22 October 2014

1st fuselage shells for A350-1000 manufacturing started in Germany.

Initial carbonfibre wing covers for the first Airbus A350-1000 have been completed, as structural work on the largest member of the family progresses.

Upper and lower wing covers have respectively been readied at the plants in Stade and Illescas.
Source: Premium Aerotec

Concerning the fuselage shells, the Nordenham facility of Premium Aerotec has started the automatic fiber placement process for the first section 13/14 of the new A350-1000.

With an event attended by more than 200 employees, Premium Aerotec has officially started the manufacturing of the first fuselage shell for the A350-1000.

Source: Airbus

The A350 Program Manager at Premium AEROTEC, Joachim Nägele, said: "today marks an important milestone in the A350 XWB program. The successful start of the production of the largest version of the A350 XWB shows that we are on the good path, besides the successful industrial ramp-up for the A350-900.”

Source: Airbus

The manufacturing operations (AFP and curing in the autoclave) as well as the further assembly tasks are performed in 3 sites in Nordenham, specially constructed for the A350 XWB.

Based on the article “First A350-1000 structures emerge” published in FlightGlobal and based on the article “Premium AEROTEC beginnt Rumpf-Produktion für A350-1000” published in FlugRevue.

21 October 2014

Some key of the A350 Development phase success: Lessons Learnt, Leaders, Plateau and Stop & Fix.

Mission accomplished for Fabrice Brégier. After a race against the watch of 7 years, 15 months of flight tests, and one last epic campaign of 151.300 km in 20 days (route proving campaign), Airbus received on 30/September the type certification of the A350-900 by the European Agency for Air Safety (AESA), according to the planned schedule. And it is on track for the first delivery to Qatar Airways before the end of the year.

The success of the development of the A350 has a name: Fabrice Brégier, President and Airbus CEO. Number 2 of Airbus from 2006 to 2012, it was directly in charge of the program. Named Airbus CEO in June/2012, it has kept his right hand -the Head of Program Didier Evrard- directly reporting him. "Fabrice Brégier has managed to make the A350 the first program developed by an integrated Airbus, without bickering between the 4 founding countries", says François Chopard, consultor in Impulse Partners.

"Instead of a German Airbus and a French Airbus working on 3 different systems like in the A380, the A350 has been developed by a unified team", supports Scott Hamilton from Leeham.

From the beginning, Fabrice Brégier insisted in 2007 to Louis Gallois to join Didier Evrard who make a successful duo at the missile manufacturer MBDA with the Scalp - Storm Shadow missile program.  With the Lessons Learnt from the A380, Brégier creates a common “plateau” of 1.000 engineers -from Airbus and its subcontractors- in Toulouse, harmonizing processes and tools (computer and technical production tools) in what it was called Extended Enterprise concept. 

Source: Airbus

In the production floor-shops the criteria was clear: "stop and fix": any problem on a component or segment must be fixed before sending it on the assembly line. "Airbus has preferred slow the advance of the manufacture to ensure the maturity of the aircraft before its first flight," said Addison Schonland, analyst at AirInsight.

At the top of the pyramid, Brégier has managed the Program with an iron hand. "It is incredible demanding for managers, while not hesitating to go exploring the base", says François Chopard.  "There are 2 things that make me explode: the guesswork out and that we hide the problems", Brégier explained to Challenges mid 2013.

Based on the article “Comment Airbus a réussi l'A350 en tirant profit des ratés de l'A380” published in Challenges

20 October 2014

Qatar will debut A350 flights with Doha-Frankfurt route.

Qatar Airways has announced that Frankfurt will be the first route for its A350 XWB aircraft, beginning in January next year with daily non-stop flights from Doha.

Source: Airbus

Qatar Airways had previously pointed to New York as a potential candidate for the inaugural route but subsequently backed away from a clear indication.
The aircraft will be configured with 283 seats in two classes, including 36 in business.

The Frankfurt link will be opened following "several weeks of induction preparation" after the aircraft is delivered in December/2014.
Frankfurt has been selected as the first destination in light of the "significant capacity the aircraft provides for the comfort of its business and leisure travellers".

Qatar Airways operates twice-daily on the route, as QR67 and QR69, and intends to switch both links to A350s from current A330s, 787s and 777s.

Based on the article "Qatar unveils first A350 destination" published in FlightGlobal.

19 October 2014

Vietnam Airlines expects to receive the first A350 in June/2015.

