FEB. 12, 2014
STACKED UP ON THE STATIC Variety is the spice of life and this week’s Singapore Airshow has once again served up tremendous diversity with aircraft of all shapes, sizes and purposes.
by Bill Carey Southeast Asian carriers VietJetAir and Myanma Airways maintained the region’s strong growth-curve yesterday, announcing new airliner deals worth almost $7.4 billion at the Singapore Airshow. Vietnam’s VietJetAir gave Airbus a $6.4 billion contract covering firm orders for 42 A320neos, 14 A320ceos and seven A321ceos. Earlier in the day, GE Capital Aviation Services (Gecas) and Myanmar state-owned flag carrier Myanma Airways signed a $1 billion leasing agreement for 10 Boeing 737-800 and 737 Max models. The VietJetAir deal includes purchase rights for another 30 airplanes and
accompanies lease contracts covering seven more A320-family airplanes from third parties. It calls for delivery of the first current generation A320 this year and the first A320neo in 2018. Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao, vice chairwoman and CEO of VietJetAir, and Airbus president Fabrice Brégier signed the final papers at the show yesterday. Dinh La Thang, Minister of Transport of Vietnam, and Le Luong Minh, Secretary General of ASEAN, witnessed the signing during ceremonies held in the show’s exhibit hall. Myanma Airways will take delivery of six Boeing 737NGs from Gecas, the commercial aircraft leasing and financing arm of GE, between 2015 and 2017; deliveries of four 737 Max 8s with CFM International Leap-1B engines will follow through 2020. The value of the aircraft is $960 million at list price. The transaction represents one of the largest investments by a U.S. company in Myanmar Continued on page 45 u
Super Heron HF powers up by David Donald Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has chosen the Singapore Airshow to reveal its latest UAV. The new Super Heron HF is a major update of the Heron 1 that has become a popular choice for mediumaltitude, long-endurance unmanned missions. “The best just got better,” announced Joseph Weiss, IAI’s president and CEO, at yesterday’s ceremony to unveil the Super Heron HF in the show static display area, adjacent to IAI’s chalet (CD03). At first glance the most obvious new feature of the vehicle is its upturned wingtips, which have been
adopted partly to offset the extra weight of other modifications. The most important update, however, and the main driver behind Continued on page 45 u
Vietnam and Myanmar top order board
IAI unveiled the Super Heron HF MALE UAV here at the show yesterday.
Jupiter Team Impresses Crowd
Singapore’s MRO Giant
Big Two Find Asian Partners
Biofuels In Southeast Asia
Stealth Isn’t Everything
The Jupiter aerobatic team from the Indonesian air force is still performing its daily flying display, despite a dispute between their country and Singapore over the naming of a ship that has led to some invitations to the airshow being withdrawn. Page 12
Singapore Technologies Aerospace (ST Aerospace) has gone from strength to strength in recent years, establishing worldwide subsidiaries and even entering the realms of aircraft leasing and pilot training. Page 18
Boeing and Airbus have made conscious efforts over many years to collaborate with Asian industry. This is sensible, given that the region is predicted to account for an increasing proportion of their order books. Page 22
The environment remains a key issue for aviation given that there are no known alternatives to current jet engines. The closest thing is to move towards sustainable fuels, a message that has spurred various initiatives in this region. Page 32
Some in the aerospace industry argue that stealth is somewhat of a lost cause, and in reality modern radars can better detect stealthy aircraft, while the aircraft can also use jammers and other techniques. Page 44
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After the long wait for this year’s Singapore Airshow to open, and in many cases after long journeys made by trade visitors to attend, the doors finally opened at noon yesterday and the crowds eagerly flocked to the meet with more than 1,000 exhibitors who are seeking to tap the lucractive Asia Pacific aerospace market.
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Boeing’s new MSA complements P-8 Poseidon in ISR family plan by Bill Carey which is built for antisubmarine warfare. It will also connect into Boeing’s concept of a “family” of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) platforms ranging from the ScanEagle UAV to the P-8 and airborne early warning and control aircraft. “Differentiating between surveillance versus antisubmarine warfare capability, we saw that there might be room in the marketplace to think
Boeing sees its new maritime surveillance aircraft (MSA) based on the Bombardier Challenger 605 business jet as potentially a starter platform for countries eyeing the higherend P-8 Poseidon the company is supplying to the U.S. and Indian navies. The MSA will take advantage of some P-8 systems in a smaller, more affordable aircraft compared to the weaponized, Boeing 737-based Poseidon,
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about that as two different points for customers that had different needs,” said Chris Raymond, Boeing Defense, Space and Security vice president of business development and strategy. “We think we’ve leveraged the P-8 mission systems to the degree that we needed to. Our thought was: this was a way [for a customer] to get some initial capability complementary to the P-8 if [they] had them, or [planned to] eventually grow into the P-8, said Raymond, who spoke during a roundtable briefing on Monday in Singapore. “Not everyone is going to need a full P-8 capability,” added Jim Armington, Boeing vice president for East Asia and Pacific international business development. “The MSA will bring about 80 percent of the capability at a much lower price point. What you’re looking for is that logic behind the niche that we’re trying to aim for. [T]here’s a need for surveillance and awareness and all of the intelligence-collection systems, and certainly the
PublisHer – Anthony T. Romano
common architecture with the P-8 makes the interoperability question attractive.” In November, Boeing (Chalet CS32) selected the Challenger 605 as the host platform for the MSA’s mission system, sensors and communications equipment. It awarded Field Aviation, based in Cincinnati, Ohio, a contract to modify the Challenger 605 structure and air vehicle systems into the MSA configuration. Field Aviation is modifying a Boeing-owned Challenger 604 into an MSA demonstrator aircraft that Boeing will fly for potential customers this year. Once operational, the MSA will fit into a family of ISR systems, Raymond said. “We’re starting to form this idea where at one end you have the ScanEagle-type products and at the other end you have P-8s and airborne early warning and control platforms, and in between you have things like MSA [and] the U.S. Army’s EMARSS platform,” he said, referring to the King Air 350-based enhanced medium-altitude reconnaissance and surveillance system. “Through some of our capabilities and the acquisitions we’ve made, [Boeing plans to] grow our thread through the mission systems and then have offerings on different platforms and sizes.” o
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AIN Seeks Reporters in Asia
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4 Singapore Airshow News • February 12, 2014 • www.ainonline.com
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Jet Airways is not yet a member of AAPA, but it has expressed an interest in the association, which addresses a wide range of aviation industry issues.
AAPA broadens outlook to include South Asia by Neelam Mathews The 15-member Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA), which addresses a wide range of issues of common interest to the region’s aviation industry, is focusing its efforts on extending its membership base to South Asia–to include the time zones between GMT+5 to GMT+12, extended from the previous GMT+7 to GMT+12. “In 2014 we will be approaching more Indian carriers. They are welcome. [While] Jet Airways has shown interest, it has not as yet approached us for membership,” Andrew Herdman, director general of AAPA, told AIN. Jet Airways’ recent restructuring, following the establishment of a strategic alliance with Etihad Airways
Andrew Herdman, AAPA director general, said the association, which currently counts 15 members, is working to extend its presence in South Asia.
completed last November, is likely keeping the airline management busy, said Herdman. AAPA has also held discussions with the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) of India, with the goal of “overcoming bureaucracy,” Herdman said. While he commented that AAPA has approached carriers on the Indian subcontinent, including in Bhutan and Pakistan, Herdman was not forthcoming in response to a query about China’s membership. Taiwanese carriers that are already AAPA members could well be a gray area, he suggested, noting that, for the moment, airlines may not be knocking at AAPA’s door. Herdman also acknowledged that Indian carriers “[have] had their own internal problems with the regulator and [are] presently focusing on internal issues.” He added, however, “With more Indian carriers flying abroad, many issues will be common.” He said AAPA is also looking at budget carriers in the region, “who attend our security-related meetings. We’d want them to be members as well.” With budget carriers having an increasing presence in the region–for example, seven of AAPA’s scheduled airline members have budget subsidiaries–the association
8 Singapore Airshow News • February 12, 2014 • www.ainonline.com
is hoping to get a first-movers’ response from them. “We view those subsidiaries and associates as de facto members, anyway…their parent companies share information. We have thought about additional incremental costs [for budget carriers], which will be very modest and we won’t expect them to pay an individual share,” said Herdman. International Policies
Addressing some of the issues currently facing its members, Herdman noted that inasmuch as India and China are leading the charge and standing up vociferously to the emissions trading scheme, it is likely that AAPA will want to piggyback on them. “While Asia Pacific airlines are demonstrating strong commercial leadership in a competitive global market, we are also keen to play a more active role in shaping international aviation policies, through engagement with ICAO and major regulatory authorities…The EU is jeopardizing airspace proposals [requiring] international cooperation,” said Herdman. A recommendation at AAPA’s 57th Assembly of Presidents, held in Hong Kong in November, addressed aviation environment policy. “Even after all the efforts at the 38th ICAO Assembly to reach a landmark global agreement to develop a market-based measure to address aviation emissions, the recent EU proposal to [again] extend the EU ETS to European airspace has been met with incredulity and disbelief,” said Herdman. “AAPA is convinced the interests of Asia Pacific carriers, and the industry as a whole are best served by a global solution, not a patchwork of national or regional schemes that will only distort the market.” Other issues where South Asia could benefit from coming together with existing AAPA members is the concern over lack of infrastructure. AAPA has called on governments to “ensure that air traffic management capacity keeps pace with commercial air traffic growth, working with the military authorities where necessary to alleviate airspace usage limitations and constraints.” AAPA’s workshops and white papers on safety, security, infrastructure constraints, passenger facilitation, environment policy and regulatory challenges faced by the airline industry tie together common threads of concern in the region. Collectively, AAPA represents approximately one fifth of global passenger traffic and one third of global air cargo traffic.o
Nextant is in Singapore with high hopes for sales Gulfstream has enjoyed a surge of sales in the region over the 2008-2014 time period.
Gulfstream bizjet fleet triples in Asia Pacific by Thierry Dubois Gulfstream Aerospace is here with its entire line of business jets, hoping to keep its Asia Pacific fleet growing after a spectacular surge over the 2008-2014 period. On the static display, airshow visitors can see the G150, G280, G450, G550 and G650 models, with the super-midsize G280 and the ultra long-range G650 being debutants at the Singapore Airshow. The airframer is continuing to invest in its sales force and product support offering in the region, Roger Sperry, senior regional v-p international sales told AIN. As of December 2013, there were 234 Gulfstreams flying in the region. “Three shows ago, we had just 74,” Sperry said. Today’s Asia Pacific fleet accounts for 11 percent of in-service Gulfstreams globally. Sperry claimed Gulfstream could boast 50 percent of the regional market in large-cabin aircraft (with the G450, G550 and G650). In China, Sperry praised an ongoing relaxation of the rules governing business aviation. “It is getting easier to do business in China everyday,” he said. For example, the lead-time to have a flight plan approved has decreased from a week or more to three days. There are 84 Gulfstream jets flying in mainland China. With Macau, Hong Kong and Taiwan,
the numbers add up to 134. The factory-owned service center in Beijing in December celebrated its first anniversary. In one year, the 40 employees (including 20 technicians) have worked on 120 aircraft. Gulfstream Beijing is a joint venture between Gulfstream (Booth N94) and Hainan Airlines Group. The company’s flagship, the G650, also celebrated a first anniversary in late 2013–one year in service. More than 50 examples of the 7,000 nm twinjet have been delivered to their customers, including five in the Asia Pacific. In Southeast Asia, Gulfstream has 50 aircraft in service, including 20 in Singapore. Sister company Jet Aviation has a service center at Seletar Airport, where it is building a hangar expansion to triple the surface dedicated to maintenance, allowing it to accommodate five more G650s. Jet Aviation’s parts and materials store, combined with those of Gulfstream in Beijing and Metrojet in Hong Kong, add up to $57.5 million in the region. Gulfstream has just moved its Singapore sales office to the central business district. The team, led by Asia Pacific regional v-p Jason Akovenko, will enjoy the view on Marina Bay from a 2,210 sq ft office suite. o
Nextant Aerospace is showing its 400XTi remanufactured light business jet for the first time at Singapore, while the company is also promoting its forthcoming G90XT remanufactured twin-turboprop. Based on the Beechjet 400A/XP and King Air C90, respectively, the 400XTi and 90XT offer performance and efficiencies that match or exceed those of comparable new-build aircraft, but at roughly half the price. Highlighting the company’s focus on the Far East, Nextant (Booth U93) has also announced
markets, we concluded that across both the turboprop and jet segments a remanufactured product that delivers the customer an ‘asnew’ buying experience would be very attractive. Given this product also delivers superior levels of performance and significant capital and operating cost savings over its competitors, we believe it will be irresistible.” Oppenheim said that the regional market is very pricesensitive. In his view, the market is proving there is room for a mid-range jet, as opposed to longrange ones, he said.
Nextant has brought its 400XTi demonstrator for its first visit to the Singapore Airshow. Also on show is a mockup of the H80 engine installation for the 90XT remanufactured King Air C90.
by David Donald
an exclusive agent for the Asia Pacific region in the form of Sydney-based Nextant Pacific. The company’s managing director, John Oppenheim, is a respected aerospace figure in the region, and has overseen a large number of aircraft sales while working for Hawker Pacific. “I cannot see another product in the marketplace that offers as compelling a value proposition as Nextant,” said Oppenheim. “After significant research into the local
As a result, Jay Heublein, the company’s executive v-p, global sales and marketing, expects to sell 46 jets in Asia Pacific in the next 24 months. So far, only one is flying in Australia. It is configured with a quick-change interior for passenger and EMS operations, like the one on the static display here. With full Asia Pacific equipment (which includes a digital flight data recorder, a second GPS, full ADS-B and an HF radio), the 400XTi sells for $5.495 million.
Oppenheim predicts customers will come from a conventional mix of flight departments, commercial operators and high net-worth individuals. He also plans an emphasis on air ambulance and training organization prospects. To create the 400XTi Nextant has remanufactured the Beechjet to zero-life condition, while dramatically improving all facets of the aircraft. New engines are fitted in the form of the Williams FJ44-3AP, providing a significant increase in range, climb and ceiling performance. A new cockpit is fitted with Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21 integrated avionics, while the cabin has a new shell that offers more room, as well as the lowest cabin noise in its class. The 400XTi has aerodynamic enhancements in the form of winglets and redesigned nacelles and engine pylons. Nextant has applied a similar philosophy to produce the 90XT twin-engined turboprop aircraft. This has aerodynamic improvements, an upgraded cabin with reduced internal noise, and a tailored Garmin 1000 avionics suite. The 90XT is powered by the General Electric H80 turboprop, which weighs less and delivers better performance than the King Air 90’s incumbent Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A engines, according to Nextant. Like the 400XTi, the 90XT is being offered as an ideal platform for several special missions, such as air ambulance and surveillance duties. Following the launch of the 90XT at the NBAA show last October, Nextant is aiming to begin deliveries in less than a year. In its Asia Pacific configuration, the 90XT is offered for $2.495 million. Sales expectations for the next 16 months add up to 24 aircraft, Heublein said, including two to four in the region. Oppenheim is notably betting on the installed base of 135 King Airs in Australia and New Zealand. o
Arriving at a show without new speed record claims would be unthinkable for Gulfstream, and the airframer has not disappointed for this show with new achievements for its super midsize G280 and the ultra long-range G650. The G650 flew from Hawaii to Singapore in 14 hours 6 minutes. For the 5,909 nm, the average Mach number was 0.85. The G280 flew from Savannah, Georgia to Anchorage, Alaska, then on to Tokyo and finally Singapore. All three legs are potential records, having been flown at Mach 0.80. Flight times were, respectively, 7 hours 41 minutes, 6 hours 50 minutes and 8 hours 9 minutes. Both claims will be sent to the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale in Lausanne, Switzerland for recognition as world records. –T.D.
