March 7, 2016
Bombardier has begun a series of "route-proving" flights for the C-Series, demonstrating performance and fuel consumption across a number of future C-Series routes, beginning with operations from Swiss' central hub in Zurich.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced his intention to seek additional, federal Canadian funding to help the C-Series transition into production.
Embraer has begun ground tests for its new E190-E2 regional jet. The E190-E2 features the same Pratt & Whitney Geared Turbofan (TM) engine as the Bombardier C-Series, together with a new wing design intended to further improve its fuel performance over the original E190.
Airbus expects to resolve the remaining issues surrounding engine start-up times for the A320 NEO to be resolved in time for a mid-2016 delivery of A320 NEO aircraft to Qatar. Qatar's CEO, meanwhile, has announced that the airline has opened up talks with engine manufacturer CFM International, and would consider switching to CFM's LEAP-1A engines if the issues with the Pratt & Whitney Geared Turbofan (TM) are not resolved quickly. The LEAP-1A engine has not been certified as of yet, however, and a switch in engine selection would further delay deliveries to Qatar.
Despite initial focus on engine start-up issues surrounding the Geared Turbofan (TM) engine, the majority of the cockpit faults reported on the new A320 NEO now entering service, have been connected with unrelated false alarms triggered by the airplane's avionics software.
Pratt & Whitney has been testing the efficacy of substituting synthetic engine oils in its Geared Turbofan (TM) engines, as part of an agreement with ExxonMobil and French manufacturer NYCO.
Boeing has begun flight test of its second 737 MAX prototype, with a first flight lasting 2 hours 21 minutes.
The pilot's union for Southwest Airlines has pointed out that the Boeing 737 MAX, currently on order by the airline, is not listed under the current union contract - bringing up grounds for further contract re-negotiation. The airline and the pilots union have been struggling for several months to arrive at a new contract agreement.
Boeing officials are reportedly debating whether to launch an all-new "middle-of-market" airplane, which would replace the Boeing 757 in operational service, and would compete with the larger Airbus A321 NEO models currently competing for this market.
Russia's Irkut has received a second composite wing panel for its prototype MC-21 single-aisle airline.