Vol. 44 No. 23
Farnborough Airshow News
Big Orders for Big Two
New Euro-Russian Helicopter
AIN Flies Concorde
ScanEagle for Singapore
Airbus and Boeing notched up more sales on the third day of the show, with orders led by the leasing companies while engine companies were also delighted at the work bonanza.
AgustaWestland and Russian Helicopters signaled their intention to design and build a new singleengine helicopter. The British-Italian company has a strong presence at the show. Page 10
Flying the Concorde is still possible thanks to Brooklands Museum in nearby Weybridge, where the British Airways simulator for the type has been brought back to life.
It is confirmed now that Singapore is a customer for Insitu’s ScanEagle unmanned aerial system, which has come a long way since being developed for trawlers looking for schools of fish. Page 19
Sir Richard Branson talks about his desire to be among the first space tourists.
MRJ90 gets boost from SkyWest
by Gregory Polek
“Launch Customers Wanted:” Sir Richard Branson was here yesterday to introduce LauncherOne, his satellite launching program. See story on Page 5.
Watchkeeper is late, but still in play by Chris Pocock Anglo-French cooperation on MALE UAVs may have stalled, according to reports from Paris and from informed sources AIN spoke to at the Farnborough
International airshow yesterday. However, it appears that the proposed joint UCAV study will still be sanctioned when French defense minister Jean-Yves Le
Drian visits London on July 24. Meanwhile, some progress can be reported on the recently troubled Thales Watchkeeper, which was the third (and least visible)
UAV program discussed at the last Anglo-French defense summit in February. The Thales Watchkeeper display is prominent here at the show. A company official told AIN that there had been “a lot of French [military] visitors” to the display. At the February
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Mitsubishi Aircraft received a huge dose of credibility at the Farnborough International airshow yesterday by announcing a 100-aircraft commitment for MRJ90s from the largest regional airline holding company in the world–SkyWest Airlines. The agreement in principle, signed just this week, potentially raises the MRJ regional jet family backlog to 170 airplanes and gives Mitsubishi its second major U.S. customer. “This is the market we’ve been targeting all along,” Mitsubishi Aircraft vice president of sales, Hank Iwasa, told AIN. Restrictions in U.S. major airline union contracts that limit the size of airplanes that regional airlines may operate have long hindered the company’s efforts to break into the U.S. market, but Iwasa expressed confidence that one or more of SkyWest’s major airline partners would negotiate less restrictive scope clauses by the time the first MRJ gets delivered. The MRJ90 holds 92 seats in a single-class configuration, but SkyWest could opt for a dualclass cabin that would likely hold closer to 80 seats, said Iwasa. U.S. scope clauses typically limit the size of regional jets to 76 seats. The contract, which gives SkyWest the option to convert part of
Continued on page 22 u
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Editor-in-chief – R. Randall Padfield INTERNATIONAL EDITOR – Charles Alcock Pressroom managing Editor – Ian Sheppard PRODUCTION DIRECTOR – Mary E. Mahoney PRODUCTION editor – Lysbeth McAleer the editorial team Bill Carey Mark Huber David Donald Vladimir Karnozov Thierry Dubois Neelam Mathews Richard Gardner Nigel Moll Ian Goold Chris Pocock Kirby J. Harrison Gregory Polek
Peter Shaw-Smith Matt Thurber Aimée Turner Paulo Valpolini Harry Weisberger
the production team Mona L. Brown (IT coordinator) R Jane Campbell E B L Alena Korenkov John Manfredo Mark Phelps Colleen Redmond Annmarie Yannaco O Photographers R T Y David McIntosh Mark Wagner press room administrator – Susie Alcock
A T I N G S
arose. The company has accumulated 20,000 total engine test hours on the TP400-D6, including 14,000 engine hours in flight. In a briefing for reporters on Wednesday, Henley said EPI was able to resolve the gearbox problems from Paris last year in a matter of weeks, and then it designed and tested modifications by the end of the year. These are embodied in the MSN6 preproduction aircraft that flew last Saturday at the Royal International Air Tattoo in Gloucestershire, UK, but was sidelined here at Farnborough. Henley expressed confidence that EPI would resolve the latest issues as expeditiously as the earlier ones. “The pace at which we can tackle these issues is proven. With what I know now about the technical issues we have around us at the moment, I’m absolutely confident we’re talking the same sorts of time scales,” Henley said. “By no means am I complacent about the fact that we have issues around us now. I can’t say they’re welcome. But nonetheless…we’ve demonstrated our capability to fix [problems].” Specifically, Henley said a gearbox vibration problem that led to an in-flight engine shutdown in Oman this past April
James Holahan, Founding Editor Wilson S. Leach, Managing Director
The problems with the A400M’s TP400-D6 turboprop engine that caused the airlifter to be scratched from this week’s Farnborough International flight demonstrations will slow civil certification and first delivery of the aircraft, but are not expected to delay its entry into service with the French air force next year. Production aircraft do not have the same issues as the test aircraft. Simon Henley, president of engine manufacturer Europrop International (EPI), said here yesterday that gearbox and bearing issues–unrelated to the gearbox problem that relegated the A400M to the static display at last year’s Paris Airshow–have interrupted a 300-hour functional and reliability (F&R) testing regimen required for European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) civil type certification of the airlifter. In turn, that interruption will delay, “by a matter of weeks,” delivery of the first production aircraft by Airbus Military to the French Armée de l’Air originally targeted for the end of the year. EPI, the collaboration of ITP, MTU Aero Engines, Snecma and Rolls-Royce, was about halfway through F&R testing with Airbus when the engine problems
FOUNDED IN 1972
by Bill Carey
A400M engine bug confined to development aircraft only
is “similar in nature but not in cause” to the 2011 gearbox issue. Comprehensive testing has identified the problem and “modifications we have done for another reason take this problem away” for productionstandard aircraft. He said EPI is close to proving “to a certification level” that the latest problem is confined to development aircraft, and not to MSN6 and subsequent aircraft. This conclusion will be finally tested in “a couple of weeks.” In addition, last week EPI discovered early signs of engine bearing deterioration from metal chips appearing on chip detectors on the MSN6 aircraft. Because the problem arose at a low number of engine hours, “it tends to point me to a one-off issue rather than systematic [problem],” Henley said. The analysis is ongoing. “That is the reason why we’ve agreed with Airbus that doing, in particular, the hightorque, high-energy maneuvers involved with flight testing is just not worth it for the program. Frankly, the main thing to have here is an aircraft that is production standard that people can actually see. That’s a decision we took together.” Henley said still another vibration problem identified this spring and associated with the engine’s high-pressure compressor has been addressed through the manufacturing process. He said engines coming from assembly were found to marginally exceed the established vibration limit by five microns. However, the last engine delivered tested within vibration limits. EPI has delivered five of the 14 production engines planned this year. o
Farnborough Airshow News
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Dreamliner heading home This Boeing 787 Dreamliner was set to head back to Seattle last night, after an impressive appearance at the Farnborough International airshow. But first mechanics conducted extra checks on its engines after an incident in which a ground power unit caught fire.
Farnborough defense expo planned In 2014, the Farnborough airshow will play host to a new event: the Global Intelligent Systems Expo. Announced by Air Vice Marshal Baz North, the RAF’s assistant chief of the air staff, at the ADS Defence Conference yesterday, the expo
will constitute a conference and workshops, plus both static and dynamic displays, to provide a forum for the advancement of intelligent systems and their application. The expo is a collaboration between ADS, Farnborough International and
4 Farnborough Airshow News • July 12, 2012 • www.ainonline.com
the UK MoD. The latter’s participation is being headed by the newly established Unmanned Air Systems Capability Development Centre at Boscombe Down, which achieved IOC in April. As a prelude to the 2014 event, the first iteration of Global Intelligent Systems Expo will take place here at Farnborough next year, in the week starting July 15.–D.D.
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Virgin Galactic bullish, aspires to ‘daily’ flights by Ian Sheppard
Here’s How It Works
Steve Isakowitz, VG’s chief technology officer and executive v-p, spoke to AIN just before the airshow. He explained how the system works: “The WhiteKnightTwo carrier ship takes off carrying SS2 and at 50,000 feet releases the spaceship, and then it fires its hybrid propulsion system,” Isakowitz explained. “This burns for around one minute for the ‘pull-up’ maneuver and the folks on board experience 3- to 4Gs [as SS2 accelerates to Mach 3.5].” This takes SS2 to an altitude of 360,000 feet, “when the propulsion cuts off you’re in microgravity–and the plan is to enable everyone to take their seatbelts off to experience it. Large windows mean they can look back on the Earth. Then SS2 goes through its maximum altitude and, after a while, [the astronauts] get the signal to return to their seats. “The pilots then execute the feather maneuver, which creates an incredibly stable configuration to slow [SS2] gradually while minimizing heat loads. Then they de-feather [the wings] and come in like a regular glider.” This is what the single-seat SpaceShipOne proved could be done so spectacularly
when it won the X-Prize. At the moment, the team has completed early glide tests of SS2 and Isakowitz said, “The next exciting milestone is when we put the rocket in the spaceship–and we are on pace to do that by the end of 2012. We will do incremental testing–starting with firing the motor for a few seconds to see how the aircraft handles and how well the pilots handle it. Then we’ll do longer and longer burns.” Space or Aviation?
Isakowitz seems confident that certification will be possible. “Because we’re unique, the FAA has two offices involved, for aviation and for space, although their space office is taking the lead. Right now we have an experimental certificate, but the next major one is the operating license. We’ll start the process [to obtain that] next year.” Once operational, VG be lieves it could fly up to 500 people in the first year and 30,000 over the first 10 years. “Our ultimate aspiration is to fly every day,” said Isakowitz. The company’s hope is that as flights become more frequent, the cost of tickets will be reduced. For pilots, he told AIN that the company expects to employ six to eight astronaut pilots in the early stages of commercial operations and that there will be another pilot selection in summer 2012, “pending the progress of flight testing.” The current pilots are Dave Mackay, chief pilot, and Keith Colmer. The logical next step for Virgin Galactic would be orbital flights and, to this end, it stated: “We have signed a letter of support for NASA CCDec competitor Dreamchaser, but we are fully focused on our core product.” Dreamchaser is a project of Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen (who also funded SpaceShipOne) that has already acquired two former United Airlines Boeing 747s and plans to convert them into a single carrier aircraft for a rocket ship. Meanwhile, VG has teamed with Aabar Investments to establish a second spaceport in Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates, although for now it is focused on making a success of Spaceport America, on which it has a 20-year lease. o
At $200,000 a ticket it isn’t cheap but it is definitely out of this world, and you get a great view. Virgin Galactic’s plans to be the first space tourism business really took off after SpaceShipOne won the Ansari X-Prize back in 2004. Now, 529 “astronauts” (around 88 flights worth) have booked their tickets to go up in SpaceShipTwo (SS2), a sixseat (plus two pilots) all-composite ship of novel design–as can be seen here in the Farnborough airshow static park. Although this is a replica, the pivoting wings that are the key design feature for achieving reentry without titanium or ablative shielding is evident. The actual vehicle has been built by The Spaceship Company, a joint venture between Virgin Galactic and Scaled Composites, based in Mojave, California. Launches will take place from the town of Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, where Virgin Galactic has established “Spaceport America.”
