end of 2016.

and G150] at around two aircraft per month,” he said. In the aerostructures field, IAI makes composite floor beams, bulkheads and sections of the horizontal stabilizer for Boeing’s latest 787 widebody, as well as empennage leading edges for the 777. “We want to increase our work with Boeing, but we are also now in discussion with Airbus to get some new opportunities there from the requirement to have double-sourcing due to the high rate of production [for the A320neo] and also on the new A350-1000,” said Cohen, indicating that IAI is also in talks with Bombardier about possible work on its airliners. IAI, especially through its Ramta operation in southern Israel, has growing expertise in composites manufacturing and nacelle production. “We add the most value where the packages are the most sophisticated, and where can provide a center of excellence for the customer,” Cohen concluded. “We are developing new production technology and we can tailor these packages to individual customers.” o

RED ARROWS WILL NOT PERFORM AEROBATICS AT FARNBOROUGH The Red Arrows will not perform their aerobatic display here at Farnborough Airshow this year. The decision comes after the Shoreham Airshow crash that killed 11 people and injured 16 last August. However, the pilots will still perform straightforward fly-pasts at the airshow. A spokesperson from the Royal Air Force stated, “The high speed dynamic nature of the traditional Red Arrow’s display is no longer appropriate due to the large amounts of local housing, business area and major transport links underneath the planned display area.” This will be the first time in the Red Arrow’s history that the pilots do not perform their aerobatic display at Farnborough. However, this decision follows the introduction of a new set of rules established by the Civil Aviation Authority in March. These rules, which seek to govern air display safety measures, have already led to the cancellation of several air displays this summer.  —S.C.


Rockwell Collins’ F-35 high-tech helmet, KC-390 cockpit on display by Thierry Dubois Two military avionics products by Rockwell Collins (Chalet B13B14), the F-35’s helmet-mounted display and the KC-390’s Pro Line Fusion cockpit, are making their Farnborough air show debuts this week. Also

promoted is a “live, virtual and constructive” (LVC) simulation, which connects soldiers on the ground and in the air to train together (see sidebar). The Cedar Rapids, Iowa-based manufacturer has 650 engineers in

the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region. The F-35 helmet will be shown at the Lockheed Martin media center. Developed under a joint venture with Elbit Systems, it has unique features,

FireStorm Targeting Gets Smaller, Lighter Rockwell Collins’ helmet-mounted display for the F-35 integrates night vision.

Rockwell Collins is developing a new version of the FireStorm integrated targeting system, with reduced size and power requirement. Weight is expected to be cut by 50 percent. The first delivery is planned for the third quarter of this year. —T.D.

according to Jean-Louis Lair, Rockwell Collins’ director for marketing and business development in EMEA. Night vision is integrated, and “seethrough” capability enables the pilot to see what’s below his aircraft—another fighter in formation flight, a target on the ground, etc. The Embraer KC-390 transport is scheduled to fly here at the show. “It is the first military application of the Pro Line Fusion cockpit,” Lair pointed out. The flight management system includes a mode for formation flight as well. Another highlight for Rockwell Collins is the announcement of a new application for the Pro Line Fusion flight deck, in a version where the primary flight displays are touchscreens. This version is in service on Textron Aviation’s King Air family of turboprops, while Leonardo Helicopters has selected it for the in-development AW609 tiltrotor.  o

LVC Training Demonstrated

Improved Tech Leads To Helicopter Speech Recognition

THIERRY DUBOIS

Rockwell Collins has been testing a speech recognition system for the helicopter version of the Pro Line Fusion cockpit. “The challenge has been background noise due to the turboshaft, which is located just above the pilot’s head,” senior system engineer Guillaume Zini said. Trials have resulted in 95 percent of success in voice control—an acceptable level, according to Zini. “Speech engines have improved,” he explained. The pilot may order “show video” to display a camera’s view. He may also give a more safety-critical order. In that instance, after the end of the voice order, the text will be displayed and the pilot will have to validate it before the order is implemented. “The system is very useful for a single pilot in handson flight phases,” Zini pointed out. —T.D.

El Al selects Essex crew PBEs for its new 787s by James Wynbrandt

Just to make sure no one walks into the tail rotor of this Ukrainian Mi-8 helicopter, it’s fenced off. Let’s hope the guard can read one of those languages.

