Acquisition Programs Dominate Pentagon’s FY17 Spending Increase

 by Shaun McDougall, Military Markets AnalystForecast International.

The defense bill added a dozen Super Hornets for the U.S. Navy.
Source: U.S. Navy

The Pentagon’s FY17 budget was signed into law on May 5, more than halfway through the fiscal year.  The legislation couldn’t come soon enough, as the military has been operating under a series of three continuing resolutions that funded the department at FY16 levels.  CRs bring with them a host of difficulties, including restrictions on launching new programs, and leave many existing programs overfunded or unfunded.  The Pentagon has become quite adept at navigating CRs, which have sadly become the norm in Washington.  However, this year’s scenario was particularly troubling, as CRs in recent years haven’t lasted more than a few months. Continue reading

Boeing Delivers First 737 MAX 8 to Malindo Air

By Douglas Royce, Senior Aerospace Analyst, Forecast International.

Boeing, Malindo Air Celebrate First 737 MAX Delivery

Boeing delivered the first 737 MAX 8 narrowbody airliner on May 16. The aircraft was handed over in Seattle.  The Malaysia-based carrier will be the first airline to put the newly re-engined model into service.  Continue reading

Denel Taps New Markets, Seeks New Partners at Home and Abroad

by Richard Pettibone, Aerospace & Defense Companies Analyst, Forecast International.

Denel’s Rooivalk Attack Helicopter. Source: Denel

Despite some recent management troubles, Denel remains stable.  The company plays a key role in the self-sufficiency of South Africa’s defense industry, and the government will continue to support the firm with work. That said, government work has been declining of late due to tight budgets, forcing Denel to adapt. Continue reading

Airbus, Boeing April 2017 Aircraft Orders and Deliveries Disappoint

Both Orders and Deliveries Disappoint as Boeing Debuts 737 MAX 9

by J. Kasper Oestergaard, European Correspondent.

On April 13, 2017, Boeing’s 737 MAX 9 narrowbody jet made its first flight. Deliveries are expected to commence in 2018. Boeing is also considering a larger 737 MAX 10 variant to take on the Airbus A321neo, which has been outselling the 737 MAX 9.
Photo: Courtesy The Boeing Co

Boeing and Airbus delivered 52 and 46 commercial jets in April 2017, respectively, compared to 54 and 52 during the same month last year. This year to date, Boeing has delivered 221 jets (vs. 230 at this point last year), while Airbus has delivered 182 (177 in 2016). In 2016, Boeing delivered 748 jets (762 in 2015), in line with company expectations, while Airbus surpassed its delivery target of 650 jets by handing over 688 jets during 2016 (635 in 2015). Continue reading

Pilatus Expands into Jets, with New PC-24 Set to Enter Service at Year-End

by J. Kasper Oestergaard, European Correspondent.

Pilatus is marketing the PC-24 as “The Super Versatile Jet” – among other things – given the aircraft’s ability to take-off and land on short, unpaved runways. The first three years of production were sold out within hours. Photo Courtesy: Pilatus Aircraft.

The Pilatus PC-24 is a twin-engine light/medium-light business jet currently in the late stages of development and testing. The aircraft builds on Pilatus’s almost 25 years of experience manufacturing and selling the popular PC-12 turboprop – more than 1,450 have been sold to date. The $8.9 million PC-24 shares many of the features of the PC-12, including a spacious aft cargo/baggage compartment and wide cargo door, an easy-to-reconfigure cabin, and the ability to land on short, unpaved runways. These provide the PC-24 with an edge in the very competitive and cyclical market for light business jets. The PC-24 competes with the Embraer Phenom 300, Bombardier Learjet 70/75, and Cessna Citation CJ4 and Citation XLS+ and is priced slightly lower while offering greater versatility. The 4-foot-wide cargo door makes it very useful for medevac missions and cargo transportation. Continue reading

Commercial Communications Satellite Launch Mass – It’s Complicated

by Bill Ostrove, Space Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

Two years ago, Forecast International published a blog post about a trend toward decreasing launch mass in commercial communications satellites. Since that post has remained popular, we think our readers will be interested in an updated look at trends in launch mass and the commercial satellite industry. Continue reading

The Future of the EJ200 Rests on One Platform: The Eurofighter Typhoon

by Carter Palmer, Power Systems Specialist, Forecast International.

Eurofighter Typhoon

While the June 2016 Brexit vote may have been a setback for the ultimate European experiment, the results seemingly run counter to past European collaboration. Nowhere is this better illustrated  than in the world of aerospace. The Eurofighter – perhaps the pinnacle of European aviation – is a testament to what the continent can do … together. Production of the aircraft is now winding down, and its ancillary, the Eurojet EJ200 gas turbine engine, is being affected.   Continue reading

Airbus and Boeing: March Orders and Deliveries In; Healthy Backlogs Going Forward

Boeing 737 MAX Orders Rolling in as Airbus Order Drought Persists

by J. Kasper Oestergaard, European Correspondent.

On March 13, 2017, Boeing and CDB Aviation Lease Finance (CDB Aviation) announced an order for 30 737 MAX 8 airplanes. Photo Courtesy: The Boeing Co.

Boeing and Airbus delivered 74 and 62 commercial jets in March 2017, respectively, compared to 71 and 57 during the same month last year. Year to date, Boeing has delivered 169 jets (176 by the same time last year), while Airbus has delivered 136 jets (125 in 2016). In 2016, Boeing delivered 748 jets (762 in 2015) in line with company expectations, while Airbus surpassed its delivery target of 650 jets by handing over 688 jets during 2016 (635 in 2015). Continue reading

Accelerating the SmallSat Propulsion Market: Interview with Accion Systems CEO Natalya Bailey

by Bill Ostrove, Space Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

The ion Electrospray Propulsion System (iEPS) for CubeSats is shown here next to a US quarter for scale

Accion Systems is developing an electric propulsion system for small satellites. As the number of small satellites built and launched increases each year, Accion sees a growing opportunity for propulsion systems to guide those spacecraft once they reach orbit around Earth.

Continue reading

Launch Vehicle Flexibility Increasingly Important

by Bill Ostrove, Space Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

Proton launching ExoMars. Source: : ESA–Stephane Corvaja, 2016

International Launch Services (ILS) recently announced that it will introduce a new Proton launch vehicle variant with a larger payload fairing – a clear sign that flexibility is now a key differentiator in the launch vehicle market.[i] Continue reading