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Cheaper, Cleaner Taxis Titanium Titan Greater UAV Firepower XWB Engines Advance
Four Farnborough show exhibitors are vying to bring down the cost and environmental impact of taxiing airliners to and from runways. Page 6
Russia’s VSMPO-AVISMA has turned around its fortunes with aggressive expansion in the growing market for using titanium in aerospace structures. Page 12
Missile maker MBDA is rolling out its Vigilus concept for expanding the capability of both manned and unmanned aircraft. Page 38
Rolls-Royce is stepping up efforts to ready the Trent XWB engines for a planned first flight of the new Airbus XWB widebody in mid-2013. Page 48
TUESDAY7•10•2012Vol. 44 No. 21
Log onto AINonline.com for the latest coverage from the Farnborough Airshow.
SSJ crash: data reveals no ‘hint’ of technical faultby Gregory Polek
The “Black box” flight recorders retrieved from the wreckage of the Sukhoi Superjet 100 that crashed in Indonesia on May 9 have so far revealed no “hint” of technical fault, United Aircraft Corp. president Mikhail Pogosyan reported during a Farnborough airshow press con-ference yesterday afternoon.
The cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder–found about a kilometer (0.62 miles) from the accident site near Mount Salak, some 60 miles south of Jakarta–sur-vived the collision “essentially”
undamaged, said Pogosyan, who added that his company had seen analysis of data retrieved by Indonesia’s Investigation Commission of the National Committee for Transport Safety (KNKT), and has shared the information with customers.
“We work in close contact with the national safety commit-tee and the investigation board, which is conducting the investi-gation of the Superjet accident, and we have access to the anal-ysis of the data,” Pogosyan said through an interpreter. “So based
Air Lease signs for 75 B737 MAXs
Air Lease Corp. (ALC) opened the sales race between the world’s big commercial air-frame makers here yesterday with a firm order for 75 Boeing CFM Leap-1B-powered 737 MAXs. The contract, valued at $7.2 billion at list prices, calls for delivery, first, of sixty 737 MAX 8s, followed by deliveries of fif-teen 737 MAX 9s, which would run through 2022.
The deal, which includes options for another 25 aircraft, represents the first order by a Signing the lease documents for 75 B737 MAXs are: left to right, Kevin McAllister, GE
Aviation; Ray Conner, Boeing; Steven Udvar-Hazy; and John Plueger, Air Lease Corp.
Continued on page 62 u Continued on page 62 u
Chinese White Knight Set To Buy Hawker
Late last night, Hawker Beechcraft announced that China- based Superior Aviation Beijing Co. has signed an “exclusivity agree-ment” to buy the whole U.S. aircraft manufacturer, minus its defense busi-ness. Hawker Beechcraft filed for U.S. Chapter 11 reorganization in May and just last week outlined a framework to exit this protection by year-end. Part of this plan included a potential sale, which is now the likely outcome.
Should the transaction be com-pleted, Superior intends to maintain Hawker Beechcraft’s existing oper-ations while also investing substan-tial capital in the company and its business and general aviation prod-uct line in Wichita, Kansas, and Little Rock, Arkansas. Due to U.S. defense restrictions, the transaction with Su-perior would not include Hawker Beechcraft Defense Co., which would remain a separate entity. HBDC will continue to manufacture T-6 trainers and pursue certification of its AT-6 light attack aircraft. –C.T.
Airbus A 380
. Love at fi rst fl ight.
The world loves the aircraft that takes better care of the environment.lovea380.com
Less noise. Lower emissions. When will your airline grow more sustainably with the A380?
Airbus_ASN_Flowers_1007.indd Pg1 Mundocom UK 29/06/2012 16:36
Airbus A 380
. Love at fi rst fl ight.
The world loves the aircraft that takes better care of the environment.lovea380.com
Less noise. Lower emissions. When will your airline grow more sustainably with the A380?
Airbus_ASN_Flowers_1007.indd Pg1 Mundocom UK 29/06/2012 16:36
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L E B R A T I N
OR T Y Y E A
A330 gets an upgrade at customers’ requestby Ian Goold
Increased range and pay-load for the Airbus A330 twin-aisle twinjet, announced by the European manufacturer here at the Farnborough Inter-national airshow yesterday, will be welcomed by Malaysia Airlines (MAS), whose brand-new A380 very large airliner also opened the week’s flying-displays. After requests from owners and operators, Airbus is offering the enhanced per-formance, which will permit A330s to fly between Malay-sian capital Kuala Lumpur
and Paris among other poten-tial new city-pair services cited by Airbus chief operating offi-cer for customers John Leahy.
The new variant will be available at a maximum take-off weight (mtow) of about 529,200 pounds, up from earlier increased mtow of 518,175 pounds chosen by six airlines, including three in Asia, and about 524,790 pounds selected by at least six Asia Pacific operators.
MAS said recently it is awaiting details of Airbus A330 product-development plans before deciding on a widebody-fleet rationaliza-tion. The Asian carrier oper-ates more than 20 A330-200s and -300s, previously ordered another 15 A330s and has been considering whether to add more if the European manufacturer could find some additional range. Group chief executive Ahmad Jauhari Yahya has said that, in such a case, MAS might elect to adopt an all-Airbus widebody
fleet by relinquishing its 17 ageing Boeing 777-200ERs.
For its part, Airbus sees the enhanced A330 as a lower-cost, more-efficient alternative to the U.S. design. The Euro-pean manufacturer says the new A330-300 model would cover “94 percent of the 777-200ER network.”
The increased weight will be introduced on the A330-300 model, which would “benefit from up to 400 nm extra range, to 5,950 nm with 300 passengers, and carry nearly 5,000 kg [about 11,000 pounds] more payload than today’s 235,000-kg [aircraft],” with entry into service around the middle of 2015.
Subsequently, the A330-200 and A330-200F mtows would be similarly raised: “The new [529,000 pounds] A330-200 will fly up to 270 nm further–to 7,050 nm–with 246 passengers, and carry over [5,510 pounds)] more payload than today’s [524,691 pounds] A330-200.”
In range terms, Airbus said the new A330-300 would also be able to connect, say, Lon-don to Tokyo; Frankfurt to Cape Town; Beijing to Mel-bourne or San Francisco; or Los Angeles to Dublin. “Moreover, compared with the  original 212,000-kg [about 467,500 pounds] A330-300, [it] can fly 2,000 nm fur-ther [including to] 90 percent of the [London Heathrow] market, [compared with] 39 percent [originally].”
Airbus has delivered 887 A330s and holds orders for a further 306, Leahy claiming that 750 have been sold since Boeing launched the rival Model 787. Some 115 are said to have been ordered since the beginning of last year.
Compared with the 518,000-pound A330, a new aerody-namic package drawing on technology used on the upcom-ing A350 is said to reduce fuel consumption by one per-cent, while engines offer a fur-ther one-percent improvement. Also, a “load-alleviation func-tion” modifies the span-wise load distribution to move load-ing inboard in gusts or con-tinuous turbulence–so-called “de-stressing” of the wing that permits the higher mtow. o
After requests from A330 owners and operators, Airbus is offering a higher-weight, enhanced-performance variant that will permit services between many new city-pair destinations, according to chief operating officer for customers John Leahy.
IAE redefines partnership following R-R’s departure
International Aero Engines (IAE) announced new busi-ness and confirmed changes to its management structure yesterday following the depar-ture of Rolls-Royce from the consortium.
Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) sub-sidiary ICBC Financial Leas-ing has chosen IAE V2500 engines valued at $90 mil-lion for five additional Airbus A320s it has ordered for deliv-ery during 2013-15. Jetstar Airways will use V2500 power for 32 more A320s ordered for the Qantas subsidiary’s fleet in August 2011. V2500s equip all 74 JetStar A320s and A321s. New engine deliveries are scheduled to begin next year under an IAE V-Services fleet-hour agreement.
A $250 million mainte-nance agreement negotiated earlier this year covers V2500s operated by Monarch Airlines on its 16 A321 aircraft. Mex-ican low-cost carrier Volaris and IAE have amended their
V-Services agreement to cover 26 incremental V2500s in a $400 million deal.
Under the revised owner-ship of IAE, Pratt & Whitney has increased its share to 61 percent, and Germany’s MTU now has a larger 16-per-cent proportion, with Japa-nese Aero Engine retaining its 23-percent holding. “As we complete the recent restructur-ing, we are very well aligned. Our partners have never been more steadfast, and Rolls-Royce continues to be a strate-gic supplier with a commitment to continue to build 50 percent of our engines,” said president John Beatty, who has returned to office in place of Ian Ait-ken, who is returning to Rolls-Royce. Beatty was president of IAE from 2007 to 2009
Pratt & Whitney president David Hess is named IAE chairman, succeeding Rolls-Royce’s Jim Guyette; Pratt & Whitney past president Steve Finger is retiring from the IAE board. –I.G.
diamond jubileeThis Diamond DA-42 is equipped with an L-3 Wescam MX15 electro-optical system and UHF communications gear.
6 Farnborough Airshow News • July 10, 2012 • www.ainonline.com
Saving fuel and money getting to the runwayby Charles Alcock
Efforts to reduce the thou-sands of gallons of jet fuel now being burned each year just to move aircraft to and from run-ways are very much in evidence at the 2012 Farnborough Inter-national airshow. No fewer than four new products vying for the attention of airline and airport managements, including efforts by Israel Aircraft Industries
(IAI), L-3, Safran/Honeywell and WheelTug, and they each have taken a different approach.
L-3, WheelTug and the joint venture between Safran and Honeywell have taken a novel approach of installing motors directly on landing gear to allow aircraft to taxi autonomously using power from the auxiliary power unit (APU). By contrast, IAI’s TaxiBot system involves a semi-robotic tow tug that is con-trolled from the cockpit by pilots.
Yesterday IAI signed a mem-orandum of understanding with Lufthansa LEOS that should see
the ground-handling company begin operational trials with Taxi-Bot. The vehicle recently com-pleted some trials at Chateautroux Airport in France, following ear-lier evaluations last year involving Airbus A340-600 and Boeing 747-400 aircraft.
According to TaxiBot pro-gram director Ran Briar, one of the main differentiators of
IAI’s system is that it can be used to tow larger air-craft. Rival systems using motors fitted to landing gear are generally designed to handle only narrow-bodied airliners. He said that widebodied airliners typically would need bout 1,500 hp for taxiing and that typically APUs can deliver only about 150 hp for this purpose.
According to Briar, another advantage is that the path to certification is far simpler for a tow tug because there is no need to install systems on the
aircraft to provide power and cooling. He also argued that the weight penalty associated with landing gear-mounted systems means that additional fuel burn in flight for flights lasting more than two hours cancels out savings realized while taxiing.
TaxiBot has two diesel gener-ators providing power to electric motors on its wheels. The vehi-cle can attain a normal aircraft taxiing speed of up to around 23 knots. Briar claimed that rival systems taxi more slowly and hold up other aircraft that are taxiing under the power of
their main engines.According to IAI, a 747 taxi-
ing for 17 minutes burns about 1,250 liters of fuel, while the same movement with TaxiBot would require no more than 30 liters. TaxiBot also emits far less carbon dioxide than would be the case if the aircraft were taxi-ing on main engine power.
For the pilot there is no differ-ence in terms of how he or she controls the aircraft while taxi-ing with TaxiBot fitted to nose gear. The system uses a special interface with a rotating turret on the tug and when the gear moves it measures the angle and ensures that the wheels are in the correct alignment.
Braking ControlBraking is handled safely
using a special pendulum and an energy-absorbing mechanism. This senses the braking load applied by the pilot and softens the braking process so as not to transfer the load to the landing gear in a way that would result in excessive fatigue.
The unconfirmed list price for the TaxiBot system is expected to be around $1.5 million for the narrowbody version of the vehi-cle (with eight wheels), rising to $3 million for the larger model that can handle widebody airlin-ers. IAI believes that each vehicle would be able to handle about 20 aircraft each day.
One drawback with TaxiBot is that it is really suited only to towing aircraft out to the run-way for takeoff since it would cause delays to have to attach it after landing. After the pilot has completed the taxi movement, a member of ground staff drives the tractor back to the apron.
Also progressing toward mar-ket entry is the new GreenTaxi electric taxiing system. On Mon-day, L-3 Space and Propulsion Systems signed an agreement
under which Crane Aerospace & Electronics will develop and market the system.
GreenTaxi integrates electric wheel drives into the main land-ing gear, drawing power from the APU. L-3’s engineers opted to use the main gear because they felt this would ensure better taxi-ing performance in poor weather conditions. It chose an electric motor over a hydraulic motor on the grounds that it would deliver higher torque more efficiently.
According to L-3, more than 3 percent of total airliner fuel consumption comes from taxi-ing. In December 2011 trials at Germany’s Frankfurt Airport for Lufthansa, the company claims to have proved that the technology can deliver worth-while fuel savings, environmental benefits, improved airline auton-omy and reduced infrastructure costs. It achieved taxi speeds of just over 16 knots.
Under a 50/50 joint venture, Safran and Honeywell have used an Airbus A320 and a Boeing 737-800 for ground tests, includ-ing recent trials with prospec-tive launch customer Easyjet at London Luton Airport. The partners have estimated that its electric motor-based system
could save 3 to 4 percent of fuel burned on medium-haul flights.
Its “Electric Green Taxiing System” uses actuators fitted to both main landing gear legs. Each unit, including the motor, gearbox and clutch, weighs around 220 pounds.
Safran deputy CEO Marc Ven-tre told AIN that the partners have purchased an A320 and will use it for further trials in 2013, includ-ing a demonstration at next June’s Paris Air Show. Entry into airline service is planned for 2016, and so would make the system a potential feature for the new A320neo and Boeing 737 MAX narrowbodies.
However, to date, it is the WheelTug system that has attracted the highest num-ber of conditional airline com-mitments. In a letter of intent signed at the Farnborough show on Monday, Turkey’s Onur Air agreed to purchase the U.S. com-pany’s Aircraft Drive Systems for 22 of its Airbus fleet.
According to CEO Isaiah Cox, the system consumes 80 percent less fuel than conven-tional taxiing. It will offer the equipment for lease or under power-by-the-hour terms. A video is at http://media.wheel-tug.com. o
A display at the Crane stand shows hypothetical savings using Green Taxi.
Saving fuel burn by not using the aircraft engines for taxiing is an idea gaining traction in the industry. At left, the Israel Aircraft Industries TaxiBot allows the pilots to control the robotic tug from their cockpit. Above, the Electric Green Taxiing System uses power from the aircraft APU to drive the wheels with small electric motors.
Gerhard Baumgarten of Lufthansa LEOS, left, has agreed with Shuki Eldar of IAI’s TaxiBot program to begin operational trials of the cockpit-controlled tug.
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8 Farnborough Airshow News • July 10, 2012 • www.ainonline.com
Connor takes the helm at key time for Boeingby Gregory Polek
Boeing Commercial Air-planes CEO Ray Conner took to the podium for the first time yesterday as BCA boss and, in the process, laid to rest any thought that the company has been dragging its heels on fol-low-on development of the 787-10X and 777X.
“We’re not backing away from the airplanes one bit,” said Conner. “We’re more commit-ted now than ever. We just don’t want to get into specifics…When we get the aircraft right we’ll move forward.”
If yesterday’s briefing car-ried any sort of theme, it would probably be that it’s “business as usual.” Having suddenly replaced Jim Albaugh as head of BCA a little more than two weeks ago, Conner takes con-trol at a critical time for Boeing as it prepares for ambitious pro-duction rate increases among
virtually its entire line of prod-ucts, while also accelerating development of the re-engined 737NG (the 737 MAX) and readies to take decisions on the potential launch of the 787-10X and 777X.
Production IncreasesConner acknowledged the
challenges he faces, not least of which is raising the production rate of the 787 from 3.5 to 5 a month by the end of the year and to 10 a month by the end of 2013. He credited improve-ments in Boeing’s own produc-tion processes and those within the supply base for his stated confidence that the company will achieve its goal.
“The production system is healthier,” he said. “We’ve just delivered the first aircraft–Line number 66–from the factory directly to the delivery center.”
Conner quoted a “near 100 per-cent” product execution among its suppliers, leading to improve-ments in production flow at its main Everett plant near Seattle and good progress toward reduc-ing the number of air-planes where design changes were being incorporated.
In choosing Con-ner, Boeing has turned to a 32-year com-pany veteran known for both his techni-cal acumen and his sales prowess. Widely credited for landing a groundbreaking, $21.7 billion order for 737s from Indonesia’s Lion Air while serving as the company’s senior vice president sales and customer support, Conner previously led BCA’s supply chain management and operations organization, which included overseeing develop-ment of Boeing’s new produc-tion and assembly facilities in South Carolina.
The new BCA chief execu-tive also played a critical role in reaching a landmark labor
agreement with the Interna-tional Association of Machin-ists, the importance of which he left little doubt during yes-terday’s briefing. “It’s work-ing out very well,” he said.
“We’ve implemented an incentive plan tied to production gains…Hopefully because the agreement is longer [than the duration of past contracts], we’ll be able to create more of a culture of work-ing together.”
Conner joined Boeing in 1977 as a mechanic on the 727 program. He worked his way through the
company’s ranks to become vice president and general manager of the 777 and 747 programs before accepting the post of vice president of sales for the Ameri-cas and Asia Pacific regions and, later, vice president of sales for all of BCA.
Albaugh’s LegacyWhile the official word from
Boeing suggests nothing other than a completely voluntary
departure by the 62-year-old Albaugh, his immediate replace-ment with Conner at least seemed abrupt, if not curious. An engineer by training, Albaugh assumed control of BCA from Scott Carson in 2009 at the nadir of the company’s reputation for technical excellence. Only a week earlier, Boeing announced yet another schedule change for the 787, at the time already more than two years late, while the 747-8 suffered through its own set of travails due, in part, to a shift in engineering resources to the ultra-high-tech, but trouble-some, Dreamliner.
When Albaugh moved to BCA from Boeing’s military division, he promised to restore an engineering-centric culture undermined in preceding years by what some might consider a clumsy effort to run the com-pany more as a product “inte-grator” than a manufacturer. Reasonable people may argue over whether or not he suc-ceeded, but the certification on his watch of the 787 and 747-8 at least staved off an erosion of credibility suffered with each missed program deadline. o
Successful SM-3 test keeps PAA on targetby David Donald
In 2009, U.S. President Barack Obama announced a “phased adaptive approach” (PAA) for the missile defense of Europe to be deployed in four phases with a mix of sea- and land-based assets. A critical element is the Raytheon Standard Missile 3 interceptor, which in its Block 1A configuration forms the basis of PAA Phase I capability, which has now been implemented.
Raytheon is now developing the Block 1B version of the mis-sile in line with the implementa-tion of PAA Phase II in 2015. On June 26 the third flight test (FTM-18) of this version was conducted at the Pacific Mis-sile Test Range in Hawaii, dur-ing which the SM-3’s hit-to-kill vehicle successfully engaged a separating ballistic missile target. The initial three shots tested the missile’s basic end-to-end opera-tion, but trials will now increase in complexity toward operation-ally representative tests. The next trial, FTM-19, is due before the end of this year.
Under Phase II of PAA, SM-3s and the associated Aegis missile defense system are to be
based in Romania. Phase III fol-lows in 2018 with the deployment of SM-3 Block IIA weapons in Poland. The Block IIA introduces an advanced TDACS (throttleable divert and attitude control system) for more accurate intercepts.
Phase IV of PAA, due in 2020, has yet to be defined. Raytheon has introduced an architecture analysis tool that provides the
information necessary to opti-mize Europe’s integrated air and missile defenses by allowing anal-ysis of many variables, such as where to place assets and how to incorporate existing assets into the layered defense. The effects of adding sensors or interceptors can be evaluated so that invest-ments can be targeted for optimal results. This is entirely in line with NATO’s “Smart Defense” policy.
Under PAA, NATO assets are to be integrated into U.S. defen-sive systems to extend a robust coverage across Europe. When Phase 3 is complete, the U.S. assets of the two land locations plus two upgraded Aegis ships in the Med-iterranean will cover most of eastern and southern Europe. Inte-gration of ship-based air defense systems from European NATO members would extend that cover-age to the whole of the continent.
In the meantime, Raytheon has announced two related devel-opments. The company is near-ing the completion of a new facility at the Redstone Arse-nal, Huntsville, Alabama, to pro-duce all-up rounds for the SM-3 and SM-6 missiles. Initial missiles will be delivered from next year. The company has also received a $636 million contract to provide an exoatmospheric kill vehicle (EKV) for Boeing’s ground-based midcourse defense program, bet-ter known as the GBI (ground-based interceptor). o
An SM-3 Block 1B missile launches from guided missile cruiser U.S.S. Lake Erie (CG 70) in the latest test campaign.
a farnborough Thumbs-up from The pm?
British Prime Minister David Cameron isn’t noted for his cordial rela-tionships with European leaders but he appeared to be in step with the continent’s aerospace top brass here at the Farnborough International airshow yesterday. EADS chief executive Tom Enders (left) and Airbus CEO Fabrice Bregier (center) might have taken the opportunity to echo the concerns of British colleagues about what many regard as miserly UK government support for the aerospace sector.
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12 Farnborough Airshow News • July 10, 2012 • www.ainonline.com
Aerospace demand buoys titanium titanby Vladimir Karnozov
The intake of titanium by the global aviation industry is pre-dicted to rise dramatically over this decade with the production of next-generation commer-cial jets made of advanced con-struction materials gearing up. Today, this industry consumes 40 percent of the world’s tita-nium supply. According to an independent analysis, demand for titanium in com-mercial aviation will increase from 42,000 metric tons in 2011 to more than 49,000 tons this year and then rise to 72,000 tons in 2016.
These statistics explain the recent financial success of Russia’s VSMPO-AVISMA (VSMPO), a specialist manufac-turer of products made of tita-nium and aluminum alloys, steel and nickel. The company has two main sites, at Verkh-nyaya Salda in the Sverdlovsk region and at Bereznyaki in the Perm region.
In February, shareholders were told that they were to share 2011 dividends worth 305 mil-lion rubles ($9.3 million) out of the group’s net profit of 3.1 billion rubles ($93.9 million). Last year’s profits represented an impressive fivefold increase on its 588 million rubles ($17.8
million) surplus in 2010, which was a hearty increase on the 173 million rubles ($5.2 million) profit recorded in 2009.
In part, the major boost to VSMPO’s balance sheet was the outcome of a new financial strategy aimed at decreasing the group’s borrowing and cut-ting its interest-rate exposure. This saw group debt slashed
from 21.6 billion rubles ($655 mil-lion) in early 2009 to 15.6 billion rubles ($473 million) by early 2011. With it interest rates pay-able tumbled from 14 percent to 5 per-cent as the company was able to switch to long-term credits in hard currencies (as opposed to short-
term credits in rubles). No less eye-catching in the
last set of company accounts was the declaration that VSMPO’s worldwide payroll had increased by 25 percent from 20,000 to 25,000. Its sales and distribution network spans the U.S., the UK, Germany and China.
Ultimately, what accounts for all this growth is nothing short of a revolution that has seen VSMPO escape from a situation in which it was largely depen-dent on business from Rus-sian aircraft manufacturers to
one in which it became a major exporter of advanced metallic products for aerospace.
New DealsIn April, Boeing extended an
existing contract for titanium mill products for a three-year term that will run through the end of 2018. Additionally, the Russian group will continue to provide the U.S. airframer with closed-die titanium forgings and its partners for all in-production commercial aircraft, with the exception of the 747.
Under this deal, Ural Boeing Manufacturing, a Russian joint venture between VSMPO and Boeing, will machine large num-bers of these forgings for the new 787 widebody at its facility in Verkhnaya Salda. This oper-ation delivers the forgings for final treatment at Boeing’s fac-tory in Portland, Oregon, and last October it also started pro-ducing main landing gear struts for the 737NG narrowbody.
In March, VSMPO con-firmed that it would triple the amount of titanium forgings it
makes for the 787 to a total of 73 tons per month. This increase followed a visit to the com-pany by officials from Boeing and 787 landing gear provider Messier-Dowty.
Sergei Kravchenko, Boeing’s president for Russia and the CIS countries, said each 787 includes about 22 tons of Russian tita-nium. Indeed, out of the $27 bil-lion that Boeing plans to invest in Russia about $18 billion is to be spent on titanium products and the development of metals technologies for aerospace.
Large Customer BaseIn addition to its relation-
ship with Boeing, which is enter-ing a third decade, VSMPO has a customer base extending to more than 300 firms in 48 coun-tries. General manager Mikhail Voevodin said he is negotiating contract extensions with other leading Western aircraft and engine manufacturers, includ-ing Airbus, Embraer, Goodrich, Messier Dowty, Eurocopter, Liebherr, Rolls-Royce, Safran and Pratt & Whitney Canada.
To ramp up for the antici-pated growth in output of tita-nium products, VSMPO is investing in modern smelting equipment, the ability to make greater use of recyclable metal-lic waste, new presses, vacuum-arm furnaces and cold-hearth furnaces, expansion of its metal-forming integrated complex and advanced tools for machining die forgings. It has been investing up to around $8 million annually in technology programs, while boosting spending on manufac-turing equipment and sites to $300 million last year.
A recent change in the com-pany’s strategy has been to focus on higher-value products requir-ing a greater degree of machin-ing processing, such as engine disks and rings, and landing gear struts. At the same time, VSMPO makes more than 400 die-forged products for export and over 1,000 for Russian man-ufacturers, such as Irkut, which
is using them for its MC-21 air-liner. Today VSMPO exports more semi-machined parts made using advanced machine tools and is expanding the scope of international cooperation for developing modern alloys and technologies aimed at the increased use of titanium parts in new aircraft and engines.
Russia accounts for 40 per-cent of the titanium used by Boeing and 60 percent of that used by Airbus. Last summer the latter signed an agreement under which VSMPO will make die forgings for the A350XWB-1000 main landing gear struts. Since the A350-1000 is heavier than earlier -800 and -900 versions, its struts need to be stronger and, therefore, made of VST5552-1 titanium super alloy. The use of this proprietary material allowed Goodrich to win the contract to supply the struts.
Also last year, Airbus and VSMPO signed a memorandum of understanding to expand the supply of titanium raw mate-rials, die forgings and other metallic products for Airbus programs. This will include the development of new alloys for the exclusive use of Airbus and its parent group, EADS. It will also see the creation of an inte-grated supply chain between the two companies covering the whole process, from supplying raw materials to providing prod-ucts for Airbus vendors.
Meanwhile, the 10th anniver-sary of VSMPO’s cooperation with Chinese aerospace firms was marked by the formation of a joint venture with Avic and Comac, covering parts for their respective new ARJ21 and C919 airliners. Also in Asia, the com-pany is cooperating with India’s Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. and South Korean manufacturers. In 2011, Brazil’s Embraer extended its supply contract for VSMPO’s titanium semi-machined parts and die forgings through 2020.
In the aero-engine making, VSMPO is supplying France’s Safran group under a $300 mil-lion contract signed in 2008, Pratt & Whitney Canada is buy-ing at least a quarter of its tita-nium forgings from the company and Rolls-Royce has three long-term agreements covering about $250 million worth of titanium products through 2015.
In addition to sharing its suc-cess with shareholders, VSMPO agreed to increase the wages of factory workers this month by an unspecified amount; they started this year earning an average 24,000 rubles. In 2011, VSMPO’s share price increased by 47 per-cent from 3,585 to 5,280 rubles. o
VSMPO general manager Mikhail Voevodin
VSMPO’s Cincinnati three-spindle milling machine is able to process 73 tons of stampings per month, which it is supplying for the Boeing 787.
Aviall promotes its parts prowess Aviation parts and aftermarket services firm
Aviall is here at the Farnborough International Airshow (Hall 4 Stand G17) to highlight its abil-ity to provide what it says are innovative supply chain services and logistics solutions to OEMs and aviation operators–civil and military–around the world. The Boeing subsidiary’s goal is to have a part in stock when it is needed as close to a customer as possible, and the company offers some two million parts from more than 240 manufacturers.
“We have 40 customer service centers strategi-cally located in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific, and our customer service professionals can ship from any location to meet the needs of our customers,” Aviall president Dan Komnenovich told AIN. “We have invested millions of dollars in technology to track our inventory, and we share that information with our customers and suppli-ers in real time.” The company makes about 5,000 shipments each day and serves more than 25,000 customers on six continents.
It is an exclusive parts supplier for General Elec-tric, GE Aviation, Rolls-Royce, Pratt & Whitney,
Pratt & Whitney Canada, Honeywell and Ham-ilton Sundstrand. Aviall also offers a variety of products from parent company Boeing, as well as Michelin, Goodyear, ExxonMobil, Jeppesen, 3M, Champion, Lord, ConocoPhillips, Lycoming, Sherwin-Williams, Telex and Saft, among others.
Aviall recently completed requirements neces-sary to become compliant with Federal Acquisi-tion Regulation Part 15, allowing the company to serve the military market by enabling it to com-pete for U.S. government contracts previously out of reach. The company’s exclusive agreements include global aftermarket support for the Rolls-Royce T56 turboprop engine, which powers thou-sands of aircraft in all major military segments in nearly 70 countries.
