Volume 3 Issue 7 July 2016

ON THE BOEING FRONT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source : Flightglobal/Boeing

                 

ON THE AIRBUS FRONT

Airbus Starting A330neo Final Assembly in October

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

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

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

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

Source : China Aviation Daily/Airbus Photo

  

REGIONAL/BUSINESS JETS

 Mitsubishi Starts Final Assembly of First Delivery Jet

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

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

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

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

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

Source : Flightglobal/Photo/Mitsubishi Aircraft

                                                                       

OTHER AVIATION NEWS

 First CSeries Aircraft is Delivered to SWISS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source : ATW/Bombardier Photo

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

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

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

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

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

Source : Flightglobal/P&W

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

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

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

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

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

Source : ATW

                 

LATEST NEWS

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

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

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

AIR CARGO

 FedEx’s 270 Boeing Planes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

  MILITARY NEWS

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

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

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

Source : Popular Mechanics/AIN Online

 

 

Researched and Compiled by : Ed Kaplanian

Commercial Aviation Advisor

Contact – ed@kaplanianreport.com

Volume 2 Issue 10 The Kaplanian Report

ON THE BOEING FRONT

 The Venerable Boeing 767 Lives on as a Freighter

Boeing is planning to increase production of its wide-body 767 aircraft to 2.5 a month in 2017. The proposed plans come after American courier delivery major FedEx signed a $10 billion deal to purchase 50 additional 767-300F airliners in July.

Boeing currently produces the 767 at a monthly production rate of 1.5, which will be increased to two in early 2016.

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Since 1981, the company has built passenger and freighter versions of the jet at its Everett assembly line. It was the second twin-aisle aircraft designed to accommodate up to 290 passengers and the second twin-aisle aircraft to be built at the Everett site after the 747.

A Boeing spokesman was quoted by The Wall Street Journal as saying: ”Increasing the production rate in 2017 provides flexibility needed to address additional commercial orders while meeting all our customer requirements.” According to reliable sources Boeing is negotiating with FedEx rival UPS for another large order and there is a Chinese express-cargo carrier considering a move into the wide-body market, with the 767 as a likely candidate.

In addition, Boeing is preparing to commence production of a modified version of the 767, which will serve as the future refueling tanker for the US Air Force (the KC-46) and had it first flight on September 25th, 2016.

Source : Aerospace-Technology/Ed’s Research/Photo Boeing

 

ON THE AIRBUS FRONT 

 Airbus Details Dimensions of A330-Based Beluga

Airbus’s new Beluga XL transport will be some 4.3 m (14.1ft) longer than the A330-200 on which the aircraft is based.

The Beluga XL, which will succeed the smaller A300-600ST within the airframe’s logistics fleet, has reached design freeze.

Airbus has disclosed that it will be 63.m (207 ft) in length while its wing span will remain  unchanged from the A330-200’s at 60.3m (97 ft)

The Aircraft’s next development stage will be the detailed design freeze.

Airbus says a review has shown that the Rolls-Royce Trent 700-powered jet is sufficiently “robust and mature” to move out of the concept phase. Final assembly is scheduled to begin in 2017.

The Beluga XL will be around 1.5m (4.9 ft) taller at fin than the A330 counterpart.

Airbus projects that it will have a maximum take-off weight of 227t compared with 155t for the current A300-600ST.

The XL, with an 8.8m-diameter fuselage, will be able to transport a maximum payload of 53t over a range of 2,200nm.   Airbus expects to put the Beluga XL, of which it will construct five, into service in 2019.

Source : Flightglobal

 

BUSINESS/REGIONAL NEWS

 Embraer Begins Assembling the First E190-E2

Two years after the launch of the program at the Air Show in Le Bourget, Paris, the first E-Jets E2 family, an E190-E2, is beginning to be assembled at the company’s factory in Sao Jose dos Campos.  Embraer has already received the first sub-assemblies from suppliers in several countries and the assembly of the first prototype is moving forward as planned.

“It is exciting to see the E2 taking shape with the large amount of sub-sets arriving to our Sao Jose dos Campos facility, where the final assembly will soon begin,” says Luis Carlos Affonso, Senior Vice President & COO, Embraer Commercial Aviation.

At Embraer’s plant in the city of Evora, Portugal, the first sub-assemblies for the wings and central fuselage are ready. In Spain, Aernnova AEROSPACE S>A. is finishing the assembly of the vertical empennage; the company will also supply the horizontal empennage. In the Czech Republic, Latecoere finished the baggage doors and they have already been sent to Brazil to be installed in the aircraft.

