Farnborough 2002 Report

Aviation International News » September 2002
May 5, 2008, 12:13 PM

If a major international airshow can be accepted as an accurate snapshot of the prevailing condition of the world’s aerospace and defense industries, then the picture presented by Farnborough 2002 (held July 22 to 28) clearly showed both as having seen better days. That said, the sell-out event’s 1,200 exhibitors also gave the strong impression that they expect a rosier future, albeit after one or two more years of market stagnation.

Part of the snapshot was the $9 billion worth of business that was announced during the show, according to its organizer, the Society of British Aerospace Companies (SBAC). But this was only 17 percent of the staggering $52 billion figure heralded at the previous event two years ago.

Nonetheless, there was not a vacant booth to be found on the massive site at Farnborough Airport and more than 150,000 people passed through the gates on the show’s five trade days alone, followed by another 100,000 punters during the public weekend. These attendance figures were down almost 20 percent from the totals in 2000, when around 170,000 trade visitors were received, in addition to 130,000 on the public days.

Not everyone takes airshow statistics very seriously. Boeing, for example, pointedly prefaced its appearance at Farnborough by announcing that it did not expect to announce any orders that week, unless at the express request of a customer. It repeated its accusation that rival Airbus contrives to announce major orders on the airshow circuit by stockpiling contracts and repackaging previously disclosed business.

So what happened on the first day of Farnborough 2002? Both Boeing and Airbus announced orders from Dutch flag carrier KLM, starting with up to $900 million worth of business covering 24 A330-200s and a $344 million deal for a pair of Boeing’s 777-200ERs. KLM executives told AIN that the timing of the announcements had been at the behest of the airframers and merely firmed up previously discussed fleet replacement plans.

Another plank in Boeing’s new Puritanism vis a vis airshows was its decision not to bring any current production aircraft to Farnborough this year.

According to the U.S. manufacturer’s marketing v-p Randy Baseler, this was out of a desire to demonstrate to its airline customers that it is taking their current economic plight seriously. “We want them to know we are working hard to deliver their airplanes on time,” he stated. “That fact precluded us from bringing aircraft to Farnborough. It wasn’t an easy decision to make.”

Boeing chairman and CEO Phil Condit was somewhat blunter: “We had to ask ourselves, is there value in bringing a lot of airplanes to an airshow? The answer is no.”

Nonetheless, Boeing did bring a 737-400 decked out with a full array of its Connexion satellite Internet products. Its military product range was also very visible in the shape of the C-17 super-large troop-carrier, the F/A-18F Super Hornet and the F-15.

Evidently, Airbus still sees plenty of value in bringing airliners to airshows, displaying both its new A340-500 widebody, the A330-200, the A318 and the Airbus Corporate Jetliner. It also teamed up with the airline industry’s ultimate showman, Sir Richard Branson of Virgin Atlantic Airways, to showcase the new A340-600, which has just entered commercial service with the UK-based carrier.

Branson started the first day of the show cavorting with supermodel Claudia Schiffer at London Heathrow Airport (where the first A340-600 was named Claudia Nine in her honor). At an Airbus press conference later that day, the Virgin chairman confirmed that he has opted for larger, four-engine jetliners such as the A340 and A380 in preference to Boeing’s proposed high-speed, long-range Sonic Cruiser.

For its part, Boeing confirmed that it is still trying to convince airlines that the Sonic Cruiser’s high cruise speed (around Mach 0.95) will provide sufficient value. Project manager Walt Gillette said that product definition for the Sonic Cruiser is currently changing about every six weeks and that this will continue until the manufacturer “gets it right.” Seemingly acknowledging that the 300-seat Sonic Cruiser is not guaranteed to come to market, Boeing Commercial Airplane chief executive Alan Mulally said that the technological groundwork being done for it may yet be applied to other developments of the Boeing family–perhaps on the 757/767 side of the clan.

Regional Order Books Refilled

With the close-to-defunct Fairchild Dornier absent from Farnborough 2002, regional jet rivals Embraer and Bombardier sought to demonstrate that the sector is continuing to grow in a general climate of air transportation stagnation. Before being forced to seek bankruptcy protection, Fairchild Dornier had intended to showcase its 728 twinjet just three months after its first flight.

