Wednesday, January 22th, 2020

Airbus expands European A321 production capacity to now include Toulouse facility

With production of the wide-body A380 jet coming to a close in the near future and just fiveremaining aircraft due for delivery, Airbus has turned its attention to expanding production facilities for the increasingly popular A321 Family narrow-body jet.

The European planemaker has revealed plans to convert its Toulouse A380 line into a ‘digitally-enabled’ production line for the more popular A321 range of aircraft. At the present moment Airbus produces A321s at both Hamburg, Germany and Mobile, Alabama, USA. The A320neo Family is the world’s best-selling single aisle with over 7100 aircraft sold to over 110 customers.

Within this Family, the A321XLR is the latest evolutionary step which has been developed to meet market needs for even more range and payload, creating more value for the airlines. From 2023, it will deliver an unprecedented Xtra Long Range of up to 4,700nm and a 30% lower fuel burn per seat compared with previous-generation competitor aircraft.

By mid-2022 the current A380 Lagardère facility in Toulouse will accommodate a digitally-enabled A321 line as a step to modernize the A320 production system in Toulouse. The new facilities will provide more flexibility for A321 production, while keeping the overall single aisle industrial capacity in Toulouse flat.

“We are enjoying an unprecedented high demand for our winning A320neo Family and especially its A321 Long Range (LR) and Xtra Long Range (XLR) derivatives,” said Michael Schoellhorn, Airbus Chief Operating Officer. “In order to optimize the industrial flow, we have decided to increase our global A321 production capacity and flexibility as well as to establish a next-generation Final Assembly Line in Toulouse.”


Bell Boeing CMV-22B Osprey completes first flight

The first CMV-22B Osprey, built by Boeing and Bell Textron, has completed first flight operations at Bell’s Amarillo Assembly Center. The CMV-22B is the latest variant of the tiltrotor fleet, joining the MV-22 and CV-22 used by the U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Air Force.

The U.S. Navy will use the CMV-22B to replace the C-2A Greyhound for transporting personnel, mail, supplies and high-priority cargo from shore bases to aircraft carriers at sea. Bell Boeing designed the Navy variant specifically for carrier fleet operations by providing increased fuel capacity for the extended range requirement. The mission flexibility of the Osprey will increase operational capabilities and readiness, in addition to ferrying major components of the F-35 engine.

SAS and Willis Lease execute ConstantAccess agreement covering the airline’s Airbus A340 fleet

Willis Lease Finance has entered into a ConstantAccess™ agreement with Scandinavian Airlines System, whereby Willis Lease will guarantee availability of CFM56-5C engines to cover requirements due to both planned and unplanned removals of engines powering the airline’s fleet of eight A340 aircraft.

“Over the next 36 months, as we transition into our new fleet of latest technology and most fuel efficient Airbus A350 aircraft, the Willis Lease ConstantAccess™ product will play a critical role providing SAS with a seamless and very efficient engine support transition service,” said Niklas Hårdänge, Vice President of Fleet Management for SAS.


Christophe Bruneau named Vice President of Military Engines division at Safran Aircraft Engines

As Vice President in charge of Safran Aircraft Engines' Military Engines division, Christophe Bruneau will be responsible for military engine production and support, especially the M88 fighter engine in export markets.

He is also in charge of coordinating research and technology work on the engine that will power the new-generation fighter in Europe's Future Combat Air System (FCAS), within the scope of a partnership set up with MTU Aero Engines in 2019.

U.S. Federal Aviation Administration certifies update to Garmin G5000 avionics suite

Bombardier has released that the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has certified the latest update to the Garmin G5000 avionics suite aboard Learjet aircraft.

The upgrade will be incorporated on new Learjet aircraft deliveries. In a few months’ time, the new Garmin G5000 avionics suite will also be a standard feature on Bombardier’s newest Learjet, the Learjet 75 Liberty, which is expected to enter service in mid-2020. A retrofit for in-service Learjet 70 and Learjet 75 aircraft will be available in early 2020.


Leonardo’s Falco Xplorer drone completes first flight

Leonardo's new Falco Xplorer drone aircraft has performed its maiden flight. Falco Xplorer S/N0001 took off from Trapani Air Force base on January 15, cruised over the Gulf of Trapani in a dedicated fly zone, for around 60 minutes and then returned to base, landing safely.

The maiden flight is a significant milestone which has been achieved through technical and engineering support, at the test flight planning stages and with other related activities, by the Italian Air Force Test Flight Centre. The Remotely-Piloted Air System (RPAS), which combines endurance of over 24h with a max payload of 350kg, will now embark on a series of flight campaigns which will assess the aircraft’s full range of capabilities including its integrated sensor system.

These campaigns will also certify the Falco Xplorer against NATO’s airworthiness STANAG 4671, dramatically expanding the territory over which it can operate. 

GA Telesis acts as structuring agent for acquisition and financing of ten Boeing aircraft

GA Telesis (GAT) has acted as structuring agent for the successful acquisition and financing of ten Boeing aircraft for a major U.S. Airline. GAT, as structuring agent, negotiated the purchase and arranged the financing from a U.S. bank to fund the transaction.

“This transaction was a great opportunity for our experienced team to identify, structure, and arrange a compelling aircraft acquisition for one of our valued airline clients,” commented Marc Cho, President of GA Telesis’ Leasing Investment Financing and Trading (LIFT) Group.


Farnborough Airport announces record air traffic movements for third consecutive year

For the full year 2019, Farnborough Airport saw a year-on-year increase in air traffic movements of 5.3%. For December 2019, the airport recorded an 11.6% increase in movements for the month, with initial forecasts indicating this positive trend is set to continue in 2020.

Specifically, air traffic movements to and from the U.S. experienced significant growth during the year, with an increase of 15% year-on-year. In the same period, traffic to and from Europe saw a 6% increase.

The airport has also introduced its new brand identity following the recent acquisition. The new brand both embodies the airport’s philosophy to consistently offer a five-star service and reflects the award-winning architecture of the airport’s facilities with its iconic shapes and curves.

Ideagen’s Q-Pulse, Q-Pulse Risk and Academy will be rolled out across all ExecuJet MRO sites globally

Dassault-owned, ExecuJet MRO Services, is to roll out several software applications from Ideagen across its global operations to standardise a series of processes as it prepares for a three year growth project.

Q-Pulse, Q-Pulse Risk and Academy will handle processes associated with quality, safety, risk and training across ExecuJet MRO Services’global sites.

Ideagen’s software will play a central part in ExecuJet MRO Services’ digital transformation programme as it looks to grow the business following its recent acquisition by Dassault Aviation.

Graeme Duckworth, President of ExecuJet MRO Services and the company’s remaining Founder, said: “This is an exciting project and one that will play a significant part in our growth strategy for the foreseeable future.


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MRO Latin America
January 22 - 23, 2020 – Cartagena, Columbia

Manufacturing World
February 26 - 18, 2020 – Makuhari Messe, Chiba-city, Japan

Operating Lease & Aviation Finance Seminar
March 24 - 26, 2020 - London, UK