fredag 31. mai 2013

Paris Air Show - Helgelektyre

Paris Air Show 2013 preview

AEROSPACE Editor in Chief TIM ROBINSON provides a preview of what to look forward to at this year’s Paris Air Show on 17-23 June

Look to the skies in June (Airbus)
In mid-June, the focus of the global aerospace community will alight on Le
Bourget, for the 50th Salon International de l’Aeronautique et de l’Espace or
the Paris Air Show. Taking place from 17-23 June, this (along with
Farnborough) massive trade exhibition is a key global place for the aviation
and space industries to show off their latest aircraft and wares, make deals
and announce news.
The previous Paris Air Show in 2011 saw some 2,113 exhibitors from 45
countries, some 151,000 visitors on the trade days and some 204,000
public visitors. In addition, the 2011 show boasted some 150 aircraft in
the static and flying display, hosting some 3,200 journalists from every
corner of the globe and saw 1,400 aircraft sold – with some £102.5bn
worth of deals announced at the show.

Fully booked

There will be longer opening hours this year to allow visitors to take in more of the show. (GIFAS)
In 2013, the 50th Paris Air Show, the organisers GIFAS hope to go one better.
This year, it has two objectives – giving more business and services to
exhibitors and improving the air show experience for visitors (regular Le
Bourget goers will grimace at the thought of the traffic jams).
So far, this seems to be paying off. The show has been fully booked since J
anuary with 54,000sqm of stands, 340 business chalets and 27 national
pavilions. Some 130 aircraft in static and flying are set to appear, and there
is a record-breaking number of exhibitors coming – some 2,160 companies
from 44 countries – with almost all the top 100 aerospace companies
represented (a notable exception being Northrop Grumman).
For trade exhibitors, the organisers promise a new focus on SMEs and the
supply chain – along with a B2B meetings programme – building on the
success of this activity in 2011. The show will also open longer, new opening
hours (from 6.30am exhibitors/8.30am visitors) allowing more time to see
everything this giant trade exhibition has to offer.
Visitors, too, will see improvements, say the air show organisers. This year,
GIFAS will roll–out an airshow map app with indoor geolocation – enabling
visitors to find stands and chalets more quickly. There will also be free WiFi
on the site, covering not only the halls, but also the chalets and static display
as well. Finally, a dedicated radio station will inform drivers getting to and
from the show of traffic conditions.
So with the show promising a slicker, better experience for both trade and
public visitors, let’s take a look at what some of the major highlights might

Commercial – missing the party?

