Korean Air has signed a letter of intent for 30 Bombardier CS300s, becoming the Asian launch customer for the CSeries and helping to dispel nervousness that runaway Airbus A320neo sales could consign the new 130-seat airliner to the history books.
One of the big changes when Airbus unveiled its market-driven XWB revamp of the A350 back in May 2007 was the new structural concept: a fuselage constructed of 12 panels of carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) mounted on frames of aluminum-lithium alloy.
As Airbus prepares to put together the first A350 XWB, the European manufacturer acknowledges the stiff task it faces to open the final assembly line (FAL) by the end of this year and to fly the aircraft within 12 months thereafter. It says significant challenges remain to start the FAL by year’s end with “an appropriate level of quality to prepare the ramp-up.”
Building on a strong upturn in global airline traffic, Airbus is ramping up production of all its models–A320 family, A330 and A380–while keeping a careful eye on possible supply chain issues that could hit increased output rates for these models and also for the new A350 XWB widebody. Meanwhile, costs and an uncompetitive euro-dollar exchange continue to give headaches to the European airframer’s top management.
Anticipation of a substantial flow of new airliner orders is building as the 2011 edition of the biennial Paris Air Show prepares to open on Monday, June 20. Airbus and Boeing sales teams are battling for at least half a dozen major new contracts, all of them with airlines based in the fast-growing Asian market.
The aerospace industry is in recovery, and if you don’t believe that come to this year’s Paris Air Show and see for yourself. That is the optimistic message from the organizers of the biennial event, which will be staged for the 49th time at Paris Le Bourget Airport from June 20 to 26.
SR Technics, best known for its maintenance, repair and overhaul business of 80 years, is expanding into the private aviation cabin completion and refurbishment business.
Another Boeing BBJ2 is slated for completion at Jet Aviation Basel, following the signing of a new contract with an undisclosed client. Jet Aviation (Stand 7060), founded in Switzerland in 1967 and now a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics, has completed more than 30 wide- and narrowbody jets during the past 15 years.
Lufthansa Technik and Panasonic Avionics have formed a 50-50 joint venture in executive/VIP cabin electronics, and the new stand-alone company–IDair (Innovation Design for the Air)–is making its trade show debut at EBACE 2011 (Stand 167).
“It’s our big bang,” said IDair CEO Andrew Muirhead, IDair, of the EBACE introduction. “The independent company was founded in April and we are now open for business.”
The European Union (EU) is trying to attract more small- and medium-size enterprises to participate in its long-running CleanSky joint technology program. With public funds available to back research-and-development work aimed at reducing the environmental impact of air transport, it hopes to spread such support beyond major aerospace firms.