Maeve, P&W Canada team for new hybrid propulsion system airplane

By Bjorn Fehrm and Scott Hamilton

July 24, 2024, © Leeham News at Farnborough International Airshow: Start-up airplane company Maeve and Pratt & Whitney Canada (PWC) have teamed for the design of a new eco-airplane driven by a new type of hybrid electric propulsion system with a target service entry date of 2032.

The M80 aircraft is the latest iteration of a design conceived by Maeve of the Netherlands. It is a 76 to 96-seat twin-engine aircraft that is compliant with the restrictive US pilot Scope Clauses, which limit the size, number, and weight of airplanes operated on behalf of US major airlines. Maeve originally designed a four-engine, 44-passenger electric aircraft called the M01.

Figure 1. The Maeve M80 combines an all-new powerplant from Pratt & Whitney Canada and downward wing droops instead of upward winglets. Source: Maeve.

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Farnborough, Day 2: Boeing dominates again

July 23, 2024, © Leeham News: Boeing dominating Day 2 of the Farnborough Air Show with a new, direct order for 20 737-8s from lessor Macquarie AirFinance, and a follow-on order from Qatar Airways for 20 777-9s.

Airbus announced a new order for seven A330-900s from Virgin Atlantic Airways and firmed up a previously announced order from Japan Air Lines for seven A321neos and 20 A350-900s.

Airbus, Pratt & Whitney, and Cebu Pacific Airlines of The Philippines celebrated a Memorandum of Understanding for an order of up to 152 Airbuses announced on July 2. This celebration is not in LNA’s table below.

De Havilland Canada announced orders for 11 DHC-6 Twin Otters.

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Farnborough, Day 1: Boeing jumps to orders lead; De Havilland puts new life into the Dash 8-400

July 22, 2024, © Leeham News: Boeing was the clear winner in the orders announcements today at the Farnborough Air Show.

The beleaguered company announced orders, options, and commitments for 78 aircraft (see chart). Rival Airbus announced a Memorandum of Understanding for just five airplanes.

Tiny De Havilland of Canada announced firm orders and commitments for 11 “Certified Refurbished” Dash 8-400s.

The Certified Refurbishment Program is a multi-step process to rework used Dash 8-400s “to keep the fleet flying.” DHC terminated production of new -400s during the COVID pandemic when the old Bombardier factory at Downsview, Toronto, was closed. The airport there is being redeveloped. DHC is building a new plant in Calgary in Western Canada. It’s unclear if production of new -400s will resume. When the factory is complete.

“DHC has actively been acquiring aircraft in the marketplace and has begun upgrading these aircraft for delivery to customers looking to expand their fleets or become Dash 8 customers for the first time,” the company said in a statement.

DHC says refurbishments include:

  • Aircraft configuration to match the customer’s existing fleet
  • Completion of overdue maintenance, integration of Airworthiness Directives, and Service Bulletin upgrades
  • Airframe life extensions through our ESP (Extended Service Plan) to extend the lives of Dash 8-100/200/300 to 120,000 cycles, or the ESP+ which can take the Dash 8-100 to 160,000 cycles
  • Freighter conversions, including the introduction of the new Dash 8-400 Large Cargo Door and Quick Change between cargo and passenger missions
  • Avionics upgrades

DHC has acquired 28 -400s for the program so far.

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IAM members throw down gauntlet to Boeing, overwhelmingly back strike

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By the Leeham News Team

July 22, 2024, © Leeham News: Boeing’s (BA) largest union in Seattle, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) District 751 – voted overwhelmingly to authorize a strike if contract negotiations fail.

Thousands of members attended a rally at T-Mobile Park, home of the Seattle Mariners baseball team, during which “nearly” 99.9% voted to empower the union to strike, according to IAM representatives.

Workers in Washington State are seeking a 40% pay increase in an attempt to claw back concessions previously given to the company by the union. The Local represents over 30,000 members in the region, which includes the plants in Renton and Everett, where the 737 Max and 777 aircraft are assembled.

The current labor contract will expire on Sept. 12, 2024. With a successful mandate granted by the rank and file, leverage will be applied to Boeing in upcoming negotiations. “We want the company to take our proposals seriously and bargain earnestly,” said Jon Holden, President of IAM District 751.

It’s been 10 years since the last contract was approved. The basic contract was entered into after a 57-day strike in 2008. Boeing’s CEO at the time, Jim McNerney, then demanded concessions the following year in return for locating a second 787 assembly line in Everett (WA), the assembly plant for widebody airplanes. The IAM offered concessions, which Boeing said were inadequate, and the second line went to the production facility in Charleston (SC).

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Boeing sees traffic recovery from pandemic, growth for future in latest forecast

By Scott Hamilton

July 19, 2024, © Leeham News: Boeing sees airline traffic recovery to near-pre-COVID pandemic levels in its latest 20-year forecast for aircraft demand.

It also sees growth through 2043 along similar lines announced by Airbus last week in its 20-year forecast. The numbers between Airbus and Boeing are inconsequentially different. Boeing includes regional jets in the 70-90 seat sector; Airbus doesn’t forecast the RJ market. Over the next 20 years, Boeing forecasts deliveries of just over 1,500 RJs—a market that has been shrinking for years.

Embraer, the sole manufacturer outside of China and Russia of RJs, hasn’t announced its 2024 forecast (this usually comes during the international air shows—Farnborough is next week). Nor does it break out the RJs in its forecast, which is for single-aisle jets up to 150 seats.

