La France toujours intéressée par les ravitailleurs d’Airbus

Le 09 janvier 2012 par Barbara Leblanc

Devant un panel de journalistes de la presse aéronautique, le ministre de la Défense, Gérard Longuet, assure que la France pourrait commander des ravitailleurs dès 2013.

La France doit renouveler sa flotte vieillissante de ravitailleurs, composée de C135FR fabriqués par Boeing et d’Airbus A340 et A310, également utilisés pour le ravitaillement en vol. Et le gouvernement entend choisir le groupe européen Airbus et ses ravitailleurs des MRTT (Multirole tanker transport). C’est ce que le ministre de la Défense assure tablant sur une livraison des appareils en 2017.

Cette déclaration met un terme à plusieurs rumeurs laissant planer le doute sur l’attribution de ce contrat. L’Airbus A330 est en effet en concurrence avec Boeing sur ce marché des MRTT. Aux Etats-Unis, l’A330 a fini par perdre un énorme marché de ravitailleurs pour le Pentagone, remporté par Boeing après plusieurs retournements de situation.

L’A330 MRTT, qui peut ravitailler en vol deux avions simultanément, est capable d’emporter à la fois plus de cent tonnes de carburant, 37 tonnes de matériel et jusqu’à 270 passagers. Pour l’heure, les pays ayant commandé cet appareil sont l’Australie, la Grande-Bretagne, l’Arabie saoudite et les Emirats Arabes Unis. Il a aussi été présenté à l’Inde.

Source: L’usine nouvelle

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Aéronautique : Latécoère repousse de deux ans la recherche d’un partenaire

4 nov. 2011 – Alain Ruello

Chez Latécoère, la recherche d’un partenaire attendra deux ou trois ans de plus. C’est ce qu’a annoncé hier soir l’équipementier aéronautique toulousain, avec l’accord de ses banques, en même temps qu’il publiait le chiffre d’affaires du troisième trimestre. La volonté de « contribuer à la consolidation du secteur » reste inchangée, a-t-il assuré dans son communiqué. Mais la bonne santé d’airbus et de Boeing – ses deux principaux clients – rend les choses beaucoup moins urgentes.

Latécoère, dont le bilan est plombé par une dette de 353 millions d’euros, ne fait que confirmer officiellement ce que Pierre Gadonneix, président du conseil de surveillance, a laissé entendre dès la rentrée : l’échéance fixée à la fin de l’année pour trouver un chevalier blanc ne tient plus, la crise ayant compliqué les démarches (« Les Echos » du 8 septembre).

Non pas que la fiancée soit moins belle. Au contraire, la société toulousaine bénéficie à plein des carnets de commandes pleins à craquer d’airbus et de Boeing. Les cadences de production du B787 et de l’a380 sont en hausse, de même que celles de l’a320. L’A330 continue à bien se vendre. Autant de programmes dont Latécoère bénéficie à plein comme en témoigne la hausse de près de 17 % de son chiffre d’affaires sur neuf mois, à 373,1 millions d’euros (ou de 34 %, à 428 millions, en incluant des éléments exceptionnels). Et c’est sans compter l’a320 NEO ou le B737 Max, les versions remotorisées des deux monocouloirs, qui se vendent comme des petits pains.

Malgré tout, le contexte financier oblige à une certaine prudence. Les candidats approchés pour un éventuel adossement, dont la forme reste à préciser, préfèrent concentrer leurs investissements sur leur outil industriel pour ne pas louper ce cycle très porteur pour la production d’avions.

 Source: Les Echos

Premium AEROTEC on the Upswing

The increasing series production of Airbus components is very positively affecting capacity utilisation at Premium AEROTEC. Above all, increasing Airbus production rates for established aircraft programmes such as A320 and A330 and the ramp-up of A350 XWB and A400M military transporter production are ensuring more work at the Augsburg, Nordenham and Varel plants. At the same time, increasing activities of further aircraft programmes are positively affecting the capacity utilisation of the individual plants.

Against this backdrop, Premium AEROTEC has begun hiring more and more production specialists. At the same time, the expansion of Premium AEROTEC’s engineering division is moving forward, above all in the area of carbon fibre (CFC) technology in design and statics. Moreover, Premium AEROTEC expects to need around 50 additional experienced engineers in the CFC sector, particularly for design and stress analyses.

