The latest variant of Agusta Westland’s AW101 medium-lift helicopter is appearing at the Paris Air Show for the first time here this week, raising the new variant’s international profile and helping the manufacturer promote new business with the likes of Fittipaldi Aircraft, a joint venture between car racing legend Emerson Fittipaldi and investment bank State Capital.
Paris Air Show » June 15, 2009
Saft has been selected to supply batteries for both China’s AVIC ARJ21 regional jet and its Russian competitor, the Sukhoi Superjet. The company is already set to provide the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II with batteries for the low-rate initial production phase.
Never forgetting who it is working for, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics has stepped up a gear in its mission to reduce the costs of operating aging aircraft and weapons systems, as countries strive to cope with deflating economies. Its solution is what it calls global sustainment.
Korean Air has selected Pratt & Whitney’s PW4170 Advantage70 engine to power six new Airbus A330s it has on order. The contract, valued at some $300 million, includes two spare turbofans. Korean Air in February placed a new firm order with Airbus for six more A330-200s, the first for the new 238-metric-ton increased takeoff weight version of the twin-engine widebody, offering an extended flying range of up to 7,200 nm.
Piaggio has received three firm orders for the P.180 Avanti II twin turboprop–two from the United Arab Emirates military and another from Susi Air in Indonesia. The UAE air force will use its Avanti IIs for transportation of specialized staff and medical evacuation. An ambulance kit enables quick reconfiguration. The aircraft come with a complete integrated logistics support package, including training for pilots and maintenance technicians.
Safran and General Electric are stepping up activities at their newly formed nacelle joint venture with the appointment of Steve Walters as president. The Cincinnati-based alliance between Safran subsidiary Aircelle and GE’s Middle River Aircraft Systems business was launched in December 2008.
There is an upside to the decline in airliner orders, according to Airbus CEO Thomas Enders. “Airlines don’t like waiting seven years for delivery,” he explained at an EADS press conference in Paris on Saturday.
Lockheed Martin can deliver C-130J military transports to the nations affected by the A400M debacle within 36 months, on a sale or lease basis. Longer-term, LM continues to study an “Extra Large” version of the C-130 that could offer the same fuselage cross section as the European airlifter.
This week’s historic Paris Air Show may yet deliver its usual share of surprises, but one apparent certainty is that very few of the exhibitors are likely to go home richer off the back of new orders announced here at Le Bourget. That certainly seems to be true of the commercial air transport sector, but there is some prospect of two important deals being sealed on the military side.
Defense ministers from the seven A400M partner nations are heading for Seville next week for a crucial meeting with the EADS and Airbus leadership. French Defense Minister Herve Morin urged the airframer to be “transparent and precise” about the extent of delays to the troubled European airlifter.