The Farnborough Air Show is over. Here are our thoughts:
For all the pre-show buzz about expected orders, with names and quantities identified, this show was a bust.
Airbus was said to be shooting for 250-300 orders; it finished with 115 (including orders, commitments, MOUs and so on). Just two of the talked-about orders would have brought Airbus close to the 250 mark. An A380 was also anticipated. But no-go.
Boeing also failed to meet pre-show expectations that revolved around converting about 75% of the then-remaining 550 737 MAX commitments to firm orders. In the end, only Air Lease Corp did so, for 75, while GECAS and Avolon were revealed as being among those Unidentified customers who “committed” to the MAX. We fully anticipate these, and the other MAX commitments, to convert but expectations were…expectations and in this, Boeing fell short. But the company was still the undisputed star of the show. Kuwait’s ALAFCO, a lessor, became a new MAX customer and so did United Airlines. United gave not only the MAX program in general a boost but the -9 MAX in particular a major shot in the arm with an order for 100. The airline also ordered 50 737-900ERs, a boost for this slow-selling airplane as well. Virgin Australian became another new MAX customer, albeit in the week preceding the show but this is a bit of a technicality.
Bombardier announced two new commitments for the CSeries, one from an Unidentified customer and one from Air Baltic. We view the Air Baltic order as significant, for this is the first time the CSeries competed against the A319neo and the 737-7 MAX. Previous competitions were vs the A319ceo, the A319neo and perhaps the 737–700. BBD continues to make slow progress with the CSeries, with orders and options in the 10-20 range. This pace is similar to Embraer, Airbus and Boeing at this stage of the game (i.e., 18 months before EIS, six months before first flight) for the E-Jet, 737-700 and A319.
The news that BBD is talking with AirAsia about a 160-seat CS300 (28 inch pitch with new slim line seats) was a surprise. We’ll wait with great interest whether the airline’s CEO, Tony Fernandes will be enticed away from his exclusivity with Airbus for the A320/320neo. If Airbus’ John Leahy was motivated to “kill” the CSeries before, these talks are sure to start a war–and Leahy takes no prisoners.
Embraer, a star at the Paris Air Show, only announced a handful of orders.
ATR had a reasonable show with its turbo-prop. Bombardier brought up the rear with an order for six Q400s.
Pratt & Whitney bested CFM International in those A320 deals where they compete. CFM, of course, recorded far more orders since it is the exclusive supplier on the 737NG and MAX.
Mitubishi surprised everyone with an MOU for 100 MRJs from SkyWest Airlines of the USA. But commentary that this is a “blow” to Bombardier is over-stating.
Why so few orders?
Because the global economy still pretty much sucks. The backlogs are up to seven years out. Customers don’t want to pay escalation costs this far out. No need to hurry.
A few years ago Boeing roundly criticized Airbus for announcing MOUs, LOIs and “commitments” while Boeing confined its announcements to firm orders. This changed at the Paris Air Show when Boeing announced commitments for 20 747-8Is from an unidentified customer. (It was the Hong Kong Airline Group.) Since then, all the airframe OEMs are busting their backs to throw every number they can out at an air show.
We roundly criticize this practice, whether it comes from Airbus, Boeing, Bombardier, Embraer or anyone else. An order isn’t an order until it is. The Hong Kong 748 “commitment” is still pending, and this was one of those anticipated to be firmed up at Farnborough. Instead, it became one of those no-gos. The same goes for other “commitments” from other OEMs. That’s why we have been so harsh on the practice. A commitment isn’t really worth the paper it’s written on. A commitment isn’t booked as an order on the tally sheet. This PR charade should be dropped. Of course, it won’t be.
The absence of product news (other than some detail of the 737 MAX and formalizing the A330-300 HGW), the failure to meet even low expectations in terms of orders and the crappy weather combined to make for a dull show from a news standpoint.
It was nice to see Boeing return to the aerial displays with the Qatar 787. Boeing certainly has a point: aerial displays haven’t sold an airplane (probably since Tex Johnston did the barrel role with the Dash 80). But it’s always been cool to see the A380, A340-600 or even the Lockheed Constellation do some aerobatics. We hope Boeing continues the practice.
