What are the prospects for the Airbus A220?

By Bjorn Fehrm

July 11, 2018, © Leeham News.: With the CSeries repainted and rebranded in Airbus colors, will this change its fortunes? The aircraft has been on the market for 10 years and has not been a home run in term of sales.

We look at how the A220 fits in the Airbus lineup and the sales plan the Airbus leaders say they have for the aircraft.

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JetBlue orders 60 A220-300s in surprise timing

July 10, 2018, (c) Leeham News: JetBlue announced an order today for 60 Airbus A220-300s, nee Bombardier CS300s. The airline took options on 60 more.

The timing is a surprise–JetBlue previously said it would not be ready to order until toward the end of the year.

The order is a blow to Embraer, which has 60 E-190s in service with JBLU. The airline had orders for 20 more, but delivery had been deferred several times. Industry insiders told LNC the order could be canceled with little or no penalty.

The order is a blow to Embraer for the flip and for the loss of a potential E2 order. The E195-E2 seats slightly fewer passengers and has less range than the A220-300.

JetBlue has a large fleet of Airbus A320ceos, a few A321ceos and a large order book for neos.

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CSeries becomes Airbus A220-100 and A220-300

By Bjorn Fehrm

July 10, 2018, © Leeham News.: Airbus launched its new A220 aircraft family today in Toulouse. The event took place at the Airbus Delivery Center at Blagnac airport with the World’s Media invited.

The Bombardier CS100 is now A220-100 and the CS300 is A220-300. The name of the newly branded family was revealed with a flyover of a CS300, sorry, A220-300 painted in Airbus colors and with the A220-300 name on the side.

Figure 1. A220-300 which flew into the A220 launch today. Source: Airbus.

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MRJ’s GTF flameout traced to manufacturing issue

Editor’s note: The Farnborough Air Show begins next week. Mitsubishi is expected to have a flying display of the MRJ90 at an international air show for the first time. This is the last of three stories from Mitsubishi’s MRJ program update in Moses Lake (WA) last month.

By Dan Catchpole

July 10, 2018, © Leeham News: An engine flameout in August 2017 that left the Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ) test fleet grounded for several weeks was caused by a manufacturing quality issue on a component in the Pratt & Whitney geared turbofan’s accessory gearbox, according to a Mitsubishi executive.

Source: Mitsubishi.

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MRJ program chief Alex Bellamy said the manufacturing quality problem caused a machined component to suffer a durability issue, leading to flameout.

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Boeing, Embraer tie-up key to NMA development

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July 9, 2018, © Leeham News: When Boeing and Embraer announced last week the Memorandum of Understanding to form a joint venture between Boeing and Embraer Commercial Airplanes, writers and analysts jumped on the bandwagon that LNC pointed out as far back as last year.


This is:

  • A strategic play;
  • About Embraer’s engineers and low-cost production in Brazil;
  • About tapping Embraer’s resources for development of the potential Boeing New Midmarket Aircraft; and
  • About EMB’s potential lead in developing a new single-aisle aircraft to replace the 737, among other things.

Additionally, a Boeing partisan sees new trade complaint against C Series.

Related stories:

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Pontifications: The Odyssey of VMF-422

By Scott Hamilton

July 9, 2018, © Leeham News: With the Farnborough Air Show just around the corner, and the inevitable tsunami of news that will be forthcoming, I’m taking a break this week to do one of my periodic book reviews.

The Marines’ Lost Squadron, The Odyssey of VMF-422 by aviation writer Mark Carlson (Sunbury Press, US$19.95) investigates the loss of 22 Vought Corsairs on a repositioning flight in the South Pacific in World War II.

Dubbed the Flintlock Disaster—the incident occurred in the runup to Operation Flintlock, the invasion of the Marshall Islands—six Marines perished when the squadron flew into a typhoon. Fifteen pilots ditched and were rescued after four days adrift in rafts. Only one pilot flew through the storm to his destination.

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Bjorn’s Corner: Largest navigation change since radar, Part 4

By Bjorn Fehrm

July 06, 2018, ©. Leeham News: Last week we discussed the different forms of ADS-B out and the reason FAA went for a second channel for the US ADS-B.

We also discussed the basic ADS-B in function, Traffic (TIS-B). Now we discuss the added functionality of the ADS-B in on 978MHz, the UAT link.

Figure 1. The functions of the US ADS-B ground stations. Source: FAA

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Boeing, Embraer to create commercial company, intent for defense JV

July 5, 2018: Boeing and Embraer announced an agreement to create a new company with EMB’s commercial aircraft unit and intent to create a second JV for its defense unit.

The full press release is below the jump.

Related stories:

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Laser focus for MRJ program

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By Dan Catchpole

July 3, 2018, © Leeham News: It’s been two years since a small army of Japanese aerospace workers landed in Moses Lake, a sleepy former Air Force base town in rural Central Washington. The Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp. (MAC) will be in Moses Lake for another four or five years as it nudges its new regional jets—the MRJ70 and MRJ90—into service.

Japan’s All Nippon Airways is the launch customer and first operator for the Mitsubishi MRJ90. Source: Mitsubishi.

The first Mitsubishi Regional Jet, the MRJ90, originally was supposed to enter into service in 2013, but myriad develop delays have dogged the sleek jet, which now is slated to deliver to launch customer All Nippon Airways in mid-2020.

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Boeing eyes international sales with KC-46A deliveries near

Part 2. LNC visited the Boeing KC-46A Everett Modification Center last month. Part 1 appears here.

July 5, 2018, © Leeham News: Boeing’s contract with the US Air Force for three dozen KC-46A tankers is but the tip of the iceberg.

Installing the refueling boom on a KC-46A tanker at the Everett Modification Center. Boeing photo.

The USAF’s initial plan is to acquire 179 KC-46As, which was part of the KC-X tanker competition Boeing won after a bitter contest with Airbus and the competing KC-30/KC-330 airplane, based on the commercial A330-200. (For simplicity, LNC will refer to the Airbus as the KC-30.)

There are more than 400 ancient Boeing KC-135s that have to be replaced. Boeing figures it will eventually see the initial 179 aircraft requirement expanded to cover the balance of the KC-135s, although due to budget constraints, last year there were reports the procurement will stop and 179 and the KC-135s will be upgraded.

Then there is the international market. Airbus so far is far and away the winner in this sector. It’s sold 57 to eight customers (including NATO); 29 are in operation. The first one entered service in 2011.

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