Hawaiian Airlines’ switch from A330-800 to 787-9

By Bjorn Fehrm

Introduction

February 22, 2018, ©. Leeham Co: Hawaiian Airlines (Hawaiian) were one of the customers for the Airbus A350-800, the smaller, longer-range variant of the A350. When Airbus decided to not produce the A350-800, Hawaiian switched to the A330-800 instead, a smaller and shorter range aircraft.

The further change to the Boeing 787-9 is switching back to an aircraft the class of the original choice, the A350-800.

We examine the change from the A330-800 to the 787-9. What does it buy Hawaiian and why the change?

Summary:

  • Hawaiian opted for a smaller sub fleet of very long-range A350-800s when it reviewed its long-range fleet needs in 2007. Future routes could include Europe given the capabilities of these planes.
  • When Airbus canceled the A350-800 variant, the order was changed to the smaller and shorter range A330-800.
  • Hawaiian has now decided to move back to the type of aircraft it originally decided on. A type which could reliably fly to Europe from Honolulu, the 787-9.

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Airbus, Boeing likely to push for 70/mo single aisle airplane production rates: analysis

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Introduction

Feb. 19, 2018, © Leeham Co.: Production rates for the Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 families are already at record levels, and heading higher.

Airbus plans to hit a production rate of 60/mo next year. Boeing is taking the 737 to rate 57. Boeing is studying rates of 63/mo and even 70/mo. Airbus is sure to match.

How will the airframers achieve these rates?

Information gleaned from the sidelines of the Pacific Northwest Aerospace Alliance conference last week give a reasonably good picture of how Boeing will get there.

Visibility was less on Airbus, which is unsurprising given the conference was in Boeing’s back yard in Lynnwood (WA).

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Airbus, plagued by “decapitation,” faces tough choices on NMA: consultant

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Introduction

Feb. 15, 2018, © Leeham Co.: Airbus’ plans to respond to Boeing’s prospective New Midrange Aircraft, aka 797, is a mystery to one of the industry’s leading aviation consultants.

Richard Aboulafia of the Teal Group notes that Airbus’ research and development investment overtly disappears after 2018, with the introduction into service of the A350-1000 and the A319neo.

Aboulafia spoke at Day 2 of the Pacific Northwest Aerospace Alliance (PNAA) conference in Lynnwood (WA).

He’s long compared R&D spending between Airbus and Boeing, often praising the former for its level of investment and criticizing the latter for lagging.

Now, Airbus’ level of spending is a question mark while Boeing’s is a comfortable level compared with revenue, Aboulafia says.

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Chinese and Russian Widebody takes shape. Part 5.

By Bjorn Fehrm

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Introduction

February 12, 2018, © Leeham Co.: In the fourth article about the Chinese/Russian wide-body, CR929, we analyzed the engine selection for the aircraft. Now we continue with a first performance analysis of the CR929 against its main competitors, the Boeing 787-9 and Airbus A330-900.

We will use the preliminary data we have collected for the CR929 and compare this to the data for the 787-9 and A330-900. It’s the first analysis, on preliminary information. But there is enough knowledge of the key parameters to use our performance model to draw the first conclusions about the CR929’s positioning in the market.

Summary:
  • The CR929-600 is modeled closely after the 787-9. The technology for structures, systems, engines and aerodynamics are similar.
  • With a similar payload capacity, the fuel consumption should be better as the CR929 is defined with a lower maximum range.
  • It’s wider cabin eats up the weight and drag advantage, however. There will be little difference between the efficiency of the 787-9 and the 15 years younger CR929.

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2018 an important year for wide-bodied airplanes

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Introduction

Feb. 5, 2018, © Leeham Co.: This will be an important year for wide-body sales in commercial aviation.

It would be overstating to say 2018 will be a pivotal year for wide-body airplanes, but there should be some important developments.

Summary
  • Boeing may—or may not—launch the twin-aisle New Midrange Aircraft this year.
  • Sales of the 777X remain stalled.
  • Sales of the A330neo remain stalled.
  • Airbus must decide whether to boost the production rate of the A350.