It appears Boeing sold no wide body & Airbus had firm orders 29. Most importantly the 26 (10+16 conversions) from long term Boeing 777 operator Cathay (45 777s in fleet).
Boeing reduced the NB gab with the NEO, but at the same time Airbus raised the bar and increased capacity (Alabama).
The Bombardier CS300 seems bad news for both Airbus and Boeing and their smaller NB’s. Both have been trying to dismiss it for years, but hopefully Bombardier will succeed in bringing the CSeries to the market & Pratt succeeds in making the GTF meet it targets.
We will await the TK VLA order with relish Keesje. I suspect Boeing will win this. I don’t understand your pro CS stance. How long has it been marketed and how many units has it sold? In comparison, how many thousand 320/737 have been sold in the corresponding period? Times have changed and many carriers are upgauging from the 320/738 to the 321/739. The CS seems to have a problem with being accepted as a viable competitor by the vast majority of carriers. If they can get Air Asia, then good for them but I think Air Asia will stay Airbus only.
Boeing IMO have it right. China will be the next major competitor for the Airbus/Boeing duoploy.
Farnborough is not all about Airbus and Boeing and the civilian airliner business. 😉
Meanwhile, Reaction Engines is moving forward.
[vimeo http://www.vimeo.com/45136248 w=400&h=300]
Scott, It is and would be very interesting to hear more about some of the new and promising technologies and materials showcased at Farnborough
We wrote about aluminum-lithium from Constellium, called AirWare.
Even when we go to these shows, our time is so divided among the OEMs that we never have a chance to delve much into non-OEM news.
= = = Boeing also failed to meet pre-show expectations = = =
Whose expectations? Boeing has said consistently for 15 years that it does not play the “airshow order numbers” game, and its actions are consistent with that statement. Airbus apparently negotiates with its customers the right to announce orders at airshows; Boeing apparently does not (and if I were a shareholder of EADS I’d be curious to know how much Airbus is paying for that right). It is meaningless except to the section of the aviation press that manages the enthusiast community .
 The enthusiast community is not trivial as they probably supply a large percentage of the base subscription numbers for publications such as Air International. But other than a very very few exceptions enthusiasts don’t make airliner purchasing decisions.
See Scott’s original post – Boeing stopped that practise when they announced a commitment for 20 747-8is in Paris last year. A commitment that still hasn’t been firmed up.
Also, as I stated before – if Boeing really wasn’t trying to play the airshow numbers game, why did they have press conferences to effectively just announce names behind MoUs, (mentioning the numbers again, of course), without firming them up.
As they are doing this, I don’t think it’s unfair for Scott and others to call them out on it.
Regarding Boeing pre-show expectations: Boeing did state that they are working on firming up 747-8 MoUs before long, hence the expectation. Although just before the airshow they suddenly said that they’re confident to firm these during the summer – implying *after* the show. I would also suspect that Scott spoke to a few people behind the scenes, and thus had knowledge of additional expected deals from Boeing as well as Airbus.
My impression: the market is turning. Airlines are cautious about signing firm orders now. This is change from last year. It’s not just a lack of production slots or PR spin from the manufacturers. These genuinely expected to convert more orders going into the show.
The MOU for 100 Mitsubishi regionjal jets is the interesting sales news for me. Mainly because no-one has been paying attention to this program. MOU, granted, but Mitsubishi did convert a similar MOU from Trans States Airlines. The MRJ could still surprise us. And – I think – it’s the only RJ currently offered with the latest engines.
On the development side we are seeing the last hurrah of the A330. Airbus clearly won’t invest further in the plane but haven’t come up with a convincing replacement. The A350-800 isn’t it.
The CSeries for Air Asia may well happen. Tony Fernandes is a “what I say goes” kind of CEO. No-one is more committed to eliminating legroom inefficiency than Air Asia.
And that was a nice order for Boeing from United.
