Volume 4 Issue 12 December 2017 The Kaplanian Report

ON THE BOEING FRONT

Boeing Ceremonially Kicks Off  777-9 Assembly

Boeing marked the official launch of production activity for the first 777-9 test aircraft in a public ceremony on October 23. The company started building the wing spar in the newly-erected composite wing center in Everett, Washington, during the summer. The October 23 ceremony coincided with the drilling of the spar by an automated machine in another building on the campus. The ceremonial launch of production for the 777X family comes about 14 -17 months before the scheduled first flight of the 777-9 test aircraft in the first quarter of 2019. Entry into service with Launch customer should occur about a year after first flight.

Meanwhile, GE Aviation is continuing certification testing of the GE9x engine, while the second engine is to test running on a ground test stand since May.

Combined with GE Aviation GE9X engines, the 777X’s new wing will play a key part in delivering enhanced fuel efficiency. It has been increased in diameter by around 7m (23ft) over the current 777-300ER model, to 71.8m (235ft 5in) with a new wing-fold mechanism of 3.5m (11.4ft) on each side — to enable the twin engine jet to use the same airport infrastructure and taxiways as its predecessor.

Flight testing of the 777X is set to commence in 2019. Boeing expects to deliver the first 777-9 during 2020, with the longer-range -8 model to follow one year later.

“We see a good order backlog — much better than the -300ER had at this time, ahead of production,” Boeing Commercial Airplane chief executive Kevin McAllister told Flight global on September 26.  I think you’ll see a very compelling value proposition on that airplane as we go forward.”

Boeing has secured firm orders for 336 of the aircraft—283-9s and 53-8s— since launching the program at the Dubai air show in November 2013 (the last order for 20-9s from Singapore Airlines was finalized in Washington, DC on October 23.)

Other customers include All Nippon Airways, Cathay Pacific, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Lufthansa and Qatar.

Launch customer will be Emirates.

Source : Flightglobal/Boeing Picture

 

ON THE AIRBUS FRONT

First A321neo With Revised Door Layout Assembled

The first Airbus A321neo equipped with a modified fuselage and additional cabin exits is nearing completion on the final assembly line in Hamburg. Dubbed the “Airbus Cabin Flex” (ACF) version, this first major variation of the A321 fuselage incorporates up to four over-wing exits instead of the main cabin doors immediately ahead of the wing on existing A321.

The pair of doors immediately behind the wing has also repositioned aft by four fuselage frames (with a deactivation option).

The changes increase in the twinset’s maximum seating from the current 230 passengers to up to 240.  Other interior changes include slimmer seats, redesigned rear galley and lavatory module, and a new rating for exit doors.

The A321neo ACF is due to enter service next year and the changes it features will be incorporated into the extended-range A321LR version of the A321neo, which is due to enter service in 2019.  This variant features increased weights and up to three auxiliary fuel tanks, to boost range by up to 500nm (925km) to 4,000nm.

Source : Flightglobal/Airbus Picture

 

REGIONAL/BUSINESS JETS

  Boeing Business Jets Has Upped Its Sales For 2017

Boeing Business Jets tally for 2017 to 13 aircraft, adding six since the EBACE business aviation in May.  In what new BBJ president Greg Laxton calls a “fast and furious” year to date. The orders include a second 737 Max 7, the only narrow body Boeing Business Jet able to fly 7,000nm (13,000km). Boeing secured its first customer for the Max 7 BBJ late last year—a variant Laxton describes as a “game-changer” as it gives the airframe a product with similar range to the Gulfstream G650 or Bombardier 7000.

Boeing also notched up orders for six wide body business jets—Three 747-8s and three 777-300ERs— in 2017, as well as two of BBJ Max 9s, two original BBJs ( 737-700s) and a pair of BBJ 2s (737-800s). There have been four deliveries of green aircraft: three 777-300ERS and one 787-8.

In total, Boeing has orders for the BBJ version of the Max, with first delivery to a completion center—a 737 Max 8—due in the second quarter of 2018.

Source : Flightglobal/BBJ

 

OTHER AVIATION NEWS

      Retirement of KLM Fokker Ends Era That Began in 1921

The retirement of KLM Cityhopper’s last Fokker 70, after final flight on October 28, marks the end of an era in Dutch aviation history.

