It seems Boeing hasn’t convinced everyone of the value of its standard engine interface feature on the 787 Dreamliner, which the company says allows quick and cost-effective changeability between the Rolls-Royce Trent 1000s and GE GEnx-1B turbofans chosen to power the airplane.
The single-aisle product strategy revealed this month by Airbus marks the first public move in what promises to be a fascinating duel with Boeing to provide new designs to replace many thousands of 150-seat, single-aisle airliners. But do not look for new production lines any time soon.
Airbus appears to have exhausted all its A350XWB development “buffer,” leaving designers and engineers with little margin for error as the company prepares the first A350-900 for its first flight and the model's delivery to launch customer Qatar Airways in mid-2013.
Airbus will have to compress the original 15-month flight-test program planned for the A350-900 into a 12-month exercise to accommodate an extension of the program's detailed design phase. The flight test program will involve five airplanes-all but one of which will fly in 2012, according to the company.
The World Trade Organization has finally passed judgment on the legitimacy of more than $200 billion in European loans to Airbus for six separate aircraft programs. But, still, the outcome remains somewhat ambiguous, as Airbus and Boeing each claimed some measure of victory in the now six-year-old dispute.
United Airlines has signed a firm order for 25 Airbus A350-900 XWBs, formalizing a commitment originally announced last December, the European manufacturer announced today. Plans call for deliveries of the Rolls-Royce Trent XWB-powered jets to begin in 2016 and run through 2019.
Airbus plans to increase the monthly production rate for its single-aisle A320 family from the current rate of 34 to 36 starting in December, the company announced today. It also said that the production rate for the long-range A330/A340 family will remain at its current level of eight per month.
Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) is planning to expand into manufacturing civil aircraft, with possible programs including a sub-100-seat airliner and a business jet. The company aims to increase its civil business to 50 percent, up from the current 35 percent, according to executive vice president and general manager for marketing Enes Park.