Thursday, May 25, 2017

City settles lawsuits challenging modernization projects at Los Angeles International Airport

The Los Angeles City Council on Wednesday agreed to settle lawsuits brought by Culver City and Inglewood that alleged the potential environmental impacts of modernization projects at Los Angeles International Airport were not properly evaluated.

Officials said the settlements smooth the way for construction of ground transportation improvements, including a people mover in the central terminal area, a transportation center, a consolidated car rental facility and upgraded roads. All are part of a $14-billion modernization of the nation’s second-busiest airport.

“We’ve reached an important milestone with neighboring cities that share our vision to improve the passenger, employee and neighborhood experience by transforming LAX into a modern and efficient gold-standard airport,” said Deborah Flint, chief executive of Los Angeles World Airports.

Under terms of the agreement, Culver City and Inglewood will participate in planning future development at LAX and implement transportation projects that will be paid for by Los Angeles World Airports.

The airport department will give Culver City $2.71 million and Inglewood $14.9 million to implement an “intelligent” transportation system, which involves sophisticated information and communication technologies to move people safely and efficiently.

Such methods include variable message signs, traffic signal control systems, cameras to monitor roads and online information about road conditions, traffic congestion and available parking.

Inglewood will receive another $10.6 million from the airport to develop what’s known as a transportation demand management system, or TDM, to reduce travel demand or redistribute it over time or across the transportation system.

Both cities agreed to dismiss appeals of an earlier court decision in favor of Los Angeles.

“This was something that has held everyone at bay for so long, and it’s thrilling that we are all going to be cooperating again to make LAX safe, secure and convenient,” said Denny Schneider, president of the Alliance for a Regional Solution to Airport Congestion, which also had sued LAX.

In May 2013, Culver City and Inglewood became part of a group of local governments and community organizations that sued Los Angeles World Airports over the latest round of terminal additions, transportation projects and airfield work.

The most controversial proposal was a $652-million plan to move the northernmost runway 260 feet closer to homes in Westchester and Playa del Rey to make room for a center taxiway.

The cases alleged that the planning for the projects violated the California Environmental Quality Act by understating the potential noise, air pollution and traffic effects in nearby cities and neighborhoods.

In August 2016, the city settled the lawsuit brought by the Alliance for a Regional Solution to Airport Congestion. The agreement shelved the proposed relocation of the northernmost runway and called for a community park on the airport’s north side as well as additional passenger gates in the central terminal area to replace those that must be accessed by shuttle buses.

The settlement also provided for safety improvements to the airport’s two northern runways, additional air pollution monitoring and an ongoing dialogue about airport projects among LAX, the alliance and the surrounding community.

(Dan Weikel and Emily Alpert Reyes - Los Angeles Times)

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Air Force gives new life to the A-10 Warthog

(U.S. Air Force)

Retirement rumors have swirled around the US military's venerable close-air support aircraft for years, but the battle-tested, 1970's-era airplane will live to fight for at least the foreseeable future, according to the Air Force.

President Donald Trump's first full budget, which was released on Tuesday, outlines plans for the Air Force to maintain its fleet of A-10 Thunderbolts -- commonly known by their nickname the "Warthog" -- along with "Dragon Lady" U-2 spy aircraft despite previous plans to replace both aging platforms in coming years.

"There is not a retirement date for the U-2 in this budget," Maj. Gen. James Martin, the Air Force's deputy assistant secretary for budget, said during a budget briefing at the Pentagon on Tuesday. "We plan to keep that platform well into the future."

The Air Force also confirmed Tuesday that it plans to maintain the majority of its A-10 Warthogs in coming years despite past considerations of divesting the entire fleet.

An Air Force official said the A-10 fleet was being kept indefinitely, but in the future, some A-10 aircraft could be retired as other aircraft become operational.

Senate Armed Services Chairman John McCain, who has worked for years to stop the Air Force's efforts to retire the A-10, said the Pentagon's decision was in part a recognition of the political landscape on Capitol Hill.

"It didn't matter what was in their budget, it wasn't going to be retired," the Arizona Republican said.

Lawmakers have wrestled with how to replace the A-10 for years -- a tall task due to the aircraft's continued proficiency despite making its first flight in 1975.

The Air Force had originally planned for its version of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter to replace the A-10.

But unlike the multi-role F-35, the A-10 is the only airplane in the Air Force specifically designed for close-air support, a mission that has become urgent in the fight against ISIS, according to Air Force officials.

