The first section of the Boeing 787-9 fuselage has left Alenia Aermacchi’s Monteiasi-Grottaglie plant, bound for Boeing’s final assembly line in Charleston, South Carolina. Also a supplier on the 787-8 program, Alenia Aermacchi has already delivered more than 100 fuselage sections for the baseline Dreamliner six years after opening the Monteiasi-Grottaglie plant in Italy’s Apulia region.
A ceremony scheduled for this morning in Le Bourget’s static park marks delivery of the first example of a Sukhoi SSJ100 built to operate in the Western world to Mexican airline Interjet. The airplane, marketed by SuperJet International–the Venice, Italy-based Western sales and worldwide support provider for the Sukhoi SSJ100–arrived here in Interjet colors on Saturday evening. It now occupies a prominent spot on the static display line, giving show goers a preview of what passengers will experience once service starts next month.
The latest attempt to launch a European Male (Medium Altitude Long Endurance) UAV development was highlighted here yesterday when the chief executive officers of Alenia, Dassault and EADS Cassidian shook hands. The three companies said they “have a common view” on a joint program to meet “the security needs of our European governments and armed forces.”
The pan-European Neuron UCAV is making its public debut, outside Hall 2 here as part of the Dassault Aviation static display. But you could easily miss it. For security reasons, the stealthy, arrow-shaped drone has been enclosed in a dome, with the only public view being through a clear plastic curtain. Dassault is lead contractor, and France the lead country, for the six-nation technology demonstration project. The other participants are Greece (HAI); Italy (Alenia); Spain (EADS-CASA); Sweden (Saab); and Switzerland (Ruag).
Tulsa, Oklahoma-based Nordam Interiors and Structures division (Hall 3 Stand E145) has manufactured its 20,000th composite window frame for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. This is the first ever composite window frame for a commercial airliner and it features an almost 50 percent weight reduction compared with traditional aluminum frames, according to Nordam, as well as “superior damage tolerance.”
The Nordam window frame incorporates Hexcel HexMC low-density composite material, which is made from high-strength carbon fiber and epoxy resin.
India’s Ministry of Defense has issued a request for proposal (RFP) for the procurement of 56 transport aircraft to replace the air force’s aging fleet of around 30 Avro 748Ms. In a bid to launch an indigenous private defense manufacturing capability, this is the first time an RFP states that the Indian Production Agency (IPA) will be a private company. This leaves out Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL), which has until now held a monopoly in defense programs. The last date for submission of bids is October 8.
Alenia Aermacchi said operational M-346 advanced jet trainers were grounded as a precaution following the May 11 crash of a company-owned prototype in northern Italy. It was the second crash of an M-346 pre-production aircraft; the first jet crashed off the coast of Dubai in November 2011 after appearing at the Dubai Air Show.
Although an RFP has yet to be issued, Alenia says it is delighted by the announcement of Malaysian defense minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi at LIMA 2013 that a Maritime Patrol System (MPS) is now the main acquisition priority for that country’s armed forces. The Italians believe the ATR 72MP would be a “natural choice.” The Malaysian requirement is estimated at between six and 12 aircraft.
The NATO Eurofighter and Tornado Management Agency (NETMA) announced this week that it has awarded a contract to the trinational Panavia consortium to further upgrade the Tornado for the Italian air force. The latest in a series of upgrades will allow Italian Tornados to carry the small-diameter bomb (SDB) and the advanced anti-radiation guided missile (AARGM).
Alenia Aermacchi made the first flight of an SF-260TP primary and basic trainer with a glass cockpit from its factory at Venegono, Italy. The aircraft also carried an upgraded air conditioning system and an infrared TV camera on the wing leading edge that provides the pilots with an enhanced vision system at night or in poor weather.