The six-ton, London-double-decker-bus-size Inmarsat-4 communications satellite that Inmarsat launched in late March has taken over satcom transmission routing responsibility from the previous Inmarsat-3 satellite covering the Indian Ocean Region, according to company officials.
The dream of solar-powered, long-distance flight is taking shape. Bertrand Piccard, one of the two pilots who became famous with the first round-the-world balloon flight, yesterday introduced a model of a sun-powered, single-pilot airplane that could fly in 2008. The latest design update of the Solar Impulse aircraft, shown here at the Paris Air Show, included noticeable design changes since program launch late in 2003.
European Commission vice president Jacques Barrot and Eurocontrol director general Victor Aguado came to the show yesterday to announce the go-ahead for a potential e2 billion ($2.44 billion)-plus investment in Europe’s Sesame air traffic modernization program.
Qinetiq (Hall 2B in the UK Pavilion, Stand J13/4) announced it had received a contract from Belgian space systems company Verheart to build a solar-powered, unmanned aircraft designed to fly at 60,000 feet for months at a time. The Pegasus high-altitude, long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicle (HALE UAV) is part of a €11 million project awarded to Verheart by the Flemish Institute for Technological Research.
Offshore Logistics, the world’s largest provider of helicopter transportation services to the oil and gas industry, yesterday ordered 35 new S-76 helicopters. The contract, one of the largest helicopter orders in Stratford, Connecticut-based Sikorsky’s history, is in addition to a previously announced purchase of 12 new S-76s in 2003. The new order includes options for a further 24 S-76 aircraft.
Fighting fires from the air used to be an ad hoc business, as unpredictable as the odds of getting a return on your equipment investment. Even during a hot summer, aircraft operators in southern Europe might have their Bambi buckets gathering dust in the corner of a hangar on the off-chance a camping stove should topple over somewhere.
European engine manufacturers are joining forces on Vital, a research program co-funded by the European Commission that aims to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) and noise emissions by commercial aircraft.
Airliners now entering revenue service will be around for the next few decades, over which time forecasters expect the cost of kerosene to rise significantly. Higher oil extraction costs and likely carbon dioxide (CO2) emission limits will no doubt radically alter air transport economics. The industry will simultaneously have to drastically reduce CO2 emissions from aircraft engines and find alternative fuels for them.
Some 20 new aircraft, including the world’s largest–such as the Airbus A380 and the Boeing 777-200 Long Range–are among the 200 types on display here, making the Paris Air Show an exceptional showcase of flying hardware. Also making their first appearances are the Dassault Falcon 7X and Gulfstream G450 and G550 business jets, Embraer’s new 195 regional aircraft and Kazan Helicopters’ Mi-38.
BAE Systems has recently announced three major programs aimed at improved flight safety and providing contingency plans in the event of emergencies.