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Aerospace

China Airlines Order for Up to 24 Boeing 787 Dreamliners

Boeing and China Airlines announced they have finalized an order for up to 24 787 Dreamliners. #Boeing #B787

China Airlines Order for Up to 24 Boeing 787 Dreamliners
  • Selecting the 787 to expand China Airlines’ global network and cargo capacity
  • Fleet modernization with 787 cuts fuel use and CO2 emissions by up to 25%

SEATTLE, Sept. 28, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Up to 24 787 Dreamliners have been ordered by China Airlines and Boeing (NYSE:BA), as the airline invests in the fuel-efficient widebody to increase passenger and cargo operations.

The agreement comprises a firm order for 16 of the 787-9‘s with the greatest range, along with options for an additional eight aircraft. This significant acquisition will help the airline achieve its long-term sustainability objectives.

“We are excited to introduce the 787-9 Dreamliner into our operations as we continue to upgrade our fleet with more modern, fuel-efficient airplanes. Adding the state-of-the-art 787 will help us reduce carbon emissions, while also providing our customers with unmatched levels of comfort,” said China Airlines Chairman Hsieh Su-Chien. “Our continuous investment in fleet modernization is the cornerstone of our sustainability efforts.

The 787’s best-in-class efficiency and low operating costs will allow us to expand our network for years to come.”

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The best-selling model of the Dreamliner family, the 787-9 will allow China Airlines to operate with the lowest trip cost among medium-sized widebodies while reducing fuel use and emissions by up to 25% compared to the airplanes it replaces. Since entering service in 2011, the 787 family’s fuel efficiency, flexibility, and range have enabled airlines to open more than 325 new nonstop routes and reduce carbon emissions by 80 billion pounds.

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“The 787’s superior fuel efficiency and range, combined with China Airlines’ existing fleet of 777-300ERs, will enable the carrier to grow efficiently and also expand its global route network,” said Ihssane Mounir, Boeing senior vice president of Commercial Sales and Marketing. “This is a milestone order in our continuing partnership with China Airlines, and the market-leading efficiencies of the 787 will play an important role in furthering the airline’s sustainability efforts.”

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Powered by advanced engines and a suite of environmentally progressive technologies, the 787 family has an airport-noise footprint that is 60% smaller than the previous generation of airplanes. In addition, the 787’s revolutionary composite structures resist corrosion and are perfect for operating in warm and humid climates served by Taipei-based China Airlines.

China Airlines now has 22 Boeing jets on order, including six 777 Freighters. The airline also currently operates 10 777-300ERs (Extended Range), which will form a highly efficient widebody fleet and complement its new fleet of 787s.

Aerospace

Pakistan’s Ambitious Plan to Acquire and Produce Chinese FC-31 Stealth Fighter

Pakistan’s Ambitious Plan to Acquire and Produce Chinese FC-31 Stealth Fighter

Pakistan is embarking on an ambitious endeavor to bolster its air defense capabilities with the acquisition and potential local production of the Chinese FC-31 stealth fighter jet.

Talks are reportedly underway between the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) and the Shenyang Aircraft Corporation, the developer of the FC-31, signaling a significant leap forward for Pakistan’s military aviation prowess.

The FC-31, a mid-sized, twin-engine fifth-generation fighter, promises advanced air combat capabilities, including stealth technology that surpasses anything currently in the PAF‘s fleet. With plans to retire the JF-17 production line by 2030, the FC-31 could emerge as the new flagship aircraft, offering unmatched performance and versatility.

Experts speculate that Pakistan’s interest in the FC-31 could also signal broader implications for the international market. As China develops both land and carrier versions of the FC-31, analysts foresee it becoming a cost-effective alternative to pricier options like the F-35, potentially challenging the dominance of the US aerospace industry and reshaping global strategic rivalries.

Adding complexity to the deal is China’s push for the WS-13 engine, previously rejected for the JF-17 but now under consideration for both the FC-31 and future JF-17 variants. Engine standardization could streamline logistical and maintenance processes for the PAF, further enhancing the appeal of the FC-31.

While negotiations continue, the success of the FC-31 acquisition and local production hinges on several factors, including the outcome of the WS-13 engine discussions. Pakistan’s pursuit of the FC-31 comes amidst its eagerness to replace its aging fleet, with previous attempts to upgrade its F-16s by the United States due to geopolitical pressures.

