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 4 Issue 5 The Kaplanian Report

ON THE BOEING FRONT

      Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 TEN Powers Boeing 787 for the First Time 

The Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 TEN has powered a Boeing Dreamliner flight for the first time.  The flight, which took off and landed at Boeing Field in Seattle, marks the latest phase in the engine’s development program.

The Trent 1000 TEN has also been selected to power the first test flight of the Boeing 787-10 version of the Dreamliner, slated for the end of March, 2017.  This means the Trent 1000 will have powered the first flight of every version of the 787.

Tent 1000 Program Director Gary Moore said: “ Our first Trent 1000 TEN flight on the Dreamliner is another great milestone for our program.  I want to thank everyone at Boeing and Rolls-Royce who have worked hard to make this flight happen.  In addition, our selection to power the first flight of the 787-10 is a great honor, and reflects our commitment to supporting this aircraft as it continues to evolve.”

The Trent 1000 TEN has already powered tests earlier this year on the Rolls-Royce Flying Test Bed aircraft, a Boeing 747, at Tucson, Arizona.

The Trent 1000 TEN (Thrust,Efficiency and New Technology) will power all variants of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner family.  The engine draws on technologies from Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engine and advance engine program, delivering thrust and efficiency improvements.

Source : Rolls-Royce/Rolls-Royce Picture

                      

ON THE AIRBUS FRONT

A350 1000 Wraps Up High- Elevation Tests 

Airbus has wrapped up high-elevation airport testing of the A350-1000 following a 10-day campaign in South America.   Aircraft MSN71 undertook initial tests in Bolivia, operating to Cochabamba and La Paz.

MSN71 carried out several departures and landings at each airport for data-collection, says the airframe, operating at elevations of 7,546 ft – 13,123 ft.

The twin jet also carried out tests at the sea-level Colombian airport of Barranquilla.

“Early test results confirm the good performance and behavior of both the aircraft and its Rolls-Royce Trent XWB-97 engines,” adds Airbus.

“This is a major successful milestone in the aircraft certification flight-test campaign.”

The airframe typically carries out hot-weather tests in the Middle East, using Al Ain in the United Arab Emirates.

Airbus is aiming to deliver the A350-1000 for airline service later this year.  Three of the variant are involved in the certification effort.

Source : Flightglobal/Airbus

             

        

REGIONAL/BUSINESS JETS

               CSeries Completes London City Airport Validation Flights 

On March 23rd Bombardier completed CSeries validation tests at London City airport and expects to receive certification to operate commercial flights to the facility in as little as six to eight weeks.

“The aircraft flew flawlessly.  There were no issues,” Bombardier’s vice president of the CSeries program, Robert Dewar, told FlightGlobal.

Aircraft operating to London City require special certification largely due to the airport’s steep approach requirement.

Bombardier began London City certification tests for the CSeries months ago at other airports, performing approaches as steep as 7.5 degrees, says Dewar.  That’s steeper than London City’s %.5 degrees approach, he adds.

Following those trials, the Canadian airframe flew its second flight-test vehicle (C-GWYD), a CS100 variant to London Stansted airport on March 21st.

The aircraft landed for the first time at London City on March 22nd, completing four validation and demonstration tests that day and four on March 23rd, the company says.

Next, Authorities will review Bombardier’s test data, Dewar says.  The Company needs approvals from Transport Canada, The European Aviation Safety Agency and Switzerland’s Federal Office of Civil Aviation, according to Dewar.  Pilots must also complete London City specific training.

Bombardier designed the CSeries specifically for operation at London City, Dewar says.  For instance, engineers tailored the aircraft’s wing and flight control laws with London City’s operating requirements in mind, he adds

Source : Flightglobal/Bombardier

                                                                       

OTHER AVIATION NEWS

            “More comfortable” Economy Middle Seats To be Unveiled

Molon Labe has teamed up with BMW’s Designworks and Panasonic Avionics to create an economy-cabin design that would make the middle seat wider and more attractive.

A concept model of the novel design was unveiled at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg, April 4-6.

The Stagger Seat, or S2, is a variation of Molon Labe Seating’s Side-Slip Seat, which is aimed at faster boarding and quicker turnarounds for time-sensitive short-haul flights.

The Colorado company is launching this new variation on the concept with quite a different goal – to improve economy class passenger comfort on long-haul flights.

The Stagger Seat takes the ergonomic features of the Side-Slip Seat and translates them into a reclining economy seat”like no other,” the company claims.  In the Side-Slip seat, the middle seat is offset, or staggered, downward and backward relative to the seats either side.  This allows the aisle seat to be slid over the middle seat during boarding, to increase aisle width and allow passengers to get past.

