Brazilian jet manufacturer Embraer has secured a so-called provisional certification from the FAA for the Embraer 170, allowing launch customer US Airways to begin proving runs with the airplane before it wins full FAA certification, now scheduled for next month. The announcement came just weeks after Brazil’s CTA granted similar certification for the 70-seat jet.
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Delta Air Lines subsidiary Comair took delivery of the 1,000th production regional jet built by Bombardier Aerospace during a December 9 ceremony at the company’s plant in Dorval, Quebec.
Nearly four years after the accident, the Swiss Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau (BFU) published its final report on the Jan. 10, 2000 crash of a Crossair Saab 340B at Nassenwil near Zurich Airport. The unusual delay stems from appeals filed against the BFU’s conclusions, the most publicized objection coming from Moritz Suter, Crossair’s CEO at the time of the accident.
Bombardier’s newly constituted board of directors last month gave approval to the company’s commercial airplane division to offer the C Series line of single-aisle jets to potential customers, marking the start of the company’s foray into the major airline market.
At the request of launch customer JetBlue, Embraer has introduced longer-range versions of its 190 and 195 E-Jets. Designated with the suffix AR (advanced range), the airplanes will carry structural reinforcements that allow for higher max takeoff and landing weights. The changes will add as much as 300 nm of range, allowing the 190 to fly as far as 2,300 nm and the 195 to fly as far as 2,100 nm.
A newly formed regional airline division of Hong Kong commuter helicopter operator Helicopters Hong Kong has signed a deal with GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) to lease four new 76-seat Embraer 170s. The first delivery–scheduled for the second half of the year–will mark the climax of nearly two years of preparation for the start-up airline called Hong Kong Express Airways (HKE), as well as the 170’s introduction to Asia.
US Airways may resume taking deliveries of Embraer and Bombardier regional jets if the airline’s employee unions accept more cost-cutting measures, thanks to a tentative agreement by GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) to lease another thirty-one 70- and 90-seat jets over the next three years. Last fall US Airways had to stop deliveries of Embraer 170s at 22 after it fell into bankruptcy for the second time.
China’s AVIC I Commercial Aircraft (ACAC) continues its march toward a 2008 introduction of the 85-seat ARJ21-700, finishing more or less on schedule some 90 percent of the aircraft’s structural design and 50 percent of its systems design by the end of last year.
Although the political crisis in Ukraine kept Antonov engineers guessing about the timing of the first flight of the 52-seat An-148, the airplane took to the air on December 17 from Kiev’s Svyatoshin Aerodrome.
BAE Systems Regional Aircraft has delivered the final Avro RJ to Finnish carrier Blue 1, bringing to an end 22 years of BAe 146/Avro RJ production. An Avro RJ85 that arrived in Helsinki on November 26 was the last of four aircraft ordered by Blue 1. In total, BAE has delivered 390 of the quad-jets. The UK manufacturer will continue to handle customer and product support directly.