The first A380 for Malaysia Airlines took off for its maiden flight yesterday following completion of final assembly and system tests in Toulouse, France. After a successful five-hour flight, the aircraft returned to Toulouse to be prepared for its next journey to the Airbus facilities in Hamburg, Germany for cabin installation and painting. Powered by four Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engines, the aircraft is the first of six A380s ordered by Malaysia Airlines, scheduled for delivery in the second quarter of 2012. Malaysia Airlines will be the 8th airline to operate the A380.
News in brief
Malaysia Airlines’ first A380 takes off from Toulouse for its maiden flight
The A350 XWB’s Trent engine rolls out for initial flight tests
Airbus has completed installation of the first Rolls-Royce Trent XWB flight test engine on the A380 “flying-testbed” aircraft. The aircraft and engine will now be prepared for the flight test campaign commencing in the coming weeks. The Trent XWB engine, which is the largest Rolls-Royce turbofan with a 118-inch diameter fan, has been specially designed to power all members of the new Airbus A350 XWB Family with maximum efficiency.
Airbus-supported high school competition selects best “green” ideas for the aviation sector
Six Singaporean students have earned a trip to Airbus headquarters in Toulouse, France after winning first prizes in the island nation’s annual “CREATE” high school competition – which promotes career paths in the engineering field. Supported by Airbus and Singapore Airlines, this year’s challenge focussed on the theme “Green Technology in Aviation.” The winning entry for the junior category (ages 13-16) involved the on-board use of live algae to reduce fuel consumption and improve cabin environments; while the senior category (17-18) winners proposed the installation of wind turbines at airports to capture energy generated by aircraft during takeoff.
The A350 XWB "MSN1" forward fuselage takes shape
Airbus aerostructures partner Premium Aerotec has successfully put together the first forward fuselage for the A350 XWB at Nordenham, Germany. The impressive all-composite fuselage is 13 metres long and comprises four panels and the floor grid. Structural assembly work will continue over the coming weeks before it is transported by boat to Airbus’ Hamburg site for systems installation.
First A350 XWB nose section coming together in St Nazaire
The first A350 XWB nose section has been transported by Beluga to Airbus in St Nazaire from partner company Aerolia’s site in Méaulte. The A350 XWB nose section comprises three main sub-assemblies: the cockpit plus upper and lower forward fuselage parts, which incorporate door one and the nose landing gear bay. Once assembled and equipped, the nose section will be joined to the forward fuselage (made and equipped in Hamburg) to form together the A350 XWB front fuselage.
The A400M passes new certification tests in France and Spain
The Airbus Military A400M has completed a series of key tests over the past week as this new-generation airlifter moves closer to its civil and military type certification. These successful evaluations included the A400M’s high-energy rejected takeoff test in Toulouse, France, which confirmed the braking system’s ability to safely stop the aircraft following a rejected takeoff at high speed and high weight. In parallel, Airbus Military also conducted emergency evacuation tests in Seville, Spain – demonstrating that the airlifter can safely be evacuated in a specified time when loaded with troops or other passengers.
Singapore Airlines signs for 15 A330-300s
Singapore Airlines CEO Goh Choon Phong yesterday signed the final agreement to acquire 15 more A330-300 aircraft with John Leahy, Airbus’ Chief Operating Officer – Customers at Airbus’ headquarters in Toulouse, France. The signature firms up an announcement from 29 June 2011. The A330 Family – which spans 200 to 400 seats for the passenger variants and also includes freighter, VIP, and military transport/tanker variants – has now attracted over 1,150 orders.
The first A350 XWB wing upper cover is en route to Airbus’ wing assembly plant in Broughton, UK
The first flyable A350 XWB wing upper cover manufactured at Airbus’ Stade, Germany site today was loaded on to a Beluga to be transported to Airbus’ wing assembly site in Broughton, UK. The A350 XWB lower wing cover made in Illescas, Spain will arrive in Broughton in the coming days. The A350 XWB wing covers measure 32 metres long by six metres wide, making them the biggest single civil aviation parts made from carbon fibre ever.
Airbus continues its support for famine relief in Somalia
An Airbus flight in support of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) took off this morning on route to Nairobi, Kenya, to help support hunger relief efforts in Somalia. This flight carrying 41 tons of high energy food is the second Airbus relief flight following an earlier one in early August this year. The A340 test aircraft was loaded in Toulouse by Airbus volunteers and left for Nairobi. The aid flight mission arranged between the Red Cross and the Airbus Corporate Foundation follows an appeal by the United Nations to private companies to provide logistical help to deliver aid to people in areas of Southeast Africa. Since its launch in December 2008, the Airbus Corporate Foundation, has completed some 20 relief flights to several destinations all over the globe.
China Southern Airlines’ first A380 enters final round of tests
The final phase of testing has begun for China Southern Airlines’ initial A380, which is scheduled to enter commercial service with the carrier later this year. These flight and ground evaluations, which are being carried out from Airbus’ facilities in Hamburg, Germany, are validating the double-deck jetliner’s general performance and cabin systems – including air flow and air conditioning, lighting, galleys, lavatories, seats and in-flight entertainment – before its upcoming flight to Toulouse, France for pre-delivery preparations.