AAV news in brief February 27, 2022
CAAC adopts special conditions for AAV EH216-S type certification: EHang, an autonomous aerial vehicle (AAV) technology platform company, announced that the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) has officially adopted the special conditions for AAV EH216-S1 type certification, which came into effect on February 9 and published on the CAAC website. February 22. The special conditions provide EHang with a basis for compliance and safety of EH216-S AAVs, including flight performance, structures, design and constructions, propulsion systems, systems and equipment, data link and the ground control station. The company plans to deploy the EH216-S unmanned aircraft system in commercial low-altitude passenger operations in the urban air mobility sector.
Skybus collaborative project led by GKN Aerospace completes feasibility studies: The Skybus collaborative project has reached a key milestone by completing the first feasibility studies. The research project explored the potential of a six-rotor, 30-person eVTOL concept to help decarbonize and decongest urban landscapes. The studies identified significant opportunities for aerial ‘buses’ to realistically operate alongside air taxis in future air mobility transportation networks. The Skybus consortium has also developed a Vertiport concept based on the Thames as well as economic models and demand forecasts for a London-based intra-city use case, with additional analysis to be carried out. GKN Aerospace is the leading provider of Tier 1 airframes for Urban Air Mobility (UAM) platforms, and leading the Skybus project has provided insight into the emerging UAM sector. Skybus was launched in January 2021 to explore the feasibility for mass transit eVTOLs of this size to operate from Vertiports on scheduled routes in the future, similar to the bus network on today’s roads. today. These would work alongside air taxis to help circumvent traffic congestion in major cities – reducing travel time and emissions – and potentially improving access to more remote areas, such as islands and mountainous regions. A successful zero-emissions to air transit system would also reduce congestion on the road network, reducing overall travel time, costs and emissions for all travellers.
Airhub Airlines expands its aircraft portfolio: Airhub Airlines has introduced an A330-343 to the fleet, with Maltese registration 9H-AHQ (MSN 1754). The addition of a new aircraft type will strengthen Airhub Airlines’ competitive position in the ACMI and charter market, complementing its products and services. Powered by two Rolls-Royce Trent 772B-60 engines, the five-year-old aircraft is the youngest in Airhub Airlines’ fleet, having made its maiden flight in December 2016. According to the Ch-Aviation Aircraft Database, the he aircraft in question is believed to be one of the three youngest wide-body aircraft with Maltese registration. The young age of the aircraft will provide Airhub Airlines and its customers with better fuel efficiency gains and increased technical reliability. The A330 will be in ZERO LOPA configuration, complementing Airhub Airlines’ cargo fleet. The planes support a maximum volume of 256 m3 and a payload of 50 tons, respectively. The maiden flight in the Airhub Aviation livery is scheduled for next week. The 9H-AHQ will be deployed in all international markets around the world, including the United States, India, Vietnam, Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
FAA Approves Constant Aviation’s Safety Management System: Constant Aviation has announced that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has recognized it as having a single company-wide Safety Management System (SMS), making it only the second maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) so designated. Achieving FAA Accepted Enterprise SMS status means that Constant operates under a single enterprise-wide security system, which generally reduces security risks and classifies it as a leader in business aviation maintenance safety. “The improvements across our organization through the implementation of SMS are clear, as evidenced by this latest recognition by the FAA,” said Constant Aviation Managing Director David Davies. “This honor underscores that we are a leader in moving from a reactive safety culture to one that is highly proactive, continuously improving and dynamically driving safety across the organization.” SMS is the standard for aviation safety programs worldwide. Although SMS processes are optional for MROs such as Constant, they are considered highly beneficial and are frequently requested by domestic customers and foreign certificate holders.
SAEI and Liebherr deepen their collaboration: Saudia Aerospace Engineering Industries (SAEI) and Liebherr-Aerospace have expanded their collaboration by renewing their current component service contract and signing a new general term contract for heat exchanger services. The cooperation between the two companies began in 2017, when SAEI selected Liebherr to repair flight controls and air management equipment onboard SAUDIA Airbus A320s and 32 A330s. In 2021, SAEI renewed its confidence in the OEM with a multi-year extension of this Component Service Agreement. This long-term collaboration has now evolved with the signing of a new terms and conditions agreement, whereby SAEI will join the Liebherr network for heat exchanger services. SAEI will thus have in-house the necessary capabilities to carry out on behalf of Liebherr-Aerospace the tests or the cleaning of the heat exchangers for all the equipment operated in the Middle East region.
