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Global Aviation Holdings Files For Chapter 11 Reorganization — Press Release

Company Continuing to Take Steps to Align Cost Structure with Market Demand

PEACHTREE CITY, Ga., Nov. 12, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Global Aviation Holdings, Inc., the largest commercial provider of charter air services to the US Military and a major provider of worldwide commercial global passenger and cargo air transportation services, today announced that the Company and its subsidiaries, including its two operating airlines World Airways and North American Airlines, have filed voluntary petitions for relief under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware. The Company has taken this action to strengthen its balance sheet and gain financial flexibility as it continues to realign its operations. The Company intends to continue to operate during the reorganization process.

As part of the reorganization, the Company is taking steps to align its cost structure with the realities of market demand. The Company expects to reduce its workforce accordingly by approximately 16% of the employees over the next 90 days.

“We intend to use the reorganization process to help implement our plan to lower costs, stabilize our businesses, grow revenue and diversify our product lines,” said John Graber, Chief Executive Officer. “We have taken a number of steps to improve our operations over the past few months and we were making great progress; however, the continued worldwide downturn in commercial freight markets coupled with the military’s decision to immediately curtail its cargo expansion flying has made it necessary for us to undertake this court-supervised reorganization. We believe that this reorganization will enable us to reduce our debt and implement operational changes, while maintaining our commitment to safety, compliance and reliable customer service.”

He continued, “We appreciate the ongoing dedication of our employees, whose hard work is critical to our success and the future of our company. Regrettably, as a result of a necessary reduced fleet size and as a part of this reorganization, jobs will be impacted. We are committed to treating those who are affected with the respect and dignity they deserve. We will support them as best we can in their transition.”

In conjunction with its reorganization, the Company has obtained debtor-in-possession (DIP) financing from its first lien lenders. On Court approval, the new financing and cash generated from the Company’s ongoing operations will be used to support the business during the reorganization process.

The Company has filed various motions with the Court in support of its reorganization, including requesting authorization to continue paying employee wages and providing health care and other benefits. The Company has also asked for authority to continue existing customer programs and intends to pay vendors for goods and services provided after the filing date of November 12, 2013.

The Company has established a toll-free Restructuring Information Hotline for interested parties, at (877) 726-6511 in North America or internationally at (424) 236-7251. Additional information is available on the Company’s website at www.glah.com. Court filings and other documents related to the reorganization proceedings are available on a separate website administered by the Company’s claims agent, KCC, at www.kccllc.net/GLAH.

About Global Aviation Holdings

Global Aviation Holdings Inc. is the parent company of North American Airlines and World Airways. North American Airlines, founded in 1989, operates passenger charter flights using B767-300ER aircraft. World Airways, founded in 1948, operates cargo and passenger charter flights using B747-400 and MD-11 aircraft. For more information, visit http://www.glah.com, http://www.flynaa.com, and http://www.woa.com.

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Draken International to Display Aircraft at AirVenture Oshkosh 2013 — Press Release

LAKELAND, Fla., July 19, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Draken International, the world’s largest operator of ex-military fighter aircraft, will display two Douglas A-4K Skyhawks and two Aermacchi MB-339CB jet aircraft on-site at AirVenture 2013 in Oshkosh, WI. Draken is looking forward to the opportunity to debut the company’s advanced capabilities for the commercial air services industry. These aircraft will not be used in any performance, but will serve as static displays. The public is welcome to view the aircraft up close over the week-long event from July 29 to August 4, 2013.

The two A-4Ks, Draken’s flagship aircraft, and the two MB-339s will be on display in the Phillips Oil Display Square at AirVenture. A booth with will be set up with more information about Draken International and the aircraft. Pilots and crew will be available to answer any questions about these formidable fighter jets.

Draken CEO Jared Isaacman states, “Although these aircraft are not performing in the air show, we are pleased to be able to make them available for the public to view. We invite everyone in attendance to come meet the pilots and maintainers and see these incredible aircraft up close.”

The Draken A-4K Skyhawks are the optimal “multi-role” platform and are equipped with APG-66 Radar, Heads Up Display, Hands On Throttle and Stick, 1553 digital Bus and Radar Warning Receivers. The Aermacchi MB-339s are a perfect platform for Joint Terminal Air Control Attack Training and Close Air Support Training. These superb aircraft are precision accurate and provide a cost-effective platform to train our nation’s military.

About Draken International:
Draken International is a provider of commercial air services based out of the Lakeland Linder Regional Airport in Lakeland, FL. The organization sets a new standard in airborne adversary support, flight training, threat simulation, electronic warfare support, aerial refueling, research, testing, as well as other missions uniquely suited to their fleet of aircraft. The company employs world class, military trained fighter pilots including USAF Weapons School Instructors, Fighter Weapons School Graduates, TOP GUN Instructors, Air Liaison Officers, Thunderbird Demonstration pilots and FAC-A Instructors. For additional information, visit www.drakenintl.com.

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North American Surveillance Systems Introduces Enhanced Cargo Door for the Cessna C-208 Series — Press Release

Deland, FL – May 23, 2013 – North American Surveillance Systems USA, Inc. (NASS) a leading aerospace and defense systems provider and integrator has introduced an enhanced cargo door for the Cessna Caravan 208 Series aircraft.

“This door is the latest addition to the NASS FAST EAGLE family of rapid conversion solutions,” said Richard McCourt, President of North American Surveillance Systems.

“The sliding, air operable door turns any C-208 into a multi-role aircraft,” said McCourt.

“It requires no modification to the aircraft and installs in place of the standard two piece cargo door in approximately one hour. The air operable feature enables parachute and bundle drop operations,” said McCourt.

The new door assembly weighs approximately 45 pounds. With the door installed, the aircraft maintains the same OEM exterior profile including the same windows.

“This IR&D effort was initiated in response to customer indentified operational requirements. The project was completed in less than 45 days, marking another IR&D achievement for our engineering and fabrication team. We are developing similar doors for other utility aircraft,” said McCourt.

For more information about NASS products and services visit www.nassusa.net

About NASS

North American Surveillance Systems USA, Inc. is an aerospace and defense systems provider specializing in the installation and integration of ISR, communications, COMINT, SIGINT and offensive and defensive systems. NASS, a veteran-owned small business with more than 20 years of proven excellence, is an AS9100 and ISO 9001 certified company.

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TransDigm Group Incorporated Commences Tender Offer for All Shares of Aerosonic Corporation — Press Release

CLEVELAND and CLEARWATER, Fla., May 7, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — TransDigm Group Incorporated (“TransDigm”) (NYSE: TDG) and Aerosonic Corporation (“Aerosonic”) (NYSE MKT: AIM) today announced that TransDigm’s indirect wholly owned subsidiary, Buccaneer Acquisition Sub Inc. (“Purchaser”), has commenced a tender offer to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Aerosonic common stock for $7.75 per share in cash, without interest and less any applicable withholding taxes (the “Offer”). The Offer is being made pursuant to the terms of the previously announced definitive merger agreement (the “Agreement”) entered into between TransDigm, Purchaser and Aerosonic on April 19, 2013.

