Volume 5 Issue 6

On The Boeing Front

                              Boeing Celebrates Flyaway of First BBJ Max

On April 16, Boeing celebrated the flyaway of the first BBJ MAX airplane, from the air-framer’s  facility in Seattle on the first stage of its journey to becoming a fully outfitted BBJ Max 8.

The plane was flown to Delaware Coastal airport. Local company Aloft AeroArchitects will now install Its PATS auxiliary fuel tank, which will boost the aircraft’s range to 6,640nm (12,230km)—some 3,000nm more than the standard Max 8, which entered service in 2017, and 800 more than the BBJ2 which it replaces.

The green BBJ Max 8 is scheduled to arrive for outfitting in the fourth quarter at Comlux Completions in Indianapolis. The finished aircraft will be handed over to its undisclosed customer in the second half of 2019.

“We are excited to see the first BBJ Max come to life and fly through the development milestone,” says Boeing Business Jets president Greg Laxton. ”In the past few weeks, the airplane has achieved factory rollout, first flight, multiple certifications, and now flyaway,” he adds.

The BBJ Max 8 was launched in 2014 as the first member of the re-engined BBJ family. This will be followed by the BBJ Max 7 and BBJ Max 9.

Source : BBJ/Picture Boeing

                      

ON THE AIRBUS FRONT

                          First A350-900ULR Starts Flight-Test Campaign

Airbus has conducted the maiden flight of its A350-900ULR, the heavier and longer-range variant of the twinge tailored to operate specialized long-haul routes. The initial aircraft, MSN216, departed the air-framer’s Toulouse headquarters on April 23rd.

It features three primary modifications, of which two will be applied to all new-build A350-900s.

Airbus has hiked the maximum take-off weight to 280t, and increase on the previous figure of 275t.It has also incorporated a series of aerodynamic changes which, it says, will contribute to a 1% fuel-burn saving.

These include a further slight twist of the wings taller winglet, trailing-edge extension and clean-up of the upper wing fairing. All these adaptations will become standard on the -900.

The ultra-long range-900ULR will have dedicated changes, primarily a higher fuel capacity. The center wing tank will not be increased in size but re plumbing of interior installations will provide access to another 24,000 liters ( 6,340 ) gallons of existing volume.

Airbus puts the reference range of the -900ULR at 9,700 nm compared with the standard 8,100nm of the basic -900. Singapore Airlines has ordered seven-900ULRs and is set to take delivery of the first -900ULR this year, although Airbus declines to narrow the handover window beyond a second-half timeframe.

The first A350-900 ULR) for Singapore Airlines has been revealed in the Airline’s livery following completion of painting in Toulouse.

The aircraft is now set to move to the next stages of production, including the installation of engines and cabin furnishing, before starting ground and flight tests.

The Aircraft is scheduled for delivery to Singapore Airlines after all the testing is completed.

Source : Airbus/Flightglobal/Picture Airbus

                    

REGIONAL/BUSINESS JETS

                              Pilatus Aircraft Has Delivered  its Second                                PC24 To Its US Dealer

Pilatus Aircraft delivered its second PC24 to its US dealer and maintenance provider Western Aircraft. The Handover  comes as the first production example enters service with fractional ownership company Plane Sense.

Pilatus plans to deliver 23 of the super tight business jets in 2018, from an order backlog of 84.

Western Aircraft says it has seen strong demand for the PC-24, ”With more than a dozen offers to buy the first aircraft”. Despite the demand Western plans the second aircraft to its inventory, where it will be used for ad hoc charter and for the coming year as a Company demonstrator.

PlaneSense, one of Pilates’s largest customers, has an order for six PC-24s, but is keen to acquire additional aircraft to bolster its fleet of 36 PC-12s.

Source : Pilatus                                                                                                                                          

                          American Orders 15 E175s and 15 CRJ900s

American Airlines has ordered 15 Bombardier CRJ900s and 15 Embraer E175 regional jets, deals with a combined list price value of roughly $1.4 billion.  Deliveries of the CRJ900s with 76 seats to American Subsidiary PSA Airlines will begin in the second quarter of 2019 according to Bombardier media release.

The Bombardier commitment, including an additional 15 CRJ900 options, has a value at list prices of $719 million. Bombardier stated that the aircraft will be outfitted with the Company’s new “Atmosphere” cabin, which includes overhead bins that can accommodate large roller bags.

Embraer will deliver the 15 E175s with 76 seats to American Subsidiary Envoy from March 2019 to November 2019, the manufacturer says.

That deal, including options for 15 more E175s, has a value at list prices of $705 million. It follows an order by American for 10E-Jets in October 2017.

Source : American/Bombardier/Embraer

                                                                     

OTHER AVIATION NEWS

                       ANA Unveils the Features of The New Airbus A380s 

All Nippon Airways (ANA) three A380s will be exclusively introduced to the Tokyo-Honolulu service and each cabin is specially designed to meet the passenger’s needs on this route.

Honolulu is loved by many Japanese families, couples, newlyweds and Hawaii is a popular destination for their vacations and honeymoons. With this in mind, ANA aims to make their experience onboard more comfortable by strategically designing the cabin features in order to meet their unique needs while providing them with a once in a lifetime experience.                       In March 2017, ANA announced the special livery motif FLYING HONU. At the time, the design ANA introduced was blue, an homage to the Hawaiian blue sky.

Since then ANA announced two more colors, green and orange. The emerald green is inspired by the crystal clear waters of the Hawaiian ocean and orange is a reference to the beautiful Hawaiian sunset.

In order to make this triad, the FLYING HONUs, more familiar to everyone, ANA has created a character for each aircraft. The blue character is named “Lani” meaning sky, while the emerald green character is named “Kai” meaning ocean, and the orange character is named “Ka La” from the Hawaiian word meaning sunset.

The Cabin interiors have also been strategically designed in order for the passengers to feel the spirit of Hawaii from the moment they board the aircraft.

The walls and lights have been arranged in such a way as to illustrate Hawaii’s enviable blue skies, sunrises, sunsets, night skies and iconic rainbows.

Source : ANA/Worldairlinenews/ANA Pictures                                                                                     

                              Air Italy Displays Livery on 737 Max 8

Air Italy has unveiled the first aircraft featuring its new livery. The first 737 Max 8 has been painted with the scheme, which incorporates the maroon shade prominent in the branding of shareholder Qatar Airways.

Air Italy, formerly Meridiana, had only previously shown the livery as a digital mock up.

In March, the full-service carrier announced that it would be adding five A330-200s and three 737 Max 8’s to its fleet as the summer season commences.

The aircraft are being leased from 49% shareholder Qatar Airways as Air Italy embarks on a rapid short-and long-haul expansion program with Milan Malpensa as its focus.

Flights under the new brand name commenced on March 1st, operated with 737s and Boeing 767s still bearing Meridiana’s livery. Those aircraft will be phased out as the A330s and 737 Max 8’s enter the fleet.

In May 2019, the airline is set to begin receiving Boeing 787s, also leased from Qatar Airways. Air Italy will have a fleet 50 aircraft by 2022.

Source : Flightglobal/Pictures Boeing                                                                                                  

                                  Worries Over Low-Cost Correction

A period of good economic conditions has led to complacency among low-cost carriers that is ripe for a “correction”, in the view of former EasyJet chief executive Ray Webster.

Speaking at the Routes Europe conference in Bilbao on April 23, Webster—who was chief executive of EasyJet between 1996 and 2006—said that outlook for low-cost airlines was “quite worrying” as they were unprepared for future economic shocks.

A period of “very good” economic conditions has been punctuated by the lack of a “serious downturn or runaway fuel prices”, he states.

As a result, carriers have not been put under”pressure” and so have “incrementally added Costs” and lost efficiencies over time, while not experiencing the typical “ Peaks and troughs” of the market.

Webster forecasts that oil producers could raise prices, which would have a “dramatic” impact on airline bottom lines.

Source : Flightglobal     

      

LATEST NEWS

  • Southwest Airlines orders 40 more Boeing 737 MAX jets worth $ 4.68 billion.
  • Bombardier concluded a firm order with Ethiopian Airlines for 10 new Q400 aircraft, plus five options. Based on list prices, the order is valued at $332.
  • Qantas has firmed options on six additional Boeing 787-9s, once delivered, the new jets will take its 787 fleet to 14 aircraft and will be powered by GEnx engines.
  • Uzbekistan Airways finalized an order with Boeing for one Boeing 787-8, valued at $239 million at current list prices.
  • Primera Air European leisure carrier has taken delivery of its first Airbus A321neo is the first of three A321neos that Primera will lease from GECAS.
  • Taiwan’s Far East Air Transport will take the 11 Boeing 737 Max 8s it plans to acquire on operating lease.
  • Drukair of Bhutan has signed a purchase agreement with Airbus for a single A320neo.                                                                                       
  • Lufthansa orders up to 16 Airbus and Boeing aircraft. The orders include 12 A320 family aircraft and four 777s, two 777-300ERs for Swiss and two 777 Freighters for Lufthansa Cargo.                                  
  • British Airways has put its first Airbus A320neo into service with a flight to Lisbon, Portugal.                                                                                
  • Austrian Airlines modified its livery showing much larger Austrian titles on the fuselages well as red bleed from the flag scheme onto the aft fuselage on the first 777-200ER.                                                                                                                                                                                                

AIR CARGO

                            Boeing Delivers the First 737-800 Converted                                    Freighter

On April 19th Boeing announced the delivery of the first 737-800 Boeing Converted Freighter(BCF) to GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) and the freighter will be operated by West Atlantic Group, based in Sweden.

West Atlantic will receive four 737-800 Converted Freighters within the next 11 months, once delivered, the company will operate 23 Boeing 737 freighter aircraft.                                                                                                  

“We are very proud to be the launch customer for the 737-800BCF, and pleased to supply this inaugural aircraft to West Atlantic,” said Richard Greener, GECAS’ Senior Vice President & Manager, Cargo Aircraft Group”.

Boeing’s Current Market Outlook forecasts over the next 20 years, customers will need more than 1,100 standard-body converted freighters.

Boeing has received 45 orders and commitments, from seven customers including: YTO Airlines, based in Hangzhou, China; China Postal Airlines based in Beijing, China: GECAS, based in Ireland; Air Algeria, based in Algiers, Algeria; LAS Cargo, based in Bogota, Columbia; Cargo Air, based in Sophia, Bulgaria; and an unannounced customer.

The 737-800BCF has 12 pallet positions which provide 4,993 cubic feet(141.4 cubic meters) of cargo space on the main deck of the 737-800BCF.this is supplemented by two lower-lobe compartments, combined providing more than 1,540 cubic feet(43.7 cubic meters) of space for revenue-generating cargo.