Vallair opens a new multipurpose hangar in France: Vallair has opened the doors of its new maintenance hangar located at the Marcel Dassault airport in Châteauroux, France. The facility can accommodate up to five A321 size aircraft simultaneously, or a combination of A330/A340 and A321. Grégoire Lebigot, founder and CEO of Vallair, declared: “We are part of Aérocentre, the Center-Val de Loire regional center of excellence which works to develop and sustain the aeronautical sector in the region with more than 120 member organizations. Vallair has been one of its key players for fifteen years and we are proud to be part of the rich aeronautical heritage in the heart of France. Parking and storage at CHR airport can already accommodate wide-body aircraft and Vallair believes this is the perfect time and opportunity to improve its capabilities and reach airlines that are currently struggling with maintenance slots. Vallair will initially focus on Airbus A330 heavy maintenance capabilities with a view to adding A340, A350 and possibly Boeing B777 capabilities in the near future. In-house cargo conversion services will also start with narrow bodies and quickly expand to a range of other popular platforms, including wide bodies.
Satair and VD Gulf extend their supply agreement: Satair, an Airbus Services company, and VD Gulf, a commercial aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul company, have renewed their partnership with an extended agreement that covers spare parts for Boeing and Airbus aircraft while using Satair’s warehouse in Dubai. With growing relationships over the past seven years, this agreement further strengthens the partnership between Satair and VD Gulf. The agreement has global coverage and is expected to come into effect on February 23, 2022. Oleg Novak, Managing Director of VD Gulf, said: “We are delighted to strengthen our strong and long-standing relationship with Satair. Through this agreement, we are able to provide a greater level of parts support to our valued customers. Terry Stone, Managing Director of Satair and Head of Sales and Support for the EMEA region, added, “We are strengthening Satair’s presence in the Middle East and strengthening our efforts to support the regional MRO community, and we look forward to strengthening our strong partnership with VD Golfe.
SWISS equips its entire Boeing 777-300ER fleet with AeroSHARK: SWISS has decided to equip its entire Boeing long-haul fleet with AeroSHARK fuel-efficient surface technology. From the middle of the year, a total of 12 Boeing 777-300ERs will gradually be equipped with the riblet films jointly developed by Lufthansa Technik and BASF. The significantly reduced frictional resistance resulting from this modification will make the sub-fleet more than one percent more fuel efficient and less polluting. With approximately 950 square meters of riblet film, the modification of the “long” Boeing 777-300ER will be even larger than the 800 square meters of the Boeing 777F from AeroSHARK’s launch customer Lufthansa Cargo. The potential for fuel and CO2 savings at this scale is around 1.1%. Converted to the operational profile of SWISS’ 12 Boeing 777-300ERs, this means annual savings of more than 4,800 tonnes of kerosene and around 15,200 tonnes of carbon dioxide, as much as is usually generated on around 87 long flights. – couriers from Zurich to Bombay.
Air Sial signs an APU agreement with EPCOR: Air Sial has signed an exclusive long-term contract with EPCOR for the complete maintenance of the Auxiliary Power Units (APU) equipping its fleet of three Airbus A320s. EPCOR designed an adaptive and competitive offer for its new client, adapted to the needs of a young airline. Within the AFI KLM E&M network, EPCOR brings to Air Sial its airline-MRO mindset: the benefits of its leading technical know-how, as well as its experience as an operator in the management of the maintenance plan. In order to secure its operations and limit the risks of AOG, Air Sial will be able to rely on PROGNOS for APU, the predictive maintenance solution developed by EPCOR. Maintenance services will be provided by EPCOR, the AFI KLM E&M subsidiary recognized worldwide for its expertise on a wide range of APU solutions. Thanks to this extensive know-how, Air Sial will benefit from a single point of contact to facilitate its operations. Indeed, the particularity of its fleet is that it includes both Pratt & Whitney APS3200 and Honeywell GTCP131-9A. Two types of APUs for which EPCOR is the world leader in dual-licensed APU MROs.
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