Rolls-Royce (R-R) is developing continuous improvements for mature Trent engines, with new technology flowing from later models into established variants, according to program director John Hogarth. Since the original Trent–the Series700–entered service on a Cathay Pacific Airbus A330 in 1985, successive variants have been introduced to constitute a “tailored family” enjoying common architecture, but with each model dedicated to specific airframes.
Air Transport and Cargo
News and issues relating to international air transport and cargo carriers, national airlines and regional airlines, including aircraft, engines, personnel, acquisitions, accidents, safety, security and training.
A ceremony scheduled for this morning in Le Bourget’s static park marks delivery of the first example of a Sukhoi SSJ100 built to operate in the Western world to Mexican airline Interjet. The airplane, marketed by SuperJet International–the Venice, Italy-based Western sales and worldwide support provider for the Sukhoi SSJ100–arrived here in Interjet colors on Saturday evening. It now occupies a prominent spot on the static display line, giving show goers a preview of what passengers will experience once service starts next month.
Despite the torrential rain at Le Bourget yesterday, Airbus and Boeing both notched up some key commitments. While the latter edged closer to being able to launch the 787-10X, with interest from Gecas, its rival across the Atlantic also courted the world’s leading lessors, with ILFC ordering even more A320neos; and Doric placing an order for A380s.
Airbus’s A380 yesterday received a highly welcome boost from Doric Lease, which placed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the purchase of 20 of the superjumbos at the Paris Air Show.
Embraer launched the new E2 version of its E-Jets yesterday with firm orders, purchase rights, options and letters of intent totaling 350 airplanes from seven customers.
Airbus began the 2,500-hour flight-test program for the A350 XWB when the new long-range widebody took off for the first time at almost exactly 10 a.m. local time in Toulouse, France, on Friday. The eagerly awaited first flight over southwestern France lasted slightly more than four hours and the twinjet, powered by Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines, touched down safely back in Toulouse at 2:05 p.m.
Regardless of whether this week’s 50th Paris Air Show (June 17 to 23) sees a surprise fly-past by the newly airborne Airbus A350XWB widebody, the biennial event will open with expectations of yet more airliner orders further bolstering backlogs. Both Airbus and Boeing, which will display two 787 Dreamliners, are expected to announce further orders.
Boeing’s projection for more than 35,000 new airplanes over the next 20 years suggests a doubling of the size of today’s airliner fleet and a continuing trend in which airline traffic increases outpace economic growth.
Airbus has taken steps to resolve what remains the bane of air travelers’ lives: lost baggage, which it estimates is a $2.6 billion problem annually. Better still, its new Bag2Go program raises the possibility of passengers being able to let their bags travel independently and arrive in a timely way at their final destination. Through a partnership with German baggage maker Rimowa and communications group T-Mobile, the airframer has tapped radio frequency identification technology to create a so-called intelligent suitcase that can be dispatched and tracked from the passenger’s smartphone.
“The honeymoon has lasted longer than on previous aircraft: people go out of their way to fly on [the A380 very-large airliner],” according to Airbus programs executive vice-president Tom Williams. By the beginning of this month, the European manufacturer had delivered 103 aircraft from the 262 for which it holds firm orders, leaving a backlog of 159, equivalent to about six years’ production.