Airbus to improve A380 megajet

Airbus A380Plus

Impression of the Airbus A380Plus. (Image: Airbus)P

Airbus has presented a development study for an enhanced A380, the ‘A380plus’.

The study includes aerodynamic improvements in particular new, large winglets and other wing refinements that allow for up to 4 per cent fuel burn savings. Added to an optimised A380 maintenance programme and the enhanced cabin features first shown in April, the overall benefit is a 13 per cent cost per seat reduction versus today’s A380.

The new winglets measure approximately 4,7 metres in height (an uplet of 3.5 m, and a downlet of 1.2 m). It is designed to improve aerodynamics and reduce drag.

The new cabin layout allows up to 80 additional seats, without, according to Airbus, no compromise on comfort: redesigned stairs, a combined crew-rest compartment, sidewall stowage removal, a new 9-abreast seat configuration in premium economy and 11-abreast in economy.

The A380plus will have an increased maximum take-off weight (MTOW) of 578 tonnes providing seats for 80 more passengers over today’s range (8,200nm), or flying 300nm further.

The A380plus features longer maintenance check intervals, a reduced six-year check downtime, and systems improvements, which will reduce maintenance costs and increase aircraft availability.

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Boeing launches 737 MAX 10

Boeing 737 MAX 10

Impression of the Boeing 737 MAX 10. (Image: Boeing)

Boeing has officially launched the 737 MAX 10 as the newest member of the 737 MAX family at the 2017 Paris Air Show. Boeing claims that the 737 MAX 10 will have the lowest seat-mile cost of any single-aisle airplane produced so far.

Design changes for the MAX 10 include a fuselage stretch of 66 inches compared with the MAX 9 and a levered main landing gear. The airplane has the capacity to carry up to 230 passengers. Other changes include a variable exit limit rating mid-exit door, a lighter flat aft pressure bulkhead and a modified wing for low speed drag reduction. Like Boeing’s other 737 MAX models, the MAX 10 incorporates CFM International LEAP-1B engines, advanced technology winglets, Boeing’s Sky Interior, large flight deck displays and other improvements.

Boeing has already received orders and commitments for 240 aircraft from more than ten customers. Many of these orders are conversions of orders for smaller MAX models. Among the airline customers are Lion Air (commitment for 50), SpiceJet (India – MoU for 40: 20 new and 20 conversions from earlier MAX 8 orders) and TUI Group (18 from earlier MAX orders).

Several leasing companies also signed commitments: GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS – 20 conversions), BOC Aviation (MoU for 10), CDB Aviation Lease Finance (CDB Aviation – 10), Tibet Financial Leasing (MoU for 20 737 MAX airplanes, a mix of the MAX 10 and MAX 8).

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Easyjet receives Airbus A320neo

Airbus A320neo Easyjet

Easyjet’s first A320neo. (Photo: Airbus)

Airbus has delivered the first Airbus A320 to Easyjet, which is also the airline’s 300th A320 Family aircraft.

The aircraft, powered by CFM LEAP-1A engines, seats 186 passengers. It has a special NEO logo on the fuselage. Easyjet’s NEO fleet will be based at London Luton Airport and operate its first commercial flights in June to Amsterdam, Madrid and Edinburgh.

Easyjet currently operates Europe’s largest A320 Family fleet and is also Europe’s largest customer for the Neo.

Easyjet recently upsized orders for 30 A320neo aircraft to the larger A321neo with 235 seats.

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Swiss CS300 in special livery

Bombardier CS300 Swiss Romandy livery.

The first Swiss Bombardier CSeries CS300 in special Romandy livery. (Photo: Swiss)

Swiss International Air Lines (Swiss) has painted its first Bombardier CSeries CS300 aircraft in a special livery designed by Romand artist Mathias Forbach, also known as Fichtre. The intention of the livery is to express Swiss’ commitment to Swiss Romandy, the French-speaking part of western Switzerland, and its airport, Geneva Cointrin, where the aircraft will be based. The CS300 will wear the livery for twelve months.

The Swiss CS300 has 145 seats, 20 more than the CS100. By the end of 2018, the Swiss short-haul fleet in Geneva will consist exclusively of CSeries airplanes: one CS100 and seven CS300s, replacing seven Airbus A320-family aircraft currently stationed at Cointrin Airport.

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Irkut MS-21 makes maiden flight

Irkut MS-21-300 at its first flight

The Irkut MS-21 after the take off for its first flight. (Photo: Irkut/UAC)

The new Russian airliner Irkut MS-21-300 (‘MC-21-300’ in Russian) has performed its first flight on 28 May 2017 from the airfield of the Irkutsk Aviation Plant.

The flight lasted only 30 minutes, at an altitude of 1000 meters. The aircraft didn’t fly faster than 300 km/h. The flight plan included checking of in-flight stability and controllability, and also the controllability of the power plant. During the flight a simulated landing approach was performed, followed by a flight over the runway, climbing and turning. This maneuver is typical for the maiden flight of new aircraft types.

