Volume 4 Issue 12 December 2017 The Kaplanian Report

ON THE BOEING FRONT

Boeing Ceremonially Kicks Off  777-9 Assembly

Boeing marked the official launch of production activity for the first 777-9 test aircraft in a public ceremony on October 23. The company started building the wing spar in the newly-erected composite wing center in Everett, Washington, during the summer. The October 23 ceremony coincided with the drilling of the spar by an automated machine in another building on the campus. The ceremonial launch of production for the 777X family comes about 14 -17 months before the scheduled first flight of the 777-9 test aircraft in the first quarter of 2019. Entry into service with Launch customer should occur about a year after first flight.

Meanwhile, GE Aviation is continuing certification testing of the GE9x engine, while the second engine is to test running on a ground test stand since May.

Combined with GE Aviation GE9X engines, the 777X’s new wing will play a key part in delivering enhanced fuel efficiency. It has been increased in diameter by around 7m (23ft) over the current 777-300ER model, to 71.8m (235ft 5in) with a new wing-fold mechanism of 3.5m (11.4ft) on each side — to enable the twin engine jet to use the same airport infrastructure and taxiways as its predecessor.

Flight testing of the 777X is set to commence in 2019. Boeing expects to deliver the first 777-9 during 2020, with the longer-range -8 model to follow one year later.

“We see a good order backlog — much better than the -300ER had at this time, ahead of production,” Boeing Commercial Airplane chief executive Kevin McAllister told Flight global on September 26.  I think you’ll see a very compelling value proposition on that airplane as we go forward.”

Boeing has secured firm orders for 336 of the aircraft—283-9s and 53-8s— since launching the program at the Dubai air show in November 2013 (the last order for 20-9s from Singapore Airlines was finalized in Washington, DC on October 23.)

Other customers include All Nippon Airways, Cathay Pacific, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Lufthansa and Qatar.

Launch customer will be Emirates.

Source : Flightglobal/Boeing Picture

 

ON THE AIRBUS FRONT

First A321neo With Revised Door Layout Assembled

The first Airbus A321neo equipped with a modified fuselage and additional cabin exits is nearing completion on the final assembly line in Hamburg. Dubbed the “Airbus Cabin Flex” (ACF) version, this first major variation of the A321 fuselage incorporates up to four over-wing exits instead of the main cabin doors immediately ahead of the wing on existing A321.

The pair of doors immediately behind the wing has also repositioned aft by four fuselage frames (with a deactivation option).

The changes increase in the twinset’s maximum seating from the current 230 passengers to up to 240.  Other interior changes include slimmer seats, redesigned rear galley and lavatory module, and a new rating for exit doors.

The A321neo ACF is due to enter service next year and the changes it features will be incorporated into the extended-range A321LR version of the A321neo, which is due to enter service in 2019.  This variant features increased weights and up to three auxiliary fuel tanks, to boost range by up to 500nm (925km) to 4,000nm.

Source : Flightglobal/Airbus Picture

 

REGIONAL/BUSINESS JETS

  Boeing Business Jets Has Upped Its Sales For 2017

Boeing Business Jets tally for 2017 to 13 aircraft, adding six since the EBACE business aviation in May.  In what new BBJ president Greg Laxton calls a “fast and furious” year to date. The orders include a second 737 Max 7, the only narrow body Boeing Business Jet able to fly 7,000nm (13,000km). Boeing secured its first customer for the Max 7 BBJ late last year—a variant Laxton describes as a “game-changer” as it gives the airframe a product with similar range to the Gulfstream G650 or Bombardier 7000.

Boeing also notched up orders for six wide body business jets—Three 747-8s and three 777-300ERs— in 2017, as well as two of BBJ Max 9s, two original BBJs ( 737-700s) and a pair of BBJ 2s (737-800s). There have been four deliveries of green aircraft: three 777-300ERS and one 787-8.

In total, Boeing has orders for the BBJ version of the Max, with first delivery to a completion center—a 737 Max 8—due in the second quarter of 2018.

Source : Flightglobal/BBJ

 

OTHER AVIATION NEWS

      Retirement of KLM Fokker Ends Era That Began in 1921

The retirement of KLM Cityhopper’s last Fokker 70, after final flight on October 28, marks the end of an era in Dutch aviation history.

It was all the way back in April 1921 that KLM put its first Fokker into service.  KLM’s chief executive Pieter Elbers describes the exit of its last Fokker as “a sad moment”, but also highlights a new beginning for Cityhopper regional unit, which now operates a fleet composed of Embraer E-Jets.

