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No 5406 flight_10092013

  1. 1. 10-16 SEPTEMBER 2013 FLIGHTINTERNATIONAL 10-16 SEPTEMBER 2013 CABIN FIRES IS THE INDUSTRY IN DENIAL ABOUT ONBOARD RISK? FEATURE P32 ALMOST THERE CSeries nears high-speed taxi trials as long-delayed first flight for Canadian airliner edges closer 9 FAST DEVELOPER Russian Helicopters moving quickly to have racy RACHEL prototype in the air by 2018 20 ENVIRONMENT THE WORLD VERSUS ETSHow will aviation pay carbon debt now? £3.30
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  3. 3. 10-16 September 2013 | Flight International | FLIGHTINTERNATIONAL 10-16 SEPTEMBER 2013 JAXA,Beechcraft Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group buys Beechcraft’s largest European MRO business P21 First flight of Japan’s Epsilon launch vehicle cancelled P23 10-16 SEPTEMBER 2013 FLIGHTINTERNATIONAL 10-16 SEPTEMBER 2013 FLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLIGHTINIII TERNATIONAL CABIN FIRES IS THE INDUSTRY IN DENIAL ABOUT ONBOARD RISK? FEATURE P32 ALMOST THERE CSeries nears high-speed taxi trials as long-delayed first flight for Canadian airliner edges closer 9 FAST DEVELOPER Russian Helicopters moving quickly to have racy RACHEL prototype in the air by 2018 20 ENVIRONMENT THE WORLD VERSUS ETSHow will aviation pay carbon debt now? £3.30 18 Israeli air force pushes for 12-aircraft KC-135R deal BUSINESS AVIATION 20 Russian Helicopters speeds progress of next generation. Modified Twin Otter helps G-Sky grow 21 Ambitious Marshall snaps up Beechcraft MRO centre. Rostec reveals 19-seater price tag GENERAL AVIATION 22 Atlant Arctic airship bouyed by answer to weighty issue. Ansat clinches civil certification. Kit-built Zodiac CH 640 set for Russian role SPACEFLIGHT 23 Bad timing delays Epsilon first flight. Zenit makes safe return BUSINESS 24 Boeing faces export storm REGULARS 7 Comment 36 Straight & Level 37 Letters 40 Classified 43 Jobs 47 Working Week NEWS THIS WEEK 8 Early Hawk T2 use aids RAF students 9 FAA finalising ‘critical’ 787 review. Delta weighs in with A330 deal 10 Human factors loom in crash report 11 Dirty fuel blamed for Cathay A330’s engine emergency AIR TRANSPORT 12 Crew failed to adapt to poor visibility. Kazakhstan safety drive targets EU blacklisting 13 Court raises questions over Austrian’s Tyrolean transfer. IAE faces court challenge from Kingfisher owner 14 Virgin Australia eyes new widebodies. Comac matures fledgling C919 iron bird test rig 15 MRJ delay pinned on FAA paperwork. Ecojet project on approach to production phase DEFENCE 16 UK reveals AEW programme costs. F-35 engine production agreement a ‘fair deal’ 17 Auditor slams Indian AW101 contract. Embraer delivers AMX upgrade COVER STORY 26 Clearing the air How best to tackle airline industry emissions FEATURES 28 ENVIRONMENT Electric avenues Airlines are weighing up high-tech taxi systems as they look to reduce fuel use and cut turnaround times 30 Alternative medicine Carriers are looking to substitute sources of energy 32 SAFETY Fire alarmed Onboard blazes are still a considerable risk, despite a recent fall in the number of fatalities VOLUME 184 NUMBER 5406 PIC OF THE WEEK YOUR PHOTOGRAPH HERE AirSpace regular sunshine band posted this up-close-and-personal shot of Royal Air Force Shorts Tucano (ZF239) running in to display through brilliant sunshine at RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire. Open a gallery in’s AirSpace community for a chance to feature here. AirTeamImages COVER IMAGE AirTeamImages supplied this skyward view of an Airbus A340, showing just why aviation is struggling to reconcile demand for air travel with calls for a workable, global emissions control regime P26 NEXT WEEK HELI-TECH PREVIEW On the eve of the annual rotorcraft industry exhibition in its new venue at London’s ExCel,we look at helicopter safety,performance and prospects AgustaWestland Download the Military Simulator Census online now. High-fidelity maritime patrol aircraft simulators and training systems.
  4. 4. CONTENTS Flightglobal reaches up to 1.3 million visitors from 220 countries viewing 7.1 million pages each month BEHIND THE HEADLINES Vote at Find all these items at THE WEEK ON THE WEB For a full list of reader services, editorial and advertising contacts see P39 EDITORIAL +44 20 8652 3842 DISPLAY ADVERTISING +44 20 8652 3315 CLASSIFIED ADVERTISING +44 20 8652 4897 RECRUITMENT ADVERTISING +44 20 8652 4900 WEBMASTER SUBSCRIPTIONS +44 1444 475 682 REPRINTS +44 20 8652 8612 FLIGHT DAILY NEWS +44 20 8652 3096 Simply not good enough Some areas of concern 42 % 29 % QUESTION OF THE WEEK Excellent given challenging environment 29 % HIGH FLIERS The top five stories for the week just gone: 1 Airbus steadily clocks up A350 flight hours 2 Bombardier CSeries approved for first flight 3 Delta orders 40 A330s and A321s 4 BA to operate 787 to Austin 5 Israel seeks R-model KC-135s from USA Last week, we asked: Safety record of North Sea helicopters: You said: Total votes: 678 This week, we ask: How will you mark the 10th anniversary of the demise of Concorde? Mourning Confident about the return of supersonic transport Times move on With allies and foes feeling the Syrian heat in the eastern Mediterranean, Israel and the USA should perhaps have let the Russians know they were planning to air-launch a couple of targets designed to simulate the trajectory of a Scud ballistic missile. As The DEW Line found, Russia’s defence ministry was spooked to detect unidentified “ballistic objects” that were, actually, Sparrow-series targets released from an Israeli air force Boeing F-15 (pictured). And, Hyperbola finds the Syria crisis, which is unravelling UK-US relations with Russia, is raising questions about whether Moscow would disrupt plans for manned launches to the Space Station in the event of an attack on Damascus. After the fatal Super Puma crash off the UK, David Learmount looked at offshore helicopter safety and asks, why does Norway get it right? Defence editor Craig Hoyle got some hands-on practice using a flight training device for the UK’s new Hawk T2 trainer during a visit to the Royal Air Force’s base at Valley,Anglesey. The UK is looking to ramp up its use of the 28-strong T2 fleet,and cites strong international interest in the capability (P8). IN THIS ISSUE Companies listed AeroVironment.............................................25 AgustaWestland...........7, 8, 10, 17, 20, 22, 23 Air Astana....................................................12 Airbus....................8, 9, 11, 12, 14, 28, 35, 37 Air France ..............................................28, 29 Air New Zealand.............................................8 All Nippon Airways ...........................25, 33, 35 ANA Holdings...............................................25 Antonov.......................................................23 Asiana...................................................32, 34 Austrian Airlines...........................................13 Austro Engines.............................................25 Aviat............................................................30 Aviation Alliance ..........................................20 BAE Systems .................................................8 Beechcraft...................................................21 Boeing.........7, 8, 9, 12, 14, 15, 16, 18, 24, 29 Bell Boeing..................................................18 Bombardier .......................................9, 15, 37 Cathay Pacific..............................................11 Cessna ........................................................23 CHC Scotia..................................................10 Comac.........................................................14 ConnectJets.................................................23 Diamond Aircraft....................................23, 25 EasyJet ..................................................28, 37 Elta Systems................................................16 Emirates......................................................24 Ethiopian Airlines...................................32, 33 Embraer.......................................................17 Eurocopter.......................................10, 20, 22 Eva Air .........................................................12 G-Sky Aviation .............................................20 Gulfstream.............................................20, 25 Hawaiian Airlines .........................................24 Honeywell Aerospace.......................25, 28, 29 Ikhana Aircraft Services................................20 Ilyushin Finance...........................................15 International Aero Engines ...........................13 Israel Aerospace Industries ..........................28 Jet Aviation ..................................................20 JetBlue Airways ............................................12 Kamov.........................................................20 Kingfisher Airlines ........................................13 KLM.............................................................29 LiveTV..........................................................12 Lockheed Martin..............................16, 18, 31 Lufthansa ..............................................13, 29 Marshall Aerospace .....................................23 Meggitt........................................................25 Mitsubishi Aircraft........................................15 Northrop Grumman......................................16 Pratt & Whitney............. 15, 16, 18, 20, 22, 30 Qantas...................................................14, 25 Rafael............................................................8 Red Wings ...................................................15 Rolls-Royce............................8, 11, 14, 25, 47 RosAeroSystems..........................................22 Rosaviaconsortium ......................................15 Rostec.........................................................23 Russian Helicopters.........................20, 22, 23 Safran .............................................25, 28, 29 Sikorsky.................................................10, 20 Spirit Aerosystems .......................................24 Swissair.................................7, 32, 33, 34, 35 Transaero Airlines.........................................47 TUI...............................................................28 Turbomeca...................................................25 Turkish Aerospace Industries........................18 United Airlines .............................................12 UPS...................................................7, 32, 34 UTAir............................................................22 VIM-Avia......................................................15 Virgin Australia.............................................14 WheelTug...............................................28, 29 4 | Flight International | 10-16 September 2013 Download the new Commercial Engines Directory now with enhanced data and in-depth market analysis
  5. 5. The P-8 is the world’s most capable maritime patrol aircraft. It brings together a networked state-of-the-art mission system with next-generation sensors, and a reliable airframe with high-efficiency turbofan engines. The result is an affordable multi-mission aircraft with superior speed and unmatched capability. The P-8 is now ready to secure sea and shore around the globe.
