Odds and Ends: 787 Update; SPEEA Council meets for membership vote; Asian caution

787 Update: The Wall Street Journal has this lengthy article on the twin-investigations of the US and Japanese authorities into the Boeing 787 incidents. (Subscription required.) Bloomberg News this long article profiling Boeing CEO Jim McNerney’s oversight of the Boeing probe. The Seattle Times has this article about the probe.

This story takes a different angle on the 787 challenges, focusing instead on the coming shortage of engineers.

SPEEA Council Meets Today: The top officials of SPEEA, Boeing’s engineers’ union, meets today to decide on sending the Best and Final Boeing offer to members for a vote to approve or disapprove the contract. A strike vote is also likely to be included.

Caution on Asian Airlines: Germany’s DVB Bank, a major player in commercial aerospace financing and analysis, raises caution about the growth plans of the new Asian airlines, according to this article by Reuters.

American logo reaction mixed: Forbes has this story about the new American Airlines livery, quoting a number of design professionals. This link has a number of suggestions, almost of which which we like better than the tail paint American purchased for God knows how much money.

20 Comments on “Odds and Ends: 787 Update; SPEEA Council meets for membership vote; Asian caution

  1. Personally, I really like the new AA livery and the fact they deviated from the usual formula (and most non-aviation enthusiats I spoke to about it seemed to like it as well).
    But anyway, love or hate the new livery, it’s certainly kept AA in the news, and for a change, it wasn’t in the news because it’s in chapter 11 or about to merge/be merged. Which is certainly a good thing from an image perspective.

  2. It will be intesting to find out more info on the B-787 battery and the Thads electrical system design.

    I don’t like the new AA livery. I agree, many of the other designs look much, much better.

      • Bob :
        AA livery, inspired by BA or by the artists kid’s piano?

        Funny you should say that.
        The company behind AA’s new livery, logo and general corporate identity is called FutureBrand.
        Now – have a guess who designed BA’s current livery and corporate identity 🙂

        Personally, I don’t think there’s that much similarity between AA and BA, though. Besides the concept of using a variation/stilisation of the respective flag quite prominently on the tail.

  3. The 787 battery issue is not the only problem boeing has in its hands. While all this is happening, Airbus is busy piling up order of the a320 which is another bad news for boeing.
    By the time the saga is over, airbus will have benefited from a lesson about lithium batteries, and the lesson was paid for by Boeing.
    This world is a cruel place.

    • Looking ahead Airbus will br able to do this with NB to. Their A320 series seems to have more potential then the 737MAX. Eg. : http://i191.photobucket.com/albums/z160/keesje_pics/AirbusA320NEOfamilyconcepts.jpg This will force Boeing in the next decade to take the lead on a new NB. Airbus will no doubt see what happens, listen to the airlines and learn and come with their own a few yrs later. Something Boeing understands but couldn’t prevent in 2011.

      Re 787, Boeing had to move quickly in 2003/4. Imagine to who and how many A330s would have been sold without it. Boeing analyst saw the writing on the wall and Airbus was already considering a new engine technology at the time.. Boeing marketing presentation at the time were celebrating 777/340 but keeping dead silence on the A330. Really not even mentioning its existence..

  4. Thanks. The Bloomberg article is interesting:

    “Boeing has tried to persuade the FAA to end the groundings by proposing a variety of inspections and having pilots monitor electronic signals from the batteries to prevent fires, the person said last week. The FAA has been reluctant to approve those steps without a clear idea of what caused the defects and how they can be prevented, the person said.”

    So they have a way out to get the planes into the air when the FAA/NTSB and the Japanese are convinced that they understand the cause. That must be good news for the current operators. Would be interesting to know if that was enough to restart deliveries too, while waiting for a long-term fix to be certified and implemented (I presume the inspect and monitor approach is not going to be a long-term fix)?

    • The gravity imho is comparable to the EC225 grounding issue.
      Only the handling is vastly different.

      • Uwe :
        The gravity imho is comparable to the EC225 grounding issue.
        Only the handling is vastly different.

        You mean quotes like this from the head of Eurocopter?

        Although the EC225 fleet used for offshore transportation in the oil and gas sector has been grounded in the UK and Norway since October, after rulings by both countries’ civil aviation regulators, Bertling says Eurocopter’s first priority is not to return the Super Pumas to service, but to “regain confidence in the aircraft, company and solution”.


        It does sound hugely different from Boeing’s statements about the 787, I have to admit.

  5. I agree with your disparagement of the AA branding. It manages to be messy and boring at the same time

    • Indeed recognizably American! It’s distinctive, my issue is that the tail graphics are so much bigger and bolder than the fuselage that they feel out of balance. The new eagle graphic would have worked well on the tail as well …

      • There is a strong dichotomy between the fuselage and the tail. That’s what I was trying to express in a previous thread.

  6. IMO re strike vote. The strike vote is a two part process. N team will recommend no on contract, and BUC will ‘ approve” a vote. Vote will be in two parts – Yes or no on contract, and yes or no on approval for N-team to call strike.

    The main issue of contention seems to be the 401k plan for newbies.

    IMO the final vote will be : Yes on strike authorization – close on Contract but Not Accept.

    N- team goes back to table – or tries to – BA will then do ????

  7. I’d have been shocked If the new AA livery had been met with anything BUT polarizing opinions and I get the feeling, if it was AA had gone with the other liveries people say look better, there’d still have been complaints.

    Never liked anything about AA, but I instantly loved the livery, miles better than the old one(sorry longevity or nostalgia do nothing for me) which I might have been a fan of if most of the AA planes I saw didn’t look dull as opposed to the shiny silver of Aeromexico’s former livery which I liked. The livery is fresh and new imo and no matter how garish you think it is, it’s recognizable and it’s not something you’ll forget. Good luck to AA, looking forward to see the livery on the A32X

  8. It’s bit ironic when Boeing is complaining there is shortage of engineers and at the same time is trying very hard to cut benefits and wages, especially for new engineers. One would think that when there is shortage of something, its price should actually go up.

    • Yes, that should be modified to read, “..shortage of engineers willing to work at MacDonalds level wages…”

  9. Not meaning to disparage MacDonalds employees or their wages with that one. My daughter worked their once as well, when she was 15.

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