A series of new order announcements involving no fewer than three major civil airframe makers signaled the end of a late-summer sales lull on Wednesday, as airlines went on a new buying spree reminiscent of July’s Farnborough airshow. The value of the day’s orders totaled some $7.45 billion at list prices and involved 86 airplanes ranging in size from the Embraer E175 regional jet to the Boeing 787-9 widebody.
News and issues concerning aerospace companies, including formations, acquisitions, mergers and financials; and announcements of significant aircraft sales, delivery statistics and personnel appointments.
The U.S. Congress moved closer to voting on “stopgap” funding legislation that includes a controversial provision to temporarily extend the charter of the Export-Import Bank, which helps finance exports of American-made products, including airplanes and helicopters.
With a clear mandate from India’s 100-day-old government to make aerospace manufacturing a focus area for domestic and export markets, there is renewed interest by manufacturers to be in the forefront. This was clear at a recent conference the Center for Air Power Studies and the Confederation of Indian Industry held in New Delhi.
Embraer officially opened a 75,000-sq-ft Engineering & Technology Center yesterday at its growing campus in Melbourne, Fla. The facility will conduct engineering and development activities for both products and technology across Embraer’s business lines–airliners, executive aviation, defense and aerospace–with the first assignments focused primarily on executive jet interiors. It is the first of its kind for Embraer outside Brazil, where the company is headquartered.
A Pentagon “quality assurance assessment” of Raytheon’s exoatmospheric kill vehicle (EKV), part of the Ground-Based Midcourse Defense (GMD) System, identified 48 “nonconformances” that could affect the reliability of the system, which is designed to destroy ballistic missiles in flight. Raytheon and partner Boeing said they have already addressed most of the issues.
Boeing finally answered Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary’s call for a higher-capacity 737 Max 8 with last Monday morning’s official launch of the 737 Max 200 and, in the process, won a commitment for as many as 200 airplanes. The commitment calls for a firm order for 100 airplanes and options for another 100, together worth as much as $22 billion.
The second Bombardier CSeries CS100 flight-test vehicle returned to the air on September 7 after more than a three-month hiatus. FTV2 took off at 6:10 p.m.
As more aircraft equip with ADS-B out capability, which broadcasts position, velocity, altitude and other information in unencrypted formats on easily received frequencies, business aircraft operators are concerned about whether they can continue blocking their aircraft from display on flight-tracking websites.
Two manufacturers shared the spoils of Japan Airlines’ major commitment announced last week covering a total of 47 regional jets. But the potentially bigger and undoubtedly more desperate winner proved to be Mitsubishi, the upstart regional jet manufacturer whose orderbook now shows memoranda of understanding, tentative agreements and firm orders from six customers.
Manufacturers saw a better than 12-percent jump in first-half business jet deliveries year over year, with 318 handed over during the first six months of this year, according to statistics released by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA). Much of this increase was fueled by Cessna, which delivered 71 jets in the first half of the year, a 36.5-percent rise over the same period last year. Though the company saw decreases in most of its other models, its totals were buoyed by recent certifications of the Citation M2, Sovereign+ and X+.
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