Airbus’ A220 gets increased range next year

By Bjorn Fehrm

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Introduction

May 30, 2019, © Leeham News: Airbus announced an increase in Maximum TakeOff Weight (MTOW) for its A220 range last week. With the improvement, the A220s should fly up to 3,400nm when the increased MTOW is available from 2H 2020.

Like the last time when we wrote about the A220 and its range versus other Airbus single-aisles, this is a bit of Apples and Oranges. Just about everything around how the range of the A220 is measured changed. When we put the new data into our performance model, a very different range picture popped out than the one given by Airbus.

Summary:

  • Airbus change the rule set by which it measures the range of the A220 to the less stringent Airbus single-aisle rule-set. Together with a future increase of the MTOW, this will increase the range of the A220.
  • It also changed the seating. This was to curb the range of the A220-100 and to hide an emerging fuel limitation of the A220-300.

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Mitsubish renaming, revamping MRJ, considers US production line: Nikkei Asia news

Updated, 3pm Brazil time, with Bombardier statement and additional response from Embraer.

May 29, 2019, © Leeham News, Sao Jose dos Campos, Brazil: Mitsubishi is changing the name of its MRJ jet, revamping the smallest version and considering a US production line, the Japanese news agency Nikkei Asia Review reported May 29 (Japan time).

The MRJ is now called SpaceJet.

The report comes on the final day of the Embraer Paris Air Show Media Days and just before the annual meeting of the International Air Transport Assn., which opens June 1 in Seoul.

It’s unknown if the timing of the leak is deliberate or coincidental.

Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp (MITAC) hinted at changes to the airplane at a press briefing in April at its new Renton (WA) US headquarters.

Timing and events appear to be converging to boost the new MITAC jet.

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No new turboprop from Embraer for now

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May 27, 2019, © Leeham News: Embraer is not going to launch a new 70-90 seat turboprop now or at the Paris Air Show next month, the CEO of its Commercial Aviation unit said today at the company’s pre-air show briefings in Brazil.

Speculation has been rising since word leaked last year that Embraer began showing a conceptual turboprop airliner to potential customers. But John Slattery, CEO of Embraer Commercial Aviation, said the business case has yet to be closed, information still needs to be gathered and analyzed, and studies of the engine technology—including hybrid electric—still must be done.

ATR and Bombardier are the leading global manufacturers of turboprop airliners today. ATR has an overwhelming majority of the backlog, between 80%-85%. Bombardier neglected sales of the Q400 during the development of the C Series. The company last year agreed to sell the program to Canada’s Viking Air. The transaction is expected to close this summer.

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Tariff threats, China certification issues slow A220 sales

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May 23, 2019, © Leeham News, Toulouse: Airbus took over majority interest the Bombardier C Series July 1 last year. The company immediately announced 120 orders for the CS300, renamed the A220-300, at the Farnborough Air Show, but the deals had been in the works with Bombardier before the takeover.

Another flurry of orders was announced at the end of last year.

Since then, virtually nothing.

Tuesday at the Airbus Innovation Days, Chief Commercial Officer Christian Scherer said the threat of tariffs in the US and the lack of certification in China effectively shuts out two thirds of the world market to the A220.

Monday, tensions between Canada and the US eased a bit when the Trump Administration removed tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum. But Airbus remains a Trump target at the World Trade Organization over outstanding claims against Airbus for the A380 and A350.

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Pontifications: By accident of timing, convergence of events, Mitsubishi is now well positioned to become major RJ player

By Scott HamiltonMay 13, 2019, © Leeham News: The regional jetliner industry is on the cusp of a major shift.

Bombardier is exiting commercial aviation. The company already is under contract to sell the Q400. It’s CRJ program is for sale, or lacking any, inevitably headed for termination.

Embraer agreed to spin off its Commercial Aviation division into a new joint venture with Boeing. Its E-175 E2, designed with changes to the US Scope Clause in mind, is too heavy to comply with contract restrictions. The predecessor, the E-175 E1, is Scope-compliant but it also is aging technology.

Neither the Sukhoi SSJ100 nor the COMAC ARJ-21 are serious competitors.

Mitsubishi, beset by five of delays that pushed its MRJ90 seven years behind schedule, has been dismissed by most as too little, too late, too heavy and not Scope compliant.

Yet MITAC, as Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp  is known, has quietly reworked the MRJ into a Scope-compliant “concept” aircraft that will be revealed at the Paris Air Show next month.

Officials said the aircraft, the name for which hasn’t yet been revealed, will be the only new generation, Scope-compliant aircraft, positioning Mitsubishi to become a key player in the regional aircraft industry.

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The decline and fall of Bombardier

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Introduction

May 6, 2019, © Leeham News: Bombardier was once the leader in providing regional airliners to the industry.

Today, it’s all but exited the industry.

With the announcement that its Belfast manufacturing facility and a smaller one in Morocco are for sale, only the CRJ regional airliner remains.

Expectations are that that, too, will be gone before too long. Bombardier has been weighing its “strategic options” of the CRJ since last year, when it agreed to sell the Q400 turboprop to Canada’s Viking Air. This deal is to close mid-year.

Here’s a look back how Bombardier went from a leader to an also-ran.

Summary
  • Bombardier pioneered the regional jetliner and dominated the turboprop sector.
  • Embraer surpassed the former and ATR the latter.
  • A bold move to jump into the lower end of the market dominated by Airbus and Boeing, coupled with bad management and over-extending the balance sheet, nearly bankrupted the company.

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Bjorn’s Corner: Bombardier selling off unique CSeries technology

By Bjorn Fehrm

May 06, 2019, ©. Leeham News: Bombardier’s CEO, Alain Bellemare announced yesterday the company will streamline to a Train and Business jet company.

This means there is no longer place for a Commercial aircraft division nor its Aerostructures parts in Belfast and Morocco serving these aircraft.

Figure 1. The CSeries/A220 Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymer (CFRP) wing. Source: Bombardier.

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Bombardier to sell Belfast wing factory, dumping key parts of profitable Aerostructures unit

May 2, 2019, © Leeham News: Bombardier today reported its first quarter earnings, which were lower than originally expected by analysts and previewed last week.

But the big news are plans to sell its Belfast, Northern Ireland, wing factory and its aerospace facility in Morocco.

The Belfast plant produces wings for the Airbus A220 (nee C Series). This plant and the Morocco facility were reorganized previously into an Aerostructures unit that has been profitable.

Bombardier now labels these plants as non-core to its business.

The CRJ program, which is for sale, has been put into a new Bombardier Aviation business unit that includes the business jets.

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Bjorn’s Corner: Time to reassess the safety standards for our airliners

By Bjorn Fehrm

April 26, 2019, ©. Leeham News: In the wake of the 737 MAX crashes the standards to which Boeing and the FAA qualified and approved the 737 MAX MCAS function is questioned.

FAA has called the world’s aviation regulators to a meeting on the 23rd of May to discuss how the revised MCAS function will be approved. But it’s time to discuss more than how the updated MCAS shall pass.

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Pontifications: Collins Aerospace resolved to compete for aftermarket services

By Scott Hamilton

April 22, 2019, © Leeham News: Moves by Airbus, Boeing and Embraer to increase their shares of aftermarket services are viewed by their own suppliers with a mix of trepidation or resolve, depending on who they are.

For Collins Aerospace, it’s resolve.

It’s also about become more efficient with advanced manufacturing of its parts supplied to the aerospace industry. This reduces costs, lead times and takes advantage of Collins’ own engineers and designs for value-added services to its customers.

I spoke with two officials from Collins at the Aviation Week MRO Americas conference in Atlanta April 9-11.

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