I know I have posted photos of this lovely jetBlue A320-232 (c/n 1280) N510JB "Out of the Blue" which sports special "DirectTV" titles before but this was just to nice to pass up as she arrived in gorgeous afternoon light today, September 20, 2012..
AeroLogic (3S), a joint venture of Lufthansa (LH) Cargo and DHL Express, sees “no end in sight” to its ban from flying in Russian airspace on flights from Europe to Asian destinations due to Russia’s opposition to the European Union’s Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS).
In March, Russian authorities began delaying approval for traffic rights for several flight frequencies of LHC and AeroLogic via Russia due to the EU ETS.
A 3S spokesperson told ATW the ban affects several weekly flights from Europe to Hong Kong, Shanghai and Seoul, which now have to detour through Northern Asia, resulting in higher fuel costs, less maximum cargo loads, delays and a competitive disadvantage.
“We are afraid that 3S has become a game ball [in] very difficult negotiations,” the spokesperson added. “All this is not easy to accept and to compensate.”
LHC has received approval for most of its 30 weekly flights via Russia.
Boeing Business Jets set a new world record for "Speed Over a Recognized Course" when a BBJ flew non-stop from Los Angeles to Auckland, New Zealand for installation of its VIP interiors. The BBJ, a 737-700 modified for VIP use, made the 5,658 nautical mile (10,479 km) trip in 13 hours, 7 minutes and 54 seconds. The record-setting trip was monitored by the National Aeronautic Association based in Washington, D.C. BBJ president captain Steve Taylor said the trip demonstrates the incredible range capability of the BBJ. When we left Los Angeles with full fuel, we were 21,000 pounds below our Maximum Takeoff Weight. This means that the customer can add a full VIP interior, fill all the seats and still carry full fuel and have remarkable range - something our competitor with the same class business jet simply cannot do non-stop," said Taylor. The airplane had 7,800 pounds of fuel remaining when it landed in Auckland Sunday evening. The BBJ, owned by Samsung Electronics, is equipped with seven auxiliary fuel tanks, giving it the extended range capability. It also features lower cabin altitude, which differentiates it from its competitor. The option provides a 6,500-foot cabin altitude instead of the standard 8,000-foot cabin, allowing passengers to travel in greater comfort. The airplane was flown to New Zealand for the first interior completion of a new BBJ by Altitude Aerospace Interiors, an Auckland-based company which was launched in 2008. Boeing delivers the BBJ to the customer "green" (no interior or paint) so it can be customized to suit the specific needs and taste of the customer. The completion center of the customer's choosing installs the VIP interiors, which typically takes nine months to a year. The BBJ is the best selling model of Boeing's business jet line with 157 sold to date.
USAJet MD-83 (53022/1809) N949NS, ex Alaska Airlines N949AS is now operating for Republican U.S. Presidential candidate Mitt Romney. The aircraft is captured at John Wayne Orange County Airport (SNA/KSNA) shortly after its arrival from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX/KLAX) following a short ferry flight after dropping Romney off at LAX. This aircraft also was chartered by Irish band U2 during their 360 world tour in 2010.
Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) announced it has signed an agreement to sell four MD-82/87 aircraft, with options for 19 MD-82s and 10 spare engines. The purchaser also has an option on a further 19 MD-82s and 10 spare engines from SAS, according to a company statement. SAS declined to name the buyer.
If the option is exercised, SAS said this will complete the phase-out of its MD-80 aircraft fleet.
The first MD-80 aircraft in this sale was delivered Tuesday; the remaining three aircraft will be delivered in the 2012 fourth quarter.
The aircraft and the engines covered by the option will be delivered on a gradual basis from first quarter of 2013 to the first quarter of 2015, if the option is exercised, SAS said in a statement.
The Indian government on Friday amended its foreign direct investment (FDI) rules, allowing foreign airlines to buy up to 49% equity in Indian carriers. The move is expected to provide a lifeline for debt-laden carriers and open up fresh sources of funding.
The decision was part of several new measures announced by prime minister Manmohan Singh’s administration, which has been under fire in recent months for wavering over policy change.
Indian carriers have been going through financially troubled times over the past three years. Looking for fresh capital, three airlines—Kingfisher (IT), SpiceJet (SG) and Go Air—have lobbied for the rule change, which would allow them to bring in strategic partners. Foreign airlines can now invest in Indian carriers operating scheduled and non-scheduled services. However, the Indian government must grant investment approval and there are restrictions, including a rule that at least two-third of directors at an Indian carrier must be Indian citizens.
It is still not clear which airlines would be interested in investing in India. Several international carriers—including Singapore Airlines and Lufthansa—have unsuccessfully tried to enter the Indian market in the past. Local analysts say Gulf carriers could be the first ones to move in, as India has been a longtime source market for them to carry passengers to Europe and the US. Most carriers face a capacity crunch and must keep pushing the government for rights to fly more. A stake in an Indian carrier may change this, as well as allow them access to dozens of more cities.
