China’s Xiamen Airlines has signed a letter of intent with GE Aviation for GEnx-1B engines to power its six Boeing 787s, along with a 10-year service agreement for the airline’s GEnx-powered fleet. The list price of the order and service agreement is valued at more than $560 million. Delivery of the aircraft is to begin incrementally starting in July 2014.
Boeing 787 Dreamliner
The first section of the Boeing 787-9 fuselage has left Alenia Aermacchi’s Monteiasi-Grottaglie plant, bound for Boeing’s final assembly line in Charleston, South Carolina. Also a supplier on the 787-8 program, Alenia Aermacchi has already delivered more than 100 fuselage sections for the baseline Dreamliner six years after opening the Monteiasi-Grottaglie plant in Italy’s Apulia region.
Regardless of whether this week’s 50th Paris Air Show (June 17 to 23) sees a surprise fly-past by the newly airborne Airbus A350XWB widebody, the biennial event will open with expectations of yet more airliner orders further bolstering backlogs. Both Airbus and Boeing, which will display two 787 Dreamliners, are expected to announce further orders.
Rolls-Royce says that by August it expects to have demonstrated a new high-pressure turbine (HPT) destined for its Trent 1000-Ten engine, which is being offered to power the prospective Boeing 787-10. Assembly of the first full development engine is scheduled before year-end.
UTC Aerospace Systems (Chalet A330, Hall Concorde 35) has won a contract from Virgin Atlantic Airways to supply the wheels, carbon brakes and MRO services for the airline’s fleet of 16 Boeing 787-9s, the first of which the airframer plans to deliver in September 2014. UTC Aerospace said it would supply the parts through its Wheels & Brakes division, based in Troy, Ohio.
The carbon brakes on the 787-9 use UTC’s Duracarb carbon heat sink material, which, according the company, lasts 35 percent longer than competitive products.
Orders from Singapore Airlines covering up to 50 additional Rolls-Royce (R-R) Trent XWB-engined A350-900s boosted Airbus as it made final preparations late last month [May] for the new airliner’s first flight. The Asian carrier has booked 30 examples and taken options on 20 more (convertible to larger A350-1000s), boosting the total number of A350-900s it has ordered to 70.
Tulsa, Oklahoma-based Nordam Interiors and Structures division (Hall 3 Stand E145) has manufactured its 20,000th composite window frame for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. This is the first ever composite window frame for a commercial airliner and it features an almost 50 percent weight reduction compared with traditional aluminum frames, according to Nordam, as well as “superior damage tolerance.”
The Nordam window frame incorporates Hexcel HexMC low-density composite material, which is made from high-strength carbon fiber and epoxy resin.
The 2013 Paris Air Show–the 50th since the biennial event started in 1909–opens on Monday with its exhibitor count at a 10-year high of 2,200 companies from 44 countries. Much of the pre-show excitement this week has been built on expectations that Airbus might take the opportunity to give its new A350XWB airliner a high-profile public debut.
U.S. Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick has proposed new legislation [H.R. 1775] to require secondary cockpit safety barriers on Part 121 airliners. The metal barrier would be lowered between the first row of seats and the existing hardened cockpit door whenever a pilot leaves the flight deck.
The extra-barrier idea evolved from a study conducted by the Radio Technical Commission for Aeronautics (RTCA) at the request of the FAA, the Air Line Pilots Association and other industry stakeholders to provide more specific guidance on securing the flight deck.
Battery system modifications to the world’s Boeing 787s continued at a steady pace while details of plans for service resumptions gradually began to emerge by the time Qatar Airways flew one of its five airplanes on a route between Doha and Dubai last Wednesday.