A busy couple of weeks for the executives heading Boeing’s 777X production site search perhaps overshadowed other significant developments, including an announcement last week that the company will help build a new full-service training facility in Russia and the revelation of plans to restructure its research and technology organization (BR&T) through the establishment of research centers in Alabama, California, Missouri, South Carolina and Washington state.
News and issues concerning aerospace companies, including formations, acquisitions, mergers and financials; and announcements of significant aircraft sales, delivery statistics and personnel appointments.
China’s Avic officially launched the MA700 turboprop program last Thursday in Beijing, according to the Chinese state-run press service The People’s Daily.
Boeing has delivered the first 747-8 with performance-improved GEnx-2B engines as part of the airplane’s performance improvement package (PIP), the company announced Wednesday. A Cathay Pacific Airways 747-8 Freighter was the first of the jumbo jets delivered with the PIP engines.
No sooner did Boeing begin evaluating bids from 22 U.S. states to build all or part of the new 777X last week when it re-entered talks with its machinists union, suddenly brightening the prospects for the incumbent, Washington state. By Thursday, however, it seemed the sides had gained little or no ground in their efforts to strike a deal for a contract extension, as union leaders quickly rejected Boeing’s most recent “best and final” offer.
Aiming to reduce exposure to potential residual-value guarantee (RVG) claims for the A340 twin-aisle quad-jet, Airbus plans to recertify the aircraft to carry 475 passengers, while Rolls-Royce works to improve the type’s engine efficiency and maintenance costs. The European manufacturer told a stakeholders’ forum on December 4 that with increased capacity and lower maintenance charges and ownership costs, the A340-600 can compete against the Boeing 777-200ER and -300ER and replace larger 747-400s.
American International Group has agreed to sell its 100-percent stake in International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC) to Netherlands-based aircraft leasing firm AerCap Holdings, the companies announced Monday.
American Airlines has signed a pair of firm orders covering a total of 90 new Embraer and Bombardier regional jets for placement with its American Eagle regional affiliates, the airline announced Thursday. The deals involve 30 seventy-six-seat Bombardier CRJ900s and 60 Embraer E175s.
Boeing on Wednesday won FAA type inspection authorization (TIA) for the 787-9, marking the start of a new phase of flight testing in which agency personnel join the company’s engineers in Washington state’s Puget Sound region to gather the data required for certification.
Boeing has begun low-speed wind tunnel tests on the Boeing 777X, the company announced Monday. Testing started on December 5 in Farnborough, UK, at facilities run by testing partner QinetiQ. Boeing and QinetiQ recently signed an agreement to extend the wind tunnel partnership at Farnborough for another five years.
Following delivery last week of the first 787-9 rudder built in China by Chengdu Civil Aviation (CCAC), Boeing extended its supply chain further for yet another airfoil subassembly, choosing the UK’s GKN Aerospace to build the winglet for the 737 Max. GKN joins Korean Air Aerospace Division (KAL-ASD) in South Korea as co-supplier of the raked, dual-feather-design winglet.