Thursday, December 17, 2009

DTN News: Pakistan TODAY December 18, 2009 ~ Twelve Killed In Multiple US Drone Strikes / Corps Commanders Meet At GHQ, Discuss Security

DTN News: Pakistan TODAY December 18, 2009 ~ Twelve Killed In Multiple US Drone Strikes / Corps Commanders Meet At GHQ, Discuss Security
*Source: DTN News / Int'l Media
(NSI News Source Info) MIRANSHAH, Pakistan - December 18, 2009: Ten suspected militants were killed Thursday in the second US missile strike in a day targeting insurgents in Pakistan's tribal North Waziristan district, security officials said.
Another security official also confirmed the attack and the toll, adding that the suspected militants were killed as they parked a car outside a house. ‘Five US drones fired at least seven missiles, targeting several houses in the Ambarshaga area in North Waziristan and killing more than 10 militants,’ a senior security official in the area told AFP. Another security official confirmed the strike and said the death toll may rise. Earlier Thursday two militants were killed in a similar strike on a house near Miranshah, the main town in the North Waziristan.
~ Corps Commanders Meet At GHQ, Discuss Security
(NSI News Source Info) RAWALPINDI, Pakistan - December 18, 2009: Corps commanders of the Pakistan Army met at the General Headquarters (GHQ) on Thursday to review the country’s security situation and the multiple challenges it faces. The meeting focused on evolving an affective strategy to cope with the challenges.
The meeting was being chaired by Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) General Ashfaq Pervaiz Kayani. Chief of the Army Staff, General Ashfaq Pervaiz Kayani, while chairing the corps commanders’ meeting, took the commanders into confidence regarding his interaction with top US military officer Admiral Mike Mullen and Centcom commander General David Petraeus. According to sources some of the latest demands made by the US top military command were launching operation against Taliban militants in North Waziristan and expanding drone attacks in Balochistan against alleged Taliban targets there.
Pakistani troops hold their positions at a hilltop post in Shingwari, an area in the troubled Pakistani tribal region of South Waziristan along the Afghan border. Bristling at criticism from Washington, Pakistan's army dismissed U.S. pressure to open a front against Afghan militants operating on its territory, saying Thursday, Dec. 17, 2009 it was stretched to the limit in a bloody war against its own Taliban. Military commanders while reviewing the whole situation made it clear that the army would protect national interest at every cost. The army chief said the military operation in South Waziristan would be taken to its logical end and terrorists would be killed in their hideouts. The corps commanders also discussed a development and rehabilitation plan for South Waziristan and decided the moment operation is over, the plan would be launched. General Kayani said success in South Waziristan would be visible the moment the IDPs would start returning to their home towns.

