Characterizing the Boeing 777X program as “stable” and the 787-9 as “lighter than projected,” Boeing Commercial Airplanes vice president of airplane development Scott Fancher issued an upbeat assessment of virtually all he surveys during press briefings at the company’s Everett, Washington, facilities on Tuesday.
News and issues concerning aerospace companies, including formations, acquisitions, mergers and financials; and announcements of significant aircraft sales, delivery statistics and personnel appointments.
Airbus Group’s electric E-Fan experimental aircraft made its first public flight on Friday during an E-Aircraft Day event in Bordeaux, France. The all-composite, electric E-Fan training aircraft is an experimental technology demonstrator. Airbus Group and its partners are using the platform to perform electric and hybrid aircraft research and development. The research efforts also support the environmental protection goals of the European Commission, as outlined in its “Flightpath 2050” program.
Boeing CEO Jim McNerney seized the chance to impress upon securities analysts on Wednesday his confidence in the company’s ability to execute a smooth transition between production of the current 777 line and the 777X around the turn of the decade. Now delivering 8.3 of its flagship widebodies a month, Boeing expects some “feathering” of production once it approaches the point at which it fully integrates the 777X, said McNerney.
Deer Jet, China’s largest fleet operator, has launched its “General Aviation Equity Fund,” with the goal of increasing investment in general aviation services, such as FBOs and MROs, in China. The fund is anticipated to generate 2 billion RMB in investment capital in the first round, towards a total of 5 billion RMB. Deer Jet announced the fund here at ABACE 2014
Minsheng Financial Leasing Co. (MSFL), Asia’s largest business jet leasing firm, is climbing steeply to increase the size of it inventory even more. On perhaps one of the clearest days in ABACE memory, Minsheng confirmed yesterday that it had placed orders with both Gulfstream and Bombardier in the fourth quarter of last year.
Honeywell’s long-term investments in the Asian marketplace are paying off, according to Briand Greer, the Shanghai-based president of Asia-Pacific for aerospace. “This is a big show for us with what’s happening with business and general aviation [BGA] in the region,” he said. Key Honeywell BGA programs in China include the LTS101 engine for Avicopter’s AC311 helicopter, which was certified by the CAAC last year and represents the first new airframe for that engine in many years.
Airbus Helicopters is making its public debut in China this week for the first time since the company formerly known as Eurocopter was renamed as part of a wider restructuring that has seen other parts of its EADS parent group channel the marketing power of the Airbus brand. Airbus airliners have sold well here in the People’s Republic, but then so have the “Eurocopter” rotorcraft, which still lay a strong claim to being the market leader in China.
JSfirm.com, an online aviation-specific employment board operator, recently released the results of its fifth annual hiring trends survey. The survey not only looked back at the results from the past year, but noted some positive indications for the coming year as well. “This annual survey has proved to be accurate in past years at forecasting the hiring trends and is eagerly anticipated by the aviation industry,” said Jeff Richards, the company’s operations manager. Four hundred companies across various sectors of the industry provided the data for the survey.
Managers of foreign aerospace companies with joint-venture operations in China uniformly worry about the theft of their intellectual property, according to a Rand study issued on April 4. They believe that staying ahead of emerging Chinese competitors requires constant technological innovation, it added.