Aviation News Releases – Monday, August 23, 2010

A Mexican consortium, aided by a private equity firm, has stepped up to buy a controlling stake in troubled airline Mexicana after financial woes pushed the carrier to the brink of collapse …

Top Stories

Top Stories


WhiteKnightTwo Damaged In Mojave Gear Collapse
By Guy Norris guy_norris@aviationweek.comLOS ANGELES The Virgin Galactic WhiteKnightTwo (WK2) mothership was damaged Aug. 19 when its left main landing gear collapsed on the runway at Mojave, Calif. Fortunately for the test effort, the Scaled Composites-designed SpaceShipTwo (SS2) was not suspended beneath the WK2 at the time. Scaled says WK2 was on its 37th test flight when the gear collapsed, though no information has …
Aug-23 – 2010 | More ->

Business Consortium Buys Stake In Mexicana
A Mexican consortium, aided by a private equity firm, has stepped up to buy a controlling stake in troubled airline Mexicana after financial woes pushed the carrier to the brink of collapse …
Aug-23 – 2010 | More ->

Losses Ground Saudi Low-Cost Carrier Sama
Low-cost Saudi carrier Sama is suspending operations after the private firm failed to obtain financing from investors or government support as losses accumulated, the airline said on Sunday …
Aug-23 – 2010 | More ->


Latest Headlines

Air Force

Air Force


Boeing Awarded Follow-on Contract for US Air Force Wideband Global SATCOM Program
EL SEGUNDO, Calif., Aug. 23, 2010 — Boeing [NYSE: BA] announced today that the U.S. Air Force has authorized $182 million for Boeing to begin work on the seventh Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS) satellite, which is being procured under the new WGS Block II follow-on contract. The contract will ultimately include options for production of up to six WGS satellites, which are the highest-capacity communications satellites in the U.S. Department of Defense’s arsenal. “In a time of budgetary…
Aug-23 – 2010 | More ->

GAO Grants USAF Expedited KC-X Protest
By Amy Butler, Robert Wall WASHINGTON and LONDON — The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is granting the U.S. Air Force an expedited decision on a protest filed by would-be KC-X competitor U.S. Aerospace earlier this month. The outcome of the protest will now be decided in 65 days, rather than the standard 100 days. This results in a decision expected by Oct. 6 — well in advance of the Air Force’s …
Aug-20 – 2010 | More ->

Boeing C-130 AMP Head-Up Display Endorsed by Headquarters US Air Force Directorate of Operations
LONG BEACH, Calif., Aug. 19, 2010 — Boeing [NYSE: BA] announced today that Headquarters U.S. Air Force Directorate of Operations (HQ USAF/A3O) has endorsed the company’s C-130 Avionics Modernization Program (AMP) Head-Up Display (HUD) and Head-Down Primary Flight Display (HDPFD) as the aircraft’s primary flight reference. The endorsement follows four years of design reviews, lab evaluations and demonstrations with the Air Force customer. A primary flight reference is a requirement in all…
Aug-19 – 2010 | More ->


Airports

Airports


BAA Refinances GBP£625 Mln Of Debt
British airport operator BAA moved a step closer to refinancing its debt by agreeing new lending facilities with a group of eight banks and said it would pay a large chunk of its borrowings next month …
Aug-20 – 2010 | More ->

BAA, Unite Reach Deal To Avert Airport Strike
Airport operator BAA and the Unite union have reached a deal to prevent a strike by ground staff at major UK airports this month, officials said on Monday …
Aug-17 – 2010 | More ->

Airports Of Thailand Swings To Q3 Net Loss
Airports of Thailand reported a higher-than-expected net loss in the third-quarter on Monday, due mainly to foreign exchange losses and weak air travel demand during a period of civil unrest …
Aug-16 – 2010 | More ->


Army

Army


MDA Eyes Missile-Detecting Infrared Pod
By Amy Butler HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — In its efforts to develop an unmanned aerial system capable of detecting boosting ballistic missiles, the U.S. Missile Defense Agency is focusing on a sensor pod that could fly on existing UAVs, rather than a new, integrated UAV design, according to MDA Director Army Lt. Gen. Patrick O’Reilly. MDA’s interest in an Airborne Infrared (ABIR) system …
Aug-20 – 2010 | More ->

