The Ch-47 Chinook has been a staple of the US Army since the early 70’s and remains one of the most iconic aircraft in American history to this day. Although the US Army has no immediate plans and intentions to replace the venerable aircraft, when the time does come for it to move on from the Ch-47 Chinook, the AVX aircraft will be its successor. With a 27.2t (60,000lb) tiltrotor replacement and  13.4m (44ft) propellers, the AVX tiltrotor aircraft has been deemed the most perfect fit for a heavy-lift cargo aircraft by an independent advanced rotorcraft design shop. The Texas-based shop in Benbrook has several Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey aerodynamicists as staff and with the wealth of experience and knowledge between them have approved the AVX as the most sensible and probable successor to the storied Chinook. The CH-47 is among the last of the current-generation helicopters that are intended to be slowly phased out in favor of a next-generation design.


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The deputy commander of the United States Pacific Command has suggested that the United States Army must utilize innovative aircrafts with increased speed, range, as well as survivability than is currently attainable with today’s helicopter offerings. Lt Gen Tony Crutchfield has said that the long distances across the Pacific Ocean are a challenge for the current generation of army rotorcraft, specifically the UH-60 Black Hawk, AH-6 Little Bird, AH-64 Apache, as well as the CH-47 Chinook. All of these rotorcrafts were adopted in the last century. The proliferation of anti-aircraft weaponry has also posed as a challenge to these existing rotorcrafts.


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Lockheed Martin team in the UK is creating facilities in the UK to handle performance of F-35 Lightning 2 aircraft. When the F-35 fighters arrive in Britain, they are hoping for completion in early or around 2018 is what the completion is scheduled for currently. The Air Force base is to begin sometime this month and will include a maintenance and finish facility, a logistics center and also will have a training center as well.


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The Boeing Company recently announced that they have been awarded a new US Army contract worth over $1.5 billion to upgrade their Apache helicopter fleet. Over the course of the next several years, the Army will send 117 of their older Apache Helicopters to Boeing’s Mesa facility to be equipped with modern technology. The Army will use this new contract to bring their entire Apache fleet up to current specs and standards.


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The Dutch Military has awarded Boeing the contract for 12 CH-47F Chinook helicopters which has been valued at an estimated $308 million dollars. According to an announcement from the Defense Department, the funding for the helicopters comes as part of amendment to an already existing foreign military sales contract with the country of Netherlands. Work on the Chinooks will be conducted at Boeing’s facility in Ridley Township, Penn. And if recent announcements are to be believed, the deliveries are expected to be fulfilled this month with U.S. Army’s Contracting Command officials overseeing the program.


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AAR Corporation, an aviation support company that was founded in 1951 and supplies a wide range of services and products to the government, defense, and aerospace industries, has recently entered into an agreement with UTC Aerospace Systems in order to manage and overlook distribution necessities as well as to support the Japanese military aircraft in Japan by stocking inventory of defense parts. UTC Aerospace Systems serves as one of the world’s biggest suppliers of technologically advanced defense and aerospace products.


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This past month, the US Army has officially began its search to find replacement “Block III” engines for its second generation RQ-7B Shadow UAV (RQ-7Bv2) aircraft. The initial RQ-7Bv2 scout planes entered service just last year, but new mission equipment is already weighing down the planes immensely.  To put this extra weight into perspective, the RQ-7B was designed to have an overall takeoff weight of 280 lbs, but after adding all the necessary equipment and mission modifications, the takeoff weight balloons to 460 lbs. This takeoff weight is especially troublesome considering that the US Army will likely make even more changes to the aircraft equipment.


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The Airbus A350-900 is scheduled to make its FIDAE debut as a part of the air show’s flying display.  The huge wide body twin engine plane recently entered service with Brazilian Airline TAM, and the FIDAE air display will only serve to strengthen Air Bus’ reach within South America.  Airbus has seen its fair share of sales success in Latin America, and they believe their latest model will also sell well in the region.


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Sécurité Civile, the civil defense agency of the French government, will soon need to replace their aging fleet of nine Conair Turbo Firecat fire bombers and have recently considered potentially choosing the new Bombardier 415 Superscooper in order to modernize their fleet. Sécurité Civile’s current existing fleet of Firecat bombers, some of which have served as long as 58 years, were originally converted from Grumman S-2 Trackers; their type certificate is soon to expire in 2020.


