This week’s commercial engine special in Flight International (19 February) gives us a great excuse to use a stunning close up of Rolls-Royce’s Trent XWB, the only engine so far to power the Airbus A350. Andrew Doyle provides a programme update which looks at how the airframer and engine manufacturer are racing to get the XWB – engine and airliner – into the air in time for a debut at the Paris air show (hence the coverline).
Also in the engines package, Steve Trimble takes a detailed look at the CFM Leap engine, which is in a head-to-head contest with the Pratt & Whitney to power the new generation narrowbodies. So far, the GE/Safran joint venture has the upper hand on its rival, but with 34% of aircraft orders still to be assigned, the contest remains fierce.
In the run-up to Australia’s Avalon air show, we also examine some of the big themes likely to feature there, from the country’s likely decision to opt for a combination of legacy Boeing Super Hornets and latest-generation Lockheed Martin F-35s for its future fighter needs, to Australia’s booming civil helicopter sector.
In news, there are stories on a successor to the Airbus Beluga transporter and Boeing’s challenge to keep up output rates for the struggling 747-8.