Delta Boost for C Series

Delta Air Lines has delivered a major boost to Canadian manufacturer Bombardier after signing a firm order for 75 CS100s.  The deal, valued at $5.6 billion at list prices, also includes a further 50 purchase options and is the largest commitment for the type to date.

Announcing the order on April 28, Delta’s incoming CEO Ed Bastian said: “As we reshape our fleet for the future, the innovative on-board experience of the C Series is a perfect complement for the top-notch service provided every day by Delta people.” He continued: “These new aircraft are a solid investment, allowing us to take advantage of superior operating economics, network flexibility and best-in-class fuel performance.”

Fred Cromer, President, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft added: “Welcoming Delta Air Lines to the C Series family of operators is a watershed moment for our game-changing aircraft. As an industry leader, Delta consistently ranks first with customers, business leaders and its peers – a benchmark for operational performance.

(Bombardier)
(Bombardier)

“This order is a resounding endorsement of the CS100 aircraft performance and its exceptionally low operating costs. In addition, its widest aisle, widest seats and largest bins in its class will be attractive features for Delta’s passengers.”

Bombardier is yet to confirm the delivery schedule, though it is understood the US carrier will have the option to convert at least some of its order to the larger CS300.

Crucially, the Delta deal, coupled with the Air Canada commitment from early this year, extends Bombardier’s C Series order book above the company’s target of 300 orders before the type enters commercial service with Swiss International Air Lines this July. It also extends the production backlog beyond 2020, when the manufacturer predicts it will break even on the C Series programme.

Chieftain Takes to the Sky

Alabeo has released the Piper PA-31 Chieftain 350 for FSX and Prepar3D.

The package includes two high-quality 3D models: a regular and a commuter version with winglets. It also comes with six high-definition liveries and a blank paint scheme for creating custom artwork, along with a detailed rear cabin.

The virtual cockpit is fitted with Garmin G600 and GNS530 avionics and includes special effects such as 3D knobs and reflective gauges. The aircraft is also compatible with Flight1 GTN 750 and Reality XP GNS530 (sold separately).

Other features include a cold and dark start option, reflections and window scratches.

Documentation includes a G600 PDF, emergency and normal checklists along with performance and quick reference tables.

Click here for more information on the Carenado website

A Taste of Finland

Finnair has embarked on a bold new strategy aimed at strengthening its position in the European and Asian air travel markets.  The multi-faceted approach, which includes a new aircraft cabin design and a signature menu, is intended to give passengers a unique Nordic experience.

The Nordic Experience

Speaking at the carrier’s annual press conference in Helsinki on April 5, Chief Commercial Officer Juha Järvinen told Airliner World: “All of our major competitors in Europe, the Middle East and Asia are increasing capacity so it has been important for us to reposition ourselves in this tough environment.  We strongly believe we have a unique position in the northern hemisphere traffic flows and we’re able to capture a bigger share of the traffic between Europe and Asia.”

Introducing the concept, Järvinen said it was based on the need to deliver the best customer experience.  “The airline industry has been through a rough time and many carriers have cut back on service elements.”

Finnair has invested heavily in the new concept that the CCO said combines the best elements of the Nordic region.  “We believe that, regardless of nationality, customers want to experience the best of our home region.  We’re renowned for clean air, fresh designs and simplicity and passengers appreciate this.”

Järvinen highlighted the mounting competition Finnair is facing in the global market, particularly from the ‘big three’ Gulf carriers –Emirates, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways.  “It’s important to have a unique position but being Nordic doesn’t necessarily mean having gold taps and a five-star product.  It’s about a well-functioning, well designed and high quality [offering] but not over the top.”

The A350’s cabin design is intended to give Finnair passengers a unique Nordic experience.  (Finnair)
The A350’s cabin design is intended to give Finnair passengers a unique Nordic experience. (Finnair)

The cornerstone of Finnair’s strategy is the Airbus A350, the first of which joined the fleet last October.  “Last year we carried 10.3 million passengers.  It’s the first time we’ve passed the 10m milestone but this is only the beginning for us and, with the arrival of the A350, we are now accelerating our growth,” Järvinen said.

The most significant advantage of the new Airbus widebody is the aircraft’s increased payload and performance over Finnair’s A330s.  This has enabled the Helsinki-based carrier to expand in already congested markets such as Shanghai and Hong Kong where, according to the CCO, demand has been outstripping capacity.  “The A350 gives us more seat and cargo capacity on our Asian operations,” Järvinen explained.  “Air freight accounts for around 17% of the total turnover generated by our Asian flights and the improved aircraft performance means we can fly these services without the weight restrictions in place on the A330.”

