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Hogans run Stargazing Fighting back

Partnerships in We read the Indian air force

the crosshairs signs as Safran ups the pace to
as Abu Dhabi targets Zodiac restock rapidly
overhaul sees merger and a dwindling fleet
Etihad boss rapid ascent in of operational
head for exit 11 aerospace 17 combat jets 26

31 January-6 February 2017


Still top of
the props
Why ATR can take its time on
route to making even bigger hit

ISSN 0 0 1 5 - 3 7 1 0
0 5

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Volume 191 Number 5572

Hogans run Stargazing Fighting back
Partnerships in We read the Indian air force
the crosshairs signs as Safran ups the pace to
as Abu Dhabi targets Zodiac restock rapidly
overhaul sees merger and a dwindling fleet

8 P&W responds to growing pains of geared

Etihad boss rapid ascent in of operational
head for exit 11 aerospace 17 combat jets 26

turbofan engines
9 Design changes force latest MRJ delay
31 January-6 February 2017


Still top of
the props 10 Indian navy issues details for carrier-borne
Why ATR can take its time on
route to making even bigger hit fighter contest.
Fresh orders vital to keep up with 787 rate rise.
Airbus delivers warning to UK over Brexit fears

11 Hogans run ends as Etihad takes stock
Boeing advances plans to boost 787 output P10
ISSN 0 0 1 5 - 3 7 1 0
0 5
12 SFO details R-R corruption allegations

9 770015 371297

FIN_310117_301.indd 1 26/01/2017 09:54

COVER IMAGE 14 Collins chief believes orders may not rebound 18 ATR boss seeks concord over strategy
Airbus/Leonardo joint until 2020. Turboprop manufacturers new chief executive
venture ATR provided Line of sight hazy for United 767 replacement. seeks to bring harmony to joint venture and
this shot of new customer Weak demand set to persist for narrowbodies stay ahead of competition
Japan Air Commuters 15 Thrust reduction behind 767 tail-strike.
first of nine ATR 42-600s, First ATR 42-600 lands for Japan Air Commuter FEATURES
handed over in Toulouse 16 US carriers put hopes in Trumps protectionism.
26 INDIA SPECIAL REPORT Losing its edge
in late January P18 Cimber buy tightens CityJet ties to SAS.
Ahead of the biennial Aero India show, we look
R-R and AerCap cooperate on support plan for
leased engines at how the nations air force is striving to arrest a
rapid decline in its combat strength via
NEWS ANALYSIS acquisitions and partnerships
17 Will stars align for Safran and Zodiac? 30 Learning curves With the oldest of its training
assets dating back to the early 1970s and
DEFENCE growing demand for new pilots, Indias air force
20 F-35 contract talks closer to resolution. is pursuing ambitious development projects
Fallon asks Airbus to maintain A400M progress
33 Ready to attack Modernising Indias helicopter
21 Scorpion could hit target for USAFs light
fleet through acquisitions and upgrades will
low-cost fighter.
secure its rotary credentials for the coming years,
Nairobi gains approval to buy armed AT-802s
BEHIND THE HEADLINES with indigenous projects key to the force mix
23 Engine supplier tackles Osprey stall risk
Michael Gubisch (pictured)
boss, Christian Scherer, in 24 Buyers take to updated TBM 930.
Toulouse, where the chief 7 Comment
Loose ends delay Bliss Jet transatlantic service
executive outlined his big 35 Straight & Level
25 Supersonic start-ups ready prototypes.
ambitions for the future 37 Classified
GI Aviation drums up demand for its Pilatus
with the European family 38 Jobs
PC-12NG commercial service.
of twin-turboprops (P18)
CASL builds up its business jet MRO capability 43 Working Week

Lockheed Martin, US Marine Corps



We look at the challenges
involved in maintaining the
A380. Plus, an overview of
US air-launched weapons
Lockheed to complete deal for 90 Lightning IIs P20. R-R addresses Ospreys surge and stall events P23

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Image of
the week
A Royal Air Force Typhoon
is pictured while shadowing
the warship Pyotr Velikiy
and aircraft carrier Admiral
Kuznetzov as the Russian
battle group returned home
from its role in supporting
Moscows intervention in
Syria. Flight Fleets Analyzer
shows the RAF has 109
Eurofighters in service

View more great aviation

shots online and in our
weekly tablet edition:

Crown Copyright

The week in numbers Question of the week

Last week, we asked: Italys new attack helicopter? You said:

Total votes: 671
Percentage of passengers who arrived at or departed from
London Heathrow airport last year aboard an Airbus A380

Just job-creating spin
77% 515 votes

Could hit export targets

FlightGlobal Dashboard 103 votes

Russias Orenair could face bankruptcy, after Aeroflot filed

Sure-fire winner
claims against the Rossiya subsidiary totalling Rb12.5 billion 15% 53 votes

Number of destinations to be served by Spirit Airlines, as the
FlightGlobal Dashboard This week, we ask: Airbus in the UK?
Will stay put regardless Hinges on Brexit terms
Gone within five years
Florida carrier begins flights to Hartford, Connecticut in April Vote at

FlightGlobals premium news and data service delivers breaking air transport stories with
profiles, schedules, and fleet, financial and traffic information

Download the Military Simulator

Census online now.
CAE offers training centres, training services, and simulation products for maritime patrol aircraft.

4 | Flight International | 31 January-6 February 2017

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Trading blows
When it comes to free trade, Donald Trump and the UKs Brexiteering government see the
world in very different ways. However, aviation seems unlikely to benefit from either approach

T he election of Donald Trump and the UKs vote to

quit the EU were the seismic political events of
2016. Often compared as popular revolts against liberal
elites, big government and open immigration, the bil-
lionaire celebritys administration and Brexit are, in
fact, sending their countries on very different courses.
Each could be damaging to aviation.
Trumps instincts are protectionist. He wants to pe-
nalise importers that destroy American jobs. He has

Design Pics Inc/REX/Shutterstock

signalled the USAs withdrawl from the Trans-Pacific
Partnership trade agreement and threatened tariffs on
goods made in Mexico and sold in the USA including
components that end up on US-assembled aircraft.
Although he has not named Airbus, foreign-built air-
liners too could fall foul of America First policies. He Barriers to trade rarely work
may also be sympathetic to calls to restrict access to
subsidised Gulf carriers and Norwegians long-haul currently their biggest market Europe.
Irish subsidiary, accused of circumventing labour laws. While this has implications for the dominant service
sector, there is a big threat to Airbus UK. Its wing plant
The UK wing plant and its supply and the supply chain serving it are enmeshed into the
Airbus production system. As the airframers Tom Wil-
chain are enmeshed into Airbuss liams warns, customs regulations and restrictions on
European production system movement of talent could have drastic consequences.
Its headquarters may be in Toulouse, but Airbus
along with the likes of Rolls-Royce and Jaguar Land
But protecting jobs by imposing tariffs on imports Rover is the pride of UK manufacturing. While leav-
rarely works, simply rewarding inefficiency and fuel- ing the single market would not force the closure of
ling inflation. Similarly, airline deregulation has been Broughton and Filton overnight, it could impact future
one of the successes of the modern era, boosting com- investment decisions by Airbus, including where to
petition by bringing down entry barriers and fares. develop and build wings for new programmes.
By contrast, Prime Minister Theresa Mays govern- The outcomes of 23 June and 8 November shook the
ment favours free trade. It paints Brexit as an opportu- world. Heres hoping that by pursuing policies they
nity for the UK to forge open relationships with nations think will please their eager-for-change electorates,
around the world including the USA. However, an these new leaders do not end up damaging the very
acrimonious divorce settlement with Brussels could economies the people have entrusted them with.
make life difficult for UK exporters selling into what is See This Week P10

Harder than you think

D efending the latest delay to its MRJ programme,
Mitsubishi Aircraft official Yugo Fukuhara notes:
Building and certifying a new aircraft is a very com-
Although the MRJs customers in the USA may ex-
press their frustration, the fresh delay does not signifi-
cantly inconvenience them, as pilot scope clauses will
plex process and includes a lot of challenges. prevent its deployment there until 2019 at the earliest.
Mitsubishi will not appreciate the comparison, but However, the real worry for the fledgling airframer is
its regional jet is beginning to share more than just a the competitive advantage it is ceding to rival Embraer.
pair of letters with Comacs ARJ21. The latter, lest we The MRJ should have had a seven-year head-start over
forget, finally entered service in 2016, eight years late. the E175-E2, but assuming current schedules hold, that
With its latest slip, the MRJ will now make its com- has now been whittled down to just 12 months.
mercial debut in 2020 seven years behind schedule. Yes, the E2 also suffers from the scope clause issue,
But there the comparison ends. The MRJ is intended but Embraer has a family of jets to rely on and a
Stay up to date with the latest
news and analysis from the as a next-generation regional aircraft with an internation- current-generation product it will continue to sell.

commercial aviation sector: al customer base, while the ARJ21 is a stepping-stone, Meanwhile, the clock is ticking for the MRJ. offering yesterdays technology today. See This Week P9 31 January-6 February 2017 | Flight International | 7

For the latest news, photographs and
interviews from the aviation industry visit

PENALTY Boeing took a combined $312 million in charges
against its KC-46A development activity in the fourth quarter of
2016, bringing its total overspend to more than $2 billion. The
fresh expense is related to previously-identified wiring changes

required for the US Air Forces 767-based tanker. Boeing chief
executive Dennis Muilenburg notes: While the development
programme has been challenging, this is a great franchise that IndiGo operates PW1100G-powered variant of the Airbus A320neo
will go on for decades.

P&W responds to
PROPULSION GE Aviation intends its CFM International joint
venture with Safran to deliver something close to 500 Leap

growing pains of
engines this year. CFM shipped 77 of the new powerplants in
2016, against a planned total of 100. GE chief financial officer
Jeff Bornstein says the Leap-1As reliability is excellent, and

geared turbofans
that the engines are performing to spec.


WITHDRAWAL Raytheon and Leonardo have abandoned their
joint offer of the T-100 for the lucrative T-X trainer requirement, Early feedback from operators highlights durability fears
having been unable to reach a business agreement in the best but engines are hitting fuel-burn targets, say UTC bosses
interest of the US Air Force. The pair had formed a team in
February 2016 to offer a development of the Aermacchi M-346.
The USAF is expected to select a replacement for its aged
Northrop T-38 fleet later this year.
P ratt & Whitney will supply
two upgraded parts to geared
turbofan (GTF) engine operators
to the reduction gearbox at the
heart of the geared turbofan en-
gines architecture, Hayes says.
later this year that should meet Indeed, the reduction gearbox,
CRASHED FREIGHTER YIELDS VOICE DATA durability standards, says Greg which de-couples the rotation
INVESTIGATION Russias Interstate Aviation Committee has Hayes, chief executive of parent speeds of the low-pressure tur-
extracted conversation data from the cockpit-voice recorder company United Technologies. bine and the inlet fan to optimise
recovered from the ACT Airlines-operated Boeing 747-400F Speaking on a full-year earn- fuel efficiency, seems to be work-
that crashed in Bishkek on 16 January. The committee says it ings call on 25 January, Hayes ac- ing, with the PW1100G for the
has obtained data up to the point of impact with the ground. knowledged that some GTF op- A320neo and PW1500G for the
Kyrgyzstans government says 39 people died in the incident, erators, especially in India, have CSeries meeting fuel-burn targets.
including the freighters four crew members. reported reliability concerns The good news is that this
about a fuel seal and a combustor time at least those key perfor-
PAL A320 LANDING MISHAP FACES SCRUTINY liner. Although not named, Flight mance characteristics have been
SAFETY Investigators are probing a landing incident at Kalibo Fleets Analyzer lists Indian met right out of the box, and
involving a Philippine Airlines (PAL) Airbus A320 arriving from carriers GoAir and IndiGo as op- thats unusual. So the geared tur-
Cebu on 10 January. Frances BEA investigation authority states erators of PW1100G-powered bofan architecture is holding up
that the aircraft (RP-C8613) touched down 485m (1,590ft) after variants of the Airbus A320neo. very well, says chief financial
the threshold, with its left main landing-gear 4.7m off the left In response to those concerns, officer Akhil Johri.
side edge of runway 05. P&W will deliver upgraded parts P&W also expects to resolve a
for retrofit later this year. Mean- parts shortage problem that dras-
UKRAINE INTERCEPTS ILLEGAL WEAPONS CACHE while, P&W has dipped into a tically slowed geared turbofan
CARGO Security services at Kiev Zhulhany airport intercepted a pool of spare engines to help meet engine deliveries to Airbus and
cargo of weapons on an aircraft bound for the Middle East. The aircraft dispatch targets, he says. Bombardier last year.
Ukrainian state security agency, SBU, says 17 boxes were found These are just normal grow- Of about 1,200 components
on the aircraft that had no supporting documentation. ing pains on any new engine, inside the engine, P&W is still
Inspection of the cargo turned up components for Soviet-era Hayes adds. Nothing thats caus- concerned about the availability
guided anti-tank missile systems, and for military aircraft. The ing us to lose a lot of sleep. of six as the production ramp-up
SBU has not detailed the aircraft operator or the planned route. Aside from the Neo, P&Ws continues, Hayes says.
geared turbofan powers the in- In September 2016, Hayes
NOMINATION TIME: AIRLINE STRATEGY AWARDS service Bombardier CSeries said one of the most critical parts
INDUSTRY The nomination process for FlightGlobals Airline family, but different versions will shortages involved the engines
Strategy Awards 2017 has been officially launched, with this also equip the Embraer EJet-E2 unique, hybrid-metallic fan
years event being staged in association with executive search family, Irkut MC-21 and the blades. But the propulsion
firm Korn Ferry. The results of the 16th annual awards split Mitsubishi Regional Jet. specialist remains on track to de-
across six categories will be announced in London on 9 July. Neither issue with the combus- liver between 350-400 engines
tor liner or the oil seal is related this year, Hayes adds.

