By Bjorn Fehrm
January 8, 2019, © Leeham News.: Mitsubishi Aircraft’s MRJ should originally have entered service 2013. Now the plan is 2020, a record seven years of delay. But 2020 can be the last delay. On December 21, the program got “Type Inspection Authorization” from its Certification office, the JCAB (Japan’s Civil Aviation Bureau).
The brunt of Certification flying should be finished in 2019. Then follows the paperwork and the preparation for service entry with ANA. The year will be critical for how the MRJ project will enter service and ramp serial production.
Jan. 7, 2019, © Leeham News: The first dedicated aerospace job fair in Washington State may draw more than 1,500 people today, says the president of the organizer, Aerospace Futures Alliance.
Kelly Maloney, AFA president, opened the fair day-long today citing 1,100 pre-opening registrations by job seekers. She told me later that another 500 walk-ins may show up.
Thirty-eight companies, ranging from the Seattle area’s giant, Boeing, to Tier 3 and Tier 4 suppliers, were present to receive the hopefuls, who ranged from new entrants into the job market to upper-middle aged people.
December 27, 2018, © Leeham News.: In July the CSeries changed from Bombardier to Airbus and in November the Q400 program was sold to Viking Air, the buyer of de Havilland Canada aircraft from Bombardier like the Twin Otter and the water bomber CL415.
When the Viking Air deal closes in the second half of 2019, only the CRJ regional jet will make up Bombardier Commercial Aircraft. Will the CRJ stay with Bombardier or go? And if so, why?
Nov. 12, 2018, © Leeham News: The writing had really been on the wall for the past few years, regardless what the corporate line was: Bombardier was one day going to sell the Q400 program or shut it down.
Better to sell it and get at least some money out of it, no matter how small.
Bombardier agreed to sell the program to British Columbia-based Viking Air for a mere $300m–$250m, net of fees.
Ditto the CRJ program. It’s on life support. It’s a design dating to the 1980s, the passenger experience has long been eclipsed by the Embraer E-Jet and it will be also by Mitsubishi’s MRJ when this jet finally comes on line in 2020. Read more
Nov. 8, 2018, © Leeham News: Bombardier today announced the sale of its slow-selling, aging Q400 turboprop program to Canada’s Viking Air.
Viking previously purchased out-of-production Bombardier/de Havilland aircraft programs, including the Twin Otter, Beaver and CL-415 firefighting bomber.
Twin Otter production was restarted. The Beaver was not an is not in the cards to be restarted. The CL-415 was limping along, and no longer a contributor to Bombardier’s cash flow and profits.
“The Company entered into definitive agreements for the sale of the Q Series aircraft program and de Havilland trademark to a wholly owned subsidiary of Longview Aviation Capital Corp. for approximately $300m,” Bombardier said in a press release. It also announced the sale of other assets for $800m. The two deals are expected to close in the second half of 2019.
The low price reflects the struggles the Q400 has had for years. Bombardier lost money on the Q400 in recent years.
Bombardier also said it is considering its options for the aging, struggling CRJ program. Read more
Oct. 22, 2018, © Leeham News: Bombardier has a firm backlog of 67 Q400 turboprops. ATR has a backlog of 256 through Oct. 20, according to the Airfinance Journal Fleet Tracker.
Bombardier has 83 CRJ jets of all models in backlog. Embraer has 442 orders for all E-Jet models. Mitsubishi has 213 firm orders for its MRJ70/90.
This is just an 11% market share for the CRJ.
These figures illustrate why the market doubts Bombardier’s long-term future in commercial aerospace.
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.
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.
July 18, 2018, © Leeham News, Farnborough: Mitsubishi’s MRJ will be supported even if Boeing and Embraer complete a deal to form a new company in which Boeing is an 80% shareholder.
Stan Deal, CEO of Boeing Global Services, said in an interview with LNC that despite the competition, BGS will honor the Boeing commitment to Mitsubishi.
BGS already supports Airbus aircraft, which of course fiercely compete with Boeing.
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.
MRJ program chief Alex Bellamy said the manufacturing quality problem caused a machined component to suffer a durability issue, leading to flameout.