Airbus unveils roadmap for safe integration of drones into airspace

Airbus unveiled plans for the safe and efficient integration of drones or autonomous aircraft into airspace.

‘Blueprint for the Sky: The Roadmap for the Safe Integration of Autonomous Aircraft’ has been released by Airbus’ Silicon Valley-based unit A³ unmanned traffic management (UTM) project called Altiscope.

The Blueprint comprises several topics, including information, rules and procedures needed to safely integrate drones, and ultimately support a new age in the aviation industry.


VT Aerospace to buy GE’s nacelle manufacturing business for $630m

Singapore Technologies Engineering’s (ST Engineering) US subsidiary Vision Technologies Aerospace Incorporated (VT Aerospace) signed a conditional share purchase agreement to buy General Electric’s nacelle manufacturing unit for $630m.

The cash and debt free deal is subject to the completion of adjustments for underfunded pension obligations, other debt-like items, transaction expenses, net working capital, and other contingent adjustments.

The deal must receive approval and other clearance from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the US, as well receive anti-trust approvals in the US, France, and Brazil.


FAA signs new aviation deals with Brazil and Canada

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) signed two separate deals with Brazil’s Agência Nacional de Aviação Civil (ANAC) and Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA) to easily approve their aircraft and aviation products for distributing in their respective markets.

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The deal with ANAC is a revision of the Implementation Procedures Agreement (IPA) reached between FAA and ANAC in September 2006.

Since its signing, the IPA was amended twice, most recently in February 2016.


Airborne Capital and L1 Treasury create $250m portfolio for aircraft

Ireland-based aircraft leasing and asset management company Airborne Capital partnered with LetterOne Treasury Services (L1 Treasury) to form a $250m joint venture to buy commercial aircraft.

The new venture, named AltitudeOne Aviation, will invest in a portfolio of in-production narrow-body and wide-body commercial aircraft to be leased to airlines across the globe.

Airborne Capital will act as the asset manager and lease services for AltitudeOne Aviation, which will be supplemented with bank financing.


Bombardiers to introduce upgraded avionics for Learjet business jets

Bombardier Business Aircraft (Bombardier) partnered with Garmin to launch upgraded avionics for the Bombardier Vision flight deck on-board the Learjet 75 and Learjet 70 business aircrafts.

These jets are already equipped with advanced cockpits, powered by the Garmin G5000 avionics suite.

The upgrade is expected to significantly enhance the aircraft’s capabilities and provide a platform for future technological enhancements.


GKN Aerospace wins contract to build turbines for re-usable rocket engine

GKN Aerospace secured a contract from ArianeGroup to manufacture two full-scale turbines for the Prometheus low-cost, reusable rocket engine demonstrator, which will be powered by liquid oxygen and methane propellants.

As part of the contract, GKN Aerospace will use additive manufacturing technology to build the turbines at its automated engine systems centre of excellence in Trollhättan, Sweden.

The turbines will be designed to generate power for the methane fuel system. The first turbine will be delivered next year.


Embraer and LOT Polish Airlines extend pool agreement for 34 E-Jets

Embraer Services and Support and Poland’s LOT Polish Airlines signed a deal to extend their existing pool agreement to support the airline’s fleet of 34 Embraer E-Jets.

Under the multi-year deal, Embraer will provide component support solutions, including exclusive on-site stock, for LOT, in addition to the extended scope of engine line-replaceable units (LRUs) for the carrier’s E190 / E195 aircraft.

The extension will cover LOT’s existing fleet of 18 jets, and up to 16 Embraer E170 / E175 and E190 / E195 jets.


IATA urges Government of India to maximise potential of aviation sector

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) urged the Government of India to maximise the potential contribution of the aviation sector for the country’s development.

This potential can be maximised if India focuses on removing the infrastructure constraints that hinder growth and government policies that impose too many costs on the aviation industry.

The weak financial position of India’s airline industry has risked the stable development of connectivity, which is essential for modern and growing economies.


Nasa awards contracts worth nearly $98.8m to two US companies

Nasa awarded two contracts to US-based companies General Atomics and Precision Mechanical in a deal worth $98.8m.

Precision Mechanical has secured a firm-fixed-price contract, with a total potential value of $60.3m, for the production, fabrication and installation of upgrades to the Liquid Hydrogen (LH2) System at Launch Complex 39B at Nasa’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The modification and modernisation of the LH2 system includes the installation of a new LH2 storage sphere with a minimum capacity of 1.25 million gallons.


Applied Fusion starts production of ion thruster for rocket engine

UK-based nuclear start-up Applied Fusion Systems started the production of an ion thruster, which is capable of propelling a small nuclear fusion reactor of a rocket to launch a spacecraft into space.

The company has already tested specialist ion thrusters that have been developed to work with latest nuclear fusion breakthroughs for deep space and interplanetary travel.

A variation of the ion thruster, known as Nuclear Enhanced Air-breathing Rockets (NEAR), is expected to operate in high atmospheric conditions.