8 | Flight International | 31 January-6 February 2017

Fresh orders vital
to keep pace with
787 rate rise
This Week P10


Design changes force latest MRJ delay

Alterations required to regional jets avionics bay push first delivery to 2020, now seven years behind original schedule

J apans Mitsubishi Aircraft has

pushed back delivery of its de-
velopmental MRJ by two years as
Mitsubishi says its four opera-
tional flight-test aircraft will con-
tinue with the ongoing certifica-
it battles to implement crucial de- tion effort in their current
sign changes required on the re- configuration. The manufacturer
gional jet. will, however, introduce addi-
Significant alterations are tional prototypes with the chang-
needed to the types avionics es incorporated.
bay, the Japanese manufacturer Fukuhara says parent compa-

Mitsubishi Aircraft
announced on 23 January, with a ny Mitsubishi Heavy Industries
number of components requir- (MHI) will be more directly in-
ing relocation and wiring har- volved in the MRJs development
nesses consequently needing to in future, as well as making great- Prototypes will continue flight-test activities in current configuration
be rerouted. er use of external expertise to
Yugo Fukuhara, vice-presi- fast track the jets development. ishi Aircraft and MHI are com- 2013, although this was subse-
dent and general manager of Building and certifying a mitted to the business, he says. quently revised to mid-2018.
sales and marketing at Mitsubi- new aircraft is a very complex When the regional jet pro- Mitsubishi has commitments
shi Aircraft, says the issue first process and includes a lot of gramme was launched in March for 427 aircraft, comprising 233
surfaced in autumn 2016 during challenges. But this is a long- 2008, the target was for the first firm orders and 194 options and
a design review. term business and we at Mitsub- aircraft to enter service in late purchase rights.
This determined that the de-
sign alterations would be neces-
sary for the MRJ to meet certifica-
tion requirements for continued US customers frustrated, but scope clauses are real deal breaker
operation in extreme situations,
such as water leaking from the Mitsubishi Aircrafts two key US tions, remains in place. Our contracts between mainline air-
cabin into the avionics bay. customers who between them conditional firm orders of the lines and their pilots, largely re-
Although Fukuhara stresses account for nearly 65% of the firm MRJ aircraft remain unchanged, strict regional carriers to
that the changes will not affect order backlog for the MRJ have and are dependent on flying con- operating aircraft with no more
the MRJs performance, either on so far stayed largely silent on the tracts and scope availability. than 76 seats and a maximum
range or fuel consumption, they latest delay to the programme. Both companies, either directly take-off weight (MTOW) of
will push certification to 2019 Trans States Holdings, which or through operating subsidiaries, 39,000kg (86,000lb). The MRJ90
and first delivery to 2020. holds orders for 50 aircraft, plus provide regional services on be- has a 39,600kg MTOW and was
We are conducting the pre- 50 options, says it is disappoint- half of the US mainline carriers. designed to carry about 80 seats
liminary design review for the ed by the additional delay. And it is those relationships, and in a two-class layout.
design-change area and will get Meanwhile, SkyWest Airlines pilot scope clauses, on which the The earliest any of the contracts
into the critical design phase in a confirms its 100-aircraft commit- MRJs success in the USA rests. with the big three US mainline car-
few months, he says. ment, with an additional 100 op- Those provisions, written into riers could change is 2019.

HAL has i on future with latest Hawk
Indias state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) has rolled out
an upgraded version of BAE Systems Hawk 132 advanced jet
trainer, named the Hawk i. The aircraft features an indigenously
developed mission computer, digital map generation, an em-
bedded virtual training system, secure voice communications
and data link capability. To be flown during the 14-18 February
Aero India show in Bengaluru, the specially liveried aircraft is the
100th Hawk 132 to have been built under licence by HAL. The
airframer is to retain it as a test platform for the Hawk i standard,
Hindustan Aeronautics

and also to support other future upgrades. New Delhi has so far
ordered a combined 123 Hawk 132s for its air force and navy.
See Feature P30 31 January-6 February 2017 | Flight International | 9

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network and fleet information sign up at:


Indian navy issues details for


Airbus delivers
warning to UK
over Brexit fears carrier-borne fighter contest
Acquisition of new type will deal blow to maritime development of indigenous Tejas jet

A irbuss chief operating officer

has warned a UK parliamen-
tary committee of the risks of dis- T he Indian navys formal re-
quirement for 57 multirole
rupting the airframers strategic carrier-borne fighters (MRCBF)
model, during a session on the has been advanced via a request
future relationship with the EU. for information (RFI) issued by
Tom Williams outlined to the the nations defence ministry. Re-
treasury committee his concerns sponses are due by 24 May, with
over potential complications the service detailing its require-
such as customs regulations and ments in a 59-page document.
restrictions on movement of tal- In its RFI, the navy calls for a
ent arising from the UKs exit fighter that can undertake roles
from EU membership. ranging from air defence and sur-
He stresses that Airbus is still face strike to reconnaissance and

US Navy
highly committed to the UK, be- electronic warfare, and which is
cause it serves as an integral part capable of performing buddy Rafale M is among trio of potential candidates for 57-aircraft deal
of the manufacturer, but that any tanking. The request also ex-
macroeconomic changes or presses an interest in licence pro- be capable of carrying stores F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, Das-

blockage to its operations duction of the aircraft with relat- weighing up to 1,500kg (3,300lb), sault Rafale M and the RAC MiG-
could result in a rethink in the ed transfer of technology. with the ability to release weap- 29K. The last of these types is al-
longer term. A substantial weapons capa- ons from an altitude of 40,000ft. ready in Indian navy service.
Williams told the committee bility is also requested, in addi- The selected type will operate New Delhis request for infor-
on 24 January that Airbus was the tion to the possibility of integrat- from indigenously developed air- mation delivers a blow to its in-
reason that Europe was able to ing existing and future weapons craft carriers that are currently digenous efforts to develop a
compete effectively with the and avionics systems of Indian, under construction. While the naval variant of the Tejas light
USA in the aerospace sector, and Russian and Western origin. first of these the INS Vikrant combat aircraft (LCA), which
that if Airbus did not exist wed Information is also being features a ski-jump layout with have been under way since 2003.
have to create it. sought on whether the aircraft short take-off but arrested recov- The Aeronautical Develop-
He said a failure to maintain a has a swing-role capability for the ery, the configuration of a second ment Agency expects to begin fly-
seamless operation for Airbuss simultaneous carriage of strike vessel has yet to be frozen. ing LCA navy Mk2 prototypes
UK division would be a really weapons and air-to-air missiles. Contenders for the MRCBF re- from 2020.
big concern for us. Some under-wing pylons should quirement are the Boeing See Feature P26


Fresh orders vital to keep pace with 787 rate rise

B oeing is pressing forward with
plans to raise 787 output to 14
aircraft per month by the end of
from a $31 billion stockpile of
deferred production and unamor-
tised tooling costs still hanging
the decade, but still has dozens of over the Dreamliner.
order slots to fill as company ex- Raising production by 16.7%
ecutives begin a final evaluation by the end of the decade carries
of the ramp-up decision. some risk that the once-mighty
After raising monthly produc- order backlog for the 787 will not
tion, from 10 to 12 aircraft, last be able to keep up with an annual
May, Boeing is already delivering delivery rate of 168 aircraft.
787s at a faster rate than for any As of 25 January, Boeing had
widebody aircraft in history. 691 remaining orders for the 787.
Pushing output even higher That is a very strong position

would help Boeing offset declin- to be in, Boeing chief executive

ing cash-flow from the 777 pro- Dennis Muilenburg argued on a
The Dreamliner programme still has $31 billion of unamortised costs gramme and claw back savings fourth-quarter earnings call.

10 | Flight International | 31 January-6 February 2017

SFO details R-R
News Focus P12


Hogans run ends as Etihad takes stock

Imminent departure of group chief executive signals increasing impatience in Abu Dhabi over equity partnership strategy

C onfirmation that James

Hogan is to step down from
the helm of Etihad Aviation
acknowledgement that its invest-
ments are under scrutiny.
We must progress and adjust
Group along with chief finan- our airline equity partnerships
cial officer James Rigney in the even as we remain committed to
second half of the year under- the strategy, states chairman
lines the seriousness with which Mohamad Mubarak Dadhel
restructuring is being pursued at Fadhel Al Mazrouei.
several of its airline investments. That suggests no about-turn on
While stressing its commitment the broader investment strategy,
to the strategy, the Abu Dhabi but underlines the fact that Abu
group has flagged the need to Dhabi is not prepared to maintain
progress and adjust its airline the status quo.
partnerships. As the drastic re-
shaping of Air Berlin illustrates, CAPITAL CHALLENGES
Abu Dhabi is ratcheting up the It is on Air Berlin and Alitalia
pressure on investments that are that the focus of scrutiny appears
failing to deliver; crunch talks on to fall. Indian carrier Jet Airways

Alitalias future are ongoing. has already returned to profit
Given this context, the depar- Ex-Gulf Air boss has overseen rapid growth since taking role in 2006 and traffic flows between the
ture of the architect of the equity- Middle East and the Indian
alliance strategy indicates that The airline transported around apart from Gulf rivals Emirates subcontinent make it a logical

patience is wearing thin in the 18.5 million passengers in 2016, and Qatar Airways has been its partnership. Another investment,
Middle East. compared with fewer than three use of an equity alliance strategy Virgin Australia while not
Hogan joined Etihad a decade million in 2006. That still leaves to accelerate its growth. The air- without its capital challenges
ago from Gulf Air, and was Etihad outside the biggest 50 carri- line has invested in seven carriers also returned to underlying profit
charged with putting the Abu ers in terms of passenger numbers, across the globe excluding its last year.
Dhabi-based carrier on the global but its large share of long-haul op- brief dalliance with Aer Lingus. The relatively smaller invest-
map and quickly. Though it was erations means it ranks among the Hogan, speaking at the Global ments in Air Seychelles and Air
just three years old and operated a 20 largest global carriers in terms Airfinance Conference in Dublin Serbia have yielded modest
fleet of around 20 aircraft at the of revenue passenger kilometres. in January, pointed to the 5.5 mil- returns, while the picture is un-
time, Abu Dhabis intentions for lion passengers its codeshare and clear around European regional
Etihad to take its place as a global MAINLINE REVENUES partnership strategy delivered the operator Darwin Airline, re-
player were already clear. It is also knocking on the door of carrier in 2016. This is close to a branded as Etihad Regional.
While it is relatively young, the 20 biggest operators in terms third of its total passengers, deliv- Hogan acknowledges that work
Etihad has already established a of revenue. In 2015, the last year ering additional revenues and al- has been needed at Air Berlin
reputation for energy and speed, for which figures are available lowing us to fill our onward con- loss-making in virtually every
evident in its unprecedented and before Etihad established its necting flights, said Hogan. year since Etihad acquired it and
growth and the development of group structure, mainline airline He says this helped develop Alitalia, which also needs further
its state-of-the-art fleet and prod- revenues of just over $9 billion Etihad into a diversified network work to meet its profit goals.
uct, said Hogan on taking the job placed it just outside the top 20 with revenues of more than $26 Hogan has always maintained
in October 2006. I believe we biggest airlines by that metric. billion. He has long defended the Etihad is not a bank when it
can build on this to position But Etihads growth tells only strategy against repeated criti- comes to its investments, point-
Etihad as a leader in the interna- half the story. What has set it cism, insisting that it was not ing out that everything we touch
tional and local markets. the old Swissair model of ac- has to make a return.
Hogan quickly issued a state- Etihad Aviation Group quiring stakes in a series of strug- That determination, it now ap-
ment of intent with major orders gling European carriers, which pears, is being firmly tested.
Carrier Stake (%)
for Airbus and Boeing aircraft at ended with its collapse in 2001. Etihad has itself reported relative-
the 2008 Farnborough air show. Air Berlin 29 But while Etihads investments ly modest returns since reaching
Flight Fleets Analyzer shows Air Serbia 49 have supported the growth of the breakeven in 2011 and in Decem-
the airline today operates 121 air- Air Seychelles 40 airline and Abu Dhabi, and some ber announced its own measured
craft with an average age of Alitalia 49 are now turning a profit, the ac- reduction of headcount.
under seven years including Etihad Regional* 33 quisition of stakes in loss-making But only when Hogans succes-
marquee types like Airbus A380s Jet Airways 24 carriers has brought some pain. sor is in place will it become clear
and Boeing 787s, with more than Virgin Australia 25 Crucially, the 24 January the extent to which the group
200 aircraft on order or optioned Source: FlightGlobal Dashboard confirmation that Hogan will
will continue to embrace the
after further spending sprees. Note: *Formerly Darwin Airline
leave the carrier also includes an equity-alliance strategy. 31 January-6 February 2017 | Flight International | 11

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SFO details R-R corruption allegations

UK body lays out graft claims which engine manufacturer has agreed to settle via a deferred prosecution arrangement

H igh-profile Asia-Pacific air-

lines feature prominently in
the UK Serious Fraud Offices
intermediary acted as an agent
of the office of the President of In-
donesia and that this money was
(SFO) list of allegations against a reward for Intermediary 1
engine maker Rolls-Royce. showing favour to Rolls-Royce in
R-R will not be prosecuted in respect of a contract for Trent
relation to the allegations, but 700engines.
will pay a financial penalty under The second Garuda count al-
a deferred prosecution agree- leges an inference that R-R failed
ment. Chief executive Warren to prevent its intermediary
East said the companys behav- from bribing employees of Garu-
iour had been completely unac- da in order to win contracts.
ceptable and that it was unre- Despite some R-R employees
servedly apologetic. being aware of evidence of the
In its Statement of Facts docu- corrupt activity, R-R failed to

ment, the SFO lists 12 counts sever its relationship with the in-
against the UK engine manufac- China Eastern claims relate to purchase of Trent 700s for A330 fleet termediary until March 2012,
turer. Of these, seven mention having already made two com-
Asia-Pacific carriers. One per- AIRASIA ing favour to R-R in the pur- mission payments totalling in ex-
tains to the AirAsia Group, one to Count 12 relates to AirAsia chase of Trent 700 engines for cess of $1 million in that month.
China Eastern Airlines, three to Group and covers the most recent [Airbus] A330 aircraft, and asso- In response to a FlightGlobal
Thai Airways, and two to Garuda allegations. The SFO document ciated TCA [TotalCare agree- enquiry, Garuda says it is still
Indonesia. The allegations cover names no individuals, but accus- ment]. Some or all of the funds working internally upon the
a period from 1989 to 2013. Two es R-R of having failed to pre- were intended to be used by case.
other counts relate to Indian de- vent bribery by allowing em- [China Eastern] to pay for a two-
fence acquisitions, and three to ployees to provide an AirAsia week Master of Business Admin- THAI AIRWAYS
deals in the Indonesian, Nigerian Group executive with credits to istration course at Columbia Uni- The three counts relating to Thai
and Russian energy sectors. help pay for the maintenance of a versity in New York to be Airways are tied to the periods
privately owned Bombardier attended by various [China East- June 1991 to June 1992, March
Global business jet. An initial ap- ern] employees, and including 1992 to March 1997 and April
India consulting proach was made in 2011 by a
senior employee of AirAsia X
four-star hotel accommodation
and lavish extracurricular activi-
2004 to 2005, and all involve the
acquisition of Trent engines.
Despite the use of intermediaries seeking information about a R-R ties. It is alleged in the three counts
in defence acquisitions being engine maintenance programme An accompanying list of facts that R-R agreed to pay intermedi-
prohibited by the Indian authori- for private jet engines that the indicates that the China Eastern aries approximately $36.3 mil-
ties, to the extent of breaches in- AirAsia Group executive was
board member first broached the lion, intended for people who
validating some contracts and planning to buy. Over the next idea in August 2010, and after would act in its favour.
causing a company to be two years, R-R executives and the some discussions R-R acceded to Thai says: In the case of Rolls-
banned from future bidding, R-R companys compliance depart- the request. Royce having admitted to the Se-
continued to employ an interme- ment struggled with how to deal R-R compliance and legal pro- rious Fraud Office of the United
diary in the country. with the issue. However, ulti- fessionals expressed concerns Kingdom on allegations of brib-
The manufacturer created mately it applied to an AirAsia X about the programme, but it ap- ery in a number of countries in-
contractual documents which engine deal a $3.2 million credit, pears executives felt pressure to cluding Thailand from 1991-
showed the intermediary, who later used to enable the execu- meet the expectations of a power- 2005, Thai confirms the company
acted for the company in several tives business jet to enter the R-R ful customer. conducts all its businesses in a
deals related to the supply of CorporateCare programme. transparent manner and without
Rolls-Royce Turbomeca Adour AirAsia did not respond to a GARUDA INDONESIA exception to corruption.
engines, as being paid for gen- FlightGlobal request for comment. The Garuda Indonesia counts Thai assures that the compa-
eral consultancy services rather cover two periods: January 1989 ny will promptly request and
than commissions for the rele- CHINA EASTERN AIRLINES to December 1998 and July 2011 gather information from all the
vant defence contracts. In the summary of the China to March 2012. In the first count, sources in order to investigate the
In addition, R-R paid the indi- Eastern count, R-R is accused of it is alleged that senior R-R em- matter thoroughly. When all facts
vidual to retrieve a list of its other having failed to prevent its em- ployees agreed to pay $2.25 mil- have been compiled and re-
intermediaries which had come ployees from providing a $5 mil- lion and a Silver Spirit car, made viewed in detail, Thai shall expe-
into the possession of the Indian lion cash credit to China Eastern by the unrelated Rolls-Royce au- dite in determining the appropri-
tax authorities. Airlines at the request of a board tomotive business, to Intermedi- ate actions to take on any
member, in return for his show- ary 1, with an inference that the corruption found.

12 | Flight International | 31 January-6 February 2017

FROM 19 TO 25 JUNE, 2017
Where aerospace leaders
get down to business

an event from
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movements, purchases and retirements:


Collins chief believes orders


Weak demand
set to persist for
narrowbodies may not rebound until 2020
S ix months into his new role,
Embraers commercial aircraft
Cycle peaked in 2014, argues boss of systems supplier, but he remains upbeat on deliveries

chief John Slattery has forecast

another soft year for orders in
2017, but sees bright spots in
T he number of orders for large
commercial aircraft could re-
main relatively low for a few
China and the USA. more years, especially for wide-
With an oversupply of narrow- bodies, says Rockwell Collins
bodies I see further downward chief executive Kelly Ortberg.
pressure on yields, especially be- Airbus and Boeing peaked in
yond the USA where carriers still 2014 with a collective order in-
havent fully embraced the con- take for 2,888 aircraft. Two years
cept of capacity discipline, says later, the number of orders has
Slattery, writing in a blog post. fallen by more than half, with
He acknowledges that 2016 was combined orders totalling 1,399

a slow year for commercial aircraft aircraft recorded in 2016.
sales, with 700 fewer orders than I think we are three years into Airbus will raise widebody production until the end of the decade
2015. This year will likely be the order cycle, Ortberg told an-
equally soft for the industry. alysts on a 20 January first-quar- stir worries about production cut caught Ortberg slightly by
Embraers order and delivery ter earnings call. I think we ramp-up plans. surprise, he admits.
data showed last month that the peaked back in 13 and 14 and Both airframers plan to contin- But he suggests the downward-
airframer had logged net orders we are seeing that right now. ue increasing output of narrow- trending order cycle probably
for 45 commercial aircraft in 2016, A return to growth will proba- body aircraft through 2020, while will not cause an overall drop-off
compared with 155 in 2015. bly not happen until the end of steadily growing deliveries of in commercial aircraft deliveries.
While Slattery expects the the decade, Ortberg says, with new widebody aircraft families, Everybody knows that the last
book-to-bill ratio for narrowbodies that moment possibly coinciding such as the 787 and Airbus A350. [declining] order cycle didnt
to fall below 1:1 by end-2017, he with the introduction of the Boe- Other widebodies have already convert into an overall delivery
sees brighter prospects for the 70- ing 777-9 in 2020. felt the demand pinch: Airbus is cycle [reduction] because of the
to 130-seat aircraft segment in As a major avionics and sys- cutting the production rate for very strong backlogs, he says.
which Embraer competes, with a tems supplier for Airbus and the A380 and Boeing for the 777. My feeling is that the same is
book-to-bill ratio of above unity. Boeing, Ortbergs remarks could The early timing of the latter rate going to happen [this time].


Line of sight hazy for Uniteds 767 replacement

U nited Airlines is evaluating
potential successors for its
Boeing 767s, as part of an ongoing
refurbish the interiors and extend
the life of 21 of the -300ERs as oil
prices fell in early 2015.
widebody fleet review. Its a great airplane [but] its
The 767 is the only aircraft in getting a little old and if were
the Chicago-based carriers inven- going to keep flying them longer
tory for which it does not have a were going to need to make some
line of sight in terms of succes- investments in extending their
sion, says president Scott Kirby. life, says Kirby.
The big open question for us But it also serves missions
is whats going to replace our that the other aircraft would be

767s, said Kirby at a question hard-pressed, at least in todays

and answer session with employ- economics, to find.
ees last month. It is unclear what could replace The US carrier chose to refurbish 21 of its elderly twinjets in 2015
United operates 35 767- the 767s. United has already
300ERs with an average age of 22 opted to use 19 787-9s for growth as discouraging the carrier from 1000s, raising the possibility that
years and 16 -400ERs with an av- rather than replacement and the placing further orders. it could convert some or all of
erage age of 16 years, records high capital costs of the next-gen- United is presently reviewing that commitment to the smaller
Flight Fleets Analyzer. It opted to eration widebody are widely seen its order for 35 Airbus A350- and cheaper A330neo.

14 | Flight International | 31 January-6 February 2017

Trumps protectionist
urges give new hope
to US airlines
Air Transport P16


Thrust reduction behind 767 tail-strike

NTSB says incident at Kabul involving Omni Air International service was caused by over-compensation for windshear

I nvestigators believe that early

reduction of engine thrust on a
Boeing 767-300ER during a land-
pitch increased from 1 just be-
fore the flare to a maximum pitch
of 9.5. The touchdown impact
ing at Kabul caused the aircraft to was around 2.5g.
sink, triggering a response that Charts and guidance included
led to a damaging tail-strike. in the manufacturers and opera-
The Omni Air International tors flight manuals indicated
twinjet (N768NA) had been con- that, at touchdown, the pitch at-
ducting a visual approach to the titude exceeded the contact limit
Afghan capital in variable gusting of the [aircraft], says the inquiry.
wind conditions, following a Four of the 16 crew members

charter flight from Bucharest on but none of the 65 passengers
20 June 2014. received minor injuries during
US National Transportation Crew had been conducting a visual approach to the Afghan capital the event. But the aircraft suf-
Safety Board (NTSB) investiga- fered substantial damage to its aft
tors state that the crew had set a The aircraft was above the draft transitioning to a downdraft, lower fuselage, with multiple
landing reference speed of 145kt glidepath and slightly fast at a and a 17kt headwind c omponent holes and cracks over a 7.62m
(269km/h) but added 10kt to height of 200ft, and the captain shifting to a 1kt tailwind compo- (25ft) length. Five bays were
account for the winds. The
reduced thrust for correction, but nent, in the 5s before touchdown. damaged at the lower end of the
airspeed fluctuated between
the crew heard an automated Data from the enhanced aft pressure bulkhead.
162kt and 138kt during the ap- sink rate alert at about 100ft. ground-proximity warning sys- The captain of the aircraft had
proach, and the engine thrust The captain stated that he in- tem showed it had not generated accumulated 865h on 767s out of
varied accordingly. creased power and started to a windshear warning during the a total flight time of over 16,300h.
The inquiry states that the air- flare, says the NTSB. As the approach. The NTSB notes that Omni Air International drew
crafts vertical navigation system crew sensed the [aircraft] drop, windshear alerts are suppressed attention to tail-strike risk after
was not indicating a vertical path. he increased pitch attitude to ar- below 50ft. two occurrences involving 767s
As the aircraft descended rest the sink rate but landed hard The aircraft touched down at two years before the Kabul
through 1,000ft on the approach and over-rotated in the flare. about 140kt. While guidance in landing. The communication re-
to runway 29, the tower Analysis of the wind condi- the operators manuals pointed to viewed flight-training manual
controller advised that the winds tions indicated a significant a 4-6 nose-up attitude during a information and identified a

were from 360 at 20kt but gust- change in the final moments of normal landing, flight-data re- slower-than-normal airspeed as a
ing to 40kt. the approach, it adds, with an up- corder information showed the cause of tail-strike incidents.


First ATR 42-600 arrives for Japan Air Commuter

J apan Air Commuter (JAC) has
taken delivery of its first of an
eventual nine ATR 42-600s, to be
years old. Speaking at a delivery
ceremony in Toulouse, airline
president Hiroki Kato said that
transferred by the end of 2019. the Q400s will need to be re-
The JAL Group carrier holds placed after 2020, but no decision
purchase rights for a further 14, has yet been made.
and JAC has an option to convert We have to think [as part of]
orders to the larger ATR 72. JAL Group, he says. But noting
Configured with 48 seats, the commonality between the ATR
ATR 42-600s will be used to re- 42 and ATR 72, he adds: If we
place the carriers Saab 340 fleet. grow passenger numbers, then

Flight Fleets Analyzer shows that we order the ATR 72. JAL Group carrier has ordered nine examples of the twin-turboprop
the Kagoshima-based airline has JAC intends to have its ATRs
nine of the Swedish-built type, maintained by its in-house tech- c ustomer in Japan. Kumamoto- ATR chief executive Christian
equipped with 36 seats, built be- nical operation and has not based Amakusa Airlines is the Scherer says JACs selection of
tween 1992 and 1999. signed an MRO agreement with manufacturers only other Japa- the twin-turboprop represents a
JAC also has nine Bombardier the manufacturer. The airline nese operator, with a single, significant endorsement.
Q400s aged between nine and 14 represents ATRs first direct leased ATR 42-600. See Interview P18 31 January-6 February 2017 | Flight International | 15

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R-R and AerCap Trumps protectionist urges

support plan for
leased engines give new hope to US airlines
Mainline carriers and unions renew claims of unfair competition against overseas operators
L essor AerCap is assisting with
the creation of a new Rolls-
Royce maintenance programme U S labour unions and main-
line carriers have ratcheted
skies agreements that promised
to maintain and increase oppor-
aimed at the leasing market. up their demands for President tunities for aviation workers,
AerCap is co-operating on the Donald Trump to take action says the unions international
development of the service against foreign airlines. president Sara Nelson, adding
branded LessorCare before it is The unions are calling for the that the NAI issue is the place
put to the broader lessor market White House to overturn the to start.
this year. Obama administrations Decem- US labour groups allege that
AerCaps chief executive ber 2016 decision to issue a for- NAI flouts labour laws, and its
Aengus Kelly says the pro-
eign air carrier permit to Ireland- growth could threaten US avia-
gramme will expand the range of registered Norwegian Air tion jobs. Norwegian, which de-

services and offer more choice International (NAI), which comes nies the accusations, points out
for owners and operators. into effect on 29 January. that its expansion has created
R-R had signalled last year that One of Trumps first acts after new posts in the USA.
it was using the LessorCare iden- taking office on 20 January was to The unions, along with three Tycoon made safeguarding jobs
tity to develop more flexible withdraw the USA from the US mainline carriers, have also at home a key campaign pledge
services intended to assist the
Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade renewed calls for the Trump ad-
leasing sector. pact that he says disadvantages ministration to side with them in dle Eastern operators benefit from
It says the newly launched American workers. an ongoing dispute with the big combined government subsidies
scheme involves signing a sim- This, says the Association of three Gulf carriers Emirates to the tune of $42 billion, a sugges-
ple single agreement covering Flight Attendants-CWA, is a sign Airline, Etihad Airways and tion they strongly deny.
services on all versions of the that the new administration will Qatar Airways over alleged We look forward to working
manufacturers Trent engines. protect domestic employment. state subsidies. with President Trump and his
The services include custom- President Trump has repeated- Umbrella group the Partnership team to enforce these agreements
er support and training, transi- ly stated that his guiding princi- for Open and Fair Skies a coali- and protect American jobs
tion services to speed movement ple will be to put American jobs tion of American Airlines, Delta something that the Obama ad-
of aircraft between leases, and first. We encourage the Trump Air Lines and United Airlines and ministration failed to do, says
asset management. administration to enforce open their unions argues that the Mid- the coalition.


