ON THE BOEING FRONT
Boeing, GE Define Performance Upgrade
Boeing’s new 777X flagship is due to enter service in 2020. This seems like tomorrow to the company’s manufacturing side as it prepares for assembly, but for the 777 sales team looking to fill the production line during the transition it could be an eternity.
To smooth the move at the end of the decade from the current 777 family to the 777X, Boeing needs to drum up more sales to keep the Everett assembly line ticking at, or close to the current 8.3 aircraft per month. There are currently 278 777-300ER and 777-200LRFs in firm backlog, representing just under three-years worth of production at current rate.
To help bridge the gap to the 777X, Boeing plans to inject additional life into the -200LR/-300ER by developing an upgrade package that will reduce fuel burn by 2% from 2016 onward. Boeing plans to reveal full details of the upgrade in mid-March.
General Electric, which is the exclusive supplier to the 777-300ER and the 777-LRF with the GE90-115B, expects to start initial tests of the engine-improvement element by the end of the year. ”We are targeting about a 0.5% specific fuel consumption improvement in the engine,” says Bill Millhaem, general manager of the GE90 program. The most significant single change in the engine upgrade is an improvement to the active clearance control system which cools the casing of the high-pressure turbine section, helping to minimize clearances between the tips of blades and shroud during cruise.
Source : GE Aviation/Boeing/BoeingPhoto
ON THE AIRBUS FRONT
Airbus Mobile on Track to Deliver First US-Built A321 to JetBlue in 2016
Construction on the Airbus Final Assembly line in Mobile,Alabama is moving forward and is on track to deliver its first A321 aircraft to jetBlue Airways in”late spring-early summer 2016” an Airbus spokesperson at Hamburg Finkenwerder Airport said.
Airbus started construction in 2013 on the&600 million US facility,where it plans to begin assembling narrowbodies this year for deliveries in 2016.The Mobile assembly will be one of four Airbus A320 assembly lines,in addition to Hamburg,Tianjin and Toulouse. Airbus expects to assemble four aircraft per month by 2018.
“We will start producing the first Airbus A321 variant in Mobile because there is demand for the Boeing 757 replacement ,especially in North America,the Spokesman said,adding the Mobile FAL will build the A32ceo.”Later on,from 2017 and when full production starts in 2018 we will deliver the A321neo,” he said. Airbus will also build the smaller variant of the A320 in the US facility in the future,the Spokesman added.
“This summer we will ship the first aircraft parts from Europe to the US by sea cargo,which takes about 22to 23 days for delivery,” he said
Source : ATW/Airbus Photo
Pilatus Begins Engine Ground Runs on PC-24
Swiss airframer Pilatus is progressing towards the maiden flight of its new PC-24, the first business jet it has ever produced, with a prototype aircraft photographed performing ground runs at the company’s Stans facility on February 18th.
First flight of the Williams International FJ44-4A powered type is scheduled for May of this year, ushering in a two-year long certification campaign using three flight test aircraft.
Dubbed a “super versatile jet” by the manufacturer thanks to its proposed short runway performance, the PC-24 has already racked up over 80 sales, having sold out the first three years of production of the $9 million aircraft. The next available production slot is in late 2019.
Source: Flightglobal/Photo Pilatus
OTHER AVIATION NEWS
ALC Sees 757 Being Replaced Rather than Re-Engined
Air Lease’s chief believes Boeing is leaning towards a brand new Boeing 757 replacement with additional capabilities rather than a re-engined version of the type.
“We’re very, very intimately involved with Boeing…and based on everything we’ve seen, I think the re-engineing idea is not on the table at this time,” said Steven Udvar-Hazy during a fourth-quarter earnings call. “I think Boeing is looking at an airplane that is not only a 757 replacement but one that also could do things beyond that capability in terms of range and size, because this aircraft will be around for 35 or 40 years.”
He adds: “I think the focus is on an airplane that can replace the 757 as well as do other things even above that size.”
In January, ALC became the launch customer for the long range version of the Airbus A321neo with a 97 ton maximum take-off weight. First deliveries are planned for 2019.
However, Udvar-Hazy does not see the new long-range Airbus as a surrogate for the 757. ”I would not characterize the A321LR as a true 100% 757 replacement, but it does accommodate a significant portion of the 757 flying done by US and foreign carriers,” he says.
C919 Takes Shape in Shanghai
Final assembly work on the Comac C919 has kicked into high gear, with assembly of the first prototype airframe almost complete.
Pictures released to Flightglobal show an almost complete airframe joined from nose through to the tail. Wing-to-body join also has been done, with vertical and horizontal stabilizers already attached to the aircraft tail.
The aircraft is still resting on struts, although the main landing gear and forward gear appear to have been installed. The aircraft’s wingtip devices have also yet to be installed. No other aircraft are pictured in the final assembly center area.
Comac spokesman tells Flightglobal that no systems have been installed on the aircraft.
He adds however that major works such as the installation of the avionics, flight control and hydraulics systems still remain to be done. The various systems also have to be integrated and tested.
