Bell and Agusta continue their development of the BA609 civil tiltrotor, a joint effort that has been ongoing for more than a decade. However, the future of the program may hinge on the joint venture’s ability to control program costs, speed certification and deliveries, as well as the success of the first squadron of military tiltrotors about to deploy to Iraq.
Boeing now estimates that first flight of the 787 will happen sometime between mid-November and mid-December–at least three months later than originally planned–due to delays in coding flight-control software and completion of so-called “traveled work”–tasks originally meant for partners but passed on to Boeing’s final assembly facility in Everett, Wash.
Deliveries of both jets and turboprops were up again in the first half of this year, according to second-quarter numbers released by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA).
Jet Aviation has signed a letter of intent with an unidentified client from the Middle East that will send the first executive Boeing 787 to the company’s Basel, Switzerland center for cabin completion. The airplane, a -9, is to be delivered to the Basel facility in 2011. The expected cycle time is 15 to 18 months.
An extensive “restructuring” of Boeing’s Alteon Training subsidiary will see the company close four training centers, redistribute assets to other centers and open a new facility in Shanghai to house the first Boeing 787 simulator in China. The facilities marked for closure include Long Beach, Calif., Dallas, Texas, Kunming, China and Luton, UK. Boeing expects to close the two U.S. centers and the Chinese facility in December.
Northrop Grumman has won the U.S. Navy's Unmanned Combat Air Systems Technology Demonstrator (UCAS-D) contract, worth $635 million over the next six years. The company's proposal for an unmanned combat air vehicle (UCAV) capable of operating from aircraft carriers, designated the X-47B, beat the X-45N submission from Boeing. The decision is ostensibly a big blow for Boeing, which pioneered the development of UCAVs in the U.S.
Midcoast Aviation last month announced its intention to move into the “narrow-body” cabin completion business, marked by groundbreaking on a new 146,000-sq-ft hangar at its St. Louis Downtown Airport facility near St. Louis.
Some 15,000 well-wishers witnessed the first public appearance last month of the Boeing 787 in Everett, Wash., an event broadcast live via satellite in nine languages and “potentially” reaching more than 100 million people.
Bell Helicopter’s commercial division knows as well as anyone about the challenge of making a living in a stagnant industry that appears unlikely to grow beyond generally accepted delivery projections of 400 to 500 helicopters a year. For years the only real avenue to sales growth lay in scratching for more market share–a circumstance unlikely to change in the near future.
Some 15,000 well-wishers witnessed the first public appearance of the Boeing 787 in Everett, Wash., on Sunday (07/08/07, not coincidentally), an event broadcast live via satellite in nine languages and “potentially” reaching more than 100 million people.