On the Boeing Front
Boeing Gets Approval for Folding Wings on 777X
Boeing’s 777X will become the first heavily used commercial airliner with the technology.
While the wings are common on smaller defense aircraft, the FAA had to institute new regulations for Boeing’s commercial plane to avoid mishaps like the wing flaps coming loose during high winds.
Boeing assured the regulator that a locking mechanism would make it impossible for the wings to retract while in flight. The FAA finally gave approval to the 777X on Friday May 18.
Airlines will be able to park the 777X at current gates despite its 235 feet wing, thanks to the 12-foot foldable section.
The wings are made from lighter carbon fiber composites instead of aluminum. ”This airplane will be the most efficient twin-jet overdeveloped in commercial history,” Terry Beezhold, the 777X’s chief project engineer called it “this beautiful wing” in a recent video made by the company. ”This airplane actually will be the most efficient twin-jet ever developed in commercial history.” Beezhold said.
Source : Bloomberg/Boeing
Boeing Marks 737 Max Anniversary with 130-Strong Fleet
Boeing has passed the one year anniversary of the 737 Max with a staggeringly large in-service fleet that has fulfilled promises of improved fuel efficiency. The company delivered 130 aircraft representing two versions of the 737 Max in the 12 months since the first delivery to Lion Air’s Malaysia-based subsidiary last May, the company says in an online blog post.
The deliveries might have been even higher, but engine supplier CFM International fell several weeks behind on a planned ramp-up of Leap-1B engine production, CFM plans to catch up on deliveries in the third quarter.
So far, the 28 737 Max operators have logged 118,006 hours on 41,797 flights that carried 6.5 million passengers, according to Boeing.
The fleet now stands at a mission dispatch rate of 99.4% and should improve to the 99.7% standard by the end of the year.
Boeing has sold 4,509 firm orders of the 737 Max family with the 737-8 version is by far the most popular.
Source : Boeing
ON THE AIRBUS FRONT
Airbus BelugaXL on Track for First Flight
Airbus said the BelugaXL has passed the ground vibration test (GVT), a requirement for certification of the aircraft that paves the way toward its maiden flight this summer.
“The objective of this test is to measure the dynamic behavior of the aircraft and confirm theoretical models of various flight conditions, such as maneuvering, flying in gusty conditions and landing. This test data also helps clear the aircraft’s flight envelope,” Airbus said in a statement.
The BelugaXL was launched in November 2014 to address the transport and ramp-up capacity requirements for Airbus beyond 2019. The new oversize air transporters are based on the A330-200 Freighter, with large re-use of existing components and equipment. The first of five BelugaXLs will enter service in 2019.
Source : Airbus/Picture Airbus
Air Baltic Signs for 30 More CS300s
Air Baltic has already ordered 20 of the type, eight of which are in commercial service. “In 2017, we successfully executed our fleet modernization strategy, and are excited to further grow our fleet up to 80 CS300 aircraft while phasing out our other types in the next three years.”
The new aircraft will support the next stage of its business strategy, which targets significant route expansion in key Baltic markets Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania.
“A critical part of this new strategy is the introduction of a larger and exclusive fleet of all CS300 aircraft, which are the most suitable aircraft for the markets in which we operate,” said chief executive Martin Gauss.
Source : Reuters/Picture Air Baltic
Boeing Business Jets Grows Order Book with New Sales
Boeing Business Jets have won four new orders in 2018 as elite customers continue to favor Boeing’s portfolio of ultra-large-cabin, long range airplanes, the company announced on May 28 at the European Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition (EBACE).
The New Orders this year follow an impressive 2017 in which customers purchased 16 Boeing Business Jets. Two of the new orders this year are for the BBJ MAX airplane, adding to a backlog of 19 airplanes and making the BBJ MAX one of the best-selling business jetliners in history.
“The performance advantage of the BBJ MAX is a big sales driver,” said Greg Laxton, leader of Boeing Business Jets. ”The airplane is perfectly suited for discerning customers who want to fly further without stopping.”
Source : Boeing Business Jets Communications
OTHER AVIATION NEWS
SIngapore Airlines To Merge Regional Silkair Unit into Main Brand
Silkair’s Boeing 737 fleet will undergo a major cabin overhaul pending the unit’s merger with the main Singapore Airlines brand.
The full merger will take place after 2020, which gives the SIA Group time to upgrade the cabins aboard the regional carrier’s narrow body fleet, says SIA.
“The program will comprise investment of more than $100 million to upgrade the wholly owned subsidiary’s cabins with new lie-flat seats in business class, and the installation of seat-back in-flight entertainment systems in both business class and economy class”, says SIA. “ This will ensure closer product and service consistency across the SIA Group’s full-service network.
“Singapore Airlines is one year into our three-year Transformation Program and the announcement of May 18 of merging Silkair into Singapore Airlines is a significant development to provide more growth opportunities and prepare the Group for an even stronger future,” says SIA chief executive Got Choon.
Silkair operates 34 aircraft. They comprise of five 737 Max 8, 17 737-800s, three Airbus A319s, and nine A320s. The A320 family aircraft are being phased out in favor of the 737s, of which Silkair has orders for 32 Max 8s.
Source : Singapore Airlines
GE9X Completes First Phase of Flight Testing
In early May, GE wrapped up the first phase of a two-stage flight-test effort on the 105,000lb-thrust GE9X. Phase 1 included 18 flights on board the company’s Victorville-based 747-400 flying testbed, GE9X program manager Ted Ingling said. The 105,000lb-thrust power plant was flown to Evendale, Ohio to prepare for phase 2, which is scheduled to begin in the third quarter.” It will be months of work to bring the engine down and back up again. The majority of the activities are around the instrumentation that we have on this vehicle. There’s over 1,600 pieces of discrete information through sensors that get bundled onto the engine routed into the aircraft,” Ingling says.
“We want to preserve that instrumentation for the missions that follow. As a result, what would normally be a quick turn-around for incorporation of the hardware changes takes us a much longer time to bring the engine down and back up and make sure all the instrumentation is working,” he adds.
The first phase of flight-testing with the GE9X kicked off on March 13, with engine designated as No.4 within the program lifting off in Victorville. In nearly two months, the 747-400 flying testbed logged 110 flight hours overall during the 18 flights.
“We are very encouraged about the engine. All indications from flight test is that the engine is doing exactly what we want it to do and we’re on track to meet our objectives on performance,” Ingling says. ”The engine is really performing well and we couldn’t be happier with that.”
Source : GE Aviation
JetBlue Founder Raising Funds for New U.S. Airline, Report Says
David Neeleman, who started JetBlue Airways Corp.with $100 million in 2000, is raising money to launch a new low-cast carrier focused on secondary airports in the U.S., according to Airline Weekly.
The airline, to be called Moxy Airways, has secured orders for 60 Bombardier CS300 aircraft, the trade journal, citing people familiar with the matter. The first would arrive in 2020, perhaps a ply on the word Moxie—meaning determination and pep—Moxy Airways reportedly aims to get of the ground in 2020.
The timeline coincides exactly with when Bombardier – and its new partner Airbus – intend to open a Series assembly site in Mobile, Alabama.
Moxy is designed to maximize the economic advantage of the C Series, along with the use of smaller, secondary airports such as Providence, Rhode Island, Forth Worth, Texas, Gary, Indiana and Burbank, California. Plus the Long Island cities of Islip and Farmingdale, Airline Weekly said. The advanced jetliner reduces fuel burn due to its modern engines and carbon-fiber fuselage.
With 60 CS300 orders, Moxy would become the second-largest C Series customer after Delta Airlines. Delta is acquiring 75 of the smaller CS100 model and plans to begin service with the plane next year.
Source : Bloomberg/Ed’s Research
- IATA downgraded its 2018 profit forecast for the global airline industry, projecting airlines will collectively earn $33.8 billion this year, down 12% from the $38.4 billion predicted in December 2017 as fuel costs rise.
- Qatar Airways Group chief executive Akbar Al Baker has been appointed the chairman of ATA board of governors.
- Ethiopian Airlines has taken delivery of its 100th aircraft, a Boeing 787 Dreamliner on June 6,2018, once again leading the way in fleet expansion and modernization in Africa.
- LOT Polish Airlines is acquiring six more Boeing 737 MAX 8s as part of its fleet modernization plans.
- United Airlines debuted its first passenger service utilizing a 737 MX 9 between Houston and Orlando International Airport on June 7.
- BOC Aviation Limited delivered its first Boeing 737 MAX8 aircraft to its newest customer Corendon Airlines based in Turkey.
- CDB Aviation Lease Finance delivered two Boeing 737-800 aircraft to Ukraine International Airlines. The aircraft delivered from CDB Aviation order book with Boeing.
