Most activity in business jet engine research and development is taking place for business aircraft at the top end of the size range. Snecma (Booth 5515) is developing the Silvercrest for the Dassault Falcon 5X, while Pratt & Whitney Canada (Booth 3834) has readied a new variant of the PW307 for the newly revealed Falcon 8X. The Québec-based manufacturer is also running the PW800, a demonstrator in the 10,000- to 20,000-lb-thrust range. GE (Booth 5551) is working on its Passport engine for Bombardier’s Global 7000 and 8000.
GE Aviation and Evergreen Aviation Technologies have formed a joint-venture company, GE Evergreen Engine Services, to specialize in the overhaul of the GEnx engine.
A spokesman for GE Aviation told AIN the two parties are investing approximately $130 million over the next five years.
The new venture will be located at the GE Aviation and Evergreen Aviation Technologies facility in Taipei. The facility currently provides airframe and engine work. “There is also ample real estate available, so we’re looking at all the options,” said the spokesman.
More than 1,000 delegates attending the March 11 to 13 IATA World Cargo Symposium in Los Angeles heard a downbeat assessment of prospects for air freight from FedEx chairman and CEO Fred Smith and IATA chief economist Brian Pearce, both of whom talked of long-term structural challenges.
The McDonnell Douglas DC-10 has flown its last passenger-carrying service, at least in civilian colors, after a career spanning 43 years. Biman Bangladesh Airlines operated its final scheduled flight with the type from Dhaka to Birmingham in the UK via Kuwait on February 20, before operating nine local scenic flights as part of the type’s farewell ceremonies over the following weekend.
Boeing and GE have warned companies operating Boeing 747-8 and 787 airliners powered by certain versions of General Electric’s GEnx engines about the risk of in-flight internal-engine icing that can reduce engine performance if aircraft wander too close to areas of significant precipitation, like thunderstorms at high altitudes. Engine models affected are the GEnx-2B on the 747-8 and the GEnx-1B on the 787 Dreamliner.
Boeing has advised GEnx engine operators that it is revising the 787’s and the 747-8’s flight manuals to prohibit flight within 50 nm of thunderstorms that may contain ice crystals. Following Boeing’s recommendation, Japan Airlines immediately announced it would switch aircraft on two routes. From April to November, GEnx-powered aircraft suffered six engine-icing events, according to a GE statement. All aircraft landed at their planned destinations, said the engine maker, and none of the incidents involved in-flight shutdowns–only temporary thrust losses.
Saudi Arabia’s MRO players are seasoned operators. Alsalam Aircraft Co. (Stand 1718) is one of the two or three leading players in the kingdom and a pioneer in aircraft maintenance, modification and technical support in the Middle East. It carries out corporate, VIP and military work for customers worldwide.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) released a training video highlighting some near catastrophes that occurred after experienced pilots incorrectly entered takeoff data in the flight management computer aboard large airline aircraft, including a Boeing 747 and 767 and an Airbus A340.
The July 24 report by the United Arab Emirates’ General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) on the Sept. 3, 2010, crash of a UPS Boeing 747 in Dubai urges operators of the Boeing freighter to consider the role aircraft vibrations and the acoustical energy they generate might play in onboard lithium-ion battery fires. While GCAA investigators suspect an onboard battery fire brought down the aircraft, they did not pinpoint the cause in their conclusions.
Cargo carrier UPS has begun installing new systems in its aircraft to help contain intense fires such as the one that brought down UPS Flight 6, a Boeing 747-400 freighter, on Sept. 3, 2010, in Dubai. The UAE General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) issued its final report on the crash on July 24. The report suggests that a shipment of lithium batteries possibly caught fire and led to the fatal crash.
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