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SUMMARY: While India’s aerospace industry is growing, most of it is on the military side while commercial aviation is far behind, yet HAL (Hindustan Aircraft Ltd) started with license production of the Hawker Siddley 748 turboprop airliner almost 40 years ago (89 built) and then in the mid-1980’s continued with the Dornier 228 (till now +125 built), and that is is ? Oh, lets not forget the never ending 29 year development of the NAL Saras, a 14 passenger pusher turboprop resurrected earlier this year again, for what ? its too small for India’s needs. The Indians know they need bigger aircraft, have the “plans” for the 80-90 seat Regional Transport Aircraft (RTA) turboprop and the 70-100 seat Indian Regional Jet (IRJ), but as of now its just talk and nice computer generated pictures. Of the top 7 major aerospace manufacturing nations, India is ranked 7th, yet was ahead of the Chinese 30 years ago, but it has not moved forward, while the Chinese now have the ARJ-21, C919 and soon MA-700 turboprop, all India has is the little 19 passenger Dornier 228, and that is it. What is India waiting for ? it has a huge market for aircraft between 19 to 100+ passenger turboprops and jets, it could have been a major competitor in that segment to Brazil, Canada and China, but its out of the game, too late now because too many new players in the market, Japan (MRJ-75/90), Turkey (TR/TRJ-628), Russians (SSJ100, MC-21) and Indonesia (N219), and other nations to come ?

┬áIndia’s commercial aircraft industry struggles to get “off the ground”, yet it has had years of experience and some success, but today it is sadly out of the game. Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL) first licence production was in the early 1980’s to 1988 the 44 passenger British HS-748 turboprop, of which 380 were built, and … Continue reading

SUMMARY: Canada’s Viking Air is shutting down its expensive $7.5M Series 400 Twin Otter production for 90 days and laying off 212 workers (46% of work force) as deliveries have exceeded sales for sometime and one cannot live off one’s backlogs for too long before you have “white tails”, which apparently there are 6 right now in Calgary. The 19 seat utility market is tough, roughly 33 aircraft deliveries per year by just 4 OEM’s, and surely no one really makes money in the market ? While Viking has delivered 120 in the past 7 years, it is far short of the 2006 forecast of 440 (at a price of $3.195M) over 10 years (off by 300%). Could the much higher price (+134% on 2006 price) have something to do with the lower demand ? off course like with all the other OEM’s, the high price ($279,000 to $447,000 per passenger seat) has killed the market (B737-800/A320 at around $275,000 per passenger seat), but with very low production rates what can you do ? Nothing ! Now, Viking is looking at the out of production turbine powered $37M per copy CL-415 water bomber as a possible new production program. The turbine CL-415 had just 90 deliveries in 22 years of production (4.1 per year) while the radial engine CL-215 had 125 deliveries over 21 years (6.0 per year), so no BIG market here in water bombers, maybe 4 to 5 per year ? but I think a 30 seat regional amphibian can make a difference, the CL-215C ‘Transport’ (2 delivered to Venezuela long ago) is a 30 to 36 passenger certified version and the market is out there all over the world, more than for a firefighter, and surely another 4 to 5 CL-415C ‘Transport’ per year, can change the business case for re-starting the production line for the CL-415 ? 10 aircraft and $+375M in annual revenue sounds good (that is equivalent to 50 x Series 400’s).

READ” Blog on 2016 Turboprop Market (click General Aviation) for more info on the 19 seat market in the March 9, 2017 issue   Viking Air has announced on May 31, 2017 that it is shutting down production of its $7.5 million Twin Otter Series 400 for 90 days and will lay off 212 starting … Continue reading