Volume 4 Issue 1 January 2017 Kaplanian Report


The Boeing 787-10 ZC001 in Final Body Join 

Boeing in early December began to assemble the first 787-10, the second stretch variant of the family, at its facility in Charleston, South Carolina.  The 787-10 has the potential to take a significant slice of the replacement market for the Airbus A330-300s and the 777-200s.  With 323 seats, and at the same time, give the twin jet program a strong push toward profitability.

So far, the 787-10 is coming together smoothly and ahead of schedule. Spurred on predominantly by Singapore Airlines in early 2013, Boeing has won orders and commitments for 154 aircraft from nine airlines and leasing companies.

The 787-10 is 18 feet longer than the 787-9; 10ft of that is made up of the midbody, which is extended to 114ft overall. As they are for all 787s, the midbody and aft-fuselage sections for the 787-10 are assembled in South Carolina.

Design work for the 787-10 stayed in Seattle, where the challenge was maximizing commonality with the 787-9. Designers targeted a goal of 90% commonality between the 787-9 and the -10, a big leap over the 50% achieved between the 787-8 and the 787-9.

The first aircraft is expected to make its maiden flight early this year. Following initial checkout, it will be ferried to Seattle along with the other test 787-10s for completion of the certification campaign. The first and third 787-10s will be powered by Rolls-Royce’s new Trent 1000 TEN engine, while the second will be powered by the competing GEnx1B. Flight tests of the TEN began on a 787 early in December, the initial 787-10 is scheduled to enter service with Singapore Airlines in mid-2018.

Source : Aviation week/Boeing/Boeing Picture



Airbus to Slow A380 Production in 2017 in Accord with Emirates

Airbus will put off a dozen deliveries of the A380 plane in the next two years following agreement with Emirates, its largest customer for the model, as demands continues to fade for the A380.

Handovers of six A380s a piece that were originally planned for 2017 and 2018 will be shifted to a year later following an agreement with Emirates and engine supplier Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc. The Toulouse, France-based plane maker said on Tuesday, December 27th, in an e-mailed statement.

Airbus still plans to deliver 12 A380s per year as of 2018, and will seek to accelerate cost savings to minimize the effects on the break- even target for 2017.

Airbus has already been reducing production of the A380, which costs $433 million at list prices, as demand for large airliners has dried up.  In the meantime, Emirates and Rolls-Royce reached a settlement earlier in December over the airline’s A380 engine performance and maintenance concerns.

Dubai-based Emirates is by far the biggest buyer and operator of the A380, with orders for more than 140 of the plane. The carrier recently switched to Rolls-Royce engines for its latest batch of A380s, after relying on General Electric Co,’s Engine Alliance venture for the four power-plants that propel the airliner.

Source : Bloomberg/Airbus



  Bombardier Global 7000 Takes to the Skies 

Bombardier Business Aircraft has successfully flown its new flagship business jet, the Global 7000.  Flight test vehicle 1(FTV1), C-GLBO (c/n70001), took off from the manufacturer’s Toronto Downsview facility on November 4, 2016.

It flew for 2 hrs 27 mins. During the maiden flight, the crew tested the basic system functionality of the jet and assessed its handling and flying qualities.

The pilots conducted a gradual climb to 20,000 ft and the aircraft reached a planned test speed of 240 kts.

All flight controls were exercised during the sortie and Bombardier reports that all systems and aircraft performed as expected. The flight signifies the start of the jet’s flight test program, ahead of scheduled entry into service in the second half of 2018.

Bombardier says the jet will offer a 7,400 nm(13,705km) range at Mach .85 carrying eight passengers.

Source : Bombardier/Photo Bombardier

Boeing Business Jets, GKN Aerospace Introduce Skyview Panoramic Window

Boeing Business Jets announced in early December that it will work with GKN Aerospace’s Fokker business to develop, produce, and offer support for the Skyview Panoramic Window. It is the largest window available on any passenger jet offered today.

The window will be available as a feature on BBJ, BBJ2, and all three members of the BBJ MAX family, including the new BBJ MAX 7 with scheduled entry-into service in 2018.

The Skyview Panoramic Window, measuring approximately 4.5 feet by 1.5 foot(1.4×0.5 m), is created by effectively joining three existing 737 windows together.  Situated aft of the wing with multiple potential locations based on the airplane type, it offers customers an unparalleled perspective of the world.

Source : Boeing Business Jets


Argentina’s Aerolineas to Buy 11 New Boeing 737 MAX Aircraft

State-run airline Aerolineas Argentinas said on December 19, 2016, that it will buy 11 new Boeing 737 MAX aircraft and nine 737-800 NG planes in a deal based on revising a sales contract signed by the previous government.

President Mauricio Macri took office a year ago to reduce government spending. The previous administration had signed a contract with Boeing for 20 737-800 NGs, but no payments or deliveries were made under the deal.

“Aerolineas will be the first operator in Latin America to have a 737 MAX, which is a new plane globally,” the airline’s finance chief Pablo Miedziak told Reuters after signing the new contract with Boeing’s vice president for sales in Latin America Van Rex Gallard.

Miedziak said the airline is increasing its capacity by replacing planes with a capacity of  128 seats for new ones that can seat 170 passengers.

