The Kaplanian Report

On the Boeing Front

Boeing Details Range-Boosting 737-7 Redesign

Boeing decided to stretch the 737-7 by two seat rows and added major elements of the 737-8.  It is the first major tweak to the 737 Max line-up in more

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than five years after launching the program

In a sign of the shifting dynamics in the single-aisle market, the 737-7 has attracted just 60 aircraft orders from three customers. It gives the formerly 126 seat variant less than 2% of the overall backlog for the three member 737 Max family.  The original of the aircraft, the 737-300 Classic, outsold two larger sister variants by a wide margin.

In an overall market segment from 120-240 seats with more that 8,000 aircraft on backlog; a total order book of 465 aircraft on firm order does not appear encouraging. The 465 aircraft on firm order includes the A319neo.  In the end, Boeing decided to stretch the 737-7 by two seat rows and added major elements of the 737-8.

Boeing does not expect the addition of up to 12 more seats in a typical two class seating configuration to significantly drive new demand into the low end of the single-aisle sector. The move appears to be driven to satisfy new requirements imposed by the two 737-7’s two largest customers, namely Southwest and WestJet.

“We have now assessed the market.  The customers have said that the bigger airplane is something we would like with that range,” says Keith Leverkuhn, vice-president and general manager for the 737.

The 737-7 and 737-8 share the same wingspan, but the latter has a thicker wing that can carry more fuel.  The modified 737-7 wing will have more fuel capacity to compensate for the greater weight of the lengthened fuselage and add 500 nm more range”, says Leverhuhn. The fuselage itself is lengthened by 1.17 m (46 in) forward of the wing and 76 cm aft of the wing, he says.  The maximum take-off weight rises from 70,300kg (155,000 lb) requiring the use of the strengthened landing gear of the 737-8.

Source : Flightglobal/ Line Drawing Boeing

ON THE AIRBUS FRONT

Airbus : Delivery of P&W A320 Engine Imminent

 

Airbus stated that the the delivery of the revamped Pratt and Whitney PW 1100G is imminent by the time this report is out for distribution Lufthansa is supposed to have received the first A320neo with the revamped engine.

Deliveries have been held up by efforts to correct engine start-up times, as well as other minor technical issues, leaving Airbus with some 25 undelivered A320neos at its production sites.

Airbus Group chief Tom Enders, speaking as the airframe disclosed its first-half results, said the first upgraded ”golden engine” would be delivered to the German flag-carrier Lufthansa.

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 P&W parent United Technologies’ chief Greg Hayes, speaking during a briefing on July 26th, said the technical problems were “in the rear-view mirror” and that the manufacturer was “exactly” aligned with the production plan submitted to Airbus earlier this year.

He says the geared turbofan power plant, which also powers the Bombardier CSeries, Mitsubishi Aircraft MRJ and other types, has accumulated 5,000 hrs in service with four operators, with a 99.8% dispatch reliability.

Hayes says the engine is “meeting commitments” on fuel-burn, noise and emission levels. The manufacturer expects to build 140 geared-turbofans engines in the second half of 2016, having produced 60 in the first half of 2016, with 36 delivered to various aircraft platforms to meet a target of 200 for the year.

Airbus has also just started delivering A320neos with the rival CFM International Leap-1A power plant,with the first going to Turkish carrier Pegasus Airlines.

Source : Flightglobal/Airbus/Pratt and Whitney

 

 

REGIONAL/BUSINESS JETS

E-190-E2 Is Ahead of Schedule But Not Rushing Delivery

 

Embraer has no plans to rush the timeline for delivering the first E190-E2 regional jet, even though the flight test program remains ahead of schedule.

The first flying prototype made a debut appearance at the Farnborough air show

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only after six weeks after achieving first flight. The second E190-E2 entered the flight test campaign on July 8th, and the overall program so far has consumed less of the buffer the company built into the schedule,says Luis Carlos Affonso, senior vice-president of operations and chief operating officer for Embraer’s Commercial Aviation unit.

 

Embraer will not accelerate the delivery schedule of the first E190-E2, even if the program stays ahead of schedule, Affonso says.  The company will focus on increasing the maturity of the new technologies packed into the E190-E2, including the Embraer developed fly-by-wire control system and Pratt & Whitney PW1900G geared turbofan engines.

 

Though summarized often as re-engining project,the E2 version of the E-Jet is a bold project.  In addition to the engines, Embaer is installing a new, high-aspect ratio wing, re-inventing the flight control system and tweaking the cross section.

“ It’s not a re-engining.   It’s a new plane,” Affonso says.

Source : Flightglobal/Embaer/Embaer Picture

 

 

 

OTHER AVIATION NEWS

Cayman Airways a New Customer for the 737 Max

 

The Caribbean carrier, a longtime Boeing customer, will replace four 737-300s that are approaching 25 year of age.  The new aircraft, which will come from lessor Air Lease Corp (ALC), will begin arriving in December 2018 through 2020.

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After retiring the -300s, “the logical progression would have been to go to 737 NGs,” Cayman Airways’ president and CEO Fabian Whorms said, but the lease structure put together by ALC swayed them to go with the newer design. The leases will be run for a minimum of nine years.

Going from a -300 to a MAX8 will save the airline  20% in fuel costs alone. ”In fact, it will be more than that,” Whorms said.

 

The MAX*s will also be able to carry 40 more passengers than the existing aircraft and their faster cruising speed will save 15-20 minutes on the four hour flight to New York.

Source : ATW/Picture Boeing

 

 

 

Gulf Air Chooses Trent 1000 to Power its 787-9s

Bargain-based Gulf Air selected the Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engine to power its
Boeing 787-9s in a deal valued at $900 million.

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Gulf Air announced in January that it is ordering 16 787-9s. The contract with Rolls covers Trent 1000 engines to power 10 787-9s, plus options for additional Trent 1000s to power six more 787-9s. The agreement also includes long-term service support by Rolls-Royce.