If the Offer is successfully completed, pursuant to the terms of the Agreement, TransDigm expects to acquire any of the Aerosonic common shares not tendered in the tender offer through a merger transaction in which the remaining shares of Aerosonic are converted into a right to receive the same consideration per share as paid in the Offer.

The Offer is subject to customary closing conditions, including valid tender of shares representing at least a majority of Aerosonic’s then outstanding shares on a fully diluted basis. There is no financing condition to the Offer.

The Offer is scheduled to expire at 12:00 Midnight, New York City time, on Tuesday, June 4, 2013, unless otherwise extended.

As contemplated by the Agreement, Aerosonic, with the assistance of its independent advisors, will solicit superior proposals from third parties until May 29, 2013. Aerosonic does not anticipate disclosing any developments regarding this process unless and until its Board of Directors makes a decision with respect to a potential superior proposal. There is no assurance that this process will result in a superior proposal. TransDigm will terminate the Offer if Aerosonic accepts a superior proposal and terminates the Agreement in accordance with its terms.

Today, TransDigm is filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) a tender offer statement on Schedule TO, including an offer to purchase and related letter of transmittal, setting forth in detail the terms of the Offer. In addition, Aerosonic is filing with the SEC today a Solicitation/Recommendation Statement on Schedule 14D-9 setting forth in detail, among other things, the recommendation of Aerosonic’s Board of Directors that Aerosonic stockholders tender their shares pursuant to the Offer.

Copies of the offer to purchase, letter of transmittal and other related materials, including the Solicitation/Recommendation Statement, are available free of charge to Aerosonic stockholders from Georgeson Inc., the Information Agent for the Offer, at (800) 868-1390 (toll-free). The Depositary for the Offer is American Stock Transfer & Trust Company.

Advisors

Baker & Hostetler LLP is acting as legal advisor to TransDigm. Bluestone Capital Partners is acting as financial advisor and Hill Ward Henderson, PA is acting as legal advisor to Aerosonic. Hyde Park Capital also provided financial advice to Aerosonic’s Board of Directors with respect to the transaction.

About TransDigm

TransDigm, through its wholly-owned subsidiaries, is a leading global designer, producer and supplier of highly engineered aircraft components for use on nearly all commercial and military aircraft in service today. Major product offerings, substantially all of which are ultimately provided to end-users in the aerospace industry, include mechanical/electro-mechanical actuators and controls, ignition systems and engine technology, specialized pumps and valves, power conditioning devices, specialized AC/DC electric motors and generators, NiCad batteries and chargers, engineered latching and locking devices, rods and locking devices, engineered connectors and elastomers, cockpit security components and systems, specialized cockpit displays, aircraft audio systems, specialized lavatory components, seatbelts and safety restraints, engineered interior surfaces and lighting and control technology.

About Aerosonic Corporation

Aerosonic designs and manufactures proprietary, highly engineered aviation components for use on commercial and military aircraft. Major product offerings include both mechanical and digital altimeters, airspeed indicators, rate of climb indicators, microprocessor controlled air data test sets, angle of attack stall warning systems, integrated air data sensors and other aircraft sensors, monitoring systems and flight instrumentation.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT THE TENDER OFFER

This press release is not an offer to purchase or a solicitation of an offer to sell securities of Aerosonic. TransDigm is filing today its offer to purchase and related materials with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) on Schedule TO, and Aerosonic is filing today its solicitation/recommendation statement with the SEC on Schedule 14D-9. AEROSONIC STOCKHOLDERS ARE URGED TO READ THESE MATERIALS CAREFULLY SINCE THEY CONTAIN IMPORTANT INFORMATION, INCLUDING TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF THE OFFER. Aerosonic stockholders may obtain a free copy of these materials and other documents filed by TransDigm or Aerosonic with the SEC at the website maintained by the SEC at www.sec.gov. In addition, these materials are available free of charge to Aerosonic stockholders from Georgeson Inc., the Information Agent for the Offer, at (800) 868-1390 (toll-free).

Some of the statements in this press release constitute “forward-looking statements.” These statements are related to the expected timing, completion and effects of the proposed transaction or other future events, , and may be identified by terminology such as “may,” “will,” “should,” “expects,” “scheduled,” “plans,” “intends,” “anticipates,” “believes,” “estimates,” “potential,” or “continue,” or the negative of such terms, or other comparable terminology. These statements are only predictions and are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements. Aerosonic and TransDigm might not be able to complete the proposed transaction on terms described above, other acceptable terms or at all because of a failure to satisfy closing conditions, including receipt of sufficient tenders, or other factors. Aerosonic and TransDigm make no promise to update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of changes in underlying factors, new information, future events or otherwise.

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TransDigm Group Incorporated And Aerosonic Corporation Announce Acquisition Agreement — Press Release

Aerosonic Stockholders to Receive $7.75 per Share in Cash in $39 Million Transaction

CLEVELAND and CLEARWATER, Fla., April 22, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — TransDigm Group Incorporated (“TransDigm”) (NYSE: TDG) and Aerosonic Corporation (“Aerosonic”) (NYSE MKT: AIM) today announced a definitive merger agreement, providing for Aerosonic to become an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of TransDigm. TransDigm and Aerosonic both design, manufacture and supply highly engineered aircraft components.

Under the terms of the agreement, TransDigm will offer to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Aerosonic for $7.75 per share in cash in a transaction valued at approximately $39 million on a fully-diluted basis. The cash consideration represents a premium of approximately 59.8% to Aerosonic’s closing share price on April 19, 2013, and a 77.8% premium to its average trading price over the trailing 60 days. The transaction will be funded with TransDigm’s cash on hand and is not subject to any financing condition.

W. Nicholas Howley, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of TransDigm stated, “Aerosonic designs and manufactures highly engineered, proprietary air data sensing, test and display components for use primarily in the business jet, helicopter and military markets. Major customers include the U.S. Government and Boeing. About 55% of total revenue is derived from the commercial market and 60% from the aftermarket. We are pleased to have an agreement to acquire Aerosonic. The proprietary nature of these products, along with aftermarket content, fit well with our overall business strategy.”

Doug Hillman, Aerosonic’s President and CEO, stated “We are excited to have Aerosonic join a growth oriented partner and industry leader. This merger will allow Aerosonic to leverage its proprietary air data and display technologies via TransDigm’s broad market presence and financial strength, enhancing the growth prospects of the TransDigm team.”

