GKN Aerospace has surfed into the Farnborough airshow on a wave of more than $1.5 billion worth of development and production contracts signed in recent months. The UK-based group says the new business will take it well “into the next decade and beyond.”
Engine Alliance GP7000
Emirates Airline could not wait until this week at Farnborough to order more Engine Alliance GP7200-powered Airbus A380 airliners. Instead it chose last month’s ILA airshow in Berlin as the stage on which to announce its plans to acquire a further 32 of the widebodies.
Dubai’s Emirates Airline has ordered a further 32 A380s from Airbus, raising its firm order total for double-deck transport to 90 aircraft. The parties signed the contract, worth $11.5 billion at list prices, in a ceremony today at the Berlin Air Show, witnessed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Emirates Airline group chairman and CEO Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al-Maktoum and Airbus president and CEO Tom Enders.
Preliminary inspection of a pair of airplanes Airbus used to fly test missions from Toulouse yesterday to assess the effect of volcanic ash on aircraft over Europe showed “no irregularities,” according to the manufacturer.
A380 S/N 004 flew for 3 hours 50 minutes within French airspace and the company’s A340-600 test article flew for five hours in French and German airspace under normal procedures.
General Electric has started wind-tunnel testing of multiple one-fifth-scale configurations for its open-rotor engine to identify the optimum blade design. Minimal noise output and minimal specific fuel consumption are primary benefits derived from the two counter-rotating stages of blades.
Air France today took delivery of its first Airbus A380, the 20th delivered by Airbus since Singapore Airlines took the first superjumbo in October 2007. The French carrier expects to become the first European airline to fly the all-new, double-deck airliner when it begins scheduled services next month.
Air Austral selected the Engine Alliance GP7200 to power the pair of Airbus A380s it has ordered. Air Austral also chose Engine Alliance as its service provider to maintain, repair and overhaul its A380 engines as part of a 10-year fleet management agreement. The value of the deal, signed here yesterday, totals $240 million at list prices.
Abu Dhabi Aircraft Technologies (ADAT) will take a central role in maintaining General Electric engines–including those ordered by Etihad Airways here at the Paris Air Show on Tuesday. ADAT, which is part of the Mubadala group, has also entered into an agreement with International Aero Engines (IAE) to become the first IAE-approved shop for V2500-A5 and V2500 SelectOne engines.
Etihad Airways has completed engine selections for the massive aircraft orders it revealed at last year’s Farnborough airshow, in deals now totaling $14 billion in estimated value. As indicated at the time, it has opted for General Electric GEnx-1Bs for the 35 Boeing 787-9s it ordered, having already confirmed that it would use GE90-115Bs to power the 10 Boeing 777-300ERs.
The downturn in demand in some of its markets has not dented the ardor of engine maker Pratt & Whitney for developing new technology. “We have to be ready for the upturn,” said the U.S. company’s new president, David Hess. “We have to keep people focused on the great future of Pratt & Whitney, positioning ourselves for a strong recovery.”