Archive for the ‘airshow’ Category

China flexes military hardware muscle

November 6, 2008

China‘s unprecedented display of military hardware at the country’s primary airshow was a warning to industry rivals of its global ambitions as a defence manufacturer, analysts said.

By Guy Newey, AFP

A visitor passes advertising for a Chinese-made attack aircraft ... 
A visitor passes advertising for a Chinese-made attack aircraft at the China Airshow 2008 in the southern Chinese city of Zhuhai on November 5. The country’s unprecedented display of military hardware at its key airshow has served as a warning to industry rivals of its global ambitions as a defence manufacturer, analysts have said.(AFP/File/Mike Clarke)

As a pair of its fourth-generation J-10 fighter planes made a first public appearance, buzzing past eager crowds at Airshow China 2008, the trade stands hummed with talk of the new missile systems and other equipment on display.

Some analysts believe China’s ability to copy overseas technology, witnessed in countless industries over the past 20 years, could soon be powering its defence complex.

“Ten years ago they did not have any modern aircraft industry at all, now they have started to produce copies of our plane,” said one Russian defence official, who would only speak on condition of anonymity.

“They will do exactly the same they have done with textiles and toys — learn how to make it, make it cheaper and then undercut the market.”

He said China was possibly 10 years away from developing its own military aircraft engine — it currently uses engines made by Russian defence giant Sukhoi — but once it had, it would stop purchasing overseas technology.

“They will stop buying anything from abroad and push cheap Chinese fighters to the third world countries,” the official added.

While the European Union and the United States continue to have sanctions on the export of military equipment to many of the world’s countries — including China — Chinese manufacturers face few such restrictions.

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http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20081106/bs_afp/china
russiaasiaaerospacemilitary_081106065648

China plane-makers take first steps to rival global giants

November 4, 2008

China‘s fledging aerospace industry took a major leap forward Tuesday at the nation’s only international air show as it announced its first sale of commercial aircraft to a US company.

The Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (CACC) confirmed the sale of five homemade jets to the aircraft leasing arm of General Electric with an option for the firm to buy 20 more, the two companies said in a statement.

by Guy Newey, AFP

A photographer takes pictures of trade stands in front of a ... 
A photographer takes pictures of trade stands in front of a fighter jet poster on display at the China Airshow 2008 in Zhuhai. China’s only international airshow opened on Tuesday as the host nation looked to take another step on its ambitious journey to rival the global players of the aerospace industry.(AFP/Mike Clarke)

The contract, signed on the sidelines of Airshow China in the southern city of Zhuhai, makes GE Commercial Aviation Services the first overseas leasing firm to buy a Chinese-made commercial plane, they said.

Delivery of the ARJ21s — which stands for Advanced Regional Jet for the 21st Century — will start in 2013, according to the statement, which was unable to confirm reports that the contract would be worth 735 million dollars.

“The ARJ21 will help fulfill the growing need within China for fast, efficient regional air travel,” said Norman Liu, executive vice president of GE Commercial Aviation Services , in the statement.

The ARJ21, which carries between 70 and 90 passengers, and other jets to be produced by CACC, are widely seen as part of a Chinese plan to eventually rival the dominance of aviation giants Airbus and Boeing.

“To fly Chinese large aircraft in the blue sky is not just the will of the government, but the whole nation,” CACC’s chief Jin Zhuanglong told an aviation conference in Zhuhai on Monday.

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http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20081104/bs_afp/finance
economychinaaerospaceshow_081104081923

China’s Big Airshow This Week is About Aviation’s Future

November 3, 2008

The giants of the aerospace industry will jet in to China‘s only international airshow starting Tuesday hoping the country’s aviation sector can provide shelter from the global financial crisis.

by Guy Newey, AFP

US manufacturer Boeing and Europe’s Airbus will head the line-up of 600 civil and military manufacturers and parts suppliers from 35 countries at the 2008 China Airshow, an annual event in the southern city of Zhuhai.

And as airlines across the world report a drop-off in first and business class travel due to the economic turbulence, the firms will be looking to China to provide crucial growth in the next few years.

“China is going to be the fastest-growing market in the world,” Wang Yukui, the spokesman for Boeing in China, told AFP.

An Air China plane lands at Beijing's international airport. ... 
An Air China plane lands at Beijing’s international airport. The giants of the aerospace industry are set to jet in to China’s only international airshow hoping the country’s aviation sector can provide shelter from the global financial crisis.(AFP/File/Peter Parks)

Research released last week by the US giant found China will need 3,710 new commercial planes worth 390 billion dollars over the next 20 years.

The demand will represent 41 percent of the entire Asia-Pacific market, and only the United States will be a bigger buyer, Boeing said.

In addition, Chinese carriers will add about 370 freight-carrying planes by 2027, quadrupling their total freighter fleet, the Boeing research found.

Airbus chief executive officer Tom Enders also said recently it was expecting a “large order” from Chinese airlines by early 2009, on top of existing memorandums of understanding with Chinese carriers for 280 aircraft.

The company’s giant superjumbo, the A380, will be on display at the China Airshow, as the company tries to take a bigger slice of the thriving market.

