Aviation News – Aviation Voice https://aviationvoice.com Fri, 16 Mar 2018 13:38:38 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.4 Healthy Projections For The 787 Aftermarket https://aviationvoice.com/healthy-projections-for-the-787-aftermarket-2-201803161538/ Fri, 16 Mar 2018 13:38:38 +0000 https://aviationvoice.com/?p=20713 Being a new generation aircraft, it is a a long-held belief that the Boeing 787 will be a lot less maintenance-intensive than some of its older predecessors.

It was indeed once stated on these pages that while Boeing designed the 787 to do many things, boosting revenues for aftermarket providers was not one of them.

However, with the sheer number of the aircraft set to enter into service over the next decade, estimated to stand at 2,317 units in service by 2027 by Aviation Week’s Fleet & MRO Forecast, the 787 will still see a healthy year on year compound annual growth rate for MRO of 18.9% annually.

While MRO demand will grow less than that of its competitor the Airbus A350 (26.3%), the aircraft is estimated to have nearly 1,000 more aircraft in service by 2027. Among the largest operators by then will be Japan’s All Nippon Airways in Asia Pacific, Qatar Airways in the Middle East and United Airlines in North America.

Engine maintenance is expected to account for the largest share of MRO work conducted on the aircraft, accounting for 28% ($17 billion) of spend from now until 2027. This work will center on the 787’s two competing engine options – GE Aviation’s GEnx and Rolls-Royce’s Trent 1000. More opportunities could lie in line maintenance and components work, which account for 27% and 24% respectively.

The aftermarket ambitions of its manufacturer Boeing are well documented, with a $50 million play targeted over the next decade. So far, the OEM appears on the right track. In its most recent financial results published in late-January 2018, the company saw an estimated 3%-5% annual growth in the division, taking its overall aftermarket sales to $14.6 billion for the year.

Given the air of inevitability of airframe manufacturers like Boeing and its rival Airbus in taking a bigger share of the aftermarket, the role of independent providers for aircraft such as the 787 has been a recurring topic of discussion in recent times.

One route seen so far has been some independent MROs joining forces with the OEM on its Boeing Global Services network, with the likes of Monarch Aircraft Engineering and Magnetic MRO two of several providers offering 787 base and line maintenance services.

Others operating outside of Boeing’s aftermarket program also see promise in the 787 aftermarket, with the likes of Joramco adding a string of maintenance capabilities for the aircraft last year.

]]> U.S. Military Helicopter Crashes in Iraq https://aviationvoice.com/u-s-military-helicopter-crashes-in-iraq-3-201803161520/ Fri, 16 Mar 2018 13:20:09 +0000 https://aviationvoice.com/?p=20708 A U.S. military helicopter crashed in western Iraq with seven people on board, U.S. officials said late on Thursday.

Two U.S. officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity and citing initial reports, said the aircraft was a HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopter and it crashed near al-Qaim, a town in Anbar province close to the Syrian border.

One of the officials said that fatalities were “likely” and so far there were no indications that the helicopter was brought down by hostile fire.

In a statement, U.S. Central Command said a U.S. military aircraft carrying U.S. service members crashed in western Iraq.

“Rescue teams are responding to the scene of the downed aircraft at this time,” the statement said.

Further details of the incident were not yet known, but Central Command said an investigation will be launched to determine the cause of the crash.

The mayor of al-Qaim, Ahmed al-Mahlawi, also told Reuters there were seven people on board.

The United States acknowledges that it has about 5,200 troops in Iraq that are part of a coalition fighting Islamic State militants.

Late last year, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared final victory over Islamic State, three years after the militant group captured about a third of Iraq’s territory.

Lufthansa Posts Groups Best Ever Annual Results https://aviationvoice.com/lufthansa-posts-groups-best-ever-annual-results-2-201803161209/ Fri, 16 Mar 2018 10:09:28 +0000 https://aviationvoice.com/?p=20703 Total revenues for the Lufthansa Group in 2017 amounted to €35.6 billion, a 12.4 percent increase compared to 2016. The Adjusted EBIT of €2.97 billion was a substantial 69.7 percent year-on-year improvement.