- AirAsia Group received shareholder approval to sell 55 Airbus A320 family aircraft and seven CFM56s on an operating lease to FLY leasing; deal includes options on another 20 A320neos.
- Vistara the Indian affiliate of Singapore Airlines Ltd has opted for six 787s with an option to buy four more. Vistara is considering between the 787-9 and the 787-10 version.
- Xiamen Airlines has taken delivery of its first Boeing 737MAX 8, expanding its fleet to 200 aircraft. The air carrier operates an all Boeing fleet of 737s,757s and 787s, with 31 consecutive years of profitability.
- Royal Brunei Airlines has taken delivery of its first Airbus A320neo aircraft during an event in Toulouse, France.
Sources : Ed”s Research From Various Aviation Resources.
Lufthansa Cargo Introduces Twice Weekly B777Fs to Chengdu
Lufthansa Cargo has confirmed its latest capacity increase into Chinese cargo market by adding twice weekly B777 freighter services to the city of Chengdu.
Speaking at Air Cargo China in Shanghai, Frank Naeve, Lufthansa Cargo vice president Asia-Pacific, said: “The extension to our network will allow us to offer solutions for booming markets in the west of China”. “These new flights to Chengdu are strengthening our position in China. It is a further investment into the very important Chinese airfreight market,” he declared.
Lufthansa Cargo flew 240,000 tons of cargo from and into China in 2017.
In addition to this news, Lufthansa has ordered two Boeing 777Fs to add to its fleet of five B777Fs, to be delivered in February and March of 2019.
“The Boeing 777F is not only the world’s most powerful, efficient and environmentally friendly freighter, it is a visible sign of our modernization strategy,” said Peter Gerber, chief executive of Lufthansa Cargo.” He added: “With the growth of our B777 freighter fleet, an important milestone has been reached on our way to forming a company for the next generation.”
With a full payload of 103 tons, the B777F is able to stay in the air for ten and a half hours. It covers a distance of more than 9,000 kilometers ( 5592 miles) non-stop.
Source : Aircargonews/Lufthansa/Picture Lufthansa
Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul News
Services May Justify Future Boeing Aircraft: Fitch
Boeing’s increasing emphasis on services and lifecycle revenue streams for its product is a “key development” for the company, says Fitch Ratings.
The credit rating agency had affirmed Boeing’s long-term rating at ‘A’ with a stable outlook, and says that Boeing’s 4.25 billion takeover of parts supplier KLX Aerospace Solutions—expected to close in the third quarter—will not affect this assessment.
Fitch broadly approves of Boeing’s aftermarket strategy, which it believes could drive growth and margin gains. It also increases the viability of clean-sheet aircraft programs by opening another revenue stream to recoup high development costs.
“Potentially greater services revenues through the life of a program could make some proposed programs more economically viable than if evaluated only on an original equipment basis,” Fitch states.
The obvious potential program in this regard is Boeing’s new midsize aircraft (NMA). Fitch questions whether Boeing’s current setup can provide a business case for the aircraft given development costs, but notes this might change with production system improvements and aftermarket gains.
“Key questions for Boeing over the next year will be whether it raises 737 rates further and whether the supply chain can support additional rate hikes”
Source: Fitch Credit Rating Agency
MRO LATEST NEWS
- ST Engineering Aerospace opened a $46 million, 173,500 sq ft maintenance and overhaul facility in Pensacola, Florida. It’s the third facility in the US. They have signed UPS as launch customer for Boeing 757s.
- Boeing & Safran agreed to form a joint venture to design, build and service APUs.
- Skytech-AIC was appointed by Kuwait Airways to market for sale the airline’s single, low-time, GE-powered 747-400 Combi and its first A340-300 aircraft, delivered new to Kuwait Airways in 1994-1995.
- Thai Airways & Rolls-Royce signed cooperation agreement over Trent Maintenance.
- German Asset Manager Dr Peters, on June 5th, disclosed plans to part out two ex-Singapore Airlines Airbus A380s. Dr Peters executive, Anselm Gehling, estimates that the company can achieve a residual value of about $80 million per aircraft. This is done with $45 million from parting out airframe, about $4 million from leasing engines over the next 18 months, and $32-$33 million from selling the engines in 2020.
Researched and Compiled by :
Ed Kaplanian Commercial Aviation Advisor
Contact – email@example.com
Editor: Lee Kaplanian