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Aviation News Releases – Friday, February 26, 2010

Boeing Signs AU$44M Contract Expansion for Australian Army Rotary Wing Support

OAKEY, Queensland, Feb. 26, 2010 — Boeing [NYSE: BA] has signed an AU$44 million change proposal with the Commonwealth of Australia to increase the scope of the Army Aviation Training and Training Support (AATTS) contract.

Awarded the contract in 2007, Boeing subsidiary Boeing Defence Australia has been supporting the Australian Army’s Black Hawk and Kiowa helicopters with pilot, aircrew and technician training, operational fleet maintenance, and support services at the Army Aviation Training Centre in Oakey.

Following detailed operational reviews, the Commonwealth and Boeing Defence Australia changed the scope of the AATTS contract to reflect the Army’s current and future aircrew training requirements. Under the updated contract, Boeing Defence Australia is additionally responsible for delivering:

  • The Initial Army Pilot Helicopter Qualification Course, using the B-206 Kiowa
  • 85 percent of S-70A-9 Black Hawk pilot training
  • CH-47 Chinook helicopter instructor and technician training.

The $44 million agreement also includes the Commonwealth’s first one-year extension of AATTS, continuing the contract until September 2013. The original AATTS contract includes five one-year extension options.

“The Commonwealth’s decision to both increase the scope of AATTS and extend the contract until 2013 reinforces Boeing Defence Australia’s position as the preeminent ab-initio [‘from the beginning’] training provider to the Australian Defence Force,” said Mark Brownsey, Boeing Defence Australia senior manager for Global Services & Support — Training Operations.

“To date, Boeing Defence Australia has exceeded all Australian Army training and maintenance requirements, including standing up the entire program on time, completing 100 percent of training courses on schedule, supporting close to 7,000 training sorties annually, and providing maintenance support to the Australian Defence Force Kiowa fleet, which recently achieved more than 50,000 flight hours,” said Matthew Sibree, Boeing Defence Australia AATTS project manager. “To ensure AATTS continues on time and on budget, 20 additional employees will be hired on to the 160-strong team to ensure we meet our customer’s expectations.”

The updated AATTS contract will further strengthen Boeing Defence Australia’s training capability while ensuring the Australian Army maintains a constant supply of qualified helicopter pilots, aircrew and technicians to conduct complex helicopter missions in support of domestic and global operations.

Boeing Defence Australia, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Boeing Company and a business unit of Boeing Defense, Space & Security, is a leading Australian aerospace enterprise. With a world-class team of nearly 2,000 employees at 13 locations throughout Australia and two international sites, Boeing Defence Australia supports some of the largest and most complex defense projects in Australia.

Source: BOEING

Boeing Receives US Army Production Contract for Brigade Combat Team Modernization Increment 1

ST. LOUIS, Feb. 25, 2010 — Boeing [NYSE: BA] today announced that it received a contract from the U.S. Army on Feb. 24 for low-rate initial production of the initial brigade set of Brigade Combat Team Modernization (BCTM) Increment 1 capabilities. Under the $138 million, fixed-price contract, a team led by Boeing with support from Science Applications International Corp. (SAIC) [NYSE: SAI] will equip the first Infantry Brigade Combat Team with these networked capabilities, along with associated system engineering and program management support.

“These capabilities are needed today by soldiers conducting combat operations in Afghanistan and elsewhere,” said Gregg Martin, Boeing Network & Tactical Systems vice president and BCTM program manager. “We are excited to begin production and look forward to working with our Army customer to get these capabilities, which reflect lessons learned from current operations, into the hands of soldiers as soon as possible.”

As the prime contractor, Boeing is responsible for the development and production of BCTM Increment 1. Low-rate initial production will allow for the capabilities to be fielded to the 3rd Brigade Combat Team of the 1st Armored Division for initial operational test and evaluation beginning in 2011.

The contract award follows a successful production review by the Defense Acquisition Board in December.

A key element of BCTM, Increment 1 will provide soldiers with enhanced intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities, as well as increased survivability and lethality. The capabilities that will be produced under this contract award include:

  • Small Unmanned Ground Vehicle: a robotic system capable of reconnaissance missions in dangerous or difficult situations such as entering buildings, caves and tunnels
  • Class I Unmanned Air Vehicle (UAV): a small, soldier-operated UAV that can hover for reconnaissance and surveillance while providing target acquisition
  • Unattended Ground Sensors: multi-mode surveillance sensors for target detection, location and classification, with an imaging capability for identification
  • Network Integration Kit: an integrated computer system that hosts the latest communications and radio systems and battle command software, providing the initial network connectivity needed to transfer sensor and communication data.

