February 2012 Archives
To learn that General Electric is using technologies developed with US military money for its half of the CFM International Leap turbofan is no great surprise. Nor is it a surprise, really, to find that GE reckons that the Air Force cash behind projects like ADVENT (advanced versatile engine technology) will drive commercial engine development beyond Leap.
Indeed, it's worth remembering that Leap's predecessor, the hugely-successful CFM-56, was designed using a high-pressure turbine based on the GE F101 engine developed for the North American B-1A bomber and now powering the Boeing B-1B Lancer (Snecma, GE's partner in CFM, provided the low-pressure section).
The reason it's all no surprise is that this is how aerospace has been operating for a century.
So, what remains eternally surprising is how Boeing can so doggedly pursue its bald-men-fighting-over-a-comb subsidies dispute against Airbus in the World Trade Organisation. While Airbus's product development people wallow in European cash largesse, Boeing insists (technically, the US government insists), it has to make do with what little it can scrape together from its hard-pressed investors and mean-spirited "commercial" lenders.
Apparently, unlike their counterparts at GE, Boeing's civil aircraft people learn nothing much from all that work the defence side of the company does under a waterfall of government money.
Just to cite one example, Boeing, along with Northrop and Vought, developed the exotic composite B-2 stealth bomber. Word on the street is some 787 customers believe that, along with nifty interior lighting and big windows, they are getting a bit of stealth bomber technology. Boeing would never imply that, of course, but one can kind of see how the idea gets stuck in people's heads.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) received a flood of complaints, saying the adverts where likely to cause offence, and appeared to be sexist and treat women as objects.
The adverts showed a model scantily-clad in just a bra and knickers with the headline "Red Hot Fares & Crew! One way from £9.99".
The airline defended itself by claiming the advert was to promote its cabin crew charity calendar of 2012, and since the crew agreed to take part, it could not be seen as objectifying women. They argued that similar images of women and men regularly appear in the media and so the advert should not be deemed unsuitable.
However with the model's pose and gaze determined 'sexually suggestive' the advert has now been banned.
The calendar promotion also caused uproar when it was launched last year with one of the airlines own cabin crew Ghada, quoting "Safety is our number-one priority, not the brand of our underwear."
Ryanair cabin crew charity calendar 2012
Virgin ad draws complaints for being sexist
This 648-page directory provides businesses and enthusiasts with every bit of information they could need and want! The 2012 Bizjet will be published early March.
Containing some 19,000 jets, 11,000 turboprops, and a 17-page colour selection of 48 aviation photos, it is a tool the aviation sector cannot do without!
The JP Biz-Jet directory lists the world fleet of corporate-owned aircraft, including:
• individual listings for the 19,000 jets and turboprops, including VLJs;
• listings by registration within country;
• fully cross referenced by manufacturer and construction number;
• over 3,000 aircraft written off or withdrawn from use;
• summary reports by type and country;
• Russian-manufactured types from Ilyushin, Tupolev and Yakovlev etc;
• details of which aircraft within the in-service fleet are active or parked.
JP Bizjet is published as a book or in pdf format on CD. You can also purchase our special package combi deal with both book and CD priced at just £31.00.
Bizjet CD 2012
The most visible aerospace implication of these factors to date has been European banks' cutback of exposure to new airliner finance deals, whereas in recent years it's been Europe taking the lion's share of the debt that keeps the aircraft rolling off assembly lines at Airbus, Boeing, et al. The sale of RBS's aviation business to Mitsubishi in Japan has been the headline example of this trend, but it's clearly widespread.
Today, though, we learn that Safran - the French aerospace and security technology giant - has successfully gone to the US corporate bonds market to place $1.2 billion of unsecuredc notes with 7-, 10- and 12-year maturities, at coupon rates of 3.7% to 4.43%.
According to Safran:
"This transaction enables Safran to diversify its funding sources at attractive conditions, to lengthen the maturity of its debt profile and to provide long term funding for the acquisitions made in the past 3 years, notably in the US.
"The placement which was made to a broad group of accredited institutional investors demonstrated the confidence that debt investors have in the Group's strategy and long term development."
Confidence, for sure - Safran is borrowing much cheaper than several European countries, probably including France. And, it's inherently a good thing for a company like this to borrow broadly; stable long-term relationships with lenders in a home region are good things, but for borrowers as well as lenders, spreading risk is a wise strategy for the long term.
Airline ticket refund site ChangeYourFlight, an Airbus A380 advertising campaign and mobile app Smart BRIEF CABIN have outfought rivals to be numbered among the winners of the Flightglobal Webbies 2011.
The Webbies, now in its fourth year, celebrates the best and brightest in aviation websites and social media activities - and this time includes new and improved categories.
We asked flightglobal.com users to enter or nominate their favourite websites in these categories: best mobile app, a very timely category as people become more dependent on mobile devices and companies realise the potential of apps for product awareness; advertising campaign of the year; best blog; best use of social media; and, of course, best website.
The judging panel had some tough choices to find the top three in each category from a flood of quality entries.
Here are the winners...