Airbus displays ACJ319 corporate jet cabin at ABACE show

Apr 8, 2016

Airbus is exhibiting an ACJ319 at the ABACE show, where it is displaying a larger and more modern corporate jet  cabin, which is preferred by Chinese customers.

The ACJ319 on display features conference, dining and lounge areas at the front of the cabin, plus two separate rooms at the rear. It is currently offered for VVIP charter by Comlux The Aviation Group and is certificated to transport up to 19 passengers, more than traditional business jets. This allows it to serve a wider range of business needs.

“Airbus corporate jets can fly bigger groups than large traditional bizjets, while also delivering intercontinental range and similar operating costs, and Chinese customers appreciate that capability,” declares Airbus Chief Operating Officer, Customers, John Leahy.

ACJ319 Cabin

Airbus ACJ319 Comlux cabin on corporate jet

“The modernity and reliability of Airbus corporate jets’ airliner heritage is also highly valued in Asia,” he adds.

Airbus began delivering ACJ320 type corporate jets to China in 2005. Today, around 20 Airbus corporate jets are flying in China, giving them the strongest presence in the country of any business jet at the top-end of the market.

Airbus’ corporate jets have evolved from the world’s most modern airliner family, delivering benefits lacking in older designs. These include such advances as fly-by-wire controls that provide enhanced ergonomics and practical protection – now an expected feature of new-generation business jets.

The design of the Airbus corporate jet range also means that they can take full advantage of today’s larger and more fuel efficient engines. This can be seen with the new Airbus ACJneo Family. There is also a worldwide network of technical advice, spares and training serving more than 500 customers and operators worldwide of Airbus corporate jets.

Other standard Airbus features include Category 3B autoland that enables flights in foggy conditions, an intrinsically modern design that holds its value better than older designs, and time and cost-saving centralised maintenance.

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The new Airspace by Airbus Cabin Concept revealed

Mar 30, 2016

Airbus launched an innovative new concept in jetliner cabins last week. The “Airspace by Airbus” brand brings together an enhanced experience for passengers and optimum performance for airlines based on four dimensions: comfort, ambience, service and design.

This new concept, introduced with the Airbus widebody A330neo (new engine option) version – and incorporated on the A350 XWB – Airspace cabins offer a more relaxing, inspiring, attractive and functional environment for travellers and optimises the use of cabin space for operators.

Airspace by Airbus

Kiran Rao, the Executive Vice President of Marketing & Strategy, said Airspace continues Airbus’ non-stop innovation and furthers the company’s leadership in providing cabin comfort excellence – applying advanced cabin technologies developed for its recent programmes.

“The A380 already offers the best comfort of any aircraft, and the A320 is the top in its single-aisle category,” he explained. “Airspace is another step forward, reflecting our decision to bring consistency on our two best-selling widebody aircraft: the A350 XWB and A330neo.”

A330neo Cabin Airspace by Airbus

Signature design elements recognisable throughout all Airspace cabins include wider seats; larger overhead storage bins; spacious, contemporary lavatories with antibacterial surfaces; along with unobstructed under-seat foot space. Other features are a unique and customisable welcome area at the main passenger boarding door, the latest in LED technology for ambient lighting, as well as clean shapes and surfaces throughout the interior.

“Such signature details and iconic elements will add to passengers’ enjoyment of flight, while offering a flexible canvas to which the airlines can project their own brand,”

Features for operators include a range of new galley/lavatory options such as modular Space-Flex to maximise trolley capacity, wheelchair-accessible lavatory configurations to suit individual airline requirements, and freeing up of main deck space to allow for additional seating.

Airbus A330neo Airspace Cabin

Airbus has been very focused on the passenger experience and when we were at the Toulouse HQ it was clear that comfort was a very important part of the aircraft manufacturer’s future. The (economy) seat options available for current  aircraft and the new Airspace options are great for passengers but the airlines have to be convinced to spec such options as wider seats.

