* CFM Leap-1B engine misses SFC spec by 4-5%; -1A 2% * Valve modulating HPT cooling failed more than once; nacelle showing heat damage * 737 MAX total COC per seat advantage narrows from 8% to 3-4% * A320neo Space-Flex’s 3 extra seats further reduce differential to 1-2% * 737 MAX 9 range drops to 3,415nm; MAX 8 to 3,439nm * Boeing should focus on meeting spec, not 737-8ERX * MAX will meet spec via incorporating lessons learnt during testing * MAX still lighter than A320neo: lower landing, overflight fees * MOM must bring single-aisle operating efficiencies to a small twin to make it worthwhile * MOM to open up flights between secondary Asian cities & with Australia; optimise loads
This analysis is from Aspire Aviation, which is widely viewed as a Boeing mouthpiece. Surprisingly, Aspire contends that they learned from several Boeing sources that the 737 MAX LEAP 1B engine presently misses promised fuel burn performance by as much as 4 to 5 %, while the A320 NEO LEAP 1A engine 'only' records a 1 to 2 % shortfall. The engine also would suffer some reliability issues.
Such daunting numbers would in my opinion jeopardise the MAX programme and would prompt a majority of Airbus customers to turn to the P&W GTF.
I don't however believe in Aspire numbers in general, and I am not ready to buy these particular ones, even though they break from Aspire's usual pro-Boeing bias (which is still obvious in the rest of their analysis). It is not the first time, though, that we hear rumours of a LEAP performance shortfall, and we should certainly stay tuned. GE may still overcome the problems, but this might push both the LEAP-powered A320 NEO and 737 MAX timelines to the right.
Whether it is favourable or not to Boeing, I don't buy any of Aspire's "analyses" without a ship load of salt. I will wait to see what other analysts or sources have to say on the matter, before commenting.