Tag Archives: Airbus

Ultra Long Range Airbus A350 XWB completes its first flight

Airbus made this announcement:

The Ultra Long Range version of the A350 XWB, msn 216,  has successfully completed its first flight. The latest variant of the best-selling A350 XWB Family will be able to fly further than any other commercial airliner and will enter service with launch operator Singapore Airlines in second half 2018.

The aircraft powered by Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines has embarked on a short flight test programme to certify the changes over the standard A350-900 that will extend its range capability to 9,700 nautical miles. These changes include a modified fuel system that increases fuel carrying capacity by 24,000 litres, without the need for additional fuel tanks. The test phase will also measure enhanced performance from aerodynamic improvements, including extended winglets.

With a maximum take-off weight (MTOW) of 280 tons, the Ultra Long Range A350 XWB is capable of flying over 20 hours non-stop, combining the highest levels of passenger and crew comfort with unbeatable economics for such distances.

Altogether, Singapore Airlines has ordered seven A350-900 Ultra Long Range aircraft, which it will use on nonstop flights between Singapore and the US, including the world’s longest commercial service between Singapore and New York.

The A350 XWB is an all new family of widebody long-haul airliners shaping the future of air travel. The A350 XWB features the latest aerodynamic design, carbon fibre fuselage and wings, plus new fuel-efficient Rolls-Royce engines. Together, these latest technologies translate into unrivalled levels of operational efficiency, with a 25 per cent reduction in fuel burn and emissions, and significantly lower maintenance costs. The A350 XWB features an Airspace by Airbus cabin offering absolute well-being on board with the quietest twin-aisle cabin and new air systems.

At the end of March 2018, Airbus has recorded a total of 854 firm orders for the A350 XWB from 45 customers worldwide, already making it one of the most successful widebody aircraft ever.

Singapore Airlines is one of the largest customers for the A350 XWB Family, having ordered a total of 67 A350-900s, including the seven Ultra Long Range models. The carrier has already taken delivery of 21 A350-900s.

Photo: Airbus/P. Pigeyre.

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Airbus pushes mission-critical standard solutions for 5G networks

Airbus has made this announcement:

Airbus will intensively contribute to the next steps in finding a global standard for mission-critical multimedia group communication. After the 3rd Generation Partnership Project’s (3GPP) completion of release 14 of secure multimedia group communication in December 2017, Airbus and its partners within 3GPP are now working on release 15 and 16 by the end of 2019. 3GPP is a global initiative that unites various standard development organisations and sets international telecommunications standards as well as system specifications.

One of the prime intentions is to improve real-time video group communication (MCVideo) and develop a thorough 5G solution. “It is all about verifying the current developments and test transparently the interfaces between our solutions and those of our partners in the 3GPP. We are expecting that the outcome evolves powerfully and will be confirmed in tests in June 2018 and in 2019,” says Eric Davalo, Head of Strategic Development for Secure Land Communications at Airbus.

One of the areas Airbus will closely look at during the plug test in June 2018 is how its application Tactilon Agnet will work with Mission-Critical Push to Talk and Mission-Critical Data solutions (the safe transmission of messages, pictures and videos, but not in real-time). These solutions equally comply with the 3GPP releases 13 and 14 standard definitions. Both mission-critical functions refer to a functionality which allows immediate availability for group and one-to-one communication.

However, the definition of the Mission-Critical Video will still require further improvements with the release 15, before it can be intensively tested. Furthermore, the application’s hybrid use in Tetra and broadband networks will also be under scrutiny to find the best standard. 

“Next June we will take part in an international plug test in Disaster City in Texas, United States, where we will check collaboratively the next level of standard developments with other companies,” says Eric Davalo. “Afterwards, we will be focusing on mission-critical video group communication and start considering the 5G networks which evolve naturally out of the existing 4G technology. Our ideas look really promising.”

Photo: Airbus.

Airbus confirms adjusted production rates for A380 and A400M programs, will affect 3,700 jobs

ANA orders three Airbus A380s

Airbus has made this announcement:

Following the previously announced changes to the A380 and A400M delivery plans, Airbus has confirmed the formal adjustment of production rates for its A380 and A400M programs. The new plan, which was presented to the European Works Council, involves the production of six A380s per year starting from 2020 and eight A400Ms per year, also as of 2020. Airbus is now entering into a formal social process with staff representatives at European and national levels to analyze potential implications for the Company’s workforce and to start joint mitigation efforts.

At this stage, Airbus estimates the maximum impact of these measures will affect up to 3,700 positions at sites across the Company’s home countries of France, Germany, the United Kingdom and Spain.

Airbus is committed to managing any implications for its workforce in a responsible manner – as already successfully demonstrated on various occasions in the past.  The Company is confident that it will be able to propose opportunities to most of the affected employees through programs which are ramping up. Each year, Airbus manages 12 percent mobility and can adapt the flexibility level across divisions, functions and subsidiaries to support redeployment of staff to other program’s activities.

The adjustment of the A380 production rate follows a recent order which provides visibility to the program for the years to come. As previously announced, at a baseline of 6 deliveries per year, Airbus can produce the A380 in an industrial efficient way over the coming years. This baseline allows Airbus to pursue further sales campaigns which may lead to higher production levels.

On the A400M program, production will be adjusted to eight units per year as of 2020, following production of fifteen A400M in 2018 and eleven units in 2019. This adjustment is based on discussions with the A400M Launch Customer Nations. Airbus pursues export opportunities beyond this level.

