ISRO sends 31 satellites into space in a single flight

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) launched 31 satellites onboard a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) rocket from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh.

The launch marks the 42nd flight of PSLV and the first launch since the unsuccessful mission last August when ISRO failed to orbit its eighth navigation satellite.

The latest launch includes ISRO’s Cartosat-2 series remote-sensing satellite and 30 other satellites provided by various ISRO customers from Canada, Finland, France, Korea, the UK and the US.


Nasa applies technology to help aircraft fold wings in-flight

Nasa tested a new technology that enables aircraft to fold their wings to different angles while in-flight.

The flight series took place at Nasa’s Armstrong Flight Research Center in California, US, and is part of the Spanwise Adaptive Wing (SAW) project.

This project intends to use lightweight material that can fold the outer portions of aircraft wings and their control surfaces to optimal angles in-flight.


CFM secures $9.1bn engine order from three Chinese airlines

The CFM International joint venture (JV) between GE and Safran Aircraft Engines has signed a new set of agreements and memorandums of understanding (MoU) to provide 500 engines to three Chinese airlines.

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A $9.1bn deal will see CFM delivering engines to Spring Airline, Hainan Airlines and Xiamen Airlines, while a $2.9bn deal with Spring Airline includes installed and engines supported by a long-term Rate Per Flight Hour agreement.

CFM’s latest $4.2bn MoU with Hainan Airlines features the carrier’s new and spare engines, as well a long-term support agreement.


Singapore to create 1,000 new aerospace jobs by 2020

The Government of Singapore announced plans to add 1,000 new jobs in the aerospace sector by 2020, as part of the newly launched Aerospace Industry Transformation Map (ITM) initiative.

The ITM is also expected to add a manufacturing value of S$4bn ($3bn) in the aerospace sector.

It will primarily focus on pursuing operational excellence, supporting innovation in emerging technologies, equipping Singaporeans with relevant skills, and strengthening bonds with industry associations and unions.


USITC voted in favour of Bombardier in case against Boeing

The US International Trade Commission (USITC) voted in favour of Bombardier in a case filed by Boeing, alleging the Canadian aircraft manufacturer of pursuing wrongful practice to sell its 100 to 150-seat large civil aircraft in the US.

According to Boeing, the practice followed by Bombardier will hurt the US aerospace industry.

In the latest ruling, USITC chairman Rhonda Schmidtlein, vice-chairman David Johanson, and commissioners Irving Williamson and Meredith Broadbent voted in the negative to Boeing’s petition.


StandardAero to provide MRO services for 65 Air Wisconsin planes

StandardAero was contracted by US-based regional carrier Air Wisconsin Airlines to provide maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services for the Honeywell GTCP36-150RJ auxiliary power units (APU) installed on 65 Bombardier CRJ-200 aircraft.

Under the five-year contract, StandardAero will provide the MRO services at its facility in Maryville, Tennessee.

Air Wisconsin Airlines currently flies under codeshare partnerships with American Airlines and United Airlines.


Volocopter air taxi takes first passenger flight in Germany

German air taxi start-up Volocopter performed its maiden passenger flight, carrying Intel CEO Brian Krzanich as its first rider.

The remotely piloted flight was held in an exhibition hall in Germany and demonstrated the necessary stable and safe flight characteristics for autonomous air taxi applications in megacities.

During the flight, multiple microprocessors were used to monitor the environment for turbulence, winds and others to send signals in milliseconds to the rotors.


Ocean Infinity to search for missing MH370 aircraft

The Malaysian Government approved a request made by US-based firm Ocean Infinity to carry out a fresh round of search operations in the southern Indian Ocean to find debris of the missing MH370 aircraft.

The approval was granted on ‘no cure, no fee’ basis, meaning Ocean Infinity will only receive the cost of the operation if they find the wreckage of the plane.

Ocean Infinity has already sent a vessel, Seabed Constructor, to search the missing aircraft, which disappeared in March 2014 with 239 people aboard.


Blockchain technology to fund decentralised space exploration

Spacebit announced plans to launch a decentralised and democratised platform to fund space exploration, using blockchain and cryptocurrency technology.

Plans for an initial coin offering have been announced at the World Economic Forum in Davos, with a Spacebit Token sale initially open to qualified investors, before going public at a yet-to-be-confirmed date.

The Spacebit Foundation launched five years ago with the ultimate goal of democratising space exploration, ‘unshackled by state or national sponsorship’.


Emirates Airlines signs MoU to acquire 36 more A380 aircraft

Emirates Airline has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to buy up to 36 additional A380 aircraft.

The deal was signed Emirates Airline and Group chairman and chief executive Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum and Airbus Commercial Aircraft customers chief operating officer John Leahy.