Volume 3 Issue 4 April Kaplanian Report

ON THE BOEING FRONT

Boeing Selected Panasonic Avionics to Supply the Cabin Services System for the 777X

Panasonics Avionics has been selected by Boeing to supply the cabin services system (CSS) for the 777X.

The win extends Panasonic’s CSS win streak on next generation Boeing wide bodies; the company also supplies the CSS on the 787 and the 747-8 intercontinental.

“Panasonic’s CSS is a scalable, database driven, Ethernet-based network that provides core cabin functions – such as passenger address, cabin inter phone and environmental controls,” Panasonic said in a statement.  ”CSS directly integrates with external subsystems – such as cabin lighting and other airplane member systems across the airframe networks, including the inflight entertainment and connectivity solutions.”

Boeing completed firm configuration for the 777-9X in August 2015. Orders and commitment for the 777X total 320 aircraft from six customers.  The 777-9X is slated to enter service in 2020, followed by the smaller 777-8X in 2022.

Source : ATW/Boeing

 

ON THE AIRBUS FRONT 

Airbus Launches New Cabin Brand “Airspace by Airbus”

On March 23rd Airbus launched the “Airspace by Airbus”, bringing together an enhanced experience for passengers and optimum performance for airlines – based on four dimensions: comfort, ambience, service and design.

Introduced with Airbus’ wide body A330neo (new engine option) – and incorporated on the A350 XWB – Airspace cabins offer a more relaxing, inspiring, attractive and functional environment for travelers and optimizes the use of cabin space for operators.
csm_A330neo_Airspace_by_Airbus_Ambience_e23cddabea

Signature design elements recognizable throughout all Airspace cabins include wider seat, larger overhead storage bins, spacious, contemporary lavatories with antibacterial surfaces, along with unobstructed under-seat foot space.  Other features are a unique and customizable welcome area at the main passenger boarding door, the latest in LED technology for ambient lighting, as well as clean shapes and surfaces throughout the interior.

Features for operators include a range of new galley/lavatory options – such as modular Space-Flex to maximize trolley capacity, wheelchair-accessible lavatory configurations to suit individual airline requirements and freeing up of main deck space to allow for additional seating.

Source : ATW/Airbus

 

BUSINESS/REGIONAL NEWS

  Qatar Executive Adds Second G650ER

Middle Eastern VIP operator Qatar Executive has added a second Gulfstream G650Er to its fleet.  The handover comes three months after the first ultra-long-range type joined the company’s line-up of high-end business aircraft from Airbus and Bombardier stables.

The lead pair are part of a 2014 order from Qatar Airways subsidiary for up to 30 Gulfstream business jets, including six G650ERs and 24 G500 and G600s, for which it is the launch customer.

The flagship G650ER was selected, Qatar Executive says, for its market leading 7,500 (13,890km) range, which allows passengers “to fly non-stop from the Middle East to North America or from destinations in Asia to Africa.”

Qatar’s G650ERs have a two-cabin configuration, with capacity for up to 13 passengers.

Source : Flightglobal

 

OTHER AVIATION NEWS

Scoot, Tigerair to Merge, Expand Reservation Systems

Singapore based long-haul, low-cost carrier (LCC) Scoot and regional LCC Tigerair will finalize a merger of their reservations systems by the end of 2016, according to Scoot CEO Campbell Wilson. “This will make Tiger our biggest partner,” he said. He said two LCCs already shared ground handling and other operational facilities and costs, and that a more complete integration of ticketing systems would bring a greater ability to capitalize on potential opportunities across the two carriers.

Both LCCS are Subsidiary airlines of parent Singapore Airlines, which Wilson says is working to develop long-term working structures that are shared between the two carriers.

Wilson added that Scoot would expand its fleet of 10 Boeing 787s with another 10 787s by the end of July 2019, which would enable it to add routes to India, China and northeast Asia.

Source : ATW/Scoot

 

Rolls-Royce Has Successfully Completed First Flight of The Trent 1000 Ten

Rolls-Royce has successfully completed the first flight of its new Trent 1000 TEN (thrust, efficiency and new technology) engine which will power the Boeing 787 Dreamliner family of aircraft.

Capable of up to 78,000 lbs thrust, it will be available to power all three variants of the Boeing 787: the -8, -9 and future -10.

The engine’s first flight was on a Boeing 747 flying test bed which took off from an airfield in Tucson, Arizona. A distinctive paint scheme on the engine nacelle-depicting a “perfect ten pin ”bowling image – easily identified the Trent 1000 TEN engine on the aircraft.

Iain Dudley, Head of Marketing, Trent 1000 said : “We are delighted that the first flight went smoothly and we look forward to a successful program on the 747 test bed before flight testing begins on a Boeing 787 later this year. We know that this engine will deliver a step-change in efficiency and performance for the 787 when it enters service.  In fact it’s perfect for it.”

