airbus blue condor photo-credit- james darcy

Airbus to study hydrogen contrail characterisation

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airbus blue condor photo-credit- james darcy

Airbus’ subsidiary Airbus UpNext has unveiled a flight test programme to study the contrails produced by a hydrogen combustion engine as part the Company’s ZEROe roadmap.

The “Blue Condor” project will see the launch of two modified Arcus gliders, one equipped with a hydrogen combustion engine and one equipped with a conventional kerosene-powered combustion engine. This is done to compare contrails emitted at high altitudes.

Sandra Bour Schaeffer, CEO of Airbus UpNext commented: “Contrail characterisation is of significant interest to Airbus. We know that hydrogen emits no carbon dioxide when burned, but we also know that with water vapour and heat being the most significant by-products, hydrogen combustion does produce contrails. Although these contrails differ significantly to those produced by conventional JetA/A1 combustion engines, understanding their composition will be key to support our decarbonisation journey.

“In taking up this challenge we are making significant headway in our decarbonisation strategy and our ambition to bring the world’s first zero-emission commercial aircraft into service by 2035.”

A German Research Centre, DLR, will be tasked to collect and analyse data captured using their measurement instrumentation sensors on a chase aircraft, while Airbus says it will ensure the provision of the hydrogen system and equipment, including the combustion engine as well as the details of the flight test mission.

The test flights will be carried out back-to-back under the same meteorological conditions to ensure 100% comparable data between the hydrogen and conventional engine. Test flights are scheduled for late 2022 in North Dakota, US.

The Blue Condor demonstrator will be supported by the Perlan Project team, which will be responsible for the modification of the Arcus gliders. The team will also provide high-altitude glider pilots for the project. They are the same pilots who in 2018 set the world subsonic altitude record – 76,124 feet – in a pressurised glider for Airbus Perlan Mission II.

Airbus launches Airspace Link HBCplus

By Aircraft Interiors Expo 2022, Featured, IFECNo Comments

Airbus has launched a new flexible satellite connectivity solution called Airspace Link HBCplus.

The solution will be offered as an SFE line-fit catalogue option and also for retrofit on all Airbus programmes. Airbus says HBCplus, which initially encompasses Ka-band services, will enable airlines to connect to a choice of Managed Service Providers via a new certified terminal and radome built as part of the aircraft. The manufacturer plans to extend HBCplus to include MSPs which offer Ku-band services in the future.

André Schneider, Airbus VP Cabin & Cargo Programme said: “We are excited to offer airlines a new connectivity service solution that will provide improved speed and reliability for passenger experience and more flexibility. Together with our leading industry partners we are pleased to enable future connectivity business opportunities in the context of the Airspace Link open ecosystem.”

Airbus says it has selected connectivity satcom leader Inmarsat as the first MSP, contributing its GX Aviation in-flight broadband solution which offers reliable and seamless passenger experience with global coverage and capacity for future growth. Additional MSPs will join the HBCplus offering in due course.

Philippe Carette, President of Inmarsat Aviation, said: “We are honoured that Airbus has chosen Inmarsat as the first Managed Service Provider for this transformative connectivity catalogue solution and is putting its trust in our award-winning GX Aviation service across all of its aircraft programmes. Inmarsat looks forward to working closely with our partners Airbus and SPI to deliver continuous innovation for airlines and their passengers worldwide.”

Safran Passenger Innovations (SPI) has been selected as the terminal provider and hardware integrator of ThinKom’s proven antenna technology – targeted for Ka-band services which delivers high data throughput and reliability combined with aircraft fuel savings thanks to the antenna’s lower drag radome.

Matt Smith, CEO, Safran Passenger Innovations, said: “Safran Passenger Innovations is delighted to be selected as the equipment supplier for Airbus’ Airspace Link connectivity solution. We are excited to be a part of the next evolution in the IFC industry by providing the technology for airlines to select the connectivity services most suited to their needs. We look forward to working with Airbus and our partners on this industry-changing endeavour.”

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Airbus, Safran and Tikehau Ace Capital to acquire Aubert & Duval

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Airbus, Safran and Tikehau Ace Capital have signed a memorandum of understanding with mining and metallurgical group Eramet to acquire the group’s subsidiary, Aubert & Duval.

