Bjorn’s Corner: Aircraft stability, Part 7

By Bjorn Fehrm

May 25, 2018, ©. Leeham News: In the last Corner we discussed the autopilots one finds in Airliners and high-end Business jets. We looked at how the autopilot was part of the larger Automatic Flight Control System (AFCS) in Bombardier’s CSeries.

To understand how such an advanced system works, we need to go through the different parts of the system and understand their role when the aircraft is flown by the autopilot. We will start with the Flight Management System (FMS) this week.

Figure 1. The flight deck part of a classical FMS (Flight Management System). Source: Esterline.

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Embraer skyline has serious challenges

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May 21, 2018, © Leeham News: As Boeing and Embraer continue merger discussions for the latter’s commercial airplanes unit, the EJet skyline has some serious challenges.

The only order for the E175-E2 is a conditional sale.

Lessors account for half the orders of the E195-E2 and most of the E190-E2 deals.

More than half the orders for the E190-E1 may be canceled.

The data, from the Airfinance Journal Fleet Tracker, is as of April 15 and doesn’t include options, MOUs or LOIs. The firm order from American Airlines, for 15 E175-E1s, announced after this date, has been added by LNC.

  • Slow sales hamper the backlog.
  • The E2 hasn’t taken off as expected.
  • The E175-E1 remains the staple of the six-member family.
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Bjorn’s Corner: Aircraft stability, Part 6

By Bjorn Fehrm.

May 18, 2018, ©. Leeham News: In the last Corner we discussed the autopilots one finds in Turboprops and entry-level Business jets. Our example was the autopilot for the Garmin G1000 integrated flight deck.

Now we will step up to the airliner level. We will look at the autopilot and its supporting avionics for the Bombardier CSeries. This is a modern, state of the art system, and a good example of the autopilots for an Airliner or top of the line Business jet.

Figure 1. The CSeries flight deck. I have marked the autopilot panel with a red border. Source: Bombardier.

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Bombardier refocuses the CRJ

By Bjorn Fehrm

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May 10, 2018, © Leeham News: American Airlines last week ordered 30 additional regional jets.  Of these, 15 were the Embraer E175. No surprise there. It’s the traveler’s favourite and the market leader among US regional jets. But American Airlines also ordered the same number of Bombardier CRJ900. Why? Isn’t it a bit dated?

There are good reasons for this order and Bombardier sees a new spring for the trusted regional. We use our performance model to understand why.

  • The CRJ900 is still a good choice for the US Scope Clause regulated regional jet market.
  • Is strong economics makes it a favourite with the airline’s bean counters.
  • In addition, it has the longest cabin, enabling large First-class and Premium economy sections.
  • With programmed updates, it will be competitive for years to come.

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Single-aisle production on track for 1,800/yr

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May 7, 2018, © Leeham News: Single aisle airliner production rates are on a track to hit 1,800 per year by 2022, a new analysis by LNC concludes.

This is for aircraft of 100 seats or more. Therefore, this includes the Bombardier CS100 and its competitors the Embraer E190/195 E1/E2 at the smallest end of the 100-240-seat single-aisle markets.

The dominating companies are, of course, Airbus and Boeing. Airbus plans to increase rates of its A320 family next year to 63/mo; Boeing is going to 57/mo for the 737. Both companies are studying increasing rates to 70/mo, a figure LNC believes can be sustained through at least 2025.

Bombardier plans to go to rate 10 for its C Series, a figure that may have been difficult to achieve before BBD sold 50.01% of the program to Airbus. The deal is expected to close before the Farnborough Air Show.

For purposes of this analysis, LNC assumes the deal goes through but for identification carves out C Series as a stand-alone airplane.

COMAC and Irkut are included in the forecast.

  • A320 backlogs extend through the next decade in a greater number than Boeing’s 737.
  • 737 backlogs extend through the next decade, but many operators have yet to order the MAX to fully replace retiring 737 NGs.
  • Airbus acquisition of control of C Series program gives it a boost.
  • Embraer is a niche player in the small end of the market—for now.
  • COMAC and Irkut present little near-term threat to Airbus and Boeing.

