Pegasus commits to A350 XWB

Agreement US lessor Pegasus Aviation Finance has become the first customer to commit formally to the Airbus A350 XWB, after signing for two of the type in an agreement which also covers six A330-200s. The order is the first firm contract for the A350 XWB since the aircraft was launched in November last year and the first direct pact between the San Francisco-based lessor and Airbus.

Fastest Mooney wins approval

Certification Mooney Aircraft last week received final certification of its fastest aircraft to date - the M20 TN Acclaim single-engine piston. The 280hp (210kW) aircraft cruises at 237kt (440km/h) at 25,000ft (7,630m), and more than 200kt at 10,000ft. The manufacturer says deliveries will begin immediately.

BMed talks get under way

Takeover Members of a UK-based investment group are in talks to acquire British Airways franchise partner BMed under a £30 million ($58 million) takeover deal. The investors include a subsidiary of Lebanese-controlled business M1 Group, which is involved in aviation, energy and telecommunications activities and holds property interests. London Heathrow-based BMed, formerly known as British Mediterranean Airways, was set up by private investors 13 years ago and specialises in operating routes to the Middle East, central Asia and parts of Africa on behalf of BA. It has struggled as a result of the rise in fuel costs combined with the effect of last year's Israeli-Lebanese conflict.

Old tech fix for high tech vision aid

Market Survey The US Federal Aviation Administration is conducting a market survey to find out who in industry might have the answers to a high tech conundrum. By converting to more reliable and longer lasting LED approach lights, airports will also be masking those same lights for aircraft that use infrared based enhanced vision systems. Under a pre-solicitation notice issued on 4 January, the FAA wants to hear from small/disadvantaged 8(a) businesses capable of "performing studies, developing concepts for adding IR sources to existing LED approach lights to make LED lights visible to [enhanced vision systems]".

Russia signs Uzbek base accord

Operations Russia and Uzbekistan have concluded a bilateral agreement under which Russian air force strike aircraft will be permitted to operate from Navoi airbase, home to the Uzbekistan air force's RSK MiG-29 and Sukhoi Su-30 fighters. Under the 21 December agreement, Moscow will fund infrastructure improvements at the base and provide air defence weapon systems to Uzbekistan.

CAE secures new simulator deals

Contracts CAE has signed a C$52 million ($44.2 million) contract with Amsterdam-based Flight Simulation for four Level D full-flight simulators, two for the Airbus A320 and two for the Boeing Next Generation 737. The Netherlands company also purchased a previously owned CAE-built Dornier 328Jet simulator for installation at its training centre at Amsterdam Schiphol airport.

UK undertakes civil space consultation

Policy A three-month public consultation for a civil space strategy, to close on 2 April, was launched last week by the UK government's science and innovation minister Malcolm Wicks. The consultation will inform development of the UK's 2007-10 space policy, expected to be published in the third quarter of this year. The UK space industry, says Wicks, had a turnover of £4.8 billion ($9.3 billion) in 2006 and employs over 16,000 people.

Source: Flight International