Volume 5 Issue 3 The Kaplanian Report


On the Boeing Front

                                              The 737 MAX Gains Momentum

On February 5th Boeing rolled out the first 737 MAX 7, the third member of the MAX family to come down the line in Renton.

The MAX 7 is slightly stretched compared to the 737-700, giving customers the capacity to fly 12 more passengers even farther. The airplane will have the longest range of any member of the MAX family at 3,850 nm. What’s most impressive about the MAX 7 is its ability to offer exceptional performance at high altitude airports and hot climate.

Global airlines holding orders for the 737 MAX 7, as of January 1, 2017 include Kunming Airlines of China for 10, Southwest Airlines for 30, WestJet of Canada for 23 and Jetliner of Canada for 5.

On February 16th the Boeing 737 MAX 9 has gained FAA certification, clearing the way for the second variant in the MAX family to enter commercial service.

The MAX 9 has a maximum capacity of 220 passengers in a single-class configuration, 10 more seats than the MAX 8.  The MAX 9’s maximum range of 3,335 nm is the same as the  MAX 8, although the -9 needs an auxiliary fuel tank to reach this range.

Boeing is now in the final stages of preparing the MAX 9 for its first delivery to launch customer Lion Air Group.

Finally, Boeing’s MAX 10 reached a major milestone as the MAX program completed firm configuration on the airplane.

Source : Boeing/Boeing Pictures

                     

ON THE AIRBUS FRONT

                   Airbus Has Commenced the Maiden Flight of the A321LR 

Airbus has commenced the maiden flight of its new long-range A321LR, the aircraft having lifted off from Finkenwerder airfield in Hamburg. It took off from the plant as weather conditions, including an overcast sky and rain, cleared sufficiently for the test.

The test aircraft, powered by CFM International Leap-1A engines, has a new fuselage door configuration which will enable customers to fit up to 240 seats.

The configuration will become the structural standard for future A321neo production.

The aircraft will have a 97t maximum take-off weight and optional additional fuel tanks, giving it the capability of operating on long-range routes up to 4,000nm.

The initial test flight lasted 2h and 30 min.

Source : Flightglobal/Pictures Airbus

        

REGIONAL/BUSINESS JETS

                         Dassault Receives Orders for 41 Falcons in 2017 

Dassault Aviation reports receiving orders for 41 Falcon Jets in 2017, up from 33 in the prior year; the termination of the Falcon 5X program resulted in three cancellations.

The French airframer delivered 49 business jets last year, up from a forecast of 45. Meanwhile, the company’s backlog decreased from 63 to 52 and some Falcon 5X cancellations have yet to be entered in the books.

The business jet market has yet to recover from the global financial crisis of 2008.

Source : BCA/Picture Dassault

 

                         Bombardier Enters Final Phase of Global 7000 Testing 

Bombardier has entered the final phase of a 14-month-old airworthiness campaign after the fifth Global 7000 business jet entered flight testing on January 30th.  The debut for flight-test vehicle (FTV) 5 keeps the program on track for gaining type certification in the second half of this year. 

Bombardier has now logged more than 1,300 flight hours in the Global 7000 test campaign and completed fatigue testing on a full airframe, the company says.

The 7,400nm (13,700km) range of a Global 7000 with eight passengers sits between the 7,000nm range of the G650 and the 7,500 range of the G650ER.

The Global 7000 offers more room, with a cabin about 2.5m (8ft 2in) longer than the Gulfstream models.

Source : Bombardier/Bombardier Picture/Ed’s Research       

                                                             

OTHER AVIATION NEWS

                               Spirit AeroSystems Ships 10,000 737 Fuselage  

A train carrying the 10,000th 737 fuselage left Spirit AeroSystems’ factory in Wichita, Kansas on February 13, the supplier says. Spirit AeroSystems builds 70% of the 737, including the fuselage.  

The milestone was announced on February 14 by Spirit AeroSystems senior vice president and chief technology and quality officer John Pilla, a speaker at the Pacific Northwest Aerospace Alliance conference in Lynnwood, Washington.

The milestone aircraft is a 737 Max 8 scheduled for delivery to Southwest Airlines, Boeing says.  

When that fuselage is integrated with wings, systems, engines and interiors in Boeing’s final assembly plant, the 737 will become the first aircraft of the jet age to achieve the 10,000th delivery milestone.

The first 737-100 entered service with Lufthansa 50 years and four days ago on February 10,1968. The type has progressed through four generations, including the original 737, classic, Next Generation and Max families. Southwest Airlines flew all variants with the exception of the 737-100.

Source : Flightglobal/Picture Spirit AeroSystems

Meridiana Relaunched As Air Italy   

Meridiana has been relaunched as Air Italy on February 19 in Milan by investors Qatar Airways and Alisarda. Akbar Al Baker pitches the “new airline” as a direct competitor to Alitalia, outlining a rapid expansion program involving several new domestic and international services. 

Air Italy will take 20 Boeing 737 Max 8s plus five Airbus 330s over the next three years, on lease from Qatar Airways “at market rate”. It will also take 20 787s, bringing its fleet to 50 aircraft. The airline will be based at Milan Malpensa airport.

The airline will offer business-class cabins along its economy offering. Qatar Airways took a 49% stake in Meridiana last year and the remainder is held by Alisarda.

Source : Flightglobal/Qatar Airways/Picture Qatar Airways

    Copa Airlines Plans to Expand Fleet in 2018 

Copa Airlines flag carrier of Panama plans to grow its fleet by 25% by 2020 with the first of 71 Boeing 737 MAX arriving in August of this year.

The airline should receive five 737 MAX aircraft this year, followed by 10 in 2019 and 22 in 2022, says Ahad Zamany, VP technical operations, speaking at the Aviation Week Network’s MRO Latin America event. The last of the 71 should arrive in 2025.  

Its Predominant fleet of 737-800s will cap out at 71 this year up from 69 in 2017.

To accommodate the expanding fleet, the Panama-based carrier broke ground on a new maintenance hangar in 2017 that should be finished in the fourth quarter of this year. 

Source : Aviation Week/Picture Copa Airlines   

 

LATEST NEWS

  • China Aircraft Leasing Group (CALC) placed an order with Airbus for 15 A320neos valued at roughly $1.7 billion.
  • Sichuan Airlines has ordered 10 Airbus A350-900s, on February 9; the aircraft will help facilitate a rapid international expansion plan.
  • Aviation Capital Group took delivery of its first Boeing 737 MAX in Seattle.The aircraft, a 737 MAX 8 variant on a long term lease to Aerolineas Argentinas.
  • BOC Aviation will lease seven Airbus A320neo aircraft to Chongqing Airlines, with all aircraft scheduled for delivery in 2018.
  • Oman Air has taken delivery of the first of 30 Boeing 737 Max 8s it has on order.
  • Qantas has released the first pictures of its latest aircraft to bear an indigenous-inspired livery, this time on its fourth 787-9 delivered on March 2nd.
  •   UPS  places an order for 14 Boeing 747-8Fs and four Boeing 767-300 Freighters.
  • Travel Service Airlines has received its first Boeing 737 Max 8, one of 10 the Czech airline is taking on operating lease from GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS )
  • Lufthansa  Its new revised livery, first appeared on one of the fleets 747-8is
  • Subaru (formerly known as Fuji Heavy Industries) has completed production of the first Boeing 777X center wing box at the company’s Hanada factory.

AIR CARGO

Southwest Cargo Set To Begin International Shipments in May

Southwest Airline announced on February 19th that it will roll out its new Southwest Cargo Suite(SCS) point -of-sale system this month and will begin international cargo shipments to destinations in Mexico in May.

The carrier will kick off its shipments to Mexico, with destinations including Mexico City, Cancun, Cabo San Lucas/Los Cabos and Puerto Vallarta, pending government approvals. Southwest Airlines senior director for cargo and charters, Wally Devereaux, stated at the Air Cargo 2018 conference.

The airline expects to add more routes in Mexico and the Caribbean through this year and build steadily on an international cargo business Southwest expects to be small — at first.

Southwest expects healthy trade units routes between the United States and Mexico, with northbound flights likely moving perishables to the U.S.,while flights to Mexico to transport a variety of cargo, including pharmaceutical products and e-commerce goods.

Source : Southwest Airlines

 

 MAINTENANCE, REPAIR AND OVERHAUL NEWS 

                                  GE Grows Parts Presence in Singapore 

GE Aviation plans to open a new GE9X components manufacturing facility in Singapore and will draw on ideas and concepts from its existing parts repair center in the city-state.

It will grow its engine components footprint in Singapore after announcing plans to establish a new center to manufacture parts for the GE9X engine powering the Boeing 777X.

Announced at the Singapore Air Show on February 5, the new 50,000 square foot facility located at the City-State’s Seletar Aerospace Park will specialize in high pressure compressor vanes for the wide body engine, which to date amassed 700 orders. In the Asia-Pacific region, Aviation Week’s 2018 Fleet & MRO Forecast has an order backlog of 82 units for the GE9X,a figure not taking into account this year’s Singapore Air Show.

With plans to implement digital and lean manufacturing concepts at the new facility, the engine maker said it will draw on ideas and concepts from existing Singapore repair center.

Investments at the component service center include research into new repair processes’ lean lab for advanced manufacturing and utilizing the latest robotic technologies to drive greater efficiencies. These Commitments were made in anticipation of growing regional demand from engine types such as the CFM LEAP, GEnx and the GE9X.  

