Search teams have found the bodies of the captain and a flight attendant among the victims of the crash of Air France Flight 447, the company confirmed today. So far crews have recovered at least 50 bodies from the Atlantic Ocean out of the 228 aboard the Airbus A330-200 when it crashed in the early morning hours of June 1.
Virgin Atlantic Airways announced today that it signed a $2.1 billion firm contract to buy six Airbus A330-300s and lease another four from Netherlands-based lessor AerCap. The airline said it has financed all 10 deliveries via AerCap.
Orders for more than 1,400 A330s and A340s has been the Airbus reward for 15 years of continuous innovation, including the introduction of A340-600-technology flight deck, cabin, systems and structures upgrades across the range in 2002-04.
Gulf Air has selected the Rolls-Royce Trent 700EP turbofan to power 20 previously ordered Airbus A330 aircraft, along with a TotalCare long-term service agreement. With the spares, the order totals 44 engines for $1.5 billion. Deliveries are scheduled to start in 2012.
Korean Air has selected Pratt & Whitney’s PW4170 Advantage70 engine to power six new Airbus A330s it has on order. The contract, valued at some $300 million, includes two spare turbofans. Korean Air in February placed a new firm order with Airbus for six more A330-200s, the first for the new 238-metric-ton increased takeoff weight version of the twin-engine widebody, offering an extended flying range of up to 7,200 nm.
Louis Gallois would not fuel speculation about what caused the Air France A330 to crash into the Atlantic Ocean on June 1, but he did say that the replacement of pitot tubes had been instigated due to problems in takeoff and landing, not in cruise. This contradicts more than a week of speculation that a pitot tube failure may have been a major contributory factor to the accident.
France’s Bureau of Enquiry and Analysis for Civil Aviation Safety (BEA) has issued a statement confirming that sensors aboard the Air France A330-200 that went missing over the Atlantic Ocean on the evening of May 31 registered conflicting airspeed information.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy will be flying in a style more becoming the nation’s leader with a recent government decision to acquire an Airbus A330-200 that will be outfitted as the country’s newest head-of-state aircraft.
Brazilian search teams this morning found aircraft debris, such as seats, floating in the Atlantic Ocean about 400 nm northeast of the Brazilian coastline more than a day after an Air France A330-200 disappeared while on a flight from Rio de Janeiro to Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport, according to published reports.
Pratt & Whitney’s PW4000 Advantage70 engine this week completed its first flight aboard an Air Comet A330-200 in Toulouse, France, the company announced yesterday. The first Advantage70 flight marks the beginning of a flight-test program scheduled to continue through early next month.