Pontifications: Does Embraer’s turboprop design foretell what Boeing needs?

By Scott Hamilton

Aug. 23, 2021, © Leeham News: Could Embraer’s new turboprop design have formed the basis for the 100-150 seat Boeing single-aisle aircraft had the joint venture proceeded?

A former Boeing engineer thinks it might have.

The aft-mounted, open rotor engines and the ability to switch later to hydrogen fuel represent the kind of advances Boeing could use to restore its leadership role in commercial aviation.

Under the proposed JV, which Boeing ash-canned in April 2020, Embraer would have been responsible for development of the 100-150 seat aircraft Boeing needs to replace the 737-7 and 737-8.

Product Development

The 737-8 is a 175 seat aircraft in today’s typical two-class configuration. Configurations today effectively push the 150 seats to nearly 170 seats.

Legacy Boeing would concentrate on the larger aircraft sector, i.e., more than 180 seats, under the JV. This jump represents the typical up-gauging from one aircraft type to another, even within family members.

Boeing CEO David Calhoun for more than a year said the Next Boeing Airplane (NBA), envisioned in public discussions as starting at 225 seats, would be more about production efficiencies than engine advancements. Fuel economic, and with it, reduced emissions, would fall within the 10% range rather than 15% or more as in recent developments, he said.

But with the announcement by CFM that it’s working on an open rotor engine in earnest, called RISE, Calhoun’s recent statements hedged his earlier ones.

RISE could be the basis on which the 737 replacement might be developed.

737 Product Future

There are 3,314 737s in Boeing’s backlog (adjusted for the accounting rule called ASC 606). Boeing doesn’t break out sub-types, but based on publicly announced orders, LNA thinks the 737-8 represents about 75% of the orders and the MAX 7 nearly 8%.

On the assumption that the NBA will focus first on the MAX 9/10/Airbus A321neo sector, the question remains: what does Boeing do about the so-called “heart of the market” represented by the 737-8/Airbus A320neo? One can argue that a step-change is needed, beyond production efficiencies.

Embraer’s design presents interesting possibilities for Boeing to follow. Unfortunately for Boeing, it won’t have Embraer’s resources to use.

 

 

101 Comments on “Pontifications: Does Embraer’s turboprop design foretell what Boeing needs?

  1. “Embraer’s design presents interesting possibilities for Boeing to follow. Unfortunately for Boeing, it won’t have Embraer’s resources to use.”

    With “follow” being the operative word here.

  2. It seems the new Embraer will be focussed on 100-125 passengers on shorter flights. Not really A320/738 territory.

    Shunning the CSeries when the opportunty arose was IMO an epic misjudgement.

    I think a new 120-160 passenger/1500NM optimized 3-3/AKH design (-15% doc vs NEO/MAX) is what Boeing should aim for.

    • I wonder if Scott’s new book will cover this in detail? Boeing’s leadership have made possibly three or four of the biggest fiscal blunders in the history of Fortune 500 Corporations. On par with BP, Wells Fargo, remember WCOM? Eron, ho-hum… At least their CEOs were well compensated…

    • @Keesje

      Here’s the thing though:

      120-160 pax with a 1500nm range is regional jet (range) territory. Why would a major go there, when they could get the A220 that can easily be scheduled into a transcon route in a pinch or even longer? You need 3000 nm to even get to the table as a buy in, no?

      When you’ve got a limited range aircraft, it also increases the need for other aircraft that fly longer.

      • It is cost. Can you fly a much lighter aircraft that burns substantially less fuel and keep almost the same schedule for flights 1-3hr flights you can outperform the competition. But to get a low purchase cost the manufacturer needs volume. Still the world if full of those routes.

        • Southwest and Ryanair average sector length is 750 miles, easyJet a bit less,yet they are lugging far too much jet around. Yes, I know it makes planning much easier but this is a clear sign that they are not taking climate change seriously

          • Ryanair has very high load factors, and no business/premium class, which makes it lean in terms of fuelburn per seat per 100km. It publishes monthly emissions figures, which beat the socks off of legacy carriers. Its average fuel burn per passenger per 100km also beats that of an average family car with single or double occupancy.

          • Frank:

            Its worth noting as I have a number of times that P&W has been working on a GTF upgrade.

            Taking what they learned from the current PW-1000G, they know they can push it in several areas and get a minimum of 5% and more likely 10% gain.

            By the time the totally unproven RISE occurs (or does not) they will probably be in a 15-20% improvement.

            The one area they have not pushed hard is in the higher heat range that GE did with LEAP.

            Of course it won’t happen tomorrow, but P&W is looking at the future and will have an offering that offsets and theoretical gain from the RISE (said open rotor keep morphing and its a hoot it now has a gear system)

            As for range, there is also fueling time involved, fuel costs and it may well be an advantage to run a number of short stages and not have to fuel.

            Airlines are not stupid, they go for the longer range for a reason.

