Coinciding with French President Emmanuel Macron’s visit in March, European aviation major Airbus has refused to extend commercial bids validity for 14 twin-engine EC725 helicopters, estimated to cost Rs 2,000 crore, for the Indian Coast Guard. The company was extending the pricing as the interest rates of the European Central Bank (ECB) at the time were low. This continuous extension also led to erosion. The assumptions of inflation and interest rate hikes in the calculations of the company’s pricing for the helicopters have made the contract financially untenable at this time.
China's first airliner designed to compete with Airbus and Boeing is off to a slow start. After the fanfare surrounding the C919's maiden flight in May, the single-aisle plane didn't fly again for four months and the two test aircraft have only made about two dozen flights since, well below the normal schedule for a new commercial jet. The dearth of flight time is a setback for a flagship project in President Xi Jinping's plan to build a globally competitive aerospace industry and reduce China's dependence on foreign aircraft makers.
The indigenous Light Combat Helicopter, which is already a success story that has been ordered by the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the army, logged an important breakthrough today by flying with an “automatic flight control system” (AFCS) designed and developed by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL). An AFCS is a powerful computer that keeps a helicopter flying stably, by sensing any deviation from level flight in microseconds, and sending flight controls the correctives needed to revert to stable flight.
American aerospace and defence firm Lockheed Martin has proposed to manufacture custom-built F-16 fighter jets in India, which its officials say will give the Indian industry a unique opportunity to become part of the world's largest fighter aircraft ecosystem. "We plan to introduce two new words into the lexicon of international fighter aircraft manufacturing: 'India' and 'exclusive'," Vivek Lall, vice president, strategy and business development, at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics told PTI.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has allowed Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL)-manufactured Dornier 228 to be used for civilian flights. The 19-seater aircraft has, till now, been used by defence forces and is the first plane to be made in the country for commercial flights. The DGCA has given type certification to this aircraft and also given certificate of airworthiness to HAL's Dornier 228. Now, HAL can sell this plane to airlines in India.
Setting the ball rolling for procurement of 83 Tejas light combat aircraft, the Indian Air Force has issued the request for proposal (RFP) for the acquisition. The Defence Ministry had cleared the proposal to buy 83 fighter jets from defence PSU Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd.
Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) Chairman and Managing Director T Suvarna Raju said the company was making effort to achieve a basic certification of Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) by the mid of 2018. Raju, while addressing a gathering at HAL's 5th Global Vendors' Meet here, said it was looking to produce 100 basic trainer aircraft HTT-40 soon.
Planet Labs Inc., a US-based integrated aerospace and data analytics company, plans to set up a development centre in India to tap into the technical expertise and business opportunities. The company last week announced that four of its Dove spacecraft will be launched aboard India’s PSLV-C40 flight, scheduled early January. In a historic 104 satellites launch conducted by the Indian Space and Research Organisation’s (Isro) rocket in a single mission in February this year, 88 cube satellites belonged to Planet Labs.