AVIATION WEEK Network has named the winners of its 63rd Annual Laureate Awards, honouring extraordinary achievements in global aerospace. 

The 2020 Laureate Awards will take place on March 12, 2020 at the National Building Museum in Washington, DC.  At that event, a Grand Laureate in each of the four categories will be named from among the winners. 

“These winners, selected by Aviation Week Network editors who reviewed dozens of nominations, embody the spirit of exploration, innovation and vision that will inspire others to strive for broad-reaching progress in aviation, aerospace and defence,” said Aviation Week & Space Technology editor-in-chief Joseph C. Anselmo. “We look forward to honouring them all, and announcing the Grand Laureate winners in March.”

The award categories are Business Aviation, Commercial Aviation, Defense and Space.  In addition, Aviation Week Network will bestow the Philip J. Klass Award for Lifetime Achievement. 

Four cadets and midshipmen from US military academies will be recognised as Tomorrow’s Leaders, honouring young men and women who have chosen career paths in the armed forces. 

In addition to the Laureate Awards, Aviation Week Network will recognize the ‘20 Twenties’ in partnership with the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA).  This program recognises the accomplishments and drive of 20 science, technology, engineering and mathematics students in their 20s and currently enrolled in a master's degree or bachelor's degree program

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The Laureate Winners are:


MRO - Robotic Skies
Anticipating widespread growth in commercial unmanned aircraft, Robotic Skies has created a global network of repair stations to maintain and service the burgeoning fleet.

Operations: Rega Swiss Air-Rescue
To operate in reduced visibility in mountainous terrain, Rega helped develop a low-altitude helicopter instrument route and approach system using satellite navigation.

Platform - Gulfstream G500/G600
Laying the foundations for a new generation of large-cabin, long-range Gulfstreams, the G500 and G600 feature the Symmetry flight deck including fly-by-wire, active sidesticks and touchscreen controls.

Propulsion - Pratt & Whitney PT6E
Pratt & Whitney’s next-generation PT6E is the first general aviation turboprop to feature dual-channel integrated electronic propeller and engine control.

Safety - Garmin Autoland
The push of a red button in an emergency by a pilot or passenger activates Garmin’s Autoland, a virtual co-pilot that takes control and lands the aircraft automatically.

Technology & Innovation - Wing Aviation
A subsidiary of Google parent Alphabet, Wing in April 2019 became the first commercial drone delivery service to be awarded a Part 135 air carrier certificate by the FAA.



Air Traffic Management – Aireon
Aireon’s satellite-based surveillance system for the first time provides continuous tracking of aircraft over oceans and remote regions.

Airline Strategy – Adel Ali, CEO, Air Arabia
In Air Arabia, CEO Adel Ali has built a sustainably profitable low-cost carrier pioneering the business model in the Middle East.

Leadership - David Neeleman, airline entrepreneur
Having established multiple airlines including Morris Air, JetBlue Airways and Azul Linhas Aereas, David Neeleman is preparing to get Moxy, his latest venture, off the ground.

MRO – Donecle
French company Donecle is the leader in performing aircraft visual inspections by automated drone, cutting inspection times by 90 percent.

Platforms - Airbus A321LR
The first long-range version of the Airbus A321neo, the A321LR is developing a new market niche – narrowbodies flying in secondary long-haul markets.

Propulsion - Rolls-Royce
Rolls-Royce’s surprise acquisition of Siemens’ eAircraft unit has catapulted the engine manufacturer into a leading position in the electrification of aircraft propulsion.

Sustainability – Boeing ecoDemonstrator
Boeing’s ecoDemonstrator program has completed six test campaigns, the aircraft serving as tools to accelerate development and testing of new technology.



Best New Product - Embraer KC-390
The first KC-390 tanker/transport, the largest and most sophisticated aircraft yet developed by Embraer, was delivered to the Brazilian Air Force in 2019.

