Volume 2 Issue 10 The Kaplanian Report

ON THE BOEING FRONT

 The Venerable Boeing 767 Lives on as a Freighter

Boeing is planning to increase production of its wide-body 767 aircraft to 2.5 a month in 2017. The proposed plans come after American courier delivery major FedEx signed a $10 billion deal to purchase 50 additional 767-300F airliners in July.

Boeing currently produces the 767 at a monthly production rate of 1.5, which will be increased to two in early 2016.

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Since 1981, the company has built passenger and freighter versions of the jet at its Everett assembly line. It was the second twin-aisle aircraft designed to accommodate up to 290 passengers and the second twin-aisle aircraft to be built at the Everett site after the 747.

A Boeing spokesman was quoted by The Wall Street Journal as saying: ”Increasing the production rate in 2017 provides flexibility needed to address additional commercial orders while meeting all our customer requirements.” According to reliable sources Boeing is negotiating with FedEx rival UPS for another large order and there is a Chinese express-cargo carrier considering a move into the wide-body market, with the 767 as a likely candidate.

In addition, Boeing is preparing to commence production of a modified version of the 767, which will serve as the future refueling tanker for the US Air Force (the KC-46) and had it first flight on September 25th, 2016.

Source : Aerospace-Technology/Ed’s Research/Photo Boeing

 

ON THE AIRBUS FRONT 

 Airbus Details Dimensions of A330-Based Beluga

Airbus’s new Beluga XL transport will be some 4.3 m (14.1ft) longer than the A330-200 on which the aircraft is based.

The Beluga XL, which will succeed the smaller A300-600ST within the airframe’s logistics fleet, has reached design freeze.

Airbus has disclosed that it will be 63.m (207 ft) in length while its wing span will remain  unchanged from the A330-200’s at 60.3m (97 ft)

The Aircraft’s next development stage will be the detailed design freeze.

Airbus says a review has shown that the Rolls-Royce Trent 700-powered jet is sufficiently “robust and mature” to move out of the concept phase. Final assembly is scheduled to begin in 2017.

The Beluga XL will be around 1.5m (4.9 ft) taller at fin than the A330 counterpart.

Airbus projects that it will have a maximum take-off weight of 227t compared with 155t for the current A300-600ST.

The XL, with an 8.8m-diameter fuselage, will be able to transport a maximum payload of 53t over a range of 2,200nm.   Airbus expects to put the Beluga XL, of which it will construct five, into service in 2019.

Source : Flightglobal

 

BUSINESS/REGIONAL NEWS

 Embraer Begins Assembling the First E190-E2

Two years after the launch of the program at the Air Show in Le Bourget, Paris, the first E-Jets E2 family, an E190-E2, is beginning to be assembled at the company’s factory in Sao Jose dos Campos.  Embraer has already received the first sub-assemblies from suppliers in several countries and the assembly of the first prototype is moving forward as planned.

“It is exciting to see the E2 taking shape with the large amount of sub-sets arriving to our Sao Jose dos Campos facility, where the final assembly will soon begin,” says Luis Carlos Affonso, Senior Vice President & COO, Embraer Commercial Aviation.

At Embraer’s plant in the city of Evora, Portugal, the first sub-assemblies for the wings and central fuselage are ready. In Spain, Aernnova AEROSPACE S>A. is finishing the assembly of the vertical empennage; the company will also supply the horizontal empennage. In the Czech Republic, Latecoere finished the baggage doors and they have already been sent to Brazil to be installed in the aircraft.

In the United States, Triumph Aerostructures, which is also responsible for the rudder and elevator, is assembling section three and the aft of the fuselage; these are the only large segments that will not be manufactured by Embraer.

Eleb, an Embraer wholly owned subsidiary, with 35 years of experience in designing and manufacturing landing gear, was chosen to supply the landing gear of the second-generation E-Jets, and it is working to conclude the first sets.

The first delivery of an E-Jets (the E190-E2 is planned for the first quarter of 2018.  The E195-E2 is scheduled to enter service in 2019 and the E175-E2 in 2020.

Source : Embraer

 

OTHER AVIATION NEWS

Lufthansa Technik Completes First BBJ Split Scimitar Winglet Modification 

German maintenance, repair and overhaul provider Lufthansa Technik has become the first European company to install Aviation Partner(API’S) new split scimitar winglets(SSW) on a Boeing Business Jet.

The modification took 10 days to complete and comes on the heels of EASA approval for the aerodynamic wingtip-developed jointly by API and Boeing.

