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How a dispute between Qatar and Airbus led to financial failings

Airbus has confirmed that it will work with France, Germany, and Spain to build the Future Combat Air System (FCAS).

The Airbus and Qatar Airways are two of the top firms in the aerospace and airline industries, respectively, neither company has been able to settle their legal problems. No suitable solutions have been found as a result of the ongoing dispute between Qatar Airways and Airbus regarding the A350 aircraft’s paint quality. The Reuters team visited the Qatar Airways hangar to evaluate the planes’ paint job.

The Disputes are still being had on both sides despite the fact that both parties have taken the case before an international court. Airbus defends its safety record while Qatar Airways claims that the quality of aircraft paint can compromise airworthiness and safety. Even EASA joined the debate and backed Airbus in its claim that the paint issue may not compromise aviation safety requirements. EASA also denied any connection between the paint issue and the safety of airplanes.

Among the 23 grounded A350s at the center of a $1 billion London court dispute over whether the damage represents a potential safety risk—something Airbus vehemently denies—are Qatar Airways’ A350s, which analysts estimate are worth a combined $300 million.

The problem became so severe that Airbus terminated its agreement with Qatar Airways. However, according to some experts, Qatar Airways did not cancel any Airbus agreements for the purchase of narrow body aircraft; rather, Airbus revoked them. Except for the A350 aircraft, all of Qatar Airways’ Airbus-supplied aircraft are in excellent condition. However, the airline has received criticism for its response, which was to acknowledge the problem and remedy it.

Other airlines have also complained about the A350’s paint quality, although it was only a little issue that was eventually corrected during maintenance. and even the Boeing 787 experienced a problem with paint quality.

Technical terms The primary cause of the paint The composite fiber architectures present quality concerns, which also depend on the ambient temperature. Many aerospace companies still need to conduct a great deal of research in order to resolve this problem. If the temperature is a problem, a new form of layering coat that can stop paint from peeling should be used.

After premature paint deterioration revealed damage to a metallic sub-layer that shields the fuselage from lightning strikes, Qatar’s aviation authority grounded the aircraft. After European regulators deemed the A350 safe, other airlines continued to use it, even though a few recently acknowledged minor flaws that they referred to as “cosmetic.”

Following a request made this week on the sidelines of an airline industry convention in the Qatari capital city of Doha, Reuters journalists were given privileged first-hand access. As a required trade-off for weight savings, Airbus claims that some paint erosion is a characteristic of the carbon-composite technology used to construct all modern long-haul jets.

According to the report, paint, an anti-lightning substance known as ECF, and the composite construction interact to generate fissures. The ECF foil is not present along the entire tail, raising the question of whether damage there is a result of the same issue. A UK court has heard testimony from Qatar Airways that its similar Boeing 787s do not experience the same issues as Airbus’ explanation.

Aviation safety is the only concern for EASA in this situation, according to a spokeswoman. Since the disagreement started, Qatar’s own aviation regulator has neglected to comment. Reuters has not been able to independently confirm the cause of the damage within hundreds of pages of contradictory technical court files made by both sides.

Only when the issue is discussed using the right platform and technological know-how can a solution be found. The problem is having an impact on both sides. Since 23 of its wide-body aircraft have been sitting idle for many months, Airbus is losing potential customers and Qatar Airways is losing significant money. If the problem is to be resolved, any third-party services must be retained for the investigation, fix, trial, hearing, and settlements, or both sides risk losing net profits.

what you think about this disputes and let us know your thoughts in comment sections.

News source courtesy : Reuters 

He is an aviation journalist and the founder of Jetline Marvel. Dawal gained a comprehensive understanding of the commercial aviation industry.  He has worked in a range of roles for more than 9 years in the aviation and aerospace industry. He has written more than 1700 articles in the aerospace industry. When he was 19 years old, he received a national award for his general innovations and holds the patent. He completed two postgraduate degrees simultaneously, one in Aerospace and the other in Management. Additionally, he authored nearly six textbooks on aviation and aerospace tailored for students in various educational institutions. jetlinem4(at)gmail.com

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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