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New Airbus "Sharklets" Testbed A/C? (PIC)

Thu Apr 19, 2012 12:13 am

Hello All:

I saw this new picture :


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Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Dn280



Was curious to know if this plane will wear any sort of specialty scheme or the regular Airbus colors? Hopefully this is the first of many more new Airbus aircraft that will wear the new "Sharklets".
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gigneil
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RE: New Airbus "Sharklets" Testbed A/C? (PIC)

Thu Apr 19, 2012 1:22 am

Why doesn't it just not have wingtip fences at all right now, I do wonder.

NS
 
lrdc9
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RE: New Airbus "Sharklets" Testbed A/C? (PIC)

Thu Apr 19, 2012 2:15 am

Quoting gigneil (Reply 1):
Why doesn't it just not have wingtip fences at all right now, I do wonder.

I was wondering the same thing, why would they even install the fences if sharklets are going on before delivery?
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iFlyLOTs
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RE: New Airbus "Sharklets" Testbed A/C? (PIC)

Thu Apr 19, 2012 2:23 am

Well don't flight tests have to be done? I would think that they would keep the wingtip fences on to do the pre-delivery tests and by then hopefully the sharklets will be certified and you can then unveil this plane with them on. At least, that's how it works in my head.
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lightsaber
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RE: New Airbus "Sharklets" Testbed A/C? (PIC)

Thu Apr 19, 2012 2:29 am

Quoting iFlyLOTs (Reply 3):
Well don't flight tests have to be done? I would think that they would keep the wingtip fences on to do the pre-delivery tests and by then hopefully the sharklets will be certified and you can then unveil this plane with them on. At least, that's how it works in my head.

Airbus definitely wants accurate fuel burn information on the aircraft in the before and after configuration. What if the aircraft had an undiscovered wing warp or engine defect that increased the fuel burn by 1%? They would be selling winglets to customers with that error in performance.

The converse could also be true. What if the fuel metering equipment was off in measuring the fuel flow rate? By benchmarking a 'known,' Airbus can be certain of the improvements the sharklets provide.

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aeroweanie
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RE: New Airbus "Sharklets" Testbed A/C? (PIC)

Thu Apr 19, 2012 4:00 am

Manufacturers don't like to build aircraft that are non-conforming. If they built the A320 without tip fences, it would not conform to the master drawing list for the aircraft and thus would not be type-conforming. To get a certificate of airworthiness, it would require an individual airworthiness certificate, which would be a hassle. It is far easier to build it to the type certificate, put it on the experimental register after delivery (to Airbus) and then modify it. When they are done testing it, they can de-mod it and return it to normal airworthiness.
 
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RE: New Airbus "Sharklets" Testbed A/C? (PIC)

Thu Apr 19, 2012 4:30 am

I must say I'll be disappointed when the Airbus wingtip fences go away. They're my favorite design element on the A320 family...such a graceful look IMO.
 
r2rho
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RE: New Airbus "Sharklets" Testbed A/C? (PIC)

Thu Apr 19, 2012 9:53 am

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 4):
Airbus definitely wants accurate fuel burn information on the aircraft in the before and after configuration. What if the aircraft had an undiscovered wing warp or engine defect that increased the fuel burn by 1%? They would be selling winglets to customers with that error in performance.

Yes but they've been doing back-to-back tests with sharklets&fences on MSN1 since late last year, you'd think they have enough data by now...

Quoting aeroweanie (Reply 5):
Manufacturers don't like to build aircraft that are non-conforming. If they built the A320 without tip fences, it would not conform to the master drawing list for the aircraft and thus would not be type-conforming. To get a certificate of airworthiness, it would require an individual airworthiness certificate, which would be a hassle. It is far easier to build it to the type certificate, put it on the experimental register after delivery (to Airbus) and then modify it. When they are done testing it, they can de-mod it and return it to normal airworthiness.

This seems like the more plausible explanation. As that is a serial aircraft that will end up going to ANZ, and the sharklets aren't certified yet, Airbus likely has to build it to serial specs first, then modify it after its "delivery" to the flight test department.
 
