Browsing Tag: Airbus

The first landing gear for the Airbus A350 has been installed. Photo from Airbus.

The first landing gear for the Airbus A350 has been installed. Photo from Airbus. Click for larger.

Sorry time is making me go super lazy on this one and copy/paste the official Airbus press release with the photo:

The first A350 XWB nose landing gear produced by Liebherr Aerospace has been successfully installed in the A350 XWB landing gear systems test facility in Filton (UK).

In the coming weeks, the main landing gear supplied by Messier-Dowty will be installed and preliminary testing of all three landing gear legs will start. Full integration testing will begin with the entry into service of the facility towards the end of 2011. These tests are carried out to demonstrate reliability and maturity in addition to providing evidence for certification, especially with regards to the extension-retraction, braking and steering systems.

The test facility, called « landing gear zero », is part of a series of integration test benches specifically developed to test the A350 XWB systems in order to ensure that the aircraft meets the highest standards of in-service reliability from day one. Other A350 XWB system integration tests facilities such as this one are ’œcabin zero’ for testing the integration of cabin systems into the cabin structure and ’œaircraft zero’ known also as the ’œiron bird’ for testing the integration of the hydraulic, electric and flight control systems.


Cockpit of an Airbus A320

Cockpit of an Airbus A320

What does the cockpit of the future look like? New technology? Fewer pilots? Maybe no pilots? I don’t know if people will ever be ready for no human to have some sort of control over their airplane, but maybe they will be ok letting computers take over a bit more.

Recently, Airbus has taken another step towards airplane automation. Now, when two airplanes get too close, the Traffic alert and Collision Avoidance System (TCAS) will sound an alarm, the pilot will check out the situation and make needed adjustments. Many times, the system can provide false alarms or pilots can over-react to the alarm. Aibus’ new system will automatically adjust a plane’s altitude to avoid a collision. This will reduce false alarms and increase safety. For those that feel pilots should have more control — no worries. They are able to shut off the automated system and fly manually if they need to.

To see some quotes from Airbus and see what Boeing thinks, check out my story on AOL Travel News.

TAP Portugal Airbus A320 (CS-TNM)

TAP Portugal Airbus A320 (CS-TNM)

So what the heck does “TAP” stand for? When the airline was established in 1945 it stood for Transportes Areos Portugueses. In 1979 the name was changed to TAP Air Portugal and finally it was simplified to just TAP Portugal.

TAP has an all Airbus fleet of A319, A320, A321, A330 and the A340. They also have 12 Airbus A350s on order. The airline flies to 65 destinations in 31 countries via their fleet of 66 aircraft. They also run a regional airline, called PGA, with 16 additional aircraft.

The livery overlaps the TAP on the front of the fuselage and mostly just has the “P” on the tail. This gives it a clean and unique look, especially with the “TAP PORTUGUAL” going vertically up the tail.

Image: Guido Haesevoets


A French Air Force KC-135 (much like what the US military uses today) refuels a Royal Australian Air Force A330

A French Air Force KC-135 (much like what the US military uses today) refuels a Royal Australian Air Force A330

With every competition, there will inevitably be a winner and a loser. Although there is a lot of excitement in the Seattle area that Boeing won the Air Force tanker contract with their 767 (KC-46A) aircraft, there are many in the Mobile, Alabama area who are very disappointed. If they won the contract, EADS planned to build their Airbus A330 based tanker (the KC-45) in Mobile. There is no word yet if EADS will appeal the decision, but they did post a statement on their website about the tanker selection. Here is their statement in full:

EADS North America statement concerning U.S. Air Force Tanker selection

Arlington, Virginia, 24 February 2011

EADS North America officials today expressed disappointment and concern over the announcement by the U.S. Air Force that it had selected a high-risk, concept aircraft over the proven, more capable KC-45 for the nation’s next aerial refueling tanker.

’œThis is certainly a disappointing turn of events, and we look forward to discussing with the Air Force how it arrived at this conclusion,’ said EADS North America Chairman Ralph D. Crosby, Jr. ’œFor seven years our goal has been to provide the greatest capability to our men and women in uniform, and to create American jobs by building the KC-45 here in the U.S. We remain committed to those objectives.’

If selected, EADS North America had committed to build the KC-45 at a new production facility in Mobile, Alabama, with a U.S. supplier base of nearly a thousand American companies.

’œWith a program of such complexity, our review of today’s decision will take some time,’ Crosby said. ’œThere are more than 48,000 Americans who are eager to build the KC-45 here in the U.S., and we owe it to them to conduct a thorough analysis.’

’œThough we had hoped for a different outcome, it’s important to remember that this is one business opportunity among many for EADS in the United States,’ said Sean O’Keefe, CEO of EADS North America. ’œWe have exceptional technology and highly capable platforms that will be invaluable to U.S. military forces, now and in the future. We have learned much through this process, developed a world-class organization in the U.S. and have earned the respect of the Department of Defense. Our commitment to our U.S. customers is stronger than ever.’