Indian carrier Jet Airways conferred a $260 million contract on the Brazilian manufacturer, including firm orders for 10 of its new 78- to 86-seat Embraer 175 and options for a further 10. This marked the first firm commitment for the stretched version of the 70- to 76-seat Embraer 170, which offers two extra rows of seats. Powered by the same General Electric CF38-8E engines as the 170, the fully loaded 175 has a max range of 1,850 nm, about 150 nm less than the original version of the twinjet. Deliveries are set to begin in June 2004 and continue through 2007.

Jet Airways chairman Naresh Goyal said the 175s will join its eight ATR 72 twin turboprops in serving its regional fleets. As India’s largest private domestic airline, the company’s main fleet consists of Boeing 737s. All of the new 175s will come in two-class configuration.

Embraer brought one of five 170 prototypes to Farnborough, with a sixth example expected to join the flight-test program last month en route to European Joint Aviation Authorities (JAA) certification next March. The manufacturer has started to take delivery of parts for the first series production unit and is due to start assembly of this during November. Launch customer Swiss is due to take its first delivery next April.

Embraer director of 170 and 190 programs Luis Carlos Affonso said the five prototypes have now logged in excess of 325 flight hours, confirming fuel consumption predictions and all cruise performance parameters. The 175 has now completed wind-tunnel tests and is on track to make its first flight in mid-2003. Next year’s production schedule calls for the assembly of twenty-nine 170s, two 175s and a pair of 195 model flying prototypes, in addition to two 195 airframes for static fatigue testing.

Bombardier announced a $113 million cache of new business at the Farnborough show. Atlantic Southeast of Atlanta signed for a 50-seat CRJ200 jet and a 70-seat CRJ700, while its Delta Connection sibling Comair of Cincinnati, Ohio, confirmed an order for a CRJ200. All three aircraft will be delivered in September next year.

Meanwhile, in a follow-on contract Malev Hungarian Airlines ordered two CRJ200ERs, and optioned another pair of the extended-range models. The Budapest-based carrier has previously ordered two of the 50-seaters and now holds options for a total of six more–all of which can be converted to the larger CRJ700. The first delivery is scheduled by the end of September and the aircraft will be used for regional services into the Ukraine, Romania, the Balkans and western Europe.

At Farnborough, Bombardier displayed a CRJ700 destined for Mesa Air of Phoenix (in America West code-share colors) and a Dash 8Q-400 twin turboprop (also a 70-seater) in the livery of SAS Commuter. The Canadian airframer also announced moves to expand maintenance support for both its jet and turboprop families.

On the eve of the show, it opened its new commercial service center at Mirabel near Montreal to serve as its primary support facility for out-of-production de Havilland DHC-1s through 6s, as well as Dash 7 models. There are still some 1,600 of these turboprops in commercial service today and a new technical support helpline has now been made available for their operators.

Adria Airways of Ljubljana, Slovenia, was named as the first factory-authorized CRJ heavy maintenance facility in Europe. Under a recognized service facility agreement, Adria can perform C checks on the CRJ100/200, CRJ700 and the CRJ900 series jets and can also handle modifications and upgrades on the manufacturer’s behalf. The airline took delivery of its first CRJ200 in January 1998 and now operates four of them.

Finally, Bombardier also announced a way to squeeze more range out of the new 86-seat CRJ900 twinjet through a so-called paperwork mod that allows it to operate sectors of up to 1,914 nm. The resulting CRJ900LR version boasts a max takeoff weight of 84,500 lb– 4,000 lb more than the standard CRJ900 and 2,000 lb more than the mid-range ER model. The improvement is achieved by simply reapportioning the higher takeoff weights and so expanding the aircraft’s payload-range envelope without making any physical changes.

ATR Broadens Turboprop Role

Avions de Transport Regional (ATR) came to Farnborough with a three-strong contingent of aircraft, intent on demonstrating the diverse array of applications that remain for twin-turboprop airplanes. This display consisted of an ATR 42-500, operated by Cuban carrier Aerogaviota, the first converted cargo version of the ATR 72 and a maritime patrol ATR 42 developed with Alenia Aeronautica–a sister company to the Italian-French manufacturer.

The new ATR 72 freighter features a large cargo door (71- by 116 in.) provided by Italian modification specialist Aeronavali (also part of the Alenia group). During the Farnborough show, the modification received its European JAA supplemental type certificate. The first example has since been delivered to launch operator Farnair Europe of Switzerland.

