Used A330-200s could be interim solution to NMA

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Introduction

Dec. 11, 2017, © Leeham Co.: Boeing is considering restarting the 767-300ER passenger line as an interim aircraft to the New Midmarket Airplane.

Airbus is pushing the A330-800 or, alternative, new A330-200s are its solution to the upper end of the Middle of the Market sector.

There is another alternative, however: used A330-200s. There is an emerging supply of these as one airline plans a down-sizing and initial 10- to 12-year leases expire in the near future.

Etihad is planning to dispose of its Airbus A330-200s. These would make a good, potential pick-up by an airline seeking an interim solution while awaiting the New Midrange Aircraft. Photo via Google images.

Summary
  • NMA EIS target remains 2025, Boeing says, as opposed to 2027, according to market sources.
  • Regardless, timeline, production ramp-up indicates near-term need for newer airplanes.
  • Business case for NMA still hasn’t closed; program launch still uncertain, but activities continue.
  • Boeing 767 production ramp up studies underway, effective as soon as early 2020.

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Pontifications: Countdown to Delta’s single-aisle decision

By Scott Hamilton

Dec. 11, 2017, © Leeham Co.: Eyes will watch Atlanta (GA) this week, when the Delta Air Lines Board of Directors decides to award a big order for the re-engined Airbus and Boeing single aisle airplanes.

The Board meeting is believed to be Thursday. At stake: 100 orders and 100 options for either the Airbus A320neo or Boeing 737 MAX families.

I wrote about this last week. Here’s an update.

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Bjorn’s Corner: Aircraft drag reduction, Part 8

By Bjorn Fehrm

December 08, 2017, ©. Leeham Co: In the last Corner we described how the Wright Brothers developed their own engine, as there were no light engines on the market.

After understanding how to design wings, how to control the aircraft and having designed a suitable engine, the final item the Wrights needed was a working propeller.

Figure 1. The Wright engine for its 1903 Flier, driving the pusher propeller in the background through bicycle chains. Source: Wright-Brothers.org.

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Embraer’s improved E-Jet E2

By Bjorn Fehrm

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Introduction

December 07, 2017, © Leeham Co.: Embraer is four months from first service introduction of the new generation E-Jet, the E190-E2, with Norway’s Wideroe. Following the smooth E190-E2 program will be the larger E195-E2 in 2019.

Embraer’s E2 update of the E-Jet is more elaborate than the Airbus A320neo and Boeing 737 MAX updates. In addition to new engines, the aircraft’s wings and systems are changed. In addition, the fuselages are stretched on two of the three models for increased passenger capacity.

We analyze the areas of change from the original E-Jets and what these mean for the operations and economics of the aircraft.

Summary:
  • The E-Jet E2 keeps the strong point of the original E-Jet, its comfortable cabin, and improves other areas to keep the family competitive after 2020.
  • As the only aircraft family in the market (regional or mainline), the E2 models E175, E190 and E195 all get their own optimized wings. The result is good field and range performance paired with low fuel consumption.
  • The E2 family introduces advanced Digital Fly-By-Wire to allow reduced static stability and by it trim drag. This improves the fuel consumption further.
  • Other system changes focus lower maintenance costs. The new single-aisle generation (A320neo, 737 MAX) lowers maintenance costs per seat. The regional OEMs must respond.

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Airbus’ strategy for the A330-800

By Scott Hamilton

Dec. 6, 2017, © Leeham Co.: The A330-800 entered the final assembly line last week at the Airbus production plant in Toulouse, France, amid doubts in the industry that the airplane will be produced beyond the prototype.

The first A330-800 is on the Final Assembly Line at Airbus. Source: Airbus.

There is only one order for the sub-type, six from Hawaiian Airlines—and Hawaiian is expected to cancel the order. The airline is running a competition between the Airbus A350-900 and the Boeing 787-8/9, according to market intelligence.

