British Airways orders A380 – breaking loyalty to Boeing

British Airways has today placed an order for 12 Airbus A380 and 24 Boeing 787 aircraft with options for a further 7 Airbus A380s and 18 Boeing 787s. The airline will order both the B787-8 and B787-9. Both aircraft types will be powered by Rolls-Royce engines. The A380s will be powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engines and the B787s will be powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines. The engine order includes a lifetime maintenance contract.

This A380 order means a break of loyalty to Boeing, since British Airways used a Boeing-only longhaul fleet over decades.
The new aircraft will replace 20 of the airline’s B747-400s and its 14 longhaul B767 fleet and will be delivered between 2010 and 2014. The order, including options, will give the airline the ability to grow its capacity by up to four per cent per year and the flexibility to tailor its future capacity growth in line with market conditions.

The aircraft will be greener, quieter and more fuel efficient with significantly lower carbon dioxide emissions and reduced impact on local air quality. This was a key consideration in the order. In terms of CO2 emissions per seat, the A380’s performance will be 17 per cent cleaner than the Boeing 747-400’s, and the B787’s performance 30 per cent cleaner than the B767’s. In terms of NOx emissions, an A380 produces 10 per cent less than a B747-400, and a B787 produces 46 per cent less than a B767.

Willie Walsh, British Airways’ chief executive, said: “This is an exciting day for British Airways with our largest fleet order since 1998. It’s great news for our business, our customers and the environment.

“These aircraft set the gold standard when it comes to environmental performance in the key areas of CO2 emissions, local air quality and noise. They will contribute significantly to our target of improving fuel efficiency by 25 per cent between 2005 and 2025.

“They are also much quieter than their predecessors, which is of vital importance at Heathrow. Both the A380 and B787 are rated as producing a quarter of the noise level of the B747-400.” On the noise rating system at Heathrow, the A380 and the B787 are classed as QC 0.5 on arrival compared to QC2 for the B747-4. (That means they are rated as producing 25 per cent of a 747-400’s noise level.)

The new aircraft types will enable the airline to strengthen further its network strategy, complementing each other in the longhaul fleet. The A380 will be used to provide more capacity for the airline’s key high-density markets and maximise use of scarce Heathrow slots. The B787 will be used to start new routes and increase frequencies in existing markets.

Both aircraft bring significant economic benefits with lower costs per seat. They are both long range aircraft and bring more flexibility in to the fleet as, unlike the B767 that they replace, they can be flown across the airline’s network.

British Airways will continue to consider the most suitable aircraft to replace its remaining B747-400 aircraft and is examining the B787-10, B777-300 ER and A350XWB.

The total list price for the firm orders is US$8.2 billion for the airframe and engines.

The airline currently operates 114 longhaul aircraft – 57 Boeing 747-400, 43 Boeing 777s and 14 Boeing 767s.

First Sukhoi Superjet 100 rolls out (Photos & Video)

Sukhoi Superjet 100 Roll Out Sukhoi Superjet 100 Roll Out Sukhoi Superjet 100 Roll Out Sukhoi Superjet 100 Roll Out Sukhoi Superjet 100 Roll Out

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Today, Sukhoi Superjet 100 was officially unveiled to the international aerospace community at the roll out ceremony. The Sukhoi Superjet 100 is a regional jet family in the 75 to 95-seat category. The Superjet 100 was formerly referred to as the Russian Regional Jet (Самолёт Российский Региональный Сухого), or “Sukhoi RRJ.” The name was changed on 17 July 2006.

The Sukhoi Superjet 100 is the first aircraft designed and produced in the new Russia. Today’s ceremony would not have happened without the support of all three states participating in the project – Russia, France and Italy. The rollout was attended by representatives of the ministries and state authorities of these countries. Mikhail Pogosyan, Sukhoi Company’s CEO, said: “Sukhoi Superjet 100 is a child of thousands of people around the globe, committed to the project success with their hearts and souls. It took us all six and a half years to get here, overcoming skepticism and finding our way in translation of international rules of play to Russian aerospace industry and incorporating world industry standards in it. Have a look at the aircraft – I’m sure, it was worth it.” The revealed aircraft airframe is ready for the flight tests – the fuselage had been joined, as well as the wings, control surfaces, and the attached engines. The aircraft is equipped with the major systems, for instance, auxiliary power unit and landing gear. Avionics blocks installation is under completion and pilot cockpit holds all panels, indicators, side-sticks, thrust levers and pedals.

