Odds and Ends: Boeing basks in 777 orders as A350 falters

Odds and Ends this week:

  1. Boeing had a good week with 777 orders from a variety of customers, though some were previously unidentified ones that had already been booked. Back in January we predicted that Boeing will see a stream of orders that will justify increased production. Boeing has announced a rate of 8.3 per month and we can reveal it is considering going to 10 per month.
  2. Meanwhile, Airbus confirmed that it faces mounting challenges with the production timeline for the A350. For the moment it is still sticking with the EIS of 2H2013. We fully expect this to slip into 2014. At the moment, our conclusion is that the A350 will be a year late. This may change.
  3. Dominic Gates has this interesting story about Boeing proceeding with a 787-10.
  4. The Air Force Times has an interesting article analyzing the tanker competition.
  5. Airbus and Boeing are engaged in their usual public bickering over the strategies in the A320/737 class. Airbus launched the NEO and claims this provides enough fuel burn reductions to make the program worthwhile. (We think the boost in range to the A320 and A321 have as much to do with the program as anything else.) Airbus is right. Boeing claims re-engining doesn’t provide enough fuel burn benefit to make re-engining worthwhile on a net, all-in cash-on-cash basis to be worthwhile. Boeing makes a good argument on this narrow basis, but this ignores the environmental benefits to re-engining and other factors. Airbus says there isn’t going to be a real convergence of technology until 2025-27 to justify a new airplane. Boeing believes there is enough new technology available to justify a new airplane by 2019. We think they are both right–and both are wrong.
  6. EADS CEO Louis Gallois said the KC-X tanker effort boosted EADS’ standing with the Department of Defense despite losing.
  7. The new PW GTF and CFM LEAP-X engines aren’t in service yet and PW is already working on its next generation GTF and CFM is working on the open rotor. Flight Global has a lengthy story about it.
  8. Aspire Aviation takes a look at Cathay Pacific’s financial results.

Odds and Ends: Boeing to compete production site for new 737-class airplane

Odds and Ends begins below the photo.

We’re not big on photos but every once in a while we find one that we’ve very impressed with–like this (via Airliners.net) at LAX:

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2011 Outlook for Aerospace

Note: this is unusually long, 11 pages when printed.

The new year is here and it is time for our annual look-ahead for the big OEMs.

On a macro level, 2011 should be a good year. Airline passenger and cargo traffic recovery should continue. The global economy also is recovering, but it is almost painfully slow to do so. Still, this is better than some of the alternatives.

Airlines and lessors are likely to continue their order stream that resumed in mid-2010 at the Farnborough Air Show. There could be some key orders that will influence the OEMs and their strategies going forward.

On the military front, we are much more limited in our tracking. We follow the KC-X tanker program because the offerings are based on commercial airliners. We slightly follow the P-8A Poseidon for the same reason, but Boeing pretty much has the monopoly for this type airplane, so there isn’t much to follow.

We do closely follow cybersecurity issues, if for no other reason than it is so important but also because key aerospace companies, including Boeing, have major efforts in this arena.

But by and large, we focus on the OEMs, the emerging competitors and the new engines.

So let’s get to it.

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Airbus NEO won’t kill CSeries: New study

Airbus’ A320 NEO won’t kill the Bombardier CSeries, a new study concludes, issued today by AirInsight.

The study, “The Business Case for the Bombardier CSeries,” which we co-authored, is discussed on the AirInsight blog.

The study began as an update to AirInsight’s report in December 2009 on the prospect of re-engining the Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 families. As Airbus COO-Customers John Leahy repeatedly asserted that to re-engine the A320 would kill the business case for the CSeries, AirInsight broadened its update into a full, in-depth study. AirInsight concluded that the business case for the CSeries is sound.

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Boeing’s 737 ramp up shows confidence in economy, ‘skyline’ and the unions

The announcement last week that Boeing once again is planning to ramp up production of its venerable 737 line show confidence on a number of levels:

  • The global economy continues to recover;
  • The strength of the backlog, aka “skyline,’ is strong;
  • The efficiency of the Lean production line only gets better; and
  • The confidence in the labor unions (notably IAM 751) appears to be gaining strength compared with the depths of anger following the 2008 57-day strike and the October 2009 decision to put the second assembly line for the 787 in Charleston (SC).

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737 production rate hike, PW’s GTF, Airbus’ A320 NEO

We talk about the prospect of a production rate hike at AirInsight this morning.

  • Here’s a story from Flight Global taking a detailed, focused look at the Pratt & Whitney P1000G Geared Turbo Fan, which will power the Bombardier CSeries, Irkut MC-21 and Mitsubishi MRJ; and will likely be chosen by Airbus to power the A320 family New Engine Option.
  • Speaking of the A320 NEO, look for an announcement on September 30 or shortly thereafter giving the green light for this program.
  • Embraer is also considering whether to reengine its E-Jet series with the GTF.
  • Flight International has  this detailed report on the Bombardier CSeries to be the first airplane to have telemetry for the black box flight data recorder.

AirInsight on 787, 747-8 delays; A321 NEO

AirInsight has several commentaries about the news last week of new delays in the Boeing 787 and 747-8 programs; and a discussion about the prospective A321 New Engine Option. The main site is here.

PW’s GTF, Boeing’s culture, China’s C919 and ARJ21, CSeries

Jon Ostrower of FlightGlobal has this piece about the “bolt-on” of Pratt & Whitney’s P1524G PurePower Geared Turbo Fan. The PurePower, also known as the Geared Turbo Fan, is the engine designed for Bombardier’s CSeries, with larger versions anticipated for development to re-engine the Airbus A320 family and potentially for application to the replacement airplane for the Boeing 737.

PW’s PurePower website is here.

Airbus said at the Farnborough Air Show that it has made the business case to re-engine the family, and it will conclude the study by the end of September whether engineering resources will be freed up to proceed with the project. We believe Airbus will green-light the program, with an announcement at the end of next month or in October.

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