The Trent 1000 is already the most reliable engine on the 787 and was the first to power both the -8 and -9 versions into service. Over one and a half million flying hours have been successfully achieved and now the TEN version is set to deliver new levels of fuel efficiency and thrust for customers.

Trent 1000 engines were the first to put the Boeing 787 into service in 2011 with ANA of Japan and the first to put the 787-9 into service last year with Air New Zealand.

Source : Rolls-Royce

 

 Rolls-Royce and El Al Sign 787 Trent 1000 Service Deal

On March 21st, 2016, El Al announced in a media release that Rolls-Royce will provide support for the Trent 1000 engines that will power El Al’s incoming fleet of Boeing 787s.

El Al says the deal reflects the strength of a business relationship with Rolls-Royce that has been ongoing for more than 50 years. It adds that the agreement is the “largest ever business arrangement between the United Kingdom and Israel.”  El Al did not provide the value or length of the agreement: the carrier’s media representative did not immediately provide additional details.

In August 2015, El Al stated it would buy and lease a total of 15 787s to replace its 747-400s and 767-300ERs.

The carrier plans to begin flying the first eight 787-9s starting in 2017 and the first of seven 787-8s starting in 2019.  In October, El Al announced it opted for all 15 of the 787s to be powered by Trent 1000s.

Source : Flightglobal

 

Cayman Airways to Replace Fleet

Cayman Airways will replace its fleet of aging 737-300s classics with four new 737s over the next four years.

The government has approved a fleet modernization plan for the national airline to replace the four 737-300 jets; which are between 15 and 20 years old, with new 737-8Max planes straight off the Boeing production line.

The 737-8Max planes have 40 more seats and burn 20 percent less fuel than the 300-series. Mr  Fabian Whoms, Cayman Airways CEO said the technical advances made by Boeing in developing the next generation aircraft made the arrangement possible.

The airline will bring a different Boeing 737-800 plane into service as an interim measure; it intends to replace the entire fleet of 737-300s on a phased timetable between 2018 and 2020.

By 2020, the airline will have a full fleet of four 737-8Max aircraft.

Source : Cayman Compass

 

LATEST NEWS IN BRIEF  

  • Air India agreed to lease 14 LEAP-powered A320neos from ALAFCO for delivery in 2017-2019.
  • GoSky of Slovakia took delivery of one Boeing 737-800 aircraft on March 18th.
  • Aegean Airlines has taken delivery of the final of seven Airbus A320ceos.  It has 61 of the type in its fleet.
  • Aircelle (Safran) began the manufacturing of titanium engine exhaust systems for Boeing’s new 777X, marking an on-time industrial activity startup on Aircelle’s first major role as a supplier to Boeing.
  • GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) delivered a new leased Boeing 737-800 aircraft to Chinese airline Okay Airways to expand the Carrier’s fleet.

  • Mitsubishi Aircraft completed construction of new 44,000 sq m MRJ final assembly hanger to build up to 10 aircraft per month; it will now start installing related tooling.
  • Air France has cancelled its remaining pair of Airbus A 380s in favor of taking three additional A350-900s.  Deliveries of the A350s have been rescheduled from 2018 to 2019 and 2020.
  • Boeing started major assembly of the first 787-10 Kawasaki Heavy Industries started installation of the circular frames into the mid forward fuselage on March 14th,two weeks ahead of schedule.
  • Embraer, the Brazilian manufacturer, announced on April 4th that E190-E2 completed the first engine run. The E190-E2 is powered by two PW1900G turbofans that are rated at Up to 23,000 .lb – thrust each for take-off power.
  •   Air France-KLM Group chairman and CEO, Alexandre de Juniac, is set to replace the retiring Tony Tyler as IATA’s DG and CEO after a unanimous recommendation by the IATA board of governors.

  • Exclusive Boeing said it will buy seats directly from new supplier, LIFT by EnCore of Huntington Beach,California for its 737.

 

Air Cargo

  Air France- KLM Moves to Protect Perishables with “Kold Kart” Dolly

When on the ground in high temperature locations, the ruination of perishable cargo or pharmaceuticals is a real issue.  Air France-KLM – Martinair Cargo’s most recent weapon in the war against temperature incursions is the “Kold Kart”, a new dolly system that maintains proper temperature while shipments await transfer to planes or trucks.

After testing the product,  AF-KLM found that Kold Kart was able to protect temperature-sensitive commodities while reducing waste and extending the shelf life of products being shipped.  Once perishable container shipments are weighed and checked in for a flight, they are placed inside a Kold Kart dolly.  The dolly is then moved onto the tarmac area and held until it can be pulled by a tug to the outbound aircraft.  The Kold Kart unit also has a conveyor floor that permits container shipments to roll in and out of the dolly.