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RE: New Airbus "Sharklets" Testbed A/C? (PIC)

Thu Apr 19, 2012 11:29 am

Quoting r2rho (Reply 7):
As that is a serial aircraft that will end up going to ANZ, and the sharklets aren't certified yet, Airbus likely has to build it to serial specs first, then modify it after its "delivery" to the flight test department.

I don't believe the aircraft in the photo (msn 5098) is for Air NZ as it has CFM engines and Air NZ has IAE engines.

It's possible Air NZ has cancelled the sharklets as there has been talk of them using the remaining 320's on order for domestic routes instead of the original intention of regional routes. Sharklets on domestic sectors would probably have no benefit.

Can anyone confirm who is getting msn 5098, nothing yet on planespotters.

PA515
 
r2rho
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RE: New Airbus "Sharklets" Testbed A/C? (PIC)

Thu Apr 19, 2012 11:44 am

Quoting PA515 (Reply 8):
I don't believe the aircraft in the photo (msn 5098) is for Air NZ as it has CFM engines and Air NZ has IAE engines.

It's possible Air NZ has cancelled the sharklets as there has been talk of them using the remaining 320's on order for domestic routes instead of the original intention of regional routes.

Good remark, I hadn't noticed. But if this is the first sharklet a/c and ANZ is (was...?) the launch customer, something is wrong here. Who was the next customer in line for sharklets after ANZ? Perhaps a CFM airline...?   
 
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817Dreamliiner
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RE: New Airbus "Sharklets" Testbed A/C? (PIC)

Thu Apr 19, 2012 12:10 pm

From this article on flightglobal it will be part of the flight test fleet for sharklets:

http://www.flightglobal.com/news/art...lets-test-programme-in-may-367674/

Quote:
Eight aircraft, including MSN1, will participate in the flight-test regime - one of each A320-family airframe, with both current engine options.

Does the A318 get sharklets as well?
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Gingersnap
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RE: New Airbus "Sharklets" Testbed A/C? (PIC)

Thu Apr 19, 2012 12:42 pm

Quoting aeroweanie (Reply 5):
Manufacturers don't like to build aircraft that are non-conforming. If they built the A320 without tip fences, it would not conform to the master drawing list for the aircraft and thus would not be type-conforming. To get a certificate of airworthiness, it would require an individual airworthiness certificate, which would be a hassle. It is far easier to build it to the type certificate, put it on the experimental register after delivery (to Airbus) and then modify it. When they are done testing it, they can de-mod it and return it to normal airworthiness.

Let me remind you of the A320-100......


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Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Andre Oferta



So they wouldn't need to install the fences if they didn't have to, instead just install a standard wingtip.
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Cyanide72
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RE: New Airbus "Sharklets" Testbed A/C? (PIC)

Thu Apr 19, 2012 1:57 pm

Quoting USAIRWAYS321 (Reply 6):
I must say I'll be disappointed when the Airbus wingtip fences go away. They're my favorite design element on the A320 family...such a graceful look IMO.

I definitely agree with that, I too like the wingtip fence design element in the A320 family, but hey, at least the A380 still has them so it's not all that bad.

http://www.airliners.net/photo/Emirates/Airbus-A380-861/1770837/L

 
 
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RE: New Airbus "Sharklets" Testbed A/C? (PIC)

Thu Apr 19, 2012 2:28 pm

Quoting r2rho (Reply 7):
Yes but they've been doing back-to-back tests with sharklets&fences on MSN1 since late last year, you'd think they have enough data by now...

If they only have data from one single frame, I'd say they don't have nearly enough data. If you run a basic set of fence vs winglet measurements on a second, new-build frame and the numbers basically agree, then fine. If they don't, there's some engineering to do. You need a set of measurements against fences vs winglets on at least one more frame to be able to make performance guarantees that you won't regret later.
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United727
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RE: New Airbus "Sharklets" Testbed A/C? (PIC)

Thu Apr 19, 2012 3:29 pm

Quoting PITingres (Reply 13):
If they only have data from one single frame, I'd say they don't have nearly enough data. If you run a basic set of fence vs winglet measurements on a second, new-build frame and the numbers basically agree, then fine. If they don't, there's some engineering to do.