  6. 6. COMMENT 10-16 September 2013 | Flight International | See Defence P17 Official discomfort The worrying thing about India’s AgustaWestland AW101 scandal is how unsurprising it is. Big de- fence purchases anywhere are rarely smooth, but in India they seem to be particularly accident-prone. At its heart are allegations – denied, of course – that AgustaWestland bosses bribed Indian air force leaders to modify the requirements for the purchase of 12 VVIP helicopters. Early this year investigations in Italy prompted a further probe in India. Two AgustaWest- land executives are now standing trial over the matter. But the steady drip-drip of bad news continues. This week India’s government auditor issued a damning re- port on the acquisition process. But this fiasco – unlike other defence procurement travesties in India – will directly affect New Delhi’s senior leadership. Having received just three AW101s, India has sus- pended the deal, and could well cancel it altogether. The grounding of the new fleet will oblige worthies in- cluding the president and prime minister to resume the use of ageing Mil Mi-8s. At stake in the AW101 crisis are not key issues like operational readiness and deterrence, but the comfort of senior government leaders. Perhaps riding in obso- lescent, deafeningly loud helicopters will provide the spur they need to bring greater transparency and ac- countability to India’s defence acquisition process. RexFeatures Operations and safety editor David Learmount writes on aviation safety matters on his eponymous blog See Feature P32 Just in case Fire risk on modern airliners is worse than it has been since aircraft were made of wood, but because there has not been a recent passenger aircraft loss, complacency has set in The smoking gun There has always been a chance of fire on commer- cial transport aircraft, but the risk profile in today’s fleet is definitely changing, and probably increasing – yet nothing is being done to tackle this. The reasons behind the change are many. Leading the list is the proliferation of lithium-chemistry batteries – a definable fire risk – in the personal electronic equip- ment of both passengers and crew. Their highly flam- mable nature has been blamed for the loss of at least one freighter aircraft, a UPS Boeing 747, which carried the lithium-ion cells among its cargo. And larger versions of those same lithium batteries have recently been de- ployed by aircraft manufacturers to power standby on- board equipment. In the case of the Boeing 787 they provide the ultimate back-up electrical supply. The very latest airliners are also “more-electric” – electricity replaces hydraulic, pneumatic or mechani- cal power – resulting in an increase in the amount of electrical cabling. The proliferation of in-flight enter- tainment systems adds both batteries and yet more cabling. And the rapidly increasing use of composite materials for aircraft primary structures is changing the risk profile because composites have a different reac- tion to heat. In the last three years, two freighters have been lost to onboard fires, but because they were not passenger flights public concern has remained dormant. The last catastrophic blaze that brought down a passenger air- Estimates put the number of onboard smoke events today at one in every 15,000 flights craft was Swissair 111 in 1998. That is a long time ago, and it involved a Boeing MD-11, but nothing funda- mental in terms of aircraft and cabin systems design has been changed as a result. Meanwhile estimates put the number of onboard smoke events today at one in every 15,000 flights. And cliché as it may be, where there is smoke, there is fire, be it real or potential. One of the most remarkable facts about aircraft de- sign for safety is that the only fire detection equipment on board commercial transport aircraft are in the en- gines, the freight bay and the lavatories. There are no detection systems in cockpits or cabins, so a fire that starts behind the panels because of an electrical short- circuit – like Swissair 111 – has a chance to take hold before its presence is noticed. And when smoke or fumes have betrayed its existence, there is no way of locating the heat source or directing extinguishant at it. This is simply unacceptable. The Royal Aeronautical Society is leading a study into these risks. Action must follow it.
  7. 7. THIS WEEK flightglobal.com8 | Flight International | 10-16 September 2013 For a round-up of our latest online news, feature and multimedia content visit Early use of the Royal Air Force’sBAESystemsHawkT2 advanced jet trainer has dramati- cally boosted the quality of in- struction being provided to UK students, programme officials say. A first course of four ab initio pilots completed their training on the T2 with 4 Sqn at RAF Valley in June 2013, before progressing to its 29 Sqn operational conver- sion unit (OCU) for the Eurofight- er Typhoon at Coningsby in Lincolnshire. “I think we’ve doubled the standard of the students,” says Alasdair Shinner, station manager at the Anglesey base for Lockheed Martin/Babcock joint venture As- cent, the Ministry of Defence’s training system partner for the Military Flying Training System (MFTS) programme. The T2 has the potential to deliver a “multi- role, combat-ready pilot” to the OCU, he adds, whereas the RAF’s analogue cockpit Hawk T1s were not preparing students for the aircraft they would later fly. Several additional courses are now under way, with these in- cluding RAF and Royal Navy stu- dents and 11 more UK qualified flying instructors (QFI). With only 50% of system capacity being used on a 28-aircraft fleet, poten- tial options to increase the vol- ume of training delivered include TRAINING CRAIG HOYLE LONDON Early Hawk T2 use aids RAF students Programme officials highlight quality of instruction provided to trainees, better preparing them to fly more advanced jets CraigHoyle/Flightglobal The BAE Systems type is operated by the service’s 4 Sqn HIGHER-THRUST TRENT RUNS ON FIRST 787-9 PROPULSION Initial test runs have been conducted on the Rolls- Royce Trent 1000 engines powering Boeing’s first 787-9. The maid- en flight of the stretched twinjet is on track for “late summer”,says the airframer. Trent 1000 programme director John Griffiths adds that Rolls-Royce is “delighted at the successful first run” of the en- gines. Its Package C version of the powerplant,developed for the 787-9,provides 74,000lb (329kN) of thrust. Air New Zealand is the launch customer,with 10 of the type due for delivery from 2014. CHINESE A330 AMONG AUGUST AIRBUS ORDERS AIRFRAMES China Eastern Airlines was behind the only long-haul order for Airbus during a quiet August,but the deal for the single A330 marks the first firm Chinese order recorded by the airframer this year. Long-haul orders from China,particularly for the A330,had been held up by a dispute over the European emissions trading sys- tem. However,the airframer’s latest backlog data,covering the first eight months of 2013,includes a single China Eastern A330-200 order on 5 August. Airbus added nine other aircraft – all A320-family jets – to its backlog during the month,bringing its gross total to 942 and taking its net figure just above 900. Airbus delivered 394 aircraft over the first eight months,including 11 A380s and 70 A330s. AGUSTAWESTLAND SEALS CHINESE SALES PACT ROTORCRAFT AgustaWestland has signed a distribution agreement with Sino-US Intercontinental Helicopter Investment,with the pact also including a contract for 20 aircraft. Finmeccanica says the sale values €170 million ($223 million),and covers AW119Ke,AW139, AW169,AW189 and GrandNew aircraft,for roles including VIP trans- port. AgustaWestland says the agreement makes it “well-positioned” to grow further from the previous sale of 40 helicopters in China. ISRAELI TARGET LAUNCH SPARKS BALLISTIC ALERT INCIDENT Russia’s defence ministry was put on heightened alert on 3 September,after early warning radars detected two unidentified “ballistic objects” over the Mediterranean sea. The scare was later confirmed as having been prompted by the launch of two Rafael Sparrow-series target missiles from an Israeli air force Boeing F-15. The activity was performed as a joint Israeli/US test in support of the development of Israel’s Arrow 3 ballistic missile interceptor. DENMARK ORDERS MX-15 SENSOR FOR AW101 EQUIPMENT Denmark has ordered a minimum of eight L-3 Wescam MX-15 electro-optical/infrared sensors for its AgustaWestland AW101 tactical transport helicopters. The equipment will be fitted by the nation’s Defence Acquisition and Logistics Organisation by 2014. The Royal Danish Air Force operates 14 AW101s,with part of the fleet tasked with providing search and rescue services. FRANCE STEPS IN WITH ARIANE 5 UPGRADE BUDGET SPACEFLIGHT With a €25 million ($33 million) allocation,the French government has agreed to meet the lion’s share of the ap- proximately €35 million cost of upgrading the European Space Agency’s Ariane 5 rocket to accommodate a new generation of larger- volume telecommunications satellites. The programme,to fly from 2015,will add 2m (6ft) to the available height inside the launcher’s payload fairing,without altering its profile. The added volume is likely to be demanded by satellite customers opting for all- or more-electric designs,which eliminate propellant tanks but add solar panel area. BRIEFING preparing additional RAF QFIs, increasing the number of instruc- tors sourced from other air forces or approving Ascent-employed instructors to command some flights, officials say. “Spare capacity is something that is being looked at, but there is no simple answer,” says Grp Capt Simon Blake, from the RAF’s 22 Group training organi- sation. “Lots of other air forces are coming here and seeing that we are filling the [training capability] gap,” he notes. Meanwhile, activities involv- ing the RAF’s Hawk T1-equipped 208 Sqn have been extended at Valley, with the service currently providing Phase IV lead-in fighter training for Royal Saudi Air Force pilots. Riyadh will take delivery of its first of 22 T2-equivalent Hawks from BAE in 2015. The remainder of the MFTS programme’s fixed-wing equip- ment package should be deter- mined by 2015, with one type to deliver elementary training and a turboprop-powered basic trainer offering “jet-like performance” to replace the RAF’s current Shorts Tucano T1s. Operations should commence from around 2018, says Ascent’s Simon Falla. Follow the latest global defence aviation news and views at
  8. 8. THIS WEEK 10-16 September 2013 | Flight International | Human factors loom in Super Puma crash report THISWEEK P10 SAFETY STEPHEN TRIMBLE WASHINGTON DC FAA finalises 787 electrical review Safety regulator has completed detailed technical work for investigation into Dreamliner’s problematic power systems The US Federal Aviation Ad- ministration confirms the agency is close to finalising a comprehensive safety review of the Boeing 787’s problematic electrical system. The agency has completed the detailed technical work for what the FAA now calls the “critical systems review” of the 787. “At this time the report is being final- ised,” the agency says. As the US National Transpor- tation Safety Board (NTSB) con- tinues its search for the root cause of the overheating lithium ion batteries, the public release of the report by the FAA on the overall electrical system could provide new context about the incidents that caused the 787 to be grounded for four months earlier this year. However, is still unclear if the FAA will call for any design changes or operational restric- tions on the 787 as a result of the report’s findings. “Boeing continues to work co- operatively with the FAA as the report on the 787 critical systems review is finalised,” the airframer says. “Until the report has been published, it would be inappro- priate for us to comment further.” The report was commissioned by then-Secretary of Transporta- tion Ray LaHood on 11 January, coming in between the two bat- tery incidents that prompted the FAA to order the 787 grounded for four months. While the lithium-ion battery became the focus of safety probes by the FAA and NTSB, the review initiated by LaHood was designed to consider safety concerns affect- ing the 787’s entire electrical ar- chitecture. The 787 had experienced sev- eral electrical problems before the two battery malfunctions in Janu- ary. In December, Qatar Airways and United Airlines grounded certain 787s due to a faulty batch of circuit boards. One United 787 made a pre- cautionary landing in Houston on 4 December after one of the air- craft’s