Mitsubishi Halts All SpaceJet Flying, Production Winding Down To Zero

Mitsubishi | June 02, 2020

The Mitsubishi Aircraft SpaceJet program has halted all flight testing worldwide and is winding down production to zero. The company said it must first meet cost targets and then work out a plan to get a type certificate (TC). Only after the regional jet is declared airworthy will the resumption of manufacturing be considered. Staffing at the home of the program in Nagoya, Japan, will be reduced, Mitsubishi Aircraft said, briefly outlining its plans to Aviation Daily.
Despite the retrenchment of development, Mitsubishi Aircraft majority owner Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) completed on June 1 its purchase of the Bombardier CRJ program, the likely foundation of future SpaceJet maintenance and marketing. The CRJ business is now called MHI RJ Aviation Group; it does not include CRJ manufacturing facilities.

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AEROSPACE

Eve and Global Crossing Airlines sign Letter of Intent for up to 200 eVTOL aircraft and enable future collaboration for UAM

Global Crossing Airlines | March 21, 2022

Eve UAM, LLC ("Eve"), an Embraer S.A. ("Embraer") company, and Global Crossing Airlines Group, Inc. ("GlobalX") have signed a Letter of Intent (LoI) to order up to 200 of Eve's electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft (eVTOL). This potential sale is included in Eve's current order backlog of up to 1,785 eVTOLs. The company expects to start the deliveries in 2026. The agreement also enables a promising partnership that intends to explore the development of an ecosystem to scale Urban Air Mobility (UAM) and reinforces the Concept of Operations (CONOPS) in Miami-Dade that was announced today. GlobalX's expertise as a flag airline will contribute not only to the formulation of the infrastructure needed to permit eVTOL flights, but also the deployment of Eve's aircraft throughout their network. "We are honored to be working with Eve Air Mobility and believe their affiliation with Embraer ensures Eve will be the best positioned eVTOL OEM. These eVTOLs will enable us to expand our market throughout south Florida, bringing our customers to their flights at MIA and FLL, as well as local flying within Key West and all of the Keys, Naples, and Palm Beach. This will help extend and expand our brand." Ed Wegel, Chair and CEO of GlobalX "We are delighted with this partnership with GlobalX, which will maximize our efforts to structure UAM operations. Their experience as an airline will contribute to the expansion of Eve's eVTOL deployment in North America. The partnership also ensures both companies' commitment to delivering sustainable UAM and providing the community with better and faster solutions," said Andre Stein, co-CEO of Eve. The completion of the transactions contemplated by the LoI is subject to the execution of definitive agreements and receipt of all necessary regulatory approvals. About Global Crossing Airlines GlobalX is a US 121 domestic flag and supplemental airline flying the Airbus A320 family aircraft. GlobalX flies as a passenger ACMI and charter airline serving the US, Caribbean, and Latin American markets. In 2022, GlobalX will enter ACMI cargo service flying the A321 freighter, subject to DOT and FAA approvals. About Eve Air Mobility Eve is dedicated to accelerating the Urban Air Mobility (UAM) ecosystem. Benefitting from a startup mindset, backed by Embraer's more than 50-year history of aerospace expertise, and with a singular focus, Eve is taking a holistic approach to progressing the UAM ecosystem, with an advanced eVTOL project, a comprehensive global services and support network and a unique air traffic management solution. About Embraer A global aerospace company headquartered in Brazil, Embraer has businesses in Commercial and Executive aviation, Defense & Security and Agricultural Aviation. The company designs, develops, manufactures and markets aircraft and systems, providing Services & Support to customers after-sales. Since it was founded in 1969, Embraer has delivered more than 8,000 aircraft. On average, about every 10 seconds an aircraft manufactured by Embraer takes off somewhere in the world, transporting over 145 million passengers a year. Embraer is the leading manufacturer of commercial jets up to 150 seats and the main exporter of high value-added goods in Brazil. The company maintains industrial units, offices, service and parts distribution centers, among other activities, across the Americas, Africa, Asia and Europe.

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AVIATION TECHNOLOGY

Flight Safety Foundation Urges Collaboration on Safe Implementation of 5G

Flight Safety Foundation | December 23, 2021

Flight Safety Foundation strongly encourages the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to work together to develop a plan that enables the safe and efficient implementation of 5G mobile communications services in the C-Band. It is critical to fully understand and mitigate potential 5G signal interference with radio altimeters that are integral to aircraft safety systems. Activation of these services currently is scheduled for Jan. 5. The FAA's recent airworthiness directives (ADs) would restrict the use of approach and landing procedures during low visibility conditions. Other safety-critical features such as aircraft and obstacle collision avoidance systems also depend on reliable radio altimeter performance. The Foundation is concerned about the possible unintended consequences of not having full safety enhancement system capabilities available to pilots and about the considerable efforts to develop and communicate the mitigations to all segments of the aviation sector. These restrictions will adversely impact different aviation operations, including helicopter emergency medical services. "Restricting the use of safety-critical systems when in the vicinity of 5G interference, as outlined in recent FAA ADs, is not a viable long-term solution, We should always be working to improve the situational awareness of flight crews, not restricting it." -Capt. Conor Nolan, chairman of the Foundation's Board of Governors. The Foundation believes that 5G and aviation can safely co-exist, but it is going to take a collaborative approach on the part of FAA and FCC, and stakeholders in the aviation and telecommunications industries, to resolve outstanding issues. "We urge the formation of a government-industry expert panel to collaboratively develop viable and sustainable solutions for safe deployment before 5G activation, Working together, sharing and analyzing data, is going to result in the best outcome." -Dr. Hassan Shahidi, the Foundation's president and CEO. About Flight Safety Foundation Flight Safety Foundation is an independent, nonprofit, international organization engaged in research, education and communications to improve aviation safety. The Foundation's mission is to connect, influence and lead global aviation safety.

