Category: Airbus

Air Canada A220 Training

Provided by Air Canada Twitter

Every A220 pilot undergoes months of training on sophisticated simulator

October 2019

Every A220 pilot undergoes months of training on sophisticated simulator

Months before our new, modern Airbus A220-300 aircraft takes to the skies, dozens of pilots are immersed in training to prepare them to take the controls when we welcome our first A220-300 to the Air Canada fleet later this year.

Each pilot undergoes hours of training in classrooms and simulators, recreating a variety of situations so that when the time comes to accelerate down the runway toward V1, they are well versed in everything the A220-300 is capable of.

Simulator training is nothing new for pilots, who must continuously spend hours in these sophisticated training tools every six months to maintain their license to operate a particular aircraft.

And introducing an entire new aircraft to Air Canada’s fleet also represents a major undertaking that requires teamwork and input from every department within the company.

“Within flight operations, we’ve got multiple groups from training within the fleet itself dealing with the change, the rapid changing of the documentation from the manufacturer. We also are in communication with other departments within Air Canada such as maintenance, in-flight, cargo, ground operations, ensuring that everybody is on the same page throughout the introduction so that at entry into service goes smoothly,” said Rob Latter, Chief Pilot for the A220 at Air Canada.

Working out of our simulator facility near Toronto’s Pearson Airport, each pilot undergoes weeks of training that begins with four days of classroom sessions, where pilots have a desktop simulator on a computer to allow them to familiarize themselves with the flight deck.

After that, there are nine sessions of four hours each on what is known as an Integrated Procedures Trainer (IPT), which is a scaled down model of the full simulator. And for the A220, Air Canada is one of the only airlines to have opted to equip its IPT with a fully functional console between the Captain’s and First Officer’s seats, allowing for the pilots to train on the actual equipment and build up muscle memory. Training options that replace the fully functional piece with touchscreens don’t produce the same results.

Once they have completed this phase, pilots then undergo 11 sessions of four hours in the sophisticated A220-300 simulator, which replicates with stunning reality the flying capabilities of the aircraft.

Simulator sessions include taking off and landing at different airports, enabling pilots to manage the aircraft while encountering a multitude of weather conditions as well as a range of situations that can arise while operating a flight.

Robert Birch was one of the first pilots at Air Canada to go through A220 training and as a check pilot he helps certify the next group of pilots to be qualified on this aircraft.

“My initial impression of the flight deck is how spacious and roomy it is. How cleanly designed it is. It was obviously designed with the pilot in mind. I think it is going to be a really comfortable work space,” Birch said. “The best part of flying the A220 in the simulator so far is that the level of automation is very high. It’s got a great system of displays where you can customize them to your use and what your preferences are.”

Before the A220, Birch was a captain on the Airbus A320.

“The biggest difference for me on this is that this has a geared engine. That has made it much more fuel efficient,” Birch said.

Asif Khattak is also a check pilot for the A220 program and he too was impressed by the flight deck’s spaciousness.

“For a narrow body, it’s got a lot of room. It’s really nicely laid out. The overhead panel is very clean and the display units offer a great amount of visibility. The side windows on the aircraft are huge, as well as the front looking out. So, the visibility in the aircraft is fantastic.”

The automation and display screens on the aircraft make a pilot’s job much easier.

“It allows you to customize it from your own perspective of how you want to manage the flight deck. It’s also got a heads-up display unit which offers you a lot of situational awareness as well. From that perspective, I really enjoy the airplane,” Khattak said.

He also believes passengers will really love the A220-300.

“I think they will be pleasantly surprised when they come on board this aircraft. It’s got a feel of a widebody aircraft when you walk through the cabin. The windows are quite big, they can adjust the lighting as well, the overhead bins offer a lot of space. And I think the 3-2 layout that we are going to have in this cabin is a little different than perhaps they are used to on other narrow body aircraft. So it gives you the feeling that you are in a very big aircraft, or a widebody aircraft, but you are still in a narrow body plane,” Khattak said.

“One of the unique features of this aircraft is the economy cabin. It’s got a 3-2 configuration, so very few middle seats. And fewer middle seats makes for great comfort for passengers,” Birch said.