SAIC is a FORTUNE 500® scientific, engineering, and technology applications company that uses its deep domain knowledge to solve problems of vital importance to the nation and the world, in national security, energy and the environment, critical infrastructure, and health. The company’s approximately 45,000 employees serve customers in the U.S. Department of Defense, the intelligence community, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, other U.S. government civil agencies and selected commercial markets. Headquartered in McLean, Va., SAIC had annual revenues of $10.1 billion for its fiscal year ended Jan. 31, 2009. For more information, visit www.saic.com. SAIC: From Science to Solutions®

Source: BOEING

Boeing and United Airlines Finalize 787 Order

SEATTLE and CHICAGO, Feb. 25 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Boeing (NYSE: BA) and United Airlines (Nasdaq: UAUA) have finalized an order for 25 787-8 jetliners. The agreement includes the opportunity to purchase another 50 Dreamliners.

“Boeing and United Airlines share an 80-year partnership,” said Jim Albaugh, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “United, which launched the Boeing 777, now begins a new chapter with the 787 Dreamliner, the most technologically advanced commercial jetliner ever built.”

The order is valued at $4.2 billion at average list prices.

“United’s Boeing 787 order represents a substantial investment in our future and will enhance the significant progress we are making in improving the global competitiveness of our company while providing the opportunity to open new profitable markets and serve a broader range of international destinations,” said John Tague, president of United Airlines.

United expects to take delivery of the 787s at the same time it will begin to retire its Boeing 747s and 767s operating on international routes.

The 787 Dreamliner, currently in flight test, will provide greater fuel efficiency, allowing airlines to add new, nonstop city pairs and the additional frequencies that passengers prefer.

The 787 also promises a more comfortable flying experience for passengers. Its innovations include a new interior environment with improvements in air filtration, higher cabin pressurization resulting in reduced physical fatigue, larger windows, more stowage space, improved lighting and other passenger-preferred conveniences.

The technologically advanced 787 will also provide airlines with up to 45 percent more cargo revenue capacity

Including United Airlines, 57 customers around the world have ordered 876 Dreamliners, making the 787 the fastest-selling new commercial jetliner in history.

About United Airlines

United Airlines, a wholly-owned subsidiary of UAL Corporation (Nasdaq: UAUA), operates approximately 3,300* flights a day on United and United Express to more than 230 U.S. domestic and international destinations from its hubs in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Denver, Chicago and Washington, D.C. With key global air rights in the Asia Pacific region, Europe and Latin America, United is one of the largest international carriers based in the United States. United also is a founding member of the Star Alliance, which provides connections for its customers to 1,077 destinations in 175 countries worldwide. United’s 46,000 employees reside in every U.S. state and in many countries around the world. United ranked No. 1 in on-time performance for domestic scheduled flights for 2009 among America’s five largest global carriers, as measured by the Department of Transportation and published in the Air Travel Consumer Report for 2009. News releases and other information about United can be found at the company’s Web site at united.com. Follow United on Twitter@UnitedAirlines.

* Based on United’s forward-looking flight schedule for January 2010 to December 2010.

Source: BOEING

Boeing Conducts Formal Qualification Testing of Joint Tactical Radio System Software

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif., Feb. 25, 2010 — Boeing [NYSE: BA] announced today that it has conducted formal qualification testing of five Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) waveforms on Ground Mobile Radios (GMR) Engineering Development Model hardware. The waveforms, which are similar to computer software applications, allow soldiers to share text, data and video; to communicate with current-force radios; and to employ high-frequency and satellite communications.

“During formal qualification testing in December, the Wideband Networking Waveform demonstrated its capability to transform how warfighters communicate and share information, and the legacy waveforms demonstrated the ability of GMR to maintain interoperability with current-force communications while simultaneously enabling transformation to mobile, ad hoc networking for joint warfighters,” said U.S. Navy Capt. Jeff Hoyle, JTRS Network Enterprise Domain program manager. “Formal qualification testing of these waveforms on GMR Engineering Development Model hardware is a significant milestone on the path to delivery of JTRS capability, demonstrating the highly advanced technical maturity and performance of JTRS software-defined radio applications.”

The new Wideband Networking Waveform (WNW) and software versions of four legacy waveforms — Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radio System (SINCGARS), Enhanced Position Location Reporting System (EPLRS), High Frequency (HF) and Ultra High Frequency Satellite Communications (SATCOM) — will provide additional capabilities to the JTRS GMR, one of the JTRS radios in development.

The WNW, developed by Boeing under the JTRS program, is a revolutionary new application that provides Internet-like connectivity for soldiers on the move in areas without communications infrastructure. The WNW software provides its own mobile network infrastructure to link to and expand the military communications network, sending more information to soldiers on the battlefield. In a June 2009 demonstration, the waveform was used to share information among 30 vehicles and sensor locations, proving the network can operate in tactically significant urban environments. SINCGARS, EPLRS, HF and SATCOM will allow forces using legacy radios to connect and share information with soldiers on JTRS radios.

