Friday, 14 July 2017

Merged the two aerospace blogs

Hi friends,

Noticed that the division of my writings into the two blogs on aerospace did not suffice the purpose and realise they were overlapping and there was a duplication in content. So have now only Into the Aviation World and all my trivia and travel stories along with serious reports, news, interviews and editorial comments of ADU will also be visible here.

Also a click on this url - will lead you to the Aviation & Defence Universe.

So happy reading.


Sangeeta Saxena

Boeing elaborates expansion plans for India

  • 11 more Apache orders by Army expected
  • Increase from 4 to 12 operating centres
  • No effect on Indian operations after changes in D&S in top management
By Sangeeta Saxena
New Delhi. 12 July 2017.
 “11 more Apaches are expected for the Indian Army which is keen. Apache is not on the line yet and should show up there by the end of 2017,” informed Gene Cunningham Boeing’s vice-president, global sales, defence, space and security.
While speaking to the Indian media at the recently concluded Paris Air Show he added, “ Chinook is on the line, infact the first airplane has been on the line at Philidelphia since last month. Delivery should be by 2019 sometime which will make India the 20th country to have them. We are progressing at the desired speed.”
Appreciating the Strategic Partnership model announced by the Indian Government he stated that it makes good business sense. “ Both the Strategic Partner and the Indian Partner are advancing and both are getting something from the table which is is good. I have read it and I think it is a step towards the positive direction, ” said Cunningham.
He also was enthusiastic about Boeing’s growing footprint in the Make in India drive. “ We plan to develop the already grown supply chain in India We will integrate Indian defence companies into our global supply chain under the ‘Make in India’ programme. In the next 10 years, Boeing India will grow from Delhi and its other four operating centres around India to about 12 or even 15 centres with Indian partners. Capabilities in India, for India and by India is Boeing’s aim here,” he stated.
Indian Air Force will get a very good lift capability which be the largest outside US. Nothing will change for India when from July Boeing will make its Defense, Space & Security (BDS) unit more globally competitive by eliminating a layer of executive oversight. Boeing Military Aircraft and Network & Space Systems segments will evolve into smaller entities he explained. "We will remain the same and everyone involved in Boeing’s Indian defence operations will still have no change in contact persons and functioning will be smooth like now. When the organisation becomes big the need of agility also increases to meet customers' needs and improving productivity. Smaller segments will help improve this. Indian operations will see no change. Our Defense, Space & Security President and CEO Leanne Caret feels, Boeing is fundamentally addressing how it competes, wins, and grows in Boeing's second century," Gene stressed.
He also was happy about the positive stride of the first training services contract awarded by India to Boeing which resulted into the training facility at Gurgaon of the National Capital region. This includes advanced simulation, courseware and computer-based training. Once fully operational, the new center will be capable of conducting local and multi-site simulations for added realism and more robust training.
“The center, in partnership with Mahindra Defense, is another example of the steps we are taking to contribute to the building of a holistic aerospace ecosystem in support of Make in India. It is running well and is proof of our commitment to provide reliable support and services for our customers throughout the lifecycle of a product,” said Cunningham.

Honeywell rocks as Wi-Fi flies in the sky

By Sangeeta Saxena
Aboard the Honeywell Connected Aircraft.
In the Delhi Skies. 04 July 2017. You need not switch off your phone at take off. Your Instagram, Facebook and Twitter pages are getting live updates. The pictures are of ‘the moment’.  Live feeds keep the audience connected ‘now’.
On my very basic Intex phone I am uploading four paragraphs of this sojourn. Flying both for short and long hauls is going to be a changed experience all together. Honeywell just decided to make life for us professionals easy.
The Connected Aircraft uses satellite-based systems to receive internet in-flight, and relays the internet connectivity via routers installed in the aircraft. After the social media I just decided to test the functioning of the mails and no surprises for guessing, they behave just as on ground. The ‘your message has been sent’ is instantaneous.
My last and final test is of uploading this story on the ADU page which has immediately opened. Wish I had carried my lap top. So lets take a break here. The story will continue after hitting the runway.

Will Super Hornet be India’s Choice for Make in India and for Indian Navy's Carrier Needs?

