For Franco-Italian regional turboprop manufacturer ATR (Booth E01), the Asia Pacific region now takes top spot in its geographic sales rankings, but orders from China still seem to be eluding the company. Last year ATR saw orders and deliveries grow again, reaching record levels and steady profitability, but it has yet to convince shareholders Airbus Group and Finmeccanica to launch a new larger turboprop in the 90-seat category.
Crane Aerospace and Electronics has announced that its SmartStem wireless tire pressure system has been certified for use with Boeing 737NG aircraft. It is already approved for use with the Boeing 747-400, 777 and 787, and with numerous business jet types. The system comprises high-accuracy sensors that replace standard wheel fill stems, and a handheld reader that takes quick and accurate tire pressure readouts without gas loss. The ease and speed of use of the system promotes daily checks, with improved safety as a result, and an increase in tire life.
Asia Pacific governments have long considered development of their aerospace industries a prime opportunity for technology renewal and overall economic growth. Several big OEMs have answered the call to help, allowing countries such as Singapore and Malaysia to develop into some of the world’s most active aerospace manufacturing, services and technology centers. Others, such as the Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia, show particular promise due to their rapidly expanding economies and young, energetic populations hungry for jobs.
As Rolls-Royce (Booth N23) prepares to begin a two-year development and testing phase for the latest Trent engine–the Model 1000-TEN, designed to power Boeing’s stretched 787-10 large twin-aisle twinjet–it has completed three full demonstrators and is building a fourth that will be used in a 500 flight-cycle trial.
Airport authorities in Birmingham, Ala., were in the process of reopening the airport’s longer Runway 24 on August 14, at the time a UPS Airbus A300 crashed while attempting to land on Runway 18. A FedEx jet, in fact, landed on Runway 24 just a few minutes after the UPS accident. The NTSB will hold a hearing on the accident February 20 in Washington.
The full international debut of Airbus’s A350XWB airliner will dominate both the static and flying displays on the first two days of the Singapore Airshow. The European airframer’s second flight test airplane–MSN3–arrived here over the weekend and flew a display rehearsal on Sunday afternoon over the Singapore Strait. It is due to depart at the end of Wednesday.
Airbus Helicopters (Booth J23), formerly Eurocopter, is seeing the Chinese market taking off at last, thus beginning to keep its promises. Norbert Ducrot, CEO of Airbus Helicopters China (who is also responsible for Japan and South Korea), said the company plans to increase its presence with more sales, as well as the addition of maintenance, training and assembly facilities.
As the Airbus A350-900 twin-aisle twinjet makes its first full international airshow display here in Singapore this week, industry observers will be keen to understand the manufacturer’s plans for the smaller A350-800, which has seen a steady erosion of orders as customers have upgraded to the baseline model. With average aircraft seat capacity moving inexorably to the right, Airbus executives are also mulling a possible double-stretched variant beyond the longer A350-1000.
Engine manufacturer CFM International (Stand G23) plans to test 15 Leap engines this year as part of a development program leading to certification of the Leap-1A for the Airbus A320neo next year. Also part of the program, the Leap 1B and -1C versions are to power the upgraded Boeing 737 Max and the new Comac C919 narrowbodies, respectively. The engine’s designers promise a 15-percent fuel burn advantage over the current CFM56.
Ahead of an initial engine run in the second quarter of this year, Rolls-Royce (Booth N23) has started to assemble the 97,000-pound thrust Trent XWB-97 powerplant that will power the heavier, 308-metric-ton (680,000-pound) max takeoff weight Airbus A350-1000 stretch variant of the new twin-aisle twinjet that has been flying since last June. The first items for the powerplant were arriving in the Rolls-Royce (RR) finished parts stores during January, according to program director Chris Young.