New competitors in the single-aisle airliner market have driven Airbus to look beyond current technologies to identify the required characteristics for an A320-series replacement to enter service in 15 or more years.
When Boeing CEO Jim McNerney early this month referred to the Bombardier C Series as one of a class of “regional jets that are getting a little bigger,” executives at the Canadian company might have taken offense. After all, since the launch of the program, Bombardier has spent untold marketing resources positioning the airplane as a mainline jet, capable of flying from Denver to either coast of the U.S.
Introduced in 2004, Embraer's E-Jet family in ordinary circumstances should produce market demand for at least 20 years. But the fact that engine technology has developed faster and more convincingly than Embraer CEO Fred Curado had imagined only a couple of years ago raises the question of whether the airplanes will need an upgrade to reach their lifespan potential.
Following the bankruptcy of ExelTech Aerospace, Bombardier is purchasing the company’s Saint-Laurent facilities. The acquisition will increase Bombardier’s Global completion center capabilities for its Global 5000 and Global Express XRS. “We have had plans to expand our completions capacity in Montreal and this situation presented a good opportunity to do it.
Composites and other new and expensive materials play key roles in the engines that will power new single-aisle airliners, such as the Comac C919, Bombardier C Series and, possibly, Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 upgrades. Pratt & Whitney and CFM aim to make their future engines more efficient with material changes-some low profile, others better known-that all contribute to double-digit improvements in fuel consumption.
The single-aisle product strategy revealed this month by Airbus marks the first public move in what promises to be a fascinating duel with Boeing to provide new designs to replace many thousands of 150-seat, single-aisle airliners. But do not look for new production lines any time soon.
About 50 hours of test flying remains before Rockwell Collins will submit the certification paperwork to the FAA for its Pro Line Fusion integrated cockpit, which will serve as the baseline avionics system for Gulfstream’s G250 and Bombardier’s Global Express XRS and Global 5000 when approvals are completed next year.
Bombardier Aerospace has opened its third commercial aircraft service center in the U.S. The facility, located in Macon, Ga., and operated by Bombardier Customer Services, joins two pre-existing Bombardier-owned commercial aircraft service centers located in Bridgeport, W.Va., and Tucson, Ariz. The facility will perform heavy maintenance on the Bombardier CRJ100/200/700/900.
Rockwell Collins test pilots spent part of their winter in Alaska putting the synthetic-vision portion of the avionics maker’s new Pro Line Fusion cockpit through its paces in one of the most demanding flight environments in the world.
Despite last year’s cancellation of the Cessna Columbus program, which would have been the launch customer for Pratt & Whitney Canada’s PurePower PW800 series of engines, progress continues on the 10,000-pound-thrust class turbofan, and the engine maker (Booth No. 328) is actively discussing applications with airframers for the new powerplant.