          • After this year with the fires and the heat, there could be a concerted effort by government and industry to get to work on making a plane that does not contribute to Global Catastrophic Climate De-stabilization. I’m in an area of about 150,000 people near four forest fires and today they announced don’t open your windows! The closest fire is about 50 miles away, but it smells like I’m sitting around a campfire.

          • @Bryce, yeah great, but wouldn’t it be much better if at least half the fleet was actually configured for the journeys it makes?
            As long as you are sardine packed air transport isn’t particularly bad(although the effects of altitude are controversial, and business class is 4 times worse) per mile. Air travel enables people to as far further in a day as they usually travel in a year in a car.

          • It’s not just that a longer range gives your flexibility with regard to routes, you can also be flexible regarding where you fuel up and trim turn-around times by not fuel at each stop.

          • @ Grubbie
            In respect of efficiency of vehicle usage, aircraft probably score better than trains and urban buses…which are typically packed during rush hours, but much emptier for the rest of the day. I’ve often traveled in trains that were designed to carry 8oo passengers but in which there were fewer than 100 passengers. Same with the buses in my city: packed during the morning rush hour, but less than 25% full for most of the rest of the day.

            As regards cumulative mileage: I know LOTS of people who have a 75 km commute to/from work each day, in a single occupancy car. Do the math: in a year, that equates to flying 2.5 times around the globe in a modern aircraft. So, someone who walks/cycles to work but goes on 2-3 annual longhaul vacations is still producing lower emissions than those car commuters.

  3. It is a misconception to categorise non-turbofan powered airliners as anachronistic as so many do, I think it is merely a matter of perception – and not by passengers either.

    When I discussed an ideal aircraft type with OEM’s a decade or two ago I expressed a desire for a 150 PAX swept wing turbo-prop. Met with a dismissive chuckle the discussion quickly moved on to what the OEM told me I wanted which of course, only they made.

    However, even in this new context let us take a data driven approach and see: the closest existing type that would have been my ideal was the Vickers Vanguard. It was (is) a 140 PAX airliner with a six abreast cabin with a 3K range and 700 Kph cruise. Comparing it to it’s close Embraer contemporary, the 195E2 we find it has a useful payload fraction of 46.9% against 48.52% for the jet which is only 100Kph faster in the cruise but with a (superfluous) 5k range. The fuel burn on the Vanguard is higher than the 195E2 but then the engine/prop design are 60 years apart.

    Consider a type similar to the Vanguard or indeed, a Mk2 Vanguard, with a modern Pratt/Prop combo, stretched slightly to 180/200 PAX, made from Al–Li and with a modern wing. I would have bought such an aircraft and the economics of operating it would have made the operation untouchable by any competitor aircraft. It still would.

    Dismissing such a data driven approach in favour of a turbofan type meets its obstacle with the only two data points that count; in a comparable operation the figure on my balance sheet is black whereas yours would be red.

    • Yes, if the pax cannot see the engine while boarding with its naked UDF blades and it does not make more noise nobody would care. You want an UDF ,not a supersized Turboprop, with its power gearbox with 15% less fuel consumption and you can tolerate 10% less cruising speed. For shorter trips up to 3-4 hrs its economics will be impressive and having large fans the T-O performance would be impressive making it popular at hot&high conditions while cargo carriers can use its good acceleration and climb performance from short runways. Still being first with new solutions is risky and certification requirements for tail mounted UDF’s are not fully issued yet. Can Boeing/Airbus copy the car manufacturers robotic builds on purpose designed modules it can lower production costs so nobody else can compete on cost.

      • A TP400 engined Atlas regularly flies low over me and whilst it is a distinctive sound it is quieter than the Ryanair aircraft that also land close by.

        A PAX aircraft would be lighter and much quieter. The Vanguard has higher payload than the EMB 195E2 and has a freight deck. It would be a mistake to simply stretch a Q400/ATR72 type. It has to be a similar general layout to a T/Fan trunk liner. You are right, on a typical 1000Km sector, there is little difference in block times, indeed, the prop may have the advantage in using less congested airspace or shorter, more convenient runways.

        I think OEM’s purposely choose to build in the most expensive, no least expensive method. Just look at the ridiculous, geographically dispersed work allocation of Airbus in their airliners, but then again, is it a commercial enterprise or a political construct?

        In conclusion, it (large PAX T/P) is not a new solution, it is an old, tried and tested solution.

        • I would not put the TP400 on a commercial aircraft, hence when the CFMI RISE becomes certified and meeting cost, life, noise and fuel burn numbers it is another story. Having a 150pax airlines with the sound of 4ea RR Dart engines is a no-go. Also I think you need 3+3 seating to be competitive in this size class otherwise you carry too much structure. 2+3 works fine for DC-9 class sizes up to 140pax then you get into MD-90 designs. Putting these big fans close to the tail without containment and having its buddy “next door” might give EASA/FAA troubles as the arc of uncontained failures to hit the other engine becomes too large to be statistically acceptable.

          • I agree. Two TP400’s have a mass of six P&W150’s which themselves are two thirds of the mass of the old Tynes. Also, for that amount of thrust I think you would get better efficiency out of more blades (i.e. 4×7 blades).

            The cabin width of the Vanguard is greater than a A320 (six abreast), had a lower deck and with a modest stretch could accommodate the same PAX in high density, certainly in payload. A new wing would bring further benefits.

            My point is, there is no real need for the expense of a clean sheet design. Such designs exist, are proven, all the certification costs are sunk and that most precious of all commodities, time can be saved.

          • To reiterate, the useful payload fraction of the Vanguard is 46.9% against 48.52% for the most modern Embraer. It is already in the same weight class and this is before you stretch and then substitute Al with Al-Li (a further 10%-15% reduction in air frame mass) and put on lighter engines, avionics and soft furnishings.

            Modern aircraft structures haven’t really advanced that much from the predecessors.

          • Fastship:

            As near as I can tell you are proposing to build Vanguard again.

            No one is going to resurrect a 60 year old air frame, not happening.

            And Public Perception trumps all in even a modern TP (which is what the RISE engine is in a funny shell). Alaska Airlines is a poster child for turning from TP to Jets, they are cutting the Dash 8 fleet and shifting to E175.

            DH is not longer building the Dash 8, may never resume. ATR barely makes enough to justify building the old ATR let alone the cost of a new prop job.

            I have nothing against prop jobs, flew them from a toddler on, like them. But to make a leap into the abys with a TP is not going to happen with Boeing or Airbus.

            Embraer will never launch the Power Point bird they are portraying.

            P&W is readying a 2nd Generation of the GTF using lessons learned and how to maximize its capability from a conservative start on the PW-1000G.

            They have a number of areas they know can be adjusted and they have not explored the depth that GE has gone into more heat resistance materials and hotter core.

            Easily 10% improvement.

            Tail mounted has its structural issues (and no one has come up with a blade off solution).

            RISE claims they can be wing mounted, hmmm.

            CFM is blowing smoke as they got free research money (all the core work is available for a Turbofan) open rotor has been re-packaged more times than the Brooklyn Bridge.

            Note too they are now putting a gear system on it. GTF anyone?

          • @Fastship, you are right it is hard to make aircraft structures much more efficient. Just look at how the 737 can hang on with new engines and new wings. However modern airliners have pretty good range and thus its max fuel load making its structure heavier and being designed for up to 100 000 cycles . It mainly comes down to the wing design to make them more efficient, still a long slender carbon wing with active flutter control will have a hard time giving more than 10% improvement. Engines usually gives 10-15% between generations and CFMI claims a 15% improvement of the RISE vs the LEAP. After that it needs new technology like constant volume combustion or massive distributed shaft driven fans to get a few more % improvement unless they come up with a magic new fuel like a compact 20atom hydrogen molecule giving 10ea H2O at combustion.

        • > “is it a commercial enterprise or a political construct?”
          The aviation industry (both OEM and airline) has always been partly a “political construct”.

          • @Tranworld

            I think you overestimate the gains from new engines. Case in point are the Vanguards RR Conways. The Rolls Royce Conway turbofan engine had typical cruise SFC of 0.874 lb/(h lbf) whilst the most modern equivalent, the Rolls Royce Pearl has a SFC of ~0.6. This ~30% improvement in SFC over sixty years is not indicative of a technology in rapid advance. Mores Law it ain’t.

            Same with airframes. I pointed out how the efficiency of the new airframes are little if any better than the old.

            My thesis is that new aircraft types get everyone excited, me included but when you drill down into the actual data you find they are little better than the existing designs except a damn site more costly. Another example? When the (innovative) Vickers VC10 was introduced it was said to be over large, over weight, over expensive but most of all (by America), over here. Through the prism of retrospect we find that in inflation adjusted terms the sticker price was $87 million today. Its closest contemporary is the A321XLR priced at $124 million. The airframe of the latter is again, only a few points more efficient but with fifty years of added technology?

            It seems to me that airliner design is at the point steam locomotion was in the late 1940’s, a fully mature technology. However, that industry had alternatives to explore, diesel, diesel electric, electric, maglev whilst aviation has nowhere to go. Squndering resources on new designs is wasteful. Boeing were right to persist with the B737 airframe.

            New technology is a often a false promise. Peter Thiel summed it up: “We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters.”

          • Fastship:

            I fully agree with what you are saying on aerodynamics. Clearly Boeing being able to keep the 737 fully competitive with a 60s design confirms that.

            Cessna still makes the same 172 I flew (back in the 70s and it goes back to the 50s).

            However, the 737 has had two major wing changes and innumerable tweaks on the fuselage. While new engines are the biggest improvement, those tweaks and wings also are a big factor.

            However, the aerodynamics and the strucutr4e are two totally different aspects. You would need major structural changes to meet current certification requirements for a LCA off Vanguard to the point (my opinion) you would be better off starting from scratch (which Boeing should have done on the 737 two generations ago)

            That does not include installation of a modern controls system. Even if possible the 737 mechanical systems would never be approved again for an LCA.

            What I also firmly believe is the public is never going to embrace a prop LCA. They tolerate TP where there is no choice.