Virgin Galactic took center stage at Farnborough yesterday. Founder Sir Richard Branson, at the microphone, led the discussion on LaunchOne, a new program to provide satellite launching service using Virgin Galactic’s WhiteKnightTwo carrier ship. LaunchOne is backed by the group’s partner Aaber Investments. Branson was joined by, left to right, George Whitesides, Virgin Galactic CEO and president; Stephen Attenborough, commercial director; and Steve Isakowitz, executive v-p and chief technology officer. Branson also confirmed that all major components of the rocket system for Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo space tourist vehicle have been qualified ready for first flight by the end of this year.
Key supplier deals struck for AW609 civil tiltrotor by Chad Trautvetter AgustaWestland signed three key supplier agreements for its AW609 civil tiltrotor program here at Farnborough yesterday, with Pratt & Whitney Canada, Rockwell Collins and BAE Systems. These major agreements follow a trail of contracts signed with AW609 component suppliers since AgustaWestland acquired the tiltrotor program last November. FAA and EASA certification of the AW609 is projected to occur in the first half of 2016. Under its agreement, Pratt & Whitney Canada will provide the PT6C-67A, a new turboshaft derivative of the venerable PT6A with increased performance capabilities, which is slated for certification in the 2014 to 2015 time frame. While -67A engines have been flying on the AW609 prototypes for the past 10 years, the certified powerplant will incorporate several upgrades, among them being core design changes that will increase efficiency, P&WC vice president of engineering Walter Di Bartolomeo told AIN. He added that the turboshafts are also specially designed for “rotating vertical operations,” meaning they can
withstand the AW609’s transitions between vertical and airplane modes. Rockwell Collins will supply integrated avionics for the AW609 based on its touchscreen Pro Line Fusion embedded display system (EDS). Fusion EDS is a scaleddown version of Fusion for turboprops and light jets, with the processing hardware and software integrated into the “smart” touchscreen displays instead of in a cabinet-based architecture like it is for larger jets. Touchscreen Avionics
The new avionics system, announced last October, offers touchscreen control on the 14-inch primary flight displays, head-up guidance system capable of displaying synthetic-vision imagery, “autonomous backup flight control modes, MultiScan weather threat detection and full integration with Ascend flight information solutions,” according to Rockwell Collins. With Fusion EDS, the AW609 will be capable of singlepilot operations under instrument flight rules conditions, a Rockwell Collins spokesman told AIN. The new cockpit will
be installed on the fourth airframe, which is scheduled to fly in 2014. Certification of Fusion EDS is planned for late 2013. Finally, BAE Systems will provide an upgraded flight control computer for the AW609’s triple-redundant fully digital fly-by-wire flight control system. The computer, which is expected to receive TSO certification in 2014, will include the AgustaWestland control laws and flight-control software, as well as the Fadec digital engine control system. According to Agusta West land, the vendor base for the civil tiltrotor is being renewed, “providing opportunities for cost-reduction initiatives, upgrades and improvements.” In line with this, the company is holding a presentation to key suppliers tomorrow at its Cascina Costa, Italy facility, which will include an update on the certification program. A single integrated development team in Cascina Costa is managing the AW609 program, but much of the flight testing for the tiltrotor prototypes will take place at its Arlington, Texas subsidiary. o AINonline iPhone App NOW AVAILABLE
www.ainonline.com • July 12, 2012 • Farnborough Airshow News 5
Sun shines for ATR after one-day sales haul
The U.S. Navy is Omega’s best customer for aerial refueling services, including acting as the flying filling station for the F/A-18s that flew here to Farnborough for the show. Last year’s tally totaled almost 1,600 hours’ flying time for this KDC-10 and three KC-707s.
Omega’s hoses-for-hire are on standby for RAF by Chris Pocock The Omega Air KDC-10 tanker is here to remind visitors that a contract air refueling service is readily available. It brought the two Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornets across the Atlantic to Farnborough last week; the U.S. Navy is Omega’s prime customer, buying about 85 percent of the Irish company’s tanking output, which was nearly 1,600 hours last year with the KDC-10 and three KC-707s. Omega has been providing
UK MFTS invites new bids for basic trainer by Chris Pocock The long-delayed solicitation for fixed-wing basic training aircraft to serve in the UK’s Military Flying Training System (MFTS) will be issued within 40 days. Lockheed Martin and Babcock are partners in the Ascent consortium are is providing the MFTS in a public-private partnership (PPP). Jim Weitzel, vice president training solutions for Lockheed Martin, told AIN that after a thorough review by the Ministry of Defence (MoD), the MFTS strategy had been confirmed as “good value for money and the right construct.” However, Weitzel revealed that the MoD is likely to change the terms of the PPP. “They’re looking at a hybrid structure,
its turnkey refueling service for 12 years now. Other customers have included Saab, for the Gripen, and Bell Boeing, for the V-22. The former Japan Airlines DC-10-40 cost about £10 million (about $15 million) to convert and certify as the KDC-10, plus another £15 million (around $22 million) for three new engines and an overhaul that provides for 25 years more service. In the past four years, the Royal Australian Air Force has been where they will acquire some assets, and others will be financed over a shorter period.” PPPs were fashionable under the previous British government, but the current coalition regime takes a more skeptical view. Ascent’s plans for the MFTS have also been affected by the reduced requirement for aircrew resulting from the 2010 UK defense review. Sir Barry Thornton, Ascent’s managing director, and before that the commander of RAF Personnel and Training Command, resigned recently. Bidders Unrevealed
Weitzel declined to identify the potential bidders that will provide the fixed-wing training aircraft. But it has been widely reported that there will be three consortiums: BAE Systems/ Babcock/Pilatus; EADS Cassidian/Cobham/CAE; and KBR/ Elbit Systems. As for the aircraft that they will offer, informed sources at the show told AIN that the BAE-led consortium would propose keeping the RAF’s existing Grob G115 elementary training aircraft from which
providing about 10 percent of Omega’s tanker business. Delays in the development and certification of the RAAF’s Airbus A330MRTTs have left the service without the means to air-refuel its Super Hornets. The RAAF retired its 707 tankers in 2008–and they were bought by Omega. The UK Ministry of Defence this week denied, when asked by AIN, rumors that the Royal Air Force’s new A330MRTTs would miss their in service date, which calls for nine aircraft to be available by May 2014. The RAF’s last VC-10 tankers will be withdrawn from service next March, followed by the Lockheed Tristars in March 2014. Perhaps not surprisingly, Omega is standing by–just in case. o students would graduate to the Pilatus PC-21. The Cassidianled consortium would propose the Grob G120TP for elementary training and the bulk of the basic training syllabus. Students would move on to the Hawker Beechcraft T-6 Texan trainer. The KBR/Elbit team would make a similar proposal for a G120TP/T-6 combination, but it would also offer the G120TP as a stand-alone solution for the entire syllabus. Most air arms that have bought the T-6 employ it for the entire basic training syllabus. Hawker Beechcraft declined to comment for this article but Andre Hiebeler, co-chief executive of Grob Aircraft, told AIN that the G120TP was a sideby-side design capable of taking pilots from the first steps of flying all the way to 6g aerobatic maneuvers. “Tandem airplanes offer 60 knots more speed than us, but they are much more expensive,” he said. o
6 Farnborough Airshow News • July 12, 2012 • www.ainonline.com
ATR announced more than the show, which seems a little bit $600 million worth of firm cloudy,” Bagnato quipped. “In orders at the show yesterday, the regional market, the future led by an eight-unit deal with belongs to the turboprop and Taiwan’s TransAsia for ATR the numbers tell us that ATR is 72-600s. Meanwhile, the Franco- leading the way.” In fact, said Bagnato, ATR Italian manufacturer logged a separate pair of orders, each controls 68 percent of the backfor two ATR 72-600s, from log for all regional aircraft, encompassing Air Lease Corturboprops and reporation and gional jets. “I think Lao Airlines. we can say ATR ATR plans to is the reference,” start deliveries to he added. TransAsia in 2014 Having recentand Lao Airlines ly certified the later this year. The smaller ATR 42Air Lease order–a 600, ATR expects conversion of preto deliver the last viously held options -500 series airplane on two of 10 airFilippo Bagnato this year. Plans planes–calls for de ATR chief executive call for delivery of livery in July and the first 46-seat ATR 42-600 in September next year. Speaking at a show briefing September, to a Middle East yesterday, ATR chief executive operator that has asked to reFilippo Bagnato also revealed main unidentified. Yesterday also brought that Ireland’s Aer Arann is planning to place an order for eight ATR an order for a single more of the 70-seat turboprops ATR42-600 from Denmark’s Nordic Aviation capital. The in the coming days. “We hope that ATR will leasing group already has 100 o bring a little bit of sunshine to ATRs in its portfolio. MARK WAGNER
by Gregory Polek
Three radar options in line for Yak-130 combat trainer by Thierry Dubois Russian manufacturer Irkut is studying airborne radar candidates for its Yak-130 combat trainer. Konstantin Popovich, Irkut v-p and head of the Yakovlev Engineering Center, announced at a Farnborough International airshow briefing yesterday that three radar options are being considered, from three designers–Phazotron, Ramenskoe-based NIIP and St. Petersburg-based Leninets. One option would be to use a pod, and most of the development should be completed by 2013. “The Russian ministry of defense helped define the direction to go,” Popovich added. Adding Refueling System
The optronics system is also to be finalized by next year. The ministry suggested adding the refueling system, when it saw “how close the Yak-130’s characteristics are to those of the
MiG-29 and Sukhoi Su-30,” according to Popovich. Other “capability enhancements” in the works, reported Popovich, include an optronics pod, an in-flight refueling system and more weapon options for the jet’s nine hard points. Offering the Yak-130 to the U.S. Air Force is in the cards. “No particular contacts” have been established, however, Popovich said. He added that, so far, Yak-130 components have been 100 percent Russian but the aircraft could be fitted with some Western equipment. This year, Irkut is delivering a first batch of 15 aircraft to the Russian air force, which has a total of 67 on firm order. AIN has learned that 16 were handed over to Algeria last year, but Irkut officials did not disclose this deal. Asked about Syria, Popovich stated his company does not supply Yak-130s to that country. o
PROMOTING STEM EDUCATION
TO AIM HIGH. For the seventh year, Raytheon will host the Team America Rocketry Challenge winners for an international “fly-off” at the 2012 Farnborough International Airshow. Join us this Friday to see student rocket teams compete from the UK, France and the U.S.