Gulfstream G280, G650 Claim New Speed Records
‘little bird’ fills a big-time role Boeing’s AH-6I is a follow-on version of its “Little Bird” rotorcraft gunship series. The series developed from the civilian MD530F helicopter. Boeing exhibited a version of the AH-6 series at the 2010 Singapore Airshow.
10 Singapore Airshow News • February 12, 2014 • www.ainonline.com
z LHT-UTC Expands Agreement on 787 Components A long-term agreement between key supplier to the Boeing 787 program, UTC Aerospace Systems (Chalet CD07), and Lufthansa Technik (LHT, Booth K65) has been announced for the maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) of UTC’s interiors products, sensors and integrated systems on the Boeing 787. The agreement builds on a previous contract, expanding LHT’s capabilities as a licensed MRO provider for UTC. The two have shared a working relationship on the 787 since 2011. In November last year a long-term contract was signed between the two companies to provide rotable provisioning and services on Boeing 787 nacelle components. The deal enables LHT to offer full life-cycle support services for the 787’s General Electric GEnx and Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines.
z Boeing Delivers Two BBJ 787s Boeing Business Jets has delivered two BBJ 787-8 business jets since late January. Handover of the green aircraft took place the same week, to separate undisclosed customers, the airframer said. It holds a total of 13 firm orders for the BBJ 787-8 and delivery of another three are planned this year. The first one had been delivered in December. Boeing claims the BBJ 787-8 has a range of about 9,260 nm. Separately, the first BBJ 747-8 is expected to enter into service this year.
z HAL Dhruv Helo Ready For Mineral Exploration Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (Booth H72) and Geological Survey of India are to deploy a Dhruv light twin helicopter equipped with geophysical equipment for mineral exploration. The dedicated aircraft was formally unveiled and named Garuda Vasudha by the country’s minister of mines, Dinsha Patel, in New Delhi last month. The Indian government is hoping to cut its oil import bill by finding such resources in its soil. The Dhruv is fitted with four aerogeophysical sensors–time domain electromagnetic, spectrometric, magnetic and gravimetric, for an equipment cost of $10 million. It will help understand the sub-surface geology and regional tectonic set-up. “With the best and modern equipment fitted, this helicopter will help in exploration and mapping of mineral wealth in India,” Patel stated. Capabilities include detection of oil, gas and minerals–gold, copper, thorium and other rare earth minerals–in addition to environmental and nuclear surveillance.
z ST Aero Gets Boeing 757 Conversion Contract ST Aerospace (Booth L01) has signed a contract with Shenzhen, China-based cargo carrier SF Airlines for the conversion of five passenger Boeing 757s to freighters. The deal also includes options for the conversion of three more aircraft. According to ST Aero, the first aircraft entered its modification facility at Seletar Aerospace Park in January and will be redelivered to SF Airlines in the third quarter of 2014. The freighter configuration will accommodate 15 pallets. Its development began early last year and ST Aerospace will apply for approvals from CAAC, EASA and FAA. The STC will be based on Boeing’s production freighter, as well as an existing ST Aero-owned STC for a 14-pallet configuration.
With a new service center, and two of its business jets on display here, Bombardier is showing its commitment to Singapore.
Bombardier enhances bizav presence in region by Thierry Dubois Bombardier last night officially opened its new business aircraft service center at Singapore’s Seletar Airport. The new 92,000-sq-ft facility is the first factory-owned service center for Bombardier business aircraft operators in the Asia Pacific region. “Operators in this part of the world have not previously had this level of [customer support]; they’ve had to go to North America [to get aircraft worked on],” said Stan Younger, Bombardier Aerospace’s v-p of service centers. “We can provide C checks and AOG support right across the region,” he added. The new facility has opened with 41 employees, including 25 technicians. Bombardier recruited local staff before the center was built and sent them to its service center in Hartford, Connecticut, for full training. The service center already holds maintenance approvals for business aircraft registered in Singapore, Europe, Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, the Philippines, Malaysia, Australia and the Isle of Man. Now that the U.S. Congress has finally lifted restrictions on FAA approval of foreign repair stations, Bombardier will be applying for Part 145 certification for the Singapore facility. Bombardier also has authorized service centers in the Indian cities of Mumbai and New Delhi (run by Airworks) and in Australia (run by ExecuJet Aviation). The manufacturer has parts depots here in Singapore as well as in Tokyo, Beijing, Hong Kong and Sydney. Here at the Singapore show, Bombardier is exhibiting two of its business jets, the Challenger 605 and the Global 6000. The Challenger 605 can seat nine to
12 passengers. It has a high-speed cruise Mach number of 0.82. With its Mach 0.74 long-range cruise, range is 4,000 nm. This translates into non-stop flights, from Singapore, to most of Asia, Australia, eastern Africa and the south of the Arabic peninsula. The Global 6000 typically seats a dozen passengers. Its high-speed cruise Mach number is 0.88. Its range, 6,000 nm, corresponds to a Mach number of 0.85. From Hong Kong, the
Global 6000 can thus reach all of Australasia, most of Canada and the U.S. West Coast, and a large part of Africa and Europe. Bombardier’s most recent market forecast, published in June 2013, predicted that 5,000 new business aircraft will be delivered into the Asia Pacific region between now and 2032. “Demand in this region has been phenomenal,” said regional v-p Nilesh Pattanayak. He identified Indonesia and Malaysia as especially strong areas of demand over the past 12 months, indicating that the Challenger 605 and Global aircraft have been especially popular due to both their long-range capability and their generous cabin dimensions. o
hot tip Airbus has a tradition of advancing efficiency through advanced technology winglets, and the new A350 XWB continues the legacy. Airbus claims its winglets can reduce fuel burn by as much as 4 percent, reducing fuel costs and carbon emissions by more than 900 metric tons per year per aircraft.
Dunlop Aircraft Tyres (Booth M93) is exhibiting new radial tires for regional aircraft including the Embraer E-Jets and ATR 42/72. “This product innovation, combined with our new tire distribution and retreading facility in China, gives aircraft operators increased choice…in this expanding market,” said Ian Edmonson, the company’s chairman. Dunlop’s Asia Pacific customers include China Eastern Airways, Lion Air, SpiceJet and Qantas link. Last year, Flybe, Europe’s largest regional carrier, awarded Dunlop an exclusive five-year contract to supply new and retreaded nose and main wheel tires for its fleet of Embraer 175 aircraft. Dunlop had previously supported the airline with tires for its fleet of Bombardier Q400 turboprops.
z Dunlop Offers Better Regional Radials
www.ainonline.com • February 12, 2014 • Singapore Airshow News 11
The Jupiters fly here above regional politics
Meet the Jupiters aerobatic flight team. Rear, left to right: Maj. Ari Susiono; Maj. Feri Yunaldi; Maj. Sri Raharjo; Maj. Maecellinus Dirgantara; kneeling: Capt. Ripdho Utomo; Capt. Apri Arfianto.
They’re still here! The Indonesian Air Force Jupiter aerobatic team’s appearance has survived the current diplomatic spat between Singapore and Indonesia, caused by Jakarta’s naming of a new warship after two marines who bombed an Orchard Road building here in 1965. The pair were tracked down, put on trial and executed by Singapore, which is upset by the naming. Indonesia said that the Ministry of Defence here withdrew invitations to more than 100 Indonesian military officers who were due to attend the airshow.
The Jupiters fly six KT-1B Woong Bee turboprop trainers made by KAI in Korea. The team is led by Major Feri Yunaldi, who says he is “very happy to be at the biggest airshow in Asean.” He and his fellow pilots are all instructors at the air force flying school in Jogjakarta, which has been using the KT-1B as a basic trainer since 2000. “Jupiter” is their callsign, and also an abbreviation for Juru Pendidik Terbang, which means “air educators.” The KT-1 competes with the Pilatus PC-9 and the Beechcraft T-6C on the international market, and all three look similar at first glance. KAI has sold 85 KT-1s to the Korean air force, and 40 to the Turkish air force, as well as the 17 to Indonesia. Another 20 armed KA-1s are in operational service in Korea for close air support. The Jupiters’ show opens with a formation roll and a loop, before the two solos break off. A series of graceful maneuvers follow, including the inevitable heart traced in smoke. The two solos rejoin the main formation for a “five cards loop” and a “rollback” pass along the flight line, before the show ends with a downwards bomb burst. –C.P.
ER GN WA RK MA
Rafael shows Iron Beam close-in defense system by David Donald Israeli defense specialist Rafael (Booth N51) has unveiled a new system to tackle short-range mortar and rocket threats, and closein air threats such as UAVs. Rather than employing a projectile to destroy incoming threats, the new Iron Beam system uses a high-energy laser (HEL). Building on its success with the Iron Dome CRAM (counter rockets and mortar) rapidreaction interceptor system that has been deployed by the Israel Defence Force, Rafael has devised the Iron Beam HEL to defeat a range of threats that require rapid reaction. The system can be operated from a fixed installation, or can be vehicle-mounted for rapid deployment into the field to protect critical installations or population centers. Iron Beam is not seen as a replacement for Iron Dome, as the limitations of laser attenuation in the atmosphere dictate that it is restricted to close-in engagements. Iron Beam employs separately located high-power fiber-optic lasers. It can operate as a standalone system, or can be cued by other defensive networks. Having been handed a threat track by the
command and control unit, Iron Beam re-acquires the target with its own medium field of view sensor. The target is further handed over to a narrow field of view sensor for accurate tracking, before the HEL fires to engage. Target destruction is achieved by either “cook-off,” in which the surface is heated so the weapon detonates itself in mid-air, or by burning through the threat’s surface to destroy critical components or sub-systems beneath the skin. The detection to destruction cycle takes only a few seconds. Unlimited Ammo
Using a directed-energy weapon has a number of advantages over traditional gun or missile systems. The lack of expendables greatly reduces the logistical footprint and cost of each engagement, and the laser system offers a virtually unlimited magazine. Collateral damage is also reduced due to the lack of any destructive materials. How Iron Beam might be deployed in the field has yet to be defined. A battery consists of a battle management and C3 module, a radar for initial target acquisition, and multiple laser
Iron Beam can be rapidly deployed in the field on vehicle mounts. The system is currently in the technology demonstration phase (see inset).
effectors. The number of effectors to be deployed will be decided by operational doctrine. Using multiple lasers against a single target increases the effectiveness of the system, and also allows larger areas to be covered. Iron Beam is currently in the development phase. The company began tests against mortar
12 Singapore Airshow News • February 12, 2014 • www.ainonline.com
targets some years ago, but has now expanded to cover more targes, such as rockets and small UAVs. At present the system is for land-based use, but it also has an obvious maritime application. Rafael, which also supplies the Spyder air defense system to Singapore, is developing Iron Beam with a view to
field-deploying the system with Israeli forces. However, the company also hopes to export the system in the future, and believes it could be of significant value to a number of nations. o
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Rolls-Royce to begin testing on 787’s Trent 1000-TEN by Ian Goold As Rolls-Royce (Booth N23) prepares to begin a two-year development and testing phase
for the latest Trent engine–the Model 1000-TEN, designed to power Boeing’s stretched 787-10
large twin-aisle twinjet–it has completed three full demonstrators and is building a fourth that will be used in a 500 flight-cycle trial. The first development engine is planned to begin tests before April and formal certification is due to be achieved in the second half of next year. The engines are being assembled using hardware from other
Trent variants but each unit also features new technologies being developed for the new model. Trent 1000 (T1000) chief project engineer Jeremy Hughes confirmed that, although destined for the 787-10, the variant will, in fact, enter service first on the smaller 787-8 and -9 models by mid-2016, before the heavier, double-stretched target model
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begins operation about two years later. At the beginning of this year, six airlines were operating about 90 T1000s, a number that is expected to double during 2014 as Boeing works to fulfill orders for some 460 Trent-powered 787s. Apart from the test engine earmarked for the 500-cycle test, the other three demonstrators each employ planned new T1000TEN technologies, according to Hughes. These will ensure that the 78,000-pound-thrust design incorporates “all the lessons learned” from other Trent variants in service, including advanced seals, fan case dressings (to reduce weight and complexity), materials and disc architecture. In addition to an upgraded compression system, Trent XWB technology contributing to the -TEN is said to have provided a “significant improvement” in engine performance. The complete cyclic testing will be used to prove enhanced cooling available with the new highpressure turbine (HPT) disc. The new RR engine’s physical hardware characteristics introduce knowledge gained from earlier variants. This includes: • A new “rising line” intermediate pressure compressor using Trent XWB technology; •A new HPT, with a full-face cover plate in front of the HPT disc, expected to offer longer life and to permit through-life improvements; • A modulated HP air system that reduces “parasitical” flow, helping to improve fuel burn efficiency and also improving performance retention through maintenance of seal margins; •A new, more efficient HP compressor previously demonstrated on the New Aero-engine Core (NEWAC) concepts program and the Trent XWB; and • New lighter, more efficient bladed discs (“blisks”), again using Trent XWB technology. The UK manufacturer is reporting ever-increasing efficiency with successive Trent engine models and upgrades, with the new -TEN claimed to offer 2 percent better specific fuel consumption (SFC) than the T1000 with performance improvement package C (Pack C)–the current build standard– which, in turn, is said to have been a 1-percent improvement over earlier Pack B units. Overall, RR claims the T1000 design provides the best “lifetime SFC” for 787 operators on “average” range flights. It says the engine is well ahead at the 500- to 1,000-nm sectors
14 Singapore Airshow News • February 11, 2014 • www.ainonline.com
Continued on page 16 u
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R-R to start tests on Trent 1000-TEN uContinued from page 14
that characterize distances flown by launch customer All Nippon Airways on the Japanese carrier’s domestic routes, said Hughes. RR expects to fit a T1000-TEN to the company’s Boeing 747 flying testbed for flight trials, with Boeing’s own flight testing slated for sometime after mid-2015, about 12 months after formal ground tests are scheduled to begin. Last month, T1000 engine experience from about 35,000 passenger services amounted to some 175,000 flying hours and around 70,000 flight cycles, said Hughes. The fleet leader engine had logged 5,268 hours in 2,023 cycles and overall dispatch reliability was put at 99.96 percent. Trent 700 Regional
Another family member has exhibited 99.9 percent reliability, according to RR fleet programs customer marketing head Peter Johnston. This is the Trent 700 (T700), the most popular of the manufacturer’s widebody aircraft engines, which powers 70 percent of Airbus A330 operations. Since November’s Dubai Airshow, the engine manufacturer has confirmed planned development of a T700 Regional
that will be “perfectly matched” to the A330 Regional (A330R) variant now being offered to airlines. The new variant will be optimized for the lighter aircraft at less than the 72,000 pounds thrust of the standard A330. It will be interchangeable with the basic engine, which RR says could be converted to the Regional specification. T700 Regionals will incorporate technologies already developed for enhanced performance (EP) and EP2 upgrades for the main fleet (with the latter becoming the production build standard after about mid-2015). The T700R will operate at lower engine speeds and temperatures throughout the operating spectrum, leading to expected lower maintenance costs. Johnston said the T700R would be available to A330 operators not flying the A330R. He also said that, unlike the A330R, most of the current fleet is not being used to operate short ranges all of the time. The official would not discuss engine price, but said that RR is in the business of “selling thrust.” The manufacturer sees Asia as an important market for the new airframe and engine variants. China was “obviously the first thought,” given that country’s high market share, according to Johnston. He said that RR would “push [the T700R] very hard” for short-range operators in North Asia, as well as in Southeast Asia and India. The T700 EP2 has “cleared the engine
Rolls-Royce’s Trent 1000, although destined for the 787-10, is scheduled to enter service first on the smaller 787-8 and -9 by mid-2016.
approval system” and is expected to enter service in 2015, about two years after introduction of the initial EP upgrade. While the earlier enhancement had involved modified compressor rotor blades, the new improvement features three-dimensional stators and other minor changes to both the intermediate- and high-pressure compressors that together are claimed to offer a further one-half of one percent SFC benefit, compared with the T700 EPs. This gain is expected to double with
the simultaneous introduction of better nozzle guide vane sealing and improved “aero standard [anti] flutter bridge” in the low-pressure turbine. RR claims that introduction of T700 EP2 modification is worth $200,000 a year per aircraft to operators. Having entered service in 1995, T700 engines today power some 560 aircraft flying with more than 60 operators. The engine has logged more than 25 million flying hours and more than six million cycles. o
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16 Singapore Airshow News • February 11, 2014 • www.ainonline.com
Lorads III eases traffic in busy Singapore skies
The control tower at Changi Airport in Singapore is a friendlier workplace since the introduction of Thales’ Lorads III air traffic management system.
by Liz Moscrop Here at the Singapore Airshow site an interesting phenomenon is taking place invisibly in the sky above our heads. The latest iteration of French manufacturer Thales’ (Booth F23) Long Range Radar and Display System (Lorads III) is now fully operational, marking a new era for air traffic management in Singapore. In June 2013 the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) took delivery of the
There are also unexpected factors to add in to the equation, such as poor weather or delayed takeoff slots at the start of an incoming aircraft’s journey.
