August 25, 2015
I've decided to launch a new series of posts - a selection of weekly news updates culled from the internet. I'll be beginning today with a report on the single aisle airline business, with similar newsletters on widebody commercial airlines, spacecraft, and the military fighter market to follow.
Due to the growing overlap in application and market, the single aisle news survey will include both the mainline commercial aircraft market (aircraft such as the Boeing 737, 757, and Airbus A320), and the regional jets (aircraft such as the Embraer E-Jet).
Bombardier has reported that certification tests for its much delayed CS100 C-Series aircraft are over 80-percent complete, with more than 2250 flight test hours to date. The manufacturer reached a milestone this past month when a total of six flight test aircraft all flew within the same day. The all-new C-Series was intended to be the first aircraft to feature Pratt & Whitney's PW1500G Geared Turbofan (TM) engine, although delays in its development will likely mean that Airbus' re-engined A320 NEO will enter production first.
Bombardier has re-launched the production ramp-up for the C-Series, after it had earlier slowed production preparations more than a year ago, due to delays in the flight test program. The second production-standard CS100 - airframe P-2 - entered the production line in parallel with the second CS300 flight test vehicle - airframe FTV-8. The CS100 is expected to be certified by the end of 2015, with production deliveries to commence in early 2016. The larger CS300 is expected to be enter service six months later.
China's Comac expects to roll out its first C919 prototype at the end of 2015, and has already begun assembly of its second prototype. The C919 is expected to be a direct rival to the Boeing 737 and Airbus A320, featuring CFM International's Leap-1C engines. First flight of the C919 prototype is projected for 2016.
Boeing is projecting that China will need to add over 6,300 new aircraft to its commercial fleet by 2034, an increase of 300 airframes over Boeing's market forecast from a year ago. Some 4,630 aircraft out of this total are projected to be single-aisle models.
Boeing officials insist that the manufacturer is on-track to meet production goals for its 737 MAX aircraft, responding to news reports that delays with the GKN-produced thrust reversers threaten to delay production deliveries. The 737 MAX will feature the Leap-1B engine - a smaller version of the Leap-1A and Leap-1C engine that will power the Airbus A320 NEO and Comac C919. First flight of the 737 MAX prototype is projected in early 2016.
Low-cost carrier IndiGo has firmed up a record-setting order for 250 Airbus A320 NEO family aircraft. The order brings the A320 NEO backlog to more than 4,100 firm orders. An engine selection for the new order has not been announced, although IndiGo's previous firm order for 180 A320 NEO aircraft, placed back in 2011, are expected to be powered by Pratt & Whitney's PW1100G Geared Turbofan(TM) engine.
Lufthansa has confirmed that it expects to take delivery of its first A320 NEO by year-end. The airline has a total of 61 A320 NEO and 40 A321 NEO aircraft on order. Lufthansa's aircraft will be powered by Pratt & Whitney PW1100G Geared Turbofan(TM) engines.
Japan's ANA Holdings is evaluating routes for the new Mitsubishi Regional Jet, due to be delivered in the 1Q of Fiscal 2017, with a domestic route from Chubu Centrair International Airport currently leading the discussions. First flight for the MRJ is expected later this year. The aircraft features the Pratt & Whitney PW1200G Geared Turbofan(TM) engine.
Russia's Aviadvigatel is expected to showcase its PD-14 test engine at this year's MAKS-2015 airshow. The PD-14 is being developed as a Russian-built alternative to the Pratt & Whitney PW1400G engine, that is expected to equip initial examples of the Irkut MC-21 airline - now under development. The PD-14 is expected to enter flight tests aboard an Il-76 flying testbed later this year.