Partners To Review Meads Direction In October
By Amy Butler HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — International partners funding the Lockheed Martin-led Medium Extended Air Defense System (Meads) are expected to meet in October to determine the fate of the effort just as Pentagon cost estimators plan to complete a sweeping study of the price of the air and missile defense system, according to Maj. Gen. Genaro Dellarocco, program executive officer of missiles and space for the U.S. Army … …
Aug-18 – 2010 | More ->

Brigade Combat Team Modernization Increment 1 Test Results Demonstrate Substantial Improvement Across the Board
ST. LOUIS, Aug. 12, 2010 — The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] today announced positive results from the recently completed Technical Tests for Increment 1 of the Brigade Combat Team Modernization (BCTM) program. “The results demonstrate substantial improvement across the board in terms of system performance, usability, and most importantly, reliability,” said Paul Geery, Boeing vice president and BCTM program manager. “As a result of an aggressive, ongoing risk reduction effort, we were able…
Aug-13 – 2010 | More ->


Cargo

Cargo


Boeing C-130 AMP Head-Up Display Endorsed by Headquarters US Air Force Directorate of Operations
LONG BEACH, Calif., Aug. 19, 2010 — Boeing [NYSE: BA] announced today that Headquarters U.S. Air Force Directorate of Operations (HQ USAF/A3O) has endorsed the company’s C-130 Avionics Modernization Program (AMP) Head-Up Display (HUD) and Head-Down Primary Flight Display (HDPFD) as the aircraft’s primary flight reference. The endorsement follows four years of design reviews, lab evaluations and demonstrations with the Air Force customer. A primary flight reference is a requirement in all…
Aug-19 – 2010 | More ->

Boeing Relocating C-130 AMP, B-1 Program to Oklahoma City
LONG BEACH, Calif., Aug. 2, 2010 — The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] today announced it will relocate the C-130 Avionics Modernization Program (AMP) and B-1 Program from Long Beach to Oklahoma City. The move will begin with C-130 AMP starting in the first quarter of 2011 and conclude by the end of 2012 with the move of the B-1 Program. Both programs are part of the Maintenance, Modifications & Upgrades (MM&U) division of the Global Services & Support (GS&S) business unit of…
Aug-03 – 2010 | More ->

Finnair Sells MD-11s, Converts Last One
By Lee Ann Tegtmeier leeann_tegtmeier@aviationweek.com: Finnair sold its last two Boeing MD-11 aircraft to U.S.-based leasing company Neff Air. Finnair will deliver the aircraft in January. ST Aerospace Services Co. (SASCO) in Singapore converted the first aircraft into a freighter in 2009, and Finnair Cargo is flying that one, which is the only MD-11 Finnair operates, according to Finnair’s Maunu Visuri, VP fleet management …
Jul-29 – 2010 | More ->


Commercial

Commercial


Horizon Air Changes Business Model
By Andrew Compart Regional service provider Horizon Airlines is making a big change in its business model that will turn over decision-making for all of its routes—and the responsibility and risk for marketing and selling seats for them—to sister company Alaska Airlines. The decision comes with benefits for Horizon but also is generating some questions about its future direction, some …
Aug-23 – 2010 | More ->

Losses Ground Saudi Low-Cost Carrier Sama
Low-cost Saudi carrier Sama is suspending operations after the private firm failed to obtain financing from investors or government support as losses accumulated, the airline said on Sunday …
Aug-23 – 2010 | More ->

Business Consortium Buys Stake In Mexicana
A Mexican consortium, aided by a private equity firm, has stepped up to buy a controlling stake in troubled airline Mexicana after financial woes pushed the carrier to the brink of collapse …
Aug-23 – 2010 | More ->


Defense

Defense


Boeing Awarded Follow-on Contract for US Air Force Wideband Global SATCOM Program
EL SEGUNDO, Calif., Aug. 23, 2010 — Boeing [NYSE: BA] announced today that the U.S. Air Force has authorized $182 million for Boeing to begin work on the seventh Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS) satellite, which is being procured under the new WGS Block II follow-on contract. The contract will ultimately include options for production of up to six WGS satellites, which are the highest-capacity communications satellites in the U.S. Department of Defense’s arsenal. “In a time of budgetary…
Aug-23 – 2010 | More ->

First UCAS Flight Slips To December
By Amy Butler NAS PATUXENT RIVER, Md. — The U.S. Navy is slipping first flight of the Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS) demonstrator at least six months to December, says Capt. Jeff Penfield, Navy UCAS program manager. Navy officials say they still expect to meet the goal set by the chief of naval operations for UCAS to operate from an aircraft carrier in Fiscal 2013, but they need more time to …
Aug-23 – 2010 | More ->

