Boeing Business Jets (BBJ), yesterday, announced plans to build the BBJ MAX, the VIP version of Boeing’s 737 MAX commercial jet and next iteration of BBJ’s executive airliners. The MAX brings the BBJ into the Leap era, using the same CFM International Leap 1-B engines and winglets as on the 737 MAX, which provide a range increase of more than 14 percent, according to Boeing.
Airbus A320 family
CFM faces some uncertainties surrounding its Leap-1C turbofans for the Comac C919 narrowbody, although the engine program schedule calls for that variant of the three-member Leap family to go to test first.
Pratt & Whitney has finished assembling the first PurePower PW1100G-JM turbofan for the Airbus A320neo, the engine manufacturer announced today. Company leaders from Pratt & Whitney, Airbus and program partners MTU and JAEC joined employees on Friday morning to celebrate the program
Japan’s Sumitomo Mitsui Bank (SMBC) beat more than 30 other bidders to complete the acquisition of RBS Aviation Capital on October 15, demonstrating the growing importance of leasing in new-airliner acquisitions. The bank’s new SMBC Aviation division intends to merge two other leasing companies owned by its shareholders to challenge for the number-three position in the leasing sector, controlling some 331 aircraft.
CFM, the 50/50 joint venture between GE and Snecma, has embarked on a “major” risk-abatement plan to ensure a smooth production transition from its CFM56 to the new Leap-1A, B and C engines, chosen to power, respectively, the Airbus A320neo, the Boeing 737 Max and the Comac C919 single-aisle airliners. “Transitioning from 1,600 engines per year to the same output of another type in two years, this is something the industry has never done before,” François Harant, Snecma’s supply chain director, told AIN.
A Syrian Arab Airlines A320 sustained serious damage September 20 when it collided feet with a Syrian military Mi-8 helicopter at 12,000 feet over Duma, Syria. At press time, sources still could not confirm whether the aircraft was on approach to Damascus International Airport (OSDI) or had just departed. The aircraft landed safely without injuries to anyone on board. The Airbus lost a significant portion of its vertical stabilizer. The helicopter, however, crashed, killing both pilots.
Airbus Corporate Jets expects to achieve double-digit sales of its ACJ aircraft in 2012 and is on course to deliver at least as many as the 10 jets it delivered in 2011. The European airframer told a September 26 press conference in Moscow that it has now sold more than 170 aircraft in the business aviation market, including some 110 A320-family narrowbodies and 60 widebodies (A330s, A340s and A380s).
Dynamic growth in emerging economies will be the principal factor driving commercial aircraft requirements in the coming 20 years, according to Airbus. Other major contributions will come from increased global urbanization and a doubling of middle-class populations. “By 2031 the number of ‘mega-cities’ will more than double to 92, and 90 percent of the world’s traffic will be between (or through) these points,” concluded the European airframer in its new 2012-31 market forecast, released in London on September 4.
China’s ICBC Leasing has signed a firm order with Airbus covering a total of 50 A320-family narrowbodies, including 30 current-generation A320s and 20 A320neos.
Philippine Airlines (PAL) has placed a firm order for 34 current-generation Airbus A321s, 10 A321neos and 10 A330-300s, Airbus announced today. A plan by the flag carrier to embark on a fleet renewal program calls for deliveries to start next year.