May 2005 
Volume 04, Issue 1 
Industry Wrap

All talk—and no actionAll talk—and no action

Jan. 11 was a critical date in the ongoing dispute between the United States and the European Union over subsidies for manufacturers of large commercial aircraft. That day, officials from the two governments agreed to spend 90 days negotiating to end subsidies.

But the end of the negotiating period passed last month with no agreement and no indication of what would come next. Boeing officials expressed disappointment in the lack of progress, saying the company "had hoped both sides would approach the negotiations with the intensity and seriousness of purpose required to solve this matter. We salute the U.S. government for making its commitment to a negotiated solution crystal clear over the past 90 days."


Lockheed: Networks, not just aircraft

Lockheed Martin may be known for products such as its F-16 fighter jet, but the top U.S. defense contractor is staking its future more on the advanced computer networks than on aircraft, a recent Reuters report said.

According to Reuters, Lockheed chief executive Bob Stevens recently outlined for reporters the Bethesda, Md.–based company's evolving business strategy in a board room featuring models of its aircraft, including its latest contract win, the U.S. presidential helicopter.

Over the past 12 months, the company has won several contracts based on its ability to link communications systems, sensors and weapons.



Airbus researchers mull all-composite fuselage

Airbus officials have publicly questioned Boeing's decision to create an all-new airplane from composite materials. But according to a recent report in Aviation Week & Space Technology magazine, Airbus researchers are seeing a rapid growth in the application of composites on the consortium's aircraft.

According to the Aviation Week report, officials from Airbus' Nantes, France, production site said the firm expects that for "the 2010/2012-generation aircraft, Airbus is planning not only all-composite wings, but also an all-composite fuselage." The company hasn't said what aircraft it would build then.


Bombardier speeds up work on CSeries jets

Bombardier is fleshing out its marketing strategy and engineering plans for its proposed CSeries family of small mainline airliners, despite not specifying which engines are under consideration.

"We wouldn't be going out and offering this aircraft to airlines if we didn't have proposals from engine suppliers that meet our requirements," said John Holding, Bombardier executive vice president of integrated product definition and planning for the CSeries, in a Flight International report. "We're confident that we do."



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