            As much as I like the prop jobs, I don’t see them coming back.

            A new Aircraft is a huge gamble and in a form that the public by all evidence would probably reject?

            It could be forced by the EU, but forcing that elsewhere ? Like Hydrogen, if its not viable commercially around the world?

            I don’t see either one happening.

    • The Bombardier Q400 comfortably seats 90 passengers (96 with concessions) with a 5000ehp 5500shp PW150A. With the TP400 producing over twice as much power at 11000shp one would expect a twin TP400 powered aircraft to carry at least 180 passengers. For the Q400:
      Max Cruise Speed: 360 kts (knots), 414 mph, 667 km/h (Kilometers per Hour)
      High Speed Cruise: 349 kts (knots), 402 mph, 646 km/h (Kilometers per Hour)
      Long Range Cruise Speed: 287 kts (knots), 330 mph, 532 km/h (Kilometers per Hour)

  4. ” … represent the kind of advances Boeing could use to restore its leadership role in commercial aviation.”

    Boeing has been accessorizing ancient tech or gone up less useful path for tech selection to push its product palette.

    And I expect their answer to a new Airbus freighter to be another warm up of long established product.

    How does one expect “future tech leadership” from such an entity?
    I am expecting more of another breathtaking convolution around upgraded certification requirements.
    That for sure is Boeing’s domain of exellence.

  5. If COMAC were to enter into a JV with Embraer, it would have a cutting-edge “homegrown” small narrowbody at its disposal, upon which it could then build to produce a next-gen follow-up to the C919, and perhaps something to rival the A321.
    I can imagine that the Chinese are eyeing Embraer with interest 😉

  6. There is nothing to prevent Boeing from re-engaging with Embraer once it gets its own house in order. Sure there are some bruises but commercial logic and money tend to win out in the end.

    • What would Boeing bring to the table in such a deal?
      It’s up to its teeth in debt, it’s bleeding talent as a result of an ongoing braindrain and retirement wave, and not one of its divisions currently has a normally operating program. So the concept of “once it gets its own house in order” is a very tall order indeed.

    • I was wondering if Embraer engaging in a bit of a beauty contest leaking this sexy looking design.

      • jbeeko:

        Good thought.

        Me thinks lots of flash for the new CEO and no substance.

        • ” … lots of flash for the new CEO and no substance.”

          Hmm. Reminds me of an airframer with its CEO based in Chicago.

          • Pedro:

            I beg to differ. There is no flash nor substance there!

    • The sale of Embraer’s Commercial Division requires government approval on behalf of Golden Share. Boeing has had to do a lot of behind-the-scenes work of convincing and all that work will be lost for at least a decade.

      • Caerthal:

        Agreed. I don’t see it, but strange things can happen.

        I think Boeing issue was looking at Government relief and public perception with their hands out and buying a foreign operation during a crisis.

        If they had kept their financial (and technical ) house in order, they would have weathered it all just fine and could have funded it easily.

        Flip side is Boeing way these days would hose up Embraer as well.

  7. Make friends with Russia, don’t rip the country of in corrupt privatizations, buy Sukhoi. Or produce the MC21 under liscence.

    • It is really hard to “buy” another manufacturers design as it has been designed to their rules and philosophy. Every bit has to be reviewed and probably redesigned for selected material specs, coatings, rivets, weld specs, reparability (like how many oversize rivets can be installed), wires, connectors before you come to electronic boxes and software. So I understand Dutch Kindelberger when North American designed the P-51 from scratch (using an experienced ex. Messerschmitt engineer) instead of producing P-40’s.

      • claes: “(using an experienced ex. Messerschmitt engineer)”
        This is a persisting urban legend. Edgar Schmued, the chief designer of P-51, actually never worked for Messerschmitt or even met Willy Messerschmidt. The source of this urban legend is the stories provoked by design similarities between Bf-109 and P-51, plus the fact the Schmued was a German immigrant, and has been conclusively debunked. The spirit of what you say is true. NAA chose to design a new airplane (P-51) from scratch because it considered redoing the P-40 assembly line and drawing system not worthwhile.

        • A Jones:

          I think throw in a factor of NIH to that.

          But legitimately, aviation was advancing fast and the P-51 design took advantage of that as well.

          Factor in production possible as well (large orders vs small). P-38 while a very good bird (latter iterations particularity ) was complex and hard to produce.

          Laugh of the day was a ME-109 and a P-51 being common, all they had in common was an engine, wing and tail. So did every other fighter.

          • @TWA

            If I had to fly in WW2, I’d choose the Lightning, hands down. Twin engines and a buzzsaw coming out of the nose – that’s the bird…

          • The Boeing B737-8 MAX in 20245 may be Me 109K4 of 1945 Like the B737 the Me 109 was in long service from 1935. It had Me 109A,B,C,D,E,T, F,G,K upgrades. The Messerschmitt outperformed everything but the Spitfire in the early war but like all designs aged. The Luftwaffe could do better (Me 209-II and Me 309, Ta 152 etc ) but they couldn’t shutdown the mass production system that allowed a production/refurbishment of 37,000 units at 1000 man hours per airframe. That’s why the B737 is so hard to get rid of, Boeing can design a new aircraft but can’t so easily produce 60/month.

