Lockheed Martin yesterday unveiled a new version of the evergreen F-16 Fighting Falcon designated the F-16V. The new moniker is derived from the fighter’s long-standing unofficial nickname: Viper. It will apply to existing aircraft that are upgraded with AESA radars, and new builds. The F-16V will also include a new mission computer and cockpit display.
Liebherr-Aerospace is to provide the landing gear and air management system for China’s Comac C919 airliner, the Franco-German equipment manufacturer announced on Wednesday. Under the contract signed at the Singapore Airshow with the Shanghai-based airframer, Liebherr’s Lindenberg, Germany, site will develop, supply and service the landing gear. For development and production, it has formed a joint venture with Avic subsidiary Landing-Gear Advanced Manufacturing Co., based in Changsha, province of Hunan.
Airbus CEO and EADS boss-in-waiting Tom Enders said at the show yesterday that the Asia Pacific accounted for half of Airbus’s order intake in 2011. Enders was delivering an exceptionally optimistic outlook for the region during the company’s opening Singapore Airshow press conference.
Weak airline profits are increasing pricing pressure on the maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) market. That’s a big challenge–but by no means the only one–facing MRO providers in 2012, the Year of the Dragon, according to Lufthansa Technik chairman August Henningsen. “We’re happy we’re in a growth market, not a shrinking one,” he told a press conference in Singapore yesterday.
Raytheon has just conducted a successful trial of its Griffin B forward-launch small precision weapon. The test demonstrated the weapon’s capability to defend a forward operating base (FOB). The Griffin was fired from a fixed Wedge launcher against target coordinates more than 2.5 miles away provided by sensors mounted on a tethered aerostat, of the type that are typically raised to protect Army FOBs. The Griffin A aft-launch version is in service with the U.S. Marine Corps C-130 Harvest Hawk aircraft and the Air Force’s MC-130W Dragon Spear.
The Southern Vietnam Helicopter Corp. (VNH South) has ordered its fourth EC225 aircraft from Eurocopter Southeast Asia. The large-cabin helicopter will be used to expand the operator’s activities in support of the oil-and-gas industry.
Embraer announced at the Singapore Airshow that it has made substantial interior improvements to the Legacy 600/650 family, which will be available for aircraft produced this year. “Key to this is our effort to reduce cabin sound levels, which set a new benchmark for the Legacy 600 and 650 class of aircraft,” said Embraer Executive Jets president Ernie Edwards.
With its Trent 1000 engines finally in commercial service on the delayed Boeing 787 platform, Rolls-Royce is stepping up efforts to advance further applications of the powerplant. It has started development of the Trent 1000C1 engine, also known as Pac C, that will be able to manage higher loads necessitated by the -9 aircraft’s changed wing and thrust profiles. “It delivers 74,000 pounds of thrust at economic performance levels,” reported Trent 1000 project manager Simon Carlisle in a pre-show briefing.
Korean Air has selected the Pratt & Whitney PW4170 Advantage70 engine to power five new Airbus A330-200s. Valued at some $200 million, the firm deal covers 10 engines.
Pratt & Whitney offers the Advantage70 as both a new engine and as an upgrade kit for existing PW4168 engines. The upgrade includes a suite of technology enhancements Pratt & Whitney can incorporate during engine overhauls, and promises a 2-percent thrust increase, more than 1-percent reduction in fuel burn, increased durability and lower maintenance costs.
GE Aviation is to expand its manufacturing and R&D capacity in the U.S. with three new facilities to open by 2013, the company announced Tuesday. It expects its production rates to grow from 3,000 commercial and military engine deliveries in 2011 to 3,400 deliveries in 2012 and 3,800 deliveries in 2013, requiring $580 million in plant, equipment and tooling during the 2011-2012 time frame across its network of 55 U.S. operations.