Tag Archives: PAS15

EVA Air finalizes 777 freighter order

EVA Air and Boeing have finalized an order for five 777 Freighters. The order, valued at more than $1.5 billion at list prices, will represent the first 777 freighters to join EVA Air’s fleet, and the first to be delivered to a Taiwanese airline. Boeing first announced EVA Air’s intent to order triple seven cargo aircraft at the Paris Air Show last month.

EVA Air currently operates more than 35 Boeing airplanes, including 20 777-300ERs. With 13 additional 777-300ERs on order – both direct purchased and leased – EVA will become one of the largest 777 operators in the world. The carrier plans to grow its operational twin-aisle fleet to more than 60 airplanes by the end of 2025.

“We are pleased to be the first airline in Taiwan to introduce Boeing 777 freighters,” EVA President Austin Cheng said in his remarks. “EVA participated in development of the Boeing 777-300ER and became a launch customer. We now fly 21 Boeing 777-300ERs and have 13 more on order. We have made the right choice as our experience with this aircraft’s advanced technology and excellent performance indicates what we can expect from the Boeing 777 freighters. These freighters will be the backbone of our air cargo service for the next decade.”

According to the Boeing World Air Cargo Forecast, global air freight traffic is forecast to grow at an annual rate of 4.7 percent, doubling the cargo traffic over the next 20 years.

Source: Boeing
Featured image: Computer rendering of Boeing 777 in Eva Air livery (Image © Boeing)

Twin Otter scores big time in China

Viking Air, the manufacturer of the legendary Twin Otter aircraft, has made a very nice deal with the Reignwood Aviation Group. Confirmed during the Paris Air Show 2015, the Beijing-based group has signed a purchase commitment for up to 50 Viking Air Series 400 Twin Otter, shortly after the Civil Aviation Administration of China gave the aircraft its Type Certification.

Already starting in the last months of this year, the first two Series 400 will arrive in China – configured in regional commuter landplane and amphibious floats.

In the coming weeks, Viking and Reignwood will also be working to determine a suitable location for the development of a factory endorsed completion and service center (FECSC). The FECSC will see aircraft manufactured at Viking’s Canadian factories destined for the Chinese market undergo customer completion and customization in-country.

David Curtis commented, “Reignwood’s world-class reputation and depth of experience in the aviation sector will give the Series 400 Twin Otter immediate traction in the Chinese market, which is anticipated to reach 500 aircraft over 20 years.” He added, “This strategic partnership will allow Viking to tap into this extensive market potential, where the seaplane segment in particular is expected to expand rapidly over the next ten years.”

The Series 400 Twin Otter has been sold and delivered to customers in 26 countries worldwide. Designed and build first by De Havilland as the DHC-6, Viking Air took over the small airplanes of this company with Bombardier absorbing the DHC-7 Dash and turning it into the current Q400 series.

Series 400 of the Twin Otter has new Pratt & Whitney PT6A-34 engines, a Honeywell Primus Apex digital avionics suite, internal and external LED lighting, and approximately 800 other modifications incorporated to improve upon the original production model. It is available with standard land gear, optional straight or amphibious floats, skis, wheel skis, or intermediate flotation gear (“IFG”).

Source: Viking Air, with additional reporting by Airheadsfly.com editor Marcel Burger
Featured image: A Twin Otter taking off from a gravel airstrip near Sila Lodge at Wager Bay in Ukkusiksalik National Park, Nunavut, Canada back in July 1996 (Image (CC) Ansgar Walk)

The M-346 turns aggressive

The Italian Air Force is currently testing the capabilities of the new Alenia Aermacchi M-346 (called T-346 in Italian service) in the aggressor role. The aircraft performs Dissimilar Air Combat Training (DACT) missions with Eurofighter Typhoons at Grosseto Air Base. Meanwhile, Alenia Aermacchi’s training solutions start to attract more and more foreign interest.

The tests are aimed at proving that the M-346 is a worthy opponent and substitute for the Eurofighter Typhoon, but also at proving that both aircraft can work together seamlessly. According to Alenia Aermacchi, which also builds Typhoons for the Italian Air Force, the two aircraft are perfectly interoperable: thanks to its data-link system, the M-346 is able to operate in Beyond Visual Range (BVR) missions, while the Typhoon uses its own FPR-14 Autonomous Air-Combat Manoeuvring Instrumentation (AACMI) pod to simulate air-to-air “radar-to-radar” missions.

