The first example of a VIP-configured Antonov An-148 regional airliner is due to enter service by year-end, after flying for the first time early in October. Three of the An-148-100EA versions of the twinjet are currently being completed at United Aircraft Corporation’s Vaso factory in Voronezh, Russia.
Venezuela’s Conviasa Airlines signed a deal with Embraer in late July to buy six E190s, the first of which it plans to accept by the end of this year. The contract, worth $271.2 million based on January 2012 economic conditions, includes purchase options for another 14 of the same airplane type, potentially raising the value of the deal to $904 million.
The contract makes Conviasa Embraer’s 11th E-Jet customer in Latin America, where the Brazilian manufacturer now claims a market share of 75 percent in the airliner segment ranging up to 120 seats.
At LABACE 2012, easily the biggest “footprint” on the aircraft static display line is the imprint of the ACJ318 bizliner from Airbus.
“When it comes to business jets, it’s what you offer in the cabin that counts,” said Airbus COO for customers John Leahy.
L-3 Platform Integration, one of the premier cabin outfitters of widebody bizliners, had “a great year” last year, and with contracts in hand to do the interior completion on two new Boeing 747-8s, this year and beyond look bright as well.
Ken McKelton, v-p of head-of-state programs at the Waco, Texas-based center, pointed out that the shop has done green completion and major refurbishment work on no fewer than a dozen widebody airliner conversions in its 40-year history.
While today’s announcement of a firm order for six E190s from Venezuela’s Conviasa Airlines might have helped buoy Embraer’s general outlook, the deal hardly assuaged concerns among financial analysts over an airliner backlog that at the end of the second quarter has shrunk to nearly half its peak value of $21.6 billion at the end of the third quarter of 2008.
In February 2011 the FAA issued an Airworthiness Directive calling for removal of chemical oxygen generators from airplane lavatories, or emptying the generator and restowing the masks. (By the way, no one told the passengers that there was no longer any supplemental oxygen supply in the bathrooms.) While security wasn’t mentioned in the AD, apparently there was a safety problem. Or as the FAA so confoundingly put it in the new final rule, which rescinds the 2011 AD, “This AD was prompted by reports that the current design of the oxygen generators presents a hazard that could jeopardize flight safety. We are issuing this AD to eliminate a hazard that could jeopardize flight safety and to ensure that all lavatories have a supplemental oxygen supply.”
Embraer delivered 55 jets in the second quarter, composed of 35 airliners and 20 executive jets. Of the business jets, Embraer shipped 17 light jets and three large jets. Total deliveries for the first six months reached 89 aircraft–56 commercial and 33 executive jets–13 more than for the same period last year.
Airliner manufacturers aren’t mind readers, so it isn’t easy for them to work out what passengers will request beyond the current generation of cabin services. To find out with more certainty, Airbus has surveyed more than 10,000 people who could be passengers four decades from now to learn their preferences.
Airbus is producing a “final fix” to strengthen parts of the A380’s wing structure that have developed cracks on early examples of the very-large airliner. Aircraft now in production will be modified and the changes will be retrofitted to in-service aircraft. The cracks occurred on wing-rib feet that fasten skin panels to internal wing ribs.