The A-10 is able to target enemy forces up close without risking friendly fire casualties because the pilots are flying slow enough to visually distinguish between enemy and friendly forces.

But while the first wave of F-35s are currently being deployed for combat, the program's history of delays and cost overruns has caused the Pentagon to consider extending the operational life of the A-10 to meet the demands of the counter-ISIS mission.

Rep. Martha McSally, R-Arizona, a retired Air Force pilot who was the first female fighter pilot to fly in combat, has led the charge in Congress to keep the A-10 in the air and has looked to the new administration to get the Pentagon on her side.

She lobbied Vice President Mike Pence on the issue when he came up to the Hill and she also talked to Trump about the Warthog's capabilities, as well as the culture around personnel recovery and close-air support, according to a House aide.

"She got him smart on the A-10 and its role," the aide told CNN.

Trump praised McSally and mentioned her work with the A-10 during an award ceremony for the military service academy football programs in the Rose Garden earlier this month.

The A-10 can carry up to 16,000 pounds of bombs and missiles and is armed with a powerful 30-millimeter, seven-barrel Gatling gun, which can fire depleted uranium bullets at 3,900 rounds per minute.Last year, then-Secretary of Defense Ash Carter said there were plans to defer the A-10's retirement until 2022, at which point it would be replaced by the F-35.

But the Air Force has refrained from giving an exact timetable for the aircraft to be put out to pasture, telling CNN that they will evaluate the way it maintains the A-10 as the years progress.

Capable of climbing to well over 70,000 feet, the U-2 spy plane is also widely considered an important asset in the effort to find and destroy senior ISIS fighters, safe houses and battle positions.

Nicknamed the "Dragon Lady" the U-2 is a Cold War-era plane that has been flying since the 1950s. But the planes have been modernized with new sensors and cameras, making them an important intelligence gathering asset.

The Air Force has extended the operational life of the U-2 indefinitely as well.

(Zachary Cohen and Jeremy Herb - CNN)

Core technology tests set to begin for PT6 replacement

Pratt & Whitney Canada will launch demonstration tests this year of engine core technology and advanced systems for a proposed 2,000hp engine designed to replace the most powerful versions of the venerable PT6 family.

The demonstrations will focus on technologies in development for the hot section of the engine as well as advanced electronic controls to manage the propellers and fuel injectors.

“What used to be a dream is going to be a reality very soon,” says Nick Kanellias, P&WC’s vice-president of marketing for general aviation.

P&WC has discussed such an engine for several years, but continues to stop short of a formal launch announcement.

If continued into production, the new 2,000hp-class powerplant would compete against a new single-engined turboprop engine in the same thrust class in development by GE Aviation for Textron Aviation’s new Cessna Denali. Featuring cooled turbine blades, a 16:1 overall pressure ratio and full-authority digital engine controls (FADEC), the GE Aviation design sets a new standard in the turboshaft engine market for general aviation.

P&WC has dominated the general aviation turboshaft market since introducing the PT6 in the early 1960s, and the company clearly will not allow GE’s recent venture into general aviation to remain unchallenged for long.

Although details of the proposed engine design remain secret, Kannellias notes that P&WC has integrated FADEC into some versions of the PT6 already, while advanced versions of the same engine approach a 14:1 overall pressure ratio using single-crystal turbine blades.

Not surprisingly, P&WC is willing to make one promise about the potential new engine. P&WC president John Saabas says: “It will be very, very fuel efficient.”

(Stephen Trimble - FlightGlobal News / EBACE Show News)

Embraer wows visitors with two-person Lineage 1000E shower

Got a spare $55 million and a desire to take an in-flight shower with a friend? If so, Embraer is seeking a second customer for the Lineage 1000E to which it has added the extra luxury of a queen-size bed and two-person shower.

Embraer Executive Jets' vice-president of interior design, Jay Beever, created the shower with the aim of offering enough space to provide a “home-from-home” bathroom experience.


The two-person shower – only one of which is in service, with an unnamed North American owner – is 40% larger than the single shower featured on some other Lineage 1000E business jets. It has a dedicated 30gal water tank – enough for a 40min shower – and a window, because “geographical awareness helps you balance”.

Embraer has borrowed an aircraft equipped with the shower from the factory to showcase it to EBACE visitors on the static display. “Everybody has been wowed by it,” says Beever.

