Volume 5 Issue 2 The Kaplanian Report February 2018

On the Boeing Front


Customer Support is the Backbone to Selling Commercial Aircraft

One of the key successes of the Boeing Company Commercial Division in selling commercial jetliners beginning with the introduction of the 707 is the support for their aircraft. I thought it’s time to share with my readers the inside look at the operations of Boeing’s Spare Distribution Center  (SDC located very near to the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.)

The 700,000 sq.ft. facility ships more than one million spare parts each year. It handles receipts, shipments and repairs of thousands of parts needed to keep Boeing Aircraft aircraft flying every day.

As an ex VP of spares in the car and Heavy Duty Truck industries, I took a detailed tour of the facility in 1996. The facility officially opened in 1993 and is one of five regional distribution centers for Boeing.  The other facilities are located in Atlanta, Beijing, Dubai, London and Singapore.

Open 24/7, The the SDC employs more than 245 workers to handle spares and the facilities MRO operations. Approximately 60% of the staff works first shift, which handles AOG  (airplane on the ground) and restocking parts. The remainder of staff (approximately 15%)  work third shift, which focuses on getting parts out the door.

Each day, the Seattle SDC handles around 600 receipts and ships 2,000-2,200 orders.  Annually,  the SDC has around 300,000 receipts and issues one million spare parts, including 400,000 AOG shipments.

The SDC has 150,000 sq.ft. bulk floor storage area which contains parts too large to store                   elsewhere  in the building. Boeing has packaging engineers in-house to design boxes,                                  which are made from heat-teated treated wood and shaped for the most efficient fit on cargo aircraft.

Each package leaving the facility includes a Boeing 8130—an FAA form stating that the part  is airworthy.  The SDC’s top priority is AOG. All AOG parts are ready to ship in four hours.  The facility’s mission is “right part, right place, right time.

Source : Personal notes and observations/ Pictures MRO online

 

ON THE AIRBUS FRONT

                                  Airbus Rolls Out Higher-Capacity A321neo 

Assembly of the first A321 neo ACF (Airbus Cabin Flex) has been completed in Hamburg,                               the  manufacturer confirms.

The CFM International Leap-1A powered narrow body will undergo ground tests prior to its  scheduled first flight Airbus adds.  It gives “mid-2018” as the time frame for the first delivery to a customer.

The variant’s exits are positioned immediately aft of the wing and can be removed to allow a higher-density seating capability. In the high-density single-class layout, with a space-saving aft galley installed, the aircraft can seat up to 240 passengers.

This total is attained by locating 102 seats ahead of the overawing exits, six at the exits                      themselves, with 59 in the cabin between the wing and repositioned aft exits and 73 in                                                the rearmost section.  Pegasus, Qatar Airways and VietJet are intending to take the A321neo ACF.

Source : Airbus/Picture Airbus

REGIONAL/BUSINESS JETS

Mitsubishi Aircraft Details Latest Organizational Changes

Mitsubishi Aircraft plans to undergo organizational changes that will see MRJ program                        director, Alex Bellamy, run what the company calls its new program management division which started on January 1, 2018.

The division was established to “reinforce the development and management of the MRJ                    program,”  the division encompasses the newly established integrated product team (IPT)                   execution department,  the governance management office, and the product strategy office.

In a recent interview with AIN, Bellamy reported that the program teams had flown four flight-test airplanes a total of some 1,500 hours, while production crews had attached wings and began painting the fifth flight-test airplane.  Bellamy detailed the status of the flight-test program at Moses Lake, Washington, where the four existing flight-test airplanes have completed more than 50 percent of their duties ahead of expected certification in late 2019.  Targeting first delivery to launch All Nippon Airways in mid-2020, program leadership now expects the MRJ flight-test airplanes to clock as  many as 3,000 hours, some 500 hours more than originally allocated.

Source : AIN/Photo Mitsubishi Aircraft

 

GE Completes First Ground Test of Advanced Turboprop Engine

Aviation completed the first test run of the new Advanced Turboprop (ATP) at GE’s Prague engine manufacturing facility in the Czech Republic. The first application for the 1,240-shp ATP is the Cessna Denali single-engine turboprop, which is scheduled to fly late this year. Engine certification testing begins this year.

