As the leading original equipment manufacturer for several Canadian aircraft types, including the legacy de Havilland and Canadair aerial firefighter fleets, Viking Air Limited of Victoria, British Columbia is now backing the use of sustainable alternative jet fuel (SAJF) in its family of utility aircraft equipped with turbine engines.

By endorsing SAJF Viking is making a progressive move towards long-term sustainability due to its lower environmental impact while providing the same performance as Jet A fuel.

SAJF is a completely synthetic replacement to conventional jet fuel that can be used in any turbine-powered aircraft and is produced from non-petroleum component such as cooking oil, plant oils, solid municipal waste, sugars and purpose-grown biomass.

Viking aircraft that will benefit from the availability of SAJF include the DHC-2T Turbo Beaver, DHC-3T Turbo Otter, DHC-6 Twin Otter and DHC-7 Dash 7.

“We view SAJF as a positive move towards a greener, more sustainable way of operating our aircraft for generations to come,” commented Robert Mauracher, Viking’s executive vice president of sales and marketing. “With the demonstrated longevity inherent in our fleet of aircraft, it’s important to consider operational constraints that may arise in the future, including the availability of fuel sources. Use of SAJF not only provides our operators with an alternative to Jet A that lowers environmental impact, it will also be available for the duration of the aircraft’s lifetime.”

The specialist data intelligence provider and leading aviation consultancy, IBA Group is predicting that Paris air show orders could be as low as half of 2018’s yield. Dr Stuart Hatcher, chief operating officer, MD-Aviation Services for IBA predicts that firm and MOU orders combined could be as low as 450.

“To set the scene, 2019 is not shaping up to be a good year on that order front which is not particularly surprising given the headwinds. Already, year to date, we have an unpredicted number of aircraft returning from failed operators as traffic growth slows, yields continue to soften from an historical low point, fuel costs increase across the medium terms and forecast is far from ideal. Aside from these economic points, 737 MAX grounding and the China-US trade problems add to the ongoing problems.”

The IBA Group predicts general activity for this year as follows:

  • Airbus to potentially launch the A321XLR
  • Boeing to not launch the NMA quiet jet
  • Boeing to set out the re-entry of the 737 MAX in more detail
  • Mitsubishi to launch the MRJ70 to optimise for scope clause compliance
  • DNC to make some noise to purchase of the Q400 programme
  • Sukhoi need to squash safety concerns and aftermarket support problems

Whether these predictions will be proven correct, we will know by the time the Paris air show closes at the end of the week. It will be an interesting week on the commercial aircraft front.

Honeywell has introduced a new analytics-based platform, Forge for Airlines. Intended to provide an easy solution for airlines to analyse and manage costs, by turning data into insights. The new platform will be able to forecast how much money airlines can save based on data-driven decisions. Honeywell Forge for Airlines will initially include solutions for flight operations, flight efficiency and connected maintenance in a single user interface. The technology that comprises Honeywell Forge for Airlines has already been implemented across 135 airlines and more than 8,000 aircraft globally.

In order to meet the demand caused by fleet renewal, TARMAC Aerosave a subsidiary of Airbus Group, Safran Aircraft Engines and SUEZ, is unveiling a new cutting tunnel for civil and military narrow-bodied aircraft. Once the wings have been disassembled, the fuselage is cut into sections which are then recycled in the same way as the sections produced by the company’s cutting gantry at their Tarbes site, but this new method has the advantage of being mobile. TARMAC is now able to meet the growing demand for dismantling of aircraft anywhere in the world, with their mobile, autonomous system.

“This is a world first which enables us to export our know-how. Aircraft don’t just cut to TARMAC Aerosave, TARMAC can now go to the aircraft. This new system gives us even more flexibility in terms of improving our cutting processes,” says Patrick Lecer, chairman of TARMAC Aerosave. The machine can cut-up a single-aisle aircraft fuselage in just a few hours.