Airbus has developed an aerodynamic option for the A320neo to improve its short field performance. Known as the SHort AiRfield Package (SHARP), the innovation is designed to increase lift at low speeds and improve takeoff and landing performance on short runways.
Cathay receives 70th Boeing 777
Boeing delivered Cathay Pacific Airways’ 70th 777 aircraft, which is also the last and 53rd 777-300ER (Extended Range) of its confirmed orders. With this delivery, Cathay’s 777 aircraft fleet comprises 53 777-300ERs, 12 777-300s and five 777-200s. The airline is one of the launch customers for the 777X with 21 777-9s on order.
FAA official: 'A million drones' under the Christmas tree
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
A top FAA official said as many as one million small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) could be sold during the upcoming US holiday season. Pictured: A small UAV being flown recreationally above Old Bethpage, New York.
Virgin Atlantic's Little Red ceases flights
Virgin Atlantic UK domestic operation Little Red has closed its doors just 18 months after performing its first flight. Pictured: Virgin Atlantic’s Little Red A320
Airbus starts assembly of first A350-1000
Build-up of the first Airbus A350-1000 began in Hamburg and Saint-Nazaire (shown here) with the assembly start of the first fuselage major components.
Airbus A350-1000 first front fuselage in Hamburg
Less than one year after delivering the first A350 XWB (-900 version), the first A350-1000 is taking shape with the assembly start of the first fuselage major components at Airbus facilities in Hamburg (shown here) and Saint-Nazaire.
A350-1000 Rolls-Royce Trent XWB-97 propulsion system
Boeing opens research & technology center in South Carolina
Boeing has opened a 104,000-sq.-ft. research and technology center in North Charleston, South Carolina. From left: Boeing Research & Technology VP & GM Greg Hyslop; Boeing South Carolina VP & GM Bev Wyse; Boeing chief technology officer & SVP-Engineering, Operations & Technology John Tracy; and South Carolina state Sen. Paul Campbell prepare to cut the ribbon on the Boeing Research & Technology research and development center, with the help of a robot.
Alitalia rebuilds pilot training center
Alitalia has reconstituted its pilot training center after a 10-year gap, with 24 prospective pilots due to embark on a two-year training course by the end of 2015. Pictured: Alitalia cadets.
Chinese President Xi Jinping tours Boeing facility
Jason Redman-Pool/Getty Images
Chinese President Xi Jinping meets Boeing’s aircraft manufacturing facilities in Everett, Washington by Boeing Commercial Airplanes president and CEO Ray Conner on Sept. 23.
Chinese President Xi Jinping visits Boeing’s facilities in Everett
Jason Redman-Pool/Getty Images
Chinese President Xi Jinping is given a tour of Boeing’s aircraft manufacturing facilities in Everett, Washington by Boeing Commercial Airplanes president and CEO Ray Conner on Sept. 23.
St Helena gets air service
St Helena Airport Project
The first aircraft ever to land on the island of St Helena in the South Atlantic has arrived to carry out calibration flights prior to the opening of its new airport. A Beech King Air 200, of South Africa’s Flight Calibration Services, arrived Sept. 15 on the rocky outcrop, whose only current link with the outside world is a mail ship that arrives every three weeks from South Africa.
AIM Altitude produces illuminated panels for SWISS
AIM Altitude will produce illuminated panels on SWISS’s new (nine ordered) Boeing 777-300ERs, which will be delivered starting in January 2016. The panels feature an illuminated welcome message and world map onboard and also found in the reception area of the SWISS lounges at Zurich airport. The two panels, which are installed on the Door 2 Galleys, face passengers during boarding.
Airbus completes paint job for TAM Airline's first A350 XWB
The first Airbus A350 XWB for TAM Airlines rolled out of the Airbus paint shop in Toulouse. The aircraft will continue through the next stages of production, including the installation of engines, completion of cabin furnishing and cockpit fitting, before starting ground and flight tests. The aircraft is scheduled for delivery to TAM Airlines in December.
Finnair A350 XWB completes maiden flight
The first Airbus A350 XWB for Finnair has completed its first flight in Toulouse. The aircraft will now enter the final production phase, including further ground checks and flight tests. The Finland flag carrier is expected to take delivery of the aircraft in the coming weeks, becoming the first airline in Europe to operate the A350 XWB and the third operator in the world.
SAS ATR 72-600
UK regional Flybe introduced its first ATR 72-600 series aircraft into its fleet, on lease from Avation PLC. It will operate from Sweden in the livery of Flybe’s new partner in Northern Europe, Scandinavian Airlines (SAS).
