Spending a week in China at the Asian Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition is a refreshing reminder that as much as countries like China want to put general aviation to work, the actual implementation is going to be nothing like what aviation-minded westerners are used to. It seems we have a naive desire to see general aviation in China replicate the landscape of non-commercial aviation in the U.S., Europe, Australia and New Zealand.
Rebuffing descriptions of the CSeries’ sales performance as “sluggish,” Bombardier says it welcomes comparisons between its airplane and those that Boeing and Airbus offer in the 100- to 149-seat market segment. In a recent market analysis, the Canadian airframe maker cites firm order figures for the CSeries of 201 aircraft from 18 customers, compared with 47 from three customers for the Airbus A319neo, 55 from two customers for the Boeing 737-7 Max, and 100 from two customers for the Embraer E190/195 E2.
As CFM International and Pratt & Whitney progress toward the entry into service of their competing engines on the Airbus A320neo, the rival powerplant makers are at odds over which engine will deliver the best performance in terms of turbine temperatures.
GE Aviation this week reported that testing on the high pressure compressor (HPC) module for the GE9X engine that will power Boeing’s 777X aircraft continues to yield “very promising results,” achieving a 27:1 pressure ratio–the highest of any commercial aircraft engine. The tests began in September at the GE Oil & Gas testing facility in Massa, Italy, and the module has accumulated close to 300 hours of testing today.
Nextant Aerospace is showing its 400XTi remanufactured light business jet for the first time at Singapore, while the company is also promoting its forthcoming G90XT remanufactured twin-turboprop. Based on the Beechjet 400A/XP and King Air C90, respectively, the 400XTi and 90XT offer performance and efficiencies that match or exceed those of comparable new-build aircraft, but at roughly half the price.
As Rolls-Royce (Booth N23) prepares to begin a two-year development and testing phase for the latest Trent engine–the Model 1000-TEN, designed to power Boeing’s stretched 787-10 large twin-aisle twinjet–it has completed three full demonstrators and is building a fourth that will be used in a 500 flight-cycle trial.
Rolls-Royce’s factory near Seletar Airport is up and running, producing approximately 50 Trent 900s per year, while gearing up to add other engine types to its production line, beginning with the Trent 1000.
Cenco (Safran) will build a 46-foot engine test cell in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, for Saudia Aerospace Engineering Industries (SAEI). The new facility will allow SAEI to test the GE90-94/115, CFM56-5B/7B, CF34-8E/10E, CF6-80C2D1F/B5F and V2500-D5 while providing for future engine programs such as the Rolls-Royce Trent 700/900/1000 and the GE Aviation GEnx-1B/2B. The facility is set to enter service in July 2016.
Cutter Aviation’s Phoenix facility has been selected by Beechcraft as an authorized service center (ASC) for the Beechjet/Hawker 400XP series. Cutter became an ASC for the King Air turboprop line and Beechcraft’s piston-powered Bonanza and Baron earlier this year. Cutter also holds ASC status for the Baron and Bonanza in Addison, Texas, and for the King Airs and piston aircraft at its Albuquerque, N.M. facility. Beechcraft is supporting its jet lines, even though they are out of production.
Boeing on Wednesday won FAA type inspection authorization (TIA) for the 787-9, marking the start of a new phase of flight testing in which agency personnel join the company’s engineers in Washington state’s Puget Sound region to gather the data required for certification.