A big part of making the JSF affordable is the production plan. Managers from BAE Systems and Northrop Grumman discussed here Monday how they have adopted ‘lean manufacturing’ processes and philosophies from the automotive industry. With the production rate planned to reach one per working day (e.g., about 260 per year) in 2012, there is plenty of scope for adopting the techniques of mass production.
News and issues concerning aerospace companies, including formations, acquisitions, mergers and financials; and announcements of significant aircraft sales, delivery statistics and personnel appointments.
A new set of technology-sharing memoranda of understanding are to be negotiated between the U.S. government and the eight partner nations in the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program, Aviation International News has learned.
Eurocopter yesterday reported orders here at Le Bourget for EC 225 and EC 155 B1 rotorcraft from Bristow Helicopters and, in a separate contract, for EC 135s from Era Helicopters. UK-based Bristow took delivery of one EC 225 at Eurocopter’s static display. Eurocopter president and CEO Fabrice Brégier handed over of the aircraft, which is on display throughout the show.
India’s Kingfisher Airlines will place an order for Airbus A380s at the Paris Air Show today, according to officials with the carrier contacted in Mumbai yesterday. According to various Indian press reports, Kingfisher will place an order for five of the superjumbos, along with a mix of 15 other airplanes, reportedly A330s and A350s.
Offshore Logistics, the world’s largest provider of helicopter transportation services to the oil and gas industry, yesterday ordered 35 new S-76 helicopters. The contract, one of the largest helicopter orders in Stratford, Connecticut-based Sikorsky’s history, is in addition to a previously announced purchase of 12 new S-76s in 2003. The new order includes options for a further 24 S-76 aircraft.
Corsica’s CCM Airlines yesterday placed an order for six new ATR 72-500 regional twin turboprops to replace its aging fleet of ATR 72-200s. The $100 million deal further solidifies a partnership between CCM Airlines and Air France-KLM to operate flights from the French island’s four airports to Marseille, Nice and Lyon.
Indian start-up airline Paramount Airways signed a pair of preliminary agreements yesterday to lease two 70-seat Embraer 170s and three 75-seat Embraer 175s. Under the contracts, Paramount will take the two 170s directly from Embraer “later this year.” One of six new Indian airlines scheduled to start service this year, Paramount will lease the three 175s, configured in a dual-class, 75-seat cabin layout, from GE Capital Aviation Services.
Boeing yesterday landed three major airliner deals here at Le Bourget, collectively worth up to $13.1 billion.
The new combat aircraft requirement in India is a hot topic in the chalets here this week, thanks to its size and–for Boeing and Lockheed Martin–the prospect that this country could become a customer for U.S. warplanes for the very first time. Meanwhile, Lockheed seems likely to clinch the sale of 24 new F-16C/D Block 52 fighters to India’s prospective adversary, Pakistan, later this year.
Details of Irish carrier Ryanair’s latest contract with Boeing illustrate some of the negotiable areas within such agreements. Last month, the low-cost carrier completed its fourth 737-800 order in seven years under aggressive plans that predict fleet growth from 82 such aircraft to 225 by March 31, 2012. By then, Ryanair expects to carry 70 million passengers annually, compared with 34 million in the current year.