January 30, 2014

ARJ21 Delayed Again, Due To Enter Service In April-May 2015




The Comac ARJ21 regional jet project has been delayed again, with the aircraft now due to go into service in April or May 2015, eight years later than scheduled early in the program and 13 years after development began.

The first operator, Comac subsidiary Chengdu Airlines, will receive its first unit from the manufacturer late this year or early next year, says the carrier’s deputy general manager, Luo Ning. After that, further preparations will be made before operations begin in April or May, Luo tells local media.

The ARJ21 has been delayed probably more times than even Comac can count. As recently as August last year the first delivery was due in June 2014. When full-scale development began in April 2002, the first delivery was due in 2006, although within weeks that target had been shifted to 2007.

Among the more recent problems, unexpectedly high landing weight forced redesign of the landing gear by supplier Liebherr. Before that, the ARJ21’s mainplane failed its ultimate load test and needed redesign.


Aviation Week

January 29, 2014

Boeing's New Test Plane: B747-800 with the Seattle Seahawk Livery


EVERETT, Wash., Jan. 29, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Boeing (NYSE: BA) today revealed a 747-8 Freighter painted in the livery of the NFL's Seattle Seahawks. The livery commemorates the team's National Football Conference Championship and upcoming appearance in Super Bowl XLVIII.

Boeing is a sponsor of the Seattle Seahawks and has partnered with the team for more than a decade on programs in the Puget Sound area.

"The Seahawks have been an inspiration to our entire community throughout this incredible season," said Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Ray Conner. "We're honored that we could join together two Northwest icons, the Seahawks and the 747, for this special salute from the entire Boeing team."
This 747-8 is owned by Boeing and currently being used for flight testing. The special livery features the distinctive Seahawks logo and a "12" on the tail to salute the team's fans. The airplane will make its first flight in its new livery on Thurs., Jan. 30.


"The 747 team is proud that one of our airplanes could be used as a tribute to the Seahawks' success this season and a rallying cry for the team as they prepare for the Super Bowl," said Eric Lindblad, vice president and general manager, 747 program, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "The partnerships we have with the Seahawks and others are making a positive difference in the communities where Boeing employees live and work. We join with all Seahawks fans in wishing the team success on Sunday."


Photo Credit: Boeing Images

Photo Credit: Boeing Images

Photo Credit: Boeing Images 

Photo Credit: Boeing Images

Photo Credit: Boeing Images

Photo Credit: Boeing Images

Photo Credit: Boeing Images

Photo Credit: Boeing Images 

Photo Credit: Boeing Images 

Photo Credit: Boeing Images

Photo Credit: Boeing Images 

Photo Credit: Boeing Images 

The Bird is ready to FLY...

Cirrus poised to fly first Vision SF50




Cirrus Aircraft’s ambition to be the first to market with a single-engined personal jet looks set to become a reality, as it prepares its Vision SF50 prototype for first flight next month. The certification aircraft, C-Zero, will be used for flight performance verification. The two remaining test aircraft – C-One and C-Two – are scheduled to enter service in the second and fourth quarter, and will be used for systems verification and parachute testing, respectively.

An earlier configuration "technology demonstrator" – dubbed V1 – has accumulated around 800 flying hours and 1,000 engine runs since it was built in 2008. However, the new prototypes are more reflective of the production jet, says Cirrus executive vice-president of sales marketing Todd Simmons.
"The purpose of V1 has been to verify and validate the Vision jet design," Simmons says. "C-Zero is the summation of everything we have learned from V-1. For example, we have slightly changed the size and shape of the ruddervators, stabilisers, tail arm and the wing root junction.

"We have also made slight changes to [the] aerodynamic shape of the fuselage, [the] engine mount and its position on the aircraft, along with the interior. To the casual observer C-Zero will not look any different to V1."
The Vision has been a key focus for Cirrus since its launch more than seven years ago. Even during the economic crisis and the funding shortage that ensued, the Duluth, Minnesota-based airframer continued to work on the programme – albeit on a piecemeal basis.