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It’s 40 years today since BA Concorde flew its first commercial flight

Jan 21, 2016

It’s time to remind you all again about Concorde! It was a great aircraft and one of it’s pilots has been back to remember the good times. Captain Mike Bannister, British Airways’ former chief Concorde pilot, has returned to Heathrow to inspect the iconic supersonic aircraft, which is celebrating the 40th anniversary of its first commercial flight. Following his walk-around, Captain Bannister declared:

“She’s looking ship-shape and remarkably good 40 years on!  I’m delighted that, parked in her position at the end of runway 27L, millions of customers arriving at and leaving Heathrow continue to have the opportunity to catch a glimpse of one of the great loves of my life.”

British Airways Captain Mike Bannister and Concorde

British Airways Captain Mike Bannister and Concorde.

Alpha Bravo, one of seven Concordes operated by British Airways, remains in top condition thanks to the efforts of a new generation of engineers who were still at school when Concorde retired in 2003.

British Airways Concordes

These apprentice and graduate engineers have learned how to maintain and protect the airframe of Concorde under the watchful eye of senior engineers and retired Concorde specialists.

Keith Rose, British Airways’ general manager of engineering, who is in charge of the Concorde project, said:  “Working on Concorde not only gives our graduate and apprentice engineers the chance to expand their skills by working on a unique aircraft type, it also allows them to be part of the extraordinary heritage of British Airways, keeping this world-renowned aircraft in excellent showcase condition.”

Concorde’s first commercial British Airways flight took-off from Heathrow on January 21 1976, bound for Bahrain.  From 1976 to 2003, the aircraft’s sleek fuselage and slender delta wing was the silhouette to spot as she climbed out toward or returned from her usual destinations of New York or Barbados.

And there are few better avgeek experiences than enjoying a fried breakfast in the Compass Centre as Concorde roared past during its very impressive take-off.

The seven British Airways Concordes are now displayed around the world, and it is estimated that more than one million people have visited them over the past 12 years.

ritish Airways Concorde flight deck

While the retirement of Concorde was a sad day for all aviation enthusiasts, the aircraft has left a lasting legacy.  Not only can she still be visited, and admired, but the many advances that first allowed Concorde to fly have since found their way onto today’s aircraft.  For example, composite materials akin to those found on Concorde are now used to improve efficiency of aircraft such as the modern Boeing 787 Dreamliner; and high-pressure hydraulics, designed for Concorde have been adapted for use in the world’s largest aircraft, the Airbus A380.

Concorde Facts and Stats

  • Concorde was a joint undertaking by the British and French governments; she was designed and built jointly by the British Aircraft Corporation and Aerospatiale
  • Concorde successfully completed her first supersonic flight on 1 October, 1969 – although the first commercial flights by British Airways to Bahrain and Air France to Rio de Janeiro via Dakar – took place on 21 January 1976
  • Concorde still holds the record for the fastest crossing of the Atlantic by a civil aircraft (New York to London in two hours 52 minutes, 59 seconds)
  • She flew up to 11 miles high at the edge of space in the layers between the stratosphere and the ionosphere where the curvature of the earth could be seen (see photo taken by Captain Mike Bannister from the flight deck that shows this curve).

Photo taken by Captain Mike Bannister from the Concorde flight deck that shows the curve of the Earth

  • Due to the intense heat of the airframe, Concorde could stretch anywhere from six to 10 inches during flight.  Every surface, even the windows, was warm to the touch by the end of the flight.
  • As well as passengers, Concorde was sometimes used to transport human organs, diamonds and currency.
  • The menu on British Airways’ first commercial flight included:  Champagne Dom Perignon 1969, caviar and lobster canapes, grilled fillet steak, palm heart salad with Roquefort dressing and fresh strawberries with double cream. Customers were also offered Havana cigars.
  • James Callaghan was the first British premier to go supersonic when he went to see President Carter in Washington to negotiate landing rights for the aircraft in the US.

