Boeing says it could be

forced to slow production

of revamped jumbo if new

orders fail to emerge 13


Ironically, failure of BAE

merger has helped give

EADS what it sought –

less state interference 22



19-25 FEBRUARY 2013




Partners in full flight to get Trent-engined

A350 XWB airborne by June’s big show



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forced to slow production merger has helped give

of revamped jumbo if new EADS what it sought –

orders fail to emerge 13 less state interference 22



19-25 FEBRUARY 2013




Partners in full flight to get Trent-engined

A350 XWB airborne by June’s big show



AUSTRALIANS IN Boeing says it could be Ironically, failure of BAE





� ������ ������


This was taken as the first

Rolls-Royce Trent XWB

was delivered for Airbus’s

flight-test A350. Our cover

story, a programme update,

leads an engines package

that also focuses on CFM

International’s Leap.

See Cover Story P24



8 Split loyalties for new airline giant

9 A330-200 eyed as Beluga successor.

USAF refuses to reopen ‘flawed’ Raptor


10 Turmoil as arrests rock Finmeccanica.

Regulator searches for UAV integration

test sites

11 Booming sales prompt Mexico move.

Airframers to fight soft market with new




12 Rolls-Royce focus turns to A350-1000


13 Empty slots could slow 747-8 output.

Longer-range Superjet is airborne

14 Crashed An-28 denied terrain warning.

Aeroflot technical snags prompt Superjet


15 Jat aims to revive latent Airbus deal


16 SOCOM places urgent Insitu UAV order

to fill critical gap.

New Zealand’s NH90s clear testing


17 Russian Altius design is inadvertently


� �




Keith Campbell gave this Panavia Tornado

shot the title “Evening playtime” when he

added it to his “sunshine band” AirSpace

gallery. Our latest World Air Forces directory

lists 119 Tornados in the UK’s fleet. Open a

gallery in flightglobal.com’s AirSpace

community for a chance to feature here


Skimmer conversion kit offered

18 UK reviews decision to retire Sentinel.

United Aircraft chief urges full Medium

Transport Aircraft contract


19 MEBAA offers to referee Rizon row.

Chinese business jet fleet grew 40%

in 2012

20 Airbus Corporate Jets pins hopes on

market rebound.

Europe opens way to G280 deliveries


21 Rotor blade pressure may hold key to

dynamic stall.

Warning – weightlessness can ruin your



22 Fruits of freedom for EADS


7 Comment

42 Straight & Level

45 Classified

47 Jobs

51 Working Week

48 JOB OF THE WEEK Air traffic controller,

Alderney Airport

Proven and arriving soon at a gate near you.

PurePower ® Engines

Sunshine band gallery on flightglobal.com/AirSpace



19-25 FEBRUARY 2013

Eurocopter to invest $100 million in aerostructures facility

in Mexico P11. US services issue new budget cuts

warning P17



XWB Rolls-Royce turns its attention to

proving the maturity of the A350’s Trent

XWB powerplant



CFM’s A320neo engine has the edge on

P&W’s rival offering, but the battle remains

fierce as orders hang in the balance


chance We analyse how the aerospace

market is being reshaped in our country



Test pilot Peter Gray (above) runs the rule

over Sikorsky’s S-92 in an exclusive flight

evaluation. Plus: reports on the Bell 525,

safety, aerial filming and the war on rats

19-25 February 2013 | Flight International | 3


Eurocopter, US Air Force



Companies listed

Aeroflot ..........................................................8

AgustaWestland ...........................................10

Airbus ..........................8, 9, 11, 12, 15, 20, 22

Air Lease ......................................................12

Air Tractor .....................................................11

American Airlines ...........................................8

Antonov ...................................................8, 14

Astrium ........................................................22

ATR ..............................................................15

Australian Helicopters ..................................19

Aviadvigatel .................................................18

Avincis Group ..............................................19

BAE Systems ...............................................22

Ball Aerospace .............................................23

Boeing .........................................8, 12, 15, 21

Bombardier ...........................................18, 19

Bond Helicopters .........................................19

Cassidian ....................................................22

Cathay Pacific ..............................................25

Cessna ........................................................19

CFM International ..................................18, 28

Comac .........................................................28

Dassault ......................................................11

DLR .............................................................21

EADS ...........................................................22

Elbit Systems .................................................8

Engine Alliance ............................................23

Eurocopter .......................................11, 20, 22

Europe Airpost .............................................15

Finmeccanica ........................................10, 22

GE Aviation ..................................................23

Gulfstream .......................................11, 19, 20

Hindustan Aeronautics ...........................16, 18

Ilyushin ....................................................8, 18

Inaer ............................................................19

Insitu ...........................................................16

Interjet .........................................................14

Irkut .............................................................18

Israel Aerospace Industries ....................17, 20

Jat Airways ...................................................15

Jat Tehnika ...................................................15

Jet2 .............................................................15

Kongsberg ...................................................23

Lockheed Martin ......................................9, 17

Messier-Bugatti-Dowty .................................14

Milestone Aviation ..........................................19

NH Industries..................................................16

Norsk Helikopterservice ..................................19

Northrop Grumman ..................................16, 18

Petropavlovk-Kamchatsky Aviation Enterprise .14

Pilatus ...................................................16, 18

Pratt & Whitney ............................................23

Qatar Airways ...............................................19

Raytheon .....................................................18

RBC Bearings ...............................................23

Recaro .........................................................23

Rizon Jet ......................................................19

Rolls-Royce ..................................................12

Saab ...........................................................23

Safran .........................................................22

Signature Flight Support ..............................20

Snecma .......................................................28

South Airlines ................................................8

Spirit AeroSystems .......................................13

Sukhoi .........................................................13

Thales ..........................................................22

Thrush Aircraft ..............................................11

Transaero .................................................8, 15

Sikorsky .......................................................19

Sukhoi .........................................................14

Superjet International ..................................14

United Aircraft ..............................................18

US Airways .....................................................8

UTair ..............................................................8

Zenith Jet .....................................................11

High-fidelity trainer and fighter ground-based training systems.

4 | Flight International | 19-25 February 2013



Washington DC-based Americas

air transport reporter Edward

Russell travelled to Fort Worth

to report on the proposed merger

between American Airlines

and US Airways (P8). In January,

Russell had covered the former

carrier’s inaugural Boeing

777-300ER flight from Fort

Worth to São Paulo Guarulhos

– and had his photograph taken

with chief executive Tom Horton

(below, right). And our business

editor Dan Thisdell crossed

the Atlantic from our UK headquarters

to Queretaro, for the

opening of a Eurocopter factory

in the Mexican aerospace

hotspot (P11).

For a full list of reader services, editorial

and advertising contacts see P43


+44 20 8652 3842



+44 20 8652 3315



+44 20 8652 4897



+44 20 8652 4900





+44 1444 445 454



+44 20 8652 8612



+44 20 8652 3096




On defence blog The DEW Line, Dave Majumdar highlighted

an “awesome video from the cockpit of a VFA-103 Boeing

F/A-18F Super Hornet flying off the deck of USS Dwight D

Eisenhower”. The footage was

produced by Carrier Strike

Group 8 last year. “But if the

dire predictions of what might

happen under sequestration

come to fruition, we may not

see many more videos like

this in the near future,” warned Majumdar. Pay a visit to

flightglobal.com/superhornetvideo to enjoy it while it lasts.

Elswhere on the same blog, a stunning Eurofighter shot of a

Typhoon over Ferrari World in Abu Dhabi (above) ran with a

post on the combat aircraft type’s competitive joust with the

Lockheed Martin F-35. And on Ariel View, Arie Egozi noted

that Israel Aerospace Industries chief Joseph Weiss had

chosen his words carefully at Aero India, where he said, “I

urge my colleagues in the Israeli industries to make every

effort to promote co-operation.”

Find all these items at flightglobal.com/wotw


Last week, we asked what you think of Iran’s stealth fighter. You said:

Domestic propaganda It’ll never fly

Sign of things to come


Total votes: 2,091 23% 9%

This week, we ask for your take on the American Airlines and US

Airways merger: ��Obvious synergies ��Culture clash ahead

��Won’t fix US sector’s problems

Vote at flightglobal.com/poll


The top five stories for the week just gone:

1 Boeing warns about unclaimed 747-8 production slots

2 Lockheed claims F-35 kinematics ‘better than or equal to’ Typhoon

3 Airbus restores large American order to firm backlog

4 Airbus leans towards A330-200 to replace Beluga fleet

5 Embraer quietly unveils improved E-Jet with American Airlines order

Flightglobal reaches up to 1.3 million visitors from 220

countries viewing 7.1 million pages each month

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How the West won

US Airways stands poised to join the long list of legacy

airline brands, including Pan Am, Eastern,

TWA, Northwest and Continental, to pass into history.

But the proposed merger of American Airlines and

US Airways upsets the typical post-deregulation narrative.

For the first time, an airline launched since the Airline

Deregulation Act of 1978 can buy the third-largest

US carrier and become the largest airline in the world.

It all began in 1981, when airline consultant Ed Beauvais

founded America West Airlines in Phoenix, starting

humbly with three leased Boeing 737s and plans to

expand to a booming Las Vegas market. Like many of its

post-deregulation peers, America West introduced

cross-utilisation to lower costs and onboard ticketing to

attract more revenue. Unlike many of those peers,

America West survived bankruptcy and reorganisation

during the lean early ‘90s. America West actually

reached a high point in growth and profitability by the

late ‘90s, but the boom was short-lived. After 9/11,

America West needed a government loan to survive.

Doug Parker, then America West’s chief executive,

recalled last March an agonising flight back to Phoenix

from Washington DC on an America West flight. Parker’s

meeting earlier that day with the airline stabilisation

board over the airline’s pending loan request had not

gone well. Parker recalled hoping the flight attendants

would not recognise him, because he didn’t think he

could hide his concern about their company’s future.

The following week, America West resubmitted its loan


The deal struck by US Airways and American Airlines marks the watershed at which a carrier

launched post-deregulation of the US sector can, via merger, become the world’s biggest

The US Airways victory is really

the victory of the deregulation

entrepreneurs of America West

A name to remember

application, and this time it was approved.

Upon regaining its strength, America West tried to

take over US Airways in 2005, pulling off a reversemerger

the next year. The new airline retained the US

Airways brand, but was led by the America West team.

That achievement was followed by a series of missteps,

including two failed attempts to merge with Delta

Air Lines and United Airlines. The bankruptcy filing by

American Airlines on 31 November 2011 offered the

last chance for the original America West.

If regulators approve the pending merger, many questions

await. For Airbus, it means having a friendly management

team in charge of the world’s largest airline

serving still the largest market. Parker’s team must rebalance

the merged carrier’s domestic network, expand its

international offerings and keep the unions on side.

But the US Airways victory is really the victory of the

deregulation entrepreneurs of America West, now seated

at the top of the global airline industry. �

See This Week P8

Impressing in Mexico a must for Sukhoi

Sukhoi’s own technical snags with its Superjet might

not have attracted the same degree of scrutiny as

to customer confidence, nor has it managed to push

more than about a dozen aircraft out of its factory in the

those affecting the Boeing 787.

space of nearly two years.

But they are arguably more critical to a programme Sukhoi can’t even take much solace from the home

that symbolises one of the few remaining chips Russia front, once a closed door to non-Soviet production.

is still able to play from its dwindling pile at the aero- Even if the Embraer 190, newly certificated in Russia,

space industry’s gambling table.

remains a relatively expensive option, it plonks 90-seat

While its first aircraft for Mexican customer Interjet competition firmly on Sukhoi’s porch.

is nearing completion, Sukhoi is still dealing with All this makes the Interjet debut a high-stakes affair

gripes from Aeroflot.

for Sukhoi, if the airframer ever hopes to find a niche in

For expert reaction to breaking

news from the airline industry,

visit our Airline Business blog

The airframer rightly notes that every new aircraft

type experiences operational problems for the first few

months – witness the mighty 787’s grounding. But Su-

the increasingly cut-throat regional airliner market. It’s

likely to find the international spotlights far brighter

than the ones in Moscow. �

at flightglobal.com/abblog khoi doesn’t have an 800-strong backlog as testimony See Air Transport P14

19-25 February 2013 | Flight International | 7





OPERATIONS Boeing started conducting test flights with a 787 on

9 February, the first since the grounding of the global fleet on 16

January. The airframer is studying the in-flight performance of the

lithium-ion batteries linked to two incidents on Japanese 787s. Test

aircraft ZA005 landed after a 2h 21min flight spanning nearly

800nm (1,480km), operated between the southwest corner of

Washington state to the Puget Sound. Boeing’s original flightplan

proposed only a 2h test, but it was extended late in the sortie. No

changes to the batteries were made prior to the test, Boeing says.


SELF-PROTECTION Elbit Systems has signed a memorandum of

understanding to provide its Music-series directed infrared countermeasures

equipment with Boeing-produced military and civilian aircraft

and helicopters. Capable of protecting against surface-to-air

missile threats, the technology has previously been selected by the

Israeli government to protect the nation’s commercial airline fleets.


AIRLIFT Russia’s air force command could withdraw from the

Antonov An-70 transport programme with Ukraine by the end of

2013, after complaining about its slow progress, Russia’s Izvestia

newspaper claims. Military Transport Aviation commander Col Gen

Vladimir Benediktov says the service will get 48 Ilyushin Il-76MD-90A

transports, rather than the 39 announced in a contract last year.


ACCIDENT Ukraine’s government has opened an inquiry after an

Antonov An-24 crashed on landing at Donetsk airport, killing five of

the 52 occupants. The country’s emergency situations ministry

states that the twin-engined aircraft (UR-WRA) exited the runway

while landing, then overturned and broke up. Flight YG8971 was arriving

after a domestic service from Odessa at 18:09 on 13

February. Donetsk weather data shows the presence of fog and reduced

runway visibility at the time of the crash. Odessa-based South

Airlines had been operating the 40-year-old airframe, which came to

rest inverted with its empennage detached.


SAFETY Runway excursions in 2012 remained broadly unchanged

from 2010 levels, despite concentrated efforts to increase awareness

of the risks. Dutch aerospace research organisation NLR’s Air

Transport Safety Institute found 106 excursions involving commercial

and executive aircraft operations worldwide last year, compared

with 98 in 2011 and 107 in 2010. There were eight fatal runway excursions

between 2010 and 2012, it adds, while total annual traffic

volumes were stable during these three years.


SECURITY Russia’s civil aviation regulator is supporting proposals

to deploy specially equipped guards on flights to deal with disruptive

passengers. Rosaviatsia security department chief Yuri Saprykin

told a conference in Moscow that several leading airlines – including

Aeroflot, Transaero and UTair – have asked permission to add inhouse

security staff to flightcrews. “We are in favour of that initiative,”

Saprykin said. “The main objective is to preclude air rage

incidents by confronting troublemakers on board aircraft. There has

been an upsurge of such incidents over the past few months.”

8 | Flight International | 19-25 February 2013

For a round-up of our latest online news,

feature and multimedia content visit


Boeing 757-200s are one of the few overlaps in inventory


Split loyalties for

new airline giant

Bringing together American Airlines and US Airways creates

world’s largest carrier – but one with divergent fleet policies

American Airlines and US Airways

are to merge in an $11

billion deal that will create the

world’s largest airline.

The combined carrier will

transport more than 170 million

passengers and generate revenues

of more than $38.7 billion annually,

based on 2012’s figures. It

will retain the American name,

be based in Fort Worth, Texas and

be a Oneworld member.

Merging the two US majors

will create the world’s largest

mainline fleet of 944 jets, and also

one of its most complex. There

will be few overlapping pieces

and a mix-and-match order backlog

comprising hundreds of single-aisle

and long-haul jets.

It would be hard to find two

merging airlines with a more dissimilar

historical philosophy for

fleet acquisitions. The two share

few common preferences in aircraft

type or manufacturer.

The two notable exceptions are

a common and ageing fleet of

Boeing 757-200s and 767-200ERs,

but most of these are marked for

retirement within the decade.

And that is where the similarities

end in their in-service fleets.

American Airlines has an all-

Boeing widebody fleet, to which

it is adding at least 15 777-300ERs

and 42 787-8s and -9s. US Airways,

meanwhile, is replacing

767s with A330s, plus its orderbook

includes 18 A350-800s and

four -900s.

The single-aisle strategies of

both carriers show a similar split.

Again, American Airlines has

showed a strong preference for

Boeing products, operating 103

757-200s, 199 737-800s and 186

Boeing MD-80s. On top of this, it

has orders for 100 re-engined 737

Max 8s, which adds to 107 unfilled

commitments for 737-800s.

Airbus has had a look-in however.

In July 2011, American ordered

130 re-engined A321neos

and a total of 130 A319s and

A321s. And although the A320family

jets have been removed

from the backlog, American says

it has already agreed to re-sign for

those aircraft.

US Airways, however, has yet

to order re-engined narrowbodies,

but a 240-strong Airbus single-aisle

fleet, with a further 46 on

order, shows its loyalties.

The airlines hope to close the

deal during the third quarter.

However it requires approval of

the bankruptcy court, US Airways

shareholders and US antitrust

regulators. �

Additional reporting by Edward

Russell in Fort Worth

For more coverage on the

landmark merger go to





Turmoil as

probe rocks




USAF refuses to reopen

‘flawed’ Raptor inquiry

The US Air Force will not reopen

the Accident Investigation

Board (AIB) which examined

the 16 November 2010 crash of a

Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor, despite

a review of the process finding

its conclusions were flawed.

Raptor pilot Capt Jeff Haney, assigned

to the 525th Fighter Squadron

based at Joint Base Elmendorf-

Richardson, Alaska, lost his life in

the accident. The original AIB report

issued in December 2011

concluded that even though the

Raptor’s life-support systems had

shut down, and the emergency

oxygen system was difficult to

use, the crash was Haney’s fault

because he had not acted quickly

enough to save himself.

The USAF says it will reconvene,

and not reopen, the board to

address issues of clarity identified

in its report. The service’s regulations

would require new evidence

to emerge before it could reopen an

investigation, it adds.

The Inspector General, however,

recommends that the AIB

report be re-evaluated because of

the numerous flaws discovered

by its investigation. The AIB’s

finding, it says, “was not supported

by the facts within the… report”.

In adds: “Our conclusion

was supported by five individual

findings, and we recommended

that the AIB report be re-evaluated

in light of those.”

Despite this, the USAF remains

adamant its AIB report simply

needs to be rewritten for clarity, despite

the investigative lapses exposed

by the inspector general. �


Swift return for grounded F-35B

Lockheed Martin’s F-35B short

take-off and vertical landing

(STOVL) variant of the Joint Strike

Fighter has returned to flight after a

25-day grounding.

“F-35B flight clearance was restored

February 12, rescinding a

cautionary suspension issued

January 18 after a fueldraulic hose

failure,” the F-35 Joint Program

Office (JPO) says.

“Government and industry engineering

teams conducted a root

cause investigation and determined

that the hose was improperly

crimped,” it adds.

The fueldraulic hose powers the

actuator movement for the F-35B’s

STOVL thrust vectoring exhaust system.

Hoses on all 25 F-35B aircraft

in the US Marine Corps and UK inventory

have been inspected. Those

aircraft found to have defective parts

will have improperly crimped hoses

replaced, the JPO states. It had said

earlier that the investigating team

found a total of seven aircraft had

the manufacturing defect. �

An improperly crimped fueldraulic hose was behind the problems

Lockheed Martin




Flightglobal al

A350 and A320 fuselage sections

A350 wing sections

Airbus has tentatively identified

an A330-200 derivative

as the most promising long-term

candidate to replace its five A300-

600ST Beluga oversize transports.

The airframer has already embarked

on a programme to restructure

its A300-600ST operations

to cope with the demands of

ramped-up production during

the next four or five years.

This programme, designated

Fly 10,000, is intended to increase

the flight work performed

by the transport fleet to 10,000h

per year in 2017, from the current

level of about 6,000h.

Airbus says it is changing “ways

of working, opening hours and organisation”

to meet this demand,

which would double the number

of weekly flights to about 120.

The greater Beluga workload

will primarily arise from a surge

in A350 output. However, Airbus

will also require capacity for the

A400M military airlifter, which

will partly offset a decline in

A330 production, while A320

and A320neo rates are set to remain


Airbus recently indicated to

Flightglobal that the A300-600ST

fleet would probably remain in

service for another 10 years or so.

But while the fleet stay in use

until about 2025, the cost of operating

the type will increase as the

aircraft age. The airframer has ini-



A330-200 eyed as

Beluga successor

Rising output across Airbus product range drives airframer

to consider options for next iteration of oversize transport

tiated a study to replace the A300-

600ST fleet in the long term.

“No decision for immediate

launch has been taken,” it stresses.

But to address any capacity limitations

beyond the Fly 10,000

scheme, as well as the ageing of the

current Beluga fleet, Airbus is likely

to aim for 2018-2020 as a window

to have a new aircraft available.

Several airframes are being

considered as a platform for a Beluga

successor, notably the A330-200

and -300, as well as the A340-500

and even the A300-600.

While the current Beluga fleet

is carrying A350-900 sections, the

size of the A350-1000 central fuselage

assembly will determine

the final cross-section for the

freight hold of the new transport.

The A300-600ST has a hold diameter

of about 23ft (7.1m).

As well as the requirement for

high payload capabilities, airfield

landing limitations at its UK wing

facility in Broughton will also determine

the eventual choice of

base airframe.

Airbus believes an A330-200

variant – tentatively designated

the A330-200XL – could potentially

cope with the landing criteria

at projected weights of

about 135t, and is the most

promising option. �

More on the Beluga – past,

present and future – on


19-25 February 2013 | Flight International | 9


10 | Flight International | 19-25 February 2013

For a round-up of our latest online news,

feature and multimedia content visit



Regulator searches for UAV integration test sites

The integration of unmanned

air vehicles into US civil airspace

has moved a step closer

after the US Federal Aviation

Administration revealed it will

begin a competition for six unmanned

air vehicle test sites by

the end of February.

FAA deputy administrator Jim

Williams revealed the move during

a 13 February meeting of the

Association for Unmanned Vehi-

cle Systems International. The

fiscal year 2012 FAA reauthorisation,

as approved by Congress,

contains a measure establishing

six test sites to experiment with

UAV integration into national airspace,

which is strictly regulated.

Although the nature of the

sites is not specified, the selection

is anticipated by low-traffic

airports that are hoping to attract

new business.

A notice of proposed rulemaking

(NPRM) for small UAVs in the

national airspace will also be issued

by the agency by the end of

2013. And, although it remains

hopeful that the release could

come sooner, it notes “the process

is very deliberate”.

In any case, small civil UAVs

will be in use before the NPRM is

issued. Beginning in mid-2013,

UAVs less than about 23kg (50lb)

will be allowed to fly for commercial

purposes in a large area off

the coast of Alaska. That zone,

defined by Congress, covers thousands

of square miles of ocean off

the north and west coasts of the

state. It will be the only area in

which UAVs are allowed to operate

for commercial purposes. �

For more about unmanned air

vehicle operations, visit



Turmoil as arrests rock Finmeccanica

Italian giant forced into management shake-up as bribery investigation into Indian helicopter deal claims chief executive

Italy’s aerospace champion Finmeccanica

has been rocked by

corruption allegations levelled at

two top executives as part of an

ongoing probe linked to the 2010

sale of 12 VIP-roled AgustaWestland

AW101s to the Indian defence


Finmeccanica chief executive

Giuseppe Orsi was detained by

Italian police on 12 February,

with the company confirming

that “precautionary measures”

were issued against him, and

also against AgustaWestland

chief executive Bruno Spagnolini

in relation to the investigation.

The latter has been placed

under house arrest. No charges

have been brought and both deny

any wrongdoing.

Orsi, who headed AgustaWestland

at the time the €560 million

($753 million) deal was signed,

was swiftly replaced as Finmeccanica

chief executive on 13 February

by Alessandro Pansa, who

will also retain his current duties

as chief operating officer. Pansa

will additionally take on some of

Orsi’s duties as chairman, although

the latter has yet to resign

from the post.

The move is aimed at “ensuring

comprehensive management of

the company and group”, it says.

A board meeting is scheduled for

early April, where further changes

to the company’s executive team

Orsi became chief executive in May 2011 with a mission to reverse the company’s fortunes

are likely to be made.

It adds: “Finmeccanica expresses

support for its chairman

and CEO, with the hope that clarity

is established quickly, whilst

reaffirming its confidence in the

judges. The operating activities

and ongoing projects of the company

will continue as usual.”

However, there was no immediate

suggestion Spagnolini had

relinquished his duties as Agusta-

Westland chief.

Finmeccanica and AgustaWestland

previously denied allegations

that illegal payments were

made in relation to the sale.

Orsi was only appointed as

Finmeccanica chief executive in

May 2011, following the resignation

of his predecessor, Pier Francesco

Guarguaglini, to successfully

fight corruption charges. Orsi had

been considered a reformer and

had been tasked with reshaping

the company and improving its financial


Meanwhile, India’s defence

ministry has reacted to the claims

by referring the AW101 acquisition

to the country’s Central Bureau

of Investigation (CBI).

The ministry says it decided to

refer the case to the CBI for inquiry

after it sought more information

from the UK and Italian govern-

ments following media reports of

the arrest of the two executives.

“No specific inputs were, however,

received substantiating the allegations,”

it adds. The contract

signed with AgustaWestland included

“specific contractual provisions

against bribery and the use

of undue influence as well as an

integrity pact,” it says.

The acquisition was signed in

February 2010, with the first three

rotorcraft already delivered and

the remainder due to be handed

over by the end of 2013. �

Additional reporting by Dominic

Perry in London and Ellis Taylor

in Singapore



Eurocopter has joined the

growing number of aerospace

majors in Mexico’s Queretaro

manufacturing cluster with the

formal opening of a $100 million

factory that will be its sole-source

supplier of AS350 Ecureuil tail

booms and the A320, A330 and

A340 cargo and emergency exit

doors that it builds for sister company


Initial operations will see the

assembly of imported kits but machinery

will, from this year, be installed

to carry out machining,

sheet metal fabrication and surface

treatment in Queretaro. Total

investment could eventually

reach $550 million. The Ecureuil

series is Eurocopter’s biggest seller,

last year taking in orders for

249 units, or 53% of the airframer’s

total. Assembly takes place

both in Europe and at the aiframer’s

Brazilian subsidiary Helibras.


Focus turns to




The fabrication of Airbus doors

is being transferred from an undisclosed

Asian subcontractor,

adds global supply chain executive

vice-president Joseph Saporito.

Saporito expects the plant to

be performing both component

manufacture and assembly in


Around 200 new jobs will have

been created by mid-2014 in the

manufacturing plant and an attached

maintenance, repair and

overhaul facility.

Saporito says the Queretaro

plant “kills three birds with one

stone” in achieving Eurocopter’s

three key objectives in its overseas

deployment strategy – offsets, increased

exposure to a dollar zone

cost base and competitiveness. He

declines to detail Mexican costs

but describes them as “competitive”

– as shown by the move of

the Airbus door work.

An intensive training programme

being carried out on site

– with the aeronautical university

of Queretaro and in Eurocopter facilities

in Europe – should have

the plant running with mostly

Mexican staff and a “handful” of

Europeans by 2017, says Saporito.



Booming sales prompt Mexico move

Promise of lower-cost manufacturing persuades Eurocopter to invest $100 million in Queretaro aerostructures facility

The new facility will supply tail booms for the AS350 Ecureuil

He stresses that moving too

quickly from assembly to manufacturing

is inviting failure, so

Eurocopter is edging forward cautiously.

However, he says, Eurocopter

has been “very positively

impressed” by the quality of the

workforce in Queretaro. �


Airframers to fight soft market with new launches

Business jet demand will not

recover to its 2008 peak during

the next 10 years but airframers

will still forge ahead with a

number of new aircraft, predicts a

new forecast released by a Montreal-based

business aviation services


Zenith Jet’s 10-year outlook also


Helicopters, crop sprayers offer ray of light for GAMA

Helicopters remained a bright spot

and agricultural aviation boosted

otherwise flat sales for general and

business aviation manufacturers in

2012, says the General Aviation

Manufacturers Association (GAMA).

Fixed-wing shipments grew by

0.6% compared with 2011, largely

driven by a surge in demand for turboprop-powered

crop-sprayers, such

as Thrush Aircraft and Air Tractor

models, GAMA says.

Rotorcraft shipments, meanwhile,

anticipates the launch of at least

nine more clean-sheet or major derivative

programmes, including

new families of business jet widebodies

by Dassault and Gulfstream.

The projected new-starts will compete

with existing programmes to

claim 9,400 expected deliveries

until 2022, the forecast says.

leapt 21.5% to 1,044 deliveries, the

group adds.

“2012 was kind of mixed,” says

Brad Mottier, chairman of GAMA and

vice-president and general manager

for GE Aviation’s business and general

aviation unit. “We think we see

the turboprops and the agricultural

market are going to continue to

thrive. There are more and more

needs for those types of specialised

aircraft around the world.”

GAMA, however, was unable to offer

That prediction reflects an increasingly

grim outlook taking

hold in the business jet industry.

It means Zenith Jet’s analysts

have slashed future deliveries

over the next decade by 9.4%

since 2012, as the industry acknowledges

that some buyers

which exited the market during

a similarly positive outlook for 2013

for the rest of its fixed-wing manufacturing

members, especially as the US

fiscal outlook remains uncertain.

The Obama Administration and

Congress are poised to allow automatic

budget cuts to take effect in

early March, removing about $100

billion in government spending from

the economy and forcing federal agencies,

including the Federal Aviation

Administration, to furlough employees

for perhaps several weeks. �

the post-2008 recession will not

return. “The reason is simple: a

significant portion of that narrowbody

[customer] base was new to

business aviation and the recession

had a profound effect in

shaking their appetite for ownership,”

Zenith Jet says.

The only market segment immune

to this trend is the ultralong-range

sector, which will

grow by 8.7%, with 1,577 projected

deliveries during the 10year


That is expected to draw new

competitors into large-cabin segments.

Zenith Jet anticipates Dassault

will launch three new aircraft

– the 5X, 6X and 9X – to

replace the 2000LX, 900LX and

7X. Gulfstream also could replace

the G350/450/550 series with new

aircraft which Zenith calls the

G380, G480 and G580. �

For news from the business and

general aviation sectors, go to


19-25 February 2013 | Flight International | 11



12 | Flight International | 19-25 February 2013

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and information on civil and military

programmes at flightglobal.com/profiles


Focus turns to A350-1000 powerplant

Work begins on prototype for higher-thrust Trent XWB to equip largest Airbus twinjet following certification of basic engine

Rolls-Royce is preparing a prototype

demonstration for the

higher-thrust Trent XWB-97 engine

which will be used on the

A350-1000. The basic XWB-84

engine for the A350-900 has been

newly certificated. It is capable of

delivering 84,000lb (370kN) of

thrust and the certification also

covers the XWB-75 and -79 versions

for the smaller A350-800.

However, the XWB-97 powerplant

for the A350-1000 – put forward

as part of the larger type’s

redesign in 2011 – is undergoing

a separate development and approval


The prototype will be built

from an XWB-84 engine platform

with additional turbine technology

fitted, says Trent XWB programme

director Chris Young. He

says this will allow the manufacturer

to “run it as close as possible

to [more demanding] conditions

and temperatures”.

Rolls-Royce intends to construct

two demonstrators this

year, with initial build about to

begin. Young expects the first

runs will start around the middle

of 2013. It held a preliminary design

review for the XWB-97 powerplant

in January. Young says

this allows the manufacturer to

move into detailed design of individual

components, and work on

the machining definition and initial

casting to “get the prototype

engine in place”.

Rolls-Royce is to perform freightloading

tests for its Trent XWB engine

at the UK’s East Midlands

airport, to verify transport procedures

for the powerplant.

The engine is the first Trent family

member too large to fit into a

Boeing 747 freighter while still

wholly assembled.

Trent XWB programme director

Chris Young says the manufacturer

has developed tooling allowing the

fan and the core to be split and

Air Lease has underpinned confidence with an order for up to 10

The XWB-97’s basic dimensions

– such as the fan size,

mounting points and interfaces –

remain the same as those for the

XWB-84. “But we take more flow

through the fan by spinning the

fan faster and changing some aerodynamics

in the fan system,”

says Young.

The changes include an inflected

annulus and a larger core, and

technical changes to extract more

power. Technological advancements

will include shroudless

high-pressure turbine blades and

an adaptive cooling system.

Young points out that the

XWB-84 engine has already been

run at thrusts “well in excess” of

100,000lb, and that the growth is

“more about restoring margins

than airflow”.


Split-loading procedures to be tested using 747 freighter

loaded separately. “Previously,

we’ve trialled the tooling and gone

through a mock-up of a 747 door,”

he says. “This time we’re fully proving

the tooling.”

Rolls-Royce intends to take its

first-produced XWB engine – which it

uses for training – to East Midlands

during February to carry out the

standard loading procedure in conjunction

with a 747 operator.

With certification on the XWB for

the A350-900 achieved, Young says

Detailed design work on the

Airbus A350-1000 is set to begin

early this year, the type having secured

a reassuring endorsement

from former critic Air Lease.

Air Lease, which will take up

to 10 of the type as part of a broad

A350 order, had expressed concerns

about the aircraft’s lack of

thrust, and claimed it needed

greater maximum take-off weight,

before the airframer unveiled a

more powerful, higher-weight redesign

in June 2011.

Even after this revamp, Air

Lease chief executive Steven Udvar-Hazy

pointed out the commonality

disjoint on the -1000’s engines

and was still reserved about

its ability to compete with the

Boeing 777-300ER.

However, Rolls-Royce’s design

the focus in the test programme will

move to proving on-wing capability

and the “full robustness of the engine”.

“We’ve done the very complex

tests, with lots of

instrumentation but limited test

hours,” he says. “We’ll see test

hours start to accelerate very quickly

this year.” Rolls-Royce has been

testing the XWB powerplant on an

Airbus A380 testbed, and Young

says this will remain a “key element

of the programme”. �


review has confirmed the higherthrust

engine will have 80% commonality

with the XWB-84 in

terms of line-replaceable units,

with only fuel pumps and metering

systems not retained.

Rolls-Royce has completed the

latest build of its EFE technology

platform in Bristol in the UK

which is based on the Trent 1000

core, and has carried out tests of

high-temperature thermal paint.

Young says using a platform “as

representative as possible” for the

XWB-97 prototype will help with

“risk reduction” during the powerplant’s


Air Lease’s agreement to take

the -1000, following a similar acceptance

from outspoken customer

Qatar Airways, will give

the type a backlog of 110 aircraft

The XWB-97’s basic

dimensions – such as

the fan size, mounting

points and interfaces

– remain the same as

those for the XWB-84

once the lessor’s deal is firmed.

But Airbus appears to be dismissing

the possibility of a further

stretch to the A350, despite the

capacity gap between the A350-

1000 and the A380.

While Airbus positioned the

A350-900 as the central platform

for the three-member family, the

backlog of the smaller A350-800 is

eroding in favour of the larger variants.

But the airframer does not

see room for a further stretch beyond

the A350-1000. “A double

stretch has never been shown to

work in this industry,” claimed

Airbus chief operating officer for

customers John Leahy, speaking

in Toulouse in January. “We

couldn’t do it. And we don’t think

[Boeing] could do it either.” �

See Cover Story P24

More about Rolls-Royce’s development

of the Trent XWB at



United Aircraft


Crashed An-28

denied terrain





Longer-range Superjet is airborne

Sukhoi has conducted the first flight of a longer-range Superjet 100,

starting a test programme which will last three to four months. The

twin-engined aircraft, designated the SSJ100LR, will have a range of

nearly 2,470nm (4,570km), some 50% greater than the basic variant.

Sukhoi says the first airframe, 95032, performed its maiden

flight on 12 February. It expects to secure certification for the twinjet

in 2014. It adds that the SSJ100LR will require a runway length of

6,730ft (2,050m). The first operator is yet to be confirmed.


Empty slots could slow 747-8 output

Maintaining monthly rate for Boeing’s high-capacity aircraft might result in airframer resorting to building unsold jets

Boeing could be forced to slow

production or build unsold

747-8s after 2013, the company has

warned in a US regulatory filing.

The airframer says a “number” of

unsold production slots for the

747-8 Freighter, as well as the Intercontinental

passenger model,

must be filled after 2013 to keep

production on track at a rate of

two aircraft per month.

“If we are unable to obtain orders

for multiple Freighter aircraft

in 2013 consistent with our nearterm

production plans, we may be

required to take actions,” it states,

adding this may include “reducing

the number of airplanes produced”

or “building airplanes for which

we have not received firm orders”.

Boeing made the notification to

the US Securities and Exchange

Commission. As of 31 January,

Boeing had 67 unfilled orders for

747-8s, including 39 747-8Fs and

28 747-8Is. The company is building

747-8s at a rate of 24 per year,

but customers have not claimed

all the delivery slots for 2013.

The market does not appear to

have turned in Boeing’s favour.

Air cargo demand remains weak

and strong interest in the passenger

model has yet to materialise.

Boeing says it will continue to

focus on reducing travelled work,

improving supply chain efficiency

and implementing cost cuts. “If

market and production risks cannot

be mitigated,” it adds, “the

programme could face an additional

reach-forward loss that may

be material.” Spirit AeroSystems

manufactures structures including

the 747-8 nose section but has

not adjusted its production plans,

says chief executive Jeff Turner.

“Right now, we’re assuming that

those [unclaimed positions] are

going to fill in,” he says. �


Extra design changes hike type’s empty weight to 220t

Boeing has updated the empty

weight of the 747-8 passenger variant

to reflect a 3% increase driven

by additional design changes since

the previous estimate set in 2008.

The empty weight of the 747-8

has risen by about 6,800kg

(15,000lb) to 220,000kg, according

to Boeing’s latest update to airport

planning documents. Actual weights

in service vary with each airline.

The weight of the 747-8 grew

during the development phase as

Boeing engineers struggled with the

initial design of the new supercritical

airfoil. “We changed the airfoils

on the 747-8 to a deeper chord supercritical

design,” says Boeing.

“This caused the weight of the wing

to increase.”

Boeing had previously also described

a migrating series of weightrelated

design problems in the

development phase. Changes to the

wing shifted the centre of gravity.

That shift, in turn, required Boeing to



Strong demand for the passenger variant has yet to materialise

redesign portions of the tail to rebalance

the loads, which caused further

design changes elsewhere. But

Boeing remains confident that the

effort to attach a supercritical wing

to the 747 airframe achieved most

of the desired results.

It claims a 15% fuel-burn reduction

over the 747-400. Lufthansa

has measured the difference as

more than 10%, but Boeing is to

offer an improved General Electric

GEnx-2B engine in 2014. �

19-25 February 2013 | Flight International | 13

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Crashed An-28 denied terrain warning

Pilot intoxication cited after collision with mountain but aircraft should have been fitted with ground-proximity system

Investigators have determined

that an Antonov An-28 that collided

with high terrain on a domestic

service in eastern Russia should

have been fitted with a groundproximity

warning system.

The inquiry into the loss of the


Aviation Enterprise aircraft near

Palana found that the An-28 had

been among the types required to

fit GPWS by 1 July 2012.

While the ministry had intended

to postpone the deadline to

October, the Interstate Aviation

Committee (MAK) says this order

was not registered with the justice

ministry at the time of the accident

on 12 September 2012.

Investigators had previously determined

that the pilots had been

intoxicated with alcohol, despite

passing a pre-flight medical check.