The acquisition of Cirrus in 2011 by China Aviation Industry General Aircraft gave the programme new momentum. "CAIGA has committed $100 million to bring the Vision to market," Simmons says. "We are on track to certificate and deliver the first aircraft in 2015."

The $1.96 million Vision is equipped with a Garmin G3000 cockpit and an emergency parachute system. Powered by a Williams International FJ33 turbofan, the aircraft has a range of 1,200nm (2,220km), a stall speed of 61kt and a cruise speed of 300kt (556km/h).

Cirrus has secured 550 orders for the Vision to date – each with a $100,000 deposit. "Our customers range from [Cirrus] SR22 piston single operators to owners of high performance piston twins and single-engined turboprops, all wanting to move to a jet platform," says Simmons.

 "Our position holders come from across the globe, so once we have secured US approval we will get to work [certificating] the aircraft in the countries where our customers are based." Cirrus plans to offer a dedicated training programme to enable customers to secure their Vision type rating.


Comment: The SF50 is among the league of Very Light Jets (VLJ's) and it is scheduled to enter into service soon. A  few other entrants like the Honda Jet is anticipatory scheduled for entry into service in third/fourth quarter of 2014, however, there are few in operation such as the 

Eclipse 500 from Eclipse Aviation 
Embraer 100 and 500 from Brazil's Embraer 
Citation Mustang from Cessna 



Flight Global




ATR Pursues 90-Seat Twin-Turboprop






Photo Credit: ATR Concept Images 
In the past three years, Avions de Transport Regional (ATR), the Toulouse-based Franco-Italian regional aircraft manufacturer, has tried hard to obtain shareholder approval to launch a 90-seat twin-turboprop to complement its current range of 44- and 72-seat aircraft. ATR is jointly owned by Finmeccanica and the Airbus Group (formerly EADS), as equal partners. This arrangement can and has impeded the decision-making process.

Finmeccanica, Alenia Aermacchi's parent, seeks to acquire more commercial business and it supports the envisioned all-new twin-turboprop, expected to be called ATR 92. However, top executives at the Airbus Group have rejected what they are calling an overzealous approach. “I don't understand such eagerness,” Airbus Chief Executive Fabrice Bregier said earlier this month. Late last year, Tom Enders, the Airbus Group's chairman/CEO, seemed to rank the project low on his list of priorities, creating bitter disappointment at ATR.

According to the turboprop manufacturer's in-house research team, an estimated 1,100 90-seat turboprops will enter service in the next 20 years and no more than three main competitors are expected to share the market. Archrival Bombardier will most likely launch an increased-capacity derivative of its Q400 and China could try hard to export the newly launched MA700 that was developed by Avic and is scheduled to enter service in 2019. The Chinese offering is a 78-80-seat aircraft, but a shortened-fuselage version is planned and a stretched variant is being considered. The latter could prove to be competition for the ATR 92, should either come to fruition.

ATR Chief Executive Filippo Bagnato strongly believes the time is ripe to launch a new program. In the last few years, the turboprop maker concluded orders for a record number of ATR 72s and is gradually increasing production to about 80 aircraft per year. Profitability has been restored, following several weak years. Company executives say the required investment to develop a new aircraft is a relatively modest $1.5-2 billion. However, Enders, Bregier and other Airbus Group leaders remain unconvinced, underscoring again that it is difficult to get major commercial transport manufacturers interested in “small” aircraft. The ATR 72 lists for $24.1 million while the catalogue price of the A320, Airbus's best-seller, is $102.8 million. List price for the A350 is $260.9 million and the A380 mega-transport goes for $414.4 million.

In other words, the Airbus Group, at least in its role as ATR co-owner, could be too big. However, the parent company rejects such criticisms. Previously, Airbus claimed its design office was overloaded by the concurrence of several types in the system—the A380 in its final development phase, the A350 in its initial (and demanding) design phase and the long-delayed A400M military airlifter, all of which involved thousands of engineers. But this is no longer true. The A380's wing problems have been resolved, the A350 is entering the production phase (although derivatives have not been frozen as yet), and the A400M is entering into service.

