Bjorn’s Corner: Fly by steel or electrical wire, Part 4

By Bjorn Fehrm

August 16, 2019, ©. Leeham News: In our series about classical flight controls (“fly by steel wire”) and Fly-By-Wire (FBW or “fly by electrical wire”) we this week discuss the Flight Control System’s authority to execute maneuvers by its different parts and why the authority of these parts is a fundamental parameter when designing the system.

Figure 1. Embraer Phenom 300’s Yaw damper rudder. Source: Embraer.

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Embraer presents second quarter 2019 results.

By Bjorn Fehrm

August 14, 2018, ©. Leeham Co: Embraer announced its 2Q2019 results today. The company delivered a slightly better quarter than expectations after a disappointing first quarter.

The Commercial Aircraft division and its E175 is still paying the company bills, as the start of the E2 program with E190-E2 is slow, with deliveries at one per quarter so far this year.

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Stored A330s, 777 Classics offer alternative to new orders

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Aug. 12, 2019, © Leeham News: Slow sales of the Airbus A330neo, A350 and 777X this year are the result of a dip in the order cycle, A330ceos and 777-300ERs coming off lease and route fragmentation from more capable single-aisle aircraft that are much cheaper to operate and which allow long, thin routes to be served.

Airbus and Boeing have yet another aspect to contend with: stored A330s and 777s that have come off lease or, in the case of Etihad Airways, grounded its late model A330-300s in a fleet restructuring related to its poor financial condition.

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Pontifications: Muilenburg reaffirms MAX hopes, NMA ambiguity and 777X delay

By Scott Hamilton

Aug. 12, 2019, © Leeham News: Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg so far is sticking to a previously timeline in which the company expects to turn over to the Federal Aviation Administration next month the software fixes for the 737 MAX.

He continues to hope that this results in the lifting of the FAA’s grounding order and return to service (RTS) in the early fourth quarter.

He also sticks to the long-offered entry-into-service timeline of 2025 (though previously indicated there could be some slippage) if Boeing proceeds with the New Midmarket Aircraft, for which the business case still hasn’t closed.

And finally, he reaffirmed that first flight of the 777X will slip to early next year.

He made the remarks Aug. 7 during an appearance of a Jeffries Co. investors conference.

None of this was news, actually. All had been discussed on the July 27 2Q2019 earnings call. But this all served as a reaffirmation for the MAX information, where things are so fluid that new information sometimes emerges day after day.

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Bjorn’s Corner: Fly by steel or electrical wire, Part 3

By Bjorn Fehrm

August 9, 2019, ©. Leeham News: In our series about classical flight controls (“fly by steel wire”) and Fly-By-Wire (FBW or “fly by electrical wire”), we this week turn to the actual Flight control system after covering the infrastructure needs last week. We could see the FBW required a higher redundancy Hydraulic and Electrical infrastructure. Why we will come to.

Now we look at the control principles for classical control systems like the Boeing 737 system and FBW system like the Airbus A320 system.

Figure 1. The control axis and control surfaces of a 737. Source: Boeing.

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Will the A220 drive the trans-Atlantic fragmentation to smaller jets?

By Bjorn Fehrm

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Introduction 

August 8, 2019, ©. Leeham News: Airbus announced a hike of the Gross Weight of the A220 by 5,000lb at the Paris Air Show in June. It will be available for aircraft delivered from 2H2020.

“It was at the request of Customers, they wanted more range” said Rob Dewar, Head of Engineering & Customer Support for the A220, when we talked after the announcement. Will these customers use the capability to cross the Atlantic, driving the long-range fragmentation to ever-smaller cabins? Does it make economic sense compared to an A321LR or a 737 MAX 8? We check with our performance model.

Summary:

  • The A220s have enough range to cover interesting parts of East US and West Europe with the increased Maximum Takeoff Weights.
  • The key question is; how economical will they be compared to Boeing’s 737 MAX 8 and Airbus A321LR.

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Survey split on MAX return to service: December to March

Aug. 7, 2019, © Leeham News: It will take Boeing nearly a year to deliver the stored 737 MAXes if the airplane returns to service in November, according to a new analysis by Bernstein Research.

Boeing 737 MAX jets grounded. Seattle Times photo.

In an Aug. 5 research note, Bernstein reported the results of an investors’ survey and forecast the ramp-up of production next year to rate 57/mo, something Boeing had hoped to achieve last June before the MAX grounding upset all plans.

In the survey, Bernstein reported it expects the MAX return to service in November.

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Boeing faces weak sales, production gap for 777X

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Now open to all readers.

Aug. 5, 2019, © Leeham News: Design issues with the giant General Electric Aviation GE9X are causing untimely headaches for the Boeing 777X program, at a time when the 737 MAX is consuming the company.

The MAX grounding and longer-than-expected fixes and Return to Service (RTS) is overshadowing challenges with the 787 skyline, where a production rate of 14/mo is burning through the backlog faster than new orders are coming in.

The 777X is facing skyline challenges as well. Sales have been slow. One major customer in the Middle East is undergoing a financial and fleet restructuring and another publicly said it will reduce 777X orders if it places a new order for 787-10s.

The 777X delivery schedule has slid to the right due to the engine issues and the 777-8 is a niche airplane that may have a greater future as a freighter than it does as a passenger model.

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Bjorn’s Corner: Fly by steel or electrical wire, Part 2

By Bjorn Fehrm

July 25, 2019, ©. Leeham News: In our series about classical flight controls (“fly by steel wire”) and Fly-By-Wire (FBW or “fly by electrical wire”) this week we cover the difference in system infrastructure the two controls methods call for.

We will use the Boeing 737 as the classical control example and the Airbus A320 as the FBW example.

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How much of an NMA market will the Airbus A321XLR capture, Part 3?

By Bjorn Fehrm

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Introduction

August 1, 2019, © Leeham News: We wrap up our study of what part of an NMA market the Airbus A321XLR could capture with looking at the difference in available engine technology between the A231XLR and the NMA generation of airliners.

Summary:

  • The generational improvement in fuel efficiency of airliner turbofans has been over 10% in the last decades.
  • We examine if these improvements will still be the case for the NMA generation of aircraft.

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