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