Teal Group In The Media

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13
January
2015

Falling Oil Prices, a Boon to Airlines, Pose a Challenge for Airbus and Boeing

Featuring: Richard L. Aboulafia

Falling Oil Prices, a Boon to Airlines, Pose a Challenge for Airbus and Boeing

"What has propelled the market to record growth are two factors: cheap cash and expensive fuel," said Richard Aboulafia, an aerospace analyst with the Teal Group in suburban Washington. "Now something has changed."

Whether the continued fall in price of oil represents something more significant than a short-term imbalance of global supply and demand remains to be seen, some analysts warn. But if it continues, airlines would be motivated to keep their older, fuel-guzzling jets flying for a few more years and delay new orders in hopes of saving money.

"We can't yet predict if it will last or how the air carriers will react," Mr. Aboulafia said, "but I think now would be an excellent time for caution."

Media Outlet: The New York Times Tags Airlines | Fuel Costs | Oil Prices

13
January
2015

Boeing 737 Boss to Head South Carolina Dreamliner Plant

Featuring: Richard L. Aboulafia

Boeing 737 Boss to Head South Carolina Dreamliner Plant

"Bev Wyse is one of the best-regarded people at Boeing and in the industry," said Richard Aboulafia, an analyst at the Teal Group.

Media Outlet: Reuters Tags Bev Wyse | Boeing | Boeing 737

10
January
2015

Musk’s SpaceX Rocket-Recapture Bid Thwarted by Hard Landing

Featuring: Marco A. Caceres

Musk’s SpaceX Rocket-Recapture Bid Thwarted by Hard Landing

"Overall, I would rate it as a success," Marco Caceres, director of space studies with Teal Group, a Fairfax, Virginia-based consulting firm, said in a phone interview.

"It is tricky to hit something that small to begin with, but to hit with the right velocity so that it lands perfectly when the barge is moving in the ocean -- that's a tough challenge," Caceres said. "They're not taking the easy way. That's not the conservative approach."

Media Outlet: Bloomberg Tags cargo supply | Falcon 9 | International Space Station | reusable technology | SpaceX

08
January
2015

Bombardier’s CSeries Gamble Is Facing Longer Odds

Featuring: Richard L. Aboulafia

Bombardier’s CSeries Gamble Is Facing Longer Odds

Bombardier may find it difficult to carve out space, given the preference among many air carriers to stick with a single aircraft maker, according to Richard Aboulafia, vice president for analysis at the Teal Group, an aerospace and defense industry analysis firm. More important, he said, Boeing and Airbus have a significant cost advantage.

Media Outlet: The New York Times Tags Bombardier

07
January
2015

Why We Don’t Need Real-Time Flight Tracking

Featuring: Richard L. Aboulafia

Why We Don’t Need Real-Time Flight Tracking

"Of the three recent disasters, none would have changed" with real-time black boxes, says Richard Aboulafia, an aviation analyst with the Teal Group. "You're just talking about faster closure."

Instead of real-time data tracking, it makes more sense to have the capability to stream all that data in real-time and use it only when something's amiss. If an anomaly—cabin depressurization, say, or an engine malfunction—occurs, air traffic control, carriers and the aircraft manufacturer could begin streaming data from that specific aircraft. This is something that existing communications technology could easily support, were such a system developed, would it would provide much more information to investigators during and immediately after an in-flight incident.

"That capability is currently under development," says Mary I. McMillan, vice president for aviation safety and operational services with satellite communications provider Inmarsat.

As with many things in commercial aviation, the technology is not the biggest hurdle. What data to stream, when to stream it, and how to stream it would be debated among the many constituents involved—airlines, pilots, governmental regulators and the like. Everyone from pilots unions, the International Civil Aviation Organization, national regulatory agencies like the FAA as well as carriers would all need to sign off, and we'd need spectrum dedicated to the communication system. There was years of debate over the privacy implications of cockpit voice recorders before they were adopted, and any discussion of real-time data monitoring would undoubtedly fuel similar debate and discussion.

"There's a lot of sensitivity around information like that," McMillan says. "I wouldn't pretend that it's easy to mandate black box in the cloud."

All that aside, even if the technology to stream flight data recorder data in real-time were developed, there's no guarantee carriers would adopt it without a regulatory mandate. Various regulatory agencies have what's called a Minimum Equipment List, or MEL. According to McMillan, some planes may legally operate without on-board weather radar, for example. Some planes might not even be GPS-equipped, especially if they're flying over land where getting lost is unlikely. Given the rarity of plane crashes, and the fact the black box data recorders are almost invariably recovered, it is unlikely that streaming black box technology would be implemented on a wide scale anytime soon.