With a 16:1 overall pressure ratio, the engine is expected to offer 20 percent lower fuel burn and 10 percent higher cruise speed compared with competing engines. Time between overhaul is set at 4,000 hours. The ATP is part of a family that will include engines in 1,000-to 1,600-shp range.

This new engine is also aimed at the Pilatus PC-12 and Daher TBM900.

Source : GE Aviation/ Ge Aviation Picture

OTHER AVIATION NEWS

            Alaska Airlines Set to Anchor Paine Field Opening Late this Year 

Seattle-based Alaska Airlines is looking to solidify an anchor presence at the redeveloped Paine Field-Snohomish County Airport in Everett, Washington with the January 16 announcement of 13 daily flights to eight cities set to launch in the fall of this year.

Alaska’s new point-to-point destinations from Paine Field will be Las Vegas; Los Angeles;                       Orange County, California; Phoenix; Portland; San Diego; San Francisco; and San Jose, California.    Alaska said it will detail flight frequencies and departure/arrival times in the year, pending  government approval.

Snohomish County is partnering with Propeller Airports to build a new passenger terminal at the  airport for a planned opening in the fall of this year. Paine Field, originally constructed in 1936, is the home for Boeing’s Everett Factory, the manufacturing plant for Boeing’s 747, 767, 777 and 787 aircraft.  The airport is also home to over 650 general aviation, business and historic aircraft.  Of the three runways at the airport, only one— Runway 16R/34L, at 9,010 ft in length and 150 ft. in width— is suitable for large aircraft.  Alaska said last year that it is planning to utilize Boeing  737 and Embraer E175s for the new routes.

United Airlines is also planning for commercial flights at Paine Field. In August 2017 the                      Chicago-based carrier said it will operate six daily flights from the airport to its hubs in Denver and San Francisco.

Source : ATW/Ed’s Research on airport information

 

GECAS Takes Delivery of its 394th—And Last—Next Generation 737  

Culminating a 20-year history of new orders for the type, GECAS has received its 394th and final skyline order of Boeing’s Next Generation 737.

With an initial order placed in 1996, GECAS’ NG order book accounts for roughly one of every NGs delivered to date. Surpassing other lessor’s skyline orders for the type,  GECAS’ placements of NG’s have been leased to 64 operators across 32 countries. Exclusively powered by CFM-56 engines, the narrow body has served the airline industry for decades and is ideally suited for both commercial passenger and cargo aircraft.

“An exceptionally valuable asset in our portfolio, the Next-Generation 737 has been incredibly reliable for our customers,” states Declan Kelly, GECAS Executive Vice President, noting “Much of our success since the 1990’s is in some way attributable to the NG and the relationship we’ve developed with the team at Boeing.”

The Next-Generation 737 has been an icon of the aviation industry for two decades,” said Boeing Commercial Airplanes President & CEO Kevin McAllister.

“It’s been a workhorse for the airlines and lessors alike and we’re proud to have delivered so many of these airplanes to GECAS. We look forward to beginning a new chapter of success together when   GECAS takes delivery of   its first 737 MAX this year.”

Source : GECAS/Boeing

 

 FAA Approves 787-10 for Airworthiness

Singapore Airlines can take delivery of the first Boeing 787-10 on schedule after the US Federal Aviation Administration approved an amended type certificate.

Boeing announced the entry into service for the 787-10 as broadly the “first half of 2018”, but the approval of the amended type certificate now means that the first delivery could happen by the end of the first quarter.

Four years after Boeing launched the third and largest member of the 787 family, the 787-10 with Rolls-Royce Trent 1000-TEN engines entered flight testing 10 months ago at Boeing’s factory in North Charleston, South Carolina. The smaller 787-8 and 787-9 models will continue to be assembled in North Charleston and Everett, Washington, and the 787-10 is exclusively assembled in South Carolina.

The 787-10 received approval from the FAA after completing about 900 test hours. The aircraft is 5m(16.4ft)longer than the 787-9, but the two aircraft are nearly identical with a few exceptions. To accommodate the longer fuselage on takeoff, Boeing installed a 777-300 ER-style semi-levered main landing gear.

