Air International 1990-10
Farnborough Airscene
The first prototype of the Lockheed-GD-Boeing YF-22A, with General Electric YF120 engines, as rolled out at Palmdale on 29 August 1989. The first flight is imminent.
Boeing came to Farnborough with an update on its plans for the Model 777 jetliner (at present studied as the 767-X), but still, apparently, some way away from a launch decision.
Making its western debut at Farnborough, the Aero L 39MS was regrettably unable to fulfil its planned eight-minute flying routine through the inability of the Czechoslovak export organisation, Omnipol, to provide the necessary hard currency for the insurance.
The Antonov An-225 Mria (Dream) has provided British Aerospace with an opportunity to promote an "Interim HOTOL" as a low-cost satellite launch system. News was given at Farnborough of a six-month joint study programme by BAe Space Systems and the Soviet Ministry of Aviation Industry into the feasibility of using an An-225 to launch such a space vehicle at about 30,000 ft (9 000 m), in order to place a 7-tonne payload into a 186-ml (300-km) near-equatorial orbit.
It was revealed at Farnborough that the first prototype of the NAMC-built K-8 tandem two-seat basic trainer is scheduled to commence flight test this month (October) at Nanchang, some four months later than announced at Paris last year.
Presentation of the AAC projects at Farnborough was low-key, with the consortium still working to identify the market, and at the same time exploring the possibility of a partnership with MPC Aircraft, the Deutsche Airbus/CATIC combination that is close to launching its MPC-75. This also is planned in 100- and 130-seat variants (as the MPC-75-100 and -200 respectively), but is now firmly established with underwing engine configuration after earlier study of rear-mounted propfans.