While it seems like the A380 first flew only a short time ago, Airbus is well into its next program–the A350 XWB (eXtra widebody). The planned family is scheduled to begin operations in mid-2013 competing against the Boeing 787 (expected to enter service early next year) and some variants of the 777, which began commercial flights in 1995.
GE Aircraft Engines plans to build 100 GEnx engines this year and double that number next year, as the company accelerates production to meet a demand for 700 units from now through 2013. Now flying engines on the Boeing 747-8 and the 787 Dreamliner, GE–as of June 1–had built 28 GEnx-2Bs for the Boeing 747-8 and some 20 for the GEnx-1Bs for the 787.
Four years after the surprise launch of the Airbus A350XWB airliner, engine maker Rolls-Royce is still faced with two pleasant surprises from what might have seemed an ill-timed program given the impending global recession. First, it remains the sole powerplant provider for the new widebody airliner.
Rolls-Royce ran the Trent XWB engine for the first time on Thursday aboard a testbed in Derby, UK, the company announced on Friday. Chosen to power the Airbus A350 XWB, the Trent XWB remains the sole powerplant option for the new airliner. The engine’s first run meets program commitments established in 2006, said Rolls-Royce.
It seems Boeing hasn’t convinced everyone of the value of its standard engine interface feature on the 787 Dreamliner, which the company says allows quick and cost-effective changeability between the Rolls-Royce Trent 1000s and GE GEnx-1B turbofans chosen to power the airplane.
Engine manufacturers are here at EBACE providing a glimpse at where powerplant technology is going for business aviation with several clean-sheet designs or derivatives under development. Honeywell and Rolls-Royce each are working on two programs for business jets, while Pratt & Whitney Canada is involved in one. New players in the field–GE Honda and Snecma–each have a brand-new turbofan to promote, but the latter has yet to find
Preliminary inspection of a pair of airplanes Airbus used to fly test missions from Toulouse yesterday to assess the effect of volcanic ash on aircraft over Europe showed “no irregularities,” according to the manufacturer.
A380 S/N 004 flew for 3 hours 50 minutes within French airspace and the company’s A340-600 test article flew for five hours in French and German airspace under normal procedures.
The European Aviation Safety Agency granted type approval for the Airbus A330-200F today, following a 200-hour flight-test campaign. Airbus performed the trials with two aircraft, covering both engine types on offer: the Pratt & Whitney PW4000 and the Rolls-Royce Trent 700.