Europe’s A400M airlifter was named Atlas, after the Greek god who carried the world on his shoulders, last Friday in a rain-soaked ceremony at the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT), RAF Fairford. The aircraft, which is the first production representative aircraft (MSN6), repositioned from Fairford to the Farnborough static park yesterday.
A specially configured Boeing 737-800 meant to test some of the airframe maker’s most promising new technologies now sits at Boeing Field in Seattle, where crews prepare to install experimental systems that could appear in service as early as 2017 on the 737 MAX.
GippsAero (Hall 1 Stand D2) is currently flight-testing its new $1.3 million GA10 turboprop single and anticipates certification by May 2013. Because so much of the GA10 is based on the current GA8 piston-powered Airvan, the Australian company’s marketing manager Mark McNamara expects an expeditious certification program using one or two aircraft. “We’re excited to have the aircraft flying and headed toward certification,” he said.
Operators of Boeing 787s powered by the latest-standard GEnx-1Bs are promised real fuel savings over similar aircraft with competing engines, according to engine maker General Electric. The powerplants also will be more durable and remain “on wing” longer if equipped with two performance improvement packages: PIPs I and II.
Airbus could withdraw from a commitment to increase A330 production to 11 aircraft per month in two years’ time, if there is no change to the European Union (EU) emissions trading scheme (ETS), according to programs executive vice president Tom Williams.
Open-sea testing of the new Indian Navy aircraft carrier Vikramaditya and her primary weapons, in the form of MiG-29K/KUB deck fighters, means that the MiGs won’t be making appearance here at the 2012 Farnborough International Airshow. The ship has been bought from Russia to replace the former British-built HMS Hermes, which India acquired in 1986 and renamed Viraat.
Thailand has signed a letter of offer and acceptance covering two Sikorsky UH-60M Black Hawk tactical transport helicopters. They are being acquired through U.S. Foreign Military Sales channels and, after delivery to the Royal Thai Army, will be the first examples of this new generation of Black Hawk operating in Southeast Asia.
Hamilton Sundstrand has ramped up its operations and supply chain to support Boeing 787 production, the company announced here on the eve of the show. It has already delivered some 85 shipsets. The 787 contains nine major Hamilton Sundstrand systems, one of them being the electric starter/generators. They start the engines and provide a total 1.5 megawatts–five times the electric power on a Boeing 767.
In addition, Hamilton Sundstrand’s network of field representatives and customer response center is now providing support to 787 operators.
Few expected CFM International to match its record sales campaign of 2011 this year, but after his company sold 900 engines through the first six months of 2012, one might excuse company chief executive Jean-Paul Ebanga for a moment to allow him to catch his breath.
Norwegian Air Shuttle has selected Messier-Bugatti-Dowty wheels and electric brakes for its new Boeing 787s, the equipment manufacturer announced here at the show. Deliveries of the new airliner are scheduled to begin in 2013. The Safran company’s electric brakes have been designed to reduce weight while improving service availability, simplifying maintenance and increasing durability.