Kaplanian Report – December 2020

ON THE BOEING FRONT

                                           Boeing Sticks to 2022 777X Delivery Goal

Though Boeing continues working toward delivering the first 777-9 in 2022, the company’s chief executive has warned about potential further changes to the timeline. 

On October 28th, CEO David Calhoun said the certification of the 777-9 the first variant has incorporated “learnings” from the 737 Max process. The pace of certification, Calhoun added, will be set by regulators.

“On the 777X, we continue to work with regulators on certification work-scope, including reflecting the learnings from the 737 cert process,” Calhoun says during Boeing’s third-quarter earnings call.

“As with any development program, there are inherent risks that can affect schedule,” Calhoun adds.”  While we continue to drive toward entry into service in 2022, the timing will ultimately be influenced by certification requirements defined by the regulators.”

Calhoun does not specify what 737-related lessons have been in corporate into 777X certification work.  He mentioned similar lessons during Boeing’s previous earnings call.

Source: Boeing / Picture Boeing 

           Boeing Buoyant About Robust China Market Growth 

Boeing estimates Chinese carriers will require 8,600 new aircraft — at a price tag of over $1.4 trillion—over the next 20 years, underscoring the airframes’s optimism about what it deems a key market.

Boeing’s latest 20-year estimate for the Chinese market, which spans until 2039, represents a 7% increase from its previous forecast released last year, with much of the demand coming from single-aisle jet aircraft.

Of the 8,600 aircraft, about 75% of these jets are expected to be single-aisle aircraft and about 18% to be widebodies, with the remaining regional aircraft and freighters.

Boeing’s buoyant forecast is in spite of the coronavirus pandemic this year, which began in China, and has since plunged the aviation industry into turmoil.  It cites the country’s rapidly-growing middle class, increased economic growths as well as increasing urbanization as reasons for its forecast.

On the services end, Boeing anticipates China to require about $1.7 trillion in commercial aviation services for the next 20 years.  It also forecast a growing appetite among Cheese carriers for new and converted freighters, as well as digital solutions.

Source: Boeing

               

ON THE AIRBUS FRONT

         Airbus Receives Initial ‘Airspace’ Cabin Entry Area for A320neo

Austrian aerospace firm FACC has delivered its first entrance area of the ‘Airspace’ interior configuration developed for the Airbus A320neo.

PACC had been tasked with developing the door zone and overhead bins for the new interior layout two years ago.

The Airspace basin was introduced on the long-haul Airbus A350 and A330neo, but has been working to apply similar concepts to the single-aisle family.   They are offering additional comfort to passengers as well as larger luggage bins and customize lighting. 

The completely redesigned entrance area of the A320 family boasts a high-quality design, has a sophisticated appearance, and makes important contributions to consistent weight optimization with innovative fiber composite materials.  The cabin solution comprises the entire lining of the entrance and door area in the front, middle and rear sections of the aircraft. 

Following the initial delivery of components, including the lighting, to Airbus’s Hamburg Finkenwerder facility for installation,FACC is to embark on ramping-up serial production.

Source: Airbus/FACC/PictureFACC            

                      REGIONAL/BUSINESS JETS

                       Aerion Completes AS2 Wind Tunnel Testing

Aerion Supersonic wrapped up low-and high-speed tunnel testing for its redesigned Mach 1.4 AS2 business jet, accumulating the equivalent of 78,000 nm flown and hundreds of simulated flight hours at facilities in Europe and North America.

The testing, along with digital modeling, enabled Aerion engineers to assess more than 200,000 data points to validate the aerodynamic shape of the aircraft and keep the program on target for component manufacturing to begin in 2022 and AS2 assembly in 2023.

The tests involved an evaluation of the full operational envelope of the AS2, including takeoff and landing, subsonic cruise, ”boomless” supersonic cruise, and dive speed.  In addition, the AS2 design was tested for operational conditions, including the deployment of landing gear and wing icing, along with handling qualities.

Aerion worked in conjunction with the French Office of National Aerospace Research in Modane, France, on the high-speed testing.  This testing assessed stability and control at tannic and supersonic speeds over more than 1,000 cycles and equivalent of 72,000 nm flown. 

In combination with the wind tunnel testing, Aerion has conducted digital modeling through the use of aerodynamic optimization tools developed by its subsidiary, Aerion Technologies, in Palo Alto, California. Plans call for Aerion to fly the aircraft in 2025 timeframe, with certification and entry-into-service later in the decade.

Source: Aviation International News/Photo: Aerion Supersonic                                                 

OTHER AVIATION NEWS

                   Sanad & GE Aviation Celebrate 100th GEnx Engine Milestone

Sanad has successfully completed the maintenance of 100 GEnx engines on behalf of GE Aviation.  Sanad Aerottech is based in Abu Dhabi. 

