Kaplanian Report – January 2021

ON THE BOEING FRONT

               Etihad Inaugurates Boeing 787-10 Used as ecoDemonstrator

The Boeing 787-10 aircraft used in 2020 ecoDemonstrator program has been inaugurated into Etihad’s fleet.  In partnership with Boeing, NASA and Safran Landing Systems, Etihad’s 787-10 was the latest aircraft to be used as a flying testbed for a series of potential technological developments under Boeing’s ecoDemonstrator initiative. 

“As the first 787-10 to take part in the ecoDemonstrator program, this very special aircraft stands testament to the innovation and drive for sustainable aviation that forms a core of Etihad’s values and long-term vision,” states Tony Douglas, chief executive of Etihad Aviation Group.  ”This is in line with the tremendous strides being made by Abu Dhabi, and the UAE, in research and development solutions to combat climate change.” 

To celebrate its launch into commercial service, the aircraft has been fitted with a commemorative plaque, while its fuselage retains some of the ecoDemonstrator flight-testing branding. 

Boeing said in July of last year that the Dreamliner was to be used for the evaluation of aircraft noise in flight, and of landing gear fairings intended to quiet the flow of air around a jet’s gear.

The Boeing 787-10 registered A6-BMI expands Etihad’s fleet of 787s to 39 aircraft.

Source: Etihad, Boeing , Etihad Picture

                          Boeing Retires Vintage T-33 Chase Jets

Boeing retires “Red Bird” and “Blue Bird” chase jets.  These are the names of Boeing’s two Canadair T-33 chase jets Boeing used to follow airliners during test flights.  Now,  Boeing’s T-33 are flying into retirement, after 66 years of life.  According to the FAA, Canadair produced both jets in 1954.

“Boeing confirms the retirement of its two T-33 aircraft.” We are  currently looking into other options to support our flight test activities.”

“T-33’s have been used in many flight-test support roles, including as the safety chase plane for the first flight of nearly every new derivative commercial airplane starting with the 767 in 1981 through today’s 777-9,” Boeing adds.  The decision to retire the T33s reflects “lack of supply chain support to maintain the aircraft”, Boeing says.

Source: Boeing, Picture Boeing

              

ON THE AIRBUS FRONT

     Airbus Relieved Over Post-Brexit Deal But Yet to Analyze Details

Airbus is yet to assess the consequences of the newly-agreed future relationship between the UK and the European Union.  But it believes the “potential disruption” which would have arisen from failure to reach a post-Brexit agreement “has been avoided”.

Airbus chief executive Guillaume Faury says he “welcomes” the deal, unveiled on December 24, 2020, between the negotiating parties just weeks before the UK-EU transitional arrangement had been due to expire. 

Airbus employs 12,500 people in the UK, at sites including a wing-design site near Bristol and wing-assembly plant in Broughton. Airbus had pressed for the UK to remain a member of the EU, and had warned that it would review investments in the UK if withdrawal undermined its business model.

While it is “pleased” the No deal threat has been averted, the airframer says it will still need to analyze the consequences on its activities.  It points out that a “strong partnership” will “generate benefits right across Europe”. 

Source: Airbus,Picture Airbus         

        

REGIONAL/BUSINESS JETS

        Aerion AS2 Backlog Tops $6.5 Billion with Avion Pacific Deal  

Aerion Supersonic has secured its first commitment for its new AS2 aircraft from China under a marketing and sales agreement with Avion Pacific.   It covers multiple aircraft and pushes the value of the order backlog of the supersonic business jet to more than $6.5 billion.

The agreement was announced on Wednesday, December 9, 2020.  Aerion did not disclose the number of aircraft involved; but the deal is among orders that have helped significantly push up the value of the backlog in 2020.  The company’s backlog was in the $3billion range prior to this commitment.

Aerion plans to begin assembly of the AS2 in 2023, with the first flight coming in 2025 and market entry in the 2027 time frame.  The company envisions building 300 of the Mach 1.4 jets in its first decade of production. Avion Pacific will be among the first customers to take delivery in the expected 2027 service entry date.

Avion Pacific chairman Wu Zhendong  said that “ the AS2 is an aircraft that will shape the future of private aviation in Asia and globally;  we at Avion Pacific wanted to be part of that.”  

Source: Aviation International News

                   Gulfstream Introduces Another G700 Test Aircraft

Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. announced the fifth Gulfstream G700 flight-test, just three weeks after the fourth G700 flew for the first time. 

“The G700 flight-test is progressing exceptionally well,” said Mark Burns, president of Gulfstream.  “Every day, we come closer to our goal of delivering this revolutionary aircraft to our customers.  We are steadily increasing flights, flight hours and completion of numerous company tests, further raising the bar for business around the world.”

The Fifth G700 test aircraft flew 3 hours and 8 minutes, reaching an altitude of 48,000 feet/14,630 meters and a top speed of Mach 0.935.  This aircraft will focus largely on testing avionics.

Since the first G700 flight on February 14, 2020, Gulfstream has made significant progress in company testing -including cold-weather at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida; flutter; aerodynamic stalls; and envelope expansion. The aircraft has also flown beyond its maximum operating speed and cruise attitude, reaching Mach 0.99 and altitude of 54,000 ft/16,459meters.  In typical operations, the G700 has a maximum operating speed of Mach 0.925 and maximum climb altitude of 51,000ft/15,545 meters.

Source: GulfStream/Picture Gulfstream                                                             

OTHER AVIATION NEWS

 American Airlines Completed the Boeing 737 Max’s Passenger Flight

American Airlines flew the first scheduled passenger flight of the Boeing 737 Max in the US on Tuesday December 29th, from Miami to New York’s La Guardia following the types ungrounding on November 18th last year.

Since the ungrounding, Latin America carriers Brazil’s Gol Linhas Aereas, Mexico’s Aeromexico.  On the same day, American airlines resumed commercial operations Copa Airlines of Panama resumed operations with its Max fleet flying from Panama City to San Jose, Costa Rica.

The uneventful flight marked the beginning of a new chapter for the aircraft that aims to restore confidence from the traveling public.

United Airlines won’t be flying the aircraft for another month, planning to fly the Max from Houston and Denver starting February 11, 2021.  Southwest as of this writing has not yet announced a start date or loaded the aircraft into its schedule.  Alaska Airlines has a tentative start date of March 1st.

American will fly the plane exclusively between New York and Miami until January 5, 2021, when more routes will see the plane.

Source: American Airlines/Picture American Airlines

                        The GE-90 Engine Celebrates 25 Years of Service

The General Electric GE90, which powers many Boeing 777s, has celebrated 25 years since entering service on the type—it propelled a British Airways flight between London, Heathrow and Dubai on November 17,1995.

The GE90 engine has been among the most reliable in the industry with a world class dispatch reliability rate of 99.97%.  In July 2020, the engine family also surpassed 100 million flight hours.

“We are excited to celebrate another GE90 milestone and would like to congratulate everyone involved in the engines success,” said Mike Kauffman, GE Aviation’s program general manager.  ”We continue to deliver these extremely reliable engines and our dedicated product support team will maintain the GE90 for many years to come, providing maximum value throughout its lifecycle.”

GE has delivered more than 2,800 GE90-94B and upgraded -115B engines to 70 operators around the world. The engine family powers all 777 models and its the exclusive powerplant on the 777-300ER, 200LR and 777 F.

The GE90 engine faces some of the toughest demands daily on a hip-thrust commercial jet engine.  Despite this, the engine has achieved the lowest maintenance burden to date through service bulletin terminating action acceleration and analytics-based field programs.

It’s architecture and mechanical design have influenced every GE and CFM turbofan over the last 20 years. From the popular GEnx and record-selling CFM LEAP engine to the passport for corporate jets and the next generation GE9X engine for the 777X.

The GE90 engine held the world record as the most powerful jet engine for 17 years at 127,900 pounds of thrust – until the newly-certified GE9X engine achieved the new mark of 134,300 pounds of thrust.

Source: GE aviation, picture GE Aviation

                 US Issues Emissions Standards for New Aircraft 

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has for the first time missed greenhouse gas (GHG) standards for new aircraft.  The EPA argues, this will ensure “international consistency” and give US manufactures a level playing field with foreign competitors.

The rule mirrors ICAO’s standards and recommended practices for certification of aircraft CO2 emissions announced in 2017.  It limits the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitrous oxide (N2O) commercial airliners and business jets can emit beginning in 2018. 

“We anticipate US manufacturers would be at a significant disadvantage if the US failed to adopt standards that are harmonized with the ICAO standards for CO2 emissions,” the agency adds.

Aviation regulator FAA says it welcomes the announcement, adding that US manufacturers can now be sure that they are competing fairly against those in other countries.

On December 28, 2020, Boeing released the following statement:

“We are proud the EPA took this step to finalize the ICAO CO2 standard for aircraft emissions.  This is vital for protecting the environment and supporting the sustainable growth of commercial aviation and the United States economy.  The EPA’s standard will help tackle climate change and ensure that Boeing products will meet the same requirements as our competitors around the world.  The standard is one of the essential pillars of the industry’s strategy to cut net global aviation emissions to half of what they were in 2005 by 2050.  Aviation is one of only two industrial sectors that has adopted global CO2 goals, underscoring our steadfast commitment to our communities and the planet.”

Source: Flightglobal, Boeing,Picture Flightglobal                           LATEST NEWS

  • Air Greenland has formally placed its order for a single Airbus A330-800, nearly a year after disclosing it has selected the twinjet to replace its A330-200.

  • Virgin Australia, which most recently exited administration under new owners, has placed a new order for 25 Boeing 737 Max 10s after cancelling its existing commitments for the type.  The airline had held orders for 48 737 Max, including 23 Max 8s and 25 Max 10s, but had repeatedly pushed back deliveries.
  • Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE) has delivered the first of 18 Boeing 737 Max 8s to American Airlines as part of Purchase and Leaseback agreement.
  • Royal Jordanian celebrated the 57th anniversary since launching in 1963.

  • JetBlue Airways has taken delivery of its first Airbus A220-300, built in Mobile, Alabama facility.

  • Qatar Airways is to bring forward the launch of its four weekly flights to Seattle from March 15 to January 29, 2021.  The service will be operated by its Boeing 777.
  • New Calidonian carrier Aircalin has taken delivery of its first Airbus A320neo, the airline has an ordered one additional A320neo.

  • Australia will acquire an additional pair of Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft, which will boost its fleet of the type to 14 examples.

  • Icelandair Group is selling a pair of Boeing 737 Max jets under a leaseback scheme, ahead of their delivery this year.
  • European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has certified the ATR 72-600 freighter.

AIR CARGO

                        Boeing 777LRF Joins the AirBridgeCargo Fleet

Volga-Dnepr Group is phasing in its first Boeing 777-200LRF.  The freighter, which has been recently certified in Russia, will be part of AirBridgeCargo’s (ABC) fleet.

The Boeing 777-200LRF, is to be be deployed on Trans-Siberian route, enabling ABC to offer more optimized delivery options for its customers.  It is the largest twin-engine freighter with up to 106 tons of payload; this complements ABC’s already extensive fleet of Boeing 747Fs and gives more flexibility in terms of special and general cargo transportation.

“We would like to thank our personnel and specialists, partners and customers for this great milestone at the turn of 2021 when airfreight is in high demand, especially for healthcare, commerce and essential cargoes transportations,” Tatyana Arslanova, chief executive officer of Volga-Dnepr Group, commented.

“2020 has put the air cargo at the front, air carriers continued delivering much-needed medical cargoes –PPE, vaccines, medicines, medical equipment and other items to combat COVID-19 spread.

We are positive that the new freighter type within AirBridgeCargo’s fleet will open new opportunities for other carriers operating to/from Domodedovo airport”, mentioned Igor Borisov, Director of Domodedovo airport.

Source: AirBridgeCargo/Aircargoweek/Picture AirBridgeCargo

                    

                       Qatar Receives Three 777-200LRF Deliveries on Same Day

Qatar Airways ended 2020 by taking of three Boeing 777-200LRF freighters, all departing the Boeing  Everett’s delivery center for Doha within about 30 min of one another on December 31,2020.  The aircraft – registered A7-BFV, BFW and BFX.  The milestone also marks the 200th 777-200LRF to be delivered.

With the arrival of the trio of 777-200LRFs, Qatar Airways Cargo now operates 24 of this airplane model along with two 787-8 freighters.  As one of the leading air cargo carriers in the world, Qatar’s dedicated freighter fleet serves more than 60 freighter destinations worldwide via its world-class Doha hub.  It also delivers freight on the belly-hold deck of passenger aircraft to an extensive network.

“With the arrival of these new freighters, we are injecting more capacity in the market; which is very much required during the pandemic.  The added capacity will also enable us to support the logistics around the COVID-19 vaccination, which is projected to be one of the greatest logistical challenges for the industry.” said Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, Mr Akbar Al Baker.  ”With our investments in innovation and fleet, we are able to fulfill our customers’ logistical requirements and facilitate the continuity of global trade.”

Boeing says customers have ordered a total of 242 777-200LRFs since the program was launched in 2005.

Source: Boeing/Flightglobal/Picture Boeing

                              FedEx Takes First Line Built ATR 72-600 Freighter 

ATR has handed over the first of 30 factory-built ATR 72-600 freighters to launch customer FedEx Express.  The twin-turboprop will make its commercial debut on European routes in 2021. 

FedEx will receive a further six or seven examples in 2021 and the remainder will follow in the period to 2025; at a maximum rate of six aircraft per year, says Scot Stuminger, executive vice-president and chief executive of aviation at the express carrier.

Speaking during an online delivery on December 15, Stuminger said the first aircraft(EI-GUL) will be flown to Season airport for “customisation”, including of an enhanced vision system before it enters service with Irish operator ASL Airlines. 

ATR forecasts a total market for 460 turboprop freighters over the next 20 years, either conversions or new-build example.

Source: ATR, FedEx                     

Researched and Compiled by : 

Ed Kaplanian    Commercial Aviation Advisor  

Contact – ekaplanian@msn.com

Editor:   Lee Kaplanian  

Kaplanian Report – December 2020

ON THE BOEING FRONT

                                           Boeing Sticks to 2022 777X Delivery Goal

Though Boeing continues working toward delivering the first 777-9 in 2022, the company’s chief executive has warned about potential further changes to the timeline. 

On October 28th, CEO David Calhoun said the certification of the 777-9 the first variant has incorporated “learnings” from the 737 Max process. The pace of certification, Calhoun added, will be set by regulators.

“On the 777X, we continue to work with regulators on certification work-scope, including reflecting the learnings from the 737 cert process,” Calhoun says during Boeing’s third-quarter earnings call.

“As with any development program, there are inherent risks that can affect schedule,” Calhoun adds.”  While we continue to drive toward entry into service in 2022, the timing will ultimately be influenced by certification requirements defined by the regulators.”

Calhoun does not specify what 737-related lessons have been in corporate into 777X certification work.  He mentioned similar lessons during Boeing’s previous earnings call.

Source: Boeing / Picture Boeing 

           Boeing Buoyant About Robust China Market Growth 

Boeing estimates Chinese carriers will require 8,600 new aircraft — at a price tag of over $1.4 trillion—over the next 20 years, underscoring the airframes’s optimism about what it deems a key market.

Boeing’s latest 20-year estimate for the Chinese market, which spans until 2039, represents a 7% increase from its previous forecast released last year, with much of the demand coming from single-aisle jet aircraft.

Of the 8,600 aircraft, about 75% of these jets are expected to be single-aisle aircraft and about 18% to be widebodies, with the remaining regional aircraft and freighters.

Boeing’s buoyant forecast is in spite of the coronavirus pandemic this year, which began in China, and has since plunged the aviation industry into turmoil.  It cites the country’s rapidly-growing middle class, increased economic growths as well as increasing urbanization as reasons for its forecast.

On the services end, Boeing anticipates China to require about $1.7 trillion in commercial aviation services for the next 20 years.  It also forecast a growing appetite among Cheese carriers for new and converted freighters, as well as digital solutions.

Source: Boeing

               

ON THE AIRBUS FRONT

         Airbus Receives Initial ‘Airspace’ Cabin Entry Area for A320neo

Austrian aerospace firm FACC has delivered its first entrance area of the ‘Airspace’ interior configuration developed for the Airbus A320neo.

PACC had been tasked with developing the door zone and overhead bins for the new interior layout two years ago.

The Airspace basin was introduced on the long-haul Airbus A350 and A330neo, but has been working to apply similar concepts to the single-aisle family.   They are offering additional comfort to passengers as well as larger luggage bins and customize lighting. 

The completely redesigned entrance area of the A320 family boasts a high-quality design, has a sophisticated appearance, and makes important contributions to consistent weight optimization with innovative fiber composite materials.  The cabin solution comprises the entire lining of the entrance and door area in the front, middle and rear sections of the aircraft. 

Following the initial delivery of components, including the lighting, to Airbus’s Hamburg Finkenwerder facility for installation,FACC is to embark on ramping-up serial production.

