PNAA Conference: Aboulafia on CSeries, 777X, 787-10 and A350

Bombardier has an uphill battle selling CSeries in part because of the production might of Airbus and Boeing, says Richard Aboulafia of the Teal Group. With the two big OEMs each producing the single-aisle airplanes at rates of 42 a month, Bombardier faces the ability of the two simply offering an incremental airplane for huge discounts.

Aboulafia also said BBD had a lack of “commercial aggression.”

He made the remarks at the 12th annual conference of the Pacific Northwest Aerospace Alliance.

Aboulafia also criticized Boeing for apparently “pushing to the right” development of the 787-10 and 777X as a result of the current 787 battery issues and grounding.

He praised Airbus for its pursuit of the A350-1000 and the advantage it will give Airbus if Boeing continues to delay the 777X.

29 Comments on “PNAA Conference: Aboulafia on CSeries, 777X, 787-10 and A350

  1. Bombardier is more financially responsible than Boeing and Airbus. I think that if Boeing had the choice, they would like to have much less 787 order (fewer orders = fewer compensation)

  2. Of the 2500+ NEO and MAX on order, 28 are earmarked to become A319 or 737-700. 20 A319s for Qatar and 8 for Spirit. Encouraging for BBD it seems.

    • keesje :
      Of the 2500+ NEO and MAX on order, 28 are earmarked to become A319 or 737-700. 20 A319s for Qatar and 8 for Spirit. Encouraging for BBD it seems.

      Well spotted.

      • The number of nominal seats per NB delivered have grown continuously. A319 / A320 numbers used to be on par plus a small number of A321 in ~2004/5.
        2012 saw 2 A321 for every A319 delivered.
        ( 2012 :: A319 : 8%, A320 : 75%, A321 : 17% )

      • It’s a real possibility because it’s hard to justify the purchase of an A319 or a 737-700 when the CSeries is around the corner. The A319 and 737-700 are comparable to one another. But the CSeries is in a class by itself.

        The competition for the CSeries is not to be found in the other aircraft models that are available, but in the corporations behind those aircraft.

  3. That’s old news from Aboulafia. He has never been very hoy towards the CSeries. Same thing for Airbus, but he has recently revised his position. He will soon have to do the same for Bombardier when the airplane will have proven itself.

    Like keesje mentions above, the order book of both A and B is full. That favours BBD. But they don’t really need that. The airplane will sell on its own merits. In due time.

    A few weeks ago I received pictures of the CSeries on its brand new landing gear being towed inside a hangar to receive its new engines. I did not show them to anyone because I thought they were confidential. But lo and behold I found them on a Russian website. It must be the KGB! Look at the back of the hangar, you will see one of the engines.


    • Thanks for the link Normand, great pics, nice to see the aircraft on its gear!

    • Needs a few bits yet — but it looks like a real plane now! EXIF data shows the photos were taken on 26 January.

      • I first saw the pictures on January 31. That means they were taken only five days earlier. I imagine they have since had time to install the engines and other things like slats, flaps and various fairings. I am sure they have already received those parts since they are not complicated items. And we can clearly see one of the engines sitting at the back of the hangar where the aircraft is moving in.

        My guess is for a Rollout ceremony around Easter.

  4. The Boeing engineers working on the 737 MAX might be turned on by the long legs on this baby. ๐Ÿ˜‰ And on top of that she has a pretty face. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • I do like the look of the CSeries, even in the partial state of undress. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • The wheels seem to have proportionally larger than usual hubs/rims.
      Is that real or just an impression?

      • I think it’s only an impression. The wheels look real and perfectly normal to me. But the sexy spokes possibly make the hub look proportionally larger. Also, the absence of landing gear doors to mask the long legs let us see more skin than we would normally see. We may have a different impression when the lady presents herself fully dressed.

  5. Early this year Boeing was getting the 787-9 right and were optimistic.

    That would provide the basis to launch the -10.

    Now they are back getting the 787-8 right and no one wants to discuss the -10.

    • I am regularly impressed about the ohhs and ahhs that are triggered by some CGI renderings. Just like it being the real thing ๐Ÿ˜‰

  6. I seem to recall having heard/seen that for the -10 GE (and presumably also RR, don’t remember what the T1000 is specced for) would work with either a new variant or a thrust increase.

    A simple thrust increase (e.g. faster spinning fan) will hit sfc, but I would not think it would influence fuel burn so much (max thrust is at T/O remember, fuel burn is more influenced by cruise). 1000 lbs is not much, but I would think they need some margin… so say minimum 5000. The difficult issue is the dimensioning of load bearing components, they _might_ not be able to handle the increased load and would need re-design. So even a “simple” thrust increase might be much work.

    A new variant, รก la, -2B, but other direction obviously, I think is the best way. Much less work than a new engine, and the development can be done in a proper process with not so many “fixeds”. Move one stage from the LPT to the HPC and perhaps a little larger LPT (perhaps +1 stage), larger or faster fan, etc. Downside is likely new frames (FHF, TCF and TRF, of which the thrust lugs are on the FHF and the rear engine mounts on the TRF, I’d say if thrust is increased loads will be bigger and these components are weight optimized as it is) and most of the time these are long lead time items (definitely the FHF as it is a very large titanium casting some 1200 mm in diameter).

    Look at the development lead time for the -2B for guidance and add some time due to new FHF (TRF was new in 2B vs 1B, but FHF has longer lead time).

  7. “MTOW 553klbs identical to the -9 ?
    a classical range / capacity combo then.”

    I think this 787-10 has “specification creep” stickers all over it and we don’t need a U.Hazy, A.Baker or T.Clark for that.

    – This -10 has a strengthened wing fuselage and tail for a reason.
    – If you want to use that LD3 extra cargo capacity you need extra payload-range.
    – The 777-200ER/LR sales are over & the airlines seem to balk at the 777-8i.
    – the A350-900 is in the process of taking over 300 seats long haul (With Cargo) with major 777 customers like SQ, UA, EK, CX. Better not wait what AF, QF, BA and AA are going to do.
    – GE developed the GENX for a Thrust Range of 53,000-75,000 lbs, which provides no growth potential on the 787-10.

    As mneja notes, a bigger engine seems required & no doubt GE is working at it (potential for A380, A350 too). Anyway RR is, based on XWB technology.

    • Forgot about it earlier, but RR are upping their game too: Trent 1000-TEN. See:

      They specifically mention 76 klbf, with growth to 78 klbf, so the -10 will have something to grow in, albeit only a little. New aerodynamics seems to be the big thing, i.e. no new structures, which are LLIs.

      According to some reading i made today, GE certified a 75 klbf variant of the GEnx (in June apparently…), but there was not mention of a yet higher thrust. I would think they need 76, plus some growth (but the latter they might be able to achieve with later PIPs, which of course would have applied also to the T1000, but that might have had less growth built in, so they needed a more substantial package?). Sounds to me GE has some work left…(?).

  8. With Aboulafia- who’s rarely ever positive about Airbus, comments; SUH’s comments and Qatar ordering more. Seems like the A3510 isn’t the bastard child anymore

  9. As Scott noticed earlier creating doubts around the A350-1000 seems to have been a (successful?) campaign for the last 4-5 yrs.

    Looking at the specification and market I myself had few doubts. IMO it will be mostly a 777-200ER / A340 replacement after 2018, seating 280-350 seats long haul depending on the airlines/routes.

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