“The replacement of the entire Fokker fleet began nine years ago with the introduction of the first Embraer 190 in November 2008,” Elbers recalls. ”it can be difficult to keep reliability high for the small Fokker fleet, but our maintenance team at Cityhopper has done a fantastic job.”

Special farewell flight between Heathrow and Amsterdam School was operated on the evening of October 28, becoming the last ever scheduled arrival of Cityhopper Fokker 70 at the Dutch hub. The aircraft (registered PH-KZU) was adorned with an image of founding father Antony Fokker on the tail and “Thank you” titles on the fuselage.

Source : KLM Press Room/KLM Picture

  American to Say Good Bye to MD-80s in 2019

American Airlines has set 2019 as the year it will retire its MD-80 fleet, replacing the rear-engined aircraft with modern Boeing 737-800s.The MD-80 was the workhorse of American and other US carriers’ domestic fleets from the 1980s through the early 2000s making it an everyday sight at airports around the country. Fort Worth-based America plans to finish this year with 45 MD-80s in its fleet, shrinking to 26 by the fall of 2018. All the carrier’s MD-80s will be based at its Dallas/Fort Worth hub once the ST Louis pilot base closes.

American was the first major US carrier to commit to the MD-80 — if only tentatively at first — when it agreed to “rent” 20 from McDonnell Douglas in 1982.

The airframer essentially leased the aircraft to the airline under a deal that allowed it to return the aircraft after five years with no penalty, or earlier with a cancellation charge.

Initially, American planned to primarily use the MD-80 to replace Boeing 727-100s in its fleet, citing 37% better fuel efficiency for the former compared to the latter.  Instead American opted to use the aircraft for growth when it placed what at the time was its largest order ever for 167 MD-80s, including 67 firm and 100 options, in 1984.

With the 1984 deal, American had “firmly pinned its future” on the MD-80.American’s fleet grew to 260 by 1993.

Source : Flightglobal/American Picture

 

                                                    LATEST NEWS

  • UTair Russian carrier has unveiled a refreshed livery and a slightly-modified  Utair brand name.

  • Ethiopian Airlines took delivery of the first of two Boeing 787-9s on October 27th making it Africa’s first operator of the type.
  • Aeroflot sizes up Airbus, Boeing for a narrow-body order and considering a “sizable” order of the A320neo and 737 MAX.
  • Airbus delivered first A320neo assembled in Tianjin to Air Asia. The aircraft, powered by CFM LEAP-1A engines.
  • Textron Aviation delivered its 100th Cessna Citation Latitude. The delivery went to NetJets.
  • Emirates Airlines takes delivery of its 100th A380 at Airbus’ Hamburg facility on November 3.
  • The Commercial Aircraft Corp of China (COMAC) has flown its C919 aircraft for the third time—five weeks after its second flight, and 26 weeks after the first flight.
  • Comlux signs the first BBJ MAX 8 completion ever, the aircraft will go to Comlux Indianapolis facilities in the 4th quarter of 2018 for redelivery by the fall of 2019
  • Pratt & Whitney successfully tests next generation Pure Power Geared Turbofan (GTF) as part of the FAA Sustainability Program.

  • Emirates Airlines kicked off the Dubai Air Show by announcing a commitment to purchase 40 Boeing 787-10s valued at $15.1 billion at list prices.

  • Air China and Air Canada take delivery of their first 737 Max 8 aircraft. The latest hand-overs raise Boeing’s total count of 737-8s this year to at least 35.

 

AIR CARGO

Lockheed Flies Second LM-100J Cargo Transport. 

The second LM-100 J has joined Lockheed Martin’s flight test program for the commercial freighter derivative of the C-130J military transport. The newly-built aircraft completed a first flight on October 11 from Lockheed’s final assembly plant in Marrietta, Georgia.

The first LM-100J started flying on May 25 to begin Lockheed’s campaign to receive a civil certification of the type from the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

The addition of the second aircraft “will accelerate our progress to deliver this unique aircraft’s capabilities to civilian operators around the world”, says Wayne Roberts, Lockheed’s chief test pilot for the LM-100J.

Lockheed has announced receiving 25 orders with a total value of $1.6 billion for the converted civil freighter. Externally, the most visible difference between the C-130 J and LM-100J is the absence of windows at the feet of the pilot and co-Pilot in the Cockpit of the commercial derivative. The LM-100J also lacks certain features of the military version, such as the capability to lower the cargo ramp door in flight.

