On November 8, Longview Aviation Capital Corp., parent company to Viking Air Limited, agreed to acquire, through an affiliate, the entire Dash 8 programme, including the 100, 200 and 300 series and the in-production Q400 programme from Bombardier Inc. Also included as part of the transaction are rights to the de Havilland name and trademark in an all-Canadian transactions. Once completed, Longview will become North America’s largest commercial turbo-prop aircraft manufacturer.
“The Dash 8 turbo-prop is the perfect complement to our existing portfolio of specialized aircraft including the Twin Otter and the Canadair CL 215 and 415 series of water bombers,” said David Curtis, CEO of Longview Aviation Capital Corp. “We see enormous value in the de Havilland Dash 8 programme, with these aircraft in demand and in use all around the world.”
As part of the agreement, Longview will receive all assets and intellectual property and Type Certificates associated with the Dash 8 programme. Upon the closing of the transaction, Longview will also assume responsibility for the worldwide product support business – covering more than 1,000 aircraft either currently in service or slated for production.
Longview will continue to independently operate the programme at the original de Havilland manufacturing site located at Downsview, Ontario upon closing of the transaction. The Downsview site was sold by Bombardier earlier this year but, under the terms of a lease with the new owners and a license from Bombardier, production will remain on-site until at least 2021. As part of the transaction Longview also looks forward to welcoming Bombardier employees currently associated with the production, support and sales of the Dash 8 programme.
“We are committed to a business-as-usual approach that will see no interruption to the production, delivery and support of these outstanding aircraft,” added Curtis. “With the entire de Havilland product line reunited under the same banner for the first time in decades, we look forward to working with customers, suppliers and employees upon close of the transaction to determine what opportunities lie ahead.”
Longview and Bombardier will work closely in the period until the closing of the transaction to ensure a seamless transition for employees, customers, suppliers and other stakeholders with no interruption in production, delivery and support of the aircraft.
This transaction builds on Longview’s established track record of acquiring and successfully operating significant aircraft manufacturing, parts and serving programmes including the Twin Otter programme and the Canadair CL 215 and 415 waterbomber series.
The transaction is subject to typical closing conditions and the receipt of regulatory approvals. The sale and transaction are expected to close by the second half of 2019.
On 26 October, Delta Air Lines became the first U.S. carrier to take delivery of the Airbus A220 aircraft. On hand for the delivery ceremony at the aircraft’s assembly line in Mirabel were members of the A220 team as well as government officials and executives from Delta, Airbus, Bombardier and Investissement Quebec.
Delta’s A220 will enter service in early 2019, making Delta the fourth global airline to operate the aircraft previously known as the Bombardier C Series. The C Series Aircraft Limited Partnership (CSALP) welcomed Airbus as lead partner earlier this year, prompting the change of name to the Airbus A220. Delta is the largest A220-100 customer, with a firm order for 75 aircraft.
Guillaume Faury, President of Airbus’ commercial aircraft business, said, “We at Airbus are dedicated to providing our customers the right products for a marketplace that needs modern, efficient and passenger-friendly aircraft – and the remarkable A220 certainly delivers. When a great airline like Delta puts a new aircraft into service as a platform for their outstanding passenger service, the entire industry takes note. The A220 team is gratified by the confidence that the Delta family has placed in this excellent, Canadian-born aircraft.”
The A220-100 delivers unbeatable fuel efficiency. It brings together state-of-the-art aerodynamics, advanced materials and Pratt & Whitney’s latest-generation PW1500G geared turbofan engines to offer at least 20 percent lower fuel burn per seat compared to previous generation aircraft.
With an order book of over 400 aircraft to date, the A220 has all the credentials to win the lion’s share of the 100- to 150-seat aircraft market, estimated to represent at least 7,000 aircraft over the next 20 years.
As of the end of September, Delta was operating a fleet of 235 Airbus aircraft, including 182 A320 Family members, as well as 42 A330s and 11 A350 XWB, or eXtra Wide Body aircraft. The airline has more than 275 additional Airbus aircraft on order. Next year, Delta will become the first U.S. airline to operate the new Airbus A330neo.