The proposed transaction is subject to consultation and necessary regulatory approvals and the closing is expected in the fourth quarter of 2022. The three partners intend to acquire 100% of Aubert & Duval through a new joint holding company.

Aubert & Duval is a strategic supplier of critical parts and materials for the aerospace, defence and nuclear industries. The company has end-to-end capabilities in special materials and superalloys, as well as nascent expertise in titanium, both which are critical to aerospace, transportation, energy and defence applications.

Airbus says the acquisition would allow Airbus and Safran to secure a strategic supply chain and new material development for current and future civil and military aircraft and engine programmes.

Safran CEO Olivier Andriès said: “Aubert & Duval is a historical supplier of Safran with unique technical expertise in Europe. The planned acquisition will ensure national sovereignty for our most strategic programmes for disruptive civil and military aircraft engines.

“Given its industrial expertise in metallurgy, Safran will lead the operational management of the company. The transformation programme will reinforce customer confidence and create a national champion with a strong French industrial base capable of serving global markets.”

Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury said: “Aubert & Duval, with its critical knowledge and expertise dating back more than a century, is a strategic supplier to Airbus and the entire aerospace and defence industry. Our sector, which has started to emerge from the COVID crisis, needs a solid partner to ramp up production while preparing next-generation technologies in aerospace.

“With this acquisition and an ambitious transformation plan, we aim to restore the operational excellence and market confidence in Aubert & Duval to create, in the mid- to long-term, a leading European player able to face global competition as well as to reduce geopolitical risk of supply.”

A wholly-owned Airbus subsidiary, Airbus Atlantic, has been officially established.

Airbus launches new aerostructures subsidiary, Airbus Atlantic

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A wholly-owned Airbus subsidiary, Airbus Atlantic, has been officially established.

A wholly-owned Airbus subsidiary, Airbus Atlantic, has been officially established, unifying the strengths, resources and skills of Airbus’s sites in Nantes and Montoir-de-Bretagne, the central functions associated with their activities, as well as the STELIA Aerospace sites worldwide.

This unification is part of the transformation project announced in April 2021, aimed at strengthening the value chain of aerostructure assembly within Airbus’s industrial setup, this activity being considered as core business. It marks the intention to gain competitiveness, innovation and quality for the benefit of Airbus’s current and future programmes.

“At the heart of Airbus, Airbus Atlantic aims at meeting the great challenges linked to a sustainable aviation industry, pioneering new technologies”, said Cédric Gautier, CEO of Airbus Atlantic. “Our first mission will be to ensure the satisfaction of all our customers and to establish new standards of excellence in terms of quality and operational efficiency. I have full confidence in the talent, enthusiasm and commitment of the Airbus Atlantic teams to write this new chapter of our history with success.”

All winners of awards at APEX/IFSA EXPO

2021 APEX/IFSA Awards winners named

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All winners of awards at APEX/IFSA EXPO

The winners of Passenger Choice Awards and APEX/IFSA Awards have been announced at an awards ceremony at California’s Long Beach Convention Center.

İlker Aycı, Group CEO & Chairman, Turkish Airlines received the Lifetime Achievement Award APEX. Aycı became Chairman of Turkish Airlines in 2015 and has overseen the airline fly to the most countries and international destinations in the world: a total of 324 destinations as of the end of 2020, of which 52 are domestic and 272 are international.

Turkish Airlines increased the number of aircraft in its fleet by 8.7% in the last 5 years to 363 by the end of 2020, of which 338 are passenger aircraft including 104 widebody and 234 narrowbody and 25 are freighters. In 2020, despite the effect of the COVID pandemic, the airline flew 28 million passengers.

The APEX Passenger Choice Awards recognise excellence in seat comfort, cabin service, food and beverage, entertainment and Wi-Fi. Partnering with TripIt from Concur, anonymous passenger feedback is gathered based on neutral, third-party passenger feedback and insights. The 2021 winners are:

Best Cabin Service: EVA Air
Best Seat Comfort: Qatar Airways
Best Food & Beverage: Qatar Airways
Best Entertainment: Emirates
Best Wi-Fi: Delta Air Lines

Judged by a panel of industry media the APEX/IFSA Awards have been decided.

