Airbus has decided to proceed with a winglet program for the A320 family and will decide by the end of 2010 whether to re-engine the family. Also: CFM International is ready to advance its schedule for the LEAP-X program to meet a requirement by China’s Comac for the C919. This also opens the way to potentially re-engine the Boeing 737.
Below are stories we did for Commercial Aviation Online.
Boeing has filed for permits in Charleston (SC) to clear more than 80 acres of forest to make way for an assembly site and delivery center, taxiways and related stuff. The building would be 720,000 sq. ft. Boeing wants to begin clearing in November and be done by February. Boeing now owns 240 acres in Charleston, with the recent acquisition of the Vought facility and the previous purchase of 50% of Global Aeronautica there.
Here is the story from the local Post and Courier newspaper. The newspaper has this quote from a Boeing spokesperson:
Boeing spokeswoman Candy Eslinger said today that the permit request is “just a procedural step.”
“It does not mean the company has decided to locate a second line in North Charleston,” she said. “The filing was necessary because the permitting process is very comprehensive and requires a lot of lead time.”
For comparison, the Everett plant is on 98.3 acres and the building is 4.3 million sq feet.
Some media and a few politicians misinterpreted the study released yesterday by Washington State, as well as not having correct what South Carolina is or isn’t doing, to land production Line 2 for the 787.
The misinterpretation comes from headlines and conclusions that Washington “won’t” offer new incentives to Boeing to win Line 2. First, this ignores that new Boeing Commercial Aircraft CEO Jim Albaugh told Gov. Christine Gregoire that Boeing isn’t asking anything of the State–that the decision comes down to what accord might be reached with the IAM to remove the threat of future strikes.
(Boeing’s response to the study also overlooked the fact that Albaugh said the company wasn’t asking for anything.) Read more…
Washington State last week made a pitch to the new Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO James Albaugh for locating the second 787 assembly line in Everett, the home of Boeing’s wide body production.
Charleston (SC) is competing for the line.
The 32 page State white paper provided Albaugh is here. WA787 Sept09
With tanker news dominating this week, there are a few Airbus items that haven’t received much attention: the A400M, future airplane program funding and the A350.
(Updated September 26.)
This disastrous program appears heading for some resolution. Aviation Week has this report. It looks like Airbus is headed toward a new agreement with the A400M customers (most of which are Airbus member-states) that will restructure the contract, terms and conditions in a program which has already cost Airbus billions of dollars in cost overruns. The program costs the company $100m a month, and it–along with the A380–has been a huge financial drag.
UBS estimated that the restructured contract could add 5bn Euros to the charges Airbus has already taken. We spoke with Airbus CEO Tom Enders earlier this month and he said the estimate is “completely unreasonable.” While he would not offer a “reasonable” number, published reports suggest a 3.5bn Euro figure.
The program has been a perfect example of political interference, notably on the engine selection at the start, which speaks more than ever why Airbus and EADS should divorce from ownership by the French and German governments.
The ever-candid Enders said the A400M should have stuck with the proposed Pratt & Whitney turbo prop rather than having a new design forged in Europe forced upon the airplane. “The choice was made under political pressure,” he said.