Steve Taylor, president of Boeing Business Jets (BBJ), announced here at EBACE 2014 the company has sold its first VIP 787-9 Dreamliner, and the undisclosed customer has chosen London’s Andrew Winch Designs (AWD) and EH Aviation Advisors to handle the completion. Taylor noted that AWD has handled interior design for several BBJs. “This is going to be spectacular,” he said as he showed renderings of an interior scheme from AWD at the BBJ press conference. (Renderings of the client’s selected interior were not displayed as per AWD’s confidentiality policies.)
Boeing 787 Dreamliner
Controversial low-fare airline Norwegian Air Shuttle on Wednesday announced it has signed agreements to lease three new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners for its long-haul operation, in an interim move to shore up its fleet while it awaits U.S. Department of Transportation approval to fly more 787s to the U.S. under an Irish license.
Airbus has added Recaro and Sogerma passenger seats to the A350 supplier-furnished equipment catalog, which includes seats, galleys, cabin “monuments” and other items, but hopes to limit furnishing options to keep assembly lines flowing, officials said at the company’s unveiling of the airplane’s interior in Hamburg on April 7. It also emphasized increased width in the A350’s twin-aisle fuselage–thus boosting a claimed advantage over the competing Boeing 787–and confirmed that the twinjet will accommodate 10-abreast seating.
Japan’s ANA Holdings on March 27 said it will place firm orders for 70 new Boeing and Airbus aircraft, including the new Boeing 777-9X, additional 787 Dreamliners and new Airbus A320neos. ANA valued the order at $16.6 billion at list prices, the largest aircraft order in its history.
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration recommended that Boeing address four “issues” related to manufacturing and supplier quality in a new report released on March 19. The report details the results of a joint review of the Boeing 787’s design manufacturing and assembly processes ordered after the January 2013 lithium battery fire aboard a Dreamliner parked at Boston Logan Airport. The review team also made recommendations for improved, “risk-based” FAA oversight to account for new business models.
Boeing 787 wing supplier Mitsubishi Heavy Industries has determined that a change in its manufacturing processes might have led to the development of hairline cracks in shear ties on Dreamliner wing ribs, Boeing confirmed Friday afternoon. The Chicago-based airframer said the problem could result in some delivery delays, but that the situation would not affect delivery guidance for 2014.
Every year since the start of the great economic downturn of 2008, the business aviation industry has watched business jet deliveries dwindle and searched for signs that the market might have finally hit bottom. The downward slide was finally arrested last year, according to year-end numbers released last month by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association. For the first time since 2008, worldwide deliveries of business jets were higher than the previous year, with manufacturers handing over 678 jets last year, six aircraft (1 percent) more than in 2012.
Boeing Business Jets has delivered two BBJ 787-8 business jets since late January. Handover of the green aircraft took place the same week, to separate undisclosed customers, the airframer said.
It holds a total of 13 firm orders for the BBJ 787-8 and delivery of another three are planned this year. The first one had been delivered in December. Boeing claims the BBJ 787-8 has a range of about 9,260 nm.
Separately, the first BBJ 747-8 is expected to enter into service this year.
Gore Design Completions (GDC) last week received the first of two Boeing 787-8 Dreamliners for which it will produce luxury cabin interiors on behalf of private owners. The second aircraft will arrive at its facility in San Antonio, Texas, in the third quarter of this year and the elaborate completions projects for each of the widebodies are expected to last three years.
As the Airbus A350-900 twin-aisle twinjet makes its first full international airshow display here in Singapore this week, industry observers will be keen to understand the manufacturer’s plans for the smaller A350-800, which has seen a steady erosion of orders as customers have upgraded to the baseline model. With average aircraft seat capacity moving inexorably to the right, Airbus executives are also mulling a possible double-stretched variant beyond the longer A350-1000.