Delta asks Commerce to redefine scope of Boeing-Bombardier case

Bombardier CS100.

Aug. 8, 2017, © Leeham Co.: Delta Air Lines asked the US Department of Commerce to redefine the scope of the Boeing complaint of Bombardier price dumping in its CS100 order with the carrier, filings at DOC show.

Delta asked the DOC to redefine the aircraft definition from 100-150 seat to 125-150 seats, arguing that Boeing doesn’t make in airplane in the 100-125 seat size and therefore isn’t harmed by competition in the sale of the 110-seat CS100 that Delta ordered.

Boeing doesn’t compete

“This revision would properly exclude aircraft with a 100- to 110-seat capacity, which Boeing does not produce, while permitting Boeing to seek the protection of the trade laws as to those products against which Boeing actually competes (to the extent such aircraft are produced in Canada and have been sold for importation to the United States),” Delta writes in its June 19 filing.

“The Department should adopt this exclusion to properly focus the investigation as to those products against which the domestic industry actually competes,” Delta writes.

Redefining the scope to 125-150 seats would, of course, include the CS300 vs the 737-700/7 MAX. Delta has options to purchase the CS300.

The final day of filings was July 31.

Calculating Delta’s cost

The filings with the DOC by both parties largely repeat what had been filed with the US International Trade Commission earlier, on which LNC reported extensively.

Boeing, in the ITC case, calculated the unadjusted sales price to Delta was $23.3m and $19.6m after adjustments. LNC at the time did not report how Boeing arrived at these figures. Delta responded at ITC that the figures were “millions” low.

In the DOC filing exhibits, Boeing included selected pages from Delta’s own financial filings and airplpane purchase commitments.

In the quarterly filing immediately before the CSeries contract, Delta reported airplane purchase commitments of $13.08bn. This covered 18 Boeing 787-8s, 64 737-900ERs, 44 Airbus A321ceos, five A330-300s, 25 A330-900s, 23 A350-900s and 19 Embraer E-190s.

Boeing, of course, would know the prices for its airplanes. It also knew the price for the E-190s, as these used aircraft were purchased from Boeing, which had taken them in on trade from its 737 MAX deal with Air Canada.

Boeing could not know for certain the prices of the Airbus aircraft, but since it competed for the orders, it would have a reasonably good idea.

The next Delta financial document included the CSeries order for 75 CS100s. The airplane purchase commitments now were $15.98bn. Between the previous quarter and this quarter, Delta took delivery of four 737-900ERs and three A330-300s. Three of the 19 E-190s were sold by Delta, which decided not to integrate them into the fleet after placing the CS100 order. Delta honored its purchase agreement for these aircraft from Boeing, however, and resold the airplanes on the open market.

Delta also placed an order for 37 more A321ceos.

Using this data as a basis for starting its calculations, it is reasonable to conclude this is how Boeing came up with $23.3m per airplane. The actual methodology is redacted from the filings.

Ancillary value

Boeing then hypothesized contract provisions that provides ancillary value. These provisions are typical of new aircraft purchases of a new fleet type. These include, among other things, fleet integration credits, flight simulators, training, maintenance guarantees, residual value guarantees, parts provisioning and more.

Boeing’s basis for these estimates and contract provisions would be its own sales contracts history, but it could not be certain what was in the Bombardier-Delta contract. The filing redacts the line-item Boeing estimate of each ancillary value but the aggregate, $3,766,667, is shown.

“Because these ancillary items are integral to the 2016 Delta sale, and represent costs to Bombardier and value obtained by Delta, they should be deducted from the unadjust CS100 per unit price of $23,333,333…. Deducting $3,766,667 from $23,333,333 results in an adjusted per unit price of $19,566,666,” Boeing writes.

66 Comments on “Delta asks Commerce to redefine scope of Boeing-Bombardier case

  1. “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.” Love Mark Twain, who may have borrowed it from Disraeli.

    • Yeah sure but there are definately no statistics here. No survey was conducted. Its simple math with a few figures that are factual. Nothing mentioned in this article remotely qualify as “statistics”.

  2. Well the first two from Trump!

    sorry Scott, that was just too good to pass up, slap my hand.

  3. The Empire Strikes back (or is that the other side, I get lost in all this)

  4. Bombardier can sell one CS jet to a Canadian airline for 20 million and the case is void? Production cost is not the issue, Boeing has sold jets for less than the production cost. The issue is the sales price in Canada versus the sales price in the U.S.

  5. Boeing and delta are at war. I said it here before that there will never be a Boeing order from the current management at delta even when the plane is perfect for Delta. When 797 is launch Delta will not buy it and that is why Boeing is reacting to Delta. Something went wrong somewhere between them. The last 10 737-900er was contractually force on Delta.

    • I wouldn’t be surprised if Boeing were doing this at least in part to thwart Delta. But also to help Embraer and learn something from Bombardier about how do do their NSA if Bombardier are forced to divulge cost cutting secrets. Good hustling by Boeing?

      • Well, if that were Boeing’s intention then they’d better hope that it doesn’t become the consensus view of What Is Really Going On. How is any other US airline supposed to feel about buying from a company that’ll screw you over like this if it feels like it?

        I think that even if Boeing did discover the price, they might get a shock; it might be more than the price of a 737. Delta are probably more than happy to spend extra on what is apparently a superior aircraft.

        That would make the decades long obsolesence of the 737 design too stark for everyone else to ignore, especially if Delta’s load factors and operating profits go up as a result.

        • Daveo:

          I have yet to see anyone enforce a contract that was not wanted.

          I would like to see some attribution for that statement.

          • Well, as a matter of legal principle, I think the term is ‘specific performance’. I.e. those parties that sign a contract are bound in law to meet the obligations set out in the terms of the contract. If A contracts with B to purchase N a/c from B by X date and at USD Y per a/c . B is required to make good on that undertaking – or go bankrupt – unless B is in a forgiving mood. But there is no obligation on B to show any forgiveness and if B requires S’s specific performance it will always get just that – or A’s bankruptcy.

  6. Delta had better find a way to squeeze a couple more seats onto its 737-700s quick! Right now, they are all configured with 124 seats…

    More seriously, the Delta-Boeing feud is not as big a deal as many people think. Delta signed an expanded analytics deal with Boeing at the Paris Air Show in June. ( Plus, I can’t see the company boxing itself into a single-supplier situation for most of its aircraft needs.

    • Boeing says the Max 7 seats 138 in two-class. Even if one takes out a row to add Y+ pitch (‘2.5 class’) and perhaps a larger F cabin, we’re at around 130 pax.
      Delta’s planned 110 seat CS100 is closer to the 97 seats of a 2.5 class E190 than a Max 7. Of course, Embraer can’t file a claim in the US system, but it doesn’t look like Boeing is the aggrieved party here.
      Until and unless DL options some CS300’s, I hope Boeing loses. Even then, it’s arguable whether Bombardier is doing anything Boeing hasn’t. Look at the super-sweetheart deal they gave UA to keep them.

  7. Bombardier is a neophyte when compare to Boeing in aircraft design. The aircraft is only viable because it is a lot narrower and have latest tech engine. If BA design a five abrest it will be superior to the cs series.

    • Phewweee, toxic baby. Boeing FB are we?

      Normand is going to have a seizure over that.

      So to prime the pump, the C series is a modern design along the lines of a 787.

      It has one of the best wings ever develo0ped.

      It has better seating than 737 or A320

      It has better storage.

      It has the engine with the most upside advance capability (3% as I recall coming in 2018, could have the date wrong)

      Its one heck of an aircraft.

      Boeing on the other hand is kludging along a design from the mid 60s.

      I think its pretty amazing to call Bombardier a neophyte when Boeing has not been able to design a new single aisle in 42 years!

    • I think you are looking in the wrong place for Bombardiers Cseries advantage. Yes the cabin is narrower by 1 foot, but its still made of aluminium much like the 737. The real advantage is the carbon fibre wing optimised for the smaller plane

      • But what they did with that setup?

        5 across and more room in the middle seat.

        One side only one person to get across.

        I would call that some bold thinking (you simply can’t put in a another seat!)

        And the C300 is better yet and that does not even get us to t6he ultimate efficient flying machine, the C500.

        Lighter and more pax. That should be a wonder.

        I understand why BBD has not done it yet but I sure want to see it.

        I think composite for a fuselage in that class is way over the top.

        BBD put their tech where it counted and made the most of the fuselage with Li Alu and the narrower aspect.

        Now there is thinking that Boeing has not been able to do.

    • Lets see, Delta ordered 100 without any arm twisting

      It orders 20 more without any arm twisting.

      So its going to be arm twisted for a measly 10 over ?