Perhaps launching a new turboprop is too much of a burden for relatively modest results. History does not favor ATR. For example, when a British partner (the British Aircraft Corp. BAE Systems' predecessor) temporarily joined the multi-national consortium that preceded EADS, it was denied a request to produce a regional twinjet in order to protect the BAe-146. So despite the emerging “jetmania” of that time, ATR remained confined to the turboprop market.


ATR executives, including Bagnato, are studiously avoiding a public airing of the response to their request. But the current freeze shows, again, how difficult European cross-border industrial collaboration can be, even without political interference or the negative effects of economic patriotism. It will be interesting to see if Finmeccanica can make a case for buying the Airbus Group's 50% stake in ATR to become the airframer's sole owner. For now though, this remains a politically awkward question.



My opinion: This is an era of aircraft influx with many competitors, however, my humble opinion is that global travel is becoming more leaner in size but expedient in range efficiency. Little wonder why the A380 failed but the A350 is a great success. All aircraft manufacturers have just about same seat range within production. Besides, more cost efficient yet medium capacity aircraft coming on-board. 

Bombardier Aerospace with it's Q400 (which is a GREAT success) competes aggressively with ATR. The CSeries is making wave into the market, meanwhile, Boeing 737 will ALWAYS be the preferred choice for low-cost, and regional carriers. Airlines are buying up aircraft that has very low operating cost and are compensating it with more seats (even if they're empty). As far as I'm concerned, unless the ATR is meant to WOW the aviation industry, it's a waste. 

Boeing Reports Record 2013 Revenue, EPS and Backlog and Provides 2014 Guidance


These are key tables in this morning's Financial Statement released by Boeing.


The Boeing Company and Subsidiaries
Consolidated Statements of Operations
(Unaudited)


Twelve months
ended December 31

Three months
ended December 31
(Dollars in millions, except per share data)
2013

2012

2013

2012

Sales of products
$76,792

$71,234

$21,482

$19,793
Sales of services
9,831

10,464

2,303

2,509
Total revenues
86,623

81,698

23,785

22,302








Cost of products
(65,640)

(60,309)

(18,610)

(17,206)
Cost of services
(7,553)

(8,247)

(1,758)

(1,816)
Boeing Capital interest expense
(75)

(109)

(20)

(24)
Total costs and expenses
(73,268)

(68,665)

(20,388)

(19,046)

13,355

13,033

3,397

3,256
Income from operating investments, net
214

268

67

57
General and administrative expense
(3,956)

(3,717)

(1,100)

(943)
Research and development expense, net
(3,071)

(3,298)

(848)

(753)
Gain/(loss) on dispositions, net
20

4

(1)

7
Earnings from operations
6,562

6,290

1,515

1,624
Other income, net
56

62

15

23
Interest and debt expense
(386)

(442)

(96)

(112)
Earnings before income taxes
6,232

5,910

1,434

1,535
Income tax expense
(1,646)

(2,007)

(201)

(557)
Net earnings from continuing operations
4,586

3,903

1,233

978
Net loss on disposal of discontinued operations, net of taxes of $0 and $2
(1)

(3)




Net earnings
$4,585

$3,900

$1,233

$978
Basic earnings per share from continuing operations
$6.03

$5.15

$1.63

$1.29
Net loss on disposal of discontinued operations, net of taxes







Basic earnings per share
$6.03

$5.15

$1.63

$1.29
Diluted earnings per share from continuing operations
$5.96

$5.11

$1.61

$1.28
Net loss on disposal of discontinued operations, net of taxes







Diluted earnings per share
$5.96

$5.11

$1.61

$1.28
Cash dividends paid per share
$1.94

$1.76

$0.485

$0.44
Weighted average diluted shares (millions)
769.5

763.8

768.4

768.3



Comment: From their statement, Boeing has a greater margin in their services group as opposed to their products group. Comparing the margin from 2012 to 2013, Boeing performed better in 2012 than in 2013. For the most part, Boeing has done very well. 


