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Bombardier Signs Firm Order With Options for up to 16 CS300 Aircraft with Iraqi Airways

That is a nice looking livery on a beautifully designed aircraft.

That is a nice looking livery on a beautifully designed aircraft.

Bombardier has signed their second firm order of the week after the order earlier this week with China Express Airlines for 16 CRJ900 NextGen Aircraft.  This order by Iraqi Airways was not much of a surprise as it follows a letter of intent signed during the Dubai Airshow last month.

This agreement includes firm orders for five CS300 mainline jetliners as well as options for up to 11 more aircraft that would total approximately $1.26 billion if all of the options are exercised according to the press release below.  While these orders may pale in comparison to the ones announced by the big boys at Dubai, they fill an essential niche in these growing markets, that are arguably more important to these smaller nations.

What should also be noted is that Iraqi Airways is a repeat customer having purchased six CRJ900 NextGen aircraft a few years back.  The growth of aviation in the Middle East is impressive to the say the least so it is vital that all aircraft manufacturers are able to get their piece of the pie.  The ability to gain repeat customers speaks well for Bombardier and their future success in the region.

Press Release

Iraqi Airways Signs Firm Purchase Agreement with Options for up to 16 Bombardier CS300 Aircraft

December 4, 2013 Toronto Aerospace

Bombardier Aerospace today announced that Iraqi Airways, the national carrier of Iraq, has signed a firm purchase agreement to acquire five CS300 mainline jetliners. The agreement, which also includes options on 11 CS300 aircraft, follows a letter of intent (LOI) to purchase the aircraft that was announced by Bombardier on November 19 during the Dubai Airshow.

As previously announced, based on the list price for the CS300 aircraft, the firm order is valued at approximately $387 million US and could increase to $1.26 billion US if the 11 options are converted to firm orders.

“Following the successful utilization of our six CRJ900 NextGen aircraft over the past few years, the acquisition of the CS300 aircraft will complement our network operations and allow us to expand into new markets,” said Captain Saad Al-Khafaji, Chief Executive Officer and Director General, Iraqi Airways. “The CS300 aircraft’s range, fuel efficiency and comfortable, widebody-like cabin will permit us to respond to growing passenger demand and reach destinations across the Middle East, Northern Africa and Europe.”

“The CS300 aircraft is ideally suited to Iraqi Airways’ expanding operations, providing the right mix of performance, operational flexibility and passenger comfort to support the airline’s ongoing success in its increasingly competitive markets,” said Mike Arcamone, President, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft. “We are delighted to be participating in Iraq’s reconstruction by delivering the best aircraft to support Iraqi Airways’ growth and development.”

CSeries aircraft
Designed for the growing 100- to 149-seat market, the 100 per cent new CSeries aircraft family combines advanced materials, leading-edge technology and proven methods to meet commercial airline requirements. Powered by Pratt & Whitney PurePower PW1500G engines, the CSeries aircraft family will offer a 15* per cent cash operating cost advantage and a 20* per cent fuel burn advantage. With the extra capacity seating option, the CS300 aircraft’s productivity further improves, offering airlines an average of four* per cent additional cash operating cost advantage per seat.

The CSeries aircraft’s clean-sheet design is ensuring that the aircraft will achieve greatly reduced noise and emissions, as well as superior operational flexibility, exceptional airfield performance and a range of 2,950 NM (5,463 km)*. The CSeries aircraft will be up to 12,000 lbs. (5,443 kg)* lighter than other aircraft in the same seat category and will provide passengers with a best-in-class, widebody cabin environment in a single-aisle aircraft.

As of today, Bombardier has booked orders and commitments for 419 CSeries aircraft, which include firm orders for 182 CSeries airliners. Some 16 customers and lessees have joined the CSeries aircraft program.

About Bombardier

Bombardier is the world’s only manufacturer of both planes and trains. Looking far ahead while delivering today, Bombardier is evolving mobility worldwide by answering the call for more efficient, sustainable and enjoyable transportation everywhere. Our vehicles, services and, most of all, our employees are what make us a global leader in transportation.

Bombardier is headquartered in Montréal, Canada. Our shares are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (BBD) and we are listed on the Dow Jones Sustainability World and North America Indexes. In the fiscal year ended December 31, 2012, we posted revenues of $16.8 billion. News and information are available at bombardier.com or follow us on Twitter @Bombardier

December 4, 2013 I Written By

I'm Dave and I am a proud Avgeek. It goes way beyond liking airplanes. It is a passion that cannot be subdued.

