12 Jul 2015
Aerospace Manufacturing Magazine, July Edition
Aerospace and Defence Market Manager, Andy Cowan
I was delighted to say an emphatic ‘oui’ to attending the recent Paris Airshow at Le Bourget Airport in the suburbs of the French capital.
It was a truly immersive experience, showing just how far the industry has come, and how it’s literally firing on all cylinders right now. There is a real buzz around the industry from the ramp-ups on the current programmes to the new aircraft which will fly shortly. This is strengthening confidence in the business.
Along with my colleagues at Porvair Filtration Group, I was particularly pleased to see the Airbus A350 making its debut and having its first Paris flying display.
I’ll admit a vested interest; we’re extremely proud to have played a role in its success as one of the world’s most efficient aircraft after manufacturing six of its key components at our Segensworth division in Hampshire. The result of many years of investment, our alignment with Airbus represented a significant achievement for the business.
These products include fuel tank inerting filter assemblies, supplementary galley coolant system filter kits, fuel control system filters, fuel tank strainers, power door operating system filter elements, and reservoir inlet strainers.
The wide-body A350 jet boasts a 25 per cent reduction in fuel consumption thanks to a lower weight and enhanced operational efficiency. It also boasts the most efficient wing yet designed by Airbus, with the 14 foot-long curved winglets helping to reduce drag, and therefore improving fuel consumption.
Claimed to be the most technologically-advanced commercial aircraft around, it is shaping efficiency for the future of air travel.
It is Airbus’s largest, longest-range, highest-flying and fastest-cruising twin, complete with high levels of passenger comfort. It is an exceptional balance of passenger experience, safety features, and operational efficiency, and a significant leap forward from the A330.
I was pleased to see that Airbus is now ready to increase assembly of its latest A350 model after getting off to a deliberately slow start in a bid to reduce risks. Teething problems are never to be underestimated, so it’s a smart move on their part, allowing for a carefully considered introduction.
Airbus is certainly not holding back in future – it has a production target of 10 planes a month by 2018.
Qatar Airways begin to fly the A350 from Doha to the United States in March 2016, with Lufthansa then flying the aircraft from its Munich hub in late 2016.
Describing the A350 as “more fuel efficient than any other aircraft type” with “a 30 per cent smaller noise footprint,” it’s no wonder that Lufthansa threw its lot in with the A350.
With an increasing focus on cost efficiency across the aerospace industry, the protection of expensive equipment has never been more important, and Porvair’s innovations have aimed to set a high standard across the likes of fuel tank inerting, coolant systems, hydraulics, and fuel lines.
With a focus firmly on filtration and engineering expertise, we consistently find that it’s a proactive approach that reduces costs. Effective cost management ensures systems are free from contaminants, with benefits including increased safety, performance, a long service life, and reliability in the most demanding situations.
We have seen these benefits realised in the Airbus A350 through innovative design for increased capability whilst meeting stringent aerospace regulations as part of a new industry standard.
Key growth drivers for us include aircraft build rates, maintenance schedules, new programmes and inerting retrofit; it makes sense that we should meet demand by driving heightened efficiencies across all of them.
As new technologies emerge, the global aerospace industry takes another leap forward – and we look forward to being there with them when they do.
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