Pontifications: Single-pilot jetliners OK for cargo, not year for passenger airplanes

By Scott Hamilton

Sept. 26, 2022, © Leeham News: I sat down with Fred Smith, the founder and now executive chairman of FedEx, on Sept. 15 at the US Chamber of Commerce Aerospace Summit. The first article appears here.

The balance of the interview covered a wide range of topics. I’ll summarize them below.

Read more

Engine Development. Part 6. High Bypass goes mainstream

Subscription Required

By Bjorn Fehrm

Introduction

September 22, 2022, © Leeham News: With the introduction of the High Bypass engine for the Boeing 747, Douglas DC-10, and Lockheed Tristar, it was obvious Pratt & Whitney’s low bypass engines on the Boeing 707, 727, 737, and Douglas DC-8, -9 should be attacked with a new High Bypass engine in this thrust class.

French Snecma and GE teamed up to break Pratt & Whitney’s monopoly of the jet engine market outside the widebodies. The CFM56 was born.

Figure 1. The Boeing 737-300, the breakthrough for the CFM56 engine. Source; Wikipedia.

Summary
  • With an exclusive fit on the Boeing 737 and a 10-year introduction advantage on the A320, the CFM56 has dominated over the competing IAE V2500.
  • The CFM56 is the world’s most produced jet engine, with over 32,000 engines produced to date.

Read more

Boeing shows FedEx concepts for 787F and NMA-F

By Scott Hamilton

Concept of a Boeing 787F. Illustration is for the 787-8, but Boeing also is studying 787-9 option. Credit: Leeham News.

Sept. 20, 2022, © Leeham News: FedEx last week withdrew its previous financial guidance for the year on a revised analysis. Now, the company says, revenues will be about $500m less for air operations and about $300m less for ground operations.

The flagging global economy and higher costs are blamed. As a result, FedEx will be parking an unspecified number of airplanes and implementing cost savings initiatives.

But at the same time, the company is evaluating new aircraft freighters and potentially acquiring and converting used Boeing 777-300ERs to freighters.

Fred Smith, executive chairman of FedEx. Credit: FedEx.

In an interview on Sept. 15, the same day the financial forecasts were revised, Fred Smith told LNA that the airline is evaluating the 777-300ER aftermarket conversions and new airplanes offered by Airbus and Boeing.

The Boeing concepts include the proposed 787F and a freighter version of the New Midmarket Airplane (NMA). LNA revealed months ago that Boeing was studying both of these aircraft. Boeing already launched the 777-8F, another option for FedEx. Airbus has offered the A350F to FedEx. Smith said he’d like to see Airbus launch a new-build freighter version of the A321neo.


Related Articles


Read more

The Airbus and Boeing market outlooks, Part 2

Subscription Required

By Vincent Valery

Introduction  

Credit: Leeham Company LLC

Sept.  19, 2022, © Leeham News: In the first article last week, we focused on the differences in market outlook assumptions between Airbus and Boeing. Despite similar levels of passenger single-aisle and twin-aisle deliveries envisioned over the next two decades, there were significant differences in the underlying assumptions.

We now focus on whether there is enough production capacity to meet the envisioned aircraft demand over the next two decades.

Summary
  • Outlining the delivery forecast assumptions;
  • Converting deliveries into production rates;
  • Estimating production capacity;
  • Is Boeing implying something?

Read more

HOTR: MAX 7 and 10 certification; ecoAviation and the missing life cycles

By the Leeham News Team

Sept. 18, 2022, © Leeham News: LNA last week attended the US Chamber of Commerce’s Aerospace Summit in Washington (DC). We’ll have a series of full reports in the coming weeks. Here are things picked up on the sidelines.

Boeing
  • The Federal Aviation Administration remains “pissed” at Boeing.
  • Boeing CEO David Calhoun said certification of the 737 MAX 10 could come this year, but it might not. He expects certification of the MAX 7 to come this year.
  • Separately, LNA is told that the MAX 10 probably won’t be certified until next summer, and certification of the MAX 7 could come as early as next month.
  • Calhoun said that Boeing is now pausing the 737 production line when parts don’t come in from suppliers. Doing so prevents traveled work. “We’re going to stay here until these lines move. Steadily, steadily, steadily when we’re not getting defects and we’re not getting shortages.”
  • Calhoun said the stored airplanes aren’t facing shortages. But getting them delivered is a matter of going through the “conformance” steps. “They sat for a couple of years. There were a lot of deferred actions that were incorporated into the new certification. Every one of those actions must be taken on these return-to-service airplanes. It requires almost as many hours to do that as it did to build one in the first place.”
  • Boeing is probably going to be frozen out of China for one-two years, principally in retaliation for the visits by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and a Congressional committee as well as defense product sales to Taiwan.

