Boeing WTO panel report released; podcast with Airbus and Boeing

The WTO released the public version of its report on the illegal subsidies for Boeing. There are plenty of stories on the Internet to choose from, so we won’t recap it all here. We have said and still say a pox on both houses.

But here is a 10 minute podcast by AirInsight of an interview with Airbus’ Alan McArtor, Chairman of Airbus Americas.

Here is a slightly longer podcast with Boeing’s top WTO official.

Indigo selected PW GTF for NEO

Indigo Airlines of India selected the PW P1000G Geared Turbo Fan for its order of 150 Airbus A320neos.

We’re at the PW Media Day and will be filing additional reports today. Up to this point, most of the activities have been associated with military and space programs, which we don’t follow closely.

We did confirm that PW is providing the PW 4000 for the KC-46A tanker. There had been some minor speculation that the secretive Boeing bid might have included plans for a 767-sized GTF; this isn’t the case.

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Odds and Ends: Orient Aviation’s profile of John Leahy

This is an abbreviated Odds and Ends; we are traveling this week and next and we’re not sure if we’ll have the chance to update while we are on the road. Meantime:

Orient Aviation magazine has a cover story profile of John Leahy, COO of Customers, and it’s a good one.

FlightGlobal has a long piece about the new competitors to Airbus and Boeing.

This is a frightening story about construction at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport.

An Australian TV station has a special on the Qantas A380/Rolls-Royce incident.

George Talbot of The Mobile Press-Register takes a look at how all the analysts and pontificaters were flummoxed by the Boeing win on the tanker.

Odds and Ends: Airbus wants to advance NEO EIS by six months; name that tanker

1. Airbus wants to advance NEO EIS six months

Airbus wants to advance the entry-into-service of the A320neo by six months, to October 2015, we have learned. Airbus plans to introduce the neo in six month increments (A320neo followed by A321neo followed by A319neo). Airbus has more than 300 orders and commitments for the 320/321 and none for the 319. With Boeing increasingly talking about a new airplane in 2019, any advance Airbus can get for EIS on the neo will be beneficial.

Pratt & Whitney can probably meet this requirement. It will have versions of the GTF in service with Bombardier in 2013 and with Mitsubishi in 2014. Testing on the Irkut MS-21, a competitor to the A320/321, is to begin in 2014 with an EIS planned for 2016 (though we believe the MS-21 will likely be later than 2016).

Whether CFM can have the LEAP-X ready for a NEO 2015 EIS is unknown. CFM has yet to be selected for a NEO order (this is only a matter of time, though). The LEAP-X is in development for the COMAC C919, also a competitor to the 320/321. Flight testing is planned for 2014 and EIS for 2016 but we think the C919 will run years late, just as did the ARJ-21. Can CFM shave six months off its flight testing to meet an advanced NEO EIS when it is disadvantaged to PW’s CSeries and MRJ operating experience? We don’t know.

Over at Boeing, Aspire Aviation has this think-piece about the “737X.”

2. Airbus ponders slight larger A350-1000

The A350-1000 is aimed directly at the Boeing 777-300ER, but it is slightly smaller at 350 passengers vs 365 in typical three-class. Boeing, and others, question whether Rolls-Royce’s Trent XWB engine is big enough for the -1000 (Airbus, not surprisingly, said that it is). But we learned that Airbus is considering a 380 passenger -1000 and 50 miles more range to make it sure to do Dubai-Los Angeles non-stop. For this, the Trent XWB needs 5,000 lbs more thrust, and Rolls has been asked to figure this out.

In our view, this is the airplane Airbus needs to take on the -300ER.

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Odds and Ends: Boeing basks in 777 orders as A350 falters

Odds and Ends this week:

  1. Boeing had a good week with 777 orders from a variety of customers, though some were previously unidentified ones that had already been booked. Back in January we predicted that Boeing will see a stream of orders that will justify increased production. Boeing has announced a rate of 8.3 per month and we can reveal it is considering going to 10 per month.
  2. Meanwhile, Airbus confirmed that it faces mounting challenges with the production timeline for the A350. For the moment it is still sticking with the EIS of 2H2013. We fully expect this to slip into 2014. At the moment, our conclusion is that the A350 will be a year late. This may change.
  3. Dominic Gates has this interesting story about Boeing proceeding with a 787-10.
  4. The Air Force Times has an interesting article analyzing the tanker competition.
  5. Airbus and Boeing are engaged in their usual public bickering over the strategies in the A320/737 class. Airbus launched the NEO and claims this provides enough fuel burn reductions to make the program worthwhile. (We think the boost in range to the A320 and A321 have as much to do with the program as anything else.) Airbus is right. Boeing claims re-engining doesn’t provide enough fuel burn benefit to make re-engining worthwhile on a net, all-in cash-on-cash basis to be worthwhile. Boeing makes a good argument on this narrow basis, but this ignores the environmental benefits to re-engining and other factors. Airbus says there isn’t going to be a real convergence of technology until 2025-27 to justify a new airplane. Boeing believes there is enough new technology available to justify a new airplane by 2019. We think they are both right–and both are wrong.
  6. EADS CEO Louis Gallois said the KC-X tanker effort boosted EADS’ standing with the Department of Defense despite losing.
  7. The new PW GTF and CFM LEAP-X engines aren’t in service yet and PW is already working on its next generation GTF and CFM is working on the open rotor. Flight Global has a lengthy story about it.
  8. Aspire Aviation takes a look at Cathay Pacific’s financial results.

Boeing sees long life for 737

Update, March 11: Dominic Gates of The Seattle Times has an excellent article about the new Boeing airplane and its production site.

Original Post:

In a short article we did for Aviation Technology magazine, Boeing sees a long life for the 737. The airplane could sell right alongside the Y1, which Boeing’s Mike Bair says is erroneously called the replacement for the 737; he prefers to call this the “new airplane.” It is known internally as the Y1, hence our use of the term.

Indeed, the new airplane is 150-210 seats (some reports have it 180-220, but Bair told us 210 was the upper limit–though there is still some fluidity).

Our full article will be in the next issue of the magazine.

The Wall Street Journal has this article.

We’ve added a link to the daily news briefs from Aircraft Technology’s parent, UBM Aviation, to the right hand side of this page. UBM’s website is painfully slow, though.

Rolls-Royce, PW may be feuding but extend IAE to 2045

The feud between Rolls-Royce and Pratt & Whitney over patent infringements is nasty and in court, and the Rolls-Royce view that it doesn’t think much of the PW Geared Turbo Fan technology is well known, but speculation that this would lead to the dissolution of International Aero Engines in which both are partners can now be put to rest.

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What next for EADS, Airbus in US?

With plans to assemble the KC-45 in Mobile (AL) in shreds, what’s next for EADS and Airbus in the US?

EADS and Airbus said creating a final assembly line (FAL) for the KC-X would lead to assembling A330-200Fs there as well. Without the tanker, the business case for the freighter FAL in Mobile didn’t exist, said officials.

The tanker contract is gone and Airbus now has a backlog of only some 50 A330-200Fs.

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