Lockheed Martin, Airbus sign agreement for aerial refueling

Lockheed Martin and Airbus have signed an agreement to jointly explore opportunities to meet the growing demand for aerial refueling for US defense customers.

The companies will seek to provide aerial-refueling services to address any identified capacity shortfall and to meet requirements for the next generation of tankers capable of operating in the challenging environments of future battlespace.

"Reliable and modernized aerial refueling is an essential capability for our customers to maintain their global reach and strategic advantage," said Lockheed Martin Chairman, President and CEO Marillyn Hewson. "By combining the innovation and expertise of Airbus and Lockheed Martin, we will be well-positioned to provide the United States Air Force with the advanced refueling solutions needed to meet 21st century security challenges."

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Avolon firms up single largest order for A320 and A321neos

Aircraft lessor Avolon has firmed up an order for 75 A320neos and 25 A321neos. The agreement is the single largest order for Airbus aircraft ever placed by Avolon.

The agreement takes Avolon’s cumulative orders with Airbus to 284 aircraft (240 single-aisles and 44 widebody aircraft) including the A321neo, the A330neo and the A350 XWB.

Dómhnal Slattery, Avolon CEO, commented, “Our order for 100 A320neo family aircraft builds on our leading industry position and reflects our ambition to become the global leader in the sector. We continue to see robust demand from our customers for the A320neo family globally. This is consistent with our own market research and global fleet forecast. This order affirms our belief in the medium-term market outlook and the strong growth prospects for our business.”

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Bombardier anticipates strong growth with commercial aircrafts in 2020

Bombardier's commercial aircraft unit will remain in the red next year but turn a profit in 2020, at which time the company expects to have completed the sale of its Dash 8 turboprop program, Bombardier says in a financial update.

The Montreal-based airframer also anticipates strong growth in the coming years from both its business jet and aerostructures divisions.

The latest update comes one month after Bombardier announced a plan to sell the Dash 8 program, which includes the Q400 turboprop, to an affiliate of Vancouver-based Viking Air for $300 million. 

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Boeing delivers Fiji Airways' first fuel efficient 737 MAX

Boeing delivered the first 737 MAX for Fiji Airways, which plans to use the fuel-efficient, longer-range version of the popular 737 jet to expand and modernize its single-aisle fleet.

"We are thrilled to take delivery of our very first 737 MAX 8, named Island of Kadavu," said Andre Viljoen, Managing Director and CEO of Fiji Airways. "The introduction of the 737 MAX is the beginning of a new chapter for Fiji Airways and we look forward to taking advantage of the airplane's superior performance and economics. These new airplanes will enable us to offer a world-class customer experience through the new Boeing Sky Interior cabins with in-seat entertainment for all guests."

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MEBAA reveals positive business outlook

The MEBAA Show 2018 opened its doors today to a host of new exhibitors, exciting new aircraft and ground-breaking new technology solutions.

Taking place every two years, The MEBAA Show is the largest business aviation event in the Middle East, with this year’s edition attracting more than 450 exhibitors and 34 stunning business jets on static display.

The three-day event began with a royal tour by HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, President of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Chairman, Dubai Airports, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline and Group, who took the time to visit with a number of exhibitors, including Click Aviation, Pratt & Witney, Honeywell, XJet and Aloft AeroArchitects.

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Bombardier reports strong earnings growth in 3Q18

Bombardier recently reported its third quarter 2018 results marked by strong earnings growth. The Company also announced a number of strategic actions, including the launch of an enterprise-wide productivity program. This program is expected to generate annual savings of $250 million at full run rate, expected by 2021. Bombardier reached definitive agreements for the sale of non-core assets and the monetization of royalties, which is expected to generate approximately $900 million in net proceeds, increasing financial flexibility as the Company approaches the final – deleveraging – phase of its turnaround plan. Other highlights in the quarter include the certification of the Global 7500 business jet, paving the way for the aircraft’s entry into service in December 2018, and marking the end of the Company’s heavy investment cycle.

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Jet Aviation receives IS-BAH™ Stage 2 Safety Registration for 20 FBOs at MEBAA

Jet Aviation is pleased to announce that it has received International Standard for Business Aircraft Handling (IS-BAH) Stage 2 Safety Registration from the International Business Aviation Council (IBAC) for 20 of its FBOs across EMEA and the Americas.