six electrical generators failed due to the circuit board problem. The 787 is the first and still the only commercial airliner that uses electrical power to pressu- rise the passenger cabin rather than a pneumatic system driven by bleed-air from the engine’s compressor stages. Follow a timeline detailing the 787’s troubled operations: Bombardier is readying its CSeries twinjet for its maiden sortie, with the final pre-flight tests beginning at the airframer’s Mirabel facility. Airport watchers spotted on 1 September the initial flight-test vehicle, FTV-1, performing what appeared to be high-speed taxi trials, although Bombardier later played these down, describing them as “high-speed low-speed tests”. Bombardier says these were slightly below its 70kt (130km/h) threshold for high-speed tests. Quicker taxi runs and rejected take-off trials – some of the last ground tests required before flight – were due to be performed in the following days, but were scrubbed due to weather con- cerns, Bombardier says. Landing gear and other further testing has yet to take place, the airframer says. The flightcrew reports that FTV-1 is “handling beautifully” in testing, it adds. The crew in- cludes chief pilot Chuck Ellis, first officer Andy Litavniks and flight test engineer Andreas Hartono. Bombardier received a flight test permit for the CSeries from regulator Transport Canada on 30 August. The permit allows Bom- bardier to conduct the high-speed trials as well as first flight once all ground testing is complete. DEVELOPMENT EDWARD RUSSELL WASHINGTON DC CSeries speeds towards maiden-sortie milestone ORDER EDWARD RUSSELL WASHINGTON DC Delta weighs in with A330 deal Airbus has secured a launch customer for the higher gross weight variant of its A330, after US carrier Delta Air Lines or- dered 10 of the enhanced type. The first A330s will be deliv- ered to the Atlanta-based carrier in the second quarter of 2015, and will be powered by General Elec- tric CF6-80E1 engines. Announced in November 2012, the 242t A330 benefits from 500nm (925km) of additional range, taking it to 6,100nm, and 5t of extra payload, compared with the current 235t A330, ac- cording to Airbus. Delta plans to use the aircraft on both trans-At- lantic and trans-Pacific routes. Delta additionally ordered 30 sharklet-equipped A321 narrow- bodies, with deliveries from the first quarter of 2016. The aircraft are to be powered by CFM Inter- national CFM56 engines. The carrier puts the total value of the deal at about $5.6 billion at list prices. “This Airbus agreement is another opportunistic fleet trans- action for Delta in which we ac- quire economically efficient, proven-technology aircraft,” says Richard Anderson, chief execu- tive of Delta. Many of Delta’s new A321s will come from Airbus’s new final as- sembly line in Mobile, Alabama, says the airframer, which will de- liver its first aircraft in 2016. Airbus The carrier will take the higher gross weight variant of the twinjet PatrickCardinal Taxi trials are under way at Bombardier’s Mirabel facility
  9. 9. THIS WEEK flightglobal.com10 | Flight International | 10-16 September 2013 For a round-up of our latest online news, feature and multimedia content visit helicopter was “on the published horizontal and vertical profile of the approach to runway 09, with airspeed decreasing steadily”. However, a mile later it had de- scended some 240ft (73m) below the vertical approach profile, and its rate of descent had hit 500ft/ min, with an airspeed of 68kt (126km/h). The statement adds: “The airspeed continued to re- duce to below 30kt, and as it did so the helicopter pitched increas- ingly nose-up. “The rate of descent remained constant for a period before in- creasing rapidly. “Shortly thereafter the helicop- ter, which was intact, struck the sea in a near level pitch attitude with a slight right bank. Both engines were delivering power until impact.” Suspicions that the crash was not due to an issue with the air- frame or engines began to surface shortly after the Aberdeen-based Helicopter Safety Steering Group lifted its voluntary flight ban cov- ering all Super Puma variants on 29 August. A statement was released the following day by the UK Civil Aviation Authority which backed the HSSG’s position, stressing that it did not believe “the acci- dent was caused by an airworthi- ness or technical problem, and consider that the decision by the operators to resume Super Puma flights is appropriate”. “We would not allow a return to service unless we were satisfied that it was safe to do so. We will reviewthepositionifanynewevi- dence comes to light,” it said. miles, but was descending faster than appropriate at a time when the crew would still not have been able to see the runway through the thin mist present. When air traffic control at Sumburgh provided the CHC crew with radar vectors to join the localiser/DME approach to 09, visibility was 1.5nm (2.8km), and the wind was 17kt from the southeast. On such an approach lateral guidance is provided, but the crew must set and monitor their own vertical profile by plot- ting DME distance from the run- way against the height they should be passing at that point. The statement says that at three miles from the threshold the Aterse statement by the UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch has provided basic facts downloaded from the cockpit voice and flight data recorder of the CHC Scotia AS332L2 Super Puma helicopter (G-WSNB) in- volved in a fatal crash on ap- proach to Sumburgh, in the Shetland Isles, on 23 August. Crucially, no technical failure has been detected, the statement says, noting that both engines continued to deliver power until the helicopter impacted the sea. Four passengers were killed during the accident. It adds: “To date, no evidence of a causal technical failure has been identified; however, de- tailed examination of the [com- bined cockpit voice and flight data recorder] and the helicopter wreckage is continuing.” During the localiser/DME non- precision approach to Sum- burgh’s runway 09, the aircraft was on the correct vertical de- scent profile at three nautical INCIDENT DAVID LEARMOUNT LONDON Human factors loom in crash report Air Accidents Investigation Branch suggests technical issues with helicopter were not to blame for Super Puma accident STUDY DOMINIC PERRY LONDON Passenger capacity could be cut by wide-ranging review North Sea operators could face fun- damental changes – including red;ucing the number of passengers carried in each aircraft – depending on the outcome of a root-and-branch review of offshore helicopter trans- portation safety. Launched in the wake of the 23 August fatal accident of a CHC Scotia-operated Eurocopter AS332L2,the study has been com- missioned by pan-industry body the Helicopter Safety Steering Group. Although it is still framing the terms of reference for the inquiry and considering who should chair it, the HSSG promises that it will act on any recommendations produced. “Ignoring them is not an accept- able outcome for any of us,that’s just not how we do things around here,” says Les Linklater,team lead at Step Change in Safety,the organi- sation behind the HSSG. “If there are things we can do to make heli- copter operations safer then we have to do them.” Linklater says the report,which will take around six months to com- plete,will have to look beyond any issues around airworthiness and also examine other areas of con- cern,such as the relative safety records of the UK and Norway,plus the internal configuration of all the offshore transportation helicopters. Both the EC225 and the rival Sikorsky S-92 can accommodate 19 passengers,but concerns have been raised – notably via social me- dia – that the cabin of the Eurocopter type is too cramped to comfortably seat that many people. “The sense from [passengers] is that they feel there are too many people in the back. But it’s some- thing that we are not going to con- sider via Facebook,but through interviews,” says Linklater. Eurocopter says it will participate in the study as part of its efforts to mend relations with the offshore workforce. Dominique Maudet,ex- ecutive vice-president global busi- ness and services at Eurocopter, says: “You can’t avoid the emotion, but at some point you have to look at the facts and figures. “We will look at whatever modifi- cations we can make in the short and medium term to better address passenger comfort,especially com- pared with other aircraft.” HSSG includes representatives from offshore workforce trade un- ions,as well as the three Aberdeen operators. However,Linklater hopes to broaden this to include regular participation from the three main helicopter manufacturers: AgustaWestland,Eurocopter and Sikorsky. PA Four passengers were killed in the 23 August incident “To date, no evidence of a causal technical failure has been identified” AAIB STATEMENT David Learmount offers his views on aviation safety:
  10. 10. THIS WEEK Fuel contamination has been confirmed as the cause of a double engine malfunction on a Cathay Pacific Airbus A330-300 on approach to Hong Kong Inter- national airport, which led to a high-speed emergency landing of the twinjet. In a final report into the 13 April 2010 incident, Hong Kong’s Civil Aviation Department (CAD) says that 24.4t of contaminated fuel was uplifted into the A330 at Surabaya’s Juanda International airport in Indonesia. This caused stiction in the fuel metering units of both engines, leading to the total seizure of the components and the loss of thrust controls during approach. Contaminants entered the fuel system via a hydrant refuelling circuit serving 10 stands at Sura- baya. This had undergone exten- sion work as part of an apron ex- pansion project at the airport. However, CAD found that salt water had apparently entered the system during the construction works. The recommissioning process of the reworked hydrant wasalsonotproperlycoordinated, which led to the premature resumption of refuelling opera- tions, says CAD – leading to contamination of the fuel with su- per-absorbent polymer material. It was this substance that caused the malfunction of the fuel metering units. The report notes that airport personnel uploading the fuel failed to react to abnormal vibra- tions of the equipment, caused by the reaction between the polymer material and salt water to form a gel-like substance. Operatives failed to stop the procedure and investigate the cause of the vibra- tion, it says. The affected aircraft (B-HLL) was operating flight CX780 when both its Rolls-Royce Trent 700 en- gines malfunctioned. The crew had to issued a Mayday call and eventually landed at a high ground speed of 231kt (427km/h), causing the lower cowling of one engine to contact the runway and overheated brakes that left five tyres deflated. Passengers evacu- ated using escape slides. PT Pertamina, which carried out the refuelling at Surabaya, has since changed its procedures and equipment to prevent a repeat of the incident. SAFETY MAVIS TOH SINGAPORE Dirty fuel blamed for Cathay A330’s engineemergency Investigators pin twinjet’s double powerplant malfunction on contaminated Jet-A1 uplifted at Indonesia’s Juanda airport Keep up to date with the latest global airline news online at The Cathay widebody landed with a ground speed of 231kt
