June 20, 2023, © Leeham News – While Monday’s news from the Paris Air Show was dominated by the one big Airbus order from Indian carrier IndiGo, Tuesday saw a host of smaller deals announced by OEMs, airlines and leasing companies.
IndiGo rival Air India also announced it had finalized its massive 470-jet order from February, which it had split between Boeing and Airbus.
While there was a significant volume of deals announced Tuesday, in many cases, they were formal announcements of deals that OEMs already were carrying on their order books.
By Scott Hamilton
March 6, 2023, © Leeham News: Universal Hydrogen (UH2) last week took off with its demonstrator aircraft for what it believes is the beginning of a new era.
The Dash 8-300 took off from the Moses Lakes (WA) airport at 8:41 am on March 2 for a short flight circling the former US Air Force Base, now called Grant County International Airport. On one circle, the test pilots throttled back the Jet A-fueled Pratt & Whitney PW123 engine, flying on the No. 2 electric motor, powered by hydrogen fuel.
Thus, UH2’s Dash 8 became the second largest plane (after the Soviet-era Tu-155) to fly on hydrogen and the first to fly solely on clean energy given that the No. 1 engine was at idle.
LNA previously reported details of UH2’s airplane plans.
How UH2 moves forward is detailed below.
By Bryan Corliss
Jan. 9, 2023, © Leeham News: Turboprops should be having a moment, given all the concern about how the aviation industry is contributing to climate change. Want to cut your fuel burn by 45%? Just retire your fleet of 70-seat regional jets and replace them with turboprops.
Yet even with concerns over the environmental (and monetary) costs of operating regional jets, there hasn’t been a big move toward turboprops. In December, Embraer announced it was putting the development of a 70-to-90-seat turboprop on hold. The reason: Suppliers can’t provide it with components (meaning engines) that will provide enough of a performance increase to make a new plane worthwhile.
Meanwhile, the orphaned De Havilland Dash-8 – now owned by a rebranded De Havilland Aircraft Canada – has been out of production since mid-2021.
That leaves the Franco-Italian consortium of ATR as the only OEM likely to deliver any turboprops to airlines in 2023, 2024 – maybe even beyond.
That could change by the end of the decade, however. Embraer is working on a hybrid-electric aircraft that could be ready as soon as 2030 in 19- and 30-seat versions. And a rebranded De Havilland Canada is taking steps to restart production of the Dash-8 at a new factory site in Alberta.
By Bjorn Fehrm
Dec. 22, 2022, © Leeham News: Last week, we wrote about Universal Hydrogen’s (UH2) plans to fly a hydrogen-fueled demonstrator aircraft in early 2023, followed by a certified conversion kit for an ATR72 airliner mid-decade.
The plans for the ATR72 hydrogen conversion are at an advanced state. As the first publication, we can describe the overall design and the technical details. The ATR72 implementation brings improvements in several areas compared with what’s been revealed before.
By Scott Hamilton and Bjorn Fehrm
Dec. 15, 2022, © Leeham News: Universal Hydrogen (UH2) is perhaps weeks away from its first flight of a demonstrator that equips a De Havilland Canada Dash 8-300 with tanks of hydrogen and a fuel cell electric propulsion unit. The project shall prove the feasibility of hydrogen-fueled airliners.
The first flight’s date hasn’t been firmly set, but officials at UH2 told LNA it should be soon. Taxi tests of the aircraft will begin in the coming weeks. The flight will occur at Moses Lake in Central Washington State.
Universal Hydrogen supplies its hydrogen to the aircraft in prefilled barrel-sized tanks, called capsules, to avoid the lengthy and costly investment in storing and filling infrastructure at airports. The proof of concept is with a Dash 8, followed by a complete hydrogen conversion kit for an ATR-72 turboprop airliner.
By Scott Hamilton
July 25, 2022, © Leeham News: ATR and Embraer released at the Farnborough Air Show their forecasts for the next 20 years for turboprops.
