Could an NMA be made good enough? Part 6

By Bjorn Fehrm

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Introduction

April 27, 2017, © Leeham Co.: We have in several articles gone through the sizing of an NMA (New Midrange Aircraft). We looked at the fuselage, cabin, wings and engines. Now we will sum the exercises and look at the performance of the resulting aircraft.

Boeing is seriously considering launching an NMA. The key to the launch decision will be the airplane’s economics: for development and production as well as operation.

The idea is the NMA shall have “twin aisle comfort with single aisle economics.” We will now use or performance model to analyze if the final aircraft has these characteristics.

Summary:

  • An NMA designed to the principles in our articles will have a seven abreast dual aisle cabin. The cabin will increase passenger comfort in the 200 to 260 seat range and speed ground operations.
  • Careful design of the fuselage, paired with a modern wing and engines, would produce an NMA with “dual aisle comfort and single aisle economics.”

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Could an NMA be made good enough? Part 5

By Bjorn Fehrm

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Introduction

April 20, 2017, © Leeham Co.: After defining the fuselage and wings, it’s now time for the engines.  We go through the sizing criteria for engines for airliners and find the size of engine that is needed for the NMA.

The NMA will need engines which are larger than the single aisle engines for Airbus’ A320neo and Boeing’s 737 MAX. But they will be smaller than the next size up for modern engines, the GEnx-2B for Boeing’s 747-8.

Figure 1. The NMA takes more and more the shape of a 767 replacement (A United 767-200). Source: United

This means the NMA will need new engines, at least 50% larger than the present engines designed for A320neo and 737 MAX.

Summary:

  • An NMA engine will be sized by V2 safety speed or Maximum Continuous Thrust (MCT) criteria.
  • The normal Top of Climb (ToC) sizing point will be less stressing for a twin engine airliner like NMA.

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Asian airline shift portends big ramifications

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Introduction

April 17, 2017, © Leeham Co.: A shift is underway among Asian airlines that could have ramifications for the airframe and engine manufacturers and, by extension, their suppliers.

It doesn’t appear, however, that aerospace analysts in the US and Europe realize this shift. At least none has written about it that we’ve seen among the research notes we receive.

Summary
  • The creation of the Value Alliance of Low Cost Carriers brings together eight LCCs under one alliance.
  • AirAsia faces a competitive threat.
  • Full service carriers also face a threat, particularly those in Japan, concludes one aerospace analyst team in the region.
  • Airbus, Boeing have a backlog of more than 1,000 airplanes with the VALCC group and hundreds more with other airlines.
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Pontifications: Lessor cites cool reception to MAX 10

By Scott Hamilton

April 17, 2017, © Leeham Co.: Buckingham Research Group last week issued back-to-back notes about Boeing. One was a recap of an investors call with Steve Rimmer, CEO of Altavair Airfinance (nee Guggenheim Aviation partners). The other was BRG’s earnings preview, the first off the mark for Boeing’s earnings call on April 26.

I’ll include a summary of BRG’s earnings preview in a subsequent post when other analysts issue their previews.

BRG’s Rimmer note is lengthy and covers industry issues beyond Boeing. Here are a couple of the Boeing-focused points:

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Bjorn’s Corner: Aircraft engines, sum up

By Bjorn Fehrm

April 14, 2017, ©. Leeham Co: We’ve been talking engines on Fridays since October 2016. The Corners covered several areas, from technologies to operations.

And we could go on and dig deeper. But we will move on.

Before we go, we sum up what we have learned in the 24 Corners around airliner Turbofans.

Figure 1. Principal picture of a three-shaft wide-body turbofan. Source: GasTurb.

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Bjorn’s Corner: Aircraft engine maintenance, Part 6

 

By Bjorn Fehrm

April 7, 2017, ©. Leeham Co: Last week’s Corner developed the overhaul shop visits per year for wide-body engines. We will now look at how the market develops around these overhaul opportunities.

How does the shop structure develop over a popular engine’s life-cycle? How much choice has an operator and when?

Figure 1. Principal picture of a three-shaft wide-body turbofan with station numbers. Source: GasTurb.

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No new design needed for turboprops, says Bombardier

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Introduction

April 4, 2017, © Leeham Co.: Bombardier doesn’t think a new, clean-sheet turboprop aircraft is needed any time soon, a position that stands in contrast with rival ATR.

Bombardier Q400.

Ross Mitchell, VP Commercial for BBD, believes the Q400 covers the turboprop segment from 70 to 90 seats and its operational flexibility covers everything airlines need today.

However, ATR has 85% of the backlog with BBD capturing the other 15%.

Still, Mitchell gives a strong defense of the Q400.

Summary:

Don’t believe everything ATR claims about operating cost advantages, BBD says.

BBD can move cockpit and wing production from Canada to lower costs—but where is the question.

Re-engining the Q400 isn’t in the cards, at least any time soon.

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Could an NMA be made good enough, Part 2?

By Bjorn Fehrm

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Introduction

April 3, 2017, © Leeham Co.: In the first part of our investigation on how good an NMA can be, we explored low weight and drag fuselage design. We will now continue with the design consequences for the fuselage construction and the cabin.

What drives whether one goes for an Aluminum or CFRP (Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymer) fuselage?

Figure 1. The NMA takes more and more the shape of a 767 replacement (A United 767-200 pictured). Source: United.

What will be the typical dimensions for an NMA fuselage and what will be passenger capacities?

Summary:

  • An elliptical fuselage will force a CFRP design.
  • The fuselage door configuration will be critical for cabin capacity and flexibility.

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Bjorn’s Corner: Aircraft engine maintenance, Part 5

By Bjorn Fehrm

March 31, 2017, ©. Leeham Co: In the last Corner, we showed flight hour graphs for wide-body engines. Now we will deduce the market for engine overhauls from these graphs.

It will show which engines are still in engine manufacturer care, in their main maintenance cycle and in the sun-set phase.

Figure 1. Principal picture of a three shaft turbofan. Source: GasTurb.

The phase the engine is in and its future flight hour development will decide the attractiveness of the engine for overhaul organizations. Read more

CSeries wrapping up London City certification

By Bjorn Fehrm

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Introduction

March 27, 2017, © Leeham Co.: Bombardier (BBD) CSeries did the last flights of a six-month London City Airport certification last week. The CS100, when certified for London City, will more than double the available payload/range out of the airport. In fact, it can reach New York direct with 40 business passengers on-board, something it demonstrated when it left the airport for JFK on the Saturday.

Figure 1. CS100 taking off for a validation flight at London City Airport. Source: Bombardier.

The aircraft was designed for this performance level from the outset. By designing the CSeries with engines and aerodynamics for the larger CS300, the smaller CS100 became a stellar take-off performer, providing short-field capabilities for London City and other urban airports.

Despite the design for London City, it took Bombardier six months to certify CS100 for the airport. We spoke to CSeries VP Rob Dewar about the challenges and the changes needed to the aircraft to meet the demands of London City.

Summary:

  • CS100 doubles the payload-range performance out of London City Airport (LCY)
  • Validation flights by SWISS pilots in the week confirmed CSeries suitability for LCY. SWISS should know; it has flown the CSeries predecessor (BAE 146) for years into London City.
  • The adaptation for the airport has not degraded normal performance. CSeries performance is better than announced and brochure performance will soon see its second upgrade.
  • To finish of the validation flights, BBD flew the difficult westward leg London City-New York JFK direct, with a payload representing 40 passengers in business class.

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