Key Decisions For Airliner Makers In 2013

By Guy Norris, Jens Flottau
Source: Aviation Week & Space Technology

December 31, 2012
Guy Norris Los Angeles and Jens Flottau Frankfurt

With another hectic year ahead for the commercial aircraft manufacturers, 2013 will see a shift in focus to widebody developments with the first flight of the Airbus A350 and stretched Boeing 787-9, and more clarity over the fate of the smaller A350-800 and a timetable for the 777X.

The single-aisle market will see first flight of Bombardier’s CSeries, design freeze for Boeing’s 737 MAX and progress on engines for the Airbus A320NEO with flight tests of Pratt & Whitney’s PW1100G and ground tests of CFM’s Leap-1A—the Leap-1C version will power Comac’s C919, assembly of which is to begin in 2013. Embraer is expected to launch its ‘G2′ successor to the E-Jet series later in the year.

Aviation Week Intelligence Network (AWIN) forecasts production of 9,287 commercial and regional airliners valued at over $994 billion over the five-year period 2013-17. Boeing will lead with 43% of production, with Airbus at 36%. While the European manufacturer will take 49% of the 5,302-aircraft narrowbody market, Boeing will have 65% of the 2,182-aircraft widebody market.

What will make 2013 particularly challenging for Airbus and Boeing is that the wave of development activity coincides with production levels rising to historic highs. Both manufacturers are keenly aware of the potential for disaster if their planned ramp-up and development schedules are impacted by supply-chain issues or engineering capacity shortfalls.

Read more: Key Decisions For Airliner Makers In 2013 — Aviation Week & Space Technology.

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