Although the Middle East is currently in the midst of an economic slowdown due to lower oil prices, business jets are still receiving high levels of interest.   French aircraft manufacturer Dassault Aviation is a key example of continued growth in the region, and they were one of them largest attendees at the recent Abu Dhabi Air Expo. The company reported that they have continued to receive orders for many of their aircraft lines, and interest has been especially strong for their 7X business jet. Nearly of 300 Falcon 7X aircraft have been produced in the last decade alone.

Dassault’s regional Middle Eastern fleet contains Falcon aircraft from past and present including the aforementioned 7X, the Falcon 900LX, the Falcon 5X, and the Falcon 2000S/LXS. This fleet will soon be joined by the all new Falcon 8X, as Dassualt is looking to roll out its first commercially available 8X by Q3 of this year.

Despite steady growth within the business jet sector, industry insiders are being more cautious on their outlook for helicopter sales. Helicopter production giant Honeywell has decreased it sales forecasts for over the next 5 years by nearly 400 units.

"The current global economic situation is causing fleet managers to evaluate new helicopter purchases closely, and that's why we're seeing a more cautious five-year demand projection compared with previous years,"

said Carey Smith, president, Defense and Space at Honeywell Aerospace.

All in all, the aerospace industry is still experiencing tremendous growth within the Middle East, and this trend will likely continue in the years to come.

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Airlines in the United States saw record breaking numbers in 2015 for passenger traffic, setting new marks across the board.

Last year, all the nation’s airlines combined carried a total of 798.4 million passengers. That’s the equivalent of every single citizen in the United States flying more than twice, on average. Paying passengers traveled a combined 902.4 billion miles. To put that number into perspective, the distance between the Sun and Pluto is 3.67 billion miles. Unfortunately, this number does not include unknown stowaways hiding in the wheel wells. Planes were as full as they have ever been, with the average capacity at 83.8% percent.

The national air carriers are reaping the profits of this huge increase. Fuel costs have dropped considerably in recent times, making it cheaper to operate. The record for average capacity for airplanes also show they are maximizing profits for every flight out.

Mergers and acquisitions have seen four carries control almost three-quarters of all domestic travel (American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Southwest Airlines, and United Airlines). Ever since the national financial crisis in 2007, air travel has been steadily climbing back up. The top ten air carries reported a pre-tax earnings of over $23 billion, with a profit margin increase of 8.6%

The previous records for each category were as follows:
  • Total number of passengers: 769.6 million, set in 2007
  • Percentage of filled seats (also known as load factor): 83.4%, set in 2014
  • Miles traveled per each paying customer: 862.5 billion, set in 2014

These numbers look to be on the rise every year, and seem to be getting broken faster than three point scoring records in the NBA. It will be interesting to see if 2016 will yield even greater numbers for US transportation.

All statistics provided are courtesy of data that the United States Department of Transportation released on Thursday.

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Airbus has delivered its first A250-900 to National Carrier Singapore Airlines (SIA)from their Delivery Centre in Toulouse on Wednesday. Among the highlighted features of the new A350-900 are the improvements to the traveling experience regarding larger windows and raised ceilings and reduced jet lag due lighting upgrades along with an extra wide body for more creature comforts.

With close to 70 units ordered from Airbus the A350s will be feature 253 seats with 187 seats in their Economy Class, 24 in their Premium Economy Class and finally 42 in their Business Class, National carrier Singapore Airlines (SIA) has ordered more of the A350s than any other airlines. The plan for the aircraft will be for crew training purposes within Asia initially and will then expand to long-haul services to Amsterdam starting May 9th. A follow-up launch to and from Singapore to Dusseldorft as well as other locations are currently in the works and tentatively set for July.

The A350-900ULR which is the ultra-long range variant of the A350 will launch in 2018 and be added to SIA’s fleet to feature the world’s longest non-stop flights to and from Singapore to New York and Los Angeles with a third destination in the United States yet to be disclosed.  CEO of Singapore Airlines Goh Choon Phong calls the new A350-900 a game changer and believes that the capabilities for SIA to schedule more flights to long-haul destinations on a non-stop basis will rocket the company into the stratosphere. These developments are all part of National carrier Singapore Airlines (SIA)’s plans to modernize their fleet and revamp their business model allowing for greater efficiency and profit maximization.

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Austrian based aviation company Diamond Aircraft has recently acquired an FAA certification to fly its DA62 twin-piston in the United States, and this new approval comes just months after the DA62 was also cleared to fly in European markets. Diamond has been hard at work attempting to access additional foreign markets for nearly four years, and these latest developments will likely spur an upswing business development.

Diamond had anticipated gaining FAA clearance, and they have already developed and tested a DA62 variant made specifically for the US market. Although DA62s are nearly identical across different markets, the US DA62 will be able to carry slightly more than its European counterpart. The US variant DA62 will increase the number of seats from five to seven, and the MTOW (maximum take-off weight) will be increased from 2,000 kg to 2,300 kg respectively. The aircraft will be powered by two Austro Engines AE330s, which are each capable of reaching nearly 200 hp.  Each air craft will be fully manufactured at Diamond’s own facility in Wiener Neustadt Austria, but all North American sales will flow through one of Diamond’s sister companies in Canada.