For inbound shipments, the dolly meets the aircraft and perishable containers are off-loaded from the aircraft to the Kold Kart dolly and pulled back to the cargo building.  The temperature can be set anywhere the customer requests.

Source : Air Cargo World/Air France-KLM Cargo

 

MILITARY

     How the Very First Air Force One Was Saved – Columbine II, President Eisenhower’s Ride  is Back in Action – Part I

Getting a 70-year-old Lockheed C-121 Constellation ready to fly cross-country isn’t easy.  Besides making sure the large airframe is structurally sound, you have got to get four enormous 18-cylinder,2,500-horsepower radial engines running reliably.  Karl Stolzfus had plenty of motivation to see this project through. In doing so, had been saving and preserving history: the first Air Force One.

First Lady Maimie Eisenhower named the airplane “Columbine II” after the official state flower of Colorado, her adopted home state.  Her husband, President Dwight D.Eisenhower, was traveling in Columbine II in 1953 when air traffic controllers became confused.  An Eastern Airlines commercial flight (8610) had the same call sign as the President’s (Air Force 8610) and the two aircraft accidentally entered the same airspace.  The potentially dangerous situation spurred creation of the unique call sign “Air Force One” for Columbine II, and the name stuck for all subsequent presidential planes.

Columbine II was built as a VC-121A transport for the Air Force in 1948, but converted to VIP configuration for President Eisenhower and re-designated VC-121E.

It served Ike from late 1952 through 1954 when it was replaced by another VC-121E, this one called “Columbine III.” (it currently resides at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force in Dayton, Ohio).  Columbine II remained as a “spare” Air Force One into 1955, when it was transferred to Pan American airlines, serving on special assignment to the government of Thailand as the “Clipper Fortuna.” The aircraft later returned to Air force transport duties until its retirement in 1968.

It was a derelict by the early 1980s but was restored using parts from another VC-121 in 1989-90. The Air Force One went on  to  the air show circuit in the early 1990s.  When the owner lost interest, it was put up for sale in 1998.  Nobody wanted Eisenhower’s ride at the time and it was flown to Avra Valley Airport near Tucson in 2003.

Karl Stolzfus is the owner of Dynamic Aviation, a Virginia-Based contractor that provides the federal government and other clients with aircraft and crews for tasks from surveillance to data acquisition.

Rather than let Columbine II languish, Stolzfus bought the airplane and starting in March of 2015, a team of engineers from Dynamic aided by volunteers from Texas-based Mid America Flight Museum, travelled to Avra Valley and retired Columbine II to air worthiness.   According to Brian Miklos,who lead the Dynamic’s team, says the constellation was in reasonably good shape, considering its history, but needed work.

“The Airframe and the hard parts of the airplane were great condition but all the soft components, hose and seats, were brittle from the desert environment.  We had to replace all of that.  We did not do that much  engine work, we just made sure the top-ends were well lubricated and replaced engine accessories.”

Source : Popular Mechanics

Story of the restoration of this aircraft will continue in my May Report

 

 

Researched and Compiled by : Ed Kaplanian

Commercial Aviation Advisor

Contact – ed@kaplanianreport.com

Volume 2 Issue 11 The Kaplanian Report

COMMENTARY

             What is the Cost of a Used Boeing 777?

When Delta Airlines CEO Richard Anderson said a few weeks back that his airline may be interested in acquiring used rather than new airplanes, shares of both Boeing and Airbus lost 4% of their value. The striking part of Anderson’s comment was a 10-year old 777 could be purchased for $10 million, compared with a new 777-200ER which carries a list price of $277.3 million and likely purchase price of about $194 million, assuming a 30% discount.

The day Anderson made his comments, my source found an eight-year old 777-200ER on offer for $68 million, a far cry from $10 million.

In a presentation last year, Ascend Advisory, a division of Flightglobal and leading appraiser of used aircraft, put a value of about $65 million on a seven-year old 777-300ER (a larger version of the 200ER with longer range).The list price for a new 777-300ER is $330 million(2014 price). It trails only a 747-8 as the most expensive plane Boeing builds and sells today.

A significant number of wide-body aircraft like the 777 and the Airbus 330 are coming off leases in the next few years. According to a press release from Delta, ”A large number of leased wide body aircraft are being returned to lessors and manufacturers, causing a glut in the market,”

Where is the truth? Probably somewhere between $10 million and $60 million for a used 777-200ER. The low-end is probably too low, just as the high-end is J P Morgan’s thinks a 10-year-old 777 is more accurately priced at around $43 million.

