Aviation News in Brief 27 July 2020

AiRXOS, Skyborne Airline Academy, Bye Aerospace eFlyers, GE Aviation, ACI World, Airbus Helicopters, Vistara, Airbus, H+S Aviation, Gazpromneft-Aero, Boeing, Aircraft Finance Germany, Farsound Aviation, Korean Air, Amadeus, Astonautics, DHL Express, Dowty Propellers, GVH Aerospace, Leonardo, NEC, SITA

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Suvarnabhumi Airport is one of two international airports serving Bangkok, Thailand. (PHOTO: Shutterstock)

AiRXOS releases UAS tracker for public agencies: GE Aviation’s AiRXOS, which makes Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM) products, announced the commercial availability of a new Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) product for Public Safety agencies. The Public Safety UAS product provides a single-source platform with safety and operational tools and services built-in, allowing Public Safety agencies to fly quickly and with full Situational Awareness of manned and unmanned operations. The solution provides customers simplified processes, practical operational tools and operational oversight in one centralised solution, from digitising agency workflows – streamlining compliance and flight authorisation processes – to providing airspace advisories, video streaming, and full Situational Awareness. The Public Safety UAS solution, available as both a mobile application and web-based solution, helps eliminate the need for multiple applications and labour-intensive flight authorisations, as well as improves airspace visibility and compliance tracking.

Skyborne Airline Academy orders 10 Bye Aerospace eFlyers: Bye Aerospace announced that Skyborne Airline Academy has completed purchase deposits for six eFlyer 2 and four eFlyer 4 all-electric airplanes to be added to its current fleet of UK-based training aircraft. Bye Aerospace paid purchase deposits now total 360 eFlyer units. Bye Aerospace is developing the FAA FAR 23-certified family of all-electric eFlyer general aviation aircraft, starting with the two-seat eFlyer 2, for the professional flight training mission and the four-seat eFlyer 4 for air-taxi and advanced training uses. Headquartered at Gloucestershire Airport, Skyborne offers innovative, airline-focused training to meet the needs of the aviation industry, combining state-of-the-art technology with high-quality teaching for its trainees. Founded in 2018, the academy delivers a broad range of pilot training courses, from its flagship EASA/UKCAA Integrated and Combined Modular ATPL programmes, to its advanced Upset Prevention and Recovery Training (UPRT), Airline Pilot Standards Multi-Crew Co-operation (APS MCC) and military conversion courses.

GE Aviation’s GE90 engine passes 100 million flight hours: In November, the aircraft engine will mark 25 years in service. Under the wings of the Boeing 777 family, the GE90 engine reached the 100-million-hour mark averaging more than 4 million hours a year. “The GE90 engine has proven to be extremely reliable for our customers, and we are very excited to celebrate the 100-million-hour achievement, said Mike Kauffman, GE Aviation’s GE90 program general manager. “This is a testament to all those involved in this milestone, including our dedicated product support team that will continue to maintain the GE90 for many years to come.” Since entering service in 1995, GE has delivered more than 2,800 GE90 -94B and upgraded -115B engines to 70 operators around the world. The GE90 engine family powers all Boeing 777 models and is the exclusive powerplant on the 777-300, -200, and 777F.

ACI World launches accreditation programme to assess airport health measures: Airports Council International (ACI) World has launched the Airport Health Accreditation programme to assist airports by assessing new health measures and procedures introduced as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic against global standards. As airports around the world begin to restart and then prepare to sustain continuing operations they are focused on the health and welfare of travellers, staff, and the public. The ACI Airport Health Accreditation programme provides airports with an assessment of how aligned their health measures are with the ICAO Council Aviation Recovery Task Force (CART) Recommendations along with industry best practices. The CART guidelines are very well aligned with the ACI Aviation Business Restart and Recovery guidelines as well as the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) COVID-19 Aviation Health Safety Protocol guidelines. The programme enables airports to demonstrate to passengers, staff, regulators, and governments that they are prioritizing health and safety in a measurable, established manner while also validating their own measures and processes.

Airbus Helicopters’ five-bladed H145 to join forces with WA Police Force: The Western Australian Police Force has ordered one H145 helicopter to enhance police operations in Western Australia, making it the first Australian customer to operate the five bladed H145. Purchased to replace its BK117 helicopter, and to operate alongside the AS365 N3+, this state-of-the-art H145 offers a full range of capabilities for the WA Police Force, including single-pilot and instrument flight rules, along with night vision goggles capability. When these aircraft capabilities are integrated with the on-board police mission system, the H145 is the perfect law enforcement partner to the WA Police Force across all its airborne missions. On top of its multi-mission fit out, this specialised platform will have a fully integrated on-board police mission system, providing exceptional airborne law enforcement capability. This is complemented with Airbus’ Helionix avionics suite and 4-axis autopilot system, significantly reducing crew workload and underpinning flight safety. For exclusive use by the WA Police Force, the new aircraft will be based in Perth, servicing the entire state of Western Australia.

