Svalbard Trip Report 1, and other random thoughts

We’ve finished our Svalbard trip, the first leg of a multi-stop venture. We’ve taken nearly 300 photos and it will take some time to sort through these. Below are some we took with our handy dandy Blackberry.

Before getting to those, we have some random thoughts about the scores of emails awaiting us when we got back into signal.

  • We saw an article in which Airbus’ John Leahy remarked he has an A350 in the works with derated engines to more closely compete with the Boeing 787-10 on economics and range. We’d been hearing since March about another version of the A350, but hadn’t nailed down information. Now that it is out there, we’ll tackle this when we are back.
  • Boeing briefed the 777-8X and 9X at the Paris Air Show, but only talked about an 8X with a 9,400nm range. We have on tape comments from Mike Bair that Boeing will offer a lighter weight 8X with an 8,400nm range to more closely compete with the A350-1000. We’ll follow up with this when we are back.
  • Bombardier delayed first flight of the CSeries to late July. We got tipped about this just before we left from one of our more astute readers but couldn’t confirm it. Another one for follow-up.

We’re back July 10 but probably won’t post anything of substance for a few days later.

Now to some early Svalbard photos.

MidnightSun1

At cruising altitude on SAS: Our first look at Svalbard: it is midnight.

MidnightSun2

Another Midnight Sun shot.

SAS

Deplaning at Longyearbyen at 12:30am. The sky was as gray as the SAS livery.

Longyearbyen

The town of Longyearbyen.

Mountains

Underway, mountains of Svalbard (with rain on the camera lens).

Ships

Two cruise ships; ours is on the left. From the ghost settlement of Ny London (“New” London), which was a marble mining community. The marble turned out to be low grade and mining ceased after a few years.

Walrus

Walruses. Better pictures to come at a future date.

39 comments on “Svalbard Trip Report 1, and other random thoughts

  1. Exciting Cliff hangers and beautiful Cliff shots.
    Can’t wait for the cliff’s notes of your trip and your take on the big 2 derating their a/c to fill their product lineup.

  2. Interesting “an A350 in the works with derated engines to more closely compete with the Boeing 787-10 on economics and range. ”
    As always Boeing leads in Innovation and ideas, airbus follows.

    • It appears Airbus had the derating idea on the A350 first, followed by Boeing with the 777-8X. So in this case Boeing is following. It doesn’t matter whether it’s innovative. Will it work? I suspect both planes will struggle against their supposed targets.

      I love midsummer in the North, where I am, and the long light evenings. You pay for it in winter, of course.

    • Software. How severe that is is another question. They seem to believe it should be in the air by end of July, but we’ve all heard that song before.
      Google “Montreal gazette” or “Globe and mail” for Canadian news services that are most likely covering this.

  3. Boeing never launched the 787-10 to compete with a derated a350.
    ab could have never launched the derated 350 to compete with an aircraft that was inexistent at the time it does not make sense.
    finally the 787-10 is not a derated version of the -8 or -9 just because it has less range.
    Boeing still leads airbus follows.

    • Sorry, maybe it does not make sense to you, but the evidence is that it did exist as early as 2008. Your preconceived notion that Airbus has to always wait till Boeing launches something first is merely a pipe dream. The MAX and the 777X tell us that Boeing is following Airbus’s lead in those segments.

      • No, there was no A-359 “Light” back in 2008, or ever. The 3 versions of the A-359 are the A-359, A-359R and A-359F. Airbus has not launched such an airplane. JL is only talking about it now. Airbus does not need RR to produce a de-rated version of the Trent-XWB engine, as it can already be ordered in thrust versions of 75K, 79K, 84K, 93K, and 97K lbs. of thrust.

        Now, from to time, Airbus has publicly talked about an “A-332-LITE”. But that cannot carry the 325 pax of the B-787-1000. Airbus does have the 240 tonnes MTOW A-333HGW version that can carry 335 pax, but only out to a range of 6300 nm, but it burns a lot more fuel, even though the B-7810 MTOW is some 12 tonnes more.

        The B-7810 follows neither version of the A-330.

        Airbus has been following Boeing’s lead for decades. They were biting at the bit for 20 years to follow Boeing into the VLA sized airplanes, the long range twin WBs, and the B-777 with the marketing scam of the A-350-XWB, even though the A-350 is about 280 mm narrower.

  4. What’s the big deal? Lots of airplanes can be had with various optional MTOWs and engine thust ratings, and priced accordingly. And in many cases it’s just a paper change with no physical modification. So if you don’t need the super performance you don’t have to pay for it, but the extra capability is there if/when you ever want to buy it.

    • I wish it were that easy.

      One still is carrying around all of that structure for all of that extra fuel one won’t be carrying for those “short haul” flights, but will still require for the weight of that extra structure.

      • What would be the weight saving from taking the -1000 fuselage and
        all -900 accesories (gears, engines, .. ) ?

