Boeing’s 777X analyzed

By Bjorn Fehrm

Subscription Required

Introduction

January 24, 2019, © Leeham News: Boeing will roll out the first 777X flight test aircraft mid-spring. The first aircraft, the static test airframe, was rolled out in September. Flight-testing should start in the early summer and first delivery is expected mid-2020.

With certification and delivery 18 months away it’s time to look at the project and understand where the 777X positions itself versus the competition.

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

Summary:
  • The 777X achieves better fuel consumption per seat despite a larger and heavier airframe thanks to more advanced wings and engines.
  • We compare its design to the 777-300ER and the Airbus A350-1000 competitor.

Read more

Look at entire portfolio when investing in sub-types, Airbus and Boeing say

Jan. 23, 2019, © Leeham News, Dublin: Investors and lessors should take into account the entire product line offered by Airbus and Boeing when considering sub-types that may have few sales to date, officials of the two companies said at the annual conference in Dublin organized by Airfinance Journal.

Tim Myers, president of Boeing Capital Corp., and Mark Pearman-Wright, Head of Leasing & Investor Marketing for Airbus, said the 737-7, 737-9, 737-10, A319neo, A321LR, A330-800 and the new 777X should be looked at in context of the entire 737, A320, A330 and 777 lines when making investment decisions.

Read more

Rolls-Royces sees NMA “addressable” market as 4,000-5,000, same as Boeing

Jan. 22, 2019, © Leeham News: Rolls-Royce sees an “addressable” market for the Middle of the Market Aircraft at between 4,000 and 5,000 over 20 years—the same size Boeing sees.

But at the Airfinance Journal annual conference today in Dublin, an executive declined to be specific about the details of this assessment.

Read more

Rolls sees end of Trent 1000 issues, but a spike in 787 AOG possible

Jan. 22, 2019, © Leeham News, Dublin: Rolls-Royce faces an uptick in Boeing 787s that may become “aircraft on the ground” (AOG) as inspections of Trent 1000s spike in the coming months.

But Richard Goodhead, SVP Marketing, Rolls-Royce, says the worst is behind the company and the airlines—even though it will be a few years before engine part replacements are fully integrated into the global fleet.

There are more than 100 Boeing 787 Trent 1000 customers. About 20 have issues.

Read more

Additive manufacturing explained

By Anna Kucirkova

Special to Leeham News

Introduction

Jan. 22, 2019, © Leeham News: A lot of changes have taken place in the manufacturing industry over the years.

Anna Kucirkova

Just a few decades ago, the concept of manufacturing products from your home seemed impossible. If you wanted a product, then you had to purchase it or request a company to produce it for you.

Now you can purchase a machine, set it in your house and produce what you desire with the help of a computer. What used to cost manufacturing firms huge capital can now be built at a lower price in your home.

So what changed? This article will explore some notable changes that have shaped the manufacturing industry to where it is today.

Read more

Countdown to decision on Boeing’s NMA, Part 3: Engine selection

By Dan Catchpole

Subscription Required

Introduction

January 21 2019, © Leeham News: Boeing number crunchers are feverishly working through engine bids from Rolls-Royce, Pratt & Whitney and CFM International, the partnership of Safran and General Electric (GE), the three competitors vying to power Boeing’s New Midmarket Airplane (NMA). Boeing is expected to ask for a best and final offer by the end of January, with engine selection planned in February.

That gives Boeing enough time to get authority to offer from the board of directors, likely in March or April, and to launch the NMA (likely as the 797) at the Paris Air Show in June.

Boeing faces big challenges in closing the business case, though. The process has slogged on far longer than company leaders had expected. Even so, Boeing executives’ relentless optimism about the NMA business case stands in sharp contrast to the skepticism of many industry insiders. At least two of the engine makers, for example, think market demand is about half of Boeing’s public forecast.

Each of the three engine makers vying to get on the NMA have some significant liability. The industry insiders and analysts interviewed for this article say is the decision really comes down to Pratt and CFM. Given the pressures on NMA business case, many see a scaled-up CFM Leap as the front runner. It offers the least risk, even if it also has the least upside.

Summary:
  • CFM: The LEAP has performed well since going into service, but GE’s financial troubles could weigh down its bid.
  • Pratt & Whitney: PW’s GTF is a great fit for NMA requirements, but the engine maker has a full plate with the GTF on five new airplane programs.
  • Rolls-Royce: The NMA would be an opportunity to launch Rolls’ UltraFan, but does Boeing want to bet on a completely new engine?

Read more

PIPs planned for A220 to improve operating costs

Airbus A220-300, ordered by JetBlue last year. Source: Airbus.

Jan. 17, 2019, © Leeham News: Airbus is planning performance improvement packages for the A220, intended to shave operating costs off an airplane that already beat performance promises.

The PIPs, as the upgrades are known, are common among all airliners. In this case, the PIPs were under study by Bombardier long before Airbus acquired a 50.01% stake in the C Series program last year.

While financially-strapped Bombardier may have been able to find the money to execute, giant Airbus has no problem doing so.

Read more

Airbus eyes fighters, MRTT, satellites for Canada

Jan. 14, 2019, © Leeham News: Airbus Canada worked 10 years to position itself to win an order for 16 C295 FWSAR airplanes from the Canadian government.

Officials hope it won’t be this long for the next big order.

The CASA C295 Fixed Wing Search and Rescue aircraft order was won after a stiff competition. It will replace an aging fleet of SAR aircraft that are long overdue for retirement.

Up next: a replacement for Canada’s air force jet fighters and the fleet of Airbus A310 MRTT tanker-transports.

Read more

Countdown to Boeing’s decision on NMA, Part 2

Subscription Required

Now open to all readers.

Introduction

Jan. 7, 2019, © Leeham News: As the airline, lessor and aerospace industries await Boeing’s decision whether to launch its New Midrange Airplane (NMA, aka 797), as of last month the company still hadn’t closed the business case.

The aerospace analyst from JP Morgan met last month with Boeing’s top executives in Chicago. CEO Dennis Muilenburg and CFO Greg Smith told Seth Seifman that the business case must stand alone, on a program P&L basis, and not rely on aftermarket MRO services through Boeing Global Services. A Boeing spokesman last week reaffirmed the business case is still a work in progress.

As LNC has written many times, the business case involves the usual cost, pricing, production, supply chain and related issues.

But one overarching issue is how bid the market demand is. In large part, this drives everything else.

And market demand continues to be a matter of debate.

Summary
  • Boeing says the demand is 4,000-5,000 airplanes over 20 years.
  • Nearly everyone else surveyed by LNC sees the demand as closer to 2,300-2,500.
  • Engine makers, Tier 1s, LNC, others see the demand as the lower number.
  • Dissecting the difference.

Read more

Pontifications: Countdown to decision on Boeing’s NMA, Part 1

By Scott Hamilton

Jan. 14, 2019, © Leeham Co.: Two thousand nineteen begins with increasing focus on whether Boeing is going to launch the New Midmarket Aircraft (NMA, aka 797).

Signs all point to a program launch, perhaps at the Paris Air Show. Authority to Offer (ATO) the airplane for sale is expected by March or April.

Engine companies were asked to respond to Requests for Proposals by the end of December. Engine down select is expected soon.

LNC’s Dan Catchpole will be reporting on this process soon.

Read more