Day one of the 2014 Farnborough International Airshow proved to be a lucrative one for just about all manufacturers of airliners and the engines that power them. An approximate estimate of business announced here yesterday quickly topped $50 billion.
Airbus’s board of directors has made an “unconditional and unanimous” decision to launch the re-engined, extended-wing A330neo widebody family that will be cheaper to buy and operate than the Boeing 787, Airbus executives declared on Monday at the Farnborough International Airshow. The manufacturer also announced a memorandum of understanding with Air Lease Corporation (ALC) for 25 A330-900neos and promised further orders will follow this week.
Boeing plans to offer a “minor model” of the 737 Max 8 that would increase seating capacity from 189 to 200 seats and cut seat-mile costs by 5 percent.
Revealing the plans during a “roundtable” discussion on Sunday in London, Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO Ray Conner told reporters that Ryanair “would be a candidate” for the new version and that the Max 8 would follow to market the second Max model, the 737-9, now scheduled for certification in the third quarter of 2018.
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) is introducing new helicopter safety technology that allows flight in degraded visual environments. The program is an example of how the group is diversifying its activities to achieve a more balanced portfolio between civil and defense markets. Another example is its new TaxiBot system for more fuel-efficient airliner taxiing, which has just completed certification testing at Germany’s Frankfurt International Airport.
Established trends in predicted long-term jetliner requirements will likely continue with little change to the market breakdown by aircraft size, according to latest Boeing 20-year forecast statistics, which were unveiled in London on the eve of the 2014 Farnborough Airshow. Overall, the U.S.
Boeing’s slow-selling 747-8 hasn’t struggled to gain market penetration for a lack of effort on the part of the company’s sales team, or, as program head Eric Lindblad would attest, a lack of ongoing performance improvements or technological innovation. In fact, today’s 747-8 weighs some 9,000 pounds less than the first example Boeing placed into service in 2011 and 2,000 pounds less than airplanes it delivered around a year ago. With further work, the company expects the weight to eventually drop by more than 10,000 pounds.
Lord Corp. (Chalet A33) is here at the Farnborough show as it starts a major expansion push into Europe. At a pre-show briefing at the Royal Aeronautical Society in London the company unveiled a new “aerospace business growth strategy for Europe”–the main focus being the booming fixed-wing airliner sector, as Lord is already active in the helicopter industry in Europe, specializing in noise, vibration and motion-control technologies.
GKN Aerospace (Chalet G1) comes to Farnborough content in having achieved “a good set of results” in 2013 as it increased sales by 10 percent to £7.6 billion (around $10 billion). “It was a good year at GKN pretty much across the board–bar land systems,” said Kevin Cummings, CEO of GKN aerospace during a pre-airshow briefing.
Industrial bioscience company Amyris and energy giant Total have begun to market a so-called drop in jet fuel containing a 10-percent mix of renewable farnesane under a newly revised ASTM standard, the companies announced in June. Amyris and Total have worked closely on approval of the new fuel with Boeing, which, according to the airframer’s managing director of environmental strategy and integration, Julie Felgar, wants to see biofuel account for a 1-percent share of the total jet fuel supply within 10 years.
Even as aircraft engine makers continue their very focused efforts to reduce fuel consumption and emissions, the use of biofuel alternatives to jet-A is an increasingly important facet of the campaign to make air transport more environmentally sustainable. Plans for making biofuels a more mainstream option for operators now account for around half of all the objectives set by the Advisory Council for Aviation Research and Innovation in Europe (Acare).