Regardless of whether this week’s 50th Paris Air Show (June 17 to 23) sees a surprise fly-past by the newly airborne Airbus A350XWB widebody, the biennial event will open with expectations of yet more airliner orders further bolstering backlogs. Both Airbus and Boeing, which will display two 787 Dreamliners, are expected to announce further orders.
Zodiac Aerospace (Hall 2a Stand A254) is here exhibiting its Isis cabin for single-aisle airliners, with new seats, sidewalls and luggage bins that accommodate a claimed 60 percent more bags. Although cabin equipment accounts for two thirds of its $4.4 billion revenues, the France-based company is also active in a number of aircraft systems. It has consistently taken over smaller businesses and may be considering a new, undisclosed target acquisition in the industry, CEO Olivier Zarrouati hinted early this month.
ATR and Rheinland Air Service, a German company specializing in aircraft maintenance, signed a service and collaboration agreement appointing RAS a new member of ATR’s network of partner maintenance centers. RAS has maintenance facilities in Monchengladbach providing heavy maintenance for ATR airframes. ATR currently has approximately 60 operators in Europe. RAS focuses on aircraft maintenance for different versions of the ATR 42 and the ATR 72, and services the Boeing 737, Airbus A319, Bombardier regional airliners and Fokkers, among others.
Embraer Executive Jets has a 32- to 36-seat VIP shuttle concept of the Embraer E195 on its drawing board. The E195 Shuttle is essentially a stock airliner with an interior that has “a high-end business aircraft touch and feel,” said Embraer Executive Jets vice president of interior design Jay Beever. “It would work equally well as an all-first-class airliner, an executive jet charter aircraft for large groups, such as sports teams, or a company shuttle.”
Ruag Aviation has delivered its first cabin completion project, a Bombardier CRJ200 airliner that was transformed into a 10-seat VIP configuration. The entire cabin, including electrics, was reworked with a luxury interior that included wireless cabin entertainment, private area, club seating and dining areas. The company’s cabin interior program offers a one-stop-shop that covers design consultancy, cabin design, furniture construction, cabin integration and certification. It also offers exterior painting and design services.
Transport Canada has granted Falko Regional Aircraft full transport category type certification for the Avro RJ series of airliners. The jets had not been certified in Canada when originally in production with BAE Systems, although the earlier BAe 146 models were approved by Transport Canada.
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.