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Last week it emerged that Boeing is now discussing a 737 MAX10 with customers on a serious level, and that its sales people have been given “authority to offer” the aircraft.  The model would be the fifth in the MAX range, augmenting the existing the MAX7, MAX8, MAX8-200, and MAX9.

The MAX10 has the following key changes:

  • 66 inches longer than the MAX9
  • Single class passenger capacity up to 230
  • Slightly higher MTOW
  • LEAP-1B Engine
  • Trailing-link main gear
  • Entry into service approximately 2020

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Airbus produced their numbers for 2016 today.  They were better than expected – mainly because they hit a book to bill of one.  Airbus reported 732 net orders and 688 deliveries generating a book to bill of 1.06.  Airbus projects a ratio of under one for 2017.

Airbus had its usual year end flurry of orders – 60 A320neos for Flynas and 42 single aisles for the Chinese Bank of Communications.   But even so, orders were off a lot (350) from 2015.   What do the results look like in perspective? Continue reading

The Airbus Beluga XL, based on today’s A330 jetliner, will have an enlarged fuselage “bubble” section that is six meters longer and one meter wider than that of the Beluga ST – an aircraft derived from Airbus’ earlier-production A300-600.  Here is a picture of the currently in-service Beluga ST. Continue reading

Most airline delays occur on the ground. Ground operations have long been static because the fundamentals of aircraft pushback and taxiing have not changed much.  Nevertheless, there seem to be some real opportunities to save time, especially by reducing a common source of ground delays: tugs and ground crews.

An innovative solution, advanced at one time or another by companies such as Crane, L-3, Airbus, Lufthansa, and a Safran / Honeywell joint venture (EGTS), is to provide the aircraft with an on-board drive – motorized wheels that are powered by the onboard APU.

WheelTug, the smallest of the innovators in this space, has received FAA approval of its certification plan. Interestingly, it is also the only company left that is known to be actively working on what is more popularly called “E-Taxi.”  WheelTug also chose a different technical solution than the other players by putting the… Continue reading

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