Is the honeymoon over for Airbus Helicopters and big innovation? Despite the news that the company will build a successor to the X3 compound demonstrator by 2019 (see AIN, August, page 57), Guillaume Faury (who was appointed CEO 16 months ago) seems to have a more cautious approach than his predecessor, Lutz Bertling, and some signs suggest the OEM will scale back its forays into brave new territory.
Manufacturers saw a better than 12-percent jump in first-half business jet deliveries year over year, with 318 handed over during the first six months of this year, according to statistics released by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA). Much of this increase was fueled by Cessna, which delivered 71 jets in the first half of the year, a 36.5-percent rise over the same period last year. Though the company saw decreases in most of its other models, its totals were buoyed by recent certifications of the Citation M2, Sovereign+ and X+.
Launch customer Qatar Airways released photos of the first Airbus A350-900 it expects to receive this year, freshly painted at the manufacturer’s assembly plant in Toulouse, France. The airline has ordered 80 of the new widebodies: 43 A350-900s and 37 -1000s.
Singapore-based aircraft leasing company BOC Aviation said it was responding to Asian airline customers that are expanding or replacing their older aircraft by placing its largest-ever order with Boeing.
Almost eight years have passed since the Airbus A380 widebody completed certification and entered service. Airbus engineers continue to handle multiple product development tasks for in-service types, and the very first A380 prototype continues to support their efforts with frequent flight testing.
The long-expected follow-on order from Saudi Arabia for Eurofighter Typhoons has still not materialized, but in its half-yearly report BAE Systems revealed that it expects to receive orders worth about $2.2 billion to upgrade Saudi aircraft. Earlier this year, a protracted renegotiation of the original “Al Salam” deal for 72 aircraft was finally concluded.
PT Dirgantara Indonesia (PTDI) has stepped up its marketing of maritime versions of the CN235 and is completing assembly of its first C295. The moves result from the collaboration agreement that PTDI signed with Airbus Defense & Space in 2011. That deal also transferred production of the smaller C212 transport to PTDI’s facility in Bandung.
Dallas Aeronautical Services (DAS) is in the final stages of receiving approval to open a center for the maintenance, repair and overhaul of composite and bonded metal/composite components for a wide range of business aircraft types. The center will be the first of its kind in South America.
Even though sanctions imposed over Moscow’s alleged involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine appear not to immediately threaten airliner sales in Russia, the inclusion of certain Kremlin-controlled financial institutions and airlines on so-called “black lists” appears likely to alarm potential investors
Airbus Corporate Jets doesn’t do small business jets. The entry level into the ACJ world is the ACJ318, based on the 100-plus-seat A318 airliner. The top end of the range reaches right up to the ACJ380 based on the world’s largest commercial aircraft. And such aircraft do not come cheap, especially when outfitted to a luxurious standard.