New Airbus Orders from Hamburg International and TACA

Airbus S.A.S. LogoHamburg International has signed a new firm order for a further two A319s last week while taking delivery of its first A319. The aircraft, powered by CFM-56 engines from CFM International, was handed over to the airline’s management team Christoph von Saldern, Norbert Grella and Klaus Schlichtmann at a ceremony held in Hamburg. The aircraft provides a comfortable single-class configuration for 150 passengers. As part of its fleet renewal programme, Hamburg International has ordered 16 A319s in total.
The independent charter airline intends to employ the A319s on routes to European cities as well as on dedicated international flights to Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

TACA, a leading Latin American airline, has signed a firm contract for the purchase of 15 additional A320 Family aircraft (12 A320s and three A319s). The aircraft will be configured in a comfortable two-class layout. Engine decision has not yet been announced.
TACA already successfully operates a fleet of 36 A320 Family aircraft (nine A319s, 23 A320s and four A321s) serving the whole American continent from Canada to Argentina and Chile.

Source: Airbus

Gimli Glider to be retired

Nearly 25 years after the “Gimli Glider” made its famous emergency landing, without fuel, at Gimli Airport, MB (YGM) (Canada), Air Canada Boeing 767-233 C-GAUN / 604 (cn 22520/47) will be retired today and stored at the Mojave Airport in the California desert.

Original pilots Mr. Pearson and Mr. Quintal were on-board on a special flight this morning, departing from Montreal. Besides the two co-pilots, three of the six flight attendants also made the journey, which includes a stopover in Tucson, Ariz.

At least there is some hope that it wont be scraped – Aircraft maker Boeing Co., Mount Royal College in Calgary, engine maker Pratt & Whitney and the Canada Aviation Museum in Ottawa have expressed interest in acquiring the Gimli Glider.

There is a great article about the story of the “Gimli Glider” at:…

You may also want to recap the accident at:

You can track this flight #ACA7067 at FlightAware:

Some great pictures of departure from Montreal can be found at:

… and a video, unfortunately in French, can be watched at:

Related: Video of the Day – Goodbye Gimli Glider

Safety Report – 01/24/2008

Date & Time: 01/19/2008 20:15
Location: Dillingham, AK
Aircraft Type: Boeing 737-232/Adv Registration: N322DL
Operator: Northern Air Cargo – NAC
Phase: Landing
Damage: Unknown
Injuries & Fatalities: None
Description: On landing struck runway lights – weather was reported PADL 191955Z 08020G30KT 060V140 15SM -RA OVC050 02/M03 A2986

Source: FAA
Correctness of this posting is not guaranteed & completeness not intended. This posting is just for informational purpose.

Virgin Galactic unveils SpaceShipTwo

Virgin Galactic unveiled the design of its new space launch system based on the X Prize winning technology of SpaceShipOne, which successfully flew into space for the third time in October 2004 and won the $10m Ansari X Prize.

The construction of the White Knight Two (WK2) mothership, or carrier aircraft, is now very close to completion at Scaled Composites in Mojave, CA and is expected to begin flight testing in the summer of 2008.

Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo
Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo

White Knight Two (WK2) Specs

  • World’s largest, all carbon composite aircraft
  • It has a unique high altitude lift capacity, capable of launching SpaceShipTwo and its eight astronauts into sub-orbital space flight
  • Is powered by four Pratt and Whitney PW308A engines which are amongst the most powerful, economic and efficient engines available
  • Has also been designed to be capable of lifting other payload and launching it into space

SpaceShipTwo Specs

  • Length: 60FT
  • Wing Span: 27FT
  • Tail Height: 15FT
  • Cabin: 90″ Diameter x 12FT long
  • Windows: 13″ – 17″ in Diameter
  • Launch Altitude: Above 45000FT – 14000Meters
  • Pay Load: 6 Passengers & 2 Pilots
  • Apogee: > 70Miles – 110KM
  • Max Speed: Mach 3.5 – 2600MPH – 4200KPH
  • Powered By: Hybrid Rocket System – Uses liquid oxidizer tank and a solid fuel (CTN)

Both Scaled Composites and Virgin Galactic believe the system has sufficient lifting capability to launch unmanned vehicles designed to carry small satellites and other scientific payload into low earth orbit. While the first priority for Virgin Galactic is developing the market for human spaceflight, the Company is already assessing the potential for unmanned launch capability.

