Volume 1 Issue 5 December 2014

ON THE BOEING FRONT

Boeing Begins Flight Testing ecoDemonstrator 787

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Boeing has begun flight testing more than 25 new technologies aimed at improving aviation’s environment performance through every phase of flight.

The Boeing ecoDemonstrator Program accelerates the testing, refinement and use of new technologies and methods that can improve efficiency and reduce noise.

This new round of testing, using 787 Dreamliner ZA004,will evaluate software and connectivity technologies related to operational efficiency, remote sensors to reduce wiring; aerodynamic and flight control improvements for greater fuel efficiency and icephobic wing coating to reduce ice accumulation.

“The ecoDemonstrator is focused on technologies that can improve airlines’ gate-to-gate efficiency and reduce fuel consumption emissions and noise,” said Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Ray Conner.

Supplier partners for the ecoDemonstrator 787 technologies and flight tests also include Rolls-Royce, Honeywell, Rockwell Collins, General Electric and Panasonic.

Source : Boeing/Boeing Pictures

 

ON THE AIRBUS FRONT 

Airbus to Develop Five New Beluga Transport Aircraft

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

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

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

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

Source : ATW/Airbus Photos

 

BUSINESS/REGIONAL NEWS

Falcon Aviation Services Firms Up Bombardier Q400 Order

Abu Dhabi’s Falcon Aviation Services has confirmed an order for three Bombardier Q400 NextGen turboprops. Bombardier said the aircraft form part of a letter of intent for five Q400 NextGen’s signed by Falcon at last July’s Farnborough Airshow.

Based on list prices, the three aircraft are worth approximately $90.3 million and represent the next stage in Falcon’s policy of increasingly moving into the leasing market. Currently, most of Falcon’s activities are centered on a fleet of helicopters that undertake oil and gas support work in the Persian Gulf, plus corporate jet, MRO and aircraft management services.

Including this latest transaction, Falcon has booked firm orders for six Q400 NextGEN aircraft this year. In October, it placed one with Senegal Airline on wet lease.

At Farnborough, Bombardier and Falcon also announced a memorandum of understanding to collaborate in addressing the need of modern aircraft in Africa.

“Our fleet of Q400 NextGen aircraft will allow us to present operators with a host of aviation solutions from leasing to turn-key operations that will offer avenues for increased profitability,” Falcon COO Mahmoud Ismael said at the signing ceremony for the latest three aircraft at Bombardier’s Mirabel, Quebec, facility.

“Over the next 20 years, Africa is expected to take delivery of 700 new aircraft in the 20-to 149-seat market segment; receiving 5.3% of forecasted world demand in these segments,” said Ryan Debrusk, Bombardier’s VP-sales for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Source: Bombardier/Falcon Aviation

 

OTHER AVIATION NEWS

CFM56 Aftermarket Boom Is Imminent

As the CFM56 order book cools, the aftermarket heats up.

CFM’s new Leap engine family booked 1,393 orders in 2013-or 63 more than it took for the CFM56. The figures mark the first time that the new model surpassed its predecessor in annual order book figures. While the Leap’s future is bright, it will take some time for the model to move past the venerable incumbent as an aftermarket revenue generator.

Demand for more efficient narrow body lift drove Airbus and Boeing to develop new versions of their successful A320 and 737 families, but demand for more immediate lift pushed them to raise production rates on the current versions. With the A320neo and the 737MAX still several years away from full production-entry into service slated for 2015 for the neo and 2017 for the MAX-operators are adding current-generation versions as fast as the manufacturers can build them. This has helped push CFM56 deliveries to record levels. The 2012 figure of 1,442 engines produced was double that of 2002, and delivery figures have risen steadily since, topping 1,500 in 2013 and slated to reach 1,550 this year.

The production surge, combined with on-wing life exhibited by current-configuration, second-generation engines-CFM56-5’s and -7s-means that about 40% of the nearly 20,000 CFM56’s in service have yet to undergo initial shop visits, which usually take place from seven to nine years after entry into service. A Bernstein Research analysis earlier this year determined that 80% have yet to reach subsequent shop visits, which are more lucrative for service providers because of the amount of material needed to complete the overhauls.

“Much of the recent growth in CFM56 aftermarket work has been driven by the second-generation CFM56 engines coming off wing for their first and second shop visit,” Bernstein noted in its report. Citing the trends, Bernstein projects a 9% compound annual growth rate in shop visits through 2019.

Source: Aviationweek/Bernstein Report

JAL Says Skymark Seeking Tie-Up Talks

Japan Airlines said Skymark Airlines had sought talks to discuss a possible business tie-up that would put one of the country’s few remaining budget carriers under the wing of a bigger rival.

“We received the request from Skymark Airlines on the possible cooperation,” a spokesman fro JAL said.