ATR’s new light freighter faced direct competition at Farnborough in the shape of the new ATP Freighter developed jointly by BAE Systems and operator West Air Sweden. The former 68-seat passenger transports are being converted with a 104- by 68-in. cargo door that allows the loading of up to eight LD3 containers. West Air has ordered a further two ATPs for its cargo operations, bringing its total of the type to 10.

At the show, ATR also announced eight new aircraft sales placed by four different customers from Europe and the Asia Pacific region. Poland’s Eurolot signed a deal for five ATR 42-500s (one of which is new and the other four pre-owned) to replace its existing ATR 42-300s and to supplement its eight ATR 72-200s. Alitalia ordered three ATR 72-500s, as did Thailand’s Bangkok Airways, while Air New Zealand placed an order for a single example of the 66-seater.

The three Alitalia aircraft will be delivered between the end of this year and next spring, giving the Italian flag carrier’s Alitalia Express division a 10-strong fleet of ATR 72-500s. Bangkok Airways has previously ordered six of the type and has so far taken delivery of three. Deliveries of the additional aircraft to Thailand will begin in the second half of next year. The additional unit for Air New Zealand will bring its ATR 72-500 fleet to nine.

During the first half of this year, ATR placed a total of 29 aircraft from its pre-owned portfolio to 15 different airlines–compared with 23 second-hand units during the whole of last year. Of these operators, eight are new ATR customers: Air Kiribati (in the Pacific Ocean); Spain’s Intermediacion and Islas Airways; Solenta of South Africa; Air Wales of the UK; Ireland’s Aer Arann; and Air Minas of Brazil.

In the same market niche, Saab Aircraft Leasing announced the following three deals at Farnborough: Scotland’s Loganair is leasing two more Saab 340 twin turboprops; Jet Air of France has added a pair of Saab 2000s; and German operator Ostfriesische Lufttransport is taking a Saab 2000 to replace a Dornier 328 on a corporate shuttle contract.

Russian RJ Still in the Cards

Boeing’s confirmation that it intends to continue its participation in joint working groups with Sukhoi Civil Aircraft and Ilyushin boosted prospects for the so-called Russian Regional Jet (RRJ). The second phase of the program’s feasibility study is now complete and product definition is expected to be achieved before year-end. The goal is to achieve a formal program launch by the middle of next year, at which point a partner will be chosen to handle final assembly of the aircraft.

The joint working group has identified international and domestic demand for an RRJ family of about 650 aircraft through 2020. More immediately, Russian and Commonwealth of Independent States carriers are expected to order around 150 of the aircraft through 2010.

Meanwhile, Pratt & Whitney Canada’s PW800 and Snecma’s SM146 engines have been shortlisted as powerplant contenders for the RRJ, beating out competition from the Rolls-Royce BR710 and the General Electric CF34. P&WC, which is partnered with Russia’s JSC Aviadvigatel for the program, has just started tests on a second PW800 demonstrator and had the first engine on show at Farnborough. Snecma is teamed with Russia’s NPO Saturn engine maker.

Ukraine’s Antonov was touting its rival design for a 40- to 100-seat regional jet family, designated the An-148. The basic version would offer range of up to 1,500 nm. Also envisioned from the same family are a extended-range version (2,200 nm) with the same payload, a 40-seater with 3,800 nm range and a long-range (6,000 nm) executive jet.

According to the manufacturer, it has just begun production on the first An-148 prototype and intends to begin test flights next year with a view to achieving certification in 2004. Its partners for the program are engine maker Motor Sich and the Ulan-Ude and Kharkov production companies.

Antonov also showed its 50-seat An-140 twin turboprop in the daily Farnborough flying display. The aircraft was the first of two to be delivered to Odessa Airlines, with Ukrainian carriers Donetsk Aviation and Kharkov Airlines each set to receive an aircraft by the end of this month.

More intriguingly, Russia’s Irkut company showcased a three-aisle 106-seat regional jet model at Farnborough. Project 111 promises markedly higher levels of passenger comfort than are available on existing regional jet designs.

Irkut, which is now looking for funding and partners to progress the project, is promising prospective operators a 90-min quick change capability between passenger and freight operations. With a full payload, the 111 has a range of 1,728 nm and reducing the passenger count to 50 increases this to 3,510 nm. As a platform for an executive aircraft, the 111 offers 753 sq ft of floor space for conversion.

The 111 twinjet’s 23.6-ft-wide fuselage has been aerodynamically shaped to contribute to lift, while a V-shaped tail formed by a pair of fins mounted at a 40-deg angle has upper sections acting as elevators and lower sections serving as rudders. Proposed cruise speed is Mach 0.8. The model on show at Farnborough showed a swept wing with underslung engines, although details about the engines were not yet available.

