Kaplanian Report – April 2021

ON THE BOEING FRONT

                                          Boeing 777-9 Performing Runway Tests in Oklahoma

Boeing has sent one of its four 777-9 test aircraft to Clinton-Sherman airport in Oklahoma for a series of tests that will primarily examine the jet’s performance on the runway.

Test aircraft designated “WH001” (registration N779XW) arrived at the airport in the western part of Oklahoma at the last week of February.

“We’re in Oklahoma for testing with our new Boeing 777-9,” Boeing says.  ”We’re conducting comprehensive series of tests and conditions, on the ground and in the air, to demonstrate the safety and reliability of the design.”

The company confirms to FlightGlobal that the jet will primarily complete runway-related tests at Clinton-Sherman until sometime in March, Boeing adds.

Boeing’s flight-test program for the GE Aviation GE9X-powered 777-9 began on January 25, 2020, when aircraft WH001 took off from Paine Field in Everett, Washington.  At that time, Boeing had intended to begin deliveries this year.

Since then, however, amid the Covid-19 pandemic, the global airline-sector downturn and the need for design modifications, Boeing delayed its planned first 777-9 delivery until “late 2023”.

In January, Boeing chief executive David Calhoun said the company was “making prudent design modifications as necessary” to align with regulators “expectations”.

Aircraft WH001 has been assigned the work To completing tests related to avionics, brakes, flutter, ice, low speed aerodynamics, stability and control, Boeing says.

Source: Boeing, FlightGlobal, Picture Boeing 

                     

ON THE AIRBUS FRONT

                   A321XLR’s Rear Fuel Tank Demands Special Fire-Protection Conditions

Airbus’s A321XLR will be subject to special conditions proposed for the aircraft’s integrated rear center tank, intended to ensure adequate protection from fire.

The large 12,900-liter (3,407 gallons) center tank, located in the aft hold of the twinjet, will contain the furl necessary for the aircraft to achieve its extended range.

Airbus has submitted an application for the change to the European Union Aviation Safety Agency, and the authority states that the location of the tank is likely to create a “cold feet” cooling effect to the potential discomfort of passengers seated immediately above it.

This means insulation panels will need to be fitted between the tank and the cabin floor, and these would have to meet burn-through criteria.  But Airbus has informed EASA that this is ”technically not feasible”, for various reasons.

Lack of space prevents fitting of compliant panels, while burn-through protection of the cabin floor cannot be comprehensive because decompression panels either side of the fuselage must remain free of insulation panels.

Installation of compliant materials would also “jeopardise” the provision of sufficient ventilation around the tank, says EASA.  EASA states, that the tank’s design is being “thoroughly reviewed” in terms of “structural crashworthiness”, taking into consideration the level of safety provided by the US FAA in an advisory circular on auxiliary fuel system installation; appropriate means of compliance will be defined,” it adds.

There are other potential risks to the fuel tank arising from an external pool fire, including explosion driven by internal volume heating, according to a comment from Boeing during the consultation.

Boeing’s comments also highlight additional safety concerns regarding an integral fuel tank other than the exposure to fire—particularly the protection against structural factor during an otherwise-survivable runway excursion or landing-gear failure.

Airbus is developing the A321XLR from the A321neo airframe, and is planning entry into service in 2023.

Source: FlightGlobal, Airbus, Airbus Picture

                             Final Production Airbus A380 Departs Toulouse to Hamburg

Airbus has flown the last production A380 from Toulouse to Hamburg Finkenwerder plant for completion ahead of its delivery to Emirates.

The flight of the aircraft, MSN272, took place on March 17, a little more than two years after Airbus opted to cease production of the aircraft.  Airbus chief executive Guillaume Faury says the maiden flight marks” another remarkable day” for the airframes’s Toulouse facility.  “We are looking forward to supporting this iconic aircraft and its customers for many years,” he adds.  While the last aircraft-fitted with Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engines carries the serial number 272, airlines have ordered a total of 251 A380s.  Emirates is the largest operator of the type.

Source: Airbus, Picture Airbus            

        

REGIONAL/BUSINESS JETS

                                              NetJets, FSI Sign MOU for 20 Aerion AS2s, Training 

Aerion has signed a multifaceted memorandum of understanding with NetJets and sister company FlightSafety International, including the rights for NetJets to purchase 20 AS2 supersonic business jets.  The deal would extend Aerion’s backlog for the Mach 1.4 aircraft to $10 billion, Aerion said. 

Under the collaborative agreement, NetJets would become the exclusive business jet operator for Aerion Connect, which is Aerion’s vision for global mobility ecosystem that enables seamless point-to-point travel across multiple modes of transportation in urban and rural settings. 