Faster turnarounds are not the main aim for long-haul airline, Molon Labe CEO Hank Scott said, so the stagger Seat does not slide, but it will recline.The offset is used primarily to increase space for the middle-seat passenger-and potentially generate more revenue for the airline.

By staggering the middle seat vertically and fore/aft, the arms, thighs and elbows of passengers are no longer adjacent.”The Stagger Seat offers more living space for all occupants,” Scott said. ”The middle seat is also 3inches wider, while the other seats maintain their standard width.”

Source : ATW/ Molon Labe

 

               Avolon Becomes World’s Third Largest Aircraft Lessor 

Avolon, the international aircraft leasing company, announced the completion of the acquisition of the aircraft leasing business of CIT Group.

Avolon is now the world’s third largest aircraft leasing company, with a combined fleet as of December 31,2016, of 808 aircraft valued at over US$43 billion.

Transaction doubles Avolon’s size and creates the world’s third largest aircraft leasing platform; serves 149 customers in 62 countries with approximately one third of in-service aircraft leased into each of the Americas, EMEA and Asia-Pacific regions, providing balanced geographic exposure.

The combined business had an owned fleet of 551 aircraft with an average age of 4.7 years: the youngest owned, in service fleet among the world’s top three aircraft leasing companies.

Total orders and commitments for 301 aircraft include new technology aircraft comprising of 196 Airbus Aircraft (A320neo family,A330neo and A350); 61Boeing 737 MAX aircraft and 25 Boeing 787 aircraft.

Source : China Aviation Daily/Picture Airbus

     

LATEST NEWS

  • Iran Air has taken delivery of a second Airbus 330-200, two weeks after its first of the type arrived in Tehran.
  • China Aircraft Leasing Group has completed the deliveries of one Airbus A320 each to Air Asia Berhad and Thai Air Asia.
  • Porter Airlines Toronto City-based airport took delivery of its 29th Bombardier  Q400.
  • Airbus the first Airbus A319neo performed its maiden flight on March 31, powered by CFM International LEAP-1A engines.
  • MIAT Mongolian Airlines plans to lease two Boeing 737 MAXs from Irish lessor Avolon as it looks to bolster its single-aisle fleet.
  • Boeing Commercial Airplanes after a one-year pricing freeze, Boeing Commercial has raised list prices by a range between 2.16-2.23% across the product portfolio.
  • The Government of Poland announced an order for three Next-Generation 737s.  The order includes two new BBJ2 airplanes and one 737-800, which will be operated by the Government of Poland as head-of-state aircraft for the  president and top government officials.
  • Air Bridge Cargo(ABC) Airlines has taken delivery of the first two Boeing 747-8Fs under a long-term lease agreement with US-based lessor Intrepid Aviation.
  • All Nippon Airways (ANA) will lease four Boeing 737-800 aircraft while it awaited delayed deliveries of the country’s first commercial aircraft in 50 years, the 90-seat Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ)
  • Aseman Airlines of Iran signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) for 30 737 MAX aircraft, with a list price value of $3 billion.  The deal includes rights  purchase rights for 30 additional MAXs.

 

AIR CARGO

       Qatar Airways Cargo Takes Delivery of Its Twelfth B777 Freighter

Qatar Airways Cargo received its latest Boeing 777 Freighter in Doha recently, taking its total freighter fleet count to 21.   The addition marks the cargo carrier’s commitment to building its young and modern air cargo fleet to strengthen its growth trajectory.

Ulrich Ogiermann Qatar Airways’ Chief Officer Cargo said, ”The arrival of our newest Boeing 777 freighter comes at a time when we are consciously strategizing our freighter network expansion this year; above and beyond the unprecedented demand and growth in our charter services.”

The Boeing 777 freighter has the longest range of any twin-engined freighter and is based around the 777-200 LR aircraft operating on the ultra long haul routes.  It has a payload capacity of 102 metric tons.

The airplane’s range capability translates into significant savings for cargo operators: fewer stops and associated landing fees, less congestion at transfer hubs, lower cargo handling costs and shorter delivery times. The capacity of the Boeing freighters is unrivaled and the plane’s economics make it an attractive addition to the fleet.

Qatar Airways Cargo operates the Boeing 777 freighters on long-haul routes to the Americas, Europe, the Far East, Asia and some destinations in Africa.

The airline will receive another Boeing 777 freighter later this year, increasing its freighter fleet to a total of 22 aircraft by the end of 2017.

