Airbus A318s powered by CFM International engines were approved by the EASA for 180-minute extended-range twin-engine operations (ETOPS). FAA validation of 180-minute ETOPS is targeted for the first half of next year. The first A318 with the 180-minute ETOPS capability is a corporate Elite to be delivered to Comlux Aviation of Switzerland.
Airbus and Chinese government and industry officials are considering the case for setting up an assembly line in China for A320 airliners and expect to make their decision by next month. China has long been a supplier of airframe parts and assemblies to both Airbus and Boeing. Shanghai, Tianjin, Xi’an and Zhuhai are reported to be candidate sites for the new factory.
Monarch Airlines of the UK has ordered CTT Systems’ (Stand A131) zonal-drying systems for its 27-strong fleet. Monarch will equip its Airbus A300s, A320s, A321s and Boeing 757s and 767s by the end of next year.
According to engineering manager Adrian Vaughan, rapidly increasing oil prices means airlines must focus on fuel-saving initiatives.
The Comtran jet nozzle retrofit showing here on the Jetran Air MD-82 in the static display makes the airplane compliant with Stage 4 noise regulations, reduces fuel consumption by 1.5-2 percent and extends time between overhauls by lowering the exhaust gas temperature by 10 degrees. And the soon-to-be certified winglets sported by the Bucharest-based twinjet cut fuel consumption by a further 5 to 5.5 percent.
Thirty-five years of A300/A310 manufacturing will come to an end next July, when Airbus hands over the last A300-600 on order. Although it collected orders for 821 examples over the life of the program, the A300/310 series has seen flagging deliveries over the past few years as market demand for newer designs progressively overtook Airbus’ original offerings.
On Friday, Taiwanese-backed Sino Swearingen furloughed 100 production-line workers at its San Antonio final assembly plant for the SJ30 light jet, as well as 30 at its subassembly manufacturing facility in Martinsburg, W. Va. V-p of sales and marketing Bob Kromer told AIN that the “temporary” layoffs are due to hiring getting ahead of current SJ30 production capabilities.
Spectrum Aeronautical has appointed Interjet Maintenance of South Africa to handle sales and customer support for its under-development S-33 Independence very light twinjet throughout sub-Saharan Africa. Interjet, which is based at Johannesburg’s Lanseria Airport, will provide maintenance for the Spectrum airframes and also for the airplane’s Williams International FJ33-4A-15 engines.
Donald Burr recently left air-taxi hopeful Pogo to “pursue other opportunities,” according to a company statement. Burr, with former American Airlines chief Robert Crandall, established Pogo in May last year to develop a national on-demand, regional-based air-taxi network using hundreds of very light twinjets.
Eclipse Aviation of Albuquerque, N.M., increased the price of its Eclipse 500 very light twinjet to $1.295 million (in 2000 dollars), a jump of $120,000 over the previous tag. The new price is still less than that of any of the other very light twinjets under development.
Flight testing of the Gulfstream G150 S/N 201 is “proceeding as planned” at Israel Aircraft Industries’ (IAI) flight-test center at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv. According to an IAI spokesman, at press time the midsize twinjet had logged 30 hours during eight flights, reaching a speed of 330 kcas/Mach 0.87 and 45,000 feet.