Aviation News 747, 787, 787 dreamliner, A380, Airbus A380, Boeing 747, Boeing 787, boeing 787 dreamliner, Japan Airlines, United Airlines
Boeing’s next-generation aircraft 787 Dreamliner is experiencing some growing pains. In December, a United Airlines 787 diverted its flight due to mechanical problems. Last week, a Japan Airlines 787 delayed its flight after a pilot on another aircraft saw that the 787 was leaking fuel, then a maintenance worker discovered an electrical fire in another Japan Airlines 787. These reports may make the passengers uneasy boarding the 787 which debuted in 2011, but aviation experts say new aircraft usually encounter such problems.
Every new airplane is going to have these kinds of “teething problems,” said John Goglia, a former National Transportation Safety Board member and former airline mechanic. The manufacturers usually “get a handle on it quickly and fix it.”
According to Boeing Vice-President and Chief Project Engineer for 787 Mike Sinnett, “There are issues we have seen that we will need to work through and just like any new airplane program we work through those issues and we move on.”
Sinnett added that the on-time departure rate of the Dreamliner has been in the high 90 percents in the first 15 months it has been flying.
“These are best-in-class airplanes and their performance has been best in class,” he said. “But we are not happy until we are perfect.”
Goglia added that new airplanes are much safer than ever before.
The Dreamliner is not the only aircraft that experienced some issues in the its first months of flying. Janet Bednarek, an aviation history professor, said that the Airbus A380 that debuted in 2007 had cracks in the wings. Aviation consultant Michael Boyd shared that the Boeing 747, an avant-garde aircraft during the 70s, experienced some engine problems when it was new. Boyd added that the operational advantages of 787 is enough that the orders for the aircraft will stick even if faced with these issues.
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News Source: edition.cnn.com
Carriers, News A320, a330, A380, A380-900, Airbus, Airbus A320, airbus a330, Airbus A380, aircraft model, airplane model, desktop model, mahogany model, model aircraft, model airplane, model plane, plane model, scale model, warplanes, wood plane model, wooden airplane model
Airbus expects to decide soon on a plan to boost widebody output to a rate of 11 aircraft a month even as it delays ramping up narrowbody production.
Airbus had been considering a single-aisle production rate increase to 44 aircraft a month, but has decided to hold off for the moment because of bottlenecks among Tier 2 suppliers. The situation is different for the A330, making a production boost there possible, says John Leahy, Airbus chief operating officer for customers. The company expects to reach a production rate of 10 widebodies per month this year.
Airbus COO Fabrice Bregier hints that a decision on the single-aisle side could wait until a rate of 42 aircraft per month is reached, which is expected next year. “It would be premature to do it now,” he notes.
One of the reasons Airbus is keen to boost production is because of its bulging backlog. The company booked 1,419 net orders last year and made 535 deliveries. And 2012 should see order intake move ahead of deliveries, with new orders forecast to reach 600-650, while deliveries of 570 aircraft are expected. The order intake should include about 30 A380s, matching the 2012 delivery target.
Output is only one of the deliberations for Airbus this year. The other is whether to launch an A330 winglet program. Leahy says studies have begun for both forward-fit and retrofit options. A decision is likely this year.
If the devices could yield a 2% fuel burn benefit, Leahy says such a program would likely move forward.
Not on the near-term agenda is the A380-900 program, a stretched version of the aircraft now on the market. Despite occasional customer interest, such a project would not likely emerge until the second half of the decade, says Airbus CEO Tom Enders. The focus now is on ramping up production. Profit-delivering aircraft will go to customers starting in 2015.
Carriers, News 737, 737 MAX, 737-9, 787, A320neo, A380, Airbus, aircraft model, airplane model, Boeing, Boeing 737, desktop model, mahogany model, model aircraft, model airplane, model plane, plane model, scale model, warplanes, wood plane model, wooden airplane model
According to Airbus, the decision to develop a re-engined 737 rather than an all-new aircraft by Boeing was a predictable lower-risk move, but believes the European manufacturer’s head start with the A320NEO puts it in pole position for market dominance.
Speaking to Aviation Week on the eve of Boeing’s official launch of the re-engined 737 MAX family, Airbus Americas President and CEO Barry Eccleston says, “We reached a conclusion a year ago that re-engining was the way to go. We were not ready for the production of a single-aisle composite aircraft, and the market reaction to the NEO proved we were right. We always thought Boeing would come to that same conclusion, and they did,” he says.
