Air show: 787 mishap, jet engine of Legos, opportunity for Airbus suppliers

By Michelle Dunlop

Here’s a list of some interesting stories that have come out of Farnborough over the last few days:

Qatar Airways’ 787 was involved in a minor incident Wednesday, reports Flightglobal. UPDATE: Flight updated their report to reflect that a ground power unit servicing the 787 caught fire. A Boeing spokeswoman said the 787 wasn’t involved. … of course, whenever there’s smoke and fire near a 787, it’s going to prompt attention.

Speaking of the 787, check out Jason Paur’s review of test driving the 787 in this Wired piece.

Rolls-Royce’s Trent 1000 is one of the two engine options available to Boeing 787 customers. On Monday, Rolls revealed a Trent 1000 engine made entirely from Legos. Key stats: it took four people eight weeks to build using 152,455 Lego bricks.

A Rolls exec also told Reuters the company is optimistic about its chances to be picked by Boeing to provide engines for the 777X.

Airbus has big plans for its U.S. supplier base following its decision to put in an A320 factory in Mobile, Ala., reports Aviation Week. Over the next 15 to 20 years, Airbus wants to double the $12 billion it spends in the United States.

In a call with reporters this morning, Gov. Chris Gregoire was upbeat about Washington aerospace suppliers’ ability to get business from Airbus. “Suppliers here will be able to seize the opportunity” that comes from Airbus’ new site in Mobile, she said. Read more about the governor’s trade mission on her blog.

Gregoire said she has a “good working relationship” with Airbus executives, who “have a high regard” for Washington suppliers.

Finally, although other governors talked up their states, Gregoire said the attitude at Farnborough is that “our suppliers are the best” and there’s “tremendous opportunity” for the state’s aerospace industry to grow.