Under terms of the merger agreement, the parties anticipate TransDigm will commence a tender offer for all of the outstanding shares of Aerosonic on or before May 9, 2013. The tender offer will not be closed until conclusion of the “go shop” period described below. TransDigm’s obligation to accept and purchase Aerosonic common shares tendered pursuant to the offer will be subject to customary closing conditions, including valid tender of common shares representing at least a majority of Aerosonic’s voting power on a fully-diluted basis. If the first-step tender offer is successfully completed, TransDigm will acquire any of the Aerosonic common shares not tendered in the tender offer through a second-step merger transaction in which the remaining shares of Aerosonic are converted into a right to receive the same consideration per share as paid in the tender offer. The merger agreement was unanimously approved by the Board of Directors of Aerosonic and the Board recommends that Aerosonic stockholders tender their shares in the tender offer contemplated by the merger agreement.

As contemplated by the merger agreement, Aerosonic, with the assistance of its independent advisors, will solicit superior proposals from third parties during the next 40 days. Aerosonic does not anticipate disclosing any developments regarding this process unless and until its Board of Directors makes a decision with respect to a potential superior proposal. There is no assurance that this process will result in a superior proposal. TransDigm will terminate its tender offer if Aerosonic accepts a superior proposal and terminates the merger agreement in accordance with its terms.

Advisors

Baker & Hostetler LLP is acting as legal advisor to TransDigm. Bluestone Capital Partners is acting as financial advisor and Hill Ward Henderson, PA is acting as legal advisor to Aerosonic. Hyde Park Capital also provided financial advice to Aerosonic’s Board of Directors with respect to the transaction.

About TransDigm

TransDigm, through its wholly-owned subsidiaries, is a leading global designer, producer and supplier of highly engineered aircraft components for use on nearly all commercial and military aircraft in service today. Major product offerings, substantially all of which are ultimately provided to end-users in the aerospace industry, include mechanical/electro-mechanical actuators and controls, ignition systems and engine technology, specialized pumps and valves, power conditioning devices, specialized AC/DC electric motors and generators, NiCad batteries and chargers, engineered latching and locking devices, rods and locking devices, engineered connectors and elastomers, cockpit security components and systems, specialized cockpit displays, aircraft audio systems, specialized lavatory components, seatbelts and safety restraints, engineered interior surfaces and lighting and control technology.

About Aerosonic Corporation

Aerosonic designs and manufactures proprietary, highly engineered aviation components for use on commercial and military aircraft. Major product offerings include both mechanical and digital altimeters, airspeed indicators, rate of climb indicators, microprocessor controlled air data test sets, angle of attack stall warning systems, integrated air data sensors and other aircraft sensors, monitoring systems and flight instrumentation.
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India to Buy Airbus Tankers Over Russian Proposal

It is being reported that India has gone ahead and selected the Airbus A-330 Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) for its new aerial tanker mission. This aircraft is manufactured by EADS and has been chosen by the U.K., Australia and some Middle Eastern states as well. The aircraft was proposed for the new U.S. Air Force tanker but that contract went to Boeing (BA) with a version of the 767 aircraft 2 years ago.

India selected the A330 to augment a small fleet of Russian Il-76 based tankers rather then buying more of those aircraft in a blow to Russian military overseas sales.

While the aircraft has been selected to fulfill the requirement the final contract has yet to be negotiated and should be some time in the next year. As the new fighter program shows, won by France’s Rafale, it may take some time to compelte final negotiations and actually award the contract.

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RTCA Honors LCS Team Lead Todd R. White for Contributions to the DO-178C Software Standard — Press Release

LDRA Certification Services team lead to be formally recognized in Washington, D.C. as a key member of the RTCA SC-205 Committee.

Wirral, UK, April 30, 2012. LDRA Certification Services (LCS), a division of LDRA committed to providing safety-critical software verification tools and certification services, celebrates RTCA’s decision to honor LCS team lead Todd R. White for his role in advancing the newly ratified DO-178C software certification standard. RTCA wishes to publicly recognize White’s contribution to both DO-178C Software Considerations in Airborne Systems and Equipment Certification and DO-330 Software Tool Qualification Considerations on June 5th by presenting him with a Certificate of Appreciation at its Annual Symposium in Washington, D.C.

White’s expertise in avionics standards rises out of his 30 years of experience as a consultant and FAA Designated Engineering Representative (DER). White has been delegated full Level A authority for all aircraft systems and equipment for both software and airborne electronic hardware. This strong background in development, verification, and avionics certification enabled him to guide the evolution of the avionics standard so that it reliably addressed current software development and design practices of avionics systems.

With White as leader of the team, LCS provides comprehensive support, oversight and guidance for certification applicants through a wide range of aviation standards:

• Aircraft & Systems Development (ARP-4754A)
• Safety Assessment (ARP-4761)
• Integrated Modular Avionics (DO-297)
• Flight Electronic Hardware (DO-254)
• Flight Software (DO-178B/C)
• Ground Systems (DO-278/A)

“For nearly 40 years, LDRA has helped avionics customers address certification concerns and achieve compliance,” noted Ian Hennell, LDRA Operations Director. “With Todd leading the LCS team, our customers can rest assured that their certification plan will map out the most efficient and effective way for them to achieve certification. We are very proud to see Todd honored for the extensive contribution he has made to move the DO-178 standard forward.”

As a DER and certification consultant, White has worked with the largest and best known suppliers of avionics. He is an executive committee member of the DO-178C/DO-278A committee, an executive committee member of the NextGen Task Force, and holds a leadership role in the U.S. DO-254 users group. White is recognized for outstanding DER leadership by key individuals at FAA headquarters in Washington, D.C. and the Atlanta, Chicago, Seattle, Denver and Los Angeles Aircraft Certification Offices (ACOs). He has also provided DER oversight on projects through the Fort Worth and Wichita ACOs. With appointments as Organization Designation Authorization administrator, unit member at key OEMs, and Supplier Airworthiness Specialist DER at Airbus, White has become well-known at Transport Canada and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), as well as with US Army and US Air Force facilities.

Joining White and the LCS team is Steve Morton, co-chair of the DO-178C Tools Group. Morton will support the tool qualification and validation efforts of suppliers to avionics, automotive, industrial control, rail, medical and other industries. Morton’s capabilities are complemented by Marty Gasiorowski, a systems, safety, software and complex electronic hardware FAA DER, and Dr. Holly Hildreth, a safety engineer with expertise in a wide range of US and international standards. Together they will provide certification expertise in DO-178/DO-278, DO-254, DO-297, IEC 61508, IEC 62304, ISO 26262, IEEE 1012:2004 and CENELEC EN 50128.

Proficient in both commercial and military airworthiness, LCS addresses critical project requirements that relate to certification, including management, planning, staff training, development, verification and production. While analyzing certification and safety needs from a total aircraft system perspective, LCS ensures that the individual and exacting aviation standards can be met at a fixed price.

White’s Certificate of Appreciation will be awarded at the Awards Luncheon during RTCA’s Annual Symposium on June 5, 2012 in Washington, D.C.