The fact the Airbus A220-300 was conceived and designed by a Canadian company and is built in Canada is a source of pride for all three pilots.

“The fact that it is a Canadian aircraft means a lot to anyone working at Air Canada,” Latter said.

“The most exciting thing about the A220 for me is that it’s a Canadian built and designed aircraft, built from scratch as a new airplane. I think it’s going to be great once we get it in the air,” Birch said.

“I am excited to get into an aircraft that is built by a Canadian company. Bombardier built this aircraft, they did a lot of research and design into this aircraft. They have a lot of experience building this airplane. So just excited to get into the airplane and get a feel for it in the air and how it handles,” Khattak said.

And the feedback from Birch, Khattak and other pilots who will go through the first rounds of training will help ensure a smooth transition for all of them.

“The feedback from our initial pilot group that started their training – the ones that have completed it and still in training – are very positive,” Latter said. “With the aircraft itself, I’ve heard that the pilots love the technology level, the spaciousness of the cabin, the cleanness of the panels. It allows us to make the SOPs (standard operation procedures) flow very nicely from their perspective.”

Fast Facts

  • Number of aircraft ordered: 45
  • Seating: 12 business class, 125 economy class
  • Range: 3,200 nautical miles
  • Average of 20 per cent less fuel consumption per seat compared to similar aircraft
  • Noise footprint area up to 50% smaller than previous generation aircraft
  • First new routes announced: Montreal-Seattle, Toronto-San Jose, California

Air Canada prepares for Airbus A220 debut

News provided by Breaking Travel News – link to full story

Air Canada’s first Airbus A220 was unveiled earlier when it rolled out of the painting hangar at the final assembly line in Mirabel.

In December, Air Canada will be the first Canadian airline to take delivery of this Canadian-designed and developed aircraft when it receives the first of its 45 A220s on order.

The A220 features an innovative cabin design, as well as significantly lower emissions and a reduced noise footprint.

The A220-300 for Air Canada will provide passengers with superior comfort in a 137-seat dual-class cabin layout.

Air Canada’s brand new A220-300s will replace the flag carrier’s existing mainline fleet of smaller, older narrow-body aircraft and support the airline’s hub and network growth, creating one of the world’s youngest and most fuel-efficient fleets.

Now that the aircraft is decked out in Air Canada’s livery, it has moved to pre-flight activities in the A220 flight line hangar in Mirabel, before taking off for its first flight later this fall.

Currently, there are 94 A220 aircraft flying with six operators on regional and transcontinental routes in Asia, America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, proving the great versatility of Airbus’ latest family member.

The A220 has an order book of 530 aircraft as of the end of October.

Airbus unveils the first Canadian-made A220-300 aircraft destined to a Canadian airline

Press Release from Airbus 8 November 2019

The first Airbus A220-300 for Air Canada on November 7, 2019, rolling out of the painting hangar at the A220 final assembly plant in Mirabel, Canada

Mirabel, Québec, Canada– Air Canada’s first Airbus A220 was unveiled this week when it rolled out of the painting hangar at the A220 final assembly line in Mirabel.

In December, Air Canada will be the first Canadian airline to take delivery of this Canadian-designed and developed aircraft when it receives the first of its 45 A220s on order. The A220 features an innovative cabin design, as well as significantly lower emissions and a reduced noise footprint.

The A220-300 for Air Canada will provide passengers with superior comfort in a 137-seat dual-class cabin layout. Air Canada’s brand new A220-300s will replace the flag carrier’s existing mainline fleet of smaller, older narrow-body aircraft and support the airline’s hub and network growth, creating one of the world’s youngest and most fuel efficient fleets.

Now that the aircraft is decked out in Air Canada’s livery, it has moved to pre-flight activities in the A220 flight line hangar in Mirabel, before taking off for its first flight later this fall.

Currently, there are 94 A220 aircraft flying with six operators on regional and transcontinental routes in Asia, America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, proving the great versatility of Airbus’ latest family member. The A220 has an order book of 530 aircraft as of the end of October 2019.