Source: Airbus/FACC/PictureFACC            

                      REGIONAL/BUSINESS JETS

                       Aerion Completes AS2 Wind Tunnel Testing

Aerion Supersonic wrapped up low-and high-speed tunnel testing for its redesigned Mach 1.4 AS2 business jet, accumulating the equivalent of 78,000 nm flown and hundreds of simulated flight hours at facilities in Europe and North America.

The testing, along with digital modeling, enabled Aerion engineers to assess more than 200,000 data points to validate the aerodynamic shape of the aircraft and keep the program on target for component manufacturing to begin in 2022 and AS2 assembly in 2023.

The tests involved an evaluation of the full operational envelope of the AS2, including takeoff and landing, subsonic cruise, ”boomless” supersonic cruise, and dive speed.  In addition, the AS2 design was tested for operational conditions, including the deployment of landing gear and wing icing, along with handling qualities.

Aerion worked in conjunction with the French Office of National Aerospace Research in Modane, France, on the high-speed testing.  This testing assessed stability and control at tannic and supersonic speeds over more than 1,000 cycles and equivalent of 72,000 nm flown. 

In combination with the wind tunnel testing, Aerion has conducted digital modeling through the use of aerodynamic optimization tools developed by its subsidiary, Aerion Technologies, in Palo Alto, California. Plans call for Aerion to fly the aircraft in 2025 timeframe, with certification and entry-into-service later in the decade.

Source: Aviation International News/Photo: Aerion Supersonic                                                 

OTHER AVIATION NEWS

                   Sanad & GE Aviation Celebrate 100th GEnx Engine Milestone

Sanad has successfully completed the maintenance of 100 GEnx engines on behalf of GE Aviation.  Sanad Aerottech is based in Abu Dhabi. 

Sanad was the first MRO partner within GE Aviation’s global services network to obtain MRO certification for the GEnx engine and remains the only certified GEnx MRO partner in the Middle East and North Africa region.  In 2021, when the GEnx reaches 10 years of operation, Sanad will expand its existing maintenance and repair services to include the full overhaul of 315 GEnx engines until 2035.

“This achievement evidences Sanad’s distinguished engineering capabilities and our ability to continue providing the highest quality MRO service to global OEM partners,” said Mansor Janahi, deputy Group CEO of Sanad.

With more than 2,000 engines delivered worldwide on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and the Boeing 747-8, the GEnx is the fastest-selling, high-thrust jet engine in GE Aviation history.   Due to rising GEnx demand, Sanad recently financed and leased its ninth GEnx engine through a sale-and-leaseback agreement with Etihad Airways, the UAE’s national carrier and one of the largest global operators of Boeing 787 aircraft.

“On behalf of the GE Aviation team worldwide, I wish to congratulate Sanad on reaching this historic milestone.We look forward to our continued partnership and meeting the MRO requirements of a growing global fleet,” said Dave Kircher, GE Aviation General Manager for the GEnx engine. 

Source: Sanad Aerotech/GE aviation/Sanad Picture

                     Honeywell Rolls Out A320 Family APU Upgrade

Honeywell has released an upgrade for its APU fitted on Airbus A320 family aircraft, which it says will help reduce fuel burn and increase time-on-wing hours.

The high-efficiency mode upgrade will increase the average time-on-wing by 1,200 flight hours, and reduce fuel burn by 2%.  It is enabled by a software encryption key, Honeywell adds.

The roll-out for the 131-9A APU upgrade will commenced in October for existing Honeywell maintenance services customers.    It will be available to other operators next year.  Honeywell’s has shipped more than 15,000 131-9a APUs since 1995.

The Upgrade is intended for any aircraft operating a 131-9A APU, including Airbus A319, A320 and A321 models.  Customers enrolled in Honeywell’s Maintenance Service Plan will have access to the upgrade for no additional cost beginning in late October 2020.   It will be available to other operators with 131-9APUs beginning in January 2021.  For all aircraft, this upgrade can be installed during any regularly scheduled maintenance event and does not require additional downtime to implement.

Source: Honeywell Aerospace/Picture Honeywell

              Rolls-Royce to Test Wholly-sustainable Fuel UltraFan Development

Rolls-Royce is to test a Trent engine with a fully-sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) as part of its development of the advanced UltraFan powerplant.  The Trent 1000 engine will feature a lean-burn low-emission known as ALECSys, says Rolls-Royce.  The UltraFan is intended to provide a 25% fuel-burn saving over the first generation Trent engines.

Rolls-Royce states that the ground tests, which will commence at its Derby headquarters, will mark the first time the manufacturer has used a 100%-sustainable fuel.

The tests will aim to confirm that unblended sustainable fuel-rather than the current approved 50% blends-can serve as a “full drop-in” option, and make a “significant contribution” to improving engines’ environmental performance, it adds.

US-based fuel specialist World Energy is producing the fuel, sourced by Shell Aviation and delivered by SkyNRG.

Gene Gebolys, Chief Executive Officer and founder,World Energy, said: “World Energy exists to empower leaders to innovate by providing the world’s most advanced low carbon fuels.  Rolls-Royce is putting their technological prowess to work to understand how to maximize their potential in engines and we are proud to support them.”

“ These tests aim to show that we can deliver real emissions reductions,” says Rolls-Royce chief technology officer Paul Stein.

Source: Rolls-Royce/Rolls-Royce Picture

        LATEST NEWS

  • Southwest Airlines has sent a team of mechanics to Victorville, California to start the long process of bringing its 34 Boeing 737 Max jets out of their desert hibernation, now the planes’ permission to fly was restored.
  •  Canada’s transport minister has signaled his country will “ soon” follow the USA in certificating Boeing’s 737 Max.  But Canada’s approval will include different requirements than the Federal Aviation Administration’s green light.
  • Boeing has secured a contract for the third and fourth KC-46 aerial tankers for the Japan Air self-defense Force(JASDF).
  • Ethiopian Airlines on November 7 Ethiopian Airlines took delivery of another pair of Airbus A350-900s both aircraft being handed over on the same day.
  • Kuwait Airways has received its first two A330neos.  The aircraft are the first of eight A330neos ordered by the airline.
  • Emirates Airlines has fully retired its first A380, A6-EDB, almost 12 years to the day when it entered service.
  • Air Canada canceled an order for 12 A220s to conserve cash and deferred the handover of the remains 18 A220 it had been due to receive in 2021 and 2022. The airline also canceled orders for 10 737Max jets.
  • GE Catalyst GE Aviations clean-sheet engine is expected to begin its ground testing on a flying testbed early this month.  Beechcraft King Air is serving as the flying testbed.
  • Alaska Airlines will sell 10 Airbus A320s, shifting to 13 more-fuel-efficient, leased Boeing 737-9 Max which will be delivered from end of 2021 through 2022.  The A320s will go to Air Lease Corp, which will also lease the Boeing jets  to the carrier.
  • Brazil’s Civil Aviation Agency ( ANAC) has cleared the Boeing 737 Max aircraft to return to revenue service in Brazil.

Sources: Boeing, Flightglobal, Air Canada, Emirates, Airbus, Ethiopian, Alaska Airlines, GE Aviation

                                           AIR CARGO

 Cargolux is Examining The Boeing 777-300ER Freighter Conversion

Cargolux is looking very closely at the 777-300ER freighter conversion programs as a candidate to meet its future fleet requirements, says the airline’s chief executive Richard Forson.

The European cargo operator-whose fleet of 30 747s were all line built freighters- is considering two scenarios for future aircraft orders, Forson explained during a UK Aviation Club events on November 12.  They look to the big manufactures for freighter versions of newer-generation wide bodies, or seek the conversion of alder generation passenger aircraft.

“The specific one we are looking very closely at is the conversion of the 777-300ER into a freighter, in which GECAS, together with IAI, are doing a program,” he says.

The IAI conversion program was unveiled in October last year by leasing giant GECAS, which placed a launch order for 15 firm conversions with 15 options and is co-investor in the effort.  The conversion is designated 777-300ER Special Freighter (SF) and is the first after-market cargo modification launched for the 777 family. 

“I’m keeping an eye on that and wondering if the whole freighter concept is now going full circle.  It initially it started off as conversion of passenger aircraft and then it went into production freighters, and maybe are getting back to a situation now where manufacturers are going to say theirs is too high,” Forson explains.

Eventually, he acknowledges, Cargolux “will have a mix in its fleet of the747 and then a twin-engine freighter, which will bring complexity into our operations, which we do not have at this point in time.”

That is regrettable, Forson explains, because “having a single type in your fleet is of huge advantage.”

Source: Flightglobal

   Kalitta to Be Launch Operator of 777-300ERSF Converted Freighter


Kalitta Air will be the first airline to operate the Boeing 777-300ERSF, a converted freighter being developed by lessor GECAS and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI).  GECAS reached an agreement under which Michigan-based Kalitta will operate three of the freighters, with deliveries in 2023, the lessor said.

Conversion specialist IAI and GECAS launched the 777-300ER conversion program in October 2019.  IAI has been working to secure a supplemental type certificate for the 777-300ERSF variant.  The 777-300ERSF will have 25% more cargo volume than the 777-200LRF, and 15% more than a 747-400BCF, according to IAI.

Source: GECAS/PictureGECAS

                       OTHER NOTEWORTHY NEWS

         Alaska Prepares for the Boeing 737 Max to Safely Joins Its Fleet

On March 2021 Alaska Airlines is scheduled to start welcoming guests on their first Boeing 737Max 9 aircraft.  The airline is expected delivery of the first plane in January, followed by several more thought 2021.

Once the first Max is delivered, the airline will begin two months of testing and verifying all necessary processes to prepare the aircraft for passenger service, which is scheduled to begin in March.  Alaska’s teams will put the plane through its paces, which include flying it more than,19000 miles and over 50 flight hours all over the US including Alaska and Hawaii.

Alaska will activate their training programs and make sure their employees are ready.  The airline has been closely testing, verifying and implementing all necessary processes to ensure the Max aircraft meets the airline’s safety standards.

Alaska manages safety through their Safety Management System(SMS).The airline was the first major U.S. airline to receive FAA validation and acceptance of SMS in 2016, even before it became required in 2018.

Alaska will fly the Boeing 737 MAX only after their own assessments, verifications and internal reviews that well determine that the aircraft is safe throughout its network for their guests and their crews.   Teams from divisions all across Alaska are working on the entry into service requirements for the MAX.

Source: Alaska Airlines/Picture Alaska Airlines

                         

 Researched and Compiled by : Ed Kaplanian   

Commercial Aviation Advisor  

Contact – ekaplanian@msn.com

Editor:   Lee Kaplanian  

May 2021 be a great year for all of us!!!

 

Kaplanian Report – November 2020

Kaplanian Report – November 2020

On The Boeing Front

Boeing’s Latest ecoDemonstrator Targets Noise, Airspace Routing

The drive for environmental sustain ability comes in many forms and from all sectors of the aviation industry. Boeing’s completion in early September of its latest ecoDemonstrator flight trials centering on noise, airspace routing efficiency, and cabin disinfection certainly applies to business jets as much as airliners.

Performed over about a week of flying twice a day from a former U.S. Air Force base in Glasgow, Montana, and during individual positioning flights between Seattle’s Boeing Field and the company’s Dreamliner assembly plant in Charleston, South Carolina, the tests evaluated the effectiveness of noise-mitigating fairings attached to the 787-10’s Safran Landing gear. Further noise testing involved the use of 200 microphones attached to the left side of the aircraft’s fuselage and 1,000 more listening devices on the ground in Montana.

Addressing both environmental efficiency and safety, the testing also demonstrated a system meant to more accurately guide flights around hazards such as storms, allowing pilots to better plan their routes and more quickly arrive at their destinations.

Separately, engineers tested a new hand-held wand to kill germs on surfaces within the cabin such as Covid-19. Using 222-nanometer ultraviolet light, the wand disinfected the 787 flight deck in unless than 15 minutes.

The Etihad 787-10 was the seventh test platform used since the start of the ecoDemonstrator program in 2012. Over the eight year program, Boeing has managed to apply several of the tested items to production airplanes. One of the earliest studies, in 2012, resulted in Advanced Technology winglet that now appears on the 737 Max.

On the 777X, Boeing has incorporated touchscreen displays first tested in 2014 and in 2016 signed a contract with Rockwell Collins (now Collins Aerospace) to supply the devices of all flight deck displays.

Source: Boeing

ON THE AIRBUS FRONT

 Higher-Weight A330-900 Secures EASA Certification

Airbus’s higher-weight A330-900 has obtained certification from the European airworthiness authority, enabling operators to take advantage of greater range.

The aircraft, the larger variant of the A330neo family, has a maximum take-off weight of 251t. The French carrier Corsair will be the first carrier to introduce the new version. Airbus commenced flight-testing of the higher-weight version at the end of February this year, using MSN1967.

The aircraft has undergone modifications, including strengthening the landing gear and structural reinforcements, which Airbus describes as “weight-neutral” adding that it retains 99% spares commonality.

“Modifications to the nose-and main landing-gear has also enabled Airbus engineers to extend their time-before-overhaul,” stretching the interval from 10 to 12 years.

Airbus intends to obtain similar 251t certification next year for the smaller A330-800.

Source: Airbus

Last Ever Airbus A380 Rolled Out From the Factory In Toulouse 

On September 25th, the last ever Airbus A380 rolled out of the Airbus Toulouse assembly plant. Since the A380 first delivery to Singapore Airlines in 2007, more than 240 A380s have rolled of the line. 

Initial assembly of the final A380, serial number 272, has been completed with manufacturing station 40 out of work. It’s now off to station 30, where the engines will be installed and tests are carried out on electrical and hydraulic systems.

After engine tests are performed, the aircraft will make its first flight test to Hamburg, Germany, where the cabin will be installed, fitted out and the plane painted in the customer’s livery: Emirates Airlines.

The Airbus 380 was developed at a cost of $25 billion and, with a capacity of up to 853 passengers, it’s the largest gas produced civil airliner in history. 

Airbus overestimated airlines’ appetite for the aircraft. By the time the 2019 announcement, it had delivered just 234 of the aircraft—less than a quarter of the 1,200 it had predicted when the A380 was introduced.

Source: Airbus/Picture Airbus       

REGIONAL/BUSINESS JETS

    King Air 360/360ER Awarded FAA Type Certification

Textron Aviation’s Beechcraft King Air 360/360ER has been awarded FAA type certification, a little more than a month after the upgraded twin-turboprop was announced.

The upgraded airplane features the Innovative Solutions & Support(IS&S) ThrustSense auto throttle, which allows pilots to automatically manage engine power from takeoff roll through climb, cruise, descent, and go-around phases of flight. Also new to King Air cockpit is digital pressurization controller that automatically schedules cabin pressurization during climb and descent and gauges of which have been integrated into the airplane’s Collin Aerospace Pro Line Fusion flight deck.

Cabin altitude has been improved by 10 percent over its predecessor 350i, providing an altitude of 5,960 feet at a typical cruising altitude of 27,000 feet.

Source: Textron Aviation/Textron Aviation Picture 

                    Jetfly Takes Delivery of First PC-12NGX 

European fractional ownership company Jetfly Aviation has taken delivery of the first Pilatus PC-12NGX along with its fifth PC-24 aircraft. 

Unveiled in 2019, the PC-12 NGX is equipped with an updated Pratt & Whitney PT6E-67XP engine, which includes a full digital engine control, marking a first for business turboprops. In addition, the aircraft includes a fully integrated auto throttle option and features a new passenger cabin that draws from the PC-24 twinjet.

The Jetfly Group, which includes Fly 7 Aviation, currently operates 47 Pilatus aircraft.  Delivery of the fifth PC-24 comes within two years of Jetfly’s first. The company’s fractional program has attracted 50 owners to the Swiss twinjet. Jetfly plans to take delivery of its sixth PC-24 by the end of this year.

Source: Pilatus Aircraft/Jetfly Aviation Picture                                                                 

OTHER AVIATION NEWS

 GE9X Engine for the Boeing 777X Gets FAA Certification 

On September 28, the Federal Aviation Administration has certificated GE Aviation’s 105,000lb-thrust (467kN) GE9X turbofans milestone; coming as Boeing continues working toward achieving certification for its GE9X-powered 777-9. 

GE completed the GE90X certification program using eight test engines that logged nearly 5,000h of operation and 8,000 cycles. 

John Slattery, president and CEO of GE Aviation, said: “It takes the world’s best talent in jet propulsion to create a game-changing product like the GE9x engine. There is no substitute that can achieve the combination of size, power and fuel efficiency of theGE9X. This engine will deliver unsurpassed value and reliability to our airline customers.”  

“GE’s focus remains working with Boeing to complete the 777X flight-test program and entry into service,” GE says. ”Eight GE9X test engines and two test spares have been delivered to Seattle for Boeing’s four 777X test airplanes.”

