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Winging it United front Star return

Airbus ready to Why Moscow is Reborn Dornier

fly laminar-flow bringing MC-21 amphibian will
adaptation as and Superjet be making
its oldest A340 manufacturers waves soon,
gets novel look activities under after 26-year
for EU study 12 one roof 17 hiatus 25

12-18 September 2017


After the Raptor

How will a next-generation air dominance
fighter outgun Washingtons mighty F-22?

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3 7

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Volume 192 Number 5603
12-18 SEPTEMBER 2017

Winging it United front Star return
Airbus ready to Why Moscow is Reborn Dornier
fly laminar-flow bringing MC-21 amphibian will
adaptation as and Superjet be making
its oldest A340 manufacturers waves soon,

6 Social media likes Lilium fundraising

gets novel look activities under after 26-year
for EU study 12 one roof 17 hiatus 25

7 OEM scepticism greets mega-merger

8 An-2 airworthiness expired five years before
12-18 September 2017


After the Raptor fatal crash.

How will a next-generation air dominance
fighter outgun Washingtons mighty F-22?
Taxi trials prepare C919 for return to test flights
9 United goes big on smaller A350 deal.
MRJ resumes testing after engine flameout
11 Pentagon targets Silicon Valley software
Lockheed Martin

12 Airbus to harness fuel saving which is waiting
ISSN 0 0 1 5 - 3 7 1 0
3 7

9 770015 371297

FIN_120917_301.indd 1 07/09/2017 09:35

in the wings
COVER IMAGE 22 Raising consciousness in the battle against
As the US Air Force starts

US Air Force
pilot hypoxia
assessing requirements
for a next-generation air AIR TRANSPORT
14 More 777s, but Aeroflot delays A350s. USAF seeks more data on F-35A pilot hypoxia P22
dominance platform, this
70,000hp stress test for UltraFan gearbox
Lockheed Martin graphic
15 SAS looks beyond home countries to level
gives a glimpse of what 30 Shaping its future For the US Air Force, total
playing field.
could follow the F-22 P30 GoAir defers deliveries over P&W engine air domination is a strategic imperative so
issues identifying the technologies it needs to
16 Procedural lapses caused Senegal crash. outclass rising threats beyond 2030 is an
EASA orders action on A350 fire danger urgent mission
17 Sukhoi Civil Aircraft, Irkut to be United
18 Suppliers target Polish rotorcraft need. 26 F-22 RAPTOR Master of the air faces new
threats Lockheed Martins F-22 has been the
Lockheed Martin

Eurofighter suggests pairing Typhoon, F-16

worlds undisputed air superiority champion for
19 Kenya Longsword deal is valid, GAO says.
two decades. The US Air Force plans to make
Vixen 500E radar boosts Romanian
sure it rules the skies for years to come
21 King Stallion gains pace with LRIP deal.
Leigh Giangreco (pictured) REGULARS
Slovakias first Black Hawk makes public debut
visited Cobham in Orchard
Park, New York, to hear 5 Comment
about the companys work 24 VistaJet expansion plan gets $200m
to address pilot oxygen investment support. 37 Straight & Level
issues (P22). In Toulouse, Production-standard G600 makes debut 39 Classified
Michael Gubisch studied a 40 Jobs
25 One Aviation tests EA700 wing update.
laminar-flow A340 (P12)
New-generation Seastar rolled out 43 Working Week
James Mellon/FlightGlobal


Irkut, Bell Helicopter

Airbus tried to change the

game with its superjumbo:
is its A380 winning after a
decade of airline service?
UAC to merge Irkut with Sukhoi Civil Aircraft P17. Bell promotes AH-1Z for Polish attack requirement P18

Download the Military Simulator

Census online now.
CAE offers training centres, training services, and simulation products for trainer and fighter aircraft. 12-18 September 2017 | Flight International | 3


Image of
the week
A tail-mounted camera
captures a record-breaking
moment as the Perlan II
glider soars to an altitude
of 52,000ft. The Airbus-
backed project saw pilots
Jim Payne and Morgan
Sandercock make history
on 3 September, during a
flight from El Calafate in the
south of Argentina

View more great aviation

shots online and in our
weekly tablet edition:

The week in numbers Question of the week

Last week, we asked: Aerospace industry consolidation?
You said:

Flight Dashboard
Total votes: 559
Q2 pre-tax profit soared to SKr1.97bn ($247m) at SAS Group,
which now expects full-year profit to top 2016s SKr939m

Bigger is not better
251 votes

24% Only at the lower end

Flight Dashboard 174 votes

European regulators approved a bridging loan to Air Berlin

Major shake-up imminent
to facilitate an orderly wind-down of the insolvent airline 134 votes

39 Flight Dashboard

Claiming a European first, Virgin Atlantic has fitted all of its

This week, we ask: Who should build the USAFs next fighter?
Boeing Lockheed Martin Northrop Grumman
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems
aircraft with wireless broadband either Gogo or Panasonic Vote at

FlightGlobals premium news and data service delivers breaking air transport stories with
profiles, schedules, and fleet, financial and traffic information

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theCommercial Engines Directory
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ow with enhanced
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CFM 2017 strip ad.indd 1 15/06/2017 08:52
4 | Flight International | 12-18 September 2017

19/07/2012 17:51

Symbiosis, strained
Boeing may have justified scepticism about consolidation in the aerospace supply chain, but
it would do well to remember the origin of the forces driving the latest wave of merger activity

I f any two companies ought to enjoy a close relation-

ship, it should be Boeing and United Technologies.
From 1929 to 1934, Boeing and UTC even belonged to
the same company United Aircraft and Transport.
Decades later, many of UTCs products, including the
electric power and generation system for the 787 and
777X, seem intrinsic to new Boeing aircraft.
But the two companies are locked in a disagreement
that extends far beyond UTCs decision to acquire

Design Pics Inc/REX/Shutterstock

avionics supplier Rockwell Collins. Indeed, the debate
between UTC, as the propulsion and systems supplier,
and Boeing, as the aircraft designer and assembler, is
really a dispute over the forces now shaking up the
entire aerospace industry supply chain.
It is tempting to pick sides, but it is also possible to A bit of give and take
appreciate that each has legitimate concerns.
receive lower rewards in terms of pricing and aftermar-
UTC is placed in the awkward ket opportunity. Indeed, it is these pressures that many
believe are the ultimate driver for the latest merger.
position of competing against its A business combining Collins avionics and infor-
mation systems with UTCs electronics and power
biggest client for services deals equipment could wield enormous pricing influence.
But it would also have more capital for innovation.
From Boeings perspective, the OEM spends a dispro- Self-interest, clearly, is driving Boeings supply
portionately large share of its capital on research and chain strategy, which is not unreasonable. But it has to
development to bring new aircraft to market and as- expect a similarly selfish response from the tier ones.
sumes the bulk of the risk of commercial failure, yet When Boeing complained that UTC and Collins
struggles to claim half the operating margins enjoyed by should avoid becoming distracted from their production
many of its own suppliers. That has driven a provoca- commitments, the suppliers could have and perhaps
tive new strategy, which calls for steep price conces- should have responded that the launch of Boeing
sions from suppliers and involves a push deep into an Global Services is an equally needless distraction.
aftermarket sector dominated by those same companies. In the end, Boeing needs suppliers as much if not
UTC, on the other hand, is placed in the awkward more than suppliers need Boeing, and company
position of competing against its biggest customer on leaders would be wise to integrate that reality into stra-
services deals. At the same time, Boeing is asking tegic planning.
suppliers to assume greater risk in development, yet See This Week P7

Fighter update V3.1

A s the US Air Force contemplates how to field a
next-generation air dominance capability by 2030,
a key piece of the puzzle may have just come to light.
relevant over the decade-plus cycle for developing new
airframes and engines.
That is not to suggest the new approach is a panacea.
Whoever ends up making that aircraft will have to Silicon Valley-style refresh rates work in the relatively
grapple with how to design and execute short-lived benign environment of an Apple iPad, but are not easi-
software applications within the militarys long-term ly reconciled with airworthiness certification. It also
development cycles. would not accelerate the timelines required to design
The solution? US defence officials say they are now and test aerodynamic and propulsion technology.
close to fully embracing Silicon Valleys iterative ap- But many of the electronics and sensors vital to a
proach to software and electronics refresh cycles for modern combat aircraft have no impact on airworthi-
military aircraft, starting with the Lockheed Martin F-35. ness. Finding ways to refresh that technology on month-
Stay up to date with the latest
news and analysis from the The announcement represents a seismic shift. If ex- ly or even weekly cycles could transform the militarys
commercial aviation industry: ecuted properly, it could finally break military avia- ability to field a next-generation aircraft on time. tions struggle with keeping software and electronics See This Week P11, Feature P30 12-18 September 2017 | Flight International | 5

Keep up with the latest news and read
in-depth analysis from the business
aviation sector:


Social media likes

Lilium fundraising
INTERIORS Qantas has selected Airbus to refurbish the for-
ward upper decks of its dozen A380s, with the airframer to in-
stall a new business lounge area between mid-2019 and the
end of 2020. A new and unique business lounge area will be $90m in additional capital for start-up will speed progress
installed on the forward upper deck, and Airbus is to develop on electric air taxi, with backing from Silicon Valley royalty
specific tailored monuments for the business and premium
economy cabins. Work is scheduled to start during the second
quarter of 2019 and be completed around the end of 2020. S tart-up aircraft designer Lilium
has closed a $90 million round
of financing, garnering support
exciting new industry, with no
other company promising the
economy, speed, range and low
SKYWEST PLUMPS FOR E175 ACQUISITION from the founders of Skype and noise levels of the Lilium Jet,
AIRLINE US regional carrier SkyWest Airlines has ordered 25 Twitter, to continue developing a says Lilium co-founder and chief
Embraer 175s, in a deal valued at $1.1 billion at list prices. The five-seat, electric-powered, verti- executive Daniel Wiegand.
Brazilian airframer says the aircraft will be listed in its backlog for cal take-off and landing (VTOL) The Lilium Jet is promised to
the third quarter, and delivered in 2018. SkyWest says 15 will be vehicle as an air taxi scheduled to deliver speeds up to 160kt
configured with 70 seats initially, and the rest with 76. enter service by 2025. (300km/h) for 1h on a single
The Series B funding an- charge of the aircrafts batteries. If
AIRBUS REPORTS QUIET SALES IN AUGUST nounced on 7 September came used as an air taxi, Lilium cites a
DATA Airbus formally recorded 10 A321s for budget airline five months after Lilium demon- 5min journey by air from Man-
Wizz Air, disclosed during Junes Paris air show, in an otherwise strated vertical take-off and tran- hattan to New York-JFK airport.
quiet August. Only two other aircraft were ordered: an sition to forward flight with an Instead of relying on quad
A320neo for US carrier Frontier Airlines, and a private A319neo. unmanned prototype of the elec- rotors or tilting engines or wings,
The agreements take Airbuss overall net orders this year to tric-powered aircraft, using a dis- the designers of the Lilium Jet
215. It delivered 399 aircraft over the period, virtually matching tributed propulsion system, the embedded 36 electric jet thrust-
the 400 transferred over the same interval a year earlier. company says. ers into the flaps along the trail-
With overall capital raised in ing edges of a forward canard and
LATE-RUNNING KA-62 DUE IN 2020 excess of $100 million, Lilium rear-mounted wing.
DEVELOPMENT Russian Helicopters intends to commence can expand its staff to 70 to pre- The flaps point the jet exhaust
certification trials of its late-running Kamov Ka-62 medium-twin pare for a scheduled first flight of downward for vertical take-off or
in early 2018, leading to approval and service entry in 2020. A a manned Lilium Jet in 2019. landing. Retracting the flaps
pair of flight-test articles have now been produced. First flight Our backers recognise that moves the direction of jet exhaust
of the 6.5t Ka-62 had originally been scheduled for 2013, but Liliums innovative eVTOL tech- to a horizontal position for high-
repeated and unexplained delays have hindered its progress. nology puts us in the lead in this speed cruise.


ROTORCRAFT Indias army and navy have signed orders for

Bell Helicopter
another 40 and one Hindustan Aeronautics Dhruv advanced
light helicopters, respectively. Their commitments are worth a
combined Rs61 billion ($976 million) over a five-year period.
The new orders follow a joint buy by the Indian coastguard and
navy for 16 Dhruvs each in March. Flight Fleets Analyzer shows
the Indian army as operating 115 Dhruvs, and the navy eight.


DELIVERIES Iran Air is expecting to take delivery of two more
ATR 72s around September-October, Tehrans deputy transport
minister, Asghar Fakhrieh Kashan, has disclosed. The Iranian
government has defined financing packages covering seven
aircraft, with the ministry stating that it has been communicating ROTORCRAFT
with five financial companies in China, Norway and elsewhere
in Europe. Iran Air reached a final agreement earlier this year on Bell has another tilt with first V-280
taking 20 ATR 72-600s, with an initial four delivered. Bell Helicopter has completed assembly of the first prototype of
its V-280 Valor tiltrotor. The airframer is preparing to perform an
FLIGHT ASCEND BOLSTERS APPRAISAL TEAM initial ground run at its Amarillo, Texas facility, with a maiden sor-
APPOINTMENT Flight Ascend Consultancy has recruited tie planned for later this autumn. The V-280, which builds on les-
ISTAT-accredited David Griffin to its valuations and appraisal sons from the V-22 Osprey, is Bells proposal for the US Armys
team. Based in FlightGlobals New York office, Griffin joins from next-generation vertical-lift requirement. It faces competition
US aviation appraisal firm BK Associates, where he has served from a joint Boeing-Sikorsky team, which is working on the
as assistant vice-president since 2015. SB-1Defiant.

