Thursday, June 27, 2013

Singapore Airlines boards full A380 in 45 minutes

A few weeks ago, I wrote about how Spirit Airlines can board an A320 in 20 minutes, about ten minutes less than it takes US Airways and American to board narrowbody aircraft, allowing for their desire to accommodate their most loyal passengers.  Spirit seats 174 passengers on its A320, while US Airways seats 150 on its A320.

Singapore Airlines A380-841 (c/n 045) 9V-SKJ climbs from Rwy 25L at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX/KLAX) on November 11, 2011.
(Photo by Michael Carter)

Spirit’s short boarding time impressed me. But now I find that at LAX, Singapore Airlines can board an A380 with about 470 passengers in 40 to 45 minutes.
What’s the secret? There are two. First of all, in the new Tom Bradley International Terminal, nine of the 18 gates are built specifically for the A380. This means they have three jetways per aircraft. And secondly, according to Singapore spokesman James Boyd, any widebody aircraft has an advantage over a narrowbody aircraft when it comes to boarding, because generally passengers can select which aisle to use to approach their seat. If one aisle is jammed, passengers will select the other.

The airport staged a public preview of the new terminal on Saturday. Much of the focus was on soaring architecture and the shopping options. In fact, Singapore and other carriers have been operating at the remodeled gates for several months.

Boyd said the turn time for an A380, from the time it arrives at the gate until the time it leaves, is 110 minutes to 135 minutes, depending on the airport. (At Singapore Changi Airport, the turn time is 110 minutes). That includes time for security, catering, fueling and cleaning.

“Managing turn time efficiently is critical for the profitable, efficient operation of an airline,” Boyd said. Having an attractive and efficient terminal, like the one LAX now offers, is important, he said, because passengers “want to be able to board aircraft in an elegant, civilized manner.” From LAX, Singapore flies to Tokyo’s Narita Airport, then continues on to Singapore. The carrier also operates an A380 from New York’s Kennedy International Airport to Singapore via Frankfurt.

Airbus spokesman Clay McConnell said LAX benefits from having three-jetway boarding for the A380. “The large gateway airports compete with each other for business,” he said. “It’s important for LAX to offer this type of upgrade in order to maintain its status as a premier gateway for the Pacific Rim.” Among other world gateways, international airports in Paris, San Francisco and Singapore also offer three-jetway A380 boarding.

Other airlines flying A380s from LAX include AirFrance, China Southern, Korean and Qantas. British Airways and Emirates are scheduled to begin A380 service to LAX this year.

(Ted Reed -Forbes)

iPads in the future for jetBlue pilots

With the approval of Federal Aviation Administration, JetBlue Airways will allow all its pilots to use custom-equipped iPads on-board. This will replace the heavy paper manuals during flight phases, resulting in reduction of weight on the plane and in turn fuel saving as well as lower printing costs. Additionally, pilots will have more real-time capabilities in the cockpit plus better technological support.

JetBlue conducted a trial phase over several months by giving iPads to 60 pilots. Subsequently, the airline handed over a fourth-generation 16 GB Wi-Fi compatible Apple Inc. iPad to 2,500 pilots.

Although JetBlue had the permission to use a PC-based laptop – Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) – in the cockpit for a decade, this latest iPad addition will likely make things easier for the pilots. Through these devices, pilots will be able to update flight documents and details safely and securely.

Further, the iPads will assist the pilots in checking weather conditions and assessing digital airport and aircraft charts. JetBlue's Ka-band satellite-based Wi-Fi enabled LiveTV downloads weather imagery much faster than any other systems.

JetBlue will utilize WSI Optima application for weather reports, the Comply365 software for digital findings and the AeroData DFP system for aircraft performance, weight and balance calculations. The company also intends to implement digital chart capability, once approved.

This move will help JetBlue to render improved customer service as pilots will get a detailed briefing about the weather and accordingly update fliers. We believe that higher customer satisfaction and cost-saving steps will drive growth for the company.

A few days ago, American Airlines – the subsidiary of AMR Corp. – launched the Electronic Flight Bag program, whereby pilots, during flights, will utilize tablets across its current fleet – The Boeing Company’s 777, 767, 757, 737 and MD-80 jets.


Faulty oil pipe cause of Qantas A380 engine failure in 2010 incident

The dramatic disintegration of a Qantas Airbus A380 jet engine during a flight in 2010 was triggered by a poorly built oil pipe that failed to conform to design specifications, Australian investigators said Thursday in their final report into the emergency.

The Rolls-Royce engine exploded on the Qantas A380 shortly after takeoff from Singapore, forcing an emergency landing and becoming the most significant safety issue the superjumbo had faced since starting passenger flights in 2007. Rolls-Royce faced intense scrutiny of its engines, and A380s around the world were temporarily grounded.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau's report confirmed the agency's earlier findings that an oil leak from a pipe inside one of the plane's massive Trent 900 engines sparked a fire. The fire caused a disintegration of one of the engine's giant turbine discs, sending pieces of it blasting through the plane's wing.

The agency, which led an international investigation into the Qantas engine breakup, concluded that the walls of several pipes were too thin and didn't conform to design specifications. The error prompted a disastrous domino effect, with the weak wall of the pipe breaking down, then cracking and finally releasing oil into the superheated engine, sparking the fire.

The transport agency said Rolls-Royce has identified all the affected pipes, overhauled its quality management system and implemented a safety feature that should shut an engine down before it can blow apart if the same scenario ever happened again.

Rolls-Royce said it supported the agency's findings and had improved its manufacturing and design processes.

"This was a serious and rare event which we very much regret," Colin Smith, director of engineering and technology for Rolls-Royce said in a statement. "At Rolls-Royce we continually strive to meet the high standards of safety, quality and reliability that our customers and their passengers are entitled to expect. On this occasion we clearly fell short."