Now let us come to the crux of this matter. It is worth to note that Boeing and Delta have an uneasy relationship. The two companies have been at loggerheads over the U.S. Export Import Bank (Boeing in favor, Delta against) and Delta buys a lot of Airbus planes, recently ordering 50 new A330s and A350s, and I am sure they got them at a very nice price and financing.

Source : 247 WallSt/ Flightglobal Ascend Advisory / Ed’s Research

ON THE BOEING FRONT

 Boeing Completes 737 Max 8 Power-up

Boeing has completed the power-on milestone for the first 737 Max 8 as the re-engined and updated single-aisle aircraft is pieced together on a new assembly line in Renton, Washington.

The power-on milestone activated a modernized cockpit featuring four 787-style multi-function displays supplied by Rockwell Collins.

The 737 Max electrical  system was adapted to support the improved cockpit systems, as well as the addition of electronically controlled spoilers.

Boeing plans to roll the first 737 Max 8 powered by CFM International Leap-1B engines off the Renton assembly line by the end of the year, with first flight scheduled for early next year.

A photo of the first aircraft on the line reveals much progress since the first 737 Max fuselage arrived in Renton in August. The aircraft is installed in the first position of a newly created, first assembly line dedicated for 737 Max flight test aircraft.

The first 737 Max 8 is shown in the picture with wings mated to the fuselage. A tail cone is visible in the picture, but not installed. (The writer has physically seen the aircraft on the line.) (The horizontal stabilizer has been painted but not installed yet).

Source : Boeing

 

ON THE AIRBUS FRONT 

 Airbus Launches New Ultra-Long Range Version 0f the A350-900

Singapore Airlines SIA) has selected Airbus’ newly launched Ultra-Long Range version of the A350-900 for non-stop flights to the US.  Under an amendment to the carrier’s existing order for 63 A350-900s, seven of the aircraft will now be delivered with an Ultra-Long Range capability for flights of up to 19 hours. In addition, the carrier has placed an additional order for four A350-900s, taking its total firm orders for the A350 XWB Family to 67.

Optimized for non-stop flights to the US, the aircraft, designated A350-900ULR (Ultra-Long  Range),will include a modified fuel system to increase the fuel carrying capacity, an increase in Maximum Take-Off Weight, plus aerodynamic improvements, enabling service to the US West Coast, as well as to New York.

The all-new A350 XWB entered commercial service earlier this year. To date, Airbus has recorded a total of 783 firm orders for the A350-XWB from 41 customers worldwide.

Detail Specifications :

  • The A350 -900ULR incorporates a number of necessary changes over the standard A350-900.These include higher capacity fuel system within the existing fuel tanks, increasing fuel capacity from 141,000 liters  to 165,000 liters.
  • The A350-900ULR has an MTOW of 280 tons. The extended range capability is achieved without installation of additional fuel tanks and the aircraft can be reconfigured easily to the standard A350-900 long haul specification, according to Airbus.

Source : Airbus Industrie

 

BUSINESS/REGIONAL NEWS

E190-E2 Takes Shape in Brazil 

Embraer has released pictures of the first prototype of its E190-E2, which is in final assembly at the manufacturer’s headquarters in Sao Jose dos Campos, Brazil.

The aircraft, bearing the registration PR-ZEY, is seen resting on struts, with its fuselage join and wing-to-body completed. Painted in Embraer’s blue, yellow and grey livery, the aircraft is without its Pratt & Whitney PW1900g geared turbofan engines. The horizontal stabilizer is also yet to be attached.

Embraer was showing the aircraft to more than 50 airlines and leasing companies, as well as 40 suppliers and trading partners.

Source : Flightglobal/Embraer Pictures

 

   A Detail Glimpse of the Gulfstream G650

The $65 million Gulfstream G650 is the world’s Top Private Jet. The G650 is the biggest, fastest, and overall best private jet money can buy.

It also takes a lot of patience to get your hands on one. If you want one, you will have to wait years for delivery after you place an order. The plane can fly faster and higher than any commercial jet. The G650 is in a class of its own.

The G650 is the largest purpose-built private jet on the market, and has the tallest, longest, and widest cabin in its class.

At its maximum takeoff weight, it can climb to 41,000 feet (above bad weather and crowded commercial jet routes) in just 22 minutes.

Its range is more than 8,000 miles. Powered with two Rolls-Royce engines, the plane has a top speed of Mach .925 – nearly the speed of sound, and much faster than commercial jets.

Big windows in the cockpit allow the pilots to see the tips of the plane’s wings, helping for navigating on the ground. A camera under the plane’s nose helps them see what’s below the plane.

