Back in the saddle: 787 ire, A350 production, Qantas, CSeries engines, ARJ21 and a Dassault mystery jet

First day back at my desk in DC since November 12 following China and Thanksgiving, and I’m a bit slow getting back up to speed today, but wanted to share some Monday news items to chew on:

ANA says 787 delays are “a great disappointment” and the carrier is “pushing” Boeing to “present the detailed cause of the irregularities” resulting from the November 9, ZA002 fire, while China Eastern is considering canceling its order for 15 787s over the delays, which are estimated to stretch another six months.

Meanwhile, A350 supplier Aerolia plans to begin production of the composite nose panels and shells for MSN001 on Tuesday after Spirit AeroSystems made its first 64ft 6in Section 15 crown panel in North Carolina last week. Delivery of the first production aircraft is now slated for the second half of 2013. Meanwhile in Sydney, the Qantas A380 fleet is returning to service again, gradually.

On the engine front, CSeries’ PW1524G powerplant has passed 80h of testing, and Pratt & Whitney says: “We have not uncovered anything that tells us we need a major design or architecture change.” Though Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker has cooled again to CSeries, just as SAS says it’s the leading contender for a 55-aircraft order.

On the business jet side of things heading for the Middle Eastern Business Aviation show in Dubai next week, it looks like landing gear supplier Heroux-Devtek has won a contract for a Dassault business jet that Dassault whose existence the airframer has not yet announced.

Over on the new content side of things, here’s an up close look at the ARJ21 from Zhuhai:

4 Responses to Back in the saddle: 787 ire, A350 production, Qantas, CSeries engines, ARJ21 and a Dassault mystery jet

  1. scott November 29, 2010 at 6:28 pm #

    COMAC’s DC-9-10 has really clean lines.

  2. Iain Currie November 30, 2010 at 1:00 pm #

    Is it me or is this ARL21-700 look like a sooped up DC9

  3. Neil November 30, 2010 at 3:49 pm #

    My first thought too, it looks like a DC9, with the wing off an RJ. Maybe not a bad aircraft!

  4. ACguy711 December 8, 2010 at 7:44 am #

    I work for an American aircraft company in China and the ARJ 21 fuselage is literally an exact copy of the DC-9/MD-80 fuselage. With the exception of the wing (redesigned by a Ukrainian company), the engines, and new systems this plane is an exact structural copy, even down to the part numbers.

    I have been inside the commercial aircraft factory at Chengdu Aircraft where they make the forward fuselage. The only thing that has been redesigned is the windshield structure (I walked up to it and took a look). Everything else is the same. Even down to the part numbers and tooling that the Chinese suppliers supposedly “scrapped” from MD!

    So if anyone thinks the C919 is going to be the next big thing to rival Boeing and Airbus, you’ve got another thing coming. Mainland Chinese aerospace companies are decades away if ever from making a viable competitor. Money can’t buy ingenuity.