Manufacturing - Northrop Grumman F-35 Centre Fuselage Production
In 10 months, Northrop Grumman increased F-35 centre-fuselage production from six a month to 15. Part supply deliveries increased from 81,000 a year to 274,000.

MRO - BAE Systems Typhoon Total Availability Enterprise
Combining Eurofighter support packages into one program focused on management of the Royal Air Force fleet has lowered Typhoon support costs by around 38 percent.   

Platforms - Bell V-280 Valor
From low-speed agility to speeds beyond 280 kt., Bell’s V-280 advanced tiltrotor has met or exceeded objectives under the US Army’s Joint Multi-Role demonstration.

Propulsion: AFRL Medium Scale Critical Components Scramjet Program
In a test by the US Air Force Research Laboratory and Air Force Test Center, a Northrop Grumman scramjet set a record for thrust produced by a US air-breathing hypersonic engine.

Technology & Innovation - Kratos XQ-58 Valkyrie
Developed for the US Air Force Research Laboratory, Kratos’ XQ-58 Valkyrie blurs the traditional boundaries between a disposable cruise missile and reusable unmanned aircraft.

Weapons - Missile Defense Agency/Boeing Ground-based Midcourse Defense FTG-11
In March 2019, two interceptors launched from Vandenberg AFB, California, shot down two ICBM targets in the most realistic test yet of the Ground-based Midcourse Defense system.



Launch Services - Spaceflight Industries
Spaceflight Industries has created a new way to deliver small satellites to space by allowing government and commercial operators to share the ride.

Operations - HawkEye 360
US startup HawkEye 360 has launched the first commercial service for geolocating radio-frequency signals from space, using satellites that fly in a unique formation.

Platforms - Mars Cube One Mission
In the first demonstration of cubesats in deep space, the Mars Cube One mission relayed near-real-time telemetry of the entry, descent and landing of NASA’s Insight.

Propulsion - Reaction Engines
Reaction Engines has demonstrated its pre-cooler at temperatures representative of hypersonic speeds, a critical milestone toward development of its air-breathing rocket engine.

Space Science - Chang’e 4 Moon Landing
With the January 2019 touchdown of the Chang’e 4 robotic lunar lander in the Von Kármán Crater, China became the first country to soft-land on the Moon’s far side.

Supplier Innovation - OneWeb Satellites
In a unique transatlantic venture between mega-constellation operator OneWeb and aerospace manufacturer Airbus, OneWeb Satellites is bringing aircraft mass production to satellite manufacturing.

Technology & Innovation - RemoveDEBRIS Mission
In a groundbreaking series of on-orbit tests, the European-funded RemoveDEBRIS mission demonstrated active debris removal technologies designed to clean up low Earth orbit.



Robert LeDuc - President, Pratt & Whitney
LeDuc came out of retirement and used his leadership skills to shake up the corporate team and guide the PW1000G geared turbofan program through its challenging service introduction and production ramp-up and onto the road to success.



INTERNATIONAL budget airline Scoot has implemented cloud-based integration from Dell Boomi to aggregate data from customers and internal applications, a move other budget carriers are sure to look closely at.

Dell’s independent cloud business unit Boomi said Scoot was using the Boomi integration platform for uninterrupted data sharing across the expanding organisation. This allows Scoot to adapt more quickly to changing market conditions “and therefore improve passenger experiences”.

“Boomi gives us a dedicated, cloud-based integration tool that aligns to our all-cloud strategy, and is therefore able to handle the high volumes of system-to-system data transfer that our business model requires,” Scoot vice president of information technology, Jason Chin said.

Scoot, the low-cost arm of Singapore Airlines, operates a global network of 66 cities across 18 countries and territories across Asia-Pacific, Europe and the US, offering customers a cheaper alternative for travel. To provide these affordable services, Scoot relies on extensive data generated from its customers’ bookings and various internal systems.  

“With the various features the platform provides, we will be able to connect our entire organisation to create a single source for our data, with the knowledge that this information is up to date and accurate,” Mr Chin said. “We will then be able to better understand our business and customers, and deliver the products and services that passengers want – before, during and after their flights.”

