A320 and B737 backlog burndown

He cites JP Morgan with an observation that not all of the delivery slots for A320ceo's are filled for 2015 (2014 is full) and therefore it would be a good decision not to boost output further.
Let's have a look at the current number of open orders for the A320ceo as well as those of the B737NG.
Here is how the backlog of A320ceo's develops if there would not be any new sale nor any cancellations. Of course there are some "risk positions" in the backlog: Kingfisher, the remaining Delta (Northwest) and United order and  Mandala come to mind...
As of May 1st, 2012, there were 2084 A320ceo and 1286 A320neo on firm order.


B737MAX - the next diameter!

UPDATE: Jon Ostrower reports that the exact diameter will be 69.4" and that the engine will also get smaller core size. I have not seen the article myself as I do not have a WSJ subscription, but Scott Hamilton has an update on the story, too.
Scott writes that a smaller core fits better under the wing. Well, yes and no - the core, meaning the HPC and HPT are physically smaller, but as the worksplit between the high and low spool changes, the LPT has to do more work now - and at the same time needs to run slower because of the larger fan. So the diameter of the LPT has to move out as described earlier. And there could really be a need for an additional LPT stage with the higher loading of the LPT. Only if the efficiency of the LPT can be kept constant the smaller core size and higher bypass ratio will do any good for SFC and  fuelburn. Temperatures in the core will rise anyway - what this means for maintenance costs customers will see only a few years after putting the engine in service.

It is becoming a real saga: the fan diameter of the B737MAX LEAP-1B engine. Now we are at 70", compared to the 61" of the CFM56-7BE and the last announced 68.4". Read the story at Leeham News here:
Sorry - but, but for me Boeing is loosing credit with every change that is announced (or, as in this case, reported by a credible source). For months Boeing now said "Bigger is not better", defending the B737MAX and the LEAP-1B against the A320neo and the LEAP-1A/PW1100G with their considerably larger fan sizes.
So, is the larger 70" fan just for optical reasons? Just a joke, of course...
A larger fan needs to run slower to keep the efficiency high - or in other words: the tip speed needs to be the same as it was before. But this means that the LPT also needs a larger diameter to keep it's efficiency - or the LPT needs an additional stage. If this is beneficial in the end? It looks like Boeing looks only at fuel burn now, not at overall operating costs in the first place. I eagerly wait for the next press release from Boeing regarding MAX.


A new (civil) engine OEM!

And now for something completely different! Well, not completely - at least, it is about aero engines. But smaller ones: Snecma and Cessna announced, that the new "Silvercrest" engine will power the Cessna Citation Longitude, a stretched version of the Latitude (both models share the same fuselage cross section). The Longitude will be the largest Cessna ever build. The choice of the "Silvercrest" comes with a little bit of surprise, as most Cessna models have P&WC engines. Also the shelved Columbus would have been powered by a P&WC engine, the PW810.
So here is Silvercrest - and with that engine (which will also power the next Dassault Falcon, the "SMS", as "rumours" know) we have a new civil engine OEM - until today, Snecma was "just" a military OEM. Of course, Snecma has a vast experience in the civil sector through CFM as a 50% shareholder. But the business aviation sector is a little bit different than the airlines business.
What strikes me is the claim that the engine will burn 15% less fuel than existing engines in the 10-12,000lbs class. I don't know any engine that is in that thrust class today - it is virtually a new thrust class, so the claim is a little bit misleading or at least difficult to understand.
But further looking into the configuration of that engine, I would say it should be a very efficient one: with a BPR of around 6 the propulsive efficiency is way better than engines we typically have in that arena. And with a 4 stage booster behind the fan and a 4 stage axial/1 stage radial  HPC the OPR should be also considerably higher than for a PW300 or HTF7000 or even the higher thrust BR710.
But I doubt that fuel burn is a decisive factor in that segment anyway. If you buy an aircraft for $26 million and spend (typically) some more million $ for the finishing inside, you do not really care about fuel burn. Business aircraft are only flying 400-500 hours a year.
So please welcome Snecma to the world of civil engine OEM's - and wish them good luck with Silvercrest.


The Superjet Crash

There are a lot of commentaries about the crash of the Superjet in Indonesia, killing all 45 people on board.
Almost all commentaries point out that future Superjet sales will take a hard hit because of the crash - not so fast, I would say: if the reason for the crash was a pilot error, then why should that hurt sales. In the end the Superjet is a modern design with all the latest western systems in it. Fuel burn could of course be better - the design of the SaM146 engine is, like the PW6000, build upon low maintenance costs, not on lowest fuel consumption.
Remember the crash of one of the earliest A320 in 1988 at Muehlhausen-Habsheim: a pilot error also, but many pilots pointed to the fly-by-wire system of the A320 as the root cause. Did it hurt A320 sales in the long run? Definitely not.
Also the crash of one of the A330 prototypes (due to a wrong autopilot input) did not hurt A330 sales.
So I would be careful to predict a slump in sales for the Superjet - it is too early to draw conclusions before we do not know what happened on board, especially in the cockpit.


B777-9 will (more than) challenge the A350-1000

UPDATE: Thank you for the comment! Of course I picked a wrong MTOW for the 777-300ER. I corrected it and the values coming out of it. The basic conclusion keeps the same, especially as the announced SFC reduction of the GE9X will be 10% rather than 7%.
Of course, even with the small increase in inner diameter of the B777-X a ten-abreast seating will be less comfortable than a 9 abreast-seating in the A350. And more capacity is always higher risk (for revenue vs. costs), but for all current B747-400 routes the B777-9 would be the ideal replacement. The A350-1000 will fly with lower costs per flight, so if you can fill the A350-1000 it will be a profit maker as well.
The proposed B777-X models, the larger B777-9 holding about 405 passengers and the B777-8 with about 350 seats, should slash fuel burn per seat by 15% (B777-9 vs. B777-300ER) and about 10% (B777-8 vs. B777-200LR).
Is that possible? Let's have a look by taking a very simple approach and concentrate on the comparison