GE continues working to achieve FAA GE9X”extended operations”(ETOPS) approval – an effort expected to involve 3,000 GE9X ground -test cycles. The Company is also “conducting maturation testing to help GE engineers prepare to support the engine in service”, it adds.

GE Aviation in 2021 will kick off a GE90X test program intended to validate the power plant’s durability when operating in sandy, dusty conditions.

The tests will let GE evaluate the 105,000lb-thrust (467kN) GE9X’s design and technologies intended to help the power plant tolerate such extreme operations.

“One of our biggest focus points has been a sand infection,” says GE90X program leader Karl Sheldon.” The test next year is where we purposefully allow the engine to ingest sand.”

“The intent of the test is to validate the technology that we put in therein a full-up operating condition” Sheldon adds.  

Source: GE Aviation/picture GE Aviation

Extra Facility Opened For Planes Grounded By Covid-19

An aircraft storage facility in Central Australia is now so full that its owners have had to seek out more space.

Many carriers haven’t had enough passengers to justify flying during the pandemic, and have opted to store their planes.

Asia Pacific Airline Storage is storing 94 planes at Alice Springs, and will store more in Southeast Queensland (APAS).

APAS has additional sixteen slots on site, but they are already booked with existing customers. The site has become a local landmark in the remote town of about 25,000 people.

The Company has plans to expand the facility from its current 110 slots to accommodate 160-200 aircraft. Until the expansion is ready, APAS needs to find extra space elsewhere. Desert conditions are widely regarded by manufacturers and airlines as preferable for storing planes because it is easier to protect against corrosion in dry weather.

APAS now has 70 employees ensuring the planes are properly looked after until the airlines need them again. The Facility is not an airline “boneyard” where old planes are stripped for reusable parts; but suggested that they might become part of the business if the industry continues to face headwinds.

The IATA estimates that it will be at least 2024 before air traffic reaches pre-pandemic levels.

Source: BBC/APAS/PictureAPAS

                CMA CGM to Take Stake In French Airline Parent 

Shipping transport and Logistics group CMA CGM has signed a memorandum of understanding to take a 30% stake in Groupe Dubreuil Aero, shareholder of carrier Air Caraibes and French Bee. 

The move is aimed at further developing activity in the airfreight market, building on co-operation struck during the coronavirus crisis, plus providing fresh equity for the french airline operator.

Air Caraibes took delivery of its first A350-1000 in December, and already operates three A350-900s.

CMA CGM chef executive Rodolphe Saade says: “The acquisition of this stake will enable the CMA CGM Group to strengthen its position in airfreight. We will bring to Groupe Dubreuil Aero all our expertise in the transport of goods in ultra-marine territories.”

The carriers operate a combined fleet of 17 aircraft, including six Airbus A330 and eight A350 widebodies. They handled 2.15 million passengers in 2019, roughly a third go Groupe Dubreuil revenues.

Source: Groupe Dubreuil/Picture Air Caraïbes

                          Atlas Air Trains Air Force One Pilots 

Atlas Air operates the world’s largest fleet of Boeing 747 Freighters flying to 90 countries, it is a leading provider of outsourced aircraft and aviation operating services.

On the first week of October confirmed that the United States Air Force has exercised its option to continue its pilot and flight engineer training contract for Air Force One with Atlas Air Inc.

Atlas Air has been training Air Force One Pilots and engineers since October 2007 and under this new extension, crews for the Air Force’s VC-25, which is a highly modified version of the Boeing 747-200, will receive ground and flight-simulator training at Atlas Air’s training center in Miami, Florida. 

“ Air Force One”, the designated call sign of the aircraft when the President is on board, consists of two specially configured Boeing 747-200B aircraft.

“We are honored to provide this vital training to the pilots and crews of Air Force One and the presidential Airlift Group. Their exacting demands for safety, professionalism, efficiency and security make this contract extremely meaningful, and a testament to the training provided by our highly experienced instructors,” said John Dietrich, President and Chief Executive Officer, Atlas Air Worldwide. 

“ This contract extension is the result of our team’s unwavering commitment to  safe and efficient operations.”

Source: Atlas Air Worldwide/Picture Air Force One Arriving in the UK  

Little Humor During this Pandemic

After every flight, UPS pilots fill out a form, called a “gripe sheet” which tells mechanics about problems with the aircraft. The mechanics correct the problems, document their repairs on the form, then pilots review the gripe sheets before the next flight.

Never let it be said that ground crews lack a sense of humor. Here are actual maintenance complaints submitted by UPS pilots (“P”) and solutions recorded (“S”) by maintenance engineers:

P: Left inside main tire almost needs replacement. S: Almost replaced left inside main tire.

P: Test flight OK, except auto-land very rough. S: Auto-land not installed on this aircraft.

P: Something loose in cockpit
S: Something tightened in cockpit

P: Dead bugs on windshield. S: Live bugs on back-order.

P: Autopilot in altitude-hold mode produces a 200 feet per minute descent
S: Cannot reproduce problem on ground.

P: Evidence of leak on right main landing gear. S: Evidence removed.

P: DME volume unbelievably loud.
S: DME volume set to more believable level.

P: Friction locks cause throttle levers to stick. S: That’s what friction locks are for.

P: IFF inoperative in OFF mode.
S: IFF always inoperative in OFF mode.

P: Suspected crack in windshield. S: Suspect you’re right.

P: Number 3 engine missing.
S: Engine found on right wing after brief search.

P: Aircraft handles funny.
S: Aircraft warned to: straighten up, fly right, and be serious.

P: Target radar hums.
S: Reprogrammed target radar with lyrics.

P: Mouse in cockpit. S: Cat installed.

P: Noise coming from under instrument panel. Sounds like a midget pounding on something with a hammer.
S: Took hammer away from midget

LATEST NEWS

  • European Union Safety Agency(EASA) will this month publish a draft airworthiness directive(AD) which should enable the Boeing 737 Max to return to service in the bloc before the the end of the year.
  • Australia’s Regional Express(Rex)has signed letters of intent with two lessors to lease 737-800s thus entering the jet business.
  • Uganda Airlines Airbus has rolled out the first A330-800 for Uganda Airlines following completion of the twinset’s livery painting.

  • Middle East Airlines(MEA) has taken delivery of its third A321neo with a distinctive manufacturer serial number, 10,000.
  • Alaska Airlines will retire 10 of the Airbus A320 aircraft it owns earlier than intended, accelerating its cost-saving transition to the all Boeing fleet structure it operated before acquiring Virgin America.

  • Icelandair is to sell three of its Boeing 757-200s, which will be converted into freighters following the transaction.
  • American Airlines has added its Airbus A330-200s to the list of aircraft types it now plans to permanently retire due to demand erosion from the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Cathay Pacific has given an indication of the timeline surrounding deferrals of its 777-9 aircraft, confirming that the wide bodies will only be delivered “beyond 2025”.
  • Air Lease boss stands by plan to keep Max orders John Plueger Said: Boeing’s 737 Max is “going to have a role” in meeting airlines’ future narrowbody needs & lessors ”can be helpful” in ensuring the airframer is able to place the aircraft once it is cleared to fly again.
  • Ethiopian Airlines recently launched their 40th humanitarian delivery flight when it delivery of the airline’s 787-9 delivery on October 2nd.

Source: Cathay Pacific, American Airlines, Rex Airlines, Airbus, Flightglobal

AIR CARGO

321 Precision Conversions Complete First Flight of A321 Converted Freighter

Oregon company 321 Precision Conversions has completed first flight of its Airbus A321-200PCF. freighter.

The type is a former passenger A321 converted to a freighter capable of carrying 27t of payload.

Precision Conversions is working toward receiving a supplemental type certificate for the type from the Federal Aviation Administration, and certifications from European and Chinese regulators.

“This milestone flight was nominal in all respects, with primary and secondary systems- including the cargo door and support sub-systems- functioning perfectly as designed,” says Precision Conversions President Gary Warner.

Precision Conversions is a joint venture between aircraft modification specialist Precision Aircraft Solutions, also based in Oregon, and air freight company Air Transport Services Group, based in Ohio.

The A321-PCF conversion includes addition of a hydraulically operated main-deck cargo door and main-deck cargo loading system.The type has a reinforced floor and plugged windows.

The Conversion allows the A321 to carry up to 14 containers measuring (88x125in) on the main dockhand 10 smaller containers on its lower deck.

Precision Conversions has said the jet’s capacity will be similar to that of Boeing 757-200Fs, with costs comparable to 737Fs.

Wet-Lease and charter specialist SmartLynx’s Maltese division is to lease a pair of the A321s which have been converted to freighters.

Source: 321Precision Conversions

 OTHER NOTEWORTHY NEWS

Factors at Play as 737 Max Closes in on Operational Return

The signs are that after the many hurdles that had to be overcome and several false dawns for its revival; the Boeing 737 Max should finally return to the skies before the end of 2020. But the recertification will be just the start of a new set of challenges for Boeing, its customers, and the wider industry. 

There are myriad issues that will come into play as the program is revived more than 20 months since its grounding; including some linked to the airline trading conditions caused by the coronavirus pandemic. There are questions around areas; such as the pace of the Max fleet restoration (among the installed fleet and hundreds of built but undelivered airframes); operators’ appetite to add Max and crew-training capacity; the potential displacement effect on other fleets: and the alignment of regulatory approvals worldwide.

But the crucial parameter is beyond the industry’s control: the acceptance by the traveling public to fly on the aircraft. While the narrative on the Max’s safety failings has perhaps been overtaken by Covid-19 pandemic, media attention around its re-introduction could quickly revive painful memories. As it stands, there are 385 delivered Max aircraft grounded worldwide, according to Cirium fleets data. Cirium estimates that approximately another 450 Max airframes are but and stored awaiting delivery. 

If, as is now widely expected, recertification by the FAA is imminent, that should clear the way for an almost immediate resumption of deliveries to US airlines. It is likely that the FAA’s approval will be shadowed promptly by authorities participating alongside it in the 737 Max Joint Operations Evaluation Board (JOEB): Brazil, Canada and the EU. The approval status in key Max market China is less clear; but might be expected to follow within months of the FAA’s decision.

If US Max clearance does come soon, then Ascend by Cirium estimates that 2020 deliveries could just reach double figures. As Boeing works to clear the backlog of built aircraft, along with integrating deliveries from Renton assembly line, we project annual shipments reaching 430 in 2021 and 480 in 2022. Before declining below 400 over the following two years. Assuming deliveries are a mix of stored and new-build airframes, we estimate that backlog of parked aircraft will be cleared by the first quarter of 2023. The delivery rate would then fall slightly to approximately 390 at a monthly rate of 31 aircraft.

There will be several drivers determining the pace of return to service of the 385 aircraft grounded in March 2019. Once approval is received within each operator’s jurisdiction, every aircraft will have to undergo post-storage checks and testing. From a demand-side prospective, airlines will look at their fleet-planning strategy amid the downturn and training availability required for flight crews.

Source: Flightglobal                      

 Researched and Compiled by : 

Ed Kaplanian    Commercial Aviation Advisor  

Contact – ekaplanian@msn.com

Editor:   Lee Kaplanian  

The Kaplanian Report – October 2020

ON THE BOEING FRONT

                         Tests of the 777X Continue to Ramp Up

After a slower-than planned start, tests of the first 777X family member the 777-9 continue to ramp up with the third development aircraft entering the flight-test program on August 3.  Designated WH003, the aircraft departed Boeing’s Everett, Washington, facility and flew a circuit encompassing parts of Northern Oregon and central Washington before returning to land at the company’s flight-test base at Boeing Field, Seattle.  The 2-hr. 47-min flight reached a maximum altitude of 28,000 ft  and included two missed approaches and circuits of Moses Lake, Washington.

This third aircraft, destined for launch operator Lufthansa after certification, will be used primarily to evaluate performance of General Electric GE9X engines as well as flight loads and operation of the auxiliary power unit and avionics.  It joins Boeing’s first two 777-9 development aircraft, which continue to amass test hours since the flight of the first aircraft on Jan 25, and the second on April 30.

Although WH001 testing is primarily aimed at stability and control as well as high-and low- speed aerodynamics, it has also been used for avionics, flight control systems and brake tests.The second aircraft, is engaged primarily on tests of the auto land system and ground effects testing.  WH002, which conducted outland approaches at Moses Lake on Aug 3., will also be used to augment the stability and control work of WH001.

A fourth aircraft, WH004, is also set to join the test program later this year.  Incorporating a production-representative internal cabin configuration, the last dedicated 777-9 test airframe will be used mainly to evaluate the environmental control system.  Later in the certification effort in 2021, WH004 will also conduct airport noise compliance work and ultimately, finish its test role with a phase of extended twin-engine operations and airline-like functionality and reliability operations testing.

Source: Boeing

                      

ON THE AIRBUS FRONT

Airbus Subsidiary Satair Acquires A220 Parts Service Work From Bombardier

Airbus subsidiary Satair is taking over A220 materials servicing from Bombardier, a move that comes several years after Bombardier divested the broader A220 program to Airbus.

The European airframer says the move brings parts servicing for its entire lineup of commercial aircraft in-house under Copenhagen-based Satair.

“There is only one go to company, that is Satair, for all parts customers will need,” says Satair chief executive, Bart Reijnen.

The companies began transferring parts and other equipment related to A220 parts servicing from Bombardier’s facilities to Satair sites in July.  Transfers were completed at the end of September, said Reijnen. Airbus acquired Satair in 2011.

“ Customers will now be dealing with just a single interface” under Satair, adds Rob Dewar, senior vice president of A220 customer service, customer satisfaction and product policy.  He calls the change a “key step in the integration of the A220 program into Airbus”.

Prior to taking on A220 parts servicing, Satair needed to acquire related information-technology infrastructure, achieve necessary regulatory approvals and secure new agreements with suppliers.  Satair completed those steps over the last year, said Reijnen.

Satair holds an inventory of more than 1 million different types of parts and has 10 facilities globally.  Outside Europe, the company has sites in Beijing, Singapore, Dubai and several in USA.

Source: Airbus/Satair

                     

REGIONAL/BUSINESS JETS

                GulfStream, Jet Aviation Open New Florida Facility

Jet Aviation and sister company Gulfstream, have opened their new co-located Fixed-Base Operator(FBO)/aircraft maintenance complex at Florida’s Palm Beach International Airport more than a year after the nearly $50 million project broke ground.  While Jet Aviation will continue to operate its primary FBO on the southeast side of the field, the complex on the northwest side features a new 11,270 sq-ft satellite, two story FBO terminal of which, Gulfstream occupies 9,000 sq-ft on the first floor, and a 42,000 sq ft Jet Aviation hanger with 30 foot-high-doors.

“ This investment is the fifth new hanger we have opened in recent years and underscores our commitment to exceeding customer expectations by further strengthening our global facility network,” said Jet aviation president, David Paddock.  ”I would like to take this opportunity to thank our parent company, General Dynamics for their ongoing support of our business, particularly during these uncertain times.

The adjoining service center for Gulfstream consists of more than 104,000 sq ft of climate-controlled hangers and workshops capable of simultaneously sheltering up to seven G650s.  The two companies will share 200,000 sq ft of ramp space.

Source: Aviation International News

                             Boutique Air Grows with PC-12s 

Pilatus originally envisioned the PC-12 turboprop single engine as an executive utility aircraft, but the model has gained widespread popularity as a commuter airliner since its introduction in 1994.  Of the 1,750 PC-12s delivered through mid-August, 94 are flying with 35 passenger airlines around the world, according to the Swiss OEM.  One of these operators is Boutique Air, based in San Francisco and started operations in 2011 by high-tech executive, who bought a company with a Part 135 certificate and one aircraft.  In 2014, the airline began flying regularly scheduled service on one route between Clovis, New Mexico, and Dallas.

Today Boutique serves 29 U.S. airports in 17 states nationwide, operating a fleet of 27 PC-12-45 and PC-12-47 aircraft configured for eight passengers.  “We’re the largest PC-12 commercial carrier in the United States,” said Boutique general manager, Brian Kondrad.  In 2019 the airline flew 180,000 passengers.

Boutique operates exclusively on routes subsidized through the U.S. Department  of Transportation’s $316 million annual Essential Air Service (EAS) program, linking rural airports with major airline hubs.

Source: Boutique Air/Picture Boutique 

                                                                   

OTHER AVIATION NEWS

   Germany Took Delivery of Its First New VIP Airbus A350-900 XWB

Germany’s new “Air Force One” was delivered to the armed forces on Thursday, August 27th after arriving at Lufthansa Technik for completion for in May.

The Airbus A350-900 XWB will be replacing the country’s A340-300 fleet acquired from flag carrier Lufthansa.

The purchase came in 2019 following mechanical issues with the existing VIP aircraft, one of which forced Chancellor Angela Merkel to fly commercial to the G20 in 2018.

As Germany is home to numerous Airbus production plants, parts of the plane were even manufactured in the country, although the final assembly took place in France.  German Defense Minister, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, received the first Airbus A350-900 XWB in Hamburg during a handover ceremony with Lufthansa Technik.

