Thursday, July 28, 2016

Fighter Jet Times - July 28, 2016

July 28, 2016

Canada continues to make regular payments into the F-35 program to maintain its membership status, but has made no commitment to purchase the stealth fighter.

The first F-35 fighter intended for delivery to Israel made its first flight this past week.

The U.S. Air Force reportedly intends to declare IOC (Initial Operational Capability) for the F-35A as soon as August 2nd.

Chinese officials report that the Chengdu J-20 stealth fighter is expected to reach operational status in 2019.

Dassault reports that it has delivered seven Rafale fighters during the first half of 2016, including four aircraft delivered to the French air force and three to Egypt.

U.S. and South Korean officials held talks this week regarding Korean requests for technology transfer in connection with the KF-X stealth fighter program.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Space Highlights - July 27, 2016

July 27, 2016

Australia's National Broadband Network is preparing to launch its second Sky Muster satellite in October, to address the "digital divide" in broadband access that has plagued Australia's remote users.

An Atlas 5 rocket is being prepared for launch later this week, carrying a classified U.S. intelligence gathering satellite.

China is preparing to launch a research satellite in August to test some of the theories surrounding "quantum entanglement," a phenomena which some believe could hold the key to a new generation of supercomputing capabilities.

NASA has downloaded software to the Curiosity rover which allows the Mars explorer to identify its own targets for inspection and to fire its laser autonomously to collect sample data from the Martial surface.

NASA has continued to evolve the technologies used to land the current Curiosity rover, to ensure a more precise and safe landing for the Mars 2020 rover, now under development.

In one of the latest images released from the Cassini spacecraft, Saturn's atmosphere can be seen to distort the light reflected by Saturn's rings, making them appear to "bend".

Although the Dawn spacecraft has mapped numerous impact craters on the surface of the dwarf planet Ceres, the absence of any really large impact craters has remained a puzzle with multiple theories surrounding how the asteroid might have been resurfaced - erasing evidence from the anticipated, earlier, larger impacts.

Researchers have identified a strange planetary system surrounding Kepler-80, which features five planets packed tightly around their parent star, within the same distance as between the Sun and Mercury.

Researchers have begun to examine spectral lines to identify the atmospheric chemistry of a planetary system just forty light years from our own - confirming the presence of three relatively rocky worlds such as our own with thin atmospheres.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Wide Body Report - July 26, 2016

July 26, 2016

Air India expects to take delivery of another two 787s this year, and four more next year, to complete the airline's order for 27 aircraft.

Boeing suppliers Rockwell Collins and GKN have declared Boeing to be delinquent in payments for components delivered for the 787 Dreamliner and 737 MAX aircraft.  The two suppliers are currently in talks with Boeing regarding changes that Boeing has made to how it pays suppliers, that have resulted in over $30 million in late payments made to Rockwell and over $50 million in payments to GKN that are still owed from the last quarter.

Boeing has announced that it will take a $2.78 billion pre-tax charge on the 787, 747-8 and KC-46 programs, writing off development cost overruns on each.  The majority of the charges were recorded against the 787 program, which was four years late to first flight and customer delivery.  The charges include two flight test aircraft which the manufacturer has declared cannot be resold to a customer.

Virgin Atlantic Airways has selected the largest member of the A350 family, the A350-1000 that is still under development, as its future flagship, with eight aircraft on order and leasing agreements for another four.

The first A350-900 intended for Thai Airways has entered flight test, in preparation for delivery in the third quarter.

American Airlines has announced that it will defer the delivery of 22 Airbus A350 aircraft by an average of 26 months per aircraft.

Russia's UAC and China's Comac report that they are in budget negotiations for the financing of a proposed, joint wide-body aircraft.  The joint program would cost an estimated $13 to $20 billion to develop, producing an airplane in the 280 seat size range.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Single Aisle News - July 25, 2016

July 25, 2016

Despite having lost in its bid to have Toronto's downtown airport agreement adjusted to allow commercial jetliner flights, Porter Airlines' CEO reports that the airline is looking for alternative routes where it might make use of the C-Series aircraft that it currently has on order.  The airline placed a conditional order for 30 CS100 C-Series aircraft, that was conditioned on obtaining approval to fly the aircraft out of the airline's central hub in Toronto's downtown airport.

