Airbus has awarded Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) a contract to supply composite rudders for the A330-200 and A330-300 long-range commercial jets. Under the terms of the deal, signed Monday at the Paris Air Show, TAI (Hall 4 E75) will serve as a single-source supplier through the life of the A330. Plans call for rudder manufacture to take place at TAI’s Ankara Kazan facilities in Turkey, from where the company already supplies Airbus A350 XWB ailerons and control surfaces for a number of commercial/military aircraft platforms.
Airbus A3xx series
Airbus began the 2,500-hour flight-test program for its new A350 XWB when the new long-range widebody took off for the first time at almost exactly 10:00 a.m. local time in Toulouse, France on Friday. The eagerly awaited first flight over southwestern France lasted slightly more than four hours and the twinjet, powered by Rolls-Royce’s Trent XWB engines, safely touched down back in Toulouse at 2:05 p.m.
As launch customer Qatar Airways prepares to receive new Airbus A350s next year, the Arab operator will train using an operations department at the manufacturer’s Toulouse factory in southwest France. Until then, Airbus plans to conduct flight-test activities to mirror airlines operations at that facility.
A plainly visible sign of progress on the Airbus A350 program emerged last week with the installation of the first pair of Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines and the new Honeywell HGT1700 auxiliary power unit at the airframer’s production facilities in Toulouse, France.
The Lufthansa supervisory board has loosened its purse strings and approved a series of major fleet additions, led by 100 Airbus A320 family jets. The Lufthansa Group also plans to order a pair of Airbus A380s and six Boeing 777-300ERs, raising the total value of its newly announced acquisitions to $13.1 billion.
Airbus surpassed its delivery target in 2012 with a final tally of 588 aircraft for 89 customers (a rise of 10 percent over 2011). In press conference held at its Toulouse, France, headquarters on January 17, the European airframer also reported that it had exceeded its own orders target for last year by logging gross orders for 914 aircraft.
Singapore Airlines has completed a firm order for 25 more widebody aircraft from Airbus, comprising five A380 superjumbos and 20 A350-900s. The parties signed the firm order in December, some two months after Singapore announced its intention to enter into the contract.
Just a week after release of an airworthiness directive to address blockages in the angle-of-attack (AOA) systems installed on Airbus A330/340s, the European Aviation Safety Agency has included other models of the Airbus series in the procedural updates.
Airbus Corporate Jets launched its new Gala cabin concept for the ACJ330/340 widebodies today at MEBA 2012. The concept is applicable to A330s and A340s, which essentially have the identical cabins between doors two and three. In this cabin zone, Airbus proposes the installation of a VVIP fit encompassing a master bedroom, master office and conference area. Governments requiring head-of-state aircraft are seen as the main potential customers.
Qatar Airways underscored its endorsement of the largest variant of Airbus’s new A350 XWB last week by raising its firm order count for the A350-1000 to 37 from 20. The contract amendment also added three A350-900s to its previous order for 17, but it effectively scrapped Qatar’s firm order for 20 A350-800s.