While Boeing and Airbus have maintained monopoly in the large passenger aircraft segment, there have been a few players who are trying to rope into the trend and make a name for themselves. The likes of Mitsubishi and Embraer are probably the most well-known brands that are trying to give an alternative to the two of the biggest giants in the world of aviation. One new development that has kind of gone under the carpet is a China manufactured and designed aircraft, called C919. The aircraft is made by Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (Comac) and features a single aisle.
This puts it up against the likes of Boeing 737 and Airbus A320 as a plane capable of serving both short domestic distances as well as medium distances both domestically and internationally. The aircraft is expected to take its first commercial flight in 2016 and already more than 500 orders have been placed for it. Most of these orders are from the domestic Chinese airlines, though GE has also placed an order for 20 planes, which it would further lease out.
The Comac was expected to fly by the end of this year, but in July the plane was pushed back because of reasons that have not been made public. Not a lot of people are confident of the plane making it big commercially, but another option may just not hurt really.
You can watch the assembling of one such C919 below:
General Electric happens to be one of the leading players when it comes to engines in the Aerospace Industry. Along with, Pratt and Whitney and Rolls Royse, the triumvirate form the key propulsion core of pretty much every major passenger aircraft out there. GE has been in the past experimenting with the whole 3D fad to come up with an engine that could eventually replace out the metallic bodies, maybe in the future. We have seen several aviation parts in the past being manufactured using 3D printers, especially the non-load carrying components like the fairings.
The most recent development sees GE using 3D printing for an engine of the size of a football that would be used to power the RC planes, though who would right off one of the big boys like the GE-90 using the components right out of a 3D printer. In the past, GE has announced that the upcoming LEAP engines would be using nozzles that would be made out of 3D printer so that the engine would be cost effective.
You can catch the 3D printed aviation engine, called Angel Trumpet in the video above and it is interesting to note that the parts have been manufactured and sketched one by one and have then been assembled together using robust assembling techniques.
It is a bit of a tradition to give a water cannon salute to a newly acquired aircraft when it is departing for a destination for the first time. It has been done several times over the past years where the aircraft basically is sprayed with jets of water by fire trucks on its two sides forming an arc around them as a gesture of best wishes. It was a rather uneventful morning at the Manchester airport when the inaugural Airbus 330 flight from Manchester to Atalanta was set to take off. The events took a rapid turn when the aircraft was given a foam cannon salute rather than a water cannon salute.
The chain of events saw someone on the firetruck by mistake press on the Foam shower button rather than the plain water button which saw the firetrucks throw up foam rather than water which was expected from the cannons. This foam is used to subsidise the fire and obviously lead to clogging of the engines of the aircraft.
The passengers, 252 of them were initially told that the delay would be only of about 5 hours, though obviously declining took longer and the passengers were taken to hotels for an overnight stay in Manchester before departing next morning on their flight to Atalanta. In an official statement, Virgin said, “We needed to give the aircraft a thorough check over. The initial delay was whilst our teams carried out the inspection. It was then delayed overnight as the crew ran out of hours. Our crew are legally required a minimum rest time between flights”.
A Turkish Airlines flight, TK 15, flying from Istanbul to Sao Paolo in Brazil was forced to make an emergency landing after a not was found in the lavatory cabin of the aircraft with the word ‘Bomb’ written on it. The aircraft made an immediate landing at the Casablanca airport in Monaco, which is en route the flight path to Brazil. After landing, it has been reported that all the passengers have disembarked the aircraft safely and there has been no casualty of any sort. The press officer of the airline too confirmed the reports of the incident, though did maintain everything is safe. So far, the incident looks like another hoax scandal, just like the TK 53 airlines, which was flying from Istanbul to Tokyo and was forced to make an emergency landing.
Update: After the landing of #TK15, passengers have now been evacuated and a search is underway to find any explosives. – @PollyR_Aviation
The aircraft is currently being searched for the explosives, though according to the latest, nothing has been found. With several unwanted incidents in the past couple of years, including the ill-fated, Air Asia, Malaysian Airlines flights as well as the recent case of GermanWings plane, you can understand why an extra layer of cautiousness is being applied. However, if the two cases do end up being a hox and nothing more, you would hope that Turkish Airlines would get to the depth of the issue and find the culprit, cause we could do with no such incidents.
A terrible weather and smothering crosswind is the worst nightmare of the pilot when performing a landing. All the possibilities from missing the approach, missing the runway, of the wing bumping the runway become a stark possibility when the weather gods take the matter in their own hands and it definitely is not a pretty sight if you are sitting in the plane. All you can really do is fold your hands and pray for yours and those with you, and their safety.
A stunning video posted by an aviation enthusiast Flugsnug shows a few aircrafts, including a twin engine ATR landing at the Birmingham airport in absolutely nightmare of conditions. It is clear none of the aircrafts featured in the video are the mainstay Boeing or Airbus planes, which perhaps would take to the conditions slightly better given their heavier weight and more powerful turbojet engines.
However, if you are an aviation enthusiast like us, you would absolutely enjoy these turboprop planes somehow safely managing to land safely. This is the time when you actually get to appreciate a good pilot and his work, where in spite of really challenging conditions, he is able to bring everybody home safely.
Airbus A350 XWB is Airbus’ big move in enhancing the performances of its long range aircrafts. The XWB or Extra Wide Body Airbus A350 promises to deliver a better passenger experiences with lower vibration as well as green flying with lower emission rates than any that an Airbus aircraft has delivered. The very first fully functional- ready to fly Airbus A350 XWB was recently delivered to Qatar Airways in a ceremony and event that was anything but lacklustre.