Airbus freezes design of Beluga XL
The Airbus Beluga XL program has passed the latest maturity gate milestone, marking the end of the “concept phase,” or design freeze “at aircraft level.” According to Airbus, the maturity gate review demonstrated that the Beluga XL program is robust and mature enough to move to the next phase of development, the detailed design phase.
Binter takes first ATR 72-600
Canary Islands regional airline Binter Canarias has taken delivery of the first of 12 ATR 72-600s ordered through two different contracts signed in 2014 and earlier this year. With the introduction of these new ATR ‘-600s series’ aircraft the airline will progressively upgrade its current fleet, consisting of 16 ATR 72-500s.
Boeing 737 MAX final assembly
Boeing has begun final assembly on schedule of the first 737 MAX 8 at its Renton, Washington, facility.
Boeing's 737 MAX winglet technology
Boeing’s new Advanced Technology winglets. The winglet on the left is the first production AT winglet for airplane 1 and the winglet on the right is a test article. Designed exclusively for the 737 MAX, they will give customers up to 1.8 percent additional fuel-efficiency improvement over today’s inline winglet designs.
Wizz Air formalizes MOU for 100 A321neos
Hungarian low-cost carrier Wizz Air has formalized the memorandum of understanding it announced at the Paris Air Show in June to purchase 110 Airbus A321neos. The airline retained its commitment to purchase a further 48 aircraft from Airbus, comprising 21 A320ceos and 27 A321ceos.The first Wizz Air A321ceo aircraft will enter service in November, configured with 230 seats.
Citilink to lease nine new A320s
Garuda Indonesia low-cost carrier (LCC) subsidiary Citilink Indonesia plans to lease nine new Airbus A320 aircraft to boost fleet numbers and regional service schedules.
Boeing rolls out ANA 787-9 in R2-D2 livery
The R2-D2 All Nippon Airways (ANA) Boeing 787-9 rolled-out from the Boeing Everett Factory for the first time Sept. 14. The R2-D2 ANA jet is the first of three aircraft to be decorated with Star Wars characters as part of an agreement between ANA, Japan’s largest airline, and The Walt Disney Co. (Japan).
Airbus Mobile FAL opens
The fuselage of an American Airlines' A321, which will be the second aircraft to be delivered from the Airbus Mobile factory 2, which opened Sept. 14.
Bombardier Q400 receives type certification from Brazil
The Bombardier Q400 has gained Brazilian type certification, enabling the aircraft to operate in the South American nation.
SpaceLiner developer wants to move forward with development
German Aerospace Center
A hypersonic plane that could carry 100 passengers between Europe and Australia in 90 minutes could be a reality by 2050, according to the German Aerospace Center (DLR). Dubbed the SpaceLiner, DLR wants to move ahead with developing the spacecraft, which is a rocket-propelled intercontinental passenger transport capable of carrying 50 passengers and two crew members.
CSeries nears final phase of testing
The CSeries is 85% through certification tests and about to enter “the final flight testing phase,” according to Bombardier. Photo: CSeries 300 water ingestion test.
Air China A330 with 242-tonne MTOW completes maiden flight
Air China’s 50th Airbus A330, which is also China’s first A330-300 with the increased 242-tonne maximum take-off-weight (MTOW) capability, has completed its maiden flight in Toulouse.
British Airways 777 runway fire under investigation
L.E. BASKOW/AFP/Getty Images
British Airways plane stands on runway surrounded by emergency vehicles at McCarran International Airport following a fire onboard Sept. 8.
RwandAir firms A330 order
RwandAir has finalized its order for its first widebodies, an Airbus A330-200 and an A330-300, firming up a memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed in March. Photo: Rendering of A330-300 in RwandAir livery
Nippon Cargo Airlines cancels Boeing 747-8F order
Nippon Cargo Airlines canceled orders for four Boeing 747-8F aircraft worth around $1.5 billion at list prices.
Airbus begins A330neo production
Among the first Airbus metal-cutting operations underway for the A330neo is production of the initial center wing box, which uses an innovative Isogrid design with 330 triangular pockets that enable the component to meet rigidity, strength and lightweight requirements.
French officials confirm MH370 flaperon is from MH370
French officials have confirmed that the piece of aircraft wreckage discovered on Reunion Island is from the missing Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200, MH370.
ARJ21 on track to enter service in February 2016
The Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC) said China's first regional commercial jet, the ARJ21-700, will enter service in February next year. Entry into service will follow two months of pilot training and bedding-in trials.
US Airways brand will be retired Oct. 17
American Airlines will retire the US Airways brand will be retired Oct. 17.
Linda Blachly is Senior Associate Editor for Air Transport World and Aviation Week. She joined the company in July 2010 and is responsible for producing features for Air Transport World’s monthly magazine and engaging content for the aviationweek.com. She is based in the Washington DC office.