Aviation News in Brief 21 December 2020

OneWeb, Arianespace, Korean Air Cargo, Pelican BioThermal, OAMTC, Airbus Helicopters, Airbus, Air Greenland, Embraer, Héli-Union, RoyalJet, HAECO, IATA, AAR, Viasat, Sky Power, Textron Aviation, Airways (NZ)

Despite the pandemic, there is still a lot of pent-up demand to travel.(PHOTO: Shutterstock)

Use this oneOneWeb successfully deploys 36 birds: OneWeb’s fourth launch overall and the third for 2020 is the first to be conducted with Soyuz by Arianespace from the Vostochny Cosmodrome in Russia. By successfully placing 36 new OneWeb constellation satellites into orbit, Arianespace resumed the deployment of this client’s satellite network, which now is composed of 110 satellites in low Earth orbit. Arianespace has launched 110 OneWeb satellites to date. The initial six were successfully orbited by Soyuz Flight VS21 from French Guiana during February, 2019. In February and March 2020 Arianespace and its Starsem affiliate successfully launched 68 OneWeb satellites from Baikonur Cosmodrome on Soyuz Flights ST27 and ST28. Pursuant to an amended launch contract with OneWeb, Arianespace and Starsem will perform 15 more Soyuz launches through 2021 and 2022. These launches will enable OneWeb to complete the deployment of its full global constellation of low Earth orbit satellites by the end of 2022. The OneWeb constellation will deliver high-speed, low-latency connectivity to a wide range of customer sectors, including aviation, maritime, backhaul services, and for governments, emergency response services and more.

Pelican BioThermal partners with Korean Air Cargo: Pelican BioThermal, which provides  temperature controlled packaging, announced a new partnership with Korean Air Cargo, the latest in the company’s expanding network of worldwide alliances. The partnership will see the Asia airline utilise Pelican BioThermal’s  Crēdo on Demand rental programme offering its high-performing  shipper solutions direct to the airline’s customers for the first time. The announced agreement gives the partner airline’s customers rapid access to Pelican BioThermal’s newly expanded range of temperature controlled packaging to cover both deep frozen and frozen applications, which include dry ice and PCM coolants, covering parcel and bulk sizes for single or multi use / reusable including rental through the Crēdo  on Demand programme. The Korean Air Cargo collaboration is the latest key development in Pelican BioThermal’s global transportation of temperature-sensitive pharmaceutical payloads and will assist with the pharmaceutical sectors ongoing rapid response to the global pandemic.

ÖAMTC Air Rescue starts fleet modernisation with five Airbus H135s: Airbus Helicopters and ÖAMTC Air Rescue have signed a firm contract for the purchase of five H135s. The delivery of the first helicopter of this contract is scheduled for early 2022. “Our demanding missions require the most modern helicopters available for enhancing our capability for critical missions, e.g. during the night. We have been operating the H135 for more than 20 years, and we look forward to benefiting from the advantages that the Helionix version brings,” said Reinhard Kraxner, CEO at ÖAMTC Air Rescue. “The reduced pilot workload combined with the 4-axis autopilot will be a valuable asset onboard for our crews that rescue patients often in challenging environments.” ÖAMTC Air Rescue operates 28 H135 helicopters from 17 permanent bases and 4 additional bases during the wintertime in Austria. Last year, the operator performed more than 20,000 missions, with on average 52 missions per day.

Air Greenland places order for an A330neo: Air Greenland, the flag-carrier for Greenland, is the latest airline to order Airbus’ next generation A330neo widebody aircraft. The new A330-800 will replace the airline’s ageing Airbus A330-200ceo to secure operations linking the Arctic island with Denmark from end of 2022 onwards and beyond. Air Greenland’s CEO’s Jacob Nitter Sørensen said: “The A330neo is a fundamental part of Air Greenland’s fleet strategy. The new aircraft will, for years to come, offer travellers to and from Greenland a unique inflight experience while leaving the lowest carbon footprint possible. The A330neo is a perfect fit for the very challenging task of providing safe and efficient all year passenger, cargo and freight services to and from Greenland.” The Airbus A330neo is a new-generation aircraft, building on features popular for the A330ceo and developed for the latest technology A350. Powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines and featuring a new wing with increased span and A350-inspired ‘Sharklets’, the A330neo also provides an unprecedented level of efficiency – with 25% lower fuel-burn per seat than previous-generation competitors.