The Boeing Company and Subsidiaries
Summary of Business Segment Data
(Unaudited)


Twelve months ended
December 31

Three months ended
December 31
(Dollars in millions)
2013

2012

2013

2012
Revenues:







  Commercial Airplanes
$52,981

$49,127

$14,680

$14,161
  Defense, Space & Security:







  Boeing Military Aircraft
15,936

16,019

4,395

4,037
  Network & Space Systems
8,512

7,911

2,272

2,024
  Global Services & Support
8,749

8,677

2,188

2,282
  Total Defense, Space & Security
33,197

32,607

8,855

8,343
  Boeing Capital
408

468

105

129
  Other segment
102

106

22

27
  Unallocated items and eliminations
(65)

(610)

123

(358)
Total revenues
$86,623

$81,698

$23,785

$22,302
Earnings from operations:







  Commercial Airplanes
$5,795

$4,711

$1,506

$1,266
  Defense, Space & Security:







  Boeing Military Aircraft
1,465

1,489

441

313
  Network & Space Systems
719

562

233

138
  Global Services & Support
1,051

1,017

280

300
  Total Defense, Space & Security
3,235

3,068

954

751
  Boeing Capital
107

88

9

(12)
  Other segment
(156)

(186)

(99)

31
  Unallocated items and eliminations
(2,419)

(1,391)

(855)

(412)
Earnings from operations
6,562

6,290

1,515

1,624
Other income, net
56

62

15

23
Interest and debt expense
(386)

(442)

(96)

(112)
Earnings before income taxes
6,232

5,910

1,434

1,535
Income tax expense
(1,646)

(2,007)

(201)

(557)
Net earnings from continuing operations
4,586

3,903

1,233

978
Net loss on disposal of discontinued operations, net of taxes of $0 and $2
(1)

(3)




Net earnings
$4,585

$3,900

$1,233

$978








Research and development expense, net:







  Commercial Airplanes
$1,807

$2,049

$510

$411
  Defense, Space & Security
1,215

1,189

323

321
  Other
49

60

15

21
Total research and development expense, net
$3,071

$3,298

$848

$753








Unallocated items and eliminations:







  Share-based plans
($95)

($81)

($21)

($17)
  Deferred compensation
(238)

(75)

(73)

(26)
  Capitalized interest
(69)

(70)

(17)

(17)
  Eliminations and other
(703)

(266)

(421)

(140)
     Sub-total (included in core operating earnings)
(1,105)

(492)

(532)

(200)
  Pension
(1,374)

(787)

(329)

(179)
  Postretirement
60

(112)

6

(33)
Total unallocated items and eliminations
($2,419)

($1,391)

($855)

($412)


Comment: Boeing had a 7.84%  or $3.8 billion increase in its Commercial airplane division, however, its defense military aircraft under the  Defense, Space & Security division reduced by -0.52% or -$83 million. This isn't so much of a significant loss. The Operating Margin is higher as compared to last year.






The Boeing Company and Subsidiaries
Operating and Financial Data
(Unaudited)

Deliveries

Twelve months ended
December 31

Three months ended
December 31
Commercial Airplanes

2013


2012


2013

2012

737

440


415


110

105

747

24


31


8

10

767

21


26


4

6

777

98


83


25

21

787

65
(1)

46
(3)

25

23
(3)
Total

648


601


172

165


Note: Deliveries under operating lease are identified by parentheses.











Summary: Boeing's decision to ramp up delivery as well decrease backlog so that the company can actually earn that revenue resulted to their increased performance. About a week ago, Boeing announced its increased production and manufacturing rate from 7 to 10 I believe, twice the production rate from last year, this favors Boeing in the long run, and as a result, better performance. I sincerely hope that better performance translates into better and quality products. 