The Airbus A350XWB undergoing lightning tests. It may have made its first flight by mid-June. (Airbus)
In commercial aviation, the industry according to some, is on the brink of a huge
 civil aerospace super-cycle as new types ramp-up in production (like the 787)
others count down to first flights (A350, CSeries, MRJ) and successors to best
selling single-aisle aircraft (A320neo and 737 MAX) wait in the wings.
Making the news, this year will be home champion Airbus, as its new A350XWB prepares for first flight. Indeed it may have already flown just before the show. Howeve,r the show organisers and Airbus itself have ruled it out from appearing
at the show, either on static or during the flying display. In comparison to the
previous pomp and razzmatazz of other airliner roll-outs (A380, 787) Airbus is not known to be planning any high-profile roll-out for VIPs. A sign of austerity in the aerospace sector, or perhaps an attempt (after cracked wings and battery fires) to placate the aviation gods of hubris and hype?
That does leave one tantalizing possibility though for Le Bourget attendees – in
that a test flight might be scheduled so that the route includes a flypast of the
airshow? In the past, the USAF has done this for flyovers of the Farnborough
with its B-52 bomber. Could Toulouse be planning a similar surprise for
Another brand-new civil airliner to just miss the party will be Bombardier’s new CSeries airliner, which the Canadian airframer is set to fly for the first time at the
end of June. Unlike the A350, though the CSeries has been struggling with
orders so far so a Paris appearance would have provided a welcome boost and
allowed potential waverers to see it up close.
With both the A350 and the CSeries set to miss Le Bourget, though, it does beg
the question of which air show will see their public debuts? Will Farnborough
2014 be a historic show with the A350, CSeries (and F-35) making their first
airshow appearances? (It is not as far-fetched as it might seem as all have
significant UK content). Or might one manufacturer decide to use the upcoming
 Dubai Air Show in November to show-off its new aircraft and recognise the
shifting power of airline centre of gravity to the East?
Whatever happens, it is clear that for the Paris air Show organisers it must be
 doubly frustrating to miss hosting the public unveilings of not one but two
new civil aircraft by such a narrow margin. However, the potential sight of the
A380 in a British Airways livery is sure to please UK show-goers.
Meanwhile, Boeing will be demonstrating that the 787’s woes are behind it, by
 flying the Dreamliner at Paris – a new development that started last year at Farnborough. With the world’s aviation media in one place, this will be a key
time for Boeing to reinforce the message that the Dreamliner is safe and that
 its lithium-ion battery solution is robust. There also may be additional big Boeing
news if the company decides to publically launch its 777X airliner – the response
to the king-size A350-1000 which is now picking up orders. There also may be
more news this year on Boeing’s next Eco-demonstrator – which will use a 787
as a testbed for ‘green’ aviation technology.
But it is not just Airbus and Boeing to watch out for at Paris as other new entrants
vie to break into this cosy airliner duopoly. Bombardier’s and its CSeries has
already been mentioned but appearing at Paris will be Sukhoi’s Superjet. Expect
 to hear more about Russia’s larger single-aisle airliner, the Irkut MC-21 as it too counts down to a first flight in 2015-16.
The air show, too, will also give the opportunity for Brazil’s Embraer to give more details about its planned re-engining of its best-selling EJet family. Regional
airliner maker ATR, may reveal more about future plans for a larger turboprop it has been mulling. Japan’s Mitsubishi meanwhile, will be keen to update the world on progress with its airliner, the MRJ, set to fly at the end of this year.
Additionally, we might hear an update from China’s COMAC about its civil
single-aisle airliner project - the C919. Two previous airshows (Farnborough
2012 and Paris 2011) have seen western airlines in the form of IAG and
Ryanair flirt heavily with COMAC. With Ryanair now satisfied with a recent
deal for 737NGs, who this year might be talking about potential C919 orders?
Finally, although two years ago at the 2011 Paris Air Show, aviation biofuels
were high-profile, the rapid exploitation of energy reserves by the US, along with
lower oil demand from a slowing China, has stabilised fuel prices for airlines,
although they still remain high. At the exhibition, there will be a chance to check
out the latest progress in sustainable aviation with a dedicated alternative
aviation fuels area.