The carrier currently has four A350s in its fleet, and plans to operate seven by the end of this year.  Their arrival has enabled Finnair to phase out some of its older long-haul jets.  The first two A340-313s, OH-LQF (c/n 168) and OH-LQG (c/n 174), were withdrawn from service in 2015 with the five remaining examples due to follow by the middle of next year as additional A350s are delivered.

The airline has used the incoming aircraft to launch its new on-board Wi-Fi product, which is available as standard on the A350 and will be rolled out across its A330s by spring 2017.  The Panasonic system is free for Business Class and Premium Tier members, and can be accessed by Economy passengers for a fixed fee of €15.  “We opted for a pay-to-access model because our Wi-Fi actually works.  Lots of airline offer free internet but the bandwidth is so bad that you can’t really use it,” Järvinen noted.  “We have invested heavily to ensure we have plenty of bandwidth and capacity that delivers.”

Finnair’s latest signature menu has been developed by leading chefs Sasu Laukkonen and Steven Liu (pictured).  (Finnair)
Finnair’s latest signature menu has been developed by leading chefs Sasu Laukkonen and Steven Liu (pictured). (Finnair)

Visit Finland

The Finnish flag carrier has long extolled the virtues of its Helsinki base as a point of transit for Asia-bound traffic and, last year, accounted for 6% of all traffic between Europe and China.  The airline has confirmed plans to add two new services this year – Guangzhou and Fukuoka – increasing its network to 17 destinations in Asia.

Finnair is also making significant efforts to promote its home nation as a destination in its own right via StopOver Finland.  The new initiative, funded by the country’s Ministry of Employment and the Economy, unites the airline with other key elements of the country’s tourism industry and offers passengers a variety of activities and tour packages lasting from five hours up to five days.

Introducing the scheme, Anssi Partanen, Finnair’s Head of Travel Products said StopOver Finland “provides the opportunity to relax between flights and discover Finland at the same time.”

Accelerated Airline Placement Opportunities

CTC Aviation has announced a brand new initiative to attract more qualified pilots on to its Airline Training Partnership (CTC ATP), its managed ‘fast track’ to airline career opportunities.  A dramatic increase in demand for newly-qualified, and experienced pilots, has resulted in the development and launch of a ‘managed training plan’ enabling successful pilots to qualify for ‘fast track’ placement into an airline.

Under the scheme each pilot will be provided with a bespoke, cost-effective training programme designed to meet their individual needs and will also include some practical multi-crew training, crew resource management and advanced jet handling skills training.

CTC Aviation is also introducing what it calls Performance Protection, which provides pilots with reassurance that should they not achieve the required standard for airline placement, CTC Aviation will refund 30% of their training fee (subject to terms and conditions).  All training will be undertaken at the company’s crew training centre in Southampton.

Applicants for the CTC ATP will be required to complete an online application form and attend a selection day.  Successful candidates will be offered a bespoke training plan, designed to ensure they meet the standard required by the airlines.  As an added incentive, CTC Aviation is waiving the £295 cost of the selection process for applicants who complete selection before July 1.

MAX Developments

Boeing is preparing to roll-out the first production 737 MAX despite having only just started its flight testing programme.  The aircraft is scheduled to emerge from Boeing’s Renton final assembly facility before the end of April as is part of a plan designed to ensure trouble-free manufacturing and assembly ramp-up.

The jet, the fifth example off the new central production line established at Renton, will be stored without engines alongside several other completed airframes until test and certification of the variant is completed ahead of deliveries starting next year.

Boeing said the move is designed to provide production workers with a chance to gain valuable experience on building the new variant.  It will also give the US manufacturer a buffer period in which to make any late changes, discovered during the flight testing, to this initial batch of aircraft prior to service entry.

Keith Leverkuhn, 737 MAX VP and GM, said: “The early build strategy is a delicate balance between getting a head start on production line efficiency while avoiding production of too many airframes before deliveries can begin.  We are building MAX inventory in 2016, the factory is at 42 aircraft per month rate and that includes a small number of MAX that we will build and sit on until flight testing and certification is achieved.”

With flight testing going to plan and assembly of the initial airframes progressing through production smoothly, the company said it is quietly optimistic that deliveries may be possible earlier than the official July 2017 target date.