( An interesting sidebar, Gulf Air’s long range fleet  was comprised of 22-24 767-300s which the airline used from 1988-2007.  Boeing’s 787-9 meant to be a replacement to the 767-300 with a wider fuselage 168 diameter for the 767-300

with seven across seating vs the 787-9 with a wider diameter fuselage of 226 inches with 8-9 across seating) Ed K

Source : ATW/Gulf Air Picture

 

 

American Defers A3 50 Deliveries by More Than Two Years

 

American Airlines has deferred the deliveries of all the 22 Airbus A350-900s on order. It is working to reduce its capital expenditures and manage capacity through 2018.  The Fort Worth-based carrier will take its first A350 in late 2018 instead of the spring of 2017, American said in a quarterly financial report.  Deliveries will continue through 2022, two years later than originally scheduled with an average deferral of 26 months.

American will take two A350s in 2018, five in both 2019 and 2020, the remaining ten in 2021 and 2022, the filing shows.  It previously planned to take four in 2017, ten in 2018, six in 2019 and two in 2020.

 

The deferral will reduce capital expenditures in 2017 and 2018 and provide capacity flexibility, the airline says.

 

Aircraft capital commitments are $4.06 billion in 2017 and $2.2 billion in 2018, the filing shows.  This is down from $4.58 billion and $2.89 billion, respectively,

that American reported in April.

Source : Bloomberg/American

 

LATEST NEWS

 

  • Herous-Devtek Canadian supplier has completed its first set of 777-300 ER main landing gear for delivery to Boeing, ahead of its contract to make the 777X main landing gear.
  • Azerbaijan Airlines is considering buying 10 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, the carrier has announced.
  • Tara Air the Nepalese regional carrier has signed a purchase agreement with Viking for three Twin Otter Series 400S.
  • Kalstar Aviation, an Indonesian regional operator, signed a firm order for five E190-E2s. The value of the order has an estimated value of 582 million dollars.
  • Arkia Airlines signed a letter of intent (LOI) for up to ten E195-E2 jets, consisting of six firm orders and four purchase rights.
  • Porter Airlines, a Canadian regional airline, has signed a firm purchase agreement for three Bombardier Q 400s, valued at $93 million at list prices.
  • Xiamen Airlines officially launched its first ever trans-Pacific flights to North America on July 25, using 787-8 aircraft.

 

Thai Airways International first A350-900 has entered flight testing.  Thai Airways, which confirms the Rolls-Royce Trent XWB-powered jet has carried out it’s first flight. Thai has four on order.

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  • Fly Leasing has bought five Boeing aircraft. Three 787-8s were purchased in a sale and lease back transaction with a leading flag carrier.
  • Avolon, the Irish lessor, delivered one Boeing 787-9 to China’s Hainan Airlines. This is the Fourth Avalon aircraft on lease to Hainan Airlines.
  • Qatar Airways doubled its deal for Boeing 777-9Xs on Wednesday July 13th, firming a previous commitment for 50 aircraft and adding new purchases for additional 50 of the wide bodies.

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Allegiant Air  Las Vegas based airline has ordered 12 Airbus A320s from the airframe, in its first purchase of new aircraft.

 

AIR CARGO

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Cathay Pacific Expands Cargo Presence to Portland, Oregon.

Cathay Pacific Airways announced an expansion of its freighter service in the Americas with the addition of a twice-weekly scheduled service to Portland International Airport (PDX). It will launch on November 3, 2016, subject to government approval.  Portland will be Cathay Pacific’s 18th cargo station in the Americas.

The new Portland service will operate on a Hong Kong-Anchorage-Los Angeles-Portland-Anchorage-Hong Kong routing every Thursday and Saturday. They will use Cathay Pacific’s newest and biggest freighter, the Boeing 747-8F.

The Boeing 747-8F aircraft offers more cargo space to carry the anticipated high volumes of semi-finished foot ware and apparel, electronics and perishables from Portland and its catchment area into Asia. Portland is also one of the fastest-growing hubs for e-commerce related shipments in the Pacific Northwest region.

Cathay Pacific was the first Asia Pacific airline to take delivery of the Boeing 747-8F in 2011 and currently has 13 of this type in its cargo fleet. The Boeing 747-8F employs innovative technologies to bring about significant improvements to the airline’s ultra-long-haul freighter services, particularly on North America routes,while reducing the environmental impact of its operations.

“We could not be more pleased with the commitment byCathay Pacific to launch Portland-Hong Kong service this fall,” said Keith Leavitt, Port Chief Commercial Officer.

Source : China Aviation Daily/Picture Cathay Pacific

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MILITARY NEWS

 

KC-46 Completes Required Flight Tests

 

The KC-46 Pegasus program completed all flight tests required for the Milestone C production decision on July 15, offloading 1,500 pounds of fuel to an A-10 Thunderbolt II.

 

The successful A-10 mission was the last of six in-flight refueling demonstrations required before the tanker program can request approval from Frank Kendall, the under secretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, to award production Lots 1 and 2, totaling 19 KC-46A aircraft.

“It is great to see the KC-46 boom back in action and the program moving forward to a production decision”, said Col. John Newberry, the KC-46 system program manager.

The other five required air refueling demonstrations were the C-17 Globemaster III and F-16 Fighting Falcon using the air refueling boom.  The Navy’s F-18 Hornet

 

 

THE KAPLANIAN REPORT

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Boeing Selects iPad-Like Touch Screens For 777X Flight Deck

Future Boeing 777X airline pilots will be able to interact with their flight information displays in the same way that they use their smart phones and tablets.

Boeing has decided to integrate a multi touch interface on the flight deck of the reengineer wide body due to enter service in 2020, replacing a touch-pad based cursor control device (CCDs) mounted on the aisle-stand of the original 777, says Bob Felmann, vice president and general manager of the 777x program.

The decision was made so recently that Boeing is not yet able to announce the supplier, as the contract had not been signed as of mid June, Feldmann says.

The new technology will be integrated as Boeing transitions from a standard layout of siz displays in the 777 cockpit to the 787’s five display format in the 777x. “We think we are the first commercial airplane to really make something that is like all our customers are uded to doing in their daily lives,” Feldmann says.

In discussions with our 777X customers, Boeing received a clear preference for making the transition to multi-touch screens, Feldmann says.