Source : Lockheed/Lockheed Picture

 

 EVA Air Takes First 777-200 LR Freighter  

On November 10 EVA has taken delivery of its first Boeing 777-200LR Freighters part of its fleet modernization plan.

It will be put the aircraft was put into service between Asia and North America later that month. says the Taiwanese airline in a statement. It currently operates cargo services to North American points of Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth and Atlanta.

EVA adds that the General Electric GE-90 powered 777-200LR freighter allows it to operate to any North American destination from Taiwan, with a technical stop in Anchorage.

The carrier has another four of the freighters on order, all of which will be delivered by September 2019. With the deliveries, it will retire its five remaining 747-400 Freighters by the end of 2019.

The airline’s executive vice-president of corporate planning Albert Liao tells FlightGlobal that the carrier’s cargo strategy is to utilize the five 777 freighters as well as the belly hold of its 34 777-300ER aircraft to ensure a “sustainable” cargo  in “ good and bad Times”.

Source : Flightglobal/EVA Picture

 

 Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul News

Leap Negotiates Teething Problems 

The engine manufacturers predict around 450 Leaps will be produced in 2017. With all the attention paid to Pratt & Whitney’s problems with the geared turbofan this year, some have overlooked the early hiccups with its rival, The CFM LEAP.

“We have observed a premature loss of coating on the high-pressure turbine shroud which is made by our partner in CFM GE on some engines,” said Safran CEO Philippe Petitcolin in a recent earnings call.

Following a problem with LEAP 1B low-pressure turbine(LPT) discs that has nearly been resolved, CFM is now dealing with premature loss of the thermal coating on high-pressure turbine discs on the LEAP-1A and LEAP-1B.

However, Petitcolin, says that “most of this issue is really now behind us” and that coating problems should be fully resolved by 2018.He also stresses that the additional headwind is a conservative estimate, and that the extra technical support may not be needed.  One question for next year is the production split between CFM56 and LEAP engines, given ongoing strong sales of former powerplant.

Source: mro-network .com

 

 MRO Short News

  • FedEx orders up to 50 new-build ATR freighters and will become the launch customer for the line-produced ATR 72-600 Freighter, after placing a firm order for 30 aircraft, plus 20 options.

  • Boeing Asia Pacific Aviation Services has a Singapore Airline Cargo contract to provide fleet engineering services for 747-400Fs via customized solutions from Global Fleet Care portfolio.
  • Airbus forecasts MRO business in Asia will grow 4.5% annually through 2036(vs global growth of 3.9%) and be worth $ 660 billion over the next 20 years.
  • Swiss AviationSoftware was selected by Boeing to support its Global Fleet Care services with AMOS MRO software; Norwegian is first customer to use the AMOS-supported service.
  • HEICO secured $1.3 billion unsecured revolving credit facility to principally fund acquisitions.

 

Answer to Last Month Puzzler:

  TAM of Brazil

Researched and Compiled by : Ed Kaplanian

Commercial Aviation Advisor

Contact – ekaplanian@msn.com

 

Volume 2 Issue 8


ON THE BOEING FRONT

The Roof is Almost Complete on the 777X Composite Wing Center in Everett. 

The progress over the past few weeks on the Composite Wing Center in Everett for the 777X has been phenomenal.

The roof over the massive 1.3 million square foot building is nearly complete, and the walls are also going up at a rapid pace.

A milestone was also reached, after completing the area where the autoclave vendor can start installation. The first of three giant autoclaves – some of the largest in the world – is also nearly completed.

The Composite Wing Center is on track to be finished in May of 2016. (see attached photos courtesy of Boeing)

Source : Boeing/Boeing Photos

 

ON THE AIRBUS FRONT 

Airbus’ Runway Overrun Prevention System (ROPS) Certified by EASA on A330 Family

Airbus has achieved EASA certification of Airbus’ Runway Overrun Prevention System (ROPS) technology on A330 Family aircraft. This on-board cockpit technology, which Airbus pioneered over several years, is now certified and available on all Airbus Families. ROPS is an alerting system which reduces exposure to runway overrun risk, and if necessary, provides active protection. Korean will become the first A330 operator to implement ROPS on its A330s in service in the coming months.

Runway excursion-meaning either an aircraft veering off the side of the runway, or overrunning the very end-remains the primary cause of civil airliner hull losses, particularly as other formerly prevalent categories of aircraft accidents have now largely been eliminated. Furthermore, various industry bodies including the EASA, NTSB, Eurocontrol and FAA recognize this and are fully behind the introduction of effective measures by commercial aviation stakeholders to eliminate the risk of runway excursions.

