Delta opens the world’s largest jet engine test cell in Atlanta

Delta Air Lines released this statement:

  • New state-of-the-art test cell is the first cell built by a U.S. airline in more than 20 years.
  • Capable of safely running a mounted, stationary engine at full power with 150,000 pounds of thrust, the cell will allow Delta to test engines that are yet to be designed or built
  • The airline’s new test cell and engine shop open the door to next generation engine capabilities, including the Rolls-Royce Trent 1000, Trent 7000 and Trent XWB and the PW1100 and PW1500 variants of the Geared Turbofan

Today, Delta TechOps leaders and employees officially cut the ribbon, opening the world’s largest jet engine test cell. And while world’s largest is a nice bragging right, there was immense research, innovation and thought that went into designing this state-of-the-art facility.

The test cell, which is the first cell built by a U.S. airline in more than 20 years, is capable of running a mounted, stationary engine at full power with 150,000 pounds of thrust. To compare, the airline’s current test cell has a 68,000 pound thrust capacity and the most powerful jet engine in the world today, the GE90 that powers Delta’s Boeing 777-200LR fleet, is rated up to 115,000 pounds of thrust.

Bottom line — Delta is preparing for the future as the new test cell allows the airline to test engines that have yet to be designed and built.

“This new test cell is not only great for the future of Delta, but for our future aircraft maintenance technicians and engineers,” said Don Mitacek, Senior Vice President — TechOps. “The quality of work and expertise of our people are the reason why we are able to confidently invest so heavily in our future. They are really leaving a legacy behind with the new test cell and engine shop — both facilities are a reflection of the accomplishments and dedication of our people.”


The test cell, coupled with Delta’s new 127,000-square-foot state-of-the-art engine repair shop, will allow the airline and its employees to provide maintenance on and test a new assortment of engines including the Trent 1000, Trent 7000 and Trent XWB and the PW1100 and PW1500 variants of the Geared Turbofan.

To celebrate the new facility, Delta hosted a grand opening event with more than 100 employees who were integral in the development and implementation of the cell. At the event, attendees heard from CEO Ed Bastian, U.S. Senator David Perdue as well as Mitacek and Moore.

In October 2015, Delta and Rolls-Royce signed a formal agreement for Delta TechOps to become an Authorized Maintenance Center for Rolls-Royce engines. Under the agreement, the airline will provide engine services for the latest generation of Rolls-Royce Trent XWB, Trent 1000, Trent 7000 and BR715 engines.

With more than 7,000 engines already committed to the engine shop and test cell over the next 30 years, immediate next steps for the facility include proving and data validation for the cell, the commissioning of the cell with the Trent XWB engine, Trent 1000 Electric Start System installation, the Trent 1000 commissioning, correlation and production test, with the first production test taking place in late 2019.

All photos by Delta.


Ryanair to open a new French base at Toulouse

Ryanair has announced significant expansion in France, launching a new base at Toulouse as part of its Winter 2019 schedule, with two new based aircraft and 20 routes (11 new – 8 international).

The carrier is also launching its biggest ever Bordeaux and Marseille Winter schedules (2019), with one new based aircraft at each airport (6 aircraft in total), and 39 new routes (75 in total).

Ryanair’s new Toulouse base will deliver:

  • 2 based aircraft
  • 11 new routes to Alicante (2 per week), Brest (3), Budapest (2), Lille (daily), Luxembourg (3),         Marseille (daily), Oujda (2), Palermo (2), Porto (3), Tangier (2) and Valencia (2)
  • 20 routes in total

Ryanair’s Marseille W19 schedule will deliver:

  • One extra based aircraft
  • 16 new routes to Agadir (2 pw), Alicante (2), Bologna (3), Bordeaux (4), Catania (2), Copenhagen (2), Essaouira (2), Manchester (2), Milan Bergamo (4), Naples (2), Ouarzazate (2), Prague (2), Sofia (2), Strasbourg (3), Tel Aviv (3) & Toulouse (daily)
  • 43 routes in total

