Air&Cosmos International Magazine - issue 7

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AIR&COSMOS N° 7 - 10TH May 2019




US $19 - 1300 INR - 15 EUR - 120 CNY - 70 AED

l Special report: Aircraft interiors l Airbus launches A380 transition l French industry bolsters presence in India l Safran ponders open rotor options l Groupe ADP claims no.1 spot in 2018 l Missiles: New Delhi, the newcomer l French Navy Falcons on call

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editorial Duncan Macrae



IoT ready for boarding At Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg, Airbus highlighted its Internet of Things (IoT) platform for the cabin, known as the Airbus Connected Experience — a concept now becoming reality following cooperation agreements signed with three partners to date: gategroup, Stelia Aerospace and Recaro Aircraft Seating (see p. 9).This was one of the multiple innovations on display at AIX 2019 (p. 10). The platform will link in real-time interconnected core cabin components, including the galleys, meal trolleys, seats, overhead bins and other cabin elements. As well as allowing data exchange throughout the cabin for the crew, it is also planned that consolidated information could also be uploaded to the Skywise cloud for subsequent trend analytics. François Caudron, Airbus senior vice president marketing, underlined the importance of this connected cabin approach when we talked to him on the eve of the show (p. 6). In this issue, we also review new developments in the missile sector (p. 32-37), starting with a look at a key Franco-British programme to develop a new generation of cruise and anti-ship missiles scheduled to replace the Storm Shadow/Scalp and Exocet in the 2030 timeframe.This Future Cruise/Anti-ship Weapon (FC/ASW) programme is of vital importance for the capabilities of the two countries' armed forces, as well as for European missile house MBDA and for Franco-British cooperation in defence. France has also launched a process to upgrade the ASMPA missile, which currently constitutes the airborne component of the French nuclear deterrent. Following in the footsteps of the U.S., Russia, China and India, France has decided to opt for an air-breathing hypersonic weapon, designated ASN4G, to meet this requirement. Finally we focus on India, an emerging player in the missile sector with multiple programmes covering the full spectrum of requirements, from anti-tank weapons to its recently announced antisatellite missile.






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SPECIAL REPORT: Aircraft interiors - Interview, François Caudron, Airbus SVP Marketing............................................6 - Innovations galore at AIX 2019 .............................................................................................10 Airbus launches A380 transition ....................................................................................................12 French industry bolsters presence in India ..........................................................................18 Interview, Eric Trappier: “France is delivering on its promises” .......................21 Safran ponders open rotor options ..............................................................................................22 E190-E2 makes its mark .......................................................................................................................24 ATR maintenance solution proves its worth ........................................................................26 Groupe ADP claims no.1 spot in 2018 .......................................................................................28 “États de l’air” reviews key air transport issues ............................................................30 Missiles: France, UK pursue key programme ......................................................................32 France joins hypersonic race ............................................................................................................34 Missiles: New Delhi, the Newcomer ............................................................................................36 French Navy Falcons on call ..............................................................................................................38 Launch roundup: U.S., China set pace in quiet first quarter ..................................42 ........................................................................................Articles translated from French by Duncan Macrae



N° 7

Art Director and design: Mourad Cherfi Production: Frédéric Bergerat Coordination : Duncan Macrae Editors: Yann Cochennec,Jean-Baptiste Heguy, Emmanuel Huberdeau, Pierre-François Mouriaux Copy editor: Duncan Macrae Sales & Advertising: Cyril Mikaïloff ( Business development: Henry de Freycinet Publishing director: Hubert de Caslou

Cover photo: Hypersonic / MBDA - M. CHErFi SOCIÉTÉ DES ÉDITIONS AIR & COSMOS (SAS)

S.A.S. au capital de 1.000.000 € Siret 632 008 702 000 37. Siège social : 157, boulevard Macdonald 75019 Paris (France) Principaux actionnaires : Discom S.A.S. et Hubert de Caslou


© AIR COSMOS ISSN 1240-3113 - Dépôt légal à la date de parution

Numéro de commission paritaire : 0215 T 86120 Distribué par Presstalis - Impression : Imprimerie Léonce-Deprez Toute reproduction des textes et documents est interdite, ainsi que leur utilisation à des fins publicitaires. Les textes de publicité sont rédigés sous la responsabilité des annonceurs. Ils n’engagent pas « Air & Cosmos ». Pour garantir son indépendance, « Air & Cosmos » se réserve le droit de refuser (même en cours de programme) toute insertion publicitaire sans avoir à justifier sa décision. Copyright 2015.

17th to 23rd JUNE 2019


an event by

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CABIN OFFERS NEW OPPORTUNITIES” On the eve Of the 2019 editiOn Of AircrAft interiOrs expO in hAmburg (2nd-4th April), AIR & COSMOS INTERNATIONAL sAt dOwn with frAnçOis cAudrOn, Airbus seniOr vice president mArketing, tO discuss lAtest develOpments And emerging trends in the cAbin interiOrs sectOr.


Airbus once again featured in the Crystal Cabin Awards at Aircraft Interiors Expo, particularly for new cargo hold concepts. Can you tell us more about this?

Ever since we first mentioned this concept and displayed it in mockup form, customers have shown strong interest and, as a result, we have joint development projects under way with them. But, beyond this concept, we are thinking about any way in which we can make use of “the third dimension”. We have explored what could be offered to passengers in the cargo hold, and we are also investigating — at the request of customers — what could be done in the cabin overhead space.This indicates a very strong trend relating to the development of ancillary charges, all the extra revenue that airlines can generate by selling passengers a meeting area, a rest zone, a bar or areas that they can develop themselves with, say, a high-profile brand of coffee.This would allow them to rent out space on the aircraft with a new service for passengers and additional revenue for the airlines. This is a real focus of research.


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Airbus was also nominated for the new X-Tend Seat, featuring legrests that can be raised to extend the seat base and possibly make it into a flat rest surface...

Actually, this seat concept focuses more on the need to increase the space between the rows of seats located at overwing exit doors by reducing the depth of the seat.To achieve this, part of the seat folds down when the passenger stands up.This is, therefore, a development designed to comply with a certification requirement, and not a product aimed at expanding services for the passenger, as is the case with Air New Zealand's Skycouch concept. At the 2017 edition of the show, you already presented the Flex Seat, in collaboration with Recaro, where the pitch [legroom between two seats] can be adjusted by moving seat rows along a rail...

Our objective remains the same: to provide the airline with flexibility to adjust its cabin configuration in the optimum manner according to the load factor and the passenger mix. With the Flex Seat, seats can be moved along rails to reconfigure an eco cabin into a Premium Eco cabin during the aircraft turnaround, or simply to vary the seat pitch according to the load factor, to provide more space and comfort for passengers. There is real potential here, especially for low-cost carriers, whose business model relies heavily on ancillary revenues. How do you react to the creation of Adient Aerospace, in which Boeing is a stakeholder? Does this give you any ideas for getting involved in the seating product itself?

Not particularly.We believe that the most important thing for us

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is to continue to position ourselves as an integrator capable of meeting the different requirements of the airlines.They are the ones who determine their cabin equipment requirements, and our priority is to integrate the products they will want to see in tomorrow's aircraft. We are more interested in offering modular platforms on aircraft that will be able to accommodate multiple types of seats. For example, on the A350 we think it is more important to offer a flat floor with under-seat IFE boxes which are very small so as to maximise the space for passengers' feet.We want to offer even quieter cabins with increasing levels of comfort for passengers and crewmembers, who have to perform their work there.We could also have partnerships, such as the one with Recaro for the Flex Seat, which is sold by Airbus for the A320 family. In addition, we are taking advantage of the emergence of new technologies in the various types of cabin equipment, with the Internet of Things (IoT), which is being adopted by certain suppliers of seats, but also interior monuments and other cabin elements. We therefore want to develop a “connected cabin” approach that will represent a new experience for both passengers and crewmembers, as we showed in Hamburg. Airspace by Airbus has been adapted to the A350 XWB and A320. Will we also see it on the A220?

In fact, the A220 product is already very much in line with our Airspace cabin brand.The A220 is clearly the best small single-aisle aircraft available on the market. It has a much larger fuselage section than its competitors in the regional segment, which means we can position it both on the regional market and also on the mainline market. When you enter an A220, what is striking is the feeling of space in the cabin, which is reinforced


by the light coming in through the panoramic windows. So, if I take all the key elements of the cabin and compare them with the DNA matrix of Airspace, I find the key elements such as: large windows, light, space, large-capacity overhead luggage bins. So there is a good match with our Airspace brand. And let me take this opportunity to mention the development of the A321LR, which can provide long-haul services such as Paris-New York, and which has prompted us to rethink the passenger experience, since flights previously operated by widebody aircraft will tomorrow be flown with singleaisle aircraft, resulting in a 30% reduction in costs per seat.This opens up phenomenal possibilities for the airlines.We are therefore very committed to deploying the Airspace cabin on all our aircraft, in order to ensure consistency in our product offerings and in the environments offered to passengers and crewmembers. More generally, do you think it is still possible to find extra space on the aircraft?

This may sound amazing, but yes, we find extra space all the time! We are still able to optimise modularity, in particular with respect to monuments, galleys and toilets, which are becoming better integrated with each other and, by saving a few inches here and a few inches there, it is possible each time to potentially add seats in the cabin and, I would underline, with the same level of comfort. We are also studying some modifications such as moving the cockpit wall forwards and moving the rear pressure bulkhead back ... There are still possible modifications that would allow us to create new opportunities to add seats. Could the enablers [interior reconfiguration options] you launched a

few years ago for the A380 be duplicated for other aircraft?

In a way, yes.The enablers specific to the A380 such as those related to the front staircase, the rear staircase, the overhead luggage bins on the upper deck, on the sides... are taking concrete form, and we now have major retrofit (cabin refurbishment) projects underway, with Qantas, Singapore Airlines and others to come... So we have many A380 operators taking advantage of these improvements, and this shows that, despite the production shutdown, our attention is still fully focused on the cabin. Many A380s will be in operation in 2021, for 15 to 20 years, hence the importance for us to invest in product improvements that are appreciated. Other improvements that are not specific to the A380 — such as toilets which are slightly smaller in size, but where we are working on the interior layout to maximise the impression of space — can be adapted to other programmes such as the A330 or A350.We are seeking to develop solutions that can be applied across the product line. This is advantageous to us as a manufacturer and especially to the operator, who will find a similarity on its various types of aircraft. He will also find advantages in terms of spare parts, or even crew training. We are therefore proposing a coherent range of offers to operators to simplify things and make workspaces easier for crewmembers in their daily activity. So the trend is towards a kind of standardisation?

What we are doing is standardising functions. For example, if we introduce enhancements to the control panel from which crews can adjust light, temperature and different types of cabin information, it is important that this be available across all our platforms. Each company has its own specificities in terms of galley equipment, but having


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SPECIAL REPORT a coherent offer in terms of inserts, such as microwave ovens, conventional ovens, coffee machines, etc ... allows for standardisation on the A350, A330 and A320.

ting arrangements in Business Class?

At Airbus, we are more focused on the Night and Day concept that has already been presented. With separate living and sleeping areas in Business Class. There are two zones: a space to eat, work and watch a video and a space to sleep. For superposed seating, we have designers working on this type of concept, but for the time being, we have not seen any reactions from customer airlines wishing to adopt this type of configuration.

So commonality is not limited to the cockpit; it is applied throughout the aircraft?

That indeed is the trend. We are constantly seeking to optimise commonality for the sake of greater simplicity and operational savings for our airline customers. It also simplifies operations for crewmembers, who are therefore more available to better serve the passenger.

With the Night and Day concept and also Qatar Airways' QSuite, one has the impression that there is a kind of comeback of concepts from former luxury train services such as the Orient Express. What do you think?

What trade-off do you see between the desire to give more space and comfort to passengers and the airlines' need to get as many people as possible into the aircraft?

It is interesting to see that many airlines have introduced a Premium Economy class over the last five years. And we are now seeing airlines that are segmenting their economy cabins into "high density" cabins, what we call the "pure" economy cabins, and transforming the economy cabins of two years ago into a class they call Comfort Economy.With an A330, for example, it is possible to configure eight front seats in Comfort Economy and nine front seats in "pure economy". This shows that the balance is achieved in terms of revenue.The airlines are constantly striving to sell their seats at better prices. It is not enough to fill the seat, it must be done at a price that is acceptable to the company. By segmenting their cabin product better, and thus differentiating their offer, airlines can improve their revenue from the passenger. In the past, the airlines offered cabins with First, Business and Economy classes.Then we switched to "business-eco" cabins, and today we are moving towards a greater degree of segmentation with a very comfortable Business Class, Pre-


“ Airlines will be able to apply a tailor-made pricing system.”

mium Economy, Comfort Economy and Economy — or even more options. When the passenger buys his ticket, he is entitled to a little more transparency.Today, when you buy a seat, you are sure of three things: the flight departure time, the destination and the price. And tomorrow, the passenger will want to know exactly what type of seat he or she is getting, the seat pitch, type of menu, angle of recline, type of IFE, Wi-Fi access, etc. We will see the development of a much more transparent and detailed offer that will allow the airline to apply a tailormade pricing system. If we want to do this, the aircraft must be configured accordingly, with the ability to offer this segmentation to passengers.There will always be low-cost carriers who are purely focused on seating

density, but these carriers were nonetheless the ones who started the quest for ancillary fees. Do you think that the “connected cabin” could make it possible to improve this segmentation?

What we are presenting on our stand in terms of the connected cabin should indeed play an important role in this respect. Once a company has the possibility to better measure passenger satisfaction, what is used, what is not used, it makes it possible to target offers more effectively and this is something very new.With the connected cabin, there are new opportunities for better-differentiated and personalised offers. Do you believe in studies showing the development of superposed sea-

Yes, clearly.There is a bit of "neoretro" and in a way what we have shown with the layout of the cargo compartments is also somewhat reminiscent of train berths. It should also be noted that designers also work a lot on boats and trains, which, like aircraft, also have limited, confined spaces, which must be designed in such a way as to make the experience pleasant and comfortable for the passenger. It is not unusual for influences from the world of trains or boats to make their way onto aircraft. You have mentioned the idea that one day we could block out the windows. At Emirates, there are fully enclosed First Class suites where external views are projected onto “windows”. In your opinion, is there a limit to what passengers will accept in terms of cabin layouts?