Embraer completes first Praetor 500 conversion in Europe: Embraer announced the completion of the first European conversion of a Legacy 450 to a Praetor 500 for an undisclosed customer. The conversion was performed at the Embraer Executive Jets Service Center at Le Bourget International Airport, in Paris, France. Located at one of the busiest airports in Europe, 20 minutes from downtown Paris, the Le Bourget Service Center has been in operation since 2012, providing routine checks, scheduled and unscheduled maintenance, and offering the unique ability to deploy rescue teams, specialized in executive jets support and maintenance, throughout Europe. The full process to convert a Legacy 450 (2,900 nautical miles range) into a Praetor 500 (3,340 nautical miles range) can be performed at the following Embraer Owned Service Centers: Le Bourget, Windsor Locks, Connecticut (US), Fort Lauderdale, Florida (US), and Sorocaba, in Brazil. In total, Embraer has already converted 11 Legacy 450s into Praetor 500s. In order to generate the impressive range improvements, synonymous with the Praetor 500, the level-sensing wiring in the fuel tanks was replaced, the over-wing gravity fueling ports were moved, the fuel-measurement system was relocated, and the wing ribs were reinforced to hold additional weight. These adjustments entailed updates to the flight control systems, including a new avionics load for the acclaimed Collins Aerospace Pro Line Fusion flight deck.

Héli-Union to purchase two Airbus H160 helicopters: Airbus Helicopters and Héli-Union have signed a contract for the purchase of two multi-mission H160s to address a wide range of operations. “We are excited to be one of the first customers to onboard the H160 which will expand our fleet of 40 helicopters. We believe this program will have a great future in both civil and defence sectors and are delighted to be an actor of its growth” said Patrick Molis, Héli-Union CEO. With 68 patents, the H160 integrates Airbus Helicopters’ latest technological innovations aimed at increasing safety and comfort. The Blue Edge blades and the largest shrouded Fenestron tail rotor ensure low sounds levels and deliver high end performance at the same time. The aircraft’s compact size will be an added advantage to landing on oil platforms.  Designed as a multi-mission helicopter aimed at addressing all major missions from offshore transportation, emergency medical services, search and rescue as well as other public service missions, the inherent flexibility of the H160 will suit all kinds of operations around the world. Héli-Union currently operates a fleet of approximately 20 Airbus helicopters from the Dauphin, the H225, and the H145 families and maintains a wide range of Airbus Helicopters products for third parties such as civil or defence operators.

RoyalJet employs HAECO cabin conversation: Abu Dhabi-based RoyalJet has incorporated HAECO Cabin Solutions’ novel in-seat package stowage systems, allowing cargo to be carried in the passenger cabin of its Boeing 737-700 aircraft. “In our drive to enhance the capabilities of our fleet during these challenging times we have been searching for ways to allow our customers to transport more precious cargo on their trips. Of the solutions we considered, HAECO Cabin Solutions’ all-in-one cargo solution and cargo bags provided the most payload and cargo volume, and was easily configurable to adapt to the available space, maximising cargo capacity while minimising cabin modification,” said Rob DiCastri, chief executive officer of RoyalJet. HAECO Cabin Solutions provided the Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) for the equipment and installation, and the United Arab Emirates’ General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) granted operational approval to operate the aircraft with both cargo and passengers, greatly enhancing RoyalJet’s operational flexibility.

covid-19-iata-calls-for-relief-for-african-middle-eastern-airlinesIATA calls on aviation employees to be considered “essential”: The International Air Transport Association (IATA) renewed its call on governments to ensure that employees in the aviation sector are considered as essential workers during the impending COVID-19 vaccine campaign, once health care workers and vulnerable groups have been protected. IATA’s 76th Annual General Meeting (AGM) had unanimously adopted a resolution to this effect. “We are not asking for aviation workers to be on top of the list, but we need governments to ensure that transportation workers are considered as essential when vaccine roll-out plans are developed. The transportation of the COVID-19 vaccines has already begun, and as calculations show, it will require the equivalent of 8,000 Boeing 747 freighter aircraft for global distribution. It is therefore essential that we have the qualified workforce in place to ensure a functioning logistics chain,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s outgoing director general and CEO. IATA’s call is aligned with the proposed Roadmap for Prioritising Uses of COVID-19 Vaccines by the World Health Organization’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunisation (SAGE). This recommends priority populations for vaccination based on the respective epidemiological situation and vaccine supply scenarios. Within this framework, SAGE has included transportation workers alongside other essential sectors outside health and education sectors including police, for example.

