Steam Turbines Adapt to the Changing Power-Generating Landscape

by Carter Palmer, Power Systems Specialist, Forecast International.

Steam Turbine Production at LMZ.

Steam turbines have been the cornerstone of electrical power production since the late 19th century. Found to be more efficient than reciprocating engines, the steam turbine helped usher in a modern age. Utilizing steam gives the turbine flexibility in the fuel used to produce that steam. Anything that can burn is basically a candidate; however, lately the fuels themselves have become questionable. Countries around the world have been struggling to mitigate the burning of potentially eco-unfriendly fuels to create energy. So what is to become of the highly efficient steam turbine? Continue reading

Gulf Dispute Reaches Boiling Point

by Derek Bisaccio, International Military Markets Analyst, Forecast International.

U.S. President Donald Trump attends meeting with Gulf Cooperation Council leaders on May 21, 2017.
Source: White House

Early on June 5, a number of Arab countries announced in concert their decision to sever ties with Gulf State Qatar. The move by the four countries – Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) – came just days after a hacker group announced it would release a trove of emails purportedly belonging to the Emirati Ambassador to the United States. Continue reading

Switzerland Begins Plotting Future Air Defense Solutions

by Dan Darling, International Military Markets Analyst, Forecast International.

Swiss F/A-18 Hornet. Source: Defense Industry Daily

Switzerland’s long-term air-defense plans are beginning to come into view following the unveiling by the Swiss Department of Defense, Civil Protection and Sport (DDPS) of recommendations by an expert group charged with examining the country’s combat aircraft and air defense requirements. Continue reading

Headwinds are Building Against Future Growth in Mexican Defense Spending

by Bill Ostrove, International Military Markets Analyst, Forecast International.

Mexico Army paratroopers. Image: Wikipedia.

The fight against drug cartels and organized crime remains the primary driver of defense spending by Mexico. Since 2006, the nation’s military has worked closely with national and local police to combat trafficking networks and organized criminal groups.  As Mexico’s economy has improved and operations against drug cartels have continued, defense spending has steadily increased. Continue reading

Who Will Power the T-X Trainer? Play the Percentages

by Carter Palmer, Power Systems Specialist, Forecast International.

Boeing/Saab T-X Trainer. Source – Boeing

The T-X competition is receiving a lot of attention in the aviation world. Such a lucrative contract—350 aircraft and further orders likely—promises a heated contest, with the triumphs and upsets a competition of this scale brings. The contending entrants are impressive and include both clean-sheet and current production models. While the designers – Boeing/Saab, Lockheed Martin/KAI, Leonardo, Sierra Nevada/TAI, and Stavatti – prepare for the impending battle, it’s worth a look at the engines that will power the aircraft. Continue reading

Rockwell Expands and Diversifies with B/E Aerospace Buy

by Richard Pettibone, Aerospace & Defense Companies Analyst, Forecast International.

An employee from Rockwell Collins’ new Interior Systems business building airline cabin seats at its Winston-Salem, North Carolina-based facility. Source: Rockwell Collins

With commercial aviation production continuing apace, Rockwell Collins decided it wanted a bigger slice of the pie and expanded its operations with the $8.3 billion purchase of cabin interiors specialist B/E Aerospace.   As a result, Rockwell is now an $8 billion company, employing some 30,000 people and commanding a diverse content base on a variety of commercial and business aircraft.        Continue reading

NASA’s FY18 Budget Allotment Offers a Few Surprises, Though Agency is Largely Unscathed

by Bill Ostrove, Space Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

NASA’s Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV)

President Donald Trump’s Fiscal Year 18 federal budget proposal – released on May 23 –  includes a few surprises for NASA.  While much has been made of the many cuts to social programs in the president’s budget, NASA’s funding remains largely unchanged – with a few notable exceptions. Continue reading

World General Aviation Aircraft Market off to a Mixed Start as Revenues Slump

U.S. Manufacturers Delivered 311 Aircraft in Q1 2017 – up 32 from 2016

by J. Kasper Oestergaard, European Correspondent.

The Cirrus SR22 (piston) was the best-selling general aviation aircraft worldwide in Q1 2017 with 25 units delivered – up from 20 in Q1 2016. Photo Courtesy: Cirrus Aircraft.

According to the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA), the first quarter of 2017 showed mixed results for the industry – with several bright spots appearing. Fixed-wing general aviation aircraft manufacturers delivered 434 aircraft worldwide, up 2.8 percent  from 422 in the Q1 2016. However,  revenues declined as much as 10.9 percent  (to $3.6 billion), due to increased competition and lower prices. Continue reading

Acquisition Programs Dominate Pentagon’s FY17 Spending Increase

 by Shaun McDougall, Military Markets AnalystForecast International.

The defense bill added a dozen Super Hornets for the U.S. Navy.
Source: U.S. Navy

The Pentagon’s FY17 budget was signed into law on May 5, more than halfway through the fiscal year.  The legislation couldn’t come soon enough, as the military has been operating under a series of three continuing resolutions that funded the department at FY16 levels.  CRs bring with them a host of difficulties, including restrictions on launching new programs, and leave many existing programs overfunded or unfunded.  The Pentagon has become quite adept at navigating CRs, which have sadly become the norm in Washington.  However, this year’s scenario was particularly troubling, as CRs in recent years haven’t lasted more than a few months. Continue reading

Boeing Delivers First 737 MAX 8 to Malindo Air

By Douglas Royce, Senior Aerospace Analyst, Forecast International.

Boeing, Malindo Air Celebrate First 737 MAX Delivery

Boeing delivered the first 737 MAX 8 narrowbody airliner on May 16. The aircraft was handed over in Seattle.  The Malaysia-based carrier will be the first airline to put the newly re-engined model into service.  Continue reading