Australia’s Virgin Blue has reached an agreement “in principle” with Boeing to order up to 50 new 737s, Virgin Airlines Group CEO Brett Godfrey said in a statement released today. “We do not intend to shy away from remaining competitive, and we plan to vigorously defend our core domestic markets,” said Godfrey, who also noted that Virgin Blue plans to secure “additional short-term domestic capacity.”
Koito Industries, a Japanese supplier of seats to carriers such as Continental Airlines, falsified test results and made unauthorized design changes on 150,000 seats supplied to 32 international airlines, Japan’s Transport Ministry said.
CFM International has said its new CFM56-7BE turbofan, which will have a 2-percent fuel-burn improvement over current production engines, is “progressing on schedule” and will start a 150-hour certification block-test to “triple redline conditions” within “the next few weeks.” This will lead to a 50-hour flight test program on General Electric’s flying test bed aircraft later this year, with flight tests on a Boeing 737NG due in early 2011 ahe
CFM International continues to work “on a daily basis” with Boeing and Airbus on new engine applications for the 737 and A320 families, according to Eric Bachelet, president and CEO of the General Electric-Snecma joint venture.
South Korea’s Jeju Air has placed an order with Honeywell to replace the wheels and brakes on its Boeing 737s. The terms of the contract have not been disclosed, but as part of the agreement the U.S. manufacturer also will provide spares for up to 15 of Jeju’s 737s.
GKN Aerospace has delivered the first windshields as part of a contract with Boeing to design and develop, bird-strike test and qualify the new anti-spall windshields for the Boeing P-8A Poseidon multi-mission maritime aircraft. The new windshields incorporate GKN’s anti-spall (spraying of glass fragments) technology, which provides pilot protection in the event of bird strike and at the same time incorporates a 5-percent weight reduction.
The recent selection of CFM International’s LEAP-X1C engine to power the 150- to 190-seat C919 airliner family being developed by Commercial Aircraft of Corp. of China (Comac) marks the start of one of the most significant aerospace collaborations between China and the West.
A CFM56-7B powering a Boeing Next-Generation 737 for German holiday airline TUIfly has logged more than 40,000 hours on wing without a single removal, setting anew record for this engine model. The engine, which also powers the BBJ, was installed in February 1999 and has logged 40,654 flight hours and more than 14,000 flight cycles.
Pratt & Whitney’s new PW1000G–formerly known as the Geared Turbofan–found its third application this month in the MC-21 narrowbody under development by Russia’s Irkut Corporation. For Irkut, Pratt’s willingness to spend the resources necessary to adapt a 30,000-pound-thrust version of the PW1000G to power a hypothetical Russian airliner lent some much desired credibility to the still relatively obscure program.
Ask people why they finally decided to acquire a business airplane and they inevitably mention speed as the deciding factor. But as Concorde passengers learned over the years, the sensation of speed is quickly forgotten when the cabin is as cramped as it was aboard the SST. Speed may initially attract people to business airplanes, but it’s overall comfort on a long flight that determines the real value of an aircraft.