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Aerospace

MRJ_JAL liveryJAL announced two orders for regional jets.  This may have been one of the quietest aircraft campaigns.

In the first order, JAL and Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation signed an LOI for 32 Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ) aircraft, as the next-generation regional jet for the JAL Group. Although the presser does not state the model ordered, our understanding is the MRJ90 is favored.  That said, the aircraft are due in 2021 and will be operated by J-Air.  So there is no pressure on model selection yet.  The MRJ is expected to enter service in 2017.  The launch customer for the MRJ is JAL’s arch rival, ANA.

2014-08-28_7-51-48Also announced today was a firm order with Embraer for a total of 15 E-Jets comprising the E170 and the E190 models, as well as an additional twelve E-Jets family options.  These are also to be operated by J-Air. … Continue reading

The growing impact of Western sanctions on Russia may actually help IRKUT.  Take a look at this story.

The MC-21 is, in our view, an aircraft with a lot of promise.  The size and layout of the aircraft seems right to us.  But having seen the same mockup for years now at air shows and not hearing any news about progress is frustrating.   First flight is planned for next year or perhaps the year after that.

With 257 orders and 84 options, the aircraft is not without a following.  The customer base is Russian for now.  The aircraft will offer the GTF which should make it a compelling option in 180-220 seat market; right in the 757 sweet-spot.

But project progress seems agonizingly slow.  As the Moscow Times story states, Russian aerospace has been suffering from underinvestment.  This is a… Continue reading

We published a premium story today on the timing of the A380′s launch.  The timing of the A380 launch was driven by many factors and certainly one of the principal factors was competing with Boeing’s 747 and its monopoly of the VLA segment of its era.

Providing perspective of how Airbus had to view its decision at the time, we spoke with Professor Tobias Kretschmer, an expert on strategy and game theory from Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München.  Professor Kretschmer uses the A380 vs 747 in his game theory lectures and is familiar with the key decision Airbus faced at the time the A380 was launched.

The Times of India reported last week in this story, that the FAA had grounded all Boeing 787 aircraft equipped with GEnx engines. This is not the case, and there were no Airworthiness Directives issued by the FAA nor any other regulatory actions in that regard.  Most of the world’s press got it right, but the flagship of Indian newspapers was unfortunately way off base. Today another story surfaced about an Air India 787 where the focus should be on Air India rather than the airplane.

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What did happen is that on August 5th, a TUI Boeing 787 experienced an accessory gearbox failure that led to an in-flight shutdown of an engine.  The investigation revealed that a gear within the gearbox had not undergone the required heat-treat process during manufacturing.  An additional eight gears, processed at the same time, were identified as being in service, including… Continue reading

Bloomberg reports that Malaysian Airlines is likely to see some big changes.   A possible new CEO, layoffs and an aircraft order review are the identified changes.

The current CEO has a contract that expires in the next few weeks.  It is doubtful that he would want to renew it given the past year.  Who could blame him? It may have been the most awful year any airline CEO ever had to go through.

The layoffs could be big – 3,000 to 4,000 according to the Bloomberg story.  There are some 20,000 employees at the airline, and laying off a fifth will be be a severe blow.  Once the state effectively takes the company private, the unions will have a tough time overcoming any layoffs.

What about fleet rationalization and orders?  The table below lists the fleet and orders.  Airbus is not exposed… Continue reading

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