April 2, 2018, © Leeham News: Boeing’s painful experience the with the development, design, production and grounding of the 787—costing billions of dollars in overruns and penalties with a delay of nearly four years—led to a major effort to de-risk future airplane development.
The 787 experience led to a pause that resulted in pursuing derivatives of the 737 MAX and 777X instead of developing new airplanes to replace these aging platforms and leap ahead of Airbus.
Now, poised to launch its first all-new airplane program in 15 years, Boeing continues to de-risk its production.
By Bjorn Fehrm
March 26, 2018, © Leeham News: Boeing’s NMA or 797 is taking final form ahead of a decision to essentially launch the program with an Authority to Offer (ATO), widely believed to be later this year.
Now we round up the series with analyzing the potential economics of the aircraft.
March 22, 2018, © Leeham Co.: As Boeing enters the final stretch whether to launch the New Midrange Aircraft (NMA, aka 797) market focus should shift to the engines more than the airframe and even the market demand.
It all comes down to this: no engines, no plane.
Monday’s post outlined some of the issues to consider.
But there are larger implications as well.
March 20, 2018, © Leeham News: As Boeing builds the business case for the New Midrange Airplane (NMA, or 797), dozens of major factors come into play, along with the hundreds or thousands of smaller one.
The market demand, of course, is a well-known business case element.
So is price to the customer, the design and capabilities of the airplane, the engines and the technology of them, whether there will be a sole- or dual-source engine, where the airplane will be assembled and how it will be produced.
One Boeing official told LNC that the 797 is as much about production as it is everything else. This goes to cost and cost goes to pricing.
Automation, robotics, digital design, 3D printing and additive manufacturing are key to producing the 797. Many elements are already in place on other Boeing programs, most described in the media already.
One key supplier is Dassault Systemes.
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.
March 19, 2018, © Leeham News: Boeing faces thousands of retirements in its engineering and touch-labor force ranks over the next five to 10 years, with a limited worker pool for replacements.
A national economy with a low unemployment rate of about 4.1% exacerbates the challenges of finding talent.
These numbers are important to Boeing’s current higher production rate ambitions.
They are even more important as Boeing looks to develop the New Midrange Airplane (NMA, aka 797).
LNC first discussed the looming shortage of engineers in connection with the potential creation of a new company with Embraer.
Published 05 Mar 2018 by Airfinance Journal
Special to Leeham News.
March 8, 2018, (c) Airfinance Journal: A leading appraisal firm questions whether Airbus should respond to Boeing’s proposed new midsize aircraft (NMA) simply by enhancing its existing product line.
“There is a gap, a natural gap that needs to be filled, so I am not sure whether the A330 coming down…and the A321 coming up, fills the gap,” said John Vitale, president and chief executive officer of Avitas, speaking on a panel of appraisers at Airfinance Journal’s Korean Airfinance event, adding: “Airbus claims the A321 has all this range and that they can put in as many seats as they are talking about. Well, no you can’t in an equal comfort level.”
However, Vitale acknowledges a possible further stretch by Airbus of its A321neo, the A322, or enhanced versions, such as the ‘A321neo-plus’, or even an ‘A321neo-plus-plus’“pushes out the timing of the NMA aircraft.”
March 6, 2018: Airbus is ramping up the messaging for the slow-selling A330neo, reiterating its view that a wave of retirements is coming from current A330 operators that will support new sales.
Jeff Knittel, the new president of Airbus Americas, reinforced this message yesterday at an industry conference.
March 5, 2018, © Leeham Co.: The three engine makers, CFM/GE, Pratt & Whitney and Rolls-Royce, are the only suppliers that have been brought “inside the tent” by Boeing for the New Midrange Aircraft, a company executive said today.
Launching the program is critical on the engine companies, says Randy Tinseth, VP marketing for Boeing. Boeing hasn’t decided—officially—whether it will have a
single-engine or dual-engine source for the aircraft because the program hasn’t been launched.
Market intelligence tells LNC that Boeing wants two engine choices. Intel also indicates all three engine OEMs view the market demand as sharply smaller than Boeing’s publicly-stated forecast of 4,000 Middle of the Market sector airplanes over the next 20 years.
March 5, 2018, © Leeham Co.: News emerged last week that Embraer is considering a new jet family smaller than its current E2 line.
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.