July 6, 2015, © Leeham Co. The US ExIm Bank authorization expired last week. As readers know, I’m a strong advocate of renewal of the authorization. Boeing, and other companies, hope reauthorization can be achieved this month.
I won’t restate the reasons I think ExIm should be reauthorized, nor my utter disdain for the right-wing Republicans and Tea Party types who don’t get that the Bank helps Boeing sell airplanes and sustain or create jobs. I’ve written about this many times, and the competitive disadvantage Boeing will have vs Airbus, whose European Credit Agencies will take full advantage of this.
But there are some points on the “other side” to revisit.
By Bjorn Fehrm
July 6, 2015, © Leeham Co. Bombardier presented a slew of new data for their CSeries aircraft during Paris Air Show. Listening to Bombardier (BBD) officials it sounded like there was only positive news: increased range, better fuel economy, better field performance and lower per seat costs.
We have commented on the released information in two articles when at the Paris Air Show, “Bombardier makes it official: CSeries exceeds advertised numbers” and “CSeries range even better than Bombardier revealed.” We now follow up these articles with an analysis of the furnished figures to reveal how these improved performance figures were achieved.
Aircraft programs use sophisticated modeling tools to understand what performance a finished aircraft will have. A 10% range increase with standard payload from 2,950nm to 3,300nm does not come from any miscalculations with such tools. Nor does it come from claimed lower fuel consumption due to lower airframe drag alone.
There are other contributing factors. Using our proprietary model to identify the factors, we explain how BBD has achieved the claimed higher performance.
2 July 2015, ©. Leeham Co: Having aircraft as your interest exposes you to thousands of photos of your favorite subject. In general I find exterior photos of airliners a bit dull; there is no variation in their configuration or physics except for the livery of the operator. Some photos are a bit extra though. Read more
By Bjorn Fehrm
June 23, 2015, © Leeham Co. CFM International went through 1,000 iterations before settling on the final design for the LEAP engines that will power the Airbus A320neo, the Boeing 737 MAX and the COMAC C919.
In an interview with us at the Paris Air Show, CFM LEAP program manager Gareth Richards explained the macro process of the development of LEAP, CFM’s sequel to CFM56. This will be the largest turbofan engine program in the history of civil aviation and the follow on to the world’s most-sold turbofan, the CFM56.
Richards focused on how an engine like LEAP gets designed and what the trades are that a single aisle, short haul engine has compared to long haul engines.
LEAP is sharing the A320neo platform with Pratt & Whitney’s GTF but is sole engine on the 737 MAX and the C919. This will lead to engine production rates five years into the program of 1800 engines which is higher than the present rate of CFM56 deliveries.
Dependant on rate increases by Airbus and Boeing, this can increase beyond 2,000 engines per year after the initial ramp. It would make LEAP the largest civil turbofan program whichever way one counts: engines, installed thrust or revenue.
July 1, 2015, c. Leeham Co. The ExIm Bank is dead.
At least for now.
Boeing, and hundreds of smaller companies, hope for a Lazarus miracle. Though nobody expects a revival of the Bank in four days, as in the Bible, they think resurrection is possible this month.
“There is a strong majority in the House and the Senate to reauthorize ExIm,” Tim Neale, Boeing’s Washington (DC) spokesman, told us Monday. “The problem is getting a Bill to the floor.” The Bill has been bottled up in committees, where Republicans/Tea Party members are chairmen and opposed to renewing the Bank.
June 29, 2015, © Leeham Co. Cost control is going to be one of the top priorities of Dennis Muilenburg, the new chief executive officer of The Boeing Co.
Muilenburg, the president and chief operating officer for the past 18 months, was named last Tuesday CEO. Current chairman and CEO Jim McNerney relinquishes the latter title on July 1 but remains chairman.
We outlined many of the challenges Muilenburg faces as CEO in this post from January. Now that it’s official, an update is in order.
June 29, 2015, © Leeham Co. Back on June 1, I wrote in this column I had yet to experience traveling on the Airbus A380, which entered service in 2007. The A380 doesn’t serve Seattle, where I live, and I really didn’t have a desire to add hours and a connection to my travels just to fly the A380 if I could go non-stop. Note that this is precisely the argument advanced by Boeing, but this is a coincidence. I have yet to fly on the Boeing 787, either, and it does fly into Seattle from Asia.
A reader Tweeted to me his incredulity that in all these years I hadn’t flown the A380. I replied, All in good time. I knew when I wrote that I would be returning from the Paris Air Show on an A380 via Los Angeles. The time had come for me to experience the airplane. (Interestingly, Dominic Gates of The Seattle Times, unbeknownst to either of us, wrote he’s doing the same thing via New York on Air France. I would be flying Air France. Friends warned me that the passenger experience on Air France, however, was hardly what the A380 is all about.
They weren’t kidding.
I had been on the test A380 during static displays before, but never in a passenger-configured model. At the PAS, Qatar Airways had its own little air show, displaying more airliners than any OEM: the A319, A320, A350 and A380 plus the 787. The A350 and A380 were open to the press. As with anyone in the industry, I had long-heard of how the Middle Eastern airlines went over the top on outfitting their cabins, but I wasn’t remotely prepared for the Qatar A380. Walking on board, into the first class section, was a jaw-dropping “wow” moment.
25 June 2015, © Leeham Co: With a few days in the office one can look back at Paris Air Show with a bit of perspective. So what are the impressions?
It was surprising how many orders Airbus and Boeing landed. Both had played down the expectations, telling that it will be a decent show but nothing close to record. Yet both were booking orders or commitments which were better than expected going into the PAS. Read more
June 25, 2015: We don’t often stray into military topics, usually confining ourselves to commercial derivative programs like the Boeing P-8 Poseidon, KC-46a, Airbus KC-330 and the like. But, of all places, Politico has an interesting three-screen piece about President Obama’s “Plan B” in case the talks with Iran fail over curbing its nuclear program.
Plan B calls for the prospect of a Northrop Grumman B-2 stealth bomber dropping a series Massive Ordnance Penetrators, or MOPs, on targeted Iranian nuke facilities to destroy them. The MOP is a super-bomb, but of non-nuclear design, that is so big and so powerful it can penetrates some 200 feet under ground before it blows up. Boeing designed the MOP.
June 23, 2015, c. Leeham Co: Dennis Muilenburg has been named chief executive officer of The Boeing Co., elevating him from president and chief operating officer, the company announced today. Jim McNerney, chairman and chief executive officer of The Boeing Co. since 2005, was named chairman of the board. He will leave the company next February.
McNerney leaves a legacy of bitter fights with Boeing’s biggest labor unions, a runaway cost overrun on the 787 and 747-8, sour relations with the supply chain and settling to be second fiddle in the single-aisle sector to Airbus.
He also leaves a legacy of attacking costs that had to be cut, increasing production rates to record levels and restoring Boeing’s stock price from a low of 2009 during the depths of the 787 program difficulties to more than $150.
Last January we posted a think piece about the challenges facing Muilenburg on the assumption he would become CEO.