Virgin Picks Rockwell Digital for A330-300s
Virgin Atlantic has selected avionics from Rockwell Collins for its fleet of 10 Airbus A330-300s announced in an order here this week. According to Rockwell Collins, Virgin Atlantic will be the launch customer for the LRA-2100 digital low-range altimeter when the first of its A330s is delivered next spring. The units use digital signal processing to judge the airplane’s height above the ground, achieving greater accuracy than previous radio altimeters. Additional avionics selected for the Virgin Atlantic A330s include Rockwell Collins’s MultiScan weather radar and GLU-925 multi-mode receiver, the first such product certified for precision landing using GPS or ILS.
Aviation Partners Wins New Winglet Orders
Aviation Partners Boeing has announced that Hainan Airlines, the first and largest operator of blended winglet-equipped aircraft in China, has confirmed that all of its 45 Boeing 737-800s currently on order will be operated with these fuel-saving devices. Blended winglets are particularly well suited to Hainan Airlines, which operates a mix of short- and long-haul operations from some challenging airports. All Nippon Airways of Japan has also recently exercised options to purchase winglets for installation on five new Boeing 767-300ERs, scheduled for delivery starting in 2011, bringing the total commitment for its B767 fleet to nine systems.
Marshall To Work on Orion Down Under
Marshall Aerospace Australia (Hall 4 Stand A11) has signed a contract with Australian Aerospace to support a repair assessment program on the country’s P-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft. Australian Aerospace already provides maintenance on the Royal Australian Air Force’s 18-strong fleet at Richmond Air Base. Marshall Aerospace Australia is a “defense recognized supplier” down under.
Seaward Displays Electric Safety Testers
First-time Farnborough exhibitor Seaward Group (Hall 1 Stand D11), a company that specializes in electric safety testing and precision measurement instrumentation, is showing its range of products, including portable microhmmeters (low-resistance measurements), cable testers, hipot testers (devices checking insulation) and high-voltage detectors.
The Cropico DO4000 portable digital microhmmeters, for example, can measure the ground points on aircraft, which is necessary to create a safe electrical network inside an aircraft. Seaward has also developed a new voltage indicator to ensure safety when working on airfield ground lighting systems. The new AGL-5 two-pole voltage detector enables service engineers, maintenance personnel and airport technical staff to check that runway and airfield lighting circuits have been isolated from the power supply before maintenance or inspection work begins.
China Sticks with CFM Engines for New A320s
Chinese flagcarrier Air China announced it has selected the CFM56-5B engine to power 20 Airbus A320s on order for delivery starting in 2011. The deal is valued at $600 million at list price, including a long-term maintenance agreement.
All of Air China’s new CFM56-5B engines will be of the Tech Insertion configuration, which was introduced in September 2007 and has already logged 11 million flight hours. Tech Insertion provides a 1-percent improvement in fuel consumption and considerably lowers carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions.
This latest order has come as no surprise, as 179 aircraft in the current Air China fleet are already powered by CFM engines, including 55 A320s (CFM56-5B), 118 B737s (CFM56-3/7B) and six A340-300s (CFM56-5C).
Air China has also signed a rate per-flight-hour agreement with CFM to provide a comprehensive maintenance service for the CFM56 engines in the airline’s fleet.