Countdown to decision on Boeing’s NMA, Part 3: Engine selection

By Dan Catchpole

Subscription Required

Introduction

January 21 2019, © Leeham News: Boeing number crunchers are feverishly working through engine bids from Rolls-Royce, Pratt & Whitney and CFM International, the partnership of Safran and General Electric (GE), the three competitors vying to power Boeing’s New Midmarket Airplane (NMA). Boeing is expected to ask for a best and final offer by the end of January, with engine selection planned in February.

That gives Boeing enough time to get authority to offer from the board of directors, likely in March or April, and to launch the NMA (likely as the 797) at the Paris Air Show in June.

Boeing faces big challenges in closing the business case, though. The process has slogged on far longer than company leaders had expected. Even so, Boeing executives’ relentless optimism about the NMA business case stands in sharp contrast to the skepticism of many industry insiders. At least two of the engine makers, for example, think market demand is about half of Boeing’s public forecast.

Each of the three engine makers vying to get on the NMA have some significant liability. The industry insiders and analysts interviewed for this article say is the decision really comes down to Pratt and CFM. Given the pressures on NMA business case, many see a scaled-up CFM Leap as the front runner. It offers the least risk, even if it also has the least upside.

Summary:
  • CFM: The LEAP has performed well since going into service, but GE’s financial troubles could weigh down its bid.
  • Pratt & Whitney: PW’s GTF is a great fit for NMA requirements, but the engine maker has a full plate with the GTF on five new airplane programs.
  • Rolls-Royce: The NMA would be an opportunity to launch Rolls’ UltraFan, but does Boeing want to bet on a completely new engine?

Read more

2018 deliveries: Airbus leads Single Aisle, Boeing Widebody and Freighters

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.

Airbus new Hamburg FAL (Final Assembly Line) for the A320. Source: Airbus.

Read more

Airbus poised to out-deliver Boeing in 2019

Subscription Required

  • LNC’s Corporate and Enterprise subscribers received this Jan. 3.

Jan. 8, 2019, © Leeham News: Airbus is positioned to out-deliver Boeing this year, boosted by the addition of the Bombardier CSeries acquisition last year.

LNC projects that Airbus will deliver nearly 950 airliners this compared, compared with Boeing’s projected deliveries of about 890 jets.

These are LNC forecasts, not those of the manufacturers. Guidance for the year should come on their respective year-end earnings calls: February for Airbus and Jan. 30 for Boeing.

Read more

2019 Outlook: Irkut leads Russia’s airliner industry

By Bjorn Fehrm

Subscription Required

Introduction

January 3, 2019, © Leeham News.: The last year was a quiet year for the airliner side of Irkut Corporation (Irkut). It continued testing its two MC-21 single-aisle airliners and rolled out the third test aircraft.

Behind the scenes, there were larger changes. Irkut was handed the shares of Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Company (SCAC), the designer and producer of the Superjet 100. The move is part of merging the Russian airliner industry into one company.

During 2018, United Aircraft Corporation (UAC), the parent of Irkut and SCAC, started the consolidation by moving all new airliner projects to Irkut, including the CR929 widebody project with China. The consolidation will continue 2019.

Summary:
  • Consolidating the disparate airliner projects within UAC makes sense. The competition is International, not Irkut versus Sukhoi, Tupolev or Ilyushin.
  • Will this improve the checkered fortunes of Russian airliner business? It’s the right move to get away from 70 years of Soviet isolation and rules of business. But it’s not the last change; more is needed.
  • The coming year will be crucial for the SSJ100 to find its model for how to support Western airlines. Interjet went half OK but CityJet didn’t. Will Adria be better?
  • It’s also an important flight test year for MC-21, which needs to pick up speed to certificate in 2020.
  • The CR929 widebody is now an Irkut project. Will the change improve the chance of keeping the time plan?

Read more

Pontifications: More hints NMA is a “go”

By Scott Hamilton

Dec. 3, 2018, © Leeham News: Safran, the French company that is a 50% partner in CFM International, believes Boeing will launch the New Midmarket Airplane next year.

Safran held its investors day last Thursday.

In sideline conversation, one of those attending reports that Safran met recently with Boeing and is convinced the NMA is a “go.”

(Others, elsewhere, remain skeptical.)

Engine company responses for proposals are due this month to Boeing. CFM, Rolls-Royce and Pratt & Whitney are competing for the engine selection.

It’s believed Boeing would like a dual source (certainly airlines do), but in all likelihood, the odds-on favorite is that the NMA will have a sole source engine. The betting is that it will be CFM. Read more

Bjorn’s Corner: Supersonic transport revival, Part 15. Wrap-up.

November 16, 2018, ©. Leeham News: In the last 14 Corners we have discussed the challenges facing the new SuperSonic Transport (SST) projects, 50 years after the Concorde took flight. The challenges facing projects from Aerion Supersonic, Boom Supersonic or Spike Aerospace are the same as for the Concorde.

In the wrap-up of the series, we go through the challenges and talk about which has gotten easier to solve with modern technology and which has gotten harder because of changing environmental standards.

Figure 1. The new SST project which has come the furthest, the Arion AS2. Source: Aerion Supersonic.

Read more

Bjorn’s Corner: Supersonic transport revival, Part 13

By Bjorn Fehrm

November 2, 2018, ©. Leeham News: In last week’s Corner we looked deeper into the fundamentals of the Mach 1.4 engine of Aerion’s AS2 SST, the GE Affinity.

Now we start looking at engines for a faster SST, up to the Mach 2.2 of the Boom Supersonic project.

Figure 1. The GE Affinity medium bypass Turbofan for Aerion AS2. Source: GE.

Read more

Airbus’ disadvantages in widebody campaigns

Subscription Required

Introduction

Oct. 29, 2018, © Leeham Co.: Airbus faces a key disadvantage when it comes to winning current wide-body campaigns against Boeing.

The disadvantage is entirely out of its control.

It’s not about whether the A330neo or A350 vs the 787 economics are out of kilter. They’re not.

It’s about the engines, LNC is told by multiple market sources. Specifically Rolls-Royce engines, which exclusively power the Airbus wide-bodies.

Summary
  • Airlines affected by Rolls-Royce-powered 787 problems are hopping mad.
  • The negative halo effect puts questions over the Trent 7000-powered A330neo.
  • While less affected, there is a negative halo effect over the Trent XWB-powered A350.
  • Airlines considering follow-on ordered of 787s are ready to jump from RR to GE.

Read more

Pontifications: Engines, engines, engines

By Scott Hamilton

Oct. 29, 2018, © Leeham Co.: Engines, engines, engines.

News emerged last week that Rolls-Royce admitted its continuing problems with the Trent 1000 that powers the Boeing 787 now bled over to the Trent 7000.

RR will fall short of delivering the number of engines need to Airbus for the A330neo, meaning fewer deliveries of the airplane this year.

Boeing said it is clearing its inventory of 737 MAXes, but CFM LEAP engines are still late, slowing the effort.

Pratt & Whitney’s GTF engine deliveries to Airbus are caught up, but technical issues still plague in-service engines. CFM still has technical issues as well, though not as severe or persistent as with GTF, with its LEAP engines. Read more

Pontifications: Market Intelligence from NY

By Scott Hamilton

Oct. 22, 2018, © Leeham News: I was in New York City last week for a series of meetings. Here’s what “the street” is talking about. I make no judgment calls about whether the thoughts are on target or not. Read more