Odds and Ends: Revisiting a 757 crash; Boeing-WTO appeal due this week

Boeing 757 Crash: In 1996 a Birgenair Boeing 757 crashed into the sea, following discrepancies with the pitot tubes speed indications. This story revisits the circumstances.

Boeing WTO appeal: The appeal of the WTO panel findings that Boeing received illegal subsidies is due Wednesday. The EU filed a technical appeal to start the clock while the US Trade Representative filed a substantive appeal. Both sides will claim victory, in yet another round of what we consider to be a meaningless load of [stuff]. Our disdain for the WTO is well known to readers of this column.

Rolls-Royce: Flight Global has an interesting piece on Rolls-Royce’s product strategy.

90-Seat Turbo-Props: Flight Global also has an article on the engine development for the prospective 90-seat turbo-props.

COMAC C919: China’s aerospace authority, CAAC, has taken a hands-off approach to the design of the COMAC C919–a development that isn’t exactly a ringing endorsement of the project.

Southwest Airlines: A blog item from Terry Maxon of the Dallas Morning News lists Southwest operations at hub cities–and what’s interesting is that Chicago Midway Airport is one of WN”s least efficient city from an asset utilization standpoint. Look at the number of gates-to-flights in the charts.

Dubai Air Show review

The Dubai Air Show is over, with record orders being announced.

2 x B777F for Qatar

20 x A320neo for ACG

45 x A320neo/30 x A320  for Spirit (MoU)

50 x A320neo for Qatar with PW1100G-JM (+30 options)

5 x A380 for Qatar (+3 options)

ALAFCO announcing GTF for all A320neo

Emirates 50+20 777-300ERS

10 x CS300 for Atlasjet (LoI)

We took a bye on daily coverage because we weren’t there and the on-site reporters could do better than we could from afar. So we decided to do a post-show pontification.


Airbus and Boeing dominated the headline–no surprise there–but while Boeing had a blow-out order with 50+20 777-300ERs from Emirates Airlines, Airbus had another mind-xxxx from the mercurial Akbar “U-Turn” Al-Baker, CEO of Qatar Airways. Al-Baker is now the subject of a mocking Twitter account, @AkbarAlFaker, having a conversation with @MichaelOhReally.

This Bloomberg story gives a nice wrap.

Read more

Embraer decides on re-engine, takes a pass on NSA

Embraer announced that it will take a pass on developing a New Small Airplane in the 130-155 seat class and instead re-engine the E-Jet series, possibly with stretch to 133 seats (smack in the middle of the Bombardier CSeries 100/300 size). Targeted entry-in-service (EIS) is 2018.

Aeroturbopower, which focuses on engine stuff, already has this back-of-the-envelope analysis.

As Aeroturbopower notes, EMB favors a one-stop, trans-continental airplane (2,000-2,200nm) over the full transcontinental range of the CSeries (although BBD offers a lighter-weight CSeries with 2,200nm range as well). About 90% of the US domestic flights are within this range but the E-Jet is 2×2 vs the CS 2×3 seating. Aeroturbopower concludes the E-Jet will have lower seat costs.

Aeroturbopower also compares the E-Jet with the Mitsubishi MRJ.

PW gains major wins in Rolls-Royce deals

Here are some additional thoughts about the Rolls-Royce/Pratt & Whitney deal announced yesterday.

PW is a real winner in this set of transactions.

  • Buying RR out of the International Aero Engines partnership gives PW far more latitude in making deals for the V2500 engines and the ability to connect V2500 transactions to transitions to Geared TurboFan orders. RR had no incentives to make connected deals, since there was nothing in it for them if a customer ordered the GTF instead of the V2500. CFM had the competitive advantage in offering the CFM56 for legacy airplanes and the LEAP for the A320neo. With PW now controlling the V2500 partnership, PW has come closer to leveling the playing field. Read more

Rolls-Royce, PW join forces for 120-230 seat engine–and to focus on GTF technology

It is a stunning announcement. Not so much the buyout of Rolls-Royce by Pratt & Whitney from the International Aero Engines partnership. This has been expected for more than a year.

What’s stunning in the new partnership RR and PW announced to develop engines in the 120-230 seat market and to focus on Geared Turbo Fan technology.

AirInsight has a commentary on the tie-up.

This is a major shift in the engine competition and a major endorsement of the GTF engine and techn0logy, creating a more formidable competitor to the dominate CFM International.

We’ll have more to say after we digest this a bit and talk with the market.