      That is not attrition, that is taking facts and fabricating a whole story out of it that is speculative at best and is supported by nothing other than an opinion (a wild one)

      You also should use the reply feature rather than tack your response onto the end. Others will be confused.

      • Me, I take it that the 737-900 fits a slot in Deltas structure and they are happy to have it.

        Just like a C series does in fact.

  8. 737 is not less efficient than C series or A320 series. Efficiency is what airline care about. I know because I live it every working day.

    • Pax per pax the C is more efficient.

      Trip to trip its more efficient.

      The GTF on the A320 is proving to be more efficient than specified.

      There are upgrades planned that make it more so.

      CFM LEAP is doing what it said, no more and they had to use highly exotic materials to do so.

      Not only can the GTF be made more efficient, it can then use those same exot6ic and be far more efficient .

      There is a reason all NASA design stu8ides specify that its a GTF.

      There is a reason RR is using the advance only as a core for the GTF (there will be no advance engine put into service)

      Its why GE is behind the scenes scrambling to get it going.

  9. And no, efficiency is not all airlines care about.

    They care about total costs.

    That includes engines, how long they last, how reliable as well as the same for the whole aircraft and systems.

    The most efficient aircraft in the world that requires 40 hours hanger time for each flight vs a less efficient one that require 2?

    787 is a good case in point. The efficient tail plugged up those dimples, had to be cleaned out to often to get the thing to work.

    Boeing dropped it.

    Now why their testing did not show it was going to be an issue?

    Who knows.

  10. dukeofurl: “Yes the cabin is narrower by 1 foot, but its still made of aluminium much like the 737.”

    The 737 cabin (CW) is 10 inches wider while the fuselage diameter (FD) is 2 inches wider. Here are the official figures:

    CW = 129″
    FD = 146″

    CW = 139″
    FD = 148″

    CW = 146″
    FD = 156″

    The 737 is 2″ wider than the C Series.
    The A320 is 12″ wider than the 737.

    The 737 is 10″ wider than the C Series.
    The A320 is 7″ wider than the 737.

    The wide discrepancy between fuselage diameter and cabin width on the C Series is due, from what I understand, to the inverted egg shape of the C Series fuselage.

    The C Series fuselage is made of Aluminium-Lithium (Al-Li) while the 737 fuselage is made of conventional aluminium. The weight saving is on the order of 8 to 9%. By weight Al-Li is 5% lighter, but is stronger and more resistant to corrosion; therefore less material is necessary. So in the end the fuselage can be 8 to 9% lighter depending of the efficiency of the design.

    I am not an expert but it appears to be widely understood that a composite fuselage is preferable on a widebody; and Al-Li is just as good as CFRP on a narrowbody fuselage, while being easier to maintain.

    We also have to keep in mind that on the C Series the empennage, the pressure dome and the rear fuselage are all made of composite material similar, but not identical, to the wings.

    If Boeing were to design a narrowbody aircraft today it would not be much better than the C Series because the latter is a state-of-the-art aircraft. This explains in part why Boeing is not in a hurry to proceed with the NSA.

    But in my opinion Boeing are making a big mistake because the only advanced technology that will be available in the coming years is the kind of engine Rolls-Royce is developing right now: the UltraFan. But Airbus and Bombardier would also be able to use the same engine as a retrofit.

    If Boeing are taking Bombardier to court it is because they understand that they have lost the battle in the 150-seat category with the upcoming CS500 and there is nothing they can do about it because the C Series cannot be surpassed with the technology that is available today.

    I am not making this up nor am I bragging about it. And I certainly don’t want to sound arrogant about this because I have too much respect for Boeing and Airbus.

    Everything I say is based on a simple fact that cannot be contested by anyone: With the C Series Bombardier created a small masterpiece. And the first to admit it would be Boeing and Airbus.

    Just ask John Leahy what he thinks of the C series. He will probably tell you that it’s a nice little aircraft. And I would tend to agree with him, it’s a nice little aircraft indeed.

    • “Everything I say is based on a simple fact that cannot be contested by anyone: With the C Series Bombardier created a small masterpiece. ”

      When looking at the airframe, this is true. But when you look at systems, it is still a regional jet.

      • Nomrand: The write-up is good.

        I do have a serious disagreement on the statement that Li Al, is easier to maintain than Composites.