Source : Qatar Airways Cargo Press Release

Polar Express Delivery 

 

An Antonov Airlines An-124 and Air Charter Service delivered a GE90 jet engine for Swiss International Air Lines 777-300 that was forced to make an emergency landing on February 1 in the Canadian Arctic town of Iqaluit  after one of its engines shut down in mid-flight.

The GE90 arrived less than 48 hours later after the Swiss jet landed in Canada; the An-124 remained in Iqaluit for a toTal of five days, while the new engine was installed on the 777 and the unserviceable engine could be retrieved.

Fortunately,the 216 passengers on the Zurich-to-Los Angeles flight only had to wait half a day as the plane sat on the tundra until a replacement jet resumed the journey to Los Angeles.

Source : Air Cargo World

 

 MAINTENANCE, REPAIR, OVERHAUL

           Asia’s MRO Surge Could Outstrip Demand

The rapid growth of aircraft maintenance sector in the Asia-Pacific region is creating a significant risk of aver supply, according to some industry executives,  said speakers at Aviation Week’s MRO East Asia conference.

The MRO market is “reshaping itself” and has been “shifting to Asia”, saId Vehbi Ozer, Turkish Technic’s strategy planning and projects manager.  He predicts that in the near future, the Asia-Pacific region will represent the biggest MRO market.

This region now accounts for 28% of the global MRO market value of $64 billion, said Francois Dubrulle, president of asset management company The

Green Airliner Singapore, Asia has essentially caught up to Europe and North America in terms of market share.  The global total is projected to rise to $96 billion by 2025, with Asia-Pacific growth likely to exceed that of the more developed regions.

Rapid expansion is both a challenge and a danger for the MRO industry, said Daniel Stromski, Haeco’s GM for inventory technical management.  He likens the current situation to a “gold rush,” with a wide range of companies looking to set up new operations or joint ventures in Southest Asia and China.

Stromski said this is causing worries about the supply and demand balance.  While Asia represents a great opportunity for MRO providers, the “industry should be careful where it invests,” so it does not “create oversupply of MRO capabilities.”

Source : MRO Network

Latest MRO News

  • ASCO has a Boeing contract to supply had metal/aluminum structural components through 2024.
  • Fokker Services(GKN Aerospace) was named authorized service provider by Bombardier to provide Q400 component repair management under its Smart Parts program.
  • Astronics acquired operating assets of Pacific Northwest-based Custom Controls Concepts,which supplies cabin management and IFE systems for Airbus/Boeing VIP aircraft.
  • Pemco has an Air Incheon contract to convert one Boeing 747-400 to freighter.
  •  Aeromet  has a Boeing contract to supply 777X parts using its A20X aluminum alloy.

 

 

Researched and Compiled by : Ed Kaplanian

Commercial Aviation Advisor

Contact – ed@kaplanianreport.com







Volume 4 Issue 2 February 2017 The Kaplanian Report

ON THE BOEING FRONT

Boeing Selects CTT for 777X Humidification Systems

CTT Systems has been selected by Boeing to provide the humidification systems for flight deck,  crew rests and cabin zone A/B for the Boeing 777X aircraft.  CTT will be tier-1 supplier to Boeing and the CTT products will be offered as supplier furnished equipment in the 777X catalog.

CTT Systems AB, headquartered in Nykoping, Sweden and listed on the Small Cap of OMX Nordic Exchange Stockholm AB, is the leading provider of aerospace products for active humidity control: inside the aircraft cabin-for increasing humidity-and in aircraft structures- for preventing condensation.

Selecting CTT enables Boeing to bring humidification capabilities and performance from the 787 to the 777X and migrate to premium passenger cabins (zone A and B). In total, the Boeing 777X aircraft can be equipped with five humidifiers.

The 777X will be the largest and most efficient twin-engine in the world, with 12 percent lower fuel consumption and 10 percent lower operating costs than the competition.

CTT’s humidifier maintains relative humidity in the human comfort zone, 20 percent Relative Humidity. A higher humidity on long-haul flights reduces dry air related problems (e.g. fatigue, jet-lag, red eyes, dry skin, spread of virus diseases) and improves wellbeing and sleep. The humidifier is baed on evaporative cooling technology and uses a method that effectively precludes the transfer of bacteria.

Source : Arabian Aerospace/Boeing

                      

ON THE AIRBUS FRONT

Airbus Prepares Beluga XL Core for Integration

Airbus has assembled the basic core airframe of the initial BelugaXL high-capacity transport designed to replace the A300-600ST logistics fleet.

