For the better part of a year, Airbus has been referring to the executive version of its A380 as the Flying Palace, so it seemed appropriate that the first customer should be royalty–Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz Alsaud.
The Airbus A380 powered by Engine Alliance GP7200 engines received joint European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and FAA type certification last Friday. The approval came a year and two days after the EASA and FAA issued the Rolls-Royce-powered A380 its certification, on Dec. 12, 2006. MSN009, Airbus’ test aircraft powered by the Engine Alliance turbofans, completed nearly 800 hours of test flying.
French avionics maker Thales is in Toulouse developing an all-new flight deck for the ATR -600 series–the newly launched pair of upgrades to the now Honeywell-equipped ATR 42-500 and 72-500 regional turboprops. The new avionics suite features five 6- by 8-inch LCD displays and overall lighter hardware.
Eclipse Aviation signed a contract with Fuji Heavy Industries (FHI) of Japan for the manufacture of complete wing assemblies for the Eclipse 500 very light jet. As part of the long-term agreement, Eclipse also licensed its friction-stir welding process to FHI for use in the wing assemblies, as well as other potential applications within FHI’s manufacturing operations.
In recent years on the international airshow circuit, the Airbus A380 super-large airliner has dominated static displays. But here in Dubai, the double-decker had to vie for visitors’ attention among some 140 aircraft of all sorts of shape, size, origin and purpose. There is something here for everyone, from freighters and fighters to the fanciest VIP jets.
With a characteristically nimble response to market demand, Emirates Airline hastily re-scheduled an announcement here yesterday of more than $30 billion worth of aircraft orders to accommodate the presence of Dubai ruler HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum.
New Zealand’s power solutions provider Cavotec MSL sponsored the A380 Touchdown conference held here in Dubai on November 9 and 10. The conference addressed the technical and business “issues” that airports due to host the Airbus A380 might face. The aircraft entered scheduled commercial service with Singapore Airlines in late October and should join local carrier Emirates in about a year’s time.
United Arab Emirates national carrier Etihad Airways celebrated its fourth birthday last week by introducing an interline agreement with Australian operator Virgin Blue that connects its 45-destination network with 22 Australian cities through Brisbane and Sydney. Abu Dhabi-based Etihad will increase frequency to Sydney from one daily flight to 11 flights a week next March; it flies to Brisbane three times a week.
Charlotte, North Carolina-based Goodrich Corp. (Stand W436) opened its new maintenance and repair facility in Dubai’s Jebel Ali Free Trade Zone (JAFZA) just over three weeks ago. This Wednesday during the Dubai Air Show, the aerospace systems and services supplier will host an opening ceremony for customers, senior executives and other guests.
N3 Engine Overhaul Services–a joint venture between Rolls-Royce (Stand W206) and Lufthansa Technik (Stand C518)–opened officially in September. It is the latest in a global network of Trent engine overhaul facilities.