Magnetic MRO completes painting project for a VVIP Business Jet

Magnetic MRO, global total technical care and asset management organization, successfully completed a VVIP Business Jet repaint project for an undisclosed customer, once again proving itself in the VIP arena by painting a Bombardier Global 5000.

 “We approach every single paint project as a distinctive artwork as they all need a special attention and require customized solutions. However, painting a business jet, regardless of how exciting it is, refers to a totally different category due to excessive quality demands and required meticulous attention.,” stated Rihards Priedkalns, Magnetic MRO Aircraft Paintshop Manager. 


India to spend $1b on air defense system

India has quietly approved a plan to the National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System-II through a government-to government deal with United States.

The moves comes before September 6 “2+2 dialogue” between defense and foreign ministers of India and United States here to bolster bilateral defense and strategic partnership.

The apex defense procurement body, Defense Acquisition Council, headed by Defense Minister Nirmarla Sitaraman, has approved the buy of hte NASAMS-II, manufactured by Kongsberg and Raytheon, at more than $1 billion, a Ministry of Defense official confirmed.


US army picks Lockheed Martin as Integrated Systems Developer for convoy program

The US Army’s Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) as the Integrated Systems Developer for its Expedient Leader Follower (ExLF) program selected Lockheed Martin.  

In this role, Lockheed Martin will lead a three-year effort to develop, integrate and test unmanned prototype systems for supporting leader/follower convoy activities within an asymmetric threat environment. Soldiers will conduct operational technology demonstrations using the prototypes developed in the ExLF program to establish operating procedures and shape future programs of record. 

"We are leveraging 15 years of experience in developing autonomous capabilities for our customers," said Gaylia Campbell, vice president of Precision Fires & Combat Maneuver Systems at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. "Our goal as the Integrated Systems Developer is to help coordinate a number of systems and vendors in achieving mature, reliable autonomous convoys to support our warfighters in complex environments."


Airbus unveils SmartForce

Airbus is extending its highly successful introduction of advanced data analytics in the civil aviation community to the defence market with the launch of SmartForce. 

Airbus Defence and Space together with Airbus Helicopters are launching the SmartForce suite of services to enable military operators to exploit the data gathered by their aircraft to enhance operational safety, boost mission availability and reduce maintenance support costs. Operators can benefit from services to improve troubleshooting, optimize maintenance effort, predict maintenance actions and plan smartly for material demand.

 The system incorporates on-site private data clouds to support specific military security requirements but also lays the ground for operational data-sharing between willing allies. 


IMSAR successfully tests NSP-5 ER radar on a King Air 200 twin-turboprop aircraft

US-based manufacturer IMSAR has successfully tested, delivered and integrated its first NSP-5 ER synthetic aperture radar (SAR) on to a Beechcraft King Air 200 twin-turboprop aircraft for an unnamed customer.

Offering a number of capabilities on both manned and unmanned platforms, the NSP-5 ER radar can effectively balance between low size, weight and power (SWaP), advanced capabilities and long-range versatility.

IMSAR NSP-5 ER lead engineer Ivan Ashcraft said, “Integration on the King Air 200 went very well and we are pleased see our most capable radar flying on this legendary aircraft.”


Chapman Freeborn marks 45 years in the charter business

Chapman Freeborn is celebrating 45 years of success in the aviation industry. Over the past four and a half decades the charter company has grown from a small UK-based operation to become an internationally renowned business with a global footprint.

Russi Batliwala, chief executive officer, said, “Reaching 45 years is a brilliant achievement and we look forward to seeing what the next chapter brings.  It’s our people who make the business what it is today. I’ve been with Chapman Freeborn for over 30 years and many of my colleagues have also been with the company for 10 and 20 years or more. It was great to spend a weekend away with so many familiar faces as well as the talented new starters coming through.”


Bombardier increases presence in US with new office and showroom

Bombardier recently announced the opening of a new showroom and regional office in New York City. The centrally located space in one of the world’s largest financial centres bringing Bombardier Business Aircraft closer to where its customers do business. The new office will further strengthen relationships with key stakeholders in the region who transit through the busy hub frequently.