U.S. Army pilots exercised supervised autonomy to direct an optionally-piloted helicopter (OPV) through a series of missions, to demonstrate technology developed by Sikorsky and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). The series of flights marked the first time that non-Sikorsky pilots operated the Sikorsky Autonomy Research Aircraft (SARA), a modified S-76B commercial helicopter, as an OPV aircraft.
"Future vertical lift aircraft will require robust autonomous and optimally-piloted systems to complete missions and improve safety," said Chris Van Buiten, vice president, Sikorsky Innovations. "We could not be more thrilled to welcome Army aviators to the cockpit to experience first-hand the reliability of optimally-piloted technology developed by the innovative engineers at Sikorsky and DARPA. These aviators experienced the same technology that we are installing and testing on a Black Hawk that will take its first flight over the next several months."
SARA, which has more than 300 hours of autonomous flight, successfully demonstrated the advanced capabilities developed as part of the third phase of DARPA's Aircrew Labor In-Cockpit Automation System (ALIAS) programme. The aircraft was operated at different times by pilots on board and pilots on the ground. Sikorsky's MATRIX Technology autonomous software and hardware, which is installed on SARA, executed various scenarios including:
Automated Take Off and Landing: The helicopter autonomously executed take-off, traveled to its destination, and autonomously landed
Obstacle Avoidance: The helicopter's LIDAR and cameras enabled it to detect and avoid unknown objects such as wires, towers and moving vehicles
Automatic Landing Zone Selection: The helicopter's LIDAR sensors determined a safe landing zone
Contour Flight: The helicopter flew low to the ground and behind trees
The recent Mission Software Flight Demonstration was a collaboration with the U.S. Army's Aviation Development Directorate, Sikorsky and DARPA. The Army and DARPA are working with Sikorsky to improve and expand ALIAS capabilities developed as a tailorable autonomy kit for installation in both fixed wing airplanes and helicopters.
Over the next few months, Sikorsky will for the first time fly a Black Hawk equipped with ALIAS. The company is working closely with the Federal Aviation Administration to certify ALIAS/MATRIX technology so that it will be available on current and future commercial and military aircraft.
"We're demonstrating a certifiable autonomy solution that is going to drastically change the way pilots fly," said Mark Ward, Sikorsky Chief Pilot, Stratford, Conn. Flight Test Center. "We're confident that MATRIX Technology will allow pilots to focus on their missions. This technology will ultimately decrease instances of the number one cause of helicopter crashes: Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT)."
Through the DARPA ALIAS program, Sikorsky is developing an OPV approach it describes as pilot directed autonomy that will give operators the confidence to fly aircraft safely, reliably and affordably in optimally piloted modes enabling flight with two, one or zero crew. The program will improve operator decision aiding for manned operations while also enabling both unmanned and reduced crew operations.
Via PR Newswire / Lockheed Martin
Boeing will build the U.S. Navy’s first operational carrier-based unmanned aircraft, the MQ-25 aerial refueller, through an $805 million contract awarded on August 30.
Boeing was awarded the engineering and manufacturing development contract to provide four aircraft. The company plans to perform the MQ-25 work in St. Louis.
“As a company, we have made an investment in both our team and in an unmanned aircraft system that meets the U.S. Navy’s refueling requirements,” said Leanne Caret, president and CEO, Boeing Defense, Space & Security. “The fact that we’re already preparing for first flight is thanks to an outstanding team who understands the Navy and their need to have this important asset on carrier decks around the world.”
MQ-25 is designed to provide the U.S. Navy with a much-needed refueling capability. According to the U.S. Navy, the MQ-25 Stingray will allow for better use of combat strike fighters by extending the range of deployed Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet, Boeing EA-18G Growler, and Lockheed Martin F-35C aircraft. MQ-25 will also seamlessly integrate with a carrier’s catapult and launch and recovery systems.
Boeing has been providing carrier aircraft to the U.S. Navy for more than 90 years.