In addition to providing new aircraft parts, Avi-all operates 20 repair facilities that perform ser-vices, including hose assembly, battery repair and wheel and brake services. The company also offers chemical management, repair and rotable man-agement, paint mixing, kitting, AOG services and electronic inventory management. –C.T.
14 Farnborough Airshow News • July 10, 2012 • www.ainonline.com
Saab’s Gripen E/F fighter boasts a new cockpitby David Donald
Saab has brought its new-generation Gripen to the Farnborough International Airshow not as a demonstra-tor aircraft for potential new technologies, as previously, but as a systems prototype for the intended production Gripen NG, or Gripen E/F as it is also known. Designated as aircraft 39-7, the two-seat Gripen has new avionics and new cock-pit installed, and just before Farnborough received the full-standard Selex Galileo ES-05
Raven e-scan radar, complete with repositioner. In this guise, 39-7 has become the avionics testbed for the Gripen E/F.
By the end of next year Saab is scheduled to have flown a full E/F prototype aircraft (39-8), newly built to the upgraded standard. The final configura-tion of the Gripen E/F has yet to be decided, but the major ele-ments are already selected. The aircraft will have a General Elec-tric F414 engine, possibly in its higher-rated EPE variant, and has a wider fuselage housing more fuel. Additional weapons pylons are installed.
Following delivery of the Raven radar, in late 2012 Selex Galileo’s Nerviano plant is due to deliver the first Skyward G infrared search-and-track sys-tem, which will also be fitted in 39-7 for tests that are scheduled to begin early next year. Sky-ward G gives the Gripen E/F a sophisticated multi-target pas-sive tracking capability, able to handle up to 200 targets. Its scanning capability matches that of the radar in azimuth. It can also be used for target imaging
and as a flying aid, producing a steerable infrared picture in a helmet-mounted display.
The SIT426 advanced inden-tify-friend-or-foe (IFF) system that Selex Galileo has developed for the Gripen E/F has already been pole-tested at the Arboga range. It is not due to be incor-porated into a Gripen airframe until the first production JAS 39E/F, which is scheduled to fly in December 2014. As the IFF system is separate from the radar this does not affect the program’s development, as ground testing can accomplish most of the IFF program’s requirements.
Swiss Choice, TooSweden has committed to
the JAS 39E/F, and it has also been selected by Switzerland, although there is still a politi-cal process to go through before any Swiss contract is signed. Swedish requirements are stated as being between 60 and 80 air-craft, and they will gradually replace the existing JAS 39C/D fleet between 2020 and 2030. It is likely that all of the aircraft will be JAS 39E single-seaters.
Switzerland’s requirement is for 22 aircraft, which will replace the Northrop F-5. The political process involves ratifi-cation by the two houses of the Swiss parliament, and is likely to include a public referendum. Such processes are likely to conclude in 2014.
Saab has promised to deliver the first Gripen E/F four years after contract award, but has not ruled out the ability to expedite development should another customer require earlier delivery. Sweden and Switzerland have aligned their requirements to produce an aircraft with a com-mon baseline configuration and expected initial operating capa-bility to be achieved in 2018.
Gripen NG aircraft will, in effect, be new-build machines although some elements of exist-ing JAS 39C/Ds will be re-used, notably the wings. This is made possible by the E/F’s design, which widens the fuselage to achieve greater lifting area rather
than enlarging the wing surfaces.In the meantime, Saab con-
tinues to market the current Gripen C/D, highlighting the type’s good performance and low cost per flying hour, and to support existing customers. Hungary has recently extended its Gripen lease to 2026, and negotiations are ongoing with the Czech Republic to also extend. Thailand is to receive its second batch of six aircraft next year, with most of them already flying in Sweden.
South Africa is scheduled to receive its final aircraft this sum-mer, and earlier this year began operations with the Thales DJRP (digital joint reconnais-sance pod). All the aircraft have been officially handed over, but four were retained in Sweden to allow South African participa-tion in the Lion Effort Gripen User Group exercise held at Ronneby in May.
Saab continues to target a number of opportunities for the Gripen around the world. Bra-zil is the most obvious, where the aircraft Rafale and the F-18. Success there could open the door to further Latin American sales. Thailand is likely to order a third batch of aircraft, while Malaysia is in the market for a replacement for the Russian MiG-29. Other Far East possi-bilities exist in the Philippines, Indonesia and Vietnam, while in eastern Europe several nations have new fighter requirements.
Saab’s UK office is also con-tinuing conceptual work on a carrier-capable Sea Gripen, with an eye on Indian and Brazilian requirements. Risk-reduction work on the Sea Gripen will continue up to the point of an evaluated concept, according to a Saab official, “and then we’ll park it” to await further developments. o
Lt. Gen. Markus Gygax, chief of staff of the Swiss Air Force.
Gripen–the Swiss Air Force View
Having selected the Gripen E/F to fulfill its F-5 replacement requirement, the Swiss air force is calmly confident that the acquisition makes it through the political process unscathed. Lt. Gen. Markus Gygax, the air force chief of staff, spoke to AIN last month about his service’s plans for the machine.
“We are in the process of finalizing the configuration. We want the same thing as the Swedes. We do not want an aircraft that is Swiss-unique–it must be exactly the same. And we will use it for all three missions: fighter, recce and air-to-ground. We need [the Gripen] to support the F-18 in the air-to-air role, and to gain the other two missions, which we have lost.”
Under Swiss planning the Gripen would begin operations in the air-to-air role, initially with Iris-T and AMRAAM missiles, but possibly adding Meteor at a later date. Reconnaissance capability would then be added, although the deci-sion over which podded system would provide that capability has not yet been taken, and rests between the Rafael RecceLite, Saab SPK 39 and Thales DJRP.
“We lost our air-to-ground capability with the Hawker Hunter,” explained Gygax. “Today it is easy to rebuild, thanks to the capabilities of the aircraft and simulators. We can send pilots to the Swedish air force so the knowledge will come back very fast.” The Litening laser designation pod and a range of laser- and GPS-guided bombs would be the most likely equipment for the ground-attack role.
Switzerland is hoping to buy 22 Gripens, with a planned split of 16 Gripen E single-seaters and six Gripen F two-seaters. They are planned to equip two squadrons at Payerne, with both units to be fully operational by around 2025. Initial pilot training would be conducted in Sweden, but it is possible that two or three of Switzerland’s eight Pilatus PC-21 trainers could be reconfigured with a Gripen-style cockpit in place of the current F-18 workstation.
The Gripen is to replace the Northrop F-5, and some questions have been raised over the slippage of the new fighter buy. “Delaying [the Gripen acquisition] is absolutely no problem for us,” asserted Gygax. “Right now we have 54 F-5s in the inventory. With only three squadrons that is enough–we need only 36. The F-5’s structure is no problem until the end of this decade.” –D.D.
A Swedish JAS 39D flies over the Swiss Alps alongside a Swiss Air Force Hornet. A Gripen is due to appear at the Axalp-Ebenfluh public air force demonstration in October.
Formerly the Gripen Demo, aircraft 39-7 (seen here with a JAS 39D) is now the avionics testbed for the Gripen E/F. Development of the type is working toward a joint Swedish/Swiss configuration.
Earlier this year Saab grabbed the opportunity to fly Gripens from all six users in a unique formation. The last four of South Africa’s aircraft have been retained for a few months in Europe, while aircraft from the second Thai batch have yet to be delivered.
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With new KC-390 transport, Embraer eyes C-130 marketby Thierry Dubois
Embraer will soon freeze the design of its first purpose-built military trans-port, the KC-390, for tactical missions. Although the first flight is planned for 2014, some details remain sketchy. But at least the program seems well funded, with
the Brazilian government providing most of the $2.2 billion needed for development.
“The KC-390 is essentially being designed for cargo and air-refueling mis-sions,” Luiz Carlos Aguiar, Embraer Defense and Security CEO, told AIN. The
50,700-pound maximum payload (slightly below previously announced numbers) can consist of 64 paratroopers, 80 soldiers, a helicopter or wheeled armored vehicles.
The KC-390’s tanker capability is based on the installation of two remov-able internal fuel tanks. The aircraft will also be capable of being refueled in flight.
Six countries have signed letters of intent for a total 60 aircraft: Brazil (28), Colombia (12), Argentina (6), Chile (6), Portugal (6) and the Czech Republic (2). Of these, Argentina, Portugal and the Czech Republic have also agreed on indus-trial partnerships. France, although it has clearly expressed interest for a dozen, has not signed any agreement or letter–appar-ently because it is waiting for the Brazilians to order Dassault’s Rafale fighter first.
The $2.2 billion funding runs until the end of 2014. This is when the KC-390 is scheduled to make its first flight. The funded development phase includes two prototypes and production tooling. From 2015, Embraer is counting on starting to receive partial payments from custom-ers. The first deliveries to the Brazilian air force are slated for 2016.
Surprisingly, Aguiar did not want to give indications on the range. “This is premature,” he said. Preliminary data Embraer released in 2010 showed that range, with a 52,000-pound payload, would be close to 1,400 nm.
The company will be ready to make firm offers, including price and specifi-cations, in the first quarter of next year. “From March or April, we’ll got to the market aggressively,” Aguiar said. The pro-gram is now in the “joint definition” phase. Some 180 engineers, representing over 50 companies, are working at Embraer’s São José dos Campos design offices.
As development money is flowing, the KC-390 program already appears as rev-enues in Embraer Defense and Security’s accounting books. Last year, it accounted for 19 percent of $852 million. This year, the program’s funding will represent 39 percent of an estimated $900- to $950 million in revenues.
Aguiar made it clear there is no risk-sharing partner (in the commercial mean-ing) on the program. It is purely funded by governments. Brazil is funding more than 90 percent of the program, while the Czech
Republic and Argentina are providing the rest. For a fixed amount, Embraer is sup-posed to deliver the aircraft on time and on specifications. Any development delay beyond 2014 would have to be funded by the manufacturer. And the government could refuse the delivery of an aircraft that is not performing as expected.
Embraer has chosen its main suppliers. International Aero Engines will provide the two V2500 turbofan engines with accom-panying nacelles and thrust reversers. The airframer said that it chose turbofans over turboprops because it wants to be able to cover large distances with speed. The KC-390 will be the lowest total life-cycle cost airlifter in its class, Embraer claims.
International Supply TeamThe mission computer, as well as crew
seats and directional infrared counter-measures, comes from AEL. Liebherr is in charge of the cabin pressure control sys-tem and the air-conditioning system. DRS, a Finmeccanica company, is responsible for the cargo handling and aerial delivery system. Another Finmeccanica company, Selex Galileo, will supply the tactical radar.
The fly-by-wire control system, along with actuators, will come from Goodrich and BAE Systems. Hispano-Suiza is responsible for the head-up display. Mess-ier-Bugatti, another Safran company, is in charge of wheels and brakes. Cobham will supply the air refueling pods.
The KC-390’s main technology fea-ture will be its fly-by-wire control system, according to Aguiar. He said Embraer continues to improve fly-by-wire, from the E-Jets to the Legacy 500 and now on the KC-390. The next feature will be Rockwell Collins avionics, based on the Pro Line Fusion suite, in the flight deck.
In terms of market forecast, Embraer officials believe they have a conservative estimate. By 2025, the market for such transports is seen at 700 aircraft. The bulk of it is for Lockheed Martin C-130 replace-ment. Aguiar said he would be happy with 17 to 18 percent of the 700. This would translate into around 120 KC-390s.
Aguiar sees his competitors being C-130 modernization programs. “Some of them include structural upgrades for prolonged wing utilization,” he said. The in-production C-130J is another.
Embraer has already penciled in some plans for production. The assembly line should have a capacity of 1.5 aircraft per month. Aguiar is counting on 8 to 10 deliv-eries per year and a total production run of 140 “would be a great success,” he said. o
16 Farnborough Airshow News • July 10, 2012 • www.ainonline.com
Embraer is developing the KC-390 as an alternative to the C-130 for cargo and air refueling, thanks to a 50,700-pound cargo capability and two refueling pods.
KC-390, by the NumbersLength: 115 feet
Height: 40 feet
Wingspan: 115 feet
Maximum payload: 50,700 pounds
Maximum cruise speed: Mach 0.80
Boeing To Help with Marketing
In late June, Boeing and Embraer announced an extension of their April collaboration agreement to cover the KC-390 program. The pair will jointly assess the medium-lift military transport market. Boeing may help sell the KC-390 to “potential customers that had not been considered [as] initial market prospects,” the companies said. –C.P.
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18 Farnborough Airshow News • July 10, 2012 • www.ainonline.com
Yak-130 trainer enters service and aspires to attack rolesby Vladimir Karnozov
Here at Farnborough International Airshow, Russia’s Irkut is demon-strating its Yakovlev Yak-130 combat trainer. Although the aircraft has par-ticipated in various airshows before, this time it represents a version of the jet already in service with the Russian and Algerian air forces.
The program began the late 1980s and first flight occurred in April 1996. Since then the two-seat Yak-130 has met and overcome numerous challenges, and has gradually evolved into a highly potent and truly versatile platform able to play many modern air force roles.
Last month, Russia’s Aviation Cen-ter for Crew Training at Borisoglebsk reported that it had commenced a pro-gram of preparation of the country’s air force pilots using the Yak-130 in the role of lead-in fighter trainer (Lift). Although the Russian air force formally pronounced the Yak-130 operational in December 2009, additional weapons-fir-ing tests, and the preparation of various techniques and manuals by the Com-bat Usage and Crew Re-Training Center at Lipetsk air force base, took two more years to complete.
Five Yak-130s arrived at Borisoglebsk in April 2011, and preparation of the syl-labus commenced. According to the air force, the expected arrival of seven more aircraft this summer will enable it to com-plete the formation of a full-strength training squadron.
The center’s senior students are flying the new type as a final part of their qual-ification process. “This aircraft is easy to handle, and has a big future ahead of it,” said Victor Lyakhov, commander of the Borisoglebsk center. “In addition to the primary combat training role, the Yak-130 can perform missions as an attack aircraft, a fighter and a tactical bomber.”
Flying ComputerRussian air force officers refer to
the Yak-130 as the “flying computer” because of its KSU-130 re-program-mable fly-by-wire flight control system, which is able to replicate the behavior of various combat jets. In particular, Borisoglebsk will prepare pilots for fly-ing the Sukhoi Su-34 interdiction fighter and Su-25 attack aircraft. In the pri-mary trainer role, the Yak-130 replaces the Czech Let L-39, which has been the mainstay of Russia and former Soviet states since the early 1970s.
Irkut (Hall 1 Stand E8) offers the Yak-130 as part of a “fully integrated train-ing system” that also includes interactive computer classes, procedural and full-flight simulators and Yak-52M/Yak-152 light piston airplanes. Until a Yak-130 full-flight simulator is installed at Boriso-glebsk, the students are using a simula-tor based at Irkutsk, where Irkut runs a
training and in-type qualification center for foreign pilots.
Last year Russia’s state arms export agency, Rosoboronexport, delivered 16 customized Yak-130s to Algeria, along with the last eight Su-30MKA fighters (out of 44 ordered). As part of the con-tract, Irkut trained about 150 Algerian air force pilots to operate both types.
First Computer-aided DesignThe Yak-130 is the first military
aircraft developed from scratch in Russia with extensive use of computer-aided technologies. It belongs to the fourth generation of combat jets and features open-architecture avionics on
the MIL-STD-1553B databus and embed-ded simulation.
In addition to three multi-function displays, as in the rear cockpit, the for-ward one additionally has a head-up dis-play similar to that in use in MiG-29/Su-27 fighters. Fly-by-wire technologies provide for carefree handling, reducing pilot workload.
The airframe is made largely of alumi-num-magnesium-lithium alloys and also titanium, which Irkut claims makes it weight-efficient without use of compos-ites. Selection of materials was dictated by the customer requirements for simple and low-cost maintenance and repairs, as well as “away-from-main-base” com-bat deployments in tough climatic con-ditions. The Yak-130 can operate from semi-prepared airfields, relying on a sys-tem of air intakes and channels designed to prevent damage to the engine by for-eign objects during takeoff and landing.
In “clean” configuration (that is, with-out weapons or other external equip-ment), with full tanks, the Yak-130 has a maximum takeoff weight (mtow) of 15,984 pounds. For combat deployment, mtow is 22,686 pounds. Standard fuel capacity of 3,748 pounds provides for a range of 864 nm. A pair of 992-pound
fuel tanks on wing pylons extends the range to 1,134 nm.
The aircraft can carry 6,614 pounds of weapons on nine pylons. This may include a 23-mm twin-barrel cannon pod on the central hardpoint and a com-bination of dummy rockets/bombs and precision-guided munitions (PGMs) on wing pylons.
Although subsonic (Mach 0.93), the Yak-130 is highly agile (with an angle of attack up to 35 degrees) and maneuver-able (up to +8g). It can climb to 30,000 feet in three minutes.
A high power-to-weight ratio (0.7) and advanced aerodynamic configu-ration with moderately swept wings smoothly blended into large fuselage root extensions allow the Yak-130 to have more than a 200-fps climb rate at 15,000 feet. This enables its use as inter-ceptor armed with Vympel R-73E infra-red air-to-air missiles, for which the pilots can designate targets using hel-met-mounted sights.
In 2005, the Russian defense minis-try ordered the initial batch of 12 Yak-130s. Deliveries from the Sokol plant in Nizhny Novogorod commenced in 2008 and were completed in March 2011. In November 2011, the ministry came
up with another order for 55 Yak-130s with an option for 10 more. The respec-tive contract went to Irkut, which by that time had completed 16 such air-craft for Algeria.
Worthy AdditionIrkut president Alexei Fedorov has
estimated the Yak-130 delivery rate at 250 units “in the middle term” and believes the type can compete for a quar-ter of the world’s market for advanced jet trainers, estimated at 2,500 units. In his view, the Yak-130 is “a worthy addition” to the Sukhoi Su-30MK twin-seat multi-role fighter, which has been Irkut’s cash cow since 1996.
Bangladesh is reportedly negotiat-ing for 10 Yak-130s in a prospective deal through Rosoboronexport that would likely be backed by Russian government credits. Syria has signed for the Yak-130, but the status of this order is uncon-firmed. During the deposed regime of Muammar Gaddafi, Libya also ordered the Russian trainer but this contract is understood to have been canceled.
The Russian air force is expected to place additional orders for special vari-ants of the Yak-130, including some for an aerobatic display team. The service
has the Russian Knights team flying Su-27s and the Strizhy team in MiG-29s, but supersonic fighters are rather costly in that role.
Now Yakovlev is also working on a dedicated ground-attack variant of the Yak-130. It will differ from the baseline combat trainer with a larger nose housing a multifunctional radar, an armor-protected pilot cockpit for one crewmember instead of two and higher-power engines each developing 6,173 pounds of thrust compared to 5,511 pounds for the current produc-tion Ivchenko-Progress AI222-25. The industrial team behind the project also hopes to sell a dedicated trainer version to the Russian and Indian navies.
In a recent press briefing, former Rus-sian air force commander Alexander Zelin and current defense ministry advi-sor Anatoly Serdyukov said that the air force needs a new type of ground-attack aircraft and that provision has been made for this in the 2011-2020 arms pro-curement plan. The new aircraft would have stealth characteristics, be capable of operating from short runways and be equipped with an advanced radar.
Irkut is proposing a version of the Yak-130 for this role. Zelin said
that while the aircraft has its strengths, it could be
found wanting with weaknesses such as insufficient protection for the pilot from ground fire.
In this market Irkut faces strong com-petition from Sukhoi, which has been urging the defense ministry to restart production of the Su-25 family of air-craft at the UUAZ helicopter plant in Ulan-Ude. This enterprise specializes in production of the highly successful and popular Mil Mi-17 series of helicop-ters, but has retained manufacturing jigs for the Su-25UB twin-seat operational trainer and its derivatives (Su-25UBK, Su-25T and Su-39). These types were in limited production in Ulan-Ude at the turn of the century.
The Yak’s strongpoint is Irkut’s capac-ity to produce 50 Yak-130s a year, Alex-ander Veprev, general manager at Irkut’s IAZ plant, told AIN. He added that there is a provision to increase this to 60 units if demand proves high enough, in addi-tion to which Sokol could add up to 10 airframes a year. o
The fly-by-wire Yak-130, the first military aircraft developed from scratch in Russia with extensive use of computer-aided technologies, can serve as a primary combat trainer, as well as an attack aircraft, a fighter and a tactical bomber.
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Diverse Cobham enhances major aircraft programsby Bill Carey
Operating as a Tier Two and Three supplier of components and subsystems to major aero-space and defense manufac-turers, the UK-based Cobham group has evolved over eight decades into a company gener-ating almost $3 billion per year in revenues. The multinational group now has content on most major aircraft platforms either flying or in development.
Nevertheless, one will not generally see the Cobham name emblazoned on an aircraft–un-less, of course, you were to visit Australia or Papua New Guin-ea, where Cobham Aviation Ser-vices operates a charter service using BAe 146 jets and Bombar-dier Dash 8 turboprops. In addi-tion, Cobham operates Boeing 717 twinjets on behalf of the Qantas regional subsidiary Qa-ntasLink and maritime patrol Dash 8s for the Australian Cus-toms Service. Elsewhere, the
company promotes itself as a trusted supplier of key compo-nents across space, aerospace, land and maritime domains.
“At the top level, it’s prod-ucts, services and subsystems,” said Greg Caires, Cobham vice president of media relations in the U.S. “We don’t make air-planes, we make things that are very useful to airplanes and other platforms. About two thirds of the business involves moving information from a sensor to a decision maker, and the other third of the business is about keeping people safe in challenging environments.”
Cobham is divided into three divisions–aerospace and secu-rity, defense systems and mis-sion systems–that employ 11,000 people on five continents. It has 13 principal manufacturing loca-tions: nine in the U.S., three in the UK and one in France.
The company describes itself
as “acquisitive,” having acquired nearly 50 other companies in the last decade and 80 overall, as well as divesting some. Among its strategic objectives is to “build sustainable scale positions” in the markets it serves. “We want to sell products and services that are different enough from our competitors that we maintain a top position in that market space–one, two or three,” said Caires. “If we’re really not one of the top three [companies] you could buy from, then we look to exit that market.”
Cobham says it in-vested £129 million ($201 million) last year in research and development in core businesses. In June, it completed a £275 million ($428 mil-lion) share takeover of satellite communications equip-ment provider Thrane & Thrane of Denmark.
While it is UK-based, Cob-ham generated just 10 percent of its revenue from the UK last year. Fifty-two percent of reve-nue came from the U.S., followed by Australia at 13 percent. The
U.S. defense and security estab-lishments represent 44 percent of Cobham’s business by market type, with commercial business and non-U.S. defense and securi-ty each generating 28 percent.
Half of the company’s em-ployees reside in the U.S., fol-lowed by 2,500 in the UK and 1,100 in Australia. And this year, Cobham appointed an
American–Robert Mur-phy–as its first non-British CEO. Murphy, who took the reins June 25, previ-ously was executive vice
president of the BAE Systems product sec-tors business. He will work from the corpo-rate headquarters in Wimborne, Dorset.
With its many oper-ations and diverse prod-uct range–Cobham’s website lists 72 busi-
ness unit locations and 289 prod-ucts–it is helpful to think of the company in terms of capabilities, which it says are “increasingly centered around communication and the insatiable need for data, connectivity and bandwidth,” as well as size, weight and power-consumption factors.
It is also instructive to char-acterize Cobham by the plat-forms that host its equipment. When described in this way, the company has an impressive story to tell. For example, Cobham supplies its HGA-7001 satcom antenna system and the on board inert gas generating system (Obiggs) to protect against fuel tank explosions on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. The company supplies antennas, servers, rout-ers, oxygen systems and audio and radio management systems on the Airbus A380.
Military ProductsIn the military arena, Cobham
supplies 100 components and $1 million worth of content on the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. These include the fifth-generation fighter’s refuel-ing probe, the cryocooler used to cool the infrared detector of its electro-optical targeting sys-tem, the pneumatic bomb racks, integrated microwave assem-blies supporting electronic war-fare systems in the tail and the cartridge actuated cutter, which automatically cuts an air passage in the pilot’s oxygen mask hose when the pilot resurfaces after
Former BAE Systems executive Robert Murphy took over as Cobham’s first non-British chief executive on June 25.
By the world. For the worldThe Sukhoi Superjet 100 is a regional jet like no other. Developed in collaboration with some of the most respected names in the industry, to meet the growing demands and challenges of commercial airlines, this next generation aircraft is setting a new benchmark in the 100 seater market. Certified by the European Aviation Safety Agency and combining state-of-the-art avionics, lower emissions, reduced operating costs and excellent reliability, the Sukhoi Superjet 100 keeps on delivering. To find out more, visit us at Farnborough Airshow.
C31007.010_SJI00_Farnborough_WORLD_AviationIntNews_170x550_v1.indd 1 02/07/2012 14:45
being submerged in water. Cobham supplies the low-
band transmitter and integrated antenna/radome of the U.S. Navy’s EA-18G Growler elec-tronic warfare aircraft. It pro-vides external fuel tanks and communications and life-support equipment on the U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor, and antennas and other components on the Euro-fighter Typhoon, Saab Gripen, Airbus A400M and Northrop Grumman Global Hawk.
Appropriately, for a company started by Sir Alan Cobham in 1934 as Flight Refueling, a man-ufacturer of air-to-air refuel-ing systems, Cobham claims to provide 95 percent of the probe-and-drogue refueling systems in service worldwide, supporting every NATO operation.
In July 2011, the company was awarded subcontracts from Boeing to provide hose and drogue systems for the engineer-ing and manufacturing devel-opment phase of the KC-46 refueling tanker. Also last year, Embraer Defense and Security chose the company to supply the aerial refueling probe and wing-mounted refueling pods of the KC-390. o
Selex Galileo looks to U.S. to lead EW growthby David Donald
Defense and security elec-tronics specialist Selex Galileo is seeking to build its extensive EW (electronic warfare) business with further sales into the U.S., par-ticularly as the U.S. Army and Marine Corps seek to implement new defensive aids system (DAS) capabilities for their helicopters. Sales into the U.S. market are also a springboard for expansion in other markets, particularly as FMS (foreign military sales) cus-tomers often specify U.S.-stan-dard equipment.
While the Praetorian inte-grated defensive system for the Typhoon fighter is the company’s leading EW product, Selex Gal-ileo (Outdoor Exhibit 1) offers a range of components, systems and services. Systems include the Seer family of radar warning receivers and Sage family of elec-tronic support measures.
Selex Galileo has already gained an important foothold in
the U.S. EW market through its AGP (aircraft gateway processor), which it supplies to the AH-64 Apache Block III program. The AGP is a defensive aids controller that provides a gateway between DAS components and the air-craft’s central systems. It allows new elements, functions and tech-nologies to be added to the DAS without changing the central sys-tem and without affecting flight safety-critical software.
This ability to insert new com-ponents has already been demon-strated by the U.S. Army through the addition of an acoustic GFAS (gunfire acquisition system) into the Apache’s defenses. GFAS is being implemented as a QRC (quick-reaction capability) pro-gram, and is being fitted to a trial batch of 24 helicopters.
Success with AGP in this Tier 3 technology provider activity places Selex Galileo advanta-geously to answer a forthcoming
requirement for a new ASE (air-craft survivability equipment) architecture for all U.S. Army and Marine Corps helicopters. A request for information for this program is expected around the end of the year.
Acting as a Tier 2 supplier, Selex Galileo has experience in providing integrated defensive systems through the Praetorian DAS and the HIDAS (helicopter integrated DAS) that is applied to the UK’s Apache helicopter fleet. The company is also lead-ing the UK’s CDAS (common DAS) technology demonstrator program (TDP), which includes Thales, QinetiQ, DSTL and BAE Systems North America.
CDAS is developing a UK-sovereign DAS architecture that is coherent with HIDAS and defensive systems on other UK helicopters, such as the Chi-nook and Lynx Wildcat. The
program seeks to develop a com-mon architecture that allows for future technology insertion through a common growth path across all platforms. Phase I of this TDP is complete, with flight trials to begin soon in the sec-ond phase. U.S./UK agreements allow the sharing of technol-ogy and work in this arena, and CDAS technology could be used as part of proposals to the U.S.
To enhance its electronic war-fare capabilities, Selex Galileo has established a center at Lin-coln in the UK to provide clas-sified EWOS (electronic warfare operational support). The center already provides data files and other support for Saudi Arabian Typhoons and Kuwaiti Apaches (which have HIDAS), as well as various support activities for UK assets. The center also pro-vides EW support and training for the Greek Apache fleet. o
Selex Galileo provides the aircraft gateway processor for the Block III Apache attack helicopter’s defensive aids suite.
By the world. For the worldThe Sukhoi Superjet 100 is a regional jet like no other. Developed in collaboration with some of the most respected names in the industry, to meet the growing demands and challenges of commercial airlines, this next generation aircraft is setting a new benchmark in the 100 seater market. Certified by the European Aviation Safety Agency and combining state-of-the-art avionics, lower emissions, reduced operating costs and excellent reliability, the Sukhoi Superjet 100 keeps on delivering. To find out more, visit us at Farnborough Airshow.
