War over widebodies

The front cover of the latest Flight International (18 February) shows the Airbus A350-900, with the Qatar Airways Boeing 787 in the background, parked on the static at this week’s Singapore air show.

The coverline – War over widebodies – refers to Max Kingsley-Jones’s piece, filed from the show, about how the big two airframers were taking potshots at the other’s twin-aisle product strategy at Singapore, with Airbus’s John Leahy describing his rival’s eight-aircraft line-up in the 200- to 400-seat space as a “dog’s breakfast”. Boeing’s Randy Tinseth retorted by saying Airbus’s A350 “looks a little, too late to the market place”.

We have extensive coverage of the show, with stories on Boeing’s increasing hints about developing a successor to the 757, updates on the rival new-generation narrowbody engine programmes from CFM and Pratt & Whitney, and the latest on the Airbus A400M export prospects.

Our main feature package is on civil helicopters. Ahead of the Heli-Expo show, we look at the product development strategies of the big four OEMs – AgustaWestland, Airbus Helicopters, Bell and Sikorsky. We also have an analysis of helicopter safety trends, a market outlook and a look at a more unusual aircraft: the Urban Aeronautics AirMule.

Meanwhile, Dominic Perry has interviewed the new boss of Bristow Helicopters and Kate Sarsfield discovers that – four years after axeing the Columbus project – Cessna is considering a return to the large-cabin business aviation sector.

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