The decision to allow foreign airlines as investors may have come too late for IT chairman and liquor baron Vijay Mallya. His airline has curtailed operations by almost 70% and has heavy debts. Tweeting his approval of the move, Mallya said, “Bold decisions taken by government. Fantastic to restore confidence and kick start economic growth opportunities.”
SG CEO Neil Mills has said the airline was negotiating with Arab carriers for a stake sale. The stock price of both airlines was up at the Bombay Stock Exchange Friday.
Boeing has confirmed that Air China (CA) has finalized an order for five 747-8Is, which was previously announced in March 2011.
A Boeing spokesman said the value of the order is $1.7 billion, based on current list prices. “We did indeed roll the order to our Orders and Deliveries website on Thursday,” the spokesman said in an emailed statement. CA declined to comment.
CA said last year the aircraft will deliver in 2014-15 and will boost capacity by 6.6%.
Kicks up a cloud of dust at the end of Rwy 30 as she goes to power for takeoff.
International Trading Company of Yukon inc. Boeing 727-2S2F (22936/1830) N215WE late of FedEx as N215FE is captured rolling on Rwy 30 for departure bound for Hamilton / John C. Munro International Airport (YHM/CYHM) in Hamilton, Ontario Canada on September 13, 2012.
Boeing 757-256 (26240/561) N801DM rolls for takeoff on Rwy 30 at Long Beach Airport (LGB/KLGB) on September 13, 2012 bound for Oakland (OAK/KOAK), California with the American League Oakland Athletics (A's) on board following a four game series with the California Angels.
Gulfstream Aerospace Corp.’s best-in-class G280 aircraft has earned type certificates from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Civil Aviation Authority of Israel (CAAI). The certificates verify the airworthiness of the aircraft’s design and are among the final steps required before Gulfstream delivers the first fully outfitted G280 to a customer.
The G280, a joint effort between Gulfstream and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), offers the most comfortable cabin and the longest range at the fastest speed in its class. “Gulfstream is excited to bring this aircraft to its customers, especially since we’re able to provide a plane that does more than we originally announced,” said Larry Flynn, president, Gulfstream. “The G280 has a range of 3,600 nautical miles (6,667 km) at Mach 0.80. This increase of 200 nm (370 km) over our original projections results in increased fuel efficiency and lower operating costs for our customers. It’s the only mid-sized aircraft that can reliably fly nonstop between London and New York. Additionally, our customers will find that the newly designed G280 has a great deal in common with large-cabin Gulfstream aircraft in terms of safety, reliability, handling, styling and cabin management. The G280 is an all-around fantastic plane.” Joseph Weiss, IAI’s president and CEO, said: “Gulfstream and IAI have applied their unique technological strengths through all stages of development, manufacturing and certification of the G280. These certifications demonstrate this team’s tremendous technological abilities.” Gulfstream will deliver the first G280 aircraft before year-end to a U.S.-based manufacturer with a worldwide presence spanning 190 countries.
Gulfstream announced the G280 on Oct. 5, 2008, as a replacement for the large-cabin, mid-range G200. The aircraft rolled out under its own power on Oct. 6, 2009, at the IAI facility near Tel Aviv before a crowd of more than 1,000 people. Its first flight, on Dec. 11, 2009, lasted 3 hours and 21 minutes and saw the aircraft fly to 32,000 feet (9,754 m) and achieve a maximum speed of 253 knots. A total of three G280 aircraft participated in the flight-test program, flying more than 2,150 hours over 794 test flights.
The aircraft received a provisional type certificate from the CAAI on Dec. 29, 2011, and the FAA on March 1, 2012.
As with all Gulfstream aircraft, the G280 was designed with considerable input from Gulfstream customers who participate in the company’s Customer Advisory Board.
“Their contributions were invaluable in creating a super mid-sized aircraft that flies so far and so fast,” said Pres Henne, senior vice president, Programs, Engineering and Test, Gulfstream. “The G280, with a top speed of Mach 0.85, already has set four city-pair speed records. We anticipate it will set many, many more in the months and years to come thanks to its advanced wing design and its fuel-efficient Honeywell HTF250G engines, each of which delivers 7,445 pounds of thrust. The significant range and speed increase compared to the G200 is achieved while burning less fuel.
“In addition to the aircraft’s tremendous performance capabilities, it offers the most comfortable cabin in its class with the Gulfstream-designed cabin management and audio/video distribution systems, industry-leading sound levels, 19 super-sized windows and in-flight access to the baggage compartment. We’re extremely proud of this aircraft and know our customers will be, too,” Henne said.
