Boeing has powered up the first 737 MAX ahead of a roll-out in December and a first fight planned for early 2016. The aircraft is undergoing avionics and landing-gear actuation tests in the company’s Renton, Washington facility. The nose gear is 8 in. longer to provide clearance for the CFM Leap-1B engines. Read more (subscribers)
The Quebec government is to invest $1 billion for a 49.5% stake in a subsidiary to be formed by Bombardier to complete development, manufacture and support the C Series airliner. Bombardier at the same time has written off $3.2 billion in higher development costs caused by delays to the C Series. Read more (subscribers)
E-2 Assembly line/Embraer
Embraer’s first second-generation E-Jet E2 regional airliner, an E-190 E2, has entered final assembly at the company’s San Jose dos Campos facility in Brazil. The aircraft will fly in 2016. The E-190 E2 is to enter service in the first half of 2018, followed by the larger E-195 E2 in 2019 and smaller E-175 E2 in 2020.
China has signed a preliminary agreement to purchase 100 Airbus A320-family aircraft and confirmed an order for 30 A330s, says government news agency Xinhua. The framework agreement signed by purchasing agency China Aviation Supplies is larger than expected. The A330s add to 45 ordered in June. Read more (subscribers)
Delta Air Lines
Delta Air Lines is to leave the U.S. industry association Airlines for America (A4A) in April 2016. On lobbying issues important to Delta, notably halting expansion of Gulf carriers and opposing U.S. Export-Import Bank loan guarantees to certain carriers, A4A has been on the opposite side of the argument. Read more (subscribers)
AW&ST illustration/Josef Gatial
Northrop Grumman has been selected to develop and produce the U.S. Air Force’s Long-Range Strike Bomber, which is expected to reach initial operational capability in 2025. A fleet of 100 aircraft is planned. The losing Boeing/Lockheed Martin team may yet protest the award after being debriefed. Read more
Sikorsky’s CH-53K King Stallion heavylift helicopter made its first flight on Oct. 26 at West Palm Beach, Florida, after delays caused by redesign of the main gearbox. With three times the hot-and-high lift capability of the CH-53E, the -53K is scheduled to enter service with the U.S. Marine Corps in 2019. Read more (subscribers)
Embraer’s KC-390 tanker/transport returned to flight on Oct 26, almost nine months after its 1.5-hr.-long first flight on Feb. 3. Funded by the Brazilian air force, development of the twin-turbofan airlifter has been hit by Brazil’s budget crisis, with entry into service delayed by two years to 2018.
Japan has selected Boeing’s KC-46A Pegasus tanker, the first export win for the U.S. Air Force’s new aerial refueler. Three KC-46As will be purchased in 2016 for the Japan Air Self-Defense Force, which already operates four commercially developed KC-767J tankers. Airbus did not bid for the A330 MRTT. Read more (subscribers)
One of two 243-ft.-long radar-carrying tethered aerostats in the U.S. Army’s Raytheon JLENS cruise-missile detection system broke free of its mooring at Aberdeen Proving Ground on Oct. 28 and wandered 150 miles north before drifting to the ground near Moreland Township in Pennsylvania.
Tony Hisgett/Wikipedia creative commons
The last flying Avro Vulcan bomber has performed its final flight, eight years, 228 flights and 346 flight hours after it was returned to the sky by volunteers. Operated by charity Vulcan to the Sky (VTTS) Trust, former Royal Air Force Vulcan XH558 returned to the air in 2007 after 15 years of restoration work. Watch video footage of the Vulcan XH558's final flight: http://bit.ly/1P8ceAr
Learjet 85: Georges Seguin
Bombardier has canceled the Learjet 85 mid-sized business jet, taking a $1.2 billion write-down on the already-paused program. Meanwhile, General Electric Passport engines have been installed on the first Global 7000 flight-test vehicle. The second is in final assembly and two more are in production. Read more (subscribers)
Elliot Aviation has announced the 400E program to refurbish Beechcraft 400A/Hawker 400XP light business jets with Garmin G5000 avionics, Gogo WiFi and a new interior. Nextant Aerospace already offers the 400XT while Textron Aviation developed the Hawker 400XPR, both with new engines. Read more (subscribers)
EC135: Tim Felce
The U.K. Air Accident Investigation Branch is calling on the Civil Aviation Authority to require installation of low-cost flight data, cockpit imaging and data recorders on law-enforcement, air-ambulance and other state-owned helicopters after the lack of such devices prevented it determining what caused a police EC135 T2+ to crash into the Clutha Vaults pub in Glasgow in November 2013, killing 10 people. Read more (subscribers)
Thales Alenia Space
Paris-based fleet operator Eutelsat is first to order all-electric communications satellite based on the Spacebus Neo platform in development by Franco-Italian manufacturer Thales Alenia Space. The Ka-band communications satellite is to be launched in 2019 to provide broadband services to Africa. Read more (subscribers)
Graham leads Aviation Week's coverage of technology, focusing on engineering and technology across the aerospace industry, with a special focus on identifying technologies of strategic importance to aviation, aerospace and defense.