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Digest
January 2015

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AMAC Aerospace has recently broken ground on a fourth new hangar at its Basel Mulhouse Freiburg facilities in Switzerland. The new hangar, due for completion in the fourth quarter of 2015, will be similar in size to the two existing widebodied aircraft facilities and provide AMAC with a total of 38,100m² of floor space.

 

Bernd Schramm, Group Chief Operating Officer for AMAC, says: “We expect to see the ratio of refurbishment/completion and MRO projects shift from a 70/30 split to 60/40, as the new building will increase our capacity for maintenance. We also see a lot of opportunity in the narrow and widebody maintenance sector, with this rapidly becoming an area of expertise for AMAC we will be focusing more on this segment.”

 

AMAC Aerospace has delivered 10 major VVIP completion, refurbishment and modification projects to date. These include an Airbus A320; an Airbus A340; four Airbus ACJ319s; a Boeing 777-200LR and 777-300ER; a Boeing BBJ2; and a Global Express. Currently in the hangar for VVIP completions are a Boeing 747-8i – scheduled for delivery to a Middle East customer in the first quarter of 2015 – as well as an Airbus ACJ319 for its first Asian customer, to be delivered in the second quarter of the year. Another green 777-200 VVIP completion project for a Head of State client arrived in December 2014.

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Ameco Beijing has completed the first Ku-band satellite internet VSTC modification on an Air China Boeing 777-200.

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Ameco Beijing has received approval from FADEC International to make it the first Chinese FADEC-ECU MRO supplier. The FADEC-ECU repair capabilities are based on the use of the ATEC 6 Test Bench and are mainly applied on two series of CFM56 and V2500 engines, which covers Airbus A320 series and Boeing 737NG aircraft.

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Boeing and South African Airways (SAA) have announced that South African farmers will soon harvest their first crop of energy-rich tobacco plants, an important step towards making sustainable aviation biofuel.

 

Boeing and SAA, along with partners SkyNRG and Sunchem, also officially launched Project Solaris, their collaborative effort to develop an aviation biofuel supply chain with a nicotine-free tobacco plant called Solaris. Commercial and community farms in the Limpopo province have been planted with 50 hectares of Solaris. Oil from the plant’s seeds may be converted into bio-jet fuel as early as this year, with a test flight by SAA scheduled as soon as is feasible. In August, Boeing, SAA and SkyNRG collaborated to produce aviation biofuel from the Solaris plant, which was developed and patented by Sunchem Holding. If the test farming in Limpopo is successful, the project will be expanded in South Africa and potentially to other countries. In the coming years, emerging technologies are expected to increase aviation biofuel production to include the plant’s leaves and stems.

 

Sustainable aviation biofuel made from Solaris plants can reduce lifecycle carbon emissions by 50 to 75%, ensuring it meets the sustainability threshold set by the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB). Airlines have conducted over 1,600 passenger flights using aviation biofuel since the fuel was approved for commercial use in 2011.

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Boeing has completed the world’s first flight using green diesel, a sustainable biofuel that is widely available and used in ground transportation. The company powered its ecoDemonstrator 787 flight test aircraft with a blend of 15% green diesel and 85% petroleum jet fuel in the port Rolls-Royce engine. Sustainable green diesel is made from vegetable oils, waste cooking oil and waste animal fats. Boeing previously found that this fuel is chemically similar to HEFA (hydro-processed esters and fatty acids), an aviation biofuel approved in 2011. It is chemically distinct and a different fuel product than biodiesel, which is also used in ground transportation.

 

With a production capacity of 800 million gallons (3 billion litres) in the US, Europe and Asia, green diesel could rapidly supply as much as 1% of global jet fuel demand. With a wholesale cost of about $3 per gallon, inclusive of US government incentives, green diesel approaches price parity with petroleum jet fuel. On a lifecycle basis, sustainably produced green diesel reduces carbon emissions by 50 to 90% compared to fossil fuel, according to Finland-based Neste Oil, which supplied green diesel for the ecoDemonstrator 787. The flight test was coordinated with the FAA, Rolls-Royce and Pratt & Whitney, while EPIC Aviation blended the fuel.

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Bombardier Commercial Aircraft has announced that an entity owned by the IFL Group has signed a firm purchase agreement to acquire the first Bombardier CRJ200 SF (Special Freighter). The aircraft will join IFL Group’s fleet flying air freight throughout North, Central and South America, as well as the Caribbean. The aircraft will be converted to an all-cargo configuration by Aeronautical Engineers, Inc (AEI).

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Bombardier Commercial Aircraft has extended its Authorized Training Provider (ATP) agreement with FlightSafety International for 10 years. Under the ATP Agreement, FlightSafety uses a Bombardier-approved syllabus to deliver high-quality flight and technical training to operators of Q100, Q200, Q300 and Q400 aircraft.

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British Airways Interiors Engineering in Blackwood, South Wales, will now overhaul slides for the airline’s eight Airbus A380s. Overhaul services will include inflation systems checks, component repairs and replacements, as well as testing, repacking and certifying the slides for up to three years. To achieve this new qualification, British Airways’ technicians underwent a training programme at the slide manufacturer UTC Aerospace Systems’ training and maintenance facility in Phoenix, AZ. A team of 10 British Airways technicians are already trained, with plans for more to follow.

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CTT Systems has announced orders for CTT Cair humidification systems to be installed, starting in autumn 2015, in two VIP BBJ787 aircraft. With these two orders, CTT has received 70 Cair VIP orders in total for Airbus ACJ and Boeing Business Jets.

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GA Telesis Composite Repair Group has been awarded ANAC certification as an authorised repair station for all Brazilian airlines, MROs and parts suppliers.

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