Odds and Ends: Malmo and CSeries; Boeing’s Terrible Teens; MH 370

Malmo and CSeries: Malmo Airlines, a small carrier in Sweden that is a subsidiary of Braathens, last week said it withdrew as the launch operator of the Bombardier CSeries. Malmo has five CS100s and five CS300s on order.

First delivery was scheduled for the second half of next year. The oil line failure in a Pratt & Whitney GTF engine on May 29 has set the flight testing back, although BBD hasn’t said by how much. We believe it will likely be a day-for-day setback and it’s possible that EIS will actually slip to 1Q2016.

The flight test fleet is expected to return to the air this month.

According to the Ascend data base, Lufthansa Group’s Swiss Airlines subsidiary was to be the second operator, also in 2015. We don’t expect Swiss to change its planned delivery schedule.

Although Malmo’s withdrawal as launch operator is awkward for Bombardier’s image at this sensitive time, we’re not so sure it’s a bad thing. Malmo only has a dozen airplanes and becoming the launch operator of a brand new airplane and a brand new engine probably was pretty cheeky in any event, even with the support of its larger parent. Better for Malmo to withdraw now than for the CSeries to have a challenging entry-into-service with a small carrier that may or may not be up to the task of being the lead operator for an entirely new airframe/engine combination.

Furthermore, according to Ascend, BBD’s skyline in 2016 calls for delivering 70 CSeries with 28 more options and LOIs that could be converted to firm orders, including three options from Malmo. Counting the four Malmo airplanes scheduled for delivery in 2015, we believe BBD is committed to deliveries for which its production ramp up is over-extended.

Bombardier has 203 firm orders and 310 commitments for CSeries. This delivery stream doesn't include any potential rescheduling as a result of the grounding of the Flight Test fleet from May as a result of the engine incident.

Bombardier has 203 firm orders and 310 commitments for CSeries. This delivery stream doesn’t include any potential rescheduling as a result of the grounding of the Flight Test fleet from May as a result of the engine incident.

We expect Bombardier to provide an EIS update once it has several of its Flight Test Vehicles back in the air. FTV 1 is still undergoing repairs from the engine incident. FTVs 2-4 are ready to return to the air when PW re-delivers the engines with the fixes. FTVs 5-7 are in assembly.

Boeing’s Terrible Teens: That’s what the 787s that were built in line numbers 10-19 and #22, the Terrible Teens. These required so much rework that airlines refused to accept these over-weight, under-performing patch-worked airplanes. They continue to sit at Boeing’s Everett facility at Paine Field, four years or so after they were built.

The Wall Street Journal reported Friday the struggle Boeing has in trying to sell these airplanes. The article is here, any may require a subscription. You can find synopses on Google News if you can’t access the full article.

Guy Norris of Aviation Week retweeted Jon Ostrower’s Tweet about the Terrible Teens. Someone replied to Norris’ Tweet: “I’ve got a couple terrible teens at home I’m willing to offload cheaply too…

19 Comments on “Odds and Ends: Malmo and CSeries; Boeing’s Terrible Teens; MH 370

  1. Are the early 787’s flyable right now, or does Boeing need to do further rework? There comes a point where the price achieved doesn’t cover the cost of the rework

  2. It seems that the terrible teens won’t be flying. Perhaps Boeing could use them as “free” to some airlines buying from the competence. It could achieve a better ROI having some spares sold than being parked.

  3. From a maintenance perspective I can see many of those aircraft have seperate AMM’s. So in a total trade-off, apart from operating costs (fuel etc) also the 25 complexity are doing maintenance programs for off standard aircraft will be calculated in by prospective customers.

    I can see (some) of these aircraft eventually being parted out. The ” terrible” part of those aircraft seems mainly to be the fuselages that were being adjusted, dissasembled, damaged, reinforced several times.

    Boeing will probably be ready to officially write off (some of) those aircraft when 787 production / deliveries are running at full power. As long a they are on the platform, they are in the inventory for bookvalue..

    • Keeje’s crystal ball is on the money. The early production aircraft are the most costly, being at the top of the learning curve, i’d hate to know how much these teens are worth.

    • Keeje’s crystal ball is on the money. The early production aircraft are the most costly, being at the top of the learning curve, i’d love to know how many billion these teens are worth.

      • The aircraft are ‘worth’ how much a buyer is willing to pay for them, regardless of how high its production costs are.

