The quiet revolution that sped through the airliner supply industry over the past decade has become mainstream doctrine: no longer can subsystems suppliers rely on the lead OEM to assume the design and integration responsibility for their products, at least according to the companies that occupy the upper tiers of the supply chain.
After missing out on key program selections for the new Airbus A350XWB and Boeing 787 programs, French nacelle maker Aircelle is laying plans for what
EADS Socata, the France-based manufacturer of the TBM 850 turboprop, last month denied the content of a June 1 story in the India Times, which reported that UB Group’s Vijay Mallya was ready to invest $200 million in the development of a jet. “We did talk to Mallya, but it was about relaunching our line of piston singles,” a spokesman said, adding that the company has made no progress recently in the search for partners in business aircraft.
If Airbus COO customers and chief commercial officer John Leahy ever met a paying customer he didn’t like, it certainly wasn’t one of the world’s big aircraft lessors, whose strong balance sheets look all the stronger at a time soaring fuel costs eat away at profits of the world’s airlines.
Recent demand for younger airliners has ensured lease market buoyancy, but rental rates could fall if more operators release capacity or collapse under the pressure of fuel prices and scarce credit. Major lessor International Lease Finance Corp. (ILFC) has warned that air traffic growth might slow down, potentially causing “a negative impact on future lease rates.”
The June 5 signing of a contract for work on Airbus A320 cargo conversion program appears to have restored Russia’s position as a full partner in Europe’s EADS group. The pact could signify repair of relations damaged in 2006 when the German and Russian governments disputed the position of Russian shareholders in EADS.
Boeing and Airbus are still looking for the right balance in outsourcing, or at least for the right way to run the massively outsourced production organizations on which they base their latest airliner programs.
Pratt & Whitney passes one of the most important milestones in its long history as the much-heralded Geared Turbofan engine takes to the skies this month. Installed and nearly ready to fly aboard the company’s Boeing 747 testbed in the days leading to the start of this week’s Farnborough airshow, the GTF demonstrator underwent 250 hours of ground testing since engineers first ran the engine in November 2007.
International Aero Engines comes to Farnborough celebrating the 25th anniversary of the landmark deal on March 11, 1983, between Rolls-Royce, Pratt & Whitney and Japanese Aero Engines to develop a brand-new engine–the V2500–to compete with the CFM56 to power the Airbus A320 family.
In commercial service for nearly nine months now, the Airbus A380 has proven itself perfectly capable of doing what its developers intended it to do–fly lots of passengers comfortably and efficiently.