Category Archives: Airbus

Wichita’s Matrix Aviation completes merger with Atlanta sister company

Matrix Aviation in Wichita has completed its merger with its sister company, Professional Aviation Associates in Atlanta.

The combined companies now operate in a new 46,000 square foot distribution facility near Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.

The companies are owned by Greenwich AeroGroup in Wichita.

“The completion of this merger is a major step forward in expanding our product offerings, while improving our flexibility and financial strength,” Greenwich AeroGroup senior vice president for CR&O and distribution Dave Miller said in a statement. “As a combined organization, we will work to deliver benefits to our customers, create value for our shareholders and enhance the careers of our employees.”

Matrix employed 12 people, including 11 at its site at 1701 S. Hoover.  About half had been offered jobs in Atlanta, the company said in February at the time of the merger announcement.

Matrix supplies avionics, instrumentation and radar equipment. Professional Aviation supplies rotables, airframe parts and hoses.

Matrix, a 30-year-old company, was bought by Banner Aerospace in 1987. Greenwich AeroGroup bought Banner in 2009.

Airbus Americas posts jobs for Mobile assembly line

Airbus has posted its first hourly manufacturing positions for its assembly line in Mobile, Ala., the planemaker said Tuesday.

Airbus is looking for aircraft structure/installation mechanics, installers for aircraft cabin furnishings and aircraft electricians.

Last year, Airbus broke ground for an assembly line for its A320 family of commercial airplanes in Mobile. Major construction has begun.

Successful candidates will have two weeks of pre-employment training. If successful with the training, they will go for on-the-job training in Hamburg, Germany, Toulouse, France, and possibly Tianjin, China, before returning to Mobile for work.

Starting pay for all the positions range from $13 an hour to $22 an hour plus benefits based on skills, experience and education.

Hiring for manufacturing jobs will continue throughout 2014, the company said.

Third Airbus A350 XWB flight test aircraft rolls out of hangar

airbus a350 test planeThe third Airbus A350 XWB flight test airplane rolled out from an Airbus paint shop in Toulousse, France, with a distinctive paint job.

The plane features what Airbus calls a “Carbon” design to reflect the A350′s primary construction from advanced carbon materials.

It’s also the first of two flight test aircraft to be equipped with a full passenger cabin interior.

The plane will join Airbus’ test fleet in the coming weeks.

Spirit AeroSystems builds parts of the A350.

Courtesy photo

airbus a350 test plane two

Airbus CEO takes his first flight on the A350 XWB

Fabrice Bregier (Courtesy Photo)

Airbus president and CEO Fabrice Bregier flew on board the company’s new Airbus A350 XWB for the first time last week.

The flight was a routine test flight that took place over the southwestern part of France, the company said.

So far, the A350 XWB has completed more than 150 flight test hours out of the 2,500 hours needed to be achieved by five flight test A350s in the next 12 months, the company said.

Spirit AeroSystems, based in Wichita, builds portions of the plane’s fuselage and wings.


Airbus A350 XWB reaches 92 flight test hours

Airbus’ new A350 XWB has accumulated 92 hours of flight testing since its maiden flight on June 14, the company reports.

The early phase of testing has “resulted in the clearance of the entire flight envelope and initial testing of all key systems,” the company said.

Experimental test pilots will fly about 2,500 total flight test hours with a fleet of five development airplanes.

The first A350 aircraft has been fitted with heavy test instrumentation and is being used for handling qualities evaluation along with icing, systems and powerplant testing.

A second test plane will be used for performance measurement, high altitude, hot and cold weather testing and systems and powerplant tests.

The third and fifth airplane will be equipped with a cabin and carry out cabin and cabin systems tests, including early long flights and route-proving testing.

The fourth plane will focus on external noise and lightning testing and pilot training for first customer and maintenance teams.

Entry into service is scheduled for the second half of 2014. Airbus has 678 firm orders from 34 customers for the airplane.