Best Inflight Entertainment Innovation: United Airlines
United Airlines was recognised for its United Next customer experience transformation program. This includes becoming the first airline in North America to offer an extensive suite of accessibility features, across its library of movies and TV shows that come with audio descriptions and/or close-captioning. Other features include exploration by touch which describes each item as your finger moves across the screen and text sizing which gives three different text sizes for easier visibility.

Best Inflight Connectivity Innovation: WestJet
Canadian carrier WestJet is the launch and largest customer of Panasonic Avionics’ ZeroTouch service, which it uses to reduce its monthly on-wing support typically required to support software, media, and content updates across its fleet of 100 aircraft. Over the six months to September 2021, WestJet transferred 34.6 terabytes of data using the new remote loading service.

Best Airport Innovation: Spirit Airlines
As part of its multi-year Invest in the Guest initiative, the airline unveiled an automated and expedited self-bag drop for processing checked luggage at its ticket counter at LaGuardia Airport. Partnering with Materna Intelligent Passenger Solutions (IPS) North America, the self-bag drop is also payment-enabled.

Best Product or Service: Purell by GOJO Industries
In September 2020, Delta Air Lines became the first US airline to add hand sanitiser stations on board. As part of its Delta CareStandard, the carrier signed a long-term partnership with GOJO Industries to supply a range of Purell sanitising products in-flight. Under the partnership, Purell introduced an FAA-compliant mounted bottle of hand sanitizer, specially-designed single-snap hand sanitising gel pouches and moisturising hand sanitiser wipes handed out by flight attendants upon boarding, included in our complimentary care kits and within our pre-packaged snack bags.

Best Marketing Innovation: Spafax
Spafax created Priority Digital, a digital magazine exclusively for Singapore Airlines PPS Club members. Priority Digital sits within the Singapore Airlines app and offers digital-exclusive mobile-friendly content covering topics from gourmet dining, culture, craftsmanship, sports and wellness, to interviews with successful personalities and trailblazers.

Best Onboard Amenity (IFSA): Buzz
Buzz is providing Singapore Airlines with children’s amenity kits featuring licensed Disney-movies themed products. The range includes Aladdin, Lion King, Captain Marvel and Dumbo and includes a magic kit, coding game, buildable disk game, wrist pouch, plush puppet, notebook, pencil case and character eye mask. SIA refreshes the range, predominantly made using paper activity items and paper packaging, eliminating the usage of plastics, every three months.

Best Cabin Innovation: Airbus
Airbus has bought its Airspace cabin to its single-aisle family, with JetBlue’s A321LR fleet the first to feature the interior. Cabin enhancements: unique welcome and customisable hero lighting (which helps reduce jet lag); new slimmer sidewall panels for extra personal space at shoulder level; better views through the windows with their redesigned bezels and completely integrated window shades; the latest full LED lighting technologies; the largest overhead bin in class; and new lavatories with hygienic touchless features and antimicrobial surface

Best Inflight Food or Beverage (IFSA): Malaysia Airlines
Cool Treats are chocolate-coated vanilla-flavoured ice cream, made especially by Malaysia Airlines. The exclusive in-flight sweet treats are also now available in grocers and supermarkets across Malaysia, in multi-packs of four.

Newcomer of the year: SpiceJet
SpiceJet created SG Docs, created by SpiceJet, is a mobile app for cabin crew that hosts digital versions of required forms including circulars, notifications and manuals. The app can be used both on and offline.

For the fourth year running, airline passengers were able to rate their flight experience on a five-star  scale through the TripIt by Concur app for global, major, regional and low-cost carrier categories. A full list is available on the APEX website.

ACA’s air ionisation and purification system is powered by the patented NPBI process, which has been proven to swiftly purify the air and surfaces as well as neutralise viruses and bacteria throughout an aircraft interior.

ST Engineering receives approval for ACA’s cabin air purification solution on Airbus platforms

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ACA’s air ionisation and purification system is powered by the patented NPBI process, which has been proven to swiftly purify the air and surfaces as well as neutralise viruses and bacteria throughout an aircraft interior.