Boeing also increased commonality by moving some design changes made for the 787-10 into the smaller 787-9. The latter is now produced using the stronger wing designed for the 787-10.The 787-9 also uses hybrid laminar flow control in the vertical tail only, after the same system was deleted from the vertical stabilizers in the 787-10.

Source : Boeing/Boeing Picture

   

  LATEST NEWS

  • Xiamen Air has committed to purchase 150 CFM LEAP-1B engines and MRO support for 20 engines at $2.05 billion. The engines will be used to power Xiamen Air’s Boeing 737 MAX aircraft.

  • Ethiopian Cargo and Logistics Services has committed to lease the first two Boeing 737-800 freighters(737-800SF) converted by Aeronautical Engineers INC.(AEI) from GECAS, with the first delivery expected in June of this year.
  • Air Astana has taken delivery of the first Airbus A321neo. The aircraft, on lease from AerCap, is configured with 28 business class and 151 economy class seats.

  • Ukraine International Airlines took delivery of a Boeing 737-800 NG in December, completing its 2017 fleet expansion program.
  • Silver Airways Florida-based regional carrier has firmed its order for 20 ATR turboprops

  • KfW IPEX-Bank has financed two Boeing 787-9s, equipped with Rolls-Royce engines for Air New Zealand.
  • Irish Lessor AerCap firmed an order with Rolls-Royce to power 10 forthcoming Boeing 787-9s with Trent 1000-TEN engines. The transition is valued at $450 million at list prices.
  • Emirates Airlines has announced a $16 billion deal for up to 36 additional Airbus A380s.The Commitment is for 20 A380s and 16 options with deliveries to start in 2020.

 

AIR CARGO

 Aeronautical Engineers, Inc Delivers B737F to ASL 

Aeronautical Engineers, Inc, has redelivered a B737-400SF freighter to Irish based ASL Aviation – the company’s one hundredth conversion of this type.

ACL Aviation owns and operates a fleet of nearly 90 jet and turboprop aircraft, providing capacity for up to 147 passengers or 40 tons of cargo.

The delivery represents the thirteenth AEI B737-400 converted freighter that has been re-delivered to ASL over the last few years.

ASL currently has an additional four B737-400SF freighters, either undergoing conversion or scheduled for modification in 2018, at partner Commercial Jet’s Dothan, Alabama facility.

AEI president Roy Sandri said: “This milestone represents another important achievement in AEI’s history”.

“The AEI B737-400SF has been an exceptionally successful fighter for not only ASL, but all our leasing and operator customers worldwide.”

Source : aircargonews/ ASL Picture/Ed’s Research

 

Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul News

Southwest Adds MRO Capacity 

Southwest Airlines is pressing ahead with plans to build a new maintenance facility at Houston Hobby airport.

The new 240,000sq-ft hanger will have space for six Boeing 737 aircraft and will include aircraft wash facilities on the apron outside, taxiway connections, parking and loading docks, as well as offices and parts storage areas. Work on the hanger should begin this spring to ready it for opening in late 2019.

Once the project is finished, SWA will have six maintenance facilities in the US, which should leave it less exposed to some of the mishaps that have resulted from outsourced MRO work in the past.

The new maintenance capacity is also needed to service a growing fleet. Southwest has roughly 200 Boeing 737 Max 7 and Max 8 narrow bodies on order, although it recently deferred deliveries of 23 Max 7s from the 2019-2021 period to 2023 and 2024. In December the airline indicated that it might use gains from proposed corporate tax cuts in the US to further invest in its fleet. Most of its backlog is for the larger Max 8 model, to which 40 more units were added in late December when SWA excessed options with Boeing.

