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The event welcomed more than 104,000 attendees and witnessed a 50% increase in trade visitors which included global senior executives from 148 countries. The Airshow was bigger than the pre-pandemic 2019 edition in terms of visitor numbers and deals announced. It was also a significant milestone for the defence and space sectors which saw a range of deals and agreements declared.

Some of the notable deals which took place during the event included Airbus who announced orders and commitments totalling 408 aircraft (269 firm orders and 139 commitments). The agreements covered the full range of commercial aircraft families, including a first commitment for the A350F freighter derivative. Airbus launched its latest global market forecast outlining progressively shifting demand from fleet growth to accelerated retirement of older, less fuel-efficient aircraft resulting in a need for some 39,000 new-build passenger and freighter aircraft. Of these,15,250 aircraft (around 40%) are for replacements.

On the opening day of the show alone, Indigo Partners portfolio airlines placed a firm order for 255 A321neo Family aircraft, including 29 XLR. This included Wizz Air ordering 102 aircraft (75 A321neo + 27 A321XLR); Frontier 91 aircraft (A321neo); Volaris 39 aircraft (A321neo) and JetSMART 23 aircraft (21 A321neo + 2 A321XLR).

Boeing announced an order of 72 of its 737 Max from new Indian airline Akasa Air. It also announced orders for 11 of its 737-800BCF cargo planes from aircraft leasing company Icelease, nine converted 767-300BCF freighters from DHL, and orders for two of its long-range 777F freighters from Emirates SkyCargo. Boeing received four orders of passenger planes and freighters from Air Tanzania and three of its widebody 777-300 passenger jets from UAE-based aviation services provider Sky One FZE.

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What passenger planes might look like in 2068


(CNN) — If time travelers from 1968 found themselves in an airport today, there might be plenty of changes that surprise them. But the planes would look reassuringly familiar.
While there have been vast improvements in materials, engines and avionics — helping 2017 become the safest year in aviation history — commercial aircraft remain structurally similar to those of the 1960s.
In fact, the Boeing 737, one of the best-selling airliners ever in its many successive versions, flew for the first time in 1967.
But what might air travel look like 50 years from now?

CityAirbus: A futuristic concept that Airbus is working on is CityAirbus, with a maiden flight scheduled for 2018. Just like Vahana, it’s self-piloted and will be able to take off and land vertically, making it ideally suited for urban use.

Attempts and failures
Over the years, there have been some attempts to change the aircraft design paradigm.
The 1970s promised a future of supersonic travel that never really took hold, apart from the limited flights of the Concorde and its Soviet equivalent, the Tu-144.
And, the idea of a blended wing airliner, resembling the stealth Northrop B-2 bomber, has sometimes been touted — but without much success so far.
A combination of technical and financial reasons has led the aviation industry to discard these rather outlandish propositions and focus on the more canonical designs that are the norm today.
Will the next 50 years continue along the slow, steady path of the last half-century? Or will we once again see the rapid technological disruption that characterized aviation in the years between the end of World War I and the Apollo moon landings?
Don’t be fooled by the apparent lack of spectacular breakthroughs. Some big changes are in the offing.

The airliner of 2068 is already in the making — and electric propulsion is set to play a major role.
Most short-haul flying is likely to go electric within the next few decades and this will transform the way we think of air travel.
Smaller electric motors will enable distributed propulsion, like the one found in NASA’s X-57 prototype. Lower noise levels and operational costs will make it possible for electrical-powered aircraft to fly much closer to where people live and work.
In fact, several of today’s most advanced electrical aircraft projects aim to not only replace ground transportation between cities — as with the nine-to-12 passenger Zunum and Eviation concepts aim to do — but within them.
Flying taxis will become a reality very soon, but it remains to be seen whether the futuristic-looking Vahana and CityAirbus concepts are really the face of things to come.
In any case, door-to-door flying is not the exclusive preserve of electrical aircraft.
Although not a new concept, the use of tilt-rotors — meaning aircraft can transition from vertical lift to fixed-wing configuration — has so far been confined pretty much to the US military.
However, Italian helicopter manufacturer Leonardo is now readying the commercial launch of a civilian model, the AW609, that if successful, could potentially transform executive and regional aviation.

Global air traffic has been increasing steadily for decades and now that there are all these new uses for aircraft, the question is: Who’s going to fly them?
“It is estimated that the global commercial aviation industry will need some 600,000 pilots in the next 20 years,” says Pascal Traverse, general manager for the Autonomy Thrust at Airbus.
Compare that to the approximately 200,000 pilots currently in service. This is one of the reasons automation will become more important,” he adds.
Suddenly, the idea of a pilotless airliner doesn’t sound so far-fetched.
Bjorn Fehrm, an independent industry aviation expert at Leeham News, refers to one- and half-pilot airplanes, a term some industry executives already use to refer to the latest generation of aircraft.
“Take this concept a bit further and, in a few years, with enough automation built in, you may really need just a ‘safety pilot’ to be there, in case something unexpected happens,” he explains.
A fully pilotless airliner isn’t envisaged in the foreseeable future.
“One of the main challenges is modeling the unknown unknowns. When the unexpected happens, a human pilot should be able to react or to draw analogies with similar situations and resolve it, but it is not so easy to teach a machine to take into account all that many variables,” says Traverse.

Redesigning the passenger experience

Airliner automation may not itself translate into changes in aircraft design.
However, some experts see in the combinations of all these new technologies an opportunity to redesign the passenger experience from scratch.
“The emergence of electrical aircraft will lead to new fuselage designs that can accommodate passenger needs much better,” says Victor Carlioz, founder with Matthew Cleary of ACLA Studio, a California-based design studio specializing in airline cabin design.
Could it be time for the tailless “flying wing” to make a comeback?
“One of the issues of the flying wing was actually the passenger experience,” explains Fehrm. “People would be seated in an amphitheater-style cabin, many abreast, and no windows.
In this set-up, people at the edges could eventually have felt dizzy every time the aircraft turned. As dizziness depends on your visual references, you may be able to solve this by projecting images into the cabin and changing the points of reference.”
Even if you are able to replicate the window-gazing experience, Carlioz still sees a strong case for keeping windows on aircraft. “Some futuristic concepts show windowless aircraft and, while there may be some structural benefits from getting rid of the windows, there is also another line of thought that says the opposite: having some point of communication with the outside improves the passenger experience”.
It’s not a coincidence that Boeing’s Dreamliner, its most modern clean sheet design, features large windows and that Airbus devised a cabin with transparent walls in the vision of the future it presented at the 2011 Paris Air Show.
The appeal of large windows has been taken one step further by Embraer in one of its executive jet designs. The Kyoto cabin, designed for its Lineage 1000E aircraft, features large panoramic windows running along most of the lateral walls of the cabin.
There is one area where it seems that commercial aviation has gone backwards instead of forward.
Back in the day, it was possible to fly supersonic across the Atlantic, but nowadays even those with the deepest pockets have to content themselves with subsonic speeds.
Some start-ups are working to fix this.
Boom Supersonic, a startup that has Silicon Valley incubator Y Combinator and Japan Airlines among its investors, is developing a commercial aircraft that will be expected to fly at speeds of Mach 2.2 with lower costs than the Concorde.
The Aerion AS2 is another civilian supersonic aircraft project, this one aimed at the executive market. Although it’s still under development, it already boasts a $2.4 billion order from fractional jet operator Flexjet for 20 of its AS2 planes, capable of flying at Mach 1.5.
But even those speeds pale next to the hypersonic speeds envisaged by some ambitious research programs.
The Spaceliner, a project led by DLR, the German Aerospace Research Institute, would travel at the edge of space in order to fly 25 times faster than the speed of sound. This way you would be able to travel from, let’s say London to Australia, in about 90 minutes.
“Very often in aerospace the challenge is not technological, but financial or operational,” says Rolf Henke, executive board member for aeronautics research at DLR, the German Aerospace Research Institute.
“Blended wings have already been talked about in the 1920s and hypersonic flight since the 1930s, but you need someone willing to take the risks and invest huge amounts of money.”
Source : CNN

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Airbus’ open aviation data platform Skywise gains market traction


AirAsia, Asiana Airlines and Etihad Airways have become the first airlines to use full aircraft data and advanced predictive analytics on Airbus’ open aviation data platform Skywise, with each signing a premium subscription contract covering Skywise Predictive Maintenance.

The agreements cover the retrofit of their respective A320 and A330 Family fleets with FOMAX – a new on-board data-capture / transmission module which provides greatly expanded volumes of recorded aircraft data – only about 400 aircraft parameters could previously be recorded on an A320, compared with roughly 24,000 from an aircraft equipped with it.

The sheer quantity of information that Skywise can unlock for each aircraft equipped with the new module will be used by airlines to gain deep insights, create bespoke recommendations and apply state-of-the-art Skywise analytics applications for enhanced decision-making, says Airbus. In turn this will allow them to anticipate, with higher levels of accuracy, the needs for maintenance before an event happens, and thus maximise the operational reliability and utilization of their assets.

In addition to the new premium predictive maintenance contracts outlined above, AirAsia, Asiana Airlines and Etihad Airways will gain access to Skywise Core, providing them with a cloud-based platform offering unparalleled visibility into their fleet operations.

Airlines using Skywise Core can integrate their own operational, maintenance, and aircraft data into the Skywise cloud, so they can store, access, manage, and analyse selected Airbus data together with their own data and global benchmarks without the need for additional infrastructure investments. This resulting value will give them new insights at aircraft, fleet, company, and global level while allowing them to enhance their operations through access to OEM expertise and global fleet context.

Marc Fontaine, Airbus Digital Transformation Officer, commented: “As the aircraft ‘architect’ and integrator, we naturally thrive in our role of building digital continuity across the aviation ecosystem. What we are doing now – bringing together the different actors of the industry, breaking the silos within and outside each organisation – is a real revolution. I really want to thank our airline customers for their trust, for their forward-thinking approach and for sharing our vision in this adventure. If “information is power”, then clearly we are all becoming more powerful, together.”

Laurent Martinez, Head of Services by Airbus, said: “Just like the industry was disrupted by Airbus’ “Fly-by-Wire” concept back in the days, we are now bringing full benefits of “Fly-by-Data” to our customers. These deals we are announcing are the result of years of strong co-innovation with our customers, and I am very proud to see that our customers, our reason for being, are confirming the fact that Skywise is meant to become a leading data platform in the industry”.

Source: Airline Economics