In the United States, Triumph Aerostructures, which is also responsible for the rudder and elevator, is assembling section three and the aft of the fuselage; these are the only large segments that will not be manufactured by Embraer.

Eleb, an Embraer wholly owned subsidiary, with 35 years of experience in designing and manufacturing landing gear, was chosen to supply the landing gear of the second-generation E-Jets, and it is working to conclude the first sets.

The first delivery of an E-Jets (the E190-E2 is planned for the first quarter of 2018.  The E195-E2 is scheduled to enter service in 2019 and the E175-E2 in 2020.

Source : Embraer

 

OTHER AVIATION NEWS

Lufthansa Technik Completes First BBJ Split Scimitar Winglet Modification 

German maintenance, repair and overhaul provider Lufthansa Technik has become the first European company to install Aviation Partner(API’S) new split scimitar winglets(SSW) on a Boeing Business Jet.

The modification took 10 days to complete and comes on the heels of EASA approval for the aerodynamic wingtip-developed jointly by API and Boeing.

The SSW retrofit involves replacing the BBJ’s current winglet tip caps with an aerodynamically shaped similar tip cap, and adding a smaller, similar-shaped vertical strake.

Lufthansa Technik said that in order to install the winglets, its engineering team were required to “reinforce various areas on the inside of the aircraft structure, particularly in the wing tanks”. The project also in evolved “complex painting tasks…to match the aircraft’s current paint  scheme”, it adds.

API launched the retrofit program two years ago for owners and operators of BBJ, BBJ2 and BBJ3 VIP airliners (BBJ is based on the 737-700, BBJ2 is based on the 737-800 and the BBJ3 is based on the 737-900 airliners)

According to Seattle, Washington-based API, the new winglet helps to reduce drag on long-range flights and boosts range by around 2%-or as much as 120nm ( 220km).

Lufthansa Technik is now in talks with other BBJ owners looking to modify their aircraft with the SSW adaption.

Source : Flightglobal / Lufthansa Technik

 

Rizal Ramli Urges Garuda to Cancel Airbus A350 Purchase Plan

After being on the job one day, recently appointed Coordinating Maritime Affairs Minister Rizal Ramli has made news by requesting national flag carrier Garuda Indonesia cancel its fleet expansion plan.

“I made the request to President Jokowi. I don’t want Garuda to go bankrupt again. In July it agreed to buy 30 Airbus A350 using $44.5 billion loan from China Aviation Bank. The aircraft is only suitable for Jakarta-North America and Jakarta-Europe route.” said Rizal.

According to Rizal, the international routes planned by the carrier are unprofitable. Airlines in Southeast Asia that offer similar routes, such as Singapore Airlines, have poor financial performance, he pointed out.

Rizal added that Garuda’s routes to Europe only had a 30 percent passenger load factor. Instead of expanding its international routes it would be better if Garuda concentrated on the domestic and regional markets.

“We can rule the regional market in five to seven years. When we are strong enough, then we can go onto the next step. The President has agreed to the cancellation of the purchase of the Airbus 350 and we will summon the Garuda management to change its plans,” said Rizal.

Separately, Garuda Indonesia vice president for corporate communication M.Ikhsan Rosan said the carrier had not made a final decision on the purchase of the Airbus A350. Ikhsan said the carrier was considering whether it would use Airbus A350 or Boeing 787.

“It is true there was a signing ceremony in Paris with Airbus in June, but it was a letter of intent,” said Ikhsan.

Source : Jakarta Post

 

Bombardier Seeking Investors for all Business Units : Sources

Canada’s Bombardier Inc is exploring the sale of a stake in any of its business areas, not just its rail unit, to ensure it can finish development of its delayed C Series jet, according to sources familiar with the situation.

The Montreal-based company has hired investment bankers to look at a variety of financing options, the sources said, including selling aerospace or rail assets in full or in part, forming joint ventures or bringing in private equity investors. One source familiar with the company’s thinking said Bombardier hoped to secure some additional source of cash, through the sale of a business unit or another arrangement, perhaps with Canadian government, before its third-quarter earnings report on October 29th.

A banking source said the company is not desperate for cash but wants to be proactive and shore up its stock, which has dropped more than 50 percent in the last year as it pushes to bring the new C Series jet into service, years late and billions over budget.

