Bjorn’s Corner: Sustainable Air Transport. Part 2. The problem to solve?

By Bjorn Fehrm

January 14, 2021, ©. Leeham News: Before we dig into the different alternatives we have for more Sustainable Air Transport, let’s look at the problem and its sources.

Figure 1 shows the emissions of CO2 per person since 1900 and the rise of the world temperature. The increase in world temperature changes the weather, with increased weather-related emergencies in recent years.

Figure 1. The increase in CO2 emission per capita and the rise of the world temperature from 1900 to 2018. Source: Wikipedia.

Read more

Bjorn’s Corner: Sustainable Air Transport. Part 1. A deeper look.

By Bjorn Fehrm

January 7, 2021, ©. Leeham News: We finished a 34 article series before Christmas about the enormous work involved to get a new aircraft certified for passenger transport.

It was a background article series to the one we start now, a deeper series on what’s involved in designing air transport vehicles that are less polluting for our environment. We have seen a landslide of such projects in the last years, and from an experienced aircraft designer’s desk, most of these are doomed for failure.

Figure 1. The Embraer Energia concept aircraft. A credible Sustainable Air Transport research program. Source: Embraer.

Read more

Bjorn’s Corner: The challenges of airliner development. Part 34. Wrap-up.

By Bjorn Fehrm, Henry Tam, and Andrew Telesca.

December 17, 2021, ©. Leeham News: As we wrap up the series where we look at the monumental work you have to do to get a new aircraft type certified, we will discuss how we need several aircraft variants, addressing different markets, if we shall survive as an aircraft manufacturer.

All successful aircraft manufacturers produce and market a family of aircraft. If you stay with only one variant, you will find it hard to keep good people as the development work ends.

Figure 1. Beech 1900, a 19 seater aircraft developed from the Super King Air 200 with 9 seats. Source: Textron Aviation.

Read more

Bjorn’s Corner: The challenges of airliner development. Part 33. Multi-country Certification

By Bjorn Fehrm, Henry Tam and Andrew Telesca.

December 10, 2021, ©. Leeham News: Our aircraft has now achieved its first deliveries and is Entering Into Service (EIS) with our launch customer. 

This covers one customer and one jurisdiction. As each country is sovereign in Airworthiness certification, we have work to do for each market we want to address.

Figure 1. A new 19 seater design, the Cessna 408 SkyCourier, started life as a cargo aircraft certified to US Part 23 standards. Here, the passenger version. Source: Cessna.

Read more

Bjorn’s Corner: The challenges of airliner development. Part 32. Aircraft delivery and EIS

By Bjorn Fehrm, Henry Tam, and Andrew Telesca

December 3, 2021, ©. Leeham News: Last week, we went through typical problems by the start of serial production, such as weight creep and traveled work.

Now we discuss the ins and outs of delivering the aircraft to the customer airline and how we support the aircraft’s entry into service.

Figure 1. A new 19 seater design, the Cessna SkyCourier. Source: Cessna.

Read more

Bjorn’s Corner: The challenges of airliner development. Part 31. Serial Production problems

By Bjorn Fehrm, Henry Tam, and Andrew Telesca.

November 26, 2021, ©. Leeham News: Last week, we started our analysis of the serial production phase. If development is filled with revelations and problems to solve, production has it as well.

We start this week by looking at the beginning of serial production, where several issues are overhangs from development. There are areas of the aircraft, though we have achieved our Type Certificate, that are not quite to the maturity level we want for long-term serial production.

Figure 1. A typical aircraft Final Assembly Line (FAL) site. Source: ATR.

Read more

Bjorn’s Corner: The challenges of airliner development. Part 30. Serial Production

By Bjorn Fehrm, Henry Tam, and Andrew Telesca.

November 19, 2021, ©. Leeham News: Last week, we described how we finished the testing and the process to get our Type Certificate.

Now we look at the phase after Design and Production certification, the start of production, Figure 1. The upstart and ramp of production have many challenges. We will start the discussion with one that is often overseen, the cost of ramping production to full serial production rate.

Figure 1. Our program plan for the aircraft. Source: Leeham Co.

Read more

Bjorn’s Corner: The challenges of airliner development. Part 29. Finishing Flight tests

By Bjorn Fehrm, Henry Tam, and Andrew Telesca.

November 12, 2021, ©. Leeham News: Last week, we looked at our role in creating comprehensive crew training so the aircraft can be safely operated during its lifetime.

With maintenance and crew training docs and curriculums well underway we can return to our Flight tests and describe how we finish up the testing and get our Type Certificate.

Figure 1. The Type Certificate for the Part 23 Beech, now Textron, King Air series. Source: FAA.

Read more

Bjorn’s Corner: The challenges of airliner development. Part 28. Crew training

By Bjorn Fehrm, Henry Tam, and Andrew Telesca

November 5, 2021, ©. Leeham News: Last week, we looked at our role in creating a competent maintenance activity so our aircraft can be kept airworthy throughout its operational life. The other important part of operational safety is crew training.

We learned that these two parts, keeping the aircraft airworthy with its maintenance and providing adequate training and information to the crews operating the airplane, have a major influence on flight safety. In fact, FAA has found that these parts have a larger influence on flight safety than the aircraft certification regulations.

We, as the OEM, must therefore develop the documentation, curriculum, and training tools so that crews working in the aircraft can fly it safely. This encompasses not only initial training but a continued refresh and check training throughout the crew’s life with the aircraft.

Figure 1. Air Training Supporot’s simulator for the 19 seat Beech 1900. Source: A.T.S.

Read more

Bjorn’s Corner: The challenges of airliner development. Part 26. Maintenance planning

By Bjorn Fehrm, Henry Tam, and Andrew Telesca.

October 22, 2021, ©. Leeham News: Last week, we looked into Continued Operational Safety and there specifically Safety Monitoring and Reporting. Now we look at the role Instructions for Continued Airworthiness (ICAs) play in preventing the air safety issues we talked about last week.

An important part of the Instructions for Continued Airworthiness, ICA, is how to maintain the aircraft in a continued airworthy state during its operational life. The aircraft is airworthy when it rolls out of the factory but it needs to keep this condition for its 25 years or longer productive life. How this is done is contained in the maintenance documents, but there is more to it than just producing a maintenance manual. 

Figure 1. The Aircraft Maintenance Manual (AMM) for the Boeing 747, part of ICA for the 747. Source: Boeing.

Read more