Students from Madison West High School in Madison, Wisconsin competed against thousands of finalists to place first at the 10th annual Team America Rocketry Challenge.
INNOVATION IN ALL DOMAINS www.raytheon.com | Keyword: FIA12
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by Ian Goold Airbus and Boeing yesterday equally shared another $4.6 billion in airliner orders, with the former boosting its new A330 development and the latter adding to the tally for the new 737 MAX narrowbody. CIT Aerospace, which provides finance for commercialand corporate-aircraft operators, manufacturers and suppliers, signed a firm purchase agreement covering 10 Airbus A330200s and -300s nominally valued at $2.3 billion and scheduled to enter service from 2014. The deal includes five unannounced orders placed earlier this year. This week’s five new orders represent the first commitment for the higher-gross-weight (HGW) A330 variant that Airbus announced here Monday and brings CIT’s A330 backlog to 51. Separately, China Aircraft Leasing Co. (CALC) signed a
memorandum of understanding for 36 A320-series machines, including eight A321 larger variants. If confirmed as firm orders, the aircraft will take CALC’s fleet to more than 50. Deliveries would be drawn from production lines in China and Europe. Irish leasing group Avolon committed to ten 737 MAX 8s and five MAX 9s, as well as ten more 737-800NGs. This package carriers a potential value of $2.3 billion. Engine makers also cashed in yesterday, with Pratt & Whitney and CFM International logging orders. U.S. carrier JetBlue Airways signed a definitive agreement for P&W to supply 86 engines (with related long-term maintenance) for its 40 Airbus A320neo aircraft. Meanwhile, CFMI is to provide Leap-1A engines valued at $450 million to power 18 of 30 A320neos Aviation Capital Group ordered last November and Leap-1B powerplants for 15 Boeing 737 Max machines destined for Irish lessor Avolon. New CFM56 business in cludes improved-performance -5B variants worth $100 million for five A321s that will equip China’s Juneyao Airlines from 2013, while Avolon has selected -7BE models for ten 737NGs. Together, the Avolon deals are nominally valued at $585 million. o
P&W claims pole position in Airbus A330 power race by Gregory Polek Pratt & Whitney will offer its PW4170 Advantage70 engine for Airbus’s revamped, 240-ton max takeoff weight A330. “The Advantage70 is the benchmark on the A330 aircraft program in terms of fuel burn, operating costs, reliability and time-onwing,” said Lou Quattrocchi, the U.S. engine maker’s vice president of commercial programs. “As we have done in the past, we will incorporate technology advancements from other flightproven engine programs as appropriate to ensure this engine continues to be state-of-the-art,” added Quattrocchi. Having flown nearly 14 million hours, the PW4000 100-inch fan engine has recorded the lowest delay and cancellation rate of any engine on the A330, according to Pratt. The engine company supplies A330 customers the aircraft’s entire propulsion system–engine, nacelle, thrust reverser and accessories. Pratt & Whitney offers the
Advantage70 both as a new engine and as an upgrade kit for existing PW4000 100-inch engines. The upgrade includes a suite of technology enhancements that can be incorporated into a fleet during engine overhaul. The PW4170 Advantage70 engine provides a 1-percent fuel-burn reduction along with a 2-percent increase in thrust, making it the highest takeoff rated engine for the A330. Based upon service-proven technologies from the PW4000 family of engines, the Advantage70 configuration provides 10 to 15 percent lower maintenance cost thanks to increased durability, said Pratt. The “new” A330, scheduled to enter service in 2015, would benefit from up to 400 nm extra range, carrying 300 passengers up to 5,950 nm. Plans call for it to carry some 11,000 pounds more payload than today’s aircraft and generate a 1-percent fuel-burn benefit. o
GE Aviation’s projects touching five continents by Charles Alcock Strong positions on new programs have resulted in GE Aviation Systems finding itself busy across five continents. For instance, in its U.S. home, the systems and components group is ramping up for increased rates of production for its extensive contributions to Boeing’s new 787 Dreamliner. At the same time, company president and CEO Lynn Bolsinger takes great encouragement from the “incredible” backlog of systems and components it is supplying for airliners, while acknowledging the potential threats to these apparently strong market conditions in terms of regional economic problems, such as the current financial crisis in Europe. “The ability for the supply chain to be flexible [to the need for rising output in the commercial aircraft sector] is another issue entirely,” she told AIN. “There is a strain on resources and talent, but I suppose that’s a pretty high-class problem to have.” China on the Itinerary
Meanwhile, the GE division is tapping new resources and talent on the other side of the world in China, where its joint venture with Comac for work on its new C919 twinjet was formally established in March. It is now establishing the leadership team for this new operation, although it has, in fact, been working on
project could strip about 400 pounds of weight from each aircraft. Separately, the Naverus air traffic management specialist that GE Aviation acquired back in 2009 has been capitalizing on demand in regions such its contributions to the aircraft as Latin America and Australfor some time. These include the asia. For instance, it has helped avionics core processing system, LAN Peru airline to develop a display system and the onboard performance-based navigation system as part of its maintenance system. Green Skies program. Here in the UK, “The reduction in GE’s electrical power fuel burn is remarkintegration center is able,” said Bolsinger. preparing the electri“It saves 450 pounds cal power system for of fuel on each flight an undisclosed major and emissions are new business aircraft reduced by around now under devel1,000 pounds annuopment. Its laboraally [per aircraft].” tory there can model Now with the U.S. the power loads NextGen ATM proneeded for all phases of generation and Lynn Bolsinger, president gram fully funded, and CEO of GE Aviation this GE division distribution. Systems, is leading the is busy again in its The company’s group’s technology drive home market. It has parallel facility in around the world. won contracts to the U.S. is working on how silicon carbide could demonstrate new RNP and satbe used to reduce weight and ellite approaches, as well as to improve power density in elec- develop shorter flight paths and trical systems. Potentially, this constant descent procedures. o
GE Aviation Systems Focuses on New Products GE Aviation Systems is looking to rename its integrated vehicle health monitoring system now that it is ready to see it enter service. The product has a launch application on an undisclosed business jet and is also being evaluated by prospective airline clients. “This turns unscheduled events into scheduled events and could save roughly $8 billion for the industry,” said president and CEO Lynn Bolsinger. She also told AIN that the company is “getting more enthusiastic about the renaissance of turboprops.” GE is talking to airframers about developing new integrated propulsion systems that would encompass the engines, propellers and nacelles.–C.A.
loving the ‘q’uiet of the q400 Getting together here at Farnborough to discuss and celebrate the efficiency and quiet of Flybe’s fleet of 57 Bombardier Q400 turboprops are: (l to r) Richard Dussault, v-p marketing regional airlines, Pratt & Whitney Canada; Gordon Pratt, director of Q400 program management, Bombardier; Simon Roberts, v-p and general manager turboprop programs, Toronto, Bombardier; and Andrew Strong, managing director, Flybe UK. MARK WAGNER
Airbus and Boeing take $4.6 billion in orders
8 Farnborough Airshow News • July 12, 2012 • www.ainonline.com
M&A appetite still big in commercial aerospace
Unfortunately, Korea’s Black Eagles were not allowed to perform here at Farnborough as an aerobatic team of eight, but one of its T-50 trainers is flying in the daily aerial displays, and another is on static display.
AW plans co-op project with Russian Helicopters by Thierry Dubois AgustaWestland and Russian Helicopters here have signed a “preliminary agreement”to jointly develop a new 2.5-metric-ton class (5,500 pounds) single-engine helicopter. Bruno Spagnolini, CEO of AgustaWestland, and Russian Helicopters CEO Dmitry Petrov inked the document. The program will be shared on a 50/50 basis. “Having jointly established Helivert to assemble the AW139 in Russia, this program marks the next step,” Spagnolini commented. The aircraft will be smaller, and so cheaper, than the existing AW119ke Koala. It will compete head-to-head with
Sabir teeth for C-130’s sensor needs by Richard Gardner There are plenty of sensor options available for mounting on the ubiquitous C-130 Hercules, but an innovative new technology called Sabir (Special Airborne Mission Installation & Response System) is being presented here at the show by Highland Integrated Surveillance Systems (Hiss). It is a self-contained bolt on/bolt off assembly, which requires no hardware modifications to the aircraft because the complete system unit is tucked into the fuselage side in
first half of 2012 should be in line with those released for the first quarter, Spagnolini said. The first quarter of 2012 saw a 21.5-increase in orders (compared to the same period in 2011), at approximately $1 billion. The newest models, the AW169 and AW189, accounted for half of this amount. The backlog roughly equals three years of production.
