10 July 2015, ©. Leeham Co: We have just witnessed the first solar electrical aircraft, Solar Impulse 2, cross the ocean from Tokyo to Hawaii. Today, Friday, Airbus Group will cross the English Channel with a battery powered electrical aircraft, the E-Fan.
How real is electrical flying? Real enough to make demonstration flights like the one to Hawaii and to Calais. Both these aircraft are technology demonstrators but it is symptomatic that they do these hops now, 2015.
Airbus Group’s E-Fan aircraft is preparing to cross the English Channel. Source: Airbus.
We live in the years when electrical cars have gone from exotic one-offs to serial produced products, still expensive but more and more practical. Why should not the aircraft industry follow? Read more
25 June 2015, © Leeham Co: With a few days in the office one can look back at Paris Air Show with a bit of perspective. So what are the impressions?
It was surprising how many orders Airbus and Boeing landed. Both had played down the expectations, telling that it will be a decent show but nothing close to record. Yet both were booking orders or commitments which were better than expected going into the PAS. Read more
June 18, 2015, c Leeham Co: With the industrial part of Paris Air Show over (the public portion continues through the weekend), one can start to summarize impressions. I have over the years participated in around 10 Paris Air Shows or Farnborough International Air Shows. This was one of the first where one could see that people were stopping and looking up to observe the aircraft which were quiet.
28 May 2015, C. Leeham Co: I am in Toulouse today attending Airbus Innovation days for Leeham News. It has been a good day’s briefings and I have presented what was perhaps the biggest change since we last met Airbus in the article “Airbus A350-1000 getting real”.
Apart from this program, there were more standard updates on Airbus other activities and programs. Here follows a rundown on these updates in a more paraphrased form.
By Bjorn Fehrm
18 March 2015, c. Leeham Co: In Part 1 of of this series we investigated the market sector 225/5000, which is our name for the market segment beyond the capacity of single aisles A320 and 737 aircraft. Boeing calls this Middle Of the Market, MOM, and is studying which aircraft type would best cover this segment.
In Part 5 of the series we concluded that beyond 220 seats a dual aisle aircraft can be competitive as it can increase utilization due to shorter ground turn-around time. We now conclude the investigation by looking at what Airbus response can be based on a further developed A320 and how it would stack up against optimized seven abreast dual aisle alternatives from Boeing’s MOM study, one of these using Boeing’s patented elliptical fuselage, Figure 1.
By Bjorn Fehrm
08 March 2015, c. Leeham Co: In the third part of the article series around the need for a more capable solution for 180-240 seats and 5,000 nautical miles, we compared different clean sheet single and dual aisle aircraft to the Airbus A321LR and Boeing’s 787-8, the two aircraft that form the border to the segment.
We could see that a single aisle aircraft started to have trouble with weight at around 220 passengers using our normalized seating rule set. This would with normal OEM seating rules be around 230-240 passengers. At the same time the dual aisle aircraft becomes stronger the more seats one assumes. The reason is their thicker fuselage, Figure 1, lends itself better to aircraft which passes 50 meters/160 feet in length.
Their advantages in boarding and deplaning then starts to outweigh their disadvantages in weight and drag. This trend is explored further in this part where we add Cash Operating Cost, COC and Direct Operating Cost, DOC, to the analysis.
By Bjorn Fehrm
04 March 2015, c. Leeham Co: In the first and second part of the article series around the need for a more capable solution for 180-240 seats and 5000 nautical miles, which we have labeled the 225/5000 Sector, we went through the derivatives we have analyzed as competitors to Airbus A321LR and showed why none of them are effective as a Boeing solution.
We also looked at the wetted area and weight for our common single and dual aisle aircraft. These parameters are the principal components that determine an aircraft’s efficiency given a certain engine efficiency. We also developed the market picture, outlining a substantial market by the time of entry into service of a clean sheet design by 2025, given that certain market requirements could be fulfilled.
We will now project different solutions to the requirements, thereby utilizing the preliminary design part of our proprietary aircraft model. We will look at three different cabin configurations in four different size classes between 180 to 240 seats and calculate size and weights and the resulting efficiency of the different variants. Against the key data for these different aircraft and their operational efficiency we will be able to postulate what will be the next move from Boeing and Airbus in this segment.
The findings in this our third article include: