April 24, 2012

Differences between the D-Jet and SF-50

Comparisons between both VLJs.

This information was taken from their different websites, please keep in mind that these information are subject to changes according to the OEM policies.

D-Jet  SF-50
Airframe Carbon Fiber Composites/Aluminum 
Power Plant  Williams FJ33-5A turbofan Williams FJ33-5A turbofan
# of Pax  2+3 2+3-5
Max Ramp Weight  5,690 Lbs  6,060lbs
Maximum Takeoff Weight  ??? 6,000lbs
Empty Weight  ??? 3,700lbs
Useful. Load 2,240 Lbs  2,300lbs
Maximum Payload  ??? 1,200lbs
Maximum Fuel  1,740Lbs  1960lbs
Max Cruise Speed 315ktas  300ktas
Long Range Cruise Speed  240ktas ???
Max Range 1,350nm  1430nm
Certified Ceiling  FL250 FL280
Time to Clime to FL250 15mins  ???
Time to Clime to FL250 (FPM) 1,667 ???
Takeoff   ??? 1,615
Landing ??? 1,245
Price  1.38 1.72

AERO 2012: Personal jets competition builds up steam as funding flows in

Cirrus Aviation - SF 50 VLJ
Competition is hotting up in the nascent personal jet race with both contenders - Cirrus and Diamond - hoping to cross the finishing line with their respective jets, Vision SF50 and D-JET, within three years.
"Now we have been given the funding by our new owner CAIGA [China Aviation Industry General Aircraft], we plan to bring the aircraft to market within three years," says Cirrus vice-president and managing director of international sales, Ian Bentley, at the show in Friedrichshafen, Germany.

CAIGA bought the company, which is based in Duluth, Minnesota, last year, and has injected $100 million into the program, on top of the $45 million invested by its former owner. Bentley said the SF50 has been a key focus for Cirrus since its launch six years ago. Although the company was forced to slow development throughout the downturn due to a funding shortage, work on the seven-seat aircraft has continued, albeit at a low level. The non-conforming prototype has completed more than 600 flying hours and Cirrus has carried out "detail design, systems verification and full flight envelope testing since then", adds Bentley.

Diamond D-Jet
"We are now building the tooling for the first of three production-conforming aircraft, which should take to the skies for the first time in 15 months," he says. About 500 orders have so far been secured for the $1.72 million aircraft - which is set for a price hike on 1 July to $1.96 million.

"Our D-Jet will enter service a year earlier than the SF-50," says Diamond Aircraft chief executive Christian Dries. The programme - which is managed by Diamond's Canadian subsidiary - received a large chunk of investment last year from an undisclosed source.

Earlier in the same year the company suspended development of the five-seat aircraft after the Canadian government denied a $35 million loan that was to be matched by Ontario province. Dries says about $80 million is needed to bring the $1.9 million aircraft into serial production, but he says all the engineering issues and risks have been resolved. "If I had know seven years ago how difficult it would be to develop a single-engine jet, I wouldn't have done it," he concedes.

Meanwhile, Dries revealed a glimpse of Diamond's new unmanned medium twin-engine helicopter. Called Heros - Helicopter Robotic System - the 600kg (1,323lb) aircraft is targeted at the civilian and military airborne sensor and reconnaissance markets and is being developed in partnership with an unnamed company.

"Heros will fly autonomously with a degree of artificial intelligence and flight judgement," says Dries. "For example, in the event of an engine failure, the aircraft will be capable of analyzing and picking the best landing spot before entering an auto rotation approach and touchdown," he adds.

Heros is powered by two Austro AE55 engines - developed by Diamond's sister company - and is also fitted with a parachute. Diamond has received "a lot of global interest in the aircraft", which is poised to enter formal flight testing.

Flight Global 

Differences Between D-Jet and SF-50

Jetstar Japan takes delivery of its first Airbus A320 aircraft

Jetstar Japan, one of Japan’s newest low-cost carriers (LCC), has taken delivery of its first Airbus A320 aircraft in Toulouse, France. The Japanese carrier will start commercial services in July operating from Narita to Kansai, Fukuoka, Sapporo, and Okinawa with an initial fleet of three aircraft. This fleet will grow to 24 aircraft within three years.

Jetstar Japan’s A320s are configured in a high comfort all economy layout with 180 seats. Each aircraft is powered by IAE V2500 engines.  

“We are extremely happy to take delivery of our brand new Airbus A320. With its wider seats and more spacious cabin than the competition, we are positioned to provide better value that our customers will appreciate as well as fast turnarounds, which is key to our business model,” Jetstar Japan President Miyuki Suzuki said. “We aim to become the number one LCC in the Japanese market, and the A320 will help us achieve our goals.” 

“We are delighted to welcome Jetstar Japan as our newest Airbus operator. The A320 has the widest most comfortable cabin and the best performance of any single-aisle aircraft. Passengers love it and operators love it too,” said Airbus Chief Operating Officer, Customers John Leahy. “The A320 is already the aircraft of choice in Asia with some 80 per cent market share in the LCC market.”

Jetstar Japan, established in 2011, is a joint venture between the Qantas Group, Japan Airlines (JAL), Mitsubishi Corporation and Century Tokyo Leasing Corporation. Jetstar Japan’s Airbus fleet is from an order for 110 A320 Family aircraft placed by the Qantas Group in October 2011.

As of today, nearly 8,400 Airbus A320 Family aircraft have been sold to more than 340 customers and operators worldwide, making it the world’s best selling commercial jetliner ever. With proven reliability and extended servicing periods, the A320 Family has the lowest operating costs of any single-aisle aircraft.

April 19, 2012

AERO 2012: Cirrus vision for SF50 to become reality 'in 2015'

Cirrus Aircraft has been given the go-ahead by its new owner to accelerate development of the Vision SF50 personal jet. China Aviation Industry General Aircraft (CAIGA), which acquired the Duluth, Minnesota-based general aviation manufacturer last year, has pledged $100 million to bring the seven-seat, single-engined aircraft to market.

"This should be within three years," says Ian Bentley, Cirrus vice-president and managing director of international sales. "We have been committed to this program since its launch over six years ago. When the economic downturn struck we were forced to slow development considerably, but even throughout this turbulent period we have been working at a low level to iron out any potential technical problems that we might encounter during the SF50 certification process."

Cirrus has already invested more than $45 million in the SF50, which made its first flight in July 2008. The non-conforming prototype has completed more than 600 flying hours to date, and Cirrus has carried out "detail design, systems verification and full flight envelope testing since then", adds Bentley.

Cirrus is now building the tooling for the first of three production-conforming aircraft, which should take to the skies for the first time in 15 months. "A handful of minor modifications will be incorporated in the production aircraft. For example, the cabin will be sightly wider and the sweep on the tail will be slightly reduced, says Bentley.

Cirrus has clocked up 500 orders for the Vision. "In 2008 we had around 400 orders. When the program was slowed we lost around 100 of these but have since added another 200, of which around 60% are from US-based customers," says Bentley.