        I am not an expert, but my understanding is that composites done right take a lot less maint. as they do not have the issues Aluminum does. – the less well know issue of rain in exterior of the cabin (condensation)

        I will concede that only gets proven over many years and surprises do crop up. A bad joint combo or poorly executed isolation could cause issues.

        I do think BBD made the righty decision on the C Series going with Li Alu.

        • Keep in mind that the C Series is all composite except for the fuselage, but excluding the rear fuselage, which is also made of composite, just like the pressure dome, empennage and wings.

          When I say that Al-Li is easier to maintain I am referring to the numerous accidents that an aircraft is subjected to when sitting at the gate. There if an accident happens Al-Li can be repaired with simple tools and does not require special training or special equipment.

          Recently a 787 was grounded for a week to repair the damages following a lightning strike. Like a famous boxer used to say: Al-Li floats like a butterfly while composite can sting like a bee. 😉

          That being said, I do recognize that composite is more resistant to corrosion than aluminum. But again, the C Series is all composite except for the fuselage, which is made of Al-Li, a special alloy that is particularly resistant to corrosion and cracking compared to conventional aluminium.

          I believe that most operators would prefer Al-Li over composite for the fuselage of a single-aisle because of the number of flights this type of aircraft usually makes in a single day. Today the C Series often makes eight flights in a day over a period of 18 hours.

          For a widebody aircraft it would be a different story though, and the choice to make would be between composite panels and barrels, rather than Al-Li and CFRP.

          • Ok, makes some sense.

            Do you have a reference to the lightening strike? I am interested.

            Otherwise a ramp hit either is a non issue or a patch. If you have done boat work fiberglass repairs were easy and its much the same thing. More labor for an aluminum hull patch and just some sitting time for cure on a composite patch.

          • Thank you, most interesting. Learned something new.

            then you have to wonder, why this one, does not seem common. Problems with the way it was done from factory?

            Defiantly a much bigger problem than Aluminum if it occurs. !

      • Max: I don’t get what you are trying to say.

        A regional jet that gets used 15 hours a day is the same as a trans continental single aisle that gets used 15 hours a day.

        Bossiness jets have less steller systems as they are used a lot less.

        The C Series is intended to be used and used as hard as needed. Its not limited and it does have Trans Continental range.

        • My point is that Bombardier and Embraer don’t have the engineering power as Boeing and Airbus to do their own solutions for systems, and usually have to stick with off the shelf solutions from Honeywell and Collins, which are derived from business jets. They have good technology and pretty nice functions, but are not so reliable.

          • Before the C Series entered service the record for the most reliable aircraft at EIS was held by the Boeing 777, which at the end of the first year had a reliability of 98.5%.

            The new record now belongs to the C Series with a reliability of around 99.4% or so at the end of the first year. We should know the official numbers in the coming months when the Swiss and airBaltic numbers will have been combined.

            The C Series also holds a new record for starting operation after delivery when an airBaltic CS300 carried its first passengers only 50 minutes after delivery of the aircraft.

            By the way, the C Series uses the same Rockwell Collins Pro Line Fusion avionics system as the 787, except that it is a slightly newer version on the C Series. But more importantly, with its control column and yoke the 787 is at least 100 years behind in terms of flight control hardware.

            The 787 is an airplane of the future that is looking into the past, whereas the C Series is an airplane of its time that is looking into the future.

            As for engineering power you have a point, but Bombardier and Embraer compensate this deficiency with extraordinary talent. I have been very impressed in recent years by what I have seen coming out of São Paulo and Montréal.

          • Max:

            You are simply wrong. Airbus and Boeing all use outsources solutions for all the stuff that makes an aircraft, avionics, hydraulics , gear , AC you name it.

    • Is the CSeries fuselage 146″ wide? I’m guessing that is the maximum dimension, which would be depth. I’d assume width would be 140″ at the most.

      • You are right Ted, it is indeed the maximum diameter. And the same applies to the other models.

        The thing is that the C Series fuselage is not oval or circular, like other airliners, but is shaped like an inverted egg. I think, but I am not sure, that this is the reason why it has the tallest lavatory in the single-aisle category and huge overhead bins.

        One thing is for sure though; it has, proportionally speaking, the biggest cabin of any single-aisle aircraft: widest seats, widest aisle, largest bins, and largest lavatory.

        Which means that if the C Series was a six-abreast it would be much bigger than the 737 and slightly bigger than the A320.