the Eurocopter EC130 T2. At the Farnborough International airshow, the helicopter manufacturer has announced sales valued at more than $370 million. Spagnolini reported signing contracts with CHC (10 AW139s), Era (five AW139s, plus options), some Japanese customers (three AW139s), Russian customers (three AW139s), Specialist Aviation Services (six AW169s, including options) and the Italian police (two AW139s). AgustaWestland has 11 aircraft on static display and is participating in the flying display with the AW139, AW169 and AW189. Financial numbers of the
AgustaWestland has a number of programs under way for the UK Ministry of Defence. The airframer has delivered six of 62 AW159 Lynx Wildcats on order–34 for the army and 28 for the navy. Another program calls for some air force AW101 Merlins to be transferred to the navy to replace Sea Kings. The modification contract is expected in 2014. o
place of an aft paratroop door. The unit, which causes no interference with cargo operations, comprises a collapsible workstation, operator chair, equipment racks, an observer door plug, with frame and builtin sonotube launcher, and an articulated strut with sensor mounting. The Sabir enables a C-130 to be used with minimum change for a wide variety of different special missions including command and control, search and rescue, Elint and Comint, surveillance, UAV launch and control, and image intelligence. The system has been developed by Calgary-based Airdyne R&D and is marketed by Hiss. Clients include U.S. Special Operations Command, the U.S. Air National Guard, U.S. Marine Corps and the Canadian Department of
National Defence. The NATOstandard mounting provides full 360 degrees field of view for any sensor payload, which can be retracted for takeoff or landing and allows rapid fitting of the sensor. There is a large bubble window in the new roll-up door for a wide view. There is also the option of adding armour to the position and the mission system uses standard aircraft power supplies. Although the SABIR concept was originally designed to allow any standard C-130 to carry additional sensors and carry out special operations without compromising other operational requirements, its success has led to Hiss proposing installations suitable for the CN-295, C-27J, Embraer 390 and for use on large helicopters such as the CH-47 Chinook. o
Six Wildcats Delivered
10 Farnborough Airshow News • July 12, 2012 • www.ainonline.com
The outlook for the commercial aerospace industry remains extremely positive and this is driving strong mergers and acquisitions activity, according to Michael Richter, managing director of the aerospace and defense group at financial advisor and asset manager Lazard. Richter said companies and investors are drawn to strong equity performance, revenues from healthy order backlogs and the perceived opportunity to get a bigger piece of the action at the early stage of an upswing. Despite the mounting prospect of another full-blown financial crisis in Europe and diminished airline profitability in many regions, Richter told AIN that companies throughout the aerospace supply chain are benefiting from the increased aircraft build rates announced in 2011. A new industry commentary published by Lazard ahead of this week’s Farnborough International airshow indicates that there are two competing views between prospective merger and acquisitions players as to what awaits the commercial aerospace sector in the next few years. “The first view is that the current aerospace cycle
will continue through, and hold steady beyond, the announced build-rate increases,” said Lazard, which describes this outcome as a “super cycle.” Alternatively, “the second view is the more traditional commercial aerospace cycle wherein Airbus and Boeing orders, and subsequently deliveries, experience periods of fluctuation stemming from either external events or transitional periods in aircraft model production,” concluded Lazard. In this scenario, deliveries would likely peak and then dip around the middle of the current decade. But surely, given grave concerns over Europe’s financial foundations, slowing growth in markets like China and the latest downgrade in project airline profits from the International Air Transport Association, the outlook cannot be this optimistic? “To the extent that the market deteriorates the order backlog is at risk,” conceded Richter. “But if it does hold up, then it will be good for suppliers. To the extent that organic growth is at risk, growth through mergers and acquisitions becomes more important [for companies seeking other sources of growth].” o
extreme performer Eurocopter’s EC175 graphically demonstrates its extreme performance and agility in the aerial display here at Farnborough.
by Charles Alcock
Now a combat veteran, APKWS seeks new roles by Bill Carey BAE Systems has been busy negotiating a full-rate production contract this week for its advanced precision kill weapon system (APKWS), which was fielded by the U.S. Marine Corps in Afghanistan this spring after years of development and testing. The guidance kit is being advanced for use on other airborne platforms, for larger weapons and for different warheads. The APKWS converts the Hydra 70-mm unguided rocket into a precision-guided munition through the addition of the WGU-59/B midbody guidance and control section, developed by BAE. The WGU-59/B adds a distributed-aperture, semi-active laser seeker, and the weapon is flown to the target by wings with flaperons that deploy after launch. The weapon was fielded by the Marines in Afghanistan in March on AH-1W Super Cobra and UH-1Y Huey helicopters. The U.S. Navy awarded BAE a low-rate initial production contract for the APKWS in September 2010 and has delivered 1,000 systems in two lots, according to Stephen Scalera, director of business development for electronic systems survivability and targeting solutions. The company was in negotiations with the Navy for full-rate production of the weapon, Scalera said Tuesday during a briefing here at the Farnborough International airshow. Under a contract from the U.S. Naval Air Systems Command, Northrop Grumman is integrating the APKWS on the MQ-8B Fire Scout UAV, which would be the service’s first seabased unmanned system to carry weapons. The Navy is also exploring the use of the APKWS for overwater deployment. “All I can tell you is they’ve had good results,” Scalera said. The APKWS was in development for 17 years and originally was a joint U.S. Army and Navy program. The weapon has also been fired from the Army’s OH-58 Kiowa Warrior helicopter. Scalera said the guidance section can be scaled for larger weapons and can accommodate several different warheads. In April, BAE test-fired the APKWS with a M282 penetrator warhead at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. During the tests, the weapon penetrated
a triple brick wall and an M114 armored personnel carrier. BAE said the APKWS is not
intended to replace unguided rockets for area suppression or the Hellfire missile for antiarmor operations, rather it fills a gap between the two weapons. Scalera said the APKWS is the only deployed guided rocket program of record and, with its midbody guidance section, differs from competing systems with front-mounted seekers. o
The BAE Systems advanced precision kill weapon system (APKWS) converts unguided “dumb” bombs into precision-guided munitions.
GOOD FLYING! PILATUS WISHES YOU AN EXCELLENT AIR SHOW! Come and visit us at the Static Display www.pilatus-aircraft.com
www.ainonline.com • July 12, 2012 • Farnborough Airshow News 11
Canyon Engineering Products. The leading provider of engineered aircraft fluid control valves to the world’s leading aircraft platforms. World class quality and delivery. Farnborough Hall 4, Stand F7
Thales’ Odicis addresses Sesar and NextGen by Thierry Dubois Thales (Chalet S1) is here exhibiting its future cockpit concept: Odicis (one display for a cockpit interactive solution) with additional functions. Engineers have endeavored to make ground and air segments work together seamlessly in nextgeneration air traffic management (ATM) systems such as the Single European Sky and U.S. NextGen. The philosophy of Odicis is to have more information displayed and still make the crew’s job easier. Newly added has been an “initial 4-D trajectory” (I4D) feature. The system allows flight crews to tell controllers exactly when they will arrive at a specified destination right down to the time the aircraft will arrive at the gate. The Odicis demonstrator will replay the flight trial that took place in February 2012. It also incorporates a “digital taxi” (D-Taxi) feature that uplinks the cleared taxi route and depicts it to the pilot on a display. The data link is a CPDLC (controller pilot data link communication). The third system recently added is for airborne separation assistance (ASAS). It helps create a regular traffic flow. It ensures “an aircraft adjusts its speed so that it can keep its spacing relative to another aircraft.” Finally, “Eco TakeOff” optimizes takeoff and climb profile, trying to strike a balance between carbon dioxide emissions and noise mitigation. With next-generation ATM, a “host
For engineered aircraft fluid controlvalves.
shining star Hawker Beechcraft’s Texan II gets a morning rubdown here at Farnborough. HBC would retain the Texan II program under current terms of the possible sale of the civil side of the company to Chinese interests.
of new information will need to be displayed,” Thales emphasized. This increases the amount of data the crew will need to handle. With Odicis, Thales claims to display “all relevant information in a simpler and clearer fashion on a larger and more legible display.” This is supposed to ease workload and complexity. Odicis features touchscreens on a continuous display that covers the entire instrument panel and pedestal. This allows Thales to promise a “simpler and more instinctive human-system interface allowing the pilot to focus on flying the aircraft.” With Air France 447 crash investigators having just reminded the industry about how critical interfaces and flying skills are, Thales’ new ideas could be timely. o
India offset headaches still hurt by Neelam Mathews Boeing has expressed in no uncertain terms to AIN the pain of having to honor offsets in India and the challenge of managing a constantly shifting policy landscape. The growing Indian defense budget ($44 billion by 2016) may be attractive but it would seem that the trials and tribulations being faced by initial winners such as Boeing could be a significant downside for the foreseeable future. “The biggest challenge is the defense procurement policy [DPP],” Christopher Chadwick, president of Boeing Military Aircraft, told AIN. This is not just a Boeing challenge but an industry issue… The intentions of the Indian government that the Indian industry should grow, we support,…but the speed [of acquisition] cannot absorb the offsets.” Defense procurements in India call for an offset clause of 30 to 50 percent. The policy, which undergoes a change every year, is not retroactive to those awarded earlier. “My concern is we have different programs under different procurement policies. This is becoming difficult to manage,” said business development
12 Farnborough Airshow News • July 12, 2012 • www.ainonline.com
vice president Jeffery Kohler. The concern has become imminent as the first P-8I multi-mission maritime patrol aircraft will be delivered to India at the end of the first quarter of 2013. India will take delivery of its first C-17s in mid-2013. Pratt & Whitney has already delivered the first four F117 engines for the Indian air force to power its fleet of C-17 aircraft. In 2011, India’s Ministry of Defense signed a letter of offer and acceptance with the U.S. government to acquire 10 C-17s. Boeing is now awaiting the final letter for 22 AH-64D Apache attack helicopters and weapons. Also awaited is a decision on 15 heavy-lift CH-47F Chinook helicopters. The U.S. airframer is also planning to stop production of the C-17 by around 2015 unless it attracts commercial orders. India, too, might look at additional options. Chadwick told AIN it is unlikely that orders for additional aircraft will be made “until we deliver the C-17 and they get a sense of the capabilities. There is [however] a concern regarding the timing.” o
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India set to dilute HAL’s monopoly on programs
The limited series production version of the Tejas LCA built by HAL, left, made its maiden flight this year. It will be offered to the Indian Air Force for evaluation trials.
by Neelam Mathews Few companies can lay claim to having as many as 10 aircraft planned or under development simultaneously, but India’s state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL) is doing just that. However, while the Bangalore-based group’s ambitions may be laudable, it remains to be seen how it will face the formidable challenges of its current and planned projects. To achieve its goal of being a global defense firm with revenues of $6 billion within the next 10 years, HAL is planning to produce a light combat aircraft (LCA), a light utility helicopter (LUH), a medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA), a fifth-generation fighter, a multi-role transport aircraft and a basic trainer. It has 19 production facilities and 10 research-and-design centers at eight locations in India. The company also has manufactured numerous aircraft under license. However, recently there have been indications that the Indian industry isn’t managing to join up the dots in its aerospace and defense plans. For instance, in May, defense minister A.K. Antony acknowledged problems with plans for an indigenous engine to power the LCA, when he reported that the Defense Research Development Organization (DRDO) had conceded that the unit proposed by Kaveri Aero Engine company does not deliver enough power for the fighter. Instead, the Kaveri engine is going to be reapplied for possible unmanned air vehicle programs. The DRDO remains undecided as to when
HAL manufactures BAE Systems’ Hawk Mk 132 advance jet trainer under license with materials, parts and support services provided by the OEM.
