During the 2020 Singapore Airshow, Airbus brought a new definition to the word “maverick,” which typically signifies an unorthodox idea or independent behaviour that is different than expected. By taking the wraps off its scale model of a "blended wing body" technological demonstrator called MAVERIC (Model Aircraft for Validation and Experimentation of Robust Innovative Controls), Airbus provided details at the #SGAirshow2020 on a commercial aircraft architecture that could bring change for a more environmentally-sustainable air transport industry.
Other Airbus announcements covered a broad range of the company’s activities and programmes in Asia – from enabling urban mobility and modernising freighter aircraft to enhancing military aerial refuelling capabilities and improving helicopter training for air force pilots.
An Airbus collaboration with the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) aims to bring urban air mobility services and platforms to reality in Singapore. As part of this agreement, covered by a Memorandum of Understanding signed today, Airbus and CAAS will work on defining and developing an initial urban air mobility service – utilising an Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS). Airbus and CAAS also will study further urban air mobility services that could include leading-edge cargo and passenger transportation solutions.
New milestones were announced for the programme that converts A321 passenger aircraft to capable and cost-efficient freighters, involving Airbus and Singapore’s ST Engineering with their Elbe Flugzeugwerke (EFW) joint venture. The prototype A321P2F (“Passenger-to-Freighter” conversion) aircraft recently performed its maiden flight in Singapore, with airworthiness approval targeted in the first quarter of 2020. Launch customer Vallair of Luxembourg has ordered 10 A321P2F conversions, and U.S.-based BBAM has ordered two.
Airbus announced a contract signing with the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) to develop the A330 SMART MRTT, providing the company’s A330-derived Multi Role Tanker Transport with such capabilities as Automatic Air-to-Air (A3R) refuelling, as well as enhancing its maintenance. With this contract signing, the RSAF becomes the A330 SMART MRTT’s launch customer, actively participating in the programme by using one of its six A330 MRTTs in the flight campaign, development and the 2021 final certification of these new capabilities.
A new customer for Airbus Helicopters’ H135 rotorcraft in military training applications was revealed at the Singapore Airshow, with the Royal Thai Air Force ordering six for its pilot training enhancement programme. The three-tonne-class H135 is a proven benchmark for military training helicopters globally, with over 130 operated by military agencies worldwide for training missions.