Airbus has further expanded its research and technology (R&T) activities in the United States through a six-year renewal agreement signed with the Hampton, Virginia-based National Institute of Aerospace. This accord follows completion of a previous six-year agreement, during which over $6 million in R&T grants were distributed to support more than 50 researchers from major U.S. universities – providing funding for projects that span a broad technical scope.
News in brief
New agreement extends Airbus research and technology efforts in the U.S.
The Royal Australian Air Force carries its most passengers ever with the A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport
The Airbus Military-produced A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport has marked a new operational milestone for the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), carrying a record number of passengers for the military service during a single flight. This sortie – flown last month as part of the aircraft’s service introduction with the RAAF’s 33 Squadron – transported 220 passengers from the Australian Defence Force Academy, as well as its 14 crew members, on a two-hour flight from Defence Establishment Fairbairn. The A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport configuration selected by the RAAF can accommodate 270 passengers in total.
The A400M showcases new-generation capabilities during ongoing Asian tour
Asian nations are receiving a first-hand look at the A400M as this next-generation airlifter continues its 14-20 April tour of the region. The aircraft began its circuit with a touchdown in Malaysia that also marked the A400M’s milestone initial appearance in Asia. During this three-day stopover, government and military representatives for Malaysia – which is one of eight current A400M customer nations – were shown the aircraft’s range of advanced capabilities on the ground and in flight. The A400M today arrived at its latest tour destination – Jakarta, Indonesia – where it will make local flights with government and air force personnel, to be followed by the airlifter’s static display at the country’s Halim Airbase.
Putting a priority on inspiring the high fliers of tomorrow
The Airbus Corporate Foundation is expanding two programmes aimed at helping young people from disadvantaged backgrounds realise their full potential. The organization’s “Flying Challenge” – which is being piloted at Bellefontaine College in the Toulouse, France area with The United Way charity – inspires students aged 13-15 through strong mentoring relationships; while the Foundation’s pilot initiative with the Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center – launched in 2011 in Alabama, USA – welcomes employee volunteers from the Airbus engineering site in Mobile to share their expertise with students.
Airbus Military’s A330 MRTT begins its service career with the UK Royal Air Force
The Airbus Military A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) has entered service with the UK Royal Air Force, performing a training sortie on 8 April from the RAF Brize Norton facility – the military service´s primary transport/tanker base. This first operational UK aircraft, along with 13 others on order, are being supplied to AirTanker, which is the company created to operate and support the UK’s A330 MRTT fleet. Overall, a total of 28 A330 MRTTs have been ordered by four customers: the United Kingdom, Australia, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
The A400M arrives for its “starring role” at the FIDAE air show
The Airbus Military A400M has touched down in Santiago de Chile, where this next-generation airlifter will take centre stage at FIDAE (Feria Internacional del Aire y del Espacio) – Latin America’s largest air show, held this year from 27 March to 1 April. The arrival in Chile – representing the A400M’s first in the region as part of flight testing – also concluded the aircraft’s milestone 1,000th flight, which followed high altitude evaluations at Cochabamba, Bolivia.
The A330 MRTT showcases its compatibility with United Arab Emirates fighter aircraft
Airbus Military has successfully demonstrated the A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport’s (MRTT) refuelling compatibility with Mirage 2000 and F-16 Block 60 fighter jets – which are the primary aircraft types to be supported by A330 MRTTs in future service with the United Arab Emirates Air Force. This receiver qualification was achieved through a series of flight tests performed in Abu Dhabi, which included air-to-air refuelling at speeds throughout the flight envelope; at a range of altitudes; and in turns, climbs and descents as well as level flight. The United Arab Emirates has three A330 MRTTs on order, with delivery of the nation’s first two aircraft scheduled for this year.
Final assembly begins for the second series production A400M airlifter
The second series production A400M is now taking shape inside Airbus Military’s Seville, Spain final assembly line. This activity was kicked off in February with integration of the aircraft’s wings and central wing-box, followed by arrival of the A400M’s other main components – including its vertical and horizontal tailplanes, nose and fuselage – in Seville from European production facilities. This will be the second A400M delivered to the French Air Force, which is to receive the aircraft in 2013.
I-4D receives the “Enabling Technology Award” for air traffic management excellence
The Airbus-developed I-4D (initial four-dimensional) system has been recognised for technological excellence by leading information provider IHS Jane's, underscoring its capabilities for improving the efficiency of air traffic management operations worldwide. I-4D - which is a cornerstone of the SESAR (Single European Sky ATM Research) programme - utilises a new-generation system for enhanced arrival flow management, improved flight punctuality and more capacity, and its first flight tests were completed in February using an A320 test aircraft. The "Enabling Technology Award" was received by Airbus and its partners Eurocontrol Maastricht and Noracon at the Canso Air Traffic Management dinner this month in Amsterdam.
Airbus’ John Leahy receives the highest civil decoration in France
In recognition of his contributions to aviation, Airbus Chief Operating Officer – Customers John Leahy has been named an “Officer” of the French Legion of Honour – which is the country’s highest civil decoration. Leahy joined Airbus in 1995, and has led a commercial team that has sold 80 per cent of all aircraft ever built by the company. The prestigious Legion of Honour medal was presented to Leahy by EADS CEO Louis Gallois during a ceremony held this month in Toulouse.