It was all the way back in April 1921 that KLM put its first Fokker into service.  KLM’s chief executive Pieter Elbers describes the exit of its last Fokker as “a sad moment”, but also highlights a new beginning for Cityhopper regional unit, which now operates a fleet composed of Embraer E-Jets.

“The replacement of the entire Fokker fleet began nine years ago with the introduction of the first Embraer 190 in November 2008,” Elbers recalls. ”it can be difficult to keep reliability high for the small Fokker fleet, but our maintenance team at Cityhopper has done a fantastic job.”

Special farewell flight between Heathrow and Amsterdam School was operated on the evening of October 28, becoming the last ever scheduled arrival of Cityhopper Fokker 70 at the Dutch hub. The aircraft (registered PH-KZU) was adorned with an image of founding father Antony Fokker on the tail and “Thank you” titles on the fuselage.

Source : KLM Press Room/KLM Picture

  American to Say Good Bye to MD-80s in 2019

American Airlines has set 2019 as the year it will retire its MD-80 fleet, replacing the rear-engined aircraft with modern Boeing 737-800s.The MD-80 was the workhorse of American and other US carriers’ domestic fleets from the 1980s through the early 2000s making it an everyday sight at airports around the country. Fort Worth-based America plans to finish this year with 45 MD-80s in its fleet, shrinking to 26 by the fall of 2018. All the carrier’s MD-80s will be based at its Dallas/Fort Worth hub once the ST Louis pilot base closes.

American was the first major US carrier to commit to the MD-80 — if only tentatively at first — when it agreed to “rent” 20 from McDonnell Douglas in 1982.

The airframer essentially leased the aircraft to the airline under a deal that allowed it to return the aircraft after five years with no penalty, or earlier with a cancellation charge.

Initially, American planned to primarily use the MD-80 to replace Boeing 727-100s in its fleet, citing 37% better fuel efficiency for the former compared to the latter.  Instead American opted to use the aircraft for growth when it placed what at the time was its largest order ever for 167 MD-80s, including 67 firm and 100 options, in 1984.

With the 1984 deal, American had “firmly pinned its future” on the MD-80.American’s fleet grew to 260 by 1993.

Source : Flightglobal/American Picture

 

                                                    LATEST NEWS

  • UTair Russian carrier has unveiled a refreshed livery and a slightly-modified  Utair brand name.

  • Ethiopian Airlines took delivery of the first of two Boeing 787-9s on October 27th making it Africa’s first operator of the type.
  • Aeroflot sizes up Airbus, Boeing for a narrow-body order and considering a “sizable” order of the A320neo and 737 MAX.
  • Airbus delivered first A320neo assembled in Tianjin to Air Asia. The aircraft, powered by CFM LEAP-1A engines.
  • Textron Aviation delivered its 100th Cessna Citation Latitude. The delivery went to NetJets.
  • Emirates Airlines takes delivery of its 100th A380 at Airbus’ Hamburg facility on November 3.
  • The Commercial Aircraft Corp of China (COMAC) has flown its C919 aircraft for the third time—five weeks after its second flight, and 26 weeks after the first flight.
  • Comlux signs the first BBJ MAX 8 completion ever, the aircraft will go to Comlux Indianapolis facilities in the 4th quarter of 2018 for redelivery by the fall of 2019
  • Pratt & Whitney successfully tests next generation Pure Power Geared Turbofan (GTF) as part of the FAA Sustainability Program.

  • Emirates Airlines kicked off the Dubai Air Show by announcing a commitment to purchase 40 Boeing 787-10s valued at $15.1 billion at list prices.

  • Air China and Air Canada take delivery of their first 737 Max 8 aircraft. The latest hand-overs raise Boeing’s total count of 737-8s this year to at least 35.

 

AIR CARGO

Lockheed Flies Second LM-100J Cargo Transport. 

The second LM-100 J has joined Lockheed Martin’s flight test program for the commercial freighter derivative of the C-130J military transport. The newly-built aircraft completed a first flight on October 11 from Lockheed’s final assembly plant in Marrietta, Georgia.

The first LM-100J started flying on May 25 to begin Lockheed’s campaign to receive a civil certification of the type from the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

The addition of the second aircraft “will accelerate our progress to deliver this unique aircraft’s capabilities to civilian operators around the world”, says Wayne Roberts, Lockheed’s chief test pilot for the LM-100J.

