Odds and Ends: Status of KC-46A; US Airways without AA; CSeries timeline

KC-46A: Aviation Week has this article on the current status of the Boeing KC-46A tanker and the management challenges. AvWeek also reports what we did earlier: the tanker gets nailed in sequestration. We have the specifications sheet here: KC46 Tanker Specifications.

US Airways without American: In case this merger doesn’t happen, US Airways is looking ahead, according to this Aviation Week article.

CSeries timeline: Aviation Week has this piece about the Bombardier CSeries timeline for first flight and EIS, comparing it with the Q400 and CRJ700 programs, which were both late.

BAE-EADS: EADS CEO Tom Enders calls this a perfect fit. The Financial Times has this story. Free registration may be required.

Odds and Ends: Airbus & Boeing White Elephants; BABC conference; CSeries stalking horse

White Elephants: Bloomberg News doesn’t pull any punches in this article.

747 No. 1 needs help: The Seattle Times has this long story about the first 747-100 that needs restoration.

BABC Conference: The British American Business Council has a conference Sept. 27 in Seattle, with focus on the Middle East. (Go figure.) Here is the link. Tim Clark, CEO of Emirates Airlines, is a key speaker.

CSeries Customers: Here’s a complete listing from Bombardier, the most detailed we’ve seen: The CSeries aircraft order book includes firm orders for 138 CSeries airliners from Braathens Aviation (five CS100 and five CS300 aircraft), Deutsche Lufthansa AG (30 CS100 aircraft), Korean Air (10 CS300 aircraft), Lease Corporation International Group (17 CS300 and three CS100 aircraft), PrivatAir (five CS100 aircraft), Republic Airways (40 CS300 aircraft), an unidentified major network carrier (10 CS100 aircraft), an unidentified European customer (10 CS100 aircraft) and a well-established, unidentified airline (three CS100 aircraft). The CSeries aircraft program has also booked options for 124 aircraft and purchase rights for 10 aircraft from these customers. In addition, the CSeries aircraft program has also achieved a conditional order placed by an unidentified customer for five CS100 and 10 CS300 airliners, as well as three letters of intent: for up to 30 CSeries aircraft from Ilyushin Finance Co; for up to 15 CS300 aircraft from Atlasjet; and for up to 20 CS300 aircraft from airBaltic.

AirAsia and CSeries: CAPA (Centre for Asia Pacific Aerospace) writes what we also figured: the buzz from the Farnborough Air Show about AirAsia and the CSeries seems to be more a ploy than a serious effort. Setting that aside, the CAPA piece is a pretty good analysis of the CSeries potential for low cost carriers.

The Sporty Game: AirInsight has an analysis on Boeing’s product strategy.

Odds and Ends: Random thoughts, Seinfeld style (i.e., about nothing)

We’re feeling irreverent today….

From Twitter: Boeing Defense@BoeingDefense In Sept issue of #Boeing Frontiers: With #Apollo roots, Boeing has grown to be largest #aerospace employer in #Alabama http://ow.ly/dB0Ef

Comment: We remember when Boeing said Alabamans couldn’t build a tricycle (during the bitter competition for the KC-X tanker).

Hunker Down: We’re going into the bunker on this one–Washington should become a right-to-work state. In 2008, IAM 751 (during its strike) boasted WA is the fourth most-unionized state in the country. We know this inhibits expanding aerospace here. We’ve heard it from companies. We’ve heard it from the head of one of the Economic Development Commissions here that unions are the first topic to come up when he is recruiting companies to expand here. We don’t object to unions per se but we don’t think someone should be forced to join one. (That’s how we feel about Republicans, too….)

Take two Viagra and try again: The refueling boom was being extended when it fell off an Airbus KC-30 during a test flight.

Thank you for smoking: Airbus is really pushing Europe to delay implementation of its emissions trading scheme, which jeaopardizes orders from China. Despite the sarcasm, we agree with Airbus–any regulations through be through ICAO, not on Europe’s own, ill-advised hook.

Macht nichts: No AirAsia order at the Berlin Air Show after all. The airline will be the first to operate the A320neo and the airplane with sharklets.

Macht nichts, II: MTU is a partner with Pratt & Whitney on the Geared Turbo Fan for the Mistubishi MRJ, the Bombardier CSeries, Irkut MS-21 and the A320neo but looks to join GE for the new engine for the Boeing 777X.


Odds and Ends: Why aircraft are late; catching up to Boeing

Why Aircraft Are Late: Boeing 747-8, 787, Airbus A380, A400M, A350, Mitsubishi MRJ, Comac ARJ-21, Sukhoi Superjet and probably Comac C919, Bombardier CSeries and Irkut MS-21–all late. It’s the new normal. Ernie Arvai at AirInsight takes a look at why.

Catching Boeing: Airbus may well have trailed Boeing through the Farnborough Air Show in terms of orders, but it may also be on the way toward catching up. The big PAL order for 54 aircraft was announced this week. A 100-airplane order out of China is due to be announced shortly. Another 100 airplane order from AirAsia appears to be pending. Year-to-date, Boeing has 701 net orders and Airbus has 270 net orders. These three orders still leaves Airbus well short of Boeing, and Boeing has more 737 MAX commitments to convert this year. We expect Boeing to finish the year in first place. It will be interesting to see how close Airbus can come.

