Bjorn’s Corner: Turbofan developments in 2017

By Bjorn Fehrm

January 06, 2017, ©. Leeham Co: Before we finish of our series on airliner turbofan technology, let’s spend this Corner on what will happen on the airliner engine front during 2017.

While there is no totally new engine that comes into the market during 2017 there are a number of new variants of existing engine families that will be introduced.

Figure 1. GasTurb principal representation of a three shaft turbofan like our reference Rolls-Royce Trent XWB. Source: GasTurb.

 

If we start with the engines for regional/single aisle aircraft and then climb the thrust scale, we will cover the engines in climbing thrust class.

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2017: the year ahead

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Introduction

Jan. 3, 2017, © Leeham Co.: The New Year is here and it doesn’t look like a good one for commercial aerospace, if measured against previous outstanding years.

There are some troubling signs ahead, piling on to a slowdown in orders from last year that didn’t even reach a 1:1 book:bill.

This year looks to be worse than last. Airbus and Boeing will give their 2017 guidance on the earnings calls this month and next. Bombardier and Embraer earnings calls are a ways off, when each will provide its guidance.

But LNC believes the Big Two in particular will be hard pressed to hit a 1:1 book:bill this year and may even struggle to match 2016 sales.

Boeing’s year-end order tally comes Thursday. Airbus’ comes on Jan. 11.

Summary
  • Wide-body sales remain weak.
  • Narrow-body backlogs and low oil prices continue to inhibit sales.
  • China, Middle East concerns emerging.
  • United Aircraft MC-21 and COMAC C919 begin flight testing.
  • Airbus A330neo, Boeing 787-10, Embraer E195-E2 and Mitsubishi Aircraft MRJ-70 roll-out and begin flight testing.
  • Airbus A321neo and Boeing 737 MAX 8 EIS.

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US, EU ignore Chinese, Russian subsidies

Nov. 15, 2016, © Leeham Co.: Government subsidies to commercial aircraft companies appear to be increasing despite the 12-year disputes before the World Trade Organization between Europe and the US over Airbus and Boeing aid.

Yet the US and Europeans appear to be doing little to try and curb the subsidies to new competitors.

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CSeries out of London City Airport, Part 2

By Bjorn Fehrm

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Introduction

November 14, 2016, ©. Leeham Co: In the last article about operating the Bombardier (BBD) CS100 from London City Airport (LCY), we could see that the runway is about half the length of an international airport’s runways. This will have a significant impact on the Take Off Weight (TOW) that can be used when commencing a route from London City.

aerial_view_of_london_city_airport_2007

Figure 1. London City airport, housed in the docklands of London’s east end. Source: Wikipedia.

The manufacturers have data in their aircraft brochures that state that one should be able to takeoff with e.g. the CS100 at Maximum Take Off Weight (MTOW) from a runway which is 1,463m/4,800ft long. London City Airport’s runway is 1,508m/4950ft long, so then things should be fine?

No, the figures from the OEMs is the actual runway used when taking off with both engines running at full thrust. The planning scenario for the pilots is different. They must safeguard that a takeoff can be done when an engine goes missing at the most inconvenient moment. This changes the takeoff performance calculation considerably.

Summary:

  • London City Airport puts special requirements on the aircraft serving it.
  • The most stringent requirement is for the takeoff. Here the requirement for a safe takeoff with an engine going inoperative will restrict the takeoff weight significantly.
  • We use BBD data and our performance model to present what routes can be served with a CS100 from the London City Airport.

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Bombardier 3Q2016 earnings: revenue down, performance up

Nov. 10, 2016, (c) Leeham Co.: Bombardier reported 3Q2016 and nine months results reflecting lower revenues as downsizing businesses and cost-cutting took effect.

Revenues for the current quarter were $3.7bn vs $4.1bn. For the nine months, revenues were $12bn vs $13.1bn. Earnings Before Interest and Taxes (EBIT), and before special items, were $87m vs $75m for the quarter. Losses are special items were $94m and $4.9bn.

For the nine months, EBIT was $323m this year vs $538m last year. Losses after special items were $722m and $4.66bn.

BBD burned through $320m in cash in the quarter vs $816m a year earlier. For the nine months, the cash burn was $1.56bn vs $2.37bn.

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Clouds overhang Bombardier ahead of earnings call

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Introduction

Nov. 9, 2016, © Leeham Co.: Bombardier reports its 3Q2016 and nine month earnings Thursday and as the year prepares to enter its last 45 days, disappointment hangs over the company and the stock.

