Airbus has finished assembling the first A320neo, the company announced Tuesday. The airplane, MSN6101, rolled out of its paint hangar in Toulouse, France, after receiving its Airbus house livery and installation of its Pratt & Whitney PW1100G-JM engines. The company started final assembly of the first A320neo in mid-March, with the attachment of the forward and aft fuselage sections, made in Airbus facilities in St. Nazaire, France and Hamburg, Germany, respectively.
I’ve written periodically about FAA enforcement and what I consider to be abuses of the process, along with sanctions that are significantly disproportionate to the safety impact of the offenses charged.
IT provider Sita has begun using new technologies such as Apple’s iBeacon to provide real-time information on mobile devices to help passengers move seamlessly across airports to board flights on time. American Airlines has become the first carrier to try the Sita common-use beacon registry, launched at the recent Sita Air Transport IT summit in Brussels.
Aeroflot accepted its tenth Sukhoi Superjet SSJ100 on June 26 in the so-called Full version, Sukhoi Civil Aircraft (SCAC) announced on Monday, thereby completing the transition of the fleet from 10 SSJ100 Lights, all of which the Russian flag carrier has returned.
An attempt by the government of Kazakhstan to stave off an exodus of foreign investors this past February not only saw the abrupt devaluation of the country’s currency, it meant that national carrier Air Astana would have to curtail its ambitious growth plans. “The devaluation forced us to slam on the brakes on new aircraft orders,” said company president Peter Foster during a recent press conference in London.
Unmanned aircraft system (UAS) manufacturer Insitu is developing a growth variant of its Integrator, the basis of the U.S. Marine Corps’ RQ-21A Blackjack tactical UAS. The new UAS is aimed at the military market but Insitu offered few other details.
The sight of a building badly dented by the right wingtip of an Airbus A380 as the aircraft taxied at Le Bourget Airport ahead of the 2011 Paris Air Show emphasized the challenge posed by ground obstacles to pilots navigating around unfamiliar airports. Honeywell Aerospace seeks to address the problem through an innovative adaptation of its enhanced ground proximity warning system (EGPWS). The new Passive Wingtip Protection System (PWPS), which has based on an upgrade to the EGPWS software, is now under development at the group’s facility in Redmond, Wash.
Embraer’s preliminary design review of the E190-E2 at the end of May marked the completion of the project’s joint definition, the company announced on Tuesday. Embraer has also completed wind tunnel tests on the 106-seat jet, scheduled to enter commercial operations before July 2018. Development continues with the critical design review, meant to validate product maturity ahead of prototype production.
While Houston Hobby Airport hosts thousands of business aviation flights each year, I wonder how many of the crews transiting the airport are aware of the old Municipal Airport Terminal? It’s something that I didn’t know still existed until a trip to Houston earlier this year, for the opening of the new Million Air FBO/company headquarters. Driving on Telephone Road on the west side of the airport, I noticed the white art-deco wedding cake-shaped building set back from the street, along with a few signs advertising it as the 1940 Air Terminal Museum.
The production system that promises to support a reduction in final assembly times for the Boeing 737 from 10 to nine days this year should become still more efficient with the introduction of a new automated panel assembly line (PAL) by early 2015. Built by Mukilteo, Washington-based Electroimpact, the PAL fastens stringers to wing skin panels at twice the rate Boeing now can manage using the current process at the 737 plant in Renton, Washington. Electroimpact designed the machine to “normalize” to the panel with an array of lasers that “see” the surface without touching it, allowing it to follow the panel curvature or contour. The process improves accuracy, consistency and “repeatability,” according to Boeing.