Bjorn’s Corner: Keeping airliners operational. Part 9.

Bjorn Fehrm

June 16, 2017, ©. Leeham Co: This week we finish our analysis how an operator would keep our tentative airline operational. By now we know the maintenance of the fleet is a critical part of running an airline.

If we miss a beat from our approved operator’s maintenance plan, our airworthiness authority can ground us.

We now finish the series with looking at how some cost-heavy parts are kept fit. We then summarize our costs for keeping our Airbus A320s flying.

Figure 1. The first modern maintenance program was formed around the Boeing 747. Source: Wikipedia.

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LNC is off to the Paris Air Show

June 15, 2017, © Leeham Co.: Leeham News and Comment is off to the Paris Air Show.

Coverage will begin Sunday, with several events in advance of the show’s official opening Monday. We’ll be there through Thursday, with the end-of-show press conference by Airbus.

We provided a full preview May 22 for our paywall customers.

Here’s an update, in an abbreviated version:

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MC-21 and C919 compared. Part 3.

By Bjorn Fehrm

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June 15, 2017, ©. Leeham Co: We continued the comparison of Irkut’s MC-21 and COMAC’s C919 last week with an analysis of the cabins and systems. The week before, we compared project time plans, structures and aerodynamics.

Now we finish with an analysis of the economics of the aircraft.

  • The MC-21 is the more advanced aircraft of the two. It uses carbon composites for the wings and empennage.
  • Coupled with more refined aerodynamics, the MC-21 offers a higher efficiency than the more classical C919.

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Digital technology key to future airplane programs

June 14, 2017, © Leeham Co.: Increasing use of digital technology will be one of the stories to watch at the Paris Air Show, says the consulting firm Accenture.

Airbus and Boeing are expanding their use of digital technology. Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg told Aviation Week digital will be a key role in development of the next new airplane as a way to reduce costs.

Airbus applied digital technology to the A350 development. But its next new airplane will, like Boeing, be the program to really benefit.

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Enders: Airbus has to change

By Bjorn Fehrm

June 14, 2017, ©. Leeham Co: Airbus Group has to change, following the example of SpaceX and similar cultures favoring disruptive technology, says CEO Tom Enders. Staying the same is not an option.

Enders, speaking at the Airbus Media Days last week in advance of the Paris Air Show next week, said Airbus has seen disruptive technologies turning the table on some of its best businesses. This must not happen to its core business in the commercial airplanes unit.

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Pivotal year for A380

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June 12, 2017, © Leeham Co.: This is a pivotal year for the Airbus A380.

Sales have dried up. Singapore Airlines is retiring five early versions of the airplane and there is no new home for them—these may headed for the scrap heap.

The Middle Eastern carriers, which are the largest users for the airplane, are in turmoil.

The backlog remains weak. Aside from Emirates Airline, which as noted is in turmoil, the other orders are with carriers that are unlikely to take delivery.

  • The A380’s future rests with Emirates Airline.
  • Any Performance Improvement Package is dependent upon Emirates placing a new order.
  • Boeing’s new 20-year forecast eliminates the passenger 747-8 from the Very Large Aircraft sector. Airbus continues to forecast a need for 1,400 VLAs.
  • Airbus to decide this year whether to reduce production rate below 1/mo in 2019.

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Pontifications: Boeing-Bombardier dispute’s big winner: Airbus

By Scott Hamilton

June 12, 2017, (c) Leeham Co.: Boeing won round one Friday in its price-dumping complaint against Bombardier over its sale of the CSeries to Delta Air Lines.

The US International Trade Commission (ITC) voted 5-0 to continue the investigation. It now goes to the US Department of Commerce to determine whether tariffs should be imposed on the deal, and how much. Delta Air Lines would have to pay the tariffs.

Boeing won this round but the big winner is likely to be Airbus.


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Boeing gets favorable ruling against Bombardier

June 9, 2017: Boeing received a 5-0 favorable decision from the US International Trade Commission in its complaint that Bombardier dumped its CSeries order with Delta Air Lines at an illegally low price.

The full decision won’t be published until next week.

The press release and some additional information is below.

A Reuters story is here.

A Politico story is here.

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Dueling press releases: Airbus, Boeing claim big wins at the WTO

June 9, 2017: It never ends.

Airbus and Boeing each claimed wins in yet another round at the World Trade Organization.

This time, it’s over whether the EU and US complied with earlier findings about compliance is curing illegal subsidies.

Within minutes or each other, the two companies issued press releases claiming victory.

We’ve reprinted both releases in their entirety below, in alphabetical order.

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Bjorn’s Corner: Keeping airliners operational. Part 8

By Bjorn Fehrm

June 09, 2017, ©. Leeham Co: This week we continue our analysis of the operator’s maintenance plan we made last week for our tentative airline.

Our airline is using Airbus A320s as our operational airplane. For these aircraft we have completed a maintenance plan based on the aircraft OEM’s Maintenance Planning Document (MPD) as well as other regulatory requirements.

Figure 1. The first modern maintenance program was formed around the Boeing 747. Source: Wikipedia.

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