China becoming a major space power

China is fast becoming a major space power as both its technology and launching frequency of satellites are improving at a rapid rate.

China became the world's fifth country to send a satellite into space in 1970. So far, a total of 400 satellites have been launched and over 200 are currently in service.

A large family of satellites has been formed in China, covering the fields of communication, meteorology, navigation and space science.

For instance, the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS) now offers high-accuracy positioning services in the Asia-Pacific region, and 18 Beidou


Gender imbalance coincides with economic, political challenges

Global airline chiefs recently gathered in Sydney, mapped out the future of an industry that transports a big chunk of the world’s population. Good luck finding a woman among them.

The scarcity of women leaders in aviation, which trails other industries, reverberated at the gathering. Ourmières-Widener, the solo woman holding a Chief Executive position at Flybe, in an interview said IATA could help push the industry to start solving the problem. “Maybe we need to be more creative,” she said, suggesting that ‘if it’s a priority’ the group could help promote mentoring, coaching and setting objectives that would lead to a larger pool of women.


FlySafair, Space Camp introduce high school girls to aviation industry

As part of its mission to empower women in aviation FlySafair has sponsored for the Girl Fly Programme in Africa (GFPA) Foundation’s 2018 Aviation and Space Camp.

The camp introduced more than 120 high school girls from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region to the aviation and space industry. It began on Saturday, 30 June and ran till Thursday, 5 July, hosted in collaboration with Girls Invent Tomorrow (GIT), Ladies that UX and the Women in Aviation Botswana Chapter.

FlySafair CEO, Elmar Conradie, said they were excited to join this event as a platinum sponsor. 


L3 CTS cadets to train at Etihad Aviation Training

L3 Commercial Training Solutions (CTS) and Etihad Aviation Training (EAT) have signed an agreement enabling cadets enrolled on the L3 Airline Academy Integrated ATPL course to undertake foundation flight training at EAT’s trainingfacility in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates.

The agreement will increase L3’s capacity for flight training, enabling it to meet the demand for its industry-leading ATPL Commercial Pilot career program. It ensures the continuation of the renowned professionalism and quality of the training performed by the Approved Training Organization (ATO).


CAE expands its training capacity to support the growing training needs of airlines

CAE recently announced the expansion of its training capacity in Europe to support the growing training needs of its airline customers, including Norwegian Airlines, BA CityFlyer, Iberia and Air Europa.

CAE inaugurated a new Boeing 787 full-flight simulator at CAE Madrid. Government officials, Air Europa and CAE employees attended the inauguration. Later this summer, a new Airbus A350 will also be deployed at CAE Madrid. Furthermore, one Boeing 737NG will also be deployed at CAE Barcelona in the second half of 2018.


Emirates Aviation University signs MoU with Lufthansa Technik Middle East

Emirates Aviation University signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Lufthansa Technik Middle East to collaborate on opportunities in the aviation sector.

Under the MoU, Emirates Aviation University and Lufthansa Technik Middle East will spearhead initiatives that provide work experience opportunities within the field of engineering and aircraft maintenance.  Lufthansa Technik Middle East will work with Emirates Aviation University’s (EAU) School of Engineering to develop cooperative learning objectives, facilitate student learning through guest speaking opportunities and seminars, share industry


MEKCO partners with Donica

Miami-based MRO provider MEKCO Group has entered a strategic partnership with Donica to become its dealer and authorized repair facility for in-flight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) equipment sales and repairs.

MEKCO will install, distribute and provide repair management for Donica’s product line, including ‘plug and play’ products for legacy aircraft, which the company says will help customers avoid costly aircraft modifications.

The company's existing capabilities include IFE and IFEC repairs, in-cabin electronics & electromechanical repairs along with  in-cabin interiors services for plastics, composites and panel adjustments.


Turkish Technic wins UIA, NordWind MRO contracts

Turkish Technic, a supplier of aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services, and a subsidiary of the country’s flagship carrier Turkish Airlines, has won new contracts from Ukraine International Airlines (UIA) and Russia’s NordWind.

For UIA, the maintenance provider will carry out MRO work on the airline’s two Boeing 767 wide-bodies. The Ukrainian carrier currently operates four aircraft of the type, but plans to dispense with them when their lease terms expire from 2019. UIA has already begun replacing them with Boeing 777s, and says it is considering setting up capabilities for maintaining that type in-house.



SR Technics expands its line maintenance capabilities in the UK

SR Technics, a world leading MRO service provider, recently announced that it has expanded its line maintenance capabilities at its line stations in the United Kingdom to support the latest Airbus A330neo and Airbus A350 types.

 In addition, SR Technics line stations at Belfast, Bristol, Edinburgh, Glasgow, London-Gatwick, London-Heathrow, London-Stansted and Manchester, have now been joined by East Midlands airport, further expanding the MRO’s portfolio to meet customer’s flight network. 


