Focus on NMA engines: all OEMs vying for Boeing’s approval

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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.

  • Market sources are tossing about various scenarios about the future GE Aviation and CFM.
  • Rolls-Royce won’t have its Trent 1000 problems fixed until 2021 or 2022, at great cost.
  • Pratt & Whitney won’t have its Geared Turbo Fan final PIP packages for its problems sorted out until around 2021.
  • Resources—both financial and with engineering—are stretched now.
  • Sequencing current engine problems, and in the case, GE’s GE9X, are a factor, in the eyes of some.

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GE/CFM in “lockstep” with Boeing on NMA

David Joyce

March 22, 2018, © Leeham News: GE Aviation/CFM International are in “lockstep” with Boeing for development of an engine for the New Midrange Aircraft (NMA, or 797), the CEO of GE Aviation told a JP Morgan Aviation conference last week.

David Joyce acknowledged that there are technical issues and production delays for the new CFM LEAP 1A and 1B that power the Airbus A320neo and Boeing 737 MAX families respectively. Production is running up to six weeks late, but should be caught up by the end of this year, he said.

Technical issues, while affecting at least 100 engines, nevertheless are far less of an issue than those plaguing rival Pratt & Whitney’s Geared Turbo Fan.

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NMA focus needs to be on engines

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March 19, 2018, © Leeham Co.: As the market awaits a decision by Boeing whether to launch the New Midrange Aircraft (NMA, or 797), focus has been on the aircraft’s definition and market demand.

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.

  • CFM, GE, Pratt & Whitney and Rolls-Royce each had problems with their new engines. All continue.
  • The Boeing NMA requires brand new engines, not derivatives.
  • Engine development and certification within the Boeing preferred timeline is sporty at best.

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Boeing’s NMA decision entering final stretch

By Bjorn Fehrm

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March 15, 2018, © Leeham News: Boeing’s NMA or 797 is taking final form ahead of a decision to launch the program later in the year.

Jon Ostrower has published the first picture of the projected aircraft, which he acknowledges might change in its final form. Figure 1 shows the smaller of the two NMA models, the 224-seat 797-6X.

Figure 1. The first sketch of the smaller 797-6X with 224 seats. Source:

We take a closer look at the 797 in its latest definition.


  • The Boeing NMA is called the 797-6X and 797-7X when presented to airlines.
  • The 797 is best compared with the 767. Cabin dimensions are close to the 767-200 for the 797-6X and to the 767-300 for the 797-7X.
  • The use of a more efficient cross-section, Carbon Fibre design, higher aspect ratio wing and modern engines makes the 797 a lighter and more efficient aircraft than the 767.

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Pratt & Whitney’s Indian trouble

By Bjorn Fehrm

March 14, 2018, ©. Leeham Co: India’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) grounded Airbus A320neos equipped with Pratt & Whitney GTF engines with faulty compressor seals Monday.

Affected are eight A320neos of Indigo airlines and three A320neos of GoAir. The Indian groundings are unusual as they go beyond the directives of EASA and FAA for the problem.

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Airbus, Boeing respond differently to engine problems

March 14, 2018, © Leeham Co.: Airbus and Boeing have engine issues on in-service airplanes, but customers point to very different responses to getting their grounded airplanes back in the air.

Airbus’ problems with A320neos powered by Pratt & Whitney Geared Turbo Fan engines have been making headlines almost since introduction in late 2016.

Less well publicized, but nevertheless by now well-known within the industry, has been Boeing’s 787 powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines.

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Engine makers “inside the tent” on Boeing NMA, but airframer still ponders provider

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

Randy Tinseth. Photo via Google images.

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.

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Pontifications: Transformation is key to increasing production rates

By Scott Hamilton

Feb. 19, 2018, © Leeham Co.: The likely prospect that Airbus and Boeing will increase single-aisle production rates next decade is outlined in our paywall article today.

The whys and capabilities to do so are outlined in the paywall post. The how is what I’ve been writing about since the first of the year, when LNC looked ahead to its 2018 forecast.

The “how” is the transformation in production that is underway in aerospace.

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Leahy remains steadfast in A380 future

Feb. 16, 2018, © Leeham Co.: It’s been a long struggle and there isn’t a re-engining any time soon, but John Leahy still firmly believes in the market viability of the Airbus A380.

John Leahy stand behind the Airbus A380. Photo via Google images.

Leahy, who retired last month as COO-Customers, continues to support the transition to Eric Schulz, EVP, Chief of Sales, Marketing & Contracts. One of Leahy’s last deals was to firm up an A380 MOU for 20 orders and 16 options for Emirates Airline.

In his final retirement interview with LNC, Leahy didn’t waver from the messaging Airbus used since the launch of the A380 program in 2000: passenger traffic doubles every 15 years, no new airports and few new runways are being added in Europe, the US or Asia outside of China and the need for the A380 remains.

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Airbus group 2017: The A320 is the group moneymaker despite problems

By Bjorn Fehrm

February 15, 2018, ©. Leeham Co in Toulouse: Airbus Group presents better results for 2017 than predicted, despite challenges in several programs. Profit was up 34% on flat revenues. The underlying driver for the strong performance is the A320 program, and with record 2017 orders and backlog, no end is in sight.

Airbus CEO, Tom Enders, says the A320 is “sold out’ until 2023 and the company is working on how to produce 70 per month, to keep up with demand.

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