Airbus had delivered the aircraft in May, but the interior completion work was handled by the maintenance, completions, repair, and overhaul division of the German flag carrier.

Germany ordered three Airbus A350 aircraft in 2019 as a replacement to the aging Airbus A340-300 fleet that flies top government officials around the world.

Source: Business Insider

                                   GE Aviation CF34 Great Reliability

With more than 5,000 engines producing at least a 99% reliability rate, it is hard to argue that GE’s CF34 regional aircraft engine program has been anything but successful.

In 1992, GE’s CF34 engine family helped launch a new era in regional jet aviation,  it continues to set the standard for performance, durability and world-class reliability. More than 5,200 CF34 engines are in service, the engine family has accumulated more than 160 million flight hours.

The following are the details by engine family according to GE Aviation:

**The CF34-8 family includes 3,792 engines in operation with 92 operators.  The fleet has accumulated 73 million hours and 54 million cycles and it generated a 99.96% reliability rate.

**The CF34-10As are in operation with four operators.  The power plant accumulated 54,000 flight hours and 38,000 cycles and it has logged 100% reliability rate.

**The CF34-10E includes 1,643 engines in operation with 98 operators.  The power plant has accumulated 32 million flight hours and 23 million cycles, generating a 99.98% reliability rate.

The CF34-8 variants power Mitsubishi jets, 700, 900 and 1000 regional jets, Bombardier Challenger 870 and 890 business jets and Embaraer 170 and 175 regional jets. Meanwhile, the CF34-10 variants power the Comac ARJ21 family and Embraer 190, 195 and 1000 regional jets.

Source: GE Aviation/Picture GE Aviation

A New Plane for the Indian Prime Minister/President/Vice President

Air India One highly customized Boeing 777-300ERs, meant for the exclusive use Indian Prime Minister, President and Vice-President, landed in New Delhi in August.  A second will arrive by the end of this year.

The aircraft, which has its own missile defense system, called the Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures(LAIRCM) and Self Protection Suites(SPS) besides state- of-the-art communication system, will be operated by the Indian Air Force(IAF), although Air India would receive it.

When the handover to the IAF is complete, the call sign is likely to change from Air India One to Air Force One, just like the one used by American Presidents.

The two new aircraft have been heavily modified keeping in mind that the planes are exclusively meant for VVIPs.

The plane has the capability to function as a full-fledged flying command center

thanks to its advanced and secure communication system, which facilitates audio and video communication without being hacked or tapped, just like Air Force one, sources added.

The interior of the aircraft has been divided into big cabin for VVIP passengers’ mini medical center, conference room and also seats for the accompanying entourage.

In February last year, the US Defence Security Agency had, in a notification to the Congress, said the US had approved the purchase of LAIRCAM and SPS for an estimated cost of USD 190 million.

The defense systems, which would bring security of Air India One at par with that of Air Force one, would be installed in two Boeing 777 Head-of-State aircraft, the Pentagon said.

Source: Defense News/Picture Airliner World

Boeing and Etihad Complete Testing on ecoDemonstrator Program

Boeing and Etihad Airways concluded testing on the aerospace company’s 2020 ecoDemonstrator program the first week in September.  It took a cross country flight using a 50/50 blend of sustainable and traditional jet fuel.

Flying from Seattle to Boeing’s manufacturing site in South Carolina, Etihad’s newest 787-10 Dreamliner used the maximum sustainable fuel blend permitted for commercial aviation.  The transcontinental flight also demonstrated a new way for pilots, air traffic controllers and airline operations centers to communicate simultaneously and optimize routing.

Mohammad Al Bulooki, Etihad Aviation Group chief operating officer, said: “Together with Boeing and the national airline’s sustainable fuel partners World Energy and PIC, Etihad used 50,000 gallons of a 50/50 blend of sustainable aviation fuel on the final flight of our ecoDemonstrator 787-10 flight tests.

Boeing’s ecoDemonstrator program takes promising technologies out of the lab and tests them in the air to accelerate innovation.  This year’s program evaluated four projects to reduce emissions and noise, plus enhance the safety and health of passengers and crew.  All the 787-10 test flights used a blend of traditional jet fuel and sustainable fuel from inedible agricultural wastes to minimize emissions, with the final flight operating at the maximum 50/50 commercial blend.

Source: Etihad Airways/Boeing/Picture Etihad

   Lufthansa to Put its Entire A380 and A340-600 Fleet In Storage

Lufthansa Group will put all of its Airbus A380s and 10 of its A340-600s into long-term storage, only to be reactivated in the event of an “unexceptional rapid market recovery”, and will permanently remove the remainder of its A340-600 fleet from service.

The German airline group says that the outlook for international air transport has “significantly worsened” in recent weeks, forcing it to revise its capacity expectations downward.

While it had previously aimed to offer 50% of its prior-year capacity on its long-haul network and 55% on short-haul in the fourth quarter of this year, Lufthansa now says it expects capacity to be ”in a range between 20% and 30%, compared to the same period in 2019.  As a result, it foresees a group-wide reduction of 150 aircraft “by the middle of this decade”.

“ The continuing high level of uncertainty in global air traffic makes short-term adjustments to the current market situation unavoidable for the foreseeable future,” says Lufthansa, adding that the expansion of pre-flight Covid-19 testing is “essential prerequisite for the resumption of global mobility.”

Source: Lufthansa/PictureLufthansa

                

LATEST NEWS

  • AerSale Aircraft trader and support specialist has acquired 24 Boeing 757-200 passenger jets that were stored at its facilities in Arizona and New Mexico.  Some will be dismantled and other will be converted into freighters.
  • ATR flies the first new-build 72-600 freighter for FedEX.  The aircraft was launched three years ago with an order for up to 50 from US express freight specialist FedEx.

  • GE Aviation has delivered its first F110-129 engines for integration with Boeing’s F-15EX fighter, ahead of the new model’s flight debut next year.

 

  • Texel Air a private airline and MRO based in Bahrain, has announced the arrival of the latest addition to its fleet, the Boeing 737-700 Flex Combi.

  • EASA The European Union Aviation Safety Agency has completed test flights of the 737 Max, a key milestone in restoring airworthiness certification and returning the airliner to operational status.

  • French Bee Paris Orly-based long-haul, low-cost carrier French Bee remains in upbeat mood despite the coronavirus crisis.  Next year it will significantly expand its fleet with the addition of two leased Airbus A350-1000s.
  • Cayman Airways has sent one of its Boeing 737 MAXs to Victorville, California in anticipation of the aircraft returning to service.

  • Northwest International Cargo Airlines new Chinese cargo start-up has been approved by the country’s civil aviation authority to introduce three Boeing 737 freighters to its fleet.
  • El Al Israeli flag carrier has been granted a deferral to the end of November for delivery of its final Boeing 787.
  •   EVA Air has reached agreement with Boeing to exchange seven of the 787-10s yet to be delivered for four 787-9s and three 777Fs.

Sources: Flightglobal, Cayman Airways, Eva Air, Boeing, GE Aviation, Arabian Aerospace

 

AIR CARGO

                Boeing 777 Freighter Joins The Volga-Dnepr Group

On August 17th, the 777 Freighter joined Volga-Dnepr Group fleet of 24 Boeing Freighters.

AirBridge Cargo will operate the airplane via a sale-leaseback agreement with Dubai Aerospace Enterprise DAE.

“We are delighted to welcome Volga-Dnepr Group as our newest customer as they introduce the 777 Freighter to their fleet,” said Firoz Tarapore, DAE’s Chief Executive Officer.  ”DAE Capital is the world’s largest lessor of the profitable and efficient 777 freighter.  We look forward to a long and rewarding relationship with Volga-Dnepr as they continue to grow their successful operations.”

Volga-Dnepr Group is among the world’s largest Boeing freighter operators, flying 17 747 freighters and five 737 freighters, including 13 747-8F, four 747-400ERF, two 737-800BCF and three 737-400SF.

The 777Freighter, which can fly 4,970 nautical miles(9,200 kilometers),can carry a payload of 224,900 lbs.(102,010 kg) with more capacity than any other twin-engine freighter.

Source: Boeing/BoeingPicture

 

  OTHER NOTEWORTHY NEWS

                  Reactivating Parked Aircraft Requires Extra Care

Parking planes during the pandemic does not mean technicians ignore them until airlines are ready to fly again.  A great deal of mechanical support work, including electrical checks and engine starts, takes place to keep aircraft serviceable.

Even when approved maintenance schedules are followed, there are threats to the safe return of aircraft from extended downtime.

The U.K. Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) recently issued a safety notice addressing the potential hazards of bringing aircraft out of storage as airlines resume more flights.

The agency said it found examples of incomplete maintenance and other faults associated with lengthy storage of aircraft, including two cases involving loose engine ports and missing access panel to wing flap.

In another recent case, mechanics found insect larvae in instruments that help determine an aircraft’s airspeed even though the probe’s covers had been used and the system flushed according to the manufacturer’s guidance.

Hibernating Planes

Airlines placed most of their fleets in a state of hibernation when COVID-19 spread worldwide in March and travel demand evaporated.  Precautions include sealing up the engines and sensors to keep out dirt, birds and insects.  Engineering frequently check wings and landing gear areas for wildlife.  Rodents can damage wires and hydraulic lines.

The top three storage locations are in the U.S.: Roswell International Air Center in Nevada; Pinal County Airpark in Arizona; and Victorville Southern California Logistics Airport, with about 900 planes combined according to Cirium.

The percentage of passenger jets in storage continues to fall, but a third of the global fleet remains grounded.  As of August 10, Cirium classified a total of 8,750 widebody, narrowbody and regional jets in storage status, while nearly 17,500 were in service. During the spring, more than two-thirds of the global fleet was in storage.

Airlines are bringing back their newest aircraft first because of better operating efficiencies.  Cirium said that fewer than half of passenger jets built prior to 2013 were used in commercial flights recently.  The most active aircraft were built in 2017.

The longer aircraft are in storage, the more likely they are to require maintenance work before they can return to service, ranging from software and technical updates to following airworthiness directives and service bulletins.

Source: Benzinga.com/FreightWaves/Cirium

                         

 

 Researched and Compiled by : 

Ed Kaplanian    Commercial Aviation Advisor  

Contact – ekaplanian@msn.com

Editor:   Lee Kaplanian  

The Kaplanian Report – September 2020

ON THE BOEING FRONT

 Customers Harness Boeing’s Services Solutions to Support Operations and Growth

Boeing announced a number of services orders and agreements to support international customers, streamline their operations and enhance their future growth.

These supply chain solutions will simplify customers’ asset and maintenance management, inventory and operating costs, while improving parts availability.

The agreements for Boeing’s digital solutions will provide cost savings fleet-wide, enhance airline crew situational awareness and increase operational efficiency.

“As airlines and operators continue to respond to the current challenges facing the global air travel industry, our partners are moving forward, integrating creative solutions to continue connecting people around the world,” said Ted Colbert, president and CEO,Boeing Global Services.”  Boeing is working closely with our customers around the world, delivering the customized solutions they need to improve operational efficiency, support their fleets, and reduce their costs.”

Supply Chain agreements include:

-Alaska Airlines signed its largest consumable and expendable services agreement, with a multi-year agreement for solutions which include Tailored Parts Package and Quick Engine Change kits.  The agreement supports Alaska’s fleet of 737 airplanes and provides price and availability benefits that allow the airline to streamline its maintenance operations.  The Tailored Parts Package consists of 2,900 part numbers.  Throughout the term of this three-year agreement, Boeing anticipates the shipment of nearly 800,000 parts and four Quick Engine Chain kits, which will be used to configure spare engines to allow for quick return of an airplane to service when an engine needs to be repaired or replaced.

-ALL Nippon Airways, the largest airline in Japan, announced a partnership with Boeing Global Services to install a 787-9 galley facility in its new training center to enhance crew training opportunities. And also signed an agreement for ten Quick Engine Change Kits. 

Source: Boeing global Services

                    

ON THE AIRBUS FRONT

    Airbus Completed Its Autonomous Taxi, Take-Off & Landing Project

Airbus completed its Autonomous taxi, take-off, and landing project that saw one of its A350-1000 XWBs perform normally pilot-flown maneuvers entirely on its own.

The project’s successful completion opens the door for fully autonomous flights as autopilot already handles most of the functions while airborne.

The common belief with airplanes is that they fly themselves after take-off thanks to autopilot, and pilots can sit back and relax for most of the flight.  But Airbus just took that idea to the next level after proving a passenger jet can perform complex maneuvers without any pilot input.

The European manufacturer just completed flight testing for its Autonomous Taxi, Take-off, and landing project after its flagship aircraft successfully navigated each phase of flight on its own as pilots simply watched.

Over 500 flights were conducted with the new Airbus A350-1000 XWB that utilized         “ image recognition technology” to essentially give the plane a pair of eyes.  The technology, integrated with the A350’s exterior cameras, allowed it to perform the phases of flight on its own, Airbus announced.

With Airbus proving that its jet can also land and taxi on its own, the door is now open to fully autonomous flights.

Source: Airbus/Picture Airbus           

        

REGIONAL/BUSINESS JETS

            Textron Aviation Introduces the Beechcraft King Air 360 

Textron Aviation has ushered in the next generation of its King Air turboprop family with the Beechcraft King Air 360/360ER.

The updated turboprop offers the latest technological advancements in the cockpit, a redesigned cabin, and enhancements to passenger comfort.  The aircraft is currently in production with customer deliveries expected to begin in the Fall of 2020. 

The Cockpit is the new digital pressurization controller, which automatically schedules cabin pressurization during both climb and descent, reducing pilot workload and increasing overall passenger comfort.  The Pressurization gauges have been integrated with the powerful Collins Aerospace Pro Line Fusion flight deck.

With seating for up to nine passengers, the latest King Air offers an even greater passenger experience than its predecessor. The aircraft features a cabin altitude of when compared to the King Air 350i.  The improved cabin altitude levels provide greater comfort to passengers, especially during longer flights.

The new turboprop twin models are priced at $7.9 million and $8.795 million, respectively.

Source: Textron Aviation/Picture Textron Aviation

              Gulfstream Opens New Farnborough Service Center 

Gulfstream Aerospace’s new service center at Farnborough Airport is now open and took in its first aircraft, a Middle East-based Gulfstream, for service.  The 225,000 sq m to 20,903 sq m facility can simultaneously accommodate up to 13 ultra-long-range Gulfstream G650 or G700s.

The Farnborough center is able to provide maintenance, repair, and overhaul services, as well as interior refurbishments and aftermarket modifications.  To complement the site, Gulfstream’s Field and Airborne Support Teams(FAST) continues to maintain a presence at London Luton Airport.

“Gulfstream Farnborough is already seeing great demand,” said Gulfstream Customer Support president Derek Zimmerman.  ”This opening marks the completion of another goal in our overarching strategy to enhance convenience and increase options for our customers.  The new facilities we are building can better accommodate more of the large-cabin Gulfstream aircraft our customers are flying.”

Source: Gulfstream Aerospace

                                                                   

OTHER AVIATION NEWS

Israel Government Authority to Recommend El Al Control Permit for Rosenberg

Israel’s Government Companies Authority said it would recommend allowing Eli Rosenberg to buy control of cash-strapped El Al Israel Airlines.

Rosenberg in July offered to funnel $75 million into the airline in return for a 45% stake. He is the son of American businessman Kenny Rosenberg, who is CEO of New York-based nursing home chain Centers Health Care. 

The authority said it would allow control of Israel’s flag carrier with a stake of over $40% conditioned upon proof Rosenberg’s Israeli citizenship or regency.Israel would retain a golden share.

Israel’s finance and transport ministers also need to approve Rosenberg becoming the controlling shareholder.

El Al’s board had agreed to a bailout that could put the carrier back under state ownership after the coronavirus pushed it to the verge of bankruptcy.

The government has offered to back $250 million in bank loans while El Al must issue $150 million in shares, which the state will buy if no one else does.

The carrier’s unions have already agreed to a significant cost-cutting measures.

El Al, which has reported losses for two years running and racked up debt to renew its fleet, suspended flights when Israel closed its borders and furloughed most of its employees.

Source: Reuters/picture El Al

                Emirates Covers Customers from COVID-19 Expenses

Emirates will cover medical expenses of up to EUR 150,000 ($176,000) and quarantine costs of EUR 100 per day ($118.00 prepay for 14 days) should they be diagnosed with Covid-19 during their travel, while they are away from home.

This cover is provided by the airline, free of costs to its customers.

HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Emirates Group chairman and chief executive said: “Under the directive of his Highness Sheik Mohammed,UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, Emirates is proud to lead the way in boosting confidence for international travel.  We know people are yearning to fly as borders around the world gradually re-open, but they are seeking flexibility and assurances should something unforeseen happen during their travel.”

He added : “Emirates has worked hard to put in place measures at every step of the customer journey to mitigate risk of infection, and we have also revamped our booking policies to offer flexibility.   We are now taking it to the next level, by being the first in the industry to offer our customers free global cover for Covid-19 medical expenses and quarantine costs should they incur these costs during their travel.  It is an investment on our part, but we are putting our customers firsthand we believe they will welcome this initiative.”