Source : GE Aviation

 

                                     MRO LATEST NEWS  

  • Iberia Maintenance has signed a contract to inspect &repair the Rolls-Royce RB 211 535-E4 engines powering DHL Air UK and Blue Dart’s 757 aircraft fleet.
  • Tarmac Aerosave received a second ex-Singapore Airline’s Airbus A380 for storage at its Tarbes, France facility.
  • Triumph Aviation Services Asia was selected by Boeing to provide inspection, recertification and repair support on nacelle and flight control components in the Asia-Pacific region.
  • KLM UK Engineering has a Finnair contract for Embraer E190/Airbus A320 line maintenance at Edinburgh.
  • Spirit AeroSystems unveiled 20,000 sqft center of excellence at Wichita to focus on the fabrication of large, complex soft metal parts for fuselage, pylon and wing structures.
  • Safran Electrical & Power was selected by Boeing to equip its 2018 ecoDemonstrator (FedEX Express 777F) with an electrical channel that includes electric power generation and distribution systems, engine and aircraft wiring, and specific electrical loads (electric fans).

 

Researched and Compiled by : Ed Kaplanian

Commercial Aviation Advisor

Contact at  ekaplanian@msn.com

Editor –  Lee Kaplanian

 

Volume 5 Issue 1 The Kaplanian Report

On the Boeing Front

Boeing Readies First Test Flights of GE’s 9X

The Boeing 777X is not scheduled to enter service until 2020, but that’s a lot closer than may sound.  Boeing has mounted the first GE9x engine to the wing of GE’s 747-400 testbed to begin flights .

The GE9X is rated at 105,000 pounds of thrust and includes a 134-in diameter fan encased in a 174-in nacelle. Those are the largest dimensional measurements ever for a jet engine: the fan is 11 feet in diameter and the nacelle is 14.5 feet in diameter.

Picture shown, credited to GE, shows how large the engine is compared to the 747’s GE made CF6-80C2 engine (93-inch fan, 59,000 pounds thrust) and how the new engine had to be canted forward and tilted upward to provide adequate ground clearance on the testbed plane.

The engine mounted to the testbed is the fourth built by GE. The first engine to test was fired up in March 2016 and currently being checked out at GE’s icing test facility in Winnipeg, Ontario, which had to be modified to accommodate the giant engine.

The second GE9X is being used to demonstrate performance conditions the engine will have to pass in order to pass the FAA’s 150-hour block test this year.

Part of that test includes running the engine at triple red-line conditions: maximum fan speed, maximum core speed and maximum exhaust gas temperature to test the engine at the most extreme conditions.

The third engine is being prepared for crossing testing at a GE facility in Ohio. A flight is headed for Winnipeg as soon as it is built and another three are being assembled. The first flight-test engines for the first 777X will be shipped to Boeing later this year and initial flight of the first 777X family — the 777-9 —is expected in early 2019.

Source : GE Aviation/Boeing/picture GE

                      

ON THE AIRBUS FRONT

Airbus Appoints Eric Schulz Successor to John Leahy

Airbus has appointed Eric Schulz Chief of Sales, Marketing and Contracts for the company’s Commercial Aircraft business. In this function, he will join Airbus at the end of this month and will report to Chief Executive Officer Tom Enders.

Schulz comes from Rolls-Royce where he has been serving as President — Civil Aerospace since January 2016. At Airbus, he will succeed John Leahy, 67, who has been at the helm of the Commercial Aircraft’s Sales organization since 1994.

“We are glad to have Eric Schulz joining our team. He has broad international experience in the aerospace industry, a deep understanding of airline operations and aero engines.

This combination of skills and experience makes Eric the right pick to succeed John Leahy at a

critical juncture of our company’s development“ said Tom Enders.

Affectionately known to airlines around the world as “Mr. Airbus”, John Leahy joined the company in 1985 from Piper Aircraft in the U.S. and will retire after 33 years of service. With more than 16,000 aircraft sold under his leadership, which accounts for 90 percent of all Airbus aircraft sold. Leahy will remain with Airbus for a few months’ transition period with his successor.

Source : Airbus/Picture Airbus

 

 

REGIONAL/BUSINESS JETS

Pilatus Registers First Customer-Owned PC-24 As Certification Looms

The First Pilatus PC-24 destined for launch customer PlaneSense has been registered in Switzerland by Stans-based airframer, as certification and service entry of the super light business jet draw near.

The all-metal aircraft— serial number 101— carries registration HB-VSB and will be delivered to the US fractional ownership company following European Aviation Safety Agency and US Federal Aviation Administration validation of the PC-24 program.

Following pre-delivery testing, the aircraft will be placed on the FAA registry of N-prefixed aircraft.

PlaneSense is already a long-standing Pilatus customer and the largest commercial operator of its PC-12NG single-engined turboprop, with a fleet of 35.

Based in New Hampshire, The operator acquired six PC-24s from the first order round, which sold out within 36 hours of opening in 2013. Pilatus has a backlog for 84 PC-24s, and plans to reopen the order book this year.

The seven-seat PC-24 is Pilates’s first jet after almost eight decades of producing models as the PC-12 — the best-selling single turboprop business aircraft, with more than 1,500 deliveries to date.

The company also produces the PC-21 turboprop military trainer, whose customers include the French air force.

Source : Flightglobal/Pilatus/Pilatus Picture

OTHER AVIATION NEWS

American Launches Next Fleet Renewal Phase with Max

American Airlines launched the next phase of its fleet rental program with the introduction of the Boeing 737 Max 8 on November 29.

The Fort Worth-based carrier debuted the aircraft on the Miami-New Your La Guardia route with the 737 Max 8 beginning its day with a 7:00 a.m. departure to New York and then operating the return leg to Miami at 11:00 a.m.

Pilots Steve Efken and Monica Svensson, who flew the aircraft on both flights, told Flightglobal while on the ground at LaGuardia that the aircraft handled well and was quieter than the 737-800.They added that the cockpit displays were comparable to those on the Boeing 787 rather than the 737 NGs.

American configures its 737 Max 8s with 172 seats,16 in first class and 156 in economy, including 30 extra-legroom economy seats. This is more seats than on its 737-800s, which will be reconfigured to match the density of the Max over the next few years. American is the second US airline to debut the 737 Max 8, following launch customer Southwest Airlines’ introduction of the type on October 1,2017.

American is basing its first 737 Max 8s at its Miami International airport hub. While the 737 Max 8 may replace the A319s and 757s at Miami the carrier will also use the 737 Max 8s to replace the aircraft, including A320s and Boeing MD-80s, as part of a broader fleet renewal.

American has firm orders for 98 737 Max 8s in addition to the two already in its fleet.

Source : Flightglobal/American Airlines Picture

 Start-Up Plans World Airways Revival With 787s 

Ed Wegel has announced plans to relaunch former wide body freight operator World Airways as a long-haul passenger carrying airline flying Boeing 787s using an ultra-low-cost model.

US based investment firm 777 Partners acquired the intellectual property of World Airways, Inc., named Wegel as founding chief executive of the re-launched carrier and disclosed on-going discussions with Boeing to order up to 10 787s.

“We are proud to begin preparations to launch scheduled operations from the US to Asia and Latin America,” Wegel says in a statement. In a long and wide-ranging career, Wegel founded short-lived carrier People Express in the 1980s, led US Airways Express in the 1990s and most recently attempted to revive Eastern Airways, which was acquired by Swift Air last year.

The relaunched World’s chief marketing officer, Freddie Laker, will reveal the carrier’s new brand in the “ next few weeks”,Wegel Says.

Despite its Boeing widebody-themed name, Miami-based 777 Partners’ owns a broad portfolio of information technology, health care and financial services companies, and World Airways represents the firm’s only aviation asset.

Source : 777 Partners

              Air France Retrieves Stranded A380 From Goose Bay, Canada  

On December 6 Air France retrieved the Airbus A380 stranded in Goose Bay, since September 30 after it diverted following unconfined failure of one of its Engine Alliance GP7200 powerplants.

Air France crew, rather than Airbus personnel, flew the aircraft back to Paris Charles de Gaulle. The aircraft has been taken to the H6 hanger at the airport’s facility which was specifically designed for A380 maintenance.

Air France says the aircraft will undergo checks for “a few weeks” before it is returned to scheduled service.

Its engine was subsequently replaced in Goose Bay, having been transported by an Antonov An124, and the A380 departed Canada with all four powerplants functioning says the airline.

Air France says the detached engine has been shipped to the UK for further analysis to determine the nature and cause of the failure, which included the loss of its fan disk.

Source : Air France/ Air soc.com

United Ups 757 Density With New Slimline Seats

United Airlines will retrofit its Boeing 757-300 fleet with slimline seats by the middle of this year, increasing the number of economy seats on the aircraft to more than 200.

The Chicago-based carrier will add 20 seats to the economy cabin on the aircraft for a total of 210 seats.  First class will continue to have 24 seats.

The 757-300 is the latest aircraft in United’s fleet to receive additional economy seats. The carrier is reconfiguring its legacy United Boeing 767-300ERs with 214 seats from 213 as it installs its new Polaris business class, and its Boeing 777-200s with 292 seats from either 267 or 269 with Polaris installations.

Adding seats to an aircraft in a carrier’s fleet is a cheaper way to increase capacity — and reduce unit costs — than purchasing new or additional aircraft.

United operates 21 757-300s, and operates the aircraft on high-density routes primarily from its Chicago O”Hare, Denver and San Francisco hubs.

