Boeing’s tactical option for MOM sector

Subscription Required

Introduction

Aug. 14, 2017, © Leeham Co.: It’s not a done deal yet—the business for the so-called Boeing 797 remains a challenge. But the consensus is that Boeing will launch the program next year, for an entry-into-service around 2025.

Boeing 797 concept. Source: Boeing.

Yet there are airlines that say they don’t want to wait that long for a new airplane.

What are their choices?

  • Acquire the Airbus A330-200. It’s available now. Fuel is cheap and is expected to remain so well into the next decade.
  • Acquire the A330-800. It’s fairly cheap. It’s about 10% less expensive to operate on a per-trip basis than the A330-200. The new engines will serve as a hedge against rising fuel prices for an indefinite future.
  • Acquire the Boeing 787-8.
  • Airbus ponders an A321neo+.
  • There’s another option that is not readily apparent.

Read more

Business case for NMA remains uncertain

Subscription Required

Introduction

July 17, 2017, © Leeham Co.: We’re half way through 2017. Boeing reported orders through July 11, a week ago. Airbus won’t update its July orders until the end of the month.

Through July 11, Boeing reported 116 net wide-body orders: 15 for the 767, 33 for the 777 and 75 for the 787. Net cancellations of -7 for the 747 are included in the net 116 figure.

The 15 767s were not commercial models, however, but 767-2C tankers for the USAF.

Over at Airbus, none of China’s 40 commitments announced July 5 for 40 A350s are in the June summary, and won’t be in the Orders tally until the commitments turn into firm orders. Through June, airbus had net 26 widebody orders: three A330-200s and 29 A350-900. There were cancellations of four A330-800s and two A380s.

If the 40 China A350s were included, this would bring Airbus to 66 widebody orders, still well short of Boeing’s YTD figure.

Summary
  • Airbus product gap widens as A330-200/800 stalls.
  • Boeing 787 strength comes from 787-9; 787-8 remains minor player.
  • Middle of the Market business case still unproved.

Read more

Pontifications: Mississippi’s aerospace footprint

By Scott Hamilton

July 17, 2017, © Leeham Co.: Living in the Seattle area, the highest profile, dominant industry is the commercial aerospace sector.

Boeing, of course, headlines just about everything when it comes to aviation.

Boeing’s competition is principally Airbus—or at least it used to be until Boeing claimed teeny tiny Bombardier, a company one-sixth the size of Boeing’s revenues, is poised to put Boeing out of business with BBD’s CSeries.

Read more

A380Plus: First analysis, Part 2

By Bjorn Fehrm

Subscription required.

July 10, 2017, ©. Leeham Co: We went through the changes that are included in the Airbus A380Plus development study last week.

The study packages several improvements to the A380, improving the aerodynamics, increasing the passenger capacity and lowering maintenance costs.The aim is to improve the cost per seat of the A380 to keep it competitive with the new Boeing 777-9. With the rundown of the improvements complete we now use our aircraft model to see if the cost per passenger can compete with the 777.

Summary:

  • The A380Plus improvements makes the A380 competitive on Cash Operating seat mile Costs with the Boeing 777-9.
  • The problem on how to fill the 70% larger A380 remains. It needs other solutions.

Read more

Qantas’ ultra-long haul dream, Part 3

By Bjorn Fehrm

Subscription Required

Introduction

July 06, 2017, © Leeham Co.: In previous articles we have learned how to fly the challenging route Sydney-London direct. From a well-informed person in Qantas we learned not to fight the winds. We shall use them. If we fly intelligently we put a cap on the longest distance we fly, even on windy days.

The other way around, London to Sydney, is less of a challenge. The aircraft is blown down under by the winds.

Figure 1. Qantas planned URL routes with Great Circle distances. Source: Great Circle mapper.

Now we use our aircraft model to understand how Airbus’ A350-900ULR and Boeing’s 777-8 would cope with the route.

Summary:

  • The ideas of Qantas did not stop with not fighting the winds.
  • We also learned how to simplify the analysis process for URL aircraft and routes.
  • Forget about cabins, seats and passengers. It’s all about the hauled weight.

Read more

MC-21 and C919 compared. Part 3.

By Bjorn Fehrm

Subscription required.

