Talk of production “bubbles” again colored the discourse at the March 16 to 18 International Society of Transport Aircraft Trading (ISTAT) Americas 2014 conference in San Diego, even while OEMs in attendance insisted that record backlogs fully justify their planned rate increases. Manufacturers highlighted a strong backdrop for aircraft demand fueled by aging replacement needs, a 20-seat increase in the capacity of narrowbodies since 2007, emerging-market long-term capacity requirements and the global expansion of low-cost carriers, according to a research note from Sterne Agee.
The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) will hold a general aviation rally on March 28 at Bombardier’s Dallas Service Center at Dallas Love Field. U.S. Sen. John Cornyn (R) and House Reps. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D), Sam Johnson (R), Pete Sessions (R) and Marc Veasey (D) will be the featured speakers.
Airbus has started final assembly of the first A320neo in Toulouse, France, with the attachment of the forward and aft fuselage sections, which recently arrived from St. Nazaire in France and Hamburg in Germany, respectively.
Airbus and Boeing released their outlooks for the Indian airliner market over the next two decades at the India Aviation show in Hyderabad this week, with both OEMs estimating different figures.
Airbus has bolstered its presence in India with the appointment of Srinivasan Dwarakanath as CEO of Airbus India. The European airframer’s local subsidiary also has a new chairman in the shape of Charles Champion, who is the parent company’s executive vice president for Engineering and a member of the executive committee.
Rolls-Royce is looking to expand its engine component manufacturing activities in India, possibly adding new product lines and increasing the size of the facilities at its International Aerospace Manufacturing Pvt Ltd (IAMPL) operation in Bangalore, which already makes parts for the Trent 700 turbofan.
Vector Aerospace Helicopter Services North America (HS-NA) has signed a five-year exclusive MRO support contract with air-tour operator Sunshine Helicopters of Kahulu, Maui. The agreement will cover Sunshine Helicopters’ Arriel 1 and Arriel 2 engines, and Airbus AS350, AS355 and EC130 dynamic components.
“This support agreement solidifies Vector’s commitment to Sunshine to provide MRO support for its fleet of Airbus Helicopters tour aircraft,” said Eric Hicks, regional sales director at HS-NA.
Airbus Defence and Space has confirmed an anticipated order from the Republic of Singapore Air Force for six A330 MRTT tanker/transports. The selection of the Airbus rather than the Boeing KC-46A was first revealed yesterday via the Singaporean ministry of defense’s Twitter account. At the same time, the country’s Ministry of Defense also confirmed that it is to order two more Sikorsky S-70B Seahawk maritime helicopters for the naval air arm’s 123 Squadron, raising the total number to eight.
There is a new entrant in the (slow) race to bring a supersonic business jet to market, Spike Aerospace. Headquartered in Boston, Spike Aerospace was founded by engineers and consultants with experience working at Airbus, Boeing, Eclipse, Gulfstream, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and NASA. The Spike S-512 is targeting a Mach 1.6 cruise speed and Mach 1.8 maximum speed.
Sandel Avionics received multi-model STC approval from the FAA for its helicopter terrain awareness and warning system, HeliTaws. The approved model list (AML) STC for Part 27 and Part 29 helicopters allows models to be added progressively by updating the AML listing, provided similarity and differences are substantiated. Sandel’s ST3400H Part 27 AML-STC covers the Airbus Helicopters AS350 series, while the Part 29 approval is for Bell 412s. It is working on adding the Bell 206 and 212 series, as well as the Airbus Helicopters EC130.