Airbus remains tight-lipped on the subject of what it calls the A380 “Flying Palace,” but that hasn’t kept rumors from swirling or designers from developing proposals for a cabin on two levels with some 6,800 sq ft of living space.
The Russian government has halved the import tax on larger business jets from 20 to 10 percent, according to the country’s Ministry of Economic Development and Trade. This reduction initially will apply to aircraft weighing between 15 and 20 metric tons (33,069 to 44,092 pounds), though Russian officials have indicated they intend to extend the tax break to smaller business aircraft and eventually scrap the import duty altogether.
Airbus CEO John Leahy confirmed at the Paris Air Show that the company has the first firm commitment for its giant A380 airliner for conversion to an executive/VIP role. Leahy declined, however, to reveal the name of the buyer, saying only that he was not American or European and the airplane would be for his personal use.
Gil Michielin, v-p and general manager of Thales Commercial Aircraft Solutions, has been appointed president of EUROCAE, the European air transport electronic systems and equipment standardization body. With 20 years’ experience in the industry, Michielin has worked on programs ranging from the Mirage 2000 and Rafale fighters to the A380 and 787 airliners.
Embraer, the world’s fourth-ranking aircraft maker, which started largely as a defense company, is seeking to enhance its defense business by studying the possible development of the C-390, a medium-size military cargo transport, which would be the heaviest aircraft ever produced by the Brazilian manufacturer and take it into a new segment of the aerospace and defense market.
Having passed responsibility for an engine for the planned Bombardier C Series 110- to 149-seat jetliner to its U.S. parent, Pratt & Whitney Canada (P&WC) says time devoted to the exercise has not been wasted. Rather, it is contributing to work on a 10,000- to 14,000-pound-thrust design–dubbed X10–aimed at a future generation of large business and corporate jets.
Russia’s new airframing consortium OAK has won government approval to continue limited production of widebody airliners. This covers assembly of 15 Ilyushin Il-96s in the 2008 to 2012 time frame, allowing the Voronezh Aircraft Production Association (VASO) to maintain annual production rates of three aircraft.
The key to Bombardier’s still-pending decision on whether to go ahead with a $2 billion-plus investment in its projected C Series 110/130-seat regional airliner family appears to rest with the engine manufacturers.
Delivery of the 561st Airbus A300 next month marks completion of the European manufacturer’s long march to becoming a successful competitor to its U.S. rival, Boeing, in the commercial aircraft market. It has developed, certified, marketed and completed profitable production of its initial design and embarked on a successor project.
Airbus has made virtue of a necessity with its new A350XWB (extra widebody) airliner. The company admits it was outmaneuvered by Boeing with the rapid success of the rival 787 program and Airbus very much needs to prove to the market that it is offering something more than just a catch-up product.