War in Ukraine: a local’s perspective

By Judson Rollins

April 6, 2022, © Leeham News: This week, LNA reports on a story outside our usual beat: an account of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine through the eyes of a local who watched tanks and explosions from her window.


Source: Anna Kovalchuk

Three years ago, I spent several months on a consulting engagement in Kyiv, where I made a few local friends. I’ve been fortunate to stay in contact with some of them.

One of those friends is Anna Kovalchuk, a talent acquisition specialist for German pharmaceutical giant Bayer AG. Anna lived until last month in Irpin, Ukraine, a few miles from Antonov International Airport, previously home to several of Antonov Aircraft Company’s An-124 Ruslans and its recently destroyed An-225 Mriya. The airport and nearby suburbs including Irpin were the subject of intense fighting between Ukrainian and Russian forces since the invasion began on February 24 until just last week.

Anna and I have been in touch regularly since the war began. I visited her in Gdańsk, Poland, not long after she arrived, where she graciously agreed to share the story of her escape from fighting in her neighbourhood to a new life – ironically, a life she began a week earlier than planned due to the invasion.

Gdańsk is a quiet town of nearly 600,000 on the Baltic Sea. Although it was only a couple of weeks into Russia’s war with Ukraine, I saw few indications of the refugee influx that has overwhelmed so many other cities in Poland. However, there were numerous signs of support for Ukraine, including appeals on business doors for supplies ranging from canned food to clothing to small electronics. Read more

Embraer 2021 results helped by Executive jets

By Bjorn Fehrm

March 10, 2022, ©. Leeham News: Embraer presented its 2021 results today. The results follow a recovery trend from Pandemic effects, with strong order intake for Executive and Commercial jets and a revenue increase due to more Executive jet deliveries. Free Cash Flow, FCF, improved $1.3bn over 2020, from -$990m to $292m.

Guiudance for 2022 is 60-70 Commercial deliveries (2021: 45-50), Executive jets 100-110 (90-95), revenue $4.5bn-$5bn ($4.0-$4.5), EBIT margin 3.5%-4.5% (3.0%-4.0%) and Free Cash Flow over $50m (over $100m).

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Bjorn’s Corner: Sustainable Air Transport. Part 8P. Serial Hybrid. The deeper discussion.

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By Bjorn Fehrm.

February 25, 2022, ©. Leeham News: This is a complementary article to Part 8. Serial Hybrid. It uses Leeham Company’s Aircraft Performance Model from our consultancy practice to analyze the design of a hybrid aircraft for short-haul commuter operations.

Our design brief is to make an aircraft that uses a minimum of carbon-based fuel by combining battery-based energy with energy from a generator driven by a gas turbine. Such a combination is called a Serial Hybrid.

Figure 1. Different electric aircraft architectures compared with the classical Turbofan/Turboprop. Source: Leeham Co.

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Airbus and CFM reveal ZEROe demonstrator aircraft

February 22, 2022, © Leeham News: Airbus and the CFM partners, GE Aviation and SAFRAN, presented a ZEROe Sustainability demonstrator today that builds on a heavily modified A380 prototype.

On the rear roof of the A380, a pylon is integrated where a hydrogen combustion GE Passport engine is mounted, feed with hydrogen from a sealed enclosure on the main deck that contains four liquid hydrogen tanks.

The choice of the A380 for the demonstrator allows a lot of test equipment and test engineers to be housed in the test aircraft, monitoring the functioning of the propulsion system.

The demonstrator will start the flight tests end of 2026 to prepare decisions around the 2035 Hydrogen passenger aircraft configuration for 2027.

Figure 1. The ZEROe demonstrator is based on the A380. Source: Airbus.

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Airbus’ 2021 results; Delivery of record net profit as it exits the pandemic

February 17, 2022, © Leeham News: Airbus presented its results for 2021 today. The company announced record net profits of €4.3bn as it exits the COVID restraints of 2020 and first half 2021.

Airbus’ problem is no longer a depressed market but how to ramp the A320/321 production to capture the demand. It expects to know by mid-year if it can go beyond a planned 65 deliveries per month by 2024.

The strong result came from deliveries of 611 commercial aircraft compared with 566 last year. Guidance for 2022 is 720 airliner deliveries, an operating profit of €5.5bn, and a Free Cash Flow of €3.5bn.

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Airbus brings BelugaST to outsized cargo market

By Bjorn Fehrm

January 25, 2022, ©. Leeham News: Airbus has decided to bring the original Beluga fleet, BelugaST (A300 based), on the market for outsized freight transport, as the newer BelugaXL (A330 based) caters for Airbus internal needs.

It has a larger cross-section than the AN-124, a tad longer freight compartment, and loads outsized but less heavy cargo. When all BelugaXLs are delivered, the ST will be spun off to a dedicated external freight company, Airbus Beluga Transport.

Figure 1. The cargo space of the BelugaST compared with the AN-124. Source: Airbus and Leeham Co.

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US 5G roll out ignores concerns for Air Transport safety

By Bjorn Fehrm

January 18, 2022, ©. Leeham News: Despite year-long protests from the World’s airlines and the FAA, the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) allows Verizon and ATT to roll out 5G base stations underneath the approach paths of landing aircraft in the US.

In 2020 the RTCA (Radio Technical Commission for Aeronautics) did tests that established the risk of 5G Base stations affecting the critical Radio Altimeters needed for bad weather landings as real.

After FAA issues a 2021 December 23 AD (Airworthiness Directive) about the danger, airlines must now decide what flights must be canceled during bad weather spells on affected airports.

Figure 1. The way the US 5G C-band base stations can affect a Radar Altimeter. Source: RTCA.

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Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Barring breaking news of importance, your LNA team is taking the holidays off. LNA resumes Jan. 3.

Bjorn’s Corner: The challenges of airliner development. Part 30. Serial Production

By Bjorn Fehrm, Henry Tam, and Andrew Telesca.

November 19, 2021, ©. Leeham News: Last week, we described how we finished the testing and the process to get our Type Certificate.

Now we look at the phase after Design and Production certification, the start of production, Figure 1. The upstart and ramp of production have many challenges. We will start the discussion with one that is often overseen, the cost of ramping production to full serial production rate.

Figure 1. Our program plan for the aircraft. Source: Leeham Co.

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Airbus details A350F specifications

By Scott Hamilton and Bjorn Fehrm

November 11, 2021, © Leeham News: Airbus has given more information about what led to their new freighter, the A350F, and its data. Scott Hamilton talked to Airbus Chief Commercial Officer Christian Scherer at the IATA AGM on Oct. 3-5 in Boston, and Bjorn Fehrm spoke to Head of Freighter marketing, Crawford Hamilton, about the technical details. (The two Hamiltons are not related.)

The A350F is the most capable new-build freighter Airbus has designed, posing the most serious threat to Boeing’s dominance of jet freighters since the dawn of the jet age. Some expect Boeing to respond next week with a program launch of the 777XF, but LNA understands this won’t be the case.

“The market has asked us to produce it,” said Scherer of the A350F. “So we launched the program based on our own belief of the strength of the business case.”

“The A350F beats the competing production freighter (Boeing’s 777F, our note) on payload, volume, and economics,” says Crawford Hamilton. “We have taken extra care to make the door larger and the floor extra sturdy to ease loading planning and execution. The A350F will be the freight forwarder’s preferred machine.”

The Airbus new freighter, the A350F. Source: Airbus.

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