Source : United/Flightglobal

LATEST NEWS

  • SMBC Aviation Capital announced an agreement with AeroMexico for the purchase and leaseback of 10 Boeing 737 MAX, which includes a pre-delivery payment facility for all 10 aircraft, which are scheduled to deliver between 2018 and 2020 and will be made up of eight 737 MAX 8s and two 737 MAX9s powered by CFM International LEAP-1B engines.
  • EasyJet wet-leased six A320s from SmartLynx to operate out of Berlin Tegel in the first quarter of this year.
  • Norwegian took delivery of its 150th Boeing aircraft (787-9) since 2008.

 

  • Avalon Irish lessor delivered one Airbus A320neo to LATAM Airlines Group.

 

  • Malaysia Airlines took delivery of its first of six Airbus-900s leased from Air Lease Corp.

  • Czech Travel Service signed on December 7,2017 an order for nine additional 737 MAX planes increasing its total order book for the model to 39.

 

  • LOT Polish Airline took delivery of its first Boeing 737 MAX 8, which it has received through US lessor Air Lease Corp.

 

  • Primera Scandinavian leisure carrier has ordered two more 737 MAX 9s taking the original order signed in May 2017 from eight to 10 aircraft.

  • Aerolineas Argentinas celebrated the delivery of the carrier’s first 737 MAX 8 on December 4, 2017.

  • Delta Airlines orders 100 A321neos and selects GTF engines from Pratt & Whitney to power the aircraft.

AIR CARGO

Two 747-400 Freighters Sold on Alibaba Auction Site 

Two Boeing 747-400-F’s sold on an Alibaba-owned e-commerce website Taobao for $48 million, making the pair of jumbo jets the highest-value sale ever.

The two “Queens of the Sky” were from a bankrupt cargo company, Jade Cargo International, and sold to Chinese logistics company SF Express, according to the listing.

Jade Cargo International was in Shenzhen and was founded in 2004 in which Lufthansa Cargo was a joint-venture partner along with Shenzhen airlines.

Jade management, aiming to achieve high goals, ordered six Boeing 747-400ERF’s with a list price value of $1.3 billion. The planes have very low flight hours and will be a good addition to SF Express fleet and 737s and 767 freighters.

Source : Cargo Facts/CNBC

Boeing Plans Engine Upgrades for Its 747 Dreamlifter Fleet

Boeing’s fleet of four Dreamlifters freighters are getting engine upgrades after years of hard flying. Once dubbed the “fantastic four”,the gigantic Dreamlifters are specially modified 747-400 passenger aircraft, Boeing acquired the four second hand 747-400s; former Air China aircraft, two former China Airlines aircraft and one former Malaysia Airlines aircraft. Modifications were carried out in Taiwan by Evergreen Aviation Technologies Corp. a joint venture of Evergreen Group’s EVA Air and General Electric.

They were modified for Boeing between 2006 and 2008 to transport Boeing 787 Dreamliner wings, fuselage sections to Dreamliner assembly facilities in Everett and South Carolina.

“We are in the process of upgrading the Dreamlifter’s Pratt and Whitney engines,” Boeing Paul Bergman confirmed. ”This will make it easier to get parts and slight fuel savings. This is not a re-engine project.”

Each Dreamlifter is powered by four Pratt & Whitney 4062 engines. They will get the modernized versions of the Pratt & Whitney 4062, which are used on the twin-engine Boeing KC-46 Pegasus aerial refueling tankers, Bergman Said.

Boeing Owns the four Dreamlifters, but Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings operates them for Boeing  under a nine-year contract signed in March 2010.Atlas receives revenues for the flights, while Boeing assumes responsibility for certain direct costs, including fuel.

Source : Boeing/Ed’s Research

 Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul News

The Road to Number Ten

Rolls-Royce’s Trent 1000 TEN has entered revenue service, almost seven years after the engine it is to replace, the Trent 1000 for the Boeing 787, did the same.

Although the manufacturer did not reveal the identity of the launch operator, three airlines — Norwegian, Scoot and Air New Zealand — have received Trent 1000 TEN .

The new engine incorporates a scaled version of the Trent XWB-84 compressor used in the Airbus A350, as well as other technologies developed on Rolls’ Advance3 demonstrator. It targets at least a 2% fuel-burn improvement over the current Trent 1000 Package C production configuration, production of which Rolls has transitioned to the TEN through 2017.

It will power the first 787-10, which is scheduled to be delivered to launch customer Singapore Airlines in May 2018, but will also become standard production engine for all Rolls-powered 787s from 2017 onwards.

Flight tests of the Trent TEN began in December 2016 on a 787-8 test aircraft, and the engine achieved EASA certification in August 2017, also when the first production engines arrived in Seattle. The first 787-10 is scheduled to be delivered to launch customer Singapore Airlines in May 2018.

Source : MRO-network/Picture Rolls-Royce

 

  MRO SHORT NEWS

  • Canadian North Airlines plans in the first quarter of this year to open a 90,000 sqft heavy maintenance facility at Edmonton International Airport to support its Boeing 737CLs and Bombardier Dash 8s.
  • Spirit Aerosystems plans to invest $1 billion over the next five years at Wichita for expansion.
  • Anjou Aéronautique of France was selected by Rossiya Airlines, Russia, to supply seat belts for its 15 Boeing 737-800s and nine 747-400s.
  • Lufthansa Technik was selected by South African LCC Mango Airlines to provide CFM56-7B maintenance.
  • AAR has a four-year Republic contract to provide heavy maintenance for 188 Embraer E170s/E175s.

 

Researched and Compiled by : Ed Kaplanian

Commercial Aviation Advisor

Contact – ed@kaplanianreport.com

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 4 Issue 11 November 2017 The Kaplanian Report

ON THE BOEING FRONT

Boeing Shanghai Completes Base Maintenance and Wi-Fi                      Modification for First Chinese Customer- Xiamen Air’s 787

Boeing Shanghai Aviation Services Co., Ltd (Boeing ShangHai) and Xiamen Air celebrated the completion of the first 787-8 base maintenance check, also known as a C-check and Wi-Fi modification at Boeing Shanghai’s hanger at Shanghai Pudong Airport.

A C-check is an extensive check of the airplane’s systems and components that can require several days to perform.

“The successful completion is a testament to Boeing Shanghai’s capability in the 787 maintenance and modification market. We are very grateful for the confidence Xiamen Air has placed in our team.” said Dermot Swan, CEO of Boeing Shanghai. ”Xiamen Air is an important and prestigious 787 carrier and we look forward to a long, mutually rewarding relationship with them.”

Established in 1984 and based in Xiamen, China, Xiamen Air operates scheduled passenger flights to major cities in Chin as well as international routes to Southeast Asia, Northeast Asia and North America. Currently Xiamen airlines operates an all-Boeing fleet consisting of 9 787s, four 757s and about 140 Next generation 737s.

Boeing Shanghai is a joint venture between Boeing, Shanghai Airport Authorities and China Eastern Airlines.

Source : Boeing Shanghai Aviation Services

 

ON THE AIRBUS FRONT

Airbus Inaugurates Its A330 Completion & Delivery Center In China        

Airbus has inaugurated its A330 Completion & Delivery Center (C&DC) in Tianjin, China, taking additional steps in the expansion of its global footprint and strategic partnership with China. At the same time, the first A330 to be delivered from The C&DC was handed over to Tianjin Airlines.

Located at the same site as the Airbus Tianjin A320 Family Final Assembly Line and the Airbus Tianjin Delivery Center, The A330 C&DC covers the aircraft completion activities including cabin installation, aircraft painting and production flight tests well as customer flight acceptance and aircraft delivery. Some 150 Chinese staff members of the C&DC were trained by Airbus experts in Toulouse. The A330 C&DC in Tianjin will employ more than 250 people and is ready to deliver two aircraft per month by early 2019.

“The inauguration of our A330 C&DC in Tianjin, together with first of many deliveries, marks a new milestone for Airbus’ international footprint and underlines the strong spirit of cooperation with our Chinese partners,” said Fabrice Bregier, Airbus COO and President of Commercial Aircraft.

To date the A330 Family has attracted nearly 1,700 orders and over 1,300 Family aircraft are currently flying with more than 110 operators worldwide.

Source : Airbus

 

REGIONAL/BUSINESS JETS

 India’s SpiceJet Firms Order for Up to 50 Bombardier 90-Seat Q400s

Indian LCC SpiceJet firmed its order for up to 50 Bombardier Q400 turboprops September 29,                 the largest single Q400 order to date, valued at $1.7 billion if all purchase rights are optioned.

Notably, the aircraft is in the Q400’s new 90-seat configuration, and on delivery will make SpiceJet the world’s first operator of a 90-seat turboprop.

SpiceJet signed its initial Letter of Intent (LOI) for 25 Q400s plus purchase rights for an additional 25 aircraft at the Paris Air Show June 20. At the time, the order was for the 86-seat extra-capacity NextGen variation of the Q400, which are being flown by Philippine Airlines (in a dual-class configuration) and Thailand’s Nok Air.

The Airline is looking to expand coverage of India’s domestic and international regional market and hopes the 90-seat Q400 will meet increasing passenger demand.

With SpiceJet’s order, Bombardier said the Q400 firm order total has reached 610 aircraft.

Source : ATW/Picture Bombardier

 

Bombardier Flies Fourth Global 7000

Bombardier’s Global 7000 program has taken another step forward, with the debut flight on September 28 of the fourth flight test vehicle (FTV$) —the first to be equipped with full production interior.

The ultra-long-range business jet serial number 70004, with registration C-GLBR made its maiden sortie from the airframes’s Downview, Toronto manufacturing plant.

Two days later, FTV$ made a 3 hour journey to Bombardier’s flight-test center in Wichita, Kansas, to begin certification testing.

The aircraft, dubbed “the Architect”, will be used to validate the Global 7000’s interior, and to confirm what Bombardier calls “its unparalleled comfort, connectivity and productivity”.

