It has been a nice month for Gulfstream Aerospace. Its flagship aircraft, the Gulfstream G650ER, was incorporated into the fleet of Qatar Airways as the first of up to 30 aircraft ordered.
The Southwest Asian airliner made a nice deal with for its daughter company Qatar Executive for at least 20 Gulfstream aircraft of various kinds, including the G500 and G600. “The G650ER will get its customers from Doha to New York, Cape Town or Beijing nonstop,” Mark Burns, a proud president of Gulfstream Aerospace said in a released press statement.
Luxury charter aircraft
Qatar Executive started in 2009, as a business and luxury charter service to its customers. They will now be able to travel 7,500 nautical miles (13,890 km) at speeds up to 562 knots without any stop on board the G650ER, an aircraft that was certified by the Federal Aviation Administration in 2014.
Roomy business jet
The G650ER is a relatively roomy business jet, with 16 big windows and with internet, phone and on-board printing capabilities. It can accommodate up to 19 passengers (10 in sleeping arrangements) and fly up to 51,000 feet of cruising altitude – higher than most airliners fly.
UPDATED 19 June | As always its the orders for airliners that fight for attention at the Paris Air Show, but on the military side, things are happening as well. Most interesting little fact was the apparent first export order – announced on Monday – for the Pakistan-made JF-17 Thunder, although no country was mentioned. Let’s not be surprised however when it turns out to be Myanmar.
Pakistan Air Force officials only described the country that soon may add the JF-17 to its military inventory, as ‘Asian’. The same officials reported that current turmoil in the Middle East has slowed down export talks. The JF-17’s development meanwhile continues, with a possible two seat version on the way.
On the slower spectrum, Mali and Ghana agreed to buy six and five A-29 Super Tucano light attack aircraft respectively, while Saudi Arabia signed for four Airbus C295W medium transport and patrol aircraft. Perhaps the most prominent deal was the purchase of four Boeing C-17s for the Qatar Emiri Air Force.
As far as helicopters are concerned, Malaysia placed an order with Airbus Helicopters for two AS365 Dauphins for SAR duties.
Unnoticed by many was the first sale for Aero Vodochody of its new L-39NG aircraft. More on that is here.
Dassault’s Rafale was the most numerous aircraft. Three Rafales were on the ground, while a fourth gave a flying display. In the trade halls, models of Rafales in the colours of Qatar, India and Egypt were seen. Given the recent orders from those countries, further Rafale sales are unlikely.
Also in the halls, Alenia Aermacchi was pitching its M-345 jet trainer. France is reportedly interested in this trainer aircraft. Elsewhere, Antonov was pitching its new An178 transporter. The Ukrainian company also announced the An188, a military transport aircraft in the A400M and Boeing C-17 category, powered by four turbofan engines.
Qatar lets money roll at the 2015 Paris Air Show. Especially to US aircraft manufacturer Boeing. Having decided to buy another four C-17s for its Air Force, the flag carrier of the Southwest Asian nation is to gain another 10 Boeing 777-8Xs and four 777 Freighters for 4.8 billion US dollars, it was announced on 15 June 2015.
“Acquiring technologically-advanced airplanes such as the 777X is integral to our expansion strategy,” says Qatar Airways’ CO Akbar Al Baker. “With the addition of these 777-8X to the 50 777-9X already on order, we are confident of continuing the tremendous legacy of the 777.”
The 777X will include new engines, an all-new composite wing and will leverage technologies from the 787 Dreamliner. Design of the 777X is underway and production is set to begin in 2017, with first delivery targeted for 2020. With this order, the 777X has accumulated 320 orders and commitments from six customers worldwide.
The 777 Freighter is capable of flying 4,900 nautical miles (9,070 km) with a full payload and general cargo market densities.
UPDATED 10 June | One week prior to the Paris Air Show at Le Bourget, it’s clear that Pakistan stole everybody’s thunder by sending over three JF-17 Thunder fighter aircraft. The aircraft left Pakistan for France on Sunday 7 June. Le Bourget kicks off on Monday 15 June, with other high lights being the Bombardier CSeries and a sizable delegation from both Boeing and – remarkably – Qatar Airways.
Update 10 June: Airbus has confirmed an Airbus A400M will take part in the flying display. The company says it has complete confidence in the aircraft
The JF-17 is a joint endeavour by Pakistan and China, both already operating significant numbers of the type, although the Chinese prefer to call it the JC-1. Several countries have shown interest in the type, Argentina reportedly being one of them. One JF-17 will be on static display at Le Bourget, while the other two will be used for a solo flying display.
Bombardier The Paris Air Show marks the debut of the Bombardier CS100 and CS300 airliners, both still in development and in need of customers. Swiss was officialy announced as launch customer for the CS100 earlier this year, with deliveries commencing no sooner than next year.
Boeing On the military side of things, Boeing will bring a CH-47F Chinook, P-8A Poseidon and F-15E to Paris. The no-show of the F/A-18 Super Hornet is noteworthy, as the type is rumoured to have drawn interest from Kuwait. Other sources mention Kuwait is now eyeing the Eurofighter Typhoon, however. The P-8A is a serious contender for the UK, with an order on the cards in the not too distant future. Boeing will also present a 787-900 Dreamliner in Vietnam Airlines colours, plus a China Airlines 777-300ER.
For the US, an A-10C Thunderbolt tank killer should also pay a visit to Le Bourget. The type is currently deployed in Europe and the focus of a Boeing-effort of selling used airframes to interested nations.
Closer to home, Airbus is dispatching a A350XWB and an A380 to Le Bourget. It is uncertain if the Airbus A400M will be present at all after the fatal crash on 9 May in Seville, Spain. Airbus Helicopters will show a lot of its portfolio during the show
Quite remarkable is the presence of Qatar Airways at Le Bourget with an Airbus A380, A350, A320, A319 and a 787 Dreamliner. The major delegation fits into the current aggressive Qatar Airways marketing in Europe, which many European airlines see as a major threath to their business. It is said the recent order for 24 Dassault Rafale aircraft has opened many French doors for Qatar – the door of the Paris Air Show apparently being one of those doors.
Qatar Airways will bring its new Airbus A350-900s in 2016 to the United States. Starting on 1 January the Southwest Asian airline starts daily flights from Hamad IAP in Doha to Philadelphia IAP. In March next year New York JFK and Boston will be added as A350-900 destinations, the company announced.
At the moment Qatar flies the Boeing 777-200LR to Philadelphia, which has with 259 seats 24 places for passengers less. Those who chose to fly Business on the new A350-900s will be met by a nice 80 inch fully flat horizontal bed and 17-inch HD in-flight entertainment displays. Economy passenger let themselves be distracted on 10,6-inch screens.
Airbus delivered the first ever A350 XWB on 22 December 2014, with Qatar being the premier user of the new plane that had a remarkable smooth development. After Asia and Europe, now A350s come to look for America.