The fact that the Very Large Aircraft segment has slow demand is not in doubt. Sales have been at lower levels than either Airbus or Boeing predicted. Today, they are nowhere near the number that Airbus predicted, and even lower than the number Boeing predicted, which is about half of Airbus forecast.
Last week the future of the A380 was highlighted when Airbus’ CFO, Harald Wilhelm, stated that he thought Airbus might have to discontinue the A380 program in 2018. While his was one voice at the annual investor day, other voices were much more supportive of A380. Obviously John Leahy, Airbus COO Customers, does not share Mr. Wilhelm’s views. However the media jumped on his words because they were the most headline worthy. That was all it took for shares in Airbus to take a dive. Continue reading
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Last week we were had a visit with Bernd Bechtel, Head of Group Fleet Management of Thomas Cook Group Airlines. The leisure travel group currently operates 32 757 and consists of four airlines, Thomas Cook Airlines Belgium, Thomas Cook Airlines Scandinavia, Thomas Cook Airlines Belgium and Condor Flugdienst. As one of the biggest European 757 operators, we wanted to know how and when they’d replace their biggest single aisle aircraft.
Meet Professor I.J. Wagnanski from the University of Arizona Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering. He is working on developing devices that impact and direct airflow over surfaces to minimize airflow separation. Here is an interview done by The Smithsonian on the work. This is fascinating work! The potential of the impact of these devices on aircraft design could be substantial.
Wing design is complicated and the changes in IT and materials are having a big impact on what OEMs can do with wings. A case in point is the Boeing 737. Boeing has continually updated the core design. Most notably by using newer engines and, of course, adding winglets. These are things we can see. But there is magic going on inside the wing that is less obvious. Continue reading