The SF50 has a cruise speed of 300kt (555km/h) and a range of 1,000nm (1,850km). The aircraft is priced at $1.72 million until 30 June, when it will rise to $1.96 million. Cirrus plans to manufacture 75 Visions in the first year of production, "rising to a steady production rate of 125 aircraft a year", says Bentley.

Flight Global

Qantas orders Leap-1A to power 78 A320neos

CFM International's next-generation turbofan will power the 78 Airbus A320neos ordered last October by Qantas Airways, the General Electric-Snecma joint venture announced today. The $2 billion engine order, valued at list prices, brings the overall number of orders and commitments for the CFM Leap-series to more than 3,500 engines, the company says.

Qantas wants to take delivery starting in 2016 of the 78 A320neos, which have been assigned to the carrier's low-fare subsidiary Jetstar. Alan Joyce, Qantas chief executive, cited the Leap engine's "performance, fuel efficiency and maintenance programme" as reasons for the selection.

Pratt & Whitney had offered the PW1100G geared turbofan series to Qantas. The Leap-1A powers the A320neo. The Leap-1B and Leap-1C models are designed for the Boeing 737 Max and Comac C919, respectively. Qantas also has ordered 32 A320s for delivery before the 'neo' model is ready in 2016.

Flight Global

Porter Airlines Operates Bombardier Q400 Aircraft in Canada's First Biofuel-Powered Revenue Flight

Porter Airlines today successfully conducted the first biofuel-powered revenue flight in Canada. In the successful conclusion to a test program that was launched in 2010, the airline flew one of its Bombardier Q400 turboprops from its base at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport to Ottawa using a 50/50 blend of biofuel and Jet A1 fuel in one of its engines.
  • Bio-fueltest program led by Bombardier Aerospace, Porter Airlines, Pratt & Whitney Canada and Targeted Growth successfully concluded
  • Program funded by the key partners and by Business-Led Networks of Centres of Excellence (BL-NCE) Program through GARDN
The fuel was certified to the new American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) D7566/D1655 standard and the biofuel used was derived from the oilseed crops, Camelina sativa* (49 per cent) and Brassica carinata* (one per cent). The aircraft’s other engine was powered by Jet A1 fuel. The flight included passengers making their way to Ottawa for business and pleasure, representatives from the biofuel test program’s partnering organizations and media.

This is the final step in a two-year project whose key members are Targeted Growth, Bombardier Aerospace, Pratt and Whitney Canada, the manufacturer of the PW150A engines that power the Q400 aircraft, and Porter Airlines. Funding for the biofuel test program was provided by the key partners, as well as by Business-Led Networks of Centres of Excellence (BL-NCE) through the Green Aviation Research & Development Network (GARDN).

Additional support to the program was provided by Agrisoma Biosciences Inc., which grew the carinata and produced the carinata bio-oil; Sustainable Oils, which crushed the camelina to make the camelina bio-oil; Honeywell UOP, which converted the bio-oils into the bio-derived jet fuel to meet the D7566 standard; and SkyNRG who were responsible for logistics and blending meeting the D1655 specification.

 “In a fitting tribute to Earth Day 2012, which is now less than a week away, we are delighted that one of our Bombardier Q400 turboprops has become the first aircraft to successfully conduct a biofuel-powered revenue flight in Canada,” said Robert Deluce, President and Chief Executive Officer, Porter Airlines. “The use of biofuels promises to significantly reduce the level of emissions produced by commercial aircraft worldwide, and Porter is honoured to have contributed to this test program in Canada.”

“The success of this biofuel test program, which utilized a BombardierQ400 aircraft, speaks volumes about the ability of the aviation and other communities to work together towards producing a more sustainable aviation industry,” said Hélène V. Gagnon, Vice President, Public Affairs, Communications and Corporate Social Responsibility, Bombardier Aerospace. “But that’s not the only milestone achieved today. This is the first time that a revenue flight in Canada was powered by biofuel, so we’ve achieved a first for Canada. ”

“When this biofuel project was submitted in October 2010, the Private Sector Advisory Board, a strategic body comprised of respected Canadian industry leaders, approved it with complete confidence and praised it very high value added, world-class experts and very good focus,” said Sylvain Cofsky, Executive Director of GARDN. “Eighteen months later, today’s flight proves they were right and I am extremely proud of GARDN’s contribution to this very promising success in the field of aviation.”

"We are firmly committed to ensuring that our products are designed, produced and operated while minimizing environmental impacts throughout their life cycle, outperforming the most stringent ICAO standards,” said Daniel Breitman, Vice President, Engine Development Programs, Pratt & Whitney Canada.

“We have implemented new technologies to significantly reduce fuel consumption, environmental emissions and engine noise in our latest generation of engines and we are developing cutting-edge green technologies for the future, to help the aerospace industry reach its commitment of reducing its overall footprint."

“Targeted Growth was very pleased to be involved in this project,” said Robert Woods, president, Targeted Growth. “Partnerships such as this one help demonstrate market confidence that spurs the critical research and development required to advance feedstock productivity.”

On February 9, 2012, in preparation for Porter’s revenue flight, Bombardier flew a Q400 turboprop test aircraft on the ASTM D7566/D1655 bio-derived jet fuel. This was the first such biofuel-powered test flight in Canada.

Bombardier Media

AMR Corporation Announces First Quarter 2012 Results; Files Form 10-Q Quarterly Report

Reports 1Q 2012 Net Loss of $1.7 Billion

Excluding Special Items, 1Q Net Loss Was $248 Million Compared to a Net Loss of $405 Million in 1Q 2011

Reports 10.3 Percent Consolidated Unit Revenue (PRASM) Growth


FORT WORTH, Texas, April 19, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- AMR Corporation, the parent company of American Airlines, Inc., today filed its quarterly report on Form 10-Q with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The report summarizes AMR's business and financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2012, on a consolidated basis, and is available in the Investor Relations section of AA.com.