The Nov. 4, 2010, engine blowout sent debris raining down onto Indonesia's Batam Island. The plane landed safely and no one was hurt, but the emergency forced the temporary grounding of 20 A380s with Trent 900 engines, operated by Qantas, Singapore Airlines and Germany's Lufthansa. Qantas later reached a 95 million Australian dollar ($86 million) settlement with Rolls-Royce.

"This was an unprecedented event and, as the report confirms, all possible steps have been taken to ensure that it can never happen again," Qantas said in a statement.

(Associated Press)

Gulfstream G650 departs Long Beach

Taxies on "Lima." 
 Climbs from Rwy 30.
Gulfstream G650 (c/n 6044) N604GA tbr N22T, departed Long Beach Airport (LGB/KLGB) on June 26, 2013 at 18:08 pst bound for Outagamie County Regional Airport (Appleton, WI) (ATW/KATW).
(Photos by Michael Carter)

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Stunning G550 at Boeing Field

This absolutely gorgeous Gulfstream G550 (c/n 5181) VP-CJM is captured during a visit to Seattle - Boeing Field (BFI/KBFI) on June 24, 2013.
(Photo by Joe G. Walker)

Two nice bizjets at Long Beach Airport yesterday

BD700 Global Express (c/n 9039) N90EW operated by EWA West LLC rotates from Rwy 30 on June 25, 2013.

Gulfstream G-IVSP (c/n 1473) N620M operated by N711 Aviation LLC on short final to Rwy 30 on June 25, 2013.
(Photos by Michael Carter)

2nd Indian Air Force (IAF) C-17A takes to the skies again

The 2nd C-17A (F-258) CB-8002 destined for the Indian Air Force (IAF) has been flying each day this week. I was very happy to shoot this beautiful bird once again in gorgeous afternoon sun.
(Photos by Michael Carter) 

Frontier Embraer ERJ-190 at Long Beach Airport

Short final to Rwy 30.
Rolls for departure on a simply gorgeous evening in SoCal.
Frontier Airlines (Republic Airlines) Embraer ERJ-190-100IGW / 190AR (c/n 19000461) N176HQ arrived from Bob Hope Burbank Airport (BUR/KBUR) at 17:58 pst as "RPA6441," departing at 19:11 pst as "RPA5908" bound for Bullhead City - Laughlin International Airport (IFP).
(Photos by Michael Carter)

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Mexican G650

Gulfstream G650 (c/n ?) XA-BAL is captured on the Gulfstream service center ramp on June 25, 2013. This is the first G650 to be registered in Mexico.
(Photo by Michael Carter)

Monday, June 24, 2013

New G650 arrives at Long Beach

Gulfstream G650 (c/n 6053) N653GA arrived at Long Beach Airport (LGB/KLGB) at 14:27 pst as "N653GA" following a flight from Savannah-Hilton Head International Airport (SAV/KSAV).

(Photo by Michael Carter)

Second Indian Air Force (IAF) C-17A takes to the skies at Long Beach Airport

Indian Air Force (IAF) C-17A (F-258 / IAF-2) CB-8002 is captured arriving back at Long Beach Airport (LGB/KLGB) on June 24, 2013 following a pre-delivery test flight.
(Photos By Michael Carter)

Boeing 787 Operations Center

It's 2:45 a.m. on a rainy Monday and most of Everett, Wash., is sleeping, but inside the Boeing 787 Dreamliner Operations Control Center a small group of analysts are wide awake. They're monitoring the 28 Dreamliners flying around the world.
"Take a look at this room," said Mike Fleming, vice president of Boeing 787 Services and Support. "We know what's going on. We have our team here getting real time data."
The control center is the first place outside of the cockpit to know when a Dreamliner is not flying or functioning as it was designed.
Boeing's 787 Operations Center
(Phil LeBeau - CNBC)

 3:45 a.m., a Dreamliner flight from Frankfurt, Germany, to Haneda, Japan, indicated a potential problem and it flashed on the large monitor in the center.
"One of the systems on the plane had an initial fault," said Roxann Hirst, senior manager of the control center. "The airplane checked itself and in this case one of the messages said there was a fault. Then as we looked into the issue, the airplane said it corrected itself. Everything was fine."
4,500 Flights, 2 Diversions
Since the Federal Aviation Administration approved modifications to the Dreamliner battery systems in late April and the planes were cleared to resume flying, there have been more than 4,500 flights. Almost all have been uneventful until last week, when two United flights were diverted to make unscheduled landings.In both cases, the planes cut their flights short after oil indication lights came on.
Within seconds of the oil indication lights flashing in the Dreamliner cockpits, the staff in the operations center knew what was going on.
"Any time you have a diversion, we look very seriously at it. When you put it in context, these things happen every day. If something goes wrong there are procedures the crew will take. That is what makes flying so safe," said Fleming. 
The Boeing analysts have an open line that is always free for airlines to call. If the airlines don't call, Boeing will reach out to them.
Meeting 787 Expectations
From the moment Boeing decided to pack the Dreamliner with new technology and systems, it has promised the plane would meet a benchmark of expectations that tantalized airline executives.
United Airlines 787 "Dreamliner'
(Seth Miller - CNBC)
The biggest promise was the Dreamliner being 20 percent more fuel efficient than comparable planes.

There are thousands of other data points airlines are interested in. Collectively, they provide steady feedback on how their Dreamliners are operating.
In the 787 control center, workers monitor each flight on a variety of screens, including a grid that changes colors if issues pop up. When there are no problems, the flight is green. If issues develop the color of the flight on the board will turn yellow, then orange if it's more serious and red if the problem is likely to require maintenance.
"What's the goal of this room? Situation awareness," said Fleming. "How are the airplanes doing out there? And getting ahead of it so we can recommend maintenance."
 (Philip LeBeau - CNBC)

Sunday, June 23, 2013

"Penguin One" passes through Orange County

I think this is the best theme plane we have introduced in a very long is just awesome!
Michael Carter........APF Editor and Southwest Airlines Employee
Swimming Penguins forward of the wings. 