  11. 11. AIR TRANSPORT flightglobal.com12 | Flight International | 10-16 September 2013 Check out our collection of online dynamic aircraft profiles for the latest news,images and information on civil and military programmes at Investigators have determined that the crew of an Eva Air Airbus A330-300 (B-16331) failed to adapt to changing weather and visibility, during an incident where the aircraft veered off the runway after landing at Taipei’s Songshan airport last year. The incident took place on 13 September, and involved flight BR189, from Tokyo’s Haneda air- port. Taiwan’s Aviation Safety Council (ASC) says that during the flight the crew received infor- mation that visibility at Songshan airport was 5,000m (16,400ft) with haze, and that at 5nm (9km) from the runway threshold, visi- bility was 7,000m, with wet run- way conditions and heavy rain. Interviews with the crew re- vealed that while they could see the runway at 3-4nm from the threshold during their approach, they could not see the end of the runway clearly. About 9s before landing the aircraft started to drift to the right of the runway centreline. Upon landing, the aircraft’s right main wheels veered off the tarmac, only regaining the runway ap- proximately 305m (1,000ft) later. Although the aircraft was not damaged in the incident, two runway edge lights were rendered inoperative. “The aircraft touched down at the right side of the runway cen- treline. After landing, the aircraft veered off the runway [as] the flightcrew did not adequately control the aircraft direction,” says the ASC. Although the crew had ade- quate situational awareness and had acknowledged the rainy con- ditions, they failed to make “ap- propriate judgement and action according to the weather change and abrupt visibility variation at landing phase”, it says. The pilot monitoring the decent also did not perform standard call-outs when the speed range met the criteria for doing so. Eva also lacked any standard call-out procedures in its manu- als to deal with a runway excur- sion post-touchdown. The ASC has since recommended that Eva reinforce its flightcrew’s manoeu- vring and handling training in instances where visual references are insufficient. INVESTIGATION MAVIS TOH SINGAPORE Crew failed to adapt to poor visibility Changing conditions on approach to Taipei airport led to A330’s right main wheels leaving the runway following landing JetBlue Airways’s subsidiary LiveTV has received supple- mental type certification from the US Federal Aviation Administra- tion for its Ka-band in-flight inter- net on Airbus A320s, paving the way for the airline to offer broad- band on revenue flights. Testing of the satellite-based wi-fi system has been completed on an A320, and trials are also underwayonaBoeing737-900ER operated by United Airlines, says LiveTV. “This is game-changing tech- nology,” says JetBlue chief commercial officer Robin Hayes. “We expect to have a number of JetBlue aircraft installed with wi-fi by the end of this year, and will aggressively roll it out across our Airbus fleet over the next 18 months, followed by our Embraer fleet.” Hayes claims JetBlue’s wi-fi, dubbed “Fly-Fi” by the airline, will be “the fastest in-flight wi-fi in the industry”. JetBlue has previously indicat- ed it plans to operate three A320s with the system for 90 days for longer-term testing. Next year the airline intends to install the sys- tem on further A320s, before fit- ting it on its fleet of E-190s. JetBlue has 129 Airbus narrow- bodies and 59 E-190s in its fleet, according to Flightglobal’s As- cend Online Fleets database. LiveTv says it is also seeking Ka-band certification from EASA on Aer Lingus A320s. REGULATIONS DAVID KAMINSKI-MORROW LONDON Kazakhstan safety drive targets EU blacklisting IFE JON HEMMERDINGER WASHINGTON DC FAA green lights JetBlue ‘Fly-Fi’ Kazakhstan’s government has introduced dozens of amend- ed regulations aimed at improv- ing the central Asian state’s air safety oversight. Transport minister Askar Zhumagaliyev discussed progress in the area with ICAO’s European regional director Luis Fonseca de Almeida, during a meeting in early September. Kazakhstan has brought in 80 amendments to civil aviation regulations, the transport minis- try says, of which 70 relate to safety, in an effort to harmonise with international standards. On 3 September a new aviation security training centre opened in Almaty, which the ministry says will complement other centres in Moscow and Kiev. Kazakhstan remains subject to a blacklisting by the European Commission, which the govern- ment is keen to have lifted. Safety revision efforts have included recertification of the country’s operators. Air Astana is exempt from the blanket European ban. The Com- mission, in its most recent blacklist revision, confirmed that ramp checks had revealed “no specific concern” with the carri- er’s operations. AirTeamImages The Eva Air pilots were censured for failing to adequately control the aircraft’s direction Keep up with safety issues in aviation online by logging on to
  12. 12. AIR TRANSPORT 10-16 September 2013 | Flight International | VirginAustraliaeyes newwidebodies AIRTRANSPORT P14 The parent company of defunct Indian carrier Kingfisher Air- lines has filed a $234 million law- suit against International Aero Engines (IAE) over its V2500-A5 powerplants. The suit was filed by United BreweriesinBengaluru,andalleg- es that the engines “were inher- ently defective, both in design and manufacture”. The suit was re- vealed in the carrier’s annual re- portforthefinancialyearended31 March. The suit seeks damages of $210 million in addition to Rs1.6 billion($24million). An airline spokesman contact- ed about the suit declined to pro- vide further details. Kingfisher has been grounded since Septem- ber 2012, and in its annual report states it has defaulted on “pay- ments to several creditors”. It attributed its problems to a “difficult operating environment as well as the engine problems”. Kingfisher was formerly a major operator of Airbus A320- family aircraft powered by IAE V2500 engines. In August 2010 the carrier had problems with the V2500 that caused it to ground nine A320s. The carrier said it had experi- enced “technical issues” with stages three to eight of the 10-stage high-pressure compressor in the engine,amongotherproblems. Subsequently, on 19 August 2010, IAE said it would replace parts on some of its V2500 en- gines on in-operation aircraft after discovering problems with the engine’s high-pressure compres- sor drum in 2009. No-one from IAE was available to comment. AVienna court has called into question the legality of a move last year by Austrian Air- lines to transfer flights to regional subsidiary Tyrolean Airways as part of its restructuring plans, de- spite ruling it strictly complies with the country’s labour laws. The Lufthansa-owned carrier moved all flight operations to Ty- rolean in July 2012 to cut staff costs for pilots and cabin crew after failing to negotiate a new deal with unions. While employ- ee salary levels were not reduced, the move was aimed at slowing the rate of pay increases. In the ruling, the Vienna La- bour and Social Affairs Court says that an “ostensible viola- tion” of law has not taken place, but it has called into question the transfer of operations within a corporate group. “We acknowledge the first in- stance judgment,” says Austrian Airlines chief executive Jaan Al- brecht. “It is surprising for us that [the judge] casts doubt upon the common practice of transferring operations as part of group re- structuring programmes. “We will pursue every legal av- enue at our disposal in the ap- peals process in order to legally safeguard our restructuring path. In the meantime, we hope that the talks initiated with the works council on the collective wage agreement will result in a viable solution independent of the deci- sion handed down by the court,” he adds. The labour court ruling deals with the specific legal repercus- sions on the transfer of flight op- erations to Tyrolean from an em- ployment law basis. The Lufthansa Group carrier is looking to trim staff costs The carrier said it had ‘technical issues’ with stages three to eight of the 10-stage compressor SAS Group has sold seven Bombardier Q400 turboprops to Norwegian operation Widerøe, following its divestment of a ma- jority shareholding in the airline. It says the loans on these air- craft have also been transferred to the carrier. Three Q400s were also sold to Widerøe and then sold on to a leasing company. Investors led by the Torghatten firm are taking an 80% share in Widerøe and SAS will hand over full ownership of the airline in 2016. SAS Group says it will re- Q400 deal cements Widerøe sell-off DIVESTMENT DAVID KAMINSKI-MORROW LONDON EMPLOYMENT GRAHAM DUNN LONDON Court raises questions over Austrian’s Tyrolean transfer Chief executive vows to appeal ruling as carrier seeks to safeguard restructuring plans POWERPLANTS GREG WALDRON SINGAPORE IAE faces court challenge from Kingfisherowner For more business stories, see the September edition of sister publication However, it will have no bear- ing on a separate judicial probe into the move being undertaken by Austria’s supreme court to clarify the effects on former Aus- trian Airlines flight personnel caused by the termination of their collective wage agreement. In June that court sought a clar- ification from the European Court of Justice on several legal issues about the operational transfer. ceive Swedish krona (SKr)2 bil- lion ($300 million) through the sale of the initial Widerøe share- holding and the aircraft, from which the group’s liquidity will benefit by SKr1 billion. SAS Group has sold the turboprops to its former regional carrier
  13. 13. AIR TRANSPORT flightglobal.com14 | Flight International | 10-16 September 2013 Check out our collection of online dynamic aircraft profiles for the latest news,images and information on civil and military programmes at Virgin Australia is evaluating new long-haul twinjets from both the big airframers as potential replacements for its Airbus A330-300s and Boeing 777-300ERs. Chief executive John Borghetti says the airline is in the process of running the rule over both widebody types, and that it “could be making a decision in the next six to 12 months”. He notes, however, that as the carrier’s widebody fleet is rela- tively young, there is no great ur- gency to place an order. “We want to make a consid- ered decision – the right decision for our route network,” says Borghetti, adding that “they are both good aircraft”. Flightglobal’s Ascend Online Fleets database shows that Vir- gin’s six A330s have an average age of five years, while the five 777s are slightly younger, at an average of four years. The A330s are all leased, while the airline owns four of the five 777s. Comac has started installing components on its C919 iron bird ground-test rig, and is aiming to have the aircraft’s landing gear fitted by late September. The Chinese airframer says as- sembly of the test rig is a key task for the firm. In the first half of the year, several components necessary for iron bird tests were delivered, the manufacturer adds. Suppliers have also started tooling design and manufacturing of parts, it says, without provid- ing further details. So far, over 200 tubes for the iron bird have been made. Last month, Eaton and Shang- hai Aircraft Manufacturing’s joint venture delivered the first batch of conveyance tubes to Comac, becoming the first supplier to de- liver parts for the C919. First flight for the new narrow- body is now set for end-2015 – a delay from the original 2014 schedule. To date, Comac has received 380 commitments for its C919, mostly from Chinese airlines and leasing companies. Comac matures fledgling C919 iron bird test rig TRIALS MAVIS TOH SINGAPORE STRATEGY ELLIS TAYLOR SINGAPORE Virgin Australia eyes new widebodies Carrier evaluates rival long-haul twinjets as it looks for potential replacements for its Airbus A330 and Boeing 777 fleets PROGRAMME DAVID KAMINSKI-MORROW LONDON Brégier heaps praise on ‘maturity’ of A350 prototype Airbus has completed over 150h of flight testing with its A350 prototype, having resumed the campaign in August following a short break. The first test aircraft,MSN1,re- emerged in mid-August after under- going modifications to its flight-test installation in July. These included the fitting of a device beneath the aft fuselage which appears to be linked to high-attitude take-off testing,al- though Airbus says these minimum- unstick tests have not yet been conducted and are not scheduled for the “immediate future”. Airbus chief executive Fabrice Brégier has completed his first flight Virgin uses its A330s on do- mestic services, primarily on transcontinental flights, while the 777s are operated on long- haul route to Los Angeles and Abu Dhabi. Rival carrier Qantas is yet to decide on when it may firm up options for the 50 787-9s that are available for delivery from 2016 onwards. The airline has previously said it intends to use the 787s to expand its network in Asia, subject to its interna- tional business becoming profit- able in 2015. Last year, Virgin ordered 23 Boeing 737 Max 8s and deferred delivery of some of its existing 737-800 orders. The first Max air- craft are due to arrive in 2019. AirTeamImagesAirbus The Airbus CEO aboard the jet The airline’s five 777s have an average age of four years Get the latest news on the de- velopment of the Airbus A350: on board the aircraft,joining a rou- tine 3h sortie over southwest France. “I was particularly impressed by the maturity of the aircraft at such an early stage in its life,” he says. “The new cockpit layout with the large screens and head-up display are amazing and I am confident that pilots are going to love being behind the controls of this machine.” Airbus is nearly three months into A350 flight testing,following the type’s maiden flight on 14 June.