MAK suggests “impaired concentration”

of the crew contributed

to a “lack of response” to

radio altimeter indications that

the aircraft was approaching high

ground. Fitting of GPWS avionics

Sukhoi has defended the technical

record of its Superjet

100s after two recent incidents

involving landing-gear retraction

problems on Aeroflot aircraft.

The airframer insists that design

“deficiencies” emerge during

the first two years of commercial

operations on any aircraft type.

Russia’s transport ministry has

highlighted two incidents this

year during which Aeroflot Superjets

experienced landing-gear

retraction issues.

“could possibly have prevented”

the accident, says MAK.

Flight 251 from Yelizovo,

transporting 12 passengers and

two crew, had been intending to

approach Palana’s runway 11.

This required maintaining flight

level 70 (minimum 2,150m,

7,000ft) until reaching Palana’s

non-directional beacon (NDB),

then entering a hold to descend

The first involved aircraft 95017

departing Moscow Sheremetyevo

on 18 January, while the second,

four days later, centred on 95019

on take-off from Kharkov. Crews

received “gear fault” and “door not

closed” messages. The ministry

has asked for checks on the landing-gear

and for results to be sent

to the federal aviation regulator.

Sukhoi’s civil aircraft division

says the incidents are “isolated”

and adds: “Aircraft at the plant

are improved during the produc-

to 1,200m before exiting to the

final approach.

But the aircraft had been far off

course. It had been approaching

the NDB from the south but the

crew gave an incorrect position

report to air traffic control. Despite

being 43 nautical miles (80km)

from the airport, the An-28 prematurely

descended to 1,700m and

subsequently to 1,200m.

tion process.” It says commercial

operations with the twinjet type,

which is in service with three carriers,

have turned up problems

with erroneous leakage-detection

signals as well as slat extension.

Slat-extension incidents on

two other Aeroflot Superjets –

numbers 95008 and 95010 – arose

last year, prompting an airworthiness

directive in June. Aeroflot

has 10 Superjets.

Both matters have been “isolated”,

the airframer says, with service

bulletins developed, and the

in-service fleet is being modified

accordingly. The landing-gear

problem is not systemic, adds Sukhoi,

and is “being solved” in cooperation

with undercarriage specialist


“Gear-up faults do not qualify

as in-flight emergencies,” it says.

MAK says the crew effectively

followed an “arbitrary” approach

to the airport. As the aircraft continued

to descend, it started turning

left, possibly to cross the coast

of the Sea of Okhotsk and then

turn inbound to the airport.

But this track instead took it

towards high terrain, which was

shrouded with cloud. Flight-data

recorder information revealed a

sudden elevator deflection, pitch

up, which MAK believes to be a

crew reaction to obstacles in the

aircraft’s path. But this failed to

avert a collision with trees at a

height of 330m.

The impact occurred at 135kt

(250km/h) and the aircraft lost

power in both engines.

It pitched up but the loss of

thrust caused its speed to bleed to

70kt and the An-28 stalled, hitting

the trees again before breaking

up. It came to rest 10.7km

from the airport.

Both crew members and eight

passengers were killed in the accident,

but four others survived. �


Aeroflot technical snags prompt Superjet defence

Interjet’s first airframe emerges sporting its full paint scheme

Four of the 14 occupants survived the impact outside of Palana

Superjet International

Interstate Aviation Committee

“All other aircraft have been

checked and no landing-gear

problems were detected.”

Sukhoi’s marketing operation

Superjet International is nearing its

first delivery to a Western customer,

with the initial aircraft for Mexico’s

Interjet nearing completion.

Aircraft 95023 has been rolled

out from the Venice paint facility

carrying the Interjet colour

scheme, although the interior installation

has yet to be finished.

Interjet has ordered 20 of the 93seat

twinjets. The first is to be delivered

in spring. Its second aircraft,

95024, has been delivered to

Venice for completion work.

Superjet International says a

new full-flight simulator is undergoing

certification at its Venice

training centre, and Interjet pilots

will use the device from March. �




Out of the embattled airline’s 14 aircraft only seven are operating


Jat aims to revive

latent Airbus deal

Troubled Serbian flag carrier faces fleet shortage and intends

to slash workforce as part of broad restructuring programme

Serbian flag carrier Jat Airways

claims the government commission

responsible for the troubled

airline has accepted a restructuring

plan proposed by the

operator, which includes axing

nearly 50% of jobs and leasing

additional aircraft.

Under the plan, Jat would lease

four Airbus A320-family jets and

two ATR 72-500 turboprops to

cope with a fleet shortage.

The airline confirms that out of

14 aircraft – 10 Boeing 737s and

four ATR 72s – only seven are

currently in operation, forcing it

to revise timetables and cut frequencies

to some destinations.

Sources familiar with the situation

indicate the airline has received

a $10 million loan to be

used for maintenance and repayment

of debts to fuel suppliers.

Jat Airways’ escape plan includes

cutting its workforce to

740 personnel, including 156

flightcrew, down from 1,138 employees.

It will also “revise” its

relationship with Belgrade airport,

its fuel supplier, caterer and

handling agent, and maintenance

firm Jat Tehnika – some of which

were formerly an integral part of

the airline before being spun off

as independent companies. Jat

started the year with some 5.5 billion

dinars ($66 million) of debt,

mostly towards these companies.

It hopes to introduce two new

Airbus A319s and two A320s, as

well as two ATR 72-500s, before

June, and operate 14 aircraft for

the summer peak.

This could lead to resurrection

and restructuring of the long-

dormant order for eight A319s. Jat

intends the revised fleet and reduced

workforce, along with

amended relations with domestic

suppliers, to halve losses and

help increase passenger numbers

to 1.5 million – up from 1.36 million

in 2012.

Jat Tehnika managing director

Srđan Mišković says the maintenance

company has received the

necessary certificates to be “fully

capable” of offering both line and

heavy support for A320-family

jets. It currently services Boeing

737 and ATR fleets, and last year

recorded a “steady” turnover

with a “slightly positive, yet to be

specified” result.

About half of its work is performed

for Jat Airways, the rest for

third-party clients such as Jet2,

Europe Airpost and Transaero. �

Igor Salinger




Indian air force

chief lambasts

HAL trainers

India’s air force chief of staff has

cast further doubt on the future

of the Hindustan Aeronautics

(HAL) HTT-40 basic trainer, while

also criticising the company’s

HJT-36 Sitara intermediate jet

trainer and describing the service’s

relationship with the airframer

as “functional”.

Speaking at the Aero India

show near Bengaluru, Air Chief

Marshal NAK Browne gave a

fresh insight into the bad relations

between HAL and its biggest


“We have the Pilatus PC-7 MkII

trainer now,” says Browne. “It is a

fully proven trainer flown by

many countries globally. HAL’s

project to make [the HTT-40] from

scratch means that costs are

bound to be higher. The Indian

air force would also have to pay

for research and development. In

our view there is no need for this.

We need to stick to one trainer,

and we have advised the government

of this.”

New Delhi is obtaining 75 PC-7

MkIIs after conducting a competition

for a new basic trainer, with

the selection having prompted

Indian media reports in late 2012

which suggested that the air force

had rejected the HTT-40.

Browne also criticised HAL’s

developmental HJT-36 Sitara,

saying that its Russian-made NPO

Saturn AL-55I afterburning turbofan

engine has a time between

overhaul of only 200h.

Also speaking at the show,

HAL chairman RK Tyagi said it

would be cheaper for India to create

an indigenous basic trainer

with the supply chain located

mainly in India. He also defended

the HJT-36, noting it has conducted

647 test flights, including 185

last year and 45 during January

2013. “We are confident that the

[HJT-36] can achieve its initial

operating capability in December

this year,” he adds. �

More stories, pictures and video

from Aero India 2013 at


16 | Flight International | 19-25 February 2013

New Zealand’s fleet of NH Industries

NH90 medium utility

helicopters has cleared the

first phase of operational testing

and evaluation activities, enabling

the type to undertake its

first operational taskings for the

nation’s air force.

By approving an interim type

certificate and initial release of

operational capability, the Royal

The US Special Operations

Command (SOCOM) has

placed an indefinite delivery,

indefinite quantity service

deal with Insitu for mid-endurance

unmanned air system

(MEUAS) operations.

Announced on 7 February, the

contract places an immediate

order, the details of which remain

under wraps, including the type

of aircraft that will fill the role.

Boeing subsidiary Insitu manufactures

the ScanEagle, which is

already in use with SOCOM, and

the larger RQ-21 Integrator, which

is the most likely candidate for

the new business.

“Due to unforeseen circum-

For free access to Flightglobal’s Defence

e-newsletter visit flightglobal.com/


Four of the utility helicopters are now in use at Ohakea air base


New Zealand’s NH90s

clear testing milestone

New Zealand Air Force will be

able to perform domestic passenger

and cargo tasks, including

providing non-tactical support

to the armed services and government


Four of New Zealand’s eventual

eight NH90s have now been

delivered to Ohakea air base, with

the remainder to be handed over

within the next year. �


DoD approves

E-2D Hawkeye


SOCOM places urgent Insitu

UAV order to fill critical gap

US special operations contract for unspecified quantity aimed at mid-endurance operations

The ScanEagle is already flown

stances beyond the government’s

control, there is an immediate requirement

to mitigate a critical

intelligence, surveillance and re-

Peter Clark

Rex Features

Northrop Grumman’s E-2D

Advanced Hawkeye has received

approval from the US Office

of the Secretary of Defense to

enter full-rate production, following

a successful operational test

and evaluation phase.

“With the US Navy’s E-2D programme

of record at 75 aircraft, this

decision enables the production of

the remaining 55 aircraft over the

next 10 years, and provides the opportunity

for a cost-effective, multiyear

procurement,” says Bart La-

Grone, Northrop’s vice-president

for the E-2 programme.

The manufacturer has so far

delivered nine E-2Ds to the USN,

with another 11 in various stages

of manufacturing and pre-delivery

flight-testing. The navy expects

to declare initial operational

capability with its new-generation

airborne early warning and

control and battle management

aircraft during 2015. �

Keep track of news from the

defence aviation sector at


connaissance [ISR] services gap,”

the Department of Defense says.

“The contract is for the MEUAS

ISR service using contractorowned

and contractor-operated

equipment,” it adds, saying that

the 25-month deal has a potential

maximum value of $190 million.

One of SOCOM’s current

MEUAS service providers, AAI,

has suffered propulsion problems

with its Aerosonde UAV,

which has resulted in the loss of

several examples. The company

says it is now meeting contractual

requirements. �

For more about unmanned air

vehicle operations, visit




UK reviews

decision to

retire Sentinel


The Joint Strike Fighter is key to the USAF’s modernisation plans


US services issue

new cuts warning

Looming sequestration measure could force restructure of

F-35 programme and lead to cancellation of MV-22 deal

Lockheed Martin’s entire F-35

Joint Strike Fighter programme

may have to be restructured

if the Pentagon budget undergoes

the full effects of a

threatened sequestration act, the

US Air Force’s highest-ranking

officer has warned.

Under the Congressional sequestration

budgetary manoeuvre, the

US Department of Defense’s coffers

would be automatically cut across

the board by 10% every year for 10

years. If introduced, the reductions

would come on top of a $487 billion

reduction already imposed on

its spending plans. If full sequestration

were to take effect, “we’re

going to have to look completely at

the [F-35] programme,” USAF

chief of staff Gen Mark Welsh told

the Senate Armed Services Committee

on 12 February. “It’s going to

be impossible to modernise.”

The consequences would mean

the air force would be unable to

operate as effectively in contested

airspace as planned, Welsh says,

noting: “Our ‘kick in the door’ capability

would be impacted.”

Operational testers at Edwards

AFB, California, are expected to

receive their first four conventional

take-off and landing F-35As on

21 February, with a sister squadron

at Nellis AFB, Nevada, due to

receive its first four examples

about a week later. The aircraft

will be handed over in the Block

1B and Block 2A software standards


The USAF’s 31st and 422nd test

and evaluation squadrons were

supposed to receive their first aircraft

for operational test about

eight months ago, and have six

qualified F-35 pilots between

them. “The job is really familiarisation

training in preparation for

our big test in 2015-2016, assuming

that doesn’t slip again,” a

USAF official says, referring to the

planned start of operational testing

for the F-35A’s initial war-fighting

Block 2B software configuration.

Meanwhile, the effects of full

sequestration would be equally

dire for the US Navy and US Marine

Corps, service officials say.

Adm Mark Ferguson, vicechief

of naval operations, told

Congress the USN would lose

two carrier strike groups and a

“proportional” number of amphibious

strike groups if the cuts

are introduced. The USMC may

have to “cancel major multi-year

procurements, such as the [Bell

Boeing] MV-22, and incur greater

cost and delay in future programme

buys,” says commandant

Gen James Amos. Unless averted,

sequestration is scheduled to

come into effect on 1 March. �

US Air Force

model of a previously unseen

A Russian unmanned air vehicle

potentially capable of performing

strike missions has been

inadvertently revealed, with the

regional republic of Tatarstan’s

government having posted images

of the design online.

Pictures showing the Altius

UAV were briefly published following

a visit to the republic by

Russian defence minister Sergei

Shoigu on 5 February.

They were subsequently removed,

but had already been

reproduced by the business

daily Vedomosti. Tatarstan-based

Sokol then posted a graphic of

the type on its website following

the disclosure.

The Altius is a high-winged

aircraft apparently powered by

two turboprop engines, with its

design also featuring a streamlined

forward fuselage, slabsided

rear fuselage and a

V-shaped tail. The Sokol illustration

does not include a repre-

Israel Aerospace Industries is offering

a cost-effective means of

converting basic helicopters for a

range of maritime missions, and

is currently exploring co-operation

opportunities with leading

rotorcraft manufacturers.

Suitable for installation on new

or used helicopters, the Skimmer



Russian Altius design is

inadvertently revealed


sentative sensor payload or communications


Sokol and St Petersburg-based

Tranzas won a Rb 1 billion ($33

million) contract in 2011 to develop

a 5t-class medium-altitude,

long-endurance UAV provisionally

named Altius and a

1t-class system called Inokhodyets


Speaking at the time of the

award, Tranzas news agency

Viktor Godunov told ARMS-TASS

that the new systems would be

competitive with their foreign

counterparts, have long range and

endurance and be capable of “all

missions, including strike”.

Sokol is responsible for aircraft

construction and the supply

of ground systems, with Tranzas

developing control systems and

electronics for the Altius and Inokhodyets.

Both should make

their flight debuts during 2014,

and enter detailed testing in

2015, according to Russian

media reports. �

Sokol and Tranzas are working on the roughly 5t twin-turboprop

Skimmer conversion kit offered

package can add a search radar,

electro-optical/infrared sensor,

sonar, datalink, electronic support

measures and communications

intelligence arrays, plus

mission management and monitoring

systems. Weapons such as

anti-ship missiles could also be

installed, IAI says. �

19-25 February 2013 | Flight International | 17

Tim Bicheno-Brown/Sokol



United Aircraft chief

urges full MTA contract

Russia’s United Aircraft (UAC)

wants a contract for full-scale

development of the Medium

Transport Aircraft (MTA) to be

signed with India later this year,

following the completion of the

current project definition and

draft design phase, says UAC

president Mikhail Pogosyan.

About 30 Hindustan Aeronautics

engineers have been working

with their Ilyushin counterparts

in Moscow since December 2012

on the draft design. Freezing the

specification will enable the current

aggressive MTA schedule to

be met, Pogosyan said at the Aero

India show, near Bengaluru.

Meanwhile, Ilyushin general

director Victor Livanov confirms

the Aviadvigatel PS-90A76 engine

selected for the Il-76MD-90/90A

transport is the primary candidate

The UK Ministry of Defence is

reviewing its decision to remove

the Royal Air Force’s

Bombardier Global Express-based

Sentinel R1 surveillance aircraft

from use in 2015, as their capability

continues to support operations

inside Afghanistan and Mali.

The proposal to retire the synthetic

aperture radar and ground

moving target indication sensorequipped

Sentinel fleet and associated

ground exploitation equipment

formed part of the coalition

18 | Flight International | 19-25 February 2013

to power a development prototype

and initial batch of production examples

of the MTA, due to appear

in 2017-2018. The more fuel-efficient

PS-14 engine being developed

for Irkut’s MS-21 narrowbody

airliner is likely to power

later examples, with an Indian

proposal to use the CFM International

CFM56 now dropped.

Livanov says the final choice

will be made by the MTAL joint

venture and Russian and Indian

air forces, with specialists working

to determine the maximum airfield

elevation for operating the

MTA, with “an idea” to increase

an earlier limit of 10,800ft

(3,300m) to 13,400ft. The Ilyushin

official says if this is advanced,

“the PS-90A76 might not deliver

the required thrust and come short

in other characteristics”. �

government’s Strategic Defence

and Security Review (SDSR) of

September 2010.

Five Raytheon Systems-modified

aircraft are assigned to the

RAF’s 5 Sqn based at RAF Waddington,

Lincolnshire. The MoD

says two are on overseas deployments:

one is supporting the

NATO mission in Afghanistan

and the other providing ground

surveillance for France’s Operation

Serval in Mali. The latter is

being operated from Dakar in

For free access to Flightglobal’s Defence

e-newsletter visit flightglobal.com/



Botswana banks on PC-7 MkII fleet

A new fleet of five Pilatus PC-7 MkII turboprop trainers has been

placed into operational service by the Botswana Defence Force,

which also has retired six earlier-model examples. Acquired under a

roughly Swfr40 million ($44 million) deal and formally introduced in

the capital, Gaborone, on 8 February, “The new aircraft will be operated

and maintained by Botswana Defence Force personnel, supported

by Pilatus,” the Swiss manufacturer says. Delivered in 1990,

the operator’s originally seven-strong PC-7 inventory accumulated

more than 28,000 flight hours before being withdrawn, it adds.


UK reviews decision to retire Sentinel

Capabilities proved within Afghanistan and Mali lead MoD to consider retaining Global Express-based aircraft beyond 2015

Five radar-equipped aircraft have been in service since late 2008

Crown Copyright

Senegal as part of a roughly

70-person detachment. “The department

is currently considering

how it might retain Sentinel beyond

2015, with the final decision

to be taken as part of the next

SDSR,” says Mark Francois, minister

of state for defence personnel,

welfare and veterans.

First indications that at least

part of the Sentinel capability

could be retained emerged in

May 2012, when NATO said

France and the UK had each offered

to make contributions in

kind in support of its future Alliance

Ground Surveillance system,

which will include a fleet of

five radar-equipped Northrop

Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned

air vehicles.

The UK’s Sentinel R1s were acquired

via the MoD’s Airborne

Stand-Off Radar programme,

worth more than £1.2 billion

($1.9 billion), including support

arrangements. The system entered

service in November 2008.

Francois also confirmed the

planned introduction schedule for

the RAF’s three Airseeker electronic

intelligence aircraft. “The

first of these aircraft will be delivered

in December 2013, followed

by further deliveries in 2015 and

2017. Airseeker is expected to

enter service in October 2014.”

To be maintained in a common

configuration with the US Air

Force’s RC-135W Rivet Joint platforms,

the UK aircraft are being acquired

for £634 million, plus a total

expected in-service support cost of

£637 million by 2025, according to

the UK National Audit Office’s

Major Projects Report 2012. They

will replace the RAF’s former British

Aerospace Nimrod R1s, the last of

which was retired in 2012. �

Keep track of news from the

defence aviation sector at




The Middle East Business

Aviation Association has offered

to intercede in a dispute between

Rizon Jet and Qatar’s civil

aviation authority, which the Doha-based

operator accuses of preventing

it competing with the

business aviation arm of stateowned

Qatar Airways.

MEBAA chairman Ali Al Naqbi

says the organisation wants to

help its member “build a bridge

and create an effective means of

Greater China’s business jet fleet

grew by 40% in 2012 to 336

aircraft, fuelled by huge demand

for top-of-the-range aircraft.

According to a study by aviation

consultancy Asian Sky

Group, the fleet of jets in Hong

Kong, Taiwan, Macau and the

People’s Republic of China (PRC)

grew by 96 aircraft in 2012, with

large, super-large, ultra-longrange

and corporate airliners accounting

for 91% of the growth.

Gulfstream topped the tally

with 36 aircraft – 22 G550s and 12

G450s, while Bombardier was second,

delivering 22 Challenger

types and nine Global business

jets. Largest growth came in the

PRC, with its fleet climbing by

40% to 193 business jets.

“This represents an increase in

absolute numbers during 2012 –



No of aircraft


8 Airbus









SOURCE: Asian Sky Group



Airbus Corporate Jets

pins hopes on

market rebound


communicating concerns” with

the authority. It has also raised the

matter with the International Business

Aviation Council.

Al Naqbi says MEBAA’s objective

is to create “a sustainable and

competitive environment in Qatar

that will facilitate increased adoption

and accessibility for business

aviation in the Middle East.”

In January, Rizon chief executive

Capt Hassan Al-Mousawi said

the authority was “creating obsta-

60 versus 43 aircraft in 2011 – but

the growth rate slowed by 5% to

40%,” says report author and

Asian Sky general manager

Jeffrey Lowe. He is confident demand

will remain strong across

the region: “There is huge pentup

demand for business jets in

China. We have barely scratched

the surface.”

Top-end business jets continue

to dominate, the study reveals,

with Lowe highlighting “the increasing

need for companies and

individuals to fly globally for

business”. In contrast, demand

for bottom-end jets is lacklustre.

Bombardier, for example, has yet

to find a market for its Learjet

family. Another of the industry’s

big players has also struggled, the

report states: “Cessna has seen little

growth over the last three

years, with only one net aircraft

added in 2010 and two net aircraft

in 2011.

“The range of available models

has not catered to more recent

large-cabin and ultra-long range

tastes of high-net-worth individuals

in the PRC,” it adds.

“Cessna is hoping its new midsize

Citation Latitude and largecabin

Longitude, [scheduled to

enter service in 2015 and 2017

respectively], will reverse its fortunes

in PRC.” �

cles” to its “progress to grow” at

Doha’s airport, where the Qatariowned

company competes directly

with Qatar Executive – the business

jet charter arm of Qatar

Airways. Among his claims were

that the authority had broken an

agreement to allow third-parties to

use Rizon’s VIP terminal, and for

Rizon to offer flight support services

to other carriers.

Al-Mousawi highlighted the

fact that Qatar Airways operates

Sikorsky has delivered the first

of 16 S-92s to UK mission

critical services company Avincis

Group for operation by its Norwegian

subsidiary Norsk Helikopterservice.

Although registered in

Norway, the first two S-92s will

be based in Aberdeen and used

for offshore crew transportation

and search and rescue missions

in the North Sea for clients of sister

company Bond Aviation.

Bond has been seeking additional

capacity in the UK since the

October grounding of its Eurocopter

EC225 fleet. The S-92s are expected

to begin operations in Norway

before the end of 2013, says

Avincis. All 16 S-92s will be

equipped with five flotation devices,

two auto-deployable life

rafts, satellite flight-following

communications, and a main rotor

blade ice protection system.

Offshore oil operators fly the

aircraft for an average of 90-110h



MEBAA offers to referee Rizon row

Association wants to build bridge between charter firm and Qatari civil aviation authority in dispute over Doha airport


Chinese business jet

fleet grew 40% in 2012





the airport, and effectively has a

monopoly on ground handling –

something he said created an

“uneven playing field”.

Privately owned Rizon, which

also owns a fixed-base operation at

London’s Biggin Hill airport, was

set up in 2006 and offers a range of

business aviation services, including

charter and hangarage. �

Read our recent report on Middle

East business aviation at


The UK group’s order is the largest single purchase of the type


Avincis gets first finished S-92

per month in often challenging

environments, says Sikorsky.

Operators based in North Sea region

countries – including the

UK, Norway and the Netherlands

– operate 47 S-92s configured

for offshore transport and

search and rescue missions, adds

the US airframer. The S-92 fleet

is expected to reach the 500,000

flight hour milestone in February,

leading to the 200th delivery

of the 20+-seat type in the second

quarter of the year.

Avincis subsidiaries, which

also include Inaer and Australian

Helicopters, operate a combined

fleet of about 350 rotary and 50

fixed-wing aircraft across 295

bases worldwide. The aircraft

order – announced in December

2011 – is the largest single purchase

of S-92 helicopters to date.

The first four aircraft will be financed

by Irish helicopter leasing

company Milestone Aviation. �

19-25 February 2013 | Flight International | 19





Shanghai Hawker Pacific

Business Aviation Service

Centre has received Part 145

certification from the US

Federal Aviation Administration

as an overseas repair station.

The approval is the first for a

dedicated business aviation

maintenance facility in China,

says the company, a joint venture

between Shanghai Airport

Authority, operator of Shanghai’s

Hongqiao and Pudong airports,

and Hawker Pacific.


Business aviation services provider

Signature Flight Support

has won a bid to build and run a

fixed-base operation (FBO) at

Mineta San José International

airport (SJC) in California. The

Orlando, Florida-headquartered

company is now seeking the

go-ahead from San José city

council to begin construction of

the $82 million facility on the

west side of SJC, also known as

“Silicon Valley’s airport”. Plans

call for a “full-service” FBO,

22,300m 2 (240,000ft 2 ) of

hangar space, a 930m 2 executive

terminal, a 700m 2 “technology

garden”, 2,230m 2

dedicated to offices and shops,

and 18.5 acres (7.5ha) of ramp

space, says Signature.


Eurocopter has delivered an

EC135 to Indian multinational

car manufacturer Mahindra &

Mahindra. The Mumbai-based

company – whose aerospace

division builds sub-assemblies

and customises Eurocopter civil

helicopter types for the Indian

market – will use the light twin

for corporate transportation.


ST Aviation Resources has established

a joint venture with

Caterham Jet and EVIA

Aviation. The new company,

CJS Aviation, will be based in

Singapore and specialise in

private aircraft management

and leasing throughout the

Asia-Pacific region.

20 | Flight International | 19-25 February 2013

Gulfstream has secured European

validation for the G280

business jet about five months

after Israel and the USA certificated

the super-midsize aircraft.

The G280 was introduced in

2008 as a replacement for the

Keep up to date with all the latest

business and general aviation news at



Europe opens way to G280 deliveries

Airbus Corporate Jets (ACJ)

hopes for a stronger sales performance

in the coming 12

months after a “soft” market for

VIP airliners in 2012 contributed

to it adding only five gross orders

to its backlog. On top of that, two

cancellations of ACJ318s, caused

by the airframer “housekeeping”

on its orderbook, took the net figure

down to only three aircraft. It

was also a worse performance

than the preceding year where it

recorded 10 commitments for its

corporate jetliners.

The division is pinning its

hopes for 2013 on an improved

market, including several ongoing

governmental campaigns.

Fran çois Chazelle, ACJ vice-president,

says the contests offer potential

for sales right across its range:

“It’s mostly at the smaller end, but

I could imagine some appetite

coming back for widebodies too.”

ACJ also intends to bolster its

widebody sales through the disposal

of a number of former Singapore

Airlines A340-500 passenger

jets, which are returning to Airbus

as part of a deal for new A350s. In

all, Airbus will receive five of the

A340s from the carrier and Chazelle

is confident the corporate jet

operation will be able to move

some of them on. But its ability to

sell all five aircraft is constrained

by capacity later this year at completions

centres, he says.

To support the A340 sales, ACJ

has developed a new three-class

interior for the type – “Gala” – of-

G200, formerly dubbed the Galaxy

business jet.

The 10-seat aircraft is manufactured

by Israel Aerospace Industries

in Tel Aviv and shipped to

Gulfstream’s headquarters in Savannah,

USA for completion.

fering a VVIP cabin between doors

two and three, with potential to install

first-class seating at the front

and a business-class section to the

rear. “It’s something we have asked

the outfitters to quote on and we

believe we have come up with

quite an attractive package and

price,” he says. The Gala concept

will also be available for new-build

ACJ330s and the conversion of existing

commercial A330s.

Chazelle is also confident its

“entry-level” ACJ318 will continue

to attract interest, particularly

with the Enhanced package, including

the addition of the sharklet

wing-tip modification it

launched at the 2012 NBAA show.

Although there has been no decision

on the future of the ACJ318

following its exclusion from Airbus’s

re-engining plans for commercial

A320-family jets, Chazelle

says production will continue at

Gulfstream delivered 17 midsize-category

jets – including the

G280’s smaller stablemate the G150

– in 2012. This tally is expected to

climb to 26 in 2013, although Gulfstream

declines to break down the

predicted deliveries by type. �


Airbus Corporate Jets pins

hopes on market rebound

Product tweaks and used aircraft proposition for governments will help, says airframer

Company confidence is high over sales for the ACJ318 Enhanced

least until 2018-2019 despite the

overall transition to assembly of

the Neo range from 2015. “There’s

no real obstacle to build the two in

parallel,” he says.

There is also no indication

whether Airbus will offer re-engined

variants of the ACJ320 family,

but Chazelle hints at a positive

decision: “We have not

announced a launch so far but it

is something that could happen

in the coming months.

“There’s definitely a commitment

from Airbus to the corporate

jet market so down the line we

want to be able to offer our customers

the best possible aircraft.”

In 2012, ACJ booked orders for

two ACJ318s, two ACJ319s and a

single ACJ330, handing over nine

aircraft in total. �

For news from the business and

general aviation sectors, go to





Fruits of freedom

for EADS



Rotor blade pressure may

hold key to dynamic stall

DLR revisits experiments from 1940s to test effect of air discharge on flight control

German aerospace research

centre DLR is experimenting

with modified helicopter rotor

blades which discharge pressurised

air through small holes

along the leading edge to dampen

airfoil vibrations and increase aircraft


Main rotor blades tend to stall

in the part of the rotation cycle

when the airfoil travels in the opposite

direction to flight. Such

dynamic stall happens particularly

in high-speed forward flight

or fast manoeuvres.

The airfoil not only loses lift

and drag increases when the airflow

becomes turbulent, but the

rotor construction is also subject

to vibrations and significant strain.

This limits the top speed and manoeuvrability

of helicopters, particularly

at high altitudes.

Releasing air from the holes in

the leading edge can reduce the

turbulences and substantially

dampen the associated pitchdown

momentum of the rotor,

says DLR.

The scientists tested a 1m (3ft)

fixed rotor blade in the transonic

windtunnel of DLR’s Institute of

Though great efforts necessarily

go into improving the machinery

of flight, it is sometimes

worth remembering there remains

much to be learned about

the most important component of

all: the human crew.

Speaking to a packed house on

7 February at the Royal

Aeronautical Society in London

about the training regime he

hopes will one day earn him selection

for an International Space

Station mission, European Space

Agency astronaut Tim Peake was

asked whether, 50 years into the

space age, we fully understand

Sensors measured air pressure changes 6,000 times per second

Aerodynamics and Flow Technology

in Göttingen, which can

simulate air speeds from about

540kt (1,000km/h) to Mach 2.2.

The blade was equipped with

42 holes of 3mm diameter to discharge

the pressurised air, as

well as 74 sensors to measure air

pressure changes across the airfoil

6,000 times per second. As a

next step, DLR wants to test a rotating

blade and verify the previous


The research team envisions

an application which can be

the physiological effects of

weightlessness. His answer surprised

the crowd.

Just last year, he said, it became

evident that about 20% of men

who make long-duration space

flights – of six months or more –

suffer permanent eyesight degradation.

That is, after returning to

Earth they remain short-sighted

and may need to wear glasses or

undergo corrective laser surgery.

The theory being considered

is that in microgravity, blood and

fluid pressure in the legs is necessarily

lower than on the

ground, and that pressure is dis-

manually activated by the pilot in

critical manoeuvres to enhance

the helicopter’s performance.

The idea of influencing aircraft

aerodynamics by discharging pressurised

air from airfoils goes back

to the 1940s, when experiments

were conducted in Göttingen.

Karl Richter, who is head of

DLR’s “STELAR” (stall and transition

on elastic rotor blades)

project, says that the windtunnel

experiment was the most elaborate

dynamic stall control assessment

internationally. �

tributed elsewhere; astronauts

on the ISS tend to have puffy

faces, says Peake, and it may be

the case that pressure on the retinas

flattens them, in some cases

permanently. Women are not affected,

it appears. This discovery

begs the question, what other effects

of spaceflight have we yet




eye-in-sky set for

return to testing

Boeing’s Phantom Eye highaltitude,

long-endurance testbed

is ready to fly again – following

a hard landing after its first

flight in June 2012.

Strengthened landing gear and

software and hardware upgrades

will enable higher-altitude tests

from NASA’s Dryden Flight

Research Center at Edwards AFB,

following 40kt (75km/h) taxi tests

on its launch cart on 6 February.

The 150ft (46m) wingspan aircraft

is capable of carrying a 440lb

(200kg) payload and features

what Boeing describes as an “innovative

and environmentally

responsible liquid-hydrogen propulsion

system creating only

water as a by-product”.

The objective is to stay on station

for up to four days at up to

65,000ft. The June 2012 flight

ended in a mishap when the

landing gear dug into the

Edwards lake bed and broke.

“We’ve drawn on Boeing’s experience

to come up with a solution

using our tactical fighter aircraft

landing systems as an example,”

says chief engineer Brad Shaw. �


Warning – weightlessness can ruin your eyesight

It may be the case

that pressure on the

retinas flattens them,

in some cases



Track the progress of development

programmes at


to encounter? A typical stay on

the ISS is six months and the

spaceflight endurance record is

437 days, set on the Russian station,

Mir. If a mission to Mars is

ever undertaken, the crew would

be away from Earth for a minimum

of 18 months.

Peake, a UK army major who

still flies Boeing Apache helicopters

for the Territorial Army, speculated

that genetic screening may

become a necessary part of astronaut

selection. �

Commentary about the spaceflight

sector is on our blog at


19-25 February 2013 | Flight International | 21


Good week

THE EURO Despite many

predictions to the contrary,

Europe’s single

currency not only remains

in business but

appears to be thriving.

From a low point of barely

$1.20 in July 2012,

the euro has climbed

steadily to its current

level, solidly in the

$1.30s. That strength is

a welcome sign that

while European economies

remain mired in

debt and slow- or nogrowth,

the European

Central Bank has a grip

on a crisis that a year

ago looked existential.

EUROPE Chaotic collapse

of the euro may no

longer be an urgent worry

but Continental exporters

may be excused for

wishing their currency

was just a little bit less

robust. These are recessionary

times, and a

strong currency is hardly

welcome – especially for

European aerospace

companies whose products

are so often priced

in US dollars. We are a

long way from the painful

days of $1.50 to the

euro, but the European

Central Bank is getting

worried at $1.30-plus.

Bad week

22 | Flight International | 19-25 February 2013

Rex Features

Rex Features

Aircraft finance is among the sectors covered

by our premium news and data service

Flightglobal Pro: flightglobal.com/pro


Fruits of freedom for EADS

The failed BAE merger has left a legacy – an unshackling from government interference

Airbus parent EADS is poised

to reveal a dramatic rise in

profitability, having netted more

than €2.1 billion ($2.8 billion) for

shareholders last year, up from

little more than €1 billion in 2011

and only €533 million in 2010.

The figures, to be revealed on

27 February, look to be at the high

end of EADS guidance. Results

issued by key shareholder

Daimler show its approximately

15% share of the 2012 net profit

of EADS amounted to €307 million,

more than twice the €143

million it received in 2011.

EADS is unable to comment yet

on 2012 performance, but revenue

has risen steadily for several years

to €49.1 billion in 2011, and Airbus

in 2012 delivered a record 588

aircraft. However, profitability has

been low and Louis Gallois, who

retired in 2012 as chief executive,

had made improvement a priority.

Although the group’s “Vision

2020” bid to reduce its reliance on

Airbus – historically accounting

for some two-thirds of sales – has

been thwarted by a booming civil

aircraft market, analysts have

praised cost reduction efforts.

Astrium and Eurocopter are

stars, too, and both have been in

the ascendancy for several years.

The Cassidian defence unit,

however, is another story – which

Gallois’ successor, former Airbus

boss Tom Enders, will be pressed

to address when he takes to the

stage for the first time as chief executive

to detail 2012’s results.

Since taking office, Enders has

made two strategic thrusts – one

failed and one spectacularly successful

– that have placed him at

the focal point of the global defence

aerospace industry, a position

that would have seemed fanciful

even six months ago.

His bold September bid to

merge EADS with the UK’s BAE

Systems and create the world’s

biggest aerospace group failed to

find favour with many investors.

It was thwarted by the German

government which, alongside

Paris, effectively controls EADS.

Listen carefully

Berlin is believed to have feared

its national defence industry interests

would lose out to a Franco-British

axis in an EADS-BAE

combination. However, like a

judo master Enders quickly exploited

Berlin’s momentum to

achieve a strategic victory – by

pushing the shareholding governments

out of the EADS management



As Daimler’s 2012 results reveal,

this new EADS governance deal

– arising from astonishment that

politicians could so blatantly

thwart the will of management

and investors – is already shifting

the European industrial landscape.

In the first week of December,

only hours after the French

and German governments agreed

to cede control of the European

aerospace champion, the auto

maker behind the Mercedes-Benz

brand realised €709 million from

the €1.66 billion sale of a 7.5%

stake – half of its remaining holding

in EADS – to institutional investors

and German banks.

Daimler has long made clear it

wants to end its days as proxy

holder of Germany’s EADS stake

to focus on its core business. The

new deal frees it to do that – as it

does Daimler’s equally-reluctant

French counterpart, Lagardère.

EADS itself is unlikely to

pursue another mega-merger

soon, but its dalliance with

BAE has surely focused minds

in other European boardrooms;

transformative deals involving

big players Safran, Thales and

Finmeccanica have been discussed

for years and may now

look timely.

Reaction in the USA may be

equally disruptive. As consultancy

PwC concluded earlier in

February in its 2012 aerospace

mergers and acquisitions report,

uncertainty surrounding the US

government’s ongoing political

battle over spending cuts is holding

back a wave of defence industry


PwC’s US aerospace lead Scott

Thompson told Flight International

that while the Department

of Defense has made clear it does

not support further mergers between

US prime contractors, that

position predates the financial

crisis. If US defence spending is

cut drastically in any eventual

resolution of the federal budget

sequestration stand-off, then

some companies will surely be

prepared to explore the prospect

of changing that DoD position in

a new economic environment,

says Thompson. The fact that one

of those primes – BAE – was prepared

to enter a transformative

deal will have got its rivals thinking

about their strategic options.

Managers itching to cut loose

that wave of deal-making will be

tuned to Tom Enders’ handling of

questions about EADS’s defence

sector strategy – which, ironically,

he will field in Berlin. �


Rex Features


Rolls-Royce aims to

prove maturity of

A350’s Trent XWB



Ball Aerospace, Engine Alliance, NASA, Pratt & Whitney

Strain: heading Ball

Dean Athans has been named

president of the 50-50 GE-Pratt &

Whitney joint venture Engine

Alliance, succeeding Mary Ellen

Jones who returns to a senior

leadership position at P&W.

Athans has led GE’s LMS100

power turbine programme since

2010, following 25 years with GE

Aviation. Engine Alliance makes

the GP7200 Airbus A380 option

powerplant. At Ball Aerospace,

chief operating officer Robert

Strain will succeed the retiring

David Taylor as president and

chief executive from the end of

March. Strain joined Ball in 2012;

he has served as director of

NASA’s Goddard Spaceflight


“Our business

model works, even

in the strong

recession we


in Ireland”


says its run of three profitable years

should keep the airline independent

as the EC apparently scuppered

a Ryanair takeover bid

Ball Aerospace

Center and held leadership roles

at The Johns Hopkins University

Applied Physics Laboratory,

Orbital Sciences and Fairchild

Space and Defense. Astronaut

Brent Jett has left NASA; the

retired US Navy captain flew on

four Shuttle flights, headed the

Flight Crew Operations

Directorate and most recently

served as deputy manager of the

Commercial Crew Program.

