By Bryan Corliss
Jan. 9, 2023, © Leeham News: Turboprops should be having a moment, given all the concern about how the aviation industry is contributing to climate change. Want to cut your fuel burn by 45%? Just retire your fleet of 70-seat regional jets and replace them with turboprops.
Yet even with concerns over the environmental (and monetary) costs of operating regional jets, there hasn’t been a big move toward turboprops. In December, Embraer announced it was putting the development of a 70-to-90-seat turboprop on hold. The reason: Suppliers can’t provide it with components (meaning engines) that will provide enough of a performance increase to make a new plane worthwhile.
Meanwhile, the orphaned De Havilland Dash-8 – now owned by a rebranded De Havilland Aircraft Canada – has been out of production since mid-2021.
That leaves the Franco-Italian consortium of ATR as the only OEM likely to deliver any turboprops to airlines in 2023, 2024 – maybe even beyond.
That could change by the end of the decade, however. Embraer is working on a hybrid-electric aircraft that could be ready as soon as 2030 in 19- and 30-seat versions. And a rebranded De Havilland Canada is taking steps to restart production of the Dash-8 at a new factory site in Alberta.
By Vincent Valery
Nov. 22, 2021, © Leeham News: Last week, LNA looked at Airbus and Boeing’s planned twin-aisle production rates. We now turn our attention to production rates in the regional aircraft market.
The production of the Mitsubishi Heavy Industry-owned CRJ ceased earlier this year, while De Havilland of Canada’s Q400 will also end soon. Few expect production on the latter program to restart.
MHI also halted the development of its MRJ/SpaceJet, with a program restart unlikely at this point. These exits mean that ATR and Embraer will be the only major regional OEMs outside China and Russia.
ATR announced plans to raise its combined ATR42 and ATR72 production to 50 aircraft annually. LNA will investigate whether the turboprop’s order book justifies such an increase.
LNA will separately analyze the Embraer E175 and E-Jet E2 production. Since the E-Jet E2 Embraer program competes with Airbus’ A220, we will also look at production plans on the latter.
By Judson Rollins & Bjorn Fehrm
Jan. 11, 2021, © Leeham News: COVID-19 may ultimately prove to be a net positive for turboprop manufacturers. Near-term orders will be pinched just as for jets, but a long-term loss of business travel and the resulting impact to airline yields will make turboprops’ superior unit costs appealing for shorter missions.
Turboprop engines create their thrust with a very high bypass ratio. The result is 30% better fuel economy than a jet. But it also means 30% lower speed. This limits turboprops to stage lengths to about half that of jets.
The market-dominating ATR and De Havilland Canada (DHC) turboprops use this base efficiency to compete against newer regional jets despite having designs which are 20 years older.
April 6, 2020, © Leeham News: It’s going to be quite a while before there is a clear understanding how coronavirus will change commercial aviation.
LNA already touched on impacts to Airbus, Boeing and Embraer. None of it is good. For Boeing, burdened with the additional stress of the 737 MAX, is in the worst position. Even when the MAX is recertified, there won’t be many—or any—customers in a position to take delivery of the airplane.
Bearing in mind that what’s true today will change in a day, or even an hour, let’s take a rundown of where things seem to stand now.
By Bjorn Fehrm
November 12, 2019, ©. Leeham Co: Embraer announced its 3Q2019 results today. The company delivered a report which disappointed analysts regarding revenue, earnings and free cash flow. Commercial deliveries were 17 jets (15 in 2Q2018) but only two of these were of the E2 generation. Total E2 deliveries now stand at eight jets after 18 months of deliveries, a very low figure.
The Joint Venture with Boeing is now delayed as the European Union says it sees a risk for diminished competition in the Airliner market. Embraer will close the carve-out of the Commercial Aircraft division and its services at the end of the year while waiting for final approvals.
By Bjorn Fehrm
October 10, 2019, ©. Leeham News: We have over the last weeks analyzed what aircraft to choose for the segment 120 to 150 seats, comparing Embraer’s E195-E2 with Airbus A220-300.
After looking at fundamental data, drag data and fuel consumption and other costs for the aircraft, it’s now time to summarize the series by looking at what route networks the aircraft are suitable for.
September 6, 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 discussed the flight control laws which are implemented with classical flight controls compared with the Embraer E-Jet and Airbus A320 FBW systems last week.
Now we describe alternative FBW approaches, analyzing Boeing’s 777/787 system and Airbus’ A220 system.
By Bjorn Fehrm
Jan. 10, 2019, © Leeham News: Boeing and Airbus came within six aircraft in their 2018 deliveries, 806 versus 800. For orders, Boeing was the leader, with 893 net orders versus Airbus 747.
Looking at Orders and Deliveries for the different segments there are some interesting trends.
May 29, 2017, © Leeham Co.: Boeing minced no words in its closing brief to the US International Trade Commission in its price dumping complaint against Bombardier.
“Bombardier’s intentional obfuscation simply proves that Bombardier has no credible answer to [the] allegations,” Boeing’s lawyers wrote in the second sentence.
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