In addition, Aerion would collaborate with FlightSafety International on Supersonic flight training academy for civil, commercial, and military supersonic aircraft.The Aerion-branded academy will leverage FSI’s training expertise to serve a center of excellence for supersonic flight training and education, Aerion said.

Aerion is planning to bring the AS2 to market later this dacade, saying plans to kick off production at Aerion Park in Melbourne, Florida, remain on track for 2023 after the completion of wind-tunnel validation trials late last year, Aerion said. 

Source: ainonline, Aerion, Picture Aerion  

                                             Falcon 6X Completes Maiden Flight 

Dassault Aviation has announced on March 10 that the company’s wide body Falcon 6X has successfully completed its first flight as planned in the first quarter of 2021, demonstrating the maturity of the program and opening the test campaign for certification.

“Today’s flight is another milestone in Dassault history, made all the more satisfying by the remarkable efforts of the entire Dassault organization and its partners over the challenging past year,” said Dassault Aviation Chairman/CEO Eric Trappier.

“The 6X is the latest example of the fusion of military know-how and business aviation expertise for which Dassault Aviation is so respected,” added Trappier.

“The new capabilities in efficiency, performance and safety it offers will set a new benchmark in the long-range segment.  This airplane will also set a new standard in terms of cabin comfort and speciousness, as demanded by our customers.” 

The two-hour-thirty maiden flight was excited per test plan, with pilots testing aircraft handling quantities, engine response and behavior of key aircraft systems.  The aircraft topped out at 40,000 ft and reached a speed of M0.8 before returning to base.  Falcon 6X s/n 02 and 03 are scheduled to take to the air in the coming months.

Source: Dassault Aviation, Picture Dassault Aviation                                                            

OTHER AVIATION NEWS

                                   Southwest Airlines Returns Boeing 737 Max to its Fleet

Southwest Airlines, the world’s top Boeing operator, is set to return the 737 Max into its network and schedule, operating several revenue flights on the type for the first time in two years.

The Dallas-headquartered airline started operations with the type on multiple routes on March 11th the flights departed at or around the same time on that date, and the airline did not celebrate its post-grounding flight as other carriers have done.

“Initially, the aircraft will operate up to 44 daily flights to 15 cities.  By mid-April, the airplane will resume operations throughout Southwest’s network.” the airline said.  The carrier’s Max fleet has been in storage for almost two years after the plane was grounded.  Southwest becomes the 14th airline to return the Max to its fleet.  As of early March, the in-service fleet worldwide has passed 100 aircraft.

So far, the narrow body type has been re-certified in numerous jurisdictions in the Americas, Europe and the Middle East, but has not received approval from Asia.  Southwest says it ended 2020 with 718 aircraft in its fleet, including 41 737 Max.  It expects to end this year with 69 of the type.

Source: Southwest, Southwest Airlines Picture

                                       777 Investment Firm Secures 24 737 MAX orders 

Miami-based 777 Partners, which has a stake in Canadian ultra-low-cost carrier Flair Airlines, ordered 24 Boeing 737 Max 8s and has taken options to buy a further 60 of the type, adding fresh momentum to the narrow body’s backlog.

Boeing disclosed the order on March 12, saying 777 Partners intends to lease the jets to  its affiliated operating low-cost carriers. 

In addition to aircraft leasing, 777 Partners strategically invests in a host of aviation businesses, from operating carriers to technology-driven solutions.  The firm’s travel sector strategy is largely focused on innovative solutions for interlining, passenger connectivity, and creating new commerce channels for its airline investments and customers.

“We could not be more excited to partner with Boeing on this transformative order for our growing aviation business. The 737 Max 8 aircraft are a fantastic addition to our aviation portfolio and will enable our partners to leverage the jets’ superior economic performance to deliver low fares for their passengers while reducing their carbon footprint,” said Joshua Wander, founder and managing partner of 777 Partners.

Source: 777 Partners,Boeing

                               IATA Aims for in-Person AGM with Postponement to October

IATA’s annual general meeting has been postponed to October 3-5, 2021, as the airline industry association seeks to ensure an in-person event happens this year amid a hoped for recovery from the worst effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Originally due to be held on June 27-29, the 77th AGM and World Air Transport summit will still take place in Boston, with JetBlue Airways as the host.

“We believe that it is vital to do all we can to meet as an industry face to face,” says outgoing IATA director general Alexandre de Juniac.”   Doing so will affirm that airlines can safely connect the world, demonstrate our industry’s resilience, and confirm the inestimable value of in-person meetings, facilitated by aviation.”

The event will mark Willie Walsh’s first as the new IATA director general, with the former IAG chief set to take the helm of the association from April 1.  IATA’s last in-person AGM was held in Seoul on June 1-3 2019.

Source: Flightglobal, Picture IATA

LATEST NEWS

  • Air China has disclosed plans to acquire 18 Airbus A320neos from GECAS subsidiary AFS investments.