Scoot implemented the low-code Boomi integration platform to replace a series of outdated connectors which did not provide the level of automated data management the organisation required. Its former integrations limited communication between Scoot’s systems and restricted access to data, inhibiting the potential of its sharing capabilities. These bespoke integrations were also code-heavy, consequently demanding substantial maintenance.

Mr Chin said this had been particularly beneficial amid Scoot’s expansion – the airline has grown from 20-plus to 60 routes following the consolidation of TigerAir into the Scoot brand – accelerating the organisation’s time to market despite the significant increase in customers and employees.

Scoot has also been able to achieve this while maintaining its IT resources – as Boomi does not require the consistent upkeep of traditional integration technologies, it allows Scoot to achieve more with less.

“The airline industry contains among the most diverse sets of customers, and with that comes the ongoing challenge of adapting to the demands of passengers,” Dell Boomi managing director for Asia William Fu said.

“By creating a centralised data repository using the Boomi integration platform, Scoot is able to establish a greater level of insight into its business, and in turn make business decisions nimbly as the market changes to bolster its competitiveness.”



NEWLY restored de Havilland Gypsy Moth, VH-UQH, flew into Archerfield Airport on Sunday April 14, with a supporting flight of five other 'Moths' to mark 88 years since it broke the England to Australia solo flight record.

Not only that, Tim Barron, the grandson of aviator Captain Charles Kennedy Scott who flew the Gypsy Moth on that historic journey, flew in his gransfather's restored aircraft, having jetted in from the UK a few days earlier, to participate in the commemorative flight.

Mr Barron was a passenger aboard the newly restored de Havilland Gypsy Moth, VH-UQH, flown by his grandfather 88 years ago to set an England to Australia solo flight record and become the first aircraft to land at Archerfield Airport on its opening day in April 1931.

Sunday’s flight into Archerfield Airport commemorated these historic events, and was the  aircraft’s first major flight since the 1950s.

The Gypsy Moth arrived among a gaggle of other Gypsy Moths and Tiger Moths at about 2pm for an airside presentation and series of TV interviews, in front of the Archerfield Airport Terminal Building. 

The aircraft was piloted by Captain Charles Kennedy Scott in 1931 to set a world flight record from London to Darwin of 9 hours, 4 hours and 11 minutes. This broke an earlier record set by fellow aviator, Sir Charles Kingsford-Smith, by 19 hours.

Scott then flew to Camooweal and Longreach, before heading to Brisbane to land the first aircraft at the then brand-new city airport at Archerfield.

English-born Captain Scott left the RAF in 1926 to emigrate to Australia. He was one of the original pilots for the fledgling outback airline, Qantas.

Today, his aircraft, VH-UQH, is co-owned by Ed Field of the Sunshine Coast and Peter Gartshore of Brisbane. Ed Field flew the Moth with Mr Barron aboard, from Caboolture Airport, where the aircraft is hangared, to Archerfield Airport. The flight was its first major flight since the 1950s.

Ed Field found VH-UQH and two log books among a shed full of Tiger Moth parts in the outback WA town of Trayning. The aircraft had been damaged in a cyclone in 1953 and was considered beyond repair. 

After researching VH-UQH and discovering its historical significance, Mr Field brought the Gypsy Moth to Melbourne, then Caboolture. Its on-and-off restoration project started in the mid-1980s and was completed only last week, returning VH-UQH to as it was 88 years ago – including the original British registration markings (G-ABHY) which required special approval by CASA.

VH-UQH will be accompanied to Archerfield Airport by two antique aircraft owned by Bill Finlen of Boonah: Gypsy Moth VH-UMK – which was involved in the search for Lassetters Gold Reef in 1930 – and a Tiger Moth originally from the RAF in England and used as a wartime trainer.



TAE AEROSPACE will develop its Turbine Engine Maintenance Facility (TEMF) in Bundamba, South East Queensland, to support in-country sustainment of Australia’s fifth-generation F-35 Joint Strike fighter jets.

