Aviation News in Brief 22 Oct 2019
Honeywell forecast on business aviation: The business jet industry is expected to see strong growth in the short to medium term, supported by several new airplane models coming to the market, according to Honeywell’s 28th annual Global Business Aviation Outlook. The Global Business Aviation Outlook forecasts up to 7,600 new business jet deliveries worth US$248 billion from 2020 to 2029, down 1 to 2 percentage points from the 2018 10-year forecast. “Production ramp-up on many new business jet platforms are expected to lead to a 7 percent increase in deliveries in 2020, following a strong projected growth in 2019 over 2018 aircraft deliveries,” said Heath Patrick, president, Americas Aftermarket, Honeywell Aerospace. “We are confident that these new and innovative aircraft models will support solid growth in the short term and have a continuing impact on new business jet purchases in the midterm and long term.”
Key findings in the 2019 Honeywell global outlook include:
- Operators plan to make new jet purchases equivalent to about 17 percent of their fleets over the next five years as replacements or additions to their current fleet, a decrease of 3 percentage points compared with 2018 survey results.
- Of the total purchase plans for new business jets over the next 5 years, 35 percent are expected to occur in the first two years of the survey, with 57 percent of purchase plans realized by year three. This is 5 percentage points higher than last year’s survey.
- Operators continue to focus on larger-cabin aircraft classes, from large cabin through ultralong-range aircraft, which are expected to account for more than 71 percent of all expenditures of new business jets in the next five years.
- The longer-range forecast through 2029 projects a 2 percent to 3 percent average annual growth rate in line with expected worldwide economic growth and supported by the current and expected introduction of new models throughout the forecast period.
- Purchase plans for used jets are significantly higher in this year’s survey. Operators worldwide indicated that 32 percent of their fleet is expected to be replaced or expanded by used jets over the next five years, up 8 percentage points compared with survey results from 2018.
- The main factors that influence purchasing decisions are aircraft performance, followed by brand experience, cabin and range. Survey participants also cited direct operating costs and customer support experience as elements that will influence their decision on which aircraft to buy.
Asia Pacific: Despite geopolitical and commercial tensions, purchase plans are higher in the region, up by 3 percentage points from last year. Operators in Asia-Pacific report new jet acquisition plans for 15 percent of their fleet over the next five years. Based on the expressed level of purchase plans, Asia Pacific would represent a 10 percent share of global new jet demand over the next five years. About 40 percent of respondents in Asia-Pacific plan to schedule their new purchases within the first two years of the five-year horizon, the highest proportion of all the regions.
Flight activity and used jet market dynamics: The pace of flight activity in the past year has remained stable, with survey respondents in all regions except Europe reporting stable utilisation in 2019 compared with 2018. In Europe, operators indicated a lower utilisation this year when compared with 2018.
With respect to the used jet market:
- Survey respondents increased their used jet acquisition plans by about 8 percentage points, equating to 32 percent of their fleets in the next five years. These are the highest purchase plans measured in the past five years of the survey.
- Used jet purchase plans in all regions were higher, except for Europe.
- The significant increase in purchase plans for used jets in this year’s survey could indicate an anticipation from respondents that with the expected increase in new aircraft deliveries in the short term, a greater number of young used aircraft will be available for sale at very good prices.
- Survey results show a higher than average transfer of demand from the new to the used market from operators that typically purchase new jets. Fifteen percent of respondents indicated they would transfer from the new to the used market in the 2019 survey. This is 3 percentage points higher than the survey average from the past five years.
- Survey results also indicate that close to 30 percent of purchase plans for used jets are for aircraft less than five years old, or for aircraft models that have yet to start delivering.
