IT'S HARDER THAN EVER AMID THE CURRENT financial crisis to find a buyer for a commercial aircraft, let alone one that's been grounded for some time or retired. Most of the hundreds of planes parked in the desert boneyards of the western US never again will return to revenue service. Boeing projects more than 8,000 aircraft will be retired by 2025.
THE WINTER MIGRATIONS OF CANADA GEESE, displayed in marvelous V formations that remind us the air is a bit colder than before, typically run in a straight north-to-south trajectory.
It's not inconceivable that the birds that probably struck US Airways Flight 1549 also were bound for Charlotte.
January in south central North Carolina is fairly mild compared to Long Island. Mecklenburg County has some good creeks and parks to nest in, some splendid grasses and grains. If the winds were favorable and they flew as fast they could, their trip might take about 12 hr.
OEM Product Services Institute Principal Ron Giuntini spoke with Airline Procurement about how airlines can enhance their maintenance processes by configuring a parts-based and performance-priced program with their suppliers. (Edited for clarity and length.)
AP:Do you think airlines are rethinking their parts programs given the current climate of the global economy?
On Jan. 1, Lufthansa Technik established Lufthansa Technik Maintenance International, a 100% subsidiary integrating the former Condor/Cargo Technik it previously had acquired. LTMI will be based at Frankfurt Airport and will assume responsibility for airline third-party MRO activities previously handled by LHT.
Pratt & Whitney has signed two 10-year contracts with Delta Air Lines to provide engine maintenance, material and aftermarket support. Valued at more than $1 billion, the agreements are focused on developing and implementing repairs in Delta's and its customers' fleets.
CAE has announced more than 25 full-flight simulator sales so far in FY09. In December, the Canadian company reached agreements to provide FFSs and related CAE Simfinity training devices valued at C$40 million ($32.3 million) for Saudi Arabian Airlines and the Hua Ou Aviation Training Centre.
With American Airlines, Virgin America and Delta Air Lines currently deploying its Gogo inflight Wi-Fi service, Aircell expects commitments for the technology to reach 2,000 commercial aircraft by the end of 2009.
In 2007, American Airlines signed a deal with Aircell for Gogo and became its launch customer, and last August it became the first airline in the US to offer inflight Internet access. Now customers traveling on AA's 767-200s can access coast-to-coast coverage on nonstop flights between New York and San Francisco, Los Angeles and Miami.
SITA said Malaysia Airlines recently selected its in-house reservations system as an expansion of an ongoing $130 million improvement program. The 10-year deal, signed in 2006, includes e-ticketing and departure control system upgrades allowing for such self-service options as kiosk and Web check-in.
Deutsche Post's DHL Exel Supply Chain unit won a 10-year, multimillion-dollar deal with British Airways to provide inflight catering services for domestic and short-haul flights from London Heathrow. Contract takes effect in April 2010 and calls for up to 13 million meals annually, inflight retail, media and comfort items as well as waste management and wash-up responsibilities. Northern Foods will prepare the meals under a subcontract with DHL.
INTERNATIONAL AERO ENGINES
celebrated its 25th anniversary this year. Plenty has happened since the consortium formed in 1983 to produce the V2500 and its shareholders divided
design and production responsibilities, leaving Pratt & Whitney (32.5%) to take on the combustor and high-pressure turbine, Rolls-Royce (32.5%) to engineer the high-pressure compressor, Japanese Aero Engines (23%) to build the fan and low-pressure compressor and MTU Aero Engines (12%) to forge the low-pressure turbine.
NO ONE KNOWS JUST WHAT MIX OF INVESTMENT AND INGENUITY
will work to turn the economy around and drive it back north. It's probably safe to assume, however, that it won't just be Washington and bailouts.
Titanium, named after the Titan deities of Greek mythology, works well for aircraft production because of its high strength to low weight ratio as well as its resistance to corrosion. About half of its global demand is driven by the aerospace industry. The metal is the ninth-most-abundant element in the Earth's crust, so there's plenty of it to go around, but the processes of extraction, reduction, melting and fabrication are not easy. The tools and technologies required to fashion titanium into high-performance aircraft parts are sophisticated, proprietary and expensive.
FACC AG recently won a contract with Airbus to provide flap track fairings (wing components made of composite materials) for A330s/A340s, a deal expected to create 100 new jobs and expand the supplier's core competencies in aerostructures. The agreement follows a contract FACC signed last year with Airbus to produce FTFs for A330 and A340-200/-300 aircraft as well as design and procure the necessary tools to manufacture them. The order value, FACC estimates, will amount to $75 million over the next four years and could be worth more as the contract is open-ended.
Thales won Level D certification in China for an A320 full flight simulator for Sichuan Airlines. One of two FFSs in a package that also includes a formation systems trainer device, the simulator was awarded to the company earlier this year in a contract valued at more than $20 million.
Rolls-Royce opened a 1,127-sq.-m. service center in Brazil to support its Trent engines in South America. The $1 million facility will feature Rolls' On-Wing Care service, initially supporting the Trent 700 on A330s and eventually the Trent 1000 on 787s.