ARJ21 Completes First Flight

The first Chinese commercial aircraft the ACAC ARJ21 has made its maiden flight on Friday. After 6 years of research and development, it’s finally taken to the skies. The first test flight lasted about one hour.

ACAC ARJ21 First Flight


Although ACAC refers to the ARJ21 as “designed by Chinese with completely independent intellectual property rights”, it is being built using tooling which was originally provided by the McDonnell Douglas company for licence-production of the MD-90 in China. Consequently, it bears a strong resemblance to the DC-9 series of aircraft, with an identical cabin cross section, nose profile and tail. The all-new wing, which is fitted with winglets to improve aerodynamic performance, has been designed by Ukraine’s Antonov Design Bureau.
The program is supported by 19 major European and US aerospace components suppliers, including General Electric (engine production), Honeywell (Fly-By-Wire system) and Rockwell Collins (avionics production).

Its maker hopes to have the aircraft ready for delivery by 2010.

Source: CCTV

Air New Zealand A320 crashed in Mediterranean Sea

An Airbus A320-232 crashed off the coast of southern France during a post-maintenance flight Thursday, killing all seven people on board. The plane ZK-OJL had just been returned to Air New Zealand after flying for XL Airways (Germany) as D-AXLA. The flight was bound from/to Perpignan Airport (PGF/LFMP) (France). XL Airways said there were two flight crew from XL and 3-5 engineers on board.

The plane plunged into the Mediterranean sea 20 kilometers (12.5 miles) east of the French city of Perpignan, near the border with Spain, at around 4:30 p.m. local time (1530 GMT), according to a communications officer at the headquarters of the government representative in the region.

This is the 18th loss of an Airbus A320.

Source: AP, ASN, BBC

Safety Report – 11/24/2008

Date & Time: 11/24/2008 01:12
Location: Denver, CO
Aircraft Type: Airbus A319-111 Registration: N930FR
Operator: Frontier Airlines Flight: FR811
Phase: Take-off
Damage: Unknown
Injuries & Fatalities: None
Description: On takeoff, struck a bird – Aircraft returned and landed without incident. Damage reported to the left static port.

Date & Time: 11/21/2008 22:45
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Aircraft Type: Airbus A319 Registration: Unknown
Operator: Frontier Airlines Flight: FR413
Phase: Standing
Damage: Unknown
Injuries & Fatalities: None
Description: While parked at the gate, the jet bridge collapsed onto the front door of the aircraft. Persons on board deplaned via the portable stairs.

Date & Time: 11/23/2008 00:26
Location: Austin, TX
Aircraft Type: McDonnell Douglas MD-82 (DC-9-82) Registration: Unknown
Operator: American Airlines Flight: 479
Phase: Descent
Damage: None
Injuries & Fatalities: 1 crew member with eye injury
Description: On descent, reported an intense green laser light flash into the cockpit – one crew member transported with an eye injury – 10 Miles from Austin, TX

Date & Time: Unknown
Location: Denver, CO
Aircraft Type: Boeing 767-3CB/ER Registration: N592HA
Operator: Hawaiian Air
Phase: Standing
Damage: Minor
Injuries & Fatalities: None
Description: While parked and not intended for fight, a set of airstairs struck the trailing adge of the wing

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

Air France A320 painted in retro livery

To mark its 75th anniversary, Air France has repainted one of its Airbus A320s in the same livery as back in 1946. Ambassador of the Company’s 75th anniversary, the Airbus A320-211 F-GFKJ joined the medium-haul fleet for the next two years. It landed at Paris-Charles de Gaulle from Toulouse on 21st November 2008.

The aircraft has been baptised “Pays de Roissy”, as a reference to the association aiming to expand the economic develop of 110 communes situated around Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport.

Air France 1946 Retro Livery - Airbus A320-211 F-GFKJ
Video featuring painting process (External Link)

This livery features the seahorse, a symbol to which all Air France staff are strongly attached. The emblem of Air Orient, it combines the head of Pegasus, the horse of Greek mythology, and the tail of the dragon Annam to form the symbol of the relationship between Europe and the Far East. This story is told at through picture archives on the history of the Company since its inception.

Source: Air France
Photo: Air France

Air Canada 767 – Flight attendant helped to land plane

A flight attendant helped land an Air Canada Boeing 767-333 (C-FMXC) carrying 146 passengers after the co-pilot suffered an apparent breakdown over the Atlantic, says an official report into the incident.

A report released yesterday by Ireland’s Air Accident Investigation Unit said the flight attendant, who had a commercial pilot’s licence, was able to provide “useful assistance” to the plane’s captain as he guided the Boeing 767 down onto a runway at Shannon Airport earlier this year.

The plane declared a medical emergency midway over the Atlantic and requested a landing at Ireland’s Shannon Airport after the co-pilot began acting erratically. The crew later removed him from the cockpit to the shock of passengers who were alerted by the commotion at the front of the plane. (…)
Full story at:

Read Official Investigation Report: Serious Incident: Boeing 767-333, C-FMXC, Oceanic Reporting Point MALOT, 28 January 2008: Report No 2008-027 (PDF)

Safety Report – 11/21/2008

Date & Time: 11/20/2008 18:07
Location: New York La Guardia
Aircraft Type: Airbus A319 Registration: Unknown
Operator: American West Airlines Flight: AWE2128
Phase: Unknown
Damage: Unknown
Injuries & Fatalities: None
Description: The flight reported a bird strike causing damage to the number two engine – returned and landed without incident

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

Ethiopian Airlines buys Eight Q400 NextGen

Bombardier Aerospace announced today that Ethiopian Airlines has signed a contract to purchase eight Q400 NextGen turboprop airliners, and has taken options on four additional Q400 NextGen aircraft. Including this transaction, the Dash 8/Q-Series aircraft program has recorded firm orders for a total of 1,001 aircraft.

Ethiopian Airlines Bombardier Q400 NextGen

Ethiopian Airlines, the country’s flag carrier, made its first flight between Addis Ababa and Cairo via Asmara on April 8, 1946. Today, it operates a fleet of jet and turboprop aircraft to 33 African cities and a total of 20 international points in the Middle East, Asia, Europe and North America.

Source: Bombardier
Photo: Bombardier

China develops new Regional Aircraft

China has started developing a new turbo-prop regional aircraft called “Modern Ark 700” (MA700) for the international market. This new aircraft, basicly an updated MA600, will be more energy-efficient and fit for high altitude aviation.

The 70-seat MA 700 regional aircraft, developed by Xi’an Aircraft Industry Company (XAC) of AVIC I, is expected to be marketable in 2014.

News story:

TAM Crash – Investigation blames Government and Airline Officials

More than one year after TAM flight JJ3054 crashed on landing at Sao Paulo, an investigation blames 10 government and airline officials for the crash in July 2007. The Airbus A320 crash was Brazil’s worst air disaster in history.

The investigation report states that the following factors led to the crash:

  • Lack of stricter rainy day landing rules for the short runway (Runway 35L length: 6365 feet (1940 meters))
  • No full repair of runway drainage system
  • Poor pilot training
  • One of the thrust reversers wasn’t working properly (Reverser number 2)

Video report by Associated Press

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