In comparison to the newer B787 fleet, one would only imagine that there are numerous differences between MSN1 and a current new build!?!? Correct? I don't see how they can predict firm numbers from a ship that does not comply with current build standards.
 
Gatorman96
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RE: New Airbus "Sharklets" Testbed A/C? (PIC)

Thu Apr 19, 2012 3:51 pm

Quoting r2rho (Reply 7):
Yes but they've been doing back-to-back tests with sharklets&fences on MSN1 since late last year, you'd think they have enough data by now...

Since all aircraft aren't created equal, it certainly makes sense to test fences vs. sharklets on multiple aircraft to ensure the numbers "jive..."

The more data points, the more accurate Airbus can be with the benefits (or lack there of) that sharklets will provide.
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RE: New Airbus "Sharklets" Testbed A/C? (PIC)

Thu Apr 19, 2012 4:03 pm

Can sharklets be replaced with the standard wingfences? Perhaps they want to evaluate the wingfences with the new wingtip reinforcement structure as well?
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RE: New Airbus "Sharklets" Testbed A/C? (PIC)

Thu Apr 19, 2012 4:36 pm

Quoting r2rho (Reply 7):
Yes but they've been doing back-to-back tests with sharklets&fences on MSN1 since late last year, you'd think they have enough data by now...

As Spacepope noted, the reinforcements will change the performance. Or will it?

Did they need the reinforcements to do 'lost sharklet' testing? (All wing treatment devices cannot be fracture or safety critical. In other words, you must be able to fly with one lost. It wouldn't surprise me if Airbus chose to skip that testing until the wing reinforcements were complete.)

Quoting PITingres (Reply 13):
If they only have data from one single frame, I'd say they don't have nearly enough data. If you run a basic set of fence vs winglet measurements on a second, new-build frame and the numbers basically agree, then fine. If they don't, there's some engineering to do. You need a set of measurements against fences vs winglets on at least one more frame to be able to make performance guarantees that you won't regret later.

  

There is also most airframe to airframe or engine to engine variation than anyone wants to discuss. It is also a matter of instrumentation accuracy. In fact, for the level of improvement Airbus is aiming for, statistics implies they need to test 3 airframes to have any meaningful data. They should also test the A319 and A321. While I see zero reason the body length would effect the winglets, it would be risky to guarantee without testing the various A320 body lengths.

In the case of the A320/A321, it is going to be crucial to understand the benefits for MTOW long range missions. (TCON). But Airbus also needs to know the 2300nm mission (US inland hub to far coast), 1200nm (eastern seaboard, long range), and of course shorter missions.

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RE: New Airbus "Sharklets" Testbed A/C? (PIC)

Thu Apr 19, 2012 4:39 pm

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 17):
There is also most airframe to airframe or engine to engine variation than anyone wants to discuss. It is also a matter of instrumentation accuracy. In fact, for the level of improvement Airbus is aiming for, statistics implies they need to test 3 airframes to have any meaningful data. They should also test the A319 and A321. While I see zero reason the body length would effect the winglets, it would be risky to guarantee without testing the various A320 body lengths.

I mentioned this in my previous post and linked the flightglobal article as well:

Quoting 817Dreamliiner (Reply 10):
From this article on flightglobal it will be part of the flight test fleet for sharklets:

http://www.flightglobal.com/news/art...lets-test-programme-in-may-367674/

Quote:
Eight aircraft, including MSN1, will participate in the flight-test regime - one of each A320-family airframe, with both current engine options.
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RE: New Airbus "Sharklets" Testbed A/C? (PIC)

Thu Apr 19, 2012 5:17 pm

Are the wings that are assembled in the UK all built with wingtip fences? They the completed wings get shipped to the FAL in Germany where they could be installed on any A-32X?
 
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RE: New Airbus "Sharklets" Testbed A/C? (PIC)

Thu Apr 19, 2012 5:43 pm

I'm not sure: were the A320s with sharklets than the new A320neo?
 