Starting next August the students of the Italian Air Force who are to fly on combat aircraft will accomplish their final training phase IV on the new M-346 – the last step before they switch to the Eurofighter. The M-346 is a huge step up from the MB-339 used so far. Once the fly the Typhoon, pilots are able to fly DACT missions against the highly manoeuvrable M-346.

Alenia Aermacchi has always stated the M-346 is ideal in providing valuable training to frontline fighter pilots, while saving very costly flying hours for types such as the Typhoon and F-35. The Royal Netherlands Air Force has taking an interest in the M-346 for exactly that. A Dutch delegation visited the M-346 production facility in Venegono very recently.

In Venegono, the production process for the first of eight M-346s for Poland has started. Italy, Singapore and Israel already use the type. Noteworthy is the visit of two M-346s to a recent airshow at the French training air base in Tours.

At the Paris Air Show, France was reportedly also interested in the M-345 High Efficiency Trainer (HET). A large French delegation was seen getting all the ins and outs about this basic jet trainer. France is looking for a replacement for its current Alpha Jet trainers.

© 2015 Airheadsfly.com editor Elmer van Hest
Featured image (top): The sun is rising for Alenia Aermacchi and its M-346 lead-in fighter trainer. (Image © Alenia Aermacchi)

Russia to militarize the brand-new MS-21 airliner

Russia is to militarize the brand-new MS-21 (MC-21 in Russian) airliner under development with Irkut as lead, sources in Moscow and at the Paris Air Show (PAS15) have confirmed. Like with the Boeing 737 turned into the P-8 Poseidon maritime patrol and airborne surveillance platform, the Russian military is reportedly keen to do the same thing with the new flagship civilian airliner.

The Russian Ministry of Defence is or will soon order 30 to 45 MS-21. They are to start replacing its aging Tupolev Tu-134 and Tu-154 aircraft serving as VIP/transport aircraft. The Tupolevs also provide specializations. The UBL version, for example, flies as a bomber trainer operating from Tambov Airbase with as many as 30 believed to be operational. The Russian Air Force reportedly still has 9 Tu-134s and 17 Tu-154s operational for passenger duties.

With the first MS-21 being assembled since April 2015, Irkut is already focusing on getting more orders by adding military configurations to the Magistralny Samolyot 21 (MS-21 or “Carbon Fibre” plane).

As a civilian airliner the MS-21 might snoop up future orders from f.ex. Aeroflot that would otherwise go to Boeing or Airbus.

© 2015 Airheadsfly.com editor Marcel Burger
Featured image: Computer rendering of the Irkut MC-21 / MS-21 (Image © United Aircraft Corporation)

Recap: defense orders at Paris Air Show

UPDATED 19 June | As always its the orders for airliners that fight for attention at the Paris Air Show, but on the military side, things are happening as well. Most interesting little fact was the apparent first export order – announced on Monday – for the Pakistan-made JF-17 Thunder, although no country was mentioned. Let’s not be surprised however when it turns out to be Myanmar.

Pakistan Air Force officials only described the country that soon may add the JF-17 to its military inventory, as ‘Asian’. The same officials reported that current turmoil in the Middle East has slowed down export talks. The JF-17’s development meanwhile continues, with a possible two seat version on the way.

On the slower spectrum, Mali and Ghana agreed to buy six and five A-29 Super Tucano light attack aircraft respectively, while Saudi Arabia signed for four Airbus C295W medium transport and patrol aircraft. Perhaps the most prominent deal was the purchase of four Boeing C-17s for the Qatar Emiri Air Force.

As far as helicopters are concerned, Malaysia placed an order with Airbus Helicopters for two AS365 Dauphins for SAR duties.

Unnoticed by many was the first sale for Aero Vodochody of its new L-39NG aircraft. More on that is here.

Dassault’s Rafale was the most numerous aircraft. Three Rafales were on the ground, while a fourth gave a flying display. In the trade halls, models of Rafales in the colours of Qatar, India and Egypt were seen. Given the recent orders from those countries, further Rafale sales are unlikely.

Also in the halls, Alenia Aermacchi was pitching its M-345 jet trainer. France is reportedly interested in this trainer aircraft. Elsewhere, Antonov was pitching its new An178 transporter. The Ukrainian company also announced the An188, a military transport aircraft in the A400M and Boeing C-17 category, powered by four turbofan engines.

© 2015 Airheadsfly.com editor Elmer van Hest
Featured image (top): Caught by its tail: a Black Panther’s JF-17 from Pakistan. (Image © Dennis Spronk)