This is already a reality.The fact that Emirates is offering this for its first-class suites is proof that it is an available technology. In boats, this idea has been around for about ten years,


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AIRCRAFT INTERIORS when you book a cabin that has not have a view of the sea, passengers are offered a screen in the shape of a porthole that shows an image of the sea. I think that this idea will continue to gain ground for aircraft, going hand in hand with the development of extra-fine OLED or QLED screens with very high definition that will allow passengers to view a much better image than they could see through the window. By replacing windows with interactive screens, we open the door to all kinds of new services: showing information about the country the aircraft is flying over, access to specific video content, preparing for arrival at destination...There is a whole range of services not just confined to visibility. The screen could be used for advertising or interactive services. This change could be extremely positive for the two people who are not sitting directly beside the window. One can imagine a screen running the full length of the plane — at a stroke there are many more people who can see what is happening outside. But isn't there a psychological threshold of acceptance linked to the feeling of being closed in?

Initially, passengers were wary about automatic metro lines. Now, no one questions the idea. In aircraft, this will certainly become a reality one day.The aeronautical community is exploring concepts for unmanned electric flying vehicles to study what can be done in terms of automation, what is acceptable in terms of flight with a reduced crew, or even without a pilot one day, perhaps.That includes Airbus, too.We are looking into the medium and long term to identify the technological challenges and psychological acceptance thresholds for passengers. And so you think that, if passengers are well prepared, they could accept

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Airbus highlights IoT platform at AIX 2019 t Aircraft interiors expo, Airbus highlighted its internet of things (iot) platform for the cabin, known as the Airbus connected experience. the concept is taking concrete form following cooperation agreements signed with three partners: gategroup, stelia Aerospace and recaro Aircraft seating – with more to come. the platform will link in real-time interconnected core cabin components, including the galleys, meal trolleys, seats, overhead bins and other cabin elements. As well as allowing data exchange throughout the cabin for the crew, it is also planned that consolidated information could also be uploaded to the skywise cloud for subsequent trend analytics. the connected cabin aims to provide airlines, flight crews and passengers with significant benefits. for flight crews, it means that they can access an integrated platform which keeps pre-flight and real-time data in one place, while passengers will receive a more personalised travel experience. for airlines, the platform would allow them to use the aggregated cabin equipment usage trends (of the connected elements) to perform predictive mainte-


a lot of things?

Autonomous vehicles and subway trains exist already. Technology is not the limit.We can see very clearly what can be done with drones, particularly in the military domain, where vehicles are operated remotely at a distance of over 4,000km, carry out a mission and automatically return to base. The technology is there, but a period of adaptation will be essential for the general public. When we see the development of saddle seats like the Skyrider, for very short flights, don't you think this is a bit of a gadget?

If we look further into the future, we can imagine having autonomous electric vehicles that will transport passengers


nance analytics over their entire fleet. the platform will also allow wireless streaming to passengers and will enable airlines to host third-party applications for movies. the connected galley will enable passengers to pre-order from a dedicated prediction of preferred food and beverage – which should reduce waste and increase passenger satisfaction. it will also enable cabin crew to benefit from full transparency of inventory management for efficient operations, as well as facilitating remote passenger communication to deliver quick and personalised passenger service based on individual preferences. the connected seat will provide passengers with personalised seat position settings as well as remote ordering of preferred beverage or meal via personal devices. ife screens will show passengers customised content including movies of interest or relevant advertisement for topics they are interested in. not only will a “smart” bin indicate free space to place passengers’ luggage faster, but it could also enable space management, so that passengers can book the space for the bags in advance.

from a city to a major hub with a half-hour vertical takeoff flight in order to feed traffic into major airports. These vehicles could feature saddle-type seats. These are products designed for a very specific application. However, they will probably not be seen on Toulouse-Paris shuttles or long-haul flights. With the intervals between retrofits and cabin refurbishments becoming shorter and shorter, how have you adapted your maintenance activities?

There is no doubt that the service life of seats is decreasing. And this again underlines the trend towards much a greater degree of segmentation.Airlines will no longer wait for a major maintenance check to carry

out a cabin refurbishment. As soon as an airline has confirmation that, on a route or sector in which it operates, there is a new market opportunity or that its current product is no longer in phase with the market, it will undertake a cabin modification and retrofit. There are changes that can be made overnight. Part of the cabin can be modified from Economy to Business.When all the modification kits are ready, this can be done very quickly. And we continue to position ourselves as an integrator who supports the customer in this quest for reactivity. It is a major focus in the development of our service offering, including cabin enhancements, and we have more and more requests for information in this area. ■ Interview by Jean-Baptiste Heguy


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Safran Seats unveiled its “Versa” Business Class concept.


INNOVATIONS GALORE AT AIX 2019 New busiNess class seats for the airbus a321lr, ergoNomic or fully customisable seats, ideas to improve the passeNger experieNce for people with disabilities... the 2019 editioN of aircraft iNteriors expo iN hamburg (2Nd – 4th april) was oNce agaiN chock-full of iNNovatioNs. we review some of the most excitiNg offeriNgs.

aced with growing airline demand for the Airbus A321LR (Long Range), capable of crossing the Atlantic,Airbus took advantage of the first day of the show to introduce two new types of business class seat, specifically designed for the latest version of the single-aisle best-seller. The first of these, called "Settee Corner", has been developed in partnership with the Italian equipment manufacturer Geven. This seat combines three possible positions: for take-off and landing, the passenger sits at the aisle-side end of the seat. During the flight, he can choose to move to the centre


Airbus highlighted the “Settee Corner”.

of the seat in a more relaxed position to work and chat with a visitor, and if he wants to rest, he can raise a fold-up panel to the horizontal position to create an enlarged

lie-flat area. Seat pitch at the take-off/landing position is 34 inches (86.4cm).The other advantage of the seat is its weight, claimed to be more


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AIRCRAFT INTERIORS than 30% less than a conventional business class model. The other business class seat shown by Airbus is an adaptation of the Adagio model, designed by the Italian equipment manufacturer Aviointeriors. The seat is 23 inches (58.4cm) wide, with a 41-inch (1.04m) pitch and offers 77 inches (1.96m) in length in the lie-flat position.

American Airlines launches Airspace XL bins merican airlines is starting scheduled flights with the first of its 100 new airbus a321neo aircraft on order. it was announced in hamburg, that these aircraft come equipped with an all-new cabin interior including larger airspace xl overhead luggage bins that increase carry-on bag capacity. american is the launch customer for the airspace xl bins, which provide approximately 40% more overhead storage space for passengers on board the 196-seat aircraft. american plans to retrofit its entire in-service fleet of earlier a321 models – more than 200 aircraft – with the cabin features included on the new a321neos. the airspace xl bins accommodate larger luggage – up to 24” x 16” x 10” – allowing standard roll-on bags to be loaded on their sides instead of being inserted flat. this creates room for up to four bags in each bin instead of the current three. american‘s a321neos will also feature a free wireless inflight-entertainment (ife) system and led mood lighting.




In other seating news, Safran Seats unveiled a new business class concept called "Versa", as in “versatile”. In fact, it is a platform, including a seat adapted from the Optima model, which can accommodate many modules and technological extensions from across the Safran Seats premium range, such as larger screens, wireless charging and sound system, advanced lighting, new control systems, etc. Airlines can thus combine standard modules and highly

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The Airspace XL bins allow standard roll-on bags to be loaded on thair sides.


German equipment manufacturer Recaro presented the new generation of the CL3710 longhaul economy class seat. This seat, which is available in reclining or non-reclining versions, offers a brand new, ergonomically optimised headrest with up to six positions, and a neck support system if the passenger wishes to sleep. The CL3710 is also equipped with a fold-down section that can enlarge the seat base. Finally, on the non-reclining version, the seat is equipped with a feature designed to increase lower back support. Other features include a new multifunction bridge, which can accommodate a variety of connectivity options, as well as the individualised IFE integration with monitors of up to 13 inches and an innovative table release mechanism on the backrest. The CL3710 is the seat chosen by Recaro to integrate the Airbus Connected Experience (see p. 9), which was officially launched Aircraft Interiors Expo.

customised modules according to their requirements.The chevron layout ensures direct access to the aisle, and the seat, which can be transformed into a fully lie-flat bed, can be equipped with highly innovative features. The seat on display at Safran's stand in Hamburg, for example, was equipped with a heating function. Compact but very comfortable, the "Versa" presented in Hamburg can be transformed into a "mini-suite" that guarantees a very high level of privacy when the door leading to the aisle is closed.This new type of door, a finalist for the Crystal Cabin Awards, is in itself an innovation with its flexible design


and soft materials. It can be easily integrated with the seat and guarantees minimal impact on the passenger's living space.The door can be opened rapidly, by pressing on the flexible part, and allows for faster certification of the whole unit. “AUDIOBACK”.

It is often said that the "connected cabin" can improve passenger service (see page 9).What is sometimes forgotten is that connected cabin solutions can also greatly simplify their lives. An example is the "Audioback" prototype presented by regional aircraft manufacturer ATR. Thanks to this sound system featuring an audio induction

loop, hearing-impaired people who may have difficulty understanding in-flight announcements because of background noise, can listen to announcements in optimum conditions. After setting their hearing aids to the "T" (telecoil) position, passsengers receive information directly via a wifi connection to the audio induction loop. Hearing-impaired passengers can thus greatly improve their passenger experience and, if necessary, be better able to comply with flight crew or cockpit instructions. ATR also took advantage of the show to offer for the first time safety leaflets in Braille. ■ Jean-Baptiste Heguy


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Cathay Pacific has opted for a 334-seat layout on its A350-1000s.

big gap opened up in the Airbus catalogue on 14th February — the one left by the shutdown of the A380, deliveries of which will cease in 2021 due to a lack of orders for new aircraft. Following the decision by Emirates not to confirm the 20 orders from early 2018 and, in addition, to cancel 19 others from previous contracts, Airbus now has only 17 A380s to deliver: three to All Nippon

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Airways and fourteen more for the Dubai-based carrier. Boeing’s rival 747-8 is not much better off, with just 23 units are still to be delivered in the freighter version.There could also be future cancellations to come, but a production shutdown would be pose less of a problem than in Toulouse. Boeing is also preparing the public relations and commercial transition with the 777-8 and 777-9, and in particular the latter,

whose nominal capacity is 400425 seats. In actual operating conditions, airlines tend to put fewer passengers on board. Lufthansa's 747-8s, for example, seat only 364 passengers in four classes, almost as many as the 747-400 (371 seats in three classes), some of which have a capacity boosted to 393 seats. The same is true for Korean Air, whose 747-8s have 368 seats, while the 747-400s have a capacity that ranges from 333 to

404 seats. Thus, with the 7779, whose first flight is scheduled for this year, Boeing has already lined up a successor to the legendary 747, with the added advantage of being powered by only two engines. A350-1000 VS. 777X.

To compete with Boeing’s new long ranger, Airbus is offering the A350-1000, whose characteristics and performance position it between the 777-8 (350-


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In addItIon to the gradual dIsmantlIng of an outsIze supply chaIn and the equally gradual conversIon of IndustrIal facIlItIes spread across several european countrIes, the shutdown of a380 productIon means aIrbus must not only rethInk Its marketIng strategy, but also fInalIse the defInItIon of new versIons to fIll out Its product catalogue.

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375 seats, 16,100km range) and the 777-9 (400-425 seats, 14,000km).The A350-1000 was designed to carry 366 passengers over 15,500km. But capacity can be increased to 440 seats in single class and, as things stand, feedback from test flights and from the two airlines operating the aircraft, Qatar Airways and Cathay Pacific, clearly shows that the A350-1000 still offers scope to increase maximum

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take-off weight. In addition, the cabin configuration chosen by the two carriers is below the nominal capacity, mainly to provide passenger comfort on long-haul flights. Qatar Airways has chosen a total capacity of 327 passengers in two classes, while Cathay Pacific has opted for slightly more seats: 334 passengers in two classes.This allows Airbus engineers to study different options: increasing fuel capacity to give the A350-1000 a similar range to the 777-8 or increasing the payload by finding solutions to add more seats. For example,Airbus is working on the option of being able to put 10 seats per row in economy class compared to nine at present. It will, therefore, be necessary to gain a few centimetres on the aisles, seats and cabin walls.This would allow Cathay Pacific to have 28-30 more seats in economy class increasing capacity to 362 or 364. Another option is to combine these ten-seat rows with a small additional fuselage stretch, giving the A350-1000 a capacity of 400 seats in a layout as comfortable as the Boeing 777-9 without significantly reducing range. With the A350-900 and A330-900,Airbus has managed to sell almost as many aircraft as the Boeing 787-9/10 (see graph). The A350-1000, on the other hand, still lags the 777-8/9. It remains for the airlines to express the reality of their needs. Emirates has cancelled some of its A380s, taking A330-900s and A350900s instead, but not the A3501000. It is possible that the airline has fully satisfied its requirement on this segment with its 175 Boeing 777-8/9s. The key for Airbus is to be able to offer lowcost options and solutions. The same approach is being applied to the medium-haul family.Alongside work to further improve the range of the A321neo LR, the European manufacturer is once again looking at the A322 concept, which was


on the drawing board at one time when the first A320 family R was born (see box). Here again, work is focusing on several options with different stretches, the most extreme of which would require a new wing and more powerful engines at an estimated cost of $2bn. MIDDLE OF THE MARKET.

