New Fuel Tank Rules 12 Years After TWA Flight 800 Crash

12 years after a fuel tank explosion occured on TWA flight 800, killing all 230 people, federal aviation officials today presented a new device that keeps preventing airplane fuel tanks from exploding. This device must be installed on certain passenger jets and cargo planes within 9 years.

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Boeing Farnborough Orders – Day 4

Air China orders 15 777-300ER (Extended Range) and 30 Next-Generation 737-800s

The Boeing Company has signed an order with Air China, the flag carrier of the People’s Republic of China, for 15 777-300ER (Extended Range) and 30 Next-Generation 737-800 jetliners.
“These airplanes are the most fuel efficient in their classes,” said Kong Dong, Chairman of Air China Limited. “The 777-300ER will be the backbone of our long-haul international fleet and the new 737-800 will support our hub build-up and our company’s domestic strategy.”
Air China operates international and domestic scheduled passenger and cargo services and will use the airplanes to expand its international and domestic routes. The carrier is based in Beijing, the home of the 2008 Olympic Games, and is the only Chinese airline selected as a 2008 Beijing Olympics partner. The airline is one of the latest air carriers to become a full member of Star Alliance.

Source: Boeing

Airbus Farnborough Orders – Day 4

Airbus S.A.S. LogoSynergy Aerospace signs contract for 10 A350 XWB

Synergy Aerospace, main shareholder of Avianca and SAM in Colombia, Oceanair in Brazil and VIP in Ecuador, has signed a contract with Airbus for 10 A350-800s. This contract firms up the Memorandum of Understanding signed by Synergy Aerospace and Airbus in February 2008.

“After having ordered 57 Airbus A320 and A330 aircraft, we at the group have again selected Airbus aircraft for the modernisation of our fleets”, said German Efromovich, President of Synergy Aerospace. “The A350 XWB is simply the best choice for our affiliates, fulfilling our high expectations on passenger comfort and operational efficiency.”

“The A350 XWB will make Synergy Aerospace’s affiliates even more competitive; in terms of fuel savings and operational efficiency this aircraft is unbeatable. It has the widest fuselage, giving airlines ample cabin configuration flexibility, and the passenger maximum comfort and space. It simply offers more of all this with less fuel burn and environmental impact”, said John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer, Customers.

Alis Aerolinee Italiane selects the all-new A330-200F to start cargo operations

Alis Aerolinee Italiane, an Italian cargo start-up company, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Airbus for the acquisition of five A330-200 Freighter aircraft, plus three options. An engine choice has not been made yet.

With an important cargo market potential, Alis Aerolinee Italiane intends to establish direct links between Northern Italy and long haul markets such as North America, India, China, Japan and South-East Asia.

“By opting for the A330-200F for our operations, we start with the most modern cargo aircraft available on the market in its category. The A330-200F offers superior economics, operational flexibility and overall better value for money what made it the logical choice for Alis and its shareholders,” said Alcide Leali, founder and CEO of Alis Aerolinee Italiane. “We are fully convinced that the A330-200 Freighter aircraft will greatly contribute to our development plans and allow us to operate the most modern and efficient fleet of cargo aircraft in Italy”.

Airbus Chief Operating Officer Customers, John Leahy said, “We are proud to have been selected as Alis’s strategic partner in this exciting new project with our all-new A330-200F. This is another endorsement for our game changing A330 Freighter and a recognition of the opportunities the A330F offers carriers who want to run a flexible and optimized freighter operation on mid to long haul routes”.

The A330-200F is the latest addition to the very popular A330 Family of which over 540 aircraft are presently in service with more than 70 operators worldwide. This extensive operator base will greatly facilitate the entry into service of the new all-cargo variant into existing A330 fleets. As for all Airbus aircraft currently in production, the A330-200F will also benefit from Airbus’ unique full operational commonality. The now well recognised Airbus Fly-By-Wire technology also enables faster pilot transitioning to and from other Airbus aircraft, both passenger and freighter.

The A330-200F can carry up to 64 metric tonnes over 4,000 nautical miles/7400 km in its standard version. When selecting the optional payload mode operators can carry 69 metric tonnes up to 3,200 nautical miles/5930km. These range and payload capabilities will enable operators to grow their business by opening up or extending cargo routes currently operated. Thanks to an optimized fuselage cross-section, it has the interior flexibility to carry a wide variety of pallet and container sizes for maximum interlining capability, offering 30 percent more volume than any freighter in its class. Total firm orders for the aircraft stand at 77 from nine customers.