C31007.010_SJI00_Farnborough_WORLD_AviationIntNews_170x550_v1.indd 1 02/07/2012 14:45
22 Farnborough Airshow News • July 10, 2012 • www.ainonline.com
MiG-29s miss show for Indian sea trialsby Vladimir Karnozov
Open-sea testing of the new Indian Navy aircraft carrier Vikramaditya and her primary weapons, in the form of MiG-29K/KUB deck fighters, means that the MiGs won’t be mak-ing an appearance here at the 2012 Farnborough International Airshow. The ship has been bought from Russia to replace the former British-built HMS Hermes, which India acquired in 1986 and renamed Viraat. “Resources of our flight-test department are heavily engaged in the carrier trials, and this is why we are not able to demon-strate our aircraft at this year’s show at Farnborough,” Elena Fedorova, spokeswoman for Russian Aircraft Corporation MiG (RAC MiG), told AIN.
Following completion of extensive refit and moderniza-tion work, the Vikramaditya departed Severodvinsk harbor on June 8, 2012. She will spend the rest of the year in the White and Barents seas, ahead of anticipated delivery to the cus-tomer in time for Indian Navy Day on December 4.
The Vikramaditya is a “through-deck” carrier of the Sto-bar (short-takeoff but arrested-recovery) type with a complement of 1,924 crew. Originally a heavy aircraft-carrying cruiser, in 1978 the ship was delivered to what was then the Soviet navy, with which it served under the name Admiral Gorshkov until 1998.
Then the cruiser was offered to India as an alternative to an Invincible-class “Harrier-carrier” available from the UK. A deal was struck in March 2004, lead-ing the cruiser into Russia’s Sevmash dry dock in Decem-ber 2005 for conversion, which has included significant con-tent from UK systems suppli-ers, as well as equipment from Croatia, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Japan, Finland, France, Norway, Poland and Sweden. She was relaunched in Novem-ber 2008 as a Project 11430 air-craft carrier, and now features a 14-degree ski-ramp and three arrestor wires.
At face value, India’s new air-craft carrier will not compare too badly with the new carri-ers ordered by the British Royal Navy, and has certainly worked out a lot cheaper. With the inclu-sion of separate contracts for training, ground equipment and
shore infrastructure installations, the bill totals approximately $1.9 billion. By comparison, the bill for the UK’s new Queen Eliza-beth-class carrier is in the region of $4.7 billion.
The new Royal Navy carrier has the same 920-foot length as the Vikramaditya, but a larger full displacement at 65,600 met-ric tons, versus 45,300 met-ric tons, and a larger hangar to
house a fleet of more than 40 F-35 Lightning II fighters, plus Merlin and Lynx Wildcat heli-copters. The Indian carrier will accommodate a mix of between 30 and 34 MiG fighters and Kamov helicopters.
None of the Indian Navy’s fleet of aircraft will be deployed for the sea trails of the Vikra-maditya. Instead, RAC MiG has provided MiG-29K and MiG-29KUB prototypes. Also involved in the sea trials is a MiG-35D demonstrator believed to have been outfitted with an arrestor hook–a decision influ-enced by the crash of a pur-pose-built MiG-29KUB at the Russian defense ministry fir-ing range at Akhtubinsk in June 2011. The MiG-29K was lifted by crane onto the Vikramaditya’s flight deck last year and serves as a full-scale mockup. First flown in 1988, this veteran aircraft had an extensive operational life before being grounded.
New MiGsIndia took delivery of 16
MiG-29K/KUBs in 2010-2011. They replaced Sea Harriers in the Black Panther squadron
at Hansa naval airbase in Goa province. Last year it firmed up an option for 29 additional MiGs, which are due for deliv-ery between now and 2014.
The MiG-29K/KUB differs from the classic MiG-29 Fulcrum in having a reworked airframe with 15 percent more composite materials. It comes with a larger folding wing with extensive high-lift surfaces for shorter takeoff and landing distances. Maximum gross weight has been increased to 24.5 metric tons and the weap-ons load to 4.5 tons.
The latest MiG-29s also feature higher-thrust Fadec-equipped Klimov RD-33MK engines with smokeless combus-tors, digital fly-by-wire flight con-trols, open-architecture systems on the MIL-STD-1553B databus and a lowered radar signa-ture. Increased range is achieved through enlarged inner tanks and in-flight refueling system. The aircraft can be refueled in flight using the PAK-1MK pod.
The Russian defense min-istry ordered 24 deck fighters from RAC MiG in February 2012. Deliveries are scheduled for 2013-2015. MiG’s general
manager, Sergei Korotkov, said the ministry order came after the company spent many years on development, testing and set-ting up series production of the MiG-29K. “The MiG-29K and other versions derived from the baseline model shall ensure a sta-ble workload for the company in the middle term,” he added.
AESA RadarThe Russian Navy aircraft
will differ from the Indian Navy MiGs. “These airplanes will be made to a new technical specifica-tion that complies with [Russian] defense ministry requirements,” the manufacturer said. A new radar with active electroni-cally scanned antenna (AESA) is expected to take the place of the Phazotron Zhuk-M with a slotted antenna and mechanical radar beam scanning, the radar fitted to the Indian MiGs.
Vladimir Barkovsky, chief of the MiG engineering cen-ter, said that in the course of RAC MiG’s unsuccessful bid for India’s medium multi-role combat aircraft competition, the company demonstrated the performance of the Zhuk-MA
on the MiG-35D demonstra-tor: “We demonstrated that the radar actually works in air-to-air and ground-mapping modes,” he explained. “It can select, discrim-inate and track targets. During these trials, the MiG-35 launched a missile that destroyed a drone using radar data for targeting.”
On the company’s marketing strategy, Barkovsky said MiG will “aggressively promote” both naval (MiG-29K/KUB) and land-based (MiG-29M1/M2/35) models sharing a com-mon platform with state-of-the-art avionics, improved engines, advanced construction materi-als, larger fuel stores and new weapons. “We believe this plat-form has a lot of potential and can generate sales over a long period of time,” he said. “We will develop this platform fur-ther [with] more fifth-genera-tion technology insertions, such as the active radar, new optics and other sensors, state-of-the-art ECM and so on. We have already implemented fully digi-tal fly-by-wire on the MiG-29K and flight-tested AESA radar and the newest composite mate-rials on the MiG-35.”
Having secured a place on the carrier deck, the MiG is seek-ing to sell advanced Fulcrums to ground-based forces. With this in mind, the prototype of the MiG-29M2 twin-seat land-based fighter commenced flight tests in December. A single-seat MiG-29M derivative joined the testing last February.
Syria placed an order for 24 MiG-29M1s/M2s in May 2008, with deliveries due in 2012-2014. It remains to be seen whether this contract will be completed, in view of the current unrest in the Middle Eastern country, although Russian authorities have yet to indicate any inten-tion to block military exports to the government of President Bashar Assad. o
Russia’s MiG will not be on hand at this year’s Farnborough Airshow because a prototype of its MiG-29K
is heavily involved in sea trials of an Indian Navy aircraft carrier.
India’s new Vikramaditya aircraft carrier is preparing to enter service at the end of 2012 carrying a fleet of Russian MiG-29K and KUB fighters.
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Saab shows off maritime platformsby David Donald
Saab’s confidence in a grow-ing sector has resulted in the com-pany investing in a demonstrator platform for its 340 maritime security aircraft (MSA) offering. The aircraft’s conversion was
completed last month, in time to begin customer demonstra-tions and appearances at a series of trade exhibitions, beginning with this week’s Farnborough International Airshow.
Starting with the 340 air-borne early warning aircraft now in service with Sweden, Thailand and the United Arab Emirates, Saab has developed a range of special-mission aircraft based on
its 340 and 2000 turboprop-pow-ered airliners. Although neither type is in production, both are plentifully available, while the Swedish group offers a thorough refurbishment that effectively zero-lifes the airframes, giving them another 30 to 40 years of service life. Good performance and cost-effective, reliable oper-ations carried forward from the types’ airliner roots make both ideal for a range of missions.
The larger 2000 model forms the basis of the current air-borne early warning solution, the Airtracer signals intelligence platform and the recently named Swordfish MPA (maritime patrol aircraft). However, Saab sees a growing market for the smaller 340 in the MSA category, tar-geting coast guard and customs agencies, as well as military forces.
Envisaged roles include mari-time surveillance, fishery patrol, anti-smuggling and anti-piracy missions, search and rescue, sur-face traffic monitoring, border and embargo enforcement, and pollution control.
Low-cost Patrol OptionAt the heart of the 340 MSA
is a mission management system with a single operator in the base-line configuration. Up to three more operators can be added if required. Principal sensors include a retractable electro-optical/infra-red sensor turret and a 360-degree surveillance radar. The dem-onstrator aircraft is fitted with a FLIR Systems Star SAFIRE sensor and Telephonics RDR-1700B radar. Also included is AIS (automatic identification sys-tem, the maritime equivalent of identify-friend-or-foe) and satel-lite communications. This base-line configuration is priced at less than $20 million.
A range of options is avail-able. Large observer windows can be fitted, and an air-drop door can be installed in the rear port side of the cabin. Another option is the installation of aux-iliary fuel tanks that raise endur-ance from 6.5 to 8.5 hours. For environmental monitoring mis-sions, the 340 MSA can be fitted with sensors such as side-look-ing airborne radar and ultravio-let/infrared line scanner. o
24 Farnborough Airshow News • July 10, 2012 • www.ainonline.com
Saab’s 340MSA demonstrator is seen at the Linköping facility shortly before its first
flight in its new guise last month.
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Expanding service role smooths MRTT kinksby David Donald
Airbus Military has taken orders for 28 A330 MRTT (multi-role tanker-transport) aircraft, and by the end of this year 13 are due to be in service. The program has encountered a number of teething troubles, but the company reports that they are being solved as the aircraft expands the envelope of its operational experience.
Australia has three of its five aircraft in service (which it des-ignates as the KC-30A), with the remaining pair retained by Air-bus Military as they undergo a boom enhancement program. The three aircraft in Royal Australian Air Force service will be used for refueling with the pods only while the enhancement is being imple-mented, tested and certified. Air-bus Military said that operational clearance to refuel F/A-18 Hornet fighters is expected later this year.
Under the improvement pro-gram the KC-30As are getting a Wave 2 flight management system that makes mission planning eas-ier. The new system also integrates various classified modes that were previously separated. Boom oper-ations are improved through new control laws for large receivers and a stick-shaker to warn of reach-ing the outer edges of the boom’s envelope. These systems should be certified around September/
October, and fully implemented by the end of 2012, according to Airbus Military.
Welcome to the RAFMeanwhile, the British Royal
Air Force’s first A330 MRTT (Voyager) aircraft was released to service on April 6 this year, and has been flying intensively on transport and training tasks. The second aircraft, a three-point refu-eler, is being used as part of the Typhoon and Tornado receiver clearance process, which also involves a Saudi tanker and Span-ish Typhoons. Two more Voyag-ers are undergoing conversion by Cobham in the UK, while aircraft number five is now being modi-fied at Getafe in Spain.
Three weeks ago, the Airtanker consortium announced that the remaining nine conversions would also be done in Spain, rather than by Cobham as previously planned. This was to ensure timely delivery to the RAF, Airtanker said.
Initial RAF refueling trials encountered a number of prob-lems, including basket-spinning and fuel venting. Improvements to the basket and some software modifications cured the spinning problem, while a new coupling is under test. The venting that occurred with RAF Tornados was
not encountered by Saudi Torna-dos, which have a different style of probe. Currently, defensive improved provisions are being negotiated for RAF aircraft.
This month the Royal Saudi Air Force is due to take its sec-ond aircraft, the first having been retained at Airbus for aircrew training. The third of six is also due before the end of the year, and the RSAF is aiming for entry to service in the third quarter of 2012. The first of three aircraft for the United Arab Emirates con-ducted in-country evaluation with Mirage 2000 and F-16 receiv-ers, and all three aircraft are to be delivered by the end of this year.
In terms of future sales pros-pects, Airbus has made an unso-licited offer to Australia for a sixth aircraft. France has a requirement for up to 14 tankers, for which Airbus Military has a study con-tract to define the requirement.
A310 MRTT Test Bed To support ongoing tanker pro-
grams, an A310 MRTT has been converted to test enhancements to the boom system, having been updated with technology from the A330 program. It began flying again last month, testing a dimming
capability for the pilot director lights when operating in extreme external lighting conditions. It also has a new night-vision filter to ensure compatibility with the boom infrared illumination system.
This aircraft will also test a new advanced training function that allows synthetic aircraft to
be displayed on the operator’s screen. Various receiver types can be simulated, as well as vary-ing weather and turbulence con-ditions. An advanced debrief system is also being developed, allowing detailed after-tanking review by both receivers and air refueling operators. o
www.ainonline.com • July 10, 2012 • Farnborough Airshow News 25
New leadership at Parker, and some fresh contractsby Ian Goold
Sierra Nevada Corp. has selected Parker Aerospace Gas Turbine Fuel Systems division’s thermal-management equip-ment to cool and heat its auton-omous landing system (HALS) on Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters. Sierra Nevada has a contract to fulfill the degraded visual environments (DVE) operat ional-needs statement issued by the U.S. Army avia-tion-networks mis-sion-planning program directorate.
The HALS system combines real-time, three-dimensional im-ages with satellite digi-tal-terrain imagery and DVE-specific guidance symbols for takeoffs, approach-es and landings in fog, brownouts and other reduced-visibility con-ditions. “The systems will be in-stalled [for use] in extremely harsh environments with high levels of vibration, sand, dust and heat,” said SNC HALS program man-ager Bob Lombard.
Among its myriad prod-ucts, Parker Aerospace provides many items for the Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engine that will power the Airbus A350. Com-ponents include: the pneumat-ics system for engine controls, including intermediate- and high-pressure (IP and HP) com-pressor bleed, cooling-air con-trol, engine-section stator and nacelle anti-ice, pressure reg-ulator, solenoid actuators and check valves, as well as low-pressure and IP and HP tur-bine-case cooling valves and actuators; the engine build unit,
including hydraulic fluid con-veyance to transmit hydraulic power between engine-mounted pumps and the aircraft; the oil system, including main pump, surface-cooler valve, variable-frequency generator cooler valve and front-bearing housing valve;
and the combustion system high-tempera-ture flexible hoses.
New ManagementRoger Sherrard has
been appointed as the new president of Parker Hannifin sub-sidiary Parker Aero-space (Hall 4 Stand A18). He will replace Bob Barker, who is re-tiring after 39 years with the company.
Meanwhile, Greg Crowe has been named Parker Aerospace operations vice president and Frank Dubey has been appoint-ed vice president and general manager of Parker Aerospace Control Systems.
Sherrard will be responsi-ble for fiscal and operational aspects of the group’s seven divisions. Most recently, he was president of Parker Hanni-fin’s automation group, leading development, manufacturing and marketing of pneumatic and electromechanical systems and machine- and factory-auto-mation components.
In his new role, Crowe will take responsibility for finance and operations at Parker Aero-space’s Fluid Systems, Control Systems and Stratoflex Products divisions, from his previous posi-tion as fluid-systems vice presi-dent and general manager. o
osprey at rest
The V22 Osprey famously takes off like a helicopter and cruises like a fixed-wing. At rest, its nacelles tip forward in the horizontal position. It’s likely safe to presume that rotating them to vertical is part of the pre-start checklist.
Roger Sherrard has been appointed president of Parker Aerospace.
An RAF Voyager multi-role tanker-transport (MRTT) recently began evaluations with the A400.
26 Farnborough Airshow News • July 10, 2012 • www.ainonline.com
UK’s carrier program faces a confused futureby Chris Pocock
Controversial from the start, the UK’s new aircraft carrier program has endured many twists and turns. It is now 14 years since the government first defined the need for new carriers and it will be another four years before the first of the two Queen Elizabeth II-class warships is de- livered. Beyond that, it will be yet another four years before the carrier-strike capability becomes fully operational, in 2020.
The second vessel is now being built but, on current budget projections, the coun-try cannot afford to operate both. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has twice changed its mind on the type of F-35 stealth fighter to be oper-ated from them.
At 65,000 metric tons dis-placement, the QE II and the Prince of Wales are the largest ships ever built in the UK, and are designed to support a vari-ety of missions, such as amphib-ious or humanitarian operations, as well as air strikes. Described as eight acres of floating sovereign territory, they are three times the size of the three old Invin-cible-class carriers, which were
originally designed for antisub-marine operations during the Cold War. Two of those warships have now been retired in defense cuts, along with the entire fleet of Harriers. One remains but only as a helicopter carrier.
In the 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR), faced with budget cuts of up to 30 percent, senior military com-manders suggested canceling one or both carriers. But more than £1.5 billion had already been spent and canceling saved only £1.2 billion, partly because the government had just guaran-teed shipyard work to BAE Sys-tems for the next 15 years. In the end, the defense budget was cut by 7.5 percent and both carri-ers survived. But only one would enter service and it would be con-verted for catapult takeoffs and arrested landings so that the UK could switch its order for JSFs from the F-35B to the “more capable” U.S. Navy F-35C ver-sion. The other carrier would be mothballed or even sold.
Recently, the MoD reverted to the F-35B after it discovered–thanks to a £40 million study–that the cost of conversion to
“cats and traps” could be a whopping £2 billion. The MoD also said that the next defense review in 2015 might provide enough funds to bring the sec-ond carrier into service.
Work on the two carriers is proceeding apace. The govern-ment’s audit body said that the alliance is working well, includ-ing the incentive provisions. Over 300 companies, not all of them in the UK, have gained contracts worth £1.6 billion. A dry dock at Rosyth has been modified into the UK’s biggest.
Some big blocks of the QE II have already arrived there from the other dockyards, floated around Britain’s coast. Two soft-ware integration facilities are up and running. Thales is leading on aviation equipment, integra-tion of the F-35 and on power and propulsion. BAE Systems is responsible for the mission sys-tems. The QE II is scheduled to be fully assembled in 2014 and delivered in June 2016, with the Prince of Wales following in September 2018. Sea trials should begin four months after these dates.
One key associated procure-ment has yet to be finalized. The carrier must also have an airborne early warning capa-bility. The Royal Navy’s radar-equipped Sea King Mk 7s are nearing the end of their service lives. Embarrassed by its budget problems, the MoD has said lit-tle about their replacement. But Defence Secretary Philip Ham-mond recently announced that the “£38 billion black hole in the defense budget” has been elim-inated. The MoD now plans to spend £152 billion (about $240 billion) on equipment over the next 10 years. More than £4 bil-lion of that will be spent on ISR projects, including the carrier AEW capability that is code-named Crows Nest.
In 2002, Britain committed
approximately $3.2 billion to the development cost of the F-35, then estimated to cost $39 billion in total. That cost has risen to nearly $60 billion in cur-rent dollars, an increase borne entirely by the U.S. Meanwhile, 10 aerospace companies in the UK are supplying parts and equipment that is potentially worth billions of pounds over the life of the program. It seems like a good deal.
But while estimates of the F-35’s production cost have steadily increased, the UK’s defense budget has steadily decreased in real terms. The MoD sticks doggedly to the man-tra that it doesn’t need to decide how many F-35s it will buy before 2015. But the SDSR reduced the number of F-35s to be routinely deployed onboard the new car-rier from 36 to 12. The UK total may not be much more than half the originally planned 138.
When the MoD switched to the F-35C version in 2010, it was good news for the Royal Air Force (RAF). The F-35 is also supposed to replace the RAF fleet of Tornado land-based strike aircraft. Its greater pay-load, range and internal weap-ons capacity made the F-35C a closer match to the ageing but still-very-capable “Tonka.” Moreover, the F-35C would have cost 10 to 20 percent less than the F-35B to acquire, depending on how the sums are done.
Now that the MoD has reverted to the F-35B, officials are making the best of it. The UK doesn’t have a 2,000-pound bomb, so it doesn’t matter that the F-35B weapons bay can take only 1,000-pound-class weap-ons. The STOVL version can be topped up by aerial refueling after takeoff, thus mitigating the range penalty. The additional cost of operating a cat-and-trap carrier, including the extra pilot training that is required, was
over half that of the additional acquisition and support costs of the F-35B versus the F-35C, a senior MoD official said.
The F-35B’s development problems are also being dis-counted. “The F-35B is off pro-bation now,” a senior British officer noted. Only last year, Rear Admiral Amjad Hussein told a parliamentary enquiry that “the STOVL aircraft is more complicated...it is trying to do some difficult things... it requires an awful lot of power...it probably needs to lose its stores before it can land.” Lockheed Martin program v-p Larry Lawson said earlier this year that “critical engineer-ing challenges” on the F-35B had been solved. But the recent GAO report on the F-35 pro-gram noted that “three of the five fixes for the STOVL version are temporary and untested.”
Having recognized a few years ago that the F-35B still had a weight problem, despite the 2004 redesign, the MoD was contem-plating a shipboard rolling verti-cal landing (SRVL) technique to solve the “bring-back” problem. In a recent briefing to explain the decision to revert to the F-35B, the senior British officer con-firmed to AIN that SRVL would now be further explored.
The F-35B is scheduled to make its first landing on the QE II sometime in 2018. If the switch to the F-35C had been sustained, there would have been a two-year delay. Mean-while, the RAF’s prospective land-based operations of the F-35 have been largely over-looked in all the debate over the carriers. An RAF spokesman told AIN that the service was hoping to declare initial operat-ing capability in 2018. o
For a more comprehensive ver sion of this report, go to www.ainonline.com.
Ten aerospace companies in the UK are major suppliers to the F-35 program, and others stand to benefit from the 2,000-plus production run.
After fabrication in BAE System’s shipyard at Portsmouth, the 6,000-metric-ton Lower Block 2 was towed 600 miles around the British coast to Rosyth in late May. It will return to Portsmouth in 2016 as part of the completed Queen Elizabeth II, after completion of a $225 million dredging operation to widen and deepen the approach channel to the Royal Navy’s oldest port.
The Queen Elizabeth II and her sister ship The Prince of Wales will be the largest vessels ever built in the UK.
P&W’s ‘war on cost’ balances lower demandby Charles Alcock
Production of Pratt & Whit-ney’s F135 engines that power Lockheed Martin’s F-35 fighter is set to peak this year at 50 units before flattening out in the coming years as the U.S. defers deliveries of the new aircraft. According to Pratt & Whitney Military Engines president Bennett Croswell, the engine maker won’t have to substan-tially reduce its production rates in response to the slowdown, it will defer plans it had hatched to ramp up output that would have compensated for reduced rates of production for the F117 and F100 turbofans.
U.S. budget cuts apart, some F35 partner nations have reduced their commitment to the program, such as Italy, which will now take 90 aircraft instead of the planned 135. But Croswell said this has been compensated for by sales to new foreign military sales clients such as Israel and Japan.
“[F135 production] will come down further in the next cou-ple of years so the way for us to maintain momentum is to bring down the cost for the engine,” Croswell told AIN. “We’re mak-ing great progress in what we call ‘the war on cost’ and we have dropped the cost [of each
engine] by about 40 percent since 2009.”
Cost-containment efforts are largely focused on making sure that a higher percentage of engine assemblies and components are made correctly the first time to avoid reworking. “We are work-ing with the supply base to get new ideas for leveraging increased volumes and improving quality to make sure that scrap rates are as low as possible.”
Looking beyond the F135, Pratt & Whitney’s engineers are already working on early U.S. Air Force and Navy propulsion wish lists for sixth-generation fight-ers. Croswell explained that his includes work on variable cycle engines, such as those needed for short takeoff and vertical landing capability. Efforts are also being concentrated on finding ways to significantly improve fuel effi-ciency for fighters and helicopters.
In a collaborative effort with Honeywell, Pratt & Whitney
is pushing to deliver a 25-per-cent reduction in fuel burn with the HPW3000 turboshaft being developed for new versions of the Black Hawk and Apache heli-copters. This will involve deliv-ering a 60-percent increase in the ratio of horsepower to weight.
So far the Pratt & Whitney team has run about 24 compo-nent rigs for the HPW3000 and Honeywell has already run a core engine, as well as power tur-bine and low-pressure rigs. “We have a clear path to the goals of the program and the next step is
to run the full engine, which will happen some time in the mid-dle of 2013,” said Croswell. The U.S. Army is now working on a formal request for proposal for the new powerplant.
Meanwhile, Pratt & Whitney is working on the software mod-ifications that will adjust the commercial airliner PW4062 turbofans to power the KC-46 tanker that Boeing will provide for the U.S. military. The first engines are due to be delivered to the airframer in the fourth quarter of 2013. o
www.ainonline.com • July 10, 2012 • Farnborough Airshow News 27
Pratt & Whitney has declared “war on costs” in the face of reduced demand for engines that power military aircraft, such as the F117-equipped C-17 transport.
Broens Wins Contract for F135 Gearbox Jack
Pratt & Whitney this week signed an agreement with Australia’s Broens Industries for the supply of support equipment that will be used at initial op-erating bases for the Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter in the U.S.
Broens has designed a jack that allows the removal and maneuvering of the gearbox from under the F135 engine. The new contract is worth around $300,000 and follows a prototype award, while follow-on production con-tracts could reach a value of at least $7 million. –D.D.
AgustaWestland family meeting global demand by Thierry Dubois
AgustaWestland logged a cluster of new helicopter sales on the eve of the Farnborough International airshow. In Japan, two AW139 medium twins have been ordered for fire-fighting roles, one by the Fire Disaster Management Agency (FDMA) and the other by the city of Yokohama. The FDMA should receive its air-craft in 2013, equipped with a belly tank and Bambi Bucket, while Yokohama city will take delivery of its AW139 in March next year, sporting only a belly tank. These orders bring to five the number of fire-fighting AW139s purchased in Japan
during the past 18 months.In Europe, the Italian police
force has ordered two AW139s. They are partly funded by the European Union’s Frontex pro-gram for EU border manage-ment. The contract includes support, as well as crew and maintenance technician training.
An option for another six helicopters could be exercised by early next year. The two helicop-ters on firm order are to be deliv-ered in 2013. They will operate from Pratica di Mare Airbase, close to Rome.
In South America, Agusta Westland has sold an AW169 medium twin for corporate/
VIP missions. This brings to eight the number of helicopters ordered, for such applications, in Brazil and Venezuela. Deliv-eries of the in-flight-test type are to begin in 2015.
In Russia, a government
security agency is to receive three AW139s next year. In the U.S., the New Jersey State Police has just been handed over its fifth and final AW139. These aircraft were assembled at the airframer’s Phil-adelphia, Pennsylvania factory. o
GrandNew Gains Approval for LPV Ops
The AgustaWestland Grand-New light twin has been certified to conduct Rnav (area naviga-tion) satellite-based approach-es with vertical guidance to LPV (lateral precision with vertical guidance) minimums. It thus can perform approaches at speeds as low as 45 knots and glidepath angles as high as 9 degrees, with ILS-equivalent minimums–with-out ILS infrastructure. Europe has begun implementing LPV approaches, which are already common in the U.S. –T.D.
Steady rains and standing water at least made for some artistic photo opportunities. The Malaysian Airlines A380 on display here at the Farnborough International airshow is nicely reflected on the watery ramp.
Family portrait: the AgustaWestland product line has booked a series of orders from around the globe, including Japan, Italy, South America, Russia and the United States.
28 Farnborough Airshow News • July 10, 2012 • www.ainonline.com
z More Super Tucano Trainers for IndonesiaIndonesia has ordered eight more Embraer A-29 Super
Tucano single-engine turboprops, and a full-flight simulator for the type. The announcement, made here at the Farnborough International airshow, came just as deliveries of a first batch of eight was about to start. The Indonesian Air Force will receive all its aircraft in light-attack configuration.
Deliveries of the second batch will all take place in 2014, said Luiz Carlos Aguiar, Embraer CEO defense and security. For the first batch, deliveries are to begin in August, with the first four aircraft. The next four are to be handed over next year. Aguiar would not disclose the value of the contract but emphasized the A-29 fleet’s 154,000 flight hours, including 23,000 in combat, without any loss.
Replacing North American Rockwell OV-10 Broncos, the aircraft will be used mainly for counterinsurgency missions. Indonesian pilots have been training in Brazil.
z Terma To Support C-130J Warning SystemDenmark’s Terma has been awarded a contract by Lockheed
Martin to provide its AN/ALQ-213A defensive aids controller and associated engineering services to support integration of a missile warning system on C-130J Super Hercules for an international customer.
The Terma AN/ALQ-213A (Hall 2 Stand C26) gives C-130J customers an affordable option to move to an enhanced defensive systems suite with a choice of sensors and countermeasures subsystems.
z GE Aviation To Provide Data Link for C-130JGE Aviation has announced here at the show that it is to
provide the data link for Lockheed Martin’s Block 8.1 upgrade for the C-130J Hercules. Lockheed Martin was awarded a $167 million upgrade contract by the U.S. Air Force in December, and has selected GE Aviation (Hall 4 Stand B7) to provide the advanced communication, navigation and air traffic management data link. Block 8.1 is a fleet-wide modification that enables military operators to be compatible with future air traffic management systems. A modernized identification-friend-or-foe (IFF) system and automatic dependent surveillance broadcast (ADS-B) capability are included.
z Canadian Air Force Gets Radar for SurveillanceTelephonics Corp., a wholly owned subsidiary of Griffon
Corp., has delivered its first production AN/APS-508, an advanced multi-mode imaging radar system (IRS), to the Canadian Department of National Defense (CDND) for installation on the CP140 Aurora long-range maritime patrol and surveillance aircraft.