        I don’t know what its range might exactly be because the revised figures have not been published yet. But for now it stands at 3,300 nm @225 lb per passenger. And the base model (CS300) accommodates 130 seats in a dual-class configuration.

        That anyone can still call the C Series a regional jet defies my comprehension.

      • Wikapedia lists the C series “diameter” as 146″ which is also shown on Bomb’s website as “maximum diameter”. Unless it’s a cylinder it doesn’t have a diameter as such. Probably is the height. It’s a great “small” aircraft clearly nicer to fly on than 737 or 320.

  11. Hopefully it will be a fully public presentation in cort where Bombardier can show system by system how much more modern and advanced the C-series is compared to the 737-7 (except Engines where the LEAP is equal or better than the PWA Geared fan). For many non-egineering executives at Boeing it will be a surprise and the judge will be hard pressed by the US Government agencies not to take notice. Bombardier can start with comparative pictures of respective service run Aircraft wheel wells. If they add the 787-9 systems in the 3-way comparison it will become pretty clear that the 737 was designed long ago. The 737 advantage is its durability, 3+3 seating and CFMI Engines in addition the 737-8 and 737-10 payload and range, they are effective but not the latest in structures and systems.

    • I can’t agree that the LEAP is better as a platform.

      It may be working a bid better but note that there are A320NEO with LEAP that are sitting to. They just have been quieter about the issues.

      Long term that architecture of the GTF has far more upside.

      It is inherently better and it can move to the same exotic material that the LEAP uses to get its performance (and it has upside changes of its own that will be added with the experience PW has gained with it) .

      The LEAP can’t morph ingot a GTF.

      • I wrote equal or better. The PW1500G has a better layout than the PW1100G and most likely will meet Customer expectations earlier. The PW1100G is harder to fix due to the effects of its aft mounting position and most likely hot exhaust at low LPT rpm’s. Still brand new PWA Engine designs need a fair dose of SB’s Before meeting Customer expectations, The PW1100G is actually a bit better than normal as the performance is as advertised, so the PW1100G engines go off wing as early JT9D’s, PW2000 or PW4000’s. PWA service engineering is busy getting all the mod’s (fixes in PWA langauge) into new production. The difference is that PWA top brass does not accknowledge the historical fact of new commercial PWA Engines and promise wonders long Before SB 72-200 is out.

        • I have to ask who made the choice of the engine mount system?

          BBD went the right way and its a know issue. Not nearly as bad on the C.

          What is SB72-200?

          Not sure I get acknowledging what? That new engine have issue?

          And if the bow was such a factor, testing would have shown that so why did Airbus elect to proceed? I have to wonder if they had a finger in all that.

          I don’t think there was deliberate mislead and there seemed to be more than adequate testing.

          Granted there were mistakes. GE and RR have done similar.

          Various reports of LEAP issues as well.

          Ups and downs of new tech.

          I still admire PW for sticking with GTF despite the naysayers and they are proven right.

          I have see the NASA studies for the best improvements and all of them required a GTF to reach the goals.

  12. Boeing’s complaint hinges on an *estimate* of the unit price paid by Delta but without actually seeing the contract Boeing cannot know for sure what the actual price is.

    For it’s part Delta say’s the Boeing estimate is “millions low” and it seems to me that Delta can furnish the DoC the contract document to back up this claim.

    What would be interesting to know is what unit price did Air Canada agree to pay Bombardier for their CSeries? It is known that Air Canada drove a hard bargain and no doubt Bombardier was anxious to secure the Canadian flag carrier so the unit price between Air Canada and Delta orders could be comparable which if true the basis for the Boeing complaint (dumping) completely evaporates even if the CSeries is viewed to be a competitor to the 737.

    • Just answering my own question it was rumored that Air Canada paid $30 Million each for the CS300

      “The order came at a steep price for Bombardier. Industry sources said they believe Air Canada will pay just $30-million (U.S.) each for the planes, a discount of almost 60 per cent from the list price of $72.4-million. ”

      According to Bombardier’s published list prices there is a $10 million difference between the CS100 and CS300—commercial-aircraft—bombardier.html

      Based on this information would a ~$20 Million unit price for Delta’s CS100’s seem out of line? How can Boeing argue that Bombardier sold the CSeries for a lower price than it’s home market based on these figures when it appears Air Canada received equally steep discounts? What am I missing?

      • @Kevin, under US law the definition of price dumping is selling a production into the US at a price less than was done in the home country.

