August 11, 2017, ©. Leeham Co: In this Corner, we will design the hybrid propulsion system for our 50-seat regional turboprop. We could see in previous Corners that we can’t use batteries as a backup for our gas turbine core and main generator.
The battery gets too heavy as the specific power weight of a battery is simply too low. We will now design a hybrid power chain with a different redundancy concept.
August 03, 2017, ©. Leeham Co: In our search for an electric regional aircraft configuration, we found that a jet aircraft requires too high power levels. The higher speeds of a jet aircraft take the power levels beyond what we can handle with an electric hybrid propulsion system.
Our ambition is to transport 50 passengers on a regional network. For networks which have sectors around 200-300nm, the turboprop is the preferred regional aircraft. We will now re-direct our hybrid regional aircraft project to this market segment.
July 24, 2017, © Leeham Co.: The Japan Aircraft Development Corp (JADC) just published its 2017-2037 jet and turboprop forecast. JADC forecasts a demand for 33,336 jet airliners and some 2,000 turboprops.
JADC is partly owned by Mitsubishi, which is developing the MRJ70/90 and which is on several Boeing programs.
I like the JADC forecast because it segments the seating categories in more detail than Airbus and Boeing and somewhat differently than Bombardier and Embraer.
I also view JADC as having less of an axe to grind than the Big Four OEMs.
A couple of quick take-aways:
June 5, 2017, © Leeham Co.: Bombardier’s activities in China, where the fuselage for the CSeries is co-produced, have been at a standstill.
None of the Memorandums of Understand or Letters of Intent have been converted to firm
orders. A recent news report suggested renewed talks between COMAC, China’s commercial aircraft enterprise, and Bombardier over acquisition of the CSeries program
LNC sat down with Fred Cromer, president of Bombardier Commercial Airplanes, at the annual general meeting of IATA to discuss these and other issues.
April 4, 2017, © Leeham Co.: Bombardier doesn’t think a new, clean-sheet turboprop aircraft is needed any time soon, a position that stands in contrast with rival ATR.
Ross Mitchell, VP Commercial for BBD, believes the Q400 covers the turboprop segment from 70 to 90 seats and its operational flexibility covers everything airlines need today.
However, ATR has 85% of the backlog with BBD capturing the other 15%.
Still, Mitchell gives a strong defense of the Q400.
Don’t believe everything ATR claims about operating cost advantages, BBD says.
BBD can move cockpit and wing production from Canada to lower costs—but where is the question.
Re-engining the Q400 isn’t in the cards, at least any time soon.
March 30, 2017, © Leeham Co.: Economics simply don’t support development of a new turboprop any time soon, an analysis shows.
Low utilization by turboprop operators, the cost of development and the price to customers drive decision-making more than fuel prices.
LNC interviewed ATR and Bombardier officials for their views on development of a new turboprop. We also interviewed a key executive who knows the sector intimately. Their views diverge.
Feb. 27, 2017, © Leeham Co.: ATR today holds an almost monopolistic position in the large turbo-prop market with 87% of the backlog at YE2016. Bombardier, once the dominant turbo-prop manufacturer, has a mere 13%.
China and Russia are not included above.
ATR had a backlog of 212 aircraft vs Bombardier’s 31. In addition, ATR had options for more than 400 aircraft and LOIs for about 70 more. BBD had options for just 12 Q400s at the end of last year.
Jan. 30, 2017, © Leeham Co.: Bombardier hopes to land a major, blue-chip order for its CSeries this year but otherwise isn’t counting on significant orders for its flagship airliner.
Officials don’t have available delivery slots until 2020, bar a few here and there, to attract sizeable orders.
The future of the aging CRJ could get a boost from recalcitrant Us labor unions who refuse to alter the 86,000 lb aircraft weight limit under the Scope Clauses. These make the Embraer E175-E2 and Mitsubishi MRJ90 too heavy for the regional airlines providing contract flying for the US majors.
The future of the Q400 turboprop looks bleak.
Jan. 3, 2017, © Leeham Co.: The New Year is here and it doesn’t look like a good one for commercial aerospace, if measured against previous outstanding years.
There are some troubling signs ahead, piling on to a slowdown in orders from last year that didn’t even reach a 1:1 book:bill.
This year looks to be worse than last. Airbus and Boeing will give their 2017 guidance on the earnings calls this month and next. Bombardier and Embraer earnings calls are a ways off, when each will provide its guidance.
But LNC believes the Big Two in particular will be hard pressed to hit a 1:1 book:bill this year and may even struggle to match 2016 sales.
Boeing’s year-end order tally comes Thursday. Airbus’ comes on Jan. 11.
Oct. 31, 2016, © Leeham Co.: Hawaiian Airlines continues to ponder the possibility of acquiring one or two Airbus A380s, its CEO said on the third quarter earnings call—something that raises eyebrows and a lot of questions with industry officials.
Mark Dunkerley, responding to a question on the call, said there are two or three routes that could support the giant A380.