Airbus faces several major steps in bringing the A350XWB, which flew in June before appearing at the Paris Air Show, into service in the second half of 2014, said executive vice-president and A350 program head Didier Evrard. The manufacturer is working hard to progress the five-aircraft flight-test campaign in order to deliver a mature design at entry into service (EIS).
CAE said last week it had received Level D qualification of the world’s first simulator for the Boeing 747-8 freighter, a full-flight simulator (FFS) sold to Luxembourg-based Cargolux Airlines International. Luxembourg’s national aviation authority awarded the simulator EASA Level D qualification. CAE also announced November 12 that it had received Level D qualifications from the FAA for its first two Boeing 787 FFSs for undisclosed North American customers.
British engine-maker Rolls-Royce has begun manufacturing parts for the 84,000-pound thrust Trent XWB-84s that will power the first Airbus A350-900 for launch customer Qatar Airways, and is on track for the powerplant’s entry into service (EIS) in the third-quarter of 2014.
Airbus is promoting its ACJ330 and ACJ340 Gala concept at the Dubai Airshow, hoping to add to its list of several potential clients. The Gala concept was conceived as a means to offer a lower-cost alternative to a full VIP configuration for Airbus widebody airliners. The design places airliner-type seating fore and aft of a VIP section between doors two and three. Airbus designed the Gala product primarily for head-of-state clients who travel with large contingents of support staff and advisors.
This Dubai Airshow marks the last time EADS will exhibit at any major aerospace show before it officially changes its name to the Airbus Group on January 1, 2014. Fittingly, two of the company’s highest-profile Airbus-branded products–the A380 and A400M military airlifter–are participating daily in the show’s flying display, while an Egyptair A330-300 sits on static display and an A350XWB cockpit mockup graces the Airbus stand in the exhibit hall.
The commercial outfit that will provide the UK Royal Air Force (RAF) with air-to-air refueling service for the next 22 years says that it will meet the forecast in-service date. By May 2014, AirTanker will have nine Airbus A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transports (MRTTs) ready on the ramp at RAF Brize Norton. It has already trained 18 aircrews, received six aircraft and begun operational flying. Chief executive Phil Blundell told AIN that his company could also assist other customers that need training on the A330MRTT–such as the UAE Air Force.
Airbus Corporate Jet Center (ACJC), a specialist in Airbus Corporate Jet executive cabin completions, recently delivered its 24th aircraft. The project is a strong showcase for the Toulouse-based facility’s capabilities, since it involved the development and integration more than 15 new technologies to meet an unidentified customer’s high requirements in terms of layout design, comfort and systems.
EADS has set itself an ambitious target for its E-Thrust hybrid propulsion concept, a joint effort with British engine maker Rolls-Royce that went relatively unnoticed when it was revealed at the Paris Air Show in June. The E-Airbus, under its new moniker, is to enter into service in 2030 as a 100-seat regional aircraft.
Rolls-Royce’s strategy of feeding technological developments from new programs back to established engines for upgrades or retrofit changes is creating a range of enhanced-performance (EP) packages being available to customers.
While the business aviation world cautiously waits to see if the signs of recovery in the traditional markets of Europe and North America bear fruit, the original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are looking elsewhere to satisfy demand for growth. While the Far East and Latin America offer encouragement, it is Africa that offers the best opportunities for increased sales, but the continent also has its own unique set of challenges.