Unseasonably bad weather at the 2012 Farnborough International airshow required exhibitors and visitors alike to dig deep into the reserves of resilience and flexibility that they have had to draw on in business conditions that remain uncomfortably unpredictable. But despite the near-relentless British rain, the event delivered no small amount of encouragement for the aerospace sector (primarily on the commercial side of the fence) and plenty of points of interest for industry watchers.
The two pilots operating an Air India Airbus A330 between Delhi and Shanghai were grounded after an incident in which the aircraft encountered turbulence strong enough to damage the aircraft and injure some crew and passengers.
Despite reports from flight attendants of damage and injuries in the cabin, the two pilots did not divert the aircraft to a nearby airport, but continued on to the original destination.
The final report on the crash of Air France Flight 447 is giving ergonomics specialists food for thought. One area of particular focus has been the stall warning, which the report says the crew ignored.
If Airbus doesn’t see a resolution to the row between China and the EU over Europe’s emissions trading scheme by year-end, it will have to seriously consider withdrawing its plan to increase A330 production from the current nine per month to 11 in 2014, Airbus COO for customers John Leahy said during a Thursday briefing at the Farnborough airshow.
Rolls-Royce closed the Farnborough International airshow with a flurry of new business from Latin America. Brazil-based Synergy Aerospace signed a $630 million contract covering Trent 700 engines and TotalCare support for nine Airbus A330 aircraft ordered on July 12. Earlier, Colombia-based AviancaTaca placed a $280 million order with Rolls-Royce covering Trent 700 engines to power fourA330 freighters, as well as TotalCare support. The deal confirms a memorandum of understanding placed in November 2011. The four A330s will be operated by AviancaTaca subsidiary Tampa Cargo.
CIT Aerospace, which provides finance for commercial- and corporate-aircraft operators, manufacturers, and suppliers, yesterday signed a firm purchase agreement covering
10 Airbus A330-200s and -300s nominally valued at $2.31 billion and scheduled to enter service from 2014. The deal includes five unannounced orders placed earlier this year in conjunction with conversion of a purchase option and cancellation of four A320-series aircraft.
Pratt & Whitney will offer its PW4170 Advantage70 engine for Airbus’s revamped, 240-ton max takeoff weight A330. “The Advantage70 is the benchmark on the A330 aircraft program in terms of fuel burn, operating costs, reliability and time-on-wing,” said Lou Quattrocchi, the U.S. engine maker’s vice president of commercial programs.
General Electric said yesterday that component efficiency improvements on its CF6-80E1 engine would provide up to a 1-percent improvement in fuel efficiency for Airbus’s planned extended-range A330. The airframer announced plans for the new development with an increased maximum takeoff weight at the Farnborough International airshow on Monday. The U.S. engine manufacturer expects to deliver the enhanced engine for the first 240-metric-ton A330 in 2015.
Rolls-Royce is making further performance improvements to its Trent 700 engine, which powers the Airbus A330. Technologies from the Trent 1000, Trent XWB and BR725 engines are being incorporated into this latest Trent 700 variant, increasing efficiency by at least 1 percent.
Increased range and payload for the Airbus A330 twin-aisle twinjet, announced by the European manufacturer here at the Farnborough International airshow yesterday, will be welcomed by Malaysia Airlines (MAS), whose brand-new A380 very large airliner also opened the week’s flying-displays.