The company intends to achieve IS-BAH Standard registration for its new Hawker Pacific and KLM Jet Center FBOs in 2019. IBAC Program Director for IS-BAH, Terry Yeomans, presented 20 IS-BAH Stage 2 Safety Certificates to Jet Aviation at its MEBAA chalet today in Dubai. 

“This remarkable achievement demonstrates Jet Aviation’s ongoing commitment to the highest safety standards for its customers and employees,” said Yeomans. Based around a safety management system that models the structure and format of the International Standard for Business Aircraft Operators (IS-BAO™), IS-BAH establishes criteria for best handling systems, processes and practices to ensure FBOs meet rigorous safety and security standards. 

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UAE’s successfully launches most advanced satellite in space

 The launch of the Earth observation satellite took place on October 29, at 8.08am UAE-time onboard the H2-A rocket, which was also carrying Japan's environment satellite, GoSat-2, along with KhalifaSat.

The launch was broadcast live on the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre's (MBRSC) website and it showed that GoSat-2 was successfully separated from the rocket and reached the orbit at 8.25am. However, the separation of KhalifaSat and its arrival on its desired orbit destination happened in 100 minutes from 8.25am, according to the live stream.

A team of 70 Emirati engineers from MBRSC built KhalifaSat, which will be the third satellite the center has launched into space. DubaiSat1 was launched in 2009 and DubaiSat2 in 2013. Commercial and communication satellites by the UAE - YahSat-1,2 and Thuraya 1,2,3 - have also been launched before.

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First Pakistan space mission to launch in 2022

 Pakistan Information Minister, Fawad Chaudhry, revealed recently that country's first space mission will be launched in 2022.

This will also see the first Pakistani go into space as part of the space mission that will be concluded with China's assistance, the minister said. A contract in this regard has been signed between a Chinese company and Pakistan's Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO), Chaudhry added, according to Geotv report.

In July this year, Pakistan launched two indigenously built satellites into the orbit from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in China. The satellites were launched onboard a Chinese Long March (LM-2C) rocket from the Gobi desert in China. One of the satellites launched was a remote sensing satellite (PRSS1) - a dual-purpose Earth observational and optical satellite. With the PRSS1, Pakistan has become one of the few countries to have its own remote sensing satellite in the orbit. While, the second test satellite launched was a PAK-TES-1A, developed by SUPARCO to enhance satellite manufacture capabilities in the country.

According to an official speaking on the condition of anonymity, the launch of satellites would help end the country's dependency on commercial satellites for information related to weather, environment and agriculture. The official added that the two satellites launched, were transported to China as Pakistan lacks the required infrastructure to launch objects into space, according to reports in The Express Tribune.

 

Safran to provide next-generation engine turbines for hybrid electric aircraft

 Zunum Aero has selected France’s Safran Helicopter Engines to provide a new-generation engine turbine for its hybrid-to-electric airplane, due for first flight in the early 2020s.

Safran’s Ardiden 3Z engine will drive the electrical generator for Zunum’s 12-seat ZA10 aircraft, supplementing the energy stored in the plane’s batteries with peak power of 500 kilowatts during key stages of flight and over long ranges, Zunum said in a news release. The aircraft will be able to cruise and land on turbo-generator power alone, offering full redundancy.

The ZA10 is being designed for a range of 700 miles, with an eye toward enabling affordable operations at tens of thousands of underused regional-size airports around the world.

Zunum, which is headquartered in Bothell, Wash., says the aircraft should drive operating costs down to 8 cents per available seat mile, or $250 per hour. That’s said to be 60 to 80 percent lower than comparable conventional aircraft of comparable size.

 If the business model works out the way Zunum says it will, it could open up new types of low-fare air routes — for example, a connection between the Seattle’s Boeing Field and British Columbia’s Whistler ski area for $79. In May, Zunum said its first planes would go to JetSuite, a California-based private aviation company that’s a partner of JetBlue Airways.