Source : Boeing/GECAS/Boeing Picture

       

            Brazil-Based Cargo Carrier Modern Logistics & Harley-Davidson                                                

In April of this year Brazil Cargo carrier and motorcycle maker Harley-Davidson entered into a partnership that will help bikers get their motorcycles faster.                                                                                                 

Harley plans to increase output at its Manaus-area factory and use Modern Logistics’ road and airfreight network to transport bikes to 21 Brazilian dealerships.

The new bikes will be flown to Brasilia or Viacopos, and then trucked the rest of the way, reducing average delivery times by four days.

Modern Logistics uses 737-400SFs for the purpose.

Source : Air Cargo World/ModernLogistics Picture

   

  Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul News

                                  Engine OEMs Transition From Old to New

Engine OEM representatives discussed navigating challenges around support and spares when transitioning from old to new engine programs at Aviation Week Network’s Engine Leasing, Trading &Finance event in London.

GE aviation, Pratt& Whitney and Rolls-Royce have expressed overall satisfaction with their new-generation engine programs despite some growing pains related to entry-into-service phase and the transition from older programs to newer ones.

In a panel on new engine programs held at the event on May 2, Paul Finklestein, marketing director at Pratt & Whitney, acknowleged the struggles encountered by Pratt & Whitney on the PW1100G greed turbofan(GTF) program over the past few years.

Currently in operation on around 150 aircraft comprised of Airbusa320neo, Bombardier Series and as of early-May, Embraer E190-E2 aircraft Finklestein said the modifications have smoothed over some of the challenges with the engine program.

Meanwhile, Brian Ovigton, engine services marketing director at GE Aviation, said the OEM experienced a relatively smooth entry-into-service (EIS) of its new engine type—the CFM LEAP family for the 737 MAX and the A320 new narrow bodies and the GEnx, an option for the 787 and the 747-8.Both engines have yet to experience AOG incidents, he said. 

Alastair Knox, head of aircraft transitions at Rolls-Royce, said the British engine makers “very pleased” with the results of the Trent XWB, found on the Airbus A350 aircraft and the Trent 1000 powering the Boeing 787. 

Despite Rolls-Royce’s satisfaction with new engine types, Knox said there are some challenges to consider dependent on the size of the carrier awaiting new models to enter their fleets.

Source : Aviation Week

 

                                  MRO LATEST NEWS

  • Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering Company Celebrates a Milestone ( HAECO) Xiamen-based business unit has completed its 3000th maintenance check since it started operations in March 1996.To mark the occasion some of the firm’s staff posed in front of the milestone aircraft, Boeing 777-300ER before its redelivery to Cathay Pacific.                                                                                                                
  • Safran has an AirAsiaX contract to maintain Airbus A330 landing gear at Singapore through 2025.
  • GE Aviation Acquired a stake in Avionica as part of an agreement to form joint venture to provide wireless data collection and processing for connected aircraft.
  • All Nippon Airways (ANA) will bring its Boeing 737-500 out of retirement in July as a dedicated maintenance training jet to help assure its maintenance technicians have the best tools for training and to ensure the highest level of quality maintenance. ANA is the first Japanese airline to incorporate a non-operating fully functional jet into its training program.                  

 

 

 

 

Researched and Compiled by :

Ed Kaplanian    Commercial Aviation Advisor 

Contact – ekaplanian@msn.com

Editor:   Lee Kaplanian 

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Volume 5 Issue 5 May 2018 The Kaplanian Report

On the Boeing Front

                               Boeing Start Assembly of the First 777-9

Major fuselage sections of the first 777X aircraft have entered Boeing’s fuselage assembly center in Everett wide body plant.

In a tweeted photo on March 23rd, (see picture) Boeing showed the first Section 41—the company’s internal designation for the nose and forward fuselage—entered the 40-47 bay of the Everett factory. The first 777-9 version of the 777X family to enter fuselage assembly will be used for static testing on the ground, Boeing says.

Inside the 40-47 bay, Section 41 will be joined to the center and aft fuselage sections, using a new process introduced two years ago on the 777-300ER and 777-200LR programs. Instead of loading the assemblies into a rotating tool fixture, Boeing will mate the 777X using automated upgrade build (FAUB) procession which sections are loaded into movable cradles and are mated together using mostly robots for drilling and fastening.

Later this year, the assembled fuselage will be moved to the final assembly bay for the 777X, where it will be joined with the aircraft’s first new composite wings.  Boeing introduced the first 777-9 wingspan into assembly last year for the static test airplane.

During final assembly, Boeing also mates the fuselage with the wings, onboard systems and the GE Aviation GE9X engines. The 777-9 program is scheduled to enter flight testing in 2019 and enter service with launch customer Emirates in 2020.The longer-range 777-8 will enter service two years later.

Source : Boeing/Flightglobal   

                   

ON THE AIRBUS FRONT

      Sections for First All Nippon Airways A380 Arrive in Toulouse

Final assembly of the first A380 for All Nippon Airways is set to start this month.

The main sections of the first A380 for Japan’s All Nippon Airways(ANA) have arrived at the Airbus final assembly line in Toulouse, France via a special convoy, with six subassemblies—the nose, central and aft fuselage sections, the tailplane, and the two wings.

ANA Holdings placed a firm order for three A380s in 2016, becoming the first customer for the A380 in Japan. The first delivery is scheduled early in 2019, and the A380 will initially be operated on the Tokyo-Honolulu route. ANA’s A380 will feature a special Hono Hawaiian green sea turtle livery, symbolizing good luck and prosperity.

Source : Airbus/Picture Airbus            

       

REGIONAL/BUSINESS JETS

      Gulfstream Aerospace Has Delivered a Fourth G650ER to Qatar

Gulfstream AeroSpace delivered a fourth G650ER to Qatar Airways for its Qatar Executive commercial charter service.

With the delivery, Qatar Executive becomes the largest single owner and operator of G650ER aircraft, Gulfstream said.

The delivery will help meet increased demand for a longer-range private air travel by Qatar customers, Qatar Airways said. Gulfstream’s partnership with Qatar Airways began in 2014 when it became the launch customer for the Gulfstream G500.

Since then, Qatar Airways has signed orders and options for up to 30 Gulfstream aircraft that include the G650ER,the G500 and the G600.

Source : Gulfstream/Qatar Airways                                                                                                                                  

                 Cambodia Bayon Airlines Commenced Operations                         with MA60 Domestically

Cambodia Bayon Airlines (Phnom Penh) is a new airline in Cambodia which selected the Xian MA 60 to fly domestic operations between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. The airline received its AOC on December 23, 2014.

Cambodia Bayon Airlines is a wholly owned subsidiary of Bayon Airlines Holdings which was established in April 2014.

Bayon Airlines plans to introduce 20 MA60 aircraft and 10 Airbus A320 aircraft within five years to build route network which covers Cambodia and services to Japan , China and Korea.

Little bit about the MA60…it is a stretched version of the Xian A7-200A which was produced on the An24 to operate in rugged conditions with limited ground support and short take-off and landing(STOL) capability. The MA60 has not applied for FAA(US) and EASA(Europe) type certification and is not certified for use in the US and the European Union.

Source :World Airline News/Ed’s Research  

                                                               

OTHER AVIATION NEWS

         China Southern Group to Take 309 Aircraft Through to 2020

The China Southern Airlines Group is currently scheduled to take delivery of 309 aircraft over the next three years, with nearly half of those set to arrive this year.

Over 2018 the carrier will take delivery of 115 aircraft, comprising of 61 Boeing 737-800s,39 Airbus A320 family jets,10 787-9s and five A330-300s.It will retire 29 aircraft, thus ending the year with an estimated 840 aircraft-up from 2017’s 754.

2019 will see the addition of 105 aircraft, comprising of 45 Boeing 737-800s, 42 A320 family jets, seven 787-9s, six A350-900s and five 777-300ERs. It will end the year with 916 aircraft, after 29 retirements.

2020 will see 89 additions, again with the 737-800s forming the bulk of the deliveries at 51, followed by 24 A320 family aircraft, six A350-900s, five 787-9s and three 777-300ERs.With 26 planned retirements, it will end the year with 979 aircraft. China Southern is the largest airline group in China by fleet size. Besides China Southern, the group also has stakes in a list of carriers including Xiamen Airlines, Shantou Airlines, Zhuhai Airlines, Guizhou Airlines, Chongqing Airlines and Hebei Airlines.

Source : Flightglobal                                                                                                                                           

                    American Orders 47 787s for Fleet Replacement

American Airlines has ordered 47 Boeing 787s on April 6 and canceling its order for 22 Airbus A350s.The 787 order consists of 22 787-8s to begin arriving in 2020 and 25 787-9s scheduled to begin arriving in 2023 American said.

The 787-8s will replace American’s Boeing 767-300s, while later 787-9 deliveries will replace Airbus A330-300s and older 777-200s.All the 787s will be powered by GE Aviation GEnx-1B engines. The order is valued at $12 billion at list prices, says Boeing.

“This was a difficult decision between the Boeing 787 and the Airbus A350 and the A330neo and we thank both manufactures for their aggressive efforts to earn more of American’s business,” says Robert Isom, President of American, in a statement. “In the end, our goal to simply our fleet made the 787 a more compelling choice.”

As part of the deal, American is also deferring the delivery of 40 Boeing 737 MAX narrowbodies.

Boeing says that the order is a new deal from American and not an exercise of the carrier’s options for 58 787s.

American will be the largest operator of the 787 in the western hemisphere, with 89 aircraft. ANA, the Japanese carrier that was the launch customer for the Dreamliner, is the largest operator of 787s, while lessor AerCap is the largest 787owner.

So Far Orders for the 787 Dreamliners stand at over 1,365 that is not counting recent announcements from Hawaiian for 10 787-9s and Emirates for 40 787-10. When confirmed will be over 1,400. (EdK)

Source : Boeing/American/ATW/Flightglobal/Ed’s Research

           

                          Ethiopian Airlines Launches Split Scimitar                              Winglet in Northern Africa

Aviation Partners Boeing (APB) announced on March 26 that Ethiopian Airlines has become the first operator in Northern Africa of its Split Scimitar Winglet Technology. The first installation of the System was completed on March 20th,2018 in Addis Ababa.

Ethiopian Airlines intends to install the Winglets on its fleet of Boeing Next Generation 737-700 and 737-800 aircraft. Aviation Partners’ latest Winglet design, the Split Scimitar Winglet, uses existing Blended Winglets technology but adds new aerodynamic Scimitar tips and a large ventral strake, further increasing the efficiency of the airplane.

The Split Scimitar Winglet modification reduces Boeing Next-Generation 737 block fuel consumption by up to an additional 2.2% over the Blended Winglets alone. The Split Scimitar Winglet System will reduce Ethiopian Airline’s annual fuel requirements by more than 275,000 liters per aircraft and their carbon dioxide emissions by over 700tons per aircraft per year.