Vistara inducts first A321neo: Indian airline Vistara has received its first Airbus A321neo, which is part of the order of 50 from the Airbus A320 Family signed in 2018. This addition makes Vistara the first airline in South Asia to offer lie-flat beds on a narrowbody aircraft. Featuring Vistara’s three-class cabin configuration, the aircraft has a total of 188 seats – 12 in Business Class , 24 in Premium Economy and 152 in Economy. All of them feature 4-way adjustable headrests and movable armrests. Vistara customers will enjoy seat-back entertainment and in-seat power/USB Charging Ports in every seat. The airline’s state-of-the-art In-Flight Entertainment (IFE) system features a content-rich multimedia library that total up to 700 hours of content, a superior map experience with 3D flight path map and flight tracker. The aircraft is also equipped with wireless connectivity, which will allow passengers to access the internet through onboard Wi-Fi, 3G mobile data through GSM and GPRS for SMS and MMS services, subject to necessary regulatory approvals.

H+S Aviation names Jim Payton to grow CTS800 programme: H+S Aviation, a Signature Aviation Global Engine Services (GES) company, announced the appointment of industry veteran Jim Payton to serve as the Global Strategic Account Executive for the company’s newly acquired CTS800 engine product line. H+S announced in April that it had been appointed the sole maintenance, repair and overhaul provider for the CTS800 engine by Light Helicopter Turbine Engine Company (LHTEC).  Jim will partner with the integration team in order to launch the CTS800 programme to operators in the fourth quarter of 2020. Payton brings over 35 years of aviation experience, primarily with Rolls-Royce, to the role. Jim has extensive experience on the CTS800 engine family, having led key international campaigns on behalf of LHTEC, a joint venture between Rolls-Royce and Honeywell.

Gazpromneft-Aero introduces digital accounting system: Gazpromneft-Aero, the aviation fuel operator subsidiary of Gazprom Neft, has become the first Russian company to introduce a digital commercial accounting system for aviation refuelling at Sheremetyevo airport (Moscow). The new technology will increase the efficiency and speed of refuelling operations, reducing the time it takes for partner airlines to process primary documents for aircraft servicing and provide them with online data on the amount of fuel supplied on each flight. Gazpromneft-Aero’s investments in the development and implementation of the project exceeded RUB430 million (over US$6 million). Prior to putting the system into commercial operation, Gazprom Neft equipped all the refuelling tankers at Sheremetyevo with industrial automation systems, digital systems for measuring the amount of fuel provided, communication modules, driver terminals and printers. The new technology allows for all information on the parameters of “into the wing” refuelling to be accessible online. The automated system monitors the refuelling operation and automatically stops the process once the necessary amount of fuel in the aircraft tanks is reached. The GSM module transmits information to the Gazpromneft-Aero server, and thanks to the mobile printers, the generated reports can be printed in situ.

Boeing, Aircraft Finance Germany sign deal for freighters: Aircraft Finance Germany (AFG) signed an agreement with Boeing for two 737-800 Boeing Converted Freighters (BCF). Based on the popular Boeing Next-Generation 737, the 737-800BCF offers operators newer technology, lower fuel consumption and better reliability than other standard-body freighters. Primarily used to carry express cargo on domestic or short haul routes, the airplane is capable of carrying up to 23.9 tons (52,800lbs) and flying up to 2,000 nautical miles (3,750 km). First delivered in 2018, the 737-800BCF is now operated by 10 customers across four continents. Boeing has ramped up production in response to increased demand with 132 orders. To date, the company has delivered 34 737-800BCFs. “Aircraft Finance Germany is known for creating bespoke solutions that allow their customers to win in a dynamic market. We are pleased that they are investing in the 737-800BCF,” said Ihssane Mounir, Boeing’s senior vice president of Commercial Sales and Marketing. “The 737-800BCF capitalizes on the Next-Generation 737’s efficiency and unmatched reliability and the converted freighter programme is a great way to extend the life of the platform.

Farsound Aviation names new quality director: Farsound Aviation announced the appointment of Graham Mitchell as the company’s new quality director. Mitchell is part of Farsound’s senior management team and he is responsible for quality assurance, inspection and also health and safety within the business. He replaces Phil Northfield who was Farsound Aviation’s technical director for just short of 15 years. Northfield leaves his role to start his planned retirement. Mitchell has been working in the aerospace industry for 39 years, approximately 35 of those are within quality assurance.  During this time, he has been involved in design, manufacturing, MRO, parts distribution and industry groups such as the Aviation Suppliers Association in the USA which has membership of several hundred aerospace parts supply businesses.  He is a qualified engineer in both mechanical production engineering and in electronics.

