Clean Sky (Hall 4 Stand B10), Europe’s aerospace research venture, is exhibiting a model of a modified Airbus A340 with so-called “laminar flow” on an outboard section of the wings. The technology, if applied to the entire wing, could bring a 5-10 percent improvement in fuel burn. The A340 testbed is scheduled to fly next year.
The 2014 edition of the Farnborough International Airshow has beaten its own record for aircraft and engine orders, with organizers announcing a $130 billion running tally after the first three of the five trade days. Factoring in all provisional orders, AIN’s own analysis puts the estimate at just above $155 billion.
Qatar Airways dominated commercial proceedings at the Farnborough International Airshow yesterday, signing contracts with Boeing for its 777Xs that could be worth up to $37.7 billion, plus another $2.4 billion deal for four 777 freighters.
Satair (All 1 Stand C12) has completed a deal to be the authorized worldwide distributor in the aftermarket for certain Ducommun cable assemblies, specifically for the GE90 and CFM56 engines. Satair is wholly owned by Airbus and brings together the proprietary parts division of the OEM with the existing Satair portfolio, offering a global spares logistics service. Los Angeles-based Ducommun is a provider of engineering manufacturing services spanning aerospace, defense and industrial sectors.
Airbus Helicopters will lead the design of a compound rotorcraft demonstrator dubbed “LifeRCraft” (Low Impact Fast & Efficient RotorCraft) as part of Europe’s Clean Sky 2 Joint Technology Initiative, which was formally launched last week in Brussels. Preliminary studies, architecture and specification activity will start this year, with development and testing of components and subsystems envisioned in the 2016-2018 timeframe. Flight evaluations could start in early 2019.
Airbus Helicopters has added personalization options for its EC135 l’Helicoptere par Hermes, which made its debut in 2007. At EBACE Airbus displayed an EC135T2e with an interior by the high-fashion and leather-goods manufacturer, and announced that the enhanced personalization will be available on the upgraded EC135T3/P3 variant.
More orders for the just-launched Airbus A330neo helped deliver another $50 billion day at the Farnborough International Airshow. AirAsiaX topped the sales ledger with a $13.8 billion memorandum of understanding for 50 of the Rolls-Royce Trent 7000-powered A330-900neos and it will take delivery of its first aircraft in 2018.
Leasing groups Avolon and CIT Group signed $7.7 billion worth of MoUs that will see each of them take 15 A330neos. CIT also ordered five A321neos.
Messier-Bugatti-Dowty–part of Safran Group (Hall 4 Innovation Zone Stand A7), which is providing the landing gear for the Airbus A350–has signed a contract with Japan’s Kobe Steel to supply the French company with titanium forgings for the main landing gear of the Airbus A350 XWB.
The Bauhaus Luftfahrt aerospace think-tank in May unveiled a concept for a “propulsive fuselage” aircraft, opening a new possibility for fuel burn reduction. It is part of a European Union-funded project in cooperation with a number of research centers, as well as MTU Aero Engines and Airbus Group Innovations (OE13). The latter company is also studying a hybrid-power regional airliner with Rolls-Royce (Hall 4 Stand H3). Meanwhile, it is flying a hybrid-lift quadcopter demonstrator for unmanned military and civil missions, the Quadcruiser.
UTC Aerospace Systems (UTAS, Hall 3AS6-7) comes to Farnborough with a series of commercial success stories, led by news of a new long-term maintenance agreement with Airbus. Under the deal, UTAS becomes a primary maintenance service provider for Airbus’ Flight Hour Services (FHS) and component repair support. The contract covers UTC Aerospace Systems components on all Airbus platforms.
The Airbus-led effort to develop viable electrically powered aircraft was boosted by the first public flight of the first E-Fan aircraft on April 25. The first of the two- and four-seat E-Fan light training aircraft are due to enter service by the end of 2017, but the wider success of the program–which eventually hopes to prove the case for electrically powered regional airliners–is contingent on its developers achieving further technology breakthroughs in harnessing the new power source.