Monthly Archives: May 2014

Boeing delivers fourth P-8I aircraft to Indian Navy

Boeing has delivered the fourth P-8I maritime patrol aircraft to India, which fulfills the first half of a contract for eight planes, the company said.

The shipment was made on schedule, it said,

Spirit AeroSystems in Wichita builds major portions of the plane, including the fuselage.

The P-8I is the Indian Navy variant of the P-8a Poseidon that Boeing has developed for the U.S. Navy.

The aircraft is based on Boeing’s 737 commercial jetliner.

“The Indian Navy is putting the first three P-8Is through their paces operationally, and the P-8I delivered today (Friday) will begin flight trials in the coming months,” Leland Wright, Boeing P-8I program manager, said in a statement.

EBACE 2014 showing strong, say organizers

Europe’s largest business jet show, which wrapped up Thursday, ranks among its strongest to date, organizers say.

The European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition is held each year in Geneva, Switzerland.

Attendance was up more than 7 percent over last year’s show, show organizers say.

The number of exhibitors this year increased 8 percent over last year and booth spaces grew by 4 percent.

That gave this year’s show its largest footprint of its 14 years.

EBACE also was an effective news-making venue, they said, with several manufacturers announcing new aircraft models.

Wichita planemakers Textron Aviation, which includes Cessna Aircraft and Beechcraft, along with Bombardier Learjet exhibited at EBACE.

The show ran Tuesday through Thursday this week.

EagleMed begins flying medical transports in Houston

Wichita-based EagleMed is adding 14 employees and a Beechcraft King Air B200 to a new critical care air medical operation near Houston in Spring, Texas.

In addition to serving south Texas, the Houston operation will conduct critical care flights into Mexico.

“At EagleMed, we are very pleased to add this important resource to a medical community that annually serves hundreds of thousands of patients with critical needs,” EagleMed president Larry Bugg said in a statement.

The King Air is EagleMed’s 20th. It is medically configured, is capable of instrument flight and has a range of about 900 miles round trip.

EagleMed is a subsidiary of Air Medical Group Holdings.

EagleMed employs more than 400 people and operates 15 medically-equipped Eurocopter helicopters, 20 King Airs and six ground ambulances in 14 states.


Onex Corp. raises $5.5 billion for Onex Partners IV

Onex Corp., a private equity firm, announced the successful capital fundraising and closing of Onex Partners IV — a  $5.15 billion fund.

It’s the largest in Onex’s history, the firm said.

Onex surpassed its initial target of $4.5 billion and closed earlier than expected.

It raised capital commitments from limited partners, including public employee pension plans and sovereign wealth funds around the world, it said.

“In a highly competitive fundraising market, we are grateful for the strong support from both our existing limited partners and new investors, who have entrusted us with their capital,” Emma Thompson, head of the Funds Group for Onex, said in a statement.

Including this fund, Onex has about $21 billion of assets under management, it said.

Onex is the investment firm that bought Boeing’s commercial aircraft division in Wichita in 2005, which became Spirit AeroSystems, now a publicly-held company.

Onex also partnered with Goldman Sachs to buy the former Wichita-based Raytheon Aircraft Co., which became Hawker Beechcraft and then Beechcraft Corp.

Textron bought Beechcraft in March.

Allegiant Air resumes Wichita to Los Angeles service

Allegiant Air will resume seasonal nonstop service between Wichita and Los Angeles on June 4, the airport said.

The flights will operate two times a week on Wednesdays and Saturdays to Los Angeles International Airport.

The service will operate through Sept. 6.

United Airlines also offers service from to Los Angeles from Wichita.

Boeing, Embraer to open joint aviation biofuel research center

Boeing and Embraer have agreed to open a joint research center to advance a sustainable aviation biofuel industry in Brazil, Boeing said Monday.

The two will perform joint biofuel research and fund and coordinate research with Brazilian universities and other institutions.

The research center will be located in Sao Jose dos Campos in Brazil.