Link to Air Canada’s first A220 video: https://www.airbus.com/search.footage.html?q=A220-300&lang=en#searchresult-footage-all-1

For more information about the A220 Family, please click here or insert directly in the press release appropriate hyperlink of the aircraft family product under its name.

Air Baltic completes first in-house A220 C-check

Press Release from Air Baltic

5 November 2019

Riga. Latvian airline airBaltic has successfully completed its first scheduled C check on an Airbus A220-300 aircraft. Two months ago, airBaltic became the first airline entitled to provide a full scope of maintenance for Airbus A220-300 aircraft type.

Andris Vaivads, SVP Technical Operations of airBaltic: “After carrying more than 400 000 passengers, our first Airbus A220-300, registered as YL-CSA, has now successfully undergone a scheduled C check and received a number of other modifications which are necessary to further improve the reliability of the aircraft. During the winter season, we plan to perform C check on six more Airbus A220-300 aircraft.”

“Obtaining the Line Maintenance and Base Maintenance certificate for Airbus A220-300 type has been a logical step for airBaltic as an airline which is the global launch operator of Airbus A220-330 with already 20 aircraft of this type in its fleet moving towards single type Airbus A220-300 fleet in the near future. Our maintenance is now more cost and time effective,” Andris Vaivads added.

C check is a part of the aircraft maintenance program that has to be performed on all commercial aircraft after a certain time of usage. For Airbus A220-300, manufacturer has defined that a C check has to be performed every 8 500 flight hours.

The Airbus A220-300 has performed beyond the company’s expectations, delivering better overall performance, fuel efficiency and convenience for both passengers and staff. This aircraft offers an excellent flying experience with such benefits for passengers as wider seats, larger windows, more hand luggage space in the cabin, improved lavatories and much more.

Report Says Another Plane Could Have Structural Issues

News provided by TravelPlus.com – link to full story

ICH THOMASELLI NOVEMBER 03, 2019

delta, air, lines
PHOTO: Delta’s Airbus A220. (photo via Delta Air Lines)

As the airline industry – and passengers – ponder the fate of the Boeing 737 Max, a new report claims that another plane, used primarily by Delta Air Lines, might have issues.

Inc. Magazine says problems are emerging on the Airbus A220, 25 of which were purchased by Delta when it eschewed the 737 Max.MORE AIRLINES & AIRPORTS

According to Inc., Swiss International Airlines was forced to ground all 29 of its Airbus A220 planes after one had to make an emergency landing en route to Geneva. Apparently, pieces of the engine started to fall off over France.

In fact, the A220 has been placed under restrictions in Canada and Europe.

If it flies above 29,000, it can only use 94 percent of its power; if it flies above 35,000 feet, it is susceptible to frost and a flawed anti-freeze system that could overtax the engines, set off alarms and force the pilots to make an emergency landing.

A Delta spokesman told the magazine the airline is concerned in a statement: “We are determining what additional actions might be needed, but Delta has operated our A220 fleet below the engine thrust amounts described in the directive from the FAA. We will continue to do so.”

The FAA last week expanded an order to inspect the Pratt and Whitney engines in the plane, looking for cracks in the engine rotors.

If this is another plane with issues, manufacturers like Boeing and Airbus are entering a new world of public scrutiny.

For decades, consumers have made choices among airlines by comparing service, fares, comfort, amenities and more. Now, ever since the 737 Max was grounded in March, passengers are also considering type of aircraft when flying.

Air Canada A319 crew failed to hear landing clearance

News provided by FlightGlobal.com – link to full story

30 October 2019 by DAVID KAMINSKI-MORROW, FlightGlobal.com

Canadian investigators have disclosed that an Air Canada Airbus A319 touched down at San Francisco despite its crew’s not hearing the landing clearance.

The aircraft (C-FZUJ) had been operating from Toronto on 3 October, says Transportation Safety Board of Canada.

It states that San Francisco controllers cleared the aircraft to land.

“However, it was not heard by the flight crew because the approach frequency had not been switched to the tower frequency,” it adds.

The aircraft landed without further incident.

None of the 110 occupants was injured, says the safety board. Air Canada is conducting an investigation into the event.