Source : Business Insider/Gulfstream Pictures

   

OTHER AVIATION NEWS

Advanced Material for GE Aviation GE90X Engine Have Passed Initial Endurance Testing

Ceramic matrix composites destined for use on General Electric GE90X engine have passed the first phase of endurance testing with no red flags, despite a surprise exposure in an unplanned engine surge.

Boeing expects the 777-9X to enter service in 2020 with two GE90X engines offering 10% lower specific fuel consumption than the GE90-115B engines that power the 777-300ER. Part of that fuel efficiency gain is achieved by raising pressure levels inside the engines, which increases internal temperatures beyond the practical reach of metal alloys.

So GE is relying on CMC’s in several key engine components, including the inner and outer combusted liners, the shrouds around the stage 1 high-pressure turbine and the nozzles for the stage 1 and stage 2 HPT.

CMCs are lighter than metal and can survive in hotter temperatures, but have been rarely used because of concerns about durability, thermal shock and the cost of production.

GE plans to start building the first GE9X core for testing next year, so the engine maker believed it was essential to verify that the CMC materials work as promised.

I will be writing about this subject in my upcoming reports.

Source: Flightglobal/GE Aviation

 

 The Boeing 777 Has Enabled the Growth of Emirates

Dubai has grown rapidly into the biggest international airline in terms of revenue passenger miles (or revenue passenger kilometers), Dubai-based Emirates has relied primarily on the Boeing 777, and secondarily on the Airbus A380. It is the world’s biggest operator of both.

Two months ago, Emirates took delivery of three 777s in a single day, bringing its total to 150 including 13 freighters (The cargo fleet also includes two Boeing 747s)

Of the 777s, 107 are 777-300ERs seating 354 to 427 passengers. As of September 3rd,Emirates’ 777s had flown 859,053 flights.

The carrier also has 65 Airbus A380s. Additionally, it has orders for 196 Boeing 777s that include the 777-9X and 73 A380s.The Emirates strategy has been to establish a global hub in the Middle East to connect passengers from throughout the world, particularly passengers from Asia and the Middle East to Europe and the U.S. The strategy requires a fleet of long haul aircraft.

The service Emirates offers it passengers is what draws travelers to the airline.

Source : Ed’s Research/Forbes

 

 Alaska Airlines Increases Overhead Storage Nearly 50 Percent

Alaska Airlines increases overhead storage nearly 50 percent by featuring Boeing new space bins. Alaska will be the launch customer for these bins.

Each Space Bin stores six bags, two more than the current pivot bins installed on Next Generation 737s with the Boeing Sky Interior.

Alaska will take delivery of 34 Next-Generation 737s and one 737 MAX in the next two years and will also begin retrofitting 34 aircraft with the Boeing Sky Interior, primarily 737-900ERs (Extended Range),in 2016.

When open, the bottom edge of a Space Bin hangs about 2 inches (5 centimeters) lower, so travelers can lift carry-on bags more easily. The deeper bins allow more bags to be stowed and increase visibility into the back of the bins.

Alaska Airlines also reports that the Space Bins, designed without a flight attendant bin assist mechanism, are easier to close.

Alaska Airlines is installing Space Bins on all 737-900ERS and 737 MAX aircraft currently on order and by 2017 will have 69 aircraft, or 46 percent of its passenger fleet outfitted with Space Bins.

Source : Boeing/Boeing Pictures/Alaska Airlines

 

LATEST NEWS IN BRIEF  

  • Air Europa has unveiled a new color scheme for its fleet ahead of delivery on its own 787s.
  • Boeing announced it has acquired Peters Software GmbH, a market leading provider of European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA)
  • Norwegian Air orders 19 787 Dreamliners for delivery between 2017 and 2020. It is the largest single order of 787s in Europe.
  • EVA Air Taiwanese carrier, has signed an agreement with BOC Aviation for two A330-300 aircraft on long- term lease.
  • EVA Air also announced its intent to purchase up to 24 787-10 aircraft and two additional 777-300ERs, which is valued at more than $8 billion at current list prices. 
  • United Airlines announced a new services contract program with Boeing that is expected to reduce costs and increase efficiency for the airline by providing high-value, mission-critical parts.
  • Mitsubishi Aircraft Japan’s  Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism has given its approval for Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp. to conduct the first flight of the Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ).

  • El Al Israel Airline signed a firm order for three Boeing 787s, it is finalizing a contract for another six of the type.
  • CFM International On October 29th CFM international has delivered the first Leap-1B engines to Boeing to power the 737 Max.

  • Jeju Air Korean low-cost carrier (LCC) will rebrand its operations prior to launching an initial public offering (IPO) by year-end.