The initial series of commercial flights by the Bombardier C-Series have run into a number of glitches, including the first commercial flight scheduled from Zurich to the UK, which was delayed at the service ramp, and a later flight which had to turn back to the airport after a malfunction in the air conditioning system.

Embraer officials report that the flight test program for the E190-E2 is running ahead of schedule, although they have no current plans to accelerate the timeline for first airline delivery in the first half of 2018.

Turkish carrier Pegasus Airlines has become the first customer to take delivery of an Airbus A320 NEO powered by the CFM International LEAP-1A engine.  All NEO deliveries prior to now have been equipped with Pratt & Whitney PW1100G engines.  Delivery was delayed by several days due to political unrest in Turkey.

Industry analysts continue to highlight the gap in Boeing's ability to compete in the Middle of the Market (MoM), against the Airbus A321 NEO.  Boeing's proposed MoM aircraft, being contemplated as a replacement for the Boeing 757 and some 767 applications, is still years away from launch, allowing the Airbus A321 NEO and A321LR to fill in that market segment.

Boeing has revised its 20 year market forecast for India from 1740 to an estimated 1850 new aircraft.  Most of those aircraft, some 1560 out of the total, are projected to be single-aisle models.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Fighter Jet Times - July 21, 2016

July 21, 2016

Contract negotiations for lots 9 and 10 of the F-35 have been particularly drawn out, prompting Lockheed Martin to independently front nearly $1 billion in payments to suppliers, which were needed to order long lead time components for the manufacture of these aircraft.  These low initial rate production (LRIP) lots include nine F-35B aircraft intended for the UK, prompting the British government to urge the Pentagon to close on negotiations promptly, to avoid delivery interruptions.

Despite reassurances from the White House, it remains unclear what affect the recent coup attempt in Turkey might have on the production of the F-35.  The failed coup has been seized upon by the Turkish government as an excuse to crack down on opposition, including the purge of more than 20,000 from the top ranks of the police, universities, and judiciary - moves that could eventually affect the willingness of the United States to go forward with the delivery of the 100 F-35 fighters that Turkey currently has on order.  Turkey is also an industrial partner in the F-35 program, supplying components to aircraft manufacturer Lockheed Martin, as well as the engine manufacturer, Pratt & Whitney.

The U.S. Air Force has expressed renewed interest in developing a new aircraft to specifically replace the A-10 Warthog, rather than assigning the F-35 to the close air support role as is currently planned.

Boeing and Lockheed Martin have both expressed an interest in competing for Japan's proposed $40 billion program to replace the Mitsubishi F-2 with a new, fifth generation "stealth" fighter.  Japan is currently looking for industrial partners to help develop the proposed aircraft, while at the same time funding flight test of the Shinshin technology demonstrator.

China has completed manufacture of its second production-standard J-20 stealth fighter (or fourth production aircraft, according to other reports), and is expected to have the first 12 in operational service by the end of 2017.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Space Highlights - July 20, 2016

July 20, 2016

SpaceX completed its fifth successful first-stage rocket booster landing, following the successful launch of a Dragon cargo ship to the International Space Station.

Japan's space agency, JAXA is considering the launch in 2020 of an X-ray astronomy telescope to replace Hitomi, the previous space telescope that was lost in March soon after it entered orbit.

Iridium has completed the first batch out of 81 new satellites that are planned to upgrade the provider's mobile communications network.  Produced at the company's factory near Phoenix, the first ten new satellites will be launched in September aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

Satellite service providers are warning that if the United States' Trade Representative fails to scrap the current ban on the launch of commercial U.S. satellites aboard Indian rockets, many small satellite developers will order satellites manufactured outside of the United States to evade the ban, and take advantage of lower Indian launch costs.

