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China's Tianjin building runway for Airbus test flights: report

Fiel image of an Airbus A320 plane.
by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) Aug 17, 2008
Airport officials in the northern Chinese port of Tianjin are building a second runway to test Airbus A320 planes built at a plant in the city, state media reported Sunday.

The new runway would be ready for May 2009 and would also allow Tianjin, which is about 110 kilometres (70 miles) east of Beijing, to serve as a backup for the Capital International Airport, the Xinhua news agency reported.

The report did not give details about the cost of the runway project.

Airbus began construction of the Tianjin assembly plant, its first outside of Europe, in May and its first plane is expected to roll off the production line in May 2009, Xinhua said.

The plant, which is estimated to cost between eight billion and 10 billion yuan (one billion and 1.3 billion dollars), will produce up to 44 aircraft a year by 2011, the report said.

Airbus controls a majority 51 percent stake in the Tianjin plant, with the rest held by Tianjin Zhongtian Aviation Industry Investment Co.

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NASA evaluates new wing sensor
Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. (UPI) Jul 29, 2008
The U.S. space agency said it is evaluating an advanced, fiber optic-based sensing technology that could aid development of active wing shape control.

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