Large airliner production will break all records this year as the market moves towards its next peak in the industry's latest boom-to-bust cycle. The airliner business is, however, already showing signs of slowing, led by the Asian crisis, and the cycle looks set to peak in 1999.
Each of the recent world recessions has claimed a civil manufacturer. Europe's standalone challengers crumpled in the wake of the 1970s' oil crises, while Lockheed bowed out of TriStar production a decade later as recession hit again. This time around it was the turn of McDonnell Douglas to admit defeat, having failed to develop a credible family of airliners to compete with US rival Boeing and the expanding Airbus Industrie.
Since being absorbed by Boeing, the old MDC lines are swiftly being dismantled and by the turn of the millennium, production of all the old MDC products will have all but ceased. Just the renamed MD-95 (now 717) will carry the Douglas heritage into the 21st century.
The world's airlines now have just two major manufacturers to chose between for their future large jet needs - Airbus Industrie and Boeing. It is inconceivable that competition authorities or the airline industry itself will now allow either of these remaining players to dominate the world market.
Airbus firmly believes that it is on course to achieve its stated goal of taking 50% of the large airliner market by 2002. Both manufacturers can offer prospective customers a "one-stop shop", but airlines continue to play the two rivals off against each other, and divide orders, to ensure that competition survives.
Airbus, which understands that to realise its market share ambitions it must ensure that it can offer a rival in every category, has been making the main strategic moves over the past 12 months. In December 1997 it confirmed its entry into the 350/400-seater market with the launch of the A340-500/600, as its family size grows ever upwards.
The next item on the consortium's agenda is the firming up of plans for a large capacity aircraft - its 560-seat plus A3XX family. Although the programme suffered a blow in January with the much publicised decision to delay launch by almost a year, Airbus is confident that its plans to have the first A3XXs in service by mid-2004 are in good shape.
While Boeing continues to examine possible larger derivatives of the 747-400, its main focus at the moment is to finalise the design of the ultra-long- range versions of the 777 to rival the new A340 offerings. A lack of available engine thrust is, however, forcing the company to examine novel solutions such as a thrusting APU to meet take-off performance requirements.
Meanwhile, the Russian civil aircraft industry continues to suffer from a lack of funding, which is holding back development of new generation projects such as the Ilyushin Il-96M and Tupolev Tu-334.
With Russia's airlines needing to replace their ageing fleets, the Government is enforcing mammoth import taxes to ensure that the business does not go entirely to the Western manufacturers. A recently introduced exemption to the tax is designed to encourage Russian airlines to acquire home grown products too.
Key to data tablesThis year, Flight International's two civil-aircraft directories are published in consecutive weeks. Part 2 includes aircraft seating more than 100 passengers, or with equivalent cargo capacity. Excluded are aircraft which seat more than 100, but which are part of a family that extends below 100 seats, eg, Avro RJ100/RJ115 (see part 1). Part 1, published in Flight International, 12-18 August, included civil airliners/utility aircraft seating from 10 up to 100 passengers.
Powerplant Number of engines and nominal sea-level ISA (international standard atmosphere) static thrust or power of each (kN or kW), maker and type.
Accommodation Maximum seating capacity is for all-economy or inclusive-tour layout. Seat pitch is in millimetres. Cabin width is in metres.
FAR field lengths for take-off and landing at gross weight in still air, with a hard dry runway and zero slope, under the conditions of ISA, sea-level; ISA +20íC, sea-level; ISA, 5,000ft elevation. If climb performance is limited at gross weight under any of these conditions, the maximum permitted gross weight is noted. These performance measures in particular are intended only as a guide and must be interpreted with care. They should not be used for operational purposes. Take-off field lengths include the distance required to accelerate the aircraft to flying speed, reject the take-off and stop the aircraft within the runway length remaining.
Speeds VNO/MNO normal operating speed in kt and mach; VMO/MMO the maximum permitted operating speed kt and Mach; VNE/MNE the never-exceed speed in kt and Mach
Cruise performance Maximum operating altitude as well as speed, altitude and fuel consumption are noted under ISA conditions for a maximum-speed cruise and a long-range cruise.
Payload range This is under ISA and still-air conditions with no reserve-fuel allowance. Operational equipped empty weight as stated in the weights column is assumed. Maximum-payload figures are for cost-economical cruise and full-tanks figures for long-range cruise.
Except for altitude, which is quoted in feet (1,000ft = 305m), and speed, which is quoted in knots (1kt = 1.85km/h = 1.15mph), metric measure is used as follows: 1kN = 225lb-thrust; 1kW = 1.34hp (shp); 1m = 3.28ft; 1m2 = 10.76ft2; 1m3 = 35.3ft3; 1kg = 2.2lb; 1km/h = 0.54kt; 1 litre = 0.264 US gal = 0.22 Imp gal; 1km = 0.54nm. Some figures are rounded for ease of reading.
Sales figures are sourced from manufacturers and Airclaims CASE, and are correct to 30 June 1998.
AI(R) Aero International (Regional) ARIA Aeroflot-Russian International Airlines BA British Airways BAe British Aerospace CAA UK Civil Aviation Authority CFMI CFM International Dasa Daimler-Benz Aerospace EFIS electronic flight-instrumentation system ETOPS extended-range twinjet operations FAA US Federal Aviation Administration FAR US Federal Aviation Regulation FCS flight-control system FMS flight-management system GE General Electric GPS global-positioning system ICAO International Civil Aviation Organisation IAE International Aero Engines JAA Joint Aviation Authorities JAR European Joint Airworthiness Requirement LCD liquid-crystal display MoU memorandum of understanding MTOW maximum take-off weight P/L payload P&W Pratt & Whitney P&WC Pratt & Whitney Canada R-R Rolls-Royce TCAS traffic-alert and collision-avoidance system.
Source: Flight International