Update, December 1, 0530 PST:
Aviation Week has an interesting piece on what will Boeing do.
Here is the Airbus press release:
Airbus offers new fuel saving engine options for A320 Family
1 December 2010
Airbus has decided to offer for its best-selling A320 Family new fuel saving engines as an option. Airlines have the choice between CFM International’s LEAP-X engine and Pratt & Whitney’s PurePower PW1100G engine. Known as the A320neo, this new engine option also incorporates fuel-saving large wing tip devices called Sharklets. Airbus will start deliveries of the A320neo Family in spring 2016.
Update: AirInsight has a couple of posts assessing the impact of NEO.
Bloomberg News just moved this story:
Airbus Said to Plan New A320 Engine Option to Fend Off Rivals
2010-11-30 20:50:43.24 GMT
By Andrea Rothman
Nov. 30 (Bloomberg) — Airbus SAS plans to offer its A320 series of aircraft with an option of more fuel-efficient engines to help defend its position in the single-aisle jet market, said a person familiar with the decision.
The company received backing from parent European Aeronautic, Defense & Space Co. at a meeting today and may announce the decision as early as tomorrow, said the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the plan has not yet been made public. Airbus, based in Toulouse, France, would offer the A320 with two new engine options, the person said.
Update, Dec. 1: George Talbot of The Mobile Press-Register has this interesting interview with Michael Wynne, a former top defense department procurement official, who suggests a solution to the KC-X quandary.
Also, at 12:50pm PST: Bloomberg has this story with Boeing BDS CEO Dennis Muilenberg weighing in. It seems the USAF has more ‘splainin’ to do.
Update, Nov. 30, 8PM PST: The New York Times confirms EADS opened Boeing data, Boeing did not; Boeing threatens protest.
Dominic Gates at The Seattle Times has this report.
In what is a wholly transparent move, Boeing is beginning to lay the groundwork for an appeal in the event EADS wins the KC-X contract.
Loren Thompson of the Lexington Institute, published a commentary yesterday (we only saw it today) entitled “Tanker flap reflects pattern of bias.” In it he makes several allegations, the most serious of which is that EADS read the proprietary document mistakenly sent by the USAF to EADS about Boeing performance data of the KC-767 but Boeing did not read the EADS document and data sent to Boeing by USAF. Thompson does not disclose how he knows this.
Richard Aboulafia, aerospace consultant with The Teal Group, published his monthly two-page newsletter in which he gives five reasons why Airbus should proceed with the A320 New Engine Option (NEO). The newsletter may be downloaded here.
We disagree with one of his conclusions, and that is Delta Air Lines continues to be predisposed toward Boeing. This was certainly true under the previous management (the pre-bankruptcy one) and stems from an exclusive supplier agreement between Delta and Boeing signed c. 1996 and good for 20 years. Boeing agreed not to enforce the contract as a concession to the European Union for approval the following year to merge with McDonnell Douglas, but Delta only ordered Boeing aircraft anyway.
Boeing issued this press release at 3pm PST Nov. 24:
Boeing Initiates Changes to 787 Power Panel, Updates to Software
EVERETT, Wash., Nov. 24, 2010 – Boeing [NYSE: BA] is developing minor design changes to power distribution panels on the 787 and updates to the systems software that manages and protects power distribution on the airplane. These changes come as the result of what has been learned from the investigation of an onboard electrical fire on a test airplane, ZA002, earlier this month in Laredo, Texas.
We attended a press conference today in Washington (DC) with Sean O’Keefe, CEO of EADS North America, that covered a variety of issues but focused mainly on the KC-X tanker competition and most particularly the news last week that the USAF had sent proprietary information about the Boeing and EADS tanker bids to the wrong company.
First, O’Keefe remains in the neck collar from his near-fatal airplane accident in Alaska August 9 in which former Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK) and three others were killed. Sean and his teenage son, Kevin, were about five survivors. O’Keefe’s spirits are good and he expressed that the random nature of those killed and who survived is proof that divine intervention is “real.”
Having interviewed O’Keefe on previous occasions, we are gratified to see his recovery progressing and him back at work.
Here is a quick snaphshot of O’Keefe’s remarks:
Defense News has this story about the USAF sending Boeing and EADS proprietary information about each company’s bids to the other by mistake.
How else can the government screw this competition up?
If you read the post carefully, the USAF also acknowledges for the first time what we have been saying for quite a while: the award will slip to early next year.
Update: It gets worse. Dominic Gates of The Seattle Times said the information including pricing data from each company, which is key in what is a price shoot-out competition.
This could have serious ramifications.
Update Nov. 22: Bloomberg News has this report detailing the source of the FOD.
It’s become a worldwide sport, trying to forecast how long the widely expected delay from the in-flight fire of Boeing 787 ZA002 will be.
Morgan Stanley predicts the first delivery of the 787 to All Nippon will slip from February to 2012. This is the most dire prediction.
Here’s ours, and this has several elements to it. Everything that follows is based on numerous conversations with many sources who have knowledge of events.
The Associated Press, via this story in The Seattle Times, details the in-flight emergency of the Qantas A380 after the No. 2 engine suffered an uncontained failure.
The account is very dramatic, particularly when the as-yet untold story of the Boeing 787 ZA002 is considered.
Qantas recorded 54 failures, including the near-deployment of the Ram Air Turbine (RAT) that does so only when there is a major system failure. The RAT, as we know, deployed on the 787.
In what is, perhaps, the clearest signal Boeing isn’t going to re-engine the 737, and that it will take on the Airbus A320NEO head-on with an upgraded model, take a look at the last line of the AerCap press release announcing the signing of a letter of intent to order the 737-800–the first new-airplane order from Boeing from this previously all-Airbus new order customer: