Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Wide Body Report - June 14, 2017

June 14, 2017

Boeing's 777 celebrated 23 years of flight this past week.

El Al Israel Airlines expects to receive the first of 16 Boeing 787s that are currently on order this August.

Airbus has rolled out its first A350-900 in Delta Airlines livery.  The airplane is expected to enter service in October.

The first Airbus A350-1000 is expected to be delivered to Qatar Airways by the end of this year.

Airbus is examining the possibility of incorporating wing tip extensions onto the A380 superjumbo aircraft.

Russian officials have announced that they intend to develop a new jet engine of their own, the PD-35, to power the C929 mid-size airliner that was recently launched as a joint program with China.  Many industry sources expect export copies of the airplane, however, to feature more fuel-efficient Western jet engines.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Single Aisle News - June 13, 2017

June 13, 2017

The U.S. International Trade Commission has concluded that subsidies provided to Bombardier may have injured U.S. industry, a ruling that allows for a formal U.S. government investigation to proceed.

Bombardier expects to celebrate the C-Series' first year in service at this year's Paris Air Show, with plans to display an airBaltic CS300 aircraft.

Russia's Federal Air Transport Agency has granted type validation to Airbus for the A320 NEO and A321 NEO aircraft.  The ruling clears the way for Russian airlines to operate the airplanes.

Boeing has concluded a deal with Iran for the delivery of 30 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, with options for up to 30 more.

Boeing officials continue to gradually divulge details surrounding the proposed 757 replacement aircraft that the manufacturer is contemplating as its next, new program.  Labeled by many as the 797, speculation is mounting regarding whether anything official will be announced at this year's Paris Air Show.

Following a wave of public outcry, American Airlines has backed away from plans to introduce a new, dense seating arrangment on the Boeing 737 MAX airplanes that it currently has on order.

Russian news outlets have already begun to plug Russia's Irkut MC-21 airline - which has performed a single flight test to date - ahead of the upcoming Paris Air Show.

China's Everbright Financial Leasing has signed an agreement for the purchase of 30 Comac C919 aircraft.  The order brings the total backlog for the C919 to some 600 aircraft - virtually all of them sold to state-operated airlines or lessors.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Fighter Jet Times - June 12, 2017

June 12, 2017

The USAF has temporarily grounded F-35 flights at Luke Air Force Base following pilot reports of hypoxia-like symptoms.  Similar problems with the air system on the F-22 led to the fleet being grounded for four months in 2011.

Japan rolled-out the first locally assembled F-35A at its Mitsubishi Heavy Industries plant.

The head of Airbus' military aircraft division has called upon France to join in the development of a new stealth fighter program being proposed by Germany and Spain as an eventual replacement for the Eurofighter Typhoon.  The New Generation Weapon System (NGWS) is a proposed 6th generation fighter aircraft that would be part of the proposed Future Combat Air System, which would also include unmanned air vehicles and space-based sensors.  In previous decades, France has resisted joining pan-European fighter development efforts, choosing for example to forge their own aircraft - the Dassault Rafale - rather than take part in the development of the Eurofighter Typhoon.

The Russian Air Force expects to take delivery of two additional PAK-FA stealth fighter prototypes in 2017.

The Pentagon is reporting that China is equipping three of its man-made island in the South China Sea to support fighter jet operations over the disputed waterways.

Russian fighters intercepted a U.S. B-52 strategic bomber in international air space over the Baltic Sea, as the U.S. and Russia resume many of their Cold War military exercises.

Israel has formally submitted its order for an additional 17 F-35 fighters, bringing Israel's total order for the new stealth aircraft to 50 examples.  The planned order increase was announced in November 2016, but contract details continued to be worked out in the months that followed.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Space Highlights - June 8, 2017

June 8, 2017

India's ISRO has successfully launched the GSAT-19 communications satellite into orbit, marking the first launch for India's Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III (GSLV MkIII) - India's largest booster rocket yet.

A Russian Proton rocket launched Echostar-21 into orbit this week - the first such launch in a year, since an engine glitch led to a previous launch failure.

NASA's Cassini spacecraft has completed its seventh dive inside of Saturn's rings.

NASA has released a new fly-by video of Jupiter, assembled from images collected by the Juno spacecraft.

Researchers have identified a Jupiter-sized exoplanet that is hotter than the surface of most stars.  The planet orbits close to a hot A-type star, which has been super-heating the planet's atmosphere.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Wide Body Report - June 7, 2017

June 7, 2017

India's Jet Airways has deployed the Boeing 777 on its Delhi to Singapore route, increasing the available passenger volume by some 35-percent over the Airbus A330-200 that was formerly assigned on this flight.

Lufhansa is evaluating the option of dropping first class seating from some of the Boeing 777-9 aircraft that it currently has on order, in favor of a "Business Plus" seating arrangement.  The 777-9 is part of the Boeing 777X family of aircraft currently under development.

Kestrel Aviation has closed a sale for a second luxury VIP conversion of a Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

Boeing's lineup at this year's Paris Air Show is expected to include a 737 MAX-9 and well as a 787-10 on static display.

United Airlines is expected to deploy the Boeing 787-9 on the world's third-longest route, connecting LAX and Singapore.

