Sudan’s Safat Aviation Complex returns to Dubai with two aircraft that debuted at the 2013 show: the Safat 02 light helicopter and Safat 03 fixed-wing basic trainer. The 02 is a Ukrainian Aerocopter AK1-3, a two-seat piston-powered helicopter, while the 03 is based on the Yugoslavian UTVA 75.
The United Arab Emirates was the first Middle East customer for the Pilatus PC-21 turboprop trainer, announcing an order at the 2009 airshow for 25 aircraft to replace its PC-7 trainers. Subsequently, Saudi Arabia ordered 55 PC-21s to replace its PC-9s, and Qatar ordered 24, with deliveries beginning in 2014. Powered by a Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-68B, the PC-21 has a maximum speed of 370 kt.
Intended for border patrol and surveillance, the Iomax USA Archangel is an armed, sensor-equipped, two-seat version of the Thrush S2R-660 agricultural aircraft. North Carolina-based Iomax began deliveries of 24 aircraft to the United Arab Emirates in June. The UAE’s Special Operations Command previously operated 24 armed Air Tractor AT-802s for border patrol.
Eurofighter added another Middle Eastern nation to its customer list in September when Kuwait agreed a government-to-government deal with Italy for 28 Typhoons. Kuwait is expected to be the first export customer to receive the Captor E active, electronically scanned array radar. Saudi Arabia has ordered 72 Typhoons, Oman 12 and Eurofighter is competing in Bahrain.
Embraer Legacy 500
Embraer’s Legacy 500 is an all-new midsize business jet, powered by Honeywell HTF7500E turbofans, with Rockwell Collins Pro Line Fusion integrated avionics and fly-by-wire flight controls. Certified in 2014 and making its Dubai debut, the aircraft has a range of 3,125 nm and maximum Mach of 0.83. The shortened mid-light Legacy 450 was certified in August.
Diamond Aircraft Industries
Austrian manufacturer Diamond Aircraft’s DA62 twin-engine light aircraft is making its Dubai debut. Powered by Austro Engine AE330 turbo-diesels burning Jet-A1 fuel, the all-composite DA62 received European certification in April. The aircraft seats 5-7 passengers in a minivan-sized cabin and can fly more than 1,300 nm at up to 201 kt.
Dassault Aviation/A. Pecchi
Dassault’s Rafale returns to Dubai with its first export orders in hand, both from the Middle East. Egypt received the first three of 24 aircraft in July, just five months after placing an order, and Qatar also has ordered 24. India is negotiating a direct purchase of 36 Rafales, and talks continue with the UAE on a long-anticipated order for the French fighter.
Cessna Citation Latitude
Cessna’s Citation Latitude midsize business jet is making its Dubai debut following FAA certification in June and the start of customer deliveries in August. The Latitude beat its performance projections, achieving a maximum range of 2,850 mi. and shorter runway performance. With transatlantic capability, the aircraft will tour Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
Announced at the 2013 show, Boeing’s Bombardier Challenger 605-based Maritime Surveillance Aircraft (MSA) demonstrator is on display this year. The company-developed MSA uses technologies developed for Boeing’s P-8A Poseidon (also at the show) and is equipped with active, electronically scanned array multi-mode radar; electro-optical/infrared turret; electronic and communications intelligence sensors; and ship-tracking Automatic Identification System.
Bell Boeing MV-22B Osprey
The Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey tiltrotor transport returns to Dubai with its first international customer in hand, an order for Japan for an initial five of a planned 17 aircraft. The Middle East continues to be viewed as a key market for the Osprey, represented at the show by a U.S. Marine Corps MV-22B.
Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900
Qatar Airways was launch customer for the Airbus A350-900, taking delivery of the first aircraft in December, and inaugurating commercial service on Jan. 15 with a flight from Doha to Frankfurt. Qatar has ordered 43 A350-900s and 37 stretched -1000s, while Etihad has 40 -900s and 22 -1000s on order.
Qatar Airways Boeing 787-8
Qatar Airways will also display the Boeing 787-8. The Gulf aircraft has ordered 30, received its first aircraft in November 2012 and now has 22 787s in its fleet. Abu Dhabi-based Etihad received its first stretched 787-9 in December 2014. The carrier has 41 -9s and 30 further stretched -10s on order.
Embraer Phenom 100E
Dubai-based Emirates Flight Training Academy has ordered five Embraer Phenom 100E light business jets, plus 22 Cirrus SR22 light aircraft, to train cadet pilots for Emirates Airline. Together the aircraft are valued at more than $39 million at list prices, and deliveries will begin in 2017. Embraer will display a Phenom 100E in the academy’s colors.
Wikipedia Creative Commons/Vasiliy Koba
Ukrainian manufacturer Antonov plans to display the An-178 twin-turbofan transport, making its Dubai Airshow debut. The aircraft, a derivative of the An-158 regional airliner, made its first flight on May 4. Marketed as a military airliner and commercial freighter, the An-178 is designed to replace the widely used An-12 turboprop transport.
Bombardier will bring its all-new C Series CS100 airliner to Dubai for the first time, having completed certification flight-testing on aircraft FTV5, which will be in the static display as part of a lineup of six aircraft that includes the Q400 turboprop, CRJ900, and Learjet 75, Challenger 350 and Global 6000 business jets.
Adcom Systems UAVs
Abu Dhabi-based Adcom Systems will display a range of unmanned aircraft and aerial targets, including the new Yabhon United-20. This is described by Adcom as a smaller version of the 12,000-kg (26,500-lb.) Global Yabhon twin-turbine UAV with the same tandem-wing configuration, but a 1,600-kg maximum takeoff weight.
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.