Archive for Commercial Aviation

Is A380 losing out to smaller jets?

For a year, Emirates has been negotiating with Rolls-Royce
about the engines of the latest A380 order lot.
Now the airline could rewrite its contract to
smaller A350, with far-reaching consequences for
the entire A380 program.The news agency Bloomberg
had reported on Thursday evening, citing negotiating circles,
Emirates consider rewriting part of their announced A380
order on smaller A350. A year ago, Emirates announced a
"firm" order for 20 more A380s and 16 options in Dubai.
This order would have utilized A380 production for the
foreseeable future and kept the program alive. But if the
announced order can not be realized, the A380 threatens
the early exit, because too few new orders are received.
Although a well-known new customer for three aircraft was
won with ANA, the remaining orders, but some of them are
considered "card-rich", are not enough for a longer-term
program future. Airbus had already lowered the production
rate to 0.5 aircraft per month, commercially the lowest,
justifiable measure.
The tug-of-war over the signing of the Emirates contract
is said to be about the Airline's required improvements in
Rolls-Royce Trent engines. Supposedly, the Dubaier sign
their reordering only if Rolls-Royce contractually guaranteed
them a tailor-made "Performance Improvement Package".
Rolls-Royce, however, is busy with the costly aftermath of
the Trent engine problems on the Dreamliner and the
consequences of Brexit and is now reluctant to make that commitment.
Emirates often operates its A380 in extreme heat in Dubai on
extreme long-haul routes and requires maximum performance.
At Airbus, aircraft sales are generally negotiated separately
from the engines. The customer negotiates and orders the engines
selected by him independently of the actual aircraft. Only with
a signed package will the aircraft be built. Airbus merely
confirmed on Thursday that it was in discussions with its
customer, Emirates Airline, about its A380 contract.
Details of all customer discussions are confidential and would not be mentioned.
Meanwhile, this past spring, Airbus is transferring leadership
from Tom Enders to Guillaume Faury, who will join the Group
on April 10. This is an important moment for the promulgation
of policy decisions, such as for any A380 program end.
The Airbus Annual Press Conference will be held in
Toulouse in 14 days.

Sleeping in the cargo hold: Airbus plans to have cabins below deck

On long journeys simply go down the stairs and sleep comfortably in the cargo hold: Airbus wants to enable this in its long-haul aircraft A330 in the next couple of years.

Passengers may soon be able to retire to sleep in the cargo hold on long journeys. The aircraft manufacturer Airbus wants to create beds in the belly of the machines.

The sleeping cabins are to be offered from 2020 onwards for the twin-jet long-range jet A330, as the company announced at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg.

The underdeck beds for passengers are therefore planned as modules, which can be easily replaced if necessary against normal freight containers.


European airlines serving free food and drinks?

Flying has become a mass-market business and those who want to enjoy a delicious menu with a glass of bubbly must pay a lot of money for a business or first-class ticket.

But which airlines in Europe offer a free menu in Economy?


At Lufthansa, there are free drinks and meals on almost all routes. What is served depends on the length of the flight. On small and medium-haul flights, small snacks or hot meals are served. On long-haul flights, Lufthansa offers a three-course meal in economy class with two main courses to choose from and a second meal as the flight progresses.


In the economy class, on-board catering is not included within Europe and North Africa. Passengers can, for example, buy coffee for 1.50 euros or beer for 3 euros and snacks or pre-order a menu up to 24 hours before departure. On the long haul there is a free meal and another meal before landing. Non-alcoholic drinks are also free here.


For all short- and medium-haul flights, the Lufthansa subsidiary’s highest fare (Best) offers a special snack and drinks. The smart fare is a hearty or sweet snack, a still drink and another drink. On the long-haul route, the Smart fare includes hot and cold food, as well as soft drinks and coffee with meals. The Best fare offers a free choice of bistro menu with six premium menus and snacks. In addition, the drinks are included in the price. The Basic rate of Eurowings does not include free food and drinks.


The low-cost airline does not offer free food and drinks on board. However, passengers can buy drinks and sandwiches and other snacks as well. Passengers in the Flexi fare receive a credit of 7 British pounds (around 8 euros), which they can redeem on board. From 30 days before departure, meals can also be pre-ordered online at slightly lower prices.


Free food and drinks are not available at Ryanair either. On board, passengers can buy both. As examples, the low-cost airline calls a croissant with coffee for 5 euros or a panini with drink and chips for 10 euros. On different flights, passengers can also pre-order various breakfast options.


At Germania each guest receives a free snack per flight – usually a sandwich – and soft drinks. For a flight duration of 3 hours and 45 minutes, a free hot meal is served, usually a vegetarian pasta dish. Alcoholic drinks and other snacks can be bought on board. The possibility to order food in advance is, according to spokeswoman Sabine Teller in preparation. Starting in the summer of 2018, there will also be special dishes on the flights with warm food, for example gluten-free or vegan.

Nasa commissions a new supersonic jet – without a bang

15 years after the end of the Concorde Lockheed Martin is to build a supersonic jet for NASA. The special feature: the ”X-Plane” should fly without a sonic boom.

(U.S. Air Force photo)

Through the sound barrier without bang: The US space agency Nasa has signed an agreement with the defense company Lockheed Martin for the construction of a new ”X-Planes”, which should fly faster than the sound without noisy shockwaves. As NASA announced, $ 247.5 million (€ 201 million) is earmarked for the development of a new version of the legendary US experimental aircraft. The first test flight should take place in 2021.

The new market leader? A321LR – NEO


Europe’s best, only and cheapest Low-Cost-Carriers 2018

Pilots needed to shut one engine (PW127) down.

Smoke-filled WestJet emergency evac in British Columbia, Canada.

India Directorate of the General of Civil Aviation grounds A320neos

The end of the two pilots in the cockpit?

Airbus and Boeing work on the pilotless cockpit. First, however, could come an intermediate step – airplanes with only one pilot.

They already exist, planes without pilots. For example, BAE Systems, the British defense and aviation group, has been officially testing pilotless flying with a Jetstream 31 for some time now. Both Airbus and Boeing are researching a future without people in the cockpit. They are determined to make the previously unthinkable possible.

The fact that this is not a distant future, said recently Boeings development chief Mike Sinnet. ”I imagine it will happen in less than five years. It will probably take longer for commercial operation », says the researcher. The aircraft manufacturers have not only the reduction of personnel costs in mind but also the security. ”90 percent of accidents in flight accidents were due to human error,” said Airbus CEO Tom Enders once. He is convinced that flying without a pilot will become the standard in the future.

Still, there is a problem. Even if the technology is making rapid progress – the thought of the passengers is poor at the front, no one sits at the front. That’s why there could be an intermediate stage first. Various companies work on concepts of a cockpit with only one pilot. ”We’ll take a look. We will probably see this first in freight transport. The passenger question does not arise there, ”quotes The Guardian Boeing manager Charles Toups.

The maintenance group ST Aerospace showed according to the sheet on the Singapore Air Show a concept for conversion of the cockpit to the single-pilot operation in the context of the conversion of passenger into cargo jets. There is a global interest, says chief operations officer Jeffrey Lam. ”I think the freight companies are watching each other, what the other one is doing. If one does it, others will follow. Because it’s about big cost savings.

There has already been a staff reduction in the cockpit. In the past, a third man was sitting in front. The flight engineer or flight engineer – also known as the third officer – was responsible for monitoring the aircraft systems. They were replaced by the beginning of the eighties by the increasing computerization. Before that, there were some so-called navigators, who took care of the orientation over the sea.