A220 operators told to limit engine thrust at high altitude

News provided by FlightGlobal.com – link to full story and updates

28 OCTOBER, 2019, SOURCE: FLIGHTGLOBAL.COM, BY: DAVID KAMINSKI-MORROW, LONDON

Operators of Airbus A220s are facing operational limitations of the twinjet’s engines, following several serious incidents involving powerplant failure.

Transport Canada has issued an emergency directive covering both the A220-100 and A220-300 models, which are exclusively fitted with Pratt & Whitney PW1500G engines.

Swiss has suffered three recent engine failures on A220-300s during an early stage of flight.AdvertisementYou can close Ad in 2 s

Preliminary indications indicate that operation of engines with certain thrust ratings at high thrust settings during high-altitude climbs “may be a contributor” to the events, says Transport Canada.

But it adds that investigation is continuing to determine the root cause.

The directive, which warns of a risk of uncontained engine failure and damage to the aircraft, orders operators to limit the engine power to 94% of N1 while above 29,000ft.

Any exceedance lasting more than 20s must be reported, it adds.

Pilots are also being instructed to disengage the autothrottle before initiating step climbs while above 29,000ft. This is to “respect” the N1 limitation, the directive states.

The autothrottle can be engaged as required once the aircraft is stabilised in the cruise but engine power must be monitored to ensure it does not rise above the 94% N1 threshold.

Transport Canada says the directive, an interim measure, applies to A220s equipped with PW1524G, PW1524G-3 or PW1521G-3 engines. Operators must comply within seven days, it adds.

Airbus A220 engine blowouts may have been caused by software change: sources

News provided by The Globe and Mail – link to full story & updates

By Tim Hepher, Paris, Reuters – 24 October 2019

An Airbus A220 jet taxis on the tarmac at Zurich airport on Oct. 16, 2019.ARND WIEGMANN/REUTERS

A probe into a series of engine failures on Airbus’s smallest jet, the A220, is studying whether a software change set off unexpected vibrations that damaged fast-moving parts and forced three emergency landings, people familiar with the case said.

The airline Swiss briefly halted its fleet of A220 jets for checks on Oct 15 after a third flight in as many months was forced to divert with engine damage. Engine maker Pratt & Whitney also expanded checks on similar engines worldwide.

Investigators are focusing their attention on recent changes in engine software that may have caused parts that compress air inside the engine to be set in a way that caused mechanical resonance or destructive vibrations, two of the people said.

Neither the aircraft nor the engine has been grounded but pilots have been told to avoid certain combinations of thrust settings and altitude to avoid the risk of a new problem until the root cause of the three Swiss engine failures can be found.

A third source said it may take until December to confirm the cause, while other scenarios have also not been ruled out.

Airbus, which was starting a Pacific tour to promote the A220 on Thursday, had no immediate comment on the investigation.

Officials at the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), which is leading an investigation into the recent failures involving the U.S.-built engine, declined to comment.

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) said it was monitoring the situation closely and co-ordinating with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration.

The head of Pratt & Whitney parent United Technologies said earlier this week it was working on finding the cause and remained confident in the new fuel-saving engine.

“Clearly, any time you get an issue like this, we’re on top of it. The guys are working through it,” chief executive Greg Hayes told analysts on a conference call.

Nobody was hurt in the three incidents, which all took place while flying over France between London and Geneva. But parts from two of the engines were found on the ground.

France’s BEA air accident agency has launched a rare appeal for 150 volunteers to help look for a key component from one of the Swiss engines in a wood in eastern France in coming weeks.

FUEL SAVINGS

Pratt & Whitney set off a chain reaction of new aircraft designs or upgrades when it announced its new Geared Turbofan engine in 2008, promising 16% fuel savings. But it has wrestled with a spate of performance or reliability problems and delays.

However, although software problems can take time to fix, experts say there are better chances that they can be rectified with a software update rather than forcing a new part design.

Formerly known as the C Series, the 110-130-seat A220 was designed by Canada’s Bombardier and was one of the first to adopt the new Pratt & Whitney technology. Bombardier sold the program to Airbus last year due to heavy losses.