        • Yes that is why I used the Air Canada order. Although it is not a perfect comparison (AC ordered the CS300) it would appear that Air Canada received deep discounts similar to Delta (the ~$10 Million difference in rumored selling prices is in line with Bombardier’s published list prices).

          This raises another question. How can Boeing be so sure that Bombardier is selling (dumping) the CSeries for less than it sells the aircraft in Canada. I doubt they have a copy of the contract between Air Canada and Bombardier so they have no way of knowing what the actual selling price was to Air Canada.

  13. @Max

    What do you mean by systems?

    The 3-axis Fly-By-Wire with full envelope protection and speed stabilization; the Side Stick control system; the Category IIIb Automatic Landing System; the Required Navigation Performance (RNP AR) system; the Integrated Flight Information System (IFIS); the SATCOM voice and data link transmission system; the Controller-Pilot Data Link Communication system; the five 15.1 in LCD displays; the two Head-Up displays; the Class 2 Electronic Flight Bags; the electric braking system; the 8,000 feet cabin altitude at 41,000 feet; the Aircraft Health Management System (AHMS); did I miss anything?

    And if you consider the engines as a system, like I do, I must then mention the Pratt & Whitney geared turbofan with a high bypass ratio of 12:1 and which is considered by many as a genuine leap in aircraft propulsion systems.

    Or maybe you had in mind more mundane systems, like for instance the lavatory, the tallest on any single-aisle aircraft, and which on the C Series can accommodate a wheel chair; or the overhead bins large enough to take oversized roller bags; the Cabin Management System; IFE; Wi-Fi; you name it, it has it.

    I tried hard to find a system on the C Series that is not of the airliner category but I can’t find any. And I believe Bombardier when they say that it is the world’s most advanced single-aisle aircraft

    What’s interesting though is that many of the systems mentioned above are not available on the venerable 737, which incidentally carried the same amount of passengers as the smallest C Series variant, but on much shorter distances, when it was first introduced fifty years ago.

    • I acknowledge this. The E2 has all this all well. But all those systems are available for business jets well, except CATIII, which doesn’t make sense for this
      But when you compare the MTBF/MTBUR of the components and LRUs, they are lower then what you have for B737 and A320.
      Other cabin features, such as FMS, are also that much tailored for airline use, and do not optimize cabin flow.

      • Max:

        You do not seem to know the difference between a Business Jet that does not use the heavy duty system and a regional/intercontinental single aisle that does.

        A and B outsource all the working parts (pretty much 100%) and Embraer and BBD have access to all that stuff.

        You seem to think they are virgins when in fact they operative aircraft in as heavy a use as 737 and A320 and often even more so

        What do you mean optimize cabin flow?

        Stuck in a cabin with people is stuck in a cabin with people.

        It has nothing to do with systems, it has to do with first class gets priory and mucks up the whole process.

        • Speaking of cabin flow, the C Series offers the widest aisle of any single-aisle aircraft.

  14. This is all just petty on Boeing’s part but WOW the stock is up,

  15. The five abreast cabin combined with a 36m wing is the optimum solution for a 150 seat aircraft.
    Boeing and Airbus have no choice but to give up this market. Their next single aisle aircraft must be a six abreast with a 40m folding wing that optimized for 175 to 225 seats. Neither one can afford to give up this far larger market to the other.

  16. Max: “But when you compare the MTBF/MTBUR of the components and LRUs, they are lower then what you have for B737 and A320.”

    Can you support your claims with referenced documentation? Can you show us the data you are using? Have you really done any serious research on this?

    For a start the engines on the GTF are the same ones that are found on the A320, except that the PW1500G is slightly more robust than the the PW1100G because being the first in development it was purposely over-engineered.

    The composite wings on the C Series are also over-engineered and are almost unbreakable, at least at the standard load limit. If I am not mistaken the fuselage has undergone at least 180,000 cycles in fatigue testing and was also found to be over-engineered initially.

    You have to keep in mind that the C Series was conceived with specifications that were supplied by Lufthansa and Swiss, who intended to use the C Series as an airliner. In fact in Swiss’ fleet the CS300 is currently replacing all the A320s that were based in Geneva.

    How do you explain that the C Series is the most reliable airliner in history after one year in service? How do you explain that the C Series holds the world record for the time between delivery and initial operation? How do you explain that the C Series currently flies up to 18 hours a day in eight consecutive cycles, with very short turnaround times between each cycle?

