Rolls-Royce and Lockheed Martin agree US$1BN deal to power future C-130J aircraft

Rolls-Royce has completed a long-term agreement with Lockheed Martin worth up to US$1 billion to deliver approximately 600 engines to power future C-130J Super Hercules aircraft.

The agreement secures the Rolls-Royce AE 2100 as the engine of choice for all variants of the C-130J to 2025. The engine agreement will service US Government and International contract requirements between 2014 and 2018.

The skyÕs the limit

The AE 2100 powers all C-130Js, while the Rolls-Royce T56 engines power the legacy C-130 fleet. The global C-130J fleet has surpassed 1 million flight hours, and Lockheed Martin recently announced its intent to obtain certification from the Federal Aviation Administration for a new civil variant – the LM-100J.

The agreement will ensure the continued success of the versatile and proven C-130J military transport aircraft and its powerful, reliable and fuel-efficient turboprop engines. More than 300 of the four-engine transports have been delivered to customers in 16 countries, across 16 different mission types.

Rolls-Royce has already delivered more than 1,500 AE 2100 engines to Lockheed Martin’s Marietta, Ga., facility. AE 2100 engines are manufactured, assembled and tested in Indianapolis, US.

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Mooney to Restart Assembly Line

Kerrville, TX – Mooney International Corporation, CEO Dr. Jerry Chen announced today the company had begun the long-anticipated production of the first new Mooney Airplane since 2009. The assembly line will begin to move later this month, February 26th.  Since announcing the return to the market in November, after a five-year production hiatus, the new leadership at Mooney has been busy preparing the dormant company to return to manufacturing. Today’s announcement marks a milestone in returning the 85-year-old aircraft company to its former glory.

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“This is an important date in the history of Mooney,” commented CEO, Dr. Jerry Chen. “There has been extraordinary effort on the part of everyone at Mooney and I couldn’t be more proud of what has been accomplished in a short amount of time.”

The Company now employs more than 55 people at the Kerrville operation that is going through a major transformation of improvements. The Company continues to upgrade the facility and has invested in new manufacturing equipment. There is also a strong evolution toward building a more technologically based manufacturing facility that will add to production efficiencies.

The first product that will come off the production line in 2014 will be a M20TN Acclaim Type S. The newest Acclaim models will maintain the TSIO-550-G-Turbo Normalized engine and include an upgraded Garmin G1000 Integrated Avionics Suite.

“We believe in the future of Mooney and we have a solid plan,” said Chen, “otherwise we wouldn’t be making such significant investments in the Company.”

Dr. Jerry Chen and the team at Mooney aren’t the only ones excited about the future. MAPA, the Mooney Airplane Pilots Association, is hosting their annual Homecoming Convention at the Kerrville Airport, next to Mooney facilities April 10 – 13 to help celebrate the comeback of Mooney.

Trey Hughes, President of MAPA, said, “There is so much pent up excitement about Mooney’s return. The owners are anxious to personally meet Dr. Chen and hear about the future of the company.”

In appreciation of the Kerrville’s support of Mooney, the Company factory will open its doors to the entire Kerrville public and host tours through the manufacturing facility during the MAPA Homecoming event. The entire event promises to be a great celebration.

Longtime Mooney dealer, Premier Aircraft Sales is also enthusiastic about the return of Mooney.

“There’s been a void in the market since Mooney ceased production,” said Fred Ahles, President of Premier. “Now that they are back, there’s a groundswell of demand and we couldn’t be more excited to have Mooney start to fill the pipeline with product.”

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Pilatus Enhances PC-12 NG for 2014

Pilatus is introducing five new features in the 2014 model in an effort to keep demand high for the popular single engine turboprop.

“To celebrate the first delivery of a PC-12 20 years ago, we’ve added a host of new features to make the 2014 PC-12 NG the best PC-12 to date,” stated Ignaz Gretener, Vice President General Aviation at Pilatus Aircraft Ltd.

Incorporating new technology and responding to customer feedback, the new 2014 PC-12 NG will include six new BMW DesignworksUSA executive interior options, a new electric landing gear system, external LED lighting, a wireless Connected Flight Deck™ system, and a Wi-Fi passenger entertainment system.

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New BMW Interiors

Pilatus continues its longstanding partnership with BMW Group DesignworksUSA by offering 6 new interior packages and a new array of exterior paint schemes crafted exclusively for Pilatus. The palettes satisfy nearly every aesthetic from understated, to expressive and natural, to technical. In the Pilatus tradition, the interior designs combine modern style with a focus on function, quality, and innovation. Responding to the increased demand for the PC-12 NG in emerging markets, all BMW interiors will be available globally for the first time.

Electric Landing Gear

By replacing the PC-12’s original hydraulic landing gear with a new electric system, PC-12 operators realize both weight and maintenance cost savings.  The electric landing gear provides a 13 lb (5.9 kg) weight savings over the previous hydraulic system, and reduces the landing gear maintenance and inspection costs. The 2014 PC-12 NG is now an all-electric aircraft, similar to the most modern airliners.

External LED Lighting

The 2014 PC-12 NG is equipped with light emitting diode (LED) landing, taxi, recognition, navigation, and strobe lights. The tail-mounted strobe light has been eliminated by incorporating its function into the two wingtip strobes. The LED lights are even more reliable due to their solid state design, and produce more light than the incandescent bulbs employed in previous models of the aircraft.

Connected Flight Deck™

The new wireless Connected Flight Deck™ system is a set of four innovative iPad™ applications that interface with a wireless gateway system onboard the PC-12 NG. Each application is designed to enhance the efficiency of data exchanged between the aircraft, pilot, and maintenance personnel. The apps enable fast and simple wireless updates of airport, navigation and terrain databases, off-aircraft flight planning and uploading directly to the flight management system, maintenance and diagnostic recording with email to a service facility, and a moving map feature for passengers. This “industry first” was the result of a collaborative joint development effort between Pilatus, Honeywell, Jeppesen, and Aspen Avionics.

Wireless Entertainment System

Passengers can connect wirelessly to their favorite movies, music, and a moving map using their personal Wi-Fi enabled devices. An on-board media server with USB, Ethernet, and Wi-Fi inputs provides passengers the ability to easily connect and independently access stored movies, music, photos, XM satellite radio, and other content. The standard high resolution moving map display allows passengers to instantly track their location, speed, altitude, and remaining flight time. Pilatus also offers both satellite and ground-based options for in-flight Internet access for the North American market. The new wireless entertainment option, powered by the Emteq’s eConnect™ system will be available mid-2014.
Gretener continued, “This year marks the 20th anniversary of certification of the PC-12, and global demand for the PC-12 NG remains very strong as we approach the 1,300th delivery. We will continue to innovate with new features and capabilities for the PC-12, as we still see a lot of future potential in this market segment.”

The base price for the 2014 PC-12 NG is $3,850,000 with a typically equipped executive configuration priced at $4,642,000.

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Boeing Delivers 1,000th 737 Boeing Sky Interior

SEATTLE, Feb. 11, 2014 — Boeing’s passenger-inspired 737 Boeing Sky Interior marked its 1,000th milestone delivery with Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA.

The 737 Boeing Sky Interior features modern sculpted sidewalls and window reveals, LED lighting that enhances the sense of spaciousness and larger pivoting overhead stowage bins.

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“The Boeing Sky Interior is delighting passengers and our airline customers,” said Beverly Wyse, vice president and general manager, 737 program, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “It’s adding even more value to the Next-Generation 737, which already delivers the best economics, reliability and fuel efficiency in its class.”

Norwegian Air Shuttle was one of the launch customers for the 737 Boeing Sky Interior. This is the airline’s 48th Next-Generation 737-800 with the new interior, making it the largest airline operating with the 737 Boeing Sky Interior in Europe.

“Our goal is to provide passengers with the ultimate experience in comfort and convenience when they fly with Norwegian,” said Bjorn Kjos, chief executive officer of Norwegian Air Shuttle. “The Boeing Sky Interior on the Next-Generation 737 helps us to deliver just that.”

A passenger survey conducted by Norwegian Air Shuttle soon after the airline began service with the new look found that more than half of respondents rate the 737 Boeing Sky Interior more comfortable than the standard interior. And passengers reported they feel “happier” in the new interior.

Since the first 737 Boeing Sky Interior was delivered in October 2010, more than 60 customers have ordered the new interior.

Approximately 85 percent of Boeing’s backlog of more than 1,900 Next-Generation 737s will be delivered with the 737 Boeing Sky Interior. The passenger-preferred interior will be standard on Boeing’s newest family of single-aisle airplanes, the 737 MAX.

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Bombardier Concludes Successful Week at the Singapore Airshow; Solidifies Presence in Asia-Pacific Region

Bombardier concluded its participation in Asia’s biggest airshow –  the Singapore Airshow –  with firm orders and commitments for up to 17 aircraft valued at up to $852 million US. In addition, the company further strengthened its presence in the Asia-Pacific region by inaugurating its first wholly owned service centre for business aircraft and opening a Regional Support Office for commercial aircraft.

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The Asia-Pacific market has once again demonstrated its dynamism, with a high level of interest in Bombardier’s aircraft portfolio recorded at the air show. The Challenger 605 and Global 6000 aircraft on display attracted many visitors, highlighting the region’s increasing appetite for world-class aircraft that meet the needs of a discerning business clientele. Guests were able to view Bombardier’s superior Q400 NextGen turboprop airliner, which was on static display, as well as the full-scale passenger cabin and cockpit demonstrators of the company’s CSeries aircraft.

Starting on February 9, Bombardier announced that an existing customer, which asked to remain unidentified, placed a firm order for an additional three CS300 aircraft, bringing the program’s firm order tally to 201. This was followed by announcements of a firm purchase agreement for two Q400 NextGen turboprop aircraft by Falcon Aviation Services, based at Al Bateen Executive Airport, and the signature of a Letter of Intent (LOI) to purchase up to 12 Bombardier CRJ900 NextGen aircraft by a Middle East and Africa-based undisclosed customer.

Bombardier also welcomed Dhaka-based US-Bangla Airlines Ltd. and Lilongwe-based Malawian Airlines to its family of Q400 aircraft operators, as well as lessor Falko Regional Aircraft Limited to the CRJ900 aircraft family, following Falko’s addition of a CRJ900 regional jet to its portfolio.

Speaking to reporters at a very well attended press briefing, Thai low-cost carrier Nok Air’s chief executive Patee Sarasin spoke highly of the extra capacity seating Q400 NextGen turboprop – for which his airline is the launch customer – referencing higher productivity, cost effectiveness and speed as reasons for selecting the aircraft that can accommodate up to 86 passengers in this version.

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Aerolíneas Argentinas places order for four A330-200s

Aerolíneas Argentinas has signed a purchase agreement for four Airbus A330-200s to renew and consolidate their widebody fleet. Aerolíneas Argentinas will announce the engine selection at a later date.

Argentina’s flagship carrier will deploy the new A330 aircraft for medium and long haul routes from their Buenos Aires hub to destinations throughout Latin America, Europe and the United States. The airline currently operates eight A340-300s, four A340-200s and four A330s.

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The A330 Family, which spans 250 to 300 seats, and includes Freighter, VIP, and Military Transport/Tanker variants, has now attracted more than 1,300 orders, with over 1,000 aircraft flying with more than 100 operators worldwide. The A330 is one of the world’s most efficient aircraft with best in class operating economics. With numerous ongoing product improvements, it still remains the most cost-efficient and capable aircraft, averaging dispatch reliability well above 99 percent.

More than 500 Airbus aircraft are in operation throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, with more than 800 aircraft sold and a backlog of nearly 400 yet to be delivered. In the last 10 years, Airbus has tripled its in-service fleet, while delivering more than 60 per cent of all aircraft operating in the region.

Airbus is a leading aircraft manufacturer with the most modern and comprehensive family of airliners on the market, ranging in capacity from 100 to more than 500 seats.

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