Eric Fanning, president and CEO of the Aerospace Industries Association highlights the challenges facing aerospace suppliers in the civil aviation slowdown related to the coronavirus pandemic. "They're not servicing the planes, so even the aftermarket has dried up," he said, noting that companies are motivated to protect jobs, but cash is running out.
Boeing and Solvay have entered a partnership for the production of medical face shields using Boeing's 3D printing capabilities combined with technical support from Solvay, a chemical company based in Belgium.
Textron Aviation has contributed 2,500 N95 masks to first responders and health care providers in Kansas, in addition to 5,000 masks donated by the Wichita-based company last week. Textron also donated a variety of personal protection equipment, including lab coats, nitrile gloves, face shields and shoe covers.
The Federal Aviation Administration has proposed new noise standards for supersonic aircraft, which would be required to allow the reintroduction of civil supersonic flight. "There is renewed interest in the development of supersonic aircraft, and the proposed regulations would facilitate the continued development of airplanes by specifying the noise limits for the designs," the FAA said.
The Space Development Agency has announced plans to commission up to 20 satellites as the first step toward an eventual global communications constellation for the US military. The final request for bids covering the design, production and testing of the satellites is expected by early May.
Work on NASA's James Webb Space Telescope has been greatly pared back as a measure to protect workers during the coronavirus pandemic. Once the integration and testing phase is complete, work on the project could come to a standstill.
The Federal Aviation Administration has posted 16 relief measures for the industry in response to the coronavirus pandemic, covering training, repair stations and some medical mandates. "The FAA is proactively taking steps to help address the widespread economic and health effects that the Covid-19 pandemic is having on the aviation industry," according to the agency.
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