The aircraft was piloted by two test pilots: crew commander Oleg Kononenko and copilot Roman Taskayev. Kononenko reported that no obstacles showed up that could prevent the continuation of flight testing. According to Taskayev all aircraft systems operated without glitches.

With a capacity of 163 to 211 passengers, the MC-21-300 is in the same class as the Boeing 737, Airbus A320 Family and the Chinese COMAC C919, which flew for the first time only a few weeks ago.

The MS-21 has the biggest fuselage diameter in its category of narrow-body airliners in order to offer more comfort to passengers. The aircraft is powered by two Pratt & Whitney PW1400G turbofans or Russian-built United Engine Corporation PD-14s. The aircraft uses many systems from Western manufacturers. The wing of the aircraft is made of polymer composite materials. The airframe consists of 30 percent composites.

Irkut claims that it has an initial portfolio of 175 firm orders for the MS-21, all prepaid.

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First flight for new civil Hercules

Lockheed LM-100J civil Super Hercules

The first new generation LM-100J civil Super Hercules during its first flight. (Photo: Lockheed Martin)

The Lockheed Martin LM-100J Commercial Freighter has completed its first flight on 25 May 2017.

Chief test pilot Wayne Roberts said that the aircraft performed flawlessly, like a new military C-130J production aircraft. The flight followed the same test flight route over North Georgia and Alabama that is used for all C-130J Super Hercules aircraft.

The LM-100J is essentially a civil version of the C-130J Super Hercules and an updated version of the L-100 cargo aircraft being produced by Lockheed from 1964 until 1992. It is intended to deliver bulk and oversize cargo, particularly to austere locations worldwide. Like its military counterpart, it is also able to support a wide range of missions, from firefighting to medevac to VIP transport.

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Airbus expansion at TAP Portugal

Airbus A321 TAP Portugal

TAP Portugal operates an all-Airbus fleet, including the A321. (Photo: airlinergallery.nl)

BOC Aviation Limited has ordered four new Airbus A320neo Family aircraft (including A320 and A321 variants) and two new Airbus A330-900 aircraft for lease to TAP Portugal.

All six Airbus aircraft will be delivered between 2018 and 2020. TAP’s total fleet renewal plan includes 53 new Airbus NEO Family aircraft. The airline currently flies an all-Airbus fleet of 66 aircraft, from A319 to A340.

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Vistara takes delivery of A320neo

Airbus A320neo Vistara

Vistara’s first Airbus A320neo. (Photo: Airbus)

Vistara (India) has taken delivery of its first Airbus A320neo.

The aircraft is the first of seven to be leased from BOC Aviation. The CFM powered aircraft is configured in a three class layout with 158 seats (8 business class, 24 premium and 126 economy class).

Vistara currently operates 13 A320 aircraft on domestic routes in India. The increased range of the A320neo provides the airline with the opportunity to spread its wings internationally in the future.

Vistara is a full service airline based in Delhi. It is a joint venture between Tata Sons Ltd. and Singapore Airlines.

So far Airbus has delivered more than 110 A320neo aircraft to 24 operators.

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Malindo Air receives 737 MAX 8

Boeing 737 MAX 8 Malindo Air Batik Malaysia

Malindo Air’s first Boeing 737 MAX 8 in its new Batik Malaysia livery. (Photo: Boeing)

Boeing has delivered the first production Boeing 737 MAX 8 to Malindo Air. The Malaysia-based airline will be the first to put the 737 MAX into commercial service.

Malindo Air is currently a user of the Boeing 737 Next Generation. The new aircraft gives the airline the opportunity to go to further destinations.

The airline is a subsidiary of the Indonesian carrier Lion Air. The delivered 737 MAX 8 carries Batik Malaysia titles, the new brand of the airline. Lion Air has ordered a total of 201 737 MAX aircraft, which will be partly operated by Malindo Air.

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Delta: thirty more Airbus A321s

Airbus A321 Delta Air Lines

Airbus A321 in Delta livery. (Image: Airbus)

Delta Air Lines has placed an additional order for 30 Airbus A321ceo aircraft. It is the fourth time that Delta orders A321s with the Current Engine Option.

Including the new order, Delta has ordered a total of 112 A321s, all powered by CFM International CFM56 turbofan engines. The airline took delivery of its first A321 in March last year.

Many of Delta’s A321s are being delivered from the Airbus U.S. Manufacturing Facility in Mobile, Alabama. By the end of 2017, this facility is expected to produce four aircraft per month, mostly for Airbus’ U.S. customers.

Delta has postponed the delivery of ten of its 25 Airbus A350 aircraft on firm order for two to three years. The intention remains to take delivery of its first A350 later in 2017.

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