CFM International is set to head home from the Farnborough International airshow with some $12.6 billion in new engine sales—nearly doubling its 2012 order book. One dozen different clients—a mix of airlines and leasing groups—signed for nearly 1,000 of the new Leap family engines.
Lukewarm market reception and performance deficiencies that continue to fall short of the new 747-8’s original design specifications might have elicited a fair share of skepticism from various industry quarters, but they haven’t deterred Boeing from declaring that “prospects look quite good” for the stretched, re-engined and re-winged jumbo jet, now in passenger operation with Lufthansa Airlines and five cargo customers.
Latvian carrier Air Baltic has signed a letter of intent for 10 Bombardier CSeries CS300 twinjets worth $764 million (at list prices), with purchase rights for 10 more. Deliveries are to start in the first quarter of 2015.
Air Baltic currently has eight Bombardier Q400s in its fleet, along with 10 Fokker 50s, 16 Boeing 737-300/500s and two Boeing 757s.
Efforts to reduce the thousands of gallons of jet fuel now being burned each year just to move aircraft to and from runways are very much in evidence at the 2012 Farnborough International airshow. No fewer than four new products vying for the attention of airline and airport managements, including efforts by Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI), L-3, Safran/Honeywell and WheelTug, and they each have taken a different approach.
A specially configured Boeing 737-800 meant to test some of the airframe maker’s most promising new technologies now sits at Boeing Field in Seattle, where crews prepare to install experimental systems that could appear in service as early as 2017 on the 737 MAX.
Few expected CFM International to match its record sales campaign of 2011 this year, but after his company sold 900 engines through the first six months of 2012, one might excuse company chief executive Jean-Paul Ebanga for a moment to allow him to catch his breath.
Bombardier is adamant that the first CSeries100 single-aisle airliner will fly before the end of this year, despite the perception among outside observers that a lot of work remains to be done in less than six months. Here at the 2012 Farnborough International Airshow, the Canadian airframer will be hoping to boost the order backlog for the program
CFM International remains on track with development process of the Leap series of engines that it laid out four years ago. The 50/50 partnership between General Electric and Safran subsidiary Snecma announced it has recently frozen the designs for its new Leap 1A and 1C engines destined for use on the Airbus A320neo and the Chinese Comac C919 narrowbody airliners, which are scheduled to enter service in 2016.
The FAA is proposing a new Airworthiness Directive for the Boeing 737-600, -700, -700C, -800, -900 and -900ER. It is prompted by a report of an inboard main landing gear (MLG) door assembly departure due to premature fatigue cracking in the inboard MLG door hinge fittings. The AD would require repetitive inspections for cracking of the inboard MLG door hinge fittings and modification of cracked fittings, which would terminate the repetitive inspections.
German airline TUIfly and CFM International have achieved a new first-run time-on-wing world record set by a CFM56-7B engine powering one of the airline’s Boeing 737-800s originally delivered in 1999. The engine logged more than 50,000 hours without a shop visit. “This record is a remarkable achievement,” said Friedrich Keppler, TUIfly managing director. “To put this in perspective it is equivalent to driving your car for 16 years with nothing more than oil changes and tune ups; or flying 20 million miles with no engine removals.”