Ilyushin Finance Company (IFC) has won the approval of its shareholders and governmental bodies for recently signed deals on 50 Irkut МС-21s, 32 Bombardier CSeries and 20 Sukhoi Superjet 100s. “All three programs have been approved,” IFC general manager and co-owner Alexander Roubtsov told AIN.
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As launch customer Qatar Airways prepares to receive new Airbus A350s next year, the Arab operator will train using an operations department at the manufacturer’s Toulouse factory in southwest France. Until then, Airbus plans to conduct flight-test activities to mirror airlines operations at that facility.
More than 8,000 Russian rotorcraft are in operation in more than hundred countries around the world–twenty types and around forty variants with major upgrades. Their manufacturer, Russian Helicopters (Hall 2a, Stand C198), which claims it has 14 percent of the world’s fleet, reported a profit of Roubles 9.4 billion ($300 million) in 2012–and a hefty 21 percent rise in revenues, to RUB125.7 billion.
Airbus began the 2,500-hour flight-test program for its new A350XWB when the new long-range widebody took off for the first time at almost exactly 10:00 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’s Trent XWB engines, safely touched down back in Toulouse at 2:05 p.m.
The FAA-approved Boeing service bulletin for the 787 calls for modification of the charger and battery monitoring unit to narrow the acceptable level of charge. In essence, this means lowering the maximum charge allowed and raising the minimum level of discharge allowed. In other words, it cuts the performance gain the lithium-ion technology is supposed to bring.
As Ethiopian Airlines, Qatar Airways and other Boeing 787 customers are returning their Dreamliners to service with battery system modification kits, the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is still looking for the cause of the January 7 APU battery fire aboard a Japan Airlines 787 parked at Boston Logan International Airport.
The Russian government is seeking to put in place measures to boost the export prospects of the Irkut-led MC-21 next generation narrowbody jetliner, which is now scheduled to have its maiden flight in 2015, certification in 2017 and availability to airlines in worthwhile numbers from 2020 onwards.
Brazilian OEM Embraer received a firm order from U.S. operator SkyWest for 40 E175 regional twinjets. SkyWest plans to operate the 76-seat aircraft under a capacity purchase agreement (CPA) with United Airlines. Another firm order for 60 of the E-Jets hinges on SkyWest’s being awarded additional CPAs with major airline partners. In addition, the acquisition agreement includes options for another 100 E175s, bringing the potential total order to 200 airplanes. If all 100 firm orders are exercised, the deal has an estimated value of $4.1 billion.
Boeing says it has finished installing a battery system modification on the first 50 delivered 787 Dreamliners that were grounded pending the retrofit. Randy Tinseth, Boeing Commercial Airplanes vice president of marketing, made the announcement in a blog post on May 29, reporting that all eight current 787 operators expect to return their Dreamliners to service within days and “we can’t thank all of them enough for their patience, partnership and support” during the grounding of more than three months.
UPS MD-11 pilots and controllers at Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey started communicating by text messages in May under the Federal Aviation Administration’s data communications (data comm) departure clearance (DCL) trials program. The FAA expects United Airlines, British Airways and other carriers will begin participating this summer.