NMA must stand on its own business case

Dec. 6, 2018, © Leeham News: The prospective Boeing 797 (NMA) must stand on its own business case and not rely on aftermarket contracts for a profitable program, reports investment bank JP Morgan.

JPM’s aerospace analyst Seth Seifman met with Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg, CFO Greg Smith and Boeing Commercial Airplanes VP-marketing Randy Tinseth Dec. 4. In a research note issued yesterday, Seifman reported that the business case for the New Midmarket Aircraft still hasn’t closed—but “if Boeing launches the NMA, it will be with the intention of earning a return on the aircraft itself that is comparable to existing programs; it will not be a plan to accept lower margins on the aircraft and make it up in the aftermarket.” (Emphasis in original.) Read more

Pontifications: More hints NMA is a “go”

By Scott Hamilton

Dec. 3, 2018, © Leeham News: Safran, the French company that is a 50% partner in CFM International, believes Boeing will launch the New Midmarket Airplane next year.

Safran held its investors day last Thursday.

In sideline conversation, one of those attending reports that Safran met recently with Boeing and is convinced the NMA is a “go.”

(Others, elsewhere, remain skeptical.)

Engine company responses for proposals are due this month to Boeing. CFM, Rolls-Royce and Pratt & Whitney are competing for the engine selection.

It’s believed Boeing would like a dual source (certainly airlines do), but in all likelihood, the odds-on favorite is that the NMA will have a sole source engine. The betting is that it will be CFM. Read more

How useful is an NMA, Part 5

By Bjorn Fehrm

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Introduction

November 8, 2018, © Leeham News.: Last week we flew a Boeing NMA from the Middle East. We found the aircraft would be well suited to serve this market.

Now we finish the coverage part of the series with checking how useful the NMA would be for North American based carriers.

Artists impression of the Boeing NMA. Source: The Air Current.

Summary:
  • The North American carriers will have a useful aircraft in the NMA. It will cover the domestic US and Canadian markets, including Alaska and Hawaii.
  • The smaller 797-6 will cover wide parts of South America and Europe dependent on the hub. The larger NMA has more of a coverage problem outside the North and Central American markets. Read more

737-based Wedgetail to be assembled in UK, Defence official says

Update, Nov. 6: Boeing said the Wedgetail will be assembled in Renton, as it has in the past. Discussions are underway with the UK to perform final modifications there (similar to how KC-46A tankers move from final assembly to the Everett Modification Center for installation of military equipment). However, no agreement has been reached yet.

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Introduction

Nov. 5, 2018, © Leeham News: A UK defense publication reported late today (US time) that Boeing agreed to final assembly of the 737-based Wedgetail radar and surveillance airplane in the UK.

This marks the first time a 7-Series commercial-based airplane will be assembled outside the US.

Boeing 737-based Wedgetail. Boeing photo.

The 737 finishing center in China, which opens this year, installs interiors and paints the airplane of finished 737s.

If the report is confirmed by Boeing, this marks a huge strategic and psychological step in how Boeing Commercial Airplanes approaches final assembly in the future.

Summary
  • Boeing has considered locating 737 line overseas in the past, but always rejected it.
  • Union knowledge, reaction, unknown at this writing.
  • Major implications for Boeing NMA (797).

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How useful is an NMA, Part 4

By Bjorn Fehrm

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Introduction

November 1, 2018, © Leeham News.: Last week we looked at how a Boeing NMA would function as a medium range airliner in the Asia-Pacific.

We now continue with flying the two aircraft variants from Middle East locations, exploring how large an area in Asia, Europe and Africa the aircraft would cover.

Artists impression of the Boeing NMA. Source: The Air Current.

Summary:

  • The profile of an NMA fits well in a Middle East Carrier’s fleet. Dependent on location it covers all of Europe and most of Africa and Asia.
  • As the NMA is a lesser aircraft than the present long-range aircraft used on the routes it would have impressive economics for this type of operation.