Since launching the Boeing Next-Generation 737 Split Scimitar Winglet program, APB has taken orders for over 1,800 systems, and over 1,000 aircraft are now operating with the technology. APB estimates that its products have reduced aircraft fuel consumption worldwide by over 8.0 billion gallons to date thereby saving nearly 85.0 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions

Source : Aviation Partners Boeing/Ethiopian Airlines/Picture Avimet.cr

     

LATEST NEWS

  • Ukraine International Airlines will take delivery of 10 aircraft in 2018, comprising of four 737-800s, four 777-200ERs and two Embraer E190s.
  • Spirit Airlines agreed to purchase 14 Airbus A319-100s off-lease from AerCap.
  • Avolon delivered one Boeing 787-9 aircraft to Virgin Atlantic. This is the fourth Avolon aircraft on lease to Virgin Atlantic.
  • Jet Airways announced a new order for 75 737 MAX. The new deal is in addition to a similar number of 737 Max 8s of firm orders and purchase rights that was announced at the 2015 Dubai air show.
  • Air Lease has firmed up an order for eight additional Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft, valued at almost $939 million at list prices.
  • Royal Jordanian Airlines improved on-time performance to rank third in the Middle East and Africa.                                                                                                                                             
  • Hi Fly Portuguese long-haul wet-lease specialist is to become the latest operator of the Airbus A380, with planes to take delivery of the type around the middle of this year.
  • LOT Polish Airlines received its first 787-9 after a 9h 20 min flight from Everett Paine Field to Warsaw Chopin Airport.
  • Lessor BOC Aviation has signed a purchase agreement with Boeing for six 787-9s, in a deal valued at $1.69 billion at list prices.
  • All Nippon Airways(ANA) has finalized an order for two 777-200LRFs valued at $678 million at list prices. 
  • Gulf Air reveals new branding as it took delivery of its first delivery 787-9 on April 6th.                                                                                                                                                                     
  • Sources : Various Sources Researched by Ed K

 

AIR CARGO

  Air Bridge Cargo Launches Scheduled Freighter Services at Rickenbacker

AirBridgeCargo Airlines(ABC) will become the fifth freighter operator to provide scheduled services at Rickenbacker International Airport in Columbus, Ohio.

The Russia-based carrier joins a network of logistics service providers at the US cargo-dedicated airport, which is located within a one-day drive to nearly half of the US population and one third of the Canadian population.

ABC’s inaugural flight landed at Rickenbacker on April 5th, and weekly flights will continue on Thursdays, carrying freight inbound from the airlines global hub in Moscow and returning to Moscow through Liege, Belgium. The carrier will employ its fleet of 747 freighters that provide up to 139 tons of capacity.

ABC joins Cargolux, Cathay Pacific Cargo, Emirates SkyCargo and Etihad Cargo as freight carriers that operate up to 15 weekly international lights at Rickenbacker International Airport(LCK).

Source : aircargonews/Photo ABC                                                                                                                   

       Qatar Airways Signs LOI for 5 Boeing 777-200LR Freighters 

On April 10 Qatar Airways signed a letter of intent(LOI) with Boeing to buy five 777-200LR Freighters, worth $1.7 billion at list prices, the airline said in a statement. Al Baker And Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Kevin McAllister met in Doha to sign the preliminary agreement. Qatar has taken delivery of 13 out of 16 Boeing 777 Freighters orders in 2006, and has 60 of the next generation jets on order, according to Boeing’s orders and deliveries website.

The order will be posted on Boeing’s orders and deliveries website once the purchase is finalized the statement said.

Source : Reuters

 

   Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul News

     Rolls-Royce Develops Maintenance Log Reader

Rolls-Royce is preparing to demonstrate part of Intelligent Insights a suite of tools launched under the IntelligentEngine program.

The first of those tools, Technical Insight uses natural language processing techniques to read engine maintenance logs, combining its findings with cloud-based inputs from other data sources.

“Insights are then delivered via visualization tools for the line maintenance environment in an easy-to-use append via the Rolls-Royce portal”, says Rolls-Royce in a statement.

If It works as intended, the tool should make mechanics’ lives easier, removing the need to cross-check various sources of information and presenting important data in an accessible manner.

The main goal is to improve dispatch reliability, but it will also be interesting to see how the new technology contributes to wider aims such as lifecycle management.

Rolls-Royce has not said if Technical Insight was developed with outside help or purely in house.

Source : Rolls-Royce/Rolls-Royce Picture

 

MRO LATEST NEWS

  • Safran Nacelles unveiled the NacelleLife service offering providing complete coverage of its set engine nacelle systems—including thrust reversers.
  • Lufthansa Technik has a total component support agreement with Easter Jet for its Boeing 737NGs.
  • AerFin signed a three-year TrueChoice Material Service Agreement with GE Aviation for serviceable OEM parts, advanced repair and technology upgrades for the CFM56,CF34 and CF-80C2 engines.
  • Wheeltug was selected by Kenya Airways to provide its electric taxi systems for its Boeing 737NGs.
  • Pratt & Whitney was selected by JetBlue Airways to supply GTF engines for another 85 Airbus A320neo family aircraft; the deal includes 15-year EngineWise service agreement.                    

 

 

Researched and Compiled by :

Ed Kaplanian    Commercial Aviation Advisor 

Contact – ekaplanian@msn.com

Editor:   Lee Kaplanian

Volume 5 Issue 4 The Kaplanian Report

ON THE BOEING FRONT

                     GE Aviation’s GE9X Engine Begins Flight Tests

GE Aviation’s GE9X turbofan engine, which will power Boeing’s new 777X aircraft, completed its first flight test under the wing of GE Aviation’s flying testbed in Victorville, California.

GE said the first flight marks the start of a flight test campaign that is slated to last through most of this year.  “Today’s flight starts the beginning of the GE9X flight test campaign that will last for several months, allowing us to accumulate data on how the engine performs at altitude and during various phases of flight” ,says GE program manager Ted Ingling.

The GE9X will power the Boeing 777-9 and 777-8, which are scheduled to enter service in 2020 and 2022, respectively.

The engine is the largest turbofan engine in history.  The 105,000lb-thrust engine produces less thrust than the older 115,000lb-thrust GE90 for the 777-300ER; but has a larger diameter fan of 134in-diameter(340cm) vs the 128in-diameter fan(325cm) of the GE90-115.  The number of blades was reduced from 22 on the GE90-115 to 16 composite blades made from 4th generation carbon fiber composite. The GE9X is 10cm(3.94in) wider. The additional width increases the bypass ratio to about 10.1, a key metric in GE’s plan to reduce fuel burn compared to the GE90-115 by about 10%.

The GE9X program also has completed icing tests at GE’s facility in Winnipeg, Canada. Cross tests are continuing at Peebles Test Operation in Ohio.

Source : ATW/GE Aviation/GE Aviation PictureEd’s Research

                     

ON THE AIRBUS FRONT

First Airbus A350-900ULR Rolls Out in Toulouse

The First A350-900ULR has rolled out of the Airbus final assembly line in Toulouse.  It went to  the outdoor station for ground testing before installation of its Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines.

The Airbus A350-900ULR features a redesigned fuel system and aerodynamic improvements that increase its range to 9,700 nautical miles.

Next, plans call for the aircraft to embark on what Airbus characterizes as a short flight-test program to certify the modifications to the standard A350-900 that will bring the ULR’s additional range capability. The test phase will also measure enhanced performance derived from aerodynamic improvements, including extended winglets.

The first ultra-long-range Airbus A350-900ULR is destined to be delivered to Singapore Airlines.

Source : Flightglobal/Airbus Picture

                  

REGIONAL/BUSINESS JETS

GE Renames ATP Engine ‘CATALYST” As Test Plans Pick Up Pace

GE Aviation’s Czech-built Advanced Turboprop (ATP) engine has been rebranded Catalyst, as the manufacturer readies the new design for critical certification tests relating to ice crystal icing this summer.

The Renaming comes more than three years after Textron Aviation selected GE’s 1,300shp (969kW) turboprop to power the Cessna Denali; a surprise break from the aircraft manufacturer’s long association with the Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6.

“That is such an appropriate name because it is a catalyst for change,” Brad Mottier, vice-president and general manager of GE’s Business, General Aviation and Integrated Systems business, told reporters during a tour of the company’s facility for small turboprop engines in Prague.

Source : GE Aviation

 

                           Embraer to Deliver First E190-E2 to Wideroe 

Embraer will deliver the first E190-E2, registered LN-WEA, to launch customer Wideroe on April 4.  The air framer unveiled the aircraft on March 12, as it moves off the assembly line into flight testing.

Wideroe is Norwegian regional carrier, which has firm orders for three E 190-E2s, will take delivery of its second in May and third in June, Embraer has said.

Kazakhstan’s Air Astana is expected to be the second operator of the aircraft, and will take the first of five aircraft leased from AerCap in the second half of this year.

According to Flight Fleets Analyzer, Embraer has secured 74 firm orders for the E190-E2.

Source : Embraer/Flightglobal

                                                               

OTHER AVIATION NEWS

                     SpiceJet, CFM Sign $12 Billion Engine, Service Deal    

One of India’s fastest-growing airlines has signed a 12.5 billion with CFM international Inc. for engines and a 10-year services contract for an incoming fleet of more than 150 737 MAX aircraft.

SpiceJet Ltd. has agreed to buy the LEAP-1B engines and spare engines from CFM, which is a joint venture between France’s Safran Aircraft Engines SAS and General Electric Co.’s GE Aviation, the two companies said in a statement on March 10.The deal also includes a 10-year services contract for maintenance of the CFM engines, which will be billed on an hourly basis, the statement said. SpiceJet already deploys CFM engines in its current fleet.

“From what we have seen so far, the LEAP-1B is living up to its promises for efficiency and reliability,” Ajay Singh, SpiceJet’s chairman and managing director, said in a statement.

The deal was announced as French President Emmanuel Macron visited India and met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Source : SpiceJet/CFM International 

                    

                                 Virgin Cancels Long-Dormant A380 Order

Virgin Atlantic has finally cancelled it order for six Airbus A380s, the air framer’s latest backlog data shows. Airbus has listed a cancellation of six A380s in the figures covering the first two months of this year.

The carrier has been among the first A380 customers, originally signing for the Rolls-Royce Trent 900-powered jets in 2001.

But it has repeatedly postponed deliveries—the jets were supposed to have been handed to the airline in 2006—and Virgin Atlantic has since amended its fleet plans to include long-haul twinjets such as the Boeing 787 and Airbus A350-1000. Virgin Atlantic has confirmed the A380 cancellation.

“Following a thorough review of our fleet we have taken the decision not to pursue our order for six Airbus A380,” says the carrier.

We believe the A350-1000 will best serve our customers and network, and will enable us continue reducing the carbon emissions from our fleet, through our ongoing investment in quieter, more fuel efficient aircraft,” it adds.

