Boeing has completed firm configuration of the 737 Max 8 on schedule and in time for expected first delivery in third quarter of 2017, the company announced Tuesday. The milestone marks the conclusion of the major trade studies that define the capabilities of the three-member 737 Max family and allows engineers to start detailed design.
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As Airbus handed over the 1,000th A330 to Cathay Pacific Airways last Friday, it confirmed plans to accelerate introduction of the 242-metric-ton maximum takeoff weight model and to offer a new, lower operating weight, shorter-range “regional” variant.
Five Bombardier Dash 8-100 regional turboprops at Norway’s Widerøe’s Flyveselskap had undergone 80,000-flight cycle (FC) inspections by last month as part of an extended-service program (ESP) approved by Transport Canada and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) in 2009. Of the 299 Dash 8-100s built, some 100 constitute the near-term market for the life-extension modifications, according to the manufacturer. Bombardier expects a further 128 will reach the 80,000-cycle threshold during the coming nine years.
The Russian ministry of defense (MoD) has awarded United Aircraft (UAC) a firm order for 15 Antonov An-148 twinjets, according to UAC president Mikhail Pogosian, speaking at the Paris Air Show. The contract is worth Rouble 18 billion ($550 million). The delivery schedule calls for one aircraft this year, eight in 2014-2015 and six in 2016-2017. The Russian government has previously expressed a need for 130 jetliners for various government agencies. This requirement includes 59 An-148s, according to minister for industry and trade Denis Manturov.
Bombardier will fail to meet its end-of-June target for first flight of the CSeries, according to a statement issued by the company Wednesday. It now expects first flight to happen by the end of July.
Mexican airline Interjet is set to become the first Western operator of Sukhoi’s SuperJet SSJ100 during July. The first of 20 aircraft it has on order arrived from Russia in Interjet colors at last week’s Paris Air Show, before heading to the Venice, Italy, headquarters of the airframer’s SuperJet International joint venture with Alenia Aermacchi. There it will undergo final preparations for final delivery to Mexico, with a second SSJ100 due to follow just a few days behind it.
This could well be the week that Bombardier’s CSeries makes its eagerly anticipated first flight. Speaking to AIN on the eve of last week’s Paris Air Show, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft president Mike Arcamone reported that his engineers have been busily subjecting the first flight test vehicle (FTV1) to simulated flight conditions. At the same time, the company has been preparing a Global 5000 chase airplane to evaluate flight conditions on the day of the first flight, which Arcamone indicated could be achieved before the end of this month.
The second generation of Embraer’s E-Jet series of narrowbody airliners was officially launched and named E2 during last week’s Paris Air Show. Seven launch customers rallied for the christening party, supporting the Brazilian airframer with approximately $17.8 billion worth orders and commitments for up to 365 of the twinjets.
Backed by five launch customers from across Europe, Asia and North America committing to 102 aircraft, Boeing pressed the “Go” button for its long-anticipated 787-10 development on June 17. United Airlines, British Airways, Singapore Airlines, GE Capital Aviation Services (Gecas) and Air Lease stepped up to support the stretched, longer-range Dreamliner, and they appear to have been influential in shaping the design and performance goals.
As predicted, most airliner makers went home from last week’s Paris Air Show with yet longer backlogs of orders. Factoring in all the provisional sales (those covered by options, letters of intent or a memorandum of understanding), manufacturers announced something like $170 billion in new aircraft and engine business at Le Bourget.