“The build-up of our production workforce is combined with an expansion of our development capabilities. This emphasises that it is not merely a short-term workload peak, but rather a continuing climb for Premium AEROTEC,” states Joachim Nägele, Executive Board of Management spokesman and Head of Programmes and Sales at Premium AEROTEC.

Operational since 1 January 2009, Premium AEROTEC has already become firmly established in its sector and is earning a top position: it is the number one supplier of aerostructures in Europe and ranks fifth worldwide. For the new Airbus programme A350 XWB, Premium AEROTEC is relying on top technological competence in all development and application areas, on well qualified employees and conveniently located infrastructures.

Applying innovative, award-winning and patented manufacturing technologies such as laser welding technology in aircraft construction, milling and cutting methods for the precise and economical processing of high-strength metal alloys or production processes for the flexible, energy saving and cost-effective production of large CFC aircraft components, Premium AEROTEC ensures technological progress in both civil and military aircraft construction to the benefit of its customers and relies on pioneering achievements in nearly all its activities for the entire process chain of modern, efficient aircraft.

Premium AEROTEC GmbH has more than 7,000 employees and generated revenues of about 1.3 billion euros in 2010. Its core business is the development and manufacturing of metal and carbon composite aerostructures and the associated equipment and production systems. The company has production plants in Augsburg, Bremen, Nordenham and Varel in Germany, and in Ghimbav, Braşov County, Romania.

Rolls-Royce Wins First Order from TransAsia

Rolls-Royce, the global power systems company, has won its first order from Taiwanese airline TransAsia Airways.

The airline has selected Trent 700 engines and TotalCare long-term service support worth a total of $150m. The engines will power two Airbus A330 aircraft to be delivered in 2012/2013.

Vincent Lin, Chairman, TransAsia Airways, said: “As we enter a new era with our first widebody aircraft, we selected the Trent 700 for its proven performance and payload advantages coupled with the comprehensive maintenance cost assurance that TotalCare brings. These factors made Rolls-Royce the right choice for TransAsia Airways.”

Phil Harris, Rolls-Royce, Senior Vice President – Civil Aerospace, said: “TransAsia Airways is well placed to benefit from growth in the Taiwanese aviation market. We are delighted the airline will be joining our family of Trent operators, selecting market-leading Trent 700 technology and support.”

The Trent 700 is the only engine specifically designed for the A330 aircraft and produces the lowest emissions of all engines available on the aircraft. More than 1,300 Trent 700s are now in service or on firm order, having captured over 75 per cent of orders in the last three years.

TotalCare long-term service agreements, in place on 90 per cent of Trent engines, are designed to minimise customer financial risk and enhance operational performance and reliability, allowing operators to concentrate on their core business.

Korean Air étoffe sa flotte d’A330

03/05/11

Korean Air Lines a passé une commande ferme auprès d’Airbus portant sur cinq A330 supplémentaires, annonce mardi la filiale du groupe européen d’aérospatiale et de défense dans un communiqué.
Avec ce nouveau contrat, le nombre total d’A330 commandés par Korean Air s’élève à 30 exemplaires, dont 23 ont d’ores et déjà été livrés, précise Airbus.
Airbus rappelle qu’il totalise plus de 1.100 commandes fermes d’appareils de la famille A330, dont plus de 750 exemplaires sont actuellement exploités par plus de 90 opérateurs dans le monde entier.

Source: REUTERS

Iberia converts passenger aircraft into mid-air refuelling tanker

  • Iberia’s Maintenance and Engineering unit completed the job in a record 16 months.
  • Systems added to enable A330 to refuel other aircraft in flight and to take on fuel in the air.
  • Total of 5,500 system components were modified, with structural changes made to 2,000.
  • Iberia Maintenance has a strategic military aircraft business line.
  • This conversion is part of an agreement between Iberia Maintenance and Airbus Military.

Madrid, 16 of March of 2011Iberia has converted an Airbus A330-200 passenger airliner into a Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT), equipped for mid-air refuelling. It was the first time such a complex task has been performed in Spain, where Iberia maintenance and engineering teams completed it in a record 16 months.

After yesterday’s final flight test, the aircraft, belonging to the Saudi Arabian air force, was delivered by Iberia to Airbus Military.

