Bjorn’s Corner: Fly by Steel or Electrical wire, Part 5

By Bjorn Fehrm

August 23, 2019, ©. Leeham News: In our series about classical flight controls (“fly by steel wire”) and Fly-By-Wire (FBW or “fly by electrical wire”) we now look at practical implementations after discussing the authority of the flight control system last week.

As before we compare the classical 737 system to the A320 FBW system.

Figure 1. The two mechanical control pitch systems of the 737 are visible in the upper left. Each side has a complete system shown at the lower part of the figure (except for the trim which has dual wire sets but one actuator motor/drum). Source: Boeing.

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Opportunity and challenges of a 787-10ER

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By Vincent Valery

Introduction

Aug. 22, 2019, © Leeham News:  By 2024 the 777-300ER will have been in service for 20 years and the 777-200ER 27 years.

United Airlines 787-10. Credit: United Airlines.

LNA was the first to report the 777-8 entry-into-service will slip by at least two years. Boeing confirmed a delay in the 777-8 development, but not the timeline. Further delays (or an outright cancellation) for the passenger 777-8 are a real possibility. Boeing faces the prospect of not having a latest generation offering in the 330-370 seat market at a time demand for such aircraft is expected to pick up.

As part of the Air New Zealand commitment to purchase eight Boeing 787-10s, Boeing and General Electric are increasing the maximum takeoff weight to add more range.

In a similar fashion to the 777-300ER 20 years ago, Boeing might improve the 787-10 further to turn it into a fully-fledged ER variant. We will analyze the rationale for launching such variant and the challenges Boeing needs to overcome.

Summary
  • Remediate a product gap
  • Opportunities arising from surging 777 retirements
  • A mixed track record of previous stretches and range improvements
  • Target range for the 787-10
  • Challenges associated with achieving those targets
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Boeing’s Long Term Cash Flows

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By Vincent Valery

Introduction

Aug. 19, 2019, © Leeham News:Boeing’s long-time priorities, adopted after the 787 program finally was past its troubles, is shareholder value.

Boeing has spent tens of billions of dollars over the years in stock buybacks. It has regularly increased dividend payments.

In the context of a global aviation boom, the Commercial Airplanes division has generated the bulk of cash flow growth in recent years for the company. The creation of Boeing Global Services is a move toward achieving mid-teen margins for The Boeing Co.

Just like any aircraft OEM, the ability to generate cash flows rests on having an up-to-date and desirable product line up for customers.

Before the Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 MAX crash, things were looking good for Boeing. Assuming a successful resolution of the 737 MAX crisis, Boeing should return to generating strong operating cash flows afterward.

However, how long is the current product line up expected to sustain those cash flows and what could Boeing do about it?

Summary
  • Dreamliner: from costly delays to cash flow machine
  • Boeing 777 provided strong cash flows at critical time and 737 rode global aviation boom until grounding
  • Significant production gaps on 737, 777 and 787 appear from mid 2020s, potentially threatening cash flow generation
  • New variants, derivatives and clean sheet design would sustain cash flows longer.

 

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Pontifications: Trump-China trade war hits Boeing

By Scott HamiltonAug. 19, 2019 © Leeham News: There have been no widebody orders placed by China with Boeing since President Trump launched a trade war in March 2018, hurting American’s biggest exporter and affecting the US balance of trade.

In fact, there have been no announced orders by China with Boeing since October 2017. Only 22 China orders were announced in 2017.

Boeing has a large number of Unidentified 737s listed on its website. It is widely believed that China accounts for perhaps as many as 25% of these, but Boeing won’t comment.

China historically accounted for between 25% and 33% of Boeing’s annual deliveries.

Since 2011, China took delivery of more than 170 widebody passenger and freighter jets, or 9.3% of all widebodies delivered by Boeing.

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Bjorn’s Corner: Fly by steel or electrical wire, Part 4

By Bjorn Fehrm

August 16, 2019, ©. Leeham News: In our series about classical flight controls (“fly by steel wire”) and Fly-By-Wire (FBW or “fly by electrical wire”) we this week discuss the Flight Control System’s authority to execute maneuvers by its different parts and why the authority of these parts is a fundamental parameter when designing the system.

Figure 1. Embraer Phenom 300’s Yaw damper rudder. Source: Embraer.

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Will the A220 drive the trans-Atlantic fragmentation to smaller jets? Part 2.

By Bjorn Fehrm

Introduction

August 15, 2019, ©. Leeham News: Airbus is increasing the Gross Weight of its A220 variants by 5,000lb from 2H2020. It is to increase the already long range of the aircraft according to Airbus.

We looked at the typical trans-Atlantic routes this longer-range capability enabled last week. Now we explore further route areas and compare the A220 economics to the Boeing 737-8 and Airbus A321LR.

Summary:

  • Last week we saw the A220 could open trans-Atlantic routes from West Europe to East Canada and North-East US.
  • This week we explore further alternatives and explore the economics of the A220 as an aircraft for long and thin routes.

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Embraer presents second quarter 2019 results.

By Bjorn Fehrm

August 14, 2018, ©. Leeham Co: Embraer announced its 2Q2019 results today. The company delivered a slightly better quarter than expectations after a disappointing first quarter.

The Commercial Aircraft division and its E175 is still paying the company bills, as the start of the E2 program with E190-E2 is slow, with deliveries at one per quarter so far this year.

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Stored A330s, 777 Classics offer alternative to new orders

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Aug. 12, 2019, © Leeham News: Slow sales of the Airbus A330neo, A350 and 777X this year are the result of a dip in the order cycle, A330ceos and 777-300ERs coming off lease and route fragmentation from more capable single-aisle aircraft that are much cheaper to operate and which allow long, thin routes to be served.

Airbus and Boeing have yet another aspect to contend with: stored A330s and 777s that have come off lease or, in the case of Etihad Airways, grounded its late model A330-300s in a fleet restructuring related to its poor financial condition.

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Pontifications: Muilenburg reaffirms MAX hopes, NMA ambiguity and 777X delay

By Scott Hamilton

Aug. 12, 2019, © Leeham News: Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg so far is sticking to a previously timeline in which the company expects to turn over to the Federal Aviation Administration next month the software fixes for the 737 MAX.

He continues to hope that this results in the lifting of the FAA’s grounding order and return to service (RTS) in the early fourth quarter.

He also sticks to the long-offered entry-into-service timeline of 2025 (though previously indicated there could be some slippage) if Boeing proceeds with the New Midmarket Aircraft, for which the business case still hasn’t closed.

And finally, he reaffirmed that first flight of the 777X will slip to early next year.

He made the remarks Aug. 7 during an appearance of a Jeffries Co. investors conference.

None of this was news, actually. All had been discussed on the July 27 2Q2019 earnings call. But this all served as a reaffirmation for the MAX information, where things are so fluid that new information sometimes emerges day after day.

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Bjorn’s Corner: Fly by steel or electrical wire, Part 3

By Bjorn Fehrm

August 9, 2019, ©. Leeham News: In our series about classical flight controls (“fly by steel wire”) and Fly-By-Wire (FBW or “fly by electrical wire”), we this week turn to the actual Flight control system after covering the infrastructure needs last week. We could see the FBW required a higher redundancy Hydraulic and Electrical infrastructure. Why we will come to.

Now we look at the control principles for classical control systems like the Boeing 737 system and FBW system like the Airbus A320 system.

Figure 1. The control axis and control surfaces of a 737. Source: Boeing.

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