Helicopter and business aircraft leasing firm Milestone Aviation announced at the Air Medical Transport Conference yesterday that it would purchase five new Eurocopter EC130B4 helicopters. The order is valued at $17 million, with deliveries slated for the second half of next year.
EADS North America said it has started deliveries to U.S. Army National Guard units of the UH-72A Lakota light utility helicopter fitted with special-mission package.
Turmoil in stock markets and the prospect of another public debt and banking crisis have done nothing to deter EADS in its expansion and diversification plans. The European aerospace and defense group has a war chest of €11 billion ($15.6 billion) for acquisitions, with CFO Hans-Peter Ring confirming on August 10 that the company expects to press ahead with more deals during the second half of 2011.
Falko, the company formed with the backing of New York-based Fortress Investment Group to acquire BAE Systems’ regional aircraft portfolio, plans to pursue a strategy whereby it will purchase regional aircraft for leasing to its customers–a complete about-face to BAE’s approach, which centered on managed disposal of a once-vast fleet numbering more than 500 aircraft.
Plans call for narrowbody production at both Airbus and Boeing to reach 42 a month by 2014, but the extent to which either company can extend its rates much beyond that level will depend on the supply chain more than the potential capacity at the airframers’ respective factories.
Mexico seeks to expand its participation in the aerospace manufacturing sector, and has ambitions of becoming a world aerospace hub. That was the principal topic of the Second Annual Baja California International Aerospace Supplier Forum, a business-to-business exhibition and networking event held last month.
Prominent U.S. defense programs are feeling pressure from more than just Congress and Pentagon cost police. Before and during the Paris Air Show, Boeing’s KC-46A tanker and Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Lightning II faced flak from the aviation press and, in the latter case, an ally’s speech.
BAE Systems has announced a plan to implement a new “regionalized” strategy to support the Latin American market, where some 90 of its aircraft are now in service with nearly 40 operators. The company unveiled the new support strategy at its first ever Americas operators’ conference, held in Lima, Peru, May 23 and 24.
EADS has unveiled two new futuristic “Flightpath 2050” aircraft. The Zero Emission Hyper Sonic Transport (ZEHST) would fly above the atmosphere to avoid dumping pollutants in it, except for a relatively small amount during takeoff. The descent would be a unpowered glide, apart from restarting the engines for the final approach and landing. A steep climb on takeoff would leave a relatively small noise footprint around the airport.
Bauhaus Luftfahrt created a model of a concept airliner to highlight ecofriendly aircraft of the future, as well as the recent establishment of the Aviation Initiative for Renewable Energy in Germany (Aireg).