A320neo testing running out of time for EIS 2015?

Yesterday Flightglobal reported that this year Boeing could, for the first time since 2001, deliver more narrowbodies than Airbus. Boeing delivered 243 civil B737 plus 6 for the US Navy until June 30, Airbus delivered 238 A320. Although normally Airbus delivers more aircraft in the second half of the year (H1 2014: 237, H2 2014: 253) and Boeing had also more deliveries in the first half o f 2014 (239), it will be hard for Airbus to beat Boeing this year. This has to do with the transition to the A320neo, where production times should be a little bit longer initially than for the A320ceo.
Also it is questionable if all planned A320neo deliveries in 2015 will be handed over this year. This is highly dependent on when flight testing with the PW1100G will restart and if there are no more hickups in the flight testing.The Flightglobal article suggests that flight tests will start once the now delivered  engines are podded to the nacelles and integrated into the aircraft. This might be at the end of July. The last flight of a PW1100G powered A320neo happened on April 30th, so three months would be lost by then.
Airbus so far insists that deliveries will start towards the end of the year as planned. With the original first delivery targeted for the end of October, there must have been ample margin in the original flight test program or Airbus has to accelerate testing once the aircraft are back in the air.
But also the CFM LEAP-1A powered first A320neo has not been in the air for two weeks now. We don't know yet what is the reason here, if it is engine or aircraft related (although I would be very surprised if it has anything to do with the airframe). So any learning from the CFM powered aircraft that is transferable to the PW powered aircraft is delayed also.
The margin is getting shorter everyday, and Qatar Airways Akbar Al Baker alias U-Turn Al is probably already thinking about how he can make his "fun" out of the situation.

No comments:

Post a Comment