ON THE BOEING FRONT
Boeing Begins Extensive Engine Testing of the LEAP-1B for the 737 MAX
Boeing and CFM International announced that they successfully initiated flight testing of the LEAP-1B engine on April 29th on GE’s modified 747 flying testbed at GE Aviation Flight Test Operations in Victorville, California.
The testing is the next major milestone in a two-year program that will culminate in engine certification in 2016 and delivery of the first Boeing 737 MAX in 2017.The engine performed well and completed multiple aeromechanics test points of various altitudes during the five-hour 30 minute first flight.
“I continue to be really impressed with the LEAP,” said Chief Test Pilot Steven Crane, CFM International. ”These engines are demonstrating maturity that you do not always see in new products. I think our airline customers are going to be pleased with the engine.”
The LEAP-1B engine is the exclusive power plant for the Boeing 737 MAX family and is part of the most extensive ground and flight test certification program in CFM’s history. The first Leap-1B engine began ground testing on June 13, 2014, three days ahead of the schedule set when the program was launched in 2011.
Over the next several weeks, the flight test program will encompass a comprehensive test schedule that will gauge engine operability, stall margin, performance, emissions and acoustics.
“The Leap engine has been incredibly well throughout a very rigorous ground and flight test program,” said Allen Paxson, executive vice president, CFM International. ”Results to date are right in line with what we predicted and where we wanted this engine to be.”
To date, the 737 MAX has accumulated 2,724 orders from 57 customers worldwide.
Source: Boeing/CFM International/Picture Boeing
ON THE AIRBUS FRONT
Airbus Turns to Korean Manufacturer to Supply A330neo Sharklet
Airbus has selected Korean Air Aerospace Division, (KAL-ASD),the manufacturing division of Korean Air Group, to supply the new Sharklet wingtip for the A330neo.
KAL-ASD will manufacture the new composite wingtip devices at its Busan facility and supply them to Airbus’s Toulouse final assembly line.
The Sharklets bear a strong resemblance to the aerodynamic devices carried by the A350 and the A330 versions will include a wingspan extension; overall span will increase from 60.3m of the A330ceo to 64m on the A330neo and provide increased lift while reducing drag.
Together with the A330neo’s Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines, the new wingtips plus other aerodynamic enhancements will give the aircraft a 14% reduction in fuel burn per seat compared with today’s A330ceos,Airbus said.
The first A330neos will be delivered in the fourth quarter of 2017.
Source : ATW/Airbus Photo
Mitsubishi Releases New Photos of Flight Test Fleet
Mitsubishi Aircraft has released a series of photos of its fleet of five flight test aircraft for the MRJ regional jet program.
The pictures show FTA-1, also known as MSN 10001, and FTA-2 having both completed final assembly and with its Pratt & Whitney engines attached.
FTA-3 with its landing gear attached, has completed wing-to-body join although engines have not been mounted. FTA-4 is still resting on struts and undergoing wing-to-body join. The picture shows that its engines, horizontal stabilizers, rudder, flaps, ailerons and wingtips have also yet to be installed.
The aft fuselage of FTA-5 meanwhile has not been fused. All five airframes have been painted, and FTA-5 appears to bear launch customer All Nippon Airway’ livery.
The Japanese airframe unveiled the pictures at the Regional Airline Association convention in Cleveland on May 12th.
At the convention, it also announced that it has expanded planned flight test and engineering options in the USA with four more sites. Besides a flight test center in Moses Lake, Washington, an engineering center will also be opened in Seattle.
It will also perform high-altitude flight tests at Gunnison Crested Butte Regional airport in Colorado, special runway tests at Roswell International Air Center in New Mexico, and use the McKinley climatic test cell at Eglin AFB, Florida.
Mitsubishi has pushed the first flight of the MRJ to September or October of 2015,but committed to keep to its second quarter 2017 delivery schedule.
Source: Flightglobal/ Mistubishi Aircraft
OTHER AVIATION NEWS
Alaska Airlines is the Launch Customer for the B737-700PF Program
Israel Aerospace Industries has launched a B737-700P2F (Passenger aircraft to Freighter) conversion program through its MRO and conversion arm, Bedek Aviation Group. According to Cargo Facts Alaska Airlines is the launch customer for the process with three firm orders plus one option. Bedek says that it expects certification to occur in mid 2016 with redelivery of the first converted aircraft due at the end of 2016.
The US carrier’s cargo fleet currently consists of one B737-400F and four B737-400Ms used on flights throughout rural Alaska as well as to the mainland United States.
