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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Introduction

By Dan Catchpole

 danieljcatchpole(at)gmail(dot)com

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.

Summary
  • 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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Bombardier 2Q results: Turn around on track as Business aircraft, Trains perform well

By Bjorn Fehrm

July 28, 2017, ©. Leeham Co: Bombardier presented its 2Q2017 results this morning. Performance followed guidance, with stronger than expected margins in business aircraft and trains. Overall the business tracks the turnaround plan, presented end 2015.

Because of constrained delivery of Pratt & Whitney GTF engines for 1H 2017, only seven CSeries got delivered. A full year delivery of around 30 CSeries is still the target.

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Mitsubishi and ANA show MRJ commitment

June 18, 2017, © Leeham Co.: Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) CEO Shunichi Miyanaga and the Vice Chairman of ANA Holidings, Osamu Shinobe, gave the full backing to the MRJ program today, when presenting an ANA liveried test aircraft at the Paris Air Show.

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Airbus earnings preview: supplier issues depress deliveries

April 26, 2017: The Airbus 1Q2017 earnings call is tomorrow.

Problems with the Pratt & Whitney GTF and slower-than-expected ramp-up of the CFM LEAP affected A320neo deliveries in the quarter. Continuing problems with interiors supply depressed A350 deliveries.

We have earnings previews from two investment banks that cover Airbus.

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Bjorn’s Corner: Flight control, Part 4

By Bjorn Fehrm

By Bjorn Fehrm

1 April 2016, ©. Leeham Co: Last week we described the computer augmented flight controls that are possible with Fly-By-Wire (FBW) systems. We described the most common flight control laws by discussing the two most common control law implementations in the market, the Airbus and the Boeing ones.

Today we will finish the series by discussing how an autopilot, or as the OEMs call it, an Autoflight or Automatic flight system, is added to the aircraft’s control system. An autopilot is most of the time combined with a flight director and a Flight Management System (FMS).

We will mention how these fit in the picture but focus on the autopilot, once again to keep it simple and avoid trying to cover too much. The autopilot subject is large enough. Read more

Bjorn’s Corner: Boeing’s 787 and Airbus’ 350 programs, a snapshot

 

By Bjorn Fehrm

By Bjorn Fehrm

Introduction

23 April 2015, C. Leeham Co: It has been an eventful week for Boeing with Q1 results reported and with that an update on the 787 program. At the same time we ran into Qatar Airways CEO Akbar al Baker, while visiting Airbus the other day and could exchange a few words with him and his team re the A350. I therefore decided that this week’s Corner should provide a snapshot on where these two new aircraft projects stand right now.

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A321neo configurations and A320 production

By Bjorn Fehrm

18 Jan 2015: As part of the preparations for the Airbus A321LR article 15 Jan. we saw a need to clarify with Airbus the production configurations for A321neo. There had been several iterations of what will be produced come mid-2018 when the A321neo variant is scheduled to roll off the FALs at Airbus in an enhanced Airbus Cabin-Flex (ACF) variant.

This variant features a three-door pairs layout that allows a raised max passenger limit by virtue of displaced door three and an addition of a second overwing exit. Recent media articles have suggested that both the initial four-door variant as well as the three-door variant would be available.

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