The SSW retrofit involves replacing the BBJ’s current winglet tip caps with an aerodynamically shaped similar tip cap, and adding a smaller, similar-shaped vertical strake.

Lufthansa Technik said that in order to install the winglets, its engineering team were required to “reinforce various areas on the inside of the aircraft structure, particularly in the wing tanks”. The project also in evolved “complex painting tasks…to match the aircraft’s current paint  scheme”, it adds.

API launched the retrofit program two years ago for owners and operators of BBJ, BBJ2 and BBJ3 VIP airliners (BBJ is based on the 737-700, BBJ2 is based on the 737-800 and the BBJ3 is based on the 737-900 airliners)

According to Seattle, Washington-based API, the new winglet helps to reduce drag on long-range flights and boosts range by around 2%-or as much as 120nm ( 220km).

Lufthansa Technik is now in talks with other BBJ owners looking to modify their aircraft with the SSW adaption.

Source : Flightglobal / Lufthansa Technik

 

Rizal Ramli Urges Garuda to Cancel Airbus A350 Purchase Plan

After being on the job one day, recently appointed Coordinating Maritime Affairs Minister Rizal Ramli has made news by requesting national flag carrier Garuda Indonesia cancel its fleet expansion plan.

“I made the request to President Jokowi. I don’t want Garuda to go bankrupt again. In July it agreed to buy 30 Airbus A350 using $44.5 billion loan from China Aviation Bank. The aircraft is only suitable for Jakarta-North America and Jakarta-Europe route.” said Rizal.

According to Rizal, the international routes planned by the carrier are unprofitable. Airlines in Southeast Asia that offer similar routes, such as Singapore Airlines, have poor financial performance, he pointed out.

Rizal added that Garuda’s routes to Europe only had a 30 percent passenger load factor. Instead of expanding its international routes it would be better if Garuda concentrated on the domestic and regional markets.

“We can rule the regional market in five to seven years. When we are strong enough, then we can go onto the next step. The President has agreed to the cancellation of the purchase of the Airbus 350 and we will summon the Garuda management to change its plans,” said Rizal.

Separately, Garuda Indonesia vice president for corporate communication M.Ikhsan Rosan said the carrier had not made a final decision on the purchase of the Airbus A350. Ikhsan said the carrier was considering whether it would use Airbus A350 or Boeing 787.

“It is true there was a signing ceremony in Paris with Airbus in June, but it was a letter of intent,” said Ikhsan.

Source : Jakarta Post

 

Bombardier Seeking Investors for all Business Units : Sources

Canada’s Bombardier Inc is exploring the sale of a stake in any of its business areas, not just its rail unit, to ensure it can finish development of its delayed C Series jet, according to sources familiar with the situation.

The Montreal-based company has hired investment bankers to look at a variety of financing options, the sources said, including selling aerospace or rail assets in full or in part, forming joint ventures or bringing in private equity investors. One source familiar with the company’s thinking said Bombardier hoped to secure some additional source of cash, through the sale of a business unit or another arrangement, perhaps with Canadian government, before its third-quarter earnings report on October 29th.

A banking source said the company is not desperate for cash but wants to be proactive and shore up its stock, which has dropped more than 50 percent in the last year as it pushes to bring the new C Series jet into service, years late and billions over budget.

In May, the company said it planned to file late this year to launch an initial public offering for a minority stake in its rail unit, Bombardier Transportation. Spokeswoman Isabelle Rondeau said that the plan had not changed.

“Everything is on the table,” said the source familiar with the Company’s thinking.

“They’re aggressively looking worldwide for some sort of capital infusion. At the end of the day, they need more cash to keep the C Series going, because the future of the company depends on that Plane”

“We are in constant contact with Bombardier and won’t comment on rumors,” a spokeswoman for Quebec’s economy minister said.

Source : The Globe And Mail

 

LATEST NEWS IN BRIEF  

  • British Airways receives the first 787-9, and will enter service on the 25th of this month.
  • Aeroflot drops plans to acquire Transaero. The Russian government will allow Transaero to enter bankruptcy placing the carrier’s future in serious doubt.
  • Mitsubishi Aircraft has narrowed the target schedule for the first flight of the MRJ to the last week of this month. Between Oct. 26th and Oct. 30th.
  • Blue Air(Romania)  is set to establish a base in Turin, Italy with effect from 26th of this month. The airline has a fleet of Boeing Classic aircraft composed of 737-300, 400s and one 737-500.