Bombardier launched the Global 7000 first flight-test campaign on November 4,2016 with the maiden flight of its first prototype. The aircraft is powered by GE Aviation Passport engine the fleet so far has flown more than 500h. The lead trio FTV1, FTV2 and FTV3 have been used to evaluate the Global 7000s propulsion, avionics, electrical and mechanical systems.

They will be joined in Kansas shortly by a fifth and final aircraft, FTA5, which will serve as the entry-into-service validation aircraft.

The Global 7000 remains on track for certification in the second half of 2018, says Bombardier. The aircraft is priced at $73 million.

Source : Flightglobal/Bombardier/Bombardier Photo

 

OTHER AVIATION NEWS

 Southwest Places Nine 737 MAX 8s into Service

Southwest Airlines launched the Boeing 737 MAX 8 into revenue service on its network Oct.1, flying from Dallas Love Field to Houston Hobby Airport for its first official flight with CFM international LEAP-1B-powered aircraft.

Southwest chairman and CEO Gary Kelly called the MAX 8 “the future of the Southwest fleet.” The Dallas-based carrier launched nine 737-MAX8s into service Oct.1 and will add five more to its fleet by the end of 2017.The airline plans to have a fleet totaling 707 aircraft by the end of 2017 comprised entirely of 737-700s,737-800s and 737 MAX 8s; all of its 737 Classics have been retired.

The airline’s 737 MAX 8s are configured with 175,32-inch pitch seats in a single-class layout.

Southwest, which Boeing has said played a pivotal role in helping design the aircraft, becomes the first North American airline to operate the aircraft, which entered service with Malaysia’s Malindo Air in May 2017.

Southwest has orders for 200 737 MAX aircraft, a combination of the 7 and 8 models.

Source : ATW

 

Hainan Airlines First Airline in China to Order                                                 Aviation Partners Boeing Split Scimitar Winglets

On September 14 Aviation Partners Boeing (APB) announced that Hainan Airlines has committed to install Split Scimitar Winglets on 36 of its fleet of Boeing Next Generation 737-800 aircraft.

Hainan was the first airline in China to operate with APB’s Blended Winglet technology, and now will be first airline in China to Operate with APB’s latest product, Split Scimitar Winglets.

Split Scimitar Winglets confirm Hainan’s commitment to providing exceptional value to its customers, through the implementation of efficient technology.

Hainan’s aircraft will be modified during routine maintenance visits at Hainan Airlines’ maintenance facility, HNA Technology, in Haikou.

Installation tasks can be performed concurrently with most maintenance activities, allowing for a very efficient shop visit. Once installed, the Split Scimitar Winglets can reduce lock fuel consumption by up to an additional 2.2% in addition to fuel savings and reduction carbon dioxide emissions.

Source : Aviation Partners Boeing/Hainan Airlines Photo

 

      GE Aviation Retired Their Veteran 747-100 Testbed

GE Aviation bids farewell  to their Boeing 747-100 testbed. The oldest jumbo in active service after making her final sortie at the engine company’s flight-test center in Victorville, California.

The aircraft rolled off the assembly line in October 1969 and made the first flight with Pan Am in March the following year. Named Clipper Ocean Spray, the aircraft flew in Pan Am colors for 21 years accumulating 86,000 flight hours before the engine maker acquired it in 1992.

After a series of modifications, removing seats, strengthening the left wing and tailwind installing data systems, the testbed began operations with GE in 1993.

The aircraft notes GE notes, provided flight data on 11 distinct engine models including the GE90,Leap and Passport engines. The aircraft was kept in impeccable shape for a testbed, I

had the privilege to go on board the aircraft, when GE was testing the GE90 engine the exclusive engine for the 777-300ER and 777-200LR .

In 2015, it got a new livery, with the old GE Aircraft Engines paint scheme being replaced with GE Aviation.

The 747-100’s place has been taken by a 747-400, acquired from Japan Airlines in 2010 and converted to GE’s Propulsion Test Platform.

Source : Ed’s Research/Picture GE Aviation

               

LATEST NEWS

  • Qatar Airways announced an order for two 747-8 Freighters and four 777-300ERs valued at $2.16 billion at list prices. The orders were previously unidentified on Boeing’s Orders & Deliveries website.(Picture Boeing)
  • SilkAIr Singapore Airlines’ regional arm has taken delivery of its first Boeing 737 MAX 8. The aircraft arrived in Singapore on October 1, with two more expected by year end.
  • Cathay Pacific is converting six of its Airbus A350-1000s to the smaller -900 and deferring delivery of five other-100s by year end.
  • Japan Airlines announced an order for four 787-8 Dreamliners. The order, which was previously listed on the Boeing Orders & Deliveries website.

 

  • United Air Lines conducted its last Boeing 747 flight on the 7th of this month from San Francisco to Honolulu.

 

  • CFM International continues to lead rival Pratt &Whitney in the race to power Airbus A320neo-family aircraft by 524 to 439 aircraft.

 

  • American Airlines took delivery of its first 737 MAX 8 late last month the first of four that American plans to take delivery of this year.

 

  • Gulfstream Aerospace Gulfstream Aerospace’s fleet of G280 super-midsize business jets has accumulated more than 100.000 flight hr in less than five years. The first model entered service in November 2012.

 

  • UPS took delivery of its first of 14 Boeing 747-8 freighters jets the shipper ordered a year ago, two more -8’s will arrive this fall in time for the peak holiday season starting at Thanksgiving.

  • Boeing has rolled out the first production version of the 787-10 a few months ahead of a planned certification milestone for the new aircraft and delivery to launch customer Singapore Airlines next year.(Picture Boeing)

  • Airbus the first A330neo took off from Toulouse for its first flight on October 19 for a 4 hour maiden flight.(Picture Airbus)

 

AIR CARGO

       SF Airlines’ Opens First Cargo Flight to Hanoi

SF Airlines’ made its first flight from Chengdu to Hanoi in late August, marking the first direct cargo flight from China to Hanoi, Vietnam. Operated by 767-300BCF freighter twice a week, the regular flight facilitates the transportation and communication between Chengdu and Vietnam.

SF Airlines affiliates SF Express. In recent years, the cargo carrier has been operating charter flights to Osaka, Inchon, Katmandu, Dhaka and Phnom Penh, completing its air logistics channels from China to other Asian countries.

The 767-300BCF, exclusive to SF airlines, suits the electronic product transport of its charter customer perfectly, which makes this cooperation quite profitable, meaning the opening of the new route enhances the air logistics between Chengdu and Hanoi and benefits the cargo distribution and trade communication between the two areas.

SF Airlines started in 2009 and right now its all-cargo aircraft fleets have outnumbered other domestic cargo airlines with 40 full-cargo airplanes and 37 national destinations.

Source : China Aviation Daily/Picture SF Airlines B767

 

 

 Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul News

Boeing To Broaden Vertical Integration, Canaccord Predicts

Boeing in-sourcing strategy likely will see the OEM continue to broaden its vertical-integration efforts into areas with substantial aftermarket upside, further pressuring large suppliers, analysts and Canaccord  Genuity believe.

“Considering the expectations for future cost reductions on the 787, and the growing focus on the commercial aftermarket, we believe Boeing will look to expand its vertical integration into other areas, and this is a major risk for the supply chain,” Canaccord analyst Ken Herbert wrote in a recent research note based in part on a Boeing investor event.

Herbert believes UTC products, such as wheels and brakes could be particularly vulnerable as Boeing sees as a lack of benefits from the proposed UTC Rockwell Collins union. He added Boeing’s ramping up of its avionics development is likely a preemptive strike along these lines, as avionics specialist Collins has been a sought-after target for some time.

Herbert noted that following UTC’s last major supplier acquisition-Goodrich, in 2012 Boeing pulled in nacelle production and changed 777 landing gear suppliers, costing Goodrich work.

The New gear supplier,  Horous-Devtek, will not see aftermarket revenues from 777 and 777X gear it supplies. Herbert also expects Boeing to make a “major” push into used serviceable materials, expanding an already formidable new-parts business.

“We believe Boeing proprietary parts are the highest margin piece of the BCS segment,” Herbert wrote. (as a long career parts Vice President with various car and heavy duty truck companies I concur with Mr. Herbert prognosis in this area) Ed .

Source : Canaccord Genuity

 

 MRO Short News

  • Lufthansa Technik was selected by NEOS to provide Boeing 787 component support.
  • Turkish Tecknic  was selected by Shaheen Air to perform S-checks on four A330s.
  • Airbus took delivery of the 50th shipset of major A320 family component assemblies, including fuselage sections, vertical/horizontal tailplane, and wings, at its US Manufacturing Facility in Mobile, Alabama.
  • HAECO was selected by Finnair for Airbus A350 heavy maintenance.
  • American Airlines was approved by Brazil for new $100 million aircraft maintenance center in Sao Paulo.
  • Liebherr-Aerospace Lindenberg has a flyby contract to provide E-Jet landing gear overhaul.
  • Stelia Aerospace delivered 3.1 ton cargo door for the first Airbus Beluga XL.
  • FEAM Aero has an Emirates Airlines contract to provide Boeing 777 line maintenance at Chicago.

 

Puzzler of the Month

Which airline uses or had used the slogan on its nose?      

