Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker is threatening to pull the plug on a contract for up to 60 Boeing 787s due to what appear to be serious objections to the way the long-delayed program is being handled.
Etihad Airways has completed engine selections for the massive aircraft orders it revealed at last year’s Farnborough airshow, in deals now totaling $14 billion in estimated value. As indicated at the time, it has opted for General Electric GEnx-1Bs for the 35 Boeing 787-9s it ordered, having already confirmed that it would use GE90-115Bs to power the 10 Boeing 777-300ERs.
Parker Hannifin has signed two agreements with major aerospace companies, which could net the company some $7.5 billion over the life of the programs. It will be partnering with Rolls-Royce on the Trent XWB engine for the new Airbus A350XWB family of airliners. Parker will provide the complete hydraulic and fuel systems for the A350XWB, as well as the fuel tank inerting system.
Boeing Commercial Airplanes has begun to study the possibility of redesigning the wing on the 777 in an effort to more effectively compete against the Airbus A350XWB-1000.
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.
Saft has been selected to supply batteries for both China’s AVIC ARJ21 regional jet and its Russian competitor, the Sukhoi Superjet. The company is already set to provide the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II with batteries for the low-rate initial production phase.
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.
When EADS chief executive Louis Gallois briefed the world’s press just before the show he was taking to the podium against a backdrop of confusion over what caused the loss of an Air France Airbus A330 on June 1. “Our thoughts are with the families of the victims of AF447,” he began. “Even if the airshow is darkened by the accident, I think we have a great show ahead of us.
Goodrich is introducing its new cockpit data management solution (CDMS) portfolio at the Paris show (see Goodrich Pavilion & Aerocafé, B337), including its SmartDisplay electronic flight bag with wireless network capability. As well as the CDMS, Goodrich’s 2009 product display includes an electric brake, a helicopter rotating drive shaft and the DB-110 reconnaissance pod.
In the face of the global economic recession, Airbus does not expect to reach its previously predicted 300 new orders this year and has switched its efforts to retaining as much of its order backlog as possible. Nevertheless, the EADS subsidiary believes the downturn in airline traffic is close to the bottom and that gradual economic recovery next year will be accompanied by improved market prospects.