Technicians have completed construction on the spacecraft capsule structure that will return astronauts to the Moon, and have successfully shipped the capsule to Florida for final assembly into a full spacecraft. The capsule structure, or pressure vessel, for NASA's Orion Exploration Mission-2 (EM-2) spacecraft was welded together over the last seven months by Lockheed Martin technicians and engineers at the NASA Michoud Assembly Facility near New Orleans.
Orion is the world's only exploration-class spaceship, and the EM-2 mission will be its first flight with astronauts on board, taking them farther into the solar system than ever before.
"It's great to see the EM-2 capsule arrive just as we are completing the final assembly of the EM-1 crew module," said Mike Hawes, Lockheed Martin vice president and program manager for Orion. "We've learned a lot building the previous pressure vessels and spacecraft and the EM-2 spacecraft will be the most capable, cost-effective and efficient one we've built."
Orion's pressure vessel is made from seven large, machined aluminum alloy pieces that are welded together to produce a strong, light-weight, air-tight capsule. It was designed specifically to withstand the harsh and demanding environment of deep space travel while keeping the crew safe and productive.
"We're all taking extra care with this build and assembly, knowing that this spaceship is going to take astronauts back to the Moon for the first time in four decades," said Matt Wallo, senior manager of Lockheed Martin Orion Production at Michoud. "It's amazing to think that, one day soon, the crew will watch the sun rise over the lunar horizon through the windows of this pressure vessel. We're all humbled and proud to be doing our part for the future of exploration."
The capsule was shipped over the road from New Orleans to the Kennedy Space Center, arriving on Friday, Aug. 24. Now in the Neil Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building, Lockheed Martin technicians will immediately start assembly and integration on the EM-2 crew module.
Airbus has revealed the A220 at a ceremony held at its Henri-Ziegler Delivery Centre, near Toulouse. Witnessed by Airbus employees and members of the global news media, the A220-300 landed directly from painting, wearing its new Airbus name and colours.
The A220 family comprises two models, the A220-100 and A220-300, formerly Bombardier Inc.’s C Series (CS100 and CS300). The aircraft are fully optimized for the 100 to 150 seat market and complement Airbus’ existing best-selling A320neo family.
“Everyone at Airbus has been looking forward to this historic moment. Today, we are thrilled to welcome the A220 to the Airbus family and are honoured to see it wearing its new Airbus colours for the first time,” said Guillaume Faury, Airbus President Commercial Aircraft. “I pay tribute to all the women and men at Bombardier and the supply chain who have strived over the past years to bring this fantastic aircraft to the world. The A220 now enters a new phase in its career with all Airbus’ ressources behind it to further its commercial success worldwide."
Eric Schulz, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer, added: “We are enthusiastic about incorporating the A220 in the Airbus Family. I have received positive feedback from customers, and this contributes to my optimism that within the Airbus network, we will make the A220 a great commercial success."
One decade after the first delivery of a Kodiak 100, Quest Aircraft has announced the next generation of the Kodiak 100: the Series II.
The Kodiak 100, Series II introduces an impressive block change of enhancements. The standard equipment list has been expanded to include Garmin’s next generation G1000NXi, as well as an Angle-of-Attack indexer, digital 4-in-1 standby, Flight Stream 510 and a two-year subscription to the Kodiak Mobile App, backed by Garmin Pilot. In the cockpit, Quest has added two new gloveboxes for additional cockpit storage, improved Rosen sun visors for better UV protection and ergonomics, and incorporated LEMO plugs for hardwired Bose headsets. The cargo doorstep has been redesigned to reduce weight and improve functionality, and fuselage seals have been enhanced to provide better soundproofing and cabin ventilation. Additionally, a single point refueling station is now available as an option, designed to give the operator a simple, clean and easy way to refuel both wing tanks using a single port.
“We’re incredibly proud to debut the Kodiak 100, Series II. The refinements and upgrades across the entire platform truly elevate the Kodiak experience, while continuing to deliver the distinctive design and workmanship we’re known for,” said Rob Wells, CEO of Quest Aircraft.