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  • Airbus flies the second CFM International Leap-powered A320neo into the type’s flight-test campaign.
  • Alaska Airlines has become just the second North American carrier to achieve Fast Travel Platinum status, which is awarded by IATA to airlines that offer four or more Fast Travel compliant options to at least 80% of their passengers.
  • Boeing employees in Renton, Wash. have started the final assembly of the first 737 MAX 8,  the first member of Boeing’s new single-aisle family, on schedule.  More Detailed report on this aircraft will be coming in my next report.
  • Emirates celebrated the Boeing 777 fleet completing 859,000 flights while logging over 4,720,000 flight hours since its first delivery in 1996.
  • Scandinavian Airlines has taken delivery of its first 242t Airbus A330-300; making it the first carrier in Europe to receive the higher-weight, longer-range-300 variant.
  • Flybe UK regional introduced its first ATR 72-600 series aircraft into its fleet, on lease from Aviation PLC. It will operate from Sweden in the livery of Flybe’s new partner in Northern Europe, Scandinavian Airlines (SAS)

  • Jetstars transition to an all Boeing 787-8 long-haul fleet is almost complete after the low-cost carrier’s 11th and final Dreamliner on firm order entered revenue service in mid September.

 

AIR CARGO

Atlas to Operate B767 Converts for DHL

US aircraft lessor Atlas Air will operate two Boeing 767Fs leaded by its Titan Aviation arm to DHL Express.

Atlas Air will operate the aircraft, which are being converted from passenger to freighter configuration, through sister company Polar Air Cargo Worldwide, linking the flights with Polar’s existing services for DHL and other customers.

The new operation represents a continued expansion of Atlas Air’s crew, maintenance and insurance(CMI) service. The operation is expected to begin in late 2015 and early 2016 following the conversion of the two 767s.

“By growing our CMI operations, we continue to diversify our business mix and to drive more predictable revenue and earnings streams,” said William Flynn, president and chief executive of parent group, Atlas Air Worldwide.

The company will operate 20 aircraft in its CMI operations when these units commence service.

Source : aircargonews/Atlas Air

 

MILITARY NEWS

Boeing to Lead $ 4 Billion F-15 Jet Fighter Contract 

An aging but formidable fighter jet is being given new relevance in a bid to fill the gap created by delays in the world’s most expensive new generation combat aircraft program.

Boeing was named the first week of this month as prime contractor on a $4 billion contract to install a new, all digital electronic warfare and threat detection system on the F-15 fighter, which made its first flight more than 40 years ago and was never been defeated in air-air combat.

Often described as the backbone of the US Air Force’s air superiority, the F-15 tactical fighter jet was due to be replaced in the 2020s by more advanced fifth generation aircraft such as the F-35.

However delays in developing and fielding the F-35, and cutbacks in the procurement of another fighter-the F-22- prompted the USAF to extend the life of the F-15 until 2040.

BAE Systems of the UK will develop the electronic warfare suite in a deal worth some $1 billion over 10 years, of which $67 million will be booked this year. BAE said the contract was significant milestone in the group’s plan to extend the electronic combat solutions business. The new system will replace the current Tactical Electronic Warfare Suite developed by Northrop Grumman, which has been in use since the 1980s.

The new threat detection system will be installed on more than 400 F-15 Es and F-15 Cs.

Source : Financial Times

 

          Boeing’s KC-46 Pegasus Hits a Key Milestone 

Boeing seems to get a bum rap from the so-called analysts, who think that they know better what happens at Boeing with every product they come up with.  The same applies to the KC-46 tanker.

Fortunately, the project is back on track, on September 25th Boeing completed an initial four-hour test flight for the first KC-46 tanker. There is plenty of testing left to do, but Boeing will salvage the KC-46 program and turn a decent profit as Boeing know how to build airplanes.

The initial flight conducted last month checked the plane’s basic systems. According to the company, ”Boeing test pilots performed operational checks on engines, flight controls and environmental systems and took the tanker to a maximum altitude of 35,000 feet prior to landing.”

Boeing still expects to be able to test the refueling system and then do aerial refueling trial runs before the end of the year.

In the opinion of this writer and shareholder of The Boeing Company the KC-46 program will be a great success, the same as the 787 program, which got its share of bad publicity from the so-called financial experts

Source : Ed’s opinion/Picture Boeing

 

 

Researched and Compiled by : Ed Kaplanian

Commercial Aviation Advisor

Contact – ekaplanian@msn.com

 

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