Sanad was the first MRO partner within GE Aviation’s global services network to obtain MRO certification for the GEnx engine and remains the only certified GEnx MRO partner in the Middle East and North Africa region.  In 2021, when the GEnx reaches 10 years of operation, Sanad will expand its existing maintenance and repair services to include the full overhaul of 315 GEnx engines until 2035.

“This achievement evidences Sanad’s distinguished engineering capabilities and our ability to continue providing the highest quality MRO service to global OEM partners,” said Mansor Janahi, deputy Group CEO of Sanad.

With more than 2,000 engines delivered worldwide on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and the Boeing 747-8, the GEnx is the fastest-selling, high-thrust jet engine in GE Aviation history.   Due to rising GEnx demand, Sanad recently financed and leased its ninth GEnx engine through a sale-and-leaseback agreement with Etihad Airways, the UAE’s national carrier and one of the largest global operators of Boeing 787 aircraft.

“On behalf of the GE Aviation team worldwide, I wish to congratulate Sanad on reaching this historic milestone.We look forward to our continued partnership and meeting the MRO requirements of a growing global fleet,” said Dave Kircher, GE Aviation General Manager for the GEnx engine. 

Source: Sanad Aerotech/GE aviation/Sanad Picture

                     Honeywell Rolls Out A320 Family APU Upgrade

Honeywell has released an upgrade for its APU fitted on Airbus A320 family aircraft, which it says will help reduce fuel burn and increase time-on-wing hours.

The high-efficiency mode upgrade will increase the average time-on-wing by 1,200 flight hours, and reduce fuel burn by 2%.  It is enabled by a software encryption key, Honeywell adds.

The roll-out for the 131-9A APU upgrade will commenced in October for existing Honeywell maintenance services customers.    It will be available to other operators next year.  Honeywell’s has shipped more than 15,000 131-9a APUs since 1995.

The Upgrade is intended for any aircraft operating a 131-9A APU, including Airbus A319, A320 and A321 models.  Customers enrolled in Honeywell’s Maintenance Service Plan will have access to the upgrade for no additional cost beginning in late October 2020.   It will be available to other operators with 131-9APUs beginning in January 2021.  For all aircraft, this upgrade can be installed during any regularly scheduled maintenance event and does not require additional downtime to implement.

Source: Honeywell Aerospace/Picture Honeywell

              Rolls-Royce to Test Wholly-sustainable Fuel UltraFan Development

Rolls-Royce is to test a Trent engine with a fully-sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) as part of its development of the advanced UltraFan powerplant.  The Trent 1000 engine will feature a lean-burn low-emission known as ALECSys, says Rolls-Royce.  The UltraFan is intended to provide a 25% fuel-burn saving over the first generation Trent engines.

Rolls-Royce states that the ground tests, which will commence at its Derby headquarters, will mark the first time the manufacturer has used a 100%-sustainable fuel.

The tests will aim to confirm that unblended sustainable fuel-rather than the current approved 50% blends-can serve as a “full drop-in” option, and make a “significant contribution” to improving engines’ environmental performance, it adds.

US-based fuel specialist World Energy is producing the fuel, sourced by Shell Aviation and delivered by SkyNRG.

Gene Gebolys, Chief Executive Officer and founder,World Energy, said: “World Energy exists to empower leaders to innovate by providing the world’s most advanced low carbon fuels.  Rolls-Royce is putting their technological prowess to work to understand how to maximize their potential in engines and we are proud to support them.”

“ These tests aim to show that we can deliver real emissions reductions,” says Rolls-Royce chief technology officer Paul Stein.

