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Boeing may end production of its iconic 747 aircraft after nearly 50 years

Boeing

For decades it was the largest passenger aircraft in the skies, earning it the affectionate nickname of the Jumbo Jet.
But the Boeing 747 could soon be consigned to history after the aircraft manufacturer said it could end production of the aircraft due to diminishing orders.

The company revealed production of the iconic passenger jet, which has a distinctive hump in the forward part of the aircraft to accommodate the upper deck, has slumped in 2016.

Figures revealed by Boeing showed it had delivered just three 747 in the first six months of 2016 compared to nine of the passenger jets in the same period the previous year.
The company has now cancelled plans to increase production of 747s to one plane per month from 2019 and will be halving its production rate in September.
According to Reuters, Boeing said on Wednesday: ‘If we are unable to obtain sufficient orders and/or market, production and other risks cannot be mitigated, we could record additional losses that may be material, and it is reasonably possible that we could decide to end production of the 747.’
In the first six months of 2016, Boeing produced a total of 375 aircraft, down only slightly from 2015 where it delivered 381. Delivers of its 787 aircraft increased from 64 to 68.

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Aviation

Air India Alters Elderly Couple’s US Flights Without Notice

Air India Alters Elderly Couple's US Flights Without Notice

An elderly couple’s travel plans were unexpectedly disrupted when Air India allegedly changed their tickets and destinations without prior notification, as reported by a user recounting the ordeal.

According to Dushyant Arora, the couple discovered the changes only when they attempted to check in for their flight to Newark, New Jersey, scheduled for June 19.

They were shocked to find that Air India had booked them on separate flights. The husband was re-routed to New York instead of Newark, departing on a different day than originally planned, while the wife’s itinerary remained unchanged.

The couple, unfamiliar with the changes and concerned about flying separately, decided to cancel their tickets. This decision was particularly difficult for the mother, as it would have been her first time flying abroad, and she expressed reluctance to travel alone.

The couple was not contacted by anyone from the airline to inform them of the changes. The tickets had to be cancelled by the couple. In response to the X user, Air India stated that the customer’s request for a complete refund has been fulfilled.

“Dear Sir, we apologise that this happened and assure you that we never plan to interfere with our clients’ travel arrangements. “We have conducted a complete refund in accordance with the primary customer’s request, who was booked in the PNR,” stated Air India.

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Aviation

India’s Potential Interest in Russia’s Su-57 Fighter Jet

India's Potential Interest in Russia's Su-57 Fighter Jet

The Indian Air Force may soon bolster its fighter jet fleet with the addition of Russia’s Su-57 ‘Felon’, a cutting-edge stealth aircraft.

Amidst concerns over a declining number of warplanes in its inventory, military experts like former IAF pilot Vijainder K Thakur underscore the advantages of integrating the Su-57 into India’s defense strategy.

Thakur emphasized that the Su-57‘s advanced features, such as its night vision and tracking system, countermeasures against infrared missiles, and sensors capable of detecting missile launches, make it a formidable addition to the IAF’s arsenal.

Advanced AI and technology for teaming with aircraft.

One of the most notable aspects of the Su-57 is its integration of advanced AI and technology, allowing it to team with both manned and unmanned aircraft.

Thakur pointed out that the Su-57 could carry electronic equipment in its weapons bay to operate as a drone mothership, controlling highly stealthy drones such as the Okhotnik (S-70).

AMCA still 2-3 years from maiden flight

Despite India’s ongoing efforts to develop its own fifth-generation fighter, the Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA), Thakur noted that the AMCA is still 2-3 years away from its maiden flight and approximately 15 years from operational induction.

In the interim, the Su-57 could provide the IAF with the stealth capabilities it currently lacks. Moreover, India’s strategic options are limited by its purchase of the Russian S-400 air defense system, which precludes the acquisition of the F-35 from the United States.

Thus, the Su-57 emerges as a viable alternative to bridge the gap until the AMCA becomes operational.

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Aerospace

Leonardo Unveils AW249 Next Generation Helicopter Makes International Debut

Leonardo Unveils AW249 Next Generation Helicopter Makes International Debut

The Italian Army has unveiled the new AW249 Fenice attack helicopter, declaring it a cornerstone of its transformation efforts, during its public debut at the prestigious Eurosatory defense show.

The AW249 is designed to meet the demanding needs of modern warfare, featuring a complete open architecture that allows for significant future growth and system adaptability. This flexibility ensures the helicopter can respond to evolving market requirements and remain at the forefront of military technology.

Features complete open architecture for future growth

Engineered for high performance, the AW249 boasts impressive speed, range, power margin, and payload capabilities. It excels in challenging Hot & High conditions and offers unparalleled manoeuvrability for nap-of-the-earth flight, allowing it to operate effectively in diverse and rugged terrains.

One of the helicopter’s key strengths is its ability to integrate fully and interoperate seamlessly within the modern multi-domain battlefield, encompassing air, land, sea, space, and cyber operations.

The AW249 features an advanced large area display human-machine interface, equipped with touch screen and gesture recognition devices within its tandem-seating cockpit. This sophisticated setup is complemented by a highly advanced Leonardo-developed Battle Management System.

The helicopter’s displays and modern pilot helmets provide the crew with rapid access to critical information on flight, navigation, and mission parameters, delivered through multiple sensors and advanced connectivity systems.

In terms of armament, the AW249 is equipped with a versatile weapon system. This includes guided and unguided 70mm rockets, air-to-air infrared guided missiles, and air-to-ground radio frequency or fibre optic guided missiles. Additionally, it is armed with a formidable 20mm three-barrel Gatling gun. With a maximum take-off weight of 8.3 tons, the AW249 is set to replace the Italian Army’s aging AW129 fleet.

Production contract expected soon; deliveries from 2027.

Since its maiden flight in the summer of 2022, four prototypes of the AW249 have been constructed. Currently, two prototypes are undergoing rigorous performance, system integration, and payload testing, while the remaining two are slated to begin testing shortly.

Leonardo anticipates finalizing the production contract soon, with deliveries to the Italian Army expected to commence in 2027.

Given its advanced capabilities and modern design, the AW249 will also be available on the export market, appealing to international customers seeking state-of-the-art military helicopter solutions.

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