Emirates is the first airline in the world to offer free, global cover for Covid-19 related costs.

Source: Emirates/Picture Emirates

      Taiwan Parliament Passes Proposal To Rebrand China Airlines

Taiwan’s parliament passed a proposal on July 22nd to rebrand the island’s largest airline to avoid confusion with carriers on the Chinese mainland.

China Airlines (CAL) is frequently mistaken for Air China… the mainland’s national carrier…and there have long been calls to rename it or make it more clearly Taiwanese.

But the movement received fresh impetus during the coronavirus pandemic, which Taiwan has successfully tackled.

The self-ruled island has sent medical aid overseas as a diplomatic gesture of goodwill, often on China Airlines aircraft, sparking some public confusion abroad over where the shipments had come from.

The motion did not set a timeline for when the airline should be eventually renamed, saying it would require further discussion.

The name China Airlines is a throwback to the aftermath of the Chinese Civil War, when the defeated Kuomintang nationalists fled to Taiwan.

The Republic of China …Taiwan’s official name…set itself up as a rival to the People’s Republic of China.

Taiwan has since morphed into one of Asia’s most progressive democracies and a distant Taiwanese identity has emerged.

Source: AFP

                                Deferral to Cost Twice as Much

Fiji Airways will have to pay double the amount it owes over a longer period of time if it gets a deferral on a loan, says managing director and CEO Andre Viljoen.

He made the comment while addressing public assumptions on the airline’s cost-cutting efforts.  Mr Vijoen said requesting for a decal from their financier would put the airline in more trouble.

“The second myth that some people are saying is you solve the problem with a deferral,” said Mr. Viljoen.

“ The Banks come to us and say ‘ sure, you can have three months or six months but that’s it ‘, and when the six months is over you repay it together with the normal payments so you got double the payments to make.”  So the noose was loosened slightly for a few months and re-tightened again but now it’s tighter.”

He said the only way a deferral of payment work was if the airline was committed to a longer plan.

According to Mr. Viljoen, Fiji Airways cannot simply hand back leased aircraft.  He said binding agreements signed between the national carrier, leasing companies and financial institutions were a “noose” the airline could not “wiggle out of”.

Fiji Airways has recurring costs of $38 million a month, which includes lease and loan repayments.  Mr. Viljoen said if the airline defaulted on the repayment for one aircraft, it could go belly up.

Source: The Fiji Times

          

      LATEST NEWS

  • Cathay Pacific Airways will transfer a third of passenger aircraft from Hong Kong. The first batch of 12 aircraft will will go to Alice Springs in Australia for storage.

  • Kawasaki, Korean Air renew 787 aft wheel bulkhead contract with Boeing tier one supplier Kawasaki Heavy Industries 
  • Boeing has secured an A$287 million($205 million) sustainment contract for the Royal Australian Air Force’s (RAAF) fleet of 12 P-8A maritime patrol aircraft.
  • Vistara, a joint venture between TATA group and Singapore Airlines, took delivery of its first Airbus A321neo in New Delhi on July 24th.

  • KLM will retire its last three Boeing 747-400s in October.  In March KLM announced it would retire the seven total passenger airplanes that were in its fleet, a move prompted by the coronavirus crisis.

  • Boeing’s third 777X airframe has launched on its maiden flightless than a week after the airframer said its first delivery of the type would be pushed back to 2022.
  • Icelandair Group is cutting four Boeing 737 Max jets from its order commitment and revising deliveries of the remaining six as part of a final settlement with Boeing.
  • Cessna SkyCourier the second SkyCourier 408 completed its second flight which lasted one hour and 35 minutes, and reached a maximum altitude of 14,200 feet, and a maximum speed of 210kt (378km/h).

  • Boeings 737 Max backlog declined nearly 20% in the first seven months of 2020,   with the company stripping more than 850 jets from its books due to order cancellations and accounting adjustments.
  • Cathay Pacific appears to have converted a pair of Airbus A350-1000s to the Smaller-900 variant, the Hong Kong-based carrier’s half-year accounts indicate.

Sources: Boeing, Icelandair, Cessna, Cathay Pacific, KLM, Vistara.

AIR CARGO

         GECAS Cargo Tops Up Orderbook with More 737-800BCFs

GECAS(GE Capital Aviation Services) signed an agreement with Boeing converting 11 737-800 Boeing Converted Freighter(BCF) options to firm orders and adding nine additional options to the GECAS Cargo order book.

This agreement marks a repeat order by the commercial aircraft leasing and financing arm of General Electric for the 737-800BCF, bringing their total order book for the type to 74(60 firm and 14 options) since the narrowbody conversion program was announced in 2015.  The 20 in this agreement are scheduled to complete conversions between 2022 and 2024.  To date, Boeing has delivered 23 of the converted 737-800BCFs to GECAS for its leasing customers.

“It is an honor to extend our strong partnership with GECAS as they place their third repeat order for the 737-800BCF.  GECAS is renowned for providing great freighter solutions and this order is another testament to the 737-800BCF’s ability to extend the life of an airplane and help cargo carriers reduce operating costs,” said Ihssane Mounir, senior vice president of commercial sales and marketing, The Boeing Company.

Source: GECAS

             S7 Plans to Receive Two Boeing Boeing 737-800BCFs

S7 has signed a contract with GECAS to supply two Boeing 737-800BCF air freighters, the Russian air carrier said on Thursday August 13th.  These are the first airplanes fully focused on freight transportation only in the airline fleet.

S7 Airlines ”plans to receive two Boeing 737-800BCF aircraft in November 2020 and in January 2021.”  S7 Cargo, the master agent for sales of freight transportation by S7 Group of companies, will implement commercial management of cargo traffic, the company said .

“ The extra capabilities will be engaged in destinations with high demand and limited capabilities of freight compartments of passenger aircraft.  The wide geography of S7 Airlines’ flights, cooperation with leading logistical companies and branched network of agents enable us to carry various categories of goods and mail within short terms and support efficient loading of aircraft.  According to our estimate, new airplanes will enable increasing the volume of transported cargo and mail by 30%,” S7 cargo CEO IIya Yaroslavtsev said in a comment.

Source: Russian Aviation/ Picture S7

                OTHER NOTEWORTHY NEWS

       Boeing Recognized for Sustainability Leadership

On August 13, 2020, Boeing received a 2020 Sustainability Leadership Award from the National Association of Manufactures.

The award recognizes the company’s innovative efforts to recycle aerospace carbon fiber, diverting waste away from landfills across the globe.

Since 2018, Boeing has partnered with UK based ELG Carbon Fiber to recycle excess aerospace carbon fiber.  Boeing collects the scrap material, which ELG then treats in a furnace to remove binding agents. The result of the process is clean material that can be sold to third parties to make products such as electronic accessories and automotive equipment.

“Boeing is demonstrating that you can be environmentally sustainable in a cost effective way,” said Bryan Scott, vice president of Environment, Health & Safety at Boeing.  ”We are the largest consumer of aerospace-grade composite and the only company able to recycle 100% of it.”

The carbon fiber recycling process has now been implemented at 11 of Boeing’s global airplane manufacturing sites.  Most excess carbon fiber comes from sites in Australia, the Puget Sound region of Washington state, and Salt lake City,Utah.

Boeing will train companies on the recycling process ,beginning with its supply chain.  “Creating commercially viable solutions for recycling carbon fiber composites is good for the industry and good for the environment”, said Tia Benson, director of advanced Materials and Product Development at Boeing.

Source: Boeing

 

                         

 

Researched and Compiled by : 

Ed Kaplanian    Commercial Aviation Advisor  

Contact – ekaplanian@msn.com

Editor:   Lee Kaplanian  

The Kaplanian Report August 2020

ON THE BOEING FRONT

                    smart pipe’  Technology for New Boeing 777X

Inmarsat and Boeing are delivering digital aircraft transformation through innovative new ‘smart pipe’ technology on board the new Boeing 777X aircraft.

The new advance in communications technology provides fast and secure inflight broadband connectivity, from the cockpit to the cabin, allowing airlines to use multiple third-party applications at the same time.

The brand new infrastructure has been designed to independently allocate connectivity bandwidth to multiple applications. This enables airlines to unlock important operational benefits such as predictive maintenance, route optimization, modernised air traffic management and real time crew communications, while also offering enhanced passenger entertainment, including high-speed internet and live television.

This ‘smart pipe’ functionality means that applications delivered on two of Inmarsat’s award-winning satcom solutions-GX Aviation and SwiftBroadband-safety (SB_S)-are each able to have a unique service level agreement and guaranteed performance levels, independent of other applications that are also operating through the same terminal.

Phillip Balaam, President of Inmarsat Aviation, said: “Inmarsat’s GX Aviation and SB_S are already established as the aviation industry’s most advanced global connectivity solutions.”

“The results from initial tests for our ‘smart pipe’ are promising and we look forward to continuing our collaboration with Boeing in preparation for the forthcoming entry into service of its new 777X aircraft.”

Source: Arabien Aerospace/Picture Boeing

                      

ON THE AIRBUS FRONT

       Airbus Concludes ATTOL with Fully Autonomous Flight Tests

In completing this project, Airbus has achieved autonomous taxiing, take-off and landing (ATTOL) of a commercial aircraft through fully automatic vision-based flight tests using on- board image recognition technology-a world- first in aviation.

In total, over 500 test flights were conducted.  Approximately 450 of those flights were dedicated to gathering raw video data, to support and fine tune algorithms; while a series of six test flights, each one including five take-offs and landings per run, were used to test autonomous flight capabilities. 

The ATTOL project was initiated by Airbus to explore how autonomous technologies, including the use of machine learning algorithms and automated tools for data labelling, processing and model generation, could help pilots focus less on aircraft operations and more on strategic decision-making and mission management.  Airbus is now able to analyze the potential of these technologies for enhancing future aircraft operations, all the while improving aircraft safety, ensuring today’s unprecedented levels are maintained.

Airbus will continue research into the application of autonomous technologies along  other innovations in areas such as materials, alternative propulsion systems and connectivity.  By leveraging these opportunities, Airbus is opening up possibilities for creating new business models that will transform how aircraft are developed, manufactured, flown, powered and serviced.

Source: Airbus/Picture Airbus            

        

REGIONAL/BUSINESS JETS

                         Bombardier Delivers 350th Challenger 350

Bombardier celebrated the 350th delivery of its super-midsize Challenger 350, a milestone reached some six years after the 3,200-nm-range twinjet entered service it announced July 9th.  The Canadian business aircraft manufacturer launched the model in 2013 as an upgraded version of the Challenger 300, with a new wing, more powerful Honeywell HTF7350 engines, larger cabin windows, and redesigned interior.

“The 350th delivery of a Challenger 350 aircraft, reached after only six years in service, speaks volumes,” said Bombardier Business Aircraft senior v-p of worldwide sales and marketing Peter Likoray.  ”This achievement shows the great confidence customers place in this aircraft and demonstrates Bombardier’s production proficiency and strong supplier base.”

As of May 31, the worldwide fleet of challenger 350s has logged more than 648,000 flight hours and more than 383,000 landings.

Source: Bombardier/Picture Bombardier

                 Air China Completes Its Maiden ARJ21 Service 

Air China has completed its maiden flight of a Comic ARJ21 on the domestic routing from Beijing to Xilinhot.

The Star Alliance carrier took delivery of its first of the regional jet on June 28 alongside China Eastern Airlines and China Southern Airlines.

Last August, the three carriers announced on the same day deals to each purchase 35 ARJ21-700 regional jets from COMAC, with deliveries from 2020 through 2024.

The ARJ21 entered commercial operations four years ago after a lengthy development period and is China’s first domestically manufactured airliner.

Source: Comac/Picture Air China        

                                                             

OTHER AVIATION NEWS

                          VIP RAF Voyager Ready for Global Role 

The Royal Air Force (RAF) Voyager “Vespina” has completed its refurbishment to provide a secure, cost-effective and suitably profiled transport for Government Ministers and the Royal Family. The aircraft now proudly displays the Union Flag alongside RAF markings and is ready to represent the UK across the globe.

The smart new paint scheme will promote the UK around the world while transporting Ministers, senior members of the Royal Family and their delegations on trade, diplomatic and other missions.

After weeks of work, the Voyager returned to RAF Brize Norton where it will operate alongside the rest of the RAF Voyager fleet. Alongside its VIP Role, the aircraft remains certified for its original use, including Air-to Air Refueling and personnel transport. It can fly from almost any airport across the world that can take an Airbus A330, and its range allows it to reach much of the world without costly and time-consuming refueling.

The aircraft, known as Vespina is also referred as’ZZ336’ which is its military registration number, was previously visually indistinguishable from the rest of the Operational Voyager Fleet. This external Paint Scheme will better reflect its VIP mission and Contribution to ‘Global Britain’.

Source: RAF News/Picture RAF

           British Airways Took Delivery of Its First Boeing 787-10 

On Sunday June 28, 2020, British Airways took delivery of the first of twelve Boeing 787-10 aircraft.

Aircraft G-ZBLA  landed at London Heathrow after being dispatched from Charleston, South Carolina .

The arrival of the Boeing 787-10 aircraft is some six months later than intended.

BA originally planned to take delivery of six Boeing 787-10s this year, with the first originally due in January and all twelve aircraft delivered by 2023.  The first route was due to be Atlanta, but this may change.

IAG has confirmed that, since Covid-19, it plans to defer the delivery of eleven new long-haul aircraft between now and 2022—some of these include planned deliveries to Iberia.

The Boeing 787-10 will take BA’s fleet of 787 family aircraft to 42. Compared to other Boeing 787 aircraft, the 787-10 is a larger aircraft, with length of 68 m(223 ft) compared to 57m(187ft) for the 787-8 and 63m(206ft) for the 787-9, but with the same height and wingspan.

Other airlines operating the 787-10 include Etihad, Singapore Airlines and United Airlines.

For BA, the Boeing 787-10 is configured in four classes with 8 seats in first Class, 48 in Club World (featuring Ba’s new Club Suite), 35 seats in World Traveller Plus and 156 seats in World Traveller.

Source: london travel.com/British Airways/Picture British Airways  

      LATEST NEWS

  • Sino-Russian CR929 Russia has disclosed that the Sino-Russian CR929 wide body program will make its first delivery in 2028-2029, with what appears to be another round of delays in the program’s production time line.
  • American Airlines’ pilot union is now reviewing Boeing’s latest 737 Max pilot training draft—a document the union describes as vastly more thorough than previous drafts.
  • Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 Operators of Rolls-Royce powered Boeing 787s are set to be instructed to conduct inspections of Certain Trent 1000 low-pressure turbine discs, over a possible braking risk.
  • De Havilland Canada delivered the first of six Dash 8-400 aircraft to TAAG Angola Airlines, as it builds out its networks to the country’s smaller communities.
  • BOC Aviation has cancelled an order for 30 Boeing 737 Max jets, and intends to defer delivery of others.
  • Airbus delivered 196 aircraft over the first six months of the year, half the figure of 389 it had achieved at the same point in 2019.

  • FAA(the Federal Aviation Administration)  has completed three days of flight tests on the Boeing 737 Max ahead of possible recertification in the coming months.
  • China Southern Airlines launches ARJ21-700 service with an inaugural flight between Gangzhou and Jieyang, a city in eastern Guangdong province. 

  • Helvetic Airways has signed a commitment with Embraer to convert four of their remains firm orders to the larger E195-E2 aircraft.

  • Garuda Indonesia is in talks with Airbus to delay deliveries of four aircraft this year.The Indonesian flag carrier has nine A330neos on order that have yet to be delivered, according to the Airbus order book.

Sources: Airbus, Garuda, BOC Aviation, Embraer, De Havilland Canada, Rolls -Royce, Flightglobal.

AIR CARGO

        Sky Gates Airlines Grows Fleet by Adding a B747-400 Freighter

After launching services between Russia, Europe and the Far East at the end of last year; Sky Gates Cargo airlines is going to increase their freighter fleet with another Boeing 747-400 freighter.

The Boeing 747-400F is an ex-Cathay Pacific aircraft which is currently operated by Silk Way West Airlines who is the partner airline of Sky Gates.

Sky Gates is a Russian all-cargo airline with its European Hub in Maastricht serving Moscow and Novosibirsk on scheduled bases to and from the Fair East.

Senior vice president, Nidjat Babayev explains: “As a startup carrier we are happy to pursue our strategy in increasing our fleet step-by-step.  After having received the 2nd aircraft, the planning of a 3rd 747-400F will start.

“We are motivated by the support of our customers and we are convinced of the huge potential the Russian air cargo market will offer Sky Gates. Not only we do see high numbers of flown hours on our first aircraft, we already do have commitments on the 2nd aircraft.”

