Unseasonably bad weather at the 2012 Farnborough International airshow required exhibitors and visitors alike to dig deep into the reserves of resilience and flexibility that they have had to draw on in business conditions that remain uncomfortably unpredictable. But despite the near-relentless British rain, the event delivered no small amount of encouragement for the aerospace sector (primarily on the commercial side of the fence) and plenty of points of interest for industry watchers.
Airbus will delay first flight and entry into service of the A350XWB by another three months to address a manufacturing glitch at its Broughton, UK, wing production facility, EADS executives revealed during today’s half-year earnings briefing. Already a year behind schedule, the A350-900 now won’t reach the market until at least the second half of 2014.
Development of the Airbus A350XWB could lag by another month amid questions about problems with a machine in Broughton, UK, used to drill holes in the airplane’s composite wings.
Airbus collected some $16.9 billion worth of business during last week’s Farnborough airshow, gaining firm orders for 54 airplanes and MOUs for another 61.
If Airbus doesn’t see a resolution to the row between China and the EU over Europe’s emissions trading scheme by year-end, it will have to seriously consider withdrawing its plan to increase A330 production from the current nine per month to 11 in 2014, Airbus COO for customers John Leahy said during a Thursday briefing at the Farnborough airshow.
Rolls-Royce closed the Farnborough International airshow with a flurry of new business from Latin America. Brazil-based Synergy Aerospace signed a $630 million contract covering Trent 700 engines and TotalCare support for nine Airbus A330 aircraft ordered on July 12. Earlier, Colombia-based AviancaTaca placed a $280 million order with Rolls-Royce covering Trent 700 engines to power fourA330 freighters, as well as TotalCare support. The deal confirms a memorandum of understanding placed in November 2011. The four A330s will be operated by AviancaTaca subsidiary Tampa Cargo.
The UK’s Porvair Filtration Group is here at the Farnborough International airshow (Hall 4 Stand C1) exhibiting a range of its filters and other vital components for modern aircraft. The company is at the forefront of filtration and separation technology for a variety of markets. In the aerospace sector it is involved in a wide range of activities in contamination control of fluid and air management and control systems.
Boeing’s 787-8 is offered with both the 74,000-pound-thrust Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines and General Electric’s GEnx turbofans. The GEnx family has a thrust range of from 53,000 to 75-000 pounds.
An all-new RB3025 engine concept has been created by Rolls-Royce following a Boeing request also extended to General Electric and Pratt & Whitney for a powerplant for a future 777-size aircraft in around 2020. The current 777 is powered exclusively by the GE90.
Rolls-Royce has selected a 132.5-inch diameter for the composite fan for the 99,500-pound-thrust engine, which will sport a 12:1 bypass ratio and a 62:1 overall pressure ratio that would be the highest achieved on a commercial aircraft.
Airbus is producing a “final fix” to strengthen parts of the A380’s wing structure that have developed cracks on early examples of the very-large airliner. Aircraft now in production will be modified and the changes will be retrofitted to in-service aircraft. The cracks occurred on wing-rib feet that fasten skin panels to internal wing ribs.