British Airways Concorde taking off

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Will you be buying an Airbus this year as 2016 aircraft prices released

Jan 19, 2016

Following a successful year in 2015 Airbus has increased the average list prices of its aircraft by 1.1 per cent across the product line. The new pricing is effective from January 1st 2016. The 1.1 per cent price increase has been calculated according to Airbus’ standard escalation formula over the January 2015 to January 2016 period and takes into account the drop in materials and commodities prices.

Last year Airbus delivered 635 aircraft to 85 customers including 10 new ones. These deliveries comprised of: 491 A320 Family aircraft, 103 A330 aircraft, 27 A380 super jumbos and 14 A350 XWB airliners.

Airbus also achieved 1,036 net orders from 53 customers (of which eight are new), comprising 897 single-aisle aircraft and 139 widebodies. At 2015 year-end the overall backlog had climbed to a new industry record of 6,787 aircraft valued at US$996.3 billion at list prices.

“Our new 2016 price increase reflects the strong appetite from customers around the globe for Airbus’ comprehensive, modern and innovative product range,” said John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer, Customers.
Airbus aircraft prices 2016
“We see demand for our aircraft continuing to grow across all size categories as our reliable, efficient product line enables customers to grow their businesses profitably as well as being favoured by passengers who want to travel in the most comfortable cabins.”
Soif you would like to start your own airline or need an air cargo plane what do you need to spend to get yourself the latest Airbus model?

Airbus Prices

2016 Average List Prices (millions of US$)

A318

75.1
A319

89.6

A320

98.0

A321

114.9

A319neo

98.5
A320neo

107.3

A321neo

125.7
A330-200

231.5

A330-800neo

252.3
A330-200 Freighter

234.7

A330-300

256.4
A330-900neo

287.7

A350-800

272.4

A350-900

308.1
A350-1000

355.7

A380-800

432.6

 

Price depends on design weights, engines choice and level of selected customisation. 

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Airbus Helicopters takes first flight with new twin turbo V8 engine

Nov 10, 2015

Airbus Helicopters has successfully completed the first flight test of the high-compression engine demonstrator aircraft at Marignane Airport. The development and flight test of this new technology demonstrator took place last Friday. It is part of the European Clean Sky initiative’s Green Rotorcraft Integrated Technology Demonstrator (ITD) program. Support for these flight tests provided by the consortium of TEOS Powertrain Engineering and Austro Engine GmbH.

“The first resul t of the 30 minutes flight confirms the advantages of new-technology high-compression piston engines for rotorcraft in offering reduced emissions; up to 50% lower fuel consumption depending on duty cycle, nearly doubled range and enhanced operations in hot and high conditions”, said Tomasz Krysinski, Head of Research and Innovation at Airbus.

In addition to confirming improvements in eco-efficiency, Airbus Helicopters’ in-flight evaluations in the upcoming months will also focus on the right power-to-weight ratios that would make high-compression engines sustainable alternatives to the turbine powerplants typically used in the helicopter industry. The flight test campaign will enable the helicopter manufacturer to establish the engine installation at Technology Readiness Level 6 (TRL 6).

Airbus Helicopters starts flight tests with high-compression engine for cleaner, more efficient and higher-performance rotorcraft

V8 Helicopters

Integrated into an H120, the 4.6-liter high-compression piston engine incorporates numerous technologies already applied on advanced self-ignition engines, and runs on the widely-available kerosene fuel used in aviation engines. Its V8 design has the two sets of cylinders oriented at a 90 deg. angle to each other, with a high-pressure (1800 bar) common-rail direct injection and one turbocharger per cylinder bank.

Other features include fully-machined aluminum blocks and titanium connecting rods, pistons and liners made of steel, liquid-cooling and a dry sump management method for the lubricating motor oil as used on aerobatic aircraft and race cars.

The Green Rotorcraft ITD program that supported Airbus Helicopters’ research project is part of the Clean Sky Joint Technology Initiative, which is Europe’s most ambitious aeronautical research program ever. Clean Sky’s goal is to develop breakthrough technologies that significantly increase environmental performance of the air transport sector, resulting in quieter and more fuel efficient aircraft and rotorcraft. Environmental targets of Clean Sky are to reduce specific fuel consumption by 30 percent, CO2 emissions by 40 percent and NOx by 53 percent.

