Air Transport World

Special report: airframes and engines. (new technology survey of carriers)

Special report: Airframes and engines

The airlines of the world are finding the benefits of the new airframe and engine technology sufficiently enticing. They are spending or planning to spend many billions of dollars to acquire this new technology, a special Air Transport World survey demonstrates.

The 58 carriers responding to the survey, who represent about 35% of the non-Russian world's RPKs, reported that they have added or are adding 335 new aircraft to their fleets in 1982-84, and the airlines who provided financial data are spending $4.9 billion on 251 of these aircraft.

Beyond 1981, the carriers reported plans to acquire 471 new-technology aircraft --providing, in some cases, that the manufacturers develop the airplanes they want to buy. Their planned expenditures on 341 of these airplanes amount to $7.7 billion.

The elements of the new technology which the airlines reported finding most appealing are improved fuel economy and reliability, lower noise levels, composite materials and digital avionics.

In future aircraft, they primarily would like more of the same--even better economics and even lower noise levels. Several also listed fly-by-wire on their mostwanted list.

Of the new aircraft added to the responding airlines' fleets in 1982-84, 125 were widebodies (including Boeing 767s and 757s and Airbus A310s), while 81 were Boeing 737-200s and 70 were under-50-passenger types like the Saab-Fairchild SF-340. As the factors most influential in their purchase decisions, the carriers most often listed fuel economy, need for additional capacity, financing arrangements and noise considerations.

The planned additions to airline fleets beyond 1984 include the 97 Cessna 208s on order by Federal Express and the 60-100 McDonnell Douglas DC-9 replacements that SAS would like to buy if someone would build them. …

Log in to your account to read this article – and millions more.