The decision for both Airbus and Boeing was also driven by the risk of introducing a raft of new technology into an all-new platform, and reflections on hard lessons-learned from development problems with the A380 and 787. “I’ve always said the 787 will eventually be a terrific aircraft, but its development issues show that putting new technology into an aircraft is very hard work. We know that from the A380, and now they know about it on the 787,” Eccleston says.
The heavy dependence that both Airbus and Boeing place on the valuable franchise of the single-aisle market simply made the development of an all new aircraft too much of an unacceptable risk, adds Eccleston. “With a new single-aisle aircraft you can’t have the sort of development problems and infantile issues that could be introduced into a fleet. So I think the airlines are looking for the same levels of reliability as you get with today’s aircraft from day one, because it’s the bread and butter of the industry.”
The strength of the market reaction to the A320NEO has meanwhile surpassed expectations at Airbus, says Ecclestone. “Even we have been surprised. John Leahy [Airbus Customers Chief Operating Officer] said we would have 500 orders by Le Bourget, and now we’re up to 1,089 orders and commitments. So it’s basically double what we’d expected so far.”
Airbus senior officials meanwhile question Boeing’s performance predictions for the MAX as outlined with a CFM Leap-1B engine configured with a fan diameter of 66 or 68 inches. In particular, they say the key performance requirement point around top-of-climb thrust for the largest member of the MAX family, the 737-9, could be a crucial factor in how the final configuration is defined.
Boeing says that although the final fan diameter remains to be determined, it predicts the baseline 737 MAX will have operating costs 7% better than the NEO. It also claims the 737 variant will be 10-12% more fuel efficient than the 737NG and 4% better than the A320NEO on a fuel burn basis. The initial industry response to Boeing’s announcement, which included 496 commitments from five airlines, appears to have been positive. Equity research analysts at Credit Suisse, for example say the size of airline interest is “above expectations and a very positive indicator of demand for what has been viewed as a “me-too” offering.”
Carriers, News A380, a380 superjumbo, aircraft models, airplane models, Boeing 737, Bombardier CRJ-700, custom models, Delta Air Lines, Delta Boeing 737, Delta Flight 2207, Flight 1777, helicopter models, model airplanes, model helicopters, model planes, plane models, Popular Airlines, superjumbo, warplanes, wooden airplane models
July 31, Sunday, two Delta Air Lines planes collided on the taxiway at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, the fourth incident in four months involving the carrier’s aircraft.
Delta Flight 2207, which was scheduled for Minneapolis, and Flight 1777, headed to Atlanta, had a “taxiway incursion,” said Delta spokeswoman Chris Kelly Singley. She didn’t know the full extent of the damage to the aircraft.
After the incident, which occurred about 7:30 p.m. local time, the passengers of both planes were removed and rescheduled on other Delta flights or those of another airlines last night and this morning, Kelly Singley said. No injuries were reported, said Karen Pride, a spokeswoman for the Chicago Department of Aviation.
“Delta’s No. 1 priority is safety,” Kelly Singley said in a telephone interview.
Earlier this month, a Delta wide-body plane struck the tail of a smaller jet from regional partner Atlantic Southeast Airlines as they prepared for takeoff from Boston’s Logan Airport.
In April, a Bombardier CRJ-700 from Delta’s Comair unit was clipped by the wing of an Air France Airbus SAS A380 superjumbo at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport, spinning the smaller plane and 66 occupants through 90 degrees.
A month later, the wing of a Delta Boeing 737 struck the tail of another at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson Airport, Delta’s hometown hub.
“Each of the incidents is being looked at individually, and by no means do we believe we have a trend,” said Kelly Singley.
Carriers, News A380, Airbus A380, aircraft model, airplane model, Boeing 747, custom model, custom model plane, custom model ship, custom ship model, display, display model, model aircraft, model airplane, model display, model plane, model ship, model vessel, plane model, ship model, warplanes, wood, wood model plane, wood plane model, wooden airplane model, wooden model airplanes
ATLANTA - Three U.S. carriers are also the world’s three biggest airlines (United, Delta and American) but little indication exists that any of them have any particular desire to fly the world’s biggest passenger airplane.
Four years after the introduction of the Airbus A380, which can carry up to 600 passengers, 49 aircraft are flying for six international airlines, and orders have been placed by a total of 18 airlines.
Moreover, no U.S. carrier seems close to purchasing the A380, although Airbus spokesman Clay McConnell said that “eventually you will see some U.S. airlines order it.”
So far, the A380 has defied skeptics,, to the point that its story no longer revolves around doubts and questions, but rather around what destination will be the next to gain service.
