Continuing “challenges” involving the assembly of the first Boeing 787 prototype have forced the company to delay first flight and certification by at least six months, Boeing said today. It now expects to fly the airplane for the first time by the end of next year’s first quarter and start deliveries in either late November or December 2008.
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries today announced that its board has issued authority to offer the proposed MRJ family of regional jets for sale to potential customers. It also revealed for the first time its decision to use an engine under development by Pratt & Whitney known as the Geared Turbofan and that it has entered discussions about collaboration with Boeing on the project.
Bombardier Aerospace has begun staffing its freshly established new commercial aircraft division outside Montreal as it looks toward the launch of a new 115- to 135-seat jet by next spring. Still without an official designation, the proposed three-member family would propel the Canadian aerospace power outside its traditional realm of business aircraft and regional airliner assembly and into the company of Boeing and Airbus.
The FAA has awarded Boeing’s Air Traffic Management organization a $3.1 million contract extension to continue work through the summer for the global communications, navigation and surveillance system (GCNSS) program while the agency decides who should be awarded the contract to begin Phase Two.
Organizers of the UK’s biennial Farnborough International Air Show (to be held July 19 to 25) have signed up several major exhibitors for the event’s new Business Aircraft Park, with some manufacturers including regional airliners in its separate static display area alongside their executive transports.
All Nippon Airways, the Japanese airline that became the launch customer for the new Boeing 7E7 in late April, just days later added a firm order for another four 74-seat Bombardier Q400 turboprops, bringing its commitment total to 12 airplanes. The contract signaled ANA’s third follow-on order for the big turboprops, after it signed for its first batch of four in October 2002.
Technology that can tell a farmer whether a cow has a fever is the basis for a new monitoring system for aircraft tires.
Boeing now estimates that first flight of the 787 will happen sometime between mid-November and mid-December–at least three months later than originally planned–due to delays in coding flight-control software and completion of so-called “traveled work”–tasks originally meant for partners but passed on to Boeing’s final assembly facility in Everett, Wash.
An extensive “restructuring” of Boeing’s Alteon Training subsidiary will see the company close four training centers, redistribute assets to other centers and open a new facility in Shanghai to house the first Boeing 787 simulator in China. The facilities marked for closure include Long Beach, Calif., Dallas, Texas, Kunming, China and Luton, UK. Boeing expects to close the two U.S. centers and the Chinese facility in December.
Midcoast Aviation last month announced its intention to move into the “narrow-body” cabin completion business, marked by groundbreaking on a new 146,000-sq-ft hangar at its St. Louis Downtown Airport facility near St. Louis.