ST Engineering’s commercial aerospace business has received the Approved Model List Supplemental Type Certificate (AML-STC) from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to install Aviation Clean Air (ACA)’s cabin air purification solution on Airbus platforms.

The certification allows ST Engineering to install the patented Needlepoint Bipolar Ionisation (NPBI) System that neutralises pathogens and purifies air in cabin interiors during flight operations on commercial and VIP-configured Airbus A320/A321 aircraft.

“With more borders opening up, we want to help boost passenger safety and confidence, and enhance passenger comfort with innovative cabin interior sanitisation solutions. By combining our MRO and engineering expertise with ACA’s patented purification system, we aim to provide this proven and low-maintenance solution to support the return to flying,” said Tan Yen Ping, Vice President and Head, Cabin Interior and Engineering Solutions, ST Engineering.

ACA’s air ionisation and purification system is powered by the patented NPBI process, which has been proven to swiftly purify the air and surfaces as well as neutralise viruses and bacteria throughout an aircraft interior. The system is able to stop the spread of up to 99.9% of airborne and surface pathogens, including the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The NPBI process can also remove odours, dust and pollen; prevent mould, neutralise common industrial gases and reduce static electricity.

The system is automatically activated during flights to provide constant decontamination of the aircraft interior without using or introducing chemicals.

Avianca has introduced three new seats as part of a cabin refiguration on its

Avianca begins A320 fleet reconfiguration process

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Avianca has introduced three new seats as part of a cabin refiguration on its

Avianca has unveiled its three new seats: Premium, Plus and Economy, all designed by Recaro Aircraft Seating and which will be installed on the airline’s reconfigured fleet in the coming days.

The seats will be available on Avianca’s short and medium-haul flights.

According to the airline, more than 100 Avianca experts have been working for over one year in the redesign project, with the participation of great strategic partners. Among these partners are Recaro, who is manufacturing all of the new seats, one of them exclusively for Avianca, and Airbus, with whom the airline is taking better advantage of the rear of the aircraft thanks to SpaceFlex and who have accompanied the reconfiguration process directly.

The seat design defined by Recaro reduces the weight per passenger by over 30% on each aircraft in addition to decreasing CO2 emissions per transported passenger by an average of 13%, becoming friendlier to the environment.

Premium has been developed exclusively by Recaro for Avianca and will be available on the first three rows of the aircraft. The reclining seat will be the widest available for passengers and will feature a central console with individual compartments, a power plug, USB port. It will be available from the first half of the next year.

Available between rows 4 and 14, the Plus seat’s design is light and comfortable, featuring an independent headrest with six positions, an independent stand for personal electronic devices, USB ports.

Economy is located between rows 15 and 32. This pre-reclined seat has a stand for personal electronic devices integrated into the table and USB ports.

The new interior design of the aircraft also includes Airbus’ SpaceFlex, a module that optimises the rear of the aircraft, combining the galleys and lavatories, allowing Avianca to increase its seat capacity.

“The installation of more than 14,000 seats and the new lavatory space in all of our A320 aircraft will be completed by the end of 2022. Until that date and pending the full transition of the fleet, our clients will find aircraft that will look different inside and will not have the final configuration; they will soon fly in aircraft with a renewed interior on which they will continue to travel comfortably, safely and pleasantly,” said Albert Perez, Vice President of Engineering and Maintenance for Avianca.

The airline estimates that the first fully redesigned aircraft will be ready by the second quarter of 2022 and the full and final configuration of the A320 fleet will be completed by the end of 2022. It also confirmed that the 787 Dreamliner aircraft, currently used for long-haul flights in America and Europe, will preserve the traditional business class cabin and the rest of the aircraft will be redesigned adding state-of-the-art seats and, considering this is a time of transition, clients will find aircraft with different-looking interiors.

expleo 737 dado panel

3D printing partnership targets aerospace aftermarket supply chains

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expleo 737 dado panel

Materialise and Proponent have entered into a partnership to provide a one-stop-shop solution for aftermarket parts where 3D printing is featured alongside other manufacturing technologies.