The B-N Group–the UK’s only remaining commercial aircraft manufacturer–announced the signing of a contract with its Romanian partner Romaero to build an additional 24 of its Islander commuter/utility aircraft. The company (formerly known as Britten-Norman) has emerged from receivership under the new ownership of Oman’s Zawawi family and is now studying the prospects for putting its three-engined Trislander 18-seater back into production.

Farnborough Stage for New Learjet Launch

Despite the NBAA Convention being six weeks away, Bombardier chose Farnborough as the stage to launch a pair of Learjet 45 follow-on products. It unveiled models of the new Model 40 and Model 45XR on the eve of the show and a day later announced the signing of a $6.8 million launch contract with Milan-based Eurojet Italia, which has ordered a Lear 40 and optioned a second.

The new arrivals in the Learjet family were far and away the biggest business aviation story at this year’s Farnborough. The Lear 40 is a truncated (25.6 in.), six-seat version of the 45. Priced at $10.42 million, $575,000 more than the 45, the 45XR has the same size fuselage but will deliver a 1,000-lb increase in mtow, enhanced hot-and-high runway and climb performance, improved Universal UNS-1E flight management system (FMS) and a new-look interior. Bombardier has also committed to providing existing Learjet 45s with the mtow boost (to 21,500 lb) at no charge, allowing the airplane to carry eight passengers with full fuel.
Bombardier confirmed that the 45 will remain part of its product line even after the 45XR and the 40 enter service by the end of next year–and so too will the 31A (on whose territory the 40 encroaches). Existing Learjet 45 operators will be able to have their aircraft upgraded to the XR spec through supplementary type certificates and Service Bulletins for $400,000 (not including new interior fittings).

The Learjet 40 has been priced at $6.75 million–some $3 million less than the 45. It will offer somewhat less range than the larger aircraft at 1,724 nm NBAA IFR due to having 110 gal less fuel capacity. There will be three fewer windows (13) and the 45’s optional APU will not be available due to c.g. considerations (AIN, August, page 1).

Besides announcing the biggest business aviation news at the show, Bombardier also had the largest bizjet fleet on the Farnborough static display line with a Global Express, a Challenger 601, a Challenger 604 and a Learjet 60, 45 and 31A.

Embraer displayed its Legacy business jet derivative of the ERJ-135 regional airliner and also took the opportunity to confirm its intention to offer a larger executive transport derived from the 70- to 110-seat Embraer 170 program. The Brazilian airframer’s president, Mauricio Botelho, said that a 40-seat corporate shuttle version of the ERJ-170 could be available by 2004, under the designation ECJ-170. With additional fuel tanks, it would offer range of up to 5,000 nm and would also need increased mtow to allow for heavier executive cabin interiors.

Dassault Aviation announced that fractional-ownership giant NetJets is to offer its Falcon 50 trijets in its European program. Over the next few months, the NetJets Europe operation will receive “two or three” of the 50s from the company’s U.S.-based fleet. If demand for these proves viable, NJE could place an order for some of its own new Falcon 50EXs next year.

The French manufacturer had a Falcon 900EX and a Falcon 2000 on static display in Farnborough. Dassault Falcon Jet president John Rosanvallon told AIN that so far current-year sales have exceeded expectations and so have obviated the case for cutting production rates for its business jet family from the current level of seven per month.

Generally speaking, “the number of firm orders in 2002 should be higher than that of 2001,” he predicted. Last year, Dassault received orders for 73 Falcons and it expects to deliver as many this year, followed by “slightly more than 70” in both 2003 and 2004.

Rosanvallon indicated that sales of the Falcon 2000/2000EX are starting to outstrip those of the 900/900EX and will this year account for around 50 percent of all aircraft delivered. Over the next two years, more than 40 of the 70-plus deliveries will be 2000s and 2000EXs.

Looking to Dassault’s next-generation business jet, Rosanvallon said that, “We are turning letters of intent into firm orders for our Falcon 7X at a higher pace than we initially thought. The next delivery slot available is in the second quarter of 2008.” The company is understood to have received slightly more than 40 letters of intent since it began marketing the 7X.

