The Anonymous Widower

Ryanair Backs Away From Boeing Jet Order

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on The Times.

These are the first two paragraphs.

Ryanair has ended talks to purchase tens of billions of dollars of Boeing jets amid a stand-off over the price.

The Irish budget airline had been in talks to buy as many as 250 planes of the 737 Max 10 model but said yesterday that the talks had collapsed.

But have Michael O’Leary and Boeing fallen out over hydrogen?

Consider.

  • Many countries in Ryanair’s largest markets are aiming to go net carbon-free by 2050 or even earlier. Scotland is aiming for 2045.
  • An airliner delivered today will still be flying twenty or even thirty years later.
  • I believe that by 2030, small airliners up to thirty passengers will be zero-carbon.

In Could An A320 neo Be Rebuilt As A ZEROe Turbofan?, I came to this conclusion.

I very much feel that there will be a route to convert some or all of the A 320 neo aircraft to hydrogen power.

If Airbus can offer an airliner, that can be rebuilt as a hydrogen-powered plane that must change the economics of purchasing a fleet of airliners, which could be made worthless by worldwide carbon emission legislation.

Because the Boeing aircraft is a 1960s design with an aluminium airframe, I would doubt it is designed to be converted to hydrogen power.

September 7, 2021 Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport | , , , , , , | 3 Comments

IAG To Operate 10 Per Cent Of Flights With Sustainable Aviation Fuel By 2030

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Business Traveller.

These are the first two paragraphs.

International Airlines Group has announced a commitment to operate 10 per cent of its flights with sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) by 2030.

The owner of Aer Lingus, British Airways, Iberia and Vueling says it will purchase one million tonnes of sustainable jet fuel per year, enabling it to cut its annual emissions by two million tonnes by 2030.

It is a welcome development.

My feeling is that although a lot of greens, think that sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) is a cop-out, it is the only way we have to cut aviation’s carbon emissions in the short-term.

  • It would not need any expensive modifications to aircraft.
  • SAF can also be delivered to airports using existing infrastructure like pipelines or rail tankers.
  • SAF can be made from household and industrial waste, disposable nappies and other materials like scrap wood and unwanted clothes, most of which will otherwise end up in landfill.

I also think that SAF could be a way to decarbonise existing rail locomotives by replacing the diesel engines with gas turbines.

So will IAG commitment give a boost to the production of SAF? I certainly hope it does, as we’ll all benefit.

Hydrogen-Powered Aircraft

This infographic from Airbus shows three of their proposed designs for hydrogen-powered aircraft.

Discover the three zero-emission concept aircraft known as ZEROe in this infographic. These turbofan, turboprop, and blended-wing-body configurations are all hydrogen hybrid aircraft.

Two of the designs; the ZEROe Turboprop and ZEROe Turbofan appear to have been designed by re-engineering current technology and designs.

The one I like is the Turbofan, which I feel is based on the airframe of the current A 320 neo.

  • Much of the wing, cockpit and fuselage appear very similar to that of the A 320 neo
  • There is a hydrogen tank in the rear fuselage.
  • The engines are probably modern turbofans, adjusted to run on hydrogen.
  • Range and passenger capacity are very similar to the current aircraft.
  • The ZEROe Turbofan would fit current airport infrastructure like tugs and terminals.
  • Aircrew would need little retraining between current A 320s and ZEROe Turbofans.

There might even be the possibility of being able to convert an A 320 neo into a ZEROe Turbofan!

But there is a flaw in my reasoning.

IAG have placed a large order for Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. Wikipedia says this in the entry for IAG.

In June 2019, IAG signed a letter of intent to purchase 200 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft even though at the time of the signing the 737 MAX was still grounded worldwide following the two fatal crashes likely caused by the design of the MCAS system. Aviation analysts have questioned IAG’s leadership in making such an order when the 737 MAX design is still being rectified. IAG CEO Willie Walsh, shrugged off the plane’s uncertain future. “We’re partnering with the Boeing brand”, he said. “That’s the brand that I’m doing business with. That’s the brand that I’ve worked with for years. And it’s a brand that I trust”

Could Boeing have offered a 737 MAX, that can be converted to hydrogen?

I certainly feel that both a 737 MAX and an A 320 neo can be converted to hydrogen.

  • The visualisations from Airbus of the A 320 neo and the ZEROe Turbofan are remarkably similar.
  • The 737 MAX is a traditional aluminium aircraft, so may be easier to convert.
  • As Boeing probably need a winner more urgently than Airbus, perhaps they can deliver a hydrogen-powered aircraft around the middle of the decade.
  • Both aircraft are a bit like Lego and can be shortened or lengthened as required.
  • Perhaps one or other of the planemakers have come up with a technique for storing environmentally-friendly liquid ammonia in the wings.
  • See Could Current Airliners Be Fuelled With Ammonia?

As my mother used to say. “It’ll all come out in the wash!”

