Boeing Business Jets (Chalet 140) is pulling double duty here at ABACE 2013, showcasing the BBJ, the VIP version of the Seattle-based airframer’s 737 airliner, while simultaneously celebrating the 40th year of Boeing commercial sales in China and the delivery of the 1,000th Boeing airliner to the market, a 737-800 purchased by China Eastern Airlines.
When Boeing introduced its iconic Boeing Business Jet, the company emphasized the aircraft’s 6,000-mile range. The airplanes, derivatives of the Boeing 737 airliner, were sold “green,” meaning without a finished interior or final exterior paint scheme. From the production line, they went to a cabin completion center, where Boeing estimated that buyers would spend around $5- to $7 million for customized cabins.
One of the highlights of last week’s Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg, Germany, was French start-up company Expliseat’s unveiling of a new economy-class seat that significantly cuts weight and engineering complexity. The new seat, called Titanium, tips the scales at 8.8 pounds per passenger, which the Paris-based firm claims is around half the weight of traditional airliner seats. This may translate into an estimated 3- to 5-percent fuel saving, or $300,000 to $500,000 per aircraft per year.
Citing design issues, on February 11 Russia’s Rosaviatsia aviation authority ordered Aeroflot to ground four of its 10 Superjet 100 airliners. Manufacturer Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Co. said the issues related to a service bulletin about aircraft slats and landing gear. On February 15, Sukhoi announced that all four aircraft had been cleared to resume operations.
Embraer Executive Jets’ flagship Lineage 1000 has received type certification from Russia’s Interstate Aviation Committee, thus paving the way for customers to register and operate the bizliner in Russia. The twinjet, which is based on Embraer’s E190 airliner, can fly nonstop from Moscow to New York and accommodate up to 19 passengers in five distinct cabin zones. Embraer says more than 40 of its large-cabin Legacy 600 and 650s are currently operating in Russia.
Cabin humidification specialist CTT Systems is hoping to get its Cair equipment adopted for use in more business aircraft. To date, the Swedish company has mainly had success in getting Cair installed on Boeing Business Jet and Airbus Corporate Jet bizliners, but it has recently been approached by airframers, including Bombardier, about possible applications on more mainstream models.
Beyond an admission by China’s Comac that the development timetable for its new C919 narrowbody will be pushed back by a further delay of one or two years in the certification of its ARJ21 regional airliner, precise details on the program is progressing remain hard to pin down.
Bombardier and China’s Comac announced last week at Airshow China in Zhuhai the successful conclusion of the first phase of their collaboration covering program commonalities between the Canadian company’s new CSeries airliner and the Comac C919 narrowbody.
Comac has received 50 more commitments for its new C919 narrowbody airliner. Three contracts announced on the first day of Airshow China 2012 in Zhuhai call for 20 each of the twinjet to go to Chinese carriers Joy Air and Hebei Aviation, with 10 more signed for by leasing group Gecas. But the first flight of the C919 now seems likely to be pushed back again due to a new delay with Comac’s ARJ21 regional airliner development.
China’s Comac group has admitted it could take another “one or two years” complete certification of the already-delayed ARJ21 regional airliner.