“This office extends our commitment to the US where we have a strong customer base, as well as an extensive service and manufacturing footprint,” said David Coleal, President, Bombardier Business Aircraft. “Being close to the customers, wherever they may be globally, has secured Bombardier’s reputation for strong client relationships and exceptional experiences. We've learned the value of staying close to our customers and providing them with easy access to our team.”


Overseeing Boeing’s strategic direction

Dennis Muilenburg is chairman of the board, president and chief executive officer of The Boeing Company.

Muilenburg, oversees the strategic direction of the Chicago-based, $93.4 billion aerospace company. With roughly 140,000 employees across the United States and in more than 65 countries, Boeing is the world's largest aerospace company and top U.S. exporter. It is the leading manufacturer of commercial airplanes, military aircraft, and space and security systems, and a provider of global services; it supports airlines and US and allied government customers in more than 150 nations.

Muilenburg became chairman of the board in March 2016, chief executive officer in July 2015 and president in December 2013.


Orbex, Elecnor Deimos form strategic partnership for Satellite Launches

Following the announcement of Orbex’s £30 million funding round for the development of an orbital space launch system, Elecnor Deimos and Orbex have announced that the two companies have strengthened their relationship: Elecnor Deimos has acquired a stake in Orbex and both companies have signed a strategic agreement, building on previous collaborations between the two companies when successfully bidding together in UK and international tenders.

 Under the terms of the agreement, Orbex will become the preferred supplier of all launch services required to place Elecnor Deimos satellites into orbit.  Elecnor Deimos will likewise become the preferred supplier of various critical launch systems required to develop and operate the Orbex launcher system, including the Guidance, Navigation and Control (GNC) system.

 Recently emerging from stealth mode, Orbex is a UK-based spaceflight company, with subsidiaries and production facilities in Denmark and Germany.  The company is constructing a completely re-thought and re-designed orbital launch vehicle, called Prime, to deliver small satellites into Earth’s orbit. The Prime launcher has a novel architecture that eliminates the fundamental mass challenge of small launchers. Prime launchers are up to 30% lighter and 20% more efficient than any other vehicle in the small launcher category, packing more power per cubic litre than many heavy launchers.  Orbex will launch orbital vehicles from the newly-announced UK Vertical Launch spaceport in Sutherland in the Scottish Highlands as part of the main consortium.

 Elecnor Deimos will contribute with its expertise to the development of the Orbex launcher in areas including:

 - Guidance, Navigation and Control(GNC) including algorithms, software, test benches and validation and verification processes.

 - Mission Analysis, Mission Engineering and System Engineering, including flight dynamics, safety range and launcher performance.

 - Ground Segment Systems, including Command and Control Center, Ground Support Equipment, ranging systems and ground stations.

 Orbex's partnership with Elecnor Deimos is significant for us on a number of levels,” said Chris Larmour, Orbex CEO.  “It demonstrates that as well as technological maturity, we have achieved a milestone in business maturity, where we are already in a position to become the preferred launch partner for an organisation as significant as Elecnor Deimos.  It also helps us maintain our accelerated pace of development, as we are able to incorporate tried-and-tested critical launch systems from Elecnor Deimos ranging from navigation to ground and mission control systems.

 “The huge potential of Orbex quickly became clear to Elecnor Deimos, which is why we became both an investor in the company as well as a strategic partner,” commented Miguel Belló Mora, CEO, Elecnor Deimos.  “By using a number of our advanced navigation and mission support systems, Orbex is leaping ahead in its ability to safely and efficiently execute small satellite launches in the near future.  This in turn helps Elecnor Deimos as it gives us access to innovative and efficient launch vehicles, which will be launching from several sites within Europe.”

 The smallsat launch market is projected to grow strongly to around $60 billion between 2018-2030, with a strong shift towards more international satellite operators. More than 30 commercial consortia are currently building smallsats constellations, with almost 12,000 satellites expected to be launched by 2030. Each satellite has a life expectancy of 3-5 years, creating a strong ongoing demand for upgrade and replenishment. 