Source : Airbus/Airbus picture

 

BUSINESS/REGIONAL NEWS

CS100 Performs Minimum-unstick Test.

Bombardier has disclosed details of the minimum-unstick testing on the initial CSeries variant which it conducted at a regional airport in Kansas. One of the CS100 prototypes, FTV4, performed the tests at Saline airport during May.

The twin jet was fitted with a projecting bumper underneath the aft fuselage for the tests, which explore the minimum speed at which the CS100 can lift off at high nose altitude.

Minimum-unstick testing typically involves rapid acceleration to a threshold speed then reducing power while applying maximum pitch.

FTV4 has been fitted with cameras underneath the fuselage to monitor the bumper and the exercise also required simulation and modeling before being carried out.

Source: Bombardier/Flightglobal/Bombardier Photo.

 

OTHER AVIATION NEWS

Boeing 787’s Improved Reliability Is Giving a Supplier Headaches

After early hiccups, Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner is turning into a stellar performer for airlines. That is creating an unexpected headache for the company that makes the plan’s cockpit displays.

The problem: Rockwell Collins Inc. finds itself with a bulge of unsold spare parts because the monitors used by pilots to track the jet’s radar and performance are proving more reliable than expected, Chief Executive Officer Kelly Ortberg said on July 24th.

Dreamliner operators are stocking fewer replacements, contributing to a 4 percent drop in aftermarket sales in the quarter ended June 30, Rockwell Collins said.

The Cedar Rapids, Iowa-based company is tweaking forecasts for other new jets using the gear, such as Boeing’s 737 Max and the 777X, Ortberg said.

“I am not going to feel bad about building and designing a really good piece of equipment,” Ortberg said in a telephone interview. ”We’ll go adjust the reliability that we had originally predicted to more of what we’re actually seeing in the marketplace.”

The Dreamliner entered service in 2011 after more than three years of delays. With the plane’s all-new technology, Rockwell Collins had no track record on which to project a replacement rate for its spare parts, Ortberg said.

Now, the company will use the improved reliability to persuade operators of Boeing’s 757s and 767s to upgrade to new equipment. Jet kerosene at close to a six-year low is a lure for airlines to retrofit older planes they otherwise would have retired, Ortberg said.

Source : Bloomberg

 

SWISS Unveils the Cabin Product and Route Network for Its New Flagship Boeing 777-300ER

SWISS will be ushering-in a new era in the history of its long-haul aircraft fleet next January with the arrival of the first of its nine new Boeing 777-300ERs.

In SWISS configuration the new twin jets will seat 340 passengers. They will also offer a state-of-the-art cabin product in all three seating classes, including wireless internet connectivity. The 777 will be deployed on routes to and from Asia, South America and the US West Coast from the 2016 summer schedules onwards.

In SWISS configuration the Boeing 777-300ER will offer 340 seats: eight in First Class,62 in Business Class and 270 in Economy.  The totally redesigned cabin interior of the new SWISS flagship will provide comfort and aesthetics to meet the most discerning of demands in all three seating classes.

The SWISS First seat will be transformable into the occupant’s own private suite that includes a 32-inch screen, the largest in the industry. SWISS First guests will also enjoy electrically-adjustable window blinds and their own personal wardrobe.

SWISS Business travelers will enjoy an in-flight product that has been further enhanced and refined on the basis of customer feedback. The seating arrangement offers optimum privacy and freedom of movement, while the seat cushion’s firmness can be individually regulated. All the seats in the SWISS Business cabin can also be quickly and easily converted into a lie-flat bed .

The 777 will deliver 23% lower unit costs compared to the Airbus A340,” which especially helps on routes to Asia where we face tough competition mainly from Gulf carriers,” SWISS CEO Harry Hohmeister said.

Source : Swiss/Swiss Photos

 

CFM Delivers First Leap-1C to COMAC

CFM international has delivered the first Leap-1C engine to Comac for its in-development C919 narrow body program.

The engine, sent to the Chinese manufacturer’s first assembly center near Shanghai Pudong International airport, will be installed on the first C919 flight test aircraft. This pushes the first aircraft toward a roll-out by the end of the year, and a first flight in 2016.

The first Leap-1C engine completed a flight test program in late 2014 on a modified 747 flying testbed at Ge’s facilities in Victorville, California. The test program includes a comprehensive test schedule that looked at various functions including engine operability, stall margin and performance, and also validated advanced technologies incorporated in the engine, says CFM.

The engine maker adds that there are currently more than 30 Leap engines on test or in final assembly, and that the program has logged more than 4,730 certification ground and flight test hours totaling 7,900 cycles.

