Rolls-Royce was close to reaching an agreement with Boeing on the requirements for a Trent 1000-powered 787-10X just ahead of the Farnborough International Airshow. The planned new version of the Dreamliner widebody could become a formal program later this year, possibly linked to the prospective launch of an upgraded 777.
While business aircraft will not be in abundance at Farnborough International Airshow 2012, a VVIP corporate version of the popular Airbus A320 single-aisle airliner will likely take some of the limelight from the military and defense aircraft on display. In fact, the ACJ319 (G-NOAH) would attract attention even if it were among a swarm business aircraft.
Boeing has expanded its supplier base into the Middle East by awarding a 10-year contract to Strata Manufacturing, the Al Ain-based subsidiary of Mubadala Aerospace in the United Arab Emirates. The deal, announced at the Global Aerospace Summit in Abu Dhabi on April 17, covers empennage ribs for the 777 twinjet and vertical fin ribs for the 787.
Having delivered a pod-equipped Boeing 767 multi-mission tanker transport (MMTT) to the Colombian air force in late 2010, IAI’s Bedek Aircraft division has now added a flying boom option to its MMTT offering. The design of the boom has been finalized and testing completed. The boom is an IAI-designed fly-by-wire (FBW) unit controlled from a remote air refueling operator’s station on the flight deck.
Korean Air has selected the Pratt & Whitney PW4170 Advantage70 engine to power five new Airbus A330-200s. Valued at some $200 million, the firm deal covers 10 engines.
Pratt & Whitney offers the Advantage70 as both a new engine and as an upgrade kit for existing PW4168 engines. The upgrade includes a suite of technology enhancements Pratt & Whitney can incorporate during engine overhauls, and promises a 2-percent thrust increase, more than 1-percent reduction in fuel burn, increased durability and lower maintenance costs.
Fiji’s national carrier Air Pacific has placed a $210 million order for Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engines to power three Airbus A330-200s due to enter service in 2013. Air Pacific currently operates a fleet of six Boeings, and this is the first time it has selected a Rolls-Royce powerplant. The contract includes Rolls-Royce’s TotalCare service support.
Eyeing regional requirements, including here in Singapore, Airbus Military has brought an A330 multi-role tanker transport (MRTT) to the show. It is one of 14 destined for the UK Royal Air Force’s future strategic tanker aircraft (FSTA) fleet. A total of 28 MRTTs have been ordered by four countries.
Airbus has confirmed it has begun studies aimed at raising the A330-300’s maximum takeoff weight (mtow) by five metric tons, from 235 tons (518,081 pounds) to 240 tons (529,104 pounds), in a bid to increase the twinjet’s range and better compete with the Boeing 787 and 777.
Airbus has collected net firm orders for 1,378 airplanes so far this year, according to the company’s just-released November orders and deliveries report.
The French Air Force will sign a contract for between five and seven A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transports in 2013, with quick deliveries foreseen, according to its commander General Jean-Paul Palomeros. Budget difficulties thwarted earlier French attempts to procure a new tanker.