Volume 3 Issue 7 July 2016

ON THE BOEING FRONT

Boeing Selects iPad-Like Touch Screens For 777X Flight Deck

Future Boeing 777X airline pilots will be able to interact with their flight information displays in the same way that they use their smart phones and tablets.

Boeing has decided to integrate a multi-touch interface on the flight deck of the re-engineer wide body due to enter service in 2020, replacing a touch-pad based cursor control device (CCDs) mounted on the aisle-stand of the original 777, says Bob Feldmann, vice president and general manager of the 777X program.

The decision was made so recently that Boeing is not yet able to announce the supplier, as the contract had not been signed as of mid June, Feldmann says.

The new technology will be integrated as Boeing transitions from a standard layout of six displays in the 777 cockpit to the 787’s five display format in the 777X.  ”We think we are the first Commercial airplane to really make something that is like all our customers are used to doing in their daily lives,” Feldmann says.

In discussions with our 777X customers, Boeing received a clear preference for making the transition to multi-touch screens, Feldmann says.

The next milestone for the 777-9 development program is a critical design review scheduled earlier next year.  Production of the first test aircraft is expected to begin next June, with first flight following in 2018.

Cockpit touch screens are one of several key technologies Boeing is developing for the 777X.  The most visible innovation on the 777X is perhaps Boeing’s plan to integrate folding wingtips, a feature normally found on fighters based on space constrained aircraft carriers.

Source : Flightglobal/Boeing

                 

ON THE AIRBUS FRONT

Airbus Starting A330neo Final Assembly in October

Airbus is working through some high profile issues with the introduction of the A350 and the A320neo to market, but surely wishes those programs were low-profile as the A330neo.  The reengineer A330 program, is progressing more quietly and without major problems that have kept Airbus in the news.

The A330-900, the first reengineer version of the family, is due to enter service by the end of 2017, followed by the smaller -800 a year later.  Airbus hopes the program’s lower costs – combined with the fuel burn reduction the new engines are expected to provide and the new cabin designed to align it with the larger A350’s interior – will be sufficient to counter the Boeing 787.

Airbus is well on the way to producing the A330neo subassemblies. The first wing is essentially completed in the Broughton, England facility with only the sharklets missing, and the second is close behind.  Along with engines and the new cabin, the wing has seen the most modifications of the major components. At 64 m(210 ft), the A330neo wingspan has grown by 4 m (13.1 ft) over the the A330ceo’s and has been structurally reinforced to accommodate the Neo’s heavier engines. The wing-to-body-juncture also has been redesigned.

In parallel, the first A330neo nose section is completed at the Saint-Nazaire plant in France.  Airbus has a total of 186 orders for the two versions of the A330neo,10 for the A330-800 and the rest for the larger -900.  Hawaiian Airlines has ordered 6 -800s and 4 for TransAsia Airways

Source : China Aviation Daily/Airbus Photo

  

REGIONAL/BUSINESS JETS

 Mitsubishi Starts Final Assembly of First Delivery Jet

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries is set to begin final assembly of the first customer aircraft for the MRJ regional jet program, with various sections of the fuselage having been delivered to the MRJ final assembly hanger.In a newsletter, Mitsubishi Aircraft says it will work through the final assembly process, with an eye on delivery to launch customer All Nippon Airways in mid 2018. The Japanese airframe also gave an update of the MRJ flight tests, which are ongoing using two test aircraft.  It says valid results have been obtained from FTA-2, which started flying on May 31st, including the confirmation of emergency response measures – such as flying with one  engine, activation of emergency power units and stall tests.

Various tests are also being carried out as the program prepares for ferry flight to Moses  Lake, Washington State, this summer.

These include the expansion of its flight envelop to it’s design specifications of a maximum speed of Mach 0.78 and a maximum altitude of 39,000 ft, conducting instrument flights,plus checking on terrain awareness, warning system and collision avoidance system.

Its Moses Lake Flight Test Center meanwhile has been conducting flights using a small aircraft, rehearsing for the test missions ahead.

Mitsubishi adds that preparations are underway for FTA-3 and FTA-4 to take their first flights this summer.