These take total A380 orders to 331 of which 222 have been delivered, leaving 109 still to be produced.

Source : Flightglobal/Virgin Atlantic

 

       Turkish Airlines Finalize an Order for Up to 30 787 Dreamliners 

Turkish Airlines finalized a firm order with Boeing for 25 787-9 Dreamliners with options for five more airplanes. The firm order will allow Turkey’s flag carrier to further meet the growing demand at its home airport, Istanbul’s third airport, and improve the flying experience for passengers.

First announced as a commitment in September 2017 Turkish Airline becomes the 71st customer to buy the 787.Together these customers ordered more than 1,300 Dreamliners.

Turkish Airlines has continued to expand its fleet of Boeing airplanes. Recently, the airline grew its stable of 777 jets with the purchase of three more 777 Freighters.

The airline also uses electronic charts and some other services from Boeing Global Services to further optimize its operations and operational systems.

Source : Boeing/Turkish Airlines  

   

LATEST NEWS

  • Hawaiian Airlines announced the purchase of 10 787-9 valued at $2.82 billion also has purchase rights for 10 additional 787s.                                                                                                     
  • Iceland Air took delivery of its first 737 MAX 8 on March 1st.Iceland air ordered 16 737 MAX 8s in 2013.                                                                                                                                         
  • Boeing rolled out the 10,000th 737 at its Renton, Washington plant the recipient of the aircraft a 737 MAX 8 will be Southwest Airlines.
  • Aeromexico took delivery of the first of up to 90 737 MAX aircraft, to expand its network  across the Americas.                                                                                                                  
  • Indigo Airlines agreed to lease two new Airbus A320-200s from Air Lease Corp, for delivery in the 3d quarter of this year.
  • China’s Air Guilin leased two new Airbus A320-200s from DAE Capital.

 

AIR CARGO

                     GECAS to Offer New Telair Flexible Loading System

Sweden’s Telair International has received certification for its new Flexible Loading System (FLS) for all current production and in-service Boeing 737 aircraft—and lessor GECAS will offer the system to its 737-800 freighter conversion customers on aircraft entering service this year.

Allowing 737 operators to carry containerized freight along with bulk-loaded bags in the lower hold of the aircraft, the FLS” improves loading efficiency and adds flexibility, especially for combination, express and e-commerce operators”, commented Richard Greener, senior vice president and manager, Cargo Aircraft Group, GECAS.

“The Flexible Loading System allows Telair’s containers to be preloaded and screened at the cargo sort and brought on board the aircraft using existing bulk loading equipment,” he explained.

New Telair containers have been designed specifically for use with Telair EDGE Sliding Carpet, an on-board conveyer system for loading and unloading bulk cargo, which is currently installed on the 737 MAX. The EDGE model is about 40 percent lighter than existing variants, Telair said, since it uses carbon fiber technology.

Source : air cargo technology news/GECAS picture

 

Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul News

   Healthy Projections for The 787 Aftermarket

Being a new generation aircraft, it is a long-held brief that the 787 will be a lot less maintenance-intensive than some of the older predecessors.                                                                     

However, with the sheer number of 787s set to enter into service over the next decade, estimated to stand at 2,317 units in service by 2027 by Aviation Week’s Fleet & MRO Forecast, the aircraft will still see a healthy year on year compound annual growth rate for MRO of 18.9% annually. 

While MRO demand is forecast to grow at a smaller rate than that of its competitor the Airbus A350(26.3%), the 787 is nevertheless estimated to have 1,000 more aircraft in service than the A350 by 2027. Among the largest operators by then will be Japan’s All Nippon Airways in Asia Pacific, Qatar Airways in the middle East and United Airlines in North America.

Engine maintenance is expected to account for the largest share of MRO work conducted on the aircraft, accounting for 28%($17 billion) of spend from now until 2027.

The Aftermarket ambitions of its manufacturer Boeing are well documented, with a $50 million play targeted over the next decade. So far, the OEM appears on the right track. In the most recent financial results published in late-January 2018, the company saw an estimated 3%-5% annual growth in the division, taking its overall aftermarket sales to $14.6 billion for the year. 

Source : pro.network/Boeing Numbers

 

                                   MRO Latest News 

  • Magnetic MRO was selected by Air Nostrum to provide Bombardier CRJ1000 line maintenance.
  • Vallair the aircraft trading, leasing and specialist MRO organization, delivered a Boeing 737-400F to Ireland’s ASL Aviation Holdings.
  • Turkish Technic was selected by Russia’s IKar Airlines to perform C Check on a Boeing 767-300ER.
  • S7 Technics will paint 17 aircraft, Airbus A320s and Boeing 737-800s, for S7 Airlines into airline’s new brand livery.
  • Tarmac Aerosave, a company specializing in aircraft storage, maintenance and dismantling a second Airbus A380 at its Tarbes, France facility for storage. Bringing the total of ex-Singapore Airlines A380s to be stored in Tarbes to four.             

 

 

 

Researched and Compiled by :

Ed Kaplanian    Commercial Aviation Advisor 

Contact – ekaplanian@msn.com

Editor:   Lee Kaplanian

Volume 5 Issue 3 The Kaplanian Report


On the Boeing Front

                                              The 737 MAX Gains Momentum

On February 5th Boeing rolled out the first 737 MAX 7, the third member of the MAX family to come down the line in Renton.

The MAX 7 is slightly stretched compared to the 737-700, giving customers the capacity to fly 12 more passengers even farther. The airplane will have the longest range of any member of the MAX family at 3,850 nm. What’s most impressive about the MAX 7 is its ability to offer exceptional performance at high altitude airports and hot climate.

Global airlines holding orders for the 737 MAX 7, as of January 1, 2017 include Kunming Airlines of China for 10, Southwest Airlines for 30, WestJet of Canada for 23 and Jetliner of Canada for 5.

On February 16th the Boeing 737 MAX 9 has gained FAA certification, clearing the way for the second variant in the MAX family to enter commercial service.

The MAX 9 has a maximum capacity of 220 passengers in a single-class configuration, 10 more seats than the MAX 8.  The MAX 9’s maximum range of 3,335 nm is the same as the  MAX 8, although the -9 needs an auxiliary fuel tank to reach this range.

Boeing is now in the final stages of preparing the MAX 9 for its first delivery to launch customer Lion Air Group.

Finally, Boeing’s MAX 10 reached a major milestone as the MAX program completed firm configuration on the airplane.

Source : Boeing/Boeing Pictures

                     

ON THE AIRBUS FRONT

                   Airbus Has Commenced the Maiden Flight of the A321LR 

Airbus has commenced the maiden flight of its new long-range A321LR, the aircraft having lifted off from Finkenwerder airfield in Hamburg. It took off from the plant as weather conditions, including an overcast sky and rain, cleared sufficiently for the test.

The test aircraft, powered by CFM International Leap-1A engines, has a new fuselage door configuration which will enable customers to fit up to 240 seats.

The configuration will become the structural standard for future A321neo production.

The aircraft will have a 97t maximum take-off weight and optional additional fuel tanks, giving it the capability of operating on long-range routes up to 4,000nm.

The initial test flight lasted 2h and 30 min.

Source : Flightglobal/Pictures Airbus

        

REGIONAL/BUSINESS JETS

                         Dassault Receives Orders for 41 Falcons in 2017 

Dassault Aviation reports receiving orders for 41 Falcon Jets in 2017, up from 33 in the prior year; the termination of the Falcon 5X program resulted in three cancellations.

The French airframer delivered 49 business jets last year, up from a forecast of 45. Meanwhile, the company’s backlog decreased from 63 to 52 and some Falcon 5X cancellations have yet to be entered in the books.

The business jet market has yet to recover from the global financial crisis of 2008.

Source : BCA/Picture Dassault

 

                         Bombardier Enters Final Phase of Global 7000 Testing 

Bombardier has entered the final phase of a 14-month-old airworthiness campaign after the fifth Global 7000 business jet entered flight testing on January 30th.  The debut for flight-test vehicle (FTV) 5 keeps the program on track for gaining type certification in the second half of this year. 

Bombardier has now logged more than 1,300 flight hours in the Global 7000 test campaign and completed fatigue testing on a full airframe, the company says.

The 7,400nm (13,700km) range of a Global 7000 with eight passengers sits between the 7,000nm range of the G650 and the 7,500 range of the G650ER.

The Global 7000 offers more room, with a cabin about 2.5m (8ft 2in) longer than the Gulfstream models.

Source : Bombardier/Bombardier Picture/Ed’s Research       

                                                             

OTHER AVIATION NEWS

                               Spirit AeroSystems Ships 10,000 737 Fuselage  

A train carrying the 10,000th 737 fuselage left Spirit AeroSystems’ factory in Wichita, Kansas on February 13, the supplier says. Spirit AeroSystems builds 70% of the 737, including the fuselage.  

The milestone was announced on February 14 by Spirit AeroSystems senior vice president and chief technology and quality officer John Pilla, a speaker at the Pacific Northwest Aerospace Alliance conference in Lynnwood, Washington.

The milestone aircraft is a 737 Max 8 scheduled for delivery to Southwest Airlines, Boeing says.  

When that fuselage is integrated with wings, systems, engines and interiors in Boeing’s final assembly plant, the 737 will become the first aircraft of the jet age to achieve the 10,000th delivery milestone.

The first 737-100 entered service with Lufthansa 50 years and four days ago on February 10,1968. The type has progressed through four generations, including the original 737, classic, Next Generation and Max families. Southwest Airlines flew all variants with the exception of the 737-100.

Source : Flightglobal/Picture Spirit AeroSystems

Meridiana Relaunched As Air Italy   

Meridiana has been relaunched as Air Italy on February 19 in Milan by investors Qatar Airways and Alisarda. Akbar Al Baker pitches the “new airline” as a direct competitor to Alitalia, outlining a rapid expansion program involving several new domestic and international services. 

Air Italy will take 20 Boeing 737 Max 8s plus five Airbus 330s over the next three years, on lease from Qatar Airways “at market rate”. It will also take 20 787s, bringing its fleet to 50 aircraft. The airline will be based at Milan Malpensa airport.

The airline will offer business-class cabins along its economy offering. Qatar Airways took a 49% stake in Meridiana last year and the remainder is held by Alisarda.

Source : Flightglobal/Qatar Airways/Picture Qatar Airways

    Copa Airlines Plans to Expand Fleet in 2018 

Copa Airlines flag carrier of Panama plans to grow its fleet by 25% by 2020 with the first of 71 Boeing 737 MAX arriving in August of this year.

The airline should receive five 737 MAX aircraft this year, followed by 10 in 2019 and 22 in 2022, says Ahad Zamany, VP technical operations, speaking at the Aviation Week Network’s MRO Latin America event. The last of the 71 should arrive in 2025.  