First Quarter 2012 Results
In first quarter 2012, AMR incurred a net loss of $1.7 billion compared to a net loss of $436 million in the same period of 2011. Excluding reorganization and special items, the net loss was $248 million compared to the net loss of $405 million for first quarter 2011.
AMR recorded first quarter 2012 consolidated revenues of approximately $6.0 billion, an increase of 9.1 percent year-over-year. Consolidated passenger revenue per available seat mile (unit revenue) grew 10.3 percent compared to the first quarter 2011, and mainline passenger unit revenue increased 10.0 percent.
  • Consolidated passenger yield, which represents the average fares paid, increased 7.4 percent year-over-year in first quarter 2012, and mainline passenger yield increased 7.3 percent.
  • Mainline capacity, or total available seat miles, in first quarter 2012 increased 0.2 percent compared to the same period in 2011.
  • American's mainline load factor, or the percentage of total seats filled, was 79.0 percent during first quarter 2012, compared to 77.1 percent in first quarter 2011.
The Company's revenue performance was driven by significant demand and a positive pricing environment that resulted in higher load factors and better yields. Domestic unit revenues increased across all five of the Company's hubs. International performance was improved across all regions, with unit revenue in the Atlantic entity increasing by 9.7 percent in first quarter 2012 versus the same period last year, as American continues to capitalize on its joint trans-Atlantic business with British Airways and Iberia by offering an expanded network to its business customers. Latin America, the Company's largest international entity, posted a unit revenue increase of 10.8 percent in first quarter 2012 driven by yield improvements in Mexico, Central and South America.
AMR's consolidated operating expenses, excluding special items, were $6.1 billion, 6.6 percent above the same period last year. Consolidated unit costs increased 0.9 percent year-over-year, excluding fuel costs, which includes benefits the Company realized from improved operating performance due, in part, to mild weather in the quarter and restructuring related cost savings from renegotiated aircraft leases and approval of the Company's motions to reject certain facility agreements and other obligations.
Reorganization Expenses
  • The Company's first quarter results include approximately $1.4 billion in reorganization items resulting from the voluntary filing by the Company and certain of its direct and indirect U.S. subsidiaries of petitions for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code on November 29, 2011. 
  • Of the reorganization items, approximately $1.0 billion is related to the Company's aircraft financing renegotiations and rejections, which includes the modification of 158 aircraft leases; as well as the rejection of eight leases relating to seven Boeing 757-200 aircraft, one McDonnell Douglas MD-80 aircraft, and eight spare engines. The Company also rejected one Airbus A300-600R aircraft that was subject to a mortgage.
  • $340 million is attributable to the Company's motion to reject facility agreements supporting special facility revenue bonds at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and Fort Worth Alliance Airport.
  • $45 million is related to an accrual for professional fees.
Fuel Impact
Taking into account the impact of fuel hedging, AMR paid approximately $3.24 per gallon for jet fuel in first quarter 2012 versus approximately $2.76 per gallon in first quarter 2011, a 17.6 percent increase. As a result, the Company paid $325 million more for fuel in first quarter 2012 than it would have paid at prevailing prices from the prior-year period.
Cash Position
AMR ended the first quarter with approximately $5.6 billion in cash and short-term investments, including a restricted cash balance of $771 million and approximately $9 million of collateral relating to fuel hedging transactions, compared to a balance of approximately $6.3 billion in cash and short-term investments, including a restricted cash balance of $455 million and approximately $390 million of collateral relating to fuel hedging transactions, at the end of first quarter 2011.
As of November 30, 2011, the Company had approximately $4.8 billion in cash and short-term investments, including a restricted cash balance of $693 million.

PR Newswire

April 17, 2012

Embraer E-Jet deliveries remain flat in 1Q

Embraer today reported commercial aircraft deliveries stagnated again in the first quarter and its backlog of orders for the E-Jet family slightly declined.

The Brazilian airframer says it delivered the 21 commercial aircraft in the first three months of 2012, or one more than during the same period last year and the same as in the first quarter of 2010. Meanwhile, Embraer signed orders for 12 new commercial aircraft in the first quarter, including 10 E195s to Brazilian low-cost airline Azul, one E190 to BA CityFlyer and one E170 to JAL.

Its overall backlog declined to 240 aircraft, including 150 orders alone for the E190. During the quarter, Bulgaria Air and Estonia Air received new E-Jets for the first time. Embraer also delivered 12 new light Phenom business jets and one large business jet during the first quarter.
The value of Embraer's firm order backlog now totals $14.7 billion, the company says.

Flight Global

Boeing, ANA Celebrate First 787 Biofuel Flight

  • First sustainable bio fuel flight showcases Dreamliner's environmental performance
  • ANA delivery flight also marks first ever transpacific flight using bio-fuel

EVERETT, Wash., April 17, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Boeing (NYSE: BA) and All Nippon Airways (ANA) made aviation history today as a 787 Dreamliner flew for the first time powered in part by sustainable bio-fuels.

"The 787 is the most environmentally progressive jetliner flying today, combining fuel efficiency and comfort with reduced carbon emissions," said Billy Glover, Commercial Airplanes Vice President of Environment and Aviation Policy.

The delivery flight between Boeing's Delivery Center in Everett, Wash. and Tokyo Haneda Airport is also the first ever transpacific biofuel flight.

"Our historic flight using sustainable biofuels across the Pacific Ocean highlights how innovative technology can be used to support our industry's goal of carbon-neutral growth beyond 2020," said Osamu Shinobe, ANA Senior Executive Vice President.

The 787 flew with biofuel made mainly from used cooking oil and emitted an estimated 30 percent less CO2 emissions when compared to today's similarly-sized airplanes. Of the reduction in greenhouse gasses, about 10 percent can be attributed to the use of biofuel and approximately 20 percent to the technology and efficiency advancements offered by the Dreamliner.

Made primarily from composite materials, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner is the first mid-size airplane capable of flying long-range routes and will allow airlines to open new, non-stop routes preferred by the traveling public.
Boeing is at the forefront of the global effort to develop sustainable aviation bio-fuels, as part of the industry's strategy for lowering its carbon emissions.

Boeing Media

April 16, 2012

Airbus Starts Final Assembly of First A350 XWB

Photo Credit: Airbus Images
Final assembly of the first A350 XWB is now underway at the brand new final assembly line in Toulouse. This latest step in the A350 XWB’s progress is achieved as Airbus starts joining the 19.7 metre long centre fuselage with the 21 metre long front fuselage.

This first A350 XWB airframe will be used for the static structural tests that all new aircraft undergo as part of their certification process. The assembly of the first flying A350 XWB, MSN1, will start during summer.

The centre fuselage was delivered to Toulouse on Wednesday 4th April 2012 by Beluga from Airbus in St Nazaire, France. The front fuselage was previously delivered from St Nazaire to the A350 XWB final assembly line on the 23rd December 2011. Delivery and installation of the aft fuselage from Hamburg, Germany will take place in the coming weeks, followed by the wings delivered from Airbus’ wing assembly site in Broughton, UK.

Airbus Images
The A350 XWB fuselage is made up of three main sections - front, centre and aft. These will be joined together at the first main assembly station, Station 50. The nose landing-gear is also joined here. Once this stage is completed, the fuselage is transferred to Station 40 where the wings and tail sections are joined.  In parallel to this, cabin installation will be carried out simultaneously to the wing-fuselage join up, as well as the “power on” of the aircraft systems. In this way, functional tests can start earlier than on previous programmes. 

Airbus Images
The A350 XWB is Airbus’ all new family of mid-size widebody airliners. These highly efficient aircraft bring together the latest in aerodynamics, design and advanced technologies to provide up to 25 percent better fuel efficiency and operating costs compared to current aircraft in the same size category. Over 70 percent of the A350 XWB’s weight-efficient airframe is made from advanced materials combining composites (53 percent), titanium and advanced aluminium alloys. The aircraft’s innovative all-new Carbon Fibre Reinforced Plastic (CFRP) fuselage results in lower fuel burn as well as easier maintenance. The A350 XWB benefits from Airbus’ high level of expertise in incorporating composite material into its aircraft.

