The fifth and final Airbus A350-900 flight-test article took to the skies for the first time Friday, marking the start of the last phase of the 2,500-hour certification program. The second passenger cabin-equipped A350, MSN005 embodies the “operationally definitive” configuration for flight test duties, said Airbus. Plans call for it to perform route proving and ETOPS validation ahead of certification in the third quarter of this year and first delivery to launch customer Qatar Airways in the fourth quarter.
The number of training programs preparing flight crew for the new multi-crew pilot license (MPL) continues to multiply. Before year-end, there will likely be 30 or more active MPL programs around the world with well over 3,000 cadets in the pipeline. The MPL is intended as a competency-based training license focused on preparing new pilots to become airline first officers.
The aviation industry will see as many as 1,000 airplanes exit commercial fleets each year within the next decade as a combination of demographics conspire to create a retirement “tsunami,” IFC International principal Richard Brown told delegates attending the June 15 to 17 Aircraft Fleet Recycling Association (AFRA) annual meeting in Washington, D.C.
CFM International has begun ground testing of the first Leap-1B engine developed to power Boeing’s new 737 Max family of narrowbody airliners. The joint venture between Snecma and GE announced today that ground tests began three days ahead of schedule on June 13 and that the 23,000- to 28,000-pound-thrust turbofan already has achieved full takeoff thrust.
Airbus A350-900 flight test aircraft MSN3 has completed hot weather testing in Al Ain, in the United Arab Emirates, Airbus announced Wednesday.
German air navigation service provider (ANSP) Deutsche Flugsicherung (DFS) said that its plan to significantly raise the user fees it charges airlines resulted from less-than-forecast air traffic. The Association of European Airlines (AEA) has denounced the plan and warned that Germany’s airspace will become the most expensive in Europe.
Nav Canada is nearing completion of a nationwide instrument landing system (ILS) replacement program designed to replace legacy systems and provide precision approach capability at new locations. On June 17, the Canadian air navigation service provider (ANSP) announced that it has placed an order with Indra Navia of Norway for the program’s final phase.
Industrial bioscience company Amyris and energy giant Total have begun to market a so-called drop in jet fuel containing a 10-percent mix of renewable farnesane under a newly revised ASTM standard, the companies announced Monday. Amyris and Total have worked closely on approval of the new fuel with Boeing, which, according to the airframer’s managing director of environmental strategy and integration, Julie Felgar, wants to see biofuel account for a 1-percent share of the total jet fuel supply within 10 years.
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) each granted the Boeing 787-9 an amended type certificate, paving the way for Air New Zealand to take delivery of the first production example early this summer, Boeing announced on Monday morning. The FAA also has granted Boeing an amended production certificate, validating that the Boeing production system can produce 787-9s that conform to the design. EASA accepts FAA oversight of Boeing production certificates, just as the FAA accepts EASA oversight of European manufacturers’ production certificates.
The NTSB’s investigation into the Gulfstream IV-SP that crashed while taking off from Runway 11 at Bedford Hanscom Field near Boston on May 31 appears to be focusing on the twinjet’s control wheel mechanical gust-lock system, according to a preliminary accident report released by the agency today. “After the rotate callout, the cockpit voice recorder captured comments concerning aircraft control,” the report notes. All seven aboard–three crewmembers and four passengers–died in the accident.