Cimber acquisition tightens CityJets ties to SAS

I rish regional operator CityJet is
acquiring SAS Groups Danish
subsidiary Cimber, consolidating
for flexible development of re-
gional operations.
Chief executive Rickard
Synergies between CityJet and
Cimber, he adds, will further cut
Cimbers production costs.
fleet of eight CRJ900s set to rise
to 12 by March this year.
But as part of the Cimber
its position with SAS following its Gustafson says that the sale is The agreement allows us to acquisition, CityJets contract

2015 takeover of Blue1. in line with the companys fly more routes and maintain a with SAS will double to six
SAS Group bought Cimber two strategy to concentrate on its large network with frequent years. CityJet is also intending to
years ago, to provide a p latform own operations. departures, says Gustafson. acquire another 10 CRJ900s.
SAS says it will sell the 11 CityJet will take control of
Bombardier CRJ900s that have Cimber and the Danish carriers
been operated by Cimber in the 11 CRJ900s from the end of Janu-
next few months. ary, at which point it will also
CityJet will operate additional confirm the extra 10 aircraft
regional services from Copenha- through a new order.
gen on SAS Groups behalf. Acquisition of Cimber ad-
Cimber currently serves some 30 vances CityJets strategy of
European destinations for SAS. building a role as a regional jet

CityJet was already performing capacity provider to European

services for SAS, under a three- airlines, says CityJet executive
Scandinavian carrier will sell subsidiarys CRJ900s within months year wet-lease agreement, using a chairman Pat Byrne.

16 | Flight International | 31 January-6 February 2017

ATR boss seeks
concord over
Flight Interview P18


Will stars align for Safran and Zodiac?

Merger will create French aerospace powerhouse to rival US giants but some analysts remain unconvinced of benefits

B ack in 2010, Zodiac Aerospace

rejected Safrans merger over-
tures, with chief executive Olivier
the corporations upper limit for
the position, Safrans board is to
propose a modification extending
Zarrouati delivering a telling dis- his term to 68.
missal. Zodiac isnt looking for a This will provide certainty re-
partner and has a good outlook as garding leadership and oversight
a standalone company. The out- during the challenging ramp-up
look for Safran is modest and the of CFM Leap engine production,
industrial synergies are weak, he the company says.
said at the time.
Hindsight is always 20-20, but POSSIBLE DISTRACTION
now on the receiving end of a Petitcolin says Safran will con-
9.7 billion ($10.3 billion) offer tinue to prioritise the Leap ramp-
from Safran and following a two- up while it works on the integra-
year period in which Zodiac has tion of Zodiac, and that he is not
delivered nine profit warnings, it worried about distraction from
is clear that Zarrouati was unable this crucial engine programme.

to read the stars clearly. But concerns about managing
Announced on 19 January, Safran insists merger will not distract it from Leap engine ramp-up the production increase on the
the tie-up will create a business Leap which powers the next
with combined annual revenues Zodiac ticks all the boxes, he delivery of seats and cabin fit- generation of narrowbodies
of 22.6 billion and catapult Sa- says, pointing out that it is a first- tings to airframers. play a part in analysts doubts
fran into sixth place in Flight In- tier, high-technology firm hold- Airbus had been particularly over the deal.
ternationals aerospace Top 100, ing leading positions on pro- vocal over the knock-on effect on Safrans management there-
narrowly behind GE Aviation, its grammes and active in the spares its A350 programme, attributing a fore faces a serious challenge to
partner in the CFM International and retrofit markets. slow ramp-up of production and successfully integrate Zodiac,
engine joint venture. The acquisition will concen- hold-ups in deliveries partly to without distracting from the ex-
trate Safrans interest in aero- the Zodiac situation. isting business, says Edison.
BALANCED REVENUES space a business we under- Safran says the acquisition will Barclays believes there is less
Paris-headquartered Safran also stand following its decision to risk from this aspect of the merg-
believes the acquisition will lift it dispose of its biometrics and digi- I believe we can bring er, however. Rather, it questions
into second place, behind UTC tal identity arm, McInnes says. the logic of enhancing Safrans
Aerospace Systems, in the aero- An analysis from London-
a lot of expertise to position by taking over Zodiac,
nautical equipment sector. based Edison Investment Re- get the problems describing it, in a research note,
It expects the merger will raise search says the tie-up will create theyve seen behind as less convincing.
the proportion of revenues it gen- the world number three in aero- It questions the acquisition of
erates from aircraft equipment space with revenues balanced them a lot faster Zodiacs buyer-furnished equip-
from the current level of 32% to a between propulsion and aircraft Philippe Petitcolin ment activities, and says the deal
more balanced 48%, while its re- equipment. Chief executive, Safran does not appear to help Safrans
liance on propulsion revenues It likens the merged entity to core engines business.
will fall from 61% to46%. Pratt & Whitney and UTC Aero- But Petitcolin highlights the
Safran chairman Ross McInnes space Systems parent company aid the recovery of Zodiacs inte- acquisition of Zodiacs large buy-
says the Zodiac acquisition dem- United Technologies, with posi- riors businesses. Our industrial er-furnished equipment business
onstrates that the company is se- tions across the whole aircraft expertise will also accelerate the as a key element of the merger.
rious about allocating capital to value chain and exposure to all return to their historical levels of While Safran is very well po-
businesses which are likely to key aircraft programmes. profitability in the seats and cabin sitioned in the short- and medi-
be good stewards in the sweet However, Edison describes the activities, says Safran chief ex- um-haul aircraft sector, Zodiac
spot of the aerospace sector. two companies as being at vast- ecutive Philippe Petitcolin. has a much better position on
ly different ends of the perfor- I believe we can bring a lot of large aircraft, says Petitcolin.
Safran v Zodiac mance and quality spectrum; expertise to get the problems This will provide additional
Safran, it contends, is arguably a theyve seen in composites, in buyer-furnished equipment busi-
Safran* Zodiac**
member of the aerospace elite. manufacturing of seats, behind ness to Safran, he says, through
Revenue 17.4bn 5.2bn
The takeover bid follows Zodi- them a lot faster than theyve the typical eight-year cabin refur-
Operating profit 2.43bn 270m acs efforts to recover its opera- been able to do so far, he adds. bishment cycle on widebody air-
Net profit 1.48bn 108m tions after a period of poor perfor- Petitcolin will remain in craft types.
Source: Companies mance, the result of production charge of the merged company. Additional reporting by
Notes: *2015 **Year ended 30 Sept 2016
difficulties which held up the Although he turns 65 this year, Dominic Perry in London 31 January-6 February 2017 | Flight International | 17

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ATR boss seeks concord over strategy

Turboprop manufacturers new chief executive seeks to bring harmony to joint venture and stay ahead of competition

A mong an array of aircraft

models in ATR chief execu-
tive Christian Scherers office
Flight Fleets Analyzer shows
that the Canadian airframer cur-
rently has 29 outstanding orders
mostly of Airbus jets, which is no for the Q400.
surprise given his three decades
at the airframer one takes pride PRESERVING VALUE
of place: on a table near his desk Reducing the production rate is
sits Concorde. much easier for ATR versus
Its the ultimate inverse of the manufacturers of large aircraft be-
turboprop, he says of the super- cause lead times for turboprops
sonic 100-seater. Maybe its pres- are usually less than two years,
ence signals an intent to look be- Scherer says.
yond what is possible today. ATRs shareholders and air-
Scherer joined ATR in Novem- craft financiers have welcomed
ber 2016 but he has already come the move, he says, partly on the
to love the company, he says. back of the immediate effect
That does not mean he has any this has had on residual values.
sentimental attachments to it, We have been applauded very
however: during his first two explicitly by the financial commu-
months in office, he took the de- nity for having taken the deci-
cision to reduce output amid a sion to stabilise our production
decline in orders last year. output at the current level, he
The Toulouse-based company says, adding that 2016 was a glob-
jointly owned by Airbus and ally difficult year and that the
Italian group Leonardo received environment is getting tougher.
orders for 34 ATR 72-600s and Despite the headwinds, Scher-
two ATR 42-600s last year, versus er believes there is potential to
a total of 76 aircraft in 2015; reve- increase sales and break out of
nue fell 10% to $1.8 billion. that 80 box. Airlines in emerg-
Scherer admits that ATRs pro- ing economies have formed a
duction output was a little bit major part of ATRs customer
less than forecast deliveries fell base, but the manufacturer is not
by eight aircraft, to 80. He says the yet an established competitor in

market considerably soft ened Scherer says there is scope in the current market to increase sales China, India or the USA.
as a result of economic uncer- In Scherers view, protection-
tainty amid political develop- ATR has capacity to build up every aircraft manufacturer in the ism by the Chinese government
ments, currency fluctuations that to 110 aircraft per year. Output world jealous of our profitability. has been a reason that no ATRs
have particularly affected airline has grown over recent years 51 He links this to the amortisation operate in the country today.
purchasing power in emerging aircraft were delivered in 2010 of development costs from the State manufacturer AVIC has its
markets, and a strong order back- but Scherer says the new level original aircraft family the ATR own turboprops the MA60 and
log from previous years. could be comfortably main- 42 first flew in 1984, followed by MA600 and is developing a
ATR says it has orders for a tained for years to come. the ATR 72 in 1988 models he 70-seater, the MA700, which
little over 200 aircraft, which sees as virtually unchallenged Scherer sees as an ATR 72 look
translate to a production backlog MAINTAINING MARGINS in todays turboprop market. alike. In India, ATR must con-
of about two and a half years. Given that ATR is a medium- The nearest Western-built tend with bureaucratic hurdles
The manufacturer had origi- sized business, he argues, we competitor is the Bombardier and a feeding frenzy of narrow-
nally planned to deliver 90 air- need to react much faster because Q400, which, Scherer says, is body orders.
craft in 2016. That target was re- we are much more exposed to admittedly the better aircraft for Meanwhile, in the USA, scope
vised to 88 units during the year, having holes in our production longer range. But he argues that clauses in pilot labour agree-
before management ultimately line than Airbus and Boeing. the ATR 72 is more economical ments have favoured airlines de-
decided to stabilise production We dont want to degrade our on routes with sector lengths ployment of regional jets, Scherer
in the low 80s. Scherer says he margin, and therefore we dont below 350nm (650km) because it notes. But he argues: There are
is a little hesitant to specify an want to carry significant invento- has less powerful engines and a no fundamental, natural econom-
exact number for 2017, given the ry of unsold aircraft or work in lighter airframe. ATR has ic reasons why our aircraft are
very soft market, and describes progress, he says. ATR does not pushed Bombardier into a corner not relevant in markets like
the new production level as release detailed results, but Scher- where the Q400 is a much less China, India and the United
cruise altitude 80. er says: We can make just about liquid asset in the market. States. As a result, he says ATR

18 | Flight International | 31 January-6 February 2017

F-35 contract talks
closer to resolution
Defence P20

that, five years ago, we thought

we were never going to have.
Scherer indicates that the de-
velopment of a larger aircraft will
find a way on to ATRs agenda at
some point. The question is not
are we going to do a new product
[but] when are we going to do a
new product?
However, he notes that the
market for 100-seaters has be-
come very crowded with the de-
velopment of new regional jets
such as Russias Sukhoi Superjet
and Chinas Comac ARJ21, and
that similar programmes are to be
launched by other countries ob-
sessed by doing jets.
Just imagine what would hap-
pen if somebody came in there
with, say, a 90-, 90-some, 100-
[or] whatever-seat turboprop. It
would create an absolute chaos
in the market.
Instead, he believes ATR

Production was revised downwards in 2016 after orders fell in the face of global economic uncertainty should stand back and choose its
timing for launch of a new type
will be more aggressive in its rudder modification to increase about the prospect of an ATR after some market consolidation.
sales efforts than over the the ATR 42s manoeuvrability. family expansion or a change in Everybody is spending five bil-
pasttwo years. This is to fulfil more stringent the shareholder structure. lion and we are saying, Please
Appealing to local govern- certification requirements at air- In Scherers view, the promo- go and kill each other.
ments to establish subsidised air fields with high terrain in the vi- tion of a larger variant of the Despite his view that ATR is
services to remote areas is central cinity. This opens whole ATR72 is more an expression of relatively comfortable today,
to ATRs sales strategy, based on bands of currently uncharted ter- Leonardos strategy than an ATR Scherer says the manufacturer is
ritory, Scherer says. strategy. He adds: Leonardo closely monitoring technological
I look at the horizon While development of the per- naturally aspires to moving for- developments that could change
formance improvement package ward in this aviation space, its market outlook and potentially
[and] I dont see has not yet been launched, ATRs and so it is a natural thing for spur the launch of a new type. As
anything that shareholders authorised the man- Leonardo to say, Why dont we the market leader I want to be
remotely competes ufacturer to offer it to airlines. If develop new airplanes?. the one obsoleting the status quo
we find launch customers for this But he insists: Everything is rather than somebody else. But
with our airplane particular version, I will go to the fine. We have a very profitable he adds: Right now, we see no
Christian Scherer shareholders and ask for the de- programme at a production rate reason to rush into anything.
Chief executive, ATR velopment, he says.

the argument that air transport He shows no concern that ATRs
links to areas without much in- market position could come
frastructure can stimulate eco- under threat in the foreseeable fu-
nomic and social development. ture. I look at the horizon [and] I
Scherer says talks are under way dont see anything that remotely
with several operators in China competes with our airplane. In
and India, and with government his view, there is, right now, infi-
authorities in the two countries. nite life left in the existing air-
Additionally, engineers have frame design.
proposed manageable modifica- Leonardo has repeatedly
tions for the ATR 42 to enable voiced its intent to develop a larg-
the 50-seater to operate from run- er sibling to the ATR 72 lately
ways no other [comparable in- mooting a 100-seater and has
production] turboprop airplane suggested that it could increase
can access, he says. its ATR shareholding above 50%
Measures will include adop- or potentially build the bigger
tion of lighter, more powerful car- turboprop on its own. Mean-

bonfibre brakes and a potential while, Airbus has been cool Sales efforts will stress the benefits of turboprops over regional jets 31 January-6 February 2017 | Flight International | 19

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F-35 contract talks closer to resolution

Following productive meeting with Trump, Lockheed chief executive Hewson says LRIP 10 deal could be signed soon

L ockheed Martin expects to seal

a deal soon for 90 F-35 Light-
ning IIs in low-rate initial pro-
government and industry offi-
cials have for several years set a
goal of achieving an $80-85 mil-
duction (LRIP) lot 10, chief exec- lion price tag for the F-35A before
utive Marillyn Hewson told the programme enters its full-rate
investors on 24 January. production phase.
On an earnings call a day after Meanwhile, Hewson says
she met President Donald Trump Lockheed is not under any pres-
at the White House, Hewson said sure to take legal action with re-
Lockheed was very close to a deal gard to the F-35 programmes
that would allow it to close LRIP LRIP 9 contract. Last November

Lockheed Martin
10 negotiations in the near term. the Pentagon took unilateral ac-
The meetings have been very tion on the deal following more
productive, Hewson says of her Production will rise this year, with 66 aircraft due to be delivered than a year of protracted negotia-
discussions with Trump. He tions, and awarded Lockheed
asks very good questions and Lockheed also expects to nego- Hewson says Lockheed will $6.1 billion for the delivery of 57
wants to make sure price goes tiate a lot 11 deal by the end of lower the unit price for lot 10, airframes and Pratt & Whitney
down. Its not about slashing our 2017, chief financial officer Bruce which should come in at less F135 engines.
margins. Ive had opportunity to Tanner says. than $100 million, and that this The company has 90 days from
share with him things the [De- This year will mark a signifi- should fall to $85 million by an the point of the contract award to
partment of Defense] can do and cant ramp up for the F-35 pro- LRIP 13 deal due for signature in decide whether to appeal.
how they might buy the aircraft duction line, with 66 aircraft ex- 2019. Those prices have not been Were going to continue to
differently in the future to help pected to be delivered, compared established following the meet- look at our options on LRIP 9,
drive the cost down. with 46 in 2016. ings with Trump, however, as Hewson says.


