Pontifications: Uncontained engine failures are rare but not unknown

By Scott Hamilton

April 23, 2018, © Leeham News: Last week’s engine malfunction on a Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-700 was another in a rare, but not unknown, uncontained engine anomaly in recent years.

All recent similar failures didn’t cause a loss of life or serious injuries if the passengers were evacuated. Unfortunately, this accident caused one fatality and seven injuries.

Let’s put the context to this issue.

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Boeing faces 787 deliveries slow down with Rolls-Royce problems; earnings call April 25

April 21, 2018 © Leeham News: On the eve of the Boeing first quarter earnings call Wednesday, the company faces a slow-down in 787 deliveries at a time when it is gearing to ramp up production to 14/mo next year.

The engine issues with Rolls-Royce, resulting in grounded 787s across the globe, has had the knock-on effect of new production 787s emerging from the Everett and Charleston assembly plants without powerplants. Huge, yellow weight blocks are hung where the engines should be to keep the airplanes from sitting on their tails.

Delayed deliveries

At least five 787s in airline colors are on the Everett flight line awaiting engines, airplane spotters tell LNC. At least one in colors and two more without airline liveries are on the flight line at Charleston, a local reporter tells LNC. (Update: a sixth 787, this one for Gulf Air, rolled out of the Everett factory Friday night without engines.)

Engines from new production airplanes are being diverted to Aircraft on Ground (AOG), sources tell LNC.

As of April 18, there are 45 RR-powered 787s scheduled for delivery this year, according to the Ascend data base. The number rises to 57 next year.

Production isn’t expected to slow, but deliveries are already being affected, LNC is told—with physical evidence clear from the Gliders now parked at Everett and Charleston.

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Bjorn’s Corner: Aircraft stability, Part 2

By Bjorn Fehrm.

April 20, 2018, ©. Leeham News: In the last Corner, we discussed how to stabilize an aircraft in pitch so it could fly stably straight ahead. For this, we needed a horizontal tail which had a negative lift.

This will buy us a short-term pitch stability, but not a long-term one. Why we will explain in this Corner.

Figure 1. The long-term pitch instability, Phugoid. Source: Leeham Co.

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Narrowbody and Widebody engine developments, Part 2

By Bjorn Fehrm

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Introduction

April 19, 2018, © Leeham News: In an article last week, we discussed the reason the new narrow-body engines are catching up to the fuel consumption of the wide-body engines.

Today we dig a bit deeper into the efficiency changes of the different engines and discuss which parameter changes have caused what changes in engine efficiency.

We will use our engine modeling software GasTurb to analyze what happens in a Turbofan when we change certain parameters.

Summary:

  • The engine’s Core or Thermal efficiency changes with Turbine Entry Temperature (TET).
  • To fully utilize such an increase in efficiency we need to adapt the overall design of the engine.

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Indigo, India’s market-leading airline

By Bjorn Fehrm 

April 18, 2018, ©. Leeham News: Indigo started its operation 2006, offering low-cost air travel to the masses in India. The year after, Air India and Indian Airlines, the state-owned flag International and Domestic carrier, merged to form India’s largest airline at the time, Air India.

By the end of 2010, Indigo passed Air India and by 2013 Jet Airways for domestic passenger market share, a position it has kept since.

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Airbus investment resets the clock on CSeries

Special to Leeham News

 By Olivier Bonnassies

Airfinance Journal

April 17, 2018, (c) Airfinance Journal, Montreal: Aviation Week & Space Technology managing director technology Graham Warwick believe the acquisition of a 50.1% stake into Bombardier’s CSeries will give the program opportunities in many areas.

Talking at the Innovation Aerospace Forum in Montreal, Warwick says Airbus expertise in marketing, sales and support will be “immediate benefits” to the CSeries program.

Warwick recalls that Airbus is into its second iteration of the Airbus A320 program, whilst Bombardier’s CSeries is a new product.

“The CSeries is right at the beginning of its life. It clearly resets the clock for the CSeries and can even have a meaningful impact in the future,” he says.

Bombardier’s CSeries vice president program Rob Dewar says 29 CS100/300s are now in service with three customers: Air Baltic, Swiss and Korean Air.

The Canadian manufacturer continues to be pleased with the introduction into service.

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Boeing to implement structural design change in 787-8 for production commonality

April 17, 2018, © Leeham News: Boeing will implement a manufacturing shift later this year designed to bring the 787-8 into more conformity with the production of its larger siblings, the 787-9 and 787-10.

Boeing 787-8. Source: Boeing.

The move, involving the aft fuselage production, will reduce costs and increase commonality between the first family member and the two larger models.

The plan was first reported by David Wren of the Charleston Post and Courier.

The 787-8 became Boeing’s problem child, plagued by design and production issues that caused the entry into service to be nearly four years late. Cost overruns in the program peaked at $30bn+ in deferred production and tooling costs. Boeing will be reducing these costs for the next decade.

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Air Canada sees secondary airport need for NMA

Special to Leeham News

 By Olivier Bonnassies

Airfinance Journal

April 16, 2018, (c) Airfinance Journal, Montreal: Air Canada sees the potential of a new midsize aircraft (NMA) in its fleet to avoid congested airport.

“There is a difficulty in getting slots at key airports in key times,” Calin Ravinescu, Air Canada president and chief executive officer, said at the Innovation Aerospace Forum in Montreal.

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Airlines need OEM choices: Air Canada

Special to Leeham News

By Olivier Bonnassies

Airfinance Journal

April 16, 2018, (c) Airfinance Journal, Montreal: The commercial aircraft manufacturing industry could head into a scenario with two major alliances: Airbus/Bombardier rivaling Boeing/Embraer, but for Air Canada, airlines need to have choices.

Calin Rovinescu, president of Air Canada. Photo via Google images.

“This is a terrific double-edge sword. Airlines definitively need to have choice,” said Calin Ravinescu, Air Canada president and chief executive officer at the Innovation Aerospace Forum in Montreal.

Ravinescu says the idea of a single source supply is not acceptable for maintenance prospective and from a customer service prospective.

“I am totally against any notion of single sourcing, or any component in any aircraft in any circumstances. Just like our customers, airlines expect competition is the aerospace and the aircraft space.

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Déjà vu all over again

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Introduction

April 16, 2018, © Leeham News: There’s high turnover in the executive ranks. Major delivery delays cause disruption and unhappy customers. Airlines are cancelling and switching orders. Product strategy is challenged. Your competitor is taking advantage and making significant inroads.

If this sounds familiar, it is.

It’s déjà vu all over again.

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