Our Odds and Ends this week:
- Airbus parent EADS has posted a job listing for an intern for one year to study open-rotor technology for a success to the A320. Airbus is working with GE and RR engines and–drum roll, please–NASA. Boeing contracts with NASA were, of course, subject of the European complaint against Boeing for illegal subsidies.
- Chet Fuller, the new SVP of sales, marketing and asset management for Bombardier Aerospace, gives a long interview about the CSeries with Francois Shalom of The Montreal Gazette in this story. It’s worth the read.
- Pratt & Whitney’s GTF engine is testing better than plan and ahead of schedule. Flight Global has this story and this one.
- Aviation Week has a good piece about the choices facing Boeing on the 737 issue.
- More than one reader suggests that politics played a role in the USAF awarding the the tanker contract to Boeing. There is no question that Rep. Norm Dicks (D-Boeing/WA) got the air force to change its life-cycle timeline from 25 years to 40 years in computing costs. Political or not, this was a correct action. The current tanker fleet has already flown 50 years and airplane life cycles are routinely 30-40 years in commercial passenger/cargo service. The additional period clearly worked to the disadvantage of the KC-45. We like this email we received: It’s all political. The south has thumbed its nose at this administration. This is the consequence. I don’t think the Air Force or SECDEF could sell giving a $35B award to a foreign country that involves creating jobs in the south. Our politicians (and unions!) played this well.
We think this is a gross over-simplification of what happened, but it’s a pretty good, if cynical, take on things. The Joplin (MO) Globe looks more closely
at the life-cycle cost equation.
- The Everett Herald has a pretty good understanding of how Boeing won in this article.
- Aviation Week has this superb article on the tanker contest.
- Defense News analyzes whether EADS will protest.
- Embraer opened a business jet assembly plant in Florida. Hondajet has a similar plant in the Carolinas. Airbus was willing to do a plant in Alabama. While Boeing was outsourcing the 787 overseas, other companies were finding the US a good place to do business. Makes you think.