Bombardier investors’ day: CSeries focus

We’re pretty tired of the Boeing 787 stuff, but it’s a story that simply is a daily occurrence. So it’s with some relief we have something else to talk about today.

Bombardier held an investors’ day today (March 21). Here are some links and documents. The day was for all of Bombardier, but we’re just focusing on Aerospace.

Aviation Week has this article from the March 7 CSeries “reveal.”

Here’s a link to a 43 page PDF (PPT) presentation about the Aerospace division. This includes Business Aircraft and the entire commercial line.

One graph shows the current line-up of single-aisle aircraft (click to enlarge):

Graph_of_100-149

BBD has been under cash flow and stock price pressure in recent years, and terms this year as a “turning point.” The first flight of the CS100 is scheduled for June; officials say the end of June but we believe they will move heaven and earth to have the plane flying by the Paris Air Show mid-month.

BBD hopes to have power-on for the CS100 Flight Test Vehicle 1 (FTV 1) this week or next. Fly-by-wire testing has been underway this week.

At the investors’ day, Ben Boehm, VP Strategy and Business Development, said much of the up-gauging we’re seeing in aircraft selection today is in the 150-210 seat segment. Within the 100-149 seat sector, Boehm says BBD has yet to lose a competition to Airbus or Boeing.

Philippe Poutissou, VP Marketing, said that as an airline gets to 20 or 30 aircraft, fleet commonality benefits diminish. The biggest aircraft is the benefit of pooling and spares. “As you get into the 20s, 30s and 40s, the incremental benefit of commonality gets quite small.”

28 Comments on “Bombardier investors’ day: CSeries focus

  1. I’d be curious how many 737 and A320 were delivered in 2012 with less than 160 seats.

  2. Bombardier takes care the CSeries graph doesn’t overlap with Airbus and Boeing..

    What was that news about 160 seats again?

    • “We plan to fly in June, but to go to an air show with an experimental airplane would take at least a month away from our flight-test program because we’d have to prepare it to go,” Beaudoin said in an interview at Bloomberg headquarters in New York.

      Makes sense. But if they could manage the first flight before the Paris Air Show opens, that would be a feather in Bombardier’s cap, and just as good PR as flying at the show.

      • Could Bombrdier be doing a reverse fake? Make it seem that they are more behind than they really are, only to show up at the airshow?

        Okay, I personally doubt it myself, but I thought I would point out the possibility, no matter how unrealistic it might be.

  3. To be honest if great videos of a flying CSeries are everywhere on the show and web, you reach 90% of the publicity goals.

    For the Ejet, Bombardier foresees considerable capasity growth. Not surprising, the Ejet new looks big from the artists impressions & Embraer obviously will want to set itself apart from the other new RJ’s.

    • Zero effect if the media ignore it or spin it some other way.
      Look how information is boosted or deflated depending on how it fits
      into some backstage agenda.

  4. “Philippe Poutissou, VP Marketing, said that as an airline gets to 20 or 30 aircraft, fleet commonality benefits diminish. The biggest aircraft is the benefit of pooling and spares. “As you get into the 20s, 30s and 40s, the incremental benefit of commonality gets quite small.””

    I wonder if the airlines are aware of his analysis? True, the commonality issue has been downplayed many times in the past but I understood the fleet numbers to be much larger in order for commonality to be a non-issue.

    • The way I see it, as fuel burn has become an increasingly large part of the Operating Cost pie, the other parts that used to be the biggest, maintenance cost, and crew costs, have become less important. The need to reduce fuel consumption has just overridden the others. That means that if a mixed fleet gives you lower fuel burn overall then that brings more to the equation than a single OEM fleet. It’s still a calculation, but the variables are changing, putting more weight on the fuel burn part of the equation.

      • “The way I see it, as fuel burn has become an increasingly large part of the Operating Cost pie, the other parts that used to be the biggest, maintenance cost, and crew costs, have become less important”

        Correct, particularly visible in engine operations. Airlines are running their engines slightly hotter / more efficient, accepting their EGT margin will shrink faster and MRO costs will rise.

      • The fact that fuel burn is playing such an important part today is obviously related to the price of oil, which has more than tripled in the last ten years.

        But I do not expect the price to come down at any time in the future. For now the price seems to have more or less stabilized. And in view of what lies ahead can even be considered relatively low. I would even dare to say artificially low.

        Yes the demand remains high because of fast developing countries like China. But a large portion of the world economy is still depressed and definitely not where it should normally be.

        When the world economies will all have fully recovered, including Europe and the United States, the price of oil will rocket to stratospheric levels, and the demand for fuel efficient airplanes will do the same.