This would be a reduced-cost option to occupy the so-called "middle of the market". As Jérôme Bouchard, aeronautics expert at the management consulting firm, Oliver Wyman, points out, "Airbus is well placed with an A321 XLR or an aircraft in that category, which could compete in the middle of the market without the need for all the investments required for the development of a new aircraft". This is not the case for Boeing. While fine-tuning possible new versions that may be added to its medium- and long-haul product portfolio, Airbus will also have to completely overhaul its commercial strategy and market forecasts. The most recent market outlook, covering the period 2018-2037, still features the A380, with requirements for very large aircraft in all regions of the world. Alongside the reworking of commercial and product aspects, a major transition is taking shape

on the production side. The infrastructure and personnel until now dedicated to the A380 programme will have to be gradually shifted to other programmes.The Europe-wide logistics chain specially created for the superjumbo — combining barges, specially designed ro-ro ships, dedicated extrawide road transport systems (see map) — will have to be wound down. According to Airbus, 3,500 people are still working on the A380 programme, including subsidiaries. Reallocation of resources at the different production sites will favour the programmes that are currently ramping up: the A350 and A320/A320neo. Production of the latter will rise to 60 aircraft per month, then 63 in 2021.And the freed up space will be able to help Airbus to further automate and digitise production processes, along the lines of what is already being done in Hamburg where A320s now occupy a space that was formerly dedicated to the A380. Airbus had already anticipated the end of production of the superjumbo at its various sites. In Nantes and Saint-Nazaire, for example,A380 activities will definitively wind down in the first half of 2020. It is during this period that the last fuselage section will be delivered to Saint-

Wide body competitors Net sales

954 (1)


326 (2) 170 (2) A330/350-900






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Jérôme Bouchard, aerospace expert at Wyman Gordon

“The A330neo is the biggest winner in all this“ The A380 production shutdown had been expected for some time? unfortunately, this production shutdown was expected and anticipated. with the exception of emirates' order, which has now been converted to other models, the a380 had not registered any other orders since 2015. this is despite airbus' major efforts with dedicated sales campaigns and sales teams fully mobilised. but when sales dry up, the end is near. however, I would like to say a couple of things on the commercial failure of the a380. If we look at the boeing 747, its main competitor, launched in 1968, we see that more than 1,500 aircraft have been sold in fifty years. between 2007 and 2015, airbus managed to sell nearly 250 a380s in eight years. the a380 has not been able to establish a market with the airlines, but this aircraft will remain a programme that will go down in history and that did nevertheless find a market of sorts, even if it was too small to ensure its sustainability.

So Airbus now has to prepare for the postA380 era, in terms of marketing and production? airbus had anticipated things quite a bit. at the industrial level, major investments were made for the a380, which has two assembly lines. In toulouse, the entire aircraft structure is assembled. then the a380s fly to hamburg where they are finished in terms of passenger cabin fittings and exterior painting. airbus will therefore have to decide how to replace these two a380 lines. not to mention that each of the 11 european facilities has a dedicated a380 section. In toulouse, for example, airbus has started to use part of the space for the a330neo and finishing of a350s. In total, this means investments, volume and space that will have to be written off in the balance sheet. this process started in

Nazaire, with Nantes retaining spare parts and repair activities. These two facilities in the Loire region of France were a major centre of production for the Airbus superjumbo. Nantes was in charge of manufacturing the centre wing box, engine air inlets and radomes, and the assembly of ailerons, while Saint-Nazaire was in charge of assembling, fitting and testing forward and centre fu-


selage sections. Production had reached a peak with 500 and 450 employees at Nantes and Saint-Nazaire, respectively, in 2012-2013. The slowdown in production rates was initiated in 2014 at Nantes, and was pursued on a continuous basis at both sites from the following year. At the same time, staff began to be redeployed to programmes that were ramping up production

airbus' results in 2018. regarding future product strategy, it will be centred around the issue of the middle of the market now being addressed by boeing. I don't think airbus will enter this segment from a clean sheet. airbus is well placed with an a321 Xlr or an aircraft in that category, which could compete in the middle of the market without the need for all the investments required for the development of a new aircraft. the european manufacturer has been able to develop re-engined versions that offer airlines an interesting solution, particularly in the middle of the market. the a330neo, in my opinion, is really the biggest winner in all this, and the fact that emirates has decided to order it shows that this aircraft has a real future.

Further improvements to the A350-1000 could be another option? the a350-1000 was revised upwards in terms of capacity, in the final stage of its design, so as to be able to offer an aircraft that has a capacity that is fairly comparable to the a380, give or take 60 seats. an stretch of the fuselage would boost the capacity of this aircraft to 500 seats without any difficulty. but does the market really want it? and what will boeing really do with the 777X? for the time being, the a350-1000 has found a relatively limited market. I expected, in emirates' revised order, that it would go for the a350-1000. however, this is not the case. emirates has opted for the a330neo and the a350-900. a real surprise because we could have expected them to take the a350-1000. so it really leads me to think that the densification of seating inside the aircraft as a solution to traffic growth and airport congestion is not the solution that airlines are looking for in the short term.

Interview by YC

(including the A320).Today, only about 100 people are working on the A380 at Nantes. WORKFORCE.

The workforce is larger in SaintNazaire, where 180 people are still working on the Airbus superjumbo.The programme currently occupies an area of 10,000m², or 8% of the SaintNazaire site production floor space. This area will be mainly

reallocated to the A320, due to the continuous increase in production rates. Production currently stands at 60 aircraft per month. In the Nantes facility, the production tooling for component parts can be used on other programmes. On the other hand, due to their specific characteristics, the assembly jigs will not be reallocated at the end of the programme.


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INDUSTRY In any case, the space allocated to the A380 could be used to meet the needs of other fastgrowing programmes.This could be the case in particular for the A320neo equipped with Pratt & Whitney engines, as this programme may require additional area in a time frame that remains to be specified. According to the latest information from the Saint-Nazaire site management, there will be no further redeployments of A380 programme staff until the first half of 2020, as priority is being given to meeting delivery schedules for the remaining aircraft. No training is currently planned for this transferred staff. As for Nantes staff, they will be reassigned to other programmes, in particular the A320 and A350XWB, which are crying out for extra staff. The redeployment of these technicians will be all the more

Time for the A322? or years now, airbus has been working on an a322 project, a stretched version of the a321. the aim at the time was to offer a competing product to the boeing 757 — already — and in particular to its stretched version, the 757-300. the latter is still in service with united airlines, delta air lines, condor and Icelandair. united and delta operate the aircraft in a three-class, 234-seat configuration, while condor has pushed capacity to 275 passengers in two classes. the 757-300 was certified for a maximum capacity of 289 passengers. the weak point today remains its range: a maximum of 5,400km. since the launch of the initial a320 family, technological innovations in various areas (new engine versions, aerodynamic improvements, cabin


space optimisation, etc.) have enabled airbus to offer the a321neo with a maximum capacity of 244 seats in a single class. the fuselage length of the a321neo is 44.5m, vs. 47.3m and 54.5m, respectively, for the 757-200 and 757-300. airbus can therefore very well offer an a322, this time in a neo version, with capacity raised to 264-270 passengers in two classes and longer range than the 757-300. It remains to be determined whether or not it would be necessary to develop a new wing for this a322neo depending on the available or possible engines. Including a new wing, development costs are estimated at $2bn. this would allow airbus to offer an aircraft at a reasonable price. provided, of course, that the market shows interest in this possible a322neo.

welcome as their multi-function capabilities — developed under the company's empowerment efforts — are highly appreciated. The mobility of these teams will be introduced gradually during the year ahead.As at Saint-Nazaire, the over-riding priority, the site management underlines, will be to deliver the final elements on time and with zero-defect quality.

A380 MSN267 at Saint-Nazaire on 6th February 2019.



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The same approach is evident along the A380 supply chain. At Stelia Aerospace, whose Méaulte and Saint-Nazaire sites produce the nose sections and certain fuselage parts, respectively, employee reconversion has already been integrated among multiple hypotheses, and the impact on employment will be very limited. Stelia Aerospace indicates that the limited number of people dedicated to the A380 programme will be supported with a view to ensuring internal mobility towards other programmes where production is ramping up. There is a similar situation at Latécoère, which now has almost no full-time staff on the A380 programme. The company comments that internal mobility will allow teams to be focused on programmes that are ramping up, such as the A320, thanks to the cross-training provided on the various programmes. For the Safran group, whose


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A380 belly fairing leaves Puerto Real on the way to Saint-Nazaire.

various subsidiaries supply a number of systems for the A380, the main production sites affected are Le Havre for nacelles,Villemur andVichy for electrical wiring, Bidos for nose gear and Molsheim for hydraulic systems and components. Safran says it will reschedule production volumes in coordination with Airbus,while underlining that Safran companies are currently responding to production rate increases on other programmes,in particular the A320neo,A330neo and A350. For engine systems,the A380 production shutdown has no impact since the aircraft still on order are not powered by the GP7200. LIMITED IMPACT.

Belgian industry was also very active on the A380.However,here too, the impact of the termination of the programme,though not negligible, will be limited.“It's not a


surprise,”says Sabca CEOThibauld Jongen.Production rates had been steadily decreasing for several years, he notes.“At least this clarifies the situation and frees up some resources,”he comments.In the short term,he indicates that it will simply be necessary to redeploy a few workers, but he says that this is not a major issue.The A380 accounted for 2% of sales at Sabca,which manufactures a portion of the lower fuselage. The impact on Belairbus — the consortium comprising Sonaca, Asco and BMT that supplies leading edge slats for the entire Airbus range — will also be limited.At a production rate of six aircraft per year, the programme was virtually dormant, while the consortium has to follow the ramp-up of the A350, A330 and A320. The A380 represents only 1% of sales at Sonaca, which also produces a

structural component for the cockpit. In addition, the very large customer base of Sonaca, which is present on all current programmes at Airbus, along with those of Boeing, Embraer, Bombardier, etc., allows it to mitigate the impact of this type of event. The same is true for Asco which, in addition to its contribution to Belairbus, also provided landing gear components and engine pylons. For all manufacturers, the impact of the programme termination will be mainly financial. RISK SHARING.

Sabca and the members of the Belairbus consortium were risksharing partners in the programme, i.e. they invested in the development of the aircraft and aimed to recover their investment through a share of re-

venues. If aircraft sales fall short of the target — and we are a long way from the 40 aircraft per month planned at programme launch (e.g. 28 in 2016, 12 in 2017, eight in 2018) — development costs will only be partially recovered. "We are way below the business plan," notes Sabca's Jongen. “We must now assess the precise impact under the terms of our contracts with Airbus on the one hand and with our suppliers on the other.” Some suppliers have already incorporated all or part of the impact of the A380 shutdown into their accounts. Others have insurance coverage for loss of sales. Thus, negotiations will be launched throughout Europe on the financial consequences of the A380 programme shutdown. ■ Yann Cochennec Olivier Constant and Benoît Gilson


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Winding down the A380 logistics network

Mostyn Broughton n

Hambur amburrg rg



Stade Var are el


B emen Br Norrdenham



COCKPIT Sain int-Nazaire e





Pauillac Langon




Subasssembly pro oduction site

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Port facility facility

Beluga carrgo plane

Assembly and test site

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Ro-ro o ship Barrge


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BOLSTERS PRESENCE IN INDIA Axon's new facility in Bengaluru.

o fewer than 49 French companies took part in the recent Aero India 2019 show — the largest foreign participation at the event. Like their European,American, Russian and Israeli counterparts, French manufacturers are, of course, attracted by the significant export prospects offered by a country that is already the world's leading importer of defence systems, but which could also soon become the leading importer of drones.The market potential, therefore, is huge. Of all the major countries, India also offers the most substantial growth prospects.



India, however, does not see itself only as an importer; it is also looking to develop its local industry.To achieve this, for several decades New Delhi has required an increasing proportion of systems acquired from non-


Indian vendors to be produced locally, or for offsets to be set up through, for example, the creation of joint ventures.The Make in India policy was launched in 2014, but many French companies have been present in India for much longer. This is the case, for example, for large groups such as Thales, MBDA or Safran. Thales has been present in India since the 1950s. But the group is continuing to expand its local presence.Approximately 600 people are currently employed directly by Thales in India.Within five years, these figures are expected to increase fourfold. In particular, Thales aims to take advantage of the fact that India trains hundreds of thousands of highly qualified engineers every year. The inauguration of its Global Engineering Competence Centre (ECC) in Bengaluru is part of this process. The centre will be integrated into Thales'

network of research centres and aims to accelerate innovation and digital transformation to serve the needs of both the Indian market, and the Group’s global objectives.With the ECC, Thales seeks to play a major role in job creation and skill development in India as it targets to hire 3,000 engineers in the next three-five years along with its partners. Thales is also present in India through a number of joint ventures with local manufacturers. Safran Aircraft Engines, meanwhile, has announced plans to build a new plant in Hyderabad to make parts for the LEAP turbofan engine from Safran/GE joint venture CFM International. Supported by the Telangana State, Safran will invest €36m in the 13,000m2 facility, including 8,000m2 of workshops, in the Special Economic Zone of GMR near Hyderabad airport. Construction is set to kick off in June


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medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and French mid-cap companies (ETIs) have also chosen to establish facilities in India. PARTNERSHIPS.