                                The Magic Red Carpet

 

 

Answer to Last Month’s Puzzler:  UPS First 747-8 Freighter

Researched and Compiled by : Ed Kaplanian

Commercial Aviation Advisor

Contact – ekaplanian@msn.com

Volume 4 Issue 10 October 2017 The Kaplanian Report

ON THE BOEING FRONT

Boeing Expands Helena Site for 777X Parts Production

Boeing’s Helena, Montana, manufacturing site is set to install new machinery for manufacturing critical titanium parts for the 777X production.  The new 90,000 sq.ft. expansion of Boeing Helena brings the site’s total footprint to over 257,000 sq.ft.

Machine parts for the 777X to be manufactured at Boeing Helena will include side-of-body chords and terminal end fittings which connect the wings to the fuselage, Boeing  said. The site has become a vital part of Boeing’s commercial airplane supply chain, the company said, specializing in complex machining of hard metals for Boeing’s 737, 747, 767, and 787 aircraft models.

“Our investment in Boeing Helena…further positions our…Montana team of nearly 150 employees as key partner of Boeing Commercial Airplanes,” Boeing Commercial Airplanes VP and GM-Fabrication Kim Smith said.

Boeing purchased the former Summit Aeronautics Group facility in December 2010 and renamed it Boeing Helena. The facility is part of Auburn, Washington-headquartered Boeing Fabrication, a division of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, and is one of 12 Boeing Fabrication sites located around the world.

Source : ATW/Boeing

 

ON THE AIRBUS FRONT

Airbus Delivers First U.S.-Produced A320 To Spirit Airlines

The first delivery of an A320 aircraft from the Airbus U.S. Manufacturing Facility has taken place in Mobile, Alabama. The aircraft, delivered to Spirit Airlines, is the 37th overall delivery from the U.S. facility since production began in July 2015. The previous 36 aircraft were A321 aircraft, making this delivery another important milestone for Airbus.

Airbus commenced final assembly work on the A320 around May this year. The aircraft is fitted with International Aero Engines V2500 power plants. With this delivery Spirit’s all-Airbus fleet increases to 106 aircraft, says the carrier.   Around half of its jets are A320s.

Today, the Family has won over 13,200 orders and more than 7,700 aircraft have been delivered to some 400 customers and operators worldwide.

Airbus announced its commitment to build a single-aisle assembly line in Mobile, Alabama,  in July 2012, and broke ground for the $600 million facility in April 2013.  Airbus anticipates delivering four aircraft per month from the Mobile plant by the end of this year.

Source : Airbus/Pictures Airbus

 

REGIONAL/BUSINESS JETS

   MRJ Test Fleet Grounded After PW1200G Flameout         

Mitsubishi Aircraft has grounded its MRJ regional jet flight test fleet, following an engine “flameout” on one of its test prototypes on August 21.

The “uncommanded shut down” on prototype FTA-2 happened on the left Pratt & Whitney PW1200G engine during a flight test.

Mitsubishi would not say what tests the aircraft was conducting when the flameout occurred, but said the incident happened in training airspace over the ocean, about 170km (106 miles) west of Portland.  Pilots were alerted to the issue only when the left engine shut down.

The Aircraft had taken off from Moses Lake at 14:00 local time and had to make an unscheduled landing at Portland International airport at 17:12 local time.

The FTA-2 Prototype has since returned to the Manufacturer’s test base at Moses Lake, after replacement of the troubled engine

Mitsubishi has since grounded its test fleet. It will decide when to resume flight tests after the cause of the incident is determined.(as of this writing testing has resumed.)

Source : Flightglobal/Mitsubishi

 

OTHER AVIATION NEWS

            EASA has Granted Certification for The Trent 1000 TEN 

Rolls-Royce has been granted full-flight certification by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) for its Boeing 787 Trent 1000 TEN engine.

The Trent 1000 TEN, which will power all Boeing 787 variants, has improved Thrust and efficiency because of cross-over technologies from the Airbus A350’s Trent XWB power plant and Rolls-Royce’s Advance turbofan, a new engine program that was announced in 2014.

“This marks another critical step in our journey toward delivering additional capability and new technology for the Boeing 787,” Rolls-Royce chief engineer for Trent 1000, Dave Taylor said.

The certification came as Rolls-Royce delivered its first set of production engines to Boeing in Seattle, ready for entry into service later this year.

Source :  Rolls-Royce

 

      Qantas to Base Half of 787 Fleet In Brisbane 

Qantas will base four of its upcoming 787-9s in Brisbane, complementing the four aircraft that will be based in Melbourne. Qantas says in  a statement that the four aircraft earmarked for the Brisbane base will be delivered during the second half of 2018.

“We have said that initially our Dreamliners will replace the routes that our older 747s fly, but there are also new destinations we are looking at, given capability of the aircraft,” says Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce.

At present, Qantas’s only 747 services from Brisbane are to Los Angeles, Flightglobal schedules data shows, making that the likely

launch route for 787s from the Queensland Capital. The airline says, however, that the aircraft could potentially open up new services to destinations including, Seattle, Chicago and Vancouver.

Joyce adds that decisions on these new routes will be made in the coming months.

The Australian airline will take delivery of its first 787-9 in October, and will use the aircraft  on domestic services for six weeks for crew training purposes. From December 15, the type will be used on Melbourne-Los Angeles services, and from March 2018 on the Melbourne-Perth-London route.

According to Flight Fleets Analyzer shows that Qantas has options on a further 45 787s, but it has given no indication if or when it may exercise those options.

Source : Qantas

Air Tahiti to Replace A340s in 2018

French Polynesian carrier Air Tahiti NUI is preparing for a major upgrade of its long-haul international fleet in 2018, when it will begin the replacement of its Airbus A340s with Boeing 787-9s.

The Carrier has four 787s on order, two leased and two purchased. These will replace four A340-300s it operates on flights to Auckland and Tokyo and a route to Paris via Los Angeles.

The 787-9s are scheduled to arrive between October 2018 and September 2019. The leased aircraft will enter service the fleet first, followed by the two purchased aircraft in 2019. Cabin configuration is still being finalized, and training is expected to begin next year.

CEO Michel Monvoisin noted the carrier is now making a positive contribution to the national budget, as its majority owner is the government of French Polynesia.

Source: ATW   

                                                   

LATEST NEWS

  • Rolls-Royce has secured European flight certification for the Airbus A350-1000’s power plant, the Trent XWB-97.
  • Southwest has become the first U.S. airline to receive Boeing’s 737MAX 8 aircraft. It is expected to take delivery of eight more this month.

  • Singapore has quietly parked the first Airbus A380 aircraft to enter commercial service.
  • Kish Air of Iran has signed an MOU with Boeing to purchase ten 737 MAX aircraft.
  • Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE) has announced the delivery of an Airbus A320-200 aircraft to new customer, Flyadeal a subsidiary of Saudi Arabian Airlines group.
  • Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS) is considering ordering the Airbus A321neoLR to operate on routes from Zurich to long-haul destinations in Africa.
  • Orion Airways is one of new Cypriot airlines to emerge following the demise of flag carrier Cyprus Airways in 2015. Its first aircraft, is a former Jordan Aviation Boeing 737-300.
  • Gol Airlines of Brazil announces sale and leaseback transactions with Ge Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) for seven aircraft, including five 737 MAX 8 aircraft and two 737-800 Next Generation (NG) aircraft. Additionally, the company signed the direct operating lease for five additional 737 MAX 8 aircraft.
  • Egyptair takes delivery of the 7th of nine new Boeing 737-800s ordered as part of plans to upgrade its aging fleet on Thursday, August 31st.
  • EL AL Israel Airline took delivery of its first 787-9 leased through an agreement with Air Lease Corporation.

AIR CARGO

Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings Flying for Nippon Cargo 

Purchase, New York-based air cargo operator Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings started operating a second Boeing 747-400 freighter for Japan’s Nippon Cargo Airline (NCA) on September 1 .

Atlas Air initiated its relationship with the Narita International Airport (NRT)-based cargo carrier in December 2016, launching flights for NCA in January. The two companies indicated additional aircraft may be added to their agreement in the future.  As with the first 747-400F, additional freighters will fly transpacific routes connecting Asia and the US, Atlas Air said.

Atlas Air Worldwide president and CEO William Flynn said the move follows the “successful start of the first aircraft for NCA earlier this year and underscores our focus on fast-growing Asia Pacific market.”

Atlas Air’s transpacific routes flown for NCA fly an eastward trajectory between Narita (NRT), Ted Stevens Anchorage International (ANC) and Chicago O’Hare International (ORD).Atlas Air’s westward NCA flights operate in three trajectories: ORD-Dallas/Fort Worth International (DFW)-ANC;ORD-DFW-ANC-NRT; and a direct nonstop ORD-NRT flight.

Nippon Cargo operates a fleet of eight Boeing 747-8Fs (all leased) and five 747-400Fs (one owned by NCA, the remainder leased).

Source : ATW/Picture Atlas Air

 

 Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul News

         Opinion: Uncertainties Abound In Engine Leasing Market

The commercial engine leasing market is growing, though entry of new models and OEM involvement in MRO are creating uncertainty.

Opinion is divided concerning the size and value of the engine leasing market. Some of the uncertainty comes from the involvement of OEMs and their large engine-lease pools that support their respective aftermarket maintenance packages. As a result, identifying the true market is difficult because so much trading and maintenance activity is ring-fenced.

However, both OEMs and operators potentially benefit from such arrangement via guaranteed cash flows through flight-hour agreements for the OEM and reduced risk for the operator.

The engine market is well-stocked, notably with much-talked-about CFM56-5B,CFM56-7B and V2500-A5, expected to have significant shop analyzing the outstanding order book for these types, forecasts that Pratt & Whitney PW1000 and CFM Leap engines will far surpass the quantities of the CFM56 and V2500 engines today. While OEMs seek to secure more maintenance agreements for engines, the overall number of engines is expected to grow and thus, by engine count, the OEM and independent leasing/MRO markets are expected to increase their stocks.