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RE: New Airbus "Sharklets" Testbed A/C? (PIC)

Thu Apr 19, 2012 6:30 pm

I faintly remember (can't find the reference) having read that the new A320 would become the new resident test aircraft for Airbus... After all, MSN 001 has been on the job for quite a long time, now...

Anybody with more info about that one?
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United727
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RE: New Airbus "Sharklets" Testbed A/C? (PIC)

Thu Apr 19, 2012 7:11 pm

Quoting Aircellist (Reply 21):
Anybody with more info about that one?

Yes, It's been mentioned numerous times that this will be the final time that MSN1 will be used as a testbed and in fact will be retired following these "Sharklet" tests.
 
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RE: New Airbus "Sharklets" Testbed A/C? (PIC)

Thu Apr 19, 2012 7:13 pm

Quoting gingersnap (Reply 11):
Let me remind you of the A320-100......

So they wouldn't need to install the fences if they didn't have to, instead just install a standard wingtip.

There is a very rigid process, put into place by law, as to how an airplane is configured it is to be certified as airworthy.

If Airbus wanted to build the aircraft as conforming to the A320-100, with no tip fences, it would be limited to a max take-off weight of 149,940 lbs and would have to be powered by CFM56-5A1 or CFM56-5A1/F engines (see the TCDS). Once built as a A320-100, it would be extremely hard, if not impossible, to convert it to a A320-200 and thus would be an unsellable orphan.
 
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RE: New Airbus "Sharklets" Testbed A/C? (PIC)

Thu Apr 19, 2012 8:15 pm

Quoting gigneil (Reply 1):
Why doesn't it just not have wingtip fences at all right now, I do wonder.

But it does have the wing tips fences on. They are just visually blending into the background grey area where the numbers are painted.

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RE: New Airbus "Sharklets" Testbed A/C? (PIC)

Thu Apr 19, 2012 9:43 pm

Quoting tugger (Reply 24):
There is a very rigid process, put into place by law, as to how an airplane is configured it is to be certified as airworthy.

I remember 15 years ago being at Montreal Dorval airport, and watching an Air Canada 747-400 landing, minus one of the winglets. I joked with my son that it must be a 747-350. I am curious as to whether there would have been restrictions on this aircraft at the time, or could the winglet maybe come off during that particular flight ?
 
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RE: New Airbus "Sharklets" Testbed A/C? (PIC)

Thu Apr 19, 2012 10:15 pm

Quoting YOWVIEWER (Reply 25):
I remember 15 years ago being at Montreal Dorval airport, and watching an Air Canada 747-400 landing, minus one of the winglets. I joked with my son that it must be a 747-350. I am curious as to whether there would have been restrictions on this aircraft at the time, or could the winglet maybe come off during that particular flight ?

It's allowed under the CDL. 10,000 lbs enroute climb restriction / 20,800 lbs takeoff restriction. Airbus almost certainly has something similar for the A320 winglet. They could simply leave it off on that basis (although Airbus isn't a Part 121 carrier unto itself and doesn't have to obey the CDL anyway).

Tom.
 
r2rho
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RE: New Airbus "Sharklets" Testbed A/C? (PIC)

Fri Apr 20, 2012 11:54 am

Quoting United727 (Reply 14):
In comparison to the newer B787 fleet, one would only imagine that there are numerous differences between MSN1 and a current new build!?!? Correct? I don't see how they can predict firm numbers from a ship that does not comply with current build standards.

It's true that MSN1 is quite the Frankenstein a/c after all these years and so many tests performed on it...

Quoting Aircellist (Reply 21):
I faintly remember (can't find the reference) having read that the new A320 would become the new resident test aircraft for Airbus... After all, MSN 001 has been on the job for quite a long time, now...

Anybody with more info about that one?

I have heard that too, but not yet, once NEO arrives. One of the NEO frames should then become the new resident flight test aircraft. Once that happens, I hope TLS has a nice place reserved in a museum for MSN1!  
 
