The Middle East is sitting at the end of the air transport rainbow, if Airbus forecasts are to be believed: its share of global traffic will expand faster than that of any other geographical area, increasing by one half in the next 20 years.
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News and issues relating to air transport and cargo aircraft.
Progress has proven slow–tediously slow–for Mitsubishi’s MRJ regional jet program during the two years between the 2011 Dubai Air Show and this one. In fact, program schedules reflect two separate year-and-a-half-long delays to certification since then, placing the company further from its elusive goal today than it thought it stood during the 2011 edition of the Middle East’s premier aerospace event.
The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) issued an airworthiness directive requiring inspections and possibly modifications to the Airbus A380, stating that cracks discovered during fatigue testing could “reduce the structural integrity of the wing.”
Boeing said it has completed aerodynamics, engine and weight audits that together have given it a clearer picture of the future operating performance of the new 737 Max. The manufacturer now says the re-engined narrowbody will burn 14 percent less fuel than today’s 737-800NG, one percent better than it previously estimated.
Airbus cited sleep-study results in calling on airlines to set an 18-inch minimum seat width standard for long-haul flights. Organizations representing the airline industry said seating options should be left to individual carriers.
Bombardier said its CSeries flight-test program is progressing as planned, and its “target” remains to complete the program and certify the new airliner one year after first flight, or by next September. However, the manufacturer said that it is discussing a definitive schedule for the five-aircraft test program with its suppliers and customers. It will reveal the schedule “in the next few months,” according to Pierre Beaudoin, president and CEO.
More than five weeks since the Bombardier CSeries FTV1 flew for the first time, the airplane has flown only two more times, taking its flight hour total to eight.
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has signed a licensing agreement with Boeing covering modifications of 767 and 747 airliners by its Bedek Aircraft Group division. The agreement, announced on October 15, means that Boeing will provide support for aircraft converted by Bedek without charging operators an annual fee, ending a policy introduced by the U.S. airframer in 2009. It will cover 72 of Bedek’s earlier BDSF767-200/300 modifications and 29 BDSF747-400s–most of which involve passenger-to-freighter conversions–as well as all future projects.
The second flying prototype of the Airbus A350 XWB took to the air for the first time Monday morning and landed at Toulouse-Blagnac Airport in France shortly after 2:30 p.m. local time.