While praising the efforts of his predecessor, Bell Helicopter’s freshly appointed CEO has been offering his own vision of the future for the beleaguered rotorcraft giant. What emerges is a daring strategy that essentially bets the company on the success of the embattled V-22 Osprey military tiltrotor and, later, the BA609 civil tiltrotor programs.
Aviation International News » August 2003
Mere months after a corporate shakeup rocked Enstrom Helicopter to the roots of its mahogany row, the Menominee, Mich.-based rotorcraft manufacturer celebrated the largest single-customer sale in its 44-year history. Making the marketers dance was news of the sale of no fewer than 18 Enstrom 480Bs to the Indonesian National Police. The 480B is a turbine powered by a single Rolls-Royce 250-C20W.
Shanghai-based investment group D’Long in late June confirmed it has signed a contract for the rights to the suspended Fairchild Dornier 728 program, but an eventual relaunch of the 76-seat jet remains far from certain. According to J.
M7 Aerospace, the company that took control of the U.S. assets of Fairchild Dornier some four months ago, has seen a steady flow of Fairchild Metroliner repair and overhaul work since the FAA granted its repair station certification for the type on June 3. But, as CEO Harold “Mac” Williams related, the company’s aspirations extend far beyond offering support for the 700 or so Metros flying around the world.
A growing order book for the 52-seat Antonov An-140 turboprop has stimulated engineers at Ukraine’s Antonov design house and the Kharkov manufacturing plant (KhGAPP) to accelerate work on the An-148, a new 70- to 80-seat regional jet scheduled for first deliveries in early 2005.
AVPK Sukhoi’s ambition to use U.S.-built avionics on the Russian Regional Jet appear dashed due to an apparent lack of interest on the part of both Honeywell and Rockwell Collins. Honeywell, developer of the Primus Epic avionics software implicated in the certification delay of the Embraer 170, simply failed to respond to Sukhoi’s request for proposals, according to the Russian company.
Now that the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate have passed their respective FAA funding bills for FY2004, it’s anyone’s guess when the conference committee charged with hammering out a compromise reaches a consensus.
Mike Ambrose, director general of the European Regions Airline Association (ERA), slammed the European Commission last month for a failure to apply basic business-like practices when drafting legislative proposals, resulting in an environment that costs the European airline industry billions of euros, according to the ERA.
Australian flag-carrier Qantas last month announced it would enlist its wholly owned regional subsidiary, QantasLink, for a large-scale expansion along the country’s eastern seaboard in response from stronger demand from regional points in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland.
United Airlines completed a series of moves last month that signaled not only its intention to embark on a large-scale expansion of its regional network, but perhaps a willingness to play “hard ball” with its long-time United Express affiliate, Sterling, Va.-based Atlantic Coast Airlines.