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ALL-NEW GULFSTREAM G800 MAKES FIRST FLIGHT.

Gulfstream

Industry’s Longest-Range Aircraft Demonstrates Program Maturity, Launches Flight-Test Program.

Today, Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. reported that the brand-new, ultra long-range Gulfstream G800 had completed its first flight safely. This signified the official beginning of the flight-testing phase and company’s longest-range aircraft. The G800, which was announced in October 2021, is the newest member of Gulfstream’s next-generation fleet to take flight and move closer to customer deliveries.

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The G800 took off from Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport at 9:00 am and arrived there two hours later. The aircraft completed the journey using a combination of sustainable aviation fuel, continuing with Gulfstream’s dedication to sustainability leadership in the aviation.

Gulfstream President Mark Burns stated, “We altered the game once again for our industry when the first G800 test aircraft rolled out at our announcement last fall. Gulfstream is able to build on its successes and create aircraft that go beyond client expectations ,because of its close customer relationships. With Gulfstream-designed aerodynamics and cabin technology, the G800 pushes the boundaries of performance even further. We expect that our customers will enjoy from the longer range at higher speeds in our exceptional cabin environment.

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The G800’s advanced high-speed wing, designed by Gulfstream, and brand-new, high-thrust Rolls-Royce Pearl 700 engines allow it to travel 8,000 nautical miles (14,816 km) at Mach 0.85 and 7,000 nm (12,964 km) at Mach 0.90 with class-leading fuel efficiency. The G800 also features the latest in Gulfstream cabin technology and comfort, such as hand-crafted ergonomic seats, a high-definition circadian lighting system, 100% fresh air that is never recirculated, the lowest cabin altitude in the industry, a plasma-ionization air purification system, and 16 of the largest windows in the business. The G800 includes up to four living areas, or three living areas with a crew compartment, and it is able to accommodate up to 19 passengers.

The G800 is equipped with Gulfstream’s latest Symmetry Flight Deck and dual head-up displays with the new Combined Vision System, which integrates imagery from the Enhanced Flight Vision System and Synthetic Vision System, further enhancing safety and pilot situational awareness.

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“In the last decade, we’ve announced eight new aircraft, all strategically timed to capitalise on market demand,” said Burns. “The G800 is generating a lot of interest, and this first flight brings us even closer to delivering a Gulfstream for every mission.”

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Aerospace

South Korea selects the Embraer C-390 Millennium

South Korea selects the Embraer C-390 Millennium

C-390 is the winner of LTA-II program public tender to provide the Republic of Korea Air Force with new military transport aircraft. The country will be Asia’s first C-390 Millennium operator

Seoul, South Korea, December 04, 2023 – South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) has announced Embraer’s C-390 Millennium as the winner of the Large Transport Aircraft (LTA) II public tender to provide the Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF) with new military transport aircraft. South Korea is the C-390 Millennium’s first customer in Asia.

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Per the finalized contract, Embraer is set to deliver an undisclosed number of C-390 Millennium aircraft meticulously tailored to meet the specific requirements of the ROKAF. The agreement extends beyond the aircraft itself, encompassing a spectrum of services and support, including training, ground support equipment, and spare parts. The financial value associated with this contract will be integrated into Embraer’s backlog during the final quarter of 2023.

The package includes a substantial allocation of C-390 Millennium components

In addition to the aircraft delivery, Embraer is committed to providing a comprehensive consortium and offset package. This package includes a substantial allocation of C-390 Millennium components to be produced locally by Korean partner companies. Furthermore, it involves the establishment of a local Maintenance Repair and Overhaul (MRO) provider.

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Bosco da Costa Jr., President and CEO of Embraer Defense & Security, expressed enthusiasm, stating, “We welcome the Republic of Korea Air Force to the growing number of air forces operating the C-390 Millennium – the most modern military tactical transport aircraft.” Da Costa emphasized the aircraft’s consistent performance in various missions, highlighting its efficiency, serviceability, and speed. He also emphasized the collaborative commitment between Brazil and South Korea to enhance the capabilities of their aerospace and defense industries.