Jointly developed and built by Telephonics and MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates (MDA), and manufactured by Lockheed Martin (Canada), the AN/APS-508 provides multi-mode surveillance/imaging capability. An initial quantity of nine radar systems and lifecycle spares will be delivered to CDND.
Separately, Telephonics (Chalet C25) has revealed that its RDR-1700B radar is to be installed on the new Saab 340 maritime surveillance aircraft demonstrator. The radar enables critical maritime missions.
z BA Chooses Crane’s Landing Gear Control UnitBritish Airways has chosen Crane’s enhanced landing gear
control interface unit (LGCIU), which has been standard fit on Airbus A320 family aircraft since October 2010, for its A320 fleet upgrade. The LGCIU provides system health status to the central fault display system, sensing the position of the landing gear and landing gear doors, flap disconnect status and cargo door position.
The LGCIU from Crane (Hall 4 Stand F14) has enhanced reliability over the legacy device. “The new unit is also lower weight and provides an improvement in the system fault isolation capability to increase dispatch reliability for British Airways,” said Tim King, director of aftermarket sales for Crane aerospace & electronics.
Fourth-generation F-16 expected to soldier onby Bill Carey
In April, Lockheed Mar-tin celebrated the delivery of its 4,500th F-16 Fighting Fal-con, attesting to the longevity of the fourth generation, multi-role fighter. Now the company is working to extend that legacy with the U.S. Air Force and to stretch the production of F-16 export versions.
Late last year, the USAF indi-cated that it will proceed with a service life extension program (SLEP) and avionics upgrade of 300 or more Block 40/52 F-16s to compensate for the delay in oper-ational readiness of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Lockheed Martin (Chalet D9-10, OE8) has on loan from the service a Block 50 F-16 that will be engi-neered for a 2,000-hour SLEP to 10,000 hours.
A second piece of the planned upgrade, the combat avion-ics programmed extension suite (CAPES), will integrate on the F-16 an active electronically scanned array (AESA) fire-con-trol radar, a large center ped-estal display unit, an ALQ-213 electronic warfare management suite and an integrated broad-cast service network receiver. Initial operational capability of 24 F-16s is planned by the fourth quarter of 2018, with full operational capability to follow in 2022.
Upgraded F-16V ModelThe AESA radar, which will
be a choice between the compet-ing Raytheon advanced combat radar (RACR) and Northrop Grumman’s scalable agile beam radar (SABR), is the basis of a new version of the fighter–the F-16V–introduced at the Singa-pore Airshow in February. The radar upgrade is tied together with an upgraded Raytheon modular mission computer to handle the additional process-ing power of the radar and other CAPES components. The cost
to modify USAF jets for both the SLEP and CAPES is esti-mated at $9 million to $10 mil-lion per aircraft, or $3 billion for around 300 F-16s.
Lockheed Martin is being challenged for international F-16 upgrades by BAE Systems, which is competing for Korea’s planned upgrade of 130 F-16s, and potentially Boeing. BAE has installed a new commercial fire control radar in 270 U.S. Air National Guard F-16s and 50 Turkish Air Force fighters. How-ever, Bill McHenry, Lockheed Martin manager of F-16 busi-ness development, contends the international market will follow the USAF’s lead.
“What we’re seeing in general is that [countries] have a great
desire to stay in lockstep with what the U.S. Air Force is doing, and the U.S. Air Force is moving out with their modular mission computers,” McHenry told AIN. “Anybody else’s upgrade offer-ing to the program is not in lock-step with the plan. We’ve been working with the United States Air Force since the beginning of the program on upgrades of the airplane. That’s the path for the airplane.”
Fighting Falcons WorldwideAs of May 31, Lockheed
Martin’s F-16 backlog was 60 aircraft (4,570 ordered, with 4,510 delivered), extending pro-duction at its Fort Worth, Texas plant through January 2016. Thirty F-16s were ordered in the last year through foreign mili-tary sales, including 18 for Iraq and 12 for Oman. The company had completed production of 24 F-16 Block 52s for the Royal Moroccan Air Force, and was building jets for Egypt through 2013. These will be followed by jets sold to Oman in 2014 and Iraq in 2015.
Lockheed Martin sees an extended time horizon for the venerable fighter. The proposed V model “recognizes that fourth- and fifth-generation airplanes are going to be operating together for a number of years,” McHenry said. “The F-16 is going to be around for years to come, both in the U.S. Air Force and in the international community.” o
A U.S. Air Force F-16 is on display here at Farnborough. Lockheed Martin is keen to extend the life of the multi-role fighter with service life extensions and export versions.
beam me up scottyCould the Farnborough International airshow be in for a name change? How does “Farnborough Intergalactic Air and Space Show” sound?
ETS row could slow output of Airbus A330by Ian Goold
Airbus could withdraw from a commitment to increase A330 production to 11 aircraft per month in two years’ time, if there is no change to the European Union (EU) emissions trading scheme (ETS), according to programs executive vice president Tom Wil-liams. Having increased A330 build rates steadily over the past five years from seven a month, the European airframer has until now been planning to increase from the current 9 to 10 in 2013 and then to 11 per month a year later.
Under the ETS, all airlines would have to buy carbon-emis-sion allowances when flying into EU airports or through EU air-space. Major countries, includ-ing China, India, Russia, Japan and the U.S., have been leading protests against the imposition of ETS on non-EU carriers. For instance, the Chinese government has blocked Chinese airlines from buying up to 45 Airbus aircraft.
“The [scheme] has to be dis-cussed and negotiated at the global level,” said Airbus chief executive Fabrice Bregier. “The EU has started in this direc-tion, and Airbus hopes it moves faster toward a global solution.” At last month’s International Air Transport Association annual meeting in Beijing, Air-bus chief operating officer (cus-tomers) John Leahy said, “We agree with the frustrations of the Chinese airlines and the Chi-nese government.”
The manufacturer does not oppose the principle of the ETS, which Bregier describes as an incentive to contain emissions. He said the goal is to keep world-wide aviation emissions stable while passenger traffic continues rising at 4 to 5 percent a year.
Leahy pointed out that con-tinuous traffic growth–which Airbus forecasts will average 4.8 percent annually for the next 20 years–does not mean that fuel consumption, and therefore emissions, must increase at the same rate. Indeed, since 2000, traffic has gone up by some 53 percent, while fuel demand has increased just 3 percent.
At the beginning of June, Airbus had a backlog of some 320 orders for the A330, suf-ficient to provide work until early 2015 if production is not increased to 11 per month.
Last year, Airbus took orders for 99 A330s, with Leahy
claiming the aircraft continues to attract high market demand from “a lot of big customers
[such as] Korean Air, Cathay Pacific, Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines and Saudi Arabian.” He said there have been 324 net sales since 2008, compared with 272 for Boeing’s established 777 and 19 for the new 787. The period had seen 10 new A330 custom-ers booked, against six new 777 operators and a net loss of three 787 customers. o
www.ainonline.com • July 10, 2012 • Farnborough Airshow News 29
If China withholds expected orders for A330s, Airbus will not increase production rates and Chinese airlines will have to wait for deliveries.
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Growing GEnx engine fleet reduces fuel burn on 787by Ian Goold
Operators of Boeing 787s powered by the latest-standard GEnx-1Bs are prom-ised real fuel savings over similar air-craft with competing engines, according to engine maker General Electric. The powerplants also will be more durable
and remain “on wing” longer if equipped with two performance improvement packages: PIPs I and II.
The latter is scheduled for certification at the end of this year, with PIP I–which was primarily driven by a requirement
to improve fuel consumption–having received U.S. Federal Aviation Admin-istration airworthiness approval last month. The two-stage enhancement aims to ensure that the engines meet Boeing’s original fuel-burn specification, while also offering higher thrust that will support growth in aircraft weights, per-haps including the 787-10X being mulled by Boeing.
The latest PIP II development adds various fan, booster, compressor and combustor changes to the low-pressure turbine (LPT) improvement covered by PIP I, which represents the current build standard. Together, the two packages
could provide customers with a claimed “two-percent fuel advantage over our competitor,” said GE Aviation GEnx pro-gram general manager Chuck Nugent. The U.S. manufacturer believes there will be “an additional one-percent advantage from [better] performance retention” than its British rival. “That is our big news,” GE told AIN.
Production Ramp-upBy mid-June the eight GEnx-1Bs fly-
ing with Japan Airlines had accrued 4,500 hours in about 1,000 flights since services began on April 22. Overall, the engines, including -2Bs powering Boeing 747-8s, have logged about 115,000 hours during 25,000 flights, representing a rate of use about three times that of the GE90-115 when it entered service on the Boeing 777, according to Nugent.
He said the production ramp-up is two to three times that of GE’s previous engines for widebody airliners, reflect-ing the company’s investment in capacity. The U.S.-based manufacturer has suppli-ers in 15 countries and in 16 U.S. states.
As the GEnx fleet begins to grow, Nugent said preparations for series production had gone well, meeting or exceeding requirements. This year GE expects to deliver at least 150 examples, 50 percent more than in 2011, and more than 200 next year. Production is likely to reach around 300 units per year in 2014 and 2015 and to stabilize at that rate as the manufacturer addresses orders from
45 customers currently covering some 1,300 engines.
In addition, there are about 250 more 787s for which engine selection remains to be announced. Nugent did not expect to see any “significant” orders announced here at the show this week, but predicts “a lot more” in the coming year. As the pro-duction ramp-up continues, GE expects to be very busy in the coming six months as it prepares for the delivery of GEnx-powered 787s to Air India, China South-ern, Ethiopian Airlines, Qatar Airways and United Airlines.
In a six-year development program, GE has tested more than 50 GEnx
engines, logging 38,000 ground and flight cycles and accumulating 43,000 hours engine-running experience. Another 26,000 cycles will form part of an aggressive maturation program by the end of 2014 to anticipate issues or repair requirements before customers suffer them.
Performance ImprovementsNugent maintained that there is noth-
ing unusual or untoward about the intro-duction of two performance packages within a year of GEnx entering service, saying that additional improvements often appear only after an original con-figuration has been established. “You always learn from tests and the entry-into- service process, and [because of the extended 787 development period] we had a larger ‘window’ in which to identify [changes],” he explained.
A major contribution to the improved GEnx-1B fuel performance arising from implementation of PIP I, introduced on the first 787-8 in late March, has come from LPT changes, which have increased the number of titanium-aluminum blades in the seven-stage turbine.
“The original engine design had about 30 percent fewer LPT blades than the GE90 engine, but we discovered dur-ing testing that we were not getting the desired performance,” said Nugent. “So [we put] about 20 percent of the blades back in, which helped performance.”
30 Farnborough Airshow News • July 10, 2012 • www.ainonline.com
Continued on page 32 u
In a six-year development program, GE has tested more than 50 GEnx engines, logging 38,000 ground and flight cycles and accumulating 43,000 hours engine-running experience.
Three-dimensional changes to the blades also have improved effi-ciency. Other factors include opti-mization of the engine’s turbine blade-tip clearance-control sys-tem, achieved through a software
adjustment to ensure clearances can be controlled throughout the flight operation, and improve-ments to the hot-section tur-bine nozzle durability. A further gain from this package has been the prospect of increased on-wing time, a key element of GE’s “value proposition.”
Following introduction of PIP I, the GEnx-1B was certified
at 75,000 pounds thrust, which permits operators to fly from hot and/or high airports or from shorter runways. “It was very important that we be able to offer that,” said Nugent.
The manufacturer’s PIP II package includes the PIP I ele-ments, plus a half-inch increase in fan diameter, optimized outlet guide vanes, a high-flow booster
(for increased thrust), improved high-pressure compressor (HPC) aerodynamics, as well as better combustor and high-pressure turbine durability, said the pro-gram manager.
The PIP II-enhanced engine has been approved for operation at 78,000 pounds thrust, allow-ing GE (Hall 4 Stand B7) to max-imize its engineering capability
for future requirements. Accord-ing to Nugent, a significant part of the PIP II gains has arisen from the better HPC aerody-namics, which follows an airfoil re-design based on all the test data GE has accrued.
By mid-June some 70 percent of PIP II testing had been com-pleted and initial results had been “positive.” There had been 37 flights on GE’s 747 testbed and recent trials had included large-bird ingestion. A core engine test to validate aeromechanical changes was completed in May. Further use of the flying testbed covers performance optimization of the GEnx-1B PIP II package and, separately, aerial trials next year of the -2B PIP changes.
GE has been “very active” in building engines for endurance block tests or flight trials, and it was expecting to complete PIP II emissions testing by the end of June.
GEnx-2B ImprovementsIn mid-June, the GEnx-2B
had recorded 110,000 engine hours in the air during some 23,000 flights. There were 80 engines in service on 16 B747-8 Freighters–flown by Atlas Air, Cargolux, Cathay Pacific, Korean Air and Volga Dnepr–the single Lufthansa passen-ger variant and three corporate models, which were in comple-tion centers being fitted out.
The PIP for the GEnx-2B powering the 747-8 has followed a similar pattern to the -1B packages, with improvements to fan and turbine aerodynam-ics and the engine core, which is similar to that of the -1B. The two engines enjoy 80-percent line-replaceable unit and 90-per-cent tooling commonality. Spe-cifically different PIP elements on the -2B have been optimi-zation of core “turbo machin-ery” arising from the engine’s smaller, 105-inch diameter fan (employing different blade-tip clearances) and of flow patterns through low-pressure systems.
Again, such considerations had meant “very subtle” changes resulting in claimed “signifi-cant improvements.” Nugent declined to comment on reports that Boeing has seen 747-8 fuel burn one percent better than expected at this point in the pro-gram, results it had not expected for another two years. o
32 Farnborough Airshow News • July 10, 2012 • www.ainonline.com
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GEnx engines see reduced fuel burnuContinued from page 32
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34 Farnborough Airshow News • July 10, 2012 • www.ainonline.com
GKN plays the technology card in growing aerostructures battlegroundby Ian Sheppard
Last month’s breakthrough in winning a contract to sup-ply Boeing with complex machined titanium and alu-minum parts and assemblies for the horizontal stabilizer of the new 787-9 Dreamliner widebody is the prime example of GKN Aerospace’s recent success in keeping its back-log buoyant. The UK-based group has also sought to main-tain a healthy balance between civil and military work, as evi-denced by its commencing manufacture of titanium struc-tures for Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Lightning II fighter at its main factory at Filton near Bristol in May.
At a press briefing several weeks ahead of the 2012 Farnborough International Airshow, Marcus
Bryson, president and CEO of GKN Aerospace, told reporters that “all four divisions of GKN are at or near record profits” and sales are up 13 percent, to £6 bil-lion, of which aerospace accounts for around 24 percent. He said its strategic move into more civil programs at a time when defense spending is squeezed has paid off so far.
GKN has seven key product families: flying surfaces, nacelles and pylons, engine structures, engine “rotatives,” transparencies and coatings, plus protection sys-tems. Geographically, the com-pany is still “dominated by Europe, at 47 percent,” said Bryson, although it hopes to exploit new aircraft program opportunities in emerging markets.
Priorities for the business
are “safety, technology and customers,” said Bryson, who has also “deliberately” tried to make the work “very exten-sive and diverse.” He pointed to Dassault Aviation and Bell Helicopter as examples of new Blue Chip OEM clients added in the previous 12 months.
The company’s core activi-ties are the design and manufac-ture of structural components for large commercial aircraft (primarily the Boeing 787 and Airbus A350XWB) and mili-tary aircraft, such as the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. “We have a strong order book,” said Bryson, “and this is pretty well underpinned by the strong order book of the primes.”
Mike McCann, senior v-p business development and
strategy, said that GKN’s Fil-ton facility had seen work for three new customers: Dassault (structure for its proposed new super-midsize aircraft), Bombardier (CSeries control surfaces) and on Lockheed Martin’s F-35 fighter. GKN also collaborates closely with companies such as Wich-ita-based Spirit Aerosystems (work on the 787-9 for the Sec-tion 41 floor assembly) and Tri-umph, which GKN also uses as a supplier for various items, such as F-15 sheet metal.
Five years ago the company’s main focus was “mainly mili-tary,” but this has shifted “from around 58 percent to around 42 percent now,” said Bryson. “Three to four years from now, 70 percent will be civil.”
Specialization in Aero Engines
GKN also has established a strong specialization in aero engines; for example, supplying titanium honeycomb inner core fairings to Rolls-Royce (see box below). According to Bryson, the company won this contract by offering niche technology, “which was unique because it replaced a piece of composite.” It also has taken to partnering with aircraft and engine man-ufacturers to be more than just an ordinary Tier One supplier. “I think of us as ‘super Tier One,’” he added.
Content on some airframe
platforms is very significant–led by the A380 with $8 million per shipset and C-17 with $7 mil-lion. This makes it worthwhile for GKN to have its own team partly integrated with the OEM client and the customer’s manu-facturing plant.
The 787 is currently ramp-ing up in terms of production rates and Bryson commented that, “once it hits $8- to $10 million that’ll have quite a sig-nificant effect on our business.” Looking to the future, China’s Comac C919 is one of the new airliner programs with which GKN wants to be involved. “We are working hard with Comac to form a joint ven-ture,” said Bryson.
GKN is always eager to exploit potential technological edges, and new civil aircraft pro-grams that are racing to drive operating costs down are perfect outlets for such ambitions.
According to technology director Rich Oldfield, there are plenty of opportunities for GKN to demonstrate its tech-nological prowess, such as fur-ther developments of the 787 family, the A350XWB program, the new A320neo narrowbody, enhancements to the A380, as well as Boeing 737 MAX and the proposed 777X. He also cited Embraer and Mitsubishi as examples of originators of new platforms requiring tech-nology differentiators. “We are preparing for a step-change with the next-generation narrowbod-ies,” he said. “We need to pre-pare now, especially if it includes ‘disruptive technologies.’”
Bryson said that hav-ing technology is the key to Continued on page 36 u
What Does It Take To Keep Aerospace Work In The UK?
Despite its recent successes, GKN hasn’t had everything its own way. In December 2011, it lost out to Korea Aerospace Industries for some wing structures work for Airbus A320s. According to then Airbus chief executive Thomas Enders, the European airframer opted to send the work to Korea for “purely competitive reasons,” and, in January, he stated that “GKN did not make the upmost effort to come up with a competitive offer.”
GKN didn’t respond at the time, but at a press briefing in May it hinted that they might not have been competing on an entirely level playing field in trying to win the contract. “Our strategy was to leverage a large UK solution,” said Mike McCann, senior v-p business development and strategy. “We knew it was going to be challenging as the Koreans were very open about wanting to bring technology in and they have strong government backing.”
So does that mean that the UK government gives insufficient backing to firms like GKN? McCann acknowledged contributions such as an interest-bear-ing loan of approximately $93 million toward the new composites Western Ap-proach factory (see box on page 36). He also praised government support for a new UK aerodynamics center. “But the UK should think more like Japan, Ko-rea, Singapore or the U.S.,” he concluded, suggesting that these countries have a more integrated strategy for boosting their aerospace industries. –I.S.
GKN has established a strong specialization in aero engines, supplying, for example, parts such as this composite fan blade.
A GKN technician performs welding work on a 787 exhaust plug. The company recently won a contract to supply Boeing with complex machined titanium and aluminum parts and assemblies for the 787-9’s horizontal stabilizer.
Composites Aren’t Always the Answer
Rolls-Royce turned to GKN for help in alleviating service-life limita-tions caused by harsh heat and envi-ronmental conditions inside some of its engines. GKN’s engineers consid-ered the problem very carefully and, somewhat unusually these days, concluded that the answer didn’t lie with advanced composite materials.
What GKN proposed was a new titanium honeycomb design for en-gine core fairings that deliver a ser-vice life of around five to six years. “It gives a long life cycle and can handle 25 percent higher temperatures, so it doesn’t need the surface treatments that composites do,” explained Mike McCann, senior v-p business de-velopment and strategy. “It also is weight neutral and has overall sys-tem benefits for the OEM.”
GKN also has established
a strong specialization in aero engines, for example, supply-ing titanium honeycomb inner core fairings to Rolls-Royce. According to Bryson, it won this contract by offering niche tech-nology, “which was unique be-cause it replaced a piece of composite.” The company is now exploring other applications for the same materials and de-sign combination.
“If you’re not careful, you get tunnel vision that composites can solve anything,” commented GKN CEO Marcus Bryson. “This [new design] shows that this is not al-ways the case. As a business, we have deliberately–perhaps belated-ly–focused on metallics, as well. We need to ensure that we have the right technologies in both areas.” –I.S.
sustainable business yields and to cre-ate such technology the company has trebled research spending over the past two years. One new technology Old-field highlighted is “waffle skin” for winglets, and another is microwave cur-ing for composites. “We try to position ourselves at the higher end of com-plexity,” said Bryson, “as if you don’t have the technology, there is huge pres-sure to commoditize what we do…we get primes coming to us, recognizing we have something they don’t have and they want access to. Pratt & Whitney is a recent example.”
On the military side, the company remains committed and has “created a legal structure in the U.S. that enables us to play in bigger, newer programs, includ-ing ‘black’ programs.” The military pro-gram opportunities listed by Bryson in his presentation include heavy-lift assault/transport rotorcraft (CH-53K), the NewGen (T-X) trainer, UCLASS carrier-based UAV, Armed Aerial/Joint Multirole Helicopter and a mooted long-range strike mission aircraft. How-ever, McCann said that with so many new programs being delayed for budget-ary reasons, the emphasis would be on upgrades. “[For example], JSF moving to the right means more F-18s and we do $3 million on each aircraft,” he concluded. “We will look carefully at which aircraft are likely to have longevity.” o
36 Farnborough Airshow News • July 10, 2012 • www.ainonline.com
GKN plays the technology carduContinued from page 34
GKN Opens Advanced Composite Wing Center
The opening in late April of GKN Aerospace’s manufacturing and assembly facility for com-posite wing structures at Bristol in the UK rep-resents a $270 million investment that the company believes will see it significantly boost its presence in this sector over the next 30 to 40 years. The new 333,000-sq-ft facility is primar-ily dedicated to making wing spars for the new
Airbus A350XWB airliner, but it is also producing spares for the A400M military transport.
The new Western Approach factory is just a few miles from GKN’s Filton facility, where it makes wing structures for the A320, wing trail-ing edges for the A380 and flap components for the A330. It has introduced a new level of auto-mation, both in the manufacturing of the carbon fiber wing structures at rates that are up to 10 times faster than hand-laid structures and also in the assembly phase with a new moving-line ar-chitecture. GKN produces the six rear spars for the A350 wings.
The automated facility assembles the wing fixed trailing edge parts to the rear spars before the completed 89-foot units are delivered to the Air-bus wing factory at Broughton in the northwest of the UK. The moving line uses automated guided vehicles to bring the wing structures through the various stages of assembly, where complex tasks such as five-axis machining, robotic drilling and la-ser scanning are conducted.
The A350XWB is due to enter service in 2014 and the program currently is backed by 555 orders. When full production rates are reached (around 2016) it anticipates produc-ing 13 shipsets per month. By then, the new plant expects to be employing 450 people–up from 300 staff today. –I.S.A robot drills an Airbus A350XWB end spar at GKN’s
Western Approach manufacturing facility.
GKN’s Western Approach manufactures composite wing structures for several Airbus models. The automated facility in Bristol houses a moveable assembly jig in a five-axis machining workstation.
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3-D woven composites lighten fan blades, cases by Curt Epstein
The aero-acoustic geometry fan blades, fan case and several other parts of CFM Interna-tional’s Leap engine series will be the first major engine appli-cation of a new technology, 3-D woven composites. The process was pioneered by Albany Engi-neering Composites (AEC), a U.S. company that has teamed with CFM parent company Snecma and has granted the French engine maker exclusivity for its process (for propulsion applications) for the life of the Leap program. With more than 3,600 Leap series engines on the order books, “This is the fast-est, steepest ramp-up by far in the history of the aircraft engine industry,” said AEC president and CEO Joseph Morone.
AEC started more than 100 years ago specializing in making industrial papermaking machin-ery. The belts that carry wet paper slurry through the pro-cess required a highly durable yet porous material, and AEC developed looms that wove a strong fabric mesh.
A dozen years ago, Snecma scientists began exploring the idea of adapting the technology to create carbon fiber engine components. Today, the fan blades and fan casing on the Leap engine are woven from carbon fiber using huge indus-trial looms using a proprietary process similar to that used by AEC for its paper slurry belts.
The continuously spooling process weaves twists of up to 48,000 carbon fibers–each thin-ner than a human hair–in three dimensions. More than 200
miles of the carbon twists are required for each engine’s 18 fan blades and the fan case, offering the finished blade strength and durability at approximately half the weight of the comparable blade in titanium, and the case one-third the weight of similar aluminum part. That allows the Leap designers to use larger fan blades, which produce a higher by-pass ratio. The jacquard looms can weave in different thicknesses in a single part; in the case of a fan blade thicker at the root, thinner at the tip, mak-ing a three dimensional carbon matrix that will not delaminate as blades made from bonded sheets of composite are suscep-tible to doing.
Stronger and LighterEach blade takes more than
24 hours to complete, the bulk of time spent waiting for resin to cool and solidify. Upon com-pletion, the composition of the blade is approximately 60 per-cent carbon fiber and 40 per-cent resin. According to CFM,
the blades are expected to last the life of the engine with lit-tle maintenance required due to their extremely high damage resistance. For the fan case, a roll of the specially woven fabric is wound around a form or man-drel and quickly takes shape. It is then enclosed in a mold, treated with resin and baked in the same way as the blades.
Based on the use of the new components, CFM claims a resulting savings of 1,000 pounds per aircraft compared with similar sized engines using
metal components. Though composite engine parts are not new, those fabricated with this new process promise to raise the technology to a higher level. “We are nowhere near seeing how much this technology can trans-form the engine,” said Vincent Garnier, Snecma’s vice president of research and technology.
The process is also currently used to produce some compo-nents used on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner’s landing gear and the manufacturers say it could be used to eventually produce larger blades for engines such as the GE90.
While initial production on the blades and fan casings is cur-rently being conducted at AEC’s plant in New Hampshire, last month Safran broke ground on a factory of its own, just down the road. The new 210,000-sq-ft facil-ity will be completed late next year and production is sched-uled to begin there in early 2014. A similar plant in France will open a year later. Each plant will employee 400 workers (an even split between Snecma and AEC) and once production ramps up fully by 2019, will combined pro-duce 32,000 fan blades and nearly 1,800 fan casings a year, enough to satisfy the projected annual production rates for the engine. o
www.ainonline.com • July 10, 2012 • Farnborough Airshow News 37
The technology of 3-D woven composites was born a century ago in paper mills. Modern applications include engine fan blades, fan cases, landing gear and more.
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farnborough means business
Business aviation has long been a vital element of the Farnborough International airshow, and this year’s edition carries on the tradition. The global sales strategy for business jets, such as these three display models from Can-ada’s Bombardier, has shifted toward new markets in light of the changing world economy.
New hydrogen fuel cells could triple UAV enduranceby Bill Carey
L2 Aerospace and Cella Energy have teamed up to develop hydrogen storage tech-nology for small, fuel-cell-pow-ered unmanned aircraft systems and potentially other, larger manned and unmanned vehi-cles. The companies are dis-playing a mockup of a concept design here at the Farnborough International airshow (Hall 3 Stand B25).
In March, Cape Canaveral, Florida-based L2 Aerospace received an Aerovironment RQ-11 Raven UAV on loan from the U.S. government to use as a demonstrator for the hydrogen storage project. The hand-launched Raven is pow-ered by a lithium-ion battery and has an endurance of 60 to 90 minutes. L2’s initial goal is to provide three times the dura-tion of lithium ion batteries using a hydrogen fuel cell that converts chemical energy into electricity, and Cella’s hydrogen storage technology.
Nick Gritti, L2 Aerospace president of intelligence, surveil-lance, reconnaissance (ISR) and flight systems, said the company would modify an existing fuel cell for the Raven demonstra-tion. Cella Energy plans to have hydrogen storage material oper-ating in the UAV by early 2013, followed by flight-testing later in the year, said Kevin Brundish,
chief operating officer. Cella Energy is a spin-off
company of the UK govern-ment’s Rutherford Appleton Laboratories (RAL), formed last year to commercialize com-plex hydride materials developed by the RAL labs between 2007 and 2011. The company has a U.S. location at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The lead investor in Cella Energy is Space Florida, an independent special district in Florida created to foster the growth of the state’s space industry.
Cella’s technology provides a way to “nanostructure and encapsulate” chemical com-pounds containing hydrogen. The company’s hydrogen storage materials can be stored at ambi-ent temperatures and pressures and packaged for space-con-strained applications. Storing hydrogen now requires either high-pressure cylinders or super-cooled liquids.
L2 Aerospace was estab-lished in 2010 by U.S. Air Force General (Ret.) Lance Lord. The company is co-developer of the Instant Eyes hand-held, rocket-launched UAV. The vehi-cle is propelled to approximately 2,500 feet above ground level and provides high-resolution imagery, GPS and metadata within 20 seconds of launch, according to L2. o
38 Farnborough Airshow News • July 10, 2012 • www.ainonline.com
MBDA unveils Vigilus to extend UAV capability by David Donald
European missile house MBDA unveiled the results of its latest Concept Visions initia-tive yesterday: the CVS301 Vigi-lus. This concept seeks to define a system that could provide manned and unmanned aircraft with on-demand effects from around 2035.
