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born to be wide

Issue 11

Aviation Manufacturer

Axiom resin and Innegra fiber

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Axiom Materials

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airbus: born to be wide Page 6 main articles Page:


• Airbus: Born to be wide


• Global Air Services Interior: The interior designer


• Bell: Above and beyond


• The Boeing Company: Flying into the future

55 • Aviation News 72 • BAE Systems: Aviation innovation

first delivery of hondajet elite in japan page 67

bae systems: aviation innovation page 72   Aviation Manufacturer Magazine www.aviationmanufacturer.com


contents utc to split into three after completing rockwell collins acquisition page 59

american airlines orders more e175s from embraer Page 61

the boeing company: flying into the future page 24

bell: above and beyond Page 30

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Aviation Manufacturer Magazine www.aviationmanufacturer.com



born to be wide The Airbus story is one of outstanding international co-operation. Its first plane, the A300, was the world’s first twin-engine widebody aircraft. The latest, the A350 XWB, is the most modern and efficient. With a broad portfolio of aircraft, helicopters and innovative mobility projects, the company also manages to put a smile on the face of modern aviation.

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n the aviation business, nothing focuses attention quite like an air show, and in the air show business, nothing focuses attention quite like Farnborough. Do you want to maximize your audience for a public announcement? Announce it at Farnborough – or, preferably, just before Farnborough. Do you want the world to know how popular your aircraft are? Announce the deals at Farnborough. Airbus grabbed everyone’s attention in the lead-up to this year’s show. While the United States was celebrating Independence Day, Airbus Canada was throwing its own party on the 4th of July at Bombardier’s commercial aircraft facility in Mirabel, Quebec, to celebrate the closure of the deal which saw Airbus acquire a majority stake in the C Series Aircraft Limited Partnership (CSALP). In a question and answer session after the Mirabel event, Airbus chief executive Tom Enders told the press that he expected “more exciting news” in time for the Farnborough Air Show in the UK. He did not disappoint. A week later Airbus announced that the C Series aircraft were to be officially adopted into the Airbus family, rebranded as Airbus A220. So Bombardier’s 120-seater CS100 is now called A220-100 and the 130-140 seat CS300 has become the A220-300. Straight out of the paint shop, the first A220-300 to wear the Airbus livery landed at the Henri-Ziegler Delivery Centre, near Toulouse, on 10 July 2018. Airbus came into the 2018 Farnborough International Airshow with 177 single aisle and 84 widebody orders in 2018. During the show the company won further new business for 431 aircraft (93 firm orders and 338 MoUs), including 60 of the newly adopted A220-300, 304 A320 family aircraft, 42 A330neos and 25 A350 XWBs. Notably, the 42 commitments for the new A330neo include both the -800 and -900 models, a strong endorsement at the show for this family.

A family affair

Airbus’ comprehensive product line comprises highly successful families of aircraft ranging from 100 to more than 600 seats: the single-aisle A320 family: the widebody, long-range A330 family; the new-generation A350 XWB family and the flagship A380. The first Airbus, the A300, was the world’s first twin-engine widebody aircraft. When you consider that this only entered commercial service in 1974, the Airbus fleet has grown into

  Aviation Manufacturer Magazine www.aviationmanufacturer.com


airbus born to be wide

“While the United States was celebrating Independence Day, Airbus Canada was celebrating the closure of the deal to acquire a majority stake in Bombardier’s C Series Aircraft Limited Partnership”

a remarkably robust and versatile family in the last 45 years. The A300 also pioneered the use of composites by using glass-fibre reinforced plastics for the leading and trailing edges of the vertical tail-plane. A shorter variant, the A310, followed in the early 1980s. In July 2007, Airbus delivered its last A300 to FedEx, marking the end of the A300/A310 production line. The A320, a smaller, all-new aircraft intended to carry 150 passengers on short to medium haul flights, was introduced in 1987. Notable for being the first commercial jet to use a fly-by-wire control system, the A320 went on to become the world’s biggest selling single-aisle aircraft. Still in production, it has proved a great commercial success. Of the roughly 10,000 Airbus aircraft currently in operation around the world, just about three quarters of them are A320 family members, including the A318, A319, A320 itself, and A321. To ensure it keeps its competitive edge, Airbus continues to invest in improvements, including enhancements to the jetliner’s aerodynamics such as Sharklets wingtip devices, upgrades to the widest passenger cabin in its class and extended service intervals for the airframe. Fly-by-wire was carried across to the A330, A340, A380 and ultimately the A350 XWB as commonality of cockpit systems became an increasingly important selling point, allowing airlines to switch their Airbus aircraft and their pilot crews at short notice to match capacity to demand. The last 40 years have seen continual growth of the Airbus family. The period from 2006 to 2009 included the A380’s certification by European and US airworthiness authorities, clearing the way for its introduction into commercial service in October 2007. Also in this timeframe, Airbus launched its all-new A350 XWB, gave the go-ahead for a freighter version of its popular A330-200, and became a key player in the marketplace for military airlifters. The double-deck A380 is the largest commercial aircraft flying today, capable of carrying 544 passengers in a comfortable four-class configuration, and up to a staggering 853 in a single-class configuration. By incorporating the latest advances in structures and materials, the A380 offers the lowest cost per seat of any widebody aircraft, over 15 per cent lower than its nearest competitor. This includes the use of advanced aluminium alloys for the wing and fuselage, along with the extensive application of composite materials in the

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Aviation Manufacturer Magazine www.aviationmanufacturer.com


airbus born to be wide centre wing box’s primary structure, wing ribs and rear fuselage section. Originally launched in December 2004, the A350 was designed to complement the existing A330-200 and A330-300 jetliners, offering extended range while retaining the same 222-inch fuselage cross-section used in the A330/A340 and the original A300/A310 aircraft. However, A350 customers were pushing for a more radical evolution with this new-generation aircraft, and after much discussion and debate, Airbus undertook a redesign that included an expansion of the A350’s fuselage crosssection to 232 inches. On 1 December 2006, Airbus announced the industrial launch of the revamped A350 XWB (extra wide body) as its new mediumcapacity long-range aircraft family. Airbus now has two variants of the A350 XWB in production. The A350900 was delivered to launch customer Qatar Airways in December 2014 and the A350-1000 made its first flight in November 2016. Composites now make up more than 50 per cent of the fuselage. Airbus continues to invest in improvements across its product line – including development of the A320neo (new engine option) version, the A330neo variant and more. The A330neo cabin was also the launch model for the company’s Airspace by Airbus cabin brand. This represents the best of Airbus’ cabin innovation and design, and will be applied progressively across all Airbus aircraft.

Worldwide production

Identifying global sourcing as one of its leading long-term objectives, Airbus aims to source 40% of its supplies outside Western Europe by 2020, and has formed an integrated Airbus Global Sourcing Network to promote the globalisation of its sourcing footprint. At the last count, it was reckoned that around 46,500 suppliers from more than 100 countries deliver parts, components or sub-systems to Airbus. In the past few years, the supply chain has become concentrated and more international, as a result of consolidation within Europe’s aerospace and defence sector, and major new aircraft programmes placing larger work packages with a smaller number of lead suppliers.

“Of the roughly 10,000 Airbus aircraft currently in operation around the world, just about three quarters of them are A320 family members”

A long-haul aircraft comprises around 4 million individual parts, of which 70–80 per cent are provided by external suppliers. Airbus’ own manufacturing, production and sub-assembly facilities are distributed among 15 sites in Europe, with jetliner final assembly lines in Toulouse, France and Hamburg, Germany – complemented by A320 family production sites in Tianjin, China and Mobile, Alabama, USA, which is also now gearing up to assemble the recently acquired A220s. At Airbus sites around the world, the application of lean manufacturing – which focuses on achieving the highest throughput with the least inventory – has shortened lead-times and improved the efficiency of products and processes. On a larger scale, this approach has also led to standardization of parts and components. In the early years, primary production responsibilities for the A300 were distributed throughout Europe based on capabilities within the Airbus network. France’s expertise in systems integration, instrumentation and human-machine interface resulted in the country’s responsibility for the forward fuselage, cockpit and flight control systems, and it also produced the lower centre fuselage section. The British were well known for their capabilities in wing design, and were therefore given responsibility for the new jetliner’s wings. Germany’s strength in manufacturing and processes resulted in the company’s assignment to build the forward and rear fuselage ‘barrel’ sections, along with the upper portion of the centre fuselage, while Spain was chosen for the horizontal tailplane. As one of the original company’s four founding countries, France hosts the company’s headquarters. It also has final assembly lines for all Airbus commercial aircraft families as well as facilities for passenger cabin outfitting and painting of completed aircraft.

Behind a painted smile

As the various structures which comprise an aircraft are made in different countries, bringing them all together is an industry in itself – and as aircraft get larger, transporting the wings and fuselage becomes a logistical challenge.

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airbus born to be wide Airbus has developed its own air transportation system to carry pre-assembled sections from their production sites to final assembly lines in Toulouse and Hamburg - a fleet of five A300-600ST Super Transporters. These modified A300-600s, nicknamed Beluga (after the whale), have a bulbous main-deck cargo cabin, which enables the loading of complete fuselage sections and wings. The Super Transporters have been in operation since 1996, but in order to support increasing production rates, Airbus is refreshing the fleet with a new model, BelugaXL, with a mid-2019 service entry. Built as a replacement for the current Beluga A300-600ST, the BelugaXL is derived from the larger and more powerful A330-200, which is six metres longer, one metre wider, and boasts a payload lifting capacity that is six tonnes greater than its predecessor. Crucially, a BelugaXL will be able to carry two wings for the new widebody A350 XWB, instead of a single wing currently accommodated on the BelugaST. The first large panels for the rear section of the BelugaXL arrived at the final assembly facility in Toulouse in April this year, following a five night road convoy from Aernnova’s factory in Berantevilla, north eastern Spain. The delivery of the first nose section, however, from Méaulte in northern France, was appropriately performed by one of the five BelugaSTs currently in operation. The first BelugaXL rolled out of the Airbus paint shop in Toulouse, France, in June 2018, sporting a special livery chosen by a poll of 20,000 Airbus employees. One of six choices offered, the smiley-faced livery was the most popular, with 40 per cent of the vote. It took its maiden flight on 19 July this year.

Future aviation

To maintain its position as a global leader, Airbus is committed to a culture of innovation, spending around €3.5 billion annually on research and development. The groundwork for some of today’s projects was laid down in 2012 by Smarter Skies, a vision of sustainable aviation in 2050 that looked beyond

“The double-deck A380 is the largest commercial aircraft flying today, capable of carrying 544 passengers in a comfortable four-class configuration, and up to a staggering 853 in a single-class configuration”

aircraft design to how aircraft are operated on the ground and in the air. The Smarter Skies vision consists of five concepts which could be implemented across various stages of an aircraft’s operation to reduce waste in the system. One of these is Eco-Climb, where an aircraft uses some form of ground based propulsion to assist in take-off. Another idea is Express Skyways, in which planes save fuel by travelling in formation. They could also reduce the distances they have to fly if they took genuinely direct routes, instead of zig-zagging around airspace under the jurisdiction different authorities. The idea for Free-Glide approaches and landings came from the problem of aircraft descending in stages, often having to circle in holding patterns while awaiting a landing slot. Airbus also identified opportunities for the improvement of ground operations, where autonomous receiving vehicles would be ready and waiting to taxi aircraft to the terminal using the fastest route, clearing runways and making it a quicker process for passengers to disembark. It would also mean a faster turnaround for the aircraft. The fifth concept is around power. The use of sustainable aviation fuels and other potential alternative energy sources (such as electricity, hydrogen, solar and more) will be necessary to secure supply and further reduce aviation’s environmental footprint in the long term. As the air transport sector continues to grow, Airbus believes that the industry as a whole must concentrate on technological advances to produce solutions that will meet passenger and market demands and respect the environment. In a more recent development, Airbus, Rolls-Royce and Siemens formed a partnership in 2017 to make advances in hybrid-electric propulsion for commercial aircraft. The plan is to develop the E-Fan X hybrid-electric technology demonstrator to be ready to fly in 2020 following a comprehensive ground test campaign, provisionally on a BAe 146 flying test bed, with one of the aircraft’s four gas turbine engines replaced by a two megawatt electric motor. Provisions will be made to replace a second gas turbine with an electric motor once system

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Aviation Manufacturer Magazine www.aviationmanufacturer.com


airbus born to be wide

maturity has been proven. The E-Fan X demonstrator will explore the challenges of high-power propulsion systems, such as thermal effects, electric thrust management, altitude and dynamic effects on electric systems and electromagnetic compatibility issues. The objective is to push and mature the technology, performance, safety and reliability, enabling quick progress on the hybrid electric technology. At the opening of the 2018 Farnborough Airshow, the UK’s Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark announced that the UK government plans to invest £255 million to develop greener flight technologies, a share of which will go to E-Fan X.

Urban Air Mobility

Earlier this year Airbus announced the establishment of its new Urban Air Mobility unit, which aims to lay the foundations for more efficient and sustainable city travel. Joerg Mueller, head of programmes and strategy for Urban Air Mobility, recently experienced just how easy urban travel can be. After landing at the airport in São Paulo, Brazil, he used Airbus’ on-demand helicopter booking platform, Voom, to take him directly to his hotel. “In rush hour traffic, that journey can take two hours,” he says. “It took me just 11 minutes of flight time.” Voom is currently operating in São Paulo and Mexico City, and the demand is already impressive. The service will be launched in other cities in 2019 and will continue to lay the groundwork for Airbus’ longerterm vision of urban mobility using electric vertical take-off and landing

“At the last count, it was reckoned that around 46,500 suppliers from more than 100 countries deliver parts, components or subsystems to Airbus”

(eVTOL) vehicles. “Voom has proven to be an awesome mechanism for us to glean key insights into the potential of the on-demand air mobility market and passenger preferences, and we are constantly relaying those insights to the UAM team,” says Voom CEO Clement Monnet. Voom is just one part of the unit, which hosts the ongoing UAM activities across the company, from air traffic management to infrastructure development, including partnership building and pilot projects. It also steers the development of Airbus’ ongoing eVTOL demonstrators, Vahana and CityAirbus. Beyond working out infrastructure requirements, the unit, through Isabel Del Pozo, head of airspace management, is exploring solutions that will ensure this new era of flight operates safely and efficiently in the urban airspace. “The existing air traffic management system is tailored to commercial flights for fixed-wing aircraft. It still relies on voice communication and human-centred task execution,” she says. “We’re already close to exceeding its capacity, and that’s just for manned flights. When we introduce autonomous vehicles during the next decade, traffic will increase considerably.” Del Pozo wants to create more intelligent, autonomous and decentralised traffic management solutions that support operations in urban areas, from helicopters to drones. This will gradually pave the way for autonomous eVTOLs carrying passengers. A key element is unmanned traffic management (UTM). For almost

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“The first BelugaXL rolled out of the Airbus paint shop in Toulouse, France, in June 2018, sporting a special livery chosen by a poll of 20,000 Airbus employees. The smiley-faced livery was the most popular, with 40 per cent of the vote”   Aviation Manufacturer Magazine www.aviationmanufacturer.com


airbus born to be wide two years, the Altiscope project in A³ has been working with regulators and key stakeholders to define a clear picture of the future of traffic management, publishing the Airbus UTM roadmap called Blueprint for the Sky and becoming a Federal Aviation Administration Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC) certified service provider. In December 2018, the Altiscope team transitioned from A³ into the UAM unit to form Airbus UTM.