Walking Penguins aft of the wings.

Boeing 737-7H4 (32533/2294) N280WN "Penguin One" taxies towards a Rwy 19R departure to Houston (HOU/KHOU) on June 23, 2013.
(Photos by Michael Carter)

Friday, June 21, 2013

U.S. government looks to ease electonic device use during takeoff and landing

The government is moving toward easing restrictions on airline passengers using electronic devices to listen to music, play games, read books, watch movies and work during takeoffs and landings, but it could take a few months.
An industry-labor advisory committee was supposed to make recommendations next month to the Federal Aviation Administration on easing the restrictions. But the agency said in a statement Friday the deadline has been extended to September because committee members asked for extra time to finish assessing whether it's safe to lift restrictions.
"The FAA recognizes consumers are intensely interested in the use of personal electronics aboard aircraft; that is why we tasked a government-industry group to examine the safety issues and the feasibility of changing the current restrictions," the statement said.
The agency is under public and political pressure to ease the restrictions as more people bring their e-book readers, music and video players, smartphones and laptops with them when they fly.
Technically, the FAA doesn't bar use of electronic devices when aircraft are below 10,000 feet. But under FAA rules, airlines that want to let passengers use the devices are faced with a practical impossibility — they would have to show that they've tested every type and make of device passengers would use to ensure there is no electromagnetic interference with aircraft radios and electrical and electronic systems.
As a result, U.S. airlines simply bar all electric device use below 10,000 feet. Airline accidents are most likely to occur during takeoffs, landings, and taxiing.
Cellphone calls and Internet use and transmissions are also prohibited, and those restrictions are not expected to be lifted. Using cellphones to make calls on planes is regulated by the Federal Communications Commission.

 There is concern that making calls from fast-flying planes might strain cellular systems, interfering with service on the ground. There is also the potential annoyance factor — whether passengers will be unhappy if they have to listen to other passengers yakking on the phone.
The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that a draft report by the advisory committee indicates its 28 members have reached a consensus that at least some of the current restrictions should be eased.
A member of the committee who asked not to be named because the committee's deliberations are supposed to be kept private told The Associated Press that while the draft report is an attempt to reach consensus, no formal agreement has yet been reached.
There are also still safety concerns, the member said. The electrical interference generated by today's devices is much lower than those of a decade ago, but many more passengers today are carrying electronics.
Any plan to allow gate-to-gate electronic use would also come with certification processes for new and existing aircraft to ensure that they are built or modified to mitigate those risks. Steps to be taken could include ensuring that all navigational antennas are angled away from the plane's doors and windows. Planes that are already certified for Wi-Fi would probably be more easily certified.
Although the restrictions have been broadly criticized as unnecessary, committee members saw value in them.
One of the considerations being weighed is whether some heavier devices like laptops should continue to be restricted because they might become dangerous projectiles, hurting other passengers during a crash, the committee member said. There is less concern about tablets and other lighter devices.
FAA officials would still have the final say. An official familiar with FAA's efforts on the issue said agency officials would like to find a way to allow passengers to use electronic devices during takeoffs and landings the same way they're already allowed to use them when planes are cruising above 10,000 feet. The official requested anonymity because he wasn't authorized to speak by name.
FAA Administrator Michael Huerta told a Senate panel in April that he convened the advisory committee in the hope of working out changes to the restrictions.
"It's good to see the FAA may be on the verge of acknowledging what the traveling public has suspected for years — that current rules are arbitrary and lack real justification," Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., one of Congress' more outspoken critics of the restrictions, said in a statement.

She contends that unless scientific evidence can be presented to justify the restrictions, they should be lifted.
Edward Pizzarello, the co-founder of frequent flier discussion site MilePoint, says lifting the restriction is "long overdue."
"I actually feel like this regulation has been toughest on flight attendants. Nobody wants to shut off their phone, and the flight attendants are always left to be the bad guys and gals," said Pizzarello, 38, of Leesburg, Va.
Actor Alec Baldwin became the face of passenger frustration with the restrictions in 2011 when he was kicked off a New York-bound flight in Los Angeles for refusing to turn off his cellphone.

Baldwin later issued an apology to fellow American Airlines passengers who were delayed, but mocked the flight attendant on Twitter.
"I just hope they do the sensible thing and don't allow people to talk on their cellphones during flight," said Pizzarello, who flies 150,000 to 200,000 miles a year. "There are plenty of people that don't have the social skills necessary to make a phone call on a plane without annoying the people around them. Some things are better left alone."
"It'll be nice not to have to power down and wait, but it never really bothered me. As long as they don't allow calls I'll be happy," said Ian Petchenik, 28, a Chicago-based consultant and frequent flier.
Henry Harteveldt, an analyst with Hudson Crossing, said airlines would only profit if the FAA also amended the rules to allow passengers to access the Internet earlier — something that is not being suggested.
"Unless the FAA is considering relaxing the rules on Wi-Fi access, this is not about making money. This is about keeping the passenger entertained," he said.
Heather Poole, a flight attendant for a major U.S. airline, blogger and author of the novel "Cruising Attitude," said easing the restrictions would make flight attendants' jobs "a whole lot easier."
There is a lot of pressure for airlines to have on-time departures, she said. Flight attendants are dealing with an "out-of-control" carry-on bag situation and then have to spend their time enforcing the electronics rule.
"These days, it takes at least five reminders to get people to turn off their electronics, and even then, it doesn't always work," Poole said. "I think some passengers believe they're the only ones using their devices, but it's more like half the airplane doesn't want to turn it off."
But there is concern about whether easing restrictions will result in passengers becoming distracted by their devices when they should be listening to safety instructions.
On a recent flight that had severe turbulence, a business class passenger wearing noise-canceling headphones missed the captain's announcement to stay seated, Poole recalled.
"Takeoff and landing is when passengers need to be most aware of their surroundings in case — God forbid — we have to evacuate," she said. "I don't see that guy, or any of the ones like him, reacting very quickly."

