Germany’s Federal Ministry of Defense (MoD) as a cost-cutting measure will not buy four production models of the RQ-4E Euro Hawk unmanned aircraft system as planned. The MoD’s decision to stop the program after acquiring one demonstrator aircraft was disclosed earlier this week. During a parliamentary debate, Defense Minister Thomas de Maiziere said of the decision: “We prefer to pull the plug.
Beechcraft, which recently emerged from bankruptcy protection and is now focused on its piston and turboprop products, expects to sell its mothballed jet division in the coming months. According to CEO Bill Boisture, the company has already completed disposition of its remaining inventory of approximately 20 new and pre-owned Hawker 4000 and Premier IA jets, a move he said went “better than planned,” though he declined to offer details about the revenue derived from their sale.
The FAA presented Embraer Executive Jets with a production certificate to assemble the Phenom 300 at its Melbourne, Fla. facility yesterday. Embraer has delivered three U.S.-assembled Phenom 300s since the first one came off the line in March. The Phenom 300s are assembled on the same production line as Phenom 100s, which have been coming off the line at the Florida plant since December 2011. Embraer’s light jets are now being assembled in Florida at a rate of three aircraft per month, less than half of the full capacity of eight a month.
In the first quarter of 2013, revenue at Eurocopter fell by 13 percent, to €1.04 billion ($1.35 billion), with deliveries of 58 helicopters during the three-month period. Parent company EADS attributed the downward performance to the ongoing “technical problems with the Super Puma/EC225 fleet.” Affected have been both deliveries and the service revenue generated by helicopter operations. In the first three months, Eurocopter booked net orders for 51 helicopters, the company said.
Rockwell Collins has surpassed 250 deliveries of its Venue cabin management and entertainment system for business aircraft. Unveiled in 2007, Venue is an open-architecture design that “accommodates future technologies,” such as the company’s new Skybox solution that allows content to be shared and viewed on Apple devices inside the cabin. According to Collins, Venue can easily be scaled for business aircraft ranging from King Airs to bizliners.
An announcement made this week by cabin equipment manufacturer Vision Systems hints that Eurocopter will unveil a VIP variant of the EC175 medium twin at EBACE, which opens on Tuesday in Geneva. Vision Systems said it provided a Wi-Fi network, a tablet application, ceiling displays for movies and electronically dimming windows–all integrated in a cabin management system–for the EC175 that will be displayed at Eurocopter’s EBACE booth.
Business aircraft activity in the U.S. fell for the third consecutive month, with flying hours down slightly–by 0.4 percent–year-over-year last month, according to TraqPak data released on Friday by aviation services company Argus. As has been the trend for much of this year, Part 135 was the only operational category to experience a gain in flying activity, increasing 10.5 percent from a year ago and marking its seventh consecutive monthly increase. Part 91 activity was down 3.2 percent year-over-year, while fractional flying dropped by 10.6 percent, the Argus data shows.
Alenia Aermacchi said operational M-346 advanced jet trainers were grounded as a precaution following the May 11 crash of a company-owned prototype in northern Italy. It was the second crash of an M-346 pre-production aircraft; the first jet crashed off the coast of Dubai in November 2011 after appearing at the Dubai Air Show.
The first production iteration of the Bombardier Learjet 75 will make its debut next week at EBACE, one year after the company announced the Learjet 70 and 75–upgraded versions of the Learjet 40 and 45, respectively–at EBACE 2012. “This debut of the Learjet 75 marks another exciting year of innovation and we look forward to delivering the first one in the fourth quarter,” said Bombardier Business Aircraft president Steve Ridolfi. The Canadian aircraft manufacturer will also have a Challenger 300, Challenger 605 and Global 6000 on display alongside the new Learjet.
The FAA adopted an airworthiness directive for Eurocopter Deutschland MBB-Kawasaki BK117C2 helicopters requiring inspection of the long tail-rotor drive shaft assembly for blind rivets. If any blind rivets are located, the shaft assembly must be replaced. The AD was prompted by the discovery that some helicopters have blind rivets installed in place of solid rivets, which could lead to failure of the tail rotor drive shaft and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter.