Assessing A320 production rate interest in >70/mo

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Introduction

Sept. 17, 2018, © Leeham News: With the supply chain under major stress and Airbus and Boeing trying to recover from scores of “gliders” sidelined at airports without engines, each company nevertheless continues to study production rate increases for the A320 and 737 families.

Airbus publicly has said it’s looking at rate 70/mo. Boeing publicly acknowledges it’s looking at rate 63/mo.

Supply chain sources tell LNC Airbus is studying an even higher rate, into the “70s,” at early as 2020—a date that most consider out of the question.

Boeing is known to be considering a rate of 70/mo for its most profitable program.

Today, LNC looks at the A320 scenario. A future post will examine the 737.

Summary
  • Airbus is scheduled to deliver more A320 members in 2019 than production capacity. Some of these may be parked backlog airplanes.
  • 2020-2021 sold out at rate 60/mo, 2022-2023 nearly so.
  • Rate increase to 70/mo opens opportunities for Airbus, pressure on Boeing.

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MRJ’s GTF flameout traced to manufacturing issue

Editor’s note: The Farnborough Air Show begins next week. Mitsubishi is expected to have a flying display of the MRJ90 at an international air show for the first time. This is the last of three stories from Mitsubishi’s MRJ program update in Moses Lake (WA) last month.

By Dan Catchpole

July 10, 2018, © Leeham News: An engine flameout in August 2017 that left the Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ) test fleet grounded for several weeks was caused by a manufacturing quality issue on a component in the Pratt & Whitney geared turbofan’s accessory gearbox, according to a Mitsubishi executive.

Source: Mitsubishi.

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MRJ program chief Alex Bellamy said the manufacturing quality problem caused a machined component to suffer a durability issue, leading to flameout.

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Single-aisle production on track for 1,800/yr

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Introduction

May 7, 2018, © Leeham News: Single aisle airliner production rates are on a track to hit 1,800 per year by 2022, a new analysis by LNC concludes.

This is for aircraft of 100 seats or more. Therefore, this includes the Bombardier CS100 and its competitors the Embraer E190/195 E1/E2 at the smallest end of the 100-240-seat single-aisle markets.

The dominating companies are, of course, Airbus and Boeing. Airbus plans to increase rates of its A320 family next year to 63/mo; Boeing is going to 57/mo for the 737. Both companies are studying increasing rates to 70/mo, a figure LNC believes can be sustained through at least 2025.

Bombardier plans to go to rate 10 for its C Series, a figure that may have been difficult to achieve before BBD sold 50.01% of the program to Airbus. The deal is expected to close before the Farnborough Air Show.

For purposes of this analysis, LNC assumes the deal goes through but for identification carves out C Series as a stand-alone airplane.

COMAC and Irkut are included in the forecast.

Summary
  • A320 backlogs extend through the next decade in a greater number than Boeing’s 737.
  • 737 backlogs extend through the next decade, but many operators have yet to order the MAX to fully replace retiring 737 NGs.
  • Airbus acquisition of control of C Series program gives it a boost.
  • Embraer is a niche player in the small end of the market—for now.
  • COMAC and Irkut present little near-term threat to Airbus and Boeing.

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Pontifications: Airbus easily leads narrow-body backlog, Boeing ahead in wide-bodies

By Scott Hamilton

Feb. 5, 2018, © Leeham Co.: Two thousand seventeen is over and the numbers are in.

Airbus continues to have a commanding lead over Boeing for single-aisle, neo v MAX backlog.

Although Airbus got pounded by Boeing in wide-body orders last year, the backlog tilts only slightly in Boeing’s favor.

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Bombardier Belfast operations are about more than C Series wings

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Introduction

 By Scott Hamilton

 Jan. 29, 2018, © Leeham Co.: Belfast, Northern Ireland: These days, when mention of Bombardier’s production facility in Northern Ireland is mentioned, only one thought comes to mind: wings for the C Series.

But the facility is more than one: wings for the C Series. Nacelles for the Pratt & Whitney Geared Turbo Fan engine for the Irkut MC-21 are also made in the same building. There are others, where fuselages and tail and wing components for the CRJ and multiple lines of business jets are also made.

Bombardier C Series final wing assembly plant, Belfast, Northern Ireland. Source: Bombardier.

The legacy of the facility dates to 1908, when the Short Brothers began building airplanes, including six Wright Brothers Flyers constructed under license.

It’s from the legacy of using composites on business jets and the CRJs that led to the C Series wings, using production methods that are more advanced than Airbus or Boeing.

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Chinese and Russian Widebody takes shape. Part 3.

By Bjorn Fehrm

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Introduction

January 25, 2018, © Leeham Co.: In the second article about the new Chinese/Russian widebody, CR929, we looked at the size of the aircraft and its passenger capacity. The CR929 can be best described as a shorter range version of Boeing’s 787-9. We also presented the chosen technologies for the project.

Now we continue and look at the challenges the aircraft poses to the involved manufacturers. Neither of them (COMAC of China and United Aircraft of Russia) have developed and certified an aircraft like the CR929 before.

Summary:
  • The Chinese and Russian widebody program has high ambitions. The structure shall be composites and the systems state of the art.
  • We now go through the aircraft’s chosen technologies and review what experience base the Chinese and Russian aeronautical industry has and what challenges they will face. Read more

Pontifications: 2018 is a year of Transformations

By Scott Hamilton

Jan. 8, 2018, © Leeham Co.: This is going to be a year of transformations.

This might be viewed with puzzlement by some. After all, only minor-modification models will be entering service this year: the Airbus A350-1000, the Boeing 737-9, the Airbus A319neo and the Boeing 787-10. The first flight of the 737-7 should occur.

Flight testing continues for the Mitsubishi MRJ90, the COMAC C919 and Irkut MC-21.

The proposed deal between Airbus and Bombardier should receive government approvals this year. Talks between Boeing and Embraer may or may not result in a combination of some kind.

The Big Deal, however, resides in Everett (WA).

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United Aircraft’s and COMAC’s eventful year

By Bjorn Fehrm

January 03, 2018, ©. Leeham Co: Both United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) and COMAC got their single-aisle airliner projects into flight test during 2017. The MC-21 and C919 had their first flights within less than a month of each other, with the Chinese C919 first at 5th of May, followed by the Irkut MC-21 on the 28th of May.

Superficially the aircraft and projects are similar. Both are 150-220 seat single aisle projects in the mold of Airbus’ A320neo and Boeing’s 737 MAX programs. Looking a bit closer, they are different. One is extending the state of the art in several areas; the other is playing safe.

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US ponders Russia sanctions, some affecting US aerospace

Oct. 27, 2017, © Leeham Co.: The US is considering new trade sanctions against Russia, and Russia is considering retaliatory sanctions, that could have major implications in US aerospace—including on Boeing.

The US sanctions would be for meddling in the US presidential election in 2016 and for activities in Eastern Europe. The Russian sanctions are a tit-for-tat retaliation if the US sanctions are adopted.

Among the Russian companies that may be targeted:

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LNC is off to the Paris Air Show

June 15, 2017, © Leeham Co.: Leeham News and Comment is off to the Paris Air Show.

Coverage will begin Sunday, with several events in advance of the show’s official opening Monday. We’ll be there through Thursday, with the end-of-show press conference by Airbus.

We provided a full preview May 22 for our paywall customers.

Here’s an update, in an abbreviated version:

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