They have concluded partnerships with local companies or set up facilities directly under their own name.An example is First SwitchTech, a manufacturer of switching technologies for harsh environments with a strong presence in the defence and space sectors. The company, which has been operating in India for 15 years, opened a new factory in 2017. Local employees were trained by technicians from France. Like many other manufacturers, First has also trained an autonomous local management team. Axon — a specialist in cabling, interconnect solutions, cable assemblies, connectors and mini systems for high-tech applications — has been present in India since 2009. The French-based company recently inaugurated a new factory near Bengaluru airport, and a clean room for space equipment was due to be inaugurated in March.The new factory, like other Axon facilities around the globe, ensures proximity with local customers such as DRDO and HAL. Axon has also developed a joint venture with an Indian consortium. Called Dhruv Axon' Interconnect Pvt. Ltd, this company delivers directly to the Indian market. It also allows Axon's French and European customers to meet their offset obligations by acquiring products from this joint venture. LGM — a specialist in maintenance engineering, reliability and safety engineering and projet management activities — has been present in India for six years.This company, which designs the initial logistics for large systems, finds in India the qualified engineers necessary for its activity.The company established a facility in India to meet offset requirements, but also to reduce costs. LGM employs an average



2019, and will aim at delivering the building and producing the first parts in early 2020. The plant will have about 50 employees by the end of the year to launch operations, and will reach a workforce of 300.When the plant hits cruise speed in 2023, output is scheduled to ramp up to 15,000 parts per year to support the LEAP's sustained production rate. This latest project follows the announcement last year of a Safran Electrical & Power factory to produce LEAP engines harnesses and Rafale fighter electrical wiring interconnections systems.Also located in the Special Economic Zone, this 4,000m2 factory, which is due to be delivered by mid-2019, will employ 250 people. Dassault Aviation is also expanding its production footprint in India. Dassault Reliance Aerospace Limited (DRAL) — the joint venture between Dassault and Reliance Aerospace announced in October 2016 — recently completed the first cockpit front section for a Falcon 2000 bizjet at its manufacturing facility in the Mihan special economic zone (SEZ) close to Nagpur International Airport. The assembly was displayed at the Aero India show. Dassault says the milestone underlines the company's commitment to the “Make in India” and “Skill India” initiatives and its determination to establish in India state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities with cuttingedge technologies complying with best-in-class international aeronautical standards in terms of production efficiency and competitiveness. To meet the requirements of Make in India, it is not enough to assemble the system or platform locally. New Delhi requires a significant proportion of the value of the product be produced locally. This means that a large part of the supply chain must also be locally based. In some cases, prime contractors may turn to local suppliers, but many small and

First Falcon 2000 cockpit front section produced in India by DRAL.

of about 50 people, but for some projects, several dozen local engineers can be recruited to set up platforms dedicated to these programmes. Local staff have been trained by European experts, but the Indian subsidiary has gradually gained autonomy, to the point where there will soon be no more LGM expatriates in India. An Indian management team will run the operation. Other companies already have customers in India, but have not yet formally decided how to establish a local presence.An example is Roxel, which produces missile propulsion systems.The French company has selected a local partner under an agreement signed in 2018, but cooperation arrangement have yet to be finalised. Roxel is mulling construction of a local fatory or

engineering centre. In any case, the company has identified the advantage of a local presence, particularly in responding to local calls for tenders. A conference organised by French aerospace industries association Gifas and the Society of Indian Defence Manufacturers (SIDM) at Aero India 2019, recommended French companies to be patient in establishing local facilities and to propose longterm projects that go beyond offset obligations. The need to establish partnerships at all levels of the supply chain was also underlined. In any case, this conference showed that there is a real willingness on the part of local authorities to support French companies and facilitate their projects to set up operations in India. ■ Emmanuel Huberdeau, reporting from Bengaluru


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Avionics - Optronics



New Delhi


Airbus Helicopters


IAF support, Mirage 2000




Engine training centre





Hyderabad Space Pilot training, Engineering AIRBUS ALTRAN

Engineering, Avionics, Radar






Thales facility *














Airbus facility * Dassault Aviation facility




Safran facility *



srI laNka


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“FRANCE IS DELIVERING ON ITS France had the largest delegation at Aero India 2019. What are the reasons for such a strong showing? There are historical bonds of friendship and partnership between the two great democracies of India and France in many fields, particularly in aeronautics and defence.This is due to several geopolitical factors and convergences in certain areas of technology, as the Indian and French aeronautics and defence industries have been working together since the early 1950s.A partnership relationship of more than 65 years in our sector is rare enough to be appreciated and noted. The relationship between India and France is, therefore, excellent. It also resulted in the signing of a strategic partnership between the two nations in 1998, the first of its kind to be signed by India with another country. This partnership was recently strengthened on the occasion of the State visit by French President Emmanuel Macron in March 2018. This state visit was immediately followed, at the initiative of the GIFAS Council, by a GIFAS industrial mission to India in April 2018, which I had the honour to lead. It brought together 60 French industrial groups and companies in the aeronautics, defence and space sectors, representing more than 80 participants, with the aim of pursuing the implementation of the strategic partnership signed 20 years ago and strengthening Franco-Indian cooperation. It was also an opportunity for the French aeronautical and space supply chain to discover the 'Make in India' policy

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PROMISES” promoted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. For more than four days, in New Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai and Hyderabad, the delegation visited local companies and I met with several ministers and officials. In parallel with these official meetings, more than 390 individual meetings were organised by GIFAS, as well as two seminars to present the different possibilities for cooperation. An MoU between GIFAS and the Indian professional association SIDM (Society of Indian Defence Manufacturers) was signed to promote partnerships and cooperation. This mission was a great success in terms of contacts and opportunities.This deep and rich cooperation — rich in terms of the number of projects — explains why the French presence is so strong at Aero India 2019. What has happened in India over the past year? It should be recalled that one of GIFAS's main missions is to increase the 'firepower' of its members, particularly small/medium and intermediate-size companies, and to provide support for coordination, promotion and marketing and commercial development. GIFAS is thus intended to help its members penetrate specific new international markets and collectively open doors that companies would be unable to open on their own. I want companies in the French aerospace supply chain to be able to grow in the most promising markets, where French technology is appreciated and sought after, as is the case in India. Since this mission to India a year ago, the French aerospace industry has not just

expressed its intentions but has kept its commitments in terms of investment. Some 15 projects of GIFAS member groups and companies have been implemented, including the creation of new industrial sites, the establishment of partnerships and joint ventures, and the opening of branch offices. Several of these were announced at Aero India 2019. I was very proud to be able to present on the Dassault Aviation stand the first Falcon 2000 cockpit front section produced by Dassault Reliance Aerospace Limited (DRAL), our local joint venture, in its Nagpur facility. GIFAS, meanwhile, opened an office in New Delhi in December, staffed by a permanent representative, and set up a GIFAS India Committee to improve coordination between local manufacturers. GIFAS is supporting its members in French industry's commitment to 'Make in India'. Broadly speaking, the French aeronautics industry is investing in India and delivering on its promises! This is an important message for the Indian authorities and for our Indian industrial partners. Will the French presence in India grow further? Yes, that is our objective and it is also the objective of the Indian authorities. India aspires to this strengthened alliance with France and the continuation of this exemplary technological cooperation. GIFAS is undeniably fulfilling its mission of supporting the French aerospace industry in India. In India, we see ourselves as an incubator for start-ups in the aeronautics industry looking to develop business in India, whether by setting up new facilities, forging partnerships or growing their market share. The fact that this great democracy is in an active phase of consultations for the renewal of its aeronautical and defence equipment validates our analysis. The fact that France is totally willing to play by the rules of 'Make in India' is definitely a plus. As President Emmanuel Macron said during his state visit, addressing India's younger generation: "Just do it!" This is the mindset of GIFAS with respect to future enhanced cooperation between our two great nations. Interview by Emmanuel Huberdeau ■


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INDUSTRY he Contra-Rotating Open Rotor (CROR), as it is officially known, could well constitute a propulsion solution for future commercial transport aircraft, especially for the next generation of single-aisle aircraft. European development work was launched in 2008 as part of the Clean Sky research project, and operations on Safran’s Istres static test bench started in May 2017. Around 70 hours of tests were carried out to validate various technological building blocks that will pave the way, in the near or medium term, for production of a new engine built around the CROR architecture or a more conventional turbofan incorporating developments from the CROR test campaign.




Open Rotor on test bench in Istres






The Open Rotor concept is not new in itself. Designated UnDucted Fan (UDF) or Propfan, the idea was tested by GE, supported by NASA, two years after the first oil crisis.The work gave rise to the GE36, and a technology demonstrator was flight-tested in 1986, first on a Boeing 727 and then on a McDonnell Douglas MD81. Snecma, as Safran was then known, took part in the development of the engine, which showed a lot of promise. The unducted architecture with counter-rotating propellers produced the hopedfor gains in terms of specific fuel consumption, but noise targets proved harder to achieve. The noise spread both around the aircraft and in the cabin, in the fuselage. In any case, the project was abandoned when the OPEC embargo was lifted. But the significant gains in fuel consumption led Snecma to take the next step in the 2000s. With the experience acquired on the GE36, engineers sought to design an architecture that would allow them to overcome the acoustic and dynamic constraints of this type of engine, to reduce vibrations and to ensure the engine would comply with increasingly stringent environmental standards. In 2008, as part of the Clean Sky programme, Safran took a fresh look at the GE36 concept, introducing improvements and updates. This work gave rise to the Open Rotor. Modern, high-performance design tools made it possible to calculate the dynamics of the complete engine, with a special focus on acoustics, one of the major objectives of the project, implemented on a demonstrator.The demonstrator was built around the core section from the Rafale’s M88 engine, which closely matched requirement, as well as being familiar to Safran's engineers and technicians and available off the shelf. In the event of an engine destined for a particular aircraft, a specific engine core will be developed. GEARBOX.

The main technological difference between the Open Rotor and the GE36 is the gearbox fitted to Safran's technology demonstrator, which was absent on the GE36. Positioned between the core and the propellers, it reduces the rotational speed of the blades.The GE36 featured a direct drive and, as a result, the rotor blades had an extremely high rotational speed, which did


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not help to reduce acoustic emissions.The Open Rotor also benefits from specially a designed blade shape, in order to minimise interactions.The noise is channelled by confining it inside the "tunnel" formed by the two sets of blades, so that it is not transmitted radially. The blades are made from 3D resin transfer mould (RTM) composite materials, a technology specifically developed for the blades and fan casing of the Leap engine, although the Open Rotor blades are larger than those of the Leap fan.The threedimensional woven composite behaves differently than a metal blade. In the event of a bird strike, the blade deforms but does not break and the impact does not cause internal deformation. DEMONSTRATOR.

Safran conducted a number of design and wind tunnel test iterations which validated the architecture and enabled development of an Open Rotor demonstrator. Four different propeller designs were built before finalising the configuration used on the demonstrator, which was tested on the Istres openair test bench. Safran still has significant scope for improvement with this type of architecture. If the company plans to launch this type of engine on the market in 15 or 20 years' time, the acoustic regulations will be tighter by 6-7 EPNdB (Effective Perceived Noise in Decibels).This explains why Safran has allowed for a performance margin. The CFM International Leap possesses a margin with respect to the regulations currently in force (Chapter 14). However, the problem is different with an Open Rotor, for which it is difficult to achieve the acoustic performance of a high-bypass turbofan engine, though significant progress has been made. The stated objective is to find the right balance between reducing fuel consumption and reducing noise. The perceived noise generated by the Open

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Exploded view of Open Rotor.

Rotor differs from that of a highbypass turbofan engine. Jérôme Bonini,VP Research and Technologies at Safran Aircraft Engines, explains: “The blades on an Open Rotor rotate much more slowly, so the associated acoustic frequencies are lower.We have characterised this noise in relation to people's perceptions, which is why we have organised panels to compare the noise from an Open Rotor and that from a conventional turbofan engine.The satisfaction rate was quite high. The Open Rotor noise is slightly muffled compared with a conventional turbofan engine. In any case, we have already made significant progress, although we still have room for improvement. By comparison, the GE36 had difficulty complying with the regulations of the time, Chapter 3.” Apart from the acoustic problem, one of the other issues on the Open Rotor concerns the integration of a gearbox in the vicinity of the counter-rotating propellers with blade pitch control.The automatic control of the engine core with the addition of the pitch control system was an essential part of the demonstration. At the end of 2017, the test campaign was terminated after


70 hours of testing and more than 100 engine starts, along with reverse thrust tests.The engine showed good thermal and dynamic behaviour.The counter-rotating propellers, blade pitch control system, engine control system, fast turbine and gearbox integration were validated. Following completion of ground testing, the CROR reached technology readiness level TRL 5. 2018 was focused on reviewing the test results, analysing the data and resetting the models to take account of experience gained during the tests.The demonstrator was disassembled, in order to inspect the parts and better understand their behaviour during the tests. Bonini comments:“Beyond the demonstrator itself, the challenge was to validate each of the new components integrated into this engine in order to increase their technological maturity and be able to put them on the shelf for integration into future-generation engines.” EMISSIONS.

The question remains as to the future of this type of engine. Until now, it has only carried out ground tests and there are no plans for flight tests at present. The future of the CROR depends on market trends, which

will be partly defined by the reduction of the environmental footprint, in particular in terms of fuel consumption, CO2 emissions... “The Open Rotor is the only engine architecture to date to demonstrate a 15% reduction in fuel consumption and CO 2 emissions. On the other hand, these non-shrouded engines call for different integration solutions than current aircraft,” notes Bonini. The integration of the Open Rotor in a rear-mounted nacelle as on the Caravelle or Boeing 727, like the GE36 in its time, remains the most obvious now, though it will not necessarily be the solution of the future. Bonini explains:“We are working with the airframers on the possibility of developing unshrouded architectures, that can be fitted under the wing, with propellers at the front of the engine.While they may look like a new-generation turboprop, they have the same Mach and high-altitude capabilities as highbypass turbofans." The Corsia agreements may give the Open Rotor some advantages over other engines — the 15% lower fuel consumption means a reduction in emissions of at least the same amount. ■ Antony Angrand


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NorwegiaN airliNe widerøe received the first of its three embraer 190-e2s iN april 2018. aloNgside its firm order for three aircraft, the carrier still holds aN optioN for 12 additioNal e2 aircraft, which could briNg the total coNtract value to $873m.

Since entering service with Wideroe one year ago, the E190-E2 has achieved a dispatch reliability of 98.5%.

t is like a first birthday. It was in April 2018 that the small Norwegian airline Widerøe, which until then had operated an all-Bombardier fleet of 41 turboprops (20 Q100s, three Q200s, seven Q300s and 11 Q400s), received its first Embraer 190-E2, for which it was the launch customer. It was a major change, therefore, for a carrier of this size. "We do not underestimate the challenge. I am very proud of all the competent people in Widerøe, now being trusted by Embraer to launch their very latest aircraft," Widerøe CEO Stein Nilsen declared when the initial order for three jets was announced in December 2016.



"The first E2, registered LN-WEA, actually landed on Norwegian soil in April 2018, on 12th April to be precise.The following two aircraft arrived in May (LNWEB) and June 2018 (LN-WEC). The first commercial flight was operated with LN-WEA on 24th April 2018 between Bergen and Tromsø.The first delivery was on time and the first commercial flight, for which we had started selling tickets the previous October, went as planned," says Andreas Aks, deputy chief operating officer and E2 project manager at Widerøe. The E190-E2 cabins feature a 114-seat single-class layout. With its two Pratt & Whitney Geared Turbofan (GTF) engines,

the E2 offers a 17.3% reduction in fuel consumption in comparison with the firstgeneration E190, which was already best in class. "The E190-E2 is also the aircraft with the lowest CO2 and nitrogen oxide (NOX) emissions in the segment.We are proud to say that we have, by any measure, the most environmental friendly aircraft available," comments Aks. PASSENGER FEEDBACK.