MARK WAGNER

DON’T LOOK BACK

Essex Industries’ Protective Breathing Equipment (PBE) has been selected by El Al Israel Airlines for use on its new Boeing 787s. The PBEs provide crewmembers with ocular, head and respiratory protection during emergency conditions for a minimum of 15 minutes. Providing a 270-degree field of vision, the PBEs also eliminate the need for an oral/nasal mask, so crews can communicate while using the devices. U.S.-based Essex’s PBEs are installed in the majority of U.S. airliners and those of numerous carriers around the world, and hold approvals from the FAA, CAA, EASA,

CAAC and ANAC, according to the company. Essex has also been selected as a supplier for the Bell V-280, an entrant into the U.S. Department of Defense’s Future Vertical Lift program. Essex is under contract to provide the sidestick, power lever grips and pedestal assemblies for Bell’s prototype, scheduled for its first flight next year. The grip assemblies are similar to those Essex now provides for the Bell 525 Relentless. Essex (Hall 2, Stand C44) also provides the sidestick and throttle grip, as well as scavenger valves, for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, which has a starring role in this week’s airshow. o

Late in June, Rockwell Collins demonstrated LVC training from its European base in Toulouse. The scenario included a joint attack terminal controller (JTAC), dropped by a C-130 in an area where the precise location of insurgents had to be found. Once located, two F-35s were to destroy the targets. After the attack, a UH-60 helicopter was to extract the JTAC. In the LVC exercise, the JTAC was in Toulouse, as was the air superiority operation center. The former was using the FireStorm integrated targeting system and the latter was using Rockwell Collins’ RealFires simulator. The C-130 and helicopter simulators were located in Toulouse, too. One of the jets was simulated from Burgess Hill (Rockwell Collins’ UK facility). The second one was represented by an actual Aero L-39 Albatros jet, flying near Cedar Rapids. “It can run the entire scenario from 20,000 feet, seeing on its instruments what the others are seeing,” Andrew White, Rockwell Collins’ EMEA marketing director for simulation and training, explained. All were connected. LVC training is a way to drive down costs, Rockwell Collins executives emphasized. Fewer aircraft may need to be involved in the exercise, for example, and in future the number of live calls for the JTAC to remain qualified—now set at 12 per year— may be reduced, they suggested. Also demonstrated was a system enabling multiple independent levels of security (MILS) when sharing real-time information on operations. Depending on where the display is (at a command and control center in the country operating the fighters, in an allied country etc.), more or less information is shown. For instance, the position of a fighter aircraft is only seen at the highest level of security. Participants with heterogeneous levels of confidentiality can thus be linked. The system has recently been certified by the U.S. NSA. —T.D.

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New laser-guided rocket set for France’s army by David Donald

Boeing, Embraer to partner on E170 ecoDemonstrator by Gregory Polek Boeing and Embraer signed a new partnership to use an Embraer E170 regional jet as a so-called ecoDemonstrator, the companies announced Thursday. Serving as a flying testbed for advanced environmental technologies, the E170 will undergo operational testing in Brazil in August and September. The jet is the fourth such platform in Boeing’s long-running ecoDemonstrator program, the last of which—a Thomson Airways Boeing 757—finished testing last year. Plans call for the ecoDemonstrator flights to test several technologies aimed at reducing carbon emissions, fuel consumption and noise. They include LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging), which uses lasers to measure air data parameters such as true airspeed, angle of attack and outside air temperature. The technology shows potential to increase air data reliability by complementing current sensors, which could lead to further innovations to improve fuel efficiency and reduce carbon emissions, according to Boeing. The partners also plan to test a lowadhesion paint designed to reduce icing and help prevent accumulation of dirt and bugs. The special paint may help operators save water by reducing the

need for aircraft washings. Further testing will involve a new wing design with improved slats to reduce noise on takeoff and approach, while special sensors and air visualization techniques near the wing surface help engineers better understand in-flight aerodynamics. The partners plan to conduct the flights using a Brazilian-produced biofuel blend made up of 10 percent bio-kerosene and 90 percent fossil kerosene, the maximum mixture allowed under international standards. Studies have shown that aviation biofuel emits 50 to 80 percent lower carbon emissions through its life cycle than fossil jet fuel. The ecoDemonstrator collaboration expands a relationship that began in 2012, when Boeing and Embraer signed an agreement to cooperate on research and development efforts. Since then, Boeing has supported Embraer’s KC-390 mediumlift military transport, and the two companies have worked on improving runway safety by providing commercial customers with tools to reduce runway excursions. Last year Boeing and Embraer opened a joint biofuel research center in São José dos Campos to perform biofuel research and coordinate research with Brazilian universities and other institutions.  o