Further on, OEMs will still be very present in this market, for example, CFM spent $4 billion in research and development units latest Leap engine programs.

Capturing more of the maintenance market allows OEMs to invest more heavily in the next generation of engines and helps offset the discounts offered to airlines for the latest A320neo and 737MAX-family engines. Independents, tear-down entities and MROs all stand to lose out from this shift in strategy.

Source : MRO-Network.com

 

 MRO Short News

  • Monarch Aircraft Engineering has a contract from Evelop Airlines, Spain, to provide base maintenance services, initially on an Airbus A330, out of Birmingham.
  • HEICO agreed to acquire Southern California-based Aeroantenna Technology.
  • Pacific Aerospace Resources and Technologies based in Victorville, California has retained Cloud Investment Partners and Tiger Group to sell company; bids were due on or before September 7 as a going concern, and auction of all assets was scheduled for September 21.
  • Certified Aviation Services (CAS) signed a service agreement with Boeing Global Fleet Care to provide MRO services in the US for Boeing’s aftermarket support system. Under the agreement, CAS will provide scheduled maintenance operations in support of the 737 MAX and 787 Dreamliner.

 

Puzzler of the Month   

 

 

ANSWER TO LAST MONTH’S PUZZLER

A Wet Lease means an organization (airline) or person who owns the aircraft will provide the lessor with the aircraft as well as one or more crew members to the lessee. Even more important, the lessor promises to conduct adequate maintenance & procure the insurance necessary to operate.

A Dry Lease means an organization (airline) or person provides the lessee the aircraft; however, without a crew and promises to conduct adequate maintenance & procure the insurance necessary to operate.

Researched and Compiled by : Ed Kaplanian

Commercial Aviation Advisor

Contact – ekaplanian@msn.com

Volume 4 Issue 8


ON THE BOEING FRONT

The 777 Best Plane Boeing Has Ever Built

On June 12, 1994, the Boeing 777 takes its first flight, kicking off a career that would revolutionize the airline industry.

Once every few decades, an airplane comes along and simply redefines what a modern airliner is capable of delivering for airlines and its passengers. Boeing did it with its first jet-powered airliner, the 707. Boeing changed the game again, when it launched the 747 and turned the industry upside down and in 1994 Boeing did it again with the 777.

In two decades since its first flight, the 777 became the trusty long-haul workhorse for the world’s international airlines. Through June 23, 2017, Boeing has sold a whopping 1,944 777s, making it the best selling wide body in company history.

The following is a short history of the Boeing 777.

The Boeing 777’s journey began in October of 1990 with an order from United Airlines for a twin-engine wide body airliner larger than Boeing’s 767. Leading the program was its general manager, Alan Mulally. From the start, Boeing knew the 777 would be special. It was

the first airliner to be designed completely using a computer. Using 3D computer graphics, Boeing was able to digitally pre-assemble the 777, foregoing the need for costly and time consuming clay models. To produce the 777, Boeing selected its Everett, Washington production facility.

Even though the 777-200 is smaller than the 747, it is still massive airplane at 209 feet long with a 191-foot wingspan. The jet’s high bypass turbofan engines built by Rolls-Royce, Pratt & Whitney, and GE are the largest engines ever installed on an airliner.

The 777-200 featured a state-of-the-art two-person digital cockpit. In the back, passengers are treated to a more comfortable and quiet ride with greater in-flight entertainment options.

The resulting aircraft could carry 305 to 440 passengers up to 8,270 miles. The cask 200 could cruise at 615 mph and fly at 37,900 feet. In 1995, the 777-200 entered service with United Airlines marking the start of the plane’s game changing career.

With the 777, Boeing was able to convince the government to give the plane an ETOPS 180 rating. The four-engine jumbo jet was not immune to the market dominance of planes like the 777. Along with the twin-engines Airbus A330, the 777 has decimated four-engine passenger sales.

In 1996, Boeing rolled out a more potent version of the 777 with an even greater range called the 777-200ER for extended range. In 1998, Boeing stretched the 777 to create the 550 seat 777-300. Boeing did not stop here. In 2002, extended the range version of the Dash 300 called 777-300ER. With more than 800 sold, the 300ER is by far the most popular version of the 777. In 2006, Boeing introduced the longer range 777-200LR. The 200LR can carry 301 passengers nearly 11,000 miles. With more than two decades of service under its belt, the 777 is getting ready for a major makeover. In 2019, Boeing will introduce the next generation 777-9 and 777-8.

Source : Business Insider/Ed’s research.

 

ON THE AIRBUS FRONT

Rolls-Royce Sends First Trent 7000 Pair to Airbus

Rolls-Royce has shipped the Trent 7000 engines for the first Airbus A330neo toToulouse. The UK manufacturer says the power plants have left its facility in Derby and will be installed on the re-engined twin jet during this summer, following integration with Safran nacelles at that company’s Toulouse site.

Airbus has previously indicated its intent to start test-flying the A330neo toward “end of the summer”, potentially as late as September. The airframe originally planned for the A330neo to enter service in late 2017. Now, spring 2018 is the target for starting deliveries.

Rolls-Royce’s Trent 7000 is the sole engine available for the A330neo.  Airbus rolled out the first two A330neos earlier this year, which have been parked in Toulouse engineless awaiting the delivery of their Trent 7000s (picture shown)

The Trent 7000 with twice the bypass ratio of the Trent 700 powering the current-generation A330, Rolls-Royce says the Trent 7000 cuts specific fuel consumption by 10%.

Source : Rolls-Royce/Airbus

 

REGIONAL/BUSINESS JETS

                 Embraer Marks One Year of E190 Operations in Japan                                                 

On June 20, Embraer announced at the 52nd International Paris Air Show, that it has signed an agreement with Japan Airlines for a firm order of an additional E190, after Embraer marks one year of E190 operations in Japan. Japan Airlines’ subsidiary J-Air made its first revenue flight in May 2016. J-Air currently operates seven E190s and 17 E175s – 24 E-jets in total, with an additional eight E-jets on backlog. The firm order has a value of USD $50.6 million, based on 2017 list prices, and will be included in Embraer’s 2017 second quarter backlog.

J-Air’s E190 fleet is based at the airline’s Osaka (Itami) base and features a dual-class arrangement with 95 seats, including the well-received Class J (business class) seats, with Free Video Program services for Wi-Fi devices. J-Air’s E-190s currently fly to seven routes in Japan, including services to Narita from Osaka (Itami) and Sapporo that started from June 8. Network growth will continue to include cities like Tokyo (Haneda).

Source : Embraer/Japan Airlines

 

OTHER AVIATION NEWS

GE Tells Boeing It Won’t Share 797 Engines With Arch-Rivals

General Electric, the world’s biggest jet-engine maker, said it’s not prepared to share turbine production on Boeing Co. planned middle-of-market plane with its two global rivals.

Should Boeing opt for multiple suppliers, ”we’re out,” David Joyce, head of GE’s aero-engine arm, said at the Paris Air Show; adding that his company still carries “scares” from being one of three engine providers on the Airbus A330 two decades ago.

“What happens is, all three of us spend a lot of money to design a brand new engine and then all of a sudden you’re splitting the market,” Joyce said.  “You look at the returns on that, unless you find a bunch more applications for that engine immediately, you end up in a world where it just doesn’t work.”

“Think of the difference between whether you’re sole or not,” Joyce said. ”In terms of how you make the business case and return on investment, it’s no cheaper to build the engine if there’s two of you than if there’s one—but the return on it is a hell a lot different.” GE has already gone through three rounds of submissions on the new Boeing plane, he said.

Divisional chief McAllister declined to elaborate on the likely engine architecture of the plane, saying that “it’s still very early in the game”.

Source : Bloomberg/GE Aviation

AerCap Holdings Signed Lease Agreements for 65 Aircraft in the 2Q

Dublin-based lessor AerCap Holdings signed lease agreements for 65 aircraft in the 2017 second quarter, more than dubbing the 27 leases the company secured in 2Q 2016. AerCap’s signed leases during the quarter covered 18 wide body and 47 narrow body aircraft, the company said on July 12.

AerCap purchased 11 aircraft in the 2Q (eight Airbus A320neos, one A321neo and two Boeing 787-9s and sold 24 aircraft from its owned portfolio and eight from its managed portfolio.

In April, AerCap announced it has signed $7.2 billion in financing transactions during the 2017 first quarter, a figure that, in three months, eclipsed the company’s entire 2016 financing transaction total by $2.6 billion.

Source : AerCap/Rendering of 737 MAX in AerCap livery Boeing

Air Transat To Introduce A321LRs In North America  

Canada’s Air Transat expects to become the first North American operator of the Airbus neoLR after it takes delivery of the first 10 it has agreed to lease for 12 years from AerCap starting in 2019.  Scheduled for delivery between the spring of that year and the fall of 2020, the A321LRs will replace Air Transat’s aged Airbus A310s, which the airline plans to gradually retire.

Air Transat said it will deploy the single-aisle jets on both holiday destinations and transatlantic routes, alongside its Airbus A330s and Boeing 737s. The A321LRS will come configured with 200 seats in dual-class layout.

“The A321neoLRs will perfectly complete our fleet of A330s and Boeing 737s”, Transat  President and CEO Jean-Marc Eustache said. This agreement with AerCap will allow us to continue offering our customers the service and comfort they are used to, at the best possible price.”

