Boeing’s 777X analyzed, Part 4

By Bjorn Fehrm

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Introduction

March 07, 2019, © Leeham News: In our analysis series about the Boeing 777X, it’s time to look at the performance of the 777-9 and 777-8 and compared them to their main competitor, the Airbus A350-1000.

Figure 1. First flight test Boeing 777-9 with the GE9X engines mounted. Official roll-out is set for March 13th. Source: Boeing.

Summary:
  • The 777-9 is a larger and heavier aircraft than the A350-1000. Its wide wing and efficient engines compensate the added weight when compared with the A350-1000. Both have best-in-class fuel efficiencies.
  • The “cut and shut” 777-8 has the same capacity as the A350-1000. Here the wings, engines and empennage from the 777-9 give it Ultra Long Haul capabilities. In normal route use, this capability weighs on its fuel efficiency.

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Pontifications: Doubts continue over Boeing NMA launch

March 4, 2019, © Leeham News: Another week, another NMA story.

For an airplane that doesn’t exist, the prospective Boeing NMA continues to dominate much of the aerospace news.

By Scott Hamilton

Last week’s announcement by Rolls-Royce that it withdrew—in December, as it turns out—from the competition to power the NMA prompted a flurry of stories in aerospace media, including LNA.

Some stories suggested RR’s withdrawal meant Boeing was getting closer to launching the airplane.

Boeing, in January, said Authority to Offer might come this year and program launch had moved from 2019 to 2020.

Two prominent consultants predicted at the Pacific Northwest Aerospace Alliance conference last month the odds were 60-40 or 65-35 Boeing would proceed.

Maybe, but I have to tell you that conversations I had last week in the wake of the Rolls announcement are not encouraging.

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Boeing’s 777X analyzed, Part 3

By Bjorn Fehrm

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Introduction

February 07, 2019, © Leeham News: In our analysis series about the 777X, we have now come to the smaller member of the 777X, the 777-8.

It’s what’s called a “cut and shut” shrink of the main variant, the 777-9. A cut and shut derivative of a larger base aircraft gives the smaller aircraft some special characteristics. We look at what this entails.

Figure 1. First flight test Boeing 777-9 with the GE9X engines mounted. Source: Boeing.

Summary:
  • The 777-8 is a “cut and shut”variant of the 777-9. This means it keeps the wings, engines, landing gear and empennage of the larger 777-9.
  • A shorter fuselage with a reduced cabin size means the 777-8 filled with passenger and cargo has more weight margins for fuel within the same Maximum Takeoff Weight as the 777-9.
  • The end result is an Ultra Long-haul capable aircraft, available from 2022.

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Pontifications: 787-10 engines too small for Emirates

By Scott Hamilton

Feb. 4, 2019, © Leeham News: There is more to Emirates Airline’s renewed its interest in the Airbus A350 and the potential swap-out of Airbus A380 orders than meets the eye.

The Airfinance Journal Dublin conference is worth attending for the program, but the real news is often generated on the sidelines. This is where I picked up noise about the Emirates interest in swapping the A350 for the A380.

The renewed interest, and growing disaffection with the A380 (over the engine issues) was part of it.

But Emirates’ interest in the A350 stems more from a realization the Boeing 787-10 won’t do the job the airline wants, according to the sideline conversation at the conference.

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Boeing’s 777X analyzed, Part 2

By Bjorn Fehrm

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Introduction

January 30, 2019, © Leeham News: We started an analysis of the Boeing 777X last week as its rollout and first flight should happen this spring/summer. In the Figure below, the first flight test aircraft has its engine mounted, before roll out.

We will spend this article on the 777X engines, the GE9X from GE Aviation. Surprisingly, these are less powerful than the GE90 engines on the Boeing 777-300ER, the aircraft the 777X is derived from, despite the 777-9 being larger and heavier than the -300ER. This is with intent. The design of the 777X is to achieve more with less. We reveal how this is done below.

Figure 1.

Summary:
  • The Boeing 777-9 is larger and heavier than the 777 variant it replaces, the Boeing 777-300ER.
  • Despite this, the GE9X engines on the 777-9  are specified with 10,00lbf lower maximum thrust than the GE90-115 on the 777-300ER.
  • How does it all work? We reveal how below.

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Boeing’s 777X analyzed

By Bjorn Fehrm

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Introduction

January 24, 2019, © Leeham News: Boeing will roll out the first 777X flight test aircraft mid-spring. The first aircraft, the static test airframe, was rolled out in September. Flight-testing should start in the early summer and first delivery is expected mid-2020.

With certification and delivery 18 months away it’s time to look at the project and understand where the 777X positions itself versus the competition.

Figure 1. First flight test Boeing 777-9 with the GE9X engines mounted. Source: Boeing.

Summary:
  • The 777X achieves better fuel consumption per seat despite a larger and heavier airframe thanks to more advanced wings and engines.
  • We compare its design to the 777-300ER and the Airbus A350-1000 competitor.

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

By Dan Catchpole

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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?

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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.

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Airbus poised to out-deliver Boeing in 2019

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  • 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.

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2019 Outlook: Irkut leads Russia’s airliner industry

By Bjorn Fehrm

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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?

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