The destinations don’t currently include Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Houston or Newark, where U.S. carriers operate their principal hubs. Rather, the U.S. airports with A380 service are all international gateways served by foreign carriers with hubs on the opposite side of the Atlantic or Pacific. These airports include Los Angeles, Miami, New York (Kennedy), San Francisco and Washington Dulles.
The U.S. carriers, “prefer frequency over size,” said aviation consultant Scott Hamilton. In their hubs, several times each day, dozens of airplanes fly in, exchange passengers and fly out, and the carriers often prefer to serve international destinations more than once a day – or they simply don’t have enough passengers to a given destination to fly an A380.
“When I look at the current crop of managers, the guys running airlines in the U.S. today, they don’t appear to be the kind of people who manage their businesses to have bigger airplanes,” added Avondale Partners analyst Bob McAdoo. “Instead, they want to manage smaller airplanes and more frequencies to their hubs.”
In any case, it seems clear that only two U.S. carriers, Delta and United, are potential 380 customers, because they are the only two operating super large aircraft – Boeing 747s – today. Also, both fleets include both Airbus and Boeing jets, unlike American, which is all Boeing.
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The world’s largest commercial passenger aircraft is set to make its South Florida debut on Friday, June 9, at Miami International Airport when Lufthansa begins daily flights with the plane between Frankfurt and Miami.
The Airbus A380 jet is scheduled to touch down at MIA around 1:40 p.m. June 10.
MIA is the fifth airport in the nation and the first in the southeast United States to obtain A380 service, according to airport officials.
Lufthansa’s double-deck A380 has 526 seats and is configured to accommodate 420 passengers in economy class, 98 in business and eight in first class. In the economy class cabin, all seats are equipped with a video screen and sport a slimmer and more ergonomic design.
The A380 has already landed at airports in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Virginia operated by several international carriers such as Air France and Lufthansa.
“The A380 arrival elevates MIA to an elite group of airports worldwide that can accommodate it,” airport spokesman Greg Chin said Tuesday.
The airport spent about $4 million on terminal modifications, including the installation of a third jet bridge to prepare for the A380. Previously, Lufthansa flew Boeing 747-400 planes on the route.
MIA officials also worked closely with the Federal Aviation Administration on making the airport A380-ready, which included strict air controller training.
Officials at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport said Tuesday that the A380 isn’t likely to land there anytime soon given its size and passenger load.
“Our airfield infrastructure — taxiways, runways and passport control areas — is not designed for it,” said Michael Nonnemacher, the airport’s director of operations.
FLL predominantly caters to domestic and short-haul destinations and not long-haul trips for which the A380 is primarily being used.
South Floridians curious to see this flying behemoth should be able to watch it land from vantage points south of the airport along Perimeter Road, including the 94th Aero Squadron restaurant at 1395 NW 57th Ave., Chin said.
A380 viewers need to be careful when pulling off the road if they plan to park along the roadway, he said.
The landing of the football-field-sized aircraft will be streamed live at miami-airport.com and also on jumbo television screens in the South Terminal at Concourse J’s International Greeters Lobby, on the third level.
On Friday, Lufthansa’s A380 will depart Miami for Frankfurt about 7:50 p.m. from Gate J-17. For its regular daily schedule, Flight 463 is expected to depart Miami at 4:10 p.m. for arrival in Frankfurt at 7:15 a.m. local time. The return Flight 462 will leave Frankfurt at 9:55 a.m. for arrival in Miami at 1:50 p.m., according to Lufthansa.
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Airbus cancels its A320 and A321 passenger-to-freighter (P2F) conversion program, saying demand for the airliner version means there is not adequate supply for a conversion program.
“Recent market developments, including the success of the upcoming A320NEO, have resulted in more demand for A320 passenger aircraft and less for freighter versions in this aircraft category. In addition, strongly growing passenger traffic results in high demand for used A320 family aircraft, thus reducing the amount of aircraft available for conversion,” Airbus says, adding that “against the backdrop of these market changes and the increasing pressure on the P2F business case, the partners have concluded to stop and freeze the P2F program.”
Airbus was working with its sister-unit EADS EFW, Russia’s United Aircraft Corp. (UAC) and Irkut on the conversion program. As a result, the joint venture for the business, Airbus Freighter Conversion, has been terminated. Ownership of the joint venture was 32% EADS EFW, 18% Airbus and 25% each for UAC and Irkut.
Work on one A320 prototype aircraft, provided by AerCap, was already under way, although series production had not been initiated. First flight of the aircraft was due this year.