The next milestone for the 777-9 development program is a critical design review scheduled earlier next year.  Production of the first test aircraft is expected to begin next June, with first flight following in 2018.

Cockpit touch screens are one of several key technologies Boeing is developing for the 777X.  The most visible innovation on the 777X is perhaps Boeing’s plan to integrate folding wingtips, a feature normally found on fighters based on space constrained aircraft carriers.

Source : Flightglobal/Boeing

ON THE AIRBUS FRONT

Airbus Starting A330neo Final Assembly in October

 

Airbus is working through some high profile issues with the introduction of the A350 and the A320neo to market, but surely wishes those programs were low-profile as the A330neo.

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The reengineer A330 program, is progressing more quietly and without major problems that have kept Airbus in the news.

The A330-900, the first reengineer version of the family, is due to enter service by the end of 2017, followed by the smaller -800 a year later.  Airbus hopes the program’s lower costs – combined with the fuel burn reduction the new engines are expected to provide and the new cabin designed to align it with the larger A350’s interior – will be sufficient to counter the Boeing 787.

Airbus is well on the way to producing the A330neo subassemblies. The first wing is essentially completed in the Broughton, England facility with only the sharklets missing, and the second is close behind.  Along with engines and the new cabin, the wing has seen the most modifications of the major components. At 64 m(210 ft), the A330neo wingspan has grown by 4 m (13.1 ft) over the the A330ceo’s and has been structurally reinforced to accommodate the Neo’s heavier engines. The wing-to-body-juncture also has been redesigned.

In parallel, the first A330neo nose section is completed at the Saint-Nazaire plant in France.

Airbus has a total of 186 orders for the two versions of the A330neo,10 for the A330-800 and the rest for the larger -900.  Hawaiian Airlines has ordered 6 -800s and 4 for TransAsia Airways

 

Source : China Aviation Daily/Airbus Photo

 

REGIONAL/BUSINESS JETS

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Mitsubishi Starts Final Assembly of First Delivery Jet

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries is set to begin final assembly of the first customer aircraft for the MRJ regional jet program, with various sections of the fuselage having been delivered to the MRJ final assembly hanger.In a newsletter, Mitsubishi Aircraft says it will work through the final assembly process, with an eye on delivery to launch customer All Nippon Airways in mid 2018.

The Japanese airframe also gave an update of the MRJ flight tests, which are ongoing using two test aircraft.  It says valid results have been obtained from FTA-2, which started flying on May 31st, including the confirmation of emergency response measures – such as flying with one engine, activation of emergency power units and stall tests.

Various tests are also being carried out as the program prepares for ferry flight to Moses Lake, Washington State, this summer.

These include the expansion of its flight envelop to it’s design specifications of a maximum speed of Mach 0.78 and a maximum altitude of 39,000 ft, conducting instrument flights,plus checking on terrain awareness, warning system and collision avoidance system.

Its Moses Lake Flight Test Center meanwhile has been conducting flights using a small aircraft, rehearsing for the test missions ahead.

Mitsubishi adds that preparations are underway for FTA-3 and FTA-4 to take their first flights this summer.

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Source : Flightglobal/Photo/Mitsubishi Aircraft

 

OTHER AVIATION NEWS

                               First CSeries Aircraft is Delivered to SWISS

Bombardier delivered the first CSeries aircraft to Lufthansa subsidiary Swiss International Air Lines(SWISS), at ceremonies in Montreal on June 29th.

The delivery marks an important milestone in an aircraft program beset with technical problems, delays and difficulty securing customers.  Swiss originally ordered 20 CS100 and 10 CS300s, plus 30 options, but then converted five 100s to the 300 variant.

The handover should begin a process in which SWISS will receive nine sircraft by year end, taking one aircraft per month this month, August and September. After that, deliveries will increase to two aircraft per month. The first aircraft will enter service this month.

On June 23, Bombardier signed a definitive agreement with the Quebec government for $1billion investment in the CSeries program. The assets,

liabilities and obligations of the program have been transferred to the CSeries Aircraft Limited Partnership(CSALP) of which 50.5% is owned by Bombardier and 49.5% by the provincial government through Investment  Quebec.

The money will be used for cash-flow purposes, representing half of the $2 billion Bombardier says is required to take the CSeries program to cash-flow positive production in 2020.

The $2 billion includes funds to cover losses on discounted sales to marquee customers, including Air Canada and Delta Air Lines deals which Bombardier will record a $500 billion this quarter to cover “onerous contract provisions.”

The Canadian federal government, meanwhile, confirmed it is continuing negotiations with Bombardier about investing in the CSeries partnership.

Source : ATW/Bombardier Photo

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Pratt & Whitney to Invest $65m in Georgia GTF Maintenance Sit

Pratt & Whitney will invest $65 million in maintenance site near Columbus, Georgia, where the company maintains and overhauls PW 1000G geared turbofans (GTFs).  The investment, which comes as the company embarks on

massive GTF production ramp up, will help P&W ensure it has infrastructure in place to meet increasing maintenance demand, P&W said in a media release.

Also, later this year the company expects construction will begin on an additional engine test facility at the site in Columbus, which is about 90 miles(145km) south of Atlanta, P&W says.

The company has orders for more than 7,100 GTFs, executives have said.  P&W will manufacture about 200 of the engines this year, but the company forecasts production will hit 400 in 2017, 600 in 2018 and 1,200 annually by 2020, executives have said.

The Columbus maintenance site is also where P&w is modifying a number of in-service PW 1100Gs to address a slow-engine-start issue, P&W aftermarket president Matthew Bromberg has told Flightglobal.

 

 

Source : Flightglobal/P&W

Air Lease Corp. Names New CEO; Udvar-Hazy to Be Executive Chairman

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Air Lease Corp.(ALC) has appointed John Plueger as president and CEO, effective July 1, as current CEO Steven Udvar-Hazy assumes the role of Executive chairman of the board, a full-time officer role.

Steve Udvar-Hazy started ALC in February 2010, the company owns and manages 268 young and in-demand jet aircraft on lease to 88 airline customers around the world.  It has an order book of 386 new jet aircraft to be delivered from Airbus and Boeing through 2023.

