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Aircraft News September 2005.

University researchers develop plan to cut cockpit errors. A cockpit error is made during more than 60% of commercial airline flights, according to University of Texas researchers. Most are small mistakes, such as skipping a checklist item, writes The Wall Street Journal's Scott McCartney. Robert L. Helmreich and his colleagues at the university have developed a strategy called "Threat and Error Management" to cut down on mistakes. Continental Airlines is one of the airlines using the methods and says it has reduced cockpit errors by 70%. Sep 16, 2005

Quieter aircraft could arrive in 20 years, engineers say. U.K. engineers said a new, nearly-silent, fuel-efficient aircraft could enter service within 20 years. The engineers at Cambridge University hope to reduce aircraft noise levels to below the background noise that most people experience at airports. The new plane would resemble the B-2 Stealth Bomber. Scientists say the new shape would make the plane cheaper to operate. Sep 9, 2005

Airlines hope hidden cameras help prevent hijacking. Two airlines have installed cameras that allow pilots to monitor the aircraft cabin and see a hijacking attempt from the cockpit. JetBlue has installed as many as four hidden cameras aboard its fleet of planes. Sun Country unveiled its camera system last month. Several other airlines have received federal grants to test similar systems. Air Transport Association spokesman John Meenan said the benefit of cameras versus the cost has not been determined, but like every security idea from the government and private sector, it needs careful evaluation before investing in it. Sep 2, 2005

Airbus waits for results of FAA inquiry on A320 nose wheels. European jetmaker Airbus acknowledged that some of its A320 planes have experienced problems with jammed nose wheels. Last week, a JetBlue A320 made an emergency landing with its nose wheels jammed at a right angles to the plane's fuselage. An Airbus spokeswoman said other incidents ended without a problem. Airbus is waiting for results of an inquiry by the Federal Aviation Administration. Sep 27, 2005

Airbus has taken an important step forward in making the A320 series available for restricted airports such as London City, with the planned certification of the A318 for steep approaches. An aircraft has completed an approach with representatives of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) on board. Steep approaches are classified as those with a glide slope of greater than 4.5[degrees]. Airbus is seeking certification for 5.5[degrees]. The performance of the A318 should allow it to operate out of LCY, the out of production AVRO RJ the only over 100-seat aircraft currently approved for the airport. However it is not all plain sailing at London City. Should the A318 be allowed in, other problems would arise, including apron operations and the use of boarding lounges originally designed for the 50-passenger DHC Dash 7. Sep 12, 2005

Airbus[sup.1]s second A380 is due to join the flight test programme in October. Toulouse said that flight trials of the first aircraft, have been truly excellent, the A380 making its first automatic landing on its 17th flight (something that does not normally happen until much further into the programme), and minimum unstick speed trials, in which a bumper protected rear fuselage is dragged along the ground, also began early, in July. The preliminary results of the performance have been good and last week Airbus began fatigue tests on a specially designated airframe, two and a half months earlier than planned; testing to 2.5 times the 19,000 flights design service goal, a theoretical number an a A380 would be expected to make during a 25-year service life. We have added here an A380 in the colours of Emirates, the real aircraft due to be unveiled at the Dubai air show in November. Sep 2, 2005

China Southern Airlines, with no less than British prime minister Tony Blair looking on, has signed a contract with Airbus for the purchase of ten additional Airbus A330s, all to be delivered in time for the 2008 Olympics. The Guangzhou-based carrier already operates four A330-200s on domestic trunk and international routes and was the first Chinese A330 customer. It is a lead airline for the A380. The airline's only European destination is Amsterdam, from where it operates four times weekly to Beijing and on to Guangzhou. And Mr Blair's connection - BAe Systems owns 20% of Airbus and 60% of the A380 originates in the UK a point not lost on the pragmatic Chinese who only showed their own and the British flag at the signing ceremony. Also this week Airbus delivered its 4,000th aircraft, a A330-200 to Lufthansa. Sep 12, 2005

Indian Airlines to purchase 43 Airbus jetliners. India will allow Indian Airlines to buy 43 Airbus jetliners in an agreement worth $2.2 billion, based on list prices. The airline will use the planes to replace its aging jetliners. The deal has taken three years to finalize. Indian government officials tried to renegotiate prices for the aircraft, which postponed completion of the order. Sep 8, 2005

FAA, Alaska Airlines investigates MD-80 jackscrew concerns. Alaska Airlines will inspect all 26 of its MD-80 series jetliners after a media report raised concerns the planes' jackscrews may not be properly lubricated. The Federal Aviation Administration is also investigating. Three Alaska mechanics said they had found no grease on the jackscrew of an MD-83 they inspected in an overnight check Jan. 10. Lack of lubrication led to the fatal crash of Flight 271 almost six years ago. Sep 30, 2005