 

AIR CARGO

 Volga-Dnepr Delivers an 11-ton Pump 

Volga-Dnepr airlines has delivered an 11-ton oil and gas pump right to the door of a customer in the town of Farab, Turkmenistan. The pump was transported from Maastricht Airport in the Netherlands for the airline’s customer, AgilityProjects Rotterdam. It was packed inside two wooden crates to protect it though out its journey on board one of the carrier’s Il-76TD-90VD freighters and by road on arrival in central Asia.

“Agility Projects Rotterdam asked us to not only organize the necessary permits for the flight to Mary International Airport, but to also arrange the transportation of the gas pump overland in Turkmenistan to Farab, where it is used,” said Alexander Kartashov, sales executive for Volga-Dnepr.

Azat Yakupov, senior engineer, dangerous cargo, at Volga- Dnepr said crews loaded the cargo using a trailer and special cradles developed by Volga-Dnepr’s engineers pull the cargo into the airplane, using the aircraft’s built-in rail system.

Source: Air Cargo World

 

MILITARY

Japan Chooses Boeing KC-46, Halting Airbus Tanker Winning Streak 

Just months after being rejected by South Korea and weeks after first flight, Boeing’s KC-46A has been selected by Japan to supplement the nation’s KC-767 tanker fleet.

The announcement came from Japanese defend minister Gen Nakatani on Friday October 23rd, and constitutes a significant win for Boeing after a tousled start to the next-generation tanker development program with the US Air Force.

The Pegasus tanker can almost see the end of its development phase, after achieving first flight on September 25th from Paine Field In Everett, Washington,following a roughly nine-month delay.

According to Boeing, KC-46 is particularly attractive to Japan as it will be capable of refueling the Japan Air Self-Defense Force’s planned fleet of Bell-Boeing MV-22 Osprey helicopters.

Japan intends to procure three tankers for fielding in the 2020 time frame, at a cost of more 20.8 billion yen-about $173 million per tanker.

Japan has funding for the tanker acquisition in its fiscal 2016 budget, and Boeing expects to receive a contract next year, so long as things proceed smoothly.

Boeing is building four 767-2C-based tankers in support of the USAF development effort and a low rate production decision is planned for 2016.

Despite delays and cost overruns, Boeing still aims to deliver 18 operational aircraft to the air force by August 2017.

Source : Flightglobal/Boeing

 

Researched and Compiled by : Ed Kaplanian

Commercial Aviation Advisor

Contact – ekaplanian@msn.com

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.

gallery-full-05

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

 

Volume 2 Issue 2 February 2015

ON THE BOEING FRONT

GE Gears Up for Engine Tests of GE9X Parts

GE Aviation will shortly begin running a test engine equipped with a number of advanced-technology components that will feature on the GE9X powerplant destined for the Boeing 777X.

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The parts include combustor liners, high-pressure turbine shrouds and nozzles made from ceramic matrix composite (CMC), next generation high-pressure turbine blades, and titanium-aluminide low-pressure turbine blades produced via additive layer manufacturing.

Set to get under way in the coming weeks at GE’s facility in Peebles, Ohio, the trials will be conducted using a GEnx test engine fitted with the new Parts.

GE is already utilizing CMCs for the high-pressure turbine shroud on the CFM International LEAP engines in partnership with Snecma, but the GE9X dramatically expands their deployment.

Meanwhile, tests will shortly commence on a second iteration of the compressor. These will be carried in Massa in Ital where GE has an oil and gas business and that is ready to fire up in the next week or so.

The CMC components are around 25% lighter than their metallic equivalents, says Matt Szolwinski head of the GE9X program, and additionally able to withstand much higher temperatures without the need for cooling.

First flight of the 105,000lb-thrust powerplant is scheduled for 2017 aboard GE’s 747-400 test aircraft.

Certification should follow around a year later.

Source : Flightglobal/GE Aviation

 

ON THE AIRBUS FRONT 

A New Attraction in Toulouse For Aviation Enthusiasts: The Aeroscopia Museum Opens

Aeroscopia is located adjacent to Toulouse-Blagnac Airport, putting it in proximity to Airbus’ home location-including the company’s headquarters and its A380, A350XWB, A330 and A320 Family final assembly lines. This enables visitors to look at Airbus’ current production activity while exploring aviation history at Aerscopia.

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The museum features a collection of iconic aircraft displayed in its exhibition hall and paved grounds, including an A300B the landmark widebody twin-engine jetliner that launched Airbus-a “Super Guppy” outsized transporter used by Airbus to carry aircraft components during the company’s early days, and an Aerospatiale-BAC Concorde supersonic passenger airliner.

“Airbus’ contribution to Aeroscopia reflects the company’s great fondness for celebrating its roots and different phases of aircraft development and production over the years,” said Jacques Rocca, Airbus’ Deputy Head of Media Relations and Heritage, who also is a member of the museum’s technical committee.

