Gulfstream Aerospace’s G650 added another city-pair record to its résumé, flying the 5,905-nm route from Honolulu to Singapore for the 2014 Singapore Airshow on Friday in 14 hours 6 minutes. The aircraft, which carried two passengers and five crewmembers, averaged Mach 0.85 over the record-breaking flight, despite flying against headwinds exceeding 100 knots for more than half the flight. Once the U.S. National Aeronautic Association validates the new record, the flagship Gulfstream will have amassed 39 such milestones.
Abu Dhabi-based Falcon Aviation Services signed a firm purchase agreement for two Bombardier Q400 turboprop twins, to be used as 78-seat shuttles. The aircraft are worth $61 million at list prices. Based at Al Bateen Executive Airport, Falcon Aviation Services operates a charter fleet of business jets, as well as a fleet of helicopters serving the offshore oil and gas industry. The company also conducts search and rescue, aircraft management and maintenance, repair and overhaul.
The Indian government last week stalled completion of several major military equipment deals until at least the end of the current financial year on March 31. “We have no money,” said defense minister A. K. Antony at the Defexpo show in New Dehli on Thursday.
Looking at organic growth in 2014, BBA Aviation (Booth D63), a global provider for support and aftermarket services, is viewing opportunities for acquisitions this year, according to the UK-based group’s Asia Pacific president David Best. He did not elaborate on possible targets but the group has acknowledged that it would like to add to its already-extensive chain of FBOs, which includes a new base at Singapore’s Changi Airport. “We will carry on extending scope and scale from our Singapore base,” he told AIN, adding “We welcome [economic] recovery in Asia Pacific.”
Aircraft sales and support company Hawker Pacific (Booth H65, Chalet CD31/32) is celebrating the two-year anniversary of the opening of its new facility at Seletar Aerospace Park here this week. It is showcasing its portfolio of services and presenting several aircraft on static display.
“We have a busy program of events, a fantastic line-up of aircraft and participation of our key partners and principals,” promised Tony Jones, COO Hawker Pacific Asia. “We will also be making a number of exciting announcements,” he added.
The past two years have seen a number of developments with the military aircraft programs of the People’s Republic of China’s aerospace industry.
As series production of Antonov’s new-generation An-148 and An-158 regional jets gains momentum, the manufacturer and its close ally lessor Ilyushin Finance Co. (IFC) are trying to raise the type’s temporary operational limitations.
PT Dirgantara Indonesia (Booth E35), also known as Indonesia Aerospace (IAe), delivered its first complete main fuselage assembly for the EC225/725 helicopter series to Airbus Helicopters (formerly Eurocopter) last December. The company had previously supplied five upper fuselage sections, as well as 23 tail booms, in a $43 million long-term deal struck in 2008 that called for a total of 125 component sets. Now IAe has been entrusted to supply integrated fuselages. This year, it will supply one every 10 weeks, and one tail boom every three weeks.
In an unexpected move, the Republic of Korea Navy is pursuing a U.S. offer to supply 20 Lockheed Martin S-3A Viking twinjets for maritime surveillance. The service told legislators in Seoul that this is a lower-cost option for expanding this capability compared to acquiring refurbished P-3C Orions from the same manufacturer to add to the current fleet of 16, or new aircraft such as the Airbus Military C295, Boeing P-8 Poseidon, or Lockheed Martin SC-130J Hercules.
For Franco-Italian regional turboprop manufacturer ATR (Booth E01), the Asia Pacific region now takes top spot in its geographic sales rankings, but orders from China still seem to be eluding the company. Last year ATR saw orders and deliveries grow again, reaching record levels and steady profitability, but it has yet to convince shareholders Airbus Group and Finmeccanica to launch a new larger turboprop in the 90-seat category.