An 8.4 percent Adjusted EBIT margin was up 2.9 percentage points compared to 2016. EBIT for 2017 increased more than €1 billion to €3.3 billion. The EBIT increase includes the positive €582 million one-off effect on reaching a collective labor agreement with the Vereinigung Cockpit union for Lufthansa, Lufthansa Cargo and Germanwings pilots, as recognized in the December income statement.

The Group invested €3 billion in 2017, approximately one-third up on the previous year. This was predominantly due to €900 million of investment into aircraft from Air Berlin. In 2017, our Adjusted ROCE (after tax) for 2017 improved by 4.6 percentage points to 11.6 percent.

Despite the increased capital expenditure, free cash flow virtually doubled in 2017 to €2.3 billion, while financial debt rose 6.8 percent to €2.9 billion. This sum includes an initial €1.7 billion funding for the new defined contributions model of the flight attendants’ pension fund. Total pension provisions dropped by €3.2 billion in 2017. The year-end equity ratio stood at 26.5 percent, an increase of 5.9 per cent.

The Group’s Network Airlines – Lufthansa, SWISS and Austrian Airlines – increased their Adjusted EBIT by approaching 50 percent to €2.3 billion. The Network Airlines raised their EBIT margin 2.6 percentage points to almost ten per cent.

Despite the significant expenses in the context of acquiring capacities from Air Berlin, Eurowings reduced its unit costs excluding fuel and currency factors by 6.5 percent, while Adjusted EBIT increased by some €200 million. Despite adverse one-off factors related to market consolidation, the Group’s Point-to-Point Airlines improved their Adjusted EBIT margin by 7.3 percentage points and achieved a positive Adjusted EBIT of approximately €100 million.

In view of Lufthansa’s continued good performance, it has also been announced that Carsten Spoor, the Group’s CEO and Chairman since May 2014, has had his contract extended for a further five years.

An-12 Cargo Plane Loses over 3 Tonnes of Gold During Takeoff https://aviationvoice.com/an-12-cargo-plane-loses-over-3-tonnes-of-gold-during-takeoff-201803161109/ Fri, 16 Mar 2018 09:09:33 +0000 https://aviationvoice.com/?p=20697 An An-12 cargo plane carrying some 9 tonnes of gold has lost a third of its cargo during takeoff from the Yakutsk airport in Eastern Siberia, a local transport police spokesman told TASS on Thursday.

Earlier reports said that the plane’s cargo hatch was partially torn off by a strong flow of air during takeoff.

“A total of 172 gold bars weighing 3.4 tonnes have been found so far,” the spokesman said, adding that none of the five crewmembers had been injured in the incident.

The airport’s press service said that technicians who were preparing the plane for takeoff could have failed to properly fix the gold cargo. The plane safely landed at an airfield in the village of Magan, 12 kilometers from Yakutsk

Flight Attendant Falls out of the Emirates Boeing 777 https://aviationvoice.com/flight-attendant-falls-out-of-the-emirates-boeing-777-2-201803151448/ Thu, 15 Mar 2018 12:48:23 +0000 https://aviationvoice.com/?p=20693 An Emirates Boeing 777-300 was parked at the gate and was being prepared for boarding, when a flight attendant opened one of the aft doors for unknown reasons and fell out of the aircraft landing on the concrete surface of the apron.

Uganda’s Civil Aviation Authority reported an incident happened at Entebbe when a female flight attendant appeared to have opened an emergency exit and unfortunately fell off the aircraft while the aircraft was parked.

The flight attendant received serious inujuries and was taken to a hospital in critical condition.

The aircraft later departed and reached Dubai with a delay of 70 minutes.

Boeing Crowdsources Employee Ideas for $100 Million Tax Reform Investment https://aviationvoice.com/boeing-crowdsources-employee-ideas-for-100-million-tax-reform-investment-2-201803151349/ Thu, 15 Mar 2018 11:49:48 +0000 https://aviationvoice.com/?p=20689 Boeing wrapped up a crowdsourcing initiative March 9 that gathered employee ideas for workforce investments that the company has pledged to make as a result of the benefits of tax reform legislation.

Boeing asked employees directly for ideas on how to spend $100 million on learning and development for the future. The company built a custom survey that was emailed to all employees, as well as housed on branded iPad “idea stations” set up throughout factories. In total, the effort generated more than 40,000 ideas from employees across the globe.