(Associated Press) 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Gulfstream G650 N1KE

Nike Corporations new Gulfstream G650 (c/n 6024) N624GA tbr N1KE was towed from the paint shop to the Gulfstream service center this afternoon at 17:30 pst, quite a stunning livery.

(Photo by Michael Carter)

Mitsubishi says MRJ will make first flight by years end

(Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation)

Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation detailed the flight test program for the Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ), including revealing that some of the flights will be conducted in the US.
Briefing reporters at the Paris Air Show, company executives said first flight for the MRJ is on track to occur by the end of this year in Japan. The first flight test aircraft’s wing, fuselage and tail are under assembly now. First delivery to launch customer All Nippon Airways, which has 15 MRJs on firm order plus 10 options, is targeted for 2015.

There will be five MRJ flight test aircraft, designated #10001 through #10005. The majority of the flight test program, which will total 2,500 hours in the air, will take place in Japan. But aircraft #10001 and #10004 will conduct some flight testing in the US.

Aircraft #10001 will be focused on testing basic flight characteristics and #10004 will be used for systems and interior tests, natural icing and extreme hot/cold tests and community noise tests. Aircraft #10003 will conduct detailed flight characteristics and avionics tests. Aircraft #10005 will conduct autopilot tests.

The MRJ program got a big boost at last year’s Farnborough Airshow with an order from Utah-based SkyWest Inc. for 100 firm aircraft plus 100 options. The third customer for the aircraft is Missouri-based Trans States Holdings, which has placed a firm order for 50 plus 50 options.

Given that 150 of 165 MRJ firm orders are from US carriers, Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp. is placing a large emphasis there. This week it opened a “quality cost delivery division” in Chicago to support the MRJ program. The division is tasked with overseeing the 17 MRJ parts suppliers based in the US, including engine provider Pratt & Whitney.

“Lots of the production will be in the US, so monitoring it from the US will be more efficient,” Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp. president and COO Teruaki Kawai told reporters at Le Bourget. VP and GM-sales and marketing Toshi Kawachi said, “The US continues to be our most important market.”

Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp. plans to roll out a new flight test aircraft monthly once first flight is achieved.

(Aaron Karp - ATWOnline News)

Spirit Airlines orders A321


Florida-based Spirit Airlines has ordered 20 Airbus A321 aircraft.

The announcement was made at the Paris Air Show.                                                                        According to Spirit, the aircraft are in addition to the 96 aircraft not yet delivered under its existing order. They are scheduled for delivery between 2015 and 2017.

In addition, Spirit said it has opted to convert 10 of its existing A320 aircraft orders to A321 aircraft that will be scheduled for delivery in 2017 and 2018.  These 10 A321s as well as the additional 20 will be ceo models and will be outfitted with sharklets. 

The new aircraft will support Spirit’s targeted growth markets in the US, Caribbean and Latin America.

(Linda Blachly - ATWOnline News)

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Boeing advances 737 MAX's entry into service date


Boeing is bringing the 737 MAX’s entry into service date forward by six months and will equip the aircraft with an all-new technology cockpit with the same displays as those in the Boeing 787, the manufacturer announced Wednesday.
Boeing Commercial Airplanes president-Airplane Development Scott Fancher said at the Paris Air Show that the MAX program was totally on track, with no technical issues, so the company had decided to push up first delivery by six months to the third quarter of 2017.

“Customers that are affected know this and its being integrated,” he said. “We anticipated this opportunity to push up entry into service and it was a very deliberate opportunity that we have been able to harvest.”

Southwest Airlines is the MAX-8 launch customer

“We continue to follow our knowledge points through the development process and we have an executable plan. Testing, improvement workshops and solid early data have allowed us to validate the airplane’s performance and move the schedule forward,” Fancher said.

Boeing Marketing-737 MAX Joe Ozimek said at the show that the aircraft’s flight deck would also be all new. “We are going to go to the exact same displays that are on the 787,” he said. “We are looking at the future. We think that staying with old technology in the cockpit would be the wrong thing to do and we will have plenty of room to do it.”

Ozimek also said the MAX’s “up-down” winglets, with natural laminar flow, will provide at least a 1.5% fuel burn improvement. “We are telling customers that we guarantee that you are going to get a 1.5% fuel burn improvement over our current [737NG] wing and we are saying there an opportunity to do even better.”

(Karen Walker - ATWOnline News)

New Gulfstream G550 arrives at Long Beach

Gulfstream G550 (c/n 5433) N233GA arrived at Long Beach Airport (LGB/KLGB) this morning at 09:56 pst from Savannah-Hilton Head International Airport (SAV/KSAV). 
(Photo by Michael Carter)

Boeing wins $15.6 billion order from Ryanair

Orders at the Paris Airshow surpassed $100 billion on Wednesday, as planemakers Boeing and Airbus cashed in on demand for fuel-efficient jets and growth in both budget carriers and emerging markets.

Ryanair, Europe's biggest low-cost airline, finalized an order for 175 Boeing 737-800 aircraft worth around $15.6 billion at list prices on day three of the aerospace industry's showcase event, the largest single order ever placed by a European airline with the U.S. group.

Ryanair Chief Executive Michael O'Leary said he was also working on an order for 200 or more of Boeing's next-generation 737 MAX planes this year, potentially worth around $20 billion at list prices.