Many people are surprised to discover that Airbus manufactures helicopters as well as conventional aircraft. These don’t generate as many headlines, perhaps, but they are responsible for a great many innovations in their own right. Airbus Helicopters was formed in 1992 as Eurocopter Group, through the merger of the helicopter divisions of Aérospatiale and DASA. The division changed its name to Airbus Helicopters in 2014 and the trade names of the existing products have now mostly been changed from EC to H to reflect the new branding. Airbus Helicopters has four main plants in Europe (Marignane and La Courneuve in France, and Donauwörth and Kassel in Germany), plus 32 subsidiaries and participants around the world, including those in Brisbane, Australia, Albacete, Spain and Grand Prairie, Michigan, USA. Active in around 150 countries, Airbus Helicopters has built a large and growing worldwide network. Designed with simplicity in mind, the H120 (formerly known as the EC120 B) is a member of Airbus Helicopters’ light Colibri family of aircraft, drawing on the company’s 50+ years of experience designing, manufacturing and supporting light single-engine helicopters. Seating one pilot and four passengers, user-friendly and versatile in its performance, comfort, costeffectiveness and low noise profile, the lightweight H120 is the choice of private customers, corporations, law enforcement agencies and governments, with more than 600 being in-service worldwide today. The H125 is Airbus Helicopters’ high-

performance member of the singleengine Ecureuil/AStar family. Around 550 H125 series are currently in-service worldwide, and are mainly used for high performance missions in high and hot conditions. The H160 opens a new chapter in the history of Airbus Helicopters. Joining the product range between the H145 and the H175, this innovative medium helicopter becomes the first new member of the H generation. Capable of carrying up to 12 passengers, H160 was unveiled at the Heli-Expo trade show in March 2015. Configurations being developed include offshore transportation, business and private aviation, public services and commercial passenger transport. The larger H175 provides the best payload range-per-passenger/radius-ofaction (RoA) in the medium helicopter category. With 16 passengers aboard in an oil and gas configuration, the H175 can fly to distances of 140 nautical miles, increasing to nearly 200 nautical miles with only 12 passengers, without an auxiliary fuel tank. The H175’s new Airbus Helicopters’ Helionix avionics suite and integrated 4-axis autopilot, derived from the proven H225, provide the highest levels of safety and mission flexibility. Meeting the latest international standards, Helionix reduces pilot workload through unrivalled situational awareness, improved flight envelope protection and system redundancy. The H215, the latest member of the Super Puma heavy twin helicopter family, is known for its multi-mission and long-range capabilities, and a demo tour to China last year covered more than 2,000 km, demonstrating its capabilities for fire-fighting, power line missions, law enforcement and passenger transportation, as well as its excellent performance in high and hot conditions. The top of the range H225 offers long range and fast cruise speeds, along with flight endurance exceeding five and a half hours. Combining the ability to carry 19 passengers in its air-conditioned cabin with its heavylift capacity and excellent range, the H225 meets the energy industry’s needs as exploration and production move farther offshore.

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Aviation Manufacturer Magazine www.aviationmanufacturer.com


airbus born to be wide Helicopters are ideal for corporate and VIP customers because of the unique capabilities of rotary wing aircraft, offering point-to-point transport and enabling luxury travel between assets or even to remote, inaccessible locations. In May 2017, Airbus Helicopters launched Airbus Corporate Helicopters (ACH) to look after these customers. Mirroring the successful sister brand Airbus Corporate Jets, ACH will provide customers an end-to-end exclusive ownership experience ranging from advice in choosing the right aircraft to designing a bespoke style. Included in its range are the ACH 130, ACH 135, ACH145 and ACH175. The first ACH130 delivered since the launch of Airbus Corporate Helicopters was supplied to Monacair in June 2018. To provide customers with the necessary support and services to carry out their operations efficiently, safely and cost-effectively, Airbus Helicopters offers its HCare service, a global customer service network spanning material management, helicopter maintenance, technical support, training and flight ops, and connected services.

Rotorcraft innovation

“At the opening of the 2018 Farnborough Airshow, the UK’s Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark announced that the UK government plans to invest £255 million to develop greener flight technologies, a share of which will go to E-Fan X”

As with conventional aircraft, Airbus is committed to setting new standards in the rotorcraft industry, both by improving the existing range to offer safer, greener and more efficient helicopters, and by coming up with ground-breaking ideas in response to the challenges of the 21st century. One of these is Racer, a high-speed helicopter demonstrator currently being developed as part of the Clean Sky 2 research programme. Unveiled in June last year at the Paris air show, Racer (rapid and cost-effective rotorcraft) builds upon the achievements of the company’s X3 technology demonstrator, bringing it closer to an operational design to meet future requirements for increased speed. Incorporating a host of innovative features, Racer will be optimised for a cruise speed of more than 400 km/h, aiming to achieve the best tradeoff between speed, cost-efficiency, sustainability and mission performance by combining fixed wings for energyefficient lift, propellers (lateral rotors) for energy-efficient propulsion and

a main rotor that provides energyefficient VTOL (vertical take-off and landing) flight capabilities. The Racer demonstrator will also benefit from a hybrid metallic-composite airframe, specifically designed for low weight and low recurring costs. The aircraft targets missions requiring the helicopter’s unique hovering and landing capabilities but for which travel time is either of vital importance (emergency medical transport, search and rescue) or contributing highly to mission efficiency (passenger transport in the O&G industry, private and business aviation, etc). After the validation of the demonstrator’s aerodynamic configuration last year, key subsystems have now successfully passed their preliminary design review, giving way to the launching of first components manufacture. Final assembly of the prototype is planned to start in Q4 2019. “I want to thank all of our European partners for the excellence of their work and for their commitment in this fantastic project,” said Tomasz Krysinski, head of research & innovation at Airbus Helicopters. “The PDR marks a major achievement for the Racer program as it allows to freeze interfaces and 3D definitions of the main subsystems, prior to detailed design and manufacture of key components.” Long-lead items are the first ones to be manufactured. Airbus Helicopters teams already launched production of the lateral drive shaft, one of the Racer’s most innovative components. Among key subsystems, Italy’s Avio Aero, a GE Aviation business, is launching procurement and manufacturing for the aircraft’s lateral gear boxes housing, while Hamble UK based GE Aviation Integrated Systems is taking care of the wing’s titanium cradle part. Romania’s INCAS/Romaero has already started manufacturing the Racer’s composite side panel and Spain’s Aernnova the tail parts primary structure. Airbus also provides a military version of most of its helicopter range, covering the entire military operational spectrum including armed scout, utility, attack, naval, maritime and special operations. Drawing on experience with the Tiger attack helicopter, Airbus has developed an off-the-shelf solution to address a

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Aviation Manufacturer Magazine www.aviationmanufacturer.com


airbus born to be wide large scope of customers’ armament needs. Conceived as a modular and incremental system, HForce offers a multi-purpose mission computer interchangeable from one helicopter to another and a large choice of weapons (air-to-air, air-to-ground, ballistic or guided) to comply with any operational need. The technically-advanced solution takes into account the different aspects of firing accuracy: weapon recoil, centre of gravity, ground clearance or vehicle separation. Airbus Helicopters also has a continuous improvement program called Bluecopter, to ensure its product line remains at the forefront of rotarywing innovation, with a particular focus on developing and validating advanced technologies that enhance environmental performance. One such technology is a further evolution of its Fenestron tail rotor, for which additional performance improvements have been achieved through optimized blade and stator designs. The Bluecopter demonstrator aircraft has also introduced several measures for reducing aircraft aerodynamic drag – including fairings for the main rotor hub and the landing skids, a newly developed aft-body concept and the use of a specially-designed empennage with a T-tail horizontal stabilizer.

Unmanned aircraft

In February this year, Airbus Helicopters’ Skyways unmanned air vehicle successfully completed its first flight demonstration at the National University of Singapore (NUS). The drone took off from its dedicated maintenance centre and landed on the roof of a specially designed parcel station where a parcel was automatically loaded via a robotic arm. Once successfully loaded with the parcel, the Skyways drone took off again and returned to land, demonstrating its automatic unloading capability. This inaugural flight demonstration follows the launch of the experimental project with the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) in February 2016 to develop an urban unmanned air system to address the safety, efficiency, and sustainability of the air delivery business in cities such as Singapore.

“Racer will be optimised to achieve the best trade-off between speed, cost-efficiency, sustainability and mission performance by combining fixed wings for energyefficient lift, propellers for energy-efficient propulsion and a main rotor that provides energy-efficient VTOL flight capabilities”

The collaboration was subsequently extended in April 2017 with Singapore Post (SingPost) becoming the local logistics partner to the project. The Skyways drone is a fully autonomous octocopter that carries containers on its underside and flies an automated route called ‘aerial corridors’ before landing on a designated landing pad where it is automatically unloaded. The customer receives a delivery notification on their smartphone saying their parcel is ready for picking up at the parcel station. Currently, regulatory constraints don’t allow unpiloted flight over cities. Demonstrating that Skyways and associated infrastructure can safely operate over NUS could help evolve the regulatory framework for self-piloted aircraft systems operations in Singapore, and the rest of the world.

Future combat

To help secure European sovereignty and technological leadership in the military aviation sector, Airbus and Dassault Aviation have joined forces to develop and produce Europe’s Future Combat Air System (FCAS). The FCAS concept comprises systems to connect manned and unmanned air platforms, including a next-generation fighter aircraft, medium-altitude longendurance unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), the existing fleet of aircraft such as the A400M and Eurofighter, future cruise missiles, and combat drones flying in swarms. Each component is made smarter by connecting them via satellite constellations and cybersecured networks. The new fighter aircraft would be at the heart of FCAS, able to control unmanned platforms to autonomously carry out multiple tasks. The next generation of fighter aircraft are expected to enter service between 2035 and 2040. Airbus remains at the leading edge of aviation through multi-national cooperation, an innovative culture and a clear vision of future possibilities. From widebody jets to helicopters and drones, offering military capability and urban air mobility, Airbus has a truly broad portfolio. Born to be wide.

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global aviation services interior Engineer and entrepreneur Zeydan Öncü has created a fully integrated one-stop-shop for the refurbishment of helicopter cabin interiors and the installation of specialist equipment for civilian and military missions. He tells Martin Ashcroft about his unique business model

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Aviation Manufacturer Magazine www.aviationmanufacturer.com  23


he conversion of a helicopter interior is a complex undertaking, especially when it is being kitted out with mission critical equipment for search and rescue or emergency medical services. It’s a painstaking procedure, given the meticulous detail required in both planning and installation. If you can reduce the time it takes to complete the conversion, without compromising quality, you are likely to attract some very discerning customers. With successful conversions in its early years for the Government of Turkmenistan, followed by the Crown Prince and President of the United Arab Emirates, Global Aviation Services Interior (GASI) has established an elite clientele and an unparalleled professional reputation. When I caught up with CEO Zeydan Öncü, he told me about his latest prestigious contract. “We have a new project in South Asia,” he said. “We are equipping four Super Puma helicopters

for a national Navy with dipping sonar systems, sonobuoy systems, radar and ESM systems, to enable long range search, location and attack of submarines in both shallow and deep water.” A dipping sonar system detects and maintains contact with underwater targets through a transducer lowered into the water from a hovering helicopter. It’s a crucial defence capability. The complementary sonobuoy system is also a core technology for anti-submarine warfare, using buoys dropped from the aircraft in canisters, which deploy when they hit the water. An inflatable float with a radio transmitter remains on the surface for communication with the aircraft, while hydrophone sensors descend below the surface. An ESM is a type of sensor providing technical information, usually integrated into the air defence systems of mobile crisis reaction forces. The work will all be carried out in GASI’s facilities in Germany and the UK. Another new project has been

  Aviation Manufacturer Magazine www.aviationmanufacturer.com


launched with the Ministry of Defence of Egypt for the refurbishment of the presidential fleet of twelve MI17 helicopters. These will also be refurbished in GASI’s UK and German facilities for delivery to the customer in Cairo, Egypt.


