November 16, 2015
The first prototype Mitsubishi Regional Jet made its first flight this past week. The MRJ is the first attempt to produce a Japanese-built commercial airline. It is powered by the PW1200G Geared Turbofan (TM) engine, a version of which also powers the Bombardier C-Series and the Embraer E-Jet E2 family of aircraft.
Bombardier has likely lost its sole Canadian order for the C-Series, following the decision by the new national government in Ottawa not to reopen an agreement with the City of Toronto that would need to be renegotiated if they wanted to allow jet aircraft to fly out of Toronto's Billy Bishop Airport. The provisional sale of a dozen C-Series aircraft to Canada's Porter Airlines had been made contingent on the ability to fly the ultra-quiet jet out of the downtwon Toronto airport.
Speaking at this week's Dubai Air Show, Airbus officials remain confident that they will be delivering the first A320 NEO aircraft on-schedule by the end of 2015.
TAP Portugal has signed a firm order for 14 A330-900 NEO wide-body aircraft, and 39 A320 NEO family aircraft - including 15 A320 NEOs and 24 A321 NEOs. The A330 NEO order is being made to replace of a previous order for 12 A350-900s. No engine selection has been announced for the A320 NEO aircraft - which has two available engines: the CFM International LEAP-1A and the Pratt & Whitney PW1100G Geared Turbofan (TM). The A330 NEO is powered exclusively by Rolls-Royce Trent engines.
International Airlines Group (IAG) has firmed up a previous order for 15 Airbus A320 NEO aircraft.
Boeing has dropped GKN as the supplier for the inner wall of the thrust reverser for the 737 MAX, over concerns surrounding the ability of the GKN design to ramp up to production quantities. Intitial aircraft will likely still feature the GKN thrust reverser, before production is shifted to another supplier.
India's second-largest airline, Jet Airways has announced that it has struck a deal for the delivery of 75 Boeing 737 MAX-8 airplanes.
Embraer has released new details surrounding its planned flight test program for the re-engined, E2 version of its E-Jet. Current plans call for four E190-E2 and two E195-E2 aircraft to be built, to certify the larger members of the E2 family. The first prototype is expected to enter flight test in the second half of 2016, with the first prototype airframe nearing completion, and engine delivery due this week. Details surrounding the smaller E175-E2 flight test program are still being worked out.
China rolled out their first C919 single-aisle airline prototype this past week. The new airplane, powered by the same CFM International LEAP engines that are an option under the Airbus A320 NEO, is expected to fly in early 2016.
Russian aircraft developer Irkut announced at this week's Dubai Air Show that they had closed on a deal with Egypt's Cairo Aviation for the delivery of six MC-21 aircraft, with options for another four. The MC-21 is intended to compete with the Boeing 737 MAX and Airbus A320 NEO, and features the Pratt & Whitney PW1400G Geared Turbofan (TM) engine, similar to the version offered on the Airbus A320 NEO.