  14. 14. AIR TRANSPORT 10-16 September 2013 | Flight International | UK revealsAEW programme costs DEFENCE P16 The Mitsubishi Regional Jet is taking longer than anticipated to develop because of the chal- lenges it has encountered in adopting the US Federal Aviation Administration’s new certifica- tion and approval process. Yugo Fukuhara, Mitsubishi Aircraft head of sales, says the new regional type is the first air- craft to fully apply the FAA’s or- ganisational delegation authorisa- tion (ODA) system, which came into effect in 2009. Although the new system had been partly used before, this was in relation to Boeing’s 787, where the airframer delegated some responsibilities for performing tests to demon- strate that the Dreamliner’s lithi- um-ion batteries complied with airworthiness requirements. Mitsubishi says under ODA it has been granted the authority to design, test and analyse proce- dures and trial results to prove airworthiness requirements. This means that it has had to invest significant time and resources to develop the required processes, it says. “With this new system, all design and manufacturing internal processes must be docu- mented in advance and approved by the authorities. We need to build new processes to validate compliance not only for our- selves, but also for all our compo- nent partners,” says Fukuhara. “Our partners are aware of this new system, but we have to inte- grate their old system into our new processes,” he adds. “Of course, this new ODA system came in 2009, we knew this system conceptually, but it has taken a longer time than expected [to implement].” The nature of the system means that every component on the regional jet was affected by the process. With a clear process in place, however, maintaining the MRJ’s revised first flight schedule should be “very straightforward”, says Fukuhara. His comments come a week after the Japanese airframer an- nounced a third delay to its pro- gramme schedule, pushing first flight of the MRJ90 from end-2013 to the second quarter of 2015, with deliveries to follow in the first half of 2017. “We hope this should be the last delay we announce,” says Fukuhara. Mitsubishi is now assembling its first flight- and ground-test air- craft. The first Pratt & Whitney PW1200G engines for the jet should be delivered to Mitsubishi in the spring of 2014. MitsubishiAircraft First flight is now expected in the second quarter of 2015 State-run Russian transport leasing company GTLK is to co-operate with lessor Ilyushin Finance on the supply of Tupolev Tu-204SM aircraft. GTLK has signed a memoran- dum with the lessor confirming its interest in participating in leasing projects to carriers Red Wings and VIM-Avia. The two sides reached the agreement during August’s MAKS air show in Moscow. Red Wings has agreed to take 10 Tu-204SMs from Ilyushin Fi- nance, as well as 10 Irkut MC-21s and 10 Bombardier Q400s. VIM-Avia is also taking a batch of Bombardier CSeries twinjets from the lessor, which has 32 on order. TWINJET MAVIS TOH SINGAPORE MRJ delay pinned on FAA paperwork Efforts by Mitsubishi to adopt administration’s new certification and approval regulations have delayed new jet, it says AGREEMENT Lessors sign up for joint Tupolev Tu-204 supply Russia’s Rosaviaconsortium, which is developing a triple- aisle medium-haul aircraft desig- nated the Frigate Ecojet, is edging towards the production phase of the programme. Based on the aircraft’s dimen- sions and technical characteris- tics, ThyssenKrupp System Engi- neering has developed a masterplan for the Ecojet’s final assembly. During a joint presen- tation at August’s MAKS air show, the partners released de- tails of a new facility designed to accommodate a 245m (800ft)- long, 75m-wide assembly line. Andreas Bekker, project man- ager at ThyssenKrupp, says the whole assembly process will be completed at four workstations, connected to logistics and inven- tory areas. “It would begin with the joining of parts of the [ellipti- cal] fuselage,” says Bekker. “After the wings, empennage and un- dercarriage have been assembled, engine mounting and interior outfitting would follow. System inspections and testing will be done at the final station.” “Flow line production should allow us to raise annual output from 16 to 45 aircraft within five years,” says Ecojet programme director Alexander Klimov. Rosaviaconsortium has complet- ed windtunnel trials of the Ecojet mock-up at the TsAGI Central Aerohydrodynamic Institute, and plans to release working design drawings by August 2014. “With the masterplan in place, our task now is to select a site for the assembly line,” says Klimov. “To this end, we’ll issue requests for proposals to prospective bid- ders in Russia and abroad.” DEVELOPMENT TOM ZAITSEV MOSCOW Ecojet project on approach to production phase A mock-up of the aircraft has completed windtunnel testing Rosaviaconsortium Missed MAKS? Read all the analysis from the show floor:
  15. 15. DEFENCE flightglobal.com16 | Flight International | 10-16 September 2013 For free access to Flightglobal’s Defence e-newsletter visit defencenewsletter Pratt & Whitney and the US Department of Defense have reached an agreement in princi- ple for the production of a sixth lot of 38 F135 engines for the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. “This agreement represents a fair deal for [the] government and Pratt & Whitney,” says Lt Gen Chris Bogdan, F-35 programme executive officer. “Driving down cost is critical to the success of this programme, and we are working together to lower costs for the propulsion system.” “Cost details will be released when the LRIP [low-rate initial production] 6 contract is final- ised,” the F-35 Joint Program Office (JPO) says. Unit prices for the convention- al version of the F135 are expect- ed to drop by 2.5% compared with the previous production lot, the JPO says, but the price for six short take-off and vertical landing F135 engines to be contained within the deal should fall by roughly 9.6%. Deliveries will begin in the fourth quarter of this year. Further details of the UK Royal Navy’s Crowsnest next-gener- ation airborne early warning pro- gramme have been disclosed by the nation’s Ministry of Defence, with the effort expected to have a maximum cost of around £500 million ($782 million). To provide replacements for the Fleet Air Arm’s current West- land Sea King 7 airborne surveil- lance and control system helicop- ters, Crowsnest recently entered a second assessment phase. This is concerned with candidate radars and mission systems which could be installed aboard eight upgrad- ed AgustaWestland AW101 Mer- lin HM2 rotorcraft for the navy from later this decade. Merlin HM2 programme prime contractor Lockheed Martin is of- fering its Vigilance mission suite, combined with a Northrop Grum- man radar for Crowsnest, while Thales is promoting an update of its Cerberus system and Search- water 2000 sensor already used with the Sea King 7. Elta Systems and Selex ES are also offering ra- dars for the requirement, accord- ing to evidence given to the UK Public Accounts Committee by MoD officials earlier this year. In a report about the UK’s future carrier strike capability published on 3 September, the committee voiced concern that the Crowsnest system is not scheduled to achieve full capabil- ity until 2022 – two years after the expected initial use of the RN’s first Queen Elizabeth-class air- craft carrier with deployed Lock- heed F-35B combat aircraft. Service trials with the selected system would commence in 2020, the MoD says, with initial operational capability to be de- clared late the same year. “By the time we get to 2020 we will own four Crowsnest helicopters, of which two would be available to deploy in extremis,” deputy chief of defence staff (military capabil- ity) Air Marshal Stephen Hillier told the committee. Prior to achieving a full carrier strike capability, the UK “would be working alongside allies and would be able to share capabili- ties”, he notes. The MoD expects to launch a third assessment phase activity next year, and to make a main gate investment decision for the Crowsnest system in 2017; one year after its last Sea Kings have been retired. The programme is expected to have a total cost rang- ing between £230 million and around £500 million, it says. The US Air Force and Boeing completed a critical design re- view (CDR) process for the KC-46 tanker on 21 August, more than one month ahead of a contractual milestone previously set for 24 September. “I’m pleased to report that the design of the KC-46A tanker has been locked down,” says Maj Gen John Thompson, the USAF’s pro- gramme executive officer for tankers. Boeing and the USAF had been working on component and sub- system design reviews for 10 months to complete the process, the service says. “Closure of CDR formally establishes the KC-46 design and now allows the pro- gramme to progress into its man- ufacturing and development test phases,” it adds. Manufacture of the first tanker is already under way, with Boeing having begun wing assembly work on 26 June. Flight testing of the basic Boeing 767-2C airframe, which will later be reconfigured into the KC-46, is scheduled to begin in mid-2014. The first fully-equipped KC-46 tanker is projected to fly in early 2015, according to the air force. Boeing is contracted to build four test aircraft and deliver 18 combat-ready tankers by August 2017, as part of a process to re- place a portion of the USAF’s aged Boeing KC-135 fleet. If the service exercises all of its options, it will receive a total of 179 of the aircraft by 2028. CONTEST CRAIG HOYLE LONDON UK reveals AEW programme costs Next-generation Crowsnest system to be readied for initial use in 2020, as MoD sets potential value at £500 million DEVELOPMENT DAVE MAJUMDAR WASHINGTON DC KC-46 CDR accomplished early The first fully-equipped aircraft is projected to fly in early 2015 POWERPLANTS F-35 engine production agreement a ‘fair deal’ Boeing CrownCopyright Operations with the aged Sea King 7 will end by March 2016
