PT Dirgantara Indonesia (Booth E35), also known as Indonesia Aerospace (IAe), delivered its first complete main fuselage assembly for the EC225/725 helicopter series to Airbus Helicopters (formerly Eurocopter) last December. The company had previously supplied five upper fuselage sections, as well as 23 tail booms, in a $43 million long-term deal struck in 2008 that called for a total of 125 component sets. Now IAe has been entrusted to supply integrated fuselages. This year, it will supply one every 10 weeks, and one tail boom every three weeks.
For Franco-Italian regional turboprop manufacturer ATR (Booth E01), the Asia Pacific region now takes top spot in its geographic sales rankings, but orders from China still seem to be eluding the company. Last year ATR saw orders and deliveries grow again, reaching record levels and steady profitability, but it has yet to convince shareholders Airbus Group and Finmeccanica to launch a new larger turboprop in the 90-seat category.
Airbus Helicopters (Booth J23), formerly Eurocopter, is seeing the Chinese market taking off at last, thus beginning to keep its promises. Norbert Ducrot, CEO of Airbus Helicopters China (who is also responsible for Japan and South Korea), said the company plans to increase its presence with more sales, as well as the addition of maintenance, training and assembly facilities.
Newly merged divisions aiming to increase profitability and growth
The EASA has certified the Airbus Helicopters EC175 medium twin, issuing the type certificate last Thursday. On January 28, the airframer announced it had completed the certification process and was expecting the certificate within days, which the EASA qualified by indicating the document would be delivered in the first quarter. An EASA spokesman confirmed yesterday that the final paperwork was completed more quickly than anticipated.
Benoit Defforge has been promoted to managing director of Airbus Corporate Jets, the company announced yesterday. In his new role, he leads Airbus’s corporate jet business globally. He retains his previous role as head of Airbus Corporate Jet Centre (ACJC). Defforge joined Airbus in 2003 to improve the efficiency of the A330/A340 final assembly line and then led the development of the A380’s electrical systems before being tapped to head ACJC in May 2007.
With its new name in place, Airbus Helicopters (née Eurocopter) is embarking on a transformation, according to CEO Guillaume Faury. He wants production processes to improve, has reshuffled priorities in research and development (R&D) and envisions a new market for the company’s product line.
The Avicopter AC352 medium-twin helicopter (previously known as the Z15, the Chinese version of the jointly developed Eurocopter EC175) is now expected to make its maiden flight in the second half of this year in China, according to Europe- and Asia-based industry sources. Entry into service is then expected late next year or early 2016. Certification had previously been planned for this year.
Airbus Helicopters (née Eurocopter) CEO Guillaume Faury announced today that the EC175 medium twin “successfully completed the EASA certification process yesterday” and the type certificate is to be issued in the coming days. (On Twitter, the EASA rather described the milestone as the “completion of the technical process” and said the type certificate will be handed over in the first quarter.) Fifteen EC175s are on the final assembly line, he said, speaking at the company’s annual press conference in Paris.
BAE Systems said that it has produced and certified a replacement part for the BAe 146 regional jet for the first time using additive manufacturing, or “3-D printing” technology. Now the company is exploring using 3-D printing to supply replacement parts for other commercial aircraft types.