Volume 3 Issue 12 December 2016


My United 787-8 Adventure Continued

One of the biggest innovations in the 787 is its cabin, which I immediately noticed as soon as I entered the aircraft.

The most notable is more light and space in the cabin, the Boeing designed windows 18.5 in tall by 11 in wide approximately 40% larger than any widebody I have flown on, throughout my career. I have put a lot of miles on 747-400s and 777-300ERs.

The other thing I noticed is the disappearance of window shades. They were replaced by an electric dimming switch that lets you change the tint of the window from fully transparent to completely dimmed.  They control the light level coming through, on the 787-8 I have flown, they worked like a charm.

As I stated in my November report, the flight was smooth and not only that, it was comfortable. The Boeing designed nose-mounted sensors did the job for detecting turbulence and sent messages to the aircraft’s control surfaces.  As we were getting closer to our destination, I detected a few, which felt like little bumps that almost rock you to sleep.

In summation, the next trip I want to take by air, I want to make sure it is on a 787 Dreamliner.

Ed Kaplanian


Boeing Opens First St. Louis Commercial Airplanes Facility


Boeing formally opened a new composite center on its St. Louis campus that will house the largest commercial aviation work ever placed at the site.

The 424,000 square feet facility will initially build composite parts for the company’s newest commercial jetliner, the 777X. Boeing has committed more than $300 million in company funds to construct and outfit the center.

“Boeing has had a presence in St. Louis for nearly 80 years. We’ve built more than 12,000 fighter jets here,” said Bob Ciesla, vice president and program manager for the 777X St. Louis work. ”With the opening of this new composite center, our well trained, high-quality workforce is able to demonstrate its versatility and expertise, positioning our region for additional commercial and defense work in the future.”

Production of 777X wing edge and empennage parts will begin at the new composite center in early 2017.  The first 777X delivery is expected in 2020.

As a result of this 777X work in St. Louis, a  total of approximately 700 jobs are expected to be generated in production, engineering, and multiple support areas by the early 2020s timeframe.

Source : Boeing/Boeing Picture



A350-1000 Takes Off on Maiden Flight

Airbus has commenced the flight-test campaign for the A350-1000 with the variant becoming airborne for the first time at Toulouse.  The aircraft, powered by Rolls-Royce Trent XWB-97 engines, lifted off at 10.42 local time.

It marks a crucial step in the airframe’s attempt to enter the big twin sector, in the 350-400 seat category, following its previous  development of the smaller A300 and A310, the A330 and the A350-900.

The A350-1000 will typically seat 366 passengers and Airbus is marketing the aircraft as having a range of 7,950nm.

The wing is modified from that on the -900, with an extended trailing edge, and Rolls-Royce enhanced the power plants to deliver 97,000lb thrust rather than the previous 93,000lb.

Airbus is nearing 200 orders for the A350-1000, two-thirds of them picked up since the 2011 design overhaul.

Source : Flightglobal/Picture Airbus



Second MRJ Arrives in Moses Lake, Washington

A second flight test aircraft from the MRJ regional jet program has arrived at the airframe’s US test facility in Moses Lake after a 14,000km(8699nm) journey.

FTA-4 took off from Nagoya Airfield at 09:35 local time on November 15, arriving at Grant County International airport in Washington at 06:46 local time on November 19, says Mitsubishi Aircraft. In between, the aircraft made stops at Guam International airport, Majuro International airport in Marshall Islands, Honolulu International airport and San Jose International airport.

The southbound journey took approximately 18h 43min.  This is longer than the 13h 08min that FTA-1 took with a northbound route.

Mitsubishi is targeting to have four flight-test aircraft at Moses Lake by the end of 2016.  The program schedule calls for the MRJ to enter into service in mid-2018.

Source : Flightglobal/Mitsubishi Pictures



 Fiji Airways Commits to Five Boeing 737 MAX 8s


Fiji Airways has committed to ordering five Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft to replace its narrow body fleet of four 737-800s and one 737-700.