Southwest Adds International Flights, Bigger Boeing Jets
Southwest Airlines Co. is expanding the number of flights it makes to Latin America and changing its order with the Boeing Co. for 31 of the company’s 737-700 jets to the larger 737-800. All 31 planes are scheduled for delivery to Southwest in 2016.
The 737-800 includes 32 more seats than the 737-700 and carries a list price of $93.3 million compared with the list price of the $78.3 million for the smaller plane. Since placing its first order for the 727-200 in 1971, Southwest has ordered 941 new 737s from Boeing and taken delivery of 675.
Southwest claims to have the largest fleet of Boeing airplanes in the world, with currently in active service according to planespotters.net. Of those, 440 are 737-700s and 95 737-800s. By the end of 2016 Southwest expects its fleet to number about 715 aircraft, all some version of the 737.
For 2015, Southwest has 19 firm orders for the 737-800, and intends to take delivery of 19 pre-owned 737-700s. For 2016, the airline currently intends to take delivery of four pre-owned 737-700 aircraft.
The airline also has more 737-700s on order for delivery in 2017 and 2018.Those orders may also be changed to 737-800s depending on the airline’s needs according to CEO Gary Kelly. The last 737-700 that Southwest acquired new was delivered in December 2011.
Source : Wall street.com/Southwest.
TUI Group to Rebrand Five Airlines as “TUI”
TUI Group plans to rebrand its five airlines under a single “TUI” brand as part of its roadmap for growth initiative to be achieved by 2018.
Beginning in the fall 2015, the TUI Group said it will use single branding for its airlines. TUI currently operates around 140 medium-and long-haul aircraft in various markets under different brand names – TUIfly
(Germany), Thomson Airways(UK), Arkefly (Netherlands), Jetairfly (Brussels) and TUIfly Nordic(Sweden).
Each carrier will maintain its separate air operators certificate(AOC) and will remain responsible for its own crew and flight planning, but will operate under “one central organization.” Also, maintenance should be concentrated under one organization.
According to a company statement, crew and fleet would be more efficient when switched between different bases and nations, depending on demand. This should increase effectiveness of the airlines. TUI hopes to deliver operational efficiency improvements worth $57 million per annum by 2018.
TUI Group said the strategy generate more synergies by joining business units and would raise shareholders value.
The week of May 11th TUI Group placed a firm order for a single Boeing 787-9, plus one option, and has switched two of its smaller 787-8s already on order for the larger variant
Source: ATW/ Picture TUIfly Boeing 737-800
Eastern Air Lines Takes Flight from Miami Again with First Revenue Flight
Eastern is back in business at Miami International Airport. The well-known carrier with the hockey stick logo resurrection of the airline that called Miami home for decades lifted off for its first revenue flight on May 28th.The destination for Eastern flight 3145 was Havana, in partnership with HavanaAir Charters.
Eastern Air Lines announced last week that it had signed an agreement with Miami-based HavanaAir to provide lift for the operator’s charter flights to Havana, Santa Clara and Camaguey.
The airline’s Boeing 737-800 will fly twice daily to Havana from Miami and weekly to other destinations, with plans to add service to Cuba from other gateway cities in the U.S. over the next couple months.
Henry Harteveldt, travel industry analyst at Atmosphere Research in San Francisco, called the contract a “great win” for Eastern that will give the start operational experience, revenue and attention.
“It’ll be good for Eastern in terms of giving it a lot of frequencies and it’s also a high-profile market,” Harteveldt said. ”It’s great visibility for the airline”.
The earlier Eastern filed for bankruptcy protection in 1989 and stopped flying in 1991.The new airline is not affiliated with the original carrier but acquired its intellectual property; shareholders from the old airline also received rights to buy a stake in the new company.
The company has set up shop at Miami International Airport’s Building 5A, the former Eastern operations center. Community appreciation for the airline was evident in December, when the first aircraft arrived and crowds of politicians and former employees gathered to welcome it with cheers.
Source : Miami Herald
LATEST NEWS IN BRIEF
- Azul Linhas Aereas have a final agreement for 30 firm orders for the E195-E2 jets. The contract, announced as a Letter of Intent (LOI) during the 2014 edition of the Farnborough International Airshow.
- HAECO Component Overhaul has been appointed by Umbra Cuscinetti as its exclusive provider of Authorized Repair Station services in mainland China.