Korean Air updates winter schedule: Korean Air announced changes to its flight schedule for the 2019 winter season. This year’s winter schedule will run from October 27 to March 28, 2020. First, Korean Air will launch new flights to Clark in the Philippines, on 27 October. The flight will depart from Incheon at 7:55am. The airline will also launch new flights to Zhangjiajie, Nanjing and Hangzhou, which are routes distributed as a result of the previous Korea-China aviation talks. Incheon-Zhangjiajie will be operated three times a week, Incheon-Nanjing four times a week, and Incheon-Hangzhou twice a week. The Incheon-Honolulu service will be increased from seven times a week to eleven times a week, from 9 December. The Incheon-Auckland and Incheon-Brisbane services were operated five and four times a week respectively, but both flights will operate daily during the winter season. The frequency of Incheon-Manila flight will increase from 14 times a week to 18 times a week, and the Incheon-Guam flight will increase from 14 times a week to 20 times a week. In addition, the airline will increase the frequency of the Incheon-Beijing route from 14 times a week to 17 times a week. The Incheon-Delhi route has been operating as a daily flight since September 2019, an increase from previous five times a week. Meanwhile, Korean Air will deploy wide-body aircraft such as B747-8i and A380 on the Oceania routes, expanding capacity and improving customer convenience.
Airways New Zealand’s simulation technology bound for Malaysia: Airways International said it has partnered with International Aeradio (IAL) to provide a turnkey tower simulator solution based on its TotalControl simulation technology for air traffic control training at Malaysia’s Mukah Airport. Airways will provide IAL – a Malaysian-based integrator of aviation technologies – with a 220° LCD tower simulator including two controller positions and two pseudo pilot positions. The solution also includes a procedural simulator with one controller position. The simulator build will begin in New Zealand in November, with installation and commissioning due onsite at Mukah Airport in February 2020. Airways will also provide maintenance support and training for the solution. The Airways TotalControl simulation solution will be used by Malaysian air traffic controllers for training in the Kuching International Airport environment, where they can control traffic in exercises that mimic the real world. The simulator will imitate the full air traffic control flight information region using high fidelity 3D graphics, and simulating any weather conditions. Developed by Airways in partnership with New Zealand-based 3D graphics experts Animation Research Ltd, Total Control simulators combine photo-real graphics and lifelike simulation with easy to use exercise creation tools – enabling ANSPs to easily adapt exercises to suit their existing traffic and potential scenarios.
Quantum XYZ increases eFlyer purchase deposits: Bye Aerospace and Quantum XYZ announced that Quantum has increased the amount of purchase deposits for Bye Aerospace’s two-seat and four-seat eFlyer aircraft. The companies also announced an expanded partnership under which Quantum will use Bye Aerospace’s all-electric aircraft to launch the coming urban air mobility revolution. “The additional purchase deposits are the second in a series toward an expanded agreement for a fleet of hundreds of aircraft,” said Tony Thompson, CEO of Quantum. He added that the partnership includes future purchase deposits to be made by Quantum for an expanded fleet of eFlyer 2s, eFlyer 4s, and a yet-to-be announced Bye Aerospace aircraft. Bye Aerospace also announced further progress with its eFlyer 2 developmental prototype flight test programme, releasing new data that continues to confirm the benefits of electric aviation. “In a series of flight tests, our team explored a broad range of power settings and speeds using the Rolls Royce SP70d motor,” said George Bye. “Using a 60 kW power setting, rate of climb was 650 feet per minute and at 70 kW was 750 feet per minute at a relatively high 10,000 feet density altitude. Of particular note is that conventional general aviation aircraft achieve these climb rates only at sea level.” Bye added that at 36 kW cruise power setting, true airspeed of 100 knots was achieved.
Satcom Direct releases SD PostFlight: Satcom Direct (SD) announced that it has released SD PostFlight web-based software that automatically populates the aircraft flight log with all available data relating to flight times and cycle events for each leg of a journey. The automated and timely record keeping precision of critical flight data reduces pilot workload, minimises human error and improves operational efficiency by synchronizing the flight department, crew and maintenance teams with autonomous flight log information. The aircraft movement data is delivered via SD’s datalink service, FlightDeck Freedom, and is immediately captured after each flight event. The information is accurate to the minute and autonomously populated in SD Pro, providing all flight operation team members with instant, direct access to the data. The increased accuracy of data can extend the time between scheduled maintenance events reducing aircraft down time and improving maintenance budget management. In addition, data from SD PostFlight can be integrated with third party maintenance management tracking systems, including CAMP, MyCMP, and FlightDocs. To support warranty programs, customers can also choose to have data pushed to engine OEMs, with Rolls-Royce already signed up to receive operational performance records.
