World General Aviation Aircraft Market off to a Mixed Start as Revenues Slump

U.S. Manufacturers Delivered 311 Aircraft in Q1 2017 – up 32 from 2016

by J. Kasper Oestergaard, European Correspondent.

The Cirrus SR22 (piston) was the best-selling general aviation aircraft worldwide in Q1 2017 with 25 units delivered – up from 20 in Q1 2016. Photo Courtesy: Cirrus Aircraft.

According to the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA), the first quarter of 2017 showed mixed results for the industry – with several bright spots appearing. Fixed-wing general aviation aircraft manufacturers delivered 434 aircraft worldwide, up 2.8 percent  from 422 in the Q1 2016. However,  revenues declined as much as 10.9 percent  (to $3.6 billion), due to increased competition and lower prices. 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

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.

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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

Airbus’ Order Drought Continues as Boeing Rolls Out 787-10 Dreamliner

Airbus, Boeing Report February 2017 Commercial Aircraft Orders and Deliveries

by J. Kasper Oestergaard, European Correspondent.

On February 17, 2017, Boeing rolled out the 787-10, the third member of the 787 Dreamliner family, at Boeing South Carolina in North Charleston. President Donald Trump and South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster were present, along with Boeing CEO and Chairman Dennis Muilenburg and thousands of Boeing employees.  Photo: The Boeing Company

Boeing and Airbus delivered 51 and 49 commercial jets in February 2017, respectively, compared to 56 and 46 during the same month last year. 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).

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Higher Defense Budgets Likely to Give Medium/Heavy Military Rotorcraft Market a Lift

by Ray Jaworowski, Senior Aerospace Analyst, Forecast International.

V-280 Concept for Future Vertical Lift (FVL). Source: Bell Helicopter

Forecast International’s Platinum Forecast System 3.1 indicates that a total of 6,175  medium/heavy military rotorcraft will be produced during the 15-year period from 2017 through 2031.  The value of this production is estimated at $158.4 billion (in FY17 dollars).  We define a medium/heavy military rotorcraft as one having a gross weight of at least 6,804 kilograms (15,000 lb). Continue reading

Boeing Confronts Challenges of a New Administration and Cooling Commercial Sales

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

737 MAX 200. Photo Courtesy: The Boeing Company

With the glory days of the recent record-setting boom a memory, both Boeing and Airbus are adapting their operations as they prepare for flatter growth while ramping up production of new models. Continue reading

2017 Off to a Very Slow Start – Boeing Leads January Deliveries and Orders

by J. Kasper Oestergaard, European Correspondent.

On January 27, 2017, Boeing was awarded a $2.1 billion order for 15 KC-46A Pegasus tanker aircraft for the U.S. Air Force. The KC-46A is based on the 767-2C platform. Photo: The Boeing Company

Boeing and Airbus delivered 44 and 25 commercial jets in January 2017, respectively, compared to 49 and 22 during the same month last year. January is traditionally a very slow month for both shipments and new orders. Airbus in particular delivers very few aircraft during the first month of the year. 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

Cornyn, Culberson Restart Debate on Future of NASA’s Human Spaceflight Efforts

by Bill Ostrove, Space Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

Falcon 9 Launch. Source – SpaceX

U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) and U.S. Representative John Culberson (TX-07) have introduced a bill in Congress to require NASA to develop plans for the future of U.S. human space exploration, with the goal of landing an astronaut on Mars. The plan is called the Mapping a New and Innovative Focus on our Exploration Strategy (MANIFEST) for Human Spaceflight Act. According to a statement released by Senator Cornyn’s office, the plan is based on recommendations of a 2014 National Academies report. Continue reading