Lord Corp. (Chalet A33) is here at the Farnborough show as it starts a major expansion push into Europe. At a pre-show briefing at the Royal Aeronautical Society in London the company unveiled a new “aerospace business growth strategy for Europe”–the main focus being the booming fixed-wing airliner sector, as Lord is already active in the helicopter industry in Europe, specializing in noise, vibration and motion-control technologies.
Unlike its sister ship the EC225, the EC175’s main gearbox has no backup lubrication system, which could present a problem should it experience a total loss of oil. To compensate for this, its components have been designed to withstand the absence of lubricant for a limited period of time. Airbus Helicopters so far has certified a 15-minute dry-run capability (which involved a 30-minute demonstration). Further tests are scheduled for 2015 in a bid to increase the certified duration to at least 30 minutes.
Certification in hand, Airbus Helicopters is endeavoring to ensure a faultless entry into service of its EC175 medium twin, a critical product for the company in the highly competitive offshore oil-and-gas market. The first delivery, to Belgium-based operator NHV, is planned for the second half of this year, almost five years after the first flight. Thanks to the unprecedented preparation at the company’s headquarters in Marignane, France, and at a customer base, program officials believe an EC175 will be able to operate immediately after delivery.
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.
This week’s Farnborough International Airshow promises to be another busy one for dealmakers like Michael Richter, managing director and head of aerospace and defense with investment bank Lazard. Even compared with the periods around the 2012 Farnborough show and the 2013 Paris Air Show, he sees rising levels of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity in the commercial aerospace sector. He also anticipates some degree of recovery in defense industry M&A activity, reversing a period of relative inactivity in a sector that has been impacted by uncertainty over military budgets.
Rolls-Royce last month opened its new advanced engine disc manufacturing facility at Washington in the northeast of England. When it is fully operational in 2016, the 194,000-sq-ft (18,000 sq m) factory will have the capacity to make 2,500 fan and turbine discs each year for various Trent engines, including the new Trent XWB that powers the Airbus A350XWB.
By the end of September, Airbus expects to have received European Aviation Safety Agency type certification for the A350 ahead of delivery of the first two aircraft– manufacturer’s serial numbers (MSNs) 006 and 007–to Qatar Airways by the end of the year. The final flight-test aircraft, MSN005, flew on June 20–a year and six days after the type’s maiden flight.
The first level-D flight simulator for Airbus Helicopters’ EC175 medium twin received EASA certification this week, thus allowing the manufacturer to use it to train customer pilots. Designed by Spain-based Indra and located at the Helisim training center adjacent to Airbus Helicopters’ factory in Marignane, France, it features a 210-degree by 80-degree continuous field of view. Another EC175 full-motion simulator will be installed in the U.S.
The mergers and acquisitions (M&A) tide is still rising in the commercial aerospace sector, according to Michael Richter, managing director and head of aerospace and defense with investment bank Lazard.
Airbus Helicopters recently exhibited some new EMS equipment for the just-certified EC145T2 light twin. Developed with Mecaer, the new cabin installation is available with an “EMS fixed provisions” option. This provides standardized interfaces for customized hardware, thus reducing the outfitting lead time of an interior for medical operations.