Welcome to the newest installment of “The easy Report”! To keep you updated, as usual, we will be summing up select news from the aviation world, with many useful links!
Now that it has completed the sale of its commercial aviation division to Intesat, Gogo Inc. will shift its in-flight connectivity focus to business aviation. The USD 400 million sale on December 1 marks a new chapter for the Chicago-based company, which plans to launch fifth generation (5G) ATG network in 2021.
On December 16, Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. announced the delivery of the first European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA)-certified G600 to an anonymous operator based in Europe, further growing the next-generation fleet of G600s internationally!
Embraer announced the completion of the first conversion of a Legacy 450 to a Praetor 500, with a longer range,for an undisclosed customer in Europe. The conversion was completed at the company’s service center at Le Bourget International Airport in Paris. For more information about the “intricate” and challenging expert conversion, click here!
More challenges for Boeing arise as the 737 Max recertification process continues to attract suspicious eyes. In a press release on December 18, US Senator Riger, chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation released the committee’s investigation report on the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), looking into information about the 737 Max certification and uncovering more Boeing influence on the process. The report also details several significant examples of lapses in aviation safety oversight and failed leadership in the FAA. The committee provided a brief overview of some of the report’s troubling findings. Click here for more information on the committee’s report!
On another note, orders for the 737 Max continue to stream in. Two weeks after the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approved the grounded Boeing 737 Max fleet to service in the US, Ryanair, one of the largest low cost airlines in Europe, placed an order for 75 aircrafts of the type, confident that the new version of the 737 Max will satisfy its customers. Ryanair believes that as the pandemic begins to recede in 2021 with the rollout of effective vaccines, the new environmentally efficient 737 Max aircrafts will rapidly restore flights and schedules, thus lead the recovery of Europe’s aviation and tourism industries.
In a press release on December 9, Airbus announced that JetBlue Airways completed its first test flighty of the Airbus A220-300 at the Mobile Aeroplex at Brooley. JetBlue has ordered 70 A220 aircrafts, which will be delivered to NewYork before the end of the year. According to the press release, the A220 is the quietest and cleanest aircrafts in its category. It will be outfitted with a single-class cabin configuration and carry passengers on many short trips, commonly referred to as “hopping”.
In a press release on December 1, Honeywell introduced a next-generation catalyst (fourth generation Combined Hydrocarbon Ozone Catalyst CHOC4) to address “smell-in-cabin” events, caused by certain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in “bleed air” coming from engines and auxiliary power units for air conditioning and pressurization of cabin air. The advanced catalyst technology will help reduce delays, cancellations, and unscheduled maintenance, which can cost airlines up to USD 50 million per year!
In a press release on December 2, the Universal Weather and Aviation Inc. announced that its very own Universal Trip Support will be providing free trip feasibility and consulting services to general aviation operators classified as “Humanitarian Covid-19 vaccine delivery flights” through June 30th, 2021. Universal’s donated services serve to demonstrate the aviation industry’s most important role of the season, delivering the vaccines where they are needed most.
On December 14, United Parcel Service (UPS) completed the first flights of Covid-19 vaccines to its global hub “Worldport” in Louisville, Kentucky. Pfizer-BionNTech’s Covid-19 vaccines will originate from storage sites in Michigan and Wisconsin before being transported to Worldport, where they will be expedited to destinations like hospitals, clinics and other medical facilities.
Researchers from the University of Arizona have been collaborating with Boeing to demonstrate the efficacy of thermal disinfection, an old age technique, in eliminating the SARS-CoV-2 on sensitive aircraft flight deck surfaces, the most challenging surfaces to disinfect using traditional chemical disinfectants. Boeing’s flight decks are designed to withstand temperatures up to 70 degrees Celsius, making thermal disinfection an optimal sanitization method.
Due to uncertainty related to the impact of the novel Covid-19 coronavirus, the board of directors of the Paris Airshow and the French Aerospace Industries Association (GIFAS) have cancelled the 2021 Paris Airshow. The organizers said that they will hold the highly renowned Paris Airshow in 2023, hoping that the upcoming edition celebrates the resurgence of the aviation industry around the globe!
On December 12, Virgin Galactic’s SpaceshipTwo test flight failed to reach space after the spacecraft’s rocket motor experienced ignition problems. The pilots conducted a safe landing and return to Spaceport America in New Mexico after the unfortunate event, as stated in a press release on December 14. The CEO of Virgin Galactic stated that the team is now focusing on continuing the testing program and repeating the December 12 flight, then conducting another flight including mission specialists as passengers.
That’s all for December 2020, peeps!
Until next month!