Source: Rolls-Royce/Rolls-Royce Picture

        LATEST NEWS

  • Southwest Airlines has sent a team of mechanics to Victorville, California to start the long process of bringing its 34 Boeing 737 Max jets out of their desert hibernation, now the planes’ permission to fly was restored.
  •  Canada’s transport minister has signaled his country will “ soon” follow the USA in certificating Boeing’s 737 Max.  But Canada’s approval will include different requirements than the Federal Aviation Administration’s green light.
  • Boeing has secured a contract for the third and fourth KC-46 aerial tankers for the Japan Air self-defense Force(JASDF).
  • Ethiopian Airlines on November 7 Ethiopian Airlines took delivery of another pair of Airbus A350-900s both aircraft being handed over on the same day.
  • Kuwait Airways has received its first two A330neos.  The aircraft are the first of eight A330neos ordered by the airline.
  • Emirates Airlines has fully retired its first A380, A6-EDB, almost 12 years to the day when it entered service.
  • Air Canada canceled an order for 12 A220s to conserve cash and deferred the handover of the remains 18 A220 it had been due to receive in 2021 and 2022. The airline also canceled orders for 10 737Max jets.
  • GE Catalyst GE Aviations clean-sheet engine is expected to begin its ground testing on a flying testbed early this month.  Beechcraft King Air is serving as the flying testbed.
  • Alaska Airlines will sell 10 Airbus A320s, shifting to 13 more-fuel-efficient, leased Boeing 737-9 Max which will be delivered from end of 2021 through 2022.  The A320s will go to Air Lease Corp, which will also lease the Boeing jets  to the carrier.
  • Brazil’s Civil Aviation Agency ( ANAC) has cleared the Boeing 737 Max aircraft to return to revenue service in Brazil.

Sources: Boeing, Flightglobal, Air Canada, Emirates, Airbus, Ethiopian, Alaska Airlines, GE Aviation

                                           AIR CARGO

 Cargolux is Examining The Boeing 777-300ER Freighter Conversion

Cargolux is looking very closely at the 777-300ER freighter conversion programs as a candidate to meet its future fleet requirements, says the airline’s chief executive Richard Forson.

The European cargo operator-whose fleet of 30 747s were all line built freighters- is considering two scenarios for future aircraft orders, Forson explained during a UK Aviation Club events on November 12.  They look to the big manufactures for freighter versions of newer-generation wide bodies, or seek the conversion of alder generation passenger aircraft.

“The specific one we are looking very closely at is the conversion of the 777-300ER into a freighter, in which GECAS, together with IAI, are doing a program,” he says.

The IAI conversion program was unveiled in October last year by leasing giant GECAS, which placed a launch order for 15 firm conversions with 15 options and is co-investor in the effort.  The conversion is designated 777-300ER Special Freighter (SF) and is the first after-market cargo modification launched for the 777 family. 

“I’m keeping an eye on that and wondering if the whole freighter concept is now going full circle.  It initially it started off as conversion of passenger aircraft and then it went into production freighters, and maybe are getting back to a situation now where manufacturers are going to say theirs is too high,” Forson explains.

Eventually, he acknowledges, Cargolux “will have a mix in its fleet of the747 and then a twin-engine freighter, which will bring complexity into our operations, which we do not have at this point in time.”

That is regrettable, Forson explains, because “having a single type in your fleet is of huge advantage.”

Source: Flightglobal

   Kalitta to Be Launch Operator of 777-300ERSF Converted Freighter


Kalitta Air will be the first airline to operate the Boeing 777-300ERSF, a converted freighter being developed by lessor GECAS and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI).  GECAS reached an agreement under which Michigan-based Kalitta will operate three of the freighters, with deliveries in 2023, the lessor said.

Conversion specialist IAI and GECAS launched the 777-300ER conversion program in October 2019.  IAI has been working to secure a supplemental type certificate for the 777-300ERSF variant.  The 777-300ERSF will have 25% more cargo volume than the 777-200LRF, and 15% more than a 747-400BCF, according to IAI.

Source: GECAS/PictureGECAS

                       OTHER NOTEWORTHY NEWS

         Alaska Prepares for the Boeing 737 Max to Safely Joins Its Fleet

On March 2021 Alaska Airlines is scheduled to start welcoming guests on their first Boeing 737Max 9 aircraft.  The airline is expected delivery of the first plane in January, followed by several more thought 2021.

Once the first Max is delivered, the airline will begin two months of testing and verifying all necessary processes to prepare the aircraft for passenger service, which is scheduled to begin in March.  Alaska’s teams will put the plane through its paces, which include flying it more than,19000 miles and over 50 flight hours all over the US including Alaska and Hawaii.

Alaska will activate their training programs and make sure their employees are ready.  The airline has been closely testing, verifying and implementing all necessary processes to ensure the Max aircraft meets the airline’s safety standards.

Alaska manages safety through their Safety Management System(SMS).The airline was the first major U.S. airline to receive FAA validation and acceptance of SMS in 2016, even before it became required in 2018.

Alaska will fly the Boeing 737 MAX only after their own assessments, verifications and internal reviews that well determine that the aircraft is safe throughout its network for their guests and their crews.   Teams from divisions all across Alaska are working on the entry into service requirements for the MAX.

Source: Alaska Airlines/Picture Alaska Airlines

                         

 Researched and Compiled by : Ed Kaplanian   

Commercial Aviation Advisor  

Contact – ekaplanian@msn.com

Editor:   Lee Kaplanian  

May 2021 be a great year for all of us!!!

 

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