After 14 months of research into the design, manufacture and assembly processes behind the Boeing 787, the FAA, working closely with Boeing’s technical experts, has concluded the aircraft was soundly designed and meets its intended safety level. The FAA determined that the manufacturer and the agency had effective processes in place to identify and correct issues that emerged before and after certification.
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration recommended that Boeing address four “issues” related to manufacturing and supplier quality in a new report released on March 19. The report details the results of a joint review of the Boeing 787’s design manufacturing and assembly processes ordered after the January 2013 lithium battery fire aboard a Dreamliner parked at Boston Logan Airport. The review team also made recommendations for improved, “risk-based” FAA oversight to account for new business models.
Talk of production “bubbles” again colored the discourse at the March 16 to 18 International Society of Transport Aircraft Trading (ISTAT) Americas 2014 conference in San Diego, even while OEMs in attendance insisted that record backlogs fully justify their planned rate increases. Manufacturers highlighted a strong backdrop for aircraft demand fueled by aging replacement needs, a 20-seat increase in the capacity of narrowbodies since 2007, emerging-market long-term capacity requirements and the global expansion of low-cost carriers, according to a research note from Sterne Agee.
Australia’s Defence Materiel Organization awarded Boeing Defense Australia a five-year contract extension valued at AUD $901 million ($819 million) to maintain Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) E-7A Wedgetail airborne early-warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft. Nearly half, or AUD $443 million, of the money will be spent in Australia, Defense Minister David Johnston said.
Airbus and Boeing released their outlooks for the Indian airliner market over the next two decades at the India Aviation show in Hyderabad this week, with both OEMs estimating different figures.
India’s SpiceJet has confirmed an order for 42 of Boeing’s new 737 Max 8 narrrowbodies. The $4.4 billion deal was previously logged as being for an unidentified customer by Boeing and was announced on Wednesday at the India Aviation show in Hyderabad, and includes changes to previously announced business.
Boeing 787 wing supplier Mitsubishi Heavy Industries has determined that a change in its manufacturing processes might have led to the development of hairline cracks in shear ties on Dreamliner wing ribs, Boeing confirmed Friday afternoon. The Chicago-based airframer said the problem could result in some delivery delays, but that the situation would not affect delivery guidance for 2014.
Airbus Defence and Space has confirmed an anticipated order from the Republic of Singapore Air Force for six A330 MRTT tanker/transports. The selection of the Airbus rather than the Boeing KC-46A was first revealed yesterday via the Singaporean ministry of defense’s Twitter account. At the same time, the country’s Ministry of Defense also confirmed that it is to order two more Sikorsky S-70B Seahawk maritime helicopters for the naval air arm’s 123 Squadron, raising the total number to eight.
Boeing said its Maritime Surveillance Aircraft (MSA) demonstrator, a modified Bombardier Challenger 604, completed its first flight on February 28 from Toronto’s Pearson International Airport. Subcontractor Field Aviation conducted the four-hour test flight.
Trip support group UAS is boosting its ability to help operators across Africa with the opening of a new headquarters for the continent located in Johannesburg, South Africa. The new facility will be managed by Wynand Meyers, the Dubai-based group’s newly appointed director of business development for Africa.