Founded in 2006, Global Aviation Services Interior combines the vision and attention to detail of the engineer with the flair and imagination of the entrepreneur. The company quickly become a prime supplier of aircraft interior equipment and a leader in the completion and refurbishment of aircraft cabin interiors, with services including design and certification, MRO (maintenance, repair and overhaul) and VIP conversions. The company now produces a range of its own cabin interior fittings in its EASA Part 21 certified facilities in Germany, the UAE and the UK, and has also expanded into the training of

global aviation services interior the interior designer pilots, crew, engineers and technicians through its Global Aviation Academy. The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) takes responsibility for the airworthiness and environmental certification of all aeronautical products, parts and appliances designed, manufactured, maintained or used by persons under the regulatory oversight of EU Member States. This is a remarkable story of an engineer with a solid background and a safe career with Airbus, who became an award-winning entrepreneur supplying government ministries and Middle Eastern royal families. Öncü came to Germany in October 1979 to study aerospace engineering, first at the Technical University of Munich and then at the University of Applied Sciences in Hamburg. Now a German citizen, the multi-lingual Öncü grew up speaking Arabic and Turkish at home, and now also communicates in German, French and English. He added knowledge and skills during his early career with DaimlerChrysler Aerospace (DASA) in Hamburg, which subsequently became EADS and later Airbus, progressing into

“We are equipping four Super Puma helicopters for a national Navy with dipping sonar systems, sonobuoy systems, radar and ESM systems, to enable long range search, location and attack of submarines in both shallow and deep water”

senior management positions. Along the way he trained in personnel management and staff training, learned presentation and communication skills, how to manage teams and conduct international negotiations, as well as adding to his professional development as an engineer. He also took on board the disciplines of six sigma and project management, as well as an understanding of financial issues and supply chain management. Öncü played a leading role in the development of the Airbus A380 as data processing manager and then from June 1999 as head of concurrent engineering in Toulouse, France, reporting to senior vice president Juergen Thomas. “After that I was seconded to the A400M programme, Airbus’s turboprop military transport aircraft, as head of the component management integration team in Bremen for the most complicated component on the aircraft, the centre fuselage.” The team consisted of six international component design build teams, with around 400500 engineers and related managers. “I was responsible for the delivery of the A400M centre fuselage in respect

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of time, cost, quality and performance parameters.” Öncü left in 2004 after receiving an invitation from Spekon, a supplier of thermal and acoustic insulation products to Airbus, to come in and restructure the struggling company. Spekon was renamed Olutex, moved its operations alongside Airbus in Toulouse, returned a profit at the end of 2004, and was subsequently acquired by Hutchinson Aerospace. People were surprised that Öncü took the job, but he was ready for a change. “The life cycle of an engineer,” he says with a wry smile, “is five years of creativity, followed by 25 years of modification. After completing two major projects I could see that happening to me, and it’s not what I wanted. They said I could go back to Airbus any time, but I never regretted leaving.” It would be hard to design a better preparation for an engineering entrepreneur. The only missing ingredient was an opportunity, which arrived by chance, as opportunities often

“Another new project has been launched with the Ministry of Defence of Egypt for the refurbishment of the presidential fleet of twelve MI-17 helicopters”

  Aviation Manufacturer Magazine www.aviationmanufacturer.com


do. The skill of the entrepreneur lies in recognising the opportunity and taking the chance. “While I was at Spekon I was talking to the head of procurement for Airbus one day about an order from Turkish Airlines. He thought this was ‘up my street’, so he invited me on a business trip to Turkey and I went along for the ride. I was not expecting anything, but I came away from that trip with my first contract. You don’t expect a major airline to award a contract to a company that was not already well known in the industry, but I didn’t even have a company at that time. It all happened through the trust of the Airbus management, and the senior management of Turkish Airlines.”


Öncü soon assembled some key personnel, then bought a factory in Llanelli in Wales, the dormant business of CF Taylor, a subsidiary of B/E Aerospace that had previously manufactured kitchen galleys for aircraft cabins, and sleeping accommodation

global aviation services interior the interior designer for flight crews. “We got CAA approval there and we produced the whole order to retrofit seven aircraft interiors for the Turkish Airlines A340 Retrofit programme and three A310 crew rest compartments, on our own.” The UK manufacturing facilities have since been moved to Milton Keynes. In 2007 GASI became the first company of its kind to open facilities at Abu Dhabi International Airport for the provision of MRO services, refurbishment and engineering services, where it soon earned an EASA Part 145 AMO (approved maintenance organisation) certificate. The first job there was to retrofit a Dash 8 Q300 from passenger configuration to VIP for the Crown Prince of UAE, and a Dash 8 Q400 for the President. “We also converted two helicopters for the United Armed forces of UAE, a Super Puma from VIP to utility and an AW 139 from passenger to VIP.” In 2010 GASI opened a retrofit centre in Rothenberg in Germany and was awarded a contract from Zodiac for the production of galleys. In 2013 it was awarded a contract by governmentowned Turkmenistan Airlines for eight helicopter conversions. “The first one was an EMS conversion (emergency

“GASI produces a range of its own cabin interior fittings in its EASA Part 21 certified facilities in Germany, the UAE and the UK, and has also expanded into the training of pilots, crew, engineers and technicians through its Global Aviation Academy”

medical systems) on a Super Puma for the Ministry of Health,” says Öncü, “and we did it in 86 days, including the design, production, installation, flight test and certification. That was an unbeatable time scale in the aerospace industry.” The second one, a conversion for SAR (search and rescue), was also a challenge. “We delivered a Super Puma L2 helicopter to the Ministry of Defence of Turkmenistan,” says Öncü. “As well as the installation of a searchlight, FLIR system (thermal imaging cameras), winch, command centre, EMS kit and the rest of the cabin, we replaced the hinged door with a sliding door – and that’s a major modification. We did that in five months.” The Turkmenistan Ministry of Internal Affairs took the other five helicopters, three EC145s and two Sikorsky S-76C VIP helicopters, the last of which was delivered in September last year converted into escort helicopters for the President of Turkmenistan. GAS now has three facilities where this work is carried out – Rothenburg in Germany, Milton Keynes in the UK, and Abu Dhabi in the UAE. “In Rothenburg we have our own runway and our own helipad,” says Öncü. “We also have

  Aviation Manufacturer Magazine www.aviationmanufacturer.com  27

hangars to accommodate both rotor and fixed wing aircraft, and our management is here, too.” A fourth facility is about to open in Cottbus, close to Berlin. This time last year, in October 2017, Öncü’s success was officially recognised in the European Business Awards at the International Tourism and Trade Fair in Essen, held in conjunction with the Turkish-German Culture and Tourism Association and Markaimaj Media. Öncü collected an honour award and a vision and innovation award, in addition to being named Businessman of the Year.


In a very short space of time, GASI has developed a unique way of working, using the latest, most advanced, conversion technology. “The design and development of a helicopter interior usually takes between four and six months,” says Öncü. “We have reduced that by 90 per cent by using 3D scanning and reverse engineering. We scan the helicopter directly to 3D which speeds up the engineering process. Within ten

“This is a remarkable story of an engineer with a solid background and a safe career with Airbus, who became an award-winning entrepreneur supplying government ministries and Middle Eastern royal families”

  Aviation Manufacturer Magazine www.aviationmanufacturer.com


days we can produce manufacturing drawings. This is an unbeatable time scale. We are the only ones who are using this. Airbus has quoted 18 months for the delivery of the EMS helicopter. We delivered it in 86 days. We managed that by using advanced technologies, rather than a huge number of engineers. This is what we won the Innovation award for.” The technology is a vital ingredient, but you also need skilled engineers. GASI has recruited some of the best from all over the world. “We use around 60 people, all skilled in their own disciplines, says Öncü. “Some specialise in the interior, others in the exterior. We have people from Canada, the US, the UK and Europe. Our capabilities include the black box implementation – the CVR (cockpit voice recorder) and FDR (flight data recorder). This involves a complete cockpit upgrade, including the integration of all the signal systems from nose to tail.” GASI ensures that the technology and the skills of the engineers are employed to best effect with a meticulous approach

global aviation services interior the interior designer to the organisation of the project. The production method is a crucial factor in achieving results that will delight the customer in an unprecedented timescale. “We have a multi-disciplinary way of working, with inter-disciplinary communication,” Öncü explains. “The first thing is to listen carefully to the customer’s requirements and agree on a common understanding with them. Then you must assess the capabilities of the helicopter so you don’t disturb anything that might affect the aerodynamics or its flight characteristics. After that we divide the job into different work packages, and we appoint a work package leader for each one, setting out time, cost, quality and performance (TCQP) parameters for each stage. Each work package leader has his own budget and his own time schedule, integrated to the TCQP for the whole project.” A typical project would be organised into defined work stages including the definition and consolidation of requirements, the parameters of each step, followed by conceptual design, definition of equipment required, then detailed 3D configurations of the internal layout of the equipment. Before anything can be added, of course, all the old fittings must be dismantled and removed. Many of the purpose designed components are manufactured on site, specifically for each project, including the lavatories, galleys, overhead bins, pelmets, glass dividers, and the like. “We don’t do mass production,” says Öncü. “We make individual components for specific aircraft – purpose built, one-off solutions. These are high quality fittings. That is what makes us a one-stop shop. We don’t produce the black boxes or the searchlights or the FLIR systems, obviously. We buy those in. We don’t make the medical equipment, either, but we design and manufacture everything involved in the installation of it.” Everything has to be fitted according to a carefully designed plan. You can’t have oxygen bottles and infusion hooks rolling around the floor of a helicopter. That means all the fitments and fittings have to be designed specifically for the particular appliance or equipment, and also for the particular helicopter. Seating for the crew, housing for the stretchers,

cabinets for medical implements and drugs. From ventilators to defibrillators, to electrocardiography unit, there’s a lot of equipment to fit in, and everything needs to be secure, yet easy to access.

Global Aviation Academy

“The design and development of a helicopter interior usually takes between four and six months. We have reduced that by 90 per cent by using 3D scanning and reverse engineering”

Another recent development for GAS is the Global Aviation Academy, launched in 2015, and accredited with EN 29990 and EASA 147 certification, the international standard for a learning provider offering non-formal education or training. “We have trained 28 pilots and 17 technicians based on EASA 147 certification, so far,” says Öncü. “We also train cabin technicians and cabin mechanics in retrofit and conversion. Ninety per cent of the people we train get a job immediately with Airbus!” The last time I spoke to Zeydan he had just opened a new branch of the Academy in Turkey, which has already registered a number of students –16 to train as commercial pilots, 12 as cabin crew, 20 in aircraft maintenance and 32 as cabin mechanics. Training will commence in October 2018.

  Aviation Manufacturer Magazine www.aviationmanufacturer.com  29

Aviation Manufacturer Magazine www.aviationmanufacturer.com


bell above & beyond

Creating the next-generation of vertical lift products means thinking above and beyond flight. With an 80 year history of innovation, Bell is committed to transforming the future of on-demand urban mobility by making the vertical dimension more accessible.

  Aviation Manufacturer Magazine www.aviationmanufacturer.com  31


ne of the biggest names in the world of aviation, Bell Helicopter dropped the word helicopter from its corporate identity in February this year, rebranding itself simply as Bell. “Bell has always been about more than just helicopters,” said president and CEO Mitch Snyder, announcing the new branding strategy. “Our team has spent the past 80 years pushing the boundaries of flight, and now we will accurately reflect that quest.” The new name is accompanied by a new logo; a dragonfly, representing the mastery of flight, sits under the word Bell inside a red shield, signifying security and strength. “This rebrand is not just about a new logo,” said Snyder. “We chose to do this because we see ourselves at the forefront of technology. We believe this refresh embodies the idea that we can make the vertical dimension more accessible.” The company has a distinguished heritage. Founded as Bell Aircraft

Corporation in Buffalo, New York in July 1935, Larry Bell’s company initially specialized in the design and production of fighter aircraft, including the famous P-39 Airacobra. A genuine pioneer in the industry, its achievements include the first fighter aircraft with tricycle landing gear, the first American jet fighter (P-59 Airacomet), the first aircraft to break the sound barrier, the first commercial helicopter, and the first tilt-rotor aircraft. Bell diversified into helicopters because he wanted to create a broader base for his company rather than rely entirely on government contracts, so in 1941 he hired Arthur M Young, a talented inventor, to provide expertise for helicopter research and development. Their first full-size helicopter, the Bell 30, took its first flight in December 1942. The Bell 47 subsequently became the first helicopter in the world to be certified by a civil aviation authority. In the 1950s the helicopter division moved to Texas and in 1953 the

  Aviation Manufacturer Magazine www.aviationmanufacturer.com


company produced its 1,000th helicopter. Bell Aircraft Corporation’s helicopter division was subsequently purchased by Textron in 1960, a multiindustry conglomerate that operates in the aviation, defence, industrial and finance sectors, with powerful brands including, Cessna, Beechcraft, Hawker, Jacobsen, Kautex, Lycoming, E-Z-GO, Greenlee, Arctic Cat, Textron Systems and TRU Simulation + Training. Now headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, Bell has additional plants in Amarillo, Texas and Mirabel, Quebec, in Canada. Established in 1986, its facility in Mirabel assembles and delivers most of Bell’s commercial helicopters, delivering its 5,000th helicopter on 12 December 2017.


Bell’s current range of commercial helicopters includes two light single engine models, the five seat Bell 505 Jet Ranger X and seven seat Bell 407 GXi. Introduced this year at Heli-

bell above & beyond Expo 2018, the latter features Garmin’s G1000H NXi Integrated Flight Deck which offers high-definition displays and faster processors that provide increased brightness and clarity, faster start-up and map rendering as well as an option for connectivity to tablets and smartphones. The Rolls-Royce M250C47E/4 dual-channel FADEC turbine engine delivers exceptional hot and high performance, fuel efficiency and the ability to cruise at 133 kts/246 km/h. “The Bell 407GXi delivers improved pilot awareness, higher precision navigation, enhanced engine controls, and improved connectivity,” said Susan Griffin, executive vice president, commercial business, at the launch. The 8 seat Bell 429/429WLG is a twin-engine helicopter, with best-inclass cabin volume. Bell says that the combination of metallic and composite parts in its construction creates the perfect balance between rigidity and flexibility, safety and durability. The Bell 429WLG adds retractable nose and main landing gear with electrical flight deck actuation and braking capability. Bell offers two helicopters in the medium range. The 15 seat Bell Huey

“This rebrand is not just about a new logo. We chose to do this because we see ourselves at the forefront of technology. We believe this refresh embodies the idea that we can make the vertical dimension more accessible”

ll is an upgrade of the world-renowned military model UH-1H, nicknamed ‘Huey’. The upgrade increases the max gross weight to 10,500lbs, while lowering direct operating costs. There is also a complete rewire, updated avionics and a comprehensive selection of mission specific kits and customization to equip the vehicle for troop transport into high altitudes, medical evacuation in hot conditions or transport to and from remote bases. Also seating 15 (including the pilot), the twin-engine Bell 412 EP is the daily workhorse that performs reliably in some of the most extreme climates around the world. Its expansive cabin provides multi-mission flexibility while its wide opening 7.7ft doors can accommodate loading by forklift truck. The Bell 412 EPI derivative adds the Bell BasiX Pro integrated avionic system, providing pilots with increased situational awareness and safety features, and its Pratt & Whitney PT6T-9 Twin Pac engines deliver enhanced hot-high performance as well as improved takeoff capability. At a ceremony held at Farnborough Air Show in July, Bell and Subaru

  Aviation Manufacturer Magazine www.aviationmanufacturer.com  33

Corporation announced their collaboration on a commercial enhancement of the Bell 412 EPI, certified as the 412 EPX, in support of Japan’s UH-X program. The Subaru Bell 412 EPX will benefit from a more robust main rotor gearbox dry run capability and increased internal maximum gross weight to 12,200lbs, providing operators the ability to transport more supplies and achieve better operational efficiency. A commercial prototype has undergone testing at Bell’s facility in Mirabel, Canada, and FAA certification was achieved on 5 July 2018. Also under development is the best in class Bell 525 Relentless, an 18 seat twin-engine helicopter with a range of 560 nautical miles and a cruising speed of 160 knots. With fly-by-wire flight controls, this model provides unparalleled crew situational awareness through the use of a fully integrated avionics flight deck.