 "There is a quiet revolution taking place, thanks to small satellites,” said Bart Markus, Orbex’s Chairman.  “Smallsats are now able to perform a huge range of tasks at very low cost, making them a smart choice for satellite operators both commercially and logistically.  But there is currently a huge bottleneck in getting them delivered into orbit, which means that satellite operators’ revenues are being delayed.  With Orbex, international smallsat operators now have access to a new class of launch service, which which was designed exclusively to serve their needs.  We intend to relieve the smallsat bottleneck so that satellite operators have a reliable, long-term solution for orbital access.”




Flann, NASA collaborate on space mission to map Earth’s water

World leading microwave engineering company Flann Microwave is supplying vital components to the US space agency NASA for a major spaceflight mission making the first-ever global survey of Earth's surface water.

The multinational Surface Water and Ocean Topology (SWOT) satellite, planned to launch in 2021, is being jointly developed and managed by NASA, the French Space Agency (CNES), and the Canadian Space Agency, with contributions from the United Kingdom Space Agency.

It is UK-based Flann’s first project for NASA and has seen engineers working closely with their counterparts at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), in Pasadena, California, in developing custom-made waveguide equipment.

This will be linked to the satellite’s high-resolution radar as it tracks how Earth’s water bodies change over time, with the aim of improving ocean circulation models, weather and climate predictions, and aiding in freshwater management around the world. 

Flann’s spaceflight attenuators have been designed and tested to withstand the rigours of spaceflight, enabling consistent and highly accurate measurements as the SWOT satellite surveys Earth’s lakes, rivers, reservoirs and oceans and maps ocean surface height with greater detail than previously recorded.

Engineering models of the components have already been delivered to and passed JPL’s spaceflight qualification tests and the final spaceflight models are due to be hand carried back to the United States by JPL personnel in the coming weeks before being installed in the spacecraft.

Professor James Watts, Chief Executive of Flann Microwave, said: “This is an incredibly exciting and globally significant project which we are very proud to be a part of.

“NASA is synonymous with excellence, their standards are exacting and the resources and engineering expertise at their disposal is hugely impressive. There’s good reason for that because the demands of spaceflight and the need for spacecraft and their components to perform accurately and consistently in a high energy environment and across a wide range of temperatures is technically challenging.




“So it has been a great experience to work with JPL in taking their specifications and delivering a completely custom solution to meet their requirements.


“We look forward to the launch of the mission and the new insights it will bring into Earth’s climate and precious water resources.” 


Flann has a 60-year record of continuous innovation and engineering excellence which have secured it a global reputation and market leading position in the design and manufacture of precision microwave communications equipment, for example in radar and to allow internet and mobile data to be carried between mobile phone masts or through satellite links.


 With a 60-strong team based in Bodmin, Cornwall, UK, the company serves customers in the telecoms, government, automotive, aerospace, defence and research sectors, exporting more than 80 per cent of production. It has also worked with UK and overseas government agencies to write many of the standards used in the industry.


Flann was recently called in by the Met Office to help improve the reliability of the UK weather radar network, supplying new hardware and technical advice as part of a £10 million upgrade to the Met Office Radar Network completed in February 2018.



Teal Group predicts worldwide drone production to soar over the next decade

Civil Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) are attracting record levels of venture capital and promise to be the most dynamic growth sector of the world aerospace industry this decade, reports Teal Group.

"The groundwork is being laid for explosive growth in the civil UAS market," said Philip Finnegan, Teal Group's director of corporate analysis and author of the study. "The prospect for strong growth as airspace opens is attracting record levels of investment and the involvement of technology giants. New hardware, software and services are enabling businesses to begin to incorporate unmanned systems in their operations."


Teal Group's 2018 World Civil UAS Market Profile and Forecast projects that non-military UAS production will total $88.3 billion in the next decade, soaring from $4.4 billion worldwide in 2018 to $13.1 billion in 2027, a 12.9% compound annual growth rate. The forecast includes commercial, consumer and civil government systems. Teal Group provides support for the FAA in the preparation of its commercial UAS forecast.

Commercial use will surpass the consumer drone market in 2024, becoming the largest segment of the civil market. It will grow eightfold over the decade to reach $7.3 billion in 2027. "The growing promise of the civil market is attracting the world's leading technology companies, driving ever faster development of systems and business applications," said Finnegan. "As potential corporate clients move from proof of concept work to deployment of fleets, the market will soar."