NEO firm order wrap: Aviation Week has this detailed recap of NEO firm orders. We expect some of the A320neos to be converted to A321neos as time goes on, just as we expect 737-8 MAX orders to be swapped with 737-9 MAX positions.

Odds and Ends: More on 100-149 seat jet market; aircraft op cost comparisons; Super Guppy

100-149 Seat Market: AirInsight has more on its study of the 100-149 Seat Market analysis and why it will be turbulent in the next five years.

Cost Comparisons: Aspire Aviation has a long article on the Cathay Pacific Airways earnings but to us the most interesting parts are the operating cost comparisons between various CX fleet types. It’s all buried in the article.

Super-Guppy: The Puget Sound Business Journal has a video from inside the NASA Boeing Super Guppy. Based on the old Boeing Stratocruiser, the Super Guppy is a specialty airplane originally designed to transport Atlas rockets. Later, Airbus used them to transport fuselage sections around Europe to final assembly in Toulouse. This is probably the last operating variant of any B-377/C-97/KC-97. It’s the last of the Super Guppies. With the retirement of the NASA Shuttle fleet, we wonder what will become of this airplane.

Odds and Ends: Preparing market for 3-5 mo delay on CSeries; Air Canada fleet plans

Bombardier: On its earnings call. the company is preparing the market for a 3-5 month delay on the first flight of the CSeries. We’ve been estimating 3-6 months.

Air Canada: Here’s an interesting item. Air Canada is pondering major fleet changes that might see the removal of the Embraer E-190 as too big yet it is considering adding the CRJ-900, which is nominally just a little smaller.

AirAsia X: This LCC for long-haul is adding six Airbus A330s to its fleet, to bring the total to 26 when all aircraft on order are delivered. AirAsiaX considers the airplane ideal for flights of six to eight hours.

100-149 seat market isn’t ‘Bermuda Triangle’ for the right airplanes

A new study released today by AirInsight concludes the oft-maligned 100-149 seat market is viable, and not a ‘Bermuda Triangle,’ if the right airplane is developed to compete within it.

We’re a co-author of the study, Market Analysis of the 100-149 Seat Segment.

Some aerospace consultants, analysts and observers–as well as Boeing’s Randy Tinseth, VP-Marketing–term the segment a Bermuda Triangle because of airplane “failures” in the market. But the fact is that except for Embraer’s E-Jet, the poorly-conceived British Aerospace/Avro Jets and Bombardier’s pending CSeries, there hasn’t been a clean-sheet design since the 1960s. All other aircraft have been derivatives of older designs and offerings of weak and dying manufacturers.

We need to add the Sukhoi Superjet SSJ100 to the clean-sheet design list, but this falls into the weak OEM category.

Today there are six aircraft types and 15 sub-types from five OEMs. (There were seven and 16 until Tuesday, when Boeing finally dropped the 737-600.)

AirInsight has an analysis of the future of the A319/A319neo and 737-700/737-7 Max here.

Here is a run-down.

Read more

Odds and Ends: Aeromexico orders 90 MAX 8s, 10 787s; CSeries; A350

Aeromexico ordered 90 Boeing 737-8s and 10 787s. This order had been expected to be ready at the Farnborough Air show.

Aspire Aviation has a long profile on the Bombardier CSeries.

A350 delay: It looks like the wing issues previously disclosed will result in another delay for the program. Aviation International News has this story. Back on July 6 we opined that we’re expecting a delay of perhaps five months. The AIN story talks about one month.

Farnborough Day 4: wrapping up; big United deal

The Farnborough Air Show for the trade is over. Here are today’s final orders.

Airbus: Avolon signs MOU for 15 A320neos. Middle East Airlines 5+5 A320s/A321s. Russia’s UTAir 20 A321s. Synergy Aerospace firms up order for nine Airbus A330 Family aircraft. Ends show with 115 orders, MOUs, commitments.

Boeing: United’s announcement for the 737-9 MAX (100) and 737-900ER (50) originated in Chicago and was broadcast to the FAS. With this order, Boeing now has +1,200 orders and commitments for the MAX from 18 customers. Firm orders for 737 MAX now hit 649.

Bombardier: Chorus Aviation of Canada exercises options for six Q400s. AirAsia’s CEO Tony Fernandez confirms he’s talking about 100, 160-seat CS300s.

Farnborough Odds and Ends: Cathay and A350; AirAsia and CSeries??; BBD on CSeries timeline; Boeing’s Conner

Some more stories out of Farnborough, the day before the show officially starts:

Reuters has two stories, one we’ve been tracking for some time (Cathay) and one that is totally new (and totally surprising) (AirAsia).

Cathay could end A350-1000 drought.

AirAsia looks at 160 seat version of CS300. We knew BBD has a 160-seat version, high density. We hadn’t heard of AirAsia’s interest. Predictably, Airbus’ John Leahy dismissed the idea. If he tried to kill the CSeries before, this will really get his dander up. AirAsia is one of his largest customers. Maybe we can see a dance-off between Leahy and Bombardier’s chief executive Pierre Beaudoin.

Bombardier Talks About CSeries Timeline. Videocast over at AirInsight.

Bombardier lands new CSeries customer. Add moreCS100s, CS300s to the mix.

Boeing’s Ray Conner, new CEO of Commercial Airplanes, speaks with The Seattle Times.

Boeing, US plot export strategy for KC-46A.