Ryanair’s Bordeaux W19 schedule will deliver:

  • One extra based aircraft
  • 23 new routes to Bari (2 pw), Bologna (2), Brest (3), Budapest (2), Cologne (3), Copenhagen (2), Dublin (2), Krakow (2), Lille (daily), Lisbon (5), Malaga (2), Manchester (2), Marseille (4), Nador (2), Nantes (4), Naples(2), Ouarzazate (2), Oujda (1) Palermo (2), Prague (2), Strasbourg (3), Tangier (2) & Treviso (3)
  • 32 routes in total

Photos: Ryanair.

Lufthansa Group to sell LGW to Zeitfracht

Operated by Luftfahrtgesellschaft Walter

Lufthansa Group has agreed to sell subsidiary LGW to Zeitfracht (Berlin), which already owns WDL Aviation.

The group acquired LGW from Airberlin and had placed the division under the Eurowings banner.

LGW will continue to operate for Eurowings.

The sale is expected to be completed on April 1, 2019.

LGW currently operates 18 Bombardier DHC-8-402s (Q400s).

Above Photo: BriYYZ.

Top Copyright Photo: Eurowings (LGW) Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) D-ABQH (msn 4256) ZRH (Rolf Wallner). Image: 941071.



AkzoNobel, United Airlines and students help to restore DC-8-52 N8066U

Science students in the US are getting a daily dose of inspiration from a retired United Airlines McDonnell Douglas DC-8-52 aircraft (N8066U, msn 45850) which has been lovingly restored with coatings supplied by AkzoNobel.

After flying more than 18 million miles in 14 years, the plane – named “The City of Los Angeles” – was donated by United Airlines to the California Science Center in 1984. It’s now on static display by the entrance to the Dr Theodore T. Alexander Jr. Science Center School.

The newly restored plane was retired in 1980 after carrying more than a million passengers. Four years later, its wings were removed and it was towed through city streets before being reassembled at the museum, eventually being mounted on a pedestal in 2002.


Due to the easy application and with the aircraft being located outdoors, the coating was rolled on, rather than sprayed. The low emission Eclipse system was applied by International Aerospace Coatings (IAC) to ensure that the DC-8 looks as good as the day it first rolled out of the hangar.


“United is thrilled that the DC-8 is being preserved to educate future generations on the history of air travel,” says Janet Lamkin, United’s California President. “We have been part of Los Angeles and California for more than 90 years, and I’m proud to see this important part of our heritage restored so beautifully.”

Adds Dr. Perry Roth-Johnson, Assistant Curator for Aerospace Science at the California Science Center: “We’re thrilled to see our DC-8 airliner restored. With its new paint job, the plane is starting to shine again for the enjoyment of our guests, as well as the students and staff at the Science Center school. We are grateful for the support of AkzoNobel, IAC, and United Airlines in this important project.”

Wizz Air announces two new routes from Kiev

Wizz's 2016 "Budapest - Canadidate City Olympic Games 2024" promotional livery

Wizz Air has announced two new routes from Kiev (Kyiv) to Athens and Thessaloniki in Greece. The low-fare connection Kyiv-Athens is commencing on May 21 with 2 weekly frequencies, on Tuesdays and Saturdays, while flights on a route Kyiv-Thessaloniki are commencing on May 20 and will be operated 2 times per week, on Mondays and Fridays.

With these two new routes connecting Ukraine with Greece, Wizz Air is now offering a total of 45 routes to 13 countries from 3 Ukrainian airports in 2019.


Destination Operating Days Starts Fares From*
Athens Tuesday, Saturday 21 May EUR 19.99 / UAH 609
Thessaloniki Monday, Friday 20 May EUR 19.99 / UAH 609

In other news, the airline will also start flying from Gdansk to Bodo from May with 2 weekly flights.

