We’re feeling irreverent today….
Comment: We remember when Boeing said Alabamans couldn’t build a tricycle (during the bitter competition for the KC-X tanker).
Hunker Down: We’re going into the bunker on this one–Washington should become a right-to-work state. In 2008, IAM 751 (during its strike) boasted WA is the fourth most-unionized state in the country. We know this inhibits expanding aerospace here. We’ve heard it from companies. We’ve heard it from the head of one of the Economic Development Commissions here that unions are the first topic to come up when he is recruiting companies to expand here. We don’t object to unions per se but we don’t think someone should be forced to join one. (That’s how we feel about Republicans, too….)
Take two Viagra and try again: The refueling boom was being extended when it fell off an Airbus KC-30 during a test flight.
Thank you for smoking: Airbus is really pushing Europe to delay implementation of its emissions trading scheme, which jeaopardizes orders from China. Despite the sarcasm, we agree with Airbus–any regulations through be through ICAO, not on Europe’s own, ill-advised hook.
Macht nichts: No AirAsia order at the Berlin Air Show after all. The airline will be the first to operate the A320neo and the airplane with sharklets.
Macht nichts, II: MTU is a partner with Pratt & Whitney on the Geared Turbo Fan for the Mistubishi MRJ, the Bombardier CSeries, Irkut MS-21 and the A320neo but looks to join GE for the new engine for the Boeing 777X.
Before getting to the meat of things, a couple of key stories:
Mobile Press-Register, June 30. Details of the plan.
Wall Street Journal: Boeing complains.
It’s now one of the worst-kept industrial secrets: Airbus will announce at 10am CDT July 2 that it will construct a $600m A320 Family Final Assembly Line (FAL) in Mobile (AL).
This is a major strategic and tactical move in the intense, often bitter competition between Airbus and Boeing.
Even before the plans became official, Boeing issued a pissy slam, harking back to the World Trade Organization dispute, rather than stating that it is in a position to compete against Airbus and its A320 with what Boeing otherwise routinely characterizes a better airplane with the best workers in the world.
Perhaps the pissy statement was chosen because in many respects, Airbus has mouse-trapped Boeing—and there is very little the company can do about it.
Before explaining, here are some facts to keep in mind. Click on the graphic to enlarge.
Norm Dicks, the prominent Congressman from Boeing who made winning the KC-X contract for Boeing the “highlight” of his career, announced today he is retiring.
Dicks has one of the safest Democratic seats in the State of Washington. His retirement will be a big loss for Boeing in Congress.
Odds and Ends this week:
- Boeing had a good week with 777 orders from a variety of customers, though some were previously unidentified ones that had already been booked. Back in January we predicted that Boeing will see a stream of orders that will justify increased production. Boeing has announced a rate of 8.3 per month and we can reveal it is considering going to 10 per month.
- Meanwhile, Airbus confirmed that it faces mounting challenges with the production timeline for the A350. For the moment it is still sticking with the EIS of 2H2013. We fully expect this to slip into 2014. At the moment, our conclusion is that the A350 will be a year late. This may change.
- Dominic Gates has this interesting story about Boeing proceeding with a 787-10.
- The Air Force Times has an interesting article analyzing the tanker competition.
- Airbus and Boeing are engaged in their usual public bickering over the strategies in the A320/737 class. Airbus launched the NEO and claims this provides enough fuel burn reductions to make the program worthwhile. (We think the boost in range to the A320 and A321 have as much to do with the program as anything else.) Airbus is right. Boeing claims re-engining doesn’t provide enough fuel burn benefit to make re-engining worthwhile on a net, all-in cash-on-cash basis to be worthwhile. Boeing makes a good argument on this narrow basis, but this ignores the environmental benefits to re-engining and other factors. Airbus says there isn’t going to be a real convergence of technology until 2025-27 to justify a new airplane. Boeing believes there is enough new technology available to justify a new airplane by 2019. We think they are both right–and both are wrong.
- EADS CEO Louis Gallois said the KC-X tanker effort boosted EADS’ standing with the Department of Defense despite losing.
- The new PW GTF and CFM LEAP-X engines aren’t in service yet and PW is already working on its next generation GTF and CFM is working on the open rotor. Flight Global has a lengthy story about it.
- Aspire Aviation takes a look at Cathay Pacific’s financial results.
As interested parties and aviation geeks wait for EADS to make (likely not) and announce its decision (as soon as March 4) on whether to protest the USAF contract to Boeing on the KC-X aerial tanker, more updates have come in.
First is a new market share forecast by G2 Solutions of Kirkland (WA). Next is a new updated from one of our readers, who goes by the screen name OV-099. He previously provided a detailed analysis of where he thinks EADS and Boeing came out on pricing. He updates this with more Net Present Value analysis and other economic data.
Both new items are below the jump.