Flight Test Programs: Here’s a quick update on the flight test programs underway right now:
Airbus A350XWB: The sole flying test platform in the A350XWB program has accumulated 150 hours since its first flight just before the Paris Air Show in June. The second test plane is due to enter the program this month. The program is believed to have completed its VMU (unstick) testing.
Boeing 787-9: The second member of the 787 family has accumulated 40 flying hours since its first flight on Sept. 17. Aviation Week has a good article on the flight test progress. The airplane is nearing its flutter testing.
Bombardier CSeries: Flight Test Vehicle 1 returned to the skies Tuesday after two weeks since its first flight Sept. 16. Further software upgrades and analyzing test results were stated as the reasons for the gap. The airplane reached 25,000 feet and Mach 0.60 in its second test flight, which lasted four hours.
New A320/737 cabins: Interior maker Zodiac has designed retrofit cabins for the Boeing 737NG and the Airbus A320 families. The 737NG cabin is similar to the Boeing Sky Interior installed on every new 737, but Boeing didn’t offer this as a retrofit to the installed base. Zodiac’s design actually carries more luggage than Boeing’s. The Zodiac A320 cabin is similar.
Only Qantas Airways has purchased Zodiac’s 737 interior and so far there are no customers for the A320 version. But this is about to change. Here is the story we wrote for APEX.
JetBlue Tails: The airline’s blog has a nice compilation of all its tail liveries here.