Airbus began immediate processing of flight-test data from the A320neo’s September 25 first flight, which Single Aisle program experimental test pilot Philippe Pellerin described as “a lot of fun” as he emerged from the aircraft at the Toulouse-Blagnac factory in southwest France. The first A320neo, powered by Pratt & Whitney PW1100G-JM geared turbofan (GTF) engines in the 33,000-pounds thrust class, “really feels like an A320–which is good news,” remarked fellow experimental test pilot Etienne Miche de Malleray, who occupied the right-hand seat.
Airbus flew its new A320neo on its first test mission on Thursday, marking the start of a 3,000-hour flight-test program scheduled to lead to certification and entry into service in next year’s fourth quarter. Powered by a pair of Pratt & Whitney PW1100G geared turbofans, MSN6101 took off from Toulouse-Blagnac Airport in France at noon local time.
A series of new order announcements involving no fewer than three major civil airframe makers signaled the end of a late-summer sales lull on Wednesday, as airlines went on a new buying spree reminiscent of July’s Farnborough airshow. The value of the week'sday’s orderss totaled some $11.37.45 billion at list prices and involved 11886 airplanes ranging in size from the Embraer E175 regional jet to the Boeing 787-9 widebody.
The sun shone on the 2014 Farnborough International Airshow and exhibiting airliner manufacturers and engine suppliers certainly took every opportunity to make hay while the sun was shining, logging orders totaling almost $168 billion (according to AIN estimates).
A commitment today for 12 A330neos and eight A330s from Russia’s Transaero gave Airbus its sixth customer for the re-engined widebody, launched with a memorandum of understanding from Air Lease Corporation for 25 units on the first day of the show. It also concluded a sales rally by Airbus that resulted in the company winning business worth $75 billion, making this the most commercially successful Farnborough show in its history.
Firth Rixson (Hall 5 Stand G20) has signed a 10-year agreement with United Technologies (UTC) to supply engine and system components. The components will be part of Pratt & Whitney PurePower engines as well as systems, such as landing gear, on the Airbus A320 and Boeing 787. The agreement is valued at $1 billion.
A video published last week highlighted a close call at Barcelona Airport when an Airbus A340 operated by Aerolíneas Argentinas taxied onto the runway in front of a landing Boeing 767 flown by UTair. The Boeing executed a successful go-around and later landed safely. AeroBarcelona posted the video.
Airbus has finished assembling the first A320neo, the company announced Tuesday. The airplane, MSN6101, rolled out of its paint hangar in Toulouse, France, after receiving its Airbus house livery and installation of its Pratt & Whitney PW1100G-JM engines. The company started final assembly of the first A320neo in mid-March, with the attachment of the forward and aft fuselage sections, made in Airbus facilities in St. Nazaire, France and Hamburg, Germany, respectively.
Sales of single-aisle airplanes completely filled the May order books for both Airbus and Boeing this year, increasing narrowbody backlogs for both companies despite feverish production activity. The European airframer added 70 aircraft to its order book in May through transactions with both airline customers and leasing companies for its A320 product line, while U.S. manufacturer drew orders for ninety-nine 737s, primarily from unidentified customers.
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia-based charter operator Alpha Star Aviation Services (Booth 3824) has equipped its entire fleet with electronic flight bags (EFBs). The six VIP aircraft include three Airbuses (ACJ318, ACJ319 and ACJ320), one Gulfstream G550, one Hawker 900XP and one ATR 42. The company intends to have its pilots using EFBs–iPads connected to a Rockwell Collins system–during the entire flight in the short term. “Our crews were trained by Lufthansa and FlightSafety,” CEO Salem Al Muzaini added.
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