  • US Department of Transportation (DOT) has given start-up low-cost airline Breeze Airways the green light to begin operations
  • American Airlines will fly the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner from Dallas/Fort Worth to Anchorage, Alaska, this summer, potentially in anticipation of a surge of leisure travel.
  • Boeing inked the last sale of a VIP 747-8i, marking the end of an era of opulence in private aviation.  According to Boeing, the green aircraft was not newly built but the company declined to disclose when it was produced or the delivery date.  It also did not disclose the customer and origin, nor plans for completion.

  • Recaro Aircraft Seating  has received additional orders to outfit Alaska Airlines’ new 737 MAX aircraft with 13 chipsets of the CL4710 business class and BL3530 economy class seats.
  • Wideroe Scandinavian Regional Airline committed to introducing Tecnam’s new all-electric P-Volt aircraft into commercial service on scheduled routes starting in 2026.  Rolls-Royce Electrical is developing a propulsion system for the nine passenger aircraft, which is based on Tecnam’s existing P2012 Traveller twin-piston model.

  • China Airlines on March 20, China airlines operated its last passenger-carrying 747 flight.  The aircraft, which took delivery of in 2005, is also the final passenger carrying 747-400 produced by Boeing.

  • Rolls-Royce has secured an exclusive position on the Airbus A350-900 for the remainder of the decade.  The agreement means the Trent XWB will remain the sole powerplant on the A350 until at least 2030.
  •  Diehl Aerospace has secured a contract extension from Boeing for the delivery of interior lighting system for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

 AIR CARGO

  Two Icelandair 767s to be Converted to Freighters in Leaseback

Icelandair Group has repacked a sale-and-leaseback agreement for a pair of Boeing 767-300ER which will be converted into freighters.  The aircraft are being sold to Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings’ associated joint venture Titan Aircraft Investments.  Icelandair Group says the 767s will be converted in spring of next year and be re-introduced, to the fleet of Icelandair Cargo, in September 2022.  They will replace a pair of Boeing 757-200 freighters which will be withdrawn from the fleet in 2023-24.

“Until then,The aircraft will be operated within Icelandair Group’s network and leasing operations,” the company states.  There are four 767-300ERs in Icelandair fleet all of which are fitted with General Electric CF6 engines.

Icelandair Group says the lease period for the twinsets is 10 years.”  The agreement will have a positive impact on our liquidity,” the company adds.  Chief executive Bogi Nils Bogason says the 767s have 50% more capacity than the 757 freighters and “fit very well” into the network.

Source: Icelandair, Picture Icelandair

NOTEWORHTY NEWS

“Wise Guy” is Back

“Wise Guy” joins “Ghost Rider,”which was the first B-52 to be regenerated, and brings the Air Force B-52 fleet up to full strength at 76 total aircraft.

Nearly a year after arriving at Oklahoma City Logistics Complex, the second B-52H Stratofortress bomber to be resurrected from the Arizona desert has left to rejoin the Air Force Fleet.

“Wise Guy” departed Tinker Air Force Base on March 10, 2021 ,to return to the 5th Bomb Wing at Minot AFB,North Dakota, where it re-entered service.

One at Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex, the 76th Commodities Maintenance Group repaired and manufactured parts, the 76th Propulsion Maintenance Group overhauled engines and manufactured parts, the 565th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron completed the structural repairs, and the 10th Flight Test Squadron ensured that the aircraft was safe to fly.

Source: Business Insider, Picture US Air Force

 

                 

 Researched and Compiled by : 

Ed Kaplanian    Commercial Aviation Advisor  

Contact – ekaplanian@msn.com

Editor:   Lee Kaplanian  

Kaplanian Report March 2021

On The Boeing Front

Boeing Delays 737 Max 10 Deliveries to 2023

Boeing has further delayed its 737 Max 10 program by two years, with deliveries of the largest variant of its re-engined narrowbody now scheduled in 2023.  The company also now expects to deliver the first 737 Max 7  this year; that milestone was previously anticipated last year.

Boeing disclosed the tweaked timelines in its latest annual report, made public on February 1.  Several days earlier, during Boeing’s January 27 earnings call, the company said it pushed back the first 777-9 delivery from this year to 2023.

“We now anticipate that the first 737 Max 10 and the 777X delivery will occur in 2023,” Boeing’s securities filing says.  ”This schedule reflects a number of factors, including an updated assessment of global certification requirements informed by continued discussions with regulators and resulting in a management decision to make modifications to the aircraft’s design.

Boeing has disclosed it is modifying the 777-9 due to certification requirements but has not mentioned Max 10 design changes. However, recent document from the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) says the Max 10 will receive an angle-of-attack AoA) sensor” integrity enhancement”—essentially a means of reducing the risk from failure of one of the two AoA sensors.

