Odds and Ends: A320 Sharklet tests better than forecast; Emirates and A350-1000

Back to work:
Airbus flight tests reveal that its Sharklet is one-half percent better on long-range operations than had been forecast.
The company revealed that the A320 Sharklet 4% better fuel burn than the current airplane on long-range flight tests, vs. the 3.5% forecast. EIS is next month.
The company also had the maiden flight of the A319 Sharklet on November 23. EIS is second quarter 2013.
Airbus Photo
Emirates and A350-1000: Aviation Week has this piece about the A350-1000 and Emirates Airlines. We’ve also been told the aircraft is overweight at this stage and field performance is a concern, we’re confident Airbus will be able to address the issues. (We’d note that field performance for the Boeing 737 MAX has also been a concern, but we also believe Boeing will overcome this. The point is that weight and performance are also concerns of new airplane programs, including the Boeing 787 and 747-8.)
EasyJet looks at Airbus, Boeing, Bombardier: easyJet is considering all three OEMs for its next round of aircraft, considering the A320, the 737 and the CSeries.

15 Comments on “Odds and Ends: A320 Sharklet tests better than forecast; Emirates and A350-1000

  1. Mr. Clark, while bashing the Airbus for their changes to the A350-1000, has also hinted at converting some, or all, of their A350-900 orders to -1000s. At least, that is what I read into the comments about the size of the -900 is starting to look marginal.

    Seems like they are still happy with the A380 performance, despite the wing structure problems. Obviously not related, but both do deal with costs. I do wonder how much that is really bothering them. Not that we will ever really know.

  2. I wonder why Airbus waited for 20 yrs if performance improvements are so big..

    • From what I understand wingtip devices add weight, you are paying a price short haul. But with rising fuel prices this distance shrunk to the point the percentage flights under this distance becomes neglectible.

      Re: ikkeman, I thought the additional 200kg of replacing wingfences with sharklets is fully compensared by weight reductions elsewhere. I would be interested to know why performance takes a dive anyway.


      RE A350-100; I think this aircraft looked excellent from the start. Part of the industry had a strong interest in spreading doubts. The listprice Airbus set for the airlines is relatively high, some wanted to preserve the domonant position of the 777. However EIS now gets closer, 5 yrs to go, and airlines are starting to put their money where their mouths are, Including the endlessly quoted critial Middle East Airlines. As far as I can see CX, UA and probaly BA are a go.

      • You could apply the weight reduction without fitting the winglets reducing empty weight by that amount, reducing fuel burn in the process.

      • larger wetted area, more parasitic drag.

        Also, the weight savings on other parts of the a/c should not be used when evaluating the new wingtip device (as Uwe pointed out), those weight savings are possible independent of the wingtip device (Actually, probably more weight saving could be achieved without a wingtip device)

  3. I still see the B787-10X in the cards for EK….it will serve excellent on short to medium-haul “trunk routes”…..I’m still not convinced a 350+ seater will be the smallest plane in EK’s fleet.

    I do understand there is FlyDubai for the “short-haul” routes, but unless FlyDubai is integrated into/with EK, EK will need a sub-350 seat plane.

    Both the B787-10X and A359XWB would serve well in EK’s fleet..IMHO..

      • Given EK were seriously looking into the A333 and that EK’s Clark is stating the A359XWB might be a bit on the smaller end, the B787-10X would perfectly fit the various criteria of what EK is looking for.

  4. “We’d note that field performance for the Boeing 737 MAX has also been a concern, but we also believe Boeing will overcome this.”

    I only know the 737-900ER needs a lot of runway, even under standard conditions, Boeing recently said they hope the -9 won’t do worse. Performance kits and carbon brakes were already developed in the past.

  5. keesje :However EIS now gets closer, 5 yrs to go

    Yes, I guess that is technically correct, buuuuut………..=:-)

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