Boeing is formally protesting the U.S. Air Force’s “surprise decision” in favor of the Northrop Grumman/EADS Airbus A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) for the KC-X tanker requirement. According to the Air Force, the keenly fought award is worth $35 billion for up to 179 KC-45As–the new, officially approved designation.
Aviation Communications and Surveillance Systems (ACSS) inked an agreement with Airbus to certify the Phoenix avionics maker’s T3CAS product in all Airbus single-aisle (A318/319/320/321) and long-range (A330/A340) airplanes. T3CAS is an integrated system that combines traffic alert and collision avoidance system (TCAS) with terrain awareness and warning system (TAWS) capability and a mode-S transponder in a single line-replaceable unit.
Emirates Airline confirmed yesterday that it will start flying one of its first Airbus A380s nonstop between Dubai and New York JFK Airport on October 1. It claims to not yet know, however, whether or not that flight will actually represent the launch of the airline’s A380 service, as Emirates president Tim Clark continues to mull the possibilities for a still earlier entry elsewhere in a quickly expanding network.
British Airways last month announced plans to create a business-class service from London City Airport (LCY) to New York via Shannon, Ireland. The airline was forced to incorporate a tech stop due to payload restrictions associated with LCY’s 3,934-foot-long runway. British Airways said it will acquire Airbus A318s configured with 32 business-class seats to operate the service.
Airbus on February 1 successfully made what it billed as the world’s first flight of a commercial aircraft powered by synthetic fuel. The A380 flew from Filton, UK to Toulouse, France, powered by a liquid fuel processed from gas using the Fischer-Tropsch process. During the three-hour flight, the number-one engine was fed a blend of synthetic and jet fuels, while the remaining three operated on standard jet fuel.
Despite the beginning of the Chinese New Year, Valentine’s Day (a popular holiday in Hong Kong), the fast-approaching Singapore Airshow and temperatures low enough to break a 40-year-record, the third Asian Business Aviation Conference &
Pratt & Whitney insists its geared turbofan (GTF) engine will have “fuel burn parity” with the competing open-rotor designs being studied by CFM International, Rolls-Royce and Snecma, all of whom have rejected geared fans as the way forward.
Boeing delivered the first of four KC-767 Tankers to Japan yesterday, 15 months behind schedule. Before leaving U.S. airspace on a 14-hour ferry flight to Gifu airbase neat Nagoya, it flew in formation with the No. 2 airplane that will follow after the Japan Air Self-Defense Force completes a formal acceptance process.
Airbus is studying 10-abreast seating for its A350WXB following interest from low-cost airlines including AirAsia, which has inquired a potential 25-aircraft order.
At face value, Rolls-Royce’s recent establishment of new facilities in Singapore, the U.S. and Germany might be construed as the group’s snubbing its UK home and a possible indictment of successive British governments that some say have failed to nurture the country’s aerospace industry.