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Satair Group and Metamaterial Technologies Inc. sign memorandum of understanding to bring innovative laser strike protection to civil aviation market

Logos: Satair Group and Metamaterial Technologies Inc. (CNW Group/Metamaterial Technologies Inc.)

HALIFAX, June 21, 2017 /CNW Telbec/ – Airbus wholly-owned subsidiary, Satair Group and Metamaterial Technologies Inc. (MTI) and its optical filters division Lamda Guard of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which will lead to an exclusive multi-million dollar global distribution agreement to bring MTI’s laser protection product metaAIRTM to the civil aviation market.
metaAIR is nanofabricated as a flexible metamaterial optical filter which can be applied to any transparent surface – such as the inner surface of an aircraft’s cockpit windscreen – to control unwanted light sources while not interfering with visibility.    The filter deflects harmful laser beams aimed at aircraft windscreens even at high power levels and from wide angles preventing the beam from reaching the inside of the aircraft cockpit.  In addition to laser protection at night metaAIR may also feature new types of optical protections such as Ultraviolet ray protection for daytime operation at cruising altitudes, answering a long-established concern for many flight crews.
Laser strikes on commercial aircraft have risen over the years and laser pointers are increasing in power and decreasing in price.    Lasers can distract and even harm pilots during critical phases of flight and can cause temporary visual impairment.    Over 2000 laser incidents were recorded in the USA in the first four months alone of 2017 according to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).    In 2015 there were over 10,000 laser incidents reported to the FAA, the UK Civil Aviation Authority and Transport Canada.
George Palikaras, MTI Founder and CEO said: “This marks a key milestone for MTI. Satair Group is a global leader in aerospace supply management and known for their innovative products.    We are very pleased to have Satair Group as our exclusive distributor for our laser protection products.    Through our partnership with Satair Group we will introduce metaAIR to the commercial aviation market in 2018, offering a solution to the increasing threats of laser strikes in global aviation.”
Satair Group’s involvement follows in the footsteps of two previous agreements signed between Airbus and MTI’s Lamda Guard division over the past three years.    In 2014 MTI entered Airbus Corporate Innovation’s Start-Up 2 Partner program which aims at building mutually beneficial partnerships with disruptive innovators and start-up companies.    While setting the ground for future business arrangements, with the support of the Airbus Aircraft Security team, the program also evaluated, tested and tailored metaAIR for potential application on to its aircraft. Earlier this year, a new agreement for the validation, certification and commercialization of the product was announced.
Satair Group is now moving this relationship to commercialization and will deploy its global presence and extended distribution and parts support services to all commercial aviation market segments with a full metaAIR service offering package.
Bart Reijnen, CEO of Satair Group added: “We are delighted to pick up the baton for this exciting technology from our colleagues at Airbus Corporate Innovation and Airbus Aircraft Security who have steered it through the verification and testing stage.    With our first mover advantage and through our global reach and excellent relationships with operators we will ensure metaAIR gets exposure to all aircraft categories and to airlines, MROs and corporate operators worldwide.”
Satair Group will choose an experienced partner for Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) development to ensure metaAIR meets airworthiness and certification requirements for different aircraft types.    Certification approval initially from the FAA, European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA) is expected to be granted in early 2018 with other relevant jurisdictions following later.
The metaAIR product will be developed initially for the Airbus A320 family, followed shortly afterwards by all other Airbus and also Boeing types, as well as for other commercial airliners.    Satair Group also sees demand for this product coming from business and general aviation and rotary wing customers.

Chorus Aviation Announces the Successful Completion of the World’s First Dash 8-300 Aircraft Extended Service Program


  • Launch customer for Bombardier Dash 8-300 ESP

HALIFAX, June 21, 2017 /CNW/ – Chorus Aviation Inc. (‘Chorus’) (TSX: CHR) announced today that Jazz Technical Services (‘JTS’) – a division of Chorus subsidiary, Jazz Aviation (‘Jazz’) – has successfully completed the Extended Service Program (ESP) on the first of 19 Dash 8-300 aircraft. Chorus is the launch customer for Bombardier’s Dash 8-300 ESP; the first of its kind for this aircraft type.
“Our relationship with Bombardier goes back many years and we are proud to be the first operator in the world to conduct the Extended Service Program on Dash 8-300s,” said Colin Copp, President, Jazz.    “I commend our maintenance engineers for this significant achievement.”
The ESP extends the service life of Jazz’s Dash 8-300 aircraft by 50 per cent, or approximately 15 years, through the replacement of certain structural and systems components.    Jazz Technical Services will complete the ESP work on a minimum of 19 Dash 8-300 aircraft over the next five years at its facility in Halifax, NS.
“I congratulate the JTS team on this important milestone,” said Joe Randell, President and Chief Executive Officer, Chorus.   “The range of technical expertise we possess across all facets of regional aviation differentiates us from our competition as we work toward our vision of delivering regional aviation to the world.”
“Bombardier is excited to celebrate this milestone alongside Chorus, Jazz and JTS and we congratulate all the teams that contributed to the successful execution of the Dash 8-300 aircraft Extended Service Program,” said Todd Young, Vice President and General Manager, Customer Services and Q400 Aircraft Program, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft.    “The Dash 8-300 aircraft ESP, and the Dash 8-100 aircraft ESP, which was available earlier, extend the economic life of these robust and reliable aircraft for years to come — allowing for enhanced operational value for our long-standing customer, Chorus.”