Lockheed has announced receiving 25 orders with a total value of $1.6 billion for the converted civil freighter. Externally, the most visible difference between the C-130 J and LM-100J is the absence of windows at the feet of the pilot and co-Pilot in the Cockpit of the commercial derivative. The LM-100J also lacks certain features of the military version, such as the capability to lower the cargo ramp door in flight.

Source : Lockheed/Lockheed Picture

 

 EVA Air Takes First 777-200 LR Freighter  

On November 10 EVA has taken delivery of its first Boeing 777-200LR Freighters part of its fleet modernization plan.

It will be put the aircraft was put into service between Asia and North America later that month. says the Taiwanese airline in a statement. It currently operates cargo services to North American points of Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth and Atlanta.

EVA adds that the General Electric GE-90 powered 777-200LR freighter allows it to operate to any North American destination from Taiwan, with a technical stop in Anchorage.

The carrier has another four of the freighters on order, all of which will be delivered by September 2019. With the deliveries, it will retire its five remaining 747-400 Freighters by the end of 2019.

The airline’s executive vice-president of corporate planning Albert Liao tells FlightGlobal that the carrier’s cargo strategy is to utilize the five 777 freighters as well as the belly hold of its 34 777-300ER aircraft to ensure a “sustainable” cargo  in “ good and bad Times”.

Source : Flightglobal/EVA Picture

 

 Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul News

Leap Negotiates Teething Problems 

The engine manufacturers predict around 450 Leaps will be produced in 2017. With all the attention paid to Pratt & Whitney’s problems with the geared turbofan this year, some have overlooked the early hiccups with its rival, The CFM LEAP.

“We have observed a premature loss of coating on the high-pressure turbine shroud which is made by our partner in CFM GE on some engines,” said Safran CEO Philippe Petitcolin in a recent earnings call.

Following a problem with LEAP 1B low-pressure turbine(LPT) discs that has nearly been resolved, CFM is now dealing with premature loss of the thermal coating on high-pressure turbine discs on the LEAP-1A and LEAP-1B.

However, Petitcolin, says that “most of this issue is really now behind us” and that coating problems should be fully resolved by 2018.He also stresses that the additional headwind is a conservative estimate, and that the extra technical support may not be needed.  One question for next year is the production split between CFM56 and LEAP engines, given ongoing strong sales of former powerplant.

Source: mro-network .com

 

 MRO Short News

  • FedEx orders up to 50 new-build ATR freighters and will become the launch customer for the line-produced ATR 72-600 Freighter, after placing a firm order for 30 aircraft, plus 20 options.

  • Boeing Asia Pacific Aviation Services has a Singapore Airline Cargo contract to provide fleet engineering services for 747-400Fs via customized solutions from Global Fleet Care portfolio.
  • Airbus forecasts MRO business in Asia will grow 4.5% annually through 2036(vs global growth of 3.9%) and be worth $ 660 billion over the next 20 years.
  • Swiss AviationSoftware was selected by Boeing to support its Global Fleet Care services with AMOS MRO software; Norwegian is first customer to use the AMOS-supported service.
  • HEICO secured $1.3 billion unsecured revolving credit facility to principally fund acquisitions.

 

Answer to Last Month Puzzler:

  TAM of Brazil

Researched and Compiled by : Ed Kaplanian

Commercial Aviation Advisor

Contact – ekaplanian@msn.com

 

Volume 3 Issue 3 March 2016

ON THE BOEING FRONT

 Boeing Launches 737-800 BCF Program

Boeing has launched the 737-800 converted freighter program, with orders and commitments for up to 55 conversions. In a statement, Boeing says the modifications will be done at selected facilities near conversion demand, including Boeing Shanghai.

Modifications required include the installation of a large main-deck cargo door, a cargo-handling system and accommodation for non-flying crew or passengers. The first 737-800 Boeing Converted Freighter is expected to be delivered in the fourth quarter of 2017.

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The aircraft will have the capacity to carry up to 52,800 pounds of cargo, and a range of about 2,000nm. Boeing says 12 pallet positions, comprising 11 standard pallets and one half-pallet, will provide 5,000 cubic feet of cargo space on the main deck. There will also be two lower-lobe compartments, which will provide a further 1,540 cubic feet of cargo space.

GECAS will provide the initial aircraft for conversion, and has also ordered five conversions. Hangzhou-based YTO Airlines and Beijing-based China Postal Airlines have meanwhile signed for 10 conversions each. YTO has also committed to 10 additional conversions. An unannounced customer meanwhile has signed for five conversions with two commitments.

