10/21/2017

The Bombardier-Airbus CSeries deal

I think it is not overstated when I say the last week changed the landscape of civil aircraft manufactures for years and probably decades to come.
The deal between Bombardier and Airbus that most likely from 2019 onwards lets the CSeries to be a majority owned Airbus product has the potential to influence how the product landscape will look like in 2030. And that includes the products that will be there and also that will NOT be there.
Let's image two things:
  1. Airbus and Bombardier decide to do the "simple stretch" CS500, meaning no changes to the wing, the engines, the landing gear and the Max Takeoff Weight. That would be a roughly 2400nm aircraft with about the capacity of the A320(neo), but with significantly lower empty weight and thus lower trip costs for the typical ranges of up to 800nm. The (official) launch could come by early 2019, after the expected closing of the deal. EIS could then be in 2022 or 2023.
  2. Airbus will adopt much of the cockpit and avionic technologies from the CSeries described here by Bj√∂rn Fehrm for the A320neo (+, ++ or whatever it is called then) and also scale the wing for an A322. Development of the wing could also start in 2019 with an EIS maybe 2024, leapfrogging the potential Boeing NMA.
That would leave Boeing with a big problem: they are in the middle of defining their NMA, or "Middle of the Market" aircraft. But with these potential developments from Airbus&Bombardier Boeing's B737MAX product line just would not be competitive enough. Boeing would have to react to that and instead of launching the NMA with an earliest possible EIS of 2025 they would have to focus on a B737 replacement first
Although a A322 would not be the perfect "Middle of the Market" aircraft it could take away to many sales from the Boeing NMA to let the business case look unattractive. And the shrinking market share in the mich larger traditional narrowbody segment would drain on the cash flow.
So this past week has the chance of really becoming a defining moment...

9/07/2017

A320neo deliveries

Reuters reports that August (as well as full year) deliveries for the A320neo are disrupted by slow deliveries of PW's PW1100G. The goal is to deliver about 200 A320neo this year, only 78 have been delivered by the end of August.
That deliveries with the PW1100G are slow and delayed is not particulary new. Not mentioned in the article though is the fact that alos deliveries with CFM's LEAP-1A slowed down in the last two months. After delivering 10 A320neo with the LEAP-1A in June, there were 6 in July and 7 in August. For the PW1100G the numbers are 1 for June,  3 in July and 3 in August.
An indication for future delivieries is are the numbers of first flights with the respective engines:
In June 12 A320neo with the LEAP-1A made their first flights, then 5 in July and only 3 in August.
For the PW1100G the numbers are 0 in June, 4 in July and 8 in August.
So it looks like the situation at PW gets (at least) a little bit better, but worse for CFM.

7/26/2017

Engine choices for NMA

It looks increasingly likely that next Boeing will launch the NMA -  or MoM, or 797, or whatever you want to call it.
One of the most interesting questions is the engine choice(s) that Boeing will make:
First of all, will the customer have an engine choice? Here the questions are:

-   does Boeing want to give the customers a choice
     and
- how large the engine OEM think the market for the new aircraft will be

3/29/2017

CFM A321neo noise levels revised

Yesterday the EASA published new noise levels for the A321neo, which now include the "right" noise levels for the A321-251N and A321-253N, fitted with the CFM LEAP-1A engines. As for the A320neo, the A321neo with the LEAP-1A is a little bit better (read_less noisy) than the PW1100G. This is surprising, as P&W always claimed that the GTF concept has, beside better fuel burn, it's merits in extreme low noise because of the slower spinning fan and the better damping of the low pressure turbine noise due to better atmospheric dampening.
I would be interested to hear how P&W and CFM explain the difference...

3/02/2017

A320neo and A321neo noise levels

Yesterday the A321neo with the CFM LEAP-1A32 engine was certified by both the EASA and the FAA. The EASA certification document for the aircraft family can be accessed here, the noise certification document is here. The FAA documentation is not online yet.

What strikes me is the high noise level of the A321-251N. The LEAP-powered A321neo is not really less noisy than the CFM56 powered A321ceo, which itself was considerably louder than the V2500 powered A321ceo.

If you compare the highest MTOW version (93.5t) you get a cumulated noise level of 281.7dB for the A321-251N, the A321ceo with the  CFM56-5B4/3 is certified with a noise level of 280.1dB (there are also versions of the CFM56 which have higher noise levels than the LEAP1A though.

The PW1133G in comparison has a cumulated noise level of 268.5dB, more than 13dB less than the LEAP-1A32. Both at the lateral and flyover noise points the GTF is less noisy by about 6dB, the approach noise, where the aircraft itself is the main source, is almost the same for both versions.

I wonder if the values for the LEAP-1A32 are real – or somebody at EASA put some wrong numbers in the document.

The noise values for the A320neo are telling a complete different picture: here, the LEAP powered A320-251N is better than the PW1127G powered A320-271N by 1dB, mainly through lower levels at the lateral noise point.


I wait for some good explanations...

1/17/2017

The future is geared!(?)

The future in commercial aviation is geared, it seems:
Of course P&W and it's partners in the PWW1000G engine thought so when they started to develop their engines for the Mitsubishi MRJ, the Bombardier CSeries, the A320neo and the Irkut MS-21 and the Embraer E2-Jets.
But then, about three years ago, RR started developing their own engine with a geared architecture, calling their product (to be) the "Ultra Fan".
No I read in an article from Aviation Week that also Safran is working on a geared fan engine, under the umbrella of the european Clean Sky initiative, the equivalent  to NASA's CLEEN program.
A cross section of the engine concept can be seen on page 17 of this presentation.
My guess is, all engine concepts that CFM, RR and  P&W will eventually offer Boeing and Airbus for a replacement of today's A320 and B737 will have a gear between the LPT and the Fan!