Cobham Satcom’s Aviator 300, a SwiftBroadband voice and data system, has been approved under an FAA supplementary type certificate (STC) for installation on the Airbus A319, A320 and A321 aircraft. The company is planning to seek the same approval from European and Chinese authorities.
Airbus A320 family
“I enter this airshow period feeling much more confident,” said Rockwell Collins CEO and president Kelly Ortberg on the eve of this year’s Farnborough International Airshow. Military budgets are stabilizing, he added, “and this provides much more certainly about what programs are going to be funded going forward.”
The 2014 edition of the Farnborough International Airshow has beaten its own record for aircraft and engine orders, with organizers announcing a $130 billion running tally after the first three of the five trade days. Factoring in all provisional orders, AIN’s own analysis puts the estimate at just above $155 billion.
Qatar Airways dominated commercial proceedings at the Farnborough International Airshow yesterday, signing contracts with Boeing for its 777Xs that could be worth up to $37.7 billion, plus another $2.4 billion deal for four 777 freighters.
This year, L-3 Aviation (Chalet A10-15) should generate more than $500 million in sales, according to Ralph DeMarco, v-p of marketing and sales. The five divisions include Aviation Communication and Surveillance Systems (ACSS) in Phoenix, Arizona, which is an L-3 and Thales joint venture; L-3 Aviation Recorders in Sarasota, Florida; L-3 Avionics Systems in Grand Rapids, Michigan; L-3 Display Systems in Alpharetta, Georgia; and L-3 Electronics Systems Services in Canada.
GE Aviation’s Flight Efficiency Services division is using big data techniques to help airlines to improve their profit margins with a particular focus on reducing fuel burn. “Fuel accounts for 40 percent of airline costs with around $215 billion spent on this each year,” said general manager Giovanni Spitale. “GE thinks that if machines can talk to each other using the industrial internet [a term coined by GE] we can make better sense of that [fuel consumption].”
Day one of the 2014 Farnborough International Airshow proved to be a lucrative one for just about all manufacturers of airliners and the engines that power them. An approximate estimate of business announced here yesterday quickly topped $50 billion.
Boeing plans to offer a “minor model” of the 737 Max 8 that would increase seating capacity from 189 to 200 seats and cut seat-mile costs by 5 percent.
Revealing the plans during a “roundtable” discussion on Sunday in London, Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO Ray Conner told reporters that Ryanair “would be a candidate” for the new version and that the Max 8 would follow to market the second Max model, the 737-9, now scheduled for certification in the third quarter of 2018.
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.
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.”
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.