September 2012 » AirInsight
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Monthly Archives: September 2012

The GEnx engine deployed on the Boeing 787 and 747-8i was designed as a “green” engine, with advanced technology to reduce emissions and noise. GE has made a significant investment in green technology, and to their credit, emissions and efficiency on the 787 and 747-8i are beating initial expectations.

Unfortunately, despite nothing showing up in extensive certification testing, there have been cracks in the fan midshaft of two GEnx engines for the 787, and while not yet confirmed, an engine failure on a GEnx engine on an AirBridge Cargo 747-8i that is suspected to be a similar problem.

This has resulted in an FAA Airworthiness Directive requiring an inspection every 90 days that will require about 9 man-hours per engine to complete. Using initial findings to date, GE has already changed its production process and will replace its new environmental friendly coating, without lead, to an older dry film coating… Continue reading

Airbus released its Global Market Forecast a few weeks ago.  And, true to form, trying to compare it with Boeing’s Commercial Market Outlook is not easy. The two firms define the segments differently.  This requires some editing liberty on the part of analysts.

Here’s how the two OEMs define the period from 2012 to 2031.  They have a significant difference in their projections of the total number of aircraft to be delivered, with a nearly 6,000 aircraft difference, primarily in single aisle aircraft.  At $75 million per aircraft, there is a difference of about $450 billion between the two companies’ forecasts.  Who is more accurate is the half a trillion dollar question?

There is an important item to note – Airbus does not report on regional jets under 100 seats whereas Boeing does. Airbus responded “…we focus our results and publications on the markets that… Continue reading

Dublin-based Patrick Edmond is a former CityJet GM Commercial (part of Air France).  Recently Patrick wrote an article for Airline Business in which he makes the case that while regional airlines are threatened by industry structural changes, they remain viable. We go on to discuss right sizing, emerging airplane programs and the potential of replacing the ~30-seater turboprop.


Yesterday, United Airlines took delivery of the first of 50 Boeing 787s it has on order, and the first of five expected to be delivered in 2012. United is the first US airline to operate the Boeing Dreamliner, and takes its first delivery nearly a year after the first 787 was delivered to Japan’s All Nippon Airlines.

The 787 aircraft to be delivered in 2012 will be initially based in Houston for training purposes and will be first deployed domestically on services between the airline hubs at Chicago O’Hare, Houston, San Francisco Newark, Cleveland, Denver and Washington Dulles.  It is expected that after the introductory period, the aircraft will be re-deployed on international routes. 787 routes are already listed on United’s reservation system, with flights from Houston to Chicago beginning in November.

United will configure its 787s with 36 First -Business class seats, 72 Premium Economy, and 111 Economy… Continue reading

Probably no single new technology is capturing more attention among airline pilots than the Electronic Flight Bag (EFB).  And recently the EFB market has become captivated by Apple’s iPad®.  These facts were manifestly underscored at the recent EFB workshop in Dallas, Texas.

Operational pressures on airlines are at the most intense levels ever. Airlines are desperate to save money and are leaving no stone unturned in attempts to cut costs.  Airlines have leaped into leveraging technology in order to save costs. Tablet computers have attracted airline staff attention. The 2011 airline survey by AvIntel, an industry consultancy, showed that half of the respondents mentioned the iPad as one of the primary options for their EFB projects.

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EFBs, as they are known, are a big item coming to flight decks. We discuss these with Joe Ayson, Director of Business & Corporate Development at Allegiant Systems Inc., a part of Allegiant Travel Company.