            Right to the end of the war the Me 109K4 could match a P-51D in speed and turn at certain altitudes (about 20,000-24,0000ft) but the underlying design had gone through 4 engine changes and had reached its end.

            Boeing will need to make the B737 MAX work and phase in a new aircraft. A difficult decision since we appear to be on the cusp of new tech that might mature a little too late for Boeing to exploit. The Embraer E# looks like a choice that leaves the propfan as a choice.

          • Frank:

            I agree.

            My reading on the subject was that those who trained early with the P-38 did superbly with it (Bong and gang) .

            Flip to that was trying to train tens of thousands of pilots at all and managing a single engine was as much as they could do (different ball game from a bomber with multi engine and a fighter in throttle ops)

            A system like the FW-190 had engine control wise with auto adjust would have been a huge benefit.

            Ironically it worked out to the benefit of the US in the South West Pacific as they got the most capable fighter when they could barely get anything at the time (P-39s and P-40)

    • William:

      So, I get a Facebook account and Friend Putin?

      You are ignoring the reality of the situation if you think the relationship with Russia is going to change let alone anyone buying any business in or from Russia. Sometimes known as seriously sunk costs (ask the oil companies)

  8. the stupidity of Boeing not buying the CSeries or Bombardier was an epic failure.

    • It depends on your resources, it will take Airbus lots of work and negotiations with suppliers to turn the program to make money. It is not done in a couple of quarters but maybe in 10 years you will get returns to pay down your investments. Boeing most likely did not have that spare capacity/capital. One could imagine that Airbus thought young airlines growing in size would get onto the A220 and then progress buying A320neo family aircrafts. Maybe Air Baltic and Breeze fall into this logic but most A220 buyers already fly Airbus aircrafts. Its structures design in not that much help when Airbus designs the next aircraft to be built by robots, still it is a nice little aircraft and it will also be redesigned eventually to be built by robots and then it will see commonality with the Airbus new family (most likely with Thales active sidesticks…) and making a profit from day 2.

      • Boeing had the resources at the time. They just threw them away on share buy back and dividends and executive salary.

        The A220 does have drawbacks in that it has locked in supplier contracts that leaves the supplier in the drivers seat.

        Airbus has the issue of how it integrates into the A320 line as well as its non common controls.

        The C series was very well done, but does not fit in with Airbus or Boeing particularly well.

        Boeing would have to consider the same issue with the MAX-8 replacement leaving the -9/-10 as its MAX offerings.

        Boeing elected to vest in the MAX and the C series was a duplicate on the low end. Now Boeing is riding the Tiger and can’t let go (not without a lot more pain and Calhoun is risk adverse)

        Airbus would need to drop the A320 and shift to all A321 for the A220 to slot in and still lack commonality which would be very expensive to change (leaving an A220 fleet behind with a different controls system).

        As noted, the A220 does not align at all with the full digital engineering nor the direction Airbus looks to be going in automation and wing design.

        I am just going to watch and see, its not at all clear where the A220 goes or fits in and the cost to do so or just leave as is and move on with A321 replacement.

        • Boeing might had the money but maybe could not allocate all the staff required to make it fit the Boeing family with all the Boeing standards and eventually make money on it. Maybe somebody ex. Boeing will write a book about it some day.

  9. What many are missing is this is just a weird look Turbo Prop.

    They have added a gear box to it, that and a bunch of thingies hanging out of the casing.

    P&W will be bringing out their next generation of GTF with another performance jump.

    And the Public rejects the spinning wheels of fortune and you are sunk.

    • Using the same reasoning, a turbofan is just a “weird look turbo prop” with a flimsy cowel around the blades.

    • TW:
      “What many are missing is this is just a weird look Turbo Prop.

      They have added a gear box to it, that and a bunch of thingies hanging out of the casing. ”

      Well, you could call it a turboprop with even more propeller blades. (Six blades being common today.)

      But read up – today’s turboprop engines have a gearbox, it may be closely attached or separate as in the C-130

      As for comparison to really high bypass ratio turbofans, the question is what does the cowling add or subtract in efficiency and noise?

  10. The other factor involved is Hydrogen does not have the range or even the possibility of the range of current A220/MAX/A320.

    The Embraer 175-195 has more range.

    So who imposes this? The EU might, I don’t see anywhere else in the world doing so.

    Boeing is just using it as an excuse (as usual) to do nothing. By the time this all bites Calhoun is gone with all his ill gotten gain.

    • Hydrogen aircraft make no economic or flight safety sense. It is pure demagoguery and public relations exercise.

  11. AviationWeekly reports:

    The turboprop has the same cabin cross-section as the E-Jets and, in its latest design, has the engines mounted on the aft fuselage, driving tractor propellers. This reduces noise and vibration in the cabin, is compatible with jet bridges and “is ideal to evolve with new propulsion solutions when they come along,” Affonso says.

