Odds and Ends: Change in Boeing’s supply chain management; the Ukraine; Bearish mood toward cargo P2F

Boeing supply chain: Stan Deal, VP and GM of Boeing Commercial’s Supply Chain management, has been appointed to SVP of Boeing Commercial Aviation Service, replacing Lou Mancini, who is retiring.

Boeing CAS serves customers with aircraft maintenance issues, aircraft-on-ground (AOG) situation and it was the entity that fanned out across the globe to install the battery fixes following the grounding of the 787 fleet. CAS is a significant revenue and profit contributor to Boeing’s bottom line.

The Ukraine: The turmoil in the Ukraine has ripple effects in aerospace. Bombardier, which last year signed an agreement (yet to be firmed up) to sell 100 Q400s to Russia and establish an assembly line there, has seen talks to conclude the deal slow. At the ISTAT conference this week, we were asked if we thought Airbus, Boeing and other OEMs would see sales of titanium slow; Russia is the largest supplier. (Our opinion was probably not, but with Russia, who knows?)

Bearish cargo market: Despite a slight uptick in cargo traffic in January and February, according to data compiled by IATA, the mood toward cargo airplane conversions was decidedly bearish at the ISTAT conference.

While single-aisle P2F conversions are holding up, widebody P2F conversions and new-build main deck sales remain anemic at best. Increasing reliance on the belly capacity of the Boeing 777-300ER, Airbus A330-300 and Boeing 787 cuts demand for dedicated freighters.

 

57 Comments on “Odds and Ends: Change in Boeing’s supply chain management; the Ukraine; Bearish mood toward cargo P2F

  1. While the B-77W, B-787, and A-333 do have a significant cargo carrying capability, they have limitations, too. They are primarily in the pax carrying category (they may carry full cargo hold loads on repositioning flights), they do have the risk of cargo, even priority cargo being bumped off due to full, or nearly full pax loads requiring more cargo hold space used for baggage. Very few pax aircraft fly “red-eye” missions, and do not directly compete with the “just in time” cargo delivery schedules businesses need. Most cargo flights are flown during the overnight hours. There will always be a need for dedicated freighters, and dedicated pax jets.
    The new build freighter market and the P2F market survived the days of the combi airplanes, which offered significantly more cargo capability than belly fright now. They will survive this too.

  2. I am sorry to say, the US and EU have turned their backs on the Ukraine. The response of the US and EU to Russia’s annexation of the Crimea is an international joke. Russia controls to many strings for Europe to effectively respond. The valves that can cut off the flow of natural gas are all under Russian controls. Economic sanctions against 7 Russian diplomats is the official response by Obama and the US. Hollande and Cameron don’t want to PO Putin, either. They are now afraid of him. It seems the only western “leader” who has the balls to stand up to Putin is Merkel. Airbus and Boeing will not say or do anything, they both need Russia

    • Hmm. It’s Friday night in France, I’m pushing 70,and lived through the ‘Cold War’ in the 50’s. Oh yeah; I dived under desks as alarms went off, (as if a cheap desk would save me from a cement ceiling), was fascinated with my Dad’s Buick & Mom’s push button washer. Meanwhile, I was busy building commercial airplanes & car models, tree huts (that mysteriously burned-tar paper-smoking out the neighborhood). So I had little time for the CW. By the 60’s, I discovered women; had even less time for it. Typical American!
      The CW never grabbed me, which infuriated some teachers & family members. I made a cheeky remark a few days ago re: Marx’s “In the end, capitalism will destroy itself”. But I live here now. Marx’s ‘sound bite ‘is wrong, but the West MUST find better leaders. I think Merkel is a jerk; ditto Hague, Obama, Hollande. Note how RICH countries-Switzerland, Scandinavia stays out of the flack. They care about their people & country. That’s all I want.

      • I lived the Cold War. In the KC-135 we would sit on SAC Alert one week out of every three. SAC had 1/3 of its KC-135s, FB-111s, and B-52s on ground alert, able to launch in 12 minutes, or less. SAC won the Cold war, then we immediately disbanded SAC because the ‘fighter mafia’ wanted to control all the money.

        • Thank god President Kennedy didn’t take the advice of Curtis LeMay during the Cuban Missile Crisis, and no, SAC didn’t win the Cold War. If anything, the Soviet Union lost it.

          LeMay: This blockade and political action, I see leading into war. I don’t see any other solution for it. It will lead right into war. This is almost as bad as the appeasement at Munich.

          http://whitehousetapes.net/content/transcripts/jfk_2_pub/25_oct19.pdf

  3. Again the apology – if need be ? – of the UltraFreighter : the bottomline offering position of bellyfreight retail psychologists is computed today based upon marginally costed FTK onboard WB paxliners … there is NO WAY the dedicated (maindeck) airfreighters can compete. The maindeck ULD market will awaken only if and when ULD airfreighting demand growth surpasses the growth of scheduled paxliner belly capacity, which is not yet the case, so far as we are into 2014 … merci, Dubai’13 !

