Yemenia Airways A310 Crashed Near Comoros

Today Yemenia Airways flight IY626, an Airbus A310-324 (7O-ADJ, MSN: 535), bound from Sanaa (SAH, Yemen) to Moroni (HAH, Comoro Islands) crashed into the Indian Ocean while on approach. According to unconfirmed reports 141 passengers and 11 crew died, 1 child apparently survived. Weather in the area at the time of the crash was stormy, with high seas.

The plane was delivered from the production line in 1990 and has been operated by Yemenia since October 1999. The aircraft had accumulated approximately 51,900 flight hours in some 17,300 flights. It was powered by Pratt and Whitney engines PW4152.

Photos – 747-8 Freighter – Boeing Joins Wings with Body

Boeing today announced that they have completed another milestone in the assembly of the first 747-8 Freighter by joining the wings to the fuselage. The 40-foot (12 m) fuselage section was attached to the center wing box in the final assembly bay at the factory in Everett. The wing and center section are now being prepared for final body join, when the assembly will be connected to the forward and aft fuselage sections.

Boeing 747-8 Freighter Wings and Fuselage Joining
Boeing 747-8 Freighter Fuselage

The 747 Program has secured 78 orders from cargo operators for the new 747-8 Freighter. Cargolux, Nippon Cargo Airlines, AirBridgeCargo Airlines, Atlas Air, Cathay Pacific, Dubai Aerospace Enterprise, Emirates SkyCargo, Guggenheim and Korean Air all have placed orders for the airplane.

Source & Photos: Boeing

Safety Report – 06/29/2009

US Airways Flight AWE1241 Boeing 737-400 Collapsed Nose Wheel
Date: 06/29/2009 15:20
Location: Tampa, FL
Aircraft Type: Boeing 737-400 Registration: Unknown
Operator: US Airways Flight: AWE1241
Phase: Landing
Level of Damage: Unknown
Injuries & Fatalities: None
Description: On landing the nose wheel tire blew and nose gear collapsed, no injuries reported


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

First China-Built A320 Delivered

Yesterday June 23, Airbus delivered the first A320 assembled at its Final Assembly Line China (FALC) in Tianjin. At a grand ceremony, the aircraft was handed over by Airbus President and CEO, Tom Enders, to the Chairman of Dragon Aviation Leasing, Li Hai. The aircraft (Airbus A320-232 – Reg: B-501L – MSN 3591) will be leased to and operated by Sichuan Airlines.

Tianjin Party Secretary Zhang Gaoli, Mayor of Tianjin, Huang Xingguo, as well as German State Secretary (Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology) Hartmut Schauerte and the President of Sichuan Airlines, Lan Xinguo were present at the ceremony attended by more than 1000 guests.

Sichuan Airlines - First China-Built Airbus A320

The Export-Import Bank of China, a strategic long term partner to Dragon Aviation Leasing, has been supporting the financing for the purchase of the aircraft. The A320 to be operated by Sichuan Airlines will be in a two-class configuration, with eight first class seats and 156 economy seats. The aircraft will be deployed on domestic trunk routes between the airline’s base of Chengdu to such major cities like Beijing and Shanghai. It will enter into service on 24th June on the route from Chengdu to Beijing. The aircraft will join the existing fleet composed of 40 Airbus single-aisle aircraft.

Sichuan Airlines was established in 1986 and it started commercial flight operation in 1988. The Sichuan Airlines Co Ltd so far operates 40 Airbus A320 Family aircraft. It is the largest airline in China with all-Airbus fleet (above 100 seats).

Source: Airbus
Photo: Airbus

Boeing 787 First Flight Delayed Again

Boeing today announced that the first flight of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner has been delayed again for an indefinite time.

The 787 Dreamliner was originally scheduled to take its first flight early 2008. Actually, until the announcement today, its maiden flight was planned for the end of June 09. The date was now delayed for the sixth time.

Reason for the new delay is “the need of reinforcement in an area within the side-of-body section of the aircraft”.

The need was identified during the recent scheduled tests on the full-scale static test airplane. Preliminary analysis indicated that flight test could proceed this month as planned. However, after further testing and consideration of possible modified flight test plans, the decision was made late last week that first flight should instead be postponed until productive flight testing could occur.

Boeing 787 Test Plane on TarmacFirst flight and first delivery will be rescheduled following the final determination of the required modification and testing plan. It will be several weeks before the new schedule is available. The 787 team will continue with other aspects of testing on Airplane #1, including final gauntlet testing and low-speed taxiing. Work will also continue on the other five flight test aircraft and the subsequent aircraft in the production system.

Scott Carson, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes said a team of experts has already identified several potential solutions.

“Consideration was given to a temporary solution that would allow us to fly as scheduled, but we ultimately concluded that the right thing was to develop, design, test and incorporate a permanent modification to the localized area requiring reinforcement. Structural modifications like these are not uncommon in the development of new airplanes, and this is not an issue related to our choice of materials or the assembly and installation work of our team,” Carson said.

… Well, we’ll see if the never ending story of delays will find an end in near future …

Source: Boeing
Photo: Boeing

Safety Report – 06/23/2009

Date: 06/23/2009
Location: Seattle, WA
Aircraft Type: Airbus A320-232 Registration: N425UA
Operator: United Airlines Flight: 468
Phase: Unknown
Level of Damage: Unknown
Injuries & Fatalities: None
Description: United Airlines flight 468 was struck by lightning while inflight – post flight inspection revealed damage to the left elevator.

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

Blue Angels Cockpit Video

I just found this great Blue Angels in-flight cockpit video on YouTube! The videographer is having the ride of a lifetime! He’s sitting in this F/A-18 Hornet during Blue Angels practice at Naval Air Station Pensacola. Probably one of the best cockpit videos ever!

This video is courtesy of YouTube user jimboking

More New Photos of AF447 Wreckage

Today the Brazil Navy has released more new photos of the recovery of Air France flight 447 (AF447) – Airbus A330-200 F-GZCP / MSN: 660. That photos mostly show many smaller parts of wreckage like parts of the cabin side wall (without windows), overhead compartments and parts that could belong to a horizontal stabilizer or wing as well as some galley wreckage.

Air France flight 447 (AF447) Map
AF447 - Airbus A330-200 F-GZCP Wreckage on Brazil Navy Ship
Air France AF447 - Airbus A330-200 F-GZCP Smaller Wreckage
Air France Flight 447 Wreckage
AF447 Airbus A330-200 F-GZCP Wreckage

Photos: Brazil Navy

New Photos Of AF447 Wreckage
Photos – AF447 Wreckage
Photos – AF447 Tail Recovered from Atlantic Ocean

Paris Air Show 2009 – Airbus Orders – Day 5

Today on Paris Air Show, Airbus announced that Turkish Airlines signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for seven Airbus A330. The order includes two of the increased take-off weight version of the A330-200, which offers an extended flying range of up to 7,200 nautical miles, and five A330-300s.

With deliveries scheduled from August 2010, Turkish Airlines will use the aircraft on their regional and long-haul routes.

Turkish Airlines Airbus A330

Airbus also announced today that Chennai based Paramount Airways, one of India’s leading domestic premium airlines, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to buy ten A321 aircraft with an option for an additional ten.

With the new aircraft, Paramount Airways will launch international services from South India. The A321s will feature Airbus’ newest cabin design.

Paramount Airways Airbus A321

Images: Airbus