The June 5 signing of a contract for work on Airbus A320 cargo conversion program appears to have restored Russia’s position as a full partner in Europe’s EADS group. The pact could signify repair of relations damaged in 2006 when the German and Russian governments disputed the position of Russian shareholders in EADS.
Boeing and Airbus are still looking for the right balance in outsourcing, or at least for the right way to run the massively outsourced production organizations on which they base their latest airliner programs.
In commercial service for nearly nine months now, the Airbus A380 has proven itself perfectly capable of doing what its developers intended it to do–fly lots of passengers comfortably and efficiently.
EADS’s failure to divest itself of major Airbus production sites in both France and Germany as part of its Power8 restructuring plan hasn’t threatened a delay in the development schedule for the A350XWB, according to the European group’s CEO Louis Gallois. However, in the build-up to this week’s Farnborough airshow, questions remained over how long the company could wait before the program begins to lose its development rhythm.
Treaties that aim to clear longstanding bureaucratic hurdles to the transfer of defense technology to Australia and the UK were sent to the U.S. Congress for ratification last month. Both countries have complained publicly about U.S. Defense and State Department procedures that inhibit industrial and military cooperation. A year ago, U.S. President George W.
EADS Socata, the France-based manufacturer of the TBM 850 turboprop single, today tried to clarify the status of its negotiations with a number of potential partners for the development of another business aircraft. Speaking to AIN, a spokesman essentially denied the content of a story published Sunday in the India Times, which reported that UB Group’s Vijay Mallya was ready to invest $200 million in the development of a Socata jet.
After AIN reported that EADS was considering selling its Socata division to French aerospace, defense, nuclear and automotive manufacturing concern Daher, EADS issued a statement asserting that “EADS Socata remains a key element of EADS, continuing the highly successful marketing of its general aviation aircraft product line, along with its production of aerostructures for business jets, regional airliners, mainline passenger
EADS Socata at EBACE outlined what its product launch might be next year–a twin-engine business aircraft that is bigger than its TBM 850 turboprop single. “The future product will have two more seats than the [six-seat] TBM,” said Socata CEO Jean-Michel Léonard. Socata expects to make a launch decision early next year. “Before that, four criteria have to be met,” he said.
The Airbus A400M military airlifter will be ceremonially rolled out on June 26, but the plan to make a first flight by “the end of the summer” seems overly optimistic, unless rapid progress can be made with the TP400 engine testbed, which has not yet flown. About 50 hours are scheduled for this modified C-130, carrying one of the four big turboprops that will power the A400M.
Epic Aircraft continues development of its all-composite turboprop singles and very light jets, though without the $200 million in funding Indian billionaire Dr. Vijay Mallya pledged last September at the NBAA Convention.