Today CFM International announced their LEAP-1C engine, for the COMAC C919, has won certification from both EASA and the FAA.
The certification from both agencies is unusual. Another unusual feature of this engine is that CFM provided COMAC with a totally integrated propulsion system that includes the engine, nacelle, and thrust reverser.
While this news is welcome and should mean a first flight is coming soon, one needs to remember the engine was first flown on the GE test bed in 2014. Only recently were the engines run for 10 minutes on a C919. The equivalent engines for the MAX have been in flight test for some time and on the neo have started deliveries already. COMAC has fallen behind on the C919 and consequently is more dependent on the home market than ever.
More than a year since its engines were delivered, the C919 fired them up for the first time last week on November 9th. The C919 is powered by the LEAP 1C, and is the third of the LEAP-engined models, after the A320neo and 737MAX. The LEAP 1C engines closely resemble those found on the A320neo, known as the LEAP 1A.
China Eastern Airlines will become the first customer to take delivery of the C919. COMAC has received 570 orders for the C919 from 23 customers, including Air China and China Southern Airlines. Now that its engine shave been run, the next steps are likely to be taxi tests. Absent any problems, the aircraft will move to high speed taxi tests. Then comes first flight – this was planned for 2016. But we don’t think this is likely given the short time remaining to year end.… Continue reading
AirInsight is pleased to announce it has published two in-depth reports on the leading aircraft in the 100-150 seat segment.
Our assessment is that Bombardier and Embraer will essentially split ~80% of the market for approximately 4,000 aircraft. We believe Airbus and Boeing will only together retain ~20% share over the next 20 years in this segment. This volume should ensure both small OEMs cover their breakeven numbers. Which should also provide both firms with excellent financial platforms to grow aircraft offerings. For Bombardier, this growth likely means a CS500 to get to a three member family. For Embraer, with a three family solution from 78 seats to 130 seats, management seems satisfied. But knowledge from developing the KC-390 will be useful for the company’s next programs. Embraer has a track record of driving IP from every program into each succeeding program.
We have… Continue reading
Russia’s next big aircraft program after the SuperJet is the mid-sized MC-21. Seating up to 211, the MC-21 is seen as a competitor to the Airbus A320 and Boeing 737. Although a technically promising aircraft, market realities make the program hard to move forward.
It seems the development cost of the program is similar to that of western programs. But the reality of Russian/Western politics is making the financials a lot more difficult to work out. UAC, and its IRKUT subsidiary, are becoming creative.
Russian business daily Vedomosti reports that the Russian Ministry of Commerce and UAC, together with leasing companies, and the Russian Ministry of Economic Development are discussing government support for the MC-21 program. They would commit 20bn Rub ($320m at current rates) until 2020 according to three different sources. But this scheme depends on many variables such as the commercial plan and leasing… Continue reading