and how a more powerful version of the Kaveri engine might be developed for the LCA, or whether the GEF414 alternative will be retained. This seems to be an all too familiar predicament for India’s main defense manufacturer, for which program delays are commonplace. While HAL manufactures the Sukhoi Su-30 fighter and BAE Systems’ Hawk Mk 132 advance jet trainer under license with materials, parts and support services provided by the original equipment manufacturers, analysts say India’s industry will need transfer of technology instead of transfer of production to put the country at the forefront of new developments. HAL itself has declined to comment publicly on the doubts now being raised over its business strategy. Behind the scenes, company insiders, industry analysts and government officials expressed candid concerns in interviews with AIN done on
The delayed HJT-36 intermediate jet trainer is due to replace the Kiran MK IIs now being used by the Indian Air Force.
condition of anonymity. “HAL, in 70 years, has been unable to manufacture a basic trainer. How it will move on the fifth-generation fighter aircraft currently being developed with Russia remains to be seen,” said a senior Indian Air Force (IAF) officer. Replacing the HPT-32
The Pilatus PC-7 Mk II recently chosen as India’s new basic trainer has a 30-percent offset clause. The contract with the Swiss manufacturer for 75 aircraft, for which deliveries are to begin in the last quarter of this year, includes an integrated ground-based training system and logistics support, as well as an option for HAL to license-build an additional 106 turboprops.
With ambitious plans for the next 10 years, HAL is planning to produce a light combat aircraft, a light utility helicopter, a medium multi-role combat aircraft, a fifth-generation fighter (above) and a multi-role transport aircraft.
14 Farnborough Airshow News • July 12, 2012 • www.ainonline.com
The IAF’s new purchase follows the grounding of the 114 HAL-built HPT-32 pistonengine basic trainers in the wake of a spate of crashes. Pilots are currently being trained on 81 Kiran Mk II intermediate jet trainers (IJT), due to be retired at the end of this year, to be replaced by the new HJT-36 IJT, which also is behind schedule. While HAL is known to be moving in the area of helicopters, even its flagship advanced light helicopter (ALH)–a 5.5-metric-ton-class multimission helicopter, which it claims is designed and developed entirely in-house–effectively started life 28 years ago at what is now Eurocopter Deutschland. “One thing is clear. Though it is India’s, if not Asia’s, first designed helicopter, it is not ‘indigenous’ in the true sense,” said a former HAL engineer. The powerplant of the ALH consists of a pair of two 1,000-shp Turbomeca TM 3332B turboshafts. India’s navy has decided against buying additional ALHs and has hinted it will turn to foreign vendors for both its utility and antisubmarine warfare requirements. A second-time-around RFP
for 197 light helicopters for the Indian military that was first released in 2008 now is stuck and awaiting clearance from the government technical oversight committee. Even then, further clearances will be required before the commercial bids are opened. All this wasted time has many in the business speculating whether the government really wants to make a decision between the two contenders: Eurocopter’s AS550 C3 Fennec and the Russian Kamov Ka-226. The thinking is that HAL may have abandoned hopes of licensed production of these imports, having decided to go it alone with its LUH, for which it has an order for 187. The LUH project was government-sanctioned in 2009 with a mandate to develop it by 2017. It is now being debated whether the 197-ship Indian military order should be given to HAL instead. For the military, this is just another delay for a product needed yesterday. While HAL has a better record in the arena of helicopters than fixed-wing aircraft, there is doubt whether this project will move ahead effortlessly. Defense minister Antony recently said in parliament that the delays to HAL projects do not help. They have included
HAL conducted the first flight of the technology demonstrator version (above) of its light combat helicopter built with lighter parts and an optimized transmission system. This year, HAL completed flight trials for the turret gun and rocket it manufactured for the weaponized ALH (right).
At the same time, HAL is developing its planned multirole transport aircraft and fifth-generation fighter jointly with Russia, while also looking to codesign and coproduce a 10-metric-ton-class medium-lift helicopter. However, it now seems likely that a private company will handle the latter program. Given delays in completing projects, HAL’s effective monopoly over state-backed programs is increasingly being questioned. For instance, some industry observers have suggested that the LUH program should be reassigned to one of India’s growing body of private aerospace companies, such as Larsen & Toubro and Mahindra & Mahindra, which have secured previous licenses to manufacture defense equipment. This change may now be getting under way. U.S.-based Sikorsky Aircraft and India’s Tata Advanced Systems Ltd. (TASL) have applied for a defense license to manufacture components and assemble helicopters for use by the Indian navy. “The license will pave the way for us to set up an assembly line in this country,” Steve Estill, Sikorsky’s vice president of strategic partnerships, said during a recent visit to India. “We will decide on our plans once we hear from the ministry of defense. We expect the ministry to clear our application in the second quarter of this financial year.” This statement is in line with India’s soon-to-be released, but delayed, 2012 defense procurement policy, which, for the first time, is expected to countenance
the active participation of private industry. Industry sources have told AIN that a pilot project for each of the three armed services will be open to the private sector only as a measure to boost the industry. The first project is expected to be the replacement of the IAF’s 56 aging Avro transports. Bids will be invited from OEMs willing to fully transfer technology to an Indian company to develop the platform in India. “The whole line will have to be shifted,” said a defense ministry official. The project will have active participation from the air force and the ministry in the design and development phases. All eyes are on HAL for the production of the MMRCA, for which Dassault’s Rafale was declared the selected, lowest bidder earlier this year, though no contract has been awarded yet. There is concern with the Indian rupee currency having depreciated in recent months that the cost of acquisition could be much higher than projected, as could be the scope for the 50 percent offsets. A “Flyaway” Start
Under the terms of purchase, the first 18 of the 126 aircraft will come in a “flyaway” condition, while the remaining 108 will be manufactured under transfer of technology by the prime HAL, which recently announced an intent to establish, on 40 acres of land that it recently acquired as part of its expansion program, a separate unit for manufacturing the MMRCA airframe and engine. “HAL currently has an order book of $18 billion...Its ability to absorb additional orders remains uncertain, given the historical structural issues, even after adjusting for complexity for the order pipeline, currently faced by HAL,” concluded a report by consultancy Aviotech. HAL’s order book equates to about three years’ worth of backlog at Embraer and a year
at Lockheed Martin. With concerns that HAL will find it difficult to honor its commitment for manufacturing the Rafale, a memorandum of understanding has already been signed between Indian industrial giant Reliance Industries and Dassault Aviation for pursuing possible strategic opportunities for manufacturing and support in India. A suppliers’ meeting held in New Delhi recently was arranged to network and identify tier-two and -three suppliers. However, it remains to be seen if deep-pocketed Reliance will be willing to invest in such a large venture without an organized supplier base in the country. “Reliance will possibly be the tier-one partner to HAL. There can be a thin prime and very thick-tier one,” predicted a ministry of defense official. Not all efforts are in vain. HAL said its achievements in the past year included flight trials for the turret gun and rocket it completed for the ALH-WSI (weapons systems integration), and conducting the maiden flight of the limited series
production version of the Tejas LCA, which will be offered to the air force for evaluation trials. HAL also has conducted the first flight of the technology demonstrator version of its light combat helicopter built with lighter parts and an optimized transmission system and incorporating several improvements based on flight evaluation of an earlier demonstrator, while the detailed design and analysis of structural parts of the LUH have been completed. Restructing Coming
Government support given to HAL in the past has resulted in its expansion, but now reality is setting in with growing acceptance that the group is simply overloaded. A restructuring plan is in the offing, which will enable the giant conglomerate to synergize its strengths and focus on systems integration. Enough work is in hand to last HAL for the next decade, including upgrades to the Mirage 2000 and the Jaguars to be completed by 2021 and 2017, respectively. Indian Air Force orders for 40 LCA Mark Is to
be followed by 80 LCA Mark IIs are also on hand. The navy has ordered 46 of its own version of the LCAs expected to be ready for sea-trials by 2013. In the next two decades India expects an investment in the military and aerospace sectors of $200- to $300 billion, for which offsets will be substantial. “The new defense procurement policy aims to achieve substantial self-reliance in design, development and production of equipment, weapon systems and platforms for defense in as early a time frame as possible,” said junior defense minister M.M. Pallam Raju. But a major issue for the country’s industry is the lack of program-management skills. “[Improving the skills] is a painful process. It will take some time to gather the requisite skills as programs mature gradually,” said Raju, adding that the government is committed to encouraging private participation in defense production, with the ministry focused on strengthening and widening the defense industrial base. o
reworking of Hawk jigs, problems establishing production of complex engine components and radar software for the Su-30 MKI, certification delays with the Shakti engine, changes in design standards for the LCA and engine delays for the HJT-36 IJT.
F-35: the view from the cockpit On Tuesday, a trio of F-35 Joint Strike Fighter pilots gave their individual accounts of the world’s biggest fighter program here at the Farnborough International airshow. Col. Art Thomasseti, left, vice-commander of the U.S. Air Force’s 33rd Fighter Wing, discussed recent activities at the first Lightning II training base. Alan Norman, center, Lockheed Martin chief test pilot, delivered an update of the flight test program; Peter “Wizzer” Wilson, right, lead STOVL test pilot, BAE Systems gave a description of the F-35B. –C.P.
www.ainonline.com • July 12, 2012 • Farnborough Airshow News 15
Brooklands Museum lets us ‘fly’ at Mach 2 by Ian Sheppard Brooklands Museum in Weybridge, a few short miles from Farnborough, not only has a Concorde (G-BBDG) but it has also reassembled and refurbished the simulator that British Airways used to train pilots on the iconic supersonic aircraft. AIN went to find more about the “Brooklands Concorde Ex perience” before the show. The Experience starts with a tour (including fascinating exhibition and simulated flight in
vibration) characteristics, the simulator is in close proximity to Delta Golf and provides a more than apt second part to the experience–where you actually get to take the controls of the aircraft. AIN flew a couple of circuits around Hong Kong, landing the famous “checkerboard” approach at the city’s former airport, Kai Tak. Assisting with the flying was Ian Smith, who
veterans say that the simulator is very realistic. Gordon Corps, deputy chief test pilot at the UK CAA, once said: “It is by far the nicest aeroplane in the world to fly; I fly all types and the Concorde just spoils you for flying anything else.” The designers did the impossible, creating an aircraft that could fly at twice the speed of sound while passengers hardly noticed getting there, while sipping champagne and viewing the curve of the Earth; while at the same time being able to have virtually no vices at low speeds–as this author saw in bringing her around into Hong Kong’s Kai Tak.