AerCap already had an agreement with Anglo-Swedish cargo airline West Atlantic to be the launch operator of the A320 P2F aircraft. The airline was to lease three aircraft, starting next year, with options for four more.
Airbus would not disclose financial terms linked to the cancellation of the program, including any penalties owed to customers, such as AerCap.
The move also sets back Airbus’ plans to expand freighter activities. The aircraft maker has long bemoaned that its cargo portfolio is far smaller than rival Boeing’s. However, the cancellation of the P2F initiative, along with the decision several years ago not to proceed with the A380 freighter, leaves Airbus with the A330-200F as its only active freighter product.
News, Travel A380, Airbus A380, Emirates, Emirates No Drop In A380 Demand, Emirates President Tim Clark
According to the head of Dubai-based airline Emirates, passengers showed no hesitation in flying on the world’s largest airliner after an engine blowout on a Qantas A380, but that both Rolls-Royce and Airbus would review designs.
Emirates president Tim Clark said there were no drop in bookings even after a highly publicized November 4 engine explosion. He also predicted that Rolls-Royce would resolve problems in “one or two months”.
Emirates’ 14 A380s are still flying because they have different engines from the type which forced a fully laden A380 to return to Singapore. Its engines are supplied by Engine Alliance, owned by GE and Pratt & Whitney.
As the largest buyer of the A380, with another 76 on order, Emirates is likely to be kept in the loop on any major developments in the fleet, though Clark said he did not have a complete picture of the changes required on Rolls engines.
“Let’s not downplay this. It will have to result in modifications and changes to a large number of engines and there will be difficulties, but in the end Rolls-Royce will get a fix on this. There are perhaps issues with design and control,” he said on Wednesday, Nov. 24. Emirates uses Rolls engines on part of its fleet.
Airbus said two fragments of the inner left engine which blew apart over Indonesia severed two electric cables in the wing. Pilots were later unable to shut a second engine down as a result.
The disclosure has raised the prospect that some A380 systems would be re-routed, but authorities have so far only ordered checks on Rolls engines, and the most visible pressure remains on Rolls to identify a fix and upgrade engines.
Clark said “I am sure Airbus will look at this. They left some dead areas around the engine.” He paid tribute to the safety margins on board the A380, as well as the reactions of Qantas pilots.
“When I heard this I thought goodness me, this is a plane designed for fuel optimization, range and lightness of weight and yet it was robust enough to take this blowout,” he said. “Manufacturers build planes to be safe to the nth power.”
Clark said Airbus faced a problem in re-jigging A380 output to cope with a potential shortage of Rolls-Royce engines. Rolls is considering diverting some engines from the A380 assembly line to supply existing Rolls operators in the A380 fleet — Qantas, Singapore Airlines and Lufthansa.
Emirates is about to take delivery of a 15th A380 aircraft and its next is not due until September 2011. But this date cannot be shifted forward because customised cabin fittings such as showers, which Emirates offers in first class, will not be ready, Clark said.
He also mentioned the possibility that deliveries could be delayed as Airbus tries to clear a backlog of aircraft which will by then have received upgraded Rolls engines, adding: “If that happens we will have a discussion.”
News, Travel A380, Airbus A380, qantas, Qantas A380 resume flights
Qantas’s Airbus A380s will begin to resume service this weekend, with the first few aircraft being used on the “Kangaroo routes” from Australia to London.
A spokesman from Qantas said that one A380 – VH-OQF – is being ferried from Los Angeles to Sydney, and it will operate the QF31 service from Sydney to London via Singapore on November 27. A second aircraft – VH-OQE – will also be ferried across from Los Angeles later this week, and will be used on London routes either from Sydney or Melbourne.
The spokesman also said that no timetable has been announced for the return to service of the rest of the six Qantas A380s, although the initial focus will likely be on increasing A380 frequency on the London routes. Qantas will not be operating A380s on its longer Los Angeles routes until it has done sufficient in-flight analysis on the London routes. The spokesman commented that it is “being very circumspect about transpacific flying.”
Qantas says it has voluntarily suspended A380 service on routes that regularly require use of maximum certified engine thrust, “and will continue to do so until further operational experience is gained or possible additional changes are made to engines.” It says this is an operational decision in line with its conservative approach to safety, and is not a manufacturer’s directive. Pilots will still have access to maximum certified thrust if necessary during flight.
The first aircraft to be ferried back to Sydney has had two of its Trent 900 engines replaced – one is an overhauled engine from Rolls-Royce, and the second is from another of the carrier’s A380s.
