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Airbus

Airbus started final assembly of the first A350-1000 on schedule at the A350 XWB FAL in Toulouse. The first A350-1000, one of three flight test aircraft to be built, will do its maiden flight before the end of 2016.  Airbus plans deliveries of the A350-1000 will start in mid-2017.

A350-1000_FAL Start_ (1)_To ensure the smooth integration of the A350-1000 into the FAL while A350-900 production is ramping-up,
Airbus has added three additional final assembly stations. For maximum flexibility, all stations in the A350
XWB FAL can be used for either model.

Currently at “Station 50” for fuselage join-up and nose landing gear installation, the first A350-1000 will next
move to “Station 40” where the wings, main landing gear, pylons and tail planes will be installed. To save
time and optimize the A350 assembly process, Airbus starts the cabin furnishing and first electrical power-on
in parallel to the structural assembly work. After… Continue reading

The first A321neo, equipped with CFM International LEAP-1A engines, completed its maiden flight on today in Hamburg, Germany. The aircraft, registered D-AVXB, was flown by Test Pilots Martin Scheuermann and Bernardo Saez Benito Hernandez. Accompanying them in the cockpit was Test-Flight Engineer Gérard Leskerpit and monitoring the flight’s progress were Flight-Test Engineers Sandra Bour Schaeffer and Emiliano Requena Esteban.

csm_A321neo_CFM_engine_First_Flight_take_off_fe86dee22dThe flight lasted five hours and 29 minutes during which tests were performed on the engine speed variation (low/high), systems behavior and to validate the aircraft’s flight envelope. The A321neo will join the NEO flight test fleet and perform a partial flight test program to validate the impact on handling qualities, performance and systems. The first A321neo will be delivered at the end of 2016.

easyJet unveiled plans for a revolutionary zero emissions hydrogen fuel system for its aircraft which could save around 50,000 tonnes of fuel and the associated CO2 emissions per year.  The hybrid concept utilizes a hydrogen fuel cell stowed in the aircraft’s hold. This zero-emissions system allows energy to be captured as the aircraft brakes on landing and is used to charge the system’s lightweight batteries when the aircraft is on the ground.

The energy can be used by the aircraft – for example when taxiing – without needing to use jet engines.  Due to the high frequency and short sector lengths of easyJet’s operations, around 4% of the airline’s total fuel consumed annually is used when the airline’s aircraft are taxiing.  easyJet’s aircraft average 20 minutes of taxi time per flight – the equivalent of around four million miles a year. 

Each aircraft would have electric… Continue reading

We have been waiting for a while to see if there was anyway we could get a comparison of the A320neo with both engines and the 737 MAX compared for engine noise.  The most objective way to do this is use videos from the first flight events.  One has to also avoid OEM videos, some of which have music and other dubbing to prevent the real noise levels to be heard.

Bear in mind as you watch these videos, the weather was different for each first flight.  The distances from the aircraft to camera microphone were different.  Even the cameras were different.  There is a lot of variation that make a comparison difficult.  But absent any equal comparison, what else can you do?  Continue reading

Saying that if Airbus can sell to Iran, Bombardier should  be as well, the Canadian government announced that it plans to lift its sanctions on Iran.   The process of lifting the sanctions and allowing Iran to order from Bombardier looks rather hurried.

This is fortunate for Bombardier since the firm could win some business in Iran, for which discussion are already underway with Iran Air.  Iranian airlines have talked up their fleet shopping lists to 500 aircraft.  That is enough to allow every OEM to get a good slice of the cake.  Moreover, given existing backlogs and scarce delivery positions, Iran has to buy from everyone to get new aircraft in a reasonably short time frame.

As we have written a number of times last year, Iran is the big news in 2016 with respect to orders.  However even as the Iran fleet… Continue reading

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