 Florent Chauvancy, Safran Helicopter Engines’ executive vice president for OEM sales, said the Ardiden 3Z engine “represents a very powerful complement to the ZA10 because of its exceptional performance, along with low operating and maintenance costs.” Zunum and Safran are counting on advanced materials and integrated life-cycle management to reduce the engine’s operating costs by extending the life of critical components.

 The two companies have an important ally in common: Boeing is one of Zunum Aero’s financial backers, and it’s also one of Safran’s power-system partners. Zunum has also received investment capital from JetBlue Technology Ventures and an $800,000 grant from the Washington State Department of Commerce’s Clean Energy Fund.

 The current schedule calls for the certification process to begin in the 2020-2022 time frame, but that timetable is heavily dependent on advances in battery technology. The Seattle Times quoted Knapp as saying the schedule for starting commercial passenger service has slipped from 2022 to mid-2023.

Scientists find first signs of ‘exomoon’

 The exomoon, which is a satellite that orbits a planet outside our solar system, appears to be revolving around the Jupiter-sized gas giant Kepler-1625b.

The exomoon itself is believed to be around the size of Neptune, which is about four times bigger than earth.

There are no moons anywhere near as big in our solar system.

The scientists admitted their findings are not definitive, however, as with any new discovery in space.

One of the astronomers, David Kipping, said, “We’ve tried our best to rule out other possibilities such as spacecraft anomalies, other planets in the system or stellar activity, but we’re unable to find any other single hypothesis which can explain all of the data we have.”

 He added: “We hope to re-observe the star again in the future to verify or reject the exomoon hypothesis.

 “And if validated, the planet-moon system - a Jupiter with a Neptune-sized moon - would be a remarkable system with unanticipated properties, in many ways echoing the expected discovery of hot Jupiters in the early days of planet hunting."

 The breakthrough was made when Assistant Professor Kipping and Graduate Fellow Alex Teachey noticed intriguing anomalies in the observations they made of 284 Kepler-discovered-planets.

 Mr Kipping said, “We saw deviations and wobbles in the light curve that caught our attention.”

 The scientists made the initial observations on the Kepler Space Telescope and used their evidence to secure 40 hours time on the Hubble.

 They noticed that after Kepler-162b crossed in front of its star there was another decrease in measurable brightness 3.5 hours late.

Mr Kipping said the moon was “trailing the planet like a dog following its owner on a leash”.

 While both the planet and its moon are within the habitable zone of their star (Kepler 1625) it is thought that both are gas planets are therefore incapable of hosting life.

 The planet and its moon seem to have a similar size ratio that of the Earth and the Moon.

Female pilots make debut in Malaysia Airlines

 Pearl Wendy Mak, Wang Wen Chien and Nur Waie Hidayah Mohamad Rasidin have broken the norm, as previously most women in the aviation industry would opt to work as flight attendants or ground staff.

According to the International Society of Women Pilots' estimation in 2017 out of 130,000 pilots in the world, only 3,000 (three percent) were female pilots.

Captain Mak, who has been flying for 25 years, acknowledged that flying an aircraft is not an easy job for women but this is the new era where women are making inroads into sectors that were previously men's exclusive domain.

Mak initially wanted to be an aircraft engineer, then toyed with the idea of becoming a flight engineer. However, when told that the flight engineer's role was becoming obsolete, she ended up taking flying. 

"So long as you do your part, work as a team, and forget that you will be treated differently, you will not be seen as a man or woman but just a pilot,” Mak told Bernama.

Her advice to ladies who want to take up the challenge in the aviation industry is that they should understand and be in love with aviation itself, besides being disciplined and motivated.  “Constantly read your books, study hard and perfect your skills. At the end of it, you may eventually become a commander or be upgraded to a bigger aircraft,” said Mak whose twin sister is also into flying. 

Meanwhile, Second Officer Wang's dream of becoming a pilot began when her father took her for a ‘Fly for Fun' one-day pilot course in Subang when she was 15.

“I was fascinated when the aircraft took off with the pilot seated next to me, he actually taught me to do some manoeuvres in the sky and I found it really cool,” said Wang who initially wanted to venture into IT.

Wang earned her wings in Sydney, Australia and completed her conversion course at the Malaysian Flying Academy in 2016 before joining Malaysia Airlines as a cadet pilot in August 2017.