New financing, training options for Twin Otters by James Wynbrandt If the Series 400 Twin Otter turboprop that Canada’s Viking Air Limited has on static display here at Farnborough (Outdoor Exhibit 28) catches your fancy, buying and training to fly it will henceforth be much easier. Viking announced here it is teaming with Longview Aviation Asset Management to provide Twin Otter customers with new financing alternatives, and also unveiled plans for a new training center with the world’s first Twin Otter level D full flight simulator, set to open in Calgary in March 2017. Under the financing agreement, Longview will offer leasing and financing packages for new and used DHC-6 Twin Otters. Longview will also buy six

new-build Series 400 Twin Otters, and has secured the used Series 400 Twin Otter on display here, all of which will be offered on lease. More than 100 Series 400 Twin Otters have been manufactured since 2010, and the new arrangement aims “to place more aircraft in service around the world,” said Dan Tharp, Viking’s chief operating officer. David Curtis, chairman of Longview Aviation Capital, parent of the newly formed Longview Aviation Asset Management, noted that the Twin Otter “has the highest and best residual values of any turboprop in its class.” Meanwhile, Viking’s sister company, Pacific Sky Aviation, will install a

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Thales subsidiary TDA Armaments has just received a contract to supply its Aculeus-LG laser-guided rocket to the ALAT (Aviation Légère de l’Armée de Terre, French army aviation). Also known as the RPM (roquette à precision métrique), the Aculeus-LG is a development of the 68mm rocket family that TDA currently provides for a range of airborne applications, notably the Airbus Helicopters ­Tiger attack helicopter. The contract covers industrialization, qualification and an initial production batch. TDA has been developing the laserguided system with French DGA support for around five years, conducting its first test firing in January 2013. Fitted with a semi-active laser seeker from the Thales facility at Elancourt, the Aculeus-LG offers sub-metric precision and a range of around 3.8 miles (6 kilometers) when fired from a helicopter. It offers the ability to engage moving targets. The weapon can be locked on after launch, and is reprogrammable in flight, including a change of laser code. Fitted with a low CDE (collateral damage effect) warhead, the new LG variant is based on the existing Aculeus range

of induction rockets, which “communicate” wirelessly with the rocket launcher system. All requisite information, such as laser code and target behavior, is passed in encrypted form to the weapon just prior to launch. Without this information the warhead cannot be detonated, meaning that the rockets or their warheads cannot be used—even as the basis of an IED—should they fall into hostile hands. Because there are no physical connections, the Aculeus is quicker and easier to load than other systems, and does not suffer as much from misfires and foreign object damage. Aculeus rockets form part of the Telson weapon system family, which covers a range of launchers. For rotary-wing and light fixed-wing use there are two-, eight-, 12- and 22-round launchers. The Tiger can carry two each of the larger pods, for a maximum of 68 rockets. TDA has also developed a 12-round Telson launcher for fighters such as Dassault’s Mirage 2000 and Rafale fighters. The laser-guided rocket is being promoted for the fast-jet application to provide a precision-weapons-effect capability that fills the gap between the 30mm cannon shell and the smallest bombs.  o

The TDA Armaments Aculeus-LG laserguided rocket will become part of the French arsenal.

Twin Otter level D Full Flight Simulator (FFS) and Seaplane Trainer, along with a Flat Panel Procedures Trainer (FPT) at the newly announced training facility. Made by Montreal’s TRU Simulation + Training (a Textron subsidiary), it will be the world’s first FFS to feature a seaplane configuration, simulating takeoffs,

landings, and docking operations in a range of sea states, thereby reducing training time and costs. The training center will be housed at Viking’s final assembly facility at Calgary International Airport, providing convenient access for customers traveling from Asia, Europe and the Americas.  o

Viking Air is teaming up with Longview Aviation Asset Management to offer new financing, leasing and training options for the DHC-6 Twin Otter.

DAVID McINTOSH

This E170 is part of a joint Boeing/Embraer project to demonstrate eco-friendly technologies.


