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.

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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

International Air Forces Relying on F-5 Fleets to Maintain Battle Readiness

by Matthew Beres, Airborne Retrofit & Modernization Analyst, Forecast International.

Iranian F-5 Saeqeh. Source – Shahram Sharifi

The past year has seen a significant surge worldwide to upgrade legacy fighters. Despite a rapidly aging worldwide fleet with an average of more than 50 years in service, international F-5 fleets are no exception. Even aircraft with more than 40 years of service are receiving upgrades. The 575 aircraft with an on average of between 30-40 years of service, therefore, may provide ample opportunities for retrofit programs. We’ve highlighted two such programs in this article. Continue reading

Ex-Alenia Boss Looks to Aero Vodochody Trainer Resurgence

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

L-39NG two seat trainer. Source: http://www.l-39ng.cz

With new management at the helm, Aero Vodochody is looking back to its future.  Under the guidance of new CEO Giuseppe Giordo, formerly of Leonardo (née Alenia Aermacchi), Aero Vodochody is looking to revitalize its training aircraft operations. 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