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.
The flying on the 787 Dreamliner remains to be an exciting prospect for air enthusiasts. Do you love flying? Get your own fleet of popular airlines only from Warplanes. You can also fleet your own fleet of helicopter models from the wide range of museum-quality products offered by Warplanes.
News Source: edition.cnn.com
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The European Aviation Safety Agency ordered on Wednesday that all units of Airbus A380 must be checked for cracks in the wings.
A previous order indicated that the 20 oldest A380 must be subjected for a check-up. Now, the agency is expanding the order to include all units. The order does not mean that the A380 had been grounded. According to Dominique Fouda, a spokesman for the aviation agency. “They can fly, they just have to be checked within the time frame,” he said.
According to the order, planes that had registered more than 1,384 takeoffs and landings must be inspected within three weeks of February 13. For planes that had completed 1,216 to 1,383 flight cycles, they have six weeks to submit for inspection. Planes that have less than 1,216 flight cycles must be checked before they reach the 1,300 mark.
If cracks on the wing were found, the airlines must contact Airbus for instructions.
There is a total of 68 units of Airbus A380 flying today. Its primary users are the Singapore Airlines, Emirates, Air France, Qantas and Lufthansa. It made its maiden flight on 27 April 2005 and then entered the commercial market with Singapore Airlines in 2007.
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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.
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Algae and garbage will have more influence on Qantas’s carbon emissions than the Gillard Government’s carbon pricing regime, the airline says.
Qantas chief Alan Joyce said the flag carrier was investing in biofuel research as part of its push to meet an industry target of a 1.5 per cent cut in carbon emissions by 2020.
The airline is working with US renewable energy companies Solazyme to develop a business case for the use of algal-derived sustainable fuel.
It is also working with another US group, Solena, which deals with waste-based fuel.
Qantas has a fuel bill of almost $4 billion a year.
Mr Joyce was speaking after Lufthansa launched the first daily commercial passenger flights using biofuels last week.
An Airbus A321 will use a biofuel blend on the Hamburg-Frankfurt route during a six-month trial.
Speaking at an aviation conference in Sydney this week, Mr Joyce said the Qantas group would be subject to three different sets of carbon-pricing legislation, in Australia, New Zealand and Europe.
A Qantas spokesman said algae could come from Queensland sugar cane and waste from city garbage.
The airline is assessing feasibility studies and may seek government and other corporate investment if setting up a plant is feasible, the spokesman said.
Mr Joyce said both the Airbus A380 and the Boeing 787 were already 20-25 per cent more fuel efficient than other aircraft. The company has $20 billion in more efficient aircraft on order.
He said the airline had “no ability to digest the carbon tax” and was passing on the $115 million cost to domestic passengers tickets at $3.50 per travel sector.
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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.
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.”
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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.
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Qantas has grounded its six-strong fleet of Airbus A380 airliners after one of the superjumbos, Qantas flight QF32, experienced engine trouble shortly after taking off from Singapore on its way to Sydney.
According to one passenger, one of the engines exploded with a bang and debris was found on an island below. Singapore Airlines said its A380 flights would be delayed pending technical checks.
Rolls-Royce said it was in the process of checking the 20 A380 planes currently in service – with Qantas, Singapore and Lufthansa – that use its Trent 900 engines. It said “the safe operation of our products is our number one priority.”
One area of investigation will be a European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) airworthiness report in August that flagged up one potential problem with the engine. There is no evidence that this is linked to the latest incident.
A team of air crash investigators is being sent to Singapore from France, where Airbus is based, to assist in the investigation.
A Qantas A380 aircraft
Qantas said flight QF32, with 433 passengers and 26 crewmembers on board, experienced an “engine issue” over western Indonesia shortly after taking off from Singapore.
Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said at a news conference, “We do take our safety reputation and our safety standards unbelievably seriously. And we’re not going to take any risks with passenger safety – and as a precaution, we’re suspending the flights of the A380 aircraft until we’re comfortable that we understand the reasons for this.”
No one was injured during the incident, which ended at Singapore’s Changi airport. Smoke billowed from the aircraft, which aviation experts say is capable of flying on two engines. One of the engines was blackened and its rear casing was missing.
Passengers said the pilot spent at least an hour and a half circling and discharging fuel ahead of the emergency landing.
The BBC’s Nick Bryant in Sydney says aviation experts have identified debris that fell on the Indonesian island of Batam as part of a Qantas engine casing. A teacher on Batam, Indra Kurniawan, told the BBC World Service: “We heard an explosion. Then I saw rubbish in the sky but after one of the pieces hit our school, we all knew it was debris from the plane.”
The grounding will mean inconvenience for thousands of passengers scheduled to fly on the aircraft, correspondents say.
Those aboard the stricken aircraft may also have a significant wait ahead to get to their destinations as there are so many of them to re-route.
This incident is a worrying development for Qantas, an airline which prides itself on an exemplary safety record.
For the European manufacturer Airbus, the timing of this incident could hardly have come at a worse time, reports the BBC’s Christian Fraser in Paris, as the Chinese President Hu Jintao is in Paris to complete negotiations for a new order of Airbus A350 and A330 passenger planes.
The closest the airliner has come to a similar incident was in September 2009, when a Singapore Airlines A380 turned around in mid-flight and returned to Paris after one of its four engines failed.
The A380 made its first commercial flight in 2007. It is the world’s largest passenger airliner, a double-decker which can carry up to 800 people – though Qantas A380s are set up to carry about 450.
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According to Korean Air, its preparations for the Airbus A380 are on track, as the carrier’s first four aircraft move through the final assembly process in Toulouse.
The first of the Korean A380s is waiting for its initial test flight and is then scheduled to be sent to Hamburg in November for final production processes, such as cabin installation and painting. Delivery of this first aircraft is scheduled in May, and the other three in assembly will be delivered in June, July and August.
Korean Air A330-200 aircraft
The carrier said it will initially operate the super-jumbo aircraft on short-haul routes to major cities in Japan and East Asia “to allow more passengers to experience the next-generation aircraft.” From next August, the A380 will fly regular long-haul routes to the U.S. and Europe.
Korean Air has a total of 10 A380s on order. It is scheduled to have five A380s in service by the end of next year, and another five will be introduced in 2012-2014.
The aircraft will be configured with 400-450 seats. Although the airline is in the final stages of interior design work, there is still scope for configuration adjustments, a Korean Air spokeswoman said.
The introduction of the A380 will increase the number of passengers from China, Japan and East Asia transferring to U.S. and European destinations, accelerating the development of Seoul as a global hub, the airline says.
Korean plans to train 120 pilots for the five A380s due next year. The carrier will send pilots to the Airbus headquarters in Toulouse in March for training, and will introduce A380 simulator equipment to the Incheon training center “in the near future.”