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

Denel Taps New Markets, Seeks New Partners at Home and Abroad

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

Denel’s Rooivalk Attack Helicopter. Source: Denel

Despite some recent management troubles, Denel remains stable.  The company plays a key role in the self-sufficiency of South Africa’s defense industry, and the government will continue to support the firm with work. That said, government work has been declining of late due to tight budgets, forcing Denel to adapt. Continue reading

Homeland Missile Defenses Remain Too Limited ~ Report

Pamela Hurt, Forecast International.

GMD FTG-05 takes off in 2008 prior to a successful intercept test. Source: Missile Defense Agency

At an April 7th launch of a new report entitled, “Missile Defense 2020: Next Steps for Defending the Homeland,”[i] lead author Thomas Karako, of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, offered four types of development likely to protect the U.S. homeland most effectively in the near term. Continue reading

Pilatus Expands into Jets, with New PC-24 Set to Enter Service at Year-End

by J. Kasper Oestergaard, European Correspondent.

Pilatus is marketing the PC-24 as “The Super Versatile Jet” – among other things – given the aircraft’s ability to take-off and land on short, unpaved runways. The first three years of production were sold out within hours. Photo Courtesy: Pilatus Aircraft.

The Pilatus PC-24 is a twin-engine light/medium-light business jet currently in the late stages of development and testing. The aircraft builds on Pilatus’s almost 25 years of experience manufacturing and selling the popular PC-12 turboprop – more than 1,450 have been sold to date. The $8.9 million PC-24 shares many of the features of the PC-12, including a spacious aft cargo/baggage compartment and wide cargo door, an easy-to-reconfigure cabin, and the ability to land on short, unpaved runways. These provide the PC-24 with an edge in the very competitive and cyclical market for light business jets. The PC-24 competes with the Embraer Phenom 300, Bombardier Learjet 70/75, and Cessna Citation CJ4 and Citation XLS+ and is priced slightly lower while offering greater versatility. The 4-foot-wide cargo door makes it very useful for medevac missions and cargo transportation. Continue reading

L3 Technologies Transformed through the Art of the Deal

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

L3 Technologies Link UK’s modular RealitySeven Full Flight Simulator. Image: L3 Link Simulation and Training

L3 Technologies  – one of the world’s most dynamic aerospace and defense firms – is not shy about moving quickly to adapt its portfolio through numerous acquisitions and divestitures.  Most recently, the company has initiated some larger deals that have transformed its operations. Continue reading

Commercial Communications Satellite Launch Mass – It’s Complicated

by Bill Ostrove, Space Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

Two years ago, Forecast International published a blog post about a trend toward decreasing launch mass in commercial communications satellites. Since that post has remained popular, we think our readers will be interested in an updated look at trends in launch mass and the commercial satellite industry. Continue reading

China’s Long March toward Global Naval Presence Symbolized in New Carrier

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

Chinese Carrier Liaoning. PLAN Photo.

With the April 26 launch of its first indigenous aircraft carrier, China has signaled its resolve to build a first-rate navy with a global reach.  China’s long-term goal of building a blue-water navy capable of extending its maritime presence beyond its immediate region continues to bear fruit. That process took a step forward with the launching in the northeastern port city of Dalian of the locally built ship.    Continue reading

The Future of the EJ200 Rests on One Platform: The Eurofighter Typhoon

by Carter Palmer, Power Systems Specialist, Forecast International.

Eurofighter Typhoon

While the June 2016 Brexit vote may have been a setback for the ultimate European experiment, the results seemingly run counter to past European collaboration. Nowhere is this better illustrated  than in the world of aerospace. The Eurofighter – perhaps the pinnacle of European aviation – is a testament to what the continent can do … together. Production of the aircraft is now winding down, and its ancillary, the Eurojet EJ200 gas turbine engine, is being affected.   Continue reading