Now in its third year, MBDA’s Concept Visions pro-cess involves inviting novel con-cepts and ideas from around the company. These are brought together into a single conceptual project that could provide the basis for future development. User experience from MBDA’s customers is a key factor in driv-ing these concepts.
This year weaponization of UAVs is the subject. One of the key objectives is to increase the standoff range of UAVs in all conditions, therefore increas-ing their survivability. Another objective is to provide increased proportionality of response, and to reduce the command chain so that troops on the ground can engage multiple tar-gets. Other aims of the system are to provide flexible modes of operation, and to allow opera-tors to stay in continuous con-tact with the target.
Initiated in January, this year’s Concept Visions initiative drew 170 responses, resulting in the Vigilus system revealed here at the show. The CVS301 com-prises three main elements: the Armatus integrated communi-cations and launcher; the Caelus persistent target identification and tracking missile; and the Gladius lightweight missile.
At the heart of the Vigilus weapon system is the Armatus
smart launcher. Weighing 77 kilograms, the launcher attaches to the air vehicle with a stan-dard Mil Std 1760 interface through which it only needs to draw positional informa-tion from the carrier platform. The Armatus system does not intrude into that of the carrier, as all other weapons links are contained internally. Onboard mission planning is performed within the launcher, which also provides a link between ground operators and the other ele-ments of the system, such as Caelus and weapons.
Armatus offers a 300-kilo-gram payload and is intended to carry a variety of weapon types for mission flexibility. The con-cept envisions that weapons are held in simple clamps that can accommodate ordnance of vari-ous weights and body diameters. This removes the need for tradi-tional bale lugs and sway braces, and also drag-inducing attach-ments on the weapons them-selves. All connection between launcher and weapon, carrying data and power, would be han-dled wirelessly.
Smart TrackerAnother key element of
CVS301 is the Caelus vehi-cle. Weighing around 100 kilo-grams, the vehicle would be dropped from the Armatus. Folding wings of around two meters span and an electric ducted fan (EDF) engine would give an endurance of about two hours. It would carry a sensor suite that includes visible and uncooled long-wave IR capa-bility, plus laser designator. The EDF offers very low infrared
and noise signatures, and a good speed range.
The operational concept for the Caelus is for it to be dropped by the UAV (or manned plat-form) to go in closer to the tar-get than is possible with larger vehicles. It can also go under the cloudbase to maintain persistent contact, removing one of the constraints that hampers cur-rent UAV operations. Although primarily intended for ISTAR purposes, the Caelus is also envisioned with a small payload bay that could accommodate a one-kilogram warhead. So armed, the Caelus could be used for immediate attack against ultra-critical targets. An alterna-tive payload for the bay could be small unmanned ground vehi-cles, or unattended ground sen-sors, that can be seeded into the target area.
Lightweight WeaponWhile the Armatus launcher
is planned to handle many weapon types, MBDA has designed a weapon that would be ideal for application to the Vigilus system. Known as Gla-dius, the missile weighs seven kilograms and has a 44-cen-timeter wing span, its fold-out wings having upturned winglets for greater aerody-namic efficiency. It is essen-tially a subsonic glide weapon, but has a rocket booster for ini-tial launch to give a range of around 30 kilometers.
Low collateral damage effect is a key driver in the design of the Gladius, and it is envisioned with a multi-mode, in-flight-programma-ble one-kilogram warhead with explosively formed pro-jectile or directed fragment effects. Guidance would be by a multi-global navigation satel-lite system with anti-jamming technology, and terminal pre-cision provided by a low-cost strap-down dual-mode sensor with visual/near-IR and semi-active laser guidance.
One of the benefits of the Concept Visions program is to identify technology areas where further work is needed, and to help customers shape future weapon systems require-ments. Last year’s program, the CVS401 Perseus anti-ship/deep-strike concept, has already spurred some UK MoD devel-opment work. Regarding the Vigilus, two key areas where development is being focused are further sensor work and the electric ducted fan. Low-level work on EDFs is already under way as part of a joint UK MoD/French DGA program. o
The Gladius is a lightweight missile concept to complement MBDA’s Vigilus system. It is meant to incorporate a multi-mode one-kilogram warhead to minimize collateral damage.
Canada’s aerospace firms cluster for regional growthby Richard Gardner
This year’s Canadian aerospace presence at Farnborough is larger than ever, with nearly 130 organi-zations attending. Although some companies have their own stands, the national pavilion (Canadian Pavilion, Hall 4 Stand C17-19), one of the largest at the show, reflects the diversity of the coun-try’s aerospace and defense sector and, in particular, the capabilities of its regional clusters.
Many of the companies responsible for delivering spe-cialized products and services, as well as innovative SMEs anxious to expand, have been able to take advantage of the attractive busi-ness investment environment cre-ated by the regional governments and trade promotion agencies. One example of what is being done is Aero Montreal, which has launched its “Mach” initia-tive designed to optimize the per-formance of Quebec’s aerospace supply chain and to increase its global competitiveness.
Across the country, the Western Canada Aerospace & Defence Industries clusters are working in partnership with Western Economic Diversifi-cation, with the support of the governments of British Colum-bia, Manitoba, Alberta and Saskatchewan, to exploit the region’s abundant resources, low costs and conditions, which are ideal for research, test and evalu-ation activities. Another advan-tage is their close proximity to U.S. aerospace companies.
Lucie Boily, v-p policy and competitiveness at the Aero-space Industries Association of Canada (AIAC), pointed out that the Canadian aerospace sec-tor achieved manufacturing rev-enues of $23.2 billion last year,
with exports worth over $17 bil-lion, ranking it number five in the world. Some 84.3 percent of rev-enue came through civil sales and 15.7 percent from military work. Retaining the level of research and development and capital investment in the sector at a time of global uncertainty is regarded as a national strength, and Can-ada’s booming economy has allowed this to increase slightly to $2 billion. The location of the aerospace clusters within Canada is partly historical, grouped close to the major aircraft manufactur-ing and maintenance, repair and overhaul centers, but they are increasingly expanding around new centers of excellence in spe-cialist areas of activity, such as composite structures, space and unmanned air vehicles, and also where high quality academic facilities are located.
The regional aerospace clusters are focused on Quebec (51.9 per-cent), Ontario (28.9 percent), West Canada (13.6 percent) and Atlan-tic Alliance (5.6 percent). The Atlantic region, comprising Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, has seen much progress in developing specialist products from SMEs which are now win-ning contracts from global aero-space manufacturers, helped by their ability to exploit the invest-ment incentives which assist growth. As well as tier-one and -two suppliers, new technology products and services are emerg-ing, especially in the fields of com-puterized design and advanced manufacturing processes. Appro-priately, many of the cluster com-panies have booths alongside, or close by, their trade association and government stands. o
yak is a tough teacher
Irkut’s Yak-130 jet has started life as a jet trainer, but can also carry plenty of fire power for light-attack roles (see page 18).
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40 Farnborough Airshow News • July 10, 2012 • www.ainonline.com
Aero Sekur launches new business by Ian Goold
Italy’s Aero Sekur (Hall 4 Stand B8) is promoting its safety systems and advanced flexi-ble material products here this week. It is highlighting the estab-lishment of a new Genoa-based subsidiary, Sekur Sistemi, for the design and production of nuclear, biological and chemi-cal (NBC) filtration and air-con-ditioning units for military and other applications, including aerospace. The company will also develop ground-support equip-ment; in particular, cooling and environmental-control units.
Aero Sekur said the new
company reinforces its com-mitment to supporting global aerospace in the supply of inflatable maintenance enclo-sures providing environmental and NBC protection.
The group has extended its controlled-atmosphere mainte-nance shelter service to incorpo-rate inflatable beams, collective protection and air condition-ing. Flexible fabric construction is said to ensure rapid deploy-ment and avoid aircraft damage while offering an optimum tem-perature and a humidity-con-trolled atmosphere suitable for
when repairs involve resins or advanced surface treatments. It has supplied an inflatable main-tenance enclosure to Northrop Grumman for field repairs to the Lockheed Martin F-35 Light-ning II, for example.
Aero Sekur has also announced that it has entered the detailed design and space-qualification phase for the recovery system of the Euro-pean Space Agency’s Intermedi-ate Experimental Vehicle (IXV), which comprises four floats to provide buoyancy and stability following splashdown.
The group also is develop-ing structural health-monitoring equipment as an alternative to fiber-optic systems for rapid and effective nondestructive testing of composite structures. On-board aircraft sensors will identify air-frame/component strain and monitor structural status.
A handbook on helicopter safety and survival products is available at the company’s stand. At the end of the show, there will be a drawing for a Star Max F35 RC model fighter. o
Italian company Aero Sekur has launched a new company to design and manufacture inflatable, environmentally secure maintenance structures for the military.
Rostvertol’s Mi-26T2 aimed at Russia, Indiaby David Donald
Rostvertol, the Russian Heli-copters subsidiary, is currently testing a modernized version of the world’s most powerful heli-copter–the Mi-26 Halo–and is hoping that Russia will buy the new version after a current order for 15 Mi-26Ts has been fulfilled. It is also hoping that India may also choose the new model to fulfill its outstanding requirement for heavy-lifters.
Known as the Mi-26T2, the new version of the heavy-lifter was developed in cooperation with the Moscow-based Mil Helicopter Plant. It has modern systems that allow the basic crew complement to be reduced from five to two (a third crewmember is required if under-slung loads are carried). A five-screen glass cockpit is installed and a new navigation system with GPS (Navstar and Glonass), inertial and Doppler elements is fitted, allowing IFR and airways flight around the world.
For monitoring under-slung loads, the Mi-26T2 has a BTU-3
TV camera for daytime use, pro-viding imagery on a multifunc-tion display in the cockpit. A TSL-1600 projector provides visual illumination for night-time use, and has an infrared mode for use with night-vision goggles. Other improvements include cockpit air condition-ing and cabin heating, while the Mi-26T2 retains the legendary 20-ton lifting capability of the current production version.
Helos Saving HelosLate last year the Mi-26T’s
power was put to an extreme test while recovering three heli-copters (Mi-8AMTSh, Robin-son R-44 and Kamov Ka-27) from Mount Elbrus. Seven world records were set during this operation. The most ambi-tious project was the recovery of the Mi-8 from an unprecedented altitude of 15,800 feet. The downed helicopter was disman-tled into sections, the largest of which was the fuselage, weigh-ing three metric tons. This was
recovered successfully on Octo-ber 27. The eight-metric-ton Ka-27 was lifted out in one piece the next day, from the lower alti-tude of 11,500 feet.
Rostvertol’s other main line of business is the production of Mi-28N and Mi-35M gunships. The Mi-28N Night Hunter, known to NATO as Havoc-B, is
being built at the rate of around 12 per year for the Russian air force to slowly replace the Mi-24 Hind. More than 50 have been produced and are in service with the army aviation training cen-ter at Torzhok, plus independent helicopter regiments at Bude-novsk, Korenovsk and Vyazma. In April the display team Berkut
(Eagles) began flying Mi-28Ns in place of Mi-24/35s. Rost-vertol and Mil are planning to launch a modernized Mi-28NM version in the near future.
Rostvertol is offering the Night Hunter for export as the Mi-28NE, and the type has been linked with a number of poten-tial customers, including Algeria and Venezuela. The latter appar-ently ordered 10 in 2010, but no contract seems to have been signed. In February three Mi-28s were reported delivered to the Kenyan air force’s 50th Air Cavalry Division, with another 13 reportedly to follow, primar-ily for operations alongside Har-bin Z-9WEs against Al Shabaab forces along the Somali border.
Meanwhile, the older Hind design continues to be improved, and is still popular in the export market. The Mi-35M is the lat-est version of this old warrior, brought up to date by incor-porating the combat systems and VK-2500 engines from the Mi-28N. It also features new composite main rotor blades of redesigned profile, and an X-shaped tail rotor. The 9K113K anti-tank missile system can fire up to eight 9M114 Shturm or 9M120 Ataka-V missiles, the latter also forming the primary armament of the Mi-28N. o
The world’s most powerful helicopter, the Russian Mi-26T, was tested last year when it recovered three disabled helicopters from Mount Elbrus.
You don’t usually get to see airliners pir-ouetting through the sky in steep banks and sharp pull-ups. With full loads of passengers and fuel, the maneuvers you see during the daily aerial displays would probably land the pilots in the unemployment line. But for airshow dis-play crews, those rules don’t apply, and we all get to enjoy the results.
yanking and banking over farnborough
Thales preps for Avant IFE arrivalby Charles Alcock
Thales’s in-flight entertain-ment and connectivity (IFEC) division has opened a new facil-ity close to London Heathrow Airport. The new premises will be the base for its sales and mar-keting operations in the UK and Ireland, but will also be the base for its maintenance, repair and onboard services team covering Europe and Africa.
The decision to relocate to Heathrow is partly driven by the opportunity to be close to so many airline customers oper-ating through the hub airport. More specifically, it is linked to Thales’s strategic relation-ship with British Airways (BA), which has been built on the car-rier’s 2008 decision to invest in the Thales TopSeries IFEC sys-tem for its new fleet.
In 2011, this relationship was extended to a compo-nent repair agreement through which BA (now part of the International Airlines Group, also including Iberia) will repair Thales IFE equipment for both its own fleet and those of other carriers. This work is done at BA’s engineering facil-ity in Llantrisant in Wales.
Meanwhile, Thales is com-pleting development of its new-generation, lightweight Avant IFE systems, which are due to enter service on Qatar Air-ways A380s at the end of 2013. These systems will feature the new touch passenger media unit (TouchPMU)–a smartphone-like device through which passen-gers can control their connectiv-ity and entertainment options, as well as order drinks and meals. All of this can be done without disturbing the content on Avant’s seatback displays. TouchPMU is to enter service on Qatar’s 787 by the end of August and will be used to control the existing Thales i8000 IFE system.
Thales IFEC chief execu-tive Alan Pellegrini said Avant will give airlines a higher level of redundancy because up to 100 movies will be able to be stored in the seat units, as a backup in case the main server fails. Avant will come with up to 256GB of data storage capacity in each seat, but a more typical allocation for many airlines will be 64GB.
Also due to enter service next year is Thales’s new AVA wire-less streaming solution, which will allow video and other con-tent to be streamed onto pas-sengers’ wireless devices. The company is also working on new
features such as gesture-controls to allow premium-fare passen-gers to control IFEC by simply pointing at their displays.
Thales believes the IFEC market will increase in annual
value from $2.9 billion this year to over $7.4 billion in 2022. “Passenger growth is driving competition between airlines [to provide superior IFEC service],” said Pellegrini. o
www.ainonline.com • July 10, 2012 • Farnborough Airshow News 41
Thales’s touch passenger media unit (TouchPMU)
is a smartphone-like device that allows passengers to control
their connectivity and entertainment, as well as order drinks and meals.
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Gipps readies GA10 utility single for 2013by Mark Huber
GippsAero (Hall 1 Stand D2) is currently flight-testing its new $1.3 million GA10 turboprop single and anticipates certifica-tion by May 2013. Because so much of the GA10 is based on the current GA8 piston-pow-ered Airvan, the Australian company’s marketing manager, Mark McNamara, expects an expeditious certification pro-gram using one or two aircraft. “We’re excited to have the air-craft flying and headed toward certification,” he said.
Last summer Gipps an-nounced that it would build a stretched turboprop version of the GA8 and that it would
expand its global sales and service footprint. The 10-pas-senger GA10 is powered by a 715-shp Rolls-Royce M250-B17F/2 engine.
The GA10 will be certified on fixed gear and floats. Prelim-inary data indicates the aircraft will have a maximum takeoff weight of 4,450 pounds and be able to carry eight passen-gers with a full 500-gallon fuel load that delivers an endurance of approximately five hours at 150 knots.
The aircraft will be built at the Gipps Latrobe factory in Victoria, Australia. McNamara said work also is continuing
on the GA18 twin turboprop now targeted for certification in 2014. That aircraft is based on the N24 Nomad. “But right now, our focus is on the GA10,” McNamara said.
Multi-Role MissionsMarket interest in the aircraft
has been strong, especially from skydiving clubs and “budget-conscious governments” that are interested in the GA10 for tac-tical use, including observation,
surveillance, re-supply and per-sonnel drops, he added.
To accommodate the wide range of possible missions, Gipps is developing a variety of interior configurations: sky-diving, aerial survey, aerial sur-veillance, freight and passenger, including an “executive style” option, among others, McNa-mara said.
Gipps is currently building its worldwide dealer and service network and plans to announce
the appointment of additional authorized representatives in the U.S., Canada, Europe and other markets throughout the remain-der of the year. In the U.S., the company is hoping to add seven more dealers. McNamara thinks the GA10 will do particularly well in Canada as a replacement for aging, piston-engine aircraft. He sees Europe as a more dif-ficult market, but one with still plenty of potential.
“It’s similar to the U.S., although market conditions are not quite as favorable in Europe,” commented McNa-mara. “There are more restric-tions on aircraft in Europe and the operational opportu-nities are more limited than in the U.S. and other places. It’s difficult to finance aircraft in Europe at the moment, but we are still getting sales there and we certainly intend to expand our market there.”
European skydiving clubs have expressed strong interest in the GA10 because of its low acquisition and operating costs, he said. “It’s less expensive than a [Cessna] Caravan and has a lower fuel burn than a Pilatus Porter.”
McNamara predicted that the company’s piston-powered, $699,000 GA8 Airvan likely will see increased sales in Europe once the company completes certification of a new, quieter composite propeller being devel-oped by Germany’s MT. “With-out noise solutions you are not going to get additional sales in Europe,” he said.
Flight tests on the propeller began in June and certification should be completed by year’s end. McNamara thinks the new propeller will reduce the air-craft’s noise signature by some 6 to 8 dB. He estimates the cost to retrofit existing GA8s with the new prop at $13,000. o
00 Farnborough Airshow News • July 10, 2012 • www.ainonline.com42 Farnborough Airshow News • July 10, 2012 • www.ainonline.com
GippsAero’s $1.3 million GA10 turboprop single is currently undergoing flight tests. The company anticipates certification by May 2013.
GippsAero test pilot Tony Morris and flight-test engineer Gerhard Jordaan were at the controls of the Rolls-Royce 250-powered GA10–during its maiden flight on May 1.
Boeing preps 737 ecoDemonstrator for first flightby Gregory Polek
A specially configured Boeing 737-800 meant to test some of the airframe maker’s most promising new technologies now sits at Boeing Field in Seattle, where crews prepare to install experimental systems that could appear in service as early as 2017 on the 737 MAX.
Just off Boeing’s narrow-body assembly line in Renton, Washington, the 737 “eco-Demonstrator” will carry no fewer than five separate devel-opments, including an adap-tive wing trailing edge meant to morph into an optimum shape during takeoff, climb, cruise and decent. The device works with an actuator that can deflect the last 4 percent of the airfoil up or down, thereby cut-ting fuel burn by making the wing more aerodynamically efficient and reducing take-off noise by improving the air-plane’s climb performance.
“The key for us is finding out a way to create an actuation sys-tem that is very light and effi-cient because these are very small devices,” ecoDemonstrator pro-gram manager David Akiyama explained to AIN. “There’s lots of different ways you can actuate it, so there are some systems that would actuate depending on the temperature, but you can also use electromechanical actuators or hydraulic actuators.”
Using standard aluminum alloy, engineers will modify a spare trailing edge to use in the
demonstrator and bolt it onto the wing box. Once complete with testing, Boeing will simply remove the test part and replace it with the 737-800’s original trailing edge for delivery to the airplane’s eventual operator, American Air-lines, explained Akiyama.
The airfoil technology–par-tially funded by a $25 mil-lion matching cost contract as part of the U.S. Federal Avia-tion Administration’s continu-ous lower energy emissions noise (CLEEN) program–won’t likely make its way onto the MAX, changes to which Boeing wants to keep to a minimum. A more likely application, he said, would involve a new program or major derivative, such as the 777X.
Active Engine Vibration Reduction
Another candidate for a MAX application centers on a technology under develop-ment to reduce engine vibra-tion. The system, called active engine vibration reduction, senses imbalances caused by rotating turbomachinery in the engine and applies a counter-force–using a principle similar to that found in noise-cancel-ing headsets–to cancel vibration that would otherwise make its way into the cabin and produce noise. “That’s a technology that you can retrofit to existing air-planes or apply to a brand-new airplane,” said Akiyama.
In the ecoDemonstrator’s
cockpit, a system called flight trajectory optimization incor-porates a broadband satellite antenna, a so-called onboard networking system–or data back-bone–and a system similar to a wireless network router to enable broadband communication both within the airplane and between the airplane and the ground.
The bandwidth such a sys-tem would carry could allow for transmission of real-time weather information to a wire-less device such as an iPad in the cockpit, allowing pilots to immediately re-route around thunderstorms or turbulence, for example.
An engine-related advance slated for testing on the eco-Demonstrator involves a fan nozzle that can open and close to allow for as much as a 10-percent variation in exhaust area. “Just like the adaptable trailing edges morph the wing to optimize for all flight conditions, the variable-area fan nozzle optimizes itself for takeoff, for landing and for cruise,” said Akiyama. “Most of the designs that are fixed geom-etry are a compromise. When you’re able to move geometry you can actually optimize it for each of those conditions.”
By opening the nozzle area during takeoff, for example, the fan won’t have to spin as fast to generate the same amount of thrust. The resulting decrease in jet velocity reduces noise and increases fuel efficiency.
Also slated for testing on the ecoDemonstrator, a regenera-tive fuel cell developed in part-nership with Japan’s IHI likely wouldn’t appear in a large-scale application until after the turn of the decade.
The technology involves the conversion of hydrogen into electricity that, on an airplane, could power systems indepen-dent of engine-driven genera-tors, allowing for smaller, lighter power-generation systems.
Basic Lessons“This is taking technology
that is much lower in maturity,” said Akiyama. “So we’re going to learn some very basic lessons on hydrogen handling, on cou-pling a fuel cell to the power systems of an airplane. But in terms of the actual hardware and technology being ready for application, we’re still many years away.”
Schedules call for the eco-Demonstrator to remain at Boe-ing Field for some 45 days, then travel to Glasgow, Montana, on or about August 18 for 30 days of intensive flight testing, flying as many hours as needed to com-plete the project.
Next year, Boeing plans to test ceramic matrix compos-ite acoustic engine nozzles on a widebody airplane, most likely a 787 Dreamliner. Each year thereafter it plans to deploy a different platform to test still more advanced systems. o
43 Farnborough Air Show News • July10, 2012 • www.ainonline.com
Mississippi is becoming a major aerospace playerby Mark Huber
The southern U.S. state of Mississippi is continuing to grow as an aerospace center, having recently announced major plant expansions by General Atom-ics’ Electromagnetic Systems group and Rolls-Royce. It is home to companies that produce helicopters, airborne early warn-ing radar systems, unmanned aerial vehi-cles (UAVs), parachutes, electromagnetic launch systems for aircraft carriers and composite jet engine components.
The roster of companies with aero-space operations based in Mississippi includes GE Aviation, Stark Aerospace, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, Eaton Aerospace, Aurora Flight Systems, Alliant Technicsystems (ATK) and American Eurocopter. Most recently, Rolls-Royce built its first engine test facility outside of the UK in Mis-sissippi adjacent to the Stennis Space Center. Among mid-size metropolitan markets, the state’s Gulf Coast region hosts one of the highest concentrations of avionics and aircraft maintenance per-sonnel in the nation.
Beneficial new state tax laws and incen-tives could expand the sector there even more. Mississippi’s Aerospace Initiative Incentives program, gives tax incentives to companies that manufacture or assemble components for the aerospace industry; provide research, development or training services for the sector; and are looking to locate or expand in the state. The incen-tives include a 10-year exemption from income and franchise taxes, as well as a sales and use tax exemption for the startup of the facility. In order to qualify, compa-nies must invest a minimum of $30 million and create at least 100 full-time jobs.
“The state of Mississippi invented eco-nomic development incentives back in the 1930s,” said Skip Scaggs, a senior execu-tive with the Mississippi Development Authority (MDA, Hall 2 Stand A10), who cited one long-standing incentive:
“We continue to fine-tune our economic
incentive packages to make sure we are offering what the market demands,” said Scaggs. “We do a lot of work on public infrastructure, providing pad-ready sites, so the companies need to focus only on build-ing design and the equipment they need. We also focus a lot of incentives on work-force skill sets so the workforce is able to perform productively on day one.”
American Eurocopter assembles the U.S. Army UH-72A Lakota and the AS350-B2 and -B3 in Columbus. The facility includes an assembly hall, flight line, paint shop, warehouse, administra-tive offices, flight operations and flight test engineering.
Discussions at last year’s Paris Air Show led to GE Aviation’s decision to construct a composite components facil-ity in Mississippi. Scaggs also said that ATK will make composite stringers and frames for the Airbus A350 in Iuka. The deal is worth $1 billion and will result in a direct investment in Mississippi of $175 million and hundreds of new jobs.
University InvolvementMississippi has a long history pro-
moting aerospace and composites. The University of Southern Mississippi’s School of Polymers/Mississippi Polymer Institute focuses on the development of
high-performance composites and inte-grating them into production aircraft, Scaggs said. The first aircraft application of these materials is sometimes done at the Raspet Flight Research Laboratory at Mississippi State University in Starkville. Founded in 1948, Raspet is the largest university flight lab in the U.S. and fea-tures a complete aircraft manufacturing facility and more than 90,000 sq ft.
Current projects under way at Raspet include development of a high-speed Vtol aircraft with DuPont Aerospace for the Office of Naval Research (ONR); devel-opment of composite helicopter hangar doors; evaluating the structural integ-rity of composite structures at high tem-peratures; and, with Bosch Aerospace, developing a cycloidal propeller system (which generates thrust in any direction in the plane of propeller rotation) for lighter-than-air and Vtol aircraft. Other projects include the development of a
long-duration UAV for the Army, fab-rication of a composite hydrogen fuel tank, testing ethanol in piston aircraft engines and damper-free rotor designs for helicopters.
Scaggs said Mississippi is well-posi-tioned to take advantage of what could be a coming boom in the UAV market. “We’re looking to establish a greater pres-ence in that market.” He noted that the area around Pascagula “is one of only two areas within the national airspace system where the U.S. Federal Aviation Adminis-tration currently authorizes UAV flights” and that UAV players Lockheed Mar-tin, Northrop Grumman, Aurora Flight Systems, Stark Aerospace and Gen-eral Atomics already have facilities in the area. General Atomics makes the Preda-tor UAV; its Mississippi facility is not con-cerned with UAV operations at this time, but rather with building launch systems for aircraft carriers, Scaggs said. o
Rolls-Royce broke ground last month on an engine test facility at NASA’s John C. Stennis Space Center in Mississippi. It will be used for research and development on all civil aerospace engines.
A number of UAV makers have facilities in Mississippi. In Columbus, Aurora Flight Services produces its long-endurance Orion, left, while Stark Aerospace builds its medium-altitude, long-endurance Heron, above, in the same city.
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Ukraine and Russia team to revive Ruslanby Vladimir Karnozov
The anticipated signing of a government-to-government deal between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Ukrai-nian counterpart, Victor Yanu-kovich, is expected to kick-start a plan to resume production of Antonov’s An-124 Ruslan freighter. The text of the agree-ment has already been prepared, outlining the envisaged roles for aerospace interests in both coun-tries, but government backing for the program needs to be con-firmed, not least because Russia’s defense ministry would effec-tively be the launch customer under the provisional plan.
Russian vice-premier Dmitry Rogozin recently outlined plans for the country’s United Air-craft Corporation (UAC, Hall 1 Stand E8) to produce 60 new Ruslans by 2020 at its Aviastar-SP factory in Ulianovsk. The Russian government intends to seal its support for the revived
program with a defense minis-try order for 10 of the new-build aircraft and a commitment to pay for 22 in-service Ruslans to be overhauled and refitted. On top of this, commercial airlines Volga-Dnepr and Polet have indicated an intention to buy, respectively, 40 and 6 An-124s.
According to Volga-Dnepr vice-president Valery Gabriel, the airline (see box) is expected to award UAC a contract for 20 An-124s, provided Rus-sia’s defense ministry places its order first. The $4 billion con-tract would have an option for 20 more Ruslans, with deliveries running through 2030.
Polet general director Ana-toly Karpov told AIN that the airline has an interest in buy-ing Ruslans, but Russia’s anti-monopoly laws prevent it from making a joint order with Volga-Dnepr, as it would pre-fer to do. Assuming Polet goes
through with its own purchase of six An-124s and Volga-Dnepr and the Russian mil-itary confirm their orders, UAC would be very close to landing the 60-ship commit-ment it says is required to make the relaunched program viable.
Russia’s Ministry for Emer-gencies (Emercom) is considering a purchase of two new Ruslans at a price per airplane that the agen-cy’s aviation chief, Gen. Rafael Zakirov, has estimated at $300 million. It is the relatively high unit price for the new Ruslans that has raised concerns about the project’s viability.
