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.

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Airbus’ disadvantages in widebody campaigns

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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.

  • 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.

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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

Bjorn’s Corner: Supersonic transport revival, Part 11

October 19, 2018, ©. Leeham News: In the last Corner we discussed the temperature challenges an SST engine faces.

Now we address an even larger problem for SST engines, the takeoff and landing noise.

Figure 1. The GE Affinity SST Turbofan for Aerion AS2. Source: GE Aviation.

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Hazy expects 797 decision middle next year

Steven Udvar-Hazy, Executive Chairman, Air Lease Corp. Photo via Google images.

Sept. 13, 2018, (c) Airfinance Journal: Air Lease’s executive chairman Steven Udvar-Hazy says that Boeing could make a decision on whether or not launch the 797 model mid-year 2019.

If so, the timing could coincide with the Paris Air Show.

“In the NMA market, whether Boeing will launch the 797 is a ‘multi-billion dollars question’, he says, adding that right now the US manufacturer is assessing the engine availability.

“There are two potential engines applications. They are all derivative engines,” he says at the UK Aviation Club Lunch on 13 September.

“We all know the problems that Airbus and Boeing have been going through with the new engines on the Max and the Neo as well as the 787s,” he adds.

And for him Boeing is very ‘cautious’ on a decision. “They are trying to understand what is the real market demand for this aircraft and all indications points out to a decision sometimes in the middle of next year,” he says.

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Pontifications: Boeing wins certification of KC-46A; B-52 MRO model may be key to profits

By Scott Hamilton

Sept. 10, 2018, © Leeham News: While Boeing Commercial Aircraft grapples with more than four dozen unfinished 737s clogging the space at Renton Airport and Boeing Field, Boeing Defense had some good news last week:

The KC-46A received certification from the US Federal Aviation Administration and the first delivery is due for late October.

Final military certification is still to come and the wing-pod drogues need certifying, but at long last, Boeing can move forward.

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Pontifications: Lufthansa is sabotaging history

By Scott Hamilton

June 4, 2018, © Leeham News: I never thought I would find myself writing something like this.

Lufthansa Airlines is sabotaging history and its own airplane restoration project.

Lufthansa, the airline that honors its history with the airworthy Junkers JU-52, flying it around Europe garnering millions of Euros of publicity in the process.

Lufthansa was one of the few airlines to fly the Lockheed L-1649 Starliner Constellation. Only 44 were built.

Lufthansa, which agreed to restore one of just 44 Lockheed L-1649 Starliners to full LH colors and make it flyable.

The engines have been run up. The airplane was assembled. First flights were planned for next year.

And now, Lufthansa is pulling the plug.

Despite media inquiries and questions from leaders of the project, Lufthansa hasn’t said why it is shutting down the effort to create an airworthy airplane.

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How competitive is A330neo? Part 2.

By Bjorn Fehrm

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May 31, 2018, © Leeham News: We continue our analysis why the Airbus A330neo has lost to Boeing’s 787-9 in recent sales campaigns. In the first part of the series, we analyzed the key data of the aircraft, including their weight, drag characteristics and payload capacity.

Now we continue with flying the aircraft over typical routes with our performance model. What’s the route capacity of the of the aircraft and how about their fuel consumption?

  • The equalized range difference between the aircraft boils down to a maximum of 15-hour routes for the A330-900 versus 17 hours for the 787-9.
  • There is also a difference in fuel efficiency between the types.

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How competitive is Airbus’ A330neo?

By Bjorn Fehrm

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May 24, 2018, © Leeham News: Boeing’s 787-9 has won some important fights against the Airbus A330neo. After Hawaiian Airlines, American Airlines and a possible loss at United, one asks: Is the A330-900 not competitive against a 787-9? The aircraft are similar in size and use the same engines.

We take a deeper look at the A330-900 compared with the 787-9 to understand what’s behind this trend.


  • The A330-900 and 787-9 are virtually identical in size.
  • They are also aerodynamically closely matched.
  • Their primary difference is the method of construction, with the Carbon Fiber structure of the 787 giving a lower empty weight.

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