A new Pentagon order for V-22 Osprey tiltrotors could boost prospects for more rapid development of the BA609 civil tiltrotor. The U.S. Department of Defense signed a $10.4 billion contract for 167 more Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey military tiltrotors over the next five years, despite continuing engine problems on the machine. The Marine Corps will receive 141 MV-22s and the Air Force 26 CV-22s for its Special Operations Command.
Boeing is formally protesting the U.S. Air Force’s “surprise decision” in favor of the Northrop Grumman/EADS Airbus A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) for the KC-X tanker requirement. According to the Air Force, the keenly fought award is worth $35 billion for up to 179 KC-45As–the new, officially approved designation.
Boeing delivered the first of four KC-767 Tankers to Japan yesterday, 15 months behind schedule. Before leaving U.S. airspace on a 14-hour ferry flight to Gifu airbase neat Nagoya, it flew in formation with the No. 2 airplane that will follow after the Japan Air Self-Defense Force completes a formal acceptance process.
EADS-Airbus said it would produce the A330-200 freighter on the same production line in Mobile, Ala., as the KC-30 tanker, if the U.S. Air Force selects that aircraft for its KC-X requirement. Northrop Grumman is bidding the KC-30 against the Boeing 767 tanker, and the Pentagon is due to announce its long-awaited choice at the end of this month.
Jet Aviation in Basel, Switzerland, is well under way on an executive/VIP Airbus A320 interior it expects to deliver in July to a first-time customer. The airplane will accommodate up to 25 passengers and cabin amenities will include on-demand audio/video, LED lighting and a humidification system. Among the more unusual aspects is a faux finish in place of wood.
Transport Canada (TC) fined Montreal-based Air Transat, the country’s largest charter airline, C$250,000 ($160,500) for improper maintenance on the Airbus A330-200 that glided to a safe landing in the Azores during a nighttime transatlantic crossing on August 24.
N3 Engine Overhaul Services–a joint venture between Rolls-Royce (Stand W206) and Lufthansa Technik (Stand C518)–opened officially in September. It is the latest in a global network of Trent engine overhaul facilities.
The death of the Pentagon’s second-highest-ranking procurement official on October 15 could well delay the crucial decision on whether Boeing or Northrop Grumman/Airbus wins the U.S Air Force KC-X tanker competition.
The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has extended required main landing-gear checks to cover all variants and weights of Airbus A330/A340 aircraft more than five years old. The new rule requires indefinitely repetitive inspections following last year’s discovery of an unexplained crack in an A330 MLG Rib 6 aft-bearing forward lug.
This week’s spate of large-airliner orders, many confirming previous announcements, continued on Wednesday as Airbus and Boeing unveiled further business. More new deals could be revealed today. For example, International Lease Finance Corp. is talking to Airbus about its unresolved requirement for about 16 A350 XWB aircraft.