Boeing’s number-crunchers published their long-awaited new commercial market outlook at the Farnborough show–the first full-blown revision of airliner demand since September 11. The new forecast anticipates 24,000 new airplane deliveries over the next 20 years, which is actually 500 units more than the U.S. airframer had envisioned in its 2001 report.
If a major international airshow can be accepted as an accurate snapshot of the prevailing condition of the world’s aerospace and defense industries, then the picture presented by Farnborough 2002 (held July 22 to 28) clearly showed both as having seen better days. That said, the sell-out event’s 1,200 exhibitors also gave the strong impression that they expect a rosier future, albeit after one or two more years of market stagnation.
In an August 8 memo, James Ballough, director of the FAA Flight Standards Service, confirmed that large-transport-category airplanes, including the Boeing Business Jet and Airbus Corporate Jetliner, may be operated under Part 135 if their type certificates indicate that modifications have been made that limit the number of passenger seats to 30 or fewer and payload capacity of 7,500 lb or less.
A joint venture between Air China and Lufthansa has produced one of the world’s largest MRO facilities. The 414,400-sq-ft maintenance hangar provides sufficient space to work on as many as four Airbus A380s at a time. In addition to supporting Air China’s growing fleet, it will also serve private aircraft arriving at the new Terminal 3 at Beijing’s Capital International Airport, built to support this year’s Olympics.
European aerospace consortium EADS is believed to be close to selling its Tarbes, France-based Socata subsidiary–the manufacturer of the TBM 850 turboprop single–to Daher, an aerospace, defense, nuclear and automotive group headquartered in Wissous, France.
According to several newspaper reports, European aerospace consortium EADS is close to selling its Tarbes, France-based Socata division to Daher, an aerospace, defense, nuclear and automotive group headquartered in Wissous, France. An industry source close to the deal told AIN that Daher has completed the due diligence process, with the sale apparently hinging on Airbus awarding a contract for A350 work to Socata.
As a district court in Weilheim, Germany, opened insolvency proceedings against Fairchild Dornier on July 1, the fate of the Bavarian regional jet builder hung on the fading hope that a large established aerospace company might come to its rescue.
The first Airbus A400M airlifter is set to be rolled out from the final assembly line at Seville, Spain, in June, but it won’t make its first flight until at least September. The program is now running more than six months late due to developmental delays with the large TP400 turboprop engines. The first flight of a TP400 on a C-130 testbed at Marshall Aerospace’s Cambridge, UK airfield has been delayed again until next month.
UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown and French President Nicholas Sarkozy reached some significant–though little noticed–defense arrangements when they met in London late last month. The two countries agreed to seek a single joint contract for the in-service support of the Airbus A400M airlifters that both have ordered. If achieved, this will be the first such arrangement ever concluded.
The intense debate over the U.S. Air Force’s choice of a new tanker continues. Boeing claimed that the KC-767 was found to be “more survivable” than the Airbus A330 multi-role tanker transport (MRTT) in the USAF evaluation. Northrop Grumman launched a new Web site to refute various allegations about its A330MRTT bid and ask why Boeing did not raise concerns about the selection process earlier.