While admitting that describing it as a two-person shower conjures up “exotic” images, Beever says the idea is “not to be racy” but to convey the point that it is more spacious than other onboard showers.

(Kerry Reals FlightGlobal News / EBACE Show News)

Bombardier Flies Green to EBACE

Bombardier Learjet 75, Challenger 350 and 650, and Global 6000 jets on show at Static SD15 were flown here using biofuels supplied by AEG Fuels.

The fuel was produced by AltAir Fuels, which starts with used cooking oils, and supplied by Netherlands-based SkyNRG to the KLM Jet Center in Amsterdam, where the business jets were fueled for their flights to Geneva.

AEG Fuels supply director Kyle O’Leary, Bombardier customer experience VP Jean-Christophe Gallagher and AEG Fuels business aviation EVP Greg Cox have all gone green.

“These sustainable fuels are produced from renewable resources and are considered ‘drop in’ fuels that blend with traditional fossil fuels without any equipment changes,” said AEG general aviation EVP Greg Cox.

“These biofuel-powered flights further demonstrate Bombardier Business Aircraft’s commitment to sustainability as an integral part of how it conducts its business,” said customer experience VP Jean-Christophe Gallagher.

“We hope that these flights will inspire other operators in this segment to start flying on sustainable aviation biofuel as well,” said SkyNRG CEO Maarten van Dijk.

AEG provides fuel at more than 2,700 locations worldwide.

(Aviation Week / EBACE Show News)

Cirrus Jet’s Road to Europe

Cirrus Aviation’s single-engine SF50 Vision Jet (c/n 0009) N124MW. Approximately 90 aircraft are on order for European customers.
(Cirrus Aircraft)

Cirrus Aircraft celebrated certification of its SF50 Vision Jet single here this week following an epic journey from the manufacturer’s U.S. factory.

The airplane, still wearing it's U.S. registration, arrived at Eelde Aerodrome, Groningen, Netherlands, this past Wednesday, at the end of a transatlantic flight via Goose Bay, Greenland, and Norway, on delivery to Europe’s largest service center for Cirrus Aircraft, General Enterprises Maintenance.

As many as six more will follow the same path before year-end.

These later aircraft will roll off the line more rapidly, thanks to Cirrus gaining an FAA production certificate for its Duluth, Minnesota, factory, earlier this month. Some 15% of the 600 order backlog is destined for Europe, the company says. Fifty will be built in 2017 and between 75 and 125 in 2018.

(Paul Jackson - Aviation Week / EBACE Show News)

GE’s ‘Printed Turboprop’ Will Run This Year


The world’s most “printed engine,” GE’s new Advanced Turboprop in which additive manufacturing replaces 855 normally made parts with just 12 “printed” components, is on track to run for the first time this year. It will power Cessna’s new Denali aircraft.

“Everybody asks me what is the name of the new Advanced Turboprop,” says Brad Mottier, VP and general manager of GE Aviation’s business and general aviation and integrated systems operation. “And I tell them it’s ‘The Advanced Turboprop.’ ”

Interest in the new engine is running high, and GE is in talks with other civil and military airframe manufacturers for the ATP, which GE has designed to offer up to 20% better fuel burn and 10% more power than an equivalent-sized 800 shp to 1,650 shp Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6.

It is, says Mottier, the first clean-sheet design turboprop in its class in more than 30 years – since Honeywell certified the TPE331 in 1965. GE Aviation has committed more than $400 million in development costs, as well as investing more than $1 billion on developing its additive manufacturing capabilities.

“We’ve built all of the additive manufacturing parts, and converted a test cell to run the engine at our turboprop center of excellence in Prague,” Mottier says. Production engines will be assembled and tested in a new factory being built there.

In an industry first for an engine this size, the ATP will feature a single-lever FADEC full authority digital engine control that will manage fuel flow, propeller pitch and speed as well as bleed valves and variable stators within the engine.

The result? Jet-like operability for the pilot, with a single “throttle” lever and built-in limit protections.

(John Morris - Aviation Week / EBACE Show News)

Leonardo Showcasing VIP Helicopters at EBACE

The A109SP GrandNew twin on show by Leonardo.

Leonardo is at EBACE to trumpet its claim to a leading position in the global VIP helicopter market with a 50% share in the multiengine segment.

