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N e w A 3 4 0 r u n s i n t o e x i t r o w

IRBUS IS assembling the
A3 40-600 prototype with a
passenger emergency exit door
configuration that fails to comply
with European and US certifica-
tion requirements.
Production is underway as the
manufacturer continues to lobby
the European Joint Aviation
Authorities 0AA) and US Federal
Aviation Administration to grant
the stretched A340 an exemption
to a regulation demanding that die
distance between adjacent doors
does not exceed 60ft (18m) {Flight
International, 17-23 March 1999).
Airbus says the first aircraft is
"going to be our testbed and will
not be used in passenger service". It
declines to comment on how the
design of production aircraft will
be modified if it does not secure the
waiver, but would almost certainly
be forced to add a pair of Type III
overwing hatches.
"Do not assume that subsequent
aircraft will look like the proto-
type," says die consortium. "But w-e
won't speculate on what may or
may not happen."
The distance between the full-
size Type A doors 2 and 3 on the
A340-600 is 74 ft (22.6m) on each
side of die fuselage. The 60ft max-
imum was introduced to prevent
airlines blocking off the overwing
exits on Boeing 747s.
JAA certification director Koos
van der Spek says: "In order to get
the aircraft certificated in Europe,
Airbus needs a solution to the 60ft
rule. They would like this rule to be
changed," he adds. "We have not
given permission for the distance
to be increased to 74ft."
Airbus says it is pushing for the
rule change on safety grounds,
because die smaller Type III doors
can become blocked during an
emergency evacuation. "We
believe the arrangement we' re
pushing for offers the best evacua-
tion time," it says.
Not including the overwing
hatches would also save 500kg in
weight, allow room for an extra row
of seats and reduce production
costs by allowing a common centre
fuselage section to be used for the -
600 and smaller, longer-range -500.
Cabin crew represented by the
US Association of Flight Atten-
dants (AFA) are threatening to boy-
cott the A340-600 if Airbus is
granted an exemption to the 60ft
rule. The labour group represent-
ing 49,000 flight attendants says
the aircraft would not have enough
exit doors for safe emergency
evacuations. Flight attendants
previously successfully protested
the removal of overwing exit doors
on the 747.
C a n a d a b e g i n s M a r i t i m e H e l i c o p t e r
p r o j e c t t o r e p l a c e S i k o r s k y C H -1 2 4
ANADA HAS kicked off
its long awaited Maritime
Helicopter(MH) project to replace
30 ageing Sikorsky CH-124 Sea
Kings by releasing a "statement of
operational requirement" on
which a request for proposals
(RFP) will be based.
Art Eggleton, minister of
national defence, says Canada will
acquire 28 helicopters costing
C$2.9 billion ($2 billion) over eight
Two competitions will be held,
one for die helicopter and another
for the mission system. An RFP is
due to be released shortly with the
Department of National Defence
hoping to award a contract for the
airframes "as soon as possible" next
year with the mission system to
be selected shortly thereafter.
Delivery of the helicopter is sched-
uled for 2005.
As well as maritime roles - anti-
submarine, anti-surface vessel,
over-the-horizon-targeting for the
Boeing Harpoon anti-ship missile,
and vertical replenishment - the
helicopter will be used for search
and rescue (SAR), economic exclu-
sion zone enforcement, peace-
keeping and disaster relief.
The Sea King's long Canadian career is finally coming to a close
The mission system will consist
of a mission'computer to integrate
and display sensor and navigation
data, a direct-line-of-sight and
over-the-horizon communications
suite, day/night electro-optical
sensors, radar, dipping sonar,
sonobuoy processor, electronic
support measures and a self protec-
tion suite.
The helicopters will embark
aboard the Canadian force's 12
Halifax-class frigates, four mod-
ernised b'oquois-chss destroyers
and two replenishment ships.
Helicopter manufacturers have
started to team with mission sys-
tem specialists. AgustaWestland is
teamed with Boeing to offer the
EH Industries EH 101 and is
already supplying 15 EHl Ol s for
SAR missions.
Sikorsky has linked with
Lockheed Martin Canada to pro-
vide the mission system for a bid
based around the S-92. Other like-
ly bidders include the Eurocopter
Cougar and NH Industries NH90.
Canada cancelled a S5.8 billion
order for the maritime EH 101, fol-
lowing the election of a new gov-
ernment in 1993. 3
A y r e s i n t a l k s w i t h I A I
o v e r L E T p a r t n e r s h i p
(IAI) is in talks with Ayres over a
possible strategic partnership with
the US company' sstrugglingLET
Kunovice unit, reports Flight
Internationals sister wire service Air
Transport Intelligence.
Ayres president and chief execu-
tive Fred Ayres says IAI has
"expressed an interest in our Czech
operation and in the Loadmaster".
LET is playing a major role in the
manufacture of the Loadmaster
freighter, 275 of which are due to
be produced for Federal Express.
LET, which also builds the L420
and L610G turboprops, has been
forced to suspend production
because an agreement with its
largest creditor Konsolidacni
Banka (KoB) is expiring. Its 1,400
employees are on forced leave.
Talks between Ayres and KoB
were planned on 21 August with
the participation of BAE Systems,
which wants to place offset work
with LET if it wins a Czech
Republic order for Gripen fighters.
Participation in the Loadmaster
would come as a welcome boost to
IAI, following its loss of several key
contracts. The Israeli company has
been unsuccessfully trying to
launch its own Airtruck freighter
programme for several years.
See story on P28.
FLIGHT INTERNATIONAL 22 - 28 August 2000