The Qatar Emiri Air Force (QEAF) selected Pilatus to provide a complete pilot training system based on the PC-21 turboprop trainer. The package will include ground-based training devices and extensive logistics support and maintenance. The newly established QEAF air academy will receive the first of 24 aircraft in 2014 so that training can start in mid-2015. Pilatus has signed a long-term performance-based support contract.
AIN’s team of editors and reporters provided full coverage of the Farnborough International airshow this week. All the stories can be found online.
Competition in the F-16 upgrade market is heating up, with Boeing joining BAE Systems in challenging Lockheed Martin’s dominance as OEM. Boeing is touting the experience it gained recently in converting F-16s to unmanned drones for the U.S. Air Force. BAE Systems continues to emphasize its 270-aircraft upgrade for the U.S. National Guard, as a basis for securing international work.
BAE Systems is migrating “active inceptor” control technology from military aircraft to civil applications–enabling direct pilot inputs into the flight controls of commercial fly-by-wire (FBW) aircraft. The UK-based company is developing its civil active control stick (ACS) for an unnamed commercial launch customer.
Representatives from the Australian state of Victoria, which will host the Avalon Airshow in Melbourne next year (February 26 to March 3), are busy here at the Farnborough International Airshow trying to find new connections for companies “Down Under.” In particular, they are also trying to persuade UK firms that they could benefit from opening branches in Australia, despite the distance, current high cost of living and adverse effect of the exchange rate on exports.
Visitors to the BAE Systems pavilion here at Farnborough are being greeted by a model of a UCAV (unmanned combat air vehicle) representing a notional shape that could one day be a joint Anglo-French design. The UCAV model reflects the UK group’s refocusing of its show presence on “air” products, and the hugely important part unmanned systems are expected to play in the company’s future.
The 2012 Farnborough International airshow will fly in the face of still-tough business conditions, according to organizers of the biennial event, to be staged in the UK from July 9 to 15. “The last two years have seen a very difficult economic environment, but 2012 is looking like it will be a really great show,” said Farnborough International chief executive Shaun Ormrod.
BAE Systems announced this week that its Mantis Male (medium-altitude, long-endurance) unmanned technology demonstrator is to fly again, starting next year. The UAV first flew on Oct. 21, 2009, and undertook a short and successful flight trials campaign from the remote Woomera base in South Australia. The vehicle returned to BAE Systems Warton and has been laid up since.
Jeffrey Pino, president of Sikorsky Aircraft, announced his retirement effective July 1. He will be succeeded by Mick Maurer, president of Sikorsky’s military systems unit.
Maintenance program provider Jet Support Services (JSSI) has named two new co-presidents. Susan Marr was promoted from executive v-p, while Neil Book, formerly v-p of mobility at Juniper Networks, has joined the Chicago-based company.
A new contract worth $2.5 billion has been signed under the Saudi-British Defence Co-operation Program (SBDCP) to upgrade the pilot training syllabus of the Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF). Prime contractor BAE Systems will supply 22 Hawk AJTs (advanced jet trainers), along with 55 Pilatus PC-21 turboprops, and a variety of ground-based training devices.