Friday, March 30, 2012

A340 freighter without a cargo door?

A freighter airliner without a main-deck cargo door? That is what LCF Converions and ACE Corp propose for the Airbus A340. Instead of using a main-deck cargo door freight can be loaded by the existing lower deck cargo doors and lifted 'upstairs' to the main deck by internal lifts. The lifts can be used as load-bearing floor during flight, so no space is lost within the fuselage.
This concept avoids the need to make any changes to the external structure of the aircraft, nor will it need any changes to the main deck floor (other than those needed to accommodate the fore and aft lifts). The cost of converting an A340-300 is only US$ 6.5 million, including the loading system. The A340-300 seems very suitable for this concept. There are enough secondhand A340-300s around against attractive prices. The A340-300LCF would have about the same cargo volume as a Boeing 767-300ERF, but has a better payload range capability. Later, the concept could also be applied to the later A340 models, and to various versions of the Boeing 777, which is still expensive on the second hand market. More: read here.

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China Eastern cancels 787 Order

China Eastern Airlines has canceled an order for 24 Boeing 787 Dreamliners. The airline buys 45 Boeing 737NGs instead. The reason for the cancellation are the delays of the 787 programme. Air New Zealand ordered two additional 787s.

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First Lufthansa 747-8I to Washington

Lufthansa's first Boeing 747-8I destination will be Washington Dulles Airport. Lufthansa has 20 of the new jumbos on order and will equip them with 386 seats, 46 more than in its 747-400s. The first delivery is expected to take place in April.

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Eva Air wants more Boeing 777s

Eva Air of Taiwan has announced to acquire seven additional Boeing 777-300ERs. The aircraft will be delivered in 2014 and 2016. The airline expects increasing business after becoming a member of the Star Alliance. Another reason is the visa waiver from the USA and an expected growth of transit traffic from mainland China. The carrier is also making plans to replace its four Boeing 747-400 Combis by 2015. The Eva fleet consists of 59 aircraft at the moment, mostly widebodies: 14 Airbus A330s, 15 Boeing 777-300ERs, seven 747-400s, nine 747 freighters and eight MD-11 freighters. The only narrowbodies in Eva service are six MD-90's.

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Thursday, March 29, 2012

First 787s for Japan Air Lines

Boeing delivered two Boeing 787 Dreamliners to Japan Airlines (JAL) on March 26. The aircraft are the first 787's equipped with General Electric GEnx engines. JAL is going to use the aircraft on new routes, which cannot be flown with other types of aircraft without restrictions, like Tokyo-Boston and Tokyo-San Diego.

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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Boeing 787 with GEnx certified

Boeing has received an amended type certificate from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for the 787-8 Dreamliner equipped with General Electric GEnx-1B engines. This allows airlines to now operate the GE engine-powered 787.
Initial type certification of the 787 with Rolls-Royce engines took place in August 2011. Each new combination of an airframe type and engine requires additional certification to validate the integrity of the design. (Photo: General Electric)

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Sunday, March 18, 2012

Swissair MD-11s

Today I took a dive into my slide collection searching for widebody pictures which are not yet on the Widebody Aircraft Parade. I found some Swissair McDonnell Douglas MD-11 photographs and composed a new page about this subject. You can find it here.

New versions for the Boeing 777

Boeing is working on blueprints for a next generation of the highly successful 777. Airbus is threatening the Triple Seven with its A350, so Boeing needs an answer. The airframer is advancing towards a probable late-2012 launch of a 777X family. This would result in a first flight in 2017 or 2018 and service entry in 2019. Aerospace magazine Flight International is reporting extensively about the subject. Boeing is thinking of a stretched 777-200ER as 777-8X, a stretched 777-300ER as 777-9X and an ultra-long-range 777-8LX. The new versions might make the 777 the first twin-aisle programme to reach 2,000 deliveries. Fuel burn should be more than 20 per cent better than that of the current 777. You can read the complete Flight story here.