Courtesy : US Navy
By Sangeeta Saxena
New Delhi. 03 July 2017. With Modi's Make in India and Trump's America First every US-India project currently in place or for the future needs to be looked into through a new light. And this really is food for thought.
When Dan Gillian, vice president, F/A-18 & EA-18 Programs made a presentation on next generation carrier requirements of the Indian Navy at a seminar organized by FICCI on ‘Building India’s  Future Navy: Technology Imperatives’  recently, it sent many a minds analysing overtime. When he stated that the importance of carrier aviation cannot be understated – in particular to a country like India with a large coastline covering more than half its borders and a make in India program with a platform like the Super Hornet a great way for Indian industry to position itself for its Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft, or AMCA, a thought came to the mind-why should India make the Super Hornet? And will Trump’s America want to make Super Hornets in India?
He is right when he says that the SuperHornet brings advanced technologies and manufacturing processes that will uniquely support the path to the AMCA, including the manufacture of a stealthy, survivable aircraft but there were three major problems with Super Hornets purchase by India in the squashed MMRCA tender which still hold true when it wants to make in India. Firstly there is not an  extensive Transfer Of Technology, secondly the US major is not offering to build the advanced Super Hornets in the first go, although it promises to make them later and thirdly MiG35 with its manoeuvrability n dogfighting skills and F35 with its short take off and  vertical launch capabilities make them more appropriate for  carrier operations, despite Super Hornets having reduced frontal RCS which provides an edge to it in Air combat and also having an external weapons bay which make them a cheap and partially stealthy solution. The Super Hornet is a naval, carrier-capable fighter-bomber but it does compete with the potentially more capable F-35C.
Dan said, “ we have been building F/A-18 assemblies and wire harnesses in India because it makes good business sense to do so. Boeing has had a presence in India for more than 7 decades and has played a significant role in developing India’s aerospace and defense sector through integrating Indian companies in our global supply chain. The much talked about Make in India is a continuation of what Boeing has been doing for years. Boeing’s Super Hornet Make in India model addresses the infrastructure, personnel training, and operational tools and techniques required to produce an next gen fighter aircraft right here in India. Super Hornet Make in India transitions airframe and subsystem manufacture to Indian industry in a deliberate way, representing extraordinary opportunity for technology insertion and growth within India’s aerospace industry. Boeing’s commitment to India extends further. Last year, Boeing and Mahindra Defense Systems announced the opening of a center that currently provides C-17 training services to the Indian Air Force. Also last year, Boeing and TATA celebrated the ground-breaking of a new facility in Hyderabad for our joint venture named TATA Boeing Aerospace Limited. There, we co-produce Boeing’s Apache helicopter fuselages and other aero structures, as well as pursue integrated systems in aerospace.”
Courtesy: US Navy
The Indian government wants to give a fillip to Make in India and end the country's dependency on foreign arms makers, but the technology still remains foreign. Also keeping in mind that the F18A Super Hornet which has never had a major export success like F16 and with no great orders the production line running beyond 2018 is the million dollar question. Both F/A-18E/F and the electronic warfare variant E/A-18G have failed to hit the market as Boeing would have liked it to. So will the facility in India have the numbers to make it profitable?
Dan informed that on May 23rd, the President of the United States sent his 2018 fiscal year budget to Congress, and included in that budget was a requirement for 80 Super Hornets over the next 5 years to address its strike fighter shortfall. Also in that budget request was funding for Block 3 capabilities to ensure the air wing has the capabilities needed to win in the 2020s and beyond.
This is American President Donald Trump’s America First theory in play. So in this case will he not want to generate employment in America for Americans and not in India for Indians? So it is quite a possibility he might want to sell the Super Hornet off the shelf to India as a FMS as in Apache and Chinook sales to India- keep the technology intact and  also   fulfill his employment for Americans election promise. So it is just a wait and watch situation meanwhile India has time to weigh the best options for its futuristic Navy.

Sikorsky choppers missed at Paris

s-61-19 Air Force HH-3E pilots, Major Herbert Zehnder (left) and Major Donald Maurras (right) with Igor Sikorsky at PAS 1967 . Courtesy Sikorsky Archives

