Russia’s Sukhoi expects its Superjet 100 regional jet to fly for the first time next month and likely not enter domestic airline service for at least another year, program officials told AIN this week. That puts the troubled program some six months behind the schedule Sukhoi published last fall.
Boeing announced today it has agreed to acquire Vought Aircraft Industries’ interest in Global Aeronautica, the South Carolina fuselage subassembly facility for the 787 Dreamliner. Upon completion of the transaction, Global Aeronautica will become a 50-50 joint venture between Boeing and Alenia North America, a subsidiary of Italy’s Alenia Aeronautica–a Finmeccanica company.
The European Commission (EC) has ordered Italy to ensure immediate reimbursement of E170 million ($250 million) worth of “illegal” loans that had been allotted to various aerospace programs, including AgustaWestland for the A109 and A119 and Alenia-made Falcon 2000 business jet subassemblies. In addition, Italy must ask Avio to repay a loan for its contribution to the Pratt & Whitney Canada PW308 business jet engine.
Since April last year, when Embraer revealed that it is studying the possible development of a military transport aircraft, the world has awaited further news of the project with particular interest.
Sized between Alenia’s C-27J Spartan and the ubiquitous Lockheed Martin C-130 Hercules, the C-390 would be able to carry 84 troops, 64 paratroops or up to 19 tons of cargo, including wheeled armored fighting vehicles. (AFVs).
It might seem strange that the aerospace world awaits with such anticipation Singapore’s choice of advanced jet trainer, especially since it will probably involve no more than a dozen aircraft. But, as Alenia Aermacchi’s CEO Carmelo Cosentino remarked here at the show, “Singapore is one of the most sophisticated and demanding customers in the world–and we like that because we have the best product.”
Alenia Aermacchi expects to soon ink an order for 18 SF-260 primary trainers from the Philippines National Defence Department as part of a package aimed at modernizing the Asian nation’s armed forces. The Philippines armed forces have been using SF-260 trainers since the early 1970s, when they took the first of an order for 46 piston-powered aircraft, replaced in 1991 by 18 SF-260TP turboprops.
Northrop Grumman Italia is making its Singapore Air Show debut with a display covering its full range of navigation systems mostly based on fiber-optic technology already selected in the U.S., Europe and Asia. Products on display include the LISA-200 and Navex family attitude heading reference systems and LN 251/LN 270 high accuracy inertial navigation systems.
Few have doubted Russia’s aerospace engineering capabilities but many observers have questioned weather the country could deliver the marketing and customer support needed to successfully export civil airliners.
The newly formed Superjet International joint venture–based in Venice, Italy–carries the responsibility for alleviating any lingering doubts.
Sukhoi’s new Superjet 100 could be ready to make its long-awaited first flight by the end of this month. Powerjet–the joint venture between France’s Snecma and Russia’s NPO Saturn that is developing the regional airliner’s SaM146 engine–has said that it has applied for a flight permit, having completed more than 30 hours during 14 flights with the turbofan mounted on an Ilyushin Il-76LL testbed.
According to Alenia Aeronautica, it is meeting its commitments as a supplier for the Boeing 787 and has not contributed to the delays the program is suffering. The Italian company delivers complete composite fuselage sections to Global Aeronautica, its joint venture with Vought in Charleston, South Carolina, which subsequently adds components to the structures before shipping them to Boeing’s final assembly line in Everett, Washington.