Drzewiecki Design has released Chișinău International Airport (LUKK) for X-Plane 10.
The airport has been modelled in detail with up-to-date buildings, terminals along with dozens of local static aircraft. The runways, taxiways and aprons have also been fully replicated. Other features include photorealistic scenery for the surrounding area with autogen objects for the city of Chișinău complete with custom landmarks.
Chișinău, formally known as Kishinev, is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Moldova. The airport is Moldova’s main international hub, located 13 km (8.1 miles) southeast of the centre of the capital. In 2000 the airport was modernised and an annex was added to the renovated old terminal. The airport features a single 3,580m concrete runway, which can accommodate airliners including the Boeing 747.
• Up-to-date scenery with new buildings, terminals, taxiways and aprons
• Internal modelling, animations, 3D people, dozens of ‘local’ static aircraft
• Large photoreal surrounding area with custom autogen and city landmarks
Henri Coandă Bucharest Airport from Aflosim is now available for FSX and Prepar3D.
Bucharest Henri Coandă International Airport (LROP) is Romania’s main gateway. It was renamed from Bucharest Otopeni International Airport in 2004 as after the Romanian aircraft pioneer, Henri Coandă, and is currently one of the most important hubs in Eastern Europe.
The airport features operational jetways, working Visual Docking Guidance System (Safedock T1 & T3-9 type), animated windsocks, smoke, birds, static aircraft and custom approach lights and taxiway lights. According to the developer, additional features will be added at a later date.
Alaska Air Group, parent of Alaska Airlines, and Virgin America are to merge and create a major presence on the US West Coast. The $4 billion deal was unanimously approved by both company’s boards of directors. Although described as a merger, Alaska Airlines will take control of its rival operator and become the nation’s fifth largest carrier. The deal, the company claims, will expand its West Coast market share significantly, giving it a larger customer base, an enhanced platform for future growth as well as positioning the expanded Alaska Airlines to provide more choices for its customers, increase competition in the market as well as delivering stronger returns to its investors.
The merger will help to expand Alaska Airlines’ existing footprint in California and boost its well-established core markets in the Pacific Northwest and the state of Alaska. Virgin America’s strong foundation in California will help make Alaska Airlines a major force in and out of the Golden State’s airports, including San Francisco and Los Angeles. For Virgin America customers, services will expand to the thriving technology markets in Silicon Valley and Seattle.
Brad Tilden, chairman and CEO of Alaska Air Group, said: “Our employees have worked hard to earn the deep loyalty of customers in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska, while the Virgin America team has done the same in California. Together we will continue to deliver what customers tell us they want: low fares, unmatched reliability and outstanding customer service. We look forward to bringing together two incredible groups of employees to build on the successes they have achieved as standalone companies to make us an even stronger competitor nationally.”
Alaska Air said the combined airline would have 1,200 daily departures, with hubs in Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Anchorage and Portland, Oregon. It will operate a fleet of around 280 aircraft, including Virgin America’s 60 Airbus A319 and A320 jets. The newly combined organisation will be based in Seattle under the continued leadership of Tilden and his senior leadership team. Until regulatory approvals are received, Tilden and David Cush, president and CEO of Virgin America, will co-lead a transition team developing a specific integration plan. The group intends applying for a single operating certificate. Alaska will maintain its new, refreshed brand while looking closely at Virgin America to learn more about the carrier’s award-winning brand and customer experience. Both airlines expect to complete the transaction by no later than January 1, 2017.
General Electric has started ground testing the first full GE9X development engine – a derivative of the company’s GE90 which is the world’s largest commercial aircraft powerplant – at its Peebles Testing, Ohio facility. The GE9X is destined to power Boeing’s new 777X aircraft. Maturation testing of the GE9X engine started around five years ago and has progressed from component-level all the way to the first full engine to test (FETT). FETT brings all the GE9X technologies together to demonstrate their operability as a complete propulsion system.
Bill Millhaem, general manager of the GE90/GE9X engine programs at GE Aviation, said: “This ground testing will generate data on the full engine system, including aerodynamic performance, mechanical verification as well as aero-thermal system validation.”
