Farnborough Day Three – Morning Notes


SAS & Bombardier
One small items of news buried in yesterday’s show was the announcement that Volvo Aero was partnering with Pratt & Whitney to design and produce three major components of the new PW1000G Geared Turbofan engine. The news itself is unremarkable, yet in an age where industrial investment and partnership often leads to product purchases, Volvo’s involvement could signal a potential order from SAS for CSeries. SAS is one of the few airlines in the world that operates the 737-600 in a 112-123-seat configuration, the core of the CSeries market. Scandinavian does have a troubled past with Bombardier, though time (and economic incentive) may heal all wounds.

As far as Bombardier goes, Qatar Airways said yesterday it was “still interested in CSeries.” Though, in the same breath CEO Akbar Al Baker said the airline was still interested in purchasing more Airbus narrowbody aircraft. So, who knows?

Shorthaul Composite Aircraft
At yesterday’s Mitsubishi Regional Jet briefing, program executives discussed the rationale behind the decision to go with a metal fuselage. They were concerned about the exposure of the aircraft to the often perilous ground handling environment. Boeing has put an enormous amount of energy in developing a composite repair system for 787 which will spend limited time on the ground with its long haul missions. No doubt, Boeing and Airbus will apply its 787/A350 lessons for the 737/A320 replacement if it decides to go with a majority composite aircraft.

By the end of the morning here, Sukhoi should pass the century mark for its SSJ backlog.

Keep an eye out for a Boeing narrowbody order announcement later today.


From Show News this morning:

On Monday during the Airbus A380′s magnificent display of aerialcavorting, consternation erupted at Stanwick, the regional air trafficcontrol center, as a “pop-up” target appeared in the busy airways tensof thousands of feet above Farnborough.

The problem, however, was quickly resolved: the A380′s transponder wasset to predictive mode and so broadcast its altitude based on momentaryrate of climb… Which was, at times, impressive. “Please don’t do itagain,” Farnborough Ground Control said as the leviathan taxied in.