“On the development side we are seeing the last hurrah of the A330. Airbus clearly won’t invest further in the plane but haven’t come up with a convincing replacement. The A350-800 isn’t it.”
I may have missed someting, but is seems to me Airbus announced further investments and orders. Before the show they talked about sharklets, weight and engine enhancements. And the NEO story will probably be definitely “no” until its “yes”, depending on how the 358 goes.
Sorry, I meant that they weren’t going to invest substantially in the A330 beyond the current relatively modest upgrade. I don’t expect them to install new engines or sharklets at a later stage, albeit the A330 already has a different kind of winglet. I think we disagree on that. They will also implement regular improvement packages over the next few years.
I am not criticizing Airbus by the way. They have no problem selling the plane at the moment and I expect the current round of improvements to see them through until about 2020. The question is what happens after that, when the the 787 will be in full production flow, readily available and matured?
It’s not obvious that Airbus have an answer. I think neither the A330 (long in the tooth) nor the A350-800 (sub-optimal) will make the grade. This implies Airbus will need to start working on a suitable new model soon, or cede this very substantial market segment – less than 300 seats or less than 6000nm range – to the 787.
IMO the current 358 is too big/too much. Airbus should invest more into it, optimize it more.
With the A330 to leave in the next 10 years the best thing Airbus could do right now is to do the famous A325. It will cover the market from the upper range of the A321 to the lover part of the 788. It can be done with A320 hardware, only thing missing is engines in the 35-40K thrust class.
That way they cover the loss of the A330/A300/A310 and 767 in the market. I dont know is 2-2-2 seating would be possible in the A320 frame, a very dense layout?
A 788 flying at or under 4500nm is abusing that frame, with the A350 it is even more abuse. There is a market I am sure of it. The A321/739ER do a shitty job at the upper end IMO. In 10 years from now that vacated market is even larger.
On the aerial demonstrations, Qatar must have liked the publicity from the 787 flying their colors. That could be the way to justify display costs in the future.
You do realize that the aircraft manufactures talk constantly with their customers and will try to build whatever they want or will buy. If the car companies did this we would all benefit by driving what we want and need in place of what is available. The other side of the coin is that these aircraft are like any other commercial vehicle; the airlines buy or lease them and then wear them out, then look for replacements. This is why price and operating cost are the driving factors, commercial transportation economics 101. Also has anyone noticed that Boeing has not designed and aircraft other than the 787 in the last thirty years or so, but they have bought all their competition and their designs.
Ever heard of the 777, first flight 1994?
A scaled up 757 with a 767 cockpit section added at the front ;-))
The reason why it fit quite well into the projected timeline to EIS.
Step forward for Boeing was FBW. ( Where did the cost escalation
actually happen for the 777 ?)
The single aisles are ordered by the thousands and no-one has any clue if the market can absorb these numbers. I think A&B know that many “orders” may quickly evaporate.
Little bit different in the widebody market (due to higher amount of customization).
I also appreciate the displays. Airbus kind of “got them cheaper” because they always retained the MSN001 of any product (which ruins non-recurring program cost … so, is not truly a bright thing to do from a business point of view). Boeing now has the blessing of having 6 B787 in its inventory. Not sure, but my information is that LN 4,5,6 will be sold (not to airlines though), and 1,2,3 cannot be brought into a state that allows their operation within civil airspace.
I do wonder if this is how Boeing found 737NG delivery slots in 2013 for UA …
There must be a whole business around the “trading” and substitution of slots. When cancellations take place are there always carriers ready to move up as well as carriers willing to commit to these newly open positions.
Seems to me there must be alot of stratagizing as well as “chess playing” to maximize delivery, maintain backlog and make deals for upgrading.
Did Boeing hold these slots for UA as it is rumored that they have held 787 slots for other Carriers too.
There must be alot to the dynamics of these positions. In many cases earlier delivery can be of great benefit
“.. is not truly a bright thing to do from a business point of view ..”
Beancounter thumb rules are regularly found to be worthless 😉
Certainly, having the customer ( planes ) for Betatesting is rather popular.
But look at product quality in the software market where this originated.
Seems like the 900ER/MAX9 is popular for the future? IMO the 700/MAX7 will be the worst seller going forward. With the C300 coming what future does the smaller A+B models have? They are suboptimal at that size.
On their webside Pratt says the core is calable up to 40k lbs. IMO for the A320 family to stretch further, the wing is the bottleneck. It would need to be enlarged to lower wingloading and create room for more fuel. I guess it would be an entirely new wing / A320 subfamily. Similar to the A310, A345/6, 737NG, 777-8/9. Doable IMO.
Another strategy would to develop an 757, 767, A300/A310, Tu154, 788, A332 replacement. Optimized for 200-280 people up to 5000NM. Maybe 7 abreast in economy, slightly narrower and lighter then the 767.
I share that idea, people keep saying its a small market, yes that current 757 has a small market, but a replacemnet wont have to be 100% copy. It can be more than the old 757. 220 seats, TATL range(4500nm), OEW of 50% of the 788. That would be a very effcient TATL shuttle or intra asia, EU-Africa. The 739 is about 44t and the A321 is at 48t right now, 50% of the 788 would be arong 55-58t. 4500nm is plenty of range and it is also where larger frames like the 788 is abused. Imagine a 757 with PW GTF engines, that thing would be king TATL compared to the 767 or 787. Maybe the wings are too heavy/old though..
The fundamental problem with scaling up a 737/320 is the landing gear, not the engine. 757/767/A300 all have 4 wheel trucks. 777/A350 have 6 wheel trucks. Scaling up requires a major redesign of the major structure and is not practical. The only new 4 wheel truck design is the 787.
Uwe – the 757 and 767 have a common flight deck, the 777 is quite a bit different with a full glass cockpit. I has composite tail, FBW, first 6 wheel trucks, first ETOPs certified at launch, and engines way larger than any other plane at the time. Now you will point out that AB did most of these first, but it was a big design advancement from 57/67 design. After all isn’t an A300 just a bigger 737? 🙂
You actually could order the A320 with a two wheel truck. Air India did that early on.
( Only the MTOW growth of the regular MLG was never ported to that variant.)
Sure, the 777 got a different flight deck ( and I mentioned that. ) Nonetheless the
frontsection has been borrowed from the 767. While other systems seem to have more likeness to the 757.
Taking up your correction: the 777 is a blown up 757 with a 767 front an A300 tail and some half assed FBW added. Happy now ;-?
736 to A300? You could never upgrade a dachshund to a Husky or Collie 😉
The innovative element on the A300 was being a widebody twin _and_ raising the pax deck
significantly to accomodate more freight packed in _established containers_.
The shape of the nose is signficantly different and the flight deck is larger. The both are round though :-). There are few systems that are common between the 767 and 777. And the tail doesn’t snap off like the A300 because it has a better root design and I also mentioned that.
The original configuration of the DC-10 was a two engine design and only changed to give it intercontinental capability, which is why it also looks so stuck on. the 747, L1011, DC10 and all subsequent widebodies carry LD-3’s (but not 767 – a major flaw) so where’s the innovation? However it was innovative in its lack of range and market that was only fixed in the A330.
BTW – did you mean to refer to the Univ. of Washington Huskies?
to clone or not to clone:
i.e. section 41 is the same except for a flaring adapter to the wider 777 fuselage. This is apparent in a sideview. The stuffing on the flightdeck is definitely different though.
