At a time when the state-of-the-art in aerostructures design more and more often involves the use of carbon-fiber laminates, companies like Alcoa Aerospace suddenly face a perception challenge unrivaled since aluminum became the material of choice in airplane construction. So the timing of Alcoa Aerospace’s first industry forum, held in New York City on May 2, came as little surprise.
In recent years, engine manufacturers have shifted their emphasis from straightforward production of engines to the far more lucrative business of after-sales support.
Rolls-Royce is no exception. In the last decade, its TotalCare engines business has expanded by a healthy 10 percent a year, creating a business that by the end of 2006 was worth $3.9 billion–more than half the company’s total civil engines business.
Simulators and other training aids from Thales are set to help carriers in India and the Asia Pacific region meet the demand for pilots to fly the large numbers of new aircraft they have ordered as well as supporting the introduction of the newest airliner models.
Boeing hasn’t yet worked out how to change between alternative 787 engines in the space of 24 hours. Designing an engine mount that enables engineering crews to swap alternative General Electric GEnx and Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 powerplants in such a short time has proved “challenging,” the U.S. manufacturer concedes.
Prices for new Boeing jetliners could harden as the manufacturer works to manage production rates and outsourced parts supplies in the face of continuing high demand that Boeing says defies previous market cycles.
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.
When a new aircraft is breaking all sales records and only two engine companies compete to supply its power, it is hardly surprising that those two companies are sounding increasingly bullish. Boeing’s announcement in early April that the 787 had passed the 500-order milestone confirmed that the 787 has become the fastest selling commercial aircraft in its history.
Computer-generated virtual cabin concepts for Boeing’s latest large bizliners are appearing with some regularity as the order book for the executive/VIP versions of the company’s 787 and 747-8 grow.
One of the most recent is a 787 interior from BMW Group DesignworksUSA, created for a fictitious Russian client in his mid-30s–a global traveler who would be spending a significant amount of time in the air.
It can take up to two years to outfit a VIP widebody jet. Even the video featuring the Andrew Winch Designs scheme for a Boeing 787 on the Lufthansa Technik (LHT) booth here (No. 1240) took four months to complete. LHT has a widebody slot open in September, but it is already the subject of negotiations and may be taken soon.
Borge Boeskov, the Icelandic-born father of the Boeing Business Jet, died on June 9 after a lengthy illness, one day shy of his 69th birthday.