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RE: New Airbus "Sharklets" Testbed A/C? (PIC)

Fri Apr 20, 2012 12:06 pm

Quoting r2rho (Reply 27):
Quoting United727 (Reply 14):In comparison to the newer B787 fleet, one would only imagine that there are numerous differences between MSN1 and a current new build!?!? Correct? I don't see how they can predict firm numbers from a ship that does not comply with current build standards.
It's true that MSN1 is quite the Frankenstein a/c after all these years and so many tests performed on it...

Well, let's remember that MSN 0001 is a testbed, validations need to be performed on current models, hence the eight ac to be involved.

Quoting 817Dreamliiner (Reply 10):
Does the A318 get sharklets as well?

If we believe Flight, yes. But that was not in the original plans AFAIK.
 
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RE: New Airbus "Sharklets" Testbed A/C? (PIC)

Fri Apr 20, 2012 12:17 pm

Quoting aeroweanie (Reply 23):
There is a very rigid process, put into place by law, as to how an airplane is configured it is to be certified as airworthy.

If Airbus wanted to build the aircraft as conforming to the A320-100, with no tip fences, it would be limited to a max take-off weight of 149,940 lbs and would have to be powered by CFM56-5A1 or CFM56-5A1/F engines (see the TCDS). Once built as a A320-100, it would be extremely hard, if not impossible, to convert it to a A320-200 and thus would be an unsellable orphan.

Very true. Brain fart moment there.

Thanks for clarifying that.
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r2rho
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RE: New Airbus "Sharklets" Testbed A/C? (PIC)

Fri Apr 20, 2012 12:40 pm

Quoting breiz (Reply 28):
Quoting 817Dreamliiner (Reply 10):
Does the A318 get sharklets as well?

If we believe Flight, yes.

Well, all wings produced after a certain point this year will have the structural reinforcements. And we see from MSN5098 that swapping fences for sharklets is no big deal, provided the structural reinforcements are in place. So I don't see why the A318 shouldn't get them, unless there are high certification costs (even if just paperwork) associated. Plus, sharklets "look cool", which will be an added attractiveness to corporate jets (the only A318 customers these days)
 
tdscanuck
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RE: New Airbus "Sharklets" Testbed A/C? (PIC)

Fri Apr 20, 2012 2:07 pm

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 17):
In fact, for the level of improvement Airbus is aiming for, statistics implies they need to test 3 airframes to have any meaningful data. They should also test the A319 and A321. While I see zero reason the body length would effect the winglets, it would be risky to guarantee without testing the various A320 body lengths.

Although that's true, there's really no reason you'd have to do the other two as a *flight* test. Wind tunnel would be perfectly fine to show if there are differences between the body lengths. As long as you have one flight test bird to pin down the corrections from the wind tunnel the risk is pretty small.

Tom.
 
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RE: New Airbus "Sharklets" Testbed A/C? (PIC)

Fri Apr 20, 2012 7:01 pm

Quoting r2rho (Reply 27):
Quoting Aircellist (Reply 21):
I faintly remember (can't find the reference) having read that the new A320 would become the new resident test aircraft for Airbus... After all, MSN 001 has been on the job for quite a long time, now...

Anybody with more info about that one?

I have heard that too, but not yet, once NEO arrives. One of the NEO frames should then become the new resident flight test aircraft. Once that happens, I hope TLS has a nice place reserved in a museum for MSN1!  

Right. Thanks for the precision, and fingers crossed for the preservation of a bird I've seen in the making, in summer 1986...
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Viscount724
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RE: New Airbus "Sharklets" Testbed A/C? (PIC)

Fri Apr 20, 2012 11:31 pm

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 26):
Quoting YOWVIEWER (Reply 25):
I remember 15 years ago being at Montreal Dorval airport, and watching an Air Canada 747-400 landing, minus one of the winglets. I joked with my son that it must be a 747-350. I am curious as to whether there would have been restrictions on this aircraft at the time, or could the winglet maybe come off during that particular flight ?


It's allowed under the CDL. 10,000 lbs enroute climb restriction / 20,800 lbs takeoff restriction. Airbus almost certainly has something similar for the A320 winglet. They could simply leave it off on that basis (although Airbus isn't a Part 121 carrier unto itself and doesn't have to obey the CDL anyway).

