Smac Aero, a Toulon, France-based company specializing in elastomers for soundproofing and vibration dampening, is here at the Paris Air Show (Hall 2B Stand C140-158) exhibiting Smacpreg, a combination of pre-impregnated (prepreg) carbon fibers with a layer of rubber. As CEO Philippe Robert emphasized during a visit to the company’s development and production facilities, the new product is suited to fiber placement robots.
Cabin technology appears to be moving at the speed of light, and more evidence of that rapid advance can be found here at the Panasonic and Thales exhibits in the form of eye-tracking and hand-gesture video controls.
To automobile mass-producers, automation in the aerospace manufacturing probably looks fundamentally immature. However, Boeing’s efforts in introducing robotics into 777 production at its widebody plant in Everett, Washington, have translated into some considerable efficiency gains following the company’s transition some eight years ago to a moving, U-shaped assembly line and simultaneous implementation of lean production processes.
The pre-owned business jet market showed “incremental weakness” last month, according to the latest business jet monthly report from J.P.Morgan North American Equity Research. “A single month does not make a trend, but May used-market data, including a sequential increase in inventory by 0.4 percentage points and 3.6-percent decline in pricing not seen since the first half of 2009, suggest that business jet demand will remain weak,” it said.
Pre-owned business jet and turboprop inventories continued their downward trajectory last month, according to data released yesterday by business aviation market information firm JetNet. But the overall picture of the pre-owned market remains mixed at best.
Inventories of pre-owned business jets and turboprops continued to edge downward in March, according to the latest figures from business aviation market information firm JetNet. While turboprops are a seller’s market, for business jets “it’s still a buyer’s market, with ample inventory at near-low average asking prices,” the company said.
Sikorsky Aerospace Services (SAS), the aftermarket business of Sikorsky Aircraft, now has parts warehouse in Brazil to support commercial operators of the S-76 and S-92 in that country. Powerpack, Sikorsky’s long-standing Brazilian representative, will manage inventory operations through the country’s special customs system known as Depósito Especial.
The AgustaWestland deal in India for AW101 helicopters that is being investigated after bribery allegations has prompted the Indian government to re-examine its already delayed defense procurement procedure 2013 (DPP). This is now focusing on “indigenization,” which defense minister A.K. Antony described recently as the “ultimate solution to the scourge of corruption.”
Bombardier relies heavily on a new factory in Belfast, Northern Ireland, run by its Short Brothers subsidiary for CSeries wing production. Built with the help of £60 million ($90 million) from the UK government, the 600,000-sq-ft plant on the northwest side of Belfast City Airport’s runway specializes in new resin transfer infusion (RTI) fabrication techniques refined at other Bombardier plants in the region, in Dunmurry and Newtownabbey.
Inventories of business jets, turboprops and turbine helicopters continued to deflate in January, business aviation market information firm JetNet said today in its latest market update.
According to JetNet, pre-owned business jet inventory in January landed at 13.2 percent of the in-service fleet, down 0.5 points from a year ago. Retail business jet sales, however, fell by 1.8 percent year-over-year, “only the second time since January 2009 that it showed a decline in full retail sale transactions,” JetNet said.