The A350 XWB Family consists of three passenger versions with true long-range capability of flying up to 8,500nm/15,580km. In a typical three-class configuration, the A350-800 will offer 270 seats while the A350-900 and the A350-1000 will offer 314 and 350 seats respectively.

Airbus Media

Boeing, Super Hornet Suppliers Tour Brazilian Companies

BELO HORIZONTE, Brazil, April 13, 2012 -- Boeing [NYSE: BA] and its Super Hornet industry partners toured the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais March 20-22 to assess the aerospace capabilities of local companies and to identify opportunities for work with Boeing and its worldwide supply chain.

Representatives from Boeing, General Electric, GKN Aerospace, Hamilton Sundstrand, Northrop Grumman, Parker Aerospace, and Woodward participated in the review. A dozen companies in Belo Horizonte, Contagem and Itajuba, all in the state of Minas Gerais, have been added to Boeing's list of eligible bidders and will have the chance to bid when procurement opportunities arise in their areas of expertise.

"The industry surveys that Boeing is conducting in Brazil are valuable in forging long-term business relationships with companies that can help offer the right solutions to our customers -- both government and commercial," said Susan Colegrove, regional director of International Strategic Partnerships for Boeing Defense, Space & Security. "Brazilian companies have demonstrated expertise in aerospace work, research and development, and a broad range of internal services that may support Boeing operations and our extended supply chain."

The Boeing-led industry tours are part of ongoing outreach throughout Brazil in support of the industrial partnership program for the F-X2 fighter jet campaign, based on Brazilian Air Force requirements.
Boeing has an unmatched reputation for delivering world-class industrial partnership programs that have brought benefits valued at more than US$41 billion to nearly 40 countries over the past 30 years.

Boeing Media

Boeing, Transaero Airlines Finalize Order for Four 787 Dreamliner

Boeing (NYSE: BA) and Transaero Airlines of Russia recently signed an order for four 787-8 Dreamliners. The signing ceremony for the order, valued at $744 million at list prices, made history by being held onboard the 787 during a demonstration flight for Transaero's executives, employees and special guests.

"Our history with Boeing goes back to 1993 when Transaero became the first airline in Russia to fly with Boeing aircraft," said Transaero Airlines Chairman of the Board of Directors Alexander Pleshakov. "Following our innovative approach and our continuous efforts to enhance our product quality, we have chosen the state-of-the-art, highly-efficient Boeing 787 Dreamliner. It is very symbolic that our airline became a participant of the first order announcement ceremony conducted in the air on board the 787. Boeing 787s will perform flights on both Transaero's domestic and international routes."

Captain Evgeny Nikitin, Commander of Transaero's 767/777 flying unit, was co-piloting the 787 during the entire flight from takeoff to landing as the signing ceremony took place. Made primarily from composite materials, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner is the first mid-size airplane capable of flying long-range routes and will allow airlines to open new, non-stop routes preferred by the traveling public.

As a result of innovative technologies, the airplane offers unparalleled operating economics, fuel efficiency and passenger comfort. More than 850 787s are on order by 59 customers, a testament to the airplane's unique capabilities. Russia played an important role in creating this revolutionary airplane. Engineers from the Moscow Boeing Design Center participated in designing a number of key sections of the 787. Russian manufacturer VSMPO-AVISMA supplies titanium parts for the 787 Dreamliner.

"Boeing and Transaero enjoy an almost two-decades-long partnership and we are opening a great new chapter together with the 787 Dreamliner," said Marty Bentrott, vice president of Sales for Middle East, Russia and Central Asia, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "We look forward to working with Transaero to offer the airline's passengers the unprecedented comfort of the 787 Dreamliner and our continued partnership with this great airline."

Transaero was the first private airline in Russia established in 1991. Transaero also was the first Russian airline to introduce a Boeing airplane to its fleet. In 1993 Transaero started operating its 737. Today Transaero is the second largest airline in Russia operating the 737, 747, 767 and 777 Boeing airplanes.

Boeing Media

March 30, 2012

Japan Airlines receives first two Boeing 787-8s

Photo Credit: Boeing/Flight Global
Japan Airlines (JAL) has taken delivery of its first two Boeing 787-8s, becoming the first airline to receive a 787 powered by the General Electric GEnx-1B engine.

The delivery also marks the first time two 787s have been delivered simultaneously, Boeing said in a statement.
"Today is an important moment in our 60-year relationship with Japan Airlines as we celebrate the deliveries of not one, but two Dreamliners," says Jim Albaugh, president and chief executive of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "The 787 will provide the fuel-efficient airplane needed to serve Japan Airlines' growing international operations."

The delivery took place at Boeing's Everett production facility on 25 March. On 21 March, JAL said the aircraft would be flown to Tokyo by JAL pilots, arriving at 18:30 hours local time on 27 March.
On 22 April, the carrier will start non-stop services between Tokyo and Boston with the 787. Later this year, JAL will launch a non-stop Tokyo-San Diego service with the 787.

The carrier, which has 25 firm orders for the 787-8 and 20 for the 787-9, plans to deploy the aircraft on routes between Tokyo and Beijing, Moscow, New Delhi and Singapore.

Flight Global

March 29, 2012

Cessna Uses China To Move Into Large Jet Segment

Picture Credit: The Cessna Corp.
Cessna is teaming with China’s state-owned aerospace conglomerate Avic, a further sign that western aircraft makers wishing to gain greater access to a burgeoning consumer market will be manufacturing in China.

The U.S. aircraft maker has signed two separate agreements with Avic and its related companies. The first is to establish joint ventures “that will pursue various activities pertaining to the development of general aviation businesses in China, including the establishment of an aircraft service network in China,” says Cessna.
The second is an agreement with the Chengdu Municipal Government and Avic’s Aviation Techniques Co. “to enter into negotiations to establish a joint venture to produce mid-size Cessna business jet models, as well as a potential new product for the business jet market”.

The medium-sized business jet that will be made in China is the Cessna Citation Sovereign, followed by the Cessna Citation Latitude, Cessna CEO Scott Ernest tells Aviation Week at the Asian Business Aviation Conference and Exhibition yesterday in Shanghai. The Latitude is a new aircraft in development that is smaller than the Sovereign and is due to receive U.S. FAA certification in 2015.

Cessna is hoping the number of Sovereign aircraft on order from China will be so strong that the Chinese factory will be kept busy fulfilling Chinese customer deliveries, leaving its North American factories to fulfill Sovereign aircraft orders for customers elsewhere in the world, confirms Ernest.

