14 May 2015, C. Leeham Co: In my ISTAT Asia reports, I wrote about how China will overtake USA as largest civil aviation market in 2030. Airbus China Group chairman, Laurence Barron, and I had a chat after his ISTAT presentation where he described China’s evolution as a civil aviation market and how Airbus gradually worked itself from a late and hesitant start to today’s split of the market with Boeing.
Barron provided his slides, some of which we will use to review how China grew from virtually no civil aviation after the Chinese revolution in 1949 to the world’s largest market by 2030. We will also look at what aircraft have made up this growth and finally describe how Airbus progressed from a latecomer in 1985 to sharing the market with Boeing today.
07 May 2015, C. Leeham Co: Last week we looked at Airbus first quarter result and compared its commercial aircraft unit with Boeing’s. Now with do the same with Bombardier and Embraer. As both have sizeable Business jet businesses we will include these in the analysis as they share many technologies and developments with the commercial aircraft.
Embraer reported their results last week and Bombardier today. Both reported quarters in the aerospace area which were a bit inferior to last years first quarter and for the same reason, the Biz jet market has gone soft.
Bombardier, who has a larger proportion of its turn-over in Biz jets, has managed this better, it has delivered more aircraft and generated slightly higher revenue and profits from the area but new orders has been slower.
Embraer does separate its business segments for revenue but not for profits. It reports that the lower revenue and profit for the quarter was mainly because the Biz jet area delivered fewer aircraft at less margin. Commercial aircraft deliveries were strong, with good efficiencies in the production and delivery of E-Jets. Read more
By Bjorn Fehrm
May 6, 2015, c. Leeham Co. Qatar Airways, as the first operator of the Airbus A350, now has four months of experience of the new twin aisle aircraft. As we have described in Bjorn’s Corner two weeks ago, the introduction has gone well, without major incidents.
The first destination was Doha-Frankfurt, to be followed by Doha-Singapore on June 1. Both destinations are mid-range, with flying times of six to eight hours. These can be seen as introductory rotations, close to Qatar’s base should replacement aircraft or maintenance actions be needed.
With the first period in the bag, Qatar now feels confident enough to announce how they will take the A350 to its true job types. Here the relevant parts of what Qatar Airways announced Tuesday this week:
“Increasing passenger demand to America’s largest city and financial centre, New York, has prompted Qatar Airways to add a second daily service to the city from 1st March 2016. Qatar Airways has served the city daily since the initial route launch in 2007. The second daily service to New York’s JFK will be operated by the Airbus A350 XWB aircraft providing passengers an opportunity to experience both the Boeing B777 and the A350 aircraft types on the route.
“ From 16th March, 2016, the airline will launch daily flights to Boston, the capital and largest city of Massachusetts, and will operate its latest flagship A350 XWB in a two-class configuration with 36 Business Class seats in a 1-2-1 configuration, featuring an 80” fully flat bed and 17” HD in-flight entertainment screen.”
This is more challenging work for an A350 and we will therefore take a first look into what Qatar can expect in terms of overall aircraft performance on such destinations come spring next year. Read more
30 April 2015, C. Leeham Co: Airbus Group presented their first quarter results today Thursday, a week after Boeing presented theirs. It is a good occasion to look at how these companies performed. We will focus on commercial aircraft for Airbus and compare its performance with Boeing’s commercial aircraft and then comment on other Airbus activities more summarily.
In a later article we will look at Embraer, who also published their results Thursday, and compare with Bombardier’s first quarter which they announce on May 7th. Read more
16 April 2015, C. Leeham Co: As described last week, I was asked if I wanted to fly an modern airliner later in the spring and you can guess my answer! Having accepted the challenge, it was time to think about how to get ready. Even though the flying I once learned would sit, modern airliner flying is 90% about the procedures and how these make the transportation of passengers safer and more reliable.
This is something different than just flying the around in the aircraft. It is all about how the aircraft manufacturer has created an environment for consistency, economy and safety and how the goalposts in these dimensions gets moved further and further out. That is what we should test.
I cannot reveal what aircraft it will be, but my tools for training will give away the general type. I am right now using Airbus flight simulators and manuals to refresh my flying and learn the procedures used. Read more
April 09, 2015; I’m up for a challenge in the next weeks: I’ve been invited to fly an airliner. Having flown 14 aircraft types before it shouldn’t be so big news if it wasn’t for none of those types being close to the aircraft I will fly now, a modern civil airliner.
The previous types were military trainers, fighters and later civil sports and business aircraft. They are all more or less the same. Flying is like cycling and driving a car: it is something one learns and then doesn’t unlearn. So the flying part should be no problem.
It is not what makes me undertake weeks of preparations. It is that other thing, the aircraft’s computerized soul, that expects to be operated in a certain way. The buttons should be pressed and handles moved in the right order or the aircraft will tell me it doesn’t understand what I want.
So now I am reading through thousands of pages and flying civil airliner procedures day and night. We will dwell on how and why in a couple of Bjorn’s Corners. Read more
April 02, 2015; There is different information whether Boeing will adopt new Aluminum Lithium based alloys for the fuselage of the up and coming 777X, our latest info is that this is not yet decided.
In this corner we will look at what is at stake should Boeing go the route of new materials or not. It will discuss what is to consider when choosing materials like Aluminium Lithium (AlLi) or Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic (CFRP) for aircraft structures, especially for fuselage structures which has many conflicting requirements.
We will see that aircraft fuselages are tricky to make light and that a stronger material not necessarily means weight gains.
March 27, 2015; As we informed yesterday, the Germanwing’s co-pilot had a pause in his training at Lufthansa’s pilot school in Bremen during 2009. Further details have since been revealed by, among others, the Dusseldorf’s prosecutors office. The leave for Andreas Lubitz, the co-pilot that flew 4U9525 to ground, due to sickness, from pilot training in 2009 was a long one; sources talk about 18 months.