“We will start to discuss some possible cooperation but at the current stage, there is no decided agreement,”  he added.

Skymark would codeshare some flights with JAL and cooperate in sales, the Nikkei newspaper reported, although it said the tie-up was unlikely to involve a capital injection from JAL.

A spokeswoman for Skymark declined to discuss what cooperation the two were discussing.

Skymark, which began flying in 1998, had been a rare case of a small carrier in Japan able to thrive without becoming an affiliate of either JAL or Japan’s other carrier, ANA.

Source : Airwise/Ed’s Research

Safran Opens Composites Plant for LEAP Jet engine

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On November 24th, French President Francois Hollende inaugurated a $200 million Safran plant in eastern France designed to make carbon-composite parts for its new LEAP aircraft engine.

LEAP is the latest engine produced by the CFM International joint venture between Safran and General Electric, and will power the next generation Boeing 737 MAX jets and many of the A320neo family jets made by Airbus.

The factory at Commercy, near Metz, is sister plant to one opened in New Hampshire in March by Safran in partnership with Albany International, which makes industrial fabrics for the paper making industry and composite parts for aerospace.

Both plants will make “3D woven” fan blades and fan cases.

Together, the two companies expect by 2019 to be making 32,000 thousand composite fan blades a year, up from 600 in 2013.

Safran and GE are expected to use more composite parts as they prepare the next version of LEAP with extra weight savings.

Source : Yahoo Finance

 

LATEST NEWS IN BRIEF  

  • Lufthansa Technik has broken ground in Puerto Rico for an overhaul facility that will do base maintenance onAirbus family aircraft.
  • Ruili Airlines has taken delivery of its first purchased Boeing 737-700 purchased directly from the manufacturer. The aircraft registered B-5829 is the first of eight orders for the variant ordered by the Kunming-based carrier
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  • Lion Air will place an order for 40 additional ATR 72-600 turboprops. Prior to this order, Lion Air had 18 ATR 72-600s in its backlog.
  • Boeing South Carolina has started final assembly of the 787-9 Dreamliner at its South Carolina facility. United Airlines will take delivery of the first South Carolina-built 787-9.
  • Air France-KLM’s Engineering & Maintenance has secured initial approval to service General Electric GEnx engines for its on-order Boeing 787 fleet.
  • NokScoot the long-haul, low-cost carrier NokScoot has unveiled the first Boeing 777-200 painted in its distinct livery.

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  • Frontier Airlines has placed its first Airbus A321 order, inking a deal for nine of the type to join its all-Airbus fleet.
  • Delta Airlines Confirmed an order an order for 25 A350-900s and 25 A330-900neos.
  • Saudi Arabian Airline(Saudi) announced an order for 12 777-300ERs with an option for 10 more. The order was previously attributed to an unidentified customer on Boeing’s orders and deliveries website. The airline also announced an order for eight 787s.
  • Airbus The final assembly of the first A330 with the new 242 ton Maximum Take-Off-Weight reaches final assembly in Toulouse, France.

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  • AFI KLM will provide component support for all of LATAM Airlines Group’s Boeing 767s,777s and 787s.
  • MTU Aero Engines will provide services for GEnx turbine center frames worldwide in the GE MRO network.

Air Cargo

ANA, United Prepare for Joint Cargo Venture

For the first time between freight carriers from the U.S. and Asia, Japan’s All Nippon Airways Co.(ANA) and Chicago based United Airlines are preparing to launch an air cargo joint venture that will help both carriers manage trans-Pacific shipments more efficiently.

On Friday, November 21, ANA filed its application with the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism for antitrust immunity, which will help clear the way for partnership to begin.

The two carriers are not exactly strangers, as both are members of the Star Alliance global airline network and have been participating in a similar agreement with their passenger flights since 2011. But once the legal hurdles are completed, ANA and UA will be able to jointly manage scheduling, pricing and sales of trans-Pacific cargo, making it easier for both carriers to compete with budget passenger airlines. Shippers will also have more flexibility in choosing routes and finding cargo space.

ANA also has plans to launch a similar cargo venture with Germany’s Lufthansa AG between Asia and Europe later this year or in early 2015.

United Cargo, which manages shipments on more than 700 United passenger aircraft worldwide, has seen revenue-ton-kilometers rise 12.3 percent in the first three quarters of 2014, compared to the same period in 2013. ANA Holdings expanded its cargo operations about five years ago, forming the ANA Cargo unit to manage ten 767-300 freighters that operate the carrier’s cargo hub on the island of Okinawa.

Source: ANA Cargo/United/United Photo

 

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We look forward to bringing new issues in 2015.

Researched and Compiled by : Ed Kaplanian

Commercial Aviation Advisor

Contact – ed@kaplanianreport.com