On January 13 Airbus announced that its teams created the first-ever single-piece composite center wing box. This represents an important evolution of a key structural component and provides support and rigidity for an aircraft’s wings.
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
India is a market that has been attractive for OEMs for many years. The following two charts explain why. The first chart shows how strongly the domestic air travel market has grown. Typically, passenger traffic doubles every 15 years – in India between 1995 and 2010 traffic grew by four times. If we look back 15 years from 2015, traffic has grown by over fives what it was.
Just to provide some perspective – India’s railway network is the world’s fourth largest and in 2014 transported 8.4 billion passengers. For every Indian domestic air passenger in 2014, 138 passengers took a train. Continue reading