ATR has chosen former company chief executive Filippo Bagnato to replace outgoing CEO Stephane Mayer, whose three-year mandate has expired in accordance with the Franco-Italian company’s statutes. Bagnato served as ATR’s CEO between 2004 and 2007. For the past three years he held the position of Finmeccanica’s executive vice president of technical, industrial and commercial development.
This month the Italian air force’s fleet of 12 Alenia Aeronautica C-27J transports racked up its 10,000th flying hour, during the course of which the type has consistently demonstrated high operational efficiency. The fleet was delivered to the 46th air wing at Pisa between 2007 and last year, and since 2008 the airplanes have been used on theater operations in Afghanistan.
While the British are touting their UCAV capabilities to the world, the six European countries that have partnered to produce the Neuron UCAV demonstrator are quietly getting on with their own tasks.
French-Italian regional turboprop manufacturer ATR earlier this month unveiled a new partnership with Italian design house Giugiaro Design for the development of the cabin of its ATR 42/72-600 series. The makeover, called Armonia, reduces the aircraft’s total weight by the equivalent of two passengers and will be available as a retrofit on the ATR’s current -500 series.
The Moroccan government’s military transport wing has taken delivery of the first of four C-27J Spartans that it ordered from Alenia Aeronautica in October 2008. The aircraft, which arrived at Kenitra air base on July 7, is equipped with the self-protection suite but does not feature an in-flight refuelling probe.
Superjet International insists that it will meet its commitment to deliver the first of its Superjet 100s to Aeroflot and Armavia before year-end despite another short projected delay in completing Russian certification in October, as opposed to September. A breakthrough for the delayed program came less than a month ago on June 23 when the airliner’s SaM146 engine achieved certification by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).
Clean Sky, the European Union’s ?1.6 billion ($1.9 billion) aeronautical research program, is aiming to have several demonstrators running on the ground or flying in 2014-2015. At the first Clean Sky conference, held June 18 in Brussels, project leaders said that after a slow start in 2008-2009 the joint technology initiative (JTI) is gathering speed.
Alenia Aermacchi is stepping up the pace on the production line for its new
M-346 Master jet trainer at the Venegono Superiore factory in northern Italy, while also attempting to leap forward in manufacturing efficiency. Its aim is to initially produce up to 24 of the aircraft per year in a way that reduces unit costs and allows for an eventual increase in annual output to 40.
Northrop’s venerable T-38 Talon supersonic trainer entered service with the U.S. Air Force in March 1961 and has provided the advanced portion of the service’s training syllabus ever since. Over 1,100 were delivered and more than 450 remain in service.
Iridium Communications of McLean, Va., last month placed a multibillion-dollar order with Thales Alenia Space of France for 81 communications satellites needed to upgrade its global satellite communications network. The $2.1 billion deal includes 66 low-earth-orbit satellites for the Iridium Next constellation, with the remainder to serve as spares.