Tuesday, 7 June 2011

More myth-busting for Saj Ahmad and Fleetbuzz

It's time for some more myth-busting of Saj Ahmad and Fleetbuzz.There's so much fodder--where to begin?

In a blog posting 13 October 2010, Ahmad said,“While Airbus seems poised to push ahead with re-engining the A320 family, more likely because it has no choice or money to go with a more comprehensive update due to its cash commitments on the A380, A350 and A400M  - it is likely that Boeing will sit on the sidelines to come up with something as game-changing for the narrowbody market in the same way as the 787 has been a game-changer for the widebody market.To that end, the relationship that Boeing has with CFM International as well as the room for improvement on the current CFM56-7BE engine, Airbus could find itself saddled with a GTF engine that delivers less than 9% better fuel burn while incurring $2 billion or more for that privilege and Boeing could achieve the same without a new engine, thereby increasing commonality for operators and keeping the costs down. That is far more of an incentive for buyers than is Airbus’ proposals and it resonates because we haven’t exactly seen a queue of customers banging on Airbus’ door to get the GTF engine given that it is still laden with performance issues that Pratt & Whitney simply chooses not to want to discuss. One only looks at the pathetic sales of the CSeries to see that the GTF is as big a problem as the airplane and that’s why airlines won’t buy it.”  

Fact: Ahmad comes up with "less than 9%" out of thin air, or at least he doesn't cite any source for this claim. Airbus said over and over the A320neo uses up to 15% less fuel, with 3.5% coming from the sharlets. This means 12.5% comes from the engine.

More: EADS has a cash balance of more than 11 billion euros. That's a lot more than Boeing has, and Saj continually boosts the idea Boeing will proceed with a new airplane to replace the 737. If EADS doesn't have the cash required for a new airplane, what about his favourite company?

More: where does Ahmad come up with "Boeing could achieve the same without a new engine...."? No facts, no sources, just another thin-air claim. Even Boeing doesn't make this claim.

More: P&W "doesn't want to discuss" performance issues? P&W has frequently discussed performance issues.

More: All A320neo orders so far have been for the GTF. The fact is, Saj, that the customers aren't lining up for the Leap-X.

Performance and the GTF. In Chapter 3 of the Saj Ahmad/Fleetbuzz Comedy Show, Ahmad persistently criticises the GTF and likes to say it hasn't flown on the CSeries. At the same time, he persistently touts the performance and fuel savings of the CFM Leap-X.

Fact: What makes this so laughable is that the CFM Leap-X hasn't flown at all and it is years behind in testing vs. the GTF. The GTF has flown on the P&W test 747 and on the A340-600 test airplane. He also dismisses the positive comments of Boeing's Mike Bair about the GTF.

A320neo: Orient Aviation has a good article talking about the neo and another talking about the GTF. In it, Tom Ballentyne quotes Airbus' Tom Williams endorsing the GTF and P&W's testing methodology. Ballentyne also quotes Lufthansa's Nico Buchholz, the head of fleet planning, about the GTF engine and the A320neo. While Ahmad continues to dismiss the neo (except when he bases the Bombardier CSeries, then the neo is the cat's meow) and the GTF, Ahmad has never interviewed Airbus or Buchholz, so he chooses to ignore their information.


      1. "Airbus said over and over the A320neo uses up to 15% less fuel, with 3.5% coming from the sharlets. This means 12.5% comes from the engine."

        15% minus 3.5% is equal to 11.5% ;-)

      2. These are old myths. Why not revisit his constant assertions that the CSeries is a failure by talking about the recent sales of the aircraft?

      3. To first Anonymous: thanks for the "fact check."

        To the second: we'll get there.