Summary
  • Despite winning firm orders for the CSeries from Air Canada and Delta Air Lines early in the year, no other new orders have been announced.
  • Deliveries of the CSeries will only be about half those projected, due to engine delivery delays from Pratt & Whitney.
  • The $1bn investment from the federal Canadian government hasn’t been achieved, but an announcement may come as early as next week that an agreement has been reached.
  • Boeing revised the design of the 737-7 to sit “right on top of” the CS300.
  • Embraer (Brazil) is taking the government bailout of CSeries to the World Trade Organization (WTO) in inquiries, with the USA lending support.

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Flying the CSeries

By Bjorn Fehrm

November 09, 2016, ©. Leeham Co: After my preparations at Bombardier (BBD) in Montreal, it was time to take an early flight to BBD’s test center in Wichita (KS) the next day. We spent the afternoon in briefings and went flying Wednesday.

ftv8-cs300-and-ftv2-cs100-at-test-center

Figure 1. FTV8 (CS300) and FTV2 (CS100) at BBD test center. Source: Leeham Co.

The trip to Wichita was with American Airlines regional carrier American Eagle on a BBD CRJ200. Within two days, I would experience the first and smallest regional jet, the CRJ200 (albeit in coach) and Bombardier’s latest and largest jet, CS300, which encroaches on the turf of the single aisles as a direct competitor to the Airbus A319 and Boeing 737-700/7.

At the test center, just off the runway to Wichita International, I would be joined by Mike Gerzanics, who was test flying for FlightGlobal. We last met when we test flew the Airbus A350 in Toulouse in Spring 2015. Read more

CSeries out of London City Airport

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Introduction

By Bjorn Fehrm

November 07, 2016, ©. Leeham Co: When we visited Bombardier (BBD) in Montreal recently, we learned new information about how the CSeries would operate from London City Airport. This unique airport served 4.3m passengers last year and have expansion plans for more passengers up to 2030.

Bombardier’s first CSeries operator, SWISS Airlines, configured all its CS100 aircraft to operate from London City. This requires special engine selections and certification of aircraft and crews. The certification of the aircraft, CS100 is ongoing and will be finished at the turn of the year.

aerial_view_of_london_city_airport_2007

Figure 1. London City Airport, housed in the docklands of London’s east end. Source: Wikipedia.

We take a look at what is required for London City and how far the CS100, appropriately configured, can serve destinations from this special airport. We will use a combination of Bombardier data and our own performance model to reach the conclusions.

Summary

  • London City Airport put special requirements on the aircraft serving it.
  • The CSeries will be one of the most potent types allowed at London City.
  • We use BBD data and our performance model to understand at what range destinations can be served.

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Preparing to fly the CSeries

By Bjorn Fehrm

November 03, 2016, ©. Leeham Co: We were invited to Bombardier (BBD) in Montreal last week for a series of special events.

The visit had three purposes: attend the roll out of airBaltic’s CS300 (reported here), prepare to fly the CSeries in the simulator and finally to test fly the aircraft at BBD’s Wichita (KS) test flight facility.

training-in-bbd-simulator

Figure 1. Training to fly the CSeries at the Mirabel based Simulator. Source: Leeham Co.

It was mid-October when the chance came to test fly the CSeries. The ideal time would be October 24-26, just before the test aircraft, FTV8 (the CS300 route proving aircraft), would take off for the Airshow China in Zhuhai.

The testing would have three parts:

  • Study the aircraft via BBD’s online training program.
  • Fly the aircraft in the CSeries simulator in Mirabel, close to Montreal.
  • Fly FTV8 from BBD’s test flight station in Wichita (KS).

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Visit to Bombardier for airBaltic CS300 roll-out

By Bjorn Fehrm

October 27, 2016, ©. Leeham Co: This week we have been at Bombardier (BBD) Mirabel Airport outside Montreal to observe the roll out of the airBaltic CS300 CSeries model and to later test fly the aircraft at BBD’s Wichita facility.

The preparation for the test flight and the flying experience will be described in subsequent articles.

cs300

Figure 1. airBaltic’s first CS300 rolled out for local media to see. Source: Leeham Co.

airBaltic will take delivery of the first CS300 by the end of November. This event was for Baltic media to see the aircraft and its final livery for the first time. It was fresh from the paint shop. The group also was able to see the CSeries Final Assembly Line (FAL) and to ask questions to airBaltic CEO Martin Gauss.

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