        But it’s hard to make predictions in this field. The price of natural gas has actually gone the other way in recent years and the USA is becoming increasingly self-sufficient in terms of oil production. So the jury is still out.

  5. Aero Ninja :
    Could Bombrdier be doing a reverse fake? Make it seem that they are more behind than they really are, only to show up at the airshow?

    Bombardier can gather a lot of publicity for the CSeries at the Paris Air Show just by making the maiden flight before the event. The airplane does not have to be there physically as long as it is in the people’s mind.

    But the situation would be very different if the A350 was already there, because the CSeries would then get buried in the noise generated by the bigger Airbus.

    We also have to take into consideration that BBD is on a tight schedule to deliver the first aircraft to its (unknown) launch customer. But they are behind a few months already and want to keep a tight grip on the flight test schedule in order to stay as close as possible to the original delivery date. To go to the show would seriously compromise that objective.

  6. It’s nice for a change to have a talk about the Paris Air Show, Bombardier etc. instead of 787 battery.

  7. Boehm says BBD has yet to lose a competition to Airbus or Boeing.

    If you are being cynical you could say it has yet to win one either. CSeries planes seem largely to have replaced BAe 146’s and 737-300’s Airlines who might previously have bought A319s or 737-700s have the choice of:

    1. new, larger A320s and 737s
    2 second hand A319s
    3. new CSeries 300s

    At the moment they seem to be going for options 1 or 2. There is a glut of quality second hand A319s. More expensive to operate than CSeries but a lot to buy or lease.

  8. Aero Ninja :
    Could Bombrdier be doing a reverse fake? Make it seem that they are more behind than they really are, only to show up at the airshow?

    I doubt they fly before LeBourget. FTV1 is in systems installation right now. Tough schedule, no buffer. Any finding a delay.

  9. The order book now stands at 180 aircraft. BBD only needs 120 more to reach its objective of 300 firm orders before the first aircraft enters service.

    The figure of 300 is not just a minimum. It also represents the maximum number of aircraft it can build in a reasonable amount of time with its still non-existing infrastructure.

    Construction of a new assembly building is underway and will allow BBD to initially produce 10 aircraft per month when it reaches maturity. And if everything goes well (production and sales) a second assembly line will be started in that new building. That will bring the total production capacity to 20 aircraft per month.

    This will happen over a period of five to ten years. That is why the CSeries does not represent an immediate threat for the Big Two. But when production of the neo and MAX will have started the CSeries production will already be well underway. Initially the assembly line will be static. But a pulse line will eventually replace the static one as experience is gained and parts manufacturing is stabilized.

    Therefore in five years from now the overall picture in the narrowbody sector could start to change dramatically, especially if in the meantime BBD has launched the widely expected CS500.

  10. leehamnet :
    AirBaltic was a three-way competition won by BBD.

    KDX125 :
    Says who?

    CAPA:

    airBaltic has been looking to replace its narrowbody fleet for a couple years but shareholder disgruntling over the carrier’s deteriorating financial performance hindered a decision. The airline’s former management had stated it was evaluating an order for up to 30 new narrowbodies in Apr-2010 with the first new 737 or A320 family aircraft potentially joining the fleet by the end of that year.

    In hindsight, the delay might be a blessing. The new timeframe opened competition among the more fuel efficient A320neo and 737 MAX as well as the CSeries, which in 2010 faced an uncertain future owing to a lack of potential buyers.

    http://centreforaviation.com/analysis/airbaltic-opts-to-acquire-cseries-aircraft-as-part-of-turnaround-effort-77877

    • It was a two-way competition that was long over when Bombardier made an unsolicited proposal with the CSeries.

  11. marketwire:

    Bombardier Aerospace announced today that it has successfully completed the first full powering on of the main electrical distribution system on the first CSeries flight test vehicle (FTV1). Additionally, Bombardier confirmed that the wing down-bending static test was successfully concluded on the Complete Airframe Static Test (CAST) article at the company’s Saint-Laurent, Quebec facility in late March 2013. Together with the wing up-bending static test that was completed earlier in March 2013, the two most significant wing static tests required for first flight are now complete.

    The company also confirmed that safety-of-flight tests are progressing well on “Aircraft 0” – the on-the-ground integrated systems test rig (ISTCR) for the CSeries aircraft.

    http://www.marketwatch.com/story/bombardier-powers-on-the-first-cseries-flight-test-vehicle-and-completes-wing-static-testing-required-for-first-flight-2013-03-25-131734019

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