AIN’s Ian Sheppard horses the Concorde simulator into a steep bank on the famed“checkerboard” approach to Hong Kong Kai Tak Airport. The simulator is also slaved to a Microsoft Flight Sim program, so spectators can watch just where on Earth those in the cockpit are flying (inset).
Concorde Facts Here are some fascinating supersonic facts about the Concorde: • Just over 202 feet long, nine• Takeoff speed: 250 mph; foot-wide fuselage; • Landing speed: 187 mph; • Tail and cockpit sections added • Fuel consumption: more than at Filton were built at Weybridge 5,600 imperial gallons an hour; (Vickers, later BAC); • 20 built and flew, 16 of them • Stretches six to eight inches were production aircraft; in flight; • Entered airline service in 1976; • Pressurized to 6,000 feet, so • BA flew 2.5 million passengers comfortable in cabin; before the aircraft was retired • Cruise: 1,350 mph (Mach 2 at from service in 2003. 60,000 feet); • Fastest East-West • Range: 4,300 miles, with 100 Atlantic crossing: 3 hours passengers in single class; 6 minutes; fastest • Payload: 25,000 pounds, only 6 West-East: 2 hours percent of max takeoff weight; 53 minutes. And the most fascinating fact of all is that the U.S. spent more on getting nowhere because of a dogged insistence on heading for Mach 3, which meant extensive use of titanium–a bad choice. All this is well documented, said museum guide Gerald Ramshaw. The Concorde used RR58 “Hiduminium,” an alloy of aluminium and copper (6 percent), which Rolls-Royce had developed for pistons. The skin of the Concorde reached 120-deg C (this would double again to 350-deg C if you went Mach 3, but the transatlantic crossing would be just 30 minutes faster). Here’s another contender for most fascinating fact–above 7 degrees angle of attack lift is generated by vortices created by the ogive delta wing–vortex lift–not by conventional lift at all. The wing is swept 55 degrees and twists and droops–a shape honed through 5,000 hours of windtunnel testing. And the famous drooping nose? During takeoff and initial subsonic climb, the visor was lowered into the nose and the nose was in its intermediate 5-degree position; for landing, both visor and nose down, to full 12.5-degree droop. –I.S.
sharklets in the air
the cabin) on “Delta Golf”–the Concorde that so many contributed to rebuilding after it had been broken up and transported from its former home at Filton. Housed in the former acoustic chamber where many of the Concorde’s structural components (including control surfaces) were tested for their resonance (response to
was a Concorde flight engineer with British Airways for 20 years and proved an excellent guide to the controls and instruments. It seemed to make little difference that the simulator is no longer on its hydraulic jacks; it is fixed-base, but you still feel as if you are in motion. The Concorde is surprisingly responsive and clearly very powerful–Concorde
Key Concorde Dates G-BBDG first flew in 1974 and her final flight was in 1981, being aircraft 202, one of two production aircraft used for the certification, further development and on sales/demonstration campaigns. DG was the first production Concorde to land at Heathrow and the first to reach Mach 2 with 100 passengers on board. Some more key dates: • first meetings, BAC/Sud Aviation (France) in 1961; agreement reached in 1962… • 1969 saw the first flight of Concorde 001 from Toulouse on March 2, and on October 1 it made the first supersonic flight…. • o n Nov. 4, 1970, the Concorde reaches Mach 2 for the first time… • it is certified by the UK CAA on Dec. 5, 1975. It never made money, but for £1 billion it was a stunning achievement– and it is a travesty that there was no replacement waiting in the wings (if you’ll pardon the pun!). Final flight: G-BOAF from Heathrow to Filton, on Nov. 26, 2003. The end of an era. –I.S.
During final approach, the aircraft rotates to 11.5 degrees, which is why the undercarriage is so long and there is a mini wheel bogie at the back. What the Concorde could do that no other aircraft has matched was sustain Mach 2 supersonic cruise without afterburner for two hours. It is impossible to describe the advance that was the Concorde without mentioning the engines and intakes. It had ramps to form shockwaves to slow the airflow to Mach 0.5, which is what the engines needed–and the afterburners that, on takeoff, boost each engine’s thrust by 6,000 pounds. The Brooklands Concorde simulator is not available during the summer break, but Delta Golf is available for tours, which take around half an hour and are well worthwhile. Captain Bannister, on a video, takes you to Mach 2 and it is so well done it is not unknown for grown men to shed a tear. o
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PHOTOS: MARK WAGNER
Airbus’ Sharklet wingtips reduce the A320’s fuel consumption by an estimated 3.5 percent with a corresponding decrease in greenhouse emissions, estimated at as much as 700 metric tons per aircraft annually.
A H OT E L B Y TA G Located directly alongside TAG Farnborough Airport. Hospitality at Aviator presents the style alternative for visitors to Farnborough Airshow
w w w. av i at o r B Y ta G . c o M
news clips Ontic has signed a license agreement with Arkwin Industries for the manufacture and support of a fuel ejector pump on the Bell UH1 and Cobra helicopters. The company specializes in making and supporting, under license from OEMs, aerospace products that might otherwise have gone out of production. It has seen its electronics business grow from 3 to 30 percent of its revenues over the past two years. “Ontic has identified the increasing need for the support of legacy electronics and therefore has overtly focused on developing this capability, which now accounts for a third of our revenue,” said Peg Billson, Ontic’s president. Last year, Ontic (Hall 4 Stand F15) bought GE Aviation’s fuel measurement business. Its electronics factories are located in Cheltenham, UK, and Chatsworth, California.
z Porvair Purveys Plane Filters The UK’s Porvair Filtration Group is here at the Farnborough International airshow (Hall 4 Stand C1) exhibiting a range of its filters and other vital components for modern aircraft. The company is at the forefront of filtration and separation technology for a variety of markets. In the aerospace sector it is involved in a wide range of activities in contamination control of fluid and air management and control systems. This includes fuel filter assemblies and cartridges, fuel tank inerting filters, coolant filter modules, hydraulic filter cartridges and laser drilled screens. It supplies products for numerous aerospace programs, including the Airbus A350XWB and Boeing 787.
z Sabre–The Next Jet Engine UK-based Reaction Engines has carried out a series of tests on a key component for its new engine, the Sabre, which is capable of operating as both a jet and a rocket engine by employing a translating intake. The novel feature will enable the aircraft that the Sabre will power–such as the Skylon reusable spaceplane–to fly anywhere on Earth in less than four hours or directly into space and back to deliver satellites or cargo. The third and final demonstration using groundbreaking technology–an air pre-cooler–will start in August.
z Cobham Divests ‘Non-Core’ Beacon Business Cobham has completed the sale of its U.S.-based rescue beacon business to J.F. Lehman & Co. for $73 million. The UK company also said it has divested its related European operation to management for a nominal sum. The businesses–ACR Electronics and ACR Electronics Europe–design and manufacture beacons and emergency locator transmitters, with operations in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and Vienna, Austria, respectively. Cobham said the divestments are the most significant remaining step, following the completion of the sale of the Analytic Solutions business last November, toward achieving the divestment of all of the group’s noncore activities.
z India To Get Integrated AEW India’s first airborne early warning and control system (AEW&CS) aircraft, which is being integrated on the Embraer EMB 145 regional jet, is to be delivered by the end of July. A second example is to follow in early 2013 and two more in 2014. Luiz Carlos Aguiar, president of Embraer’s defense and security division, said the Brazilian company’s main challenge is that this is the first time it has integrated a radar other than its own. The Centre for Airborne Systems in Bangalore, part of the Defense Research Development Organization (DRDO), has developed the AEW, which is designed to detect and distinguish hostile aircraft. It comprises many subsystems, such as radar and communication links. The EMB 145 is being modified to carry the DRDO’s active array antenna unit mounted on top of the aircraft fuselage.
z Ontic Signs License Agreement with Arkwin
finmeccanica’s red carpet treatment Among the most distinctive displays here at Farnborough, Finmeccanica’s red-turf footprint was particularly prominent from above.
Flir’s ‘security zone’ covers multiple threats by Bill Carey Flir Systems has installed an airport security zone at the Farnborough International air show (Hall 3 Stand AS7) dem onstrating an integrated, layered approach to screening passengers using various devices from the U.S. company’s product range. The security zone actually begins at an airport’s perimeter, where Flir provides a Ka-band ground surveillance radar and daylight color/night-time infra red cameras that detect and track intruders. The informa tion is displayed and analyzed in a command-and-control center the company provides as part of its integrated security solution. Flir also offers products that help detection in airport checkin areas. David Strong, Flir Sys tems vice president of marketing for detection and protection, demonstrated a virtual check-in counter fitted behind with radia tion monitors contained in cylin ders that can identify 50 different nuclides, whether used for a med ical application or resulting from
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contamination or a threat. The monitors can track a radiation source based on proximity, and are also embedded within stan chions at the counter. If some thing is detected, an alarm is set off and nearby cameras automat ically slew toward the source and provide a video record. Within the check-in area, a security officer can confirm the type of nuclide with a handheld device, the identiFinder 2. Flir Systems has delivered 10,000 of these devices worldwide, includ ing to the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna. At the exhibit, luggage is screened with a Rapiscan 620XR X-ray machine from Rapiscan Systems of Torrance, Califor nia, which has partnered with Flir Systems. Another Flir Systems prod uct, the Fido PaxPoint hand held device, is a “sniffer” that de tects and identifies liquids used in making explosives. Luggage can be swiped and analyzed us ing Flir’s new desktop Griffin
824 trace detection mass spec trometer, which detects explo sives and narcotics. Unattend ed bags can be checked with the Fido nanoRaider, a pager-sized radiation detector. The company’s IBAC moni toring units provide early warn ing of bio-aerosol threats in the ventilation system of a building. Upon release of any chemical or biological agents, the monitor shuts off the ventilation system and sends a warning to the com mand-and-control station. The command-and-control station runs on Flir-developed software and provides correlated surveillance imagery of the air port grounds generated by the perimeter radars and cameras. David Smith, Flir Systems vice president of business development for integrated systems, said an inte grated airport security solution can cost anywhere from $500,000 to multiple millions of dollars. The company installed an integrated system at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport in 2010, its first European installation. Other integrated sys tems have been installed at airports in Krakow, Poland (2011) and Doha, Qatar (2012). Installations are under way in Palm Springs, California, and Riga, Latvia. o
Airport security is on everyone’s mind, and FLIR Systems has an answer for all the most prominent threats.