Korean Air and Amadeus strengthen partnership: Korean Air announced it will be using the Amadeus Digital Experience Suite (DES) in the redesign of its website and mobile platform. The expanded partnership with Amadeus supports the acceleration of digital transformation for Korean Air, along with the  renewal of Altea Passenger Service System agreement. Korean Air will be one of the largest airlines globally to implement the Amadeus Digital Experience Suite later this year. “In these unprecedented times, it is encouraging to be able to collaborate with partners like Amadeus. Korean Air is focused on accelerating our goal of digital transformation, with the full commitment of our leadership team. By leveraging our partnership with Amadeus, we can streamline our operations and reach that goal faster. This will take Korean Air to a next level of international growth, enhancing forward thinking to deliver the ultimate customer experience,” says Kenneth Chang,  executive vice president and CMO, Korean Air.

Astonautics’ Roadrunner EFI gets FAA STC: Astronautics Corporation of America, in partnership with Rotorcraft Services Group (RSG), announced RSG has received a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) SR01048DE for Astronautics’ AFI4700 RoadRunner Electronic Flight Instrument (EFI) on Bell 412/412EP/412HP/412SP/212 helicopters. STC validations from European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA), and Agencia Federal de Aviación Civil (AFAC) are expected near term. RSG is the 412/212 STC holder and Parts Manufacturing Approval (PMA) installation kit provider for the RoadRunner EFI on these Bell platforms, as well as an Astronautics authorised dealer and installer. The RoadRunner EFI combined with the installation kit is an easy-to-install and cost-effective direct replacement for existing attitude director and horizontal situation indicator functionality to a modern and more capable cockpit. Approved for single-pilot instrument flight rules, the retrofit decreases operator workload and increases operational/safety capability by enabling localizer performance with vertical guidance (LPV) approaches and RNAV with capable GPS while interfacing to multiple aircraft sensors.

DHL Express increases fleet capacity with Boeing freighters: DHL Express announced that it will add four 767-300 Boeing Converted Freighters (BCF) as part of the logistics company’s efforts to continue modernising and growing its fleet with cost-efficient and reliable freighters. This step is part of DHL’s effort to modernise its long-haul intercontinental fleet in order to fly more eco-friendly and cost-efficiently. The aircraft are converted from passenger to freighter configuration by Boeing to fit the needs of DHL Express and meet the rising global demand for express services. “We are excited to introduce additional Boeing 767 freighters to the DHL Express air network,” explains Geoff Kehr, senior vice president, Global Air Fleet Management, DHL Express. “We have operated the 767-300F model across our global fleet for many years and look forward to continue investing in the platform by adding more 767-300BCFs. The freighter type offers a proven versatility and we appreciate the opportunity to further enhance efficiency while simultaneously improving our environmental footprint. This brings us closer to our Strategy 2025 goals and ensures we deliver the best quality service possible to our customers.”

Henry Johnston named president of Dowty Propellers: Dowty Propellers, announced that Henry Johnston will succeed Oliver Towers as president of the UK-based producer of propeller systems utilised on military airlifters, commercial airliners, multi-role seaplanes and marine hovercraft. Johnston was promoted from his position as Dowty Propellers’ Services Executive, in which he served since 2019. He joined Dowty Propellers as a sales director in 2011. Following roles in sales, Johnston was the acting Product Leader for two years. Through these responsibilities, he developed a deep knowledge of the company’s products and the propeller marketplace. He began his career with BAE Systems in 2003, working in engineering, supply chain, and business development – gaining a broad business background through experience in operations management, product lifecycle management, programme management and design engineering. Johnston holds a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering, is a Chartered Engineer, and has completed a Master’s in Business Administration.

GVH Aerospace secures contract with Leonardo: GVH Aerospace’s modular emergency medical aviation stretcher system has been selected by Leonardo for Italy’s Guardia di Finanza for their fleet of P-72B. Guardia di Finanza is an Italian law enforcement agency under the authority of the Minister of Economy and Finance, responsible for patrolling Italy’s coastlines and bordering international waters. The AeroStretcher Mk IV, is a modular emergency medical aviation stretcher system designed to quickly and easily convert aircraft into an aeromedical configuration. The system was first installed into the P-72B in late 2019. The Guardia di Finanza aircraft have been called upon over the last few months in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, where the P-72B fleet has been flexibly reconfigured for casualty evacuation, inclusive of infectious disease containment systems to protect medical staff and aircrew during transit.

NEC, SITA announce partnership: NEC and SITA announced a global partnership to develop solutions that enable a secure walk-through travel experience at airports, leveraging NEC’s I:Delight identity management platform together with SITA Smart Path and SITA Flex. The partnership comes as airports and airlines increasingly look to low-touch and automated passenger processing in order to comply with new hygiene requirements following the global COVID-19 pandemic, in line with recommendations from Airports Council International and IATA. Through the partnership SITA and NEC will allow passengers to use their digital identity on their mobile phone whenever they travel at each step in the journey.


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