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited a team of university students who helped build Sathyabamasat, a research satellite recently launched into orbit by India's ISRO.

NASA has released the first batch of images collected by the Juno spacecraft, after it entered orbit around Jupiter.  Much clearer images are expected in coming months as the spacecraft makes its return circuit in its elongated, elliptical orbit.

NASA has formally approved its Mars 2020 Rover mission, unveiling the initial design for a new rover that will resemble a slightly more rugged version of the Curiosity rover that is currently exploring Mount Sharp on the red planet.

With three more months left in its mission, the ESA's Rosetta spacecraft captured an image of its own shadow on the surface of Comet 67P.

NASA's Dawn spacecraft, currently in orbit around the dwarf planet Ceres, have identified a set of craters that - due to the inclination of the asteroid as it orbits the sun, never see sunlight in their depths.  Such craters have been sought out as possible reservoirs of frozen water.

The New Horizons spacecraft has been officially entered into the Guinness Book of World Records for carrying a U.S. postage stamp the furthest distance yet recorded from the Earth.  When it was launched in 2006, the spacecraft carried a 29-cent "Pluto: Not Yet Explored" stamp on board.  A year ago, after the spacecraft sped by Pluto, it earned its world record holding distinction - which was officially recognized this past week.

The Kepler K2 mission has identified an additional 104 exoplanets, include two terrestrial planets within the habitable zone around their parent star.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Wide Body Report - July 19, 2016

July 19, 2016

Qatar Airways is reportedly considering a buy of additional 777-300ERs, taking advantage of lowered prices as Boeing prepares for the launch of the new 777X and as sales of older 777 models dry up.  Qatar already has an order for 60 Boeing 777X models as well as an order for 37 of the competing Airbus A350-1000s.

In an interview at this past week's Farnborough Air Show, Aengus Kelly, CEO of the leasing company AerCap, related that his firm has no interest in buying additional 777 models prior to the roll-out of the 777X - emphasizing a trend in 777 sales that has persisted since Boeing first announced development of the 777X model in 2013.

Ethiopian Airlines has begun flights from New York-Newark to Addis Ababa flying the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

As the Boeing aircraft company turned 100 this past week, Boeing rolled out a line-up of every Boeing commercial airliner from the 707 to the 787 at the Museum of Flight in Seattle.

Leasing firm AerCap has delivered a second Airbus A350-900 to Cathay Pacific Airways.  The first such aircraft was delivered to Cathay Pacific in May.

Airbus is advertising a dispatch reliability rate for its A350-900 twin-aisle aircraft of 98.5%.

Not to be out-done by the impressive Boeing 787 flying display at this past week's Farnborough Air Show, Airbus' A350 performed a nearly vertical take-off as part of its flight routine.

Confirming earlier speculation, Airbus has announced that the production rate for its A380 super-jumbo airline will be cut to one aircraft per month by 2018 - less than half of its peak production rate.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Single Aisle News - July 18, 2016

July 18, 2016

The Bombardier C-Series made its first revenue flight this past Friday, flying from Zurich to Paris under Swiss International Air Lines.

The latest updates to the Bombardier C-Series will allow the CS100 to fly non-stop from London to Moscow with a full 108 passenger compliment, or from London to New York City in a 42 seat, business only configuration.  British Airways currently flies the London to New York route in a 36 passenger configuration using an Airbus A318 that also requires a stop-over in Ireland for refueling.

The second Embraer E190-E2 prototype took to the air this past week.

Indonesian operator Kalstar Aviation firmed up its order for five E190-E2s, with another five on option.  The announcement was made at this past week's Farnborough Air Show.

TUI Group has converted options on 10 Boeing 737 MAX 8s and one 787-9 into firm orders.  The leisure travel group previously placed an order in 2013 for 60 Boeing 737 MAXs with 60 options.