The Integrator is the big brother of the Scan Eagle, now in service with the U.S. Navy.
Raytheon has good news on missile test programs
by David Donald
Insitu’s ScanEagle UAS will serve in Singapore by Chris Pocock Insitu revealed here this week that Singapore was a customer for the ScanEagle unmanned aerial surveillance system (UAS), and that the Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) would evaluate it. Although Insitu is a wholly owned subsidiary of Boeing, the announcements were made at the company’s stand here (Hall 3 Stand D17f). The U.S. company maintains a proud independence from its parent; the B-word is nowhere to be seen on its stand. The Republic of Singapore Navy first trialed the ScanEagle in 2009. It has now decided to operate the UAS from its missile corvettes. Insitu said the ScanEagle is uniquely suited to maritime operation because of its space-saving catapult launcher and Skyhook recovery system. “We offer a safer recovery mode–alongside the vessel,” said Ryan Hartman, senior vice president business development. The first applications for the ScanEagle were on trawlers, which launched the camera-carrying UAVs to check the weather and spot schools of fish at sea. That was nearly two decades ago, when the company had a mere 30 employees. It first teamed with Boeing in 2002 to offer the ScanEagle to the U.S. Marine Corps. The Marines liked the autonomously controlled system, and also the Insitu contractor-operated business model, which endures to this day. “We own all the risk–production, shipping to the theater of operation, launch, recovery. We can
provide ‘pixels-by-the-hour,’” Hartman explained. ScanEagle missions can last more than 24 hours; the UAV is virtually invisible and inaudible at its operating altitude, as AIN witnessed during a recent demonstration at Insitu’s test and training site in Oregon. Worldwide Success
Boeing bought Insitu back in 2008. Today, it has 800 employees working from multiple sites on both sides of the Columbia River, or deployed as field service representatives. Insitu has now built some 1,300 ScanEagles, and they have logged over 600,000 combat hours. That includes more than 100,000 hours in the past 12 months. “We’re accumulating hours faster than any other UAS in the U.S. inventory,” Hartman claimed. Other military customers include Australia, Canada, Malaysia and the Netherlands. The Columbia River Gorge has a cluster of small, innovative aerospace companies. They include Hood Tech, whose “super zoom” camera was revealed here Tuesday as a new payload for the ScanEagle. “With the x256 zoom instead of the x56 of our current EO [electro-optic] system, we can read vehicle license plates from a mile away,” Hartman told AIN. Dominating the Insitu stand is the Integrator, the larger UAV that won the U.S. Navy’s small tactical unmanned aircraft system (STUAS) contest in 2010. Two RQ-21A systems are already in service, ahead of the main production run. o
Raytheon Missile Systems comes to the Farnborough International airshow with a range of weapon programs, all of which it claims are making good progress in operational tests. This activity has become doubly important as major future missile programs are terminated, such as the NGM (next-generation missile) that was to have replaced the HARM and AMRAAM, or programs such as the JAGM Hellfire/TOW/Maverick replacement, which have barely been kept alive. In the air-to-air missile arena, Raytheon’s efforts are fixed firmly on new developments of the two current mainstays of U.S. and allied forces. The imaging infrared AIM-9X Block II, which has a new processor, software and data link, has just completed its first operational test shot, with a satisfactory outcome, according to preliminary reports. The active radar AIM-120D version of the AMRAAM is also in an operational test program, which will last for a year to 15 months. This program has experienced some issues, with deliveries of rocket motors from ATK, but last month Raytheon received the first batch of motors from Nammo in Norway, which is newly established as a second source. Both AIM-9X Block II and AIM-120D are to be fielded initially on the Air Force’s F-15s and Navy’s F/A-18s, with other types to gain the new missiles later. The advances being applied to the missiles, notably the AIM9X Block II’s data link, will require some software changes to the fighter OFPs (operational flight programs). “Now It Gets Interesting”
In the air-to-ground world Raytheon is about to perform the first guided test vehicle launch of the GBU-53 SDB (small diameter bomb) II. The glide weapon and its tri-mode (millimeter-wave radar, uncooled imaging infrared, semi-active laser) seeker have undergone numerous captivecarry and preprogrammed tests but, as Harry Schulte, Raytheon’s v-p air warfare systems, told AIN, “Now it gets interesting” as the program moves into guided drops. Raytheon is reporting considerable interest in its AGM-175 Griffin light weapon, which is already in use with the KC-130J
Harvest Hawk and MC-130W Dragon Spear variants of the Hercules. These applications use the Griffin A aft-eject weapon, the missile being dropped away from the aircraft before its motor ignites. Griffin B is a forwardfire weapon that can be used by a variety of platforms, including helicopters and UAVs. Over the next six to eight months Raytheon’s MALD-J (miniature air-launched decoy– jammer) is also going through operational test and evaluation as it is integrated with the Boeing Super Hornet. This has evolved from the MALD decoy, but adds a jamming capability.
The basic MALD vehicle is, to all intents, a mini-cruise missile, and is being proposed for export as a vehicle for sovereign payloads. The MALD offers a 42-pound payload capability and could be integrated with various EW or ISR payloads. In terms of precision attack, the Paveway family is Raytheon’s most popular product, accounting for more than 70 percent of the direct-attack munitions expended in the Libyan campaign. A GBU-49 Enhanced Paveway II was recently released from a French Navy Rafale using Raytheon’s WiPAK (wireless Paveway avionics kit) system, a small wireless receiver on the back of the weapon and a pilot interface/wireless transmitter in the cockpit, typically carried as a kneepad. WiPAK allows Paveway integration without changes to the aircraft’s wiring or flight/ stores management systems. o
Raytheon is offering its MALD decoy, seen here on the wing pylon of an F-16, as a possible export platform for carrying EW or ISR payloads. Raytheon’s tri-mode seeker for the SDB II program has flown a lot on test platforms such as this helicopter (right), but this month it will be used to guide a weapon for the first time.
Doing Business In Hard Times In the current fiscal environment in which big-ticket missile programs have been shelved, restructured or cancelled altogether, Raytheon is looking at innovative ways to add capabilities to existing systems. “You’ve got to see what you can do with what you’ve got,” explained Harry Schulte, Raytheon’s v-p air warfare systems. “The money’s not going to be there for the big programs, but the enemy doesn’t care about that, and we still need to address the shortfalls.” The obvious answer is to look at system upgrades to enhance capabilities of existing systems, leveraging low-risk technologies that are cost-effective and quick to field. Typically that involves relatively mature technologies, those at TRL (technical readiness level) 6 or above.
Raytheon, for instance, has a couple of proposals to answer U.S. Navy long-range anti-ship requirements. The Tomahawk cruise missile could be fitted with an existing seeker and data link to give it anti-surface vessel capability, while an alternative would be to add a motor to the AGM-154C-1 JSOW glide weapon, improving high-altitude launch range from 70 miles to around 300 miles. Such capability upgrade efforts become “more of an integration program than a development program,” said Schulte. Some development aspect remains, but it is considerably reduced compared with that typically associated with weapon programs in a free-spending environment. “We’re seeing more of a willingness to accept the 80-percent solution,” added Schulte.–D.D.
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Paris Air Show pledges B-to-B smartphone app Paris Air Show organizers are promising an improved experience for visitors and exhibitors at next year’s event (June 17-23). There will be a new smartphone app to help visitors, and road and pedestrian access is being rethought, although showgoers should not expect Le Bourget’s infamous traffic jams to miraculously disappear. The famous show is organized by SIAE, a wholly owned subsidiary of French aerospace industry association Gifas (Hall 1 Stand A15). The company is expecting about as many exhibitors as in 2011–around 2,100. The smartphone app will use GPS and other sources–such as WiFi–to provide users their location whether outdoors or inside the halls. A basic function will help them optimize their walking journeys if they have, for example, 10 stands to see in a day. Moreover, it will help people to find each other. If two people have a meeting planned, the app will tell each where the other is, if they opt in to allow this. More for Your Money
“We want our customers to get more value for their money,” Paris Air Show chairman Emeric d’Arcimoles told AIN. Moreover, d’Arcimoles wants to demonstrate that his team is not running the show in the same old way. “We are innovating, just like most aerospace companies do,” said. Three start-up companies–from Canada, the U.S. and France–are working on the app project. As for getting to the show, marketing director Nicolas Tran said the organizers are talking to local authorities about improving traffic flow, with more dedicated bus lanes, for example. There will not be any new roads to really ease congestion, he
admitted, but better signs and markings should help pedestrians walking to and from the Le Bourget RER train station, on the line between Paris and Charles de Gaulle Airport. The show will open earlier–6:30 a.m. for exhibitors and 8:30 a.m. for visitors. Concierges will be available, as in 2011, to help exhibitors with special requests–for example, laundry service, restaurant bookings and so forth–for no additional fee. Efforts are also under way to make the show “greener,” with improvements such as replacing fuel-burning power generators with electric cables. Show chairman D’Arcimoles and managing director Gilles Fournier addressed exhibitor unhappiness about keeping the stands open and staffed throughout the weekend, during the public days. They are urging companies to embrace this as a very necessary opportunity to engage with young, prospective employees. “It is difficult to attract young people to aerospace at a time when they too often hear industries are dying in Europe and thus turn to careers such as services and banking,” D’Arcimoles emphasized. He believes that resorting to basic tarpaulin-covered stands on the public days could give a negative impression about the industry as a place to build careers. D’Arcimoles said he wants to give young people a real appetite for aerospace. “It is a longterm investment but it will be successful eventually,” he said. The “Employment and Training Forum” to be held again on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the show, attracted some 50,000 young people in 2011. On the Friday, entry is traditionally free for students. o
meet the rotory club Helicopters have long been a staple at the Farnborough International airshow, and this year’s edition is no exception.
by Thierry Dubois
‘i wonder if the paris air show will have a b-to-b smartphone app?’ This fellow needs to read AIN’s Farnborough Airshow News. AIN will be there in Paris next year, and back here for the next Farnborough International Airshow. Set your smartphone calendars for July 14-20, 2014.