Not to be overshadowed, Airbus sealed a long-awaited order for 25 of its lightweight, wide-body A350 planes from Air France-KLM worth $7.2 billion at list prices, as previously reported by Reuters.

The A350 is Airbus' answer to Boeing's popular carbon-composite Dreamliner, and the battle between the two models has been a key feature of the Paris show, as the two planemakers jostle to meet soaring demand for air travel in emerging markets, especially Asia and the Middle East.

Airbus also clinched an order for six A330-300 aircraft and commitments to buy four A350-900s from SriLankan Airlines in a deal worth $2.6 billion at list prices.

Wednesday's dealmaking took the order count for the show so far to more than $100 billion at list prices, although many of the agreements were provisional and most sizable deals are struck at a significant discount.

Nonetheless, the activity confirmed plenty of work for civil aircraft manufacturers for years to come.

Ryanair's O'Leary said the planned purchase of Boeing 737 MAX jets later this year would be "all growth" and not replacements for aircraft currently in its all-Boeing fleet.

If the order was not at least 200 planes, "it wouldn't be worth doing," he added, in typically forthright style.


The 737 MAX is Boeing's answer to the Airbus A320neo, a new version of the European planemaker's best-selling model.

Boeing earlier on Wednesday moved forward by six months the date of the plane's planned entry into service, saying it will be in the third quarter of 2017, almost two years after the A320neo.

O'Leary said a senior team from Boeing and Ryanair was working on a 737 MAX order and that the airline was giving serious consideration to rival Airbus' A320neo jet, though Ryanair has not purchased any Airbus jets and the European planemaker has repeatedly dampened the idea.

"We're hopeful that we reach agreement on price of a MAX order sometime before the end of the year," O'Leary said, adding the 737 MAX offered better fuel economy than the A320neo, and room for nine extra seats.

He forecast Ryanair would grow to carry 100 million passengers a year in the next four or five years, from around 80 million currently.


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Interjet takes delivery of its first Sukhoi Superjet 100 (SSJ100)

Mexico’s Interjet Airline has taken delivery of its first Sukhoi Superjet 100 SSJ100 at the Paris Air Show in Le Bourget.                                                                         The aircraft was delivered by SuperJet International, a joint venture of Russia’s manufacturer Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Co. (SCAC) and Italian Alenia Aermacchi.

After the air show, the SSJ100 will fly to Venice, SuperJet International’s base and then to Mexico.

According to SuperJet International CEO Nazario Cauceglia, the second SSJ100 will be delivered before the end of the month. This year, Interjet will take delivery of eight aircraft of the type; in 2014, 12. Interjet has 20 of the type on order, plus 10 options.

Last week, the SSJ100 received an export certificate from Moscow International Aviation Committee to be delivered to the Mexican customer.

United Aircraft Corp. president Mikhail Pogosyan said in July SCAC will increase the SSJ100 production rate to three aircraft per month to allow the company to produce 26 aircraft before the end of the year. In 2014, SCAC will produce around 40 SSJ100s.

(Polina Borodina - ATWOnline News)

NASA DC-8-72 performs fly-by at Long Beach

Flies down Rwy 30 at approximately 200 ft.

NASA DC-8-72 (46082/458) N817NA performed a fly-by at Long Beach Airport (LGB/KLGB) on June 17, 2013. The aircraft was originally delivered to Alitalia on May 14, 1969 as DC-8-62H "Giacomo Puccini." Braniff Airways bought the aircraft on January 1, 1979 and re-registered it to N801BN. NASA bought this lovely DC-8 on February 4, 1986 and converted it to a DC-8-72 and registered her as N717NA, re-registering her to the current reg. N817NA on June 25, 1998.
(Photos by Fred Schmidt)

Boeing offically launches the 787-10 with 102 orders


Three major airlines and two leasing companies have made firm commitments for a total of 102 Boeing 787-10s, launching the third and largest member of the Dreamliner family.
At the Paris Air Show Tuesday, Boeing announced that Air Lease Corp. (ALC) is committing to 30 aircraft; GE Capital Aviation Services to10; International Airlines Group / British Airways, to 12 subject to shareholder approval; Singapore Airlines to 30 and United Airlines to 20. Boeing Commercial Airplanes president and CEO Ray Conner described them as a “launch group” and said all commitments were firm. Entry into service has been set for 2018 with United.

ALC chairman and CEO Steven Udvar-Hazy, the only customer representative to attend the announcement, also signed for three additional 787-9s, bringing his company’s total Dreamliner order to 45 aircraft. He said the -10 would be the “ultimate model of the 787.” His first -10 would be delivered in spring 2019, he said.

United is currently the only US airline to operate the 787, with six -8s in service, and has previous orders for 49 Dreamliners, a mix of -8s and -9s. Its new commitment converts 10 of those to -10s with the remaining 10 aircraft being incremental.

The 787-10 will fly up to 7,000 nautical miles with seating for 300-330 passengers, depending on configuration. Final assembly and flight test are set to begin in 2017. The 787-9 is in final assembly in Everett, Wash., and will make its first flight later this year.

Briefing journalists just ahead of the launch announcement, Boeing VP and general manager, Airplane Development, Scott Fancher said the 787-10’s efficiency “will be eye watering.” The aircraft is a double-stretch, about 18 feet longer than the -9, which is about 18 feet longer than the -8.

Acknowledging that some critics have pointed to a poor success rate for double-stretch aircraft, he said,” This airplane will have 25-30 percent efficiencies over the competitor and customers are really excited about it. That’s a double-stretch I would take.”

He said the aircraft’s ability to cover 90% of the world’s twin-aisle routes combined with its operating features and fuel economy were what the -10 was all about.