Top Copyright Photo: Wizz Air (Hungary) Airbus A320-232 WL HA-LYG (msn 5539) (Budapest-Candidate City Olympic Games 2024) MST (Karl Cornil). Image: 945726.

Wizz Air aircraft slide show:


Silver Airways to add Orlando – Destin-Fort Walton Beach service, starts a new relationship with the AAF Orlando Apollos

Silver Airways has announced yet another intra-Florida route. New daily nonstop service between Orlando International Airport (MCO) and Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport (VPS) located at Eglin Air Force Base starts May 16, 2019.

Silver Airways’ Orlando (MCO) – Destin-Fort Walton Beach (VPS) service effective May 16, 2019,
and Destin-Fort Walton Beach – Orlando effective May 17, 2019:

Route  Departs Arrives Flight # Stops Frequency
Orlando to
Destin-Ft Walton Beach
6:55 pm 8:01 pm 141 0 Daily
Destin-Ft Walton Beach to
7:21 pm 10:05 am 140 0 Daily

The airline recently started daily nonstop service between Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) and Daytona Beach International Airport (DAB) and daily nonstop service between Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) and Pensacola International Airport (PNS).

In other news, the airline launched a new partnership with The Alliance of American Football league’s undefeated Orlando Apollos.

Silver Airways kicked off the partnership during the Orlando Apollos game-winning season opener by presenting the Apollos’ first-ever season ticket holders with round-trip tickets to the Bahamas! And that’s just the beginning. Fans at each Apollos home game will have the opportunity to win a Bahamian vacation package from Silver Airways.


Celebrating with Orlando Apollos fans

Silver Airways presents round-trip tickets to the Bahamas to Orlando Apollos’ first-ever season ticket holders from Sanford, Florida, Darrell and Linda Williams during Apollos 2019 season opener. Pictured left – right: Darrell Williams, Orlando Apollos Vice President Marketing and Strategic Communications Mike Harris, Linda Williams, Silver Airways CEO Steve Rossum

Pittsburgh International Airport unveils a new terminal modernization program

The Allegheny County Airport Authority (Pittsburgh International Airport) has issued this statement:

As part of a special board meeting and the annual State of the Airport event on Wednesday, Feb. 20, the Allegheny County Airport Authority Board of Directors approved a visionary concept design for the Terminal Modernization Program at Pittsburgh International Airport.

The concept design for the new terminal to be built adjacent to the current Airside facility between Concourses C and D and scheduled to open in 2023, was unveiled to airport employees and the public on Wednesday.

It is based on a unique philosophy of nature, technology and community – NaTeCo – developed over the past seven months by the design team joint venture of architectural and engineering firms Gensler and HDR in association with luis vidal + architects.

The firms, which were awarded the design contract in July 2018, have been studying the Pittsburgh region and taking their inspiration directly from the rolling hills and rivers, neighborhoods and communities, and new economic diversity that has led to Pittsburgh’s re-emergence over the past few decades.

Specifics of the design for the new terminal that consolidates check-in, ticketing, security and baggage operations into one connected facility, including square footages, will continue to be refined over the next phase of the project – Schematic Design – which is expected to run through summer 2019.

While subject to change, the concept design currently features:

  • Separate levels for departing and arriving passengers and a non-public level for building systems such as baggage belts
  • Additional space for an expanded TSA checkpoint
  • Shorter walking distances for arriving and departing domestic and international passengers
  • Indoor and outdoor green plazas and gathering spaces
  • Additional space for concessions, artwork and other amenities
  • Planning for technological improvements and more automated systems
  • Emphasis on sustainability

The Airport Authority has engaged the community in the design process by forming Program Advisory and Best Practice Working Groups to solicit input and feedback about features of the new terminal. Outreach events and surveys were conducted this past summer in Market Square and at the airport’s annual Holiday Open House in December. The team will continue to seek input on the new terminal throughout the Schematic Design phase.