Boeing and Air Europa firmed up a previously announced agreement for 20 Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft at the Farnborough Air Show this past week.

China's Kunming has signed a Memorandum of Understanding for 10 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft.

Caribbean carrier Cayman Airways will lease four Boeing 737 MAX 9 aircraft, beginning in 2018.

Qatar Airways reports that it is considering placing an order with Boeing for the 737 MAX, following delays in the delivery of the A320 NEO.  Qatar has cancelled delivery of its first A320 NEO, but still has another 49 aircraft officially on order.

First customer delivery of an Airbus A320 NEO equipped with CFM LEAP-1A engines has been postponed due to political unrest in Turkey.  The first CFM-powered NEO was previously scheduled for delivery to Turkey's Pegasus Airlines on July 19th.  The A320 NEO is available with two engine options: Pratt & Whitney's PW1100G (which was the launch engine for the aircraft), and the CFM International LEAP-1A.

Synergy Aerospace Corporation has finalized a deal for 62 Airbus A320 NEO aircraft.

The first Airbus A320 NEO destined for LATAM Airline Brazil, equipped with Pratt & Whitney PW1100G Geared Turbofan engines, rolled out of the paint shop this past week.  LATAM has 48 A320 NEOs and 19 A321 NEO models on order.

Germania placed an order for 25 Airbus A320 NEO airplanes at this year's Farnborough Air Show.  The deal includes another 15 airplanes on option.  Germania also signed an agreement with Pratt & Whitney for the supply of PW1100G engines to equip the aircraft.

Malaysian carrier AirAsia has placed an order for 100 Airbus A321 NEO aircraft.  The airline had previously placed orders for 304 Airbus A320 NEO aircraft equipped with CFM LEAP-1A engines.

Engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney closed a deal to supply PW1100G engines to Hungary's Wizz Air, to equip the 110 A320 NEO airplanes that are currently on order, with another 90 airplanes on option.

Pratt & Whitney signed an agreement with an undisclosed lease company for the supply of 32 PW1100G Geared Turbofan engines, plus another 32 V2500 engines, to equip A320 NEO and CEO models, respectively.

Pratt & Whitney has signed an agreement with Lufthansa Technik, for the supply of overhaul services for the PW1100G and PW1500G Geared Turbofan engines.

Norwegian has converted 30 previously announced orders for the Airbus A320 NEO to the A321LR NEO model.  The A321LR offers additional fuel capacity to enhance its range.

Airbus walked away from this year's Farnborough Air Show with $35 billion in orders, for 380 aircraft, compared to $26.8 billion in new orders for Boeing from 182 new aircraft.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Fighter Jet Times - July 14, 2016

July 14, 2016

The F-35 finally made its air show debut at Farnborough, putting on an impressive display of the F-35B's hover capability.

During interviews at this year' Farnborough Air Show, Lockheed Martin's CEO, Marillyn Hewson emphasized that the unit cost of the F-35 has decreased by 57 percent since the first aircraft was produced, attempting to build a case that the airplane's development woes were behind them.

Russian officials are reporting that they are now testing new electronic warfare elements, in preparation for launching a 6th generation fighter program.  The 5th generation PAK-FA stealth fighter prototypes are being used to help evaluate the new technologies.  The tests are reportedly focused on microwave energy weapons.

India is reportedly negotiating with Russia for the supply of the Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) - the Indian version of Russia's PAK-FA stealth fighter still under development - as well as upgrade packages for its existing Su-30MKI fighters.  Previous talks surrounding the PAK-FA had stalled over questions of the new airplane's cost and performance.

Lockheed Martin has unveiled a plan to transfer its F-16 production line to India, where future Block 70/72 F-16V models would be produced.  There are no signs, however, that India has agreed to purchase the F-16, despite the announcement.  Lockheed Martin has only 15 remaining F-16s to deliver, before the production line is due to shut down.