Feds sue American over alleged fuel leak. Federal prosecutors say American Airlines handled a fuel leak improperly and have sued the carrier for $1 million. American said it was "disappointed" that federal prosecutors have filed the complaint. The lawsuit claims an inspector alerted the pilot of a flight from Orlando to New York about fuel leaking from the wing of the plane. The complaint says American didn't note the leak in its maintenance log and continued flying the plane on 53 trips. American said Thursday that it sent a mechanic at La Guardia to inspect the wing after the plane landed. No fuel leak was found, the airline said. Sep 9, 2005

Avro may no longer be in existence as an aircraft manufacturer but the 146/RJ series seems to be much in favour with Swiss rumoured to be the home of six aircraft not required this winter by British Airways CitiExpress. This will bring the total operational aircraft currently being used by the Lufthansa Group to 61. Of the just under 400 aircraft manufactured around 350 are still in service including 12 with AF owned Cityjet. Sep 2, 2005

Boeing keeps elderly in mind when designing 787. A Boeing program is aimed at helping engineers understand what elderly travelers experience in the cabin of a commercial jetliner. Engineers in their 20s and early 30s donned "third-age suits" that mimic what it is like to have limited vision and dexterity as they traveled on Horizon and Alaska Airlines flights. The engineers are designing the interior of the 787. Sep 30, 2005

Boeing's 787 Dreamliner will follow the Airbus A380 as the next big aircraft launch. The 787 come in three models. The Dash 3, 296 passengers (two class), and 3,500 nautical mile range, due into service in 2010; the Dash 8, 223 passengers (three class), and 8,500 nautical mile range, with the prototype due to fly in 2007; and finally the Dash 9, with much the same range but capable of carrying 259 passengers in a typical three class layout, the lead aircraft expected to be delivered before the end of 2010. Total customer announced orders now stand officially at 270 made up as follows: Air China, China Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines, Hainan Airlines, Shanghai Airlines and Xiamen Airlines (60), Air India (20), Air New Zealand (2), ANA (50), Blue Panorama (4), Continental Airlines (10), Ethiopian Airlines (10), First Choice (6), Icelandair (2), JAL (30), Korean Air (10), LOT (7), Northwest Airlines (18), Primaris (20), Royal Air Maroc (4), Unidentified customer (6), Vietnam Airlines (4). Garuda Indonesia is expected to be announced as a further customer within the next week or so, taking the order book up towards the magic 300 before the first real metal had been cut. Sep 19, 2005

Globalization plays a role in Boeing machinists strike. Boeing's striking machinists are worried globalization will threaten their jobs. Twenty years ago, the majority of the parts for Boeing jets were built in the U.S. Now up to 70% of the company's 787 jetliner will be built abroad. Boeing and other companies have found skilled engineers and production workers in countries like Russia and China who are willing to work for a fraction of U.S. wages. Sep 18, 2005

Bankruptcies will not immediately affect Boeing. Bankruptcy filings by two Boeing customers will not immediately hurt the aircraft manufacturer. Delta Air Lines and Northwest Airlines filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Wednesday. Both airlines are important Boeing customers: Northwest is one of two U.S. airlines that have ordered the planned 787, and Delta is one of three carriers with an exclusive contract to buy only Boeing planes. Sep 16, 2005

Strike will force Boeing to postpone up to 30 deliveries. A machinists strike will force Boeing to postpone delivering up to 30 jetliners this month. Chief Financial Officer James Bell told analysts the company could make up the shortfall if the strike, now 14 days old, ends soon. No talks are scheduled, and the sides remain $1 billion apart on terms for the contract. Sep 15, 2005

Boeing machinists strike could hurt Rockwell Collins. Boeing supplier Rockwell Collins said the Boeing machinists strike could cause it to lose up to $15 million a month in sales next fiscal year. Boeing has shut down production of its commercial jetliners. Rockwell Collins supplies cockpit electronics for the planes. Sep 14, 2005

Boeing sells business jet to Chinese buyer. Boeing has sold a private business jet in China for the first time. An anonymous buyer purchased the plane through a Hong Kong agent. Boeing expects more such sales of private planes.. Sep 14, 2005

Boeing strike drags into 12th day; no talks scheduled. The Boeing machinists strike will enter its 12th day today with no end in sight and no new negotiations scheduled. Some analysts say the strike could last more than a month. The company has already shut down commercial airline production. The union members say Boeing is demanding cuts as its profits soar, while Boeing counters it must control expenses to remain competitive against its European rival Airbus. Sep 13, 2005