Boeing rolled out the first Max 10 in November 2019.  The Jet’s differences from its smaller siblings include longer landing gear, which ensures appropriate clearance between the rear fuselage and the ground during take-off rotation.

Source: Boeing/Picture Boeing 

                     

ON THE AIRBUS FRONT

  Airbus to Seek ETOPS Approval for the BelugaXL

Airbus is to seek extended twin-engined operations approval for the BelugaXL transporter, in order to support commercial services involving overwater flights.   Three BelugaXLs based on the A330, have been built and introduced in October 2020.  Another three will be built, the last two of which will have 180 min ETOPS approval, according to BelugaXL chief engineer Pascal Vialleton.

Vialleton disclosed the ETOPS plan during a Royal Aeronautical Society event on February 4th.  He says Airbus wants to have the final two aircraft, due to arrive in 2022 and 2023, to have the flexibility to conduct transatlantic flights, to the possibility of satellite transport to launch stations in North America.

Vialleton says the current A300-600ST Beluga fleet will be phased out as the XLs arrive.  Demand on the-600St fleet rose from 6,000h in 2014 to 8,600h in 2017, but the XL offers capacity relief because it is able to accommodate two A350 wings at a time.  Each XL will operate about 1,000 flights and 1,700h per year.

The capacity strategy rather than the-600St’s age, says Vialleton, is the main reason for the fleet renewal: “We still can use the -600ST.  But what to do with it?”

Airbus is looking to improve the XL’s capabilities following its entry into service in January of last year.  Its original flight-test aircraft will become part of the operational XL fleet, says Vialleton, but is likely to be the last to be introduced, joining once its on-board test instrumentation has been removed.

Source: Airbus/Picture Airbus       

REGIONAL/BUSINESS JETS

                                            Gulfstream to Expand Appleton Completions

Gulfstream Aerospace is expanding and renovating its completions facility in Appleton, Wisconsin, as part of a larger effort to modernize its facilities and enhance customer support. 

The Savannah, Georgia-based airframer will add more than 13,000 sq ft to its completions hanger at Appleton International Airport, bringing the facility to 126,500 sq ft. The improvements will also include upgrading the future finishing shop, consolidating back shops for improving workflow, and enhancing the shipping and receiving areas.  Along with the expansion, Gulfstream expects to add 200 new jobs.

“This expansion is another effort in our long-range plan to upgrade and modernize Gulfstream facilities to further support our customers,” said Gulfstream president Mark Burns.  ” Enhancing the Appleton completions operations is in line with Gulfstream’s culture of continuous improvement.”  Gulfstream expects the project to be completed in the third quarter of this year.

Source: Gulfstream/Picture Gulfstream                                                                      

                                             Nigeria’s Air Peace Takes First E195-E2

Air Peace took delivery of its first of 13 firm ordered E195-E2s, it was formerly handed over to the Nigerian carrier on January 27, 2021, at Embraer’s site at Sao Jose dos Campos.

“The E195-E2 is the perfect aircraft to expand our domestic and regional operations.  The E195-E2 aircraft will further help us actualize our ambition of connecting not just the whole of Nigeria, but the entire African continent, while feeding long-haul flights from our Lagos hub,” Chairman and Chief Executive Allan Onyema said.

Besides a further twelve units on firm order, the Nigerian carrier also holds purchase rights for seventeen additional regional jets. The carrier also operates eight E145s (operated by its regional Air Peace Hopper), one Do328-300 for Vip charters, eight B737-300s, five B737-500, one B777-200ER, and two B777-300ERs.

Air Peace will become the second operator of the E2 aircraft since the outbreak of the COVID-19 Pandemic, following Belavia which took its first E195-E2 in December 2020.

Source: Embraer/Picture Embark

    OTHER AVIATION NEWS

                            RAF Welcomes Fifth Poseidon P-8A at Lossiemouth Base

The UK Royal Air Force’s (RAF’s) P-8A Poseidon MRA1 maritime patrol aircraft fleet has been boosted by the arrival of its fifth example of the adopted Boeing 737NG.

Named Fulmar, aircraft ZP805 touched down at the service’s Lossiemouth in Scotland on February 2, following an 8h-plus delivery from Boeing field near Seattle. 

The service notes that this represents the first time an RAF Poseidon has been delivered to Scotland straight from the factory”.

“The arrival of this latest aircraft helps to ensure that we have the continued capability to defend our waters and support our NATO partners,” says the RAF, which notes that it also “ comes at a time of unprecedented submarine activity close to UK waters”.   A total of nine Poseidon MRA1s will be introduced, with the type operated by 120 Sqn. 