Jetairfly Takes Delivery of Their First 787 Dreamliner

The Jetairfly 787 during a test flight in Washington.

The Jetairfly 787 during a test flight in Washington.

Despite the problems that continue to arise with the 787 Dreamliner, Boeing continues to deliver the technologically advanced aircraft.  Jetairfly took delivery of its first 787 today which brings the number of operators up to 17 by my count.

Jetairfly is part of the TUI Travel group which includes another 787 customer, Thomson Airlines.  Jetairfly is the first airline in the Benelux region to take delivery of the Dreamliner.  According to the press release below Jetairfly will start revenue flights early this month on short and medium haul routes, with long haul routes starting closer to Christmas and New Years.

Personally, I don’t understand all of the bad press the 787 is getting.  Every aircraft ever developed has gone through growing pains, and the Dreamliner is no different.  In a lot of ways it was even more to be expected because of the massive leap in technology that Boeing is taking.

The biggest problem is the advent of social media and instant news coverage that instantly blows everything out of proportion.  I am sure that in a matter of years we will be looking back at all of this as just small stumbling blocks during the early days of an extremely successful airliner.

Press Release
Jetairfly becomes first airline in Benelux to operate Dreamliner

EVERETT, Wash., Dec. 4, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Boeing [NYSE: BA] and Jetairfly today celebrated the delivery of the airline’s first 787. The airplane departed Paine Field in Everett on Tuesday on its delivery flight to Brussels.

“We are very excited about the Jetairfly Dreamliner entering service as the first and only 787 operated by a Belgian airline,” said Elie Bruyninckx, CEO TUI Belgium. “This aircraft isn’t only a perfect match with our innovative and sustainable philosophy. It is also a great asset in our strategy of offering unique holiday experiences to our passengers, especially when they fly between Europe and the Caribbean.”

The 787 is scheduled to begin flying short and medium haul Jetairfly routes in early December and long haul routes between Christmas and the New Year.

“We are very excited that Jetairfly will be flying the 787 Dreamliner,” said, Todd Nelp, vice president of European Sales, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “The 787 will replace the airline’s 767 and offer the best possible flying and cabin experience.”

Passengers traveling on Jetairfly’s 787 will experience the passenger-pleasing features of the Dreamliner such as larger, electronically-dimmable windows and larger overhead luggage bins. During flight the 787 is pressurized to a lower cabin altitude, has higher humidity levels, advanced air filtration and smoother ride technology to make the flying experience more comfortable and allow passengers to arrive at their destination more refreshed.

The 787 is the most technologically advanced airplane in the sky with composite materials making up 50 percent of the primary structure, including the fuselage and wing. This allows the Dreamliner to use 20 percent less fuel and emit 20 percent fewer CO2 emissions than similarly sized airplanes.

Jetairfly is part of the TUI Travel PLC, the largest tourism group in the world.

I Written By

I'm Dave and I am a proud Avgeek. It goes way beyond liking airplanes. It is a passion that cannot be subdued.

Bombardier and China Express Airlines Sign Agreement for 16 CRJ900 NextGen Aircraft

CRJ900 NextGenIt might not seem like a big deal that an airline bought 16 regional jets, but considering that China Express Airlines is the only specialized regional airline in the rapidly growing country, I think it is a pretty big deal.  According to the press release below, the airline expects to triple the number of their routes in the next two years.  That is some pretty serious growth in a region that is booming.

It is interesting to see how some of these countries are developing their airlines by learning from what has happened in the US.  They have learned the value of regional airlines, and the important niche that they fill.

It is also fun to see the regional aircraft developing parallel to the much larger aircraft.  It will be interesting to see how they will develop in the future, especially with the development of aircraft like the C-series.

Press Release

Bombardier Aerospace announced today that China’s sole specialized regional airline, China Express Airlines, has placed a firm order for three CRJ900 NextGen airliners, as well as entered into conditional purchase agreements for five CRJ900 NextGen aircraft with options on an additional eight CRJ900 NextGen aircraft. China Express, based in Guiyang, Guizhou provides regional passenger services with its fleet of five CRJ200 aircraft and six CRJ900 NextGen aircraft. The airline made history last year by being the first to operate the CRJ900 aircraft in the country.