Source: Air Cargo Week

 OTHER NOTEWORTHY NEWS

                          British Airways Retires Its Boeing 747s

On July 17th, British Airways said it has retired “with immediate effect” its 31 Boeing 747s, adding that the airplanes have “likely” flown their last commercial service.  The airline attributed the abrupt decision to accelerate the retirements to Covid-19 affects.

For over 50 years, Boeing’s “Queen of the Skies” has been the world’s most easily recognized jetliner with its humped fuselage and four engines.  But its days were already numbered before the pandemic struck earlier this year.

The move by BA comes after Australia’s Qantas Airways said in June it would retire its remaining 747 felt immediately, six months ahead of schedule.

BA’s predecessor airline BOAC first introduced the 747 on London-NewYork route in 1971 after one year delay caused with dispute with pilots over terms for flying the new jet.

Hugh Dibley, a former BOAC captain and racing driver who joined the airline in 1958, said the 747’s introduction marked a new era, but was beset with teething problems with its engines.

Landing and taxiing also took some getting used to, from the cockpit positioned almost 30 feet above the ground-or more when angling the nose higher just before touching the runway.

“It was a delight to fly as it was so stable.  The initial issue was its height from the ground.  It was like landing a block of flats from the 2nd floor,” Dibley told Reuters.

BA’s Jumbos are the 747-400 model, the most-sold version of the jet which was introduced in 1989.  After BA, only a handful of airlines including Rossiya Airlines and Air China continue to operate them, according to Cirium data.

Source: Reuters/Picture British Airways

 

 

                         

Researched and Compiled by : 

Ed Kaplanian    Commercial Aviation Advisor  

Contact – ekaplanian@msn.com

Editor:   Lee Kaplanian  

 

 

 

The Kaplanian Report July 2020

ON THE BOEING FRONT

           CAAC Leading Industry’s Recovery: Boeing Executive

“The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) is playing a leading role in guiding the recovery of China’s aviation industry amid the Covid-19 pandemic”, Stan Deal, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, said Wednesday, June 10th.

“It’s important that we reassure passengers and crew through words and action that flying in an airplane is safe and secure.  China’s aviation sector is responding to this challenge,” Deal told Xinhua.  

“We commend the CAAC for taking a leadership role is putting in place protocols to curb the spread of Covid-119 and encourage the safe resumption of flying,” he said.

The industry at large appreciates the agency’s guidelines for airports, operators and crew members on easing the transition to regular commercial flights, Deal noted. 

It is encouraging to see ” domestic traffic in China” reach “70 percent of pre-Covid levels,”

he added.

The aviation industry is facing an unprecedented shock from the pandemic, the speed and scale of which have not been seen in more than a century.

“However, this is a resilient industry that will recover and grow again,” said Deal.

Boeing has launched its “Confident Travel Initiative” to explore technologies to further minimize air travel health risks and heighten public awareness of safeguards already in place.

In China, ”air traffic is beginning the long climb back to pre-Covid levels.  People need and want to fly.   We are working hard with our industry partners to make sure they can do so,” Deal said.

Source : Xinhua News Agency/Microsoft Azure Translator   

               

ON THE AIRBUS FRONT

    Last A380 Convoy In French Village Spells End of an Aviation Era

The last convoy of outsize parts for the A380 airliner crawled towards an assembly plant in southwest France late Wednesday, June 17th, was applauded by residents and production workers as Europe’s Airbus prepares to build the last A380.

Trucks carrying three fuselage sections squeezed through the rural village of Levignac on their way to Toulouse, where the final A380 will be assembled before the model ends production in 2021, just 14 years after entering service.

Faced with weak sales of the four-engined airplane, beaten on efficiency by smaller jets like the Airbus A350 and Boeing 787, Airbus announced the early halt last year.

One truck bore the sign “Goodbye Saint-Nazaire,” the name of the French plant where some sections are pre-assembled.

Airbus had bet billions on its vision of 555-seater jets, but without the A380, executives argued, Airbus would not have been able to knit a consortium of France, Germany, Britain and Spain into one European entity.

Source: Reuters/Picture Airbus           

        

REGIONAL/BUSINESS JETS

                                        Netherlands Air Force One

The Netherlands recently acquired a new VIP Boeing Business Jet 737 for top government officials to use.

The Dutch royal family as well as high-ranking officials such as the prime minister, use the aircraft for state business, including traveling overseas for state visits.

King Willem-Alexander, as a licensed pilot, frequently flies the aircraft and it was revealed the royal was flying for fun as a KLM Royal Dutch Airlines co-pilot for 21 years. The royal kept a low profile, never revealing his identity to passengers.

When KLM retired the aircraft he flew, a Fokker 70, it was time for the king to get upgraded to a larger jet: the Boeing 737.  Retraining on the new plane meant Willem-Alexander could fly the Boeing 737 from the manufacturer’s Boeing Business Jet facility in Seattle to the Netherlands.

Source : Business Insider/Picture Boeing Business Jet

                          Gulfstream to End G550 Production

Gulfstream is nearing the end of the line for its workhorse G550 with the announcement that it has taken the last order for the ultra-long-range twinjet.  Ending what will be an 18-year production run, final commercial version will be delivered to a customer in 2021.

After a program launch in 2000, the G550 entered service in 2003 with the debut of the airframes’s PlaneView flight dockhand.   Its design team earned that year’s Robert J. Collier Trophy for its technological innovations and safety enhancements.  The G550 has since been supplanted in the company’s product lineup by the G600, which entered service last year.

“The G550 set the standard for subsequent aircraft and the industry,” said Gulfstream president Mark Burns.  ”With more than 600 in service, the G550 has earned its place  as a leader in business aviation.”  With a range of 6,750 nm and high altitude capabilities, the up-to-19-passenger aircraft also saw use as a special mission platform.

Source: Gulfstream/Picture Gulfstream

                                                                 

OTHER AVIATION NEWS

                             Sabeti Wain Lets Passengers Sit Safely

Sabeti Wain Aerospace, which dominates the Middle East region with its aircraft seating covers, has developed a seat safety product for airlines to consider.

“The seat safety product is a clear plastic flat packed-so it can be stored in the cabin without taking too much room,” said Paymen Sabeti, director.

The product has been development following the current Covid-19 pandemic to offer safety and peace of mind for both passengers and airlines.

“The seat safety product can be attached behind the headrest on the seat and will over the sides and the top of the passengers head from the passenger sitting next to and behind.  It is priced to be affordable and purchased in large numbers for all economy seats in the cabin,” said Sabeti.

Sabeti said the company, which has a facility in Dubai, offers two options; plain plastic or with leather or fabric stitched to the sides and back.

Source: Sabeti Wain Aerospace/Picture Sabeti Wain Picture

                                KLM Trials Sustainable Taxiing

On May 27 KLM started taking part in a trial at Schiphol to test sustainable ways to taxi aircraft. The trial is being carried out with a Taxibot. This is a hybrid towing vehicle which, unlike the normal pushback trucks, is licensed to tow full aircraft to near the start of the runway, without the aircraft having to start its engines.

This is expected to reduce fuel consumption during taxiing by 50% to 85%.  Schiphol Airport has made Taxibot available to KLM, Transavia and Corendon to enable them to carry out joint research into more sustainable ways to taxi.

During the test, an empty KLM Boeing 737 was towed to the runway by the Taxibot. ”It’s important to find out how far we can cut CO2 emissions by using the Taxibot,” explained KLM’s project manager, Jeroen Jaartsveld.

We’d also like to know how long it takes to taxi with the Taxibot, what effect this has on aircraft engines maintenance, and how we might introduce sustainable taxiing with Taxibots on a large scale into Schiphol’s daily operations”.

KLM’s sustainability initiative, Fly Responsibly, launched last year, included a commitment to reducing carbon emissions caused by taxiing.

This will contribute to KLM’s ambition to cut its fleet’s total carbon emissions by 15% compared to 2005.

Source: KLM/KLM Picture

        S.Korea to Lease Korean Air’s 747-8i as New Presidential Plane

Both Korea signed a five year contract with Korean Air Lines Co. in May to lease a Boeing 747-8i jet as the next presidential plane, the defense ministry said.

Under a 242.3 million US dollars deal, the country’s No.1 air carrier will provide pilots, crew members, mechanics, as well as a back-up plane of the same type for the president’s overseas trips, according to the ministry.

The plane will enter service in November next year after going through remodeling work necessary inspection, it said.

The lease period for the current presidential jet, 747-400, was originally planned to expire in March after a five-year operation, but has been extended until October next year as the government failed to find a new contractor in time.

The new plane will be equipped with various security and communication devices, as well as hardware to improve its defense against outside attacks, such as missiles.

A ministry official said while a purchase option is not currently on the table, the government can consider buying when circumstances are met.

Source: Yonhap News 

      

LATEST NEWS

  • Southwest & JetBlue top annual list of most satisfying air carriers published by J.D. Power.                                                                                                                                                 
  • United Airlines delivered 7,500 face masks to front line employees at San Francisco International Airport and the airline’s San Francisco Maintenance Base that were made from 12,284 pounds of uniforms United upcycled.                                                                   
  • Rolls-Royce Deutschland has delivered the 8,000th engine manufactured at its Dahlewiz, Germany facility.The milestone engine, A BR725 powerplant, went to Gulfstream Aerospace and will be installed on a G650ER.                                                         
  • EasyJet has reached an agreement with Airbus to push back by five years the delivery of 24 aircraft.
  • Middle East Airlines(MEA) introduces a new livery with its first Airbus A321neo.  The company is also celebrating its 75th anniversary.
  • Textron Aviation has delivered the 250th Cessna Citation M2 entry-level jet on June 15 to Fast Rabbit Aviation in Seattle.

  • Qatar Airways has finally retaken delivery of its Boeing 787-9s.The four aircraft arrived following a period in storage at Southern California Logistics Airport in Victorville.

Source: Textron, Qatar, Rolls-Royce, United airline, Middle East Airlines

 

AIR CARGO

                      DHL Orders Freighter Conversion  of 767-300ERs

German express carrier DHL has contracted with Israel Aerospace Industries(IAI) to convert three Boeing 767-300ER passenger planes to all-cargo configuration.

The contract, which IAI stated also includes an option for DHL to have IAI to convert a fourth 767-300ER to freighter service.

DHL operates more than 260 aircraft with 17 partner airlines on more than 3,000 daily flights.

In February, DHL received the first of six new Boeing 777-200LR freighters scheduled for delivery this year.   The company ordered 14 777-200 LRFs in 2018, with four delivered last year and another four coming in 2021.

Source: DHL/Picture DHL

 

OTHER NOTEWORTHY NEWS

                Alaska Airlines Advances Airbus A320 Retirements

Alaska Airlines is moving forward with plans to retire more Airbus A320s even as it ponders the shape its future fleet amid uncertainty over the recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

The Seattle-based carrier is keeping plans to retire seven of its 49 remaining A320s in 2021, under an updated fleet plan released on Monday June 22nd.  In addition, Alaska will retire one 737-800 and hopes to take delivery of 15 737MAX 8s next year.

The move comes as Alaska continues to weigh whether to keep the A320s planned through around 2024, or accelerate their retirement due to the pandemic.

Alaska has retired 12 planes its 10 A319s plus two A320s so far in the crisis.  And while the update fleet plan does not show more aircraft retirements this year, the airline noted in a footnote that: “it is probable that the current outlook as stated will change significantly.”

The fate of the classic A320 jets that Alaska inherited from Virgin America has been questioned since their merger in 2016.  Alaska was an all 737 mainline operator for nearly a decade prior to the merger, something it touted by emblazoning the slogan “Proudly All Boeing” on the fuselage of its Boeing jets.

The 2021 fleet plan does not outline a long-term decision for Alaska. What it does do to paraphrase Deutsche Bank analyst Michael Linenberg, is confute to make the fleet decision “in real time.”

Earlier in June, Alaska president Ben Minicucci said the airline only plans to fly about half of what it flew in 2019 in August.   On the top that, Alaska will be 20% smaller in 2021 than it was last year with revenues down as much as 35%.

Source: Alaska Airlines/Ed’s Research

                         

 

 

Researched and Compiled by :

Ed Kaplanian    Commercial Aviation Advisor 

Contact – ekaplanian@msn.com

Editor:   Lee Kaplanian 

 

 

Kaplanian Report – June 2020

ON THE BOEING FRONT

    Boeing to Model Potential Spread of Pathogens Inside Aircraft Cabin

Boeing appointed an executive on Thursday, May 14, to lead the company’s Confident Travel Initiative, the plan that intended to help people get back on planes.

Boeing named Mike Delany, currently vice president of digital transformation at Boeing Commercial Airplanes, to the role, which aims to “minimize air travel health risks” in a Covid-19 world.

“As air travel slowly begins to resume and restrictions ease around the globe, health and safety remain our top priorities,” said Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun in the company’s news release.  ”Mike’s deep technical expertise, leadership skills, industry knowledge and great passion for our customers make him uniquely qualified to lead this effort.”

Delany will work with Boeing customers to design and implement policies regarding facial coverings, plane cleaning, and temperature checks.  The checks will have to be completed before boarding, adding another level of complexity for travelers and airlines.

Boeing also referenced its commitment to air quality when announcing the new role.  All Boeing planes are equipped with high-efficiency particulate air, also known as HEPA, filters, ”similar to those used in hospitals and industrial clean room.”  The company says HEPA filters are better than 99.9% effective at removing particulates including viruses.

Air filtration helps, but it doesn’t eliminate the risk of disease transmission. Bacteria and viruses are viable on surfaces—such as seat-back pockets—for some time after being deposited by a cough or sneeze.

Boeing hopes modeling will predict how the virus might spread through aircraft with differing seating configurations.The company hopes to determine how variables such as coughing (with or without masks) and use of hand sanitizer might affect potential contagion.

“We are using science as opposed to anecdote…and emotionally-driven responses,” says Delany, who is also Boeing’s vice-president of digital transformation.

Source: Boeing/Barron’s/Picture Shtterstock

                      

ON THE AIRBUS FRONT

                   Airbus Opens A220 Hanger in Mobile, Alabama

Airbus celebrated a pair of milestones at its commercial aircraft production in Mobile, Alabama; announcing the official inauguration of production activities in its newly built final assembly line hanger and the start of the first U.S.-built A220 for JetBlue.

The new 270,000-sq-ft hanger, capable of accommodating assembly of both A220-100 and A220-300 aircraft, has officially opened for business after an 18-month construction project.   It houses five primary assembly stations where workers attach major airframe component assemblies for a completed aircraft in a flow line process. Airbus began producing A220 aircraft in Mobile in August 2019, using space in an existing A320 final assembly line hanger, and newly built support hangers.  With the completion of the new hanger, the Airbus production site in Alabama has doubled in size.

Airbus recently welcomed the first component assemblies destined to become an A220 for JetBlue into the new hanger.  JetBlue will become the second customer that takes an A220 from Mobile, following Delta Air Lines.  JetBlue expects to take delivery of the first U.S.-made A220 during this year’s fourth quarter.

“The team is excited to start working in their new facility and welcome a new customer,” said Airbus president of A220 USA Paul Gaskell. “It’s a strong endorsement from JetBlue in this challenging time,” said Paul Gaskell, president of A220 USA and head of A220 Program in Mobile.

Source: Airbus/Airbus Photo

         

        REGIONAL/BUSINESS JETS

                           Cessna SkyCourier Completes First Flight

The Cessna SkyCourier twin-turboprop prototype lifted off on its first flight Sunday morning May 17 from Beech Field at Textron Aviation’s east campus in Wichita. Piloted by senior test pilot Corey Eckhart and chief test pilot Aaron Tobias, the utility twin flew for two hours and 15 minutes.

“We were very pleased with how the Cessna SkyCourier performed throughout its first flight,” Eckhart said.”It was particularly impressive to see how stable the aircraft handled on takeoff and landing. The Cessna SkyCourier already displays a high level of maturity in its flight characteristics, especially for a first flight.”

“We were able to accomplish everything we wanted on this flight, and that’s an excellent start to the flight test program.”

With an initial order from FedEx for 50 copies of the high-wing airplane and options for 50 more, the SkyCourier is capable of flying 200 ktas powered by two 1,100-shp Pratt & Whitney PT6A-65SC turboprop engines driving 110-inch McCauley propellers.  It also features a Garmin G1000 NXi flight deck.

Configurable for both cage and commuter operations, the high-wing turboprop is designed to carry a payload of up to 6,000 pounds.  It is equipped with an 87-inch cargo door, a flat floor, and a nearly 70-inch tall and wide cabin to accept three standard LD3 air cargo containers.  In passenger configuration, it will have seating for up to 19 passengers, with a netted cabin area for luggage and equipment.  It also will be available in a mixed passenger/cargo combination.

Source: Textron Aviation

         Boeing Business Jets New Aircraft Development Continues 

As the 737 Max crisis rumbles on, Boeing says it is “staying close to VIP customers” on the re-engines narrow body.

Two examples of the BBJ Max 8 have been delivered green to date, and while Boeing is continuing to work on the -9 and -7 variants, it will not give a delivery timeframe for either model.