The A300 had/has a fuselage 15″ smaler than forex the DC-10 but allowed the same 2 LD3 side by side in the cargo hold. by way of a raised floor a more efficient layout with less space wasted in the crown..
the “wuff” huskies 😉
Landing gear, you missed my point – both 320/737 have a total of 4 MLG wheels (two per gear post or truck). 4 wheels can handle roughly 100 tonnes before they overload runways, brakes, etc. which is about where the 739 and A321 are. To get to higher gross weights you need 4 wheels per truck (total of 8 MLG wheels) and a wheel well twice the size. The 757 had 8 wheels and a 272K lb MGW. The small twins including the 787 have 8 wheels which max out at roughly 250 tonnes. The larger twins need 10+ which can be done with body gear (a horrible configuration on the A340-500/-600 and MD-11 as the market proved) or 12 wheels (777, A350). Carrying extra wheels and gear penalizes the design in extra weight and volume taken up in the fuselage. It is inherently inefficient to carry extra wheels for a minor increase in gross weight. Therefore the A358 is at a fundamental disadvantage in this area versus the high gross weight 789 and (probably) the 7810.
Noses – your reference seems to back my view that 767/777 are different. Side windows different and btw – look at a top view – there you see the difference. Now isn’t the A300 to A350 the EXACT same aluminum nose (which was a great idea until the A350)? The photos of the first A350 nose show the horrible transition behind the first door to the main cabin width which make configuring the cabin a challenge. Strictly bush league, but necessary when forced to fundamentally change the airplane configuration late in the gamest. And to the older thread about aluminum nose – same issue: too late to change and Airbus failed to invest in the CFRP technology to make highly contoured barrel sections. Odd that you would challenge this part of the airplane…
LD-3s: the floor didn’t get higher, the main cabin just got smaller! 13″ smaller than an L1011 but 22″ narrower cabin (21″ vs. DC10) – now that is wasted space, and lousy head room for the window passenger! Not a radical advancement by any stretch. Using a circular cross section is more efficient structurally (think weight) which is why it was used on the L10, D10 and 777.
you seem to have to stretch facts quite a bit to make your point?
You can order your A320 with a 2axle / 4 wheel bogey.
(sorry for the typo further up which should have been obvious from a less polarising stance. though up to now interest is near zero and the MTOW increases of the past have not been ported to the alternate arrangement.)
A300 and family have a 222″ circular fuselage. no need
to bash some nonexistent but bad design feature.
If you look into drawings and the front section images on
the A350XWB prototype thread on A.net it should be obvious
that the front section takes more elements from the A380 than anything else.
Airbus has recorded a huge number of orders last year, 115 is symbolic and suits sufficiently airlines, they fear a blust of the euro zone trying to protect their treasury, it is amazing and outstanding meanwhile they are concerned with employment overseas forgetting their national duties, a lot of hypocrisis, selfishness, a disgust of human beings not of aircrafts and aeronefs , they are untrustful and don’t deserve these reponsability,our industry is really under threat.
Don’t worry BGL, if Airbus ever forgets its national duties both the French and German governments will be quick to remind them.
I’ve many times sent my application for a job as an assistant , i’ve been graduated, followed the training courses required, but I never been granted a fixed long term contract, I have demonstrated incomparable testimony for my interest to the aviation industry, they don’t care about your feelings they are too highly satisfied with their monthly remittances and too busy not with their work , they would have hired me; but with the leadership of practicing their daily business that could be similar to habits and so on, challenges starts with those who shares the same ambition and Eads and airbus are not at the expectation of competition. Too much time wasted, too much suffering and efforts not rewarded, for me they are cowards, if they have enough dignity , they should withness me the contrary.
“for me they are cowards, if they have enough dignity , they should withness me the contrary” …. and employ you?? To get a job requires a certain amount of luck as well. Dedication and taking all necessary classes is only one part of the equation. I know many skilled guys trying to get a fixed long term contract at Airbus. One guy is about to finish his Ph.D. in Aeronautical Engineering and is a pure aviation enthusiast. He lost several times in the job interview phase. He was short-listed everytime with 2-5 other guys and came really close. Aviation is a competitive environment. Everybody has to deal with that, also on a personal level. I am sorry that you project your personal dissapointment onto Airbus/EADS.