Plueger joined ALC as president, COO and board member in March 2010, shortly after the company was formed.  Plueger has more than 30 years of aviation experience, 24 of which were with International Lease Finance Corp.

Udar-Hazy said, ”John and I have worked together for over 30 years and I am extremely proud of what we have accomplished in six short years at ALC.  I look forward to continuing to partner with John in my new role.

Source : ATW

LATEST NEWS

 

  • Emirates took delivery of its 80th A380 to join the Emirates the A380 fleet and the airline has another 62 on order including 21 to be delivered this year.
  • Gulfstream G500 business jet program has reached another milestone with the completion of the ultimate load testing on June 16.
  • Irkut Corporation Russian aircraft manufacturer rolled out its MC-21-300 on June 8 at its factory in Irkutsk.
  • Chengdu Airline made its first commercial flight with China’s home grown ARJ21 on June 28 with 70 passengers on board.  Chengdu is the launch customer for the ARJ21.

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  • Alaska Airlines took delivery of a 737-900 painted in a special livery to celebrated Boeing’s 100th Birthday.

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  • Bombardier Commercial Aircraft has announced that an unidentified customer has signed a firm purchase order for 10 CRJ900 aircraft. The agreement is valued at $472 million at list prices.
  • HNA Group (Hainan Airline Mother company) will become the biggest customer of both Airbus and Boeing aircraft within the next 10 years. Hainan Airlines welcomed its first Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner on June 10.
  • Ethiopian Airlines took delivery of the first of 14 Airbus A350 XWBs on June 28, making it Africa’s first operator of the type.

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  • Embraer E190-E2 has achieved first flight in Sao Jose dos Campos, Brazil, earlier than expected.
  • Xiamen Airlines will be the sixth airlines to fly from Seattle to China using the Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner. The three-times weekly service will connect to Xiamen, a city 360 miles to the northeast of Shenzhen.
  • Nile Air, Egyptian based carrier, began operations from Cairo to  Al Ain

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international airport in Abu Dhabi located on the Omani border.

 

AIR CARGO                                

                                        FedEx’s 270 Boeing Planes

 

Package delivery company, FedEx Corp, owned 582 airplanes at the end of May 2015 and leased another 65 for a total fleet of 647 planes.  Of the planes owned,241 were manufactured by the Boeing Company or by McDonnell Douglas prior to its merger with Boeing in1997.  Another 29 Boeing planes were leased, bringing FedEx’s total Boeing fleet to 270 planes.

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The most popular Boeing aircraft in the FedEx fleet is now the 757-200, a dual-engine narrow body that Boeing configured as a cargo plane.  The plane can carry 63,000 pounds of cargo with maximum range of 3,625 miles.  The average age of these planes in FedEx fleet is nearly 25 years.  Boeing sold more than 1,000 of the planes and delivered the last new 757 in 2004.(it went to Shanghai Airlines in China)

Boeing had also supplied FedEx with 21 767-300 cargo freighters at the end of May 2015 (the end of the most recent fiscal year for which the company has produced an annual report).  FedEx ordered 50 more of the wide body planes last July with an option on 50 more.  At list price of $199.3 million per plane, the order was valued at nearly $20 billion

Why buy an old design? it is simple to replace even older ones and reduce the variety of planes in FedEx’s fleet.  FedEx’s 767s average less than three years old.  The 767 is also more fuel efficient and shares many parts with the 757s in the fleet; plus it is a great aircraft.

Because Boeing is building the Air Force tanker, The KC-46A, on the 767 airframe, FedEx is assured of spare parts for at lease another 40 years, the expected life of the tanker.

Finally,FedEx reported 27 Boeing 777 freighters in its fleet at the end of November 2015,and in January the company said it had committed to another 16 at a list price of $318.7 per plane,for an order totaling more than $5 billion.

Source : 24/7 Wall St/ Boeing Photo/Ed’s Research.

MILITARY NEWS

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China’s New Y-20 Is the Largest Military Aircraft Currently in Production

The Y-20 is China’s version of the C-17 Globemaster.  The first Xian Y-20 military

transport aircraft was delivered to the People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) on June 15. Developed by Xian Aircraft Corporation, the Y-20 has an empty weight of 110 short tons, making it the largest military aircraft currently in production – larger than Russia’s Ilyushin Il-76.  Boeing’s C-17 Globemaster III is bigger than the Y-20, the C-17’s empty weight is about 60,000 pounds more than the Y-20.  Its payload capacity is 25,000 pounds more, but production stopped in 2015, making the Y-20 the biggest that currently rolling out of factories.

The Y-20 has the official codename “Kunpeng” after a mythical Chinese bird, though it is nicknamed “Chubby Girl” for its appearance.  The Y-20 is remarkably similar to the C-17.  Currently the Y-20 uses four Russian made Soloviev D-30 turbofan engines; however, plans are to replace the engines with Chinese-made Shenyang WS-20 turbofans by 2020 to give the plane short takeoff capabilities and a greater range.

 

Source : Popular Mechanics/AIN Online

 

 

 

 

The Kaplanian Report – JUNE 2016

The Kaplanian Report – June 2016

ON THE BOEING FRONT

Boeing and GE work Together to Ready the                                           777X Engine for Flight Tests 

Designing, building and ground testing the world’s largest turbofan is challenging enough, but the challenge is how to safely put this large engine through the rigors of flight testing on the wing of an aircraft for which it was not designed is another again.

That is a key question General Electric and Boeing engineers face as they wrestle with the mechanics of flying the GE9X engine for the 777X on GE’s 747-400 flying testbed in 2017.

Although rated at 105,000 lb. thrust, less than the GE-90-115B, so far the world’s largest engine, the drive for efficiency and higher bypass ratios means the GE9X is physically much larger.

With a bypass ratio of 10:1 and fan diameter set at an unprecedented 134 in., the overall size of the GE9X nacelle has grown to 178 in. The GE90-115B, which has a fan diameter of 128 in., was the previous record-holder.

To fly the engine on the testbed, the internal wing structure was strengthened; with the GE9X in mind when the 747-400 was modified for the test role starting in 2014.