Vietnam Airlines is the 2nd company in the world to operate the A350-900 -just behind Qatar Airways- and as the General Director for Europe Le Dung explained, they will receive the first aircraft in June/2015.

It will initially serve intra-Asian routes while the crews training is completed.

With the launch of the winter-season next year in October/2015, the A350 will be put into operation with direct routes from Hanoi/Ho Chi Minh City to Paris and some other European capitals.

Based on the article “Vietnam Airlines sera la 1ère compagnie à desservir Paris en Airbus A350” published in Le Journal de l'Aviation.

18 October 2014

A350 pictures in the web.

Many spotters enjoy the A350 test flights all around the world -when route proving campaign was done last August- but those in Toulouse make an incredible job during all these months back.

If you want to enjoy best A350 photos in flickr, press here.

Source: Airbus

I would also like to emphasize the great photograpers working in Airbus. Lucky people with amazing pictures available at Airbus web.

Source: Marina Lystseva

Source: Marina Lystseva

Thank you so much!!

Keep on going with your passion.

17 October 2014

AirAsia X could delay A350 deliveries priorizing A330neo.

Malaysian long haul budget carrier AirAsia X Bhd could defer the delivery of its Airbus A350s if European economies fail to recover by the time it receives the first aircraft in 2018 or 2019, its chief executive said.

Source: Airbus

"You can't really pinpoint it until the first one enters into service and the production schedule gets firmed up by Airbus," said Azran Osman Rani.

The broader economy could also be a factor, he added.

"That really is conditional on the whole European economy bouncing back, travel from Europe to Asia being in a situation where demand exceeds supply, which isn't the case now because of the recession there and a lot of capacity from the Middle East carriers," said Azran, speaking in Singapore on the sidelines of a conference organised by industry consultancy CAPA.

Source: Airbus

AirAsia X has 10 A350s on order. It is due to take delivery of the jets in 2018 or 2019, said Azran. This year, it also ordered 50 A330neo aircraft.

"My immediate strategic focus is growing in depth and concentration across Asia Pacific instead of spreading thinly in going into Europe, U.S. and Africa," Azran said.

Based on the article “AirAsia X could defer delivery of A350 planes – CEO” published in Reuters.

16 October 2014

EASA certifies A350 for 370 minute ETOPS before EIS. Key advantage for operators who want Xtralong polar and overseas routes.

Airbus has received approval from European regulators (EASA) to fly the A350 on a single-engine for up to 370 minutes from the nearest airfield, in a decision that opens up new long distance routes for airlines.

Source: Airbus

The European Aviation Safety Agency cleared the A350 for commercial service on 30/Sep, but held off on setting the single-engine operations limit as it continued analyzing flight test data provided by Airbus.

The A350 team conducted tests over the summer to demonstrate that the aircraft could contain fire in the cargo hold over the period and demonstrate the reliability of a range of onboard systems.

The A350’s ability to fly for 6 hours and 10 minutes means that it easily beats the 787 Dreamliner, which can fly for 5 hours and 12 minutes on one engine.

However, the performance of both aircraft means that ultralong polar and overseas routes are now open for airline operators. Some of the new, nonstop routes that would be open to twin-engine jets include trips from Australia to Brazil, or New Zealand to South Africa.

Source: David Barrie

The approval which includes ETOPS 180min in the basic specification also includes provisions for ‘ETOPS 300min’ and ‘ETOPS 370min’ depending on individual operator selection. The latter option extends the diversion distance up to an unprecedented 2,500nm – a distance which corresponds to a maximum ETOPS diversion time for the A350 of approximately 370 minutes, at one-engine-inoperative speed under standard atmospheric conditions.

A350 operators will thus be able to serve new direct non-limiting routings, compared with a 180 minute ETOPS diversion time: The ETOPS 370min option will be of particular benefit for new direct southern routes such as between Australia, South Africa and South America; while the ETOPS 300min option will facilitate more efficient transoceanic routes across the North and Mid-Pacific – such as from South East Asia to US, and Australasia to the US. 

Source: Airbus

Meanwhile, operators flying on existing routes (currently flown with up to 180 minute diversion time) will be able to traverse a straighter and consequently quicker and more fuel efficient path, and also have access to more – and possibly better equipped – en-route diversion airports if needed.

Based on the press release “EASA certifies A350 XWB for up to 370 minute ETOPS”.