Apple’s product strategy serves to describe the similarities between the high-end P-8 Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft the U.S. Navy uses and the new, smaller maritime surveillance aircraft (MSA) being developed for international customers, according to Boeing Defense. Both aircraft are on display here at the Farnborough International Airshow this week.
Thales Optronique (Hall 4 Innovation Zone A1) unveiled its successor to the Damoclès targeting pod on the eve of the Farnborough show. The new sensor system, called “Talios,” should be ready in time for deployment on a major new operational standard of the Dassault Rafale multi-role fighter that is due to enter service in 2018. A new-generation targeting pod, known as PDL-NG, has been one of the key elements associated with the Rafale’s F3R upgrade standard. Development of PDL-NG started in 2009, with approval to proceed affirmed in January 2013.
The U.S. Air Force announced that it released a request for proposals (RFP) to industry on July 9 for its new Long Range Strike Bomber (LRS-B) program to develop the next generation heavy bomber. The service said it expects to make a contract award next spring.
Detailed requirements for the bomber are classified and in a press release the Air Force described the platform in generalities. It nevertheless designated the LRS-B as a top priority, along with the F-35A Joint Strike Fighter and KC-46A tanker.
Airbus Helicopters will lead the design of a compound rotorcraft demonstrator dubbed “LifeRCraft” (Low Impact Fast & Efficient RotorCraft) as part of Europe’s Clean Sky 2 Joint Technology Initiative, which was formally launched last week in Brussels. Preliminary studies, architecture and specification activity will start this year, with development and testing of components and subsystems envisioned in the 2016-2018 timeframe. Flight evaluations could start in early 2019.
Cirrus Aircraft launched a parts and aftermarket service program, called Cirrus Direct, that replaces API’s Cirrus Parts program. The company believes the new service will enhance the ownership and operating experience for its customers.
When Daher-Socata of Tarbes, France, embarked on developing the TBM 900 single-engine turboprop as an update of the TBM 850), it took the opportunity to restore some of the sports-car swagger of the TBM 700, progenitor of the TBM turboprop line.
When Gulfstream Aerospace of Savannah, Ga., unveiled the G650ER at EBACE, the company focused on the aircraft’s extended range of 7,500 nm, which makes it the world’s longest-range business jet (not including private airliners).
Performance gains over the predecessor Avanti II attracted much of the attention when Italy’s Piaggio Aero introduced the Avanti Evo at EBACE, but the distinctive twin turboprop also sports a totally new interior. New seats from Iacobucci HF, new lighting and air conditioning system and a finish provided by luxury outfitters Poltron Frau help enhance the passenger experience.
Sparkle Roll Jet chairman Ji Zingzhuo (left) celebrated delivery here at Farnborough of the first P.180 Avanti II Extended Range twin-turboprop with Carlo Logli, CEO of Piaggio Aero.
Tactair Fluid Controls (Hall 2 Stand B1) announced here at the Farnborough Airshow a new contract from Embraer and its appointment of an authorized repair provider to service its fluid power and motion control products and systems in Europe, Africa and the Middle East.