Source : mro-network/Ed’s Research/Picture Southwest Airlines

 

MRO Latest News 

  • LATAM Airlines Group plans to build a maintenance center at Sao Paulo Guarulhos Airport in the second half of this year to simultaneously service seven wide bodies or 19 narrow bodies.
  • Limco Airepair has a Korean Air contract to maintain aircraft heat exchangers.
  • Precision Aircraft Solutions redelivered three Boeing 757-200PCFs in December 2017: two to AF Airlines and the third to YTO. Haeco Xiamen, Ameco each modified one.
  • Bulgaria Air has awarded FL Technics a three-year deal to undertake base checks. Work has already begun on an initial Airbus A319.
  • Eva Air has extended its co-operation with Lufthansa Tecknik to cover component maintenance on its Boeing 777 Freighters. EVA Air took delivery of its first 777F in November 2017 and set to receive four more through September 2019.

 

Researched and Compiled by : Ed Kaplanian

Commercial Aviation Advisor

Contact – ekaplanian@msn.com

P.S. To all my international readers, thank you for following my blog.                                                                 Your comments, questions and suggestions will be appreciated.

Volume 4 Issue 10 October 2017 The Kaplanian Report

ON THE BOEING FRONT

Boeing Expands Helena Site for 777X Parts Production

Boeing’s Helena, Montana, manufacturing site is set to install new machinery for manufacturing critical titanium parts for the 777X production.  The new 90,000 sq.ft. expansion of Boeing Helena brings the site’s total footprint to over 257,000 sq.ft.

Machine parts for the 777X to be manufactured at Boeing Helena will include side-of-body chords and terminal end fittings which connect the wings to the fuselage, Boeing  said. The site has become a vital part of Boeing’s commercial airplane supply chain, the company said, specializing in complex machining of hard metals for Boeing’s 737, 747, 767, and 787 aircraft models.

“Our investment in Boeing Helena…further positions our…Montana team of nearly 150 employees as key partner of Boeing Commercial Airplanes,” Boeing Commercial Airplanes VP and GM-Fabrication Kim Smith said.

Boeing purchased the former Summit Aeronautics Group facility in December 2010 and renamed it Boeing Helena. The facility is part of Auburn, Washington-headquartered Boeing Fabrication, a division of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, and is one of 12 Boeing Fabrication sites located around the world.

Source : ATW/Boeing

 

ON THE AIRBUS FRONT

Airbus Delivers First U.S.-Produced A320 To Spirit Airlines

The first delivery of an A320 aircraft from the Airbus U.S. Manufacturing Facility has taken place in Mobile, Alabama. The aircraft, delivered to Spirit Airlines, is the 37th overall delivery from the U.S. facility since production began in July 2015. The previous 36 aircraft were A321 aircraft, making this delivery another important milestone for Airbus.

Airbus commenced final assembly work on the A320 around May this year. The aircraft is fitted with International Aero Engines V2500 power plants. With this delivery Spirit’s all-Airbus fleet increases to 106 aircraft, says the carrier.   Around half of its jets are A320s.

Today, the Family has won over 13,200 orders and more than 7,700 aircraft have been delivered to some 400 customers and operators worldwide.

Airbus announced its commitment to build a single-aisle assembly line in Mobile, Alabama,  in July 2012, and broke ground for the $600 million facility in April 2013.  Airbus anticipates delivering four aircraft per month from the Mobile plant by the end of this year.

Source : Airbus/Pictures Airbus

 

REGIONAL/BUSINESS JETS

   MRJ Test Fleet Grounded After PW1200G Flameout         

Mitsubishi Aircraft has grounded its MRJ regional jet flight test fleet, following an engine “flameout” on one of its test prototypes on August 21.

The “uncommanded shut down” on prototype FTA-2 happened on the left Pratt & Whitney PW1200G engine during a flight test.

Mitsubishi would not say what tests the aircraft was conducting when the flameout occurred, but said the incident happened in training airspace over the ocean, about 170km (106 miles) west of Portland.  Pilots were alerted to the issue only when the left engine shut down.

The Aircraft had taken off from Moses Lake at 14:00 local time and had to make an unscheduled landing at Portland International airport at 17:12 local time.

The FTA-2 Prototype has since returned to the Manufacturer’s test base at Moses Lake, after replacement of the troubled engine

Mitsubishi has since grounded its test fleet. It will decide when to resume flight tests after the cause of the incident is determined.(as of this writing testing has resumed.)

