Bjorn’s Corner: Pitch stability, Part 6

Jan. 18, 2019, ©. Leeham News: We have now covered the basics of pitch stability for an airliner and how a stable or unstable pitch moment curve looks. Now we look at different trouble areas.

Straight and stable pitch moment curves are difficult to achieve at all flight situations. We will discuss some well-known problems, how these were detected and what the solutions were.

Figure 1. The pitch moment coefficient curve of an early DC-9 candidate. Source: Stanford University.

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PIPs planned for A220 to improve operating costs

Airbus A220-300, ordered by JetBlue last year. Source: Airbus.

Jan. 17, 2019, © Leeham News: Airbus is planning performance improvement packages for the A220, intended to shave operating costs off an airplane that already beat performance promises.

The PIPs, as the upgrades are known, are common among all airliners. In this case, the PIPs were under study by Bombardier long before Airbus acquired a 50.01% stake in the C Series program last year.

While financially-strapped Bombardier may have been able to find the money to execute, giant Airbus has no problem doing so.

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Airbus new A220 is more of a match for the A320neo than Airbus says

By Bjorn Fehrm

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Introduction

January 17, 2019, © Leeham News: It’s all about the new Airbus A220 on the North America press tour Airbus is hosting this week. Airbus got this top modern aircraft as a windfall after Boeing tried to block its sale on the US Market in 2017.

While the tour presents the A220 in the best of lights, it can’t shine brighter than Airbus’ own A320neo. The graph from the tour which positions them in capacity and range shows a clear little brother-large brother relationship. The reality, when comparing apples to apples, is another.

Figure 1. Airbus payload-range chart with the new A220-100 and -300 placed as shorter ranged than the A320neo and A321neo.

Summary:

  • The ideal positioning of the A220 and A320 is when the larger models are higher in capacity and flies further. They cost more and shall, therefore, be better.
  • But the comparison is not made with the same yardsticks. Use the same rules and the result is another.
  • The more modern A220-300 can then give the A320neo a match both in range and fuel consumption per passenger.

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Bombardier CEO “proud” at A220 FAL groundbreaking

Jan. 16, 2019, © Leeham News, Mobile (AL): Groundbreaking for the Airbus A220 final assembly line today might be viewed as a bittersweet moment for Alain Bellemare, CEO on Bombardier, designer of the C Series.

Airbus Group CEO Tom Enders at the A220 FAL groundbreaking in Mobile (AL). It’s his last one with Airbus., He retires in April. (Scott Hamilton photo.)

The program nearly bankrupted Bombardier. A sale of 50.01% of the CSLAP limited partnership to Airbus was necessary to save the program and Bombardier.

Bombardier’s share in the program was reduced to about a third after the Airbus sale. (A quasi-government Quebec pension fund owns the rest.)

But in an interview following the groundbreaking, Bellemare was almost giddy with excitement.

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Airbus eyes fighters, MRTT, satellites for Canada

Jan. 14, 2019, © Leeham News: Airbus Canada worked 10 years to position itself to win an order for 16 C295 FWSAR airplanes from the Canadian government.

Officials hope it won’t be this long for the next big order.

The CASA C295 Fixed Wing Search and Rescue aircraft order was won after a stiff competition. It will replace an aging fleet of SAR aircraft that are long overdue for retirement.

Up next: a replacement for Canada’s air force jet fighters and the fleet of Airbus A310 MRTT tanker-transports.

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A220 wins 180 ETOPS

Jan. 14, 2019, © Leeham News: Airbus announced today that its A220 received certification for 180- minute ETOPS from the Canadian regulatory authorities.*

The announcement came at the first Airbus North American Tour, a three-day event that kicked off at the Montreal, Canada, Mirabel Airport facilities created by Bombardier.

Bombardier, of course, created the C Series, which is now the A220.

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Countdown to Boeing’s decision on NMA, Part 2

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Introduction

Jan. 7, 2019, © Leeham News: As the airline, lessor and aerospace industries await Boeing’s decision whether to launch its New Midrange Airplane (NMA, aka 797), as of last month the company still hadn’t closed the business case.

The aerospace analyst from JP Morgan met last month with Boeing’s top executives in Chicago. CEO Dennis Muilenburg and CFO Greg Smith told Seth Seifman that the business case must stand alone, on a program P&L basis, and not rely on aftermarket MRO services through Boeing Global Services. A Boeing spokesman last week reaffirmed the business case is still a work in progress.

As LNC has written many times, the business case involves the usual cost, pricing, production, supply chain and related issues.

But one overarching issue is how bid the market demand is. In large part, this drives everything else.

And market demand continues to be a matter of debate.

Summary
  • Boeing says the demand is 4,000-5,000 airplanes over 20 years.
  • Nearly everyone else surveyed by LNC sees the demand as closer to 2,300-2,500.
  • Engine makers, Tier 1s, LNC, others see the demand as the lower number.
  • Dissecting the difference.

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Pontifications: Countdown to decision on Boeing’s NMA, Part 1

By Scott Hamilton

Jan. 14, 2019, © Leeham Co.: Two thousand nineteen begins with increasing focus on whether Boeing is going to launch the New Midmarket Aircraft (NMA, aka 797).

Signs all point to a program launch, perhaps at the Paris Air Show. Authority to Offer (ATO) the airplane for sale is expected by March or April.

Engine companies were asked to respond to Requests for Proposals by the end of December. Engine down select is expected soon.

LNC’s Dan Catchpole will be reporting on this process soon.

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Airbus holds 56% share of backlogs vs Boeing

Jan. 11, 2019, © Leeham News: Airbus trailed Boeing in net orders in 2018 but it still holds a commanding lead in backlog market share.

With the companies reporting their year-end tallies, Airbus has a 56% share of the backlog to Boeing’s 44%.

Airbus carries the day with narrowbody backlog. Its share is 58% to Boeing’s 42%.

Boeing wins the widebody backlog, 53% to 47%, driven by a broader product line, including strong 777F and KC-46A/767-300ERF backlogs.

When the emerging narrowbody airplane programs of China and Russia, and Embraer’s sole entry into the 100-150 seat sector (based on two-class seating), Boeing’s narrowbody share of the backlog drops from 42% to 40%.

Charts are below. Data is based on firm orders only.

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Bjorn’s Corner: Pitch stability, Part 5

By Bjorn Fehrm

Jan. 11, 2019, ©. Leeham News: The week before Christmas we discussed the pitch stability of an airliner. We covered how a horizontal stabilizer made the aircraft stable in pitch, and why transonic airliners used a trimmable horizontal stabilizer rather than trimming with the elevator.

Now we look at some different flight situations with different trim needs before we move into the more troublesome parts of a pitch moment curve.

Figure 1. The pitch moment coefficient curve of an early DC-9 candidate. Source: Stanford University.

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