Briefings

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LOCKHEED SETTLES US ACCOUNTING DISPUTE

Lockheed Martin has paid a $10.28 million settlement to resolve a dispute over allegedly inflated overhead costs related to the C-27J airlifter. US justice department officials harshly criticised Lockheed for creating "a significant unintended subsidy".


VIRGIN GALACTIC PITCHES IN FOR NASA BIDS

Virgin Galactic may assist Sierra Nevada Space Systems' and Orbital Sciences' bids to develop blended wing body reusable spaceplanes capable of runway landings for NASA's post-Space Shuttle crew transport programme, possibly by using its WhiteKnightTwo mothership to support their test flight programmes.


LEARJET 85 WINGS ARE BELFAST JOB

Bombardier has chosen its Belfast facility to develop and produce composite wing skin panels and spars of the midsize Learjet 85, scheduled for service entry in 2013. Wing final assembly will be done at Bombardier's factory in Querétaro, Mexico.


RIAT BOSS RETIRES

After five years at the helm Fred Crawley has retired as chairman of the UK's Royal Air Force Charitable Trust Enterprises, organiser of the Royal International Air Tattoo. He will be succeeded by Alan Smith, former chairman of the Royal International Air Tattoo Flying Scholarships for the Disabled charity.


GALILEO CONSTELLATION GETS FEET ON GROUND

The first ground control centre for Europe's Galileo satellite navigation system has begun operations, in anticipation of the launch of the first spacecraft in August 2011. The centre, at Fucino, 130km (80 miles) east of Rome, and a second at Oberpfaffenhofen near Munich, will oversee all navigation services provided by Galileo.


BRUSSELS RUNS RULE OVER MALEV'S BOOKS

 European regulators are investigating possible illegal state aid, including capital injections and shareholder loans that may have been made at below-market rates, to Hungarian loss-making flag carrier Malev, which was renationalised during 2010.


F136 WINS REPRIEVE - AGAIN

Congress has ordered the US Department of Defense to continue paying General Electric and Rolls-Royce to develop the F136 alternative engine for the Lockheed Martin F-35 until at least 4 March. DoD officials want to cancel the F136 to save nearly $2 billion in development costs, but the engine's Congressional allies have thwarted their efforts since 2006.


FLIGHTGLOBAL BOLSTERS TEAM

There are some new faces and roles on the Flightglobal team this year. Max Kingsley-Jones returns after a brief stint at Aviation Week to become Editor of our sister title Airline Business; Dominic Perry joins from Reed Business Information's road transport titles as group news editor; experienced aviation journalist Michael Gubisch is on board as an air transport reporter with responsibility for maintenance, repair and overhaul. Within the team, David Kaminski-Morrow takes over as air transport editor across all our products while Dan Thisdell is new business editor.