By Sangeeta Saxena
Le Bourget. 22 June 2017. For someone who has been regularly covering helicopters every alternate year at Le Bourget, some thing was amiss this time -  the presence of  a Sikorsky chopper at the display area and ofcourse over the French skies.
Reflecting on the now Sikorsky LM then Sikorsky helicopters fifty years ago in  June 1967, Igor Sikorsky attended the Paris Air Show which also commemorated  the 40th anniversary of Charles Lindbergh’s epic flight from New York to Paris. Two U.S. Air Force HH-3s, variants of the Sikorsky S-61, landed on the airfield after a nonstop flight from New York to Paris, 4,271 miles, in 30 hours and 46 minutes. A Lockheed C-130 tanker aircraft also flew to refuel them several times during the journey.
Since then some representation in either flying or static display of a Sikorsky helicopter has always been there at the show. Last show in 2015 the news of the sale of the company was leaked and then formally confirmed . Since then Sikorsky has become a Lockheed Martin company. But one did expect to see a M28 at a predominantly civil aviation display area.
When Sikorsky Aircraft acquired Poland’s largest aircraft manufacturer,PZL Mielec, in 2007, and with it the M28 aircraft family including versions with and without an integrated “glass” cockpit, little would the American manufacturer have thought that there would be a tailor made role for it in the burgeoning Indian aviation arena.
Delays do not dampen the spirits and since September 2016, when the Director General of Civil Aviation has  approved the PZL M28 aircraft for commercial operations the company is  sure it is the right product to address the requirement of the market of regional connectivity.
M28 - A multi utility helicopter
For a manufacturer which has been synonymous with helicopters, it may be a surprise for many that the company has a portfolio of fixed-wing aircraft. In addition to the M28 turboprop it also has  the Reconnaissance Fixed-Wing Aircraft (RFWA).
The Mielec factory has delivered more than 100 M28 aircraft so far. Sikorsky modernized M28 production and completions with computer design tools and today supports the hard-working fleet with a global logistics network. Civil-certified M28s routinely carry passengers and cargo for commercial and government operators.
This aircraft will address the present requirement spelt out by the Government of India to connect the Teir II cities, especially the North Eastern part of the country as well as the Western and South- Western part of the country.
Sikorsky is confident  from a commercial standpoint the aircraft gives opportunity to connect the lesser known cities which operate a grassy or paved runaways giving the passengers, a time and cost effective option for transport from one city to another.
There are close to 400 operational airstrips that aren’t paved or used for full commercial application. This is where the M28 will be useful in a passenger configuration. But the aircraft can be configured in other application as well which make it very versatile. It can be just right aircraft for Medevac, SAR operations, Para dropping  filming disaster and many more roles.
The 485 cu ft. (148m3) cabin has a full-width aft door to para drop cargo. The cabin can be outfitted with a removable roller floor, optional cargo hoist, and heavy cargo restraints to speed loading and unloading.
The aircraft’s capability to land safely and easily on grass and gravel airstrips is inherent to the design. Also ideal is its easy conversion from passenger seating to carrying cargo, and of course as a VIP transport vehicle.
With its high-lift wing, ample power, thrust-reversing propellers, and fixed tricycle landing gear including low-pressure tires and anti-skid brakes, the M28 takes-off and lands on rough strips less than 1,000 (345 m) ft long.
The M28B/PT cockpit is built around a Honeywell Bendix/King Electronic Flight Information System (EFIS) with integrated weather radar, Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System and Traffic Collision Advisory System. The standard aircraft has a modern VFR/IFR avionics suite including VOR, GPS, and ADF navigation aids. Sikorsky Mielec is integrating more capable electro-optical payloads and other new mission systems.
Igor Sikorsky on his invention: Courtesy Sikorsky Archives
The potential of the M28 in Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance roles is very much the need of the hour keeping in mind Indian military and civil requirements today. Healthy power margins make One Engine Inoperative emergencies safer even in extremely hot or icing conditions with an OEI rate of climb of 450 fpm (138 m/min) on a Standard day. The 16,500 lb (7,500 kg) M28 hauls 5,000 lb (2,300 kg) over 225 nm (450 km).  It can cruise at speeds to 192 kt (356 km/hr) and stalls at just 53 kt with engines idling and flaps extended. Service altitude is up to 25,000 ft with crew oxygen. The M28 has been certificated by EASA and the US FAA for flight into known icing conditions.
With a robust airframe, responsive low-speed handling, and extreme Short Takeoff and Landing (STOL) performance, the Sikorsky M28 has proven its value in forward-deployed airlift operations. “Religious tourism in India for pilgrimages in mountaineous terrains might be just waiting for M28 to happen,” quipped Walia.
With the Ministry of Civil Aviation's scheme for regional connectivity announced last year M28 seems a good solution for the Indian skies.

