January 2011 » AirInsight
A Commercial Aviation Consultancy

Monthly Archives: January 2011

NASA has a research lab at Lewis Field in Cleveland Ohio where they are doing research into ultra high bypass engines for aircraft. We had a conversation with the UHB Research program Manager, Chris Hughes. He explains what the program is doing and which technologies they are evaluating. Coming up for repeated mention are two engine approaches, unducted fans and geared fans. Of these two, the geared approach is much closer to reality – even though UDF engines were around years ago being tested.


CFM is developing its next generation engine, known as LEAP-X.   This engine is due to power the COMAC C919 and the Airbus A320neofamily and is almost certainly going to power either a re-engined Boeing 737 or its replacement.  Understanding this new engine benefits from understanding its heritage.

CFM International, a joint venture between GE and France’s Snecma, developed its first engine, the CFM56 in 1982.  Initially sold as the CFM56-2C the engine was used to re-engine DC8s and used extensively by the USAF to re-engine KC-135s.  Indeed, the USAF is the largest CFM customer even today.  (There are 470 KC-135R and RC-135R aircraft in service, accounting for 1,966 CFM56-2 engines.)

In 1984 CFM offered a more advanced version, the -3, that exclusively powered Boeing’s 737-300.  The story behind this engine choice is legendary – a case study for any business.  Pratt… Continue reading

News out today from Russia is that IAC AR, the Russian certification authority granted Type Certification to Sukhoi’s Superjet 100.  The certificate is a result of an a certification campaign performed by IAC AR, Certification Centers, Sukhoi Civil Aircraft as the aircraft developer and Alenia Aeronautica, which was involved in Noise and HIRF testing.

The certificate confirms the compliance of the aircraft with the IAC certification norms and airworthiness directives thus opening the way to start commercial operation.  Simultaneously the IAC AR, basing on the audit of the aircraft development quality system and Sukhoi Civil Aircraft performance, has taken the decision to grant Design Organization Approval certificate to Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Company.

This means the SuperJet is officially on its way to commercial EIS, opening the competition in the sub-100 seat regional jet market to intensified competition.  There is nothing better than a tight race and this… Continue reading

Lufthansa’s EVP Corporate Fleet is Nico Buchholz and he is based in Frankfurt. Herr Buchholz is a very important man in the airline business; he and his team buy planes for Lufthansa, Swiss, Brussels, Austrian and BMI. So he is on many OEM speed dial lists. He and his team make fleet decisions that reverberate and often act as guidance for other airlines. We got to spend some 20 minutes with him talking about NEO, CSeries, GTF and LEAP-X.


In today’s earnings call, Boeing said they anticipate to deliver between 20 and 40 747-8s and 787s this year.  That is quite a broad range and we wonder what our readers think.

[polldaddy poll=4452309]

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The survey have online is showing up some interesting data. If you have not completed this survey, it takes less than 5 seconds.  Take a look – feel free to share your thoughts.

Clearly with just under 100 responses the results are not “statistically reliable”. At least that is what the statistical rules say.  But of course the entire population of  industry respondents with insight into EIS is probably under 180 people.  Oh well.

Meanwhile here’s what the data looks like so far for each program.