Airbus Helicopters’ high-compression piston engine activity began in 2011, followed by company bench tests and system simulations, including Iron Bird successful tests in February 2014. Ground runs with the H120-equipped helicopter were performed during February and March of this year, leading to the first flight.

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Boeing predict increase in single-aisle aircraft demand for Middle East

Nov 4, 2015

Boeing forecasts that airlines in the Middle East will require 3,180 new airliners over the next 20 years, valued at an estimated $730 billion. This prediction by the Seattle aircraft manufacturer expects 70 percent of the demand to be driven by rapid fleet expansion in the region.

According to the Boeing Current Market Outlook (CMO), single-aisle aircraft such as the 737 MAX will command the largest share of new deliveries, with airlines in the region needing approximately 1,410 airliners. These new aircraft will continue to stimulate growth for low-cost carriers and replace older, less-efficient planes.

“Traffic growth in the Middle East continues to grow at a healthy rate and is expected to grow 6.2 percent annually during the next 20 years,” said Randy Tinseth, Vice President, Marketing, Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

Boeing Next Generation 737

“About 80 percent of the world’s population lives within an eight-hour flight of the Arabian Gulf. This geographic position, coupled with diverse business strategies and investment in infrastructure is allowing carriers in the Middle East to aggregate traffic at their hubs and offer one-stop service between many city pairs that would not otherwise enjoy such direct itineraries.”

Boeing Orders

Twin-aisle aircraft will account for a little under half of the region’s new airliner deliveries over the 20-year period, compared to 23 percent globally. Boeing see a bright future as they are meeting customer demand in the region by focusing on enhancing passenger experience and improving operating economics and capability. Their evidence for this is their strong order book and deliveries for the 787 and 777.

There presence and support for the Middle East also includes a growing aftermarket services business that continues to expand offerings to better support regional airlines.

Boeing’s Commercial Aviation Services is a leading provider of aftermarket services in the Middle East, supporting airlines throughout the lifecycle of their fleets from airplane introduction to retirement. Their Component Support Programs, a segment of its GoldCare Services suite, are particularly successful with three new 787 operators in the region contracting the airline manufacturer to ensure reliable, timely, and cost effective component management.

“Over the course of our 70 year presence in the Middle East, Boeing has been working with customers to ensure we provide airplanes and services that support their aerospace ambitions,” said Tinseth.

“Boeing is well-positioned to continue to address demand in theMiddle East and provide airlines in the region with the capability to serve their expanding global networks.”

Boeing has forecasted long-term global demand for 38,050 new aircraft, valued at $5.6 trillion. These new airliners will replace older, less efficient aircraft, benefiting airlines and passengers and stimulating growth in emerging markets and innovation in airline business models.

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Huge order for Airbus A320 and A330 aircraft by China Aviation Supplies

Oct 29, 2015

The China Aviation Supplies Holding Company (CAS) has signed a General Terms Agreement (GTA) with Airbus for the purchase of 130 aircraft. This order is made up of 30 A330 Family aircraft and 100 Airbus A320 Family aircraft. Earlier this year, in June 2015 a commitment was signed for the 30 A330 airliners. The GTA to confirm the orders was signed in Beijing by Li Hai, President and CEO of CAS, and Fabrice Brégier, President and CEO of Airbus, in the presence of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

“We are grateful to CAS, one of our longest standing customers, for its continued confidence in Airbus and in the versatile A330 Family as well as the best-selling Airbus A320 Family,” said Fabrice Bregier, President and CEO of Airbus.

Order for Airbus A320 and A330 aircraft by China Aviation Supplies

“With these 30 A330 options now firmed up, CAS’ total number of orders for the popular Airbus widebody is this year 75 aircraft. This strong demand in China for the A330 has been the key driver behind our decision to set up an A330 Completion and Delivery Centre in Tianjin, China next to the A320 Family final assembly line and delivery centre in Tianjin, which has assembled and delivered more than 240 Airbus single aisle aircraft. This will enable us to be even closer to our customers and to take our long-standing mutual beneficial partnership with China to a new height.”