Thales director Jean Noel Stock calls Changi traffic, “extremely demanding.”
advanced display designed in collaboration with air traffic controllers. The high performance configurable software reduces controllers’ workload through new ways of viewing, organizing and interacting with flight information. The OEM calls this the “centerpiece” of the system. Stock said, “It is very user-friendly and intuitive for air traffic controllers. They have a real-time understanding of any situation.” He pointed out that because Thales is active in so many sectors of aerospace, the firm is accustomed to working with governments and end-users across many disciplines, which gives it a strong understanding of requirements for both air crew and air traffic controllers. “We have thousands of hours of work shopping with pilots and air traffic controllers across the world, and have lots of feedback from end-users.” Another key feature is Thales’ latest method of using geometry in its flight data processing
to manage gate-to-gate flight trajectories in 4D, based on aircraft performance. Stock added, “We are reducing distance in four dimensions: latitude, longitude, altitude and time. We use the airborne technologies, such as radar, transponders, ADS-B and WAML, along with the ground sensors to allow perfect positioning of each aircraft. This allows us to reduce the distance between them, while maintaining reliability and safety. If a pilot needs to make a last minute decision we can provide a very accurate picture of where each aircraft is.” This will be crucial for Singapore, as it is the busiest air traffic hub in South East Asia, with more than 300,000 movements and 50 million passengers per year. It is also at a strategic geographic junction, making its skies among the busiest in the world for long-range air traffic en-route to hundreds of destinations. Stock explained: “When you have active runways in parallel, you want to land as many aircraft as is safely
practical, while avoiding wake vortices. He said that further optimization is possible by adding next-generation air sensors to measure wake vortices in real time, to assess what their impact is. Singapore also has a rainy season, so wet runways are another factor to take into consideration, for example when estimating braking distances required. Asian Single Sky
Thales is also working with the developers of the Single European Sky program in Europe (and NextGen in the U.S.) to look at the increase in air traffic density coming online. There will more than likely be an Asian counterpart, given the huge volumes of aircraft coming online in the ASEAN region. A second phase of the program will see the addition of advanced new capabilities and enhanced functionalities, which will be deployed by the end of 2016. o
propwash junction Between the four six-blade scimitar propellers on the Lockheed C-130 and the massive proprotors on the Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey, there is plenty of potential for mixing up the air in this corner of the aircraft static display. As exciting as fast jets can be, sometimes it takes a prop to get the job done.
system, which is now fully operational following a successful phased deployment program. According to Thales, Lorads III (which is based on Thales TopSky-ATC) marks “a generational shift” in air traffic management, allowing “seamless integration between area, approach and tower, while its high level of automation and modern software help in using the busy airspace efficiently and minimise aircraft fuel consumption through optimised air traffic trajectories.” The OEM already provides ATM systems to Taiwan and Australia, and says that the Singaporean system “will play a critical role in enabling the CAAS to manage significant future air traffic growth in a safer, more efficient and environmentally friendly way.” Country director for Lorads III in Singapore Jean Noel Stock said that Changi Airport comes close to London Heathrow in terms of aircraft movements, and that traffic will grow by “at least 50 percent” over the next ten years. “There is a fifth terminal under construction, as well as an additional runway. This is extremely demanding in terms of aircraft flow,” added Stock.
CHANGI AIRPORT GROUP
Lorads III integrates state-ofthe-art multi-sensor tracking technology, capable of fusing data from multiple surveillance sources. In particular it uses Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B), where an aircraft determines its own position via the global navigation satellite system and periodically broadcasts this via a radio frequency. It also uses Wide Area Multilateration (WAML), an independent, cooperative surveillance technology based on the same time-difference of arrival principles used on an airport surface. Several groundreceiving stations listen to signals transmitted from an aircraft and then mathematically calculate its position in three dimensions. This data is then transmitted to screens viewed by air traffic controllers. It can interface to terminal or en-route automation systems and ground sensors with “multihypothesis” filtering. This gives controllers a holistic and highly accurate picture of the operating environment. Lorads III also offers ADS-C surveillance capability for remote and oceanic areas. A key component of the system is Thales’ Java Human Machine Interface engine–an
www.ainonline.com • February 12, 2014 • Singapore Airshow News 17
ST Aerospace symbolic of Singapore’s progress by Ian Goold and Chris Pocock The vibrant aerospace sector here in Singapore is perhaps best illustrated by the activities of Singapore Technologies Aerospace (ST Aerospace, Booth G01/L01). Last week, the company celebrated a $20 million revamp and expansion of its original home at Seletar with an official opening. In the 38 years since it began operations there, ST Aerospace has become a global maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) network with
aircraft. “For instance, it may not be so cost-effective for an airline to fly aircraft to a far location such as here for C-checks,” he noted. ST Aerospace is therefore planning to offer more “bundled” content, such as cabin interior revamps and a higher modification content. “We will also engage more with Airbus and Boeing, and build up our capability in composites,” Chang added. Last year, the company’s San Antonio, TX subsid-
Chang Cheow Teck, president of ST Aerospace, presides over a company that has exhibited stunning global growth in several sectors of the aviation industry.
facilities and affiliate companies in the Asia Pacific, the Americas and Europe. Today, slightly over half of the company’s 10,500 staff are based overseas. Last year the company received orders worth $2.3 billion. Headline statistics arising from maintenance and modification work include redelivery of more than 800 aircraft (including five Boeing 757-200 passenger-to-freighter (P2F) conversions), more than 180 engines, more than 250 landing gears and 44,604 aircraft components. It also provided 6,656 engine washes for both commercial and military customers. “We are the largest MRO in the world, with a strong engineering forte,” Chang Cheow Teck, president, told guests at the Seletar event. “Over the years, we have grown our capabilities from depot maintenance for military operators and general aviation maintenance, to offer a full suite of airline, business aviation and helicopter maintenance and modification, pilot and technical crew training, VIP air charter, special operations and air ambulance services.” Chang later told AIN that the company must now consider a future in which fewer man-hours will be needed to maintain new
iary acquired Turbo-Mach, a designer and manufacturer of aerospace composites components and assemblies. At Seletar, ST Aerospace can now handle up to 11 narrowbody airliners and 24 general aviation aircraft simultaneously. It has widebody hangars in Singapore and elsewhere–at Changi International Airport and Paya Lebar airbase, with the latter also handling most of the military MRO for the local and overseas air forces. Last year, the government announced a plan to close Paya Lebar by 2030 and expand Changi for both civil and military operations, including an area dedicated to MRO. This will entail a major relocation for ST Aerospace, and Chang is not yet sure whether the company will build like-for-like facilities at Changi East to replace Paya Lebar. With costs continuing to rise in Singapore, he suggested to AIN that although the military MRO facilities will make the move, the company might not continue to grow its commercial business here. “We have until 2030 to plan the transition,” he noted. Two years ago, ST Aerospace acquired 35 percent of the EADS subsidiary Elbe Flugzeugwerke (EFW) in Germany, coincident with the deal with Airbus to design an A330 freighter
conversion. EFW was already doing A300/310 freighter conversions, making composite floor panels for Airbus aircraft, and doing general MRO work. Chang told AIN that ST Aerospace has brought new MRO work to EFW, including “two long term contracts to help them balance the peaks and troughs of freighter conversion work.” He said that EFW had completed 20 airliner overhauls since last March, which was their fastest throughput yet. Other Ventures
Other recent overseas initiatives include setting up aircraft leasing business WingStar; the establishment by U.S. affiliate San Antonio Aerospace (STA San Antonio) of an aircraft parking venture; and a “green harvesting” of aircraft parts, components and engines business called Hondo Aerospace. WingStar is a 50:50 joint-venture (JV) aircraft leasing business between ST Aerospace Resources–a new asset-management vehicle–and Wings Capital Partners (WCP) which will focus on mid- to end-of-life aircraft for leasing, conversion and parting out. It is expected to begin operations in the early part of this year and the shareholders plan to build up an aircraft portfolio that will initially include Airbus A320s and Boeing 737NGs. Establishment of STA San Antonio’s Hondo Aerospace division, which is expected to commence operations before April, follows a long-term property lease agreement with the city of Hondo, for almost 380,000 sq ft of space at South Texas Regional Airport comprising a narrowbody aircraft hangar and surrounding ramp. Marketed as
part of ST Aerospace’s MRO network, STA San Antonio (the former Dee Howard Co.) is a subsidiary of Vision Technologies Aerospace, which owns five U.S. aerospace operating companies in Alabama, Texas and Connecticut and is a part of ST Engineering’s U.S. arm, Vision Technologies Systems. In mid-2013, ST Aerospace announced that–by converting previously extended loans–it had invested nearly $63 million into wholly owned subsidiary ST Aerospace Engines, bringing its total share capital contribution to almost $118 million. The loan partly supported expansion of engine support activities that include disassembly, cleaning, nondestructive testing and inspection, balancing, assembly and engine testing. In October, it was revealed that ST Aerospace has injected new capital into its 50-percentowned Total Engines Asset Management (Team) business, an engine leasing company whose portfolio includes CFM56-3, -5B and -7B engines mainly powering Airbus A320s and Boeing 737s. Since late last year, ST Aerospace has had a long-term agreement with UTC Aerospace Systems to maintain, repair and overhaul Boeing 787 nacelles for Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 and General Electric GEnx engines. ST Aerospace maintains an inventory of 787 components and parts to support operators worldwide. The business came after a similar agreement for nose-to-tail support of other UTC Aerospace Systems 787 equipment, including bleed-less systems and liquid cooling components. Pilot Training
The Singapore Technologies aerospace arm also provides
pilot training for military and commercial customers, including air transport and multicrew pilot certificates. New business acquired in 2013 came from Gulf operator Qatar Airways, for which the ST Aerospace Academy (STAA) has a five-year multi-crew pilot license (MPL) contract. STAA will recruit and assess cadets for training as Airbus A320 first officers, with the first batch of 36 cadets expected to graduate in the first quarter of 2015. Previously, STAA had completed a Singapore MPL program in partnership with Tiger Airways, supported by the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore. STAA’s MPL program comprises six months of ground school and 13 months of flying training involving four phases. Phase 1 is conducted at its Australian flying school at Ballarat (Victoria), while Phases 2 through 4 and groundschool are conducted at the new aviation center at Seletar, which includes full-flight and fixed-base simulators for the A320. STAA said that putting cadets into the Airbus A320 simulator from the start of Phase 2 training maximizes their exposure to flying in a multi-crew environment and to the cockpit of the aircraft that they will eventually fly. Customers have included carriers such as Hainan Airlines, JuneYao Airlines, Shenzhen Airlines, ShunFeng Airlines, Tiger Airways and Xiamen Airlines, as well as individuals. On pilot training capability development, an additional six Cessna 172 single-engine aircraft and matching flight-training device have been acquired for STAA’s Australian fleet. o
A Jetstar Asia Airbus A320 sits on the apron in front of ST Aerospace’s facilty at Changi Airport, here in Singapore. ST Aerospace and Jetstar Asia have signed a three-year contract covering line maintenance of the carrier’s A320 fleet here at Changi Airport, supported by local base-maintenance facilities. A new narrowbody hangar can accommodate two A320s simultaneously and has increased ST Aerospace’s global hangar capacity to 38 widebody bays, 27 narrowbody bays and 24 general aviation bays.
18 Singapore Airshow News • February 12, 2014 • www.ainonline.com
During preshow practice sessions over the Singapore Strait, this white bellied sea eagle performed his own impressive aerial display at the same time pilots of the Korean Black Eagles jet team were spreading their wings. Though they were, in fact, sharing the same airspace at the same time, some computer magic was used to align the two images.
P&WC pushes the case for modern turboprops by Charles Alcock ATR72-600 aircraft by Indonesian carriers Garuda and Wings Air (a Lion Air subsidiary). “There is an infrastructure dimension to this growth,” said Dussault. “With over 10,000 islands in Indonesia, larger carriers want to develop regional markets that will eventually need larger aircraft. But these often involve short segments and that’s where the turboprops can make it work from an economical standpoint since they burn 40 percent less fuel on the same sectors. Airlines there [in the Asia
RNZAF signs for 11 Beech T-6Cs, and sims by David Donald The Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) last month signed two contracts for a new training system to replace its ageing Pacific Aerospace CT-4E Airtrainer piston-engined trainers–currently shared by the Central Flying School and Pilot Training School. At the heart of the new $128 million system are 11 Beechcraft T-6C Texan II turboprop trainers and two CAE simulators.
employed in the advanced training phase. A number of them will also be flown by senior instructors who form the “Red Checkers” aerobatic display team, which currently flies CT-4Es. Two T-6Cs are scheduled for delivery to the RNZAF’s training base at Ohakea in November to initiate the induction phase, with the remaining nine due by mid2015. At that point it is intended that the training system will
Regional airliner rivals ATR and Bombardier may still be no closer to announcing their long-anticipated new 90-seat twin turboprops, but Pratt & Whitney Canada (P&WC) is determined to be ready with the necessary powerplant for program launches that it views as inevitable. Next month, the engine maker will resume testing of the compressor unit for its proposed New Generation Regional Turboprop engine and it expects to have all testing complete by mid-year. “We’re staying very close to these OEM customers and we have no doubt about market demand for a 90-seat aircraft,” said Richard Dussault, P&WC’s marketing v-p for regional and helicopter. The testing conducted so far has involved more than 500 points of instrumentation. The engineering team has tested the stability of the compressor across the full operating regime, including lower speeds. They are also doing operability testing. Regardless of how long it may take for a new twin turboprop platform to emerge, P&WC is continuing to enjoy significant growth for its installed base of engines in the Asia Pacific region. The PW100 family is a key driver in the trend, largely based on a surge in orders for
Pacific region] are very sensitive to cost, especially when their local currency is weak.” December 2014 will mark the 30th anniversary of the PW100’s entry into service. Initial type certification was achieved back in December 1983 and since then P&WC has certified no fewer than 37 different versions of the family, including the PW150A that powers Bombardier’s latest Q400 aircraft. “From the base PW100 we have kept growing the engine, mainly by investing in the materials used and we have also improved the maintenance performance so that the TBO [time between overhaul] is at 15,000 hours,” Dussault said. “We have certainly enjoyed the rebirth of turboprops [in the regional airline sector] since 2003.” o
The Royal New Zealand Air Force will soon begin using Beechcraft’s T-6C Texan IIs in its training program. The kiwis will also use them for an aerobatic display team.
