A350 batteries: Flight Global has a detailed story about the Airbus approach to lithium-ion batteries in the A350. The approach is more conservative than Boeing’s for the 787.
A350 Version 1.0: A blog called A350 XWB News has a retrospective on the A350’s original proposal (which we call Version 1.0, because the design went through so many iterations). It’s got the original brochure reproduced. It’s an interesting recollection, and one to compare with the A330neo. Boeing dismisses the A330neo as A350 V 1.0, but it’s really not when you compare.
A350 Final version: A350 XWB production is tracking to plan, first A350 after Qatar’s initial 8 (MSN6 to 13), MSN14 to Vietnam Airlines is going to ground tests (Station 30) after getting wings and empennage in Station 40 at the Airbus Final Assembly Line (FAL) in Tolouse. We are following this program carefully since start and the roll out of the latest XWB from wing join was within days of our prediction 6 months ago, thereby the A350 ramp to three FAL starts by end of year is tracking so far.
A380 downed by mops: Aviation Week has the story on how Qantas cleaners got the water flowing in their A380s when it should not. The incident is old (80 gallons of water flowing around in the fittings of the A380 when climbing out of LAX to Melbourne, first time in June) but one has now found the cause; the cleaners mops were getting the water couplings in a galley unlatched. Small things having big impact.
Boeing record: Qatar airways took delivery of three 787 and one 777 in one day this week; here the Flightglobal version of the Boeing announcement. Airline CEO Al Baker says ““Never in the history of an airline have so many aircraft been taken in just one day.”
Southwest schedule: Southwest Airlines adjusted its schedule two months ago to improve its on-time performance, and revealed that the new times are working.
Southwest, once boasting of being #1, 2 or 3 in on-time ratings among US major carriers, saw a steady decline in recent years as it ramped up service in congested airports, expanded in regions that were more prone to weather delays, added larger airplanes (the Boeing 737-800) to its schedule. After acquiring AirTran, Southwest tightened the schedule in an effort to cut turn-times. But AirTran’s traditional hub operation vs WN’s largely point-to-point didn’t lend itself to the tighter turns Southwest scheduled. It didn’t take a lot of insight to understand why delays were showing up on the AirTran fleet. Southwest’s OT performance is still not where it once was–it’s currently at 78.9% when it used to run in the 80s–but it’s better.