Supporting hardware evidence is in the form of an A109SP GrandNew which, living up to its name, was only entered on the Swiss civil aircraft register on May 11 and delivered to Centaurium Aviation the next day. The all-black HB-ZNK will be operated by Mountainflyers for taxi services from Bern Airport.

This will be Bern’s first twin-engine-helicopter VIP transport service, capable of serving a range of routes across Switzerland and Europe. The aircraft features an exclusive six-seat VIP cabin and anticipates safety-enhancing requirements such as ADS-B Out.

Leonardo reports that approximately 370 helicopters of the Grand and GrandNew series have been ordered by nearly 230 customers in around 40 countries around the world. Derived from the former Agusta A109, the type continues to be the most successful VIP model in the company’s light twin range.

That said, the AW139 intermediate twin, AW169 and AW189, AW101 and forthcoming AW609 tiltrotor are also being offered with VIP and VVIP interiors.

In Switzerland, Leonardo has a fleet of approximately 20 executive helicopters of various types. The firm cites performance, cabin space and comfort, safety, and latest technology for all-weather capabilities, as prized qualities in the local market.

At previous air shows, Leonardo predecessors have exhibited some highly-customized solutions for VIP customers, drawing on in-house expertise as well as some prime aviation interior designers, leading fashion companies and young designers introducing solutions from other sectors.

To make helicopter flying more environmentally acceptable, reducing both noise and emissions, for example, the AW169 features a variable-speed main rotor with advanced, new design blades and even an “APU mode” to power main systems such as ECS and entertainment on ground using just one of the two engines – with rotors stopped.

(Paul Jackson - Aviation Week / EBACE Show News)

Swiss Pilot Pioneers Life-Saving Helicopter Technique

Claude Vuichard has an idea that he is convinced will save lives and dramatically improve safety for helicopter users: the problem is, he has to convince the world to reject 70 years of received wisdom.

Vuichard retired from the Swiss civil aviation authority in December, after a 35-year career in which he racked up more than 16,000 hours flying helicopters in mountain-rescue and other specialized roles. He developed a technique for recovering an aircraft when it enters vortex ring state conditions that worked even in mountains, where the conventional method will not help.

“The old technique was to reduce the power and leave the vortex by flying forward,” he says. “But you lose altitude quite a lot, and if you’re close to the ground, you have an accident. My technique allows you to go out of the vortex sideways, using the tail rotor for thrust.”

The lateral movement shifts the aircraft out of the downward phase of the vortex, through the upward phase, and away from the disturbed air. The vortex is exited within a second, without any significant loss of altitude.

In 2011, Vuichard flew with Robinson Helicopters’ chief safety instructor, Tim Tucker, who was impressed. The Vuichard Recovery Technique has been added to Robinson’s teaching materials; Tucker has advocated for the method with the U.S, FAA, which is evaluating it, and the Los Angeles Police Department, which has been using it since January.

Persuading every helicopter training course to rewrite its materials – and arguing for the reprogramming of every helicopter simulator, which he says do not accurately model vortex ring state conditions – is keeping Vuichard busy. He has set up a non-profit organization, the Vuichard Recovery Aviation Safety Foundation ( and is at EBACE, trying to win support for his technique, trying to save lives.

(Angus Batey - Aviation Week / EBACE Show News)

The Helicopter’s Image Must Be Improved Worldwide

The helicopter industry in Europe is facing many of the same issues that proponents are battling in the U.S. It would make sense for industry and user groups to work more closely on both sides of the Atlantic to counter the threats and unfriendly perceptions that are combining to limit the functionality of the helicopter.

On a recent research trip to the U.S., I found that three common issues top, or nearly top, concerns in Europe and the U.S.

• Drones, from the unregulated private sector through to the increasingly vocal and activist commercial sector, are already seeking airspace restrictions in order to fly beyond line of sight and in populated areas. And threatening to overtake the helicopter’s oft-touted versatility for urban transportation (if it ever were to be allowed) is the progress by such as Airbus and Uber in developing man-carrying drone-based systems for transportation in crowded cities.

• Increasing airspace, city planning and noise restrictions that have prevented the development of conveniently-located heliports in urban areas.

• Public acceptance of helicopters, which are often perceived as noisy, anti-social toys for the rich and famous.

All of us in the helicopter industry can tell stories about angry neighbors calling the police because a helicopter is swirling around their homes and disturbing them. But when that complainer is laying with a broken leg on the ski slope the helicopter can’t get there quickly enough.