Based on the list price for the CRJ900 NextGen aircraft, the firm order is valued at approximately $134 million US. Should the conditional agreements for five CRJ900 NextGen and options on the additional eight CRJ900 NextGen aircraft be converted to firm orders, the value of the contract would increase to $733 million US.

“By 2016, we anticipate that the total number of China Express’ routes will reach approximately 90, three times as many as the number of existing routes, and will cover 60 per cent of China’s regional cities,” said Wu Longjiang, President, China Express. “We are confident that our fleet of Bombardier aircraft will be a very efficient and reliable asset in achieving these objectives.”

“With China’s growing economy, improved support infrastructure and expanding middle-class, regional air travel will be more accessible to Chinese citizens in more regions,” said Mike Arcamone, President, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft. “As demonstrated by China Express, the outstanding economics of Bombardier’s CRJ NextGen aircraft will allow airlines to profitably enter smaller tier-two and tier-three markets, providing efficient service to a growing demand from business and leisure travelers. We are delighted that China Express has once again put its trust in Bombardier.”

More than 140 Bombardier-produced aircraft, including CRJ Series and Q-Series commercial aircraft, as well as Learjet, Challenger and Global business jets are currently operating in Greater China.

As of September 30, 2013, Bombardier had recorded firm orders for 1,779 CRJ Series aircraft, including 306 CRJ900 and CRJ900 NextGen aircraft. Worldwide, CRJ Series aircraft are in service with more than 60 airlines and more than 30 customers operate corporate variants of the aircraft. The aircraft are operating in over 50 countries on six continents, and on average, a CRJ aircraft takes off every 10 seconds somewhere in the world. CRJ Series aircraft have transported more than 1.4 billion passengers and have logged more than 38 million flight hours and over 32 million takeoffs and landings.

CRJ900 NextGen aircraft
Like other members of the CRJ Series family of aircraft, the light weight and advanced aerodynamics of the CRJ900 NextGen regional jet combine to deliver improved efficiency and reduced operating costs compared to other aircraft in its class. The combination of a larger winglet and other optimizations since the launch of the CRJ900 aircraft, give the CRJ900 NextGen regional jet excellent airfield and en-route fuel consumption. All CRJ NextGen aircraft feature new interiors with larger overhead luggage bins, larger windows, improved lighting and redesigned ceiling panels and sidewalls.

About Bombardier

Bombardier is the world’s only manufacturer of both planes and trains. Looking far ahead while delivering today, Bombardier is evolving mobility worldwide by answering the call for more efficient, sustainable and enjoyable transportation everywhere. Our vehicles, services and, most of all, our employees are what make us a global leader in transportation.

Bombardier is headquartered in Montréal, Canada. Our shares are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (BBD) and we are listed on the Dow Jones Sustainability World and North America Indexes. In the fiscal year ended December 31, 2012, we posted revenues of $16.8 billion. News and information are available at bombardier.com or follow us on Twitter @Bombardier.

December 2, 2013 I Written By

I'm Dave and I am a proud Avgeek. It goes way beyond liking airplanes. It is a passion that cannot be subdued.

House Appropriations Subcommittee Approves $140 Million for Contract Towers

The contract towers look like they will be getting funding for at least another year.  The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation approved $140 million intended to help fund these vital towers through the next fiscal year once the current stopgap measure expires later this year.

I don’t claim to know much about the way government works, though to be totally honest I’m not sure the people in government really know how it works either, but I really don’t understand why this whole tower issue has become such a problem.  I agree that there are some of these towers that need to be closed because they just don’t have the traffic to support a tower, but many of these towers provide critical support to larger airports.

It is clear that many of these politicians have no idea how the National Air Traffic System works.  It is not just the tower at one airport that affects its traffic.  Every tower in the area affects every other tower’s operation.  You start eliminating some of these towers, and they will see how adversely impacted the entire system will be.

The measure still has to get through the full House and the Senate, so lets hope that somehow they will get past the politics and make this funding a reality.

June 19, 2013 I Written By

I'm Dave and I am a proud Avgeek. It goes way beyond liking airplanes. It is a passion that cannot be subdued.

Airbus Encouraging Aviation Innovation with Their Fly Your Ideas Challenge Finalists

The five Airbus finalists.

The five Airbus finalists.

