Farnborough International 2000:
FARNBOROUGH, England - The second day of FI2000 was highlighted
by additional commitments to the Airbus A3XX superjumbo airliner
from ILFC, which placed a total of $7.5 billion in orders with
the European planemaker today at the show.
Boeing celebrated the launch of the longer range 777 program
with a signing ceremony and champagne toast to its launch customers.
All Nippon Airlines today also placed an order for the 777LR,
and Emirates ordered the long range twinjet.
Orders at FI2000 have swelled to more than $36 billion in value,
with Airbus now pulling slightly ahead of Boeing in this respect.
Day Two of FI2000 ended on a tragic note as news of an Air France
Concorde crash at Charles de Gaulle Airport outside of Paris spread
through the show grounds. Many FI2000 attendees were particularly
affected by the terrible news, not only because of the Anglo-French
partnership behind the Concorde program, but because the supersonic
airliner holds a special place in the hearts of the British and
the French nationals. Concorde is, of course, a flagship symbol
of the British Airways and Air France fleet.
ILFC Signs for 5 A3XX, Places $7.5 Billion
Order for 87 Airbus Jets
Lease Finance Corp provided an additional vote of confidence in
the superjumbo Airbus A3XX program at Farnborough today.
ILFC signed on for five A3XXs as part of an 87 aircraft order
valued at $7.5 billion. Besides the A3XX, ILFC signed a letter
of intent for 20 Airbus A330-200s and 62 Airbus A320 family jets.
The LOI further provides for the possible acquisition by ILFC
of up to 10 A330-500s, subject to the launch of this aircraft
ILFC chief executive Steven Udvar-Hazy endorsed the business
case for the A3XX as a viable product for his customers, calling
the A3XX the flagship of the 21st century.
"There is a big case for the A3XX," Hazy said today. "Our analysis
of the inherent and residual values and earning capabilities of
Airbus aircraft continues to be borne out by the market, and we
are just as confident of securing airline placements for our A3XXs
as for the rest of our Airbus fleet."
ILFC plans to take delivery of
its first A3XX in 2006.
Hazy said ILFC has studied closely the markets now served by
the reigning jumbojet, the Boeing 747, and found these markets
growing at a rate of 5%-12% per year.
"By 2005, these markets will be saturated in terms of frequencies
and slots, and the 747's ability to serve these markets will be
diminished," says Hazy. "We need bigger aircraft to serve these
Hazy also added that he has not ruled out buying the 747X, as
"By 2005, there will be room for the A3XX and potentially the
747X," said Hazy. "We're still gathering information on the 747X,
but the A3XX has achieved the momentum. Boeing is looking at how
to respond. But they have put versions of the 747X on the table,
and we are evaluating them."
However, based on the latest figures from Boeing on its stretched
derivative, Hazy says the operating costs for the A3XX are superior.
Today's ILFC 87-aicraft deal follows a commitment for 50 airbus
jets announced in May. ILFC is Airbus' biggest single customer
and has 480 Airbus jets on order.
- by Rebecca Rayko
777LR Launch Customers Make it Official
have now signed on for the longer range version of the Boeing
777, representing a total of 39 orders and commitments.
the signing ceremony today were executives from All Nippon
Airways, EVA Airways of Taiwan, GE Capital Aviation Services,
International Lease Finance Corp, and Japan Airlines.
ANA announced its
order for six 777-300LRs today, although four of these are conversions
from other 777 models.
Of the longer range
777 commitments, EVA has committed to seven (four -300s and three
-200s); GECAS, which ordered yesterday, will take 10; ILFC will
take eight (also announced yesterday), and JAL will take eight
Also on hand for
the ceremony was James McNerney, president of GE Aircraft Engines,
the exclusive powerplant supplier for the longer range 777 program.
The GE90-115B will
be the most powerful turbofan engine in the world providing 115,000
lbs of thrust. Next month, JAL will officially announce the GE90-115B
as its engine selection for its 777-300LR fleet, with delivery
to begin in 2004.
Testing of the high-flow
swept fan blade began in mid-June at Boeing's Low Speed Aeroacoustic
facility. FAR33 type certification of the GE90-115B by the US
Federal Aviation Administration and the European Community's Joint
Airworthiness Authorities is targeted for 2002, with the longer
range 777 to be ready for entry into service in 2003.
- by Rebecca Rayko
Emirates, ANA Order 777
All Nippon Airways
has added its name to the growing list of customers for the longer
range models of the Boeing 777, with an order for six of the -300
In a champagne clinking
ceremony, Boeing and GE executives could hardy contain their pleasure
at a symbolic signing for the new models when EVA Air, JAL, GECAS
and IFLC welcomed ANA to the launch customer group.
"This airplane is
a game-changer for the industry," said James McNerney, president
and CEO at GE Engines.
However, Boeing is
yet to sign customers such as Singapore Airlines, Malaysia Airlines,
Qantas, Air France and Cathay Pacific - all who have been touted
as launch customers.
Emirates added to
the 777's successful week at Farnborough with an order for six
777-300s but is yet to commit to the longer ranged models.
The order is valued
at $1 billion and is expected to be finalized in three months.
- by Edward James
Midland, Finnair, Kuwaiti Bank Also Go Airbus
The good news from
Airbus didn't end with the ILFC announcements. Finnair ordered
six additional aircraft from the Airbus A320 single-aisle family.
The contract was signed today by Finnair's president Keijo Suila
and Airbus managing director NoÎl Forgeard at the show.
It includes two A319s
and four A320s. The aircraft are scheduled for delivery from 2002
and will be operated on the carrier's European scheduled network.
British Midland formally announced its order for its first Airbus
widebodies. The airline plans to operate a fleet of up to 12 Airbus
A330-200s, which will begin delivering in 2001.
British Midland also
confirmed its commitment for two Airbus A320s, which will deliver
in 2001 and 2002.
Kuwait Finance House,
an Islamic bank and the parent company of Aviation Lease and Finance
Company, an aircraft lessor based in Kuwait, announced its intention
to purchase four new A320-200s from Airbus.
The aircraft, valued
at approximately $200 million, will be delivered over a two-year
period starting in 2003. They will be powered by CFM56 engines
from CFM International.
- by Rebecca Rayko
Partnership on Track, Say Alenia and Lockheed
Alenia and Lockeed
Martin have scotched rumors that their Trans-Atlantic partnership
on the C-27J light tactical airlifter future is in doubt, when
Alenia enters EADS.
senior vice president of business development at Alenia said that
there was no confusion over the future of the program and that
the C-27J would be part of the EADS stable and Lockheed Martin
would be a 50% partner.
"There is no confusion,
the C-27J program continues with LM," he said.
However, there had
been some setbacks on the progress of sales with the Royal Australian
Air Force (RAAF) suspending its competition for a replacement
for 13 Caribou aircraft as it reviews its defense needs.
Australia is facing
a budget shortfall and will review options and possibly reopen
the competition next year.
But Greece was close
to making a choice, with an order for 15 aircraft expected.
Total market is put
at 500 units with Alenia hoping for 240.
The Italian Air Force
has purchased 12 with the first deliveries expected in July 2001.
- by Edward James
few more details on the e-commerce exchange founded by Boeing,
BAE Systems, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon were unveiled in dramatic
fashion today at FI2000.
None other than industry
heavyweights Phil Condit (Boeing), Dan Burnham (Raytheon) John
Weston (BAE Systems) and Vance Coffman (Lockheed Martin) revealed
the name of the web-based exchange - Exostar - which will be operational
by the end of September. The Exostar website (www.exostar.com)
was activated today.
This venture was
originally announced in the spring.
"In 118 days, we've
made amazing progress," Condit said. In that timeframe, the four
partners have signed a definitive agreement and developed a plan
to integrate the e-business activities of these companies, which
are more often competitors than partners.
Exostar now has around
100 people staffing and setting up the venture that will bring
supply chain management to a global exchange, said Coffman.
headquarters will be in Washington, DC, but Exostar will have
a significant presence in Europe and Asia.
Also on hand to launch
the aerospace B2B exchange was Commerce One chairman and CEO Mark
Hoffman. Commerce One is the core technology provider for the
Again, not much in
the way of details as to how the exchange will be structured was
revealed. The aerospace CEOs, however, remained adamant that Exostar
would rise above any antitrust challenge laid before it by governmental
any questions put before us," said Coffman. "There's nothing in
our network that we don't do today in interacting with each other."
Condit said, "We've built walls in the system so that we don't
have access to each other's proprietary
CEOs also issued repeated invitations for other aerospace companies
to join the Exostar trading exchange.
- by Rebecca Rayko
Saab Ericsson Wins Space Contracts
Saab Ericsson Space won two electronics contracts with Astrium
and Hughes Space and Communications.
The company will supply microwave electronics for the new Intelsat
satellites (Intelsat-X) through subcontract with Astrium of Toulouse.
The spacecraft are being built to provide telecommunications services
over the Atlantic and will be located in the West Atlantic Ocean
region. The Intelsat-X satellites are the largest and most powerful
ever procured by Intelsat.
Saab Ericsson Space will develop and construct the satellite
receivers for the C and Ku bands. The order requires 45 receivers
to be delivered in 2001.
The Saab-Ericsson joint venture will also supply microwave electronics
for a new high-speed Ka-band multimedia satellite system called
Spaceway, which is part of Hughes Network Systems. Spaceway will
provide high-speed bandwidth-on-demand satellite communications
service in 2003.
Saab Ericsson Space will provide 18 upconverters and 32 downconverters.
Delivery will take place in May 2001.
- by Rebecca Rayko
Alenia Marconi Sets Priorities for Future
ASM (Alenia Marconi Systems) is on its way to becoming one of
the largest European defense systems by the year-end following
the forthcoming addition of Plessey Electronics company from BAE
Systems. Owned by BAE Systems of UK and Finmeccanica of Italy
on 50/50 basis, the company claims to have an annual turnover
of over $1.6 billion and a customer base in 100 counties.
David Singleton, CEO of Alenia Marconi Systems, told AWN that
roughly 60% of the AMS business is to do with defense and further
10% with ATC systems. According to him, ASM spends 18% of its
income on research and development (R&D) programs.
Except for development and manufacture of long range radars for
various military services, AMS work on future command management
systems which would integrate tactical C2 (communications and
control), intelligence and information-processing means, data
links and strategic command support systems, under "digitization
of the battle space" conceptions.
In particular, AMS is shaping a future C2 system for the UK MoD
in response to the critics on insufficient C2 capability demonstrated
by European armed forces during the bombing campaign in Yugoslavia.
Considerable investments are made into development of modern customer
support, logistics and personnel training systems for the military.
Industry's investments are required to help the armed force cut
their expenses on maintaining their equipment.
It aims at becoming the key provider of air traffic control (ATC)
equipment. Singleton said that by 2020 the UK would require five
new Heathrow-sized airports, should the traffic continue to grow
at the current rate of 7%. This growth requires modern ATC systems
able to provide save movement of thousands of airplane in congested
airspace in real time, and AMS says it is able to handle this
- by Vovick Karnozov
Boeing, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries
Broaden Space Cooperation
Boeing and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI), partners in the
International Space Station program, confirmed their long-term
commitment to the ISS by expanding support projects for the program.
Boeing and MHI will work together on a range of payload integration
for the H-II Transfer Vehicle, systems integration support for
the Centrifuge Accommodation Module (CAM), US payload accommodation
analysis for Kibo (the Japanese Experimental Module), and logistics
activities related to those key elements.
The two companies announced plans to expand their cooperation
in aerospace and other business areas in May. Besides the ISS,
Boeing and MHI are studying electronic systems, launch programs,
manned and unmanned space systems.
Development of new commercial airplanes, product services, financial
support activities, and intelligent technology are also being
studied in the commercial airplanes arena under the MOU signed
Alan Mulally, president of Boeing commercial airplanes group,
says he anticipates MHI will eventually work on the new longer
range 777-200 and -300 programs, as well as the 747X as Boeing
develops that program.
- by Rebecca Rayko
Express Orders ERJ-145XR for $3 billion
Express awarded Embraer a contract for 175 aircraft, including
75 firm orders and 100 options. The contract's value is $3 billion,
of which $1.2 billion covers firm orders.
The aircraft order
launches the new ERJ-145XRs (XR for Extra Long Range), a special
version tailored to the airline's requirements. With the new contract
in place, Continental's order book for ERJs totals 375 (firm orders
and options), out of which 68 50-seat ERJ-145s and 12 37-seat
ERJ-135s have been delivered. Some of the previously ordered 145s
might come into the XR version.
The 145XR is to fly
in first quarter of the next year; deliveries should start in
August 2002, according to Mauricio Botelho, Embraer's CEO and
president. Should the options turn into firm orders Continental
Express will take delivery of the last aircraft ordered today
in late 2004.
The ERJ-145XR differs
from the basic airframe in having winglets, extra tanks and improved
engines. Supplementary tanks are covered with fairings for smoother
aerodynamic flow and fixed to the fuselage aft of the wing's centerplane
Extra fuel capacity
allows for 2000 nm range with 50 passengers aboard, which is 500
nm more than for the basic ERJ-145. Winglets are added to reduce
fuel burn. To cope with an increase in the maximum weight - the
latter rose from 22 to 24 tons - some structural elements are
beefed up. The cruise speed of Mach 0.78 and max payload of 5560
kg remain unchanged.
The XR features better
field performance in hot-and-high conditions due to improved engines
the AE3007A1E turbofans. Rolls-Royce says that it gets $1.02 billion
for supplying engines for the newly ordered Continental airplanes.
According to Betelho,
the extra fuel capacity allows regional airlines to explore new
markets with the ERJ-145XR. Improvements made on the XR increased
the plane's sticker price by $1.5 million.
- by Vovick Karnozov
Teams With UK on Defense Projects
Two Lockheed Martin
subsidiaries announced partnerships with UK-based defense companies
today. Sanders, which soon will change hands to BAE Systems, will
work with Pilkington Optronics, part of Thomson-CSF Racal, to
work on the UK Fast Jet Missile Approach Warning System (MAWS)
The two companies
signed a separate agreement under which Pilkington will manufacture
electro-optical missile warning sensors to Sanders for in-country
Sanders will serve
as prime contractor and systems integrator for the development
and production phase of the Fast Jet MAWS program. Pilkington
Optronics will provide electro-optical infrared sensors and circuit
card fabrication, final assembly and test, and integrated logistics
Fast Jet MAWS will
be provided on the Royal Air Force Tornado, Jaguar and Harrier
aircraft against IR threats.
In a separate agreement,
Pilkington will provide electro-optical missile warning sensors
(EOMS) over the next five years to help meet Sanders' anticipated
in-country sensor requirements.
subsidiary, the Naval Electronics & Surveillance Systems, and
BAE Systems announced that the two companies will jointly pursue
whether opportunities exist on international radar programs for
surface ship applications.
The four-month study
will focus on opportunities to upgrade the companies' respective
radar products to enhance weapon system performance against ballistic
The companies hope
to defray R&D costs on developing a new shipboard radar suite
for next-generation ships. A family of such radar systems could
also be available for back-fit into existing ships to counter
increasingly stealthy anti-ship missiles while providing defense
against ballistic missiles.
- by Rebecca Rayko
AF Orders Two More Challengers
The Royal Danish
Air Force (RDAF) ordered two more Challenger 604 jets from Bombardier,
in addition to one such aircraft delivered last year. The respective
agreement was signed by Major General Lars Fynbo (on behalf of
RDAF) and Rob Gillespie, president of Bombardier's business aircraft
The two planes will
come with additional equipment - presumably a surveillance radar
and other sensors - for sea observation missions, while regaining
General Fynbo said
that the planes will be used for fisheries protection, anti-pollution,
observation and coastal patrol missions over waters washing territories
under Danish jurisdiction in Europe and Greenland. Apart from
that, the Challengers will also serve the Queen, other members
of the royal family, ministers and state officials. All the three
aircraft will be based at Vaerloese, north of Copenhagen. "Green"
airplanes will leave factory in Tucson this fall for Montreal
where they will get VIP interior and special equipment.
- by Vovick Karnozov
on IndAF AL-31PF Engines Nears Completion
bureau, which has a stand in Hall 1, is completing work on AL-31PF
engines for the Indian Air Force (IndAF) Su-30MKI multi-role fighters.
In 1998 India awarded
AVPK Sukhoi a contract for 50 Su-30 fighters, including 42 aircraft
in the Su-30MKI variant with thrust-vectoring nozzles. Talks are
in progress on production of 200 Su-30MKIs in India under license.
The Su-30MKI, whose deliveries to IndAF are scheduled to start
next year, is to become the world's first in-service fighter with
thrust vectoring capability.
The AL-31FP differs
from the original AL-31F engine in use of the Su-27 (NATO codename
Flanker) in having deflectable nozzles. Placing the order for
Su-30MKI fighters, India demanded that the engines for those aircraft
should have a TBO (time between overhaul) of 1000 flight hours,
while the in-service AL-31-series engines on Su-27 family fighters
have a TBO of 500 to 700 flight hours, depending on production
Albert Volkov, chief
designer with Lyulka-Saturn, told AWN that the TBO extension program
for the AL-31FP has been completed, but there is some work remaining
to be done before the engine can be rendered fully meeting the
customer's requirements. The work necessitates completion of the
flight test program which is well in progress on a Su-30MK prototype,
Blue 06, at the Flight Test and Research Institute in Zhukovsky
near Moscow. For completion of the program two more Su-30 airframes
in MKI configuration are being prepared at Sukhoi experimental
aircraft factory in Moscow.
Meanwhile, the design
bureau continues working on civilian versions of the AL-31 engine,
such as the Al-31ST for gas-pumping stations. Nine of such units
have been delivered to RAO Gazprom natural gas corporation.
At FI2000 there are
two full-scale models of the AL-31F engine displayed, one at Lyulka-Saturn
stand in Hall 1 (Su-27's AL-31F variant with no thrust vectoring
manufactured by UMPO factory of Ufa), and the other at MMPP Salyut
(experimental model with a thrust-vectoring nozzle, manufactured
by MMPP Salyut of Moscow).
- by Vovick Karnozov