Royal Saudi Air Force crews have started flight training on their first A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) with Airbus Military instructors in Spain, which will allow them to qualify for air logistic transport and air-to-air refueling with pods and boom. Handover of the first A330 MRTT to the Royal Saudi Air Force will take place mid-November 2011, with additional deliveries scheduled during 2012.
News in brief
The Royal Saudi Air Force begins flight training on the A330 MRTT
Celebrating four years of “love at first flight”
Four years ago today, Airbus’ 21st century flagship A380 entered commercial revenue service in the fleet of Singapore Airlines. Since that time, the double-deck aircraft has been winning over business and leisure passengers alike – leading many travelers to specifically request flights on the A380, which currently is operated by seven airlines to 26 destinations worldwide and has flown more than 16 million passengers to date.
Assembly begins for the A350 XWB "MSN1" horizontal tailplane
Airbus has started the assembly of the first A350 XWB’s horizontal tailplane (HTP) in Getafe, Spain. Joining of the two lateral boxes will produce the 17-metre span primary structure of the HTP. Structural assembly will continue over the coming weeks, followed by installation of the unit’s electric and hydraulic systems. Once the assembly and equipping work is finished, the HTP will be flown by Airbus’ Beluga transport aircraft to the final assembly line in Toulouse, France.
Malaysia Airlines’ first A380 takes off from Toulouse for its maiden flight
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.
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.