I even know about doctors working in hospitals who complain about helicopter noise as soon as they leave work for the day and return to their urban homes. But Matt Zuccario, president of the U.S.-based Helicopter Association International, topped it all when he told me that the mayor of New York City had received so many complaints about sightseeing helicopters that he forced tour operators to reduce trips by 50% and completely cut out flights on Sundays. HAI calculated the moves would cost $50 million in revenues.

But let me describe what I saw just one weekend before. We were staying at a mountain lake in upper Bavaria and trying to enjoy the peaceful quietness of this wonderful alpine region. But we couldn't, due to the fact that a twisty, scenic road leading to the lake acts as a magnet for motorcyclists and hobbyist Schumacher race-car drivers. On this day there was even a vintage motorcycle competition adding to the noise of the normal Harley Davidson weekend rebels. It was one rolling thunder of "sound," louder than a dozen jackhammers. Of course plenty of exhausts were modified to be even more “powerful.” And the tourists? Were they moaning about the noise? No, most of them smiled, others were greeting the drivers and taking pictures.

Why is it OK for villages or cities to attract noisy car races, to drill holes in your exhaust to assure your machine can be heard kilometers away, and yet the noise from a helicopter is unacceptable?

It seems that helicopters are still seen as toys for wealthy people who want to avoid traffic jams when heading to their 65th floor office downtown or rushing to grab a lunch in Monte Carlo.

But in the German Helicopter Association we know better. We have created the slogan "bee of aviation" to illustrate the value of helicopters. Society would be much poorer without the multiple services performed by helicopters, however these are mostly unnoticed (and unheard), as the majority of our duties takes place over unsettled areas. Powerline inspection, marking forests, firefighting, offshore transportation are among the examples. But we are endangered.

First and foremost is the constant increase of restrictions and regulations because of the lack of public acceptance. Germany is a country of drivers, and automobile and motorcycle manufacturers have a positive image and a strong lobby. So we really do tolerate a lot from other industries.

Do I have to mention that Germany also is at the top in producing helicopters, but this isn’t of the same economic importance?

So how to improve the situation? We have to stress that helicopters aren’t fun toys for rich people but rather provide unrivaled services for society. We also have to make clear there is a real economic benefit from the use of helicopters.

Next time, when you overdo your downhill rush on the slopes and crash into the snow with one leg in front and the other behind, I hope the heliport at the nearby hospital hasn't been closed because the residents complained about the noise, leaving you to wait for the Bernhardiner dog to climb the mountain and rescue you with a barrel of brandy. Or that a drone will swirl by and ask whether you feel all right.

(Dr. Frank Liemandt - Aviation Week / EBACE Show News)

Airbus Unveils New Private Helo Brand

Dry ice and holograms were deployed in Palexpo yesterday as Airbus introduced Airbus Corporate Helicopters as a comprehensive vertical lift solution for high-net-worth individuals, corporations, or business aviation operators.

“We want to provide customers with an ownership experience that raises the bar,” Frederic Lemos, head of Airbus Helicopters’ private and business aviation division – and, from yesterday, the boss of ACH – told ShowNews. “We want to provide them with the highest level of proposals from end to end: from getting in contact with us, negotiating a helicopter, getting delivery, being supported, even in the re-sale of the aircraft after the time of ownership.”

As the number of billionaires around the world increases, Lemos says, the demand for high-specification, bespoke configuration private helicopters is increasing. But as the market grows, so do the demands of the customers.

“These customers are used to having five-star service in all they do in life,” he says. “We wanted a specific environment for this specific clientele.”

The ACH concept pulls together various teams and capabilities that already existed within Airbus Helicopters but organizes them in a way that is intended to optimize their relevance to the private helicopter owner.

“We have built up a multifunctional team called the ‘Dreamcatchers,’” Lemos said. “The word is self-explanatory. This team is composed of engineering, design and programs: they don’t engage with customers - they build the specification and the perceived quality. The design and perceived-quality team are working to create a quality gap between us and the competition.”

The ACH brand also includes a development of the established HCare support package, called HCare First. The combination of design, marketing and after-sales focus on the sector will, Lemos believes, result in happier customers – and increased sales.