Also the whole airframe for the China-bound Sovereigns at first will be made in North America. “Initially, it will be a case of bringing in the ‘green aircraft’ and then doing the interiors and paint work in China,” says Ernest. Cessna may later consider bringing in the wings and fuselage separately, so that China has the task of attaching the wings, he says. Eventually Cessna may make the main fuselage in China for Sovereigns sold in China, but that will be the extent of it, he adds.

Cessna already has experience in China on final assembly of aircraft. It has Avic’s Shenyang Commercial Aircraft Co. making Cessna 162 Skycatchers for the global market. Skycatcher is a light-sport, single-engine, piston aircraft. Cessna chose to make Skycatchers in China because the low cost base enables it to achieve the cheaper price point consumers demand for such a small entry-level aircraft.
“We’ve been working with Shenyang Aircraft for four years now and it has taught us that you have to be very good at working with people on the ground. That you need to have good technical support people on the ground to explain the different processes and that you have to have a good supply chain and logistics, so that the right products are coming in [to the factory] to ensure that it’s a succinct [manufacturing] process”, says Ernest.
Many of Cessna’s suppliers already are making components and parts in China, says Ernest, adding that he anticipates more will be made in future, especially now that Cessna has disclosed it will be assembling and later developing business jets in China.

Ernest downplays the cost benefits of China by saying that labor accounts for only 15% of the total cost of a business jet. But manufacturing in China does have its tax advantages. Business jets imported into the country are subject to value added tax of 17% and import duty of around 5%. One of Cessna’s challenges will be ensuring parts and components imported for the assembly of aircraft in China avoid these taxes. Ernest says this is one of the issues that will need to be addressed.

The project that is far more significant is Cessna’s deal to jointly develop and build a new, larger jet with help from Avic, which had spent more than a year searching for a partner to share this initiative.
“We were in a competition with several other aircraft manufacturers for the opportunity to work with Avic on this,” says Ernest, adding that “we feel we have a strong brand and the ability to develop business aviation, and general aviation for that matter, throughout China.”

This deal is important to Cessna because it gives it greater access to the China market and helps expand its product line-up. “My experience working at GE Aviation taught me it is always good to get in on the ground floor,” says Ernest, who became CEO of Cessna last May and was previously GE Aviation VP and general manager of global supply chain. He says, “China is a very good market that continues to grow. Having a local partner in that market gives you incredible market access.”

Flight Global

FIDAE: Embraer confirms new African buyers for Super Tucano

Embraer Defense and Security has announced its receipt of orders for the sale of EMB-314/A-29 Super Tucanos to African countries Angola, Burkina Faso and Mauritania. The total value of the deals comes to $180 million, the company says, while declining to specify the exact number of aircraft involved.

Three aircraft have already been delivered to the Burkina Faso air force, which is using them on border patrol missions, Embraer says. Angola has ordered six for the same mission and will receive its first three examples this year. Mauritania will get its first of an undisclosed number of the aircaft in 2013, and will operate its aircraft on counter-insurgency missions.

"The Super Tucano is highly efficient and presents low operating costs. Its capability for surveillance and counter-insurgency missions makes it ideal for service on the continent of Africa," says Embraer Defense and Security president Luiz Carlos Aguiar. With the new orders nine air forces have chosen the Super Tucano, with six currently operating it, Embraer says.

The Brazilian airframer is also confident of winning the second incarnation of a US Air Force competition for a light attack aircraft, which will be repeated after the service said there were problems with the original tender process. Embraer and Sierra Nevada won the initial competition late last year with the Super Tucano, after the air force eliminated a rival AT-6 proposal from Hawker Beechcraft and Lockheed Martin. The contest is to supply an initial 20 armed turboprops to the Afghan air force

Flight Global

Airbus to exhibit corporate jet for first time in Shanghai

An Airbus ACJ318, the corporate jet version of the A318 airliner, will be the highlight of the company’s presence at the ABACE show, marking the first time that any of the company’s bizjets is exhibited in Shanghai.
The Airbus ACJ318 on display is operated by Abu Dhabi-based Al Jaber Aviation, which offers it for VVIP charters in a spacious and comfortable arrangement with seating for 19. 

“When companies, individuals and governments use corporate jets, such as the Airbus ACJ318, they empower their leaders to accomplish more, helping them to bring home new business, safeguard jobs, and contribute to overall economic growth,” points out Airbus COO, Customers, John Leahy. “With the widest and tallest cabin of any bizjet, Airbus corporate jets can also carry larger groups than traditional business jets,” he adds.
Airbus’ ACJ318 is similar in size externally to traditional large-bizjets, but has a cabin that is about twice as wide, delivering new standards in comfort, space, and freedom of movement.

It features lounge-style seating for passengers in several different zones, as well as an office with ensuite bathroom, which can be converted into a bedroom. The Airbus corporate jet on display at ABACE in Shanghai thus gives potential customers the chance to experience for themselves the best business jet cabin in the world. Airbus corporate jets are derived from the world’s most modern aircraft family, and offer the broadest range of sizes and ranges of any bizjet manufacturer, including VIP widebodies.

They have won some 170 orders since Airbus delivered its first corporate jet in the mid-Eighties, and are the only bizjets flying on every continent, including Antarctica. Airbus corporate jets have a widespread presence in Asia-Pacific, and especially China, which is one of the largest and fastest growing markets for business jets.

Boeing Delivers First 737-800 to Aerosvit

“Delivery of the first Next Generation 737 out of 11 airplanes that we have arranged to deliver marks the beginning of our airline’s narrow body fleet renewal,” said Gregory Gurtovoy, Chairman of Supervisory Board of AeroSvit Airlines. “Execution of this large scale program will help Aerosvit to increase our operating efficiency and offer passengers unprecedented comfort levels provided by the Boeing Sky Interior that will be introduced for the first time in Ukraine.”

"Boeing is delighted to deliver Aerosvit’s first Next-Generation 737-800," said Marty Bentrott, vice president of Sales for Ukraine, Russia, Central Asia and Middle East for Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "We are honored to transfer this great airplane to our important customer and are confident that Aerosvit employees and passengers will enjoy its efficiency, reliability and comfort. We look forward to strengthening our partnership and supporting Aerosvit’s fleet growth and business expansion."

All Next-Generation 737 airplanes will be delivered with the new Boeing Sky Interior that offers unprecedented passenger appeal and comfort which such features as spacious cabin headroom, overhead bins that disappear into the ceiling yet carry more bags and LED lighting that brings any color into the cabin.

AeroSvit Ukrainian Airlines was established in 1994, has its hub at Kyiv-Boryspil Airport. AeroSvit serves 80 international routes to 34 countries, and provides passenger carriages to major regional centres of Ukraine.
AeroSvit is a member of International Air Transport Association (IATA) since 1996 and Association of European Airlines since 2008. The airline was among the first carriers in Eastern Europe that satisfied IOSA requirements (IATA Operational Safety Audit) and successfully confirms every second year its safety standards through independent IOSA audits including the last one in 2011.

