What has Airbus got in the CSeries?

By Bjorn Fehrm

October 18, 2017, ©. Leeham Co: Bombardier and Airbus changed the airliner landscape yesterday. Analysts say it’s the largest industry change since Boeing bought McDonnell Douglas in 1997.

So, what has Airbus bought for no money? A me-too, or a world-beater?

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Pontifications: 49 years ago, the first 747 rolled out

By Scott Hamilton

Sept. 30, 2017, © Leeham Co.: Today is the 49th anniversary of the roll-out of the Boeing 747-100.

On Nov. 7, United Airlines operates its last 747 flight. Delta Air Lines ends it 747 service this year. Afterward, there won’t be a single US operator of the passenger model.

The 747 remains in service with US cargo carriers Atlas Air, Kalitta Air, UPS and a few others. Globally, British Airways, Lufthansa and Korean Air Lines are among those flying the passenger model.

Ted Reed, one of the writers of TheStreet.com, asked me earlier this month to give some thoughts about the 747. Below is what I gave him; he excerpted some for his column in Forbes. The focus was on US operators.

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Boeing’s bold ambition

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Introduction

 Sept. 25, 2017, © Leeham Co.: The ambitious plan of Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg to grow after-market services from today’s $14bn in revenues to $50bn in 5-10

Stan Deal, CEO of Boeing Global Services.

years was announced nearly a year ago—Nov. 21.

Boeing Global Services, or BGS, combines separate operations in Boeing Commercial Airplanes and Boeing Defense, Space and Security (BCA and BDS respectively).

The growth depends on a combination of improving its current operations, growing organically and through mergers and acquisitions.

Wall Street aerospace analysts generally regard the timeline as ambitious.

In an interview with LNC, the CEO of BGS, Stan Deal, agreed.

Summary

  • Muilenburg’s bold ambition.
  • The next 100 years.
  • Creating a value proposition.

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Bjorn’s Corner: Electric aircraft, Part 8

By Bjorn Fehrm

August 18, 2017, ©. Leeham Co: In this Corner, we will finish the design of the hybrid propulsion system for our 50-seat regional turboprop. We use the ATR42-600 as a reference, as before (Figure 1).

We found an acceptable redundancy concept in the previous Corner, with an APU+generator+battery as backup power source. Now we will finish the design of the hybrid propulsion chain and compare with the original turboprop propulsion.

Figure 1. ATR42-600 serves as a template for our 50-seat regional turboprop. Source: ATR.

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CSeries, the long-ranger for thin routes

By Bjorn Fehrm

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Introduction

August 16, 2017, © Leeham Co.: At the end of 2014, we predicted the Boeing 737 MAX 8 would be used by LCCs to open new long-range destinations. And sure enough, the fourth MAX 8 off the line went to Norwegian Air Shuttle, for trans-Atlantic operations.

The Bombardier CSeries launch of operations from London City Airport last week gave us the chance to discuss CSeries long-range characteristics with Rob Dewar, VP CSeries program at Bombardier.

With the improved performance data to be announced, the CS300 will pass the range of the MAX 8.To understand with what margin and costs we feed our performance model with the latest information.

Summary:
  • At an equivalent load (standard 2 class or HD cabins) the CS300 flies further than the 737 MAX 8.
  • It will transport about 30 fewer passengers, in higher comfort and at lower trip costs.
  • The seat mile costs will be only slightly higher than the 737 MAX 8.

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Small airlines face replacement challenges

Aug. 15, 2017, © Leeham Co.: Small airlines face continuous challenges about acquiring modern aircraft at prices they can afford.

There was once a number of manufacturers producing small airliners. British Aerospace (BAe) produced the 19-seat Jetstream and Beech the 19-seat 1900. Saab built the 340 and later the 2000. BAe tried to update the old Hawker Siddeley 748 with the ATP, Advanced Turbo Prop. Fokker upgraded the F-27 to the F-50. Embraer got its start with the small Bandierante and really hit the mark with the Brasilia.

Bombardier produced the Dash-8 40-seat turboprop in competition with ATR’s ATR-42 and both compete with a 70-90 seat turboprop. BBD dropped its Dash 8 and barely holds on with the Q400. ATR is the dominant player now. (China produces a turboprop, but it’s mostly a captive-market airplane.)

BAE, Saab and Beech exited the commuter airplane business. Fokker went out of business. Embraer moved to jets.

This leaves smaller, independent regional and commuter airlines in a real bind. There are simply no replacements for the 19- to 30-seat airliner, save one: the Viking Twin Otter. More about this below.

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Boeing’s tactical option for MOM sector

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Introduction

Aug. 14, 2017, © Leeham Co.: It’s not a done deal yet—the business for the so-called Boeing 797 remains a challenge. But the consensus is that Boeing will launch the program next year, for an entry-into-service around 2025.

Boeing 797 concept. Source: Boeing.

Yet there are airlines that say they don’t want to wait that long for a new airplane.

What are their choices?

  • Acquire the Airbus A330-200. It’s available now. Fuel is cheap and is expected to remain so well into the next decade.
  • Acquire the A330-800. It’s fairly cheap. It’s about 10% less expensive to operate on a per-trip basis than the A330-200. The new engines will serve as a hedge against rising fuel prices for an indefinite future.
  • Acquire the Boeing 787-8.
  • Airbus ponders an A321neo+.
  • There’s another option that is not readily apparent.

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Can Airbus improve the A321neo further? Part 2

By Bjorn Fehrm

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Introduction

August 10, 2017, © Leeham Co.: Last week we started the look into how the Airbus A321neo could be incrementally improved. To understand what can improve an aircraft, ones need to understand its limitations.

The A321neo is mainly limited by its wing, which is highly loaded. But there are ways around this limitation other than developing a new wing, an exercise which would require time, money and a new certification program.

Having understood the limitations, we now look into what can be done about them.

Summary:

  • The changes to the wings can be limited to those that are easy to do, resulting in longer range.
  • Combined with fuel capacity improvements and stronger engines it produces a very interesting aircraft.

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CSeries starts operations from London City Airport

By Bjorn Fehrm

August 09, 2017, © Leeham Co.: Bombardier (BBD) CSeries has done its first revenue flight to London City Airport. It was a scheduled Swiss International Airlines (SWISS) flight from Zurich that landed on the airport yesterday.

With the CSeries operational from London City, the route network that can be flown from the downtown airport changes significantly. Europe out to Moscow or Las Palmas is accessible and an all business class CS100 could fly direct to New York.

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Pontifications: Context is everything

By Scott Hamilton

Aug. 7, 2017, © Leeham Co.: The quote appeared on Twitter, citing the chairman of Air Lease Corp, Steven Udvar-Hazy:

“I would simply but strongly encourage the OEMs to carefully review their production rate aspirations closely and realistically.”

Hazy, often (but erroneously) called the “Godfather of leasing,” is a voice to be reckoned with. He is enormously influential with Airbus, Boeing, lessors and the industry. He’s been a launch customer of several aircraft new aircraft models and, if he’s not the Godfather of leasing (this title really belongs to the late George Batchelor), Hazy raised aircraft leasing to a fine art.

So, when the quote appeared on Twitter, I sat up in my chair.

Was Hazy suggesting Airbus and Boeing will be producing too many airplanes, creating a supply-demand imbalance?

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