The airframes, based on an A330-200 freighter with reinforcements, was assembled in December of 2016; but has yet to be mated with its nose or tail sections.

These sections will be added this year, the manufacturer states, as an 18 month integration process commences.  Beluga XL program head Bertrand George says the final integration will be “a series of small steps”.

“The Number of holes to be drilled and fasteners to be installed is far bigger than on any other Airbus aircraft”.  He says. “Sticking to schedule at each step is the key to being ready for first flight in 2018.”

Over the initial 12 months of the assembly, the airframe will be completed and fitted with mechanical and electrical components.  The final six months will involve transferring the aircraft to a new station for Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engine installation  and Ground testing.

Airbus is renewing the logistics fleet with five Beluga XLs to meet demand for A350 assembly. The Beluga XL will enter service in 2019.

Source : Flightglobal/Airbus

 

REGIONAL/BUSINESS JETS

 MRJ Delay Confirmed; System Revision Cited 

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, the parent of Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp., has made official a further two year delay in the Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ) program.

Mitsubishi said on January 23, that the first delivery of the MRJ90 to Japan’s All Nippon Airways (ANA) would be pushed back to mid-2020 from mid-2018; meaning first delivery will be nearly seven years later than what was planned in the program’s original timetable.

Four MRJ90 flight test aircraft are currently flying, with a fifth slated to join flight testing this year.

The Latest delay is necessary because of “revisions to certain systems and electrical configurations on the aircraft to meet the latest  requirements for certification,” “the design changes will not effect aircraft performance, fuel consumption of functionality of systems” Mitsubishi said.

MRJ certification is now targeted for the second half of 2019.The company aims to achieve world class commercial aircraft development through integrated work between global and Japanese experts.

Source : Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp./Photo Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp.

 

OTHER AVIATION NEWS

 GE9X Spools Up for Second Test Phase

Testing of the largest turbofan aircraft engine in history will enter a new phase later this year. Until now, GE Aviation has used the first engine to test (FETT) to validate design and performance assumptions.

With the second engine to test now in final assembly, GE is poised to begin a one -year cycle of trials required to earn airworthiness certification by the US Federal Aviation Administration.

Although based on the architecture of the GE90, the GE9X sets new boundaries for the industry in terms of size-notably its 134in (340cm) fan diameter-pressure ratio (a claimed 61.1 margin at top of climb) and application of new materials, including the spread of ceramic matrix composites (CMC) to turbine nozzle guide vanes and combust or liners.

It also improves on the strength of the carbon fiber construction of the fan blades, allowing GE to assign only 16 blades for each engine, despite a 6in wider diameter compared with the 22 fan blades found on the GE90.

Each new feature in the GE9X must be validated as being as safe or better than the proven engine technology already in service, while still meeting performance promises such as a 10% reduction in fuel burn against the GE90.

And it must be proved ready on a tight schedule: Boeing plans to begin deliveries of the first GE9X powered 777-9 by early 2020, which implies a system-level, Part 25 airworthiness certification in late 2019 and an engine-level, Part 33 certification in 2018.

Source : Flightglobal/GE Aviation

 

Southwest Jockeys with Norwegian for 737 Max Launch Title

Southwest Airlines chief executive Gary Kelly says the carrier will be the launch  customer of the Boeing 737 Max “regardless of when we take the first delivery”, even as Norwegian prepares to be the first operator.

Kelly cites the Dallas-based carrier’s extensive involvement with Boeing on the development and testing of the latest generation of the venerable narrow body, as the rationale behind his comment during a quarterly earnings call today.

Southwest is the launch customer of the Max, placing the first order in December 2011. Norwegian placed its 737 Max order a month later in January 2012.

Southwest reaffirms that it will not debut the 737 Max 8 on scheduled flights until the end of the third quarter, when all its 737-300 and -500 aircraft, or classics, are retired.  ”We don’t really need the 737 Max for flying until October 1,” says Kelly.

“Norwegian will now be the first airline to take delivery of the 737 Max, and will be the first airline in the world to operate this brand-new aircraft type,” spokesman for Norwegian says.

The jockeying between Norwegian and Southwest sets up a race between the two carriers to see who will take the first 737 Max, with the odds likely on the latter due to its placing the first order and heavy involvement in the program.

Lion Air, Norwegian and Southwest are all scheduled to take their first Max 8s in May, the Flight Fleet Analyzer shows.  In addition,China Eastern Airlines, FlyDubai and WestJet are scheduled to take their first of the type before the end of September.

