The U.S.-led Joint Strike Fighter program represents an important opportunity not only for large Italian aerospace companies, but also for medium-size firms that are playing a significant role in developing the F-35 Lightning. Among these is Milan-based Aerea, whose engineers are directly involved in the aircraft mission equipment integrated project team (IPT) at Lockheed Martin’s main facility in Fort Worth, Texas.
Visitors to Alenia Aermacchi, part of the Finmeccanica stand here at Le Bourget, will find the same M-311 lightweight jet basic/advanced trainer avionics demonstrator the company showed two years ago. However, the program has moved forward since then, with advancements in both the commercial and technical fields.
Dassault Aviation is about to start researching more ecologically friendly aircraft designs as part of the European Commission-funded CleanSky joint technology initiative (JTI). With several partners, the French business jet manufacturer will focus on airframes and systems under the e117 million ($155 million) Eco-design integration technology demonstrator (ITD) project.
Antonov | An-148
ATR’s sales momentum didn’t pause for the turn of the calendar as the Franco-Italian turboprop maker landed two more contracts for a total of eight turboprops before the ink had dried on last year’s financial reports. Canarian Navigation and Aerial Services, a company operating from Spain’s Canary Islands, announced a $36 million contract for two new ATR 72-500s for delivery this year following an agreement for four made last September.
The Alenia C-27J Spartan that features in the daily flying display here is a far better fit for the U.S. Army’s future cargo aircraft (FCA) program than the C-295/C-235-based proposal from the rival team of EADS CASA and Raytheon. That was the message delivered here yesterday by Global Military Aircraft Systems, the joint venture of L-3 Communications Integrated Systems and Alenia North America.
The April 27 first flight of the Airbus A380 was undoubtedly a triumph for Europe’s aerospace industry. But it was also an occasion to celebrate for many companies on the other side of the Atlantic. According to EADS, which owns 80 percent of Airbus, more than 300 U.S. suppliers in 42 American states produce nearly 50 percent of the A380.
For more than a decade Italy’s Alenia Aeronautica dreamed of joining Airbus only to have its advances rejected by the group’s French, German and British shareholders. So the subsidiary of the diverse Finmeccanica group has taken to courting partnerships in other countries such as Russia, Greece and Turkey, while increasing its commitment to serving as a Tier 1 supplier to Airbus’ rival Boeing.
Having flown for the first time on May 29, Alenia Aeronautica’s Sky-X unmanned technology demonstrator is making its debut at the Dubai show, appearing in the static display. The Italian group is also hoping to attract regional orders for its C-27J transport, and ATR 42MP and ATR 72ASW maritime patrol platforms, models of which are on display at its stand (C301).
The future of both the aero-structures and structural engine component businesses belongs to an elite group of so-called Super Tier 1 suppliers/strategic partners.