Timco Aviation Services plans to begin widebody operations at its Macon, Ga., facility early next year, according to CEO Kevin Carter. “We’ve had requests from customers to expand our widebody capacity, which has been offered only at our Greensboro, N.C. facility,” Carter told AIN.
Boeing Business Jets has already sold a dozen of its new 787s for configuration as private aircraft, and the independent completion centers are climbing the learning curve required to install interiors in an all-composite fuselage.
It was an airshow planned and prepared for during the worst of the past two years of economic downturn and yet Farnborough International 2010 ended up delivering gladly received evidence that a recovery is gathering momentum in the aerospace industry.
Boeing is deep into preparations for its first “green” 787 BBJ delivery in 2012 and is confident it can avoid the myriad early completion problems that plagued the first 737-based BBJs more than a decade ago.
First came the Middle East carriers on Monday, then yesterday it was the turn of Asian and Latin American airlines to keep the Farnborough airshow cash registers ringing with deals done covering roughly $6.5 billion in new business for Airbus.
In the U.S. Air Force KC-X competition size matters, but not much else, according to a Boeing briefing here. The company refused to discuss how its NewGen Tanker could be “combat ready” when substantial development work must be done. Citing competitive reasons, Boeing gave no technical details on the new cockpit, the new refueling boom, or even which version of the 767 it was based on.
In its latest current market outlook published last Thursday, Boeing projects a near-term increase in airline traffic growth, with global economies expected to regain lost ground in the next two or three years as they recover from the latest worldwide recession.
Engine maker Rolls-Royce is preparing the technology needed for new two-shaft and three-shaft turbofan engines in the second half of this decade and an open-rotor design in the early 2020s.
“Our long-term strategy is to invest in technology and protect our options,” said Mark King, Rolls-Royce president of civil aerospace. “Two years ago we decided to make sure we were capable of whatever the manufacturers want.”
Emirates Airline could not wait until this week at Farnborough to order more Engine Alliance GP7200-powered Airbus A380 airliners. Instead it chose last month’s ILA airshow in Berlin as the stage on which to announce its plans to acquire a further 32 of the widebodies.
While it seems like the A380 first flew only a short time ago, Airbus is well into its next program–the A350 XWB (eXtra widebody). The planned family is scheduled to begin operations in mid-2013 competing against the Boeing 787 (expected to enter service early next year) and some variants of the 777, which began commercial flights in 1995.