But I do feel by 2030, we’ll be seeing zero-carbon airlines on short-haul routes. So IAG’s aim of getting ten percent of planes powered by SAF by 2030, is probably a stop-gap that will continue with older planes for some years.

 

 

 

April 23, 2021 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Boeing 737 Max Cleared To Fly In Europe After Crashes

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on the BBC.

The aircraft may be cleared to fly, but will passengers want to fly in it?

I certainly won’t be flying on any airline, that has any of these aircraft in their fleet.

But then I prefer train travel.

January 27, 2021 Posted by | Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Ryanair Expects Boeing 737 Max Jet Clearance Soon

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on the BBC.

This is the introductory paragraph.

Ryanair has said it expects the controversial Boeing 737 Max plane to be allowed to fly again in the US in the next month or so.

You won’t catch me booking a flight, with any airline, that flies any of these planes for at least thirty years.

I actually feel, that technology will overtake these planes long before that.

  • They are still made traditionally from aluminium, unlike the competing Airbus A320, which is made from composite, which offers weight and aerodynamic advantages.
  • There is no way, the 737 MAX could be converted to zero-carbon flying.
  • Zero-carbon aircraft will be flying by 2030.

I also think, that it when passengers have a choice, they will avoid the aircraft.

October 10, 2020 Posted by | Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

Get Set For Max Return, Says Boeing

The title of this post is the same as this article in The Times.

This is the introductory paragraph.

Boeing is to fire up its 737 Max production line by May as it seeks to return the aircraft to service by the middle of the year.

Two points from the article.

  • Some suppliers have been asked to start shipping parts from April.
  • Boeing’s share price has risen, by 34.3%

But given the shadow over air travel caused by COVID-19, is restarting production a wise move?

I certainly don’t trust the Boeing 737 MAX!

But then if you live in London, I don’t think, you will need to fly in one, as there are a good selection of short haul trains and airlines that fly the smaller Airbuses.

I probably won’t fly short-haul again, until an airline starts flying electric aircraft.

March 26, 2020 Posted by | Transport | , , , | 3 Comments

Test Pilot Case Turns Up Problems To Max

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on The Times.

This is the two introductory paragraphs.

The double-whammy of the 737 Max crisis and the coronavirus pandemic has shredded Boeing’s share price, but the aviation giant could soon find itself fighting on yet another front.

Federal investigators are trying to build a criminal case against Mark Forkner, the former Max test pilot, if they believe they can prove allegations that he misled American air safety officials about the jet’s safety, it was reported yesterday.

It looks to me, that Boeing is getting deeper in the mire.

I’m keeping well away from the company and their products.

March 14, 2020 Posted by | Business, Transport | , | Leave a comment

Boeing: US Regulator Admits ‘Mistake’ Over Aircraft Crashes

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on the BBC.

This is the first three paragraphs.

US aviation regulators allowed Boeing’s 737 Max aircraft to continue flying despite knowing there was a risk of further crashes.

Analysis after the first crash last year predicted there could be up to 15 disasters over the lifetime of the aircraft without design changes.

Despite this, the Federal Aviation Administration did not ground the Max until a second crash five months later.

The FAA chief said it was a mistake.

I would class it as a very big mistake.

When are Boeing going to come to the conclusion, that they can’t stretch the fifty-year-old design of the Boeing 737 and they need a new modern design?

 

 

December 12, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , | 3 Comments

Max Delays Force Job Cuts At Ryanair

The title of this post is the same as that5 of this article on The Times.

This is the introductory paragraph.

Ryanair is to close bases and cut jobs because of the continuing delay in delivering the grounded Boeing 737 Max.

It obviously was going to happen, as if you haven’t got the planes, you’ll have to cut routes and that needs less staff and fewer bases.

November 5, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , | 2 Comments

Boeing Staff Texted About 737 Max Issue In 2016

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on the BBC.

What is in the texts is another reason not to trust the design of these airliners.

October 19, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , | 4 Comments

Boeing Left Safety Features Off MAX Jet

The title of this post is the same as that of this article in today’s copy of The Times.

It appears Boeing had a similar problem to that on the Boeing 737 MAX, on the KC-36A Pegasus, so they fitted an MCAS system.

This paragraph in the Wikipedia entry gives full details.

On 22 March 2019, the USAF announced it was reviewing KC-46 training after the Boeing 737 MAX groundings, as the KC-46 uses a similar Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) to that implicated in two 737 MAX crashes. However, the KC-46 is based on the Boeing 767-2C and its system takes input from dual redundant angle of attack sensors; it will disengage with stick input by the pilot. The Air Force stated that “The KC-46 has protections that ensure pilot manual inputs have override priority” and that it “does not fly the models of aircraft involved in the recent accidents” and that it is “reviewing our procedures and training as part of our normal and ongoing review process.

Note that there are dual redundant angle of attack sensors and the pilot takes control from the MCAS system, in the traditional manner.

These two features are not fitted on a 737 MAX.

Was the cost too great to maintain sales?

October 1, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , | Leave a comment