(Angus Batey - Aviation Week / EBACE Show News)

ACJ: To Boldly Go – Infinito

Forget that ‘Top Gear’ stuff of car-versus-airplane; combine the best of the two. That’s what Airbus Corporate Jets has done in teaming with Italian hypercar Atelier Pagani Automobili to produce a new cabin design for the ACJ319neo, called Infinito.

Pagani’s team created the initial design, including its look and feel, while ACJ’s staff contributed their experience in aircraft design and compatibility.


“Art and science can walk together hand in hand: this is the Pagani philosophy. The combination of state-of-the-art composite materials never used before in an aircraft, such as CarboTitanium, with the typical design language of Pagani Automobili, has always represented our signature.

“Applying our Renaissance touch into the wider spaces of Airbus corporate jet cabins is the beginning of an exciting new venture for us,” says Horacio Pagani, founder & Chief Designer of Pagani Automobili SpA.

Offering the widest and tallest business jet cabin, the ACJ320 family gives Pagnani latitude for innovation. “In bringing together the best of the supercar and business jet worlds, we enable an elegant and seamless link for customers of both, while bringing a fresh approach to cabin design and satisfying very demanding standards,” adds Airbus Corporate Jets Managing Director Benoit Defforge.

A novel feature of the Infinito cabin is its ‘sky ceiling’ display, which can bring a live view of the heavens above the aircraft into the cabin – or other images – creating a feeling of airiness and space. Infinity, in fact.

(Paul Jackson - Aviation Week / EBACE Show News)

PC-24 On Track; Beats Performance Figures

Extensive flight testing indicates that the twin-engine Pilatus PC-24 Super Versatile Jet will beat the performance figures originally announced by the Swiss manufacturer.

The third prototype, PO3, which conforms to production standard and is outfitted with a plush interior, is taking a break from certification tests to appear here at EBACE.

Pilatus chairman Oscar Schwenk professed himself pleased with the aircraft’s performance, but said no details would be released until the PC-24 receives EASA certification in the fourth quarter of this year. “So far, so good,” he said. “We are still of the opinion it will meet that schedule” although some tests for certification have to be repeated on the conforming airplane as they were conducted earlier on the first two non-production-standard prototypes.

Plans call for delivery of the first aircraft to a customer just two weeks after certification.

Amid much fanfare, Pilatus opened and closed the order book for the PC-24 at EBACE 2014, notching up 84 sales, or three years’ production. “We will open it up again after certification,” said Schwenk, “with proven performance figures.” Already a long line of potential customers is showing strong interest, even though production is sold out through the beginning of 2020.

While developing the airplane, Pilatus has also been expanding its factories and preparing to ramp up for production. A new factory in Colorado will install all interiors for the U.S. market, while new production facilities and tools in Stanz, Switzerland, will be gearing up. Manufacture of airplane parts has already begun.

Schwenk estimates that Pilatus has invested some $500 million in the PC-24 program, and another $300 million on production facilities. This has all been funded internally, he said.

One last piece in bringing the PC-24 into service is training pilots to fly them. Pilatus has appointed FlightSafety to provide simulators first in the U.S., then Stanz, and lastly, Australia.

(Aviation Week - EBACE Show News)

Jet Aviation Refurbished Its First Boeing Business Jet From 1999

At Jet Aviation, what goes around comes around – if it is a BBJ.

Basel-based Jet Aviation (Booth R134) has just redelivered a Boeing B737 after major refurbishment, but that’s not quite the dog-bites-man news it may seem for a well-known completions contractor. This is not just another BBJ – it is also the very first Boeing Business Jet that the company worked on, way back in 1999.

The low-hours machine had been languishing for some time before its current owner acquired it and commissioned Jet Aviation to undertake the nose-to-tail upgrade in conjunction with a scheduled C-1 maintenance inspection. Achieved without any structural changes, this involved the wood marquetry; all seats, sidewalls and carpets; and entire exterior repainting.

Jet Aviation also improved the soundproofing using its new targeted sound prediction technology, and implemented a number of service bulletins, including a Low Cabin Altitude modification.

Not forgetting the crew’s needs, the maintenance facility installed a new Rockwell Collins Venue cabin management system, activated Swift Broadband, upgraded the Future Aircraft Navigation System and configured ADS-B Out.

“As an old aircraft with old documentation, it was a challenging project that’s produced terrific results,” said Simon Koenig, Jet Aviation supervisor of maintenance interior design.

