[UPDATE – MRJ PDF]
The news was expected. But even so, it is frustrating to read the following from MITAC: “Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) announced today that MHI and Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation will adjust the first delivery of the Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ) from mid-2018 to mid-2020. The change is due to revisions of certain systems and electrical configurations on the aircraft to meet the latest requirements for certification.”
The aircraft was meant to enter service in 2014. These delays are troubling to say the least. Reports suggest that technical issues with the positioning of the aircraft’s electronics forced a design review. The MRJ90’s type certification is delayed to the fall 2019.
Program delays are not unusual – they happen at the biggest and best OEMs. But for MITAC the news must be a big undermining of customer confidence. For example launch… Continue reading
News from Russia today must be music to the corporate ears at UAC. After the recent tragic crash on Christmas day, we were not alone in thinking the Russian Air Force’s fleet of TU-154s were a cause for concern. The Defense Ministry and UAC are in talks.
The challenge as explained in the link above is that only some 20 aircraft need to be replaced. These aircraft need to make use of military airports that do not always have long, paved and clean runways. Take a look at this as an example. As suggested, these requirements might limit use of the SSJ100 which otherwise would be a natural place to start. Even the older, but readily available TU-214 likely will also be constrained by some military airports.
Since the options are few, it seems that the Russian government will have to end up deploying… Continue reading
On January 13 Airbus announced that its teams created the first-ever single-piece composite center wing box. This represents an important evolution of a key structural component and provides support and rigidity for an aircraft’s wings.
Last week it emerged that Boeing is now discussing a 737 MAX10 with customers on a serious level, and that its sales people have been given “authority to offer” the aircraft. The model would be the fifth in the MAX range, augmenting the existing the MAX7, MAX8, MAX8-200, and MAX9.
The MAX10 has the following key changes:
- 66 inches longer than the MAX9
- Single class passenger capacity up to 230
- Slightly higher MTOW
- LEAP-1B Engine
- Trailing-link main gear
- Entry into service approximately 2020
Airbus produced their numbers for 2016 today. They were better than expected – mainly because they hit a book to bill of one. Airbus reported 732 net orders and 688 deliveries generating a book to bill of 1.06. Airbus projects a ratio of under one for 2017.
Airbus had its usual year end flurry of orders – 60 A320neos for Flynas and 42 single aisles for the Chinese Bank of Communications. But even so, orders were off a lot (350) from 2015. What do the results look like in perspective? Continue reading