“The creativity of our Boeing teammates is one of the greatest strengths of our company,” said Heidi Capozzi, Boeing senior vice president of Human Resources. “Crowdsourcing allowed us to listen directly to their ideas on how to invest in learning and development. It was an effective – and fun – way to be sure their voice was included and we’re grateful that so many offered their thoughts. This will ensure our investment represents real value to employees where and when they need it.”

Employees voted on four categories of investments, with real-time results updated every day to encourage participation. Of the categories, improving technical development programs received the highest number of votes, followed by reskilling for jobs being affected by technology disruption. The other two categories were modern, accessible learning and support for first-line leaders.

Employees also had the option to submit ideas in a free response field for other ways to invest the $100 million. Ideas included increased work swap and rotation programs, new tools and software, rapid prototyping and enhanced options for continuing education.

The planned investment in workforce development is part of a $300 million employee-related and charitable investments the company announced in December 2017 as a result of tax reform legislation.

The investments focus on the future of employees and communities:

  • $100 million for corporate giving, with funds used to support demand for employee gift-match programs and for investments in Boeing’s focus areas for charitable giving: in education, in our communities, and for veterans and military personnel.
  • $100 million for workforce development in the form of training, education, and other capabilities development to meet the scale needed for rapidly evolving technologies and expanding markets.
  • $100 million for “workplace of the future” facilities and infrastructure enhancements for Boeing employees.

The company will process the crowdsourced data over the coming weeks with plans to implement programs this year.

GE9X Engine Goes Airborne https://aviationvoice.com/ge9x-engine-goes-airborne-2-201803151324/ Thu, 15 Mar 2018 11:24:06 +0000 https://aviationvoice.com/?p=20686 The GE9XTM engine lifted off on March 13 under wing of GE Aviation’s 747 flying testbed in Victorville, California, for its first flight test.

The engine that will power Boeing’s new 777X aircraft took to the air around 10:40 a.m. Pacific standard time and flew for more than four hours on its first flight. During the flight, the aircraft and engine completed the entire test card and validated key operational and functional characteristics enabling the test campaign to progress in subsequent flights.

“The GE9X and Victorville teams have spent months preparing for flight testing of the engine, and their efforts paid off today with a picture-perfect first flight,” said Ted Ingling, general manager of the GE9X program at GE Aviation. “Today’s flight starts the beginning of the GE9X flight test campaign that will last for several months, allowing us to accumulate data on how the engine performs at altitude and during various phases of flight.”

Certification testing of the GE9X engine began in May 2017. Beyond flight testing, the engine recently completed icing tests at GE Aviation’s facility in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, and continues crosswind testing at the Peebles Test Operation in Ohio. Engine certification is expected in 2019.

With almost 700 GE9X engines on order, the GE9X engine will be in the 100,000 pound thrust class and will have the largest front fan at 134 inches in diameter with a composite fan case and 16 fourth generation carbon fiber composite fan blades. Other key features include: a next-generation 27:1 pressure-ratio 11-stage high-pressure compressor; a third-generation TAPS III combustor for high efficiency and low emissions; and CMC material in the combustor and turbine.

IHI Corporation, Safran Aircraft Engines, Safran Aero Boosters and MTU Aero Engines AG are participants in the GE9X engine program.

South Korea to Tighten Regulations Governing Budget Airlines https://aviationvoice.com/south-korea-to-tighten-regulations-governing-budget-airlines-2-201803151031/ Thu, 15 Mar 2018 08:31:50 +0000 https://aviationvoice.com/?p=20682 The South Korean Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MOLIT) is set to tightened regulations governing the low-cost carrier market niche in an effort to ensure greater stability as well as fairer competition.

A MOLIT official told the Naver news agency this week that the changes would affect entrance requirements for start-up airlines as well as managerial requirements for active carriers.

“We came up with the revision to make LCC-related regulations more realistic, aiming to improve the overall quality of the airline industry with fairer competition,” they said.

If the revisions are passed by related organizations, legislative authorities and at a Cabinet meeting next month, they will take effect from July.

Among the proposed changes for prospective airlines are that they must have existing capital of KRW30 billion won (USD28 million) and five aircraft as a prerequisite. Current standards necessitate KRW15 billion won in capitalization and three aircraft. Aero K (Cheong Ju) and FlyYangYang (Yangyang), whose applications for business licences were rejected during a MOLIT hearing in December, have already signalled their intentions to comply with these revised minima.