  5. kc135topboom :
    No, there was no A-359 “Light” back in 2008, or ever. The 3 versions of the A-359 are the A-359, A-359R and A-359F. Airbus has not launched such an airplane. JL is only talking about it now. Airbus does not need RR to produce a de-rated version of the Trent-XWB engine, as it can already be ordered in thrust versions of 75K, 79K, 84K, 93K, and 97K lbs. of thrust.
    Now, from to time, Airbus has publicly talked about an “A-332-LITE”. But that cannot carry the 325 pax of the B-787-1000. Airbus does have the 240 tonnes MTOW A-333HGW version that can carry 335 pax, but only out to a range of 6300 nm, but it burns a lot more fuel, even though the B-7810 MTOW is some 12 tonnes more.
    The B-7810 follows neither version of the A-330.
    Airbus has been following Boeing’s lead for decades. They were biting at the bit for 20 years to follow Boeing into the VLA sized airplanes, the long range twin WBs, and the B-777 with the marketing scam of the A-350-XWB, even though the A-350 is about 280 mm narrower.

    Yawn.

    I’d say Boeing has been following Airbus. A300 (first twin engined WB)-767, A330-787, NEO-MAX. Airbus was using composites and FBW well before Boeing.

    As for the XWB moniker, Airbus is not trying to con anybody into thinking the A350 is wider than the 777, they are just saying it is wider than the A330/40.

  6. I find the discussion about who follows who, a bit childish. Both manufacturers are competing in the same market and will take note of best practices of their competitor, while at the same time making innovative steps of their own.

    In Dutch we have the following saying: “It is better to steal a good idea than to have a bad one of your own.”

    So lets get over it, both parties do this (rightly so as it is effective and efficient) and will continue doing this.. It doesn’t make one or the other superior.

  7. Rudy Hillinga Why is filling out these two lines a new equirement every time I write somethingScott?

    Le bon vivant: “As always Boeing leads in Innovation and ideas, airbus follows.”
    Pls. don’t be daft my friend, that’s the kind of attitude, which cause Boeing to
    completely underestimate the upcoming and now serious challenge from Airbus!
    Remember the quote from Boeing CEO Phil Condit as late as Nov. 1997, when
    I urged him to assume that Airbus WOUILD launch the A3XX and consider the
    consequences of such a decision to the future of the 747 program, with the words:
    “Rudy, I’ll give you my personal guarantee that Airbus will NEVER launch the A3XX!” Famous last words, they have now sold 300+ A380s, the equivalent amount of 500
    747s and the same amount of 747s Boeing sold in the same 15 year time-period!

    • @ Rudy;

      “Famous last words, they have now sold 300+ A380s, the equivalent amount of 500
      747s and the same amount of 747s Boeing sold in the same 15 year time-period!”

      Where in the world did you get 300+ from??

      Airbus has 262 A380′s on order, and an MOU for 20 more. Those 262 orders also include orders from Kingfisher (5), Virgin Atlantic (6) and Air Austral (2) which are maybe not so solid. Additionally, many others are deferring their delivery’s.

      • I would include options, most of them are likely to be converted is my guess. I am sure that gets you to 300+, even forgetting about the Kingfisher/Air Austral orders.

  8. kc135topboom :
    No, there was no A-359 “Light” back in 2008, or ever. The 3 versions of the A-359 are the A-359, A-359R and A-359F. Airbus has not launched such an airplane. JL is only talking about it now. Airbus does not need RR to produce a de-rated version of the Trent-XWB engine, as it can already be ordered in thrust versions of 75K, 79K, 84K, 93K, and 97K lbs. of thrust.

    Did you skip to my comment without reading this 2008 article linked here?

    Chris Austria :
    Bon Vivant … please note that A has been offering the derated 350 for 5 years. The 787-10 was launched 4 1/2 years later.
    http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/reduced-mtow-a350-offered-for-medium-haul-operations-224656/
    as always … leads in Innovation and ideas and … follows …

  9. kc135topboom :
    The B-7810 follows neither version of the A-330.
    Airbus has been following Boeing’s lead for decades. They were biting at the bit for 20 years to follow Boeing into the VLA sized airplanes, the long range twin WBs, and the B-777 with the marketing scam of the A-350-XWB, even though the A-350 is about 280 mm narrower.

    But I do believe the 787 as a whole, is a reaction to, i.e. it follows, the A330. Hence that not yet accurate, although soon to be, moniker of the “A330 killer”. In fact, that has been what the 787-10 had been called earlier this year.

    As for the term XWB, I know this might be hard to believe but Airbus does not name it’s aircraft in reference to the high and almighty Boeing. The XWB refers to Airbus’ own earlier A350 variants and has nothing to do with the 777.

    • “A330 Killer” is the token in Boeings relay race against the established Airbus WB family.
      The 787-8 started with the token handed it to the -9 and now the -10 has to run with it
      for years to come. Will it make the finishing line ;-?

  10. Uwe :What would be the weight saving from taking the -1000 fuselage andall -900 accesories (gears, engines, .. ) ?

    I don’t know. It could make a difference. But you are implying much more of a change than is being talked about here.

