Entries in Le Bourget (3)


Airbus A320neo dominates commerce during the Paris Air Show

The recently completed 2011 Paris Air Show at Le Bourget Airport (IATA: LBG; ICAO: LFPB) showed that the airline industry has much interest in a new model of aircraft being built by Airbus.  An environmentally friendlier version of the Toulouse-based aircraft maker's A320, the new variant shown off by Airbus at Le Bourget last week is identified by the Greek prefix meaning "new" tacked onto its name (albeit, the end of its name).

The London-based Guardian reported that Airbus did 57 billion USD (39.9 billion EUR; 35.4 billion GBP) in business during the biennial air show, at the general aviation field east of ParisAs reported here last week, Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) placed an order for 30 of the A320neo.  But the Guardian reported that the Indian budget carrier IndiGo ordered a stunning 150 of the model (along with 30 ordinary A320s), and that the Malaysian budget carrier Air Asia topped even that, with an order for 200 of the A320neo.  A recap of the events at the world's largest air show, from Aviation International News, states that this latter transaction was "the largest single firm order in aviation history."

Other buyers of the A320neo in Paris last week were the American budget carrier JetBlue Airways, the Chilean airline LAN, the Indian budget carrier GoAir, and Republic Airways, an American holding company which owns six United States-based airlines.

The A320neo models will, according to Airbus, boast more efficient engines than what the ordinary A320 has.  The aircraft maker promises the A320neo will burn 15 percent less fuel than the A320 does.  If true, this means the A320neo will have an additional range (relative to the A320) of 950 kilometers (589 miles), all else equal.  Alternatively, it means the A320neo will be able to carry two metric tons (4,400 pounds) more payload, all else equal.

As it so happens, "neo" is an Airbus acronym for "new engine option."  The "neo" engines are being built by American engine maker Pratt & Whitney, and by CFM International.  The latter is a transnational joint venture between the American firm General Electric, and the French engine maker Snecma.  The A320neo is "due to enter operational use in October 2015," according to a video uploaded by Aviation Week, to YouTube.

related story

Scandinavian Airlines orders 30 of the Airbus A320neo (June 21, 2011)

original stories

Paris Air Show 2011 Report (Aviation International News)

Airbus 'overwhelmed' by sales success as A320neo proves a hit at Paris air show (The Guardian)

Airbus A320neo star of the Paris Air Show (Aerospace and Defence News)

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Concorde engine tests were a success

For seven hours last Saturday, engines from the supersonic airliner Concorde were tested and found to be in perfect condition, according to Ben Lord, the Vice Chairman of Save Concorde Group, a United Kingdom-based association of Concorde enthusiasts.  An approximately equivalent French group called Olympus 593, arranged for the tests to be conducted at the Air and Space Museum just off the premises of the general aviation airfield (IATA: LBG; ICAO: LFPB) in Le Bourget, a suburb of Paris.  The engines were taken from Sierra Delta, a former Air France Concorde.

Shortly after the engine tests, the Vice Chairman wrote, at the group's website, www.save-concorde.org.uk, "I want to pay tribute to the fantastic workmanship that has taken place in France today with my British and French colleagues.  The Anglo-French effort is replicating history from 40+ years ago, and I am so proud of the work that each and every individual from the world of Concorde has done in recognition of their contribution today."  The other engines from Sierra Delta will be similarly tested over the coming weeks.

As the Vice Chairman of Save Concorde Group points out, Concorde is, and for more than forty years has been, an Anglo-French project, resulting in the highest-profile and most popular supersonic commercial passenger transport vehicle ever.  Concorde flew frequent, regularly scheduled flights among only four airports in the world, Heathrow Airport in London (IATA: LHR; ICAO: EGLL), Charles de Gaulle International in Paris (IATA: CDG; ICAO: LFPG), Kennedy International in New York (IATA: JFK; ICAO: KJFK), and Dulles International in Washington, D.C. (IATA: IAD; ICAO: KIAD).

Concorde first flew in 1969, and first carried paying passengers in 1976.  The only blemish on Concorde's safety record occurred in 2000 outside Paris, when one crashed into a Charles de Gaulle International airport hotel, killing all aboard, and four on the ground.  Rising maintenance costs were cited as one reason why Concorde was grounded three years later.  But it is sincerely hoped that Concorde will be fully functional in time to fly over the opening ceremonies in London, of the 2012 Summer Olympics.

related story

Plan launched in Anglo-French joint effort to fly Concorde again (May 30, 2010)

original stories

Test Shows Concorde Engine Is Sound (www.avweb.com)

Concorde to take to the air again? (The Daily Dust)

Le Bourget Air and Space Museum (official site - in French)

Le Bourget Air and Space Museum (unofficial site - in English)


Plan launched in Anglo-French joint effort to fly Concorde again

Research on the feasibility of flying the supersonic passenger jet Concorde again has begun at Le Bourget Air and Space Museum in the Parisian suburb of Le Bourget, and near the general aviation airport of the same name (IATA: LBG; ICAO: LFPB).  Preliminary research is an Anglo-French joint project that is anticipated to cost around 15 million GBP (17.7 million EUR; 21.8 million USD).  A British association called the Save Concorde Group, and a French association called Olympus 593, are behind the effort.

“Major tests” have been done at Le Bourget on multiple Rolls Royce engines that once powered the supersonic airliner.  These engine tests are the first step, and it was always unknown whether or not the engines could even be safely started.  Nevertheless, the Vice Chairman of the Save Concorde Group called the developments “amazing,” and proclaimed in a press release that the process is moving along supersonically.  How fast, then?  London hosts the Summer Olympics in 2012, and it is hoped that Concorde, fully-functional, could be shown off in connection with that event.  The next step in getting Concorde back in the air is to perform a ground taxi with the aircraft.

Concorde flew its first test flights in 1969 and flew its first passengers in 1976.  Only two airlines ever flew the supersonic aircraft on regular schedules, British Airways and Air France, the flag carriers of the United Kingdom and France respectively.  For regularly scheduled trans-Atlantic flights, Concorde used Heathrow Airport in London (IATA: LHR; ICAO: EGLL) and Charles de Gaulle International Airport in Paris (IATA: CDG; ICAO: LFPG).  The two American airports used regularly by Concorde were Dulles International in Washington, D.C. (IATA: IAD; ICAO: KIAD), and Kennedy International in New York (IATA: JFK; ICAO: KJFK).

Concorde was grounded in 2003 three years after the fatal crash of Air France 4590, a Concorde flight from Charles de Gaulle International to Kennedy International.  On takeoff, the aircraft ran over a piece of metal dropped by a jet that had recently departed Charles de Gaulle.  Just minutes into the flight, the Concorde captain attempted, but failed, to land the crippled aircraft at the airfield in Le Bourget.  A little more than a week ago, it was revealed that the former leader of the Concorde program at Aérospatiale, Henri Perrier, faces a two-year suspended jail sentence in connection with the crash.

original stories

Work starts in £15 million plan to get Concorde flying (BBC)

Experts begin £15 million project to get Concorde flying again (UK Daily Mail)

Save Concorde Group (United Kingdom)

Olympus 593 (France - in French)

Le Bourget Air and Space Museum (official site - in French)

Le Bourget Air and Space Museum (unofficial site - in English)

clarification from www.dictionary.com

definition of "Anglo-French"