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A320NEO

Airbus_A320neo_NEO_F-WNEO_MSN6101_PW_GTF_PW1100G-JM-620x431Airbus announced that its A320neo, powered by Pratt & Whitney PurePower® engines, has received joint Type Certification from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).

“Today’s announcement marks a significant milestone for the Airbus and Pratt & Whitney team,” said Greg Gernhardt, president, Pratt & Whitney Commercial Engines. “We initiated our partnership on the A320neo in December 2010 with the goal of helping our mutual airline customers continuously improve aircraft performance and operating economics. Pratt & Whitney is proud that the PurePower engine is the launch engine on the A320neo and will contribute to more than 16 percent fuel burn savings when airlines enter into service. We continue to work closely together to support aircraft deliveries to customers as they embark on a new age in aviation.”

Airbus announced Pratt & Whitney’s award-winning PurePower Geared Turbofan™ engine as an engine option for its A320neo… Continue reading

Russian airline, Transaero, deep in financial difficulties, was supposed to be taken over by Aeroflot.  Turns out Aeroflot won’t be doing that because the company cannot get the 75%+1 share of Transaero it had expected.  The takeover has fallen through.

Transportation Minister Maxim Sokolov told reporters yesterday that the government will not allow the airline to even sell tickets.  With its debts unable to be paid, and no state bailout, Transaero looks doomed.  Yesterday a report in Russia said the state moved on a bankruptcy.  The share price is down to 20 rubles (about $0.31).  Could there be some shareholders holding out for something?

It would appear a power play is in the works. Aeroflot has no need to rush to rescue Transaero.  Once the state withdrew a parachute, Transaero debt and shareholders were left hanging.  Whereas they might have been given a severe haircut before, now it looks far… Continue reading

Airbus’ A320neo fleet started flight tests outside France last month, with the LEAP-engined aircraft going to Bolivia and the GTF-engined aircraft going to the UAE.  Airbus is pushing its tests hard because it has publicly said it will deliver its first aircraft by year end.

There are big kudos for accomplishing this.  Making such a delivery is a poke at Bombardier and Boeing.  That alone makes the pressure worthwhile.  But along with the aggressive schedule comes risk.

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Today F-WNEO, also known as MSN6101, powered by P&W GTFs is off to the Middle East for flight tests.   This is the first A320neo to fly as was the one which experienced the GTF replacement after a part failed.   Through last month end, this aircraft has the most flights of the test program (43%) and most block time (45%).  Since its first flight MSN6101 has averaged one hour per day while MSN6419 (LEAP power) has averaged 2.3 hours per day although it has only been flying for 125 days compared to 361 for MSN6101.

Airbus advises that: At Al Ain we perform the hot weather tests, whereas in Bolivia we have performed the high altitude tests. With regards to your question on the noise, we still have to perform some tests so we are not in a position to share further data info, however we target the same… Continue reading

Airbus has formally opened its final assembly line in Mobile, Alabama, and conducted a media tour on Sunday 13 September before the formal opening ceremony tomorrow.  The facility is impressive, and has the capability to build eight narrow-body aircraft per month operating at full capacity, although current plans are to ramp up to four per month by the end of 2018.

The facility is situated on a 116 acre site, and Airbus holds an option on an adjacent 116 acres should it wish to later expand the facility.  About half of the 116 acres are occupied by buildings and tarmac, including four major buildings – the Trans-Shipment Hangar where parts are received, the final assembly line building, where initial construction begins on four stations, the finalization and testing hangar, where aircraft are completed and testing is completed, and the delivery center where they are handed over to customers.

Two aircraft… Continue reading