The Boeing 737 MAX 9 during its first flight. (Photo: Boeing)
The Boeing 737 MAX 9 has completed its first flight yesterday, 13 April 2017, in the skies above Puget Sound. It is the second version of the new 737 MAX generation that spreaded its wings, after the 737 MAX 8.
The first flight took 2 hours and 42 minutes. The aircraft began its flight from Renton Field in Renton, Washington, at 10:52 a.m. local time and landed at 1:34 p.m. at Seattle’s Boeing Field.
It was piloted by Boeing Test and Evaluation Captains Christine Walsh and Ed Wilson. The aircraft performed tests on flight controls, systems and handling qualities.
The 737 MAX 9 offers a maximum seating capacity of 220 passengers and a range of 3,515 nm (6,491 km). It is fitted with latest technology CFM International LEAP-1B turbofan engines and advanced winglets. The MAX 9 replaces the 737-900.
Boeing claims that the 737 MAX 9 is on schedule at the beginning of its flight-test and certification programme. Customer deliveries are to begin in 2018.
So far Boeing has orders for over 3,700 737 MAX aircraft of all versions, by 86 customers worldwide. More than 400 are of the MAX 9 version.
Iran Aseman intents to buy 30 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. (Photo: Boeing)
Iran Aseman Airlines has signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) with Boeing for the purchase 30 Boeing 737 MAX airliners. The agreement also includes the purchase rights for 30 additional 737 MAX aircraft.
When this agreement becomes a firm order, deliveries will begin in 2022. Iran Aseman Airlines currently flies an ageing fleet, including Boeing 727, 737-400, Fokker 70 / 100, Airbus A340 and some early Airbus A320s.
Boeing negotiated the agreement under authorization from the U.S. government in relation to the nuclear accord Iran signed in 2015.
The first An-132 during a taxi test preceding the first flight. (Photo: Antonov)
The Antonov An-132 made its maiden flight today, 31 March 2017, the same day as the Airbus A319neo and the Boeing 787-10 double-stretch Dreamliner.
The Antonov/Taqnia An-132 is an improved version of the Antonov An-32 twin-engined turboprop transport aircraft and is being developed jointly by Saudi Arabia and Ukraine. It is a multi-role aircraft for civil and military missions and it has a cargo capacity of 9.2t.
The An-132 is fitted with two Pratt & Whitney Canada PW150 turboprop engines, and has Honeywell avionics, a Liebherr air management system and a Hamilton Sundstrand Auxiliary Power Unit (APU).
The prototype was rolled-out on 20 December 2016, at Kiev, and today was the maiden flight. The first deliveries are planned for 2018.
The first Airbus A319neo in the air. (Photo: Airbus)
The third and smallest member of the Airbus A320neo Family, the A319neo, has begun flight testing today, 31 March 2017.
The first Airbus A319neo (new engine option) performed its maiden flight from Hamburg and landed in Toulouse after 5 hours in the air. The aircraft was flown by test pilots Michel Gagneux and Eckard Hausser. They were assisted in the cockpit by test-flight engineer Jean Michel Pin, while two flight test engineers Sylvie Loisel-Labaste and David O’nions directed the flight from the aircraft’s Test Engineer station. The A319neo flight test programma will be completed in Toulouse.
The A319neo is powered by two CFM International LEAP-1A turbofan engines. Airbus claims fuel savings for the A320neo Family aircraft of more than 15 per cent compared with the earlier A320ceo (current engine option) thanks to the new generation engines and Sharklet wing tip devices.
So far, the A319neo is not a sales success for Airbus, with firm orders for only 50 aircraft.
The Embraer E195-E2 during its first flight. (Photo: Embraer)
The Embraer E195-E2 has made its maiden flight on 29 March, ten months after the first flight of the E190-E2. The flight was originally scheduled for the second half of the year, but – very unusual in the aircraft industry – the E195-E2 took off months ahead of schedule.
The E195-E2 is the second and largest aircraft of Embraer’s new three-member E-Jet E2 family. Embraer claims that the aircraft uses 20 per cent less fuel per trip than the first generation E195.
The E195-E2 departed at 11.22 am local time, from Embraer’s facility in São José dos Campos, Brazil, and flew for two hours. The crew tested aircraft performance, flight quality and systems behavior such as autopilot, fly-by-wire in direct mode, and landing gear retraction.
The E195-E2 has 1.4 m (4 ft 7 in) more wingspan than the E190-E2, which makes it the single-aisle jet with the highest aspect ratio. The E195-E2 also has three additional rows of seats. It accommodates 120 passengers in a two-class configuration or up to 146 in a single class layout. Range is increased with 450 nm (833 km), up to 2,450 nm (4,537 km).
Embraer will use two aircraft for the E195-E2 certification campaign. The second prototype’s first flight is expected by the end of this year.
Entry into service of the E195-E2 is planned for the first half of 2019. The first operator will be Azul Brazilian Airlines. Embraer holds orders for 90 E195-E2 jets on a total of 275 firm E-Jet E2 orders.
This is what an endless runway airport looks like. (Image: NLR)
The Dutch aviation and space research institute NLR has presented a completely new airport concept: ‘The Endless Runway.
This radical concept is based on the construction of a circular runway with a diameter of approximately 3.5 km around an airport terminal. Such an airport would need only a third of the space of a conventional airport. Another advantage is that aircraft can always take off and land in any direction, depending on wind conditions, since there is always a point without crosswind on the circular runway. So, this kind of airport should be safer than conventional airports.
Landing aircraft can be routed away from residential areas because they are not dependent on a standard approach path. Finally, the ‘Endless Runway’ concept will enable multiple aircraft to take off and land simultaneously, resulting in increased airport capacity.
Impression of an A330-200 in the Level colour scheme. (Image: IAG)
International Airlines Group (IAG) has launched a new low-cost longhaul airline named ‘Level’. The new carrier will take off in June 2017, ticket sales have begun.
The airline will begin operating from Barcelona (Spain) and connect this city with Los Angeles, San Francisco (Oakland), Buenos Aires and Punta Cana. The intention is to launch flights from other European cities later.
Level will operate two new Airbus A330 aircraft painted in its own livery and fitted with 293 economy and 21 premium economy seats. The aircraft will initially be operated by Iberia flight and cabin crew.
The lowest fares are from €99/US$149 one way. Checked luggage (in addition to a free cabin bag), meals, seat selection and the latest movie releases will be complimentary for customers flying in premium economy. Passengers in ‘ordinary’ economy have to pay for this.
Level will become IAG’s fifth main airline brand alongside Aer Lingus, British Airways, Iberia and Vueling. Barcelona is Vueling’s home base and passengers can connect from European Vueling flights onto Level’s longhaul flights.
Flights to Los Angeles commence on June 1, twice weekly. Flights to San Francisco (Oakland) begin on June 2, thrice weekly. Flights to Punta Cana (Dominican Republic) start on June 10, twice a week. Flights to Buenos Aires begin on June 17, thrice weekly.
The delivery is part of Iran Air’s major fleet renewal plan, and is the first widebody aircraft from the firm order for 100 Airbus aircraft in December 2016, comprising 46 single aisle and 54 widebody jets.
Iran Air’s A330-200 features a two class cabin layout, seating 32 passengers in business and 206 in economy.