While any direct comparison of the fundamentally incongruent market forecasts published by the Western world’s four civil airframe manufacturers might seem like an exercise in futility, a little extrapolation can reveal some basic differences in opinion, methodology and, maybe most significantly, equipment offerings.
Dynamic growth in emerging economies will be the principal factor driving commercial aircraft requirements in the coming 20 years, according to Airbus. Other major contributions will come from increased global urbanization and a doubling of middle-class populations. “By 2031 the number of ‘mega-cities’ will more than double to 92, and 90 percent of the world’s traffic will be between (or through) these points,” concluded the European airframer in its new 2012-31 market forecast, released in London on September 4.
Kalogridis International had a better year in 2011 than in 2010, and this year, said founder George Kalogridis, promises to be even better.
Demand for high-end carpeting in the single-aisle and twin-aisle bizliner market, he said, wasn’t affected so much by the recession as the smaller business and private jet segment. Now, he added, activity is starting to pick up in that smaller jet market.
Yankee Pacific started with a single office in Tulsa, Okla., a little more than a decade ago. Today it consists of two main divisions. Jormac Aerospace in Clearwater, Fla., has a staff of about 80 and specializes in building cabin liner systems: sidewalls, under-floor structures, overheads, bulkheads and attach fittings. Cabin Innovations in Lewisville, Texas, specializes in custom cabinetry manufacturing, from the galley to the lavatory and points between.
Gore Design Completions recently delivered its first aircraft of 2012, an ACJ320-200 for a returning head-of-state customer. The first cabin outfitting project for the unidentified head of state was a Boeing 767 completed in 2008.
The ACJ320-200 represents the first in a string of single- and twin-aisle bizliners scheduled for delivery by the San Antonio-based center this year.
Associated Air Center (AAC) has taken the art of cabin completion and refurbishment to a new level with the June 28 opening of a 4,000-sq-ft design center at its Dallas Love Field site.
“The bulk of all interiors we provide to our customers are conceived, detailed and built by our own internal design department,” said v-p and general manager Chris Schechter. “This new design center will showcase the best of what we do at AAC: creative and innovative design, talented craftsmen and an overall commitment to quality.”
L-3 Platform Integration, one of the premier cabin outfitters of widebody bizliners, had “a great year” last year, and with contracts in hand to do the interior completion on two new Boeing 747-8s, this year and beyond look bright as well.
Ken McKelton, v-p of head-of-state programs at the Waco, Texas-based center, pointed out that the shop has done green completion and major refurbishment work on no fewer than a dozen widebody airliner conversions in its 40-year history.
All Nippon Airways returned to service the last of five grounded Boeing 787s on July 30, a little more than a week after Rolls-Royce discovered a defect in a batch of Trent 1000 engines installed in the airplanes.
Lukewarm market reception and performance deficiencies that continue to fall short of the new 747-8’s original design specifications might have elicited a fair share of skepticism from various industry quarters, but they haven’t deterred Boeing from declaring that “prospects look quite good” for the stretched, re-engined and re-winged jumbo jet, now in passenger operation with Lufthansa Airlines and five cargo customers.
An all-new RB3025 engine concept has been created by Rolls-Royce following a Boeing request also extended to General Electric and Pratt & Whitney for a powerplant for a future 777-size aircraft in around 2020. The current 777 is powered exclusively by the GE90.
Rolls-Royce has selected a 132.5-inch diameter for the composite fan for the 99,500-pound-thrust engine, which will sport a 12:1 bypass ratio and a 62:1 overall pressure ratio that would be the highest achieved on a commercial aircraft.