There are photos in the database of aircraft operating with one winglet removed. Here are a few 744s:


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Jens Breuer
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Diego Ruiz de Vargas - Iberian Spotters


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Maurits Vink

 
r2rho
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RE: New Airbus "Sharklets" Testbed A/C? (PIC)

Fri Apr 27, 2012 9:53 am

I hear MSN5098 has come out of the hangar and is now equipped with the "sharklets". Would any of the a-net TLS spotters be so kind to get out there with their cameras?  
 
Someone83
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RE: New Airbus "Sharklets" Testbed A/C? (PIC)

Fri Apr 27, 2012 9:56 am

Quoting r2rho (Reply 34):

I hear MSN5098 has come out of the hangar and is now equipped with the "sharklets". Would any of the a-net TLS spotters be so kind to get out there with their cameras?  

Not my camera, but here's a link

http://a5.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphot...1580741132_1970583_574056008_n.jpg

http://www.flickr.com/photos/florent_peraudeau/6970047652/
 
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RE: New Airbus "Sharklets" Testbed A/C? (PIC)

Fri Apr 27, 2012 10:36 am

From Airbus's press release yesterday:

Quote:
n total, seven new-build A320 Family aircraft fitted with both CFM56 and V2500 engine types will test the production-standard Sharklets. The results of the tests will lead up to the certification of these fuel-saving devices on each combination of aircraft model and engine selection. The first member of the family to enter service with Sharklets will be the CFM56-powered A320, from the fourth quarter of 2012.

Unfortunately it turns out that Air New Zealand won't be getting MSN5098. After reading this, I tweeted EADS's social media team. Their response was:

Quote:
they {Air New Zealand} were first to sign contract, not necessarily first to receive a/c. Delivery schedule always subject to customer decision.

This implies that Air New Zealand opted not to take the first deliveries. Anyway, all this begs the question of who will operate MSN5098. Is it already destined for a specific customer once the testing has been completed, or will it take over from MSN1 as Airbus's narrowbody test-bed?

http://www.airbus.com/presscentre/pr...uipped-a320-completed-in-toulouse/

Quoting PA515 (Reply 8):
I don't believe the aircraft in the photo (msn 5098) is for Air NZ as it has CFM engines and Air NZ has IAE engines.

Correct, see above.

Quoting USAIRWAYS321 (Reply 6):

I must say I'll be disappointed when the Airbus wingtip fences go away. They're my favorite design element on the A320 family...such a graceful look IMO.

While I agree that its sad to see the 'classic' wingtip fences go, if the sharklets help Airbus sell more A320s then I'm all for them.

Quoting Aircellist (Reply 21):
Anybody with more info about that one?

That discussion was within the thread about Boeing retiring the 787 testbeds.

Quote:
r2rho,reply=27]Once that happens, I hope TLS has a nice place reserved in a museum for MSN1!

+1
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RE: New Airbus "Sharklets" Testbed A/C? (PIC)

Fri Apr 27, 2012 10:58 am

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 33):

There are photos in the database of aircraft operating with one winglet removed. Here are a few 744s:

IIRC, didn't the A380 that got bent at last summer's Paris airshow get ferried back to TLS with only one winglet / fence?
 
BoeingVista
Posts: 1680
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2009 9:54 am

RE: New Airbus "Sharklets" Testbed A/C? (PIC)

Fri Apr 27, 2012 11:34 am

Quoting zkojq (Reply 36):
This implies that Air New Zealand opted not to take the first deliveries. Anyway, all this begs the question of who will operate MSN5098. Is it already destined for a specific customer once the testing has been completed, or will it take over from MSN1 as Airbus's narrowbody test-bed?

The original plan was for the first sharklet aircraft to take over from MSN1
BV
 
r2rho
Posts: 2439
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 10:13 pm

RE: New Airbus "Sharklets" Testbed A/C? (PIC)

Fri Apr 27, 2012 12:20 pm

Quoting zkojq (Reply 36):
This implies that Air New Zealand opted not to take the first deliveries. Anyway, all this begs the question of who will operate MSN5098.

Which could explain the all-white livery...? Who is the first IAE customer in line for sharklets?

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