    • Fitting the lighter 4 wheel bogies from the -900 ( or even -800) replacing the 6 wheel -1000 ones plus the less beefy gear leg should save “some” weight. ( This is actually the reverse from the projected -900R, isn’t it ?)
      If Airbus gets their manufacturing process for bespoke frames up most structural parts can be finely adjusted in thickness during production.

  11. Uwe :
    “A330 Killer” is the token in Boeings relay race against the established Airbus WB family.
    The 787-8 started with the token handed it to the -9 and now the -10 has to run with it
    for years to come. Will it make the finishing line ;-?

    Hehe. Well given that the 787-8 and 9 combo killed the A330 so well (it only sold 800+ since the launch of the 787-8), I am sure Airbus is quaking in their boots about the 787-10. :)

  12. Now who stole the Germans drawings for swept wing jets? What about the first passenger jet the Comet? By the way William E. Boeing parents were German.

  13. kc135topboom :
    Airbus has been following Boeing’s lead for decades. They were biting at the bit for 20 years to follow Boeing into the VLA sized airplanes, the long range twin WBs, and the B-777 with the marketing scam of the A-350-XWB, even though the A-350 is about 280 mm narrower.

    @ TopBoom

    You need to know, and understand, that the first version of the A350 was based on the A330 fuselage, which was itself based on the A300′s. Following mounting pressure from key customers Airbus had to come up with something more appealing than a revamp A330. So they decided to make it all composite, both the wings and fuselage. So they had to completely redesign the fuselage, because it would now be made of CFRP. And while they were at it they decided to make it wider so that it could better compete with the 777. That’s when they decided to call it XWB. That is Extra Wide Body in comparison to the A350 Mk1. At the same time Airbus made it clear that because it was going to be wider than the A330, the A350XWB would now be competing directly with the 777, as well as the 787. But it remains closer in size to the 787 than the 777.

    I defy anyone to quote one line from Airbus, anywhere and at any time, that said that the A350XWB was going to be wider than the 777. Airbus always said that the A350XWB was going to be wider (extra wide) than both the A330 and A350 Mk 1. Only the Boeing fanatics saw a marketing ploy there. All Airbus wanted to do was to make sure everyone understood that the new A350 version was going to be wider than the original A350, which was nothing else but a glorified version of the A330. The original A350 would have actually been more or less equivalent to an A330neo, except possibly for the range.

    Also, you have to remember that at the time the Boeing 747 was competing with the McDonnell-Douglas DC-10 and Lockheed L-1011, Airbus cam out with the A300, the world’s first twin-engined widebody aircraft. It was a bold idea at the time because of the engine availability and also because of the well entrenched idea that a big long range aircraft had to have more than two engines. It was not a Boeing idea, nor an Airbus one for that matter. It was actually an idea that originated in the brain of an American Airlines executive by the name of Frank Kolk. That’s why they called it the “Kolk Machine”. But Airbus was the only manufacturer that was receptive to the idea and they decided to incorporate the Kolk concept to the very first Airbus.

    After that Airbus introduced the Forward Facing Crew Cockpit (FFCC). That initiative had the Boeing engineers scramble to redesign the 767, which was never intended to be a two-man cockpit. That’s why whenever you walk into a 767 cockpit you can clearly see that it was designed with a flight engineer station. But it was too late and Boeing wasted that space on all subsequent airframes it has ever produced.

    Following their lead with FFCC, Airbus introduced the Fly-By-Wire concept in a commercial aircraft. But in the meantime they had once again innovated by manufacturing large structures made out of composite material. Another first in the industry. One among many more to come.

  14. Seriously, the fanboys are trying to claim either OEM leads where the other only follows.
    How daft.

    Both lead and bath follow. Both do R&D and neither is above using good Ideas the other had.
    With the Battery, Boeing leads and Airbus will certainly follow. With the wing rib feet, Airbus leads and you bet your ass Boeing will update their data on that specific material also.
    In composite barrel fuselages, Boeing leads and airbus follows (the decision not to go for full barrel fuselages is certainly informed through Boeing experience). Winglets were first employed by Airbus, and Boeing is adding them now.

    Aerospace is not a two horse race. there maybe two horses, but they are shackled (or whatever it is called) to the same cart. In that cart are a multitude of specialist suppliers and R&D institutions. And then there are the judge/regulators.
    So get off your high horse. We’re one global industry

  15. Aero Ninja :
    “Boeing still leads airbus follows.”
    You mean like with the MAX?

    Re engines Boeing back before you were born. 737-400, 737NG, and now 737-MAX. You know nothing aeronautical

    Boeing steel leads, Airbus follow …

  16. Chris Austria :
    Bon Vivant … please note that A has been offering the derated 350 for 5 years. The 787-10 was launched 4 1/2 years later.
    http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/reduced-mtow-a350-offered-for-medium-haul-operations-224656/
    as always … leads in Innovation and ideas and … follows …

    Wrong. The 787-10 was raised by Boeing in 2006. Its launch was to take place in 2007! The 787′s problems had delayed the launch of -10. The derated A350-900 has no chance against the 787-10! Boeing stil leads Airbus follow …

  17. Pingback: Svalbard Trip Report, Part 3 | Leeham News and Comment

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