Operators of hundreds of Airbus and Boeing jetliners will be required to retrofit fuel-tank flammability reduction systems, if the FAA adopts rulemaking it is considering to propose later this year.
Battle lines are being drawn as Boeing Business Jets, which saw sales of its BBJ series slow to a trickle over the past couple of years, now faces the serious challenge of an aggressive competitor in a reviving economic environment.
The opening rounds came at the NBAA Convention in October when Boeing Business Jets and archrival Airbus traded barbs.
Boeing has cut a familiar feature of Boeing 737s with its new-production aircraft. New 737s are no longer being built with the four eyebrow windows above the pilot and copilot positions.
Lufthansa Technik, the Hamburg, Germany-based maintenance, overhaul and interiors completion and refurbishment giant, continues to expand its U.S. presence. First it acquired BizJet International in Tulsa, Okla., then established a nearby interiors engineering design office. Now Lufthansa has announced it will open a widebody business jet completion hangar at Tulsa International Airport.
Major orders for airliners and their engines once again raised the profile of the biennial Dubai Air Show, held December 7 to 11. The bulk of the $6 billion sales announced during the event were accounted for by a $1.5 billion order by Emirates Airline for 101 Engine Alliance GP7200 turbofans to power 23 of its Airbus A380s.
Bombardier’s newly constituted board of directors last month gave approval to the company’s commercial airplane division to offer the C Series line of single-aisle jets to potential customers, marking the start of the company’s foray into the major airline market.
Bombardier Aerospace’s case for the C Series may just have grown sounder last month as Boeing announced it would pull the plug on the 110- to 115-seat 717, the proposed Canadian jet’s main competitor. Boeing plans to end production of the weak-selling 717 by the middle of next year, after the last of a backlog of 18 airplanes rolls off its Long Beach assembly line.
AvAero of Safety Harbor, Fla., announced that Falconbridge Mining is the first customer for the FuelMizer aerodynamic modification of the Boeing 737-200/300. AvAero, which received FAA approval in April last year, EASA certification in August last year and Transport Canada approval last month, claims the FuelMizer will decrease the twinjet’s fuel burn by an average of 4 percent.
“This FAA certification represents a significant milestone in the expansion of our airframe maintenance capability,” said David Storch, president and CEO of AAR. The Wood Dale, Ill. company received FAA repair station certification for its new airframe maintenance operation in Indianapolis called the Indianapolis Maintenance Center (IMC).
The largest member of Embraer’s 170/190 family of single-aisle commercial jets–the 108-seat Embraer 195–took to the air for the first time on December 7 from the company’s production center in São Jose dos Campos, Brazil. The first prototype–a two-seat-row stretch of the 100-seat Embraer 190–validated systems operation and flight characteristics during its one-hour-and-56-minute mission.