Airbus to end production of A380 superjumbo jet production

Airbus revealed that it will cease production of the world’s largest commercial airliner, A380, after Emirates, the biggest customer of the model, decided to reduce its total order of the model by 39 aircraft.

The A380 was conceived as an ambitious project to addresses Boeing’s dominance of the high-capacity airliner market.

Airbus noted that delivery of the last A380 double-decker aircraft will take place in 2021. The A380 entered service 12 years ago and faced stiff competition from smaller aircraft.


Israel aims for the Moon with historic launch

Israel is set to launch an unmanned spacecraft named Beresheet from Cape Canaveral, US, with the hope of becoming the fourth country in the world to successfully land a spacecraft on the Moon.

Weighing 600kg, including fuel, the $100m Beresheet is said to be the smallest spacecraft by weight.

The spacecraft will travel an aggregate distance of 6.5 million kilometres before landing on the lunar surface on 11 April. It will be launched onboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.


Italy’s FS to begin talks with Delta and EasyJet to rescue Alitalia

Italian state-owned rail company Ferrovie dello Stato (FS) confirmed that it would work on a potential partnership with Delta Air Lines and EasyJet to prepare a rescue plan for the troubled Alitalia airline.

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The announcement comes after EasyJet and Delta expressed their willingness to forge an alliance with FS in the rescue plan.

The deal is set to become the third in a decade for the Italian airline, which went into special administration in 2017 after workers rejected a recapitalisation plan.


Honeywell and Curtiss-Wright to bring connectivity to black boxes

Honeywell reached an agreement with Curtiss-Wright to develop next-generation cockpit voice recorders (CVRs) and flight data recorders (FDRs).

The collaboration aims to use real-time connectivity to reinvent CVRs and FDRs in order to strengthen airline accident investigations.

The new black boxes will be designed for the commercial airline, cargo transport and business jet markets, as well as provide real-time critical aircraft data to owners, operators and manufacturers.


UK start-up Orbex launches world’s largest 3D-printed rocket engine

Orbex unveiled its Prime rocket, which is designed to deliver small satellites into the Earth’s orbit and will feature the world’s largest 3D-printed rocket engine.

The completed engineering prototype of the Stage 2 rocket was showcased to members from the UK and European space communities at the opening of Orbex’s new headquarters and rocket design facility in Forres, Scotland.

The prototype is made using specially formulated lightweight carbon fibre and aluminium composite.


EC approves Air France-KLM’s deal to jointly control Virgin Atlantic

The European Commission (EC) approved the proposed deal between Air France-KLM, Delta Air Lines and Virgin Group to acquire joint control over Virgin Atlantic.

Following an investigation into the proposed deal, the commission stated that the transaction would not lead to competition concerns in the European Economic Area.

Under a definitive agreement signed last May, Air France-KLM agreed to purchase a 31% stake in Virgin Atlantic from Virgin Group for a £220m consideration.


Williams partners with JPA Design to revolutionise aircraft cabins

Williams Advanced Engineering collaborated with JPA Design to improve aircraft layout and enhance customer comfort and space.

The partnership will leverage JPA’s design expertise and Williams’ Formula One-derived technology to revolutionise future aircraft interiors.

Williams noted that the partners will look into the potential to make a step-change in cabin layout, passenger comfort, fuel-saving and carbon emission reductions through the application of new interior design and lightweight materials.


Rolls-Royce begins testing of ALPS fan system for UltraFan engine

Rolls-Royce started testing the Advanced Low-Pressure system (ALPS) for the UltraFan engine design.

The company’s engineers in Derby, UK, have tested all composite elements of the ALPS on a donor engine. These components include fan blades, fan case and annulus fillers.

In 2014, Rolls-Royce tested the composite carbon / titanium (CTi) fan system for the UltraFan design.


Embraer shareholders approve $4.2bn commercial aircraft JV with Boeing

Shareholders of Brazilian aerospace firm Embraer approved the $4.2bn transaction to sell an 80% interest in the company’s commercial aircraft operations to Boeing.

The companies finalised the terms of the strategic partnership in December and received approval from the Brazilian Government last month.

The joint venture (JV) comprising the commercial aircraft and services operations of Embraer will be 80% owned by Boeing. Embraer will hold the remaining 20% in the JV.


Bombardier to expand Singapore service centre to meet demand

Bombardier is investing in the expansion of its Singapore service centre in order to enhance its presence in the growing Asia-Pacific region.

With the investment, the maintenance facility at Seletar Aerospace Park will be transformed into a high-capacity centre that will offer on-site maintenance, refurbishment and modification services.

According to Bombardier, the expansion will allow the Singapore Service Centre to become the largest original equipment manufacturer (OEM) owned business aviation maintenance facility in Asia.