Fancher also said Tuesday that the 777X launch was “rapidly approaching,” adding that the decision to build was a case of “when, not if,” with entry into service by the end of the decade.

Two 777X variants are planned, a -8 with around 350 seats and a -9 with around 400 seats.

(Karen Walker - ATWOnline News)

Korean Air to buy 747-8I

Korean Air has agreed to purchase five 747-8 Intercontinental aircraft and six 777-300ERs, in an order valued at approximately $3.6 billion at current list prices.                                                                         The order was announced at the Paris Air Show in Le Bourget. Boeing said it will work with Korean Air to finalize the order, at which time the order will be posted to Boeing’s Orders & Deliveries website.

GE Aviation announced that Korean Air has committed to purchasing five GEnx-2B-powered Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental aircraft and six GE90-115B-powered Boeing 777-300ERs. When the engine order is finalized, the list price of the engines will be valued at more than $800 million.

Boeing said Korean Air is “the only airline in the world to order both the passenger and freighter variations of the 747-8. When this order is finalized, Korea’s flag carrier will have 10 747-8 Intercontinental airplanes on order. The airline has taken delivery of three of its seven 747-8 freighters on order.”

Korean Air currently operates a fleet of 90 Boeing passenger aircraft, including 737s, 747s and 777s. The airline also operates an all-Boeing cargo fleet of 27 747-400, 747-8 and 777 Freighters. In February 2012, Korean Air became the first airline in the world to operate both the 747-8 and 777 freighters.

(Linda Blachley - ATWOnline News)

Monday, June 17, 2013

Doric Leasing signs MOU for 20 A380 aircraft

Doric Leasing Corp. has signed a memorandum of understanding for 20 Airbus A380s at the Paris Air Show at Le Bourget.                                                                  


Doric has a $6 billion aircraft portfolio under management, including 18 A380s acquired through sale and leaseback arrangements.

Doric CEO Mark Lapidus said the company “will be able to provide turn-key A380 ownership solutions to airlines.”

(Linda Blachly - ATWOnline News)

Will the A350 make an appearance at the Paris Air Show?

Airbus kicked off its week at the Paris Air Show still making no comment about whether or not the A350 XWB would do a flypast, but announcing a batch of new aircraft sales totaling more than $23 billion at list prices and including a firm order for 20 A380s.
The orders included a memorandum of understanding with Doric Lease Corp. for 20 A380s, valued at $8 billion, a confirmation of an order by Lufthansa for 100 A320 family aircraft, valued at $10.4 billion, and a deal with lessor International Lease Finance Corp. (ILFC) for 50 A320neos, valued at $5 billion. All values are at list prices.

The manufacturer’s first media event of the show was a debrief on the first flight of the A350 XWB, which took place June 14 from Toulouse. Fernando Alonso, Airbus senior VP and head of the flight and integration center, was on the maiden flight and reported that it was a “totally uneventful” flight that ran exactly according to how the many hours of simulations had predicted. “It was a very successful first flight. To be honest, it was a little bit boring,” he said. “We would be ready to fly again today.”

However, Alonso explained that some time is needed between first and second flights to allow all the data from the flight to be analyzed. He made no comment on whether flight test program would permit the aircraft to conduct a flypast at the show.

The aircraft, MSN1, is the first of five aircraft that will ultimately join the flight test program. MSN3 will start flying from October while MSN2, the first cabin-configured test aircraft, will take to the air in early 2014 and MSN4 and 5 will join the program later the same year.

Alonso said MSN1 took off from Toulouse Airport with full thrust on both Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines then climbed to 10,000 ft where the crew did a quick test of all systems with landing gear still down, a standard practice with maiden flights. With feedback that everything was running according to plan, the gear was lifted and the aircraft climbed to up to 15,000 ft, staying between 10,000 ft and 15,000 ft for almost two-and-a-half hours.

“We explored all high lift configurations and got a feel of the airplane for any vibration or buffering. We didn’t feel anything,” Alonso said, adding that the A350 felt very much like other Airbus aircraft and the pilots “were perfectly at home with it within five minutes.”

The flight test rounded out with a climb to 25,000 ft. “We were absolutely impressed with the wing. If you think it’s beautiful on the ground, it’s even more beautiful in the air,” Alonso said, noting that all data correlated exactly as simulation models had predicted.

Because the flight was flawless, the crew also engaged the autopilot for five minutes—something not planned in the original test schedule. Descent was initiated in autopilot mode and the crew also performed a flypast at 500 feet for the crowds before landing after a flight of just over four hours.

“There were no failures from a system point of view. The log book is completely empty,” Alonso said. The way we have started is tremendous. One of the problems we have is not to get too confident. We have to stay alert and be careful.”

Immediately following the A350 debrief, Airbus COO Customers John Leahy began introducing customers with whom the company has signed new orders. ILFC CEP Henri Courpron led the field with a firm contract for 50 A320neos, bringing the lessor’s neo total firm orders to 100 aircraft. ILFC was the first lessor to commit to the neo and is Airbus’ largest customer, having ordered 769 aircraft.

Lessor Doric CEO Mark Lapidus then announced an MOU for 20 A380s. “For Doric, it’s a logical next step for an unrivalled product,” he said. “We believe there is a pent up demand just under the surface for this aircraft. Airbus got the size of this aircraft right. With 550 seats the economics are unbeatable. If anything, I think we are perhaps under-ordering.”

Lufthansa Group, meanwhile, firmed up a commitment announced in March for 35 A320neos, 35 A321neos and 30 A320ceos.