Almost 30 years on since Pratt & Whitney Canada’s PW100 engine entered service, the manufacturer has continued to invest in boosting the performance of the turboprop family with improvements such as reduced maintenance requirements.
20 Singapore Airshow News • February 12, 2014 • www.ainonline.com
The contracts also cover parts, training, logistics and maintenance support. Local company Safe Air has been selected as sub-contractor to assist with implementation of the system. As well as taking over the primary training mission from the Airtrainer, the T-6Cs will also be used to replace King Air 200s
become available for pilot training. Following the T-6C course RNZAF pilots will progress to operational squadrons for conversion training. The RNZAF currently has no tactical jet capability, its front-line fixed-wing types being the Lockheed Martin C-130 Hercules and P-3 Orion, and Boeing 757. o
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Boeing, Airbus invest in Asia Pacific partners by Gregory Polek Asia Pacific governments have long considered development of their aerospace industries a prime opportunity for technology renewal and overall economic growth. Several big OEMs have answered the call to help, allowing countries such as Singapore and Malaysia to develop into some of the world’s most active aerospace manufacturing, services and technology centers. Others, such as the Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia, show particular promise due to their rapidly expanding economies and young, energetic populations hungry for jobs. Meanwhile, the fact that the Asia Pacific region ranks as one of the most valuable airliner markets in the world has become irrefutable. Of course, the world’s two dominant airframe makers, Airbus and Boeing, understand the value of maintaining close ties with local industry and exercising good corporate citizenship everywhere they sell their products. But in markets as prized as those in Southeast Asia, China and indeed
“With a skilled talent pool, quality workmanship and competitive cost base, Malaysia is one of the countries that have the right ingredients to become a key partner for Airbus,” said the company’s president and CEO Fabrice Brégier. “This is in line with our strategy to have a stronger footprint in international markets and develop our support services for operators of our aircraft nearer to their home bases.” Nearly a Third of Airbus Orders
The Asia Pacific region as a whole accounts for 31 percent of all orders recorded by Airbus to date. More than 2,270 Airbus aircraft fly for 98 operators across the region, while the company has collected firm orders to deliver another 2,000, accounting for about a third of the company’s total backlog. It hasn’t happened by accident. Over the years Airbus has partnered with aerospace manufacturers in countries such as Australia, China, India, Indo-
A worker loads aircraft parts into a new autoclave at the expanded Aerospace Composites Malaysia facility, jointly owned by Boeing and Hexcel. The factory is to be expanded by 40 percent to accommodate increased production by Boeing Commercial Airplanes.
build Airbus parts such as composite structures for the A380 and components for the A400M military transporter. In India, the company has invested in a new engineering center in Bangalore, which is involved in the development of “advanced capabilities” in modeling and simulation, and covering areas such as flight management systems, computational fluid dynamics and digital simulation and visualization.
The Kuala Lumpur hangar of Malaysia’s Sepang Aircraft Engineering houses up to six Airbus A320s. A new agreement with Airbus will add space for another three.
t hroughout the Pacific Rim, they view those efforts as critical. For Airbus (Booth J23, Chalet CD19), the recent expansion of a joint venture with Malaysia’s Sepang Aircraft Engineering (SAE) and the establishment of a new customer services center adjacent to SAE’s Kuala Lumpur facilities marked the latest expression of that recognition. The new agreement will see the construction of a new 13,000sq-m hangar capable of accommodating three A320s for major maintenance checks. SAE’s existing hangar already can hold six single-aisle airplanes at a time.
nesia, Japan, South Korea and Malaysia. Increasing levels of partnership in recent years include significant programs in China, perhaps the most visible being the A320 final assembly line (FALC) in Tianjin. Chinese industry has now developed many of the disciplines necessary to become a significant manufacturer of composite material parts for the A350XWB and the A320 family, as well as full wing equipage and testing for aircraft under assembly in Tianjin. Other wing components for the A320 come from Malaysia, where several suppliers now
In South Korea, the Korean Air aerospace division (KALASD) has served as a major supplier to Airbus since 1998 and it now provides the new Sharklet wingtip devices for the A320 and A320neo. For its part, Boeing sees just as much value in cultivating ties with Asia Pacific suppliers, including KAL-ASD, which has won a contract to supply Boeing with wingtip devices for the 737 Max. Recognized as Boeing supplier of the year in 2000, 2006 and 2012, KAL began making parts for the U.S. manufacturer in 1999, starting with 777 X-frames. It now works under
22 Singapore Airshow News • February 12, 2014 • www.ainonline.com
contracts to provide 777 nacelle fittings, 737 empennages, 787 raked wingtips and Dreamliner pivot bulkheads. In Malaysia, a joint venture between Boeing and UK composite specialist Hexcel, called Aerospace Composites Malaysia (ACM), makes flight surfaces for all of Boeing’s commercial programs, including the NextGeneration 737, 747-8, 767, 777 and 787 Dreamliner. Just last November Boeing and Hexcel announced a 40-percent factory expansion of ACM to support increased production by Boeing Commercial Airplanes. The $17 million investment by Boeing and Hexcel adds 125,000 sq ft to a factory footprint that now totals 440,000 sq ft, and the project includes a cleanroom expansion of 11,000 sq ft and installation of $5 million in new equipment. With the added capacity, ACM plans to expand its manufacturing workforce beyond its current 950 employees, cementing its position as the region’s leading employer. The company expects to partially use the added capacity to start production of 787 fixed leadingedge panels in 2014. Perhaps most famously, 35 percent of the 787’s fuselage comes from the so-called Japanese “heavies,” namely Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Kawasaki Heavy Industries and Fuji Heavy Industries. When Boeing signed MHI to build the main wing box, it marked the first time the U.S. airframer entrusted the design and manufacture of such a critical part to another company. Other components supplied by Japanese firms include tires, gearboxes, trailing-edge flaps,
lavatories, flight deck interiors, altimeters, actuators, valves and video entertainment systems. Also, Toray Industries provides the composite materials for the 787. The China Connection
Still more critical Dreamliner parts–such as the rudder, wingto-body fairing panels, vertical fin panels and leading edges– come from China, whose companies play a role on every one of Boeing’s commercial airplane models. Apart from the Dreamliner parts, Chinese companies supply horizontal stabilizers, vertical fins, aft tail sections, doors, wing panels and wire harnesses for the 737. For the 747-8, they make trailing edge wing ribs, vertical fins, ailerons, spoilers and inboard flaps. Boeing’s large China investments include a joint venture with AVIC called the Boeing Tianjin Composite Co. and a partnership with China Eastern Airlines and the Shanghai Port Authority known as the Boeing Shanghai Aviation Service Co. The largest aerospace employer in Tianjin, Boeing Tianjin makes interior parts and composite structures for Boeing commercial airplanes. Boeing Shanghai performs line maintenance, heavy maintenance, airframe modifications and upgrades for interiors, avionics and in-flight entertainment systems. The level of Boeing’s investment in China–it ranks as the country’s leading commercial purchaser–should come as little surprise. The company projects that over 20 years China will need 5,580 new airplanes, making it Boeing Commercial Airplanes’ largest customer. o
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Asian investment brings big returns for Embraer by Gregory Polek For Brazil’s Embraer, a lot has changed in the 13 years since it first laid brick and mortar in Asia. The world’s major airframe makers now consider the Asia Pacific region the biggest market for airliners in the world, and Embraer’s establishment first of an office in Beijing
rest of Asia, from India eastward, for example, has proved vital to Embraer’s ability to exploit what in some ways amounts to two distinct markets. “I think it was the right call to separate our focus,” said Curado. “China is a very specific market and demands a specific
Embraer CEO Frederico Curado directs the company’s “specific focus” on the Chinese market.
and later a joint-venture to build ERJ 145 regional jets in Harbin has proved prescient. Also operating an office in Singapore, Embraer (Booth CD51) has spread its influence throughout the Pacific Rim in relatively short order, nimbly adapting its modus operandi to the needs of its customers and commercial partners in the region. In China, for example, the Harbin factory now builds Legacy business jets for a domestic market that has quickly developed into one of the world’s most promising. Speaking with AIN last month, Embraer CEO Frederico Curado stressed the importance of the company’s decision to invest so thoroughly in the region, and yet do so in a deliberate, thoughtful way. Dividing its marketing efforts in the region between China and the
focus…I think the decision was key to our success in China.” Curado also suggested that the company’s decision to enter the joint venture with AVIC to establish an ERJ 145 factory not only played an important role in Embraer’s ability to meaningfully penetrate the regional airline market in the mid-2000s, but it continues to support the company’s marketing efforts with network carriers there, despite the fact that the plant now assembles business jet versions of the aircraft. “China is still a planned economy,” stressed Curado. “For example, business jets have a major application within the airlines, so take Air China, take Hainan, take China Eastern, they all operate business jets within their infrastructure, so things are kind of tied.
I think in China one business helps the other maybe more than in other places. There are new players coming. For example, Minsheng, one of our customers and a very large operating lease facility, they belong to a bank. The market is just really growing right now; the major players are establishing themselves now; it’s a perfect moment to be there.” While fortuitous, the decision to convert the Harbin facility into a Legacy business jet factory didn’t come about immediately. At one point Embraer toyed with the idea of building 100-seat E190s in China but that plan fizzled out when Embraer’s Chinese partners decided against it. The decision appears not to have hindered Embraer’s E-Jet sales efforts in China or much of the rest of Asia. As of November, three Chinese airlines operated a total 92 E190s; Mandarin Airlines of Taiwan flew eight E190s; and three Japanese carriers flew a total 20 E170s. In Australia, Air North flew four E170s and Virgin Australia another 18 E190s. Other E-Jet operations included Air Costa in India and Myanmar’s Myanma Airways. “You can look at it both ways,” said Curado. “[In] thirteen years in a mature market such as the U.S. or Europe, we could have done better, maybe. But by Asian standards, particularly given that we were a newcomer–we had very little exposure to the market thirteen years ago–I think we are very happy with what we accomplished over this period.” Southeast Asia an Anomaly
For all of Embraer’s success in Asia as a whole, however, Southeast Asia remains an anomaly for the Brazilian manufacturer. Apart from the pair of E190s at Myanma, records show no other Embraer commercial airplanes in operation within the 10-member Association of Southeast
26 Singapore Airshow News • February 12, 2014 • www.ainonline.com
Asian Nations (ASEAN), while its turboprop making competitor from Europe, ATR, has enjoyed a virtual stranglehold on the region. “You are right, ATR has been very substantial in that region,” conceded Curado. “The way we see it, over time those markets will tend to develop more like we see in mature markets. Of course, we see turboprops being there for really short segment applications, and gradually they’ll be replaced by jets. But this is a trend we see over time, as passengers prefer jet flying. But obviously there are some routes that are best suited to turboprops. “I think, again,” he continued,” as markets mature, you’ll start seeing more demand for rightsizing and we’ll see a better balance between turboprops and smaller jets, and larger, narrowbody jets. And, of course, we are committed to investing time and resources to try to develop that market.” Curado expressed particular
optimism about the development of the low-fare market in Southeast Asia, and stressed the fact that several of Embraer’s E-Jet customers serve the discount-fare segment. Furthermore, he noted, the Embraer E2s–re-engined E-Jets designed to offer “double-digit” improvements in operating-cost per seat over the current generation–will carry as many as 12 more passengers than the current E195, making it an even more compelling aircraft for low-cost carriers by the end of the decade. For the nearer term, the fortunes of Embraer’s current E-Jet line enjoyed a recent upswing with the sale of 60 E175s to American Airlines. Scheduled for first delivery in the first quarter of 2015, the order helped quell any lingering questions over last year’s E190 delivery deferrals by New York-based low-fare airline JetBlue. The move by JetBlue created concerns among securities analysts that Embraer might have to slow production to mitigate the risk of exposure to open delivery slots. Nevertheless, Curado dismissed the suggestion. “Our skyline in 2014 looks pretty good, and 2015 as well,” he said. “We are quite comfortable with 2014 and 2015. JetBlue was negotiated, so we did that together. The partnership has been there for ten years, and it’s a good as it has always been…so it’s not a problem. It’s already fully integrated into our production plans.” o
AAC wins B-787 completion contract Associated Air Center (AAC) of Tempe, Arizona, has been awarded a contract for the custom interior completion of a Boeing 787-8 BBJ aircraft, and staffing, training and infrastructure development are under way in preparation for the project, the completion company announced. Delivery of the green aircraft from Boeing is expected in mid-2014, and full interior design review is currently under way. Designed by AAC’s in-house design department, the team used the new Boeing 787 generous cabin periphery as inspiration in creating a comfortable and modern environment. The contract, signed in late December, capped months of discussions and work with Boeing engineers; the 787’s composite structure requires special training, unique tooling and state-of-the-art design considerations for interior work. Jack Lawless, AAC’s CEO, called the project “a game changer in the world of custom interior completions,” adding, “Not only is this a major milestone for AAC, it represents a monumental leap forward for the entire custom interiors completions industry, as this aircraft is unlike any other in the world.” Work will be performed at parent company StandardAero’s (Booth T91) Transport Category VIP completion center in Dallas, Texas. “The AAC team has a long and proven history on several Boeing platforms,” said Capt. Steve Taylor, president of Boeing Business Jets. “We look forward to working with AAC in support of their first 787 BBJ interior completion,” he added. –J.W.