Swiss Plans for C Series Arrival

Swiss International Air Lines has released the entry-into-service programme for its incoming Bombardier C Series.  The first CS100 is due to join the Zürich-based carrier in late June and will make its commercial debut on July 15, operating flight LX 638 to Paris/Charles de Gaulle.  The airline revealed Manchester, Prague and Budapest will be among the initial destinations served by the new jet, followed by Warsaw and Brussels – from late August – and Nice, Stuttgart, Hanover, Milan, Florence and Bucharest in September.

According to Swiss, the new type – which will ultimately replace its outgoing fleet of BAE Systems Avro RJ100s – will set new benchmarks in in-flight comfort, operating economics and environmental factors.  The aircraft will also create 150 new jobs at the airline.

Southwest Accelerates Classic Retirement

Southwest Airlines has brought forward plans to retire its Boeing 737-300s from 2018 to the third quarter of next year.  The Texas-based carrier said the “removal of the type” would simplify its operations and resolve uncertainty surrounding Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) pilot training requirements for flying both the 737 Classic and 737 MAX 8.

A spokesman from Southwest said: “The FAA is not expected to complete training requirements until next year, the only solution now is to avoid flying both the Classics and the MAX.  Therefore, the Classics will be retired in 2017 prior to the MAX being placed into revenue service.  This is a viable and manageable solution, although not preferred. This accelerated retirement of the Classics will result in fewer aircraft and lower available seat mile (capacity) growth in 2017 than previously planned.”

Southwest’s 737 Classic fleet currently consists of 116 737-300s and 11 737-500s. The 737-500s are scheduled to be withdrawn from revenue service in September of this year.  The airline also has 170 737 MAX 8s on order from Boeing, the first of which is due for delivery during the third quarter of 2017.

DTG Flight School – Approach & Landing Lesson

Dovetail Games releases new video tutorial

Dovetail Games has released a new video which shows one of the lessons that comes with the title.

Accompanied by a voice-over, the instructor guides you through the different phases of the approach and landing sequence – giving advice on height, heading and speed at the appropriate stages.

The video also gives us an opportunity to sample the integration of Orbx FTX Global into the simulation.

It’s perhaps too early to draw any conclusions based on one video. However, given its objective, Flight School is looking very promising.

https://youtube.com/watch?v=MbWhneKEF6U%3Ffeature%3Dplayer_detailpage

Look out for a full review in the next issue of PC Pilot.

Picturesque Narvik Airport

Orbx working on ENNK Narvik Airport

Narvik Airport (ICAO ENNK) is a regional airport situated in Framnes, Narvik in Norway. Its single runway is 3,166ft in length and is aligned in a roughly north–south orientation.

Set in a picturesque region, Orbx has faithfully reproduced this airport and its surrounding location in exquisite detail as illustrated by the accompanying screen shots. We will bring you further information as soon as it becomes available.

A video tour has also been produced by John Lovell, Orbx Staff Photographer, which shows off the fabulous work done so far to good effect.

IXEG 737 Classic has landed!

X-Aviation announce the release of this highly anticipated airliner add-on for X-Plane

Following on from our previous news item posted last Friday, announcing the imminent release of the IXEG 737 Classic, this highly anticipated simulation landed at the weekend. X-Aviation has accompanied this ‘event’ with a press release which includes product information as follows:

The X-Aviation Take Command! brand for products represents the very best of flight simulation immersion, and assures you this IXEG product is one of the most sophisticated, study sim level aircraft available for X-Plane! Real world pilots test and assist in the development of these products, and real world procedures are followed. It tells you these products are unlike any other product you’ve seen outside of the ever growing X-Aviation catalogue! Want to feel like a real captain? Take Command!

Quick Facts: Extremely detailed 3D cockpit, 3D sound engine, accurately programmed systems and displays, 20 liveries to choose from, and X-Plane 10 64-bit compatible.

Background

The team behind the IXEG 737 Classic consists of some of the most experienced and skilled developers ever assembled in X-Plane. In total, the team of professional on-type pilots, engineers, programmers, 3D, and texture artists come with a combined X-Plane developer experience of over 50 years. This know-how, combined with access to an overwhelming amount of hard to get technical documentation and passion for the aircraft has resulted in an airliner simulation that will not only set a new benchmark standard for X-Plane, but maybe for the whole desktop simulation community.