    The Affonso quoted is Luis Carlos Affonso, Embraer vice president of engineering, technology development and corporate strategy.

    “evolve with new propulsion solutions” is about as explicit a statement that they are tracking RISE as one can hope for.

    The same article reports the CEO as saying they are looking for partners.

    https://aviationweek.com/special-topics/sustainability/embraer-plots-path-sustainable-future

    • The issue is its pure conjecture as no one has done it. There would be engineering challenge.

      The spin presents this as something new, but its a re-packaged Turbo Prop.

      Would any CEO of Boeing or Airbus bet the farm on a prop job? Airbus went with the C series buy out.

      And the fuselage is a warmed over existing E that is not up to the A220 Standard.

      I just don’t see it.

      • Yup. Sounds like an open rotor regional jet – 2×2 seating. READ: not something the majors will order

        • If it is on time, delivers on the economics, is a bit faster than existing regional aircraft and is scope compliant of course it will be a success.

          For passengers E-Jet fuselage will be a huge upgrade in comfort and carry on convenience over the ATR, A-400 and CRJ’s out there. And for operators if they can offer short flights for less cost and get slightly better utilization it will be a win.

          Questions are can it be done, and will it be snookered by Greenfield hydrogen play by Airbus. Embraer has been pretty good at building what they say they will reasonably on schedule.

          • @jbeeko

            First off, from Scott:

            “Under the proposed JV, which Boeing ash-canned in April 2020, Embraer would have been responsible for development of the 100-150 seat aircraft Boeing needs to replace the 737-7 and 737-8.”

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scope_clause

            “Since 2012, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines cap their regional airlines’ jets at 76 seats and a maximum take-off weight (MTOW) at 86,000 lb (39 t)”

            If they are looking at 100 seats, it is not scope clause compliant – cannot be a regional and must be a mainline aircraft.

            So now you’ve got a 2×2 regional open rotor competing against the A220 and it’s large cabin, 3400 nm range and GTF’s.

            Just saying…

      • “..And the fuselage is a warmed over existing E that is not up to the A220 Standard. ”

        I don’t know anyone who would rather have 20% chance of sitting in the middle seat compared to a 0% chance. Maybe it’s just me.

    • The aviation world disagrees with that premiss.

      BBD and Embraer started with rear mounted engines and anything more than a Business Jet does the same.

      Now, the ex C sereis went with wing mounted as did the Embraer E series.

      There are significant aerodynamic advantages and there are major advantages to being able to put a different Turbofan mfg engine in that location (Embraer E2 uses a PW GTF switched from GE).

      Airbus had no issue with a PW or a LEAP, Boeing only issue was that the original 737 was a ground hugger and they stuck themselves with that structure rather than replace it when they should have.

      Business Jets don’t have Jetways, so ground hugging works for them and the penalties are equal as they all match (sans Honda Jet).

      The structural penalty cost of rear mounted engines goes way up for anything larger and the E series recognized that as did every other modern LCA.

      Far cheaper/economical/competitive to do tricks with the gear as Boeing did on the MAX and 777.

      • Larger business jets surpass the 100,000 lb of MTOW and 7700 nm range. I think this says a couple of things about the efficiency of this configuration…

        • And the G700 carries all of 19 passengers?

          Efficiency is not relevant. With that small an aircraft the structural penalty and handling aspects are mitigated (as they were on DC-9/MD series/7171)

          Honda went with top wing mounted engines. hmmm.

          Somewhere I read about a proposed change but it was shot down because it did not look “sporty” (forget what it was)

          Equally, the low gear allows a drop down stair from the Aircraft avoiding ground stair services.

          Any commercial mfg that started with rear mounted went to pylon mounted.

          While the rear mounted disadvantage can be dealt with, its a penalty that wing mounted do not have. So the regional jets as well as A220 have gone to pylon (Mitsubishi and its Super Jet as well though its not going to see the light of day)

          Do an A220NEO with the latest upgraded P&W GTF and it leaves any rear mounted whiz bang open rotor in the slipstream.

          • Hi TransWorld,

            One thing to consider are the Scope Clauses, in particular the 76,000 lbs MTOW limit. I have no doubt that the PW GTW was a big step forward, but it’s too big and heavy for this niche. An enlarged version for 100 passengers in single class might make sense for Asia.

            The A220 is capable of over 3000 nm range. There is a chance of having an extended version (-500). It is an aircraft with a high acquisition cost, its production rate is still very low (~3 units/month) and it is certainly not optimized for 500 nm routes.

          • Per AB regarding the A220 production rate:

            The present production rate is a total of five from the Mirabel and Mobile final production lines, with a gradual increase to six in early 2022.

      • The “aviation world” you refer to is operating on emotion, not logic. Managers (not engineers) are stuck on the notion that a “real” airliner has to look like the old Boeing 707.

        Boeing bought and shut down McDonnell Douglas. The MD-series of airlines used tail-mounted engines. An evolved MD-series with high-bypass turbofans would be very effective.