Air Transat’s fleet currently consists of 31 permanent aircraft in what it calls a unique flexible-fleet model. This allows it to deploy more wide body aircraft in summer for high transatlantic season, with narrow body aircraft in winter to cover the high season for leisure destinations.

Source : Air Transport

 

LATEST NEWS

  • Delta Airlines took delivery of its first of five A350-900s this year, it is the first US airline to operate the type.

  • SMBC Aviation Capital and Chinese low-cost carrier Lucky Air have entered into an agreement for 4 Boeing 737-8 MAXs.
  • The Civil Aviation Administration of China(CAAC) has approved a production certificate for the ARJ21-700, produced by the Commercial Aircraft Corp. of China (COMAC).

  • AviaAM Leasing delivered an Airbus A321 to Russia’s Aeroflot.
  • Azimuth Airlines Russia’s new regional carrier, took delivery of its first SS100 aircraft on July 7th. The aircraft is leased by State Transport Leasing Co.

  • Sunrise Airways, Haiti based airline, received a new Airbus A320, configured in two classes. The 150-seat aircraft features 12 seats in first class and 138 in economy.
  • BOC Aviation has placed an order for four 787-9s which will be leased to Air Europa of Spain.
  • FLY Leasing purchased 4 new aircraft, including a new Boeing 787 and a new 737 MAX 8, its first of the type. The 787 is on a 12-year lease to a European airline and the 737 MAX 8 is on a 12-year lease to an Asian carrier.
  • Azur Air, the new German airline, has begun operations and launched its first flight from Dusseldorf to Lama de Mallorca, Spain on July 3.

  • Alaska Airlines is launching flights from Paine Field, (PAE) Washington State, to give passengers living north of Seattle a more convenient alternative to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (Sea-Tac).

 

AIR CARGO

West Atlantic To Become Launch 737-800BCF Operator

West Atlantic Airlines committed to lease 4 Boeing 737-800 converted freighters from GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS). This will make it the first operator of the type after taking delivery of the freighter later this year or the first quarter of 2018.

GECAS launched the 737-800 converted freighter program and gave the prototype aircraft to Boeing in 2016. GECAS expects the conversion to take about 3.5 months, or 100 days, per aircraft.

Boeing’s modification facility in Shanghai will do the conversion. The value of the lease to West Atlantic Airlines, a European operator of mail and express freight, was not disclosed, but the carrier did say the aircraft will enable it to expand into new markets, possibly Asia.

Kurt Kraft, Boeing Commercial Airplanes VP modification and conversion services, says Boeing has 60 orders and commitments for the program.  “We predict that demand for the standard-body will continue to be strong and grow more than 40% of demand coming from Asia.”

The 737-800BCF is powered by CFM56-7B engines and will carry 23.9 tons of cargo over 2,000 nm.

Source : GECAS/Boeing

 

 Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul News

American Airlines Honors MRO Employee with 75 Years of Service 

Azreil Blackman celebrated his 75th year of service at American Airlines on July 18th. To put this in perspective, Blackman, who is still actively working for the airline, received the FAA’s Charles E. Taylor Master Mechanic Award for his 50 year of MRO experience 25 years ago.

“When I first started as a junior mechanic, Al was my crew chief and was celebrating his 45th anniversary. I thought to myself, 45 years with one company. That’s amazing,” said Robert Needham, senior manager aircraft line maintenance at New York John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK). “Here we are celebrating his 75th, 30 years later, and it’s just mind-blowing.”

The Aviation Maintenance technician crew chief started with the airline (named American Export Airlines at the time) at New York’s La Guardia Airport at age 16 as a sheet metal shop apprentice for $0.50 per hour. The 91-year-old, who moved to New York LaGuardia Airport in the 1960s, has worked on almost all the airline’s aircraft including from the 1940s to today’s aircraft.

American Airline surpassed him during his 75th anniversary celebration by naming a Boeing 777 in his honor (pictured). In addition, The Guinness World Records was present to honor Blackman with the “longest career as an airline mechanic.”

Next month Blackman will turn 92. American noted that his shift starts at 5 a.m, but he usually arrives just before 3 a .m. ”When you like what you do, it’s no work,” says Blackman.

Source : mro-network/American Airlines

 

 MRO Short News

  • MTU Maintenance and Air Burkina have signed an exclusive three-year maintenance agreement. The contract for the airline’s four CF34-8E engines from their Embraer E170 aircraft covers MRO, on-site services and guaranteed spare engine leasing availability.
  • Lufthansa Tecknik has a 15-year El Al, Israel Airlines, contract for Boeing 787 component support.
  • Turkish Technic has signed a Royal Air Maroc contract to perform two Boeing 767 C checks.
  • Boeing Shanghai has an SF Airlines contract to provide Boeing 737F and 767F heavy maintenance.
  • DHL Supply Chain Division began overseeing logistics for 80,000 parts numbers, components and equipment used for airline maintenance for Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon’s aircraft .
  • AAR and FlyDubai signed a long-term contract to provide comprehensive flight-hour components support for its new Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. The Dubai-based airline is set to take delivery of 100 Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft ordered at the 2013 Dubai International Air Show by the end of 2023.

Puzzler of the Month

 Which US airline has the oldest fleet by age?

              

Answer will be given in my September Report.

Researched and Compiled by : Ed Kaplanian

Commercial Aviation Advisor

Contact – ed@kaplanianreport.com

June 2017 The Kaplanian Report

ON THE BOEING FRONT

 Boeing Elaborates on 777-9 Design Details 

Boeing has published further preliminary details of the 777-9’s configuration, three years ahead of entry into service. It shows a slightly lower aircraft with an interior re-sculpted to carve out a precious 10.2cm (4in) of internal diameter.

A 79-page document posted on Boeing’s website offers the first detailed update on the larger 777X variant’s dimensions since a brochure version appeared in 2015.

Boeing released both documents to help airport managers prepare for the arrival of the stretched wide body with its extended wingspan.

Compared with the previous iteration, the update shows the 777-9’s designers have made a few minor tweaks.  For example, the height of the vertical tail above the runway is about 17 cm (6.6 in) shorter,while it remains nearly 1m (3.3 ft) taller than the height of the 777-300ER.

The most critical dimensions for the 777-9 remain unchanged, with a 2.9m (9.5 ft) longer fuselage and 7m (22.9 ft) wider unfolded wingspan compared to the 777-300ER.

The folded wingspan of the 777-9 measures 64.82m (212.7 ft), about 2,54cm (0,083 in), wider than the 777-300 ER. Boeing also has

worked to make the 777-9 more comfortable with a standard 10-abreast layout in economy class.

The 777-9 shares an external fuselage cross-section with the 777-300ER, but the internal sidewalls have been carved out by about 10.2cm (4.0in).

Boeing now lists the 777-9’s standard two-class cabin as accommodating 414 passengers, with a three-class cabin holding 349 seats.

Source : Boeing/BoeingPicture

 

ON THE AIRBUS FRONT

                        A330 First Flight Likely to Slip to September

Airbus will now perform the first flight of its A330neo “at the end of the summer”’, a significant delay over its previous timeline for the re-engined aircraft.  Speaking at an event in Toulouse, Airbus executive vice-president for programs Didier Evrard confirmed the slippage.

The initial Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engine has successfully completed tests, he says: “We will install it during the summer and fly at the end of the summer.”

The maiden flight, he says, would likely take place around September rather than August, due to the lengthy summer break in France.

In the meantime, lessor SMBC Aviation Capital has ruled out interest in the Airbus A330neo. Instead they are focusing its energies on securing more sale-and-leaseback deals for the A350.

Although leaving the door open for the re-engined wide body, SMBC chief executive Peter Barrett says at the moment “it is not something we have considered”.

Source : Airbus/Flightglobal

REGIONAL/BUSINESS JETS

Fourth MRJ Arrives in US; Mitsubishi                                Evaluating Flight Test Program

A fourth Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp. MRJ90 flight test aircraft has arrived at Moses Lake, Washington.  The aircraft, which departed Nagoya, Japan, March 13, arrived April 1 at Grant County International Airport in Moses Lake. It made stops in Guam, the Marshall Islands, Honolulu and San Jose, California.

The total flight distance flown from Japan was approximately 14,000 km (8,700 miles) and total time was 19 hr and 48 min.

The latest aircraft to arrive in Moses Lake was the last that had been designated to participate in US-based MRJ flight testing.  A fifth MRJ90 flight test aircraft is remaining in Japan, though the majority of flight testing is slated to occur in the US.

Source : ATW/Mitsubishi Aircraft

 

   Dutch to Replace Royal Transport with 737 BBJ

The Dutch transport minister has announced the purchase of a Boeing 737 business jet to replace the current Fokker 70 that is currently used to transport members of the nation’s Royal family and government officials.

Boeing will supply the airframe, while Fokker Technologies will provide the VIP interior.  The aircraft will have a capacity of 24 passengers: the same as the Fokker 70 in current use.  It will carry the registration PH-GOV.

The preliminary agreement has been signed and final contract was finalized in April. The purchase price is estimated at $98.7 million and anticipated delivery is in 2019.

One of the requirements for the new aircraft is that it should be able to reach parts of the Kingdom of the Netherlands non-stop, including the Dutch Antilles in the Caribbean.

Four responses were received following the release of a public tender last year, but none met all criteria leading the Netherlands to enter negotiations with Boeing over a BBJ acquisition.

One of the pilots for the new VIP transport will be King Willem-Alexander, who also has flown the Fokker 70. He will commence type rating training on the 737 this year.

Source : Flightglobal

 

OTHER AVIATION NEWS

Gulf Air on Track for the First 787-9 Delivery

Gulf Air, Bahrain’s national carrier, is gearing up for the arrival of the airline’s first Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.  It will be delivered in April 2018 and will operate the airline’s long haul routes, gradually replacing its Airbus A330s.

