Boeing on Wednesday won FAA type inspection authorization (TIA) for the 787-9, marking the start of a new phase of flight testing in which agency personnel join the company’s engineers in Washington state’s Puget Sound region to gather the data required for certification.
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Boeing has begun low-speed wind tunnel tests on the Boeing 777X, the company announced Monday. Testing started on December 5 in Farnborough, UK, at facilities run by testing partner QinetiQ. Boeing and QinetiQ recently signed an agreement to extend the wind tunnel partnership at Farnborough for another five years.
Keen to show his airline can operate as a profitable carrier amid assertions that it survives on the largesse of its government benefactors, Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker offered revealing insights at last month’s Dubai Airshow into some of the internal machinations and brinkmanship that shape aircraft purchase negotiations. The colorful and sometimes controversial Al Baker played coy about his interest in the 777X while fully intending to engage Boeing in serious negotiations that eventually led to a blockbuster sale.
Boeing has advised GEnx engine operators that it is revising the 787’s and the 747-8’s flight manuals to prohibit flight within 50 nm of thunderstorms that may contain ice crystals. Following Boeing’s recommendation, Japan Airlines immediately announced it would switch aircraft on two routes. From April to November, GEnx-powered aircraft suffered six engine-icing events, according to a GE statement. All aircraft landed at their planned destinations, said the engine maker, and none of the incidents involved in-flight shutdowns–only temporary thrust losses.
Boeing has issued requests for proposals to more than a dozen potential sites for assembly, parts fabrication, paint, delivery and wing production of the new 777X widebody, the company confirmed to AIN last week. The release of the RFPs comes barely more than a week after Boeing’s machinists union voted down a proposed contract extension described as critical to locating the work in the Puget Sound region of Washington state.
A day after the highly anticipated launch of the 777X, Boeing found itself attempting to debunk assertions that the big three Persian Gulf carriers that now account for the majority of the order backlog unduly influenced the technical characteristics of the airplane.
Serbian national carrier Air Serbia will overhaul its fleet with 10 Airbus A320neos in a transaction valued at $1 billion at list price. The new narrowbodies are among the firm orders Etihad Airways placed with Airbus for 87 aircraft during the Dubai Airshow. Etihad, the Abu Dhabi government-owned airline, will acquire 49 percent of Air Serbia as of January.
Bombardier plans to issue an update on the flight-test schedule of its new CSeries jet “in a few weeks” as program managers assess whether to maintain the company’s admittedly ambitious entry-into-service target date of one year after first flight, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft marketing vice president Philippe Poutissou told AIN last week during a briefing at the Dubai Airshow.
Carrying the flag for the Russian civil aircraft industry on static display last week at the Dubai Airshow, the Sukhoi Superjet 100 made an impression on both sides of the globe as Mexico’s Interjet prepared to press into service its third copy of the 100-seat regional jet.
Last week Airbus delivered the first A320 family aircraft with the runway overrun prevention system (ROPS), an A319, to American Airlines. American is to equip all of its A320 family fleet with Airbus’s ROPS. The delivery coincided with FAA certification for A320 family ROPS technology. In August, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) certified ROPS on the A320ceo (current engine option) family.