"The E190-E2 currently operates on routes from Bergen to Tromsø, Bodø, Sandefjord, Munich, Hamburg and Liverpool and on the Sandefjord-Trondheim route.The longest route operated is Bergen-Munich (2


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E2 family targets huge world market hours and 20 minutes) and the shortest is the Bergen-Sandefjord service (55 minutes). We also operate flights from Helsinki to Bergen, Tromsø, Berlin and Vienna on behalf of Finnair," explains Andreas Aks. Concerning the route network operated by Widerøe using the E190-E2, since February 2018 for KLM and since June 2018 for Air France, code-share agreements allow passengers of the two Air France-KLM group airlines to enjoy facilitated connections to around 20 cities in Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Scotland. As a result, Air France and KLM passengers are already able to test the new aircraft on the code-share routes where the E190-E2 is operated. "The better-than-expected fuel consumption means that the aircraft's range has increased from the 2,800 nautical miles initially reported to 2,900 nautical miles (5,370km).The range from airports with hot-and-high conditions, such as Denver and Mexico City, increases by 600 nautical miles compared to current-generation aircraft.The E2's range from airports with short runways, such as London City, also increases by more than 1,000 nautical miles, allowing the aircraft to reach destinations such as Moscow or North Africa," Aks indicates. What about feedback from passengers who have travelled on Widerøe routes operated with the E190-E2? “Not including the flights we operate on behalf of Finnair, we have carried 173,282 passengers on routes where the new aircraft is in service. Passenger feedback has been very positive, especially regarding the feeling of space in the cabin with the 2+2 seating configuration and the very low noise level, which adds to comfort,” explains Andreas Aks. “Passengers are also very pleasantly surprised by the larger overhead bins compared to previous-generation regional jets.”

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he e190-e2 (106-114 seats) is one of the three members of embraer's e2 family, alongside the e175-e2 (80/88 seats) and the e195-e2 (120-146 seats). the aircraft are upgraded versions of the original e175, e190 and e195 eJets offering increased range and significant reductions in fuel consumption. e2 enhancements include new wings, improved systems and avionics, 4th generation full fly-by-wire flight controls, and pratt & whitney purepower geared turbofan engines (pw1700g on the e175-e2, pw1900g on the e190-e2 and e195-e2). the 190-e2, which made its maiden flight in may 2016, was the first member of the e2 family to be delivered. in the latest edition of its market outlook, embraer is forecasting delivery of 8,230 jets seating up to 150 passengers over the period 2018-2037. North america (2,520 aircraft, 31% of the total) and asia-pacific (25%) account for more than half of this market, followed by the european region (21%). connectivity between mid-sized cities and fragmentation in high-yield business markets are seen as the major drivers in this market segment.



“ The E2 offers a 17.3% reduction in fuel consumption in comparison with the firstgeneration E190.” Andreas Aks, Widerøe deputy chief operating officer and E2 project manager

Since the E190-E2 entered service,Widerøe has posted operational dispatch reliability of 98.5%, with rates of 100% in recent weeks.“There have been a few teething problems, as can be expected when a new aircraft enters service," says Aks. “But the Embraer team has gone far and beyond to ensure a swift solution to any problem that might occur.We are extremely happy with the support we have received from the Embraer team.” In January 2018, before the arrival of the first E190-E2, Embraer and Widerøe reached agreement on a Flight Hour Pool Programme, giving the Norwegian airline access to a total of more than 300 key rotable components. In addition, the on-board Ahead-Pro health monitoring system allows engines and equipment to be monitored from the ground.When it is in the air, the E2 remains connected to the Widerøe technical department, which in turn is constantly in touch with the engine and aircraft manufacturers. With this constant connection, the data for each flight can be directly downloaded immediately after the aircraft has landed. This predictive maintenance

system makes it possible to anticipate repairs and avoid major failures. According to Embraer, it is able to generate alerts on average 25 days earlier than the flight crew when a component requires maintenance. By anticipating maintenance activities, the system can reduce aircraft downtime by 12%, according to Johann Bordais, CEO of Embraer Services and Support, speaking at the announcement of Widerøe's initial contract for the three E190-E2 firm orders. The E2 cabin is also interactive; tablets, mobiles and PCs can be charged at each seat. And it should even be possible year, to upload video and audio content to mobiles. In the course of 2019, technology should be in place to be able to stream both audio and video directly to mobile devices. Given the successful introduction of the E190-E2, it seems likely that Widerøe will soon firm up its options for an additional 12 E2s.The company has not yet chosen which member of the E2 family could be involved, although it could be expected to opt for a mix of E175E2s, E190-E2s and E195-E2s, to maintain a flexible range of configurations ranging from 80 to over 130 passengers. ■ Jean-Baptiste Heguy


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aunched at the end of the 1990s, ATR's Global Maintenance Agreement (GMA) spare parts support solution continues to attract new customers, as airlines pursue their constant quest to reduce costs. Six new customer airlines joined the programme in 2018 (+15%), including Mandarin (Taiwan), Bahamasair and Braathens (Norway). A total of 330 ATR turboprops are now covered, representing one-third of the worldwide ATR fleet and half of the ATR-600s in operation. 50 customer airlines are now members of the GMA system, representing a quarter of the 200 airlines with ATR fleets worldwide. “The origin of the GMA system at ATR dates back to 1996.The first contracts were signed with Air Littoral and Precision Air (Tanzania). But ATR had been offering GMA-type contracts since 1993, because many companies were asking for financing for their use of spare parts at the same time as purchasing the aircraft.ATR was a pioneer in this area.Airbus launched a similar formula 10 years ago, which was inspired to a certain extent by the system proposed by ATR,” explains Laurent Caballe,ATR's vice president of products and services. With the GMA, airlines have access to an initial stock of spare parts, on their own site, which are the so-called “No Go” parts, i.e. those that are absolutely essential to the



Laurent Caballe, vice president of products and services at ATR.

operation of the aircraft.“In the absence of a parts support contract, this type of part can be very difficult to obtain. This stock can cost several million dollars, with availability times of 30-40 days,” Caballe explains. For the immediate replenishment of these No Go parts and for all other parts (those that are not essential), the airlines have access to a shared “pool” common to all GMA customers. “Access to the pool is through one of ATR's three large spare parts warehouses in Miami, Singapore and Paris, which are shared by all GMA customers in the region,” he says.“In geographical terms, from RoissyCDG, we can cover Europe, Africa and the Middle East, while Miami serves North and South America,and Singapore ensures coverage of the whole of Asia and the Pacific.” MONTHLY SUBSCRIPTION.

The GMA system is based on a monthly subscription per aircraft for parts in stock and is invoiced on a by-the-hour basis for parts repairs.The advantage for the operator lies in the ability to anticipate maintenance costs and adapt them to aircraft utilisation. The system also offers control of cash flow,

since ATR makes the initial investment to constitute the pool and the on-site stock. The reliability improvements achieved through the use of GMA allow customer companies to save $1m per aircraft over ten years.The pooling systemmakes it possible to negotiate prices with partners. For the repair and/or replacement of a part, ATR relies on a network of around 100 partners around the world, with priority given to the original part manufacturers (Thales, Honeywell, Safran, etc.). “Thanks to the GMA, companies are increasing the availability of their equipment with shortened parts delivery times, maintenance of parts to the latest standard, better anticipation of maintenance needs, and a monitoring and reliability improvement programme,” Caballe declares.“At the present time, companies have access to a total of 300 different parts. Nonetheless, the GMA contract is evolving.We want to include in the stock of available parts more specific elements such as landing gear, propeller blades or engine parts.” PREDICTIVE MAINTENANCE.

Developments are also to be expected in predictive maintenance.“We do not currently perform predictive maintenance in the modern sense of the word, i.e. the aircraft itself does not 'speak' to prevent a failure,” observes Caballe. “On the other hand, we can offer operational feedback to our client companies. If a part fails frequently, we can implement monitoring parameters and offer preventive part removals in anticipation of a major failure that could lead to a longer downtime of the aircraft. For flight data management, we have WEFA (Wireless Extension For ACMS Aircraft Condition Monitoring System) data collection boxes. And we offer this system to our client companies as part of retrofits.” GMA should therefore be able to maintain the momentum in future years, and continue to constitute an important part of ATR's customer support service offering.“The services part of our business represents approximately $350m for ATR, or approximately 20% of sales.That is a huge amount for a civil aircraft manufacturer. By way of comparison, services represent only 5% of Airbus' revenue,” notes ■ Jean-Baptiste Heguy Caballe.


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hings are looking good for French airport operator Groupe ADP – the former Aéroports de Paris (ADP).The company presented its 2018 full year results on 15th February. With a total of 281.4 million passengers (+7.6%) last year, Groupe ADP has become the world's leading airport operator in terms of passenger traffic. More than half of this traffic — 156 million passengers (+10.4%) — was generated by Groupe ADP's TAV Airports subsidiary, which manages a portfolio of 15 airports in five countries (Istanbul-Atatürk,Ankara-Esenboga, Izmir,Antalya, Bodrum-Milas in Turkey; Monastir and Hammamet in Tunisia;Tbilisi and Batumi in Georgia; Skopje and Ohrid in Macedonia; and Medina, Qassim, Hail and Yanbu in Saudi Arabia). Taking second place behind Groupe ADP in 2018 are the Spanish group Aena (264 million passengers, +5.8%), followed by Vinci Airports (195 million passengers, +6.8%) and Germany's Fraport (176 million passengers, +9.3%). In 2019, Groupe ADP will have to compensate for the closure of Istanbul-Atatürk airport (68 million passengers), as operations are transferred to Istanbul's brand-new megaairport, which was officially inaugurated in October 2018 and is expected to be fully operational in April. "We have further growth potential, including TAV's acquisition of Antalya Airport in 2018, and several projects, including Havana, Cuba; Hokkaido, Japan; and Sofia, Bulgaria," comments Augustin de Romanet, CEO of Groupe ADP.


SPOT IN 2018

Thanks To a sTrong conTribuTion from iTs TaV airporTs subsidiary and iTs inTernaTional deVelopmenT, groupe adp was The world's leading airporT operaTor lasT year in Terms of Traffic. paris aéroporT (roissy and orly) reTained The Top spoT in europe.

Paris-Charles de Gaulle 2.



Traffic at Paris Aéroport, the umbrella brand of Paris-CDG and Orly, reached 105.3 million passengers in 2018 (+3.8%), including 72.2 million at Paris CDG (+4%) and 33.1 million at Orly (+3.4%). The remaining traffic corresponds to the airports of Zagreb (in which Groupe ADP has a 20.8% stake), Jeddah (5%), Amman (100%, acquired in 2018), Mauritius (10%), Conakry (29%), Santiago de Chile (45%) and Madagascar (35%). At Paris Aéroport, international connections represented 40.8% of traffic to and from the two Paris airports, a 6% increase compared to 2017. Low-cost routes, which in 2018 accounted for 22.3% of total traffic, also saw their traffic increase sharply, by 10.6%.The proportion of connecting flights, on the other hand, was slightly lower than the previous year (–1.4 points), at 21.7%.



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CIVIL AVIATION Top four airport operators worldwide (millions of passengers) 281,4 (+7.6%)

Groupe ADP

176 (+9.3%)

Vinci Airports

Fraport group


AENA group


195 (+6.8%)


TAV Airports

roupe adp was initially scheduled for privatisation in spring 2019, but with the ongoing “yellow Vest” crisis, the process could be postponed or even abandoned. The project has come in for heavy criticism on economic grounds but also in the wake of what is widely viewed as the bungled privatisation of Toulouse airport — a chinese joint venture, casil europe, acquired a 49.99% stake in 2014 and, after failing to make promised investments, is now reportedly seeking to sell off its share at a handsome profit. after gatwick, the paris airport operator could be the next big target for Vinci airports, which already has partial or total ownership of 12 french airports. Vinci already holds an 8% stake in groupe adp and has made no secret of its desire to take part in the privatisation process. other shareholders include schiphol group; schiphol and adp have mutual 8% cross holdings under a strategic partnership sealed in 2008.

(100% subsidiary)

Privatisation on hold

264 (+5.8%)

Traffic at main ADP airports, 2018


(millions of passengers) 72.2 (+4%)



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23 (+8.8%)






(+3.4%) (+22%)

Paris Aéroport, No. 1 in Europe (millions of passengers)


80 (+2.7%)



(+3.7%) (+7.8%)




58 (+8.4%)

Group sales (€m)


+22.7% +4.5% +0.4%




■ Jean-Baptiste Heguy

105.3 (+3.8%)


In terms of financial results, Groupe ADP posted sales of nearly €4.5bn in 2018 (+23.8%). Net profit jumped 6.9%, to €610m. Even though there is no sign of a slowdown in traffic growth, the company remains cautious for 2019, indicating a conservative traffic growth forecast of between 2 and 2.5% for Paris Aéroports. On the other hand, Groupe ADP has revised upwards its guidance for 2020. The group's traffic growth assumption — initially set at 2.5%, with international traffic up 3.6% — has been adjusted to 2.83.2%, with international traffic growth alone now forecasted at 3.6-4%. One challenge will be a steep drop in TAV traffic in 2019, as Istanbul-Atatürk is closed down and operations are definitively transferred to Istanbul's new mega-airport.

2,935 2,947

Groupe ADP reached a record number of intercontinental destinations for Paris Aéroport in 2018. Paris-CDG airport was the most “connected” European hub in terms of intercontinental destinations in 2018, with a total of 111 destinations. 68 new routes were opened in 2018 (49 in Paris CDG and 19 in Orly). Last year also saw the introduction of new connectivity agreements with China (whose traffic to and from France increased by 7.1% in 2018). Four new routes to China were opened in 2018 — to Shenzhen, Chongqing, Fuzhou and Jinan.

tellites at Terminal 1 (an investment of nearly €100m, boosting capacity by 1.2 million passengers).Terminal 2B is also being refurbished (under a €121m programme), while €74m is being invested in a connecting building with Terminal 2D.



Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport is the European airport with the greatest number of routes to China, with a total of 13 destinations and 81 weekly flights. Before the addition of the new routes in 2018, Paris-CDG already offered services to Beijing, Xi'an, Chengdu, Wuhan, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Kunming. In addition, Paris-Orly airport has been connected to Beijing for the first time since 5th September 2018, thanks to the thrice-weekly flights proposed by Aigle Azur. In terms of infrastructure developments, an initial milestone has been achieved with the inauguration of the junction between the two Orly terminal buildings. Since 15th March, the former Orly Ouest and Orly Sud designations have disappeared, replaced by Orly 1, 2, 3 and 4. The new 80,000m2 building that connects the two former terminals represents an additional capacity of 3.5 million passengers per year.The remodelled airport officially opened to passengers on 16th March. In 2020, the wraps will also come off a facelift at RoissyCDG, with a new building connecting three boarding sa-

Paris Aéroport (CDG + Orly)

By destination, Paris Aéroport's largest share of traffic was on European routes (excluding France), which account for 43.8% of traffic (+3.8%). Next come Africa (11.4% of the total, up 5.8%), North America (10.4%, +8.7%), AsiaPacific (6.5%, +5.8%), the Middle East (5.2%, +5.8%), the overseas departments and territories (4.3%, +8.6%) and Latin America (3% of the total, +1.2%). The only routes to show a decline were those to or from France, which dipped 1.7%, accounting for 15.4% of Paris Aéroport's total traffic.

