French avionics and radar firm Thales has a major presence here in Singapore, along with a substantial number of employees. Thales representatives told Aviation International News that, among other major projects, its technical and service personnel are one of the major contractors for supporting the Airbus A380 aircraft that are to be delivered to Singapore Airlines (SIA) beginning next November.
The Boeing F-15SG fighter recently selected by the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) will feature some of the avionics found on the F-15I version already in service with the Israeli Air Force (IAF), combined with the latest U.S. active-array radar and electro-optical targeting technology.
Piaggio markets the P180 Avanti as offering close to jet speed and a generously proportioned cabin that can seat up to nine passengers (but more typically is configured for six or seven). Innovative aerodynamics give the aircraft its cutting edge, featuring laminar flow optimized throughout the low-drag fuselage.
Piaggio Aero Industries (Booth No. 1644) is accelerating production of its P180 Avanti II twin pusherprop after finally completing certification by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration at the end of March. By early April, 103 Avantis had been delivered (mainly the original Avanti I version, and with 61 going to U.S. customers and 42 to Europe) and just over 100 more are on order, with the backlog stretching into 2008.
The first delivered Piaggio Aero P180 Avanti II will be covered by Jet Support Services, Inc.’s (JSSI) Tip-to-Tail hourly maintenance cost program. The twin pusherprop has been operated by Swiss company Fly Wings. The Tip-to-Toe package, which covers both the airframe and the Avanti II’s Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6-66 engines, is jointly offered by JSSI (Booth No. 221) and Piaggio Aero (Booth No. 1644).
Bob Pond, who owns the first production Piaggio P.180 Avanti, has ordered a new Avanti II to replace it. He plans to add the superseded airplane to the 25-plus aircraft in the Palm Springs Air Museum in California, which he founded in 1996 after retiring as CEO of Advance Machine Co.
Owners of Piaggio Avanti twin-pusher turboprops were presented with some good news yesterday in the form of an announcement by avionics maker Rockwell Collins that it will offer buyers the chance to upgrade to Pro Line 21 avionics, the same baseline cockpit that is sold in new Avanti IIs rolling out of the factory.
Thales UK, together with EuroFirst partners Galileo Avionica of Italy and Technobit of Spain, has been awarded a contract to supply 200 Pirate infrared search and track (IRST) and forward-looking infrared (FLIR) units for Tranche 2 of Eurofighter Typhoon production aircraft for the UK, Spain and Italy.
“Even though you can still buy VHS videotape movies almost everyone buys DVDs instead,” Steve Martin, head of campaigns UK and naval radar systems for Selex, told a press conference here yesterday. “E-scan (the UK term for AESA) radars are the DVDs of the airborne systems world of today.”
The MBDA Meteor ramjet, active radar homing air-to-air missile (AAM) program is still alive and kicking, but has had to focus its efforts on meeting the deadlines imposed by the original December 2002 contract in order to avoid cancellation penalties.