Speaking about the program status, Victor Soubbotin, Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Company’s President, said: “It’s a special day for us. A day when we can once again say – it’s just a beginning. We are on the way towards flight tests, entry into service in the fleet of our launch customer and a long life for the aircraft in the sky.” In the coming two months the aircraft is due to be ready for flight tests. For instance the static tests, being performed in TsAGI (Zhukovsky) should be completed. The same relates to system tests at suppliers’ test benches and their integration tests at Electronic Bird at SCAC. After that Sukhoi Superjet 100 will take off for its first flight. Today would be nothing special without the Program partners and suppliers. Strategic partner Alenia Aeronautica, a Fimeccanica company, who will soon become a SCAC shareholder (25%+1 share) and who with Sukhoi Company had already established the Superjet International joint venture for sales at mature markets and worldwide aftersales support. Boeing, who was a consultant to the project from its very launch. Risk-sharing partner Snecma, who together with Russian NPO Saturn (through their joint venture PowerJet) is responsible for the SaM146 engine.

Project suppliers contributed beyond estimation to the aircraft and developing Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Company competences:
Avionics: THALES; Flight control system: LIEBHERR (with Russian partner – Teploobmennik); Environmental control system: LIEBHERR; Landing gear: MESSIER DOWTY; Fuel system: INTERTECHNIQUE (ZODIAC); Interior: B/E AEROSPACE; Fire protection system: AUTRONICS (CURTISS WRIGHT); Oxygen system: B/E AEROSPACE; Auxiliary power unit: HONEYWELL; Crew seats: IPECO; Hydraulic system: PARKER; Electrical system: HAMILTON SUNDSTRAND; Engine vibration sensors: VIBRO-METER; Wheels, brakes: GOODRICH

Major subcontractors include Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Ilyushin, Yakovlev, and PowerJet. Boeing provides consulting in such areas as project management, market planning, certification and customer support. Snecma is providing some level of funding for the project. Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. is negotiating a participatory role.

The aircraft will be equipped with two PowerJet SaM146 turbofans.

The Superjet 100 is intended to compete against the Antonov An-148, Embraer E-Jets and the Bombardier CSeries programs. Sukhoi’s director general Mikhail Pogosyan claims the SSJ will have 10-15% lower operation costs than its Embraer or Bombardier counterparts and its wider cabin will offer more comfort; at the catalogue price of $27.8 mln, it should also be cheaper by 18-22%. On the other hand, both Embraer and Bombardier offer much more comprehensive after-sales and maintenance network.

Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Company (SCAC) is a Sukhoi Company subsidiary. Founded in 2000, SCAC primarily aims to produce new models of civil aircraft. The Company’s pilot project is production of Sukhoi Superjet 100, a new family of Russian regional aircraft. SCAC is focused upon the following scope of activity: design and development, marketing and sales, production, certification of the aircraft. Worldwide aftersales support and sales at mature markets is handled by Superjet International, a joint venture founded by Sukhoi Company and Alenia Aeronautica. SCAC has several branches at the production sites located in Komsomolsk-on-Amur and Novosibirsk altogether employing 1,500+ people. Sukhoi Superjet 100 firm order portfolio totals 73 aircraft. Deliveries are to begin in 2008.

Airbus A380 continues route proving tours

Airbus’ A380 MSN009 test aircraft, powered by the new Engine Alliance GP7000 engines will embark on a series of four tours as part of its technical route proving. During this certification exercise, which aims at accumulating 150 hours of “typical airline” continuous operation, the A380 will visit destinations in South America, North America, the Middle East and Asia-Pacific.

The A380 will first go to

  • Bogota (Colombia) – 26th and 27th September,

returning to its home base in Toulouse, South West France. It will then fly to the USA, landing at

  • Windsor Locks (Connecticut), Hebron (Kentucky) and San Francisco (California) – 2nd till 5th October

and back to Toulouse. The route proving will continue, flying to

  • Dubai, Melbourne (Australia), Manilla and Luzon (Philippines) and back to Dubai – 8th till 13th October.

The next destinations to be visited are

  • Bogota (Colombia), Vancouver (Canada) and Osaka (Japan) – 15th to 19th October.