Santiago du Chili


2014 2015 2016 2017 2018


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In addition to the themed classes (Airports,Aircraft and Systems, Design & Certification,Airline Operations,ATM, Maintenance, Pilots, Safety & Compliance and Entrepreneurship), this recent Etats de l'Air conference included a set of debates, uniting key professionals in the sectors of air transport, tourism and general aviation, who presented their visions of the future in the form of discussion panels.These panel discussions were led by Fabrice Lundy, Frédéric Béniada and Yann Cochennec..

I 30

The difficulties and limitations of European air transport for the next 10 years were covered by Florian Guillermet (Director of the SESAR European JV), Philippe Maud'hui (Director of Engineering and Regional Development, Atout France), Nathalie Stubler (CEO,Transavia), Olivier Chansou (Director General of ENAC) and Guy Tardieu (Head of OSAC). In particular, this panel discussion covered European airport and air traffic control capacity limitations, air transport staff training organisations and the potential risks of excessive tourism. Gilles Lévèque (ISD, ADP group), Alain De Zotti (Senior Chief Engineer, Airbus), Marc Leymonerie (Cybersecurity Director, Air France) and Guillaume Poupart (Director General, the French National Agency for Security and Information Systems) presented the main threats linked to cybersecurity in aviation. In particular, they demonstrated that improving air transport capacities, security, effectiveness and performance would require a digital transformation and computerisation of processes. However, this digital transformation, based on increasingly frequent data exchanges in next to real time and learning algorithms,


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increases cyber risks and therefore the need for all air transport players to protect their IT systems and establish an effective plan to continuously enhance companies' defences and cyber resilience. The discussion panel on artificial intelligence and big data, which benefited from the participation ofVincent Bamberger (Managing Partner, Arthur D Little), Fabrice Brégier (President, Palantir France), Ghislaine Doukhan (Executive Vice President, Safran Analytics), Jean Ferré (Vice President, ATM, Thalès) and Christophe Laurent (Deputy Director, Roissy Charles de Gaulle Airport,ADP Group), notably demonstrated how the data used by airports, airlines, aircraft manufacturers and equipment manufacturers was becoming a clear source of efficiency, added value and even power.They cleverly showed how big data, just like artificial intelligence, is changing B to C relations for air transport players, meaning they can avoid operational incidents and provide seamless, customised services for passengers. They also highlighted the obligation to have structures and software to manage this data, as well as spaces of trust to support this cultural revolution towards more effective services for air transport customers and human beings. Alain Bernard (DG for Operations and Accountable Manager, Air France), Marc Hamy (Vice-President for International Affairs, Airbus), Marc Houalla (Joint General Manager of the ADP Group), Marianne Leblanc Laugier (Chair of the French Independent Supervisory Authority for Airport Charges) and Carlos Munoz (CEO and Founder, Volotea) used a panel discussion to present the airport of the future and their vision of new airport services to improve passenger

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flows within future airport terminals, which will be increasingly connected to the aircraft using them. They also showed how the environmental progress made by aircraft manufacturers would result in airports being more accepted by the general public as well as the establishment of airports that have a real social contract with the regions, combining economics and social responsibility. The final panel discussion of the day questioned the participants - Patrick Gandil (Director General of Civil Aviation), Jean-Marc de Raffin (CEO of Apave Aéroservices), Alain Battisti, (CEO of Chalair and the National Federation of Commercial Aviation), Ed-


ward Arkwright (Executive CEO of the ADP Group), JeanBaptiste Djebbari (former ENAC student and MP for Haute Vienne) and Hervé Pierret, (CEO of Air Corsica), about dreams that may become a reality over the next ten years. Before talking about dreams, the participants reiterated the challenges and risks to be faced by air transport over the coming decade: terrorism and cyberattacks, environmental pressure and increased competition between airlines.They also noted the increasing use of technology for better accessibility to airports, a seamless passenger flow and smarter, quieter and more economic aircraft, to rapidly replace the former design A320 and 737.

They all pointed out that air transport, in addition to being physical movement, carries the image of travel, and this is essential in changing the customer experience to bring it closer to this expectation. This first Etats de l'Air was a clear success. Due to the size of the lecture theatres available, ENAC Alumni had to limit participation to 500 people.The number of subjects covered and the wealth of information in the discussions highlighted ENAC Alumni members' passion for their professions. The success of this first conference led the Chair of ENAC Alumni, Marc Houalla, to announce that the second Etats de l’Air conference would take place next year. The substantial network of 24,000 alumni and their passion for the sector encouraged the Chair of ENAC Alumni to talk about objectives broader than the current ones, such as potentially setting up discussion circles on the major themes of air transport or a more dynamic development of the ENAC Alumni network for alumni living abroad, with the clear goal of soft power for air transport in France and ■ worldwide.


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DEFENCE n 19 March 2019, MBDA announced that the Future Cruise/Anti-ship Weapon (FC/ASW) programme — designated FMAN/FMC (for Futur Missile Antinavire / Futur missile de croisière) in France — had successfully passed the main architecture review.This socalled "Key Review" made it possible to select the most promising missile concepts in order to meet the requirements expressed by both nations’ armed forces. As MBDA CEO Antoine Bouvier explained, the number of concepts has been whittled down following this key review even if no definitive choice has yet been made. More in-depth studies are now being conducted on these concepts with the aim of identifying the solutions that will be selected in order to be able to launch the risk reduction phase in 2020.






The FC/ASW programme is the result of the Lancaster House agreements signed in 2010 by the French and British governments.These agreements included optimising each country's capabilities by coordinating the development and acquisition of a range of capabilities and equipment. The replacement of cruise and anti-ship missiles currently in service was identified as one of these capabilities.The French and British forces use the same air-launched cruise missile, MBDA's SCALP/Storm Shadow, and therefore need to identify a successor weapon within the same timeframe. In the field of anti-ship missiles, the French Navy uses the Exocet missile (in its three versions: MM40 Block 3, AM39 and SM39) which has been through various upgrades, while the UK uses American Harpoon missiles, which are currently approaching the end of their service life.The UK will therefore have to find an intermediate solution to avoid a capability gap in anti-ship missiles until the FC/ASW enters service. The future missile should also be able to carry out the SEAD (suppression of enemy air defences) mission. France currently lacks this capability, though certain weapons can be used for this type of mission, even though they were not specifically designed for this purpose. Having identified this common requirement, Paris and London conducted preliminary studies between 2011 and 2014. In 2017, a contract for the Concept Phase of the future generation of anti-ship and cruise missiles was awarded to MBDA, which is a multinational (French/British/Italian/German) company.





The Lancaster House agreements also led to the creation of a Franco-British inter-parliamentary working group which published a joint information report on the FC/ASW programme in 2018. This report focuses in particular on the operational requirement expressed by the French and British armed forces. On the two sides of the English Channel, the military analyses converge regarding the evolution of the strategic situation by 2030. This analysis is based, on the one hand, on the return of power states, along with a resurgence in a form of strategic competition between States on the international scene. The second observation is the emergence of so-called


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Rafale B with two Scalp missiles.

anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) systems.These are based on several key technologies: increasingly powerful detection capabilities using cooperative or passive ultra-lowfrequency radars; interference, disruption and decoy measures against satellite navigation systems; multi-layer ground-air defence systems; and air defence based on stealth aircraft. Future cruise and anti-ship missiles will therefore have to be able to overcome A2/AD capabilities to reach their targets. According to the report of the Franco-British parliamentarians, the FC/ASW programme should therefore lead to a qualitative leap allowing France and the United Kingdom to upgrade their capabilities. Several avenues are being explored.The first concerns the range — an increase in the missile's range makes it possible to keep the launch platform out of the danger zone. Currently, the range of the Exocet MM40 Block 3 is more than 180km, while that of the Harpoon Block 2 is 300km, versus about 400km for the SCALP/Storm Shadow.The report states that an increase in range “would require work on air propulsion techno-

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logies in relation to other missile features such as the weight of the military payload”. It will also probably be necessary to improve the survivability of the missile.A number of technologies can contribute to this objective. Stealth reduces the distance at which the missile is detected by enemy defences. Speed can also ensure survivability.Current FrancoBritish missiles have speeds approaching Mach 0.8 or 0.9. Other nations have cruise and anti-ship missiles capable of reaching Mach 5.The report underlines that France has invested in high-speed capability for nuclear deterrence.The third factor of survivability is manoeuvrability.The parliamentary report notes that these performance enhancements presuppose an improvement in the missile's terminal guidance. The concept phase of the FC/ASW programme should make it possible to identify the various possible seeker modes according to the maturity of the technologies, operational requirements and costs. The report notes that“significant progress is expected on the homing missiles, in particular regarding the SAR imaging radar”.The solution


would probably be to equip the missile with a multi-mode seeker combining different technologies to be more robust against jamming or decoys.It should be remembered that the guidance mode can also contribute to the stealth of the missile. Norway, for example, has chosen to adopt passive guidance for the Kongsberg NSM (Naval Strike Missile) anti-ship missile. For Bouvier, penetration and survivability are key issues, since forces will be increasingly confronted with explicit and implicit A2/AD strategies.The company has already looked into the distribution of work within the group. Bouvier notes that the French sites have worked more specifically on supersonic propulsion, while in the UK, the focus has been placed more on stealth. He indicates that a careful balance has been maintained between the two countries on seekers, data links, artificial intelligence and new-generation warheads. CONNECTIVITY.

The future missile will have to be designed for connectivity within a broad network of platforms,sensors and command centres,for example

within the Future Combat Air System (FCAS).Connectivity will be needed to allow the missile target to be modified in flight.Currently, employment of the SCALP/Storm Shadow missile necessitates lengthy preparations,and the target cannot be changed during the mission.To meet the various requirements identified, the development of a family of missiles has been discussed. A common baseline could then be adapted for each mission with, for example,different types of seekers or warheads. The main architecture review marks a major milestone for the FC/ASW programme. It builds on some of the work carried out during the concept phase launched in 2017. The latter has a budget of €100m funded equally by France and the UK. The risk reduction phase is due to be launched in 2020.This phase,which will include development of missile prototypes, should make it possible to determine the technological solutions and launch design work. The launch of the FC/ASW development phase is targeted for 2024, paving the way for the missile to enter service by 2030. ■ Emmanuel Huberdeau


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RACE Following in the Footsteps oF the U.s., RUssia, China and india, FRanCe has laUnChed its own aiR-bReathing hypeRsoniC missile pRogRamme. the ReqUiRed speeds, in exCess oF maCh 5, CoUld be aChieved Using sUpeRsoniC CombUstion Ramjets (sCRamjets).


n 26th March, European missile house MBDA inaugurated a new data centre at its Plessis Robinson site.The centre boasts computing power of up to 1,000 teraflops that will be used, among other things, according to the French defence procurement agency (DGA),“to further develop the 4th generation air-launched nuclear missile (ASN4G), a hypersonic missile powered by innovative scramjet technology, whose preliminary studies are already under way with the support of ONERA, the French aerospace research centre”. The announcement confirms that the future replacement for the ASMPA,the missile currently used by the airborne component of French nuclear deterrence, will have hypersonic capability. The future air-launched component of the French nuclear deterrent, therefore, will be capable of speeds in excess of Mach 5.To achieve this, it will rely on a so-called scramjet. The ASMP,like the upgraded ASMPA version, are propelled by ramjets — an air-breathing propulsion system with no moving parts, which creates thrust through the ejection of gases from the combustion of fuel. The ramjet can be used for vehicles flying at supersonic speeds (greater than Mach 1), but efficiency falls off beyond Mach 4 or 5. The scramjet, on the other hand, maintains the pre-combustion air flow at supersonic speed,which allows the vehicle to attain much



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 The X-60A test bench is currently under development. In January 2019, the Ministry of the Armed Forces awarded Arianegroup a contract for a programme called V-max (Véhicule MAnoeuvrant eXpérimental, or experimental manoeuvring vehicle) under DGA programme management.This project involves the development of a hypersonic glider demonstrator with no indication as to the eventual application of such a system.A hypersonic glider is a non-propelled, manoeuvring vehicle that can reach speeds above Mach 5 (nearly 6,000 km/h).To reach these speeds, the glider must receive an initial boost from a missile or rocket. HYPERSONIC GLIDERS.

higher velocities. Research on this type of propulsion got under way in the 1960s. The U.S. developed the HRE (Hypersonic Research Engine), which was tested on the ground in 1971.The USSR also did work in this field, as did France with ONERA's ESOPE project to study the ramjet concept,including wind tunnel testing. Subsequently, Germany,China,Japan and Australia also explored this technology. CREDIBILITY.

In 2017, a report by the French Senate highlighted the fact that the ASN4G programme was vital to “maintain the credibility and effectiveness of the airborne component of deterrence in the 2040 timeframe and ensure an optimum level of performance and the ability to upgrade the system until 2070, at a controlled cost”. MBDA and ONERA will be able to rely on work performed under the LEA experimental programme for an unmanned, unguided vehicle powered by a hybrid propulsion system combining a ramjet and a scramjet.The Prométhée upstream study programme also included work on scramjet technologies.