DTN News: Eurocopter Celebrates The Maiden Flight Of Its New EC175 Helicopter

DTN News: Eurocopter Celebrates The Maiden Flight Of Its New EC175 Helicopter *Source: DTN News / EADS (NSI News Source Info) PARIS, France- December 18, 2009: The EC175, the latest member of the Eurocopter range, today performed its official maiden flight in the skies above Marignane. At the controls were Alain Di Bianca, Eurocopter Experimental Test Pilot, as well as Michel Oswald and Patrick Bremont, Flight Test Engineers. Officials, industrial partners, launch customers and Eurocopter employees were all on hand for the event. This newest addition to the Eurocopter family in the 7-metric-ton class has been developed and manufactured in cooperation with the China Aeronautics Industries Group Corp. (AVIC), a longstanding Eurocopter partner. "It's an immense pleasure to see the EC175 soaring through the skies," declared Eurocopter CEO Lutz Bertling. "This helicopter was developed in close cooperation with our customers to ensure it would be perfectly suited to their needs—particularly in terms of safety and comfort. This is the product everyone's been waiting for on the civil market. I would like to congratulate and thank our colleagues from China, all our personnel who invested so much time and effort in this project, and, of course, our industrial partners. Their combined efforts have made it possible for the EC175 to perform its maiden flight right on schedule, that’s to say exactly four years after the program was launched, which is a real technological wizardry. " The new generation EC175 has a multirole design and can carry out a wide scope of civil missions. It slots perfectly into the Eurocopter range between the AS365 Dauphin (4/5 metric tons) and the AS332/EC225 Super Puma (9/11 metric tons) families. It benefits from a mix of proven and advanced technologies, making it a very performing and reliable helicopter. Depending on its configuration, it can hold up to 16 passengers. A total of 114 EC175s have already been ordered by 14 different customers. Certification of the EC175 by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) is slated for 2011, and the first deliveries are scheduled to follow in 2012. Eurocopter expects to sell 800 EC175s over the next twenty years, creating nearly 2000 new direct and indirect jobs. EADS Eurocopter has signed a cooperation agreement covering the development of a new 16-seat EC175 helicopter, following a year of intense negotiations to detail and develop the general principles laid down in the Agreement signed in October 2004 during President Chirac’s official visit to China. The five-year development phase will be kicked off early in 2006. The new ‘civil’ helicopter is due to make its first flight in 2009, with European and Chinese certification set for 2011, the year in which production is due to start.The forecasts for the new machine are ambitious. The EC175 to be developed by Eurocopter and Chinese firm AVIC II will feature the very latest technological advances in the cockpit and avionics, along with a 5-bladed main rotor that uses the same Spheriflex technology as the EC120 and a high energy absorbing airframe. The EC175 will be certified for two-pilot IFR and single-pilot VFR operations when carrying up to 16 passengers, with a radius of action of 200 nautical miles at a speed of 280 km/h. Eurocopter and AVIC II will each invest EUR 300 million to develop the new EC175 helicopter. Production will be shared on a 50/50 basis, and each country will have its own assembly line. Sales forecasts for this latest-generation helicopter call for 800 to be sold worldwide over the next 20 years. Eurocopter President Fabrice Bregie believes that this program guarantees more than 30 years of activity and the creation of 2,000 high tech jobs for Eurocopter and the company’s partners. Over 20 years, he estimates that the program will be worth close to EUR 10 billion. Z-9 w. Special Forces ~ The EC175 project follows in the footsteps of the past programs, which spawned increasingly tight cooperative ties between Chinese industry and Eurocopter. The licensed production of the Dauphin in 1980 (in service with China’s military as the Z-9), followed by the industrial cooperation on the light EC120 in 1992 (which EADS lists on its web site as civil/military), has paved the way to this more ambitious co-development program. More than 500 EC120s have been sold throughout the world, and EADS says that it’s currently the best seller in its category. An assembly line was inaugurated in 2004 in the Harbin, China plant to satisfy the needs of the growing (by 10-15% annually) Chinese domestic market. Eurocopter said that it holds a 45% share in the Chinese civil and government/ security helicopter sector, and Eurocopter Vice-President for Asia Mr. Norbert Ducrot estimates that China will need about 300 helicopters before 2015 in light of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing and the 2010 Universal Exhibition in Shanghai. CooperationThe EC175 program was launched on December 5, 2005. The helicopter was developed in cooperation with Chinese industry in just four years thanks to innovative new computing tools that offer major time savings. The work teams, separated by some 10,000 km, have been working together under the aegis of the French and Chinese governments. Their cooperation has been exemplary, and has benefitted from 30 years of close ties between the partners, first through the Dauphin and then through the EC120. During the development phase, an average of 50 Chinese employees joined their Eurocopter colleagues in France to define the helicopter's characteristics. Now it’s the turn of Eurocopter's employees to reciprocate, and a staff of 30 is currently on permanent assignment in China to assist the teams with design, quality, production and procurement work. The development and industrialization work has been equally split between Eurocopter and AVIC according to the specialties of each company. Two different helicopters will result from the common platform: The EC175 manufactured, sold and maintained by Eurocopter in Marignane and the Z15, manufactured, sold and maintained by the AVIC Group. MissionsThe EC175 is a medium-lift twin-engine helicopter that can perform many different civil missions. Initially designed for the oil & gas industry to carry work teams to the platforms, it meets the strictest safety and availability requirements that have become a must for operators in the industry. The helicopter is also being developed for missions such as search and rescue and emergency medical transport, and can also meet the needs of the commercial aviation industry for VIP and corporate transport. Technical characteristicsThe EC175 benefits from the most cutting-edge technology available. It is powered by twin Pratt & Whitney PT6C-67E engines with dual-channel new generation Full Authority Digital Engine Controls (FADEC). With its completely new avionics, the EC175 has an effective and easy-to-use man machine interface, which considerably reduces the pilot workload. Both the pilot and co-pilot can therefore concentrate more fully on their missions. The EC175 is indeed equipped with a full screen cockpit and a digital four-axis Automatic Flight Control System (AFCS) that outperforms any other automatic pilot system on the market. It also has a five-blade Spheriflex main rotor and an airframe that complies with the most stringent certification requirements. The EC175 offers the widest cabin of any helicopter in its category, which provides an unmatched level of comfort. The aircraft can be boarded easily using the wide sliding doors on either side of the fuselage and the immense baggage compartment is also accessible from both sides of the helicopter. All very large windows offer a great visibility and can be jettisoned so that passengers and crew can quickly exit the helicopter in the event of an emergency. The EC175 has also been designed to reduce vibration levels to a minimum; its blade design has taken forward the concepts that have proven so successful on the EC155 and EC225. Special care has been taken to reduce both internal and external noise levels to make the EC175 the quietest helicopter in its class, offering levels well below the limits recently established by the International Civil Aviation Organization. For picture material of the EC175 and its first flight, please click here.Video material of the ceremony of the first flight is available here. About Eurocopter Established in 1992, the Franco-German-Spanish Eurocopter Group is a Division of EADS, a world leader in aerospace, defence and related services. The Eurocopter Group employs approx. 15,600 people. In 2008, Eurocopter confirmed its position as the world’s No. 1 helicopter manufacturer in the civil and parapublic market, with a turnover of 4.5 billion Euros, orders for 715 new helicopters, and a 53 percent market share in the civil and parapublic sectors. Overall, the Group’s products account for 30 percent of the total world helicopter fleet. Its strong worldwide presence is ensured by its 18 subsidiaries on five continents, along with a dense network of distributors, certified agents and maintenance centres. More than 10,000 Eurocopter helicopters are currently in service with over 2,800 customers in more than 140 countries. Eurocopter offers the largest civil and military helicopter range in the world.