In May, the company said it planned to file late this year to launch an initial public offering for a minority stake in its rail unit, Bombardier Transportation. Spokeswoman Isabelle Rondeau said that the plan had not changed.

“Everything is on the table,” said the source familiar with the Company’s thinking.

“They’re aggressively looking worldwide for some sort of capital infusion. At the end of the day, they need more cash to keep the C Series going, because the future of the company depends on that Plane”

“We are in constant contact with Bombardier and won’t comment on rumors,” a spokeswoman for Quebec’s economy minister said.

Source : The Globe And Mail

 

LATEST NEWS IN BRIEF  

  • British Airways receives the first 787-9, and will enter service on the 25th of this month.
  • Aeroflot drops plans to acquire Transaero. The Russian government will allow Transaero to enter bankruptcy placing the carrier’s future in serious doubt.
  • Mitsubishi Aircraft has narrowed the target schedule for the first flight of the MRJ to the last week of this month. Between Oct. 26th and Oct. 30th.
  • Blue Air(Romania)  is set to establish a base in Turin, Italy with effect from 26th of this month. The airline has a fleet of Boeing Classic aircraft composed of 737-300, 400s and one 737-500.

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  • Airbus flies the second CFM International Leap-powered A320neo into the type’s flight-test campaign.
  • Alaska Airlines has become just the second North American carrier to achieve Fast Travel Platinum status, which is awarded by IATA to airlines that offer four or more Fast Travel compliant options to at least 80% of their passengers.
  • Boeing employees in Renton, Wash. have started the final assembly of the first 737 MAX 8,  the first member of Boeing’s new single-aisle family, on schedule.  More Detailed report on this aircraft will be coming in my next report.
  • Emirates celebrated the Boeing 777 fleet completing 859,000 flights while logging over 4,720,000 flight hours since its first delivery in 1996.
  • Scandinavian Airlines has taken delivery of its first 242t Airbus A330-300; making it the first carrier in Europe to receive the higher-weight, longer-range-300 variant.
  • Flybe UK regional introduced its first ATR 72-600 series aircraft into its fleet, on lease from Aviation PLC. It will operate from Sweden in the livery of Flybe’s new partner in Northern Europe, Scandinavian Airlines (SAS)

  • Jetstars transition to an all Boeing 787-8 long-haul fleet is almost complete after the low-cost carrier’s 11th and final Dreamliner on firm order entered revenue service in mid September.

 

AIR CARGO

Atlas to Operate B767 Converts for DHL

US aircraft lessor Atlas Air will operate two Boeing 767Fs leaded by its Titan Aviation arm to DHL Express.

Atlas Air will operate the aircraft, which are being converted from passenger to freighter configuration, through sister company Polar Air Cargo Worldwide, linking the flights with Polar’s existing services for DHL and other customers.

The new operation represents a continued expansion of Atlas Air’s crew, maintenance and insurance(CMI) service. The operation is expected to begin in late 2015 and early 2016 following the conversion of the two 767s.

“By growing our CMI operations, we continue to diversify our business mix and to drive more predictable revenue and earnings streams,” said William Flynn, president and chief executive of parent group, Atlas Air Worldwide.

The company will operate 20 aircraft in its CMI operations when these units commence service.

Source : aircargonews/Atlas Air

 

MILITARY NEWS

Boeing to Lead $ 4 Billion F-15 Jet Fighter Contract 

An aging but formidable fighter jet is being given new relevance in a bid to fill the gap created by delays in the world’s most expensive new generation combat aircraft program.

Boeing was named the first week of this month as prime contractor on a $4 billion contract to install a new, all digital electronic warfare and threat detection system on the F-15 fighter, which made its first flight more than 40 years ago and was never been defeated in air-air combat.

Often described as the backbone of the US Air Force’s air superiority, the F-15 tactical fighter jet was due to be replaced in the 2020s by more advanced fifth generation aircraft such as the F-35.

However delays in developing and fielding the F-35, and cutbacks in the procurement of another fighter-the F-22- prompted the USAF to extend the life of the F-15 until 2040.

BAE Systems of the UK will develop the electronic warfare suite in a deal worth some $1 billion over 10 years, of which $67 million will be booked this year. BAE said the contract was significant milestone in the group’s plan to extend the electronic combat solutions business. The new system will replace the current Tactical Electronic Warfare Suite developed by Northrop Grumman, which has been in use since the 1980s.

