Flight International - 26 June 2018

(Jacob Rumans) #1

THIS WEEK


6 | Flight International | 26 June-2 July 2018 flightglobal.com


For insight and analysis of the latest
developments in the defence sector, visit:
flightglobal.com/defence

DELTA DEAL ADDS TO CRJ BACKLOG
ORDER Delta Air Lines has ordered 20 Bombardier CRJ900s to
replace older regional jets in its feeder fleet. The aircraft will
have 70 seats and be equipped with the Canadian airframer’s
Atmosphere cabin, the US carrier says. Deliveries will begin this
year and run through 2020. Bombardier says the deal is worth
$961 million at list prices.

NEW DELHI AXES AIR INDIA PRIVATISATION
OWNERSHIP The Indian government has placed Air India’s
privatisation process on hold, after the carrier failed to attract
expressions of interest from any party in a 76% stake. “We will
evaluate all alternatives,” says minister of state for civil aviation
Jayant Sinha. “If need be, we can restart, depending on what is
appropriate given market circumstances.”

PARTNERS TOGETHER IN ELECTRIC DREAMS
PROPULSION Bell and French powerplant specialist Safran
Helicopter Engines are to collaborate on a new hybrid-electric
propulsion system designed for urban mobility vertical take-off
and landing applications. No details of the size or scope of the
system have been revealed, but Bell is working on an air taxi
concept designed to seat four people.

BRIGHT SPARKS TEST SKYGUARDIAN
SAFETY General Atomics Aeronautical Systems has conducted
lightning tests involving its MQ-9B SkyGuardian unmanned air
vehicle, which it is developing for the UK Royal Air Force. The
work was performed at its Poway facility in California during
May, as part of a process leading to airworthiness certification
to fly in non-segregated airspace.

SWIFTAIR FREIGHTER LOSES ENGINE COVER
INCIDENT Investigators are probing an engine cover loss from
a Swiftair ATR 72-200 freighter that was preparing to land at
Belgrade after a 4 June flight from Paris Charles de Gaulle.
French investigation authority BEA says the twin-turboprop had
been manoeuvering at around 6,000ft when its crew detected
vibrations, before receiving two brief fire warnings for the left-
hand Pratt & Whitney Canada PW124 engine. The pilots did
not encounter further problems, and landed safely.

POBEDA FUMES AT STUBBORN SMOKERS
LEGAL Russian budget carrier Pobeda has secured favourable
legal rulings after pursuing cost claims against passengers who
forced flight diversions by smoking on board. The airline has
been awarded more than Rb700,000 ($11,000) in claims related
to three instances where diversions were made to “exclude the
possibility of fire”. Pobeda has made 14 unplanned landings so
far this year due to passenger behaviour, also including fighting.

DYNETICS BOOSTS GLIDE MUNITION RATE
WEAPONS The US Air Force has awarded Dynetics a contract
worth up to $470 million to boost production of the GBU-69/B
small glide munition (SGM) to 1,000 units per annum between
fiscal year 2018 and 2022. With a deployable wing and 27kg
(59lb) warhead, the SGM is used by US Special Operations
Command Lockheed Martin AC-130J/W gunships, as well as
unmanned air systems.

BRIEFING


B


oeing has reached an agree-
ment with the US Air Force to
deliver its first KC-46A Pegasus
tanker during October.
The company was contracted
to hand over a first batch of KC-
46As by August 2017, but missed
that deadline following issues en-
countered during production and
testing. The USAF now expects
these first 18 aircraft to all be de-
livered by April 2019.
The new schedule agreement
moves the service closer to re-
ceiving its first aircraft, more than
16 years after the US Senate first
proposed a replacement plan for
its oldest Boeing KC-135s.
Boeing will deliver the first
KC-46A to McConnell AFB in
Kansas, with the twinjet to be fol-
lowed by examples assigned to
units at Altus AFB, Oklahoma,
and Pease AFB, New Hampshire.
The manufacturer says it now
has 43 aircraft in various stages of
production, including 34 which
have already been completed or
are in the final stages of build.
“This has been a long time
coming. It’s going to be a great
day to get this capability to
them,” Boeing Defense Space &
Security chief executive Leanne
Caret says of the coming mile-
stone. “There’s a lot of people

who have just been tireless in
their commitment” to achieving
the delivery, she adds.
The USAF and Boeing are still
discussing how to resolve the re-
maining “Category 1” deficien-
cies on the KC-46A. These in-
clude sunlight glare problems
with the aircraft’s refuelling boom
camera, and design problems that
cause its hose and drogue system
to unexpectedly disconnect in
certain situations.
A converted 767-2C freighter
suitable for use during air-to-air re-
fuelling or cargo transport, the KC-
46A can transfer up to 4,540 litres
(1,200USgal) of fuel per minute
from its boom, while its Cobham-
supplied hose and drogue refuel-
ling equipment, positioned be-
neath the wing and fuselage
centreline, can deliver up to 1,
litres of fuel per minute each.
Boeing’s production contract
for the Pegasus calls for the deliv-
ery of up to 179 tankers to the
USAF’s Air Mobility Command.
Flight Fleets Analyzer records
the USAF as operating 398
KC-135R/Ts, with its oldest exam-
ples having been in use for 60
years. Its tanker inventory also
counts 59 McDonnell Douglas
KC-10s, and adapted variants of
the Lockheed Martin C-130. ■

PROGRAMME GARRETT REIM LOS ANGELES

Overdue Pegasus


into home stretch


New schedule agreed by US Air Force and Boeing will see
service’s first delayed KC-46A tanker delivered in October

John D Parker/Boeing
Converted 767-2C freighter still has Category 1 deficiencies to solve
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