Firms in traditional aerospace, data analysis, semiconductors, telecommunications are all driving aggressively into the civil market. Technology companies like Intel, Qualcomm, Microsoft, Apple as well as venture capitalists have poured more than $500 million into startup investments in 2017, a record level, and more than $2 billion since 2012. US start-ups have received 76% of the funding, enabling them to take the lead in development of drone analytics. Chinese firms, which have received 4% of the investment, are focusing on continuing their lead in hardware, moving from consumer to commercial systems.

While funding still goes for new drones focused on specialized markets, increasingly the venture capital funding is shifting from hardware to software and services that will make drones more useful. Funding is being used to develop the scale needed to serve large corporations.

As a market segment, construction will lead the commercial UAS market over the next decade. All 10 of the largest worldwide construction firms are deploying or experimenting with systems and will be able to quickly deploy fleets worldwide.

Agriculture, which is the most established commercial market thanks to Japan's use of high value spraying UAVs for decades, has tremendous potential, but will grow more slowly than other sectors. It still will rank second worldwide over the next.


GKN Aerospace receives order to increase production of F-35 bulkheads

GKN Aerospace and Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT) are expanding a longtime customer partnership by signing a contract to increase production of bulkheads for the F-35 Lightning II program through 2023. The bulkheads are a critical structure for the conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) and carrier variants (CV). They require among the longest lead time of any F-35 part and are made from some of the largest titanium forgings of any aircraft.

The four year contract is another milestone in a long-term business relationship between GKN Aerospace and Lockheed Martin. Today, GN Aerospace provides the F-35 with critical engine components, electrical wiring interconnection systems, the cockpit canopy and advanced composite aerostructures. It also holds contracts to deliver the in-flight opening doors and the landing gear drag brace, and maintains and services the landing gear for the F-35 fleet in Europe and the Pacific.

 Mike McCann, CEO of GKN Aerostructures and Systems, North America, comments, “GKN has a strong relationship with Lockheed Martin and a history of partnering with them to support the F-35 program and the warfighter effort. Our dedicated employees worked very hard to demonstrate that GKN has a proven ability to deliver high-quality parts on time. In addition, collaborative engineering efforts between GKN Aerospace and Lockheed Martin enabled us to maximize efficiencies to help reduce unit prices within the contract and support cost reductions.”

The contract will be fulfilled at the GKN Aerospace Monitor Inc. facility in Amityville, New York and the GKN Aerospace Precision Machining, Inc. facility in Wellington, Kansas. GKN Aerospace – Monitor and Precision Machining, Inc. serve as a premier supplier of complex titanium and aluminum airframe components and assemblies for commercial and defense customers.


Boeing, Jackson Square Aviation announce order for 30 737 MAXs

Boeing and Jackson Square Aviation (JSA) announced the leasing company has ordered 30 737 MAX airplanes in its first direct purchase from a jet maker, reflecting the evolution of the airplane lessor's business and its confidence in the market for 737 MAXs.

 The two companies unveiled the $3.5 billion deal – per current list prices – during a signing ceremony at the 2018 Farnborough International Airshow. The order, previously unidentified on Boeing's Orders & Deliveries website, represents the 100th customer for the 737 MAX program.

 "Today's order is an exciting moment in the history of Jackson Square Aviation," said Toby Bright, JSA's chief executive officer. "We are excited to become even more of a full-service partner for our airline customers by expanding our fleet of 737 MAX airplanes as global demand for narrow-body jets continues to rise. The MAX is quickly becoming an important part of our portfolio and we look forward to offering this modern, fuel-efficient and reliable aircraft to airlines around the world.  We have carefully evaluated how speculative orders can enhance our long-term business model, and this transaction signifies the next step in that development."

 Since its founding in 2010, San Francisco-based Jackson Square Aviation has grown steadily by buying new technology airplanes from airlines globally through sale-leaseback financing and pre-delivery payment financing agreements. The stable model has served JSA well as it has built a portfolio of more than 180 jets with long and balanced lease terms placed with 49 customers in 27 countries.

