Cabin humidification specialist CTT Systems is hoping to get its Cair equipment adopted for use in more business aircraft. To date, the Swedish company has mainly had success in getting Cair installed on Boeing Business Jet and Airbus Corporate Jet bizliners, but it has recently been approached by airframers, including Bombardier, about possible applications on more mainstream models.
Statistics released last month by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) reveal that business aircraft deliveries did not show much evidence of resurgence during the third quarter. While the industry overall recorded a 4.2-percent increase, the business jet landscape remained virtually flat, with the OEMs reporting deliveries of 428 private jets through the first nine months of the year, just one more than they did during the same period last year. In the third quarter, airframers handed over 134 jets, a decrease from the 171 delivered in the second quarter of the year.
More evidence of capacity constraint among U.S. airlines appeared in a recent quarterly earnings report from one of the fastest-growing carriers in the country. Virgin America, which has seen annual available seat mile (ASM) growth average 28 percent for the past three years, has reconsidered its fleet expansion strategy and said it would move to cut the number of airplanes it plans to add over the rest of the decade.
Beyond an admission by China’s Comac that the development timetable for its new C919 narrowbody will be pushed back by a further delay of one or two years in the certification of its ARJ21 regional airliner, precise details on the program is progressing remain hard to pin down.
The FAA is adopting a new Airworthiness Directive (FAA-2011-0518) for Airbus A300/310 airliners to prevent high loading of the vertical stabilizer caused by excessive rudder pedal inputs, which could cause failure of the vertical stabilizer and consequent loss of control. The AD, effective Dec. 14, 2012, applies to A300 B4-600, B4-600R, F4-600R and C4-605R Variant F airplanes (collectively called the A300-600 series), as well as to the A310 series.
Decelerating growth at Virgin America has led the airline to reconsider its fleet-expansion strategy and move to cut the number of airplanes it plans to add over the rest of the decade. Under a revised agreement reached with Airbus, Virgin America’s order for current-generation A320s will shrink from 30 airplanes to 10, all scheduled for delivery in 2015 and 2016, the airline announced Friday.
Bahraini flag carrier Gulf Air last week signaled a major shift in its fleet plans, affecting orders with both Boeing and Airbus. The airline has already signed so-called amendment agreements with the manufacturers “to reduce long-term liability and meet future strategic needs.”
Gulf Air said negotiations with the airframers date back to last year, as high fuel prices, a general slump in air traffic and so-called regional developments forced the airline to suspend service to a number of destinations in a bid to preserve its ongoing viability.
Airbus and its air traffic management subsidiaries, together with systems integration company EADS Cassidian, said they will participate as industry partners in seven European flight trials set to begin early next year through 2014 under the direction of the Single European Sky ATM Joint Undertaking (Sesar JU).
Few would argue with the characterization by a senior Western airframe manufacturer of the Comac C919 as “a serious project by a serious company.” But the clumsy effort by the Chinese conglomerate to certify the ARJ21 regional jet begs the question: Do serious intentions necessarily equate to a serious product?
China’s Spring Airlines has ordered CFM56-5B engines to power a pair of new Airbus A320s that it is due to received in January and July 2014. Engine maker CFM International announced the $40 million deal on November 14 at Airshow China 2012.