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July 14, 2014, 7:00 AM
Under a joint venture with Sikorsky, India’s Tata Advanced Systems, has produced, entirely locally, more than 70 S-92 cabins, one of which is flying for a customer in Brazil.

A slowdown in reforms in India over the past five years–and a virtual pause in procurement–may be about to change following renewed optimism and confidence as the new government shows, for the moment at least, that it is serious. As hectic activity takes place in the ministries of commerce, finance and defense, increasing manufacturing, exports and foreign direct investment (FDI) are focus areas of the new regime.

July 14, 2014, 6:50 AM
A GKN technician at an electron beam melting (EBM) machine, which permits toolless additive manufacturing that can create solid titanium objects–such as wing ribs from powder–rapidly and cost-effectively. Below, a GKN technician works on a composite spar assembly of a rear trailing edge.

Rich Oldfield, GKN Aerospace technical director, told AIN that technology remains at the heart of the company’s ability to succeed in the market and it invests heavily, especially in composites, metallics and developing a “niche portfolio in transparencies, protection systems and coatings, which many of our competitors don’t have.” Alongside this are “important technologies in inspection, assembly and automation.”

July 14, 2014, 6:45 AM
Defense applications are now key programs for GKN. Here, a technician conducts an optical inspection of a canopy for the CTOL (conventional takeoff and landing) version of the Lockheed Martin F-35.

GKN Aerospace (Chalet G1) comes to Farnborough content in having achieved “a good set of results” in 2013 as it increased sales by 10 percent to £7.6 billion (around $10 billion). “It was a good year at GKN pretty much across the board–bar land systems,” said Kevin Cummings, CEO of GKN aerospace during a pre-airshow briefing.

July 14, 2014, 6:35 AM

Ukrainian defense electronics group Aerotechnica (Hall 2 Stand C28b) has been at the forefront of the urgent effort to modernize the country’s air defenses in response to the military standoff with Russian-backed separatists. It specializes in replacing dated radar hardware, such as vacuum-tube modules and traveling wave-guide tubes with solid-state components. The company has successfully performed this upgrade with numerous radar sets, most notably the P-18.

July 14, 2014, 6:30 AM
 Gifas president Marwan Lahoud is happy with the French industry’s performance but wants to avoid complacency.

French aerospace industry lobbying association Gifas (Hall 1 Stand A15) is foreseeing another excellent year in terms of revenue and orders. In an economy bombarded with bad news, France’s aerospace sector is often cited as an example. A thorn in its side, however, has been the euro/dollar currency exchange rate. Recruitment remains a tricky issue, too.

July 14, 2014, 6:25 AM
Pratt’s envisioned NGRT engine would feature an all-new compressor, a miniaturized version of P&W’s Talon combustor and possibly an eight-blade propeller.

While ATR and Bombardier continue to vacillate over plans to introduce a new 90-seat turboprop, Pratt & Whitney Canada keeps moving forward with a powerplant it believes will deliver a 20-percent fuel burn improvement over existing engines in the 5,000- to 7,000-shp range by the turn of the decade. Dubbed the Next Generation Regional Turboprop (NGRT), the engine would feature an all-new compressor, a miniaturized version of Pratt & Whitney’s patented Talon combustor and (probably) an eight-blade propeller.

July 14, 2014, 6:20 AM
China Eastern, one of three state-owned airlines  that have dominated China’s skies, now stands to  have competition from new airlines, some of which  are funded with private capital.

Recognizing its potential to become a major industry player, China is finally moving toward greater liberalization of its aviation sector. The announcement followed on the heels of the Third Plenary Session held in November 2013. It was during this time that China’s new leaders, alongside the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), committed to a series of reforms geared to loosen the regulatory grip that has significantly hindered industry growth. Now, eight months later, signs of change are on the horizon.

July 14, 2014, 6:20 AM
Pratt & Whitney expects to gain certification of the first version of the PW1100G for the Airbus A320neo during this year’s fourth quarter.

While calling extending its geared turbofan engine family’s thrust rating by another 2,000 pounds “a big deal,” Pratt & Whitney next-generation product family vice president Bob Saia sees still bigger things in the company’s future, including what he called an Advanced GTF that could rival an open-rotor design in fuel efficiency by the middle of the next decade. For now, though, Saia finds himself “busy as a bee” with the five core programs already under way at the U.S. company.

July 14, 2014, 6:15 AM
The Project Zero all-electric vertical-lift aircraft.

AgustaWestland last month received the 2014 American Helicopter Museum and Education Center’s achievement award for “advancements in rotary-wing technologies,” based on the Project Zero tiltrotor demonstrator program. Dr. James Wang, the manufacturer’s research-and-development vice president, accepted the award. Led by Wang, the Project Zero team designed, built and flew a 2,200-pound, all-electric vertical lift aircraft in six months. A few flights took place in 2011-2012.

July 14, 2014, 6:10 AM

Industrial bioscience company Amyris and energy giant Total have begun to market a so-called drop in jet fuel containing a 10-percent mix of renewable farnesane under a newly revised ASTM standard, the companies announced in June. Amyris and Total have worked closely on approval of the new fuel with Boeing, which, according to the airframer’s managing director of environmental strategy and integration, Julie Felgar, wants to see biofuel account for a 1-percent share of the total jet fuel supply within 10 years.

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