The U.S. Army’s plan to acquire up to 110 Airbus UH-72A Lakotas, the military variant of the EC145, as primary helicopter trainers has met with a legal challenge from AgustaWestland (AW). AW alleges, “The army has acted unlawfully and unreasonably by restricting competition to only EC145 helicopters and by not opening the competition for its requirements to other helicopter manufacturers.”
OK, so it wasn’t an accident; it’s just that the NASA folks are getting rather good at intentionally crashing helicopters. The latest in its series of engineered rotorcraft crashes was conducted earlier this month when the agency dropped the more than four-and-a-half-ton fuselage of a former U.S. Navy CH-46 Sea Knight helicopter for the second time in little more than a year.
The U.S. Naval Air Systems Command awarded Pratt & Whitney a contract modification on October 14 for a seventh low-rate initial production lot (LRIP) of F135 engines for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. The agreement includes the engine maker’s commitment to pay the cost of modifying the fan section in 150 delivered engines following a June engine fire that grounded the F-35 fleet and prevented its international debut in the UK.
Vector Aerospace Engine Services-Atlantic (ES-A) and the Solenta Aviation group of companies, based in Johannesburg, South Africa, have signed a three-year engine services agreement. ES-A will provide comprehensive fixed-wing aircraft engine maintenance, repair and overhaul services to the Solenta Aviation Group’s turboprop engine fleet from its facilities in Summerside, Prince Edward Island, Canada; Johannesburg, South Africa; and Nairobi, Kenya.
A Bombardier Global Express operator recently wanted Wi-Fi with a smart router and media server that could be used with electronic devices in flight. Duncan Aviation and Gogo Business Aviation, formerly Aircell, developed an STC for integration of Gogo’s UCS 5000 system in the Global Express and 5000.
Associated Air Center (AAC) has inducted the company’s first Boeing 787-8 to be completed for a head-of-state customer at its facilities at Dallas Love Field.
“The composite structure and advanced systems on the 787 require special engineering, tooling and technical capabilities; it’s a whole new ball game,” said James Colleary, president of Associated Air Center. “Our team is up for the challenge and excited to have the aircraft in our shop, where the real work now begins.”
The FAA is issuing a superseding airworthiness directive for certain Airbus Helicopters EC130B4s. AD 2012-02-13 required inspecting certain areas of the tailboom/fenestron junction frame (junction frame) for cracking. The new AD retains the requirements of AD 2012-02-13, expands the inspection area of the junction frame and shortens the repetitive inspection interval.
Airbus won another big endorsement for its single-aisle series—potentially the biggest in its history—by securing a memorandum of understanding from India’s IndiGo covering 250 A320neos, the company said Wednesday.
Etihad Airways is betting on the Airbus A380 cabin to launch “reimagined” premium classes, according to airline CEO James Hogan. Speaking recently at the unveiling of the carrier’s new livery, Hogan also singled out India and Abu Dhabi as major growth destinations.
Flexjet and Qatar Executive quickly lined up to be the launch customers for the new Gulfstream G500, which was revealed this morning alongside its larger G600 sibling during a ceremony at the aircraft manufacturer’s Savannah, Ga. headquarters. Qatar signed a memorandum of understanding today for up to 20 Gulfstreams, while Flexjet placed an order for 50 aircraft, including options.