Foreign object damage could one day disappear, thanks to technology developed in the UK. A high-precision millimeter wave radar built by researchers at QinetiQ (pronounced ki•ne•tic) has demonstrated its ability to detect objects as small as a two-inch-long steel machine bolt as it lay on a runway surface 1.24 miles from the radar.
MacCarthy Interiors in Surrey, England, has delivered its first Sikorsky S-92 with an executive interior. The job for a private owner was part of a contract with Harrods Aviation (MacCarthy is a preferred interiors supplier for Harrods), and involved first stripping out the old interior. Among the upgrade items is a forward lavatory and new leather seats.
German interiors specialist Lufthansa Technik will be providing its network integrated cabin equipment (Nice) system to Bombardier as standard equipment on the Canadian manufacturer’s Challenger 300. Nice is a digital-based cabin-management and entertainment package that includes an iPod docking station to stream the audio output.
Negotiations continue between the UK and Saudi Arabian governments over the details of Project Salam, the agreement to supply 72 Eurofighter Typhoons to Saudi Arabia. Major decisions still have to be taken on the avionics and weapons configurations, and on the arrangements to produce and support the aircraft in Saudi Arabia.
BAE Systems Regional Aircraft suggests there might be a large increase in the Persian Gulf-based fleet of British Aerospace 146/Avro RJ regional jets in the next six months. The current four airplanes operating in the area could have grown to as many as 15 by the second quarter of 2008, according to BAE Systems salesman Andy Whelan at an aviation-finance conference here last week.
Next year’s 60th anniversary Farnborough Airshow should be a record-breaker, according to organizers Farnborough International (Stand W106). Sales are at the highest level ever seen at this stage in the biennial cycle, the company said, and exhibitors’ plans are correspondingly ambitious.
BAE Systems (Stand W412) has started building the airframe for the Taranis, a $254 million unmanned combat aerial vehicle demonstrator aimed at helping the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) determine its armed forces’ future equipment needs.
In separate efforts, Jet Aviation and Kollsman are the latest companies to explore possible anti-surface-to-air-missile (SAM) systems. Jet Aviation, a subsidiary of a Swiss-based company with U.S. headquarters in West Palm Beach, Fla., is reportedly in talks with possible system vendors Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman.
Farnborough Aircraft’s struggling turboprop-single program has received the backing of former Rolls-Royce chairman Sir Ralph Robins and the ex-CEO of BAE Systems, John Weston. The UK company went into bankruptcy last year, but has now been restructured and is hoping to fly an F1 prototype before the end of next year and receive certification in 2007.
Farnborough Airport officially came under the control of TAG Aviation on February 5, when the Swiss-based group signed a 99-year lease with the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD).