Bjorn’s Corner: The challenges of airliner development. Part 19. Test rigs for ground and air use

By Bjorn Fehrm, Henry Tam, and Andrew Telesca

September 3, 2021, ©. Leeham News: Last week, we looked at the Certification Compliance Planning we do concurrently with Detailed Design, Figure 1.

It’s now time for us to work on our Test rigs and systems for ground and flight testing. We need to get these defined before we freeze the aircraft’s configuration and start making our flight test aircraft.

Figure 1. The program plan for our project. Source: Leeham Co.

Read more

Bjorn’s Corner: The challenges of airliner development. Part 18. Certification work after program launch.

By Bjorn Fehrm, Henry Tam, and Andrew Telesca.

August 27, 2021, ©. Leeham News: Last week, we started looking at our work during the Detailed Design phase after Product Launch. We outlined the exacting work needed to design all parts of the aircraft and how we must keep everything in sync.

An essential part of keeping everything in sync is the Certification Compliance Planning we do in this phase, Figure 1.

Figure 1. The program plan for our project. Source: Leeham Co.

Read more

Sustainable Aero Lab disqualifies “Greenwash” investments

By Bjorn Fehrm

August 25, 2021, ©. Leeham News: Times change and the use of words with it. Today, the hundreds of UAM Air Taxi projects talk about how “environmentally friendly” this mode of transportation is, and Boom’s Overture is “the most Sustainable supersonic airliner.” The aerospace media recently focused on how we now have “Space Travel for everyone (in possession of the necessary pocket change).”

The head of Sustainable Aero Lab, Stephan Uhrenbacher, disqualifies these investments in a study on where to invest in fixing air transport’s pressing problems: “The startups receiving the most attention in aerospace recently have been doing space travel and urban air taxis. While these products make for exiting flying objects and satisfy human desire, neither air taxis nor putting more people in space address the problem facing commercial aviation: Flying needs to become carbon-free. And this needs to happen much faster than most people in the industry believe. It opens room for startups to provide components for future aircraft or even entire planes, but also new modes of operation.”

Figure 1. The promising Sustainable Aviation startups. Source: Sustainable Aero Lab.

Read more

Bjorn’s Corner: The challenges of airliner development. Part 16. Post Launch.

By Bjorn Fehrm, Henry Tam, and Andrew Telesca.

August 13, 2021, ©. Leeham News: Last week, we went through the Certification Application, one of the most important milestones in the Pre-Launch phase.

Now we assume we got a Product Launch approval from our board/Investors. We start looking at the work packages that meet us in the Post Launch phase.

Figure 1. The Program Plan for our Green 19 seater. Source: Leeham Co. Click to see in full scale.

Read more

The Airbus A350F versus Boeing’s 777-XF.

Subscription Required

By Bjorn Fehrm

Introduction  

August 5, 2021, © Leeham News: Two weeks ago we compared the launched Airbus A350 freighter with Boeing’s in-service 777F. We found the 777F is a freighter with a very high payload capability, but it faces an ICAO emission and noise ax by 2028, should the present engines be kept.

Boeing’s CEO David Calhoun recently said a freighter version of the 777X might replace the 777F. With seven years to 2028, a development decision for a 777-XF is then imminent. We use our performance model to look at how an A350F and 777-XF would compare.

Summary
  • A new Boeing 777-XF freighter, based on the 777-8 (picture), has to equal or beat an Airbus A350 freighter both on payload and economics.
  • Beating an A350F on capacity and payload is straightforward, the 777-8 is the larger aircraft. On operating costs, it’s a tighter race.

Read more

Bjorn’s Corner: The challenges of airliner development. Part 11. The Program Plan.

By Bjorn Fehrm, Henry Tam, and Andrew Telesca.

July 9, 2021, ©. Leeham News: Now that we have done the basic market research we should scope the program. To do this we need to understand what aircraft we will develop and to what certification rules.

Our market research tells us to develop a 19 seat aircraft that can operate as a passenger and/or cargo aircraft outside the US and as cargo aircraft in the US. This enables us to certify it to FAA Part 23 and the equivalent rules of other National Aviation Authorities where we want to sell the aircraft.

Figure 1. The new Cessna SkyCourier Cargo/19 seat utility airliner. Source: Cessna.

Read more

Bjorn’s Corner: The challenges of airliner development. Part 2. Why Certification?

By Bjorn Fehrm, Henry Tam, and Andrew Telesca.

May 7, 2021, ©. Leeham News: The major challenge with developing commercial aircraft is the certification process. You can’t just develop the aircraft based on your unique knowledge and ideas, you must do it according to a detailed rulebook written with the knowledge from thousands of accidents and incidents.

From the beginning of the design process when you’re thinking about how big your engines would need to be or whether you can carry enough passengers to have a competitive advantage the certification rules influence (and sometimes govern) your design decisions.

Beyond just scrutiny of the design of the vehicle and its components, the process by which it is designed, the production site & methods used, and the organization doing the work all go through certification processes.

Figure 1. The FAA certification rules website. Source: FAA.

Read more