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February 2012
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Plane Talking

Something Old, Something New

Airshows come and go, and are generally an opportunity for manufacturers and airlines to shake a hands on some new business as aviation continues to fortify its position as an industry the modern, globalised, and interdependent world cannot live without. One such event was the Singapore Airshow, which took place last week. It included the cream of the crop of modern aviation as well as a ‘Green Pavilion’ raising awareness of industry efforts to curb its environmental impact.

Guests included Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner, stopping off on its six month tour around the globe, which seemed fitting as Singapore Airlines announced the retirement of the last of its 39 passenger 747-400s delivered in 2001. The old, 40 years with Singapore Airlines, make way for the new as a natural progression towards more efficient engines, more complex light weight materials, and more comfortable cabins illustrate the intentions of manufacturers and airlines alike to responsibly cut their carbon footprints as the aviation industry constantly expands.

Singapore Airlines has steadily replaced the 747-400 with the 777-300ER to cover long haul flights, in addition to Airbus A380s, both of which stand at the forefront of modern aircraft efficiency.

Singapore Airlines Boeing 747-400

Boeing’s 747-400 replacement, the 747-8 is currently going through safety tests and will be the Airbus A380’s main competitor in the super-size aircraft world. Competition breeds success, which for the future of the super-size aircraft industry will mean manufacturing the big

gest aircraft possible while in parallel ensuring the lowest possible emissions. The 747-8 will be 16% more fuel efficient than the 747-400, with fuel burn of 2.8 litres per seat per 100kms.

Future aircraft will only become more efficient, especially where  competition between iconic aircraft comes into play, and carriers such as Singapore Airlines look to maintain young and modern fleets.