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Friday, March 9, 2012

Special livery for MAS Airbus A380

Malaysia Airlines (MAS) will take delivery of the first of six Airbus A380 megajets on June 19. The aircraft will be operated thrice weekly between Kuala Lumpur and London Heathrow from July 1. The frequency will be increased from August 25, after delivery of the airline's second A380. The third and fourth A380s, which are to be delivered in August and September, will fly between Kuala Lumpur and Sydney. For the fifth and sixth aircraft no destination is selected yet.
The first aircraft is currently undergoing finishing touches in Hamburg. MAS A380s will carry 494 passengers in a three-class configuration (8 first class and 350 economy class seats on the main deck and 66 business class and 70 economy class seats on the upper deck). The aircraft wil be painted in a special colour scheme. The recently adopted livery of its existing aircraft will remain unchanged.

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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

First Airbus A380 for Thai flies

The first Airbus A380 for Thai Airways International (THAI) took off for its maiden flight on March 5 following completion of the airframe assembly and system tests in Toulouse. After a flight of more than four hours, the aircraft landed in Hamburg, where it will be painted and the cabin interior will be installed. Thai will become the ninth operator of the A380 when it takes delivery of the  aircraft in the third quarter of 2012. The airline has firm orders for six A380s and will fly them on routes from Bangkok to Europe. (Photo: Airbus)

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Sunday, March 4, 2012

1000th Boeing 777 goes to Emirates

Boeing has finished its 1000th 777 on March 2. Because of this event there was a special ceremony with more than five thousand employees, suppliers, customers and government officials in Everett. The 777 jetliner will be delivered to Emirates later this month. Emirates is the biggest 777 customer with 102 777s in its fleet and 84 passenger airplanes and nine freighters on order. Emirates is also the only airline that operates all six members of the 777 family.
777 number 1000 is a 777-300ER (extended range) model that seats 360 passengers in a three-class configuration. Last year was the best year on record for 777 sales with 200 orders from 22 customers - topping the previous record of 154 set in 2005. Production is at an all-time high for the program with seven aircraft a month. Later this year production will even increase to 8.3 airplanes per month. From early 2013 one hundred 777s per year will be built. So far Boeing has sold 1,361 777s to 64 customers worldwide. (Photo: Boeing)

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Friday, March 2, 2012

Air Astana orders 767 and 787

Boeing and Air Astana announced an order for four 767-300ERs (Extended Range) and three 787-8 Dreamliners on 1 March. It is the largest single order for commercial airplanes in Kazakhstan's history. Air Astana already operates a number of Boeing 767s.

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China Southern orders 777-300ERs

China Southern Airlines will order 10 Boeing 777-300ERs, to meet growing demand in Asia-Pacific and China. The order is not official yet. It requires approval by the Chinese Government. China already operates three other 777-versions: four 777-200s, six 777-200ERs and six 777Fs.

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World records for Boeing 787

Boeing received certificates for setting two world records earned by the 787 Dreamliner in late 2011. They were presented on February 28 by Jonathan Gaffney, president and CEO of the National Aeronautic Association. The airplane earned records for completing the longest flight for an airplane in its weight class (440,924 to 551,155 lbs.) with a 10,336 nmi (19,142 km) flight to Dhaka, Bangladesh. This record had previously been held by the Airbus A330 with a 9,126 nmi (16,901 km) flight in 2002. Following refueling in Dhaka, the crew continued eastbound and returned to Seattle 42 hours and 26 minutes after their initial departure, completing the fastest around-the-world trip for the same weight class at 470 knots (871 km/h). There was no previous around-the-world speed record for this weight class.

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Thursday, March 1, 2012

Boeing delivers first 747-8I

Boeing delivered its first 747-8 Intercontinental VIP airplane on 28 February to an undisclosed customer. The aircraft was delivered with a minimal interior, and will enter service in 2014 after its VIP interior is installed. The aircraft will have luxurious seats to carry 100 passengers over up to 8,840 nautical miles (16,372 km). So far, Boeing has orders for nine 747-8 VIP airplanes.

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