November's top stories: Emirates' jet order, India's low-cost Mars mission

The Emirates airline has announced its $99bn Boeing, Airbus jet order, India has launched a low-cost Mars mission - the country's first interplanetary probe - while Rolls-Royce is seeking to implement the 3D printing of jet engine parts. Aerospace-technology.com wraps up the key headlines from November 2013.


Emirates image

Emirates airline announces $99bn Boeing, Airbus jet order

Dubai's Emirates airline image

Dubai's Emirates airline has placed $76bn of orders for 150 Boeing 777x aircraft, along with a further $23bn of 50 Airbus A380 jets, at the Dubai Air Show.

Emirates' Boeing order comprises of 35 Boeing 777-8Xs and 115 Boeing 777-9Xs, with additional 50 purchase rights.

Together, the orders for Boeing and Airbus aircraft, excluding purchase rights, are worth around $99bn at list prices.

India launches low-cost Mars mission

India has launched its first spacecraft to Mars, in an effort to reach the red planet for a reduced cost compared to previous missions by other nations.

The country's first interplanetary probe, the 'Mangalyaan' or Mars Orbiter Spacecraft, onboard PSLV-C25, was launched on 5 November from Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR, Sriharikota in the state of Andhra Pradesh.

The project will cost $69.3m, which is significantly less than Nasa's Curiosity mission to Mars, launched in 2011 with an investment of $2.5bn.

Boeing completes maiden flight of second 787-9 Dreamliner

Boeing image

Boeing has successfully completed the first flight of its second 787-9 Dreamliner, a milestone that keeps the company's 787-9 programme on-track.

The test aircraft, known as ZB002, is the only 787-9 test jet to be fitted with elements of a passenger interior.

The jetliner has tested capabilities such as the environmental control system, along with avionics and other aspects of aircraft performance.

China to ease restrictions on general aviation flights

The Chinese Government is set to ease rules on private flights with the release of new general aviation (GA) regulations, in a move to loosen approval requirements.

At present, GA operations within the country must be reviewed and approved by the Chinese military that controls the country's airspace.

Under this revised policy, effective from 1 December, many GA flights by domestic pilots and aircraft can operate across the country, except in sensitive or prohibited regions, with only the approval from the Civil Aviation Authority of China (CAAC).

Final Airbus A350 XWB test aircraft enters concluding assembly line

Airbus A350 XWB image

The fifth and final aircraft of the Airbus A350 XWB flight test fleet, MSN5, has entered the final assembly line with the fuselage joining process currently underway.

The development comes closely after the arrival of three fuselage sections at the A350 XWB final assembly line in Toulouse, France.

MSN5 is the second of the A350 flight test aircraft that will feature a passenger cabin.

Rolls-Royce considers 3D printing jet engine parts

Rolls-Royce is looking to implement 3D printing technology in the production of aircraft engine parts, a move which will expedite production, while producing lightweight components.

Rolls-Royce technology strategy head Henner Wapenhans said the company is only a few years away from using 3D technology to make components that go into service.

Wapenhans said: "Through the 3D printing process, you're not constrained; having to get a tool in to create a shape. You can create any shape you like."

FAA to allow expanded use of electronic devices during flights

Federal Aviation Administration image

The US Department of Transportation's Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is set to allow airlines expand passenger use of portable electronic devices (PEDs) during all phases of flight.

With immediate effect, the authority is providing carriers with implementation guidance.

However, the execution of the plan will vary among airlines due to differences among fleets and operations.

Boeing and GOL partner to support sustainable aviation biofuel in Brazil

Boeing has partnered with Brazilian low-cost carrier GOL Linhas Aereas Inteligentes to speed-up the research, development and approval of new sources of sustainable biofuel in Brazil's aviation industry.

The two companies signed a memorandum of understanding for biofuel collaboration during the Latin America and Caribbean Air Transport Association (ALTA) Airline Leaders Forum 2013.

The partnership will support the airline's aim to use biofuel on more flights ahead of upcoming major sporting events, while assisting the long-term development of a sustainable aviation biofuel sector in Brazil.


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