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.
Delivery of the 561st Airbus A300 next month marks completion of the European manufacturer’s long march to becoming a successful competitor to its U.S. rival, Boeing, in the commercial aircraft market. It has developed, certified, marketed and completed profitable production of its initial design and embarked on a successor project.
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.
French aerospace equipment maker Zodiac is selling its marine business to boost its aerospace activity. This process may see it taking over one of the three European factories for which Airbus is seeking partnership arrangements under its Power8 reorganization plan. With the same goal in mind, Zodiac has strengthened the family-owned group’s senior management team.
Airbus has made virtue of a necessity with its new A350XWB (extra widebody) airliner. The company admits it was outmaneuvered by Boeing with the rapid success of the rival 787 program and Airbus very much needs to prove to the market that it is offering something more than just a catch-up product.
Miami Executive Aviation celebrated the groundbreaking for a new hangar at Opa Locka Executive Airport in Miami on May 23. The new 70,000-sq-ft hangar, set to open in the fourth quarter, will be large enough for Boeing Business Jets or Airbus A319s and will include office space, conference rooms and shop space.
Boeing Business Jets gathered momentum last year with sales of 23 aircraft valued at about $3 billion. That momentum, the company said at the European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE) last month, has carried over into this year, with the company logging orders for seven aircraft–six BBJs and an executive version of the 787-9–since January.
In a rare case in aviation, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is suing Jeppesen Sanderson (a Boeing property) for its part in aiding so-called “extraordinary rendition” flights. Specifically, the suit says that Jeppesen Dataplan provided support in the form of flight planning and handling for flights conducted primarily by the CIA to take alleged terrorists overseas to be tortured.
First-quarter delivery numbers released last month by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) show a healthy and continued growth trend in both the jet and turboprop sectors. Overall, the manufacturers delivered 16 percent more aircraft in the first three months of this year than they did in the same period last year.
Making a final show appearance here is Boeing Business Jets chief pilot Capt. Mike Hewett, whose BBJ flight to EBACE saw him pass the 12,800 flying-hour mark (including more than 4,000 hours in the U.S. Navy flying mostly Grumman A-6 Intruders).