Boeing adds that it has also secured a further 13 commitments from China’s SF Airlines, Bulgaria’s Cargo Air, and an unannounced customer. The 737-800 BCF will primarily be used to carry express cargo on domestic routes.

“While the recovery of the global cargo market has been slow, we see demand for freighters, such as the 737-800 BCF, that will carry express cargo on domestic routes,” says Stan Deal, senior vice president, commercial aviation services, Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

Source : Flightglobal/Boeing/Photo Boeing

 

ON THE AIRBUS FRONT 

Airbus Group Lifts A330 Output Goal As Profits Meet Expectations                                                         

Airbus Group performed a partial U-turn on plans to cut production of its profitable A330 aircraft on Wednesday February 24th, easing the delicate transition to newer models.

The European plane maker said it now plans to build seven A330 wide body jets per month  from 2017; partially unwinding recent staggered cuts in output to six from 10 a month as it prepares for its new A350 jetliner and an A330 upgrade (the A330neo) .

Demand for the current generation of jets such as the 250-to 300-seat A330 faces a broad decline as a new generation of fuel-saving airplanes enters the market.

The move to reconsider the decline of one of its two main sources of cash and profits came weeks after Iran provisionally agreed to buy 45 A330 jets as part of a $27 billion deal following the lifting of sanctions. Airbus said it would have gone ahead anyway because of other deals.

“That should be enough to put a floor under production until a revamped version of the A330 enters service at the end of 2017”, Chief Executive Tom Enders said.

Source : New York Times.90

 

BUSINESS/REGIONAL NEWS

Embraer Rolls Out E190-E2 Aircraft

Embraer has rolled out its first next-generation E-Jet, an E190-E2, at its factory in Sao Jose dos Campos, Brazil. The E-190-E2’s first flight is slated for the second half of 2016 with first deliveries expected to take place in 2018. The E2s are exclusively powered by Pratt & Whitney PW1900G geared turbofan engines.

Before a crowd of several thousand Embraer employees and invited guests – following flyovers from aircraft from Embraer’s three aviation divisions (commercial jets, executive jets and defense systems) and a welcome greeting from Embraer president and CEO, commercial aviation Paulo Cesar Silva – the doors of hanger F-300 slowly opened to reveal the first assembled prototype of the E190-E2jet, which gradually rolled out onto the tarmac before stopping, its nose several meters away from the gathered crowd.

“The rollout on February 25th marks the completion of the assembly of the first E190-E2 and paves the way for the start of the tests that will lead to first flight,”  Embraer SVP operations and COO-commercial aviation Luis Carlos Affonso said.

Four prototypes of the E-190-E2 will be created for the aircraft’s certification process. Assembly of the second prototype is underway; it recently had its wing junction completed, Affonso said.

To date, the E2 program has 640 commitments, comprising 267 firm orders and 373 options and purchase rights.

Source : ATW/Embraer Photo

 

    Gulfstream Starts G600 Systems Testing on Iron Bird

Gulfstream has begun simulated flight tests on the G600 Iron Bird ground rig preparation for the first large-cabin, long-range business.

During the 30 minute “flight”, the Iron Bird-housed at the airframe’s Savannah, Georgia headquarters-simulated taxi, take-off and landing, says Gulfstream. It also performed simulated maneuvers and transitions at different altitudes and airspeeds.

“This first flight sets in motion the testing and validation required for the G600’s actual first flight,” says Dan Nale, Gulfstream’s senior vice-president for programs, engineering and test. ”With the Iron Bird, we can confirm the characteristics of the system components, improve the integration maturity, make modifications and provide those benefits in a lab environment, all while on the ground and still in design stage, to the benefit of the flight-test aircraft.”

Gulfstream says the first G600 flight-test model and structural test vehicle are in production in Savannah.The 6,200nm (11,500km) Pratt & Whitney Canada PW815Ga- powered twin is scheduled to enter service in 2019 – a year behind its shorter-range stablemate, the G500.

Source : Flightglobal/Gulfstream

 

OTHER AVIATION NEWS

GE Aviation Finishes the Assembly of the First GE9X Test Engine

GE Aviation has completed the assembly of the first GE9X test engine at its Peebles, Ohio facility. It will shortly begin ground runs of the 100,000 kb-thrust (445kN)-class power plant for the 777X.