    The solution, if you are an all-freight operator ? Procure/introduce in service N Ultrafreighters capable of undercutting bellyfreight bottomline pricing then go and sell door2door services to Shipping forwarders, moving AGA direct by air, not ULD !.

    Need an UltraFreighter ? : google up that word and put in an RFP : when we have compiled a combined confirmed market need for 100 of those, together as a fully transparent JV we’ll negotiate to get them made by the appropriate OEM. EIS target : tentatively 2024 tbc if structurally based upon A330 or 777 sub-assemblies ?

    UF ? = the right tool for spurring Modal Change EEE/TEU —-> UF/AGA
    UF Design Mission : 26 AGA/350 m.tonnes payload over 6,200 nm (discuss ?)

  4. Putin’s psychological profile is that of a prodigy child in a sandbox, throwing challenges at the prostrate chaperon to observe/learn about expected retaliation.

    • You lack in back gound knowledge/understanding.
      For the US the cold war never stopped.

      • Oh please enlighten us on the background knowledge/understanding, wise one.

  5. Part of the story is that the 777F is very efficient. It can lift a payload that is 72 percent of its empty weight, which is better than the 747, and I would imagine quite a bit better than any P2F.

  6. While Merkel has warned that significantly tighter economic sanctions against Russia could follow the ones already in Place, the EU and Ukraine have, in fact, signed the association deal that former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych’s abandoned last november.

    As for the GOP, the only aspect of their sabre rattling that is not purely hypocritical, is their apparent lust for war. 13 years ago, George W. Bush lied to the American people, the United Nations, and the world to launch a “pre-emptive invasion” into another sovereign nation that the Bush administration claimed was to defend America’s interests as well as ferret out weapons of mass destruction that Bush, Cheney and Co. knew full well were non-existent.

    As for Russia’s export of gas to the EU, one should keep in mind that the three major gas fields that account for most of the exports of Russian gas are being depleted, and that therefore, large new investments are required. Going forward, there will be little political or economic will in the EU to enter into such a partnership with Russia.

    IMJ, Russia has shot itself in the foot, big time, as the EU will no longer look at Russia as a reliable energy supplier. Furthermore, throughout the EU, natural gas power stations equivalent to 10,000 megawatts has been decomissioned. That’s even more capacity than the coal-fired power plants that’s been shut down. At the same time, a capacity of 12-13000 megawatts of wind and solar power has come online throughtout the EU, Of course, wind and solar cannot be directly compared to the
    power produced by base load fossil fueled power plants, as they don’t generate solar power at night and while wind power is only generated when the wind is blowing. Nevertheless, in a dozen countries solar energy costs are already lower than competing forms of energy. In 2020 that could be the the case in 100 countries as well.

    • On the issue of WMDs in Iraq, it was not just President Bush who believed they were there, but Senators Clinton, and Kerry, and almost all of the Congress. Also believing Iraq had WMDs was the UK, France, Germany, Japan, and most of the world. In fact much of the intelligence provided about Iraq’s WMD came from European Intelligence agencies in countries like France and Germany.
      In other words, Bush just didn’t pull the Iraqi WMD problem out of his hat. Iraq also had a history of using WMDs during the Iraq-Iran War, as well as its own Kurdish people.
      I’m not sure about your solar and wind generated electricity in Europe. The numbers seem a little high, but I don’t have numbers to dispute yours, so I will accept them, for now. But here in the US, “renewable energy”, wind, solar, wave action, electrical generation is less than 5% of the total amount of electricity generated. We have vast open ranges of windmill farms with thousands of windmills wind good amounts of wind. We have solar fields with mirrors focused on a salt filled tower to generate electricity (at least one facility in Southern California has been accused of flash blinding pilots at altitude due to the traveling movements of the mirrors tracking the sun). Like Iceland, we also have geo-thermal generation in a few parts of the US. BTW, isn’t something like 97% of the electricity generated in France generated by nuclear power plants?
      But, that is all for electricity generation in the EU and the US. Unfortunately, most homes in the EU cook and heat with natural gas. To convert those homes to use electricity for cooking and heat would cost a fortune as the EU does not have the electrical grid capability to support millions of homes converting from gas to electricity.
      Yes, Russia’s current gas fields are running low on reserves, but Russia already has their replacement oil and gas fields under development in Siberia. This is where the Russians have ‘shot themselves in the foot’, as Russia cannot develop these fields without US technology, including fracking. So, the US and EU will resume trading with Russia, if only to get titanium for Airbus and Boeing.
      The US and EU do not have enough LNG tankers to ship US gas from the US to the EU. Nor do either of us have enough terminals needed to load and unload LNG tankers. So, for the Europeans, Russian gas is the only big player in town.

