Odds and Ends: Boeing to compete production site for new 737-class airplane

Odds and Ends begins below the photo.

We’re not big on photos but every once in a while we find one that we’ve very impressed with–like this (via Airliners.net) at LAX:

Odds and Ends:

1.  Boeing will compete the production site for the new 737-class airplane, Mike Bair of Boeing told us last week for an article for Aircraft Technology magazine. The news brief is here.

2.  In an article we did for Aircraft Technology, we have this excerpt of the full report which is coming in the next issue. Mike Bair, who heads Boeing’s program for a new airplane in the 737 class, talks about the CFM, PW and RR engines. The full article will discuss the new airplane program.

3.  Bombardier is sounding very optimistic on forthcoming CSeries orders. See this article.

4.  Watch for A320neo family orders soon from a major leasing company.

And on the tanker:

5.  As readers know, we love ironies. How ironic that EADS complained of the “low-ball” bid by Boeing after decades of Boeing complaining of low-ball sales prices by Airbus.

6.  Flight International has this article discussing the price process.

7.  The Everett Herald has a couple of interesting takes on the tanker deal here and here.

8.  We deleted all the KC-X links on the right hand side of this blog. We’re glad to be done.

EADS believes Boeing won’t make a profit on the tanker and won’t be able to deliver 18 by 2017. What do you think?

16 Comments on “Odds and Ends: Boeing to compete production site for new 737-class airplane

  1. Scott, how many total votes have been given in the survey?

  2. Nice picture here. On the upper right corner is the In N Out burger that is very popular for plane spotters to grab lunch and go across the street to the small park and watch the planes land on LAX runway 24-R. My son and I have done this a few times and we always get a thrill when a 747 like this one lands. From the park, the planes go right over your head seemingly only a few feet off the ground….awesome.

  3. Amazing that Boeing wants to rattle the union’s cage right now by talking about building the 737 replacement someplace else. Management never misses an opportunity to encourage antagonism from its union work force, even though all of Boeing’s problems in recent years have come from poor management decisions. 787 and 747-8 aren’t late because of an overpaid work force.

    • But management thinks the workforce is overpaid and tried to fix it.
      Unfortunately with abysmal results. But you can’t fault them for trying,
      right?

      • …well, in this case as in many others where management are trying to save costs at all costs (the irony…), I would actually say: Yes, you can very much fault management for trying to save cost in the way they did.
        If you want to get proper results you need to manage things properly – although that will cost more money than doing a shoddy job. Then again, the shoddy job’s real cost generally come and bite you a few years down the line. As we’ve seen here and in quite a few other instances of overzealous/overambitious outsourcing.

  4. I concure, thank heavens the sparring is over, Boeing are now faced with the erroneous prospect of getting this project off the ground on time & on price & just what is it’s specification?

    • Why do you think Boeing exhibits “stampeding herd” syndrome?
      Fly fishing all the time but nothing bites.

      So they try dynamite fishing now 😉

  5. Seems to me airlines like WN, DL, AA, BA, and LH will determine if the B-797 is going to be successful. Were any of them involved in the decision on a twin asle airplane to replace the venerable B-737? If the B-797 EIS is around 2019, or so, then the A-321NEO could become stillborn. I noticed Boeing has not said there will be any improvements to the B-737-800/900ER they plan on keeping in production, or not. Perhaps we will learn more at the PAS when Boeing formerly launches the B-797? Maybe they will also be able to announce some launch orders from WN?

    • Actually, Boeing plans more improvements to the 737-800/900 and continued production. This is in the full Aircraft Technology story to come.

  6. Although it is not mentioned in the provided article, one of the most interesting points made by Bair is that 797 will resort to a more traditional bleed air/pneumatic system to save weight. (sorry cannot uncover the link).
    Would it be fair to assume from this that the all electric architecture is part of the weight issue on the 787?

    On another point Scott, having great difficulty obtaining access to your site.
    Is this a Philippine issue?

    • WordPress has been having off-and-on issues today (Monday.)

      Bair spoke to us about the electrical architecture possibility for the new airplane (he does not use the “797” name). The reason the new airplane (known internally as Y1) may have less electronic architecture is the smaller size makes it more difficult to fit into the new airplane, he said.

      It’s also true the electronics caused Boeing no end of headaches early on in the 787, but this aspect was not discussed in our interview with Bair.

  7. Re: Electrical architecture -Composite airframes do not make it any easier to design electrical systems. In fact, it is more difficult due to cable separation issues as well as bonding/grounding/lightning strike issues. The fact that more and more electrics are installed on each new generation of aircraft also complicates the problem. With an all electric architecture, it must have been hell for Boeing to get it all together. Airbus is also having issues for the A350. All the new kids on the block (Bombardier, Embraer, Irkut, Comac & Kawasaki) will also have fun with this.
    Still waiting to see how Boeing’s customization group handles all of the IFE integration issues on the 787. This may or may not be another big problem. We will know this by mid next year (after they have delivered a few models).

    Re: Manpower -I just received an e-mail from a subcontractor looking for 100 structural designers to work in Seattle. There is no mention of the program (KC-46A? 737 replacement? 787? 747-8?) but it seems like Boeing is ramping up. I do believe it is rather early for a new single aisle program. That it would be for the KC-46A, strikes me as somewhat premature but it could also be the headhunter is workign proactively to gather names and that no manpower requirements have been sent out by Boeing. The fact that they are looking for designers and not stress people does muddy the situation up a bit. It could actually be that they are required for the 787 or 747-8. Hard to say but I thought it was worth mentioning.

  8. Mr. Runte, “The 100-130 seat space is the Bermuda Triangle of airplane types,” He then mentions the A318 (shrink of a larger aircraft), the 717 (MD design for only 100 seats), Fokker 100 (again, only for 100 seats and not that unsuccessful) & the Avro 146 RJ (4 engines and not exactly a failure either).

    Where do they find these “authourities” on the subject?

    None of these projects was a designed family of 100 to 130 seat aircraft. Therein lies a large point.

    I don’t think that many people are going to order A319 NEOs nor are they going to order an A318, when they have a more efficient jet available. Reason: those that are large enough, can afford the diversity in their fleet and those that are too small, cannot afford the loss of performance.

  9. Everett Herald:

    -if Boeing does not perform well on this, it could be doubly worse (i.e. having to pay money back). Remember the flying Dorito (A-12). Okay, I don’t really see it going that far, but who knows?
    In addition, it could be a huge disadvantage for the follow on competition if the initial pahse of this one were to run into large problems. All the pressure is now on Boeing and, judging by what I have read here about their proposal, they have a bit of work ahead of them.

    -I personally do not see Boeing having such a large advantage in other competetions. For example, with the Indians, they first need to stay in the competition. Further, just as many here claim the 767 fills the needs of the USAF better, I personally see the A310 conversion or the A330 MRTT as filling the needs of most other air forces better than the 767. Just an opinion. Isn’t it telling that the only 3 countries to purchase tankers based on the 767, are those where a large amount of manufacturing for this aircraft type already takes place?
    Time will tell who will win the other competitions.

    -I don’t see Boeing increasing its technological edge either. They will have, after they develope and build the KC-46A, a cable and pulley aircraft, with a glass cockpit & a fly-by-wire boom capable of delivering 1200 GPM (I assume it will be FBW?).
    Airbus now has, a FBW aircraft, with a glass cockpit & a FBW boom capable of delivering 1200GPM.

    -I believe that Pentagon goodwill is also overrated for s couple of reasons: 1. Goodwill won’t impress congress. 2. Nobody wins a competition with goodwill (how do you implement that in the RFP?).

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