March 23, 2012

Norway strengthens plan to acquire 'best value' F-35

Norway has reaffirmed its plans to buy the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, with its new defence White Paper also outlining a possible acceleration in first deliveries of the type. Oslo in 2008 selected the conventional take-off and landing F-35A to replace its Lockheed F-16AM/BM fighters, and has already ordered an initial four to support its future training requirements. The first two of these could be delivered a year early, in 2015, according to the 23 March document.

"The ambition remains for a total acquisition of 52 aircraft, including four training aircraft, and despite changes made by other partner nations Norway finds that its previous and robust real-cost estimates remain accurate," says defense minister Espen Barth Eide. "We remain confident that the F-35 represents the best capability for the best value possible."

With the F-35 acquisition to represent a major undertaking, the defence ministry's plan for the 2013 to 2016 period includes a "temporary strengthening" of its budget equating to a 7% increase in spending. Oslo also wants to bring forward and extend its planned expenditure on the combat aircraft to spread its costs.

"A new start date of 2017 is being considered, while the final procurement year may be extended to 2023 or 2024," Eide says. Each annual acquisition will require approval from the Norwegian parliament, as will a decision on whether to acquire the final six planned production examples.

Once fielded, the Royal Norwegian Air Force's F-35s will be operated from Ørland air base, in addition to providing quick reaction alert cover from Evenes in the north of the country.

Norway's continued confidence in the F-35 will come as welcome news to Lockheed, following widespread reports of concerns over cost and schedule delays among other future operators Australia, Canada and Japan. US Air Force secretary Michael Donley also said on 20 March that future problems with delivering the aircraft would "be paid for by tails" against the service's stated intention to buy 1,763 examples.

Also contained within Oslo's new White Paper is a plan to introduce the maritime version of NH Industries' NH90 utility helicopter to service in the 2013-16 period. Eight of the aircraft are already on order for the Royal Norwegian Navy.

Flight Global

Embraer confident of Light Air Support victory

Embraer remains confident its EMB-314/A-29 Super Tucano will be speedily reselected for the US Air Force's Light Air Support (LAS) programme, so long as requirements remain unchanged.  The choice of the Brazilian-built trainer/light attack aircraft - which Embraer had bid alongside US partner Sierra Nevada - was overturned earlier this year after rival Hawker Beechcraft filed a lawsuit, following the rejection of the Wichita-based airframer's AT-6.

"If they don't change the requirements, we are 100% sure they will decide again for our aircraft," says Luiz Carlos Aguiar, the head of Embraer's defence business. "It is the only solution for this mission. If they need additional information, we will provide that." He says Embraer expects to receive word from the USAF "within weeks".

The USAF planned to buy 20 Super Tucanos as an urgent operational requirement to provide the Afghan air force with a counter-insurgency aircraft fleet, and the decision to overturn the selection was received with fury in Brazil. "It was a great surprise for us. We did not expect the reversal," says Aguiar.

"The US needs something off the shelf, and we have the solution," he says. "The difference between the two programmes is quite deep." Embraer and Sierra Nevada had committed to creating 1,200 jobs in the US supply chain as a result of the contract, he adds.

Aguiar says that any change to the terms of the competition could alter things. "If they do that, well, we would have to wait and see, but I cannot understand why they would do that," he says. He says the upheaval has not changed Embraer's commitment to establishing a foothold in the "most important defence market in the world", which the manufacturer believes would be a platform for establishing further deals with NATO allies. The LAS contest was one of the defence unit's first breakthroughs in a country where Embraer has enjoyed considerable success with its regional and business jet products.

Flight Global

March 22, 2012

Boeing, Airbus and Embraer to Collaborate on Aviation Biofuel Commercialization

GENEVA, March 22, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Boeing (NYSE: BA), Airbus and Embraer today signed a memorandum of understanding to work together on the development of drop-in, affordable aviation biofuels. The three leading airframe manufacturers agreed to seek collaborative opportunities to speak in unity to government, biofuel producers and other key stakeholders to support, promote and accelerate the availability of sustainable new jet fuel sources.

Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Jim Albaugh, Airbus President and CEO Tom Enders, and Embraer Commercial Aviation President Paulo Cesar Silva, signed the agreement at the Air Transport Action Group (ATAG) Aviation and Environment Summit in Geneva.

"There are times to compete and there are times to cooperate," said Jim Albaugh. "Two of the biggest threats to our industry are the price of oil and the impact of commercial air travel on our environment. By working with Airbus and Embraer on sustainable biofuels, we can accelerate their availability and reduce our industry's impacts on the planet we share."

"We've achieved a lot in the last ten years in reducing our industry's CO2 footprint - a 45 percent traffic growth with only three percent more fuel consumption," said Tom Enders. "The production and use of sustainable quantities of aviation biofuels is key to meeting our industry's ambitious CO2 reduction targets and we are helping to do this through Research and Technology our expanding network of worldwide value chains and supporting the EU commission towards its target of four percent of biofuel for aviation by 2020."

"We are all committed to take a leading role in the development of technology programs that will facilitate aviation biofuels development and actual application faster than if we were doing it independently," said Paulo Cesar Silva. "Few people know that Brazil's well known automotive biofuels program started within our aeronautical research community, back in the seventies, and we will keep on making history."

The collaboration agreement supports the industry's multi-pronged approach to continuously reduce the industry's carbon emissions. Continuous innovation, spurred by competitive market dynamics that push each manufacturer to continuously improve product performance, and air traffic modernization, are other critical elements to achieving carbon-neutral growth beyond 2020 and halving industry emissions by 2050 based on 2005 levels.

"Having these three aviation leaders set aside their competitive differences and work together in support of biofuel development, underscores the importance and focus the industry is placing on sustainable practices," said ATAG Executive Director Paul Steele. "Through these types of broad industry collaboration agreements, aviation is doing all it can to drive measurable reductions in carbon emissions, while continuing to provide strong global economic and social value."

All three companies are affiliate members of the Sustainable Aviation Fuel Users Group (www.safug.org), which includes 23 leading airlines responsible for approximately 25 percent of annual aviation fuel use. Boeing and Embraer are already collaborating on how to establish a sustainable aviation biofuels industry in Brazil and exploring new technology pathways to broaden biofuel sourcing and availability. Boeing and Airbus are also active around the globe in helping to establish regional supply chains, while the three manufacturers have all supported numerous biofuel flights since global fuel standards bodies granted their approval for commercial use in 2011.

PR Newswire

March 21, 2012

Bombardier Signs PrivatAir for up to 10 CSeries Aircraft


Photo Credit: Bombardier Aerospace

Full-service provider to airline partners to receive all-business class CSeries aircraft

Bombardier Aerospace announced today that Geneva-based PrivatAir has placed a firm order for five CS100 airliners and has taken options on an additional five CS100 aircraft. Based on the list price for the CS100 aircraft, the firm order contract is valued at approximately $309 million US, and could increase to $636 million US if the five options are exercised.

