There’s a very subtle difference in the language of Boeing’s press release today touting its KC-767AT tanker attributes.
Ever since the USAF awarded the KC-45A tanker contract to Northrop Grumman, Boeing has said the Air Force wanted a “medium” sized tanker and told everybody who would listen (and many who wouldn’t) that the Air Force repeated told Boeing that it wanted a “medium” tanker.
The press release today states, in part:
“The Air Force Request for Proposals seemed to call for a medium-sized tanker designed to meet the unique needs of today’s expeditionary Air Force.” (Emphasis added.)
This “seemed to call” language is a far cry from the definitive statements made by Boeing since the February 29 award.
There’s another element beginning to emerge to all this “size” issue. Information that’s been provided to us within the last week suggests that as far back as 2006, Boeing was citing Air Force “indications” about a “medium” size tanker. We’re still looking into this and we don’t yet know where the information will lead us, but there may be more to all this than currently is known outside of a very few circles.
Boeing just issued a 50 page report on its approach to environmental issues. In addition to the link here, we’ve added this permanently under our Green Aviation section.
Boeing is participating our our Eco-Aviation conference June 18-20 in Washington, DC, organized with Air Transport World.
There is a high quality list of speakers.
Eco-aviation continues to gain importance in profile and substance. Boeing’s Scott Carson, president of the Commercial Aircraft division, spent a fair amount of time during his presentation at the annual investors’ conference yesterday talking about aviation and the environmental movement.
In an interview we just completed with Airbus for the new publication, Aviation and the Environment, Airbus discussed the environmental advances of the A350′s new Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engine compared with the new Trent 1000 on the Boeing 787. Although the Trent XWB doesn’t represent a technological break-through, it does provide advances over Rolls’ own latest engine technology for the game-changing 787.
Whereas fuel efficiency and noise have been the drivers in the past for new airplanes, there are a whole new set of drivers for technological advances to protect the environment.
Boeing’s new environmental report is important reading for a better understanding of what Boeing is doing and the issues in eco-aviation.