January's top stories: Boeing wins $300m order, CENIT's software toolset for BionicAircraft

Boeing has secured a $300m order for three next-generation 737-800 aircraft from South Korean low-cost carrier Jeju Air, and CENIT is set to develop a software toolset for an automated bionic design, as part of the BionicAircraft research project. Aerospace-technology.com wraps up the key headlines from January 2017.


Boeing wins $300m order for three new 737-800s from Jeju Air

Boeing secured a $300m order for three next-generation 737-800 aircraft from South Korean low-cost carrier Jeju Air.

With the new order, Jeju Air aims to continue to expand its presence across Asia.

The airline currently has an all-Boeing fleet of 26 next-generation 737-800 planes, and serves 40 domestic and international routes.

CENIT to develop software toolset for BionicAircraft project

Global IT specialist CENIT is set to develop a software toolset for an automated bionic design, as part of the BionicAircraft research project.

Co-funded by the European Commission’s ‘Horizon 2020' programme, the three-year BionicAircraft project supports large-scale application of additive manufacturing in the aviation industry, as well as promotes reducing and controlling emissions in the same sector.

Currently under development by a consortium of companies, the project also intends to enable implementation of additive manufacturing and bionic design during the aircraft lifecycle.

Metis Design licenses CNT technology to UTC to build new aircraft de-icing products

United Technologies (UTC) Aerospace Systems won an exclusive licence from Metis Design to use a carbon nanotube (CNT) heater based technology for manufacturing aircraft ice protection systems.

Under the agreement, UTC Aerospace Systems will combine its electrothermal ice protection systems with the CNT technology to build a new a lightweight system, which will uniformly distribute heat, and improve damage tolerance and fatigue resistance.

Jointly developed by Metis Design and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, US, CNT technology aims to meet the increasing demand for more durable, lightweight, damage-tolerant and low-power ice protection systems.

Widerøe to buy up to 15 E2 aircraft from Embraer

Scandinavian regional airline Widerøe entered a deal with Embraer to acquire up to 15 new E2 family aircraft, which includes three firm orders for E190-E2 and purchase rights for 12 E2 planes.

If all options are exercised, the order will be worth $873m at current list prices.

“The result of our evaluation determined the E2 family of aircraft, coupled with Embraer's world-class customer support, as the best solution for our airline."

Piper Aircraft wins order for 50 Archer aircraft from China Air Shuttle

US-based Piper Aircraft secured a deal to provide 50 Archer pilot training aircraft from its dealer, China Air Shuttle.

To be manufactured and certificated at Piper Aircraft’s factory in Vero Beach, Florida, the trainers are scheduled to be delivered by the second quarter of this year.

Once delivered, China Air Shuttle’s affiliate company in Rizhao, Shandong Province, will reassemble the aircraft, with Ruixiang Flight Academy being the launch customer.

UK pilots predict more drone aircraft near-misses this year

British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) in the UK predicted that more near-misses or collisions between drones and aircraft may occur this year.

The prediction was based of last year’s figures, which show an increase in such incidents by more than double as against 2015.

Last year, a total of 69 near-misses between drones and aircraft were reported, whereas 29 such occurrences were reported in 2015.

Airbus starts integrating first Beluga XL freighter in France

Airbus started integrating the core airframe of its first new Beluga XL cargo airlifter at its production facilities in Toulouse, France.

During the first 12 months of the 18-month integration process, the airframe will be completed, and its mechanical and electrical systems will be fitted at an integration station.

The remaining six months will be dedicated to ground testing and engine installation activities.

SKY Perfect JSAT selects Arianespace to launch JCSAT-17 satellite

Japanese satellite operator SKY Perfect JSAT entered a deal with Arianespace to launch its JCSAT-17 telecommunications satellite.

Under the deal, Arianespace will use its Ariane 5 rocket to launch the satellite from Guiana Space Center, French Guiana, by 2019.

Once launched, the Lockheed Martin satellite will provide communication services to eastern Asia, including Japan.

Aviation Capital Group orders 35 Airbus A320 family jets

Pacific Life commercial aircraft leasing subsidiary Aviation Capital Group (ACG) placed follow-on orders for 35 new Airbus A320 family aircraft.

The orders include 30 A320neo family aircraft, two A320ceo aircraft and three A321ceo aircraft.

Including an option to buy ten more A320neo aircraft, ACG and its subsidiaries’ orders have ordered a total of 158 A320 aircraft.

CityJet places conditional order for up to ten Bombardier CRJ900 aircraft

Ireland-based regional airline CityJet entered a conditional purchase agreement with Bombardier Commercial Aircraft for six CRJ900 planes, with additional options on four aircraft.

The conditional order is valued at $280m, which could increase up to $467m if all the options are exercised.

Once delivered, the aircraft will be operated by CityJet on wet lease in the Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) network.