Naverus approved as first RNP consultant

Navigation Seattle-based Naverus has been approved by the US Federal Aviation Administration as a Required Navigation Performance consultant, the first appointment of a third-party RNP services provider in the US. The approval is part of a broader effort by the FAA to boost RNP usage by creating a preferred provider list of companies that can both help airlines develop and gain approval for the procedures, and eventually flight check and maintain those procedures. RNP procedures in the terminal environment allow appropriately trained and equipped crews and aircraft to fly procedures that minimise track miles, thrust settings, noise and emissions with the help of satellite and gyro-based guidance.

Chromalloy seals American deal

Engines American Airlines and Chromalloy Gas Turbine have designed and developed replacement turbine blades for use in the Pratt & Whitney JT8D-200 engines that power the carrier's Boeing MD-80-series aircraft. Chromalloy says the blades will be manufactured at its Carson City, Nevada facility and are covered under a long-term supply agreement with the airline. Engine manufacturer P&W says that while American has chosen to use another provider for the parts, "we look forward to continuing to meet the airline's service needs into the future".

Cobham bolsters acquisitions warchest

Results UK-based manufacturer Cobham is expecting further growth in 2007, after ending 2006 with a record order intake of £1.4 billion ($2.7 billion). Cobham says it has around £600 million of "internal firepower" available for acquisitions, with "plenty of active acquisition opportunities". The company's US business grew to 46% of total sales in 2006, compared with 40% last year. Although Cobham's revenues were down 6.9% at £1 billion, the company turned in an underlying operating profit of £186 million, compared with £178 million the year before. The group says it is also targeting an extra £30-45 million savings through increased operational efficiency as it looks ahead to further growth.

US Forest Service seeks small UAVs

Firefighting The US Department of Agriculture's Forest Service wants to lease close-range UAVs equipped with thermal imaging sensors to conduct mapping of wildfires in the western states from July to September this year. The service is also expected to be used as a communications relay node, augmenting the existing Forest Service fire-reporting system during operations. The solicitation process is being restricted to small businesses, providing an opportunity for second and third tier US UAV manufacturers to raise their profile in the civilian applications marketplace. Most previous US fire watch demonstrations have been performed using large tactical and endurance-class UAVs.

Baseler departs from Boeing after 33 years

Retirement Boeing Commercial Airplanes vice-president of marketing Randy Baseler, who has become synonymous with the company's more cutting-edge developments, has unexpectedly announced his retirement after 33 years with the manufacturer. Baseler made the announcement in his blog, which is hosted on Boeing's web site. "As our friend Yogi Berra, an iconic American baseball figure, would say, if you come to a fork in the road, take it. So I've decided to take it," he wrote. He will retire at the end of April.

Flight's ACAS3 ready to go

Data Flight's ACAS3 - the new version of our established ACAS database product - will begin to be rolled out to customers this month. ACAS3 represents the culmination of a major development effort by Flight, and is designed to meet all aspects of users' fleet and related information needs. Key enhancements over ACAS v2.5 include a Windows-compliant interface, a browse window, a graph tool and improved data hierarchies.

Source: Flight International