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Boeing moves EIS target for NMA to 2027: sources

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Introduction

Dec. 4, 2017, © Leeham Co.: Officially, Boeing says the New Midmarket Aircraft (NMA, or 797) entry-into-service will be around 2024-25 if the program is launched.

LNC has learned the target date now being discussed is 2027.

Boeing 797 concept. Source: Boeing.

This means the 737 replacement likewise slips, with EIS after 2030 instead of late next decade or in 2030.

The new NMA target date, which we’ve heard from the supply chain and customer base, gives further impetus to the prospect of restarting the 767-300ER passenger production, a decision that is supposed to be made by the end of this year.

Summary
  • Technology is at the heart of the new target EIS for the NMA.
  • The 737 replacement was always intended to follow the NMA.
  • Supply chain asked for 767 production rate ramp-up feasibility.

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Pontifications: Delta’s decision on neo vs MAX near

By Scott Hamilton

Dec. 4, 2017, © Leeham Co.: The Delta Air Lines management decision for an order for 100 Airbus A321neos or Boeing 737 MAXes, plus an equal number of options, is expected this week. A decision by the Board of Directors is expected next week.

Competition between the two companies was heated. Commercial terms were aggressive. Airbus and Boeing each want this deal badly. An Airbus win speaks for itself. For Boeing, a MAX order would give a boost to the MAX 10. A blocking move on Airbus is desired. For Boeing, a win would be especially meaningful.

Relations between Boeing and Delta are notoriously strained. These were exacerbated by Boeing’s complaint with the US government over the Bombardier C Series order, in which Boeing alleged price dumping and illegal subsidies. To no surprise, the Trump-led Department of Commerce found in favor of Boeing on both.

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Bjorn’s Corner: Aircraft drag reduction, Part 7

By Bjorn Fehrm

December 01, 2017, ©. Leeham Co: In previous Corners, we looked at how the Wright Brothers understood the wing aerodynamics and aircraft control.

We now describe how the Wright cracked the third nut keeping them from manned flight, propulsion.

When they had mastered the design of effective wings and control of their gliders (see previous Corners), the Brothers now worked on finding an engine and a functioning propeller.

Figure 1. The Wright engine for its 1903 Flyer seen from the underside. Source: Wright-Brothers.org.

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Would a 767 stopgap make sense while waiting for NMA?

By Bjorn Fehrm

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Introduction

November 30, 2017, © Leeham Co.: We have covered Boeing’s deliberations whether to restart 767-300ER passenger version production here and here.

To understand how good a stopgap the 767-300ER would be for an airline needing to replace ageing 767s, and the Boeing 797 not being there in time, we check its economics versus the alternatives.

Should an airline buy additional 767-300ERs (if offered) or the overqualified and therefore more expensive 787-8? Or is defecting to the Airbus A330-200/-800 a better option?

Summary:
  • The 767-300ER takes about 30 fewer passengers than the 787-8 or A330-200/-800.
  • It’s lighter than the longer range 787 and A330s; therefore landing fees will be lower.
  • Its lower weight and smaller size also lowers crew costs.
  • The lower costs for fees and crew can’t fully compensate for higher fuel and maintenance costs per passenger.
  • It will be up to aggressive pricing to close the gap to the more capable and lower cost 787-8 or A330-200/-800, should Boeing restart the passenger 767 line.

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Airbus, Rolls-Royce and Siemens develops Hybrid-Electric demonstrator

By Bjorn Fehrm

November 29, 2017, © Leeham Co.: Airbus, Rolls-Royce and Siemens yesterday announced they will fly a hybrid-electric demonstrator by 2020, E-Fan X (Figure 1).

The aircraft, a BAe 146 four engine regional jet, will have one if its turbofans replaced by a Rolls-Royce/Siemens electric fan propulsor. The demonstrator is part of a technology program exploring the challenges around electric flight.

Figure 1. BAe 146 based hybrid electric demonstrator with electric propulsor. Source: Airbus

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