“The Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey is the world’s first production tilt-rotor aircraft, successfully blending the vertical flight capability of a helicopter with the speed, range, altitude and endurance of an airplane”


On the military side, the BellBoeing V-22 Osprey is the world’s first production tilt-rotor aircraft, successfully blending the vertical flight capability of a helicopter with the speed, range, altitude and endurance of

  Aviation Manufacturer Magazine www.aviationmanufacturer.com


an airplane. This unique combination allows more effective mission execution and realization of missions previously unachievable in one aircraft. Comprehensively tested and currently in full-rate production, the Bell Boeing V-22 has proven to be a survivable and transformational platform in the most challenging environments. The V-280 Valor is a next-generation tilt-rotor that is designed to provide unmatched agility, speed, range and payload capabilities at an affordable cost. Still under development, it achieved its first flight in December last year. The design features integrated cabin armour, fly-by-wire component redundancy, state of the art countermeasures and performance. Delivering more than twice the speed and range of conventional helicopters, this aircraft combines rapid access to the objective with superior agility at the objective. The Bell V-280 Valor program is part of the Joint Multi Role Technology Demonstrator (JMR-TD) initiative and brings together the engineering resources and industrial capabilities of Bell Helicopter, Lockheed Martin, GE, Moog, IAI, TRU Simulation & Training, Astronics, Eaton, GKN Aerospace,

bell above & beyond Lord, Meggitt and Spirit AeroSystems— collectively referred to as Team Valor. The Bell UH-1Y is the ultimate tactical utility helicopter. The ubiquitous Huey family was developed for the United States Marine Corps in the 1950s as a medical evacuation and utility helicopter. Its first flight was in 1956 and in 1960 it became the first turbinepowered helicopter to enter production. The nickname derives from the designation of the first model as HU-1, and has stuck with the aircraft ever since, despite its being redesignated UH-1 in 1962. The UH-1 first saw service in combat operations during the Vietnam War and the latest version UH1Y was first deployed with the Marine Corps in 2009. The Yankee operates in the most extreme environments, from Arctic cold to desert heat. The Bell AH-1Z is a state-of-theart fully integrated weapons system attack helicopter, built to meet the expeditionary requirements of the United States Marine Corps. With virtually identical front and rear glass cockpits, fully integrated weapons, avionics and communications systems, the marinized Bell AH-1Z flies with the

“The ubiquitous Huey family was developed for the United States Marine Corps in the 1950s as a medical evacuation and utility helicopter. Its first flight was in 1956 and in 1960 it became the first turbine-powered helicopter to enter production”

most advanced aircraft weapons and survivability equipment in the world. The Zulu is the only attack helicopter with a fully-integrated air-to-air missile capability and its target sight system provides the longest range and highest accuracy of any helicopter sight in the world.


Technology advances quickly in aviation, and Bell keeps itself at the forefront of innovation. In May this year Bell opened its new Advanced Vertical Lift Center in the Washington, DC metro area. The location offers demonstrations and expertise on how new aviation technology can deliver solutions for customers’ most pressing mission demands. Bell is increasing its presence in the region to offer opportunities for leaders to understand how advanced aviation technology such as the V-280 Valor can meet the urgent needs of the warfighter. “We have a long-standing history of forward thinking, and we are committed to delivering overmatch capabilities to our military,” said Bell CEO Mitch Snyder. “The AVLC was designed

  Aviation Manufacturer Magazine www.aviationmanufacturer.com  35

so we can demonstrate innovative and breakthrough technologies to those involved with national security interests.” The interactive demonstration and event space incorporates several options to experience advancements in aviation, including: • A flight simulator where users take control of the V-280 Valor and experience the agility and speed of the world’s latest tilt-rotor technologies; • A mission table that delivers an interactive and visual representation of how complex operational requirements can be met with the revolutionary speed, range and lethality of the V-280; • An augmented reality demonstration that shows how the use of Bell’s digital thread technology impacts design, build and sustainment by bringing hands-on training and maintenance support to the most remote locations; • And a virtual reality experience

“In June this year, at the Future of Transportation World Conference, Bell announced a new collaboration with French aerospace giant Safran, to develop hybrid electric propulsion systems for future air taxi and vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) systems”

  Aviation Manufacturer Magazine www.aviationmanufacturer.com


focused on giving operators and decision makers an immersive look at how the V-280 is designed to deliver tactical overmatch. Collaboration has always been a strong feature of innovation in aviation, as can be seen with Team Valor. In June this year, at the Future of Transportation World Conference, Bell announced a new collaboration with French aerospace giant Safran, to develop hybrid electric propulsion systems for future air taxi and vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) systems. “This announcement is another proof point of our commitment to providing transportation of people and logistics in new, innovative and more efficient ways,” said Scott Drennan, Bell’s director of innovation. “Our work with Safran is a historical milestone for future transport solutions.” Safran innovation teams have been exploring the potential of hybrid solutions for future propulsion systems for several years. The partnership’s shared vision for electric and hybrid electric aircraft is the successful

bell above & beyond deployment of Bell Air Taxis and new on-demand mobility systems in the future. In this collaboration, Bell will lead the design, development and production of VTOL systems and Safran will bring its technical expertise to bear in the development of a disruptive propulsion system.

The future

Bell unveiled its vision for the future of rotorcraft at Heli-Expo 2017 in Dallas, Texas in March last year, displaying a mock-up of its first concept aircraft, the FCX-001. The aircraft has been designed to address the evolving demands of customers and demonstrate key technologies that revolutionize the pilot and passenger experience, including: • A new anti-torque system in the tail boom designed to change the safety, noise and performance parameters of vertical lift aircraft; • Hybridized propulsion which combines advanced thermal engine cores for the main propulsion with, for example, electric distribution and motors to drive the antitorque system for more control and simpler vehicle operations and maintenance; • An airframe that is made from

• •

advanced sustainable materials to provide structural performance and offer configurations that customers desire; A landing gear with non-traditional geometries that facilitate function when combined with advanced materials and actuation; Morphing rotor blades that allow aircraft to optimize performance in different flight regimes; A single pilot seat and an entirely new flight deck experience with the pilot controlling the aircraft through augmented reality and an artificial intelligence computer assistance system - a stepping stone to the fully autonomous unpiloted VTOL air vehicle; A concept modular flooring system that allows for rapid seating configuration changes so that the cabin can be customized for many types of passenger, cargo or mission based requirements.

Urban mobility

Advances in processing power, flight controls, electric energy storage and electric motors, to name a few, are informing a new breed of aircraft concepts. The convergence of these

technologies is accelerating the ability to achieve real improvements in air mobility and opening new possibilities for flight, such as addressing the issues surrounding congestion in urban areas. In July this year, Michael Thacker, executive vice president, technology and innovation at Bell, gave testimony to the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology on the subject of air taxis and urban mobility challenges. “Since the first skyscraper was built, cities have been destined to become multi-dimensional, yet we still think, plan and build in a two-dimensional world, limited to places our feet can touch,” he said. “We’ve dreamed of flying cars for decades, but until very recently, they’ve remained flights of fancy. With the rapid pace of technological advancement, however, small, urban aircraft may well play a role where the current solution set has failed to keep up with our needs.” Rather than focusing only on the VTOL aircraft themselves, Thacker points out, it is important to define the operational requirements they must meet, the transportation network they will operate within, and the regulatory environment required to enable innovation in the service of community

  Aviation Manufacturer Magazine www.aviationmanufacturer.com  37

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bell above & beyond

needs without sacrificing safety expectations. Thacker described a network of ‘vertiports’, designated take-off and landing areas where aircraft will pick up and drop off passengers or cargo. These could be built on top of buildings and parking structures, limiting the need for ground-level real-estate or miles of physical infrastructure. “VTOL aircraft will travel, on-demand, from vertiport to vertiport, providing fast, quiet, comfortable transportation over crowded urban landscapes,” he said. “We are currently partnering with groups like Uber who will help define, develop and pilot these on-demand mobility operating models.” Bell has a strong legacy of breaking new ground in aviation, from America’s

first jet fighter, the P-59 Airacomet, to the first supersonic aircraft, the legendary Bell X-1, and the first tiltrotor aircraft, the XV- 15 and V-22 Osprey. Each required the development of new technology and new approaches to previously unknown obstacles. “The challenge we face today is developing a new breed of distributed propulsion aircraft that target the same benefits as a tilt-rotor – namely the combination of VTOL capability and high-speed flight – but that employ much simpler propulsion systems and an imperative to make them affordable enough for large scale commercial use,” said Thacker. “One key technology focus area is the man-machine interface. Rapid progress in autonomy will change the way we fly, and ultimately what it means to be

  Aviation Manufacturer Magazine www.aviationmanufacturer.com


a pilot or aircraft operator. In reality, this change has been ongoing for many years, with the move from simple analogue gauges to digital displays to today’s full glass cockpits, and from mechanical flight controls to fly-bywire and fly-by-light controls and flight control systems that intelligently manage flight and compensate for aircraft failures.” Bell has been developing air taxi concepts, along with the technology and infrastructure to enable them, for quite some time. While it is not sharing all of its designs or timelines quite yet, Thacker believes viable commercial operations could begin as early as the mid-2020s. It’s a tantalizing prospect.

  Aviation Manufacturer Magazine www.aviationmanufacturer.com  39

Picture: Courtesy of Paul Howe Photography

  Aviation Manufacturer Magazine www.aviationmanufacturer.com


the boeing company flying into the future

Boeing set out its vision of the future of aviation at the Farnborough International Airshow in July this year, collecting a haul of commercial, defence and services orders along the way. Martin Ashcroft looks at recent events and future possibilities   Aviation Manufacturer Magazine www.aviationmanufacturer.com  41


isitors to the 2018 Farnborough International Airshow experienced for the first time the new £30 million Exhibition and Conference Centre, which was opened in March this year. Visitors to the Boeing exhibit at the show will have taken a flight into the future of air and space travel. Titled The future is built here, the interactive exhibit showcased Boeing’s latest family of aircraft and services, but also offered an insight into what the company is developing in its second century as a pioneer of air travel. In a large 360-degree theatre, Boeing presented innovations that will revolutionize the way humans travel in the future, from hypersonic travel to the future of autonomous flight, and manned flights into space. While all this was going on, of course, the orders kept flying in. At the close of the industry section of the show, Boeing announced a total of $98.4 billion in orders and commitments for commercial airplanes (at list prices) and

$2.1 billion worth of services orders and agreements from commercial and government customers. The services business was spread across Boeing Global Services’ four capability areas, including supply chain; engineering, modifications and maintenance; digital aviation and analytics; and training and professional services. Among the highlights was an agreement with Atlas Air for 20 landing gear exchanges for its 747-8 fleet, and an agreement with Emirates to use the Optimized Maintenance Program for a fleet of 150 777-300ER (extended range), 777-200LR and 777-300 aircraft, the largest 777 fleet in the world with an OMP. Malindo Air signed a long-term partnership agreement with Boeing subsidiary Jeppesen to offer dispatcher training services at its operations centre in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, while Okay Airlines of China signed on to use Airplane Health Management (AHM) for its 737 MAX fleet. Boeing’s AHM uses predictive analytics in support of

  Aviation Manufacturer Magazine www.aviationmanufacturer.com


maintenance and engineering. WestJet became the 100th customer to sign on for AHM, which it will use to provide predicative analytics for its 787 fleet. The Royal Netherlands Air Force signed an agreement for Boeing to provide performance based logistics support for its fleet of AH-64 Apache and CH-47 Chinook helicopters. The five-year agreement is designed to combine Dutch Chinook and Apache support services into one integrated customer support program. Meanwhile the United States Air Force awarded Boeing a contract to provide crew instruction and operate, sustain, modify and upgrade the C-17 aircrew and maintenance training systems. The firmfixed price award has a contract period up to 6.5 years and a potential total value of $986 million. The USAF also awarded Boeing a four-year sole-source contract to repair, support, configure and provide parts obsolescence management for F-15 radars. It wasn’t a bad week for aircraft either, with commercial aviation

the boeing company flying into the future customers announcing 673 orders and commitments, reflecting a continued resurgence in demand for freighters and strong order activity for the 737 MAX and 787 passenger airplanes. Boeing benefited from the continued strengthening of the global cargo market. Volga-Dnepr Group and its UK subsidiary CargoLogicHolding signed a package of agreements, including a letter of intent to acquire 29 Boeing 777 Freighters and confirmation of an order for five Boeing 747-8 Freighters. International express carrier DHL signed up for 14 of the 777 Freighters and Qatar Airways finalized an order for five, meaning a total of 53 Boeing freighters were ordered at the show. On top of that, GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) signed an agreement for 35 additional 737-800 Boeing Converted Freighters. Customers also demonstrated the popularity of Boeing’s passenger airplane portfolio, with 52 orders for the 787 and 564 for the single-aisle 737 MAX, including a major commitment from VietJet for 100 airplanes and strong demand for the largest variant of the MAX family, with 110 orders and commitments for the 737 MAX 10.

“Boeing announced a total of $98.4 billion in orders and commitments for commercial airplanes and $2.1 billion worth of services orders and agreements from commercial and government customers”

San Francisco-based leasing company Jackson Square Aviation became the 100th customer of the 737 MAX program with an order for 30 Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft valued at $3.5 billion.

Embraer partnership

The major players often generate interest in a trade show by making an important announcement during the build-up. The ink was barely dry on the C Series Aircraft Limited Partnership contract between Airbus and Bombardier before Boeing announced it was entering a strategic partnership with Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer. The new joint venture will align the commercial aircraft and services business of Embraer with Boeing’s commercial development, production, marketing and lifecycle services operations. Boeing will hold an 80 per cent ownership stake in the JV and Embraer will own the remaining 20 per cent. “By forging this strategic partnership, we will be ideally positioned to generate significant value for both companies’ customers, employees and shareholders – and for Brazil and the United States,” said Dennis Muilenburg, Boeing’s

  Aviation Manufacturer Magazine www.aviationmanufacturer.com  43

chairman, president and chief executive officer. “This important partnership clearly aligns with Boeing’s long-term strategy of investing in organic growth and returning value to shareholders, complemented by strategic arrangements that enhance and accelerate our growth plans.” The transaction values Embraer’s commercial aircraft operations at $4.75 billion and contemplates a value of $3.8 billion for Boeing’s 80 per cent ownership stake in the joint venture. On finalization, the commercial aviation joint venture will be led by Brazil-based management, including a president and chief executive officer. Boeing will have operational and management control of the new company, which will report directly to Muilenburg. Boeing and Embraer leaders held their first news conference together at Farnborough. Muilenburg, Boeing chief financial officer and executive vice president for enterprise performance & strategy Greg Smith and Embraer chief executive officer and president Paulo Cesar de Souza e Silva presented details of the proposed partnership, which includes ventures in commercial airplanes and lifecycle services, as well as defence. The JV will become one of Boeing’s centres of excellence for end-to-end design, manufacturing and support of commercial passenger aircraft, and will be fully integrated into Boeing’s broader production and supply chain. Assuming the necessary approvals are received in a timely manner, the transaction is expected to close by the end of 2019.