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Thus France is joining the hypersonic weapons race, alongside China, Russia, the United States and India. France is focusing on both categories of hypersonic weapons — air-breathing cruise missiles, on the one hand, and hypersonic gliders on the other.A number of hypersonic glider programmes are underway around the globe. These include the U.S.Army's Advanced Hypersonic Weapon, which has a target range of 6,000km and was tested in 2011 and 2014. DARPA, meanwhile, is pursuing the Tactical Boost Glide programme with the U.S. Air Force, based on earlier programmes, including the HypersonicTechnologyVehicle 2 (HTV2) — a Lockheed Martin concept designed to reach Mach 20 and which made two test flights, in 2010 and 2011. China's DF-ZF hypersonic glider was reportedly tested seven times between 2014 and 2017, and the country is expected to have the capability to deploy hypersonic gliders in the 2030 timeframe. Russia — profiting from a research effort that started over 50 years ago — is pursuing theYu-71 programme, which has reportedly been tested multiple times since 2004, reaching speeds up to Mach 15. Multiple hypersonic cruise mis-


X-51 Waverider he x-51 waverider is a hypersonic vehicle developed for the U.s. air Force. the x-51 was designed to ride on its own shock wave, hence the name. the vehicle was 7.62m long and designed to be launched from a hard point under the wing of a b-52 strategic bomber. the x-51 was developed and assembled by boeing. it was powered by a scramjet developed by pratt & whitney Rocketdyne using jp-7 fuel. boeing also designed a silicabased thermal protection system to resist the elevated temperatures encountered during hypersonic flight. Four x-51s were built for testing. the four flights took place between 2010 and 2013. the first three flights were inconclusive, but on the fourth flight, the x-51a reached mach 5.1.


sile programmes are also in progress.A report published in 2017 by France's General Secretariat for Defence and National Security (SGDSN) concluded that "by 2030, however, there is little doubt that hypersonic weapons will appear in the arsenals of several powers". The U.S.Air Force, U.S. Navy, DARPA and NASA have been working for several years on scramjet-powered missile projects.The U.S. Air Force has completed a demonstrator programme called the X-51 Waverider (see box). It also launched the High Speed Strike Weapon (HSSW) programme in 2012, which included development of the Hypersonic Air Breathing Weapon Concept (HAWC) cruise missile.According to the the SGDSN report, the U.S. has estimated that it could have an operational hypersonic missile in the 2020s.The Congressional Research Service believes that scramjet engine technologies will not be mature for "several years". The U.S.Air Force is continuing its efforts in this area, with $292m requested for fiscal year 2018 and $258m for fiscal year 2019 to conti-

nue work on scramjets and airbreathing hypersonic missiles. In addition, the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) is working with Generation Orbit to develop a hypersonic missile test bench, the X-60A.This air-dropped test platform,which recently completed its critical design review, is fitted with a propulsion system using liquid oxygen and kerosene. According to its designers, the X60A will be able to reach speeds up to Mach 8 with a variety of payloads.The system has been designed to offer a low-cost platform for hypersonic research. Russia and India are developing the Brahmos II missile, which could reach a speed of between Mach 5 and 7 with a range of 300km. Russia is also reported to be working on a hypersonic antiship missile derived from the Brahmos II, the 3M 22 Tsirkon, with an extended range. China is also believed to be developing a scramjet cruise missile, which, according to the SGDSN report, would ressemble the U.S. X-43 — a NASA demonstrator that reached a speed close to Mach 10 in 2004. ■ Emmanuel Huberdeau


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and MBDA supplies several missiles.


n 27th March, Narendra Modi made headlines around the globe when he announced that India had carried out its first-ever launch of an anti-satellite missile. Speaking shortly before the launch of national elections, he declared that the successful test was the culmination of a fully indigenous project. In November 2018, the Indian Prime Minister announced the entry into service of the INS Arihant nuclear ballistic missile submarine, thus completing the three-pronged Indian nuclear deterrent. This is another 100% Indian programme. Indian deterrence also includes an air-launched component, as well as the locally developed groundbased Agni III intermediate-range ballistic missile. These achievements demonstrate that India has become a major player in the missile sector. In addition to ballistic missiles, Indian research centres and manufacturers are working on a comprehensive range of weapon systems.


The Mica already equips the modernised Mirage 2000 of the Indian Air Force, the Rafale was sold along with weapons, which also include the Mica. Indian Rafales will also carry the Meteor and MBDA's Scalp/Storm Shadow cruise missile. India has also ordered the ASRAAM missile for integration on its Jaguars. The Milan 2T antitank missile has been in service for several years and is produced locally by Bharat Dynamics Limited.



The Indian research organisation is also working on air-to-air missiles.The Astra, a long-range air-to-air missile, was also presented at AeroIndia. The Astra, which completed final development flight trials in October 2018, has a range of 100km.According to the DRDO, it is propelled by a smokeless solid-fuelled single-stage motor. The missile is believed to have a maximum speed of more than Mach 4.5. It features inertial guidance and active radar terminal homing. It is believed to be capable of receiving course corrections via data link. DRDO states that the Astra possesses excellent electronic counter-countermeasure (ECCM) features. The weapon was designed to be integrated into both Russian and Western fighters. India has completed a particularly comprehensive range of developments in the air defence sector. QRSAM (Quick Reaction Surface to Air Missile) is a short-range system designed to protect Indian Army units.The missile has a maximum range of 6km. It is equipped with a radio frequency (RF) seeker coupled with an inertial guidance


India remains one of the world's largest arms importers, and its armed forces are equipped with a large number of foreign-sourced missiles.Russian aircraft carry Russian weapons,

The country's status as a major arms importer has not prevented India from pursuing its quest for independence in the missile field.Most projects are carried out by India's Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), the state agency responsible for conducting research and development programmes for the Indian Ministry of Defence. DRDO has a missile and strategic systems division with various departments and laboratories (ASL,ITR,DRDL,RCI andTBRL). Concerning anti-tank missiles, DRDO has developed the NAG, which it describes as a thirdgeneration fire-and-forget weapon with a maximum range of 4km.The missile is equipped with an infrared seeker. A version derived from the NAG, designated Helina, can be fired from a helicopter.At AeroIndia 2019, the DRDO also presented an anti-radiation missile, the NGARM. Designed to target radars or fire control radars, this missile will have a solid-fuel double-pulse propulsion system. It will also reportedly feature an inertial guidance system. DRDO has not announced details concerning the current status of the NGARM programme.

The Quick Reaction Surface to Air Missile (QRSAM) has a maximum range of 6km.



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Turkey, another rising player he presence of Turkish exhibitors at defence or aerospace events does not go unnoticed, especially in the missile sector. Roketsan is gradually establishing itself as a major player in this market. The company offers tactical missiles for different applications. Among these, the SOM-J cruise missile with a range of 120 nautical miles, designed to be carried by the F-35 or F-16. The weapon is equipped with an imaging infrared seeker and INS/GPS guidance. Roketsan has also developed the UMTAS long-range anti-tank missile which has been integrated into the Turkish Army's AH-1W Cobra and T-129 attack helicopters. Roketsan also produces subsystems and components that are integrated into foreign missiles. Under an agreement with MBDA Italy, the Turkish manufacturer has produced new propulsion systems for the Aspide and Teseo missiles. Roketsan also worked on the launch system for the Kongsberg NSM missile.


SOM-J cruise missile on F-35.

unit and a data link. Developed by DRDO and manufactured by BDL,the Akash offers a maximum range of 25km.The missile is reportedly propelled by a two-stage ramjet. It is integrated into an air defence system comprising a C4I module linked to a 3D radar and missile batteries comprising a control system, a tracking radar and four launch modules, each of which can carry four missiles. For long-range air defence, DRDO has partnered with Israel's IAI to develop the LRSAM (Long-Range Surface-to-Air Missile) which offers a maximum

range of 70km. The system was test-fired in January 2019 from the Indian Navy frigate INS Chennai. Deliveries to the Indian forces are reportedly under way. The Brahmos supersonic cruise missile is also being pursued in collaboration with a foreign partner — Russia. Its range is believed to be more than 300km. It has been in testing since 2001.The missile can be fired from land, surface ships and submarines.An air-launched version on the Su-30MKI fighter and even on theTejas was presented at AeroIndia. DRDO is also developing the nuclear-capable Nirbhay subsonic cruise missile, which can carry a 300kg warhead and has a reported range of 1,000km.The missile has made a series of six developmental test flights with mixed success since it first flew in March 2013. In the most recent test flight, on 15th April, the Indian MoD said all mission objectives were met. ■ Emmanuel Huberdeau

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MaritiMe surveillance

French navy

Falcons on call The Falcon 50Ms and Gardians oF The French navy are in hiGh deMand ThrouGhouT The year For MariTiMe surveillance operaTions in France and overseas. The Falcon 2000Xls has already been desiGnaTed To replace TheM aFTer 2020. air & cosMos inTernaTional boarded was inviTed To coMe onboard For a Falcon 50M Mission To see FirsT-hand how These aircraFT perForM Their Mission

hip on starboard side, visual contact in ten seconds." Alerted by his captain, a crew member on the French Navy Falcon 50M prepares his camera. In a few moments, the maritime surveillance aircraft will fly at an altitude of a few dozen metres above the stern of an imposing commercial vessel operating in the Mediterranean. Thanks to the large window on both sides of the aircraft, the ship is photographed and the image quickly transmitted to the maritime prefecture in Toulon. It is accompanied by additional



information — either provided by the AIS vessel tracking system (a transponder giving the identity of the ship), derived from radio contact with the ship's crew or observed in person by French Navy crew on board the Falcon 50M. FLIGHT PROFILES.

In the course of a six-hour flight after taking off from Hyères, the aircraft covers a vasts area stretching from theVar coast to the Strait of Messina.Thanks to its radar and AIS receiver, the Falcon 50M locates dozens of ships.Whenever one of these vessels is of interest, it alters course to contact it by radio and conduct a flyover. For pilots, the flight profiles are varied, ranging from 3,000 feet for transits or to op-

timise sensor detection ranges, to 100 feet to identify and photograph vessels of interest. At the beginning of the mission, contact is made with the Corsican coastal stations. Each station indicates its radar range, which can vary according to weather conditions. The Falcon aims to fly over areas not covered by the coastal stations or Navy vessels at sea.This ensures complementarity between the different systems. Thanks to its speed and range, the Falcon 50M can conduct deep-sea missions far from coastal waters which are covered by coastal stations and the light ships of the French Navy, the gendarmerie, customs and other services.The crew must ensure that they stay clear of foreign territorial waters — Italian in this area located southeast of Corsica.


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The French Navy operates a fleet of eight Falcon 50Ms.

Falcon 2000lXs key Figures Max. take-off weight

19,414 kg engines: two Pratt & Whitney PW308c range at Mach 0.8

7,686 km Max. operating Mach number (MMo)


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The Falcon 50M has a crew of five, including the pilot and the captain in the cockpit.The pilot flies the aircraft, while the captain manages the mission in the medium and long term.This includes selecting the best altitudes and trajectories to carry out the mission.At each observation windown there is an additional crew member. They maintain visual surveillance, but are also responsible for the AIS system in one case and messaging via internet for the other. The Aviosat system allows real-time communications with the operational command centre via email or chat. At the back of the aircraft, plunged into darkness,


is the radar operator in charge of the Ocean Master radar, located in the nose of the aircraft, and the retractable optronics turret, placed under the belly of the Falcon 50M.The radar operator is also responsible for navigation, in coordination with the captain, with whom he is in permanent contact. FALCON FLEET.

The French Navy operates eight Falcon 50M aircraft, which are assigned to 24F naval aircraft squadron. The fleet comprises four Falcon 50Mis delivered in the early 2000s and four Falcon 50Ms, former French Air Force liaison aircraft converted for

the maritime surveillance role and delivered from 2013 onwards. The Falcon 50Mi is mainly distinguished by its system for air dropping an SAR survival kit for shipwreck victims.The Falcon 50Ms are currently being modified to include a hatch to release a smaller SAR kit.The first of these modified aircraft was delivered in December 2018. The Falcon 50M's strong point is its range. The original bizjet was designed by Dassault Aviation for transatlantic flights. The military version can fly up to 2,000 nautical miles, or a maximum of six and a half hours. At 1,000 nautical miles


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The Falcon 2000 has been selected by the French defence procurement agency DGA and the French Navy.

A complement for the ATL2 Maritime surveillance missions can also be carried out by aTl2 maritime patrol aircraft, which are also fitted with a maritime surveillance radar, an optronic system and provisions for visual monitoring. The Falcon 50Ms, however, were acquired in order to relieve aTl2s from performing this type of mission. The maritime patrol aircraft fleet can thus be reserved mainly for military missions, such as surface and subsurface warfare. in addition, the aTl2s are in high demand in the context of external operations for missions over land for which they can carry guided bombs.


from its point of departure, the Falcon 50M can loiter for 45 minutes. Its speed also allows it to cover a large area in a limited time and to quickly reach an emergency response area. Thanks to an excellent powerto-weight ratio, the business jet


has good manoeuvrability, making it easier to fly at low altitude. In New Caledonia and Polynesia, 25F naval aircraft squadron operates five older Falcon 200 Gardians, with comparable capabilities, but with less range.


Although based in Lann-Bihoué, the 140 personnel of 24F squadron are used to being deployed all over the world.There are regular visits to the West Indies, Senegal, Seychelles and Mayotte. Three-quarters of the unit's flying hours are flown from bases other than Lann-Bihoué. There is a permanent detachment in Dakar, and every week an aircraft is deployed to Hyères. The missions flown by maritime surveillance aircraft fall into two categories — maritime territorial defence (DMT), a purely military mission, and non-military operations (AEM), carried out in coordination with civilian entities. The DMT is the maritime component of Operation Sentinel. The aim is to combat terrorism by tackling, for example, weapons or drug trafficking that could benefit terrorist groups.The Falcons are therefore involved in moni-

toring maritime traffic. The information collected is then correlated with other data processed by the various intelligence services. The Falcon 50M can also directly participate in the maritime counter-terrorism mission.The French Navy is developing a capability to intervene in the event of a hostage-taking at sea. Exercises based on the scenario of a ferry taken over by terrorists with hundreds or even thousands of hostages on board have been performed several times. In such a case, the Falcon 50Ms could be used to quickly locate and track the vessel.They are also used to track foreign military vessels sailing off the French coast. In view of their speed, the Falcon 50Ms are also sometimes used to simulate fighter aircraft for training crews on surface ships. Non-military operations cover a wide range of missions.These include immigration control, pol-


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lution control and rescue at sea. Depending on the areas of action, the focus may be on a specific mission. For example, in the Atlantic, the Falcon 50Ms are mainly used to combat pollution and ensure safety at sea; in the Mediterranean, the English Channel and Mayotte, the focus is currently on combating illegal immigration. In French overseas territories, the Falcons are used to preserve maritime resources in France's extensive exclusive economic zones.Thus, the crews of the 24F participate in missions to combat illegal fishing in French Guiana. Different missions can be performed during a single flight. The important thing is to be able to compare actual observations with expected conditions in order to be able to detect any anomaly or suspicious behaviour of the ships observed. The aircraft are also on permanent standby for rescue operations at sea. The Falcon 50M can be quickly prepared for takeoff and reach a ship in distress in a limited time. Once on site, the crew can drop a survival kit, establish radio contact and direct other ships or helicopters involved in the rescue operation. If necessary, the crew is able to refuel the aircraft without any technical assistance.The Falcon can refuel at a large number of civil airports. FLEET RENEWAL.

The 2019-2025 LPM multi-year military spending bill provides for the replacement of the Falcon 50Ms and 200s currently in service — “In order to begin the renewal of the maritime surveillance aircraft fleet, with priority to overseas missions, an initial batch of seven aircraft will be ordered, and deliveries will begin to guarantee the navy's response capability.” These aircraft are to be acquired under the Avismar (Maritime Surveillance and Response Aircraft) programme. In November 2018, the French defence procurement executive, DGA, awarded Dassault Aviation a detailed definition contract for the French Navy's future mari-

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Monitoring maritime traffic from a Falcon 50M.

time surveillance aircraft. Following an initial study phase, the French Navy and the DGA determined that Dassault Aviation's Falcon 2000 LXS — an extended-range version of the Falcon 2000 — was the best technical solution to meet the identified requirements. According to the manufacturer, range would be 7,400km. Full span slats allow the aircraft to land and take off from short runways (take-off in 1,425m), a feature that was requested by the French Navy to allow the aircraft to operate from secondary airports in overseas territories. In the Pacific, for example, the Falcons must be able to land on islets in order to refuel or carry out medical evacuations. For several years now, Dassault has been offering the Falcon 2000 in MRA (maritime multi-role aircraft) configuration. This version has been acquired


by the Japanese Coast Guard. The Falcon 2000 also offers the advantage of having chalked up more than 500 sales worldwide (mainly in the civilian version), which should facilitate maintenance operations. The Falcon 50M and 200 have shown good dispatch reliability. In Lann-Bihoué, the aircraft are maintained by the sqaudron's technical personnel; Sabena technics is in charge of repair work. In the Pacific, Falcon 200 maintenance has been fully outsourced to Sabena. The detailed definition phase should also clarify the aircraft's on-board systems.The Japanese aircraft were reportedly equipped with the Thales Searchmaster radar — also being installed on the upgraded ATL2s for the French Navy, which has given very positive initial feedback on the system. Installation of the same radar on the Falcon 2000,

therefore, will probably be viewed as an attractive option.Thales is also offering the Amascos mission system.Amascos, along with the Searchmaster radar, has been integrated on the Pal Aerospace Force Multiplier maritime surveillance aircraft, a Bombardier Dash-8 Q300 offered on an ondemand contract basis. In terms of optronics systems, French solutions exist with Safran's Euroflir 410, which has been selected for the Patroller drone. For the ATL2, however, the DGA and the French Navy selected the MX20 system from L3 Wescam. The study awarded to Dassault will last for one year. It will prepare the ground for the procurement contract, currently planned for 2020.The first three aircraft are expected to be delivered by 2025, according to the LPM spending ■ Emmanuel Huberdeau bill. reporting from Hyères


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he first quarter of 2019 ended with mixed results: 17 successful launches worldwide (as many as in 1Q 2017, but 14 less than in 1Q 2018) and already three failures, though these were attributable to Iran, which has little experience in this field, and to a Chinese newcomer. This is a far cry from last year's bonanza, with China logging zero launches in February, SpaceX failing to achieve any dual-launch months and Japan performing three times fewer launches.The 150 potential missions identified in early January, using 8 new light launchers (including OneSpace's OS-M1, which failed on its maiden flight, and Avio's Vega C, which was postponed until early 2020), seem increasingly out of reach. Fresh from a record-breaking year in 2018, China was first out of the blocks, on 10th January, with the launch of the ChinaSat 2D military communications satellite into geostationary orbit (GEO).Ten days later, it deployed two hyperspectral Earth observation satellites into low Earth orbit (LEO) for Chang Guang SatelliteTechnology's Jilin commercial constellation, along with two private cubesats — including a demonstrator, Xiaoxiang 3, equipped with a deployable sail for de-orbit tests. SpaceX could have been the first to launch, as it was in 2018: the eighth and final low Earth orbit deployment mission of the Iridium Next satellites, whose launch date had been progressively postponed since last October, was at one stage scheduled for 7th January but eventually took place four days later. It enabled the Falcon to successfully chalk up its 39th consecutive flight since January 2017, including 19 re-used stages. Also postponed several times (it was originally scheduled to take place on 19th December), the second U.S. flight of the month was made by United Launch Alliance, using the Delta 4 Heavy: on 19th January, it placed NROL 71, a new NRO reconnaissance satellite, into LEO. Between the two U.S. launches, it was Iran that made the headlines, with the attempted launch of a small Earth observation satellite on 15 January. Called Payam-e Amirkabir or Autsat

India’s PSLV DL on the launch pad at Sriharikota.



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Launch operations marked an unexpected slowdown in the second month of the year. In particular, observers noted a surprising lack of activity in China, in spite of the country's stated ambition to carry out 30 missions this year. In addition, the five launch at-

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21st Soyuz launch from Guyana.


(Amir Kabir University of Technology Satellite), it was intended to be placed in orbit at 600km by the small Simorgh launcher (Safir 2), operated from the Semnan space centre in the north of the country. But the third stage (solid propellant) failed to achieve sufficient speed. First used in April 2016 on a suborbital mission, Simorgh (87 t at takeoff) has failed to place its payload in orbit in two attempts, the previous one dating back to July 2017. Japan was also in the news on 18th January with the fourth successful launch since September 2013 of its small solid-propellant launcher, Epsilon, for a complex mission carrying seven payloads. Finally, on 24th January, India launched the Indian Defence Research and Development Organisation's (DRDO) small dualuse Microsat-R Earth observation satellite and a cubesat technology demonstrator into LEO.The mission qualified a new version of the four-stage Polar Satellite LaunchVehicle (PSLV) light launcher: the PSLV DL.The DL version offers the possibility of changing the configuration of solid boosters; on this inaugural flight, the launcher was fitted with two PSOM-XLs, whereas previous missions used six, or none at all. In total, there were seven attempted launches in January.This is certainly less than the record pace set in October, November and December 2018 (which saw a total of 41 launches). Nonetheless, it is equivalent to the monthly averages recorded in 2016 and 2017 (the 2018 launch rate ramped up to an average of 9.3 launches per month).

tempts worldwide recorded in February included another failure in Iran, less than a month after the loss of the small Simorgh launcher, as well as a failure of a Soyuz 2.1b third stage during the first Russian launch of the year. Fortunately, the Fregat M upper stage was able to compensate for a premature engine shutdown (due to a propellant sensor inversion). The incident resulted in only one additional day of delay for the long-awaited OneWeb F6/VS 21 mission to deploy the first six elements of Greg Wyler's “megaconstellation” into LEO.This was the 21st launch from Guyana using a Soyuz ST since October 2011. Officially known as F0006 to F0012, the satellites were each given a name by schoolchildren around the world. Less than three weeks earlier, Arianespace also completed mission VA 247, placing two new


commercial communications satellites into geostationary transfer orbit (GTO) using the first Ariane 5 ECA of the year. As in January, SpaceX (having set a pace of regularly implementing two Falcon 9s in the same month during 2018) conducted only one mission in February. But this one again focused attention since, in addition to a commercial geostationary communications satellite, it carried the first private lunar probe, Israel's Bereshit.The B1048 stage used for this mission was flying for the third time since July 2018, and it was again recovered at the end of the mission. This brought the total to 34 successful stages recovered on all 68 launches made by the Californian operator, i.e. 34 stages recovered from 49 launches since December 2015 (including the inaugural flight of the Falcon Heavy).

There was something for everyone in March: missions to the International Space Station (Crew Dragon test and crew rotation), military launches, communication relays, Prisma mission launch, use of light and medium launchers, one launcher making its final launch and another making its inaugural flight. SpaceX once again took centre stage with a flawless demonstration of its Crew Dragon vehicle, compensating for the fact that its launch rate since the beginning of the year is half of what it was a year ago and is not expected to pick up. United Launch Alliance maintained a similar pace, making a second military launch in March, this time with a Delta 4 carrying out its last mission in the Medium+ version (5,4). Henceforth, only the Delta Heavy will be used. In China, in addition to the deployment of two geostationary communications satellites, March was marked by the failed attempt to launch the 20-ton solid-fuel rocket OS-M1 (OneSpace-M1) designed by pseudo-startup OneSpace.The failure, caused by a problem with the second stage (out of four), came exactly five months after that of the "private" ZQ1 micro-launcher developed by Land-Space (see A&C n° 2616), also from the Jiuquan base in Inner Mongolia. The remaining launches in March were performed by Russia, which sent the three members of Expedition 59 to the ISS using the Soyuz MS 12; Europe, whose Vega launcher placed the innovative Italian Earth observation platform, Prisma (PRecursore IperSpettrale della Missione Applicativa), into LEO and Rocket Labs, which, for the fourth mission of its Electron microlauncher, carried a DARPA military experimental satellite, R3D2 (Radio Frequency Risk Reduction Deployment Demonstration). ■ Pierre-François Mouriaux


INT007_042_044.qxp_Mise en page 1 09/05/2019 14:23 Page44


Launches worldwide, January - March 2019 Date Payload Mission Time (UTC) Weight Target orbit 10 Jan ChinaSat 2D Communications 17:05 5 ,200kg GEO 11 Jan -15:31 Iridium Next 66-75 (Batch n° 8) Communications 19th first stage re-use 167-173, 175, 176 and 180 LEO 33rd first stage recovery 10 × 860kg 15 Jan Payam-e Amirkabir (Autsat 1, Earth observation ? Amir-Kabir 1) - 90kg LEO 18 Jan, 00:50 Rapis 1 (+ 3 cubesats), ~200kg Technology, SSO Risesat (Hodoyoshi 2), ~50kg Earth observation, SSO Microdragon, 50kg Technology, SSO Ale 1, ~68kg Technology, SSO 19 Jan NROL 71/KH-11 17 (Cristal 17/USA 290) Reconnaissance 19:05 13,500-17,000kg LEO 21 Jan, 05:42 Lingque 1A, N/A N/A, LEO Jilin 01-09 and 01-10, 2 × 208kg Earth observation, LEO Xiaoxiang 3, N/A N/A, LEO 24 Jan Microsat-R (+ 1 technology cubesat) Earth observation 18:07 740 kg LEO 5 Feb ? 5 Feb 21:01 21 Feb 16:47 22 Feb -01:45 20th first stage re-use 34th first stage recovery 27 Feb 21:37 2 March - 07:49 34th first stage recovery 9 March 16:28 14 March 19:14 16 March 00:26 22 March 01:50 27 March 10:39 28 March 22:30 31 March 15:50

Launch vehicle Site Flight number Launch pad Long March 3B/G3 Xichang N° 5 (298th Long March) LC-2 Falcon 9 Full Thrust (v1.2/Block 5) Vandenberg N° 47 (67th Falcon 9) SLC-4E Simorgh (Safir 2) N° 3 Epsilon (2) CLPS, N° 4 (2nd CLPS)

Semnan LP-2 Kagoshima, LP-M

Delta 4 Heavy (upgrade) N° 4 (38th Delta 4, 382nd Delta) Long March 11, N° 6 (299th LM)

Vandenberg SLC-6 Jiuquan, SLS-E2

PSLV DL N° 1 (46th PSLV)

Sriharikota N° 1 (FLP)

Safir 1B N° 5 ? Ariane 5 ECA N° 70 (103rd Ariane 5)-VA 247

Semnan LP-1 Guyana Space Centre ELA-3

Dousti 1 (Amitié 1) Earth observation 52kg LEO HS 4/SGS 1 (HellasSat 4/ Communications SaudiGeoSat 1)-6,495kg GEO GSat 31, 2,536kg Communications, GEO EgyptSat A (MisrSat A) Earth observation ~ 1,000kg LEO PSN 6 (Nusantara Satu) Communications 4,735kg GEO Bereshit (ex-Sparrow), 582kg Lunar probe, lunar transfer S5, 60kg Tech demo, GEO OneWeb F6 Communications 6 × 47.7kg LEO

Soyuz 2.1b/Fregat M N° 18 (1,838th R7) Falcon 9 Full Thrust (v1.2/Block 5) N° 48 (68th Falcon 9)

Baikonur LC-31/6 Cape Canaveral AFS SLC-40

Soyuz STB/Fregat M N° 2 (1 839e R7)-VS21

Guyana Space Centre ELS

Crew Dragon DM-1 (SpX DM-1) 12,055kg ChinaSat 6C (ZX 6C) 5,200kg? Soyuz MS 12 / 58S 7,200kg WGS 10 (USA 291) 5,987kg Prisma 879kg Lingque 1B 6kg ? R3D2 150kg Tianlian 2-01 5,200kg?

Falcon 9 Full Thrust (v1.2 / Block 5) N° 49 (69th Falcon 9) Long March 3B / G2 N° 26 (300th Long March) Soyuz FG N° 58 (1,840th R7) Delta 4M+ (5,4) (upgrade) N° 4 (39th Delta 4, 383rd Delta) Vega N° 14 (VV14) OS-M1 N° 1 Electron Curie N° 5 Long March 3B / G2 N° 27 (301st Long March)

Kennedy Space Center LC-39A Xichang LC-3 Baikonur LC-1/5 Cape Canaveral AFS SLC-37B Guyana Space Centre ELV Jiuquan SLS-E2 Mahia LC 1 Xichang LC-2

ISS resupply (LEO) Docked 3rd March 10:51 Communications GSO ISS resupply (LEO) Docked 15th March 01:01 Communications GEO Earth observation LEO N/A LEO Technology LEO Communications GEO


LEO (Low Earth Orbit); SSO (Sun-Synchronous Orbit); MEO (Medium Earth Orbit); GEO (Geostationary Earth Orbit); IGSO (Inclined Geosynchronous Orbit); HEO (High Earth Orbit); ; N/A not available.



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