Separately, NASA astronaut

Clayton Anderson has retired after

a 30-year career including two

space flights, as a flight engineer

aboard the International Space

Station in 2007, and as a mission

specialist on STS-131 in 2010.

Jett: NASA departure






SEATS German seat maker Recaro has opened an extension to its

Fort Worth, Texas facility as part of plans to grow revenue by about

65% during the next five years, from €304 million ($407 million) in

2011 to around €500 million in 2017. The Texas plant, which

opened in 1998 and employs about 350 staff, has more than doubled

in size to 23,000m 2 (250,000ft 2 ) during the past year. The bulk

of 2013 production of about 29,000 seats will be coach-class units

for customers in North and South America. The site plays a central

role in Recaro’s growth plans because of its proximity to Boeing final

assembly lines, Airbus’s planned A320 assembly line in Mobile,

Alabama, and some of the world’s largest airlines, says aircraft seating

division chief executive Mark Hillier. In 2012, Recaro expanded in

Poland and will open a factory in Qingdao, China later this year.


DEFENCE At the aerospace and defence systems division of

Norwegian high-technology group Kongsberg, EBITA rose 45% to

NKr381 million ($69 million) for the full year 2012, on revenue up

19% to Nkr4.65 billion. Revenue was up across the operation, with

Lockheed Martin confirming Kongsberg’s Joint Strike Missile will be

integrated on to the F-35 standing out as a highlight of the year, with

potential for “significant long-term contract opportunities for

Kongsberg as well as other Norwegian subcontractors”.


ELECTRONICS Saab is to enter a 49-51 joint venture to create the

first United Arab Emirates-based radar systems maker with Tawazun,

a UAE investment company focusing on defence and “strategic manufacturing”.

Abu Dhabi Advanced Radar Systems claims to be the

first radar development, manufacture, assembly and integration

company in the Middle East for development of next-generation systems

as well as support services.


HYDRAULICS Wipro Infrastructure Engineering will begin aerospace

hydraulic actuators manufacture by mid-year at a new facility in the

special economic zone near Bengaluru International airport. Initial

production plans are for 2,000 actuators per year.


COMPONENTS In its third quarter to 29 December, RBC Bearings

enjoyed “momentum” in aerospace sales, with a near 16% rise in

revenue on the back of commercial aircraft build rates and aftermarket,

although these gains were largely offset by declining sales in

mining and military markets, leaving the company up barely 1% for

the quarter, to $96.3 million. For the nine-month period, the

Connecticut-headquartered bearings maker posted sales up 5% to

$300 million, while pre-tax profits rose 23% to $64.6 million.


AIRLINES Unions representing Iberia ground staff and cabin crew have

announced 15 days of strikes in February and March in protest at parent

company International Airlines Group’s plans to cut Iberia’s fleet by

15%, axe 4,500 jobs and reduce salaries by up to 35% in a bid to restore

profitability. IAG, which owns British Airways and Iberia, had imposed

an end-January deadline for agreement with unions, and intends

to go ahead with the cuts with or without a union deal. IAG boss Willie

Walsh says the company remains ready to negotiate, but insists: “We

are determined and united to implement the necessary changes.”

19-25 February 2013 | Flight International | 23



The Trent XWB

has the largest

fan yet designed

for a Rolls-

Royce engine


As a certification milestone is reached, Rolls-Royce is turning its attention to proving

the maturity of the A350’s Trent XWB powerplant ahead of first delivery next year


The recent grounding of the latest widebody

twinjet to enter airline service –

Boeing’s 787 – means the Airbus

A350 XWB will come under unprecedented

public scrutiny when customer deliveries

get under way in 2014.

Although the 787’s current woes are not

powerplant-related, Rolls-Royce is well aware

that as sole engine supplier to the A350 it has

24 | Flight International | 19-25 February 2013

a critical role in ensuring the European-built

widebody enjoys a relatively trouble-free

commercial debut.

Rolls-Royce is understandably endeavouring

to leave no stone unturned as it seeks to

demonstrate the maturity and service-ready

credentials of the Trent XWB, its most advanced

three-spool large turbofan, which has

notched up more than 1,200 sales before the

A350 even gets airborne.

An illustration of this determination is the

fact that although all flight-test work required

for certification of the Trent XWB has been

completed, Airbus and Rolls-Royce have together

decided to extend the campaign using

the airframer’s A380 flying testbed ahead of

the A350’s maiden sortie.

“We both consider that it’s the right thing to

do for powerplant maturity and we’re both

very supportive of making sure the powerplant

is as mature as it possibly can be so as to

not give [the A350] any form of problem at


entry into service,” says Trent XWB programme

director Chris Young. “So we’re prepared

to carry on investing in the product between

us,” he adds.

The extra flying using the A380 – which

first got airborne with the Trent XWB installed

in February 2012 – facilitated additional systems

tests and provided an opportunity to

take the powerplant through its paces under

extremely cold conditions.

The cold weather flying tests were performed

in Iqaluit in Nunavut, Canada, where

temperatures were -23˚C (-9˚F).

“This is all about proving the long-term

service maturity of the engine and just carrying

on getting experience in representative

environments,” says Young.

The engine installed on the A380 is the

same one used for the most recent phase of

certification testing, and is “very close” to the

final configuration that will power the A350

on its first flight later this year.


“There are a few minor changes as always

around things like pipe routings and some of

the last minute external changes that we’ve

found but overall it’s very representative of

the bill of material, which is why it makes

sense to carry on flying and getting the evidence

and data from it,” says Young.

“It’s millions of dollars to do

[the blade-off test] and we

like to be confident”


Trent XWB programme director, Rolls-Royce

Certification of the Trent XWB was awarded

by the European Aviation Safety Agency on 7

February following successful completion of

the critical full engine blade-off test, conducted

using 58 Bed at Rolls-Royce’s factory in Derby,

UK. This was preceded by a blade-off test using




WHILE THE baseline A350-900

is powered by the 84,000lb

(374kN)-thrust Trent XWB-84,

the -800 shrink will be

equipped with the de-rated

XWB-75, or XWB-79 for hot-andhigh


The stretched A350-1000,

however, requires the

97,000lb Trent XWB-97

growth variant to preserve the

type’s transpacific range capability

for customers such as

Cathay Pacific.

The XWB-97 will retain the

same fan diameter, mounting

points and nacelle aerolines as

its less powerful siblings, and

derive much of its extra thrust

via increased fan flow. A larger

core will be required to power

the fan, and this will feature

turbine blade tip clearance control,

upgraded materials and

advanced cooling technology.

The result, Rolls-Royce hopes,

is the extra thrust capability

can be delivered with no impact

on specific fuel consumption or

on-wing life.

With development work for

the baseline XWB-84 essentially

complete, Rolls-Royce is

ramping up activity on the

XWB-97, which has entered

the component-level design

phase ahead of the start of

assembly of the first test engines.

The preliminary design

review milestone was passed

in early January.

“Now it’s all-systems-go, to

do the very detailed individual

component design and manufacture

and to start pouring the

castings and cutting the metal

as we go through this year in

order to get the first parts in

store for the first prototype engine

and go towards that first

engine run around the middle of

next year,” says Trent XWB programme

director Chris Young.


The first A350-1000 is scheduled

to fly in mid-2016, a year

ahead of entry into service.

“Both ourselves and Airbus

think that for the overall maturity

of the product, doing a flying

testbed [for the XWB-97] is

a beneficial thing to do,” says

Young. “We are in discussion

with Airbus about exactly what

the approach is that we take

for the 97k engine.”

Flight tests of the XWB-97

engine should “most likely”

start in the second half of

2015, he says. The first engine

run is scheduled for mid-2014.

Options include redeploying

the A380 as the testbed, or

fitting a Trent XWB-97 to an

A350-900 test aircraft. Using a

twin-engined A350, however,

would involve more stringent

regulatory requirements and

the engine would have to be

“more mature” before flying

could begin, says Young. A decision

between the A380 and

A350 is expected “towards the

middle of this year”.

Some key advances being

introduced in the XWB-97 are in

the turbine and combustion sections,

and include shroudless

turbine blades, tip-clearance

systems and advanced materials

and coatings. Rolls-Royce

claims to have achieved 80%

commonality with the baseline

XWB-97 engine in terms of linereplaceable


The third build standard for

Rolls-Royce’s Environmentally

Friendly Engine programme is

being installed on the testbed

in Bristol, UK and will demonstrate

technologies aimed at

extending turbine life. There will

also be a cyclic endurance test.

“Apart from just proving it in

a representative environment

as we did with builds one and

two, it’s now about starting to

prove the full-life capability as

an advanced de-risk of the 97k

engine,” says Young. �

only a fan module at the company’s Dahlewitz

site in eastern Germany on 2 November, which

provided the “data and confidence” to move to

the full engine test in the UK on 29 November.

“It’s lots of millions of dollars to do [the full

engine test], and we like to make sure that

we’re completely confident in the successful

outcome of that test before we go into it,” says

Young, adding that the fan module test is conducted

to identify any “last-minute design

tweaks” that may be required.

Conducting the full engine blade-off test inside

58 Bed threw up a host of technical challenges,

as the Trent XWB has the biggest fan

built by Rolls-Royce, as well as the biggest individual

blades. The high energy levels involved

meant the company’s engineers had to

be sure 58 Bed – the newest and most modern

test facility on the Derby campus – was structurally

capable of hosting the demonstration.

“That was the first time we’ve done a big

fan indoors – it had always been an outdoor


19-25 February 2013 | Flight International | 25


test before,” says Young. The move inside

was necessitated by the UK company’s decision

to decommission its outdoor test facilities

at Hucknall in Nottinghamshire, UK,

which had been encroached by housing estates

in recent years.

“It means that we can do everything that we

want to 24 hours a day and be more effective

in our operations rather than just do it a few

hours a day when we’re not annoying the

neighbours too much,” says Young.


In the event all went well as the blade was released

at the root and the engine ran down,

and was then shut down, in the presence of

representatives from Airbus and EASA.

The blade was released at the “absolute

maximum, red-line N1 speed, and then we

actually add a little bit of margin to make sure

that we’re comfortable that we have some

growth capability on the engine if we ever

need it in the future”, says Young. “It’s a very

arduous test that really proves the robustness

and overall capability of the engine. We effectively

do it at a higher speed than would ever

occur in a service environment. The good

news is it went very well and delivered all of

the evidence that we needed for certification,”

he adds.

The blade-off test involved the baseline

84,000lb-thrust Trent XWB-84 for the

A350-900. The more powerful, 97,000lb-rated

XWB-97 in development for the stretched

A350-1000 (see box P25) will require another

test as it features stronger, heavier fan blades

which rotate at a higher speed.

“At the minimum, we’ll do a full-fan rig

test,” says Young.

Among the final certification tests performed

for the XWB-84 was a second 150h

endurance test to clear modifications designed

to provide higher turbine temperature

margins to extend service life.

Its blade-off test was an indoor first



“Assembly hours are coming

down nicely, as we learn how

to build the engine”


Trent XWB programme director

“The low-pressure turbine rotor dynamics

was one last test that we had to do, again successfully

completed,” says Young.

The first engine (SN21002) for the A350

flight-test campaign has been delivered to the

assembly line in Toulouse for podding, following

pass-off testing and the installation of

flight-test instrumentation in Derby.

The second engine (SN21003) has also

completed pass-off testing and was due to be

shipped to Toulouse imminently. Follow-on

engines will arrive in Toulouse “at a reasonably

fast rate”, says Young. Engine four entered

pass-off testing in January.

“We’re starting to see a drumbeat of flightcompliant

engines coming very quickly

through the process and fully supporting the

needs of the Airbus programme,” says Young.

“We’re really starting to get our industrial system

proven out very well. The supply chain is

operating well, the assembly processes, and

the new production facility that we’ve put in

place is proving that it’s building the engines

to the right quality and repeatable.

“The engines we are passing off are flight

compliant and even better on performance, as

we expected them to be,” he adds.

A total of 11 Trent XWBs have participated

in the test programme to date, accumulating

more than 3,100h in ground tests and aboard

the A380 testbed.

Still under way are some final tests needed

to secure FAA cross-certification, and then the

focus will shift to securing early extended-


Airbus and Rolls-Royce are going all out for first A350 flight before June’s Paris air show

range twin-engined operations approval. The

target is to eventually certificate the A350 to fly

up to 350min from the nearest suitable diversion

airfield at single-engined flying speed.

The cold start capability of the Trent XWB

has been extended down to -26˚C after winter

demonstrations using the company’s testbed

in Manitoba, northern Canada, and this is expected

to be further lowered to -40˚C.

“We are now able to do far more full envelope

testing, which is great for the reliability

and maturity of the product,” says Young.

Between 16 and 18 engines will have been

assembled in the pre-production facility at

Derby prior to the start of series production, in

an effort to understand the optimum way of

assembling the engine and to determine appropriate

work-station content.

“Assembly hours are coming down nicely,

as we learn how to build the engine,” says

Young. Fully-fledged flow-line assembly

should begin by mid-2014, in time for the

planned ramp-up in A350 production.

“We’re very close to finalising our footprint

and layout for the full flow-line facility,”

says Young.

A couple of spare engines are being shipped

to Toulouse to support the A350 flight-test

programme in case an installed engine is damaged,

for example by foreign object ingestion.

Rolls-Royce engineers will fly on many A350

test flights to monitor engine performance.

“The engines are ready and capable to go to

their limits from day one, should Airbus

choose to do so,” says Young. “The programme

– which we’re fully supporting with

our initial flight-compliant engines – has a

very clear aim to make sure that first flight is

prior to the Paris air show.” �

For video of the Trent XWB making its maiden

flight, fitted to an Airbus A380 testbed, visit


19-25 February 2013 | Flight International | 27




CFM’s A320neo engine has the upper hand on P&W’s rival offering,

but with 34% of orders yet to be assigned, the battle remains fierce



programme that began to take shape

as a concept nearly eight years ago

is finally taking real form inside

CFM International’s supply chain.

Launched at the 2005 Paris Air Show as a

possible CFM56 replacement, the Leading

Edge Aviation Propulsion (Leap) programme

was at that time intended to supply the next

generation of turbofans for all-new single-aisle

aircraft by Airbus and Boeing. At that time,

few expected a replacement for the A320 or

737 to appear before 2020.

Over the next six years, the single-aisle

market evolved rapidly. A competitor, Pratt &

Whitney, introduced a new innovation in propulsion

called a fan-drive gear system, the

Chinese entered the market with a new single-

28 | Flight International | 19-25 February 2013

aisle airframe and Airbus and Boeing deferred

plans for an all-new single-aisle.

Instead, the US and European airframers settled

for re-engining and updating their products

within this decade, with Airbus promising

airlines a 15% fuel burn improvement compared

to a standard A320, and Boeing – not to

be outdone – vowing a 16% upgrade.

Such promises are based almost entirely on

the performance of a new generation of singleaisle

turbofans developed by P&W and CFM.

P&W’s PurePower-branded geared turbofan hit

the market first. Bombardier selected the

PW1500G to power the CSeries, a small nar-

The Leap is the only engine

on all three 160-plus-seat

narrowbodies in development

rowbody launched in the 110-149-seat market.

But engine selections for a much larger segment

of the narrowbody market, ranging up to

220 seats, awaited.


In 2008, CFM partners General Electric and

Snecma committed to launch the Leap engine

series and to define the architecture of an allnew

propulsion product that would be charged

with replacing the most successful turbofan in

history and confront the challenge from P&W.

So far, the Leap has kept CFM atop the narrowbody

engine orders race, but the final outcome

remains unclear. The Leap is the only engine

on all three 160-plus-seat narrowbodies in

development, which includes monopoly positions

on the 737 Max and C919. But the Pure-

Power PW1000G has established a monopoly



GECAS has selected

Leap engines to power

60 A320neos

on new jets in development by Bombardier,

Irkut, Mitsubishi and Embraer, while also gaining

a competitive position on the A320neo.

On the latter application, the results so far

are equally murky. With 1,864 A320neos

ordered, the Leap-1A has established a 4.6

percentage point lead over orders for the

PW1100G. But that is still five points less than

the CFM56 lead over the V2500 on the current

A320, and for 34% of the ordered A320neos,

engine decisions have still to be made.

Clearly, the market is yet to deliver its final

verdict on the new engine technology produced

by CFM and P&W. Eight years after the

Paris Air Show launch of the Leap programme,

much will depend on what comes

out of the tests that will soon begin on the first

production-representative engine.


duction flow of CFM’s supply chain, says Gareth

Richards, Leap programme manager. These

first parts will enter final assembly in April.

“We have a process where first we freeze the

design, and that design freeze was already completed

in the summer of last year,” Richards

says. “Then it goes to the phase of actually completing

the drawings and releasing them to

manufacturing. That phase I shall complete

now; the designs have been released to manufacturing

and the first part will be coming in for

assembly in April of this year. We’re past that

point now and we’re actually accumulating

hardware through the manufacturing process.”


This first engine – technically, a Leap-1A for

the A320neo, but nearly identical to the Leap-

1C for the Comac C919 – is scheduled to be

assembled in August and be ready for testing

by the end of September, Richards says.

The schedule for the first Leap-1B is not set

until Boeing reaches the firm configuration

milestone on the 737 Max at mid-year, but is

generally running about nine to 12 months

behind the Leap-1A. The schedule difference

reflects the 10-month lag between the launches

of the A320neo in December 2010 and the

737 Max in August 2011.

Even as the first components come together,

another conversation is taking place between

CFM and two regulators: the European Aviation

Safety Agency and the US Federal Aviation

Administration. The Leap engine will be

the first commercial turbofan to incorporate

ceramic matrix composites (CMCs), which are

installed as the shroud encasing the first stage

of the high-pressure turbine (HPT). CMCs are

a lightweight material that can survive temperatures

that would cause even actively

cooled metal blades to melt. GE has already

used CMCs widely in ground-based gas turbines

used for industrial power. The US Navy

has also funded GE to demonstrate CMCs in

the rotating parts of the F414 fighter engine.

But CMCs have never been applied before to

a commercial engine in production, and that

will require special scrutiny from the FAA.

“They are reviewing our test plans: both

our component-test and our engine-test

plans,” Richards says. “That will culminate

That engine’s first components are in the pro- CFM’s Leap-1C will power the Comac C919



No of aircraft % share

CFM56 3,664 51.5%

V2500 2,978 41.9%

Undecided (on order) 453 6.4%

PW6000 (A318 only) 15 0.2%

Total 7,110

SOURCE: Ascend Online




SOURCE: Ascend Online

LEAP 35%



with what is called a preliminary type board

meeting, at which they will give us approval

for the test plans we have proposed. It is up to

us as a manufacturer to propose to them how

we will certify and it’s up to them as the agency

to approve our test plan or say no.”

The preliminary type board meetings for

the Leap-1A and Leap-1C engines are scheduled

in the second quarter. The same meeting

for the Leap-1B is expected to follow about

nine to 12 months later.

The Leap engine will be the

first commercial turbofan to

incorporate ceramic matrix


While CMCs are a new technology in the

commercial turbofan market, the Leap includes

several other technologies derived –

and, in some cases, expanded – from the GE90

and GEnx. Examples begin at the inlet of the

engine. The Leap series features a carbonfibre

composite fan case, which surrounds an inlet

fan comprised of carbonfibre composite

blades. The composite materials are lighter

and stronger than metal, and so far have past a

crucial blade-out test on a test-rig engine.

“If we had to design a metal system at the

Leap scale our total engine system weight

would have to be 500lb heavier than it is,” Richards

says. “At the airplane level it’s 1,000lb.

That’s not even counting the weight of the

pylon supporting the engine. It would have to

get heavier [with metal blades and fan case].

