A surge in demand for landing gear overhaul has prompted Lufthansa Technik to form a division dedicated to the activity and consider adding shifts at its four facilities while launching a total landing gear support (TLS) program.
Manufacturers of nacelles and thrust reversers have no less interest in introducing new technology to their designs than do the suppliers of the engines inside them.
EADS expects to sign a firm contract with Aeroflot for 22 of the new Airbus A350XWB airliners here at the Paris Air Show this week, or perhaps at Moscow’s MAKS’2007 event in August. This follows the signing of a memorandum of understanding on the deal in March this year.
Having promised so much and letting its A380 launch customers down so dismally with the news of serious program delays, Airbus is understandably cautious in its prognosis for the super-large airliner’s immediate future. All the talk in press briefings before the Paris Air Show concentrated on achieving “maturity” and “sustainability” for the program.
Britain’s GKN Aerospace has signaled its intention to bid for stakes in one or more of the Airbus factories now being put up for acquisition or partnership under the troubled European airframer’s Power8 restructuring plan. The strategic acquisition could play a key part in GKN’s ambition to more than double its annual revenues to reach $4.2 billion by 2016.
CFM International, the engine manufacturing joint venture between General Electric and Snecma of France, is forging ahead with a range of advanced engine studies as part of its leading edge aviation propulsion (LEAP56) program.
France’s Aerospace Valley, with 94,000 jobs at 1,300 companies (including approximately 1,000 small and medium-sized enterprises– SMEs) and 8,500 research positions, has emerged on the industry map as Europe’s only true aerospace cluster. Aerospace Valley, the cooperative venture between Midi-Pyrénées and the neighboring southwest region of Aquitaine representing 61 SMEs, is again exhibiting here at Le Bourget in Hall 4.
Russia’s new airframing consortium OAK has won government approval to continue limited production of widebody airliners. This covers assembly of 15 Ilyushin Il-96s in the 2008 to 2012 time frame, allowing the Voronezh Aircraft Production Association (VASO) to maintain annual production rates of three aircraft.
The key to Bombardier’s still-pending decision on whether to go ahead with a $2 billion-plus investment in its projected C Series 110/130-seat regional airliner family appears to rest with the engine manufacturers.
The competitiveness of the French aerospace industry continues to be battered by the historic weakness of the U.S. dollar against the euro. The country’s labor laws aren’t helping matters and the industrialists are looking to France’s new government to instill a new approach to employment.