The new threat detection system will be installed on more than 400 F-15 Es and F-15 Cs.

Source : Financial Times

 

          Boeing’s KC-46 Pegasus Hits a Key Milestone 

Boeing seems to get a bum rap from the so-called analysts, who think that they know better what happens at Boeing with every product they come up with.  The same applies to the KC-46 tanker.

Fortunately, the project is back on track, on September 25th Boeing completed an initial four-hour test flight for the first KC-46 tanker. There is plenty of testing left to do, but Boeing will salvage the KC-46 program and turn a decent profit as Boeing know how to build airplanes.

The initial flight conducted last month checked the plane’s basic systems. According to the company, ”Boeing test pilots performed operational checks on engines, flight controls and environmental systems and took the tanker to a maximum altitude of 35,000 feet prior to landing.”

Boeing still expects to be able to test the refueling system and then do aerial refueling trial runs before the end of the year.

In the opinion of this writer and shareholder of The Boeing Company the KC-46 program will be a great success, the same as the 787 program, which got its share of bad publicity from the so-called financial experts

Source : Ed’s opinion/Picture Boeing

 

 

Researched and Compiled by : Ed Kaplanian

Commercial Aviation Advisor

Contact – ekaplanian@msn.com

 

Volume 2 Issue 9 September 2015

ON THE BOEING FRONT

Spirit AeroSystems Celebrate the Completion & the Delivery of the First Boeing 737 Max Fuselage 

Spirit AeroSystems announced it has completed the first fuselage as well as other components for the first Boeing 737 MAX.  Spirit delivers approximately 70 percent of the 737 structure to Boeing including the fuselage, pylon, thrust reverser and engine nacelle at its Wichita, Kansas facility and the wing leading edges at its Tulsa, Okla. facility.

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The first 737 MAX fuselage has arrived at the Renton  site on Friday, August 21st.

Assembly of the first MAX is scheduled to be complete by the end of 2015 with the first delivery to customers scheduled for the third quarter of 2017.

The new 737 MAX will deliver 20 percent increased fuel efficiency to airlines versus the original Next-Generation 737. Boeing has already booked more than 2,800 firm orders with 58 different customers.

Source: Spirit AeroSystems/Boeing

Delta Retired  the Very First Boeing 747-400 Built for A Commercial Airline 

The wide body passenger jet (tail number N661) flew its final flight from Honolulu International Airport to Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

delta-nwa-boeing-747-n661us-4*750xx2553-1436-300-300

While it was the first 747-400 Boeing built for Northwest, it was the third to fly for the carrier because Boeing held on it for longer testing.

The Boeing 747-400 was the biggest model of the 747 family when it was released and is the best-selling aircraft Boeing jet.  Boeing sold the first ones for about $150 million each.

Delta’s 747-400s were inherited by Delta, when the two airlines merged. It carries 376 passengers and cruise at about 560 mph, with a range of 7,400 miles.

Since it was delivered to Northwest Airlines it logged more than 61 million miles, enough to make 250 trips from the Earth to the moon.

It will move to Atlanta’s Delta Museum in early 2016.

Source: Minneapolis Biz Journal/Ed’s Research

 

ON THE AIRBUS FRONT 

A350-900 Makes Moscow Debut as Aeroflot Continues Review

Airbus has debuted the A350-900 at the 12th Moscow air show (MAK-2015) at least three years ahead of the first delivery to the type’s only customer in Russia.

Airbus A350 test pilot Frank Chapman piloted the A350-900-MSN-001 from Toulouse,France landing on August 24th at the Ramenskoye airport that hosts the biannual air show.

The A350 arrives in Moscow as Russian customer Aeroflot continues to evaluate several details about its original order, including the timing and number of deliveries and current mix of 14 A35-900s and eight A350-800s.

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Airbus cancelled the A350-800 program last year, Aeroflot remains one of the few customers that have not decided what to do with its order. But Aeroflot has vowed not to cancel the A350-900 order in full. Last year, Aeroflot expected to take delivery of the A350-900s between 2018 and 2020, but not does not discuss a timetable for the aircraft.

Supporting the carrier’s decision likely figured large in Airbus’ decision to bring the A350-900 to MAKS for the first time.