All roads lead to Le Bourget

By Sangeeta Saxena
Paris. 18 June 2017. 
You’ll never go so far, just six kilometres from Paris and for the next one week all roads from Paris will lead to the queen of all shows- the International Paris Air Show where one and all of the aviation world descend at the airport. It is not just French wine, Eiffel Tower and Seine River which are cynosure of all eyes in Paris. Come the Parisian summer and the sky is the centre of attraction with metal birds of all shapes and sizes regaling the city with their displays.
With expected 2,300 international exhibitors, 150,000 trade visitors, 30 national pavilions and almost 300 official delegations, the Paris Air Show is still the biggest show of its kind and a must-attend event for all professionals working in the aeronautics and space sector. All major manufacturers , complete spare parts and ancillary industry, 100 start-ups that will shape tomorrow’s skies will and 296 official military and civilian delegations promise to make the show the brand it is.
The International Paris Air Show is organised by the SIAE, a subsidiary of GIFAS, the French Aerospace Industries Association. The 52nd show will take place at the Le Bourget Parc des Expositions from 19 to 25 June 2017, and once again will bring together all the players in this global industry around the latest technological innovations. The first four days of the Show will be reserved for trade visitors, followed by three days open to the general public.
Industry at it’s maximum participation envisages Boeing, Finmeccanica, SAFRAN, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, BAE Systems, SAAB, Honeywell, Airbus, Rosoboronexport, Sukhoi, MBDA, Bombardier, Embraer, RUAG, KAI, Pilatus, Dassault, Hawker Beechcraft, CFM, Rolls Royce, Israeli Companies, SirkoskyLM, Cobham, Goodrich and Eurocopter to name a few along with government agencies taking up sprawling spaces at the show.
At the heart of the Paris Air Show, Concorde Hall will host the first edition of Paris Air Lab, which is 3000 square meters dedicated to research and innovation. Featuring collaborative work from industrial groups, companies, and start-ups from aeronautics and aerospace, and conference debates on the future of the field, international start-up pitches, immersive experiences and more, the Paris Air Lab has something for everyone. Participants can explore 22 booths dedicated to innovation, aeronautics, aerospace and digital technology, or follow suggested thematic paths throughout the event.
The Paris Air Lab has two conference rooms for keynote speakers and pitch sessions, five virtual reality booths, a “future vehicles” booth, and “Earth seen from above” photo exhibition. The Paris Air Lab also offers several co-working and relaxation spaces so participants can take time to enjoy the experience. From artificial intelligence to jet propulsion, nearly 100 startups will be featured throughout the week, as well as more than a dozen industrial associations, space agencies, and research centres, who will work together to present their latest collaborative innovations.
GIFAS (French Aerospace Industries Association) is offering an area dedicated to careers, employment and training in the aerospace industry, air transport and national defence. The Careers Plane-Job and Training Forum provide an occasion to discover this cutting-edge industry hands-on, and talk to the men and women who work in the aerospace sector each day.
With the theme "Journey to the heart of excellence", the 2017 edition is providing in a 3,000 m² marquee an instructive and immersive circuit laid out. There are two complementary areas in the show. The Careers Plane: an area for demonstration and dialogue coordinated by professionals in the sector and The Jobs and Training Forum: a space for meeting recruitment managers from companies and training schools.
With its central island offering immersive videos on the aerospace trades, the Careers plane is a place for visitors to meet men and women who work in the aerospace sector every day. A unique opportunity to meet those who design, produce, sell and maintain aircraft, and to see and touch the final product, from engines and helicopter propeller blades to aeroplane seats and altimeters.
The Careers Plane is divided into three thematic areas: Design, Industrialisation and Production and Support, Marketing and Maintenance, with nearly 800 professionals taking turns throughout the week to introduce visitors to the aerospace job chain. All in all, some 40 different trades will be presented, illustrating the sector's diversity, in two different ways:
Through demonstrations, where participants can see professionals in almost real-life situations, and sometimes try the tools themselves. Through short talks in small groups of ten or so, where speakers talk about their careers, their everyday professional life and projects on which they have worked.
Visitors will be able to meet flight test engineer, industrial project manager, laminater-fitter and foundry operator in turn. You can find the list of all the trades and companies represented at the Careers Plane in the computer graphics in the right column. If they want to go further, visitors can find information at the Jobs and Training Forum about training courses or job vacancies in the trades that interest them.
The leading trade show for jobs and training in the aerospace sector, the Jobs and Training Forum is a meeting point for companies, education institutions, associations and the general public: an opportunity to discover the sector's highly-sought after profiles and skills requirements, and the trades of the future. Both a recruitment forum and a career counselling show, the Jobs and Training Forum is there to help young people to choose their careers, students to look for a training course or apprenticeship, young graduates to find their first job, and experienced professionals to broaden their horizons. Good opportunity to bring your CV!
Just at the entry/exit to the show is the Air and Space museum is one of the top aviation museums in the world with more than 40,000 items it has started to collect since the early 20th century, the museum is protected by the “Musée de France” status. Visitors can discover about a hundred aircrafts among the 400 composing its collections, from the very first planes to the Breguet 19 “Point d’interrogation”, the Spitfire and the Concorde. The museum also owns an exceptional art collection, models, engraving, toys, and ethnographic items.The place the Air and Space museum has been built on is very important and full of memory. Le Bourget is a place that has seen many aviation heroes, including Charles Lindbergh.

