The unveiling of a new livery on Thursday of Etihad Airways’ first A380 at Airbus’s Hamburg factory signaled the start of a new era for the Abu Dhabi-based carrier, as it prepares to launch its first services with the superjumbo in December.
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.
Russia has abandoned plans to build a large fleet of Antonov An-140T tactical airlifters as replacements for aging An-26s and An-72s, thanks to deteriorating relations with the new regime in Ukraine, where Antonov is based. Instead, the Russian defense ministry has revived the Ilyushin Il-112 project, a development of the Il-114 airliner, even though it was shelved in 2010 in favor of the less expensive An-140T.
The comment deadline has been extended 90 days, from October 8 to January 6, on a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) published in July that seeks to amend qualification standards for some flight simulation training devices (FSTDs), specifically those capable of reproducing extended flight envelope and adverse weather training.
Delta Private Jets continues to see “record growth” for charter and jet card travel, the company announced this week. In fact, it recorded a 76-percent, year-over-year increase in jet card sales last month. This follows record growth in both June and July, “with September on track for similar activity.” As demand increases, Delta Private Jets said it is able to add popular business aircraft models via its “unique” aircraft management programs–one of which offers aircraft owners a guaranteed monthly income stream–to meet customers’ needs and spur additional growth.
The West African Development Bank (BOAD) has agreed to inject fresh capital into regional airlines Air Cote d’Ivoire and ASKY. At a September 23 board meeting in the Togolese capital Lomé, the bank agreed to increase Ivory Coast-based Air Cote d’Ivoire’s share capital by 160 percent to CFA65 billion ($124.7 million), in the process taking a CFA2 billion ($3.8 million) stake in the company. The bank is also boosting the share capital of Togo-based ASKY to CFA25 billion ($47.9 million) and will increase its holding to CFA3 billion ($5.8 million).
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.
Airbus predicted that the airline industry will need to spend $4.6 trillion on some 31,000 new aircraft over the next 20 years in its latest market forecast, released Wednesday.
The U.S. Navy is shifting its developmental fleet of unmanned MQ-4C Tritons across the country to introduce mission systems and continue flight- testing the new maritime surveillance aircraft. The first of three Triton system development test articles (SDTA) arrived recently at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md.; the other two will follow by the end of October.
APFT Maintenance Training aviation school and Lufthansa Technical Training (LTT) have signed a contract for the training of aviation technicians in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The program begins in January, and the companies estimate that in five years they will train 400 students from APFT as EASA-qualified aircraft mechanics.