Airbus News in Brief

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MRO_AsiaPacificbadc7b3cAirbus teams-up with LanzaJet to boost sustainable aviation fuel production: Airbus and LanzaJet, a leading sustainable fuels technology company, announced they have entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to address the needs of the aviation sector through the production of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). The MOU establishes a relationship between Airbus and LanzaJet to advance building SAF facilities which will use LanzaJet’s leading, proven, and proprietary Alcohol-to-Jet (ATJ) technology. This agreement also aims to accelerate the certification and adoption of 100% drop-in SAF which would allow existing aircraft to fly with no fossil fuel. The aviation industry is responsible for approximately 2-3% of global carbon dioxide emissions, and SAF has been identified by airlines, governments, and energy leaders, as one of the most immediate solutions to decarbonise aviation, together with the renewal of fleets by latest generation aircraft and better operations. LanzaJet’s proprietary ATJ technology uses low-carbon ethanol to create SAF that reduces greenhouse gas emissions by more than 70% percent compared to fossil fuels and can further decrease emissions with a suite of carbon reduction technologies. SAF produced through LanzaJet’s ATJ technology is an approved drop-in fuel compatible with existing aircraft and infrastructure.

1872971fAirbus and AURA AERO partner to decarbonise pilot training: Airbus Flight Academy Europe, a 100% subsidiary of Airbus that supplies training services for the French Armed Forces pilots and civilian cadets, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with AURA AERO, an aircraft manufacturer specialised in fully-electric designs, to jointly approach decarbonisation for pilot training by introducing electric-powered aircraft for commercial and military pilot formation. Under this agreement, Airbus Flight Academy Europe will collaborate on the initial development of INTEGRAL E, a fully-electric, two-seater trainer aircraft, ideally suited for initial stages of pilot training. While operating from an airfield equipped with superchargers, the INTEGRAL E aircraft can be charged in 20 to 30 minutes, granting the aircraft an hour of flight endurance. “Our target at Airbus Flight Academy is to operate a low-carbon aircraft fleet by 2030,” said Airbus Flight Academy Europe CEO, Jean Longobardi. “We are excited to collaborate with AURA AERO in this field and are convinced that, by combining our expertise, we can meet the ambition of decarbonising to the current pilot-training approach. INTEGRAL E could become the first step to a broader partnership.”

AvolonAvolon signs MoU for 20 A330neos: Avolon, the international leasing company, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to order 20 A330neo aircraft. Avolon’s selection of the A330-900 reflects its vision to secure the earliest available slots, to take advantage of  growing widebody demand around the world. Including owned, managed and committed aircraft, Avolon currently has a total fleet of 616 Airbus aircraft. This includes 55 A330neos as well as 208 A320ceo, 285 A320neo, 51 A330ceo and 17 A350s). Andy Cronin, Avolon CEO, said: “We have been a strong supporter of the A330neo programme since its launch and with our existing widebody orderbook fully placed we are now locking in future growth in a supply constrained environment. Our expanded delivery pipeline allows us to offer our customers the A330neo’s range and reduced emissions to support their evolving fleet needs. Our recent aircraft orders and commitments reflect our confidence in the long-term growth trajectory of the aviation sector, which is outlined in our recent World Fleet Forecast projecting that the global passenger fleet will almost double by 2042.”

d202f436Airbus and STMicroelectronics collaborate on power electronics for  aircraft electrification: Airbus and STMicroelectronics have signed an agreement to cooperate on power  electronics Research & Development to support more efficient and lighter power electronics,  essential for future hybrid-powered aircraft and full-electric urban air vehicles. The collaboration builds on evaluations already conducted by both companies to explore the benefits of wide bandgap semiconductor materials for aircraft electrification. Wide bandgap semiconductors like Silicon Carbide (SiC) and Gallium Nitride (GaN) have superior electrical properties compared with traditional semiconductors like silicon. They enable the development  of smaller, lighter and more efficient high-performance electronic devices and systems, particularly in applications requiring high power, high frequency, or high-temperature  operations. The co-operation will focus on developing SiC and GaN devices, packages, and modules  adapted for Airbus’ aerospace applications. The companies will assess these components by  conducting advanced research and tests on demonstrators, such as e-motor control units, high and low voltage power converters, and wireless power transfer systems.

2520d49fAirbus to trial in-flight auxiliary power entirely generated by hydrogen: Airbus UpNext has launched a new demonstrator programme to explore, on the ground and in flight, a new architecture for the generation of non propulsive energy through the use of hydrogen fuel cells. On conventional airliners, the APU (Auxiliary Power Unit), a small additional engine that runs on traditional jet fuel, provides together with the engines the energy required to power a number of non-propulsive aircraft functions, such as air conditioning, onboard lighting and electric power for avionics. With this new technology demonstrator, led from its facilities in Spain, Airbus UpNext will replace the actual APU of an A330 with a hydrogen fuel cell system that will generate electricity. Known as HyPower, the hydrogen fuel cell demonstrator also aims to reduce the emissions of CO2, nitrogen oxides (NOx) and noise levels associated with a traditional APU. New design features and integration techniques will also contribute to maturing the safety and operations of future hydrogen-powered aircraft and will demonstrate the stable operation of a fuel cell in-flight, including its restart. The flight test campaign will utilise a modified Airbus A330 and a ground test bed of the system. Airbus UpNext will procure a production unit for renewable hydrogen to fulfil the entire need for the test campaign.

QantasQantas finalises incremental order for nine A220s: Australia’s Qantas Group has finalised an incremental order for nine A220-300s, bringing its total backlog for the single aisle type to 29 aircraft. The A220 was originally selected by Qantas as part of a major fleet replacement programme announced in May 2022, which also included orders for the A321XLR and A350-1000. The carrier had announced its intention to order the additional A220s in February this year. Qantas will take delivery of its first A220 at the end of this year and will operate the type primarily on its extensive domestic route network. Combining latest generation technologies and a wider, quieter cabin for extra comfort, the A220 can fly further than other aircraft in its size category, while also bringing a step-change reduction in fuel consumption and emissions. The aircraft is powered by the latest generation Pratt & Whitney GTF engines. As with all Airbus aircraft, the A220 is already able to operate with up to 50% Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF). Airbus aims for all its aircraft to be capable of operating with 100% SAF by 2030. Airbus has received close to 800 orders from 30 customers for the A220, of which 265 have been delivered. The A220 is already in service with 16 airlines worldwide.

Philippine Airlines finalises order for nine A350-1000s: Philippine Airlines (PAL) has finalised a purchase agreement with Airbus for the firm order of nine A350-1000 long range aircraft. The A350-1000 has been selected under the Philippine carrier’s Ultra Long Haul Fleet project and will fly on non-stop services from Manila to North America, including to the East Coast of the US and Canada. The new aircraft will join two A350-900s already in service at the airline. PAL’s A350-1000 fleet will be able to accommodate 380 passengers in a three class layout, with separate cabins for Business Class, Premium Economy and Economy Class. Captain Stanley K. Ng, President and Chief Operating Officer of Philippine Airlines, said: “This order will see PAL operating one of the youngest and most modern widebody fleets in Asia. We selected the A350-1000 to give PAL the power to match capacity closely to predicted demand on both the very longest routes to the North American East Coast but also on our prime trunk routes to the West Coast and potentially to Europe as well. At the same time the aircraft will use significantly less fuel than older aircraft of a similar size, which also brings an important reduction in carbon emissions.”

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