Areas of inquiry in Lion Air crash

Oct. 29, 2018, (c) Leeham News: A three month old Boeing 737-8 MAX crashed into the sea yesterday.

There are scant clues.

A technical fault was reported the day before the flight, which was unspecified in the news reports LNC has seen. It was said to have been corrected.

Flight tracking showed a rapid descent into the water. One news story reported the pilot radioed he wanted to return due to something, but this is vague and unconfirmed.

It is far too early to speculate what happened to the airplane. There is just too much we don’t know, other than FlightTracker showed what appeared to be a rapid descent into the water.

Here’s what investigations will consider—all as a matter of the normal course of any investigation. This is not listed in priority.

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Pontifications: Engines, engines, engines

By Scott Hamilton

Oct. 29, 2018, © Leeham Co.: Engines, engines, engines.

News emerged last week that Rolls-Royce admitted its continuing problems with the Trent 1000 that powers the Boeing 787 now bled over to the Trent 7000.

RR will fall short of delivering the number of engines need to Airbus for the A330neo, meaning fewer deliveries of the airplane this year.

Boeing said it is clearing its inventory of 737 MAXes, but CFM LEAP engines are still late, slowing the effort.

Pratt & Whitney’s GTF engine deliveries to Airbus are caught up, but technical issues still plague in-service engines. CFM still has technical issues as well, though not as severe or persistent as with GTF, with its LEAP engines. Read more

Pontifications: Market Intelligence from NY

By Scott Hamilton

Oct. 22, 2018, © Leeham News: I was in New York City last week for a series of meetings. Here’s what “the street” is talking about. I make no judgment calls about whether the thoughts are on target or not. Read more

Assessing A320 production rate interest in >70/mo

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Introduction

Sept. 17, 2018, © Leeham News: With the supply chain under major stress and Airbus and Boeing trying to recover from scores of “gliders” sidelined at airports without engines, each company nevertheless continues to study production rate increases for the A320 and 737 families.

Airbus publicly has said it’s looking at rate 70/mo. Boeing publicly acknowledges it’s looking at rate 63/mo.

Supply chain sources tell LNC Airbus is studying an even higher rate, into the “70s,” at early as 2020—a date that most consider out of the question.

Boeing is known to be considering a rate of 70/mo for its most profitable program.

Today, LNC looks at the A320 scenario. A future post will examine the 737.

Summary
  • Airbus is scheduled to deliver more A320 members in 2019 than production capacity. Some of these may be parked backlog airplanes.
  • 2020-2021 sold out at rate 60/mo, 2022-2023 nearly so.
  • Rate increase to 70/mo opens opportunities for Airbus, pressure on Boeing.

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Hazy expects 797 decision middle next year

Steven Udvar-Hazy, Executive Chairman, Air Lease Corp. Photo via Google images.

Sept. 13, 2018, (c) Airfinance Journal: Air Lease’s executive chairman Steven Udvar-Hazy says that Boeing could make a decision on whether or not launch the 797 model mid-year 2019.

If so, the timing could coincide with the Paris Air Show.

“In the NMA market, whether Boeing will launch the 797 is a ‘multi-billion dollars question’, he says, adding that right now the US manufacturer is assessing the engine availability.

“There are two potential engines applications. They are all derivative engines,” he says at the UK Aviation Club Lunch on 13 September.

“We all know the problems that Airbus and Boeing have been going through with the new engines on the Max and the Neo as well as the 787s,” he adds.

And for him Boeing is very ‘cautious’ on a decision. “They are trying to understand what is the real market demand for this aircraft and all indications points out to a decision sometimes in the middle of next year,” he says.

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Unfinished 737s have peaked, Boeing tells analysts

Sept. 6, 2018, © Leeham News: Boeing officials say the parked inventory of 737s has peaked at around 50 aircraft and should come down slowly as traveled work is performed.

Engineless Boeing 737 at the Renton factory. Photo via WoodysAeroImages.

Officials made the comments yesterday at its annual Investors Day for aerospace analysts.

The first two research notes LNC received last night reflected skepticism by Canaccord Genuity and JP Morgan that Boeing will successfully meet its recovery plan by year end.

As more notes were received today, these analysts generally were more receptive to Boeing’s upbeat message.

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Boeing confident of 737 recovery by year-end; some analysts express doubt

Sept. 6, 2018, © Leeham News: As incomplete Boeing 737s fill the ramps, taxiways and other available space at Renton Airport and Boeing Field, company officials sought to assure aerospace analysts there is a recovery plan that will see a full complement of deliveries by year-end.

At least two analysts were unconvinced following the annual Boeing Investors Day yesterday.

Boeing 737 MAX awaiting engines, one of dozens of unfinished airplanes at the Boeing Renton plant. Photo via WoodysAeroImages.

In notes issued by Canaccord Genuity and JP Morgan analysts late Wednesday night Seattle time, Kenneth Herbert and Seth Seifman respectively expressed doubt Boeing will meet its 737 delivery target.

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Pontifications: Supply chain melt down to get worse, says manufacturer

By Scott Hamilton

Sept. 3, 2018, © Leeham News: There is more evidence the aerospace supply chain is in meltdown—and it’s going to get worse, a manufacturer tells LNC.

The OEM requested anonymity to speak frankly.

As aerospace analysts gather this week in Seattle for their annual investors day at Boeing, based on the research notes I see, there’s little indication they recognize the magnitude of the evolving problems with the supply chain.

Although the focus recently has been on Boeing and analysts will visit Boeing Wednesday, the issues affect all the OEMs.

I wrote about this 30 days ago. Since then, another Boeing supplier last month acknowledged late deliveries of key parts, reports the Puget Sound Business Journal.

This was followed by a Bloomberg report that Lufthansa Airlines continues to have shortages from Pratt & Whitney for the GTF engines powering the A320neo.

Since then, I’ve had my own additional conversations with the supply chain. The production ramp ups that already have been announced and those being contemplated are in peril and all manufacturers are being affected.

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Pontifications: Supply chain meltdown

By Scott Hamilton

Aug. 6, 2018 © Leeham News: It happened to Airbus. It sort of happened to Boeing. It was bound to happen in a much bigger way to Boeing, and it has.

Some 40 737s are now sitting around the Renton assembly plant in a major supply-chain meltdown.

This follows the highly publicized, two-year long supplier meltdown at Airbus as Pratt & Whitney and CFM fell down on engine deliveries and technical problems for their GTF and LEAP-1A engines, respectively.

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Farnborough: A320 engine suppliers roughly on recovery plan

July 19, 2018, © Leeham News, Farnborough: The engine suppliers for the Airbus A320 family are roughly keeping to their recovery plan designed to catch up late deliveries and fix technical problems, a top official said this week.

Guillaume Faury, is the new president and CEO of the Airbus Commercial unit in Airbus Group.

“We look at short-term, medium- and long-term. Short-term, we had an H1 (first half) that was OK for all programs, but the single-aisle was a difficulty with all the engines. We will have a very strong H2 and this is obviously very high on my agenda.

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