Top 10 Stories in 2012: Here’s a piece we did for CNN International on the Top 10 stories, David Letterman style, for 2012.
Airbus A400M: Airbus claims it’s ready to go. First deliveries slated for next summer.
C919–orders, no deposits: How firm are the 380 “orders” for the COMAC C919? Good question. According to a Chinese media report via this Western news story, there are no deposits for the “orders.”
Washington State’s Signal to Boeing: Gov. Christine Gregoire, in her final budget (see leaves office next month), put $25m in for aerospace training and STEM education. The Puget Sound Business Journal explains the significance of this.
Update (already): Seems Mobile (AL) is put out we didn’t include the Airbus announcement of a production plant there in our Top 10. Over at CNN, a reader commented that the Delta Air Lines purchase of an oil refinery was worthy. Feel free to add your comments about what should have (or should not have) been included in this list.
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.
The news that Boeing is leaning toward proceeding with a new airplane instead of a re-engined 737 serves as yet another wake-up call for Boeing’s labor unions and Washington State officials to get their act together.
As we report in the preceding post, Boeing may forget about re-engining the 737, a widely-held belief that the company would do so. If Boeing did, Washington State and the unions that build Boeing’s airplanes here were assured jobs would be safe as long as these legacy programs remained in production.
We have been speech-i-fying on this topic for a year in which we have repeatedly warned that once a clean-sheet airplane program is undertaken, Washington officials and the unions need to be concerned that Boeing will compete the production with other states to get better business and labor costs.
Following the presentation of the Business Case for Consolidating Line 2 in Everett by the governor to Boeing, a few Republicans, a business association and a few others focused on the fact that Washington isn’t offering new incentives. We discussed why in this posting. The critics of the report also noted that Boeing continues to complain that Washington’s unemployment insurance rates are too high, and a Boeing spokesman also referred to this view when commenting on the report.
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…