BOEING RETREATS ON ALL-NEW 737: ANALYST
AIRFRAMERS Buckingham Research, a New York investment bank, says it believes Boeing is moving away from unveiling an all-new 737 replacement. Rumours suggested that it was leaning towards a clean-sheet replacement rather than re-engining. However, Buckingham writes: "We're changing that view and do not believe it will announce a new airplane at the [Paris air] show. We think Boeing may not gain an 'approval to offer' for a new airplane until late 2012, early 2013."
ELBIT SUBSIDIARY TO SUPPORT F-5 UPGRADES
COMBAT AIRCRAFT Embraer Defense and Security has awarded Elbit Systems' Aeroelectronica (AEL) subsidiary an $85 million contract to support the upgrade of 11 more Northrop F-5 fighters for the Brazilian air force. AEL will provide systems including radars, mission computers, cockpit displays and electronic warfare equipment through 2013.
HONDAJET TO RECEIVE GKN COMPOSITE KNOW-HOW
BUSINESS AVIATION Honda has selected GKN to supply the entire composite fuselage for its Hondajet business aircraft, with first deliveries set for spring 2012. GKN Aerospace chief executive Marcus Bryson says verbal confirmation of the deal came two weeks ago. The fuselage, built in two parts and bonded together, is being made in Alabama, but Bryson says an all-new facility in the Carolinas is under consideration, being closer to Honda's assembly plant.
US ARMY ADVANCES MISSILE CONTEST
REQUEST The US Army has released a request for proposals for the joint air-to-ground missile contract, which seeks a replacement for its Lockheed Martin AGM-114 Hellfire and Raytheon AGM-65 Maverick weapons. Lockheed and a Raytheon/Boeing team are competing for the requirement to arm a variety of helicopters, unmanned aircraft and fixed-wing jets.
SWITCH FOR EMBRAER'S CHINESE PLANT
REQUEST Embraer will switch its ERJ-145 final assembly line in Harbin to producing Legacy business aircraft. The plant, a joint venture between the Brazilian manufacturer and the state-owned AVIC, produces Legacy 600/650s. Details of the project will be finalised "in the next few weeks", says Embraer. The airframer has just three business aircraft - all Legacy 600s - operating in China.
UNDER-PRESSURE US ATC CHIEF QUITS
SAFETY In the wake of recent incidents involving "unprofessional conduct" by some air traffic controllers including falling asleep on shift the Federal Aviation Adminstration's air traffic organisation chief Hank Krakowski has resigned. FAA head Randy Babbitt says the public has "rightly questioned" its ability to ensure safety, and that the poor conduct "must stop immediately". Chief counsel David Grizzle will take over.
aveos In the issue of Flight International dated 5-11 April we implied that Canadian MRO Aveos had moved airframe maintenance to its Aeroman subsidiary in El Salvador. Aveos has pointed out that "contrary to third-party statements" it "has not sent and has no plans to send any airframe maintenance work to Aeroman".
Source: Flight International