Future technology

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In an announcement made at Farnborough, Boeing said it had agreed to collaborate with artificial intelligence technology leader, SparkCognition, to deliver unmanned aircraft system traffic management (UTM) solutions. Boeing and SparkCognition will use artificial intelligence and blockchain technologies to track unmanned air vehicles in flight and allocate traffic corridors and routes to ensure safe, secure transportation. Through the collaboration, they will also provide a standardized programming interface to support package delivery, industrial inspection and other commercial applications. Boeing HorizonX Ventures previously invested in the Austin, Texas-based SparkCognition in June last year to support its development of a cognitive, data-driven analytics platform for the safety, security and reliability of data technology. Commenting on the initial investment, Greg Hyslop, Boeing chief technology officer and senior vice president, engineering, test & technology, said: “SparkCognition is at the forefront of a technological shift in machine learning and artificial intelligence that will revolutionize every aspect of industry. They are leaders in AI, and they are pursuing the types of technologies that are critical to our future products and services.” “There is massive demand for our category-leading AI solutions,” said Amir Husain, founder and CEO of SparkCognition. “The world is well on its way to an AI-powered revolution — where cognitive systems will truly augment human capabilities, but at machine speed and big data scale. Our real world deployments and on-the-ground successes speak to the broad applicability of SparkCognition’s AI technology, and the tremendous promise of AI in general.” After the collaboration announcement at Farnborough, Husain said that opportunities in urban aerial mobility will lead to the creation of “the largest new market in our lifetimes, estimated by some analysts at $3 trillion.” To help advance UTM and next-generation travel, and evolve the transportation ecosystem, Boeing is starting a new organization, Boeing NeXt. This will leverage Boeing’s research and development activities and investments in areas such as autonomous flight and advanced propulsion, as well as focus on modelling smart cities and exploring new market opportunities to solve the

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the boeing company flying into the future transportation challenges of the future. “We’re at a point in history where technological advances and societal trends are converging to demand bold solutions and a different way to travel,” said Greg Hyslop, Boeing chief technology officer. Steve Nordlund, who will lead Boeing NeXt in addition to his role as vice president of Boeing HorizonX, expanded on the vision. “By taking a holistic approach that combines Boeing’s strength in technological innovation with new business models and non-traditional partnerships, we are laying the foundation for the future commercial mobility ecosystem,” he said. “We are shaping the physical and connectivity infrastructure to ensure new air vehicles safely operate in the global air space.” The Boeing NeXt portfolio will include the recently unveiled passenger-carrying hypersonic concept, as well as electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) vehicles that will provide on-demand cargo transport and urban air travel in the future mobility ecosystem. Boeing also highlighted its commitment to future aerospace innovators with a $5 million investment

“Boeing’s 2018 Commercial Market Outlook raises the company’s 20year outlook for commercial airplanes and services to $15.1 trillion. The global market is forecast at almost 43,000 new airplanes, valued at $6.3 trillion, with demand for $8.8 trillion worth of commercial services through 2038”

in Newton Europe to launch science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education “Newton Rooms” across nine European countries. Newton Rooms are themed, state-of-the-art classrooms focused on experiential learning. Boeing’s multi-year investment will establish Newton Rooms in the United Kingdom, Germany, Netherlands, France, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Poland and Sweden.

Market outlook

Boeing also revealed its 2018 Commercial Market Outlook at the Farnborough show, raising its 20-year outlook for commercial airplanes and services to $15.1 trillion. The global market is forecast at almost 43,000 new airplanes, valued at $6.3 trillion, and demand for $8.8 trillion worth of commercial services through 2038. Recognized as an industry benchmark for global air travel forecasting, the 2018 CMO projects the total number of airplanes increasing 4.1 per cent over the previous forecast. “For the first time in years, we are seeing economies growing in every region of the world,” said Randy Tinseth, vice president of commercial marketing for The Boeing

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Company. “This synchronized growth is providing more stimulus for global air travel. We are seeing strong traffic trends not only in the emerging markets of China and India, but also the mature markets of Europe and North America. Along with continued traffic expansion, the data show a big retirement wave approaching as older airplanes age out of the global fleet.” According to fleet data, there are more than 900 airplanes today that are over 25 years old. By the mid 2020s, more than 500 airplanes a year will reach that age – double the current rate – fuelling the retirement wave. Tinseth said the data explain why 44 per cent of the new airplanes will be needed to cover replacement alone, while the rest will support future growth. Including airplanes that will be retained, the global fleet is projected to essentially double in size to 48,540 by 2037. According to the CMO, the single-aisle segment will see the most growth over the forecast period, with a demand for 31,360 new airplanes, an increase of 6.1 per cent over last year. This $3.5 trillion market is driven in large part by the continued growth of low-cost carriers, strong demand in emerging markets, and increasing replacement demand in markets such as China and Southeast Asia. The wide-body segment calls for 8,070 new airplanes valued at nearly $2.5 trillion over the next twenty

years. Wide-body demand is spearheaded, in part, by a large wave of replacements beginning early in the next decade and airlines deploying advanced jets such as the 787 Dreamliner and 777X to expand their global networks. Additionally, Boeing projects the need for 980 new production wide-body freighters over the forecast period, up 60 airplanes over last year. In addition, operators are forecasted to buy 1,670 converted freighters. The massive global fleet generates a strong and growing demand for aviation services ranging from supply chain support (parts and logistics), to maintenance and engineering services, to aircraft modifications and airline operations. Over the next 20 years, Boeing forecasts an $8.8 trillion market for commercial aviation services with

  Aviation Manufacturer Magazine www.aviationmanufacturer.com


the boeing company flying into the future annual growth of 4.2 per cent. “We see a market in which airlines outsource more and more, a market in which data and data analytics help aircraft and airline networks become more efficient and reliable, and a market in which new technologies provide new services solutions,” said Tinseth. “All of these trends drive greater demand for integrated solutions over the life of an airplane.” Boeing’s CMO forecast that airlines in Asia Pacific would represent about 40 per cent of expected new deliveries over the coming 20 years, with 16,930 new aircraft tipped to enter service in that period, up from 16,050 new deliveries in the 2017-2036 CMO. The region is expected to be the biggest travel market in the world and tipped to represent about 40 per cent of global passenger traffic by 2036. It takes a long time to design and build an aircraft, so these analytics are essential to ensure that Boeing can meet the demands of its customers within a reasonable lead time. Anticipating their requirements gives a head start in determining the most appropriate product mix.

Boeing 737 MAX

“The 737 MAX incorporates the latest CFM International LEAP-1B engines, advanced technology winglets, Boeing Sky Interior, large flight deck displays and other features to deliver the highest efficiency, reliability and passenger comfort in the singleaisle market”

The narrow-body Boeing 737 series is the most popular aircraft of all time. As The Boeing Company celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2017, the 737 celebrated its 50th. The first production 737-100 was handed over to German national airline Lufthansa in December 1967. By July 2012, the 737 became the first commercial jet to surpass 10,000 orders. The series has been through a few iterations since then, with the 737 Classic followed by the 737 Next Generation. The 737 MAX is the fourth generation of the Boeing 737. The series will be offered in four lengths. The 737 MAX 7, MAX 8, and MAX 9 will replace the original 737-700, -800, and -900. Additional length is offered with the further stretched 737 MAX 10. The entire 737 MAX family has been designed to offer customers exceptional performance, flexibility and efficiency, with lower per-seat costs and an extended range that will open up new destinations in the single-aisle market. The 737 MAX incorporates the latest CFM International LEAP-1B engines, advanced technology winglets, Boeing Sky Interior, large flight deck displays

  Aviation Manufacturer Magazine www.aviationmanufacturer.com  47

and other features to deliver the highest efficiency, reliability and passenger comfort in the single-aisle market. Rather confusingly, however, the new models are not being released in numerical order. The first to appear, the 737 MAX 8, has already entered commercial service and will be followed by the MAX 9, MAX 7 and MAX 10, in that order. Said to be the industry’s most efficient and profitable single-aisle airplane, Boeing launched the 737 MAX 10 at the Paris Air Show last year, with more than 360 orders and commitments from 16 customers worldwide. Deliveries are expected to commence in 2020. The first Boeing 737 MAX 9 was delivered to the Lion Air Group in March 2018 for use by Thai Lion Air. One of the world’s largest operators of the 737, Lion Air was also the first operator to put the MAX 8 into service, and has announced a commitment for 50 MAX 10s. The 737 MAX 9 is designed for a capacity of up to 220 passengers and a maximum range of 3,550 nautical miles. With three additional seat rows compared to the 737 MAX 8, the airplane provides operators added capacity while maximizing profitability within their network. The 737 MAX 7, which is scheduled to enter service in 2019, took its first light in March this year and made its air show debut at Farnborough, with

flying displays throughout the week. Technology advancements allow the MAX 7 to fly 1,000 nautical miles farther and carry more passengers than its predecessor, the 737-700, while having 18 per cent lower fuel costs per seat.

Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner

“The 737 MAX 7, which is scheduled to enter service in 2019, took its first flight in March this year and made its air show debut at Farnborough, with flying displays throughout the week”

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The Boeing 787 Dreamliner is the family of new, super-efficient airplanes that brings big-jetliner comfort and economics to the middle of the market. The 787 incorporates advanced composite materials, systems and engines to provide superior passenger comfort and unprecedented performance, including a 20-per cent improvement in fuel efficiency and emissions over the aircraft they replace. In October 2009, Boeing selected its site in North Charleston, South Carolina for a new 787 Dreamliner final assembly and delivery line. The first airplane built in South Carolina rolled out of final assembly on 27 April 2012, took its first flight on 23 May 2012, and was delivered to Air India on 5 October 2012. Three members of the 787 family – the 787-8, 787-9 and 787-10 – are designed to serve the 200- to 330-seat market on flights as long as 8,500 nautical miles (15,750 km) in three-class seating. The first 787 built in Everett made its inaugural flight in December 2009, with first delivery of the 787-8 in September 2011 to launch customer ANA. Boeing

the boeing company flying into the future delivered the second member of the family, the 787-9, to launch customer Air New Zealand in June 2014. The third and longest version of the 787, the 787-10, completed its first flight in March 2017. Singapore Airlines took delivery of the first one in March 2018 at Boeing’s facility in North Charleston, South Carolina. The 787-10 is being built exclusively in North Charleston. Like the other 787 Dreamliners, the 78710 is designed with strong, lightweight composites, the most advanced systems, and comfortable cabin features. The 78710, though, features a longer fuselage which allows it to carry about 40 more passengers or a total of 330 seats in a standard two-class configuration. As a stretch of the 787-9, the 787-10 retains over 95 per cent commonality while adding seats and cargo capacity, setting a new benchmark for fuel efficiency and operating economics at 25 per cent better fuel per seat and emissions than the airplanes it will replace.

Boeing 777X

A new plane in development, being assembled at the Everett plant, is the third-generation of the wide-body Boeing 777, the 777X. Powered by GE9X turbofan engines the 777X is the largest two-engine jetliner in the world,

“The third and longest version of the 787, the 787-10, completed its first flight in March 2017. Singapore Airlines took delivery of the first one in March 2018 at Boeing’s facility in North Charleston, South Carolina”

carrying up to 425 passengers with a range up to 8,000 nautical miles. The original 777 first entered commercial service with United Airlines in June 1995. The 777X series was launched in November 2013 with two variants: the 777-8 and the 777-9. Like the 737 MAX 10, it is scheduled to enter service by 2020. As a competitor of the Airbus A330300 and A350 XWB, the 777 ranks as Boeing’s most-produced wide-body jet, surpassing even the Boeing 747. Airlines have taken to it as a comparatively fuelefficient alternative to other wide-body jets and have increasingly deployed the aircraft on long-haul transoceanic routes. The cabin interior of the 777X is inspired by the comforts and conveniences of the 787 Dreamliner and includes larger windows, a wider cabin, new lighting and enhanced architecture. Innovation on the flight deck includes touchscreens in the forward displays, a first in the air transport industry. Boeing opened its new 777X Composite Wing Center at the Everett campus in May 2016, after investing more than $1 billion for construction and outfitting of the building. The new facility will produce the largest wing the company has ever built. With a 235-foot

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wingspan, the tips of the wings fold up so that airports can accommodate their width. In the main factory, instead of cranes and scaffolding-like structures, computer-controlled automated guided vehicles will be used to position wings and fuselage sections for wing-to-body join. Boeing has also completed a 90,000 square-foot expansion of the parts facility in Montana that it acquired in 2010. Now more than 257,000 square feet, Boeing Helena has become a vital part of the supply chain, specializing in complex machining of hard metals for the Boeing 737, 747, 767, and 787 airplane models – and now the 777X. The new parts machined in Helena for the 777X will include side-of-body chords, and terminal end fittings which connect the wings to the fuselage.

Boeing 767

The Boeing 767 family includes the 767-300ER (extended range) and the 767 Freighter. Sized between the single-aisle 737 Next Generation and the twin-aisle 777, the versatile 767 has earned a reputation among airlines for its profitability and comfort. The 767 Freighter offers excellent fuel efficiency, operational flexibility, low-noise levels and an all-digital flight deck. Built in Everett, alongside the 747, The Boeing 767 is a wide-body, double-aisle jet carrying from 200 to

300-plus passengers. Like the smaller standard-body 757, it was designed for fuel efficiency. The 767-200ER entered service in 1984, the first commercial twin jet to fly regular routes across the Atlantic.