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Lockheed Wins Contract for More GPS Satellites

Even though the U.S. defense budget and spending overall will decline in the next few years there is no doubt certain critical modernization and support programs that need to be funded. One of these is the U.S. investment in the Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) system. The United States military developed the system and has launched several satellites over the last thirty years and is now in the process of carrying out a program to build and place into orbit the GPS III Constellation.

GPS is now used not only for navigation of ships and aircraft as originally intended but also to support ground movement and provide guidance and targeting data for a host of weapons and unmanned vehicles. This is not even considering the capability it provides to the civilian world as well. In the near future GPS will become critical to international and national air traffic control and guidance as while the U.S. upgrades its system the European Union and Russia are deploying their own advanced constellation of updated satellites to provide similar capability.

The Block IIIA satellites have been under development and production by Lockheed Martin (LMT) and other contractors since 2008 when the program passed its Defense Acquisition Board (DAB) review. In early FY11 the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report stating that the program was facing development and deployment delays due to not awarding the contract for the new satellites in a timely manner. This could lead to the GPS constellation being smaller then necessary to support all applications. The Air Force and Lockheed were working mitigation plans.

As the program has progressed the Air Force awarded Lockheed the contract to build the third and fourth satellites in this configuration. The initial value for the contract is almost $240 million. The initial contract awarded in 2008 covered the first two satellites in the program.

Ultimately up to 32 GPS III satellites will be manufactured and deployed over the enxt several years. The first is expected to be launched in 2014.

GPS is critical to support U.S. combat operations and new satellites need to be launched to replace the older, less capable systems from earlier constellations. Lockheed as long as it continues to meet the Air Force’s schedule and requirements should have the bulk of this work which should be due to its importance fairly well funded until its completion.

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Boeing Awards Offset Contract in Canada

Boeing (BA) recently announced a contract award to Messier-Dowty Inc, part of the Safran Group (SAF:P), located in Toronto to continue to make lander gear assemblies for the F/A-18 and EF-18 aircraft. The contract has a value of about $200 million.

Messier-Dowty has made such assemblies for Boeing for the F/A-18 and V-22 Osprey aircraft for several years. They also make brakes and landing gear parts for the 737 and 787 commercial aircraft. This is not a surprising contract as aerospace manufacturers rely on parts providers across the globe as they search for the best price and most efficient delivery but this contract is special to Boeing as it counts as an offset for an order the Canadian government placed for C-17 strategic transports and CH-47 heavy lift helicopters.

Canada has an aggressive offset policy that requires companies from outside the country receiving government deals to invest an amount equal to almost 50% of the contract. This is fairly easy for companies like Boeing or General Dynamics (GD) as they rely on Canadian companies for components and support. Other companies have found it easier to buy spare parts or logistics support to make up their offset amount.

The F/A-18 is due to be replaced by the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter in both U.S. and Canadian service. Due to delays in that system entering large scale production and service the U.S. Navy in 2010 ordered another 120 odd F/A-18 fighters to bridge the gap while maintaining a relatively young and capable aircraft fleet. The U.S. Air Force and some foreign customers are looking at their F-16 and F-15 aircraft getting old as they wait for the JSF to arrive.

These delays increase the amount of support costs paid by the services to keep the older aircraft flying which puts pressure on the budget and may lead to cuts to the number of F-35 aircraft being bought which will cause even further delays.

The Boeing contracts are good for the Canadian economy as well as the U.S. as it keeps the F/A-18 line going providing production jobs.

Canada over the last few years has invested heavily in new aircraft and helicopters and plans major upgrades to its Navy and Army as well. Much of this has been sold as a way to keep the economy going during the global economic strife. Due to their reliance on U.S. contractors it is also good for the U.S. economy and defense spending as well.

Photo from fanavaiation Flickr photostream.

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Defense Contractor Earnings Continue to Be Steady

Several of the larger U.S. defense contractors released their quarterly statements this week and so far the trend has been to remain steady or show growth. As of now the planned reduction in U.S. defense spending has not yet seriously affected their performance but many expressed concerns with future plans and trends in the industry.

Lockheed Martin (LMT) saw an increase in profit compared to last year’s quarter of almost 25%. Profit was $700 million on revenues of $12.1 billion compared to the previous $560 million. The company though had a charge of almost $40 million related to cuts in its workforce.

Lockheed also expressed concerns with statements by the Pentagon that in the next batch of production F-35 Joint Strike Fighter that it should share in some of the costs caused by design changes related to testing results. This would be a major change in how defense procurements are normally done and could open up Lockheed for a large amount of liability and cost. The company and some in Congress have been meeting with Defense Department officials to push back on the idea of shared liability.

General Dynamics (GD) reported a slight increase in profits to $1.80 a share up ten cents from last year. This was on lower revenues of $7.85 billion compared to $8. GD expects for the year to deliver $7.15-$7.20 a share in earnings. The company like all of the other large contractors will continue plans to lower costs and shed employees over the next year to position itself for cuts in spending.

Northrop Grumman (NOC) also had an increase in profits. They were up 4.6% to $1.86 a share on slightly lower revenue of $6.61 billion. The growth was due to sales at their electronic systems segment as aerospace systems and information systems were lower. The company does expect overall earnings for the year to be higher then previously stated at $6.95-$7.05 a share. Northrop also saw pension impacts affect their earnings related to eliminating some jobs. Northrop had earlier this year spun off their naval systems business into Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) which reduced revenue substantially.

Boeing (BA) also did well beating analyst estimates by 36 cents at $1.46 a share. Boeing’s net income was over a billion dollars an increase of almost $260 million compared to last quarter on sales of $17.7 billion. Boeing is different from other defense contractors in that 50% or more of their business is commercial aviation. This earnings report was dominated by discussion of the 787 airliner which has just started deliveries and service with airlines. Boeing delivered more jets this quarter then last and has sold out almost 8 years of 787 production. Boeing too will look at reducing overhead and cost structure on their defense side in order to compete in what is expected to be a tight market.

So far earnings by defense contractors have yet to see the effects of the end of fighting in Iraq, plans to draw down Afghanistan and expected cuts in defense spending. Although the 2012 budget has yet to be finished it is expected to be flat. The Government is already making decisions on ending programs such as radios, missiles and potentially vehicle systems. Next year may not be so good and 2013 might be much worse. All of the companies are looking at their costs and how to deal with a Defense Department that is pushing initiatives to reduce prices and risk in acquisition programs. As illustrated by the F-35 the contractors will only do so much to absorb this risk and the related costs.

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Does Reports of United Technologies Acquisition Herald Start of Major Defense M&A?

