GKN has selected Germany’s Brötje Aerospace to supply an advanced moving line assembly system that will mate wing trailing edge and main landing gear parts onto Airbus A350XWB all-composite rear wing spars.
Irkut Corporation is evaluating tenders from Western engine, avionics and systems suppliers for its proposed new MC-21 family of narrowbody airliners. The Russian airframer (Hall 4 Stand C114) wants the first of the new model to enter service in 2016, and it intends to offer variants with capacity of 150, 180 and 210 seats.
There is an upside to the decline in airliner orders, according to Airbus CEO Thomas Enders. “Airlines don’t like waiting seven years for delivery,” he explained at an EADS press conference in Paris on Saturday.
Defense ministers from the seven A400M partner nations are heading for Seville next week for a crucial meeting with the EADS and Airbus leadership. French Defense Minister Herve Morin urged the airframer to be “transparent and precise” about the extent of delays to the troubled European airlifter.
Six years ago, the team from Airbus Military promoting the A400M came to the Paris Air Show full of confidence and good intentions. Germany had just confirmed its order for 60, finally launching the program after years of negotiations. Italy and Portugal dropped out, leaving a total requirement of 180 aircraft for six European countries (seven, if you count Luxembourg taking one aircraft).
“Significant extra investment” is required by the UK government and industry if the country is to retain its position as an aerospace powerhouse, the Society of British Aerospace Companies warned just before the Paris Air Show opened. The SBAC has just released figures for 2008 that show sharp declines in both employment and research spending in the UK industry, but a significant shift toward export markets–particularly defense.
The world financial crisis is hitting military budgets as well as commercial aviation, forcing Finmeccanica, Italy’s leading defense and aerospace group, to keep a close eye on the evolving situation.
With larger airliners flying longer routes, accommodations that more truly live up to the to the term “first class” are in high demand, and EADS Sogerma (Hall 4 Stand E53) and Lufthansa Technik (Hall 4 Stand E54) plan to fill a niche in that market.
Various “planet friendly” initiatives have emerged in Europe over the past few years as the aerospace industry reacts to the environmental challenge, which has now moved center stage. As the aerospace world converged on Paris it seems like every topic has a green backdrop. The recent annual conference of the Royal Aeronautical Society in London provided a timely summary of the work being done, as Ian Sheppard reports.
Starting next month, Airbus subsidiary Quovadis will begin offering required navigation performance (RNP) services to airlines, airports and authorities. RNP requires the use of state-of-the-art onboard navigation systems and GPS technology and is recommended by the ICAO especially for reducing flight time and fuel consumption. Services provided will range from RNP procedures design, testing and flight operations packaging to training.