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

Emirati Regional Military Footprint Continues to Grow

by Derek Bisaccio, Military Markets Analyst, Forecast International.

Emirati BMP-3 during Joint U.S.-UAE Military Exercise in Kuwait in September 2016
Source: U.S. Army

“The Federation preserves our identity and enhances our capabilities.  It is a strong shield for protecting the security and stability of the Arabian Gulf Region.” – Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates and Emir of Abu Dhabi

Amid the instability in the Middle East that followed the 2010 and 2011 protest movements, as well as a perceived vacuum as the United States asserts a desire to extricate itself from Middle Eastern conflicts, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has seen a growing need to put its military to use securing regional interests. 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

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

Airbus, Boeing April 2017 Aircraft Orders and Deliveries Disappoint

Both Orders and Deliveries Disappoint as Boeing Debuts 737 MAX 9

by J. Kasper Oestergaard, European Correspondent.

On April 13, 2017, Boeing’s 737 MAX 9 narrowbody jet made its first flight. Deliveries are expected to commence in 2018. Boeing is also considering a larger 737 MAX 10 variant to take on the Airbus A321neo, which has been outselling the 737 MAX 9.
Photo: Courtesy The Boeing Co

Boeing and Airbus delivered 52 and 46 commercial jets in April 2017, respectively, compared to 54 and 52 during the same month last year. This year to date, Boeing has delivered 221 jets (vs. 230 at this point last year), while Airbus has delivered 182 (177 in 2016). In 2016, Boeing delivered 748 jets (762 in 2015), in line with company expectations, while Airbus surpassed its delivery target of 650 jets by handing over 688 jets during 2016 (635 in 2015). 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