The first two MAX 8s will be delivered in 2018; the remaining in 2019.  All will be powered by CFM International LEAP-1B’s, the sole-source engine for the MAX. The order is valued at $550 million at list prices.

The airline said it will operate the aircraft on short-and medium-haul flights, operated by its 737NGs between Fiji and Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii, Kiribati, Samoa, the Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu, as well as new routes.

The aircraft will be financed through a 12-year sale and leaseback arrangement with Boeing, GE Capital Aviation Services(GECAS) and CFM.

Fiji Airways, which is majority-owned by the Fiji government, said it will configure the 737 MAX 8 with 170 seats in a two-class configuration.

Source : Boeing/Boeing Picture


  Pratt Needs a Year to Catch up on A320neo Engine Deliveries

Pratt & Whitney (P&W) does not anticipate catching up with its PW1100G engine delivery commitments until the end of 2017, says its vice president of marketing Paul Finklestein.

“The biggest challenge we have today is delivering enough engines,” he said at the Flightglobal Finance Forum West Coast in San Francisco on November 10. ”It will take through next year to get where we need to be.”

The backlog of PW1100G deliveries has resulted in delays to Airbus A320neo-family aircraft equipped with the geared turbofan engine.  Airbus has said it will miss its delivery targets for the type this year, and both airlines and lessors have warned of delivery delays into 2017.

P&W chief executive Greg Hayes has said that there are roughly 30 to 40 parts that are causing the PW1100G production delays, of which five are critical. These include the lightweight hybrid aluminum-titanium fan blades used in the engine.

Source : Flightglobal  



  • Boeing celebrated a historic moment as its first 787-10 Dreamliner moved into the final assembly plant in South Carolina on Wednesday November 31st.  A production milestone for the newest and the largest member of the Dreamliner family.

  • Aircalin, a full-service airline based on the French Pacific island of New Caledonia, has signed an MOU with Airbus to acquire two A320neos and two A330-900s.

  • Lufthansa’s first Airbus A350-900 took off on its first flight in Toulouse on November 29.  Lufthansa will receive the first of ten A350-900 on the 19th of this month.
  • Air France took delivery of their first 787-9 on December 1st, marking the 500th delivery of the type.

  • Air Vietnam took delivery of their 10th 787-9 on November 25th, from Boeing’s South Carolina plant.

  • Nok Air welcomed a new Boeing 737-800 to it fleet in the middle of November. The aircraft will be part of Nok Taiwan and has a capacity of 189 seats.
  • PNG Air Papua New Guinea carrier has converted five options for ATR 72-600 regional turboprops into firm orders. 
  • Air Tanzania has placed firm orders for two Bombardier CS300s and one Q400 turboprop, which will be leased to the airline.
  • Emirates, in line with its vision to offer a superior passenger experience and improve environmental performance, moves to an all Airbus A380 and Boeing 777 fleet.
  • Air Caledonia took delivery of its first of four ATR 72-600 at a ceremony at ATR facilities in Toulouse, France.



SF Airlines Takes Delivery of Latest B737 Conversion from Pemco

Pemco World Air Services has redelivered another 737-300 passenger-to-freighter converted aircraft to fast growing China-based express operator SF Airlines.

The latest redelivery marks the seventeenth B737-300/400 Pemco-converted aircraft to SF Airlines, which is owned by delivery firm SF Express.

“We are proud to see the continued growth of SF Airlines,” said PEMCO director of conversion programs, Mike Andrews. ”And honored our converted aircraft contribute to the company’s successful cargo business.

SF Airlines’ new B737-300 Pemco-converted aircraft features nine pallet positions, up to 43,100 pounds of payload, 4,600 cu ft of total volume, and max range exceeding 2,000 miles.