Coulson Group buys Southwest jets to make first-ever Boeing 737 firefighting tankers

A Northwest aerospace company has bought six Boeing Co. 737 passenger jets from Southwest Airlines to convert them into aerial firefighting tankers.
It appears to be the first time that Boeing’s single-aisle workhorse will be enlisted to fight wildfires from above, dumping 4,000 gallons of fire retardant chemicals at low speed and low altitude.
Coulson Group CEO Wayne Coulson says the converted Boeing 737-300 jets will dump up to 2,100 gallons per second using systems the company originally developed for its fleet of four Lockheed C-130 Hercules cargo aircraft.
They’ll also have room for 63 passengers, or enough for three strike teams of 20 firefighters each to drop at airports in fire zones.
The first of the jets is being repainted at an International Aerospace Coatings facility in Spokane.    They’ll roll out next week when the deal is formally announced.   Coulson said he decided to convert 737s after realizing that there wasn’t a single C-130 available anywhere in the world to buy.   “So we looked at other planes and the 737-300 was a perfect fit for us,” Coulson said.    “We were lucky to get them, and since Southwest was the only owner, they’re for the most part in platinum condition.”
Coulson declined to say how much his contract aerial firefighting company paid for the airplanes.   “The six 737s were less than one C-130,” Coulson said, laughing before adding,    “What’s expensive is getting the plane right with all the engineering work needed to modify our C-130 system for the 737.”
He said Southwest sold the jets because the Federal Aviation Administration would not allow it to fly too many 737 variants at the same time, once it takes delivery of dozens of brand-new, fuel efficient 737 Max 8 jets.
Coulson Group’s 200 staffers operate a fleet of C-130s and Sikorsky S-61 helicopters in Portland, Oregon, Port Alberni in British Columbia, and Melbourne, Australia.    It operates an air tanker base in Reno, Nevada, and helps the U.S. Forest service and other countries combat wildfires during hot and dry summers.
The fleet won’t be the first Boeing aircraft converted for firefighting. Colorado-based Global Super Tanker Services flies a converted Boeing 747-400 jumbo jet that can drop nearly 20,000 gallons of fire retardant.

CAE supports Royal Australian Air Force Diamond Thunder distributed virtual training exercise


— Simulators at bases in Williamtown, Tindal and Richmond networked for training and mission rehearsal —

Silverwater, Australia, June 13 2017 – (NYSE: CAE; TSX: CAE) – CAE recently supported the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) participation in the Diamond Thunder distributed mission training exercise, which saw the RAAF network various simulation assets across the country as part of its inaugural Air Warfare Instructor Course.
The Diamond Thunder Exercise involved the networking of F/A-18 simulators at both RAAF Base Williamtown and Tindal with the E-7A Wedgetail simulator at Williamtown and C-130J simulator at RAAF Base Richmond.     The Air Warfare Centre’s Joint Air Warfare Battle Laboratory at Williamtown served as the exercise command centre to manage and coordinate the overall virtual training environment.
CAE engineering staff at Richmond supported the integration and testing of the C-130J full-flight mission simulator (FFMS) onto the Australian Defence Training and Experimentation Network (DTEN).  CAE also provided an exercise planner to assist with creating and executing the virtual training and mission rehearsal scenarios, and had staff within the Australian Defence Simulation and Training Centre to assist with the provision of the networking infrastructure to support this distributed virtual training exercise.
“Diamond Thunder demonstrates the significant advances Defence has made in live-virtual-constructive (LVC) training capabilities,” said Air Commodore Richard Lennon, Commander, Air Mobility Group, RAAF.     “The ability to develop, evaluate, and practice tactics in a simulated environment allows all combat elements to work better with each other and assure positive mission outcomes.     Increased familiarity for the RAAF workforce with LVC training will create exciting opportunities for how we develop and train our workforce, regardless of where they are based.”
During the Diamond Thunder exercise, each of the high-fidelity simulation devices was networked and flew simultaneously in the same virtual environment.     As a joint and integrated force, the F/A-18 fighters, E-7A Wedgetail airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) platform, and C-130J tactical transports had to address threats such as air defence systems, ground radars and surface-to-air missiles.
“There’s potential for LVC training to further advance and develop, and complement the existing training that we do,” said Wing Commander Jason Baldock, 285 Squadron, RAAF.     “There are a number of applications for LVC, including pre-deployment and exercise training, which are of significant value in preparing aircrew for real-world operations.”
“Integrated LVC training systems are becoming more critical as military forces such as the RAAF look to expand the use of virtual training to cost-effectively prepare for their missions,” said Ian Bell, CAE’s Vice President and General Manager, Asia-Pacific/Middle East.     “CAE brings a great deal of experience and expertise as a training systems integrator in being able to help our customers create integrated, interoperable and immersive environments for distributed mission training.”