World General Aviation Aircraft Shipments Up 5% in 2017 – Revenues Slip

U.S. Manufacturers Deliver 529 Aircraft in Fourth Quarter – Up 20 Units from Q4 2016

by J. Kasper Oestergaard, European Correspondent.

In 2017, for the fifth consecutive year, Gulfstream was the largest general aviation aircraft manufacturer in the world by revenues. The company delivered 120 business jets worth a total of $6.6 billion. Photo: Gulfstream Aerospace Corp

According to the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA), in the fourth quarter of 2017, manufacturers worldwide reported higher deliveries than in 4Q 2016, but on lower revenue. Fixed-wing general aviation aircraft manufacturers delivered 792 aircraft worldwide in Q4 2017, up 4.6 percent from 757 in Q4 2016. Revenues declined 3.0 percent to $7.3 billion, mainly due to lower revenues reported by Bombardier and Embraer. Continue reading

Airbus and Boeing Report February 2018 Commercial Aircraft Orders and Deliveries

Rare Orders for 747-8s and A380s the Highlights of the Month

by J. Kasper Oestergaard, European Correspondent.

On February 1, 2018, UPS ordered 14 747-8 Freighters and four 767-300Fs. The company currently has a fleet of 16 747s and 61 767s and operated a total of 241 jets at the end of 2017. Photo: The Boeing Co


Boeing and Airbus delivered 49 and 38 commercial jets in February 2018, respectively, compared to 51 and 49 deliveries during the same month last year. Given that Airbus and Boeing expect major delivery hikes this year, it is surprising that both companies are trailing last year’s figures. In 2017, Boeing delivered 763 jets (748 in 2016), in line with company expectations, while Airbus surpassed its delivery target of 700 jets by handing over 718 aircraft during 2017 (688 in 2016). Continue reading

Unmanned Teaming in the Airborne Retrofit and Modernization Market

by Matthew Beres, Airborne Retrofit & Modernization Analyst, Forecast International.

General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper. Image: USAF Photographic Archives

George Mason University was recently awarded a $25.5 million contract for the Mobile Unmanned/Manned Distributed Lethality Airborne Network (MUDLAN). Under the contract, airborne high-bandwidth, multibeam common datalink, autonomous connectivity will be demonstrated between tactical datalinks and swarming unmanned aircraft systems and small unmanned aircraft systems. Continue reading

Japan’s Pursuit of New-Generation Stealth Fighter Confronts Hurdles

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

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries F-2 Fighter

Japan’s Ministry of Defense is facing a dilemma in its quest to develop an indigenous stealth combat aircraft that would replace the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) fleet of F-2 fighters starting around 2030. Continue reading

Major Electronics Upgrades a Key Part of the Netherlands’ AH-64D to AH-64E Remanufacture

by C. Zachary Hofer, Electronic Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

APG-78 Longbow Radar Sits Atop AH-64 Apache. Photo: Northrop Grumman

The Netherlands has received approval from the U.S. State Department for the upgrade and remanufacture of its AH-64D Block II Apache attack helicopters to the AH-64E configuration. While the contract would largely entail work on the helicopter itself, it would also include the replacement of many of the helicopters’ primary electronics systems. The overall deal carries an estimated value of $1.191 billion. Continue reading

Military Increases ADS-B Out Upgrades

by Matthew Beres, Airborne Retrofit & Modernization Analyst, Forecast International.

Boeing C-17 heavy lift transport aircraft (Source: Boeing)

Raytheon was recently awarded a $30 million ceiling increase modification to a previously awarded contract for T-38A/B, C-17, C-5, and A-10 Automatic Surveillance – Broadcast (ADS-B Out) upgrades. Continue reading

Deliveries of Cirrus SF Family Aircraft Jump in 2017

by Douglas Royce, Senior Aerospace Analyst, Forecast International.

The Cirrus SR22T (piston).  Photo Courtesy of Cirrus Aircraft

Cirrus Aircraft, a subsidiary of China Aviation Industry General Aircraft Co since 2011, announced that new customer aircraft deliveries for the company’s SR family of piston singles jumped to over 350 aircraft in 2017, up from 317 aircraft in 2016. Continue reading

Japan Upgrades Its E-767 AWACS

by Matthew Beres, Airborne Retrofit & Modernization Analyst, Forecast International.

Japanese AWACS. Source Japanese Air Self Defense Force

Boeing was recently awarded a $60.9 million hybrid (fixed-price-incentive-firm, firm-fixed-price, cost-plus-fixed-fee, and cost-plus-incentive-fee) contract to perform the mission computing upgrade installation and checkout on four Japanese E-767 aircraft and associated ground systems. Work will be performed in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; San Antonio, Texas; and Seattle, Washington, and is expected to be completed by December 31, 2022. Continue reading

Medium/Heavy Military Rotorcraft Market Stabilizing

By Ray Jaworowski, Senior Aerospace AnalystForecast International.

Boeing and Sikorsky’s Future Vertical Lift (FVL) concept. Source: Boeing

Data from Forecast International’s unique Platinum Forecast System underscores the importance of the medium/heavy military rotorcraft segment to the world’s rotorcraft manufacturers.  Over the next 15 years, from 2018 to 2032, the medium/heavy military sector will be the largest segment of the world rotorcraft market in terms of monetary value, and second only to the light civil rotorcraft segment in terms of unit production. Continue reading

Taking Satellite Propulsion from Fabergé Eggs to Mass Production: Interview with Brad King of Orbion Space Technology

by Bill Ostrove, Space Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

Orbion Space Technology’s Hall effect thrusters.

Orbion Space Technology is developing the Aurora propulsion system to serve the growing small satellite market. Orbion is relying on tried-and-true Hall effect propulsion technology as the basis for its Aurora system. Instead of developing a system based on entirely new technology, Orbion is working to mass produce systems based on proven technology. Continue reading