Update — On 22 September United Technologies released a press release stating their intent to acquire Goodrich for an estimated price of $18.4 billion. This would be the largest defense and aerospace related acquisition in many years. The transaction will still take several months as it goes through regulatory review. The CEO of United Technologies stated “Goodrich delivers on all of our acquisition criteria. It is strategic to our core, has great technology and people, and strengthens our position in growth markets.”

Late last week various reports began to arise the United Technologies Corp. (UTX), a large and diverse company that among its products makes military helicopters and jet engines, was interested in acquiring either Goodrich Corp. (GR) or Rockwell Collins (COL). Both of these companies make aerospace components for military and commercial uses.

The cost of the deal would be quite high compared to other recent defense M&A. Somewhere in the neighborhood of $7 billion for Goodrich requiring United Technologies to borrow a large amount of the necessary capital. Last year Goodrich’s earnings were around $7 billion while United Technologies’ sales were about $54 billion. Rockwell’s most recent quarter showed $1.19 billion in sales.

All three companies make major components for civil and military aviation so they synergy of the acquisition is there. They also all have significant business with the U.S. Department of Defense and other militaries across the world. The move would also fit in with how United Technologies is organized as it keeps strict lines of business under separate former corporations such as Sikorsky Aircraft, Pratt & Whitney and Hamilton Sundstrand. Moving another company into the group would not be difficult.

To this point there have been some large M&A moves this year by large defense contractors. Both General Dynamics (GD) and Lockheed Martin (LMT) have acquired health technology companies recently with the GD move coming in at close to $1 billion. Northrop Grumman (NOC) also spun off their shipbuilding arm into a new company called Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) rather then sell it but it still could be a target for acquisition.

This move by United Technologies though is much larger and seems to herald a return to the Nineties when medium and even large defense contractors were merged and acquired. This was due to the lack of demand from the U.S. compared to the decade previously and it is expected that U.S. defense spending will decline in the near future due to deficit issues and the reduction in combat in Afghanistan and Iraq. The Senate Appropriations Committee in their mark-up of 2012 spending froze it at 2011 levels which is a cut when compared to what the Administration requested of about $26 billion.

The acquisition also works well for United Technologies as both companies mentioned have a significant part of the civil aviation industry as it does itself. This will allow expansion there that would offset any decline in defense sales.

If this acquisition goes through it might start a chain of similar moves as defense contractors begin to adjust to the new market and parts are jettisoned or added. ITT Corporation just broke off its former defense business into a new company called ITT Exelis. This might be a target for acquisition as it should be similar to the $7 billion in price for Goodrich.

If the United Technologies deal does happen it might be what the defense industry needs to push companies to make decisions about larger M&A that could lead to market contraction similar to the Nineties. Although the Defense Department has made clear that they do not want any of the larger defense contractors merging with each other.

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Commercial Air Sales Turn EADS Back to Profitability

Sales of their Airbus commercial airliners has somewhat tempered EADS (EADS:P) feelings about losing the KC-X contract to rival Boeing (BA). In the last year thanks to large orders the European aerospace company returned to profitability after a few years of struggles.

Revenue in 2010 was over $60 billion and the company earned a profit of around $1.5 billion. The company has also been able to increase its cash holdings dramatically with an eye on expanding U.S. defense business through acquisitions.

Boeing and EADS unlike other large defense contractors do have the commercial aviation market to help temper ups-and-downs in military spending. They are though soon to be facing more competition from companies like China’s CAI who especially want to enter there own domestic airline market.

EADS has carefully looked at different potential acquisitions in the U.S. to help grow its nascent defense work there. Certainly they now have the necessary funds to do even a rather large one although something like buying Northrop Grumman’s (NOC) shipbuilding group would seem a little too large and ambitious. EADS will most likely target a medium sized defense contractor who provide services or limited hardware.

Boeing’s Defense Performance Cushioned by Civil Aircraft Sales

Boeing (BA) followed Lockheed Martin (LMT) in reporting on their earnings with a more positive outlook. Where Lockheed expressed concern with the future defense budget and its potential effect on their revenues and profits Boeing believes that their year will be better then earlier predictions.

Boeing had a net income of about $800 million on revenue of $17 billion. This was mainly driven by higher commercial airplane sales as that market has started to pick up from its lows of 2008 – 2009. The company raised its guidance for the year to $3.80 to $4.00 a share.

Compared to the year previously revenues increased only about $280 million but earnings swung almost $3.6 billion. In 2009 the company had had to take charges related to delays in the 787 and 747-800 aircraft. These programs remain delayed but they have had no recent effects on the company’s bottom line.

Boeing is waiting for word on the upcoming new U.S. Air Force aerial tanker program contract award. The KC-X contract is scheduled to announce the winner between Boeing and EADS (EADS:P) sometime in the next few months. This contract for 179 aircraft will be worth about $35 billion and may be the only major aircraft contract the Defense Department will award for several years.

Boeing due to its diverse product line as in the past has been able to cushion defense downturns with its civil aircraft. The market especially in Asia is expected to grow providing more opportunity for it. As the 787 and 747-800 freighter enter service next year those deliveries and sales will further boost the company’s bottom line. Winning the KC-X will only aid Boeing’s financials.

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Alabama Offers Advantages to EADS For KC-X as Boeing Workers Strike

If EADS’ (EADS:P) American subsidiary wins the contract from the U.S. Air Force for the new aerial they will assemble the basic aircraft at a new facility in Mobile, AL. When they along with Northrop Grumman (NOC) had the short lived contract two years ago to build the KC-45 derivative of the Airbus A330 the plant would have been used then. Once the contract was lost to Boeing’s (BA) protest the plans to use the plant were put on hold.

EADS has already stated that if they executed the contract all A330 transport production would be transferred to America from current European plants. There are several benefits to EADS by doing this. First the weak dollar will help lower costs of materials and production. Secondly Alabama is a right-to-work state and a non-union workforce is almost guaranteed. This will be a big change from the highly unionized and regulated workforces of the company in France, Germany and Spain.

There is currently a movement by both U.S. and foreign companies to move production and other services back to the United States. A good deal of these decisions are being driven by the dollar’s strength and to take advantage of excess capacity.

The Japanese automakers have been doing this for years driven by U.S. requirements for car assembly in the States. Honda, Toyota, Nissan and others have plants primarily in Southern States primarily due to the lack of unions as well as the desire of those states to provide economic assistance and financial incentives. Volkswagon for example has just started production of a large plant outside Chattanooga, TN to illustrate that this process is still on-going.

If a company like EADS is going to produce aircraft for the U.S. military it would make sense to try and assemble these in the U.S. As already demonstrated during the last two years of struggle over the KC-X contract it helps them get Congressional support. The advantage of a non-union workforce will not only help costs but prevent potential issues with labor relations and strikes.

Strikes are one of the most disruptive events that may affect production for the military. The only worst thing is really sabotage. The Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation (SAC) strike in 2006 affected production of the UH-60 Black Hawk aircraft for the Army and the SH-60 model for the Navy. These aircraft were and continue to be critical to U.S. operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. The strike was settled after six weeks but it left bad feelings between the company, its unions and customers.

