The U.S. Congress moved closer to voting on “stopgap” funding legislation that includes a controversial provision to temporarily extend the charter of the Export-Import Bank, which helps finance exports of American-made products, including airplanes and helicopters.
Economy of the United States
Boeing finally answered Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary’s call for a higher-capacity 737 Max 8 with last Monday morning’s official launch of the 737 Max 200 and, in the process, won a commitment for as many as 200 airplanes. The commitment calls for a firm order for 100 airplanes and options for another 100, together worth as much as $22 billion.
Bell Helicopter announced the signing of two new purchase agreements on the opening day of the JetExpo 2014 show. Two undisclosed Russian private customers each have signed for a Bell 407GX single-engined aircraft. The new contracts were announced on the same day as Bell delivered three other helicopters to Russian clients.
The healthy crop of new airliner orders announced by Boeing during July’s Farnborough International Air Show made a big impact on U.S. trade figures. New Department of Commerce data on manufactured durable goods revealed that orders announced at the biennial show for at least 228 new Boeing aircraft saw total orders in this sector rise by 22.6 percent in July to total $300.1 billion.
Gulfstream Aerospace has added a hangar specifically for mid-cabin aircraft maintenance at its service and completions facility at Outagamie County Regional Airport in Appleton, Wis. The 25,500-sq-ft building, which is leased from Outagamie County, comprises 18,000 sq ft of hangar space and 7,500 sq ft of office space. The building includes new hangar doors that enable it to accommodate all Gulfstream mid-cabin models, remodeled customer and employee offices, and a glass-enclosed conference room.
Boeing is forecasting continued strong growth in demand for commercial aviation maintenance technicians and pilots as the global fleet expands over the next 20 years. Boeing’s 2014 Pilot and Technician Outlook also projects that between 2014 and 2033 the world’s aviation system will require 584,000 new commercial airline maintenance technicians and 533,000 new commercial airline pilots.
After eight years of litigation, a legal battle between ExxonMobil and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) over mandatory pilot retirement age has concluded with a ruling by the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. The appeals panel upheld the previous ruling that the energy company’s policy on mandatory retirement for its corporate pilots at age 60 (later 65) does not violate the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA).
Pratt & Whitney has enlisted IBM to improve the engine fleet management and health “solutions” the engine company offers its customers. Pratt, with IBM’s help, plans to broaden its current engine performance monitoring capabilities.
Boeing’s centerpiece display at the show, the 787-9 not only represents a revolution in technology, but perhaps more important, it embodies a validation of the company’s decision a year and a half ago to reorganize its management structure to segregate airplane development from production.
Ameco Beijing is installing another tail dock at its four-bay hangar to handle growing overhaul workload. The design of the new dock, the fourth to be installed in this hangar, takes into account the needs of new aircraft types such as the Boeing 787 and 747-8. The hangar can be used at capacity with four docks, speeding turn-around time. The $1 million project is slated to be finished by the end of September.