SITA to manage systems at Ghana’s Kotoka Interntional Airport: Ghana Airports has extended its agreement with SITA to manage and support all airport passenger processing, baggage management, and airport operations systems across Kotoka International Airport’s newly commissioned Terminal 3 for the next five years. SITA’s technology will be vital in positioning the airport as the pre-eminent hub in West Africa, leading the way in passenger automation and operational efficiency. This follows SITA’s successful deployment of these systems to support the opening of the new terminal in October last year. These systems include common use check-in desks and self-service check-in kiosks, allowing the airport to maximize its capacity by enabling airlines to cost-effectively share the same infrastructure. The airport will also make use of SITA’s state of the art baggage management technology that will assist airlines in reconciling and tracking bags across the journey. On the operational side, SITA’s Airport Management Solution will simplify planning and real-time operational control by facilitating collaborative decision-making among stakeholders while optimizing the use of airport resources. It will also support revenue management with its billing and reporting functionality. Over the next five years, SITA will be responsible for the maintenance and operations of these key systems and integration with other airport systems.
DART Aerospace acquires product lines Aero Design: DART Aerospace said it has acquired key product lines from Canadian helicopter mission equipment manufacturer Aero Design as well as its brand trademark. Based in Powell River, British Columbia, Aero Design has been developing and manufacturing aerial cargo expansion products since 1999 and has created an extensive catalogue of helicopter baskets, steps, bearpaws and bicycle racks for a wide range of OEMs including Airbus, Bell, MD Helicopters and Robinson. The addition of key Aero Design product lines to DART’s portfolio will allow DART to deepen its product offering, acquire over 30 STCs and optimise its current Canadian operational capabilities to contribute to its overall growth strategy. Following the acquisition, DART will remain the leading manufacturer of helicopter cargo expansion products globally. This is DART’s second acquisition of 2019, following its purchase of Portland-based mission equipment manufacturer Simplex Aerospace at the beginning of October. Terms of the transaction have not been disclosed.
ST Engineering secures contracts worth S$1.8 billion for 3Q 2019: Singapore Technologies Engineering announced that its Aerospace and Electronics sectors have secured new contracts with a combined value of about S$1.8 billion (US$1.3 billion) for the third quarter (3Q) of 2019. The Aerospace sector secured various contracts amounting to S$1 billion across its spectrum of aviation manufacturing and services businesses. These include contracts ranging from nacelle component and floor panel manufacturing to aircraft airframe and helicopter MRO support services. Among the new multi-year MRO contracts is a 10-year agreement to work with Airbus Helicopters starting in early 2021 to support the scheduled maintenance, inspection and on-demand repairs of a substantial part of the German Armed Forces’ NH90 fleet. Other contracts include a five-year extension agreement for airframe maintenance from an A380 operator, and a seven-year agreement to provide component Maintenance-By-the-Hour support to an operator’s fleet of Boeing 737NGs. The Electronics sector secured new orders worth S$833 million for satellite communications (satcom), mobility, public safety and security, Internet of Things (IoT), training and simulation, cybersecurity and defence. In satcom, key contracts include the enhancement of communications for first response teams, and to ensure business continuity for healthcare and banking in rural U.S.. Smart mobility contracts secured include Passenger Information Systems for China’s Wuhan Metro Line 5, Nanjing Line 7, Nanchang Line 3; a communications system for the Philippines’s Manila Light Rail Transit System Line 2 Extension; Platform Screen Doors for Saudi Arabia’s Riyadh Metro Line 4; and Automatic Fare Collection systems in Singapore. The sector maintained its growth momentum in the IoT business, with contracts for deployment of smart water meters and smart street lighting in various global cities.