Boeing may shut down airplanes unit if strike persists. Boeing could fully shut down its commercial airplanes unit if a machinists strike does not end soon, according to media reports. However, the company may decide to keep the operation running as long as possible to keep the rest of its work force happy. Boeing is also in contract talks with the union representing its 20,000 engineers and technical workers. Sep 13, 2005

Design of Boeing's 787 jetliner a global effort. Boeing will announce this month that it has finished the main features of the 787's design. The company's global partners will design many of the detailed parts for the jetliner. Companies based in Japan, Italy, Korea, Britain and the U.S. will build the plane's components and ship the parts to Everett, Wash., where the plane will be assembled. Sep 13, 2005

Boeing director Lewis Platt dies at 64. Boeing's lead director Lewis Platt died Thursday at age 64. Platt served as chief executive of Hewlett-Packard from 1993 until 1999, the same year he became a member of Boeing's board. He recently led the search for Boeing's new chief executive. Boeing CEO James McNerney called Platt "a compassionate man who put his own retirement and personal plans on the back burner to ensure that Boeing never missed a beat through its recent recovery." Sep 13, 2005

Boeing official: Sides were $1B apart when strike began. Boeing's machinists union demanded $1 billion more than the company's final offer during contract negotiations, according to Boeing Commercial Airplanes head Alan Mulally. Though the two sides left the bargaining table far apart, Mulally still hopes the strike will be short. No new talks are scheduled, he said. Boeing halted commercial airline production shortly after the strike started. The workers say pension benefits are the biggest issue in the dispute. Sep 9, 2005

New Boeing CEO not planning to intervene in strike. Boeing Chief Executive Jim McNerney said he has no plans to intervene in a machinists strike at the company's commercial airplane unit. McNerney has received updates on the strike since it began Friday; The company has halted production of its commercial jetliners. Alan Mulally, chief of the commercial airplanes unit, is representing the company on the issue. Sep 8, 2005

Machinists strike may delay some Boeing deliveries. Boeing may delay the delivery of 42 jetliners if a machinists strike continues until the end of September, The Seattle Times reported. The planes are worth $4.1 billion based on list prices. The company declined to comment on its delivery outlook. The strike presents a difficult challenge for Boeing Chief Executive W. James McNerney, who was named to the post earlier this year. McNerney may eventually decide how much to compromise on the workers' contract. Sep 7, 2005

Boeing machinists spend Labor Day on the picket line. Boeing machinists spent the Labor Day holiday walking the picket line. The workers left their jobs last week after rejecting the company's contract offer. Boeing has halted commercial aircraft production. The strike will affect aerospace suppliers if it continues for more than two months. Experts say the end result of the strike will demonstrate whether the labor organizations can still influence the way corporations do business. Both sides say they are willing to return to negotiations. Sep 6, 2005

Boeing machinists strike; plane production halted. Boeing stopped production of its jetliners early Friday after more than 18,000 machinists went on strike. The workers rejected a three-year contract proposal that union leaders said fell short in job security and pension and health care benefits. The strike hurts Boeing at a time when orders for commercial jetliners are growing. The last machinists strike at Boeing was a 69-day walkout in 1995. Sep 2, 2005

Machinists union urges Boeing workers to strike. Boeing's machinists union declared that the company's final contract offer was inadequate and urged members to strike. Members will vote on the contract today. If they approve a strike, workers could walk off the job on Friday and production of jetliners would shut down. Boeing has called the contract "industry leading," but the union said it falls short of its goals for pension, health care and job security. Sep 1, 2005

Air Canada looks to renew order for 32 Boeing jetliners. Air Canada said it will move forward with its plan to buy 32 Boeing jetliners. The airline canceled the purchase in June because it could not reach an agreement with its pilots union on pay for flying the plane. The airline said it has reached a tentative agreement with the union. Sep 26, 2005

Polish airline orders seven Boeing 787s. Poland's national carrier, LOT, ordered seven Boeing 787 jetliners. The contract is worth $910 million based on list prices. The plane will go into service in 2008, and Boeing will deliver the planes to LOT in the second half of the year. Sep 8, 2005

Southwest wants fuel-efficient successor to 737-700. Southwest Airlines is urging Boeing to develop a fuel-efficient jetliner that would include technologies used in the 787 Dreamliner. The new plane would replace the 737-700; Southwest is the world's largest 737 operator. A more fuel-efficient jetliner could help the airline remain profitable even as fuel prices climb, Southwest Chief Executive Officer Gary Kelly said. Sep 13, 2005