Comac has so far received commitments for 507 C919s, mostly from Chinese airlines and leasing companies.

Source: Flightglobal/Photo CFM International

 

LATEST NEWS IN BRIEF  

  • Eva Air have finalized an order for five 777 Freighters. The order, valued at more than $1.5 billion at list prices.
  • Vietnam Airlines has signed an agreement with Boeing to collaborate on renewing its wide body fleet which could see the carrier adding eight 777-8X and eight 787-10 aircraft.
  • Airbus has resumed flying the PW1100G-powered A320neo flight test aircraft in Toulouse, France after three-month grounding.
  • Transaero Russian carrier has taken delivery of its first Airbus A321, which is being supplied under a leasing deal with Chinese finance firm ICBC.

  • GKN Aerospace is to acquire the Dutch aerospace firm Fokker Technologies in a deal worth more than $775 million.
  • Vietjet the Vietnamese low-cost carrier (LCC) has taken delivery of the first 230-seat Airbus A321 cabin, the delivery marks the 9000 Airbus aircraft.

  • Lufthansa Technik the Puerto Rico MRO facility at Rafael Hernandez International Airport in Aguadilla started operations on July 21 with its first overhaul line.
  • Xiamen Airlines has committed to purchase another four Boeing 787 Dreamliners to further expand its long-range fleet. Xiamen Airlines started its first ever European service to Amsterdam on July 26th using one of its 787-8s.
  • FedEx place a firm order with Boeing for 50 firm orders for 767 freighters and took options for 50 more.
  • GOL Brazilian carrier has unveiled a new livery bearing its new logo.

  • Airbus has contracted Saab Aerostructures to manufacture and assemble composite wing trailing edge falsework extension for the A330neo.
  • Air Lease Corp. announced a long-term lease agreement with Far Eastern Air Transport based in Taipei, Taiwan for one new Boeing 737-800.
  • Scoot has unveiled a special livery to mark Singapore’s 50th year of independence.

 

AIR CARGO

Atlas Air Brings Plane Out of Storage, Showing Confidence in Air Cargo Market

Atlas Air Worldwide has echoed Boeing’s optimism about the air Cargo market, saying it will bring a 747-400 out of desert storage and buy two 767 passenger aircraft to convert to freighters to go along with the 10th 747-8 freighter the operator will add to its fleet in November.

Cowen analysts say the decision to put the parked 747-400 back into service is the result of extra work created by the U.S. military bolstering its forces in eastern Europe.

Atlas Air’s additions also back up Boeing’s increasingly bullish view of the air cargo market, having announced several freighter deals at the recent Paris Air Show.

Source : seeking alpha/Atlas Air Worldwide Holding

 

MILITARY

Boeing Rolls Out First Australian Growler

Boeing has unveiled the first of 12 Australian EA-18G Growler electronic attack aircraft at a ceremony in St.Louis, Missouri, and the company officials the second example is already in flight testing.

Once the second aircraft delivers this month, the two examples will be delivered to Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake where Australian pilots are currently training with their US Navy counterparts. Those aircraft will also visit the US Navy’s home of airborne electronic warfare at Naval Air Station Whidbey in 2016 before moving to Australia in 2017.

Delivery of the first aircraft, tail number A46-301, is a significant milestone for the Royal Australian Air Force(RAAF),which will soon be able to shut down enemy surface-to-air missile, radars, electronic transmissions, communications equipment across a wide area.

Daniel Gillian, Boeing Defense, Space and Security’s vice president of F/A-18 and EA-18G programs, says the Aussie Growler entered flight testing on July 13th and the second aircraft is fully assembled and flying. He says it is the 116th Growler delivered to date out of a165-aircraft program of record for the Navy and the RAAF.

Source : Flightglobal/Picture Boeing

 

Marines Retire Sea Knight after 51 Years In Service

After 51 years of service with the US Marines Cops, the Boeing-Vertol CH-46 Sea Knight flew for the last time on August 1st at a retirement ceremony in Chantilly, Virginia.

The Sea Knight which, made its combat debut in Vietnam, is being put on display at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum in Chantilly, Virginia, but will eventually move to a new annex at the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Quantico, Virginia.

The twin-engined, tandem-rotor aircraft flew in August 1962, and the first production examples was delivered in 1964 as a medium assault transport helicopter.

The CH-46 was replaced by the V-22 Osprey.

Source : Flightglobal

 

Researched and Compiled by : Ed Kaplanian

Commercial Aviation Advisor

Contact – ekaplanian@msn.com