GKN Aerospace breaks new ground in large composite wing structure technology: GKN Aerospace has reached a milestone in its Wing of Tomorrow programme after designing, manufacturing, and delivering a mid-scale demonstrator tool to the GKN Aerospace Filton facility. This tool provides a fully functioning automated low pressure RTM system for the Airbus-led programme’s composite wing spar. The spar is considered one of the most challenging aerospace components to design and manufacture, and this will be one of the first times that RTM technology has been used on this scale. GKN Aerospace engineers have used proven tool-making knowledge from the automotive industry in developing the demonstrator. The 4-metre development testbed will deliver a rate 60 automated manufacturing solution and significantly improve the productivity of the composite manufacturing process, by removing one third of the production steps involved. Technology will be moving from traditional, pre-impregnated resin material to dry composite fibres that are injected with resin as part of the initial manufacturing process for the wing spar. This will result in significant weight savings.
Brazil implements South America’s first remote air traffic control tower with Frequentis: On 18 October, Brazil successfully installed the Frequentis smartVISION solution at Santa Cruz airbase in order to enhance the way air traffic is monitored and managed. The project was carried out by Brazilian Airspace Control Department – DECEA, via the Commission for Implementation of the Brazilian Air Space Control System – CISCEA, and was completed in six months and is the first of its kind in South America to provide actual remote air traffic control services using digital tower technology. The smartVISION system for Santa Cruz airfield allows controllers to benefit from an enhanced view of the airfield, compared to the one from a conventional tower. The solution is made up of 16 high-resolution and high-performance Pan-Tilt-Zoom (PTZ) cameras and an integrated light gun, located around the airbase, providing a 360° panoramic view. Data from the cameras are fed back to a video wall of 14 monitors in the remote tower centre facility, built especially to house the smartVISION system, and is equipped with two integrated controller working positions.
ARGUS International integrates AMSTAT data into Traqpak: ARGUS International said it has integrated the entire TRAQPak product line with AMSTAT operator information. Using TRAQPak, customers gain access to interactive and searchable arrival and departure grids, can identify flight activity using market-specific reports, or view traffic for their airport or operation and competing airports or operators. The integration will provide users with real-time operator information in more detail than previous versions, and it will be paired with TRAQPak’s flight data analysis. The AMSTAT integration will be offered as a complimentary upgrade to existing users. AMSTAT is a provider of market information to the business aviation industry. AMSTAT provides data on the worldwide fleet of corporate aviation aircraft and turbine helicopters. The data includes aircraft sale status, owners and contact lists, aircraft transactional data, and fractional ownership information.
ForeFlight unveils collaborative flight planning: Boeing announced the launch of ForeFlight Dispatch, a team flight planning component of its web application that delivers a next-generation, multi-user, schedule-to-mobile flight planning capability for flight operations of any size. With Dispatch, flight plans are created by pilots, dispatchers, or automatically via integrated scheduling systems to generate “cleared-as-filed” routes, briefings, and operational flight plans, which are then synchronised with the ForeFlight Mobile application on crew devices. Flight watchers or dispatchers can then monitor flights or make changes to flight plans, and all changes are automatically synced back to crew devices, resulting in a more productive flight operation. Customers across North America and Europe have already tested the new capabilities with live flight operations in an extensive beta program. The inaugural customer of ForeFlight Dispatch, Flexjet, is a preeminent operator committed to deploying the latest technology throughout the organisation.
Dassault’s Falcon 6X advances toward final assembly: Dassault Aviation’s new Falcon 6X is nearing initial assembly as the ultra-wide body twinjet continues progressing smoothly towards its scheduled first flight in 2021 and entry into service in 2022. The front, main and rear fuselage sections of the first aircraft are now complete and are scheduled to be assembled at Dassault’s factory in Biarritz, France later this month. The wing, currently being assembled in nearby Martignas, is due to be joined to the fuselage at Dassault’s Bordeaux-Mérignac facility early next year. Development of the Falcon 6X’s Pratt & Whitney Canada PW812D engine is also proceeding on schedule. The production PW812D together with the integrated nacelle from United Technologies will be mounted on the Pratt & Whitney Canada Flying Test Bed for the next upcoming flight test campaign. The PW812D has completed high-risk certification tests, which include bird strikes, hot/cold weather trials including ice, and lost fan blades. The six development engines have accumulated more than 1,200 hours testing and run time. In all, the P&WC geared turbofan (GTF) core at the heart of the Dassault-specific PW812D has logged more than 14,000 hours on the bench.