Source : Flightglobal     

LATEST NEWS

  • Flynas, Saudi Arabia’s leading low-cost carrier, has signed an agreement with Airbus for 60 A320neo Family aircraft

  • Juneyao Airlines has announced an order for 10 Boeing 787-9s, comprising five firm orders and five options.  The aircraft will facilitate the Shanghai-based carrier’s rapid international expansion.
  • SpiceJet sealed a deal worth $10 billion with Boeing for 100 737 Max aircraft.

  • Air Baltic, the Latvian carrier has received its second Bombardier CS300 aircraft after becoming the launch customer for the larger CSeries variant.
  • Trade Air, the Croatian Charter, carrier received its first Airbus A320, a former SATA international example.
  • Delta Airlines has taken delivery of its first US-built Airbus A321.  The jet N314DN (c/n 7281),was delivered from Mobile, Alabama, plant to Minneapolis, St Paul last December.
  • Arik Air of Nigeria has scrapped a longstanding order for two Boeing 747-8Is, replacing it with a pair of Boeing 787-9s.
  • China Aircraft Leasing Group (CALC) signed a long term lease with Thai AirAsia for one Airbus A320, which is expected to be delivered this year.
  • Avolon, the Irish lessor, delivered one Boeing 737-800 to Malaysia-based Malindo Air. This is the forth Avolon aircraft on lease to Malindo.
  • Ukraine International Airlines has taken delivery of the first of six Boeing 737-800s, which are scheduled to join the fleet this year.

 

AIR CARGO

Crustaceans Crush 2016, Leading to 4.1 % Cargo Rise at Halifax 

Thanks to a booming year for lobster, Halifax Stanfield International Airport (YHZ) saw substantial cargo growth in 2016, processing more than 33,000 tons of cargo, up 4.1 percent over 2015.  An estimated US$187 million in seafood exports were shipped last year, an increase of approximately $40 million from 2015.  As demand for lobster and other high-value seafood grows in markets such as Asia, Halifax Stanfield International Airport expects continued growth in seafood exports.

Yangtze River Express Airlines was the latest cargo carrier to add services to Halifax Airport and take advantage of the lobster export season earlier this month.

The Chinese carrier operated five 747-400 F cargo flights between Canada and China since the first of the 2016 calendar year.

Passenger numbers were up as well, and bellyhold cargo is an important part of the story. Compared to the previous year, the 2016 passenger numbers were up 5.6 percent, said Joyce Carter, Halifax International president and CEO.  ”We are set to hit 4 million passengers in 2017.”

The airport is Atlantic Canada’s busiest full-service airport, with cargo connectivity to markets across Canada, the United States, the Caribbean Basin, Europe and Asia.  The airport processes cargo worth more than $447 million each year.

Source : Air Cargo World

 

  MRO NEWS

 GECAS Asset Management Services Aquires 737NG Inventory

GECAS Asset Management Services has entered an agreement with Air Berlin to acquire the airline’s entire inventory of 737NG spares including both rotables and expendables.

“Most components will be available for immediate shipment to our customers,” says Stefan Hayes, global commercial leader for GECAS Asset Management Services.

“We will soon have everything,nose to tail,that an operator of this popular aircraft type needs.This purchase represents an exciting opportunity for GECAS AMS to continue our relationship with Air Berlin while bolstering our 737NG stock and increasing our service capability.”

The material will be located at Asset Management Service’s warehouse locations in the U.S.,UK and Singapore.

Source : MRO network.com

    

Qantas Unveils $30 Million Maintenance Hanger for Its A380s   

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Qantas Airways unveiled a new $30 million hanger at Los Angeles International Airport, big enough to hold and perform maintenance on its A380s.

The hanger, the only facility in the U.S. designed specifically to hold the behemoth plane, was touted as signaling the airline’s commitment to Los Angeles as well to travelers making long-haul flights between the US and Australia.

“This is a win-win opportunity,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, who attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the facility on Friday, January 27th.

The Hanger is 480 feet by 370 feet and 12 stories tall, big enough to hold four passenger jets.The facility replaces a smaller 1950s-era hanger.

Qantas flies 40 flights per week between Los Angeles and Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, Australia, primarily using A380s and Boeing 747 jets.

Qantas Group Chief Executive Alan Joyce, said the new hanger will make maintenance 20% more efficient because it allows more planes to fit the facility at the same time.  When Qantas wanted to work on an A380 in the old, smaller hanger, most of the plane would not fit inside, he said.

Joyce said that Qantas also plans to rent out the facility to other carriers at LAX.

Source : Los Angeles Times/ Photo Qantas

                       

Researched and Compiled by : Ed Kaplanian

Commercial Aviation Advisor

Contact – ekaplanian@msn.com