South Korea’s decision to opt for the C-390 Millennium makes it the seventh nation to choose this aircraft, following Brazil, Portugal, Hungary, the Netherlands, Austria, and the Czech Republic. Renowned for redefining military airlift, the C-390 challenges conventional perspectives on current and future-generation platforms. Its design incorporates multi-mission capability, reliability, and interoperability.

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Since its operational debut with the Brazilian Air Force in 2019 and, more recently, with the Portuguese Air Force in 2023, the C-390 has consistently demonstrated its capacity, reliability, and performance. The existing fleet has amassed over 10,800 flight hours, showcasing an operational availability of approximately 80% and mission completion rates exceeding 99%, underscoring exceptional productivity within its category.

C-390 Payload capacity of 26 tons

Distinguishing itself from medium-sized military transport aircraft, the C-390 boasts an impressive payload capacity of 26 tons and a higher flying speed at 470 knots. Its versatility enables a broad spectrum of missions, including cargo and troop transport, medical evacuation, search and rescue, firefighting, and humanitarian endeavors. Notably, the aircraft can operate on temporary or unpaved runways, such as packed earth, soil, and gravel. Additionally, the version equipped with air-to-air refueling capabilities, designated as the KC-390, has already demonstrated its prowess both as a tanker and as a receiver during aerial refueling operations.

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New UK Airline Ecojet Signs Deal For 70 ZeroAvia Engines

New UK Airline Ecojet Signs Deal For 70 ZeroAvia Engines

ZeroAvia announced that it has reached a deal with Ecojet, a recently established airline, for up to 70 engines that run entirely on hydrogen and emit no emissions.

In 2024, Ecojet, which wants to be the premier airline for green Britain, will start flying to and from Edinburgh using conventional aircraft. Later, it will convert its fleet to become the first ever electric airline in history.

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Once certified, the airline will retrofit its aircraft with ZeroAvia’s ZA600 engines to accomplish its goal. MONTE, ZeroAvia’s preferred ZA600 lessor partner, will collaborate with Ecojet to commercialize this innovative technology. By 2025, ZeroAvia hopes to have the ZA600 engine type certified.

The recently established airline has also placed a larger order for the more potent ZA2000 engine, which is intended for regional turboprops with up to 80 seats and a 2027 entry-in-service target. This will make it possible to fly planes like the Dash 8 400 and ATR72, which are already widely used on international regional routes.

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In collaboration with airports and other industry partners, ZeroAvia, Ecojet, and MONTE will determine and fund the initial routes for hydrogen-electric commercial operations. According to ZeroAvia analysis, domestic flights would have lower lifecycle carbon emissions per passenger than any other popular mode of transport available today, including fully occupied cars, domestic rail and coach travel, if they were powered by green hydrogen produced by wind energy in the UK.

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Air Force Drops Boeing from Consideration in ‘Doomsday Plane’ Contest

Air Air Force Drops Boeing from Consideration in 'Doomsday Plane' ContestDrops Boeing from Consideration in 'Doomsday Plane' Contest

Boeing confirmed on Friday that the U.S. Air Force eliminated Boeing from the competition to develop an E-4B Nightwatch replacement, reversing the competition to build the next generation of aircraft known as the “Doomsday Plane” because of its ability to withstand a nuclear war.

The E-4B Nightwatch, also referred to as the “Doomsday Plane,” is a modified Boeing 747-200B used in military operations. It is built to resist the electromagnetic pulse from a nuclear explosion and functions as the National Airborne Operations Centre. The aircraft is capable of conducting routine training and readiness missions while staying in the air for several days.

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Boeing and the Air Force were unable to agree on data rights and contract terms, according to Reuters. This was partly due to Boeing’s refusal to sign a fixed-price agreement that would have required it to pay for costs over a predetermined amount.

A major change in the military aircraft manufacturing landscape has occurred with Boeing’s removal from the ‘Doomsday Plane‘ competition. It’s unclear who will step up to take over Boeing’s position as the US Air Force works to update its aircraft and remain prepared for changing international threats.