- Pratt & Whitney has teamed with Bombardier to develop and implement a data management service for the CSeries, part of the Bombardier Aircraft Health Management System(AHMS) capable of transmitting real-time and recorded data from the aircraft.
- Turkish Airlines has taken delivery of the 125th Boeing aircraft-a Next Generation 737-900ER- one of 12 aircraft to be delivered to the Turkish flag carrier this year.
- Vietnam Airlines’ new 787-9 has rolled out of Boeing’s paint shop at Paine Field in its new livery.It is now undergoing preflight testing.
- Hainan Airlines and Air lease Corp.(ALC) have inked a long-term lease agreement covering a pair of Boeing 787-9s.The aircraft will be sourced from ALC’s current order book, which comprises 46 787-9s and 787-10s due for delivery from spring 2016.
- Easy Jet has become the latest airline to commit to a higher-density Airbus A320 layout with the decision to fit 186 seats in the type.
- Ruili Airlines has signed an agreement with Minsheng Financial Leasing and AVIC Leasing for 60 Boeing Max aircraft. The agreement was signed on May 18th, which also marks the airline’s one year anniversary. Of the 60 jets, 30 will come from Minsheng and 30 from AVIC.
- Transaero On May 2nd Transaero took delivery of it’s Next Generation 737-800.The airplane was sporting a new livery. Transaero was the first private airline in Russia, established in 1991.
- Qatar Executive has firmed up its earlier memorandum of understanding for 20 Gulfstream business jets and added an extra 10 aircraft to the order.
- Sichuan Airlines has taken delivery of its 100th aircraft. The all-Airbus operator was handed over its latest jet, an A321, in Hamburg on May 22nd.
- Vietnam Airlines confirmed the first of its new Boeing 787-9 has completed its first B1 test flight The newly painted Dreamliner took off from Paine field in Everett.
- Dassault has rolled-out its falcon 5X at a ceremony at its 60-year old final assembly in Bordeaux-Merignac, southwest France. The ceremony took place on June 2nd.
- Nimgxia Cargo Airlines received preliminary approval from the Civil Aviation of China (CAAC) to conduct operations from its base at Yinchuan Hedong Airport in the Ningxia Autonomous Region,900 Km west of Beijing.
Emirates Sky Cargo to Start Service to Rickenbacker Columbus Regional Airport.
Emirates SkyCargo, the freight division of Emirates airline, announced on May 27th that it will begin weekly cargo service to Rickenbacker Columbus Regional Airport.
Fellow cargo companies Cargolux and Cathay Pacific currently fly from Hong Kong to Rickenbacker.
Columbus is “an alternative port to Chicago, where shipments originating or destined to the Midwest can be trucked much more efficiently.” said Nabil Sultan, Emirates divisional senior vice president, Cargo, in a statement.
Products expected to fly into Rickenbacker on Emirates flights include apparel, pharmaceuticals and electronics, but not all manufactured in the United Arab Emirates. Columbus is Emirates’ 48th destination for air cargo and sixth in the United States, according to the company.
“The new service extends Ohio’s reach into critical market and provides yet another global asset that makes it easier and more profitable to do business within the Columbus region,” said Kenny McDonald, chief economic officer of Columbus 2020, in a statement.
Source: The Columbus Dispatch
Chapman Freeborn, Ruslan offer Support for Armenian Centennial
Heavy, outsized broadcasting equipment cargo from Tianjin, China, was delivered to Yerevan, Armenia, for television coverage of Armenia’s centenary commemorations .The equipment was a gift from the people of China to the people of Armenia.
Air charter specialists Chapman Freeborn’s team in China commissioned the flight and chose to work with Ruslan International, which was formed through a joint venture between Antonov Airline and Volga-Dnepr Airlines. The carrier specializes in outsize and heavy cargo, employing a fleet of 17 Antonov An124-100 aircraft.
The 40 tons of cargo in this shipment consisted of three outside broadcast equipment including a large generator. The height of one of the vehicles was a challenge, but with the use of special flat extension ramp it was loaded smoothly.
“All the loads we carry are important, but this cargo has particular significance due to its role in helping the people of Armenia commemorate the centenary of such a defining moment in their history,” said Alexander Kraynow of Ruslan International.
Source: Air Cargo World/Picture Ruslan International
Researched and Compiled by : Ed Kaplanian
Commercial Aviation Advisor
Contact – email@example.com
Lots of interesting things in this issue Ed. I was amazed at the number of 737s Southwest has and am glad to see EAL back.
Hope all is well, Ed. Your friend, Bill
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