Source: Flightglobal/Picture Crown Copyright

                                      EuroAtlantic’s First 787 a former Aeromexico Jet  

Portuguese wet-lease specialist EuroAtlantic Airways has identified a former Aeromexico Boeing 787-8 as the first example of the twinjet to be introduced to its fleet.  EuroAtlantic disclosed last year that it planned to acquire two used 787s for 2021, through an agreement with lessor AerCap. 

Cirium fleets data shows that the aircraft has been operated by Aeromexico since being delivered to the airline a little more than seven years ago, in August 2013.  It lists the aircraft as being due for transfer to EuroAtlantic in the middle of this month. AeroMexico has been operating the 787-8 with a 243-seat layout.

EuroAtlantic will become the first airline in Portugal to introduce the 787.  The fleet includes the Boeing 777-200ER, 767-300ER and 737-800.

Source: EuroAtlantic/Cirium/Picture EuroAtlantic

                   KLM Makes First Regular Flight With Sustainable Synthetic Fuel 

Air France-KLM’s Dutch arm operated a passenger flight from Amsterdam to Madrid that the carrier says was the first in the world to use sustainable derived synthetic aviation fuel.  The Boeing Co. 737-800 narrow body plane carried 500 liters of fuel produced by Royal Dutch SellPlc, equating to more than 5% of total requirement for the trip, KLM said in a statement.

While flights partly powered by plant-derived biofuels have become commonplace as aviation seeks to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels, fully synthetic propellants have taken longer to develop.  KLM said the Madrid flight, which took place on January 22, was groundbreaking in combining carbon capture with solar and wind power to produce a fully sustainable kerosene substitute. 

“ The introduction of sustainable aviation fuel is very important to us,” KLM Chief Executive Officer Pieter Elbers said in a webinar on SAF, where news of the flight was disclosed.  ”The captain informed the passengers that this was a big step for the industry.  They didn’t notice any difference.”  

Fuel for the KLM flight was produced in a Shell lab using carbon dioxide captured from Europe’s biggest oil refinery in Pernis, near Rotterdam, and from a cattle farm in the northern Netherlands. 

Source: KLM/Picture KLMs

      LATEST NEWS

  • Singapore Airlines has made significant changes to its order book by swapping Boeing 787-10 for more 777-9s in a move that sees it defer more than $3.01 billion in capital spending by about three years.
  • French Shipping Giant CMA CGM French logistics and sea transport firm CMA CGM is branching into air freight operations, with the acquisition of four Airbus A330-200Fs.
  • Copa Airlines of Panama announced of February 11 that it expects to receive 8 Boeing 737 MAX planes this year.
  • Pilatus hands over the first Pilatus PC-24 with a higher-density, 10-seat configuration to customer in the western United States in late January.
  • TUI Fly Belgium on Wednesday February 17 became the first EU carrier to resume service with the Boeing 737 Max since its March 2019 grounding with a flight from Brussels to Alicante and Malaga, Spain.
  • Flydubai is to start the process of returning its Boeing 737 Max aircraft to service after the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority cleared the type for operations again.
  • S7 Airlines of Russia has taken delivery of the first of a pair Boeing 737-800 converted freighters.The aircraft are being leased to the airline by GECAS.
  • Icelandair is optimistic that it will be able to start ramping its network in the second quarter of this year, and intends to return is Boeing 737 Max fleet to service in spring.                                       

Source: GECAS, Flydubai, Copa Airlines, Pilatus, Singapore Airlines, Flightglobal 

AIR CARGO

                                         ASL Orders 10 More 787-800 Converted Freighters

Irish airline group ASL Aviation Holdings has ordered another 10 737-800 Boeing Converted Freighters, bringing to 21 the number of those jets it intends to acquire.  The orders are conversions of previously held options.  ASL, based near Dublin, took those options along side a firm order for 10 737-800 BCFs that it placed at the Paris air show in 2019.  With the deal, Boeing holds orders and order commitments to sell more than 150 737-800BCFs, Boeing says.

ASL received its first 737-800BCF in January, placing that jet into service with subsidiary ASL Airlines France.  It received a second 737-800BCF, which will be operated by K-Mile Asia, a Bangkok airport-based carrier co-owned by ASL.

“The aircraft offers an excellent option for our express-cargo customers, as they develop their networks to meet demand in the years ahead,” ASL chief executive Dave Andrew says.  ” It is right-sized in payload And range.”

Boeing launched the 737-800 conversion program in 2016 with orders and commitments to sell 55 of the jets.  Boeing modifies the aircraft to have main-deck cargo doors, cargo-handling systems and capacity to carry 12 pallets, in standard pallets and one half pallet.  The 737-800 BCF can carry 23.9t of cargo and has,2,025nm(3,750km) range says ASL.

