Officials from Team Rafale are quietly confident that a deal for up to 60 airplanes will be made with the United Arab Emirates. Meanwhile, they are signing agreements here at the show with local entities that further strengthen the French influence in Emirati education and industry.
How can the Rafale be produced–and offered for export–at an economic price when the production rate is only about one aircraft per month? Official French statistics give a unit production cost of only ?64- to ?70 million in 2008 prices, depending on variant, excluding amortization of development costs, but including value-added tax of 19.6 percent (which would not be payable on export aircraft).
The Dassault Rafale combat jet may yet prove to be an export winner, despite no such orders being placed to date. The OEM is negotiating a contract with the United Arab Emirates air force, and Kuwait has formally expressed interest in the aircraft.
A new 43,000-sq-ft hangar has opened on Denton Airport in Texas. Jet Works Air Center’s newest facility is dedicated to maintenance, repair, inspections and avionics installations and will accommodate long-range business jets up to the size of the Boeing 757-200. The facility, which includes 3,000 sq ft of offices and back shop space, joins an existing 66,000-sq-ft facility.
Piaggio Aero CEO Alberto Galassi yesterday confirmed that the company’s much anticipated, follow-on aircraft to the P.180 Avanti II turboprop would be a jet. “Definitely,” he said.
In 1983, NBAA convention-goers who happened to be at the static display at Dallas Love Field at the right time witnessed a bit of history when a radical-looking airplane made a flyby. The flyby was the coming-out party for what would become the Beech Starship, an all-composite canard twin-turboprop that looked nothing like any other airplane ever built or even contemplated.
It has been one year since one of the world’s largest industrial conglomerates, India’s Tata Sons, purchased a one-third share of Piaggio Aero Industries, joining Italy’s Ferrari and Di Mase families and Mubadala Development of Abu Dhabi, UAE, as a primary shareholder.
Jet Works Air Center has begun delivering completed SJ30 light jets for Dubai-based Emivest, an 80-percent share holder in the former manufacturer, Sino Swearingen.
A top-level handshake in Brazil earlier this month does not necessarily mean the end of that country’s long quest to select a new fighter. Presidents Lula and Sarkozy proclaimed a strategic aerospace partnership after the French leader made a two-day state visit to Brazil.
Boeing unveiled the first F/A-18F Block II Super Hornet for the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) at a July 8 ceremony in St. Louis. The aircraft manufacturer is building 24 Super Hornets for Australia, in two batches of 12. The first aircraft is due to be delivered in March 2010, and Australian production will run at roughly one per month. The aircraft will have APG-79 AESA radar installed.