Further modifications are also planned to reduce the chances of aeroelastic interaction between the extended wing of the 747-400 and the GE9X mounted on the inboard left strut.  GE has already removed the standard winglets because these add unnecessary weight and maintenance burden to the aircraft’s flight test role.

More about the testing in my upcoming reports.

Source : Avweek/GE/GEPhotos

 

ON THE AIRBUS FRONT 

The Airbus Beluga XL: New Transport                                                 Based on the A330 Takes Shape

The first of Airbus’ five new BelugaXL air lifters will begin to take shape early next year, initiating the creation of a new jetliner fleet to transport complete sections of the company’s aircraft from production sites around Europe to final assembly in France, Germany and Spain.

Beluga XL’s lower fuselage will be the same as the freighter version of the Airbus A330-200 jetliner and is to be built on the A330 final assembly line adjacent to Toulouse-Blagnac Airport in southwestern France.

The Beluga XL’s other aerostructure-specific components are provided by external suppliers, including the significantly enlarged upper fuselage, the modified forward section with a lowered nose and cockpit, a large forward cargo door allowing “roll-on-roll-off” loading directly onto the main deck and a pair auxiliary vertical tailplane end-fins.

Once a lower fuselage for Beluga XLs is completed on the final assembly line, it will be moved to Building L34 at Airbus’ Lagardere industrial zone adjacent to Toulouse-Blagnac Airport, where the build-up process into the outsized airlifted will take approximately 12 months per aircraft.

The five Beluga XL aircraft will join the existing fleet of five A300-600ST Super Transporters-which are based on the A300 jetliner.

Source : Airbus/Airbus Picture

 

BUSINESS/REGIONAL NEWS

Gulfstream’s G650ER Blazes Trail from Sydney to Los Angeles

Gulfstream’s G650ER recently set another city-pair record on a trip from Sydney, Australia, to Los Angeles, the Savannah, Ga.-based aircraft manufacturer announced on May19th. The G650ER travelled 6,620nm in 12 hours and 40 minutes, departing Sydney Airport at 7:11 a.m. local time on March 11 and landing at Los Angeles International Airport at 1:51 a.m. local time on March 11.  It averaged a speed of Mach.86 during the trip

The U.S. National Aeronautic Association has approved the record, the trip is pending approval by Federation Aeronautique Internationale in Switzerland for recognition as a world record. This city pair will join the more than 55 world records established by the G650 and its longer-legged G650ER sibling. The 650ER is designed to fly as fast as 7,500 nm at Mach 0.85 and 6,400 nm at Mach 0.90. The aircraft has a maximum speed of Mach 0.925.

Source : Business Aviation/ Photo Gulfstream Aerospace

 

 Lufthansa Technik Bags VIP 787 Modification Deal

Lufthansa Technik has won a modification and support contract for a Boeing 787 that will be completed as a VIP aircraft.

The new agreement covers not the VIP completion itself, but rather modifications based on a service bulletin issued by the airframe, says Lufthansa Technik.

This includes the aircraft’s galleys and crew rest compartments plus adjustments to the IFE and Communication systems.

Lufthansa Technik adds that the 787-8 will arrive as a “green aircraft” at the MRO provider’s Hamburg headquarters in early autumn; the project is scheduled to be completed over the course of two months.

In addition to modifications, the MRO specialist will provide technical services for the undisclosed operator.

Source : Flightglobal/Lufthansa Technik

 

OTHER AVIATION NEWS

Eight Asia-Pacific Low-Cost Carriers Form Alliance

Eight Asia-Pacific low-cost carriers (LCCs) have formed a new standards-based collaborative marketing group, using IATA New Distribution Capability (NDC) digital interoperability standard.

The group, called Value Alliance, comprises Philippines – based Cebu Pacific, Korea-based Jeju Air, Thailand’s Nok Air and Japan’s Vanilla Air.  It said it is already talking to several other LCCs about expanding membership.

The Value Alliance covers more than 160 destinations in the region with combined fleet of 176 aircraft. It offers a web side allowing passengers to book tickets and extra services, such as additional baggage and meals across the group’s airlines, according to a statement.

Scoot CEO Campbell Wilson said the grouping will offer “a wider choice of destinations and flights – at the most competitive airfares – all in one go.”

Membership in the Value Alliance is by invitation only.  In 2015, its member airlines collectively served more than 47 million travelers from 17 hubs.

Source : ATW

 

Qantas Talking to Boeing On 777X

Qantas said it will keep its Airbus A380s in service beyond 2020 as it conducts talks with Boeing on its next generation 777X jets.

“The A380s do a great job on the markets that they operate,” said Garth Evans, head of the company’s international business.  Qantas currently operates a fleet of 12 A380s.” They are big units on big thick routes like Los Angeles and London, flying into slot-constrained airports.” said Evans. ”You want to have a fleet

that is simple, but you need to have vehicles that do the right job for you.”

While an order is not imminent, Evans said conversations with Boeing revolve around the “scope and Capability” of the 777X.  It will have two variants, a 777-8 that will have a longer range, and the 777-9 that will be able to carry more passengers but have a slightly shorter range.

“It does look interesting though because of its range capability, said Evans. ”When you are an airline that is based in our part of the world, those are things that are important to you, an aircraft that can reach major cities around the world out of Australia is attractive.”

Source : Airwise

 

 China’s Ruili Airlines Orders Six Boeing 787-9s

Kunming-based Ruili Airlines has ordered six Boeing 787-9 aircraft in a deal valued at $1.54 billion at list prices.  The aircraft will be used for international expansion. A delivery schedule was not released.

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Launched in May 2014, Ruili operates a fleet of nine aircraft on 16 domestic routes with 46 daily departures.

The carrier plans to expand its fleet to 11 aircraft by the end of this year and to 80 aircraft by the end of 2025.

In 2015, Ruili committed to buy 30 737-MAXs with a financial support of AVIC International Leasing at the Paris Air Show.

Other Chinese carriers have also ordered Boeing 787-9 aircraft: Air China ordered 15 787-9 aircraft and received its first one on May 18, China Eastern has ordered 15 787-9s and Hainan Airlines has 30 787-9s on order.