Diamond actually manufactures eight different diesel fueled glider models, with the DA62 being the largest of the bunch. The company aims to pit the DA62 against longtime industry giants Cessna and Beechcraft, and they hope the air craft will appeal to both the corporate and commercial markets as an alternative to the status.

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Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation, the business jet aircraft manufacturer which is a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics, has recently announced that their fourth Gulfstream G500 test aircraft (referred to as T4) has officially joined the G500 test-flight program and has completed its initial flight. Gulfstream’s G500 test aircraft took off at 9:47 a.m. on Saturday, February 20, 2016 at the Savannah-Hilton Head International Airport. The aircraft was piloted by Brian Dickerson and Eric Holmberg, while flight test engineers, Mark Mondt and Dominic Pompeo, provided on-board data and test analysis.

“The first flight of T4 speaks to the growing maturity of the G500 flight-test program and the significant development we completed before we even launched flight test in May 2015,”

said the president of Gulfstream, Mark Burns.

“To have four first flights and more than 580 flight hours in just nine months is quite an accomplishment.”

During the first test flight, the aircraft reached a maximum airspeed of 340 KCAS/Mach 0.925 and climbed to a maximum altitude of 15,545 meters, or 51,000 feet. The flight lasted 3 hours and 17 minutes and landed back at the Savannah-Hilton Head International Airport at 1:04 p.m. local time. The flight crew exercised all of the primary flight control systems, went through a series of engine performance measures, and carried out functional checks of cabin pressurization and air data systems.

“The collaboration between Product Support and Flight Test throughout the G500 certification process will ultimately enhance the support available to operators when the aircraft enters service,” said Burns. “This dedicated service team reflects Gulfstream’s commitment to continuous improvement and ensures we deliver on our promises to customers.”

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Qatar Airways used Pratt & Whitney engines for their Airbus fleet however Qatar Airways mentioned that they were experiencing a high number of engine related problems. This is not the only case that Pratt & Whitney has been dealing with. Gulf airline also ordered over 45 Airbus aircrafts. These Airbus aircrafts are the A430neo with the Pratt & Whitney engine which was supposed be expecting to be delivered near the end of the year however, Gulf airline rejected these aircrafts once they got word about the engine problems. Instead, the first of these jets was handed over to Lufthansa last month.

Qatar Airways Chief Executive Akbar Al Baker, has a record of being very critical of manufactures at air shows.

During the Singapore Airshow, Baker expressed his concerns for the A320neo. There are a lot of things wrong with A320neo, with the aircraft engines. So we have refused to accept those airplanes. Baker was quick to clear Airbus’ name. Let me be very clear: it is not the fault of Airbus. Airbus has delivered all their part, and as you know, no airplane can fly without an engine and they have huge issues with the engine. Baker goes and elaborates a little further into the problem. I don't want to get into the detail but Qatar Airways will not accept an aircraft with those engines unless they are very much corrected. Otherwise we have no alternative but to look at an alternate engine supply.

According an interview with Reuters, Pratt & Whitney President Bob Leduc mentioned that there were problems that affected the engine’s start up time which also led to faulty software messages. Leduc is working quickly to resolve this matter..

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Pratt & Whitney have announced that they will be using a Singapore Airshow to demonstrate its commitment to using Singapore as the base for future manufacturing works. The company plans to build the fan blades and turbine disks for their GTF (geared-turbine fan) engine with the first fan blade having been manufactured and assembled right there in Singapore earlier in the fiscal year.

Because the fan is made of an extremely light metal alloy it makes machining the fan blade very difficult, Kevin Kirkpatrick the P&W Director of Aftermarket Operations in Singapore reveals. So difficult that the GTF fan blade is only manufactured in two places in the entire world, one of which is Singapore and the other is Michigan. Kirkpatrick expects the volume of work will increase dramatically in the engine shops in Singapore due to the upcoming introduction of the GTF. Kirkpatrick believes that the GTF is responsible for bringing so many new types of aircrafts to the forefront with Bombardier being the first.

Since then many giants within the industry have followed suit, most notably: Airbus with their A32oneo, Embraer with the E2, Mitsubishi with their Regional Jet and of course Boeing with their 737. Kirkpatrick also praises United Technologies Corp. for their foresight to invest so heavily in the GTF. With the money invested in the R&D UTC has turned the GTF fan blades into a hugely lucrative venture. But that’s not all that P&W has their hands in the honey jar for, the company is working actively to develop new repair techniques to achieve more automation. By using advanced technology in robotics and drones, P&W is eschewing the traditional route of recruiting maintenance technicians and working towards total automation in regards to repair policies and procedures.

One of the shining examples of how the new repair technology is revolutionizing the repair industry can be seen in a machine that measures the correct curvature of engine tubes. Jet engines are notoriously hard to measure as each jet engine would have a different machine needed to measure it due to the varying shapes and sizes. On top of that the measuring would be extremely labor intensive and shockingly costly because a team of laborers would have to set up the individual machines, put it away and not to mention the cost of just storing those machines. Kirkpatrick says P&W have solved that conundrum by developing a single machine that can measure every shape and size of tubes with the utmost accuracy.