  16. 16. DEFENCE 10-16 September 2013 | Flight International | Israeli air force pushes 12-aircraft KC-135R deal DEFENCE P18 Embraer has delivered the first modernised A-1M AMX subsonic strike aircraft to the Brazilian air force at its Gavião Peixoto site. “The A-1 fighter jets are funda- mental elements for the defence of Brazil, including its territorial coastal waters,” says Gen Juniti Saito, the service’s commander. “We have been very successful in using this aircraft on such highly complex operations as the Cruzex and Red Flag exercises. Its modernisation presents a big gain in capability.” The A-1M programme pro- vides for the upgrade of 43 AMX jets, which were originally devel- oped under a joint venture with Italy’s then-Aermacchi. So far, 16 of Brazil’s aircraft have been in- ducted into Embraer’s facilities for refurbishment. The modernisation package adds new weapons, radar and navigation equipment, plus elec- tronic countermeasures. Embraer is also performing structural refurbishments that will extend the type’s service life until 2025. Brazil’s current operational AMX inventory also comprises 46 A-1/1A single-seat strike air- craft and 10 B-model trainers, says Flightglobal’s MiliCAS database. India’s comptroller and auditor general (CAG) has slammed the acquisition of 12 AgustaWestland AW101 VVIP transport helicop- ters for the Indian air force in its probe into the deal. According to the report, “the entire process of acquisition of VVIP helicopters right from fram- ing of [the] services qualitative requirements to the conclusion of contract deviated from laid down procedures.” This, it adds, “poses serious questions on accountabil- ity and lack of transparency in the finalisation of the contract, which need to be addressed.” India’s Central Bureau of Inves- tigation has already registered a case against 13 people and six firms with regard to the AW101 contract, which has been put on hold. New Delhi has already paid about 30% of the €560 million ($737 million) total, and received three aircraft. AgustaWestland refutes the auditor’s allegations, saying that changed air force requirements, including stipulating a cabin height of 5.9ft (1.8m), was met by other helicopters and did not lead to the “ejection of any competing aircraft”. This counters the report’s claim that the decision to raise the height from an original 4.8ft led to a single vendor situation, and “resulted in an operational disadvantage” for the air force. The CAG also highlighted a reduction in the VVIP aircraft’s required service ceiling, which dropped to 14,800ft from the 19,700ft cited in an earlier request for proposals. AgustaWestland says it sent letters to the Indian air force in 2005 stating that the AW101 could be modified to op- erate at the higher altitude. Alleged violations with respect to offset obligations are also men- tioned in the report. India has ordered eight AW101s in a VVIP configuration, and four for use as tactical trans- ports. Its air force is already believed to be having trouble in keeping its received three examples – delivered between November 2012 and February 2013 – airworthy. The ongoing controversy means that the air force will have to continue flying its eight ageing VVIP-roled Mil Mi-8s, which were acquired from 1988. The CAG report also questions the size of the AW101 order, noting that the current inventory saw a utilisation rate of approximately 29% between 1999 and 2010. Uncertainty over the contract has led to AgustaWestland slow- ing down work on the order at its Yeovil production site in Somer- set, the UK. Three more Indian aircraft are ready for delivery, with the remainder in an ad- vanced state of completion. The company remains hopeful that the transports will eventually be handed over, but exhibited one of the completed examples at the MAKS air show in Russia in late August, repainted in a new corporate livery. AgustaWestland AgustaWestland took a repainted transport to the MAKS show To learn more about our rotorcraft data service go to INVESTIGATION Auditor slams Indian AW101 contract Report into halted VVIP helicopter programme questions transparency and accountability of European type’s selection CEREMONY C-17 inducted by Hindan ‘Skylords’ The Indian air force’s newly-raised 81 Sqn ‘Skylords’ unit has for- mally inducted the Boeing C-17 strategic transport into use, follow- ing a ceremony at Hindan air base. Three of New Delhi’s currently-contracted 10 C-17s were received between June and August 2013, with the air force to field two more before the end of this year, and the remaining five to be delivered during 2014. Boeing ENHANCEMENTS DAVE MAJUMDAR WASHINGTON DC Embraer delivers AMX upgrade
  17. 17. DEFENCE flightglobal.com18 | Flight International | 10-16 September 2013 For free access to Flightglobal’s Defence e-newsletter visit defencenewsletter Boeing and the US Marine Corps are testing a prototype roll-on/roll-off aerial refuelling system for the Bell Boeing MV-22 Osprey tiltrotor, a senior service official says. The system, which consists of a high-speed aerial refuelling drogue and hose and reel mecha- nism, is being tested on an aircraft from the Marines’ VMX-22 opera- tional test and evaluation unit, says the squadron’s commander, Col Michael Orr. Boeing is paying for the demonstration, he notes. While flight-testing will in- volve the installation of a non- functional aerodynamic demon- strator for the refuelling system, Orr says he does not expect the process to encounter any issues, as it concerns the use of “off the shelf” equipment. Orr says the USMC is very in- terested in the MV-22 air-to-air refuelling system for use in sup- port of its short take-off and ver- tical landing Lockheed Martin F-35Bs. However, because test examples of the new type are scarce, the service is using a Boeing F/A-18 as a substitute for the current trials. Earlier in the year, the USMC’s deputy commandant for aviation Lt Gen Robert Schmidle laid out a number of operating concepts for the F-35B, including one where a full squadron of 16 of the new combat aircraft could be de- ployed onboard an amphibious assault ship, along with six MV-22s carrying roll-on/roll-off aerial refuelling kits. The Israeli air force will only evaluate a US offer to supply it with surplus Boeing KC-135 tankers if the aircraft are R-model examples, service sources say. Washington has so far only pro- posed the sale of three KC-135Es, worth around $200 million. These would be transferred under its ex- cess defence articles programme, through which it can equip its al- lies with secondhand hardware for free, or at a greatly reduced price. Israel’s air force is looking for a new tanker capability, and surplus KC-135s were several months ago included in a US offer of equipment, which also includ- ed an export sale of the Bell Boe- ing V-22 tiltrotor. According to Israeli sources, an agreement from Washington to supply ex-US Air Force CFM International CFM56-powered R-model aircraft could see the nation receive 12 examples, which would be transferred after undergoing depot maintenance in the USA. The air force intends to use two of the aircraft for VIP transport duties. The Israeli government has for some years evaluated options for acquiringan“AirForceOne”-type Turkish Aerospace Industries performed a 33min maiden sortie with its single-engined Hurkus turboprop trainer from Ankara Akinci air base on 29 Au- gust, the company says. EQUIPMENT ARIE EGOZI TEL AVIV Israeli air force pushes for 12-aircraft KC-135R deal Service to evaluate surplus tanker proposal if Washington offers CFM56-powered variant TAI The single-engined type was flown from Ankara Akinci air base Israeliairforce DEVELOPMENT TOLGA OZBEK ISTANBUL Hurkus turboprop trainer makes debut flight Israel currently operates an aged fleet of 10 707s capability to fly officials including the nation’s prime minister on overseas visits, but an earlier pro- gramme was shelved on cost grounds following the release of a requestforinformation.Noofficial response has been given to the sta- tus of the negotiations between Is- rael and the USA. Flightglobal’s Ascend Online Fleets database records the Israeli air force as having a current active fleet of 10 Pratt & Whitney JT3D-engined Boeing 707s, built between 1960 and 1979. Thistotalincludessevenboom- equipped tankers, two transports and one airborne early warning example equipped with Israel Aerospace Industries’ Phalcon surveillance radar, it says. ASSESSMENT DAVE MAJUMDAR WASHINGTON DC Boeing bankrolls Osprey in-flight refuelling kit test The MV-22 will trial tanker role Keep up to date with all the defence news from Israel at USNavy Aircraft TC-VCH was flown with its landing gear extended and flaps set in a landing position for the duration of the debut. Take-off speed of the Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6-powered type was 100kt (185km/h), slight- ly higher than initially envisaged, and the Hurkus was flown to an altitude of 9,500ft (2,900m). A maximum speed of 140kt was achieved, due to the configu- ration flown, says test pilot Murat Ozpala. “We did not exceed 150kt, because the flaps were in the landing position.” he adds. The programme was launched in 2007, and the lead aircraft was rolled out in June 2012. TAI ex- pects to receive certification for the aircraft by the end of 2014, and to produce three variants.