Its Predominant fleet of 737-800s will cap out at 71 this year up from 69 in 2017.

To accommodate the expanding fleet, the Panama-based carrier broke ground on a new maintenance hangar in 2017 that should be finished in the fourth quarter of this year. 

Source : Aviation Week/Picture Copa Airlines   

 

LATEST NEWS

  • China Aircraft Leasing Group (CALC) placed an order with Airbus for 15 A320neos valued at roughly $1.7 billion.
  • Sichuan Airlines has ordered 10 Airbus A350-900s, on February 9; the aircraft will help facilitate a rapid international expansion plan.
  • Aviation Capital Group took delivery of its first Boeing 737 MAX in Seattle.The aircraft, a 737 MAX 8 variant on a long term lease to Aerolineas Argentinas.
  • BOC Aviation will lease seven Airbus A320neo aircraft to Chongqing Airlines, with all aircraft scheduled for delivery in 2018.
  • Oman Air has taken delivery of the first of 30 Boeing 737 Max 8s it has on order.
  • Qantas has released the first pictures of its latest aircraft to bear an indigenous-inspired livery, this time on its fourth 787-9 delivered on March 2nd.
  •   UPS  places an order for 14 Boeing 747-8Fs and four Boeing 767-300 Freighters.
  • Travel Service Airlines has received its first Boeing 737 Max 8, one of 10 the Czech airline is taking on operating lease from GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS )
  • Lufthansa  Its new revised livery, first appeared on one of the fleets 747-8is
  • Subaru (formerly known as Fuji Heavy Industries) has completed production of the first Boeing 777X center wing box at the company’s Hanada factory.

AIR CARGO

Southwest Cargo Set To Begin International Shipments in May

Southwest Airline announced on February 19th that it will roll out its new Southwest Cargo Suite(SCS) point -of-sale system this month and will begin international cargo shipments to destinations in Mexico in May.

The carrier will kick off its shipments to Mexico, with destinations including Mexico City, Cancun, Cabo San Lucas/Los Cabos and Puerto Vallarta, pending government approvals. Southwest Airlines senior director for cargo and charters, Wally Devereaux, stated at the Air Cargo 2018 conference.

The airline expects to add more routes in Mexico and the Caribbean through this year and build steadily on an international cargo business Southwest expects to be small — at first.

Southwest expects healthy trade units routes between the United States and Mexico, with northbound flights likely moving perishables to the U.S.,while flights to Mexico to transport a variety of cargo, including pharmaceutical products and e-commerce goods.

Source : Southwest Airlines

 

 MAINTENANCE, REPAIR AND OVERHAUL NEWS 

                                  GE Grows Parts Presence in Singapore 

GE Aviation plans to open a new GE9X components manufacturing facility in Singapore and will draw on ideas and concepts from its existing parts repair center in the city-state.

It will grow its engine components footprint in Singapore after announcing plans to establish a new center to manufacture parts for the GE9X engine powering the Boeing 777X.

Announced at the Singapore Air Show on February 5, the new 50,000 square foot facility located at the City-State’s Seletar Aerospace Park will specialize in high pressure compressor vanes for the wide body engine, which to date amassed 700 orders. In the Asia-Pacific region, Aviation Week’s 2018 Fleet & MRO Forecast has an order backlog of 82 units for the GE9X,a figure not taking into account this year’s Singapore Air Show.

With plans to implement digital and lean manufacturing concepts at the new facility, the engine maker said it will draw on ideas and concepts from existing Singapore repair center.

Investments at the component service center include research into new repair processes’ lean lab for advanced manufacturing and utilizing the latest robotic technologies to drive greater efficiencies. These Commitments were made in anticipation of growing regional demand from engine types such as the CFM LEAP, GEnx and the GE9X.  

Source : GE Aviation

 

                                     MRO LATEST NEWS  

  • Iberia Maintenance has signed a contract to inspect &repair the Rolls-Royce RB 211 535-E4 engines powering DHL Air UK and Blue Dart’s 757 aircraft fleet.
  • Tarmac Aerosave received a second ex-Singapore Airline’s Airbus A380 for storage at its Tarbes, France facility.
  • Triumph Aviation Services Asia was selected by Boeing to provide inspection, recertification and repair support on nacelle and flight control components in the Asia-Pacific region.
  • KLM UK Engineering has a Finnair contract for Embraer E190/Airbus A320 line maintenance at Edinburgh.
  • Spirit AeroSystems unveiled 20,000 sqft center of excellence at Wichita to focus on the fabrication of large, complex soft metal parts for fuselage, pylon and wing structures.
  • Safran Electrical & Power was selected by Boeing to equip its 2018 ecoDemonstrator (FedEX Express 777F) with an electrical channel that includes electric power generation and distribution systems, engine and aircraft wiring, and specific electrical loads (electric fans).

 

Researched and Compiled by : Ed Kaplanian

Commercial Aviation Advisor

Contact at  ekaplanian@msn.com

Editor –  Lee Kaplanian

 

Volume 5 Issue 2 The Kaplanian Report February 2018

On the Boeing Front


Customer Support is the Backbone to Selling Commercial Aircraft

One of the key successes of the Boeing Company Commercial Division in selling commercial jetliners beginning with the introduction of the 707 is the support for their aircraft. I thought it’s time to share with my readers the inside look at the operations of Boeing’s Spare Distribution Center  (SDC located very near to the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.)

The 700,000 sq.ft. facility ships more than one million spare parts each year. It handles receipts, shipments and repairs of thousands of parts needed to keep Boeing Aircraft aircraft flying every day.

As an ex VP of spares in the car and Heavy Duty Truck industries, I took a detailed tour of the facility in 1996. The facility officially opened in 1993 and is one of five regional distribution centers for Boeing.  The other facilities are located in Atlanta, Beijing, Dubai, London and Singapore.

Open 24/7, The the SDC employs more than 245 workers to handle spares and the facilities MRO operations. Approximately 60% of the staff works first shift, which handles AOG  (airplane on the ground) and restocking parts. The remainder of staff (approximately 15%)  work third shift, which focuses on getting parts out the door.

Each day, the Seattle SDC handles around 600 receipts and ships 2,000-2,200 orders.  Annually,  the SDC has around 300,000 receipts and issues one million spare parts, including 400,000 AOG shipments.

The SDC has 150,000 sq.ft. bulk floor storage area which contains parts too large to store                   elsewhere  in the building. Boeing has packaging engineers in-house to design boxes,                                  which are made from heat-teated treated wood and shaped for the most efficient fit on cargo aircraft.

Each package leaving the facility includes a Boeing 8130—an FAA form stating that the part  is airworthy.  The SDC’s top priority is AOG. All AOG parts are ready to ship in four hours.  The facility’s mission is “right part, right place, right time.

Source : Personal notes and observations/ Pictures MRO online

 

ON THE AIRBUS FRONT

                                  Airbus Rolls Out Higher-Capacity A321neo 

Assembly of the first A321 neo ACF (Airbus Cabin Flex) has been completed in Hamburg,                               the  manufacturer confirms.

The CFM International Leap-1A powered narrow body will undergo ground tests prior to its  scheduled first flight Airbus adds.  It gives “mid-2018” as the time frame for the first delivery to a customer.

The variant’s exits are positioned immediately aft of the wing and can be removed to allow a higher-density seating capability. In the high-density single-class layout, with a space-saving aft galley installed, the aircraft can seat up to 240 passengers.

This total is attained by locating 102 seats ahead of the overawing exits, six at the exits                      themselves, with 59 in the cabin between the wing and repositioned aft exits and 73 in                                                the rearmost section.  Pegasus, Qatar Airways and VietJet are intending to take the A321neo ACF.

Source : Airbus/Picture Airbus

REGIONAL/BUSINESS JETS

Mitsubishi Aircraft Details Latest Organizational Changes

Mitsubishi Aircraft plans to undergo organizational changes that will see MRJ program                        director, Alex Bellamy, run what the company calls its new program management division which started on January 1, 2018.

The division was established to “reinforce the development and management of the MRJ                    program,”  the division encompasses the newly established integrated product team (IPT)                   execution department,  the governance management office, and the product strategy office.

In a recent interview with AIN, Bellamy reported that the program teams had flown four flight-test airplanes a total of some 1,500 hours, while production crews had attached wings and began painting the fifth flight-test airplane.  Bellamy detailed the status of the flight-test program at Moses Lake, Washington, where the four existing flight-test airplanes have completed more than 50 percent of their duties ahead of expected certification in late 2019.  Targeting first delivery to launch All Nippon Airways in mid-2020, program leadership now expects the MRJ flight-test airplanes to clock as  many as 3,000 hours, some 500 hours more than originally allocated.

Source : AIN/Photo Mitsubishi Aircraft

 

GE Completes First Ground Test of Advanced Turboprop Engine

Aviation completed the first test run of the new Advanced Turboprop (ATP) at GE’s Prague engine manufacturing facility in the Czech Republic. The first application for the 1,240-shp ATP is the Cessna Denali single-engine turboprop, which is scheduled to fly late this year. Engine certification testing begins this year.

With a 16:1 overall pressure ratio, the engine is expected to offer 20 percent lower fuel burn and 10 percent higher cruise speed compared with competing engines. Time between overhaul is set at 4,000 hours. The ATP is part of a family that will include engines in 1,000-to 1,600-shp range.

This new engine is also aimed at the Pilatus PC-12 and Daher TBM900.

Source : GE Aviation/ Ge Aviation Picture

OTHER AVIATION NEWS

            Alaska Airlines Set to Anchor Paine Field Opening Late this Year 

Seattle-based Alaska Airlines is looking to solidify an anchor presence at the redeveloped Paine Field-Snohomish County Airport in Everett, Washington with the January 16 announcement of 13 daily flights to eight cities set to launch in the fall of this year.

Alaska’s new point-to-point destinations from Paine Field will be Las Vegas; Los Angeles;                       Orange County, California; Phoenix; Portland; San Diego; San Francisco; and San Jose, California.    Alaska said it will detail flight frequencies and departure/arrival times in the year, pending  government approval.

Snohomish County is partnering with Propeller Airports to build a new passenger terminal at the  airport for a planned opening in the fall of this year. Paine Field, originally constructed in 1936, is the home for Boeing’s Everett Factory, the manufacturing plant for Boeing’s 747, 767, 777 and 787 aircraft.  The airport is also home to over 650 general aviation, business and historic aircraft.  Of the three runways at the airport, only one— Runway 16R/34L, at 9,010 ft in length and 150 ft. in width— is suitable for large aircraft.  Alaska said last year that it is planning to utilize Boeing  737 and Embraer E175s for the new routes.

United Airlines is also planning for commercial flights at Paine Field. In August 2017 the                      Chicago-based carrier said it will operate six daily flights from the airport to its hubs in Denver and San Francisco.

