Having passed responsibility for an engine for the planned Bombardier C Series 110- to 149-seat jetliner to its U.S. parent, Pratt & Whitney Canada (P&WC) says time devoted to the exercise has not been wasted. Rather, it is contributing to work on a 10,000- to 14,000-pound-thrust design–dubbed X10–aimed at a future generation of large business and corporate jets.
Paris Air Show » June 19, 2007
In Dubai, the temperature never gets anywhere close to freezing but that hasn’t stopped the Arabian Gulf state from building an artificial ski slope. As the emirate has sought to re-invent itself as a center for tourism and commerce to ensure its economic future as oil revenues dwindle, projects like this have earned it a reputation for money-no-object spending. So why shouldn’t it add an aerospace industry to its wish list?
By all indications, the era of the “more electric” airplane suits Hamilton Sundstrand and its president, Dave Hess. Supplier of the entire primary power generation and virtually all of the power distribution on the Boeing 787 airliner, the Windsor Locks, Connecticut-based division of United Technologies (UTC) expects to generate $15 billion in revenue over the life of that one program.
Russia’s largest automotive manufacturer, AutoVAZ, known in Western Europe for its Lada and Niva cars, is working on a new series of rotary-piston engines for aviation applications. Here at Le Bourget, the Russia’s Rosoboronexport defense export agency, which took control of the AutoVAZ two years ago, promotes the company’s products. Its main priority is the 270-hp VAZ-4265 engine that powers Kazan Helicopter’s three-seat Aktai 3.
GKN Aerospace is working toward out-of-autoclave processing of carbon-epoxy laminated structures upward of 23 feet long and 275 pounds in weight and has already manufactured components up to 8.2 feet long and weighing 175 pounds in an R&D environment.
Bombardier has assembly plants in Wichita, Toronto and Montreal and manufacturing plants in Montreal, Belfast in the UK, and Querétaro in Mexico. But Pierre Beaudoin, Bombardier president and chief operating officer, dismisses the notion that manufacturing in high-cost economies is an anachronism.
Bombardier Aerospace is responding to demand for bigger regional jets with its 100-seat CRJ1000 and continues to mull a 90-seat stretch of its Q400 turboprop. Regional airlines are thriving, but constant pressure on operating costs means their equipment is getting steadily bigger, the company’s top executives agreed at a pre-show briefing in Belfast last month.
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