Military – the Russians are coming

The Russians will be at the show in force for the first time since 2001. (Knaapo).
On the military side of the fence, expect glum faces as restrained budgets
continue to hit. In particular the US Pentagon budget cuts and sequestration
has severely affected the world’s biggest defence market – with knock-on effects
for all military manufacturers – not just those in the US. Therefore, US aerospace
and defence companies will be now aggressively searching for additional sales
outside the US, bringing them into intense competition with European companies.
The battleground for this market share will be the Middle East and, in particular,
Asia-Pacific – as Washington ‘pivots’ to that area of the world.
Additionally, there has also been grumbling from the US that Europe needs to
 start paying its way in military budget terms. This, however is unlikely, even if in
the unlikely event of Washington cutting Europe loose – and most foresee a flat defence market for the next four to five years. Therefore expect to see defence companies highlighting their work in ‘adjacent’ markets, whether it be
cybersecurity, energy or even deep-sea mining.
F-35 watchers will be disappointed that the West’s super-stealth fighter will miss another major airshow – despite now arriving in service in greater numbers. A transatlantic flight (with spare aircraft, tanker support etc) would obviously be a
major undertaking for the Pentagon in such budget-conscious times but with someLockheed Martin F-35 partners wavering or thinking about reduced
numbers, a public appearance at this major international air show would have demonstrated the type’s growing maturity and quietened some critics.
However, combat aircraft fans will be pleased to note a strong presence from
Russian aerospace this year. Sukhoi will be bringing its Su-35, the latest 4/5 Gen evolution of its Flanker, now entering service with the Russian Air Force. Kamov’s
 twin-seat, co-axial attack helicopter, the Ka-52 is also set to appear. Finally show-goers will be able to compare and contrast Antonov’s An-70 airlifter with the
Airbus A400M airlifter, which enters service with the French Air Force this year.
This Paris expect UCAV (Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicles), too, to be on the agenda. Dassault has already flown the pan-European nEUROn stealth combat
UAS in December 2012. Across the Channel, meanwhile, a similar effort from
BAE Systems in the form of the Taranis is expected to fly sometime later this
year in Australia – although the UK MoD is tight-lipped about when exactly.
These two technology demonstrators will inform choices for Europe’s next big
combat aircraft programme. Will it definitely be unmanned? Will another
technology demonstrator programme be needed or could partners move to a production version? These decisions about the potential way forward for a
European UCAV ‘Eurofighter-style’ project will be outlined in an Anglo-French
report due in the Autumn.
Military rotorcraft may provide another interesting theme at this year’s show. Will
Paris be the venue where Boeing might publically announce its first export order
for theBell/Boeing V-22 Osprey to Israel? Additionally, US defence helicopter requirements may also provide an insight into future next-generation rotorcraft
designs – with co-axial and tiltorotors aiming to replace the ubitiqious Blackhawk i
n US Army service. With the UH-60 Blackhawk family in widespread service
around the world, this competition will be of interest beyond US shores.
Future concepts, too, will be revealed by missile house MBDA, which in previous
air shows has revealed micro-missiles for infantry and precision munitions for
UAVs. These ‘future concepts’ are not  intended to be production weapons, but
act as a sort of ‘concept car’ future technology platform to showcase trends and thinking in missiles.

UAS – civil applications

UAV’s (or ‘drones’) are now finding more peaceful uses, such as monitoring tigers and rhinos to protect them from poachers. (WWF).
The show will also highlight the growing roles and missions for UAVs and, in
particular, the potential for civil applications, which could range from search
and rescue, to anti-rhino poaching, to even, if one proposal was to believed –
pizza delivery.  Driving this is not only the UAS technology as it becomes smaller
and cheaper but also the human element as a new skilled aerospace occupation
 has been created – the UAV operator. Post Afghan draw-down in 2014, what
might these ex-military UAS experts do? In a previous age, the pioneering pilots
post-WW1  flew stunt planes, carried mail, formed airlines and created our modern aviation landscape. Could this happen again?
There still remain obstacles - most notably in sharing airspace but also from the
 public perception of ‘drones’. However, work is now underway in the US, Europe,
the US and elsewhere to unlock this promising new civil market.

General Aviation

This Dassault Mystere 20 started the Falcon family off. (Dassault).
Meanwhile in business aviation the organisers have stressed that this year ‘
business aviation is back’ - with only Cessna missing from the line-up of the big
general aviation and business manufacturers.  Home champions Dassault Aviation
will be in a special mood for celebration, with its 50th anniversary. A restored
Mystere 20 bizjet (S/n 1) is set to appear at the show to mark the occasion of 50
years of Falcon business jets.
Showgoers, too, will also be able to learn more about the new bizjet from Switzerland’s Pilatus, the PC-24, set to be unveiled at the EBACE Show in Geneva on 21 May.


On 7 May, ESA successfully launched the second mission with its new lightweight Vega launcher. (ESA)
It is also noteworthy that the exhibition will include a significant presence from
the ever-growing space sector – especially as each month now it seems, a new
space entrepreneurial idea is launched – whether it is mining asteroids or a
global reality TV show Mars expedition. Exhibitors at Paris include established space and satellite companies like Astrium, Arianespace, and ThalesAlenia
Space as well as those seeking to get in on the action. With the mid-life upgrade
to Ariane 5, the 5ME approved last year and a follow-on Ariane 6 planned, Europe
is working hard to keep its space launchers ahead of the competition. Additionally
 the show may also be an opportunity  for ESA to provide an update on the joint NASA/ESA MPCV which will see an Orion/ATV spacecraft combination for deep
space exploration.


The ‘Careers Plane’ will be a focus for inspiring the next generation into aerospace careers. (GIFAS)
Finally another theme to watch for this year at Paris is a continued emphasis on inspiring the next generation of pilots, engineers and technicians. The engineering
skills shortfall that the aerospace industry is facing is not just a UK problem – it is Europewide. Without fresh blood entering the industry, European aerospace faces eventual decline, loss of competitiveness and being sidelined by the emerging powerhouses such as India and China. Looking at the giant European enterprises ofEADSBAE Systems, Finmeccanica and others this may seem impossible,but
the long development cycles of today’s aerospace programmes means it is vital
now to attract the young people who will design, build, fly and maintain the aircraft
of tomorrow. To that end the Air Show will feature a brand new exhibit in the static
area – a life-size ‘Careers plane’. This representation of an aircraft will be split into parts and allow young people to see how the different parts of the aerospace
industry combine to make a complete product. The organisers believe this will be a prime focus for those attending the show who want to find out more about joining
 the industry.


Le Bourget is still a valuable showcase to display to those outside the industry what is going on in aerospace. (GIFAS)
There is no doubt that Paris, like Farnborough, continues to be a major fixture
in the aerospace calendar. But is the appeal of these big trade exhibitions
declining? Some point to the rise in specialist trade shows on niche sectors, such as EBACE and NBAA covering business aviation. Others point to the growing
strength of Dubai and Singapore Air Shows as indicators that the European-based aerospace events are time-limited.  Critics, too, also point to a lack of new types leading to stale static and aerial displays, compared to the golden years of the
1950s and 1960s where each show saw many new aircraft make their public
 debuts. Finally, some also dislike the ‘showbusiness’ aspect of the exhibition,
 where news is saved up for June, the staggering cost to companies attending
and the artificial frenzy of the week, with deals perhaps being actually arranged elsewhere.
Yet despite these gripes, Le Bourget still continues to provide a valuable, vital and ‘must attend’ showcase for the global aerospace industry.  It may have changed in character, but where else can you find the top aviation and aerospace decision
makers and VVIPs in the same city, in the same place at the same time? This is important, particularly when the industry has become so global and geographically spread out. Skype and videoconferencing may mean deals are made elsewhere,
 but the show is still important for the human element in sealing that billion dollar

Dambusters diskuteres i Royal Aeronautical Society

Jeg stoler på at jobben til 617 Squadron og Guy Gibson ikke bare var en media stunt. Mye skrives om dette i disse dager, men jeg slår et slag for filmen fra 1955.....

Dambusters debated

Was the legendary and courageous 1943 RAF Dambusters Raid a ‘strategic success or a conjuring trick’? PAUL STODDART from the RAeS Air Power Group provides a report on an academic debate on the effectiveness of Operation CHASTISE.
Lancasters on the way to the target – a still from the Dam Busters film. (RAeS/NAL)
Seventy years have elapsed since 617 Squadron led by Wing Commander Guy Gibson breached the Mohne and Eder dams in western Germany on the night of 16-17May 1943.  Despite the passage of time, the release of previously classified information and the intensive study by historians, opinion remains divided as to the effectiveness of the operation.  To commemorate what remains one of the most, if not the most famous single air power action, on 4 April the Cranwell branch of the RAeS devoted its annual Trenchard Lecture to a debate on Operation Chastise.
The three speakers were the distinguished historians and authors Professor Eric Grove, Dr Peter Caddick-Adams and James Holland (biographical details below). The debate was hosted by the Royal Air Force College Cranwell and took place in the splendid setting of College Hall Officers’ Mess with an audience of around 80. Cranwell is a few minutes flying time south of RAF Scampton from which 617 Squadron flew on the Dams Raid

F-35 - Nytt fra Italia

Italy's ruling party divided over order for F-35 combat jets

ROME | Thu May 30, 2013 12:04pm EDT
(Reuters) - Italian opposition parties and some lawmakers from the ruling Democratic Party called on the government on Thursday to abandon its plans to buy 90 Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter jets.

Italy's total planned investment in the new Lightning II Joint Strike fighters (JSF) exceeds 10 billion euros ($12.97 billion) even though it cut its order last year to 90 aircraft from the 131 it had originally penciled in to buy more than a decade ago, a move it said would save 5 billion euros.
The opposition 5-Star Movement, the Left Ecology Liberty (SEL) and 13 members of Prime Minister Enrico Letta's Democratic Party (PD), one of two main components of the right-left coalition, now want to scrap the order completely.
"We can easily do without the F-35," said Giulio Marcon, an SEL lawmaker. "The government should make a responsible gesture and use these resources to increase welfare spending and create jobs."
With Italy mired in recession and struggling with public finances, the money saved by eliminating a single F-35 could be used to build 387 day care centers or renovate 258 schools, according to a motion signed by 158 parliamentarians in the lower house Chamber of Deputies.
The PD said it wanted to cut spending on the program during the campaign for national elections last February, but has since formed a government with Silvio Berlusconi's People of Freedom (PDL) party, which supports the F-35.
The F-35 investment "should be revised, just as we all said in the election campaign," Giuseppe Civati, one of 13 PD members who signed the motion, told Reuters.
Civati, a frequent critic of his own party, accused the PD and former prime minister Mario Monti's Civic Choice party of reneging on campaign promises to cut spending on the jet.
Defense Minister Mario Mauro, a member of Monti's party, said last week the month-old government wanted to go ahead with the purchase, saying, "we need defense tools to guarantee peace".
The deal includes a provision to give maintenance contracts to state-controlled defense group Finmeccanica as Italy's aerospace industry is a development and production partner in the F-35 project and Italy has already invested about 2 billion euros in it.
However, the project is seven years behind schedule and 70 percent over initial cost estimates. Other countries have also cut their provisional orders for the plane because of the economic crisis that has shrunk defense budgets worldwide. ($1=0.7712 euros)
(Editing by Greg Mahlich)

EC225 - A bit premature there Hoskins?

Vel, denne kontrakten løper fra november i år. Problemet med EC225 MGB er enda ikke løst. I værste fall kan det ta ytterligere 9 - 12 måneder før EADS ser for seg at problemet er løst. (Flight Intl. 28 May - 3 June 2013) Midlertidige løsninger vil neppe finne grobunn hos fagforeningene vil jeg tro.

Friday, May 31, 2013

PTTEP Chooses Bond for EC225 Support in Timor Sea

Bond Helicopters Australia has obtained a five-year agreement to supply helicopter support services for the PTTEP Australasia group of companies. The contract covers the use of three Eurocopter EC225s at PTTEP’s offshore operations in the Timor Sea, with flights originating from Mungalalu-Truscott in western Australia. Under the multimillion-dollar tender, the EC225s will begin providing support in November 2013.

UAV - FEMALE vs MALE. Harfang som Forward Air Controller

FEMALE Prospects Dimmed by French Reaper Buy

EADS has been trying to launch the Talarion, labeled here as "European UAS" to invite collaboration. But European governments have made no commitment, preferring short-term solutions from the U.S. and Israel. (Photo: Chris Pocock)
May 31, 2013, 11:00 AM
At an unmanned vehicles forum in Bonn this week, EADS Cassidian was again promoting what it now calls a Future European Male (Female) system. But the prospects of a pan-European program to match or improve on Male (medium-altitude long-endurance) UAV offerings from Israel, the U.S. and elsewhere have receded. France has decided to buy two GA-ASI Reaper systems, and there are indications that the UKwill retain its Reapers beyond 2015, rather than retire them upon leaving Afghanistan. In Germany, it became known that the Defence Minister had also discussed a possible Reaper buy during a visit to the U.S. in April.
The French decision was justified by Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, who cited an urgent need for surveillance over Mali following the French intervention there. However, according to its own magazine, the French Air Force has been successfully operating the EADS Harfang system using the IAI Heron platform over Mali since mid-January. Two of the UAVs deployed to an undisclosed location had flown 1,000 hours by mid-March, and they had used lasers to designate targets for other aircraft for the first time. The Harfang had earlier been deployed to support French and other allied forces in Afghanistan

Be-200 - Et av mine favorittfly

 For en del år tilbake, faktisk under Gorbachovs Perestroika. var jeg i Moskva sammen med en gjeng fra Norsk Flygerforbund: Sverre Gran, Leder, Svein Grimholt, Leder Operativt Utvalg, Anders Heimsjø, medlem av IFALPA`s ATS Committee, og undertegnede. Jeg fikk anledning til å snakke med representanter fra Murmansk om SAR. Det var et nærmest ukjent begrep for dem. I 1999 skrev jeg til Murmansk hovedredningssentral for å få opplysninger om hva de hadde av SAR-relatert fly- og helikoptertjeneste. De hadde ikke noe. Jeg nevnte at Be-200 måtte være midt i blinken for dem. Vel, jeg fikk aldri noe svar på min siste henvendelse. Nå er det gledelig å se at det skal kjøpes inn SAR utgaven av flyet. 

Beriev Wins $267M Contract for Six Be-200s

One of the first Be-200s is seen in flight. Following six deliveries to the Russian Ministry of Emergencies, the Russian Defense Ministry has ordered six more. (Photo: Vladimir Karnozov)
May 31, 2013, 10:20 AM
The Russian defense ministry awarded TANTKBeriev a contract worth Rouble 8.408 billion (U.S.$267 million) for six Be-200 amphibian jets. The first two airplanes delivered in 2014-16 will be the factory-standard Be-200ChS version (the ChS suffix is the Russian acronym for Emergency Situations). The other four will be Be-200PS search-and-rescue versions. The Russian MoD signaled its intent to place a follow-on order for eight more aircraft after this initial contract is fulfilled.
Since 1998, when the type took to the air for the first time, nine Be-200s have been completed–all at the IAZ plant in Irkutsk–including one development prototype and eight ChS aircraft. Six of these went to Russia’s Ministry for Emergencies, and one to Azerbaijan. The remaining two airplanes are with the developer, and sometimes perform firefighting and SAR services under contract.
The MoD announced its intent to procure Be-200s last year. At that time the contract was said to be for eight aircraft, including two configured for special missions. However, the contract signing was delayed and its terms revised following the departure of the previous minister, Anatoly Serdyukov, who was replaced by Sergei Shoigu.
The ChS version is configured to transport rescue teams and their cargoes. It can carry up to 12 metric tons (26,455 pounds) of water in its inner tanks, either from an aerodrome source or on a scooping run, for subsequent dropping onto a fire. This version has additional tanks to carry chemicals for suppressing flames. The detailed specifications for the four PS-configuration aircraft that will be delivered later have not yet been made public. The MoD intends to employ its PS aircraft as a replacement for the long-serving Be-12 flying boats, on ship rescue missions and also on maritime patrol missions.
Be-12 Foto: Per Gram
The second proposed batch of Be-200s are expected to have a far more “militarized” configuration. They will carry powerful sensors, such as side-looking radar and ASWequipment, which is expected to raise the empty equipped weight. To handle an increase in maximum takeoff weight from the current 92,600 pounds, relative to the current production platform, engine makers Ivchenko Progress and Motor Sich are working on a more powerful engine: the D436FM. Compared with the current D436DP, its maximum thrust will be boosted from 7.5 metric tons (16,534 pounds) to 8.2 metric tons (18,078 pounds)