Airbus has begun airline crew training for its A350XWB customers about six months ahead of the new twin-aisle twinjet’s entry into service, scheduled for late this year, according to chief test pilot Peter Chandler, who flew the aircraft on its maiden flight in June 2013. He reports that the training syllabus has been developed and that the first A350 pilot course was under way last month, with access to a full flight simulator. Launch customer Qatar Airways and Singapore Airlines have received demonstration flights.
Williams International (Booth No. C8118) is offering an expanded version of its Total Assurance Program (TAP) for engine maintenance called “TAP Blue.” Under the new program, Williams will cover “virtually every natural and unnatural event” that might befall its FJ33 and FJ44 engines including damage from lightning, hail or ingestion of birds or foreign object debris. Another new coverage item is all service bulletins, not just those that are mandatory.
Airbus is understandably relieved to have flown the A350 XWB widebody just before the Paris Air Show, but the European manufacturer’s twin-aisle family accounts for only a small proportion of outstanding orders as it prepares to proceed with the new aircraft’s flight-test program. Nevertheless, deliveries of 247 aircraft overall and net orders for 493 new jets by June 1 constitute a “strong start” to 2013 for the European manufacturer, according to marketing senior vice-president Christopher Emerson. Airbus delivered 588 aircraft in 2012 and expects to ship more than 600 this year.
Sikorsky Aerospace Services (SAS) announced Wednesday at Heli-Expo ’13 the signing of a 10-year Total Assurance Program (TAP) agreement to support the S-92 fleet operated by Bristow Group. Valued at more than $840 million, the renewal was signed late last year following expiration of a prior seven-year support contract. Sikorsky offers TAP maintenance support to commercial and military operators of the S-76, S-92 and S-70 worldwide, with the program covering up to 98 percent of the cost of parts replacement on the airframe, drive train, gearboxes, avionics and consumable items.
In 1935, when Cosby Harrison crashed his airplane in stormy weather he could not have realized the lasting impact of his adventure. His slight misfortune would give rise to a shoestring operation that would become a great entrepreneurial success–and play a significant role in aviation history. (Excerpt from the history of Trade-A-Plane.)
Airbus might have to seriously consider alternative means of financing development of the A350 if the German government withholds loans of €600 million ($787 million) for the project, as reported in the German press. Airbus won’t comment, nor will German government officials, but any such development would force parent company EADS to defer to its plan to use its own funds rather than accept political influence over its decisions on work share or production locations.
The Portuguese government’s decision to hold talks with air traffic control employees of its state-run ATC group, NAV, was enough to convince controllers to halt a planned strike that would have erupted during the height of that nation’s vacation-travel season.
Tap Manutenção e Engenharia Brazil has concluded its first C-Check of a new WhiteJets A320 two days in advance of the contract turn-around-time. The services were performed at the company’s base in Porto Alegre with the participation of four of Tap M&E Lisbon’s specialists. The work was used to train the Brazilian facility’s staff. Tap M&E Brazil is the only member company in the Airbus MRO network in Latin America and is certified by ANAC of Brazil, the FAA and EASA.
Maximus Air has signed an aircraft, crew, maintenance and insurance lease agreement with express package carrier DHL. The deal calls on Maximus to operate two newly converted Airbus A300-600RP2F freighters across Europe for DHL.
Airbus has begun fabricating the first carbon fiber barrel for the A350 XWB fuselage at its Advanced Composites Center in Illescas, Spain, the company announced today. Airbus said it expects to finish the carbon fiber placement process used for producing the 18-foot-long fuselage barrel, known as section 19, “in the coming weeks.”
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