Mitsubishi sets stage for announcement at Paris

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Introduction

By Bryan Corliss

May 10, 2019, © Leeham News: Senior officials of Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp. said they’ll announce a new concept to replace their proposed MRJ70 at next month’s Paris Air Show. But they’re keeping details to themselves until then.

“We’ve got a couple rabbits in our hat,” said Alex Bellamy, the chief development officer for the MRJ program. “We’d like to keep them in our hat for now. But rabbits have a habit of bouncing.”

Bellamy spoke with a handful of industry reporters Friday at a roundtable following the formal grand opening of Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp America’s new office in Renton (WA). The event – which included the ceremonial opening of sake barrels with hammers–attracted senior executives from MITAC’s headquarters in Nagoya, Japan, and local business and government leaders.

Mitsubishi is flight-testing the 92-seat MRJ90 in the skies above Moses Lake (WA). But in Nagoya, engineers are working on a clean-sheet design for a 76-seat, three-class regional jet.

It’s what the market is calling for, Bellamy said, and right now, there’s a declining number of competitors willing to provide it.

Summary
  • One competitor is going, the other doesn’t have a modern, Scope-compliant aircraft.
  • 50-years opportunity.
  • Combining comfort and new-technology economy

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Mitsubishi adding two MRJ90s to flight test fleet

By Bryan Corliss

April 24, 2019, © Leeham News: Mitsubishi is close to completing two additional MRJ90s that should join the company’s flight test fleet this summer.

Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp. President Hisakazu Mizutani also reported last week that the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has granted the program a letter of authorization, which is a milestone toward getting a final type certificate allowing the plane to enter service.

Mizutani spoke in Nagoya, Japan, on April 16, delivering Mitsubishi’s regular quarterly update on the program’s progress.

 

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Electric aircraft builder announces new engine option

By Bryan Corliss

April 22, 2019, © Leeham News:  Electric aircraft motor builder MagniX will celebrate Earth Day today by announcing it has been chosen as one of two powerplants for Eviation Aircraft’s proposed nine-seater Alice passenger plane.

“We have been successfully testing the MagniX system with our Alice aircraft propeller for quite some time now with great results,” Eviation Chief Executive Omer Bar-Yohay said in a statement.

The MagniX motor has more than 1,500 hours on a test stand, according to Roei Ganzarski, who is CEO of the suburban Seattle engine-builder.

The Alice is a clean-sheet electric aircraft design developed by Eviation, an Israeli company that has established a testing/production facility in Prescott, AZ. Eviation has announced plans to fly the Alice at Le Bourget this summer.

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Pontifications: Fluid, dynamic events upend MAX story

Special Edition

By Scott Hamilton

March 20, 2019, © Leeham Co: I’ve been covering or employed in commercial aviation since 1979. I’m an aviation historian buff.

I’ve read all about the groundings of the Douglas DC-6, Lockheed Constellation, Martin 202 and de Havilland Comet. I read about how the Federal Aviation Administration didn’t ground the Lockheed Electra, choosing operating restrictions instead.

I lived through the grounding of the McDonnell Douglas DC-10 and Boeing 787. As a reporter, I walked through the debris of the American Airlines DC-10 crash that led to the grounding. I went to the crash scene of the Delta Air Lines Boeing 727 at D/FW Airport and I’ve covered many, many crashes through reporting and as a commentator.

I’ve never seen anything evolve in air accidents as has evolved in the Boeing 737 MAX investigations.

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Pontifications: Countdown to decision on Boeing’s NMA, Part 1

By Scott Hamilton

Jan. 14, 2019, © Leeham Co.: Two thousand nineteen begins with increasing focus on whether Boeing is going to launch the New Midmarket Aircraft (NMA, aka 797).

Signs all point to a program launch, perhaps at the Paris Air Show. Authority to Offer (ATO) the airplane for sale is expected by March or April.

Engine companies were asked to respond to Requests for Proposals by the end of December. Engine down select is expected soon.

LNC’s Dan Catchpole will be reporting on this process soon.

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2019 Outlook: ATR begins year in commanding position

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Introduction

Jan. 7, 2019, © Leeham News: ATR, the turboprop airliner OEM, enters 2019 in a commanding position.

Year-end 2018 order numbers for ATR and rival Bombardier aren’t in yet.

Through October, ATR held 74% of the backlog. Bombardier, buoyed by a large order for 25 Q400s from India’s SpiceJet (the 2027 deliveries in the Chart below), had 26% of the backlog.

Bombardier contracted to sell its Q400 program to Longview Capital Partners, parent of Viking Air. The Canadian company previously purchased all legacy de Havilland programs, including the Beaver, Twin Otter and aerial firefighting aircraft.

Viking restarted production of the Twin Otter and is gearing up to restart the Beaver.

Its plans for the Q400, Q300 and previous Dash 8 programs hasn’t been announced.

Summary
  • Bombardier neglected the Q400.
  • Small market over 20 years.
  • ATR would like new program.

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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

A330neo backlog faces challenging skyline

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Introduction

Nov. 12, 2018, © Leeham News: With the first flight of the Airbus A330-800, it’s time to take a new look at the status of the A330 program.

Summary

  • Additional orders have been recorded, but the skyline remains challenged.
  • Iran Air’s order for 30 ceos and neos is still on the books.
  • AirAsia X has yet to confirm Farnborough’s MOU for 34 A330-900s and reportedly looks for convert some to single-aisles.
  • Lessors have a big chunk.

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Assessing the Dubai Air Show

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Introduction

Nov. 20, 2017, © Leeham Co.: The Dubai Air Show was a clear win for Boeing, despite the last minute 430 airplane commitment from the Indigo Partners group.

The “MENA” region, for Middle East and North Africa, has been the staple of the Dubai Air Show.

There have been occasional smatterings of peripheral regions tossed in, but commitments from US companies (except lessors doing business worldwide) have not been a regular feature.

Summary
  • Boeing swept the MENA orders and commitments.
  • Emirates order for 40 787-10s begin delivery from 2022 and may be tied to adjustments in 777X delivery rate.
  • The lack of the widely expected A380 order from Emirates was a huge embarrassment to Airbus.
  • Bombardier, better known for its lack of orders at air shows, landed a good one at Dubai.

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Pontifications: Washington State out to lunch on aerospace–again

By Scott Hamilton

Nov. 13, 2017, © Leeham Co.: Washington State’s top aerospace official, John Thornquist, resigned early this month, complaining that the State Legislature cut the Department of Commerce’s budget 78% over the past three years—making it impossible for Commerce to promote Washington aerospace.

The Puget Sound Business Journal revealed the resignation Nov. 3. The Seattle Times followed later in the day.

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