Two years after 9/11, Dubai’s biennial air show will declare itself to be firmly back to business as usual when it opens next month (December 7 to 11) in the United Arab Emirates. Last time, the event convincingly put on a brave face in the wake of 9/11 and the U.S.-led war against Al Qaeda and its Taliban allies in Afghanistan (just 500 miles north).
Eclipse Aviation signed a contract with Fuji Heavy Industries (FHI) of Japan for the manufacture of complete wing assemblies for the Eclipse 500 very light jet. As part of the long-term agreement, Eclipse also licensed its friction-stir welding process to FHI for use in the wing assemblies, as well as other potential applications within FHI’s manufacturing operations.
The FAA has amended an earlier Airworthiness Directive for all Airbus A320-series aircraft, requiring operators to modify elevator control systems to prevent vibration problems caused by excessive freeplay. The AD applies to the A319 (which is the basis for the Airbus Corporate Jetliner), the A320 and the A321.
Airbus and Boeing took center stage at the Dubai Airshow this week, with airlines announcing orders worth some $80 billion. However, business aviation had its time in the sun, too. Embraer took orders for 51 business jets (seven Lineage 1000s, seven Legacy 600s, nine Phenom 300s and 28 Phenom 100s). Cessna reported selling 12 Mustangs and five Sovereigns. Dassault Falcon sold four 7Xs and one 900EX.
UAE low-fare carrier Air Arabia yesterday ordered 34 Airbus A320 single-aisle airliners, with delivery to begin in 2012, and took options on an additional 15. Delivery of the aircraft will eventually more than triple the carrier’s current fleet of 10 leased A320s. Chief executive Adel Abdullah Ali, said Air Arabia’s fleet will double by 2010 and grow to 50 by 2015.
The new build standard of the International Aero Engines V2500 engine for the Airbus A319/320/321 family remains on schedule to meet FAR 33 engine certification by the end of the year, the company announced Saturday. Known as SelectOne, the improved engine promises to reduce fuel burn by 1 percent, improve time-on-wing by 20 percent and reduce workshop visits by 40 percent, at the same time meeting stringent CAEP/6 Nox.
A series of flight tests held in France this past summer has successfully shown that the Thales TopOwl helmet-mounted display system originally designed for helicopter pilots works just as well for those flying military transport aircraft. The tests made use of the TopOwl-H head up display (HUD) system now in full-scale production. Thales has made more than 400 to date.
Airbus Military will receive the first four flight test engines for the delayed A400M medium-lift transport by the end of the year, ending speculation that the TP400 engine program has run into serious difficulties.
In recent years on the international airshow circuit, the Airbus A380 super-large airliner has dominated static displays. But here in Dubai, the double-decker had to vie for visitors’ attention among some 140 aircraft of all sorts of shape, size, origin and purpose. There is something here for everyone, from freighters and fighters to the fanciest VIP jets.
Dubai Aerospace Enterprise made good on a promise to challenge the aerospace industry’s established aircraft leasing giants by committing to orders for 200 new Airbus and Boeing jets worth more than $27 billion.