“The engine is assembled, it is just a matter of adding lots of instrumentation,” says GE9X program manager Bill Millhaem. Tests will begin “soon” he says, although declines to offer a precise date.

The GE9X features a basket of advanced technologies as GE strives to reduce weight and improve engine performance to deliver a 10% reduction in specific fuel burn over the  current-generation GE90.

These include use of ceramic matrix composites (CMC) on the inner and outer combusted liners, plus stage 1 and 2 nozzles and stage 1 shroud in the high pressure turbine.

“The first engine to test (FETT) wraps up the extensive technology maturation program for the GE9X engine program. It began five years ago and has included component-level, system-level and core demo testing to validate the advanced technologies and materials in the new engine,” GE said in a statement.  The CMC parts have so far performed “phenomenally”,said Millhaem.

The maiden sortie of the GE9X, using a company owned 747-400 flying testbed, is due to take place in mid-2017.  Engine certification is scheduled for October 2018.

Source : Flightglobal/GE Aviation

 

 Ryanair to Offer All Business 737-700 for Charter

Budget carrier Ryanair is to offer a Boeing 737-700 for corporate charter services, the aircraft configured with just 60 business class seats.

Ryanair – which acquired a 737-700 last year, indicating it would serve as a back-up and training jet – says that it is offering charter with the type.  The carrier’s regular mainline fleet comprises the larger 737-800.

The aircraft will be operated on routes up to 6 hours and the passengers will be offered a cabin fitted with leather seats, at a pitch of 48in, and fine dining on-board catering.

The airline will provide the cockpit and cabin crew.  Its a charter for hire division says the aircraft will be made available on a “cost per hour” basis, with overall quotes depending on the departure and arrival airport. “We offer the most competitive rate in Europe,” it said.

Source : Flightglobal/RyanairPhotos

 

Emirates Tim Clark Blasts Airbus for Confused Strategy On Wide Body Jets                                             

Emirates President Tim Clark faulted Airbus for lacking a coherent strategy on its biggest airliners; saying the plane maker should focus on an upgrade of its A380 super jumbo rather than spend resources on yet another variant of its new A350.

“Airbus’s thinking has become increasingly hard to read and talk further extending the stretched A350-1000 makes little sense”, Clark said on Thursday, March 10th at the ITB travel fair in Berlin. He added that he is not sure the manufacturer could afford to fund the project along the upgraded A380 he is keen to buy.

“There seems to be a certain amount of cloudiness,” Clark said. “They’ve got the A380 and then bingo, out pops the new A350-1000. I am not quite sure how that’s going to pan out.”

As the world’s leading wide body operator, Emirates exerts influence over the models that Airbus and The Boeing Co. develop.  The Dubai based carrier has made the A380 the centerpiece of its fleet, adding flourishes such as bars and showers. Emirates is eager to buy as many as 200 upgraded planes, even as a lack of orders from other carriers puts the model’s future in doubt.

Clark is evidently running out of patience after John Leahy, Airbus’s sales chief, said on March 1st, that there’s “nothing imminent” about the A380 re-engining plan and that even if the  Neo were available, Emirates is “not in a position to go ahead” until the mid-2020s because of lack of airport space.

Clark said that’s wrong and the Gulf carrier would be happy to take the aircraft from 2021 if Airbus builds it. Airbus said it could not immediately comment.

Airbus’s increasing focus on a double-stretch A350 is of less interest to Emirates because the plane would compete with the largest version of Boeing’s revamped 777X – an aircraft it’s already taking. Clark said a bigger A350 would add weight and create issues at airports from the extra length.

Source : Bloomberg/Emirates

 

LATEST NEWS IN BRIEF  

  • Air Canada on February 17th Air Canada announced that it has entered into a Letter of Intent with Bombardier Inc. to acquire up to 75 Bombardier CS300 aircraft powered by Pratt & Whitney PW1500 G engines.
  • Etihad Cargo has taken delivery of a new Boeing 777-200 LRF freighter that will enable the freight arm of Etihad Airways to continue its expansion plans into 2016.

  • Boeing gets U.S. license to talk deals with Iranian airlines about buying jetliners; but it would need additional U.S. approval to make sales.
  • British Airways jet that caught fire in Las Vegas airport last year is being repaired and will reenter service. A team from Boeing carried the repair and the aircraft has flown to Victorville, California for painting.