Source : Reuters


COMAC C919 Starts Ground Taxi Tests

The COMAC C919 narrow body passenger jet moved under its own power for the first time on December 28, 2016, initiating the last series of tests before the C919’s maiden flight.

The low-speed taxi trials are being carried out from the company’s facility in Shanghai  Pudong International Airport. The China-made C919 is scheduled to make its first flight in the first half of 2017.

CFM International, the largest jet engine manufacturer worldwide is the exclusive engine supplier for the C919, the first C919 engines (CFM Leap 1C) last July but run for the initial time until November 9, 2016.

Shanghai-based China Eastern Airlines will become the first customer to take delivery of the C919.  So far COMAC has received 570 orders for the C919 from 23 customers, including Air China and China Southern Airlines.

Source : China Aviation Daily



  • Yangtze River Airlines HNA subsidiary looks toward international expansion in this year. The Shanghai-based carrier plans to take delivery of two Boeing 787 aircraft for that specific use.
  • Air Tanzania has been revealed as the previously unidentified customer for a single 787-8 valued at $224.6 million at list prices.
  • Philippine Airlines has confirmed an order for five Bombardier Q400 turboprops, with purchase rights for an additional seven aircraft.
  • Qatar Airways is in talks with Airbus to convert its order for up to 80 A320neos to the larger A321neos.
  • Delta Airlines has cancelled its order for 18 787-8 aircraft, a commitment that it assumed from Northwest Airlines when the two merged in 2008.
  • Azur Air Russian charter carrier has taken delivery of its first 189-seat 737-800, which will be operated on routes to Spain and the United Arab Emirates this month.
  • Trujet South Indian regional carrier has taken delivery of its first ATR 72-600 turboprop, which is leased from Dubai Aerospace Enterprise. 
  • ANA has taken delivery of its first Airbus A320neo, ANA has six more A320neos on order, and 26 A321neos.
  • Gulfstream has kicked-off the certification campaign for its new G600 business jet, following first flight of the large-cabin, long-range twin on December 17, 2016.
  • Island Air the Honolulu-based airline will acquire three new Bombardier Q400 turboprops. The aircraft will have 78 seats and enter service early this year. 



Boeing Selects Evergreen Aviation Technologies for 767-300                                             Passenger-to Freighter Conversion

Boeing announced on December 13, 2016, that Evergreen Aviation Technologies Corp (EGAT) will perform passenger-to-freighter conversions for the 767-300 Boeing Converted Freighter(BCF) program.  Boeing received 27 firm orders from customers worldwide for the 767-300 BCF. 

The 767-300 BCF conversion entails the modification of a passenger airplane to the cargo configuration. Converted 767-300BCFs have about the same cargo capability as the 767-300 production freighter with approximately 52 metric tons, with structural payload at a range approximately 3,000 nautical miles (5,930 km) and 412,000 lbs (187,270 kg) maximum takeoff weight.  There are 24 pallet positions on the main deck.

Evergreen Aviation Technologies has successfully carried our complex airframe conversions that built up the fleet of Boeing Dreamlifters- converted 747 airplanes used to support the 787 program-since 2005, as well as a 747-400 Propulsion Test Platform for GE Aviation in 2014.

Source : Boeing/Boeing Photo


  Maintenance & Repair Organization News

ATSG Subsidiary Swoops on MRO and Conversion Firm Pemco

Aircraft conversion firm Pemco has been bought by Airborne Maintenance and Engineering Services, a subsidiary of Air Transport Services Group (ATSG).

ATSG, which runs an air cargo operation for Amazon through its ABX subsidiary, said the acquisition will allow for a number of strategic benefits by combining operational strengths, expanded capabilities and cost savings related to shared services between the companies.

Services will be offered from multiple locations, including Wilmington and Tampa for heavy maintenance and modifications, and Tampa, Central America and Asia for passenger-to-freighter conversions.

Additional service offerings of aircraft-on-ground field teams, line and turnaround maintenance, component repair and overhaul, engineering repair and design, plus extensive manufacturing and kitting capabilities will be extended from various locations.

ATSG President and chief executive Joe Here said : “Based on PEMCO’s existing domestic and international scale, this acquisition will expand access to maintenance service for customers of ATSG’s expanding fleet of Boeing 767 cargo aircraft.

Source : MRO News


Lufthansa Technik Extends Warehouse Capacities in the USA

Lufthansa Technik AG has now opened a new warehouse in the USA, close to the Fort Lauderdale airport in Florida. This represents a significant expansion of the site, ensuring stable supply for customers in this growing region into the future.

The Fort Lauderdale site serves a connecting point for North, Central and South America.  It was therefore chosen as the primary storage facility for the American market and central gateway for the extensive customer supply network in the region.

The state-of-the-art facility, in operation around the clock all year, and the seamlessly integrated transport network allow the company to even better fulfill the high quality expectations of its customers. Customers benefit from the personal contact and from the fact that their contact person is in the same time zone.

The New warehouse has the capacity for around 9,000 components. It also houses more than 10,000 items of consumables and expendables. Various models of aircraft can be supported from the facility.

The warehouse is operated by Lufthansa Technik Component Services(LTCS), making use of the logistic processes and  IT systems of Lufthansa Technik Logistik Services.

Source : Lufthansa Technik


Researched and Compiled by : Ed Kaplanian

Commercial Aviation Advisor  

Contact – ekaplanian@msn.com

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