Airbus’ Fly Your Ideas competition yields innovative ideas

Airplane cabins powered by body heat, planes running on cow power, or methane gas, and luggage floating on a bed of air are some of the ideas developed by university students in a Fly Your Ideas  competition sponsored by Airbus.

Airbus challenged students to develop “radical eco-efficient ideas” for aviation.

The planemaker selected five finalist teams. Each team will travel to Airbus headquarters in Toulouse to present their ideas to a panel of judges for the prize.

The winning team will be announced at the Paris Air Show next week.

The program aims to “highlight the growth opportunities available to young innovators, who could help change the world and work towards a more sustainable aviation industry,” Airbus said.

Teams that made the finals came from Brazil, Australia, India, Italy and Malaysia.

According to Airbus, the concepts include:

Luggage floating on air. Using the principles of air hockey, the cargo hold is fitted with light sliding sections to let baggage handlers quickly load and unload luggage, allowing passengers to get their bags 30 percent faster.

Planes powered by cow power. A sustainable fuel uses liquified methane held in specially-created supercooled pods located next to the engine. The solution could reduce CO2 emissions by 97 percent.

Shape-shifting materials to reduce noise. An engine modification made from shape-shifting materials can change the airflow through the engines and reduce noise.

Battery-powered hybrid engines. Rechargeable batteries drop into the cargo hold and help power efficient hybrid engines. In a short-haul flight, the solution could save up to 60 percent of fuel.

Human body heat powering aircraft cabins. Heat energy from specially-embedded heat-sensitive material in cabin seats captures energy from passengers and could be used to power onboard electronics. That can reduce energy requirements for the flight.



CIT Group orders more Airbus A350-900s

CIT Group has placed an order for 10 Airbus A350-900s, bringing the number of A350s the bank holding company has on order to 15,  Airbus announced Thursday.

The A350 XWB (for Extra Wide Body) is a new mid-size, long-range airliner that will be available in three versions and seat from 270 to 350 passengers.

The first plane is scheduled for entry-into-service in 2014.

Including CIT’s order, Airbus has 572 firm orders for the A350 from 34 customers.

Spirit AeroSystems is a major supplier on the program.


Forecast: Germany will need more than 1,000 new airplanes in next 20 years

Germany will need more than 1,000 new passenger planes and freighters valued at $148 billion at today’s list prices over the next 20 years, a new Airbus global market forecast said.

Demand will include 690 single-aisle planes, more than 230 twin-aisle medium to long-range jets and close to 100 very large aircraft, such as the Airbus A380, the forecast said.

The forecast comes as the Berlin Air Show opens at the Berlin ExpoCenter Airport on Tuesday.

Hawker Beechcraft, meanwhile, announced its participation at the Berlin show, which runs through Sunday.

The company will have on display a King Air 250 and Baron G58.

Germany is the largest business aviation market in Europe, Hawker Beechcraft said. About 16 percent of the region’s business airplanes are based in the region.

The country will also be  the biggest market in Europe for passenger aircraft in the next 20 years, according to the Airbus forecast.

Its fleet is expected to nearly double over the next two decades.

Germany’s air travel has grown 45 percent from 2000 to 2011.



Spirit AeroSystems recognizes 13 suppliers

Spirit AeroSystems recognized 13 companies this week as 2011 Platinum Suppliers for customer satisfaction and performance.

Suppliers were selected for quality, on-time delivery, support and willingness to partner with Spirit for “overall improvement in value.”

They were honored at an event Tuesday.

Three of the suppliers are based in Kansas, including Complexx Machining and Exacta Aerospace in Wichita and Valent Aerostructures in Cottonwood Falls.


Airbus planning stretched A380 jet

Airbus is planning a stretched version of its mega A380 commercial airplane, the director of the program told an Australian television station.

First deliveries are planned for 2020.

The stretched airplane could carry 100 more passengers than the current A380, which carries from 400 to 600 passengers.

The Airbus A380 director, Richard Carcaillet, told Ten News that the jet is “environmentally more responsible,”  because fewer planes will serve a growing demand for air travel.

“It’s a way to grow without creating more congestion,” Carcaillet told the station.