The impressive 122-square-metre vertical tail plane for China Southern Airlines’ initial A380 has been fitted to the aircraft on the Final Assembly Line at Airbus’ Toulouse, France facility. This installation process takes about eight hours at the assembly line’s Station 40, which is the position where A380 major sections – including the wings – are fitted together. The A380’s tail is almost equivalent in size to an A320 wing, and when joined to the fuselage its tip stands 24 metres from the ground.
News in brief
China Southern Airlines' first A380 is fitted with its tail
Delivery of the first A380 tail for China Southern Airlines
The vertical tail for China Southern Airlines’ initial A380 has arrived at its final assembly facility in Toulouse, France. This component was delivered today from Airbus’ production site in Hamburg, Germany, aboard a Beluga transport aircraft. China Southern Airlines, which has five A380s on order, is scheduled to become a new operator of Airbus’ 21st century flagship jetliner in 2011.
Airbus-sponsored biodiversity photo exhibit to make its U.S. debut
Continuing a world tour as part of the International Year of Biodiversity, the “See the Bigger Picture” exhibition is set to make its initial appearance in the U.S. Beginning 25 September, the display will spend nearly two months at the Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center in Mobile, Alabama. This exhibit – which features winning images from the Airbus-sponsored youth photo competition highlighting biodiversity – already has visited such cities as Paris, Madrid, Hamburg and Whistler in British Columbia, Canada during the 2010 Winter Olympics.
New A320 simulators at Airbus’ Miami training centre
A new full-flight simulator for the A320 Family has been added to the U.S. Airbus training centre in Miami, Florida, with another to be qualified later this year – providing highly realistic and effective training for pilots from the U.S., Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean. These Thales Reality7 Level D simulators include head-up displays; new Required Navigation Performance (RNP) equipment capability for precision approach and take-off training, and high-definition projection technology to produce a real-world 200 x 40 degree field of view from the cockpit.
26th Chinese-assembled aircraft delivered to West Air
Chinese private airline West Air has received its first Airbus aircraft, an A319 assembled at the A320 Family final assembly line in Tianjin. This 26th Airbus jetliner produced in China will be deployed on the carrier’s domestic routes from Chongqing to Wenzhou and via Shijiazhuang to Yantai. With the aircraft’s service entry, West Air will join a growing list of Airbus operators in China – with orders to date for nearly 600 A320 Family jetliners. West Air also is the eighth operator to receive aircraft produced at the Tianjin facility.
The A380 makes its 110th airport visit
Another A380 milestone was achieved on 15 July when Airbus’ 21st century flagship jetliner was welcomed to its 110th airport. This occurred when the MSN004 A380 arrived at Schiphol airport in the Netherlands. The aircraft tested well in airport compatibility evaluations. With this landing, the A380 has now visited 110 airports worldwide.
Airbus "cuts the ribbon" on expanded U.S. engineering facility
A second Airbus engineering centre has been opened in Wichita, Kansas as the company continues to grow its local employment by an average of 30 per cent annually. This new facility is to focus on wing work for Airbus aircraft, and also will house a growing team of in-service repair engineers specialising in providing critical support to customers around the world.
A Dragonair A330 is painted with special 25th anniversary livery
One of Dragonair’s A330s is now flying with a special livery to mark the Hong Kong carrier's 25th anniversary celebrations. It features a golden dragon together with distinctive Chinese characters highlighting the anniversary theme: “Serving you for 25 years.” Since 1985, Dragonair has become one of Asia's leading regional carriers. A part of the Cathay Pacific Group, the airline today operates an all-Airbus passenger jetliner fleet comprising 13 A330-300s, nine A320s and six A321s, and serves a network of 29 destinations in Mainland China and Asia.
First A350 XWB air inlet is provided for engine test campaign
Airbus has delivered the initial jet engine air inlet for its next-generation A350 XWB, which is to be utilised by Rolls-Royce for cross-wind testing and certification of the Trent XWB engine. This highly-advanced component feeds engines with air, keeps the fan stable and performs a de-icing role – while also reducing overall engine noise. Two additional air inlets will be supplied in 2010 for blade-out rig testing and aerodynamic and noise tests.
The A380 makes its 100th airport visit
Another A380 milestone was achieved on 31 May when Airbus’ 21st century flagship jetliner was welcomed to its 100th airport. This occurred with the stopover of Lufthansa’s no. 1 A380 at Karlsruhe/Baden Baden Airport, Germany, in the framework of the carrier’s line-training activities. The 100 airports visited to date by the A380 include such large international hubs as London Heathrow, Beijing and New York; medium-sized passenger airports like Milwaukee in the United States and Karlsruhe/Baden Baden; and smaller airfields such as Canada’s Iqaluit and Oshkosh in the U.S.