The main objective of the IXEG development team has been to build a simulation as realistic as possible and as seen from a real world pilot’s perspective. In other words, the real world 737 Classic pilots on the team (who have been involved in the project from day one) have played a central role in the development of this product. Combined, these pilots have tested the aircraft in X-Plane for some 500-1000 hours (block time) prior to release and many additional hours in development consulting.

Systems & Avionics

Created with the idea no detail would go missed, all systems have been meticulously modelled to bring you the highest possible fidelity. The electrical system, for example, is modelled from every breaker and relay upwards – no scripted behaviour (think schematics). The hydraulic model takes flow-rate, quantities and pressure differentials into account. All systems that are present in the real plane have been mimicked with painstaking detail, and way beyond what the average user or even airline pilot will ever explore.

The avionics and entire cockpit have been developed not only with an accurate representation in mind, but the team also paid close attention to the correct appearance of screens, annunciations and warning lights. Screens flicker to life when switched on. Lights also ramp up and wane in a believable fashion. The ultimate goal was and is to make you feel like you’re sitting in the airplane that has been the workhorse of many major airlines over the past decades – not some sterile airplane straight out of the assembly hangar.

Aerodynamics

Huge efforts have been put into the flight and engine model of this aircraft, which was one of the first things that we started working on in the year 2010. The results are both impressive and amazing! Many are unaware just how important an accurate flight and engine model is to the overall experience of the aircraft, both in automated and manual flight. This aircraft is far beyond the accuracy of any airliner ever made in X-Plane to date! This, combined with the superior flight dynamics of X-Plane and incredible avionics, will give you an experience never had before in any desktop simulation. It truly is remarkable.

Having the right lift, drag and thrust in the entire envelope of flight is critical, even in automated flight. Without this being accurately modelled your vertical flight path would be inaccurate and VNAV/FMS operations and calculations way off. Also, autopilot performance is strongly negatively influenced by having a poor flight model (unlike the IXEG 737 Classic). In manual flight the combination of feel, aerodynamics and avionics are even more important, of course, especially if you want to fly manual approaches, CAT 1 landings in poor visibility, strong winds etc. With this simulation it is no longer a problem!

Navigation/FMC Data (AIRAC)

Navigraph or Aerosoft – The Choice is yours.

The IXEG 737 Classic ships with a dataset from Aerosoft’s NavDataPro service free of charge.

To upgrade your data to the latest AIRAC cycle you may purchase a more recent dataset from Navigraph or Aerosoft NavDataPro. Both of these services are compatible!

Navigaph Availability: Available Now

Aerosoft Availability: Sometime next week

Highlighted Features

• Detailed exterior 3D model

• Highly accurate landing gear and flaps animation

• Realistic exterior and interior lighting effects (HDR required to see the full beauty)

• Animated 3D pilots

• Several liveries to choose from

• Different variants sported (winglets and cockpit instrumentation)

• System simulation without limits – if it´s in the cockpit, it´s working as in the real plane

• Accurate 3D cockpit with life-like texturing and weathering effects

• Custom tuned flight model – lift, drag, thrust, ground-effect, ground model

• Realistic performance values – it is possible to plan flights with official charts

• Flight-management-system with dual CDU operation

• LNAV and VNAV including official procedures, restrictions

• Custom sounds, including warning sounds

• Realistic precipitation effects on windows (rain, ice, snow) that react to the wipers

• EGPWS terrain display

• Weather radar system with tilt, showing X-Plane´s precipitation, ground returns, allows overscanning

• Custom flight controls, including ground, flight and roll spoilers

• Realistic sound for opening cockpit windows

• Intuitive interface systems with pop-out graphical user interface

• Includes our own quick-start guides and tutorial missions

• Custom push-back procedure, ground power supply, ground pneumatic supply

• Frame-rate friendly use of textures and 3D modelling techniques.

Livery Manager Installer

• Install liveries on the fly with this program included in your purchase!

Included Liveries

• Air Berlin

• Air France

• Air Italy

• America West

• British Airways

• Condor

• Delta Retro

• Iberia

• IXEG

• Jet2

• Linjeflyg

• Lufthansa

• Lufthansa Retro

• Norwegian

• SAS

• Southwest New

• Transaero

• United (tulip)

• US Air

• Varig

Documentation

• Includes guide for interfacing, minimal pilot handbook, and six comprehensive tutorial guides with matching tutorial videos.

A new video has also been released detailing some of the cockpit features.

To find out more and purchase, visit:tinyurl.com/hqq4398