THE SKY IS YO U R DOMAIN Scale new heights at the show that attracts aviation’s top flight. The Singapore Airshow 2016: Attracted over 48,000 visitors from 143 countries & regions Drew 1,040 participating companies from 48 countries, including 65 of the top 100 aerospace companies and 20 country pavilions Attracted 916 accredited media

Hosted 1,353 meetings between Exhibitors and 286 VIP Delegations from 90 countries

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by Bill Carey A senior trade delegation from Bahrain will attend this year’s Farnborough Airshow with the expectation of signing more than $1 billion in contracts. Among those agreements, 12 companies have confirmed their interest in participating in the 2018 Bahrain International Airshow (BIAS).

Kamal bin Ahmed Mohammed, Bahrain’s minister of transportation and telecommunications

Kamal bin Ahmed Mohammed, Bahrain minister of transportation and telecommunications, is heading the delegation, accompanied by Gulf Air CEO Maher Salman Al Musallam and Bahrain Airport Company CEO Mohammed Al Binfalah. Gulf Air, the kingdom’s national carrier, expects to sign further agreements related to restructured aircraft orders that were announced in January at BIAS 2016. These are valued at $7.6 billion and comprise 45 aircraft from Boeing and Airbus. Among companies that are expected to sign contracts to participate in BIAS 2018 are: BAE Systems, Qatar Airways,

Rolls-Royce, DHL, Serco, Boeing, Kallman, Lockheed Martin and cargo charter operator Texel Air. Bahrain’s transportation ministry will sign a $2.5 million contract appointing Farnborough International Limited to organize the next two editions of the BIAS, extending a partnership that started with the first Bahrain airshow in 2010. Organizers have changed the date of the biennial airshow, which is held at Sakhir Air Base, from January this year to November 14-16, 2018. With the change, the Middle East will have alternating airshows in Dubai and Bahrain, similar to the Paris Air Show and Farnborough schedules. “The date change was extremely well received by participants when we announced it at the close of BIAS 2016,” said Amanda Stainer, Farnborough International Limited commercial director. “The show has grown from strength to strength since the first show in 2010, and while still in its infancy compared to other international airshows, the date change will give the event a real opportunity to expand.” Led by Gulf Air orders, the airshow recorded $9 billion in contracts this year, which was more than triple the figure recorded in 2014. Some 135 companies and 30,000 trade and public visitors participated. Stainer said the BIAS 2018 event is already 30 percent reserved for exhibitors.  o

A.S. Avionics Services’ Caçador UAV is a Brazil-specific version of IAI’s Heron 1.

IAI’s Brazilian UAV makes first flight by David Donald Israel Aircraft Industries’ Brazilian affiliate, A.S. Avionics Services, has recently undertaken the first flight of its Caçador (“hunter”) MALE UAV from its facility at Botucatu, near São Paulo. The vehicle is an adaptation of IAI’s Heron 1 to meet the particular requirements of Brazilian agencies, and has been developed following the signing of a cooperation agreement between IAI (Chalet A29) and Avionics Services in 2013 to further develop UAVs for the domestic market. The Brazilian company has been providing

the maintenance for Heron 1s flown by Brazil’s Federal Police since 2010. Caçador is the first major result of IAI’s cooperation with Avionics Services. The aim is to develop an independent industrial base in Brazil for unmanned aerial systems to meet the country’s unique requirements, and involves considerable technology transfer. IAI has helped the Brazilian company in establishing its Botucatu plant as a domestic center of excellence for large and complex UAVs. Operated by more than 20

countries, the Heron 1 is a Class 4 UAV offering long-endurance performance. The Caçador version can fly for more than 40 hours at up to 30,000 feet, and its mtow of 2,800 pounds (1,270 kilograms) allows it to carry multiple payloads. The Caçador features a wideband satellite communications capability that allows it to be operated at more than 620 miles (1,000 kilometers) from base. Such a capability is required in Brazil, which has long borders and large areas of sparsely populated terrain.  o

DAVID McINTOSH

Companies commit to Bahrain’s 2018 airshow

INTERIOR DESIGN Shown on approach to the Farnborough International Airshow 2016, this Dornier 328 regional turboprop’s paint scheme is designed to highlight the plane’s interior features, including passenger seating and baggage storage.

Elbit’s DEP turns night into day

Elbit Systems’ Digital Eye Piece turns a standard helmet-mounted display into a nightvision-capable device without expensive changes to hardware installations or software.

In collaboration with a number of European F-16 operators, Elbit Systems (Hall 1 Stand A100) has recently conducted a series of night demonstrations of its Digital Eye Piece (DEP) add-on system for the JHMCS (joint helmetmounted cueing system) family. Able to be fitted as a plug-andplay extension for the JHMCS, Digital JHMCS and JHMCS-II displays, the DEP upgrades the night capability of the JHMCS so that the high level of daytime targeting and sensor cueing is extended into the nighttime. Requiring no changes in aircraft installation or software,

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DEP turns a standard helmetmounted display into a night vision “smart” helmet. Results of the trials have shown much promise, with pilots reporting improved safety and effectiveness. The ability to provide target identification at night significantly enhances the ability to perform nighttime close air support, and overall situational awareness is greatly increased. Earlier this month RCEVS (Rockwell Collins ESA Vision Systems), a joint venture between Rockwell Collins and Elbit Systems of America, celebrated its 20th anniversary. Formed

to develop advanced helmetmounted displays for fast-jet aircraft, the joint venture has supplied thousands of JHMCS kits for use with F-15s, F-16s and F/A18s in more than 20 countries. Success with JHMCS led to RCEVS being selected to provide the HMD (helmetmounted display) for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. In the F-35 application the HMD is used to present flight-critical data and sensor imagery throughout the mission, allowing the F-35 to be the first tactical aircraft to dispense with a head-up display. —D.D.


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A H O T E L B Y TA G


CHRIS POCOCK

UK set to ink defense deals uContinued from page 1

international debut with an appearance in the static park. Aerospace companies big and small will be displaying their wares and touting for military business in the halls and chalets. British Prime Minister David Cameron and senior military officers may be taking short flight in the P-8 this morning. The order for an expected nine aircraft

Brexit colors UK politics, aerospace uContinued from page 1

so-called Brexit vote will mean in practice, with many leading executives having warned that life outside the EU could result in curtailed investment, restricted trading opportunities and roadblocks to key partnerships. Britain’s lame-duck Prime Minister David Cameron is ex­pected at Farnborough this morning, but even if you get his ear for five minutes, it seems unlikely he’ll be able to tell you how the next act of the Brexit drama will play out. Whoever succeeds him following an internal Conservative Party vote to be counted on September 9, will face the task of leading a divided government into negotiations that will determine the terms under which the UK will leave the EU—and, critically, the extent to which the country may (or may not) have access to the single European market. Speaking with AIN on the eve of the Farnborough show,

could be worth over $3 billion to Boeing and more than a dozen subcontractors. The cost is controversial, and so is the UK Ministry of Defence’s decision to forgo a formal competition. But the new fleet of maritime surveillance jets will plug a gap in the UK’s defenses caused by the retirement of the Nimrod fleet in 2010. The AH-64 order could also be controversial, if most of the work is to be done in the U.S. The deal will likely be worth $3 billion, for the remanufacture of an expected 50 helicopters from the UK’s Paul Everitt, CEO of British industry group Aerospace, Defence, Security and Space (ADS), said that while he and his colleagues had strongly advocated keeping the UK in the EU, he nevertheless feels that the long-term health of industry is safe. “It is important that we help overcome the impact of uncertainty [about the terms for Brexit] on future investment in the industry,” he commented. “We could wait until we understand all of the details of the negotiations. But if we do that, we risk having lower than ideal levels of investment for the next two years.” Widespread Impacts

ADS has urged the British government to start offering stronger tax incentives for companies to invest in the UK’s aerospace and defense sector, to help overcome any reservations investors may have over the country’s future status. “They need to send a strong signal about the attractiveness of the business environment here,” Everitt said.

existing Apache fleet. Those aircraft were built in the UK at what was the Westland Helicopters facility at Yeovil. But it could be less costly and more efficient to leverage the high production rate at Boeing’s Mesa, Arizona factory for the U.S. Army and other foreign customers.

UK CROWN COPYRIGHT 2016

At left, a Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II descends for a vertical landing at the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) last Friday at RAF Fairford. That maneuver will not be performed here at Farnborough 2016, although the jet will hover as part of its flight display. Also at RIAT, an F-35A version of the Lightning II flew in close formation with a Lockheed Martin F-22A Raptor, the other U.S. fifth-generation stealth fighter (above). The Raptor is not appearing this year at Farnborough.

