Airbus will increase its share China’s Harbin Hafei Airbus Composite Manufacturing Center (HMC) from 20 to 25 percent under the terms of an agreement signed recently by Airbus COO Günter Butschek and AVIC executive vice president Geng Ruguang. Established in the 2009, the joint venture involves Airbus and a group of Chinese partners led by Avic.
Airbus A3xx series
Benoit Defforge has been promoted to managing director of Airbus Corporate Jets, the company announced yesterday. In his new role, he leads Airbus’s corporate jet business globally. He retains his previous role as head of Airbus Corporate Jet Centre (ACJC). Defforge joined Airbus in 2003 to improve the efficiency of the A330/A340 final assembly line and then led the development of the A380’s electrical systems before being tapped to head ACJC in May 2007.
Airbus has decided to bring an A350 XWB flight-test airplane to the Singapore Airshow next month, marking the first “full” display of the model at an international airshow. Plans call for flight-test airplane MSN3 to appear on static display on February 11 and 12. Airbus also expects the airplane to participate in the flying displays on both days.
The second A350 XWB flight-test aircraft, MSN3, has arrived in Bolivia to perform a series of tests at the high-altitude airfields of Cochabamba and La Paz. Cochabamba lies around 8,300 feet above sea level, and La Paz ranks as one of the world’s highest airports at 13,300 feet.
Airbus rolled out its third A350 XWB flight-test aircraft, MSN2, from the paint shop in Toulouse on Thursday, marking the latest milestone on the path to entry-into-service in the fourth quarter.
Christopher Emerson, senior vice president of Airbus and head of product strategy and market forecast, is responsible for overseeing Airbus’s Global Market Forecast, which is published annually. At a pre-Dubai Airshow briefing, Emerson offered the following comments about Airbus aircraft:
A350: The aircraft is improving and is efficient today. We have logged almost 600 hours. The program is on track. There are no issues there. The 350-1000 is moving and this is what we had expected.
Christopher Emerson, senior vice president of Airbus and head of product strategy and market forecast said that the number of aviation mega-cities will more than double in the next 20 years. This will require as much configurability in aircraft as possible, particularly between major city pairs, and he said that Airbus’s widebody family–the A380, the A350XWB and the A330–are the ideal match for long-haul trunk routes, long-haul developing routes and regional routes, respectively. “For us, our family completely matches the market,” Emerson said. “There is no gap.”
Airbus faces several major steps in bringing the A350XWB, which flew in June before appearing at the Paris Air Show, into service in the second half of 2014, said executive vice-president and A350 program head Didier Evrard. The manufacturer is working hard to progress the five-aircraft flight-test campaign in order to deliver a mature design at entry into service (EIS).
Airbus is promoting its ACJ330 and ACJ340 Gala concept at the Dubai Airshow, hoping to add to its list of several potential clients. The Gala concept was conceived as a means to offer a lower-cost alternative to a full VIP configuration for Airbus widebody airliners. The design places airliner-type seating fore and aft of a VIP section between doors two and three. Airbus designed the Gala product primarily for head-of-state clients who travel with large contingents of support staff and advisors.
Jet Aviation’s Basel, Switzerland location signed a completion contract for a private Airbus A340-600 long-range widebody. Work on the green Airbus will start in next year’s first quarter. The A340’s cabin will be configured with dining and lounge areas, two bedroom suites with adjoining bathrooms, office and executive seating areas, as well as high-density aft seating. Jet Aviation completed and delivered two private A340s last year.