Manatour, the company that offers tours of Airbus’ final assembly lines in Toulouse, manages Aeroscopia as well, Rocca explained, proving an exciting “two-faceted” experience for aviation buffs- with all tours of Airbus’ Toulouse production facilities now starting at the museum.

Source : Airbus/Airbus Photo

 

BUSINESS/REGIONAL NEWS

NetJets Europe Cleared to Fly Phenom 300s from London City Airport

NetJets Europe has clinched approval from the UK Civil Aviation Authority to Operate its Embraer Phenom 300 light cabin business jet at London City airport, in the heart of the UK’s financial community.

The Berkshire Hathaway-owned company is the largest operator at the site, responsible for over 50% of all business aircraft traffic. In 2014 alone, NetJET says it flew from City to over 370 destinations worldwide, with Paris Le Bourget one of the most popular routes.

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NetJets placed an order in 2010 for 125 Phenom 300s-including 60 firm orders as part of a $17.6 billion order. The Operator has taken delivery of 35 of the seven-seat twinjets, five of which are based in Europe.

Source: Flightglobal/Photo Net Jets Europe

 

OTHER AVIATION NEWS

Delta is Bringing the Boeing 717 Back Home to California

Delta is upgrading its fleet on the Los Angeles to San Francisco shuttle, one of the most competitive routes in the country, by replacing most of its regional jets with the Boeing  717, an aircraft that never quite caught on but seems well-suited to this particular market. In a sense, the 717s will be coming home to where they where originally built.

Delta said it will introduce the 717s on eight of its 15 daily flights between California’s two biggest airports.

The 717s were the last commercial airplanes produced at the Long Beach, California plant that Boeing acquired when it merged with McDonnell Douglas in 1997. Boeing made 156 of them, closing  out  with a 2006 delivery to AirTran, which became the biggest customer for the 100 seat aircraft.

Delta announced in 2013 that it would take over the leases for AirTran’s 88 Boeing 717s from Southwest, which acquired AirTran but then decided it wanted to stick with a single fleet type, the 737. So far Delta has acquired 54 of the 717s.

Source: Ed’s Research

 

 

CFM Starts Leap-1A Flight Tests

CFM International has begun flight tests of its new Leap-1A engine destined for the Airbus A320neo narrowbody, the GE Aviation-Snecma venture confirms.

A modified Boeing 747-400 owned by GE is being used for trials of the 24,500-32,900-lb-thrust turbofan, which are taking place at Victorville, California.

It is the second of the Leap-series engines to take to the skies, following the maiden flight of the-1C for the Comac C919 in October 2014.

The -1B for the 737 Max will fly later this year, with assembly work on the initial flight -test engine under way at GE’s facility in Evendale, Ohio. Of the three Leap engines, the -1A and the -1C are broadly similar while the -1B is slightly smaller. The latter features a 69.5 in (176.5cm) fan with a 9.1 bypass ratio, against figures of 78 in and 11:1 for the -1 and-1C.

So far, CFM has conducted engine runs totaling 1,940h across 3,360 cycles using all three engine variants. It aims to have achieved 40,000h by service entry of the Leap-1A next year and 60,000h by the time the-1C enters service in 2018.

Source : GE Aviation-Snecma/Flightglobal

 

Scoot Takes Delivery of its First 787-9

Singapore-based low-cost carrier Scoot has taken delivery of its first Boeing 787-9 during a ceremony held at Boeing’s delivery center in Everett.

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Scoot is a subsidiary of Singapore Airlines. The aircraft, registered as 9V-OJA and named “ Dream Start” (MSN 37112), departed Everett on January 31st, arriving in Singapore on the Morning of February 2nd. It entered commercial service on February 5th flying from Singapore to Perth and Hong Kong.

Scoot’s 787-9s are configured with 375 seats, comprised of 340 economy-class seats and 35 premium seats. They are powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines. The airline plans to take delivery of six 787-9s by August, which will replace its fleet of six 777-200s. In addition, it will take three 787-8s by the end of the year, and plans to have an all 787 fleet of 11 aircraft by March 2016.Thereafter, the carrier will take delivery of two or three aircraft per year until early 2019, when it will have received all 20 on order.

Scoot chief executive Campbell Wilson says that the new aircraft is a major benefit to the airline’s long term strategy.

Source : Flightglobal / Boeing Photos

 

LATEST NEWS IN BRIEF  

  • COMAC (Commercial Aircraft of China) has received an order for 20 C919s from Huaxia Financial Leasing company.
  • Chorus Aviation Canadian regional carrier has placed a firm order for 13 Bombardier Q400 turboprops worth $424 million after signing an amended capacity purchase agreement with Air Canada.
  •   Transavia  Air France-KLM Group’s low-cost operator ordered up to 20 Boeing 737-800s and revealed a new livery.