        The 707 and 737 were designed for early turbojets. Putting the jets under the wings made service easy, and did not require taller gear (given the height needed to avoid tailstrike on takeoff rotation w/o kicked-up tail). This *was* a perfectly good tradeoff.

        Also note early turbojets did not generate a lot of thrust at low speeds. Watching airliners takeoff from LAX in the late 1960s, their acceleration was quite gradual. The off-center force of engines below the wing was not a problem.

        Fast-forward to the present. Current high-bypass turbofans are *big*, and generate lots of thrust at low speeds. To fit under the wing, engines must be further from the aircraft centerline. Adding a lot more thrust further from the centerline is a huge deviation from the original design, and a large part of the problems with the 737.

        Squeezing fat fans closer to the ground means you are going to vacuum up more debris from the airport tarmac, which is not good for engines.

        Now that two engines are reliable enough for all routes, the design justification under-wing engines is entirely gone.

    • Nothing has changed.
      And one can surmise that nothing ever will change.

    • What was disclosed is that between Jan-Jul/21, 25 aircraft were delivered. This is very little for those who have 2 factories and a reasonable order backlog. There are serious problems there.

    • Yea I was looking at that.

      And its morphed into an open rotor 100-150 seat aircraft that is the wave of the future? Phew.

      Said OR not available until 20230-35?

      And its totally unproven engine concept, talk about Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds. .

  12. This one seems scope compliant, offers better fuel efficiency & comfort than CRJ’s and competition is out of sight. 600 for the US regionals?

    • Also interested in RR and its future.

      The rode the RB211 to death, then they were going to do Advance (long term Ultra) then that morphed into the Advance Core use and Ultra the next engine (though on what ?)

      Any offering on the A350 ala an NEO is an issue as they have all those costs into the XWB not just for one engine but two.

      No other aircraft in sight.

      GE still does good on the LEAP as they do have half the A320 series and all of the max. Winds up at 2/3 of the larger single aisle.

      A220 comes in at 14 a month so it nips off some of the MAX but maybe half long term.

      E2 Series is looking to be seriously limited as non viable in the US Scope market.

  13. @TW
    “open rotor has been re-packaged more times than the Brooklyn Bridge.

    Note too they are now putting a gear system on it. GTF anyone?”

    Well said.
    GE/CFM having focus more on improving the thermodynamic efficiency of the engine’s core, now have to come up with a story on why they arrived late at the GTF party.
    The BPR tipping point between the ducted and open rotor GTF is said to be between 15-20. The next generation GTF PW & RR is working on will probably reach this limit sometime by the end of the decade or early next decade. Therefore GE/CFM will need to justify a development of a new architecture for them that will last more than 1 generation. Hence the RISE program which is technically 2 generations ahead that will support higher BPR above that of the ducted GTF (assuming the trend is ever increasing BPR for greater propulsive efficiency).
    But lets be honest here and think about how big the fan diameter that is required to generate 33klbf with a BPR of 20 or higher for a new single aisle the size f an A321? The fan diameter required is probably even larger than the fuselage diameter and this is also the same case for Embraer + RISE engine. The traditional airframe will probably need some radical changes to accommodate 2 massive fans bigger than its fuselage. Back to the top anhedral wing concept perhaps?
    Basically unless there is a radical breakthrough in aircraft design or new propulsion technology that is introduced, ducted GTF will suffice up till the middle of the century. RISE is just a story write up from GE/CFM to the stakeholders on why they need to change their focus and start working on the GTF. CFM is losing market share big time having lost half of the A320/A321neo pie to the PW GTF and not having a foothold in the A220 and Embraer E2 whereas GE has nothing further beyond the GE9X to counter the potential A350neo equipt with the RR Ultrafan. To add salt to the wound, with the B737max air time falling far behind its initial projection due to the groundings, CFM is definitely feeling the pinch from its revenue loss. GE/CFM are basically sitting ducks if they don’t start working on the GTF.

    • Vince:

      What has impressed me on the PW-1000G series is that it has had no core or gear issues (well that and its exceeded its metrics).

      No question there were fiddly issues and some of those were extremely serious as far as engine loss went. Something along the lines of the King, his horse and for lack of a nail a battle was lost. Fiddly stuff can prove an undoing.

      There is also the VAFN that might prove to be viable down the road.

      I thought Delta going with the PW on the A321NEO was interesting. They have a lot vested there and Tech Ops had to have looked at it hard and approved it.

      At the time of Open Rotor I thought it was worth a look, still think it was but what you see is Jet Engines advance as well ans the goal post keeps moving.

      No one has built even a testing open rotor or RISE type.

      Boeing needs something now, not pie in the sky 15 years down the road (or give up the A321 area completely – they still have a squeeze with A320 and A220.

      But like the Moo Shot phase, its all an excuse to do nothing.

  14. ‘Fastship’ makes a fast slip.