The wing structure would have to get heavier.”

Reducing the weight of the fan case and the ���

19-25 February 2013 | Flight International | 29


������� ������������



10TH -11TH JULY 2013











�������������������������������� �






















































��� blades was even more important because

of another change in CFM’s propulsion architecture

for Leap. One quick way to improve

fuel efficiency is to increase the ratio of air

passing through the inlet fan that bypasses the

combustion process in the engine core. So, the

5:1 bypass ratio of the CFM56 expanded to an

11:1 bypass ratio for the Leap engine.

To increase the mass flow of air bypassing

the engine core, it is necessary to widen the

diameter of the inlet fan. For example, the

173cm (68.1in) fan diameter of the A320’s

CFM56-5B has been widened by 14% to

198cm on the Leap-1A.

Of course, as the inlet diameter increases,

the low-pressure turbine (LPT) that drives the

inlet fan has to do more work. CFM adopted a

seven-stage LPT for the Leap, compared to a

four-stage LPT for the CFM56-5B.


Another critical area of innovation for the

Leap is the compressor system. CFM elected

to concede to P&W an advantage with bypass

ratio. By inserting a reduction gear between

the LPT and the inlet fan, P&W was able to

increase the bypass ratio of the GTF to from

5:1 to 12:1. Instead, CFM also focused on radically

improving the efficiency of the compression

process in a narrowbody engine.

The Leap engine is designed with 3D aerodynamic

blades from the inlet to the back of

the turbine section. These feature scimitarshaped

tips with blades curved from the inner

to the outer sections.

“That technology of that 3D aerodynamics

is carried all the way through the engine at

every stage, and its impact is probably greatest

in the compressor,” Richards says.

It allows the Leap engine to more than double

the compression ratio compared to the

CFM56 to 22:1, roughly matching the compression

levels achieved by the GE90.

Increasing the efficiency of the compressor

was also the goal that drove CFM to install

CMCs in the shroud of the high-pressure tur-



No of engine decisions No of aircraft orders % of orders


CFM 1 20 57%

Pratt & Whitney 1 6 17%

Undecided 1 9 26%


CFM 11 628 40%

Pratt & Whitney 9 494 32%

Undecided 18 432 28%


CFM 1 12 4%

Pratt & Whitney 5 74 27%

Undecided 9 189 69%

SOURCE: Ascend Online

The Leap has a monopoly position on the 737 Max

bine, which is the mechanism that extracts

energy from exhaust gases to power the compressor

system. Metal shrouds in the same location

would have to be actively cooled to

keep from melting. The cooling air is siphoned

out of the compressor section, reducing

the airflow used for combustion and decreasing


“By using CMCs in that shroud we no longer

need that cooling air that is extracted from

the compressor, and that’s a debit to the efficiency

of the compressor,” Richards says.

Another result of the higher compression

ratio saddles CFM with a difficult decision

early in the design process. A key feature of

the sales pitch for the CFM56 over the now-

P&W-owned V2500 engine was lower maintenance

cost. That advantage was driven mainly

by a key difference between the rival engines

in the HPT.

While the V2500 employs a two-stage HPT,

the CFM56 is designed with only one. With

fewer moving parts in one of the hottest sections

of the engine, that small difference made

the CFM56 inherently cheaper to operate and

in some cases easier to sell. The CFM56 is the

undisputed champion in the narrowbody engine

wars. In direct competition with the



No of aircraft orders

Aircraft types Leap PW1000

Airbus A320neo 660 574

Boeing 737 Max 1,164 N/A

Comac C919 275 N/A

Bombardier CSeries N/A 173

Mitsubishi MRJ N/A 165

Irkut MS-21 N/A 163

Total 2,099 1,075

SOURCE: Ascend Online

V2500 on the A320, the CFM56 has a lead of

almost 10 percentage poins.

The new bypass ratio requirements of the

Leap engine, however, rendered CFM’s singlestage

HPT obsolete. CFM instead designed the

Leap with a two-stage HPT, matching the

number of stages designed into the competing

engine. It was a necessary price to pay, however,

to achieve the higher efficiency levels

possible with a 22:1 compression ratio.

The last piece of the Leap technology puzzle

is an advanced combustor. Besides reduced

fuel burn, the airlines also want the

new single-aisle aircraft to generate significantly

less harmful emissions, such as nitrous

oxide (NOx) and unburned hydrocarbons.

The latter is produced when the

combustor burns the fuel-air mixture too hot,

and the former is caused by “cold spots” inside

the combustor.

For the GEnx engines powering the Boeing

747-8 and 787, GE introduced the twin-annular

premixing swirler (TAPS) combustor,

which is designed to reduced NOx emissions

by 50% compared to the CAEP/6 standard.

For the Leap engine, CFM is introducing

the TAPS II combustor with improved mixers

in a smaller geometry, yielding a 60% improvement

in NOx emissions. �

Peek inside the Leap engine with a video shot

at the 2012 Farnborough air show:


19-25 February 2013 | Flight International | 31





Australia’s Boeing F/A-18F Super Hornets may have a longer future than planned,

as delays and cost overruns complicate its acquisition of Lockheed Martin F-35

fighters. Having boosted its fleet of C-17 transports, meanwhile, the national air force

can claim the best airlift capabilities of any service in the Asia-Pacific region. In other

sectors of aviation, it is all change Down Under: business is surging in the helicopter

sector – aided not only by the national geography, but by the need to conquer fires

and flooding – and the regulator is rethinking the rules that govern civil flying.

On the eve of the biannual air show held at Geelong’s Avalon airport, we analyse

how Australian aerospace is being reshaped, in this 10-page country special

32 | Flight International | 19-25 February 2013



34 Minding the gap Super Hornets could

endure as uncertainty dogs the F-35

36 Heavy lifting C-17s draw plaudits

37 Helicopters flying high Rotorcraft boom

39 Air of discontent Regulator under fire



RAAF Super Hornets

off the Gold Coast

(Left to right) The RAAF’s C-17s have transformed airlift capabilities “unbelievably”,

says the service; nearly 1,000 Robinson helicopters are operated in Australia

flightglobal.com 19-25 February 2013 | Flight International | 33

Commonwealth of Australia, Australia Defence Ministry, Heliflite

Canberra intends to convert 12 Super Hornets into Boeing EA-18G Growlers



the gap

Australia is leaning towards a

combination of Super Hornets

and F-35s for its long-term fighter

fleet, as delays bedevil the latter


ne day before the opening of the Avalon

Oair show in 2011, US Navy Vice Adm

Dave Venlet, then-newly appointed executive

officer of the Lockheed Martin F-35 programme,

gave his first press conference after

assuming the role. The notoriously tough

Australian defence journalist corps hammered

him with questions about development

delays and aircraft software releases.

Venlet ended the conference forecasting

that the F-35 would gain another customer by

the end of 2011. This prediction ultimately

came true with Tokyo’s December 2011 decision

to buy 42 F-35As, choosing the stealthy

type over the Boeing F-18E/F Super Hornet

34 | Flight International | 19-25 February 2013

and Eurofighter Typhoon. Venlet has since

been replaced by US Air Force Lt Gen Christopher

Bogdan. Nonetheless, questions about

the F-35 will again be paramount at this year’s

Avalon. Although the F-35 made good

progress during flight testing in 2012, concerns

about costs and other issues persist.

Little more than one year after the last iteration

of Avalon, in May 2012, Canberra dealt a

blow to the F-35 programme when it decided

to reduce costs by ordering just two F-35As

and delaying the acquisition of an additional

12 F-35As until 2014-2015. Australian media

reports at the time suggested that Canberra

hoped for savings of A$1.6 billion ($1.67 billion)

from the postponement.

“When we embarked upon the project, we

did a couple of very sensible things: firstly, we

chose the conventional Joint Strike Fighter,

and secondly, we put a fair amount of padding

in our cost and in our timetable,” said

minister for defence Stephen Smith at the

time of the announcement. “On the timetable,

we have been making sure that we don’t end

up with a capability gap. We’ll make that decision

formally by the end of this year in terms

of the capability gap, but my current advice is

that the life of our 71 F-18 Classic Hornets and

our 24 Super Hornets is sufficient for our air

combat capability, but we’ll make an advised

judgement before the end of this year.”

The May 2012 announcement marked an

abrupt reversal from Canberra’s stated intentions

in 2009, when it approved the acquisition

of the original 14 F-35As for A$3.2 billion

(AIR 6000 Phase 2A). The original plans also

called for Canberra to place a massive order

for 58 aircraft (AIR 6000 Phase 2B) in 2012,

followed by a decision on an additional 28

aircraft in 2015. Had this course been followed,

Canberra would have committed to

100 F-35As by 2015.


The three planned orders would have set the

stage for the Royal Australian Air Force to operate

a single fighter type and thus enjoy significant

economies of scale in acquisition and

long-term sustainment. While inducting this

massive fleet of F-35s, Canberra would retire

its ageing F/A-18A/B Hornets in 2020, followed

by its Super Hornets in 2025.

The May 2012 announcement also said

Canberra would “launch a transition plan to

assess options to ensure that a gap does not

emerge in the RAAF’s air combat capability”.

This foreshadowed a December 2012 letter of

request (LOR) to Boeing asking for more


information about 24 additional Super Hornets.

“The sending of this LOR does not commit

Australia to purchase more Super Hornets,”

said a department of defence statement.

“It is being sent so that the Australian government

can consider all options in 2013 with

the latest cost and availability information.”

This is not the first time Canberra has

looked to the Super Hornet to fill a capability

gap. Canberra’s fleet of Super Hornets was obtained

between March 2010 and October

2011, making it the second-largest user of the

type after the US Navy. The Super Hornet

purchase was intended as an interim measure

to cover the gap between the retirement of the

General Dynamics F-111 and the delayed introduction

of the F-35A.

The key question facing Canberra at the beginning

of 2013 is the composition of its fighter

fleet in the 2020-2040 timeframe. Will it be entirely

composed of F-35As? Or a force equally

divided between F-35As and Super Hornets?

By delaying the purchase of the additional 12

F-35As in May 2012, and then asking for more

information about the Super Hornet eight

months later, it would appear that Canberra is

leaning toward a combined fleet.

By all accounts, the RAAF is extremely

happy with the Super Hornet. Its pilots love



the aircraft, and Boeing makes much of the

fact that it was delivered on time. The aircraft

is equipped with the Raytheon APG-79 active

electronically scanned array (AESA) radar,

making Australia one of the region’s largest

AESA users. What is more, the aircraft has a

clear development and upgrade roadmap,

with the US Navy likely to operate the aircraft

well into the 2030s.


In a vote of confidence for the platform, Canberra

announced in August 2012 that it would invest

A$1.5 billion to convert 12 Super Hornets into

Boeing EA-18G Growler electronic attack aircraft.

“[The upgrade] will provide options for

the air force to undertake electronic threat suppression

operations in support of Australian

Defence Force operations, including land and

sea forces,” the government said at the time of

the Growler decision. “The Growler capability

can also undertake intelligence, surveillance

and reconnaissance, and will be able to support

the full range of defence tasks from evacuations

to major conflicts.”

Industry sources say that if Canberra buys

24 more Super Hornets, the 12 Growlers will

come from these new-build aircraft. This will

be cheaper than retrofitting current airframes

(even though 12 RAAF F/A-18Fs came preconfigured

for transformation to Growlers)

and insure the availability of the current fleet.

Although Canberra has never publicly

backed away from the plan to obtain 100

F-35s, a follow-on purchase of 24 Super Hornets

would likely see this type operating well

beyond 2030 in both its Super Hornet and

Growler guises. This would inevitably cut

Canberra’s total F-35 orders before 2020.

“The advantage to buying additional Super

Hornets is to cover any potential capability gap

caused by delays to the F-35 programme,” says

Forecast International analyst Douglas Royce.

“Upgrading the F/A-18 family

is a good idea, and it could

extend their service lives”


US Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments

“At this point in the programme, the Super

Hornet is technologically mature and immediately

available. Public comments from the

RAAF have indicated a high degree of satisfaction

with the aircraft, particularly with its

AESA radar and strike capabilities. If they add

12 or 24 more aircraft, they know what they’re

getting and will know exactly when they will

get it. At this point, they can’t say the same

thing about the F-35 because the F-35 is still in


Royce also sees a possible downside for a



follow-on F/A-18F buy: “The disadvantage of

buying more Super Hornets is that these aircraft

cost a huge amount of money and if the

RAAF’s F-35 purchase works out as planned,

the RAAF will have spent a lot of money on

an aircraft type that they plan to make into a

secondary platform in the future.”

One Australian defence expert questions

the savings Canberra hopes to enjoy through

the purchase of additional Super Hornets. “By

2030, we will need to replace the Super

Hornet with the F-35 anyway,” he says. “Why

spend money on more Super Hornets now

when you’ll only end up replacing them with

F-35s 15 years down the road?”

He notes that the development of stealthy

fighters such as Russia’s Sukhoi T-50 as well

as China’s Chengdu J-20 and Shenyang J-31

suggest that the Super Hornet, even with significant

upgrades, will no longer rank among

the world’s leading fighters after 2030.


Indeed, in May 2012, the US Center for Strategic

and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA) issued

a report questioning the Super Hornet’s survivability

against emerging anti-access/area denial

(A2/AD) threats. “Upgrading the F/A-18 family

is a good idea, and it could extend their service

lives,” says CSBA analyst Mark Gunzinger.

“That being said, F/A-18-based platforms are

short-range, lack un-refuelled persistence, and

are best suited for operations in relatively uncontested


But in the future, uncontested airspace is

unlikely to remain the norm as potential adversaries

develop means to deny the US and

its allies access to a region, US Department of

Defense officials and analysts say. Many future

conflict zones are likely to be heavily defended

by new surface-to-air systems, advanced

aircraft and other weapons.

“The F-35 provides a level of capability that

is far beyond the current generation of airplanes,”

says Dave Scott, director for F-35 international

development at Lockheed. “The [aircraft’s]

fifth-generation capabilities – in terms of

stealth sensors that can pick up and recognise

what’s in the environment, and then combine

this data and share it so that airplanes can fly

and fight together – allow a far greater capability

than you can achieve in current airplanes.”

At the Seoul air show in 2011, Lockheed offered

Flight International a ride in a non-classified

F-35 simulator. In a simulated air attack

against surface-to-air missile sites, the aircraft’s

distributed aperture system (DAS) suite (coupled

with off-board sensors) allows the pilot to

see the enemy’s radar coverage and weapons’

envelope displayed as coloured domes. In theory,

pilots can reduce their chances of detection

by carefully flying between domes.

During the simulation, a Lockheed technician

flipped a switch. The size of the domes


19-25 February 2013 | Flight International | 35



��� was reduced by two thirds. Vast swathes

of airspace suddenly appeared wide open.

Domes that previously overlapped were now

far apart. “This part of the simulation shows

how much the F-35A’s stealth features degrade

the detection capabilities of the enemy,”

said the technician. “Previously, you were

seeing the enemy’s radar coverage if the F-35A

was a non-stealthy aircraft.”


Indeed, a major element of the F-35’s victory

in the Japanese F-X competition was its

stealthiness. Aside from the utility of the

F-35’s stealth in combat situations, it also allows

the aircraft to operate closer to sensitive

geographic regions in peacetime with less

chance of being detected. Perhaps more important

in Japan’s decision was the fact that

the F-35 is likely to play an increasingly important

role in future coalition war efforts.

“[The F-35 programme] is about the US and

close allies joining together on a common system

that they can work together with, and fly

and deter potential adversaries for the next

20-30 years,” says Lockheed’s Scott. “No other

airplane can offer this level of connection and

interoperability.” He points out that the

USAF, US Navy, and US Marine Corps are already

receiving the aircraft, which eight nations,

including Australia, jointly developed.

Israel and Japan have also purchased the F-35

through the US government’s foreign military

sales (FMS) mechanism.

Boeing, for its part, has proposed several updates

for the Super Hornet under its “International

Roadmap” offering for the aircraft. Enhancements

include a full touchscreen display

in the cockpit, conformal fuel tanks, an integrated

infrared search and track (IRST) sensor, and

up-rated engines. Boeing has also proposed a

large external pod (optimised for low observability)

for the internal carriage of weapons.

But Scott questions the viability of such

36 | Flight International | 19-25 February 2013

efforts: “We built a very good fourth-generation

fighter with the F-16. We know what you

can do to upgrade and enhance them. They

reach a fundamental limit. You just can’t add

in the stealth and systems that you can with a

clean sheet design.”

Although maintaining a mixed fleet of F-35s

and Super Hornets for the long term would

likely be more expensive for Australian taxpayers

than operating a single type, the ultimate

question is how effective such a fleet would be

in the event of war. When asked about the viability

of the Super Hornet in the coming decades,

Royce indicates there is no black-andwhite

answer: “It’s difficult to say at this point

because of the uncertainty regarding the use of

stealth aircraft in peer-to-peer combat. In the

case of Australia, they are likely to be using

their Super Hornets as part of coalition operations

around the world or against non-peer opponents

in their own region. It is extremely unlikely

we’ll see Australia fighting any major war

by itself in the current security environment.”

“The prospect of a showdown between

RAAF Super Hornets and Su-27/30 variants

in the [Asia-Pacific] is something that pops up

on a lot of enthusiast boards, but in a real

shooting war, the air battle would be more

than just a fighter-to-fighter conflict,” he adds.

“It would involve a mixture of naval assets,

intelligence assets, cruise missiles, strike aircraft,

etc. That’s just too complex a situation to

break down by which nation has the ‘best

fighter’, as enthusiasts are apt to do.”

Irrespective of the merits of each aircraft or

how they will fit into the RAAF’s structure in

the future, Australia’s ruling Labor party has set

an election for September. Defence experts feel

the government may decide whether to double

down on the Super Hornet or push through

with the F-35A in the months before the election.

The future of Australian combat airpower

is in the balance, and will inevitably be hostage

to political and budgetary calculations. �

The Super Hornet is

popular with RAAF pilots

Australian defence ministry

C-17s have revolutionised Australian airlift




Operating six C-17s in Afghanistan

and for relief efforts, the RAAF is

the Asia-Pacific’s most capable

service where airlift is concerned


he big news at the 2011 Avalon show was

TAustralia’s decision to obtain a fifth

Boeing C-17 strategic airlifter. Two years on,

this aircraft has arrived and another C-17 has

been ordered and delivered, bringing the

Royal Australian Air Force’s total of the type

to six examples. When asked about how this

has changed capabilities, Canberra’s Airlift

Group commander Air Cdre Gary Martin

uses only one word: “Unbelievably.”

Martin says the C-17 has revolutionised the

RAAF’s ability to travel rapidly between

points with more than five times as much

cargo per flight as the Lockheed Martin C-130.

In one airlift operation between the United

Arab Emirates and Afghanistan in September

2012, a single C-17 moved cargo weighing

one million pounds, much of it outsized, in

only four days. He estimates it would have

taken two C-130s two months to transport the

same payload.

The C-17 is emblematic of a broader transformation

of the RAAF’s airlift capabilities. In

the 10 years from 2006 to 2016, the RAAF’s airlift

fleet will drop to 46 from 47 aircraft, but this

slight decline will be more than made up for

with capacity, which will rise to 965t from


673t, or 4,441 passengers from 3,931. The average

age of the fleet in 2016 will fall to only nine

years, compared with 24 years in 2006. While

engine power, range and speed will grow, costs

to support the fleet should fall. What is more,

RAAF airlift assets will no longer require navigators

and flight engineers following the retirement

last year of the C-130H.

Aside from supporting Canberra’s contribution

to the war in Afghanistan, RAAF C-17s

have supported relief efforts for a range of humanitarian

crises. In March 2011, RAAF

C-17s supported relief efforts following the

tsunami and earthquake in Japan. C-17s have

also supported relief efforts that followed natural

disasters in Australia and New Zealand.

“The C295 could not fit

vehicles such as the Land

Rover replacement”


Commander, RAAF Airlift Group

Despite its extensive use of the C-17 – Martin

says that at any given moment one aircraft is

likely to be airborne – Canberra has yet to fully

utilise the type’s capabilities. It is exploring the

type’s suitability for air drops in support of

naval operations, including air dropping rigidhull

boats for special forces.

And although C-17s are equipped to receive

fuel via a boom, this capability has yet to be

implemented. Eventually, the RAAF will be

able to refuel its C-17s via the boom that

equips its Airbus Military A330 multi-role

tanker transports – designated KC-30A in

RAAF service.

Canberra received its full complement of

five KC-30As between 2011 and 2013. Martin


says initial operating capability (IOC) is likely

in the first quarter of 2013. The IOC includes

the ability to refuel the F/A-18A/B through

the hose-and-drogue method, and the carriage

of passengers. The RAAF’s first KC-30A has

returned to Spain, where remedial work is ongoing

to improve stability of fuel flow in the

boom. Software to control the boom also

needs to be upgraded before the equipment

can be used operationally.


The other significant new type planned for the

RAAF Airlift Group is the Alenia Aermacchi

C-27J, of which 10 will be obtained under the

US Foreign Military Sales mechanism. The

C-27J replaces the de Havilland Canada

DHC-4 Caribou, which was retired in 2009.

Although the Caribou was popular with

RAAF crews, the C-27J is an eminently more

capable aircraft. It is more powerful and will

be equipped with armour and directional infrared


Martin says the main attribute which aided

its selection over Airbus Military’s rival bid

with the C295 was the C-27J’s cargo capacity:

“If you look at the internal size of the aircraft,

the C295 could not fit vehicles such as the

Land Rover replacement or special forces vehicles.

The C-27J came out well on top in

these areas.”

The balance of the fleet is rounded out by 12

C-130Js – delivered between 1999 and 2002 –

and eight Beechcraft King Air 350s. The RAAF

Airlift Group also operates five charter jets for

VIP transport, three Bombardier Challenger

604s, and two Boeing Business Jets.

When the C-27J arrives, Canberra will have

a powerful array of airlift capabilities. This

will serve it well during war and peace in the

21st century. �

Australian defence ministry





flying high

In a country with vast tracts of

wilderness and annual outbreaks of

bush fires and flooding, no wonder

the helicopter sector is thriving


Australia’s helicopter sector is growing faster

than any other in the country’s aviation industry,

states its Civil Aviation Safety Authority

(CASA). It is hardly surprising helicopters are

popular in a country surrounded by water,

with vast tracts of wilderness, and annual outbreaks

of bush fires and flooding. Helicopters

are put to work in all areas – including general

transportation, firefighting, medical transport,

emergency rescue, mustering livestock, offshore

oil and gas personnel transportation,

even aerial shark patrol.

In late 2012, the 2,000th helicopter was

added to the CASA register after a number of

years of strong growth – topping 10% on an

annual basis. This compares with less than

1% growth for the country’s fixed-wing fleet.

The helicopter fleet has doubled in the past 10

years – from 980 in 2002 to 1,420 five years

later and 2,010 by the middle of December

2012. This growth puts Australia in the sixth

position in terms of the number of helicopters

– not bad for a country with a population of

22.6 million, says Rob Rich, former president

of the defunct Helicopter Association of

Australasia (HAA) and local helicopter industry

executive who has led the creation of a

new representative body, the Australian Helicopter

Industry Association (AHIA). The

AHIA will be formally launched at the Australian

International Airshow, which takes ���

Helicopters are used for mustering cattle

19-25 February 2013 | Flight International | 37

Ned Dawson



Robinson rotorcraft account for more than half of Australia’s helicopter fleet

��� place at Avalon airport in Geelong, Victoria

from 26 February to 3 March.

The country’s booming resources sector has

helped swell the ranks of helicopters in

Australia significantly in the past few years,

with fleet numbers expected to continue to

rise despite warnings of a slowdown in the

resources sector. Some 60% of the country’s

helicopter fleet is located in the resources-rich

states of the Northern Territory, Queensland

and Western Australia.

This year, HNZ Group – formerly Canadian

Helicopters – will put into service three new

AgustaWestland AW109SP helicopters on marine

transfer flights for resources giant Rio Tinto

in Western Australia. HNZ has been providing

services to Rio Tinto from its Karratha, Western

Australia base since 1992. Under a new 10-year

contract which starts in May, the AW109SPs

will replace two Eurocopter EC145s which currently

serve Rio Tinto’s iron ore carriers at

Dampier and Cape Lambert ports.

Meanwhile, CHC Helicopters operates more

than 30 rotorcraft in Australia in the resources,

search and rescue and emergency services sectors.

Its biggest contract in the resources sector is

a five-year A$300 million ($313 million) deal,

with possible contract extensions pushing it to

A$500 million, with Woodside Energy which

began in June 2011. It was believed to be the

largest helicopter service contract ever awarded

in the country when it was signed in 2010. The

deal involves a fleet of 19-seat Eurocopter

EC225s and 12-15-seat AgustaWestland

AW139s based in Karratha, Exmouth and

Broome, Western Australia, serving the northwest

shelf oil and gas region. CHC recently

moved its headquarters from Adelaide in South

Australia to Perth, Western Australia, to be closer

to its customers in the state’s resources sector.

38 | Flight International | 19-25 February 2013

Heliwest, which serves a number of sectors

including mining and exploration, geosurvey,

pipeline and power line survey, emergency

response and equipment transport, is building

its Australian resources work following considerable

success in the resources industry in

Papua New Guinea.


At the end of 2012, Eurocopter established a support

centre in Perth specifically to cater for the

state’s growing fleet. Eurocopter says more than

25 17-19-seat Super Puma-family helicopters are

in service in the oil and gas industry in Western

Australia’s northwest shelf region, in airlift supply

and personnel transport operations.

Some 60% of the country’s

helicopter fleet is located in

the resources-rich states of

the Northern Territory

Eurocopter expects the fleet to grow significantly

during the next three to four years. The centre

also supports customers not involved in the resources

industry including the Western Australia

Police, which has been operating Eurocopter aircraft

for more than 25 years, recently putting a

new AS365N3+ into service.

But Australia’s helicopter sector is by no

means all about the resources industry, with

about 30% of the fleet deployed in the agricultural

sector, primarily in mustering, states the

AHIA. The sector uses light helicopters, mainly

Robinson types, and despite the short working

year in mustering, the fleet flies more

hours annually than the rest of the fleet put

together, says Rich. At the same time, expanding

search and rescue and helicopter medical

services operations are also contributing to

the strong growth. Australian Helicopters, for

example, operates 18 single- and multi-engined

helicopters on emergency medical services,

search and rescue, surveillance, civil and

border protection and marine pilot transfer

services throughout the country.

In fiscal 2011-2012, pistons made up more

than 60% of the Australian fleet, with Robinson

helicopters accounting for just over half of the

total – 531 R22s and 467 R44s. The multi-engined

fleet grew 7% during fiscal 2011-2012,

with the Bell 412, Kawasaki BK117, Sikorsky

S-76, Eurocopter AS332 and AgustaWestland

AW139 topping the list. Of the 2,000-plus helicopters

registered, more than 200 are multi-engined

types. AHIA expects the multi-engined

fleet in particular to experience strong growth

on the back of the resources sector, predicting

the multi-engined fleet could treble to more

than 750 helicopters in the next seven years.


Based on current growth rates, Rich says

Australia’s total helicopter fleet could grow to

3,000 in about six years or 4,000 within 11

years. Despite its growth, the collapse of the

HAA in 2008 left the Australian helicopter

sector without a representative industry body.

The HAA, formed in 1984, collapsed largely

because of a change in its business model,

with the association employing salaried staff,

and the global financial crisis. But with the

realisation the growing sector needed a body

to tackle a number of “pressure points obstructing

development”, says Rich, the AHIA

was set up to tackle skills shortages and training

and regulatory issues.



The HAA, formed in 1984, collapsed largely

because of a change in its business model,

with the association employing salaried staff,

and the global financial crisis. But with the

realisation the growing sector needed a body

to tackle a number of “pressure points obstructing

development”, says Rich, the AHIA

was set up to tackle skills shortages and training

and regulatory issues.

“Agencies such as CASA need

our help when planning to

regulate new technology”


Founder, Australian Helicopter Industry Association

Skills shortages are particularly apparent in

instruction and maintenance, says AHIA inaugural

president and former Bell Helicopter

sales executive Peter Crook. The lack of instructors

is set to worsen, particularly with the

new Australian army and navy pilot training

programme – the Helicopter Aircrew Training

System – likely to draw on limited instructor

resources. A growing multi-engined fleet is

also likely to impact the skills shortages in engineering

fields, particularly licensed aircraft

maintenance engineers.

The helicopter sector also needs to be part of

regulatory changes and the AHIA aims to be

the sector’s voice and ensure regulations are

right for the local industry. “Agencies such as

CASA need our help when planning to regulate

new technology heading our way,” says

Rich. He points out there are about half a dozen

notices of proposed rulemaking which will impact

charter operations, crew rostering, performance

standards and helideck standards.

The AHIA aims to promote the local helicopter

industry by working with governments,

regulatory bodies and the community

to ensure it is a safe, efficient and viable industry

able to meet the needs of customers by

pursuing global best practice, says Rich.

CASA says there have been “notable improvements”

in helicopter safety during the

Heliwest is building its Australian resources work


past decade, but Australian Transport Safety

Bureau statistics show that, while accounting

for about 13% of the Australian civil

fleet, helicopters were involved in 36% of all

general aviation accidents in the past 10

years. Among the AHIA’s objectives are: promoting

safe helicopter operations; establishing

an open productive working relationship

with CASA; developing an exchange of information

among helicopter owners, users,

operators, pilots, engineers and support industries;

making representations to governments

at all levels; establishing an exchange

of information with other associations; and

promoting new helicopter services to the

public. The association also aims to promote

its capabilities to the wider international

community, particularly countries in the

Asia-Pacific region, where helicopter numbers

are increasing.


Participation at the Avalon show will help it

achieve this. The AHIA, thanks to sponsorship

from Avalon organisers Aerospace Australia,

will hold a series of seminars and conferences

at the show to promote the local

helicopter industry.

The association will also hold a Rotortech

2013 conference at Sydney’s Darling Harbour

in October, focusing on helicopter marine

pilot transfer and offshore resource industry

activity, running alongside the Pacific International

Maritime Exposition. “This is a wonderful

opportunity to promote ourselves as

best we can,” says Rich.

Changes in the industry and technology mean

the AHIA will have a wider remit than the HAA,

which primarily represented pilots. Rich says:

“In the past, this suited the needs of an industry

then operating relatively unsophisticated rotorcraft,

where logistic and maintenance support

requirements were minimal. Today, more

expensive and technically advanced helicopters

are coming into service and the logistical and

technical support industry has developed substantially

due to the increasing number of civilian

and military heavy helicopters.” �





Air of


After decades of controversy, new

civil aviation regulations should

finally come into effect this year,

but not everyone is happy


his year is set to be a particularly significant

Tone in the history of Australian civil aviation

regulations, with the country’s long-running

regulatory reform programme nearing a conclusion,

according to the Civil Aviation Safety

Authority (CASA). The completion of new safety

regulations, with comprehensive implementation

schedules developed for each part, should

go through in 2013 – or that is the plan at least.

Australia’s regulatory reform programme

has not been a happy tale, with the process

dating back more than 20 years. During that

time, it has been shrouded in controversy,

with industry concerns over delays and the

lack of consultation, harmonisation and simplification.

“While the need to reform Australia’s

aviation safety regulations is widely

supported, progress was often disrupted and

resources refocused on other activities,” says

CASA. The process has been put on hold numerous

times following “significant structural

and governance changes, changing circumstances,

and industry input and differing approaches

to reform”, it adds.


Since 2009, the programme has gained momentum,

with the government’s Aviation

White Paper released that year calling for the

reforms to be completed by 2011, with additional

resources provided to expedite the

drafting of new regulations, including the

creation of an aviation safety regulatory development


Obviously the 2011 target was not met, but

despite numerous promises, hurdles and false

starts, the authority believes the end is in sight.

“CASA remains particularly mindful that it

cannot ‘ram through’ these changes; the process

must take account of the capacity for industry

to take on these new standards and allow

for the legislative drafting and parliamentary

approval process. That said, CASA is dedicated

to maintaining its continued high level of

energy to see this process finalised,” it says.

Australia’s current Civil Aviation Regulations

are old and in some cases outdated, says CASA

director of aviation safety, John McCormick.

“Many were first drafted more than 30 years ago

and the origins of some go back even further. ���

19-25 February 2013 | Flight International | 39



��� The current rules do not properly fit with a

modern aviation system and latest technologies,”

he says.


In order to make the old rules work in a modern

industry, CASA has issued more than

1,700 exemptions. In addition, rules have not

kept pace with international developments.

The new Civil Aviation Safety Regulations

(CASR), covering operational, flightcrew licensing,

airworthiness and maintenance, are aimed

at creating a safer aviation system, says CASA.

It says they are aligned with ICAO standards

and recommended practices, and harmonised

with European and US regulations.

The new rules have a number of benefits,

according to CASA. They are “logically organised

into clear parts”, which will make it easier

for the industry to find and apply relevant

regulations; are designed to address known

40 | Flight International | 19-25 February 2013

CASA says there

are 57 new rules

made or planned

and likely safety risks with the aim of delivering

improved safety outcomes; and will be

easier to update and improve. In total there

are 57 CASR parts made or planned, says

CASA. Of these, 38 have been made in whole

or in part; 17 parts and one sub-part are currently

in legal drafting and/or the consultation

process; and two additional CASR parts are

under development or consideration.

But industry concerns remain. At the end of

last year, The Australian Aviation Associations’

Forum (TAAAF) released an aviation policy

which is highly critical of the regulatory reform.

TAAAF comprises the Aerial

Agricultural Association of Australia,

Australian Association of Flight Instructors,

Australian Business Aviation Association,

Aviation Maintenance Repair and Overhaul

Business Association (AMROBA), Regional

Aviation Association of Australia and the Royal

Federation of Aero Clubs of Australia, and was

Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority

established in 2008 to present a united voice to

government on key aviation issues and policy.

TAAAF says Australia’s regulatory system is

“out of step with key trading partners, international

best practice and the relevant international

treaties”, with the lack of international harmonisation

being a “missed opportunity”. It

believes that CASA has lost sight of its original

aim of simplifying and clarifying regulations.

An industry lobby is urging the

government to remove the

regulatory reform process

from CASA and place it with

a new aviation department

“The reform process has been running for over

20 years with little demonstrable improvement

in harmonisation or simplification,” says

TAAAF. The Forum believes the new rules are

complex in content and drafting style, with a

complete failing of the original intent of “safety

through clarity”.


TAAAF also criticises CASA’s consultative

mechanism, including the Standards

Consultative Committee, saying it is “founded

on a flawed culture of instructing industry on

CASA decisions rather than genuine consultation”.

Furthermore, it criticises CASA for

“very poor control of the workload”, claiming

the reform programme has itself become a potential

threat to safety.

TAAAF also believes it is not appropriate

for the aviation regulatory enforcer – CASA –

to draft the law in the first place. Rather, policy

and regulatory development should be

handled by the Department of Infrastructure

and Transport.

TAAAF is calling on the government to remove

the regulatory reform process from

CASA and place it with a new aviation department.

The regulatory reform programme

should be characterised by “strong formal and

informal consultative relationships with industry”,

it says.

“Instead of reinventing the wheel in an international

industry, regulatory reform should

be based on a sound understanding of international

best practice and the regulatory regimes

used by key trading partners and neighbours,

where relevant,” it adds.

There should be no uniquely Australian

rules, unless industry can demonstrate a need,

and the reduction of “red tape” should be a

priority, says TAAAF.

The latest regulation proposals released for

discussion – the maintenance requirements

for sectors of the industry other than regular

public transport (RPT) operators – have re-


cently caused industry concern. CASA released

five discussion papers on the maintenance

proposals at the end of last year and is

seeking comments through to 1 March. Prior

to their release, the industry had been worried

that RPT maintenance regulations would be

applied directly to general aviation. The discussion

papers have done little to address

AMROBA’s concerns.


AMROBA is particularly concerned with a

proposed shift of regulatory responsibility for

quality control of aircraft maintenance performed

by licensed aircraft maintenance

engineers (LAMEs) to processes contained

within an organisation’s safety management

system (SMS), which will introduce additional

risk and add significant administrative costs

to small organisations.

“Has government considered all the risks

involved with removing regulatory responsibilities

of LAMEs to rely on organisational assigned

responsibilities? We certainly hope so.

It is a bold decision that has not been implemented

in Europe, North America or in New

Zealand,” says AMROBA executive director

Ken Cannane, adding the jury is still out on

whether an SMS enhances safety performance.

Basically, these discussion papers are an

elaborate proposal to remove regulatory minimum

safety standards for aircraft maintenance

by adopting manufacturer’s requirements and

removing individual – LAME – regulatory requirements,”

he adds.

The rules would permanently damage the

viability of the Australian aviation maintenance,

repair and overhaul sector as costs increase,

says AMROBA. Cannane says these

are not discussion papers, but rather position

papers: “Other options are included to give

the appearance that options are consulted


with industry.” CASA stresses that the new

maintenance rules for non-RPT have yet to

be determined. “We fully recognise the RPT

maintenance regulations cannot simply be

applied across the board. Each sector of aviation

is different and the new regulations will

reflect those important differences,”

McCormick has said.


CASA says it has been pleased to date with its

engagement with the industry during the latest

consultation process and has received

“considered responses which are reasonable

and balanced”.

CASA says that following the discussion

paper process, it might form a CASA-industry

working group to further develop the proposals,

after which a notice of proposed rulemaking

will be released to provide further opportunity

for feedback. “This full process

provides the industry with opportunities to

review and comment on proposed policy and




– Civil Aviation Safety Regulations

(CASR) Parts 42, 66, 145 and 147

– were made in December 2010

and came into effect in June

2011. Operators have a two-year

transition period for Parts 42, 145

and 147. Part 42 prescribes continuing

airworthiness requirements

and applies to operators/aircraft

used in regular public transport

(RPT) operations.

Amendments related to the

maintenance regulations in CASR

Part 11 (administrative procedures)

and a new Sub-part 21.M (covering

designs of, modifications of and




until 1 March

repairs to aircraft, engines, propellers

and appliances) were made in

June 2011.

The taskforce is working to complete

the other parts. In terms of

operational CASRs, these include

Parts 91, 119, 129, 133 and 135,

which cover general operating and

flight rules and air transport operations

in aeroplanes and rotorcraft.

These have been publicly consulted

and comments are being assessed,

with updates being made

to the legal drafts. These parts are

nearing completion, says the CASA.

CASR Part 132, which covers

limited category aircraft, is expect-

ed to progress to the public consultation

stage this quarter, while

CASR Part 121, covering air transport

operations in large aircraft, will

follow at the end of the second

quarter, at the same time as Part

131 (non-commercial ballooning).

Legal drafting, and industry and

public consultations of the two aerial

work CASR parts and the three

sport and recreational aviation operations

parts will be ongoing

throughout 2013, says CASA.

The flightcrew licensing CASRs

– Parts 61, 64, 141 and 142 – are

expected to be made early this

year. In maintenance and certifica-



legislation at each stage of their formulation,”

says CASA. CASA no doubt hopes implementing

the new rules will be smoother and

quicker than developing them has been.

The regulatory authority has established a

dedicated team – the Operations Regulations

Implementation Programme – to oversee the

implementation. Comprehensive implementation

plans are being drawn up, including

training and education programmes, designed

to ensure the transition is balanced with available

resources in the industry and CASA, says

the authority.

CASA does not want to “over-stress the industry”

and typically it will be provided two

to five years to implement the changes.

