Yesterday February 27, Airbus has delivered the 500th A321 ever produced. The aircraft was handed over to Air France at Airbus’ Delivery Centre in Hamburg. The A321 is the largest member of the best selling A320 Family. It is the most efficient single-aisle aircraft in its segment.
Air France’s A321 is equipped with Airbus’ enhanced single-aisle cabin and can accommodate 174 passengers in a comfortable two-class layout. The aircraft is powered by CFM 56-5B/3 engines.
“Air France was the first airline to operate the A320 and in our 75th anniversary year we are pleased to be receiving the 500th A321, the largest member of the family. Air France was also the first major airline to operate all four members of the A320 Family in 2003 and they have served us on our medium haul network and will continue to do so”, said Pierre Vellay, Senior VP New Aircraft and Corporate Fleet Planning Air France.
“We are delighted that Air France continues to renew its medium haul fleet with A321s; the preferred aircraft on medium range high-density routes,” said John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer, Customers. “Airbus invests around 100 million Euros every year to keep the A320 the most eco-efficient single aisle aircraft in the world. Reaching the milestone of 500 deliveries proves the sustainability of these investments and underlines the leading position of the A321 in its market segment in terms of operational efficiency, passenger comfort and environmental friendliness.”
The first A321 was delivered in 1994, as well as the first one to the Air France Group. Today Airbus has sold more than 750 A321s to about 65 customers all around the world.
Today at around 11:30 a.m. local time, Turkish Airlines flight TK1951 bound from Istanbul (IST) (Turkey) to Amsterdam-Schiphol International Airport (AMS) (The Netherlands) crashed during approach at Amsterdam, killing at least 9 souls, more than 50 have been injured.
The Boeing 737-8F2 (TC-JGE) with 135 people on board was on final approach to runway 18R, when it crashed in a field some 1,5 km short of the runway threshold. The Boeing 737 broke in three parts, fortunately there was no fire.
Weather reported was “Wind 200 degrees, 10 kts, visibity 4500m in mist, scattered clouds 700 ft, temperature 4°C, dewpoint 3°C” [Source: Aviation Safety Network]
Embraer delivered the first Embraer 170 jet to Japan’s Fuji Dream Airlines, a company of the Suzuyo Group. The airline has ordered another Embraer 170, which is scheduled for delivery later this year.
“Beginning deliveries to a new customer is always a challenging milestone for us. The specific case of Fuji Dream is more than that, since we’re taking part in the birth of a brand-new airline in a highly competitive and demanding market like Japan,” stated Mauro Kern, Embraer Executive Vice President, Airline Market. “We are proud to be a part of this business initiative headed by an energetic airline like Fuji Dream.”
This Embraer 170 from Fuji Dream can comfortably carry up to 76 passengers in a singleclass layout, and will operate out of Mt. Fuji Shizuoka Airport, in central Japan. Shizuoka Airport is currently under construction and is expected to be completed and operational by July, 2009. Fuji Dream will operate 1 daily flight to Kagoshima, 1 to Kumamoto, and 2 daily flights to Komatsu.
Fuji Dream Airlines was incorporated in June 2008 to be the Suzuyo Group’s air transportation arm.
By entering the airline business and building on the convenience of Mt. Fuji Shizuoka Airport, Suzuyo Group contributes to Shizuoka’s economic development.
Boeing celebrated the delivery of the first Boeing 777 Freighter to launch customer Air France in a ceremony at the Future of Flight Aviation Center & Boeing Tour near Paine Field.
“Our new Boeing 777 Freighter will operate very well with our 747-400ER Freighters,” said Air France Executive Vice President for New Aircraft & Corporate Fleet Planning Pierre Vellay. “Also, we will benefit from the airplane’s commonality with our proven 777 passenger fleet and improve our cargo efficiency to help us through the current economic difficulties.”
Providing cargo capacity normally associated with larger airplanes, the 777 Freighter can fly 4,880 nautical miles (9,038 kilometers) with a full payload of 226,700 pounds (103 metric tons). The new airplane is expected to progressively replace the 747-400 Boeing Converted Freighter (BCF) in the Air France Cargo fleet. Air France currently operates five 747-400ER Freighters and four 747-400BCFs.
“The 777 Freighter uses less fuel per cargo tonne than any freighter operating,” said Aldo Basile, vice president, Sales, Europe, Russia and Central Asia, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “With the 777F, Air France also will experience the lowest maintenance costs and the lowest trip costs of any large freighter, as well as outstanding environmental performance.”
The 777 Freighter is the world’s longest-range freighter and features the lowest trip cost of any large freighter, with high cargo density and 10-foot (3.1-meter) interior height capability that complement the popular 747 Freighter family.
“The 777 Freighter provides a new level of cargo economics, with low tonne-kilometer costs to help cargo airlines in the current environment,” said Larry Loftis, vice president and general manager of the Boeing 777 Program. “The 777 Freighter is a great example of Boeing’s commitment to continuously improve the 777 family to deliver top value to owners and operators.”
The 777 Freighter is powered by General Electric’s GE90-110B1L and meets QC2 noise standards.
Air France Cargo also was the first operator of the 747-400ER Freighter.
Twelve customers have ordered a total of 73 777 Freighters.
Referring to the recent Continental Connection (Colgan Air) Q400 crash which might have happened because of ice-building, I’ve found some great NASA research video on this subject. It describes how ice is building up on horizontal stabilzers and wings and how it affects handling of an airplane, particularly during approach.
Continental Connection Flight CJC3407 (operated by Colgan Air) bound from Newark-Liberty International Airport, NJ (KEWR) to Buffalo Niagara International Airport, NY (KBUF) crashed in a residential area of Buffalo, NY (US) while on approach to runway 23. The de Havilland Canada DHC-8-402 Q400 (N200WQ) struck a house, starting a huge fire. All 49 people on board and 1 person on the ground have been killed.
Weather at time of the crash was “Wind 240 degrees at 15 kts, gusting to 22kts; light snow, mist with a visibility of 3 miles; few clouds 1,100 ft.; broken clouds 2,100 ft.; overcast 2,700 ft. Temperature 0.6°C, Dewpoint -0.6°C”
Other pilots reported ice-formation during approach.
Southwest Airlines today unveiled a Boeing 737-7H4 (N922WN) wearing a temporary decal featuring the cover model from the 2009 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. The model Bar Refaeli stepped off the plane and posed for pictures with Pilots and Flight Attendants.
The plane will be released into regular service on Friday.