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Commercial Aviation Analysts


Commercial aerospace is a long run business. The gestation of new programs takes years.   Of late, add a few more years to the newer and vastly more complex aircraft programs.

In studying the following chart, note how Boeing has started to simplify its commercial business.  It may have a number of airplanes in its sales brochures.  But there are three that matter; 777, 787 and of course 737. Continue reading

Mr Joe Sutter was 93 when we made this brief video with him. Lufthansa awarded him their first lifetime achievement award.  As you see him here, he recently had heart surgery.  What an impressive man.  After this interview he sat on a stage and took questions for about 45 minutes from an audience.

This is a continuation of our recent story on the demise of the 747. There have a spate of stories recently about the 747s future. Most of these stories talk about the lower costs of the Super Twins and how they can replace the 747.  Of course that is a big factor, but what are these costs?  Let’s take a look at the 747-400 data .

There are 193 747s operating in the United States and of these, 62 are -400s.  Let’s look at data from three US airlines flying the 747-400; UPS, Delta and United.

UPS is a relatively recent acquirer of the -400, which replaced older -100 and -200 models in its fleet. Notice that from 2009 when its flight hours started to operate at a typical 25,000 hours per quarter, repair costs kept rising.  Freighters tend to be retired passenger aircraft and this means they are old to start with. The UPS fleet consists of 12 -400Fs and one -400M.  The -400M is over 20 years old at this writing; six of the -400Fs are over 15 years old, and the remainder are between five and six years old.   It is notable that maintenance costs for both airframe and engines have continued to rise, despite similar utilization in recent years. Continue reading

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