  • Oman Air  has agreed to a three year wet leasing deal for two Kenya Airways Boeing 787-8s.
  • Ukraine International Airlines will replace its 737 Classic fleet with newer types through the end of 2018. The carrier took delivery of a 737-800 on January 22nd and announced plans to expand the fleet with six of the type this year.
  • Iran Air placed a firm order for 20 ATR 72-600s and took options on a further 20, valued at $1.1 billion at list prices.

  • Travel Service Czech leisure carrier is aiming to operate 40 Boeing 737-MAX 8s by 2025 and has just leased a further 16 aircraft, increasing its commitment to 25 of the type.
  • Air Niugini ordered four Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft. The previously unidentified order adds to the Papua New Guinea national carrier’s fleet of Next Generation 737s and 767-300ERs.

  • Philippine Airlines signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to purchase six A350-900s. The Order is valued at $1.8 billion at list prices.
  • Airbus the first Airbus A321neo equipped with CFM International Leap-1A engines completed its maiden flight on February 9th from Hamburg, Germany.

 

AIR CARGO

     Kalitta Air to Diversify with 767 Freighters 

Kalitta Air relies on a fleet of 747 freighters for the long-haul flights it is known for carrying large payloads, including heavy machinery, delicate medical equipment, perishable foods, even livestock. So what’s with 767s the cargo carrier is now purchasing? 767s may be the go-to freighters for the integrators, but they’re rare in general freight world.

The answer is a combination of fleet maintenance requirements and a strategy shift at the Michigan-based carrier.  “The time is right for Kalitta to develop in the domestic market”, said Pete Sanderlin, the vice president and general manager, and the number two guy behind CEO and owner Conrad “Connie” Kalitta. Right now, Kalitta Air operates thirteen 747 freighters, three of which are 30 years old 747-200s.Sanderlin said it’s getting difficult to secure parts for the -200s,and since five of the 747-400s are tied up in DHL operations,Kalitta Air does not have many freighters available for other business.

The Airline recently purchased four 767-300 passenger aircraft, two of which are being converted to freighters by Bedek in Tel Aviv.  ”We got them because we want to diversify,” Sanderlin said, adding that most of Kallita’s work is on the international stage.  “We do little in the U.S. domestic market,” he said.  But the plan is to test the waters with the new freighters.

Of course, bringing in new freighter type does not mean abandoning the old. In addition to acquiring the 767s, Kallitta Air also plans to expand its fleet with more 747s. In fact, Sanderlin said they are in negotiations right now to purchase another 747-400 freighter.

Kalitta Air is not a huge airline, but with 1,500 employees and almost 20 freighters, it’s not small by any means.  In addition to the airplanes, Kallitta Air has its own engine shop, airframe maintenance facility and training facility with three simulators, which Sanderlin said is unmatched by carriers of its size.

Perhaps one reason Kallita Air has continued to thrive is because it does so much in house. Another reason is leadership. ”Connie is very close to the business, very hands on,” Sanderlin said. He added that he and Kalitta make most of the decisions together.

Source : Air Cargo World /Picture Kallitta

 

MILITARY

                        Boeing’s Second KC-46A Achieves First Flight 

Boeing’s second functional KC-46A has joined the fledgling pegasus fleet as the US Air Force’s next-generation tanker program advances towards a production decision by the Pentagon in April or May.

The fourth engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) aircraft took flight from Boeing’s Paine Field in Washington state on the second of this month and landed at Boeing Field in Seattle.

The company announced the flight in a statement and confirmed that the second 767-2c aircraft (EMD-3) used for FAA and military type certification will join the tanker program in April.

“Adding a second tanker to the flight test program is very important as we move into the next phase of testing,” US Air Force KC-46 system program manager Col. John Newberry says.  ”The team will initially use the aircraft to test mission system avionics and exterior lighting. Later, it will share the air refueling effort with the first KC-46.”

Adding the second fully configured tanker will help Boeing move through “receiver certification” for 18 aircraft types.  KC-46 has already demonstrated functionality with the Locheed Martin F-16, Boeing F/A-18 and refueling from a Boeing KC-10.

Source : Flightglobal/Boeing

  

Researched and Compiled by : Ed Kaplanian

Commercial Aviation Advisor

Contact – ed@kaplanianreport.com

Volume 1 Issue 4 November 2015

ON THE BOEING FRONT

Boeing Breaks Ground for 777X Composite Wing Center

777Xcwcstill

On October 21st Boeing celebrated the groundbreaking of its new 777X Composite Wing Center in Everett, Wash. campus. Permitting for the new 1 million-square-foot facility was completed approximately seven weeks earlier than anticipated, allowing for an accelerated start to construction.

