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Aviation News Releases – Sunday, December 20, 2009

Boeing Statement on Congressional Letter Regarding Airbus Subsidies

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WASHINGTON, Dec. 18 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Boeing (NYSE: BA) issued the following statement today after 125 members of Congress released a letter urging the administration to ensure European compliance with a ruling against massive illegal subsidies provided to Airbus:

“Boeing is encouraged to see such strong bipartisan congressional support for U.S. action to end the illegal subsidies that European governments have for decades provided to Airbus at the expense of American industry and its workers.

“Despite an imminent final WTO ruling on illegal subsidies, Airbus appears poised to extend and continue the practice of using illegal subsidies for its new aircraft, the A350. This new plane directly targets America’s aerospace industry and the tens of thousands of workers who design and build aircraft in the United States.

“As stated in the congressional letter to the president, our government policies should not reward foreign governments or companies that benefit from illegal subsidies. We look forward to working with Congress to ensure this matter of principle and of important policy is enforced.”

Source: BOEING

Embraer delivers first Super Tucano aircraft to the Dominican Republic

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The airplanes will serve on border patrol missions and combat the drug traffic

São José dos Campos, December 18, 2009 –
Embraer delivered the first two Super Tucano
aircraft, of a total of eight, last week, to the
government of the Dominican Republic. The
delivery ceremony was attended by the Dominican
Secretary of Defense, Lieutenant General Pedro
Rafael Peña Antonio; the Vice Minister of the
Armed Forces, Vice Admiral Nicolás Cabrera
Arias; the Ambassador of the Dominican Republic
in Brazil, Hector Dionisio Perez; Brigadier General
and Pilot Ricardo Cabral Vittini; Minister Alejandro
Arias Zarzuela; and Defense Attaché, Air Force
Colonel Manuel Abad Garcia Lithgow.

The airplanes will be operated by the Dominican Air Force on missions involving internal
security, border patrol, and combating the drug traffic. This contract represents the fourth
export of this successful turboprop, after being sold to the Air Forces of Colombia (FAC),
Chile (FACH), and Ecuador (FAE).

“The use of the Super Tucano airplanes by the Dominican Air Force, beginning with these first two deliveries, will increase the readiness and solidity of the nation’s defense system, by performing patrol missions with the operational efficiency and precision that are already combat proven,” said Orlando José Ferreira Neto, Embraer Executive Vice President, Defense Market.

“We are pleased to be able to serve another prestigious customer, the Dominican Air Force.”

The choice made by the Air Force of the Dominican Republic confirms that the association of
high versatility, top performance, and low acquisition, operational and maintenance costs
make the Super Tucano one of the best multimission airplanes available on the market.

“The acquisition of these Super Tucano aircraft, manufactured by one of the world’s most
prestigious companies, is one more example of the Government’s unshakeable decision to
deal with the nation’s vulnerable areas, in order to protect ourselves from the scourge of the
drug traffic,” stated the Secretary of Defense of the Dominican Republic, Lieutenant General
Pedro Rafael Peña Antonio. “This is also happy day, because it represents the achievement of
a dream. A dream that became a project and soon was changed into action. It is another
example of the genuine and undeniable concern of the Dominican people to pursue the
solutions needed to make possible a more certain future for all of us.”

Eighty-three Super Tucanos have been delivered to the Brazilian Air Force (FAB) and 25 to
the FAC, where they are successfully used for border patrol, combating the drug traffic, and
other combat missions. In all, 172 of the aircraft have been sold to seven customers.

The fact that several air forces, with their specific technical needs and varied tactical and operational theaters, and using a diversity of selection processes, have decided on the Super Tucano, shows the robust and reliable nature of the project, the correctness of the FAB’s original requirements, and the flexibility of Embraer in meeting the needs of the most demanding customers.

About the Super Tucano

The Super Tucano is an innovative evolution of the world-renowned basic training Tucano
aircraft, of which around 650 are in service with 15 air forces, worldwide.

The Super Tucano was designed to operate in the most complex combat settings, including
night-vision capability, smart weaponry, and data link technology. Besides a reinforced
structure for operations on rustic landing fields, the airplane has an advanced navigation and
weapon aiming system that ensures high mission precision and reliability, even under extreme
conditions and with minimal logistical support.

The turboprop is in full production on a very active and flexible assembly line, in keeping with
Embraer’s ability to meet its customers’ needs and deliver aircraft within short time spans.

Besides the airplane, Embraer also supplies an advanced training and support system for the
operations of the Super Tucano. TOSS (Training and Operation Support System) consists of
four systems: CBT (Computer-Based Training) that improves pilot learning; FS (Flight
Simulator); MPS (Mission Planning Stations); and MDS (Mission Debriefing Station) to
analyze mission data and results.