Prior to the release of the Kodiak 100, Series II, the Kodiak underwent considerable advances during the past decade, thanks to a consistent outflow of upgrades to each new model year. Over 200 enhancements have been incorporated into the Kodiak platform since its 2008 introduction, including the addition of two entirely new interiors, an increased landing weight, and the integration of the Garmin GFC 700 AFCS.
“We dedicate an immense amount of time and resources into yearly model improvements, and we’re incredibly proud of what ten years’ worth of continual refinement has led to. With the announcement of the Series II we’re honoring that legacy of consistent improvement by introducing the largest and most significant block change in the Kodiak’s history,” Wells added.
The Kodiak 100, Series II is available for order immediately, and customer deliveries are already underway. The newly certified aircraft will be on display at the Quest booth during EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
By all accounts, the Props and Pistons Show and Shine held on Sunday, May 27, at Red Deer Airport was a tremendous success. According to the airport’s director of marketing and communications, Nicole Holinaty, the organizers had originally hoped that 200 people would attend the event. Instead, crowds of multiple thousands of enthusiasts arrived to attend the Show and Shine, which served as a fundraiser for the Red Deer Food Bank. In that regard, the event was definite success, having raised $4,035 for the charitable organization. Visitors also donated 2,305 pounds (1,046 kg) of food. As a secondary objective, the event served to introduce the public, and the youth in particular, to airport tenants and the aviation industry in general. The first Props and Pistons Show and Shine dramatically exceeded expectations as almost 50 aircraft and about 200 classic and modified cars were on display, with several food trucks serving attendees. Some of the more interesting aircraft on static display included an RCMP Pilatus PC-12, a Douglas A-26 waterbomber and the Fairview Restoration Society’s Canso.
Helicopters and personnel from the Royal Canadian Air Force’s 450 and 408 Tactical Helicopter Squadrons completed an exercise on May 22, 2018, to validate their capabilities in anticipation of an eventual deployment of a Task Force to Mali as part of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA).
The pre-deployment preparation achieved the integration of the CH-146 Griffon and CH-147F Chinook helicopters, the validation of the Forward Aeromedical Evacuation capability, and certification of the headquarters team.
The scenarios were designed to prepare the Task Force to operate in a complex environment that mirrored the realities of the peace support operation planned for Mali.
“The advanced tactical aviation capabilities of the Royal Canadian Air Force will make an invaluable contribution to the United Nations Peace Support Operations in Mali,” said Lieutenant-General Al Meinzinger, commander of the RCAF. “The Task Force is well-equipped and has formed as an effective composite aviation detachment to fully empower our airmen and airwomen to deliver their support to MINUSMA.”
The Task Force will provide two CH-147F Chinook helicopters from 450 Tactical Helicopter Squadron, based in Petawawa, Ontario, and four CH-146 Griffon helicopters from 408 Tactical Helicopter Squadron, based in Edmonton, Alberta. Aircraft spares could also be made available to the Aviation Detachment.
The CH-146 Griffon helicopters will serve as an armed escort for the Chinooks in Mali as they carry out critical mission requirements as part of MINUSMA. As well, Canadian Armed Forces will provide a number of medically-trained personnel who will facilitate medical evacuations for partners and allied forces on the ground and provide logistical support for the mission.
“The validation of the Forward Aeromedical Evacuation capability and Task Force represents a critical step in our preparations to deploy to Mali,” said Colonel Chris McKenna, commander (designate) of Task Force Mali. “Participation in this exercise ensures that RCAF tactical aviation aircraft and personnel are prepared to uphold the commitment to the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali, as directed by the Government of Canada.”
On March 19, 2018, Canada announced its commitment to deploy a Task Force made up of medium utility and heavy-lift transport helicopters for up to 12 months to the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA). Planning and preparations have been underway since that time, with a view to deploying the Task Force in August 2018.
Canada’s contribution will join 57 MINUSMA partner countries in their continued efforts to bring sustainable peace and stability to Mali and the Sahel.