Humans travel a lot. Whether by car or by plane, as a collective, humans travel a lot. And in doing so, we’ve driven an entire industry without even knowing it. To be specific, the wheels and brakes industry. From manufacturing to maintenance and servicing, the wheels and brakes of aircraft and ground vehicles alike have begun to develop at alarming speeds.
Today, in addition to hydraulic brakes such as steel and carbon, there are all-electric brakes and electro-hydraulic brakes. Currently, the market is saturated with carbon and electro-hydraulic brakes, effectively ending the widespread use of steel brakes and “old” hydraulics. However, with the demand for brakes being directly correlated to worldwide passenger traffic and cargo trade, perhaps composite and all-electric brakes will begin to replace them too. After all, innovation is driven almost purely by demand. An increase in air passenger traffic ensures the need for lighter, more durable, and cost-efficient options.
A polymer is a macromolecule composed of repeat units that are linked. The molecules are light, have a broad range of properties making them perfect to use for aircraft bearings. These bearings have extremely strict requirements for performance and quality. The bearings must withstand tough weather conditions, extreme cargo loads and extreme fluctuations in temperatures. In the aerospace industry, Ultracomp, CJ, Tristeel, and Rulon are the four most common polymers. Recently, polymers are replacing bronze and metals in the fuselage, steering, and wings. The use of polymers in aircraft creation allow for the aircraft to be significantly lighter, contributing to low maintenance costs and quick repair times. The polymer molecules have great temperature and vibration properties, making it a great material for aircraft.
Ultracomp UC 200 bearings have an excessive compressive strength of over 54,000 PSI with unique geometry that joins fixtures of gear doors, landing gears, fuselage components and high pivot points. Rulon LR is used for landing wear bands for oleo struts. Rulon can easily tolerate high loads and extreme environmental exposure. Try steel bearings allow for easy maneuverability of steering gear and aircraft towing vehicles because they offer dual-layer designs to increase properties. These applications extend the life of the bearing and allow for less maintenance over time. Polymer macromolecules have truly changed the aerospace industry in terms of efficiency.
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The Airbus industry is accelerating with a new UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) underway from BAE systems and Prismatic. The collaborated development will be powered by solar energy and will be the first high altitude, long endurance UAV known as PHASA-35. This new aircraft will be the first to offer a year-round endurance without stopping for servicing. The PHASA-35 will be charged through solar energy during the day, so it can continue soaring through the night.
The design is very similar to the Zephyr UAV, however, the PHASA-35 is longer with 35 meters of wingspan. The PHASA-35 weighs 150 kg with the two electric motors, long-lasting lithium batteries, and ultra- light solar cells. The contrast may seem subtle, but the divergence is extreme because the PHASA-35 will be able to fly without maintenance for one year.
The PHASA-35 will be used for a variety of needs. There are countless benefits to operating UVA such as economical servicing because it will require less manpower for maintenance, reducing costs to the operator, and saving money over the long term. There are also many versatile uses when using a UAV such as an environment and border surveillance, missile detection, navigation, and continuous imagery. Lastly, the long-lasting batteries will allow it to fly for a long duration of time because of the rechargeable battery with a natural energy source. The development is in the works to prepare for its first flight test in 2019. BAE systems are investing in developing and testing PHASA-35 to continue advancing the Airbus industry and improving airbus technology.
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Airbus, along with the help of Palantir have created a predictive maintenance program that has prevented malfunctions and accidents in the recent years. Launched at the 2017 Paris Air Show the program named Skywise has already attracted many big names in the industry. New signees such as WOW air, Small Planet, and Primerica Air have proudly joined the newly innovative system. The companies primary goal is to provide companies with Predictive maintenance upon their aircraft and some companies their entire fleets.
Predictive maintenance can be described as a precautions maintenance technique that monitors and tests the machinery in the aircraft that allows for failure to be prevented.
Airlines and aerospace companies have really placed their trust into Skywise to maintain their aircraft as their recent deal with EasyJet seals them into a five-year contract, which will be responsible for their entire fleet over of 2000 aircraft.
Skywise has structured their company to be a bipolar system allowing multiple avenues of input information to be shared with into a single system to participating companies. The first of the two components of their new and innovative system would be what Skywise calls their cloud-based program.
“ Airlines using Skywise Core can integrate their own operational, maintenance, and aircraft data into the Skywise cloud, so they can store, access, manage, and analyze selected Airbus data together with their own data and global benchmarks without the need for additional infrastructure investments. “
The Second component of the Skywise system allows for Skywise clients to participate in having what is known as premium access to the Skywise. The perks of the premium system allow for further access to more insights and more features to help the companies stay connected with their fellow Skywise members.
Bell Helicopter, a company and global manufacturer of aircrafts under Textron Inc., recently disclosed their rebranding to be known simply as “Bell.” By developing a new branding strategy along with created a more modern logo for the company, it can be noted that the company is focusing and planting their focus on both innovation and customer experience. Bell will follow through with the rebranding of the company within the next year.
President and CEO of Bell, Mitch Snyder, emphasizes that Bell does not only focus on helicopters. Their team focuses and for the past eighty years has been pushing their boundaries of flight and with this rebranding, hope to reflect this goal accurately. Snyder states that the rebranding to Bell will portray the company’s goal of innovation without taking away from their main goal and mission of supplying safe and unmatched experiences to their customers.
The most obvious and notable update, besides the brand name change, is the company’s new modernized logo. Bell hoped to put the spotlight on the fast pursuit of flight by depicting a dragonfly, while also rooting the logo with a shield, which portrays Bell’s unrivaled reputation in both reliability and quality. Snyder notes that the dragonfly is known to have abilities of taking off and landing as it pleases. They are fast and efficient in all directions and can hover at will. The dragonfly, according to Snyder, symbolizes the “mastery of flight,” which is a goal Bell hopes to also achieve.
Bell recently held hands with FutureBrand, a global strategic brand that also focuses in design consultancy. FutureBrand was chosen to lead the company’s first rebranding since Textron Inc. acquired the defense portion of Bell Aircraft Corporation in 1960 (parts of these businesses went on to become Bell Helicopter). The process of rebranding began in the summer of 2017. The rebranding helped the company to shift focus onto the company’s communications, which more accurately reflected how employees go above the means to bring the best experience of flight to customers.
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The largest helicopter trade show and exhibition in the world, the Heli-Expo, starts on February 26th and goes on until March 1st in Las Vegas, Nevada. Honeywell, the world renowned company, is determined to turn eyes with their up-to-date technical products along with information in regards to maintenance for their turboshaft engines.
Jim Ebken, who is Honeywell’s principle product support engineer, will give an outline of the T53, LTS101, and HTS900, all of which are turboshaft engines. Ebken will give an overview of Honeywell’s latest engine operational data and will talk about the improvements in technical areas and goals for the engines.
Ebken will also be talking about Honeywell’s improvements in 2018, which includes lowering the cost of performance enhancements, along with the extensive cycle life power turbine rotor, which will help to save operators both time and money. He stated that Honeywell continuously looks for input on better ways to improve their products and supports for customers in regards to their performance, quality and reliability. He believes this is a good opportunity for customers like light helicopter operators and aircraft technicians to voice their needs and be heard. This will allow for individuals to obtain the information they need to make sure their missions and goals are successful.
The technical briefing for the T53 will be held on February 27, followed by Ebkens LTS101/HTS900 briefing. A long term member of the HAI Technical Committee will give a presentation and an update on the latest HAI Tech Committee Briefing on the Risk Assessment for Maintenance the same day. These presentations, which are sponsored by the HAI Technical Committee, meet the requirements of the FAA for the training hours that go towards the renewal of inspection authorization certificates.
The Helicopter Association International Heli-Expo, which is held each year, has an estimated attendance of almost 20,000 individuals. HAI is the premier venue for the global helicopter industry, and is the best gateway to learn about the latest helicopter solutions and also build good relationships.
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For the year 2017, Airbus Helicopter has noticed a slight decline in their sales due to various factors in the industry. Speculation In the market states that larger more heavier helicopters are no longer needed or wanted due to the fact that companies are buying medium sized helicopters that have almost similar potential at a fraction of the cost.
Airbus has witnessed their sales to be shifting down ward from last years sales; Selling 418 rotorcraft handed in 2016 to 409 in the year 2017.
“Gross orders were 350 units, down from 388 in 2016, while net orders stood at 335, against 353 for the previous 12 months.”
Airbus has seen a decrease with a particular model the offshore H225 heavy twins having no orders recorded for the year 2017.
Although they have not been able to record any orders for the Offshore aircraft, Airbus has been able to secure 54 orders for the Super Puma family. No orders for the H225 Aircrafts may have been a factor of its safety issues
This deal included 10 smaller H215 aircrafts and also included an agreement with the Kuwaiti Airforce and National Guard for an order of 30 aircrafts.
One of the contributing factor for the decline of offshore H225 aircraft was caused by safety issues that ended in a fatal crash in Norway in 2016.
Airbus Helicopter Chief executive, Guillaume Faury states the price of crude oil will not change any habits for offshore passenger.