The TEMF will enable deeper-level maintenance, where JSF F135 engine modules are disassembled, repaired and reassembled for testing, according to Minister for Defence, Christopher Pyne. 

“TAE Aerospace’s new facility will support maintenance, repair, overhaul and upgrade (MRO&U) activities for not only Australian F135 engines but also engines from around the Asia Pacific region and the world,” Mr Pyne said.

“TAE Aerospace is 100 percent Australian-owned with 237 employees at several sites across Australia, with contracts to support Classic Hornet, Super Hornet, Growler and M1 Abram tank engines. 

“The addition of the F135 engine MRO&U activities will add a minimum of 15 aerospace technician jobs to its workforce and up to 85 additional jobs as part of the future F-35 Global Support Solution.”

The Australian Government has approved the acquisition of 72 F-35A JSF aircraft to replace the current fleet of 71 ageing F/A-18A/B Classic Hornets. 

“The global F-35 Program has had a positive impact on Australia’s growing defence industry, which has collectively been awarded in excess of $1 billion in production contracts and will support up to 5000 Australian jobs by 2023,” Mr Pyne said.




AS A VITAL military facility for Australia during World War Two, Archerfield Airport will be a prime venue for a special Commemoration of the Centenary of the Armistice this Remembrance Day.

The event at Brisbane’s metropolitan airport is open to the public and will be hosted by Archerfield Airport Corporation (AAC) and the Forest Lake Squadron of the Australian Air League.

As part of the commemorations, bells in bell towers across Australia, New Zealand and the UK will ring to mark this significant anniversary of the end of the 1914-18 Great War – World War One – hostilities.

Cadets and guests of the Remembrance Day service at Archerfield Airport will ring hand bells after the minute of sacred silence. 

The commemoration program also includes a march by the Australian Air League, Forest Lake Squadron – attended by the Drum Corps, Flag Party and Squadron members – and prayers led by Pastor Robert Mann.

Archerfield Airport general manager, Heather Mattes, will speak about the airport’s key military role in the defence of Australia and its vital training drive before and during World War Two.

Archerfield Airport accommodated the RAAF, US Army Air Forces – under superem Allied commander in the Pacific, General Douglas MacArthur – the Royal Navy Air Arm and the Royal Netherlands Air Force during the Pacific Campaign.

The airfield was also a major offloading and maintenance port for military aircraft and equipment.



Date:  Sunday November 11, 2018

Time:  10.20am to 11.20am

Place: Archerfield Airport, Grenier Drive, Archerfield.


WESTERN Sydney Airport Company (WSA Co) has marked its first year in business, moving from a ‘startup’ phase and into infrastructure delivery.

The Australian Government established WSA Co just over a year ago, following through on its equity investment of $5.3 billion to build and operate Western Sydney Airport.

“This time last year, we established WSA Co with four board members charged with delivering one of the most significant transport infrastructure projects in Australia,” Federal Urban Infrastructure and Cities Minister, Paul Fletcher said.

“The full board complement was appointed by November 2017, resulting in a board of seven with the right mix of skills and expertise to lead the delivery of Western Sydney Airport. 

“WSA Co has since transitioned from start up to delivery. The company has established its base in central Liverpool and has its first critical project well underway – the nearly $100 million project to move an overhead high voltage cable is already well ahead of schedule.

“WSA Co has also awarded three major contracts, for early earthworks and multi-year contracts for delivery partners and project managers,” he said. “WSA Co is also engaging local Western Sydney firms, for example in site security, site maintenance, and for site preparatory activities.

“The company is on track to commence early earthworks at the Western Sydney Airport before the end of the year. Early earthworks will support up to 300 jobs in Western Sydney.”

Mr Fletcher said the Western Sydney Airport construction activity would support more than 11,000 direct and indirect jobs overall, “and WSA Co has also made a firm commitment to the people of Western Sydney, by setting strict local workforce targets”.