Airbus expects to refit Zodiac Aerospace seats on all of Finnair's A350s due to quality issues.  Airbus has been wracked with delivery delays for the A350, due largely to cabin hardware delivery issues.

Airbus expects to bring its A350-1000 prototype, now in flight test, to the Paris Air Show.

Airbus expects to cut production of the A380 superjumbo below one aircraft per month if no new orders are logged shortly.

China and Russia have formalized their plans to jointly develop the C929 wide-body airline over the next decade, as a direct competitor to Airbus and Boeing's mid-size aircraft.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Single Aisle News - June 6, 2017

June 6, 2017

Bombardier officials have revealed that Korean Air Lines will be the first C-Series customer to receive an airplane outfitted with updated Pratt & Whitney engines to address durability issues.

Bombardier has delivered its first CS300 aircraft to airBaltic, making the airline the second customer to receive the larger model of the C-Series.

Industry analysts continue to point out that Boeing's decision to challenge Bombardier's C-Series pricing practices likely puts in jeopardy profits from planned F/A-18 fighter sales to Canada - profits that would out-strip Boeing's supposed loss in 737 sales to Delta Air lines by two-to-one.

Reviewers have underscored how Boeing's legal challenge against Bombardier's C-Series only highlights how superior the C-Series offering is.

Pratt & Whitney has certified the engines for the Embraer E175-E2 and Mitsubishi Regional Jet aircraft with the FAA - the smallest members of its Geared TurboFan engine family.

Embraer has increased its official range projections for the E190-E2 regional jet, based on better than expected performance in flight test.

Embraer as offering its E195-E2 as a solution to JetBlue Airways' concerns over range and capacity limitations in the current E190 regional jet aircraft.

Mitsubishi Aircraft expects to accelerate its flight test program for the MRJ90 regional jet this summer, in an effort to recover some of the time lost due to previous delays.

Norwegian has been informed that its first delivery for the Boeing 737 MAX-8 has been delayed until the end of June.

Indonesia's Lion Air is being courted as the potential inaugural customer for the proposed Boeing 737 MAX-10 - a new stretched version of the MAX family.

China's leaders has called upon their German counterparts to help smooth the way for certification of the C919 single aisle aircraft with the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).

Engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney has warned that Rolls-Royce will likely face a patent battle if it attempts to offer its UltraFan geared turbofan engine to power Boeing's anticipated Middle of the Market (MoM) or New Midsized Aircraft (NMA).

Friday, June 2, 2017

Fighter Jet Times - June 2, 2017

June 2, 2017

Pratt & Whitney has announced the successful test of its first F135 Growth Option 1 engine, intended to provide an improved, evolved powerplant for the F-35 fighter.  The F135 derivative engine is aimed at delivering a 10-percent increase in thrust and a 6-percent decrease in fuel consumption.

India and Russia have still failed to reach an agreement on a proposed Indian derivative of Russia's PAK-FA stealth fighter.  Sticking points continue to revolve around cost, and technology transfer issues.

The U.S. has protested after two Chinese J-10 fighters made "unsafe maneuvers" while intercepting a U.S. Navy surveillance aircraft over the South China Sea.

India has recovered the black box from an Su-30 fighter that crashed last week.  Two pilots died in the crash.  The cause of the accident is under investigation.

Space Highlights - June 1, 2017

June 1, 2017

An Ariane 5 booster successfully placed two communications satellites - the ViaSat-2 and Eutelsat 172B - into orbit.

Stratolaunch Systems rolled out its satellite launch platform for the first time: a giant airplane that's intended to heft satellite launch rockets to high altitude for release.  Stratolaunch has been largely funded by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen.

Cassini has made its closest pass yet with Saturn's innermost ring.

Data collected from Cassini suggests that Saturn's moon Enceladus may have tipped over in the distant pass - with terrain that's now in its polar region once having been located near the moon's equator.

The first two research papers connected with NASA's Juno spacecraft have been released, revealing some of the first results from the deep, multilayered picture that Juno's instruments are providing to map Jupiter's atmosphere.

Passing close to Jupiter's cloud tops, the Juno spacecraft has captured the first views of Jupiter's small, faint rings ever captured from inside the ring's orbit.

NASA's Curiosity rover has revealed that the ancient lake that once existed at Gale crater on Mars was divided into two distinct layers - both of which had the necessary conditions to support microbial life, if any had existed.

A deep pit identified on the surface of Mars appears to be surrounded by a "Swiss cheese" terrain that continues to puzzle researchers.  The area was identified by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

LIGO, an instrument designed to detect gravity waves, has identified its third black hole merger.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Wide Body Report - May 31, 2017

May 31, 2017

Turkish Airlines has taken delivery of their 30th Boeing 777-300ER.

Boeing has delivered its 550th 787 Dreamliner - with the latest airplane delivery to Hainan Airlines this week.

The FAA has proposed a $435,000 fine on United Airlines for flying a Boeing 747 without performing a mandatory fuel pump inspection.  The offending airplane flew 23 times before the inspection was carried out.

Asiana Airlines' first A350 made its inaugural flight from Manila to Seoul this week.

Airbus has installed the wing-fuselage section on the first A350-900 destined for Air Mauritius.  Delivery is expected in the fourth quarter of this year.

Etihad has taken delivery of its tenth and final Airbus A380.