Next year will be a busy one for the GE9X programme with the start of certification and flight testing on GE Aviation’s Boeing 747 flying test-bed. Full engine certification is anticipated in 2018. With almost 700 GE9X engines already on order, the powerplant will be in the 100,000lb thrust class and will feature the largest front fan at 134in (340cm) in diameter with a composite fan case and 16 fourth-generation carbo fibre composite fan blades.
Irish low-cost carrier Ryanair marked a significant milestone in the airline’s history when it took delivery of its 400th Next-Generation 737-800. The aircraft, EI-FRC (c/n 62690), was handed over on March 31, and joins the largest fleet of Next-Generation 737-800s operating in the world.
Ryanair’s COO Michael Hickey said: “The Boeing 737-800, with its industry leading technical reliability and seating capacity, has been the foundation upon which our successful and safe growth has been built upon, since we took our first delivery in March 1999. We are delighted to be now taking delivery of our 400th example, which includes the new Boeing Sky Interior and slimline seats, offering extra leg room and an enhanced customer experience.”
Ryanair has more than 130 unfilled orders for 737-800s and is also the launch customer for the 737 MAX 200, the latest member of the 737 MAX family. The Dublin-based carrier has 100 MAX 200s on order; featuring a configuration of up to 200 seats, increased revenue potential and 20% better fuel efficiency per seat, when compared to the current generation of single-aisle airliners.
Riga-based airBaltic has signed a purchase agreement with Bombardier Commercial Aircraft to convert its remaining seven options for CS300 aircraft into firm orders. This brings the Latvian carrier’s total firm orders for the type to 20. The original order for ten firm CS300 and ten options was announced on December 20, 2012, with the airline converting three options in February 2014. airBaltic will become the first customer in the world to operate this variant of the C Series when it takes delivery of its first example in the second half of this year. Bombardier said the value of this latest contract was $506 million, based on list prices.
Martin Gauss, airBaltic’s CEO, said: “Our fleet modernisation continues as we proudly increase our all-new CS300 to a fleet of 20 technologically-advanced jetliners in order to support our ‘Horizon 2021’ business plan. This will substantially improve the connectivity of the Baltic region with Western Europe and the Eastern markets – all of which will help stimulate the economies of Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania, and create new jobs. The CS300 will improve our passenger experience and convenience as we position ourselves for growth, reaching new destinations due to the increased capabilities of our new jets joining us later this year.”
A Batik Air Boeing 737-800 was in collision with an empty TransNusa Air Services ATR 42-600 during its take-off run at Jakarta/Halim Perdanakusuma Airport on April 3. Both aircraft caught fire and were severely damaged. The 737-800, PK-LBS (c/n 39827) was taking off on a domestic rotation to Ujang Padang, carrying 49 passengers and seven crew. The ATR, PK-TNJ (c/n 1015) was being moved by tractor when the incident occurred.
All passengers and crew were safely evacuated from the Batik Air jet using the emergency slides, with no injuries reported. The impact of the 737’s port wing sliced off most of the ATR’s tail and port wing, rupturing the fuel tanks and starting fires in both aircraft. These were quickly brought under control by the airport’s fire crews.
A spokesman for the Indonesian Ministry of Transportation said initial indications showed the 737 was preparing to take off, and the ATR was being towed to a hangar. A spokesperson for the airport’s operator Angkasa Pura II said: “We cannot yet determine whether the incident was caused by an air traffic control error, the tractor operator or the pilot.”
Embraer has started the two Pratt & Whitney PW1990G turbofans on the E190-E2 prototype, PR-ZEY (c/n 19020001), for the first time. Just over a month after the aircraft’s official roll-out, the Brazilian manufacturer said the first engine runs occurred on April 4 at the company’s São José dos Campos facility.
The PW1900G is a minor derivative of the PW1500G that powers the Bombardier C Series family and will also be used on the stretched E195-E2. The third member of the E2 family, the E175-E2, will use a version of the PW1200G, developed for the Mitsubishi Regional Jet.
Embraer said development work was continuing according to plan and was confident flight testing of the E190-E2 would start on schedule during the second half of this year, with service entry planned for 2018.