6 | Flight International | 12-18 September 2017

Taxi trials prepare
C919 for return to
test flights
This Week P8


OEM scepticism greets mega-merger

United Technologies unveils multi-billion-dollar move for Rockwell Collins, but Airbus and Boeing question value of deal

I f you want to know how highly

avionics and cabin systems are
valued by the aerospace industry,
On top of that, Boeing reserves
the option to oppose a merger
between companies that supply
consider United Technologies avionics, interiors, auxiliary
(UTC) last two billion-dollar power units, electric systems and
deals: three years ago, it sold the flight controls for multiple com-
$7.5 billion-turnover Sikorsky mercial and military aircraft, in-
helicopter business to Lockheed cluding the 787 and 777X.
Martin for $9 billion. Now, UTC
has agreed to acquire Rockwell HEALTH CHECK
Collins $8.3 billion-revenue We intend to take a hard look at
portfolio. The price? $30 billion. the proposed combination
In an aerospace industry until we receive more details, we
grappling with attempts to rede- are sceptical that it would be in
fine the value chain, UTCs the best interest of or add value
consummated pursuit of the
to our customers and industry,
Cedar Rapids, Iowa-based cabin Boeing says.

and cockpit specialist h ighlights Our interests and those of our
the growing might of software customers, employees, other sup-
and applications in an industry Avionics firm has strong presence on 787, including head-up displays pliers and shareholders are in en-
usually defined by aerodynamics suring the long-term health and
and propulsion. development business. space struggle to meet the indus- competitiveness of the aerospace
The proposed combination Airbus has stopped short of trys rising demand, Airbus and industry supply chain. Should
completes a key piece in UTCs standing up an independent ser- Boeing urged two of their top sup- we determine that this deal is in-
corporate structure, uniting Pratt vices business, but is also promis- pliers to not allow the acquisition consistent with those interests,
& Whitneys propulsion systems ing higher volumes to suppliers to distract them. we would intend to exercise our
and the aircraft systems and that lower costs. Both companies are signifi- contractual rights and pursue the
flight controls of United Tech- By joining forces, a combined cant suppliers to Boeing and other appropriate regulatory options to
nologies Aerospace Systems UTC and Collins business could OEMs, and at a time of record protect our interests.
with Collins flightdeck dis- improve their position to fight industry production, their first
UTC officials argue that the
plays, connectivity and interiors. back, preserving their margins priority should be d elivering on deal will benefit Airbus and
UTC would lack only the metal- while growing market share. UTC existing cost, schedule and quality Boeing, by creating more

lic or composite fuselage and predicts the merger can yield commitments for their customers financial leverage to allow it to
wing to make an entire aircraft. $500 million in cost savings and ours, Boeing says. pursue new innovations.
Together, Rockwell Collins between the two companies
Our priority and focus today This will be good for our cus-
and UTC Aerospace Systems will within four years. is solely on delivering aircraft, tomers, Hayes says. This will
enhance customer value in a As UTCs geared turbofan and says Airbus. Our hope is that be good for the industry because
rapidly evolving aerospace in-
Collins newly-acquired interiors this [step] will not distract UTC it gives us the scale to do things
dustry by making aircraft more business the former B/E Aero- from its top operational priority. we couldnt do on our own.
intelligent and more connected,
says UTC chairman and chief ex-
The combination also upsets
the aircraft OEMs hopes to dis-
Acquisition will create $37 billion-turnover supply-chain giant
rupt the structure of the supply United Technologies (UTC) plan lished in Flight Internationals ised under UTC as Collins
chain. With a goal of reaching to acquire Rockwell Collins in a recent Top 100 listing. Aerospace Systems, which will be
15% operating margins a stand- $30 billion cash and shares trans- The merger will not move the led by current chief Kelly
ard figure for tier one suppliers, action will cement its place as business up the rankings, al- Ortberg. Dave Gitlin will serve as
but almost double the aircraft one of the worlds largest though it will close on third-placed the units president and chief
OEM norm Boeing has applied aerospace suppliers. Lockheed Martin, which had rev- operating officer.
pressure on suppliers to lower Collins itself recently bought enues of $47.2 billion in 2016. UTC owns engine manufacturer
costs, even as the aircraft design- interiors specialist B/E The transaction is set to be Pratt & Whitney and aircraft sys-
er encroaches into lucrative Aerospace, and the UTC deal completed in the third quarter of tems and sensors specialist United
aftermarket services previously
will create a supply-chain giant 2018, subject to regulatory and Technologies Aerospace Systems.
delegated downstream. with combined aerospace rev- shareholder approvals. That unit was formed through the
It also recently announced a enues of at least $37.19 billion, Once the deal is finalised, merger of Goodrich and Hamilton
plan to move into the avionics based on the 2016 figures pub- Rockwell Collins will be reorgan- Sundstrand in 2015. 12-18 September 2017 | Flight International | 7

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network and fleet information sign up at:


An-2 airworthiness
expired five years
before fatal crash
Biplane was not built to perform manoeuvre at air show,

regulator says, and operators were totally irresponsible

R ussian investigators have dis-

closed that the Antonov An-2
which crashed at an air show at
sponsible attitude, stressing that
the crash occurred just in front of
the spectator line, risking injury or
Comac says it has been making small improvements to aircraft 101 Balashikha, killing both pilots, death to dozens of attendees.
should not have been flying as its The authority is citing the ac-
airworthiness certificate had ex- cident as an example of opera-

Taxi trials prepare C919 pired nearly five years earlier.

Its left wing struck the ground,
tional violations in general avia-
tion, adding that bravado

for return to test flights

after the biplane (RA-35171) de- which borders on the criminal
scended and banked steeply at is contributing to accidents.
low altitude. The wing was torn It says a recent landing acci-
off and the aircraft rolled inverted dent involving a TR-301, which

C omac has resumed test activi-

ties with its first C919 proto-
type, moving the narrowbody
September, and is required to
carry out a number of flights
around Shanghai beforehand.
before igniting.
While federal air transport reg-
ulator Rosaviatsia says the in-
is based on the An-2 followed
an unauthorised flight in the
Sverdlovsk region. The pilot,
closer to a return to flight later this Comac intends to conduct cer- quiry is continuing, it has sharply who refused medical assistance
month after a lengthy pause fol- tification testing of the C919 criticised the organisers of the and screening for psychoactive
lowing its maiden sortie on 5 May. across sites in Shanghai, Xian 2 September flight, which took substances, was in a visible al-
The Chinese airframer says air- and Dongying. place at a show to celebrate the tered state of consciousness, the
craft 101 began taxi tests at The initial flight-test vehicle 70th anniversary of the An-2. regulator adds.
Shanghai Pudong International has not flown since its May maid- The crashed aircraft was not Rosaviatsia says 17 general
airport on 6 September. The air- en sortie. Comac says that no supposed to [fly] at all, it says, aviation accidents have occurred
craft conducted high-speed taxi major issues have been identi- because its airworthiness certifi- this year, eight of which have re-
tests and also trialled its brake fied, although a number of small cate had expired in Novem- sulted in 17 fatalities. Eight air-
system. This included perform- improvements are being made to ber2012. craft, it adds, did not have an air-
ing normal brake, emergency the aircraft. Although both crew held pilot worthiness certificate.
brake and anti-skid tests, as well A second prototype, aircraft licences, there is no evidence of The regulator adds: In
as evaluations of its back-up 102, is in final assembly, and official authorisation to fly the search of thrills, such pilots go
brake system. Comac is still aiming to perform a An-2, Rosaviatsia states, and the beyond the limits of what is per-
FlightGlobal understands that first flight later this year; the air- aircraft type is not intended to mitted, which invariably leads
the jet is likely to return to flight craft was powered up on 28 July. engage in the aerobatics under- to the same results catastroph-
testing later this month. Certification and service entry taken during the flight. ic consequences and irreversi-
Aircraft 101 is scheduled to for the C919 are scheduled for Rosaviatsia accuses the flights ble damage to technology and
perform a ferry flight to Xian in 2020-2021. organisers of having a totally irre- humanlife.

CHC goes offshore with first H175
Restructured offshore specialist CHC Helicopter has performed its
first revenue flight with the Airbus Helicopters H175 super-medium
twin. The inaugural service linked the operators base in Aberdeen
with the Ocean Patriot platform in the North Sea on contract to
Shell. CHC Helicopter took delivery of the first of three H175s in
August. It is configured in a 16-passenger layout. CHC is also a cus-
tomer for the rival AgustaWestland AW189. The operator has des-
ignated the Aberdeen facility as its global centre of excellence for
CHC Helicopter

H175 engineering.

8 | Flight International | 12-18 September 2017

Pentagon targets
Silicon Valley
This Week P11


United goes big on smaller A350 deal

Chicago-based carrier converts order for -1000 variant to baseline model, but increases commitment by 10 extra aircraft

U nited Airlines has converted

a commitment for 35
A350-1000s to the smaller -900
The aircraft were delivered to the
carrier and Continental Airlines,
with which it merged in 2010, be-
and added 10 of the latter variant tween 1997 and 2010. United also
to its overall order. operates 19 777-200s with an av-
The move is not unexpected erage age of 20.5 years.
the Chicago-headquartered carri- United has options for addition-
er has been reviewing its eight- al A350-900s that it could exercise
year-old deal for the -1000 since to replace the remainder of the 777-
at least January, when it first dis- 200ER fleet, and retains the flexibil-
US airline will replace
closed that it was re-evaluating ity to convert some aircraft back to
777-200ERs with XWBs

its long-haul fleet requirements. the larger -1000 variant, says Levy.
The A350 aligns with our re- The carrier had 40 options for the
placement needs and our net- fleet will be 25 years old in 2023. figuration. However, US rival A350 prior to the conversion.
work, says United chief financial The carrier configures its Delta Air Lines has opted for a All A350s are powered by
officer Andrew Levy. The combi- 777-200s with up to 269 seats, 306-seat layout on its A350-900s. Rolls-Royce Trent XWB turbofan
nation of the range performance while Airbus advertises the United operates 55 777-200ERs engines.
and efficiencies make the A350 an A350-900 as seating 325 passen- with an average age of 17.5 years, Additional reporting by
attractive aircraft for United. gers in a standard three-class con- Flight Fleets Analyzer records. Stephen Trimble
The Star Alliance carriers
switch lifts the backlog for the
A350-900 to 673, according to FLEET
Airbuss latest order and delivery
data, while the backlog for the
Challenging economics rule out 100-seaters to plug fleet gap
-1000 contracts to 177. United Airlines has ended months Kirby says that although United flight operations, Howard
United says it will replace the of speculation over a potential may not be able to fill a Boeing Attarian, in which he indicated
majority of its Boeing 777-200ER order for 100-seat aircraft, with 737-700 the smallest aircraft in that the airline was evaluating a
fleet with the incoming the carriers president making a its mainline fleet the costs are possible 100-seat mainline aircraft
A350-900s, with deliveries run- firm denial that such a deal is be- still low enough that the type as part of a fleet-plan analysis.
ning from late 2022 until 2027. ing contemplated. makes sense. The economics of There seems to be an oppor-
The A350-900 is an outstand- Were in a world where flying a 100-seater are just really, really tunity for an aircraft with around
ing aircraft and an excellent re- bigger and bigger airplanes is just challenging, he says. 100 seats to fill a gap in our net-
placement for our 777-200ERs, better, says Scott Kirby. 100 Kirbys comments came hot on work, but the problems with the
says Levy in a letter to employees, seaters, its just hard to make the the heels of a letter to pilots from complexity cost for a new fleet
noting that some -200ERs in its economics work. Uniteds senior vice-president of type is a big concern, he wrote.


MRJ resumes flight testing after engine flameout

M itsubishi Aircraft has re-
turned one of its MRJ proto-
types to flight testing, as the inves-
tems, as well as natural icing and
fire protection.
Mitsubishi grounded its test
tigation into an in-flight engine fleet last month after an uncom-
flameout last month continues. manded shut down of FTA-2s
The manufacturer was able to left-hand engine during a flight
restart flights with aircraft FTA-4 on 21 August. We are still deter-
after it reviewed and re-inspect- mining the cause of the malfunc-
ed the regional jets Pratt & Whit- tion, the company says.
ney PW1200G powerplants in col- It adds that it will resume flight
laboration with the engine maker. tests with the rest of its test fleet
Mitsubishi Aircraft

Two sorties were performed on 6 in a phased manner, after in-

September without incident. spection and verification of the
FTA-4 is used to evaluate the engines, and with approval from
Airframer will return prototypes to the skies in a phased manner MRJs powerplant and air sys- the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau. 12-18 September 2017 | Flight International | 9

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Airbus to harness
fuel saving which is
waiting in the wings
News Focus P12


Pentagon targets Silicon Valley software

Fresh approach would attack costly and cumbersome block development cycle by adopting more agile commercial model

U S military and defence in-

dustry officials are close to
adopting Silicon Valley-style
In the case of the F-35, the JPO
will bring Block 4 capabilities
forward that do not have an im-
software development and re- pact on the airworthiness, centre
fresh processes for military air- of gravity or flight dynamics of
craft, starting with billion-dollar the fighter, Winter says. Such ca-
upgrade programmes for the pabilities include software- and
Lockheed Martin F-22 and F-35. hardware-enabled sensor up-
The new strategy could be ap- grades, he says. Other improve-
proved within months as the ments, such as adding new weap-
F-35 Joint Programme Office ons that require airworthiness
(JPO) faces the challenge of fixing certification, would be imple-
bugs in the F-35s go-to-war Block mented later, from 2020 to 2022,

Lockheed Martin
3F software and developing the Winter says.
follow-on Block 4 package of ca- Lockheed is now on track to
pability improvements. F-22 programme could be an early adopter of the updated method deliver the full Block 3F software
F-35 software planning has en- package by the end of the year, al-
tered a strategic pause until making the switch, with an eye to planners could shift modernisa- lowing the USAF to begin initial
JPO employees present a new accelerating the new datalink ca- tion priorities to account for the operational test and evaluation
software development plan for pability from 2021 or 2022. impact on airworthiness certifica- on the F-35A next year.
consideration by top Pentagon of- The goal of the revised strategy tion timelines. See Feature P26
ficials in late October, says F-35 is to circumvent the US militarys
programme executive Vice Adm costly and time-consuming pro-
Mat Winter, speaking at a Defense cess that delivers new software in
News conference on 6 September. cumbersome blocks, with devel-
opment cycles often measured in
The new strategy years and frequently delayed. In-
stead, the updated approach
could be approved breaks new capabilities into
within months as the smaller increments of software
F-35 Joint Programme code, allowing developers to de-
liver some applications months
Office faces or years faster.
the challenge of
fixing bugs The military aircraft strategy has
emerged five months after the
Meanwhile, the agile soft- USAF issued a stop-work order
ware development technique to Northrop Grumman on devel-
employed by Apple to develop oping the software for Block 10.2
iPhone applications could be of the Air Operations Center
adopted by the F-22 system pro- (AOC), a network of air warfare
gramme office (SPO), as the US command centres around the
Air Force considers the develop- world. Instead, the USAF started
ment of a stealthy transmit and working with DIUx in July to
receive mode for the Link 16 da- form partnerships with Silicon
talink to communicate with a Valley firms to deliver the same
future unmanned loyal wing- capabilities within a year.
man and the F-35, says Sean DIUx will bring the agile
Singleton, director of business methodology that weve done
development and marketing for with AOC to military aircraft,
the Pentagons Defense Innova- Singleton says. Were bringing
tion Unit Experimental (DIUx). in Silicon Valley into these large
Singleton, speaking on the weapon systems.
sidelines of the same conference, As the strategy shifts from a
says the F-22 SPO and prime con- ground-based operations centre
tractor Lockheed are open to to aircraft software, programme 12-18 September 2017 | Flight International | 11

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Airbus to harness fuel saving

which is waiting in the wings
EU-backed project will used modified A340 to research drag-reducing laminar-flow designs

