The production cost trap for upstarts

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By Bjorn Fehrm

April 6, 2023, © Leeham News: The last five years have been among the busiest in aeronautical history, with announcements of new aircraft and VTOLs based on greener propulsion technologies. The public focus has been on the hurdle for these projects to achieve regulator certification, how long this will take, and how much it will cost. We have hundreds of experts publishing articles on the subject.

But there is another hurdle as large as certification for these projects: the initial production cost. It’s just that the knowledge about this more difficult-to-understand phase is poor among the experts. But, looking at history, the majority of new airliner entrants die during early production, not during development.

Why? We use our production cost model to explain.

Figure 1. Heart Aerospace ES-30; a typical startup project. Source: Heart Aerospace.


• Startup projects fight to get the investments for development.
• Little do they know this is only halfway to success.

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