Boeing is investing more than one billion dollars in the Everett site for construction and outfitting of the new building.

“We’re excited with the progress being made on this new facility that will play a crucial role in bringing the 777X to market,” said Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Ray Conner. ”We wouldn’t be in position without the support of our team-mates and partners throughout the Puget Sound region and in Olympia. We owe them a debt of gratitude.”

To date the 777X has accumulated 300 orders and commitments.

Source : Boeing/Boeing Pictures

 

ON THE AIRBUS FRONT 

Airbus A350 XWB, A330 Gains Common Rating for Pilot Training

a350xwb-a330-courtesy-airbus

The Airbus XWB and A330 have been approved for common type rating for pilots training to fly the aircraft.

The new regulatory approval means that pilots who are qualified and current on the A330 can start training to fly the A350XWB by undergoing “differences training” only.

Differences training does not require the use of ground-based full-flight-simulators and reduces pilot training time to just eight days-as much as 65% less than a standard transition course.

It also means that airlines operating both types of aircraft can create a pool of pilots able to fly both the A330 and A350XWB in a single-fleet flying(SFF) concept, allowing for increased scheduling flexibility and mobility.

Source : ATW/Airbus Photos

 

BUSINESS/REGIONAL NEWS

Mitsubishi Aircraft Rolls Out First MRJ

A Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ) is unveiled at the hanger at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries' Nagoya Aerospace Systems Works Komaki Minami Plant in Toyoyama town, Nagoya prefecture

Mitsubishi Aircraft has rolled out its first test aircraft for the MRJ program, in good time ahead of its planned 2Q 2015 first flight.

The Japanese airframer showcased aircraft 10001 before 500 guests consisting of government officials, customers and journalists at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries’ Komaki South plant in Nagoya on October 18th. Mitsubishi also hosted a live webcast of the ceremony on its website.

The sleek regional jet bears Mitsubishi’s distinctive red, black and gold livery. Mounted on its wings are the Pratt & Whitney PW 1200G engines. This is Japan’s first commercial passenger aircraft to be built in over 50 years, since the NAMC YS-11 turboprop program terminated in 1973.

At a press briefing before the roll-out ceremony, Mitsubishi’s chief engineer Nobuo Kishi says the program’s second and third test aircraft are also in final assembly. The second flight test jet is undergoing wing to body join, while fuselage sections of the third aircraft are being fused.

A Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ) is unveiled at the hanger at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries' Nagoya Aerospace Systems Works Komaki Minami Plant in Toyoyama town, Nagoya prefecture

Mitsubishi is using a fleet of seven test aircraft-five for flight tests and two for ground tests, for the MRJ program.

The MRJ order book stands at 375 aircraft: 191 firm,160 options and 24 purchase rights. Japan Airlines has also signed a letter of intent for 32 of the regional jets

Source: Flightglobal/ Mitsubishi Photos

 

OTHER AVIATION NEWS

Silvercrest Flight Test Enters Second Phase

Flight tests of Snecma’s 11,000-pounds-thrust-class Silvercrest turbofan on a modified

Gulfstream II have entered a second phase in San Antonio, Texas.

The engine which is developed for Dassault’s large-cabin Falcon 5X and the super-midsize Cessna Citation Longitude, remain on track for FAA Part 33 certification at the end of 2015, says Francois Planaud, director general of Snecma’s commercial engine division. ”We are in the middle of the test program and have built up 1,300 test hours, mostly on the ground of course,” says Planaud. In all, eight Silvercrests are running, with the bulk undergoing ground runs in Villaroche and Istres in France.

Endurance tests are also under way at Safran’s subsidiary Techspace Aero in Belgium.

Source: Aviationweek

 

Greybull Capital Buys UK’s Monarch

British travel booker And airline company Monarch has been acquired by investment firm Greybull Capital which will invest  $201 million as it turns itself into a low-cost budget airline.

Greybull took 90 percent stake in Monarch, with the rest passing to its pension scheme.

The agreement will help Monarch take on budget airlines such as Ryanair and easyJet.

The deal brings to an end the ownership of Monarch by the Mantegazza family. Greybull considers its ownership of Monarch to be a long-term investment, the statement said.