Meanwhile, Volga-Dnepr and Ukrainian design bureau Antonov (Hall 2 Stand C22) have yet to reach final agree-ment on technical specifications for the new Ruslan. Antonov is pushing for it to be based on the existing An-124-300 version with an extended fuselage, but Volga-Dnepr prefers the An-124NG
with a fuselage similar to the ear-lier production models. But they both, along with the prospective airframer UAC, agree that the new Ruslan should offer the fol-lowing: a glass cockpit; full com-pliance to current and upcoming environmental standards; the necessary avionics be able to fly in a congested airspace over the U.S. and Europe; and a ser-vice life extended from 50,000 to 70,000 flight hours.
Engine BattleAlso substantially agreed
between Antonov and Volga-Dnepr is the crucial choice of a new powerplant. The most likely choice, according to the airline’s technical director, Victor Tolm-achev, would be an improved ver-sion of the D-18T turbofan to
be developed by Ukrainian aero engine companies Motor Sich (Hall 3 Stand B30) and Ivchenko Progress. But, also in conten- tion is the new PD-30 geared turbofan being developed by Russia’s Kuznetsov.
In the first instance, what Motor Sich and Ivchenko have in mind is a Series 3M version of the D-18T featuring new cold and hot sections, a new digital control system, as well as noise and emissions performance that will be compliant with ICAO Chapter IV requirements.
At Moscow’s Engines 2012 exhibition in April, Motor Sich president Vyacheslav Bogus-laev told AIN that he believes the Russian and Ukrainian gov-ernments will get behind the new Ruslan program. His com-pany is ready to invest $62 mil-lion in developing a far more fuel-efficient D-18T Series 4 engine that would enable the
44 Farnborough Airshow News • July 10, 2012 • www.ainonline.com
Antonov’s An-124 Ruslan
existing An-124 fuselage to greatly increase its range (with a 150-ton payload) from around 2,482 nm to almost 6,000 nm.
Further ahead, Motor Sich already sees the case for a com-pletely new D-18T Series 5 tur-bofan. The Series 5 would have a fan diameter of around 10 feet and weigh 12,566 pounds, delivering 61,400 pounds of takeoff thrust (18,845 pounds in cruise) and specific fuel consumption (SFC) of 0.541 (pounds of fuel per hour per pound of thrust).
As the alternative engine choice for the Ruslan, the PD-30 offers greater takeoff thrust (65,000 pounds), but slightly lower thrust in cruise (up to 13,670 pounds). With a high-bypass ratio of between 7.65 and 8.7, SFC for the PD-30 is also low at between 0.535 and 0.548. The PD-30 weighs 1,235 pounds less than the D-18T. Its overall performance is reckoned
to be similar to that of Rolls-Royce’s Trent series.
According to Kuznetsov–part of Russia’s United Engine Corporation–the PD-30 is a low-risk choice for the new Rus-lan because it makes extensive use of off-the-shelf components and technologies proven on oth-er projects. But it is not with-out innovation, such as a new
high-power gearbox between the fan and the turbine operating at efficiency levels of up to 99.6 percent; wide-chord, hollow (honeycomb) fan blades; a low-emission combustor; monocrys-tal blades; blisks in the high-pres-sure compressor and booster; a chevron-shaped nozzle; all-composite nacelles, intakes and thrust reversers; and a Fadec.
The centerpiece of the PD-30 program is the use of a modified baseline gas-gen-erator from the improved NK-32 engine that powers the Tupolev Tu-160 swing-wing strategic bomber. The use of a multi-fuel-injector-combus-tor has resulted in levels of nitrous oxide, carbon dioxide and HC being, respectively,
2, 10 and 15 times less than ICAO’s 2004 requirements.
Key technologies for the PD-30 come from the 33,000-hp unit developed for the An-70’s D-27 powerplant. Kuznetsov has issued manufacturing doc-umentation for the PD-30, but says it needs another four or five years to mature the design for series production. o
www.ainonline.com • July 10, 2012 • Farnborough Airshow News 45
New Ruslan’s Launch Airlines Count on Freight Growth
Last year commercial air-line Volga-Dnepr had revenues of $1.741 billion and generat-ed a net profit of $59.3 million. At the same time, its debts rose to $186 million and, by the com-pany’s estimates, are expected to increase by a further $250- to $300 million during 2012 as Volga-Dnepr borrows more cap-ital money for its Boeing 747-8F acquisitions. The loans will also cover the construction of large hangars in Moscow, Ulianovsk and in the United Arab Emirates to be used for 747 maintenance.
Meanwhile, smaller airline Polet had to sell one of its ex-isting Ruslans to UAC subsid-iary Ilyushin Finance in 2011 and one more in 2012 to cover debts amassed with the lessor on the three Il-96-400T freighters and related maintenance services.
Both Ruslan operators hope for increase in their earning as the outsized cargo transporta-tion market continues to revive. Volga-Dnepr technical director Victor Tolmachev told AIN that each commercially flown Rus-lan can operate more than 2,000 flight hours annually, which he said is a high work rate for char-ter operations. Higher earnings would need to come from higher charter rates, and the latest IATA traffic figures indicate softening demand in response to world-wide economic troubles. –V.K.
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46 Farnborough Airshow News • July 10, 2012 • www.ainonline.com
Aerospace poised for lift off Down Underby Ian Sheppard
Representatives from the Aus-tralian state of Victoria, which will host the Avalon Airshow in Melbourne next year (February 26 to March 3), are busy here at the Farnborough International Airshow trying to find new con-nections for companies “Down Under.” In particular, they are also trying to persuade UK firms that they could benefit from opening branches in Australia, despite the distance, current high cost of living and adverse effect of the exchange rate on exports.
Victoria’s aerospace sec-tor exports $800 million worth of products and services a year and the Australian government has set out plans (and started) to invest more than $150 bil-lion in aerospace and defense between 2011 and 2020. Incen-tives for companies to set up in Victoria do not include tax con-cessions (apart from a research-and-development tax credit, which was revamped in July 2011 and is available via Innova-tion Australia), but do include assistance, for example, finding suitable sites, help with recruit-ment or promotion.
During a briefing at Austra-lia House in London last month,
Sally Capp, agent-general for Victoria, said that such assis-tance is “free of charge.” There are state subsidies available also to help offset costs and they are being increased to counter the effect of the strong currency.
Capp argued that Australia is “a unique place” as it is effec-tively a Western nation in the East, and “the hottest region in the world” for business–so it is ideal for accessing the booming Asia Pacific market. Of particu-lar advantage is that, from Aus-tralia, foreign companies can benefit from the free-trade agree-ments the country has with its fellow members of the Associa-tion of Southeast Asia Nations.
To boost its aerospace human resources, Capp said Austra-lia needs to attract more skilled workers as the booming mining sector in Western Australia has drawn heavily on supply in areas such as engineering.
Phil Doyle, aerospace and defense for Invest Victoria, said some companies could find an opportunity to move into aero-space. He gave the example of Marand Precision Engineer-ing, which is an automotive supplier but made a “big shift”
into aerospace, and is now a second-source supplier for ver-tical tails on Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter pro-gram in Australia.
Aerospace InvestmentThe Australian government is
committed to investing in aero-space. “They have invested mil-lions into a new open-source composites facility that anyone can use for testing and proto-typing materials and products,” explained Doyle. “We have had a huge amount of interest in this from Europe because many exist-ing facilities are owned and, there-fore, not accessible. It’s the only open-source research facility in the world on that scale.” He added that the facility is due to open later this year, and that Boeing, which already manufactures 787 trail-ing edge surfaces in Melbourne, is interested in using it.
“It’s an opportunity for them to break the stranglehold of the big suppliers [on this technol-ogy], as the suppliers keep their recipes secret,” said Doyle. The center will have close links with the new UK national composites
center, although on a different basis as the UK center is not run on an open-source basis.
Meanwhile, Australia’s Na-tional Aviation Services Precinct (NASP) is pressing ahead with a project to create an “aerospace precinct” next to Melbourne’s Avalon Airport. A discussion pa-per has been published. “At the moment we’re asking industry in Europe for feedback, so it is a big focus of ours at Farnborough,” said Doyle. “We’re looking for in-put on what support is required to get MRO providers, training providers and possibly R&D pro-viders all in one place.”
As a former automotive industry executive with Toyota in Australia, Doyle pointed out that Australian aerospace had adopted many “lean” manufac-turing practices from that sec-tor. “Lean was pioneered in Australia by the automotive sec-tor and other sectors caught on quickly,” he said. “We’ve also had teams [in the UK] learn-ing how to implement SC21 [the UK ADS-led 21st Century Sup-ply Chains initiative] and Aus-tralia is a participant in SC21.”
International PartnershipsAccording to Mike Maiden,
former government relations director at BAE Systems and now a consultant to Victoria, Australia is very aware of how important aerospace is and in particular how it is projected to grow in the future, and the coun-try wants to be a bigger part of it. “[The challenge is] how do we take the opportunity of that and build long-term, lasting rela-tionships that span international boundaries,” he said. “My thesis is that [Victoria can] get a share of the market by cooperating
[and] Farnborough is a great opportunity for this.”
“UK-Australia cooperation already exists–what we’re most interested in is how we grow that,” Maiden continued. “There are more similarities than differ-ences. For example, both coun-tries have a ‘world view,’ so there’s a sound business baseline.” That said, he acknowledged, however, the distance between the two countries could make coopera-tion difficult, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises, but he argued that it could pay dividends over a long time frame.
Capp said that while Austra-lia is targeting UK and Euro-pean companies, specifically, at Farnborough, this is part of a wider effort to promote and expand the Australian aerospace industry and its ties with the rest of the world. For example, she reported that Victoria state premier Ted Baillieu recently led a delegation of 120 compa-nies to India, looking for aero-space cooperation. This group included a number of UK firms already established in the state.
According to Capp, Victo-ria has been the fastest grow-ing state in Australia for the past eight years, partly because it was less expensive than the Sydney area. Throughout Aus-tralia some 22,000 people are currently employed in the aerospace sector and, though productivity there has been criti-cized in the past, Capp said there is now a “real focus” on improv-ing this performance. “The best I can say at the moment is that it is a high priority on the polit-ical and government agenda, and this could increase beyond the next election in 18 months’ time,” she concluded. o
Victoria Delegation Here in Force
The delegation from Victoria, Australia, to the Farnborough Airshow numbers 11 companies:
u Aerospace Australiau Agent Oriented Softwareu CGearu GippsAerou JNP Simulatorsu Loc8
u Marand Precision Engineeringu Ocean Softwareu PHM Technologiesu Sypaq Systems andu Vipac Engineering
and Scientists. Other aerospace companies engaged in the aerospace industry in Victoria are: Adacel Technologies, Aerosonde, BAE Systems, Boeing, Cablex, Hofmann Metaltec, Lovitt Technologies Australia, Qantas, Rosebank Engineering and Trimcast.
In a bid to attract more aerospace business to its country, Melbourne, Australia, will host the Avalon Airshow next winter.
Marand Precision Engineering, in Victoria, which produces the F-35 engine trailer is working in partnership with BAE Systems (UK), manufacturing vertical tail assemblies for the JSF, potentially worth $800 million over the life of the program.
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48 Farnborough Airshow News • July 10, 2012 • www.ainonline.com
Trent tests accelerate as A350 flights loomsby Ian Goold
By the beginning of June, the first 84,000-pound-thrust Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engine had flown for more than 40 hours aboard the Airbus A380 flying testbed (FTB) as Airbus moves toward a first A350 flight “prob-ably around mid-2013,” accord-ing to engine program director Chris Young. Trent XWB Serial Number 20990 had logged 43 hours and was scheduled to make two more flights before replace-ment by S/N21000, dubbed FTB2 (see box). Tests with the latter, which has updated parts and is said to have demonstrated the “lowest Trent XWB specific fuel consumption so far,” will be conducted using a revised instru-mentation suite.
The Trent XWB-84 is fit-ted to a dedicated pylon in the inboard right wing (No. 3) posi-tion using a new mounting that suspends the powerplant from the fan and rear engine cases, rather than, as previously, from
the now-unloaded core. Tests are being conducted jointly by Airbus and Rolls-Royce, giving both partners access to the raw data for the first time. Airbus pilots flew the initial air test and, subsequently, some Rolls-Royce pilots have taken part.
The 175-hour Trent XWB flight test campaign includes 16 flights with S/N20990 and the balance with the modified sec-ond unit, which was delivered to Airbus on May 23 and will be used for post-Phase 2 flights from about the end of this month.
Flight-test highlights are an early confirmation of specific fuel consumption, with Rolls-Royce confident the engine will meet specifications, as well as low oil consumption. Full “takeoff and go-around” power was held for 10 minutes and a full-power rejected takeoff with reverse thrust has been demon-strated, as have engine relight and wind milling.
The A380 FTB has per-formed high- and low-speed calibration curves and maxi-mum angle of attack, as well as reaching FL430 and Mach 0.90. Rolls-Royce describes pilot feed-back as “very positive,” while noise and rumble characteristics also are “good.”
Last month, Rolls-Royce was preparing to finish certification testing with cold-water ingestion and blade-off trials with the lat-est standard fan, which, at 118-inch diameter, is the biggest Trent fan the UK-based engine maker has produced. The overall test program involves 10 engines that will run for some 2,000 hours.
Apart from the two flight engines and two others ear-marked for mechanical tests, the remaining six units will be
dedicated trials covering airframe integration, cyclic operation, endurance, low-pressure system tests, performance and robust-ness, said Young. Rolls-Royce said about 75 people–drawn equally from research, produc-tion and maintenance teams–are currently working to produce the first 16 production Trent XWBs.
Because baseline Trent XWB tests demonstrated better-than-expected specific fuel consump-tion with greater efficiency and surge margins, Rolls-Royce has been able to trade that margin for fuel burn in developing the more powerful engine for the A350-1000 to deliver 97,000-pounds thrust from service entry.
The extra power, which had initially been planned at 93,000 pounds of thrust, comes from
a 6-percent increase in fan flow (enabled by use of an inflected annulus), coupled with aero-dynamic improvements to the enlarged core that also increases flow. The fan is driven at a higher speed than on the baseline engine, but because it retains the latter’s optimum-size 118-inch diameter, Rolls-Royce is able to use a common nacelle without any aerodynamic compromise.
The manufacturer said the Trent XWB-97’s turbines have increased capability arising from use of tip-clearance con-trol, upgraded materials and advanced coatings and cool-ing technology. An improved combustor retains a 20-percent nitrous oxide margin to CAEP 6 limits, while noise levels are said to remain at QC1 for arrivals and QC2 on departure.
Rolls-Royce needs to agree with Airbus about flight-test-ing of an initial modified Trent XWB-84 engine providing the higher thrust, but has disclosed that it might need to invest in a new FTB to prove the power-plant’s capability. Young said that it might be possible to con-duct the tests on an A350 air-frame, although four-engine machines were traditionally used. The manufacturer expects to demonstrate a 97,000-pound thrust prototype engine early next year, ahead of a formal first engine run in mid-2014. o
Ten Turbofans Complete Trent XWB Test Duties
Ten Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines–serial numbers (S/Ns) 20990, 20001 through 20006, 20009 and 21000–are being used in the test program. • By last month, some 43 hours’ testing had been accumulated during 14 of 16
scheduled flights with initial flight-test unit S/N 20990, which will subsequently be available to provide spare capacity. Rolls-Royce says the powerplant is its most highly instrumented flight-test engine ever.
• Previously used for performance-envelope expansion, compressor function-al operations, and operability testing and medium-weight bird-ingestion trials using strain-gauged fan blades, Trent XWB S/N 20001 has this year been used for “successful” cold-start and icing tests in Manitoba, Canada.
• After low-pressure turbine testing and aircraft-interface systems-integration trials on Rolls-Royce’s Test Bed 58 at Derby in the UK last year, Trent XWB1C S/N 20002 was scheduled for thermal and emissions tests, integration of buy-er-furnished equipment and water-ingestion trials. It was used in March this year for “large flocking bird” ingestion tests, when it met certification require-ments, according to the manufacturer, which said that “over time” the hollow titanium fan blades may be replaced by carbon fiber items.
• In late May, Rolls-Royce had almost completed cyclic-maturity tests involving a
1,000-hour maintenance-interval simulation trial with Trent XWB 1A/1 S/N 20003.• Endurance testing with involving “lots of hours” at high speed and high thrust
has been conducted on S/N 20004.• Trent XWB 20005 has been used for flutter and cross-wind tests, as well as
thermal-survey work, which confirmed cooler-than-predicted disc-cavity tem-peratures. A U.S. test program with this unit has involved fan strain-gauging and noise trials. It has recently completed initial thrust-reverser unit cycling tests.
• Rolls-Royce reports “positive” results following completion of altitude perfor-mance and operability testing with S/N 20006. The powerplant had previously been used to validate sea-level performance, low-, intermediate- and high-pres-sure bearing loads, variable-frequency generators and oil-system optimization.
• Thermal and strain-gauge testing of the intermediate pressure turbine has been performed on Trent XWB S/N 20007.
• Trent XWB S/N 20009 has been used for engine high-pressure system telemetry.In addition, three other Trent XWBs are being manufactured to provide spare capacity and a further unit will be produced for Rolls-Royce in-house training in its Derby headquarters. –I.G.
By the beginning of June, the first 84,000-pound thrust Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engine fitted to the Airbus A380 flying testbed had accumulated more than 40 hours in the air.
Flight testing of this second Trent XWB engine, said by Rolls-Royce to have demonstrated the model’s lowest specific fuel consumption to date, is expected to begin around the end of this month.
© 2012 Raytheon Company. All rights reserved. “Customer Success Is Our Mission” is a registered trademark of Raytheon Company.
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50 Farnborough Airshow News • July 10, 2012 • www.ainonline.com
Single European Sky so far fails to deliver promised efficienciesby Aimée Turner
The reality is pretty obvious: man-aging fewer flights can only help Euro-pean air traffic control meet the tough targets that were designed to prepare it for a wholesale transformation to a radi-cal space-based regime. The latest statis-tics show that Europe-wide, the en-route delay in 2012 is now 0.45 minutes per flight–well down from the figure last year of 1.1 minutes and already lower than the 0.5 minutes target for 2014.
The traffic growth curve has moved most definitely to the right by several years and the region’s air navigation agency Eurocontrol reckons that it will take until 2014 for Europe to get back to the traffic levels it saw in 2007. But does the prospect of a double-dip reces-sion mean a respite for Europe’s air navigation service providers (ANSPs) during a watershed year that sees both the introduction of binding perfor-mance targets and the creation of func-tional airspace blocks (FABs)?
Not really, said David McMillan, Eurocontrol’s director general, who believes there is a balance to be struck between running an efficient and, cru-cially, a safe service; and, on the other hand, responding to the pressure on costs, not just from the European Com-mission but also from the airspace users and, indeed, the owners of the ANSPs. According to McMillan, matters will not get any easier as the implementation of new satellite-based technologies gathers speed over the next few years.
For airlines, it’s a simple case of Euro-pean states–the owners of the ANSPs–using the excuse of the current economic crisis as a means to stall the Single Euro-pean Sky (SES) project. They bitterly complain that Europe’s fragmented air traffic management system continues to have a devastating impact in terms of time, fuel burn and money. Their chief complaint is that nothing has really changed since the European architects of the SES drafted the original timeta-ble that would frame the deployment of space-age technologies that could trans-form air traffic across the continent.
Performance TargetsAs part of gearing up for that de-
ployment, European governments sever-al years ago agreed to some pretty tough performance targets for their national providers. Those performance targets re-main an integral part of the Single Euro-pean Sky Package II (SES II) approved by the European Union’s Transport Council in March 2009.
Between 2012 and 2014, each state is supposed to achieve specific targets for reducing excess miles flown, reducing air traffic delays per flight and reducing the cost of managing air traffic by 50 per-cent by 2020. Alongside improving cost
efficiency, the SES also aims to increase airspace capacity by more than 70 per-cent, improve the safety record by a factor of 10 and reduce the effects of air trans-port on the environment by 10 percent.
Eurocontrol duly went about creat-ing a performance review body (PRB) to measure and monitor how these targets were being fulfilled, publishing perfor-mance in annual review reports.
The bad news came out at the end of November. Member states had delivered their plans to the European Commission in June. They were subsequently analyzed by the PRB over the summer. Reports
indicated that the ANSPs were barely achieving cost containment, let alone the targeted reductions.
Based on this, the Commission’s No-vember assessment was that only five small countries–Belgium, Denmark, Lithuania, Luxembourg and the Neth-erlands–were on track to meet both cost efficiency and punctuality targets. The big hitters responsible for the lion’s share of air traffic–Britain, France, Germa-ny plus Austria and Spain–were singled out as having dragged their collective feet and ordered to present more ambitious plans before the end of December.
“Outmoded labor practices are cer-tainly one cause of high cost and low productivity. But another is certainly the huge oversupply of airspace sectors and control centers in Europe, dictated by having an ANSP for every coun-try,” said industry observer Bob Poole. “That’s something the Single European Sky is supposed to be fixing, but prog-ress here has been glacial.”
The European airline industry, mean-while, points the finger of blame square-ly at European member states. “Airlines need urgent deliverables. Member states must stop procrastinating and make prog-ress toward a genuine Single European Sky,” said Ulrich Schulte-Strathaus, the
then-secretary general of the Association of European Airlines. Three more airline associations–ELFAA, ERA and IACA–echoed the plea, accusing EU nations of trying to escape their SES commitments.
The rate of progress of FABs has come under fire, too. Originally conceived as a means to help make the air traffic man-agement industry in Europe more effi-cient and bring down costs to something closer to the levels seen in North America, the jury is still out. Observers say it is too early to determine the impact of a dou-ble-dip recession on their development.
One thing is for sure. Airlines are still waiting for the meaningful emergence of unified airspace that straddles Euro-pean borders and they see the concept as mere window dressing.
“It is important that the public knows that there are no insurmountable tech-nical obstacles to the early implementa-tion of the Single European Sky: speedier
progress is constrained only by lack of political will,” insisted Mike Ambrose, the outgoing director general of the European Regions Airline Association.
The Big FiveThe real story is with the “Big Five”
ANSPs–Germany, the UK, France, Italy and Spain–according to IATA chief Tony Tyler. “Being responsible for 54 percent of the costs of air navigation services in Europe, the success of the performance scheme is dependent on these states meet-ing their share of the required cost reduc-tions with no shortfall,” he said.
The PRB’s damning report also noted that the six performance plans–(Aus-tria, Greece, Poland, Spain, the United Kingdom and the FABEC region cov-ering Germany, Belgium, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Swit-zerland–were failing to make adequate contributions to meeting the EU-wide capacity target.
“If the European ANSPs cannot meet modest short-term goals, then there is no chance of meeting the significantly more ambitious but necessary targets that are required for the second phase of the per-formance scheme between 2015 and 2019. States and ANSPs need to close the gap and return to course,” said Tyler.
At risk, transport commissioner Siim Kallas believes, is the credibility of the SES project with failure to take measures at the national level potentially forcing Brussels to re-open the dossier and insti-gate a far more radical solution.
Leadership NeededAirlines don’t actually know if the
Commission warning of “specific cor-rective measures” was heeded. Much has taken place behind closed doors in what one can only imagine as stern but tedious knuckle-rapping sessions delivered by Brussels bureaucrats–at least so far.
“The European Commission has said it will not accept a suboptimal result, but, in that case, it may find itself having to take more direct action and drive a more top-down approach, something it has instinc-tively avoided so far,” said McMillan.
For its part, the Civil Air Navigation Services Organization (CANSO) is call-ing on European states to provide criti-cal political leadership and address what it sees as the key issues delaying progress toward achieving a Single European Sky.
At the top of its wish list is for Brussels to offer critical guidance on defining a sys-tem approach to a future SES together with adequate implementation arrangements.
Along with transitional financial sup-port, it also wants to see an industry-led deployment manager in the driver’s seat that would work with the ANSPs to steer advanced technologies and opera-tional procedures in a timely, synchro-nized and cost-effective way. Also at issue, CANSO insists that the necessary institutional reform of Eurocontrol–now designated as Europe’s network manager–is vital if a true Single Euro-pean Sky is to be achieved.
Interestingly, CANSO is also calling for an up-to-date traffic forecast by Feb-ruary 2014 to assess whether EU-wide targets need tweaking in the next, more demanding phase of the SES perfor-mance scheme. “This would prevent a sit-uation arising as it did in [the first phase], where, due to the negative economic envi-ronment and high traffic instability, per-formance plans and EU-wide targets were not consistent with the latest traffic projections,” stated the organization.
So is the Single European Sky still on track despite, or maybe because of, a slowdown in traffic?
McMillan believes that in some key areas the downturn has bought some a little more time but he pointed out that the financial challenges are becoming even harder to overcome with a real need to remain focused on the goal and on the benefits that a truly Single European Sky can bring. Even so, he said, Europe will need to ensure that improvements are deployed when, but only when, there is a real network benefit.
“That means using all the tools we have–whether it’s regulation, innovative financing or plain and simple commu-nication–to make sure that everyone–ANSPs and airspace users–acts with the benefit of the whole network in mind rather than just their own part of that network,” McMillan concluded. o
Outmoded labor practices and the oversupply of airspace sectors and control centers in Europe, dictated by having an ANSP for every country, are among the causes of high cost and low productivity that the Single European Sky is supposed to be fixing.
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Bizjet and regional aircraft training expanding at FSI Farnborough hubby Ian Sheppard
FlightSafety International (FSI) continues to expand its training center here at Farnborough Airport. In a visit to the site ahead of this week’s Farnborough International Airshow, AIN was able to sample its capabilities in training using the latest equipment and simulators–mainly focused on business aircraft, although the company as a whole trains for airlines as well. The U.S.based group, which opened the Farnborough facility in 2005, has 40 learning centers in total around the world.
The majority of the Farnborough center’s 95,000 sq ft of floor space is taken up by three simulator halls, although it also boasts 27 classrooms and 30 briefing rooms, and has just over 120 employees (70 on the instructing side and the rest support staff).
Hall A has a Gulfstream G550, Bombardier Challenger 605, Hawker 800, Hawker 400 and Dash 8 Q400 turboprop. As impressive as these fullmotion levelD simulators are,
the most impressive thing is that FlightSafety designs and builds all its own simulators at its Broken Arrow base near Tulsa, Oklahoma (where the factory has just been increased in size to 375,000 sq ft).
“We now have the capacity to build 19 simulators simultaneously,” said communications vice president Steve Phillips. “The facility is running at near full capacity.” The company expects “to deliver around 30 simulators this year,” with notable recent deliveries including the A320, G550 and Sikorsky HH60G.
The Middle Hall (Hall B) has a Hawker 800 and 750, a Sikorsky S92 helicopter and a King Air 200, while Hall C has smaller business jets: the Cessna Citation Excel, Bravo, CJ2, Mustang and Sovereign. The center currently has 15 fullmotion simulator bays.
Firmly on the company’s agenda is bringing in Embraer simulators. FSI is owned by Berkshire Hathaway Group, the same parent company as the
NetJets fractionalownership specialist, which has ordered some 75 Embraer Phenom aircraft. FSI has been the official training provider for Embraer for all its aircraft types except the Phenom, which marked company’s entry into the market for purposebuilt business jets rather than corporate/VIP versions of its regional jets. “So we’re getting the Phenom, too,” said assistant center manager Anthony van de Geest, who was part of the original team that set up the Farnborough center.
Regional CoverageOn the regional airliner side
of the business, FSI helps UK carrier Flybe to run its new training center at Exeter, in southwest England, having shipped one of its Q400 simulators there, joining an Embraer E190 model.
The Farnborough center sees just fewer than 3,000 “clients” (which is what FSI calls pilots) a year, said van de Geest. They are split into around 85 percent taking recurrent (refresher) training with the other 15 percent taking initial typerating training. Typically, a typerating course takes from 10 days to as much as a month, depending on the complexity of the aircraft, while recurrent training takes four to five days.
The main geographic area of focus is Europe, the Middle East and Africa, although 80 percent of its business comes from Europe. Van de Geest, said, “We’re seeing growth out of Africa; for example, from Nigeria.” Farnborough is a popular location with clients, he added, especially as it is in the same time zone as Africa and almost
the same as the Middle East. “From a European perspective it is a good location, although the pilots might prefer a shopping trip to the States for their training,” he joked, adding that Farnborough Airport owner TAG Aviation is supportive of the center growing. The majority of the airport’s operators are corporate aircraft operators.
FSI operates several centers in the U.S., the primary ones being in Dallas, Texas; Savannah, Georgia; Wichita, Kansas; and Wilmington, Delaware. It also has a Paris center (at Le Bourget Airport) and two Embraer simulators located in Australia through a housing agreement with rival CAE. More recently it installed a G550 simulator at its Hong Kong center, which is based in the Cathay Pacific facility.
“We are looking at establishing our own facility in Hong Kong,” said van de Geest, who added that in Johannesburg the company has a Beech 1900D (the second largest 1900D fleet in the world is in Africa, operating mainly with aid agencies) and a Q300, which is used primarily by operators from Kenya and Tanzania. It previously was used by South Africa’s SA Express, which has sold its Q300s and replaced them with Q400s.
