Large-cabin business jet flight activity in December took the biggest hit–26 percent–compared with activity over the year-ago period, according to the ARG/US year-end business aircraft activity report. The results are somewhat at odds with other market reports, such as the UBS business jet update, which identify the light jet segment as the one that has logged the largest decline.
Nine contracts worth more than $630 million were awarded to MTU Maintenance last November. “The deals we made again demonstrate that amid a difficult economic environment, MTU remains competitive and well positioned,” commented Egon Behle, CEO of MTU Aero Engines. The agreements signed in part are long-term, up to 10-year arrangements covering V2500, CF6 and PW2000 engines. They come mostly from the U.S. and Europe.
The UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) has issued four safety recommendations in response to an incident in which a burst tire on a Bombardier Global Express caused “extensive damage” to the flight control system.
Paul Theofan, a veteran of more than 20 years at Unison Industries, has been named president and managing executive of General Electric subsidiary GE Aviation Czech. This past June, GE acquired assets of powerplant manufacturer Walter Engines in hopes of increasing its involvement in the small turboprop segment. The company’s Czech division employs about 400 workers in a new facility near Prague.
Boeing yesterday announced that the FAA has approved the 787’s scheduled maintenance program, marking a particularly noteworthy accomplishment for an airplane billed as 30 percent less expensive to maintain than any “comparable product.” The company bases its claims on projections for the performance of the 787’s composite structure and highly integrated systems architecture, which, it says, allow for fewer maintenance tasks and longer time in
The FAA is expected to grant a supplemental type certificate within a few months to Donaldson subsidiary Aerospace Filtration Systems (AFS) of St. Louis for an inlet barrier filter system for the Bell 430. Operators have been requesting engine protection offered by the inlet filter system, according to AFS business development director Robert Stenberg.
French helicopter turboshaft manufacturer Turbomeca has completed a $33 million research program that opens the door to a massive collection of usage and maintenance data on helicopter engines. The idea is to have engines sending an exhaustive set of data, after each flight, to a centralized server.
Rodney Hamilton, the director and chief pilot of Ford’s now-defunct flight department, summed up the state of the industry yesterday in two words: “difficult times.” In the past week, General Motors and Ford Motor Company announced they were shutting their respective flight departments, and investors learned that Citigroup has put two of its jets–worth $30 million each–on the block.
Bombardier Aerospace recently flew a Global 5000 testbed with an all-electric braking system, which the Canadian company claims is a civil aviation first. The testing lasted more than seven hours and included five landings and a series of high-speed braked ground runs. The demonstrator aircraft was equipped with Meggitt’s EBrake electric braking system and Messier-Dowty’s landing gear with electric brake wiring harnesses.
Semia, a French manufacturer of maintenance equipment, was at Helitech 2008 exhibiting the Syntham 5000, a new engine vibration-check device that can monitor several channels simultaneously.