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Tata SIA could exploit AirAsia delay by Neelam Mathews India’s newest domestic startup, full-service Delhibased Tata SIA Airlines, could have an advantage over newcomer budget-carrier AirAsia India as the latter is forced to
wait for its air operators permit (AOP), which has been delayed by the decision of the Indian Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to issue a public notice requesting
comments. This could put on hiatus AirAsia’s plans of launching before summer. Tata SIA, for its part, received its No Objection Certificate from the DGCA in September last
year and “expects to start operations by mid-2014,” a spokesman told AIN. AirAsia India was due to have started operations by the end of 2013; investment company Tata Sons holds a 30-percent share in the budget carrier, while also holding an interest in Tata SIA–a potential conflict of interests it has refused
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28 Singapore Airshow News • February 12, 2014 • www.ainonline.com
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to comment on. Somewhat surprisingly, India’s Competition Commission seems to have no objection to this, saying one carrier is full service and the other a budget airline, despite there being very little difference in practice. It is clear, however, that Tata is much more interactive with SIA than with AirAsia. The new full-service airline– Tata SIA–is a $100 million joint venture between Tata Sons and Singapore International Airlines. Tata’s share is 51 percent, while SIA owns 49 percent. The airline is set to lease 20 A320s from Chinese-owned, Singapore-based lessor BOC Aviation. Tata SIA is clear that it will be a full-service airline, effectively filling a niche, given that 75 percent of seats in India currently are budget. In a report released in the third week of December, the DGCA said that, in India, 5.58 million passengers traveled by air that month, 3.37 percent more than in the same month in the previous year. SIA CEO Goh Choon Phong, speaking at a recent analyst briefing on half-year results, alluded to the fact that he saw the venture facing challenges in the very competitive domestic market, including a rule that mandates it operate for five years and count a fleet of 20 aircraft before it is permitted to fly internationally. “But we believe that we have the right partner. In fact, we believe that we have the best partner we could find, someone we know for a long time: Tata Sons. And we believe that we also have the right environment, with India liberalization taking place, to actually enter this market, and we believe we can make a positive contribution to make it work for India,” added Goh. SIA, a member of Star Alliance, is expected to reap benefits from Tata SIA in India with the alliance open to a second domestic carrier member, following the announcement of Air India’s reentry to Star. This could present competition to carriers targeting the Indians traveling to the U.S. via the Middle East. “India is big enough to accommodate a second carrier,” Markus Ruediger, spokesman for Star Alliance, told AIN. He confirmed that “at present there are no negotiations,” but he added that any second carrier “must benefit and the alliance must benefit.”o
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PHOTOS: CHRIS POCOCK
Japan meets threats with air-power build up by Chris Pocock Faced with China’s increasingly assertive military posture, as well as a continuing ballistic missile threat from North Korea, Japan plans to spend more on defense, boosting its air and maritime forces. The plan commits to buying 28 Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II combat aircraft, 17 Bell-Boeing MV-22 Osprey tiltrotors and three Northrop Grumman Global Hawk UAVs over the next five years. The Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) will also upgrade existing fleets of F-2 and F-15 fighters. The National Security Strategy that was published last December adjusts the Japanese force structure to create an amphibious brigade–promoting the plan to buy Osprey. The decision to buy F-35As was made two years ago, with a total of 42 planned for two squadrons. They will replace the JASDF’s remaining F-4Es. Japan is planning a final assembly and checkout facility for the Lightning II, although the first four aircraft will come
Top photo: The mission avionics of Japan’s fleet of four Boeing E-767 AWACS aircraft are being upgraded in a $950 million program. Bottom left: The Japan Air Self Defense Force (JASDF) has a large fleet of F-15J interceptors. Most are being upgraded by Mitsubishi to the F-15MJ standard.
from Lockheed Martin’s Fort Worth, Texas production line in 2016 as part of low-rate initial production lot 8. The F-35 buy has also driven a review of Japan’s previous outright ban on arms exports. Mitsubishi is producing the wings as well as assembling the aircraft for the JASDF, and IHI is assembling the engine. Japanese industry now seems more likely to join the multinational supplier base for the aircraft. The Global Hawk high-altitude UAVs
would contribute to a major upgrade of Japan’s intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capability. This will also include more space-based assets. The JASDF is already planning a $950 million upgrade to its unique fleet of four Boeing E-767 AWACS aircraft. The upgrade will cover the mission computer, electronic support measures, identify-friend-or-foe and cryptographic equipment. It will make the aircraft more interoperable with the USAF’s E-3
Viking sells first series 400 twin Otters tO Japanese market First Flying Company of Osaka, Japan has signed a purchase agreement with Canada’s Viking Air (Chalet CD35) covering a pair of Twin Otter Series 400 turboprops, marking the first placement of the latest Twin Otter generation in Japan. The contract calls for the Twin Otters to come configured as standard 19-seat commercial landplanes. Expecting delivery in early 2015, First Flying plans to press the airplanes into service on domestic service in Okinawa and throughout the Ryukyu Islands in the southernmost region of Japan. A regional carrier and flying club based at Yao Airport in Osaka, First Flying operates a mix of fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft for sightseeing, aerial survey and flight training services between Yao Airport and Hiroshima Heliport. “We are happy to be bringing the Twin Otter Series 400 to Japan again, as it has been approximately eight years since the last Series 300 Twin Otter retired from the Japanese sky,” said First Flying president Masanobu Nishikawa. “Our company has put forward considerable effort to maintain the routes among the Ryukyu Islands in Okinawa, and the addition of our new Series 400 aircraft will enable us to develop new routes and bring more passengers and cargo to the area.” In Southeast Asia, Viking has sold Series 400 Twin Otters to customers in nine countries. One of the largest customers–the Vietnam Navy–late last year received the first of an order for six. Malaysia’s MAS Wings, which also has ordered six of the airplanes, expects to take its fourth and fifth within the next six weeks. Delivery of the fifth MAS Wings airplane will mark the completion of the 50th Viking-produced Twin Otter. –G.P.
The F-2 is the big-wing version of the F-16, codeveloped by Lockheed Martin and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.
AWACS fleet. More joint working with U.S. forces is a key aim of the new security strategy. As tensions with China and Russia have risen, the number of interceptions performed annually by the JASDF has risen to more than 500, compared with 100 to 200 in earlier years, so the service’s combat aircraft fleet will be increased by 20 to 360 in 13 squadrons. A second air refueling squadron will be formed–the first operates four Boeing KC-767s. The JASDF is upgrading at least the newer F-15s in its 150-strong fleet to an F-15MJ configuration with new datalinks and M-scan radar. The F-2s will receive a radar upgrade. With Lockheed Martin, Mitsubishi codeveloped the F-16 into the F-2 with a 25-percent-bigger wing and passive e-scan radar to meet Japan’s maritime fighter interdiction requirement for longer range. The last of 94 aircraft were delivered from the Mitsubishi production line in 2011, but 18 were badly damaged at Matsushima airbase by the tsunami that hit Japan in March 2011. According to Col. Koji Imaki from JASDF headquarters, the F-2 program contributed greatly to the building of Japan’s aerospace industrial base, although the unit cost was a high $120 million. That industrial capability has been proven twice now in response to unusual events, he said. In 2007, the entire Japanese F-15 fleet was inspected in just 18 days after the nose-break incident in the U.S. Last year, Mitsubishi and partners assessed that 13 of the 18 damaged F-2s could be repaired. Moreover, he added, industry programs have kept the JASDF’s F-4 Phantoms flying, and improved the fleet’s declining mission-capable rate. They include a corrosion inspection and remedial regime. o Col. Imaki spoke at The Fighter Conference in London last November, organized by Defence IQ. For more information see www.defenceiq.com or www.internationalfighter.com.
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China expands ‘Flanker’ family, ponders Su-35 by David Donald While much of the world’s media attention is focused on China’s indigenous fighter programs, such as the J-10, J-20 and J-21/31, Shenyang continues to develop the “Flanker” series that has been in PLAAF (People’s Liberation Army Air Force) service since 1992. The latest versions to go into production are the J-15 carrier-borne fighter, and the J-16 multirole attack aircraft. China began its association with the Sukhoi Flanker in 1992, when the country became the first outside the former Soviet states to acquire the heavy fighter. Three batches of Su-27SK single-seaters and Su-27UBK two-seaters were acquired directly from Russia, and they initiated a major transformation of China’s air defense capability. Based on this experience, China negotiated a license to manufacture the Su27SK at Shenyang. Finalized in 1996, the contract covered 200 aircraft, beginning with the assembly of kits supplied from Russia and moving to increased Chinese production. Known as the J-11, the Shenyang-assembled Flanker suffered from quality control issues, and production ended after only 105 had been produced. They included a number of J-11As with some cockpit and weapon upgrades. As Shenyang and the colocated 601 Institute gained more experience in building the aircraft, the facilities began to develop an “indigenized” version, the J-11B. Eager to free itself of dependence on Moscow, Chinese industry developed a number of key components that would allow the construction of aircraft without Russian supplies, and also allow them to use weaponry of Chinese origin. New Engine
By far the most important new component was the Shenyang Liming WS-10A Taihang engine to replace the Saturn AL31F. A single flight-test article flew in a J-11WS testbed in 2002, and in 2004 the first true J-11B prototype flew for the first time, with two WS-10As. Production of the J-11B got under way with Chinese engines, but ongoing reliability problems forced subsequent aircraft to return to the AL-31F. Now it seems those issues with the WS-10A have been overcome and production J-11Bs are entering service with the Chinese powerplant. Late last year photos appeared of J-11Bs with a different style of nozzle, suggesting further improvements to the WS-10A. As well as new engines, the J-11B sports a Chinese multi-function radar, infrared search-and-track turret and a databus that allows the carriage and delivery of range of Chinese weapons, including the PL-12 active-radar air-to-air missile. The cockpit also uses Chinese components, providing
modern workplace with five multifunction displays. J-11Bs entered PLAAF service toward the end of 2007 and their numbers have grown considerably since then. In early 2010 the Chinese naval air arm (PLANAF) began to receive J-11Bs for shore-based fighter operations. To partner the single-seat J-11B, Shenyang has also developed a “homegrown” two-seater designated J-11BS. This aircraft first flew in 2007, and entered service with both the PLAAF and PLANAF in 2010.
The J-11B is now in widespread service with both the PLAAF and PLANAF, and current production aircraft like these are powered by Chinese engines. The single-seaters are supported by two-seat J-11BS aircraft (via Chinese internet).
This recent photo shows one of the J-15 prototypes carrying a centerline refueling pod (via Chinese internet).
Just as the Soviet Union turned to a navalized version of the Flanker (Su-33) to meet its initial carrier-borne fighter needs, so China turned to the Sukhoi design when developing an aircraft to equip its new carrier, Liaoning. In fact, China acquired an Su-33 prototype from Ukraine to assist in the development of its own carrier fighter. Designated J-15 and named the Flying Shark, China’s carrier-borne Flanker is very similar to the Su-33 in terms of airframe and aircraft systems but with greater use of composite material to keep weight down. In terms of mission equipment, it draws heavily on the indigenous systems developed for the J-11B. It has a similar radar, although it is thought to have expanded modes for its maritime mission. It has the J-11B’s indigenous missile approach warning system and a modern, five-screen cockpit. In terms of weaponry, the J-15 is armed with a wide range of precision armament for both air-to-air and air-tosurface tasks, including anti-ship missiles. An unusual feature is the ability to carry a buddy-buddy refueling pod on the centerline, allowing a J-15 to top up other aircraft during long-range missions with heavy weapon loads. The pod appears to be identical to the Russian UPAZ-1A pod, and may have been imported or copied. As with the J-11B, the J-15 has suffered from the inability of Chinese industry to come up with a reliable powerplant. The intended engine is the WS-10H, a
navalized version of the WS-10A with increased thrust to improve takeoff performance from the Liaoning’s ski-jump deck. However, only two of the prototypes have been seen with WS-10H engines, while at least five are powered by Russian AL-31Fs. A prototype with AL-31F engines made the J-15’s first flight in August 2009, and by May the following year the first takeoffs were being made from a land-based dummy ski-jump. Carrier trials began late last year, the first official takeoffs and landings being conducted by two prototypes on November 23. From photos seen in December it is apparent that the first production machines are emerging from the Shenyang facility, powered by Russian engines. Meanwhile, Shenyang is also working on a two-seater, possibly designated J-15S. A prototype with WS-10A engines made a first flight in November 2012. Although most likely intended for initial use as a trainer, the J-15S could also find a combat role as an attack and electronic warfare platform. Attack Flankers
Impressed with its initial batches of Su-27s in the air defense role, China also looked to the big Sukhoi to fulfill a requirement for a heavy attack platform. In late 2000 the first batch of Su-30MKK two-seat fighter-bombers arrived from Russia, and with it the PLAAF’s ability to deliver precision-guided weapons
was transformed. Two batches of Su30MKKs, each of 38 aircraft, were procured for the PLAAF, while the PLANAF received 25 Su-30MK2s with a modified radar providing multi-target anti-ship missile capability. Based on their experience with developing the “indigenized” J-11B from the Su-27SK, Shenyang and the 601 Institute have embarked on a similar program applied to the Su-30MKK. The result is designated J-16, and it is likely to become the main attack aircraft for the PLAAF, and possibly for the PLANAF as a landbased anti-ship platform. As with the J-11B, the J-16 incorporates a high degree of Chinese equipment, including WS-10A engines. The most important improvement is an AESA radar of Chinese origin, although little is known about this sensor. Like the J-15 and Su-30MKK, it has a retractable refueling probe. Details of the J-16 program are sketchy but it appears that the Flanker derivative made its first flight in late 2011. Last year at least two prototype J-16s were undergoing PLAAF trials, and it is possible that the type is now beginning to enter a wider operational evaluation phase. Chinese “Super Flanker”?