The G280 has an all-new, advanced transonic wing design that has been optimized for high-speed cruise and improved takeoff field length performance. At its maximum takeoff weight of 39,600 pounds (17,963 kg), the aircraft offers a balanced field length of 4,750 feet (1,448 m), an improvement of more than 1,300 feet (396 m) over the G200 it replaces and 210 feet (64 m) less than originally announced at the program’s outset.
“The new G280 aircraft is the impressive result of an extensive development program,” said David Dagan, vice president and general manager, Commercial Aircraft Group, IAI. “The aircraft’s performance ultimately exceeds initial projections.”
The aircraft’s engine-wing combination gives the G280 tremendous climb performance, propelling it to 43,000 feet (13,107 m) in less than 23 minutes. The aircraft’s maximum cruise altitude is 45,000 feet (13,716 m).
The community noise characteristics are a cumulative 15.8 dB below FAA Stage 4 noise requirements. This level is more than 5 dB quieter than the predecessor model and reflects Gulfstream’s continuing commitment to improved design.
The G280 includes auto braking as a standard feature. This system improves passenger comfort and reduces brake wear, resulting in lower operating costs. It also improves safety while reducing pilot workload. The brake-by-wire system features an individual, anti-skid, completely independent mechanical backup and a brake temperature monitoring system.
In the Cockpit
The G280 features the most advanced flight deck in its class, the PlaneView280™, based on Rockwell Collins ProLine Fusion avionics. It includes three 15-inch (36-cm) liquid crystal displays that are capable of showing multiple formats, including a navigation map with terrain; approach and airport charts; graphical flight planning, and optional enhanced vision.
The cockpit also includes a standby multi-function controller, dual Gulfstream signature cursor control devices, dual auto-throttle and two PlaneBook™ subscriptions. It’s the only aircraft in its class to offer automatic descent mode as a standard feature. Other features include wide area augmentation system/localizer performance with vertical guidance (WAAS-LPV), future air navigation system (FANS) 1/a and controller-pilot datalink communication (CPDLC), electronic charts on cockpit displays and worldwide graphical weather.
“The PlaneView280 system is designed to improve situational awareness and safety through its highly interactive controls and interfaces as well as its advanced graphics and synoptics,” Henne said. “Optional features further enhance the capabilities of the flight deck. These include the Rockwell Collins HGS-6250 Head-Up Display (HUD II) and Gulfstream Enhanced Vision System (EVS II).”
In the Cabin
Comfort and convenience are just two highlights of the G280 cabin. The aircraft has the longest seating area in its class and a total cabin length of 25 feet, 10 inches. This additional space provides for a larger lavatory, an improved galley and increased storage. Customers can select from three interior floor plans, which seat from eight to 10 and berth up to four. All of them offer significant storage capabilities, with total storage of up to 154 cubic feet (4.63 cubic meters).
The significantly larger lavatory is accented by two windows, a contemporary sink with raised ledge, a full-length closet and a vacuum toilet system with overboard venting, the only system of its kind in this class of aircraft.
The cabin contains a larger, ergonomically designed galley that features an extra-large ice drawer with gasper-cooled storage, a sink with hot and cold water, and increased storage capacity. Further contributing to the extraordinary cabin environment is an advanced environmental control system that provides 100 percent fresh air and a low cabin altitude: 7,000 feet (2,130 m) at FL450 and 6,000 feet (1,828 m) at FL410.
“Taken together, these amenities significantly reduce fatigue, increase mental alertness and enhance productivity,” Henne said.
The aircraft has new seats, measuring 21 inches (53 cm) between the arm rests and featuring new styling details, a telescoping headrest with optional flexible wings, an articulating seat pan for full-flat berthing and an optional recliner-style leg rest.
The Gulfstream Cabin Management System serves as the backbone of the cabin experience. This Gulfstream-designed and -controlled system allows for digital control of the cabin system network, including high-definition audio and video components. The passenger control units are loaded onto an iPod Touch® and provide the floor plan of the aircraft. Intuitive controls are provided for lighting, temperature, entertainment equipment, attendant call and other cabin functions, including the Gulfstream CabinView Passenger Flight Information System.
CabinView, a Gulfstream-designed and -controlled system, provides flight and cabin information, such as geographic boundaries, borders and points of interest. Additional content, such as stock prices and weather, can be tailored through optional high-speed Internet data.
The cabin adheres to Gulfstream’s Cabin Essential design philosophy. This means the cabin systems (lighting, power, cabin control, cabin entertainment, and the water and waste systems) are designed with redundancy that minimizes the risk of losing cabin functionality.
“This aircraft leads its class in every significant aspect of performance and comfort,” Flynn said.