AAR extends relationship with Viasat: AAR has extended its agreement with Viasat, a global communications company, to provide logistics, repair and aftermarket management services for Viasat’s in-flight connectivity products. AAR’s OEM Solutions team will continue to manage the aftermarket inventory pool of Viasat components including modems, antennas, radomes, wireless access points (WAPs) and power supply units (PSUs) as well as third party logistics and aircraft on ground (AOG) support. “Our goal is to deliver the gold standard in support to our aviation customer base — from factory-new components to their aftermarket needs,” said John Daly, Viasat vice president, Business Operations, Global Mobile Solutions. “By extending our relationship with AAR, we can ensure we are providing exceptional, comprehensive aftermarket services and support to meet growing in-flight connectivity global demand.”

Sky Power develops portable test stand: Sky Power’s SRE180 test stand provides a test solution for the SP-180, which can be delivered worldwide. Due to the compact design the whole test stand is well suited for portable use. It is available for purchase as well as for rent. Apart from the electrical system which might be different in custom applications the SRE180 test stand contains all the main parts of the SP-180 engine system. To run the test stand a 48VDC power supply is needed. In addition to the engine and its attachments, the test stand includes a fuel tank, a propeller including protection cage, the exhaust system, a starter generator, the engine control unit (ECU) and the associated software. All parts are mounted and covered on a chassis equipped with wheels. The actual engine is an SP-180 SRE hybrid. This is a hybrid electrical engine with a compact design and an outstanding power-to-weight ratio. “Therefore, the engine allows a higher payload capability. With the hybrid-boost power, additional 15KW, depending on on-board battery capacity, are optionally available. This additional power improves take-off performance significantly. The cooling of the engine is guaranteed by water and oil cooling system, allowing reliable operation in certain challenging environmental conditions. With this configuration, the engine enables new drive and application possibilities, which our customers would like to test on their own premises,” says Karsten Schudt, Managing Director of Sky Power GmbH. Therefore, the test stand was designed in such a way that it can be easily shipped and quickly assembled on site in just a few steps.

Textron Aviation announces new Cessna Citation flight data monitoring options: Textron Aviation announced new aircraft flight data monitoring (FDM) service options for Cessna Citation business jets equipped with Aircraft Recording System II (AReS II). Through Textron Aviation’s proprietary LinxUs data reporting ecosystem, Cessna Citation customers can now choose to transfer their flight data to one of two customer-selected Flight Operational Quality Assurance (FOQA) providers, Flight Data Services L3Harris Technologies’ Flight Data Connect service or Safran Electronics & Defense’s Cassiopée Flight Data Monitoring solution. Customers have the flexibility to select a service provider that best fits their needs, ensuring they receive the most comprehensive flight data monitoring capabilities for their aircraft. The wireless transfer of data to the provider of choice requires no additional equipment, making it a simple and seamless process. The first Citation to benefit from this advanced service offering is the Cessna Citation CJ4 business jet with future expansion of the program to include additional AReS II-equipped Cessna aircraft. Additional aftermarket flight data monitoring solutions are also in-work with solutions anticipated to roll out in 2021.

Airways ATC simulator site goes live in Norway: The final of six Airways TotalControl tower simulator sites for Avinor Air Navigation Services in Norway has gone live, concluding a complex eight-month project with an innovative approach to delivery. With the Airways International Ltd (AIL) and Avinor teams working thousands of kilometres apart and travel restrictions in place due to Covid-19, collaboration between AIL and Avinor was key. To meet project deliverables within tight timeframes, the Covid-19 mitigation strategy successfully used at Oslo Airport was extended to all remaining sites. The final tower simulator to be installed and commissioned was at Stavanger Airport in Sola on 16 December. The tight timeline of a December completion and the scale of the project were challenging, with the COVID-19 pandemic adding extra complexities. An agile approach and close collaboration with Avinor were necessary to deliver six large tower and four surveillance simulators across six sites throughout Norway, with 17 aerodrome environments in total. The project also includes six mobile simulators, and a five-year contract has been signed for simulator licence, support and maintenance.

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