Odds and Ends: Boeing moves jobs from WA State; CSeries FTV 1; A350 power up; 787-9 assembly; 777

Moving jobs out of Washington: The Seattle Times has a story about last Friday’s announcement that Boeing is moving more engineering jobs out of Washington.

CSeries: Airliners.net had this photo over the weekend. The first flight is expected after the Paris Air Show.

Bombardier CS100 Flight Test Vehicle #1.

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Airbus has powered up the engines on the A350 for the first time. First flight is expected within weeks, likely before the Paris Air Show.

A350

Airbus photo.

Smaller jet demand: The smallest Airbus and Boeing jets have weak demand, reports Aviation Week. And we’re not just talking about the A319 and 737-700/7.

787-9 Assembly begins: It was a busy weekend, with all of the above and capped by the start of 787-9 assembly. The first three 789s will be built on the Surge Line at Everett.

777 Painting: We linked two stories last week, to KING 5 and to The Seattle Times, about the robotic wing painting for the 777 line. Here is a photo:

777 Automated Spray Method

Boeing photo

Boeing currently is only robotically painting wings going on even-numbered line numbers. Wings going on the odd-numbered lines are still painted by hand for now. Because the program is new, the programmers continue to adjust the software between the even- and odd-numbered line wings, and eventually all the 777 wings will be painted robotically.

The paint shop is big enough to accommodate 777X wings, including the folding wing tips. This, of course, implies the 777X will be assembled in Everett. It’s unclear where the wings will be built.

The robotic painting is part of the 777 Lean manufacturing begun in 2005, which in the entire process has enabled Boeing to boost 777 production to 8.3 a month within the same assembly line space.

While this is the highest twin-aisle rate Boeing has produced to-date, Airbus has been assembling A330s at rate 10/mo for some time and is considering going to rate 11. Boeing, of course, will be at rate 10 for the 787 by year end. Airbus long ago announced plans to go to rate 10 for the A350 four years after EIS, but John Leahy is already pushing for a second assembly line to accommodate A350-1000 demand.

11 Comments on “Odds and Ends: Boeing moves jobs from WA State; CSeries FTV 1; A350 power up; 787-9 assembly; 777

  1. re moving engineering jobs out of washington

    A significant number of old hands will retire in the next two three years
    BA then disperses related jobs out of area
    Tribal knowledge for commercial aircraft is dissapearing
    Boeing speeds up the process

    result- short term benefits – bottom line looks good

    long term ???

    But who cares ? certainly not the current executives nearing retirement- they have theirs

    How welll did it work with post it notes ??

  2. “That die was cast,” Hamilton said. “Jim McNerney does not like Washington state. He doesn’t like unions. SPEEA could have got down on its knees and genuflected to Chicago, and they would still have moved jobs out.”

    Doesn’t like Washington state, doesn’t like unions, doesn’t like spending money on new airplanes. Does he like Boeing at all? There was a time when Boeing was an engineers company. Today Boeing is only a stock that can be traded on Wall Street.

    • This is the GE business model that was imported to Boeing with the McD merger

  3. In the aviation article of Guy Norris, he confirms the popularity of the bigger, stretched versions of new aircraft.

    I think for many A320 operators the A321 is a big step up though. From 25-28 seat rows to 7 rows or +25% more. It seems Airbus has a serious gab in their NB portfolio. The 737-800 and -900ER are both inbetween the A320 and A321 capasity wise.

    Maybe Airbus is holding back future capasity-range growth options as long as NEO sales boom and the A350 is sucking up the best engineering folks and management attention. Airlines like Jetblue, Easyjet and Ryanair asked for an optimized 200 seater in the past. http://www.cardatabase.net/modifiedairlinerphotos/photos/big/00015369.jpg

    • Awesome! A 34m A319neo with a 41m wingspan! A small guy with big arms. 😮

      • Congratulations! I left the error in to see if anyone would noticed. Just for fun. I guess you are the first!

  4. Bob :
    First indications of a flight date in the media:
    http://midi-pyrenees.france3.fr/2013/06/04/airbus-premier-vol-de-l-a350-prevu-entre-le-12-et-le-14-juin-263677.html

    The article is in French. Basically it says that today the A350 has performed some low-speed taxi tests and might be flying for the first time on the 13th or 14th of June; depending on the weather conditions at the time, and provided everything goes well in the meantime.

    In the coming days acceleration tests and brake tests will be carried out. The article also says that the A350 might perform a fly-by at PAS on the 20th or the 21st of June.

    This is really good news for Airbus. It looks like the programme has been doing well lately, with no major issues. The timing for the first flight could not be better.

  5. The CSeries test aircraft is not painted. Could it be that BBD is trying to save time? We know that the A350 spent a week in the paint shop. But Airbus could afford to spare that time since apparently the airplane is scheduled to make an appearance at PAS. Maybe BBD is trying to catch up.

    But I notice that the tail number is missing. What we see on the fuselage is FTV1, which is the internal designation of the first test aircraft. This could indicate that they are not finished with the painting, as I don’t think the aircraft can fly without it’s call sign C-FBCS painted on both sides of the fuselage, possibly somewhere below the Canadian flag. This could also indicate that BBD is rushing to meet it’s schedule and will finish painting the aircraft a little later, possibly sometime after its maiden flight.

    The last BBD aircraft that went into test flight is the CRJ-1000 and it was nicely painted, as can be seen in the following picture.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/justinpistone/4832187859/

    • After watching this video, http://youtu.be/5kWtlLAVQ0s, I’m thinking that their paint hangar is not quite ready for the type yet. They might as well get through first flight, and come back to painting once the paint hangar and equipment are ready. My two cents…

      • Thanks for the video Baroque!

        My understanding is that they are validating the modifications they made to the CRJ paint shop to accommodate the larger CSeries. In the process they have applied a protective coating to the composite parts to protect them from the sun.

        Yes I agree that at this stage they might as well fly the aircraft now and bring it back later on for a full paint job.

        There is another video related to this preparation.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OmyE66UOvbE&feature=endscreen

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