Announcing the partnership, Materialise and Proponent have set out to explore ways to help aerospace OEMs access the benefits of 3D printing, ultimately envisioning a digital supply chain enabling on-demand manufacturing. While 3D printing has so far been the domain of specialist engineering departments in aerospace companies, this development will bring it into the procurement domain and thus make it increasingly accessible for MROs to source 3D-printed parts.

Bart Van der Schueren, CTO of Materialise, commented: “Open solutions and a collaborative approach have always been crucial to Materialise. Today we are excited to combine our capabilities as an EASA 21.G-certified production organisation with Proponent’s reach and central position in the aerospace supply chain. This brings 3D printing technology right in the comfort zone of the aerospace industry’s well-established supply chains.”

Andrew Todhunter, Proponent CEO added: “3D printing represents an opportunity to help our OEM and Supplier Partners to become more efficient in their supply chains and complements our stocking distribution model. Producing customized parts or small production runs through AM gives us an opportunity to source on-demand, sustainably, and avoid high minimum order quantities. Our customers get what they need, when they need it, and OEMs avoid the cost and risks that come with manufacturing these parts.”

Proponent, headquartered in Brea, California, provides traditional distribution services to airlines, MROs and OEMs, as well as innovative inventory management solutions. The company ships 54 million parts per year to over 6,000 aerospace customers in over 100 countries. The majority of parts serve the aftermarket, with applications spanning cabin interiors, engines, airframe and cockpits.

Leuven, Belgium- headquartered Materialise manufactures 700 part series per year for diverse aerospace customers, from leading OEMs to MROs and supplier tiers. This includes an estimated 26,000 parts per year for the Airbus A350 system alone. Materialise is also currently the only supplier to offer manufacturing services in two 3D printing technologies approved by Airbus for flight-ready parts, since becoming Airbus’s first manufacturer for the Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) technology in May this year.

Hong Zhao, COO of Royole Corporation, and Alejandro Morales, Airbus Project Leader for Flexible Display, attended the Airshow China to showcase together the cabin flexible display prototypes

Royole & Airbus unveil cabin flexible display prototypes

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Hong Zhao, COO of Royole Corporation, and Alejandro Morales, Airbus Project Leader for Flexible Display, attended the Airshow China to showcase together the cabin flexible display prototypes

Royole and Airbus have revealed a series of cabin flexible display prototypes, the first under the partnership established in 2018.

“Fully flexible display is an ultra-thin and ultra-light cutting-edge technology, adapting to any cabin surface with minimum integration efforts. Working as a ‘sticker’, it is the human-machine interface of the future in aviation, we are making it real with Royole, and we will continue to work together to push the boundaries of what is possible for aviation,” said Alejandro Morales, Airbus Project Leader for Flexible Display.

“Utilising fully flexible displays instead of traditional LCDs in aircraft can reduce both cost and weight, saving fuel and reducing carbon emissions in airliners,” said Hong Zhao, COO of Royole Corporation, “which will provide new paths to improving the sustainability of our world.”

According to Royole, its flexible solutions will save hundreds of thousands dollars of fuel annually, and meet the industry’s strict quality and safety standards, passing the AS9100 and DO160 tests for flammability, toxicity and smoke.

Caeli Nova's Cordillera emergency oxygen system

Caeli Nova signs agreement with Airbus

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Caeli Nova's Cordillera emergency oxygen system

Breathing technology expert Caeli Nova and Airbus are to collaborate on Cordillera, Caeli Nova’s new passenger emergency oxygen system, for use onboard Airbus aircraft, following the signing of a Co-Development Partnership Agreement.

Cordillera uses Caeli Nova’s patented technology to improve passenger oxygenation in the rare event of an emergency decompression. Cordillera extends the performance of existing oxygen systems by enabling the aircraft to safely divert at a higher altitude, therefore allowing airlines to operate the most direct air routes, often over high terrain, reducing flight times, fuel usage and carbon emissions.

Tim Wakeford, CEO at Caeli Nova said: “Over the past three years we have built a team that is able to adapt quickly and operate highly collaboratively to drive innovation forward. For example, in December 2020 we received initial Design Organisation approval from EASA following an intensive fourteen-month process, an achievement that can take companies significantly longer. We will be bringing this agile approach to our work with Airbus and look forward to seeing the results.”