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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Pontifications: C Series to Airbus, 10 years since program launch, lower fuel burn

By Scott Hamilton

July 2, 2018, © Leeham News: Airbus officially became the majority partner yesterday of the C Series Aircraft Limited Partnership, or CSALP.

Airbus has a 50.01% stake in the LP, with Bombardier and the province of Quebec holding minority stakes.

Things will move quickly, now that Airbus has control.

Airbus is expected to announce a rebranding of the C Series at its July 10 pre-Farnborough Air Show media briefing. An aircraft is in the process of being repainted in Airbus colors for display at the event.

Bloomberg reported in April new names were to be assigned to the CS100 and CS300, probably the A210 and A230 respectively.

Construction of the new C Series Final Assembly Line in Mobile (AL) will begin sooner than expected. This was announced at the Inaugural Southeast Aerospace & Defence Conference in Mobile, organized by Leeham Co. and Airfinance Journal.

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Pontifications: Engine problems are getting worse

By Scott Hamilton

May 14, 2018, © Leeham News: The engine problems are getting worse.

These have moved beyond the technical issues with the Rolls-Royce Trent 1000, GE Aviation GEnx, Pratt & Whitney GTF and CFM56.

The problems are trickling down to the maintenance, repair and overhaul shops.

LNC previously touched on the back-up in MRO shops due to the RR Trent 1000 problems, affecting even Trent 700 (Airbus A330) MRO scheduling. We’ve also reported the knock-on effect of the GTF MRO on other engine shop visits.

The mandated-inspections of CFM56 fan blades in the wake of the Southwest Airlines accident last month inundated MRO shops with unexpected visits.

Now, a European appraisal company forecasts that the “bow wave” of CFM56 shop visits will create a crisis for spare engines and parts.

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Demand supports rate 70/mo for A320, 737

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Introduction

May 3, 2018, © Leeham Co.: With the supply chain confirming last Thursday that Airbus and Boeing are exploring single-aisle production rates of 70/mo, Airbus confirmed it was doing so during its Friday earnings call.

Boeing continues to be ambiguous, saying only there is “upward pressure” on its 737 production rates.

The supply chain, notably the engine OEMs, already has heartburn over the current rate of 60/mo and 52/mo for the A320 and 737 families respectively.

Summary

  • Engine makers CFM and Pratt & Whitney continue to have technical and production issues.
  • Airbus and Boeing each have “gliders,” though Boeing’s is a handful vs the dozens at Airbus.
  • CFM’s partner, Safran, cautions against rate 70.

Production rates will be among the topics at the Southeast Aerospace & Defence Conference next month in Mobile (AL). Click here for more information.

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Engine makers may face stiffer future ETOPS certification requirements

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Introduction

April 23, 2018, © Leeham News: Even before last week’s Southwest Airlines accident raised the focus on aircraft engines, industry officials were becoming worried that problems with engines powering the Boeing 747-8, 787, 737 MAX and Airbus A320neo may lead to stricter certification standards by regulatory authorities.

There is also emerging evidence that the issues with the Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 on the 787s may negatively impact Airbus’ sales efforts with the A350. The A350 is powered by an entirely different RR engine, the Trent XWB, which by all accounts has had a virtually trouble-free entry into service.

But it’s a Rolls-Royce engine and airlines affected by or watching RR’s response to the Trent 1000 problems are skeptical about the Trent XWB, LNC is told.

Summary
  • How long will it take for the FAA and EASE to restore full ETOPS for the 787?
  • Concerns emerge that regulators may be more restrictive of ETOPS for new engines powering new planes, with the Boeing 777X next up.
  • Impact seen on reception of Rolls-Royce engines on Airbus A330neo and A350.
  • What do the engine problems mean for the Boeing NMA?

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Pontifications: Uncontained engine failures are rare but not unknown

By Scott Hamilton

April 23, 2018, © Leeham News: Last week’s engine malfunction on a Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-700 was another in a rare, but not unknown, uncontained engine anomaly in recent years.

All recent similar failures didn’t cause a loss of life or serious injuries if the passengers were evacuated. Unfortunately, this accident caused one fatality and seven injuries.

Let’s put the context to this issue.

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