Airline bankruptcies could create regional jet surplus. The market for 50-seat regional jets could soon become saturated if Independence Air files for bankruptcy and liquidates its assets, an aviation analyst said. Northwest Airlines is expected to return some regional jets to lessors, and Delta Air Lines is expected to scale back operations of its Comair regional unit. Sep 30, 2005

Embraer, the Brazilian plane maker, has delivered its first EMB 190 to New York based JetBlue Airways. When it goes into service, probably in early October, it will herald in a new era with budget travel. Never before has a so-called 'low cost' airline ventured away from the Airbus or Boeing norm. It means that JetBlue will also operate with two distinct aircraft types; a practice easyJet is also following for the present time. The new aircraft are fitted out with leather seats and digital entertainment systems for each passenger. However, instead of two rows of three seats the narrower smaller Embraer jet is two plus two, in fact a more comfortable ride for the passenger and more akin to Business Class travel. The new aircraft though does represent a real gamble in terms of operating costs, which are bound to be higher per passenger, per mile. Nevertheless, the smaller aircraft does allow JetBlue to develop frequent services on less thick routes. For the last 18 quarters the airline has made a profit. and Sep 26, 2005

Embraer has sold six of its new EMB 190 series aircraft to the Air France subsidiary Regional. The airline, based at Nantes, already operates 50 Embraer aircraft, including the EMB 145 commuter jet and the earlier Brasilia turboprop. Deliveries are scheduled to start in the first quarter of 2007. Regional say that they will be the initial European carrier to operate the 190 but in fact British budget airline FlyBe is due to take delivery of its first slightly larger 195 in September 2006. Regional have canceled an order for seven Embraer 145s. Sep 12, 2005

GE Aircraft Engines CEO "confident" in market for GEnX. GE Aircraft Engines Chief Executive Officer Scott Donnelly took his post two months ago. In a Q-and-A with The Cincinnati Enquirer, Donnelly said he is "confident" the company will win many orders for its GEnX engine, which will power the Boeing 787 and Airbus 350. He said passenger growth in the airline industry is encouraging but noted overcapacity still exists in the domestic network. Sep 7, 2005

General Electric owns largest commercial fleet in U.S. General Electric's financial arm owned 1,342 commercial jetliners at the end of 2004, more than any other U.S. company. Airlines operate the planes under lease agreements. In the first half of 2005, GE Aviation Services made $1.9 million each day off of its leased planes and its loans to commercial airlines. It also has helped airlines with financial problems by renegotiating lease terms. Sep 18, 2005

JetBlue will be first to fly 100-seat Embraer jet. JetBlue Airways will soon become the first airline to fly the new Embraer 190, a 100-seat plane that the aircraft manufacturer says offers the amenities of a larger plane. Embraer delivered the first plane to JetBlue Tuesday. The airline will fly the plane to dozens of smaller U.S. cities. Sep 14, 2005

Will emergency landing tarnish JetBlue's image?. When cable television networks went wall-to-wall with the emergency landing of JetBlue Airways' Flight 292 at Los Angeles International Airport, it was perhaps JetBlue's first experience with negative publicity. Public relations expert Mike Paul told BusinessWeek the images of the flaming tires might be viewed negatively by consumers, but on the other hand, laudatory passenger accounts broadcast on TV conveyed the impression that JetBlue pilots were calm and capable under pressure. Sep 26, 2005

Safety records show several incidents with Airbus nose gear. Regulators and jet manufacturer Airbus consider a problem with Airbus nose gears serious enough to warrant design changes. Safety records show nine incidents of nose gears jamming in a sideways position. A similar nose gear problem forced a JetBlue Airways A320 to make an emergency landing Wednesday in Los Angeles. National Transportation Safety Board officials are investigating the incident. Sep 23, 2005

A Mandala Airlines Boeing 737-200 crashed in a crowded residential neighborhood in the city of Medan, shortly after take last Monday September 5, killing 147 people, including 30 on the ground. The airline said 13 passengers in the back of the plane survived. The plane was bound for Jakarta. Survivors said the plane's takeoff was shaky and it crashed after a flight attendant finished reading safety procedures. The airline's director said authorities are investigating the crash, which may have been caused by pilot error, mechanical failure or weather. Mandala Airlines is a Jakarta-based domestic carrier founded in 1969 by a military-run foundation. The airline operated 19 'Classic' 737 aircraft on domestic services. Sep 6, 2005
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Publication:Airguide Online
Geographic Code:4EUFR
Date:Sep 30, 2005
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