On March 25, 2022, Airbus announced that it had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Airlift Global, a company backed by UK-based AUM Capital, to develop helicopter emergency medical service (HEMS) and associated air medical service in India. The MoU was signed at the Wings India 2022 by Sunny Guglani, head of Airbus Helicopters (India and South Asia).
On March 25, 2022, Airbus performed a first A380 flight powered by 100 percent Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF). The flight lasted for about three hours, operating one Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engine on 100 per cent SAF. 27 tonnes of unblended SAF were provided by Total Energies for this flight. The SAF was made from Hydroprocessed Esters and Fatty Acids (HEFA), was free of aromatics and sulphur and primarily consisted of used cooking oil as well as other waste fats.
On March 25, 2022, following a competitive tender process as well as an extensive technical analysis phase, Airbus announced that it has selected Avio Aero from Italy to power the Eurodrone unmanned aerial system with its engine and propeller solution, dubbed Catalyst. The Catalyst is an engine proven in flight, entirely developed and manufactured in Europe.
Airbus engineers tackled huge challenges and extreme temperatures to send an unprecedented scientific mission into space with their Solar Orbiter for a 21-month journey, passing Venus and the orbit of Mercury before entering an orbit that is very close to the Sun. It will then stay there for the next eight years, braving immense heat and blinding light every hour of every day to study the Sun.
On April 12, 2022, Air France-KLM finalised its order with Airbus for four new generation A350F freighters, following the earlier commitment announced in December 2021. The A350F is based on the world’s most modern long range leader, the A350.
On April 12, 2022, Airbus announced that it had completed wind-tunnel testing of its eXtra Performance Wing demonstrator in its quest to quickly test and accelerate new technologies that will decarbonise the aviation industry.
Anandi Ramalingam, Chairman & Managing Director, BEL, presented the second Interim Dividend cheque of 1,86,89,60,967/- (Rupees One Hundred Eighty-six crore Eighty-Nine Lakh Sixty Thousand Nine Hundred Sixty-seven only), payable on the shares held by the President of India, to the Defence Minister, Rajnath Singh, at New Delhi on March 31, 2022. BEL has declared 150 per cent as Second Interim Dividend (1.50/- per share) to its shareholders for the financial year 2021-22.
On March 25, 2022, Boeing and Airbus Helicopters signed an MoU to partner on the H-47 Chinook in support of Germany’s Schwerer Transport Hubschrauber (STH) heavy-lift helicopter requirements. The partnership agreement builds on the existing Chinook partnership team consisting of AERO-Bildung GmbH, CAE GmbH, ESG Elektroniksystem-und Logistik-GmbH, Lufthansa Technik AG, Honeywell Aerospace and Rolls-Royce Deutschland Ltd & Co KG.
On April 12, 2022, the Boeing Company announced major programme deliveries across its commercial and defence operations for the first quarter of 2022. It has delivered 41 platforms for Defence & Space programmes which include AH-64 Apache (new and remanufactured), CH-47 (new and renewed). For commercial Airplane Programmes, it has delivered 95 platforms which include 86 of the Boeing 737.
The Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Udan Akademi (IGRUA), India’s largest flying academy, has completed the target of 19,000 flying hours in the financial year 2021-22. IGRUA completed a total of 19,110 flying hours in financial year 2021-22 which is highest since its establishment in 1986.
Hercules history is made once again with the announcement on March 15 that Lockheed Martin recently delivered its 500th C-130J Super Hercules airlifter. This Super Hercules (Lockheed Martin aircraft #5934) is a C-130J-30 aircraft assigned to the 130th Airlift Wing. The 130th Airlift Wing is a long time C-130 operator that is currently modernising its legacy Hercules fleet with C-130Js.
Lockheed Martin announced on April 11, 2022 that its Skunk Works demonstrated the expanded endurance capabilities of a specially configured Lockheed Martin Stalker VXE unmanned aerial system through a world record endurance flight in the Group 2 (5 to <25-kg) category with a flight time of 39 hours, 17 minutes and 7 seconds on February 18, 2022.
The Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency, Air Force Research Lab, Lockheed Martin and Aerojet Rocketdyne team successfully flight tested on April 5, 2022, the Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapon Concept (HAWC). This historic flight reached speeds in excess of Mach 5, altitudes higher than 65,000 feet and furthers the understanding of operations in the high-speed flight regime.
On April 12, 2022, the Minister of Civil Aviation Jyotiraditya M Scindia and the Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh Pema Khandu, flagged off the first flight of the ‘Made in India HAL’s Dornier Do-228’, which will connect airports and Advanced Landing Grounds in North East India.
Ministry of Civil Aviation flagship Regional Connectivity Scheme UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik) has been selected for Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence in Public Administration 2020 under the category “Innovation (General) – Central”. The Government of India has initiated this award to acknowledge, recognise and reward extraordinary and innovative work done by Districts and Organisations of State Governments.