Her advice to young women who want to take to the skies, is just go for it.

“Do what you like, it may not be easy at the beginning but never give up halfway through because you never know what the end result will be,” said Wang whose wish now is to become a captain in eight years time. 

Wang says she does not find it a problem to fit in with her predominately male colleagues in the aviation sector and does not see it as a glamorous job but a profession and a vocation.

“As a pilot one has to work different hours and days as rostered and we have to do quick transits,” she said. 

Her father who is also a pilot inspired Nur Waie Hidayah, a cadet pilot with Malaysia Airlines since December 2017. 

“I grew up in Abu Dhabi, where my father is based. After graduating from high school in 2013, I returned to Malaysia and went to a flying school in Melaka.

“My 18 months training there was tough and it took a lot of support from my loved ones and a lot of studying, willpower and strict discipline to complete the course.

Mak, Wang and Nur Waie Hidayah were honored at the MAS Crew Graduation ceremony on Aug 11 where 111cabin crew and pilots graduated.

During his speech at the graduation ceremony, Malaysia Airlines Group CEO Capt Izham Ismail said: “I'm very proud that for the first time Malaysia Airlines has three amazing, strong and resilient women graduating as pilots today. 

"It is my hope that the future of Malaysia Airlines includes many more female captains flying our aircraft and making the country proud”. 

Malaysia Airlines recently started its female pilot program, which is now open for enrolment. 

WAI hosts ‘Girls in Aviation Day’ at Orlando International Airport

 The Central Florida Chapter of Women in Aviation International (WAI) recently hosted a “Girls in Aviation Day” event in conjunction with other chapters from around the world at Orlando International Airport to provide young women from Orlando-area high schools the opportunity to learn about the many career fields available in the growing aviation industry.

“It was truly an honor to participate in ‘Girls in Aviation Day’ with our valued industry partners in the Orlando area and give young women the opportunity to learn about and experience the vast array of aviation career opportunities that are available to them”

 The free event, attended by 40 girls in grades 9 – 12, was a team effort sponsored by United Airlines, Silver Airways, Flight Training Professionals and Sheltair, along with participating partners, including the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority K-9 Team, Wildlife Control and Aircraft Rescue Fire Fighters, Archer First Response Systems, Signature Flight Support Orlando, National Aviation Academy and Wings Financial Credit Union.

 “It was truly an honor to participate in ‘Girls in Aviation Day’ with our valued industry partners in the Orlando area and give young women the opportunity to learn about and experience the vast array of aviation career opportunities that are available to them,” said Silver Airways flight crew member Donna Hendrickson who started her aviation career as a flight attendant and is now a pilot. “As the air transport industry continues to grow, we want to inspire young women to pursue their passion for aviation and instill the confidence that anything is possible when you pursue your dreams.”

 “We are extremely grateful for all of the support we received from the Central Florida community, including Archer First Response Systems, Entenmann's, Flight Training Professionals, Greater Orlando Aviation Authority, National Aviation Academy, Orlando International Airport Fire-Rescue, Sheltair Aviation, Silver Airways, United Airlines, Wings Federal Credit Union and the 91st Air Refueling Squadron,” said WAI Treasurer Central Florida Chapter Laurel Ross. “Our hope is that the girls we reached this weekend will go on and make big differences in the aviation and aerospace industries.”

 “Today was inspirational, motivational and energizing – thank you,” said Anna Perrin, Southwest Airlines Flight Attendant and one of WAI’s Central Florida Chapter’s newest members. “All your hard work made the event possible and seeing the support and admiration everyone shared with each other. I am proud to be a part of this wonderful organization. I saw dreams come alive in those young women today and being able to share my love for aviation with strong accomplished women was phenomenal."

 During the full-day event, the young women had the opportunity to meet and talk with women in many aviation career fields and participate in various aviation-themed presentations.

Cranfield Aviation Training unveils e-learning platform

 The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has given South African-based Cranfield Aviation the initial go ahead to put six of its courses on the e-learning platform.

With over 80 courses available to all flight deck, cabin crew personnel and flight engineers, Cranfield has remained relevant and embraced all advancements in the aviation industry over the past 20 years. This is made evident with its recent training addition, a remote pilot license training for drones.