A irbus is about to start flight-

testing an A340 that has been
fitted with experimental laminar-
pecially around conventional, re-
tractable slats along a wings lead-
ing edge fasteners, surface
ted with pods containing sensors,
including video cameras. And
the attachment structure to the
flow wing sections under a partly deformations and even contami- A340s existing wing has been
EU-funded technology project. nation through dirt, de-icing fluid covered by fairings to accommo-
The objective of the Break- and rain droplets. date further sensors and separate
through Laminar Aircraft Dem- the air over the laminar-flow sec-
onstrator in Europe (BLADE) ef- This laminar tion from that across the conven-
fort is to assess the industrial tional wing.
feasibility of natural laminar-flow
boundary is very The new wing section contains
wings as opposed to hybrid sensitive to small no fuel system, but is otherwise
laminar flow, which is artificially disturbances fully functional and includes the
induced through hardware on aircrafts two ailerons on each
Axel Flaig
future aircraft. Senior vice-president research and side. The interior structure is me-
The theory and potential bene- technology, Airbus tallic, while the upper wing sur-
fits of achieving a laminar rather face where laminar flow is to be
than turbulent airflow in the achieved is carbonfibre-rein-
boundary layer around wings To make this [laminar flow] forced plastic.
have been known for 20 years. happen you need very high [de- Different construction tech- which has a maximum take-off
But Axel Flaig, senior vice- sign and manufacturing] toler- niques were employed for the weight of 275t will not weigh
president research and technolo- ances, says Flaig. And you leading edge and upper wing more than 150t for test flights.
gy for Airbuss commercial air- need to make this wing robust skin to assess feasibility of differ- Part of the effort will be to as-
craft division, said on 30 August against contamination because ent manufacturing approaches. sess a Kruger flap for the laminar-
in Tarbes, where the A340 has this laminar boundary is very On the port wing, the leading flow wing to provide both high
been modified, that the technolo- sensitive to small disturbances. edge is integrated with the upper lift for take-off and landing, and
gy had so far not been practically On the A340-300 MSN 001, wing surface in a single D-nose leading-edge shielding. The team
applied, because it had not been the first A340 to fly in October carbonfibre panel provided by will install a fixed Kruger flap ap-
possible to produce on an indus- 1991 Airbus has replaced the Swedish programme partner proximately 2m (6ft 6in) in
trial scale wings that were entire wing section outside the Saab which has internal attach- length on a section of the laminar
smooth enough to achieve a lami- outboard engines with a laminar- ment points to avoid any external wing, and remove the device for
nar airflow and aerodynamically flow section that has a different fasteners from the leading edge to high-speed tests. Additionally,
robust enough to sustain the de- geometry and, crucially, a shal- just forward of the ailerons. On coatings are being evaluated to
sired effect in daily operations. lower sweep, giving the aircraft a the starboard side, a metallic reduce wing contamination, es-
The laminar air flow can be distinctive kinked-wing plan- leading edge is joined with a car- pecially by insects.
disturbed by gaps and steps es- form. The wingtips have been fit- bonfibre upper wing surface sup-
plied by UK composites special- PURE RESEARCH
ist GKN Aerospace. Airbus insists there is no link to
Flaig describes the port side as any possible future aircraft pro-
a more elegant solution, but ex- gramme. However, the tests are
presses hope that the starboard clearly aimed at maturing tech-
wing will fulfil aerodynamic re- nology for a potential next-gener-
quirements as its more conven- ation narrowbody.
tional construction is less de- While the A340s standard
manding and costly to build. wing has a sweep of about 30,
The laminar-wing sections are which is linked to achieving a
not equipped with slats, and cruise speed of Mach 0.82-0.84
those on the remaining conven- for long-haul flights, the laminar
tional wing have been deactivat- wing has a sweep of about 20.
ed. This will reduce the A340s Airbus says the test aerofoil is op-
capability to operate at high timised for cruising at M0.75.
pitch-up angles, and take-off and Natural laminar-flow at a 30
landing speeds will be higher sweep angle is impossible be-

than usual. Flaig says this will cause of the instability of the
Port wing leading edge is integrated with upper composite surface pose no problem, as the aircraft flow, Airbuss flight-lab project

12 | Flight International | 12-18 September 2017

More 777s, but
Aeroflot delays
Air Transport P14

nar flow area can be visualised

Wingtip pods carry sensors and cameras to
because the flow cools the wings
Natural laminar flow
measure airflow and structural movement at a 30 sweep angle
surface which is being warmed
by sunlight at a slower rate than is impossible because
turbulent air. He adds that flight
tests will need to be interrupted of the instability of
from October, as the sun will be the flow
at too low an angle during winter Thierry Fol
to sufficiently heat the wing. Flight-lab project leader, Airbus
Flight-test engineer Philippe
Sve says the A340 will be a bi-
zarre aircraft to fly, as its original tive under Europes Clean Sky re-
wing is a 1980s design, while the search effort there were evalua-
outer, approximately 9m section tions to use a smaller aircraft,
has a newer, more radical shape. reveals Flaig. He says this would
The flight-test programme will have meant building a complete-
concentrate on aircraft handling, ly new wing and would have
and then move on to laminar been very expensive.
flow evaluations.
At a later stage, Sve says the EFFICIENCY DRIVE
team wants to alter the wing, in Flaig says the BLADE project rep-
order to assess the laminar flows resents the largest part of Airbuss
robustness. There is no intention estimated 330 million ($392
to damage the wing, but tests will million) contribution to the EUs
include the application of stick- approximately 4.2 billion Clean
ers to simulate gaps, steps and Sky 2 initiative a 10-year pro-

surface deformations around riv- gramme until 2024 that includes

ets. On one side, Airbus has in- other projects to mature technol-
leader Thierry Fol tells Flight- chord length, which Flaig says stalled a speaker system to gauge ogy for more efficient aero en-
Global. You have to make a deci- would halve wing friction drag. the potential effects of engine gines, helicopters and onboard
sion: either you would like to Based on an 800nm (1,480km) noise on the laminar flow. systems. Some 20 other contribu-
have natural laminar flow so you sector, this could reduce overall Sve says the A340 provides tors are involved in the BLADE
have to slow down in order to aircraft drag by 8% and fuel burn an optimal testbed, as its legacy scheme, including Dassault, Ro-
have a less important sweep by up to 5%. wing provides stability and safety manias Romaero whose re-
angle or you keep the 30 in if lift is compromised on the lam- sponsibility included production
order to fly at Mach 0.85, but SWEET SPOT inar section. We will be able to of the wing-tip pods and Span-
have something to stabilise the A central aspect of the research is do whatever we want, he says. ish aerostructures specialist
turbulent flow. to find a sweet spot between po- Its better to have a test wing that Aernnova, which assembled the
Fol says high-speed flight tential savings and a sufficiently doesnt alter the full physics of two laminar wing sections.
would require a hybrid laminar- robust laminar flow that can be the wing. Clean Sky 2 is half-funded by
flow system that produces a suc- sustained in daily operations. As During the early planning the EU, and Flaig says Airbus
tion effect around perforated wing natural wing flexing can break up phase the BLADE project was would not be able to pursue an
surface areas. The required low the laminar flow, the team wants launched in 2008 as part of the undertaking such as BLADE on
pressure could either be produced to determine how much move- Smart Fixed-Wing Aircraft initia- its own.
by redirecting air inside the aero- ment can be tolerated before the
foils a passive system; or flow becomes turbulent.
through an active pump system. In order to measure the wings
Flaig acknowledges that a flexibility, the fairing around the
speed reduction to M0.75 would old and new wing joint has been
not be acceptable for long-haul, finished with a stripe pattern. A
and that aircraft designers would set of eight video cameras in each
have to adopt a hybrid laminar- of the two wing-tip pods will
flow system. But he argues that it monitor the pattern and its reflec-
could be acceptable on shorter tion on the laminar wings sur-
routes, as A320-family aircraft face to determine the aerofoils
typically cruise at M0.78. We movement. This will be com-
think it doesnt make a big differ- bined with data from interior sen-
ence, he says. sors on the wing spar to assess
While the boundary airflow on the structures movement.
Picture - credit style

conventional wings tends to be- Meanwhile, infrared cameras

come turbulent just aft of the on top of the vertical tailfin will
leading edge, the BLADE pro- monitor the laminar flow over the

grammes objective is to achieve wing. BLADE project leader Dan-

laminar flow along 50% of the iel Kierbel explains that the lami- Modified outboard sections include ailerons, but slats are not fitted 12-18 September 2017 | Flight International | 13

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More 777s, but Aeroflot delays A350s

Boeing widebodies will bolster flag carriers long-haul operation, as first deliveries of Airbus big twins pushed to 2019

R ussian flag carrier Aeroflots

board has approved the pur-
chase of a further six Boeing
777-300ERs, while also appear-
ing to push back deliveries of its
Airbus A350-900s.
Its new 777s will be delivered
from the second quarter of 2018,
with deliveries running to the
first quarter of 2021.
The airline had indicated in
May that it was considering tak-

ing the additional GE Aviation
GE90-powered twinjets.
Aeroflot says the approval will Airline will use the new additions between Europe and Asia and to remote destinations within Russia
significantly strengthen its
long-haul capabilities, adding shown that five A350s were due 22 A350s but only 14 remain, ac- yond, suggesting a current overall
that it is aiming to improve links to arrive next year, with three cording to Airbuss backlog data, commitment to 19 of the type.
to remote Russian regions and more being delivered in 2019 and following the cancellation of The airline has also firmed de-
connections between Europe two in 2020. eight of the smallest -800 variant. tails of a lease contract for 20 Suk-
andAsia. But the latest schedule shows The airline recently signalled hoi Superjets with VEB-Leasing.
However, under a revised fleet- three aircraft are to be handed plans, however, to increase its Aeroflot will take the aircraft
modernisation schedule, the first over in 2019 and three more in A350 order to 28 aircraft. under typical 12-year leases, it
of the A350-900s will now not ar- 2020; no reasons are given for Its revised schedule indicates says. Deliveries began last month
rive until 2019. thechange. an intention to take 13 A350s and will run until July 2018.
Aeroflots previous plan had Aeroflot had originally ordered over the course of 2021 and be- See Feature P34


70,000hp stress test for
UltraFan power gearbox
R olls-Royce has tested its Ultra-
Fan gearbox to a load of
70,000hp (52,200kW) at its site in
coupling the fan from a new en-
gine core, which is being sepa-
rately developed under the
Dahlewitz, near Berlin. Advance programme, with its
This record is a great achieve- own target of 20% fuel savings.
ment for the team, and Im proud The objectives for the gearbox
weve managed to get there so are to optimise fan and engine
quickly, states chief technology core speeds and to avoid any
officer Paul Stein. need for a low-pressure turbine
Our power gearbox technolo- on a post-2025 powerplant. AIRLINE
gy is central to the success of the R-R notes that the planetary
next generation of Rolls-Royce jet gearbox has been designed to ac- Hong Kong Airlines joins XWB club
engines and Im pleased to see us commodate loads up to Lessor AerCap has handed over Hong Kong Airlines first Airbus
pushing back engineering bound- 100,000hp and that future dem- A350-900, making it the 15th operator of the widebody twin. The
aries with this work. onstrators are expected to carrier is to receive a further three A350s via AerCap: a second
High-power testing of the dem- achieve these levels. will arrive in November, with another pair to follow later. Hong
onstrator gearbox was begun in However, the next batch of Kong Airlines will eventually take 21 A350s 15 direct from
May on a purpose-built rig at tests on the current demonstrator Airbus and six from lessors configured in a four-class, 334-seat
R-Rs facility near the Ger- will be concentrated on lower- layout. After initially being deployed on regional routes, the car-
mancapital. power functions such as endur- riers first A350-900 will enter long-haul operations in December,
The UK manufacturer aims to ance and reliability, the engine flying to Los Angeles.
cut fuel burn by 5% through de- manufacturersays.

14 | Flight International | 12-18 September 2017

Procedural lapses
caused Senegal
Air Transport P16


SAS looks beyond

home countries to
level playing field
Carrier will station nine aircraft at external bases in London
and Malaga, with new Irish air operators certificate pending

S AS Group intends to station
nine Airbus A320neos at ex-
ternal bases, and has applied for a
vals, otherwise SAS will be
forced to reduce its production
and discontinue routes.
Unit costs should rival those of low-cost competitors, the airline says

new air operators certificate in While start-up costs for the the same underlying unit cost as It says 15% more passengers
Ireland in preparation for new air operators certificate and our low-cost competitors, the were carried on leisure routes in
thetransition. bases will have an initial negative carrier says. the third quarter of 2017 than in
The company is aiming to con- impact on earnings, the company SAS has turned increasingly to the previous equivalent period.
duct its first flights from the bases believes the benefits will gradu- leisure traffic to expand its net- Over the summer period it has
located in London and Malaga ally emerge as operations evolve. work, and expects leisure pro- opened nine routes, including
at the beginning of its new fi- When the bases are fully op- duction this year to be about dou- services to Ibiza, Lisbon, Malaga,
nancial year in November. erational, we expect them to have ble its level of five years ago. Malta and Olbia.
SAS says it has recruited the
management team for the Irish op-
eration, as well as most of the ad- ENVIRONMENT
ministrative personnel and some
flightcrew. Preparations are pro-
Neo drives Leap forward in carbon dioxide emissions reduction
gressing as planned, it says. Analysis of carbon dioxide emis- A320neos, with three more due in The company has ordered a
The bases, external to its core sions by SAS Group has found its fourth quarter, which ends on total of 30 A320neos, all of them
Scandinavian operations, are in- that the figure for its Airbus 30 November. Another seven will to be fitted with CFM
tended to give SAS access to the A320neos amounted to just 60g be handed over in 2017-2018 International Leap-1A engines.
same lower labour costs from per passenger in July. and seven in 2018-2019. SAS is also pressing for wider
which its competitors benefit. The company says this repre- It says the A320neo has carbon access to biofuel, stating that the
SAS says it needs to secure sents the lowest-ever monthly dioxide emissions per passenger- present offering is limited. The
the profitability of key traffic result for a single aircraft type in kilometre around 18% lower than company has been using biofuel
flows and take advantage of the the carriers fleet. comparable previous-genera- on its services from Stockholm
same preconditions as its ri- SAS has taken delivery of 11 tionaircraft. and Oslo.