The company’s latest project is to build the first two Gulfstream G650 simulators, which are intended for the Savannah center (Gulfstream is based in Savannah), while the Farnborough center hopes it will receive the third device to be built. The aircraft itself has quickly built up a healthy order book, so the simulators will be in demand, Dennis Simon, G450/550 program manager at FSI Farnborough told AIN. o
52 Farnborough Airshow News • July 10, 2012 • www.ainonline.com
FSI Offers Proficiency Aid to the Unemployed
FlightSafety International re-cently introduced its Proficiency Protection Program offering train-ing at no cost to pilots and main-tenance technicians in Europe and around the world who are involun-tarily unemployed. The company will provide, at no cost, recurrent training courses to business air-craft pilots who were training un-der a full-service contract at the time they lost their jobs.
In addition, maintenance tech-nicians who were enrolled in FSI’s master technician program can finish the next course toward the completion of the program. –I.S.
FlightSafety International’s Hall C features full-motion simulators for smaller business jets: the Cessna Citation Excel, Bravo, CJ2, Mustang (seen here) and Sovereign.
Flying FlightSafety’s Sims
AIN had the opportunity to fly three simulators at FlightSafety In-ternational’s Farnborough Center: the Bombardier Challenger 605, into London’s Luton Airport; the Sikorsky S-92, out to an oil platform; and the Gulfstream G550 (with its Honey-well-derived PlaneView cockpit) on the “Canarsie” approach to New York City’s John F. Kennedy International Airport–once visually and once try-ing the head-up display and very im-pressive synthetic-vision system.
David Judge, project manag-er overseeing the introduction of FSI Farnbrough’s new Challenger 605 simulator, said that, typically, it takes three months to install a sim-ulator and to get it on line. The 605 has a Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21 avionics suite, while the older Chal-lenger 604 model has a Pro Line 4 suite; all that is required for a 604 pilot is a differences course, as the aircraft share a common type rating. Judge told AIN that two Farnbor-ough-based operators–GAMA and TAG Aviation–are interested in using the simulator. “The simulator comes on line here in August and we’ll do both EASA and FAA training here. In the corporate world you really do need to offer both. We are also
aiming for Saudi GACA approval.” Despite the fact that they are al-
ready Challenger pilots, the team of instructors for the 605 will go through the entire type-rating course, said Judge, “so they know what the clients will go through” well before they teach them. The 605 simulator sports the latest technol-ogy, such as a “very quiet and effi-cient” electric motion system, which has the added advantage of not needing a compressor room, unlike hydraulically actuated systems.
The newest simulators being produced by FlightSafety Interna-tional include visual systems pro-duced by Glass Mountain, which it acquired in January 2009. Glass mir-ror displays have many advantages over the traditional Mylar displays–a much wider field of view (310 de-grees compared with 220 degrees with Mylar) and virtually no edge dis-tortion. They also provide higher fi-delity. FSI plans to install a Sikorsky S-76 simulator equipped with glass mirror technology at its West Palm Beach, Florida facility this year.
Meanwhile, the company has started work on the design and man-ufacturing of the first full-flight simu-lator for the new HondaJet. –I.S.
FlightSafety International trains nearly 3,000 pilots a year at its Farnborough hub. For now, most of those pilots hail from Europe, but the company is seeing increased demand from Africa and the Middle East.
54 Farnborough Airshow News • July 10, 2012 • www.ainonline.com
Governor fights back against U.S. Congress biofuels blockby Bill Carey
Last November, Christine Gregoire, governor of the U.S. state of Washing-ton, announced an “action agenda” with the central goal of convincing Boeing to build the reengined 737 MAX in her state. Here at the Farnborough Interna-tional Airshow, where she is leading a trade mission, the governor can rightfully claim credit for accomplishing that goal. But the state still faces headwinds in its quest to retain and further grow its aero-space industrial base.
In large part, those headwinds are blow-ing westward from Washington, D.C., where the federal government resides. The promotion of sustainable, cleaner-burn-ing aviation biofuels derived from plants, which could help airlines meet emissions targets and eventually offset the cost of petroleum-based fuel, is a case in point.
Washington state and its neighbors in the U.S. Pacific Northwest region have staked out a leadership position in the development of aviation biofuels.
Seattle-based Alaska Airlines and Boeing have been out front in the indus-try’s efforts to use and commercialize them. Yet, in May, the U.S. House and Senate armed services committees each approved language that would pro-hibit the Department of Defense from acquiring alternative fuels that exceed the cost of traditional fossil fuel. The language is contained in committee drafts of the Fiscal Year 2013 defense authorization bill that awaited approval from the full Congress.
In an exclusive interview with AIN, Gregoire was outspoken in criticizing the committees’ actions. “I’m very disap-pointed,” said the two-term Democrat, who has announced that she will not seek a third term this year. “The fact of the matter is, we were projecting that we were going to be able to develop about five commercial-scale bio refineries around the country. This was seen by [Washing-ton state] as a big opportunity to land
one of those,” she explained.Gregoire said she has had numer-
ous discussions on the issue with Secre-tary of the Navy Ray Mabus, who has led military efforts to advance biofuels. Last August, Mabus and the secretaries of Energy and Agriculture announced their “intention,” pending approval by Con-gress, to invest $510 million over three years to assist private industry in devel-oping biofuels for Navy ships and air-craft, including the Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet and Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey.
“This will undercut that,” Gregoire said. “I find the whole thing quite puzzling. I find it very shortsighted. There is a clear demand. The commercial arena is pushing and leading on it. I would have expected the Department of Defense, frankly, to lead in this arena, not to follow the commercial sector. I sure hope Congress reconsiders and puts them back in the game.”
Local SuccessesThe Washington state government in
Olympia has nevertheless achieved suc-cess in some of the major priorities in its own backyard.
In the spring of 2011, when Boeing was contemplating new production sites for the reengined 737 MAX, Gregoire launched “Project Pegasus,” a coalition of community, labor and business orga-nizations formed to identify and take the steps necessary to convince Boeing of the state’s “compelling value prop-osition.” She led a state delegation to the Paris Air Show for the first time that June and sought to impress upon labor representatives “how internation-ally competitive” aerospace is, using Le Bourget as a backdrop.
Upon returning from Paris, Gregoire said she encouraged Boeing and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) to come to terms on a new contract, “because that was, in my opinion, critical to our abil-ity to secure the 737.” In November, Gre-goire announced an “action agenda” to bolster the state’s education system in turning out a trained aerospace work force, focusing the series of steps on win-ning the 737 MAX.
Late last year, Boeing and the IAM agreed on a new four-year contract that includes a Boeing commitment to build the 737 MAX in Renton, Washington, where
current 737s are manufactured. The state estimates the 737 MAX will support 20,000 jobs directly and indirectly. “We thought it was extremely important for us to be able to secure the 737 MAX, and at the same time to have a new contract between labor and management that would go out a number of years. Both occurred,” Gregoire said. “The fact that we’re going to be able to retain the 737 MAX is very important to Washington state.”
Universities Step UpMeanwhile, the bulk of the governor’s
action agenda won approval in the state legislature, and Gregoire said she con-vinced the leaderships of the University of Washington and Washington State University to provide appropriate fund-ing for 850 additional engineering slots per year. In March, Gregoire signed leg-islation that is designed to advance the development “of commercial-scale avi-ation biofuels production facilities” by streamlining the permitting process for new facilities and providing access to low-cost financing through the issuance of state revenue bonds.
The governor said she is “quite pleased” with the progress made toward biofuels development during her eight years in office. “When I think about when I came into office, there was virtually nothing going on,” she said. “There’s so much going on now: in production and in research and in the commercial will-ingness through Alaska [Airlines’]” dem-onstrated use of biofuels.
“As I see it,” she added, “the prob-lem is unless and until we grow suffi-cient demand, we won’t drive down the price. That’s why it was so critical for the Department of Defense to get engaged and involved. Those in the private sector need to know that there is going to be a continuing demand for it, and only with that are they going to be able to drive down the price.”
Still promoting aerospace, Gregoire embarked on a trade mission to Ire-land and the UK on July 4 that included scheduled stops at Bombardier’s Belfast operation in Northern Ireland and the Airbus wing assembly plant in Brough-ton, Wales. More than 50 aerospace com-panies and consortiums from the state are exhibiting in Washington’s section of the U.S. Pavilion (Hall 2 Stand 28). o
Christine Gregoire, governor of Washington, addressed employees at Boeing’s Renton manufacturing plant, where the new 737 MAX is to be built.
Austro Engine showcases diesel, rotary powerplantsby Thierry Dubois
Austro Engine (Outside Exhibit 18), part of the group that owns Aus-tria’s Diamond Aircraft, is exhibiting its new diesel and rotary engines for light aircraft and drones at the 2012 Farnborough International Airshow. The company is actively talking to other airframers about finding new applica-tions for its AE series of diesel engines, which will include the in-development AE500. It is also promoting a modern-ization kit for the Diamond Aircraft DA42 twin’s 170-hp AE300 engines that converts DA42s into DA42 NGs.
Other highlights of the Austro Engine exhibit include its Wankel-type rotary engines, such as the 55-hp IAE50R-AA that powers motor gliders and the
Schiebel Camcopter S-100 UAV; and the in-development, 75-hp IAE75R, which features “a totally different architecture from the existing IAE50R series.” The engine is in the final test phase with cer-tification expected by 2013, head of sales and marketing Peter Lietz told AIN. The IAE75R will have a “revolutionary engine control, with inputs from the AE300.” Design engineers target “a significant decrease in fuel consumption” and a time between overhaul of 1,000 hours.
Not at the show but in development at the company’s Wiener Neustadt, Austria headquarters is the six-cylinder AE500. This 275-hp diesel is to power the Dia-mond DA50 single and DA52 twin. Jointly developed with another Austrian
company, Steyr Motors, the AE500 could provide up to 300 hp. The first engine is to go to test by year-end.
Austro Engine’s work-force stands at 60. Currently, the annual production rate is in the 200 to 250 bracket for the four-cylinder AE300, and between 100 and 150 for the IAE50 rotary series. “Due to the continuous increase in avgas prices and the decrease in its avail-ability, we expect a massive growth in diesel demand over the next couple of years,” Lietz predicted. oAustro Engine is developing a 275-hp, six-cylinder diesel, the AE500.
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Ontic supplies and supports out-of-production partsby Matt Thurber
BBA Aviation’s Ontic division is rap-idly developing a new source of growth: the support of legacy electronics prod-ucts. Ontic is an aerospace manufacturer that focuses on making parts and compo-nents that other original equipment man-ufacturer (OEMs) don’t want to make or can’t make efficiently anymore. The U.S. company also operates repair stations to support the products that it makes.
Ontic manufactures parts and com-plex assemblies under license from the OEM that originally made the product. In some cases, the OEM can’t afford to keep making those parts, preferring to apply those resources to more remuner-ative and higher margin products. Or the volume of those parts has dropped so low that it is impossible to make and support them efficiently, yet there remain actively flying aircraft that need them.
“We focus on keeping parts produc-ible and sustainable, but also product support,” said Robert Sadler, director of marketing and licensor relations. “That is our model and it takes a big headache away from the prime [OEM].”
Ontic either makes parts and compo-nents for OEMs or acquires the prod-uct line and then supports those products as long as there is a viable market. The U.S.-based group’s main lines of business include environmental control systems, control and actuation, hydraulics, elec-tronics, avionics, pneumatics, heat trans-fer, electric power and fuel controls.
Electronics CapabilityAbout a year ago, Ontic (Hall 4 Stand
F15) began strengthening its electron-ics manufacturing and support capabili-ties by building a new electronics lab at its Chatsworth, California headquar-ters. In March 2011, it bought GE Avi-ation’s fuel measurement business, which also boosted its electronics capabilities by adding facilities in Slough and Chelten-ham, UK. Ontic is also building a new facility next to the BBA engine repair and overhaul facility in Singapore.
Electronics components fit into four generational categories, according to Ontic president Peg Billson. The first genera-tion was the vacuum-tube era; next, in the 1960s and 1970s, OEMs began installing second-generation computers on aircraft; the third generation added integrated cir-cuits and software; and, finally, digital cir-cuits and embedded software represent the fourth generation–the modern age. The GE fuel systems business is mostly third-generation software and hardware.
“All generations are equally attrac-tive,” Billson told AIN. “A generation four needs different support than gener-ation one. You have to understand the nuances of the different generations.”
Many of these electronic systems are still flying on a variety of older and even
modern aircraft, giving the company the ability to target the spares market for fleets already flying, as well as for new aircraft.
The addition of the dedicated electron-ics lab, which opened about six months ago, is big business for Ontic. In 2010, electronics manufacturing and support represented just 3 percent of revenues, and after the GE acquisition that number climbed to 30 percent. “Our vision is that electronics can and should be 50 percent of our portfolio,” Billson said.
The electronics business represents another challenge for the company, how-ever, and that is dealing with components that require software to operate. “We must be ready for that,” she said. “But one of the capabilities that Ontic is expert at is sorting out the unknown. That’s a skill we have in our engineers and tech-nicians. What motivates them is the chal-lenge of figuring things out.”
OEM BenefitsOntic isn’t concerned about the volume
of products that are involved in a particu-lar program and makes its services avail-able to any customer, regardless of size. Parts are always made in cooperation with the OEM that owns the intellectual prop-erty underpinning the product, but the parts also carry an Ontic nameplate.
The company can supply the parts either to the OEM, which installs them on new aircraft or distributes them to customers, or directly to the aftermar-ket. This includes obtaining the neces-sary parts manufacturer approval (PMA) certification so it can ship parts directly to end-users. Ontic is licensed to make nearly 4,000 LRUs, which use up to one million discrete parts.
Another advantage Ontic offers to
OEMs is the ability to store inventory. When evaluating a program, the com-pany’s “procurement detectives” and “forensic engineers” look at the demand for the component by the OEM and the aftermarket. This includes evaluating the sales, inventory and planning process for making the item.
“We’re balancing how best to supply it,”
Billson said. Ontic, for example, can make money from both a large batch-production process or by making a complex item in small numbers and keeping them in inven-tory. OEMs typically make parts and com-ponents in large continuous-flow processes that can’t be scaled down efficiently, and maintaining inventory is costly and not a goal of an OEM. o
56 Farnborough Airshow News • July 10, 2012 • www.ainonline.com
Among the maintenance tasks handled by Ontic are repairs to smoke detection systems on Boeing 737 airliners, above, and testing of radar equipment, below, for a wide variety of military and commercial aircraft, but increasingly the BBA Aviation division is active in parts manufacturing.
Andalusia lifts Spanish hopes with aerospace successAndalusian aerospace cluster Hélice
(Hall 1 Stand C8) is promoting the capa-bilities of the Spanish region’s compa-nies and research facilities, including its flagship: Airbus’s final assembly line for the A400M military trans-port. Hélice is also attending the 2012 Farnborough International Airshow on behalf of about 120 other firms, some 90 percent of which are based on the Seville-Cadiz axis.
Cluster president Juan Pedro Vela said that only 37 mem-ber enterprises are active in the cluster’s “business action council,” but he insisted that Hélice represents all of Andalusia’s significant aerospace firms. In the course of this year, four enterprises have joined the cluster: Metal Improve-ment Company (MIC), Indaero Tecni-grab, Aercal and Global Q.
Vela highlighted Hélice’s research-and-development support services, such as the Centre for Advanced Aerospace Tech-nologies, Fada-Catec, based in Seville. It has rapid manufacturing and prototyping
machines for components made from polyamide, a kind of polymer that is being investigated for aero-space applications. “Rapid manu-facturing techniques with polymers are of interest for producing small pieces for subassemblies, as they avoid tooling investments,” Vela explained. In addition, polyamide components are much lighter than
their metallic equivalents.Also an initiative of the Fada-Catec,
the Atlas flight-test center is to be opera-tional for UAV trials next year. After some delay, construction work, near Jaén, is to start this summer. “It will be open to all those public or private enterprises and
entities willing to undertake their flight tests with light and tactical unmanned sys-tems–up to 650 kilograms [1,430 pounds],” Vela told AIN.
The Andalusian aerospace industry had a turnover of almost $2.5 billion in 2010, based on the most recent numbers available, and employed more than 10,000 people. These represented increases of 26 percent and 10 percent, respectively, from the year before.
Asked about the impact of the finan-cial crisis in Spain, Vela emphasized that the aerospace industry “is one of the few productive sectors that are resisting well the international credit crunch at national level.” He acknowledged, however, that budget cuts by the Spanish administra-tion affect research, development and innovation support. “Like other pro-ductive industries, aeronautics is being affected in this sense,” he said. –T.D.
Juan Pedro Vela
z Morocco Signs Up for SidewinderMorocco and the U.S. government have signed a letter of
offer and acceptance (LOA) to purchase Raytheon’s AIM-9X Block II Sidewinder infrared guided air-to-air missile for the country’s Lockheed Martin F-16s. This makes Morocco the fourth country to purchase the Block II and the eleventh to purchase AIM-9X, although the quantity is undisclosed.
“This sale is a win for both the U.S. and Moroccan warfighters because it enhances coalition air combat operations and also reduces the unit cost of the AIM-9X Block II missile through economies of scale,” said John Martins, U.S. Navy air-to-air missile program manager.
The first test shot of an AIM-9X Block II took place in November 2008. The missile is now in full rate production.
z China’s Hebei Orders Five Embraer 190sChinese carrier Hebei Airlines has ordered five more
Embraer 190s with the 100-seaters due to join Hebei’s two in-service E-190s by the end of 2013. The Brazilian airframer values the deal, at list prices, at $226 million.
The additional E-Jets “will help Hebei Airlines to expand its network by exploring new markets and adding frequencies on existing routes,” said Paulo Cesar Silva, Embraer’s president for commercial aviation. Based in Shijiazhuang, Hebei Airlines uses its two E-190s to serve eight destinations, with around 70 flights per week. Since entry into service in January this year, average schedule reliability has been 99.5 percent.
Embraer has about 60 E-190s in service in China now. According to the company’s own forecast, the Chinese market will need 1,050 jets up to 120 seats (the category served by the larger E-Jets) over the next 20 years.
z Aircelle To Support BA’s Trent 900 NacellesRolls-Royce and Aircelle have signed a service contract
for the Trent 900 engine nacelles that will be fitted to British Airways Airbus A380s. The airline has ordered 12 of the type.
Under the agreement, starting in 2013 Safran subsidiary Aircelle will ensure the availability of key Trent 900 nacelle components, including thrust reversers, fan cowls, air inlets and exhaust systems, to be located at the airline’s London Heathrow airport technical base. Aircelle will also position some 130 line-replaceable unit part items at the technical base and will create a field service office at Rolls-Royce’s facility near Heathrow, offering around-the-clock support.
z TAI Selects Mecaer Landing SystemItaly’s Mecaer Aviation Group (MAG) has become the
exclusive tier-one supplier to Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) for the complete landing system for Hurkus, Turkey’s new primary and basic trainer aircraft. MAG will be responsible for engineering system integration, hydraulic steering system hydraulic actuation, braking system, brakes, tires and landing gear cockpit controls for the tandem-configured Hurkus.
“Undercarriage designs must be robust, yet must also be as light as possible. With the Hurkus project, our objective was to develop and deliver a high shock absorbing landing gear ideal for training missions,” said Ruggero Rossi, MAG’s chief project engineer, actuation and landing systems.
z GKN To Design Global WindowsGKN Aerospace has been awarded a contract for the
design, development and production of transparencies for Bombardier’s Global 7000 and Global 8000 business jets. Initial test items will be delivered in 2013.
The contract includes both the cockpit and passenger cabin windows that will incorporate GKN’s CrystalVue I abrasion resistant coating. Design and production will take place at the GKN facility in Garden Grove, California.
“These windows have been produced using advanced forming technology and incorporate our market-leading coatings,” said Ron Kato, vice president and managing director of GKN’s Special Products division.
Simrit silicone sealant can trim airlines’ costsby Neelam Mathews
Simrit, a global supplier of precision-manufactured prod-ucts for the aerospace indus-try, is focusing on fuel efficiency as the main theme during the show. The company is promot-ing its recently developed pro-prietary, low-density silicone materials–AMS 3302 and AMS 3303–to commercial airframe manufacturers. It has started to supply an undisclosed manufac-turer, and the first aircraft using the new material will enter ser-vice in early 2014.
The company has worked with the business jet mar-ket in the past and is target-ing airframers such as Cessna and Bombardier to be among its first customers. “After the executive jets, we will focus on the very light jets,” said Vinay Nilkanth, vice president global sales aerospace. Diamond Avi-ation and Eclipse Aerospace are working closely with Simrit
(Hall 4 Stand D10) for their requirements, he explained.
Seals are replaced during A, B, C and D checks, a mar-ket worth approximately $650 million a year. Weight reduction has become a critical element in aircraft design and has created an increas-ing customer demand for weight-conscious sealing components. “We expect a 17-per-cent weight reduction [over similar mate-rial]. We are now looking at how much fuel savings we can get for new aircraft,” said Nilkanth. The material withstands extreme low and high temperatures, is resis-tant to common aircraft fluids and can be combined into fire-proof construction.
Expanding into Asia, the
company has been present in China for more than two years working with Comac on its requirements for aerospace sealing applications on air-frames, engines, landing gear, wheels and brakes and flight controls.
The material is produced at Simrit’s factory in Canada. It designs and manufactures aero-dynamic seals and sealing prod-ucts, including engine seals,
thrust reverser seals, and door and win-dow seals, for com-mercial aircraft and jet engines. The plant is certified to the AS9100 Revision C quality management system including design for the aerospace industry.
Simrit is part of Germany-based Freud-enberg-NOK Sealing Technologies and offers an extensive portfo-
lio of precision-manufactured products for the aerospace, agri-culture, appliance, construction, energy, fluid power, mechanical power generation, mechanical power transmission and recre-ation markets. o
C-27J bellies up to tanker at 2,800 liters per minute
Alenia’s C-27J tactical airlifter has recently undergone a series of successful refueling trials with an Italian air force Boeing KC-767A tanker. During the test campaign the C-27J undertook “contacts” at altitudes between 10,000 and 20,000 feet, and at speeds of up to 220 knots. The trials also involved tanking at night with night-vision goggles. Refueling runs during turns, in turbulence and in an emergency descent were also accomplished
successfully. The campaign dem-onstrated the C-27J’s ability to take on fuel at the rate of 2,800 liters per minute, which allows a complete top-up in five minutes. For the trials, Ale-nia provided a test crew and an instrumented aircraft. The aim of the campaign is to certify the aircraft’s in-flight refueling sys-tem, which has currently been adopted for Italy’s 12 C-27Js, and one of the three aircraft supplied to Lithuania. –D.D.
Vinay Nilkanth Simrit v-p for global
Esterline keeps A320s under control
Esterline CMC Electron-ics recently delivered its 1000th multifunction control display unit (MCDU) for Airbus A320 family aircraft to Thales Avion-ics of France.
Low-rate production of the MCDU began in 2010 and has gradually increased to a steady pace of close to 100 units a month. Each A318/319/320/321 airliner has two MCDUs installed and they serve as the primary interface between the pilot and avionics subsystems, including the flight management system and aircraft communica-tions, addressing and reporting system (Acars).
CMC (Hall 1 Stand B11) has supported Thales with the MCDU keyboard since 2002, with more than 5,000 of these units delivered to date. Based on the keyboard’s in-service record for quality and reliability, in 2008 Thales awarded CMC with a long-term contract to supply the entire MCDU, which includes an improved keyboard, LCD screen, backlight and electrical interface (see page 18). –C.T.
“Fill it up, please. And I’m in a bit of a hurry.” Alenia’s C-27J airlifter can top off its tanks from this Boeing KC-767 in just five minutes.
www.ainonline.com • July 10, 2012 • Farnborough Airshow News 57
Selex Galileo now has four Falco clients by David Donald
Selex Galileo has announced a new sale for its Falco tactical unmanned air system, bringing the number of export customers to four. The company has also revealed that more than 50 air vehicles are in operation.
While Selex has not named any of its Falco customers, the Pakistan air force has sepa-rately declared that it is a major user of the type and that it has seen operational service during anti-terrorist campaigns in Pak-istan’s remote federally admin-istered tribal areas.
Pakistan is believed to have been the launch customer for the Falco, which began opera-tions in 2007. Other nations that have been linked with the Falco include Jordan and Saudi Arabia.
As well as providing the Falco air vehicle, Selex Galileo
offers a range of sensors, includ-ing EOST 46 electro-optical/infrared turret, Gabbiano 20 multi-mode surveillance radar and the PicoSAR radar. The lat-ter is a compact, active “e-scan” radar providing synthetic aper-ture radar imagery and ground moving target indication. When used in conjunction with change detection software, the PicoSAR can be a powerful counter-IED tool. The Falco can also carry the SAGE electronic warfare suite for accurate direction-find-ing, classification and geo-loca-tion of emitters.
Meanwhile, Selex Galileo (Outdoor Exhibit 1) is expecting to begin flight tests of the Falco EVO derivative this week. The EVO was unveiled at last year’s Paris Air Show and is a version with longer tailbooms and wing-span extended to 41 feet, com-pared with the 24 feet of the standard version. The extra span equates to an increase in maxi-mum takeoff weight, which is shared between extra payload capacity and more fuel.The lat-ter gives Falco EVO an endur-ance of more than 18 hours. o
58 Farnborough Airshow News • July 10, 2012 • www.ainonline.com
HBC seeks prosperity in special missions areaby Bill Carey
Hawker Beechcraft has iden-tified special-mission aircraft as a substantial growth area for the company. It believes popu-lar models such as the King Air A350 and Baron G58 outfitted with sensors and other equip-ment will be embraced by civil and military agencies for their performance and affordability.
The U.S. manufacturer is displaying three special-mis-sion King Airs here at the Farnborough International air-show, as well as the T-6C Tex-an II military trainer with hard points for mounting external fuel tanks and stores. One of the air-craft on static display–a King Air 350ER–can be configured with two sleds in the air ambulance role or for high-density seat-ing. It also has a radome certi-fied by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance
(ISR) applications. Another is a King Air B200 operated by Mal-ta for maritime patrol and search and rescue.
In the past five years, Hawker Beechcraft (Chalet J3) has sold more than two thirds of its spe-cial-mission aircraft outside the U.S. The company’s prime international market is Europe, the Middle East and Africa, accounting for 34 percent of sales between 2007 and 2011, followed by the Asia Pacific region at 26 percent and Latin America at 7 percent.
Most of the Hawker Beech-craft special-mission aircraft purchased outside the U.S. are used for air ambulance work (27 percent), with trainer air-craft the second largest cate-gory at 19 percent. The Hawk-er Beechcraft Services facility in Chester, UK, recently delivered its first modified air ambulance
conversion Hawker 900XP to a customer in Saudi Arabia. The factory-owned service center al-so recently received a multimil-lion-pound contract from BAE Systems Regional Aircraft to convert two BAe 146-200QCs from commercial to military configuration for the UK Roy-al Air Force.
Jay Gibson, Hawker Beech-craft vice president of spe-cial missions, said the company anticipates an “explosion” in demand for ISR-equipped air-craft, particularly in Africa and Latin America, as coun-tries invest in new capabilities
to secure their borders. Special mission aircraft may be sold either by direct commercial sale or foreign military sale, depend-ing on U.S. International Traffic in Arms Regulations.
Gibson said smaller plat-forms such as the King Air and the Baron are attractive and affordable “because they come off of a commercial installed base”; in the case of the King Air, this amounts to around 7,000 aircraft. That installed base also supports long-term “sustainment” of specially con-figured aircraft, he said.
Hawker Beechcraft is testing
the waters at Farnborough to gauge market interest in its twin-turboprop Baron G58 ISR platform. A Baron outfitted with mockups of ISR sensors, including an electro-optical/infrared camera, is being dis-played from Monday to Thurs-day at the company’s chalet.
The T-6C Texan II on dis-play here completed a two-month demonstration tour in May that was concentrated in the Asia Pacific region. It per-formed seven airshow display flights and 43 demonstration flights for military and govern-ment officials. o
Unmanned aircraft study is new UK center’s missionby Neelam Mathews
The UK is marking the open-ing of the new National Aero-nautical Centre (NAC), based at West Wales Airport (WWA), here at the show. The NAC initiative is designed to position the UK at the forefront of the unmanned air systems (UAS) market, which is forecast to be worth more than $50 billion by 2020.
Last year, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) announced its endorsement of an airspace change proposal (ACP) that would allow UASs to fly in
segregated airspace. The driving force behind the initiative was the Welsh government, which sponsored the ACP and a dedi-cated center for UAS.
The NAC (Hall 1 Stand A19) will enhance services already available within the region. The airspace is centered on WWA and extends inland 40 nm to the east, covering an area of 500 sq miles. WWA is a small airfield with a paved runway approxi-mately 4,000 feet (1,200 meters) long suitable for tactical UAVs.
“The idea behind the NAC is that all users have a platform where they can exchange ideas and create cutting-edge products in safe, con-trolled and segregated airspace,” said a statement from The Mann Organisation, which owns WWA.
“The [UK Ministry of Defence] needs this, the indus-try needs this and the UK needs this. It is the go-place for aero-nautic products to be developed, evaluated and demonstrated,” said Ray Mann, managing direc-tor of WWA.
