The 1,050th and last 757 airliner took off from Boeing’s Renton, Washington assembly plant for delivery to Shanghai Airlines on April 28, some 23 years after the company ferried the first of the single-aisle workhorses to launch customer Eastern Airlines. But out of sight doesn’t mean out of mind for Boeing. Fifty-five operators still fly some 1,000 of the twinjets, many of which will need upkeep for decades to come.
The chasm separating the realm of full-size airliners and regional airplanes has claimed another victim, swallowing the Boeing 717 as surely as it did the Fokker 100 and British Aerospace 146/Avro RJ. So who, you ask, would dare tempt fate again? All signs point to Canada’s Bombardier.
The Airholding consortium led by Embraer of Brazil, with EADS as a minority partner, has taken a majority stake in Portuguese aircraft maintenance specialist Ogma, following the latter’s privatization late last year. European Union competition authorities have since approved the ?11.4 million ($14 million) deal, in which a company controlled by the Portuguese government retains the remaining 35 percent of the shareholding.
Acquisitions and factory expansion, especially in low-cost production locations, led to an almost one-third jump in year-over-year revenues in 2004 at French aerospace equipment maker Latécoère. According to president and CEO François Bernard, production increased across all its aerostructures programs, and especially for the new Airbus A380 airliner, the Dassault Falcon 7X business jet and the Embraer 170/190 regional jets.
Airbus officials hope to eventally have the new A380 very large airliner certified by European and U.S. safety regulators to carry almost 900 people. Initial A380-800s will enter service with nominal loads of 555 travelers, but the European manufacturer plans to show later this year that both main cabins can be cleared of 873 crewmembers and passengers quickly enough to ensure approval of planned higher capacity variants.
Less than 50 days after the A380’s first flight, Airbus has reported an essentially satisfactory start to the very large jetliner’s test program. Preliminary results include “excellent” comfort up to the M 0.89 maximum operating Mach number, with cruise performance said to be “on target,” a spokesman said.
As the second Boeing 777-200LR makes its public debut right here in Paris this week to show off its snazzy interior, prototype number-one continues to work hard back at the airframer’s facility in Everett, Washington, testing aerodynamic adjustments and stretching the type’s range capacity close to its limits. Scheduled for U.S.
With almost 150 flights and well over 500 hours of test flying behind it, the Airbus A380 very large airliner’s participation at Dubai 2005 marks only its second airshow presence since the maiden flight last April. The program has been boosted this month by visits to airports in Europe and the Asia/Pacific region that will host early scheduled passenger services slated to begin with Singapore Airlines around the end of next year.
At August’s Moscow airshow, Irkut and Airbus signed a memorandum of understanding calling for the Russian manufacturer to participate in the A350 airliner development and other future programs. The agreement, which has yet to be firmed up, follows an Airbus commitment to give the Russian industry a 3-percent risk-sharing stake in the A350.
Over the next five years Iran needs some 140 new airliners, half of which would replace a largely outdated fleet. Air transport demand continues to grow as the Iranian economy enjoys high oil revenues and 8 percent annual GDP growth.