GoAir defers deliveries over P&W engine issues

I ndias GoAir will take three
fewer Airbus A320neos than
planned during its current finan-
premature wear of the number
three bearing seal.
Meanwhile, the source says
cial year due to the ongoing is- GoAir expects that the final fixes
sues with Pratt & Whitneys to its five in-service A320neos
PW1100G engines. will be implemented by the end
A source familiar with the mat- of 2018.
ter tells FlightGlobal that the low- Despite the issues, the carrier
cost carrier is now targeting a is seeing better-than-promised
fleet of 34 A320s at 31 March reductions in fuel consumption

2018, down from the 37 an- on the PW1100G-powered air-

nounced by chief executive Wolf- craft of 16% to 18%, above the
gang Prock-Shauer in June. GoAir PW1100Gs have delivered better-than-promised fuel consumption 12% to 15% promised by P&W.
expects to induct two or three Flight Fleets Analyzer shows
Neos in September. problems with the PW1100G. its PW1100G engines suffer from GoAir has a fleet of 24 A320s, in-
The source blames the fall in GoAir, along with fellow Indian premature degradation of the cluding five Neos, and has a fur-
fleet size on the delays in fixing low-cost carrier IndiGo, has seen combustor chamber lining, and ther 144 A320neos on order. 12-18 September 2017 | Flight International | 15

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and losses worldwide in 2017, go to:

Business jet struck

the wing-tip of
Ceiba 737-800


Procedural lapses caused Senegal crash

Senegalair BAe 125 kept in operation without restrictions despite earlier incidents indicating problem with instrumentation

F ailure to comply with airwor-

thiness procedures allowed a
British Aerospace 125 to be flown
at 31,000ft. The incident took
place in reduced vertical separa-
tion minima (RVSM) airspace,
BEA says the aircraft was kept
in operation without technical in-
tervention and without restric-
But the BAe flew again on 29
August and, two days later, raised
further concerns from ASECNA
with an altimeter defect before a where adjacent cruise levels are tions, up until the fatal collision. when a 1,000ft discrepancy was
mid-air collision over Senegal. 1,000ft apart. Investigators found that a tech- detected between the aircrafts
None of the seven occupants BEA states that, less than two nician responsible for airworthi- assigned altitude and that shown
survived after the Senegalair BAe weeks earlier, a 200ft discrepancy ness, and authorised to approve on Dakar radar.
125 struck the wing-tip of a Ceiba between the BAe 125s primary the release of the aircraft, left the Although ASECNA also sub-
Intercontinental Boeing 737-800 altimeters had been observed by airline on 15 August. His replace- mitted a report on this incident, it
on 5 September 2015. the crew. ment was officially employed by was not sent until 8 September
Senegalese investigation au- Senegalese regulations prohibit the company on 17 August but, three days after the collision.
thority BEA found the BAe 125 operations in RVSM airspace with says BEA, his licence had still to BEA says that rigorous appli-
had been involved in a serious a discrepancy greater than 75ft. be validated by Senegalese civil cation of regulations covering the
conflict with an Arik Air 737 six Even after the Arik incident, aviation authority ANACIM. technical condition of the aircraft
weeks earlier, in July 2015, during says BEA, the altimetry problem He was therefore not permit- would have prevented it from
which the two aircraft had been was not listed in the aircrafts ted to work on aircraft with Sene- flying with altimetry problems.
closing on opposing headings at technical log. galese registration, the inquiry It points out that the aircraft
about the same altitude. Multinational air navigation says. The BAe 125 was on the was declared airworthy despite a
It determined that the BAe agency ASECNA did not submit Senegalese register as 6V-AIM. critical abnormality. The inquiry
125 crew had told air traffic an incident report on the Arik BEA says that the aircraft also notes other procedural weak-
control that their aircraft was
conflict until more than a month should not have been returned nesses, including the failure to
flying at 32,000ft, while the 737 later. ASECNA recommended in- to flight from the date of the authenticate fully the BAe 125
pilots insisted both aircraft were spection of the aircraft. original technicians departure. first officers licence.


EASA orders action on A350 fuel tank fire danger

A irbus A350 operators have
been ordered to urgently
address a potential threat to fuel
fast temperature rise of the
hydraulic fluid, says the Europe-
an Aviation Safety Agency.
equipment list, the document
which determines the extent to
which crucial aircraft systems
dered immediate implementation
of the master minimum equip-
ment list changes for the A350.
tanks arising from overheat fail- If the aircrafts fuel-tank can be permitted to be inopera- Among the systems affected
ure of a hydraulic pump. inerting system is inoperative,
tive before flight. are air conditioning packs, hy-
The A350-900 is designed adds EASA, an uncontrolled EASA says the revision incor- draulic monitoring controls, and
with a hydraulic fluid cooling overheat of the hydraulic fluid porates restrictions to avoid un- fuel-tank inerting.
system located in the fuel tanks. could potentially ignite the controlled overheat of the hydrau- EASA says the directive,
But analysis of an overheat tanks fuel-air mixture. lic system, and amended a which covers all A350-900
failure mode of the aircrafts hy- Airbus has responded by un- number of items to no go status. airframes, is an interim docu-

draulic engine-driven pump has dertaking an in-depth revision of Under an emergency airworthi- ment and further related action
determined that it can generate a the A350s master minimum ness directive, the agency has or- could follow.

16 | Flight International | 12-18 September 2017

Suppliers target
Polish rotorcraft
Defence P18


Sukhoi Civil Aircraft, Irkut to be United

Subsidiaries to be brought into single division as parent seeks efficiency gains to boost commercial share to 45% by 2035

R ussias United Aircraft (UAC)

plans to combine airframer
Irkut with Sukhoi Civil Aircraft
under a programme to unify civil
aircraft manufacturing.
Irkut produces the MC-21,
while Sukhoi Civil Aircraft
builds the Superjet 100.
UAC, which owns large stakes
in several individual aircraft
production organisations, is es-
tablishing the new civil division
as part of a restructuring effort.
The company is trying to
simplify its operation and in-

crease efficiency in order to hike

the share of civil products in its
portfolio to 45% by 2035.
It also wants to ramp up its
civil production to 100-120
aircraft per year. Projects still

under development include the

revamped Ilyushin Il-114

regional turboprop and a long- New MC-21-300 made its maiden flight in May and is scheduled to enter service with Aeroflot in 2019
haul twinjet to be produced
jointly with China. board opted to terminate the We do not compete internal- sition to a single share.
UAC will cut layers of man- employment agreement with ly, with one another, as in the Under international account-
agement and centralise func- Masalov from 4 September. old days, he adds. We compete ing standards the company
tions to reduce costs, while the Masalov has been in the role on a global field, with global turned in a loss of Rb6.6 billion
unification will also enable it to for barely six months, having partners. Without unity, there is ($114 million) for the first half of
achieve better continuity and suddenly succeeded Kamil no competitiveness. this year an improvement on
simplicity in certification. Gaynutdinov who himself had The company adds that both the previous figure of Rb7.3
As part of the management only occupied the position for Airbus and Boeing have billion after increasing reve-
overhaul, UAC president Yuri five months. undergone similar transforma-
nues by 51% to just under Rb180
Slyusar will take over as presi- Slyusar states that the old tions in order to strengthen their billion.
dent of Irkut on which the uni- structure of UAC is becoming market position. Meanwhile, the companys
fied civil division will be based less adequate to address new UAC says it is intending the gross profit doubled, to Rb44.4
while current Irkut chief Oleg challenges. unification to be part of the tran- billion.
Demchenko will be retained as
first vice-president and general
designer. PROPOSAL
Sukhoi Civil Aircraft will be- Moscow will make sure that its domestic carriers buy local
come the platform for marketing,
sales and aftersales activity, cov- Airlines based in Russia will need erating certificate, requiring air- aircraft, all of which must have at
ering all civil aircraft produced to have a proportion of domesti- lines to have at least three least 55 seats.
by the division. cally-produced aircraft in their domestically-produced aircraft Russias government has been
It has separately disclosed fleets in o rder to obtain an oper- no older than five years, the attempting to reinforce the coun-
that it will undergo a manage- ating c ertificate under a new ministry adds. trys aircraft-production industry,
ment change, with current presi- Russian government proposal. This change, it says, will and defend the internal market in
dent Vladislav Masalov being The ministry of transport is put- encourage those Russian air- the face of sustained pressure
replaced by A lexander Rubtsov, ting forward changes to federal lines planning to operate sched- from foreign manufacturers.
the head of lessor Ilyushin Fi- aviation regulations intended to uled services to increase the This strategy has focused on
nance. Masalov will be moved to stimulate the use of new Russian- number of newly-developed development of the Irkut MC-21
another position, says UAC, built aircraft in the countrys com- Russian-built aircraft. and Sukhoi Superjet 100, while
without elaborating. mercial air transport sector. Federal regulations currently the government is also support-
The airframer says that, follow- It is proposing to amend the set the minimum fleet for sched- ing plans to restart manufacture
ing a 1 September meeting, the minimum fleet criteria for an op- uled airline operations at eight of the Ilyushin Il-114. 12-18 September 2017 | Flight International | 17

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Suppliers target Polish rotorcraft need

Rival manufacturers use MSPO show to promote potential candidates for 32-unit Kruk attack helicopter requirement

W ith Poland poised to

launch the tender process
for a new fleet of Kruk attack
about the FMS [Foreign Military
Sales] procedure.
We are able to co-operate with
helicopters, potential suppliers Polish aviation companies,
used the MSPO show, held in Gleason says. Establishing a
Kielce from 5-8 September, to MRO facility in Poland and in-
promote their candidates. digenous training capabilities is a
Warsaw wants to acquire 32 minimum of our offer.
new attack helicopters, with an Bell says AH-1Z deliveries
initial batch of three required by could start 30-34 months after a
2022 to support training activities. final agreement. More helicop-
It plans to award a contract by the ters means more opportunity for

Bell Helicopter
end of the third quarter of 2018. Polonisation, but a configuration
Analysis and concept defini- other than the USMCs will be
tion phases have already been costly to develop and integrate, Bell says AH-1Z deliveries could start 30-34 months after agreement
completed, along with technical says Joel Best, senior manager Eu-
dialogue, with four bidders. rope, Bell military programmes. Promoting the AH-64E, Patrick Deliveries could begin 30-32
Airbus Helicopters/Heli Invest
Separately, Bell on 14 August Druez, Boeings team leader for months after a contract award.
Services are offering the Tiger; delivered its first AH-1Z to an ex- Apache Poland, says the compa- Polish AH-64Es will be main-
Turkish Aerospace Industries and port customer, under a 12-aircraft ny is also awaiting Warsaws re- tained in Poland, with Boeing per-
PZL widnik the T129, and Bell deal with Pakistan. quirements for the Kruk deal. sonnel support, Druez says.
Helicopter and Boeing are pro-
moting their respective AH-1Z BIDS
and AH-64E models in conjunc-
tion with the US government.
Warsaw reviewing two offers for eight-unit CSAR competition
We are open for Polonisation Polands defence ministry is pro- consortium and PZL widnik types. A PZL Mielec/Sikorsky team
of the AH-1Z, but first the Polish cessing two bids linked to a re- part of Leonardo are pursuing is also pursuing the deal, offering
government must formulate re- quirement for eight combat the CSAR deal with the special the S-70B Seahawk.
quirements, how many helicop- search and rescue (CSAR) heli- forces. The companies are pro- Negotiations about CSAR
ters will be acquired, and what copters, and is also starting to moting the H225M and AW101, helicopters were finished and in
support package would be pro- consider a future need for multi- respectively. early September a RFI [request
vided, says Bell international role rotorcraft. Both bidders are also in conten- for information] will be sent to all
military business development of- Col Dariusz Pluta, chief of the tion for an opportunity to supply bidders, Pluta says. For the
ficial Mike Gleason. After that we defence ministrys armament in- the Polish navy with eight anti-sub- ASW/SAR helicopters, initial of-
can start dialogue with the US spectorate, says an Airbus marine warfare (ASW) and SAR fers were submitted and we are
government and US Marine Corps Helicopters/Heli Invest Services helicopters, pitching the same starting technical dialogue.


Eurofighter suggests pairing Typhoon with F-16

T he Eurofighter consortium is
promoting its Typhoon as the
Polish air force examines its fu-
Warsaw would bring new and
additional opportunities to Po-
land both from a military and
ture combat aircraft requirements. economic perspective, from as-
Eurofighter Typhoon aug- sembly and manufacturing to
ments existing capabilities and support and maintenance. All
further complements a powerful options are on the table.
deterrence against any potential Poland can integrate and cer-
threat to Polands borders, says tificate weapons, pods and other
head of marketing Raffael Klasch- equipment, he adds. We be-
Crown Copyright

ka. The Typhoon with the [Lock- lieve we can deliver an attractive
heed Martin] F-16 Block 52+ will and cost-effective solution, and
be a perfect combination. are able to co-operate with
Consortium says all options are on the table, including local assembly Klaschka says a selection by everycompany.

18 | Flight International | 12-18 September 2017

King Stallion gains
pace with LRIP deal
Defence P21


Kenya Longsword
deal is valid, GAO
investigation finds
Lawmakers objection to selection of L3 armed cropduster
over rival Iomax dismissed despite claims of big price gap

A US Government Accounta-
bility Office (GAO) report
al-Shabaab militants and buttress
the air forces ageing Northrop

found no fault in a proposed For- F-5 fleet.
eign Military Sales (FMS) deal for Pricing terms in L3s original Nairobi specifically requested a purchase based on adapted AT-802L
Kenya, but the US lawmaker proposal to Nairobi expired in
spearheading an investigation June, but the US Air Force grant- aircraft deal to Kenya, excluding Kenyan officials. A report on a
into the L3 Technologies contract ed a request by the Kenyan gov- ordnance, while Iomax quoted Kenyan arms sale that did not in-
opportunity is not satisfied. ernment to extend the offer until $234 million for the same num- volve speaking to Kenyan offi-
In January, the US State De- 16 September, after national elec- ber of Archangel aircraft, a source cials is virtually useless, he says.
partment approved a possible tions held in August. A final con- tells FlightGlobal. Im looking forward to continu-
$418 million FMS contract with tract has not been announced. Budd has previously ques- ing to pursue oversight of this
Kenya for up to 12 Air Tractor But North Carolina Congress- tioned L3s relationship with the deal, and examining why the US
AT-802L Longsword aircraft and man Ted Budd, whose district in- USAFs acquisition engine, Big contracting system would steer
two AT-504 trainers, with L3 cludes Iomax, Air Tractors rival in Safari, and launched an investi- our allies in Kenya towards a
serving as the prime contractor. the armed cropduster market, gation into the Air Tractor con- contract that is inflated by $130
Its backing for the transaction called foul on the Kenya order. tract earlier this year. million for an aircraft that has
cited the types short-field capa- Iomaxs Archangel already flies
While the recent GAO report never flown in combat.
bility and use of precision-guided with the United Arab Emirates air concludes that Kenya did not im- Kenyas request for a sole-
munitions, saying this would force, while the Kenya deal marks properly select the Longsword, source acquisition was motivated
serve the nations close air sup- the Longswords first selection. he points out that the investiga- by specific interest in Air Tractor,
port mission in the fight against L3 proposed a $365 million tion excluded interviews with the GAO report states.