It now sits just under the European planemaker’s A320 range which also offers a version of the same family of engines designed by Pratt. The Airbus version of the engines is not affected by the recent problems and is not subject to checks.

Some competing Brazilian aircraft, the Embraer 190/195-E2, have also been subject to the engine checks but are reported to use a different version of the software from the larger A220.

Czech Airlines emerges as A220 and A321XLR customer

News provided by FlightGlobal.com – link to full story

23 October 2019 By David Kaminski-Morrow, London, FlightGlobal.com

Czech Airlines has emerged as an Airbus A220 customer, ordering four of the -300 variant as part of an agreement which includes converting A320neos to the long-range A321XLR.

The flag-carrier had seven A320neos on order but last month cancelled four of them.

Airbus says the airline has instead ordered four A220-300s, which will be configured with 149 seats.

The airframer revealed earlier this month that an undisclosed customer had ordered four A220-300s and 10 of the smaller A220-100.

Airbus has not confirmed whether Czech Airlines is the customer behind this agreement for 14 aircraft, and the Czech Airlines agreement does not mention A220-100s.

But the carrier is converting the three remaining A320neos to the long-range A321XLR which was formally unveiled at the Paris air show earlier this year.

The Czech A321XLRs will be fitted with 195 seats in two classes.

Czech Airlines chairman Petr Kudela says the aircraft “fit well” with the company’s long-term network strategy and enable it to increase capacity on its routes.

No engine selection has been disclosed for the A321XLRs. The carrier had not revealed an engine choice for the previous A320neos. A220s are exclusively powered by the Pratt & Whitney PW1500G engine.

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Swiss says Airbus A220 flights resuming as engines pass inspection

News provided by The Globe and Mail – link to full story and updates

By MICHAEL SHIELDS, VIENNA, REUTERS OCTOBER 16, 2019

An Airbus A220-300 aircraft flies during its unveiling in Colomiers near Toulouse, France.REGIS DUVIGNAU/REUTERS

Airline Swiss expects to resume mostly normal service with its fleet of Airbus A220 jets on Thursday after temporarily grounding the jets for safety checks of their engines, it said on Wednesday.

The inspections of Pratt & Whitney engines came after a Geneva-bound Swiss jet had to divert to Paris on Tuesday.

French air crash investigators classified the engine problem that disrupted the Swiss flight shortly after departure from London Heathrow as a “serious incident” and said it would be investigated by the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board.

“On Tuesday afternoon and overnight 17 C Series/A220 aircraft have been inspected. The engines are in perfect condition, so 12 aircraft have returned to regular flight operations. Another five planes will follow at midday on Wednesday,” Swiss said in a statement.

“We continue to assume that flight operations can be carried out largely regularly again from Thursday,” the airline owned by Germany’s Lufthansa added.

The Airbus A220 single-aisle airliner was formerly known as the Bombardier C Series.

In Seoul, Korean Air Lines Co Ltd. said it had launched inspections on its fleet of 10 A220 planes after a request from U.S. engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney.

Tuesday’s engine incident was the third involving the same airline and model of jet in as many months and resulted in a small amount of debris being scattered as the aircraft landed at Paris Charles de Gaulle, an airport source told Reuters.

It came just hours after France’s BEA agency launched an unusual appeal for 150 volunteers to scour an uninhabited wood in eastern France for a titanium engine part dating from the first blowout in July, which affected a Geneva-London flight.

A second incident in September caused a Swiss A220 to divert to Geneva, but on that occasion the engine’s housing contained fragments torn loose from the engine, the BEA said.

Swiss said this week’s inspections had forced it to cancel more than 100 flights, affecting around 10,000 passengers.

The Swiss Federal Office of Civil Aviation said it had not ordered the grounding for engine checks.

Tuesday’s incident highlighted scrutiny of the performance of new-generation Geared Turbofan engines developed by Pratt & Whitney, a unit of United Technologies Corp.

A spokesman for the engine maker said it was recommending additional checks for versions of the engine that power the Airbus A220 – an engine known as the PW1500G – and a rival Brazilian jet, the Embraer 190/195-E2.

A similar engine for the larger A320neo family, Airbus’ most-sold aircraft, was not affected.