The pair were originally scheduled for certification and customer handover in 2020 and 2022 respectively.  Boeing records 14 orders for the CFM international Leap-1B-powered BBJ Max, most of them -8s- though Boeing Business Jet expects the shorter Max 7 to be the eventual favorite, owing to its 7,000nm(13000km)-range:360nm longer than the -8 and 675nm longer than the -9.

Boeing has also expanded its VIP wide body offering with the introduction in late 2018 of the BBJ777X.  The twin-aisle airliner is the updated version of the BBJ 777, of which Boeing has sold 13 examples to date.

Boeing describes the 777X as a “far superior offering”, with GE Aviation GE9X engines and a new, more advanced composite wing.

As of this month two Boeing BBJ Max 8s have been delivered.

Source: Boeing Business Jets/Picture Boeing

                                                                      

OTHER AVIATION NEWS

Air France Terminates A380 Fleet with Immediate Effect

Air France has accelerated plans to phase out its Airbus A380 fleet and will retire the aircraft immediately rather than in 2022 as previously scheduled.

Air France grounded its A380s on March 16 as the coronavirus pandemic began to take a toll on operations, before ultimately suspending the majority of its scheduled passenger flights. Air France-KLM announced on May 20 the “definitive end” of the French carrier’s Airbus A380 operations.

“Initially scheduled by the end of 2022, the phase-out of Airbus A380 fleet fits in the Air France-KLM Group fleet simplification strategy of making the fleet more competitive, by continuing its transformation with more modern, high-performance aircraft with significantly reduced environmental footprint,” the group says.

Five of the Airbus A380 aircraft in the current fleet are owned by Air France or on finance lease.  A further four are on operating lease.  Air France-KLM says the impact of the A380 phase-out write down is estimated at $547 million dollars and will be booked in the second quarter of 2020 as a non-current cost/expenses.  The fleet is powered by Engine Alliance GP7200s.

In December Air France-KLM Group said it was ordering another 10 Airbus A350-900s, which would be used to replace the company’s A380s.

Source: Air France/Picture Air France

                                Delta to Retire Its 777 Fleet

Delta Air Lines will retire its Boeing 777 fleet by the end of 2020 as the coronavirus crisis continues to disrupt global travel, creating openings for airlines to permanently streamline fleets and save money by shifting to more-efficient aircraft.  The move will leave Delta with a single type of ultra-long aircraft: Airbus A350s.

The Atlanta-based airline has 18 777s, including 10 of the long-range 777-200LR variant, according to Cirium fleets data.  Nine of these are currently operating and nine are in storage.

Delta’s first 777s joined the fleet 21 years ago, and the airline says it will replace them with its next-generation A350-900s;  which burn 21% less fuel than the Boeing jets. Delta has nine  A350s in service, four in storage and 12 on order, according to Cirium.

In past weeks the airline used 777s for cargo and repatriation flights between North American and cities in Asia,Europe and Australia.

Source: Delta Air Lines/Picture Delta Air Lines 777-200LR

           Airbus and Rolls-Royce Have Axed the E-Fan X Project

Airbus and Rolls-Royce axed the e-FanX demonstrator programs year before the experimental hybrid-electric engine airliner was supposed to fly.  The E-Fan X program was launched to explore electric aviation and involved equipping a BAE Systems Avro RJ100 with a hybrid powertrain.  But Airbus chief technology officer Grazia Vittadini says the airframer is having to “ navigate the realities” of a world impacted by the corona virus crisis, and concentrate on priorities.

She says Airbus and Rolls-Royce have as a result “jointly decided” to “bring the E-Fan X demonstrator to an end”.  “As with all ground-breaking research projects, it’s our duty to constantly evaluate and reprioritize them to ensure alignment with our ambitions,” she adds.

“These decisions are not always easy.  But they are undoubtedly necessary to stay the course.”  Vittadini points out that the effort to decarbonize the aviation industry is “no small feat”, adding: “to achieve this, we need to re-focus all our efforts on technology bricks that will take us there.”  The E-Fan X, launched in 2017, was due to carry out its maiden flight in 2021.

Source: Flightglobal

   Mitsubishi Aircraft to Close all Non-Japan Locations, Shelves M100 

Mitsubishi Aircraft is closing all non-Japan locations and moving all Spacejet activities back to its headquarters in Nagoya, Japan, above coming in response to cost pressure amid the coronavirus aerospace downturn.

As part of the consolidation to Japan, the company will halt flight testing of its 90-seat SpaceJet M100 regional jet and suspend development of its 76-seat M100, Mitsubishi Aircraft says.

Most effected outside Japan is its operations in the US Northwest.  The Mitsubishi Aircraft U.S. headquarters in Renton will close, and flight test operations in Moses Lake will cease operations.

Mitsubishi Aircraft has not announced any change to a plan under which its parent Mitsubishi Heavy Industries will acquire Bombardiers’s CRJ program for $550 million.

Source: Mitsubishi Aircraft/Picture Mitsubishi Aircraft        

      

LATEST NEWS

  • BOC Aviation has signed a purchase-and-leaseback agreement with Southwest Airlines for 10 Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft.
  • Emirates largest operator of the Airbus A380 axes the aircraft and seen cutting deliveries.
  • Boeing the U.S. Navy received its 100th P-8A aircraft from Boeing on May 14 as the global fleet, which also includes the Indian navy and the Australian and the U.K. airfares approaches 300,000 flight hours.

  • Lauda subsidiary of Ryanair plans to cancel all Airbus deliveries and replace them with ones from Boeing.

  • American Airlines is parking its fleet of Airbus A330-200s in storage until at least 2022, part of the airline’s broader effort to downsize in response to the Covid-19 Pandemic.
  • Air Lease Corp said it would reduce capital expenditure on new jets in a move likely to restrict its-near-term growth; but still support liquidity’s it faces demands from airlines for rental relief seen as crucial to their survival.
  • United Aircraft of Russia is set to begin mating the tail and engine pylons for the first llyushin ll-96-400M, which is undergoing assembly at the Voronezh-based VSO plant.

  • Saab Aircraft has secured an SKr1.6 billion ($ 165 million) order for an undisclosed number of its Saab 2000 Erieye airborne early warning control (AEW&C) system aircraft.

Source:  Air Lease, Emirates,Saab Aircraft,American Airlines, Ryanair, United Aircraft,Boeing

 

AIR CARGO

     Alaska Airlines Transports  First Copper River Salmon to Seattle

Alaska Airlines teamed with partners to fly the first catch of salmon from Copper River to Seattle on May 15th.  The first to enjoy the fish will be over 200 healthcare workers from the Swedish Medical Center-Ballard.

The first catch of fresh, sustainable Copper River salmon arrived in Seattle on an Alaska Airlines plane.  This is not new for the airline.  Some Alaskan communities rely on Salmon exports for economic success.  In Cordova, Alaska, over 50% of local residents work in the fishing industry.  Thanks to air travel, the fish can end up in markets less than 24 hours after being pulled from the water.

Managing director of cargo for the airline, Torque Zubeck, said the following:  “ Alaska Air Cargo has been a partner of the Alaska seafood industry.  Now more than ever we provide a critical service that directly impacts the economic vitality of the region.  In Cordova alone, more than half of residents are directly involved in the fishing industry or related business.”

Chef Douglas will feature the salmon donated by seafood processors and Copper River Marketing Association to create over 200 meals for Seattle-area medical professionals.  Alaska Airlines will send pilots, flight attendants, and management employees to be part of the efforts after carrying the fish on its planes.

Source: Alaska Airlines/Picture Alaska Airlines

                      OTHER NOTEWORTHY NEWS

            The Planes in Spain Parked Neatly on the Plain

Dozens of passenger aircraft belonging to European carriers stand idled in neat lines in what has become a giant airplane parking lot amid the flat farmlands of eastern Spain.

Teruel Airport specializes in the storage and maintenance of aircraft, and business has boomed since coronaviris lockdowns globally forced airlines across Europe to ground fleets for several weeks.  There is no end in sight for many.

Planes showing the markings of commercial airlines including: British Airways, Lufthansa and Air France stand parked, buffeted by spring wind blowing across the plain.

“Teruel’s climate is dry-semi-desert with more than 250 days of sun per year,” said airport manager Alejandro Ibrahim.

“Also there is very little air traffic congestion which makes it the ideal place for plane preservation and maintenance.”

The airport currently hosts 95 wide-body aircraft, including eight of the world’s largest passenger airliners-the Airbus A380.  The number of planes arriving per week to be parked in the airport has doubled since the start of the pandemic.  The airport, owned by the local government, has not increased its rates since the beginning of the crisis, Ibrahim said.

The sudden stop to air travel has led airlines struggling to find space to store their planes. In Europe, some airlines have grounded their entire fleets and are storing their aircraft by parking them in airports, including on now-unused runways.

Source: Reuters/Picture spainsnews.com

                         

 

 

 Researched and Compiled by : 

Ed Kaplanian    Commercial Aviation Advisor  

Contact – ekaplanian@msn.com

Editor:   Lee Kaplanian  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Kaplanian Report – May 2020

ON THE BOEING FRONT

                 Status of Boeing Strategy Concerning the 737 & 787

Boeing believes it will resume 737 Max deliveries in the third quarter of 2020, with chief executive David Calhoun saying the company is progressing well through certification work despite challenges posed by coronavirus.

“We currently expect the necessary regulatory approval to allow Max deliveries in the third quarter,” Calhoun says on April 29.  ”We are very confident that the process will conclude with the certification.”

Boeing is now working through what Calhoun describes as “a mountain” of documentation work.  He says the certification pace has been hampered by the coronavirus pandemic, which has forced staff to work from home.

Boeing expects to resume 737 Max production this year at “low rates”.   It does not specify initial production volumes, but says production will “gradually increase” to 31 aircraft monthly in 2021, with additional increases to follow.

As to the 787, Boeing has no immediate plan to restructure its 787 manufacturing footprint despite announcing a major cut in production.  However, Chief Executive David Calhoun says Boeing will have time to review it manufacturing strategy in the coming years, as 787 production further declines.

On April 29 Boeing announced it will reduce 787 production from 14 aircraft monthly to 10 monthly this year-end then to seven monthly by 2022.

“Certainly, both lines will be running during the initial phase of reducing production to 10 787 monthly.”  Calhoun says.  ”We have not made any decision on the 787 production locations,” he adds of production requirements after 2020.

“We will have plenty of time to figure out exactly the way to go.”

Source: Boeing

                      

ON THE AIRBUS FRONT

  Airbus Sees More Pain in Commercial Market Through 3Q 2020

Airbus does not expect to have clear visibility of full short-to medium-term impact of the Covid-19 crisis until June.  In a briefing for financial analysts the morning of April 29 to announce diminished first-quarter results for 2020, Airbus indicated that it will likely defer decisions on steps to right-size the business for another two or three months.  This will allow more time to reassess the situation of its airline customers and also get more complete guidance from governments on steps to ease lockdown restrictions.

Group CEO Guillaume Faury told analysts that the greatest Covid-19 impact so far has been on its commercial aircraft business.  Its short-term reaction has been to scale back production rates by around a third to 48 units a month, including 40 A320s, 6 A350s and 2 A330s.  The A220 production line in Canada is expected to return progressively to a monthly output rate of 4 aircraft.

“The industry is now facing the gravest crisis in its history and we have a strong focus on matching production to demand and also cash containment,” Faury said.

Earlier in April Airbus announced that it is tapping government-backed payroll protection support schemes.  This has resulted in around 3,000 being furloughed on close to full pay in France and a further 3,200 in the UK.

Airbus is deferring further decisions on possible workforce reductions until June, when it expects to have a clearer idea of reduced demand for airliners.

Source: Airbus          

        

REGIONAL/BUSINESS JETS

  Supersonic Jet Maker Aerion to Build Manufacturing Site In Florida

Supersonic business jet company Aerion will manufacture its in-development AS2 transport aircraft at a new facility in the Florida city of Melbourne, in the heart of the state’s aerospace cluster.

The company, currently based in Reno, intends this year to begin constructing in Melbourne a “global headquarters and integrated campus for research, design, build and maintenance” of the AS2, Florida governor Ron DeSantis’ office said on April 24.  Aerion’s media representative confirms the plan.

The $300 million project will create a facility called “ Aerion Park” in a region of Florida known as the “Space Coast”, says the governor.

The Company intends to begin manufacturing AS2 there in 2023, and the site will employ 675 people by 2026. 

“ Having evaluated a number of potential locations for our new home, we are excited to partner with Florida and Melbourne community to create a sustainable supersonic future,” says Aerion chief executive Tom Vice.  Aerion has said it hopes to complete first flight of the 12- passenger AS2 in 2024.

Source: Aerion/Picture Aerion          

                                                       

OTHER AVIATION NEWS

        AvioInteriors Seating Innovation Addresses Covid Concerns

Italian aircraft seat and cabin interior supplier AvioInteriors has released a concept for new seating solution designed to theoretically allow airlines to fill their middle seats amid Covid-19 concerns.  Calling it a “kit-level solution”, operators can install on existing seats to make close proximity safer, the company’s Glasssafe and Janus products feature transparencies to create an isolated volume around the passenger to avoid or minimize the spread of germs between occupants.

The Company can supply a Glasssafe retrofit kit in opaque material or with different degrees of transparency.   AvioInteriors designed the application with various executions and fixing systems that allow easy installation and removal and to allow for traditional seat-back magazine pockets and tables.

The Proposal for the second product, called Janus, features a center seat of a three-abreast layout positioned in the opposite direction, while passengers seated on the side seats, aisle, and fuselage continue to face in the forward direction.

As in the Glasssafe applications high shield that prevents breath propagation surrounds each Janus seat.  But another advantage of the Janus setup is the middle seat passenger has unobstructed access to both armrests.

If approved the AvioInteriors products would allow airlines to generate 33 percent more revenue if regulators call for middle seats to remain empty.  In fact, International Air Transport Association director general Alexandre de Juniac warned of the likelihood of higher airfares due to empty middle seat requirement.

Source: ainonline

              Southwest Delays Deliveries of 59 737 Max to Post-2021

Southwest Airlines, among the world’s top Boeing 737 Max customers, has pushed back deliveries of 59 Max aircraft in response to the travel downturn caused by the coronaviris pandemic.

Previously, Southwest anticipated receiving 107 Max jets from Boeing in 2020 and 2021, including 62 aircraft that had been scheduled for delivery in 2020 and 45 scheduled for 2021, securities filing shows.

The airline provides few details about how many 737 Max aircraft it intends to acquire in 2020 and 2021, other than saying it expects to receive less than 27 jets from Boeing this year.

Those 737 Max are aircraft Boeing manufactured for Southwest after regulators grounded the type in March 2019.  Boeing continued manufacturing the jets after grounding, storing the airliners until the grounding lifts.

Southwest is “still working on specifics of how many we want to take between now and the end of the year,” chief financial officer Tammy Romo says, during Southwest’s first-quarter earnings call on April 28.  “We have fleet flexibility.”

News of the deferrals came the day Southwest reported a first-quarter loss of$94 million, reflecting the collapse of travel demand during the pandemic.

While some Max customers have cancelled orders in recent weeks, Romo says Southwest still prefers to take new jets.”Our preference is to get new airplanes from Boeing,” she says.

Romo adds that “Max’s 14% fuel savings (compared to 737NGS) is still very meaningful and significant”, despite tumbling fuel prices, which have eroded the financial value of efficiency.

Source: Southwest/Flightglobal

                   Delta to Retire Its MD-88, MD-90 Fleets in June

Delta Air Lines will retire the McDonnell Douglas MD-88 and MD-90 aircraft earlier than previously planned, with both aircraft types exiting the fleet effective June 2020.

The accelerated retirement schedule of both aircraft is a result of the Covid-19 pandemic as the airline reduces capacity systemwide.

Delta cut its overall active fleet by about half, parking more than 600 mainline and regional aircraft in the last two months.

The 149-seat MD-88 was previously set to retire by the end of 2020.  As of February this year, prior to the coronavirus-driven fleet reduction, there were 47 MD-88s and 29 MD90s operating.  Both aircraft operated across much of Delta’s domestic network and have been workhorses for the airline.

Delta continues to evaluate its broader fleet plan and will consider additional aircraft retirement to focus on a modern, more simplified fleet going forward.

Source: World Airline News

                

LATEST NEWS

  • Airbus has backed out of a joint venture with Thai Airways to build a new MRO campus at Thailand’s U-Tapao airport.
  • El Al Israeli flag-carrier has reached a sale-and-leaseback agreement with an unidentified foreign company covering three Boeing 737-800s.
  • American Airlines sets a company cargo record on a Boeing 777-300, the flight on April 15 broke American’s all-time record for freight volume, removing 115,349 pounds(52,321 kilograms) of soybean seeds.On one of American’s cargo-only routes from Buenos Aires to Miami.

