Feb. 15, 2018, © Leeham Co.: Airbus’ plans to respond to Boeing’s prospective New Midrange Aircraft, aka 797, is a mystery to one of the industry’s leading aviation consultants.
Richard Aboulafia of the Teal Group notes that Airbus’ research and development investment overtly disappears after 2018, with the introduction into service of the A350-1000 and the A319neo.
Aboulafia spoke at Day 2 of the Pacific Northwest Aerospace Alliance (PNAA) conference in Lynnwood (WA).
He’s long compared R&D spending between Airbus and Boeing, often praising the former for its level of investment and criticizing the latter for lagging.
Now, Airbus’ level of spending is a question mark while Boeing’s is a comfortable level compared with revenue, Aboulafia says.
Feb. 12, 2018, © Leeham Co.: The Singapore Air Show last week produced little in the way of new orders from the Big Four airframe OEMs. ATR announced a few deals and Embraer announced a letter of intent for the KC-390 multi-role tanker-transport.
The headline news revolved around the what-ifs: Boeing and the New Midrange Aircraft and Boeing and the link-up with Embraer.
Let’s look at the NMA first.
But the maneuvering to capture, solidify or preempt moves is already well underway by Airbus and Boeing.
Reuters synopsized this during its reporting at this week’s Singapore Air Show.
This is only the tip of the iceberg.
Boeing’s need for engineering talent from Embraer has been touched on by many media, including LNC. But a detailed analysis hasn’t been forthcoming, that we’ve seen.
Not discussed yet is the fact that new airplane programs at Boeing and Embraer wind down in 2021-22, leaving both companies in danger of facing the next decade without new products at a time when competition will be emerging.
The lack of new airplane programs endangers the engineering talent pool. For Boeing, this is already going to be critical as more than 5,500 engineers and technicians reach age 65 in the next 10 years.
Boeing’s New Midmarket Airplane, if launched, will address part of the company’s new product requirement after 2020. On the other hand, Embraer has no new product, although officials have discussed potentially launching a turboprop program.
By Bjorn Fehrm
January 04, 2016, © Leeham Co.: We have discussed if the Boeing 767-300ER could function as a stopgap until an NMA would be available. We then compared it with Boeing’s 787-8 and Airbus’ A330-800 as alternative stopgaps. We didn’t include any single-aisle alternatives at the time, like Airbus’ A321LR or Boeing’s 737 MAX 10.
These aircraft have limitations in passenger capacity and range compared with the 767. The least compromised aircraft in an NMA role is the A321LR, which comes within 1,500nm of the range of the 767-300ER. We, therefore, use it as our single-aisle alternative when we look at further stopgaps until an NMA arrives in 7-10 years.
This is a continuing series of articles derived from LNC’s “retirement” interview with John Leahy, COO-Customers of Airbus. Leahy retires this month.
Jan. 3, 2018, © Leeham Co.: This is the year many expect Boeing to decide whether to launch the New Midmarket Aircraft, also known as NMA or unofficially, the
797, to serve the Middle of the Market.
The MOM sector is broadly defined as above the Boeing 737/Airbus A321 and below the Boeing 787/Airbus A330-200/800.
Others, including LNC define the market more broadly.
Dec. 4, 2017, © Leeham Co.: Officially, Boeing says the New Midmarket Aircraft (NMA, or 797) entry-into-service will be around 2024-25 if the program is launched.
LNC has learned the target date now being discussed is 2027.
This means the 737 replacement likewise slips, with EIS after 2030 instead of late next decade or in 2030.
The new NMA target date, which we’ve heard from the supply chain and customer base, gives further impetus to the prospect of restarting the 767-300ER passenger production, a decision that is supposed to be made by the end of this year.
Nov. 8, 2017, © Leeham Co.: A revised mission focus for the the prospective Boeing New Midmarket Aircraft (NMA) is seen by a New York research firm.
Bernstein Research sees the NMA being redefined as a larger aircraft serving the Airbus A320/Boeing737 market rather than a replacement for the Boeing 757/767 “Middle of the Market” sector.
Bernstein has been cool to the prospect of a 4,500nm-5,000nm airplane. The analyst, Doug Harned, likes the proposed size—220-270 passengers in a 2x3x2 ovoid
composite fuselage configuration. But he sees a stronger market serving ranges of 1,000nm to 4,500nm.
So far, there is no market intelligence LNC knows of to support any inference Boeing has refocused the mission statement of the NMA, also known as the Boeing 797, though Harned is firm in his view: “The focus is now on the NMA category, which we see as the right positioning,” he writes in a Nov. 6 research note.
Airlines LNC checked with yesterday reaffirm Boeing’s focus at this time to be 4,500nm-5,000nm.
Oct. 23, 2017, © Leeham Co.: With the tie-up announced last Monday between Airbus and Bombardier for the CSeries, speculation immediately turned to whether Boeing and Embraer will join forces in some fashion in response.
The speculation is natural. Boeing and Embraer have had several commercial agreements, mostly on the defense side but also in eco-research. But as yet, there hasn’t been a tie-up involving the successful E-Jet program.
Don’t look for anything soon that would be a meaningful response to the Airbus-CSeries deal.
Oct. 19, 2017, © Leeham Co.: Boeing is nearing a decision whether to restart the 767-300ER passenger line, LNC has learned.
The company is in discussions for 50-60 aircraft, market intelligence indicates.
Boeing declined comment, saying it does not discuss conversations with customers.
But sources indicate that the prospect of restarting the 767-300ER passenger line could serve as interim lift until the prospective entry-into-service of the Boeing New Midrange Aircraft, now commonly called the 797, for the Middle of the Market sector.
LNC on Aug. 14 speculated that relaunching the 767-300ER could be a good tactical move on Boeing’s part.