April 25, 2019, © Leeham News: With the European Union now listing aircraft among the US products that will be subject to tariffs, in retaliation for the United States plan to levy tariffs on airplanes and other goods, Airbus faces a greater exposure than Boeing in a trade war.
The US proposes tariffs on aircraft, fuselages, wings and other components produced by the four Airbus member states: France, Germany, Spain and the UK.
April 22, 2019, © Leeham News: If there remains any doubt that Boeing’s prospective New Midmarket Airplane (NMA) won’t be ready for entry into service (EIS) by 2025, it should be dispelled by now.
The Board of Directors is unlikely to approve Authority to Offer (ATO) the NMA for sale as long as the cash flow for the MAX is outgoing and not in-coming.
Although this has its own impact on the NMA timing, it’s not the critical factor.
Last week, it was revealed that the CFM LEAP engine on the MAX (and the Airbus A321neo) has a problem called coking, which led to the contained engine failure of a Southwest Airlines MAX being ferried from Orlando (FL) to Victorville (CA) for the grounding of the Boeing airplane (see here and here). It’s the latest in a long line of engine maker problems with their current generation of powerplants.
This issue is unrelated to the MAX MCAS grounding. It also affects some engines on the A320neo family.
April 18, 2019, © Leeham News: Airlines need to create a pleasing work environment even in the industrial atmosphere of “wrench turners” if they are going to attract millennials to become maintenance workers.
Some airlines, like Delta, faces an aging workforce, which will produce a surge of retirements.
JetBlue, with a young workforce, faces the challenge of attracting young workers who find better paying jobs in other industries.
Even KLM found it has to change the work environment to attract young employees.
Here’s how their stepping up to these challenges.
By Bryan Corliss
April 15, 2019, © Leeham News: As Boeing faces federal investigations, shareholder lawsuits, Congressional hearings – and possibly subpoenas – linked to the 737 MAX crashes, another issue flying low on the radar could further complicate the company’s relationship with the Federal Aviation Administration and the elected officials who oversee it.
The issue revolves around the company’s plan to end quality control inspections for several thousand tasks performed by Boeing mechanics in the factory.
That plan – first reported by The Seattle Times in January – involves the use of more “smart tools” to perform work more precisely so that inspections will no longer be required for thousands of tasks. Instead of doing quality checks 100% of the time, as Boeing inspectors have been doing for generations, inspectors will sample 1-in-100 tasks, or maybe less, Boeing executives told the newspaper.
Now, the union for inspectors whose work is going away is asking its influential supporters in Congress to intervene with the FAA. It wants a chance to show the agency data it says proves that the new process will lead to more downstream rework on the assembly line, more injured workers and more production delays.
April 11, 2019, © Leeham News: Airlines are showing dramatic reductions in canceled flights and aircraft maintenance squawks through its Skywise live diagnostics programs, the most recent of which was rolled out in the US with ultra-low-cost carrier Allegiant Air in January.
Skywise Health Monitoring is the latest program in the Skywise suite of services offered by Airbus to carriers around the world. Skywise Health Monitoring (SHM) joins Skywise Reliability Services (SRS) and Skywise Predictive Maintenance (SPM).
Airbus announced Allegiant’s participation yesterday at the Aviation Week MRO Americas conference in Atlanta (GA).
April 8, 2019, © Leeham News: The certification process and cooperation between Boeing and the US Federal Aviation Administration is under a microscope, subject to international scrutiny, a Congressional hearing, an inspector’s general investigation and another one by the Department of Justice with a Grand Jury.
What is this going to mean for future aircraft programs? And to the MAX?
By Bryan Corliss
April 4, 2019, © Leeham News: While one Western Washington electric aircraft company is charging forward with battery-powered flight, another may be encountering headwinds.
Zunum, which has announced plans to put a hybrid-electric-powered aircraft into the air before the year’s end, may need a cash infusion if it’s to stick to that time line.
Unlike MagniX – which announced March 26 a deal with Vancouver’s Harbour Air to start putting electric motors into the airline’s existing fleet of seaplanes – Bothell-based Zunum is pursuing a clean-sheet aircraft design.
But, to mix a metaphor, there are plenty of unchartered waters with this grounding that stand ready to complicate matters.
Bloomberg reported Saturday that Europe’s FAA equivalent, EASA, skipped last week’s Boeing meeting of 200 pilots and regulators.
March 28, 2019, © Leeham News: Boeing 737 MAX pilots learning about the revised software upgrade to the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) will need a half hour of computer-based training (CBT), the company told the media yesterday in a briefing.
Pilots of the 737 NG who have not yet made the transition to the MAX also have to be trained on the MCAS now. Boeing did not specify if this will take longer than those already trained on the MAX.
By Bryan Corliss
March 26, 2019, © Leeham News: A Seattle-area engine manufacturer today will announce a significant step toward actually getting an electric-powered passenger aircraft off the ground.
The company, MagniX, is set to announce a partnership with Canada’s Harbour Air to retrofit its fleet of 33 piston-powered de Havilland Beavers, Otters and Twin Otters with 750 hp electric engines.
The first electric-powered flight – in a six-passenger Beaver – will take place before the end of 2019, according to MagniX CEO Roei Ganzarski. MagniX and the Vancouver-based airline plan to pursue a supplemental type certificate for the planes, with a goal of 2021 for EIS.
Modifications will take place at a plant in Vancouver, a spokeswoman said.