Source : ATW/Ed’s Research on airport information

 

GECAS Takes Delivery of its 394th—And Last—Next Generation 737  

Culminating a 20-year history of new orders for the type, GECAS has received its 394th and final skyline order of Boeing’s Next Generation 737.

With an initial order placed in 1996, GECAS’ NG order book accounts for roughly one of every NGs delivered to date. Surpassing other lessor’s skyline orders for the type,  GECAS’ placements of NG’s have been leased to 64 operators across 32 countries. Exclusively powered by CFM-56 engines, the narrow body has served the airline industry for decades and is ideally suited for both commercial passenger and cargo aircraft.

“An exceptionally valuable asset in our portfolio, the Next-Generation 737 has been incredibly reliable for our customers,” states Declan Kelly, GECAS Executive Vice President, noting “Much of our success since the 1990’s is in some way attributable to the NG and the relationship we’ve developed with the team at Boeing.”

The Next-Generation 737 has been an icon of the aviation industry for two decades,” said Boeing Commercial Airplanes President & CEO Kevin McAllister.

“It’s been a workhorse for the airlines and lessors alike and we’re proud to have delivered so many of these airplanes to GECAS. We look forward to beginning a new chapter of success together when   GECAS takes delivery of   its first 737 MAX this year.”

Source : GECAS/Boeing

 

 FAA Approves 787-10 for Airworthiness

Singapore Airlines can take delivery of the first Boeing 787-10 on schedule after the US Federal Aviation Administration approved an amended type certificate.

Boeing announced the entry into service for the 787-10 as broadly the “first half of 2018”, but the approval of the amended type certificate now means that the first delivery could happen by the end of the first quarter.

Four years after Boeing launched the third and largest member of the 787 family, the 787-10 with Rolls-Royce Trent 1000-TEN engines entered flight testing 10 months ago at Boeing’s factory in North Charleston, South Carolina. The smaller 787-8 and 787-9 models will continue to be assembled in North Charleston and Everett, Washington, and the 787-10 is exclusively assembled in South Carolina.

The 787-10 received approval from the FAA after completing about 900 test hours. The aircraft is 5m(16.4ft)longer than the 787-9, but the two aircraft are nearly identical with a few exceptions. To accommodate the longer fuselage on takeoff, Boeing installed a 777-300 ER-style semi-levered main landing gear.

Boeing also increased commonality by moving some design changes made for the 787-10 into the smaller 787-9. The latter is now produced using the stronger wing designed for the 787-10.The 787-9 also uses hybrid laminar flow control in the vertical tail only, after the same system was deleted from the vertical stabilizers in the 787-10.

Source : Boeing/Boeing Picture

   

  LATEST NEWS

  • Xiamen Air has committed to purchase 150 CFM LEAP-1B engines and MRO support for 20 engines at $2.05 billion. The engines will be used to power Xiamen Air’s Boeing 737 MAX aircraft.

  • Ethiopian Cargo and Logistics Services has committed to lease the first two Boeing 737-800 freighters(737-800SF) converted by Aeronautical Engineers INC.(AEI) from GECAS, with the first delivery expected in June of this year.
  • Air Astana has taken delivery of the first Airbus A321neo. The aircraft, on lease from AerCap, is configured with 28 business class and 151 economy class seats.

  • Ukraine International Airlines took delivery of a Boeing 737-800 NG in December, completing its 2017 fleet expansion program.
  • Silver Airways Florida-based regional carrier has firmed its order for 20 ATR turboprops

  • KfW IPEX-Bank has financed two Boeing 787-9s, equipped with Rolls-Royce engines for Air New Zealand.
  • Irish Lessor AerCap firmed an order with Rolls-Royce to power 10 forthcoming Boeing 787-9s with Trent 1000-TEN engines. The transition is valued at $450 million at list prices.
  • Emirates Airlines has announced a $16 billion deal for up to 36 additional Airbus A380s.The Commitment is for 20 A380s and 16 options with deliveries to start in 2020.

 

AIR CARGO

 Aeronautical Engineers, Inc Delivers B737F to ASL 

Aeronautical Engineers, Inc, has redelivered a B737-400SF freighter to Irish based ASL Aviation – the company’s one hundredth conversion of this type.

ACL Aviation owns and operates a fleet of nearly 90 jet and turboprop aircraft, providing capacity for up to 147 passengers or 40 tons of cargo.

The delivery represents the thirteenth AEI B737-400 converted freighter that has been re-delivered to ASL over the last few years.

ASL currently has an additional four B737-400SF freighters, either undergoing conversion or scheduled for modification in 2018, at partner Commercial Jet’s Dothan, Alabama facility.

AEI president Roy Sandri said: “This milestone represents another important achievement in AEI’s history”.

“The AEI B737-400SF has been an exceptionally successful fighter for not only ASL, but all our leasing and operator customers worldwide.”

Source : aircargonews/ ASL Picture/Ed’s Research

 

Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul News

Southwest Adds MRO Capacity 

Southwest Airlines is pressing ahead with plans to build a new maintenance facility at Houston Hobby airport.

The new 240,000sq-ft hanger will have space for six Boeing 737 aircraft and will include aircraft wash facilities on the apron outside, taxiway connections, parking and loading docks, as well as offices and parts storage areas. Work on the hanger should begin this spring to ready it for opening in late 2019.

Once the project is finished, SWA will have six maintenance facilities in the US, which should leave it less exposed to some of the mishaps that have resulted from outsourced MRO work in the past.

The new maintenance capacity is also needed to service a growing fleet. Southwest has roughly 200 Boeing 737 Max 7 and Max 8 narrow bodies on order, although it recently deferred deliveries of 23 Max 7s from the 2019-2021 period to 2023 and 2024. In December the airline indicated that it might use gains from proposed corporate tax cuts in the US to further invest in its fleet. Most of its backlog is for the larger Max 8 model, to which 40 more units were added in late December when SWA excessed options with Boeing.

Source : mro-network/Ed’s Research/Picture Southwest Airlines

 

MRO Latest News 

  • LATAM Airlines Group plans to build a maintenance center at Sao Paulo Guarulhos Airport in the second half of this year to simultaneously service seven wide bodies or 19 narrow bodies.
  • Limco Airepair has a Korean Air contract to maintain aircraft heat exchangers.
  • Precision Aircraft Solutions redelivered three Boeing 757-200PCFs in December 2017: two to AF Airlines and the third to YTO. Haeco Xiamen, Ameco each modified one.
  • Bulgaria Air has awarded FL Technics a three-year deal to undertake base checks. Work has already begun on an initial Airbus A319.
  • Eva Air has extended its co-operation with Lufthansa Tecknik to cover component maintenance on its Boeing 777 Freighters. EVA Air took delivery of its first 777F in November 2017 and set to receive four more through September 2019.

 

Researched and Compiled by : Ed Kaplanian

Commercial Aviation Advisor

Contact – ekaplanian@msn.com

P.S. To all my international readers, thank you for following my blog.                                                                 Your comments, questions and suggestions will be appreciated.

Volume 5 Issue 1 The Kaplanian Report

On the Boeing Front

Boeing Readies First Test Flights of GE’s 9X

The Boeing 777X is not scheduled to enter service until 2020, but that’s a lot closer than may sound.  Boeing has mounted the first GE9x engine to the wing of GE’s 747-400 testbed to begin flights .

The GE9X is rated at 105,000 pounds of thrust and includes a 134-in diameter fan encased in a 174-in nacelle. Those are the largest dimensional measurements ever for a jet engine: the fan is 11 feet in diameter and the nacelle is 14.5 feet in diameter.

Picture shown, credited to GE, shows how large the engine is compared to the 747’s GE made CF6-80C2 engine (93-inch fan, 59,000 pounds thrust) and how the new engine had to be canted forward and tilted upward to provide adequate ground clearance on the testbed plane.

The engine mounted to the testbed is the fourth built by GE. The first engine to test was fired up in March 2016 and currently being checked out at GE’s icing test facility in Winnipeg, Ontario, which had to be modified to accommodate the giant engine.

The second GE9X is being used to demonstrate performance conditions the engine will have to pass in order to pass the FAA’s 150-hour block test this year.

Part of that test includes running the engine at triple red-line conditions: maximum fan speed, maximum core speed and maximum exhaust gas temperature to test the engine at the most extreme conditions.

The third engine is being prepared for crossing testing at a GE facility in Ohio. A flight is headed for Winnipeg as soon as it is built and another three are being assembled. The first flight-test engines for the first 777X will be shipped to Boeing later this year and initial flight of the first 777X family — the 777-9 —is expected in early 2019.

Source : GE Aviation/Boeing/picture GE

                      

ON THE AIRBUS FRONT

Airbus Appoints Eric Schulz Successor to John Leahy

Airbus has appointed Eric Schulz Chief of Sales, Marketing and Contracts for the company’s Commercial Aircraft business. In this function, he will join Airbus at the end of this month and will report to Chief Executive Officer Tom Enders.

Schulz comes from Rolls-Royce where he has been serving as President — Civil Aerospace since January 2016. At Airbus, he will succeed John Leahy, 67, who has been at the helm of the Commercial Aircraft’s Sales organization since 1994.

“We are glad to have Eric Schulz joining our team. He has broad international experience in the aerospace industry, a deep understanding of airline operations and aero engines.

This combination of skills and experience makes Eric the right pick to succeed John Leahy at a

critical juncture of our company’s development“ said Tom Enders.

Affectionately known to airlines around the world as “Mr. Airbus”, John Leahy joined the company in 1985 from Piper Aircraft in the U.S. and will retire after 33 years of service. With more than 16,000 aircraft sold under his leadership, which accounts for 90 percent of all Airbus aircraft sold. Leahy will remain with Airbus for a few months’ transition period with his successor.

Source : Airbus/Picture Airbus

 

 

REGIONAL/BUSINESS JETS

Pilatus Registers First Customer-Owned PC-24 As Certification Looms

The First Pilatus PC-24 destined for launch customer PlaneSense has been registered in Switzerland by Stans-based airframer, as certification and service entry of the super light business jet draw near.

The all-metal aircraft— serial number 101— carries registration HB-VSB and will be delivered to the US fractional ownership company following European Aviation Safety Agency and US Federal Aviation Administration validation of the PC-24 program.

Following pre-delivery testing, the aircraft will be placed on the FAA registry of N-prefixed aircraft.

PlaneSense is already a long-standing Pilatus customer and the largest commercial operator of its PC-12NG single-engined turboprop, with a fleet of 35.

Based in New Hampshire, The operator acquired six PC-24s from the first order round, which sold out within 36 hours of opening in 2013. Pilatus has a backlog for 84 PC-24s, and plans to reopen the order book this year.

The seven-seat PC-24 is Pilates’s first jet after almost eight decades of producing models as the PC-12 — the best-selling single turboprop business aircraft, with more than 1,500 deliveries to date.