“The Wideband Networking Waveform running on JTRS GMR will link soldiers and commanders for secure communications in critical battlefield situations,” said Ralph Moslener, Boeing JTRS program director. “Boeing is delivering WNW and the four legacy waveforms to support development and rapid fielding of JTRS radios, including the Ground Mobile Radios.”

Boeing will continue to test the waveforms as part of ongoing system verification testing that will lead to security verification testing later this year. The latest versions of the waveforms are available for integration through the Joint Program Executive Office JTRS Information Repository.

Source: BOEING

Boeing’s ZA004 Joins 787 Flight-Test Program

EVERETT, Wash., Feb. 24 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — A third airplane has joined the Boeing (NYSE: BA) 787 Dreamliner flight-test program. ZA004, the fourth flight-test airplane to be built, took off at 11:43 a.m. local time from Paine Field in Everett, Wash. The program plan called for ZA004 to fly before ZA003 because the data ZA004 is collecting is needed more quickly both for certification and development of the 787-9.

Captains Heather Ross and Craig Bomben completed a three-hour-and-two-minute flight at 2:45 p.m., landing at Boeing Field in Seattle. Flight-test personnel were also on board to monitor airplane performance.

“Airplane No. 4 operated flawlessly today,” Ross said after landing. “We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us but I can’t imagine a better start to the flight test program for this airplane.”

Ross will serve as chief pilot for ZA004. This airplane will be used to accomplish the following types of tests: aerodynamics, high-speed performance, propulsion performance, flight loads, community noise and extended operations (ETOPS) and other test conditions.

During today’s flight, the airplane reached an altitude of 30,000 feet (9,144 m) and an airspeed of 255 knots, or about 293 miles (472 km) per hour. As the testing of the 787 fleet progresses, the airplane will fly at its expected in-service maximum altitude of 40,000 feet (12,192 m) and speed of Mach 0.85.

“We are continuing to make good progress on the flight test program,” said Scott Fancher, vice president and general manager of the 787 program, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “The team is staying focused and disciplined in keeping the priority on safety and execution of the plan.”

Source: BOEING

Boeing Statement on Release of US Air Force KC-X Tanker Final Request for Proposal

ARLINGTON, Va., Feb. 24 /PRNewswire/ — The Boeing Company today received the final Request for Proposal (RFP) document for the U.S. Air Force KC-X Tanker competition, and released the following statement from Jean Chamberlin, vice president and general manager, Boeing USAF Tanker Program:

“Boeing has begun the process of closely studying the details of the KC-X Tanker final RFP. Today’s release of the final RFP is an important milestone for our Air Force customer. Not only does it mean that the KC-X competition can proceed, it also is a strong signal that America is moving forward on replacing its air refueling capability — a critical enabler for projecting power and protecting this nation.

“We’ve said consistently that it is up to the Air Force to determine the KC-X requirements for a new generation of tankers. It’s our responsibility to respond to those requirements. While we appreciated the open dialogue with the Air Force throughout this process, we are disappointed that the RFP does not address some of our key concerns, including Airbus’ unfair competitive advantage derived from subsidies from its sponsor European governments — subsidies that the World Trade Organization has found to be illegal and harmful to U.S. workers and industry — and how fuel and military-construction costs over the life of the tankers will be factored into consideration of the competing bids. We will review the RFP in its entirety and in detail before offering further assessment.”

Source: BOEING

Republic Airways Holdings Becomes First North American Customer for Bombardier CSeries Aircraft with Order for up to 80 Airliners

Bombardier Aerospace announced today a major order for its all-new CSeries aircraft to Republic Airways Holdings Inc. The Indianapolis, Indiana-based airline has signed a firm purchase agreement to acquire 40 CS300 jetliners. The agreement also includes options for an additional 40 CS300 aircraft. Republic Airways Holdings is the first North American airline to place a firm order for Bombardier’s CSeries jetliners.

Based on the list price for the CS300 aircraft, the contract is valued at approximately $3.06 billion US, which could increase to approximately $6.34 billion US if all options are exercised.

“Republic Airways Holdings has selected Bombardier’s CSeries jetliner because no other aircraft can match the attributes it brings to the market,” said Bryan Bedford, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Republic Airways Holdings Inc. “The CSeries aircraft’s leading-edge technologies bring unmatched economics, operational flexibility, reduced environmental impact and passenger comfort. Our passengers will find the aircraft’s cabin features – wide aisles, spacious seating with increased shoulder space, extra large windows and upsized storage – particularly attractive.  The CSeries aircraft will give us a major competitive cost advantage and complement our future growth and development plans.”