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The United States Navy’s twin-engine supersonic, multirole combat jet, the F-18 Hornet, has been experiencing issues with its On-Board Oxygen Generation System (OBOGS), as the Navy has been continuously searching for a fix for five years. The system failure, while rare, could potentially kill the aircraft’s pilot due to in-flight oxygen deprivation, consequently costing a pilot’s life as well as potentially destroying a $30 million to $60 million aircraft.


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Gogo Inflight Internet announced this week that they have signed an agreement to collaborate with Shareco Technologies to provide connectivity services on commercial aircraft. This partnership marks Gogo’s first venture into China, and it is also the biggest deal ever announced in the country in terms of in-flight connectivity. Under the terms of the deal, Gogo will also supply features such as in-flight entertainment options to Shareco to install on the aircraft. The companies’ goal is to install the systems onto fifty aircraft within two years.


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Over the next few months, Bombardier will work to focus on incorporating the SmartSky 4G LTE network into all of its US based business jet platforms including Challenger, Global, and Learjet aircraft.  SmartSky utilizes a unique air-to-ground network to provide 4G LTE network capabilities to customers throughout the continental US.  The network was developed as a direct response to an industry-wide lack of high-speed internet, and today it is the premier choice for in-flight connectivity.


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MTU Maintenance, the maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) division of the German aircraft engine manufacturer, MTU Aero Engines, has steadily been strengthening its position as a world leading provider for maintenance, repair, and overhaul. In 2015, MTU Maintenance signed deals totaling in at a value of 2.1 billion U.S. dollars, creating for a new company record which represents a rough increase of 25 percent from 2014.


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Pratt and Whitney Canada, one of the global leaders in aerospace technologies, is introducing their PT6B-37A engine to China, in order to power twenty-five new Agusta Westland QW119Kx Helicopters. The helicopters, which will be used for emergency medical purposes, are provided by defense company Finmeccanica through a contract with Sino-US. Over the course of the next two years, a total of sixty Agusta helicopters will be delivered under this contract to the medical team. Pratt and Whitney executives were delighted to be selected for this opportunity.


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Turbomeca, the French manufacturer of low-power and medium-power gas turbine turboshaft engines for helicopters, remains hopeful that their Ardinden 3 engine will be offered on the Airbus Helicopter H175 super medium. Currently, the H175 helicopter features Pratt & Whitney Canada’s PT6 engines. The Airbus H175 helicopter remains as the only aircraft from Airbus Helicopters which is not equipped with an engine from Turbomeca.


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The Boeing Company is struggling to agree on an idea regarding what kind of midsize jet they should build to compete with the Airbus A321neo. The two options they have, as they see it, are to create a bigger and better version of the 737 MAX, or to create an entirely new 797 aircraft. Chief Ray Conner of Boeing Commercial Airplanes has expressed his desire to finalize decision sometime this year.


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The Flight Acquisition Storage and Transmission (FAST™) solution from Pratt & Whitney Canada is now available for the AgustaWestland AW139 helicopter. The FAST™ solution from Pratt & Whitney Canada offers a wireless solution which provides preventative and actionable engine health information in addition to flight data recorder (FDR) data collection as well as transmission to operators. Available through Finmeccanica’s Helicopter Division, the FAST™ solution allows for lessened pilot workload while simultaneously reducing the operating costs as well as downtime of the helicopter due to advanced engine health monitoring accuracy.


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Van Horn Aviation (VHA), the Rotor blade manufacturing company has received the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) supplemental type certificate (STC) for their composite main rotor blades tailored for the JetRanger helicopter Bell 206B. The new VHA 206B rotor blades have triple the amount of service hour life at more than 18,000 hours compared to the current OEM blades which stands for the original equipment manufacturer.


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ViaSat announced yesterday, February 22, 2016 that they have come to an agreement to provide Qantas Airways the highest-quality and fastest in-flight Wi-Fi connectivity on Qantas’ domestic flights. ViaSat speeds will be up to 10 times faster than ground based in-flight internet services. This will allow customer to stream live sports, news, TV shows, and movies.


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On Monday February 16th, 2016 an article was released discussing the enhanced SR series 2016 for the Cirrus aircraft. This article talks about the newest improvements in design, convenience, and luxury when it comes to the SR models. Aviation Pros describes the experience on the same caliber as “luxury automobiles to both pilot and passengers.”


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