The first agreements on setting up an A330 C&DC in Tianjin, China were signed by Airbus and Chinese partners in March 2014 and witnessed by French President Francois Hollande and visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping. This was followed in October 2014, when Airbus, the Tianjin Free Trade Zone (TJFTZ) and the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) signed a Letter of Intent (LoI) in Berlin, Germany, in the presence of the German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, A framework agreement was signed in July 2015 in Toulouse.

According to the Airbus global market forecast, China is leading the world in passenger growth. China’s domestic air traffic will become the world’s largest within the next 10 years, and traffic volumes will quadruple in the next 20 years. In the next 20 years, Airbus forecasts a demand in China for some 5,400 new passenger and freighter aircraft including 1,700 widebody aircraft like the A330, A350 and A380.

At present, the in-service Airbus fleet with Chinese operators comprises over 1,200 aircraft (over 1,000 A320 Family aircraft, over 160 A330 Family aircraft and five A380s as well as Airbus freighters and corporate jets).

The A330 is one of the most popular widebody aircraft ever and has to date won over 1,500 orders, with over 1,200 flying with more than 100 operators worldwide. Airbus is investing hundreds of millions of Euros per year in the A330 Family to maintain the aircraft at the leading edge of innovations. The A330 Family is part of the world’s most modern and comprehensive widebody product line, which also includes the larger A350 XWB and double deck A380

The A330 family seats between 250 and 440 passengers and is one of the most efficient aircraft in the world, with the lowest operating costs in its category. Thanks to the continuous introduction of a large number of innovations, the A330 remains the most profitable and best performing aircraft in its class, boasting an average operational reliability of 99.4 percent. Worldwide an A330 Family aircraft takes off or lands every 20 seconds.

Order for 100 Airbus A320 Aircraft

The Airbus A320 Family, seat from 100 to 240 passengers, seamlessly covering the entire single-aisle segment from low to high-density configurations on domestic to longer-range routes. To date, Airbus has sold more than 12,200 A320 Family aircraft and delivered over 6,700 CEO to more than 300 operators worldwide.

Airbus is the world’s leading aircraft manufacturer of passenger airliners, ranging in capacity from 100 to more than 500 seats. Airbus has design and manufacturing facilities in France, Germany, the UK, and Spain, and subsidiaries in the US, China, India, Japan and in the Middle East. In addition, it provides the highest standard of customer support and training through an expanding international network.

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Thames Valley Air Ambulance to get UK’s first H135 helicopter

Oct 8, 2015

The first H135 helicopter in the UK, acquired and operated by Bond Air Services on behalf of Thames Valley Air Ambulance, is about to enter service in the Thames Valley region. The public launch of the aircraft, to take place in Oxfordshire on Monday 12th October, will see the start of the H135’s first operations in the UK, in Emergency Medical Services (EMS) role.

Initially delivered to Bond Air Services in August 2015 for the fitting of an Aerolite EMS interior and completion, the H135 will replace Thames Valley Air Ambulance’s current EC135T2, in service since 2008. Replacing this aircraft with an H135 is a testament to Thames Valley Air Ambulance’s satisfaction and confidence in the performance and capability of this family of aircraft.

Mark McGeown, CEO Thames Valley Air Ambulance said, “We are looking forward to bringing it into service as our next generation EMS aircraft. The improved performance, increased payload and better fuel economy of the Airbus H135 helicopter, combined with NVIS capabilities, will enable our crews to take the major step into night HEMS operations. This is key to the future development of our air ambulance service”

The H135  Helicopter Air Ambulance

First H135 helicopter for Thames Valley Air Ambulance

Colin James, UK Managing Director Airbus Helicopters, said “The H135 is the latest evolution of Airbus Helicopters’ most successful light, twin-engine helicopter. It has been the backbone of British police and EMS operations for the last decade and the H135 provides the improved capability for it to continue in this role for the decade to come”.