Boeing’s expertise in defence spans a broad range of products. Fighter jets, rotorcraft, embedded product support, cyber-security products, surveillance suites, advanced weapons, missile defence and commercial aircraft derivatives all fit in Boeing’s portfolio. Deployed by the US Navy since 2013, the P-8A Poseidon is an aircraft designed for long-range anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions. The P-8 is a commercial derivative aircraft, a process whereby a commercial airplane is converted for military purposes. A derivative of the Next-Generation 737-800, the P-8A combines superior performance and reliability with an advanced mission system that ensures maximum interoperability in the future battle space. The H-47 Chinook helicopter is an icon of the battlefield. Constantly being upgraded, the latest program will see an improved drivetrain to transfer greater power from the engines to the all-new, fully composite, swept-tip advanced

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Chinook rotor blades, which have been engineered to lift 1,500 additional pounds on their own. The current configuration of six fuel tanks – three on each side – will become two, allowing the aircraft to carry more fuel and shed weight. Additionally, the fuselage’s structure will be strengthened in critical areas to allow the aircraft to carry additional payload. The AH-6 is a light attack/armed reconnaissance helicopter specifically designed with superior performance characteristics and flexible, easily configurable mission equipment ideal for light attack, precision attack, close combat attacks, reconnaissance, security & escort, troop insertion/extraction, combat search & rescue. The AH-64 Apache is the world’s most advanced multi-role combat helicopter and is used by the US Army and a growing number of international defence forces. Boeing has delivered more than 2,200 Apaches to customers around the world since the aircraft entered production in the 1980s. The first AH-64A was delivered to the US Army in January 1984. The Boeing B-52 bomber is in its sixth decade of operational service. It primarily provides the United States with immediate nuclear and conventional global strike capability. The B-52H is the most combat capable bomber in the US inventory. Due to

the boeing company flying into the future its high mission-capable rate, long range, persistence and ability to employ accurate standoff weapons and joint direct attack munitions, the B-52H continues to be a major contributor to the US and allied forces. The bomber is another aircraft regularly upgraded to feature the latest technological advantages, most recently being equipped with enhanced internal weapons bay launchers allowing the B-52 to carry GPS-guided or ‘smart’ weapons in the weapons bay for the first time. When it comes to fighter jets, the F-15 is the backbone of the US Air Force’s air superiority and homeland defence

single-seat E model and the two-seat F model – are able to perform virtually every mission in the tactical spectrum, including air superiority, day/night strike with precision-guided weapons, fighter escort, close air support, suppression of enemy air defences, maritime strike, reconnaissance, forward air control and tanker missions. A variant of the F/A-18F Super Hornet, the EA-18G Growler provides tactical jamming and electronic protection to US military forces and allies around the world. The KC-46A Pegasus is a wide-body, multirole tanker that can refuel all US, allied and coalition military aircraft

aircraft can be configured to carry allpassengers, all-cargo, or a combination of both. The C-40A is part of Boeing’s C-40 series of aircraft, which also includes the C-40B and C-40C. The C-40A is currently on offer as the C-40Ai to countries around the world. A high-wing, four-engine, T-tailed military transport aircraft, the multiservice C-17 Globemaster can carry large equipment, supplies and troops directly to small airfields in harsh terrain anywhere in the world. The massive, sturdy, long-haul aircraft tackles distance, destination and heavy, oversized payloads in unpredictable conditions. It has delivered cargo in

missions. A twin-engine, all weather fighter, its proven design is undefeated in air-to-air combat, with more than 100 aerial combat victories. Its two engines provide 58,000 pounds of thrust, which enable the F-15 to exceed speeds of Mach 2.5. Boeing has built more than 1,600 of the aircraft for six countries around the world, providing unparalleled interoperability. The F/A-18 Block III Super Hornet is the newest tactical aircraft in US Navy inventory, the backbone of the US Navy carrier air wing. The combat-proven Super Hornet delivers cutting-edge, next-generation multi-role strike fighter capability, outdistancing current and emerging threats. Two versions of the Super Hornet – the

compatible with international aerial refuelling procedures and can carry passengers, cargo and patients. In February 2011, it was decided that Boeing would build 179 tankers for the US Air Force, to replace its KC-135 tanker program. Designated KC-46 Pegasus, the new aircraft is based on the 767-2C, a freighter version of the 767-200ER, making the 767 the only Boeing product that serves the freighter, passenger and tanker markets. The design received an amended type certificate from the US Federal Aviation Administration in December last year. Designed to offer mission flexibility, the C-40A is a versatile FAA-certified 737-700 convertible aircraft, optimized to transport passengers and cargo. The

every worldwide operation since the 1990s. The final Boeing C-17 Globemaster III military airlifter left the company’s plant in Long Beach, California in November 2015, marking the official end of aircraft production in Long Beach, although Boeing will continue to service the worldwide C-17 fleet, providing support, maintenance and upgrades. At Farnborough this year, the US Department of Defense displayed the AH-64 Apache attack helicopter, the CH-47 Chinook heavy-lift helicopter and the F-15E Strike Eagle, underlining Boeing’s contribution to national defense, as well as commercial aviation.

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Have a news story or press release you would like to be considered for publication in the next Aviation Manufacturer Magazine? Please contact Martin Ashcroft at martin@aviationmanufacturer.com www.aviationmanufacturer.com


Bombardier’s Dash 8 program acquired by Longview Aviation B “We are committed to a business-asusual approach that will see no interruption to the production, delivery and support of these outstanding aircraft”

ombardier has agreed to sell its entire Dash 8 program, including the 100, 200 and 300 series and the in-production Q400 program, to Longview Aviation Capital Corp, parent company to Canadian aircraft manufacturer Viking Air Limited. Also included as part of the approximately $300 million transaction are rights to the de Havilland name and trademark in an all-Canadian transaction. Bombardier said the disposal was in line with its strategy of focusing on growth opportunities in its transportation, business aircraft and aerostructures segments. On completion, Longview will become North America’s largest commercial turbo-prop aircraft manufacturer. “The Dash 8 turbo-prop

is the perfect complement to our existing portfolio of specialized aircraft including the Twin Otter and the Canadair CL 215 and 415 series of water bombers,” said David Curtis, CEO of Longview Aviation Capital Corp. “We see enormous value in the de Havilland Dash 8 program, with these aircraft in demand and in use all around the world.” Longview will continue to operate the program at the original de Havilland manufacturing site in Downsview, Ontario. The site was sold by Bombardier earlier this year but, under the terms of a lease with the new owners and a license from Bombardier, production will remain on-site until at least 2021. Existing Bombardier employees

currently associated with the production, support and sales of the Dash 8 program will remain in post. Longview will also assume responsibility for the worldwide product support business – covering more than 1,000 aircraft either currently in service or slated for production. “We are committed to a business-as-usual approach that will see no interruption to the production, delivery and support of these outstanding aircraft,” added Curtis. “With the entire de Havilland product line reunited under the same banner for the first time in decades, we look forward to working with customers, suppliers and employees upon close of the transaction to determine what opportunities lie ahead.”

  Aviation Manufacturer Magazine www.aviationmanufacturer.com  55



Boeing and Safran JV approved to start APU operations

oeing and Safran have received regulatory approvals for the joint venture they announced in June, to design, build and service aircraft auxiliary power units. “Safran is proud to launch this joint venture with Boeing in order to offer state-of-the-art APUs and enhance customer value,” said Philippe Petitcolin, CEO of Safran. “Together, we are committed to delivering innovative, highly technological and cost-competitive solutions to global

customers. We are confident this joint team will provide first-class products and services within the best integrated industrial organization.” “This joint venture strengthens Boeing’s vertical capabilities as we continue to expand our services portfolio,” said Stan Deal, president and CEO of Boeing Global Services. “By making strategic investments that accelerate our growth plans, we also are providing our customers with expanded, innovative services solutions.”

APUs are on-board engines that are primarily used to start the main engines and power aircraft systems while on the ground and, if necessary, in flight. Boeing and Safran both have a 50 per cent stake in the joint venture. Etienne Boisseau has been named chief executive officer, but the name of the JV and the location of its future headquarters and production and service facilities will be announced at a later date. The initial team will perform design work in San Diego, California.

Arrowhead Products adds STS as distribution partner


erospace component manufacturer Arrowhead Products of Los Alamitos, California has named STS Component Solutions of Palm City, Florida as an authorized distribution partner for its commercial aftermarket products. Arrowhead Products is an OEM manufacturer of air distribution ducting systems, supporting nearly all commercial and military aircraft

flying today. Its capabilities extend from airframe and engine applications to low pressure interior cabin ducting. STS Component Solutions, a division of STS Aviation Group, will be providing global support for Arrowhead Products in the commercial aftermarket with the addition of parts stocking locations worldwide, while simultaneously providing expanded repair and exchange capabilities on

key platforms and products within the Arrowhead Products portfolio. “STS has decades of expertise in providing outstanding service to the commercial aftermarket and there is no doubt that our customers will immediately benefit from the support services offered by the STS Component Solutions team,” said Terry Weed, VP of Sales and Marketing at Arrowhead Products.

  Aviation Manufacturer Magazine www.aviationmanufacturer.com  57

finishing is only the beginning TNM is specialized in surface finishing for the aviation industry and its goal is to provide their customers with “one stop shop”.TNM is a fully approved facility for Bombardier, Airbus and Boeing along with many other major OEMs and we’re in the process of also getting fully approved for Lockheed Martin. Our Mission “Our mission is to be amongst the elite processors for surface finishing. We are committed to providing superior value and service to our customers and sustained profitability to our stakeholders by investing in our people and services. At TNM “FINISHING IS ONLY THE BEGINNING”. Why TNM?

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UTC to split into three after completing Rockwell Collins acquisition “Our decision to separate United Technologies is a pivotal moment in our history and will best position each independent company to drive sustained growth and maximize value creation”


nited Technologies Corp has completed the acquisition of Rockwell Collins, one of the largest acquisitions in aerospace history, and now intends to separate its commercial businesses into three independent entities. United Technologies will now comprise engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney plus Collins Aerospace Systems, a new entity formed through the combination of UTC Aerospace Systems and Rockwell Collins. Elevator manufacturer Otis will be spun off, as will the Climate, Controls and Security (CCS) business, which is to be renamed Carrier. “Our decision to separate United Technologies is a pivotal moment in our history and will best position each independent company to drive sustained growth, lead its industry in innovation and customer focus, and maximize value creation,” said United Technologies

chairman and chief executive officer Gregory Hayes. “I’m confident that each company will continue our proud history of performance, excellence and innovation while building an even brighter future. As standalone companies, United Technologies, Otis and Carrier will be ready to solve our customers’ biggest challenges, provide rewarding career opportunities, and contribute positively to communities around the world.” Each spin-off is subject to the satisfaction of customary conditions. Gregory Hayes will oversee the transition and will continue in his current role as UTC chairman and CEO following the separation, which is expected to be completed in 2020, although the company was careful to say there can be no guarantees on the ultimate timing of the separation or even that it will be completed.

  Aviation Manufacturer Magazine www.aviationmanufacturer.com  59

Lockheed Martin Skunk Works starts cutting X-59 parts


ockheed Martin Skunk Works has begun to manufacture the first parts for the X-59 Quiet Supersonic Technology aircraft, in a quest to remove restrictions on supersonic commercial air travel over land.

“The start of manufacturing marks a great leap forward for the future of quiet supersonic commercial travel” “The start of manufacturing on the project marks a great leap forward for the X-59 and the future of quiet supersonic commercial travel,” said Peter Iosifidis, low boom flight

demonstrator program manager at Lockheed Martin Skunk Works. “The long, slender design of the aircraft is the key to achieving a low sonic boom. As we enter into the manufacturing phase, the aircraft structure begins to take shape, bringing us one step closer to enabling supersonic travel for passengers around the world.” Earlier this year, NASA selected Lockheed Martin to design, build and flight test the low boom flight demonstrator. X-59 is designed to cruise at 55,000 feet at a speed of about 940 mph, producing a sound at ground level about as loud as a car door closing, 75 perceived level decibels (PLdB), instead of a sonic boom. The X-59 will conduct its first flight in 2021 and will be used to collect community response data on the quiet sonic boom, helping NASA establish an acceptable commercial supersonic noise standard to overturn current regulations banning supersonic travel over land.

Embraer KC-390 receives Brazilian type certificate E

mbraer has received type certification for its multimission cargo plane KC-390 from Brazilian aviation authority Agência Nacional de Aviação Civil. The ANAC certificate takes the aircraft a step closer to military certification. Full operational capability is expected to be achieved by the end of next year. “The certification of KC390, the largest and most complex aircraft developed throughout Embraer’s

history, expresses the high technological level achieved by the company,” said Paulo Cesar de Souza e Silva, president and CEO of Embraer. “I would like to congratulate the teams that participated in the development of this program in partnership with the Brazilian Air Force.” Aiming to compete with Lockheed Martin’s market dominating C-130 Hercules transport plane, Embraer says the KC-390 is designed

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to set new standards in its category while presenting the lowest life-cycle cost in the market. It can perform a variety of missions such as

cargo and troop transport, troop and cargo air delivery, aerial refuelling, search and rescue and forest fire fighting.


AE Industrial acquires The Atlas Group


rivate equity investor AE Industrial Partners has acquired Aerostructures Acquisition LLC (doing business as The Atlas Group), a manufacturer of assemblies for commercial, military and business aircraft. AEI is combining Atlas with its existing portfolio company, FMI. With a unique set of machining, specialty forming and chemical processing capabilities, supported by automation technology, Atlas manufactures complex assemblies on a diverse group of commercial, military and business aircraft, including the 737 MAX, F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, Gulfstream G650, and nearly every Textron Aviation aircraft. Atlas delivers a broad range of aircraft assemblies, including complete aircraft doors, escape hatches, wing structures, and flight control assemblies for a growing list of leading aerospace OEMs. Atlas and FMI are both based in Wichita, Kansas, with other strategic locations in Phoenix, Arizona, Bensalem, Pennsylavania and Chihuahua, Mexico. The combined

platform will create a centre of excellence in manufacturing a wide range of complex assemblies including engine nacelle structures, pressure bulkheads and a variety of other product families. “Atlas has a strong reputation for addressing complex manufacturing challenges and delivering world class quality to its customers,” said Jon Nemo, Partner of AEI. “The acquisition of Atlas represents a critical milestone in creating a highly strategic, purpose-built platform and we look forward to partnering with their senior leadership team to grow the business.” “We are excited to partner with AEI given their strategic approach to aerospace investing and our similar philosophies on creating value in the aerospace supply chain,” said Rick Wolf, CEO of Atlas. “The combination of Atlas and FMI makes great sense and will deliver strong value to our customers and over 1,000 combined employees.”

American Airlines orders more E175s from Embraer


mbraer and American Airlines have signed a firm order for 15 E175 jets, valued at $705 million on current list prices, for delivery in 2020. This new contract brings the number of E175 jets ordered by American Airlines up to 104 since 2013. The most recent previous order was in May 2018 for 15 aircraft. American Airlines selected

its wholly owned subsidiary, Envoy, to operate the 15 aircraft, which will be configured with a total of 76 seats, 12 in first class and 64 in main cabin. “This new order from American Airlines continues to show the value that airlines place on our best-selling E175 aircraft,” said Charlie Hillis, vice president, sales & marketing, North America, Embraer Commercial

Aviation. “We are fully committed to providing fleet solutions that have a positive bottom line impact, and our

E175 leads the charge with over 80 per cent market share in the North American market.”

