Category Archives: Airbus

Airbus delivers 100th A320 Family aircraft assembled in the U.S.

Airbus has delivered its 100th aircraft from the company’s U.S. Manufacturing Facility in Mobile, Alabama. The A320neo, serial number (MSN) 8580, was delivered to Frontier Airlines. The aircraft features two horses, Meadow and West, on its tailplane.

Airbus’ Mobile facility is delivering four A320 Family aircraft per month and has delivered to eight U.S.-based customers thus far, including Air Lease Corporation, Allegiant Air, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Frontier Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue Airways and Spirit Airlines.

Airbus has three other A320 Family production facilities around the world: Hamburg, Germany; Tianjin, China; and Toulouse, France.

Photo: Airbus.

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First flight for the new Airbus A330-800

The first Airbus A330-800 took off this morning (November 6) at Blagnac in Toulouse, France at 10:31 am local time, for its maiden flight taking place over southwestern France. The aircraft, msn 1888, will perform the dedicated flight-physics tests required for this variant.

The crew in the cockpit comprise: Experimental Test Pilots Malcolm RIDLEY and François BARRE and Test-Flight Engineer Ludovic GIRARD. Meanwhile, monitoring the aircraft systems and performance in real-time at the flight-test-engineer’s (FTE) station are Catherine SCHNEIDER and Jose CORUGEDO BERMEJO. The A330-800’s certification development programme itself will last around 300 flight-test hours, paving the way for certification in 2019. Its sibling, the larger A330-900 family member, recently completed its development testing and certification programme which validated the A330neo Family’s common engines, systems, cabin and flight & ground operations.

Launched in July 2014, the latest generation of Airbus’ widebody family, the A330neo builds on the A330ceo’s proven economics, versatility and reliability while reducing fuel consumption by a further 14 per cent per seat. The NEO’s two versions – the A330-800 and A330-900 – will accommodate 257 and 287 passengers respectively in a three-class seating layout, are powered by the latest-generation Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines, offer new “Airspace” cabin amenities and feature a new larger span wing with Sharklet wingtip devices.

The A330 is one of the most popular widebody families ever, having received over 1,700 orders from 120 customers. More than 1,400 A330s are flying with over 120 operators worldwide. The A330neo is the latest addition to the leading Airbus widebody family, which also includes the A350 XWB and the A380, all featuring unmatched space and comfort combined with unprecedented efficiency levels and unrivalled range capability.

First flight on November 6, 2018

Above Copyright Photo (all other images by Airbus): Airbus A330-841N F-WWTO (msn 1888) TLS (Eurospot). Image: 944290.

EASA and FAA certify long-range capability for Airbus A321neo

Airbus has made this announcement:

Readiness to start “Long Range” (LR) operations with launch customers of the most capable and flexible A321neo version to date – the A321LR – has moved a significant step closer with recent joint EASA and FAA approval of the aircraft to operate with up to three underfloor Additional Centre Tanks (ACTs), including for ETOPS operation.

This latest milestone is one of various A321neo capability options which when combined, allow the A321LR version to fly up to 4,000nm with 206 passengers with extra fuel stored in three ACTs, including on ETOPS routes. Moreover, the ETOPS authorisation enables up to 180 minutes single-engine diversion time, which is sufficient for performing any transatlantic route.

The A321LR’s certification includes: (a) approval of the “major change” to install up to three optional ACTs in the A321neo – with their associated new fuel management systems and lower-fuselage structural reinforcements; and (b) the approval of the A321neo’s “Airbus Cabin Flex” (ACF) option which incorporates a modified fuselage structure with new door arrangements together with a higher Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) capability of up to 97 metric tonnes. It should be noted that only A321neos which have the new ACF structure can offer the 97t MTOW and the ability to install three ACTs. Previously, the A321 Family could accommodate up to two ACTs.

While the ACF configuration will become standard for all new delivered A321neos from around 2020, the 97t MTOW capability and the ability to carry up to three ACTs will be options. For the ACTs, customers would specify prior to aircraft manufacture whether the aircraft is to be equipped with an expanded fuel management system as well as the necessary structural reinforcements to secure the underfloor ACTs.

The ability to add or remove ACTs, combined with the Airbus Cabin Flex, the 97t MTOW capability and the EASA/FAA approval to use the ACTs with ETOPS, together confer unprecedented airline flexibility for cabin layouts, seating density, cargo payload, fuel-capacity and mission routing.

Airbus A330-900 receives EASA Type Certification

First Airbus A330neo

The Airbus A330-900 has received its Type Certification from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). The aircraft is powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines. The Type Certificate was signed by EASA’s Certification Director, Trevor Woods, and handed over by EASA’s Head of Large Aeroplanes Certification, Ludovic Aron, to Airbus’ Head of Engineering for Commercial Aircraft, Jean-Brice Dumont. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certification is expected to follow shortly.

In agreement with TAP Air Portugal, its first built aircraft served as a demonstrator for route proving around the world visiting more than 12 countries. Together with the two A330-900 flight test aircraft, the certification flight test campaign was successfully completed in around 1,400 flight test hours in under a year since the first flight on October 19, 2017.

The A330neo is a true new-generation family comprising the A330-900 and its smaller sibling, the A330-800, which will make its first flight in the coming weeks. The A330-900 in particular is the lowest seat-mile cost 300-seater which incorporates highly efficient Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines, a new 3D-optimised wing and new sharklets with use of lighter composite materials. Together, these advances bring a significant reduction in fuel consumption of 25 per cent compared with older generation aircraft of similar size.