Source : aircargonews


                                                 MILITARY NEWS

                                                             Japan Receives First F-35

Japan has received its first Lockheed Martin F-35A, marking the first delivery of a Joint Strike Fighter acquired via the foreign military sale route.

The aircraft was officially rolled out in September and was handed over to the Japan Air Self- Defense Force on November 28.  Japan will use it for training at Luke AFB in Arizona.

The US Air Force’s 944th Fighter Wing at Luke is responsible for training FMS customer, including Israel and South Korea.  This is in addition to Japan, as well as pilots from partner nations Australia, Canada, Denmark, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway and Turkey.

The first four of a total 42 F-35s destined for Japan are being assembled in Fort Worth, Texas. The remaining 38 units will be built at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries’ facility in Nagoya, Japan.

Source: Flightglobal


Researched and Compiled by : Ed Kaplanian

Commercial Aviation Advisor

Contact – ed@kaplanianreport.com




Volume 3 Issue 11 Kaplanian Report


Boeing Plans Performance Upgrade for 737 Max After 2021

Boeing has quietly developed plans to roll-out a performance improvement package for the 737 Max family, five years after the first member of the type enters service.

The undisclosed package will improve maximum range values between 1.69-2.7%, depending on the variant of the 737 Max.

Boeing plans to deliver the first 737 Max 8 to Southwest Airlines in the first half of next year with 3,515nm range. An “improvement performance level” available after 2021 will improve range by 2.7% to 3,610nm.

The 737 Max 9 will enter service a year later with 3.510nm range, but will improve by 2.56% after 2021 to 3,605nm.

Finally, the 737 Max 7 enters service in 2019 with 3,850nm range, including an extra 500nm boost by a 1.83m(6ft) extension of the fuselage unveiled last July.

Its range will improve by 1.69% on the 737 Max 7 after 2021.

More recently, the performance improvement package was cited as part of Boeing’s roll-out of the Boeing Business Jet version of the 737 Max 7 at the NBAA convention in Orlando on October 30th.

Boeing officials decline to elaborate on the details of the performance improvements.

Source : Flightglobal

My United 787-8 Adventure 

In spite  of all the challenges and bad press Boeing faced in building the 787 Dreamliner, the aircraft has surpassed its gestation period and proved its worth to the airlines who fly it.

Visiting family in Jerusalem the week of October 8th, I made sure to fly United’s new route from San Francisco to Tel Aviv on their 787-8 Dreamliner.

The aircraft was powered by GEnx engines and the flight duration to Tel Aviv took 13 hours at a cruising speed of 0.84 mach; the altitude on our route varied between 37,000 ft to 40,000 ft.  Boeing’s decision to have the cabin pressure equivalent to that of an altitude of 6000 feet worked as advertised.

When I disembarked in Tel Aviv the following evening, I did not feel the jet lag.

During take off and landing, the aircraft was surprisingly quiet and smooth, due to the technology  Boeing incorporated in the aircraft.   Technology allows it to sense turbulence and adjusts control surfaces for the smoother ride.

Those of you who are aircraft enthusiasts, I highly recommend flying this aircraft whenever you have the chance.  I have to tip my hat to all the people at Boeing involved in building this aircraft.

(1st in a series)

Ed Kaplanian



Airbus Aims to Fly the  A350-1000 This Month

Airbus is aiming to conduct the first flight of the new A350-1000 as early as this month.

The airframer has not disclosed a date for the maiden flight of the stretched aircraft, they are maintaining only that the twin jet is scheduled to fly in the fourth quarter.

But a source with knowledge of progress on the program says the manufacturer’s test flight team is “shooting for November”.

Airbus has recently installed the Rolls-Royce Trent XWB-97 engines on the first -1000 in the three-aircraft test fleet.

It is carrying out cabin-fit on the second aircraft and finalizing the production of the third.  Airbus has secured orders for 195 A350-1000s, with the first due to enter service in the second half of 2017.