Showing no bias, Jet is also a factory-approved service center for Airbus, Bombardier, Dassault and Gulfstream. It has just completed an ACJ319 and an ACJ330 for Middle Eastern customer with down times of 10 and 14 months, respectively – and a custom-designed BBJ3.

Work is also just starting work on two medevac conversions of Embraers: a Legacy 600 and a 650.

(Jet Aviation)

(Paul Jackson - Aviation Week / EBACE News)

BBJ Max 7: Farther and Roomier


Boeing Business Jets is showing a $200,000 model of the new BBJ Max 7 interior at EBACE. Paris-based Cabinet Alberto Pinto’s design takes full advantage of the extra 6 ft 4 in length of the Max 7 compared to the original BBJ.

Improvements include a forward VIP bedroom behind the crew rest compartment and additional storage closet space – sorely needed on the original BBJ. The 19-seat design also features two main cabin seating areas, plus a two room VIP compartment with self-leveling bed and lavatory with shower.

The BBJ Max 7 can fly up to 7,000 nm, opening up new city pairs such as Beijing and Acapulco, Dubai and Washington, and New York and Shanghai on virtually the same fuel as the original 6,200 nm BBJ. It has considerably more underfloor cargo bay volume available for baggage. Max 7’s CFMI Leap 1B engines are key to unlocking the improved performance potential of the new jet. They produce 2,000 lb more thrust than the CFM56-7BE turbofans on BBJ, yet they’re 14% more fuel efficient due to 20-year newer aerodynamics, much higher bypass and compression ratios, and higher operating temperatures.

(Fred George and Angus Batey - Aviation Week / EBACE News)

Cathay Pacific axes cargo director role as part of headquarter cull

Cathay Pacific has axed the cargo director role as it embarks on a cull of middle and senior management at its head office.

The Hong Kong headquartered airline today announced that a total of 600 “senior, middle management and non-managerial roles” at the group’s headquarters would be cut.

Around 190 management and 400 non-managerial roles will go, representing 25% of management and 18% of non-managerial positions respectively.

Part of the cull involves the restructuring of the cargo department, which will be “streamlined” through the removal of the cargo director role and the creation of a director of commercial and cargo position.

“The commercial and planning functions will report into the director commercial and cargo, and be overseen by the chief customer and commercial officer,” the airline group explained.

Cathay Pacific had only recently appointed a new director of cargo. In late April, the carrier announced that James Ginns would take over from Simon Large in the position from June 1.

The airline said cargo director designate, Ginns, will instead take up a UK-based role in the Cathay Pacific Group, meaning he has been moved on from the role before he had even started it.

"Over the weeks ahead we will be reviewing the cargo department structure to complete the organizational design process, and hope to announce any resulting changes and the completed new structure by the end of July," an airline spokesperson said.

"Underpinning this change is a need create a head office structure that is leaner, faster and more responsive to our cargo customers’ needs."

The reorganization of the airline had been expected after the carrier last year reported its first annual loss in eight years as it comes under pressure from low-cost rivals.

Rupert Hogg, chief executive, Cathay Pacific, said: “We greatly appreciate and respect our people’s dedication, hard work and achievements.

“However, we have had to make tough but necessary decisions for the future of our business and our customers.

“Changes in people’s travel habits and what they expect from us, evolving competition and a challenging business outlook have created the need for significant change.

“Our immediate priority is to support our colleagues affected by today’s announcement, and I’d like to thank them for all they’ve done for Cathay Pacific.

“As we look to the future we will have a new structure that will make us leaner, faster and more responsive to our customers’ needs.

“It is the first step in the transformation of our business. We want to invest in and improve the experience that we offer people in Hong Kong and around the world, to find new ways to give our customers what they really want and need.”


National Airlines and Navitrans in weekly Round-the-World 747-400F Service

US-based freighter operator National Airlines and charter company Navitrans USA are to launch a weekly scheduled Round-the-World (RTW) B747-400 freighter service, set to begin on June 1.

The RTW service and will operate year-round connecting several key global airports: Chicago (ORD), Liege (LGG), Heydar Aliyev International in Azerbaijan (GYD), Hong Kong (HKG), Narita (NRT), Anchorage (ANC) and back to Chicago.

The operation will be in addition to another twice weekly scheduled operation by the carrier exclusively for Navitrans between the US and China.

“We are very pleased and excited to start our co-operation with National and to expand our air charter supply chain,” said Chuanning (Martin) Zhu, president of Navitrans USA."