Source: Airbus

Boeing Farnborough Orders – Day 3

Malaysia Airlines orders 35 Next-Generation 737s

Boeing and Kuala Lumpur-based Malaysia Airlines today announced the airline has ordered 35 Next-Generation 737-800 airplanes. The order is valued at more than $2.6 billion at current list prices. The airline also has acquired purchase rights for an additional 20 Next-Generation 737-800s.

Malaysia Airlines Next-Generation Boeing 737-800

Today’s announcement was made at the Farnborough International Airshow by Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Scott Carson; Malaysia Airlines Executive Director and Chief Financial Officer Tengku Azmil Zahruddin; and Boeing Commercial Airplanes Vice President, Sales, South and Southeast Asia Dinesh Keskar.
The order, which brought the total number of Boeing 737s ordered past the 8,000th mark, was recently posted on the Boeing Commercial Airplanes Orders and Deliveries Web site attributed to an unidentified customer.

Aviation Capital Group Sign Order for 15 Next-Generation 737s

Boeing and Aviation Capital Group (ACG), a subsidiary of Pacific LifeCorp, today announced that the Newport Beach, Calif.- based leasing company has ordered an additional 15 Next-Generation 737-700s.
The order is worth approximately $934 million at list prices.
With today’s announcement, ACG has ordered a total of 96 Boeing airplanes — 91 Next-Generation 737s and five 787 Dreamliners. This includes 15 Next-Generation 737s for which ACG acquired delivery positions from Delta Air Lines in 2006. Of the 96 Boeing airplanes ordered, 89 remain to be delivered.
ACG’s current fleet contains 131 Boeing airplanes, including Next-Generation 737s, as part of the company’s portfolio of more than 230 aircraft.

Source: Boeing
Photo Credit: Boeing

Airbus Farnborough Orders – Day 3

Asiana Airlines orders 30 Airbus A350 aircraft

Asiana Airlines of South Korea has signed a contract with Airbus for the purchase of 30 A350 XWB aircraft, plus 10 options. Delivery of the aircraft will begin in 2016 and the airline will take a combination of all three variants of the A350. The carrier will operate the aircraft on its regional and long haul routes.

Asiana Airlines Airbus A350 XWB

“The A350 will play a key role in the Asiana fleet of the future,” said Park Chan-Bup, Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Asiana Airlines. “In placing this order today, we are ensuring that we will remain at the forefront of the airline industry, offering our passengers the very highest levels of comfort while operating only the most modern, fuel-efficient aircraft.”

AerCap becomes launch customer for new Airbus A320/A321 freighter

Netherland based leasing company AerCap today signed a firm contract with Airbus Freighter Conversion GmbH (AFC) to convert 30 of AerCap’s passenger A320/A321s into freighter aircraft (P2F).

“The A320 and A321P2Fs are setting new standards in the feeder freighter market “, says Klaus Heinemann, Chief Executive Officer of AerCap. “This order will strengthen and expand our portfolio with the most and only modern aircraft in the small freighter segment.”

“We are very proud that AerCap, as a leading global aviation company, is the launch customer for this all new freighter aircraft”, says Lars Becker, CEO of AFC. “We anticipate about 400 Airbus Single Aisle aircraft to be converted from 2012 to 2026. The first A320 P2F will be ready in 2011. After ramp up, we plan to convert around 30 A320 family aircraft per year.”

“The state-of-the-art A320/A321P2F address the future growth of the air cargo market and target at the replacement of the ageing small freighters in service today”, says Christian Scherer, Airbus Executive Vice President Strategy and Future Programmes. “These modern fly-by-wire aircraft will bring new levels of efficiency to freight operations. In addition, this new application will further extend the service-life of the successful A320 Family far into the 21st century and boost their residual value. We see a substantial market demand.”

“The conversion of A320 Family aircraft is an important project for UAC”, adds Alexey Fedorov, UAC President. “Irkut Corporation, a member of UAC, is acting as a key player in this project. At the moment we are preparing a platform for P2F conversion, which will be located in Zhukovskij, perspective centre of Russian aircraft industry.”