The focus of Gulfstream’s Farnborough campaign was more on government and special missions applications for its GIV-SP and GV-SP aircraft than on traditional corporate uses. The company already has 146 of its aircraft in service with 34 governments around the world, including 23 nations that use them as head-of-state transports.

According to Gulfstream senior v-p of government sales and marketing Buddy Sams, seven GVs will be delivered for special-mission applications this year–one in the U.S. and six as exports, including a second GV for Saudi Arabia’s government medevac operation. Sams claimed that the aircraft is well suited to emergency medical work due its potent pressurization system, which provides a cabin altitude of less than 6,000 ft at the airplane’s 51,000 ft ceiling and less than 4,000 ft at 47,000 ft.

In these times of heightened terrorist threat, Gulfstream was also promoting the certified infrared countermeasures system that is available to protect head-of-state GIVs and Vs. The tail-mounted Lockheed Martin system can detect approaching missiles and deploys countermeasures to ward them off. Gulfstream displayed a GV and a G100 at Farnborough.

Socata–exhibiting at Farnborough under the umbrella of its EADS parent–announced plans to develop a new higher-gross-weight version of its TBM 700 turboprop single and expects to get final approval for the 700C by year-end. The French company’s goal is to increase mtow from 6,579 lb to 7,250 lb, allowing for full-fuel payload to be boosted by up to 1,100 lb from the current total of 600 lb.

A company spokesman explained that the full-fuel payload has been gradually eroded with the addition of extra standard and optional equipment. TBM engineers do not intend to change either the airframe or engine for the 700C and will instead focus on fixes such as using stronger fasteners and requalifying the limits of the wing spar through static testing. Future development plans include the possible introduction of a fully integrated glass cockpit.

Inter AMI was highlighting its emergence as a completions specialist for executive and VIP versions of Russian and eastern European aircraft. It has just started work converting five Antonov An-74TK-300 jetliners for Russian flag carrier Aeroflot and this new model is to be operated as the ABJ (Advanced Business Jet). The company also offers VIP conversions of the Yakovlev Yak-40 regional jet and the Czech-built Let L-410 twin turboprop. It has a growing client base in the Commonwealth of Independent States, the Middle East and Asia.

With the July airshow now sandwiched between the fast-growing new European Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition (EBACE) and the NBAA event, Farnborough is clearly slipping as a must attend function for the business aviation community–as reflected in the fact that Cessna, Raytheon Aircraft and Boeing Business Jets stayed at home. Nonetheless, business aircraft were much in evidence at the London-area airport due to the decision to permit movements outside the hours of the flying display. This allowed TAG Aviation to showcase its major new facility at the site. Piaggio’s P.180 Avanti twin pusherprop was one of the more distinctive corporate types to arrive at the show.

AgustaWestland accounted for the only meaningful civil helicopter presence at Farnborough 2002. In addition to its impressive military presence at the show, the Anglo-Italian company featured three examples of its new AB139 twin, as well as an A109E Power and A119 Koala.

Avionics

Honeywell scored its eighth system selection for the Airbus A380 with a contract for its next-generation air data inertial reference unit (ADIRU). The unit has also been chosen for existing A330s, A340s and A320s in a contract with an estimated full service life valuation of $390 million.

The new triple-redundant ADIRU was designed for the A380 but is interchangeable with systems already installed on other Airbus models and supplies information about altitude, airspeed, air temperature, attitude and position to the flight management system. It promises reduced weight and improved reliability and performance.

In fact, Airbus customers will have a choice of ADIRU suppliers, because at
the same time the airframer also selected Northrop Grumman’s Navigation Systems Division to offer its LTN-101E inertial navigation system for the A380 and all narrow- and widebodies. The Northrop system incorporates new sensor technology that also promises significant weight, power and cost savings, as well as performance enhancements. Offering the same air data parameters as the Honeywell system, LTN-101E uses Northrop’s patented autonomous integrity monitored extrapolation algorithm, which interlaces inertial and GPS measurements to provide accurate, high-integrity aircraft position data.

At the Farnborough show Honeywell was demonstrating its new HS-600 high-speed data satcom, which has just been selected by Gulfstream for the GIV and GV. Developed jointly with Thales Avionics, the HS-600 is capable of two-way connections to the Internet at data speeds of 64 kbps–slightly faster than typical domestic modem connections. The system entered production in June and is the first to use Inmarsat’s Swift64 service.