The U.S. Air Force is considering proposals to expand the role of its T-X trainer program, to encompass a replacement for not only the service's T-38 Talon supersonic trainers, but also a replacement for the A-10 in the close air support role, or possibly as an aggressor aircraft for air combat training.  Lockheed Martin is offering a version of Korea's T-50 as a contendor for the contract, while Raytheon is offering a version of Italy's M-345 and Boeing has teamed with Saab to develop a proposal - likely based around Saab's Gripen fighter.  Northrop Grumman also plans to bid, in partnership with the UK's BAE Systems.

Flying aircraft that were largely supplied before the 1979 revolution, the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force has reported four fighter aircraft crashes so far this year.  Iran has ordered a large number of Russian Su-30 fighters to update its fleet, but no delivery schedule has been announced.  The U.S. government has protested that the proposed fighter sales would violate the terms for lifting previous sanctions against Iran.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Space Highlights - July 13, 2016

July 13, 2016

The U.S. Navy's newly launched Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) satellite has experienced an "anomaly" during transfer between low earth orbit and its targeted, geosynchronous orbit.  The Navy has placed the satellite into a temporary, intermediate orbit while they diagnose the problem.

China's second space lab, intended to allow two astronauts to stay in orbit for up to 30 days, has been delivered to the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre.  The lab, Tiangong-2 is scheduled to be launched later this year.

Arianespace has been attempting to market its launch service to potential military satellite customers in the Far East, including Australia, Indonesia and Japan.

Launch start-up Rocket Lab has signed an agreement with the Earth-imaging satellite provider Planet for the launch of three satellites aboard its Electron rocket, which is currently under development.  The first satellite is expected to be launched in 2017.

NASA has released a time-lapse video, depicting the moon passing in front of the Earth, as seen from the Deep Space Climate ObserVatoRy's (DSCOVR's) EPIC imaging system.

NASA has released images of Saturn's moon, Pan as captured together with Saturn and its rings by the Cassini spacecraft.

NASA's Curiosity Mars rover is back up and working, after a software glitch put it temporarily into a "safe" mode a week ago.  The glitch is belived to have been tied to how the rover was storing temporary image files for relay to Earth.

A new dwarf planet has been identified in the far reaches of the solar system - beyond the orbit of Neptune.  The new Kuiper belt object, labeled 2015 RR245, orbits the sun once every 700 years, traveling in a highly elliptical orbit.

A newly discovered exoplanet has been identified orbiting in a triple star system - the first such discovery of its kind.  The planet, HD 131399ab is roughly four times the mass of Jupiter, and orbits its parent star some 340 light years away.  Two smaller stars also orbit the massive planet's host.  The finding sheds new light on what conditions planets can form under, and still maintain a stable orbit.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Wide Body Report - July 12, 2016

July 12, 2016

Jet Airways intends to deploy the Boeing 777 to its Dubai, Singapore and Amsterdam routes.

Boeing has confirmed that it would be possible to build an even larger, stretch version of its 777X now under development: a proposed 777-10.  However, the manufacturer is still evaluating whether the market would support such a large airplane.

Boeing's 787 Dreamliner is expected to put on an impressive flight display at this year's Farnborough Air Show.

China's Ruili Airlines has firmed up an order for six Boeing 787-9s.

Virgin Atlantic has placed an order for twelve Airbus A350-1000 aircraft.  The new, stretched version of the A350 is expected to enter flight test later this year.

Orders for the A380 superjumbo continue to dry up, leading to speculation that the airplane may be out of production in a few years time.

Rolls-Royce reports that they are ready to begin flight testing of their XWB-87 verson of the Trent - intended to equip the Airbus A350-1000.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Single Aisle News - July 11, 2016

July 11, 2016

Bombardier officials have confirmed that the C-Series wing could accommodate a stretched version with more capacity than the current, 149-seat CS300.

Bombardier has opened up its C-Series assembly floor to journalists, highlighting its newly built manufacturing facilities and its ability to ramp up production, ahead of the Farnborough Air Show.