Source : Flightglobal/Airbus

 

BUSINESS/REGIONAL NEWS

Comac Working Toward November ARJ21 First Delivery Chengdu Airlines

Comac is working toward an internal target to deliver its first ARJ21-700 to launch customer Chengdu Airlines on November 28, 2015.

The  date holds significance for the Chinese airframe since it marks the day the indigenous regional jet took its first flight back in 2008.

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The Plan is for Comac to deliver two regional jets to Chengdu Airlines this year, which will then be put into commercial passenger service next February.

Vice Chief Designer at Comac said Comac is still working on making changes to the ARJ21 despite receiving type certification from the Civil Aviation Administration of China(CAAC) last December.  He adds that while these issues do not relate to the safety of the aircraft, they could affect the operational efficiency of the jet.

Examples include changes that need to be made to improve how the aircraft’s anti-icing system functions in the event of a single-engine operation, as well as to the warning system to help enhance pilot’s operational awareness and help them better anticipate possible flying situations.

Source : Flightglobal/Photo Comac

 

OTHER AVIATION NEWS

 

WestJet Adds First Widebody to Fleet with Delivery of  Boeing 767-300 ER   

WestJet has taken delivery of its first Boeing 767-300ER, adding a wide body aircraft to its fleet for the first time.

 WestJet-Boing-767-300ERW

The Calgary-based low-cost carrier (LCC) has operated an all 737 fleet since its founding in 1996, and in 2013 launched a Bombardier Q400 regional subsidiary called WestJet Encore.  The airline is slated to take delivery of four 767-300ERs over the next eight months, with the fourth expected to arrive just before it launches 767 flights to London Gatwick in May 2016.

The first has arrived at WestJet’s base in Calgary and will be used on flights between Toronto and Calgary for several months, the carrier said.

The next two 767s will arrive this fall,and WestJet will launch 767 flights between western Canada and Hawaii and between Toronto and Montego Bay for its winter schedule in December.

The airline’s 767s will seat 262 passengers, including 24 in premium economy, but will have no first or business class seats.  The aircraft will be able to fly up to 11 hours.

Source : ATW/WestJet

Alaska to Take First 737 MAX 8 in 2017

Alaska Airlines 737-MAX8 Artwork K65759

Alaska Airlines plans to take delivery of its first Boeing 737 Max 8 early in late 2017.

The Seattle-based carrier will take delivery of its first 737 Max about six months after launch customer Southwest Airlines takes its first aircraft, says its vice-president of capacity planning  John Kirby at the Boyd International Aviation Forecast Summit in Las Vegas.

“Boeing has indicated that it maybe ready a little early,” says Kirby.

Alaska previously anticipated its first 737 Max 8 in 2018.  The airline has firm orders for 37 737 Max aircraft, including 20 737 Max 8s and 17 737 Max 9s.

Alaska operates a fleet of 143 737s, including 27 737-400s, 14 737-700s,61 737-800s and 41 737-900ERs.

Source : Flightglobal

 

 Vietnam Airlines Drops its A380 Order

The Vietnamese government has dropped all plans to confirm options on four Airbus A380s it signed up for in 2009.

The Vietnamese flag carrier Vietnam Airlines cited “increased pressure of arranging capital for aircraft purchases” as a key factor, along with slow progress on the planned Long Thanh International Airport at Ho Chi Minh City-the only Vietnamese airport with enough capacity to handle A380 aircraft.

Vietnam Airlines also has reportedly scaled down its original plan to boost fleet size to 150 aircraft over the next five years, and will instead grow to just over 120 aircraft.

The airline which is scheduled to take delivery of eight Boeing 787-9s and 10 Airbus A350 XWBs up to 2019 said that “ the world economic situation is more difficult,” and “fierce competition in the aviation market place” were both reasons for opting out of the A380 deal.

This latest cancellation comes as an added blow for Airbus’s A380 program,which has seen several cancellations in Asia, including a significant six- aircraft order from bankrupt low cost carrier Skymark Airlines.

Source : ATW

 

LATEST NEWS IN BRIEF  

  • Jet2 Budget carrier Jet2 has signed an order with Boeing for 27 737-800 aircraft. The deal marks the carrier’s first direct order with Boeing.
  • Emirates takes delivery of the 65th A380. Emirates A380s serve 34 destinations and has a further 75 on order.
  • Philippine Airlines is considering the acquisition or lease of eight 787 Dreamliners or Airbus A350 XWB aircraft.
  • KLM Royal Dutch Airlines has switched an order for six Boeing 787-9s to the larger 787-10 to better fit with its network plans.