For two decades the subject of China acquiring the Su-35 has been raised periodically in the media. The second generation of the Flanker design incorporates many changes to the airframe, avionics and powerplant. In recent years it is the engines (Saturn 117S/AL-41F) that are believed to have been the subject of the greatest interest from China, which has experienced considerable problems in developing its own reliable fighter powerplants. A potential Su-35 sale to China began to be discussed in early 2012, initially covering 48 aircraft but later reduced to 24. Reports regarding the sale continue to be issued and late last year a senior Russian official said he expected a deal to be signed in 2014. However, there have been conflicting reports from China that the acquisition will not proceed. o
www.ainonline.com • February 12, 2014 • Singapore Airshow News 31
SE Asia eyes revolution in biofuel for aviation by Christopher Surgenor Aviation is one of the fastest growing contributors to rising levels of greenhouse gas emissions and is under pressure from governments and regulatory authorities to act. The international airline industry has risen to the challenge and adopted long-term targets to stabilize the growth in emissions starting in 2020. Whereas other forms of transport can decarbonize by looking to new forms of green energy, commercial aircraft will continue to be reliant on the unique properties of traditional jet kerosene from fossil fuels for the foreseeable future. New aircraft today are 15 to 20 percent more fuel efficient than their predecessors and there have been innovative strides in aircraft operating procedures to reduce fuel burn. However, this is not enough to keep up with the current accelerating increase in air traffic volumes–and therefore emissions–particularly in the developing world, although the industry continues to make progress in decoupling emissions growth from traffic growth. Many agree that marketbased measures, in which emissions are offset elsewhere, can provide an important part of the answer to meeting carbonreduction goals but this is a controversial geopolitical issue. The industry is, therefore, looking to alternative aviation fuels that have the same as or better properties than jet kerosene but emit less carbon on a life-cycle basis.
for the airline’s needs only at London City Airport. Then there is the enormous quantity of biomass required to feed a biorefinery. To date, only certain types of conversion processes have been certified for the production of alternative fuels for commercial aviation use. One relies on long-proven FischerTropsch technology to convert materials such as municipal waste into fuels–Greensky is an example–or forest residues. The other is a process that converts oils from nonedible crops such as camelina and jatropha. Once described as a “wonder crop,” the early promise of jatropha as a biofuel feedstock faded
Dream Now a Reality
after anticipated yields failed to materialize but now there are signs that the development of new strains of jatropha and better agricultural understanding may resurrect its fortunes. This could present a significant opportunity for farmers in Southeast Asia as the crop is well suited to the climate. The airline industry, through its Sustainable Aviation Fuel Users Group (SAFUG), has made it plain that the biofuels it uses not only must reduce greenhouse gas emissions on a life-cycle basis but that feedstocks do not compete with food crops or cause a loss of biodiversity. Southeast Asia is a leading region in the world for the production of palm oil, which could easily be turned into aviation biofuel. Indeed, Singapore hosts the world’s biggest
Barely a dream even five years ago, such fuels have emerged from the laboratory, shown to be technically feasible, have been certified and now have entered commercial airline service, although still on a very limited basis. The challenge now is scale up commercial production at a price to airlines that is competitive with jet kerosene. This requires huge investment and government support. The airline industry is forecast to consume around 76 billion gallons of jet fuel this year. To put this into context, the capital outlay for the proposed new Solena/ British Airways Greensky plant in London is estimated at up to $500 million, with plans to produce 16 million gallons of alternative jet fuel annually, enough
biodiesel refinery, which produces one billion liters of fuel per year. Palm oil is the main feedstock used and the refinery’s owner, Neste Oil, says it is fully sustainable and traceable. However, reports of large swaths of Southeast Asian forest being cleared to make way for palm plantations has, correctly, steered the airline industry away from palm oil use. Southeast Asia Offers Potential
However, with sustainable aviation fuel supply chains already set up in the U.S., South America, Australia and Europe, Southeast Asia is seen as the next region to promise great potential in the development of such fuels.
of 2-percent use by 2015–a level that that would require annual availability of around 10 million liters of such fuels. “We are going for biofuel. We have to,” said Emirsyah Satar, CEO of flagship carrier Garuda, although he admitted the time frame depends on availability. “The problem is supply and the cost is still too high.” Hosted by the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA), representatives from the aviation and biofuel sectors, together with policymakers, regulators, NGOs and other stakeholders, met in Bangkok last September to investigate the opportunities and challenges
region,” said AAPA technical director Martin Eran-Tasker. The two manufacturers might be enemies when it comes to selling aircraft but Airbus and Boeing are joining when it comes to getting a nascent aviation biofuels industry off the ground. They collaborated in organizing the Bangkok event, for example. “Airbus is working with AAPA to define the best sources of sustainable aviation fuels in Southeast Asia, and to promote the use of these fuels in the region,” said Frédéric Eychenne, new energies programmed manager for Airbus. “The September conference, co-organized with
Boeing is working with the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials to ensure aviation biofuels are produced sustainably in Southeast Asia and other regions. Here, local residents find employment controlling weeds between jatropha trees on a plantation near Meizhou, China.
Helping to get a nascent aviation biofuels industry off the ground, Airbus is involved in a program whereby seeds from the jatropha curcas plant can be converted into aviation biofuels with similar properties to fossil-fuelbased jet kerosene.
Following government instructions, Garuda Indonesia is targeting a 2-percent use of biofuels by 2015 and 3-percent use by 2020. Currently, the airline says the time frame for implementation depends on availability, with the problem being supply and the high cost.
The Indonesian government recently became the first in the world to set a national target for their implementation. In December, government ministries came together to sign an agreement on the use of aviation biofuels and renewable energy sources at airports in the country as part of national efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate climate change. The goal is a 3-percent use of biofuels by 2020, with a more challenging, and perhaps over-optimistic, target
32 Singapore Airshow News • February 12, 2014 • www.ainonline.com
of developing a successful sustainable aviation biofuels industry in Southeast Asia. “The aviation industry is keen to work with key ASEAN decision makers to provide the necessary policy framework to support the development of competitive and sustainable aviation fuels. At the same time as reducing aviation’s environmental impact, the growth of feedstocks for sustainable aviation fuels will open up rural socio-economic development opportunities across the
Boeing and SAFUG, was supported by ASEAN, and identified the next steps.” Through partnerships and research projects around the world, explained Eychenne, the Airbus sustainable fuel strategy is focused around three central principles: to support the qualification and certification of new aviation fuels, to support their large-scale use and to ensure the sustainability of the solutions. To guarantee aviation biofuels meet rigorous sustainability standards, the industry has thrown its weight behind the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB), an independent global standards and certification group. Supported by Boeing, the RSB hosted a workshop in Kuala Lumpur in December to help small farmers in Southeast Asia grow feedstocks for sustainable fuels and address the challenge of market access. “Southeast Asia is one of the world’s fastest growing regions for commercial aviation and has great potential to develop a sustainable aviation biofuel industry,” said Skip Boyce, president of Boeing for Southeast Asia. “To help develop that potential, Boeing is working closely with partners to ensure positive outcomes for the aviation industry, the environment and, most importantly, the people of the region.” o
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Sanad’s airline business triples in two years by Peter Shaw-Smith Sanad Aero Solutions (Booth D11) has seen assets under management grow
threefold in two years, as its work with a growing number of airlines around the
Singapore Airshow Booth H53
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world gains traction. Sanad was launched in early 2010 to act as an enabler to an integrated product offering within the Mubadala MRO network, which includes SR Technics and Abu Dhabi Aircraft Technologies (ADAT). Sanad’s assets cover a broad spectrum of spare engines and rotable components supporting modern commercial aircraft fleets. “The company is supporting a growing number of industry-leading airlines in four of its target markets: Asia, MENA, Europe and the Americas,” Troy Lambeth, Sanad CEO, told AIN. “Since the last Singapore Airshow, Sanad has more than tripled in size, with assets under management now in excess of $750 million.” Leasing Plays Key Role
The business case has been well received by the market and Sanad’s leasing activities have played a key role in driving more than $4 billion of related long-term MRO contracts to the network, Lambeth said. “Our integrated approach continues to evolve and has expanded to new product offerings including the network’s integrated component services product on the Boeing 787. In the background, Sanad is continuing to look at other customer needs that are not being met, or not met well, by the market.” Lambeth said that, on the engine side, Sanad has a growing mix of GE and RollsRoyce spare engines, for both widebody and narrowbody aircraft. “On the component side, we have inventories supporting the A320, A330, A340; Boeing 737, 777, 787; and [Embraer] E-Jets.” The company’s focus has been on spare engine and component leasing agreements, including sale and leaseback, and also for
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Troy Lambeth, Sanad CEO
initial or expansion provisioning where Sanad is the buyer. This enables an airline to avoid buying these spares for new or expanding fleets, as Sanad can do that for them. It claims to have more than 1,000 aircraft under integrated component services (ICS) programs globally. “Our integrated approach allows airlines to choose from a broad spectrum of services and products including spares via Sanad; repair and overhaul–via our MRO network; and a long list of technical services: planning, line maintenance and other elements,” said Lambeth. “Customers also have the ability to eliminate performance risk…where they enjoy service-level guarantees.” Islamic Financing Increases
Lambeth said the incidence of Islamic finance in spares and MRO is increasing. “We’re seeing a growing number of transactions via Islamic finance instruments and that’s a trend we expect to continue. It is a net positive for the industry, as it looks for new and efficient sources of capital to fund orderbooks and growth. There are a growing number of examples where Islamic finance is being used for assets, mostly aircraft so far, but we are starting to see some examples of spare engine transactions, and spare components could use the same types of structures that have been created along the way. “As far as using Islamic finance to finance the Middle East’s MRO industry, we’re seeing related structures for assets, so–especially on the MRO side–that could extend to hangars, test cells, tooling–hard assets [in general]. So far, we haven’t seen the instrument especially applied to MRO cash-flow financing. I am not sure it’s been tested yet, but suspect that might be a bit in front of us,” Lambeth said. All of the engine OEMs provide spares solutions to the market, U.S. or otherwise, he said, and Sanad is seeing an increasing number of component OEMs starting to provide spares solutions, with a number of independent engine leasing companies, such as ILFC and Willis, also becoming active in the market. Although he doesn’t say so explicitly, Lambeth clearly sees a target of $1 billion in inventory as drawing closer. “Customers are increasingly expecting to see spares solutions in their MRO RFPs/RFQs and we expect that trend will continue.” o
Garuda prepares for expansion by Neelam Mathews
on order, including 50 Airbus budget subsidiary Citilink–takA320neos and Classics, 17 Air- ing that carrier’s fleet to 32 by bus A330-300s, 25 ATR72-600 year-end–plus five Boeing 777turboprops, plus six each of the 300ERs for its mainline fleet. Capacity expansion to North Boeing 777ER and CRJ-1000NG regional jet. By the end of this Asia will be made mainly with year, it expects to have a fleet of the new 777-300ERs. Plans to start a five-times-a-week service 128, up from its present 110. The airline has secured $200 to London in November were million in loans from banks to delayed due to the pavement fund expansion of its fleet. Plans classification number (PCN) of to conduct a rights issue in this the runway at Jakarta’s SoekGaruda International Capacity Share year’s first quarter, with an aim to arno-Hatta Airport. Service to (% of seats) by country raise $163 million, have already Amsterdam is planned for 2015. Dec. 9, 2013 to Dec. 15, 2013 Regional connectivity to been approved by shareholders. “For 2014, it plans to allocate remote airports with shorter n South Korea 6.6% $325 million in capital expen- runways is being enhanced with n China 9.6% diture for business expansion. the delivery of the first two of 25 n Hong Kong 6.5% About half of this amount should ATR72-600s. Under a 10-year n Others 18.7% originate from funds generated global maintenance agreement, through the rights issue,” accord- ATR will maintain the fleet ing to a report by private equity from its customer support cenn Japan 14.8% ter in Singapore. firm Indonesia Investments. Challenges remain, howGaruda obtained a $1.7 bilPlease do not delete rule from border. It is part of the ad With design. ever. a plunging rupiah lion loan Industrial and 1/2 page adBank 10” xof6 1/2” Commercial China (the current rate to the U.S. dol(ICBC) in October, with the lar exceeded 12,000 in January), n Australia 16.7% n Singapore 27.0% airline selling and leasing back there is a need to increase capifrom ICBC six Airbus 320s, tal for growth as Garuda plans which will be operated by its to maintain an average age of
As Indonesia’s national carrier Garuda initiates efforts to enhance service through increased frequencies and destinations, in anticipation of its move to join the SkyTeam global alliance in March and the ASEAN Open Skies in 2015, it is looking at adding around 200 to 250 aircraft to its fleet
Garuda hopes to increase the size of its fleet–which includes 25 ATR72-600s–from the 110 to 128 by year-end.
between 2015 and 2025. The carrier, which is to soon finalize its plans for a mix of narrow- and widebody aircraft, is expected to seek board approval this year to increase its fleet to 350 to 400 from its present 133 by 2025, CEO Emirsyah Satar told Reuters in Hong Kong. Garuda has 110 aircraft
aircraft, said Emirsyah Satar, president and CEO. “Also untapped are Islamic funds that are spreading to airlines, not just in the Middle East but in other countries.” Garuda has experienced a transition from being banned from flying to the EU to becoming one of two Indonesian carriers removed from the blacklist. Regional hubs and mid-sized cities are emerging, but infrastructure for airports is not keeping pace. “The market is growing in the next ten years. It is not just about airports, but also about infrastructure for pilots and engineers,” said Satar, alluding to the ASEAN Economic Community that is to come into being in 2015 with the aim of liberalizing air travel between the 10 member countries. Concerns remain, however. Satar said, “It is not a level playing field. Chinese airlines can fly anywhere to ASEAN, but carriers here can fly only to certain points in China.” o
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36 Singapore Airshow News • February 12, 2014 • www.ainonline.com
Rockwell Collins introduces new advanced weather radar Rockwell Collins is introducing its new MultiScan ThreatTrack weather radar at this year’s Singapore Airshow. The avionics group claims the radar provides air transport aircraft with “unprecedented” atmospheric threat-assessment capabilities. The new radar, built on Rockwell Collins’ advanced MultiScan weather radar system, provides additional features to further increase flight safety and efficiency. For example, the company said, ThreatTrack goes beyond predicting hail and lightning within a thunderstorm cell to alert pilots of significant threats adjacent to a cell. If thunderstorms are growing ahead and below the aircraft, the radar’s “predictive overflight” function warns pilots if the cells will move into the aircraft’s flight path. Amongotherfeatures,MultiScanThreatTrack also provides track-while-scan capability, which prioritizes weather threats out to 320 nm by performing dedicated horizontal and vertical scans on convective cells; predictive windshear detection, with windshear event data recording and retrieval; and geographic weather correlation, which uses a database of geographic and seasonal weather variations to provide accurate worldwide hazard information.
airspace modernization and advanced technologies. “The system’s capabilities, including its advanced environmental threat-detection logic, will help American continue to provide the safest and most efficient operation possible.” Rockwell Collins is also demonstrating four other cockpit systems for the first time at the Singapore show: the EVS3000 enhanced vision system; its HeliSure flight situational awareness solutions; the 721S fixed-site VHF-UHF radio transceiver; and the Talon next-generation programmable software-defined radio. “We are now creating for the first time a tri-band EVS that can deal with low power lighting [in the cockpit],” said Rockwell Collins senior v-p international and service solutions Colin Mahoney. “By combining this capability in an integrated package we are delivering benefits in terms of both power [consumption] and heads up [visibility for pilots].” Embraer’s Legacy business jet is the launch application for EVS-3000. According to Mahoney, HeliSure will greatly improve situational awareness for helicopter pilots. “Crews need as much visualization as they can get and this is even more important for helicopters than
by Bill Carey
silkair selects threat track SilkAir v-p of operations Goh Boon Hwee, left, signed a deal for Rockwell Collins’ newly introduced MultiScan ThreatTrack weather radar (see story at left). Joining him is Scott Gunnufson, v-p of sales, marketing and support for Rockwell Collins commercial systems.
Weststar signs for more AW139s as Asian market expands further by Thierry Dubois
MultiScan ThreatTrack is also the first weather radar to feature two levels of turbulence detection–“severe” and “ride quality”–to more accurately inform pilots of the turbulence in their flight path, Rockwell Collins said. American Airlines will launch the new radar on its new fleet of Boeing 737NGs, and Rockwell Collins (Booth Q79) expects to certify the radar on the Boeing 777 in March. “American Airlines is pleased to collaborate with Rockwell Collins on the successful certification and entry into service of MultiScan ThreatTrack,” said Capt. Brian Will, the airline’s director of
for fixed-wing aircraft, and especially when operating in conditions with sand and dust,” he explained. The new system is being introduced on AgustaWestland’s new AW169 rotorcraft. The Talon software-defined radio has been developed by the U.S. company specifically for export markets. Based on a common core, the equipment allows operators to develop sovereign waveform capability. “Many countries want to define their own encryption waveforms so they need to be able to do that without being constrained by [U.S.] export control restrictions,” said Mahoney. o
Rockwell Collins claims its new MultiScan ThreatTrack weather radar delivers far more information about atmospheric threats than existing systems.
