This week: briefings

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P&W military engines boss makes abrupt exit

leadership Bennett Croswell has been appointed new president of military engines at Pratt & Whitney following the abrupt departure of predecessor Warren Boley. Boley "left P&W for personal reasons", the company said, one year after assuming control of all military production programmes, including the F135 engine.

WTO body partially upholds Airbus ruling

trade The World Trade Organisation's appellate body has upheld most of a 2010 ruling against state subsidies to Airbus but overturned some conclusions on A380 funding. The WTO upheld the finding that certain EU subsidies provided to Airbus were incompatible with its rules but reversed the finding that financing from Germany, Spain and the UK to develop the A380 was a prohibited export subsidy.

Boeing pips Thales to Inmarsat satellites prize

communications Boeing Space and Intelligence Systems is to build the Inmarsat-5 satellites that will provide Ka-band mobile broadband services from late 2014. A $700 million long-term, fixed-rate direct loan to Inmarsat from the US Export-Import Bank secured the deal for Boeing's California-based space division over Thales Alenia Space, with financing via Ex-Im's French rival, COFACE.

Airbus to raise monthly a320 production to 42

manufacturing Airbus has gained enough confidence in supply-chain control to raise A320-family production in stages to 42 a month from the fourth quarter of next year. It will increase the rate from 36 to 38 in August 2011 and 40 in the first quarter of 2012.

Business operators face European slot crunch

slots Business aviation operators must find alternative strategies to manage limited slot capacity at European airports, as a European Commission review will offer little assistance. Peter Macara, of aviation law firm Clyde and Co, said operators that want to use a slot-limited airport should team up with others to press for a group of slots.

FAA proposes rule to prevent CF34 cracking

SAFETY The US FAA has proposed an airworthiness directive for certain General Electric CF34-10 fan rotor spinners and their supports to prevent high-cycle fatigue cracking that could lead to separation of the fan rotor spinner assembly and uncontained failure. The proposed rule applies to 164 CF34 engines that power Embraer E-Jets with N-registrations.

P&W begins PW1217G ground tests

PROPULSION Pratt & Whitney has started ground testing the first PW1217G engine for the Mitsubishi Regional Jet, with 16h completed as of 17 May at its West Palm Beach, Florida facility. The engine, the first of eight planned for the MRJ's powerplant validation and certification, is fitted with more than 2,000 pieces of instrumentation and will be in testing through mid-year.

Omega 707 tanker crashes in california

accident The US National Transportation Safety Board has launched an investigation after a privately-operated Boeing 707 tanker crashed while trying to take-off from NAS Point Mugu in California on 18 May. Omega Aerial Refueling Services' three-person crew escaped with minor injuries but the aircraft was destroyed when its fuel load caught fire.