SMBC Aviation Capital places $7.4bn order for 65 Airbus aircraft

Aircraft lessor SMBC Aviation Capital signed an agreement to purchase 65 A320neo Family aircraft from Airbus for more than $7.4bn at list prices.

The order includes 15 A321neo and 50 A320neo aircraft.

It also includes an upsizing of 15 A320neo from a previous order to 15 A321neo aircraft, bringing SMBC Aviation Capital’s total order for the aircraft type to 30.

UK start-up Orbex launches world’s largest 3D-printed rocket engine

Orbex unveiled its Prime rocket, which is designed to deliver small satellites into the Earth’s orbit and will feature the world’s largest 3D-printed rocket engine.

The completed engineering prototype of the Stage 2 rocket was showcased to members from the UK and European space communities at the opening of Orbex’s new headquarters and rocket design facility in Forres, Scotland.

The prototype is made using specially formulated lightweight carbon fibre and aluminium composite.

Airbus wins $35bn order from China for 300 passenger jets

European manufacturer Airbus reached a $35bn deal for the delivery of 300 passenger aircraft to Chinese airlines.

China Aviation Supplies (CAS) signed a general terms agreement (GTA) with the planemaker. The GTA was signed in Paris between Airbus Commercial Aircraft president and future Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury and CAS chairman Jia Baojun, in the presence of Chinese President Xi Jinping and French President Emmanuel Macron.

The agreement includes 290 A320 family aircraft and ten A350 XWB family aircraft.

Iris Automation unveils new collision-avoidance solution for drones

Iris Automation launched a computer vision detect-and-avoid solution, known as Casia, for the commercial drone industry.

The collision-avoidance solution will enable beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) operations for autonomous vehicles.

Casia is designed to detect other aircraft and uses machine learning to classify them. According to the company, the software will provide the ‘eyes and brain’ for drones. It also possesses the ability to make intelligent decisions about the threat posed by other aircraft and trigger automated manoeuvres to avoid collisions.

IndiGo receives $20bn jet engines deal from CFM International JV

India’s largest passenger airline IndiGo ordered more than $20bn of LEAP-1A engines from CFM International, a joint venture of GE Aviation and Safran Aircraft Engines.

The contract includes spare engines and an overhaul support agreement and is reportedly the largest ever single-engine order in history.

IndiGo also signed a long-term service agreement to support its new LEAP-1A fleet.

ISRO successfully launches Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft

Indian space agency ISRO successfully launched the 3,840kg Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft into an Earth orbit through the MkIII-M1 Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV).

The launch marks the first operational flight of the GSLV Mk III.

The spacecraft is now revolving around Earth with a perigee (nearest point to Earth) of 169.7km and an apogee (farthest point to Earth) of 45,475km, ISRO said.

Following a 20h countdown, the GSLV MkIII-M1 lifted off from the Second Launch Pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR (SDSC SHAR), in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh.

China successfully launches Smart Dragon-1 rocket

China launched its new Smart Dragon-1 carrier rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Gansu province.

Also named as Jielong 1, the solid-fuelled small satellite debuted as a new rocket developed as part of a spinoff of China’s state-owned launch vehicle manufacturer using a ‘commercial business model.’

Carrying three satellites into planned orbit, the 23t rocket is designed for commercial use and developed by a unit of China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp (CASC).

Lockheed secures $4.6bn Nasa contract for Orion spacecraft

Lockheed Martin secured a $4.6bn contract from Nasa to build at least six Orion spacecraft that will take astronauts to the Moon.

The space agency’s indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) Orion production and operations contract (OPOC) includes a commitment to order a minimum of six and a maximum of 12 Orion spacecraft, with an ordering period through 30 September 2030.

The contract covers $2.7bn for the first three Orion spacecraft for Artemis missions III-V and an additional $1.9bn for another three in the fiscal year 2022 for Artemis missions VI-VIII.

Emirates to purchase 50 A350-900 XWB aircraft for $16bn

UAE-based airline operator Emirates agreed to purchase up to 50 A350-900 XWB aircraft from Airbus.

Valued at AED58.7bn ($16bn) according to list prices, the deal was announced at the Dubai Airshow 2019.

Airbus is expected to begin deliveries of the Rolls-Royce Trent XWB powered aircraft in May 2023 and continue through 2028.

CAE pledges to become carbon-free by 2020

Aircraft simulation technology manufacturer and training provider CAE pledged to become carbon-free before mid-2020.

The announcement was made at the Montreal Council on Foreign Relations (CORIM).

In order to achieve this goal, the company is planning to offset its live training flights fuel emissions and energy used at its facilities worldwide and employees’ business air travel.