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Aerolease Aviation, a privately owned aircraft leasing company which specializes in converting and leasing used aircrafts, has recently announced in collaboration with Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation that the two companies have signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) to place an order for ten firm MRJ90 aircrafts, with the option for an additional ten MRJ90 aircrafts. Under this Letter of Intent, both companies will be working together in order to conclude a definitive agreement in the foreseeable future.

The Letter of Intent states that Aerolease will possess the asset value of the Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ), as deliveries to Aerolease are anticipated to commence in 2018. Aerolease Aviation holds the first order of this brand new aircraft and hopes to explore a new market of the Mitsubishi Regional Jet.

The accumulated experiences in aircraft manufacturing and strong financial background of the Mitsubishi group are great value to us. Moreover, we are extremely impressed with the MRJ’s state-of-the-art aerodynamic design, Pratt & Whitney’s game-changing GTF engine and the state of the art avionics suite from Rockwell Collins, which will make the MRJ the superior aircraft to its competitors,” said Jep Thornton, an executive at Aerolease Aviation. “These factors encouraged us to move forward to select the MRJ for our portfolio. Aerolease is committed to cooperate with Mitsubishi Aircraft as an MRJ partner to promote MRJ in regional jet market and to expand its global customer base.” “This launch lessor order from Aerolease has a significant importance for the MRJ program,” said the President of Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation, Hiromichi Morimoto. “We recognize the significantly important role which aircraft lessors have been playing in the aviation industry. We are proud to add a lessor partner to our order book at this very early stage of the MRJ program. We firmly believe that the asset value of the MRJ has been recognized in the aircraft finance market. This LOI will not only bring a positive impact on the lessor community, but will also contribute to expanding our airline customer base.

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Tech giant Samsung has just announced that it expects 2016 to be an especially weak year for the chip industry due anemic global economic conditions and fierce competition between competitors.  This announcement also comes in the wake of a speech recently made by Samsung CEO Kwon Oh-hyun in which he warned of low growth projections over the coming year. Although financial specifics were not mentioned during the speech, Oh-hyan told employees and investors that earnings for Q4 2015 will be lower than expected due to the aforementioned global economic instability as well as low seasonal demand for components.

Those following the semiconductor industry expected slower growth in 2015, but not to such a large extent.

Negative impact from weak demand and falling sales prices for semiconductor and liquid crystal display industries was likely bigger than initially anticipated," brokerage Korea Investment said in a report issued separately on Monday.

As new products and companies continue to enter the smartphone industry, chip makers have come under even more stress to provide cheap and efficient semiconductors. These companies continue to undercut one another to win contracts, profit margins decreases and it becomes increasingly more difficult to stay afloat.  As a result, the chip industry has seen an immense number of mergers and acquisitions over the years.  Increasing economies of scale has become one of the few ways for chip makers to maintain competitive.

In fact, Samsung is even rumored to be in competition with TSMC to provide Apple with chips for the next iPhone iteration. If TSMC were to win this contract, it would be a massive blow to Samsung’s Electronics Arm.  Chips have become an essential part of daily, and instances such as this will become even more common place as chip makers battle for clients and prominence.

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Adams Communication and Engineering Technologies has called upon Erickson to assist the United States Navy in refurbishing two Sikorsky MH-53E helicopters.

Under the contract, Erickson will repair the Sea Dragons back into service. They were chosen by the US Navy based on their extensive experience with large Sikorsky-made helicopters, plus their manufacturing capabilities.

Both helicopters are used as part of the Navy’s Heavy Lift Helicopter Program. Their repair schedule is one base year, with another optional year. This is one of the biggest helicopters currently used by the US Navy, so the repair process will see many phases before they are fully operational.

This contract is a depot-level maintenance event, which is significant because it marks the first time the US Navy has given out a contract of this type to a commercial contractor.

Officials at Erickson were delighted to show their support for the armed forces by teaming up with the Navy. The chopper is crucial to their efforts, as it is used to complete important defense missions with many lives at risk.

“Erickson is pleased to partner with ACET in support of this project,” said Jeff Roberts, President and CEO of Erickson. “We take great pride in assisting the U.S. Navy to enhance their fleet capabilities.”

The company is very familiar with this type of rotorcraft. The drawings and specification systems used for the S64 – which Erickson manufactures – is very closely related to the S65 family, which the MH-53E falls under. Both designs were created during the same time period, so it’s an easy transition for those familiar with either.

The repairs will begin within the next few weeks at Erickson’s Medford, OR facilities. The expansive hangar is located near Rogue Valley International Airport, and is famous for its support of aircraft operations around the world.

Via our proprietary website ASAP-Distribution, ASAP Semiconductor is a leading supplier of Erickson aircraft parts. Prospective customers can browse our inclusive inventory of hard-to-find obsolete and current parts at ASAP-Distribution. If you are interested in a part, please feel free to contact our knowledgeable sales staff at  or call us toll free at +1(702)-919-1616 for a quote.

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