Source : Flightglobal/Comac pictures
Tyrolean Technik Set Up as Separate Company
Tyrolean Airways’ maintenance arm Tyrolean Technik was re-established as a separate company, effective March 1, as a result of the reorganization of Austrian Airlines Group. It is currently a fully owned subsidiary of Tyrolean Airways and specializes in the maintenance of Bombardier Dash 8 aircraft. Approximately 120 technicians are working at the Innsbruck facility.
The integration of Tyrolean Airways and Austrian Airlines will take place April 1 when Tyrolean Technik becomes a fully owned subsidiary of Austrian Airlines.
Tyrolean Technik is responsible for the maintenance and repair work performed on 18 Austrian Airlines” Dash 8 Q400 turboprops; It hopes to further expand its third-party operations, which currently stands at 40% of the business.
“Tyrolean Technik is a regional company with an international reputation and recognition. We want to further expand upon this,” MD Bernd Meyer said in a statement.
Tyrolean Technik carries out Dash 8 base maintenance at the Innsbruck site, including A and C checks, as well as other maintenance, including replacing landing gear and related components, and engine, propellers and engine components.
Austrian Airlines, a 100% Lufthansa subsidiary, is the only Dash 8 Q400 operator within the Lufthansa Group.
Source : ATW/ Troylean Picture
LATEST NEWS IN BRIEF
- Jetstar is due to go to an all 787 long haul fleet by September when the airline receives the delivery of three additional 787s.
- Air Austral has bought two of the early built 787-8s .The Indian Ocean carrier is planning to operate the 787s from Reunion to Bangkok and Mayotte to Paris.
- Elix Aviation Capital Limited based in Dublin has taken on three Bombardier Q400 NextGen aircraft previously ordered by an existing customer.
- The Qatari Amiri Flight took delivery of its new 747-8i Business Jet.
- Air Lease Corporation (ALC) has revealed plans to deliver eight new Boeing 777-300ERs on long term leases to six airlines during 2015 : Air France (1), Korean Air (2) , EVA Air (1), KLM (1) and Ethiopian (2). All eight aircraft are from ALC’s outstanding order book with Boeing that currently stands at 16 aircraft.
- Silk Way West confirmed an order for three 747-8 Freighters valued at $1.1 billion based on list prices.
- Thai Airways International Public Co.Ltd. has signed a 12 year ONPoint agreement for the maintenance, repair and overhaul of the airline’s GE90-115Bs on 14 Boeing 777-300ERs.
- Air Explore Monarch Aircraft Engineering has secured a line maintenance technical handling agreement with Bratislava based Air Explore. Monarch will carry out line maintenance service up to and including A-checks on the carrier’s two Boeing 737-800s
- AirBridge Cargo Russian freight operator is aiming to acquire another 747-8 F this year and introduce a 737-400 freighter.
- Bombardier has flown the larger variant of the CSeries for the first time. The second CS300 is in production at Bombardier’s final assembly facility in Mirabel and is set to come off the production line later this year.
Tricky Job Tackled by Volga-Dnepr
Volga-Dnepr engineers in Ulyanovsk, Russia, had to move quickly in late February in response to an urgent customer request. Their mission? to move 35 tons of pipeline, in 62-foot long sections from Scotland to Turkey.
Huseyn Mammadi, logistics executive with Volga-Dnepr, said the engineers developed a load plan and built a multi-purpose shipping cradle to load the unwieldy pipes for the oil production industry.
Manufacturing of the cradle was organized by a team at the U.K’s London Stansted Airport, while Volga-Dnepr’s engineering and logistics center arranged to rent cranes for the loading and a trailer to get the pipes to Prestwick Airport.
Extra loading equipment was brought in from Leipzig, Germany. Despite strong winds in Prestwick on the day of the loading, the technical crew on the IL-76TD-90VD aircraft was able to build the loading assembly for the huge pipe on the trailer and in the aircraft, fixing the pipes in the cradle and lifting it into the cargo hold.
The cargo arrived in Istanbul three days from the customer called. The equipment was delivered on behalf of DHL Global Forwarding to Istanbul’s Sabiha Gokeen International Airport for use in oil exploration on the Black Sea shelf in Turkey.
Delivery of Cargolux 30th 747, 747-8 Freighter
Cargolux took delivery of their 30th 747, a 747-8 Freighter. Marking the milestone with a tribute to the man who started it all Joe Sutter. Cargolux decked out their newest airplane with a special decal honoring Joe as the Father of the 747. The delivery took place from the Future of Flight Aviation Center with a dinner commemorating the occasion.
Cargolux took delivery of the first 747-200 Freighter in the late 1970s and have been a loyal customer to this aircraft. Cargolux was the launch customer for the -8 Freighter.
Cargolux serves 100 airports worldwide with the 747-8 Freighter from the hub of the airline in Luxembourg.
Source: Air Cargo World
Researched and Compiled by : Ed Kaplanian
Commercial Aviation Advisor
Contact – email@example.com