Sukhoi Civil Aircraft (SCAC) managed to fly the fourth prototype of the Superjet 100 this month, no thanks to Russian engine maker NPO Saturn, which partners with Snecma in building the Superjet’s Powerjet engines.
Larry Alexandre, recently named CEO of Sagem Avionics after five years as COO for Turbomeca USA, acknowledges that he has much to learn about avionics but he insists that the engines and instrumentation businesses have one vital common element–concern for the customer.
SkyTrac Briefing Daily on SkyWeb 3.0
SkyTrac Systems of Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada, is displaying the latest version of its satcom-based flight tracking and following software at Booth No. 3506. Technical briefings on the new features of SkyWeb V 3.0 are being presented daily in conference room 380A in the convention center from 1 to 2:30 p.m.
Safran’s helicopter subsidiary Turbomeca could be back in the contest to provide the powerplant for the Z15 helicopter following China’s recent decision to re-evaluate the engine. Late last year, executives with Eurocopter’s EC 175 program indicated that discussions are under way for the possible launch of a new engine for the Chinese version of the medium twin.
The recent selection of CFM International’s LEAP-X1C engine to power the 150- to 190-seat C919 airliner family being developed by Commercial Aircraft of Corp. of China (Comac) marks the start of one of the most significant aerospace collaborations between China and the West.
Nacelle manufacturer Aircelle is here in Dubai celebrating the creation of Aerostructure Middle East Services (AMES), a 50-50 joint venture with maintenance specialist Air France Industries to provide nacelle maintenance. Located in the Jebel Ali free zone, the 107,000-sq-ft facility will be open to Airbus A320s, A330s, A340s and A380s early next year.
Dassault Aviation CEO Charles Edelstenne in June made it clear that all design choices for the manufacturer’s next Falcon business jet, a super-midsize aircraft codenamed SMS, have been reopened–including the engine. This gives engine makers–notably Snecma, which has been trying to find an application for its first business jet turbofan–a new opportunity to compete for the project.
Safran and General Electric are stepping up activities at their newly formed nacelle joint venture with the appointment of Steve Walters as president. The Cincinnati-based alliance between Safran subsidiary Aircelle and GE’s Middle River Aircraft Systems business was launched in December 2008.
More electric systems are gaining ground aboard new aircraft but they will not force hydraulics out in the near or even mid term, according to Alain Coutrot, Safran’s deputy director for research and technology. Moreover, he said, depending on the size of the aircraft, electric power addresses different needs.
Turbomeca is pressing ahead with a radical design for a new generation of helicopter engines to deliver a quantum leap in operational efficiency. “If we do not shoot for a 30- to 50-percent improvement in fuel burn for 20 to 30 years from now, the helicopter will be no more than an airshow attraction and will no longer be a business tool,” the French company’s president Pierre Fabre told AIN.