QANTAS is getting their first A380 on Friday, kicking off Melbourne-Los Angeles service on October 20. VH-OQA, MSN014 will be delivered from Toulouse later this week. (European and the Middle Eastern customers deliver from Hamburg, all other customers from Toulouse) I've put together a short feature post about the last year for this airplane, which will be published ahead of the delivery.
French newspaper Journal du Dimanche (via Reuters) is reporting new delays for the A380. The report says that Airbus will only deliver eight to 10 aircraft before the end of 2008 instead of 12. Airbus had no immediate comment. The paper cites electrical defects related to rewiring of Wave 1 (MSN001-MSN025) aircraft. I'm sure we'll hear more about this from Airbus as the week progresses.
Airbus also finalized the sale of the wing plant to GKN in Filton valued at £136m for the A350. We're heading rapidly toward the end of the year, so XWB design freeze likely isn't that far off now.
787's Pacing Item
The IAM is into its second week on strike now and it looks as though there's no sign of any breakthroughs. If they went back to work today, it's somewhat difficult seeing 787 first flight by the end of the year. BCA Chief Scott Carson gave an extended interview to James Wallace of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer over the weekend and addressed all of these questions. Full Q&A
Q: Will you be able to deliver those 25 Dreamliners by the end of 2009?
A: What we do know is if first flight slips it puts pressure on the flight test program until we get the airplane certified. We are going to do our very best to not let it adversely impact our customers but there are a lot of variables in play right now. And the biggest one is getting the strike resolved.
Undercover as Flight Attendant
The New York Times went undercover with American Airlines to see what it is like to be a flight attendant. It's a must read.
On the road again...
I'm pretty sure I'm away from home more than not these days. I'll be in Chicago visiting Boeing today and tomorrow and later in the week to Las Vegas for Blogworld Expo to see if I can't find some new ways to bring a web 2.0 spin on aviation coverage. Not to worry, I'll have fresh material all this week.
...for the strike to end, take a look at this 90 minute lecture on composite technology given by Al Miller, University of Washington alumnus '71, '77, and director, 787 Technology Integration. Enjoy!