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.
Newly merged divisions aiming to increase profitability and growth
Delivery of SilkAir’s first Boeing 737 a little over a week ago in Washington state marked the fulfillment of what Boeing Commercial Airplanes vice president of sales Dinesh Keskar characterized as a “major win” for the company in the Asian market. In fact, while Boeing would no doubt relish the chance to convert any Airbus operator, the contract with the Singapore Airlines subsidiary came as particularly satisfying given the impressive market share its rival from Europe has established in the region over the past decade or so.
A leading Mubadala Aerospace MRO network member, SR Technics’ drive to expand out into the world is bearing fruit. Now able to claim 40 customers, among them operators as prominent as Singapore Airlines, EasyJet, Qatar Airways and South African Airways, the company is set on bringing its integrated MRO business to all points of the compass.
Rolls-Royce is “competing hard” with its Trent 900 offering to power the latest batch of 50 Airbus A380s selected by Gulf operator Emirates Airline, according to Trent fleet programs customer marketing head Peter Johnston. To date, the carrier has chosen only GP7200 engines from the General Electric/Pratt & Whitney Engine Alliance joint venture for its previously ordered 90 aircraft.