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BUSINESS AVIATION

Air Force Wants Combat Drones Controlled by Piloted Aircraft

U.S. Air Force | December 14, 2021

The U.S. Air Force wants to soon add to its arsenal remotely piloted air combat vehicles that may be networked and controlled by piloted aircraft, according to the service’s top official. The news comes days after USAF Secretary Frank Kendall also confirmed that the Air Force will ask for funding for two classified remotely piloted air combat vehicles in the next defense budget, according to reports. “I’ve got two that I’m going to have in the ’23 budget in some form, They’re both unmanned air combat vehicles, unmanned platforms that are designed to work in conjunction with fighter aircraft like [the Next Generation Air Dominance fighter] or F-22 or the F-35. On the other hand they work in conjunction with bombers like the B-21. The B-21 is a very expensive aircraft. It has a certain payload and range, We’d like to amplify that capability. It has to be able to penetrate, which is valuable, but individual B-21s are gonna be very expensive so what we want is something that can operate with it,” he said, adding, “We’re gonna sort that out and think about unmanned combat aircraft, how to network them together under the control of an operator of a B-21 to operate as a formation in a loose sense against a modern enemy.” - Kendall told Politico The Air Force’s secret NGAD family of capabilities is expected to be operational by 2030. The new B-21 Raider, described as forming “the backbone” of USAF’s bomber fleet, is designed to “provide operational flexibility” while also being “relevant across the spectrum of conflict,” the USAF said. The service is expected to procure at least 100 copies of the aircraft, with deliveries anticipated in the mid-2020s. The USAF is already on the path to exploring the teaming of piloted and remotely crewed aircraft. This past summer, the service announced that its experimental autonomy core system (ACS), Skyborg, was on track to advance to a program of record by Fiscal Year 2023. In late October, Skyborg was successfully deployed aboard two General Atomics MQ-20 Avenger tactical drones for a multi-hour test flight. “The flight demonstrated matured capabilities of the ACS that enabled two MQ-20s to fly autonomously while communicating with each other to ensure coordinated flight, Additionally, the aircraft responded to navigational commands, stayed within specified geo-fences, and maintained flight envelopes.” -Air Force Life Cycle Management Center said following the flight test. The F-22 is another example of a combat aircraft that could work with the types of unmanned drones that are being proposed. Courtesy: U.S. Air Force Competition With China The emergence of new details about the USAF’s plans for combat drones comes as top military officials increasingly point to the escalating military capability race with China. Budgeting Balance The DOD’s budget offers clues about spending priorities, but when it comes to classified programs, it also only tells part of the story, said Ruth Butchart, an associate fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, who studies remotely crewed systems. A sharp decline in USAF spending on remotely crewed systems in the unclassified budget might possibly be balanced by an uptick in classified spending, which isn’t publicly visible, she said. Existing budget priorities and commitments could also create potential difficulty.

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COMMERCIAL AVIATION

Volaris Reports January 2022 Traffic Results: 45% YoY demand growth with an 81% Load Factor

Volaris | February 04, 2022

Volaris (the "Company") (NYSE: VLRS and BMV: VOLAR), the ultra-low-cost airline serving Mexico, the United States, Central and South America reports its January 2022 preliminary traffic results. Considering the consistent recovery in its markets, Volaris will no longer include comparisons to 2019 performance. In January, Volaris' capacity (measured in ASMs) increased 32.2% YoY, while demand (measured in RPMs) was up a strong 45.4% YoY. This drove a 7.4 pp YoY increase in load factor to 81.3%. In the month, Volaris transported 2.3 million passengers, representing a 48.7% increase YoY. While demand remained strong in the month, in response to the Omicron variant, Volaris reduced its ASMs 1.5% as compared to December 2021. Considering January's reported figures and the capacity currently on sale for February and March, consolidated ASMs for the first quarter of 2022 are expected to remain flat as compared to the fourth quarter of 2021, implying around 50% ASM growth versus the first quarter of 2021. We believe that this closely matches the demand trends that we are seeing in our markets. "Volaris started the year with solid traffic results, stimulating demand in our core leisure and VFR markets while carefully managing capacity in response to Omicron. Equally important, we fulfilled our commitment to Volaris' customers and maintained high schedule reliability despite industry-wide operational issues triggered by the Omicron variant." -Volaris' President and CEO Enrique Beltranena About Volaris: Controladora Vuela Compañía de Aviación, S.A.B. de C.V. ("Volaris" or the "Company") (NYSE: VLRS and BMV: VOLAR), is an ultra-low-cost carrier, with point-to-point operations, serving Mexico, the United States, Central and South America. Volaris offers low base fares to build its market, providing quality service and extensive customer choice. Since the beginning of operations in March 2006, Volaris has increased its routes from 5 to more than 185 and its fleet from 4 to 102 aircraft. Volaris offers more than 510 daily flight segments on routes that connect 43 cities in Mexico and 27 cities in the United States, Central and South America with one of the youngest fleet in Mexico. Volaris targets passengers who are visiting friends and relatives, cost-conscious business and leisure travelers in Mexico, the United States, Central and South America. Volaris has received the ESR Award for Social Corporate Responsibility for eleven consecutive years.

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