In order to recapture the feel and the event highlights, Airbus has come up with a beautiful microsite that integrates pictures, videos as well as the social media activities of the event as well as the development of the aircraft. The microsite for the same is available right here.
The aircraft Airbus A350 XWB is made 53% by weight from composite materials and promises 25% less fuel burn rate. So far, over 778 orders of the aircraft have been received by Airbus. The Airbus A350-900 has a range of about 14,350 km with a typical seating capacity of 315 passengers. With a wingspan of 64.75 meters, the Airbus A350 is made for long haul flying ensuring a better flying experience and a more efficient flying. the engine on the aircraft is a RR Trent XWB x2 with a thrust range of 374 kN.
In what was a rather embarrassing situation, when India was dropped to Tier 2 in the International Aviation Safety Assessment (IASA), a new twist of plot for the good is set to save the blushes. In what is seen as a positive influence from the visit of Prime Minister, Narendra Modi to the US, a delegation is set to inspect the improvements made by the DGCA as a response to the downgrade on December 8th, with high possibility that India’s position in Tier 1 will be restored.
All this comes as a result of a meeting of three FAA executives with the members of the EU Air Safety Committee where they discussed the possible measures taken by the DGCA. A result of this demotion saw the two airlines out of India that operate in the US, namely Jet Airways and Air India have their plans for expansion in the US put on hold.
The safety concerns that were raised have seen the DGCA recruit 75 CFOIs or Chief Flight Operations Inspectors, with 56 of them already put in place and the rest due to join up by next week. A senior DGCA official has said that all the positions will be filled by November 16th, well in time for the major inspection on December 8th.
We have all seen formation flying involving a lot of fighter jets or even cargoes. To see airliners fly in a formation is a rare sight and one that is a joy to behold. Recently in September, the newly tested Airbus A350 XWB airplanes took to the sky to provide a glorious sight of formation flying. Having clocked several thousand hours in flight testing as well as development of the airliner, it was one of the first public display of flying from the wide body aircraft.
The Airbus A350 XWB recently was certified by the EASA, which is one of the last certification tests an airliner must pass before being inducted into service. The Airbus A350 XWB is expected to enter into service sometime towards the end of the year 2014 and promises a reduction of at least 25% of fuel without compromising on the comfort or the range of flying. The aircraft has a twin jet configuration and can carry up to 369 passengers, though the number can be varied based on the configuration of the airlines. Qatar Airways is expected to be the first airlines to take the delivery of the Airbus A350 XWB.
You too can catch a glimpse of the show that the aircraft put up in a video right here:
The Dreamliner series of aircraft from Boeing is one of the most advanced commercial jets out there. With more usage of composites than ever before, the Dreamliner is one of the most economical, light yet strongest commercial jets out there and obviously there is a lot of interest and excitement around them. While in India, we have already seen Air India receive its first batch of orders, the same cannot be said for all the customers.
One of the largest customers of the Dreamliner is the UAE based, Etihad Airways, which has ordered a total of 71 Boeing 787 Dreamliners. The first of these aircrafts is expected to be delivered towards the end of the year and as a result work on the same is progressing really fast. Boeing and Etihad, this weekend revealed to the world the very first fully painted Etihad owned, Dreamliner. As expected, the fleet has a unique livery or paint and features various facets of desert from Abu Dhabi, giving a feel of the origins of the airliner.
James Hogan, president and CEO, Etihad Airways said,
The U.S. is a strategically important part of our network. As we celebrate the rollout of our first 787 today, we remain focused on bringing Etihad Airways’ world-class hospitality and unparalleled product experience to provide more choice to Americans traveling with us worldwide. We are also very proud to support vital U.S. businesses including Boeing as one of the largest airline customers for the Dreamliner, an aircraft that will play a fundamental role in the future of our growing international network.
While we were really disappointed with Air India for going ahead with the exact same livery on their Dreamliners like any other plane, it is exciting that Etihad has decided to do things differently, the way probably the 787 deserves.
Boeing and Ethiopian Airlines have announced an order of 20 Boeing 737 MAX 8s aircraft. The 20 airplanes will cost the African airliner a net total of $2.1 billion at list price. Not just this, Ethiopian Airlines and Boeing also reached an agreement for an optional purchase of further 15 planes. The huge value of the order, makes it the largest single order that Boeing has ever received from an African carrier outlining the popularity of air travel in Ethiopia and potential connectivity.
The Boeing 737 MAX brings with it the newest Leap 1B engines made by GE as well as advanced winglets which promise a 14 percent more efficient fuel consumption as compared to the latest Boeing 737 aircraft and at least 20% improvement over the original 737. This order also takes the number of orders received for the 737 MAX aircraft to 2294 from a total of 43 countries, making it one of the hottest selling fleets around.
Tewolde Gebremariam, CEO of Ethiopian Airlines, said of the historical move:
Today’s order underlines our commitment to our 15-year strategic plan, ‘Vision 2025’, in which Ethiopian will strive to become the leading airline group in Africa carrying 18 million passengers per annum. The 737 MAX will form a key component of that strategic vision, enhancing our single-aisle fleet and keeping us at the forefront of African aviation.
Speaking in Chicago, Van Rex Gallard, vice president of Sales for Latin America, Africa and the Caribbean, Boeing Commercial Airplanes, said:
This historic order for Boeing and our partner Ethiopian once again positions the carrier at the heart of African aerospace innovation with the acquisition of the 737 MAX. Throughout the years, Ethiopian has consistently led the way in introducing new airplane types to passengers across Africa. Today’s record order signals its commitment to continue that tradition.