Research will focus on technologies that address gaps in a supply chain for sustainable aviation fuel in Brazil, such as feedstock production and processing technologies, Boeing said.

Aviation biofuel emits 50 percent to 80 percent lower carbon emissions through its lifecycle than petroleum jet fuel when produced sustainably, it said.

More than 1,500 passenger flights using biofuel have been conducted around the world since the fuel was approved for use in 2011.

Brooks middle school students fly over Wichita to conclude Flying Challenge mentoring program

Courtesy photo

Courtesy photo

Sixty-six middle school students are concluding a Flying Challenge mentoring program by taking flights over Wichita.

For many of the students, it is the first time they’ve ever been in an airplane, organizers said.

Flying Challenge is a program designed to inspire students at risk of graduating from high school or pursuing college to challenge themselves to pursue degrees and consider a career in aviation, organizers said.

It is coordinated by United Way of the Plains and sponsored by Airbus Corporate Foundation.

The program matched Airbus engineers and Wichita State University engineering students with students at Brooks Center for STEM and the Arts Magnet Middle School.

There, students can see how professionals apply math and science through weekly mentoring visits, field trips and hands-on experiences.

Students who stayed with the program are being rewarded by a private flight over Wichita at the National Center for Aviation Training.

Courtesy photo

Courtesy photo

They also are getting a look at NCAT’s unmanned aerial systems program, its machining and design labs and its virtual paint lab.

Wichita’s Matrix Aviation completes merger with Atlanta sister company

Matrix Aviation in Wichita has completed its merger with its sister company, Professional Aviation Associates in Atlanta.

The combined companies now operate in a new 46,000 square foot distribution facility near Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.

The companies are owned by Greenwich AeroGroup in Wichita.

“The completion of this merger is a major step forward in expanding our product offerings, while improving our flexibility and financial strength,” Greenwich AeroGroup senior vice president for CR&O and distribution Dave Miller said in a statement. “As a combined organization, we will work to deliver benefits to our customers, create value for our shareholders and enhance the careers of our employees.”

Matrix employed 12 people, including 11 at its site at 1701 S. Hoover.  About half had been offered jobs in Atlanta, the company said in February at the time of the merger announcement.

Matrix supplies avionics, instrumentation and radar equipment. Professional Aviation supplies rotables, airframe parts and hoses.

Matrix, a 30-year-old company, was bought by Banner Aerospace in 1987. Greenwich AeroGroup bought Banner in 2009.

Beechcraft former executive Bill Brown joins Spirit AeroSystems

Former Beechcraft executive vice president Bill Brown has joined the leadership team of Spirit AeroSystems.

At Spirit, Brown will serve as senior vice president of the company’s aftermarket business.

“Bill Brown brings significant expertise in aftermarket, and we are pleased to have him join our leadership team,” Spirit president and CEO Larry Lawson said in a statement.

Spirit designs, builds and supports its products with a maintenance and repair organization that extends across North America, Europe and the Far East, Lawson said.

“We believe we can create even more value in this arena, and I am confident Bill can help us accomplish that,” he said.

Brown most recently was executive vice president of global operations and president of global service and support at Beechcraft.

Before joining Beechcraft, he was president and general manager of AAR Aircraft Services in Oklahoma.

He’s also held senior level positions at Independence Air, Avborne Inc. and Midwest Airlines.

Yingling Aviation donates simulator to K-State Salina

Yingling Aviation has donated a flight simulator to Kansas State University’s flight program in Salina, the two organizations said.

The simulator is designed to simulate a Cessna 172 with Garmin G1000 avionics and a GFC700 autopilot.

Yingling had been using the simulator for the past six years for its flight training program.

It’s since discontinued flight instruction.

Donating the simulator to K-State was an easy choice, Lonnie Vaughan, Yingling president, said.

“We decided to find it a home where it can be put to valuable use, and K-State Salina obviously fits that bill,” Vaughan said.

The school is waiting for Federal Aviation Administration approval to incorporate the simulator formally into its pilot training curriculum.