MC-21 and C919 compared. Part 3.

By Bjorn Fehrm

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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.

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MC-21 and C919 compared. Part 2.

By Bjorn Fehrm

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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.

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Paris Air Show Preview

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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?

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Regional aircraft for US Scope clause operations. Part 3.

By Bjorn Fehrm

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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.

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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.

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Boeing’s BHAG: Is $50bn Service Revenue Goal Achievable?

 Special to Leeham News and Comment

By Kevin Michaels, Managing Director, AeroDynamic Advisory

Business gurus Jim Collins and Jerry Porras coined the phrase “Big Hairy Audacious Goal” (BHAG) to describe a business objective which is highly ambitious,

Kevin Michaels

galvanizes the organization, and is often met with skepticism from outside observers. Boeing recently created a BHAG that could transform aerospace MRO. Its goal is to triple its service revenue to $50bn within the next decade, and it is taking decisive action achieve its vision.

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Could an NMA be made good enough? Part 5

By Bjorn Fehrm

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Introduction

April 20, 2017, © Leeham Co.: After defining the fuselage and wings, it’s now time for the engines.  We go through the sizing criteria for engines for airliners and find the size of engine that is needed for the NMA.

The NMA will need engines which are larger than the single aisle engines for Airbus’ A320neo and Boeing’s 737 MAX. But they will be smaller than the next size up for modern engines, the GEnx-2B for Boeing’s 747-8.

Figure 1. The NMA takes more and more the shape of a 767 replacement (A United 767-200). Source: United

This means the NMA will need new engines, at least 50% larger than the present engines designed for A320neo and 737 MAX.

Summary:

  • An NMA engine will be sized by V2 safety speed or Maximum Continuous Thrust (MCT) criteria.
  • The normal Top of Climb (ToC) sizing point will be less stressing for a twin engine airliner like NMA.

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Bjorn’s Corner: Aircraft engines, sum up

By Bjorn Fehrm

April 14, 2017, ©. Leeham Co: We’ve been talking engines on Fridays since October 2016. The Corners covered several areas, from technologies to operations.

And we could go on and dig deeper. But we will move on.

Before we go, we sum up what we have learned in the 24 Corners around airliner Turbofans.

Figure 1. Principal picture of a three-shaft wide-body turbofan. Source: GasTurb.

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Bjorn’s Corner: Aircraft engine maintenance, Part 6

 

By Bjorn Fehrm

April 7, 2017, ©. Leeham Co: Last week’s Corner developed the overhaul shop visits per year for wide-body engines. We will now look at how the market develops around these overhaul opportunities.

How does the shop structure develop over a popular engine’s life-cycle? How much choice has an operator and when?

Figure 1. Principal picture of a three-shaft wide-body turbofan with station numbers. Source: GasTurb.

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No new design needed for turboprops, says Bombardier

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Introduction

April 4, 2017, © Leeham Co.: Bombardier doesn’t think a new, clean-sheet turboprop aircraft is needed any time soon, a position that stands in contrast with rival ATR.

Bombardier Q400.

Ross Mitchell, VP Commercial for BBD, believes the Q400 covers the turboprop segment from 70 to 90 seats and its operational flexibility covers everything airlines need today.

However, ATR has 85% of the backlog with BBD capturing the other 15%.

Still, Mitchell gives a strong defense of the Q400.

Summary:

Don’t believe everything ATR claims about operating cost advantages, BBD says.

BBD can move cockpit and wing production from Canada to lower costs—but where is the question.

Re-engining the Q400 isn’t in the cards, at least any time soon.

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