CASA intends the new regulations to have

longevity and be “a living set” of standards:

“The new regulations will be modern, logically

organised, internationally aligned and

technologically up to date to ensure the

framework remains sound and effective for

the future.” �

tion, a supplementary regulation to

existing certification regulations –

Sub-part 21.J (approved design

organisations) – has completed

the consultation stage and is expected

to be made in the first half

of the year.

Part 42 maintenance requirements,

with “appropriate revisions”,

will be extended to aircraft

used in operations other than RPT,

including general aviation.

Discussion papers were issued

last December with CASA seeking

industry input on extending the application

of the maintenance regulations

to GA. �

19-25 February 2013 | Flight International | 41

Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority


From yuckspeak to tales of yore, send your offcuts to murdo.morrison@flightglobal.com

Iconic Cold War

engine for sale

Thanks to a lucky reprieve by a

scrap metal merchant some 45

years ago, you can now buy the

prototype of one of the most

illustrious jet engines in British

aviation history on eBay. That

is, if you can spare $165,000.

That’s the minimum price set

by Jet Art Aviation for a truly

rare artefact – the original

prototype of the Bristol

Siddeley Olympus 22R Mk.320,

which powered the short-lived

British Aircraft Corporation

TSR2 and was the forerunner of

the engine that propelled the

supersonic Concorde.

Chris Wilson, managing

director of Jet Art, says the

engine was rediscovered sitting

on a farm in England. The

owner had run a scrapping

business in the 1960s, and was

given a load of several engines

to grind into recycled metal, a

task he fortunately decided

didn’t deserve his usual

diligence. “He said, ‘I’m going to

keep one,’” Wilson notes.

By luck, the scrapper

happened to pick the TSR2’s

prototype engine, serial number

1, to spare from the grinder.

The discovery of such a rare

find raised questions about how

to price it. Jet Art’s insurance

firm refused to set a value on it,

Wilson says, arguing the object

is, by definition, “irreplaceable”.

Perhaps fittingly, Wilson

established the price based on

its scrap value.

The Olympus prototype fits

42 | Flight International | 19-25 February 2013

into a niche market for rare

aviation objects. Asked who

would be a likely buyer,

Wilson says it is “more likely

private individuals”.

“It’s an investment really for

somebody,” he adds. “Items like

this generally go up in value.

Money is probably safer in a rare

jet engine than a bank.”

Nose for it

After 5,000 flights, Rockwell

Collins has donated its North

American Sabreliner 50 test

aircraft to Oregon’s Evergreen

Aviation & Space Museum. The

1964 twinjet (N50CR), was

bought by Collins in 1976 and

used to test many avionics

programmes over the years.

Among the distinctive

Forerunner of the Concorde engine can be yours for $165,000

“Being stuck back here in dromedary class is really giving

me the hump.” Our sympathies for the chap with the bucket

and mop at the end of this Il-76 flight

Jet Art Aviation

Sabreliner: avionics pioneer

features added by Rockwell

Collins is a large nose radome to

house airborne weather radar.

Not plane sailing

Boeing isn’t the only airframer

plagued by a grounding

problem, after the ship which

conveys Airbus A380 wings

from the UK to France slipped

her lines on 30 January.

Calls about the Ciudad de

Cadiz prompted an enigmatic

admission, in Toulousian

yuckspeak, that there was an

“issue about its sailability” – to

do with the fact that the water

holding her up had clocked off

from buoyancy duty leaving her

perched on a sandbank.

This handed Airbus a

problem of the utmost gravity.

The gravity in question being

the stuff which governs the tides

and is one of the few things that

Airbus can’t deliver on demand.

So it’s had to bow to the lunar

cycle and wait for high water to

sort things out.

Eduard Onischenko/Russianplanes.net

Rockwell Collins

Time is at hand

Other nations have realised

that the time is at hand. Is it

not well that we,

“a Great Power”,

should at least be

equally to the

fore. The present international

tension is no laughing matter,

and compared with Germany

and France our aerial fleet

simply does not exist.

Two-seater fighter

The United States adopted

the two-seater fighter at about

the same time

Great Britain took

up the Demon,

standardising on

a Berliner-Joyce biplane with a

Curtiss Conqueror engine and

gull-type wings. This was

superseded by the

Consolidated P-30.

Meteor detection

NASA will negotiate with

Fairchild Stratos, of


Maryland on a

contract to build a

large meteoroid

detection satellite for launch

late next year. Two of these

4,000lb satellites (for which

no designation has been

published) will be launched on

the eighth and ninth test

flights of the Saturn I.

Chemical damage

The NTSB says an illegal,

mislabelled shipment was

responsible for the

emergency landing

and evacuation of

an American

Airlines flight at Nashville.

Leakage of hydrogen peroxide

and sodium hydroxide caused

extensive damage to the floor

and sub-floor of the MD-80’s

passenger cabin.


Every issue of Flight

from 1909 onwards

can be viewed online at




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TEL +44 (0) 20 8652 4897 FAX +44 (0) 20 8652 3779 EMAIL classified.services@rbi.co.uk CLASSIFIED

TEL +44 (0) 20 8652 4897 FAX +44 (0) 20 8652 3779 EMAIL classified.services@rbi.co.uk CLASSIFIED

Courses and tuition







EUROPEAN & ASIAN bases. JAA & other ICAO type ratings are

accepted. 300 & 500 hour options.


JAA and other ICAO Type Ratings are Accepted

300 & 500 Hour Options Available


Tel: 001 305 278 0012 WWW.EAGLEJET.COM info@eaglejet.com

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46 | Flight International | 19-25 February 2013 flightglobal.com

Getting careers off the ground


EMAIL recruitment.services@rbi.co.uk CALL +44 (20) 8652 4900 FAX +44 (20) 8652 4877

Let your career take off

Bristow Helicopters LTD is now recruiting additional key staff to support

our business and customer requirements.

Offshore Flight Operations Manager – EBU UK

Offering excellent developmental opportunities, this newly created position will have responsibility for the day to day running of a major Flight Operations Dept with over 230 pilots.

The main responsibilities will include recruitment strategy and execution; working with the Chief Pilots to ensure, operator proficiency, line & task training and adherence to

regulations and Operations Manual requirements and formulating operational procedures to ensure safe & efficient operation of Company aircraft.

Candidates will be a current or ex JAR licensed Pilot with North Sea Operational experience. Applicants must have previous managerial experience at Chief Pilot (or equivalent

level), or above. The successful applicant must be able to meet the requirements of the CAA to be a Flight Operations Post-holder and assume a deputy role for this.

SAR Flight Operations Manager

Offering excellent developmental opportunities, this newly created position will have responsibility for the day to day running of a major SAR Flight Operations Dept with over 50

aircrew at 3 bases.

The main responsibilities will include recruitment strategy and execution; working with the Chief Pilots to ensure, operator proficiency, line & task training and adherence to

regulations and SAR Operations Manual requirements and formulating operational procedures to ensure safe & efficient operation of Company aircraft.

Candidates will be a current or ex JAR licensed Pilot with UK SAR Operational experience. Applicants must have previous managerial experience at Chief Pilot (or equivalent

level), or above.

The successful applicant must be able to meet the requirements of the CAA to be a Flight Operations Post-holder.

The successful applicant will be in contact with US ITAR controlled technology, goods and information. As a condition of employment, employees with access to US ITAR

controlled technology and goods may be required to undergo an additional screening process as part of the recruitment process.


We currently have a number of openings for qualified Pilots within our European Business Unit at Aberdeen. To be included in this role, the candidate MUST possess UKCAA/JAA

ATPLH or UKCAA/JAA CPLH with ATP theory and UKCAA/JAA IR(H) along with offshore experience. The ideal candidate would have 500 hours flying multi-engine helicopters or

be a graduate from Bristow Academy. Candidates with Type rating on S92/ AW139/ S76/ AS332L /332L2 preferred, but conversion courses available if required.

A competitive salary and benefits package are on offer for all positions.

To Apply

Focus on the client -

Focus on Value

t 1lease submit an online application with a covering letter and CV at: www.bristowgroup.com/careers Closing Date: 22 Feb 2013

Bristow Helicopters Ltd. is a leading international provider of helicopter transport and support services. The Company especially values its ability to operate in

demanding environments whilst maintaining the highest levels of quality and safety performance in flight and on the ground.

Build your career



Training courses to take you there


flightglobal.com 19-25 February 2013 | Flight International | 47

HUNDREDS OF JOBS @ flightglobal.com/jobs RECRUITMENT

HUNDREDS OF JOBS @ flightglobal.com/jobs RECRUITMENT






ISATI Srl, urgently requires the services of the

following helicopter maintenance (ideally licensed)

technicians (Avionic or Mechanical):





AW101/Lynx *

* for this activity we are seeking technicians with competence on

both helicopters and ideally french speaking

Immediate requirements for Australia, Venezuela,

North Africa

For more information, please send your resume with

full personal details, together with copies of relevant

licence, training certificates, diplomas and two

references to:

Marco Rizzo, ISATI Srl, Via Verdi 3, 21013 Gallarate

(VA), Italy

Tel: +39 0331 245522 Fax: +39 0331 1816923

Mob: +39 346 8758068

Email: Marco.Rizzo@isati-srl.com


The Public Services Department of the States of Guernsey is

seeking a suitably qualified Air Traffic Controller to provide an

Aerodrome Control Service (ADI) at Alderney Airport.

The applicant will hold a valid UK CAA ATCO Licence with an ADI

Rating and a valid ULE in ADI, a valid EASA Class Three medical

certificate (and be capable of maintaining it), and ICAO Level 6

English language endorsement. A Certificate in Aeronautical

Meteorological Observing would also be an advantage

ATCOs in Alderney provide an ADI service to aircraft flying into

and out of Alderney Airport, which is open between 0740 and

1830 and served by one commercial operator. Considerable

instrument training is conducted by aircraft using both the NDB

‘ALD’ and RNAV approaches. The Airport is a popular General

Aviation destination. Approach services are provided from

Guernsey Airport. ATC has a commitment to respond to calls for

out of hours SAR and ambulance flights.

The successful candidate will attract a salary in the range of

£38,412 - £47,284, including a competitive pension scheme,

competitive annual leave allowance, and relocation package.

Contact: Mr Frank McMeiken, Manager, Air Traffic Control,

Guernsey Airport on 01481 234950 or

email frank.mcmeiken@gov.gg for further details.

Closing date 15 March 2013



Get express relief with

THE industry job site

at Jobs.Flightglobal.com

Print Online Mobile

One industry, one job site

48 | Flight International | 19-25 February 2013 flightglobal.com



Senior Training Manager

Salary: US$11,197* – US$12,020* per month depending on relevant experience of the candidate.

Entry Requirements: This post is open to both male and female candidates. Candidates should (a) have 10 years of

cadet and ATC experience in which at least 5 years as a practicing air traffic controller; (b) in addition to (a), have 10

years working experience in an ATC training institute in which at least 5 years in a senior managerial or higher position;

(c) have good knowledge in International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) standards and ATC training needs, and (d) be

qualified to instruct in at least one of the following subjects: On-the-job Training Instructor, Human Factors in ATC,

Fundamental ATC, Language Proficiency Testing.

Duties: Senior Training Manager is mainly deployed to lead a team of ATC instructors in implementing the new ATC

system conversion training to be provided to all Air Traffic Control Officers and Air Traffic Flight Service Officers, including

preparation of training schedule, simulator usage plans, instructors deployment production and vetting of training material

conducting specialized training on ATC subjects and other training related duties.

Terms of Appointment: Successful candidate will be appointed on two years non-civil service contract terms. Renewal

of contract will be subject to operational needs.

Fringe Benefits: An end-of-contract gratuity may be granted if the contract is completed with satisfactory performance

and conduct. Such gratuity, if granted, will be the sum which, when added to the Government’s contribution to the

Mandatory Provident Fund (MPF) scheme in respect of the appointee as required by the MPF Schemes Ordinance, equals

to 15% of the total basic salary drawn during the contract period. 14 days’ annual leave and full pay sickness allowance,

whereas rest days, statutory holidays, maternity leave, where appropriate, will be granted in accordance with the

provisions in the Employment Ordinance.

Address and Enquiry Tel. No.: Assistant Departmental Secretary (Appointments), Level 5, Civil Aviation Department

Headquarters, 1 Tung Fai Road, Hong Kong International Airport, Lantau, Hong Kong. For enquiries, please call (852)

2910 6395.

Closing Date for Application: 26 February 2013

General Notes:

(a) Persons who are not permanent residents of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) may also

apply for this vacancy but will be appointed only when no suitable and qualified candidates who are

permanent residents are available.

(b) As an Equal Opportunities Employer, the Government is committed to eliminating discrimination in

employment. The vacancy advertised is open to all applicants meeting the basic entry requirement

irrespective of their disability, sex, marital status, pregnancy, age, family status, sexual orientation and


(c) Non-civil service vacancies are not posts on the civil service establishment. Candidates appointed are not on

civil service terms of appointment and conditions of service. Candidates appointed are not civil servants and

will not be eligible for posting, promotion or transfer to any posts in the Civil Service.

(d) The entry pay, terms of appointment and conditions of service to be offered are subject to the provisions

prevailing at the time the offer of appointment is made.

(e) Where a large number of candidates meet the specified entry requirements, the recruiting department may

devise shortlisting criteria to select the better qualified candidates for further processing. In these

circumstances, only shortlisted candidates will be invited to attend recruitment examination and/or


(f) It is Government policy to place people with a disability in appropriate jobs wherever possible. If a disabled

candidate meets the entry requirements, he/she will be invited to attend the selection interview/written

examination without being subject to any further shortlisting criteria.

(g) Holders of academic qualifications other than those obtained from Hong Kong institutions/Hong Kong

Examinations and Assessment Authority may also apply but their qualifications will be subject to

assessments on equivalence with the required entry qualifications. They should submit copies of their

official transcripts and certificates by mail to the above enquiry address.

(h) Towards the application deadline, our on-line system would likely be overloaded due to large volume of

applications. To ensure timely completion of your on-line application, it is advisable to submit the

application as early as possible.

How to apply: Application Forms [G.F. 340 (Rev. 6/2012)] can be downloaded from the Civil Service Bureau of the Hong

Kong Special Administrative Region’s (HKSAR) web site (http://www.csb.gov.hk). Completed forms should reach the

above enquiry address of the recruiting department on or before the closing date for application. On-line application can

also be made through the Civil Service Bureau’s web site (http://www.csb.gov.hk). Candidates who are selected for

interview will normally receive an invitation in about six to eight weeks from the closing date for application. Those who

are not invited for interview may assume that their applications are unsuccessful. For further information and an

application form, please write to the Administration Division, Level 5, Civil Aviation Department Headquarters,

1 Tung Fai Road, Hong Kong International Airport, Lantau, Hong Kong (Fax No. (852) 2910 6399) or e-mail to

recruitment@cad.gov.hk, quoting reference CAD PR/5-25/69(2012).

[*Based on exchange rate (HK$7.8) = US$1 (Subject to fluctuation)

flightglobal.com 19-25 February 2013 | Flight International | 49

HUNDREDS OF JOBS @ flightglobal.com/jobs RECRUITMENT




Tel: 0041 58 158 8877




T: +44 (0)1483 748252

E: aviation@wynnwith.com

W: www.wynnwith.com


Tel: +353 1 669 8224

Fax: +353 1 669 8201

Email: recruitment@sigmaaviationservices.com




+44 (0)1403 240 183

Recruitment Support

to the Aviation Industry

aviation recruitment

T: +44(0)1483 332000


CTC FlexiCrew

High flyers, on demand

Seeks Type Rated Pilots

Locations UK & Worldwide

Flexible & Permanent Positions


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+353 1 816 1774



Contract and Permanent recruitment

for the Aviation industry

David Rowe, Alastair Millar,

Jodie Green, Ian Chapman

Tel: +44 (0)1737 821011

Email: aero@cbsbutler.com




Tel: +44 (0) 1284 700676

Email: info@e-techs.co


Three Oaks Avia�on Consultancy Ltd.

Looking for on contract basis consultants with

working experience gained from aircra�

manufacturers’ customer services business,

incl. maintenance & engineering, supply

chain management, aircra� parts service,

technical publica�ons, training, opera�on

support and supplier contract management.

Email: yongq@3oac.com Tel: +44 20 8643 3981


Global Aviation Recruitment Solutions

Rebecca Anderson, Kelly Biggart, Holly

Sawkins, Billy McDougall, Lee Walker

Tel: +44(0)141 270 5007




The preferred company for Stress (Fatigue & DT), GFEM,

Composites), Aeronautical Research. Business units:

Contract staff, Workpackages, Innovation and New

Concepts, Aeronautical Research. www.bishop-gmbh.com

Contact bishop.peter@bishop-gmbh.com

Tel 0049-(0)40-866-258-10 Fax 0049-(0)40-866-258-20

GCT Group

Worldwide specialist for

Aerospace Engineering,

Certification & Management


e: yourcv@garner.de

t: +49 (0) 8153 93130

w: www.garner.de

Recruiting Stress, Design and Fatigue & DT

engineers for our offices in:








Global Aerospace contract

personnel and work packages

e: progers@strongfieldtech.com

t: +44(0)20 8799 8916

w: www.strongfield.com

Flight International

To advertise in this

Employment Services Index

call +44 (0) 20 8652 4900

fax +44 (0) 20 8261 8434

email recruitment.services@rbi.co.uk

Please note that calls may

be monitored for training purposes

50 | Flight International | 19-25 February 2013 flightglobal.com


Teaching the arts of rotorcraft



Andy Bloxham spotted a gap in the market and formed UK helicopter training and services organisation

A2B Aero in 2010. It now manages six executive helicopters, with plans to expand its fleet during 2013

What does A2B Aero do and

where did the idea come from?

A2B offers a diverse range of

aviation services and is approved

for EASA Part 147 (engineer

type training) and Part M as

a continuing airworthiness management

organisation (CAMO),

offering Part M and airworthiness

review services. I started

the company as I felt there was a

gap in the industry for a customer-focused

organisation that

didn’t charge the earth but gave

the customer a professional and

efficient service.

What is your background in


I have always loved aircraft and

left school with ambitions to be

part of the aviation industry. I

wrote to every company I could

find in the Yellow Pages and

found myself an apprenticeship

as an aircraft engineer, which is

where it all started for me. I went

on to get a licence and moved

into quality, training, contracts

and regulatory compliance. My

life now is more about paperwork,

PowerPoint, Excel and

Word – and I do miss the handson

aircraft work. However, I love

every minute and am never

bored. I have worked all over the

world and had fantastic opportunities

working with a huge variety

of cultures.

Describe a typical working week

As we are so diverse, my working

weeks are also diverse. Some

Bloxham: Airworthiness reviews are a fantastic way to see everything from design data to nuts and bolts

weeks I train engineers on a variety

of helicopter types in sometimes

remote parts of the world.

Another week I complete audits

on operators, CAMOs and maintenance

organisations, or negotiate

a contract to manage aircraft

on our own Part M CAMO approval.

Airworthiness reviews

and surveys are a fantastic part of

my job as these give me an opportunity

to see everything from

design data to the actual nuts and

bolts on the aircraft.

Are you recruiting and what

kind of employees are you

looking for?

We have just expanded our team

by taking on a new junior airworthiness

engineer. I am keen to

give others a chance and train

professionals to ensure the industry

can survive the future. We

are a small company so we need

team players who understand

our ethos.

How do you see the future for

the company panning out and

what are your personal


A2B has grown more than 50%

per year for the past two years

and I plan to maintain this, although

it is extremely hard work

at the moment. I am sure it is not

the best economic climate to

start a company, but my theory

is that if we can make it work

now, we can make it work any

time. My personal ambition is to

make a difference to the industry

and, on reaching retirement,

be able to look back and feel

proud of my achievements. ■

For more employee work

experiences, pay a visit to


If you would like to feature in

Working Week, or you know

someone who does, email your

pitch to murdo.morrison@


Opportunities for Structural Engineers


19-25 February 2013 | Flight International | 51







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