Malaysian operator Weststar Aviation Anglo-Italian manufacturer opened a Services yesterday ordered an additional 10 business office in Seoul last year. Meanwhile, in Southeast Asia, the AgustaWestland AW139 intermediate twin helicopters. The company, which will use Royal Thai Army has taken delivery of the aircraft to support offshore oil and gas two AW139s. They were ordered at the industry activity, will increase its AW139 end of 2012 and will be used for transport and utility missions. They are the fleet to 34 once deliveries are complete. On Monday, AgustaWestland (Booth first AW139s to enter into service in a milH39) received an order for one AW139 itary role in the country, AgustaWestland medium twin helicopter from the Repub- pointed out. Over 620 AW139s are now in service lic of Korea’s public procurement service and Chungnam firefighting department. worldwide and another 130 are on order. o The rotorcraft will perform firefighting, search-and-rescue, EMS and utility missions in support of the Chungnam community. It will be fitted with a four-axis autopilot, a Bambi bucket, a search light, a dedicated EMS suite, fast roping fittings, a rescue hoist and will be approved for night-vision goggle operations. Delivery is scheduled in the second half of 2015. “This order marks the fourth operator in the Republic of Korea to select the AW139 as its primary helicopter for fire fighting missions,” said Andrew Symonds, who heads the airframer’s business in northeast Asia. In the region, the manufacturer Vincenzo Alaimo, managing director for AgustaWestland in claims to have 119 helicopters Malaysia, signed a deal for 11 AW139s with Westar CEO Y. Bhg. in service and 23 on order. The General Tan Sri Muhammad Ismail Jamaluddin. www.ainonline.com • February 12, 2014 • Singapore Airshow News 37
korea’s Black eagles
The Republic of Korea Air Force formed its first display team in 1953, flying a quartet of piston-engine F-51 Mustangs. The name Black Eagles first appeared in 1967, and the current team, officially known as the 53rd Air Demonstration Group, is performing daily in the aerial displays here at the Singapore Airshow. Flying T-50 supersonic fighters, the team of eight conducts precision formation aerobatics as well as featuring solo performers flying high-speed opposition passes. Look for a full feature on the Black Eagles in tomorrow's edition of Singapore Airshow News.
Microsoft apps ‘enable’ airline passengers, staff by Bill Carey Making its first standalone appearance at an international airshow here in Singapore, software giant Microsoft (Booth E63) will promote a variety of software and hardware solutions for airline passengers, staff and pilots. “The key for us and the reason why we’re engaging at the airshow is because we’ve been doing a lot of work over the past few years in the airline space, and we see airlines as a tremendous opportunity for Microsoft,” said Matthew Muta, the company’s global managing director for hospitality and travel. “Enablement” is a word Muta likes to use and one that aptly describes Microsoft’s mission of empowering airline employees and customers to do more with the personal devices and displays they have available. For passengers, that means providing a more personalized connection to their airline. “Historically…you’re a seat number on board the airplane,” Muta said. “We’re looking at providing technology that actually allows the airline to engage with who you are at the seatback. It becomes more of a contextual, relevant, personal experience as opposed to one-size-fits-all.” Microsoft and partner company Sitecore, a web application solution provider, have teamed to create a “contextual, more personalized environment for the passenger as they navigate an airline’s website,” which the companies will
demonstrate at Singapore. Microsoft and Lufthansa Systems are meanwhile unveiling the “BoardConnect” application for Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating system, interactive software that allows airlines to customize their in-flight entertainment systems. Airlines can quickly configure their IFE devices to offer uniquely branded products to passengers. “We think there’s a real shift from the traditional mentality of in-flight entertainment to more of an in-flight engagement with the airline brand and their passengers,” said Muta. Microsoft endeavors to better connect airline staff from gate agents to flight attendants to pilots by providing systems they can access on mobile devices, on their computers at home or at airport kiosks. “Our goal is to provide a platform for these airlines that [would allow] their staff to interact with them or interact with each other no matter where they are,” Muta said. For example, Emirates uses an “onboard concierge” touchscreen application running on Microsoft’s Windows 8 and displayed on HP ElitePad 900 tablets that allows airline pursers to better monitor cabin crew performance and provide more personalized service to passengers. With partner company Avanade, Microsoft is driving the transition to “cashless cabins.” At Singapore, Avanade will demonstrate its Mobile Airline Platform,
Avanade’s Mobile Airline Platform, a mobile device interface that supports in-flight sales transactions. Jeppesen, Microsoft and Delta have collaborated to provide the FliteDeck Pro electronic flight bag application on Microsoft Surface 2 tablets.
a mobile device interface that supports in-flight sales transactions and helps airlines generate ancillary revenue. Delta Air Lines flight attendants use the system on Nokia smartphones. “That solution allows them to do so much more than just collect payments, [such as] understanding who their high-value passengers are,” Muta said. Surface FliteDeck
Also at Singapore, navigation chart supplier Jeppesen will showcase its FliteDeck Pro system, an electronic flight bag (EFB) application designed for the Windows platform. Jeppesen, Microsoft and Delta have collaborated to provide FliteDeck Pro on Microsoft Surface 2 tablets, which the airline plans to distribute to some
38 Singapore Airshow News • February 12, 2014 • www.ainonline.com
11,000 pilots. The carrier will initially use the tablets for storing charts and reference materials for use by pilots in non-critical flight phases. It expects to receive U.S. Federal Aviation Administration approval to use the devices for all flight phases this year, following testing on Boeing 757s and 767s. The Surface 2 will run on the Windows RT 8.1 operating system, which combined with FliteDeck Pro provides access to real-time information such as dynamic charts. Pilots can open two applications side-by-side,
displaying, for example, weather information alongside proposed flight paths. “I should say a Windows 8 ‘solution,’ because it’s not just a rewrite of FliteDeck Pro to a Windows version. It’s really making use of the capabilities of our platform both from a software and a hardware perspective,” Muta said. “Our play here is really not just to provide an electronic flight bag on a digital device, but to also enable our airline clients and their flight crews to do more with that device.” o
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King Air leads buoyant Beechcraft line-up This week Beechcraft posted its fourth-quarter and end-ofyear results, showing the significant increases that brought 2013 to a successful close. The figures were welcome to the company as it ended its first year of trading as a stand-alone entity, prior to the expected acquisition by Textron that is due to be completed in the first half of this year. The Wichita, Kansas-based company delivered 205 civil aircraft in 2013, compared with 125 in 2012. Adding to 2013’s figure was the delivery of 34 military trainer aircraft. Following these encouraging results, Beechcraft is displaying at Singapore hot on the heels of a major anniversary for the company. On January 20 it celebrated the 50th birthday of the first flight of one of its most
iconic products: the King Air. As well as its passenger transport assignments, the King Air has become the platform of choice for many special missions. Around onefifth of the more than 6,000 King Airs currently in service are configured for one special duty or another, many of them serving with U.S. and other armed forces. Asia Pacific is a key area for sales of such King Airs, with deliveries increasing to 79 in the 2009-2013 period, compared to 34 in the previous five years. Of the 2009-2013 sales, 45 percent have been for training and 20 percent for air ambulance. The roles of flight inspection, surveillance, utility and aerial survey account for 11, 10, eight and six percent, respectively.
Beechcraft Looks to Asia Pacific for Hawker Upgrade Beechcraft’s analysis of the Asia Pacific business jet market has revealed that sizeable numbers are up for sale. India leads the way with 19 aircraft, followed by China with 11. Here in Singapore, four of the 31 registered aircraft are for sale. Across the region 58 aircraft are being advertised, suggesting that it is a buyer’s market. Beechcraft believes that this bodes well for its Hawker 400XPR and 800XPR upgrade packages, which are aimed at a world market of more than 1,600 aircraft currently in service. Beechcraft’s factory-completed Hawker XPR upgrades combine improved avionics, genuine Hawker winglets for performance enhancements and more powerful Williams FJ44-4A engines. Options include Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21 and Garmin G5000 avionics suites, as well as cabin upgrades. Winglet and engine certifications are pending, while that for the Pro Line 21 flight deck has been received. Garmin G5000 certification is due in 2015. Meanwhile, the first three aircraft have been inducted into the 400XPR program for airframe modifications, and should be delivered back to the customer in the first half of the this year. –D.D.
by David Donald
EyE CANDy ON HigH As FlyiNg DisplAy THrills sHOw CrOwD The Singapore Airshow’s flying display is short but sweet, with three formation aerobatic display teams and an impressive assortment of high-performance aircraft being put through their paces over the Singapore Strait.
Demand for aircraft configured for such tasks continues to grow. “We anticipate demand for special-mission aircraft configurations to increase for a number of reasons, including advances in technology, which allow smaller aircraft to be used in various applications,” reported Dan Keady, senior v-p, Beechcraft Special Missions. “Other factors fueling growth include companies increasingly looking for business aircraft that can be used in multiple roles; growth in air travel, which is fueling demand for air calibration/flight inspection aircraft; and increased demand for aircraft that can be used for ISR purposes to secure country borders.” King Airs representing both business areas are on display here, a King Air 250 business aircraft and the company’s King Air 350ER special missions demonstrator. Accompanying them is an AT-6 demonstrator. This aircraft is a multi-role light attack/ ISR platform based on the T-6 trainer, but with advanced integrated avionics, sensor suite and uprated PT6A-68D engine. o
Honeywell aids efficiency of Asia Pacific LCCs by David Donald Low-cost carriers (LCCs) have succeeded in Southeast Asia more than in perhaps any other part of the world. Whereas LCCs carry around 26 percent of global traffic, in countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines that figure has exceeded 50 percent. With China’s skies being opened to LCCs the expansion in the Asia Pacific region is set to carry on. LCC business models dictate that costs are cut where they can be, without sacrificing safety. With its understanding of the way such carriers operate, and with a long pedigree of introducing technologies that drive greater efficiencies in the airline business, Honeywell (Booth Q23) has developed a range of technologies to help LCCs, and other airlines, keep their costs down. SmartPath
Reducing fuel costs is of even greater importance to LCCs than full-fare carriers, because they typically constitute more than half of the total operating costs as opposed to 35-45 percent. One way of lowering fuel-burn is by reducing the distances flown by making approaches more efficient. Honeywell’s SmartPath ground-based augmentation system uses a GPS-based system to generate safe, curved paths that can reduce track-miles considerably, while also making airports more efficient in their operation. Beechcraft’s King Air family is 50 years old but the twin turboprops still have plenty to offer a wide variety of operators.
40 Singapore Airshow News • February 12, 2014 • www.ainonline.com
Honeywell also offers a range of airborne connectivity solutions, including Iridium, the current Inmarsat Ku-band network,
and the new Inmarsat GX Aviation Ka-band system. The latter is in the process of being rolled out, with the first satellite being launched to provide Indian Ocean coverage in December. Full global coverage is expected shortly. GX Aviation allows officetype speeds, sufficient for videostreaming. With the majority of the traveling public wishing to be online while airborne, GX Aviation provides a means by which passengers can enjoy individual inflight entertainment, without the need to install IFE systems in aircraft, with their attendant burdens of weight and maintenance requirements. Broadband connectivity also promises savings for airlines in other areas. Being able to downlink aircraft data to ground stations allows predictive health monitoring and the capture of faults if they develop in flight. If an aircraft develops a fault then ground mechanics can be ready with the correct tools and parts to meet the aircraft as it arrives, performing maintenance quickly with the initial diagnosis already performed. For LCCs this means that short turn-round times need not be extended too much by faultfixing. The system also allows ground engineers to interrogate the aircraft while it is in the air, or to alert crews to perform certain fuel-saving tasks, such as shutting down the APU after a certain period on the ground. o
EXHiBiT wiTH CoNfiDENCE™ At theSe leADiNg iNterNAtiONAl trADe ShOwS Selected aerospace, defense and maritime exhibitions:
M i D D l E E A sT
siNgAporE AirsHow 2014 February 11—16, 2014 Aerospace Singapore
AEro iNDiA 2015 February 2015 Security & Defense Bengaluru, India
DuBAi AirsHow 2015 November 8—12, 2015 Aerospace Dubai, UAE
AirsHow CHiNA 2014 November 11—16, 2014 Aerospace Zhuhai, China
sEoul ADEX 2015 October 20—25, 2015 Aerospace & Defense Seoul, Korea
DEfEXpo 2016 February 2016 Security & Defense New Delhi, India
MEBA 2014 December 8—10, 2014 Business Aviation Dubai, UAE
DEfENsE & sECuriTy 2015 November 2—5, 2015 Security & Defense Bangkok, Thailand
JApAN AErospACE 2016 October 2016 Aerospace Tokyo, Japan
ilA BErliN 2014 May 20—25, 2014 Aerospace Berlin, Germany
Mspo 2014 September 14, 2014 Defense Kielce, Poland
pAris Air sHow 2015 June 15—21, 2015 Aerospace Paris, France
fArNBorougH AirsHow 2014 July 14—20, 2014 Aerospace Farnborough, England
EuroNAvAl 2014 October 27—31, 2014 Maritime Paris, France
MAKs 2015 August 2015 Aerospace Moscow, Russia
AvAloN 2015 February 24—March 1, 2015 Aerospace Geelong
pACifiC 2016 February 2—4, 2015 Maritime Sydney
Au s T r A l i A lAND forCEs 2014 September 22—25, 2014 Defense Brisbane
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fiDAE 2014 March 25—30, 2014 Aerospace & Defense Santiago, Chile
EXpoNAvAl 2014 December 2—5, 2014 Maritime ValparaÍso, Chile
EXpoDEfENsA 2014 October 29—31 , 2014 Security & Defense Bogota, Colombia
f-Air ColoMBiA 2015 July 2015 Aerospace Rionegro, Colombia
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AfriCA AErospACE & DEfENsE 2014 September 17—21, 2014 Aerospace & Defense Centurion, South Africa
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Irkut fighters maintain a strong presence in Pacific Rim arenas Russia’s Irkut Corp. is well known in the Asia Pacific region because of the mighty vectoredthrust Sukhoi Su-30 series multirole fighters in service with Indian and Malaysian air forces, numbering about 200 aircraft. The maker also supplied Su-27UB operational trainers to China; and a number of Asian nations still operate swing-wing MiG23U trainers and MiG-27 strike aircraft built at the corporation’s manufacturing site in Irkutsk city, western Siberia. The company has been fostering a very special relationship with India since the mid-1960s, when it supplied Antonov An-12 tactical transports. Today, about half of the Indian air force fighter squadrons are equipped with Su-30 and MiG-27ML aircraft either shipped from Russia or assembled locally from kits originating in Irkutsk. The Indian, Malaysian and Algerian customers have been so profoundly happy with the Irkutsupplied vectored-thrust jets that Russia’s defense ministry, after a long break with orders, finally decided to purchase a quantity for itself. In 2012 the Russian air force accepted a couple of the Su-30SM multirole fighters, effectively a further improved Su-30MKI customized Indian model. Over the past year the number of Su-30SMs in Russian service has grown to 16, a number set to double in 2014. Outwardly identical to the Indian version, the Su-30SM features the latest state-of-theart avionics–in particular, a modern wide-angle head-up display (HUD) of French origin. AIN spoke to pilots of the Russian defense ministry’s main (Valery Chkalov) flight-test center, who tested the Su-30SM. They were ecstatic about the new HUD and said it and a more powerful radar considerably improve the jet’s appeal to fighter pilots. At the same time, Russian air force commander Gen. Victor Bondarev told the media that, in the future, new fighters entering service will be equipped with even better, locally manufactured avionics. While boosting Su-30SM output for domestic needs, Irkut continues to supply “technological
kits” to Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) for subsequent assembly into the Su-30MKI. More than a dozen kits were due to be shipped in the 2013-2014 time frame. As of early 2013 (the latest date for which accurate figures are available), the number of Su-30MKI in service or ready for delivery was about 170. An additional contract for 42 aircraft was signed in
PHOTOS: VLADIMIR KARNOZOV
by Vladimir Karnozov
Sukhoi’s Su-30MKM multirole fighter is seeing duty in Malaysia.
occupied by the local orders, leaving no room for export operations. In 2011 the Russian air force took nine aircraft; in 2012, 15; and in 2013, 18. The combined local order awarded to Irkut for this aircraft is 55 aircraft (separately, the initial batch of 10 aircraft was supplied by another company, the Sokol plant in Nizhny Novgorod). In the period 2015-2018 the number of Yak-130s in the Russian air force is expected to increase by some 30 units and Irkut is negotiating follow-on orders, including one for some 15 aircraft of a special version for the air force display team. The Yak-130 trainer could find a role in counterterrorist campaigns.
