The second generation of Embraer’s E-Jet series of narrowbody airliners was officially launched and named E2 during last week’s Paris Air Show. Seven launch customers rallied for the christening party, supporting the Brazilian airframer with approximately $17.8 billion worth orders and commitments for up to 365 of the twinjets.
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Backed by five launch customers from across Europe, Asia and North America committing to 102 aircraft, Boeing pressed the “Go” button for its long-anticipated 787-10 development on June 17. United Airlines, British Airways, Singapore Airlines, GE Capital Aviation Services (Gecas) and Air Lease stepped up to support the stretched, longer-range Dreamliner, and they appear to have been influential in shaping the design and performance goals.
As predicted, most airliner makers went home from last week’s Paris Air Show with yet longer backlogs of orders. Factoring in all the provisional sales (those covered by options, letters of intent or a memorandum of understanding), manufacturers announced something like $170 billion in new aircraft and engine business at Le Bourget.
On its third test flight, the Airbus A350XWB flew past President Francois Hollande this afternoon on the final business day of the 2013 Paris Air Show. After two hours of cruise flight tests, the new aircraft made a curving descent toward Runway 27 for a single flyby.
CFM International, the General Electric/Snecma joint venture, expects to begin a second phase of ground testing for its 3-D woven resin transfer molding fan with its Moteur à Aubes de Soufflante en Composite Taille (Mascot) 2 fan-demonstrator engine. The fan is “foundational technology” for the CFM Leap engine that is scheduled to enter service in 2016.
Not all the big order announcements at this year’s Paris Air Show came from the big OEMs, as Viking Air illustrated by announcing the two significant sales: Four Twin Otter Series 400s to Aerostar Leasing; and an additional seven to Russia’s Vityaz Avia.
Russian aviation executives said the Irkut-led MC-21 narrowbody airliner development program is proceeding according to schedule. At a Paris Air Show briefing on Tuesday, program officials said the design is frozen on the first aircraft in the series, the MC-21-300, and parts manufacturing has started.
Parker Aerospace and China Aviation Industry Corporation (AVIC) held a contract-signing ceremony just ahead of the Paris Air Show to form two joint venture companies in support of Comac’s new C919 program.
Ural Works of Civil Aviation (UWCA) of Russia and Diamond Aircraft Industries (DAI) of Austria signed an agreement on Monday at the Paris Air Show to design and produce a series of diesel-powered 19-seat utility airplanes in Russia. The companies estimate that demand for these aircraft in Russia currently exceeds 200.
The new short takeoff and landing Antonov An-70 military transporter will soon complete joint state testing, according to Dmytro Kiva, Antonov president and general designer and academician of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. The An-70’s noise certification has been issued, he added.