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A320 NEO

We have been waiting for a while to see if there was anyway we could get a comparison of the A320neo with both engines and the 737 MAX compared for engine noise.  The most objective way to do this is use videos from the first flight events.  One has to also avoid OEM videos, some of which have music and other dubbing to prevent the real noise levels to be heard.

Bear in mind as you watch these videos, the weather was different for each first flight.  The distances from the aircraft to camera microphone were different.  Even the cameras were different.  There is a lot of variation that make a comparison difficult.  But absent any equal comparison, what else can you do?  Continue reading

One of the major attractions of the next generation of aircraft is fuel efficiency. But as the spot price of fuel has dropped in recent years from a high of about $3.25 per gallon to today’s level of $1.05, as shown here, the differential in operating economics narrow considerably.

There are two types of new aircraft being introduced to the market - re-engined models of existing aircraft, such as the A320neo and 737MAX, and all new aircraft, such as the CSeries, MC-21 and MRJ, that will also offer improved aerodynamics and weight savings. How much of a premium will an airline pay for a new model over an older model, and will that require even further discounting by OEMs since lower fuel prices are expected to continue in a market with new supply eclipsing new demand? To examine that, we’ve looked at the new re-engined narrow-bodies from Airbus and… Continue reading

The A320neo program continues its development, and we continue to update A320neo flight test hours.  As the first aircraft readies for delivery, albeit a few weeks late, it is an appropriate time to see where the program stands as of year-end.

The chart below illustrates Airbus’ ongoing flight test program hours through year end.   Some of the test fleet with the GTF continues to operate and build more hours, despite full certification in place.  We expect to see rising hours, especially for CFM LEAP powered version, as it goes through a similar regime that the P&W GTF endured for its certification.

2016-01-15_7-55-36

P&W has firmly stated their engine is ready for delivery and meets specifications as guaranteed for fuel efficiency, noise, emissions and weight.  There are a few items that need to be addressed, but they are known and minor, and more in line with what you’d… Continue reading

Airbus announced that its first A320neo will now be delivered in 2016.  We understand this will likely occur now before the end of January.   The A320neo program progressed very well through its test flights even with an engine hiccup.  Airbus decided to delay the handover to launch customer Lufthansa in agreement with Pratt & Whitney.

The engine battle on the A320neo family is underway, and of the 3,678 orders to date for the family, decisions have been made for about 60% of orders, with 40% remaining undecided.

The market share, as of March 19th, is shown in the following chart. Since undecided at 40% is the market share leader at present, those customers will clearly be the swing votes in the market share battle, which is ramping up in competitive intensity.

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It is our understanding that CFM’s LEAP is coming along according to plan. The program has had no unusual events to cause either OEMs or airlines any concerns. The promise of the LEAP is to deliver 15% improved fuel burn and 50% margin on NOx as well as a substantially lower noise footprint.

The LEAP has a tough act to follow; CFM promises the LEAP is going to offer the comparable maintenance costs to those of the CFM56. The CFM56 is the most popular turbine engine in use among single aisle airliners. Take a look at this table to see what we mean. Continue reading