IMG_3584

  • Norwegian will lease two additional Boeing 787-9s, due for delivery in summer 2017, which it will use to extend its long-haul network.
  • China’s Bohai Leasing is in exclusive talks to buy Irish aircraft leasing firm Avolon for USD$2.64 billion, after raising its offer to put it ahead of a rival bidder.
  • Tyler  IATA  CEO and director general Tony Tyler will retire in June 2016 after serving five years in the position. Tyler’s retirement was announced on Aug.28 and the search for his successor has begun.
  • Malaysia  Airlines has been granted an air operator’s certificate (AOC) by the Malaysian Department of Civil Aviation under its new name Malaysia Airlines Berhad (MAB).

malaysia-airlines-a330-300-rf

  • Mitsubishi Regional Jet( MRJ) test flight is scheduled for the latter half of October, Mitsubishi Heavy industries has announced.
  • Emirates and Boeing celebrated the simultaneous delivery of three 777s- two 777-300ERs and one 777 Freighter – marking the entry of the 150th 777into Emirates fleet.
  • Austrian Airlines  Lufthansa subsidiary Austrian Airlines is preparing to receive the first of 17 modified Embraer E-195s.
  • BoraJet Airlines Turkish regional carrier has taken delivery of three Embraer 195s from the Regional aircraft Group of GECAS, the leasing and financing division of GE.

 

Air Cargo

Air China Cargo Began Freighter Service to Canada 

Air China Cargo began its first scheduled freighter service between China and Canada on the 3rd of September, when Air China Cargo 777F touched down at Edmonton International Airport by the traditional gun salute, commemorating the carrier’s first scheduled stop at the western Canadian airport.

Air-China-at-EIA-2-300x200

Air China Cargo will serve Edmonton six times each week, with a Shanghai-Edmonton-Dallas-Edmonton-Shanghai routing.

This is the first Freighter route between mainland China and the Canadian province of Alberta, and a key step in connecting the two economies. It’s also the only freighter service between Alberta and Texas.

Edmonton estimates that this new service will boost the GDP of the region by $31 million per year. Edmonton is situated near two business centers-the Nisku Business Park and the Leduc Business Park.  It will provide opportunities for cargo businesses to work with Air China Cargo as well. The airport is also near major highways for easy truck transport.

Source : Air Cargo World/Air China

 

MILITARY NEWS

 

Northrop Delivers the 150th KC-10 Extender Aircraft to the US Air Force 

KC-10 Extender

Northrop Grumman has delivered the 150th KC-10 Extender air-to air refueling tanker aircraft to the US Air Force after providing major improvements.

The aircraft received product reliability improvements as part of its CF6-50 engine overhaul program,offering a 15-year high in engine fleet performance.

Northrop Grumman Technical Services weapon systems operations director Matt Emerson said : ”The delivery of the 150th KC-10 depot aircraft contributes to the critical mission requirements of the United States Air Force by ensuring that the KC-10 is operational when the customer need it.”

“ The aircraft was accepted with zero defects,further contributing to the company’s proven track record for helping the Air Force achieve the KC-10’s highest fleet mission capable rates in more than 16 years.”

The KC-10 Extender can refuel aircraft midair while transporting personnel,equipment and patients on overseas deployments and aeromedical evacuations.

Source : Airforcetechnology.com

 

  US Navy Orders 13 P-8As, with Four for Australia

Boeing has secured a $1.49 billion contract from the US Navy for 13 P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft, including the first four examples for the Royal Australian Air Force.

The deal covers nine aircraft for the USN and four for the Royal Australian Air Force, the company says.

“By working together since the early stages of the P-8A development, the US and Australia have created one airplane configuration that serves the need of both countries,” says Capt. Scott Dillon, the former’s P8 program manager.  ”The Us and Australian P-8As will be able to operate with each other effectively and affordably for decades to come”, he adds.

In early 2014, Canberra approved an A$4 billion ($2.9 billion) allocation to acquire eight of the 737-derived aircraft, with options for four more.  This allowed Boeing to place long lead-time orders for parts for the first four aircraft.

The P-8A will replace the RAAF’s fleet of Lockheed Martin AP-3C prions currently in their fleet.

Source : Boeing

Researched and Compiled by : Ed Kaplanian

Commercial Aviation Advisor

Contact – ekaplanian@msn.com