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.
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
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.
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.
Part 3: Oct. 24, 2016, © Leeham Co.: Lessors select aircraft to add to their portfolios based on several basic criteria:
Lessors often conclude that while an airplane may be good technically and perfectly acceptable for airline use, failure to meet their specialized key criteria—notably liquidity and customer base—they may pass on the aircraft.
Oct. 20, 2016, © Leeham Co.: The past decade was a hive of activity as the Big Four OEMs launched new airplane programs and put the aircraft into service.
Airbus launched the A320neo, A330neo and A350 families. The A330neo is under production; the other two entered service early this year.
Boeing launched the 787 in late 2003 (outside the decade mark), rolled it out in 2007 and entered service with it in 2013. The 737 MAX was launched in 2011 and is in flight testing. The 777X was launched in 2013; components are in production.
Bombardier launched the CSeries in 2008; it entered service this year, after three years of delays.
Embraer launched the E-Jet E2 om 2013. Flight testing began this year.
These were supplemented by new entrants into commercial aviation: COMAC with its C919; Irkut with the MC-21; and Mitsubishi with the MRJ90. Of these, only the MRJ90 is flying. After more than two years of delays and several false starts, flight testing began in earnest this week at Moses Lake (WA) with FTA-1 (Flight Test Aircraft 1).
Development and new program launches have slowed, but the next decade is hardly going to be idle.
By Bjorn Fehrm
October 16, 2016, ©. Leeham Co: “Scope clauses stop aircraft development.”
The words are those of Rodrigo de Souza, Marketing manager of Embraer Commercial Aircraft when we spoke at the sidelines of the recent ISTAT conference in Barcelona.
De Souza made the comment when we discussed how the new E-Jet E175-E2 would fit with US scope clauses. It doesn’t.
The problem is the limit on Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW).
“I can understand the other restrictions of a scope clause but not the Max Take-Off Weight restriction,” de Souza said. “It doesn’t make any sense; it just stops new and more efficient aircraft getting into the market. What relevance does it have in protecting mainline pilots from the regional operators taking over routes?”
By Bjorn Fehrm
September 26, 2016, ©. Leeham Co: We are reporting from ISTAT (International Society of Transport Aircraft Trading) 2016 in Barcelona. The regional aircraft panel, discussing the future for the regional aircraft market, featured Embraer, Bombardier, Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation and Superjet International, presenting the strengths of their offerings and why they would have a good future share of the market.
Here’s what was presented: Read more
July 15, 2016, ©. Leeham Co, Farnborough Air Show: We have been at Farnborough Air Show this week, the highlight of the year for an aircraft geek like me. This year there were several interesting aircraft that visited the show for the first time.
Embraer brought over the brand new first prototype of the E-jet 190-E2 and the prototype of their military transporter, the KC-390. Bombardier had their first customer/production CS100 from Swiss to visit the show in addition to their Flight Test Vehicle (FTV) no 5. And Lockheed Martin had the F35B, the vertical landing version, come and hover over the airfield the days that were reasonably rain free in the afternoon.
One thing is clear with the new generation of Single Aisle aircraft: their high bypass engines dominate the visual appearance. Figure 1 shows the 73 inch version of the Pratt & Whitney GTF on the E190-E2 prototype. Huge diameter engine on a not so huge diameter aircraft.
May 30, 2016, © Leeham Co.: We at Leeham Co. and Leeham News and Comment take some risk when we make analyses, forecasts, projections and predictions. These often put us out on a limb, open us to criticism and even ridicule and as often as not really pisses off those companies that are the target of such predictions.
Some recent events and news stories caught my eye that validated something I predicted eleven years ago.
First, the set up.
By Bjorn Fehrm
3 May 2016, ©. Leeham Co: Embraer has made a good start to 2016. Group revenue for 1Q2016 was $1,309m compared to $1,056m 1Q2015, up 24% year on year. EBIT was $86m compared with $80m a year ago, giving a margin of 7.5%.
The major increase in revenue was for the Business jet side which delivered 23 aircraft compared to 11 1Q2015. Commercial aircraft increased with one aircraft to 21 deliveries.
The commercial aircraft side sold 23 E175-E2 in the quarter giving a Book-to-Bill of 1.1. Sales for the Business Jets side was not publicized. Group order backlog was $21.9b compared to $20.4b for 1Q2015. The balance sheet is strong with $1,854m in cash and total debt of $2,389m.
The group’s only problem area is domestic state demand. Its KC-390 military transport program has stopped once for lack of Government payments and it risks being caught again in the problems of the Brazilian state economy.
Here the details of the financial results for the divisions and their aircraft programs. Read more
29April 2016, ©. Leeham Co: With the order by Delta Air Lines, the Bombardier C Series has taken the step up to be a viable alternative to Airbus’ and Boeing’s single aisle 130-150 seat aircraft.
In my description of airliners’ flight control and Flight Management Systems (FMS), I have focused on the established mainline single aisle players. Time to change that; C Series has arrived and will stay in the mainline segment.
Why 130 seats as a limit? Because below 130 seats there are a number of additional players (Embraer, Sukhoi, Mitsubishi…) and we can’t describe them all right now.
Now to how Bombardier has implemented the flight controls, autopilot and FMS for the C Series. In fact, we will look at how they have made the C Series cockpit, Figure 1.
I haven’t flown the C Series yet (working on it!) but I have been able to glean quite a bit over time and spent quite some time in the cockpit with the Bombardier test pilots at the Paris Air Show.
So here is a shot at describing the C Series control philosophies and capabilities and how they mimic/differ from Airbus and Boeing.