US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) stated (19-Apr-2013) it has taken the next step in returning the Boeing 787 to flight by approving Boeing's design for modifications to the 787 battery system. The changes are designed to address risks at the battery cell level, the battery level and the aircraft level. This week, the FAA will issue instructions to operators for making changes to the aircraft and will publish in the Federal Register the final directive that will allow the 787 to return to service with the battery system modifications. The directive will take effect upon publication. The FAA will require airlines that operate the 787 to install containment and venting systems for the main and auxiliary system batteries, and to replace the batteries and their chargers with modified components. US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said: “Safety of the travelling public is our number one priority. These changes to the 787 battery will ensure the safety of the aircraft and its passengers". US FAA Administrator Michael Huerta added: “A team of FAA certification specialists observed rigorous tests we required Boeing to perform and devoted weeks to reviewing detailed analysis of the design changes to reach this decision". To assure proper installation of the new design, the FAA will closely monitor modifications of the aircraft in the US fleet. The FAA will stage teams of inspectors at the modification locations. Any return to service of the modified 787 will only take place after the FAA accepts the work. As the certifying authority, the FAA will continue to support other authorities around the world as they finalise their own acceptance procedures. [more - original PR]
US Federal Aviation Administration approves Boeing 787 battery system design danges
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The data indicate that total worldwide deliveries fell in 2016, the first such decline for six years, as a result of delays to new aircraft programmes. Boeing delivered more aircraft than Airbus for the fifth straight year, but its deliveries fell short of its 2015 level, while Airbus increased its numbers year-on-year. Total deliveries will likely rise again in 2017, but this may prove to be a peak year.
Bombardier C Series: record orders in 2016 as both variants finally enter service
The first commercial flight of the Bombardier CS300 on 14-Dec-2016, operated by airBaltic from Riga to Amsterdam, will be a major milestone for the Canadian manufacturer's new C Series aircraft programme. Three CS100 aircraft are already in service with SWISS, so the airBaltic flight will mean that both variants of the C Series are finally in commercial operation.
The programme is Bombardier's first wholly new aircraft development, aimed at the 100 to 150-seat market segment and offering advantages of fuel efficiency, cabin space, noise and emissions. Bombardier once targeted 2013 for entry into service, but has been dogged by problems and delays. In 2015, Bombardier seemed to have overstretched itself. The C Series received no new orders during the year and Bombardier was forced to seek investment from the Province of Québec to rescue the programme.
In 2016 the company has recovered to win a net 117 new orders, its highest annual total, bringing the programme total to 360. However, competition is cut-throat, with Airbus, Boeing and Embraer all having new developments of existing products in the same space as the C Series. Bombardier's breakthrough orders from Air Canada and Delta in 2016 required heavy price discounts.