Source : Flightglobal/Photo/Mitsubishi Aircraft

                                                                       

OTHER AVIATION NEWS

 First CSeries Aircraft is Delivered to SWISS

Bombardier delivered the first CSeries aircraft to Lufthansa subsidiary Swiss International Air Lines(SWISS), at ceremonies in Montreal on June 29th.

The delivery marks an important milestone in an aircraft program beset with technical problems, delays and difficulty securing customers.  Swiss originally ordered 20 CS100 and 10 CS300s, plus 30 options, but then converted five 100s to the 300 variant.

The handover should begin a process in which SWISS will receive nine aircraft by year end, taking one aircraft per month this month, August and September.  After that, deliveries will increase to two aircraft per month.  The first aircraft will enter service this month.

On June 23, Bombardier signed a definitive agreement with the Quebec government for $1billion investment in the CSeries program.  The assets, liabilities and obligations of the program have been transferred to the CSeries Aircraft Limited Partnership(CSALP) of which 50.5% is owned by Bombardier and 49.5% by the provincial government through Investment  Quebec.

The money will be used for cash-flow purposes, representing half of the $2 billion Bombardier says is required to take the CSeries program to cash-flow positive production in 2020.

The $2 billion includes funds to cover losses on discounted sales to marquee customers, including Air Canada and Delta Air Lines deals which Bombardier will record a $500 billion this quarter to cover “onerous contract provisions.”

The Canadian federal government, meanwhile, confirmed it is continuing negotiations with Bombardier about investing in the CSeries partnership.

Source : ATW/Bombardier Photo

 Pratt & Whitney to Invest $65m in Georgia GTF Maintenance Site              

Pratt & Whitney will invest $65 million in maintenance site near Columbus, Georgia, where the company maintains and overhauls PW 1000G geared turbofans (GTFs).  The investment, which comes as the company embarks on massive GTF production ramp up, will help P&W ensure it has infrastructure in place to meet increasing maintenance demand, P&W said in a media release.

Also, later this year the company expects construction will begin on an additional engine test facility at the site in Columbus, which is about 90 miles(145km) south of Atlanta, P&W says.

The company has orders for more than 7,100 GTFs, executives have said.  P&W will manufacture about 200 of the engines this year, but the company forecasts production will hit 400 in 2017, 600 in 2018 and 1,200 annually by 2020, executives have said.

The Columbus maintenance site is also where P&w is modifying a number of in-service PW 1100Gs to address a slow-engine-start issue, P&W aftermarket president Matthew Bromberg has told Flightglobal.

Source : Flightglobal/P&W

Air Lease Corp. Names New CEO;  Udvar-Hazy to Be Executive Chairman

Air Lease Corp.(ALC) has appointed John Plueger as president and CEO, effective July 1, as current CEO Steven Udvar-Hazy assumes the role of Executive chairman of the board, a full-time officer role.

Steve Udvar-Hazy started ALC in February 2010, the company owns and manages 268 young and in-demand jet aircraft on lease to 88 airline customers around the world.  It has an order book of 386 new jet aircraft to be delivered from Airbus and Boeing through 2023.

Plueger joined ALC as president, COO and board member in March 2010, shortly after the company was formed.  Plueger has more than 30 years of aviation experience, 24 of which were with International Lease Finance Corp.

Udar-Hazy said, ”John and I have worked together for over 30 years and I am extremely proud of what we have accomplished in six short years at ALC.  I look forward to continuing to partner with John in my new role”.

Source : ATW

                 

LATEST NEWS

  • Emirates  took delivery of its 80th A380 to join the Emirates the A380 fleet and the airline has another 62 on order including 21 to be delivered this year.
  • Gulfstream  G500 business jet program has reached another milestone with the completion of the ultimate load testing on June 16.
  • Irkut Corporation Russian aircraft manufacturer rolled out its MC-21-300 on June 8 at its factory in Irkutsk.
  • Chengdu Airline made its first commercial flight with China’s home grown ARJ21 on June 28 with 70 passengers on board.  Chengdu is the launch customer for the ARJ21.
  • Alaska Airlines took delivery of a 737-900 painted in a special livery to celebrated Boeing’s 100th Birthday.