Vixen 500E radar boosts Romanian demonstrator

L eonardo has been chosen to
provide its Vixen 500E ac-
tive electronically scanned
cessful outcome could lead to
further opportunities.
The sale of the Vixen 500E
array radar in support of an ad- could lead in future to Roma-
vanced trainer research activity nias fleet of IAR-99s being retro-
inRomania. fitted with the new radar as part
Announcing the deal on 29 of a wider upgrade programme,
August, the European sensor pro- itsuggests.
vider said the Vixen 500E has Flight Fleets Analyzer records
been chosen by Romanias na- the Romanian air force as having
tional institute for aerospace re- an active fleet of 18 IAR-99s,
search (INCAS) for its new trainer which range from 16 to 29 years
technology demonstrator pro- old. The service is the only opera-
gramme, IAR-99 TD. tor of the Rolls-Royce Viper-en-

The project is based on a Ro- gined type.

manian air force IAR-99 Soim, Research institute INCAS is adapting an IAR-99 Soim prototype We see further commercial
which will be modified by potential outside of Romania,
INCAS together with aircraft INCAS general manager Cata- trainer, with enhanced sensing and are looking forward to work-
manufacturer Avioane Craiova, lin Nae says the institute is con- and combat capabilities. ing with INCAS to address this,
it says. It identifies the aircraft in- ducting the IAR-99 TD project to While the radar acquisition is says Leonardo Airborne and
volved in the activity as the Soim fully test and further develop being made in support of this re- Space Systems managing director
programmes thirdprototype. technologies for an advanced search, Leonardo believes a suc- Norman Bone. 12-18 September 2017 | Flight International | 19

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Raising consciousness
in the battle against
pilot hypoxia
News Focus P22


King Stallion gains pace with LRIP deal

Low-rate production launched under $304m contract, as heavy-lift helicopter heads for US Marine Corps service entry

S ikorsky has been cleared to

begin assembling the first two
production examples of the
CH-53E, it represents a full trans-
formation of the heavy-lift heli-
copter. The new version features
CH-53K King Stallion under a
three GE Aviation T408 engines,
$304 million contract awarded a new transmission and rotor
by the US Navy. blades, a composite fuselage and
The Lockheed Martin-owned clean-sheet avionics.
airframer will deliver two of the Sikorsky is also eyeing export
heavy-lift rotorcraft, which has a opportunities for the King Stal-
maximum take-off weight of lion, with Germany and Israel the

Lockheed Martin
39,900kg (88,000lb), to the US most clear-cut opportunities.
Marine Corps in 2020 under the Berlin intends to replace its
low-rate initial production (LRIP) fleet of 81 CH-53GA/GS helicop-
Lot 1 contract. The US Depart- CH-53K is also being offered to export prospects Germany and Israel ters, with a request for proposals
ment of Defense approved the anticipated in mid-2018, leading
King Stallions production and provision of spare parts and delivered this year. The USN to a contract award in 2019.
deployment phase in April 2017, logistics support. estimates an average unit price of Deliveries would begin in 2023.
clearing the way for the order. The USMC plans to replace its $87 million, if all 200 CH-53Ks are Tel Aviv, meanwhile, is looking
Assembly will be performed in fleet of CH-53E Super Stallions ordered by the Marines. for deliveries to start in about 2025
Stratford, Connecticut, with the with 200 King Stallions, with four While the K-model remains as it begins the replacement of its
first LRIP deal also covering the early production aircraft due to be similar in shape to the legacy 23-strong CH-53 Yasur fleet.


Slovakias first Black Hawk makes public debut

T he Slovak air force has pub-
licly displayed one of an ini-
tial pair of Sikorsky UH-60M
Two further examples will ar-
rive in 2018, with the remainder
to be handed over in 2019 under
However, Bratislava says it will
analyse this requirement as part
of a long-term development plan
Under the FMS programme,
four crews received training in
the USA in 2016. Two more
Black Hawks as it begins the pro- a nine-aircraft deal. for its armed forces. crews are currently in training.
gressive retirement of its current Configured in a utility trans-
Russian-built inventory. port configuration, the UH-60Ms
Displayed at the SIAF 2017 air are able to accommodate 11 fully
show, held at Silac air base near equipped troops, as well as two
Zvolen in central Slovakia in rear crew and two pilots.
late August, the new helicopter The Black Hawks join a cur-
is part of a $261 million modern- rent fleet of eight Mil Mi-17
isation effort. helicopters, which are used for
Acquired direct from the USA troop transport and search and
using Washingtons Foreign Mili- rescue missions.
tary Sales (FMS) mechanism, the Although five of the Mi-17s are
two Black Hawks were delivered capable of providing air support
Igor Bozinovski

to Presov air base in June, before using their 23mm machine guns
officially joining the air forces 1st or rocket pods, there is no plan to
Helicopter Sqn on 3 August. arm the incoming Black Hawks. New UH-60M was put on display at SIAF air show at Silac air base

Download the 2017

Wo r l d A i r Fo r c e s R e p o r t IN ASSOCIATION WITH

w w w. f l i g h t g l o b a l . c o m / w a f 12-18 September 2017 | Flight International | 21
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developments in the defence sector, visit:


Raising consciousness in the

battle against pilot hypoxia
US services call on Cobham to help determine cause of persistent oxygen supply issues

E ven as the US Air Forces

Lockheed Martin F-35A
soared above Le Bourget in June,
flying operations, at altitudes
above 25,000ft, until 30 August.
At Le Bourget, USAF officials
ing T-45 Goshawk trainers. Al-
though the service allowed its
instructors to resume flying the
oxygen issues had grounded the insisted the oxygen issue was type in April under a restricted
same aircraft back home at Luke isolated to Lukes jets. A pilot
envelope that excluded using its
AFB, Arizona. survey that began at the base in on-board oxygen generation sys-
Just weeks before the conven- May later expanded across all tem (OBOGS), Naval Air System
tional take-off and landing Light- F-35 pilots. The survey also Command (NAVAIR) officials
ning II was set to make its Paris air examined the aircrafts low-rate later said that students would not
show debut, the USAF an- initial production numbers as a be trained until an air supply fix
nounced it would cancel F-35A possible common thread, as well was implemented in July.
flying operations at Luke AFB fol- as software variants. In June, the USN rolled out a
lowing five separate oxygen depri- comprehensive review of PE on
vation incidents in a month. Every flight is a its T-45s and Boeing F/A-18 fight-
Pilots had reported experienc- ers, which concluded that the
ing hypoxia-like symptoms, al-
physiological event OBOGS on both aircraft are not
though the air force would later were putting able to provide clean, dry air to pi-
characterise the incidents as people in an extreme lots, and can allow contaminants
physiological events (PE) that to escape into their breathing air, cepted, oxygen issues as part of
could include hypoxia, hypocap- environment potentially causing hypoxia. the risk their pilots must take.
nia or hyperventilation. The Ryan Mayes The service found that pressuri- Between 2003 and 2008, the
Arizona base houses 55 F -35As, Biomedical engineer, US Air Force sation issues caused most of the USAFs F-22 fleet experienced

Research Laboratory
but the issue applied to only 48 of oxygen problems for F/A-18 pi- six incidents, followed by anoth-
those aircraft. lots, while the OBOGS emerged as er dozen by 2011. The service
A range of symptoms were re- When Lukes F-35As returned the culprit on the Goshawk. stood down the Raptor fleet and
ported, from slight dizziness and to the skies last month, their pi- directed its S cientific Advisory
disorientation to tingling and lots did so without the root cause SPECIFIC SYSTEMS Board to study the F-22s life-sup-
coldness in the extremities but of the PE identified. But officials Those findings may have nar- port system. The board could not
the pilots were trained to recog- at the base have been able to rule rowed the scope of the navys hy- determine a root cause, but found
nise the problems and landed out some contamination risks, poxia problem, but the report did that the supply or quality of oxy-
safely using the aircrafts back-up such as suspected higher levels of not single out a specific system or gen may contribute to pilots
oxygen system. carbon monoxide on the hot and environmental condition that symptoms. The USAF returned
When the USAF announced congested Arizona flightline. would cause a hypoxia event or its a ir-superiority fighters to nor-
the grounding on 9 June, it set an Meanwhile, the US Navy is also pressurisation malfunction. mal operations in 2013, after
optimistic return-to-flight date of attempting to grasp at the elusive On 3 August, the USAF began modifying life-support systems.
just three days later. But Lukes cause of PE plaguing its pilots, in- OBOGS testing that will continue Historically, the air force has
aircraft did not return to normal cluding oxygen issues on its Boe- until the end of this year. Work- taught pilots to recognise the
ing with the F-35 Joint Pro- symptoms of hypoxia, loss of
gramme Office and the Naval consciousness induced by g forc-
Medical Research Unit (NAMRU) es, or fumes in the cockpit, says
in Dayton, Ohio, a team of engi- Ryan Mayes, a biomedical engi-
neers and statistical analysis ex- neer at the US Air Force Research
perts at the 711th Human Perfor- Laboratory (AFRL). But pilots
mance Wing at Wright-Patterson keep experiencing unexplained
AFB, Ohio, are testing OBOGS events that are not necessarily
that have never been flown be- caused by those factors.
fore, in order to compare their Every flight is a physiological
baseline performance with sys- event were putting people in an
tems which have experienced in- extreme environment, Mayes
cidents at various simulated says. The way to eliminate PE is
cabin altitudes, aircraft altitudes, to better characterise what might
and breathing demand flows. drive PE. Part of our function is
US Navy

The two services have long informing and defining the risk.
Fears over equipment have restricted US Navy training on the T-45 battled, and to some extent ac- Following a request from the

22 | Flight International | 12-18 September 2017

VistaJet expansion
plan gets $200m
investment support
Business Aviation P24

sues. While measuring gas going

Some USAF Lightning IIs were into the pilots mask is critical,
grounded on 9 June, after five the exhalation side measures the
pilots reported symptoms amount of carbon dioxide, which
helps Cobham understand inci-
dents such as hyperventilation
and hypocapnia.
Schaeffer says that based on
preliminary data, PE could be
linked to a lack of oxygen at alti-
tude, or even cockpit pressure.
A lot of fingers are being
pointed at the oxygen system, he
says. I dont disagree. However,
theres a lot more going on in the
cockpit that the oxygen system
may not be the root cause of.

Once the USAF and Cobham
amass a library of data, the com-
pany can develop a predictive al-
gorithm to help pilots make deci-
sions, Schaeffer says. The
company plans to integrate the

US Air Force
technology into its next-genera-
tion emergency oxygen system.
Cobham plans to propose that
USAF School of Aerospace halation sensor block portion of upgrade to the CRU-99 oxygen technology for the USAFs smart
Medicine, the service awarded
AMPS, and then created the ex- monitor the solid-state oxygen aircraft digital breathing regulator
Cobham, which manufactures the halation block by re-packaging monitor (CRU-123) which deliv- (SDBR). In July, the service re-
OBOGS, a contract in 2016 to the system and adding a carbon ers data on temperature and oxy- leased a request for information
develop a new method for moni- dioxide sensor. The inhalation gen pressure to T-45 pilots. seeking a technology that would
toring pilot breathing and physi- block measures oxygen pressure, enable autonomous control of the
ology. In addition to the AFRL, gas flow to the pilot and aircraft DATA SPEED regulator using aircraft state, in-
the company has briefed NAMRU acceleration to determine wheth- While the USAF has been able to flight environment, and pilot
and NAVAIR on its aircrew- er the life-support system is per- measure oxygen levels, the service physiological state information.
mounted physiologic sensing forming within specifications. has never been able to quickly re- The system would notify pilots
(AMPS) technology, which cord the data for speeds that are and allow the breathing regulator
connects to the CRU-94 integrated relevant to physiology, Burch to take corrective action before
terminal block that sits about 18in
Fingers are being says. Also, even though technolo- the pilot or jet is compromised.
from the pilots mouth. pointed at the oxygen gy is not yet mature, the service The [SDBR] monitoring sys-
AMPS examines the oxygen system. But theres a has faced challenges getting moni- tems will access, predict, and ini-
concentration, gas flow, tempera- toring culturally accepted. tiate the flow of oxygen to the
ture and pressure in the breathing lot more going on in We have not really grown up pilot using external input param-
gas, whether through OBOGS or the cockpit in a flying world where its a part eters, the request says. The tac-
a liquid oxygen system. In early Rob Schaeffer of the weapon system, says tical version shall account for
June, Cobham delivered the first Environmental systems product director, Mayes. So part of us reaching out both altitude and acceleration-
sets to Wright-Patterson AFB, Cobham to groups like the test pilot school induced hypoxia and head-level
where validation and verification is to start to think about how pi- blood flow and blood oxygen
testing began. Preliminary tests Rob Schaeffer, product director lots can use this. changes.
show AMPS is still capable of for environmental systems at The USAF put pulse oximeters, Despite decades of testing on
sensing in a high-g environment, Cobham, told FlightGlobal at the which measure the amount of ox- oxygen systems, pilots are likely
which can often stress electron- companys Orchard Park, New ygen in the blood, on F-22 pilots, to always experience PE, Mayes
ics, says David Burch, a biomedi- York facility that before AMPS, but Schaeffer says Cobham wants says. Its hard for us to character-
cal engineer at the AFRL. no sensor looked at the pilots to go further, by taking a three- ise and mitigate an unknown
The oxygen sensor is an opti- breathing or overall health. So phase approach to the PE issue: something with an unknown
cal sensor, so any type of fluctua- the pilot for all intents and pur- monitor, predict and protect. cause, he says. So the first step
tion in the boards changes the poses has been the sensor. The monitoring phase starts in that is trying to define the
distance that the light has to go, AMPS collects data on the oxy- with the AMPS inhalation and cause. Once we have done that
he says. Were dealing with very gen concentration, but does not exhalation block, which collects Im optimistic AMPS will be an
sensitive components. Right now measure contaminants in the data on a large cross-section of pi- important part of that and we can
the system looks very good. OBOGS. Along with the sensor lots that should help the services move on to whats next, whether
Cobham first developed the in- blocks, Cobham created a digital draw conclusions on oxygen is- thats mitigation or training. 12-18 September 2017 | Flight International | 23

Keep up to date with business
aviation news and analysis at:


VistaJet expansion plan gets


Blackhawk wins
certification for
engine upgrade $200m investment support
U S engineering company and
aftermarket specialist Black-
Private equity backing will let company expand, with additional purchases due from 2019

hawk Modifications has received

US supplemental type certifica-
tion for its XP67A engine upgrade
L uxury charter operator VistaJet
has secured $200 million in
investment from the private eq-
on the Beechcraft King Air 350, uity firm Rhne Capital, as part of
and is working on similar approv- a strategy to strengthen its bal-
als for the 350ER and 300 variants ance sheet in preparation for fur-
of the twin-engined turboprop. ther expansion.
The upgrade replaces the The injection, which is made
types 1,050shp (783kW) Pratt & up of $150 million in cash and
Whitney Canada PT6A-60A en- $50 million in secondary acqui-
gines with 1,200shp PT6A-67As, sitions, gives Rhne a 7.5%

boosting maximum cruise speed stake in the Malta-headquartered
by up to 40kt (74km/h). company, which is valued at VIP operators 72-strong Bombardier fleet includes 29 Global 6000s
The re-engined twin can also more than $2.5 billion.
climb from sea level to 35,000ft in VistaJet founder and chairman six Challenger 850s, 10 Challeng- turnover for the first half of the
18min in hot conditions, says Thomas Flohr describes the deal er 605s and 21 Challenger 350s. It year, driven by the increasing
Blackhawk more than twice the as a major vote of confidence in will take delivery in mid-Septem- popularity of its subscription-
rate of the baseline model. the firms strategy and business ber of another Global 6000, mark- based programme. The flagship
The upgrade package includes model, and says it puts VistaJet ing the final aircraft from a 2014 service accounts for nearly two-
a five-blade composite propeller in a strong position to expand its order with the Canadian airfram- thirds of the companys revenues.
from German manufacturer MT, market share. er for 50 large-cabin, long-range Vistajet has also launched
which Blackhawk says delivers Flohr has no immediate plans and super-midsize aircraft. VistaJet Direct, a smartphone and
significant reductions in noise to spend the cash, however. We We dont expect to place an- desktop app that gives customers
and vibration levels while im- dont need the money now, he other order until 2019, says priority access to empty aircraft
proving overall performance. explains. The golden rule is to Flohr. Our current plan is to ex- and one-way flights at preferen-
Blackhawk is now adapting raise investment when you dont pand our service offering and to tial rates, for an annual member-
the XP67A upgrade for the King need it. continue to grow our customer ship fee of $10,000.
Air 350ER and 300, with certifi- VistaJet owns and operates 72 base. The existing fleet will ena- It is the only end-to-end book-
cation scheduled for late 2017 Bombardier business jets 29 ble us to do that. ing app in business aviation,
and early 2018, respectively. Global 6000s, six Global 5000s, VistaJet recorded a 30% rise in says Flohr.