Read more

Boeing remarketing stored 737s ordered by China

By Scott Hamilton

David Calhoun

Sept. 15, 2022, © Leeham News: The indefinite delay in China authorizing Boeing to deliver 737 MAXes to airlines led Boeing to slowly remarket more than that are 100 stored.

CEO David Calhoun said today that Boeing can no longer wait for China’s OK with the large inventory of aircraft that went into storage when the MAX was grounded in March 2019. Boeing continued building the MAX on the assumption that the grounding would be a short one. When by the end of 2019, there was no end in sight for recertification, production was halted with 450 MAXes built but stored. About 140 of these were destined for Chinese airlines and lessors. Lessors have been allowed to accept some deliveries as long as the airplanes were delivered to customers outside China, LNA previously reported.

Read more

Engine Development. Part 5. The Turbofans go High Bypass

Subscription Required

By Bjorn Fehrm

Introduction

September 15, 2022, © Leeham News: Last week, we looked at how Pratt & Whitney’s JT8D turbofan came to dominate short-haul airliners while the JT3D had the long-range market.

The introduction of the widebody jets in the 1970s with Boeing 747, Douglas DC-10, and Lockheed Tristar brought GE and Rolls-Royce into the market. It was the start of the high bypass turbofans.

Figure 1. The roll-out of the Boeing 747-100 on September 30, 1968.

Summary
  • The military TF39 for Lockheed C-5 Galaxy military transport set the benchmark for the new generation of high bypass turbofans with its 8-to-1 bypass ratio.
  • Pratt & Whitney, GE, and Rolls-Royce developed civil engines along the lines of the TF39 for the new generation widebodies.

Read more

The Airbus and Boeing market outlooks, Part 1

Subscription Required

By Vincent Valery

Introduction  

Sept.  12, 2022, © Leeham News: Airbus and Boeing published their updated 2022-2041 commercial aircraft outlooks ahead of the July Farnborough Air Show. Unsurprisingly, both OEMs saw robust demand for the next two decades despite recent economic headwinds that lowered long-term fleet growth forecasts.

Credit: Leeham Company LLC, 2022

Airbus and Boeing see a market for delivering 38,600 and 38,110 single-aisle and twin-aisle passenger aircraft over the period. A 1.3% difference over 20 years is well below the margin of error of such long-term forecasts.

However, despite such minor overall differences in long-term delivery forecasts, both OEMs use different assumptions to come up with those numbers.

Also, the recent challenges with increasing production rates on single-aisle aircraft raise the question of whether there is enough capacity to meet the optimistic demand outlook.

The first part of this two-article series highlights the main assumption differences between the Airbus and Boeing market outlooks. The second will translate those assumptions into production rates and assess whether OEMs can meet that demand, notably over the next 10 years.

We will focus on the single-aisle (100 passengers and above) and twin-aisle passenger markets.

Summary
  • One OEM is more optimistic about fleet growth;
  • Another on replacement rates;
  • A (maybe not) surprising up-gauging assumption for one OEM;
  • Higher growth rates than meet the eye.

Read more

Pontifications: BOC Aviation sees widebody recovery next year

By Scott Hamilton

Sept. 12, 2022, © Leeham News: Widebody aircraft demand cratered during the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s still depressed.

But the chief executive officer of lessor BOC Aviation sees recovery in the works.

“We’re beginning to see quite a big pickup in demand for widebody aircraft,” Robert Martin told LNA in an interview late last month. “Not now but starting next year. What’s prompting that is people are beginning to realize that China will probably open in the fourth quarter this year for international traffic. Just to give you some statistics, if you go back to 2019, China outbound was more than 70 million passengers. Last year was 1.5 million, and so the amount of uplift is quite full.”

Read more

Engine Development. Part 4. Turbofans go mainstream.

Subscription Required

By Bjorn Fehrm

Introduction

September 8, 2022, © Leeham News: Last week, we analyzed the change from turbojets to turbofans for civil air transport. The jet engine was developed for high-speed military fighters and was not ideal for subsonic airliner use.

We also dwelled on why the three major engine OEMs came to different solutions for the first-generation turbofans. Now we look at the engine that made turbofans mainstream, the Pratt & Whitney JT8.

Figure 1. The Boeing 727-100 with Pratt & Whitney JT8 engines. Source: Wikipedia.

Summary

  • The JT8 competed with the more developed Rolls-Royce Spey to engine the first US domestic jet airliner, the Boeing 727.
  • After it captured the Boeing 727, it went on to engine all US short and median haul jets of the 1960s.

Read more