    Is it possible that you have some unfavourable prejudices towards Bombardier because it is known as the largest business aircraft manufacturer and therefore should know nothing about airline operations?

    This might have been true during the early days of the CRJ, which was a derivative of the Challenger business aircraft. But the experience gained with the nearly 2,000 CRJs that have been sold so far has been applied to the C Series, and with the goal of competing directly with the 737 and A320.

    Why do you think Boeing is so nervous about the C Series? Perhaps they have more knowledge about this aircraft than you seem to have.

    • Normand:

      Max seems to be under the illusions that Embraer and BBD are light weights.

      He thinks they are adapted business aircraft.

      He does not get that both EMB and BBD have aircraft that are worked harder than A&B aircraft.

      He seems to think A&B make their own landing gear, AC units, generator (actually alternators) , pneumatics valves (or elecir) etc. landing gear and all that.

      Highly uninformed.

  17. @TransWorld

    Fortunately this kind of lighting strike incident does not appear to be a common problem. But frankly I am not surprised at all that it has happened. I even expected it at some point.

    The 787 has been in service for a few years now and if it happened only once with all those aircraft in service it is somewhat reassuring.

    I don’t like carbon fuselages, even though I recognize that they save a lot of weight on large aircraft like the 787 and A350.

    As you know carbon does not easily conduct electricity like aluminium does and therefore they have to add a metallic structure to the composite fabric to make it conductive. And this adds weight, but not as much as they save with CFRP. But I don’t know how they do it exactly.

    All I know is that Boeing and Airbus have a different method. Is one better than the other? I don’t have enough knowledge about this subject to make a proper assessment. Time will tell I guess.

    Both manufacturers will gain experience with all the CFRP fuselages that will go into service in the coming years, plus the existing ones. And they will probably cooperate secretly with each other because it is an important safety issue.

    • I have recently seen the copper mesh that l was told is apparently used to create the Faraday cage for airbuses. It’s gossamer like, but still weighs 80-120 grams/m2, copper being quite heavy. It’s also quite gappy and these gaps will have to be filled up with resin during the laminating process. I am guessing that 200g/m2 should cover it easily, so all we need is someone to tell us the wetted surface area of an A350, and we can work out the penalty. A carbon fuselage is unnecessary strong even for an A350 because of impact tolerance requirements. This scales even worse for smaller aircraft, making carbon not worth the bother. Bjorn might know the answer but I suspect that it might even be heavier than aluminium for the Cseries.

      • Carbon does conduct electricity, in fact rather too well. Unprotected it ends up looking like a birds nest with the resin burned away.

  18. @TransWorld

    “I have to ask who made the choice of the engine mount system?”

    Airbus used the same method they have always been using. Boeing actually has a better method for mounting the engine and that is the one that Bombardier selected. Pratt & Whitney adapted the respective engine mount placements in accordance with each manufacturer’s request.

    I will take this opportunity to say that if the C Series is such a good aircraft it is because Bombardier took the best from both manufactures. More from Boeing than Airbus I would say.

    For example, Bombardier opted for the Side Stick like Airbus. And it gives full envelope protection like the Airbus system does. But if the pilot wants to overcome the normal laws all he has to do is to overcome a relatively stiff spring force inside the stick and voilà! In an instant the Airbus has become a Boeing. And as soon as the pilot releases the pressure on the stick it becomes an Airbus again. So you have the best of both worlds.

    Another example is the auto-throttle. On the C Series, as on all Boeing aircraft, the throttles move by themselves following commands from the FADEC. Not so on the Airbus where the throttles don’t follow what the FADEC does when in auto-throttle mode.

    Also, I think on the C Series one side stick can be given authority over the other, or something like that. I am not sure what is the difference exactly with Airbus. All I know is that the C Series system is considered to be far superior, and perhaps also safer. On Boeing aircraft they have a prehistoric system where pilots use big sticks like cave men.

    Another big difference with Airbus, and I think this is unique to the C Series, is that the aircraft can be trimmed by the pilot like a normal aircraft would be. My understanding is that the aircraft will respond “naturally” to whatever trim input that will be given by the pilot. On an Airbus, and perhaps also on recent Boeing models, my understanding is that the FBW system will automatically trim the aircraft and the pilot will have little authority over the aircraft condition.

    It may sound like a cliché but the C Series is an aircraft that was designed by pilots, for pilots. Perhaps more so that for any other aircraft. And that’s because Bombardier had no legacy to protect. For example, on the 787 Boeing could not opt for the side sticks because that belongs to Airbus.

