While Boeing enjoyed its long-deferred moment of triumph in achieving first flight of the 787, Airbus quietly moved forward with the initial manufacturing stages of the rival A350XWB. In early December, Airbus manufactured the first composite lay-up for the new widebody at its factory at Nantes, in western France.
The cash registers started to ring here at the 2009 Dubai Airshow yesterday with a modest but nonetheless welcome batch of airliner and engine orders. Airbus firmed up a new customer in Ethiopian Airlines, which converted a memorandum of understanding for 12 A350XWBs into a firm $3 billion order.
Aircell Appoints Abu Dhabi Sales Rep
Future passenger aircraft might not be as exotic as some research projects and artist renderings have suggested, according to Philippe Jarry, a member of Airbus’ strategy directorate. Speaking at a conference in Paris last month organized by France’s Air & Space Academy, Jarry stressed that a number of constraints weigh on aircraft design, limiting the scope for dramatic advances.
Spain has approved loans worth up to $520 million for subcontractors working on the Airbus A350 XWB twin-aisle twinjet or on its Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engine. The loans are separate from any other financial support that Spain provides for the overall program.
Goodrich Corp. has signed a research agreement with Rolls-Royce to develop the new fuel nozzles for “lean burn” combustion technology systems for gas turbine engines, Goodrich announced today. Rolls-Royce has also chosen Goodrich to supply the fuel nozzles for the new Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engine for the Airbus A350XWB widebody.
Sky Aircraft, based in Chambley in France’s Lorraine region, is part of GECI International, which also includes Reims Aviation, maker of the F406 twin turboprop. GECI is also a supplier to manufacturers Airbus on the A380 and A350 XWB programs and Dassault on the 7X program. The SK-105 Skylander is a high-wing twin turboprop powered by two Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-65B engines.
Airbus confirmed to AIN today that it will build just 13 A380s this year, rather than the previously planned 14.
At face value, Europe’s EADS group appeared to come off slightly worse than its U.S. rival Boeing from financial results announced in late July. EADS reported a 23-percent drop in operating profits for the first half of this year, compared with a 22-percent decline at Boeing over the same period.
Boeing Commercial Airplanes has begun to study the possibility of fitting the 777 with a redesigned wing in an effort to more effectively compete against the Airbus A350XWB-1000. Although BCA chief executive Scott Carson said at this month’s Paris Air Show that “nothing is decided,” a re-winged 777 could offer an alternative to the still un-launched 787-10, the so-called double stretch of the baseline 787-8.