E175-E2 prototype in production, first flight by year end

May 28, 2019, © Leeham News: The first E175-E2 prototype is now in production at the Embraer plant here at Sao Jose dos Campos, Brazil, despite having no firm orders and only a single conditional order for 100 aircraft from a US airline that so far can’t use the airplane.

The pilot union contracts contain a clause that prevent the only customer for the aircraft in the world from using it because the take-off weight exceeds the 86,000 lbs specified in the contract.

Embraer designed the airplane with the hope the so-called Scope Clause would be relaxed in contract negotiations this year and next by pilots for American, Delta, United and Alaska airlines. It’s become clear that relief is unlikely.

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No new turboprop from Embraer for now

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May 27, 2019, © Leeham News: Embraer is not going to launch a new 70-90 seat turboprop now or at the Paris Air Show next month, the CEO of its Commercial Aviation unit said today at the company’s pre-air show briefings in Brazil.

Speculation has been rising since word leaked last year that Embraer began showing a conceptual turboprop airliner to potential customers. But John Slattery, CEO of Embraer Commercial Aviation, said the business case has yet to be closed, information still needs to be gathered and analyzed, and studies of the engine technology—including hybrid electric—still must be done.

ATR and Bombardier are the leading global manufacturers of turboprop airliners today. ATR has an overwhelming majority of the backlog, between 80%-85%. Bombardier neglected sales of the Q400 during the development of the C Series. The company last year agreed to sell the program to Canada’s Viking Air. The transaction is expected to close this summer.

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Pontifications: By accident of timing, convergence of events, Mitsubishi is now well positioned to become major RJ player

By Scott HamiltonMay 13, 2019, © Leeham News: The regional jetliner industry is on the cusp of a major shift.

Bombardier is exiting commercial aviation. The company already is under contract to sell the Q400. It’s CRJ program is for sale, or lacking any, inevitably headed for termination.

Embraer agreed to spin off its Commercial Aviation division into a new joint venture with Boeing. Its E-175 E2, designed with changes to the US Scope Clause in mind, is too heavy to comply with contract restrictions. The predecessor, the E-175 E1, is Scope-compliant but it also is aging technology.

Neither the Sukhoi SSJ100 nor the COMAC ARJ-21 are serious competitors.

Mitsubishi, beset by five of delays that pushed its MRJ90 seven years behind schedule, has been dismissed by most as too little, too late, too heavy and not Scope compliant.

Yet MITAC, as Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp  is known, has quietly reworked the MRJ into a Scope-compliant “concept” aircraft that will be revealed at the Paris Air Show next month.

Officials said the aircraft, the name for which hasn’t yet been revealed, will be the only new generation, Scope-compliant aircraft, positioning Mitsubishi to become a key player in the regional aircraft industry.

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The decline and fall of Bombardier

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Introduction

May 6, 2019, © Leeham News: Bombardier was once the leader in providing regional airliners to the industry.

Today, it’s all but exited the industry.

With the announcement that its Belfast manufacturing facility and a smaller one in Morocco are for sale, only the CRJ regional airliner remains.

Expectations are that that, too, will be gone before too long. Bombardier has been weighing its “strategic options” of the CRJ since last year, when it agreed to sell the Q400 turboprop to Canada’s Viking Air. This deal is to close mid-year.

Here’s a look back how Bombardier went from a leader to an also-ran.

Summary
  • Bombardier pioneered the regional jetliner and dominated the turboprop sector.
  • Embraer surpassed the former and ATR the latter.
  • A bold move to jump into the lower end of the market dominated by Airbus and Boeing, coupled with bad management and over-extending the balance sheet, nearly bankrupted the company.

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Bjorn’s Corner: Time to reassess the safety standards for our airliners

By Bjorn Fehrm

April 26, 2019, ©. Leeham News: In the wake of the 737 MAX crashes the standards to which Boeing and the FAA qualified and approved the 737 MAX MCAS function is questioned.

FAA has called the world’s aviation regulators to a meeting on the 23rd of May to discuss how the revised MCAS function will be approved. But it’s time to discuss more than how the updated MCAS shall pass.

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Pontifications: Collins Aerospace resolved to compete for aftermarket services

By Scott Hamilton

April 22, 2019, © Leeham News: Moves by Airbus, Boeing and Embraer to increase their shares of aftermarket services are viewed by their own suppliers with a mix of trepidation or resolve, depending on who they are.

For Collins Aerospace, it’s resolve.

It’s also about become more efficient with advanced manufacturing of its parts supplied to the aerospace industry. This reduces costs, lead times and takes advantage of Collins’ own engineers and designs for value-added services to its customers.

I spoke with two officials from Collins at the Aviation Week MRO Americas conference in Atlanta April 9-11.

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Pontifications: Boeing NewCo exec, Slattery, faces challenges

By Scott Hamilton

  • Our Monday paywall will appear at 6am Tuesday, PDT.

March 25, 2019, © Leeham News: Boeing last week announced the executive leadership for the joint venture with Embraer, the as-yet unnamed company that is generically called NewCo.

Separately, Embraer announced the departure at the end of next month of Embraer’s parent CEO, Paulo Cesar, a move that was expected.

Cesar was with Embraer for 22 years in various positions. We was president and CEO of EMB’s Commercial Aviation division and launched the E2 program in 2013.

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Embraer presents weak 2018 results as the E-Jet E2 transition sets in

By Bjorn Fehrm

March 14, 2018, ©. Leeham News: Embraer presented its Fourth Quarter and Full-year 2018 results today.

The company posted a tiny profit after a year where the Commercial aircraft division started the transition to the E2 generation of the E-Jet and the Business aircraft division had a slow year for its Executive Jets.

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Pontifications: Delays, design creep, cost overruns–nope, it’s not an airplane program

By Scott Hamilton

March 11, 2019, © Leeham News: It’s late. There have been creeping delays. There’s been design creep. There were unknown unknowns. It’s way over budget.

No, it’s not a new airplane program, though the parallels are quite apparent.

It’s our new house.

After a three year process, including changing builders, going through the city twice, hitting expensive unknowns and facing rising costs, today is finally, finally, moving day.

It’s been a horrible experience I wouldn’t wish on anyone.

This will sound familiar to Airbus, Boeing, Bombardier, Mitsubishi, Rolls-Royce, Pratt & Whitney and, to a lesser extent, GE and CFM. Only Embraer can say it finished on time and on budget.

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Shareholders OK Boeing-Embraer JV; court, anti-trust approvals next

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Introduction

Feb. 28, 2019, © Leeham News: Embraer’s shareholders this week approved the joint venture between their company and Boeing, moving another step closer to completion expected by the end of this year.

Boeing will own 80% of the new company and have governance control; Embraer will own 20%.

The shareholders’ action comes after a Brazilian court for the fourth or fifth time enjoined the companies from proceeding with negotiations. Higher courts overturned each previous injunction and will likely do so again.

Global regulatory anti-trust reviews are the step. All decisions are expected by year end.

The KC-390 is the largest plane designed and produced by Embraer. Source: Embraer.

John Slattery, CEO of Embraer Commercial Aviation, gave this take on the pending joint venture in his column on LinkedIn.

Summary

  • “NewCo” will be based in Brazil and be responsible for Boeing’s commercial airplanes up to 150 seats.
  • A second joint venture is planned for military development.
  • The KC-390 is a focus of the second JV.

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