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 A320 family
Airbus A350-900 flight test aircraft MSN3 has completed hot weather testing in Al Ain, in the United Arab Emirates, Airbus announced Wednesday.
Pratt & Whitney’s launch on Tuesday of a 35,000-pound-thrust version of its Geared Turbofan extends the family’s power range by another 2,000 pounds, giving Airbus A321neo customers enough range and payload capability to effectively operate from such hot and high locations as Mexico City and Bogota. Dubbed the PW1135G-JM, the engine gets its extra thrust from leftover development margin extracted from the design of the family as a whole, thereby requiring no hardware or design changes, explained Pratt & Whitney vice president of engineering Tom Prete.
Stuttgart, Germany-based DC Aviation, an EASA Part 145-certified maintenance operation, has acquired Cayman Island OTAR-145 certification. DC Aviation has been offering both line and base maintenance services for various types of executive jet and the Airbus A320 series since 1999. Cayman Island certification will allow the MRO to expand its services to VP-registered aircraft effective immediately.
UK carrier EasyJet said it will apply new technologies, including operating small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), to maintain its Airbus fleet. The airline is also developing 3D virtual reality and augmented reality technology, customized engineering applications and early fault prognosis. It is installing Panasonic Toughpad tablets in cockpits fleetwide.
Alpha Star Aviation Services, the newest player in the Saudi private aviation market, provides flight operations, technical support, VIP flight-support services and administration, with a focus on air ambulance flights after being set up in 2010.
Statistics released this week by Airbus showed that commercial aircraft bookings for 78 airplanes in April increased its net order total for the year to 142, while Boeing’s order total for the month stood at 70, raising its 2014 net total as of May 6 to 291.
AAR’s Duluth repair station has completed its 100th aircraft since it re-opened an abandoned 188,000-sq-ft hangar in November 2012. Today, AAR Aircraft Services Duluth supports three lines of aircraft maintenance and 305 jobs. The Duluth facility is currently dedicated to the single-aisle Airbus fleet, exclusively servicing the A319, A320 and A321. AAR is on track to open a fourth line of maintenance in September, creating another 70 positions.
Fresh off its January contract win for the green completion of an A320 for an undisclosed head of state, Switzerland’s Jet Aviation Basel, with more than 200 custom interiors to its credit, highlighted improvements to its completion processes aimed at delivering jets more quickly. Jet Aviation Basel has been reducing cycle time for its completions through new business practices and investments in production facilities such as enhancing 3-D engineering capabilities and bringing full systems integration to its cabinet shop.
Fokker Services of the Netherlands, emphasizing its green ACJ and BBJ completions, touted the recent delivery to a Chinese customer of “the only A320 that can carry 26 passengers and be operated for commercial use,” said James Aspell, Fokker’s v-p for technical services and aircraft completions and conversions. The completion shows off both the company’s interiors artistry and its approvals agility.