Source : Flightglobal/Airbus   



   Jet Aviation Basel Takes Delivery of 777-300ER for VIP Fit-Out

Jet Aviation’s Basel completions center has taken delivery of the first of two Boeing Business Jet 777-300ERs for interior fit-out. t was commissioned by Boeing on behalf of a government client in Asia.

The wide body twin jet, which arrived at the Swiss site in October, is the first BBJ 777 VVIP completion for Jet Aviation.

“We know Jet Aviation’s commitment to quality matches our own,” says David Longridge, president of Boeing Business Jets. ”They have a demonstrated capability to fit exceptional wide body interiors that combine beautiful design and craftsmanship with cutting-edge engineering and technology.”

Neil Boyle, senior vice-president and general manager of Jet Aviation’s Basel facility, says: “We have a long history of working together with Boeing Business Jets and are delighted to partner with them on our first BBJ 777-300ER interior completions.”

Source : Flightglobal/Boeing Business Jets



 Lufthansa Bids 737 Farewell After Near Half-Century

Lufthansa ended scheduled passenger operations of the Boeing 737 on 29 October, some 48 years after it gave the short-haul twin jet its world debut.

The German carrier, which launched the 737 in its original -100 form in February 1965, with  an order for 21 aircraft. It was Lufthansa that persuaded Boeing to build the 737 because it matched the fuselage diameter of the 707 and the 727.  It launched the twin jet in February 1968.yourfile

The airline’s final 737 services were flown as the 2016 summer schedule drew to a close. Lufthansa’s very last 737 revenue sector, flown by 737-300 D-ABEF Classic, touched down at 19:53 on October 29th at Frankfurt, with 131 passengers on board. After a flight from Nuremberg. Lufthansa chief executive Carsten Spohr was on hand to greet the final arrival.

A final Lufthansa 737 farewell flight was flown on October 31st to Frankfurt from Hamburg.

 Foto: Boeing Lufthansa 01.1985 D113-13-305 737-200, D-ABMA Idar-Oberstein

When Boeing decided to put the Pratt & Whitney JT8D-powered 737 into production on February 19, 1965, following an order from Lufthansa, it was the first time that a US manufacturer had launched a new airliner on the strength of an export order.  However, United Airlines quickly followed Lufthansa, but ordered the slightly larger 737-200 variant.  This Version entered service with the US airline in April 1968.

The Original 737-100 variant launched by Lufthansa proved relatively unpopular, with just 30 being built.  After receiving its first -100 in December 1967, Lufthansa became a major operator of the later 737 variants, operating the -200 as well as the CFM International CFM56-powered-300, -400 and -500 Classic versions.

Lufthansa’s fleet peaked in 1992-93 when it operated 110 737s.

Source : Lufthansa/Boeing Pictures/Ed’s Research


   P&W Adding Capacity to Accelerate Engine Deliveries

Pratt & Whitney executives say they will open two new factories over the next six months to get delayed geared turbofan engine deliveries back on track. But they also appeared to lower the bottom range for planned deliveries in 2017.

Production capacity and early manufacturing mistakes have plagued shipments of titanium-aluminium fan blades for the PW1100G, for the Airbus A320neo and PW1500G engines for the Bombardier CSeries aircraft family.

As a result, P&W now expects to deliver 150 engines in 2016 or 12.5% fewer than planned. Meanwhile, a lack of engines has forced Bombardier to slash CSeries deliveries by more than half to seven aircraft in 2016.

In September, P&W identified the manufacturing of the hybrid-metalic fan blades as the most critical of five parts causing delivery delays for geared turbofan engines. The unique blades are produced now at a P&W factory in Lansing, Michigan, says Greg Hayes, chief executive of P&W parent United Technologies. In January, P&W’s japan based supplier IHI plans to open a third fan blade factory for the geared turbofan engine, besides the one which produces the same blades in Singapore.

“You’re going to see step-changes in fan blade deliveries through the first half next year,” Hayes says.