The commitment to the new H135 helicopter, a decision not lightly made by a charity, comes as a result of the additional capabilities the helicopter brings, including night flights, advanced avionics, further reduced noise footprint and increased payload. Furthermore, the light maintenance requirements, coupled with high reliability ensure the H135 has the lowest direct operating costs in its class.

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Airbus begins production of the first A350-1000 wing

Aug 18, 2015

Airbus has begun production of the first A350-1000 wing at their manufacturing plant in Broughton, North Wales. The first pair of wings will soon be on a Beluga flight down to Toulouse for final assembly before delivery.

The wing is the same span as the A350-900 that is already in service, but 90% of the parts have been modified and the trailing edge has been extended to resize the wing for the additional payload and range.

A350-1000 Wing

At 32 metres long by six metres wide, the A350 XWB wing is the largest single part made from carbon fibre composite material in use in civil aviation today. They are designed and developed at Airbus’ facility in Filton, near Bristol, where a number of other systems are designed and tested including fuel systems and landing gear.

Airbus A350-1000 wing goes into production view from above

Airbus A350 wing goes into production – view from above

The high-performance wings of the A350-1000, as with the other varients,  make the aircraft faster, more efficient and quieter. The wing design includes several streamlined features. Among these are droop-nose leading edge devices and new adaptive dropped-hinge flaps, which increase the jetliner’s efficiency at low speeds.
Airbus A350-1000 wing cover goes into production

Airbus A350-1000 wing cover

To improve efficiency at higher speeds, the A350 XWB can deflect its wing flaps differentially, optimising the wing profile and providing better load control.
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Electric Airbus E-Fan aircraft to fly the Channel this Friday #avgeek

Jul 6, 2015

Following the historic flight by the Solar Impulse to Hawaii last week we are set to see another historic flight as the Airbus Group are to make history with their all-electric E-Fan aircraft. The demonstration aircraft is being readied for its Channel crossing this Friday the 10th July.

The aircraft is on its way from France’s Aquitaine region to the starting point of its Channel crossing at Lydd Airport, England.

Transported on a truck and shipped by a ferry from the French coast to the English side of the Channel, the E-Fan aircraft will perform its first test flights on Thursday, 9th July in Lydd. The historic flight over the Channel, following the footsteps of Louis Blériot’s first Channel crossing 106 years ago, is scheduled for Friday, 10th July to begin at 9:15 GMT/ 10:15 CET, pending appropriate weather conditions.

The E-Fan Aircraft #avgeek

As electric flight is a new domain for the aviation industry, no rules exist as of yet to verify the airworthiness of an electrical engine. Therefore, the French Direction Générale de l’Aviation Civile (DGAC), Airbus Group and its partners have elaborated a dedicated test and verification programme to assure the safety for the Channel flight of the E-Fan technology demonstrator. An integral part of this programme has been the extensive characterisation and testing of all elements of the electrical propulsion unit with respect to a Channel flight mission profile.

Airbus E-Fan aircraft prepares for historic Channel crossing #avgeek

“We are very much looking forward to this challenge. For months we have been in contact with authorities and flight regulations and have performed an in-depth analysis of the flight profile. We have followed all requirements for safety verification in close cooperation with DGAC. That is something which may not have been necessary 100 years ago, when aviation pioneer Louis Blériot performed his channel crossing. Back then, his flight was just a race to be first. Today, following rules and obtaining certifications is of crucial importance for the future of safe, reliable and certifiable electric flight,” said Jean Botti, Airbus Group Chief Technical Officer.

In addition  to the preparation of the E-Fan aircraft Airbus has taken specific professional measures to assure safety on the ground (flight mission director and team), in the air (Air traffic measurement , accompanying helicopters) and on the water (rescue speed boats). These measures are organised in close cooperation/coordination with all relevant public authorities in France and UK.

To follow the flight live on Friday just visit here.

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