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  •   Asiana Airlines has signed a letter of intent(LOI) with Airbus for the purchase of 25 A321neo  single aisle aircraft as part of its ongoing fleet modernization program.
  • Bombardier has completed flutter, cold weather and passenger-evacuation testing as CSeries flight tests pass the 900-hour mark enroute to the 2,400 hours required for certification.
  • Korean Air has ordered five Boeing 777-200 LR Freighters in a deal worth $1.5 billion at List prices.
  •   Luxair to acquire more Q400s under a fleet renewal plan to increase capacity.
  • Airbus has officially written off the order for the first, and so far only,VVIP 380. Saudi prince Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz Alsaud placed the order in 2007.
  •   Greenpoint Technologies has delivered the first BBJ 747-8, thus becoming the first outfitter to hand over an executive version of Boeing’s newest four-engine widebody.
  • Mitsubishi Aircraft has released pictures of its flight test fleet in various stages of final assembly.

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AIR CARGO

ANA & United Form Trans-Pacific Cargo Joint Venture

On December 1st, 2014 All Nippon Airways (ANA) and Lufthansa Cargo launched their Europe/Asia joint venture with first flights from Japan to Europe. And with that deal under its belt, ANA has turned its focus to the trans-Pacific lane, signing a similar agreement with US-based United Airlines.

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The two carriers have filed antitrust exemption applications with US and Japanese regulatory authorities for a set up similar to ANA’s Joint Venture with Lufthansa Cargo.

United 787-8 N28912 (12)(Tko) LHR (SA)(46)-M

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Commenting on the filing, ANA described the proposal Joint Venture with United as one that would “create a more efficient and comprehensive trans-Pacific air cargo business network”. The carrier went on to say that trans-Pacific cargo Joint venture-the first of its kind between The US and Asia-would generate substantial service benefits for freight customers, and that “it would also enable United and ANA to compete more efficiently with other airlines that maintain a significant presence in both markets.”

As with Lufthansa Cargo agreement, under the proposed United agreement the two carriers “will be able to jointly manage trans-Pacific air cargo business activities including scheduling, pricing and sales.”

Like Lufthansa and ANA, United is a member of the Star Alliance, and if the trans-Pacific venture gains regulatory approval it could start of a broader Star Cargo Alliance. It will be interesting to see what happens.

 

In addition to a long-haul passenger fleet that includes fifty-four 777s and thirty-three 787s (with more on order), ANA operates ten 767-300Fs intra-Asia regional service. United does not operate freighters, but has a large fleet of wide body passenger aircraft, including seventy-four 777s and thirteen 787s (with more on order).

Source: CargoFact/ANA

                      The Great French-fry Airlift

Never let it be said that the airfreight industry will back down from a daunting humanitarian challenge. From any region of the globe, heroic cargo carriers can step up when needed to transport emergency medicines, shelters, fuel, personnel and … French fries?

McD_French-Fries-small

Well, it’s not exactly on par with the Berlin Airlift, but air cargo companies have helped the nation of Japan end a crippling McDonald’s French fry shortage that had ravaged the country’s super-sized appetite for three weeks. The shortage, which forced the 3,100 McDonald’s restaurants in Japan to ration its dwindling fry supply and offer only small-sized portions since mid-December, finally ended to thanks to an emergency shipment of about 2,600 tons of frozen French fries in late December 2014.

According to a statement from McDonald’s Japan, the shortage arose from the ongoing slowdown due to labor dispute at seaports along the U.S. West Coast, which caused lengthy delays in the shipment of the restaurant chain’s signature side-dish in late 2014.

McDonald’s Japan also said about 1,000 tons of fries were sent via airfreight from East Coast ports and another 1,600 tons were shipped by seafreight. Beginning on Jan. 5, 2015, the small-size limit was removed at all locations and customers are again free to order large portions.

No information was provided about which air cargo carriers were used in the “airlift” or how much the shortage has affected sales for the restaurant giant’s Japanese operations.

While the island nation also grows some potatoes on its own, most of those are prepared and eaten fresh, the Associated Press reported. Most of the 300,000 short tons of French fries consumed each year in Japan are imported in pre-cut frozen form.

While the restrictions have been lifted, McDonald’s Japan cautioned its customers that the emergency shipment may not be enough to meet demand. “We will continue to monitor the situation carefully to do our best to ensure stable supply of potato products,” the company added.

Source:   Air Cargo World

Researched and Compiled by : Ed Kaplanian

Commercial Aviation Advisor

Contact – ed@kaplanianreport.com