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The announcement of job cuts is never a pleasant message, but in the case of Bombardier, appear to be both a financial and economic necessity.  Bombardier is facing numerous challenges across its multiple business lines, rail, business aircraft, and commercial aircraft.  The latter, particularly the C Series, is the key to the company’s future.

The C Series began life with an sizable economic advantage over existing models, but is facing re-engined competition that has somewhat leveled the playing field.   The competing A319neo, 737 MAX 7 and Embraer E2 jets are all existing models that have been upgraded.  The cost of a re-engining program is much lower than an all new aircraft, providing these companies with an economic advantage in that they have lower development costs to amortize over the life of the aircraft.

With strong existing customer bases, selling a re-engined jet versus an all… Continue reading

A report from Russia suggests that testing at TsAGI is being delayed because of missing parts (“shortfall of structural elements”) for the test vehicle.  It seems the missing parts come from AeroComposite – Ulyanovsk and are being shipped by truck.  The parts apparently were meant to be shipped on October 25.  The distance from Ulyanovsk to Moscow, where TsAGI is based is about 550 miles.

If TsAGI starts its tests late, almost certainly the first flight will be pushed back.  Thinking the first flight would be coming late this year or early next year now may be unrealistic.  Perhaps late spring or early summer seems more likely.

But, even so, one might consider that UAC could still have the aircraft at Paris for the 2017 summer show.  That would be playing the same card as Embraer did at Farnborough this year.  It… Continue reading

There are many airlines that operate on the fringes.  But there is one that warrants a place of its own; Air Zimbabwe.  Let’s take a look at what we have here as of 2Q16. The airline is small and has a history of financial trouble.

2016-10-20_11-02-34There is now, apparently, a task underway at the airline to update its long haul fleet.  The talk is of leasing a 787 from Malaysia.  To our knowledge, there are no Malaysian 787s.  As the table shows the 787s based in Asia are quite busy doing business.

2016-10-20_11-15-52The story gets funnier.  The airline has to avoid European destinations because of outstanding debts. Previously this caused an aircraft seizure in London, forcing it to stop flying to Britain. The airline may owe Heathrow $3m in unpaid fees.  The London market is by far the most attractive financially and the… Continue reading

GE Aviation reported it has completed initial ground testing of the first full GE9X development engine, the world’s largest commercial aircraft engine that will power Boeing’s 777X aircraft.


“This engine is living up to our expectations, and we are extremely pleased with the results,” said Ted Ingling, general manager of the GE9X program at GE Aviation. “During ground testing at GE Aviation’s Peebles Testing Operation, the first GE9X engine performed flawlessly, providing the Engineering team with 1,200 individual data streams that reaffirmed the design. We look forward to the next phase of testing for the engine program.”

The first GE9X engine has accumulated 167 hours, 213 cycles and 89 starts during ground testing. The recent testing provided data on the engine’s aero and thermal characteristics, mechanical integrity, performance and operability. Later this year, GE Aviation will conduct preliminary ice testing on the first engine to test (FETT) to get a… Continue reading

We spoke with Brian J. Terwilliger about his movie.

We don’t often review films at AirInsight, but once a film of interest to the aviation community arrives that is worth reviewing.  That film is Living in the Age of Airplanes, produced and directed by noted documentarian Brian J. Terwilliger.  This film, currently being shown at large-format IMAX theaters, will be released later this month (circa Oct. 25th) on Blue Ray, DVD and iTunes.  This 47 minute film took six years to complete, and has spectacular footage from around the globe. Continue reading

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