December 2012, bringing the combined I ndian order to 272. At Aero India 2013, last February, Indian air force commander Norman Anil Kumar Browne said the service plans to acquire about 200 more fighters during the 12th development plan, including 126 Dassault Rafales as part of the MMRCA tender and “more than 40 additional Su-30MKIs.” This will enable India to keep the number of its fighter squadrons at 34. Happy Customers
With so many modern, agile fighters going into service, there is an ever-increasing need for suitable training aircraft to prepare fighter pilots. The Yakovlev Yak130 twinjet is such an aircraft. It is probably the best choice for those air forces that rely on Russian-made combat jets and, since the Yak’s flight control system is
reprogrammable, it can emulate various aircraft types. Because of this quality, the system can be adjusted to closely simulate Western types–agile fighters, heavyladen strike aircraft or benign tactical transports. The super-agile Vympel R-73E air-to-air missile is integrated into the Yak-130’s weapons arsenal. This enables trainee pilots to master interception and dog-fighting techniques in this relatively small, affordable aircraft. Should the Yak-130 be called upon in anger, it can hit ground targets with 100-, 250and 500-kg free-fall bombs, 250- and 500-kg guided bombs, or unguided rockets of the 80mm and larger calibers. In recent years the latter weapons became available with bolt-on guidance kits, making it possible for the pilot to correct their trajectories with a laser beam.
42 Singapore Airshow News • February 12, 2014 • www.ainonline.com
This option is also available for the Yak-130 equipped with a designator pod. The Yak-130 can fire guided missiles with laser, TV and radar homing heads against ground- and seagoing targets. A relatively modest fly-off price, low maintenance and operational expenses, modern avionics and aiming systems along with the ability to take to the air in a short time, including on a second mission, allow use of this small but venomous jet in counterterrorist campaigns. The Yak-130 is already in service with Algeria and Russia. Belarus and an Arab country expect deliveries this year, while Bangladesh has expressed an interest in acquiring 24 Yakovlevs in a hire-purchase arrangement, funded by the Russian government. Last year the Yak-130 production line at Irkut was fully
Foresee Jetliner Sales
The strong positions in the Asia Pacific and Arab markets for combat jets also means that Irkut hopes to sell hundreds of (currently in development) MC-21 next-generation narrowbody jetliners there. Composite wings made by the most technologically advanced infusion methods without using autoclaves and the aluminum fuselage will provide an affordable high-tech solution to the many airlines looking for a highly economic passenger jet with 150- to 180-seat capacity as a viable alternative to the aging Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 families. Meanwhile, Irkut and Bombardier are in talks about a joint marketing effort to promote the combination of larger MC-21 and smaller CSeries jets to help challenge the AirbusBoeing duopoly. o
APRIL 15, 16, 17, 2014
BUSINESS AVIATION ON FULL DISPLAY IN SHANGHAI — MAKE PLANS TO BE THERE
Raytheon says Stealth means more than just low radar cross-sections by Chris Pocock Raytheon has warned against overreliance on stealth platforms alone in future air combat. Despite their low radar crosssections (RCS), fifth-generation fighters can be detected by modern air defense systems. To defeat these defenses, air forces should take full advantage of the latest sensors and weapons that can be carried on less stealthy aircraft, the company said. “We have lost sight of the definition of what stealth really means,” Michael Garcia, a senior business development manager for Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems, told The Fighter Conference in London last November. He said that overreliance on low RCS is a myopic strategy. “We must understand that stealth can be implemented in other ways,” he continued.
Garcia noted that today’s potent, infrared search-andtrack sensors; other optical sensors; and low-frequency ground-based detection radars, are negating RCS reductions. Moreover, stealth aircraft designs “are time-stamped with the exfactory date.” They cannot really be improved, whereas avionics and radar technology continue to advance. “Our platforms require more flexibility to become truly stealth,” he added. ‘Game of Circles’
That flexibility can be achieved by carrying weapons that can be launched before the platform is detected, such as the AGM-154 Joint StandOff Weapon (JSOW), and by deploying counter-air defense devices such as the Miniature
Air-Launched Decoy-Jammer (MALD-J). Both are made by Raytheon but Garcia’s argument about bringing “longer sticks and better deception to the fight” is equally valid for equivalent systems from other manufacturers. The Raytheon manager described “the game of circles” where the relative engagement zones of friendly (Blue) and enemy (Red) forces expand and shrink depending on the sensors employed and the range of the weapons carried. Although stealthy fifth-generation aircraft reduce the engagement zones of surface-to-air missiles, “it’s nearly impossible to completely eliminate lethal threats,” Garcia contended. But although the Red force still threatens Blue’s aircraft, Blue can expand its
Sam Engagement Zones
1st to 3rd Generation Fighters
Some 4th Generation Fighters LO Enhancements
5th Generation Fighters VLO Stealth
sensor and weapons bubbles, while shrinking and chopping Red’s (see diagrams). Other assets and techniques that the Blue force might employ include electronic protection (EP) of combat aircraft; electronic attack (EA); stand-off surveillance aircraft with powerful radars passing threat data to combat aircraft
via Link 16; anti-radar missiles; and unmanned systems. In support of his argument, Garcia quoted Admiral Jonathan Greenert, who wrote in the U.S. Navy’s Proceedings journal: “We need to move from ‘luxurycar’ platforms–with their built-in capabilities–toward dependable ‘trucks’ that can handle a changing payload selection.” o
Boeing: Don’t Rely on Stealth Alone Boeing’s director of international countered by electronic warfare probusiness development, Rick McCrary, tection and suppression. In a tilt at the also warned The Fighter Conference go-it-alone tactics that are favored by against overreliance on low-RCS plat- the advocates for stealth aircraft, he forms, “No advantage lasts forever– claimed that “no single platform is breakthroughs have a half-life.” self-sufficient without complemenThe Boeing executive decried tary support.” the “extravagant costs” of Northrop McCrary said that platforms must Grumman’s B-2, and Lockheed Mar- be flexible and capable of adaptation tin’s F-22 and F-35, addand upgrade. “No single ing: “In the quest to feature guarantees surfield ever-more exquivivability or superiority,” site sets of technolhe added. He also said ogy, a belief that quality that successful air comalone can define critical bat operations result mass, coupled with the from innovative planhigh costs of acquiring ning and tactics by welland maintaining such trained operators. a force, have seriously Of course, these impacted force strucarguments are to ture, force planning and, some extent self-servRick McCrary ultimately, capability... ing because Boeing Today’s warfare belongs to no single is competing the F-15 and the platform or capability, but to a balanced F-18 against the F-35. The Koreforce...Quantity remains a quality of ans have recently rejected Boeits own.” ing’s offer of the semi-stealthy Like Garcia, McCrary also noted F-15 Silent Eagle, still capable the advance of counter-stealth tech- of flying big payloads, in favor of niques, particularly infrared search- the F-35. Japan, too, will spend and-track systems. The “expanding heavily to acquire America’s new threat in the RF spectrum” must be stealth fighter. –C.P.
Depicted range and terrain on maps are notional and not to scale.
Detection and engagement circles for Blue and Red forces are variable, depending on various factors, and not limited to low-radar cross-section considerations. Raytheon contends that if a fully flexible approach to stealth is employed, enemy air defense systems can be more cost-effectively defeated using stand-off weapons and devices such as jammers.
44 Singapore Airshow News • February 12, 2014 • www.ainonline.com
Source: All maps Raytheon
The Game of Circles
Gore Design to perform first Boeing 787 VIP completion
Gore Design Completions (GDC) largest project Gore has ever handled in last week received the first of two Boeing terms of size, but certainly it is in terms 787-8 Dreamliners for which it will pro- of technical challenges and the reason for duce luxury cabin interiors on behalf that is that the 787 is a new design and preof private owners. The second aircraft vious [interior] solutions won’t work. We will arrive at its facility in San Antonio, are coming up with some interesting engiTexas, in the third quarter of this year neering solutions, including new materials.” One of the greatest and the elaborate complechallenges will be to attach tions projects for each of the interior fittings to the the widebodies are expectinside of the composite ed to last three years. fuselage, he added. According to GDC genIt was last October when eral partner Mohammed GDC (Booth S31) won the Alzeer, the company has contract to complete the invested at least $20 million two 787s in VVIP/head-ofin the tooling and Dassault state configurations. AlSystèmes Catia engineering zeer commented to AIN software it needs to prepare last year, when it won the the 787 interior. Gore staff GDC general partner 787 order, “The Boeing 787 were sent for training by Mohammed Alzeer Dreamliner and Airbus Boeing before starting the project, and it completed the FAA certi- A350 represent the future for head-offication process to allow it to handle the state aircraft. They are the most advanced technologically, and we intend to estabinterior installation. The fact that the 787 airframe is largely lish a knowledge base and the engineering made from composites presents both solutions for the head-of-state configurachallenges and opportunities for the Gore tion on both aircraft.” The completions team. “We are trying to match the air- specialist employs more than 500 peocraft’s composites by developing lighter ple and its hangars can accommodate interiors to preserve the advantages of three widebody and two narrowbody the lighter fuselage [in terms of lower aircraft simultaneously. Boeing has now sold a total of 13 fuel burn] and at the same time we want to improve on what we can offer the cus- 787 Dreamliners to private and governo tomer,” Alzeer told AIN. “This is not the ment customers worldwide.
Super Heron HF uContinued from page 1
development of the Super Heron HF, is the adoption of a heavy-fuel (diesel) engine in place of the 115-hp Rotax 914. Heavy-fuel engines offer a number of benefits to the user. Maintenance requirements are reduced, and the fuel offers significant commonality with many other battlefield systems. Primarily, though, it is a much safer liquid to transport in the support of field deployments. IAI evaluated four different heavy-fuel engine types for the Super Heron before adopting a DieselJet FIAT engine from Italy that develops over 200 hp. The extra power compared to the original engine not only helps to overcome a rise in maximum takeoff weight from 1250 to 1450 kg, but increases maximum speed to more than 150 knots (up from 115), as well as improving rate of climb. At 30,000 feet and 45 hours, ceiling and endurance are the same as for the Heron 1. Adopting a heavy-fuel engine was the main aim of the Super Heron HF program, which began in earnest around 18 months ago. However, as the project progressed the opportunity was taken to improve other areas of the vehicle, particularly its avionics systems. The Super Heron HF has triple-redundant avionics installed,
and greatly expanded flexibility for new payloads and smarter interfaces. The aircraft on show here is displayed with an impressive array of sensors, including the MOSP3000-HD EO/IR turret with laser rangefinder/designator and ELM-2055D SAR/GMTI radar. Antennas and pods for various electronic warfare and intelligencegathering systems are also represented. First flight for the Super Heron HF occurred last October, and IAI states that the new version is now ready for production. It would take around two years or less to deliver a Super Heron from receipt of an order. Interest has already been received from customers new to the Heron family, and from existing Heron 1 operators, said the company. Serving with more than 20 operators and having been built in “some hundreds,” the Heron 1 has notched up over 1.1 million flight hours. Around 200,000 of those hours have been on operations, including use by several nations operating in Afghanistan. Although the Heron 1 has been continuously improved over the years and remains a highly capable vehicle, the time had come for a major update. o
PHOROS: MARK WAGNER
by Thierry Dubois
Above: Celebrating a major new order for A320s at the air show were (front row, left to right): Airbus COO customers John Leahy, Airbus president and CEO Fabrice Brégier, VietJetAir vice chairwoman and CEO Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao and vice chairman Dr Nguyen Thanh Hung. Right: Sealing the deal for 10 Boeing 737 aircraft yesterday in Singapore were (left to right): Myanma Airways managing director Capt. Than Tun, Gecas president and CEO Norman Liu, Myanmar transport minister HE Nyan Htun Aung, U.S. Ambassador to Myanmar Derek Mitchell and Gecas executive v-p marketing Mike Jones.
Vietnam, Myanmar uContinued from page 1
since the two countries reestablished diplomatic ties in 2012, said Norman Liu, Gecas president and CEO. In business for a little more than two years, VietJetAir already has grown to command 26.2 percent of Vietnam’s domestic market share. It now flies 11 leased A320s on 16 domestic and four international routes. Registering average load factors of 90 percent, the airline recorded profits during its second year of operation. “The A320 has proven to be extremely efficient in service with VietJetAir and is a favorite with our passengers,” said VietJetAir managing director Luu Duc Khanh. “Based on this experience, we look forward to developing our business across the Asia-Pacific region. Airbus will be our strategic partner and provide us with the most economic and comfortable aircraft and coordinate with VietJetAir in relevant training programs.” Bregier referred to VietJetAir as one of the fastest growing airlines in the region and a rising star in the low-fare market segment, thanks largely to explosive traffic growth in Vietnam. Airbus projections call for at least 10 percent annual traffic growth in Vietnam over the next 20 years. Myanmar’s transport minister described the contract there, which was announced yesterday morning before the Singapore Airshow opened, as the largest such transaction in the country’s aviation history. At Tuesday’s press conference Nyan Htun Aung, Myanmar union minister for transport, said Myanma Airways will
serve destinations in Japan with the 737s, enabling the carrier to “reenter the international market–with the support of our good friends, Gecas.” The airline initially leased two Embraer E190s from Gecas in 2012. The minister said international travel through Myanmar grew by 34 percent last year but domestic airlines are capturing only 10 percent of that traffic. “We need to increase that,” he said, describing the transaction as the largest in the country’s aviation history. Joining the officials on the podium at Singapore’s Shangri-La Hotel was Derek Mitchell, the U.S. ambassador to Myanmar. The U.S. Senate confirmed Mitchell as ambassador in June 2012, sending the first ambassador to the former Burma in 22 years. The appointment “came because the relationship between our two countries has evolved…We have eased our sanctions [against Myanmar] and are engaged in an eager effort to renew our ties,” he said. Also at the press conference, Win Swe Tun, deputy director-general of Myanmar’s Department of Civil Aviation, defended the country’s aviation safety record. Last summer, the civil aviation authorities of Indonesia and Myanmar grounded Merpati Nusantara Airlines’ and Myanma Airways’ Chinese-made Xian MA60 turboprops for safety checks following a series of accidents. Win Swe Tun said Myanmar has instituted a safety management system for carriers and will continue to improve upon aviation safety. “We are a member state of ICAO and we take care of our passengers and our property,” he said. o
www.ainonline.com • February 12, 2014 • Singapore Airshow News 45
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Published on Feb 11, 2014