Production-standard G600 makes maiden flight

G ulfstreams G600 business jet
has entered the final stages
of its certification campaign, fol-
with the maiden sortie of the first
prototype. The test fleet has
logged 800h across 180 flights,
lowing the debut flight of the fifth and the programme is on track to
and final test aircraft a produc- secure certification and service
tion-representative example fea- entry in the second half of 2018.
turing a full interior. The G600 was launched in Oc-
During the 2h 55min sortie on tober 2014 alongside the smaller
29 August, the large-cabin, long- and shorter-range G500, which is

range aircraft (N600G) reached an earmarked for service entry later

altitude of 51,000ft and a speed of this year. The pair feature Pratt &
Mach 0.8, the airframer says. The fifth airframe will be used to validate interior build and design Whitney Canada PW800 engines
The goal of including a pro- breaking from a half-century of
duction aircraft in our flight-test ment for our customers, says mance, so we can provide a cabin exclusive partnership with Rolls-
programme is to ensure we deliv- Gulfstream president Mark that exceeds expectations. Royce fly-by-wire controls and
er the most functional, comforta- Burns. Our extensive testing The G600 flight-test campaign an industry-first application of
ble and reliable cabin environ- will validate design and perfor- kicked off on 17 December 2016 active control sidesticks.

24 | Flight International | 12-18 September 2017

Master of the air
faces new threats
Fighters P26


One Aviation tests EA700 wing update

Adapted Eclipse testbed completes first outing with design, ahead of maiden sortie for VLJs largest variant next year

A n aerodynamic, proof-of-
concept wing intended for
One Aviations in-development
the aircraft to carry another 265 li-
tres (70USgal) of fuel. Upswept
wingtips will be also be added.
Eclipse EA700 very light jet (VLJ) Other improvements to the
has flown for the first time. The EA700 include a longer, lighter
structure was attached to a modi- cabin, thanks to a 35cm stretch to
fied EA500 testbed (N990NE) for the fuselage, and an extra win-
the 1h30min sortie performed on dow. Williams International
1 September. FJ33-5A-12 engines replace its

During the flight, One Aviation predecessors Pratt & Whitney
says its chief test pilot Jerry Canada PW610F turbofans, while
Chambers evaluated the experi- a Garmin 3000 flightdeck replac-

One Aviation
mental aircrafts manoeuvring es the EA550s IS&S installation.
and basic flying qualities at alti- The EA700 is projected to have
tudes up to 15,000ft. The VLJ per- Fuel tanks are moved to the wing root, lifting capacity by 265 litres a 1,470nm (2,720km) range
formed flawlessly and the test re- 320nm more than the current de-
sults were as expected, it says. The EA700, formerly known as ments that are being incorporated sign and will be able to climb to
Alan Klapmeier, chief execu- Project Canada, was launched in into the $3.6 million EA700, its 43,000ft operating ceiling in
tive of the Albuquerque, New 2016 as an upgraded version of which is expected to make its first just over half the time of the
Mexico-based airframer, calls the the EA550 the latest iteration of flight next year. The wing has $3million EA550.
debut sortie a key milestone in the EA500, which it will replace. been lengthened by 61cm (24in) Flight Fleets Analyzer lists a
the path to making a very good The wing is one of a handful of on each side and fuel tanks moved global fleet of about 300 EA500
airplane a great airplane. design changes and improve- from the tips to the root, to allow and EA550s.



New-generation Seastar rolled out Europe certifies

Supervan 900s
D ornier Seawings has rolled
out its first new-generation
Seastar amphibian, and is prepar-
came more than 26 years after the
original programme was moth-
balled due to financing problems.
ment, although the Dornier fami-
ly retains a minority stake.
The new aircraft boasts a num-
swept propeller
ing the twin-engined turboprop
for its maiden sortie in the first
half of 2019.
Despite the company securing
US and European certification in
1991 for the 1 2-seat model, no
ber of improvements over the
original. These include a rede-
signed and upgraded interior, a
T exas Turbine Conversions
(TTC) has secured European
supplemental type certification
The programme milestone was aircraft were ever delivered. Honeywell Primus Epic 2.0 avi- for the Hartzell four-bladed, light-
marked at a formal ceremony on The Seastar was acquired in onics suite, a stern hydro-thruster weight, composite, swept propel-
18 August at Dorniers German 2013 by Chinese companies for improved water manoeu- ler designed specifically for its
final assembly facility in Ober Wuxi Communications Industry vring, corrosion-resistant tricycle Supervan 900 single-engined tur-
pfaffenhoffen, near Munich. It and Wuxi Industrial Develop- landing gear, a hydraulic electri- boprop.
cally steerable nose gear, and five- Introduced in 2008, the Su-
blade composite propellers de- pervan is a re-engined version of
signed by MT. the Cessna 208 Caravan, featuring
Type certification for the up- a Honeywell TPE331-10/12JR
graded model is expected in 2020. turbine in place of the Pratt &
China is expected to be a key Whitney Canada PT6A-114/A.
market for the Seastar. Speaking The Denison, Texas-based en-
at the roll-out, Dornier Seawings gineering and modification com-
chief executive Amy Pan said pany secured US approval for the
that as the country opens up and new propeller in May.
develops, the Pratt & Whitney When coupled with the
Canada PT6A-135A-powered TPE331 engine, the propeller
Dornier Seawings

type will be able to seize oppor- generates up to 30% more static

tunities and play a significant thrust, cuts fuel consumption
role in the general aviation indus- and gives the aircraft a great per-
First flight of the 12-seat, twin-engined turboprop is due in 2019 try on a global scale. formance bump, says TTC. 12-18 September 2017 | Flight International | 25


STEPHEN TRIMBLE WASHINGTON DC thrust vectoring system. In 2011, China finally nally, radiation absorbent materials and a
revealed the AVIC Chengdu J-20, with a nose stealthy airframe design featuring leading

wenty years after the first flight of a and engine inlets resembling the Raptors. edges of the wings and horizontal tails set at
production aircraft on 7 September Meanwhile, in Germany, India, Japan, South the same angle that make the F-22 still the
1997, the Lockheed Martin F-22 Rap- Korea and Turkey fifth-generation fighters are hardest combat jet to track on radar.
tor remains unchallenged as the moving from drawing boards into early devel-
worlds top air superiority fighter. Remarka- opment stages. AIR SUPERIORITY
bly, the F-22 dominates despite some startling Still, no aircraft in production or develop- Newer aircraft designs, including the Lock-
gaps in its arsenal which are only now being ment yet combines the three capabilities that heed F-35, boast one or even two of these
addressed as the US Air Force looks to keep it make the F-22 stand out. Powerful Pratt & qualities, but none owns the F-22s unique
relevant beyond 2060. Whitney F119 engines can vector jet exhaust package of all three.
Nothing in the air seemed remotely compa- in the pitch axis and take it to Mach 1.5 with- After 20 years, the F-22 still rules the sky,
rable when the F-22 first flew over Marietta, out afterburners for more range. Integrated Air Combat Command (ACC) chief Gen Mike
Georgia, two decades ago, but the Raptor avionics fuse data from the Northrop Grum- Holmes tells FlightGlobal in an emailed state-
quickly inspired imitators. Russia unveiled man APG-77 radar and BAE Systems ALR-74 ment. Continuous updates and dedicated
the less stealthy but super-agile Sukhoi Su-57 electronic warfare suite on to a common dis- training have maintained that edge, but our ad-
formerly identified as the T-50 in 2010, fea- play, including inputs from the same sensors versaries are hard at work to close the gap. Fu-
turing internal weapons bays and a multi-axis on other F-22s via the intraflight data link. Fi- ture deterrence will depend on developing new

Master of the air

faces new threats
Lockheed Martins F-22 has been the worlds undisputed air superiority champion for
two decades. The US Air Force plans to make sure it rules the skies for years to come

26 | Flight International | 12-18 September 2017


ways to maintain Americas air advantage.

Despite that unequalled performance pack-
age, the F-22 achieved initial operational ca-
pability in December 2005 missing some ca-
pabilities a helmet-mounted cueing system
(HMCS) and infrared search and track (IRST)
sensor that even a decade ago counted as
standard equipment for a modern fighter. As
Lockheed delivered the last of 195 F-22s in
May 2012, those gaps remained unaddressed,
even as other USAF and US Navy fighters, in-
cluding Boeings F-15C and F/A-18E/F Super
Hornet, stood ahead of the F-22 in the queue
to receive the US militarys most advanced
air-to-air missiles: Raytheons extended-range

US Air Force
AIM-120D AMRAAM and back-flipping
AIM-9X Block II Sidewinder.
But the F-22s time is coming. Initial opera- Upgrades to keep Raptors combat-ready for the next 45 years are the USAFs next challenge

tional test and evaluation began in August on develop all of the requisite integration for the
Increment 3.2B, a software upgrade that will new system, and ultimately install all of the
finally add the AIM-120D and AIM-9X Block software and hardware modifications re-
II to its weapons stations, the F-22 programme quired to add the new capability to the air-
office confirms to FlightGlobal. Increment craft, the company tells FlightGlobal.
3.2B also improves the ALR-74s ability to ge- After Increment 3.2B and HMCS upgrades
olocate targets accurately based on their elec- are completed, the F-22 will continue operat-
tromagnetic emissions. The current schedule ing for decades. The F-35A achieved initial
calls for wrapping up testing by next April, operational capability last year and now the
then beginning installations on 150 F-22s USAF is studying how to field a penetrating
from mid-2019 to autumn 2022. counter-air (PCA) system by 2030, but the
As Increment 3.2B installations begin, the F-22 should remain in operation for decades
F-22 programme office plans to address more to come. The last F-22 is currently planned to
gaps in the F-22s technology. As of now, add- be retired after 2060, the ACC says.
ing a potentially radar signature-compromis- Keeping the aircraft relevant in combat for
ing IRST sensor to detect engine exhaust heat the next 45 years is the USAFs next challenge
from other aircraft is not on the priority list. with the F-22 fleet. As the aircraft approaches
When asked about an IRST upgrade, the pro- a 20-year anniversary of operational service in
gramme office responds: No new require- 2025, the USAF will be looking to launch a
ments or technology solutions have been de- potentially wide-ranging refresh of avionics,
termined or finalised at this time. sensors and weapons.
A funded requirement exists, however, to
add an HMCS to the F-22, allowing pilots to Continuous updates and
select targets by turning their heads rather dedicated training have
than the aircrafts nose. Adding the AIM-9X
Block II in mid-2019 would be compromised
maintained that edge, but our
by the lack of such technology, as the F-22 adversaries are hard at work
would be unable to exploit the weapons full Gen Mike Holmes
capabilities without helmet-mounted cueing. Commander, Air Combat Command
The USAF came close to funding an HMCS
upgrade in 2013, but budget cuts stopped the The F-22 will not require any major struc-
effort. tural upgrades to operate out to [2060] and
Updated HMCS capability requirements Air Combat Command has a notional plan for
will be developed and finalised in 2018 in an F-22 mid-life update [MLU] around the
preparation for a pre-engineering and manu- 2024 timeframe, Lockheed tells FlightGlob-
facturing development programme start in al. The USAF releases long-term budget plans
early 2019, the programme office says. in six-year increments, so no such require-
The final decision for selecting the HMCS ment appears in the most recent spending
could be delegated to the F-22s prime con- roadmap.
tractor, according to Lockheed. The ACC confirms, however, that an MLU
As product support integrator for the F-22, for the F-22 is possible within a decade.
Lockheed Martin would be tasked by the air We are in the beginning stages of looking
forces F-22 system programme office to run at mid-life upgrade options, the ACC says.
Twenty years after first flight, a fleet size
US Air Force

the competition, evaluate the various prod- They will likely entail computer hardware,
of just 183 is the F-22s main limitation
ucts submitted, select the winning design, avionics and sensors, along with a detailed 12-18 September 2017 | Flight International | 27

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analysis of the supportability of the sys-

tems and sub-systems.
Of course, the PCA programme is likely to
draw on multiple research and technology ef-
forts under way by industry and the Air Force
Research Laboratory, including adaptive
cycle engines, directed energy weapons and
so-called sixth-generation missiles. How such
technologies will be applied to the U SAFs
existing stealth fleet, including the F-35A and
F-22, remain to be seen. So far, the service has
made no commitments.
Incorporating such technologies in the
F-22 implies extensive design changes. Some
concepts for sixth-generation missiles incor-
porate MBDA Meteor-style variable-flow
ducted rockets (VFDR), for example, with sig-
nificantly wider missile body diameters than
the tightly packed, six AIM-120s inside the
F-22s weapons bay. But the USAF remains
open to any changes that the ACC requires.
Should the air force choose to pursue this
requirement and its integration on to the F-22,
the [system programme office] would follow

