Airbus began the 2,500-hour flight-test program for the A350 XWB when the new long-range widebody took off for the first time at almost exactly 10 a.m. local time in Toulouse, France, on Friday. The eagerly awaited first flight over southwestern France lasted slightly more than four hours and the twinjet, powered by Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines, touched down safely back in Toulouse at 2:05 p.m.
Among the companies making their ABACE debut this year is Nextant Aviation, which is displaying its Nextant 400XT, the remanufactured version of the Beechjet 400 series light jet. The company is poised to play a major part in the Asian entry-level jet market, which currently totals only 342 aircraft worth an approximate $1.23 billion but has huge regional potential. In little more than a year, the company has delivered 26 aircraft to operators in six countries.
Nextant Aerospace marked the delivery of the first Nextant 400XT into the Swiss market, and its third into Europe. The aircraft will be operated by aircraft maintenance, charter and management firm TAG Aviation. “We are proud to have the Nextant 400XT chosen by TAG Aviation as the latest addition to their fleet,” said Nextant vice president of sales and marketing Jay Heublein. “For over three decades TAG Aviation has been a global leader in the business aircraft industry.”
Embraer Executive Jets’ flagship Lineage 1000 has received type certification from Russia’s Interstate Aviation Committee, thus paving the way for customers to register and operate the bizliner in Russia. The twinjet, which is based on Embraer’s E190 airliner, can fly nonstop from Moscow to New York and accommodate up to 19 passengers in five distinct cabin zones. Embraer says more than 40 of its large-cabin Legacy 600 and 650s are currently operating in Russia.
Increased range and payload for the Airbus A330 twin-aisle twinjet, announced by the European manufacturer here at the Farnborough International airshow yesterday, will be welcomed by Malaysia Airlines (MAS), whose brand-new A380 very large airliner also opened the week’s flying-displays.
Airbus is still aiming at a first-half 2014 entry into service for the new A350XWB twin-aisle twinjet, with executive vice president and program head Didier Evrard conceding that the schedule is “tight, but feasible.” In late May, he said the immediate challenge was to complete the first airframe for ground testing and overseeing the supply chain.
Irkut is pursuing its ambition of capturing a 10-percent share in the world market for narrowbody airliners by funding its new MC-21 twinjet largely from funds earned from fighter sales. The Russian airframer now claims a 15-percent share of Russia’s overall military exports by value.
Boeing expects the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to issue approval for Rolls-Royce-powered 777s to fly 330-minute ETOPS missions by the end of the first quarter, followed by authorization for Pratt & Whitney-powered airplanes some time near the end of the year.
Airbus has confirmed it has begun studies aimed at raising the A330-300’s maximum takeoff weight (mtow) by five metric tons, from 235 tons (518,081 pounds) to 240 tons (529,104 pounds), in a bid to increase the twinjet’s range and better compete with the Boeing 787 and 777.
Air charter firm XOJet announced today that it achieved more than a 30-percent year-over-year growth in flight hours last year. The company said its continued growth has been limited only by fleet size, since it claims demand has consistently exceeded capacity. To drive continued growth this year, XOJet is focused on expanding its fleet. In fact, the company placed an order for 12 Hawker Beechcraft Hawker 800XPr twinjets in October and introduced seven of these aircraft into its fleet this month.