      • I guess it was rallying behind the flag, stop thinking, get the job done & you’re either with or against us. The Iraques had to pay for 9-11. Enormous public demonstrations / protests before the second war in Iraq were ignored. The french were slaughtered in the US media for telling the UN the war on Iraq was a bad idea. Well, it was a bad idea & the (blinded) supporters are scratching their heads & want to look forward.

        In Europe we tell ourselves we can have sustainable energy to fill our needs (in reality it is a very small percentage of energy production, 1%) We like our believes better than our numbers. Dirty coal and oil from the middle east make up most energy. The french bureaucrats were less idealistic, did the numbers & made sure their country is full of nucleair energy and TGV’s. Putting aside ideology, democrasy & free market mechanisms for it.

        Turning back to aviation I guess converted 777s and 330/340s will take over. 😉

        • keesje,

          I’m guessing you are French, so I will address you in the spirit of Franco-American goodwill.

          I am an American. I like the French, for they have been good to us. Without the French, there would have been no United States of America. When George Washington defeated the British at Lexington, he did so because he had a French Navy to stop the British and hem them in, and a French Army as large as his own to help do the fighting. The French were brave at Lexington, and even took higher casualties than the Americans.

          Then, the French gave America the “Deal of the Century”: they sold us the Louisianna Purchase and the size of America doubled. Then…the French gave us the Statue of Liberty. We liked that, too.

          America was able to help France greatly in WW1 and WW2. America was glad to help. And why not? Hadn’t the French always been good to us?

          Then, France asked us to remove out troops from their soil – and America got all snotty about it. Of course, who wants a standing Foreign Army on their soil? Not America….and certainly not France.

          Then the French quit NATO because the French contended that America and the UK were a bit too close. The French were right. The UK/US relationship is a bit too incestuous for my liking, too – and the Europeans feel the same.

          Then, France told America that the Vietnam War was a mistake – that America could not win. See…the French had been to Vietnam and lost 75,000 troops. They knew. But America went to Vietnam and lost, and even though America took less casualties than France, we are still Butthurt about it until this day. The French even had to help America accept a graceful defeat via the Paris Peace Accords. Jeez…we can’t even lose a war by ourselves. On the other hand, the French learned a painful lesson about the stupidity of Empire and moved on.

          Last, the French warned us not to invade Iraq in 2003. The French said it was a stupid idea. The French were right. We are still Butthurt about that as Iraq descended into chaos while we snuck out troops out of the country at night. After a trillion Dollars and all that blood, all America accomplished in Iraq was to make give Iran a friendly neighbor and new best friend.

          America has failed a lot. So we blame the French. It’s that simple.

      • Ok, we’re getting somewhat off topic,.. -;)

        As for WMDs in Iraq, Bush wanted to hear what he wanted to hear** and France and Germany were not part of the “coalition of the billing” — er, sorry; “coalition of the willing”. It is clear in hindsight that one problem in the lead-up to the war was that the American establishment was completely unwilling to listen to the Europeans – who were openly skeptical – choosing instead to take the Bush and Blair administrations at their word.

        The Federal Intelligence Service (BND) in Germany had, like their American and British colleagues, assumed that at some point there had been programs for the development of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq (i.e. post 1991). However, in 2003 the BND had emphasized that they did not have any evidence for an ongoing production of biological or chemical warfare agents. In the BND’s opinion, Iraq constituted “no acute danger” for neighbouring coutries, or the west.

        http://www.zeit.de/2004/29/BND

        **

        While one Iraqi source told the CIA that there were no WMD, information that was true but distorted to prove the opposite, another Iraqi source was a fabricator whose lies were eagerly embraced. “The real tragedy is that they had a good source that they misused,” said one of the former CIA officers. “The fact is there was nothing there, no threat. But Bush wanted to hear what he wanted to hear.”

        http://www.salon.com/2007/09/06/bush_wmd/

        As for natural gas imports to the EU, Norway exports almost as much to the EU as that of Russia.

        http://uk.reuters.com/article/2013/02/13/gazprom-statoil-gas-idUKL5N0BB9Q120130213

        As for solar and Wind in Germany; for example, the share of electricity produced from renewable energy in Germany has increased from 6.3 percent of the national total in 2000 to about 25 percent in the first half of 2012. In 2011 20.5% (123.5 TWh) of Germany’s electricity supply (603 TWh) was produced from renewable energy sources, more than the 2010 contribution of gas-fired power plants.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Renewable_energy_in_Germany

        As for wind power in, for example, Denmark it accounted for just over 30 percent of electricity production in 2012.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wind_power_in_Denmark

        As for cooking with natural gas; the point here is that as natural gas power stations are being decomissioned, the overall demand will drop. Natural gas from Norway, North Africa and LNG from Qatar should keep the gas flow going to the EU in the short- to mid-term. For the long-term — or mid-term if things are accelerated — decentralised renewables can replace the current centralised gas distribution for cooking and heating purposes.