During the technical route proving tour, the A380 will demonstrate that it can be turned around under normal airline operating conditions. The same tours were successfully completed by test aircraft powered by Rolls Royce Trent 900 engines in 2006. Tests will cover, amongst other things, checks on standard aircraft maintenance and behavior, as well as typical airport operations and compatibility, confirming the aircraft’s readiness for entry into service. Type certification for the A380 fitted with Engine Alliance GP7000 engines is expected for December 2007.

Photo of the Day – Lockheed C-121J Super Constellation resting at Antarctica

Photo via Flickr – by sandwichgirl

tail of super constellellation

Click here to visit the Gallery with all pictures!

On 8 October 1970, this US Navy C-121J Super Constellation (131644/4145) called “Pegasus” crashed into an airfield near McMurdo Station in Antarctica. The flight bound from Christchurch (CHC), New Zealand, to McMurdo Station-Williams Field, Antarctica got into storm blown in from the south that completely eliminated visibility. The flight had already passed PSR (Point of Safe Return), therefore they had no other choice than trying to land, due to lack of fuel to turn around. After circling the runway without getting a visual, they caught a quick glimpse and tried to land. On the second attempt to land the “Connie” was sliding into a heavy snowdrift caused by the storm, separating the right main landing gear. The plane spinned around and the right wing broke off, with the airplane sliding through the snow. Nobody died. Half buried in snow, with a vandalised tail proudly stading high, this piece of history has now become a bit of a local tourist attraction.
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Dash8 Q400 incident at Munich (Picture)

On Friday night, once again a Dash 8-400 (Q400) was involved in a landing-gear-related incident. This was the 3rd accident of a Q400 within only 3 weeks and raises concerns about the safety and a possible design flaw of the Bombardier Q400.

An Augsburg Airways (member of Lufthansa Regional) Dash 8 Q400 originally bound from Munich to Florence (Italy) did an emergency landing at Munich Franz Josef Strauss International Airport (MUC), Germany, after the nose landing gear failed to deploy.

Q400 MUC

During approach to Florence the crew experience difficulties to deploy the nose gear. After trying several times to deploy the front landing gear without avail they decided to return to Munich. Main reason for returning back were security concerns, Munich provides much longer runways than those available in Florence.

After the emergency landing, without nose gear, at MUC the Dash 8 skidded down the runway and came to rest on its nose. None of the 65 passengers and 4 crew members aboard the flight were injured.
The involved Q400 was even inspected last week, with main focus on the landing gear.
Just a few days ago Bombardier announced that approximately 70% of all Q400 worldwide have been returned back to service.

Lufthansa Cargo and DHL Express launch cargo carrier

Deutsche Post World Net and Deutsche Lufthansa AG are founding a joint cargo airline through their subsidiaries DHL Express and Lufthansa Cargo. The new company, based in Leipzig (LEJ), in which DHL Express and Lufthansa Cargo each hold a 50 per-cent stake, will have the legal form of a private limited company (GmbH). It will focus on transporting airfreight and express shipments into and out of Asia. Flight operations are scheduled to begin in April 2009.

The new cargo carrier will initially operate with 11 new Boeing 777-200LRF aircraft. The 777F has a comparable noise footprint to MD-11F but provides 20% higher payload. The aircraft will be leased and are scheduled for delivery from February 2009. The cargo capacities of the new airline will be utilised by Lufthansa Cargo und DHL Express. The two partners will continue to take care of marketing and handling those capacities independently.

Pending the granting of traffic rights, the new airline will gradually expand its route network from the summer schedule 2009. On weekdays, it will be serving Singapore, Bangkok, Dubai, Bombay, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Seoul, Nagoya, Almaty, East Midlands and Milan. At weekends, it will fly to Shanghai, Astana, Singapore, Bangkok, Sharjah, Hong Kong, Chicago and New York.

Aside from pure airfreight traffic, the two companies will each alone be responsible for warehousing and trans-shipment at Leipzig/Halle Airport. DHL Express will handle its express shipments in the newly built cargo centre. Lufthansa Cargo will shortly be building its own modern logistics centre right nearby.

The name of the new company and its branding will be decided at a later date.