Passengers can expect the highest levels of comfort when flying on the A330neo, with the aircraft featuring the award-winning Airspace by Airbus cabin with newly designed sidewalls and fixtures, larger overhead storage, advanced cabin mood lighting and the latest in-flight entertainment and connectivity.

Operationally, the A330neo shares a common pilot type-rating with the larger A350 XWB, which facilitates minimum flight training cost and maximum pilot productivity. Maintenance personnel will also benefit from the aircraft’s new Skywise data connectivity features which will help them to predict potential issues before they arise, thus ensuring maximum productivity of the aircraft in revenue service.

The A330 is one of the most popular widebody families ever, having received over 1,700 orders from 120 customers. More than 1,400 A330s are flying with over 120 operators worldwide. The A330neo is the latest addition to the leading Airbus widebody family, which also includes the A350 XWB and the A380, all featuring unmatched space and comfort combined with unprecedented efficiency levels and unrivalled range capability.

Top Copyright Photo: TAP Portugal – Air Portugal Airbus A330-941N F-WWKM (CS-TUA) (msn 1819) FAB (Antony J. Best). Image: 942899.

TAP aircraft slide show:

Airbus vision: Premiering a future blueprint for our sky

Airbus issued this statement:

The digital age of aviation will revolutionise flight. With its Blueprint for the Sky, Airbus outlines a roadmap for the integration of autonomous aircraft and welcome a new era of aviation – safely, efficiently and fairly.

 

Our skies are busier than ever. And with commercial air traffic set to double in the next 15 years, they will only get busier. In the near future, there will be 25,000 manned flights in the air at any given time. They will soon be joined by an entirely new type of aviation: unmanned, autonomous aircraft.

Already, Airbus is testing small cargo drones and self-piloting electrical vehicles to transport goods and people faster and more efficiently. This is the beginning of a new era in aviation, an exciting time that promises huge opportunities. But it also brings risks that need to be addressed now. Safety is a fundamental rule in aerospace and new forms of flight require new traffic management systems to safely accommodate this opportunity.

How to integrate autonomous aircraft

To address the issue, an unmanned traffic management (UTM) project dubbed Altiscope has released Blueprint for the Sky: The Roadmap for the Safe Integration of Autonomous Aircraft. “Airbus has always been on the forefront of innovation in the skies, from our origins among Europe’s aerospace pioneers, through jet age creations such as the Concorde and the Airbus A380,” says Tom Enders, Airbus CEO.

The Blueprint was reviewed by a number of independent parties, including representatives from IATA, NATCA, GUTMA, the World Economic Forum and the New Zealand Ministry of Transport. It outlines a range of topics for a new age of flight, from stakeholder roles to air traffic configuration and system architecture.

Collaboration is key

Above all, it emphasises a need for all parties to work together. Governments and industry professionals around the world have already initiated efforts to address the topic. While these efforts are highly individualised, with each region using different terminology and structure, their architectures, underlying principles to UTM and overall approaches are actually very similar. Each one consists of systems run by regulatory authorities, independent service providers, data providers, operators and aircraft. This step is positive, but it is necessary to unify and harmonise these systems to ensure all vehicles and technology built for one region will be interoperable across regions.

Autonomous flight will change our skies. Tomorrow’s airports will be all around us – in our homes, our workplaces or on the roofs of buildings. Blueprint outlines the information, rules and procedures needed to realise this vision and enable a new revolution in aviation – safely, efficiently and fairly.

Discover more and download the Blueprint: https://www.utmblueprint.com/

First ANA Airbus A380 rolls out of final assembly line in Toulouse

Airbus made this announcement:

The first Airbus A380 for All Nippon Airways (ANA) has rolled out of the final assembly line (FAL) in Toulouse.  The aircraft has now been moved to an outside station where various ground tests will be undertaken in preparation for first flight in the coming weeks.  The aircraft will then be transferred to the Airbus facilities in Hamburg for cabin installation and painting.

ANA HOLDINGS INC. placed a firm order of three A380s in 2016, becoming the first customer for the superjumbo in Japan.  The first delivery is scheduled early in 2019, and the A380 will initially be operated on the popular Tokyo-Honolulu route.

To date, Airbus has delivered 229 A380s, with the aircraft now in services with 14 airlines worldwide.

Top Photo: Airbus.

The ANA A380s will be painted in three special liveries:

 

Airbus evaluates an A320neo multi-mission version

Airbus issued this statement:

Having made its mark in the commercial airline sector, the A320neo is now being considered by Airbus for new applications: as a highly-capable and cost-effective platform for ISR (intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance) duties and as a military transport.

The variant – designated A320M3A – would be designed to fulfill a range of ISR roles, particularly maritime patrol and anti-submarine warfare. It also can be outfitted with modular roll-on/roll-off payloads for airlift missions ranging from carrying passengers, troops and VIPs to medical evacuation (medevac) and transporting cargo.

Airbus’ consideration of the A320M3A is in response to market demand, spurred by the growing use of more capable ISR systems – which require physically larger host platforms with increased electrical power and more efficient cooling systems than previously were the case for C4ISR aircraft.

A proven, low-risk solution

One of the biggest applications of the A320M3A is for maritime patrol and anti-submarine warfare, with countries in Europe and elsewhere seeking replacements for ageing aircraft – many of which will be encouraged to develop fleet commonality driven by the intensive growth of joint operations with member nations of NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization).

Advantages in offering the new engine option (NEO) version of Airbus’ A320 commercial jetliner include an extensive capability for growth in a fuselage cross-section that is wider than its competitor in the same size category, the long range and endurance, as well as the lowest operational and life-cycle costs in its class. Other pluses for the A320M3A are the aircraft’s high reliability (proven in airline service), and the resources of an established worldwide supply chain and training network.

Photo: Airbus.