Source: ASL Aviation Holdings/Boeing/Picture ASL

 OTHER NOTEWORTHY NEWS

                    US FAA Tracking All Boeing 737 MAX Aircraft Via Satellite Data

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said on Friday February 19 it is tracking all Boeing 737 MAX airplanes using satellite data under an agreement with air traffic surveillance firm Aireon LLC based in McLean, Virginia.  The FAA said that “ Aireon is providing the agency with ADS-B flight data for all Boeing 737 MAX aircraft.”

Aireon’s system will flag deviations from certain parameters during all phases of flight and alert the FAA’s aviation safety division. Safety engineers and inspectors will use the early notification to further analyze the incident,” the agency said.  Boeing did not immediately comment.

The FAA 737 MAX monitoring began on January 29, Aireon Chief Technology Officer Vinny Capezzuto said during a February12 web event hosted by Aviation Week.  You can literally monitor it on a situational awareness display and it has event detection tied into it,” Capezzuto said, adding the FAA can look for emergency codes and track other data.  The system emails FAA”when events are detected and every day you get a report card on” data from flights from the previous day,”  he said.

Source: Reuters/Picture Aireon

Boeing is Again Under the Microscope

When will the news media leave Boeing alone?   It seems the company is always in the news, after February 20th engine failure on a United 777-200, the media is attacking Boeing again.  The aircraft in question was delivered to launch customer United Airlines in 1995.  When the the aircraft was built the -200, -200 ER and -300, they were offered with three engine options to customers with the PW4000 competing with Rolls-Royce Trent 800, and General Electric GE90.  The PW4000 was offered to airlines as PW4073 to PW4084 (the engine that had the problem on the United flight was PW4077)

The Point to remember is that Boeing does not make or maintain engines.  Boeing said there were 69 777s with Pratt & Whitney 4000-112 engines in service and another 59 in storage.  United had 24 of these planes in service.  For about the last 15 years, new 777s have all been delivered with GE 90 engines.  So the grounding of the 777 only applies to the models, I mentioned at the beginning of this piece, the average person does not know this information.

Source: Ed Kaplanian

                         

Researched and Compiled by : 

Ed Kaplanian    Commercial Aviation Advisor  

Contact – ekaplanian@msn.com

Editor:   Lee Kaplanian  

 

Kaplanian Report – Feb. 2021

On The Boeing Front

  Boeing Commits to Deliver Commercial Aircraft Ready to Fly on 100% Sustainable Fuel

Boeing has committed that its new commercial aircraft will be able to burn 100% sustainable aviation fuels by 2030.  Boeing has previously conducted successful test flights replacing petroleum fuels to address the urgent challenge of climate change.

Boeing says it continues to study other carbon-reducing technologies, such as hybrid-electric and hydrogen propulsion systems.But it describes sustainable aviation fuel(SAF),which includes biofuel, as the prime means by which the sector can reach IATA’s goal of,2050 cutting airline emissions to half of 2005 levels.

“Our industry and customers are committed to addressing climate change and sustainable aviation fuels are the safest and most measurable solution to reduce aviation carbon emissions in the coming decades,” said Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Stan Deal.  ”We are committed to working with regulators engine companies and other key stakeholders to ensure our airplanes and eventually our industry can fly entirely on sustainable jet fuels”.

Boeing has been a pioneer in making sustainable aviation fuels a reality, partnering globally with airlines, industry governments and research institutions to expand limited supplies and reduce the fuels’ cost.  Boeing worked with airlines, engine manufacturers and others to conduct biofuel test flights starting in 2008 and gain approval for sustainable fuels in 2011.  In 2018, the Boeing ecoDemonstrator flight-test program made the world’s first commercial airplane flight using 100% sustainable fuels with a 777 Freighter, in collaboration with FedEx Express.

Source: Boeing/Picture Neste     

ON THE AIRBUS FRONT

                                     Airbus Puts the Brakes on A320 Rate Increases

“Airbus will slow a planned increase in A320-family production as it reacts to further demand pressure created by the Covid-19 pandemic,” the company said on Thursday January 21, 2021.  The expected gradual increase from the current rate of 40 A320s per month will now increase to 43 per month in the third quarter and 45 in the fourth quarter, compared with previously planned jump to 47 of the narrow bodies starting in July. 

The Company’s A220 monthly production will increase from four to five aircraft per month starting at the end of the first quarter as previously planned.  Wide body output remains at current levels.  Airbus also said it  will postpone a potential increase for the A350 and maintain its five-per- month rate.  A330 will remain at two-per-month for the foreseeable future.

“Airbus continues to monitor the market closely,” said the company in a statement.  ”With these revised rates, Airbus preserves its ability to meet customer demand while protecting its ability to further adapt as the global market evolves.

