Embraer is readying for the production phase of the KC-390, which the company plans to sell under a joint venture with Boeing. Testing and assembly of the aircraft will take place in Brazil.
A smaller version of the 525 Relentless helicopter will be Bell's offering for the US Army's Future Attack and Reconnaissance Aircraft program. Bell is "taking that technology that we validated in the 525 program and scaling that down to a size and weight that's consistent with the FARA requirement," says Scott Donnelly CEO of Textron, Bell's parent.
The US Army is shelving a next-generation drone program to concentrate on future vertical lift projects. However, it will continue work with AAI Corp. and a Martin UAV-Northrop Grumman team on a replacement for the Shadow drone.
Airbus and Embraer X are laying the groundwork for future urban air mobility markets, with Embraer X gauging the regulatory landscape in Asia and Airbus planning the first flight of its City Airbus pilotless air taxi later this year. The Embraer subsidiary released its air taxi concept last year.
The Malaysian Palm Oil Board and an American company are conducting trials to test the possibility of using palm oil in the production of biojet fuels. "Based on the study, [palm fatty acid distillate and palm oil] have shown good conversion into biojet fuel with byproducts such as diesel, naphtha, propane and others," MPOB's Ahmad Kushairi Din says.
Members of the European Space Agency have assured ArianeGroup of compensation for promised launch contracts, setting the stage for full production of the Ariane 6 rocket. "The resolution that they adopted provides us not the orders, but the guaranteed equivalent that we will be covered if these orders will not materialize in a reasonable time," ArianeGroup CEO Andre-Hubert Roussel says.
The recent successful first flight of the Stratolaunch, the largest aircraft in the world, puts the company closer to its goal of creating an air-launch service for rockets. Plans call for the aircraft to launch the Pegasus rocket next year.
Dozens of House members are calling on the US Air Force to stick to its schedule for developing new rockets, a schedule that favors United Launch Alliance, the Lockheed Martin-Boeing joint venture. Supporters of SpaceX and other ULA rivals want the Air Force to slow down its selection process.
Former Aviation Week & Space Technology Editor-in-Chief of Anthony Velocci Jr. warns that environmental policies could curb growth in aviation, citing the Green New Deal proposal. "As a practical matter, trade organizations representing the broader aviation community should consider the Green New Deal a disquieting wake-up call to be ignored at the industry's peril," he writes.
American Airlines on Sept. 4 will launch nonstop service between Philadelphia and Bentonville, Ark. The new flights will be operated with Embraer 175 aircraft. American also on May 3 will add two new flights from Columbia, Mo., to Chicago, for a total of four daily flights to the Windy City.
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