Fallon urges Airbus to maintain A400M progress

U K defence secretary Michael
Fallon has challenged Airbus
Defence & Space to maintain its
has been in use for just over two
years, and Airbus confirms that
its two most recent examples
drive on the A400M programme were handed over on 22 Decem-
during 2017, so that the Royal Air ber 2016.
Force can take full advantage of Flight Fleets Analyzer records
its capabilities. Airbus as having delivered an-
I am encouraged that A400M other 24 production examples.
is available for extended, world- The type is in operation with the
Crown Copyright

wide strategic operational de- air forces of France (11), Germany

ployment, Fallon told an Airbus (six), Malaysia (three), Turkey
Group reception in London on (three) and Spain (one). The UK is currently the transports largest operator, with 14 in use
The challenge I give you for
this year is to ensure that all of MODIFICATION
those aircraft can operate in all Rotorcraft refuelling capability could fuel demand for C295W
environments, from benign to
hostile, so that our forces can Airbus Defence & Space has be- palletised hose-and-drogue refu- ling system contacts between a
summon up that vital flexibility gun offering its C295W transport elling system deployed via the pair of C295s last September.
when they need it. with an in-flight refuelling system medium transports rear ramp. The system is now being of-
Fallon says the RAF has re- modification, after fresh trials. Contacts were executed at fered to existing and prospective
ceived 14 of its eventual 22 Conducted during December speeds of 105-115kt [194- C295 operators, Airbus says.
A400Ms, with the type operated 2016 in conjunction with Airbus 212km/h], and both crews report- Possible applications include
from the services Brize Norton Helicopters, the activity involved ed smooth and simple opera- special forces applications and
base in Oxfordshire. a pair of C295s supporting tion, the airframer says. It had extending the range of search
The UKs oldest Atlas ZM400 H225M Caracals. This involved a also performed a series of refuel- and rescue aircraft.

20 | Flight International | 31 January-6 February 2017

Engine supplier
tackles Osprey
stall risk
Defence P23


Nairobi secures
approval to buy
armed AT-802s
K enya has received approval
from the US state department

Textron AirLand
to move forward with a potential
acquisition of up to 14 AT-802s
Company-funded design has already fired a variety of weapons, including Hellfire missiles, during testing from Air Tractor.
To be acquired using Washing-
tons Foreign Military Sales fund-

Scorpion could hit target for ing mechanism and worth up to

$418 million, the package would
include 12 armed AT-802Ls and a

USAFs light low-cost fighter

pair of AT-504 trainers, plus pre-
cision-guided weapons and sup-
port services. L3 Technologies
will be the prime contractor.
Service chief says developmental jet will be among types assessed during OA-X experiment The proposed sale provides a
needed capability in [Kenyas]

T extron AirLands light-attack

fighter/trainer Scorpion jet
could remain in the running for a
shelf, low-cost that can perform
this mission? Were going to do
this experiment and see whats
In an 18 January defence budg-
et recommendation white paper,
Senate Armed Services Commit-
ongoing efforts to counter
Al-Shabaab, the US Defense Se-
curity Cooperation Agency
low-end strike role with the US out there, and Im expecting tee chairman Senator John Mc- (DSCA) says, referring to the mili-
Air Force, according to the ser- many of the companies to come Cain called on the USAF to buy tant group.
vices chief of staff. forward, he says. 300 low-cost, light-attack fighters If fielded, the Air Tractors
Gen David Goldfein told an au- Over the past year, the air force requiring minimal development. would be better suited to con-
dience at a Washington think- has thrown around the idea of Goldfein describes McCains ducting close air support opera-
tank on 18 January that the Scor- procuring a low-end close air proposal as a great idea. tions than the Kenyan air forces
pion was one of several aircraft support (CAS) aircraft designed Weve got to look at new ways current fleet of aged Northrop
the USAF would examine during for permissive environments, of doing business in the future, F-5E fighters, the DSCA adds, as
an experiment slated for this dubbed OA-X. The service has he says. Theres a more sustain- they could be pre-positioned
spring to consider low-cost fight- discussed ordering a cheap, com- able model for the future that much closer to the conflict area
er options. mercially available aircraft as would be less costly, that could thanks to the types short-field
Right now were running an early as next year, and was exam- entice foreign partners, that could operating performance.
experiment where we go out to ining two possibilities: the reduce the overall cost and Flight Fleets Analyzer records
industry and say, What do you Beechcraft AT-6 and Embraers would also contribute to raising Nairobi as having an operational
have thats commercial-off-the- A-29 Super Tucano. the readiness. fleet of 17 F-5Es.

Digital HUD sharpens Raptors view
BAE Systems is to develop a digital replacement for the Lockheed
Martin F-22s current cathode ray tube-based head-up display
(HUD). Awarded by Lockheed, the contract calls for a system that
matches the dimensions and power requirements of the in-service
HUD. BAE anticipates that a follow-on order will lead to a retrofit
production programme for the roughly 180 Raptors in the US Air
Force fleet. BAE supplied the original display for the F-22, but re-
cently has introduced the Digital Light Engine HUD product line.
The technology reduces maintenance demands, allows the pilot
more freedom of movement and provides constant luminance,
BAE says. Weve worked closely with Lockheed Martin to deliver
a completely modernised HUD solution for the F-22 fleet that
meets the long-term needs of the air force, says Andy
US Air Force

Humphries, BAEs director of advanced displays. 31 January-6 February 2017 | Flight International | 21

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Loose ends
delay Bliss Jet
transatlantic service
Business Aviation P24


Engine supplier tackles Osprey stall risk

US Navy will award Rolls-Royce contract to prove that software updates can cut rate of power surge incidents on V-22

R olls-Royce is exploring two

new avenues for reducing
the susceptibility of Bell Boeing
fall at the compressors corrected
rotational speed limit. By tweak-
ing the software to provide an ac-
V-22 engines to in-flight stall and curate temperature measurement
surge events. at the compressor inlet, R-R be-
The US Naval Air Systems lieves engine safety will improve.
Command (NAVAIR) plans to The AE1107Cs vulnerability
award the maker of the AE1107C to stalls and surges has been a
turboshaft a contract to complete focus of the V-22 programme for
two studies that would validate the more than a decade. Releasing a
companys ideas for making the statement of work for the two
propulsion system safer to operate. study contracts, NAVAIR says the
One study will prove whether engine experienced at least 68
rescheduling movement sched- stalls and surge events between
ules in the full authority digital 2003 to October 2016.

US Marine Corps
engine control (FADEC) comput- Tom Hartmann, Rolls-Royce
er for compressor guide vanes North Americas senior vice-presi-
will improve surge margins. dent of customer business, notes Propulsion system encountered problem almost 70 times from 2003
R-Rs internal testing suggests the that only about 10% of those re-
software tweak could improve ported events caused in-flight dis- gine, and notes that the arrival of tors, but Hartmann says that tech-
surge margin by 0.8% at sea level ruptions. Most of the events were the Block 3 version of the nology based on centrifugal
and up to 3% at altitude. detected quickly by the engine AE1107C five years ago has led to force is less effective than in-
Another focuses on the temper- monitoring system, allowing the a reduction in reports. stalling a filter on the inlet.
ature sensor located at the inlet to computer to avoid a compressor Bell Boeing also is developing Flight Fleets Analyzer records
the compressor. R-Rs engineers stall by briefly slowing the fuel an inlet barrier system, which is an in-service fleet of 296 Ospreys,
have determined the T2 sensor flow into the combustor, he adds. aimed at preventing surges caused including 248 US Marine Corps
sends inaccurate measurements Hartmann also says most of the by ingesting dust and sand. MV-22s, 43 CV-22s flown by the
to the FADEC, contributing 2.5% in-flight disruptions occurred on AE1107C engines are already US Air Force and five examples as-
of a 4% steady-state power short- early configurations of the en- equipped with air particle separa- signed to the US Navy inventory.

Senegal tries out modernised Mi-24
Polands Lodz-based WZL-1 has completed the modernisation of
a Mil Mi-24V attack helicopter for the Senegal air force. The sec-
ondhand rotorcraft is understood to have been acquired from a
former Soviet-era operator. Acceptance flights were conducted on
12 January by a team of Polish and Senegalese personnel, and
witnessed by the customer air forces commander-in-chief, Brig
Gen Birame Diop. WZL-1 says this is the first Mi-24 to have been
acquired by Senegal, and it is unclear whether the West African
nation intends to field additional examples. Flight Fleets Analyzer
records the Senegal air force as already operating a pair of
11-year-old Mi-35s which it acquired directly from Russia.

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Wo r l d A i r Fo r c e s R e p o r t IN ASSOCIATION WITH

w w w. f l i g h t g l o b a l . c o m / w a f 31 January-6 February 2017 | Flight International | 23
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Daher activity flat

but buyers take to
updated TBM 930
North America the dominant market for airframer in 2016,
with its newest turboprop accounting for bulk of deliveries

F rench aircraft manufacturer It features Garmins G3000 touch-

Airborne Films
and aerostructures supplier screen glass flightdeck and a re-
Daher saw deliveries of its TBM configured cockpit, plus rede-
single-engined turboprop pair fall signed seating and upgraded Company handed over a combined 54 examples of its two models
by a single unit in 2016, to 54 air- interior trim and finishes.
craft from 55 the previous year. Dahers report on its business the Asia-Pacific region, for a user the G1000NXi. Unveiled by
Shipments of the TBM 930 activities in 2016 ranks North in Thailand. Garmin in early January, the NXi
model outstripped its older TBM America as the top delivery desti- The 2016 results confirm that features wireless cockpit connec-
900 stablemate by two to one, ac- nation, with 41 units shipped to customers worldwide continue tivity; enhanced situational
cording to the Tarbes-headquar- customers in the USA and Cana- to appreciate the value proposi- awareness via SurfaceWatch; vis-
tered airframer. This equates to da. Europe was second, with 10 tion of our TBM product line, ual approaches; and map over-
18 TBM 900 deliveries in the 12 deliveries: customers in the UK which we extended last year with lays on the horizontal situation
months ended 31 December and France received four and two the TBM 930 version, says Nico- indicator. This upgrade includes
2016, and 36 TBM 930s. aircraft, respectively, while buy- las Chabbert, Dahers senior vice- a modernised flight display with
The $4.1 million 930 the ers in Germany, Italy, Poland and president, airplane business unit. significant performance enhance-
fourth iteration of the 26-year-old Switzerland received one each. To help bolster the TBM 900s ments, says Chabbert.
TBM series was launched in Latin American deliveries to- appeal, Daher is replacing the Certification of the G1000NXi-
April 2016 as an enhanced ver- talled a pair of aircraft for Mexi- 12-year-old G1000 flightdeck equipped TBM 900 is expected
sion of the $3.9 million TBM 900. co, and one unit was shipped to with a next-generation version; in a few months, Daher says.


Loose ends delay Bliss Jet transatlantic service

U S start-up operator Bliss Jet
has pushed back the launch
of its scheduled transatlantic ser-
each way. This is equivalent to a
British Airways full first-class
fare, he says. But the experi-
vice from January to the second ence is exponentially different.
quarter of this year, to give it Bliss Jet will offer 10-seat G450
more time to tie up loose ends. and G550 large-cabin, long-range
Bliss Jet had planned to start business jets operated by US
services on 8 January, flying Gulf- charter company White Cloud
steam G450s and G550s between between Sheltair Aviations fixed-
New York LaGuardia and Lon- base operation at LaGuardia and
don Stansted. We set ourselves Inflight Jet Centres VIP terminal
an overly ambitious deadline, at Stansted.
Bliss Jet

which wasnt necessary, says Given the high frequency of

company founder and chief ex- New York to London connection will initially use Gulfstream G450s commercial airliner services be-
ecutive David Rimmer. Nearly tween New York and London,
everything is in place, including moving the [New York] outbound and arrive on Friday morning, Bliss Jet is confident its offering
the aircraft and the service deliv- flight from Sunday evening to rather than departing on Friday. will be a success. We are looking
ery. However, following market Sunday morning, to eliminate the Bliss Jet is targeting business- for a market of around 1,000 seats
feedback we have decided to in- overnight element on this sector, and first-class airline passengers a year, Rimmer says.
troduce some changes to the ser- says Rimmer. Nobody wants to who are looking for a convenient The company plans to add two
vice, so we get it absolutely right arrive for work on a Monday, and upmarket alternative to the more third-party operators to its
before we begin. having flown the red-eye. transatlantic carriers. line-up within months, flying
A key revision is to the sched- The return flight will depart Flights will be sold on a per- Dassault Falcon 7Xs and Bombar-
uled departure times. We are London on Thursday evening seat basis, at a cost of $12,000 dier Global-series aircraft.