“The Australian Government continues to work closely with WSA Co to ensure the company meets its regulatory obligations and the project stays on track for the airport to open in 2026,” Mr Fletcher said.

Construction on Western Sydney Airport began on September 24.

Western Sydney Airport chief executive Graham Millett said it marked “both the end of a long journey and the start of an exciting new one”.

“It’s been talked about for decades, but now we’re ending the speculation – Western Sydney Airport is coming,” Mr Millett said.



QANTAS and Jetstar will operate from Western Sydney Airport. This follows the recent announcement that Virgin Australia intends to operate both Virgin and Tiger Airways flights from the new airport currently under construction.

The airport will have a 3.7km runway, capable of servicing the largest commercial aircraft such as the Airbus A380 and Boeing 747, and will have a high quality design reflecting the confidence and aspirations of Western Sydney, according to Urban Infrastructure Minister Paul Fletcher.

“Reports which confirm that both major domestic airlines will operate full service carriers from Western Sydney Airport is great news for Western Sydney,” Mr Fletcher said.

“More than 2 million people live closer to Western Sydney Airport than the existing airport at Mascot, and being an international airport will ensure that the people of Western Sydney get access to the air services that they deserve.”


Federal Urban Infrastructure and Cities Minister, Paul Fletcher.

SINGAPORE-BASED researcher and developer of high performance hydrogen fuel cell propulsion systems for aerial platforms, HES Energy Systems, is expanding to France to work on the first decentralised hydrogen infrastructure for autonomous fuel cell powered aerial vehicles.

The move is part of HES’ broader goals to introduce long range zero emission aviation powered by renewable hydrogen, which it claims is “the most energy dense element in the universe”.

Thinking big yet starting small, the same company that started introducing its range-extending propulsion technology to small drones several years ago is now evolving towards manned aerial platforms, such as flying cars and inter-urban electric aircraft. 

From its lab in Singapore, HES has spent the last 10 years developing advanced ultra-light hydrogen propulsion systems that are up to 10 times lighter than batteries. Following a number of international experiments powering small unmanned aircraft for record durations, HES’s systems are now being scaled up to power larger manned electric aircraft, potentially revolutionising aerial logistics and mobility – increasing their flight range while eliminating carbon emissions.

A subsidiary of H3 Dynamics, HES is part of the France-Singapore innovation link that continues to intensify between both countries. Last year H3 Dynamics set the tone by opening its European headquarters in Paris with the hearty welcome of French President Emmanuel Macron. HES is now following suit and joining forces with France’s aerospace and hydrogen eco-system.

As part of its set up in France, HES is announcing its partnership with France’s leading professional unmanned aircraft builder, delair, and ERGOSUP, a French start-up developing energy-efficient hydrogen production systems.

Derived from a broader 2016 French National Call for Projects looking to deploy hydrogen technologies into airport applications in Toulouse, HES’s partnership will focus on creating infrastructure around smaller-scale hydrogen unmanned aircraft.

“Starting with smaller scale aerial vehicles help turn bigger visions to reality faster, and reduces the challenges related to commercialising complex technology” said Taras Wankewycz, CEO of HES and parent company H3 Dynamics.

HES plans to scale up the program to a continental network of hydrogen air bases for a fleet of autonomous, long-range and electric aircraft. The joint initiative will create economic and social benefits, Mr Wankewycz said, while starting the path to reducing carbon emissions in aviation.

“We are proud to start our initiatives in France and we look forward to bright outcomes together with our partners,” Mr Wankewycz said. “This is a major step toward an exciting prospect: zero emission aerial mobility”.

Aligning well with HES’s roadmap, more than50  global leaders in the energy, transport, and industrial sectors, led by the CEO and chairman of Air Liquide and the chairman of Hyundai, came together on September 14 to announce their landmark commitment to 100 percent decarbonized hydrogen for all mobility applications by 2030.

France’s government has meanwhile launched a national hydrogen plan to utilize hydrogen across all sectors.



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