Source : Flightglobal/Mitsubishi

 

OTHER AVIATION NEWS

            EASA has Granted Certification for The Trent 1000 TEN 

Rolls-Royce has been granted full-flight certification by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) for its Boeing 787 Trent 1000 TEN engine.

The Trent 1000 TEN, which will power all Boeing 787 variants, has improved Thrust and efficiency because of cross-over technologies from the Airbus A350’s Trent XWB power plant and Rolls-Royce’s Advance turbofan, a new engine program that was announced in 2014.

“This marks another critical step in our journey toward delivering additional capability and new technology for the Boeing 787,” Rolls-Royce chief engineer for Trent 1000, Dave Taylor said.

The certification came as Rolls-Royce delivered its first set of production engines to Boeing in Seattle, ready for entry into service later this year.

Source :  Rolls-Royce

 

      Qantas to Base Half of 787 Fleet In Brisbane 

Qantas will base four of its upcoming 787-9s in Brisbane, complementing the four aircraft that will be based in Melbourne. Qantas says in  a statement that the four aircraft earmarked for the Brisbane base will be delivered during the second half of 2018.

“We have said that initially our Dreamliners will replace the routes that our older 747s fly, but there are also new destinations we are looking at, given capability of the aircraft,” says Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce.

At present, Qantas’s only 747 services from Brisbane are to Los Angeles, Flightglobal schedules data shows, making that the likely

launch route for 787s from the Queensland Capital. The airline says, however, that the aircraft could potentially open up new services to destinations including, Seattle, Chicago and Vancouver.

Joyce adds that decisions on these new routes will be made in the coming months.

The Australian airline will take delivery of its first 787-9 in October, and will use the aircraft  on domestic services for six weeks for crew training purposes. From December 15, the type will be used on Melbourne-Los Angeles services, and from March 2018 on the Melbourne-Perth-London route.

According to Flight Fleets Analyzer shows that Qantas has options on a further 45 787s, but it has given no indication if or when it may exercise those options.

Source : Qantas

Air Tahiti to Replace A340s in 2018

French Polynesian carrier Air Tahiti NUI is preparing for a major upgrade of its long-haul international fleet in 2018, when it will begin the replacement of its Airbus A340s with Boeing 787-9s.

The Carrier has four 787s on order, two leased and two purchased. These will replace four A340-300s it operates on flights to Auckland and Tokyo and a route to Paris via Los Angeles.

The 787-9s are scheduled to arrive between October 2018 and September 2019. The leased aircraft will enter service the fleet first, followed by the two purchased aircraft in 2019. Cabin configuration is still being finalized, and training is expected to begin next year.

CEO Michel Monvoisin noted the carrier is now making a positive contribution to the national budget, as its majority owner is the government of French Polynesia.

Source: ATW   

                                                   

LATEST NEWS

  • Rolls-Royce has secured European flight certification for the Airbus A350-1000’s power plant, the Trent XWB-97.
  • Southwest has become the first U.S. airline to receive Boeing’s 737MAX 8 aircraft. It is expected to take delivery of eight more this month.

  • Singapore has quietly parked the first Airbus A380 aircraft to enter commercial service.
  • Kish Air of Iran has signed an MOU with Boeing to purchase ten 737 MAX aircraft.
  • Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE) has announced the delivery of an Airbus A320-200 aircraft to new customer, Flyadeal a subsidiary of Saudi Arabian Airlines group.
  • Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS) is considering ordering the Airbus A321neoLR to operate on routes from Zurich to long-haul destinations in Africa.
  • Orion Airways is one of new Cypriot airlines to emerge following the demise of flag carrier Cyprus Airways in 2015. Its first aircraft, is a former Jordan Aviation Boeing 737-300.
  • Gol Airlines of Brazil announces sale and leaseback transactions with Ge Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) for seven aircraft, including five 737 MAX 8 aircraft and two 737-800 Next Generation (NG) aircraft. Additionally, the company signed the direct operating lease for five additional 737 MAX 8 aircraft.
  • Egyptair takes delivery of the 7th of nine new Boeing 737-800s ordered as part of plans to upgrade its aging fleet on Thursday, August 31st.
  • EL AL Israel Airline took delivery of its first 787-9 leased through an agreement with Air Lease Corporation.