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proven engineering capabilities TJW has been manufacturing precision metal components for the world’s most demanding markets since 1983. Using cutting edge technology and advanced engineering techniques to provide outstanding services all from locations Dursley, Gloucestershire and Stourbridge, West Midlands. TJW provides a “one-stop shop” for finished components for the aerospace, automotive, oil & gas, nuclear, medical, OEM and metrology industries.

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new identity for Helitech International


elitech International proved to be a successful platform for business deals last year, with Airbus reportedly confirming 19 orders, including six helicopters for French Alps-based civil operator SAF Group, for emergency medical service (EMS) operations, mountain rescue, aerial work and passenger transport. Norway’s Helitrans ordered four light single H125s for a wide range of missions and DRF Luftrettung, one of the biggest Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS) operators in Germany, signed a contract confirming the delivery of three previously ordered H145s in 2019. There was more on display at

Helitech, however, with suppliers showcasing aircraft interiors, avionics

“The event will move to Farnborough International’s recently launched permanent structure for exhibitions” and navigation systems, as well as communication equipment, UAV technology, night vision, engines and

leasing and regulatory services. The 2018 event is the last to be held in association with the European Helicopter Association, however. The organisers have announced that Helitech International will now assume a new identity as Vertical Flight Expo & Conference – formerly Helitech International, and in 2019 it will move to Farnborough International’s recently launched permanent structure for exhibitions. The decision follows extensive consultation with the show’s key stakeholders as well as an assessment of suitable venues across Europe. The event will run under both brands during the transition.

SKF to consolidate aerospace manufacturing in Europe SKF is planning to consolidate its aerospace manufacturing in Europe by closing a factory in the UK and moving production to Italy and France. The Group will now enter into a period of consultation with employee representatives. If the proposal is confirmed, manufacturing at the site in Stonehouse, Gloucestershire, will cease

order to secure a continued competitive offering for the aerospace industry, as it shifts away from legacy engines and aircraft to more modern ones,” said Bernd Stephan, President, Automotive and Aerospace. “We will be able to make better use of more modern machines and manufacturing technologies at our sites in other parts of Europe.”

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news Bell unveils full-scale design of air taxi at CES 2019


t the consumer electronics show CES 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada in January, Bell revealed the configuration and full-scale design of its vertical-takeoff-and-landing air taxi. Called Bell Nexus, the air taxi is powered by a hybrid-electric propulsion system and features Bell’s signature powered lift concept, incorporating six tilting ducted fans. “As space at the ground level becomes limited, we must solve transportation challenges in the vertical dimension – and that’s where Bell’s on-demand mobility vision takes hold,” said Mitch Snyder, president and CEO of Bell. “The industry has anticipated the reveal of our air taxi for some time,

so Bell is very proud of this moment. We believe the design, taken with our strategic approach to build this infrastructure, will lead to the successful deployment of the Bell Nexus to the world.”

production of the VTOL systems. Safran will provide the hybrid propulsion and drive systems, EPS will provide the energy storage systems, Thales will provide the flight control computer (FCC) hardware and software, Moog

“As space at ground level becomes limited, we must solve transportation challenges in the vertical dimension” The team collaborating on this project, known as Team Nexus, includes Safran, EPS, Thales, Moog and Garmin. Bell will lead the design, development and

will develop the flight control actuation systems and Garmin will integrate the avionics and the vehicle management computer (VMC).

Boeing and SparkCognition to launch joint venture SkyGrid


oeing and SparkCognition are planning to launch SkyGrid, a new company aiming to enable the future of urban aerial mobility. Based in Austin, Texas, SkyGrid will develop a software platform to ensure the safe, secure integration of autonomous cargo and passenger air vehicles into the global airspace. “SkyGrid merges expertise in AI, blockchain, security and aviation to deliver breakthrough technological advancements for the rapidly-growing urban aerial mobility industry,” said Amir Husain, who will serve as CEO of SkyGrid in addition to his role as founder and CEO of SparkCognition.

“SkyGrid is building the digital infrastructure that will make safe, seamless commercial and personal transport possible”

“By offering scalable and robust capabilities in a single, integrated framework, SkyGrid will make largescale air vehicle applications more practical and accessible.” SkyGrid customers will be able to perform a broad range of operations using unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), including package delivery, industrial inspections and emergency assistance. “SkyGrid is building the digital infrastructure that will make safe, seamless commercial and personal transport possible for billions of people around the world,” said Steve Nordlund, vice president and general manager of Boeing NeXt.

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Pratt & Whitney inaugurates new Aerospace Engineering Center in Puerto Rico


ratt & Whitney, a division of United Technologies Corp, has inaugurated the Pratt & Whitney Puerto Rico Aguadilla Engineering Center in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico. The renovated $14m facility, made possible through a collaboration with PRIDCO, is 104,000 square feet and houses more than 800 Pratt & Whitney Puerto Rico employees with the capacity for 400 more. The facility is on track for LEED Silver certification with multiple features designed with sustainability in mind. It also has an open-concept floorplan to support communication and collaboration. Pratt & Whitney Puerto Rico, formerly Infotech Aerospace Services,


“We brought IAS into the Pratt & Whitney family because we recognized the tremendous potential the business offered us” designs, evaluates and supports Pratt & Whitney’s commercial and military gas turbine engines, including the geared turbofan engine.

“We brought IAS into the Pratt & Whitney family because we recognized the tremendous potential the business offered us — in particular, the talented engineers and employees,” said Geoff Hunt, senior vice president of engineering, Pratt & Whitney. “I want to thank PRIDCO for their support in making this beautifully renovated facility possible. This is something we can all come together to celebrate, especially in light of the devastation of Hurricane Maria.” The inauguration ceremony also included a donation of $500,000 to the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez to fund an aerospace teaching laboratory.

First delivery of HondaJet Elite in Japan

t a ceremony at Haneda Airport (Tokyo International Airport), Honda Aircraft company celebrated the delivery of a HondaJet Elite for the first time in Japan. The first customer delivery, to Kotaro Chiba, founder of Japan’s Drone Fund, follows the receipt of type certification for the HondaJet Elite from the Japan

Civil Aviation Bureau (JCAB). Since expanding sales to the region in June 2018, the company has taken orders for more than 10 aircraft. The HondaJet Elite incorporates Honda Aircraft’s unique over-the-wing engine mount (OTWEM) configuration, natural laminar flow (NLF) nose and wing and composite fuselage.

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news Airbus’ Urban Air Mobility team to create an entire industry from scratch


ith the establishment of its new Urban Air Mobility unit, Airbus aims to lay the foundations for more efficient and sustainable city travel. Joerg Mueller, head of programmes and strategy for Urban Air Mobility, recently experienced just how easy urban travel can be. After landing at the airport in São Paulo, Brazil, he used Airbus’ on-demand helicopter booking platform, Voom, to take him directly to his hotel. “In rush hour traffic, that journey can take two hours,” he says. “It took me just 11 minutes of flight time.” Voom is currently operating in São Paulo and Mexico City, and the demand is already impressive. The service will be launched in other cities in 2019 and will continue to lay the groundwork for Airbus’ longerterm vision of urban mobility using electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) vehicles. “Voom has proven to be an awesome mechanism for us to glean key insights into the potential of the on-demand air mobility market and passenger preferences, and we are constantly relaying those insights to the UAM team,” says Voom CEO Clement Monnet. Voom is just one part of the unit,

which hosts the ongoing UAM activities across the company, from air traffic management to infrastructure development, including partnership building and pilot projects. It also steers the development of Airbus’ ongoing eVTOL demonstrators, Vahana and CityAirbus. Beyond working out infrastructure requirements, the unit, through Isabel Del Pozo, head of airspace management, is exploring solutions that will ensure

Del Pozo wants to create more intelligent, autonomous and decentralised traffic management solutions that support operations in urban areas, from helicopters to drones. This will gradually pave the way for autonomous eVTOLs carrying passengers. A key element is unmanned traffic management (UTM). For almost two years, the Altiscope project in A³ has been working with regulators

“When we introduce autonomous vehicles during the next decade, traffic will increase considerably” this new era of flight operates safely and efficiently in the urban airspace. “The existing air traffic management system is tailored to commercial flights for fixed-wing aircraft. It still relies on voice communication and human-centred task execution,” she says. “We’re already close to exceeding its capacity, and that’s just for manned flights. When we introduce autonomous vehicles during the next decade, traffic will increase considerably.”

and key stakeholders to define a clear picture of the future of traffic management, publishing the Airbus UTM roadmap called Blueprint for the Sky and becoming a Federal Aviation Administration Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC) certified service provider. In December 2018, the Altiscope team transitioned from A³ into the UAM unit to form Airbus UTM.

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news Spirit AeroSystems plans expansion in Wichita, Kansas and Tulsa, Oklahoma


year after revealing growth and investment plans at its site in Wichita, Kansas, Spirit AeroSystems has announced a second significant expansion, with plans to hire an additional 1,400 employees to support commercial and defense programs over the next few years. This growth adds to the 1,000 new jobs announced in 2017. The company also plans to expand operations at its Tulsa, Oklahoma site by hiring about 250 employees and investing more than $80 million in capital projects to support fuselage manufacturing and assembly work. The majority of open positions will continue to be in the hourly ranks, including skilled sheet-metal assembly mechanics, composite

mechanics and CNC machine operators. The new Tulsa jobs will support increases in 737 production rates by freeing up required space in Spirit’s Wichita factory site. The work expansion in Tulsa is part of a larger effort to maximize operational efficiencies across Spirit’s sites. As the production rates increase, the Wichita site will continue to hire additional workers to meet the increasing demand. The first phase of the Tulsa work expansion will begin with infrastructure set-up and employee training beginning in 2019. Full rate production is expected to be complete by the end of 2021. Additional investment in equipment, tooling and facilities upgrades will take place through 2022.

“The work expansion in Tulsa is part of a larger effort to maximize operational efficiencies across Spirit’s sites”

Magellan awarded C$140 million contract extension with Airbus


agellan Aerospace Corporation has secured a six year contract extension with Airbus for the manufacture of A350 XWB centre wing box and keel beam detail parts. Revenue generated from the work is estimated to exceed C$140 million. The package consists of a number of large structural, machined components, and will be manufactured by Magellan in the United Kingdom and supplied to the Airbus assembly facility in Nantes,

France. “This contract extension has been achieved through a combination of demonstrated operational excellence and market competitive pricing,” said Haydn Martin, Magellan’s vice president, new business development. “As a strategic partner to the Airbus Group, Magellan continues to align our technology investments and manufacturing best practices to meet their current and future requirements.”

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Aviation Manufacturer Magazine www.aviationmanufacturer.com


bae systems

aviation innovation

BAE Systems is the UK’s major defence, aerospace and security company, and the country’s largest manufacturer. Involved in some of the biggest and most technically advanced engineering and manufacturing projects in the world, the company is recognised for its relentless pursuit of innovation.

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Aviation Manufacturer Magazine www.aviationmanufacturer.com


BAE systems aviation innovation


n common with all the other ‘majors’ in the industry, BAE Systems is the result of a huge consolidation in aerospace and defence in recent times. Formed on 30 November 1999 by the merger of British Aerospace (BAe) and Marconi Electronic Systems, BAE Systems is the successor to some of the most famous British aircraft, defence electronics and warship manufacturers. Predecessors of BAE Systems built the Comet, the world’s first commercial jet airliner; the Harrier ‘jump jet’, the world’s first operational vertical/short take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft and co-produced the iconic Concorde supersonic airliner. In the aerospace sector the company is currently involved in the design, manufacture, upgrade and support of combat and trainer aircraft for customers around the world. It also supplies electronics equipment across a range of military and commercial aircraft and is helping to develop the next-generation of unmanned air systems. BAE Systems has world leading capabilities in prime contracting, systems integration, rapid engineering, manufacturing, maintenance, repair and upgrade, as well as military training for

advanced combat and trainer aircraft. It is a global operation, with a skilled workforce of over 80,000 people in 40 countries, but it purchases many of the goods and services it needs in the domestic market, supporting significant economic activity and employment across the UK. In 2016, BAE Systems spent £4 billion on inputs from some 8,900 suppliers in the UK, representing 79 per cent of its total procurement.

Eurofighter Typhoon

Major defence projects are rarely undertaken by a single entity (or even country) these days. As Europe’s largest collaborative defence programme, the Eurofighter Typhoon is an example of what can be achieved through a global partnership of allies, in this case Italy, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom, through a consortium consisting of Leonardo, Airbus Defence and Space and BAE Systems. Each member has a production line for the assembly of its own national aircraft, but also specialises in the production of specific parts for the whole programme. Leonardo builds the left wing, outboard flaperons and rear fuselage sections, Premium AEROTEC builds the main centre fuselage, EADS CASA the right

wing and leading edge slats. BAE Systems takes responsibility for the front fuselage, canopy, dorsal spine, tail fin and inboard flaperons. Eurofighter Typhoon is an advanced multi-role combat aircraft. In service since 2003, more than 500 Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft have since been delivered to seven countries: Germany, United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, Austria, Oman and Saudi Arabia; and ordered by two more: Kuwait and Qatar. In December last year, BAE Systems and the Government of the State of Qatar entered into a £5 billion contract for the supply of 24 Typhoon aircraft to the Qatar Emiri Air Force, along with a bespoke support and training package. Delivery is expected to commence in late 2022. BAE Systems is the prime contractor for both the provision of the aircraft and the agreed arrangements for the in-service support and initial training. BAE Systems and its partner companies continue to upgrade the capabilities of Eurofighter Typhoon through a series of phased enhancements, ensuring the aircraft evolves to meet operational demand. Delivered in 2014, the Phase 1 Enhancement (P1E) package saw the

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platform become a high-end multi-role weapon system, with air-to-air capability including ASRAAM (Advanced Short Range Air-to-Air Missile) and AMRAAM (Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile) and the integration of Paveway IV for precision air-tosurface operations. Phase 2 Enhancement (P2E) will bring a range of new, long-range capabilities, and P3E will introduce a low collateral, high precision strike capability through integration of the Brimstone air-tosurface weapon, giving a precision effect with low collateral damage against fastmoving armoured targets. In August 2016 BAE Systems commenced a 10 year partnership agreement with the UK Ministry of Defence to transform support of the UK Typhoon fleet. The Typhoon Total Availability eNterprise (TyTAN) arrangement introduced new ways of working to further reduce the costs of operating the fleet at RAF Coningsby and RAF Lossiemouth by more than a third. The arrangements will enable an estimated £500 million of savings to be reinvested to develop new capability enhancements for the aircraft.


