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July 15, 2014, 6:10 AM
Pat Shanahan, Boeing Commercial Airplanes senior v-p of programs

Boeing Commercial Airplanes has finally reached a period of stability after several years of struggle with the 787 Dreamliner and a three-year period in which it executed 15 production-rate increases across its product line, according to senior v-p and general manager of airplane programs Pat Shanahan.

July 14, 2014, 8:10 AM
Supersonic business aircraft such as this concept from Spike Aerospace could  be carrying passengers on transoceanic routes within six to eight years.

After Sir Richard Branson launches the first passenger flight of his Virgin Galactic space venture, possibly later this year, he’s indicated that he will turn his attention to developing a supersonic commercial aircraft that can transit from New York to Tokyo (10,800 km; 5,800 nm) in “less than an hour.” He envisions an orbital aircraft, which could reach speeds up to 30,000 kph (16,200 knots).

July 14, 2014, 8:10 AM

GE Aviation is preparing to begin flight tests of its new Leap-1C and Passport engines featuring nacelles developed for them by the group’s Nexcelle joint venture with Safran subsidiary Aircelle. Last month, Nexcelle delivered the first full new-generation nacelles for both programs. They are due to fly soon on the engine maker’s Boeing 787 testbed. The Leap-1C is to power Comac’s C919 narrowbody airliner, while the Passport has been selected for Bombardier’s Global 7000 and 8000 business jets.

July 14, 2014, 8:00 AM
The Saab Gripen did the first eight development firings of the MBDA Meteor BVRAAM. The European missile house chose the Swedish fighter in preference to the Rafale or the Eurofighter, but the Meteor has since been integrated on all three aircraft.

The integration of new weapons on some combat aircraft has become so expensive that European Defence Agency (EDA) held a workshop to discuss the problem. But Saab (Hall 4 Stand E5 and Chalet C35) has some helpful suggestions, based on its experience with the Gripen. The Swedish fighter served as the development platform for the Iris-T and Meteor air-to-air missiles, and other weapons were successfully added on time and budget.

July 14, 2014, 8:00 AM

Aerostar (Hall 3 Stand B31) has become one of the first independent European MRO organizations to install Split Scimitar winglets on Boeing 737-800s. The work was carried out for Sweden’s TUIFly Nordic at Aerostar’s Bacau facility in Romania, which is also the location of its headquarters. The winglets were fitted to two 737 aircraft, one arriving in early May and having the work done during a maintenance check, while the other followed shortly afterwards for a maintenance check, wing strengthening and installation of winglets.

July 14, 2014, 7:55 AM

Aerostar has had considerable success building its civil MRO business having gained engineering expertise in defense work over several decades–most recently is its contract with the Mozambique air force to “bring back to life” eight MiG-21s, a contract that included training and support.

Ovidiu Buhai, director of aviation maintenance and upgrades, told AIN that Starbow of Ghana “came for a second aircraft this year and has another BAe 146 its wants a C-check on,” while “FastJet intends to come with another aircraft in November.

July 14, 2014, 7:55 AM

The builder of 1900 Yak-52s in the Soviet era and now a growing MRO specialist and aerospace parts manufacturer, Aerostar has put Romania on the industry map. Despite its home base in Bacau being situated at the outer reaches of the European Union, and with Romania becoming a member of the EU only in 2007, the company has wasted no time in getting fully involved in European aerospace and modernizing its facilities, as AIN discovered on a visit just before the Farnborough Airshow.

July 14, 2014, 7:50 AM
Titanium-aluminide low-pressure turbine blades and proposed cooling arrangements on Rolls-Royce’s proposed future UltraFan engine may owe much to the RB3025 powerplant unsuccessfully offered to power the Boeing 777X. For example, the RB3025 featured a “vortex amplifier” to simplify turbine-blade cooling with HPC air.

New engines planned by Rolls-Royce (R-R) reflect recent powerplant trends, including steadily increasing propulsive efficiency obtained with larger-diameter fans, higher bypass ratios and smaller engine cores. The engines could power updated contemporary widebody platforms, with R-R civil large engines president Eric Schulz confirming “very live” discussions with Airbus. “If it decides to re-engine the A330 or A380, we will be here to provide support,” he said during a pre-show briefing.

July 14, 2014, 7:50 AM

Russian Aircraft Corporation MiG, a UAC subsidiary, comes to the Farnborough 2014 show boosted by a new Russian order for 16 MiG-29SMT single-seat, multirole fighters due for delivery by the end of 2016. Signing the $495 million order, Russia’s deputy defense minister Yuri Borisov said, “This order will make MiG feel more secure and look to the future with greater hopes…and provide a good starting point for setting up production of newer aircraft, such as the MiG-35.”

July 14, 2014, 7:45 AM

For UAC subsidiary Irkut, the Farnborough Airshow is a great chance to connect with Western partners and prospective customers for its MC-21 narrowbody airliner development. The group claims that the new design’s composite wing will give it an operating cost advantage even over the new re-engined Airbus A320neo and Boeing 737Max airliners.

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