Boeing has suffered several strikes over the past few years. These have not only affected their civil aircraft production but also military products. On Sunday the union representing workers at their St. Louis, MO plants voted to authorize a strike if negotiations don’t resolve contract issues related to seniority. The threat was quickly followed by workers in Kansas where the new Boeing tanker would have some work done.

The workers at the Long Beach, CA facility where the C-17 transport is manufactured have now been on strike for two weeks due to current contract negotiations. This just further illustrates the point that despite the priority of military systems even they may be delayed by the Boeing workforce.

Boeing has moved to counter the reliance on unions by establishing a production facility in South Carolina which is also a right-to-work state. In this way they are mirroring the Japanese automakers and EADS.

At a time when one of the biggest messages in Boeing’s favor is to not delay the KC-X contract any longer by allowing time for EADS to bid or waste time with a competition. If a strike did happen that delayed 767 tanker production once Boeing won the contract it would be a serious black eye for the company and its supporters.

Boeing could try to avoid this by slowly moving production to its South Carolina facility which presumably will be non-unionized but that would antagonize its Washington based Congressional allies. There would also be a cost associated with the move that might increase the cost of the production beyond what the Air Force wants or initially awards. The hope is that the KC-X will use a fixed price contract so Boeing would have to have a good estimate going in and try to limit upfront costs.

EADS by starting out in Alabama avoids the potential issue with a unionized workforce. This should also have mean labor costs for the assembly portion of the aircraft. Score one in the foreign company’s favor.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/alliancenewzealand/ / CC BY-SA 2.0
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AIA Applauds Issuance of Final ADS-B Rule by FAA — Press Release

AIA Applauds Issuance of Final ADS-B Rule by FAA

ARLINGTON, Va., May 28 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Aerospace Industries Association applauds the release of the FAA’s final rule mandating ADS-B out equipage by 2020. Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) equipage makes use of GPS signals via satellite to broadcast airspeed and location data to air traffic controllers and pilots.

“It represents a quantum leap forward over the current radar-based air traffic control system, and when the Next Generation Air Transportation System is fully operational, it will bring enormous economic and environmental benefits to the nation,” said AIA President and CEO Marion C. Blakey.

In order to defray the very significant cost of the new rule, AIA will continue to advocate financial incentives for operators to assist with the cost and to accelerate NextGen. “Implementation of the system could be accelerated by three to five years with incentives for equipage,” said Blakey.

“Financial assistance to purchase mandated avionics equipment makes sense not only because the equipment is required airborne infrastructure for future aircraft separation, but also because it will take some time before commercial and general aviation operators receive the real benefits of their investment,” said Blakey. “Moreover, since experts believe full implementation of NextGen will bring enormous economic and environmental benefits to all Americans, we should accelerate those benefits with financial assistance.”

Independent studies and government agencies like the GAO have noted that accelerated deployment of ground and airborne infrastructure will bring early benefits which, in turn, will bring an early return on the government’s investment. Earlier this week at its Spring Board of Governors meeting, AIA endorsed a strong, operator-supported financial incentive package for NextGen avionics equipment.

The Future of Aviation Advisory Council was recently formed by Transportation Secretary LaHood to come up with recommendations to help strengthen our nation’s civil aviation industry. This body is an excellent venue to explore innovative funding ideas to accelerate NextGen: it has senior industry representation from labor, airports, operators and manufacturers.

“AIA and its nearly 300 members look forward to working with the rest of the industry and the Transportation Department to make the safest, most efficient air transportation system in the world even better,” Blakey said.

www.aia-aerospace.org

Founded in 1919, the Aerospace Industries Association represents the nation’s leading manufacturers and suppliers of civil, military, and business aircraft, helicopters, unmanned aircraft systems, space systems, aircraft engines, materiel, and related components, equipment services, and information technology.

Source: Aerospace Industries Association

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Lockheed Martin Completes First Live Tracking Exercise With New Multi-Mission, Open Architecture Aegis Signal Processor — Press Release

Lockheed Martin Completes First Live Tracking Exercise With New Multi-Mission, Open Architecture Aegis Signal Processor

MOORESTOWN, N.J., April 12 /PRNewswire/ — Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT) successfully identified and tracked numerous live targets for the first time using its new Multi-Mission Signal Processor (MMSP). The MMSP is intended to help combine next-generation Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense and Anti-Air Warfare capabilities in an open combat system architecture for the U.S. Navy.

“By combining the proven SPY-1 radar and Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense signal processing capability, we will provide cost-effective and space-efficient warfighting improvements for the U.S. Navy,” said Allan Croly, director, Naval Radar Programs, for Lockheed Martin’s Mission Systems and Sensors business unit.

The augmented Aegis system detected air tracks at the Navy’s land-based test facility, the Vice Admiral James H. Doyle Combat Systems Engineering Development Site in New Jersey. Additional testing will occur throughout 2010. As part of the Aegis Modernization Program, MMSP is scheduled for installation on guided missile destroyers currently equipped with the Aegis Weapon System. The MMSP installations will begin in 2012.

The road to Aegis Open Architecture has included extensive systems engineering to reconfigure the Aegis system to allow frequent technology refreshes and the ready acceptance of capability upgrades, whether they are accomplished via new development or the integration of third-party-developed products.

The 92 Aegis-equipped ships currently in service around the globe have more than 950 years of at-sea operational experience and have launched more than 3,500 missiles in tests and real-world operations. In addition to the United States, Aegis is the maritime weapon system of choice for Australia, Japan, Norway, South Korea and Spain.

Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 140,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The corporation reported 2009 sales of $45.2 billion.

For additional information on Lockheed Martin Corporation, visit: http://www.lockheedmartin.com/

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Fourth 787 Joins Boeing Flight-Test Fleet: Press Release

March 14, 2010 by · Comment
Filed under: Boeing, commercial aviation 

EVERETT, Wash., March 14 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Boeing (NYSE: BA) has added the fourth 787 Dreamliner to its flight-test fleet with the completion of the first flight of ZA003. The airplane departed Paine Field in Everett, Wash., at 10:55 a.m. (Pacific time) and landed at 2:01 p.m. at Boeing Field in Seattle.

Captains Ray Craig and Mike Bryan piloted the airplane on its three-hour-and-six-minute flight. ZA003 is the final 787 with Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines to enter the flight-test program.

“We’ve done a significant amount of ground testing on the new systems on ZA003 in preparation for first flight. Engineering, manufacturing and flight operations have really pulled together as a team to enable first flight,” said Craig. “It has been very rewarding to watch the Boeing team pull together in support of this milestone.”