PrivatAir was founded more than 30 years ago and operates a large fleet of commercial and business aircraft to provide private charter and private airline services. Its specialized services include exclusively business class flights on behalf of several major network airlines. As a superb example of the versatility of the world’s only all-new aircraft in its segment, the
CSeries aircraft acquired by PrivatAir will be delivered in an all-business class configuration.
“The CSeries aircraft represent cutting-edge technology and are true 21st century jetliners,” said Greg Thomas, President and Chief Executive Officer, PrivatAir. “The CS100 jetliner is very well suited for our route expansion plans and we look forward to introducing this very modern aircraft into our fleet.”

“The CSeries aircraft program keeps growing and we have now announced our 11th customer,” said Guy C. Hachey, President and Chief Operating Officer, Bombardier Aerospace. “The CSeries family of aircraft is designed for operational flexibility and many airlines around the world, like PrivatAir, are very much aware of how the aircraft can meet their future plans. Our global push, as well as the superior performance benefits of the CSeries aircraft, will ensure that Bombardier will capture a significant portion of the 100- to 149-seat market segment over the next twenty years.”

 “Included among the 11 customers that have selected the CSeries aircraft are major network carriers, national carriers, premium airlines serving city centre airports, a low-cost airline, leasing companies and now, with the order from PrivatAir announced today, a full service provider to airline partners,” said Philippe Poutissou, Vice President, Marketing, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft. “This diversity of customers speaks volumes about the flexibility of the CSeries aircraft family to meet air transport requirements worldwide.”

Designed for the growing 100- to 149-seat market, the 100 per cent new CSeries family of aircraft combines advanced materials, leading-edge technology and proven methods to meet commercial airline requirements in 2013 and beyond.

Powered by Pratt & Whitney Pure Power PW1500G engines, the CSeries aircraft family will offer a 15* per cent cash operating cost advantage and a 20* per cent fuel burn advantage. The CSeries family of aircraft’s clean-sheet design will enable the aircraft to achieve greatly reduced noise and emissions, as well as superior operational flexibility, exceptional airfield performance and a range of 2,950 nm (5,463 km). The CSeries aircraft will be up to 12,000 lbs (5,443 kg) lighter than other aircraft in the same seat category and will provide passengers with a best-in-class, widebody cabin environment in a single-aisle aircraft.

Including the order from PrivatAir announced today, Bombardier has booked firm orders for 138 CSeries airliners. Other customers include Republic Airways (40 CS300 aircraft), Deutsche Lufthansa AG (30 CS100 aircraft), Lease Corporation International Group(17 CS300 and three CS100 aircraft), Korean Air (10 CS300 aircraft), Braathens Aviation (five CS100 and five CS300 aircraft), an unidentified major network carrier (10 CS100 aircraft), an unidentified European customer (10 CS100 aircraft) and a well-established, unidentified airline (three CS100 aircraft).

The CSeries aircraft program has also booked options for 124 aircraft and purchase rights for 10 aircraft from these customers, as well as Letters of Intent for up to 30 CSeries aircraft from Ilyushin Finance Co, and for up to 15 CS300 aircraft from Atlasjet.

Bombardier Aerospace Media


Boeing Receives Certification for 787 Dreamliner With GE Engines

EVERETT, Wash., March 20, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Boeing (NYSE: BA) received an amended type certificate today from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for the 787-8 Dreamliner equipped with General Electric GEnx engines.

"This is a great day for our customers and for our team who worked tirelessly to ensure the Dreamliner offers breakthrough fuel efficiency, unprecedented performance and new levels of comfort," said Larry Loftis, vice president and general manager of the 787 program. "We are pleased to accept the FAA's confirmation of the safety and reliability of this airplane."

The amended type certificate from the FAA formally recognizes that the 787 with GE engines has demonstrated compliance with rigorous federal regulations. The achievement caps off the most robust flight and ground test program ever conducted in the company's history.

"This milestone completes the certification of the 787-8 airplane, and allows airlines to now operate the GE engine-powered 787 with both the baseline Block 4 engine and the PIP1 engine upgrade," said Mike Sinnett, vice president and chief project engineer for the 787 program. "It also represents the success of a remarkable partnership with the regulatory agencies around the world."

"This is the culmination of extraordinary work by teams from GE and Boeing," said Chuck Nugent, general manager of the GEnx engine program for General Electric. "GE Aviation is honored to power the Boeing 787 Dreamliner with its new GEnx-1B engine, and we look forward to seeing the aircraft-engine combination flying the skies around the world."

Initial type certification of the 787 with Rolls-Royce engines took place in August 2011. Each new combination of an airframe type and engine requires additional certification to validate the integrity of the design. 60 customers around the world have ordered more than 870 Dreamliners.

Boeing Media

Airbus and Virgin Australia study new alternative fuel process

Airbus has joined a consortium including Virgin Australia to study a new pathway to produce sustainable aviation fuels. Eucalyptus mallee trees, grown in Western Australia’s wheat belt are sustainably harvested and converted to a feedstock for refining into alternative aviation fuel via a process called Pyrolysis.

Mallee is indigenous to Australia and is well adapted to the environment. It is a suitable sustainable crop because it helps return salt-affected land to a productive state. Mallee can be planted on farms alongside crops, and provide a range of environmental benefits and contribute to the long term sustainability of the overall farming operation. Growing these trees to make alternative fuels encourages large scale planting, which is expected to bring a range of environmental and social benefits to farmers and rural communities.   

The Pyrolysis thermal conversion process has yet to be recognized by the world’s fuels standards authorities. Airbus’ role includes supporting the approval and certification process so that Pyrolysis based fuels can be used for the first time in commercial aviation.

The consortium also includes Future Farm Industries CRC, which is developing sustainable farming systems as part of the Australian Government’s Cooperative Research Centres (CRC) program.
The project objective is to have a pilot alternative fuel production plant operating in Australia in the next year. The sustainability analysis is managed by the CRC, Airbus and the UK’s Manchester Metropolitan University.

“Alternative fuels are a crucial part of the roadmap for sustainable aviation and to help meet our ambitious CO2 reduction targets. We are privileged to be working with our Australian partners in this exciting value chain project,” said Tom Enders, Airbus President and CEO.

Virgin Australia Group Executive of Operations Sean Donohue said: “In order to produce a bio-fuel that can be used sustainably in our current aircraft, it is important to have members from every part of the supply chain involved. Airbus will bring vast expertise in aircraft manufacturing to the consortium and we are very pleased to have a company of its calibre joining this promising Australian project”.

The partnership agreement aims to develop a complete sustainable aviation bio-fuel production capability in Australia, using only sustainable resources and is part of the Airbus goal to have in place a value chain in every continent by 2012. So far Airbus has value chains in Latin America, Europe the Middle East, and now Australia.

