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Aeroplane derivative design era begins

“We have every justification for taking an optimistic view on the mid- and long-term prospects for this program,” Franz-Josef Strauss, the chairman of Airbus Industrie on the A320 programme in 1987. It was a grand declaration. Just over 27 years and 7 months after Airbus’ first A320-100 MSN001 took to the sky Airbus’ A320neo flew for the first […]

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A320neo’s maiden flight

Subject to favourable weather, Airbus has set the date for the maiden sortie of its A320neo for Thursday, 25 September. Powered by Pratt & Whitney PW1100G the F-WNEO is expected to depart Toulouse at 10:30 local. Eventually eight aircraft will be part of the A320neo family’s flight test campaign with certification on track for late 2015. Feature […]

AIR14

Amazing footage from Swiss’ accompanied A330 flyover of Air14 at Payerne in celebration of the Swiss Air Force’s centenary.

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Onboard the A350 during ‘Airline 1′

Over the last two weeks A350 MSN5 F-WWYV has been undertaking Airline 1. The 110,000 kilometre route proving campaign mirrors airline service, testing and hopefully accelerating the maturity of the aircraft by measuring its performance against KPIs such as dispatch reliability. With major testing already complete, Airline 1 is the last major milestone before the Airbus applies for certification. Following certification the first […]

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A350 arrives in Australia, Airbus confirms 420-minute ETOPS

Airbus A350 world tour landed in Sydney this morning at 06:36. The fifth test aircraft MSN5 which is undertaking the three week long route proving campaign touched down after flying direct from Johannesburg in a little over 12 hours. MSN5 was unrestricted by ETOPS operations as they were test flights carrying only crew and Airbus technical staff. After […]

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Rolling into a NEO era

The first A320neo MSN6101 fitted with Pratt & Whitney PW1100G geared turbofans has made its daylight debut in Toulouse. Earlier in June the aircraft – registered F-WNEO – achieved test instrumentation power-on, with Airbus also conducting load calibration tests. Airbus will undertake a virtual flight test campaign over the summer before the A320neo’s planned maiden sortie in September. The sharklet winglet […]

The weekly rollerboard 12 January

AA’s inaugural A321T service. Image: Edward Russell.

This week Australia’s mantle for offering the best transcontinental airline product in the world – which Australian’s unjustifiably love to pick apart as woefully inadequate – was challenged for the first time in perhaps two decades as American Airlines launched its new premium A321T service from New York JFK to Los Angeles.

Compared with the past decade of woefully inadequate product offer onboard American carriers, the product reinvention is a welcome return to the days of glamorous transcon air travel. There will be a 30 per cent increase in the number of first class seats AA offers as business class and economy decline by 13 per cent and 27 per cent respectively. Continued capacity rationalisation carries through to the strategic relaunch with AA’s total New York-Los Angeles capacity decreasing in favour of frequency growth from ten to thirteen services daily.

Continue reading “The weekly rollerboard 12 January” »

Looking to the sky in 2014.

Our 2013 retrospective, and Airbus breaking with tradition on A350 MSN2 , inspired me to take a look at what this dynamic industry might have in-store for 2014:

A350 MSN2 the first test aircraft to be fitted with a full cabin interior in its new carbon fibre scheme. Image: Airbus SAS.

CASA Regulation
Some big regulatory changes will take place in 2014. In particular, CASA will need to guide the Australia’s airlines on the use of Personal Electronic Devices (PEDs) following changes to regulatory legislation by the FAA in the US and EASA in Europe. Currently Australian carriers are self regulating in this respect, but moving independently as a way to gain competitive advantage will only create headaches for crew in enforcing use on-board.

 

Image: Graham Cook

Domestic capacity
The war will continue until the end of the first half, bringing further revenue pressure to the Qantas and Virgin groups. Qantas has invested too much the public rhetoric behind in its strategy, to back away now would look like it was giving in. Not the best market image to present given its current financial position. Expect the Federal Government to make small changes to the level of single foreign ownership to the Qantas Sale Act.

 

 

 

Sydney Airport
The political future of Tony Abbott’s Government depends on their ability to deliver a courageous bipartisan policy decision. With a promise of a decision, a ‘government of no surprises’ will now need to deliver with a real commitment on Badgery’s Creek. This will come as a stage 1 single runway development, with no rail connection, because Abbott’s made it clear he doesn’t like trains. Also expect a change to the slot caps at Sydney Airport, starting with the 05:00-06:00am landing window.

Continue reading “Looking to the sky in 2014.” »

A350XWB takes to the skies on its maiden five hour long sortie.

Second A350 takes to the skies.

Sometimes I manage to come across the most random stories, while the Xtra large ones fly under the radar. A350-900 MSN3 has officially joined MSN1 in the sky on the A350 test programme after completing its maiden five hour long sortie earlier this week.

Both aircraft are fitted with a heavy flight test instrumentation package and will continue to be used for aircraft aeroelasticity, handling and performance testing. Since it’s first flight in June MSN1 has accumulated 330 flight test hours devoted to the identification and freeze of all flap and slat configurations, loads and aeroelastic testing and evaluation of the aircraft’s handling characteristics and systems’ operation throughout the operational envelope. Continue reading “Second A350 takes to the skies.” »

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