More than a year after predicting at last year’s Paris Airshow that the new 787 twin-aisle twinjet would fly within three months, Boeing is no closer to achieving that important milestone. After three acknowledged delays, Boeing now expects the airplane to fly in the fourth quarter of this year.
With the attachment of its wings and the hanging of the engines last month, Boeing’s first P-8A Poseidon reconnaissance aircraft is right on schedule and could soon be earning its first international order, according to the manufacturer.
Jet fuel prices are soaring, capital markets are drying up, Western economies at best are stalled and defense budgets are under threat as shrinking tax bases swell national debts to unsustainable levels. But you won’t find many prophets of doom among the top aerospace executives gathered here for the 2008 Farnborough International show.
After missing out on key program selections for the new Airbus A350XWB and Boeing 787 programs, French nacelle maker Aircelle is laying plans for what
Boeing’s A-160T Hummingbird rotor unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) recently claimed an unofficial world’s record for its weight class by staying aloft for more than 18 hours. In a mid-May test at the U.S. Army’s proving ground in Yuma, Arizona, the turbine-powered craft–carrying a 300 pound payload–reached altitudes of up to 15,000 feet and landed with a fuel reserve of more than 90 minutes.
Record numbers of new aircraft orders, particularly for commercial jetliners, have driven expansion at aerospace precision components and assemblies manufacturer Doncasters (Hall 4, Stand G10). Furthermore, under the new ownership of Dubai Investment Capital (DIC), the UK company is better positioned to invest in its future, according to group chief executive Eric Lewis.
Italy’s Finmeccanica agreed to acquire U.S. defense electronics group DRS Technologies a month before the U.S. Government Accountability Office announced its decision supporting Boeing’s appeal against the award of the KC-X military tanker contract to EADS/Northrop Grumman. It is questionable whether the GAO’s decision signals a wider U.S. intent to block foreign encroachment on the U.S. defense market.
Off the back of its 2001 contract to modernize the U.S. Air Force’s C-130, Boeing is offering its avionics modernization program (AMP) as a scalable architecture kit to extend the service life of the ubiquitous military transport. According to the company, more than 700 aging C-130s that could benefit from the upgrade are still in service.
The success of Rolls-Royce’s flight test program for the Boeing 787’s Trent 1000 engine has led it to consider retaining the Boeing 747 it acquired for the tests and using it as a flying test bed for future programs. These programs include the new RB212 turbofan Rolls-Royce is developing for the Dassault Falcon super mid-size business jet.
If Airbus COO customers and chief commercial officer John Leahy ever met a paying customer he didn’t like, it certainly wasn’t one of the world’s big aircraft lessors, whose strong balance sheets look all the stronger at a time soaring fuel costs eat away at profits of the world’s airlines.