    The Vickers Vanguard was a turboprop airliner, a successor to the Viscount but only 44 built. BEA and TCA flew them, initially with pax but then cargo as the jetliners eclipsed it. Engine was the R-R Tyne, which was used in the CL-44, Shorts Belfast, and a couple of French military aircraft.

    The R-R Conway was a low-bypass ratio turbofan to replace pure jets like the P&W JT3C. British oriented airlines like Canadian Pacific adopted it. Used in B707, DC-8, VC-10, and the B.2 version of the Handley-Page Victor bomber.

    It was superseded by the P&W JT3D with higher bypass ratio.

    • Of course you are correct. Brain Slip on my part.

      However, the figures do stand. The TSFC for the Tyne and the more modern PW has, as with the Conway & Pearl, showed only modest improvement.

      • “The TSFC for the Tyne and the more modern PW has, as with the Conway & Pearl, showed only modest improvement.”

        You continue to garble, mixing two fundamentally different engine types, and making a wild claim about TSFC.

        The Tyne is long ago, I am not aware of a Pratt and Whitney turboshaft engine of the day, there are smaller ones from Pratt and Whitney Canada.

        Note that ‘TSFC’ of the Tyne would have to include efficiency of a propeller to compare with a jet/turbofan engine – ‘T’ standing for Thrust.

        I reject the notion that modern turbofans are only a bit more fuel efficient than the Conway turbofan, bypass ration of course being a key factor. The Conway’s was much less than one, the Trent 1000’s greater than 10.

  15. Vince, what is encouraging though, is that RISE is a kind of simplified open rotor/ advanced turboprop, compared to previous open rotor configurations and prototypes. No counter rotating gearboxes, pusher engine cooling issues, unacceptable wake noise levels. Positive choices in weight, complexity and noise reduction, improving feasibility are being made IMO.

    • keesje:

      I feel the opposite. CFM via Safran got free money and are using it for the core (always need a core) and to get into the gear box game.

      If they can freeze the process of new aircraft, wallah, mission fully achieved.

      In the meantime, GTF continues to Advance (pun intended) and that supposed margin of RISE better is whittled away. In 15 years P&W GTF (and possibly RR) will be as good as the RISE supposedly is now.

      As there is NO Rise, its theoretical or maybe worse (fudged or faked figures)

      An engine on a test stand may have better SFC.

      A rear mounted engine has weight and structural penalties. Those are a factor.

      GE is throwing all its advanced materials into the Core.

      PW has not gone there yet, they can and will.

      And it massive conjecture that people will even accept prop jobs.

      What could possibly go right?

      • This E3 aircraft probably is based on Pratt NGRT. Not CFM RISE.

        Core of this Pratt Canada NGTP will be the 1000 GTF core, probably this engine will have 6-8 big blades prop.

        Wonder if the engines will has counter rotating props like A400M.

        • keejse:

          no idea what E3 is based on, the core issue is props and acceptance even if you could put it on the Wing as RISE is portending.

          PW would have to do the same thing as RISE to put props on a GTF.

  16. I can see Airbus/ATR investing in a JV with Embraer on this new bigger TP. It’s hardly overlapping with the ATR’s and A220’s and seems to open up an interesting niche 80-100 seat advanced TP with NB like comfort and gate process compatibility.

    Not a typical take-over & drain deal, but a respectful long term win -win.

    Airbus transfers a few billion to get this going, provides R&D and certification support, some sub assemblies, a US based FAL and marketing/sales. They did similar setups on ATR, H175, Tianjin, BBD.

    Alternatively, Embraer might witness Airbus billions flowing into a new ATR project, that Leonardo has been pushing.

    • Airbus, through the EU, delayed the union of Embraer with a Boeing as much as possible. What kind of trust can you have in these people?

      Airbus and Embraer are tough competitors. I think it’s easier for Airbus to join Boeing…

      • Boeing documents for the merger were incomplete, not a surprise. Boeing never made software audits too till EASA told them.

        How was it with EMB and BBD all those years.
        Airbus doesn’t need EMB.

    • I thought that the E3 has less than 100 seats too. In this size Airbus might go with an LH2 engine-pod solution, because this could really work. No T-tail, no fuselage mounted engines, wing mounted pods which can be changed during turn around. This is an easy design. Few years and Airbus will build a prototype.

  17. Hey, if fantasizing why not go long?
    https://robbreport.com/motors/aviation/se-aeronautic-se200-tri-wing-jumbo-jet-concept-1234613101/?fbclid=IwAR0i30UDzMr2L6lEpMBVyUDoRn1V1hylSzOl6tMCndbIDi8X4OXwhbsK51o

    For coast dwellers, a fast boatplane: https://robbreport.com/motors/aviation/hybrid-boat-plane-ep-15-flies-above-water-1234632271/

    Hold on Scott, isn’t there a speed limit in the sound? (One of the points/islands over there has a very fast rescue/police boat that took a friend from her yacht to Seattle where famed MedicOne or successor got her to hospital quickly, with radio etc. in the rides enabling hospital ER to be ready to treat immediately.)

    (Hmm – even on a very calm day swells off the coast would catch the device.)

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