While Boeing and Northrop Grumman/EADS prepare to lock horns again for the U.S. tanker replacement program, one might be forgiven for thinking that there were only two sources for modern jet tankers. IAI’s Bedek Aviation Group would certainly disagree.
Paris Air Show » June 18, 2009
Battle lines were drawn here this week for round three of the Great Tanker War. Conflict is likely to break out next month, when the Pentagon is expected to issue a new draft request for proposals (RFP) for the KC-X program. Boeing said that it may now offer a tanker version of the 777.
GE Aviation and NASA are to ground test five sets of new subscale blades for open-rotor engines at NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio. The tests will focus on acoustics and efficiency of a two-stage counter-rotating fan. The two partners have high expectations that new analysis tools will add to their understanding of the fan’s aerodynamics.
Ruag Aerospace and Saab Avitronics are launching a low-cost protection system for helicopters that can be rapidly installed to provide a range of protective features on a per-mission basis. The plug-on device (POD) is an integrated, self-contained unit offering high levels of protection against man-portable and other low-level missile threats.
Tarmac Aerosave–an Airbus joint venture with waste treatment specialist Sita, engine maker Snecma, engineering firm Aeroconseil, maintenance company Equip’Aero and spare parts specialist TASC Aviation–has begun aircraft dismantling operations in Tarbes, southwest France. In February, Tarmac moved into its new 97,000-sq-ft facilities, which include a hangar able to house an A380 and storage areas for up to 20 aircraft.
Managing aircraft programs is a complex process that should not be underestimated. This is one of the clearest messages to have emerged in recent years and is evidenced when one considers the 787 supplier issues, A380 wiring problems and A400M delays. It costs the industry vast sums of time and money.
New private jet fractional ownership partner Jet Republic yesterday joined Bombardier Aerospace’s Offset Program for its initial fleet of 25 Learjet 60XRs that are set to be delivered over the next two years, starting in October. Jet Republic could eventually take delivery of up to 110 Learjet 60XRs if it exercises all of its options.
Hermes 90, the latest member of Elbit’s UAV family, is on show here at Paris for the first time. Its appearance comes shortly after the creation of a joint venture between the Israeli company and General Dynamics to promote the sale of unmanned air systems into the U.S., which Elbit now considers a “home” market.
Engine consortium Europrop International (EPI) is now just 300 test hours away from certification of its 11,000-shp TP400 turboprop for the Airbus A400M military transport. According to technical director Karsten Muehlenfeld, the final software of the full authority digital engine control (Fadec) is to be delivered to the Toulouse iron bird late this month, allowing flight trials to at last begin.
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