In its 2024 20-year forecast released last month, the Japan Aircraft Development Corp. (JADC) forecasts deliveries of 1,584 new RJs in the 61-100 seat sector—very close to the Boeing number for RJs and the Boeing and Airbus numbers overall. The JADC forecast is the only one to provide details for sub-sectors within the RJ, single-aisle, and twin-aisle markets.

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Bjorn’s Corner: New engine development. Part 16. Compressor air use.

By Bjorn Fehrm

July 19, 2024, ©. Leeham News: We do an article series about engine development. The aim is to understand why engine development now has longer timelines than airframe development and carries larger risks of product maturity problems.

To understand why engine development has become a challenging task, we need to understand engine fundamentals and the technologies used for these fundamentals.

We have covered the problem areas of a compressor and how these achieve power-to-air-pressure conversion efficiencies of over 90% by using advanced 3D airflow modeling. Now, we look at the users of the air from the engin’s compressor.

Figure 1. The gas turbine cycle and its parts. Source: Rolls-Royce: The Jet Engine.

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Aircraft Certification: How the Max crashes changed everything

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By the Leeham News Team

The Airbus A321XLR got caught up in the new aircraft certification environment created by the Boeing 737 MAX crisis. Source: Airbus.

July 18, 2024, © Leeham News: Much of the attention in the airline industry has recently been focused on the production issues faced by both major OEMs, Airbus (AB) and Boeing (BA). Supply chains are snarled, airlines had to re-jig their fleets, keeping less efficient aircraft in service longer than they planned and financial performance suffered.

LNA recently drilled down and detailed the long-term effects on Southwest Airlines, which is dealing with jet certification delays and must make do with a less-than-ideal fleet mix.

One of the overlooked aspects are the consequences of the Boeing 737 Max 8 accidents and subsequent Alaska Airlines 737 Max 9 door plug blowout is the effect it is having on getting new, more efficient variants certified into service to replace older aircraft.

Both OEMs have been affected. Airbus had to push back the introduction of its A321XLR by about a year, but a detailed inspection by LNA reveals that Boeing is suffering more from the increased scrutiny of the FAA and Congress.

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Airbus sees 3.8% growth in new aircraft deliveries through 2043 vs last year’s forecast

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By Scott Hamilton

July 15, 2024, © Leeham News: Airbus boosted its 20 year forecast for new aircraft deliveries by 3.8% compared with last year’s Global Market Forecast (GMF).

Single aisle mainline aircraft (ie, no regional jets) deliveries edge up by 880 aircraft in the new forecast. Widebody passenger and freighter deliveries also edge up, by 700 aircraft.

GMF forecast 2024-2043

Airbus summarizes:

  • Initial average traffic growth rate of 8.4% CAGR until 2027 as it recovers growth lost during the pandemic;
  • Long term trend: average annual passenger traffic growth of 3.6% per year from 2027 to 2043, and 3.1% for freight;
  • China and India, and more generally Asia-Pacific as a whole, will power growth, further shifting aviation’s center of gravity’ towards Asia;
  • The projected 2043 world Fleet-In-Service will be 48,230 in 2043 vs. 24,240 beginning of 2024.

Demand for 42,430 new passenger and freighter deliveries (vs. 40,850 GMF2023) in the 2024-2043 period;

  • Of these: 33,510 Single aisle (v 32,630 GMF2023); 8,920 Widebodies (v 8,220 GMF2023);
  • This is 1,580 more (v GMF23) reflecting one extra year of growth
  • Freighter demand: 2,470 deliveries of which 940 are new-build, the rest coming from P2F conversion; and
  • Growth primarily driven by GDP increase (+2.6% 2023-2043), middle class expansion, first time fliers, and growing trade (+3.1% 2023-2043 CAGR vs. +2.9 % GMF23).

Airbus does not specify sub-categories of the single- and twin-aisle sectors. It’s not possible to delineate sub-sectors such as 100-150 seats or 151-240 seats or similar designations within the twin-aisle sector with the information available.

But in the first half of 2024, the A321neo accounts for 93% of the A320 family orders. The A320neo won 6.5% (there was one order for the A319neo.) There were no orders for the A220.

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Bjorn’s Corner: New engine development. Part 15. Compressor efficiency.

By Bjorn Fehrm

July 12, 2024, ©. Leeham News: We do an article series about engine development. The aim is to understand why engine development now has longer timelines than airframe development and carries larger risks of product maturity problems.

To understand why engine development has become a challenging task, we need to understand engine fundamentals and the technologies used for these fundamentals.

We covered the problem areas of a compressor last week. Now, we will discuss how modern compressors can have over 90% conversion efficiency from turbine power to air compression.

Figure 1. The gas turbine cycle and its parts. Source: Rolls-Royce: The Jet Engine.

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To what extent can the A321XLR replace the Boeing 757, Part 3

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By Bjorn Fehrm

July 11, 2024, © Leeham News: We are comparing the Airbus a321XLR to the Boeing 757 to understand to what extent it can replace the 757 on the longer routes it operates for major airlines like United, American, and Delta.

We have looked at the development and operational history of the aircraft, their Apples-to-Apples capacity and range. Now, we use Leeham’s Aircraft Performance and Cost Model (APCM) to compare the operational costs of the aircraft.

  • The Boeing 757-200 has the same passenger capacity as the A321LR/XLR and a larger cargo capacity.
  • Its range can compete with the A321LR but not the XLR. Both beat the 757 on operational economics.

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