Embraer ponders new turbo-prop

In a sign of just how bad things are getting with fuel prices, Embraer is evaluating whether to launch a new 50-seat turbo-prop by 2015. This would challenge the derivatives offered by Bombardier on the Q400 and ATR’s new revamped series.

The AirInsight team of Addison Schonland and Scott Hamilton talk with Flight International’s Mary Kirby in this 13 minute podcast. (Subscription required.) We also discuss the P&W GTF and UDF potential.

The New Delta

Here’s an attractive suggestion for the New Delta, combining Northwest and Delta liveries. This comes from the Modified Airliners photos website, an enthusiast board for people who like to play with designing liveries.

Boeing Commercial plans for KC-767 protest rejection

Another in a series of cartoons from The Mobile Press-Register’s JD Crowe. The reference to flying tricycles is to a comment a Boeing official made about Northrop Grumman’s planned production model for the KC-30 was like building tricycles at Christmas.

Flight International reported today that Boeing may tap the 767-300ER to help fill the gap created by 787 delays. Writes Flight: “Boeing has yet to tell 787 customers exactly how their delivery schedules will be impacted by the latest delay, but it has floated the idea of producing brand new 767-300ERs to help fill the capacity gap.”

Boeing would gain the 767 capacity from the KC-767 program, which looks doubtful now that the Air Force has awarded the tanker contract to Northrop Grumman. Boeing protested the award, but has acknowledged the likelihood of prevailing is remote. Accordingly, supply-chain and production capacity that had essentially been reserved for the tanker could shift to the commercial 767-300ER.

Boeing should know by June 19 whether the protest will be upheld.

The company would not be able to boost the production all that much vis-a-vis 787 demand, and not immediately. The current production rate of the 767 is one a month; Boeing could double that, or go slightly more to perhaps an incremental 15 a year, or 24-27 a year, including current customers, but not before 2010. By then, Boeing originally planned to be delivering 120 787s a year.

Here’s a Boeing-oriented cartoon.

Boeing complains that a cost disadvantage is that it has to pay for health care costs while Airbus, which builds the A330 on which the KC-30 is based, is part of Europe’s social health care system and doesn’t have this burden. (One could argue the taxes paid by Airbus for the national health care system is their representative burden, but the point in the cartoon is on the mark nonetheless.)

A little humor in a humorless debate….

Northrop’s supplier distribution map.

Comment on the Delta-Northwest merger

The AirInsight team comments on the Delta-Northwest merger in this 11 minute podcast.

FedEx Service

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NahyfTAVNqk]

Size matters, they say….

KC-135 refueling C-5; Defense Industry Daily

KC-135 refueling C-5. Source: Defense Industry Daily.

Welcome to this new format

Welcome to this new page for news and comment by Leeham Co LLC.

This allows us to be more flexible and timely on matters Airbus and Boeing, and by extension EADS, Northrop Grumman (concerning the KC-30 tanker) and on occasion suppliers to them.

Our scheduled updates are the first, third and fifth Tuesdays of the month. Breaking news may prompt updates in between.

While this site is under construction, please pick up your news and comment at our corporate site.

We hope you’ll enjoy this new on-line newsletter format and the flexibility.