Reporting from ISTAT next week

We’re off to the ISTAT Europe conference and will be reporting next week from Barcelona.

In the meantime, here is a PR faux pas, one of those embarrassing slips that we with warped senses of humor can’t pass up.

In an email subject line from Airbus this morning:

“Airbus in Illegal delivers first A350 XWB Wing Lower Cover to Airbus in Brought on – Airbus images”.

Here’s the correct headline on the press release itself:

Airbus in Illescas delivers first A350 XWB Wing Lower Cover to Airbus in Broughton

Can you say “Oops”?

Aspire Aviation has a long interview with Virgin America CEO David Cush, in which he makes some interesting comments about the A319neo, the A320neo, the Pratt & Whitney GTF and the CFM LEAP.

Boeing (doesn’t) prepare to deliver first 747-8F and we look at the program; update 9/17

Update, Sept. 17: Boeing must feel snake-bit.

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.

Original Post

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.

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Boeing’s Albaugh, others discuss aerospace jobs, related issues

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.

Here is a synopsis of their comments:

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Boeing at APEX, Pratt & Whitney’s dilemma

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.

See both pieces here.

Additional: Aspire Aviation today published a long piece about the 777X. See the story here. Update, Sept. 14: Aeroturbopower comments on the fuel burn analysis for the 777X. Update, 230pm PDT: Jon Ostrower has this article on 777X.

Odds and Ends: ARJ-21, C919, MAX, 777X

There are several stories of note today:

Aviation Week: China’s turboprops exports lead the way.

Aviation Week: Plan for C919 hits snags.

FlightGlobal: Caution welcomed on Boeing’s 737 MAX.

FlightGlobal: Emirates presses Boeing for better 777.

Seattle Times: WA State has to keep 737 MAX.





737-9 Mission creep, Odds and Ends and 500,000

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.

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Air Show in Everett

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.

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Boeing claims 737MAX better than each NEO

Here is a very clever photo shop of the Boeing MAX colors.

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.

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