As we go into this Memorial Day Weekend, we’re feeling a bit irreverent. So we’re going to meander a bit.
Who’s John Wayne? We were in a hardware store checking out. We often say, Thank you, Ma’am to women who are employed in any capacity in a retail store. The checker was a young lady (by our standards, alas). She responded, “That’s the first time I’ve been called ‘Ma’am.’”
Being a John Wayne fan, we said, in our best John Wayne drawl, “Well, how about ‘Missy, like John Wayne says?”
“Who’s John Wayne?”
Turns out Missy was born in 1996 (John Wayne died in 1979). Nonetheless, we didn’t know whether to be appalled that even this young-un didn’t know who John Wayne was…or to feel really, really old.
Paris Air Show: The countdown to the Paris Air Show continues and speculation remains rife whether the Airbus A350 will make an appearance. We think it will, with a fly-by. If it’s in flight testing, why not? Toulouse is less than an hour from Paris.
But let’s hope there isn’t any repeat of the A320 accident at an air show early into the A320 program, though that Air France-liveried airplane wasn’t flown by test pilots (they were the airline’s pilots).
It will be a contest for headlines, as always. Qatar Airways apparently will have Boeing put a 787 through some aerobatics, from what we hear. We also expect the launch of the 787-10 and some commitments for the 777X. We’re sure Airbus will have the A380 aerobatics, the A350 and a race for orders to match or out-do Boeing.
And both sides will take shots at the other. Ho hum.
Restoring the Dornier 17: This is a light German bomber used over England in World War II. The British are working to recover one from 50 ft of water and to restore it. Here’s the BBC report.
Dominating Wide-Bodies: Boeing claimed at its investors’ day yesterday it will dominate the wide-body sector. This, predictably, caused some mirth among our Reader Comments.
We agree with Boeing–for the next several years.
The 777-9X will have a monopoly in its seat size, just as the 777-300ER does today. Boeing’s greater production plans, both announced and with figures bandied about for some time, also support this.
Below is our chart, based on announced production numbers, anticipated 787 production and our own prognostications.
Production rate is per month.
What do you think?
Saving the 747-8: The Puget Sound Business Journal has this article about Boeing’s latest effort to improve sales prospects for the 747-8, particularly the passenger model. Only 31 Intercontinentals have been ordered by airlines (vs 262 Airbus A380s). This is only a 10.5% market share for Boeing.
Delta Waits: Delta Air Lines hasn’t ordered the Boeing 787, the Airbus A350 or the re-engined aircraft. The 787s it inherited from Northwest Airlines’ order and merger have been pushed out to 2020 and, for all intents and purposes, may as well be considered canceled, though they are still on the books. Why no orders for the new or re-engined airplanes? This article explains.
China OKs 787: Chinese authorities have at long last certified the 787 for operation by its airlines. China Southern was one of the early launch customers but swapped delivery slots to avoid the so-called Terrible Teens (overweight, highly re-worked models). Chinese carriers hoped to have the 787 in service in time for the 2008 Summer Olympics in China, and when the 787 was named, the number “8″ was said to be a good number in China (thought there was never really any doubt about the name since 8 was next in sequence).
But certification was delayed and delayed. We’ll probably never truly know why, but market rumor reported a nexus between the Chinese certifying the 787 and the FAA’s dawdling on certification procedures for the COMAC C919. Not that the Chinese would ever play politics with airplane deals, mind you….
Boeing held an investors’ conference today that began at zero dark thirty PDT, so we weren’t up to listen to the webcast. The PDF presentations are here.
According to news reports, McNerney said interest in the forthcoming 787-10 and 777X is high. We expect both models to be launched this year, with the 787-10 coming at the Paris Air Show and the 777X later in the year (perhaps at the Dubai Air Show, with Emirates Airlines a launch customer?).
Reports also quote McNerney as saying Boeing’s airplanes are better than Airbus’ (what else will he say?). He said the 777-9X and the 787 bracket the Airbus twin aisles (true) and the 9X won’t have any competition from Airbus (also true).
McNerney claims Boeing has a five year lead on Airbus in working with composites, which is a bit of a stretch: 25% of the A380 by weight (which is more than the 787) is composite (the aft end of the airplane) and Airbus has been using composites on airplanes since the A300. But he is correct that the 787 had a long lead over Airbus for a composite fuselage. Unfortunately much of this lead has been squandered due to poor execution.
The 3:13 hr/min replay is available here; you have to register first.
The news yesterday the Boeing resumed delivery of the 787 is good news, not just for Boeing and the airlines, but for all the stakeholders.
Although Boeing did not stop or slow production of the aircraft during the grounding, had the grounding continued for six months instead of 3 1/2 we saw, Boeing may well have had to slow down the supply chain.
The 50 airplanes in the field are slowly returning to service. The last are to be carrying passengers by next month.
Now it’s back to taking care of business.
The launch of the 787-10 was pushed to the right during the grounding. We fully expect this launch to come soon, perhaps at the Paris Air Show. The 777X received its Authority to Offer last month. We anticipate formal launch by year end, perhaps at the Dubai Air Show with a huge order from Emirates Airlines. We also think there will be some commitments announced at the Paris Air Show, by Qatar Airways, which always likes to make a splash at the European event.
Production for the 787 is ramping up toward the 10 per month goal Boeing set for the end of this year, and despite skeptics (we included), it looks like this will happen. But Boeing needs to go beyond 10/mo to 14 to accommodate the 787-10 and demand for the current offerings. With a planned 2018 EIS for the -10, there’s plenty of time to bring the supply chain into line for this.
Over at Airbus, the A350 MSN001 has been painted and is prepping for handover to flight test.
The Temporary Surge Line or TSL is prospectively slated for retirement in 2016 to make way for 777X as to not disrupt current 777 production. This plan mirrors a temporary third line in Renton for 737 Max.
But who will design the wing?
So reports Jon Ostrower on his Facebook page.