Embraer thinks a business case can be made for turboprop, but nothing soon

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Introduction

March 12, 2018 © Leeham Co.: Embraer isn’t planning any new airplane any time soon, but studies about a turboprop and an electric airplane are underway.

One concept of the Embraer turboprop under study.

The current focus is on introducing the Ejet-E2 into service, however. The E190-E2 goes into service next month. The E195-E2 follows next year and the E175-E2 in 2021.

Studies about the electric plane, with 50 passengers or less, perhaps are more esoteric than pending reality. Airbus and Boeing also are studying this concept.

The prospect of a turboprop may be more rooted in reality, however.

Summary
  • Current turboprop designs are aging.
  • Bombardier’s exit from the turboprop market is considered likely.
  • Tough business case seen working with Bombardier exit.
  • The ATR is too small for some airlines.

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Pontifications: The view from 51,000 feet

Oct. 9, 2017, © Leeham Co., Montreal: The National Business Aviation Assn. (NBAA) annual exhibition begins tomorrow in Las Vegas.

LNC doesn’t ordinarily follow business aircraft, but when I was in Montreal last month visiting Pratt & Whitney Canada, I had the opportunity to meet with leaders of the PW800 team.

This new engine powers the new Gulfstream 500/600, a corporate aircraft undergoing testing.

Admittedly, not being conversant with the G500/600 or the PW800, details of which may be not new to some others, I was taken by a fewer pointers shared by PWC.

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Pratt & Whitney Canada monitors engines through FAST

Sept. 20, 2017, © Leeham Co., Montreal: Pratt & Whitney Canada FAST system monitoring for engines on regional airliners is also part of its general and corporate aviation and helicopter customer support.

FAST isn’t an acronym. It describes the intent of quickly responding to issues that arise and to identify issues that are trending before these create a serviceability problem.

“We are continuing to develop the FAST system, which transmits health monitoring parameters and can reduce maintenance costs, Frederic Lefebvre, VP-Marketing for Regional Airlines, told LNC during our visit to PWC last week.

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Pratt & Whitney Canada continues development of new airliner turboprop

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Introduction

Sept. 14, 2017, © Leeham Co., Montreal: The prospect of a clean-sheet design turboprop to replace the Bombardier Q400 and ATR series likely has moved to the right by two to three years,

Frederic Lefebvre, Pratt & Whitney Canada.

and the total market remains small, but Pratt & Whitney Canada is forging ahead with development of the next generation engine.

The goal is to reduce fuel consumption by 15%-20% compared with today’s ubiquitous PW127 and PW150, which continue to see reductions in fuel burn through product improvement packages.

Frederic Lefebvre, VP-Marketing for Regional Airlines, now sees development of the new turboprop slipping to 2022-2026 compared with previous forecasts of an EIS in 2020-2023.

Summary
  • The Next Generation Regional Turboprop (NGRT) has major challenges to improve upon the current generation of engines.
  • PWC sees a much larger market for a 90-seat turboprop than others.
  • Emerging markets key to new opportunities.

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Pratt & Whitney Canada’s hurricane prep for the little guy

Sept. 12, 2017, (c) Leeham Co., Montreal: Preparations by airlines to evacuate passengers and ultimately their own airplanes from the paths of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma were well covered.

The departure of corporate and general aviation airplanes hit Twitter with Flighttracker images.

But less known is how one giant aerospace company prepared to help customers right down to the little guy in general aviation.

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