Oleg Demchenko, Irkut corporation President, added: “The signature of the contract with the launch customer is an important milestone in the realisation of the joint project. We are happy that one of the leading international leasing companies AerCap became our launch customer. The interest to A320/A321 conversion, demonstrated by a number of companies, shows that the product is in demand on the world market.“

“With 160 converted widebody freighter aircraft delivered to customers worldwide, EADS EFW is well known as the Airbus freighter conversion expert. In this new project launched, we contribute our know-how for the benefit of all partners and customers to meet the market demand for a new smaller Airbus converted freighter,” said Dr. Andreas Sperl, President and CEO of EADS EFW. The Airbus A320 Family passenger to freighter conversion is an ideal extension of today’s product portfolio.”

Airbus Freighter Conversion GmbH (AFC) is responsible for the conversion of Airbus A320/A321 Family aircraft. The company is the interface to the customer and responsible for programme coordination, marketing and sales, customer contracts and the delivery of the converted aircraft. AFC is an EADS EFW, Airbus, UAC and Irkut joint company, headquartered in Dresden, Germany. The establishment of AFC in March 2007 marked a new step in the long-term, extensive cooperation programme between Russian and European industries. Russian share in the Joint Venture equals 50% and is divided between UAC (25%) and Irkut (25%). The other 50% are divided between EADS EFW (32%) and Airbus (18%). After ramping up the conversion line at the EFW facilities in Dresden, Germany, a second conversion line will be established in Zhukovskij, Russia.

Source: Airbus
Photo Credit: Airbus

Photo – Boeing 777 Freighter Makes First Flight

The first Boeing 777 Freighter, the world’s most capable twin-engine cargo airplane, today successfully took to the sky for the first time and completed an initial series of tests during a flight lasting more than three-and-a-half hours. The airplane performed well.

Boeing 777 Freighter First Flight
Photo Credit: Boeing

“The 777 Freighter completed the scheduled three-hour inaugural flight with no airplane performance-related issues,” said Dennis O’Donoghue, vice president of Flight Operations, Test & Validation. “The only issue was a data-communication problem between the airplane and the telemetry room at Boeing Field.”

Boeing will identify and fix the problem to resume the flight test program as soon as possible. Due to the data-transmission issue, the 777 Freighter was unable to complete all of the first-flight tests and was returned to Paine Field in Everett, Wash. per Federal Aviation Administration procedure. The original first-flight plan called for a landing at Boeing Field.

The newest member of the 777 airplane family took off at 10 a.m. (PDT) from Paine Field in Everett, Wash. It landed at 1:38 p.m. at Paine Field.
During today’s flight, 777 Chief Pilot Suzanna Darcy-Hennemann and 777 Deputy Chief Pilot Van Chaney took the airplane to an altitude of 18,000 feet (5,486 meters) and an air speed of 270 knots, or about 311 miles (500 kilometers) per hour, customary on a first flight. Typically, the 777s cruise altitude is 35,000 (10,668 meters), and its cruise speed is Mach 0.84, about 484 miles (779 kilometers) per hour.

“This is the moment that thousands of Boeing employees have worked towards in the design, build and test of the 777 Freighter. The airplane handled perfectly,” said Darcy-Hennemann after the flight ended. “Being at the controls of a commercial airplane on its maiden flight is a rare and unique opportunity and it was a great day.”

The 777 Freighter, the sixth member of the 777 airplane family, will be capable of flying 4,885 nautical miles (9,047 km) with a full payload, making it the world’s longest-range twin-engine freighter. The airplane’s range capability will translate into significant savings for cargo operators: fewer stops and associated landing feeds, less congestion at transfer hubs, lower cargo handling costs and shorter cargo delivery times.

“I’m very proud of our 777 team and what they’ve accomplished with this airplane,” said Larry Loftis, vice president 777 program, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “By working together with our customers and suppliers we have built the best possible new cargo airplane. I couldn’t be more pleased.”

The flight-test program will involve the airplane flown today and a second one. The two aircraft will prove the airplane’s safety, reliability and service-ready condition during approximately 270 flight hours and more than 450 ground test hours.
Boeing’s plan is to earn certification from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and Europe’s Joint Aviation Authority during the fourth quarter and deliver to launch customer Air France shortly thereafter.
To date, Boeing has secured 78 firm orders from 11 customers for the 777 Freighter.