Bill Szymanski, the marketing manager of Navitrans USA, said: “This RTW route will connect five key gateways throughout North America, Europe, Mid-Asia and Far East in around 36 hours. With the dedicated B747-400F aircraft, Navitrans has positioned itself to meet importer’s and exporter’s needs all over the world.”

Navitrans has offices in Shanghai, Beijing, Chengdu, Zhengzhou, Hong Kong, Frankfurt, Moscow, and New York, with a total of more than 100 staff.

Mark Burgess, president of National Airlines, commented: “National’s global reach, ability and flexibility enabled us to customise the operation to meet the needs of Navitrans using our scheduled authorities and we are very excited to build on our relationship to launch this new routing.”

Rob Hotchkiss, manager of charter sales at National Airlines, said: “Our entire team is very excited about this operation and we very much look forward to operating these scheduled flights for Navitrans along with developing new routes utilising National's authorities.”

National Airlines is a US Certified Air Carrier that has specialized in custom transportation needs for companies and governments for over 20 years. With its headquarters based in Orlando, Florida, National Airlines possess World Wide Operating Authority for both passenger and cargo aircraft.

National Airlines routinely flies from the US and Europe to the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Australia, as well as North and South America.


SIA Cargo to be "re-integrated" into the parent group

Singapore Airlines Cargo Boeing 747-412F (32900/1349) 9V-SFO taxies at Ted Stevens-Anchorage International Airport (ANC/PANC) on May 8. 2017.
(Photo by Michael Carter)

SIA Cargo is to be "re-integrated" into the parent airline, in a “business as usual” move intended “to improve efficiency through greater synergy with the wider SIA Group".

The wholly-owned cargo subsidiary of Singapore Airlines (SIA) will become the cargo division within the parent group and the transition is expected to be completed in the first half of 2018.

SIA Chief executive Goh Choon Phong said: “Cargo remains an important part of our business, and we remain committed to operating a fleet of dedicated freighter aircraft to carry specialised cargo and provide feed to the overall SIA Group network.”

SIA said in a statement: “It will be business as usual from a customer perspective, as there will be no change to SIA Cargo’s operations. Seven Boeing 747-400 freighter aircraft will continue to be operated, while the Cargo Division will continue to manage the passenger aircraft bellyhold space for SIA, SilkAir and Scoot.”

SIA Cargo was a division of the Asian mega-carrier until July 2001, when it became a separate company within the SIA Group. At the time, it was in the process of growing its fleet to up to 17 B747-400Fs, and it was “better suited to carry out its expansion as a standalone all-cargo airline”, said SIA.

The group statement continued :”The airfreight market has since seen structural change, however, and SIA Cargo’s freighter fleet has been ‘right-sized’ in recent years to the current seven aircraft while the proportion of revenue from passenger aircraft bellyhold capacity has increased significantly.

“Despite the smaller freighter fleet, SIA Cargo’s overall capacity, including that from passenger aircraft, still grew 4%-5% in each of the past two financial years.”

The majority of SIA Cargo’s nearly 900 employees will be retained in the new Cargo Division, said SIA, while some will be transferred to other SIA Divisions. For a group of staff for whom alternative job positions have yet to be confirmed, placement opportunities will be facilitated elsewhere within the SIA Group.

It continued: “The integration will provide new opportunities for staff development within the larger SIA organisation.”

SIA chief executive Phong added: “Re-integrating SIA Cargo as a Division within Singapore Airlines makes sense from a business standpoint. It will improve efficiency and offer greater flexibility for staff deployment by maximising synergies with the larger SIA business.

“Importantly, the Cargo Division will continue to provide high-quality products and services that customers have come to expect from SIA Cargo.”

The move is not expected to have a material impact on SIA’s financial performance in the 2017/18 financial year.


Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Gulfstream (IAI) G150 (c/n 277) N636SF

Operated by Sanderson Farms Inc., this lovely aircraft arrives at Long Beach Airport (LGB/KLGB) this afternoon as we enjoy a simply gorgeous day here in SoCal.

(Photos by Michael Carter)

Bombardiar Global 6000 (c/n 9659) N9TJ

Cardinal Associates LLC, operate this gorgeous Global 6000 which is captured taxing to and departing from Rwy 30 at Long Beach Airport (LGB/KLGB) on May 23, 2017.

(Photos by Michael Carter)