ZA003 is the only 787 in the flight test fleet that will include elements of the passenger interior features including cabin and crew support systems. The 787 is introducing new passenger amenities and provisions for a more comfortable flying experience. Among the new features are improved lighting, bigger stowage bins, larger windows with electrochromatic shades and redesigned lavatories with easier access.

In addition to demonstrating that the interior meets certification requirements, ZA003 will be used to conduct tests on systems, noise performance, flight-deck operations, avionics, electromagnetic effects, high-intensity radio frequency response and extended operations (ETOPS).

“The Boeing team is doing great work. We’ve established a good pace of accomplishment on the program,” said Scott Fancher, vice president and general manager of the 787 program, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “The priorities are clear and the entire team is focused.”

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KC-X Tanker Proposal News

To our loyal readers we are not ignoring the KC-X tanker RFP on Defense Procurement News but we have established a separate site, KC-X Tanker News, to cover that issue.

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New Gulfstream G650 Completes First Flight — Press Release

New Gulfstream G650 Completes First Flight

SAVANNAH, Ga., Nov. 25 /PRNewswire/ — Gulfstream Aerospace, a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics (NYSE:GD) , today announced that its newest business jet and the flagship of its fleet, the ultra-large-cabin, ultra-long-range Gulfstream G650, successfully completed its first flight.

Flown by experimental test pilot Jake Howard and senior experimental test pilot Tom Horne, the G650 took off from Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport at 1:41 p.m. local time today with flight engineer Bill Osborne on board. Because pilots were alerted to a slight vibration in a landing-gear door, they curtailed the testing regimen as a precautionary measure. The aircraft landed 12 minutes later.

“We are pleased to announce that the G650 successfully completed its first flight today,” said Pres Henne, senior vice president, Programs, Engineering and Test, Gulfstream. “Systems were fully operational. The aircraft achieved an altitude of 6,600 feet and a speed of 170 knots. Flight controls and characteristics performed as expected. We consider this flight a success and look forward to pursuing our full flight-test plan.”

Under its own power, the G650 rolled out of the Savannah manufacturing facility on Sept. 29, 2009. It remains on schedule for type certification by 2011, followed by entry-into-service in 2012.

The G650 offers the longest range at the fastest speed in its class. Powered by best-in-class Rolls-Royce BR725 engines, the business jet is capable of traveling 7,000 nautical miles at 0.85 Mach and has a maximum operating speed of 0.925 Mach. Its 7,000-nautical-mile range means the G650 can fly nonstop from Dubai to Chicago. With an initial cruise altitude of 41,000 feet at 0.85 Mach, the G650 can climb to a maximum altitude of 51,000 feet and avoid traffic and inclement weather.

With its all-new aerodynamically optimized wing, the G650 can meet the latest takeoff certification requirements. At maximum takeoff weight, the aircraft can depart from a 6,000-foot runway.

Passenger comfort is one of the G650′s main attributes. The aircraft features the largest purpose-built business-jet cabin, which leaves room for larger galleys and lavatories, and increased storage. The jet, which seats 11-18 passengers, also has 16 Gulfstream-signature oval windows that measure 28 by 20.5 inches, the biggest in the industry

The G650 provides the most productive cabin environment. A cabin altitude of 4,850 feet at FL510 and 3,300 feet at FL410 reduces fatigue, increases mental alertness and enhances productivity. A quieter cabin allows for a better environment for conversation or relaxation.

The aircraft comes with the new Gulfstream Cabin Essential(TM) package, so a single-point failure will not result in the loss of functionality. That means a toilet always flushes; water is always available; and an entertainment source always works.

Additionally, the G650 features the PlaneView(TM) II cockpit, the most advanced flight deck in business aviation, and an Advanced Health and Trend Monitoring System (AHTMS) to support aircraft maintenance planning and enhance availability.

Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics (NYSE:GD) , designs, develops, manufactures, markets, services and supports the world’s most technologically advanced business-jet aircraft. Gulfstream has produced some 1,800 aircraft for customers around the world since 1958. To meet the diverse transportation needs of the future, Gulfstream offers a comprehensive fleet of aircraft, comprising the wide-cabin, high-speed Gulfstream G150®; the large-cabin, mid-range Gulfstream G200®; the new large-cabin, mid-range Gulfstream G250®; the large-cabin, mid-range Gulfstream G350®; the large-cabin, long-range G450®; the large-cabin, ultra-long-range Gulfstream G500®; the large-cabin, ultra-long-range Gulfstream G550® and the ultra-large-cabin, ultra-long-range G650®. Gulfstream also offers aircraft ownership services via Gulfstream Financial Services Division and Gulfstream Pre-Owned Aircraft Sales®. The company employs approximately 9,000 people at seven major locations. We invite you to visit our Web site for more information and photos of Gulfstream aircraft at www.gulfstream.com.

General Dynamics (NYSE:GD) , headquartered in Falls Church, Va., employs approximately 92,300 people worldwide. The company is a market leader in business aviation; land and expeditionary combat systems, armaments and munitions; shipbuilding and marine systems; and information systems and technologies. More information about General Dynamics is available online at www.gd.com.

Source: Gulfstream Aerospace

CONTACT: Heidi Fedak, Corporate Communications, Gulfstream Aerospace,
+1-912-395-8574

Web Site: http://www.gulfstream.com/

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Emirates Selects Goodrich for Airbus A380 Evacuation Systems Support — Press Release

Emirates Selects Goodrich for Airbus A380 Evacuation Systems Support

Letter of intent expected to increase support to Emirates at Goodrich Dubai campus

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Nov. 15, 2009 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Goodrich Corporation (NYSE:GR) has signed a letter of intent with Emirates to become the exclusive provider of evacuation system maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services for the airline’s fleet of 58 Airbus A380 aircraft. A 12-year agreement is expected to be signed shortly. The work will be performed by Goodrich’s MRO campus in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

The Goodrich campus in Dubai currently supplies Emirates with MRO support for cabin attendant seats, cargo systems, electronic engine controls, sensor systems, nacelle systems, and other components and systems.

According to Paul Snyder, president, Goodrich Customer Services, “With Emirates, we have cultivated a local aftermarket support program through a simplified working relationship. Providing evacuation systems support is the newest element in this relationship. Goodrich is committed to developing customized MRO and asset management solutions with operators in the region, and we continue to expand our capabilities to support changing operator needs.”

Adel Al Redha, Emirates’ executive vice president for engineering and operations, said, “Emirates is pleased to be working with Goodrich for the ongoing maintenance of our Airbus A380 evacuation systems. Their Dubai facility is a clear demonstration of their commitment to increase the volume of business and support within the region and in particular the United Arab Emirates. Like Emirates, Goodrich is a world leader in its field and we look forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship.”

Goodrich’s Dubai campus is strategically located to serve operators in the Europe, Middle East and Africa regions, providing local MRO, asset management and AOG services for an extensive range of Goodrich products and systems. Goodrich has additional MRO campuses in Australia, China, Singapore, and the U.S.

