US-based United Airlines has increased the number of Airbus A350 XWB aircraft it will bring into its fleet, updating and expanding its previously existing order for 35 A350-1000 to 45 A350-900 widebody aircraft to replace older, less efficient aircraft. The A350-900 is the cornerstone member of the A350XWB (Xtra Wide-Body) family, which according to Airbus, is shaping the future of air travel.
The aircraft typically seats 325 passengers in a standard three-class configuration. The twin-aisle A350-900’s combination of payload and long-range range capabilities makes it an ideal aircraft for United Airlines’ international route system. These aircraft will be the first Airbus widebodies to join United’s global fleet.
The 100th A350 was delivered at the end of July 2017, just some 30 months after the first delivery. To date, Airbus has recorded a total of 848 firm orders for the A350 XWB from 45 customers worldwide.
CargoLogicAir (CLA), the British all-cargo airline, is to launch its first scheduled maindeck cargo service connecting the UK and Mexico on August 19. Twice-weekly Boeing 747-400 flights will depart from CLA’s base at Stansted Airport every Wednesday and Saturday. Flights will operate to Mexico City International Airport via Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
Dmitry Grishin, CEO of CargoLogicAir, said: “The arrival of our third 747 freighter means we are ready to begin our scheduled cargo operations and we are confident the routing we have chosen will appeal strongly to customers moving car spares, hi-tech, energy, aerospace and healthcare products.”
The Vulcan Restoration Trust (VRT) is holding an open day at its Southend Airport home on Sunday 20 August.
Now settled in her new home inside the airport’s Hangar 6, visitors can expect to see Vulcan XL426 undercover after she’s weathered the elements for more than 30 years. The ‘Visit the Vulcan Day’ team say they will also have displays that including: Buccaneer, Jaguar and Hunter aircraft cockpit nose sections, a ‘Green Goddess’ fire engine, Essex Fire Fighting Museum fire engine, London Southend Airport fire engine, ‘Cold War’ military vehicles displays, classic 1960s and ‘70s cars, plus a BBMF flypast.
The VRT team will also be on hand to give visitors guided tours of Vulcan XL426 and for an additional small fee visitors can climb inside the cockpit. Doors open at 10.00 a.m. with last admission at 4.00 p.m.
General admission is £4.00 for adults with accompanied under-16s admitted free. Admission allows visitors entry to the hangar to walk around the Vulcan, take a guided tour if they wish and take photographs. For an additional £3.50 per person applicable to both adults and under-16s, visitors can climb inside the Vulcan’s cockpit. The Vulcan Restoration Trust’s stand will also be open with a wide selection of Vulcan souvenirs on sale.
Limited free car parking will be available close to the Vulcan hangar.
For full details please see the Vulcan Restoration Trust website: www.avrovulcan.com.
Boeing now has six aircraft in its KC-46 tanker test programme, expanding its ability to complete ground and flight-test activities as it progresses toward first deliveries to the US Air Force.
The newest KC-46 aerial refueling aircraft, the second low-rate initial production plane, completed its first flight April 29. Its test activities will help ensure the KC-46 can safely operate through electromagnetic fields produced by radars, radio towers and other systems.
“Adding another tanker will help us to become even more efficient and significantly improve our ability to complete test points going forward,” said Jeanette Croppi, Boeing KC-46A tanker test team director. “We are also re-configuring one of our 767-2C aircraft into a tanker, which means we soon will have four KC-46 tankers in test.”
“This first flight is another important step for the KC-46 programme toward verifying the aircraft’s operational capabilities,” said Col. John Newberry, Air Force KC-46 System program manager. “Adding this aircraft brings key capabilities to the test fleet and helps move us closer to delivering operational aircraft to the warfighter.”
To date, the program’s test aircraft have completed 1,600 flight hours and more than 1,200 ‘contacts’ during refueling flights with F-16, F/A-18, AV-8B, C-17, A-10 and KC-10 aircraft.
The KC-46 is derived from Boeing’s commercial 767 airframe. The company expects to build 179 tankers in its Everett factory.
The KC-46A is a multirole tanker that can refuel all allied and coalition military aircraft compatible with international aerial refueling procedures and can carry passengers, cargo and patients.
The RAF Red Arrows display team is set to perform on both days of the annual Blackpool Air Show, which takes place above the Promenade on Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 August. It’s the first time that the Reds will feature on consecutive days of a Blackpool Air Show. The RAF Typhoon display team and the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight are also set for both days of this year’s show.
Cllr Gillian Campbell, Deputy Leader of Blackpool Council, said: “The Red Arrows are a huge favourite with visitors to the Blackpool Air Show and its truly fantastic news to hear that they will return to Blackpool for two days this year.
“The Air Show is always an important date in our calendar and I’m certain that this year will be no different. The show brings in tens of thousands of people on to the Promenade and provides a huge boost to our local economy, with those visitors spending money in our shops and restaurants and supporting our jobs.”
The organisers of Flywheel at Bicester Heritage – Historic Promotions – have confirmed the third annual showcase celebrating classic winged and wheeled vehicles will take place on Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th June, kick-starting a summer of British motorsport and coinciding with British Armed Forces Day.
Last year, the Oxfordshire festival saw hundreds of historic cars, aircraft, motorbikes and military vehicles come alive on the demonstration track and in the sky at the UK’s best preserved Second World War bomber station, Bicester Heritage. The crowds were joined by Sir Stirling Moss OBE who, as well as signing autographs, was reunited with a host of his race-winning cars from the 1950s and 1960s.
Flywheel aims to bring to life the nostalgic ambience of the festival’s backdrop, Bicester Heritage, which celebrates 100 years since the Royal Flying Corps moved into the site. Advance ticket prices start from £23 per adult and £52 per family. Each adult ticket includes free parking as well as a complimentary programme. Entry for children under the age of five years is free. http://www.flywheelfestival.com/
New Zealand-based Warbirds Over Wanaka Community Trust is considering extending its Flying Scholarships scheme from one to two scholarships. 32 pilots have applied for the inaugural scholarships which are valued at $5,000 each.
Warbirds Over Wanaka General Manager, Ed Taylor said: “The Trust had intended to award one scholarship this year but given the high calibre of applications we are now looking at the possibility of making two grants in this our inaugural scholarship year.”
The ultimate aim of the scholarships is to have a new crop of warbird pilots coming through the system to ensure there are pilots to fly historic aircraft for years to come.
“Just being able to fly some of these aircraft takes a high level of skill, to display them at an airshow like Warbirds Over Wanaka is an even bigger challenge,” says Ed.
A scholarship panel has started the process of evaluating all 32 applications and it’s hoped they will have drawn up a short list by the end of October and will be in a position to announce the winners in November.