MOLIT also intends to abolish a requirement that an LCC is only eligible for international flights if it conducts 20,000 domestic flights without an accident.

Concerning already active budget airlines, MOLIT plans to tighten financial buoyancy requirements which currently allow government to order an airline to improve its financial standing when more than 50% of its capital is impaired for three years. This, however, will be reduced by two years. An airline’s business licence can then be cancelled should the carrier in question fail to improve its financial standing.

MOLIT is also planning to revise the manner in which air traffic rights are allocated to LCCs. To ensure a fairer distribution of rights, it plans to benchmark awardances on operating performance including flight reliability and punctuality. In addition, those airlines that have contributed to cooperation with countries abroad and practice social responsibility will be given privileges in the allocation of traffic rights, the ministry added.

Russia’s UEC to Supply Powerplant for Il-96-400M Widebody https://aviationvoice.com/russias-uec-to-supply-powerplant-for-il-96-400m-widebody-2-201803141050/ Wed, 14 Mar 2018 08:50:52 +0000 https://aviationvoice.com/?p=20675 Perm Engine Company, a subsidiary of Russia’s United Engine Corporation (UEC), plans to begin deliveries of its PS-90A1 engines for the four-engined Ilyushin Il-96-400M widebody this year.

“We are working on an initial set of engines,” says Managing Director Sergey Popov, commenting on the Il-96-400M project. “We will supply enough of these for the [Il-96-400M] program. Next comes the possible series production of the aircraft and of the engines.”

The Il-96-400M is expected to fly next year. The aircraft is a passenger version of the Il-96-400T freighter, which differs from the Il-96-300 baseline in a stretched fuselage (+9.65 m) and a greater takeoff weight (+20 tons). The new airliner will seat 390 passengers (against the baseline’s 300).

The PS-90A1 was certified in 2007. The engine produces 1400 kg more thrrust than the PS-90A baseline.

Production of the PS-90 family engines is expected to continue for at least the next 15 years. This year Perm Engine Company will manufacture its 500th powerplant of this family, whose first version was developed in the 1990s. In addition to the Il-96, these engines power Russia’s Il-76 and Tupolev Tu-204/214 aircraft.

Airways New Zealand Welcomes Zephyr Flying Taxi https://aviationvoice.com/airways-new-zealand-welcomes-zephyr-flying-taxi-201803141025/ Wed, 14 Mar 2018 08:25:22 +0000 https://aviationvoice.com/?p=20671 Airways New Zealand has announced it is piloting future technologies needed to support the arrival of autonomous flying vehicles in New Zealand airspace. This follows confirmation by Zephyr Airworks that it will develop and test its air taxi, called Cora, in New Zealand.

The air navigation services provider will develop a nationwide unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) traffic management system, known as UTM, to enable drone activity across New Zealand airspace as well as integrate these vehicles safely into the national air traffic network.

Airways CEO Graeme Sumner says, “There is no doubt that technology is evolving and Airways’ role is to enable safe and flexible access to our airspace to allow these new industries to thrive.

“New Zealand’s regulatory environment and relatively uncongested airspace make us an attractive option for new operators. We are looking for ways to safely support more complex operations and facilitate new entrants, including the Zephyr Airworks’ autonomous aircraft, into our skies.”

The trial of the AirMap drone traffic management platform currently underway in Canterbury and Queenstown is the first step in this development. AirMap allows drone pilots to plan their flights, seek authorisations and get information about the areas they’re operating in.

The next phase Airways is planning is to develop tracking tools that allow UAVs to be accurately monitored once they are beyond the pilot’s line of site and detect and avoidance capability to keep them safely separated from other aircraft.

Airways also intends to test the capabilty of New Zealand’s existing telecommunications network to track the likes of Zephyr Airworks’ autonomous vehicle Cora and UAVs in uncontrolled airspace and enable better telemetry for drone pilots.

Airways has had significant experience working with new entrants to New Zealand’s airspace. Over the past four years the air traffic controller has developed an advanced launch services programme, enabling more than 120 stratospheric balloon launches for organisations including NASA and Google and has facilitated RocketLab’s ambitious rocket launch programme.