AIR CARGO

Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings Flying for Nippon Cargo 

Purchase, New York-based air cargo operator Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings started operating a second Boeing 747-400 freighter for Japan’s Nippon Cargo Airline (NCA) on September 1 .

Atlas Air initiated its relationship with the Narita International Airport (NRT)-based cargo carrier in December 2016, launching flights for NCA in January. The two companies indicated additional aircraft may be added to their agreement in the future.  As with the first 747-400F, additional freighters will fly transpacific routes connecting Asia and the US, Atlas Air said.

Atlas Air Worldwide president and CEO William Flynn said the move follows the “successful start of the first aircraft for NCA earlier this year and underscores our focus on fast-growing Asia Pacific market.”

Atlas Air’s transpacific routes flown for NCA fly an eastward trajectory between Narita (NRT), Ted Stevens Anchorage International (ANC) and Chicago O’Hare International (ORD).Atlas Air’s westward NCA flights operate in three trajectories: ORD-Dallas/Fort Worth International (DFW)-ANC;ORD-DFW-ANC-NRT; and a direct nonstop ORD-NRT flight.

Nippon Cargo operates a fleet of eight Boeing 747-8Fs (all leased) and five 747-400Fs (one owned by NCA, the remainder leased).

Source : ATW/Picture Atlas Air

 

 Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul News

         Opinion: Uncertainties Abound In Engine Leasing Market

The commercial engine leasing market is growing, though entry of new models and OEM involvement in MRO are creating uncertainty.

Opinion is divided concerning the size and value of the engine leasing market. Some of the uncertainty comes from the involvement of OEMs and their large engine-lease pools that support their respective aftermarket maintenance packages. As a result, identifying the true market is difficult because so much trading and maintenance activity is ring-fenced.

However, both OEMs and operators potentially benefit from such arrangement via guaranteed cash flows through flight-hour agreements for the OEM and reduced risk for the operator.

The engine market is well-stocked, notably with much-talked-about CFM56-5B,CFM56-7B and V2500-A5, expected to have significant shop analyzing the outstanding order book for these types, forecasts that Pratt & Whitney PW1000 and CFM Leap engines will far surpass the quantities of the CFM56 and V2500 engines today. While OEMs seek to secure more maintenance agreements for engines, the overall number of engines is expected to grow and thus, by engine count, the OEM and independent leasing/MRO markets are expected to increase their stocks.

Further on, OEMs will still be very present in this market, for example, CFM spent $4 billion in research and development units latest Leap engine programs.

Capturing more of the maintenance market allows OEMs to invest more heavily in the next generation of engines and helps offset the discounts offered to airlines for the latest A320neo and 737MAX-family engines. Independents, tear-down entities and MROs all stand to lose out from this shift in strategy.

Source : MRO-Network.com

 

 MRO Short News

  • Monarch Aircraft Engineering has a contract from Evelop Airlines, Spain, to provide base maintenance services, initially on an Airbus A330, out of Birmingham.
  • HEICO agreed to acquire Southern California-based Aeroantenna Technology.
  • Pacific Aerospace Resources and Technologies based in Victorville, California has retained Cloud Investment Partners and Tiger Group to sell company; bids were due on or before September 7 as a going concern, and auction of all assets was scheduled for September 21.
  • Certified Aviation Services (CAS) signed a service agreement with Boeing Global Fleet Care to provide MRO services in the US for Boeing’s aftermarket support system. Under the agreement, CAS will provide scheduled maintenance operations in support of the 737 MAX and 787 Dreamliner.

 

Puzzler of the Month   

 

 

ANSWER TO LAST MONTH’S PUZZLER

A Wet Lease means an organization (airline) or person who owns the aircraft will provide the lessor with the aircraft as well as one or more crew members to the lessee. Even more important, the lessor promises to conduct adequate maintenance & procure the insurance necessary to operate.

A Dry Lease means an organization (airline) or person provides the lessee the aircraft; however, without a crew and promises to conduct adequate maintenance & procure the insurance necessary to operate.

Researched and Compiled by : Ed Kaplanian

Commercial Aviation Advisor

Contact – ekaplanian@msn.com