The company also produces the PC-21 turboprop military trainer, whose customers include the French air force.

Source : Flightglobal/Pilatus/Pilatus Picture

OTHER AVIATION NEWS

American Launches Next Fleet Renewal Phase with Max

American Airlines launched the next phase of its fleet rental program with the introduction of the Boeing 737 Max 8 on November 29.

The Fort Worth-based carrier debuted the aircraft on the Miami-New Your La Guardia route with the 737 Max 8 beginning its day with a 7:00 a.m. departure to New York and then operating the return leg to Miami at 11:00 a.m.

Pilots Steve Efken and Monica Svensson, who flew the aircraft on both flights, told Flightglobal while on the ground at LaGuardia that the aircraft handled well and was quieter than the 737-800.They added that the cockpit displays were comparable to those on the Boeing 787 rather than the 737 NGs.

American configures its 737 Max 8s with 172 seats,16 in first class and 156 in economy, including 30 extra-legroom economy seats. This is more seats than on its 737-800s, which will be reconfigured to match the density of the Max over the next few years. American is the second US airline to debut the 737 Max 8, following launch customer Southwest Airlines’ introduction of the type on October 1,2017.

American is basing its first 737 Max 8s at its Miami International airport hub. While the 737 Max 8 may replace the A319s and 757s at Miami the carrier will also use the 737 Max 8s to replace the aircraft, including A320s and Boeing MD-80s, as part of a broader fleet renewal.

American has firm orders for 98 737 Max 8s in addition to the two already in its fleet.

Source : Flightglobal/American Airlines Picture

 Start-Up Plans World Airways Revival With 787s 

Ed Wegel has announced plans to relaunch former wide body freight operator World Airways as a long-haul passenger carrying airline flying Boeing 787s using an ultra-low-cost model.

US based investment firm 777 Partners acquired the intellectual property of World Airways, Inc., named Wegel as founding chief executive of the re-launched carrier and disclosed on-going discussions with Boeing to order up to 10 787s.

“We are proud to begin preparations to launch scheduled operations from the US to Asia and Latin America,” Wegel says in a statement. In a long and wide-ranging career, Wegel founded short-lived carrier People Express in the 1980s, led US Airways Express in the 1990s and most recently attempted to revive Eastern Airways, which was acquired by Swift Air last year.

The relaunched World’s chief marketing officer, Freddie Laker, will reveal the carrier’s new brand in the “ next few weeks”,Wegel Says.

Despite its Boeing widebody-themed name, Miami-based 777 Partners’ owns a broad portfolio of information technology, health care and financial services companies, and World Airways represents the firm’s only aviation asset.

Source : 777 Partners

              Air France Retrieves Stranded A380 From Goose Bay, Canada  

On December 6 Air France retrieved the Airbus A380 stranded in Goose Bay, since September 30 after it diverted following unconfined failure of one of its Engine Alliance GP7200 powerplants.

Air France crew, rather than Airbus personnel, flew the aircraft back to Paris Charles de Gaulle. The aircraft has been taken to the H6 hanger at the airport’s facility which was specifically designed for A380 maintenance.

Air France says the aircraft will undergo checks for “a few weeks” before it is returned to scheduled service.

Its engine was subsequently replaced in Goose Bay, having been transported by an Antonov An124, and the A380 departed Canada with all four powerplants functioning says the airline.

Air France says the detached engine has been shipped to the UK for further analysis to determine the nature and cause of the failure, which included the loss of its fan disk.

Source : Air France/ Air soc.com

United Ups 757 Density With New Slimline Seats

United Airlines will retrofit its Boeing 757-300 fleet with slimline seats by the middle of this year, increasing the number of economy seats on the aircraft to more than 200.

The Chicago-based carrier will add 20 seats to the economy cabin on the aircraft for a total of 210 seats.  First class will continue to have 24 seats.

The 757-300 is the latest aircraft in United’s fleet to receive additional economy seats. The carrier is reconfiguring its legacy United Boeing 767-300ERs with 214 seats from 213 as it installs its new Polaris business class, and its Boeing 777-200s with 292 seats from either 267 or 269 with Polaris installations.

Adding seats to an aircraft in a carrier’s fleet is a cheaper way to increase capacity — and reduce unit costs — than purchasing new or additional aircraft.

United operates 21 757-300s, and operates the aircraft on high-density routes primarily from its Chicago O”Hare, Denver and San Francisco hubs.

Source : United/Flightglobal

LATEST NEWS

  • SMBC Aviation Capital announced an agreement with AeroMexico for the purchase and leaseback of 10 Boeing 737 MAX, which includes a pre-delivery payment facility for all 10 aircraft, which are scheduled to deliver between 2018 and 2020 and will be made up of eight 737 MAX 8s and two 737 MAX9s powered by CFM International LEAP-1B engines.
  • EasyJet wet-leased six A320s from SmartLynx to operate out of Berlin Tegel in the first quarter of this year.
  • Norwegian took delivery of its 150th Boeing aircraft (787-9) since 2008.

 

  • Avalon Irish lessor delivered one Airbus A320neo to LATAM Airlines Group.

 

  • Malaysia Airlines took delivery of its first of six Airbus-900s leased from Air Lease Corp.

  • Czech Travel Service signed on December 7,2017 an order for nine additional 737 MAX planes increasing its total order book for the model to 39.

 

  • LOT Polish Airline took delivery of its first Boeing 737 MAX 8, which it has received through US lessor Air Lease Corp.

 

  • Primera Scandinavian leisure carrier has ordered two more 737 MAX 9s taking the original order signed in May 2017 from eight to 10 aircraft.

  • Aerolineas Argentinas celebrated the delivery of the carrier’s first 737 MAX 8 on December 4, 2017.

  • Delta Airlines orders 100 A321neos and selects GTF engines from Pratt & Whitney to power the aircraft.

AIR CARGO

Two 747-400 Freighters Sold on Alibaba Auction Site 

Two Boeing 747-400-F’s sold on an Alibaba-owned e-commerce website Taobao for $48 million, making the pair of jumbo jets the highest-value sale ever.

The two “Queens of the Sky” were from a bankrupt cargo company, Jade Cargo International, and sold to Chinese logistics company SF Express, according to the listing.

Jade Cargo International was in Shenzhen and was founded in 2004 in which Lufthansa Cargo was a joint-venture partner along with Shenzhen airlines.

Jade management, aiming to achieve high goals, ordered six Boeing 747-400ERF’s with a list price value of $1.3 billion. The planes have very low flight hours and will be a good addition to SF Express fleet and 737s and 767 freighters.

Source : Cargo Facts/CNBC

Boeing Plans Engine Upgrades for Its 747 Dreamlifter Fleet

Boeing’s fleet of four Dreamlifters freighters are getting engine upgrades after years of hard flying. Once dubbed the “fantastic four”,the gigantic Dreamlifters are specially modified 747-400 passenger aircraft, Boeing acquired the four second hand 747-400s; former Air China aircraft, two former China Airlines aircraft and one former Malaysia Airlines aircraft. Modifications were carried out in Taiwan by Evergreen Aviation Technologies Corp. a joint venture of Evergreen Group’s EVA Air and General Electric.

They were modified for Boeing between 2006 and 2008 to transport Boeing 787 Dreamliner wings, fuselage sections to Dreamliner assembly facilities in Everett and South Carolina.

“We are in the process of upgrading the Dreamlifter’s Pratt and Whitney engines,” Boeing Paul Bergman confirmed. ”This will make it easier to get parts and slight fuel savings. This is not a re-engine project.”

Each Dreamlifter is powered by four Pratt & Whitney 4062 engines. They will get the modernized versions of the Pratt & Whitney 4062, which are used on the twin-engine Boeing KC-46 Pegasus aerial refueling tankers, Bergman Said.

Boeing Owns the four Dreamlifters, but Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings operates them for Boeing  under a nine-year contract signed in March 2010.Atlas receives revenues for the flights, while Boeing assumes responsibility for certain direct costs, including fuel.

Source : Boeing/Ed’s Research

 Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul News

The Road to Number Ten

Rolls-Royce’s Trent 1000 TEN has entered revenue service, almost seven years after the engine it is to replace, the Trent 1000 for the Boeing 787, did the same.

Although the manufacturer did not reveal the identity of the launch operator, three airlines — Norwegian, Scoot and Air New Zealand — have received Trent 1000 TEN .

The new engine incorporates a scaled version of the Trent XWB-84 compressor used in the Airbus A350, as well as other technologies developed on Rolls’ Advance3 demonstrator. It targets at least a 2% fuel-burn improvement over the current Trent 1000 Package C production configuration, production of which Rolls has transitioned to the TEN through 2017.

It will power the first 787-10, which is scheduled to be delivered to launch customer Singapore Airlines in May 2018, but will also become standard production engine for all Rolls-powered 787s from 2017 onwards.

Flight tests of the Trent TEN began in December 2016 on a 787-8 test aircraft, and the engine achieved EASA certification in August 2017, also when the first production engines arrived in Seattle. The first 787-10 is scheduled to be delivered to launch customer Singapore Airlines in May 2018.

Source : MRO-network/Picture Rolls-Royce

 

  MRO SHORT NEWS

  • Canadian North Airlines plans in the first quarter of this year to open a 90,000 sqft heavy maintenance facility at Edmonton International Airport to support its Boeing 737CLs and Bombardier Dash 8s.
  • Spirit Aerosystems plans to invest $1 billion over the next five years at Wichita for expansion.
  • Anjou Aéronautique of France was selected by Rossiya Airlines, Russia, to supply seat belts for its 15 Boeing 737-800s and nine 747-400s.
  • Lufthansa Technik was selected by South African LCC Mango Airlines to provide CFM56-7B maintenance.
  • AAR has a four-year Republic contract to provide heavy maintenance for 188 Embraer E170s/E175s.

 

Researched and Compiled by : Ed Kaplanian

Commercial Aviation Advisor

Contact – ed@kaplanianreport.com

Volume 4 Issue 12 December 2017 The Kaplanian Report

ON THE BOEING FRONT

Boeing Ceremonially Kicks Off  777-9 Assembly

Boeing marked the official launch of production activity for the first 777-9 test aircraft in a public ceremony on October 23. The company started building the wing spar in the newly-erected composite wing center in Everett, Washington, during the summer. The October 23 ceremony coincided with the drilling of the spar by an automated machine in another building on the campus. The ceremonial launch of production for the 777X family comes about 14 -17 months before the scheduled first flight of the 777-9 test aircraft in the first quarter of 2019. Entry into service with Launch customer should occur about a year after first flight.

Meanwhile, GE Aviation is continuing certification testing of the GE9x engine, while the second engine is to test running on a ground test stand since May.

