Editor Carl Chance, Wings Over Kansas’ aviation & aerospace correspondent, former news consultant and producer for Wingspan Air & Space Channel.
Hawker Beechcraft Signs Contract with Mexican Air Force for Six T-6C+ Trainers!
WICHITA, Kan. (Jan. 9, 2012) – Hawker Beechcraft Defense Company (HBDC) today announced the first sale of its new Beechcraft T-6C+ military trainer to the Mexican Air Force (FAM). The T-6C+, an enhanced version of the T-6 military trainer aircraft, is capable of carrying external stores and delivering practice weapons for training purposes. The first two of six contracted FAM T-6C+ aircraft will be delivered to an advanced training base in Mexico’s northern region in early 2012. The new T-6C+ trainers will replace the FAM’s aging PC-7 fleet.
“We look forward to providing the Mexican Air Force with the highly effective, ultra-reliable and low-maintenance Beechcraft T-6C+,” said Jim Maslowski, president, HBDC. “We see this sale of six aircraft as just the beginning of a long and productive relationship with the FAM.”
The T-6C+ features hard-point wings, Heads-Up Display, Up-Front Control Panel, an integrated glass cockpit and an advanced Esterline CMC Cockpit 4000 avionics suite that greatly expands advanced training opportunities. The systems are integrated with a Hands-On Throttle and Stick (HOTAS), providing the student pilot and instructor with a simpler interface to the digital cockpit. The CMC Cockpit 4000 avionics suite is the first in its class to incorporate a fully integrated and FAA-certified dual FMS/GPS navigation suite that meets the required navigation performance standards for current worldwide airspace equipment. The open architecture design of the Cockpit 4000 provides the flexibility to expand capabilities and continuously meet current and future training needs.
In addition to accommodating instruction in instrument flight procedures and basic aerial maneuvers, the T-6 delivers world-class training capability that is appropriate for teaching the most basic introductory flight training tasks through the more challenging and complex advanced training missions that could previously be accomplished only in far more expensive jet aircraft.
Deliveries of the T-6 began in 2000 after the aircraft was initially selected to fill the Joint Primary Aircraft Training System role for the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Navy. Since then, additional military programs worldwide, including NATO Flying Training in Canada, the Hellenic Air Force of Greece, the Israeli Air Force, the Iraqi Air Force and the Royal Moroccan Air Force, have chosen the T-6 and its derivatives as their primary trainers. To date, the T-6 has been used to train pilots, navigators, and weapons systems operators from approximately 20 different countries.
Hawker Beechcraft is a world-leading manufacturer of business, special mission, light attack and trainer aircraft – designing, marketing and supporting aviation products and services for businesses, governments and individuals worldwide. The company’s headquarters and major facilities are located in Wichita, Kan., with operations in Little Rock, Ark.; Chester, England, U.K.; and Chihuahua, Mexico. The company leads the industry with a global network of more than 100 factory-owned and authorized service centers. For more information, visit www.hawkerbeechcraft.com.
Bombardier Learjet and Governor Brownback Announce Further Expansion of the Learjet Wichita Site and Workforce!
January 10, 2012 — Wichita, Kansas
Sam Brownback, Kansas Governor, and Steve Ridolfi, President, Bombardier Business Aircraft, today announced the details of the further expansion of Bombardier’s Learjet site in Wichita.
The growth of the site includes the expansion of the Bombardier Flight Test Center, the establishment of a Bombardier Center of Excellence of Engineering and Information Technology, new facilities for paint and production flight test as well as a new delivery center. The expansion will also help create 450 new jobs over the course of seven to 10 years.
"This is great news and indicates the strength of our relationship with the State of Kansas," said Steve Ridolfi, President, Bombardier Business Aircraft. "Learjet has a rich and solid history in Kansas and we are committed to ensuring that it continues to grow and prosper along with new programs such as the Learjet 85 aircraft."
This expansion is being supported by an incentive offer worth $16 million in financial support from the State of Kansas, which will be added to the $600 million investment Bombardier is currently making to develop the Learjet 85 midsize jet and to expand Learjet’s Wichita facility
Bombardier Aerospace continues to invest in both current production Learjet aircraft as well as innovative products such as the all new Learjet 85 midsize jet. Launched on October 30, 2007, the Learjet 85 aircraft is on schedule for entry into service in 2013.
"This great day for Wichita and Kansas highlights the strength and vibrancy of the Air Capital of the World," said Governor Sam Brownback. "Our workforce, supplier base, infrastructure, research and development and aviation training assets are second to none and today’s announcement says that loud and clear. We value the strong commitment of Bombardier to Kansas and treasure this long-term, mutually beneficial relationship, which will lead to further opportunities and growth."
Spirit AeroSystems Delivers First A350 XWB Section 15 to Airbus!
SAINT-NAZAIRE, France, Jan. 9, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Spirit AeroSystems, Inc. [NYSE: SPR] has successfully delivered its first composite center fuselage section for the Airbus A350 XWB program. The upper and forward lower shell (Section 15) composite fuselage panels were joined in Spirit’s Saint-Nazaire, France, facility before being delivered to Airbus. Spirit is the world’s largest independent supplier of commercial airplane assemblies and components.
"This achievement by Spirit’s Saint-Nazaire team demonstrates a milestone in our goal of meeting commitments to our customer on the A350 XWB," said Dan Wheeler, vice president-general manager, North Carolina/Saint-Nazaire business unit. "Our close collaboration with Airbus made this possible. The Spirit team is working diligently to continue meeting the requirements of our customer as we move toward production."
Spirit won a contract with Airbus in May 2008 to design and produce Section 15 of the A350 XWB’s composite fuselage. The first center-fuselage panels were shipped from Spirit’s North Carolina facility to Spirit’s Saint-Nazaire facility in October 2011. Spirit also designs and builds the composite front wing spar and fixed leading edge for the A350 XWB, which have already been delivered to Airbus in the UK.
On the web: www.spiritaero.com
About Spirit AeroSystems, Inc.
Based in Wichita, Kan., Spirit AeroSystems is the world’s largest independent supplier of commercial airplane assemblies and components. In addition to its Kansas facility, Spirit has locations in Tulsa and McAlester, Okla.; Kinston, N.C.; Prestwick, Scotland; Preston, England; Subang, Malaysia; and Saint-Nazaire, France. In the U.S., Spirit’s core products include fuselages, pylons, nacelles and wing components. Additionally, Spirit provides aftermarket customer support services, including spare parts, maintenance/repair/overhaul, and fleet support services in North America, Europe and Asia. Spirit Europe produces wing components for a host of customers, including Airbus.
SOURCE Spirit AeroSystems, Inc.