NASA Flight Tests Unique Jumbo Jet With Opening In Side; Plane’s Airborne Telescope Will Be Used to Study Cosmos

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EDWARDS, Calif. — A NASA jumbo jet that will help scientists unlock
the origins of the universe with infrared observations reached a
milestone Friday when doors covering the plane’s telescope were fully
opened in flight.

The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, a modified 747
jet known as SOFIA, flew for one hour and 19 minutes, which included
two minutes with the telescope’s doors fully opened. The goal was to
allow engineers to understand how air flows in and around the
telescope. It was the first time outside air has interacted with the
part of the plane that carries the 98-inch infrared telescope.

“Today we opened the telescope cavity door, the first time we have
fully exposed the telescope and the largest cavity ever flown while
in flight,” said Bob Meyer, SOFIA program manager at NASA’s Dryden
Flight Research Center in Edwards, Calif. “This is a significant step
toward certifying NASA’s next great observatory for future study of
the universe.”

Besides these test flights of the airplane, two flights to operate and
verify the scientific capabilities of the telescope assembly are
planned for spring 2010. Telescope systems such as the vibration
isolation system, the inertial stabilization system and the pointing
control system will be tested during daytime flights.

These flights will prepare the telescope assembly for the first flight
with the telescope operating. That first flight will be the initial
opportunity scientists have to use the telescope and begin the
process of quantifying its performance to prepare for SOFIA’s planned
20-year science program.

SOFIA is a joint venture of NASA and the German Aerospace Center. NASA
supplied the aircraft. The telescope was built in Germany.

Dryden manages the SOFIA program. The aircraft is based at NASA’s
Dryden Aircraft Operations Facility in Palmdale, Calif. NASA’s Ames
Research Center at Moffett Field, Calif., manages SOFIA’s scientific
program. The Universities Space Research Association, in Columbia,
Md., and the German SOFIA Institute in Stuttgart, Germany, operate
SOFIA’s scientific program.

To see a picture of SOFIA with the doors to the telescope cavity open,


Video from SOFIA’s flight will air on NASA Television. For NASA TV
streaming video, schedules, and downlink information, visit:


For more details about SOFIA and its mission, visit:


Source: NASA

Mock and Roll! NASA’s Shuttle Endeavour Moves to Launch Pad, Liftoff Dress Rehearsal Set

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CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — Journalists are invited to cover space shuttle
Endeavour’s move from the Vehicle Assembly Building to Launch Pad 39A
on Jan. 6 and observe the STS-130 crew’s mock launch countdown
activities from Jan. 19 to Jan. 21 at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in

The first motion of Endeavour on its rollout to the pad is scheduled
for 4 a.m. EST. The 3.4-mile journey is expected to take
approximately six hours. Activities include a 7 a.m. photo
opportunity of the shuttle’s move, followed by an 8:30 a.m. interview
availability with Endeavour Flow Director Dana Hutcherson. Reporters
must arrive at Kennedy’s news center by 6:30 a.m. on Wednesday for
transportation to the viewing area.

Live coverage of the move will be shown on NASA Television beginning
at 6 a.m. Video highlights will air on the NASA TV Video File.

Foreign journalist media accreditation for rollout is closed. U.S.
reporters without permanent Kennedy credentials must apply for
accreditation by 4 p.m. Monday, Jan. 4.

Endeavour’s astronauts and ground crews will participate in a launch
dress rehearsal, known as the Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test,
starting Jan. 19. The test provides each shuttle crew with an
opportunity to participate in various simulated countdown activities,
including equipment familiarization and emergency training. Media
events associated with the test and badge pick up information will be
announced at a later date.

Journalists must apply for accreditation for the Terminal Countdown
Demonstration Test by noon on Friday, Jan. 8.

Reporters requesting accreditation must apply online at:


Badges for rollout must be picked up before 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 5,
at the Kennedy Space Center Badging Office on State Road 405.

The six astronauts for Endeavour’s STS-130 mission will deliver a
third connecting module, the Tranquility node, to the International
Space Station. Launch is targeted for 4:39 a.m. Feb. 7.

For NASA TV downlink information, schedules and links to streaming
video, visit:


For more information about the STS-130 mission and crew, visit:


Source: NASA

ICAO cites unprecedented traffic declines in 2009

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Preliminary figures for 2009 compiled by ICAO show the overall 3.1% year-over-year decline in passenger traffic on carriers of its member states is the largest on record for the industry….

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