(Karen Walker - ATWOnline News)

SkyWest Airlines becomes launch customer for Embraer second-generation E-Jet (E-175-E2)

Embraer kicked off the Paris Air Show with the launch of its second-generation E-Jet, the E2, and secured a firm order from SkyWest Inc. for 100 E-175-E2 aircraft.
The Utah-based parent of SkyWest Airlines and ExpressJet also took 100 purchase rights. The order, which is valued at $9.4 billion including the purchase rights, is in addition to SkyWest’s recent order for up to 200 E-175s. The E2 models are being listed about 15% more expensive than current E-Jets.

Embraer also received a letter of intent (LOI) from International Lease Finance Corp. (ILFC) for 25 E-190-E2 and 25 E-190-E2 aircraft, plus 25 options for each. In addition, five undisclosed airlines from Europe, Latin America, Africa and Asia signed LOIs for 65 more E-Jet E2 aircraft. In total, Embraer has firm orders, LOIs and options for 365 E-Jet E2 aircraft.

There will be no second generation E-170 aircraft. The first E2 to enter service will be the E-190-E2 in 2018, Embraer said. First flight is targeted for the second half of 2016. The E-195-E2 is scheduled to enter service in 2019 and the E-175-E2 in 2020.

All of the E2 models will be powered by new Pratt & Whitney geared turbofan (GTF) engines and have new wings.
Embraer senior VP-operations and COO Luis Carlos Affonso said the E2 E-Jets will be “as modern and efficient as a clean-sheet design. If we had designed a new aircraft, it wouldn’t be better.”

He said the E-175-E2, to seat between 80 and 90 passengers, will be 16% more fuel efficient than the current E-175. The E-195-E2, to seat 97-114 passengers, will also burn 16% less fuel than its current counterpart, he added. The E-195-E2, to seat 118-144 passengers, is targeted to be 23% more fuel efficient than the current E-195.

Embraer president and CEO Frederico Fleury Curado said the Brazilian manufacturer will spend $1.7 billion over the next eight years developing the E-Jet E2 variants. He added that “we expect some competition” for the E-195-E2 from Bombardier’s CSeries, but not from Airbus or Boeing aircraft.

“We do not see ourselves going after the narrowbody market,” he explained. “We see the E2 as complimenting the narrowbody 737 and A320 families,” allowing airlines to “right-size” aircraft on given routes.
Embraer Commercial Aviation president and CEO Paulo Cesar Souza e Silva said the company expects to continue building the current versions of E-Jets through at least 2019.

(Aaron Karp - ATWOnline News)

Odyssey Airlines announced as unidentified customer of Bombardier CS100s

City-based start-up Odyssey Airlines has been revealed as the customer for 10 Bombardier CS100s, which were ordered in June 2011.
Speaking Monday at the Paris Air Show in Le Bourget, Odyssey Airlines CEO Adam Scott confirmed his airline is the customer of the 10 aircraft, valued at $628 million at list prices.

“We are launching Odyssey Airlines with the CS100 aircraft because its transcontinental range will allow us to connect key city airports with stringent performance and environmental requirements both in Europe and further afield. We have a unique strategy that will offer a premier service with a focus on new destinations that cannot currently be served from London City Airport,” Scott said at a media briefing.

The start-up, which has been in the making for “quite some time,” is aiming to attract time-conscious business travelers. It plans to open new markets from a variety of difficult and restricted airports, including London City.

“We are looking to position ourselves as the airline of choice from London City and other airports too. We are well aware of and ready for the competition,” Scott told ATW. “We are looking to utilize the performance capability of the CSeries. It could be short haul, it could be longer haul.”

Scott declined to comment on whether the airline was considering other aircraft beyond the CSeries, saying only that the airline is “working on the CSeries right now.”

He was reluctant to give any further details on the airline’s planned operations or destinations, saying “I would prefer to hold off on further details because we are still in final negotiations with airports, etc. and we will share further information when we are able to do so.”

(Victoria Moores - ATWOnline News)

Aeroflot considers removing MD-11F's from service

This was in the news a few days ago, sad news for us DAC lovers if it materializes!
Michael Carter - APF Editor

Russia’s Aeroflot will ground its three Boeing MD-11 freighters, although the decision has not yet been officially announced. It is becoming uneconomic for specialist cargo aircraft to fly due to the availability of underfloor capacity in rapidly expanding passenger airlines.

According to industry experts, the share of the three MD-11Fs in Aeroflot’s cargo business is 38% in volume and generates 40%-45% in revenue. The airline has not announced if it plans to replace the freighters with the more efficient cargo aircraft or stop flying cargo aircraft altogether.

The carrier is renovating its fleet with Boeing 777s it ordered in 2011 to put more cargo into the aircraft belly. However, the aircraft operate on routes with the greatest passenger demand, which doesn’t necessarily mean cargo volumes are also significant at these destinations.

Last year, Aeroflot carried 193,948 tonnes of cargo, up 20.8% year-over-year. It is the second largest Russian cargo carrier after AirBridgeCargo.

(Polina Borodina - ATWOnline News)

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Boeing looking to overseas customers for KC-46A sales

Boeing Co., the world’s largest planemaker, is in talks with several potential buyers for its KC-46A aerial refueling tanker as it aims to make the aircraft available for export one year ahead of its 2018 target.
Boeing’s defense unit is working with the commercial division to offer the aircraft to overseas customers from 2017, Jeff Kohler, Boeing’s vice president for military international business development, told reporters in Paris today. The company is discussing export orders for about 20 tankers, with more in the pipeline, he said.
Delivering on the U.S. Air Force program remains the priority, even as the company explores Middle East, Asian and European sales prospects, said Chris Raymond, who oversees business development for Boeing Defense. Boeing has committed to delivering 18 KC-46As, which are based on the 767 commercial airliner platform, to the Pentagon before 2018.
Faced with budget reductions in its home market, Boeing is hunting for overseas sales to keep production lines open and bolster sales. Building the C-17 transport planes has been sustained by exports, with the company seeking 10 to 30 more orders to keep the jet in production beyond 2014, Kohler said.
Boeing also is in talks for additional exports of its P-8 maritime patrol plane based on its best-selling 737 passenger jet. India is already an export customer, with talks to sell 25 more units outside the U.S. underway, Kohler said. Boeing is working to adapt the P-8 technology to a smaller plane to appeal to customers that can’t afford the larger version.
The company, based in Chicago, is in talks with Bombardier Inc. about providing a business jet for the P-8 platform, with other manufacturers available as a backup, he said.
Boeing is modifying a company-owned Challenger business jet, also built by Bombardier, to demonstrate the technologies for its small maritime-watch plane, Kohler said.