ATR is the only remaining manufacturer of turboprops in the 40-80 seat category outside of China and Russia. Embraer, which got its start in commercial aviation with the 19-seat Bandeirante, exited the turboprop business after the EMB-120 Brasilia. Now, following decades of exclusively supplying regional jets to the world’s commercial aviation market, wants to resume producing turboprops. It’s proposed a two-member family with 70 and 90 seats. EMB claims it has interest from airlines for 250 turboprops, but the program launch remains elusive.
By Scott Hamilton
July 22, 2022, © Leeham News: The Farnborough Air Show produced little in the way of headline news. But Boeing comes away with some momentum. Airbus announced a big order on July 1, well ahead of the show, from China, leaving show orders in high double digits.
Boeing announced orders and commitments for 278 737 MAXes, including 100 firm and 30 options from Delta Air Lines. This order was the first from Delta in 11 years, ending a long-running behind-the-scenes streak of sour relations between the companies.
The order, for the 737-10 MAX, finally fulfills Boeing’s goal of getting the -10 into Delta. Boeing had counted on Delta being a launch customer of the airplane in 2017. As reported in my book, Air Wars, The Global Combat Between Airbus and Boeing, the bake-off between the MAX 10 and the Airbus A321neo came down in favor of the MAX 10. But CFM declined to grant Delta TechOps rights to perform maintenance, repair and overhaul for other airlines and lessors. Pratt & Whitney agreed, tipping the order to Airbus.
Also during the competition, Boeing was engaged in a trade complaint over Bombardier’s sale of the C Series to Delta. Boeing alleged Bombardier engaged in price-dumping, contrary to trade laws. Boeing won the trade complaint and a tariff of 292% was assessed on each C Series imported from Canada. However, the final review found no harm to Boeing, which hadn’t competed for the order, a required element to impose the tariff. Many observers thought Boeing’s timing concurrent with the MAX-neo campaign affected the decision. But as reported in Air Wars, Delta officials said this wasn’t a factor.
By Alex Derber
(c) Airfinance Journal, July 19, 2022
– Airline investor 777 Partners placed firm orders for 30 737 Max 8200 aircraft and agreed to a further 36 commitments for the high-density Max model. The aircraft have been earmarked for 777 Partners’ two airline investments: Flair Airlines in Canada and Bonza Airline in Australia.
– Porter Airlines exercised purchase rights and signed a firm order for 20 Embraer 195-E2 passenger aircraft, adding to its existing 30 orders. Porter’s first delivery is scheduled for the second half of 2022, when the Canadian carrier will become the North American launch customer for the E195-E2, while will be powered by Pratt & Whitney Geared Turbofan engines.
– Aercap ordered five additional 787-9s, taking its existing and on-order portfolio for the widebody family to 125 units.
– Aviation Capital Group ordered 12 additional 737 Max 8s, which have expanded the lessor’s Max order book to 34 aircraft.
– Delta Air Lines confirmed additional orders for 12 Airbus A220-300 aircraft. The US airline has now ordered 107 A220-family aircraft, the first of which it received in late 2018. The aircraft are powered by Pratt & Whitney Geared Turbofan engines.
By Scott Hamilton and Bjorn Fehrm
Jan. 31, 2022, © Leeham News: ATR is now effectively the only turboprop manufacturer outside of China and Russia in the 40-80 seat sector. The models are the ATR 42-600, ATR 42-600S (STOL), and ATR 72-600.
The series was built on simplicity with unpowered controls and the simplest possible systems. It has worked well for ATR when selling to markets that want airlift to the lowest possible cost. It also means the design is at its limits capacity and speed-wise, any more capacity or performance and it needs powered controls and more elaborate systems. It was behind ATR’s desire to develop a new, larger model in the past.
But ATR has little reason to develop a new turboprop now that it is in a monopoly position. This could change if Embraer proceeds with its concept for a new family of two turboprops, a 70- and a 90-seat aircraft. Embraer’s base design could form the basis of a hydrogen-burning gas turbine model in the future.