    For Bombardier there was no such thing as I can’t do this because it’s against my religion. Be it the Boeing credo or the Airbus credo. With the C Series Bombardier was a technical agnostic. That is why all the pilots who fly it worship the C Series.

  19. @Cascadian

    Your figures, as well as mine, are all good. However, there is an important caveat to make.

    I now realize that the figures I have given for Airbus and Boeing are actually for the MINIMUM fuselage diameter, while my figures for the C Series were for the MAXIMUM fuselage diameter.

    Although I could not validate your figure for the C Series I will accept it as the minimum fuselage diameter because it makes perfect sense. Apparently it came from an older Airport Planning manual but unfortunately the link is no longer accessible. I checked the most recent edition of that manual and only the maximum diameter is indicated.

    So I will leave aside the cabin width and concentrate on the fuselage diameter because my original figures, although correct, were misleading. The correct figures are as follow and I don’t think anyone would contest them:

    CSeries fuselage diameter:
    Max = 146.5″
    Min = 138″

    B737 fuselage diameter:
    Max = 158″
    Min = 148″

    A320 fuselage diameter:
    Max = 163″
    Min = 155.5″

    These new figures make the 737 fuselage 13.5″ and 10″ wider than the CSeries and the A320 fuselage 7.5″ and 5″ wider than the 737 and 17.5″ and 16.5″ wider than the CSeries.

    Which proportionally speaking still makes the five-abreast CSeries considerably larger than the 737 and marginally larger than the A320.

    • Correction: These figures make the 737 fuselage 11.5″ and 10″ wider than the CSeries.

    • It’s interesting to me that the main competition in the narrowbody market consists of 3 companies (not going to count Irkut, COMAC, or Embraer at this point), each with just 1 family of planes. Contrast this with widebody market, where the 2 companies have a pair of offerings (3 if you count the double-deckers), and the difference in width of a widebody plane and its immediate competitor above or below them (A330 222″ < B787 227" < A350 235" < B777 244") is less than the 10" difference between the CSeries and the 737, even though the widebody market is smaller and the same absolute width difference is proportionally more significant for the narrowbodies.

      I've noticed that the A350 is getting praise (and generally a lack of complaints) for its standard cabin arrangement (18" seat/1.5" armrest/20" aisle widths), with a recent RunwayGirl article rating it above an A330. I find it mystifying, but if this is really earning customer satisfaction, it would imply that the 737 (or some new competitor) could do okay if it introduced a setup that was 1" wider than the current 737 configuration, and if Airbus/Boeing/some other company wanted to compete in the 5-abreast narrowbody realm, it could try with a cabin width that was 8" narrower than the CSeries without getting killed in the press or in public opinion.

  20. @Cascadian

    NH: “I checked the most recent edition of that manual and only the maximum diameter is indicated.”

    The manual I had checked was for the CS300. I just checked the CS100 manual and the minimum fuselage diameter is indicated there as 11.5 ft, which is 138¨ like you had suggested.

    For some reason the CS300 manual specifies only the maximum diameter whereas the CS100 manual specifies both the maximum and minimum diameters.

  21. @Cascadian

    What you say can be explained by two considerations, both of which being addressed by the C Series.

    One is the economics, and is probably the most important factor being considered by travellers, and concomitantly by airlines as well.

    The other is the value proposition; i.e., price versus comfort.

    The main reason why the C Series is a game changer is because it is the only narrowbody aircraft to offer both elements in the critical, but neglected, 100-150 segment.

    Indeed the C Series offers outstanding economics for airlines and supreme comfort for passengers. This means that those who will have the privilege to operate the C Series will be able to offer very competitive fares, and their customers will likely be extremely satisfied because they will have the impression to get more for their money.

    This equation was understood early by Delta, and now also by Boeing. And since the latter has now passed the message to the world the C Series should be well received during the world tour it is about to undertake to get better known internationally.

    For once you have been recognized by the Establishment you automatically become yourself part of the Establishment.

    Now try to imagine how Delta’s competitors feel about the introduction of the C Series in Delta’s fleet. Just look at what is already happening in Europe with only seventeen aircraft in service over there.

    What we are seeing today is the beginning of a revolution similar to the introduction of the Bombardier CRJ in the 1990s: a neglected market segment suddenly received the attention it deserved.

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