F-35 is the world’s largest defence programme. Led by the US, with participation from the UK, Italy, Netherlands, Australia, Canada, Denmark, Norway and Turkey, it is a truly collaborative programme aimed at delivering a stealthy, multi-role attack aircraft capable of operating from land and sea. BAE Systems brings its military aircraft expertise to the development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of the F-35 along with its partners Lockheed Martin, the programme’s prime contractor, and Northrop Grumman. The programme will deliver three variants of the aircraft, the conventional take off and landing (CTOL), the carrier variant (CV) and the short take off and vertical landing (STOVL), to meet customers’ individual needs. BAE Systems holds a 13-15% work share of each aircraft, excluding propulsion, bringing decades of experience in short take-off and vertical landing from its Harrier aircraft. It is also the lead design authority on crucial capabilities including the fuel system, crew escape and life support system, and the company conducts durability testing at its unique structural testing facility

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BAE systems aviation innovation in East Yorkshire, while its engineering teams work alongside its partners on flight testing and weapons integration work for the UK. When it reaches peak production, the programme will be worth some £1 billion to UK industry alone, with an estimated 25,000 UK jobs sustained across more than 500 companies in the supply chain. The aft fuselage and vertical and horizontal tails - effectively the rear section - of every F-35 are built at BAE Systems’ state of the art advanced manufacturing and assembly facilities in Lancashire, UK, and Adelaide, Australia. These facilities use purpose-built robotic technology to manufacture the component parts from both titanium and aluminium, with the majority delivered from the UK and the vertical tail sections for the F-35 CTOL variants produced in Australia. Over recent years, BAE Systems has invested over £150 million in new facilities and equipment to ensure it can meet the demands of the F35 programme. The integrated assembly line, or ‘Pulse line’ as it’s often referred to, has undergone a gradual expansion to gear up for the demanding rates of the programme. In November last year, a full scale durability test airframe of the F-35A aircraft successfully completed its third life testing, equivalent to 24,000 hours of ‘flying’, in a unique testing facility at BAE Systems’ site in Brough, East Yorkshire. The airframe, known as AJ-1, is representative of the F-35A conventional take-off and landing (CTOL) variant of the jet. This test rig is the only one of its kind in the United Kingdom and has supported the testing of AJ-1 since it arrived in Brough in 2009. It is fitted with more than 20 miles of wiring, 2,500 strain gauges and 160 loading actuators which are attached to the airframe during testing. The role of BAE Systems does not stop at the airframe, however, as it also delivers key systems and electronics onboard the jets. BAE Systems is a world leader in electronic warfare capability and its engineers in New Hampshire and Texas in the US provide the electronic warfare suite for the F-35, which includes fully integrated radar warning,

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targeting support and self-protection, to detect and defeat surface and airborne threats. To date, only around five per cent of the anticipated F-35 fleet is currently in service, but as the fleet grows, so will the need for spares and repairs, technical support and training. BAE Systems is part of the emerging global sustainment network being set up to support the growing F-35 fleet. The UK will be a significant repair hub for maintenance, repair, overhaul & upgrade (MRO&U) services for F-35 avionics and aircraft components. It will carry out this work as part of a team alongside the Defence Electronics and Components Agency and Northrop Grumman, operating out of the DECA site at RAF Sealand from 2018. BAE Systems is also part of a programme which will deliver engineering and training facilities at RAF Marham in Norfolk in preparation for the arrival of the RAF’s F-35 Lightning II fleet in 2018.

The BAE Systems team in Australia will be responsible for airframe MRO&U of the F-35 fleet in the Southern Pacific region. Forming an important part of the global sustainment capability for the fleet, its depot in Williamtown, New South Wales, will support all F-35 aircraft operating in the region from 2018. Like the UK, Australia will be a significant repair hub for MRO&U services for F-35 avionics and aircraft components, acting as lead provider of these services alongside its industry partners.

Tornado GR4

Tornado has been a vital part of air forces from the day it went into service nearly 40 years ago, and has thrived and survived through a combination of upgrade packages and capability improvements. The aircraft was conceived in the late 1960s, flew for the first time in 1974 and entered service in 1979. Built by Panavia Aircraft GmbH, a consortium between the UK, Germany

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and Italy, the Tornado is a formidable aircraft that is renowned for its ability to operate in any weather conditions, at low level, and at any time of the day or night. When the initial agreement was set up, the companies involved were the British Aircraft Corporation (which later became British Aerospace and is now BAE Systems), MBB in Germany (now part of Airbus SE) and Aeritalia (now part of Leonardo) in Italy. With a maximum speed of 1.3 Mach and an expansive range of integrated weaponry including Paveway IV, Tornado is still a frontline aircraft. As well as being in service for the three partner nations who developed Tornado, it is also in use by the Royal Saudi Air Force. The latest incarnation, Tornado GR4, is a highly capable frontline aircraft, iconic for its impressive swing role capabilities. In 2014, BAE Systems signed a £125 million extension to its contract with the Ministry of Defence to maintain Britain’s fleet of Tornados until they are

BAE systems aviation innovation retired in 2019. Following the withdrawal of the RAF’s Tornado F3 fleet from service in 2010, BAE Systems created the Reduce to Produce programme in which a team based at RAF Leeming in North Yorkshire strips down the decommissioned F3 fleet and recycles parts that can be used as spares for the GR4 fleet. The scheme was designed to help cut costs on support for the Tornado Squadrons while still maintaining a fully comprehensive spares supply chain for the aircraft. It has been a resounding success since its introduction with the teams able to recover between 800-1200 parts per airframe, creating a huge saving for the RAF.

Hawk Trainer

The BAE Systems Hawk is a singleengine, jet-powered advanced trainer aircraft. It was first flown in 1974 as the Hawker Siddeley Hawk, and subsequently produced by its successor companies, British Aerospace and BAE Systems, respectively. With an unrivalled pedigree of delivering the pilots of the future for air forces across

the globe, Hawk is the world’s most successful military aircraft trainer - with operational capability. Outperforming and outselling other aircraft in its class, its advanced airborne simulation technology and new generation cockpit environment provides a smoother and more cost effective transition to the front line, allowing for student pilot and weapons system officer output at the most appropriate skill levels in readiness for front line operations. The most famous users of the Hawk are the Red Arrows aerobatic team, who adopted the plane in 1979. The Hawk has seen many variants since then, but in May 2015, Indian aerospace manufacturer Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), which was already building Hawks under licence, announced an interest in carrying out its own Hawk upgrades, including armed light attack variants. The latest concept, an Advanced Hawk, is now being developed by a joint venture of BAE Systems and Hindustan Aeronautics. A single example of the aircraft was unveiled at Aero India 2017 and flew for the first time in June 2017 at

BAE Systems military facility in Warton, Lancashire. Equipped with a new type of pilot display, a redesigned wing and defensive aids, the Advanced Hawk will meet market requirements for the next generation of fast jet training aircraft. While the existing Hawk continues to be the world’s most successful jet trainer, the Advanced Hawk concept demonstrator builds on these proven successes. The concept demonstrator features an upgraded cockpit equipped with BAE Systems’ LiteHUD® (a lowprofile head-up display) and a new, large area display that introduces a new student/pilot training experience. It also features a redesigned wing that increases performance in areas such as turn rates, angles of attack and both take-off and landing. “The successful first flight of the Advanced Hawk concept demonstrator is the latest step in the aircraft’s development and marks a significant milestone in Hawk’s capability upgrade,” said Steve Timms, Managing Director Defence Information, Training & Services at BAE Systems. “We already have the world’s leading advanced jet trainer and the new features in

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“The most famous users of the Hawk are the Red Arrows aerobatic team, who adopted the plane in 1979”

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BAE systems aviation innovation

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Advanced Hawk have been developed after listening to our customers’ views on where fast jet pilot training will go in the future and how we ensure the Hawk continues to meet their requirements. “By using this demonstrator aircraft we have highlighted to existing users of Hawk that many of the proposed features of an Advanced Hawk, such as the large area display and new wing, could be achievable as upgrades.”


Named after the Celtic god of thunder, Taranis is an advanced technology unmanned combat aircraft system. The Taranis demonstrator is the result of one-and-a-half-million man hours of work by the UK’s leading scientists, aerodynamicists and systems engineers from 250 UK companies. The aircraft was designed to demonstrate the UK’s ability to create an unmanned air system which, under the control of a human operator, is capable of undertaking sustained surveillance, marking targets, gathering intelligence, deterring adversaries and carrying out strikes in hostile territory. The findings from the aircraft’s test flights show that the UK has developed a significant lead in understanding unmanned aircraft which could strike with precision over a long range whilst remaining undetected. The technological advances made through Taranis will also help the UK MOD and Royal Air Force make decisions on the future mix of manned and unmanned

fast jet aircraft and how they will operate together in a safe and effective manner for the UK’s defences. Costing £185 million and funded jointly by the UK MOD and UK industry, the Taranis demonstrator aircraft was formally unveiled in July 2010. Initial ‘power-up’ or ground testing commenced later in 2010 at BAE Systems’ military aircraft factory in Warton, Lancashire. Taranis has now undergone a series of successful flight trials and the team continues to develop the aircraft’s capability. About the size of a BAE Systems Hawk aircraft, Taranis has been designed and built by BAE Systems, Rolls-Royce, the Systems division of GE Aviation (formerly Smiths Aerospace) and QinetiQ, working alongside UK MOD military staff and scientists. In addition to prime contracting the project, BAE Systems led on many elements of the Taranis technology demonstrator, including the low observability, systems integration, control infrastructure and full autonomy elements (in partnership with QinetiQ). In addition to the existing industry partners, the project also works with a significant number of other UK suppliers who provide supporting technology and components.

Adaptable UAVs

Within the next few decades, armed forces could be using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) with adaptable aircraft technologies that alternate between

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fixed-wing flight and rotary-wing flight. Engineers from BAE Systems together with students from Cranfield University, have revealed a new technology concept – named Adaptable UAVs – which can alternate between the two different flight modes in the same mission. When in rotary wing mode the UAVs can be launched and recovered from battlefields and docked on a special pole. The Adaptable UAVs are a hybrid between fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft, and would use adaptive flight control and advanced navigation and guidance software, which would allow the aircraft to benefit from the greater speed and range afforded to fixed-wing aircraft, before alternating to rotary-wing mode to hover and achieve vertical take-off and landing. The pole constrains the lateral or sideways movement of the UAV when being launched or recovered so strong winds cannot dislodge them. This is particularly important when recovering a UAV to the aft of a ship or a land vehicle. The pole’s gyro-stabilised element also ensures that it remains upright independently of the host vehicle’s orientation, which may be rolling if on a ship, or in the case of a land vehicle driving up or down a slope at the time of the launch or recovery. “The battlefield of the future will require novel solutions to meet emerging threats and to keep human operators safe wherever they may be,” said Professor Nick Colosimo, BAE Systems’ futurist and technologist. “The Adaptable UAVs concept and related

BAE systems aviation innovation technologies are one of a number of concepts being explored through close collaboration between industry and students in academia.” Cranfield University is one of BAE Systems strategic university partners. Research staff and students have explored a range of UAV technologies including research into adaptive flight control and advanced navigation and guidance software. “Working with BAE Systems on the Cranfield University MSc in Autonomous Vehicle Dynamics & Control has provided a great opportunity for the students and research staff to explore a range of novel concepts and technologies,” said Professor Antonios Tsourdos, head of the Centre for Autonomous and CyberPhysical Systems at Cranfield University.


BAE Systems has developed some of the world’s most innovative technologies and continues to invest in research and development to generate future products and capabilities. Another of its university partners is The University of Manchester with whom it is exploring some unique flight control technology.

MAGMA is a small scale unmanned aerial vehicle which will use a unique blown-air system to manoeuvre the aircraft - paving the way for future stealthier aircraft designs. The first phase of flight trials has been successfully completed. The new concept for aircraft control removes the conventional need for complex, mechanical moving parts to move flaps to control the aircraft during flight. This could give greater control as well as reduce weight and maintenance costs, allowing for lighter, stealthier, faster and more efficient military and civil aircraft in the future. The two technologies to be trialled first using the jet-powered UAV, MAGMA, are: • Wing circulation control, which takes air from the aircraft engine and blows it supersonically through the trailing edge of the wing to provide control for the aircraft. • Fluidic thrust vectoring, which uses blown air to deflect the exhaust, allowing for the direction of the aircraft to be changed. The flight trials are part of an ongoing project between the two organisations and wider long-term collaboration

between industry, academia and government to explore and develop innovative flight control technology. Further flight trials are planned for the coming months to demonstrate the novel flight control technologies with the ultimate aim of flying the aircraft without any moving control surfaces or fins. If successful, the tests will demonstrate the first ever use of such circulation control in flight on a gas turbine aircraft. “The technologies we are developing with The University of Manchester will make it possible to design cheaper, higher performance, next generation aircraft,” said Clyde Warsop, engineering fellow at BAE Systems. “Our investment in research and development drives continued technological improvements in our advanced military aircraft, helping to ensure UK aerospace remains at the forefront of the industry and that we retain the right skills to design and build the aircraft of the future.”

Cyber defence

Another recent initiative is the development of cyber defence capabilities to help aircraft detect and mitigate cyber attacks in real time. The new capabilities — including system

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Aviation Manufacturer Magazine www.aviationmanufacturer.com


BAE systems aviation innovation

analysis, reverse engineering, and intrusion detection — will build upon the company’s state-of-the-art threat management solutions and help protect war fighters and aircraft from a variety of cyber threats. While future platforms are designed with cyber security in mind, this was not always the case with the current fleet of military aircraft, which may be vulnerable to cyber attacks. These platforms were developed to be in service for decades and need periodic upgrades. They are complex systems packed with processors, computers,

networks and data links, creating an interconnected digital environment that may expose war fighters to cyber threats. These cyber defence capabilities expand the company’s threat management portfolio, including the recently announced 3-Dimensional Advanced Warning System (3DAWS) product suite, which is designed to protect aircraft from firstencounter kinetic threats with layered countermeasures. Innovation is a key focus at BAE Systems, as witnessed by an R&D spend of £1 billion in 2016 and £4.4

billion in the past five years. Whether in collaboration with world class partners from allied countries, building aircraft and systems for our mutual defence, or researching with leading UK universities in areas such as UAVs, novel materials, advanced manufacturing or artificial intelligence, BAE Systems is firmly at the centre of aviation innovation.

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Profile for Aviation Manufacturer Magazine

Aviation Manufacturer Magazine  

Issue 11. Cover Story: Airbus

Aviation Manufacturer Magazine  

Issue 11. Cover Story: Airbus


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