A 16-percent operating cost improvement sounds like a formidable hurdle for any aircraft program, but even more so for one at its outset seen as a low-risk grab at a piece of a target market Boeing itself had dismissed as modest at best. But the 747-8 benefits from one thing that most other programs in the past haven’t–a new engine on which a much more expensive proposition rests in the 787 Dreamliner.
Paris Air Show » June 18, 2007
The U.S. military is preparing to deploy a small number of unmanned “micro air vehicles” in Iraq in an effort to stem the damage caused by roadside bombs.
Built by Honeywell using ducted-fan technology, each MAV is small enough to fit in a backpack and can be used by soldiers with minimal training. It normally flies between 10 and 500 feet and relays video back to a handheld terminal.
By the time the U.S. Air Force took delivery of its 120th Predator unmanned air vehicle, nearly half of them (56) had been destroyed–some to enemy fire, but most to accidents. No pilots were harmed in the making of this statistic, of course. But at $4 million per Predator, that’s $224 million, a cost that cannot be ignored. And other UAVs have had similar problems.
Some three weeks after closing negotiations to buy defense logistics contractor Dimensions International, Honeywell Defense and Space president Ed Wheeler prepared to travel to Paris “feeling good” about the company’s position, notwithstanding the tumultuous political environment in the U.S. “We don’t expect to see great upsets in budgets and whatnot, certainly not as long as troops are in harm’s way,” Wheeler said.
Boeing has awarded Goodyear Tire & Rubber, the world’s largest supplier of aircraft tires, a six-year contract to provide Flight Leader and Flight Radial tires for 737NG aircraft. The “unique body cord shape” of the reduced-weight units is said to minimize stress on takeoff and landing. The tires will equip aircraft to be delivered to operators such as All Nippon, Continental, Ryanair and Southwest.
Flight-testing of the Boeing 787 electro-thermal wing ice-protection system, jointly devised by Boeing, GKN Aerospace and Ultra Electronics, is to begin following completion of ground trials in the Boeing research aircraft-icing tunnel. Used for the first time in a U.S.
Dubai-based carrier Emirates has selected Goodrich electronic flight bags (EFBs) for its entire fleet of Boeing 747s and 777s and Airbus A310s, A330s and A340s. The system includes EFB software, two touch-screen displays and two laptop-docking stations. Goodrich will provide system supplemental type certification (STC) for each aircraft type. Deliveries are expected to begin after receiving the STC, which is expected later this year.
German-based MTU Aero Engines is to build a new low-pressure turbine factory in Rzeszów, southeast Poland. MTU Aero Engines Polska will develop and produce rotor and stator blades for low-pressure turbines as well as assemble those turbines. It will also repair parts. Construction will start this fall and will launch production early in 2009. MTU will invest €50 million ($65 million) over three years.
To help pilots and controllers meet new ICAO language proficiency requirements taking effect next March, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University has introduced an aviation English program at its main campus in Daytona Beach, Florida. The course involves Web-based and classroom instruction developed by Embry-Riddle and partner Aviation English Services of New Zealand.
AgustaWestland has won a contract from the UK government’s cabinet office to supply resilience training. These services will be provided as part of the Project Gold Standard, which aims at effective management of emergencies and disasters. AgustaWestland will teach strategic Gold commanders using courses, simulation and exercises. The first Gold Standard Exercise is pegged for June 25.