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.
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On its third test flight, the Airbus A350XWB flew past President Francois Hollande this afternoon on the final business day of the 2013 Paris Air Show. After two hours of cruise flight tests, the new aircraft made a curving descent toward Runway 27 for a single flyby.
Not all the big order announcements at this year’s Paris Air Show came from the big OEMs, as Viking Air illustrated by announcing the two significant sales: Four Twin Otter Series 400s to Aerostar Leasing; and an additional seven to Russia’s Vityaz Avia.
Russian aviation executives said the Irkut-led MC-21 narrowbody airliner development program is proceeding according to schedule. At a Paris Air Show briefing on Tuesday, program officials said the design is frozen on the first aircraft in the series, the MC-21-300, and parts manufacturing has started.
Parker Aerospace and China Aviation Industry Corporation (AVIC) held a contract-signing ceremony just ahead of the Paris Air Show to form two joint venture companies in support of Comac’s new C919 program.
Ural Works of Civil Aviation (UWCA) of Russia and Diamond Aircraft Industries (DAI) of Austria signed an agreement on Monday at the Paris Air Show to design and produce a series of diesel-powered 19-seat utility airplanes in Russia. The companies estimate that demand for these aircraft in Russia currently exceeds 200.
The new short takeoff and landing Antonov An-70 military transporter will soon complete joint state testing, according to Dmytro Kiva, Antonov president and general designer and academician of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. The An-70’s noise certification has been issued, he added.
Leasing firm HGI yesterday placed a firm order for 10 ATR 72-600s for delivery to Brazilian carrier Passaredo Linhas Aéreas. The value of the deal, including options on another 10 airplanes, amounts to $482 million. HGI Capital Group also becomes a shareholder of Passaredo, following the approval of ANAC, Brazil’s National Agency for Civil Aviation.
The successful first flight of the Airbus A350 XWB in Toulouse last Friday was a major milestone in the program and one to be celebrated by the manufacturer and its major suppliers. Rolls-Royce (Chalet B89), in particular, was pleased to see its Trent XWB engines power the aircraft from Runway 32L at Blagnac airfield for its 4hr 05min maiden flight.
Boeing got another big boost for its widebody lineup here yesterday when Korean Air committed to another five 747-8Is and six 777-300ERs worth $3.6 billion at list prices. Also a customer for the Airbus A380, Korean has now signaled its intention to place a second order for the superjumbo’s competitor, production of which Boeing recently cut from two airplanes to 1.75 per month. Boeing holds firm orders for just 40 Intercontinentals and 65 freighters.