Sunday, 23 June 2013

Update: A350, Paris Airshow

The first flight of the Airbus A350 happened last week. Their latest aircraft, the A350 is designed to compete with the 777 and larger 787 variants, aswell as replacing Airbus's own A330 and A340 lines. Like Boeing's 787, the A350 has a high percentage of CFRP parts (Carbon Fibre Reinforced Plastic). This material is stronger than steel but significantly lighter, making it perfect for building aircraft. The maiden flight from Toulouse lasted around 4 hours in which time the handling of the aircraft was tested at different speeds, altitudes and flaps settings:

The A350 then performed a fly-by at the Paris Airshow 2013 on Thursday. The biennial Paris airshow (at Le Bourget, a private airfield near to Paris CDG) is where the majority of big airline orders are placed. Significant developments include:
  •  Boeing have launched the 787-10, a 787 variant to replace their own 777-200 and rival the A350. Launch customers include British Airways and United.
  • Odyssey Airlines have ordered 10 Bombardier CS100 aircraft, they are thought to be planning operations from London City. The CS100 is expected to make its first flight this month.
  • Both EasyJet and Ryanair have placed big orders: EasyJet for 135 A320 series (a mix of A320 and A320neo) while Ryanair have committed to 175 737-800 (with the possibility of a 737-8MAX order this year). Both of the these orders are primarily to replace existing aircraft as they get older. 
  •  Embraer have launched the second generation of their E-Jets: the E2-Jet family, including the E2-175, E2-190 and E2-195.  These will include aerodynamic tweaks and all new P&W geared turbofan engines. Launch customer is America's Skywest with 100 E2-175's. 

Meanwhile, closer to home, there are rumours circulating that Air India are going to restart Delhi-Birmingham.... with 787's!

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