24 | Flight International | 31 January-6 February 2017

Losing its edge
Special Report P26


Supersonic start-ups ready prototypes

US companies preparing scale models for first flight events this year in sprint to revive travel through the sound barrier

T wo subsonic prototypes of
planned supersonic commer-
cial aircraft launched by separate
Spike plans to deliver the first
aircraft in 2023.
The S-512 is being designed to
start-ups are on track to enter mask the noise produced by
flight test later this year. breaking the sound barrier po-
Colorado-based Boom Technol- tentially allowing operators to fly
ogy has completed windtunnel the aircraft over populated areas,
tests of a one-third-scale, subsonic if the USA and European govern-

Spike Aerospace
prototype, the company an- ments lift bans on supersonic
nounced in January. The start-up flight by non-military aircraft.
now has the data to begin building Both start-ups are the latest to
large structures for the scaled pro- Spike Aerospace plans to deliver its S-512 for operations from 2023 chase the dream of commercial
totype aircraft by year-end. supersonic travel, since the re-
Last year, Boom announced land. Despite that limitation, track to complete first flight of a tirement of the BAC-Arospatiale
plans to develop a 45-seat airliner Booms staff of veteran aerospace subsonic, scaled prototype for Concorde fleet in 2003. Billion-
capable of speeds up to Mach 2.2. engineers believe there is a strong the Spike S-512 business jet by aire Robert Bass founded Aerion
The design makes no attempt to market for an all-business-class late summer. A series of larger in 2002 and it continues to work
muffle the sound of the boom airliner that can fly above the prototypes will follow, leading to towards fielding the AS2 super-
produced by the supersonic speed of sound over water. flights by a supersonic demon- sonic business jet in 2023. Engine
shockwave, so the airliner will be Separately, Boston-based strator by the end of 2018, the selection for the AS2 is expected
limited to subsonic speed over Spike Aerospace says it is on company said on 23 January. in the first half of this year.


GI Aviation drums up demand for its


CASL builds up
Pilatus PC-12NG commercial service its business jet
MRO capability
A bu Dhabi start-up GI Aviation
has become the first commer-
cial operator of the Pilatus PC-
GIs general manager Marios
Belidis is confident the company
can carve out a niche with the six-
With its [650nm] 1,200km,
4.5h range, and an ability to oper-
ate from short runways, the PC-12 G ama Aviation Hutchison a
joint venture between UK
12NG in the Middle East, follow- seat type, despite the regions pre- will be an affordable way to fly business aviation services provid-
ing its inaugural revenue flight on dilection for high-end, twin- and around the Gulf, he adds. er Gama and Hong Kong-based
9 January from its Al Bateen Exec- tri-engined business jets. This Belidis dismisses concerns CK Hutchison has launched a
utive airport base to Doha, Qatar. has become a very cost-conscious that safety fears relating to single- new partnership with local air-
The company is now stepping market in recent years, he says. engine operation will prove a bar- craft maintenance provider China
up marketing efforts to raise Travellers are now looking for rier for many people. Travellers Aircraft Services (CASL).
awareness of its single-engined something far less expensive than generally appreciate that this The move is designed to boost
turboprop-based service across a jet, but far more flexible and new generation of turboprops are the companies business aircraft
the Gulf, ahead of the arrival of its convenient than flying by com- very safe to fly, he says. support offering within the lucra-
second PC-12NG in February. mercial airline. GI which stands for Global tive Greater China market.
Ideas expects demand for its From its base at Hong Kong In-
service to focus on key city pairs ternational, CASL maintains and
including Abu Dhabi and Dubai supports Airbus and Boeing types
to Jeddah, Kuwait City, Manama, for local and international airlines
Riyadh and Sir Bani Yas. and operators. Gama says it will
GI has begun a series of promo- expand CASLs capabilities to in-
tional flights to demonstrate the clude base and line maintenance
PC-12s capabilities and stimulate and on-ground support for a
demand for its service. On 22 Jan- range of traditional business jets.
uary, the aircraft became the first At a minimum, we plan to
commercial fixed-wing type to add Bombardier Global 5000,
GI Aviation

land on the 750m (2,460ft) beach- 6000, Gulfstream G450, G550 and
front airstrip operated by aerial G650 aircraft approvals this
Abu Dhabi company is first in Gulf to offer revenue flights with type sports company Skydive Dubai. year, the company says. 31 January-6 February 2017 | Flight International | 25

Special report

Losing its edge

Ahead of the biennial Aero India
show, we look at how the nations air
force is striving to arrest a rapid
decline in its combat strength via
acquisitions and partnerships, and
review New Delhis diverse trainer
and rotorcraft activities

A September 2016 order for 36 Rafales will provide sufficient jets to equip two squadrons, with deliveries to begin during 2019

MIKE RAJKUMAR BENGALURU up her military capability. We need numbers, as we are

Indias ponderous defence bureaucracy and

ndias air force continues to grapple with decision-averse politicians have finally not building force structures
the challenge of sustaining its combat fleet woken up to the necessity of pushing the air for Pakistan and the main
to project a strong defensive and offensive force up to its authorised strength of 42.5
posture on the nations eastern and western combat squadrons. But getting to this level is
concern is China
borders. Defence credibility, however, comes not likely until 2035. Air Marshal M Matheswaran
Retired deputy chief of integrated defence staff
from the services existing force structure. The purchase of 36 Dassault Rafales in Sep-
The air force today is down to 33 operation- tember 2016 marked the end of Indias decade-
al fighter squadrons, of which 24 are made up long medium multi-role combat aircraft
of types of Russian origin, namely Mikoyan/ (MMRCA) acquisition saga. New Delhi will pay craft. The Su-30s are certainly capable, but re-
RAC MiG-21s, MiG-23s, MiG-27s, MiG-29s 7.75 billion ($8.2 billion) for the jets, along liability has been a big challenge, and they are
and Sukhoi Su-30MKIs. with associated weapons and support packages. quite expensive to operate. Overall, the Ra-
By 2024, the bulk of this fleet 11 squad- Rafale deliveries to India are to start in Septem- fales are likely to be a more valuable asset.
rons of obsolete MiG-21s and MiG-27s will ber 2019 and will conclude in April 2022, al- Aboulafia pegs Rafale maintenance costs at
have retired, having completed their total lowing the air force to stand up two operational around $15,000/h, including engine support.
technical life. In 2017 alone, two squadrons of squadrons of the swing-role type. The air force has also contracted for five
MiG-21s and at least one of MiG-27s will go. years of performance-based logistics sup-
Given these retirements, for the next decade, CAPABLE ACQUISITION port, with an option to extend this arrange-
the Indian air force will be lucky to retain let Each Rafale will cost Indias defence minis- ment by a further seven years. Dassault will
alone surpass its current strength. try 91 million. Armaments come from also provide product support for a period of
We need numbers, as we are not building MBDA: Meteor beyond-visual-range and 50 years. Under the terms of the inter-gov-
force structures for Pakistan and the main Mica IR and RF air-to-air missiles, and Scalp ernmental agreement between India and
concern is China, says Air Marshal M cruise missiles. France, there is no provision for any technol-
Matheswaran, a retired deputy chief of inte- Commenting on the impact of the acquisi- ogy transfer, but Dassault must satisfy offset
grated defence staff who has served in advi- tion, Teal Group analyst Richard Aboulafia provisions for 50% of the value of the aircraft
sory roles to Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) says: The Rafales will by a wide margin be and weapons package.
and Reliance Industries. India needs to build Indias most capable and service-ready air- Offsets are extremely expensive, says

26 | Flight International | 31 January-6 February 2017


Aboulafia. The buyer pays, not the seller. ernment in April 2016, offering to transfer
India needs intra-country competition if it the F-16 production line to India. It subse-
wants to make offsets work. quently received a formal letter from New
Indias government needs to have a frank Delhi, expressing an interest in acquiring a
and open debate, he adds. Does it want single-engined fighter, to which it responded
weapons procurement of effective systems at last October.
a reasonable price, or want greater in-country In our discussions neither we, nor the gov-
capabilities and jobs? The two goals are not ernment of India have indicated a preference
compatible. for an Indian production partner, says Randy

Aero India
Howard, business development director for
TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER Lockheeds integrated fighter group. It is our
Apart from the Rafale deal, it emerged in 2016 understanding that the defence procurement Lockheed has fresh hopes of an F-16 deal
that companies such as Lockheed Martin and policy is being revised with a strategic part-
Boeing had briefed Indian officials about pro- nership view and it is also our understanding combat aircraft.
ducing types such as the single-engined F-16 that New Delhi would like to encourage pri- Both Lockheed and Saab will have to navi-
and twin-engined F/A-18E/F Super Hornet in vate industry. gate strict Indian requirements for access to key
the country. Defence minister Manohar Parri- Saab, which has long hoped to sell the technologies, which could prove a stumbling
kar subsequently announced that New Delhi Gripen to India, says it has laid out compre- block for an early conclusion to negotiations.
wants a single-engined type, to be acquired hensive plans to support further design of the India is one of the many places the Trump
under its Make in India initiative. platform in the country, in addition to creat- administration is going to have to choose be-
Early this year, Parrikar said the defence ing the conditions for in-country manufactur- tween priorities, says Aboulafia. If US com-
ministry was working on a strategic partner- ing and support. It is also willing to offer India panies agree to transfer the necessary work
ship model under which single-engined fight- and technology to India, they will likely have
ers would be acquired. The two firms compet- It is our understanding that a strong advantage.
ing for the potential contract are Lockheed, Aboulafias colleague at Teal, Joel Johnson,
with the F-16 Block 70, and Swedish airfram-
the defence procurement says both the Lockheed and Saab offers are
er Saab, with the Gripen. Both manufacturers policy is being revised with a contingent on Washington DCs approval,
mounted a major effort in the late 2000s as strategic partnership view owing to the large number of systems and
part of the MMRCA campaign, but were technologies in both candidates that are cov-
Randy Howard
among the first aircraft eliminated. Business development director, Lockheed ered by US International Traffic in Arms Reg-
The proposals from both companies em- Martin integrated fighter group ulations (ITAR).
phasise technology transfer. Regarding acqui- Saab will have to get US approval for the
sition numbers, Matheswaran reckons: The sale of Gripen to anyone, as it contains con-
air force needs at least 200 MMRCA-class air- comprehensive system and software control, siderable US ITAR-controlled items, includ-
craft, whether it is one type or two types. The in addition to information sharing and tech- ing the GE [Aviation F414] engine, he says.
primary factor in selecting two types will be nology transfer related to active electronically It would need US approval (and likely spe-
cost and technology. Cost will be a key aspect, scanned array (AESA) radars with gallium ni- cific company approval depending on what
as is the technology access and how it will aid tride technology. Saab has also offered to pro- rights the defence department has to the intel-
our defence aerospace industry. vide design consultancy for Indias troubled lectual property involved) for the transfer of
Lockheed made its pitch to the Indian gov- domestic fighter, the HAL-built Tejas light any US military technology on the plane.
But the Swedish manufacturer insists there
are no doubts or restrictions over technology
transfer. Saab owns and controls all Gripen
system software, and key mission systems
such as the AESA radar, infrared search and
track [sensor], datalinks and electronic warfare
system are not sourced from the US. Items that
are produced in the US, such as the engine,
have already been made available to India,
says a representative for its Asia-Pacific arm.

The relaxation of strict export controls and
the actual extent of technology transfer is an
area that Indian negotiators are likely to push
for. Another aspect that needs clarity is the ex-
tent to which the air force would be allowed
to integrate its choice of weapon systems on
the F-16 or Gripen.
Saab says that a fundamental element of
the Gripen design philosophy, and a key as-
pect of the new avionics architecture on the

E-model, was for easy and affordable weap-

Dassault has pledged to support Indias future fighter operations over a 50-year period ons integration. The Indian air force will be 31 January-6 February 2017 | Flight International | 27

Special report

able to integrate existing and future weap-

ons with Gripen quickly and at a manageable
cost this is not the case with most other
modern fighters, it says.
Meanwhile, Johnson is dubious about how
far Washington will go in allowing India to se-
lect its own weapons for the F-16. The US
government generally dislikes modifying US
military aircraft to carry any foreign weapon

The conditions and

contractual terms that we
have discussed for FGFA are
very beneficial for India
Suvarna Raju
Chairman, Hindustan Aeronautics

systems, and protects source code on our mil-

itary aircraft so other countries cant do the

integration themselves.
New Delhi also sees the joint development Saab is promoting the Gripen E for a competition to select new single-engined fighters
of the fifth-generation fighter aircraft (FGFA)
with Russia as another source of high-end and Russia. fleet in the 2030s and 2040s. India invested
know-how. The conditions and contractual terms that $265 million in the preliminary design phase,
With both MMRCA and FGFA, New Delhi we have discussed for FGFA are very benefi- which was completed in June 2013. The ne-
bargained hard for technology transfer and cial for India, says HAL chairman Suvarna gotiations for research and development con-
succeeded in extracting favourable conces- Raju. We are positive looking at the FGFA tracts continue, although it appears increas-
sions, but neither deal panned out as expect- and I am hopeful that we will have positive ingly likely that India will look to proceed
ed. This year will mark a decade since the movement in 2017. with a licensed production and technology
inking of the FFGA agreement between India The FGFA is seen as key to the air forces transfer model.

