Boeing’s 777X analyzed, Part 3

By Bjorn Fehrm

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February 07, 2019, © Leeham News: In our analysis series about the 777X, we have now come to the smaller member of the 777X, the 777-8.

It’s what’s called a “cut and shut” shrink of the main variant, the 777-9. A cut and shut derivative of a larger base aircraft gives the smaller aircraft some special characteristics. We look at what this entails.

Figure 1. First flight test Boeing 777-9 with the GE9X engines mounted. Source: Boeing.

  • The 777-8 is a “cut and shut”variant of the 777-9. This means it keeps the wings, engines, landing gear and empennage of the larger 777-9.
  • A shorter fuselage with a reduced cabin size means the 777-8 filled with passenger and cargo has more weight margins for fuel within the same Maximum Takeoff Weight as the 777-9.
  • The end result is an Ultra Long-haul capable aircraft, available from 2022.

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Countdown to NMA decision, Part 4: Time out

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Feb. 4, 2019, © Leeham News: It’s time for Airbus to launch the A321XLR.

Boeing last week announced a program launch for the New Midmarket Airplane won’t come until 2020 at the earliest.

Authority to Offer (ATO) may come as early as March or April. It had been widely expected a program launch would be announced at the Paris Air Show in June.

Airbus has been mulling the XLR launch since 2017. Inside information says a November 2017 launch was planned when all the distractions over the corruption scandals, coupled with key executive retirements, overwhelmed events.

Fifteen months later, Airbus dithers while Boeing vacillates.

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Pontifications: 787-10 engines too small for Emirates

By Scott Hamilton

Feb. 4, 2019, © Leeham News: There is more to Emirates Airline’s renewed its interest in the Airbus A350 and the potential swap-out of Airbus A380 orders than meets the eye.

The Airfinance Journal Dublin conference is worth attending for the program, but the real news is often generated on the sidelines. This is where I picked up noise about the Emirates interest in swapping the A350 for the A380.

The renewed interest, and growing disaffection with the A380 (over the engine issues) was part of it.

But Emirates’ interest in the A350 stems more from a realization the Boeing 787-10 won’t do the job the airline wants, according to the sideline conversation at the conference.

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Bjorn’s Corner: Pitch stability, Part 8

By Bjorn Fehrm

Feb. 01, 2019, ©. Leeham News: In last week’s Corner, we covered the high-speed pitch stability problem most airliners have, Mach tuck.

Now, we continue with low-speed problems which made Boeing introduce Speed trim on the 737.

Figure 1. The block diagram for Boeing’s 737 Speed Trim system. Source: Boeing.

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Boeing’s 777X analyzed, Part 2

By Bjorn Fehrm

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January 30, 2019, © Leeham News: We started an analysis of the Boeing 777X last week as its rollout and first flight should happen this spring/summer. In the Figure below, the first flight test aircraft has its engine mounted, before roll out.

We will spend this article on the 777X engines, the GE9X from GE Aviation. Surprisingly, these are less powerful than the GE90 engines on the Boeing 777-300ER, the aircraft the 777X is derived from, despite the 777-9 being larger and heavier than the -300ER. This is with intent. The design of the 777X is to achieve more with less. We reveal how this is done below.

Figure 1.

  • The Boeing 777-9 is larger and heavier than the 777 variant it replaces, the Boeing 777-300ER.
  • Despite this, the GE9X engines on the 777-9  are specified with 10,00lbf lower maximum thrust than the GE90-115 on the 777-300ER.
  • How does it all work? We reveal how below.

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Key customers shrug off Boeing’s 2020 NMA launch date

Jan. 30, 2019, © Leeham News: Key customers and suppliers shrugged off Boeing’s announcement today that a program launch for the prospective New Midmarket Aircraft won’t come until 2020.

If Boeing goes ahead with the NMA, a decision yet to be made, an announcement was widely expected at the Paris Air Show in June.

Authority to Offer (ATO) the airplane for sale may still come as early as March or April.

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Forget the NMA, go after A321–say ex-Airbus exec

Jan. 29, 2019, © Leeham News: Boeing should forego the New Midmarket Aircraft and instead create a new single aisle airplane targeting the Airbus A321, former Airbus COO-Customers John Leahy said.

Leahy, who was Airbus’ top salesman for more than two decades and the opponent Boeing loved to hate, said Boeing is pursuing the wrong market with the NMA.

Leahy made his remarks at the Airfinance Journal Dublin Conference last week.

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Too many orders? Yes, says consultant. No, says ex-super-salesman

Jan. 28, 2019, © Leeham News: There are too many airliner orders for the future demand, says a leading aviation consultant.

John Leahy. Airbus photo.

No, there aren’t, says the leading industry salesman, now retired.

These opposing views emerged at the Airfinance Journal Dublin conference last week.

Adam Pilarski, the consultant from the US firm Avitas, said a recession is on the horizon.

John Leahy, the former COO Customers from Airbus, said overbooking orders is a good thing.

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UTC-Collins merger creates super-supplier

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By Bryan Corliss

Jan. 28, 2019, © Leeham News: You might have missed it over the holidays, but something happened about the time you polished off the last of your Thanksgiving leftovers that just might have changed the balance of power between the major players in our industry.

That something was the closing of the merger between United Technologies Corp. and Rockwell Collins.

The deal, which formally closed on Nov. 26, created a new super-supplier that rivals Boeing’s Commercial Airplane division in size, outstrips it in terms of profitability and has the potential to upset the multi-tiered supply chain pyramid the industry has grown used to over the past few decades.

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Pontificatons: From the sidelines at the AFJ Dublin conference


By Scott Hamilton

Jan. 28, 2019, © Leeham News: Launch by Boeing of the New Midmarket Aircraft (NMA) is pretty much a given, despite a still undecided business case, say people on the sidelines of the Airfinance Journal’s Dublin 2019 conference.

Here is a potpourri of information picked up at the conference, which is attended by about 2,000 people.

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