Dramatically expanding the country’s airlift capabilities, the United Arab Emirates plans to add Boeing C-17s and Lockheed Martin C-130Js. The country is purchasing four C-17 Globemaster IIIs for AED4.3 billion ($1.17 billion), and 12 C-130Js for AED5.9 billion ($1.6 billion). Financial management of the purchases has been assigned to Al Waha Capital, and deliveries are scheduled for 2012 and 2013.
Indian helicopter requirements provided the only real news at this month’s Aero India event in Bangalore. Indian officials confirmed the relaunch of the competition for nearly 200 armed light helicopters, a requirement that is now called the reconnaissance and surveillance helicopter (RSH). Eurocopter has proposed the AS 550 C3 Fennec, with license-manufacture by Hindustan Aeronautics.
Fokker F-27 Friendship 500, Mogadishu, Somalia, Aug. 13, 2008–The Fokker freighter was on a flight from a Kenyan airport en route to Somalia in “poor” weather. It apparently struck a telecommunications antenna on approach to the Mogadishu airport, K-50.
The Quebec Superior Court in late August granted Kuwait Airways a seizure order for 10 Bombardier CRJ900s ordered by the Iraqi government for Iraqi Airways. The order comes as Kuwait continues efforts to collect reparations for damages caused by Iraq during the first Gulf War.
A report by the international Human Rights Watch (HRW) organization has put further pressure on U.S. and NATO air staffs and troops conducting air strikes in Afghanistan.
With today’s dedication of the country’s first major September 11 memorial at the Pentagon, Americans are recalling the events of that fateful day when airliners were turned into weapons of mass destruction. Although general aviation had nothing to do with the tragic events of 9/11, many of the security measures instituted in the aftermath of the attacks that affect GA operations remain in effect.
The conflict between Russia and Georgia is reverberating at Bend, Ore.-based Epic Aircraft, which in late June temporarily moved its sole Epic Elite Jet prototype to partner Tbilisi Aircraft Manufacturing’s (TAM) facility in Georgia for demonstration and marketing purposes. The two companies formed a joint venture several years ago to develop the eight-seat Tam-Air Elite Jet for the Russian and CIS markets.
Alenia Aeronautica has extended its C-27J “exclusive propulsion system provider” business with Rolls-Royce from 42 AE2100D2 engine/Dowty propeller assemblies under a 2006 contract to a “total guaranteed volume” of 155. The U.S. Armed Forces may extend its requirement from the current 78 aircraft to a potential 145 machines. The C-27J has been ordered by Romania and is in service in Bulgaria, Greece, Italy and Lithuania.
Germany’s MTU Aero Engines has taken an 18 percent stake in the GE38 turboshaft engine powering the Sikorsky CH-53 Super Stallion heavylift helicopter, marking its first entry into a U.S. military engine program. Under the agreement, MTU, which has previously manufactured components only for U.S. military engines, will have responsibility for the power turbine module.
Lockheed Martin’s Pathfinder flight team began preparations this week to demonstrate the system to the U.S. Army in a developmental and limited-user evaluation. Pathfinder is a pilotage aid based on the M-TADS/PNVS used in the AH-64 Apache, but intended for cargo and utility aircraft. It gives pilots FLIR-based imagery on a helmet display for safer flight in reduced-vision environments, including brown-out conditions.