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Pontifications: Boeing case against Airbus at WTO: appeal decision due this month

By Scott Hamilton

May 7, 2018, © Leeham News: The World Trade Organization resumes action in the European Union appeal of an adverse ruling in the Airbus illegal subsidies case filed by the US years ago, at Boeing’s behest.

This column appears at the start of the business day in Europe, before the WTO opens its hearing today. By the time the US wakes up in New York for business, today’s hearing will be over. The WTO announced today’s hearing a week ago and initially a decision on the appeal was expected, but it may not come until later this week or next.

Based on history, the WTO will probably affirm earlier decisions that Airbus benefited from illegal subsidies and hasn’t yet cured the violations (ie, repaid the subsidies). Just how sweeping this will be is a matter of speculation.

Throughout the long-running dispute, now in its 14th year, Airbus has been on the losing end of the US complaint at least on some level. The European company has won on some issues and lost on others, but the WTO found that Airbus received subsidies from EU states that violate WTO rules.

The spin from Airbus and Boeing will be along historically predictable lines.

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India’s Spicejet big turnaround

Boeing 737-8. Boeing photo.

May 2, 2018, © Leeham News: Spicejet, the Indian low-cost airline, in its 2016-2017 Annual Report (to March 31) didn’t mince words or try to parse over its troubled history:

“Back after near shutdown. Restoring confidence. Organisational restructuring. Rising crude prices.Stiff competition. Legacy issues. We were determined to transform.”

These words are on the first page of the Annual Report.

Name another airline that is so up-front, open and candid about its past turmoil.

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Airbus investment resets the clock on CSeries

Special to Leeham News

 By Olivier Bonnassies

Airfinance Journal

April 17, 2018, (c) Airfinance Journal, Montreal: Aviation Week & Space Technology managing director technology Graham Warwick believe the acquisition of a 50.1% stake into Bombardier’s CSeries will give the program opportunities in many areas.

Talking at the Innovation Aerospace Forum in Montreal, Warwick says Airbus expertise in marketing, sales and support will be “immediate benefits” to the CSeries program.

Warwick recalls that Airbus is into its second iteration of the Airbus A320 program, whilst Bombardier’s CSeries is a new product.

“The CSeries is right at the beginning of its life. It clearly resets the clock for the CSeries and can even have a meaningful impact in the future,” he says.

Bombardier’s CSeries vice president program Rob Dewar says 29 CS100/300s are now in service with three customers: Air Baltic, Swiss and Korean Air.

The Canadian manufacturer continues to be pleased with the introduction into service.

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Airlines need OEM choices: Air Canada

Special to Leeham News

By Olivier Bonnassies

Airfinance Journal

April 16, 2018, (c) Airfinance Journal, Montreal: The commercial aircraft manufacturing industry could head into a scenario with two major alliances: Airbus/Bombardier rivaling Boeing/Embraer, but for Air Canada, airlines need to have choices.

Calin Rovinescu, president of Air Canada. Photo via Google images.

“This is a terrific double-edge sword. Airlines definitively need to have choice,” said Calin Ravinescu, Air Canada president and chief executive officer at the Innovation Aerospace Forum in Montreal.

Ravinescu says the idea of a single source supply is not acceptable for maintenance prospective and from a customer service prospective.

“I am totally against any notion of single sourcing, or any component in any aircraft in any circumstances. Just like our customers, airlines expect competition is the aerospace and the aircraft space.

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India’s airlines order huge numbers of airplanes

April 5, 2018, © Leeham News: India is one of the fastest-growing aviation markets in the world, with airlines there ordering a massive number of airplanes for their size.

  • Jet Airways announced a firm order for 75 Boeing 737 MAXes after this article was written.

Airbus and Boeing are selling hundreds of airplanes to India’s fast-growing airlines.

The most prominent airlines have nearly 1,000 airplanes on order. The leading, and most profitable, low-cost carrier, Indigo, is now considering ordering up to 50 twin-aisle aircraft for its first foray into long-haul, LCC service, in competition with the perennial loser, Air India.

It’s also one of the most challenging aviation environments. The government has policies that make it difficult for carriers to operate efficiently.

There have been a number of airline start-ups that make competition fierce. There have been a lot of airline failures.

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