Since Nov. 4, the Qantas A380 fleet has been grounded due to the uncontained failure of a Trent 900 on an A380 flight from Singapore and the subsequent discovery of problems in other Trent 900 engines. Qantas CEO Alan Joyce says that up to 16 Trent 900 engines may require modification or replacement.
Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) says it has “given a green light to a plan developed by Qantas to return its A380 aircraft to service.” This plan describes how the A380s will be operated, together with “additional safety measures and required inspections.”
The agency’s Director of Aviation Safety John McCormick said the decision to resume A380 flying has been “closely analyzed by CASA’s technical staff.”McCormick also stated that “CASA has looked at how Qantas will be carrying out the additional inspections of the Trent 900 engines, changes to the way the engines will be operated and how Rolls Royce service bulletins will be met.”
McCormick notes that Qantas provided extensive documentation and briefings in support of the plan. “Qantas has devoted considerable resources to making sure the return to service of the A380 will meet all relevant safety requirements,” he says. CASA will continue to monitor A380 operations, using data supplied by Qantas.
Qantas has confirmed that it is still taking delivery of two new A380s before the end of this year and a further two in early 2011.
News, Travel A320, A380, ARJ21, B787, Bombardier, C919, China Challenges Boeing and Airbus with Its Own Large Jetliner; Comac C919, Embraer
Next week, Beijing will show off a full-scale mockup of its 156-seat C919 passenger plane at an air show hoping to compete with Boeing and Airbus, the world’s only manufacturers of large commercial aircraft. Some well-known U.S. companies are already offering help.
Slated for production by 2016, the 156-seat, single-aisle C919 passenger plane would have its fuselage emblazoned with Comac, the state-owned Commercial Aircraft Corp. of China.
But inside, the most crucial systems would bear the trademarks of some of the biggest names in Western aviation. Honeywell International Inc. will supply power units, on-board computing systems, wheels and brakes; Rockwell Collins Inc. will handle navigation systems; GE Aviation is building the avionics; Eaton Corp. is involved with fuel and hydraulics; and Parker Aerospace of Irvine is responsible for flight controls. Powering the aircraft will be two fuel-efficient engines built by CFM International, a company co-owned by GE and French conglomerate Safran.
However, this has placed U.S. and European suppliers in a tough spot: Be willing to hand over advanced technology to Chinese firms that could one day be rivals or miss out on what’s likely to be the biggest aviation bonanza of the next half a century. Honeywell alone has snagged contracts worth more than $11 billion for the project.
A C919 jumbo jet model displayed at Hong Kong's Asian Aerospace International Expo
Roger Seager, GE Aviation’s vice president and general manager for China, said he was confident that his company could protect its intellectual property. But the rapid rise of another Chinese transport industry — high-speed rail — challenges that notion. After sharing technology and expertise to help China develop a network of gleaming bullet trains, Japanese and European rail firms now find themselves competing with their former Chinese joint-venture partners for new contracts, both inside and outside China. Still, Seager said it’s crucial for his company to get into China now.
“If they launch a commercial aviation industry, you’ve got to be part of it,” said Seager, whose company has garnered contracts worth about $6 billion for the C919. “You can’t take a pass and come back in 10 years. You’ve got to jump in with both feet now…. We would be remiss if we weren’t trying to be part of their growth.”
The aircraft’s builders are so confident; the first “9″ in the jetliner’s name was picked because it sounds like “forever” in Chinese. Also, China is already a major assembler and parts supplier for some of the world’s best-known aircraft. Airbus’ A320s reach their final assembly in the northern port city of Tianjin. Half of Boeing’s fleet of 12,000 airplanes includes components made in China. About 600,000 Chinese workers are employed in aerospace, about as many as in the United States.
Still, the C919‘s success is anything but assured. Japan, South Korea and Indonesia all failed in their attempts to build large jets. Repeated delays in the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and recent problems with the Airbus A380‘s engine show that even the most experienced players can stumble.
China has struggled to build its own aircraft for decades. Comac will soon roll out its first regional jet, the 78-seat ARJ21 Soaring Phoenix. Chinese officials have hailed it as a breakthrough. But experts said the ARJ21 could have a tough time competing outside China against cutting-edge models from Canada’s Bombardier and Brazil’s Embraer.
Randy Tinseth, vice president of marketing for Boeing, said “I don’t think there’s any question Comac will deliver a successful airplane,” later adding “How successful? It’s hard to say. Clearly there’s room for us to grow, Airbus to grow and one or more competitors…. We have an advantage. We have built more airplanes than anyone else.”