US Air Force
our standard process for integrating new
weapons capabilities on to the airframe, to in-
clude VFDR technology accommodation, if New armaments including sixth-generation missiles could dictate a weapons bay redesign
appropriate, the programme office says.
If the F-22 fleet suffers from any gaps in air- intermediate-range strike. But the early stud- outlined in a 23 December 2004 memoran-
to-air technology today, the USAF is yet to ies evolved as the Soviet Union introduced dum called PBD 753, the then-defence secre-
have been tested. When a Syrian Sukhoi Su-22 the Su-27 and RAC MiG-29 to counter the tary, Donald Rumsfeld, cut F-22 production
was shot down in June 2017, becoming the US F-15 and Lockheed F-16. The USAF diverted to 183, nearly matching the 180 units recom-
militarys first air-to-air kill of a manned air- the strike mission to the stealthy Lockheed mended in the 2002 guidance document,
craft since 1999, the credit belonged to an F-117 and the F-15E, while the advanced tac- with a few units tacked on to maintain full-
F/A-18E pilot. But the F-22 has hardly been tical fighter programme concentrated on de- rate production on the final assembly line.
idle. Of 238,533 flight hours logged by F-22s veloping a dominant air superiority fighter. Today, the F-22 production fleet still
since December 2005, nearly 5% 11,583h stands at 183 aircraft, despite three aircraft
occurred in combat, according to data the ACC BUDGET PRESSURE lost to crashes throughout the history of the
provided in mid-August. A decade after the USAF selected the F-22 in programme. That number includes 137 com-
1991, however, the programme faced a budg- bat-coded F-22s, 15 test aircraft and 31 train-
Air Combat Command has etary crisis. In a relatively lean era for defence ing aircraft.
spending, Congress mandated a buy-to-budg- Twenty years after first flight, it is fleet
a notional plan for an F-22 et strategy for the F-22 programme, which size more than any lack of weapon or sen-
mid-life update around the meant any increases in development costs sor capability that is the F-22s biggest
had to be funded by debits to the production combat limitation. In 2012, Lockheed care-
2024 timeframe accounts. That legal constraint set up a down- fully placed each piece of production tool-
Lockheed Martin ward spiral of rising costs and declining ing in storage, with video recordings of ma-
quantities, as the programme of record con- chinists explaining how each part of the
The F-22s sensors allow it to play a role tracted from 750 aircraft in 1991 to 341 a dec- F-22 comes together. But any hope of re-
that USAF officials have likened to an Ameri- ade later. By 2002, a new Defense Planning starting production has faded. The USAF
can football quarterback, designating targets Guidance recommended cutting production concluded three months ago that such a
and directing other aircraft in to strike. to 180. In response, USAF leaders then-sec- move was unaffordable, at $50 billion to
In other cases, F-22 pilots act alone. The retary of the air force James Roche and chief build 194 more F-22s.
air superiority fighter has dropped 1,171 of staff Gen John Jumper reintroduced the Instead, the USAF is making do with exist-
bombs in anger either 907kg (2,000lb) Raptor as the F/A-22. ing resources. The single F-22 kept in flyable
GBU-32 Boeing JDAM munitions or 113kg This newly dual-role aircraft would re- storage is now being upgraded to return to ser-
GBU-39 Boeing small diameter bombs to- ceive billions of dollars of new investment to vice as a test aircraft, raising that portion of the
talling 422,000kg of ordnance. add a capability to carry eight GBU-39s inter- fleet to 16 aircraft. In addition to 137 combat-
The F-22s prowess in the air-to-ground nally and a ground moving target indicator coded F-22s upgraded to Block 30/35 aircraft,
role comes from a historically circuitous lega- mode to the APG-77. Those capabilities 13 of the Block 20 F-22s used for training and
cy. The programme that led to the F-22 actu- made the F-22 more relevant in operations testing are being upgraded to the more capable
ally started in the early 1970s as studies for a over Syria, but in 2004 it was not enough to Block 30/35 standard. The last three Block
new aircraft to replace the Republic F-105 spare the programme from further budget 30/35 conversions will be complete by the
and General Dynamics F-111 two masters of cutbacks. In a sweeping cost reduction plan end of the year, according to the ACC. 12-18 September 2017 | Flight International | 29


A Shaping
s the US Air Force approaches pro-
duction on its Northrop Grumman
B-21 bomber and eyes full opera-
tional capability for its Lockheed

its future
Martin F-35A, the service is examining the
future of air superiority with its next-genera-
tion air dominance (NGAD) concept.
Last April, the USAF wrapped up its 2030
air superiority study, which assessed its limi-
tations against future airpower threats. While
the study did not name particular adversaries,
the document included a picture of Chinas
AVIC Chengdu J-20 stealth fighter. More For the US Air Force, total air domination is a strategic
broadly, the USAF has warned against the
growing threats in an increasingly complex
imperative so identifying the technologies it needs to
anti-access/area denial environment. outclass rising threats beyond 2030 is an urgent mission
The study, led by Brig Gen Alexus
Grynch Grynkewich, also criticised tradi-
tional platform-based acquisition practices, LEIGH GIANGRECO WASHINGTON DC The gaps identified in the study have al-
instead favouring a strategy to develop proto- ready allowed the USAF to shift its resources
types that can be transitioned into develop- in NGAD. In the presidents proposed fiscal towards areas that will enable future air su-
ment as they mature. year 2018 defence budget, the programme periority, says Col Tom Coglitore, concept
picked up some research and development development lead for the Air Superiority
VOTE OF CONFIDENCE steam. The USAF proposed a significant in- 2030 effort. That is evident in the FY2018
Even with the unorthodox acquisition prac- crease to NGAD, from $21 million in FY2017 budget and will allow the air force to plan 30
tices of US President Donald Trump, who to $294 million in FY2018. years out, he says.
has ruffled the feathers of both Boeing and With the 2030 study completed, the air force Both the USAF and industry have used the
Lockheed executives with his critiques of is now in the middle of the NGAD analysis of phrases NGAD and PCA penetrating coun-
the Air Force One recapitalisation and the alternatives (AOA). The additional research ter-air almost interchangeably to describe
F-35 programme, the administration appears funding will allow the service to analyse future the air dominance concept, though service of-
to have invested its confidence and dollars threats, informed by the 2030 study. ficials only recently clarified the semantics.

30 | Flight International | 12-18 September 2017


late where the programme is heading. Unlike Whether or not that future fighter would
past USAF fighter jet acquisitions, NGAD have those features is to be determined, Bob
may not shape up to be one fighter-type plat- Ruszkowski, director of air dominance and
form. Over the past year, Grynkewich es- strike systems at Lockheeds Skunk Works,
chewed both the terms fighter and sixth- tells FlightGlobal. Although I think you could
generation platform. That may also hint at an safely say that aircraft that have enhanced sur-
effort to distinguish PCA from the maligned vivable characteristics, many of them dont
F-35 programme. have tails. Were in the midst of exploring
Grynkewich told reporters that PCAs re- these different technologies the illustration is
quirements as an air superiority platform, more or less to spark the imagination.
rather than an air-to-ground aircraft, would PCAs range will outstrip an F-22s, but
make it more difficult to find commonality Grynkewich is not sure whether its range
across the services. would be greater than that of a bomber. He
also referred to his ideal platform as a sensor
The nuance is, as youre shooter, which would allow salvos not only
from PCA, but would also enable any standoff
standing off with your weapon in the air forces inventory.
vehicle, youre still seeing When we think about air superiority, we
deep with your sensors dont think about fighter jet combat any-
more, Grynkewich told an audience on Capi-
Dave Bujold
Fixed-wing programme director, Boeing Phantom Works tol Hill in July. We need to think about how
its a network of capabilities that come togeth-
er in order to achieve that air superiority. If
In an air superiority mission, its funda- technology was at the point where you could
mentally a different set of problems, he says. just make one system that could do all of that
So for the navy its about fleet defence, some in some package, like the Death Star or some-
limited power projection. For the air force, its thing, maybe youd want to do that, maybe
how do I go wherever I need to go in the you wouldnt.
world, and I need air superiority to do that.
This Lockheed Martin concept is a spark
Lockheed Martin

for imagination rather than a hard clue

While he admits the future platform may FRESH APPROACH
end up with an F designation in the end, he Depending on the AOAs outcome in a years
as to the appearance of a future fighter
says PCAs range, persistence and lethality time, PCA could step back from previous
will not look like todays fighters, which still fighters emphasis on stealth. Rather than
Specifically, the term penetrating in the embrace 20th-century warfare tactics. focus on stealth alone, as the air force has
counter-air description appears antithetical to USAF officials still have not identified with the F-22 and F-35, PCA could gravitate
the air forces characterisation of the aircraft where PCA fits in such as whether it could toward a mix of capabilities, such as speed
as a standoff platform. look more like a fighter or a bomber al- and electronic warfare, which complement
The nuance is, as youre standing off with though longer range and survivability will re- each other.
your vehicle, youre still seeing deep with main key attributes. Both Boeing and Lock- Coglitores comments echoed the ECCT
your sensors, Dave Bujold, director of fixed- heed NGAD concept art feature tailless studys critical look at recent USAF procure-
wing programmes for Boeing Phantom supersonic aircraft, but the companies say ments and seem to point to an NGAD concept
Works, tells FlightGlobal. I think thats what that is just one option. that will break away from the traditional devel-
theyre really talking about when they talk
about a standoff capability on NGAD.
NGAD has always referred to the pro-
gramme element in the budget as well as the
AOA, which will determine attributes for
PCA, Coglitore says. There are several capa-
bilities within the NGAD concept, and PCA is
one of them, he says. PCA will provide a full
spectrum of operations, from high- to low-
end, so the concept could pursue both stand-
off and a stand-in capability, he adds.
When Grynch speaks, he doesnt talk
about specific platforms, Coglitore says. We
usually talk about a family of capabilities
which came out of the ECCT [air superiority
enterprise capability collaboration] team, that
he led, so there are several different capabili-
ties. PCA is one of those.
Although the air forces quibble over names
looks like another example of Washingtons

acronym alphabet soup, the slippery charac-

terisation of PCA or NGAD seems to encapsu- Like its rival Lockheed Martin, Boeing is exploring tailless concepts for enhanced survivability 12-18 September 2017 Flight International | 31

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opment cycle that has characterised the

services recent fighter and bomber acquisi-
tions. Coglitore has also said NGAD could be
more than one platform. The ECCT flightplan
included Air Force Research Laboratory un-
manned air vehicle concepts, such as the Low
Cost Attritable Strike Demonstration and the
Pentagon Strategic Capabilities Offices Arse-
nal Plane concept, which could take an aircraft
like the Boeing B-52 out of inventory to create
a larger airborne magazine.
If you look at the capability were looking
to pursue, its more than just a fighter. I look at
it more as a weapons or sensor truck, he
says. Those folks who say its a fighter are
looking at it old school versus how we have

looked at it for several years now.
Ruszkowski says the jury is out on PCAs
configuration until the AOA is revealed. But he
still sees fighters as part of the USAFs future
and envisages them working in concert with
unmanned platforms. However, he does not be- The USAF is concerned with growing and increasingly complex threats, such as Chinas J-20
lieve the air force is ready to employ a Loyal
Wingman a concept that aims to multiply a that direct energy could bring to an aircraft, improve upon whatever platforms exist.
manned fighters capabilities by teaming it with Coglitore says the service wants to chase gaps As with all AOAs, the air force is weighing
an autonomous jet as part of PCA. in capabilities, not technologies. There is no up whether to include legacy systems or even
requirement to field a laser on an aircraft for change concepts of operations for the next-
DEVELOPMENT NEED the NGAD concept, but the AOA will help de- generation air dominance concept. But the
They have a long way to go, not only on the termine how easily those technologies could defence industry, which is also providing the
military side but on the civilian side, to be be integrated onto a platform, he adds. air force feedback on the AOA, seems keener
able to train more freely with unmanned sys- As part of the USAFs effort to break away to capture another major defence acquisition
tems, he says. Theres a lot of work going on from tired acquisition practices, the services programme than update existing systems.
with unmanned regulations with the FAA. head of Air Combat Command hinted at a If you look at how they do AOA, they look
You have to be able to train with those sys- rapid acquisition plan for PCA earlier this year. at doing things as surprisingly simple as
tems, and to be able to train you have to more That plan would allow the air force to pur- changing the doctrine to see if they can ac-
readily transit civil airspace. chase PCA aircraft in batches and add capabili- complish the mission, or doing better train-
As the USAF examines which technologies ties, such as directed energy, along the way. ing, Bujold says. Theyre [also] looking at a
could buy their way onto a platform by 2030, I want directed energy as soon as I can get material option, and Boeing stands ready to
the service is also taking a critical look at it and as soon as it works. Not a moment be- support the decision to go after a new materi-
some of the capabilities that have been just fore and not a moment after, Grynkewich al option.
around the corner for decades. While the air says. When that moment happens, we need For Lockheed, the AOA might bring out the
force has long sought the unlimited magazine to have in place the ability to incrementally possibility of enhancing existing F-35s. Al-
though some have characterised PCA as an
F-22 replacement, pointing to its emphasis on
air superiority, Ruszkowski believes that is a
narrow approach. Although he will not com-
ment on PCA directly, he says the F-35 is not
primarily an air-to-ground machine.
F-35 is going to have a long service life
and it will be modified over time: capabilities
will be added to it, he says. There might be
more in the future whether the aircraft
could be modified to fill other mission roles, I
think thats to be determined depending on
how requirements unfold.
Boeing is also leveraging its expertise from its
work on the missions systems on both the F-22
and the F-15 for its PCA venture. In May, Boe-
ing officials hinted that technology developed
on the Advanced Eagle could make its way onto
PCA. Boeings bid would not necessarily have
US Air Force

the same outer mould line, but it would lever-

age the F-15s updated mission computers and
One possibility for the services future capability could be an enhanced version of the F-35A advanced radars, Bujold says. 12-18 September 2017 | Flight International | 33


Big twins twilight?

With an ageing fleet, competition from newer types and poor prospects for freighter
conversions, a growing number of parked 777s are heading only for the scrapyard

ELLIS TAYLOR SINGAPORE There was little indication airworthy air- The supply of used 777s without operators
craft with life left were trading at such levels, has been growing over the past year, with All

lthough there have been some however. Values for the type have yet to reach Nippon Airways, China Southern Airlines,
small signs of life, a growing num- that level, but Flight Values Analyzer data Emirates and Singapore Airlines already
ber of Boeing 777-200s and -300s shows that the 777-200ERs values have de- drawing down their 777 Classic fleets. More
appear to be headed for the scrap- clined faster than other twin-engined wide- carriers could also dump aircraft in the com-
yard amid rising supply and poor interest in bodies down about 45% since January ing year, with Flight Fleets Analyzer indicat-
the secondary market. 2014. That compares with declines of about ing that at least 23 aircraft will come to the
It has been a tough few years for the wide- 30% for 767s and Airbus A330s over the end of their leases in 2018.
body twin, with availability of -200/-200ERs same period. Some aircraft have been picked up by Boe-
and -300s rising following Malaysia Airlines ing Capital Corporation. Fleets Analyzer
dumping of its 777-200ERs in 2015 and the LIMITED MARKET shows that between August 2015 and the end
collapse of Transaero in the same year. Still, a A large factor in that is the lack of a major sec- of July it will have bought four 777-200s, and
number of those aircraft were picked up by ondary operator for 777-200s and -300s. A is also scheduled to take three aircraft from
other Russian operators, such as VIM Airlines small number have transitioned to budget, China Southern Airlines.
and Rossiya. charter and ACMI operators, but these are ex- While Boeing Capital has managed to tran-
The situation was not helped when, the ceptions rather than the rule. sition some of those aircraft to new operators,
same year, Delta Air Lines then-chairman Clearly the relative illiquidity of these it has also retired two jets, and to date 43 Clas-
and chief executive, Richard Anderson, said types in todays market has had a significant sic 777s have been retired, representing 7.5%
his airline had been offered 777-200s for less impact on values, says Flight Ascend Con- of the fleet.
than $10 million. sultancy head of consultancy Rob Morris. This is not unnatural given that the 777-200

Emirates is among a number of carriers


which have begun reducing the size of

their 777 fleets over the past year

34 | Flight International | 12-18 September 2017


fleet age ranges from three to 22 years, which Boeing 777 in-service fleet 1995-2017
places the older aircraft at the inflexion point of
In-service fleet
the widebody survivor curve, says Morris.
Although the trend for the 777 Classic is
towards retirement and part-out, some full-
service carriers still see life in the type. 1,200
British Airways and United Airlines have
both announced major cabin refits for their 900
777-200s and -200ERs. Fleets Analyzer shows
that a number of 777-200s coming to the end 600
of their leases over the next few years with
Air France and KLM look to be likely candi-
dates for lease extensions.
From next year, Cathay Pacific will take five
ex-Emirates 777-300s it has bought from Aer- 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
199 199 199 199 199 200 200 200 200 200 200 200 200 200 200 201 201 201 201 201 201 201 201
Cap to replace its five 777-200s. They will join
Source: Flight Ascend Consultancy
12 other -300s in its fleet, with all 17 aircraft
powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 800 engines. 777-200/ER/LR 777-300/ER 777F

Those aircraft will be reconfigured to in-

crease their capacity to 396 seats and will be de-
ployed on regional services. The upgauging will Boeing 777 parked fleet 1995-2017
be achieved largely through switching the econ-
Parked fleet
omy cabin from a 3-3-3 seating layout to 3-4-3.
Morris expects that the Cathay transaction
is likely to be a one-off, driven by a desire to 70
increase capacity on regional routes amid a
dearth of slots at Hong Kong International air-
port over the next few years. 50
Asahi Aviation also recently brokered the 40
sale of another Trent-powered 777-300 on be-
half of a Japanese investor. While the new
owners identity was not disclosed, Asahi told 20
FlightGlobal that it intends to offer it for lease.
Some carriers have also chosen to increase
the seating density of their 777-200s, which 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
199 199 199 199 199 200 200 200 200 200 200 200 200 200 200 201 201 201 201 201 201 201 201
lowers the types unit costs. Scoots 777-
Source: Flight Ascend Consultancy
200ERs, which have now been replaced by
787s, operated with 402 seats in a dual-class 777-200/ER/LR 777-300/ER 777F

layout close to the capacity of most 747-400s.