  4. The maintenance (frequency) schedules themselves may be slightly different, but in tasks they shouldn’t be materially different from other 788 operators. The issue is who really wants to grow their 788 fleet (beyond present orders/deliveries), now?

    Generally, the 789 and -10’s are what Boeing is actually selling, today. The article itself notes they’ve presently sold 3 of the 11. It’s an indication of the challenge of selling aircraft that are, perhaps, just a few percentage points in fuel burn off the class leading specs available today; discounts and availability aren’t a cure all.

  5. There is probably a lot more wrong with these planes than just a little overweight. A little overweight would make them strill great planes for short and medium haul. Don’t I remember that there has been quite a serious issue about fastener and such? Which airline would take that risk? Well, mayby they could be sold to Iran. 🙂

    • No commercial plane would be sold with a known risk as those of having defective parts.
      Before they are sold, they have to be up to FAA certificated standard or they would not be sold to a least a passenger carrying airline. Perhaps the price that Boeing is charging for these planes is a little to high for buyers at the moment.

      • I am not talking the wing falling off, but the possible need of repeated unschedules repairs and incidents.

  6. The bulk of this article is about Bombardier. A paragraph on the reworked 787s included seems to have fuelled all the comments. Huh.

    • Well there is a separate Bombardier article just below so it is hard to expect that too many addional comments will be generated here.

  7. I like the point that CSeries is such a great airplane and brand new airplane,it would be a lot better to choose a mature launch operator to start with.

  8. There’s really very little reason/room for disagreement as to where BBD stands, with respect to the C-series at least. Everyone’s basically in a “show me” mode on it.

    The comparatively massive 787 program, however, has remained a lightning rod for disagreement/discussion in the industry for everything from product (market) position, production woes, losses, maintenance, manufacturing team/location/labor relationship, troubled-teens, operational reliability, industrial partnership (wings esp), competitiveness vs. Airbus, to potential future derivatives.

  9. The 787 could well set a record for the number of frames built but ultimately unsold. Normally most of the prototypes eventually get sold, but aren’t 3-4 of them already effectively retired and unlikely to be sold before the terrible teens are taken into account?

    • LN-1, LN-2, and LN-3 have already been written off.
      LN-4 is still in active flight testing.
      LN-5 has no customer.
      LN-6 will go to the Mexican Air Force as a presidential aircraft.
      LN-7, LN-8, and LN-9 are operating with ANA

      As far as the terrible teens go, LN-10 through LN-19 plus LN-22, two are slated for LAN and one is slated for Korean Air. LN-20 and LN-21 are operating with JAL.

      Since five of these early build 787’s are currently operating with airlines, I don’t think they pose an additional safety or maintenance risk for airlines. Reduced range due to weight seems to be the issue. Since none of them have engines installed yet, they will get the latest PIP’s and Packages if they ever do get sold.

      I think there is a misconception the terrible teens underwent multiple modifications/repairs. That did indeed happen with the early test aircraft, which is why they were written off. The terrible teens need only modification to get them up to certification standards.

  10. The Aljazeera news channel is going to broadcast a documentary titled ” Boeing 787 the broken dream” which will apparently show that the 787 is an unsafe aircraft and how boeing is taking short cuts and flaunting safety requirements of building aircrafts.
    The advert about the documentary claims that first hand evidence have been obtained by smuggling a camera onto the shop floor.
    Could that be the reason why the early teens are not flyable?
    I remember a similar documentary was made about the 737NG but it turned out that most of the things said and shown on that documentary about the safety of the 737 was just hogwash.

  11. You might keep in mind that the first 17 A350 production aircraft are extremely non spec

    After the first 17, 70% of the structure is different. Supposedly Qatar is taking its first aircraft from that group. Stay tuned, it should be interesting as Qatar has the bad attitude that a spec is a spec and not the start of negotiations as to how much its going to be short of that spec (they still have their A380s locked up as they have not satisfied Qatar)

    Airbus hasd so many design issues on the A350 they re-deigned it on the fly.

    Also you have to (or should) wonder how good the structure is when its deigned and tested to the first 17, but then changed that massively based on computer and never actually tested as a structural entity for the static test.

    And what if like Boeing you find you made a mistake?

  12. ” extremely non spec”
    ” hasd so many design issues”
    ” changed that massively”

    If this is truth, Airbus does a good job hiding this upcoming disaster. Or it ain’t there.

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