Source : China Aviation Daily/Picture Ruili Airlines/Boeing

 

LATEST NEWS IN BRIEF  

  • The Airbus A350-900 has gained extended-range twin-engine operations (ETOPS) approval from FAA for routes that require beyond 180 minutes diversion time.
  • VietJet, Vietnam’s low-cost carrier, signed an order for 100 Boeing 737 Max 200, making it the second customer to commit to the high-density variant after Ryanair.

  • GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) revealed the delivery of a new leased Boeing 787-9 aircraft powered by GEnx engines to Air Canada as part of a purchase and leaseback transition with the airline.
  • Lithium Ion Batteries will be installed on A350-900 aircraft delivered to customers by the end of the year.
  • Leap 1A powering the A320neo has been granted type certification by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the U.S. Federal Aviation  Administration (FAA)
  • Air China took delivery of its first Trent !000 powered 787-9.
  • Xiamen Airlines took delivery of its 15th 737-800; with the delivery of this aircraft Xiamen expanded its all Boeing fleet to 154 aircraft.
  • Pratt & Whitney obtained certification from the FAA for its PW1400G-JM engine to power Russian aircraft manufacturers Irkut’s MC-21 Aircraft.
  • J-Air Corp Japan Airlines Subsidiary has introduced its Embraer E190 jet in Japan.

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  • Mitsubishi Aircraft second prototype of the MRJ regional jet conducted its first flight on May 31st.
  • United Airlines launched its nonstop service between San Francisco International Airport and Singapore’s Changi Airport.  Measured by distance, the new route will be the longest scheduled 787 Dreamliner flight operated by any airline, covering a distance of 8,446 miles.

 

AIR CARGO

Two of the World’s Top Three International                                  Cargo Carriers Have Joined Forces

Lufthansa and Cathay Pacific rank second and third, respectively, among all airlines in international cargo traffic, training only Emirates.  So their formation of a joint network to connect Hong Kong to Europe is an interesting move.

Regarding the agreement itself, the carriers said it would take the form of “a highly integrated bilateral corporation.” Lufthansa and Cathay say they “will work closely together on network planning, as well as sales, IT and ground handling.” Further, customers will be able to access the entire joint network through either of the partners’ booking systems or the two carriers will offer joint handling at their hubs in Hong Kong and Frankfurt.

The agreement covers 140 direct flights per week between Hong Kong and thirteen cities in Europe.  Cathay’s Director of Cargo, said: ”Cathay Pacific’s large number of direct connections to multiple European destinations fits perfectly with Lufthansa’s strength in Frankfurt, the most important air freight hub in Europe through its dense feeder-network.” Peter Gerber, CEO of Lufthansa Cargo pointed out that the deal would give customers more flights to choose from with a combination of feeder and direct flights.”

LHcargo

Implementation of the partnership is still some way off.  The first shipments covered by the agreement will not fly until 2017, then only westbound from Hong Kong to Europe.  Eastbound shipments will become available in the course of the year.

Source : Air Cargo World/Photos Lufthansa & Cathay Pacific

       

                                    MILITARY NEWS

                                          The C-130 Just Never Dies

Lockheed Martin started building its latest civilian version of the iconic C-130 Hercules in Marietta, Georgia in late April.The company’s new LM-100J will bring its advancements of the C-130J Super Hercules to civilian operators such as the United Nations.

The C-130 just never dies.  Because almost no other aircraft can do what the Hercules does best: reliably haul outsized loads into and out of short, rough airstrips in the middle of nowhere.

“They obviously did its design right,” says Tom Wetherall, director of LM-100J Business Development for Lockheed Martin.  ”It’s been in production for 60 years.

It’s got a high-wing.  It’s a turboprop. The engines and propellers are out of harm’s way. The straight wing yields the efficiency to get in and out of dirt runways, to get the weight off the wheels as soon as possible.  The fuselage is low to the ground at truck-bed height, which combines with rear loading capability.  It’s a configuration that is second to none”

The first C-130 rolled out in 1954.  Since then, Lockheed has built more than 2,500 at it’s Georgia assembly plant.  More than ten variants of the airplane, including AC-130 gunships and WC-130 weather reconnaissance aircraft, serve U.S.and global militaries.

In 1965 Lockheed started making a dedicated civilian version of the Hercules, the L-100, cranked them until 1992.  About 115 L-100s have flown with commercial operators, delivering spare parts and bringing in disaster relief. But these old planes are nearing the end of their useful lives, and companies that fly them are looking for a new airplane – a new Hercules, according to Lockheed.

The LM-100J is based on the C-130J-30, an extended version of the “J” that shares the same length as the L-100.  Like the military Super Hercules, the LM-100J gets new Rolls-Royce AE 2100 D# turboprop engines and six-blade Dowty R391 Propellers.  The airframe features a new center wing-box.  The cockpit comes with Full Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC) which eliminates the need for a flight engineer, a significant cost savings.

Lockheed Martin planes to roll out the first LM-100J this September. Flight testing begins early next year and the first delivery is slated for the first quarter of 2018.

Source : Popular Mechanics/Photo Lockheed Martin

 

    Boeing has Received a Seven Year, $319 Million Contract to Continue Maintenance and Support Work for the U.S. Air Force’s C-32A and C-40 BC

On May 17th Boeing announced that it was awarded a $319 million to continue maintaining and supporting the U.S. Air Force’s C-32A and C-40BC executive aircraft.

The Air Force uses the C-32A and C-40BC, which are based on the Boeing 757 and 737 passenger planes, to transport the vice president, cabinet members and military commanders among others.  Boeing has supported the aircraft since first delivery in 1998 and 2001.

The C-32 and C-40 are among the many military derivatives of commercial airplanes that Boeing has built for the U.S. and international customers, offering affordable adaptations of proven airframes and existing worldwide support for military missions.

Source : Boeing/Photo Boeing

 

Researched and Compiled by : Ed Kaplanian

Commercial Aviation Advisor

Contact – ed@kaplanianreport.com

Featured – The Kaplanian Report

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Volume 3 Issue 4 April Kaplanian Report

ON THE BOEING FRONT

Boeing Selected Panasonic Avionics to Supply the Cabin Services System for the 777X

Panasonics Avionics has been selected by Boeing to supply the cabin services system (CSS) for the 777X.