A total of 5 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners will have entered Gulf Air’s fleet by the end of 2018, with an additional 2 aircraft arriving in 2019 and 3 arriving in 2020.

Gulf Air’s Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners will offer 282 seats in a two-class configuration, with 26 Falcon Gild Class seats and 256 Economy Class seats.

“The 787 customer base is growing, not just globally, but in the Middle East as well with airlines such as Gulf Air taking delivery of the Dreamliner,” said Marty Bentrott,Vice President- Sales, the Middle East, Turkey, Russia and Central Asia.

Boeing Commercial Airplanes, ”We are confident that the 787-9 will help Gulf Air achieve a new level of efficiency and profitability, plus will contribute to their future growth and success.”

Source : Bizbahrain

WestJet to Purchase Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners

On May 2, WestJet announced a definitive purchase agreement with The Boeing Company for up to 20 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft. This agreement includes commitments for 10 Boeing 787-9 aircraft to be delivered between the first quarter of 2019 and December 2021; with options for an additional 10 aircraft to be delivered between 2020 and 2024.  The airline also announced it has selected General Electric’s GEnx-1B engine for the 787.

“We welcome WestJet to the Dreamliner family and look forward to the new destinations they will serve,” said Ray Conner, Vice Chairman of The Boeing Company. “WestJet, for its entire 21-year history, has been a loyal all-Boeing jet customer and we’re excited to see them expand their fleet with the 787.”

As part of the purchase agreement, WestJet is converting 15 firm orders for the Boeing 737 MAX that were to be delivered between 2019 and 2021 to options available between 2022 and 2024.

Source : WestJet

Oman Air Plans Major Aircraft Order                                         Even as Break-Even is Delayed

Oman Air Transport plans to move ahead with a multi-billion order for wide body jets early next year, even though it won’t now break even in 2017. The low oil prices curbs growth in the Persian Gulf.

The Carrier is now aiming to end losses by the end of next year, contingent on demand not deteriorating further, Chief Executive Officer Paul Gregorowitsch said in an interview on May 2.  While the Mideast carrier will also delay plans to expand to a 70 aircraft and 75 destinations to 2023, from 2020, it still plans to order 15 new wide body jets needed to replace older planes and add capacity, he said.

Further discussions will be held with manufacturers and leasing firms as Oman Air seeks to agree to terms to take either the Airbus A350 or the Boeing 787-9.

The 787 model has a slight advantage because the carrier already operates six Dreamliners, with the tally set to increase to 10 in 2018.

Oman Air will also go ahead with deliveries of the 20 Boeing 737 Max planes it has on order  as it leases out some of its current marrow body fleet to better Match seats to demand.

While the carrier is continuing to operate 10 Airbus A330s, which form the core of its wide body operations, those planes will be retired to make way for the new aircraft. Gregorowitsch said.  The upgraded A330neo isn’t of interest.

Source : Bloomberg

 

LATEST NEWS

  • Hawaiian Airlines has launched a companywide rebranding under which it will update its logos and repaint its fleet over the next several years.
  • Rossiya, the Russian carrier has unveiled a Boeing 777-300 with a specialized paint scheme, intended to draw attention to conservation of rare wildlife, including big cats.

  • Delta Air Lines added 10 Boeing 737-900ERs to its order book during the first quarter, bringing its total orders for the type to 130 aircraft.
  • Embraer delivered its 1,100th business jet on May 4. The milestone aircraft is the industry’s best selling Phenom 300, the customer is Net Jets.

  • Boeing has selected Ipeco to design and manufacture a High Comport Attendant Seat for the next generation 777X airplane.  This follows on from a contract awarded last year for the pilot and observer seating for the same aircraft.
  • UPS Airlines is adding its first used Boeing 767-300 freighters to its fleet, with expected entry into service in 2018.
  • SMBC Aviation Capital has placed a direct order from Boeing for three 737-800s, bringing its total owned, managed and committed portfolio for 737-800s to 198.
  • Avolon delivered one Airbus A320-200 aircraft to Batik Air.  This is the sixth Avolon aircraft on lease to Batik Air.
  • Asiana Airlines has taken delivery of its first Airbus A350-900, which is on lease from Dublin based SMBC Aviation Capital.  The aircraft, part of a six A350 sale-and-leaseback deal is the first of the type to be operated by a Korean Airline.

  • Primera Air Scandinavian leisure carrier has placed an order for eight 737 MAX 9s, has taken purchase rights on four more.  They will lease another eight from US lessor Air Lease Corp.

 

AIR CARGO

        One of the Last Airworthy Boeing 747-200s                      Flies into Retirement

A Kalitta Air Boeing 747-200 delivers a soft puff of white smoke as the jet completes its second-to-last landing ever on Thursday April 20 at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.  On Friday, April 21st, the jet and its crew shuttled the airplane back to Kalitta Air’s home base in Michigan, where the airplane was retired for good by the cargo carrier.

In a time when the iconic jetliner has been disappearing from fleets across the globe at an astounding rate, another 747 biting the dust may not seem particularly remarkable.  Yet this particular airplane stands out among the crowd: It’s one of the last airworthy 747-200s in commercial service. There are two others still in use as Air Force One.

“I tell ya, this is a nice airplane.It’s old school,” Captain Scott Jaykl says during a post-landing interview aboard the aircraft. “It’s a pilot’s airplane,” Jaykl says from the plane’s antiquated flight deck. ”You have manual control over everything.”

Built in 1987, Captain Jaykl’s jet was among the last “-200“ variants of the 747 to come off the assembly line.  The model was then replaced by the updated 747-400 in 1989, and the -200 variant, which debuted in 1971, ended production completely a few years later.

This specific aircraft was originally bought by United Airlines, converted to a freighter for Northwest Airlines in 2000, then transitioned to Kalitta and added to its fleet in 2010 according to public records.

Source : USA Today/Ed’s Research/Picture

 

 Cargolux And Emirates SkyCargo Ink                                                  a Memorandum of Understanding

Luxembourg all-freight operator, Cargolux and Dubai-based Emirates SkyCargo, have signed a memorandum of Understanding (MOU), paving the way for strategic cargo partnership

The partners said the agreement, which was signed at the Air Cargo Europe event in Munich, is the first of its kind in the air cargo industry between a mainline airline and a specialized freighter operator.

Under the cooperation, Emirates SkyCargo will use Cargolux’s nose-loading 747 freighters for heavy and outsized cargo, complementing its own fleet of 13 777Fs and two 747-400ERFs.  The two carriers will also further develop block space and interline agreements on each other’s network.

Emirates SkyCargo will launch flight operations to Luxembourg from this month, while Cargolux will step up its Dubai World Central frequencies to 3X-weekly. Both airlines’ cargo will be handled at the same facility in Luxembourg, Cargolux will be handled by Emirates SkyCargo at Dubai World Central.

Cargolux operates 14 747-8Fs and 12 747-400Fs, covering 90 destinations. ( five and a half years after the first GEnx powered 747-8F went into service.  Cargolux has become the first operator to fly 1 million operating hours with the new engine type so far, the carrier has experienced no engine-caused in-flight shutdown of a GEnx since its entry into service.) Ed

Source:  ATW

 

 Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul News

Lessors Welcome New Engine Entrants

With next generation engine types, the CFM LEAP and the Pratt & Whitney Geared Turbofan having a combined order backlog of nearly 20,000 units, engine lessors are anticipating greater numbers being brought into their portfolios over the next decade.

In a six person panel discussing the engine leasing market at Aviation Week Network’s Engine Leasing,Trading & Finance in London on May 10, lessors foresee opportunities around both the LEAP and the GTF.  While Pat Laffan, SVP structured finance at GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS), says the company will focus on GE and CFM engine types in future; primarily in the sale and leaseback market.  They would also consider looking at other engine types should the returns be beneficial.

Julie Dickerson, managing director of Ireland-based Shannon Engine Support, a firm which doesn’t chase sale and leaseback deals, expects a greater focus on early year LEAP engines along with continuing with mature CFM56 types.

The widebody engine market also conjured up some interesting perspectives.  Having found success with sales and aftermarket coverage with the Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engine, Bobby Janagan, vice president and general manager at Rolls-Royce and Partners Finance, conceded associated costs with the engine type could be high. Nevertheless they were similar to those of another wide body engine type, the GE90.

Speaking from the perspective of an independent lessor on the XWB, Dan Coulcher, SVP & chief commercial officer at Willis Lease Finance Corporation, pondered if there would be a competitive aftermarket for the engine type powering the Airbus A350, which has been in service since 2015. He also says entry-into-service challenges around Pratt’s GTF are a concern for would be investors, due to questions over changes to bills of materials on the engine.

Source : MRO Network

                          MRO LATEST NEWS 

  • OEMServices has a 15-year Asiana Airlines contract to provide Airbus350-900 component support.
  • AFI KLM E&M extended component support deal with Malaysia Airlines for 54 Boeing 737NGs.
  • FL Technics signed a contract with Russia’s Nordavia to provide CAMO services for its Boeing 737CL aircraft.
  • Epcor was selected by Kenya Airways for APU support for Boeing 737NGs, 787s and Embraer E190s.
  • Airbus has a UPS contract to upgrade 52 Airbus A300-600Fs with new Honeywell avionics.
  • AerFIn agreed to acquire 15 Embraer E170s, plus spares inventory, from Saudia.

 

Researched and Compiled by : Ed Kaplanian

Commercial Aviation Advisor

Contact – ed@kaplanianreport.com