 "We are proud to support this important transaction between Jackson Square Aviation and Boeing," said Naoki Sato, the managing executive officer of Mitsubishi UFJ Lease & Finance Company (MUL) and the chairman of Jackson Square Aviation.  "This order reflects our strong confidence in the continued growth of the aviation sector and in the leadership of JSA."

 "Jackson Square Aviation has reached significant heights since its founding, having financed more than 100 Boeing airplanes. We are proud to have been their partner and we are extremely honored that JSA has chosen to expand its business on the wings of the 737 MAX," said Ihssane Mounir, senior vice president, Commercial Sales & Marketing for The Boeing Company. "The 737 MAX is the best airplane in the single-aisle segment. It will provide Jackson Square Aviation's customers with exceptional efficiency, improved range and unmatched reliability."

 Jackson Square Aviation chose the 737 MAX 8, which offers 162 to 178 seats in a standard two-class configuration and flies up to 3,550 nautical miles (6,570 kilometers), while improving fuel efficiency 14 percent over its predecessor.

 The 737 MAX family incorporates the latest CFM International LEAP-1B engines, Advanced Technology winglets, Boeing Sky Interior, large flight deck displays and other features to deliver the highest efficiency, reliability and passenger comfort in the single-aisle market.

 The 737 MAX is the fastest-selling airplane in Boeing history, accumulating more than 4,600 orders from now 100 customers worldwide. For more information and feature content, visit

Day Two at the Farnborough International Airshow witnesses deals worth $51.4bn

More than 530 aircraft have been ordered, bringing the total value of aircraft ordered at the Airshow so far to $95.5billion.

With Monday’s engine and engine service agreements, bringing the total amount of business done by the close of Tuesday to more than $98billion. This is $23billion up on the first two days of the 2016 Farnborough International Airshow.

Amanda Stainer, Farnborough International Commercial Director says, “I am delighted that the global aerospace industry use the Farnborough International Airshow as the preeminent platform for doing business and signing major deals.

“The future starts at Farnborough; our exhibition halls are full of innovation that will shape how we fly, enabling us to go further, faster and with less environmental impact.”  

Strong political attendance continued at the show with Nicky Morgan MP, Chair of the Treasury Select Committee opening a FINN Conference Session.

Speaking about the Government’s Brexit White Paper, Ms. Morgan said, “[The White Paper] will require compromises and trade-offs but it is a step in the right direction.” Ms. Morgan also referenced the changes of balancing politics with the business agenda, and made the point that all negotiations “go up to the wire”.

Embraer, Mauritania Airlines sign contract for E175s

Embraer and Mauritania Airlines recently announced at the Farnborough Airshow 2018, a firm order for two E175 jets. The contract has a value of $93.8

million, based on current list prices, and will be included in Embraer’s 2018 third-quarter backlog.

“Embraer is proud to welcome Mauritania Airlines to the growing family of E-Jets  operators”, said Raul Villaron, Vice President, Sales, for Middle East & Africa, Embraer Commercial Aviation. “With the best economics in its category, the E175 is a success in many markets around the world and we are glad the aircraft will enter the African market with Mauritania Airlines.”

Mauritania Airlines will configure both aircraft with 76 seats in a comfortable dual class layout. Deliveries will take place in 2019.

 “The acquisition of the E175 is part of our fleet modernization, replacing old aircraft and complementing our young narrow-body aircraft”, said Mr. Mohamed Radhy Bennahi, CEO of Mauritania Airlines. “We are certain that with E175 we’ll be able to offer an even better service to our customers, with greater comfort, adding more frequencies and new destinations.”

Connected aircraft to save aviation industry $15b per year and 21.3m tons of CO2 emissions by 2035

The connected aircraft, enabled by satellite communications, has the potential to save airlines $15 billion annually in operational efficiencies and 21.3 million tons of CO2 emissions by 2035, according to a research from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) in association with Inmarsat, the world’s leading provider of global, mobile satellite communications.

Analyzing current IATA data and primary research including industry interviews with airlines, regulatory agencies, developers and suppliers of aircraft equipment and software solutions, Sky High Economics: