February’s top stories: Spike's windowless cabins, VietJetAir’s Airbus deal

Spike Aerospace is planning to incorporate a windowless passenger cabin into its new Supersonic Jet, VietJetAir finalised an order worth more than for Airbus A320 aircraft, while Airbus and EOS teamed-up to conduct an aerospace sustainability study into industrial 3D printing. Aerospace-technology.com wraps-up the key headlines from February 2014.


Spike Aerospace

Spike Aerospace's new supersonic jet to feature windowless passenger cabins

Spike Aerospace has unveiled plans to incorporate a new aircraft design feature, a windowless passenger cabin, into its Spike S-512 Supersonic Jet.

The interior walls of the aircraft will be covered with a thin display screens that will be embedded into the wall.

Spike is also installing cameras on the entire aircraft in order to construct panoramic views on the cabin screens.

VietJetAir finalises $9.1bn Airbus A320 aircraft order

vietjetair

Vietnam's budget airline VietJetAir finalised an order worth more than $9.1bn for Airbus A320 aircraft at the 2014 Singapore Airshow to support the carrier's expansion plans.

The latest purchase agreement includes firm orders for 42 A320neo, 14 A320ceo and seven A321ceo, along with purchase rights for 30 aircraft.

In addition, the airline will lease seven additional A320 jets from third-party lessors.

Airbus Group Innovations and EOS partner on 3D printing study

Airbus Group Innovations and EOS teamed-up to conduct an aerospace sustainability study into industrial 3D printing.

The partnership is aimed at completing an environmental lifecycle comparison of two production technologies, rapid investment casting and direct metal laser sintering (DMLS).

This eco-assessment on an Airbus A320 nacelle hinge bracket included detailed aspects of the complete lifecycle, including the supplier of the raw powder metal, the equipment manufacturer and the end-user.

MultiScan

Rockwell Collins to launch MultiScan ThreatTrack weather radar for aircraft

Rockwell Collins unveiled its new MultiScan ThreatTrack weather radar that provides improved atmospheric threat assessment capabilities for aircraft.

Due to be showcased at Singapore Airshow, Rockwell Collin's MultiScan ThreatTrack has been built upon the company's MultiScan weather radar with additional features and improved safety and efficiency.

The system delivers hail and lightning prediction within a thunderstorm cell and its 'predictive overflight' feature warns the aircraft crew if the cells will be in the flight path.

Airbus leads robotics project to automate assembly processes

Airbus's Puerto Real facility in Cádiz, Spain, launched a project aimed at expanding the automation of its assembly processes using two-armed humanoid robots.

These robots will perform repetitive tasks, freeing up workers for higher value activities.

The new research and technology project, FUTURASSY, focuses on introducing a harmonised robotic system for the automation of the aeronautical assembly processes that can be put to use across all Airbus sites.

SunExpress

SunExpress orders 50 Boeing jets in Turkey

Lufthansa and Turkish Airlines joint venture SunExpress placed an order for 50 Boeing aircraft, worth $4.5bn at list prices.

The largest order to date for the Turkish carrier includes 15 737 MAX 8s and 25 Next-Generation 737-800 aircraft, along with options for ten more 737 MAX 8 jets.

SunExpress managing director Paul Schwaiger said: "Next year, at the age of 25, SunExpress will start the process of renewing its entire fleet and in the future add the latest achievement of Boeing, the 737 MAX."

Honeywell and Inmarsat complete key design review for enhanced in-flight connectivity

Honeywell Aerospace and Inmarsat finalised the critical design review (CDR) of the GX Aviation aircraft avionics, a move that will bring high-speed, consistent wireless internet connectivity to passengers and pilots on aircraft.

Product certifications are expected to be received in late 2014, followed by product introduction, which may take place during the first half of 2015.

GX Aviation will serve both passenger and business jets; it will provide data rates to the aircraft of up to 50Mbps.

Rolls-Royce launches new operations centre for helicopter engine operators

Rolls-Royce rolled-out a 24/7 Operations Center to provide round-the-clock support to its global customer base of civil helicopter engines.

Developed to align helicopter engine support with an existing successful model in both civil and military operations, the new centre will act as the central point of a series of improvements to the customer experience for helicopter engine operators and fleets.

Rolls-Royce Helicopters senior vice-president Greg Fedele said: "Now, we are raising the bar for our helicopters team and bringing innovation and even more dedicated professionalism to the task to ensure heightened customer response and satisfaction."