Brazil’s thrice-elected president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, is slated to meet with China’s leader Xi Jinping on April 14, in a pivotal visit between the nations with a potentially profound impact on western aerospace.
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It's been a frenetic week for fleet moves. Alaska Air is formally removing the asterisk on its Proudly All Boeing moniker, Delta got an all-new aircraft type, Air Canada's getting in line for early A321XLRs and the FAA is putting a significant question mark over the availability of the 737 Max 10. After the crash of China Eastern 5736, The Air Current compares historical high rates of descent for key air accidents. It's an important dose of perspective in the early phases of the investigation into what brought down the 737-800. Whisper Drone charts a course for high-speed electric flight. TAC spoke with Whisper Aero founder Mark Moore about its new drone testbed and its prospects as a promising early application for its ultra-quiet electric propulsors.
With Eviation's maiden flight fast approaching, the Washington state aerospace cluster is evolving as it becomes a focal point for green aviation aspirants and increasingly untethered from the enormous industrial gravity created by Boeing. Before the eVTOL gold rush took shape, the National Research Council in 2014 explored how autonomy could transform aviation, but with a sober and realistic view on making it possible. Its findings are even more relevant in 2022. Since 1969, only 13 western twin-aisle aircraft types have been certified by just four manufacturers. We visualized the production history of each one and the more than 9,500 that have been delivered to the world's airlines. The data illustrates the story more than a half century of unimaginable successes, stark failures and an incredible boom and bust.
Today, the same intuition that initially drove the networks to preserve breadth – the points on route maps – through flying smaller aircraft has shown a recent shift away from the regional aircraft. The recent new trend signals a potential change for the regional aircraft industry, and for the small communities that rely on a connection to the world’s aviation system.
As it prepares to fly a hybrid-electric demonstrator in 2024, De Havilland Aircraft of Canada says it’s all about designing an aircraft for a bad day.
DHC and Pratt & Whitney Canada are preparing to heavily modify a retired Dash 8-100 turboprop that will see half of its traditional propulsion replaced with a hybrid design. For the project, Pratt is designing a “new small engine” for sipping fuel at altitude. The 39-seat aircraft will have 20 to 24 battery packs to drive a 1 megawatt electric motor working in tandem with the new engine, providing the necessary horsepower when it’s needed most — at takeoff and climb.
There’s no one definition of a regional airline and that shows in the pandemic’s rebound. TAC Analysis continues its exploration of which types of regional airlines are excelling in the pandemic era, which are struggling, and what this means for the various aircraft types operating at each.
Understanding the nuances of regional aircraft -- turboprops and regional jets -- is first and foremost a matter of understanding the role of geography in their success.
The global airline fleet is not recovering evenly. With global scheduled capacity up over 92% from April 2020, that metric serves better to illustrate just how terrible last April was than how good we find it in 2021. Compared to 2019, the global fleet is producing 53% fewer seat-miles. We’re a long way from where we were before the pandemic.
De Havilland Canada's time building the Dash 8-400 turboprop in Downsview is coming to an end as the company plans to indefinitely pause production, but is leaving the door wide open to start again to begin a new for a post-COVID-19 rebound in demand. The fourth rock from the sun is slated to become the solar system's second planet to host a powered flight. Perseverance and Ingenuity arrive on Mars on February 18. As single-aisle jets like the Airbus A321XLR take on roles once assigned for long-range twins, the more narrow cabin is going to be a battleground for increasingly complex passenger systems in the fight against commodification.
The nuances of regional markets, both emerging and established, will offer a path for Embraer's E3, but will also limit its possible success. Turboprop customers are particularly sensitive to aircraft pricing, which will be challenged by the scope and pricing of a new development. By reintegrating its commercial unit, Embraer’s engineering talent is unconstrained to operate across its executive jet, defense and eVTOL businesses.