Bjorn’s Corner: New aircraft technologies. Part 40. The initial production crisis

By Bjorn Fehrm

December 01, 2023, ©. Leeham News: We are discussing the different phases of an airliner development program. After covering Conceptual, Preliminary, and Detailed design, the manufacturing of prototypes, and their roles in flight tests, we now look at Production.

Last week, we explained why the focus on the production phase has increased for recent and future projects. Now we go deeper into why the production phase and how it runs is so important.

Figure 1. The development plan for a new airliner. Source: Leeham Co.

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The Small Airliner Problem, Part 3

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By Bjorn Fehrm

May 4, 2023, © Leeham News: In our series about the viability of the business plans for small airliners (nine to 50 seats), we have covered how energy and fuel consumption scales with the size of the airliner.

The cost factor we examine today is the maintenance cost for keeping an airliner fit for purpose and safe.

We use the Leeham aircraft performance and cost model to get the data for the maintenance costs for airliners going from nine to 200 seats.

Figure 1. The Cessna Sky Courier is a new 19-seat small airliner with conventional propulsion. Source: Textron Aviation.

  • The maintenance costs of an airliner scale differently from the energy and fuel consumption we studied last week.
  • We discuss the scaling metrics for the airframe maintenance costs and how these differ from what drives engine maintenance costs.

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Bjorn’s Corner: New aircraft technologies. Part 10. Engine choice

By Bjorn Fehrm.

April 28, 2023, ©. Leeham News: This is a summary of the article New aircraft technologies. Part 10P. Engine choice. The article discusses the engine architecture choices that must be made when developing the next-generation airliners.

Figure 1. The Pratt & Whitney high bypass geared turbofan technologies. Source: Pratt & Whitney.

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Boeing’s Renton plant may close from 2033: Analysis

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Aug. 10, 2020, © Leeham News: With Boeing likely to consolidate 787 production in Charleston (SC), reflecting a rate of 6/mo, the future of assembly in Puget Sound rears its head again.

LNA outlined Aug. 3 why Everett is the ideal location to assemble the Next Boeing Airplane (NBA).

Boeing’s product line also requires a new airplane in the 100-150 seat sector. Airbus’ A220-100/300 and, nominally, the A320neo (but not the A319neo) fill this sector. (The A320neo was originally designed as a 150-seat airplane. It now is commonly configured in the 150-180 seat size.)

Airbus has a design for an A220-500, which could replace the A320.

Boeing’s Renton (WA) 737/757 plant footprint in 1990. Source: Google Earth.

Boeing needs an efficient competitor to the current A220 plus a replacement for the 737-7 and, eventually, the -8.

And it probably won’t be assembled at the Boeing 737 plant in Renton.

  • Boeing-Embraer JV was to focus on 100-150 seat airplane.
  • Canceled deal could be revived.
  • Or Boeing could choose a new partner.
  • Moonshot would be two roughly concurrent new airplane programs.

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