Bombardier's C-Series showed up early to this year's Farnborough Air Show, as the manufacturer sought to woo potential customers and maximize its media exposure in advance of opening day.

China's Xiamen Airlines has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for up to thirty Boeing 737 MAX airplanes.  Xiamen currently operates an all-Boeing fleet that includes 130 older-model 737s.

Boeing has described the flight test program for its 737 MAX as being "the smoothest ever," emphasizing the readiness of its airplane and engine to enter service - in contrast to the start-up pains that Airbus' NEO experienced.

Deliveries of the Airbus A320 NEO have been held-up by delays in engine deliveries.

Airbus is reportedly close to finalizing a deal with India's Go Airlines for the delivery of some 70 additional A320 NEO airplanes.  The airline already has 72 NEO-famility aircraft on order.

Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp. has reportedly won a deal for 20 Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ) aircraft to Sweden's Rockton leasing company.  The deal is expected to be officially announced at this week's Farnborough Air Show.

Engine availability is reportedly a key concern for Boeing's decision regarding when to launch its "Middle of the Market" (MoM) 757 replacement.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

National Best Interest

As I discuss in a recent Opinion/Editorial posted in the Jerusalem Post International Edition, despite what some of Israel's detractors might profess, U.S. military assistance to Israel has never been an act of charity: it is a strategic investment dictated by America's own national self-interest

Providing military assistance to Israel is far, far cheaper than sending U.S. soldiers to fight wars in the Eastern Mediterranean, and far cheaper than similar U.S. investments to defend NATO in Europe, or U.S. allies in the Far East.

In that same vein, as a strategic investment, getting the most out of U.S. military assistance to Israel also dictates that the U.S. should leverage Israeli resources and technology, wherever possible. Israeli innovation has been a constant source of fresh ideas and practical application that has benefited the defense of both nations.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Fighter Jet Times - July 7, 2016

July 7, 2016

Increased F-22 utilization rates are leading to an acceleration in the F-22's maintenance schedule.

The U.S. Air Force has deployed F-22 Raptors to Al Dhafra Air Base in the United Arab Emirates, to support the campaign against ISIS in Iraq.  These aircraft can carry up to eight GBU-39 small diameter bombs in their internal bomb bays.

The F-35B is expected to be the star of the show at the upcoming Royal International Air Tatoo (RIAT) in Gloucestershire, England this weekend.

Martin-Baker has responded to claims that the Pentagon is considering a replacement for its ejection seat on the F-35 fighter, countering that a recovery plan is underway to qualify the ejection seat for lighter-weight pilots.

Preparing various international air bases to support future deployment of the F-35 fighter has been elevated to a leading concern among U.S. logistics planners.  The new aircraft are expected to require special maintenance facilities to support its large engine and stealth coatings, as well as tying the logistical support system into the U.S.-based ALIS computer system.

Reports from Russia continue to reaffirm that Russia's PAK-FA fighter has nearly completed its flight test program and will enter production later this year.

Japan has announced its intention to deploy some 100 new, 5th generation air superiority fighters in the 2030s, as it releases a request for information from potential suppliers.  Japan is expected to decide in 2018 whether to invest in a foreign-built fighter program, or to continue development based on the X-2 Shinshin technology demonstrator currently in flight test.

Reports continue to circulate that Japanese fighters illuminated two Chinese jets with their air-to-air, fire-control radars during an encounter over the East China Sea on June 17th.  China has confirmed that an encounter took place, and has publicly protested the incident, although no official details have been released by either party.

India's Tejas fighter has formally entered service with the Indian Air Force, after over three decades of development.  The first two aircraft have been handed over to the "Flying Daggers" 45 squadron, with an additional four operational fighters to be delivered by year-end, and another eight next year.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Space Highlights - July 6, 2016

July 6, 2016

China launched a new electronic intelligence satellite this past week, labeled the Shijian 16, aboard a Long March 4B booster.  It is the second electronic signals intelligence spacecraft of its type launched by China.

