April 18, 2022, © Leeham News: The aviation industry is waiting to see what Boeing will do when it comes to a new airplane.
The Next Boeing Airplane (NBA), whatever form it takes, will largely be driven by what advances in engines are available. Boeing CEO David Calhoun downplays the engine element. He’s said repeatedly that the next engine will only have about a 10% lower fuel consumption than today’s powerplants. He didn’t today’s name engines, but the benchmarks are now the Pratt & Whitney Geared Turbo Fan and CFM LEAP.
Calhoun places more emphasis on a moonshot in design and production advances to lower the cost of the airplane—with the theory the price paid by the customer will be lower as a result, providing a combined benefit of lower operating costs and lower capital costs.
PW agrees that by around 2030, the usual date (plus-or-minus a year or two) given for the NBA’s entry into service (EIS), it can get another 10% of improved fuel economy out of the GTF. CFM, on the other hand, is pressing ahead with what used to be called the Open Rotor concept. CFM now calls it an Open Fan. The company has a target EIS of 2035 and a fuel improvement of 20%. Emissions for the two engines would be reduced by roughly a corresponding amount vis-à-vis fuel burn.
March 14, 2022, © Leeham News: You might call it the soup du jour.
EcoAviation is all over the place at aviation conferences these days. It was a key topic at last October’s Annual General Meeting of the International Air Transport Association (IATA). Likewise at last month’s annual conference of the Pacific Northwest Aerospace Alliance (PNAA). EcoAviation also was an element of the Speed News conference in Los Angeles early this month and at another event the following week. Investor Day events now routinely include ecoAviation discussion.
This is all well and good, but at last, some key members of the industry are putting caution and realism to the pie-in-the-sky stuff that is sucking up investment like the Dot Com era a few decades ago. Only a few ideas and technologies will be successful.
By Bjorn Fehrm
February 24, 2022, © Leeham News: The CEO of Boeing Commercial Aircraft (BCA), Stan Deal, said at the Singapore Air show the company worked on increased gross weight versions of both the 787-9 and -10.
Target is to get the 787-10 to the range of the aircraft it shall replace, the 777-200ER and -300ER. It means more than 7,000nm of range against the 6,400nm of today.
How many tonnes of increased Gross weight does this mean, and what would be the performance compared with the Airbus A350-900? We use our airliner performance model to find out.
By Scott Hamilton
Nov. 1, 2021, © Leeham News: David Calhoun may not be anywhere near ready to launch the Next Boeing Airplane (NBA), but the engine makers are actively researching and developing engines to hang of whatever that NBA will be.
Calhoun, the CEO of Boeing, repeatedly said the NBA will be more about reducing production costs through advanced design and production methods. For some time, Calhoun said the next engines available on the assumed timeline—to about 2030—will have only 10% better economics than today’s engines.
And 10% isn’t enough for the airlines or the commensurate reduction in emissions.
CFM/GE Aviation/Safran are developing an “open fan” engine that will reduce fuel burn and emissions by 20%. A target date for entry into service is in the 2030 decade. The open fan builds on R&D of open rotors that have been underway since the era of the Boeing 727 and McDonnell Douglas MD-80.
Pratt & Whitney sees an evolution of its Geared Turbofan engine. The GTF was under development for 20 years before an operating engine made it onto the Bombardier C Series (now the Airbus 220), the Airbus A320, and United Aircraft MC-21. The GTF also was selected for the Mitsubishi MRJ90, which launched the GTF program. However, Mitsubishi pulled the plug on the MRJ/SpaceJet program last year. PW remains committed to the GTF for future engines.
Rolls-Royce is developing the Ultra Fan and Advanced engines. GE’s Open Fan and RR’s engines adopt geared turbofan technology pioneered by PW but add new technology.
LNA takes a look at the new engines for the NBA or any other competing airplane in a series of articles.
The first report appeared Oct. 18, 2021.
Oct. 25, 2021, © Leeham News: Embraer appears marching toward launching a new turboprop aircraft next year with a targeted 2027 entry into service.
The timing will be determined by the engine. Pratt & Whitney, GE Aviation and Rolls-Royce have development programs. PW and GE are farthest along. PW is thought to have the best chance of winning Embraer’s business. (Pratt & Whitney supplies the engines for the E2 jet. GE supplied the engines for the E1.)
In an interview at the IATA AGM Oct. 3-5 in Boston, Arjan Meijer, the president of Embraer Commercial Aviation, said the competition remains open today.
By Bjorn Fehrm
August 19, 2021, © Leeham News: In our series about freighters, we now look at domestic freighters based on the Boeing 757-200 and the Airbus A321. The 757-200 is a popular Passenger to Freighter (P2F) conversion, but as production of the 757 stopped in 2004, there is a limit to the conversion feed-stock for the model.
At the same time, older A321s are reaching market values where their cost enables competitive P2F conversions.
We use our performance model to check if the A321P2F is a good alternative to the 757-200P2F.
By Bjorn Fehrm
August 5, 2021, © Leeham News: Two weeks ago we compared the launched Airbus A350 freighter with Boeing’s in-service 777F. We found the 777F is a freighter with a very high payload capability, but it faces an ICAO emission and noise ax by 2028, should the present engines be kept.
Boeing’s CEO David Calhoun recently said a freighter version of the 777X might replace the 777F. With seven years to 2028, a development decision for a 777-XF is then imminent. We use our performance model to look at how an A350F and 777-XF would compare.
By Bjorn Fehrm
July 15, 2021, © Leeham News: Airbus is working on a freighter of the A350 to compete with Boeing’s larger freighters, such as the 777F.
The 777F is quite a different aircraft than the 777-200LR, which shares its external dimensions, and the 777-300ER that has donated a lot of the internal structure. So will the A350 freighter be based on the A350-900, as the rumors say, or A350-1000? And how good will it be compared to the 777F?
We use our performance model to find out.
By Vincent Valery
The Ultrafan demonstrator started the final assembly this year at the OEM’s Derby facility, with a plan to start and complete ground testing in 2022. Rolls-Royce will await a new OEM program launch to finalize the development to a production engine after 2022.
While using a power gearbox has gathered most of the attention, the Ultrafan uses other new technologies to enable a leap in fuel efficiency. LNA analyzes the technologies used and what lies ahead for the program.
April 2, 2021, ©. Leeham News: It’s time to wrap up our series on the hydrogen airliner alternative for Sustainable Commercial Aviation.
We review the status for sustainable aviation as of today, then look at the future next week.