Pundits are weighing in on Chinese deal for HBC by Chad Trautvetter
first on record to say that this deal won’t go through.” Business aviation analyst Brian Foley, president of consulting firm Brian Foley Associates, accentuated the positives of the deal, saying, “This is a very good deal for Hawker and its creditors.” Though he said Superior is offering a “very high premium” and providing working capital even before the deal is finalized, “it still has 45 days to walk after [due] diligence.” Foley also noted, “Back in the day, the industry felt General Dynamics overpaid for Gulfstream, which was not the case. Perhaps the long-term strategic vision of Superior is equally compelling.”
Reactions have been heav- HBDC is subsequently sold to ily mixed in the wake of Mon- a buyer acceptable to the U.S. day night’s announcement that government, up to $400 million Superior Aviation of Beijing, of the $1.79 billion purchase China, has agreed to acquire price would be refundable to financially troubled Hawker Superior under the terms of the acquisition. Beechcraft, minus its This price is what Hawker Beechcraft caught the immediDefense Company ate attention of avia(HBDC) division, for tion analysts. “If this $1.79 billion. The was the ‘most attracmajority of business tive offer,’ I’d hate aviation analysts conStalking-Horse Bid? to see what the othtacted by AIN believe ers looked like,” Teal the Chinese firm is Meanwhile, Governor Brown Group vice president back brought a dose of realioverpaying for the of aerospace analy- ty about the Hawker agreement. Wichita, Kansassis Richard Abou l “This is not yet a sale,” he told based aircraft manufacturer, which is Cheng Shenzong, chairman afia told AIN. “I have AIN at the Kansas pavilion here in Chapter 11 bank- of Superior Aviation Beijing, no idea why Hawk- at the show. “This is a stalkingis the man behind the offer er Beechcraft would ruptcy protection. horse bid. It’s a significant step, be worth $1.8 billion but there are several other big But Kansas gov- for Hawker Beechcraft. ernor Sam Brownback–speaking without its defense side. Given steps to follow.” here at Farnborough to AINtv– the money needed to reorganize, Brownback, however, is most stressed it’s not yet a done deal that’s a very high price.” concerned about keeping Hawker Zenith Jet vice president George Beechcraft jobs in Kansas. While and vowed to retain Hawker Tspoeis expressed similar senti- Superior said it intends to mainBeechcraft jobs in his state. Under the terms of the “stra- ments. “The price is too high, espe- tain the Wichita-based OEM’s tegic combination,” Superior cially without the T/AT-6 line,” he existing operations, he is beatAviation will make payments said. “I believe that the Chinese will ing the drum to make sure that over the next six weeks of the whittle the price down immensely the Chinese company, should it “exclusivity period” to support to the point where the deal won’t actually purchase Hawker, folongoing jet-related operations make any sense to Hawker lows through on this promise. as a means of sustaining the jet Beechcraft. Also, 45 days to com- One thing working in his favor, he business until the transaction plete the deal is not a lot of time. If said, is that Hawker Beechcraft closes. With HBDC becoming HBC accepts the offer, it will be at a has “enormous” physical plants a separate entity, it would con- significantly lower price than $1.79 in Kansas, “and you just can’t tinue to manufacture the T-6 billion.” He added, “Let me be the move that.” o trainer and pursue certification of its derivative, the AT-6 light See AINtv.com for interviews on this breaking story. attack aircraft. In the event that
20 Farnborough Airshow News • July 12, 2012 • www.ainonline.com
news clips z UK Defense Minister Welcomes First Wildcat
UK Defense Secretary Philip Hammond, MP, joined celebrations marking the first deliveries of the AgustaWestland AW159 Wildcat helicopter to the British Army here at the show yesterday. He simultaneously confirmed a contract worth approximately $388 million for training and support. The AW159 is to remain in service until 2044. The Army accepted the first Wildcat in April and, since then the airframer has delivered four more. The Royal Navy will start receiving its own Lynx successors later this year. Deliveries are to go on until 2016. AgustaWestland is now UK defense secretary producing the 16th aircraft, CEO Bruno in the Wildcat cockpit. Spagnolini said. “Initial operating capability” with the Army is scheduled for 2014. The Navy is to follow suit in 2015. As for exports, Spagnolini noted the potential among the six delegations attending the ceremony.
z Finmeccanica Kit Could Fly on Russian Aircraft Three Finmeccanica companies have signed agreements with the Russian defense export agency Rosoboronexport to offer maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) versions of Russian types. Selex Galileo would provide its ATOS mission management system, while radio specialist Selex Elsag would provide advanced CNI (communications, navigation, identification) equipment. The armament system would include lightweight torpedoes from WASS. No mention was made of any particular Russian type, and candidates could include both new-build and converted aircraft.
z Terma Highlights F-35 Multi-Mission Pod Denmark’s Terma is showing off, for the first time here at the show, the multi-mission pod (MMP) it has developed for the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. The MMP began life as the gun pod for the F-35, which Terma designed and developed on behalf of General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products, but the company has developed it into a more versatile pod that should prove attractive, in particular, to overseas operators of the JSF. While the F-35A CTOL version of the JSF has an internal GAU-22/A four-barrel 25mm cannon, the U.S. Marine Corps F-35B STOVL and U.S. Navy F-35C CV employ podded weapons. Terma’s gun pod is a full-monocoque carbon fiber composite structure. It has passed engineering test and qualification, and is now in low-rate initial production. The pod itself was first flown in February, carried by STOVL test aircraft BF-02 during a sortie from NAS Patuxent River, flown by Lockheed Martin test pilot Dan Levin.
Mexico’s Kukulkan UAS on display for first time by Gregory Polek Hydra Technologies has lifted the veil of secrecy from the new S5 Kukulkan unmanned aerial system, showing it off for the first time publicly here at the Farnborough International airshow. Developed with the Mexican government and tested completely under cover, the S5 represents a natural evolution of the highly successful S4 Ehecatl tactical UAS that has accumulated more than 10,000 hours in extreme battle conditions.
Featuring a wingspan of 25 feet and an endurance of 16 hours, the S5 carries day/night imaging payloads and unlimited range due to the inclusion of a satellite link. The partners have tested and integrated other payloads but have chosen not to disclose their identity. Full redundancy of all the vital components in the Ehecatl make the Kukulkan as reliable as its smaller sibling, claimed Hydra. Furthermore, said the
Watchkeeper is late, still in play
that the process is thorough.” Although a revised in-service date for the Watchkeeper has not been set, the MoD told AIN that it remains “committed to deploying it to Afghanistan at the earliest opportunity.” A Thales official told AIN that the field trials should soon extend to the Army’s main training grounds on Salisbury Plain, where a block of airspace for UAV operations has recently been approved. “The French Army’s 61st Regiment is already cooperating with the 32nd Regiment,” he added. The Watchkeeper is a tactical UAS, but its capabilities do overlap to some extent with MALE UAVs such as the Reaper, which is in service with the UK Royal Air Force (RAF). The RAF’s Reapers are scheduled to be withdrawn in 2015. But at the ADS Defense Conference here yesterday, Assistant Chief of the Air Staff Air Vice Marshall Baz North refused to rule out the possibility that they might be retained. o
uContinued from page 1
summit it was agreed that the French army would evaluate the UAV, which was developed by Thales UK from the Hermes 450 in a joint venture with Elbit Systems of Israel. However, the £850 million ($1.3 billion) Watchkeeper project is two years behind schedule, thanks to a mix of software, airframe and airworthiness certification issues. Thales delivered the first UAVs and ground stations to the British Army’s 32nd Regiment earlier this year without ceremony. Operational field trials are now under way in segregated airspace at Aberporth in mid-Wales, with some 400 flying hours now logged. The UK Ministry of Defense (MoD) told AIN this week that the release to service process “is taking longer than expected, but as the first large UAS to fly in UK airspace, it is essential
Delta Air Lines has equipped three Boeing 767-300ERs with ADS-B (Automatic Dependent Surveillance–Broadcast) components from Aviation Communication & Surveillance Systems (ACSS), a joint venture between L-3 and Thales. The avionics, installed under an FAA supplemental type certificate, are part of ACSS’s SafeRoute suite and include in-trail procedures (ITP) and surface area movement management solutions. The three Delta airliners are among 12 slated to receive the equipment as part of Eurocontrol’s Cascade program, which is aimed at coordinating implementation of ADS-B avionics in Europe. As part of Cascade, the Delta 767-300ERs are now using in-trail procedures on North Atlantic routes. Delta is the first of three operators ACSS is working with as part of Cascade. ACSS general manager Terry Flaishans said, “The Cascade program is validating the benefits of ADS-B and ITP. We look forward to more operators participating.”
z ACSS Supplies ADS-B Solutions To Delta
Thales’s turbulent Watchkeeper UAV program is behind schedule, but is receiving noteworthy attention from French military visitors here at Farnborough.
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company, its push-pull twinengine configuration totally eliminates the possibility of a crash due to engine failure. The Kukulkan makes its public debut only weeks after several S4 Ehecatl UAVs worked their way through strong winds to escort the leaders of 30 countries to the G-20 summit in Los Cabos, Mexico. Developed entirely in Mexico, the S4s executed persistent ISR missions at the summit that included night and day aerial escort of dignitaries and their staff to and from locations within Los Cabos. Operators transmitted live feeds from the S4s to the central command center established specifically for the summit. o
MRJ90 gets boost from AirWest uContinued from page 1
its order to positions on 76-seat MRJ70s, calls for delivery of all 100 airplanes over a three-year span, between 2017 and 2020. By that time, said Mitsubishi Aircraft CEO Hideo Egawa, the company expects the MRJ’s production rate to reach “four or five” per month. Documentation Issues
The MRJ program has faced its share of obstacles since Mitsubishi Heavy Industries began assembling the first aircraft in April 2011, due most notably to the manufacturer’s failure to properly document engineering and production processes. In fact, this spring Mitsubishi announced it had to delay first flight of the MRJ90 for more than a year, until some time during next year’s fourth quarter. As a result, the airplane won’t reach the market until the summer “or later half” of the 2015 Japanese fiscal year, which runs from April 1, 2015, to Mar. 31, 2016, according to new program schedules. The program’s rather abrupt interruption came at the behest of the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau (JCAB), which, in concert with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), carries responsibility for issuing type and production certification for the airplane. Since the JCAB intervened, MHI has had to remanufacture virtually all the parts for the first prototype, explained Mitsubishi Aircraft marketing director Yugo Fukuhara. The company has now begun refabricating the large structural components, most notably the forward part of the fuselage. o
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