Source : Pratt and Whitney


Kuwait Airways Unveils New Livery

Kuwait Airways unveiled its new livery on the first of ten new Boeing 777-300ERs that will enter commercial service with the airline over the next 12 months.  At an official launch event held at Boeing Commercial Airplanes,’ a “once in a generation” revision, follows Kuwait Airways’ recent announcement of its new five-year business plan made earlier in September of this year.

The new livery and delivery of the Boeing 777-300ERs mark the airline’s first major steps towards achieving the goals it set out in its “Transformation Strategy”.

Source:  China Aviation Daily/Boeing photo



  • Air France first 787 Dreamliner takes to the skies in Everett, on November 9th. This will be Boeing’s 500th Dreamliner.  It is a 787-9.

  • BOC Aviation Limited has taken delivery of a Boeing 777-300ER, the first of five new aircraft to be leased to Air China under a purchase-and-lease back arrangement.
  • Philippine Airlines (PAL) has signed a letter of intent (LOI) to acquire up to 12 Bombardier Q400 regional turboprops.
  • United Airlines first United Boeing 777-300ER rolls out of the paint hanger in Everett.The new 777-300ER will feature the new Polaris cabin.
  • Sibir Airlines of Russia, working under the S7 Airlines brand,has approved the lease of 17 Embraer E170LRs.
  • Avolon, Ireland-based lessor has delivered one Boeing 737-800 aircraft to Malaysia-based Malindo Air.
  • Emirates Airlines will equip its upcoming fleet of 150 Boeing 777X aircraft with Thales’ AVANT inflight entertainment (IFE) system.  Deliveries of the 777X aircraft are scheduled to begin in 2020.

  • Uzbekistan Airways will order three additional Boeing 787s, the Carrier said on November 5th.  The new order is for 787-9s.
  • China Aerospace Leasing ordered up to 40 COMAC ARJ21-700s, 20 firm and 20 options at the Zhuhai Air Show

  • Air Lease Corp. placed 12 new Airbus A321neo aircraft on long term lease to Vietnam Airlines.



AirBridgeCargo Airlines Launch Freighter Services to Oslo Targeting Salmon Demand

ABCCargo Airlines is the second airline to launch a freighter services from Oslo to capitalize on the seafood market.

The scheduled all-cargo airline will offer two services a week between the Norwegian city and Moscow Sheremetyevo, utilizing a Boeing 747 freighter, which can carry more than 100 tons per week.  The service will also cater for the country’s oil and gas industry.

“Global demand for Norwegian seafood, especially salmon, continues to make a significant and growing contribution to the country’s economy,” the airline said.  Norway now exports 220,000 tons of seafood a year, 600 tons a day, using air cargo services to Asia and North America.

“The fast connections and on-time performance ABC offers via its Moscow Sheremetyevo hub, as well as the temperature-control capabilities of ABCCargo

“Boeing 747-8F fleet means we can offer exporters the network and service options they need to continue to grow their business all over the world.” said Georges Biwer, vice president Europe, Middle East and Africa at AirBridgeCargo.

Source : aircargonews



            Singapore Selects H225M and Chinook Helicopters

Singapore is to acquire an undisclosed number of Airbus Helicopters H225M and Boeing CH-47F rotorcraft as part of a fleet modernization program.

The two types will respectively replace the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF’s) existing AS332 Super Puma and CH-47SD helicopters.  These have been in service since 1983 and 1994, says the nation’s defense ministry and are “facing obsolescence”.

“The H225M and the CH-47F possess better lift and reach capabilities, They will enable the RSAF to meet the Singapore Armed Forces’ lift requirements more efficiently with fewer helicopters and less manpower,” it says.

Flight Fleets Analyzer lists the service as operating a total of 32 AS332M/ULs, along with 16 Ch-47SDs.

Source : Defense News


Researched and Compiled by : Ed Kaplanian

Commercial Aviation Advisor

Contact – ed@kaplanianreport.com