GE Aviation’s aerostructures division has started building a 97,000-sq-ft composites factory at Hamble in the UK. The work is part of a $50 million investment at the site to support its role in making wing components for the new Airbus A350 XWB airliner and is due to be completed in early 2015.
Airliner orders have kept flowing at the Paris Air Show, with a flurry of late orders from Wednesday and throughout Thursday morning. Airbus was again the main beneficiary as leasing group Hong Kong Aviation Capital ordered 40 A320neos and 20 A321neos in a deal worth $6.4 billion. United Airlines ordered 10 A350-1000s and upgraded 25 -900 options to firm purchases of the larger -1000 in a $4.4 billion contract.
Marenco Swisshelicopter has selected Donaldson Aerospace & Defense to provide the fuel filtration system for its new Skye SH09 helicopter. The equipment will protect the performance of the Honeywell HTS900-2 turboshaft that will power the eight-seat helicopter. Donaldson specializes in making lightweight, advanced filtration systems.
Parker Aerospace and China Aviation Industry Corporation (AVIC) held a contract-signing ceremony just ahead of the Paris Air Show to form two joint venture companies in support of Comac’s new C919 program.
Airbus notched up firm orders for a further 55 examples of its now-flying A350 XWB airliner yesterday here in Paris, with Air France-KLM and Singapore Airlines signing major deals. The European airframer now has 668 firm orders for the A350. And, for good measure, Airbus also managed yesterday to close a major fleet-upgrade MoU with Sri Lankan Airlines.
The successful first flight of the Airbus A350 XWB in Toulouse last Friday was a major milestone in the program and one to be celebrated by the manufacturer and its major suppliers. Rolls-Royce (Chalet B89), in particular, was pleased to see its Trent XWB engines power the aircraft from Runway 32L at Blagnac airfield for its 4hr 05min maiden flight.
Airbus has awarded Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) a contract to supply composite rudders for the A330-200 and A330-300 long-range commercial jets. Under the terms of the deal, signed Monday at the Paris Air Show, TAI (Hall 4 E75) will serve as a single-source supplier through the life of the A330. Plans call for rudder manufacture to take place at TAI’s Ankara Kazan facilities in Turkey, from where the company already supplies Airbus A350 XWB ailerons and control surfaces for a number of commercial/military aircraft platforms.
Following the first flight on June 14 of the Airbus A350 XWB, AIN had an opportunity to interview John Leahy, Airbus chief operating officer, customers, about the historic event.
What can you say about today’s flight?
Rolls-Royce (R-R) is developing continuous improvements for mature Trent engines, with new technology flowing from later models into established variants, according to program director John Hogarth. Since the original Trent–the Series700–entered service on a Cathay Pacific Airbus A330 in 1985, successive variants have been introduced to constitute a “tailored family” enjoying common architecture, but with each model dedicated to specific airframes.
Aluminum specialist Constellium’s new foundry in Issoire, France, is up and running–a key step in a strategy aimed at regaining some of the ground lost to composite materials in aircraft construction. The casting house focuses on a new family of alloys, dubbed Airware, which are lighter than the previous generation made of aluminum-lithium.