August's top stories: IAG orders A320s, Ofcom's plan for broadband speed

International Consolidated Airlines (IAG) places a $5.4bn firm order for A320s, while Ofcom outlines proposals to increase in-flight broadband speed. Aerospace-technology.com wraps the headlines from August 2013.


Top aerospace news

IAG places $5.4bn firm order for Airbus A320 aircraft

UK-headquartered International Consolidated Airlines

UK-headquartered International Consolidated Airlines (IAG) has placed a $5.4bn firm order with Airbus for 62 narrow-body A320s, with an option for an additional 58 aircraft for its Spanish budget carrier Vueling.

IAG stated that the new aircraft will allow Vueling to replace some of its existing all-Airbus fleet of 70 A320 family aircraft and expand its business.

The agreement for 62 aircraft, which is subject to approval by IAG's shareholders, comprises of 30 A320ceo and 32 A320neo scheduled to be delivered to Vueling between 2015 and 2020.

Ofcom proposes increasing in-flight broadband speeds in UK aircraft

The UK's communication industry authority, the Office of Communications (Ofcom), has outlined proposals to increase in-flight broadband speeds to an estimated ten times the speeds currently available on aircraft travelling in the country.

The proposals were announced in a consultation - Earth Stations on Mobile Platforms - published by the regulator last week.

If these proposals are implemented, operators will be able to provide customers with access to internet using improved satellite-based technology, which would significantly increase browsing speeds.

Nasa researchers to test crash helicopter for safety study

Researchers from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa)

Researchers from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) are set to conduct Transport Rotorcraft Airframe Crash Test Bed full-scale crash tests, at the agency's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, US.

As part of the study, researchers will drop a 45ft-long helicopter fuselage from an altitude of about 30ft on 28 August, to test improved seat belts, seats, advance experimental techniques and crash worthiness data.

The study is part of the Rotary Wing Project in the Fundamental Aeronautics Program of Nasa's Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate.

AIG's $4.8bn ILFC sale to Chinese consortium in doubt

American International's (AIG) proposed sale of its aircraft leasing unit International Lease Finance (ILFC) to a Chinese consortium for $4.8bn is likely to be terminated, as key members of the consortium pulled out of the deal.

The Chinese consortium includes P3 Investments, China Aviation Industrial Fund and New China Trust, which is part-owned by British multinational banking and financial services firm Barclays.

New China Trust and China Aviation Industrial withdrew from the deal in May. The former was expected to provide the majority of the funding for the acquisition.

According to Bloomberg, it pulled out over concerns that its ties with China's top economic planning agency National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) would lead to a conflict of interests.

Boeing unveils first 787-9 Dreamliner in US

Boeing has rolled out the first 787-9 Dreamliner

Boeing has rolled out the first 787-9 Dreamliner at the company's manufacturing facility at Everett, Washington, US.

The 787-9, which is 20ft longer than the 787-8, will complement and extend the 787 family in both capacity and range, offering airlines the ability to grow routes opened with the 787-8.

The aircraft will fly an additional 300 nautical miles and accommodate 40 additional passengers while using 20% less fuel than similarly sized aeroplanes in the category.

Turbomeca unveils Ardiden 3G engine on Kamov 62 helicopter

Turbomeca, a subsidiary of Safran, has unveiled the first Ardiden 3G engine installed on a prototype of the Russian helicopter Kamov 62 (Ka-62) at the ongoing MAKS air show, an International Aviation and Space Salon.

The Ardiden 3G is scheduled to take its maiden flight in the coming weeks. with certification expected in 2014.

The Ardiden 3 line engines are designed to power 6t to 8t rotorcraft, which perform a variety of operations while meeting market requirements in the segment.

Cessna Aircraft rolls out first Citation M2 business jet in US

Cessna Aircraft

Cessna Aircraft, a Textron company, has rolled out the first production unit of its newest business jet, the Citation M2, at the company's manufacturing facility in Independence, Kansas, US.

According to Cessna, the M2 is scheduled for delivery in the fourth quarter of this year.

Cessna's Independence, Kansas manufacturing plant general manger Lily English said that seeing the M2 roll off the assembly production line was a special moment.

China-assembled Embraer's Legacy 650 takes maiden flight

Harbin Embraer Aircraft (HEAI) has announced that the first Legacy 650 large executive jet assembled in China has successfully completed its maiden test flight.

The first Legacy 650 is scheduled for delivery by the end of this year.

HEAI is a joint venture between Embraer and Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC).

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