When Boeing 747-8F launch customer Cargolux postponed delivery of its first two airplanes in September, pundits almost immediately began tossing about theories that Qatar Airways boss and Cargolux director Akbar al Baker was behind the sudden move for various ulterior motives.
The third Boeing 787 Dreamliner arrived this morning at Dubai International Airport for the Dubai Air Show, which officially starts tomorrow. This is the new model’s first appearance in the Middle East.
Although used in the flight test program, the aircraft has been outfitted with a posh interior to demonstrate the 787’s features.
Mubadala Aerospace’s global ambitions in the aerospace arena are already achieving tangible successes at Strata, its composite aerostructures manufacturing subsidiary. Strata’s 230,000-sq-ft facility is located at the Al Ain Aerospace Center at Abu Dhabi’s Al Ain International Airport.
More details finally emerged about Boeing’s plans for the 737 MAX during a review of the third quarter by Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO Jim Albaugh at the November 3 Goldman Sachs Industrials Conference in Boston.
The 747-8 Intercontinental finished its certification test flying today with a function-and-reliability flight back to Washington’s Puget Sound area from Barbados via Houston to clear customs, Boeing confirmed this afternoon. The flight marked the end of an eight-month certification program for the passenger version of Boeing’s latest jumbo jet, first delivery of which the company now expects during the first quarter of next year.
Oman Air has yet to confirm definitively that it will take delivery of the six Boeing 787s it had agreed to lease from Aviation Lease and Finance Company (ALFACO). The Arabian Gulf carrier continues negotiations with Boeing over demands for compensation that it wants for delays in the delivery schedule for the new widebody.
Boeing once again lowered its forecast for deliveries of the 787 and 747-8 this year, to between 15 and 20 aircraft, after previously projecting an output of between 25 and 30 units. The 747-8F will account for roughly two thirds of those deliveries, said Boeing, meaning that it won’t ship more than seven 787s this year. It has so far delivered two 787s to Japan’s All Nippon Airways.
Rolls-Royce introduced the first of a two-phase performance improvement for the Trent 900 engines that power the Airbus A380 airliner. Turbofans now delivered to A380 operators have a 1-percent improvement in specific fuel consumption, compared with the initial units. Second-phase improvements due to enter service during 2013 will deliver a further 0.8-percent reduction in fuel burn.
Boeing has begun building the first Next-Generation 737 at the program’s new production rate of 35 airplanes a month from 31.5, the company announced on Tuesday evening.
Stung by development delays and now intent on shifting its emphasis from long-haul to regional and domestic services, China Eastern Airlines on October 17 announced a decision to cancel orders for 24 Boeing 787s in favor of a new order for 45 Boeing 737NGs.