During the first quarter of this year, Air Charter Service saw overall growth of 12 percent, with 20 percent year-over-year growth in its executive jet division. The London-based charter brokerage was founded in 1990 by chairman Chris Leach and now includes 17 offices on five continents. Annual revenue is more than $420 million.
The UK Royal Air Force (RAF) introduced two BAE Systems 146 jet transports modified to accommodate troops and their equipment. BAE Systems Regional Aircraft designed the conversion–from a quick-change interior–under a $23 million urgent operational requirement (UOR) contract; subcontractor Hawker Beechcraft Services at Chester in the UK completed the project.
Following three in-flight fires on transport aircraft over the past six years, two of which cost four pilots their lives, the NTSB recommended last week that the FAA improve fire-protection regulations. “These recommendations involve improving early detection of fires originating within cargo containers and pallets,” the Board said in its letter to the FAA.
Freight Feeder Aircraft supplier Metalcraft Technologies restarted production of detail parts for the FF5000 fuselage in February. The first detail parts are formed exterior skins and the machined floor-section keel beams. The FF5000 is a larger version of the original Freight Feeder design and can fit standard M-1-size cargo containers as well as standard-size pallets.
Described as a “sunrise platform” by Marc Lindsley, Northrop Grumman’s director of business development for the Airbus A330-based KC-30 program, the aircraft is perceived to be a worthy successor to the KC-135, which will still be around for many years. He points to the success of the A330 in winning both the Australian and UK air force tanker competitions in which a transport capability was an important requirement.