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Eurocopter Opens Singapore Maintenance Facility 

Eurocopter South East Asia (ESEA) has opened a new 8,200-sq.-meter facility at Seletar Aerospace Park in Singapore. The building provides double the hangar space and 25% more office space than ESEA’s previous operation at Loyang Way near Changi Airport. The Seletar hangar accommodates 24 helicopters and is certified to perform modifications and repairs for interiors, avionics, structures and electrical systems. Scientists and engineers at EADS Innovation Works will also work there on rotorcraft research and development.

Parked Aircraft Uptick Most Likely Temporary, Analyst Says 

The number of parked aircraft rose significantly at the end of September, but is likely to revert to summer levels as aircraft formerly operated by Mexicana re-enter service, says Gary Liebowitz, a Wells Fargo Securities senior analyst.

Market Outlook for MRO Sector 

The worldwide airline maintenance, repair and overhaul business was projected to lose money in the fourth quarter of last year followed by a $1-billion downturn this year as the credit crunch and fear of a protracted recession take their toll on balance sheets.

Technology Driving Development of Simulators for GA Market 

Companies specializing in flight simulators for the general aviation industry are focusing on PC-based and commercial-off-the-shelf technologies to create next-generation training devices that are both affordable and highly capable teaching tools.

Robust Sport Aircraft Market Beset by Leaps in Fuel, Taxes 

Sustaining growth of the worldwide sport aviation movement during the next 10 years depends largely on reducing the cost of flying, developing alternate fuels and defeating user fees, according to Experimental Aircraft Assn. officials.

FAA Researching Firefighting Requirements for New Large Aircraft 

The FAA is investigating how the combination of super large-size jet transports with multiple decks, massive fuel loads and composite airframes will affect the ability of airport firefighters to extinguish flames and rescue passengers.

The agency’s current procedures do not address these and other considerations, necessitating a fresh look at what will be required for airport firefighting teams in terms of technologies and strategies to respond effectively to a post-crash conflagration.

Four Aircraft Eye Bizav Market Share in Europe 

Rising demand in Europe for business aviation is fueling tough competition in the sales arena among builders of legacy turboprop-powered airplanes and new light jets, blurring and overlapping traditional lines between performance, price and technologies.

Airframe manufacturers Socata in France, Piaggio Aero in Italy, and Pilatus Aircraft and Grob Aerospace, both in Switzerland, are locked in a tight battle as savvy buyers scrutinize four different aircraft, all of which represent advances in business aviation technology.

FAA Testing Automated Foreign Object Debris Systems 

The FAA is evaluating a series of automated systems designed to detect and report foreign object debris on airport surfaces, leading to development and publication of performance standards for these emerging technologies as early as 2009.

FAA Readies for Pavement-Load Interaction Tests 

In 2009, the FAA will conduct research into the load interactions of large, multiple-wheel landing gear systems on various types of pavement materials used at major airports worldwide.

U.S. Research Agencies Vet Helo Noise-Reduction System 

The U.S. Air Force’s Arnold Engineering Development Center, NASA and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa) have begun testing Boeing Co.’s Smart Material Actuated Rotor Technology system in the 40 X 80-ft. wind tunnel at the National Full-Scale Aerodynamics Complex at Moffett Field, Calif.

As MRO Outsourcing Levels Off, Providers Expand Services 

After five years of steady growth, the outsourcing of new MRO activities has reached its zenith as airlines shift emphasis to programs that integrate supplementary services with core repair capabilities.

P&W F135 Check Out Clears Way for First F-35B tests 

Lockheed Martin is gearing up to start engine tests on the first F-35 short-takeoff-and-vertical landing version but confirms that the tentative first flight has slid from May to June in the wake of engine issues earlier this year.

BA609 Flight Tests To Increase This Year 

Teams in the U.S. and Italy will pursue an aggressive flight-test schedule this year aimed at expanding investigation of the BA609’s flight envelope as certification of the commercial tiltrotor moves toward completion by 2010.

Demand For Military Helos Continues Unabated 

Global demand for new combat rotorcraft is driving sales upward and fattening order books as governments seek to modernize their forces and warfighting capabilities.

Turbine engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce forecasts that demand for military helicopters will remain steady until 2012 before declining to a more sustainable level by 2016. In addition, during the next eight years, military sales will gradually shift away from single-engine turbine-powered helos toward medium- and heavy-lift designs deemed necessary for long-term operational needs.

Commercial Helo Market Surging Forward 

The global appetite for commercial rotorcraft shows no signs of weakening as airframe manufacturers expand capacity and carefully manage supply chains to keep production lines rolling.

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