New ICBM Killer Could Grow Beyond Aegis
By Amy Butler HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Though the U.S. Missile Defense Agency wants its future SM-3 IIB ICBM-killer to be “compliant” with the Aegis system, the weapon could expand beyond the confines of the Aegis MK41 vertical launcher. MDA is now in the early stages of planning for a procurement of its new interceptor, which is dubbed SM-3 …
Aug-23 – 2010 | More ->


Executive and General

Executive


Al Jaber Aviation takes delivery of 1st Airbus aircraft
Al Jaber Aviation (AJA) has become the first Middle East customer to offer an Airbus aircraft for VVIP charter flights, following the delivery of its first A318 Elite. It has a further three A318 Elites and two Airbus Corporate Jetliners (ACJs) on order, which will make it the largest operator of Airbus corporate jets in the region. “We aim to provide VVIP customers with the ultimate in comfort, space, and service, and because the A318 Elite and Airbus ACJ have the widest and…
Aug-23 – 2010 | More ->

Clearing WiFi To Fly
Paul Seidenman & David J. Spanovich WiFi is moving from coffee shop hot zones to business jet cabins as the FAA continues to work with airframe OEMs and maintenance, repair and overhaul shops to establish formal guidelines for certifying the onboard WiFi equipment and enabling inflight use of passenger-carried wireless devices. “Transmitting portable electronic devices are not FAA …
Aug-23 – 2010 | More ->

SECAMA Holds 1st-ever Compliance Conference
By Benet Wilson benet_wilson@aviationweek.com The Southeast Corporate Aviation Management Association (SECAMA) will hold its first annual Training, Standardization and Compliance Conference (TSCC 2010) in Concord, N.C., on Aug. 24, 2010. The day-long gathering will bring together regulators, vendors, flight managers, training staff and administrators to meet, learn and share their knowledge. The event is …
Aug-20 – 2010 | More ->


Industry

Industry


AEROGAL becomes newest Airbus operator in Latin America
AEROGAL, Ecuador’s leading airline, has unveiled their new Airbus A320-200 at a ceremony in Quito, Ecuador. The new Airbus aircraft, the first of three to be delivered in 2010, marks the start of AEROGAL’s fleet renewal program. The aircraft seats 150 passengers in a comfortable two-class configuration and will be operated on domestic and international routes. Based in Quito, AEROGAL flies more than 100,000 passengers per month to many of Ecuador’s top destinations, including …
Aug-23 – 2010 | More ->

Boeing Awarded Follow-on Contract for US Air Force Wideband Global SATCOM Program
EL SEGUNDO, Calif., Aug. 23, 2010 — Boeing [NYSE: BA] announced today that the U.S. Air Force has authorized $182 million for Boeing to begin work on the seventh Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS) satellite, which is being procured under the new WGS Block II follow-on contract. The contract will ultimately include options for production of up to six WGS satellites, which are the highest-capacity communications satellites in the U.S. Department of Defense’s arsenal. “In a time of budgetary…
Aug-23 – 2010 | More ->

Boeing to Showcase Broad Range of Unmanned Capabilities at AUVSI Convention
DENVER, Aug. 20, 2010 — The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] will spotlight its wide array of unmanned systems at the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) Unmanned Systems North America 2010 conference and exhibition. This year’s event takes place Aug. 24-27 in Denver. Boeing will feature key unmanned systems at Booth 2600 and in media briefings, including the A160T Hummingbird unmanned aerial system, the Small Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System, Phantom Eye, Phantom…
Aug-23 – 2010 | More ->


Navy and Coast Guard

Navy and Coast Guard


First UCAS Flight Slips To December
By Amy Butler NAS PATUXENT RIVER, Md. — The U.S. Navy is slipping first flight of the Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS) demonstrator at least six months to December, says Capt. Jeff Penfield, Navy UCAS program manager. Navy officials say they still expect to meet the goal set by the chief of naval operations for UCAS to operate from an aircraft carrier in Fiscal 2013, but they need more time to …
Aug-23 – 2010 | More ->