About two months ago I wrote about a pretty cool challenge that Airbus was issuing to student innovators all over the world.  The Fly Your Ideas Challenge asked these students to come up with eco-efficient ideas to help take the aviation industry into the 21st century a little bit cleaner.  The top prize is €30,000 with the runners-up receiving €15,000.

Airbus announced the finalists today that will come to Airbus’ headquarters next month to present their ideas to a group of industry experts with the winners being announced in Paris on June 14th.

The official press release from Airbus gave the following short descriptions of the finalists:

  • Australia – Team CLiMA, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, for the development of aircraft fueled by a blend of sustainably produced liquefied biomethane and liquefied natural gas (Bio-LNG).
  •  Brazil – Team Levar, University of São Paulo, for a luggage loading and unloading system for airplane cargo compartments to reduce the workload of airport baggage handlers with an air cushion solution inspired by air hockey tables.
  • India – Team AVAS, SRM University, for reduced propulsion noise thanks to jet exhaust shape modification using intelligent materials (shape memory alloys). These alloys are energized by harvested electricity generated by advanced thermoelectric materials using engine heat source.
  • Italy – Team Flybrid, Technical University of Milan, for an electric/turboprop combination for hybrid propulsion in regional aircraft. This system uses batteries pre-charged on ground and not in-flight.
  • Malaysia – Team Embarker, Universiti Putra Malaysia, for a self-sustaining aircraft cabin concept in which the excess body heat from seated passengers is used as an alternative source of energy to power small electronics in the cabin.

The team members include both men and women, students pursuing bachelors, masters, and PhDs, and students from nine different countries.  I love to see such diversity working to make the future of aviation even brighter.  Who knows, maybe one of these ideas will be what we are talking about a decade from now as the newest and best technology in the industry.

All images from the Airbus Press Release.

May 13, 2013 I Written By

I'm Dave and I am a proud Avgeek. It goes way beyond liking airplanes. It is a passion that cannot be subdued.

Boeing X-51A WaveRider Sets Record with Successful 4th Flight

Supersonic combustion scramjet-powered vehicle makes longest hypersonic flight to date

X-51 Hypersonic final flightEDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif., May 3, 2013 – A Boeing [NYSE: BA] X-51A WaveRider unmanned hypersonic vehicle achieved the longest air-breathing, scramjet-powered hypersonic flight in history May 1, flying for three and a half minutes on scramjet power at a top speed of Mach 5.1. The vehicle flew for a total time of more than six minutes.

“This demonstration of a practical hypersonic scramjet engine is a historic achievement that has been years in the making,” said Darryl Davis, president, Boeing Phantom Works. “This test proves the technology has matured to the point that it opens the door to practical applications, such as advanced defense systems and more cost-effective access to space.”

A U.S. Air Force B-52H Stratofortress from Edwards Air Force Base released the X-51A from 50,000 feet above the Point Mugu Naval Air Warfare Center Sea Range at 10:55 a.m. Pacific time. After the B-52 released the X-51A, a solid rocket booster accelerated the vehicle to about Mach 4.8 before the booster and a connecting interstage were jettisoned. The vehicle reached Mach 5.1 powered by its supersonic combustion scramjet engine, which burned all its JP-7 jet fuel. The X-51A made a controlled dive into the Pacific Ocean at the conclusion of its mission. The test fulfilled all mission objectives.

The flight was the fourth X-51A test flight completed for the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory. It exceeded the previous record set by the program in 2010.

The X-51A program is a collaborative effort of the Air Force Research Laboratory and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, with industry partners Boeing and Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne. Boeing performed program management, design and integration in Huntington Beach, Calif.

A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is one of the world’s largest defense, space and security businesses specializing in innovative and capabilities-driven customer solutions, and the world’s largest and most versatile manufacturer of military aircraft. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is a $33 billion business with 59,000 employees worldwide. Follow us on Twitter: @BoeingDefense.

May 4, 2013 I Written By

I'm Dave and I am a proud Avgeek. It goes way beyond liking airplanes. It is a passion that cannot be subdued.

