Paris Air Show: notable orders other than A321XLR and 737MAX

By Vincent Valery

June 24, 2019, © Leeham News: The A321XLR launch and IAG’s 737MAX order gathered most of the attention during the 2019 Paris Air Show. Nevertheless, other significant orders were placed by airlines and lessors.

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How Mitsubishi Aircraft morphed the MRJ70 into the M100 SpaceJet

By Bjorn Fehrm

June 13, 2019, © Leeham News.: Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp (MITAC) has done more than a rebranding and new livery in creating the SpaceJet out of the MRJ70.

It’s changing the design, its materials and several parts of the interior to accommodate more passengers than the MRJ70.

Here is a technical analysis of the aircraft, based on information released today and our own Aircraft Performance Model.

We describe the changes MITAC made to the MRJ70 to end up with the M100 SpaceJet and what these mean for passengers and operators.

Figure 1. The Mitsubishi M100 SpaceJet replacing the MRJ70. Source: Mitsubishi.

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Mitsubishi in negotiations with Bombardier to acquire the CRJ program (Updated)

By Bjorn Fehrm

June 5, 2019, © Leeham News.: The Air Current broke the news earlier today Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) is negotiating with Bombardier to buy the CRJ program.

BBC has got comments from both companies confirming the discussions, with cautions nothing is settled and it can still result in a no deal. Should it happen it would make a lot of sense for both parties.

UPDATE: Bombardier has issued a statement confirming the discussions, see below.

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Boeing expects another banner year for customers

By Dan Catchpole


Feb. 13, 2019, © Leeham News: Boeing Commercial Airplanes expects another banner year in 2019, Randy Tinseth, BCA vice president of marketing, said Tuesday at the PNAA conference.

The airplane maker expects its customers to make about $36 billion in profit this year, he said. That would make five consecutive years of BCA customers recording more than $30 billion in profits.

Tinseth declined to comment on the company’s decision to delay possibly launching the New Midmarket Airplane (NMA) to 2020. However, as Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg noted during the Jan. 30 earnings call, Boeing likely will seek authority to offer this year from its board of directors.

He did say he was surprised to hear so many people already referring to it as the 797.

“I can tell you one thing—that has not been discussed,” Tinseth said.

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Indonesian authorities release preliminary Lion Air crash report

By Bjorn Fehrm

November 28, 2018, © Leeham News.: The Indonesian National Transportation Safety Committee (KNKT) has released the preliminary report about the fatal flight Lion Air LNI610.

The report is 78 pages and gives added information in several areas. Rather than repeat what has been reported before, the article is focused on what new facts are revealed and we make some observations around these facts.

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Boeing’s automatic trim for the 737 MAX was not disclosed to the Pilots

By Bjorn Fehrm

November 14, 2018, © Leeham News.: The automatic trim Boeing introduced on the 737 MAX, called MCAS, was news to us last week. Graver, it was news to the Pilots flying the MAX since 18 months as well.

Boeing and its oversight, the FAA, decided the Airlines and their Pilots had no need to know. The Lion Air accident can prove otherwise.

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Bjorn’s Corner: Supersonic transport revival, Part 6

By Bjorn Fehrm

September 14, 2018, ©. Leeham News: In the last Corner we looked at the change of aerodynamic center when passing Mach 1 and the resulting trim change.

We also discussed the high pitch angle of a delta like the Concorde when landing, which brings visibility problems for the pilots. Now we look into the problem of skin heating at high Mach flight.

Figure 1. The skin temperatures of Concorde at Mach 2. Source: Wikipedia.

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Suppliers chafe at Boeing’s demand for costly certifications

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By Dan Catchpole


September 3, 2018, © Leeham News: Boeing’s insistence that more and more subcontractors meet stringent aerospace manufacturing standards risks adding cost and reducing flexibility to the supply chain, several direct and indirect Boeing suppliers tell LNC.

The aerospace giant is requiring more second and third tier suppliers have AS9100 certification. Until recent years, OEMs and their direct suppliers typically were the only companies that formally complied with AS9100.

Subcontractors were expected to conform to the standards, but did not have to formally comply with the requirements. Doing so is expensive and time consuming. Subcontractors’ work was covered by the Tier 1 suppliers’ or Boeing’s AS9100 certification.

The AS9100 standards were adopted in the late 1990s to improve and standardize quality management throughout the increasingly global aerospace industry.

  • Boeing pushing more subcontractors to be AS9100 certified, according to suppliers.
  • That risks adding cost and reducing flexibility in supply chain.
  • Some suppliers worry it’s a prelude to more cost cutting.

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Airbus posts strong earnings; ‘hell of a ride’ ahead, says CEO

By Dan Catchpole

July 26, 2018, © Leeham News: Airbus posted strong earnings for the year’s second quarter, thanks to better profitability on its A350 and A320 programs. Investors rewarded the news by pushing Airbus share prices to a 52-week high Thursday morning.

However, Airbus lowered its earnings for the full year due to its takeover of Bombardier’s troubled C Series program, since renamed the A220. Airbus plans to deliver 18 of the single-aisle jetliners this year.

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Airbus delivers record 718 aircraft amid strong sales

By Bjorn Fehrm 

January 15, 2018, ©. Leeham Co: Airbus announced record 2017 airliner deliveries of 718 aircraft today. It was the 15th consecutive year of increased production, this time with 30 aircraft over 2016. Fabrice Bregier, the Chief Operating Officer of Airbus, predicted Airbus would pass Boeing in deliveries by 2020.

The company also booked its third best year in orders, with 1,109 aircraft giving a Book-to-Bill of 1.5. The backlog is at a record 7,256 aircraft (Figure 1).

Figure 1. Summary of Airbus 2017 orders and deliveries. Source: Airbus.

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