"Irregularities" Halt Chinook Assembly

Boeing has temporarily halted assembly work on its Philadelphia production line for the H-47 Chinook transport helicopter, following the "discovery of possible manufacturing irregularities in two aircraft". The company declines to provide further details of the cause of the problem, or give a likely timeline for a resumption of production activities. It is also unclear whether the move will have any impact on aircraft already delivered to the US Army - which has an active contract for hundreds of CH-47Fs and MH-47Gs - or overseas Chinook customers. Boeing says a "thorough investigation" will be undertaken to determine the extent of the potential irregularities.

India Mulsl Over EJ200 For Tejas Fighter

Eurojet Turbo has briefed India's Aeronautical Development Agency on the potential use of the Eurofighter Typhoon's EJ200 turbofan engine with its Tejas light combat aircraft, and says the design would meet technical requirements with only minor changes to the aircraft's architecture. The developmental Tejas now uses a General Electric F404-IN-20 engine, but the Indian air force says the design's output is insufficient to power the 8t aircraft. Eurojet has also offered technology transfer to enable the EJ200 to be produced in India, say sources.

Diamond Stars on Maiden Flight

Diamond Aircraft's four-seat DA50 Magnum made its first flight on 14 May from the company's headquarters at Wiener Neustadt, near Vienna. The Austro Engines AE 300 Jet A1 piston-powered four-seater, with maximum take-off weight of 1,480kg (3,263lb), has been in development for nine months. Diamond's owner, Christian Dries, was pilot in command assisted by chief test pilot Soeren Pedersen.

Lockheed Pips Boeing To $1.46BN GPS Contract

Lockheed Martin will build up to 12 global positioning system satellites and be the leading candidate to win a follow-on contract to deliver 20 more under a $1.46 billion contract awarded by the US Air Force on 15 May. The GPS Base IIIA will introduce a L1C civil signal that is compatible with Europe's Galileo satellite navigation system, and the M-Code signal for military users. The USAF plans to improve the system's capability with follow-on awards for GPS IIIB and GPS IIIC. Lockheed's victory means another critical loss for Boeing on a competitive contract. Both Lockheed and Boeing shared responsibility for developing the GPS II system.

P&W Canada in Russian PW127 Production Deal

Pratt & Whitney Canada's PW127TS turboshaft is to power Mil Mi-38 medium utility helicopter, which is due to enter series production in 2012. P&WC will supply kits to Russia Helicopters, which will assemble the engines at the UMPO engine plant in Ufa, Russia. Russia Helicopters, UMPO and the Central Institute of Aero-Engines will develop the engine for certification to Canadian and Russian standards in partnership with P&WC.

Blended Winglets for NetJets' Falcon 2000 Fleet

NetJets Europe has acquired 20 Dassault Falcon 2000LX business jets for its fractional ownership programme and says it will convert its remaining 10 2000EXs on order to LX types with Aviation Partners blended winglets. The final 2000EX will be handed over to the Lisbon, Portugal-based operator in June and the first LX is earmarked for delivery in September. NetJets Europe already operates seven Falcon 2000s and nine 2000EXs and plans to retrofit all its EXs to the LX configuration.

Source: Flight International