BEIJING — Avic rotorcraft specialist Avicopter completed first flight of its AC311A light helicopter, an upgrade of the aircraft offered for the key 2-ton market.
The flight of the aircraft, which introduces the Turbomeca Arriel 2B1A engine to the AC311 series, lasted 10 minutes and took place at Jingdezhen, the home of Changhe Aircraft, a long-established Chinese helicopter maker now part of Avicopter.
BEIJING — Avic subsidiary Avic Capital says it is in talks to buy Irish aircraft lessor Avolon but stresses that no deal is certain.
In a stock-exchange statement, Avic Capital denies a newspaper report that the deal will be valued at €12 billion ($16 billion). Reuters reported last week that Avic Capital and state-run firm China Investment Corp. were negotiating to buy Avolon for $4-5 billion, including the value of debt that they would assume in the acquisition.
BEIJING – Australia will buy two more Airbus A330 tankers and one or two more Boeing C-17 Globemaster airlifters, local media report, quoting Defense Minister David Johnston.
“When you get good service from a platform it prompts you to say, why don’t you get some more?” Johnston said in reference to the tanker-derivative of the A330 airliner. The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) has five of the aircraft, which retain the airliner’s main-deck seating and belly cargo holds.
Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) has further widened the market for its Surion utility helicopter, gaining a South Korea defense ministry contract to develop a medical evacuation (medevac) version of the aircraft.
Development is due to be completed by 2016, with the aircraft going into service in 2018, KAI says.
Parliament last year authorized the acquisition of eight medical evacuation helicopters; the army reportedly has a requirement for about 20. But KAI does not yet have a production contract.
Leading Chinese low-cost carrier Spring Airlines is looking at introducing Airbus A330s to extend its reach beyond the capabilities of its A320s. The CAAC is likely to back Spring’s move, because it last year urged Chinese airlines to look at long-haul, low-cost operations.
Japan’s ATD-X fighter technology demonstrator is due to fly in January 2015, confirming that the program is holding to its latest schedule.
The aircraft, built by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries for the defense ministry’s Technical Research and Development Institute, will be handed over to the ministry by the end of March, says the Mainichi newspaper, reporting the plan for the first flight.
BEIJING—Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) will increase production of Boeing 787 outer-wing boxes from 2016 to support Boeing’s plan to build the aircraft at a rate of 14 a month by the end of the decade.
MHI is one of three major Japanese suppliers of 787 structure. It will expand product facilities at its Shimonoseki Shipyard & Machinery Works and Nagoya Aerospace Systems Works, with an investment program to begin in October.
Cathay Pacific Group expects its financial performance to strengthen in the second half of 2014. The Hong Kong company achieved higher passenger and cargo load factors in the first six months of this year, but only by cutting prices.
BEIJING—Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific Airways has bought equity in U.S. biofuel developer Fulcrum BioEnergy and contracted for 10 years of fuel supplies from the company equivalent to 2% of the carrier’s current consumption.
Cathay aims to achieve carbon-neutral growth from 2020.