Airbus expects the commercial aircraft market to return to pre-Covid levels by 2023 to 2025.” 

Source: Airbus/Picture Airbus        

REGIONAL/BUSINESS JETS

                            De Havilland Set to Pause Dash 8 Q400 Production

De Havilland Canada (DHC) is set to pause production once the current Dash 8-400 is completed the company indicated.  Currently, De Havilland has 17 Dash 8-400 orders scheduled for customers in 2021.  There are two more Dash 8s in the backlog without identified customers.

“We will continue to sell, deliver and support the Dash 8-400 while taking appropriate measures to safeguard our people and business,” said DHC in a statement to Aerotime News.  ”Our manufacturing operations have capacity to produce aircraft at our Downsview facility into 2023.  However, we will not be producing “whitetails” and market demand will guide our future production plans for the Dash 8-400 Aircraft.”

In October 2020, two Dash 8-400 aircraft were delivered to Ethiopian Airlines, including the airline’s 30th Dash 8-400 aircraft.

Source: De Havilland/Picture De Havilland

      F/List To Develop Cabin Features for Aerion’s AS2 Supersonic Jet 

Aerion has selected high-end interiors manufacturer F/List to supply the AS2 supersonic business jet.  The agreement builds on a relationship that has been ongoing between F/List and Aerion since 2014.  F/List already has provided Aerion with expertise in interior engineering, certification support, materials and process, and finishes. 

Under the expanded agreement, F/List will work with Aerion to develop an ”innovative, ultra-luxury cabin experience” to include cabinets, liners, hard floorings, and baggage liners. 

“The AS2 will be a step into the future for passenger experience and the cabin will link emerging technologies, new materials, visionary style, traditional craftsmanship to create the future of luxury,” said Tim Fagan, the director of industrial design for Aerion. 

Source: Aerion/Picture Aerion                                                                   

OTHER AVIATION NEWS

 Saudia the National Flag carrier of Saudi Arabia Introduces comprehensive Flight Guide in Braille

Saudia has become the world’s first airline to introduce a comprehensive flight guide in braille for visually-impaired and blind passengers.  The airline features Braille entertainment options include audio descriptive movies.

Guests can select a Braille cuisine option at time of booking through a simple step while making a booking from the airline’s website or calling SAUDIA.  The airline provides services such as elevators, special meals and menus, safety procedures and magazines printed in Braille for guests.

Chief executive officer of Saudi, Captain Ibrahim S. Koshy said: “Saudia is committed to being an inclusive airline, providing amenities, services and support for all guests.  We take pride in making our very best efforts to provide a comfortable, welcoming and hospitable experience from each point of the journey.”

Source: Saudia/Picture Saudia

                               First UK Wedgetail Arrives for Conversion By STS 

A former Deer Jet-operated Boeing 737NG  will be modified into an E-7 Wedgetail airborne early warning (AEW) aircraft for the Royal Air Force (RAF); it arrived at its UK conversion site earlier last month.

Currently registered N946BC, the narrowbody arrived at the Birmingham airport facilities of STS Aviation Services on January 7th, following a 6 hour flight from Bangor, Maine, in the USA. 

Cirium fleets data recorded the twinjet as having previously been operated in a 737-BBJ1 configuration with 29 seats.  First flown in June 2010, before undergoing conversion for VIP operations, it was used by Deer Jet under registration B-5273-via China’s AVIC international leasing-before being acquired by Boeing in June 2019. 

Boeing Defence UK managing director Anna Keeling describes the milestone as a “major accomplishment”. “While hundreds of people throughout the UK and around the world have been working on this program since the contract was signed, we now have the airframe that will become the RAF’s first Wedgetail in the country,” she notes.

The Other pre-owned asset scheduled to undergo conversion for the RAF as also originally ordered by Deer Jet, now registered as N947BC and first flown in June 2011, the platform saw use with Deer Jet’s sister operators Hong Kong Jet, and business Aviation services Guernsey, as well as Bermuda firm Longtail Aviation, Cirium fleet records show. 

In addition to these two airframes, the UK will also field a trio of new build 737-700s, to complete its E-7 fleet.  Ordered via $2 billion acquisition to replace aged E-3D Sentry airborne warning and control system aircraft, the fleet will be based at RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland, alongside the Raf’s 737NG-based P-8A Poseidon MRA1 maritime patrol aircraft. 

Source: Flightglobal/Cirium Fleets Data/picture Boeing Defence UK

                    Qantas to Revisit Project Sunrise at End of 2021: Alan Joyce  

Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce believes the carrier’s Project Sunrise initiative to launch ultra-long haul flights will be even more viable in the post-coronavirus world.  Joyce adds that plan will be revisited at the end of 2021, potentially setting the stage to launch services from Melbourne and Sydney to London and New York.

