News Tribune: Union workers reject Boeing supplier contract offer

Some 96.5 percent of union technical workers voting on a Spirit Aerosystems long-term contract proposal have rejected the company’s offer in a balloting late this week in Kansas.

Those workers are part of the same union that represents Boeing professional, technical and engineering employees in the Puget Sound area.

Spirit owns former Boeing properties in Wichita that produce major subassemblies of such Boeing aircraft as the 737 and the 787 Dreamliner.

Flight: Cirrus loses access to Vision jet prototype

Cirrus has lost access to its Vision SF50 jet prototype over concerns about the export status of the Williams FJ33 engine following the company’s acquisition by a Chinese company.

The single-engine SF50 will remain in Williams’ possession until the US State Department determines whether design data on the FJ33-4A-19 engine can be shared with a foreign-owned company, Brent Wouters, president and chief executive of Cirrus, said.

Flight: ACARS use doubles in five years despite next generation datalinks

Use of the traditional airline datalink ACARS (airborne communications addressing and reporting system) has doubled in five years, reaching a landmark two million messages a day linking 10,000 user aircraft, airline operations centres, air traffic control, and aircraft and engine manufacturers, communications giant SITA said.

Philip Clinch, SITA vice-president of aircraft communications, said ACARS use is set to increase despite newer alternatives.

More information from G2 Solutions is available here:

World Commercial Air Transport Avionics Market (AB084)

DoD: Defense Leaders Mourn Shalikashvili

Defense Leaders Mourn Shalikashvili

By Karen Parrish
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 24, 2011 – Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Navy Adm. Mike Mullen issued statements yesterday expressing their condolences on the death of retired Army Gen. John M. Shalikashvili.

Born June 27, 1936, in Warsaw, Poland, Shalikashvili immigrated to the United States with his family in 1952 and was drafted into the Army in 1958. He served as the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 1993 to 1997.

Shalikashvili died yesterday at Madigan Army Medical Center in Washington state of complications from a stroke, according to an Army statement. He was 75.

Panetta said the general, “one of this country’s finest,” was an extraordinary patriot who faithfully defended the nation for four decades.

“He lived the American dream, arriving from Europe with his family as a teenager after World War II, and he dedicated his life to defending the country that had quickly adopted him and his family,” Panetta said.

Panetta, then White House chief of staff, worked closely with Shalikashvili during his years as chairman, the secretary said.

“I came to rely on his wise counsel, his wealth of military expertise, and his candor as we were challenged by foreign policy crises in Haiti, the Balkans, and elsewhere,” Panetta said. “I will remember John as always being a stalwart advocate for the brave men and women who don the uniform and stand guard over this nation.”

Mullen echoed the secretary’s sentiments in a similar statement.

“The Joint Chiefs and the more than two million men and women in uniform join me today in mourning the death of retired General John Shalikashvili,” the chairman said.

Mullen said during Shalikashvili’s tenure as chairman, the general shepherded the U.S. military through the early post-Cold War era, helping to redefine U.S. and NATO relationships with former members of the Warsaw Pact, while leading the armed forces to increase their joint capabilities and interoperability.

Shalikashvili “further distinguished himself leading the highly successful Operation Provide Comfort, a humanitarian and peacekeeping Operation in Northern Iraq following Desert Storm,” Mullen said.

“We are a stronger, more capable military today because of his efforts to make us so. He will be deeply missed,” the chairman said.

Both men extended condolences to Shalikashvili’s wife, Joan, and son, Brant.

Seattle Times: Big 737 order still leaves Boeing with egg on face

Boeing raked in around $10 billion worth of commitments for 200 Renton-built 737s Wednesday. Usually that would be a good day.

Yet Boeing Commercial Airplanes chief Jim Albaugh was forced to confront analysts’ suggestions that the company’s product strategy is in tatters.

First, archrival Airbus won the larger piece of a blockbuster American Airlines order. Second, Boeing was forced into a major strategy shift: modernizing its 737 with new engines rather than launching an all-new replacement plane.

Bloomberg: Boeing Averts ‘Heart-Attack’ Order Loss as Airbus Breaks Grip on American

Boeing Co. (BA) is taking a page from Airbus SAS’s playbook seven months after the European aircraft maker began reaping record sales by upgrading its workhorse jet.

The U.S. planemaker won an order for 200 single-aisle jets yesterday from American Airlines, with half of its jets updated variants of its latest 737 airliner to follow Airbus down the route of new engines. Airbus took home 260 orders, in the biggest-ever industry deal.

AA Order: Where is Bombardier?

Here is a round up of some of the most relevant news items surrounding the AA order.  One element of particular interest, missing from the debate is the notable absence of the C-Series from the news these days.  Following a mediocre Paris Air Show,  Bombardier is nowhere to be seen at AA.  Although there is strong potential with Delta and Southwest for the C-Series family of aircraft, our view that the product will remain a niche market of about 700-900 aircraft is being firmed up.

From Scott Hamilton:  American’s order presentation, 19 page PDF: AMR Aircraft

AvWeek: American Expects Much From Record Deal

AvWeek: American Splits Order For 460 Narrowbodies

Seattle Times: Boeing scrambles to avoid losing American Airlines deal to Airbus

K-MAX Flies Into Evaluation

Flight: American splits record narrowbody order between Airbus and Boeing

American Airlines has kept its allegiance to Boeing while ordering its first Airbus narrowbodies through a massive order for 460 aircraft.

American has pledged to purchase 200 Boeing aircraft, spilt between current Next Generation 737 models and “Boeing’s expected new evolution of the 737NG, with a new engine”, which will be the CFM International Leap X. Deliveries of the current model aircraft begin in 2013.

The Airbus order includes 260 A320 aircraft with flexibility to convert its delivery positions into the A319 and A321. Deliveries of 130 current generation A320s start in 2013, said American, followed by deliveries of 130 A320neos beginning in 2017.

Flight: Boeing looks to Q4 for formal launch of re-engined 737

After more than a year of speculation, Boeing has announced that it will pursue a re-engined 737, rather than developing an all-new single-aisle aircraft.

The US airframer anticipates formal launch authority for its as yet-unnamed re-engined 737 variant – which will be powered by CFM International’s Leap-X engine – some time between the end of September and the end of December 2011.

Flight: Rutan’s risky business

New ideas are powerful things, even when they are wrong. Aviation legend Dick Rutan is not criticising his younger brother when he says the aerodynamic ideas of the now-retired founder of Scaled Composites are generally wrong two times out of three.

After a 46-year career as a test pilot and pioneering aircraft and spaceship designer, a list of Burt Rutan‘s failed projects could fill the world’s most eclectic aviation museum.

But, oh, the ideas that worked…

Ares: Cyber-Fu Panda

Time for DoD and this Administration to point fingers towards Beijing

Only five or six years (but who’s counting) after the Advanced Persistent Threat was first detected, jimmying away at every portal in the US defense and defense-industry database, the Pentagon has a cyberstrategy, unveiled on Thursday.

It’s focused on defense and is crafted to sound inoffensive — in part to allay fears that the US wants to militarize cyberspace. The strategy’s “overriding emphasis is on denying the benefits of an attack”, says deputy defense secretary William Lynn, spokesman for the new approach.