01 March 2015

Maintenance data-sharing remains a challenge for A350 operators.

Many data types move through the aviation ecosystem for many reasons. There are strategic aims to sharing some data, for example on performance and reliability, to improve safety, performance and maintenance efficiency.

This kind of data sharing is often limited by intellectual property (IP) rights held by original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). But there is also tactical data sharing, aimed to improve the execution of maintenance.

There are no regulatory hurdles to transmitting tactical MRO data, just technical requirements and investments to be made.

But which kinds of investments, and by whom? Some MRO veterans think the key is standardizing data, whether in the Spec 2000 format for the U.S., or Europe’s ASD format.

Others contend the industry can and will have to work with somewhat different data standards, at least for a while.  “This issue has been discussed for a long time, but the transmission and sharing of maintenance data is not easy,” said Fernando Ferreira Matos, head of IT at TAP Maintenance & Engineering.

Matos said one issue is that in order to share data 2 companies must use the same standards, which does not always occur.

For example, TAP M&E and much of the industry use iSpec 2000 for technical data and manuals.

But not all airlines use that standard. “We have been trying to get certifying agencies like FAA and EASA to enforce this standard, but it takes a long time.”

Meanwhile, newer standards are developing. The Airbus A350, for instance, will use ASD S1000, an XML standard.

TAP M&E will remain on iSpec 2000, however, to support legacy aircraft.

The MRO now transmits data on non-routine work during heavy checks to airline customers in PDFs. Matos would prefer transmitting the complete check-work dossier electronically as structured data, but that is not possible. “There will always be gaps in data sharing,” Matos noted.

Matos said modern maintenance systems like Trax or Mxi have built-in connectors to wider airline software, but older ones do not.

Data-sharing challenges will only expand as the A350 enters service, as it generates huge amounts of operational data, perhaps 500 GB per leg. Airlines and MROs can productively use only a portion of this immense quantity of data, Matos said.

“Some operational data is a business asset, but most we don’t know what to do with. We will just load it into databases.”

Another new challenge is maximizing benefits of the new radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags on parts. A Spec 2000 team is creating standards for RFID data now.

Matos said conformity with standards on RFID will be essential for different companies to share RFID-tagged rotables.

Based on the article “Automating data exchange” published in Aviation Week.

28 February 2015

Airbus no longer mentions the A350-800 in their press releases

Starting with the press release of the visit to Madrid airport of the A350 last 19/Feb, Airbus has stopped mentioning the A350-800 as a A350 family member.

Source: Airbus

"The A350 XWB is available in 2 basic passenger versions: the A350-900 seating 315 passenger and the A350-1000 for 369 in a typical two-class layout."

Source: Marina Lystseva

With 16 orders (from Aeroflot and Asiana Airlines, 8 each), the smaller member of the A350 family has not officially cancelled.

27 February 2015

A350 wiring made by women in Morocco.

Labinal Power Systems Morocco  (subsidiary of the Safran Group) has celebrated the 10th anniversary of its site at Aïn Atiq in Temara with an annual growth of 30% and 1.300 employees.

Safran CEO Jean Paul Herteman visited the Aïn Atiq site that currently is one of the most important factories for aeronautical wiring-manufacturing in the world.

"The social climate that prevails and energy that emanates leave me speechless," said Moulay Hafid Elalamy, Minister of industry who took part in the ceremony.

Labinal Morocco has successively hosted the transfers of production of wiring systems and electrical furniture of the Airbus programs like A320, the A330 and the A400M, which had been originally developed in France.

The A350 wiring have been the first electric wiring system workpackage that has been industrialized in Labinal Morocco. Patrick Gaillard, Managing Director of Labinal-Morocco, noted that “the A350  wiring have been manufactured in Morocco with Moroccan managers and staff.”

“Morocco is our 4th country in the world after France, United States and Mexico” said Jean-Paul Herteman, Safran CEO. “Our growth targets for Morocco site are of around 5% every year. We will  open a new plant in Casablanca in the coming weeks, specializing in brain mechanisms for flight control, which is something highly technological.”

“We are also investing in the training because our requirements of employees are important. We are very pleased with the quality of our employees both engineers and operators.”

The site employs 1.300 people, including 91% women, more than half are graduates of higher education.

Based on the article “Labinal power systems monte la cadence” published in Les Eco

26 February 2015

A350 landed for the first time in Paris and in Munich.