Combined with GE Aviation GE9X engines, the 777X’s new wing will play a key part in delivering enhanced fuel efficiency. It has been increased in diameter by around 7m (23ft) over the current 777-300ER model, to 71.8m (235ft 5in) with a new wing-fold mechanism of 3.5m (11.4ft) on each side — to enable the twin engine jet to use the same airport infrastructure and taxiways as its predecessor.

Flight testing of the 777X is set to commence in 2019. Boeing expects to deliver the first 777-9 during 2020, with the longer-range -8 model to follow one year later.

“We see a good order backlog — much better than the -300ER had at this time, ahead of production,” Boeing Commercial Airplane chief executive Kevin McAllister told Flight global on September 26.  I think you’ll see a very compelling value proposition on that airplane as we go forward.”

Boeing has secured firm orders for 336 of the aircraft—283-9s and 53-8s— since launching the program at the Dubai air show in November 2013 (the last order for 20-9s from Singapore Airlines was finalized in Washington, DC on October 23.)

Other customers include All Nippon Airways, Cathay Pacific, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Lufthansa and Qatar.

Launch customer will be Emirates.

Source : Flightglobal/Boeing Picture

 

ON THE AIRBUS FRONT

First A321neo With Revised Door Layout Assembled

The first Airbus A321neo equipped with a modified fuselage and additional cabin exits is nearing completion on the final assembly line in Hamburg. Dubbed the “Airbus Cabin Flex” (ACF) version, this first major variation of the A321 fuselage incorporates up to four over-wing exits instead of the main cabin doors immediately ahead of the wing on existing A321.

The pair of doors immediately behind the wing has also repositioned aft by four fuselage frames (with a deactivation option).

The changes increase in the twinset’s maximum seating from the current 230 passengers to up to 240.  Other interior changes include slimmer seats, redesigned rear galley and lavatory module, and a new rating for exit doors.

The A321neo ACF is due to enter service next year and the changes it features will be incorporated into the extended-range A321LR version of the A321neo, which is due to enter service in 2019.  This variant features increased weights and up to three auxiliary fuel tanks, to boost range by up to 500nm (925km) to 4,000nm.

Source : Flightglobal/Airbus Picture

 

REGIONAL/BUSINESS JETS

  Boeing Business Jets Has Upped Its Sales For 2017

Boeing Business Jets tally for 2017 to 13 aircraft, adding six since the EBACE business aviation in May.  In what new BBJ president Greg Laxton calls a “fast and furious” year to date. The orders include a second 737 Max 7, the only narrow body Boeing Business Jet able to fly 7,000nm (13,000km). Boeing secured its first customer for the Max 7 BBJ late last year—a variant Laxton describes as a “game-changer” as it gives the airframe a product with similar range to the Gulfstream G650 or Bombardier 7000.

Boeing also notched up orders for six wide body business jets—Three 747-8s and three 777-300ERs— in 2017, as well as two of BBJ Max 9s, two original BBJs ( 737-700s) and a pair of BBJ 2s (737-800s). There have been four deliveries of green aircraft: three 777-300ERS and one 787-8.

In total, Boeing has orders for the BBJ version of the Max, with first delivery to a completion center—a 737 Max 8—due in the second quarter of 2018.

Source : Flightglobal/BBJ

 

OTHER AVIATION NEWS

      Retirement of KLM Fokker Ends Era That Began in 1921

The retirement of KLM Cityhopper’s last Fokker 70, after final flight on October 28, marks the end of an era in Dutch aviation history.

It was all the way back in April 1921 that KLM put its first Fokker into service.  KLM’s chief executive Pieter Elbers describes the exit of its last Fokker as “a sad moment”, but also highlights a new beginning for Cityhopper regional unit, which now operates a fleet composed of Embraer E-Jets.

“The replacement of the entire Fokker fleet began nine years ago with the introduction of the first Embraer 190 in November 2008,” Elbers recalls. ”it can be difficult to keep reliability high for the small Fokker fleet, but our maintenance team at Cityhopper has done a fantastic job.”

Special farewell flight between Heathrow and Amsterdam School was operated on the evening of October 28, becoming the last ever scheduled arrival of Cityhopper Fokker 70 at the Dutch hub. The aircraft (registered PH-KZU) was adorned with an image of founding father Antony Fokker on the tail and “Thank you” titles on the fuselage.

Source : KLM Press Room/KLM Picture

  American to Say Good Bye to MD-80s in 2019

American Airlines has set 2019 as the year it will retire its MD-80 fleet, replacing the rear-engined aircraft with modern Boeing 737-800s.The MD-80 was the workhorse of American and other US carriers’ domestic fleets from the 1980s through the early 2000s making it an everyday sight at airports around the country. Fort Worth-based America plans to finish this year with 45 MD-80s in its fleet, shrinking to 26 by the fall of 2018. All the carrier’s MD-80s will be based at its Dallas/Fort Worth hub once the ST Louis pilot base closes.

American was the first major US carrier to commit to the MD-80 — if only tentatively at first — when it agreed to “rent” 20 from McDonnell Douglas in 1982.

The airframer essentially leased the aircraft to the airline under a deal that allowed it to return the aircraft after five years with no penalty, or earlier with a cancellation charge.

Initially, American planned to primarily use the MD-80 to replace Boeing 727-100s in its fleet, citing 37% better fuel efficiency for the former compared to the latter.  Instead American opted to use the aircraft for growth when it placed what at the time was its largest order ever for 167 MD-80s, including 67 firm and 100 options, in 1984.

With the 1984 deal, American had “firmly pinned its future” on the MD-80.American’s fleet grew to 260 by 1993.

Source : Flightglobal/American Picture

 

                                                    LATEST NEWS

  • UTair Russian carrier has unveiled a refreshed livery and a slightly-modified  Utair brand name.

  • Ethiopian Airlines took delivery of the first of two Boeing 787-9s on October 27th making it Africa’s first operator of the type.
  • Aeroflot sizes up Airbus, Boeing for a narrow-body order and considering a “sizable” order of the A320neo and 737 MAX.
  • Airbus delivered first A320neo assembled in Tianjin to Air Asia. The aircraft, powered by CFM LEAP-1A engines.
  • Textron Aviation delivered its 100th Cessna Citation Latitude. The delivery went to NetJets.
  • Emirates Airlines takes delivery of its 100th A380 at Airbus’ Hamburg facility on November 3.
  • The Commercial Aircraft Corp of China (COMAC) has flown its C919 aircraft for the third time—five weeks after its second flight, and 26 weeks after the first flight.
  • Comlux signs the first BBJ MAX 8 completion ever, the aircraft will go to Comlux Indianapolis facilities in the 4th quarter of 2018 for redelivery by the fall of 2019
  • Pratt & Whitney successfully tests next generation Pure Power Geared Turbofan (GTF) as part of the FAA Sustainability Program.

  • Emirates Airlines kicked off the Dubai Air Show by announcing a commitment to purchase 40 Boeing 787-10s valued at $15.1 billion at list prices.

  • Air China and Air Canada take delivery of their first 737 Max 8 aircraft. The latest hand-overs raise Boeing’s total count of 737-8s this year to at least 35.

 

AIR CARGO

Lockheed Flies Second LM-100J Cargo Transport. 

The second LM-100 J has joined Lockheed Martin’s flight test program for the commercial freighter derivative of the C-130J military transport. The newly-built aircraft completed a first flight on October 11 from Lockheed’s final assembly plant in Marrietta, Georgia.

The first LM-100J started flying on May 25 to begin Lockheed’s campaign to receive a civil certification of the type from the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

The addition of the second aircraft “will accelerate our progress to deliver this unique aircraft’s capabilities to civilian operators around the world”, says Wayne Roberts, Lockheed’s chief test pilot for the LM-100J.

Lockheed has announced receiving 25 orders with a total value of $1.6 billion for the converted civil freighter. Externally, the most visible difference between the C-130 J and LM-100J is the absence of windows at the feet of the pilot and co-Pilot in the Cockpit of the commercial derivative. The LM-100J also lacks certain features of the military version, such as the capability to lower the cargo ramp door in flight.

Source : Lockheed/Lockheed Picture

 

 EVA Air Takes First 777-200 LR Freighter  

On November 10 EVA has taken delivery of its first Boeing 777-200LR Freighters part of its fleet modernization plan.

It will be put the aircraft was put into service between Asia and North America later that month. says the Taiwanese airline in a statement. It currently operates cargo services to North American points of Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth and Atlanta.

EVA adds that the General Electric GE-90 powered 777-200LR freighter allows it to operate to any North American destination from Taiwan, with a technical stop in Anchorage.

The carrier has another four of the freighters on order, all of which will be delivered by September 2019. With the deliveries, it will retire its five remaining 747-400 Freighters by the end of 2019.

The airline’s executive vice-president of corporate planning Albert Liao tells FlightGlobal that the carrier’s cargo strategy is to utilize the five 777 freighters as well as the belly hold of its 34 777-300ER aircraft to ensure a “sustainable” cargo  in “ good and bad Times”.

Source : Flightglobal/EVA Picture

 

 Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul News

Leap Negotiates Teething Problems 

The engine manufacturers predict around 450 Leaps will be produced in 2017. With all the attention paid to Pratt & Whitney’s problems with the geared turbofan this year, some have overlooked the early hiccups with its rival, The CFM LEAP.

“We have observed a premature loss of coating on the high-pressure turbine shroud which is made by our partner in CFM GE on some engines,” said Safran CEO Philippe Petitcolin in a recent earnings call.

Following a problem with LEAP 1B low-pressure turbine(LPT) discs that has nearly been resolved, CFM is now dealing with premature loss of the thermal coating on high-pressure turbine discs on the LEAP-1A and LEAP-1B.

However, Petitcolin, says that “most of this issue is really now behind us” and that coating problems should be fully resolved by 2018.He also stresses that the additional headwind is a conservative estimate, and that the extra technical support may not be needed.  One question for next year is the production split between CFM56 and LEAP engines, given ongoing strong sales of former powerplant.

Source: mro-network .com

 

 MRO Short News

  • FedEx orders up to 50 new-build ATR freighters and will become the launch customer for the line-produced ATR 72-600 Freighter, after placing a firm order for 30 aircraft, plus 20 options.

  • Boeing Asia Pacific Aviation Services has a Singapore Airline Cargo contract to provide fleet engineering services for 747-400Fs via customized solutions from Global Fleet Care portfolio.
  • Airbus forecasts MRO business in Asia will grow 4.5% annually through 2036(vs global growth of 3.9%) and be worth $ 660 billion over the next 20 years.
  • Swiss AviationSoftware was selected by Boeing to support its Global Fleet Care services with AMOS MRO software; Norwegian is first customer to use the AMOS-supported service.
  • HEICO secured $1.3 billion unsecured revolving credit facility to principally fund acquisitions.

 

Answer to Last Month Puzzler:

  TAM of Brazil

Researched and Compiled by : Ed Kaplanian

Commercial Aviation Advisor

Contact – ekaplanian@msn.com