Embraer Defense and Security is on course to complete the first prototype of the KC-390 tactical airlifter/tanker in time for it to make its first flight before the end of the year. At the specially built assembly site at Gavião Pexoto the fuselage of the first aircraft has already been partly painted in the colors of the Brazilian air force, which is the lead customer for the aircraft. The second aircraft is also in final assembly, and is scheduled to fly soon after the first machine.
Canada’s Bombardier unveiled a cargo-passenger variant of its Q400 in Farnborough on Tuesday, adding one more choice to a growing list of configurations for the versatile turboprop.
Available in various arrangements, the combi version offers up to 8,200 pounds of cargo capacity and as much as 1,150 cubic feet of volume. Using Class C cargo compartments, the so-called high-cargo version can hold 50 passengers at a 32-inch seat pitch. Bombardier claims it has entered “advanced” discussions with a number of potential Q400 combi customers.
Pratt & Whitney Canada’s FAST (Flight Data Acquisition Storage and Transmission System) engine diagnostic, prognostic and health-management (DPHM) system recently received a Transport Canada Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) for use on Bombardier Dash 8 Series 200 and 300 turboprops, P&WC announced Wednesday on the occasion of the annual Regional Airline Association Convention in St. Louis. Transport Canada STC No. SA12-70 now includes Bombardier Models Q200, Q300 and Q400.
Israel’s Air and Space Force on Wednesday took delivery of the first of six Lockheed Martin C-130J Super Hercules it has ordered through U.S. foreign military sales channels. While the aircraft had been formally handed over to the IASF last June, it was retained in the U.S. for tests and training.
Qatar has announced a raft of orders for new equipment worth around $23 billion, covering vehicles, vessels and aircraft, plus associated systems and weaponry. The announcements were made on March 27, which was the last day of the Dimdex show in Qatar’s capital Doha.
The UK Royal Air Force retired its four remaining Lockheed TriStar tanker/transports on schedule this week, as the replacement fleet of Airbus A330-MRTTs grows. Seven of these aircraft, known as the Voyager in RAF service and provided under contract by AirTanker, have now been delivered. Two more are slated to to be handed over by the end of June.
Bombardier appeared to backtrack on comments in the Russian press by CEO Pierre Beaudoin indicating that the country’s annexation of Crimea could threaten the Canadian company’s planned joint venture with Russian conglomerate Rostec. On Monday a Bombardier Aerospace spokesman told AIN that the Canadian company remained “fully committed” to plans for a Q400 turboprop factory in a special economic zone in the Ulyanovsk region, and that the comments by Beaudoin didn’t refer specifically to the agreement with Rostec.
Ramco Aviation (Booth No. 326) announced Tuesday at Heli-Expo 2014 that longtime customer Columbia Helicopters (Booth 4706) recently began the transition to Ramco’s Solution 5.6 integrated suite of maintenance, finance, human resources and payroll tracking software.
Erickson (Booth No. 6422) formally presented its 2012-2013 Gold Supplier Award Tuesday morning at Heli-Expo 2014 to TactAir Fluid Controls for its work supporting the hydraulic systems on the S-64 Aircrane. “We look for not just the lowest cost [from our suppliers], but also the best value as well. TactAir provides that best value for us,” said Jeff Stein, director of materials at Erickson. TactAir customer support manager John Koulikas added, “To be able to support this aircraft for many, many years has been a big thrill and achievement for us.”
Long known as the world’s lone operator of the heavy-lift S-64, Erickson Air-Crane announced yesterday that it has rebranded as Erickson Incorporated, reflecting the company’s recent acquisitions and newly diversified portfolio.