High-Performance Composites

NOV 2014

High-Performance Composites is read by qualified composites industry professionals in the fields of continuous carbon fiber and other high-performance composites as well as the associated end-markets of aerospace, military, and automotive.

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3 0 | H I G H - P E R F O R M A N C E C O M P O S I T E S FEATURE / COMPOSITES IN REGIONAL AIRCRAFT S hort-haul air travel is big busi- ness. In 2014, says the Regional Airline Assn. (RAA, Washington D.C.), regional airlines few nearly 157 million passengers in aircraft that range from 9- to 90-seat passenger capacity. Of the 614 U.S. airports with re- gional service in 2013, 431 were served only by regional carriers. There are about 13,000 regional fights per day — regional carriers account for 50 percent of the U.S. commercial schedule. Frederic Morais, however, sees the re- gional aircraft category in broader terms, and therefore, worthy of an even larger share of the fying public's business. The director of marketing for Bombardier (Montreal, Quebec, Canada), Morais contends that, today, the regional mar- ket includes any commercial aircraft with less than 150 seats — up from the sub-100 seat designation used in previous years. The 20- to 99-seat category includes more than 6,000 fying aircraft, but he says the 100- to 149-seat segment adds about 5,000 more. Morais, then, fore- casts for his more inclusive 20- to 149- seat category about 13,000 aircraft deliv- eries in the next 20 years. "Deliveries in the 60- to 99-seat seg- ment are driven both by emerging mar- kets and up-gauging of smaller 20- to 59-seat aircraft," he points out, adding that today's large number of aging com- mercial aircraft signals an almost certain growth opportunity. "The 100- to 149- seat segment has a large installed base of old aircraft that must be replaced," he points out, "and we anticipate that market will be stimulated by the arrival OEMs of aircraft with 150 or fewer seats exploit composites' appeal to fuel efficiency-conscious regional air carriers. BY DONNA DAWSON of new and optimized aircraft designs like the CSeries." He also projects increased demand for fuel-effcient turboprops. Industry leaders agree, however, that regionals are miles — and some 9,000 actual aircraft — behind the single-aisle, narrow-body jets exemplifed by the Air- bus (Toulouse, France) A319 and A320 and The Boeing Co.'s (Chicago, Ill.) 737 and 757 — aircraft with seating capacities that vary widely between 100 and 200 pas- sengers. Although growth of regional air share has not kept pace with narrow-bod- ies, neither in the number of fights nor the number of aircraft built by these ma- jor OEMs (see Fig. 2, p. 31), the regional market nevertheless remains a strong sec- tor, says Michael Miller, VP valuations and consulting for AVITAS Inc., (Chantilly, Va.), a leading advisor to the aviation industry. Airframers Vie for Shares in Growing Short-Haul Market

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