“We realized that the modern-day learner is no longer content with training in a classroom environment,” said Mandy Tebbit, Director for Cranfield Aviation Training.

 “To ensure our longevity as the leading provider of training in aviation, we needed to meet the demands of the new learner and embarked on a search for an e-learning platform that was feature rich yet cost-effective, and selected aNewSpring.”

 Tebbit is confident that once the CAA see the results and benefits that online learning provides, approval for other non-practical courses will follow.

 “We see a huge demand internationally for human factor training in other industries such as mining as well as oil and gas,” she said.

 “Our goal is to take these courses outside of the aviation industry using the aNewSpring platform.”

 Paul Hanly, Co-Founder of New Leaf Technologies, said: “We are excited about this project and look forward to the results that we know e-learning will bring to this traditionally conservative industry.”

Kenya signs aviation training deal with FAA

 Kenya has signed a new aviation training deal with the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

In the agreement, the East African School of Aviation (EASA) will become the latest FAA training venue in Africa for teaching Flight Safety Inspector courses.

“EASA is not just a training venue but a partner in Aviation training.

“Initially, the courses will be delivered by FAA staff but eventually local capacity to deliver the courses will be built through Train the Trainers program,” said Capt. Gilbert M Kibe, Director General, KCAA.

 The signing of the training agreement also signifies Kenya’s commitment to the growth and development of Civil Aviation together with improving Flight Safety in Africa, he added.

CAE unveils visual solution program for fighters and fast-jet training

 CAE announced the launch of the CAE Medallion MR e-Series Visual System, a complete and turnkey visual solution designed specifically for military fighters and fast-jet training.

The CAE Medallion MR e-Series Visual System is a cost-effective, fully integrated visual solution that includes a back-projection 360-degree dome display system, laser projectors and CAE’s proven CAE MedallionTM image generators. The CAE Medallion MR e-Series is available for new training systems as well as for updates to existing systems. It has been designed to deliver the industry’s most realistic and immersive virtual environment critical for training military fighter and fast-jet pilots,

 “CAE has always been at the forefront of technology leadership and innovation in the training and simulation industry, as evidenced by our recent commitment to invest in new technologies to revolutionize pilot and aircrew training,” said Gene Colabatistto, CAE’s Group President, Defence & Security. “The launch of our CAE Medallion MR e-Series Visual System is yet another example of CAE listening to the needs and requirements of our customers, and then investing in internal research and development to produce a product that will set the industry benchmark for fighter and fast-jet virtual training.”

 The CAE Medallion MR e-Series Visual System offers an ideal visual solution for a range of fighter and fast-jet training tasks, such as formation and low-level flying, air-to-air refueling, and target identification. The system can also be used for tactical/attack helicopter training requirements.  Some of the key features included in the CAE Medallion MR e-Series Visual System include:

 Unlimited field-of-view in a 360-degree dome display (optional 225-degree display solution available);

Seamless, integrated visual solution combining display, laser projectors and image generators to deliver high-fidelity virtual environment with near eye-limiting resolution and industry-leading brightness;

Head movement compensation virtually eliminates parallax errors;

3D depth perception through active eyewear;

Fully correlated synthetic environment;

Optimized visual environment for night-vision goggles (NVG);

Support for Open Geospatial Consortium Common Database (OGC CDB) to enhance interoperability and distributed mission operations/training;

Space-saving and compact design compared to traditional fast-jet full-mission simulators;

“The CAE Medallion MR e-Series Visual System is a purpose-built product that will deliver the industry’s most immersive and realistic visual system for fast-jet training at a competitive price point,” said Marc St-Hilaire, CAE’s Chief Technology Officer. “Our military customers operating 4th and 5th generation fighters as well as advanced trainer aircraft all recognize the need to download a range of training tasks to simulation-based training.  We have developed a fully-integrated product that will enable them to cost-effectively address their demanding training requirements, and optimize the value, effectiveness and success of live training exercises.”

 The comprehensive CAE MR (Mission Reality) Series training equipment suite covers all phases of fixed-wing and rotary-wing training for military aircrews. The product suite ranges from CAE Simfinity ground school desktop and procedures trainers to fixed-base flight training devices and full-mission simulators.

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