Assessing 737 production rate interest to 70/mo

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Introduction

Sept. 27, 2018, © Leeham News: Boeing hasn’t gone to a production rate of 57/mo for its 737 and studies have long been underway looking at a rate of not only 63/mo but also 70/mo, supply chain sources tell LNC.

Rate 57, up from 52, is scheduled for next July. Sixty-three has long been considered the maximum allowed for the current Renton (WA) factory, the sole location where commercial 737s are assembled.

But Boeing, in yet another step in its drive for more efficiencies, is analyzing how to push 70 airplanes a month through the same facility.

Summary
  • MAX 8 remains the staple of the 737 family.
  • MAX 10 helps family, stems bleeding, but A321 still outsells 737-9/10 by about 2:5:1.
  • 9/10 MAX represent 17% of MAX backlog. A321neo is 34% of neo backlog.
  • Boeing has more sales replacement potential than Airbus.

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Pontifications: Time for Odds and Ends

Sept. 24, 2018, © Leeham News: This week we catch up on Odds and Ends.

Boeing catching up on 737

By Scott Hamilton

Boeing has reversed the number of 737s piling up at Renton Airport and Boeing Field and is starting to burn off the “gliders” and other aircraft plagued by traveled work.

Although some aerospace analysts came away from the investors day this month skeptical that Boeing would clear the backlog by year end, barring another hiccup of size, it looks like the company will do so.

Spirit Aerosystems said it had caught up on the delivery of fuselages while Boeing told aerospace analysts at its investors’ day this month that delays were still causing issues.

How does this conflict of information converge?

It’s a matter of sequencing the fuselages back into the system, I’m told.

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Bjorn’s Corner: Supersonic transport revival, Part 7

By Bjorn Fehrm

September 21, 2018, ©. Leeham News: In the last Corner we looked at the heating of the aircraft when cruising at high Mach.

Now we will address the biggest problem for supersonic airliners, the engines and nacelles.

Figure 1. The Concorde engine and nacelle. Source: Google images.

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What costs dominate an airliner’s operation? Part 3

By Bjorn Fehrm

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Introduction

September 13, 2018, © Leeham News.: Last week we looking at the costs for a typical Mainline airline in our series about the airliner cost equation. We discussed the operating costs of Mainline airlines and how these would be affected by the operating area.

Now we calculated the different costs for a Low-Cost Carrier (LCC) operating either in the US, West Europe or Asia.

Summary:

  • Fuel costs are the dominant costs for an LCC, regardless of geography.
  • Airport fees and crew costs are other costs which differ between LCCs, Legacy carriers and Geographies.

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Assessing A320 production rate interest in >70/mo

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Introduction

Sept. 17, 2018, © Leeham News: With the supply chain under major stress and Airbus and Boeing trying to recover from scores of “gliders” sidelined at airports without engines, each company nevertheless continues to study production rate increases for the A320 and 737 families.

Airbus publicly has said it’s looking at rate 70/mo. Boeing publicly acknowledges it’s looking at rate 63/mo.

Supply chain sources tell LNC Airbus is studying an even higher rate, into the “70s,” at early as 2020—a date that most consider out of the question.

Boeing is known to be considering a rate of 70/mo for its most profitable program.

Today, LNC looks at the A320 scenario. A future post will examine the 737.

Summary
  • Airbus is scheduled to deliver more A320 members in 2019 than production capacity. Some of these may be parked backlog airplanes.
  • 2020-2021 sold out at rate 60/mo, 2022-2023 nearly so.
  • Rate increase to 70/mo opens opportunities for Airbus, pressure on Boeing.

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Pontifications: Musical chairs at Airbus

By Scott Hamilton

Sept. 17, 2018, © Leeham News: The surprise resignation last week by Eric Schulz as Chief Commercial Officer for Airbus re-opened the door for the man who should have been named in the first place, Christian Scherer.

Scherer spent the last two years as CEO of ATR, which is 50% owned by Airbus, but his lineage is pure Airbus.

His father, Gunter, was one of the original Airbus pioneers. He was a flight engineer on the early A300B2 test flights when Airbus was formed. Gunter died in May.

Christian joined Airbus in 1984. Since then, he was Head of Contracts, Leasing Markets and Deputy Head of Sales as well as Head of Strategy and Future Programmes. At Airbus Defence and Space, he headed Marketing & Sales. He was named CEO of ATR in October 2016.

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Bjorn’s Corner: Supersonic transport revival, Part 6

By Bjorn Fehrm

September 14, 2018, ©. Leeham News: In the last Corner we looked at the change of aerodynamic center when passing Mach 1 and the resulting trim change.

We also discussed the high pitch angle of a delta like the Concorde when landing, which brings visibility problems for the pilots. Now we look into the problem of skin heating at high Mach flight.

Figure 1. The skin temperatures of Concorde at Mach 2. Source: Wikipedia.

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Hazy expects 797 decision middle next year

Steven Udvar-Hazy, Executive Chairman, Air Lease Corp. Photo via Google images.

Sept. 13, 2018, (c) Airfinance Journal: Air Lease’s executive chairman Steven Udvar-Hazy says that Boeing could make a decision on whether or not launch the 797 model mid-year 2019.

If so, the timing could coincide with the Paris Air Show.

“In the NMA market, whether Boeing will launch the 797 is a ‘multi-billion dollars question’, he says, adding that right now the US manufacturer is assessing the engine availability.

“There are two potential engines applications. They are all derivative engines,” he says at the UK Aviation Club Lunch on 13 September.

“We all know the problems that Airbus and Boeing have been going through with the new engines on the Max and the Neo as well as the 787s,” he adds.

And for him Boeing is very ‘cautious’ on a decision. “They are trying to understand what is the real market demand for this aircraft and all indications points out to a decision sometimes in the middle of next year,” he says.

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What costs dominate an airliner’s operation? Part 2

By Bjorn Fehrm

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Introduction

September 13, 2018, © Leeham News.: Last week we began an article series looking at the cost equation for an airliner. We discussed the different costs and how these would be affected by airline type and operating area.

Now we calculated the different costs for a Legacy airline operating either in the US, West Europe or Asia.

Summary:

  • The Narrowbody operated by a legacy carrier has high Aiport costs as it frequently take-offs and lands on major airports.
  • For the Widebody operation, the fuel and capital costs are higher than Navigation and Airport fees. The differences in how the US, Europe and Asia handle en route navigation fees creates a large Navigation cost difference between the geographies.

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Trade secret theft lawsuits impact on aircraft financing uncertain

Update, Sept. 14: Marsh plans to continue AFIC despite the lawsuit.

“Since its launch, AFIC has given clients greater choice by contributing significantly to the development and diversification of aircraft finance globally. We stand fully behind it and will defend this case vigorously,” the company wrote in an email to LNC. Boeing declined comment, deferring to Marsh.

Sept. 12, 2018, © Leeham News: The trade secret theft lawsuits filed yesterday by Xavian Insurance and Xavian Holdings against The Boeing Co., Boeing Capital Corp., Marsh & McLennan and Marsh USA strike at the very heart of business plan intended to replace the virtually closed US ExIm Bank financing that Boeing used to rely upon.

It also potentially does so at a similar business plan Marsh created to support Airbus sales.

It’s impossible to assess the validity of the claims, but the lawsuits certainly paint a bleak picture of events—as plaintiffs do when they file one.

The Xavian-Boeing lawsuit may be found here: Xavian_Boeing_Complaint.

The Xavian-Marsh lawsuit may be found here: Xavian v Marsh – Complaint. Read more