  18. 18. Experience innovative solutions for defense and security See effective industry and military partnership Attend high-ranking international exchange Providing defense and security ©GeoffreyLee/Eurofighter Defense and Security Hosted by May 20–25, 2014 Berlin ExpoCenter Airport
  19. 19. BUSINESS AVIATION flightglobal.com20 | Flight International | 10-16 September 2013 Keep up to date with all the latest business and general aviation news at FANSTREAM FINANCING US engineering company Aviation Alliance has secured funding to develop and market its Gulfstream III conversion and modernisation programme – FanStream. According to the Paso Robles,California-based company,the modified Gulfstream III “will be a like-new, [US FAA noise level] Stage 3-compliant aircraft with a range approaching or exceeding 5,000nm [9,260km]”. The FanStream will feature new en- gines and a glass flightdeck,as well as a new interior,electrical system updates and new paint. Aviation Alliance plans to dis- close the FanStream’s availabil- ity,performance and pricing before the end of the year. TEGEL BOOST Jet Aviation has extended its facilities at Tegel International airport in Berlin to satisfy cus- tomer demand for full ground- handling services, it says. The fixed-base operation now in- cludes a customer lounge and crew briefing offices. “Tegel International is proving to be a very attractive destination for business, charter, VIP and [head of] state flights,” says Jet Aviation. TOCUMEN FBO Aviation services provider ASIG Panamá has broken ground on a new Signature Flight Support-branded fixed-base operation and private jet termi- nal at Tocumen International airport, which serves the Panamanian capital. MRO EXPANSION Dallas Aeronautical Services (DAS) Brazil is building a new maintenance, repair and overhaul base in aerospace centre São José dos Campos. The 70,000ft2 (6,500m2 ) facil- ity, which will specialise in the production, repair and over- haul of composites, structures and assemblies for business aircraft, is scheduled to open next year. IN BRIEF Russian Helicopters plans to perform the maiden flight of its new developmental high- speed rotorcraft towards the end of the decade as it eyes the fledg- ling market for advanced vertical- lift aircraft. Development of the airframer’s Russian Advanced Commercial Helicopter – or RACHEL – was first revealed at Farnborough air show in 2012. The company is now targeting first flight in 2018, says chief executive Dmitry Petrov. A flying testbed is being built around a Mil Mi-35 to vali- date systems that Petrov believes will translate into a 10t-class ma- chine capable of carrying 21-24 people at a cruise speed of 195- 205kt (360-380km/h). Compara- tively, AgustaWestland’s 30-pas- senger AW101 boasts a cruise speed of 150kt. Critically, says, Petrov, the air- craft must go into large-volume serial production, rather than exist as an expensive niche prod- uct. In addition to the basic passenger transport model with convertible cabin suitable for off- shore operations, Russian Heli- copters envisions special variants for search and rescue, patrol and medevac missions. At this point the company is giving away no clues as to the configuration of RACHEL, al- though its Mil and Kamov design bureaux in 2011 both fielded con- cepts for a high-speed helicopter. In addition, when it outlined the RACHEL programme in 2012 Russian Helicopters said it had decided to follow a “twin track” development approach. Kamov’s Ka-92 concept echoes Sikorsky’s X2, with coaxial main rotors and a single rear-mounted pusher prop. Mil’s Mi-X1 takes a different tack, with a single main rotor and pusher prop with steering vane. The latter design offers an in- teresting blend of the X2 or Ka-92 with Eurocopter’s X3 hybrid con- cept, which features a single main rotor and twin pusher props mounted laterally on short wings that provide some lift in forward flight. The speed parameters Petrov outlined at an August briefing at his Moscow offices fall well below the speeds in excess of 240kt achieved by the Euro- copter and Sikorsky demonstra- tion programmes. But Petrov believes that while technologies such as those being evaluated at Eurocopter or Sikor- sky “will eventually be used”, he does not see any market break- through for at least five to seven years, during which time conven- tional rotorcraft will dominate. RACHEL is being designed to replace the long-standing Mi-8/17 family, and sit alongside the heavier Mi-38. Meanwhile, a flying testbed has been evaluating the upgraded avionics, rotors and engines that will go into serial production with the Mi-171A2. According to Petrov, this air- craft will “bridge the gap” to RACHEL, and should have a mark∑et up to 2025. Talks are on- going with prospective launch customers, he adds. DEVELOPMENT DAN THISDELL MOSCOW Russian Helicopters speeds progress of next generation Prototype of faster rotorcraft, dubbed RACHEL, set for maiden flight by end of the decade Modified Twin Otter helps G-Sky grow TURBOPROPS KATE SARSFIELD LONDON US engineering company Ikha- na Aircraft Services has de- livered a modified de Havilland Canada DHC-6-200HG Twin Otter to Canadian charter start-up G-Sky Aviation. Themodification,originallyde- veloped by Ikhana predecessor RW Martin, boosts the gross weight of the Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-27-powered aircraft by 410kg to 5,680kg (12,500lb). Bill Houghton, general manag- er of operations for Fort McMur- ray, Alberta-based G-Sky, says: “This is the first Twin Otter to be put into service by G-Sky, and we are planning to use it as the cornerstone of our operation.” Ikhana Ikhana’s changes have upped the turboprop’s gross weight
  20. 20. BUSINESS AVIATION 10-16 September 2013 | Flight International | Ansat clinches civil certification GENERALAVIATIONP22 LIGHT LAUNCH Russian Helicopters and AgustaWestland have formally kicked off their joint bid to pro- duce an all-new 2.5t-class sin- gle-engined rotorcraft,with the signing of a heads of agree- ment at the MAKS air show in Moscow last month. Details of design and project manage- ment for the 50:50 project, along with a market assess- ment,will be revealed by year- end. According to Russian Helicopters chief executive Dmitry Petrov,European certification is targeted for the final quarter of 2016. PIAGGIO CONNECTS Piaggio has appointed UK business aircraft sales,charter and management company ConnectJets as its dealership for the Avanti II twin-engined turboprop in the UK,Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. COMLUX MOVE Business aviation services group Comlux completed the relocation of its main holding company from Switzerland to Malta on 5 September. The majority of the group’s 18-strong business jet fleet is registered in Malta,although two aircraft will remain on the Kazakhstan register and three on the Aruban. FLIGHTSAFETY EXPANDS FlightSafety International has announced a “significant” ex- pansion of the training the com- pany offers for Cessna Citation business jets and Caravan tur- boprop singles at its learning centres in Orlando,Florida,San Antonio,Texas and Wichita, Kansas. Training on the full Citation Excel/XLS series will now be offered in Orlando, which houses a new level-D XLS+ simulator. A CJ2+ simula- tor will be added to the San Antonio facility,while a Caravan simulator equipped with a Garmin G600 cockpit has been delivered to Wichita. IN BRIEF Russian industrial conglomer- ate Rostec has revealed the pricing for two new commuter and utility aircraft it has agreed to develop with Austrian manufac- turer Diamond Aircraft. At June’s Paris air show the companies signed a memoran- dum of understanding to develop a majority-composite 19-seater. Rostec has now priced the air- craft – targeted as a replacement for Russia’s fleet of Antonov An-2s and Let L-410s – at Rb120 million ($3.62 million). The conglomerate has also re- vealed that plans with Diamond include developing a second air- craft type in the family – a nine- seater with a list price of around $2.41 million. Scale models of both aircraft were displayed for the first time at the MAKS air show outside Moscow, late last month. The dis- play depicted plans to begin the collaboration with Diamond building the entire first 19-seater in Austria. That will be followed by shifting the manufacture of some components to Ekaterin- burg-based Ural Works of Civil Aviation, as a prelude to migrat- ing full assembly of the aircraft and diesel turboprop engines to Russia, Rostec says. Both companies intend to com- plete airworthiness certification of the 19-seater in 2016. Marshall Aerospace and De- fence Group (Marshall ADG) has acquired Beechcraft’s largest European maintenance, repair and overhaul business as it sets its sights on strengthening its portfolio of business aviation companies. The acquisition of Hawker Beechcraft Services Chester, based at Broughton in the UK, takes the proportion of Marshall ADG’s annual turnover from its commercial business, Marshall Aviation Services, from 15 to 25%. However, the Cambridge- based company, which specialis- es in military aircraft modifica- tions, is seeking to increase this to around 40%. “Marshall’s defence business will account for the bulk of its turnover, but we are keen to grow the business aviation offering and will look at opportunities – par- ticularly in the Middle East – in charter, management and MRO,” says Steve Jones, managing direc- tor of Marshall Aviation Services. Marshall’s business and com- mercial aviation’s offering in- cludes Cambridge airport and the Cessna Citation authorised serv- ice centre based there, as well as a line maintenance base at London Luton airport and business air- craft charter and management company Flairjet. “These units [have] a combined annual turno- ver of £20 million [$31.2 million], while the Broughton facility turns over £30 million,” says Jones. “The Broughton acquisition gives us critical mass by allowing us to capture a much bigger slice of the market,” he adds. “We are already a Citation [500-series] au- thorised service centre but we have been looking to extend our maintenance offering.” The 50-year-old Broughton fa- cility will be rebranded Marshall Aviation Services and will widen its scope beyond Beechcraft, Jones says. “We can offer a breadth of services, including air- craft completions – something we have been unable to do until now,” he adds. “The skilled workforce can now be unleashed to work on other models. The de- mand is there.” Marshall has also been ap- pointed as Beechcraft’s distribu- tor for the UK, Ireland and Scandinavia. Rostec reveals 19-seater price tag DEVELOPMENT STEPHEN TRIMBLE MOSCOW ACQUISITION KATE SARSFIELD LONDON Ambitious Marshall snaps up Beechcraft MRO centre Aerospace group strengthens business portfolio with Broughton, UK services unit buy The firm can now sell and support the ubiqitous King Air family
  21. 21. GENERAL AVIATION flightglobal.com22 | Flight International | 10-16 September 2013 Explore 100 years of aviation history as it appeared in the original pages of Flight: ALMATY ORDER Russian Helicopters has sold a Mil Mi-8AMT helicopter to Almaty Rescue Service. The medium twin-engined aircraft will be used for search and res- cue and medevac missions when it enters service with the Kazakhastan-based operator next year. MAINTENANCE TIE-UP Russian operator UTAir and Anglo-Italian airframer AgustaWestland have signed an agreement to establish a maintenance and support unit for AW139 helicopters in Russia. UTAir is the first commercial operator of the medium twin-engined type in the region with over ten AW139s operating from bases in Moscow,Saint Petersburg, Sochi and Siberia. TURKISH EMS Turkey’s THK Gökçen Aviation has taken delivery of the first five of a 17-strong Eurocopter EC135 order. The light twin- engined aircraft will provide emergency medical services. The remaining EC135s will be delivered early next year. Eurocopter says more than 1,100 EC135s have been deliv- ered worldwide to date,of which,more than 500 are con- figured for medevac missions. FLYING CLUB BOOST The US Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association’s (AOPA) campaign to grow the number of flying clubs in the US to reverse the declining pilot population,has reached a new milestone with over 400 clubs added to the network since the initiative began less than a year ago. “Flying clubs are an under- recognised part of aviation that deserve [our] support and encouragement,” says the association. Meanwhile,the International Council of AOPAs (IAOPA) has approved Jordan as its 72nd affiliate,making it the seventh IAOPA Middle Eastern affiliate. IN BRIEF VMD Aviagroup is to start production of the four-seat Canadian-designed Zenair Zodi- ac CH 640 light aircraft at its Perm facility from this month, the Rus- sian company’s head Vladimir Bolshakov says. “The first of our planes, I hope, will be a four-seater,” he says. “It is a development of the Canadian Zodiac 640. Our company will make up to 20 aircraft a year. The plane will, for now, use the Cana- dian name, Zodiac 640.” Bolshakov quotes a price of Rb 4 million ($120,000) for the aircraft, which will be powered by a modified car engine. VMD Aviagroup sees hobby flyers as the main potential customer, as well as Russian government agencies. The single-engined Zodiac CH 640 is produced by Zenair as a kit-build design. The $29,000 four-seater features a tricycle un- dercarriage and gull-wing doors and is built from aluminium. ARussian company is seeking to develop and fly a hybrid airship within about four years to carry passengers and cargo, espe- cially in remote Arctic regions. RosAeroSystems, which dis- played a model of the Atlant air- ship at the MAKS air show, is seeking to overcome the ground handling and buoyancy issues that have limited the application of commercial airships. Like the US military-funded Aeroscraft, the Atlant is designed to rapidly reduce buoyancy by pressurising the lifting gas, says Michael Talesnikov, vice-presi- dent at the company. Conven- tional airships must take on bal- last while unloading cargo, or risk floating away as buoyancy rises. But the source of the ballast – ei- ther tonnes of water or dirt – re- quires heavy infrastructure at the airship’s landing zone. RosAeroSystems instead pres- surises the air to control the vehi- cle’s buoyancy, Talesnikov says. RosAeroSystems, founded by a former associate of Aeroscraft chief executive Igor Pasternak, has already built ground test rigs of the air pressurisation system and the Atlant’s thrust-vectoring systems. But company officials are aware they are attempting to introduce a new kind of aviation vehicle that is not quite an air- ship, helicopter or fixed-wing transport, but combines elements of all three. “It’s quite challenging,” Tales- nikov says. “We are realistic peo- ple. We understand we will face some difficulties.” In a country where 70% of the land mass lacks access by ground- based transportation systems, Ro- sAeroSystems is targeting compa- nies that need access to Russia’s remote Arctic regions. DIRIGIBLES STEPHEN TRIMBLE MOSCOW Atlant Arctic airship bouyed by answer to weighty issue RosAeroSystems sets four-year goal to develop hybrid to fly in Russia’s remote regions Russian Helicopters has finally achieved civil certification of the Kazan Ansat light twin, albeit with hydromechanical controls rather than the fly-by-wire system initially proposed. Kazan started work on the cur- rent iteration of the Ansat in 2011 after encountering difficulty in the certification process for the fly-by-wire controls. The first pro- totypes of the helicopter appeared in the late 1990s. To speed up the civil approval process, it dropped the more advancedtechnologyinfavourofa traditionalcontrolsystem.Russia’s a military will eventually take de- livery of the fly-by-wire-equipped Ansat-U trainer for its flight-train- ing schools. Additional examples willbehandedovertotheRussian airforceinNovember. The civil Ansat is powered by a pair of Pratt & Whitney Canada PW207K turboshafts and boasts a maximum take-off weight of 3,600kg (7,930lb). Separately, Russian Helicop- ters has received approval for the VIP transport variant of its Mil Mi-171 medium twin. Use of hydromechanical controls helped to speed up the process APPROVAL DOMINIC PERRY LONDON Ansatclinchescivilcertification PRODUCTION HOWARD GETHIN MOSCOW Kit-built Zodiac CH 640 set for Russian role RussianHelicopters
  22. 22. 10-16 September 2013 | Flight International | Boeing faces export storm BUSINESS P24 SPACEFLIGHT LAUNCHERS ZACH ROSENBERG WASHINGTON DC Bad timing delays Epsilon first flight Japanese space programme suffers setback after computer glitch postpones maiden launch of new medium rocket Russia’s troubled Zenit launch vehicle made a successful re- turn to flight on 31 August, fol- lowing a January incident that destroyed both the rocket and its satellite payload. The latest launch, from Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kaza- khstan, placed into orbit an Israeli civilian communications satellite called Amos 4. Land Launch, the sister company of Sea Launch, which undertakes operations from the Kazakhstan site, says the operation proceeded normally. At least five additional Zenit launches are scheduled, both on land and at sea. The 31 August mission was the 81st launch using the Zenit vehicle. Of those 81 attempts, 12 have failed at various stages in the flight. De- spite the incidents, the Soviet-era design is generally considered a reliable rocket, mostly used to launch civilian communications satellites. Zenit’s most recent ill-fated mission took place in January. The launch from a converted oil platform in the Pacific Ocean, under the Sea Launch operation, went awry when a hydraulic pump failed to fully pressurize the RD-171 first-stage engine gim- bal actuators. As a consequence the rocket could not control its flight path and fell into the ocean. The problem was traced to manu- facturing errors. Zenit makes safe return RELIABILITY Japan saw a last-minute launch abort on 27 August as first flight of its Epsilon launch vehi- cle was cancelled only seconds before ignition of the first stage solid-fuel rocket due to an atti- tude abnormality alert. The alert has been traced to a .07s timing mismatch between the rocket’s internal computer and the ground controller’s com- puter. The disparity between tim- ing signals led the ground com- puter to automatically abort the launch sequence, according to Japanese space agency JAXA. A second attempt is expected later in September, although the date is yet to be announced. Epsilon is a three-stage, solid- fuel rocket, making the short no- tice of the launch abort particu- larly compelling: once solid fuel is ignited it cannot be shut off, unlike liquid-fuelled engines. Epsilon is meant to replace the now-defunct M-V, using updated technology from the significantly larger H-II-series rockets. The re- vised September launch plans to orbit SPRINT-A, an ultraviolet- range telescope for observing planets within the solar system. One additional launch of Epsilon is planned in 2014 with Asnaro 2, a civilian X-band radar satellite. Japan has long had an intense interest in space, one that is ex- panding because of politico-eco- nomic tensions in the region. The nation uses its own launch vehi- cles, often carrying highly ad- vanced satellites for military or research purposes. As rival China expands its al- ready large space programme and neighbouring North Korea and South Korea gain experience with space launches, Japan has come under increasing pressure to maintain its advanced missions. Meanwhile, India’s fledgling space programme received a knock on 18 August when the re- turn-to-flight launch of its Geosta- tionary Launch Vehicle (GSLV) was scrubbed due to a leak in the second stage’s fuel system. This was the second launch attempt for the updated GSLV II, having endured a failure in 2010. GSLV, which has undergone launch attempts six times, is itself an enlarged version of the less-powerful Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle. The leak seems to have origi- nated from the system that sup- plies unsymmetrical dimethylhy- drazine fuel to the second stage’s single Vikas engine, discovered as the tanks were being pressu- rised only two hours before scheduled launch. The Vikas engine has been re- moved and shipped to a facility for detailed inspection, says the Indian Space Research Organisa- tion. A standby Vikas engine will be integrated in the meantime, although another launch is likely to wait for the findings of the inspection on the previous en- gine. A new flight date has not been announced. The flight was meant to launch GSAT 14, a satellite built to test and operate indigenously built Ku- and C-band communications antennas. India’s space pro- gramme has been expanding as the nation grows wealthier and its military becomes more power- ful. At least four GSLV II launches are scheduled before 2017. TsENKI The Russian rocket has undergone 81 launches JAXA Updated technology is derived from the larger H-II launcher Keep up with advances in spaceflight on our blog:
  23. 23. BUSINESS flightglobal.com24 | Flight International | 10-16 September 2013 Good week Bad week Aircraft finance is among the sectors covered by our premium news and data service Flightglobal Pro: Good week Bad week SPIRIT AEROSYSTEMS The troubled aerostruc- tures maker announced an unspecified number of job cuts in Wichita to start next month, on top of the 360 detailed in July. Voluntary departure of management and sal- aried employees could be followed by forced lay-offs. Spirit posted a $239 million operating loss for its second quar- ter and announced in August that it would di- vest two manufacturing sites responsible for po- tentially more than $1 billion in forward losses. STEVE UDVAR-HAZY The operating lease pioneer, who built ILFC into one of world’s biggest aircraft lessors before retiring to start again from scratch in 2010 as Air Lease Corporation, was cel- ebrating a BBB- invest- ment grade rating from Standard and Poor’s. The rating is the lowest of the investment grade tier, but is comparable to those held by rivals in- cluding AerCap and ILFC. Said Hazy: “This rating is a further testament to ALC’s rapid rise as an industry leader.” POLITICS EDWARD RUSSELL WASHINGTON DC Boeing faces export storm US lawmakers are no longer rubber-stamping government lending for overseas sales As justifications go, the follow- ing seems a compelling one. “The Export-Import Bank of the United States enables US compa- nies to turn export opportunities into real sales that help to main- tain and create US jobs and con- tribute to a stronger national economy.” So says the Ex-Im, which in its 78-year history has made direct loans and loan guar- antees to support, typically at be- low-market interest rates, more than $550 billion of US exports. Jobs and a strong America; what is there not to like? As it happens, quite a few law- makers in Washington DC want the bank abolished. The biennial reauthorisation of its charter is due in a year, and the process – historically painless until a con- tentious 2012 vote – looks set to be another political storm. The curtain-opener was a heat- ed US Senate debate in July over the reconfirmation of bank chair- man Fred Hochberg. Unsurpris- ingly, Maria Cantwell of Wash- ington state – home of the USA’s biggest exporter, Boeing, and re- cipient of $443 billion in Ex-Im authorisations between 2007 and 2013 – is pro-bank: “Ninety-five percent of the world’s consumers live outside our borders. Are we going to make sure US products get into the hands of the growing middle class around the globe?” On the nay side is Michael Lee ofUtah,wherebusinessessawjust ahundrethoftheEx-Imlargesseof their Washington counterparts. Lee, who sponsored unsuccessful abolition legislation in 2012 but has re-introduced the Export-Im- port Bank Termination Act, says: “The Export-Import Bank is an ex- ample of everything that is wrong with Washington today. “It is big government serving the interests of big corporations at the expense of individuals, fami- lies, and small businesses.” Some rather big businesses agree at least partly with Lee. Delta Air Lines, Hawaiian Air- lines and industry groups Air- Thank you, America Boeing SpiritAerosystems lines for America (A4A) and the Air Line Pilots Association, have filed lawsuits objecting to loan guarantees for widebody aircraft that help foreign rivals compete with US long-haul carriers. Among the recipients of Ex-Im support for Boeing aircraft pur- chases are Gulf powerhouses Emirates and Etihad Airways. WITH FRIENDS LIKE THESE... “It’s really investment grade com- panies that are owned by the gov- ernment where the president of the country, the chairman of the board and the president of the air- line are one in the same,” said Delta chief executive Richard An- derson. “It seems unreasonable to me that my government has got to finance my competitors.” Boeing naturally disagrees. “We struggle to fully understand the real reasons why they are so passionate in this conversation,” says Kostya Zolotusky of Boeing Capital. He adds that support for “better credit airlines” – under- stood to be ones like Emirates – usually kicks in only after they have maxed out other sources of liquidity and need financial sup- port in order to maintain their aircraft delivery schedule. That rationale probably cuts no ice with Delta et al; US-based air- lines cannot, by any twists of overseas money handling, qualify for Ex-Im support. It may also matter little that ex- port credit financing has got more expensive under the terms of the multinational Aircraft Sector Understanding of 2011, which were designed to push some bet- ter credit airlines to the commer- cial funds market. John Morabito, senior vice-president of transpor- tation at financier CIT, says export credit is still a competitive alter- native to commercial financing, though it is “more favourable to lower-tier borrowers”. Boeing expects export credit will account for only 23% of the $104 billion needed to finance its deliveries this year, down from 30% in 2012. Ultimately, howev- er, the political debate over Ex-Im should probably be viewed through the Boeing prism. Ex-Im provided $11.5 billion in support for aircraft and avionics during fiscal 2012, roughly a third of its entire programme. Boeing was the single largest beneficiary. Senator Lee and the airline in- dustry can lean on job figures to support their anti-bank stance. Total US aerospace industry em- ployment in 2011 was less than 625,000 jobs according to the AIA trade group. Airlines in the US, meanwhile, directly employed 661,000 people in 2010 says Ox- ford Economics. Meanwhile, Boeing’s Zolo- tusky says the uncertainty over Ex-Im’s future makes its custom- ers nervous. As a result, Boeing Capital has increased the number of backstop financing commit- ments it provides for orders.