Virgin America’s eve-of-Paris-show $1.4 billion order for CFM International Leap engines to power its 30 Airbus A320neo airliners provided validation of parent company Safran’s view that the aerospace market is well and truly back in growth mode. Yesterday, the airline gilded the deal with a $400 million contract for rate-per-hour support for the new-generation turbofans over 12 years in service.
Four years after unveiling its next-generation Pro Line Fusion integrated avionics suite, Rockwell Collins (Hall 4 A18) has surpassed major certification milestones. Now the company is leveraging the system up and down the civil aircraft market and across to the military market as well.
The P-8 Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft represents both a present and future market opportunity for Boeing Military Aircraft.
Boeing’s difficulties in outsourcing sections of the 787 Dreamliner are well documented. From that troubling experience, however, an opportunity was born in the U.S. state of Washington, once the undisputed home of Boeing commercial airliner programs.
One of the big changes when Airbus unveiled its market-driven XWB revamp of the A350 back in May 2007 was the new structural concept: a fuselage constructed of 12 panels of carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) mounted on frames of aluminum-lithium alloy.
It’s less than two years since Alain Bellemare became president of Hamilton Sundstrand at the end of 2009 at the height of the aerospace industry’s most recent downturn. So this is his first Paris Air Show at the helm of the U.S.-based group and he’s in a hurry to make his mark with a plan to grow its annual revenues from around $6 billion now to $10 billion by 2015.
The so-called “pause” or “rebalance” of the Boeing 747-8 production line officially ended on June 7 as the company prepared to bring both new versions of its venerable jumbo jet–the Freighter and the Intercontinental–to Paris for this year’s salon.
As Airbus prepares to put together the first A350 XWB, the European manufacturer acknowledges the stiff task it faces to open the final assembly line (FAL) by the end of this year and to fly the aircraft within 12 months thereafter. It says significant challenges remain to start the FAL by year’s end with “an appropriate level of quality to prepare the ramp-up.”
It seems clear now that Boeing will not announce a decision on a successor to the 737NG at this Paris Air Show. But even the extent to which it will deliver on its promise to provide more “clarity” about its deliberations remained something of a mystery as the salon was set to open.
Almost three full decades ago a battle was raging over the powerplant options for what was then the all-new Airbus A320. The competitors–CFM International and International Aero Engines (IAE)–were making claim and counter-claim as to the potential advantages their respective engines would bring to the aircraft, which had been developed to grab a slice of the huge single-aisle market until then dominated by the ubiquitous Boeing 737.