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According to budget documents, the Air Force intends to continue developing SOAC with spending of $889 million in fiscal 2024 and $8.3 billion through fiscal 2028. Early in the 2030s, the E-4B is anticipated to reach the end of its operational lifespan.

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India to procure 97 Tejas jets, 156 Prachand choppers, totalling $26.74 billion deal

98% to be sourced from domestic industries in a major boost to ‘Aatmanirbharta’ in defence.
Procurement of Light Combat Helicopters & Light Combat Aircraft Mk 1A from HAL gets a nod.
Medium Range Anti-Ship Missiles for the surface platform of the Indian Navy accorded approval.
Acquisition of Towed Gun System cleared to replace Indian Field Gun

Proposals totaling Rs 2.23 lakh crore

The Defense Acquisition Council has greenlit capital acquisition proposals totaling Rs 2.23 lakh crore, aimed at bolstering the operational capabilities of the Armed Forces.

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This move, with 98% of the funding set to be derived from domestic industries, signifies a significant stride toward promoting self-reliance in defense.
On Thursday (Nov 30), the Indian government sanctioned what is purported to be one of the largest defense contracts in the nation’s history.

The Defence Acquisition Council, led by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, gave the green light to procure 97 Tejas light combat aircraft and 156 Prachand helicopters, a move aimed at significantly enhancing the overall combat capabilities of the armed forces. The approved deals amount to approximately Rs 2.23 trillion ($26.74 billion).

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As reported by The Economic Times newspaper, the 97 Tejas aircraft alone are valued at around Rs 650 billion ($7 billion), marking this agreement as the most substantial fighter aircraft deal ever undertaken in the country.

This strategic decision underscores the government’s commitment to fortifying the nation’s defense capabilities while concurrently supporting the growth of indigenous defense manufacturing.

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Key Points:

  1. DAC Approval: The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) chaired by Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh granted approval for Acceptance of Necessity (AoNs) totaling Rs 2.23 lakh crore on November 30, 2023.
  2. Domestic Sourcing: 98% of the approved AoN amount (Rs 2.20 lakh crore) will be sourced from domestic industries, aligning with the goal of achieving ‘Aatmanirbharta’ in the Indian Defence Industry.
  3. Anti-tank Munitions: AoN granted for procurement of two types of Anti-tank Munitions (ADM Type – 2 and Type-3) capable of neutralizing Tanks, Armoured personnel carriers, and enemy personnel.
  4. Towed Gun System (TGS): AoN granted to replace the Indian Field Gun (IFG) with a state-of-the-art Towed Gun System (TGS) for the Indian Army’s Artillery forces.
  5. 155 mm Nubless Projectile: AoN granted for the procurement of 155 mm Nubless projectiles for use in Artillery guns, enhancing lethality and safety.
  6. Automatic Target Tracker (ATT) and Digital Basaltic Computer (DBC): AoN for procurement and integration of ATT and DBC for T-90 Tanks to maintain a combative edge over adversary platforms.
  7. Medium Range Anti-Ship Missiles (MRAShM): AoN granted for procurement of MRAShM for Indian Navy’s surface platforms as a primary offensive weapon.
  8. Aircraft Procurement: AoNs granted for Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) and Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Mk 1A for Indian Air Force and Indian Army, along with the upgradation of Su-30 MKI Aircraft from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).
  9. Indigenous Content Mandate: DAC approved a major amendment in the Defence Acquisition Procedure (DAP) 2020, mandating a minimum of 50% indigenous content in material, components, and software for all procurement cases.
  10. MSMEs and Start-ups Inclusion: To encourage indigenization, DAC decided to consider registered MSMEs and recognized start-ups for Request for Proposal (RFP) issuance without financial parameter stipulations for procurement cases with AoN cost up to Rs 300 crore. This limit can be relaxed up to Rs 500 crore on a case-to-case basis with DPB approval.

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Aerospace

Is United Airlines implementing a self-serve snack bar on its latest A321neo?