U.S. Navy Leverages DDG-51 Work
By Michael Fabey As the U.S. Navy took delivery last month of the DDG 107 guided missile destroyer, the service continued to leverage its long-term shipbuilding experience with the DDG-51 Arleigh Burke Class program to drive down costs and incrementally increase capability. Shipbuilder Northrop Grumman was able to deliver the destroyer with fewer sea trial issues despite having to …
Aug-19 – 2010 | More ->

Will F-35 Customers Get Advanced Jammer?
By David A. FulghumNAS Patuxent River, Md. The U.S. Navy is providing some details about what the Next Generation Jammer might add to the air defense-busting capabilities of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, but the unique and futuristic capabilities of the jammer raise questions about how many of those yet-to-be-defined abilities will be available to foreign purchasers of the JSF. The Navy and the Office of the Secretary of Defense have…
Aug-13 – 2010 | More ->


Science

Science


WhiteKnightTwo Damaged In Mojave Gear Collapse
By Guy Norris guy_norris@aviationweek.comLOS ANGELES The Virgin Galactic WhiteKnightTwo (WK2) mothership was damaged Aug. 19 when its left main landing gear collapsed on the runway at Mojave, Calif. Fortunately for the test effort, the Scaled Composites-designed SpaceShipTwo (SS2) was not suspended beneath the WK2 at the time. Scaled says WK2 was on its 37th test flight when the gear collapsed, though no information has …
Aug-23 – 2010 | More ->

Station, Science Activities Close In On Full
By Mark Carreau HOUSTON — The International Space Station closed in on the full recovery of internal systems on Aug. 18, including the reactivation of power to science experiments, following a serious malfunction of the external cooling system on July 31. Expedition 24 flight engineers Doug Wheelock and Tracy Caldwell Dyson carried out the external recovery from a …
Aug-20 – 2010 | More ->

Drought Drives Decade-Long Decline in Plant Growth
WASHINGTON — Global plant productivity that once was on the rise withwarming temperatures and a lengthened growing season is now on thedecline because of regional drought according to a new study of NASAsatellite data.Plant productivity is a measure of the rate of the photosynthesisprocess that green plants use to convert solar energy, carbon dioxideand water to sugar, oxygen and eventually plant tissue. Compared witha 6 percent increase in plant productivity during the 1980s and1990s, the…
Aug-20 – 2010 | More ->


Space

Space


WhiteKnightTwo Damaged In Mojave Gear Collapse
By Guy Norris guy_norris@aviationweek.comLOS ANGELES The Virgin Galactic WhiteKnightTwo (WK2) mothership was damaged Aug. 19 when its left main landing gear collapsed on the runway at Mojave, Calif. Fortunately for the test effort, the Scaled Composites-designed SpaceShipTwo (SS2) was not suspended beneath the WK2 at the time. Scaled says WK2 was on its 37th test flight when the gear collapsed, though no information has …
Aug-23 – 2010 | More ->

NASA Asks Public for Final Shuttle Missions’ Wakeup Songs
HOUSTON — If you like music, the space program and are a littlenostalgic, NASA has the perfect opportunity for you. For the firsttime, the public can help choose songs to wake up the astronautsduring the last two scheduled space shuttle missions.Traditionally, the songs played to wake up the astronauts are selectedby friends and family of the crews. For the last two scheduledmissions, NASA is inviting the public to visit the “Wakeup SongContest” website to select songs from a list of the top…
Aug-23 – 2010 | More ->

STSS Scoring Incremental Testing Milestones
By Amy ButlerWashington After a rough start in orbit, two satellites launched last year to demonstrate the complex challenge of midcourse ballistic missile tracking are beginning to achieve some successes, according to Northrop Grumman, which developed the spacecraft. Progress with the Missile Defense Agency’s (MDA) Space Tracking and Surveillance System (STSS) is a significant …
Aug-20 – 2010 | More ->


Tourism

Tourism


Aviation Experts To Assess Volcano Risks
Aviation and aerospace experts will gather in Iceland next month to co-ordinate the global response to future volcanic eruptions …
Aug-20 – 2010 | More ->

El Al Swings To Q2 Profit As Traffic Jumps
El Al Israel Airlines said it swung to a second-quarter net profit, as passenger and cargo revenue jumped …
Aug-20 – 2010 | More ->

American To Charge Fee For Front-Row Seats
American Airlines is to charge a fee to customers who want to sit in the first few rows of the economy class cabin, continuing a trend among airlines to bolster revenue with creative fees on perks that used to be included in the ticket price …
Aug-20 – 2010 | More ->



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