March 15, 2012

Eclipse 500-based air taxi operation set to launch before mid-year

Photo Credit: Eclipse Aviation
EA Aerospace, the Turkish founding partner of Eclipse Aerospace, is planning to launch an air taxi service in the second quarter using two Eclipse 500 very light jets (VLJ) and a de Havilland DHC-6 Twin Otter.

The move is the first stage of a wider strategy by the Istanbul-based company to offer an air taxi services in the Middle East and Europe. The decision to launch Seabird Airlines comes around four years after EA president and Eclipse shareholder Ekim Alptekin was forced to abandon plans to launch his original air taxi offering, Myjet Aviation, following the collapse of Eclipse Aviation.

"I, along with a host of other people, had their fingers badly burned when Eclipse went bankrupt," he says. Fewer than 260 of the VLJs had been delivered from an order book of more than 1,200 aircraft. According to Flightglobal's Ascend database, only 11 Eclipse 500s are registered in countries outside the US. Turkey, Spain and Germany account for five of these.

"I lost a great deal of money but I never lost faith in the product," Alptekin adds. "I decided to become a shareholder and board member in the new company so I could help bring the product back to market."
Alptekin says there is huge pent-up demand in Turkey for an aircraft such as the Eclipse. "Demand for air travel is booming here and people are looking for affordable and flexible transportation, which the Eclipse can provide with operating costs of only $600 an hour."

Many travelers are "not well served" by the airlines, he says. "There are 54 airfields and airports available but 80% of these are under-utilized," he adds. Seabird will initially operate two Eclipse 500s - one owned by Alptekin and the other a privately owned aircraft - but another three aircraft will be added to the fleet by the end of the year. The 19-seat Twin Otter will serve Turkey's coastal resorts.

Alptekin says the "new" $2.7 million Eclipse 550 - featuring synthetic vision and auto throttles - remains on target for service entry in the third quarter of 2013. Eclipse Aerospace, which is headquartered in Albuquerque, New Mexico, has already secured enough orders to fulfil the first year's production, he adds.

Flight Global

Cessna M2 makes its maiden flight

Photo Credit: Cessna Aviation
Cessna's latest Citation business jet, the M2, took to the skies for the first time on 9 March. The flight, from Cessna's facility in Wichita, Kansas, lasted around 1h 30min during which the light cabin jet's G3000 avionics, autopilot, instrument approaches, engine and aircraft systems were tested. The Williams International FJ44-powered twinjet is based on the out-of-production CJ1 (Model 525) featuring a 400kt (740km/h) maximum cruise speed. The eight-seat M2 is priced at $4.2 million.

Flight Global

Boeing in 'advanced discussions' over 777s for China

Boeing says it is in "advanced discussions for a significant number of 777s in greater China", elaborating on commercial airplanes CEO Jim Albaugh's comments regarding having sold 30 777s to Chinese carriers in recent weeks.
"I think you're going to see sales of narrow-bodies and wide-bodies continue to grow. I'm pretty excited about it. I sold 30 777s over [in China] last week and have a lot of discussions with other customers about more," said Albaugh at the JP Morgan Aviation, Transportation and Defense conference in New York.

Boeing clarified that its discussions are being held with "all airlines in Greater China for 777s", and the 28 February order for 10 777-300ERs for China Southern Airlines was likely to be included in the total for 30.
Orders by state-owned Chinese carriers require government approval before being officially added to Boeing's backlog.

Albaugh expects Boeing to earn more than 84 orders for 777s this year, as he anticipates bookings for the wide-body to exceed deliveries. Boeing's 777 production rate is currently running at seven 777s per month, with plans to go to 8.3 later in the year.

The 777 is expected to follow a wider trend for Boeing orders in 2012 with Albaugh's expectation of a book-to-bill ratio above one as it looks to firm the more than 1000 commitments it holds for the re-engined 737 Max. Additionally, Albaugh said to expect 747-8 Freighter orders in the "next several months" despite softening in the global air freight market. Boeing forecasts delivering between 585 and 600 aircraft in 2012.

Flight Global

India needs over 1,040 aircraft worth US$145 billion in next 20 years

Demand for larger Eco-efficient aircraft
 According to Airbus’ latest market forecast, Indian carriers will require 1,043 new passenger (1,020) and freighter (23) aircraft valued at US$145 billion between now and 2030 to satisfy surging annual demand. India’s market for new aircraft makes it the world’s fourth largest in both number of aircraft and value.
Indian annual passenger traffic growth rates of 7.2 per cent are well above the regional Asia Pacific average growth rate of 5.9 per cent and the world average 4.8 per cent.

Of the requirement for 1,020 new passenger aircraft, some 860 will be for growth and 160 to replace the eldest aircraft in the existing fleet of 327. By 2030, this means that India’s passenger fleet will more than triple to some 1,180 aircraft. The new passenger aircraft include 646 single aisles like the A320 and A320neo Family, 308 twin aisles like the A350 XWB and A330, and 66 very large aircraft such as the A380.

Growing urbanization and population concentrations combined with a growing middle class and dynamic economic growth are driving demand and this trend is expected to continue. Despite near term challenges, the Indian economy is forecast to continue expanding, helping India’s growth in domestic air travel to reach even higher growth rates of nearly 10 per cent annually, making it one of the fastest growing aviation markets anywhere in the world.

“By 2030, India’s economy is forecast to be the fourth largest in the world creating exceptional potential for growth in the aviation sector. Through our Indian industrial partnerships we are proud to boast that every A320 today is partly made in India,” said Dr. Kiran Rao, Airbus Executive Vice President, Sales and Marketing, and President of Airbus India. “Our engineering and industrial footprint in India supports over 2,000 highly skilled Indian jobs throughout our supply chain, and this figure is growing.”

Airbus’ partnership with India dates back almost 40 years. Today, half of all A320 forward doors and all flap track beams are produced in India. Established in 2006, the Airbus Engineering Centre India (AECI) in Bangalore employs over 270 highly skilled local engineers working in high end analysis and design on all Airbus products. The center is expected to grow to 450 over the next three years. Airbus recently established a second pilot training center in Noida (this one in cooperation with CAE and Interglobe) to complement the existing facility in Bangalore. Combined, they will have the capacity to train up to 5,000 pilots and maintenance engineers per year. Airbus’ market share of new aircraft orders in India is over 70 per cent.

March 14, 2012

I-4D receives the “Enabling Technology Award” for air traffic management excellence

The Airbus-developed I-4D (initial four-dimensional) system has been recognised for technological excellence by leading information provider IHS Jane's, underscoring its capabilities for improving the efficiency of air traffic management operations worldwide. I-4D - which is a cornerstone of the SESAR (Single European Sky ATM Research) programme - utilises a new-generation system for enhanced arrival flow management, improved flight punctuality and more capacity, and its first flight tests were completed in February using an A320 test aircraft. The "Enabling Technology Award" was received by Airbus and its partners Eurocontrol Maastricht and Noracon at the Canso Air Traffic Management dinner this month in Amsterdam.

Airbus Media