A new analytic program enables users to calculate emissions, range, fuel burn, payload and other data on about 250 commercial, corporate, Western and Russian aircraft in a matter of minutes. The program, called Piano-X, is offered by Lissys Ltd. of the UK.
A free download with sample data for the Airbus A300-600, the Fokker 70 and the Boeing 787-8 is available through the websites.
Emissions regulations have been adopted in Europe and are under consideration in the US. The Obama Administration is also talking about imposing carbon taxes, though at this stage these seem to be for industry; it’s unclear if aviation will also be included in the potential legislation. Europe is already imposing taxes on airlines that fail to meet emissions standards. In calculating emissions, Piano-X can use the ICAO emissions data. Piano-X enables operators to quickly calculate emissions that will help them understand potential regulatory costs.
The User Guide details various assumptions and qualifications in calculating emissions.
Piano-X also has aircraft performance analysis on a wide variety of metrics. Airbus undertook its own analysis that concluded the initial 787s will fall significantly short of advertised ranges, capable of operating less than 7,000nm. Aeromexico last week told Flight International it expects the 787 it has ordered to fall short of range targets—also identifying 7,000nm. Boeing denied the Airbus conclusion and did not comment to Flight on the Aeromexico statement.
The data from the PDF download (787 Emissions-and-Performance) is derived for the 787. First flight is scheduled for 2Q09, with first delivery in 1Q10 after an 8-9 month flight test program. According to our information, Boeing still would like to achieve first flight in late April, but the volume of work to be completed—and things that are emerging on the countdown—could easily slip the flight to May or June, with some people familiar with the program suggesting that early July is possible.
The issues arising are described as items that might largely be expected at this stage, with no show-stoppers. Systems testing is said to be proceeding well. Engine power-on is slated for later this month. Production and assembly of the six test airplanes is proceeding more or less smoothly, with some major sections of airplane 7 shipped to Everett, described in very good condition. The issues that arise may, on a cumulative basis, delay the first flight a matter of weeks or days but otherwise are not believed to be of any particular consequence. The mood within Boeing and among suppliers is described as somewhat skeptical about the timetable, given the history of the program, but one that has largely shifted from outright cynicism to cautiously optimistic and one that is discussing the program in terms of flight tests and delivery rather than delays.