But those cabin changes do not come
cheaply. One industry source tells Flight- er-by-the-hour agreements. Nonetheless, one In the OEMs absence, Israel Aerospace In-
Global that the cost is about $10 million per source notes that as more Trent-powered aircraft dustries (IAI) Bedek division has stepped in.
aircraft, and that has to be weighed against the are parted-out, it is possible that more engines In April, it announced that it had secured a
expected operating life. with green time on them could enter the market. launch customer for its planned 777 freighter
conversion line. Although the customers
The relative illiquidity of TRENT LONGEVITY name has not been disclosed, IAI expects the
Ascend senior analyst Richard Evans points first conversion will be completed by mid-
these types in todays market out that fewer Trent-powered aircraft have 2020, based on the expectation that a contract
has had a significant impact been scrapped. Proportionately more P&W would be signed at mid-year, with develop-
on values aircraft have been parted-out, which may ment taking three years.
reflect trading of engines, and help lower While significant, many observers feel that
Rob Morris
Head of consultancy, Flight Ascend Consultancy overhaul costs, he says. the 777 converted freighter will face a number
Most widebody types have historically of challenges. The first will be replacing the
found a second life as freighters, but so far composite floor beams with steel ones to
Added to that are complications around the there has been little progress on a conversion allow it to carry freight.
Classics engine choice. The majority of the programme for Classic 777s. Then, there is a big question mark over
aircraft are fitted with Trent 800s, but GE Avia- Boeing started studies in 2008 for a poten- who will take the aircraft, given an environ-
tion GE90s and Pratt & Whitney PW4000s tial conversion programme, which could see ment where Boeing is fighting hard to sell
were also offered. For some potential opera- it offer a converted 777-200ER with a payload new-build 777-200LRFs and 747-8Fs.
tors, that makes it difficult to source aircraft of about 81t significantly lower than the That leaves the future of the 777 Classic
with the same engines. 103t payload of the 777-200LR Freighter. fleet looking rather bleak, particularly as more
The industry has also been critical of what it That study appears to have gone nowhere, efficient and capable aircraft continue to push
sees as inflexibilities and high costs for most of with concerns about issues of cost, timing and them out of the global fleet. Clearly, the type
the Trent engines that have been tied into pow- suitable feedstock of aircraft for conversion. is heading rapidly into its twilight years. 12-18 September 2017 | Flight International | 35


Editors reply: Thanks to Mr

CONCORDE Davis for pointing this out.
A missed market opportunity? Al Blackman did indeed start his
career with American Export
I have just finished reading an excellent book Concorde: New Airlines (part of the American
We welcome your letters on any
aspect of the aerospace industry.
Shape in the Sky. Export Lines shipping company).
Please write to: As we all know, this aircraft failed to sell as anticipated. Apart The airline was absorbed into
The Editor, Flight International, from a single reference to its possible use as a transatlantic American Airlines at the end of
Quadrant House, The Quadrant, parcel carrier with FedEx, there is no mention of it being devel- the war, so Mr Blackmans
Sutton, Surrey, SM2 5AS, UK oped for other markets, as is common with todays commercial service has been continuous.
Or email: airliners. Was there ever any consideration to a military application?
The opinions on this page do not John Davies Cheaper option
necessarily represent those of the editor.
Letters without a full postal address sup-
Barrow-upon-Humber, UK In your flight test of the Cirrus
plied may not be published. Letters may SF50 Vision (Flight Internation-
also be published on al, 22 August-4 September), you
and must be no longer than 250 words. say that the aircraft is the cheap-
est jet on the market, with a price
tag of $2.3 million. This is true
Plotting a path for the market segment the Vi-
sion is aimed at, but it costs far
for good cause more than the Sonex Aircraft-
Theres an interesting trend produced SubSonex kit-plane.
among operators and manufac- This single-seat jet can be built
turers, where they use applica- and flown for around 100,000
tions like Flightradar24 and ($130,000).
FlightAware to get the attention Steve Moody
of users and the media by flying a Leamington Spa, UK
unique flight pattern.

We have seen this recently
with Boeing plotting a 787 over High definition
the USA, and a pilot flying a very In his response to my letter about
creative flightpath across New Could Concorde have been adapted for military purposes? the meaning of the word over-
Zealands Northland region to sight (Flight International, 8-14
raise awareness of prostate and August) Alan Curry is quoting
testicular cancer. Many of the children had never irlines. The carrier never had
A from the 2004, 11th edition (and
We also had Air New Zealand been on an aircraft before, let flying boats, so one presumes highly abbreviated) Concise
on 3 September operating a spe- alone the Dreamliner, and this that his first employer was Amer- Oxford English Dictionary.
cial 787-9 flight on behalf of local gave these brave kids the chance ican Export Airlines, about the If he were to refer to the more
charity Koru Care which it has to experience the excitement of time it started transatlantic ser- comprehensive, two-volume
been supporting for more than 30 flying. vice with the Vought-Sikorsky Shorter OED (or the 20 volumes
years. The aircraft took 50 chil- Peter Clark VS-44 in June 1942. of the full OED) he would appre-
dren with critical medical condi- Auckland, New Zealand AEA became American ciate that there are indeed two
tions, such as cancer and heart Overseas Airlines (AOA) in No- meanings of the word oversight.
disease, on a mystery journey vember 1945, and a month later He might also consult the Oxford
that drew a 237nm (440km)-long Staying fitter was merged into American Air- Dictionary online to be similarly
and 260nm-wide heart shape Regarding the piece in Straight & lines. AOA continued to fly the enlightened.
across New Zealand. Level (Flight International, 1-7 Atlantic as such until American Incidentally, there is no such
In a global first, the airline says August) detailing Al Blackmans sold the operation to Pan thing as an American version
it live-streamed the top-secret 75 years as a fitter: technically American in September 1950. of the OED only British original
route in partnership with Flight- his job may have always been the Evidently Mr Blackman texts printed in the USA, for sale
radar24, and gradually revealed same and he never had to fill out remained with American. in the USA.
the heart-shaped flight plan a second application, but it was John Davis Malcolm Bowden
during a Facebook Live broadcast. not always with American Wichita, Kansas, USA via email

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PlaneCutaway.indd 1 09/02/2017 12:28

36 | Flight International | 12-18 September 2017

From yuckspeak to tales of yore, send your offcuts to

An image thats

hard to shake off Staying in
I have only 30 bottles of
As if pranging a Bombardier spirits in the place,
Q400 by prematurely retracting declared an off-
the landing-gear wasnt licence holder in
embarrassing enough, Google an East End
Maps appears set to prolong the suburb last
pilots discomfort in its latest week. The chief reason for
landscape update. his depleted stock was the
The Luxair Q400 involved in increased demand for
the mishap during take-off stimulants for consumption
from Saarbrcken on 30 at home resulting from the
September 2015 is clearly Ever get the feeling youre being looked down upon? air raids.
shown in the aerial photos of the
airport, being attended by Weighty matters
emergency vehicles after it The British Minister of
skidded to a wheel-less halt on Early to bed Production was able to tell
the runway. Investigators found Think airline lie-flat beds are America that, on
the hapless pilot had been a bit new? This photo posted by this basis [per
too quick on the draw with the Croydon airport Londons head of
landing-gear lever as the main gateway in the 1930s and population],
turboprop departed for now a listed terminal and Britain had produced
Hamburg. Probably not one for museum shows an Imperial approximately twice the
the family album. Airways de Havilland DH.91 weight of combat aircraft

Croydon Airport
Albatross from 1938 outfitted for that they had during the
transatlantic horizontal comfort. first quarter of the
Flying solo Sadly, the war put paid to the presentyear.
Did Captain Speaking mean this development. Daddy, I cant get on Snapchat
as a profound Brexit-Britain Linking Pakistan
statement as our aircraft began After the emergency landing, It was announced in
its approach over the North Sea Sea Furys back the Trust launched an appeal to Rawalpindi on September 4
to Stansted? Now Europe is The Fly Navy Heritage Trusts buy a new Bristol Centaurus 18. that Pakistan
behind us, we are descending repowered Hawker Sea Fury plans to
into the United Kingdom. T20 has returned to flight, three establish a
years after an engine failure Reconnected communications
compelled pilot Lt Cdr Chris It is a quarter of a century since satellite link between its
South-wet Gotke to make a belly landing the British Airways dirty tricks widely separated provinces
When Houstons William P during the RNAS Culdrose Air scandal, so it is nice to see that of East and West Pakistan,
Hobby airport was hit by Day, for which he was awarded there has been rapprochement thus becoming the only
Hurricane Harvey, it forced base the Air Force Cross. with Sir Richard Bransons country except Japan to use
carriers including Southwest to The Royal Navy Historic empire. The wi-fi provider in a satellite for internal
make dramatic changes to their Flight-operated aircraft, the BA lounge at Gatwick? None communications.
operations. However, we developed in the war and the other than Virgin.
suspect this particular image is navys last propeller-powered Flat Farnborough
probably what a certain fighter returned to the skies at Like most of the interesting
president would call fake nooz. North Weald on 1 September. Armageddon off aircraft at the show,
If you ever fancied experiencing Farnborough 92
a North Korean air show, last never really got
year may have been your only off the ground.
chance. After launching in 2016, Exhibitors and
the Wonsan International Air visitors wearied by the
Festival was due to take place recession talked about
again on 23-24 September, future business more in
featuring aircraft from flag- hope than in expectation.
carrier Air Koryo, Korean
Peoples Army Air Force jets 100-YEAR ARCHIVE
and a national beer showcase, Every issue of Flight
no less. Its website remains live, from 1909 onwards
but reports say the event has can be viewed online at
been cancelled for geopolitical
No-frills on floats: how airline might have dealt with flooding reasons. 12-18 September 2017 | Flight International | 37



23-26 September
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38 | Flight International | 12-18 September 2017



Set for the long haul at Lufthansa

As a captain and instructor with the German flag carrier, Cordula Pflaum regularly flies the newest
additions to the fleet and trains other pilots in the finer points of a constantly changing profession

Have you always wanted to be roles to perform, such as manag-

apilot? ing regulations and monitoring
Since I was 11 years old and I the boarding process. For exam-
was determined to follow ple, if the pilot sees that the flight
thatdream. time is 20min shorter than ex-
Tell us about your career to date pected, he/she can decide to
I started at the age of 19 with Luf- delay the departure with the
thansa Aviation Training in Ger- co-operation of the hub control
many. A two-year training period centre and air traffic control in
followed in Bremen and Good- order to load late baggage onto
year, Arizona, USA. I then be- the aircraft. Instances of diver-
came first officer with Lufthansa sion landings due to unruly pas-
with ratings on the Airbus A320, sengers or medical cases are also
A310 and A300. A short stint as on the rise. The final decision to
senior first officer on the Boeing divert the aircraft is always taken
MD-11 offered an insight into fly- by the pilot. Fatigue risk man-
ing for Lufthansa Cargo. I ob- agement is becoming an increas-
tained my upgrade to command- ingly important issue as the
er in 2005 on the A320. After ranges of long-haul aircraft ex-
three years of flying as captain pand and maximum flight times
for Condor Berlin, I was promot- for pilots grow. The commander
ed to long-haul on A330/A340s has to take care of himself and
at Lufthansa, based in Munich. his crew.
In 2009 I was selected by the air- Lufthansa Where do you see your career 10
line as type rating instructor and Among other roles, Pflaum is an examiner on several Airbus types years from now?
type rating examiner on the In 10 years time I will be 57
A330/A340-300 and -600. Dur- What aircraft has been most years old. If I am still in good
ing this time I was part of the enjoyable to fly?
As the A350s first shape and pass my medicals
start-up team for enrolling Luf- The A350. It has the most ad- female long-haul with no problems, I will be work-
thansas first A350. vanced interface structure of any check captain I ing in the same field. I would like
What have been the highlights? model I have experienced so far. to be even more involved in the
Inducting the A350 into the Luft Tell us about your current role? enjoyed receiving the process of developing and moni-
hansa fleet. As the airliners first At the moment I fulfil several type rating at Airbus toring the training standards for
female long-haul check captain I functions at the company. I pilots at Lufthansa, for example
enjoyed receiving the type rating mainly work as captain, instruc- as chief training captain. n
at Airbus in Toulouse. Today we tor and examiner on the A330, dent stress management team Looking for a job in aerospace?
operate four of the type. A340-600 and A350, but I also from the Mayday Foundation as Check out our listings online at
What have been the lowlights? work as a trainer and supervisor a co-ordinator in crisis interven-
When I finished my training in in the advanced human factors tion, to help crews deal with in-
1992, Lufthansa had frozen pilot department at Lufthansa Avia- cidents that have happened at If you would like to feature in
recruitment due to the Iraq war. tion Training. Here I teach lead- work. Working Week, or you know
This freeze lasted for over two ership and customer relationship What are the key challenges someone who does, email
years, so I wasnt able to start fly- management skills to flightcrews facing commercial airline pilots your pitch to kate.sarsfield@
ing with the airline until the end from a host of airlines. Last but today?
of 1994. not least, I support the crisis inci- Nowadays pilots have many

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PlaneCutaway.indd 1 09/02/2017 11:46 12-18 September 2017 | Flight International | 43