In 2007, China’s air traffic soared 16.8 percent to 387.6 million passenger trips, on the back of 16.7 percent growth in 2006, state media reported.

The demand has sparked a similar boom in airport construction, with around 100 new airports planned by 2020, previous reports said.

Nevertheless, China’s aviation sector starting to feel the impact of the global economic turmoil, according to Tom Ballantyne, chief correspondent of industry magazine Orient Aviation.

“Although we are not talking about a cessation of growth, we are talking about a slowdown in growth,” he told AFP.

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http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20081103/bs_afp/finance
economychinaaviation_081103072219

Navy Blue Angels: Aircraft 4 Is Missing; Formations Remain Spectacular

November 2, 2008

When a pilot crashes with his aircraft, the reasons can take months and even years to determine.  When man fails without his machine, the history of mankind tells us the reasons swiftly sometimes….

By Lindsay Kastner
San Antonio Press – News

An afternoon performance by the Navy’s Blue Angels was a crowd-pleaser even though the six-jet squadron flew only five planes Saturday, after two team members were removed from duty last week.

The team members, including one pilot, were removed from duty Oct. 26 after allegations of an inappropriate relationship, Blue Angels spokesman Marine Capt. Tyson Dunkelberger confirmed.

Members of the U.S. Navy Blue Angels precision flying team perform ...

Several spectators at the AirFest 2008, part of a weeklong San Antonio salute to the military, said they noticed the show was down a plane, but were unfazed by the absence. Jet number four was clearly missing from the team’s formations.

Mario and Sylvia Perez said they loved Saturday’s show despite the missing plane.

“He kept on asking, ‘Where’s the sixth one? Where’s the sixth one?’” Sylvia Perez said.

Chuck Pollack also noted the vacancy on the team, but wondered if it was combat-related.

“I thought it was perfect the way they were flying,” said Pollack, who last saw the Blue Angels perform four or five years ago.

With just five jets, some formations were changed — for instance the jets flew in a letter V shape instead of their hallmark diamond or delta formation, Dunkleberger said. There are no backup pilots who can step in when one of the Blue Angels is unable to fly, according to the team’s website.

The Blue Angels also flew what is called a “low show” instead of their preferred “high show” Saturday, which limits some maneuvers the pilots can perform. But Dunkleberger said that was a safety decision that had nothing to do with the removal of the two team members.

“The low show was just due to the cloud level today,” he said.

Dunkelberger said the team commonly practices with fewer than six planes and is ready to perform without its full complement of jets.

“That was pretty good, fun, air show as far as I was concerned,” he said, of the demonstration.

Many in the crowd agreed.

“It was super,” said spectator Larry Priest. “They put on an awesome show. It wouldn’t make any difference if they had three planes.”

Dunkelberger would not release the names of the individuals — a male and a female — who are no longer participating in team duties.

“It’s a privacy thing for those individuals,” he said. “It’s administrative in nature, not judicial.”

In addition to flying, the Blue Angels visit schools and hospitals as they tour.

“We have additional people that can fill those roles,” Dunkelberger said, noting that the team also includes C-135 pilots who step in when jet pilots aren’t available.

He said he did not know how long the members might be off the team, saying that has not been determined yet.

“They’ve basically just been relieved of their duties at this point.”

The Blue Angels perform again today at Lackland AFB’s Kelly Field Annex, where AirFest 2008 continues. Their 2008 season ends Nov. 15 after shows at the Kennedy Space Center and at their home base in Pensacola, Fla.

Related:

Navy Blue Angels Flying Today; As In War, Operations Continue Despite Any Setback

Navy Blue Angels Flying Today; As In War, Operations Continue Despite Any Setback

November 1, 2008

The Blue Angels will fly today, one day after it was made public that two team members were removed from duty because of an alleged inappropriate relationship.
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The Blues fly in San Antonio today and Sunday.

On Thursday, the Blue Angels announced that the removal of the team members would force the squadron to fly five jets instead of the standard six jets for the rest of the season, which concludes Nov. 14-15 at Pensacola Naval Air Station.

No new details were released Friday, and the team members’ names have not been made public.

The allegations involve a male and a female team member. The Military Times reported Thursday that one of the individuals is a pilot.

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Related:
Navy Blue Angels: Aircraft 4 Is Missing; Formations Remain Spectacular
When a pilot crashes with his aircraft, the reasons can take months and even years to determine.  When man fails without his machine, the history of mankind tells us the reasons swiftly sometimes….

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The allegations are under review by Rear Adm. Mark Guadagnini, chief of Naval air training.

–Pensacola News Journal
November 1, 2008

Blue Angels on Delta Formation.jpg
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AP: A spokesman for the U.S. Navy Blue Angels says the stunt-flying team will be down one jet the rest of its season after removing two members from duty for having an inappropriate relationship.

Capt. Tyson Dunkelberger, a spokesman for the team based at Naval Air Station Pensacola, said Thursday the squadron will finish its last three air shows next month with five jets.

Dunkelberger would not identify the two members but said the relationship was between a man and a woman. All six of the F-18 stunt pilots are men, and 23 of the 133-member squadron are women.

Dunkelberger says a military administrative hearing will be held to determine further disciplinary actions, which could include removal from the military.