Airbus and engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce have entered into an agreement to develop an enhanced version of the A350-1000 – the largest member of Airbus’ next-generation A350 XWB Family – featuring a higher-thrust Rolls-Royce Trent XWB turbofan. To deliver up to 97,000 lbs. of thrust on takeoff, this engine is the most powerful ever developed for an Airbus aircraft. The extra thrust, combined with an increased takeoff weight of 308 tonnes, will enable airlines to fly the new A350-1000 about 400 nm further with a full load of 350 passengers – or carry approximately 4.5 extra tonnes of payload at a given range. The agreement was signed today at the Paris Air Show by Airbus President and CEO Tom Enders and John Rishton, CEO of Rolls-Royce.
News in brief
Airbus and Rolls-Royce join forces for enhanced A350-1000
China Southern Airlines’ initial A380 emerges from the paint shop
The first A380 for China Southern Airlines has been rolled out of the Airbus paint shop in Hamburg, Germany, where it was completed with the airline’s distinctive livery. China Southern Airlines has five A380s on order, and will become the seventh operator of Airbus’ 21st century flagship jetliner after taking delivery of its initial aircraft later this year.
Singapore Airlines receives the 50th A380 from Airbus
Airbus has marked a new A380 programme milestone with its delivery of the 50th aircraft, received yesterday by Singapore Airlines – the first carrier to inaugurate revenue service with the 21st century flagship jetliner in 2007. This brings the total number of A380s delivered in 2011 to nine, with Lufthansa and Qantas having each received three during the year – while Singapore Airlines joins Air France and new operator Korean Air with one apiece. Singapore Airlines now has a total of 12 A380s in its fleet.
A new way to keep up with Airbus
Airbus has expanded its presence in the online social media sphere with launch of the company’s official Twitter account (@Airbus). By “following” Airbus, registered users of this popular application will have instant access to the latest company news and information – which conveniently will appear in their “Twitter feeds” as it is announced. To follow Airbus on Twitter, please visit: www.twitter.com/airbus.
Final production begins for the no. 1 Malaysia Airlines A380
The final assembly process has begun for Malaysia Airlines’ initial A380 jetliner, which is now taking shape at the Airbus Final Assembly Line in Toulouse, France. The overall process is made up of five primary phases – beginning with assembly of the front, central and aft fuselages, wings, and horizontal and vertical tail plane. This is to be followed by electric/hydraulic tests, engine installation and further ground and engine tests. The A380 will then fly to Hamburg, Germany, where the aircraft will receive its cabin and undergo painting.
A330 MRTT deliveries begin with the initial aircraft’s handover to Australia
The no. 1 Airbus Military A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport has been provided to a customer with this milestone aircraft’s delivery to Australia on 1 June for operation by the Royal Australian Air Force. In its role as an aerial tanker, the Australian A330 MRTTs are equipped with Airbus Military’s fly-by-wire Aerial Refuelling Boom System (ARBS) and two underwing refuelling pods. The aircraft’s widebody fuselage also enables it to be utilised as a transport aircraft, with the capacity to carry 300 troops or a payload of up to 45 tonnes/99,000 lb.
Airbus Military's initial A330 MRTT for Australia departs for its delivery
The first A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) today began its ferry flight to ready this aircraft for its upcoming delivery to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). Departing from Airbus Military’s Madrid, Spain facility, the milestone A330 MRTT is scheduled to land at RAAF Base Amberley, Queensland on 30 May, with formal handover to occur in the following days. This A330 MRTT was converted by Qantas Defense Services in Brisbane, Australia – subsequently returning to Madrid for painting and finishing – and is to be joined by a second aircraft in June, with two additional deliveries planned for later this year. Australia’s fifth and final A330 MRTT arrived in Brisbane for its conversion a few days ago, and will be delivered next year.
Korean Air’s first A380 enters its final round of evaluations
The final phase of testing has begun for Korean Air’s initial A380, which is scheduled to enter commercial service with the Seoul-based carrier next month. Carried out from Airbus’ facilities in Hamburg, Germany, these tests are validating the double-deck jetliner’s cabin systems and general performance before its upcoming flight to Toulouse, France for pre-delivery preparations.
The A350 XWB’s first main landing gear set is delivered to Airbus
Airbus has received the initial main landing gear set for its A350 XWB, which is to be installed on the next-generation jetliner’s system test rig – along with the first nose landing gear received last month – in Filton, UK. This upcoming industrial milestone will clear the way for testing to demonstrate the system’s reliability and maturity, and also provide data for certification – particularly in the areas of extension-retraction, braking and steering.
A successful first flight for the United Arab Emirates’ initial A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport
Airbus Military’s A330-based aerial refueling programme has marked a new milestone with the maiden flight of the United Arab Emirates Air Force’s no. 1 A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) – which was completed on 9 April. As this aircraft features certain avionics differences from A330 MRTTs ordered by other nations – and is the first to be powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engines – the certification and qualification phase now begins for these new elements.