Raytheon to develop US Army laser

Raytheon Company is developing a 100 kW class laser weapon system preliminary design for integration onboard the Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles. This is a $10 million U.S. Army's High Energy Laser Tactical Vehicle Demonstration program contract.

HEL TVD, a U.S. Army science and technology demonstration program, is part of the Army's Indirect Fire Protection Capability Increment 2 initiative.


Australia to purchase six military aircraft worth $5b

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced recently that the Australian government would purchase six Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Triton unmanned surveillance aircraft.

The initial investment in the Triton capability is AU$1.4 billion (US $1.03 billion), which includes AU$200 million to enter into a cooperative development program with the US Navy; and AU$364 million for major infrastructure works at two Royal Australian Air Force bases.

The total cost of the deal, including whole of life sustainment costs, is estimated to be AU$6.9 billion Australian dollars (US $5.1 billion).

The first aircraft will be delivered in 2023 and the last in 2025. They will be based at RAAF Base Edinburgh in South Australia and at Tindal in the Northern Territory, but are also likely to be forward deployed to other airfields around the continent, including a string of bare bases to the north and northwest.


South Korea unveils preliminary designs of KF-X aircraft

Korea’s arms acquisition agency unveiled recently the preliminary design of the KF-X fighter aircraft, nearly 30 months after the launch of the indigenous fighter development program in January 2016.

The disclose of the preliminary KF-X design came after the Defense Acquisition Program Administration, or DAPA, held a preliminary design review, or PDR, between June 26 and June 28 of the 4.5-generation twin-engine jet to decide whether to proceed to the next phase of critical design review, or CDR.


Lockheed Martin’s JAGM achieves milestone C

Lockheed Martin's Joint Air-to-Ground Missile (JAGM) system has successfully passed its Defense Acquisition Board review and achieved milestone C. The signed Acquisition Decision Memorandum approves the JAGM system to enter into Low-Rate Initial Production (LRIP).

JAGM is a multi-sensor air-to-ground missile that is the successor to the combat proven HELLFIRE Romeo and HELLFIRE Longbow missiles. Backward compatible with all rotary wing and fixed wing platforms that fire the HELLFIRE® family of missiles, JAGM employs a multi-mode guidance section that offers enhanced performance on the battlefield. The multimode seeker combines improved Semi-Active Laser and millimeter wave radar sensors providing precision strike and fire-and-forget capability against stationary and moving land and maritime targets in adverse weather and obscured battlefield conditions.


Nepal Airlines takes delivery of its first wide-body aircraft

Nepal Airlines has taken delivery of the first of two A330s, which it will lease from Portuguese lessor Hi Fly. These will be in addition to its two existing A320ceos, and will be one of the largest aircraft operating out of Tribhuvan International Airport.  Situated at high altitude, only the most sophisticated of aircraft are capable of operating from this location, which is Nepal’s gateway to destinations in the rest of Asia and beyond.  

The A330 is the most popular wide-body aircraft ever, having won over 1,700 orders from 119 customers worldwide. Today, over 1,300 A330s are in service with 124 airlines, flying on everything from high-density domestic and regional operations to long range intercontinental routes.


Vallair leases three Airbus A321s to Onur Air

Vallair, the aircraft trading, leasing and specialist MRO organization has completed lease transactions for three Airbus A321 aircraft with Onur Air in Turkey.

The first of these three aircraft (MSN 974), purchased from AerCap together with its engines, was delivered to Onur Air in May with a lease term of 18 months. The second aircraft (MSN 968), also purchased from AerCap, is being leased as an airframe only and was delivered to Turkey at the start of June. The final aircraft (MSN 835), purchased from Aviation Capital Group (ACG), was also leased to Onur Air as an airframe only and is part of an acquisition release novation contract completed in April with a short-term lease of 6 months. In addition to these three aircraft, Onur Air are also in possession of a V2500-A5 engine under lease with Vallair.


TrueNoord closes purchase of two Embraer aircrafts from GECAS

TrueNoord, the regional aircraft lessor, has closed the purchase of two Embraer E190 aircraft from GECAS.  These aircraft are under lease with and operated by Mandarin Airlines. This pair of aircraft increases TrueNoord’s Embraer fleet under lease to seventeen globally operated E190s.  The purchase was partially financed under a finance facility by BNP Paribas and DVB Bank. Pillsbury and Stek acted as legal advisers for TrueNoord throughout the transaction.

Mandarin Airlines is based in Taipei, Taiwan and operates domestic and regional international flights.  It introduced the Embraer E190 to its fleet in June 2007 and currently operates six E190s on domestic, cross-strait and international routes delivering state of the art services to their customers with modern flight systems, cabin comfort and space, and a quiet flight experience.


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