Boeing Rolls Out 1st F-15SA for Royal Saudi Air Force

The F-15 is an interesting airframe.  It has had a messy, and at the same time a storied history.  The single seat F-15s had a little debacle when one fell apart, and later an F-15E flew with only one wing.  Plain and simple though, it is just one sexy bird that can bring all kinds of pain.
This latest variant is one more in the 65 year history between Boeing and Saudi Arabia.  What is even cooler about their relationship is the other businesses and schools that Boeing has helped to establish in Saudi Arabia.  You can find specific details in the press release below.  I always think it is awesome when companies provide not only their service, but also try to improve life in the countries they do business with.
Latest international F-15 variant brings enhanced mission capability at lower life-cycle cost

ST. LOUIS, April 30, 2013 — Boeing [NYSE: BA] today rolled out the F-15SA, ushering in a new era in fighter aircraft capability and affordability for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The F-15SA, the newest variant of the combat-proven F-15, provides improved performance and increased survivability at a lower life-cycle cost. The aircraft has two additional wing stations for increased payload and capability.

“We look forward to receiving the advanced capabilities of the F-15SA aircraft to continue to protect the security and stability of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” said Lt. Gen. Mohammed Bin Abdullah Al-Ayeesh, commander, Royal Saudi Air Force. “Our relationship with the U.S. Air Force and The Boeing Company has helped to ensure the Royal Saudi Air Force remains among the best-equipped air forces in the world.”

Flight testing began this year on the F-15SA. The Royal Saudi Air Force has operated F-15S fighters since the 1990s.

“The Kingdom and Boeing have been partners for 65 years and our partnership goes beyond the innovative products and services we provide,” said Dennis Muilenburg, Boeing Defense, Space & Security president and CEO. “Equally as important are the excellent collaborations between Boeing and Saudi educational and industrial organizations.”

Boeing established many of the offset companies in Saudi Arabia, including Alsalam Aircraft Company, in which Boeing currently holds the largest stake. Boeing also co-founded Alfaisal University, the first private university in Saudi Arabia, as well as the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology Industrial Collaboration Program. Boeing is also developing educational and training projects with the King Abdulaziz City for Science & Technology and the Technical & Vocational Training Corporation.

“The F-15SA will enhance the national security objectives of both the United States and the Kingdom with improved interoperability and common training and support well into the 21st century,” said Lt. Gen. C.D. Moore, the U.S. Air Force’s decision authority for the F-15SA program.

A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is one of the world’s largest defense, space and security businesses specializing in innovative and capabilities-driven customer solutions, and the world’s largest and most versatile manufacturer of military aircraft. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is a $33 billion business with 59,000 employees worldwide. Follow us on Twitter: @BoeingDefense.

April 30, 2013 I Written By

I'm Dave and I am a proud Avgeek. It goes way beyond liking airplanes. It is a passion that cannot be subdued.

United Expands BagsVIP Baggage Delivery Service

About a month and a half ago I wrote about a new baggage delivery service that was going to be offered by United Airlines at selected locations.  Well apparently it has been pretty successful because United is expanding this offering to 30 new cities.

According to the press release below, the airline intends to expand the service to all of their destinations, but for now it covers about 80% of their domestic airports.

It is great to see airlines come up with simple, effective, and worthwhile offerings that can turn a profit, and provide a good service for the customer.  Options like this will become increasingly important for airlines that want to turn a profit.

What kind of other simple options would you like to see airlines offer?

United Airlines Expands Baggage Delivery Service

AIRLINE ALSO OFFERS NEW PREMIER ACCESS OPTION

CHICAGO, Feb. 27, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — United Airlines has expanded its new baggage delivery option, enabling customers to skip baggage claim upon arrival and have their checked bags delivered directly to their final destinations – within 100 miles of their arrival airports.

Baggage Delivery by BagsVIP is now available to customers departing from any domestic airport and arriving in 36 cities:

Albuquerque

Aspen

Austin

Boston

Bozeman

Chicago

Cleveland

Dallas-Fort Worth

Denver

Ft. Lauderdale

Fort Myers

Honolulu

 

Houston

Jackson Hole

Los Angeles

Miami

Montrose

New Orleans

New York/Newark

Orange County

Orlando

Palm Beach

Palm Springs

Phoenix

 

Portland

Reno-Tahoe

Salt Lake City

San Antonio

San Diego

San Francisco

Sarasota

Seattle

Tampa International

Vail-Eagle County

Washington/Dulles

Washington/National

The airline plans to expand the service to more than 190 domestic airports.

“Following positive customer response after our first month, we’re pleased to expand our baggage delivery service to 30 additional cities,” said Scott Wilson, United’s vice president of merchandising and eCommerce. “Just in time for Spring Break, the service is now available for customers flying on 80 percent of United’s domestic flights.”

