1. Entertaining look at Leahy and A320neo
Max Kingsley-Jones, editor of Airline Business, has this amusing take on Airbus COO John Leahy and Leahy’s view of his latest toy, the A320neo.
Last week we received a couple of inquiries and comments about the investment Airbus has made in the NEO and whether this will be worth it. Figures publicly issued by Airbus were that the investment in NEO is about $1.5bn.
What is not discussed but which is widely known within insider circles is that the engine makers, Pratt & Whitney and CFM, are footing most of the bill. We don’t know the split between the engine OEMs and Airbus, but we understand the engine share is not insignificant. Thus, the actual financial risk to Airbus is, by R&D standards, pretty small. We remarked to one who inquired that NEO will probably have one of the best ROIs for Airbus of any program.
Aviation Week’s Robert Wall has this story about the NEO, emerging from the Airbus 320neo briefing last week.
2. Boeing 737NG vs A320neo
Keep this story from The Seattle PI in mind when we post something later this week on the topic.
3. Just when you thought the tanker was yesterday’s news
Here’s our two cents:
When we first saw the Boeing artwork with winglets, right away we asked Boeing: in 2008, Boeing was promoting 24% fuel burn savings vs KC30 and this time it continued to promote 24% fuel savings despite pictures showing winglets—which should have given another 3.5% savings. Why wasn’t Boeing promoting the additional savings? This would have given Boeing the ability to promote 27.5% savings over the KC-30.
We felt Boeing certainly would not have missed a beat to do so. The answer we got was along the lines that Boeing was sticking with the 24% number.
The answer in retrospect would appear that they knew all along they weren’t putting winglets on the airplane. But perhaps we’re just too cynical.
4. Talking with Pratt & Whitney about the Geared Turbo Fan
We had conversations last week with Bob Saia, the head of the PW GTF program. We split the conversation into two podcasts of 15 minutes each: Part 1 and Part 2. Among the topics: scalability, noise, and the possibility of growth to 100,000 lbs of thrust.
5. How the Southwest fuselage issue went undetected
Popular Mechanics, which does a good job at this sort of thing, has an article examining how the fuselage flaw in the Southwest Airlines 737-300 went undetected.
6. An interview with Mike Bair
We did an interview last month with Boeing’s Mike Bair about the prospect of a new airplane in the 737/757 class. The report was for Aircraft Technology magazine, and the issue is now on line here. The story begins on PDF page 58.
7. Airbus: Mideast turmoil could cost lots of orders
Bloomberg has this report citing Airbus as saying the turmoil in the Middle East could cost the company a large number of orders.
Airbus’ customer concentration in the Middle East is particularly noteworthy for the A380 and A350. Fortunately for Airbus, much of this concentration is in the lower Gulf area where turmoil has, so far, been limited. According to Bloomberg, one quarter of the Airbus backlog by value is in the Middle East.