Britain’s new aircraft carrier is now afloat, but the total forecast cost of £6.1 billion ($10.4 billion) still threatens to sink other defense projects in the UK. To this cost must be added the forecast near-£2.5 billion ($4.28 billion) being contributed by the UK to development and initial test and evaluation of the F-35s that will fly from her decks, plus perhaps another £5 billion ($8.56 billion) for their production. However, the Royal Navy and the Ministry of Defence (MoD) are taking their cue from H.M.
Saab has been steadily building its airborne ISR portfolio and hopes to secure its first deal in the maritime surveillance/patrol market in the near future. Saab has two offerings in this sector: the Saab 340 MSA (maritime surveillance aircraft), for which the company has produced a demonstrator that was on show at Farnborough; and the larger and more capable Swordfish. Saab has been keeping the UK aware of its developments in this field, although any formal requirement for a UK maritime patrol aircraft is not expected until after a strategic defense review next year.
Second-quarter revenues at Textron Aviation, which includes Cessna and Beechcraft, climbed $623 million year-over-year, to $1.18 billion, reflecting the Beechcraft acquisition in late March and higher jet deliveries. Textron Aviation delivered 70 turbine business aircraft during the quarter–36 Cessna Citations and 34 Beechcraft Kings Airs, up from 20 jets and 14 King Air turboprops in the same period last year.
Piaggio Aero announced the first major order for its Avanti EVO this week at the Farnborough International Airshow, with Hong Kong-based Bravia Capital signing an order for 10 aircraft with options for another 40. Deliveries are scheduled to begin in the first quarter of next year. The aircraft will operate in the U.S., primarily in what Bravia CEO Bharat Bhise described as the “up to three-hour” market sector.
Royal Jet, Abu Dhabi’s luxury air charter operator, postponed its major fleet-replacement orders until the second half of the year after a board meeting last month. However, the company hopes an eventual delivery schedule will not be affected by this delay.
A commitment today for 12 A330neos and eight A330s from Russia’s Transaero gave Airbus its sixth customer for the re-engined widebody, launched with a memorandum of understanding from Air Lease Corporation for 25 units on the first day of the show. It also concluded a sales rally by Airbus that resulted in the company winning business worth $75 billion, making this the most commercially successful Farnborough show in its history.
The Irkut MC-21 program, which is developing a family of single-aisle airliners, is on track to meet its current development schedule, according to officials of Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation (UAC, Chalet B10 and Hall 1 Stand E8), at the Farnborough Airshow.
Among milestones reached and planned are assembly of the first MC-21 starting late this year or early 2015; first flight at the end of 2015 or early 2016; and entry into service in late 2017.
Liebherr-Aerospace (Hall 4 Stand E6) is here exhibiting its flight control and actuation systems, landing gear, air management systems and gearboxes as well as Liebherr-Elektronik electronic components. Highlights include the nose and the main landing gear of Bombardier’s CSeries aircraft, a wingtip brake for the Airbus A350 XWB, a cooling pack for the Comac C919 and a newly developed gearbox for an unnamed, next-generation helicopter program.
Eaton has been selected by Rolls-Royce to continue providing its engine build-up for another Trent engine program, the Trent XWB-97. The 97,000 pound-thrust turbofan will power the new Airbus A350-1000 platform.