To see more tables, visit Boeing Financials









January 28, 2014

VietJetAir to firm up order for Airbus jets - sources





Photo Credit: VietJet Air
Jan 28 (Reuters) - Low-cost Vietnam airline, VietJetAir, is set to firm up part of a $9 billion order for up to 92 Airbus aircraft and will announce this at the Singapore Airshow in February, sources familiar with the situation said.

In September, VietJetAir and Airbus agreed a provisional order for the mostly A320 planes, but the deal did not show up in the order book of Airbus in its 2013 data.
"They are very close to a deal and this will be one of the big orders at the airshow," said one source.
A firm order is seen as a strong indication of future revenue for airplane manufacturers and triggers a deposit from airlines. Airlines mainly pay for aircraft when they take delivery and usually win significant discounts for large orders.

The latest deal worth $9 billion at list prices, includes firm orders for 62 medium-haul jets as well as options for 30 more. The sources spoke on condition of anonymity as the matter is not public.
VietJetAir company officials could not be reached by Reuters on Tuesday, the start of the new year holidays in the country.
An Airbus spokesman in Singapore said: "We don't comment on discussions that may or may not be taking place with customers or reports of potential announcements."


Reuters

Why I think the A350XWB is a better fit compared to the B787 (The DREAMLINER)



Photo Credit: Boeing Images
As an aviation enthusiast, I want all companies to succeed; however, Boeing’s commercial program has been a huge disappointment lately. The B787 is a great aircraft, the first of its kind in commercial production, it set the precedence for the A350 to evolve, as well as future aviation, but unfortunately, the B787 program fell short and hasn't been very successful.

Like the A380 that flopped and did not break-even, the 787 faces the same fate. The program had a bright future because of its futuristic –ish design and components: 50% composite – less weight and more cost savings – and despite its positive outlook, it failed in delivery. I recalled its successful launch, it was highly publicized, but no sooner than the first sets of aircrafts entered into service, the problems began. It is no news about numerous problems that plagued the program, what had Boeing done wrong, AGAIN?

Airbus having realized that bigger is ALWAYS better, they went back to the drawing board and emerged well prepared with the A350XWB. I strongly believe that the Airbus Company built a better and more efficient design based on Boeing’s failure of the 787 program. Although it’s too early to praise the A350XWB which is scheduled for commercial service the first quarter of 2014, it is highly speculative and anticipated to perform well than its rival.

To me, I’m more concerned about which is better, on the surface, I will peak into these two aircraft and what they have to offer


The 787-800 seats 210 to 250 passengers (average of 230 passengers), and has a range of 7,650 to 8,200 nautical miles (14,200 to 15,200 kilometers) an average of 7,925 miles (14,700 kilometers) and a price tag of  $211 million (Source)

The A350-800 designed to carry 276 passengers in a twin aisle configuration (46 passengers more on average) flying up to 8,250 nautical miles (15,300 kilometers). The price tag is $261 million ($50 million) more than its competitor. 

To me, despite the higher expense, the Airbus is a more cost-effective aircraft and here is why
For the purpose of this exercise, I am assuming a 100% LF and also maximum range, given this scenario,




Boeing’s Available Seat Mile (ASM) is the following
At Min, ASM = 210 passengers x 7,650 nautical miles = 1,606,500
At Max, ASM = 250 passengers x 8,200 nautical miles = 2,050,000
At Avg, ASM = 230 passengers x 7,925 nautical miles = 1,822,750

For the purpose of calculation, I reversed the table to favor Boeing’s B787 because in realism, the more passengers on board (compensating for gross weight), the less fuel carried onboard resulting to less mileage flown.



Airbus ASM = 276 passengers x 8,250 nautical miles = 2,277,000

ASM or Available Seat Mile is an airline measure of carrying capacity of an airplane on a given trip. This measure is utilized by airlines to determine Revenue and Cost because not all seats (ticket) on the aircraft cost the same, therefore, this measure is very important to airlines. To calculate what ASM is, you simply multiply the aircraft's maximum available seats by the destination range or the number of miles flown. 

