GKN Aerospace has just shipped the 750th spares assembly for the Tornado fighter from its plant in Cowes, Isle of Wight, UK. The company was awarded a maintenance contract by BAE Systems in 2006 as part of the ATTAC (availability transformation: Tornado aircraft) agreement. Under the contract, which runs until at least 2016, GKN Aerospace is responsible for a range of Tornado aircraft structures, including ammunition boxes and rudders.
Boeing Commercial Airplanes is looking forward to continuing industry resilience, with its latest current market outlook (CMO) projecting a $4.5 trillion market for 34,000 new airplanes, for delivery 2012-31. This compares with a predicted 20-year requirement for just fewer than 24,000 units it forecast in 2002.
According to the latest GAO report, the program acquisition unit cost (PAUC) of the F-35 will be $161 million. That figure includes amortization of the development cost across the expected production run. But how much should acquisition officials reckon to pay for their F-35s, going forward? Of course, that will depend what F-35 variant they buy, in what quantity and when.
“We live in a goldfish bowl,” sighed Lockheed Martin F-35 vice president customer engagement Steve O’Bryan. Speaking in London last March, he was referring to the stream of official reports, testimonies and comments that examine the Joint Strike Fighter program. This year alone, five major documents on the F-35 have reached the public domain. In January, a Pentagon operational test and evaluation report surfaced.
Late last month Airbus froze the design of its A320 New Engine Option (A320neo), the newly re-engined version of its established single-aisle family that will serve as an interim step toward an all-new narrowbody design that may not enter service until 2030 or later. The European manufacturer has just released its “master development schedule,” which foresees first flight by the end of 2014.
Geopolitical shifts including regime-change in Libya, the stiffening of international sanctions against Iran and violent unrest in Syria, are among the trends compelling Russian military export agency Rosoboronexport to keep looking for new clients worldwide. This is, to a large degree, one of its primary motives for exhibiting at the Farnborough International Airshow.
Airbus is still aiming at a first-half 2014 entry into service for the new A350XWB twin-aisle twinjet, with executive vice president and program head Didier Evrard conceding that the schedule is “tight, but feasible.” In late May, he said the immediate challenge was to complete the first airframe for ground testing and overseeing the supply chain.
The Hawker Beechcraft T-6C here at the Farnborough International Airshow flew across the Atlantic Ocean to join the company’s static display, demonstrating the single-engine turboprop trainer’s versatility. Its appearance at the show happens against the backdrop of the still unresolved question of whether the U.S.
Aluminum product developer Constellium (Hall 4 Stand H11) is increasing the percentage of recycled metal in the aircraft parts it produces, as it vies to lower the cost and environmental impact of using metals and to prove that composites are not the answer to everything. The French group’s latest Airware technology is now at the production stage for new airliner programs such as the Airbus A350 XWB and the Bombardier CSeries.
Aircraft builders often construct mockups for marketing purposes. This life-size mockup of the Bombardier CSeries 100 has an entirely different purpose–one that is critical to the new single-aisle airliner meeting its entry-into-service deadline, planned for the end of 2013.