Aviation

July 16, 2014 - 1:55am
AirAsia A330-900neo

More orders for the just-launched Airbus A330neo helped deliver another $50 billion day at the Farnborough International Airshow. AirAsiaX topped the sales ledger with a $13.8 billion memorandum of understanding for 50 of the Rolls-Royce Trent 7000-powered A330-900neos and it will take delivery of its first aircraft in 2018.

Leasing groups Avolon and CIT Group signed $7.7 billion worth of MoUs that will see each of them take 15 A330neos. CIT also ordered five A321neos.

July 16, 2014 - 1:45am

In his last act as British Defence Secretary, Philip Hammond and his French counterpart, Jean-Yves le Drian, signed an agreement at the Farnborough Airshow yesterday to launch a two-year co-operative feasibility study for an unmanned combat air vehicle (UCAV). The Future Combat Air System (FCAS) deal is worth £120 million (more than $180 million) for six industry partners: BAE Systems, Dassault Aviation, Rolls-Royce, Safran, Selex and Thales.

July 16, 2014 - 1:32am

Thales’ offer in cockpit, cabin and air traffic control (ATC) electronics is evolving into a comprehensive “connected aircraft” concept. The company (Hall 4 Innovation Zone A21) is studying how flight-deck connectivity can piggyback on the satellite communications equipment installed for the passenger cabin. Here at the Farnborough Airshow for the first time is the Avionics 2020 cockpit demonstrator, featuring cockpit-pilot datalink communications (CPDLC).

July 16, 2014 - 1:30am

The Eurofighter Typhoon IPA5 has arrived at Farnborough carrying precious cargo. Beneath the nose radome is the first flight- test example of the Euroradar Captor-E WFoR (wide field of regard) electronically-scanned radar. The sensor was installed only recently and, after a few shakedown flights, the aircraft was ferried south from BAE Systems’ airfield at Warton, Lancashire, for the show.

July 16, 2014 - 1:24am

Designing a new aircraft in the 90-seat class is no longer a priority, ATR CEO Patrick de Castelbajac explained yesterday here at the Farnborough International Airshow. “It was something my predecessor was very keen on, as were probably 95 percent of our employees and a number of our customers,” he stated. However, he pointed out that major shareholder Airbus Group believes “the timing is not now” for such an ambitious project.

July 16, 2014 - 1:20am

Embraer has announced a string of orders this week here at Farnborough International 2014, for a total of 158 regional jets (if all options were exercised). The most prominent one came from Trans States Holdings, the parent company of Trans States Airlines, Compass Airlines and GoJet Airlines, for 50 E175-E2 airliners, plus an option for an additional 50. Its first E175 is expected to enter service in 2020.

July 16, 2014 - 1:15am

Canada’s Bombardier unveiled a cargo-passenger variant of its Q400 in Farnborough on Tuesday, adding one more choice to a growing list of configurations for the versatile turboprop.

Available in various arrangements, the combi version offers up to 8,200 pounds of cargo capacity and as much as 1,150 cubic feet of volume. Using Class C cargo compartments, the so-called high-cargo version can hold 50 passengers at a 32-inch seat pitch. Bombardier claims it has entered “advanced” discussions with a number of potential Q400 combi customers.

July 16, 2014 - 1:10am

GE Aviation’s Flight Efficiency Services division is using big data techniques to help airlines to improve their profit margins with a particular focus on reducing fuel burn. “Fuel accounts for 40 percent of airline costs with around $215 billion spent on this each year,” said general manager Giovanni Spitale. “GE thinks that if machines can talk to each other using the industrial internet [a term coined by GE] we can make better sense of that [fuel consumption].”

July 16, 2014 - 1:08am

Messier-Bugatti-Dowty–part of Safran Group (Hall 4 Innovation Zone Stand A7), which is providing the landing gear for the Airbus A350–has signed a contract with Japan’s Kobe Steel to supply the French company with titanium forgings for the main landing gear of the Airbus A350 XWB.

July 16, 2014 - 1:05am

Nine heavy hitters from the Lockheed Martin F-35 program fronted Tuesday’s media briefing here at Farnborough. But even three senior Pentagon officials, one Air Force general and five industry chiefs could not conjure the actual hardware–although the good news at the show yesterday was that the F-35 was given clearance to fly with “a restricted flight envelope.” The four F-35Bs slated to fly to the UK were have been grounded at NAS Patuxent River after a June 23 engine fire at Eglin AFB in Florida.

 
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