ASM = Available Seats x Distance flown,

  •  where available seats is total number of seats on the plane - reserved non-revenue seats. Non-revenue could be employees embarking on company business, security escorts like Federal Marshals, etc. 


For instance, A NY to Washington DC flight is operated with a B737-800 and has a seating capacity of 180 passengers flying a distance of 220 nautical miles. However, because it's headed into Washington, DC there are two Marshals on the plane with a mechanic. The ASM is 

ASM =[180 - 3]  x 220  = 38,940 available seat miles. 

I thought I explain this detail before continuing any further. Also, for the purpose of a fair comparison, I assumed the maximum seating capacity as the available seat and maximum range as the number of miles flown. 


Photo Credit: Airbus Images
The Airbus ASM is 11% higher than Boeing’s Maximum scenario; however, this result isn't definitive because it just tells us that Airbus has 11% more operating capacity than Boeing. To the average person, this technical jargon doesn't translate any meaningful information; therefore using Boeing’s Max scenario, it will cost an airline about 32.80 miles/seat (8,200 / 250) in comparison to Airbus which is 29.89 miles/seat (8,250 / 276). Yet, using the industry standard of seat/mile, Boeing s/m is 0.0304 and Airbus is 0.0334.

As you can see, Airbus has more seats/mile which translates into more revenue/mile (if filled). That’s a 9.7% advantage over Boeing. Imagine a 9% ticket reduction in the base fare, though not significant, but that is a good savings. This is how the numbers add up.

Although Airbus does come out on top regardless, it wouldn't make more sense if we don’t evaluate the cost of aircraft into these calculations. The B787 cost $211 million and the A350 cost $261 million, both -800 models, taking a closer look at the Purchase Price – ASM Factor, assuming everything is equal (subsidies, discounts, and what not),  what does it cost to operate a single seat per the cost of the aircraft?

The Initial Cost Price for the 787 is $211 million and the Max ASM is 2,050,000 and this equals to $102.93/ASM compared to Airbus which is $114.62. Using the Max scenario and giving a fair comparison to Airbus, adjusting for the average scenario, the result is $115.17, 55 cents more expensive.

What this means is for instance, assuming the Cost-Available Seat Mile is 8 cents, the aircraft has to fly for extra 7 miles to break-even on the cost and 7 miles when multiplied by the per mile rate, can be several hundred if not thousands of $$$.

In a more realistic scenario, I will give it hands down to the A350XWB, the aircraft though expensive for its class type, happens to be more cost efficient than the 787. Please keep in mind, other factors such as Direct Operating Costs, as well as others wasn't considered. This analysis just expresses the numbers on its face. 

January 27, 2014

Airbus welcomes A380 operations in India


  • Indian Ministry of Civil Aviation approves A380 operations in India


Airbus welcomes the news that the Indian Ministry of Civil Aviation has approved the operations of the Airbus A380 in India.

“This is good news for Indian airports and the Indian flying public. The A380 is the world’s most fuel efficient aircraft in service with the lowest operating costs per seat and the highest revenue generating potential which benefits the airlines and the travelling public. For the Indian flying public, the A380 offers the world’s most comfortable flying experience,” said Dr. Kiran Rao, Airbus EVP Strategy and Marketing.

                                                                 Photo credit: Airbus images
A booming economy, a growing middle classe, migration, urbanisation and tourism are all factors pushing India to become one of the world’s fastest growing aviation markets.  Larger aircraft like the A380 combined with higher load factors make the most efficient use of limited airport slots and contribute to rising passenger numbers without additional flights to capture this growth.

As recently confirmed by London’s Heathrow Airport, Europe’s busiest A380 airport, the Airbus A380 lets airports maximise efficiency and revenue potential by offering more passenger seats with the same number of flights.

The A380 is the world’s quietest large aircraft inside and out, making less than half the noise of its nearest rival around airports. In recognition of this, in 2012 the A380 won an award from the UK’s Noise Abatement Society for its quiet operations. It is also one of the greenest aircraft, with unmatched fuel efficiency.