  • Lufthansa is prematurely phasing out six Airbus A380 as part of fleet cuts across the airline group.
  • Rolls-Royce says it is aiming to bring the number of Boeing 787s on the ground for Trent 1000 engine modification reasons down to fewer than 10 by the end of the second quarter.
  • Silver Air a private jet management and charter company has added a Boeing Business Jet (BBJ) with unrestricted charter access based in West Palm beach, Florida.

  • Boeing conducted a successful first flight of its second 777X airplane. Designated WH002 the second of four 777-9 flight test vehicles.

  • Qantas is putting Project Sunrise on hold, citing the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak on air travel.
  • United Airlines will sell and lease back 22 planes to Bank of China(BOC) Aviation.The deal involves six Boeing 787-9s and 16 Boeing 737-9 MAX aircraft.
  • German Government First A350 Airbus has transferred the first of three A350-900s for the federal German government to Hamburg for outfitting at the Lufthansa Technik facility on May 7.

Sources: United Airlines, Flightglobal, Boeing, Qantas, Rolls-Royce, American Airlines, Lufthansa, Airbus, El Al. 

 

AIR CARGO

                         Air Freight Market Goes Into Overdrive

Damian Brett, the editor of Air Cargo News, outlines how the freight sector has been affected by the coronavirus outbreak.

While passenger airlines have heavily reduced their services over recent weeks, the air cargo market has gone into overdrive as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

The sector is managing a huge capacity crunch as airlines have largely stopped operating the bellyhold services which make up roughly 50% of cargo capacity.

Consultant Seabury estimates that at the end of March, cargo capacity was down by around 35% compared with the year-ago figure.

The drop-off in demand lags the capacity reductions, as a result, freight rates have taken off.

Numbers from Tac Index show that rates an services from China/Hong Kong to Europe increased by 156% from March 2 to April 6.

On China/Hong Kong to North America an increase of 90.5% as recorded during the same timeframe.

So what of the coming months? There are some early signs that the situation is easing as carriers have started to re-activate parked-up freighters aircraft, passenger aircraft are being utilized as ad hoc freighters and containership operations come into play.

Lufthansa Cargo chief executive Peter Gerber says that while it is impossible to predict what the future holds, it could be the case that there are several spikes in cargo demand over the coming months as production plants in various countries come back on line.

The prospect of this outcome was also posited by logistics and parcels giant Deutsche Post DHL in recent business performance update.

“While the development of the business situation in China has been quite promising in the last weeks, Europe and North America are still in an earlier stage of the pandemic,” DP DHL said.

Source: Air Cargo News/Picture Cargolux

 

OTHER NOTEWORTHY NEWS

Lessors see no ( one-size-fits- all ) solution to help airlines through crisis

While aircraft lessors are agreeing to a number of rental deferral requests to help airline customers struggling through the coronavirus crisis, leasing executives stress there is no one size-fits-all approach being sought by airlines.

Speaking  on May 6 during the Leasing Leaders on Aviation Crisis webinar, organized by FlightGlobal in association with IBA Group.  BOC Aviation chief executive Robert Martin notes rapid funding action- including measures from governments-means some airlines have been more interested in, for example, sale-and lease-back activity.

“Clearly a lot of our customers were immediately hit and have asked for help, but it’s not one-size-fits-all,” he says.”  Some airlines didn’t need liquidity because they already have access to liquidity in other ways.  So actually they were more interested in doing purchase-and lease-back business, and we have done $5 billion of that since Covid started.”

“As we have addressed these issues, it’s clear to us you can tell the experienced airlines who have been through something like this before,” he says.  For example, editing the speed with which North American carriers acted to improve their liquidity and that Chinese carriers tapped their domestic bond market.

Another lessor leader panelist on the webinar, chief executive of Dubai Aerospace Enterprise Firoz Tarapore, concurs that there is no single response.

In publishing its first quarter results, the lessor says that at the end of April, it had granted rent deferral requests from 25 customers – an aggregate rent totaling 5% of annual revenue. It is also evaluating rent deferral request from 33 customers, the aggregate rent deferral for which totals 10% of annual revenue.

“It’s been a deliberate and corroborative approach to make sure we carefully balance the needs of our clients and our own needs to make sure we are here for our other customers tomorrow.” said Tarapore.

Separately another aircraft lessor, Avalon, in reporting its first quarter results said it has received requests for payment relief from more than 80% of its current owned and managed customer base.

Source: Flightglobal.com/webinars

                         

Researched and Compiled by :

Ed Kaplanian    Commercial Aviation Advisor 

Contact – ekaplanian@msn.com

Editor:   Lee Kaplanian 

Kaplanian Report – April 2020

ON THE BOEING FRONT

  Boeing Flies 737 MAX on Simulated Airline Runs Despite Shutdown                 

Amid signs that Boeing is hoping to resume production of the 737 MAX in May, the company says flight tests of the three current versions of the model, the -7 -8 and -9, are continuing despite the general shutdown of its Puget Sound facilities because of the coronavirus.

Although production of all aircraft has been temporarily halted across its northwest facilities, Boeing is still working to finalize changes to the maneuvering characteristics augmentation system (MCAS) flight control law in the MAX.

To evaluate the changes to the MAX, Boeing is conducting a flight test program called ”operate like an airline”, which closely resembles the function and reliability flights the company runs as a standard part of pre entry-into service checks for all new models.” We have been working with regulators to appropriately address all certification requirements and safely return the 737 MAX to service.  This includes operating flights of 737MAX 7, -8 and -9 aircraft to extend testing capacity and ensure a more complete representation of our customer’s diverse fleets and operations,” Boeing said.

On March 25, as part of the program, a 737-8 intended for eventual delivery to Southwest Airlines, was operated from Boeing Field to Spokane, Washington, while a 737-9 built for Alaska Airlines was flown from Seattle to Moses Lake.

“In each of the cases, a small test team on board exercised short-and long-haul engineering flights that will help satisfy specific test conditions for updated software. These are not certification flights,” the company added.

Source: Aviation Week/Picture Boeing

Boeing Wins $1.5bn Contract for 18 P8A Poseidons for South Korea, New Zealand and the US Navy

The US Navy (USN) has awarded Boeing a $1.5 billion contract for 18 P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft.

The deal is for six aircraft for the South Korean navy, four for the Royal New Zealand Air Force and eight aircraft for the USN.  Boeing announced the orders on March 30.

New Zealand and South Korea are scheduled to receive their first aircraft in 2022 and 2023, respectively. 

The P-8 is based on the commercial 737-800. However the jet’s airframe has been ruggedized, a bomb bay has been installed to drop torpedoes and its wings have pylons for weapons such as a Harpoon anti-ship missiles.  The aircraft can also carry up to 129 sonobuoys.

The aircraft is primarily operated by the USN, which plans to order 117 examples in total to replace its aging fleet of Lockheed P-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft. 

Other operators include the UK, Australia, India and Norway. 

In January of this year, the USN said in a request for information that it is interested in expanding the capabilities of the P-8A to include the ability to carry new anti-ship cruise missiles, bombs, sea mines and decoys.

Source: Boeing/Picture Boeing

                  

ON THE AIRBUS FRONT

                      Airbus Struggles to Lift Crisis-hit Jet Output                                        

Europe’s Airbus is grappling with labor and supply chain shortages and may only be able to restore aircraft production to some 10-20% of normal levels for now; because of partial shutdowns, industry and union sources said.

Worst affected are wide-body jets, demand for which is expected to come under pressure as the coronavirus crisis hits airlines worldwide, especially in the long haul Asia market.

The European plane maker, whose factories are spread across Europe, restored output at French and Spanish plants a week ago after a four-day shutdown.  On Monday, March 30, it announced a new closure of Spanish plants that make tail sections of Airbus jets.

Airbus said it would suspend most production in Spain until April 9 after the Madrid government tightened the Corona virus lockdown.  It has also said British and German wings production and assembly would stop for three weeks.

Especially badly hit are the tier-two and tier-three suppliers, which are sub-contractors to larger companies that deal directly with Airbus or its U.S rival Boeing.

France’s Safran, the world’s third largest aero supplier, said it continued to deliver engines to Airbus and had enough parts for 2-to-3 weeks, but its chief executive noted some problems further down its supply chain.

Airbus is also finding it difficult to make deliveries because of logistics of getting foreign pilots to France or Germany and the reluctance of many airlines to take aircraft as they face liquidity problems, industry sources said.

Even such as finding hotels are said to be a problem, forcing Airbus to look at using its own hotel and restaurant in its in-house academy known as Airbus University.

Source: Reuters/Picture Airbus             

        

REGIONAL/BUSINESS JETS

           Embraer Sees Commercial Orders Deferred, Not Cancelled

Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer says it has not had any order cancellations as a result of the current global coronavirus pandemic that has decimated the air transport industry.  However, it is seeing some customers ask for deferments of deliveries as airlines reduce capacity for an undetermined period.

“The discussion is dynamic,” says chief financial officer Antonio Carlos Garcia, who was named to his post in November and began in January. “All these discussions are regarding the delivery schedule, but no cancellations. The situation is really changing, we need to know for how long the capacity reductions will last in order to have an accurate assessment.”

Embraer’s revenues for the full year rose 9% to $5.5 billion, up from $5.0 billion in 2019.  The company reported an adjusted net loss of $218 million, more than three times that of a year earlier, as it took special charges and impairment costs, as well as costs in relation to the carve-out of its commercial division in preparation of a merger with Boeing.

The Company ended the year with a backlog of $16.8 billion, and says it received 60 new firm orders during the year from the likes of American Airlines, KLM, Azul and United Airlines.  Its new generation E2 jet backlog reached 153 firm orders and more than 570 commitments.

Chief executive Francisco Gomes Neto says that Embraer completed the carve-out of its commercial division in January, in anticipation of its planned merger with Boeing, which is expected to close later this year.  The transaction has been tied up in regulatory red tape in Europe and executives now expect it to take longer than the original June completion date. 

The European Commission’s in-depth review of the deal was prompted by concerns in the single- aisle aircraft market, particularly the 100-150 seat segment.  Recent trade squabbles between the United States and the European Union could also delay the transaction’s closing.

Source: Embraer/Flightglobal/picture Embraer   

                                                                 

OTHER AVIATION NEWS

                         Aircraft Storage Demand Still Fluid in Europe 

After having been thought for a few days to be on a strong upward curve, demand for aircraft storage during the COVID-19 crisis is still unstable, according to specialist Tarmac Aerosave.

“Stabilization is underway, but the situation is fluid,” company CEO Patrick Lecer said. Tarmac Aerosave has been freeing storage space at its sites in Tarbes and Toulouse Francazal, France, as well as in Teruel, Spain.But customer interest is lower than expected to materialize, Lecer noted.  

“We have seen a lot of requests’ lot of back and forth, a lot of uncertainties among customers,” he said.  And at times, carriers are realizing their needs are changing, Lecer explained. 

Overall, demand is for short term storage,” Lecer said. Tarmec has currently 170 aircraft in storage, up from 140-150 before the crisis. 

The company has increased the available space available to 230-250 aircraft depending on their size—a 20% expansion.”  We have rearranged some areas to be ready if demand actually grows,” Lecer said.

Source: aviation week/Picture Tarmac Aerosave/Tarmac Aerosave  

          Lufthansa Retires Big Jets, Says Rebound Could Take Years 

German airline group Lufthansa said it was permanently removing some of its large aircraft from service and reducing capacity for the long term. They are saying it will take years for demand for air travel to return to levels before the coronavirus pandemic.

The company said in a statement on Tuesday, April 7th, that it was retiring six Airbus A-380s, five 747-400s and seven A340-600 aircraft, a step that anticipates less traffic long term at its Frankfurt and Munich hubs in Germany.

The company was unable to say what eventually would happen to the planes given lack of demand for the aircraft at the moment; but it was clear they would notify for Lufthansa again.

At the same time Lufthansa will close its Germanwings low-cost airline as part of a broader overhaul including capacity cuts across the group, which also owns the Austrian Airlines, Swiss and Eurowings brands.

Source: Lufthansa

                Two Major 747-400 Operators Retire their Aircraft 

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines operated its last revenue flight, FLT KL686 from Mexico City to Amsterdam; it was operated with 747-400 PH-BFW on March 29. 

KLM introduced the first Boeing 747-200B in 1971 (PH-BUA) named “The Mississippi”, was delivered on January 16,1971.  On February 14, 1971, the 353-seat PH-Bua operated its first commercial flight to New York.  KLM was the first airline to put the higher-gross-weight Boeing 747-200B, powered by Pratt & Whitney JT9D engines, into service in February 1971. 

The Boeing 747 was the queen of the KLM long-haul fleet.

Qantas Airways, due to the coronavirus and sudden downturn in travel, has decided to early retire its remaining Boeing 747-400ER.  Previously it was planning to retire the type in February 2021.

Qantas, like KLM, has been an operator of the Boeing 747 since 1971.  The first 747-238B(VH_EBA) named “Canberra”, was delivered to the airline on July 30, 1971, and arrived in Sydney on August 16, 1971.  The type was introduced on the Sydney-Melbourne-Singapore route.

Qantas has operated the 747-200B, 747SP, 747 Combi, 747-300,747-400 and the 747-400ER. 

Source: Ed Kaplanian archival collection

             El Al Completes Longest-Ever Flight from Melbourne 

                    

El Al Israel Airlines completed its longest-ever flight   -17 hours and 15 minutes- between Melbourne and Tel Aviv.  It carried 280 Israelis stranded in Australia during the Covid-19 pandemic and wanting to come home.  The Outward journey had taken 16 hours and 30 minutes.  The crew of 19, which included 8 pilots, did not leave the plane in Australia.

Any Israelis already holding an El Al ticket back to Israel were allowed to board for free, otherwise the fare was $2,480.

El Al had already planned to launch regular commercial flights between Tel Aviv and Melbourne , starting with a series of trial flights starting April 2.  But those plans have been put on hold due to the crisis.

Source: Globes,Israel business news/Picture El Al

LATEST NEWS

  • Kuwait Airways has cancelled 5 airbus A350-900s.
  • SaudiGulf  cancelled 16 Airbus A220-300 orders, these aircraft were initially ordered when A220 was known as Bombardier CSeries.
  • PNG Papua New Guinea carrier PNG Air will become the launch customer for the ATR42-600S short take-off and landing(STOL) regional turboprop, having signed a deal for three at the Singapore Airshow.
  • Batik Air has accepted its first Airbus A320neo equipped with CFM LEAP-1A power plants.
  • ACI Jet has established a California based Bombardier parts depot for Global and Challenger series business jets.  It has invested more than $1 million in parts inventory and established a new 5,000sqft. facility at the San Luis Obispo Regional Airport headquarters.
  • Lessor Avolon is cutting its delivery commitments over the next four years by over 100 aircraft, through a combination of cancellations and deferrals, plus the axing of 75 Boeing 737 Max jets.
  • EasyJet defers delivery of 24 A320s due for delivery in 2020-2022.   EasyJet’s fleet growth strategy envisaged taking delivery of 20 new aircraft in 2020, 12 in 2021 and two aircraft in 2022.  It will now receive no new aircraft in 2021 and has the option to defer a further five aircraft due in 2022.
  •  Delta Air Lines has taken over an order worth roughly $3 billion at list prices for 10 Airbus A350 jetliners from Latam Airlines Group.Airbus announced the cancellation of 10 A350 aircraft in a monthly order update for the month of March.It also announced a simultaneous order for 10 A350 aircraft from an undisclosed airline.

Source: ainonline, Flightglobal, Arabian aerospace,ACIJet,AirlinerWorld Reuters,Delta Airlines

AIR CARGO

                DHL Express Upgrades Fleet With More 777 Freighters

International courier company DUL Express has received the first of six new Boeing 777-200 LRF freighters scheduled for delivery this year as it ramps up capabilities to serve the rapidly growing e-commerce market.

The new aircraft arrived at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport(CVG), home to DHL’s U.S. operations, the company said Monday March 23 in a press release.  The new freighter will be operated by partner airline Kalitta Air on behalf of DHL aviation.

The DHL Express unit uses an assortment of in-house airlines and charter operators to provide airlift for Amazon’s Prime Air, which guarantees on-day delivery for more than 100 million items ordered online .

DHL ordered 14 777-200LRFs in 2018, with four delivered last year and another four coming in 2021 as part of fleet renewal to equip the fleet with more modern, fuel-efficient aircraft.  The Boeing 777-200LRF has the longest range—5,717 miles—at full payload (102 tons) of any wide body freighter and reduces emissions by 18%, compared with aircraft it is replacing.

DHL’s capital expenditure for the 777-LRFs is $4.7billion at list prices, according to Boeing; but airlines typically receive discounts for multi-plane purchases.  The order doubles DHL’s 777 Fleet.

Source: FreightWave, Benzinga /Picture Boeing

                          

 

 

 Researched and Compiled by : 

Ed Kaplanian    Commercial Aviation Advisor  

Contact – ekaplanian@msn.com

Editor:   Lee Kaplanian