Mixed fortunes for Tejas as navy chief shuns carrier-based variant
Indias light combat aircraft (LCA) mance. Following this we will start er for the navys aircraft carriers. opment of the Mk1A, Mk2 and na-
fighter programme has had a long the detailed design activities, says The proposed timelines for the val Mk2 variants.
and chequered history. The pro- CD Balaji, programme director at AMCA and new navy fighter ap- Initial operational capability
cess from first flight of a technol- the Aeronautical Development pear optimistic, considering the (IOC) for the Tejas Mk1 was ob-
ogy demonstrator to service entry, Agency (ADA). We are targeting limited staff available to the ADA tained in December 2013. This is
in July 2016, took 15 years. The 2020-2021 as the date for maiden and the amount of work required the standard to which Hindustan
Tejas also received government flight on LCA Mk2, he confirms. to complete development of the Aeronautics (HAL) will build the first
approval last year for another 83 The ADA is also looking to have Tejas Mk1A and Mk2. 20 fighters. Three aircraft have al-
examples specified to the Mk1A the first flight of the advanced me- The main tasks for the LCA pro- ready been delivered to the air
standard, adding to 40 earlier or- dium combat aircraft (AMCA) pro- gramme are completion of final force and six more will follow this
ders for the Mk1 version. But the totype in 2025, and now plans to operational clearance (FOC) tasks year. All 20 in the IOC standard will
programme received a public re- develop a new twin-engined fight- for the Tejas Mk1, as well as devel- be handed over by the end of
buke recently, when new navy chief 2018, and the remaining 20 in the
Adm Sunil Lanba said the LCAs full operational capability (FOC)
naval version does not meet re- standard will follow by 2020. The
quirements, and that the service ramp-up in production is vital to
wants a new carrier-borne fighter meeting air force requirements.
by 2021-2022. To prepare for the increase in
The Tejas Mk1A will be the de- production rates for the Tejas, HAL
Aeronautical Development Agency

finitive version for the air force, to will invest 50% of the cost required
be followed by the reconfigured to raise capacity from eight aircraft
Mk2 and LCA navy Mk2 versions. per year to 16, while the air force
In the 2017 timeframe, we and navy will invest 25% each.
would like to do a reconfiguration If we can demonstrate the
of the aircraft to make it better in Mk1A standard by 2018 then all
terms of aerodynamic perfor- New Delhi has so far ordered 123 of the ADA-developed type aircraft produced after that will be

28 | Flight International | 31 January-6 February 2017


NC Agarwal, former director of design and now produced 188 Su-30MKIs in addition to per aircraft. To improve serviceability rates of
development at HAL, was part of an official In- the aircraft that were directly procured, and the the type which are below the 75% availabil-
dian delegation to see the first prototype. last example is slated for delivery in 2020. ity rate mandated for peacetime Raju says
You dont see much of a difference in the With the type now approaching two dec- HAL is now looking at a follow-on contract
internal structure between the Su-30 and ades in air force service, there appears to be for maintenance support.
FGFA, he says. The main difference is where increased momentum for a long-awaited up- We are in the last phase of technical dis-
the Su-30 makes use of a large amount of me- grade programme. cussions, following which commercial nego-
tallic structures, the FGFA makes use of com- Within the next three to six months there tiations will take place, and we are close to
posites in areas such as the wing. The FGFA, will be an official announcement that HAL concluding a contract, he says. HALs Nashik
however, uses a large proportion of titanium. will be the lead for the Su-30MKI upgrade, overhaul facility for the Su-30MKI completed
says Raju. work on two aircraft last year, and six others
REDUCED SCOPE If the upgrade goes forward, the fleet will will be delivered in 2017. The facility has the
New Delhi appears to have given up on some get new displays, avionics and an AESA capability to overhaul up to 15 Su-30MKIs per
of its ambitions for the type, namely the de- radar, with costs running at $12-20 million year.
velopment of an India-specific variant with
two seats. Bureaucratic wrangling on New
Delhis part curtailed Indian participation in
the programme at a time when Russia was
pushing steadily ahead with the Sukhoi T-50.
As the machinations in New Delhi continue
around new types, the Su-30MKI remains the
backbone of the air force, with an estimated 230
examples in service. Despite reliability issues,
the thrust-vectored multirole platform has pro-
vided quality and quantity to an ageing fleet.
The first orders were placed in November

DDP USA/REX/Shutterstock
1996, for eight Su-30K and 32 upgraded Su-
30MK multirole fighters. This was followed by
orders in December 1998, October 2000 and
December 2012 for the licensed production of
40, 140 and 42 Su-30MKIs, respectively, by
HAL at its Nashik facility. The company has Produced under licence by HAL since 1998, the Su-30MKI is the backbone of the service

33nm (62km), has also been of- enously-developed AESA radar on

fered for use on the Indian fighter. one of the LCA prototypes.
ADA officials tell FlightGlobal that Surprisingly, Indias underper-
MBDAs short-range Asraam is also forming Kaveri engine has got a
being considered for the aircraft. new lease of life and will be fitted
HAL has already worked to integrate on an LCA prototype by 2018. The
Aeronautical Development Agency

the European design along with a nations Defence Research and

helmet-mounted display for the air Development Organisation
forces DARIN III upgrade to the (DRDO) will get help on the trou-
Sepecat/HAL-built Jaguar, so no bled engine from Snecma, as part
challenges are expected in the inte- of its offset obligations for the
Reconfiguring the jet to boost performance will begin this year
gration of the weapon with the Tejas. Indian air forces order for 36
The Tejas Mk1A will also have a Dassault Rafales. The new effort to
to the Mk1A standard, including first- and second-line servicing. It new active electronically scanned review the Kaveri programme will
the 20 FOC aircraft, says HAL also covers the establishment of array (AESA) radar, an electronic cost about $89 million, according
chairman Suvarna Raju. ground infrastructure and engine warfare suite (comprising a digital to DRDO officials, who are optimis-
Manufacturing of the 83 Mk1A support and servicing facilities at radar warning receiver and pod- tic that a Kaveri-powered LCA pro-
aircraft will commence in 2020 and operating bases. housed jammer), and an in-flight totype will make its first flight in
continue until about 2025. ADA The Tejas Mk1A will deliver sub- refuelling probe. In December 2018-2019, once certification and
officials peg the unit cost of the stantially improved combat capa- 2016, HAL issued a request for safety-related aspects are resolved.
Tejas Mk1A at $40 million. New bility over preceding variants. It will quotation for the supply of an Approximately $313 million has
Delhis budgetary approval of $7.7 be able to carry Rafael Derby be- AESA radar for the Mk1A to Elta already been spent to design and
billion also includes the complete yond-visual-range and Vympel Systems, Raytheon, Saab, Thales develop a modern fighter-class
ecosystem for all 123 aircraft on R-73 short-range air-to-air missiles. and Russias Rosoboronexport engine under the Gas Turbine
order, support for the build-up of The Israeli companys new I-Derby, arms agency. The ADA says it is Research Establishments Kaveri
squadrons, and infrastructure for which has an advertised range of also planning to integrate an indig- programme. 31 January-6 February 2017 | Flight International | 29

Special report

Hindustan Aeronautics
HAL has proposed an avionics upgrade for the Hawk 132, including new displays and an indigenously developed mission computer

MkII, remain in service. The bulk of the Kiran
aircraft are expected to be retired towards the
end of 2019.
To meet its advanced training needs, New

Delhi placed orders for 123 Hawk 132s in two
batches. The first was for 66 aircraft: 24 ac-
quired as fly-aways from BAE and 42 manu-
factured under licence by HAL. A follow-on
order for 57 aircraft 40 for the air force and
17 for the navy was signed in 2010.
A third contract for 20 aircraft, for the air
With the oldest of its training assets dating back to the early forces Suryakiran aerobatic display team, has
yet to materialise, and the delay is likely to
1970s and ever-growing demand for new pilots, Indias air result in a gap in HALs Hawk production line
force is pursuing multiple ambitious development projects in Bengaluru.
In 2016, it emerged that in addition to the
20 display aircraft required, the procurement
MIKE RAJKUMAR BENGALURU training pattern consisting of basic, interme- of additional advanced trainers was being
diate and advanced phases. However, a short- considered by the Indian defence ministry.

espite its declining combat fleet, the fall in the availability of the obsolete Kiran Up to 30 could be ordered, to be built under
Indian air force still requires large and delays associated with the HJT-36 have licence by HAL.
numbers of trained pilots and tech- forced it to use the PC-7 MkII turboprop for
nical personnel, especially given both basic and intermediate training. A mix of HAWK UPGRADES
the ongoing acquisition of new fixed- and ro- the Swiss-built type and Kirans is now used HAL also continues to propose an upgrade for
tary-wing types. for the latter of these phases. the existing Hawk 132 fleet. The 100th Hawk
The air force operates three instructional Deliveries of the 75 PC-7 MkIIs signed for that has been built is now owned by HAL and
types: the Pilatus PC-7 MkII basic trainer, Hin- in May 2012 were completed in November we will install and test all the upgrades on
dustan Aeronautics (HAL) Kiran Mk1A and 2015. An additional 38 are to be procured, this aircraft, says chairman Suvarna Raju.
MkII intermediate jets, and BAE Systems and negotiations are under way between the At the Aero India show in 2015, HAL
Hawk advanced jet trainer. Two indigenous government, the air force and Pilatus. showcased a proposed display and avionics
types are in development and yet to enter ser- The Kiran intermediate jet trainer entered upgrade for the Hawk fleet, which would re-
vice: HALs Turbo Trainer 40 (HTT-40) and the service in 1973. While the oldest examples place the existing cockpit displays and add a
Hindustan Jet Trainer 36 (HJT-36) Sitara. are already being phased out, an estimated moving map. There is also a plan to install an
The service has traditionally stuck to a 140 of the type, including both the Mk1A and indigenously developed mission computer.

30 | Flight International | 31 January-6 February 2017

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with our Indian partners for
defense and growth
With an unrivalled record of proven cooperation
with Indias defense forces and industry, IAI has
become synonymous with innovation, reliability
and trustworthiness. Together with our Indian
partners we share the Make in India vision
in space, air, land and sea.
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Israel Pavilion
Hall A, Stand A1-1a
Special report

HAL is looking at a Combat Hawk or

Advanced Hawk in partnership with BAE.
In an email to FlightGlobal, the UK company
says: The development of an Advanced
Hawk demonstrator aircraft continues to pro-
gress. In terms of a new slatted wing, the
benefits it brings include the improved lift ca-
pacity and angle-of-attack capability as well
as a greater turn rate. It will also improve run-
way performance.
BAE is also looking at the potential use of a

large-area display for Indian Hawks. It is also
PC-7 MkII fleet is now used to deliver both basic and intermediate instruction
evaluating the UK Royal Air Forces Hawk T2
standard for other capabilities that would po-
tentially be useful for India. HAL already has a letter of intent for 70
HTT-40s the minimum number to be ac-
DEVELOPMENT PROGRESS quired for the project to be economically via-
A promising indigenously developed aircraft ble and it can now expect total orders for the
programme is emerging in the new HTT-40. type to exceed 120 units. Company officials

Hindustan Aeronautics
Despite air force resistance to an additional note that the model is being designed to have
basic trainer type, HAL began developmental the required performance to perform Stage II
work in 2013 with an investment of $30 mil- training, should the air force desire to use this.
Sitara programme could face the axe
lion to fund preliminary and detailed design,
and first flight took place in May 2016. Three EXPORT POTENTIAL
HTT-40 prototypes and two static-test exam- from the test crew, to further improve han- If all goes smoothly and the HTT-40 enters
ples will be built. dling qualities, and a pressurised fuel system service, the basic trainer is likely to receive
We have successfully demonstrated our has been successfully tested. export enquiries from countries friendly to
capability to design and test-fly a basic trainer The second prototype, PT-2, is expected to India. FlightGlobal understands that the air
in a short period, Raju says. The aircrafts debut within the next few months, and PT-3 is force chiefs of Bangladesh and Sri Lanka have
initial performance has exceeded our expecta- likely to take to the air in early 2018. It is now had a chance to see the prototype. An early
tions and we hope to complete developmen- undergoing weight reduction efforts to opti- introduction to the programme for such po-
tal work leading to certification within the mise the design by about 200kg (440lb). tential export customers could allow HAL to
envisaged timeline. One aspect being given highest priority by plan for their requirements.
the designers is the completion of stall/spin HALs other indigenous trainer develop-
The [HAL Sitara] requires a flight trials for the HTT-40. PT-1 will be fitted ment programme is the HJT-36 Sitara, al-
with an anti-spin parachute system before though this programme has been in a state of
major fix, as spin recovery such flight trials are undertaken. It is estimat- terminal decline for several years. Develop-
is yet to be demonstrated ed that approximately 100h of flight testing ment started in 1999 with a mandate for ini-
NC Agarwal will be required before the stall and spin char- tial operational clearance by 2004. But 17
Former director of design and development, acteristics will be approved. years later, final efforts are now under way to
Hindustan Aeronautics The HTT-40 programme has also earned revive the programme, after it was found dur-
the approval of defence minister Manohar ing flight testing that the aircraft had serious
The first HTT-40 prototype (PT-1) has al- Parrikar, who has made it clear that there will aerodynamic difficulties, resulting in unsatis-
ready been flown to an altitude of 15,000ft (its be no further import of basic trainers for the factory stall and spin characteristics.
service ceiling will be 25,000ft), attained a air force. With Stage II training now being HAL has made a major push to resolve the
speed of 220kt (410km/h) and demonstrated a handled by basic trainers, there has been an issue. The aircrafts stall performance has
glide ratio of 11:1. A few modifications have increase in the overall requirement for this been dealt with, but its poor spin qualities re-
already been instituted, based on feedback class, from 181 aircraft to 210. main. NC Agarwal, a former director of design
and development at HAL, says: Something is
wrong in the basic configuration of the air-
craft. The aircraft requires a major fix, as spin
recovery is yet to be demonstrated.
HAL is looking for a consultant to help
with the spin problem, after a possible ar-
rangement with BAE fell through. But if no
progress is made the programme could be
shut down before the end of 2017. No test
flights have taken place for almost a year, and
Deb Rana/Hindustan Aeronautics

even if solutions are found, it would take

18-24 months to complete certification-relat-
ed tasks. There would also be the costs related
to restarting the idle line at HALs Kanpur fa-
cility, which is thought to have produced six
HTT-40 test flights have been promising; the air force could acquire more than 120 units limited series production aircraft.