As the Covid-19 pandemic grew more severe, in May, 2020, Qantas pressed pause on Project Sunrise.  The initiative could have seen it order up to 12 Airbus A350-1000s.  “We were pretty close…within a couple of weeks of placing orders for the aircraft,” says Joyce.

He adds that Airbus would have provided a “specially designed version” of the -1000 “to allow us to do these sectors economically and the business case looked really good.”

Joyce made the remarks during an interview on the Reuters Next virtual conference.

“I am optimistic that the Project Sunrise business case will still look good,”says Joyce, “But we’re obviously not going to put an order in for new aircraft until we see the international markets recovering.”

Source: Reuters/Picture Qantas  

      

LATEST NEWS

  • Gulf Air is in talks with Airbus and Boeing to delay some aircraft deliveries as the pandemic continues to disrupt global travel.
  • WestJet of Canada returned the Boeing 737 Max to revenue service on January 21st with a flight from Calgary to Vancouver; becoming Canada’s first airline to fly the aircraft commercially following an almost two-year pause.
  • FedEx US cargo giant plans to retire its remaining MD-11s by 2023.  Over the years, the MD-10s were the workhorse of FedEx’s fleet.
  • Alaska Airlines took delivery of its first Boeing 737 Max on January 14th, it will mark the first of 68 units of the narrowbody to join the carrier this decade.
  • American Airlines continues to reactivate its 737 Max fleet post grounding, the airline on January 20th set to exceed 200 flights of the type.  It is now operating up to 23 flights with the type each day.
  • China Aircraft Leasing(CALC) has placed an order for 30 Comac ARJ21 aircraft with an Indonesian airline, TransNusa in which CALC and two of its most senior executives have a 49% takes a co-buyer.
  • Frontier Airlines has selected Pratt & Whiney PW1100Gs to power 134 incoming Airbus A320neo family jets a move that will diversify its fleet way from complete reliance on CFM International power plants.      
  • United Airlines revealed the first 12 routes that its Boeing 737 aircraft will fly.  Starting with 24 daily departures, with that number quickly growing to 32.
  • Jordan Aviation has filed an application with the US Transportation Department ( Dot) to begin flights between Jordan and the US.  The privately owned airline, which primarily provide wet lease services and charter flights, is seeking a foreign air carrier permit to start scheduled US flights from April 1.

Sources: United Airlines, Frontier Airlines, Alaska Airlines, Gulf Air, FedEx, Routes Online, Arabian AeroSpace, Flightglobal

AIR CARGO

Freighter Line Hands Boeing Advantage in Twin-Aisle Orders and Delivery Contest

While Airbus delivered far more aircraft overall than Boeing last year, Boeing freighter activity meant it was able to hand over a greater number of twin-aisle models.

Boeing’s freighter business contrasted sharply with that of Airbus, which has not sold a new-build cargo aircraft for nearly six years and whose diminishing freighter backlog was zeroed in December of last year with the cancellation of a long-dormant order.

Boeing benefited particularly from its freighter activity.  The 46 deliveries comprised five 747-8Fs (all to UPS), 19 767-300Fs and 22 777Fs, and retains 96 freighters in its backlog.

While Atlas Air has agreed to take the final four 747-8Fs from the production line, Boeing still has commitments for 85 777Fs and 767-300 Fs.

Airbus’s last freighter order was recorded in March 2015 when Turkish Airlines agreed to take four A330-200Fs, the only new build cargo aircraft by Airbus.

The Cancellation of three outstanding A330-200Fs ordered by Turkey’s MNG Airlines means there is no current backlog for the type, the only new build freighter offered by Airbus.

Source: Flightglobal/Boeing/Picture DHL

                   BBAM Orders Another Six 737-800 Boeing Converted Freighters

Aircraft lessor BBAM limited Partnership has placed orders with Boeing for the conversion of six additional 737-800s into the Boeing Converted Freighter configuration.

San Francisco-based BBAM has also taken options with Boeing for an additional six 737-800BCF conversions, part of a deal reflecting the strength of the e-commerce market, Boeing says on January 19.  With the deal, BBAM has ordered or taken options on 15 737-800BCFs.  The company’s portfolio of jets includes 132 737-800s and two 737-800BCFs, according to its website.

Boeing has landed more than 150 737-800BCF orders and commitments, Boeing Says.

“The continued strong demand for the 737-800BCF demonstrates the critical role these converted freighters play in the growing express and e-commerce market,” says Boeing senior vice-president of commercial sales and marketing Ihssane Mounir.

Source: Boeing/Picture Boeing                         

   

                                                          Researched and Compiled by : Ed Kaplanian   

                                                          Commercial Aviation Advisor  

                                                          Contact – ekaplanian@msn.com

Editor:   Lee Kaplanian  

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