  • Bombardier Commercial Aircraft has announced that an unidentified customer has signed a firm purchase order for 10 CRJ900 aircraft.  The agreement is valued at $472 million at list prices.
  • HNA Group (Hainan Airline mother company) will become the biggest customer of both Airbus and Boeing aircraft within the next 10 years.  Hainan Airlines welcomed its first Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner on June 10.
  • Ethiopian Airlines took delivery of the first of 14 Airbus A350 XWBs on June 28, making it Africa’s first operator of the type.

  • Embraer E190-E2 has achieved first flight in Sao Jose dos Campos, Brazil, earlier than expected.
  • Xiamen Airlines will be the sixth airlines to fly from Seattle to China using the Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner.  The three-times weekly service will connect to Xiamen, a city 360 miles to the northeast of Shenzhen.
  • Nile Air, Egyptian based carrier, began operations from Cairo to  Al Ain international airport in Abu Dhabi located on the Omani border.

AIR CARGO

 FedEx’s 270 Boeing Planes

Package delivery company, FedEx Corp, owned 582 airplanes at the end of May 2015 and leased another 65 for a total fleet of 647 planes.  Of the planes owned,241 were manufactured by the Boeing Company or by McDonnell Douglas prior to its merger with Boeing in1997.  Another 29 Boeing planes were leased, bringing FedEx’s total Boeing fleet to 270 planes.

The most popular Boeing aircraft in the FedEx fleet is now the 757-200, a dual-engine narrow body that Boeing configured as a cargo plane.  The plane can carry 63,000 pounds of cargo with maximum range of 3,625 miles.  The average age of these planes in FedEx fleet is nearly 25 years.  Boeing sold more than 1,000 of the planes and delivered the last new 757 in 2004.(it went to Shanghai Airlines in China)

Boeing had also supplied FedEx with 21 767-300 cargo freighters at the end of May 2015 (the end of the most recent fiscal year for which the company has produced an annual report).  FedEx ordered 50 more of the wide body planes last July with an option on 50 more.  At list price of $199.3 million per plane, the order was valued at nearly $20 billion.

Why buy an old design? it is simple to replace even older ones and reduce the variety of planes in FedEx’s fleet.  FedEx’s 767s average less than three years old.  The 767 is also more fuel efficient and shares many parts with the 757s in the fleet; plus it is a great aircraft.

Because Boeing is building the Air Force tanker, The KC-46A, on the 767 airframe, FedEx is assured of spare parts for at lease another 40 years, the expected life of the tanker.

Finally, FedEx reported 27 Boeing 777 freighters in its fleet at the end of November 2015, and in January the company said it had committed to another 16 at a list price of $318.7 per plane,for an order totaling more than $5 billion.

Source : 24/7 Wall St/ Boeing Photo/Ed’s Research.

 

  MILITARY NEWS

China’s New Y-20 Is the Largest Military Aircraft Currently in Production 

The Y-20 is China’s version of the C-17 Globemaster.  The first Xian Y-20 military transport aircraft was delivered to the People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) on June 15. Developed by Xian Aircraft Corporation, the Y-20 has an empty weight of 110 short tons, making it the largest military aircraft currently in production – larger than Russia’s Ilyushin Il-76.  Boeing’s C-17 Globemaster III is bigger than the Y-20, the C-17’s empty weight is about 60,000 pounds more than the Y-20.  Its payload capacity is 25,000 pounds more, but production stopped in 2015, making the Y-20 the biggest that currently rolling out of factories.

The Y-20 has the official codename “Kunpeng” after a mythical Chinese bird, though it is nicknamed “Chubby Girl” for its appearance.  The Y-20 is remarkably similar to the C-17.  Currently the Y-20 uses four Russian made Soloviev D-30 turbofan engines; however, plans are to replace the engines with Chinese-made Shenyang WS-20 turbofans by 2020 to give the plane short takeoff capabilities and a greater range.

Source : Popular Mechanics/AIN Online

 

 

Researched and Compiled by : Ed Kaplanian

Commercial Aviation Advisor

Contact – ed@kaplanianreport.com

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