United Airlines is addressing the challenges faced by airline crews in serving passengers, a task that can be quite demanding and lead to fatigue.

To enhance passenger experience and alleviate crew workload, the airline is introducing an innovative product—an onboard self-serve snack bar.

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Implement this new approach on its latest aircraft

Currently in the trial and testing phase with airline staff, the self-serve snack bar aims to gauge its convenience for in-flight service. United Airlines is set to implement this new approach on its latest aircraft, the Airbus A321neo.

Passengers will have the opportunity to independently access complimentary refreshments without relying on flight attendants to bring them.

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The airline emphasizes that the kiosks will provide a limited supply of water and snacks typically offered during complimentary service.

Piloting this concept on its Airbus A321neo

This forward-thinking initiative aims to reduce crew fatigue, addressing the challenges associated with accommodating various passenger demands during in-flight service.

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The self-serve kiosk will only become accessible after the airline staff completes their initial round of service. This new approach marks a departure from the traditional method of waiting for the cabin crew to navigate the aisle with a food and beverage cart.

United Airlines is piloting this concept on its Airbus A321neo, with the inaugural flight scheduled for November 30 departing from Chicago O’Hare International Airport.

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The new aircraft also offers: 

  • United’s new domestic first-class seat, with wireless charging and more privacy
  • Larger overhead bins with space for every passenger’s roll aboard bag
  • High-speed Wi-Fi with streaming capabilities
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • LED lighting designed to create a modern, calming atmosphere

The A321neo is just the latest addition to United’s fleet as progress continues on the airline’s ambitious United Next growth strategy; United expects to take delivery of about 800 new narrowbody and widebody aircraft between 2023 and the end of 2032, while retrofitting existing narrowbody aircraft with United’s Signature Interior.

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Revolutionizing Air Cargo: Dronamics and Qatar Airways Cargo Pioneer Drone-Airline Partnership

Dronamics, the inaugural cargo drone airline licensed to operate in Europe, and Qatar Airways Cargo, the world’s largest international cargo carrier, have announced a groundbreaking interline agreement. This partnership marks the first-ever interline agreement between a global airline and a cargo drone carrier.

The interline agreement facilitates the expansion of delivery networks for both collaborators, significantly broadening their outreach and granting access to regions traditionally challenging for conventional air freight.

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Droneports Network of Qatar Airways Cargo.

Through this arrangement, Dronamics can offer cargo services from any of its droneports, initially located in Greece, to the extensive network of Qatar Airways Cargo.

This network includes destinations like Singapore, China (including Hong Kong), and the United States (JFK). Conversely, Qatar Airways Cargo gains access to remote locations served by Dronamics, such as the Greek islands, through the cargo drone network.

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The expansion of this network allows Dronamics customers to make seamless bookings for transporting goods from a Dronamics droneport to any destination covered by the joint interline network, and vice versa.

It enables swift and reliable shipments

This development opens up significant potential for the flow of various goods, including pharmaceuticals, food, e-commerce items, mail, parcels, and spare parts. It enables swift and reliable shipments to and from locations that were previously underserved by air freight.

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Svilen Rangelov, Co-Founder and CEO of Dronamics, expressed enthusiasm about the partnership, stating, “We’re very excited to have the world’s largest air cargo carrier as our partner for the first-of-its-kind interline agreement with our category-defining cargo drone airline.”

Rangelov emphasized the opportunity to exponentially expand air cargo accessibility globally, enabling same-day delivery to numerous communities worldwide.

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Elisabeth Oudkerk, SVP Cargo Sales & Network Planning at Qatar Airways Cargo, highlighted the airline’s commitment to embracing disruptive technology and supporting ambitious companies like Dronamics.

She noted the significance of being the first international airline to offer this innovative service, marking a milestone in the advancement of autonomous cargo drone transportation.

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Dronamics is set to commence commercial operations in Greece early next year, with a focus on establishing a same-day service connecting Athens, the capital city, with the industrial north area of the country, as well as the southern islands.

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