March 9, 2020, © Leeham News: Commercial aviation accidents are high profile news events.
These happen rarely. Many times, a lot of people are killed. (It should be noted that often survivors may outnumber those killed as safety improved.)
In this era of 24/7 cable news and minute-by minute social media, everyone wants instant answers as to causes.
Finding answers is not simple. A typical accident investigation usually takes 12-18 months before the investigators issue a final report with a probable cause.
One reason for this is that sometimes, the cause of an accident comes down to a single bolt, or even a single cotter pin.
This is where the new book, Flight Failure, Investigating the Nuts and Bolts of Air Disasters and Aviation Safety, serves to remind us of just how intricate accident investigation is.
Dec. 9, 2019, © Leeham News: I know Boeing is preoccupied right now. But it has to get off the pot and decide to proceed with a new airplane.
We believe the New Midmarket Airplane is still required. But Boeing salesmen have also floated the concept of a new, single-aisle airplane to key players in the market. Either way, Boeing has to do something.
At least, that’s how we see it at Leeham Co.
The order last week by United Airlines for 50 Airbus A321XLRs should be a wake up call.
It’s not the only one Boeing has had.
July 8, 2019, © Leeham News: When a company authorizes or sponsors a book about some major event, the book is usually a puff piece meant for the coffee table in reception.
Airbus authorized the book, Airbus: The First 50 Years, but it’s no puff piece. It’s an honest, candid accounting of how the company came to be, navigating through country and corporate politics, face offs with rival Boeing, reporting the insider trading allegations and ending with the as-yet unfinished corruption scandal investigations.
Nicola Clark, the aerospace reporter for the International Herald Tribune, did a superb job up to her usual reporting standards while avoiding the puff pieces that usually come with an authorized book.
Feb. 11, 2019, © Leeham News: Few airplanes truly can be called revolutionary. Most are evolutionary.
The Boeing 747 was one of those that falls into the former category.
Just as the Boeing 707 revolutionized air travel, so did the 747.
The spaciousness and, after a period of engine difficulties, the economics put the 747 into a class by itself.
Dec. 10, 2018, © Leeham News: The tanker wars may be back.
Airbus has teamed with Lockheed Martin to offer the Airbus A330-200MRTT to the Pentagon in a for-hire business model. The agreement also provides the prospect of “conceptualizing the tanker of the future.” (The press release is here.)
From 2001-2011, the US Air Force, Pentagon and even Congress were embroiled in controversy over recapitalization of the USAF aerial refueling tanker fleet.
After 9/11, Boeing proposed leasing 100 tankers based on the 767-200ER to the USAF. A scandal surrounding the USAF approval of this deal sent the air force’s procurement office and Boeing’s CFO to jail and resulted in the resignation of CEO Phil Condit. The lease deal was canceled.
December 7, 2018, ©. Leeham News: Last week we looked at the pitch stability of an aircraft wing with fuselage. We could see the combination was unstable. Now we add a rear wing called a horizontal stabilizer to get the whole aircraft stable in pitch.
We use the DC9 as our example of a pitch stable airliner (Figure 1) as it has some interesting pitch stability problems outside the normal flying envelope. This we will discuss in coming Corners.
Oct. 4, 2018, © Leeham News: The huge surge of orders for the Airbus A320 family far outstrips the aging aircraft statistics, an analysis shows.
Airbus has a backlog of more than 6,000 A320 family members, with more than 1,700 sales potential just for retirements.
There are more than 4,300 A320s scheduled for delivery from 2019 through 2025.
There are just 765 A320s that hit 25 years old during the same period.
The surge in A320-family aging aircraft begins in 2030, just as the bulk of the current backlog ends, according to data bases maintained by Ascend and Airfinance Journal’s Fleet Tracker.
Aug. 27, 2018, © Leeham News: Boeing is giving financial help to India’s Jet Airways, according to a news report.
This doesn’t come as a surprise.
Jet Airways has 225 737 MAXes on order (50 direct, the rest listed via lessors). It’s also in what appears to be dire financial straits.
Media reports indicated the airline was possibly going to be out of business in 60 days and it deferred releasing its financial results “indefinitely.” The government is going to probe the airline, according to a press report.
The Boeing aid is not common but it’s not unknown, either.
April 3, 2018, © Leeham News: New airplanes for the foreseeable future are unlikely to look radically different than the tube-and-wing configuration that’s been around since the dawn of manned flight.
Yes, there are unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) that look very different. Yes, there are the B-2 and B-21 bombers that are flying wings.
And, yes, there is the Blended Wing Body concept that was created by McDonnell Douglas and tested, in scaled-size models, by Boeing, which acquired MDC in 1997.
But don’t expect to see a BWB either as a freighter or as a passenger airplane any time soon, says Boeing’s VP of Product Development and Future Airplane Development.
By Scott Hamilton
March 27, 2018, © Leeham News, Bainbridge Island (WA): The unexpected US order to close the Russian Consulate in Seattle this week set off a media frenzy in this city because two reasons cited were the proximity of the consulate to Boeing and two US naval bases, Bremerton and Bangor.
There is a third, smaller one, in Everett, but this wasn’t mentioned.
Bremerton is a major repair-and-overhaul base for ships, ranging from aircraft carriers to submarines to frigates and support ships.
Bangor is home to Trident nuclear missile subs and the spy sub, USS Jimmy Carter.
I live on Bainbridge Island, a stone’s throw to Bangor (ground zero in a North Korean nuclear missile attack?) and a 45-minute drive to Bremerton. It’s 45 minutes from here to Boeing Field via ferry and car.
Boeing, of course, is the principal home to Boeing Commercial Airplanes. The commercially-based P8 Poseidon and the KC-46A tankers are built here.