The aircraft was flown in November, 2009 from the Airbus plant in Toulouse, France to Iberia’s Madrid maintenance installations, where it was equipped to carry fuel, and deliver it in mid-air to other aircraft, and also to receive fuel from other tankers in flight. Hose and funnel mid-air refuelling systems were installed on both wings and on the fuselage along with a fly-by-wire control device. First the aircraft was disassembled to allow structural modifications to be made, followed by functional tests both on the ground and in the air. The transformation of the A330 into an MRTT was completed with the configuration of the interior.

Iberia’s engineers and technicians spent 140,000 man-hours on the conversion of the A330, during which they modified 5,500 system components, making structural changes to 2,000 parts. An additional 58.5 km. of wiring was installed, including 1,000 metres each of coaxial cable and fibre optic cable.

The collaboration agreement between Iberia Maintenance and Airbus Military to convert civilian aircraft into MRTTs reflects the Spanish company’s strategy of reorienting its maintenance business towards technologically challenging and high value-added activities. Iberia’s EVP Maintenance and Engineering, José Luis Ruiz de Castañeda, said: « it is a great satisfaction for us to have successfully completed a project which is certainly the biggest challenge we have ever faced in the transformation of aircraft ».

Iberia has more than 20 years of experience in the maintenance of military aircraft. In addition to the inspection and repair of the Pegasus engines used in Harrier VTOL fighters, it maintains Boeing 707s and P3-Orion sea rescue craft for the Spanish armed forces. It has also serviced the aircraft used by the heads of state of such countries as Argentina and Turkmenistan.

Iberia Maintenance is responsible for maintaining the Iberia fleet and those of another 100 clients around the world. In 2010 it carried out a total of 122 C and D checks of aircraft, and inspected and repaired 200 engines and 53,587 aircraft components. It is the world’s ninth-largest aircraft maintenance company. Last October it commissioned a new maintenance hangar at the Barcelona Airport.

Source: Iberia

First Airbus Military A330 MRTT for Royal Saudi Air Force makes maiden flight

Madrid,  16 March 2011

The first Airbus Military A330 MRTT for the Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF) has successfully completed its maiden flight lasting 4hr 15min.

The crew reported that the aircraft, its systems and two General Electric CF6 engines performed entirely satisfactorily.

Following the 15th March flight the aircraft now enters the final certification and qualification phase for this version of the A330 MRTT leading to contractual delivery later this year. The second RSAF aircraft is already in conversion at the company’s Getafe site (close to Madrid, Spain) and the third will begin the process in mid-year. Prior to this flight, five A330 MRTTs had already flown. Those include three for the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), and two for the UK Royal Air Force. Two of the aircraft are already technically complete and ready for delivery to the RAAF in Getafe, pending finalisation of contractual discussion.

The picture shows the first A330 MRTT for the RSAF landing at Getafe.

About the A330 MRTT

Having received supplemental type certificate from European civil certification Authority EASA in March 2010 and military certification from Spanish Authority INTA in October, the Airbus Military A330 MRTT is the only new generation strategic tanker/transport aircraft flying and available today. The large 111 tonnes/ 245,000 lb basic fuel capacity of the successful A330-200 airliner, from which it is derived, enables the A330 MRTT to excel in Air-to-Air Refuelling missions without the need for any additional fuel tank. The A330 MRTT is offered with a choice of proven air-to-air refuelling systems including an advanced Airbus Military Aerial Refuelling Boom System, and/or a pair of under-wing hose and drogue pods, and/or a Fuselage Refuelling Unit.

Thanks to its true wide-body fuselage, the A330 MRTT can also be used as a pure transport aircraft able to carry 300 troops, or a payload of up to 45 tonnes/99,000 lb. It can also easily be converted to accommodate up to 130 stretchers for Medical Evacuation (MEDEVAC). To-date, a total of 28 A330 MRTTs have been ordered by four customers (Australia, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom), with one (Saudi Arabia) having already placed a repeat order.

Cathay Pacific Airways orders 15 more A330s

World’s most popular mid-size widebody stays high in demand

9 March 2011

Cathay Pacific Airways has placed a firm order with Airbus for 15 more A330-300s. Scheduled for delivery from 2013, the aircraft will join the airline’s existing A330 fleet flying on services across the Asia-Pacific region. As with the airline’s existing A330 fleet, the newly ordered aircraft will be powered by Trent 700 engines from Rolls-Royce.

