The best and brightest minds at Airbus (Chalet S3 418) have peered into their crystal balls and come up with what they think aircraft cabins will look like by 2050, along with a raft of futuristic ideas for how the passenger experience could be revolutionized.
Rolls-Royce has revealed how it will increase the thrust of the baseline engine it is developing for the Airbus A350 by 13,000lbs 000 pounds to meet the take-off and climb requirements of the heavier, longer-range A350-1000.
The new Trent XWB version will produce 97,000 pounds lb at take-off, making it the most powerful production engine R-R has ever built, – and that Airbus has ever used.
Lufthansa Technik has begun construction of a new maintenance hangar at the future Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER). The Hamburg-based company is investing $23 million in the new hangar, which will be able to accommodate up to five short-haul and medium-haul aircraft or alternatively one widebody as large as an Airbus A340. Completion of the 72,000-sq-ft facility is anticipated to be in the first half of next year.
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.