Greenville,Texas-based L-3 Mission Integration announced that it has chosen the Bombardier Q400 regional airliner as the platform for a new maritime surveillance aircraft (MSA) offering. The company is partnering with Bombardier, Marshall Aerospace and Cascade Aerospace for the venture.
Bombardier Dash 8
Bombardier, FlightSafety International and Nantong Tongzhou Bay Aviation have signed a joint letter of intent to establish a training center for Q400 NextGen turboprop pilots, in preparation for the launch of Sutong Airlines in 2015. Bombardier will support planning of aircraft training, while FlightSafety will supply and operate a full flight simulator. Nantong Tongzhou Bay Aviation will support the set-up of the facility in China’s Jiangsu province, the airframer said here at the show.
Dunlop Aircraft Tyres (Booth M93) is exhibiting new radial tires for regional aircraft including the Embraer E-Jets and ATR 42/72. “This product innovation, combined with our new tire distribution and retreading facility in China, gives aircraft operators increased choice…in this expanding market,” said Ian Edmonson, the company’s chairman. Dunlop’s Asia Pacific customers include China Eastern Airways, Lion Air, SpiceJet and Qantas link.
Maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) Vector Aerospace expects to open its new engine center at Singapore’s Seletar Aerospace Park by the end of this year. The facility is being specifically built to support Pratt & Whitney Canada PW150A turboprops and represents an investment of almost $40 million.
Last year, Pratt & Whitney Canada appointed Vector (Booth T102) as a designated overhaul facility. It will support operators of aircraft such as the Bombardier Q400 regional airliner in the Asia Pacific region.
Regional airliner rivals ATR and Bombardier may still be no closer to announcing their long-anticipated new 90-seat twin turboprops, but Pratt & Whitney Canada (P&WC) is determined to be ready with the necessary powerplant for program launches that it views as inevitable. Next month, the engine maker will resume testing of the compressor unit for its proposed New Generation Regional Turboprop engine and it expects to have all testing complete by mid-year.
Abu Dhabi-based Falcon Aviation Services signed a firm purchase agreement for two Bombardier Q400 turboprop twins, to be used as 78-seat shuttles. The aircraft are worth $61 million at list prices. Based at Al Bateen Executive Airport, Falcon Aviation Services operates a charter fleet of business jets, as well as a fleet of helicopters serving the offshore oil and gas industry. The company also conducts search and rescue, aircraft management and maintenance, repair and overhaul.
Signaling an apparent decision to abandon any immediate plans for a new large turboprop, Bombardier has found a way to squeeze another six seats into its Q400 by offering an option to convert the airplane’s forward baggage door into a passenger exit. The new interior design would replace cargo capacity with as much as another row and a half of passenger seats, raising the Q400’s total seating capacity to 86.
Ethiopian Airlines reinforced its commitment to Bombardier and its Q400 turboprop here yesterday with a contract to become an authorized service facility for the big prop jet and a commitment to take another four of the airplanes on lease from Palma Holding. Palma has signed a letter of intent with Bombardier covering a firm order for the four airplanes and options on another four. With the deal, Palma stands to become the first Middle East lessor for Q400s and the first lessor worldwide for the aircraft in a dual-class configuration. \
Bombardier has landed a new customer for its Q400 turboprop in Africa, inking a conditional order with Air Côte d’Ivoire for a pair of the 74-seat turboprops here at the Dubai Airshow yesterday. The national carrier of the Ivory Coast, established in January, has also signed for two options, convertible until November next year. Bombardier values the potential firm order at $69 million based on list prices.