« The A330 has proved itself to be an extremely efficient and versatile aircraft for Cathay Pacific, flying on Asian regional services and longer operations to the Middle East and Australia, » said Tony Tyler, Chief Executive, Cathay Pacific Airways. « Our latest order reflects our confidence that the A330 will continue to meet our needs well into the future, both economically and operationally, as a key part of our fleet. »

« The latest order from Cathay Pacific underscores the position of the A330 as the most popular mid-size widebody flying today, » said John Leahy, Chief Operating Officer – Customers, Airbus. « The proven reliability, low operating costs and strong passenger appeal offered by the A330 will ensure that it remains the most efficient aircraft in its class for many years to come. »

The twin engine A330 is one of the most widely used widebody aircraft in service today. To date, Airbus has won more than 1,100 orders for the various versions of the aircraft. Some 750 A330s have already been delivered and the aircraft is currently flying with 90 operators worldwide in 50 countries.

Turkish Airlines commande 13 appareils Airbus supplémentaires

Confirmation du succès des appareils Airbus efficients, performants et rentables

Blagnac,  08 March 2011

Turkish Airlines a signé un contrat portant sur la commande ferme de dix A321 et trois avions cargo A330-200F afin de répondre à ses plans de croissance sur les marchés passagers et cargo. La compagnie compte 27 appareils supplémentaires en commande auprès d’Airbus, à la suite de contrats signés en 2009 et 2010.

Ces appareils supplémentaires viendront rejoindre la flotte Airbus actuelle de Turkish Airlines comprenant 75 appareils (quatre A310 cargo, 50 appareils de la famille A320, 11 A330, un A330-200F et neuf A340).

“Pour réaliser nos ambitieux programmes d’expansion de façon durable et rentable, notre flotte doit être performante et efficiente” a déclaré Temel Kotil, CEO de Turkish Airlines. “L’expérience acquise lors de l’exploitation de notre flotte A320 ainsi que la souplesse et la rentabilité hors pair de notre A330-200F depuis sa mise en service l’année dernière, font de cette nouvelle commande un choix logique en réponse à notre croissance.”

“Airbus propose les avions les plus avancés et éco-efficients du marché, et notre communité opérationnelle unique permet à nos clients d’exploiter leur flotte avec une rentabilité maximale,” a pour sa part indiqué John Leahy, Chief Operating Officer Customers d’Airbus. “Nous sommes très heureux que Turkish Airlines, dont la croissance est la plus rapide parmi les compagnies aériennes en Europe, ait une fois de plus choisi Airbus pour accompagner son expansion.”

Airbus, principal avionneur mondial, offre la gamme de produits la plus moderne et la plus complète sur le marché des avions civils de 100 à plus de 500 sièges. Grâce à la communité opérationnelle et la communité de poste de pilotage de ces appareils, uniques à Airbus, les compagnies aériennes peuvent affecter les mêmes équipages, personnels navigants commerciaux et techniciens de maintenance aux appareils Airbus de leur flotte. Ces avantages, qui donnent aux utilisateurs une grande souplesse opérationnelle, se traduisent par des réductions de coûts substantielles.

Airbus a vendu plus de 10 000 appareils et livré plus de 6 500 exemplaires depuis son arrivée sur le marché en 1974. A ce jour plus de 430 clients/utilisateurs exploitent des appareils Airbus dans le monde.

EADS : IAG veut acheter 16 Airbus A330 pour Iberia

MADRID, 7 mars (Reuters) – International Airlines Group (IAG) a annoncé lundi l’achat de 16 Airbus A330 pour remplacer la flotte de long courrier exploitée par la compagnie Iberia.

La compagnie espagnole, qui a récemment fusionné avec British Airways pour créer IAG, va acheter huit avions A330 et prendra des options sur huit autres appareils.

« Iberia, qui fait partie d’IAG, a signé un protocole d’accord portant sur l’acquisition de huit A330-300, devenant ainsi un nouveau client de cette famille d’appareils éco-efficients d’Airbus », apprend-on dans un communiqué d’Airbus.

Les appareils, qui seront livrés entre l’automne 2012 et le printemps 2014, ainsi que les options d’achat, donneront à IAG davantage de flexibilité pour décider de la taille de la flotte long-courrier d’Iberia et de sa capacité future, a fait savoir la compagnie.

Selon le site internet d’Airbus , ces appareils ont un prix unitaire moyen de 222,5 millions de dollars (159 millions d’euros).

« Nous sommes très fiers qu’IAG ait porté son choix sur la famille A330 pour sa toute première acquisition » a pour sa part souligné John Leahy, directeur commercial d’Airbus.