The F-35 has been wowing the crowds at the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT), RAF Fairford, this past weekend. Three conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) F-35As and three short-takeoff and vertical landing (STOVL) F-35Bs were flown there from U.S. bases on June 29/30. Lockheed Martin is mounting a major publicity drive to affirm the operational status of the low-observable jet,

and its value to the international partners, especially the UK. The extensive schedule of F-35 media briefings and private discussions that started at RIAT will continue here, starting today with a press conference featuring the top U.S. defense acquisition official and the head of the F-35 program in the Pentagon. Unfortunately, show-goers will not see a real F-35 on the ground here. A single F-35B will fly to and from Fairford each day to perform a flying display that will include a transition to and from the hover at 100 feet, but not a vertical landing. Because of the potential for damage to standard runways by the heat generated and deflected downwards by the aircraft’s 40,000-pound-thrust F135 engine, that can only be done on specially-formulated hard

concrete, or specially-laid aluminum matting. At the ­suggestion of this AIN editor, the U.S. Marine Corps deployed the matting to Fairford. But it has not been installed here at Farnborough. The KC-390 arrived here last Thursday from Portugal, one of two European countries whose industries have a subcontracting role on the twin-engine transport. The Czech Republic is the other, and the Brazilian jet will fly there after the show, and to a few other countries for demonstrations. Only the Brazilian air force has placed a firm order so far— for 28. Embraer and Boeing are due to announce an extension of their marketing agreement on the KC-390 here today (see page 3).  o

Referring to the many complexities to be resolved by the UK/EU negotiations, Everitt said that, “We need to have unfettered access to the single market because we want to make it as easy as possible for our industry to do business across Europe. We are the largest aerospace and defense market in Europe; it doesn’t make sense to arrive at a situation where we have artificial barriers.” However, top EU leaders have clearly indicated that Britain cannot expect unconditional access to its single market without making major concessions on issues such as free movement of labor across EU borders, and this is a major sticking point for many Brexit supporters. Speaking at the UK’s Royal International Air Tattoo show last week, UK defense procurement minister Philip Dunne played down the dangers posed by Brexit. “It does not mean we are retreating into a shell,” he told reporters. “We have the strongest defense and security supply chain in Europe. A senior person in the aerospace industry

told me this week that we will be broadly unaffected.” Quite apart from the loss of new inward investment, the UK industry is very concerned about threats to recruitment and partnerships if EU citizens lose the right to work in the country. Also in question is whether UK firms can continue to benefit from EU-funded research and development programs. “We are looking into how this could be resolved, because UK influence could be diminished,” warned Everitt. “But the bigger concern is about us being able to access a wider talent pool.” Phil Seymour, CEO of UKbased consultancy the International Bureau of Aviation (IBA). maintained that in the long-run Brexit need not permanently disable British industry, although he warned that it could impact growth among lowcost carriers in Europe. “There will be some uncertainty, and the sooner we have a government getting on with Article 50 [the two-year process determining the terms under which the UK leaves the EU] the better,” he

said. “When I consider previous issues like 9/11, the SARS crisis and the first and second Gulf Wars, these things all became blips [in terms of their impact on the industry]. If Airbus decides it needs to make wings somewhere else, they wouldn’t just be able to make this change overnight, so I like to think that would have an impact.”

F-35 To Hover Only

78  Farnborough Airshow News • July 11, 2016 • www.ainonline.com

Orders Slow

Along with other industry observers, IBA is expecting a relatively quiet Farnborough show, with newly announced business not expected to get anywhere close to the record $200 billionplus figure achieved at the 2014 event. “New product launches, like those we saw around 2009 and 2010 with the [Airbus] Neo and the [Boeing] 737 Max, create a lot of sales momentum,” Seymour commented. “But now there are no significant new aircraft types being launched. Although we will see some new orders this week, they will be fewer in number and in some cases will involve confirmation of existing options.”  o


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Here’s to the early birds. More than seven months ahead of a typical program schedule, we fired the first GE9X engine on our testing grounds in Peebles, Ohio, to ensure ample time to validate and mature its design before entry into service. See why the GE9X will deliver from day one at geaviation.com/GE9X.

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