The win extends Panasonic’s CSS win streak on next generation Boeing wide bodies; the company also supplies the CSS on the 787 and the 747-8 intercontinental.

“Panasonic’s CSS is a scalable, database driven, Ethernet-based network that provides core cabin functions – such as passenger address, cabin inter phone and environmental controls,” Panasonic said in a statement.  ”CSS directly integrates with external subsystems – such as cabin lighting and other airplane member systems across the airframe networks, including the inflight entertainment and connectivity solutions.”

Boeing completed firm configuration for the 777-9X in August 2015. Orders and commitment for the 777X total 320 aircraft from six customers.  The 777-9X is slated to enter service in 2020, followed by the smaller 777-8X in 2022.

Source : ATW/Boeing

 

ON THE AIRBUS FRONT 

Airbus Launches New Cabin Brand “Airspace by Airbus”

On March 23rd Airbus launched the “Airspace by Airbus”, bringing together an enhanced experience for passengers and optimum performance for airlines – based on four dimensions: comfort, ambience, service and design.

Introduced with Airbus’ wide body A330neo (new engine option) – and incorporated on the A350 XWB – Airspace cabins offer a more relaxing, inspiring, attractive and functional environment for travelers and optimizes the use of cabin space for operators.
csm_A330neo_Airspace_by_Airbus_Ambience_e23cddabea

Signature design elements recognizable throughout all Airspace cabins include wider seat, larger overhead storage bins, spacious, contemporary lavatories with antibacterial surfaces, along with unobstructed under-seat foot space.  Other features are a unique and customizable 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.

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

Source : ATW/Airbus

 

BUSINESS/REGIONAL NEWS

  Qatar Executive Adds Second G650ER

Middle Eastern VIP operator Qatar Executive has added a second Gulfstream G650Er to its fleet.  The handover comes three months after the first ultra-long-range type joined the company’s line-up of high-end business aircraft from Airbus and Bombardier stables.

The lead pair are part of a 2014 order from Qatar Airways subsidiary for up to 30 Gulfstream business jets, including six G650ERs and 24 G500 and G600s, for which it is the launch customer.

The flagship G650ER was selected, Qatar Executive says, for its market leading 7,500 (13,890km) range, which allows passengers “to fly non-stop from the Middle East to North America or from destinations in Asia to Africa.”

Qatar’s G650ERs have a two-cabin configuration, with capacity for up to 13 passengers.

Source : Flightglobal

 

OTHER AVIATION NEWS

Scoot, Tigerair to Merge, Expand Reservation Systems

Singapore based long-haul, low-cost carrier (LCC) Scoot and regional LCC Tigerair will finalize a merger of their reservations systems by the end of 2016, according to Scoot CEO Campbell Wilson. “This will make Tiger our biggest partner,” he said. He said two LCCs already shared ground handling and other operational facilities and costs, and that a more complete integration of ticketing systems would bring a greater ability to capitalize on potential opportunities across the two carriers.

Both LCCS are Subsidiary airlines of parent Singapore Airlines, which Wilson says is working to develop long-term working structures that are shared between the two carriers.

Wilson added that Scoot would expand its fleet of 10 Boeing 787s with another 10 787s by the end of July 2019, which would enable it to add routes to India, China and northeast Asia.

Source : ATW/Scoot

 

Rolls-Royce Has Successfully Completed First Flight of The Trent 1000 Ten

Rolls-Royce has successfully completed the first flight of its new Trent 1000 TEN (thrust, efficiency and new technology) engine which will power the Boeing 787 Dreamliner family of aircraft.

Capable of up to 78,000 lbs thrust, it will be available to power all three variants of the Boeing 787: the -8, -9 and future -10.

The engine’s first flight was on a Boeing 747 flying test bed which took off from an airfield in Tucson, Arizona. A distinctive paint scheme on the engine nacelle-depicting a “perfect ten pin ”bowling image – easily identified the Trent 1000 TEN engine on the aircraft.

Iain Dudley, Head of Marketing, Trent 1000 said : “We are delighted that the first flight went smoothly and we look forward to a successful program on the 747 test bed before flight testing begins on a Boeing 787 later this year. We know that this engine will deliver a step-change in efficiency and performance for the 787 when it enters service.  In fact it’s perfect for it.”

The Trent 1000 is already the most reliable engine on the 787 and was the first to power both the -8 and -9 versions into service. Over one and a half million flying hours have been successfully achieved and now the TEN version is set to deliver new levels of fuel efficiency and thrust for customers.

Trent 1000 engines were the first to put the Boeing 787 into service in 2011 with ANA of Japan and the first to put the 787-9 into service last year with Air New Zealand.

Source : Rolls-Royce

 

 Rolls-Royce and El Al Sign 787 Trent 1000 Service Deal

On March 21st, 2016, El Al announced in a media release that Rolls-Royce will provide support for the Trent 1000 engines that will power El Al’s incoming fleet of Boeing 787s.

El Al says the deal reflects the strength of a business relationship with Rolls-Royce that has been ongoing for more than 50 years. It adds that the agreement is the “largest ever business arrangement between the United Kingdom and Israel.”  El Al did not provide the value or length of the agreement: the carrier’s media representative did not immediately provide additional details.

In August 2015, El Al stated it would buy and lease a total of 15 787s to replace its 747-400s and 767-300ERs.

The carrier plans to begin flying the first eight 787-9s starting in 2017 and the first of seven 787-8s starting in 2019.  In October, El Al announced it opted for all 15 of the 787s to be powered by Trent 1000s.

Source : Flightglobal

 

Cayman Airways to Replace Fleet

Cayman Airways will replace its fleet of aging 737-300s classics with four new 737s over the next four years.

The government has approved a fleet modernization plan for the national airline to replace the four 737-300 jets; which are between 15 and 20 years old, with new 737-8Max planes straight off the Boeing production line.

