EADS has teamed with Russia’s NPK Irkut and RSK MiG in a joint venture to convert Airbus A320 airliners into freighters. The new business–owned 50/50 between the European group and the Russian firms– is expected to generate $200 million in sales annually, based on around 20 A320F conversions. If successful, the partners will later undertake conversions of the larger A330 family.
Farnborough Air Show » July 17, 2006
The world’s largest passenger aircraft set another record last month, when Airbus deployed 16 emergency slides at the same time using only the A380’s battery power.
Five months ago, on February 20, the long-awaited creation of Russia’s new Unified Aircraft Co. (OAK, in its Russian acronym) became official when President Vladimir Putin signed a decree ordering the immediate amalgamation of all Russian aircraft building enterprises into one large group.
The Eurofighter Typhoon program is one of the longest running projects in the history of military aircraft. The sheer number of years from initial design studies to production deliveries to the air forces of the four original partner nations (Germany, the UK, Spain and Italy) has been fodder for criticism that the program has become a mammoth, never-ending defense project that imposed an excessive burden on taxpayers.
Airbus A380 director of product marketing Richard Carcaillet hasn’t let go unanswered the potshots taken by his Boeing counterpart, Randy Baseler, whose Internet blog, Randy’s Journal, has clearly ruffled some feathers in Toulouse.
Turbomeca is ready to launch new variants of its helicopter engines. The French manufacturer (Hall 4 Stand B12) is working on technology demonstrators that can be the basis for a preliminary powerplant. But before launching any such program, it is waiting for the market to clearly indicate the need for new Arriel or Arrius turboshaft engines.
On March 13 Aero Vodochody engineers finished work on their 100th Sikorsky S-76C helicopter fuselage. The following day, the in-house Sikorsky representative signed off on the Czech Republic engineering house’s efforts, and airframe number 624, shrink-wrapped inside a waterproof membrane, was dispatched from Odolena Voda, a northern suburb of capital Prague.
Record numbers of orders last year indicated a short supply of available aircraft as the world’s airlines began to recover from the global recession of the early 2000s. This was good news for those with used aircraft on their hands–at least until most demand had been met, at which point placing remaining capacity became a challenge.
Now that the first Airbus aircraft built in the 1970s are reaching the end of their useful lives, for the first time in its history the company must consider a disposal strategy. Of course, salvage companies can do the job of tearing apart an airplane for recycling.
A pair of six-foot-tall appendages sprouting from the wingtips of an A320 immediately caught the attention of plane spotters scanning the ramp outside Airbus’ Toulouse headquarters last month.