Source: Boeing

Airbus Farnborough Orders – Day 2

Airbus A380 at 46th Farnborough International Airshow

Qatar Airways orders 4 additional Airbus A321s

Qatar Airways, the national airline of Qatar has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the purchase of four Airbus A321 aircraft. The agreement was signed at a ceremony at the 46th Farnborough International Airshow by Qatar Airway’s Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker, and Airbus President and CEO Tom Enders.

Qatar Airways Airbus A321

The Doha-based airline’s current in-service fleet consists of a total of 19 A320 Family variants, one A300-600R, three A300-600 freighters, 31 A330s, and four A340-600s.

Tunisair places firm order for A350s, A330s and A320s

North African airline Tunisair, celebrating its 60th anniversary this year, has signed a firm contract with Airbus for the acquisition of 3 A350-800s, 3 A330-200s and 10 A320s, as part of an important fleet development plan that will modernise and expand the fleet of this growing airline. With this acquisition, that follows an initial agreement announced last April, Tunisair is the third African airline to order the all-new A350 XWB. Tunisair currently already has 12 A320s, 4 A319s, and 3 A300-600s in operation.

Tunisair Airbus A350-800

The all-new, eco-efficient A350s will provide the right aircraft at the right time for the long-term development plans of Tunisair for long haul routes to North America and Asia. Meanwhile, the A330s will allow the airline to modernize its wide-body fleet and seamlessly enter the long haul market, shortly opening new routes to North America with the most modern and cost efficient aircraft available today. Furthermore, the A320s will allow Tunisair to renew and expand its regional operations with more efficient and cost effective aircraft complementing its current fleet.

Aviation Capital Group to acquire 23 additional A320 Family aircraft

United States based lessor Aviation Capital Group (ACG) has signed a firm contract for the purchase of 23 Airbus A320 Family aircraft. With this contract, the wholly owned subsidiary of Pacific LifeCorp will have ordered 68 A320 Family aircraft since March 2007 and will have 148 A320 Family aircraft in its portfolio.

Aircraft lessor DAE Capital signs firm order for 100 Airbus aircraft

DAE Capital, the aircraft leasing and financing division of Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE), has signed a firm contract for the purchase of 30 Airbus A350-900 and 70 Airbus A320 aircraft. The contract follows a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed at the Dubai air show in November 2007.

DAE Capital aims to become a leading lessor based in the Middle East. DAE Capital’s parent company DAE is a fast developing global aerospace company with activities including airport development and operations, engineering, manufacturing and services.

Aeroflot orders five Airbus A321s

Russian flag carrier Aeroflot has signed a contract with Airbus for the purchase of 5 A321 aircraft to add to its growing medium haul fleet. The contract was signed at the 46th Farnborough International Airshow.

Powered by CFM International CFM56-5 engines, Aeroflot’s A321s will feature a spacious and comfortable two-class cabin layout, and will be deployed on the airline’s extended European and domestic networks.

Aeroflot was the first airline in Russia to operate the A310, with an entry into service in 1992, as well as the first to operate the A320 Family as from 2003. Currently, Aeroflot operates a fleet of 38 A320 Family aircraft.

Source: Airbus
Photo Credit: Airbus

Boeing Farnborough Orders – Day 2

Arik Air orders 7 additional Next-Generation 737s

Boeing and Arik Air today announced an order for an additional 7 Next-Generation 737s at the Farnborough Airshow. The airline ordered 10 Next-Generation 737s in September 2007 and now has a total of 17 Next-Generation 737s on order. Arik Air currently operates six 737-700s. Today’s order has been attributed on Boeing’s Orders & Deliveries Web site to an unidentified customer.

Arik Air has 5 777-300ERs (Extended Range) and 7 787-9 Dreamliners on order. The airline also announced its intent to purchase 4 747-8 Intercontinentals.
Arik Air is Nigeria’s fastest-growing privately owned airline and serves more than 14 domestic routes with a fleet of 18 airplanes.

Source: Boeing

New search for Steve Fossett started today

Steve FossettThe search for Steve Fossett resumed today in a remote, wooded area of Nevada. The new search of a 10 member team is completely independent – Fossett’s widow is not involved in the latest search activities and she does not plan additional searching. The multimillionaire adventurer disappeared last September while flying a Bellanca Citabria Super Decathlon, tail number N240R and was declared legally dead in February.