UPDATE: The name will be AeroLogic

Source: dpwn

Dash8 Q400 fleet returning to service

After meeting the requirements of Transport Canada’s Airworthiness Directive (AD) related to the recent Bombardier Q400 landing gear issue, operators worldwide have been returning their aircraft to service. Approximately 70% of the Q400 fleet is in service (approximately 116 aircraft out of total fleet of 165 aircraft). Of the estimated 85 Q400 aircraft requiring detailed inspections, more than 35 aircraft are already back in service.

“Several airlines have reported that their Q400 aircraft have returned to normal service. This is excellent news. We expect that more aircraft will also return to service in the coming days. We remain committed to our customers and are providing them with the necessary technical assistance to resolve the issue,” said Steven Ridolfi, President, Bombardier Regional Aircraft.

Bombardier – with the support of Goodrich – continues to focus its efforts on assisting its customers to return to normal flight schedules as quickly as possible.

Source: Bombardier

One-Two-Go MD-82 crashed in Phuket (Video)

A McDonnell Douglas MD-82 (DC-9-82) operated by Thai low budget carrier One-Two-GO (owned by Orient Thai Airways) crashed at Phuket airport in southern Thailand during landing, killing 87 of the 130 people on board, according to health ministry officials.

During heavy monsun rain and heavy crosswinds the pilot attempted to land. The visibility was poor as he decided to make a go-around but the plane lost balance and crashed. The plane skidded off the runway, broke into two and burst into flames.

A spokesman for the airline said the plane was carrying 123 passengers and seven crew members. Many of the 43 survivors were foreigners from Britain, Ireland, Italy, Germany, and Iran.

The island of Phuket is a popular resort destination for international and local tourists.

Two hospital treating survivors detailed their nationalities as: Australian: 1, Austrian: 1, British: 8, Dutch:1, German: 4, Iranian: 3, Irish: 3, Italian: 1, Swedish: 2, Thai: 14.

All flights from Phuket International Airport were canceled following the crash, which TNA reported caused “confusion and anger among travelers concerned to make connections to other destinations and to know when operations will resume.”

Phuket International Airport is the second-busiest airport in Thailand, according to the airport’s Web site. The airport is about 20 miles (32 km) from downtown Phuket.


Accident Digest

Status: Preliminary
Date: 16 SEP 2007
Time: ca. 16:00
Type: McDonnell Douglas MD-82 (DC-9-82)
Operator: One-Two-Go Airlines
Registration: HS-OMG
C/n / msn: 49183/1129

First flight: 17 November 1983 (TWA – N912TW)
Crew: Fatalities: / Occupants: 7
Passengers: Fatalities: / Occupants: 123
Total: Fatalities: 88 / Occupants: 130
Airplane damage: Written off
Location: Phuket International Airport (HKT) (Thailand) show on map
Phase: Landing
Nature: Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport: Bangkok-Don Muang International Airport (DMK/VTBD), Thailand
Destination airport: Phuket International Airport (HKT/VTSP), Thailand
Flightnumber: 269
One-Two-Go Flight 269 departed Bangkok-Don Muang (DMK) at about 14:30 for a domestic service to Phuket (HKT). It was raining at Phuket when the MD-82 approached the airport. Wind was from the West at 12 knots.
On landing the airplane went off the side of the runway, crashed into trees and caught fire. Weather around the time of the accident (ca 09:00 Z) was: VTSP 160900Z 27012KT 1000 RA SCT015 BKN110 BKN300 24/23 Q1006 2973.

* Last fatal hull-loss accident: 16 AUG 2005 HK-4374X of West Caribbean Airways, near Machiques, Venezuela- 160 fatalities
* Total number of hull-losses: 22 (19 accidents, 3 other occurrences (destroyed on the ground )), of which 12 losses were fatal
* 6th worst accident

* ICAO/IATA designators: HKT / VTSP
* Latitude: 08° 06′ 47.52″ N / 029° 14′ 18.47″ E
* Elevation: 82 ft/ 25 m
* Runway: 09/27 (9843 x 148 feet, asphalt, ILS)
* Third hull-loss accident of an airliner at or near Phuket Airport

Thai low-cost carrier operating out of Bangkok since 2003. It is wholly owned by Orient Thai Airlines.
* First hull-loss accident

* Last fatal airliner hull-loss accident: 03 MAR 2001 Boeing 737-4D7 HS-TDC of Thai Airways International, Bangkok International Airport – 1 fatality
* 3rd worst accident in Thailand

Accident Digest by Aviation Safety Network
Bangkok Post, CNN