Airbus is working hard to complete A350 flight testing, which it hopes to close by the end of next month in preparation for formal European Aviation Safety Agency airworthiness approval in September. Principal remaining work involves long-range flights now under way following a maximum-energy rejected take-off (MERTO) demonstration at Istres Air Force Base in France on July 19. By July 22, the five A350 test aircraft had logged more than 2,250 hours during about 540 flights involving more than 1,380 takeoff/landing cycles.
Eaton has been selected by Rolls-Royce to continue providing its engine build-up for another Trent engine program, the Trent XWB-97. The 97,000 pound-thrust turbofan will power the new Airbus A350-1000 platform.
Rolls-Royce here announced the first run of the Trent XWB-97 turbofan on Tuesday. Selected as the sole engine for the higher-thrust version for the Airbus A350-1000, The 97,000-lb-thrust Trent XWB-97 will begin test flights in 2016. Entry into service is pegged for 2017. The turbofan’s increased thrust is obtained by a combination of new high-temperature turbine technology, a larger core and advanced fan aerodynamics, Rolls-Royce (here at Hall 4 Stand H3) said.
Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker officially endorsed the Boeing 777-9X yesterday here in Farnborough by converting the 50-airplane memorandum of understanding announced at the Dubai Air Show last year to a firm order. A separate agreement to take purchase rights for another fifty 777-9Xs could increase the value Qatar’s investment from $18.9 billion to $37.7 billion at list prices. Finally, Al Baker also announced his intention to order four 777 Freighters and place options on another four.
Airbus is working hard to complete the A350 flight-test campaign, which it hopes to close by the end of August in preparation for formal European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) airworthiness approval in September. By early last week, the five A350 test aircraft had logged 2,189 hours during 516 flights that involved more than 1,360 take-off/landing cycles.
“I enter this airshow period feeling much more confident,” said Rockwell Collins CEO and president Kelly Ortberg on the eve of this year’s Farnborough International Airshow. Military budgets are stabilizing, he added, “and this provides much more certainly about what programs are going to be funded going forward.”
Thales’ offer in cockpit, cabin and air traffic control (ATC) electronics is evolving into a comprehensive “connected aircraft” concept. The company (Hall 4 Innovation Zone A21) is studying how flight-deck connectivity can piggyback on the satellite communications equipment installed for the passenger cabin. Here at the Farnborough Airshow for the first time is the Avionics 2020 cockpit demonstrator, featuring cockpit-pilot datalink communications (CPDLC).
Messier-Bugatti-Dowty–part of Safran Group (Hall 4 Innovation Zone Stand A7), which is providing the landing gear for the Airbus A350–has signed a contract with Japan’s Kobe Steel to supply the French company with titanium forgings for the main landing gear of the Airbus A350 XWB.
Rolls-Royce (Hall 4 Stand H3) is maintaining a continuous effort to improve in-service Trent performance, both for production engines and as retrofits. The newest version of the Trent 1000–the TEN for the Boeing 787-8,-9 and -10–is to be certified next year.
Rich Oldfield, GKN Aerospace technical director, told AIN that technology remains at the heart of the company’s ability to succeed in the market and it invests heavily, especially in composites, metallics and developing a “niche portfolio in transparencies, protection systems and coatings, which many of our competitors don’t have.” Alongside this are “important technologies in inspection, assembly and automation.”
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