16 June 2015

News From The Paris Air Show: Governor Ducey Makes First International Economic Development Trip + Little Birds from Mesa Get Global Orders

The first production standard Boeing AH-6i Little Bird light attack/reconnaissance helicopter, dubbed AH-6X, seen during its maiden flight out of the company's Mesa production facility on 01 May. Source: Boeing 
Your MesaZona blogger didn't see any "local reporting" at the time about one of Mesa's biggest employers, but it's big news in the world of air platform business development for rotary-winged platforms at the Annual Paris Air Show.
Paris Air Show 2015: Boeing to start work on AH-6i production facility later this year

Detail: Main Street Bronze Boeing Statue
Speaking ahead of the Paris Air Show, Brad Rounding said that work to build the line would start in December, with assembly of the first helicopter following in December 2016. The line will then produce the 24 helicopters currently contracted at a rate of two per month through to December 2017.
This contract was awarded to Boeing in September 2014 (although it was actually revealed by Boeing in late 2013), and in April of this year the US Army's Non-Standard Rotary-Wing Aircraft project office (NSRWA PO) issued a sources sought notice for transporting these helicopters from the United States to Saudi Arabia, as well as for pilot and maintainer training.

Boeing has previously estimated a potential global market of around 700 helicopters for the Little Bird, predominately aimed at replacing aging MD 500-series and AH-1 Cobra platforms. While Rounding declined to name specific countries, he said that there was a great deal of interest shown by several potential operators. Jordan signed a letter of intent some years ago, but has yet to sign a contract.
After Banner Health, Boeing is the largest privately-owned employer in Mesa with over 4,000 job.

Gov. Ducey's Paris Press Conference with Aviage Systems
Governor Ducey was in Paris on June 15 and 16, making Paris his first foreign economic development trip
His press office said he hopes to close “multiple significant deals” during his trip overseas + an upcoming and busy 11-day expedition to promote investments in Arizona that includes stops in London, Italy, Germany and Sweden. 
While in Paris,  Governor Ducey met with 35 aerospace and defense companies.He also held a press conference with Aviage Systems, who announced in January it was opening its first US location in Arizona.
Next international destination to promote bi-national economic development by the fast-moving Governor is scheduled to Mexico City [one of this blogger's most favorite cities in the world] where he will sign a number of Memorandums of Understanding to push forward long-planned initiatives for the CanaMex Trade & Transportation Corridor ... Watch for a future post here on The Sun Corridor.

Your MesaZona blogger always likes to connect posts about companies with tech/design/production facilities based in Mesa, like Boeing in the Falcon Field Aerotropolis, to the New Urban Downtown Mesa in one way or another.
The image to the image is a long-shot view of the entire sculpture installation in a shaded pocket park area adjacent to City Hall Plaza on the pedestrian pathway along the north side of Main Street [view looking west].
In the left background you can see the boarding platform for the Valley Metro Central Mesa Light Rail Extension at the signature Center Street station that will no doubt be the most visible intersection and the one destination on Main Street with the most riders getting to/from events and performances at The Mesa Arts Center.
Please note the decorative brick patterns in the sidewalk that are a feature in this pedestrian traffic area - it is different than the usual concrete on both sides of Main Street and adds both a visual interest and a comfortable foot feel.

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