On April 22, Airbus’ new Corporate Jet Center (ACJC) delivered its first aircraft–a VIP-configured A320 to a private customer. The manufacturer has invested more than $10 million in modernizing and expanding its new completions center in Toulouse.
Airbus A320 family
To those outside Boeing, you are, and probably will be for a long time, associated most closely with the Boeing Business Jet. How did that happen?
Airbus Industrie began final assembly of the first Airbus A318 at its plant in Hamburg, Germany, when on August 9 it joined the 107-seat jet’s forward and aft fuselage sections. The A318, smallest member of the A320 family, will become the third Airbus type assembled outside the company’s primary plant in Toulouse, France. Airbus also builds the A319 and A321 in Germany.
The Airbus Corporate Jetliner (ACJ) received FAA type certification on October 28. The approval came just over three years after the large-cabin bizjet was certified by Europe’s Joint Aviation Authorities (JAA) and clears the way for deliveries in the U.S.
Airbus has hired executive charter specialist PrivatAir to operate a corporate shuttle service linking its facilities in the UK, France and Germany. Starting in April, a pair of 126-seat Airbus A319s will provide the daily midweek service between the Airbus factories at Broughton and Filton in the UK with those at Toulouse in southwestern France and Hamburg in northern Germany.
CAE last month inaugurated its aviation training center near Denver International Airport. The new facility, which specializes in the training of regional airline crews, is starting with three simulators: an Airbus A320 and two Bombardier CRJ200/700 devices. Frontier Airlines and Air Wisconsin are the launch customers. A third Bombardier CRJ200/700 simulator will be added next year.
The Honeywell weather information network (WINN), compared by some to a veritable Weather Channel for the cockpit, is now available to major and regional airlines following completion of a four-month trial in an Airbus A320.
The biggest engine deal of Farnborough 2002 was undoubtedly FedEx’s selection of the Engine Alliance’s GP7200 engines to power its 10 A380 cargo megaliners. Though the value of the contract was not disclosed, it gives the Pratt & Whitney/General Electric joint venture parity in the A380 powerplant race with its Rolls-Royce rival.
Airbus in late February successfully tested an emissions-free fuel cell in flight. The hydrogen- and oxygen-based fuel cell system generated up to 20 kilowatts of electrical power on an A320 test aircraft, and the output was used to power the aircraft’s electric motor pump for the back-up hydraulic circuit that operates the aircraft’s ailerons.
The UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch was unable to determine why Airbus A319 G-EUOB suffered a major electrical failure while flying at night from London to Budapest on Oct. 22, 2005. According to the AAIB final report, the airplane was en route from London Heathrow to Budapest and was approaching FL200 in clear conditions.