It is not of matter of luck and of graduates, recruiters and you should stop dreaming, it is unconceivable on behalf of those who hold responsabilities to ignore such motivation and competencies , above all to accept the results of the financial impact of this refusal on candidates so easily with passivness, increasing unemployment rates and reducing the purchasing power,and about the applications for the job as an assistant, the selection is less complex than what you think, this social and professionnal category do not represent a huge number, and the vacancies can be filled promptly according to the different profiles with the jobs proposed. Challenges for Airbus or eads is meaningless, and recruiters are mainly concerned , I don’t include the employees who are really working for the development of the industry in research departments.
To work for Airbus is a privilege, not a right. I can understand that the son of a king has a “right” to the throne when the position becomes vacant. But Airbus cannot hire each and every individual seeking a permanent position. No matter how good or motivated the prospect is. It is their own right to be selective. The market gives them that choice.
You should be proud to have worked for Airbus. And please stop projecting your personal misery on a corporation like if it was a personal enemy.
Socialism: Everyone must care for each other, it’s a national duty.
Extreme Socialism: Everybody must care for me , it’s a personal right.
NH on Extreme Socialism: I heard almost that exact quote from an engineer from the former GDR a couple of years after the re-integration; “it is a right to have a job”.
In France, nobility has been abolished since 1790 with the abolition of the privileges, it was restablished under supremacy by taking the form of hereditary distinctions ( supremacy of nobility) and it were definitively broken to an end by the 3rd Republic, It is not my misery, it is yours and the one of the nation, spreading such behaviours conduct the country to losses and the shrink of the economy.
If Airbus is losing such a huge talent and opportunity by not hiring you, why not apply for a position at Boeing, Bombardier, Comac, Embraer Mitsubishi, etc? There are more fish in the sea … swallow your bitterness and move on.
As one who has worked in the aerospace/aircraft industry some fifty plus years, all I can say is it has been a bumpy road filled with triumph and disappointment. However I have been a part of the history of flight and the mission to the Moon and would not trade a day of it for anything else. From a very young kid out of school to a division level manager in a large aerospace company and now a consultant it has been a life well spent. It was never easy but it has been a great life filled with constant learning and a privilege to work with some very great people along the way. Nobody gave it to me, I had to work and fight for every break and promotion. If you want something bad enough you will find away.
You seem to have to resort to personal attacks or change the subject when someone disagrees with you or doesn’t have the same facts at hand as you. It doesn’t seem to stop you from the same distortions when it comes to Boeing planes. (Sorry Lee – I know I’m stretching the rules here).
It was not obvious what you were getting at with the typo (and thanks for the insult) and having the ability to put 4 wheel trucks into an A320 sounds like a very poorly optimized design – a weight and volume hit that I would be highly surprised that A would do. So if you are right, then the design is even worse than I would suspect. And if so, why hasn’t A put 4 wheel trucks and upped the gross weight, perhaps a wing lengthening and have a 757 killer on it’s hands? No competition in that market now…
The comparison chart on fuselage sections, from an independent text, only shows widths but the A300 clearly looked oval. And it is basic geometry – put the same rectangles in a smaller circle the volume comes out of the cabin and especially at head height in the window seat. Ovals are not bad per se – they reduce unused volume and improve shape for payloads and most planes have them. My insult was the apparent larger frame depths that reduced the usable width of the cabin (which it did show dimensions for). I don’t think the A300 cross section is bad – in fact it was much better than the 767; but to call it some major innovation really is stretching the facts.
More premeditation would reduce perceived insult.
The A320 4 wheel trucks did exactly what they were designed to do ( and for Air India) : reduce pavement loading 😉
The A300 family cross section is round : 222 inches diameter.
upright ovals ( actually stacked circle segments, see A380 ) are reasonably benign to design as they only introduce tension into the floors. An overly wide fuselage would be realised as upper and lower shell of different radii _and_ introduce significant compression forces into the floor.
It is a bitterness that couldnot be swallowed , througn out my throat only what consider can cross it, and my file is submitted to the defensor rights to be analysed for the refusal of the equity’s promotion against Eads and Airbus, I’m not to be taken as a martyre there is humans doted with brains to mend the dilemna.
OK, Everybody, knock off all personal commentary. Stick to the issues only or I will close comments.