"I do not think the recovery, or partial recovery, of the oil price will have a positive impact on the helicopter industry over the next couple of years."
Airbus continues to set high standards to meet for the near future to be able to execute 400 delivers in 2018.
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The AVIC has been working continuous on the competition of their newest aircraft, the MA700 turboprop. AVIC has been able to begin their process in bringing their aircraft to life by starting their aircrafts flaps and cargo doors. AVIC is having both these essential parts made by their sub dairies to facilitate their work and take advantage of their resources.
One of the Sub diaries can be located in Xian while another is located in Shenyang. The release of the technical specifications has been stated shortly after the manufacture performed its structural and strength tests.
According to AVIC website the specs for the MA700 are:
78 passenger seats in standard cabin
Maximum service altitude
Maximum airport elevation
Maximum cruise speed
To date the MA700 is in line to be able meet its requirements the aircraft to be airborne. The MA700 plans are to be able to take its first flight in the year 2019. Following by their first flight they will also be try and obtain Chinese certification by the year 2021 which will allow it to enter into service.
The MA700 is open to different types of configurations as they come to an agreement with Dowty Propellers for a different type assembly using Dowties R408 propeller.
According to Flight Global website,
”The Pratt & Whitney Canada PW150C-powered turboprop will have a capacity for up to 86 passengers. The aircraft, which will use fly-by-wire technology, will have a maximum take-off weight of 26.5t and range of up to 2,700km.”
AVIC is very confident with their project and believe that their aircraft will be very beneficial to the company by stating the MA700 will be a “perfect balance.”
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United Technologies Corporation (UTC) has just bought Rockwell Collins Incorporated for $140 a share, two-thirds payable in cash and one-third in stock. UTC’s chief executive officer Gregory Hayes approached Rockwell Collins’ CEO Robert K. Ortberg in January about the acquisition, starting a long negotiation that would last for the better part of the year.
On January 23, Hayes first contacted Ortberg, but the initial attempt proved fruitless. Rockwell Collins had purchased B/E Aerospace at the end of 2016, and was focused on closing that deal. Ortberg requested that UTC not pursue the issue until completion of the acquisition. Honoring the agreement, Hayes approached Ortberg again in April, five days after Rockwell Collins completed its acquisition of B/E Aerospace. A meeting was finally set up for May 2nd.
UTC’s initial proposal outlined ownership of most of the partnership with Ortberg as CEO. Rockwell Collins rejected the offer, but agreed to continue negotiations.
In June, UTC offered a 70-30 division of shareholders, giving UTC the majority. The offer was rejected due to structure complexity and lack of control by Rockwell Collins shareholders.
In July UTC offered $130 a share, then $135, both proposals which Rockwell Collins declined.
On August 22nd, UTC upped the offer to $139, to which Rockwell Collins proposed a counteroffer of $141 in cash or $144, payable 70% in cash and 30% in UTC stock. The companies finally agreed to $93.33 per share in cash and $46.67 in shares of UTC common stock, subject to a 7.5 percent collar centered on UTC’s August 22, 2017 closing share price of $115.69.
Two unidentified companies also approached Rockwell Collins to negotiate a possible deal, which did not deter UTC. Both companies abandoned pursuit.
UTC expects the combination will be accretive to adjusted earnings per share after the first full year following closing and generate an estimated over $500 million of run-rate pre-tax cost synergies by year four.
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The well-known helicopter manufacturer, Bell Helicopter, recently signed an agreement with Reignwood International Investment Group. This agreement was for an extra purchase of fifty more Bell 505 Jet Ranger X light singles over the next 3 years. It also allows for the company to become the exclusive reseller in regard to the 505, located in China, and also create a delivery and maintenance facility for the 505.
The United States Secretary of Commerce, Wilbur Ross, was a witness of this recent agreement. Ross was present as a part of President Trump’s trade mission with China. President and CEO of Bell Helicopter, Mitch Snyder, was the signee for the company. He was also a part of President Trump’s trade mission to China. Signing for Reignwood Aviation was the chairman, Zheng Gang.
According to news reports, Trump arrived in Beijing Wednesday as part of his 12-day, five-country tour of Asia. Reports say he is set to arrive in Vietnam Friday.
According to Mitch Snyder, the demand in China for Bell helicopters has surged, especially with Shannxi Helicopter’s purchase of 100 of Bell’s 407GXP’s and Reignwood’s order of 110 Bells 505s. Snyder believes that this new agreement with Reignwood allows for Bell to further their goal of development in the commercial rotorcraft industry in China.
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