DTN News: Airlines News TODAY December 18, 2009 ~ Malaysia Airlines (MAS) Not Ordering Dreamliner Aircraft

DTN News: Airlines News TODAY December 18, 2009 ~ Malaysia Airlines (MAS) Not Ordering Dreamliner Aircraft *Malaysia Airlines (MAS) does not see a fit in the delivery schedule for now
*Source: DTN News / Int'l Media (NSI News Source Info) PETALING JAYA, Malaysia - December 18, 2009: Malaysia Airlines (MAS) will not place any orders for the B787 Dreamliner as it does not see a fit in the delivery schedule for now even though the B787 uses 20% less fuel than existing aircraft. Delayed for two years, the 250-seater B787 is the first commercial plane to be built with a plastic fuselage and an all-electric system. It completed its maiden flight on Tuesday, thereby instilling confidence in the airlines that have placed orders for this aircraft. This is Boeing’s first model after a decade. Employees cheer as a Boeing 787 Dreamliner takes off for its first test flight from Paine Field in Everett, Washington on Tuesday - AP Boeing has 840 firm orders valued at US$140bil from global carriers for the B787. Its first customer is All Nippon Airways Co, which has 27 orders for the 787-8 and 28 orders for the 787-3. In an e-mail response to StarBiz queries, MAS chief financial officer Mohd Azha Abdul Jalil said “there are many orders for the Dreamliner and any orders placed today will only see delivery in 2020.” “We are currently planning to refresh our wide-body aircraft but we don’t see a fit between our current fleet plans and the delivery dates of the Dreamliner. “As such, at this point, there are no plans to place orders for the Dreamliner,’’ he added. MAS will be taking delivery of the first of the 35 B737-800 from October next year. AirAsia Bhd has opted for the Airbus and is phasing out the Boeing. It was reported that about 50% of the B787 is made of lightweight composite materials, with large sections produced by suppliers worldwide and assembled by Boeing at Everett, Washington. Boeing claims the plane will be quieter, produce lower emissions and use 20% less fuel than comparable aircraft, while 250 passengers will enjoy a more comfortable cabin with better air quality and larger windows. It was reported earlier that parts of the flight control systems for this aircraft may be built in Penang by Honeywell Aerospace but none of the Malaysian aircraft parts suppliers will be supplying parts, at least for now. The aircraft model most similar to the Dreamliner is said to be A350XWB, which is slated to be launched in 2013.