So far, over 120 A380s have been delivered to 10 of the world’s leading airlines. Over 50 million passengers have enjoyed the A380 flying experience and the fleet has accumulated some 150,000 flights and over 1.2 million flight hours. The A380 has visited nearly 160 airports of all sizes and in all continents of the world.

Lion Air to convert 787 order into narrowbodies




Lion Air plans to convert its order for five Boeing 787 aircraft into narrowbodies, says its president director Rusdi Kirana. It will likely be converted into Boeing 737s. Kirana explains that the slots constraints in Indonesia, especially out of Jakarta, means that airlines require jets bigger than the 787. He would not list the widebody aircraft types the group is evaluating, but says that Lion has plans to add widebodies to its fleet as part of its domestic expansion plans.





Airbus forms a sustainable fuel Centre of Excellence in Malaysia



  • Partnership aims to promote local production of sustainable jet fuels

Airbus and key Malaysian partners have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to assess local solutions for sustainable bio-mass production in Malaysia.  The aim is to determine the most suitable feedstocks to ensure that any future jet fuel production in the region is based only on sustainable solutions. The first assessment is expected to be completed by December 2014.

Other partners include AMIC (Aerospace Malaysia Innovation Centre), MiGHT (Malaysian Industry-Government Group for High technology), UPM (Universiti Putra Malaysia), CIRAD (a French research centre working with developing countries to tackle international agricultural and development issues) and BioTech Corp (Malaysian Biotechnology Corporation).

The science advisor to the Prime Minister of Malaysia, chairman of MIGHT, BioTech Corp and AMIC, Prof Emeritus Dato’ Sri Dr. Zakri bin Abdul Hamid, said "The Centre of Excellence will help us to improve the understanding of the nature of aviation biofuel commercialisation in Malaysia, to identify the opportunities and challenges, and to evaluate the possibility of social, economic, market and technology change and its cost, obstacles and challenges.”

“We believe that the research will have positive effects on energy conservation and CO2 emissions reduction in the Malaysian and South-East Asia aviation sector", said Prof. Datuk Dr. Mohd Fauzi Hj Ramlan, Vice Chancellor of UPM.

“South-East Asia is a wide and productive region in terms of biomass. The creation of a Centre of Excellence in Malaysia, with local partners is an opportunity to ensure that any selected bio-mass satisfies strict sustainability criteria”, said Frédéric Eychenne, Airbus New Energies Programme Manager. “According to our latest Global Market Forecast, Asia-Pacific will lead in world traffic by 2032.Today’s MoU is part of our engagement to support traffic growth whilst reducing aviation’s footprint on the environment”.  

Airbus supports the certification and development of commercial quantities of sustainable alternative fuels for aviation through promoting innovative regional projects world-wide. To date, Airbus has formed partnerships in Europe, America, Australia, Middle-East and China.

Airbus is a leading aircraft manufacturer offering a complete range of aircraft families, from 100 to well over 500 passenger seats, as well as the most modern, comprehensive and fuel-efficient product line on the market. 


January 25, 2014

Milestone reached with final truss lifted into place




Photo Credit: Airbus Images 
With the placement of the final truss atop the roof this week, the construction of the first building in the Airbus Mobile Assembly Line complex has reached an important milestone. The entire “skeleton” of the building can now be seen. 

This building is the Final Assembly Line Hangar, which is where A320 family aircraft will be assembled. The milestone was celebrated with the construction crew and project team members signing the final truss before it was lifted into position.  

Construction contracts for the other buildings in the complex will be awarded soon. Aircraft assembly is scheduled to begin in 2015, with first deliveries from the Mobile facility beginning in 2016. Airbus anticipates the facility will produce between 40 and 50 aircraft per year by 2018.



Another milestone I must say, however, if Airbus is to keep up to pace with delivery, they need to ramp up production. Assembly of 40 to 50 aircraft per month as compared to Boeing isn't really competitive, that's about 2.5x to 3x the amount. While quality is imperative, speed shouldn't be undermined.