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Chinese and Russian Widebody takes shape. Part 4.

By Bjorn Fehrm

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Introduction

February 1, 2018, © Leeham Co.: In the third article about the Chinese/Russian widebody, CR929, we looked at the challenges the aircraft poses to the involved manufacturers. Now we continue with analyzing the project’s engine needs.

The CR929 is sized to use engines from the Boeing 787 project. Both GE Aviation and Rolls-Royce got Request for Proposals (RFPs) on 22 Dec. 2017. In addition, the Russian and Chinese engine industry wants to develop an engine for the project.

Summary:

  • The Chinese and Russian widebody program needs engines in the 75,000lbf thrust class.
  • The project’s engine specification is closely modeled after the engines available from the Boeing 787 project.
  • In addition to the available 787 engines, the Chinese and Russian engine industry is trying to unite behind a joint engine proposal.

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Bombardier Belfast operations are about more than C Series wings

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Introduction

 By Scott Hamilton

 Jan. 29, 2018, © Leeham Co.: Belfast, Northern Ireland: These days, when mention of Bombardier’s production facility in Northern Ireland is mentioned, only one thought comes to mind: wings for the C Series.

But the facility is more than one: wings for the C Series. Nacelles for the Pratt & Whitney Geared Turbo Fan engine for the Irkut MC-21 are also made in the same building. There are others, where fuselages and tail and wing components for the CRJ and multiple lines of business jets are also made.

Bombardier C Series final wing assembly plant, Belfast, Northern Ireland. Source: Bombardier.

The legacy of the facility dates to 1908, when the Short Brothers began building airplanes, including six Wright Brothers Flyers constructed under license.

It’s from the legacy of using composites on business jets and the CRJs that led to the C Series wings, using production methods that are more advanced than Airbus or Boeing.

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Chinese and Russian Widebody takes shape. Part 3.

By Bjorn Fehrm

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Introduction

January 25, 2018, © Leeham Co.: In the second article about the new Chinese/Russian widebody, CR929, we looked at the size of the aircraft and its passenger capacity. The CR929 can be best described as a shorter range version of Boeing’s 787-9. We also presented the chosen technologies for the project.

Now we continue and look at the challenges the aircraft poses to the involved manufacturers. Neither of them (COMAC of China and United Aircraft of Russia) have developed and certified an aircraft like the CR929 before.

Summary:
  • The Chinese and Russian widebody program has high ambitions. The structure shall be composites and the systems state of the art.
  • We now go through the aircraft’s chosen technologies and review what experience base the Chinese and Russian aeronautical industry has and what challenges they will face. Read more

Airbus, Boeing list price hikes will have little affect

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Introduction

Jan. 22, 2018, © Leeham Co.: Airbus and Boeing hiked their list prices on their airliners last week by about 2% and 4% respectively.

There is little impact for either company in the near term. Single-aisle lines for both companies are sold out until the early 2020 decade, so any price hikes today will be reflected for sales will deliveries after the current backlog clears.

The wide-body lines could have better near-in returns; the backlogs aren’t as far out as single-aisle and near-term opportunities exist.

Summary
  • Initial deposits might see an uptick in cash flow.
  • Will price hikes translate into higher revenue or larger discounts?
  • Production rate hikes would create revenue opportunities.

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Chinese and Russian Widebody takes shape: Part 2.

By Bjorn Fehrm

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Introduction

January 18, 2018, © Leeham Co.: In the first article about the Chinese/Russian widebody, the CR929, we described the route to a joint program company and the launch of the project.

We now analyze the aircraft, based on available information. With the information, it’s possible to model the aircraft in our performance model and get the first understanding of performance and efficiency.

Summary:
  • The CR929-600 is closely modelled after the Boeing 787-9. The overall design and dimensions are similar.
  • The major difference to the 787-9 is in cabin width, allowing comfortable nine abreast seating, and the Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW).
  • The decision to design CR929-600 for a lower MTOW has restricted range to 6,500nm with the nominal cabin capacity of 280 passengers.

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