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Lufthansa and CFM International are celebrating the achievement of 100,000 flight hours by one of the airline’s CFM56-5C engines more than 20 years after Lufthansa took delivery of its first Airbus A340-300.  The airline was the launch customer for the CFM56-5C-powered A340 and put the first aircraft into revenue service in February 1993.  Lufthansa currently operates 18 CFM-powered A340 aircraft.

The engine (ESN 740146) entered commercial service with Lufthansa on November 16, 1993 on one of the first Airbus A340 aircraft delivered.  Over the course of its service life, the engine has been fully overhauled four times at Lufthansa Technik. Lufthansa reports: “The engine with the serial number ESN 740146 began its career on November 16, 1993 on one of the first aircraft of the then newly developed long-haul type, the Airbus A340. The engine was first used in position 3 (inside right) on the Lufthansa… Continue reading

It has taken a long time to get here, but things may be moving faster than many realize.  Bombardier has, for a long time, spoken of bombardier_logothe CSeries target customers “waiting in the wings”.  It was an awkward statement, because those hiding in the wings did it very well and for far longer than anyone expected. Most of all Bombardier.

2016 has been a far happier time, even if it has been expensive.  Air Canada and then Delta selected the CSeries.  Meanwhile it appears Bombardier is going to get government support, even though this will attract the attention of competitors who will almost certainly reach for the WTO stick.

In 2015 Bloomberg had a story about a key CSeries target, jetBlue.  The story indicates the fragile nature of any discussions, with “no comment” from both sides.   Back in 2013, jetBlue had voiced concerns… Continue reading

There are two great Lockheed Constellation restoration projects being undertaken.  (Hello Red Bull, are you paying attention?) We are big Connie fans.

Project #1: Columbine

1143492391_4284f7ba61_mWe first got to see this magnificent aircraft (Columbine I) in August 2008 at the Pima Museum in Arizona.  If you have even a passing interest in aviation, put this place on your bucket list.    This aircraft was used by General Dwight Eisenhower.  Then came Columbine II, and was used by President Dwight Eisenhower.  This was the first Air Force One.  This aircraft is now on its way to Virginia for restoration.  Last year the process of engine tests was undertaken, as the next video shows. Continue reading

As Pratt & Whitney’s new engine starts to operate it is interesting to review its long gestation.   The start of the GTF goes far back to an engine few recall, named the “SuperFan”.  This engine was sold to Airbus for the first A340.  It is rare to find an image of the original SuperFan engine.  One of the original program’s members shared this drawing with us.

IMG_1834

Early and critical work done by Howard Stryker and the IAE team on the SuperFan in the mid-80’s should not be forgotten.

In the early 1980s Pratt & Whitney and Rolls-Royce entered into a joint venture, named International Aero Engines (IAE).  The goal of this JV was to develop an all new, mid-size, turbofan aero-engine.  The JV included Pratt & Whitney, Rolls-Royce, a consortium of Japanese companies, Fiat of Italy and MTU of Germany.  The… Continue reading

Big news this morning as Bombardier announces its fourth quarter and year end 2015 results.  The PR lists all these items, but we believe the first two to be the most critical:

  • Air Canada signs for up to 75 CS300 aircraft
  • Global workforce optimization resulting in a reduction of ~7,000 positions partially offset by hiring in growth areas
  • C Series certified and on track for entry-into-service with SWISS
  • Transformation plan focused on expanding margins and cash flow
  • Renewed leadership team executing turnaround
  • Strong pro forma liquidity at $6.5 billion
  • 2016 a year of transition
  • Revenues of $18.2 billion; backlog of $59.2 billion
  • EBIT before special items of $554 million
  • Share consolidation to be proposed at upcoming shareholder meeting
  • Management provides 2016 full year consolidated and segment guidance
  • Special items of $5.6 billion, mainly related to the completion of in-depth reviews and de-risking of aircraft programs

The numbers don’t look… Continue reading

csm_A320neo_Lufthansa_becomes_launch_customer_2_d13b47c060Lufthansa Group, Airbus’ largest airline customer and operator, marked a step in aviation history today by taking delivery of the first A320neo.  From left to right: David Hess, EVP and Chief Customer Officer, Aerospace, United Technologies – Robert Leduc, Pratt & Whitney President – Carsten Spohr, Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO of Deutsche Lufthansa AG. – Fabrice Brégier, Airbus President and CEO – Klaus Roewe, Airbus Senior Vice President, Head of A320 Family Programme.

This is a big step for Airbus as it delivers the first of the next generation single aisle aircraft.  Boeing’s MAX is likely to have its first flight soon and Bombardier’s first C Series goes to its launch customer in the 2Q16 (SWISS, also to a Lufthansa airline).  Kudos to Airbus for starting after Bombardier, and delivering earlier.

[UPDATED with Lufthansa information]

The first Lufthansa Airbus A320neo (registration D-AINA (MSN 6801))… Continue reading

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