Honeywell also announced plans to develop a new glass display for its line of air transport FMS products. The new multifunction control display unit (MCDU) should allow pilots to view video images on the FMS display–allowing them to call up satellite images, weather maps and live video. The new MCDU is due to enter production in 2004 and promises to be more reliable, lighter and more energy efficient than current models.

Meanwhile, Honeywell also announced its selection by Boeing to provide winglet lighting systems for new-generation 737-700s and -800s and for the Boeing Business Jet.

CMC Electronics reported that it has entered final negotiations with an undisclosed maker of large-cabin business jets to supply its SureSight enhanced vision system (EVS). The deal is expected to be confirmed at this month’s NBAA show. Price for SureSight has also yet to be disclosed but it is expected to cost slightly less than Kollsman’s EVS that was certified last fall on the Gulfstream V.

Max-Viz said at the show that it had just delivered the first of its new EVS-1000 systems for taxi demonstrations on board a Dassault Falcon 900EX. During the trials, the EVS image is being shown on a video display and on the FMS. Over the past year, Dassault has been evaluating the infrared device to determine size, weight and design constraints for the system, which it envisions as a tail-mounted unit on its Falcon family. The system provided for tests is primarily to be used for surface operations but Max-Viz is also developing in-flight systems that will marry its image with a head-up display.

ACSS, the joint venture between Thales and L-3 Communications, secured the first customers for its T2CAS product–a traffic alert and collision avoidance system with integrated terrain awareness and warning system. FedEx has chosen T2CAS for its fleet of Fokker F.27 turboprops and Virgin Express will have it installed on its Boeing 737s.

Goodrich announced that the JAA has granted a joint technical standard order for its new SkyWatch HP traffic collision avoidance system. The equipment is an active surveillance traffic advisory system that operates as an air-to-air or ground-to-air interrogation device. It computes the range, bearing, relative altitude and closure rate of other aircraft, allowing it to predict potential traffic conflicts. When SkyWatch detects a possible conflict, the aircraft’s existing audio system sound aural traffic alerts and visual targets appear on cockpit displays using TCAS-like symbology.

Separately, the new IceHawk ice-detection system was also on display at the Goodrich booth. It uses polarized laser light to identify areas of frozen contamination, enabling airlines to ensure that it has been removed before flight and so avoid the unnecessary use of costly glycol deicing fluids.

The sensor module is mounted on the bucket of a de-icing truck and pointed by a joystick. The operator pushes a button and within two seconds an image of the selected field of view is displayed, with areas of ice, slush, snow or frost highlighted in red and uncontaminated areas shown as green. The sensor fires 60,000 pulses of light, one for each pixel of the image and detects the ice by changes to the polarity of the light reflected from the frozen water.

Rockwell Collins announced the completion of a series of FAA evaluation flights to test automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) and cockpit display of traffic information avionics. The tests at Memphis (Tenn.) International Airport included evaluation of moving maps for airport situational awareness, as well as definition by the FAA of avionics certification requirements.

The company also reported a new contract from Qantas to provide its HGS-4000 head-up display for its fleet of 737-800s. The first retrofit installations will be completed by the end of the year, allowing the Australian carrier to fly to lower approach minimums at many type 1 airports in its network.

Separately, Rockwell Collins’ new active-matrix LCD flight displays for Boeing’s 747-400ER are expected to complete FAA certification this month. The 8- by 8-in. DU-7001 display incorporates the new vertical situation display, airport surface maps and electronic checklists. With the addition of a video card, the display will be capable of supporting advanced functionality such as synthetic vision.

Rockwell is also to take a 20-percent stake in Tenzing Communications for $10 million. The company will help Tenzing and existing shareholder Airbus to speed up the development of air/ground communications and services.

In the same marketplace, Boeing announced Japan Air Lines as the Asian launch customer for its Connexion high-speed mobile data system. The contract calls for the installation of the broadband communication service on 10 of the carrier’s long-haul jets, in addition to options for further installations.

Northwest Airlines is to start using Jeppesen’s electronic charts in ground-based functions as a first step toward full implementation of the new product. And the aeronautical data specialist’s parent Boeing is now working toward cockpit installations of electronic data displays that will be capable of integration with other avionics functions.

Korry Electronics signed an agreement to produce its KDM-340 active-matrix LCD display modules for Russian Tupolev Tu-154 and Tu-204 airliners, as well as the Ilyushin Il-62. Deliveries will begin in December and installations will be made by Korry’s Russian partner Aeropribor-Voskhod, which will be replacing the existing CRT units.

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