Goodrich Corporation, a Fortune 500 company, is a global supplier of systems and services to aerospace, defense and homeland security markets. With one of the most strategically diversified portfolios of products in the industry, Goodrich serves a global customer base with significant worldwide manufacturing and service facilities. For more information visit http://www.goodrich.com/.

Goodrich Corporation operates through its divisions and as a parent company for its subsidiaries, one or more of which may be referred to as “Goodrich Corporation” in this press release.

Source: Goodrich Corporation; GR – Nacelles and Interior Systems

CONTACT: At Dubai Air Show: Martin Butler +44 7774 125885; In U.S.:
Laurie Tardif, +1-704-423-7048; First Call: Paul Gifford, Investor Relations,
+1-704-423-5517

Web Site: http://www.goodrich.com/

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Textron’s Earnings Reflect The Market

Textron reported their third quarter earnings yesterday. They did beat expectations by not having a loss but had a profit of about 1 cent a share. This was a decline of ninety-eight percent from the year before. Despite all this the company is confident they will make a profit for a year and earnings would be as predicted.

Textron decline is caused by financial products and their civil air division. Sales of Cessna aircraft a luxury item right now were down a lot. The company has been reducing their participation in the financial sector due to the general downturn there. Despite Bell Helicopter’s struggles with the Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter (ARH) the military part of the company saw some growth.

There have been previous reports that Textron might sell Bell or other parts as it reorganizes to face the current economic downturn but so far that has not happened. As with everyone the company will have to wait and see how the economy recovers and what growth occurs.

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Hamilton Sundstrand Awarded Commercial Aircraft Parts Contract From Irkut

The Russian commercial aircraft manufacturer Irkut Corporation awarded the United Technology subsidiary Hamilton Sundstrand a contract to develop and provide parts for their new airliner. The contract could be worth over $2 billion dollars in the end. The MS-21 (MC in the Cyrillic Alphabet) will be a joint development of various Russian aircraft corporations to be in service sometime around 2015.

This aircraft will replace the aging fleet of Tupelov manufactured Tu-154 airliners. Irkut has also received contracts to build parts for Airbus as well as work with Yakalov on their Yak-130 aircraft. Hamilton Sundstrand will produce electrical generators and systems as well as the Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) and other systems for the advanced aircraft.

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Defense Procurement News Now Contributing To A New Site

250al2The writers at Defense Procurement News will soon be contributing to a new site about the aerospace industry. Aeroleaders 2.0 is oriented towards the leaders of companies involved in this market. It is a place “for the future leaders of the Aerospace and Defense Industry to discuss the most pressing issues of the industry. We also welcome existing leaders as coaches to the industry.” We are very excited about being offered the chance to participate in this site where it is hoped we can make some contributions to the future of this important business.

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EADS Sells More A330 Tankers To Saudi Arabia

EADS announced today that Saudi Arabia had doubled their order for aerial tankers by buying three more A330 MRT aircraft. This means that the Kingdom will now have six of the advanced tankers. They along with the U.K., Australia and the U.A.E. have ordered the aircraft. As part of the buy of the new aircraft Saudi Arabia has ordered logistic and parts support for the tankers although no contract value was announced.

The big contract for military refueling aircraft is the new tanker for the United States Air Force (USAF). EADS and Northorp Grumman had won the contract for the KC-X last year only to see it overturned on a Boeing protest. Now the new Obama Administration and the USAF will try again with a completely new RFP. That contract would be for over one hundred aircraft and would dwarf previous orders. There is still discussion of possibly splitting the contract between the two suppliers with a goal of maximizing the number of aircraft delivered in a short time. The USAF and Defense Department are against that as the two aircraft would require their own substantial support tail of parts, maintenance and training which would be quite expensive.

The A330 is a bigger aircraft then the 767 proposed by Boeing last time but requires larger airfields and more gas to fly a comparable mission. The bigger aircraft can carry more fuel for other aircraft so there has to be a balance struck there. It is definitely conceivable that the loser of the next contract will protest anyway so there may be further delays to the acquisition of the greatly needed capability.

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The Third Sukhoi Superjet 100 Joins the Flight Test Campaign — Press Release

The Third Sukhoi Superjet 100 Joins the Flight Test Campaign

sukhoiJuly 25, 2009, Komsomolsk – The Third Sukhoi Superjet 100 Joins the Flight Test Campaign Today, the third Sukhoi Superjet 100 flight prototype SN 95004 took to the air from Komsomolsk adding momentum to the flight test campaign. Prior to this, the flight test campaign included the first two flying prototype aircraft – SSJ100 # 95001 and # 95003.

This first Flight of SN 95004 began at 07:44 p.m. local time and lasted 1 hour and 21 minutes (landing local time – 09:05 p.m.). The purpose of the flight was to check all aircraft system operations and to confirm their ability to ensure the safety o f the aircraft. The first flight of SSJ100 SN 95004 was quite similar to the flights performed to check the ramp-up production aircraft prior to delivery.
As Sukhoi Superjet 100 SN 95004 will undergo testing of the passenger cabin and avionics, it will be the first aircraft to be completely fitted with passenger equipment and the certification-ready avionics suite, which includes all options designed to meet the airlines’ requirements.

Sukhoi Superjet 100 #95004 will demonstrate the full capabilities of the “dark-and-quiet” cockpit, which is powered by the avionics suite and designed to make the flight comfortable for the pilots and, therefore, safer for the passengers. Later, the aircraft will undergo a series of tests in Italy that will include checks on the community noise level, Instrumented Landing System, Precision Navigation (P-RNAV) and High Intensity Radiated Field (HIRF) tests.

Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Company test-pilots Nikolay Pushenko, who captained the flight, and Sergey Korostiev were the crew for SN95004’s initial test flight. Pushenko and Korostiev also flew SSJ100 SN 95003 from Komsomolsk to Moscow via Novosibirsk this spring. “It is a pleasure to be the first to touch the controls of another SSJ100 and we are very pleased that, in accordance with the schedule of the flight test campaign, every “first flight” becomes more and more saturated as the operational functionality of the aircraft broadens”, – said Nikolay Pushenko, after leaving the plane.

Upon completion of a few factory test flights and painting, the aircraft will follow the same route through Novosibirsk to SCAC’s flight test center in the Moscow region and join the other two prototypes for their certification flights.

“Putting another Sukhoi Superjet 100 in the sky is an important milestone for us, as it demonstrates the capacity of this comfort oriented design, which has taken into consideration the noise and emissions of the aircraft, safety of the passenger cabin, and also the comfort of its pilots, crew, and passengers. It will supplement the daily flight display of SSJ100 # 95003 at MAKS airshow this August in the Moscow Region, showcasing the passenger cabin comfort at the static display”, – noted Vladimir Prisyazhnyuk, SCAC’s President upon completion of the flight.

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