The 2013 Paris Air Show opened this week with a flurry of announcements from Boeing and Airbus about their fuel-efficient planes, the Airbus A350 and Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner, the first commercial jets to be made with lightweight carbon composites.
Boeing yesterday launched the 787-10 Dreamliner (pictured) and said it has secured commitments for 102 airplanes from five customers across Europe, Asia and North America. These include: Air Lease Corporation, with 30 airplanes; GE Capital Aviation Services, with 10; International Airlines Group/British Airways, with 12 subject to shareholder approval; Singapore Airlines, with 30 and United Airlines, with 20 airplanes.
Boeing Commercial Airplanes president and CEO Ray Conner says the 787-10 Dreamliner “will be the most-efficient jetliner in history.” He says it’s 25 percent more efficient than comparable airlines and more than 10 percent “better than anything being offered by the competition for the future.”
Final assembly and flight test of the 787-10 are set to begin in 2017, with first delivery targeted for 2018. The second member of the 787 family, the 787-9, is in final assembly in Everett, Wash., and is set to make its first flight later this year.
The A350 made its first test flight June 14, just days before the Paris Air Show kicked off Monday morning. Airbus says its super-efficient jetliner also uses 25 percent less fuel and provides an equivalent reduction in CO2 emissions. To date the A350 XWB has already won 613 firm orders from 33 customers worldwide, the company says. It’s expected to enter passenger service next year with first operator Qatar Airways.
Also at the show, environmentally friendly carrier Spirit Airlines selected Pratt & Whitney PurePower PW1100G-JM engines to power its order of 45 firm A320neo aircraft. Pratt & Whitney is a division of United Technologies.
Spirit also selected International Aero Engines’ V2500 engine to power its order for 30 firm A320ceo aircraft.
The PurePower deal includes a 12-year PureSolution maintenance service agreement for 98 engines, including spare engines. Deliveries are scheduled to start in 2018. Each Spirit Airbus A320neo family aircraft will be powered by two PurePower PW1100G-JM engines with benefits including double-digit reductions in fuel burn, environmental emissions, engine noise and operating costs, the companies say.
The V2500 deal includes a 12-year V-Services maintenance service agreement for 64 engines, including spare engines. Deliveries are scheduled to start in 2016.