Updates from Airbus, Liebherr, ST Aerospace
AIRBUS has transported the first A350 XWB nose section to its plant in St Nazaire from partner Aerolia’s site in Méaulte, using one of the manufacturer’s Beluga aircraft. The A350 XWB nose section comprises three main sub-assemblies: the cockpit plus upper and lower forward fuselage parts, which incorporate door one and the nose landing gear bay. Making the best use of modern, high-tech materials, the A350 XWB nose section is made of 40 percent composites, 55 percent aluminium/aluminium-lithium and 5 percent titanium. Once assembled and equipped, the nose section will be joined to the forward fuselage (made and equipped in Hamburg) to form the A350 XWB front fuselage.
LIEBHERR-AEROSPACE Toulouse, the Liebherr Group’s centre of excellence for aerospace air-management systems in Toulouse, France, held the opening ceremony of its new test and development centre on 23 September 2011. The new test centre, called ISA (Intégration des Systèmes d’Air, or Air Systems Integration), will substantially expand Liebherr-Aerospace’s capabilities for simulating the operating conditions of its systems – for example, engine temperature and pressure, or acoustic environment. The 4,200 square-metre facility will allow the company to conduct full-scale as well as digital-model testing of all systems it develops, supporting research into subjects such as future aircraft, reduction of vibrations and cabin noise, as well as concepts such as the ‘more-electric aircraft’. The facility will “significantly contribute to reducing development cost and enhancing performance of future air-management systems”, Liebherr says . The new test centre represents a 27 Million euro (US$37 million) investment, part of which is borne by French Government and the Region of Midi-Pyrénées. The test centre is progressively entering into operation throughout the year 2011.
ST AEROSPACE says its commercial pilot training arm, ST Aerospace Academy (STAA), has invested S$15 million (US$11.6 million) over six months to expand its operations to meet increasing demand for its programmes. As part of capacity expansion, STAA recently added a new facility at the perimeter of Ballarat Airport, comprising 1,300 square metres of administrative space and 7,700 square metres of classroom facilities. It is also developing a new Flight Operations Centre (FOC) at Ballarat, which is expected to be ready by end 2011. The FOC will feature an apron that can accommodate a fleet of up to 40 aircraft. STAA’s current facility is about 200m from the new location and can accommodate as many as 20 aircraft. In line with its plan to establish a simulator centre in Singapore, STAA has acquired an Airbus A320 flight simulator, which will be delivered in July 2012. Upon delivery, it will be housed in the centre currently being developed at Seletar Aerospace Park, with other facilities for classrooms, briefing rooms, instructor rooms and corporate offices.
In addition, to enhance training delivery, STAA acquired an all-glass cockpit aircraft fleet, comprising 12 single-engine Cessna 172S and four new multi engine Piper PA44 Seminole aircraft. The new aircraft are fitted with cockpit instruments similar to those found in commercial airliners, enabling cadet pilots to get fully accustomed to an all-glass cockpit environment and better preparing them for modern commercial aircraft operations.
GULFSTREAM has chosen Scott Neal, 45, a 17-year company veteran and top sales executive in both the Eastern and Central US sales regions, to succeed Larry Flynn as head of the company’s worldwide sales and marketing organization. Flynn became Gulfstream president on 1 September 2011. “Scott knows the company, the product and the people of Gulfstream and has a superb reputation outside the company,” says Flynn. “His tremendous knowledge of Gulfstream products and services will be a definite asset to our customers, who can leverage his knowledge to enhance their flight operations. Scott has earned the respect of his customers throughout North America, and I know he’ll do the same internationally. I could not be more pleased to announce this appointment and to welcome Scott to the Gulfstream leadership team.” Most recently, Neal served as division vice president for the Central US, a position he held since early 2010.
DAHER-SOCATA has announced the appointment of Patrice Charmey as its Airplane Division’s Director of Sales for TBM aircraft models in Asia and the Commonwealth of Independent States. Charmey has a 25-year background in the information technology sector, having been assigned sales and account-manager positions with companies including Hewlett-Packard. As a passionate private pilot, he moved to the aviation industry in 2009, and worked as a director of sales with RUAG Aviation – a leading niche supplier for the maintenance of civil and military aircraft in Switzerland. “Patrice joins our team at a time when opportunities for our TBM very-fast turboprop aircraft are growing in emerging markets,” says Nicolas Chabbert, senior vice-president of DAHER-SOCATA’s Airplane Division. “His experience in direct sales contacts and the development of international networks within highly competitive markets will be a valuable asset for us.” The TBM 850 is the world’s fastest single-engine turboprop, with a maximum cruise speed of 320 KTAS at 26,000 ft. (in ISA conditions).