China also launched an experimental satellite aboard a Long March 7 booster, that it reports is intended to collect space debris from low earth orbit.  Others have contended that the satellite, with its robotic arm, could be also intended to interfere with functioning, foreign satellites during wartime.

A complete space debris collection satellite, which would examine multiple strategies for collecting and eliminating unwanted debris, is being developed by the Surrey Space Centre in partnership with Airbus.  The European spacecraft is intended to examine multiple methods for de-orbiting unwanted debris.

NASA's Juno spacecraft successfully executed a rocket motor burn this week, placing it in orbit around Jupiter.  The solar-powered spacecraft is now in a 53-day, elongated elliptical orbit around Jupiter.  A second orbital burn is scheduled for October, when the spacecraft will adjust to a 14-day orbital period.  Juno is equipped with a series of instruments intended to penetrate Jupiter's thick cloud cover to map its interior structure.

NASA officials have rejected proposals to have the Dawn spacecraft make a flyby of a third asteroid, choosing instead to leave it in orbit around Ceres for continued observation.  Dawn has already orbited two asteroids: Vesta and its current home, Ceres.

NASA has formally approved budget to extend the mission of the New Horisons spacecraft, which flew by Pluto last year.  New Horizons is currently on course to flyby another Kuiper belt object, 2014 MU69 in January 2019.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Wide Body Report - July 5, 2016

July 5, 2016

An engine fire aboard a Singapore Airlines Boeing 777 engulfed the airplane shortly after making an emergency landing and safely evacuating the crew and passengers.  The flight, which took off from Singapore's Changi Airport enroute to Milan, made the emergency landing after an engine oil warning light forced the pilot to return to Singapore.  The airplane was equipped with GE90 engines.

Boeing is examining the possibility of fielding an even larger version of the 777X, now under development, in an effort to directly challenge the Airbus A380 superjumbo airline.  The proposed 777-10X would carry some 450 passengers.

UK operator Thomson Airways has taken delivery of its first Boeing 787-9.  The aircraft are expected to connect Manchester, England to destinations in Spain and Jamaica.  The airline currently operates nine 787-8s.

An All Nippon Airways (ANA) Boeing 787-9 will appear as part of the flying display at this year's Farnborough Air Show.

Ethiopian Airlines is evaluating both the Airbus A350-1000 and the Boeing 777X as it examines its fleet expansion needs.  The airline recently took delivery of the first of 14 Airbus A350-900 aircraft, which it is leasing from the Dutch-based AerCap.  The aircraft arrived in Lagos, Nigeria and will be the first A350s to operate in Africa.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Single Aisle News - July 4, 2016

July 4, 2016

Air Canada has finalized its order for 45 Bombardier C-Series aircraft, with options on another 30.  Deliveries would begin in 2019.

Swiss International Air Lines took delivery of its first CS100 Bombardier C-Series aircraft this past week.  The Swiss aircraft are configured for 125 seats.

Airbus and Embraer are both threatening litigation over government aid received by Bombardier to transition the C-Series into production.

Embraer has begun manufacture of the first components for the wing of its E175-E2 prototype.

Embraer is looking to bring its E190-E2 prototype to this year's Farnborough Air Show, where it will likely join the Airbus A320 NEO, Boeing 737 MAX, and Bombardier C-Series in the display line-up.

Embraer ha signed a $470 milion deal with Alcoa for the supply of raw material for the Embraer E2 family of aircraft.

Boeing officials have signaled that a new "middle of the market" (MoM) single-aisle aircraft is less a matter of if, than when it would be launched.  Officials at the manufacturer estimate that between 4,000 and 5,000 aircraft in this size range - between the 737 and 787 airline - could be sold to replace 757 and 767 aircraft.

Engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney has announced that it will dedicate $65 million to expand its Columbus Engine Center in Georgia, to handle maintenance of PW1100G Geared Turbofan engines.