Airbus has to ensure the best possible production flow for its products. These rate adjustment decisions provide clear visibility for customers, the supply chain and employees over the coming years.

The company will provide further information on the progress of the discussions with the social partners, as required.

Copyright Photo: Airbus A380-841 F-WWDD (msn 004) TLS (Clement Alloing). Image: 908560.

Airbus to reduce production rates on the A380 and A400M programs, to notify employees

Airbus is meeting with its employees to discuss work force reductions as it reduces the production rates for the A380 and A400M programs. The company issued this statement:

Senior management representatives of Airbus will meet with the European Works Council on  March 7, 2018 to explain previously announced rate reductions on the A380 and A400M programs and to discuss associated implications for the workforce.

Airbus has a policy of first addressing workforce issues with its social partners before any public disclosure. The company will continue to abide by this policy.

Airbus deeply regrets that the process on the current subject matter has been disturbed by leaks to the media, which resulted in excessive reporting about alleged job cuts in its four home countries.

Airbus is committed to managing any social implications in a responsible manner and has demonstrated its ability to find the best possible solutions for its workforce on various occasions in the past.

Only after its initial meeting with the European Works Council on March 7, 2018, Airbus will provide further details on the company’s plans and considerations.

 

Airbus’ A321LR goes the distance to open new horizons for airlines

Airbus A321-251N D-AVXB (msn 6839) (Airbus A321 NEO - New Engine Option) TLS (Paul Bannwarth). Image: 937192.

Airbus made this announcement:

The best-selling A320 Family marked a new milestone with the Paris-to-New York nonstop flight on February 13 flown by the A321LR – demonstrating this jetliner version’s ability to serve new markets and operate on heavily-travelled North Atlantic routes with the highest levels of efficiency and comfort.

The LR designation is for ‘long range’ and with good reason: the A321LR has the longest range of any single-aisle commercial aircraft today, able to fly 7,400 kilometres nonstop.

Its ‘long legs’ are signified by the No. 1 A321LR’s livery featuring the Eiffel Tower and Statue of Liberty – a representation of the Paris/New York route flown yesterday from Le Bourget Airport near the French capital to the New York region’s John F. Kennedy International Airport. The aircraft also is well suited for intra-regional airline segments in Asia, the United States and other markets.

Improved aerodynamics and efficient jet engines

The A321LR’s unrivalled efficiency – driven by aerodynamic improvements and state-of-the-art efficient turbofan jet engines – has established its popularity among airlines, with Airbus already notching more than 100 orders for the aircraft; the first customer delivery is expected in late 2018. The interior of the A321LR will be passenger-pleasing as well, with unmatched comfort from the widest single-aisle cabin in the sky, comfortable seats, extra-large luggage bins and the latest in-flight-entertainment technology.

Operators can outfit the A321LR in state-of-the-art two-class configurations with full-flat seats for true long-haul comfort, or in a single-class layout capable of accommodating up to 240 passengers.

The A321LR is the next evolutionary step of Airbus’ twin-engine A321neo that has captured more than an 80 percent share in its middle-of-the-market category. Airbus expects the A321LR to continue this trend, as it offers a thoroughly modern replacement for the large number of ageing narrowbody and widebody aircraft facing retirement in the coming years.

Value from continual investment in the A320 Family

Airbus continuously invests in the A320 Family – some $300 million per year – to keep this jetliner product line at the leading edge of technology, thereby creating value for its customers and providing continued comfort for passengers.

The A321LR performed its maiden flight on 31 January of this year. Yesterday’s transcontinental flight, with the aircraft powered by two CFM International LEAP-1A engines, is part of nearly 100 hours of flight tests in advance of the jetliner’s airworthiness certification, expected in the second quarter of 2018.

Copyright Photo: Airbus A321-251N D-AVXB (msn 6839) (Airbus A321 NEO – New Engine Option) TLS (Paul Bannwarth). Image: 937192.

Airbus:

Airbus’ Toulouse paint centre: art in motion

Airbus issued this story about its Aircraft Paint Shop:

When a customer receives a commercial aircraft produced by Airbus at its Toulouse, France-area facilities – home to final assembly lines for the A320, A330 and A350 XWB jetliner families – they can be sure that the highest level of care went into to applying their livery, which is a critically-important element of an operator’s identity.

At the heart of Airbus’ Toulouse paint centre are its more than 300 operators and 120 support function members – who work together in harmony across the facility’s 13 separate paint halls to apply the special colour schemes and logos on more than 350 jetliners delivered each year.

Meeting the needs of Airbus customers

The Toulouse paint shop is well-equipped to meet the varied customer designs and changing production rates of today and tomorrow. According to Head of Paint Jean-François Paul, this is due in large part to the support function members – who work in close partnership with the final assembly teams, supply chain personnel and programmes management so they can quickly adapt to changes.

He added: “Inside the paint centre, meetings take place on a daily basis to anticipate the variations and manage the quality, lead times and costs. The fact that our teams are strongly engaged gives us such flexibility.”

The 13 paint halls are organised by programmes, providing capacity for both the single-aisle and widebody product lines. And when production schedules require even more capacity, the Toulouse paint team knows they can rely on Hamburg, Germany – home to additional A320 Family final assembly lines – to handle some of the painting.

Airbus’ Toulouse paint centre is part of a network of painting facilities at the company’s final assembly sites, which also include Hamburg, Germany; Tianjin, China; and Mobile, Alabama, USA.

Photo: Airbus.