The latest issue of Flight International (4 June) has an exclusive report by Stephen Trimble on Pratt & Whitney’s firing up of its flight test campaign for the PW1100G, the first of the two engines that will power the Airbus A320neo. In it, he reveals how P&W is still making tweaks to the engine design. In the latest, it will remove a variable-area fan nozzle, once believed by the company’s engineers to be a necessary guard against flutter vibrations.
We have the latest on the investigation into the BA A319 engine cowling incident at Heathrow – our Comment addresses the continuing failure of the industry to find a solution for a frustratingly frequent problem.
There is a news focus on the resilience of the low-cost market – a flurry of recent orders shows that this sector, in Europe at least, appears in rude health.
And we fly the Eurocopter EC175, the helicopter manufacturer’s latest variant pitched at the offshore oil and gas market. Pilot Peter Gray finds it a remarkably comfortable ride.
Finally, Zach Rosenberg goes aboard the USS George Bush for flight trials of the Northrop Grumman X-47B, possible precursor to an all-new unmanned system, dedicated to the needs of the US Navy.