The A350 flight test prototype MSN2 has landed today at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport and Munich Franz Josef Strauss airport for the first time ever.

Source: What the flight

The aircraft has been used as shuttle for media guests travelling to the Airbus Group Annual Results conference taking place tomorrow 27/February at Munich.

Source: Airbus

The aircraft will return Toulouse, via Paris CDG on Friday after the press conference.

Source: What the flight

Based on the press release “Airbus A350 XWB makes its “première” in Paris”

25 February 2015

2nd A350 delivery to Qatar on Friday 27/Feb during Airbus Group press conference.

2nd A350 delivery to Qatar on Friday 27/Feb during Airbus Group press conference.

Airbus is preparing the second A350-900 (MSN7) for delivery to Qatar Airways on Friday

The airline got its first A350 on 22/Dec/2014 and started flying the daily Doha-Frankfurt route on 15/Jan/2015.

Qatar CEO Akbar Al Baker said at the Frankfurt ceremony last month that he expected to take delivery of the 2nd aircraft within 3 weeks, but more than 6 weeks have passed since then.

A Qatar Airways official said on Monday that the aircraft is “on schedule to begin on the Frankfurt route on Sunday 1/March as indicated earlier.”

It is unclear what caused the current slippage, and Airbus & Qatar are not revealing details of the progress in the delivery process and why the aircraft has not been handed over earlier.

Qatar Airways has replaced a Boeing 787-8 on the Doha-Frankfurt route with its first A350 and it is making Frankfurt the initial destination for the 2nd aircraft.

Qatar Airways is currently lobbying for better access to the German market and has used the A350 to showcase what it perceives as its superior product compared to Lufthansa

Al Baker is in Berlin next week for the ITB, the world’s largest travel and tourism show. He is expected to reveal initial operating data for the A350 and to advertise the arrival of the MSN7.

Airbus also has an incentive to finalize the delivery this week, as Airbus Group, the company’s parent, holds its annual press conference on Friday 27/Feb. 

All pictures Source Airbus

Based on the article “Airbus Prepares Handover Of Second A350 This Week” published by Aviation Week.

24 February 2015

Titanium parts from USA for A350 XWB

Ducommun Incorporated has reported that it has been awarded its first direct contract from Airbus for the A350 XWB wide-body aircraft.

Ducommun will provide titanium components for titanium assemblies that will be installed on the aft fuselage section of the jet.

The components are already in production at Ducommun’s Coxsackie, N.Y. operations center, which specializes in forming technology for shaping titanium, steel and other hard metals for challenging aerospace requirements.

“This new contract establishes the baseline for Ducommun to continue expanding its support of Airbus in North America” said Anthony J. Reardon, chairman and chief executive officer.

Based on the press release “Ducommun Awarded First Direct Contract on Airbus A350 XWB”

23 February 2015

1.5m-diameter titanium 3D-printed part to be flight-test on A350-1000 engine.

Rolls-Royce will flight-test later this year a Trent XWB-97 engine fitted with what it claims is the largest component ever built using additive layer manufacturing (ALM).

The titanium structure is a 1.5m-diameter and 0.5m-thick front bearing housing containing 48 aerofoils, manufactured using the ALM technique, also known as 3D printing.

The UK propulsion giant has already ground-tested several XWB-97s – the sole engine for the in-development Airbus A350-1000 – containing the tractor-tyre-sized part, but no engine including such a large ALM component has ever powered an aircraft in flight, said Rolls-Royce.

Although production XWB-97s will not contain the ALM component – at least not initially – the Derby-based company says the project is a key step towards proving the industrial viability of the process, which it says could trim 30% from "like-for-like manufacturing lead time".

"It is ideal for prototyping. Shortening the manufacturing time by almost a third gives us more time to design, which is always a benefit," said Alan Newby, chief engineer for future programs and technology. "We are also able to produce designs that we wouldn't otherwise be able to do."

Rolls-Royce is not new to ALM – a technique by which metal powder is melted by electron beam and built ultra-thin layer by layer into complex shapes – having used it to repair components for at least five years. "We are using this knowledge now to build up to bigger components," said Newby.

 All pictures Source: VadeAviones.com

Based on the article “Rolls-Royce to fly Trent XWB with largest-ever 3D-printed part” published in FlightGlobal.