Farnborough International Airshow got underway today at the Hampshire airfield and there was certainly plenty to keep an eye on.
- Airbus launches the A330neo which will be the first aircraft to feature the brand new Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines. The new Widebody aircraft will be capable of reducing current A330 fuel consumption by 14% per seat and also increase the range by 400 nautical miles. The Neo will also incorporate features from the A350 XWB like the small winglets and engine pylons.
- Almost immediately after launch came the news that Air Lease Corporation has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for 25 A330neo and 60 A321neo aircraft.
- Boeing debuted their latest model of the infamous (albeit for the wrong reasons) Dreamliner, the 787-9. The variant is a 10 ft, 10-frame stretch of the existing 8 model. Due to the number of orders received, Boeing had to work as quickly as they could to get this model into production.
- Qatar Airways continue to support the show with an almost unprecedented three aircraft on display; the sharklet-equipped A320, A350-900 prototype and their Boeing 787-8. There would have been a fourth aircraft present in the shape of their A380 but due to disagreements with their order, the airline reluctantly pulled the display.
- Announced on July 12th, Saab and the Empire Test Pilots’ School have extended their contract with the Gripen for an additional four years.
- Also announced in a late afternoon press release from FIA – ‘By 15.00 this afternoon there were firm orders and commitments for 326 large commercial jets and regional aircraft with a combined value of US$33.3bn. In addition there were orders and commitments for a total of 674 jet engines with a combined value of $8.6bn.’
- The F-35B was notably absent and the grounding order is still in effect at the time of writing.