Mitsubishi shouldn’t be worried over support following Boeing-Embraer deal: BGS chief

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.

Embraer’s E175 and E190 jets will compete with Mitsubishi’s MRJ70 and MRJ90 respectively. Boeing entered into a product and parts support agreement with Mitsubishi when the MRJ program was launched.

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.

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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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Laser focus for MRJ program

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By Dan Catchpole

July 3, 2018, © Leeham News: It’s been two years since a small army of Japanese aerospace workers landed in Moses Lake, a sleepy former Air Force base town in rural Central Washington. The Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp. (MAC) will be in Moses Lake for another four or five years as it nudges its new regional jets—the MRJ70 and MRJ90—into service.

Japan’s All Nippon Airways is the launch customer and first operator for the Mitsubishi MRJ90. Source: Mitsubishi.

The first Mitsubishi Regional Jet, the MRJ90, originally was supposed to enter into service in 2013, but myriad develop delays have dogged the sleek jet, which now is slated to deliver to launch customer All Nippon Airways in mid-2020.

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Delays over for MRJ program, execs insist

By Dan Catchpole

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July 3, 2018, © Leeham News:   Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp. executives insist the MRJ90 is past the seemingly endless delays that have dogged its development. It is on track toward type certification and first delivery in mid-2020.

MRJ90 flight test vehicles at Mitsubishi’s Moses Lake (WA) flight testing facility. Source: Mitsubishi.

The problem is when it arrives, the 81-seat MRJ90 will be the wrong fit for the US market. Program executives praised the plane’s advanced design during media briefings at the MRJ flight test center in Moses Lake (WA), but when they spoke about market opportunity, it was for the smaller MRJ70, which is at least three years away from entering service.

Starting in 2022, Mitsubishi expects a wave of 50-seat regional jet retirements in the North American market. And North America—specifically the United States—”is the most important market for us to make this business successful,” said Yugo Fukuhara, Mitsubishi Aircraft vice president and general manager of sales and marketing.

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Farnborough Air Show: No NMA, unlikely A321 Plus, no Boeing-EMB tie up

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Introduction

June 25, 2018, © Leeham News: Little in the way of excitement is expected at the Farnborough Air Show next month.

There won’t be any launch of the oft-talked about Boeing New Midmarket Aircraft (NMA, aka 797).

Airbus continues to be coy about its response to the NMA. Studies about an A321neo Plus or Plus-Plus have been talked about almost as long as Boeing has been discussing the NMA. More recently, now there’s talk of an A321 XLR.

Summary

  • Expectations for incremental airplane orders at the show should be low.
  • No NMA program launch.
  • Doubtful if Airbus launches A321neo enhancements.
  • Airbus-C Series makes its debut—but to what end?
  • Mitsubishi to showcase MRJ.
  • Bombardier renews emphasis on Q400, CRJ.
  • Embraer looks for order boost.

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Spies and industrial spying

By Scott Hamilton

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.

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NMA focus needs to be on engines

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Introduction

March 19, 2018, © Leeham Co.: As the market awaits a decision by Boeing whether to launch the New Midrange Aircraft (NMA, or 797), focus has been on the aircraft’s definition and market demand.

It should be on the engines.

It doesn’t matter whether Boeing designs a fabulous airplane that’s the next best thing to sliced bread. What matters is whether the engines will be ready in time for Boeing’s suggested entry-into-service and if they are, whether they will be reliable out of the box.

The recent track record isn’t all that encouraging. Neither is Boeing’s preferred timing.

Summary
  • CFM, GE, Pratt & Whitney and Rolls-Royce each had problems with their new engines. All continue.
  • The Boeing NMA requires brand new engines, not derivatives.
  • Engine development and certification within the Boeing preferred timeline is sporty at best.

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Embraer ponders new, smaller jet

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Introduction

March 5, 2018, © Leeham Co.: News emerged last week that Embraer is considering a new jet family smaller than its current E2 line.

This would replace the E170, which Embraer decided not to upgrade to the E2. The E170 hasn’t sold wellin recent years, as the E175 became the preferred airplane in Embraer’s sub-90 seat market.

Embraer recognizes it needs a second family of airplanes to complement the E2. It’s been considering reentering the turboprop market, but demand is limited.

Restarting a sub-76-seat jet is not without risk, however.

Summary
  • Turboprop market is small over 20 years.
  • 60-99 seat market is a bit larger, but with competitors.
  • Business cases for each are challenging.

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Next Sukhoi Superjet is a 75 seater

By Bjorn Fehrm

February 7, 2018, ©. Leeham Co: The President of Sukhoi Civil AirCraft (SCAC), Alexander Rubtsov (who is also the Sales and Marketing Manager of the civil aircraft division of Russia’s United Aircraft, UAC), told Flight Global at the Singapore Air Show there has been a decision to develop a 75-seat version of Sukhoi SuperJet (SSJ).

Sukhoi and United Aircraft have studied whether to develop a larger or smaller version of the SSJ. A Russian order for 100 of the smaller model tipped the decision to the 75-seat model.

Figure 1. SSJ100/95 from Cityjet wetleased to Brussels Airlines. Source: SCAC.

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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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