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China’s Civil Aviation Administration re;eased its latest (13th) five year plan on February 3.   In this plan there are five areas of focus:

  • sustained safety of civil aviation,
  • building a national integrated airport system,
  • comprehensively improving aviation service capability,
  • strengthening support and service quality of air traffic management and
  • speeding up transition through reform and innovation.

Of these items some caught our eye.  For example, “The second target is to enhance the strategic role of civil aviation to continuously raise its contribution to the national economy and further increase the proportion of air transport in the integrated transport system”.  Then there was this: “The third target is to comprehensively enhance the support capability of civil aviation. A well-planned and efficient airport network consisting of about 260 transport airports will be built.”

These issues are of special interest in light of something CAAC announced last year called Rule 96.  Details are… Continue reading

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.

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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.   The history of the C9191… 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 a combo pamphlet that describes the… Continue reading

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