Sukhoi Superjet 100 awarded EASA certificate

In a major milestone, Sukhoi Civil Aircraft’s Superjet 100 has become the first Russian passenger aircraft to be approved by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). The SSJ100 (RRJ-95B) has been awarded the EASA Type Certificate A-176, which recognizes that the aircraft complies with EASA’s airworthiness and environmental requirements. The A-176 certification allows European airlines and carriers operating in countries that abide by EASA regulations may now operate the aircraft in their fleets.sukhoi superjet 100,  SSJ,  EASA certified

Now that Sukhoi’s Superjet 100 has been awarded an EASA certificate, what does this event bode for eventual FAA certification?  The answer will be determined by whether or not Russian authorities decide to expand their bilateral agreement with the USA, to include passenger aircraft.  Currently, work on Russia’s aviation program stopped at cargo aircraft during the late 1990’s.

More recently, the Beriev 200 received a restricted type certificate for it’s designed role as an amphibious aerial firefighter.  Now we see a passenger airliner emerging from the Russian Federation after 20 “lost” years. 

How is a civil certification for a passenger aircraft relevant to Fireplanes and the Aerial Firefighting Industry?

EASA certification of any Russian heavy jet is monumental in terms of breaking paradigm, and setting new expectations.  This is a very important event for Russia.  And for highly competitive airlines, certification of the “Superjet” changes the economics of budget airline operations in the medium haul market.  Who wants to be last to move when a game – changer emerges?   In the USA, where airlines are taking managed bankruptcies on the backs of their employees, one can look at American Airlines as an example of failed management when it comes to strategic planning.    Southwest Airlines is a beehive of activity wherever AA is waning or abandoning markets such as in Austin, Texas.

In Europe, Ryanair has openly considered the Su-100 for it’s budget fare fleet.  Who will be the first to get an edge with less costly aircraft?  And what do these planes cost?  Reportedly the 85-seat SSJ costs $32 Million (USD).   How does the SSJ compare to Western alternatives?  In price, fairly close to the Embraer E170 and E190, albeit less plane and more passenger comfort for the money.   However, one can’t go by third party numbers and web speculations.   The real numbers are known only to the customer,  aircraft builder, and financiers such as Russia’s VneshEconomBank, which finances Russia’s industrial exports.

In short, airline forecasters betting on European airlines can now include efficient competitive alternatives from Russia in their analysis.

In aerial firefighting, will the Beriev Be-200 become a player in American aviation?   The Shinmaywa US2 might, …but might not, – if faced with a superior plane at half the cost.

USFS Seeks Next Generation Air Tankers


Fireplanes is following the U.S. Large Air Tanker crisis and evolving developments.  

The U.S. Forest Service requires turbine powered airtanker services for aerial delivery of retardant in support of fire suppression nationwide. Aircraft must have a minimum acceptable payload of 2400 gallons (target of 3000-5000 gallons) and shall be capable of of a cruise speed of 300 knots (KTAS) with maximum payload.

The intent of the solicitation is to secure a Firm Fixed Price Multi-Year contract(s) not to exceed 10-years (5 year base with 5 one year options) for the daily availability rate. The U.S. Forest Service intends to award seven (7) line items for next generation turbine powered airtankers. Line items 1-3 will begin service in calendar year 2012 and will have a base period of five (5) years with five (5) one year options. Line items 4-7 will begin service in calendar year 2013 and will have a base period of five (5) years with four (4) one year options. The flight rate will be an unknown quantity with no guarantee of flight hours given by the Government.

Details on

Download Solicitation .pdf

Contracting Office Address:
U.S. Forest Service, Contracting
Owyhee Building – MS 1100
3833 S. Development Avenue
Boise, Idaho 83705-5354
United States
Place of Performance:
Nationwide (To Be Determined)
Boise, Idaho 83705
United States
Primary Point of Contact.:
Matthew D. Olson,
Contracting Officer
Phone: 208-387-5835
Fax: 208-387-5384
Secondary Point of Contact:
Elna E. Black,
Procurement Technician
Phone: 208-387-5632
Fax: 208-387-5384

Austin’s Mayor Hosts 2nd Annual Emergency Preparedness Summit Labor Day Wildfire Focus


For immediate release

Feb. 16, 2011

Contact: Candice Wade Cooper, Community Preparedness Manager, (512) 802-1470

Media advisory

Mayor Leffingwell Hosts 2nd Annual Emergency Preparedness Summit

Labor Day Wildfire Focus

Austin, TX – Media is invited to attend and hear from Elected Officials, Emergency Management Coordinators, Wildfire responders, and others on the Central Texas Labor Day Wildfire efforts.

WHO:               Mayor Lee Leffingwell along with Travis County Judge Sam Biscoe and Bastrop County Judge Ronnie McDonald.


WHAT:             2nd Annual Capital Area Emergency & Disaster Preparedness Summit


WHEN:             Friday, Feb. 17, 8:30 –9:30 a.m.  


WHERE:          Palmer Events Center, 900 Barton Springs Road


WHY:                The purpose of the Summit is to provide updates on the regions current multi-agency/multi-jurisdictional preparedness efforts and discuss the future of regional emergency and disaster preparedness. The Central Texas Labor Day Wildfires will serve as an example of how our region works together.

Note to editors:

Media will get an opportunity to interview attendees, capture b-roll and listen in as Mayor Leffingwell, Judge Biscoe, Judge McDonald and others address the group.

Please find additional information attached.


For more information contact Austin HSEM at (512) 974-0450.


FI – Fireplanes will attend . . .

Employment page added at Fireplanes

Fireplanes Employment page has added,  employers can get free links when they place ads.  See page for more information on links and advertising policy.

Aero Union Auction

Plant & Machinery Inc. has posted details on their website.

Starts: Tuesday, February 28, 2012 at 1:00 PM

3237 Peacekeeper Way, Ste 201
McClellan, CA  95652
Auction Type: Sealed Bid Auction


Featuring: (8) Lockhead P-3 Orion Aerial Firefighting Aircraft;

Allison T-56-A-10 Engines,

APUs & Propellers;

Huge P-3 Parts Inventory;

Intellectual Property: The MAFFS II and FIREHAWK Aerial Firefighting Systems and

The 1800G Fuel Tank System.


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FAA Grounds P2 Neptune Fleet for inspections

Yesterday I noticed the P2 Neptune had departed Austin Bergstrom International Airport.  Now I know why.

The Federal Aviation Administration has issued an Airworthiness Directive (AD)  mandating the former US Navy patrol planes dating from the 1950s be grounded pending inspection for wing cracks, after a 24 inch crack was found in a wing main spar.

P2 Neptune fleet grounded by FAA

The AD mandates inspection within one day of receipt of the Airworthiness Directive.

The number of available civil large air tankers in USA is currently at zero until inspections are completed, one by one.

Source:   Airworthiness Directive 2012 03-51 E

History:   P2 Neptune on Wikipedia