Read more

Pontifications: Market Intelligence from NY

By Scott Hamilton

Oct. 22, 2018, © Leeham News: I was in New York City last week for a series of meetings. Here’s what “the street” is talking about. I make no judgment calls about whether the thoughts are on target or not. Read more

How useful is an NMA, Part 2

By Bjorn Fehrm

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Introduction

October 18, 2018, © Leeham News.: Last week we started an article series which analyzes how useful a Boeing NMA will be for medium to long-haul flights in different markets.

We first went through all the factors which will change the OEM’s nominal range to an operational range. Now we fly the NMA in one of its main markets and look how it fairs.

Artists impression of the Boeing NMA. Source: The Air Current.

Summary:

  • The NMA is designed to compete on operational economics with Single Aisle aircraft, yet offer the comfort and turn-around times of a Twin Aisle.
  • To get to Single Aisle economics, the NMA can’t be too much aircraft. This shows when analyzing how NMA fares on trans-Atlantic routes.

Read more

Pontifications: “We will develop and actionable plan to develop supply chain”

By Scott Hamilton

Oct. 15, 2018, © Leeham News: “With your help, we will develop actionable plans to develop the supply chain.”

This was the leading message from the 5th Annual South Carolina Aerospace Conference and Expo, held Tuesday and Wednesday last week in Columbia (SC).

Conference officials also said they are “exploring a national aerospace coalition.”

SAVE THE DATE

Second Annual Southeast Aerospace & Defence Conference

Organized by Leeham Co. and Airfinance Journal

April 14-16, 2019

Francis Marion Hotel

Charleston, SC

The South Carolina Council on Competitive/SC Aerospace already have a Letter of Intent with Washington State’s Aerospace Futures Alliance “for the purpose of advancing the aerospace industry across the US. The LOI will serve as the platform for exploring the creation of a national aerospace Coalition (Coalition) with the objective of strengthening and growing commercial aviation, space, and unmanned aerial systems in the US through a variety of activities.”

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How useful is an NMA?

By Bjorn Fehrm

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Introduction

October 11, 2018, © Leeham News.: The Boeing NMA is by now reasonably well defined. The passenger capacity is set at 225 seats for the smaller version and 265 seats for the larger. The nominal range is 5,000nm for the smaller version and 4,750nm for the larger NMA.

This is all nominal data. In practice, there will be different operational realities which will decrease these figures. How much and how useful will the final operational NMA be? What will be the economic advantage over the direct competition?

Artists impression of the Boeing NMA. Source: The Air Current.

To find out, we will pit the NMA against its direct competition in a series of articles.

Summary:

  • The NMA as defined is configured according to Boeing’s STANDARD rule set. Using these rules, the smaller variant is classified as a 225 seat airliner with a range of 5,000nm. The larger as a 265 seat aircraft with a 4,500nm range.
  • In practice, operational realities and cabins changes compared with the ones used in the STANDARD ruleset will decrease the seating capacity of the aircraft and its range. How much and why is discussed in this, the first article in the series.

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Boeing’s transition in supply chain management aims to save hundreds of millions of dollars

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Introduction

Oct. 8, 2018, © Leeham News: As Boeing moves toward more automation, digital twins and 3D printing to streamline manufacturing and reduce costs, behind the scenes another major initiative has been underway for more than a year.

It’s the shift from its decades-old Enterprise Resource Planning system to a new, expanded one called Systems Applications Projects.

ERP manages parts and inventory. SAP is an evolution of ERP, important as Boeing plans to up production of the 737 and 787 and nears a decision whether to launch the New Midmarket Aircraft (NMA).

The transition is complex and will take years to fully accomplish.

Synergizing scores of old processes covering a billion parts, requiring meticulous data entry, is a daunting task. In fact, after running into problems in June, Boeing Commercial Airplanes’ transition has been delayed, reports the aerospace analyst for Cowen & Co.

A glitch in the system can have ramifications that interrupt production and create traveled work that can delay airplane deliveries to customers.

A system that works as it should streamlines delivery of parts and reduces costs for Boeing—and, theoretically, also its suppliers.

It’s a delicate balance where one misidentified entry into the computer can create problems.

Read more