Jet Set Go with Kanika Tekriwal into the world of private charters

By Sangeeta Saxena
New Delhi. 14 February 2017. Real leaders don't follow, they lead. It is hard , it is  a lot of work but you get to do what you want and you get to do it your way. One has to start somewhere. Ideas and opportunities don’t just come out of thin air. Ideas are thought, planned, strategised and put into action. Opportunities are grabbed. And Jet Set Go is an example of  creating a path which no one has tread earlier.
Jet Set Go zooms ahead making private jets a necessity not a luxury for people who feel time is money. And driving India’s first online market place for private jets and helicopters is Kanika Tekriwal. I was definitely not prepared to meet a girl in her twenties full of passion for aviation, with a slogan ‘Private Aviation like never before’ , a dream to be the face of luxury travel and  with an ability to  turn every no into a yes.
An interactive technology driven platform enabling users to search and charter aircraft and helicopters across India ,  JetSetGo has got on board almost 80% of India’s private jet fleet, Kanika ,  CEO, JetSetGo Aviation Services Private Limited informs. The flight search lets users enter minimum flight details i.e. location, date of departure, arrival and number of passengers. The application then carries out a live search for suitable aircraft basis user criteria and a list of aircraft is displayed. The user can then make a selection of different aircraft and request for quotations.
Jet Set Go has had a smooth landing in turbulent times and now promises to take off to heights none else would have soared in the world of private jets. Kanika’s is a story which would be just right for a Bollywood script. Lets hear it form her.
“I was always fascinated by the aviation sector and am a small town girl who would keep looking at an aircraft in the sky till it flew into oblivion.  I started working in the sector at 17. But it was only after my MBA that I thought of  setting up JetSetGo. While I was working had always heard that hiring a private jet in India is like hiring a spaceship. The sector was just waiting to get an option that enabled hassle-free and informed hiring of private aircraft for leisure, work or medical reasons, and the idea of booking online just cropped up. I returned to India from UK and from Bhopal moved to Delhi, with everyone sceptic about this move, had a medical setback and had to drop the plans for a year. And after a year and on recovering realised no one had picked up my idea and it was just waiting for me to put it into action,” told Kanika.
Not a word about what the medical contingency was, the strong girl not wanting to tell me and gain sympathy, never realised I had done my homework and knew of the fight she had with cancer at 22.
In just four years Jet set Go  has a monthly earning of 2million USD,  has more than   featured in the Forbes magazine list of ‘30under30’ achievers of Asia for making a mark in changing the face of e-commerce and shopping. In a traditionally male bastion Kanika is calling the shots  and has almost 80 per cent of India’s private jet fleet on board , makes it easy for users to search and charter aircrafts and helicopters across India, even in areas not served by commercial airlines.
“ JetSetGo is doing on an average  one flight a day with average cost ranging between Rs 3 lakh and Rs 15 lakh. It generates 50 per cent of revenue from corporate bookings, followed by leisure (20 per cent); the remaining is split between medical emergency and tours. We service almost 10 queries a day, have been witnessing a growth of almost 100 per cent, without giving discounts or creating artificial scarcity, ” she said.
JetSetGo raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Yuvraj Singh’s startup fund YouWeCan Ventures in July 2015. In December 2015, they raised $1.9 million in pre- Series A funding. The aviation start up has also raised an undisclosed amount from Puneet Dalmia, managing director of Dalmia Bharat Ltd, who invested in his personal capacity.
With offices in Delhi , Mumbai,  Bengaluru , Dubai  and  New York  Jet Set Go  has already got a global reach. It aims to be in 16 countries and have 150 employees in the near future.
Jet set Go is a story  of motivation and arriving with élan. What started with just 5,000 Rupees is now a case study for management colleges.  “Brilliant businesses were not built on money, but on great people and great ideas. Mine also has a whole lot of goodwill. If my business is not my first love, then the chances of it succeeding are slim,” ended Kanika on a positive note.