Visiting German Chancellor Angela
Merkel and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao today presided over a grand gathering of
some 1,000 people in Tianjin to celebrate the completion of the 100th
A320 Family aircraft assembled at the Airbus A320 Family Final Assembly Line
China (FALC), which is a joint venture between Airbus and its Chinese partners.
Among the participants attending the celebration were government officials from
China and Europe, representatives of Airbus and its Chinese partners and
customers as well as employees of the Airbus Tianjin Final Assembly Line and
Airbus Tianjin Delivery Centre, a subsidiary of Airbus in Tianjin.
One day before the
celebration, a framework agreement was signed by Airbus, Tianjin Free Trade Zone
(TJFTZ) and the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC), the two parties
of the Chinese consortium that hold a 49% stake in the FALC joint venture,
concerning the shared intention to continue the cooperation on the project
beyond the current business plan, which is due to expire in 2016. The agreement
was signed at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing as a part of a series of
Europe-China agreements in the presence of the German Chancellor and Chinese
“The completion of the 100th A320 Family
aircraft by the Airbus Tianjin final assembly line represents a significant
milestone for the cooperation between Airbus and China, as well as the Airbus
strategy of internationalisation, one of the pillars of the Airbus vision for
our future,” said Fabrice
Brégier, Airbus President and CEO. “Having a final assembly line in
Tianjin has greatly promoted the Airbus brand and image in China and brought us
closer to our customers in one of the world’s most important aircraft markets. I would like to congratulate all
those involved in making FALC a great success and contributing to a win-win
situation for Airbus and the Chinese industry,” he added.
The FALC is the third A320 Family
final assembly line in the world after the ones in Toulouse, France and Hamburg,
Germany and the first Airbus aircraft final assembly line outside Europe. In
July this year, Airbus has announced its decision to establish an A320 Family final assembly line in
In December 2005, Airbus
and the Chinese government signed a MoU for the establishment of a single aisle
final assembly line in China. In May 2007, the construction of the Tianjin
assembly line started. In August 2008, the Tianjin final assembly line started
operation. In June 2009, the first aircraft assembled in Tianjin was delivered
to Sichuan Airlines. Since then a total of nearly 100 aircraft have already been
delivered to 11 Chinese operators from Tianjin. Since the agreement for the FALC
project was signed, China has placed orders for more than 550 A320 Family
aircraft. In the mean time, the in-service fleet of Airbus A320 Family aircraft
have expanded from some 200 to more than 700 as of end of July 2012.
Airbus said on Friday that it was delaying by at least three months the first delivery of the A400M heavy-lifter, blaming engine problems.
Airbus had previously scuttled a planned flying display by the A400M at July's Farnborough Airshow in a blow to the project, which has already been hurt by delays and cost overruns.
At the time Airbus, best-known for its passenger jets, had said civil certification for the plane would be pushed back to the end of August or early September but that it still expected to deliver it to France, its first customer, by early 2013.
But Airbus said in a statement on Friday that certification for the plane would now take place in the first quarter of next year, with delivery to the French Air Force in the second quarter.
The aircraft's huge turboprop engines have been a persistent problem for the program, which is designed to add airlift capacity for seven European NATO nations.
The latest problem was caused by "the detection of metallic chips in the oil system of one of the engines," Airbus said, adding that the engine maker Europrop International had made a new design available, which was being tested.
Lufthansa (LH) has offered to restart negotiations with the UFO union after the first day of strikes by the carrier’s flight attendants.
During Friday’s eight-hour strike, LH had to cancel 200 out of 360 flights at Frankfurt Airport (FRA). Some long-haul flights were not able to operate and FRA could not give landing clearance for arriving aircraft from domestic European destinations for about 90 minutes due to a lack of parking positions.
Munich has reported 15 LH flight cancellations. Dusseldorf reported one cancellation; Berlin Tegel, three; and Stuttgart, one.
UFO, which represents 18,000 LH flight attendants, rejected the carrier’s latest pay offer earlier this week and announced it was set to strike on short notice at selected airports.
Santiago de Chile-based LAN Airlines took delivery of its first Boeing 787 in a delivery ceremony Friday at Boeing’s Everett, Wash., facility.
The aircraft, powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines, is the first Dreamliner to be received by an airline in the Americas. LAN is a subsidiary of LATAM Airlines Group. It has 32 787s on order, valued at $4.9 billion, to be delivered over the next decade. Two more will be delivered this year.
LAN said it expects to start Los Angeles-Lima 787 flights later this year. LAN CEO Ignacio Cueto said in a statement, “The Dreamliner will make it possible for us to cover greater distances in a more environmentally conscious and highly efficient aircraft.”
Other cities expected to be served by LAN 787s over the next year are Santiago, Buenos Aires, Madrid and Frankfurt, the carrier said. The airline’s 787s are configured with 217 economy seats and 30 business-class seats.
United Airlines is expected to receive its first 787 in September.