“Today, no regulation exists anywhere in the world that allows UAS to fly beyond visual line-of-sight outside segregated airspace. The NAC is the only place where this can be satisfactorily carried out,” added Mann. o
Hawker Beechcraft believes special missions operators will embrace its King Air 350 (above) and Baron G58 models for their performance and affordability. The Wichita, Kansas-based airframer also markets the T-6C Texan II military trainer.
The EVO Falco UAV has longer wings and tailbooms for endurance and efficiency.
Black EaglE alights
Though Farnborough attendees will not get to enjoy the full routine of Korea’s Black Eagle aerobatic jet team, one of the team’s T-50B supersonic trainers will perform in the aerial display.
CMC finalizes deliveries of Finns’ Hawk upgradesby Chad Trautvetter
Esterline CMC Electronics has completed final deliveries of its Cockpit 4000 integrated avi-onics systems, which are being retrofitted in 26 Finnish Air Force BAE Systems Hawk jet trainers. Defense and aerospace group Patria, which is jointly owned by Finland and EADS, awarded the contract for the glass-cockpit upgrades to CMC for the air force’s fleet of eight Hawk Mk51s and 18 Mk66s.
The Finnish Air Force Hawks provide basic and advanced train-ing at Kauhava Air Base for pilots destined for the F-18C and F-18D front-line squadrons. According to CMC, the upgrade aims to fur-ther increase the quality of flight training by improving the jets’ training efficiency and extending the training that is currently car-ried out on Hawk aircraft.
“CMC’s integrated glass
Cockpit 4000 avionics suite is spe-cifically designed to lower training costs while offering superior train-ing capabilities and, if required, to provide an operational weapons-delivery role,” said CMC Elec-tronics president Greg Yeldon. “By using CMC avionics, jet pilot training, from basic to advanced level, can be performed using a single training platform, resulting in a significant savings,” he added.
The core avionics for the Patria upgrade includes CMC’s open-architecture mission com-puter; a wide field-of-view Spar-rowHawk head-up display (HUD) and up-front control panel; two five- by seven-inch multifunction displays; and a HUD repeater for the rear-seat instructor pilot. In addition, the avionics suite features “mature and proven” operational flight programs that integrate the
aircraft sensors, radios and weapons systems.
Patria aviation business unit president Lassi Matikainen said the modernization “significantly improves” the capability of the Mk66s for military pilot train-ing. “The feedback received from pilots operating with upgraded Hawks at the Finnish Air Force Flight Academy in Kauhava has been extremely positive,” he added.
Patria, together with CMC, is now offering the Cockpit 4000 avionics retrofit package to other Hawk Mk50/60 and 100 series operators. o
www.ainonline.com • July 10, 2012 • Farnborough Airshow News 59
z S.S. White’s Flexible Shafts for P&W PW1000GS.S. White Technologies (Hall 4 Stand A4) has been
selected to provide flexible rotary shafts for the Pratt & Whitney PW1000G engine’s nacelle. The shafts will transfer power on the variable area fan nozzle (VAFN) and synchronize actuators on the thrust reversers. The U.S. company has already provided two flexible rotary shafts for the thrust reverser rig, and previously supplied two flexible shafts for the VAFN test setup.
The PW1000G geared turbofan, which is to power the Bombardier CSeries, is the first to feature a VAFN. It is a variable duct that deploys at takeoff to increase the fan exit area. This protects the engine against possible fan resonance and flutter, according to nacelle manufacturer Goodrich. It also increases the bypass ratio, which helps to improve fuel efficiency.
z L-3 Wins Business on Embraer KC-390Embraer Defense and Security has selected L-3 Aviation
Products’ GH-3900 electronic standby instrument system, cockpit voice and data recorder and micro-quick access recorder for its military transport aircraft, the Embraer KC-390, which is due to enter service in 2016.
“This is another example of how a commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) product such as the GH-3900 has the flexibility to be adapted for military applications,” said Ralph DeMarco, vice president sales and marketing for L-3 Aviation Products.
Earlier this year, L-3/Thales joint venture ACSS announced that it had been selected to supply its T3CAS traffic management computer as the standard surveillance avionics equipment for the KC-390.
z FAA Approves P&WC Diagnostics for Q400Pratt & Whitney Canada has been awarded a U.S. Federal
Aviation Administration supplemental type certificate for its flight-data acquisition storage and transmission (FAST) engine-diagnostic system for the Bombardier Dash 8-Q400 regional turboprop. The system is claimed to be unique in its ability to acquire, store and transmit information from the flight-data recorder, allowing review of full flight operations quality analysis (FOQA) information. Fast units are already fitted to 400 in-service Dash 8 aircraft.
The engine manufacturer said FAST gives operators a competitive advantage by providing a single source for managing all aircraft performance data, eliminating the need for scheduled manual downloads. FAST is intended to allow operators to plan maintenance sessions, for example, by taking advantage of overnight layovers.
The system provides early detection of minor issues so that preventative maintenance can be conducted. It also gives timely post-flight fault code/event review, which enables determination of aircraft availability.
z Bombardier Opens UK Regional Support OfficeBombardier has opened a regional support office here
at Farnborough Airport for its business aircraft customers in Europe, and it will also assist non-European Bombardier aircraft flying into the region. Located within the TAG Farnborough Airport terminal, it is next to TAG Farnborough Engineering, which is already a Bombardier authorized service facility.
A manager and three field service representatives staff the office, which also coordinates another 12 field representatives based in Belgium, France, Germany and Latvia. Some 560 Bombardier business jets are based in Europe.
For the London Olympic games, Bombardier is bolstering its on-site support from July 23 to August 17. Five field reps will be posted in the London area, with the company’s mobile response team in close proximity. Technicians will also be on standby at the factory-owned Amsterdam Schiphol service center and at three of its authorized services facilities in the London area. Spare parts inventories will also be boosted, said the Canadian airframer.
Thomas Cook group Chooses
Leisure travel specialist Thomas Cook Group's fleet of Airbus A320/321s will soon be equipped with Rockwell Collins MultiScan weather radar and GLU-925 multi-mode navigation sensors. Commemorating the deal here at Farnborough are Rockwell Col-lins' v-p and managing director for Europe Claude Alber, left, and Thomas Cook Group executive v-p of group fleet management Bernd Bechtel.
Asia’s ATM upgrade is key for Raytheon’s AutoTrac III
Raytheon says tapping into Asia’s urgent need to update its air traffic management (ATM) infrastructure to handle rapid growth in air traffic is one of its key priorities. The company recently responded to a request for proposals from Vietnam and Thailand, and opportunities are surfacing in Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, said the U.S. company. In the Middle East, it has set up its AutoTrac III (AT3) system at Dubai World Central’s Al Maktoum International Air-port, and this is due to be opera-tional by the end of 2012.
“We are going to franchise
AutoTrac,” Andrew Zogg, vice president, business develop-ment, told AIN. “We will look at broader partnerships, more licens-ing, more industrial relations.”
Clear exceptions are India and Hong Kong. Raytheon has been working closely with the Airports Authority of India (AAI) to providing an advanced ATM system that covers three of the four Indian Flight Informa-tion Regions–Delhi, Mumbai, and Chennai, which are all now equipped with Raytheon’s AT3 system. “We took the concepts implemented on AT3 in India to the U.S,” said Zogg. The AT3
incorporates advanced surveil-lance and flight data processing and India can claim to have the most modern ATM system oper-ational. Raytheon is presently, in collaboration with its partner, Tata Power Strategic Electronic Systems, planning to install AT3 for 30 military airfields in India.
In Hong Kong, the company is supplying the AT3 system for the Hong Kong Civil Aviation Department’s new area control center at Hong Kong Interna-tional Airport.
Raytheon has also built 16 ground reference stations for the GPS-aided geosynchro-nous augmented navigation (GAGAN) system, a satel-lite-based navigation system for civil aircraft flying over Indian airspace. –N.M.
The Esterline CMC Hawk upgrade includes Cockpit 4000 glass panels.
GE partner Avio is driving developmentItalian propulsion compo-
nent company Avio has made the trip to Farnborough to showcase its role in some of the engine industry’s latest and most advanced offerings.
A GE partner, Avio holds a 12-percent share in the GEnx engine (an option for the Boeing 787) and carries responsibility for the accessory drive gearbox, stator parts of the low-pressure
turbine and lubrication system. In the civil realm, apart
from the GEnx, Avio has major roles in the GE90 for the Boeing 777, the Trent 900 for the Airbus A380 and the CFM Leap engine (for the Airbus A320neo, Boeing 737 MAX and Comac C919).
Other projects in which Avio plays a significant role include the TP400 turboprop chosen
by Airbus Military to power the A400M transport. Avio designs and produces the propeller gear-box, the largest ever produced in the Western world.
Avio’s involvement in mil-itary programs extends to the EJ200 engine for the Euro-fighter Typhoon, the T700-6E1 for the NH90 helicopter and the F135 engine for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. –G.P.
60 Farnborough Airshow News • July 10, 2012 • www.ainonline.com
z NRC Improves Icing Tunnel To Meet DemandCanada’s National Research Council (NRC) has added
new capabilities to its altitude icing wind tunnel (AIWT), such as simulating flights at 25,000 feet and the addition of hot air supply for models that use it for de-icing. The improvements will help NRC meet client demands for development and certification work recognized by regulators such as Europe’s EASA and the U.S. FAA.
With a 0.5-meter-square test section, NRC’s Altitude Icing Wind Tunnel is a cost-effective facility used by clients for testing of small models, wing sections and air-data probes, validation of numerical ice accretion codes and evaluation of ice accretion on non-protected aircraft components.
The tunnel’s comparatively small test section, combined with its relatively high-speed capabilities (up to Mach 0.5 with insert), makes it particularly suitable and efficient for the testing of instrumentation and for viewing the microphysical processes of ice accretion.
The NRC and Newmerical Technologies International (NTI) recently announced an exclusive licensing agreement for NTI to use, market and further develop NRC-patented in-flight icing modeling technology to predict the shape and structural details of ice accretions affecting aircraft safety.
z Electromechanical Uplock from TactairTactair Fluid Controls is developing a new electro-
mechanical uplock system for doors and landing gears. Compared with traditional mechanical systems, the new uplock offers airframe manufacturers an opportunity to introduce significant weight-savings as well as design flexibility.
U.S.-based Tactair designs and manufactures a range of fluid-power and motion-control products, and has made the design and manufacture of uplocks a strategic focus, particularly those sized for business and regional aircraft. The company has a technology demonstrator of its electromechanical system here at the Farnborough International airshow (Hall 2 Stand B1).
z Hamilton Sundstrand To Supply Spares to FokkerHamilton Sundstrand has signed an agreement with
Fokker Services to provide spare parts in support of Fokker repair work at its Amsterdam facility. The purchase contract, which runs through 2016, is valued at $33.2 million. It covers “integrated drive generators and other equipment” for aircraft built mainly by Airbus, Boeing, Bombardier and Fokker.
The U.S. company has also announced three maintenance and support deals with airlines here at the show:
• With Japan Airlines (JAL), it has extended an exclusive repair agreement on Boeing 767, 777 and MD90 fleets. The additional three years cover repairs until August 2014, as the extension was signed earlier this year and retroactive to 2011.
• With Latin America’s Avianca group, it has signed two “long-term agreements” to provide maintenance on auxiliary power units (APUs). The first, with Oceanair, is for APS3200s on Airbus A320s; its fleet is planned to grow from 20 to more than 30 aircraft; the second is with TACA Airlines in San Salvador; the carrier operates 12 Embraer 190s equipped with APS2300 APUs.
z Olivier Is New Esterline CMC Electronics VPEsterline CMC Electronics (Hall 1, Stand B11), a provider of
cockpit systems integration and avionics solutions worldwide, has appointed Christian Olivier as its vice president, operations. He will be responsible for operations, supply chain management, master planning, facilities management and IT across all three of the company’s facilities. Olivier, with over 25 years of experience in the aerospace and electronics industries, moves from France’s Direction Générale pour l’Armement, following a 10-year stint. He is a graduate of the École Polytechnique (Paris) and the École Nationale Supérieure de l’Aéronautique et de l’Espace (Toulouse). He also holds a pilot’s certificate.
U.S. Pavilion oPenS
The delegation at the opening of the U.S. Pavilion included Tom Kallman, CEO of Kallman World-wide; Marion Blakey, CEO of the Aeropace Industries Association; Michael Donley, Secretary of the Air Force; Francisco Sanchez, Undersecretary for International Trade; and Louis Susman, Ambas-sador to the Court of St. James.
Fear of parts shortfalls as airframers ramp-upby Gregory Polek
Forecast International is questioning whether compo-nent suppliers will manage to keep up with the demand from Airbus and Boeing as they pre-pare to raise production rates of commercial airliners over the next 10 years. Forecast’s newly released report, “The Market for Large Commercial Jet Trans-ports,” projects that 14,655 large commercial airliners will roll out over the 10-year period 2012-2021. The U.S market research firm estimates the value of the production at $2.04 trillion.
“Airbus and Boeing, the two dominant manufacturers in the market, are implementing produc-tion increases and are considering additional increases for the future,” said the consultancy. “However,
determining how fast and high to increase production is a tricky proposition for the two compa-nies. In addition to the vulnerabil-ity of their supply chains, another concern is the overall health of the airline industry.”
The desire of Airbus and Boeing to expand production is putting a considerable strain on their suppliers, especially in light of ongoing global economic sluggishness and uncertainty, said the report. More pressure has come from the desire by Air-bus and Boeing to outsource more design work and produc-tion responsibilities.
“The potential for bottle-necks among suppliers means that Airbus and Boeing need to tread cautiously when it comes
to future production increases,” said Forecast International senior aerospace analyst Ray-mond Jaworowski.
A second major concern involves the health of the air-line industry, said the report. Although air traffic continues to grow and the industry as a whole remains profitable, many indi-vidual airlines are experiencing financial difficulties, including some carriers that hold orders for hundreds of new airplanes.
At the same time, Airbus and Boeing have considerable incen-tive to keep production rates high and growing. The two com-panies hold large numbers of unfilled orders, resulting in long waiting times for customers to take delivery of their aircraft, which often translates into con-siderable frustration for custom-ers. A lack of early delivery slots could also tempt potential buyers to take a serious look at new air-craft emerging from manufactur-ers outside of the Airbus/Boeing duopoly, the report suggests. o
Steep demand for commercial airliners has one research firm concerned that component suppliers might not be able to keep up.
V-22 ventures ‘over here’ in search of export buyersby Chris Pocock
The drive to find international customers for the Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor contin-ues, prompting four U.S. Marine Corps MV-22s to make a transat-lantic trip to fly displays and dem-onstrations here at Farnborough and at the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) at Fairford last weekend. Aircraft for export could easily be slotted into the expected second American multi-year buy, Col. Greg Masiello, joint V-22 program manager, U.S. Naval Air Systems command, said here at the Farnborough Interna-
tional airshow yesterday. He did not identify potential customers, but serious interest from Canada, Israel and the United Arab Emir-ates (UAE) has been reported.
Masiello sought to offset the Osprey’s high sticker price by describing its multi-mission capabilities and superior perfor-mance. “This is an airplane–not a helicopter–that can fly at 282 knots as well as hover. Afford-ability is relative.
“U.S. Air Force Spe-cial Operations Command [AFSOC] is replacing a fleet of over 100 various aircraft with 50 Ospreys,” he said. The V-22 has done humanitarian relief, search and rescue, cargo delivery to a variety of warships, and VIP transport. AFSOC “is doing a lot of behind-the-scenes; direct-action, time-sensitive target mis-sions,” with the five aircraft that it deployed operationally in May 2011, Masiello added.
He described a notable long-range medevac mission test flown on June 6. This was a nonstop 11.5-hour roundtrip from Cannon Air Force Base in New Mexico with the aid of in-flight refueling. The CV-22 flew to a position off the U.S. East Coast, where the nuclear submarine U.S.S. Wyoming
surfaced as if to offload a seri-ously ill sailor. Arriving over-head exactly on time, the CV-22 hovered and lowered a hoist for the evacuation.
Fourteen V-22s are slated to replace the CH-46s that fly support missions for HMX-1, the U.S. presidential transport squadrons. Bell Boeing officials have suggested that the tilt-rotor could also replace the VH-3s used to transport the U.S. Presi-dent himself. They are also pitch-ing the V-22 as a replacement for
the U.S. Navy’s C-2 Greyhound carrier on-board delivery (COD) aircraft. Ospreys could deliver direct to smaller ships.
Other future applications could include aerial and ground refueling of other aircraft, and an ISR/C2 version.
Both of these would use roll-on, roll-off palletized mission kits. Bell Boeing and Thales UK stud-ied a version that could deploy an AEW and ISR radar in similar
articulating fashion to the UK’s existing Sea King surveillance helicopters, as their replacement. “But the UK indicated their pref-erence for a solution based on the EH101 Merlin helicopter, even though we offered six times the coverage,” a Bell Boeing official told AIN recently.
Masiello reported that the U.S. Marine Corps still intends to buy 350 MV-22s and AFSOC 50 CV-22s. The U.S. Navy wants 48. A five-year per-formance-based logistics con-tract is being negotiated.
“The cost per flying hour is trending down well,” the Bell Boeing official told AIN. Masi-
ello noted that Ospreys have been continuously deployed on operations since 2007 by the Marine Corps. “We don’t ‘baby’ it…it’s been shot at,” he said.
Despite the recent crash of an AFSOC aircraft on a train-ing mission, Masiello said the Osprey’s poor safety reputation was behind it. “The hydraulics and the wiring were completely redesigned after the early acci-dents. It’s perfectly safe. I would fly my family in it,” he added. o
www.ainonline.com • July 10, 2012 • Farnborough Airshow News 61
z GKN to Design Global WindowsGKN Aerospace has been awarded a contract for the design,
development and production of transparencies for Bombardier’s Global 7000 and Global 8000 business jets. Initial test items will be delivered in 2013.
The contract includes both the cockpit and passenger cabin windows that will incorporate GKN’s CrystalVue I abrasion resistant coating for the ultra-long-range business jets. Design and production will take place at the GKN facility in Garden Grove, California.
“These windows represent the absolute state-of-the-art in transparencies technology. They have been produced using advanced forming technology and incorporate our market-leading coatings, which together provide unbeatable performance and reliability in all operating conditions,” said Ron Kato, vice president and managing director of GKN’s Special Products division.
z Raytheon Awarded Major UAV Turret ContractRaytheon has been awarded a major contract for the MTS-B
multi-spectral targeting system. The $191 million contract was awarded by the U.S. Air Force in April and covers the supply of 149 high-definition MTS-B turrets for Reaper unmanned air vehicles, plus support equipment and spares. Deliveries are due to start in the first quarter of next year, and will run for around two years.
MTS-B is the primary sensor system of the General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper. Versions also equip the Reaper/Predator B UAVs used by Italy and the UK, as well as by other U.S. agencies, such as the Navy and Customs and Border Protection. The MTS-B is a larger derivative of the MTS-A turret that equips the MQ-1 Predator UAV.
Raytheon has more than 1,500 MTS systems deployed in 44 separate subvariants on 21 different platforms. The system passed one million flight hours in August 2010.
z Aussie 737s Get CMC GPS UpgradeEsterline CMC Electronics has been selected to equip four
Australian airExpress Boeing 737s with CMA-5024 IntegriFlight GPS landing system sensors. Qantas’s engineering department is performing the installation for the cargo airline.
The GPS sensors, which are certified by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and Transport Canada to TSO-C145c Beta-3 and TSO-146c Delta-4, the most stringent categories for aviation GPS receivers, will provide automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) capability. Additionally, the CMA-5024 can relay precision approach guidance signals to the aircraft’s autopilot and instrument displays to execute a localizer precision with vertical guidance (LPV) approach.
“We are extremely pleased to supply the highest level of navigation performance to the Australian airExpress postal service fleet with our latest generation aviation GPS system,” said Esterline CMC Electronics president Greg Yeldon. “This selection reconfirms our position as the global technology leader for high-integrity aviation GPS technology and products.”
z PPG Introduces Advanced Material for G650PPG Aerospace Transparencies group has started full-scale
commercial production of its Opticor advanced transparency material at its Sylmar facility in Los Angeles. Opticor is being used for the outboard surface of the cabin windows for the soon-to-be-certified Gulfstream G650 corporate jet (a G650 window is on display on the company’s stand here at the show, at Hall 4 Stand B10).
PPG, the world’s largest supplier of aircraft windshields, windows and canopies, has increased its output capability for Opticor, according to Anthony Stone, PPG global director for new business development and innovations for transparencies. “Aircraft windows made of Opticor advanced transparency material are lightweight and resist crazing to maintain optical clarity,” said Stone. The proprietary, specialist plastic is laminated to stretched acrylic for increased stiffness, and is assembled with an inboard coated glass panel that is heated for antifogging. PPG’s windows are fabricated at its plant in Huntsville, Alabama.
The V-22 Osprey marketing team hopes show visitors will be impressed with the unique aircraft’s performance and mission flexibility.
Jazz signs Smart Parts contract
Bombardier Aerospace has signed a nine-year agreement with Canadian airline Jazz Aviation for its Q400 Smart Parts program. According to the manufacturer, Smart Parts provides convenient access to parts using cost-efficient inventory management.
“The program is predictable in terms of cash flow and pro-vides a single channel for air-lines, allowing them to focus on flying,” said Eric Martel, president, Bombardier cus-tomer services & specialized and amphibious aircraft.
Martel said Bombardier would leverage the program for the CSeries in 2013 when it goes into service.
“We need full control of our costs and Smart Parts can help us predict [requirements],” said Richard Steer, vice president, maintenance and engineering, for Jazz Aviation.
Currently Q400 opera-tors across the world, includ-ing India’s SpiceJet, Eurolot of Poland and Luxembourg’s Luxair, have selected the pro-gram, which was introduced in 2008. “The program is doing well in parts reliability with SpiceJet. There are 50 people supporting the fleet,” said Martel to AIN.
Bombardier is to open its ser-vice center in Singapore early next year. –N.M.
00 Farnborough Airshow News • July 7, 2012 • www.ainonline.com62 Farnborough Airshow News • July 10, 2012 • www.ainonline.com
AgustaWestland offering beefed-up AW609 variantby Thierry Dubois
AgustaWestland (Pavilion OE1) is offering an increased-gross-weight version of its AW609 tiltrotor, which trades off some vertical takeoff capa-bility for a higher payload limit. This will make it more attrac-tive for some missions where vertical capabilities are not needed on departure.
Type certification of the AW609, for which the Anglo-Italian airframer claims to have around 60 orders, is planned for 2016. The protracted program (the aircraft first flew in 2003) is now entirely in Agus-taWestland’s hands, since the company effectively took over Bell’s share late last year.
As Richard Luck, head of AW609 market-ing, explained in a brief-ing here at the show yesterday maximum takeoff weight can be 16,800 pounds or 18,000 pounds. The latter could allow an offshore operator to take off from its land base using around 800 feet (take-off distance to 35 feet). All nine passenger seats would be occu-pied and the rotorcraft would still embark with enough fuel to fly 350 nm. At the offshore oil platform, the aircraft would land and take off vertically, as weight would have reduced enough to
do this. In cruise, speed would be 250 knots (these numbers assume ISA conditions, with a 30-minute fuel reserve).
The certification process is complex, according to Luck. “We have a certification basis agreed with the [U.S.] FAA,” he said. The AW609 will be certified under both Part 25 [fixed-wing aircraft] and Part 29 [helicop-ter] rules. In addition, the transi-tion phase, which lasts a mere 40
seconds, calls for “a new element” of certification. EASA is shadowing the FAA’s certification effort with a view to eventual certification of the first civil tiltrotor in Europe.
The two aircraft in the flight-test program have logged a combined 700 hours. This trans-lates to 85 percent of the flight envelope. Next in the program is autorota-
tion testing. One aircraft is based in Cascina Costa, Italy, and the other in Arlington, Texas.
AgustaWestland officially became the sole owner of the program on Nov. 15, 2011, and the type certification application was transferred on Feb. 15, 2012. It is now the “design author-ity” for the AW609. Transfer of intellectual property rights from Bell is also complete and the cer-tification has resumed. o
Richard Luck, head of AW609 marketing for AgustaWestland
on that data we can say there were no technical issues with the aircraft.” In a seeming contra-diction, however, Pogosyan said, “It would be premature” to dis-cuss details of the investigation (although this would reflect stan-dard industry etiquette).
Making its second demon-stration flight of the day, MSN 95004 had flown just 20 minutes when the flight crew requested a descent to 6,000 feet from 10,000 feet before losing radio contact with ATC. A crewmem-ber and passenger list released by Sukhoi confirmed the air-plane carried 45 people, includ-ing SSJ100 chief pilot Alexander Yablontsev and copilot Alexan-der Kocketkov. Yablontsev had logged more than 10,000 hours and commanded the first flight
of the SSJ100’s first prototype. The aircraft’s arrival in Indo-
nesia marked the fourth stop in a six-country Asian demonstration tour. It had already visited Paki-stan, Kazakhstan and Myanmar and schedules called for it to go to Laos and Vietnam over the fol-lowing few days.
Pogosyan said yes-terday that the accident might result in a “shift” in deliveries to Indone-sian airlines but that, in general, customer interest in the airplane hasn’t waned. In fact, only two weeks ago Sukhoi Civil Aircraft (SCAC) landed an order for six of the regional jets from Russia’s second largest airline, Transaero.
“We keep informing our customers, both potential and existing, of the information that we have on the results of the investigation,” said
Pogosyan. “And I would like to stress that the aircraft was cer-tified by EASA, and this also [shows] that the safety of the aircraft was confirmed through extensive testing. This was a
real milestone in the project. So there’s no hint of any technical malfperformance of the Superjet 100.”
Pogosyan also revealed that SCAC expects to close talks with three customers in Southeast Asia over orders and options cov-ering 40 new airplanes “in a two- to three-month period.”
Meanwhile, he added, the accident has actually inspired the Superjet’s suppliers and partners to “consolidate” their efforts toward a concerted bid to meet the production target of 20 airplanes this year and 60 a year by 2014. o
Pogosyan: no hint of technical faultuContinued from page 1
leasing company, although it converts a previously tentative commitment.
Still far behind Airbus in terms of orders for re-engined narrowbodies, Boeing hopes to close the gap here at the show this week. The rival A320neo has drawn firm orders for more than 1,400 aircraft, while the tally for the 737 MAX now stands at 549.
Calling the deal “a natural follow-on” for its existing com-mitment for 78 Boeing 737-800s, ALC chairman Steven Udvar-Hazy expressed satisfaction with the improvements Boeing has made to the MAX over the past few months after the ALC chairman issued a rather neg-ative assessment of the air-plane’s features during a finance
conference in the U.S. in March. “Boeing and CFM have
really worked hard in the last six months to change the orig-inal design concept,” he said. “A number of things evolved. First of all, the [CFM Leap-1B] engine on the airplane is no longer the same engine that’s on the A320 family for the neo. This is an engine that’s been customized and optimized for the 737 MAX…its core, fan diameter and the whole instal-lation is significantly better than we saw in the early part of this year.”
Udvar-Hazy also mentioned the aerodynamic changes, specif-ically in the wing-tip configura-tion, the aft part of the fuselage and the tail section, to reduce drag and improve fuel efficiency.
Also a customer for the A320neo, ALC now has covered the majority of the single-aisle market.
“Already, the 737-800 has five percent more seating capacity–maximum 189 ver-sus 180 on the A320–so that translates into further unit cost advantages for our customers,” Udvar-Hazy continued.
The leasing industry icon noted that ALC conducted an “exhaustive analysis” of the MAX and determined that the CFM Leap-1B-powered narrow-body would yield a fuel efficiency improvement of between 12- and 13 percent compared with the 737-800. Boeing recently increased its estimated fuel-burn improvement quote from 11 per-cent to 13 percent.
“Once we went into the opti-mization of that engine, that’s when things really got better,” concluded Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO Ray Conner.
The value of the engine order to CFM International is approx-imately $1.9 billion. –G.P.
Air Lease signs for 75 B737 MAXsuContinued from page 1
‘Programs Under Pressure’ report released by PWC
New research from Price Waterhouse Coopers stresses the need for a different kind of mindset to deal with the “intensity” of pressure on aero-space and defense companies to deliver across the board. The new report titled, A New Inten-sity: Programs Under Pressure, underscores the need for com-panies to excel in more than one discipline, as opposed to past approaches toward choos-ing one of three areas: solutions leadership, operational excel-lence or customer intimacy.
“Our report reveals that companies will need a different kind of program management mindset in which partnership, internationalism, inclusivity and innovation rank as highly
as the ‘getting it out the door’ approach,” said Price Water-house Coopers’ global A&D leader, Neil Hampson. “We are in an era of fierce interna-tional competition. The win-ners will need to demonstrate they can use innovation as a key competitive advantage as well as anticipate, understand and match customers’ needs.”
In all, 64 percent of senior executives surveyed for the report said innovation would prove vital to gaining a com-petitive edge, as well as deliver-ing programs more integrated with customer needs, markets and supply chains. Only 9 per-cent said they consider pro-tecting intellectual property a top priority. –G.P.
United Aircraft president Mikhail Pogosyan
When the first Boeing 737 MAXs are delivered to Air Lease Corp., they’ll be sporting this new-design winglet, as seen here at Farnborough.
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