Amidst these developments, Pakistan previous interest in the Turkish-made Kaan fifth-generation fighter underscores its eagerness to replace its aging fleet. Despite previous attempts to secure upgrades for its F-16s from the United States, Pakistan’s quest for advanced aerial capabilities has led it to explore alternative avenues, with the FC-31 emerging as a promising contender in its pursuit of air superiority.

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Aerospace

Airbus presents new Wingman concept at ILA Berlin Airshow

Airbus presents new Wingman concept at ILA Berlin Airshow

At the prestigious ILA aerospace trade show in Berlin, Airbus Defence and Space made waves by introducing its pioneering Wingman concept, marking a significant leap forward in military aviation technology.

Teaming up with Helsing, Europe’s leading defense AI and software company, Airbus showcased a framework cooperation agreement aimed at revolutionizing the realm of artificial intelligence (AI) in defense.

Airbus Wingman

The Wingman concept represents a paradigm shift in aerial warfare, introducing unmanned platforms equipped with advanced AI capabilities to augment the capabilities of manned combat aircraft. Pilots in command aircraft such as the Eurofighter command these autonomous drones, positioning them to undertake high-risk mission tasks that would traditionally pose a significant threat to manned-only aircraft.

Central to the Wingman concept is Manned-Unmanned Teaming, wherein manned aircraft serve as “command fighters,” retaining ultimate control over mission decisions while delegating tactical tasks to unmanned systems. This synergistic collaboration promises to enhance mission flexibility, increase combat mass, and minimize risk exposure for pilots, thereby bolstering overall operational effectiveness.

The capabilities of the Wingman extend across a diverse spectrum of mission profiles, ranging from reconnaissance and target jamming to precision strikes against both ground and aerial targets. Equipped with advanced sensors, connectivity solutions, and a diverse array of armaments, the Wingman stands poised to redefine the operational landscape of modern air forces.

While the Wingman model showcased at ILA Berlin represents the pinnacle of current technological innovation, it also serves as a catalyst for future design iterations. As with any pioneering concept, refinement and evolution are inevitable, with each generation of the Wingman poised to push the boundaries of aerial warfare even further.

MQ-28 Ghost Bat

Boeing introduced the MQ-28 Ghost Bat, an unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV), which made its maiden flight in February 2021. Developed by Boeing Australia, the MQ-28 leverages artificial intelligence to serve as a force multiplier for manned fighter jets.

The Ghost Bat is engineered to operate in tandem with existing military aircraft, enhancing and extending the capabilities of airborne missions. This cost-effective UCAV is designed to work as an intelligent teammate, complementing and amplifying the effectiveness of manned operations in various mission profiles.

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Aerospace

Take First Glimpse of USAF B-21 Raider, Latest Nuclear Stealth Bomber

Take First Glimpse of USAF B-21 Raider, Latest Nuclear Stealth Bomber
Image:USAF

The United States Air Force (USAF) has unveiled the first photographs of the Northrop Grumman B-21 Raider bomber in flight.

These images were captured during test flights conducted by the B-21 Combined Test Force at Edwards Air Force Base, marking a significant milestone in the development of this sixth-generation aircraft.

Currently undergoing flight tests in California, the B-21 Raider represents the next generation of stealth bombers. With an estimated cost of around $700 million per aircraft, the B-21 Raider is poised to become a crucial component of the USAF’s arsenal for conventional Long Range Strike missions.

According to Air Force briefings, the B-21 Raider will form part of a comprehensive family of systems, encompassing Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance capabilities, electronic warfare, communication systems, and more. Notably, the bomber will be nuclear-capable and adaptable for both manned and unmanned operations.

It boasts the flexibility to deploy a wide array of stand-off and direct-attack munitions, ensuring versatility in various combat scenarios. One of the B-21’s distinguishing features is its extensive integration of digital technology, as highlighted in discussions held during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing.

Designed with an open systems architecture, the B-21 Raider is built to swiftly incorporate emerging technologies, ensuring its effectiveness against evolving threats over time. The B-21 Raider is slated to replace the aging B-1 Lancer and B-2 Spirit bombers, bolstering US national security objectives and providing reassurance to allies and partners worldwide.

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