The 737-8Max planes have 40 more seats and burn 20 percent less fuel than the 300-series. Mr  Fabian Whoms, Cayman Airways CEO said the technical advances made by Boeing in developing the next generation aircraft made the arrangement possible.

The airline will bring a different Boeing 737-800 plane into service as an interim measure; it intends to replace the entire fleet of 737-300s on a phased timetable between 2018 and 2020.

By 2020, the airline will have a full fleet of four 737-8Max aircraft.

Source : Cayman Compass

 

LATEST NEWS IN BRIEF  

  • Air India agreed to lease 14 LEAP-powered A320neos from ALAFCO for delivery in 2017-2019.
  • GoSky of Slovakia took delivery of one Boeing 737-800 aircraft on March 18th.
  • Aegean Airlines has taken delivery of the final of seven Airbus A320ceos.  It has 61 of the type in its fleet.
  • Aircelle (Safran) began the manufacturing of titanium engine exhaust systems for Boeing’s new 777X, marking an on-time industrial activity startup on Aircelle’s first major role as a supplier to Boeing.
  • GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) delivered a new leased Boeing 737-800 aircraft to Chinese airline Okay Airways to expand the Carrier’s fleet.

  • Mitsubishi Aircraft completed construction of new 44,000 sq m MRJ final assembly hanger to build up to 10 aircraft per month; it will now start installing related tooling.
  • Air France has cancelled its remaining pair of Airbus A 380s in favor of taking three additional A350-900s.  Deliveries of the A350s have been rescheduled from 2018 to 2019 and 2020.
  • Boeing started major assembly of the first 787-10 Kawasaki Heavy Industries started installation of the circular frames into the mid forward fuselage on March 14th,two weeks ahead of schedule.
  • Embraer, the Brazilian manufacturer, announced on April 4th that E190-E2 completed the first engine run. The E190-E2 is powered by two PW1900G turbofans that are rated at Up to 23,000 .lb – thrust each for take-off power.
  •   Air France-KLM Group chairman and CEO, Alexandre de Juniac, is set to replace the retiring Tony Tyler as IATA’s DG and CEO after a unanimous recommendation by the IATA board of governors.

  • Exclusive Boeing said it will buy seats directly from new supplier, LIFT by EnCore of Huntington Beach,California for its 737.

 

Air Cargo

  Air France- KLM Moves to Protect Perishables with “Kold Kart” Dolly

When on the ground in high temperature locations, the ruination of perishable cargo or pharmaceuticals is a real issue.  Air France-KLM – Martinair Cargo’s most recent weapon in the war against temperature incursions is the “Kold Kart”, a new dolly system that maintains proper temperature while shipments await transfer to planes or trucks.

After testing the product,  AF-KLM found that Kold Kart was able to protect temperature-sensitive commodities while reducing waste and extending the shelf life of products being shipped.  Once perishable container shipments are weighed and checked in for a flight, they are placed inside a Kold Kart dolly.  The dolly is then moved onto the tarmac area and held until it can be pulled by a tug to the outbound aircraft.  The Kold Kart unit also has a conveyor floor that permits container shipments to roll in and out of the dolly.

For inbound shipments, the dolly meets the aircraft and perishable containers are off-loaded from the aircraft to the Kold Kart dolly and pulled back to the cargo building.  The temperature can be set anywhere the customer requests.

Source : Air Cargo World/Air France-KLM Cargo

 

MILITARY

     How the Very First Air Force One Was Saved – Columbine II, President Eisenhower’s Ride  is Back in Action – Part I

Getting a 70-year-old Lockheed C-121 Constellation ready to fly cross-country isn’t easy.  Besides making sure the large airframe is structurally sound, you have got to get four enormous 18-cylinder,2,500-horsepower radial engines running reliably.  Karl Stolzfus had plenty of motivation to see this project through. In doing so, had been saving and preserving history: the first Air Force One.

First Lady Maimie Eisenhower named the airplane “Columbine II” after the official state flower of Colorado, her adopted home state.  Her husband, President Dwight D.Eisenhower, was traveling in Columbine II in 1953 when air traffic controllers became confused.  An Eastern Airlines commercial flight (8610) had the same call sign as the President’s (Air Force 8610) and the two aircraft accidentally entered the same airspace.  The potentially dangerous situation spurred creation of the unique call sign “Air Force One” for Columbine II, and the name stuck for all subsequent presidential planes.

Columbine II was built as a VC-121A transport for the Air Force in 1948, but converted to VIP configuration for President Eisenhower and re-designated VC-121E.

It served Ike from late 1952 through 1954 when it was replaced by another VC-121E, this one called “Columbine III.” (it currently resides at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force in Dayton, Ohio).  Columbine II remained as a “spare” Air Force One into 1955, when it was transferred to Pan American airlines, serving on special assignment to the government of Thailand as the “Clipper Fortuna.” The aircraft later returned to Air force transport duties until its retirement in 1968.

It was a derelict by the early 1980s but was restored using parts from another VC-121 in 1989-90. The Air Force One went on  to  the air show circuit in the early 1990s.  When the owner lost interest, it was put up for sale in 1998.  Nobody wanted Eisenhower’s ride at the time and it was flown to Avra Valley Airport near Tucson in 2003.

Karl Stolzfus is the owner of Dynamic Aviation, a Virginia-Based contractor that provides the federal government and other clients with aircraft and crews for tasks from surveillance to data acquisition.

Rather than let Columbine II languish, Stolzfus bought the airplane and starting in March of 2015, a team of engineers from Dynamic aided by volunteers from Texas-based Mid America Flight Museum, travelled to Avra Valley and retired Columbine II to air worthiness.   According to Brian Miklos,who lead the Dynamic’s team, says the constellation was in reasonably good shape, considering its history, but needed work.

“The Airframe and the hard parts of the airplane were great condition but all the soft components, hose and seats, were brittle from the desert environment.  We had to replace all of that.  We did not do that much  engine work, we just made sure the top-ends were well lubricated and replaced engine accessories.”

Source : Popular Mechanics

Story of the restoration of this aircraft will continue in my May Report

 

 

Researched and Compiled by : Ed Kaplanian

Commercial Aviation Advisor

Contact – ed@kaplanianreport.com