Facing an uncertain budget environment in the coming months, the U.S. Air Force will nevertheless continue developing a new long-range strike bomber (LRS-B) capable of delivering both conventional and nuclear weapons. “Long term, we’re committed to the long-range strike bomber. We’re going to try to keep programs like that on track,” Air Force Secretary Michael Donley said.
General Dynamics and Italy’s Alenia Aermacchi signed a letter of intent to jointly offer a pilot training system built around Alenia Aermacchi’s M-346 advanced jet trainer for the U.S. Air Force’s T-X jet trainer replacement program. The partnership is the second industrial team to announce its pursuit of the T-X program after the team of BAE Systems and Northrop Grumman, which is offering the Hawk AJT (advanced jet trainer).
Signature Flight Support broke ground today on a new 65,400-sq-ft FBO complex that will replace its existing facility at London Luton Airport. Completion of the new 48,400-sq-ft hangar is expected in the third quarter, while the new 17,000-sq-ft FBO and passenger terminal is slated to be finished later next year.
UTC Aerospace Systems has become the first U.S. company to manufacture aerospace products in India under the terms of a bilateral aviation safety agreement (BASA) signed in 2011 by the U.S. FAA and India’s Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). The agreement gives blanket approval for manufacturing U.S. aerospace products in India, or vice versa.
Signature Flight Support has promoted several executives as company head Michael Scheeringa fills a new role as president and CEO of the newly created Flight Services division at parent BBA Aviation. Taking over for Scheeringa at Signature is Maria Sastre, who has been promoted to president and COO at the FBO chain. Sastre reports directly to Scheeringa. In addition, Signature promoted Geoff Heck to senior vice president of sales and marketing, a position where he will focus on global sales.
To help build sales momentum as it prepares to emerge from bankruptcy protection, Hawker Beechcraft is offering a free upgrade to the Rockwell Collins Pro Line Fusion avionics suite for customers who purchase a King Air 250 or 350i by February 28. The Fusion system features touchscreen primary and multifunction flight displays, as well as wireless updates of all flight-related databases and wireless downloading of maintenance information. According to Hawker Beechcraft, the upgrade also comes standard with synthetic vision and a graphical flight management system.
The annual Aircraft Electronics Association Rate & Labor Survey showed that most respondents expect their businesses to grow this year and that rotorcraft work is increasing.
According to the survey, 56 percent of respondents (up from 49 percent last year) expect their level of business to grow during the coming year. Just 6 percent expected business to decrease, down from 15 percent in 2009 and 8 percent in 2010.
Avionics installation work that the companies expect to see includes retrofits of glass cockpits, ADS-B upgrades and Wi-Fi system installations.
Odyssey Aerospace Components, a manufacturer of business jet interior cabinetry and components, is hiring, with jobs open for cabinetry manufacturers and stress engineers. The company recently hired John Turner, who “is responsible for engineering leadership while meeting the company’s vision and customer-centric goals.” Turner most recently worked at Weber Aircraft and holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, master’s in industrial engineering and was a commissioned officer in the U.S. Air Force.
The National Air Transportation Association (NATA) is seeking nominations for its annual awards. Nominations are due by March 1.
JPMorgan North America Equity Research is forecasting a 5-percent rise in business jet deliveries this year, according to the firm’s latest monthly business jet report. It predicts that 627 business jets (excluding very light jets) will be shipped this year, compared with an estimated 596 jet deliveries last year.