Standard rates for bag delivery within a 40-mile radius of the arrival airport are as follows:

1 bag $29.95
2 bags $39.95
3-8 bags $49.95

Delivery is available up to a 100-mile radius for an additional charge that varies by distance. Delivery pricing is in addition to any standard checked-bag charges that might otherwise apply.

Customers can order the service online, or by calling 1-877-847-0045.

Premier Access
Separately, United has begun offering Premier Access benefits for customers interested in speeding their way through the airports.

Customers may now purchase, where available, access to expedited check-in and security checkpoint lanes along with priority boarding, for prices beginning at $9 per segment.

United limits the number of customers who may purchase Premier Access benefits to ensure the benefits are available to the airline’s premier-level frequent flyers and eligible United MileagePlus credit cardmembers including MileagePlus Explorer and Club Visa cardmembers.

About United

United Airlines and United Express operate an average of 5,472 flights a day to 381 airports across six continents. In 2012, United and United Express carried more passenger traffic than any other airline in the world and operated nearly two million flights carrying 140 million customers. United is investing in upgrading its onboard products and now offers more flat-bed seats in its premium cabins and more extra-legroom economy-class seating than any airline in North America. In 2013, United became the first U.S.-based international carrier to offer satellite-based Wi-Fi on long-haul overseas routes. The airline also features DIRECTV® on nearly 200 aircraft, offering customers more live television access than any other airline in the world. United operates nearly 700 mainline aircraft and has made large-scale investments in its fleet. In 2013, United will continue to modernize its fleet by taking delivery of more than two dozen new Boeing aircraft. The company expanded its industry-leading global route network in 2012, launching nine new international and 18 new domestic routes. Business Traveler magazine awarded United Best Airline for North American Travel for 2012, and readers of Global Traveler magazine have voted United’s MileagePlus program the best frequent flyer program for nine consecutive years. United is a founding member of Star Alliance, which provides service to 194 countries via 27 member airlines. More than 85,000 United employees reside in every U.S. state and in countries around the world. For more information, visit united.com or follow United on Twitter and Facebook. The common stock of United’s parent, United Continental Holdings, Inc., is traded on the NYSE under the symbol UAL.

March 3, 2013 I Written By

I'm Dave and I am a proud Avgeek. It goes way beyond liking airplanes. It is a passion that cannot be subdued.

Gulfstream G650 and G280 Make Australian Debut at Avalon 2013

Two Aircraft Set Four Unconfirmed City-Pair Records En Route To Air Show

MELBOURNE, Victoria, Australia, February 25, 2013 — Gulfstream Aerospace Corp.’s two newest aircraft arrived in Australia Monday to participate in the company’s static display at Avalon 2013, an air show and defense exhibition in Geelong, Victoria. It’s the first time both the super mid-sized Gulfstream G280 and the ultra-large-cabin, ultra-long-range G650 have been in Australia.

“We’re thrilled to be able to show these two aircraft to our customers in Australia,” said Scott Neal, senior vice president, Sales and Marketing, Gulfstream. “It’s an opportunity for customers to see firsthand the tremendous capabilities of the G280 and G650, including speed, range, safety, reliability and comfort.”

The two aircraft demonstrated their speed and range en route to Australia, setting a series of potential city-pair records. The G650 set a world record between Honolulu and Auckland, flying 3,868 nm (7,164 km) in 7 hours and 57 minutes. Once approved by the National Aeronautic Association, this record will join eight others already set by the G650.

The G280 set three pending records en route to Avalon. The aircraft took off at maximum weight from Carlsbad, Calif., where it demonstrated its takeoff capabilities from the short runway (4,897 ft/1,492 m). It then flew six people (three passengers and three crew) to Honolulu, a distance of 2,322 nm (4,300 km), in 5 hours and 31 minutes at an average speed of Mach 0.83. The aircraft flew the 2,292 nm (4,245 km) from Honolulu to Pago Pago in 5 hours and 12 minutes at an average speed of Mach 0.83. The flight from Pago Pago to Melbourne, a distance of 2,846 nm (5,270 km), took 7 hours and 16 minutes, at an average speed of Mach 0.80 The G280 has set 22 city-pair records since it entered service in 2012.

The aircraft’s appearance at Avalon 2013 is part of a world demonstration tour intended to introduce the two aircraft to customers. Since entering service in November 2012, the G280 demonstrator has visited 65 cities in 15 countries, accumulating more than 340 flight hours. Its longest nonstop flight was from Savannah to London, a journey of 3,676 nm (6,808 km).

The G650 flies farther, faster and with a larger, more comfortable cabin than any other business jet in service. The G650 world demonstration tour began in mid-January and has already visited 28 locations in six countries, covering 40,000 nm (74,000 km).

Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics (NYSE: GD), designs, develops, manufactures, markets, services and supports the world’s most technologically advanced business-jet aircraft. Gulfstream has produced more than 2,000 aircraft for customers around the world since 1958. To meet the diverse transportation needs of the future, Gulfstream offers a comprehensive fleet of aircraft, comprising the wide-cabin, high-speed Gulfstream G150®; the new large-cabin, mid-range Gulfstream G280®; the large-cabin, long-range Gulfstream G450®; the large-cabin, ultra-long-range Gulfstream G550® and the ultra-large-cabin, ultra-long-range G650®. Gulfstream also offers aircraft ownership services via Gulfstream Pre-Owned Aircraft Sales®. The company employs more than 12,500 people at 12 major locations. We invite you to visit our website for more information and photos of Gulfstream aircraft at www.gulfstream.com.

General Dynamics, headquartered in Falls Church, Virginia, is a market leader in business aviation; land and expeditionary combat systems, armaments and munitions; shipbuilding and marine systems; and information systems and technologies. More information about the company is available on the Internet at www.generaldynamics.com.

February 26, 2013 I Written By

I'm Dave and I am a proud Avgeek. It goes way beyond liking airplanes. It is a passion that cannot be subdued.

Shared Virtual Sky: Leading the Way Toward Enhanced European Air Traffic Management

One of the most challenging aspects of learning to fly is getting used to the radio communications.  Even as an experienced aviator going to a new area where they have different procedures, or even just a different lingo can be difficult.  I have long wondered why there are not more intertwined systems to help pilots, and air traffic controllers practice this more.

Apparently I was not the only one thinking this as Airbus’ ProSky is in the process of developing just such a system.  The full details can be found in the press release below.

It is amazing how much of an impact this could have on the quality of training.

For example, I spent about a year going through military flight training and became quite adept at communicating over the radios.  I then followed that up with about four months in simulators where the only radio chatter was from our crew and the instructors.  When I returned to the flight line to resume real flying it took me at least a week of flights to get back to where I felt comfortable with the radio communications again.

They obviously have much bigger plans than just to practice communications with this system, but if it does nothing more than make the training more realistic, then I think it is worth the cost.

Airbus ProSky is taking a high-profile role in developing Europe’s first airspace simulation platform that will be available to the aviation sector – which is called Shared Virtual Sky, and allows for accelerated innovation as well as the ability to test new air navigation concepts for improved safety and fluidity.

20 February 2013 Shared Virtual Sky is an innovative response to challenges facing the aviation sector. It enables multiple participants to connect their simulators to a completely realistic real-time environment, where test pilots and air traffic controllers can work together – while each are based in their respective cockpits or control towers.

Airbus ProSky – the air traffic management subsidiary of Airbus – and Paris-based Steria signed an agreement with nine additional partners for the system’s advancement, following completion of a collaborative research & development project. The nine other partners include: Aerospace Valley, Airbus, DSNA, ENAC, Thales, Oktal SAS, CGX AERO, Alticode and Intespace.

Under terms of the accord, Airbus ProSky will handle the promotion and marketing of Shared Virtual Sky – which has its origins in the Gaia Virtual Sky project launched by Aerospace Valley in 2007; while Steria will be responsible for operating it as a software service.

This solution supports the European Commission’s efforts to modernise air traffic management systems through its Single European Sky ATM Research (SESAR) project, which seeks to develop a world-class integrated air traffic navigation system. Ten industry leaders currently are conducting experiments as part of the SESAR project, and five participants are negotiating to join the SVS platform in 2013 to validate their new ideas.

The Shared Virtual Sky technology also can be adapted to other industries that face similar challenges with respect to interconnection and interoperability of systems.

February 20, 2013 I Written By

I'm Dave and I am a proud Avgeek. It goes way beyond liking airplanes. It is a passion that cannot be subdued.