"This is nothing new. Every time something bad happens, people come up with an untenable idea for a technological fix or an equipment fix," says Aboulafia. "These are three tragic anecdotes, but the plural of anecdote is not data."

Media Outlet: Wired Tags AirAsia 8501 | Malaysia Airlines 370

06
January
2015

FAA’s Failure to Regulate U.S. Drone Boom Creates Climate of Confusion

Featuring: Philip Finnegan

FAA’s Failure to Regulate U.S. Drone Boom Creates Climate of Confusion

"It tests the waters and provides some understanding of these systems. Also, from a political standpoint, it helps address some of the concerns in Congress about the ability of U.S. companies to really address this market," said Philip Finnegan, director of corporate analysis at the Teal Group, a leading aerospace and defense market analysis company. "It's a way of providing an interim step before you go out and do the final rule. And the final rule is going to take a long time."

One of the most troublesome issues the FAA must address in its final rule is to outline the differences between using a drone for commercial purposes versus solely for recreation, and then to police drone operators accordingly.

Under current law, for instance, it is technically legal to equip a drone with a camera and snap pictures of a scenic countryside. Selling those pictures, however, is not allowed.

Ironically, that system may have created a situation in which the most responsible operators can't use drones legally while the most irresponsible can.

"It's going to be very difficult for the FAA to control this. Part of the problem is there are severe restrictions on the commercial operation of these, and a lot of those people would be the most responsible," Mr. Finnegan said. "When it comes to hobbyists — no training, dim awareness of the risks — there is very little in terms of limitations. It's a serious, serious problem."

Media Outlet: The Washington Times Tags Drones | FAA | Regulation | UAVs

04
January
2015

Pittsburgh's Astrobotic Shooting for the Moon

Featuring: Marco A. Caceres

Pittsburgh's Astrobotic Shooting for the Moon

The fact that successful companies like Celestis are signing on with Astrobotic is encouraging to Marco Caceres, senior space analyst and director of space studies at Teal Group, an aerospace and defense industry analysis company:

From what he knows about Astrobotic, "it looks like this company will be one of the pioneers in space. And initially, that will probably be one of the advantages" like it has been for Celestis, he said. "If it works and if you're the first private company to get up there, that's huge."

He also likes that Astrobotic, has learned "like SpaceX, that, in order to minimize risk, take NASA on as a client."

Media Outlet: The Miami Herald Tags Astrobotic | Carnegie Mellon University | Moon

18
December
2014

Pentagon Spreads Out F-35 Production, Repair Work to Get Orders

Featuring: Richard L. Aboulafia

Pentagon Spreads Out F-35 Production, Repair Work to Get Orders

"It's as much an industrial policy as a fighter," said Richard Aboulafia, vice president at Teal Group, an aerospace consultancy.

Media Outlet: The Wall Street Journal Tags F-35 | Joint Strike Fighter | Lockheed Martin

17
December
2014

How ISIS and Boko Haram Could Change the Way Countries Purchase Air Power

Featuring: Richard L. Aboulafia

How ISIS and Boko Haram Could Change the Way Countries Purchase Air Power

Not everyone agrees. "It's just sort of a baffling product," says Richard Aboulafia, vice president for analysis at Teal Group, and aerospace and defense consultancy based in Fairfax, Va. "It's the perfect solution to a problem that doesn't exist."

Aboulafia says less-expensive turboprop aircraft have proven themselves more than capable of conducting ISR and striking ground targets. The Scorpion's relatively low, subsonic speed and lack of sophisticated radar put it a class below the lowest-end fighter jets capable of air-to-air intercept and combat, he adds. "I'm not sure where the demand would come from," he says.

Media Outlet: Fortune Tags Scorpion | Textron

16
December
2014

Inside the New Stealth Arsenal

Featuring: Philip Finnegan

Inside the New Stealth Arsenal

As military strategists look ahead, the days of asymmetric warfare and the uncontested airspace that comes with it seem to be drawing to a close. "There are no active area defenses run by insurgents in Afghanistan and Iraq or, for that matter, Syria," says defense analyst Phil Finnegan, of the Fairfax, Virginia–based Teal Group. "But the next generation of UAVs will have to confront potential threats like China. They'll need to be much more capable—faster, with greater autonomy in case communication links are disrupted, and stealthier so they are more difficult for an adversary to detect."

Media Outlet: Popular Science Tags Drones | UAVs

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