The new Rolls-Royce factory in Singapore could be producing half of the company’s large commercial engines by the middle of this decade. The 1.65-million-sq-ft campus at Seletar Airport has cost more than $450 million to build, with some of the funding coming from the island republic’s Economic Development Board. Rolls-Royce managers expect to assemble engines and make fan blades more efficiently here than in the UK, thanks to the clean-sheet, all-under-one-roof building designs.
Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong officially opened Rolls-Royce’s latest factory on Monday. The S$700 million ($555 million) Rolls-Royce Seletar Campus, situated at the Seletar Aerospace Park in the north of Singapore, is designed to double the engine manufacturer’s Trent engine output to more than 500 a year. In addition to engine assembly and test, the campus also houses fan blade manufacturing, research and training activities.
Mubadala Aerospace and several of its subsidiaries are at the Singapore Airshow (Booth No. D11). Much of the emphasis for the fast-growing Middle East group is on opportunities for it to develop its maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) business in the Middle East.
Airbus has confirmed it has begun studies aimed at raising the A330-300’s maximum takeoff weight (mtow) by five metric tons, from 235 tons (518,081 pounds) to 240 tons (529,104 pounds), in a bid to increase the twinjet’s range and better compete with the Boeing 787 and 777.
Boeing confirmed today that Air France-KLM Group has placed a firm order for twenty-five 787-9 Dreamliners, along with options. The sides signed the contract in late December 2011 and Boeing’s Orders & Deliveries website listed it as an order from an unidentified customer.
Boeing and partner Fujitsu of Japan have developed a maintenance system for airlines based on data-gathering radio frequency identification (RFID) tags and contact memory buttons (CMBs) affixed to aircraft parts, readers to extract the data and associated hardware and software.
The first 21-meter-long front fuselage section for the Airbus A350 XWB has begun to take shape in Saint-Nazaire, France, where mechanics have begun joining the forward fuselage and nose sections, the European manufacturer announced today. The exercise will continue over the “coming weeks,” said Airbus.
Calculating the value of business announced during airshows is an inexact science, but as the 2011 Dubai Air Show came to an end last week the combined sales tally for airliners, engines and support contracts looked set to have topped $50 billion. Boeing grabbed the lion’s share of this through a $26 billion deal with Emirates Airline covering 50 of its 777-300ER long-range twinjets and options for 20 more.
Comlux Aviation placed the first-ever order for an Airbus ACJ321 at the Dubai Air Show on Monday, expanding the Airbus Corporate Jet family.
Rolls-Royce has introduced the first of a two-phase performance improvement for the Trent 900 engines that power the Airbus A380 airliner. Turbofans now being delivered to A380 operators have a one-percent improvement in specific fuel consumption compared with the initial units.