As part of its plan to shift a low-cost budget carrier from its current charter flights operation, Monarch is shrinking its fleet to 34 from 42 aircraft, ending long-haul and charter flights by April and focusing on core European routes.

On October 31st Monarch confirmed an order for 30 737-MAX 8s the order includes options for 15 additional  737 MAX 8s.

Source : Airwise/Ed’s Research

 

Virgin Atlantic Foresees Firming 787-9 Options and Possible -10s

yourfile

Virgin Atlantic intends to exercise its Boeing 787-9 options and is looking at the -10 variant as a potential replacement for leased London Gatwick-based 747s.

Firming of the airline’s four -9 options would bring its 787 fleet to 21 aircraft by the end of 2018, notes chief executive Craig Kreeger. ”We have not exercised those last four options but we are communicating very clearly that we plan to,” he says.

Kreeger also discloses that a follow-on order for the largest 787 variant the -10, is being considered as the airline proceeds toward a decision on how to adapt its fleet after leases on seven Gatwick-based 747s expire in 2019.

While the-10, with 323 seats, is smaller than the other candidate aircraft, the 777 and Airbus A350, it offers the advantage of fleet commonality and the attendant efficiency in pilot training among other areas, he notes.

Source : Flightglobal

 

LATEST NEWS IN BRIEF  

  • GE Aviation has opened a new indoor engine test facility at its Peebles, Ohio site. The $40 million facility will begin testing production engines by the end of this year.
  • ge-aviation  United Airlines said it converted orders for 787-8 Dreamliners to 787-10 models, a move that defers the delivery date to 2022 and beyond from 2017 to 2018 currently.
  • Ryanair confirmed on October 24th that CEO, Michael O’Leary has signed a new 5 year contract which commits him to the company until September 2019.
  • Embraer has cut the first metal component for its E-Jet E2 family of regional jets at its factory in Evora, Portugal.
  • Monarch Airlines confirmed its order for 30 737 MAX 8s which was originally announced at the Farnborough International Airshow in July.
  • Air Canada announced on November 6th an order for two additional 777-300 ERs.
  • Sabena Technics is extending the scope of its activities to overhauls of Boeing 777 aircraft.  Sabena will do checks, structural modifications, painting and cabin refurbishment of 777s.
  •   China Aircraft Leasing Co.(CALC) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) covering 74 Airbus A320neos, 16 A320ceos and 10 A321ceos.
  • China Express Airlines has placed a firm order for 16 Bombardier CRJ900 NextGen regional jets.
  • SMBC Aviation Capital announced an order for 80 737 MAX 8s, valued at more than $8.5  billion at list prices.

SMBC Aviation Capital 737 MAX 8 Artwork

  • Globalla has placed an order for 14 long-haul 787-9 to be placed with Air Europa of Spain.   Globalla is the hospitality conglomerate that owns Air Europa. In Addition Globalia has entered talks with Boeing to acquire the 737 MAX.
  •   American Airlines the first 787-8 for American Airlines has rolled out of the paint shop at Boeing’s Everett, Washington facility on October 31st.The first American Airlines 787 is line number 241 will become N800 AN (msn 40618) when delivered this month.

yourfile

 

Air Cargo

Volga-Dnepr Deliver UN Helicopters to Sierra Leone

Volga Dnepr helicopter ebola

To assist with the ongoing Ebola virus outbreak emergency in West Africa, Volga-Dnepr Airlines used one of its heavy-lift An-124 Russian freighters to transport three United Nations helicopters from Moscow to Freetown, Sierra Leone.

The multi-purpose helicopters-Russian-built Mi-8’s,each weighing 7.3 tons empty-will be used to support the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER),which was established in late September to fight the outbreak of the virus.

For the October.14 trip, Volga-Dnepr ground handlers made some tricky maneuvers to squeeze all three Russian-built Mi-8 helicopters into the 33 m x 6.4 m x4.4 m cargo hold of the An124. First, they demounted the main lifting and tail rotors, vibration absorbers and fuel tanks. They also removed fluids from the shock struts and wheels, thus reducing the height of the helicopters so they would clear the 4.4 meter-high compartment ceiling. Finally, they aligned the demounted equipment alongside the three aircraft inside the vast main deck.

Source: Air Cargo World/Picture Volga-Dnepr

Researched and Compiled by : Ed Kaplanian

Commercial Aviation Advisor

Contact – ed@kaplanianreport.com