“The CSeries aircraft program is a significant part of Bombardier’s future, and we’re delighted that Republic Airways will be part of it,” said Gary R. Scott, President, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft. “This major CSeries aircraft order from our first North American customer reflects the confidence Republic Airways has in Bombardier’s ability to deliver a game-changing aircraft and to service the airline’s requirements.”

Since launching the CSeries family of aircraft at the Farnborough Air Show in July 2008, Bombardier has recorded firm orders for a total of 90 CSeries aircraft which includes the order for Republic Airways announced today, a firm order from Deutsche Lufthansa AG for 30 CS100 aircraft, and one from Lease Corporation International Group for 17 CS300 and three CS100 aircraft. The program has also booked options for an additional 90 CSeries aircraft.

The CSeries aircraft which are optimized for the longer range, single-aisle 100- to 149-seat market will deliver the lowest operating costs in their class, exceptional operational flexibility, widebody comfort and an unmatched environmental scorecard. The CSeries aircraft will benefit from the latest technological advancements, including fourth generation aerodynamics; increased use of composites and advanced aluminium alloy in structures; a next-generation engine – the Pratt & Whitney PurePowerTM PW1000G engine; and the very latest in system technologies, such as fly-by-wire and electric brakes.

At entry into service in 2013, the CSeries family of aircraft will be the greenest single-aisle aircraft in its class. These game-changing aircraft will emit 20* per cent less CO2 and 50* per cent less NOx, fly four* times quieter, and deliver dramatic energy savings – 20* per cent fuel burn advantage as well as 15* per cent improved cash operating costs versus current in-production aircraft of similar size. The CSeries aircraft will set a new benchmark in the industry, consuming as little as two liters of fuel per passenger per 100 kilometers in its more dense seating layouts*.

About Republic Airways Holdings Inc.
Republic Airways Holdings, based in Indianapolis, Indiana is an airline holding company that owns Chautauqua Airlines, Frontier Airlines, Lynx Aviation, Midwest Airlines, Republic Airlines and Shuttle America, collectively “the airlines.” The airlines offer scheduled passenger service on approximately 1,600 flights daily to 118 cities in 44 states, Canada, Costa Rica, and Mexico under branded operations at Frontier, Midwest, and through fixed-fee airline services agreements with five major U.S. airlines. The fixed-fee flights are operated under an airline partner brand, such as AmericanConnection, Continental Express, Delta Connection, United Express, and US Airways Express. The airlines currently employ approximately 11,000 aviation professionals and operate 283 aircraft.


Bombardier Expands Business Aircraft M&O Conferences Internationally

Five regional M&O conferences and briefings slated in 2010

Bombardier Aerospace today announced that it is expanding its Maintenance & Operations (M&O) conference series and further strengthening its support worldwide by adding four international venues to the 2010 schedule. This year, comprehensive two-day regional M&O conferences will be held in Hong Kong, Amsterdam and Atlanta, and local one-day briefings will be held in Dubai and Mumbai.

Bombardier has traditionally held larger biennial M&O conferences in North America for Learjet, Challenger and Global aircraft operators for more than 20 years.

“The new regional M&O events are another step in Bombardier’s drive to strengthen its customer support and services internationally. Our specialists and engineers will be bringing the most up-to-date technical and operational information right to the operators’ doorsteps,” said Andy Nureddin, vice-president, customer services and support. “These events will help ensure that our customers are well informed and supported no matter where their aircraft is based, and will allow us to gain an even better understanding of the flight, maintenance and operational situations they face.”

The regional conferences will feature some 25 hours of maintenance and operations sessions to help customers improve the reliability, safety and dispatch availability of their aircraft. Topics will range from technical and regulatory updates and best practices to the latest customer service and engineering support initiatives.

The 2010 regional M&O conferences are scheduled for Hong Kong, April 13-15, Amsterdam, September 21-23 and Atlanta, October 18-20. Dates for the local briefings will be announced in the coming weeks. The next regular biennial M&O conference will be held in Chicago from April 12-14, 2011.

Customers as well as Bombardier partners and suppliers can register for the event at Bombardier’s M&O website: www.bombardiermo.com.

Growing its support internationally
Since 2007, Bombardier has steadily increased its services and support internationally to meet its growing customer base abroad. Bombardier will inaugurate its first wholly-owned European aircraft service centre at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam in Spring 2010, thereby increasing maintenance support for over 550 Learjet, Challenger and Global aircraft operators in the region. In 2009, the company extended its PartsExpress airborne parts delivery service into Europe and introduced a Mobile Response Team serving Europe and the Middle East. Bombardier now has 42 Authorized Service Facilities and Line Maintenance Facilities in 21 countries around the world as well as business aircraft simulators in Dubai and the UK.