Norwegian Air Shuttle reported on Wednesday that it remains unsatisfied with the reliability of its three Boeing 787s following Sunday’s incident in which a problem with a fuel valve delayed a flight between Bangkok and Stockholm for 19 hours. Norwegian Dreamliners have suffered a series of maintenance glitches such as erroneous fault warnings, costing the airline revenue and standing with its customers.
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News and issues relating to air transport and cargo aircraft.
High-speed wind tunnel tests for the Boeing 777X started last week at the company’s transonic wind tunnel in Seattle, Boeing announced Wednesday.
The second A350 XWB flight-test aircraft, MSN3, has arrived in Bolivia to perform a series of tests at the high-altitude airfields of Cochabamba and La Paz. Cochabamba lies around 8,300 feet above sea level, and La Paz ranks as one of the world’s highest airports at 13,300 feet.
Signaling an apparent decision to abandon any immediate plans for a new large turboprop, Bombardier has found a way to squeeze another six seats into its Q400 by offering an option to convert the airplane’s forward baggage door into a passenger exit. The new interior design would replace cargo capacity with as much as another row and a half of passenger seats, raising the Q400’s total seating capacity to 86.
Aiming to reduce exposure to potential residual-value guarantee (RVG) claims for the A340 twin-aisle quad-jet, Airbus plans to recertify the aircraft to carry 475 passengers, while Rolls-Royce works to improve the type’s engine efficiency and maintenance costs. The European manufacturer told a stakeholders’ forum on December 4 that with increased capacity and lower maintenance charges and ownership costs, the A340-600 can compete against the Boeing 777-200ER and -300ER and replace larger 747-400s.
Boeing on Wednesday won FAA type inspection authorization (TIA) for the 787-9, marking the start of a new phase of flight testing in which agency personnel join the company’s engineers in Washington state’s Puget Sound region to gather the data required for certification.
Boeing has begun low-speed wind tunnel tests on the Boeing 777X, the company announced Monday. Testing started on December 5 in Farnborough, UK, at facilities run by testing partner QinetiQ. Boeing and QinetiQ recently signed an agreement to extend the wind tunnel partnership at Farnborough for another five years.
Keen to show his airline can operate as a profitable carrier amid assertions that it survives on the largesse of its government benefactors, Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker offered revealing insights at last month’s Dubai Airshow into some of the internal machinations and brinkmanship that shape aircraft purchase negotiations. The colorful and sometimes controversial Al Baker played coy about his interest in the 777X while fully intending to engage Boeing in serious negotiations that eventually led to a blockbuster sale.
Boeing has advised GEnx engine operators that it is revising the 787’s and the 747-8’s flight manuals to prohibit flight within 50 nm of thunderstorms that may contain ice crystals. Following Boeing’s recommendation, Japan Airlines immediately announced it would switch aircraft on two routes. From April to November, GEnx-powered aircraft suffered six engine-icing events, according to a GE statement. All aircraft landed at their planned destinations, said the engine maker, and none of the incidents involved in-flight shutdowns–only temporary thrust losses.
Boeing has issued requests for proposals to more than a dozen potential sites for assembly, parts fabrication, paint, delivery and wing production of the new 777X widebody, the company confirmed to AIN last week. The release of the RFPs comes barely more than a week after Boeing’s machinists union voted down a proposed contract extension described as critical to locating the work in the Puget Sound region of Washington state.