(Robert Wall - Bloomberg News) 

Do smaller aircraft translate to savings?

Development of a new airplane takes time. No one knows that better than Hideo Egawa, the chief executive of Mitsubishi Aircraft, who has had to tell buyers of the Mitsubishi Regional Jet, the company’s first commercial airplane since the 1960s, that take-off will be delayed.
“Development is difficult,” Mr. Egawa said in New York when asked why delivery of the jet to All Nippon Airways had been delayed twice. The first deliveries, initially planned for this year, are now scheduled for 2015.
The difficulties do not come from a lack of manufacturing experience. Over the years, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Mitsubishi Aircraft’s parent company, has produced components for McDonnell Douglas fighter planes and the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. The challenge, Mr. Egawa said, has been focusing such diverse expertise on “one plane.”
In seeking to introduce a smaller plane to fly between secondary cities, or between such cities and airports at major hubs, Mitsubishi Aircraft is joining a crowded field dominated by Boeing and Airbus and with smaller competitors on nearly every continent.
By the time the Mitsubishi Regional Jet flew for the first time, in April last year, Bombardier of Canada had about 2,500 jets and turboprop commuter planes in service around the world. The Brazilian aircraft maker Embraer, meanwhile, has 1,700 commercial jets in operation worldwide.
The Sukhoi Superjet — a joint project of Sukhoi Civil Aircraft of Russia and the Italian company Alenia Aeronautica — has far fewer sales to its credit but is in use by airlines in Bermuda, Indonesia and Mexico, among others. Commercial Aircraft Corp. of China, meanwhile, is working on its ARJ21 aircraft, although that project also has been delayed.
The boom in regional jet production began 20 years ago as airlines sought to replace turboprop planes with longer-range, faster jets, typically with 50 passenger seats. To maximize the economic viability of the aircraft, they were often flown by subcontractors who paid pilots less than the airlines would.
Carriers like Air Canada also used regional flights to feed passengers to its more-lucrative long-distance and international flights, said Calin Rovinescu, chief executive of the airline. “If you can get the right number of seats, it is a creative way to reduce your costs,” he said.
In the early 2000s, when the price of jet fuel rose sharply, the revenue from filling a 50-seat plane generally no longer covered the cost of the fuel burned to fly it. A more fuel-efficient regional jet — larger than a 50-seater but smaller than the smallest Boeing and Airbus airliners — was deemed a potential solution, but only if airlines could persuade their pilots to allow regional pilots to fly larger planes. The airlines wanted more seats on regional jets, said David Krieger, manager of economic and financial analysis at the Air Line Pilots Association in Washington. “Bigger is what they would rather see.”
Carriers agreed to restrict the number of larger planes they would fly and on what routes; in exchange, airline pilots accepted having regional airlines fly jets with more than 50 seats. More recent regional jets typically have between 70 and 100 seats.
“Labor agreements contributed to the design of the airplane,” said Chet R. Fuller, senior vice president at Bombardier Commercial Aircraft which manufactures five models of regional jet, including the 50-seat CRJ 100 and the 104-seat CRJ1000.
Even as the market has opened for larger regional jets, Mr. Fuller said, the potential for smaller planes has not faded. “Fifty-seat markets are still there, you just can’t economically serve them with the current airplane,” he said. With larger aircraft, airlines can often save money by reducing the number of flights on a particular route.
As carriers strive to fill every seat on all flights, regional aircraft of various sizes are being deployed on longer routes, said Nawal Taneja, an airline consultant and emeritus professor of aviation at Ohio State University. “If they can fly a lower-capacity airplane across the country 20 percent cheaper,” he said, an airline might be able to turn a profit on a route that is unprofitable when using a 250-seat airplane.
One example is Ethiopian Airlines, which uses wide-body Boeing aircraft including the Dreamliner for its 72 long- haul international routes but flies 13 Bombardier Q400 turboprops, which seat about 80 passengers, on shorter routes to expand its network in Africa.
“It doesn’t make sense for us to have a regional plan and deploy a 787 or a 777 or a 737,” said Hailu Teklehaimanot, a spokesman for the airline. “You need a smaller, narrow-body 100-seater, or less, to cater to that regional capacity with more frequency.”
Mr. Krieger of the Air Line Pilots Association said that figuring out what planes to buy, and where to fly them, required nuanced calculations. Carriers must take into account factors including fuel prices, passenger demand and labor restrictions.
“There is a very high ratio of fixed costs,” he said, adding that some airlines regretted the purchase of 50-seat jets. “They’re stuck with them. The market value is low over time,” he noted.
Mitsubishi thus finds itself entering a complicated and difficult market, and sales of its passenger jet have so far been limited to Japan and two U.S. companies, Trans States Airlines and SkyWest Airlines.
Even when a manufacturer thinks it understands what the market wants, unexpected developments can throw calculations out of joint. The lackluster European economy is just one example. “By no means are we interested only in Japan and America,” Mr. Egawa said. But, he added, “Europe’s economy is not recovering at a good pace and we are not seeing an intent to buy by the European airlines.”
(Christine Negroni - The New York Times)