32 | Flight International | 31 January-6 February 2017


Hindustan Aeronautics
Hindustan Aeronautics light combat helicopter is one of five new types slated to enter air force operation by the end of this decade

Ready to attack
Modernising Indias helicopter fleet through acquisitions and upgrades will secure its rotary
credentials for the coming years, with indigenous projects increasingly key to the force mix

MIKE RAJKUMAR BENGALURU By 2020, the air force will have started in- sation of aircraft specifications. It also now
duction of five new rotorcraft types; the indig- appears that a new engine production facility

he Indian air force operates about enous HAL light combat helicopter (LCH) and will be required for the Ka-226Ts Safran Ar-
500 rotorcraft, predominantly Rus- light utility helicopter (LUH), Kamovs Ka- rius 2G1s, as HALs existing partnership with
sian Mil Mi-17 variants and a few 226T and Boeings AH-64E Apache and CH- the European company to produce TM333-
squadrons of older Mi-8s, in addition 47F(I) Chinook. In all, more than 500 new ro- 2B2 and Ardiden 1H1 Shakti engines in Ben-
to about a dozen Mi-25/35 attack helicopters. torcraft will be inducted into its fleet over the galuru is already at full capacity.
Incredibly, the air force and other services next 10 years. The LUH is a new 3t-class, single-engined
continue to operate substantial numbers of helicopter designed and developed by HAL to
obsolescent Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) LIGHT WORK meet the RSH requirement. Its maiden flight
Cheetah and Chetak helicopters; licence-built The Ka-226T Sergei light helicopter emerged
examples of the Arospatiale SA315B Lama as the winner in 2015 of a tortuous procure-
(Cheetah) and SA316 Alouette III (Chetak). ment process for a new reconnaissance and
Indias air force and army also operate an surveillance helicopter (RSH) that would re-
upgraded version of the Cheetah, called the place the outdated Cheetah and Chetak fleets,
Cheetal, which can operate at altitudes as and 200 have now been contracted for: 135 for
high as 23,000ft and is powered by a 1,100shp the army and 65 for the air force. Of those, 60
(820kW) Safran Helicopter Engines TM333- will be acquired in fly-away condition from
Hindustan Aeronautics

2M2 turboshaft. Russian Helicopters, and the rest produced

Both services still have about 280 Cheetahs under licence by HAL.
and Chetaks in use, although serviceability First delivery dates for examples produced
rates are thought to be poor and there are under licence are likely to slip because of de-
growing safety concerns. lays in setting up infrastructure and the finali- Versatile Mi-8/17-series provides vital lift 31 January-6 February 2017 | Flight International | 33

Special report

was performed in September 2016 and

developmental testing is under way. Dhruv deliveries for the air force and army will conclude in 2018 under current orders
Series production of the LUH is slated to
begin in 2018, at a new manufacturing facility
to be built at Tumkur, about 150km (90 miles)
from Bengaluru. A production run of 187
units has been approved.
The LUH is powered by an Ardiden-1U en-
gine developing 1,005shp. This was selected
in 2014 and engine certification is planned for
2018. The 1U is a derivative of the licence-
built Shakti.


Hindustan Aeronautics
The LUH, design and development of which
started in early 2009, has a maximum all-up-
weight of 3,150kg (6,940lb) and a range of
190nm (350km). It will carry six passengers
and two pilots.
Deliveries of HALs 5t-class Dhruv advanced Commenting on the completion of weap-
light helicopter (ALH) to the armed forces con- ons integration, which also requires the finali-
tinues and all 159 on order will be transferred sation of the armament load by the user, Raju
by 2018. However, additional orders are likely says: Instead of waiting for weapons integra-
to keep the production line running into the tion and declaration of initial operational ca-
2020s. HAL is building 24 examples per year, pability, which is specific to Indian services,
and Dhruv MkIII examples now being deliv- we went ahead and proved the basic platform
ered are available with an Israeli-built forward- at different altitudes and have completed hot
looking infrared sensor. and cold weather trials.
At present the most advanced variant is the Hindustan Aeronautics The two weapon stations on either side of
Dhruv MkIV weapon system integrated the LCH can carry anti-tank guided missiles,
(WSI), also known as the Rudra. HAL has rockets or air-to-air missiles. The Mistral
plans to develop a MkV version, which will ATAM launcher has already been integrated
be an update of the MkIII utility model, with Armed Rudra is most advanced ALH model on the Rudra and successful test firings have
improvements to the main gearbox, enhanced been carried out, says European producer
avionics and better aerodynamics. procured 139 of the new Mi-17V-5 model, MBDA. Integration on the LCH is under way
Another aspect that has emerged with the worth $2.4 billion across two batches ordered and progressing as per schedule.
indigenous helicopters such as Dhruv, Rudra in 2008 and 2012, for 80 and 59 examples, re- Armed with a Nexter THL20 gun, the LCH
spectively. Deliveries were completed in Sep- is also fitted with a slewable electro-optical
We have declared the LCH tember 2015 and the air force is expected to fi- sighting system, helmet-mounted cueing sys-
nalise a deal for an additional 48 helicopters, tem, radar/laser missile warners and a coun-
ready for induction depending worth just over $1 billion, this year. termeasures dispensing system.
on the weapons selection A mid-life upgrade for 90 Mi-17-series heli- Meanwhile, the air force will receive its first
Suvarna Raju copters has also been proposed by the air force. US-produced rotorcraft in nearly 70 years
Chairman, Hindustan Aeronautics The first Mi-8s were inducted between when it inducts its Apaches and Chinooks from
1971 and 1980, and a few more were added 2019. In the late 1950s and early 1960s the ser-
between 1981 and 1990. The Mi-17s entered vice received small numbers of the Bell 47G.
and LCH is that the Indian armed forces have service from 1984 to 1989 and Mi-17-1Vs be- Deliveries of the first examples of 22 AH-
now firmly incorporated simulators into their tween 2000 and 2003. 64Es and 15 CH-47F(I)s are scheduled for July
training philosophies. 2019 and March 2019, respectively; more
Simulator training is now being undertaken ATTACK FOOTING than a decade after the so-called acceptance of
by all military and paramilitary users of Dhruv. The LCH is a tandem-seat type being designed necessity for the acquisitions was approved
We are planning to induct the Rudra WSI to stringent air force and army requirements by the defence ministry.
cockpit for training in 2018 and we will be for a high-altitude attack helicopter, and Contracts for both types were concluded in
bidding for the LCH and LUH simulators, makes extensive use of the experience gained September 2015, with the Apaches being ac-
says Wg Cdr (retired) Krishna, chief executive from the Dhruv MkIII and MkIV variants. quired via the US governments Foreign Mili-
of the Helicopter Academy to Train by Simu- We have proved the basic airframe and we tary Sales (FMS) mechanism and the Chi-
lation of Flying (HATSOFF), a joint venture already have the experience of weapons inte- nooks under a direct commercial sale.
between HAL and CAE. In the 2016 fiscal year gration which we performed on the Rudra, The air force still operates two squadrons of
the Dhruv (conventional) Level D simulator at says HAL chairman Suvarna Raju. Now we ageing Mi-24/35 attack helicopters, to be re-
HATSOFF was used for 2,200h. have declared that the LCH is ready for induc- tired by the end of the decade and replaced by
The air forces medium helicopter fleet con- tion depending on the weapons selection by Apaches. The Chinooks will succeed Mi-26
sists solely of the rugged Mi-8/17 series, which the individual customer. The LCH has been heavy-lift helicopters, only a handful of which
has proven highly successful in its service and designed to operate at 10,000-12,000ft with an were inducted from 1985. Only one example of
continues to garner orders. The service has armaments load on its stub wing. the type is known to be operational.

34 | Flight International | 31 January-6 February 2017


From yuckspeak to tales of yore, send your offcuts to

Caledonian skirl

Aviation in future
as BCAL is back Flying has become easy
Remember the Caledonian Girls, and comparatively safe, and
the fabled cabin crew from therefore
British Caledonians Beach everyone who
Boys-inspired TV ads from the can should take
early 1980s? it up, in peace
Ten of them were back at time, as a means of travel
Biggin Hill in January in and of recreation.
original tartan uniforms and
accompanied by rousing War in the air
bagpipes for an event in The Japanese are sailing
support of two charities that was freely about the western
attended by around 100 former side of the Strait
staffers including former BCAL of Malacca,
boss Alastair Pugh. landing troops at
A Piper Archer, painted in the their will on the
carriers former colours, was Tartan as they mean to go on: Caledonian Girls, Pugh and Bay of Bengal side of
named Julie the spirit of BCAL, Washington unveil the Piper Archer at Biggin Hill Malaya and in the
in memory of former airline Philippines, besides
colleague Julie Washington, despatching carriers to New
who died of cancer last year
after receiving care at the Phyllis
teenage boy driver on your
finance statement. He may
Gone beyond Guinea. More air squadrons
have reached the defenders
Tuckwell Hospice in Farnham. behave for a while, but he could the Moon of Malaya, and a vigorous
The Piper (bagpipes, still take out the neighbours The death of Gene Cernan at air offensive against the
Scotland, geddit?) will raise mailbox. Youve got to have the age of 82 has brought back Japanese has begun.
funds for the hospice as well as some insurance for that. fond memories of encounters
The Golden Lion Childrens between Budgie staffers and Gaining thrust
Trust, formed by BCAL the Last Man on the Moon over Pratt & Whitney has run its
employees in the early 1970s to Vintage whine the years. JT9D turbofan engine for
provide support for disadvan- Nothing made us feel our age The commander of Apollo 17 the first time.
taged kids. The aircraft was more this week than a press NASAs final manned lunar The engine,
funded in memory of his late release from an aircraft leasing mission in 1972 and the which will power
wife by Robin Washington, and and trading company announcing second American to walk in the Boeing 747,
engineered by Biggin-based its disposal of two vintage space was an enthusiastic reached a thrust of some
Falcon Flying Services. aircraft a 1997 Airbus A320 and supporter of business aviation. 25,000lb during the first
a Boeing 737 from 1998. He served as the public face of exploratory run, which was
Bombardiers Safety Standown, smooth and satisfactory
Boy racer held in partnership with according to the company.
We loved Southwest Airlines Numbers game industry body NBAA, and was a
finance chief Chris Monroes Nice touch by Airbus. The latest convention regular. Bombardier buy
colourful metaphor to justify A350-1000 flight-test aircraft Cernan was a pleasure to The de Havilland Aircraft
fuel hedging, at the Airline and the first with representative interview: insightful, modest division of Boeing Canada is
Finance shindig in Dublin. cabin fitted MSN65 has the and courteous, as illustrated in a being sold to
Fuel prices are like having a F-W registration LXV. video from the NBAA show in Bombardier of
2010 when he spoke to our Montreal,
former staffer Mary Runway Quebec, and the
Girl Kirby about business jets Ontario provincial
and returning to the Moon (left). government. Under the sales
Check it out on YouTube http:// agreement, Bombardier will contribute C$51 million (then
The one time we recall his $45 million) in equity, and the
charm slipping was when a province of Ontario will
journalist at the Singapore air contribute C$49 million.
show asked him whether the
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Were sure it wasnt the first Every issue of Flight
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conspiracy theory, but he was
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42 | Flight International | 31 January-6 February 2017



Focused on the power of Synergy

Building on successful roles in the UK and the Middle East, Dave Edwards joined former colleagues at
rapidly-growing Synergy Aviation, with the aim of transforming business aircraft management services

What triggered your interest in ent base, and that involves a sig-
aviation? nificant amount of time in
A family holiday in 1982 on a London and travelling around
Britannia Airways Boeing 737 Europe. Aside from that, were
from London Luton to Faro, Por- spending a lot of time on proce-
tugal marked my first flight. From dures and policies to shape the
the moment we took off I was business for further growth and
hooked and its been in my blood also ensuring we have a pipeline
ever since. After that I was lucky of talent ready to go.
that my childhood was spent liv- What do you like most about
ing close to Welshpool airfield, your job?
which gave me the opportunity At the heart of it, like most peo-
to work for my private pilot li- ple in aviation, were all a little
cence, which I received just after geeky and so the fact that I get
my 17th birthday. I still credit the to combine my interests and my
late Bob Jones, who developed working life is obviously pretty
the airport from nothing, with special. Im also back working

Synergy Aviation
being the catalyst for where my with some great friends which
careers taken me. makes life far more entertaining.
Tell us about your career to date What challenges do you face?
After university in Plymouth I Edwards experience includes earlier stints at Gama and with Qatar The world is waiting to see what
moved to London Luton and falls out from a Trump presiden-
London Heathrow in business What have been the highlights? market can go and that smaller cy and the Brexit negotiations.
aircraft handling. In 1998, my 15- Being part of the senior manage- companies have to disappear; Both are causing uncertainty
year career with Gama Aviation ment team growing a company however, the cynic in me cant which impacts business aircraft
started, ending in being the from five aircraft to over 100 is help noticing the link between use. Obviously the scaling back
group general manager and man- something Im very proud of. consolidation and retirement. of deliveries by most of the major
aging director for the Middle East Starting up a business jet opera- We firmly believe that focused, manufacturers is indicative of
and Asia. I was then approached tion successfully in the Middle bespoke aircraft management is where new aircraft sales are cur-
to join Qatar Airways as execu- East in the largest global reces- what the owners of business jets rently sitting, but I think its im-
tive vice-president, heading their sion also features highly. Now are really looking for. Our aim is portant we focus on the positives
business aviation division. After seeing Synergy Aviation begin to to get the fleet to around 15 larger- and dont forget there is still a
eight years in the Middle East a shape itself for future growth and cabin aircraft over the next two huge market out there and busi-
bit more than my original plan of developing our service offering is years and provide a focused ser- ness aircraft usage continues to
six months I came back home hugely rewarding for us all. If I vice which is director-managed steadily increase. n
to the UK to join Synergy Avia- have to choose one thing, even if and led, so that owners have di- Looking for a job in aerospace?
tion with some former colleagues it does sound a bit of a clich, its rect access to. Its not revolution- Check out our listings online at
and friends to develop an aircraft following the careers of people ary, but it is taking the industry
management and charter compa- Ive hired along the way as back to a time when aircraft man-
ny with a fresh approach to the theyve developed. agement was about the aircraft If you would like to feature in
companies wed worked with in How does a relatively small owner and not a numbers game. Working Week, or you know
the past. Im also on the board of player like Synergy attract and Tell us about your typical week someone who does, email
Web Manuals, a Swedish cloud- retain customers? At the moment Im spending your pitch to kate.sarsfield@
service provider setting the There is so much talk of consoli- most of my time on business de-
standard for digitising manuals. dation being the only way the velopment and growing our cli-

Flight to the future: our forecast for

IN ASSOCIATION WITH long-haul air travel in the 2030s
airbus v3.indd 1 24/06/2016 15:12 31 January-6 February 2017 | Flight International | 43