Introduction

June 15, 2017, ©. Leeham Co: We continued the comparison of Irkut’s MC-21 and COMAC’s C919 last week with an analysis of the cabins and systems. The week before, we compared project time plans, structures and aerodynamics.

Now we finish with an analysis of the economics of the aircraft.

Summary:
  • The MC-21 is the more advanced aircraft of the two. It uses carbon composites for the wings and empennage.
  • Coupled with more refined aerodynamics, the MC-21 offers a higher efficiency than the more classical C919.

Read more

MC-21 and C919 compared. Part 2.

By Bjorn Fehrm

Subscription required.

Introduction 

June 08, 2017, ©. Leeham Co: We started the comparison of Irkut’s MC-21 and COMAC’s C919 last week. We compared project time plans, structures and aerodynamics.

Now we continue with the comparison of cabin capacities and systems.

Summary:

  • The C919 cabin is a slightly longer copy of the Airbus A320 cabin. MC-21 sets new standards for cabins in the single aisle segment.
  • Both aircraft use Western systems to ease development and improve in-service reliability.

Read more

Paris Air Show Preview

Subscription Required

Introduction

May 22, 2017, © Leeham Co. The Paris Air Show begins June 17, and few in the industry expect much in the way of orders this year.

The order cycle is on the downward side of the bell curve. Sustaining the 2,000, 3,000 or nearly 4,000 gross orders announced 2011-2013 simply couldn’t be achieved. The “order bubble” had to break, and it did. Last year, Airbus and Boeing reported some 1,400 orders between them.

Airbus guides that it will tough to achieve a 1:1 book:bill this year. Boeing is running about 1:1 book:bill so far but it also guides conservatively. Still, LNC thinks Boeing might surprise this year–and some of this could be at the Paris Air Show.

Leeham Co.’s new publication, Commercial Aviation Report, provides a Focus Report on the Air Show. This encompasses the expectations for Airbus, Boeing, Bombardier, Embraer, COMAC, Irkut, Mitsubishi, CFM, GE Aviation, Pratt & Whitney and Rolls-Royce into one easy-to-read package.

The pre-airshow press briefings by the OEMs begin next week. We don’t expect any earth-shattering news from these and we wanted to get our views out ahead of these briefings.

Summary
  • Boeing wants to launch the 737-10 MAX at the Paris Air Show. This could spur a group of orders that would give Boeing a rare win in the headlines vs Airbus on the latter’s home ground.
  • Mitsubishi plans to have its MRJ90 at the Air Show. One airplane entered the paint shop for ANA colors–this might be the one making the appearance.
  • Embraer expects to have its KC-390 there. Will the E195-E2 also make an appearance?

Read more

Regional aircraft for US Scope clause operations. Part 3.

By Bjorn Fehrm

Subscription Required

Introduction

May 18, 2017, © Leeham Co.: In the second article about the US regional aircraft market, we looked at the cabins for the regional aircraft we examine. We started with looking at the typical classes and their seat ratios for the mainline aircraft the regional aircraft are feeding to/from. Then we mimicked that on the regional aircraft.

We filled the cabin with domestic First-class seats, then Premium economy and finally Economy until we got 76 seats or the cabin said stop.

Now we complete the picture by comparing the economics of the aircraft after which we summarize our findings.

Summary:

  • The benchmark aircraft for the US scope clauses is the E175 from Embraer. It was designed for the scope clause market.
  • It’s larger dimensions means the operating costs are slightly higher than the CRJ900.
  • A scope clause-bound operator can compensate the Bombardier CRJ900’s tighter cabin with more seat pitch. It has the longest cabin of all compared aircraft.
  • The MRJ70 and CRJ700 are too short for scope clause flying with 76 seat cabins and the MRJ90 is too heavy for the 86,000lb maximum weight limit.

Read more

How Airbus can kill the Boeing 797

Artisit concept of the Boeing 797. Rendering via Google images.

May 10, 2017, © Leeham Co.: Airbus can kill the business case for the prospective Boeing 797, the New Midrange Aircraft also known as the Middle of the Market Airplane,

All it has to do is move first, instead of waiting for Boeing to launch the 797, something considered likely next year.

If Airbus launched what is commonly called the A322, a larger, longer-range version of the A321neo, the new version would become a true replacement for the Boeing 757, meet economics of the smaller 797, which has a working title of the 797-6, at a much lower capital cost.

Read more