The engineering team for GE Aviation’s new GE9X turbofan has completed development of the new carbon fiber composite material that will allow the powerplant for Boeing’s new 777X airliner to use fewer, thinner fan blades. Combined with the use of new composite case technology developed for the GEnx program, the engine will be around 1,000 pounds lighter than its predecessor.
Business jet demand has not recovered in line with corporate profits as it has in the past. J.P. Morgan aerospace analyst Joseph Nadol III attributes the sluggishness to “the stigma attached to bizjets during the recent recession and a focus on cost cutting among corporate customers. We estimate that 2013 U.S. corporate profits were up about 50 percent from the 2008 trough, whereas bizjet deliveries have yet to turn up decisively.”
The Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing (CCAM) announced that Airbus has joined the consortium and that Aerojet Rocketdyne is expanding its membership role.
Preliminary data suggests second-quarter results for business jet deliveries “will not be impressive,” according to J.P. Morgan North American Equity’s latest business jet monthly update. While its analysts note there are aircraft still missing from the database used to track deliveries, “Preliminary indications are that deliveries will fall short of estimates, with the possible exception of Gulfstream,” noted J.P. Morgan lead aerospace analyst Joseph Nadol III.
The trend among tier-two aerospace suppliers to shoulder a higher level of engineering responsibility for the components and subsystems they supply to larger OEMs is just one factor driving the need to ensure the availability of an adequate skills base. For UK precision engineering company Nasmyth, this has led to a concerted effort to recruit and train apprentices in tandem with its efforts to launch new joint ventures in places such as India and South Carolina. On June 26, it opened the office of its new Indian subsidiary in the country’s aerospace hub Bangalore.
Dynamic Systems is offering what it promotes as a low-cost tracking system for MROs and FBOs using the latest bar code technology. Total Track System tracks tools, maintenance, equipment, work orders, inventory, capital assets and job costing. Bar-code data collection has proved to be the most accurate and efficient method of tracking or counting items.
PPG Industries has added a new packaging unit to its coatings plant and aerospace application support center in Gonfreville, France. PPG is now able to offer customers in Southern Europe the benefits of proprietary Semco ready-to-use, disposable cartridges for storing, mixing and applying multiple-component adhesives, sealants, epoxies, polysulfides, polyurethanes and other materials that require mixing.
Fresh Jets formally launched its online live empty-leg platform in March, offering a new way for charter users to be introduced to charter operators. Instead of just listing inventory that may or may not exist, Fresh Jets is a software system that charter operators and corporate travel departments can use to take advantage of empty legs.
A contract from a Hong Kong-based owner of a Bombardier Challenger 850 has given Flying Colours Corp. the opportunity to develop its first cabin interior entirely made from carbon fiber. The aircraft was delivered after 16 weeks of work just before this year’s ABACE show, where the Canada-based maintenance, completions and refurbishment specialist is exhibiting (Booth H606).
Bell Helicopter officially opened its composite manufacturing facility in Broussard, La., yesterday. The new 28,000-sq-ft facility was designed specifically for manufacturing and repairing composites for most of the helicopter manufacturer’s in-production and legacy fleet. Bell said it implemented lean manufacturing processes throughout the facility to improve efficiencies and reduce lead times.
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