We had boarded our flight to ISTAT Barcelona and were still at the gate in Seattle when news erupted that the first delivery of the 747-8F to Cargolux is off. AirInsight has a commentary on this. We expect to pick up some intel on the issue, perhaps as early as the Sunday night reception but otherwise Monday or Tuesday. Watch our reporting from Barcelona.
As Boeing prepares for delivery ceremonies for the 747-8F to Cargolux Airlines September 19—an event we will miss because of travel in Europe to the ISTAT conference—The Boeing Co., its employees, suppliers, and the airline personnel are justifiably excited.
Not only does this represent the hand-over after a two year delay in a difficult program, it represents the largest airliner Boeing has ever built, the latest and most advanced version of the venerable 747 but it also represents what is almost certainly the last 747 model that will ever be built.
As cool and as whiz-bang as the 747-8 is (though obviously, Lufthansa’s 747-8I will have more panache than a freighter), our thoughts go in a different direction.
Jim Albaugh, the CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, is also chairman of the Aerospace Industries Association. He and several executives in aerospace plus the CEO of AIA held a press conference in Washington (DC) today to comment on the prospective cuts in the defense budget and the impact overall on aerospace jobs.
The other people are: David Hess, president and CEO of United Technologies (parent of Pratt & Whitney, Sikorsky and other companies) and vice chairman of AIA; Marion Blakey, AIA president and CEO; Charles A. Gray. VP and COO of Frontier Electronic Systems; Dawne Hickton, vice chair, president and CEO of RTI International Metals; and Richard McNeel, chairman, president and CEO of LORD Corp.
Over at our affiliate, AirInsight, there is a 27 minute video of Randy Tinseth, VP of Marketing at Boeing, making a presentation and our think piece about Pratt & Whitney’s dilemma following the launch of the Boeing 737 MAX.
Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO Jim Albaugh was clear: he wants changes to the 737 MAX to be kept to a minimum.
This will keep the R&D cost down–a figure Corporate CFO James Bell said on the 2Q earnings call would be 10%-15% that of an entirely new airplane ($10bn-$12bn, depending on who’s figuring; it is unclear how much of the R&D is paid by CFM).
But there is pressure to add range to the 737-MAX 9 (henceforth we’ll be referring to individual models of the MAX series as the -7, -8 and -9 and the family as a whole as just MAX). The 737-9 falls short of a true 757 replacement in range.
During the Labor Day Weekend, the Historic Flight* based at Paine Field in Everett (WA) held its annual air show. All the warbirds owned by the foundation are airworthy. It’s a small collection but the air show brings in a variety of other planes, nearly all of which are airworthy.
Here are a few of the planes, photos we took this weekend.
This restored Boeing 40C is the oldest Boeing aircraft flying. It’s owned by a company in Oregon.
This ME262 is airworthy. It is a replica, one of five, built from the original blueprints.
Here is an expanded version of a story we did for Commercial Aviation Online:
Boeing launched its 737 re-engined airplane Tuesday, calling it the MAX (for “maximum” performance, capability, economics, etc) with the -700/800/900 renamed the -7/8/9 and claimed that each model is better than its corresponding Airbus A320neo competition.
Boeing’s press release and press conference focused on the 737 MAX-8 vs the A320neo, “the heart of the market,” according to Nicole Piasecki, VP of Business Development and Strategic Integration. Boeing claims the 737-8 “will have the lowest operating costs in the single-aisle segment with a 7% advantage over the competition. The airplane’s fuel burn is expected to be 16 percent lower than our competitor’s current offering and 4% lower than their future offering,” the company said.