Bjorn’s Corner: Why e in ePlane shall stand for environment, Part 13.

March 13, 2020, ©. Leeham News: In this week’s Corner, we address an often forgotten aspect of Electric and Electric-Hybrid aircraft design.

The battery as an energy source, as the only or assisting source, has the same weight during the whole flight. A fuel (alternate, fossil, or hydrogen) consumes during the flight. You gradually fly a lighter aircraft. Let’s see how this affects the aircraft’s efficiency.

Figure 1. Embraer’s E175-E2, a latest-generation 88 seater jet used for our example. Source: Embraer.

Read more

Embraer’s challenges

Subscription Required

By Vincent Valery

Introduction  

Jan. 13, 2020, © Leeham News: It is no exaggeration to say that 2020 is a pivotal year for Embraer. Whether the tie-up with Boeing materializes will determine its future.

As crunch time approaches for the creation of Boeing Brasil, LNA thought it relevant to study the company’s financial records since 1999. This is another in a series of financial analysis of leading aerospace companies and airlines.

From humble beginnings, the company achieved a dominant position in the regional market with the E-Jet family. After a slump in defense and security business revenues in the early 2000s, the company undertook significant programs. It also entered the business jet market to diversify its revenue streams.

So far, E2 E-Jet sales have been tepid. After years of significant development spending, the Commercial aircraft division is just above red ink, the Defense and Security division isn’t profitable and the Business jets are not adding anything to the bottom line.

Regardless of whether the tie-up with Boeing materializes, Embraer will have to take major strategic decisions, especially in the Commercial Aviation division.

Summary
  • From government project to world-class OEM;
  • Profitability challenges;
  • (Not so) diversified revenue sources;
  • Plans with Boeing;
  • And without it.

Read more

Pontifications: There was other news in 2019 besides MAX. Really.

By Scott Hamilton

Dec. 23, 2019, © Leeham News: The Boeing 737 MAX crisis clearly dominated the news this year.

It’s felt like the aviation stories have been all-MAX, all-the-time.

Believe it or not, there was aviation news other than the MAX.

Read more

Can the DHC 8-400 compete with a CRJ550 for the 50 seat Scope Clause market?

By Bjorn Fehrm

Subscription Required

Introduction

November 14, 2019, © Leeham News: The US mainline airlines have large fleets of 50-seater regional jets that are getting old. The present Scope Clause limits on the number of aircraft with seating over 50 seats stop the mainlines from replacing these aircraft with larger aircraft. So there is a real need for an efficient 50 seater regional aircraft for the US market.

As there are no 50 seater jets in production, United is converting its 70 seater CRJ700s to 50 seaters to fill the gap and calls them the CRJ550. This is where de Havilland Canada sees a change for an adapted DHC 8-400 turboprop. It’s more efficient than a CRJ550 while offering the same comfort, says de Havilland. We check if this is correct and what chances a DHC 8-“550” have in this market.

Summary:

  • The US Scope Clauses allow the three mainlines to have more 1,000 50 seater jets, yet no new ones are available to replace the more than 600 in the market.
  • The in-production DHC 8-400 would be an alternative when looking at cabin size and dimensions.

Read more

Europe’s Regional airlines meet in Antibes, Cotes d’Azur.

By Bjorn Fehrm 

October 9, 2018, ©. Leeham News, Antibes France: The European Airlines Association, ERA, gathered 44 of its 51 member airlines in Antibes France, today for the first day of its 2019 General Assembly meeting.

LNA participated in the event for the first time and we found an impressive gathering of airline and airport representatives, aircraft OEMs and support businesses discussing the challenges facing the European regional air transport market.

Norway’s Wideroe, the launch customer for Embraer’s E-Jet E2 is one of the airlines present.

Read more

Embraer’s E195-E2 or Airbus A220-300 under 150 seats? Part 3

By Bjorn Fehrm

Subscription required.

Introduction 

October 3, 2019, ©. Leeham News: We have the last two weeks analyzed what aircraft to choose for the segment 120 to 150 seats, comparing Embraer’s E195-E2 with Airbus’ A220-300.

The first week we looked at fundamental data and last week we compared the drag data and by it the fuel consumption of the aircraft. Now, we analyze the other operational costs for the aircraft.

Summary:

  • The fuel costs between the E195-E2 and A220-300 are close.
  • We now analyze the other operational costs; Crew, Maintenance and Airway/Airport costs to see how these differ.

Read more

Embraer’s E195-E2 or Airbus’ A220-300 for the 120 to 150 seat segment?

By Bjorn Fehrm

Subscription required

Introduction

September 19, 2019, ©. Leeham News: What aircraft to choose for the segment 120 to 150 seats, Embraer’s E195-E2 or Airbus A220-300? After discussions with Airbus’ Rob Dewar at the Paris Airshow, Head of A220 Engineering and Product Support, and a visit to Embraer last week for the E195-E2’s first customer delivery, we have collected some unique insights.

We also had the opportunity to talk to David Neeleman of Azul, Moxy and TAP Portugal when at Embraer, the only owner/operator which has bought both aircraft; E195-E2 for Azul and A220-300 for his Moxy project.

Summary:
  • We start with a detailed comparison of the aircraft in this first article.
  • While serving the same passenger capacity segment, they are surprisingly different in their design approach and, therefore, in their characteristics.

Read more

Pontifications: Catching up on Odds and Ends-Alaska’s Airbus fleet, first E195-E2 delivery, Boeing’s MAX rebranding question

  • Take our Boeing 737 MAX rebranding poll at the end of this post.

Sept. 2, 2019, © Leeham News: It’s time to catch up on Odds and Ends.

Alaska Airlines

In its second quarter earnings call and 10Q Securities and Exchange Filing, Alaska Airlines said it was returning one Airbus A319 and two A320s off lease this year and next.

By Scott Hamilton

These airplanes are from its Virgin America acquisition, which introduced the Airbus family into the all-Boeing Alaska mainline operations.

Alaska officials have said several times they are evaluating whether to phase out all Airbuses and return to an all-Boeing fleet, or keep the Airbuses and operate a mixed fleet indefinitely.

I wondered if this was the start of the phase out.

“We are planning to return 1 A319 this year and 2 A320s next year at normal lease expiration,” Brandon Pederson, EVP and CFO of the company, wrote LNA.  “This is not part of a broader fleet  decision, nor a phase out of the smaller Airbus aircraft.  Leases on the remaining 50 A319/A320 aircraft in the fleet have varying maturities through 2025.”

Read more

Embraer presents second quarter 2019 results.

By Bjorn Fehrm

August 14, 2018, ©. Leeham Co: Embraer announced its 2Q2019 results today. The company delivered a slightly better quarter than expectations after a disappointing first quarter.

The Commercial Aircraft division and its E175 is still paying the company bills, as the start of the E2 program with E190-E2 is slow, with deliveries at one per quarter so far this year.

Read more

Bjorn’s Corner: Fly by steel or electrical wire, Part 3

By Bjorn Fehrm

August 9, 2019, ©. Leeham News: In our series about classical flight controls (“fly by steel wire”) and Fly-By-Wire (FBW or “fly by electrical wire”), we this week turn to the actual Flight control system after covering the infrastructure needs last week. We could see the FBW required a higher redundancy Hydraulic and Electrical infrastructure. Why we will come to.

Now we look at the control principles for classical control systems like the Boeing 737 system and FBW system like the Airbus A320 system.

Figure 1. The control axis and control surfaces of a 737. Source: Boeing.

Read more