Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Wide Body Report - August 26, 2015

August 26, 2015

This is the first edition of the Wide Body Report, which is expected to be focused on large commercial airliners: aircraft such as the Boeing 787 and 777 and the Airbus A350 and A380.

An American Airline 787 Dreamliner that was damaged in a hailstorm over China last month has been returned to service following repairs to its nose.

Qantas is evaluating the possibility of opening up new routes - such as a direct Melbourne to Dallas flight - using its new 787 Dreamliners, rather than applying them directly to routes currently flown by its older 747 aircraft, which are scheduled to be phased out of service.  Qantas' first Boeing 787 is expected to be delivered in 2017.

The UK's Air Accident Investigations Branch released its official report this past week into last year's runway fire in a parked Boeing 787 Dreamliner.  The aircraft, flown by Ethiopian Airlines, experienced a cabin fire caused by "crossed and trapped" wires in the lithium battery that powering the emergency locator transmitter.

An ANA Boeing 777 made an emergency landing at Osaka this past week, after the airplane suffered engine trouble.  The flight from Osaka to Tokyo was aborted after the pilot reported power problems and abnormal temperatures in the airplane's left engine.

A Singapore Airlines Boeing 777 made an emergency landing in Turkey this past week, after a flock of storks damaged its nose.

Korean Air became the second operator to receive the newest version of the Boeing 747 passenger jet - the 747-8.  Although a number of operators have taken delivery of the freight version, the -8 has been slower to reach the passenger market, with deliveries to Lufthansa in 2012 and Korean Air this past week.

Retirements of 747s from the passenger market continue to outpace new deliveries, as Boeing's venerable but dated jumbo jet has seen its market gradually taken over by newer, more economical aircraft.

Airbus has begun assembly of the wing for its first A350-1000.  Two different families of all-composite A350 aircraft are currently under development.  The smaller - comprising the A350-900 and the now cancelled A350-800 - is aimed at the same marketplace as the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.  The larger aircraft - the A350-1000 - will have a larger, all-new wing and is aimed at the same long-range applications as the Boeing 777.

The Airbus A350-900 has made its Moscow debut at the MAKS-2015 airshow, some three years ahead of the first expected deliveries to Russia's Aeroflot.  Airbus is the only foreign manufacturer to bring an aircraft for display at this year's show - a stark downturn from the MAKS-2013 airshow, which saw 49 foreign aircraft on display.

Emirates has added a second Airbus A380 to its Frankfurt route, phasing out its Boeing 777-300ER operations from this airport.  Emirates is by far the largest customer for the Airbus super-jumbo, with 64 out of the 167 aircraft now flying, and with 140 out of 317 outstanding orders.

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