SpaceShipTwo is now nearly 60% complete. It incorporates both the lessons learned from the SpaceShipOne program and the market research conducted by Virgin Galactic into the requirements future astronauts have for their space flight experience. It also has built-in flexibility to encompass future requirements for other scientific and commercial applications.

Whilst the two vehicles comprising the space launch system have been under construction, Virgin Galactic’s cadre of future astronauts has continued to grow strongly to well in excess of 200 individuals with around 85,000 registrations of interest to fly. The deposit base now exceeds $30m representing more than $45m of future income to the fledgling spaceline.

Credit & Source: Virgin Galactic

China Airlines orders up to 20 A350 XWB

Airbus S.A.S. Logo China Airlines, Taiwan’s largest carrier, has signed a contract with Airbus for the purchase of 14 A350-900 and taken another six on option. The new generation medium capacity long-haul aircraft is being acquired by China Airlines as part of their future fleet modernisation program.

China Airlines intends to start using the all-new A350 XWB from 2015. The aircraft will be powered by Rolls Royce Trent XWB engines, especially developed for the A350XWB and will be fitted in a comfortable layout of 327 seats.

The A350 will primarily be deployed on the airline’s long-haul routes to Europe, Australia and the United States, enabling China Airlines to offer its passengers non-stop service on ultra long routes.

Source: Airbus

Air Europa Orders 8 787 Dreamliners

Boeing LogoSpanish carrier Air Europa announced an order for eight Boeing 787-8 Dreamliners. The order, placed by Air Europa in 2007, previously was accounted for on Boeing’s Orders & Deliveries Web site as an unidentified customer. Air Europa also acquired purchase rights for an additional eight 787s.

Air Europa, based in Palma de Mallorca, is the first Spanish customer for the 787. Air Europa plans to operate the 787 on its long-haul routes to destinations such as Argentina, Mexico and the Dominican Republic.

Air Europa currently operates a fleet of 37 Boeing and 3 Airbus airplanes on a network that includes most of the Spanish territory, European and North-African routes including Paris, Milan, Rome, Warsaw, Prague, Budapest, Tunis and Marrakech, as well as transatlantic destinations such as Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Venezuela and the Dominican Republic. As part of an effort to provide more comfortable and global service to customers, Air Europa recently joined the SkyTeam alliance as an associate member and has collaboration agreements with other airlines including Aeropostal, Malev, Portugalia and Tunisair.

Source: Boeing

Safety Report – 01/22/2008

Date & Time: 01/21/2008 09:41
Location: Denver, CO
Aircraft Type: Boeing 757-200 Registration: unknown
Operator: United Airlines Flight: UAL1028
Phase: Cruise
Damage: None
Injuries & Fatalities: 3 minor injuries
Description: United Airlines flight 1028 reported 3 flight attendants sustained minor injuries due to turbulence at FL370, 15 miles from Los Angeles (KLAX) – diverted to Denver (KDEN)
FlightAware Log:

Date & Time: 01/20/2008 15:45
Location: Dallas, TX
Aircraft Type: Boeing 767 Registration: unknown
Operator: American Airlines Flight: AAL996
Phase: Landing
Damage: Minor
Injuries & Fatalities: none
Description: Reported a blown tire with minor wing damage

Date & Time: 01/19/2008 00:15
Location: Newark, NJ
Aircraft Type: Boeing 747-2B4B(SF) Registration: N713CK
Operator: Kalitta Air Flight: 9713
Phase: Take-off
Damage: Minor
Injuries & Fatalities: none
Description: On departure struck runway lights and pavement, returned and landed without incident

Source: FAA
Correctness of this posting is not guaranteed & completeness not intended. This posting is just for informational purpose.

Gulf Air Close 787 Dreamliner Deal

Boeing and Bahrain’s national carrier Gulf Air finalized negotiations for up to 24 Boeing 787 Dreamliners in a deal that could be worth approximately $3.9 billion at list prices if all options are exercised. The agreement is for 16 787s on direct order with purchase rights for eight additional 787s.
Throughout 2007, Gulf Air and Boeing conducted an extensive airplane acquisition analysis that explored the unmatched strengths of the 787. The 787 is the fastest-selling new airplane program in history with a total of 857 orders from 56 customers since launch in 2004.