        The fossil fuel era of the energy world is reaching its end. The climate change and the depletion of the oil and gas reserves have forced us into investigating other possible energy sources. The social impact of the energy problem is not of less significance either. The population of our planet keeps rising steadily and by 2035 is expected to be 8.5 billion. How will it be possible to satisfy the needs of all these people? With the current data and our energy consumption behaviour it might prove impossible…

        A key solution to this problem is the promotion of Renewable Energy sources. A step further to this, “Renewable Hydrogen Production “is becoming more and more popular as a complete energy solution nowadays. Solar energy can be used as a mean to power an electrolysis process that produces clean hydrogen. This hydrogen can be used as a fuel for cooking or for other domestic applications. It is a clean energy source, that when burned has as by-product only pure water! In this way, we can help the environment and also reduce our electricity and natural gas bills!

        http://www.brunel.ac.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0006/295557/Sol-Hyd-Cooker.pdf

        • We are willingly deceived by percentages of electricity production. Everybody knows electricity is energy, so feels it is the same. The oil powering our house and gas warming our house are left out. As is the fact you need 100% back-up of wind and sun energy. Electricity is less then a third a third of the energy used in western countries..

        • “The oil powering our house and gas warming our house are left out”.

          Oil- or gas-fired central heating systems can be replaced by a combination of ground source heat pumps or air/water heat pumps and solar-thermal/biofuel (pellets, wood etc.). As for solar energy (i.e. photovoltaic and solar thermal), in northern Europe, for, example, there’s plenty of sun light available between the spring equinox and autumn equinox, while Southern Europe has plenty of sunlight throughout the year. The fact of the matter is that if renewable heat incentive schemes are readily available, replacement of fossil fuel-based central heating systems can be accelerated.

        • As for natural gas imports to the EU, Norway exports almost as much to the EU as that of Russia.

          Apparently it’s not enough as the EU is still dependent on gas from Russia.

        • Rick Shaw, Russian Gas ( i.e. Northstream ) significantly reduced Europe’s dependence on US controlled “energy” delivery path ( shipping, pipelines in the south ).
          From Cold War times to today the Soviets/Russia have been a lot less fickle and disruptive than the results from US foreign policy adventures ( Be that the search for terrorists, WMD’s, fake democratization efforts or just plain hamfistedness)

      • On the issue of WMDs in Iraq, it was not just President Bush who believed they were there, but Senators Clinton, and Kerry, and almost all of the Congress.

        Because they believed Bush. How stupid of them!

    • Upstream oil and gas exploration, ie seismic and drilling, show us where future EU oil and gas will come from, and its not Russia. West Shetland and Barents sea, Norwegian sector, are popular right now. Putin has nothing to loose, he´s already shot his foot off.

  7. Watch as this comments board sinks further and further into the abyss of politics unrelated to aviation… >_<

      • It wasn’t really intended to “allow” political discussions, but rather the potential impact on aerospace sicnce it was discussed at ISTAT, but I’m too pooped to moderate all this.

        Hamilton

        • At least nobody seems to be getting hot headed and is stepping over the line.

          From the article, a quote from a Bombardier spokeswoman which seems to indicate the slow down is coming from the Canadian side, “There has been a little less travel to Russia by Bombardier executives, she said, and discussions are “a little more guarded.” Bombardier is “keeping in close contact with our government relations team, and they are keeping us up to date and abreast of the situation,” she added.”

  8. Isn’t it time for the moderator to delete both sides of this re-hash of yesterday’s entrenched political positions?

  9. Without taking sides – my friends in Europe tell me that the consensus there is that Crimea is considered to be a legitimate part of Russia, as it has been since the mid 18th Century and that the diplomatic and military gesturing is designed to articulate the real ‘red line’, the rest of Ukraine. And that therefore the minimal fury expressed is there to pacify right wingers and those who believe the Cold War never ended

    • David is indeed correct, the informed opinion is Russia has justified reason for its Crimean stance, they are merely re-instating territorial borders. Quite why Britain marches to the posturing of the US beat is confusing as it has a costly & not to distant imperialistic history within the region & good reason to understand the Russian stance. The whole area is hot bed of corruption & the actions of a handful of claimed democratic reformists will now see the Ukraine dragged back into the political mire. Interesting to see the diverse & extreme variation of opinions across the pond, it seems gung-ho paranoia is more prevalent the further west you go.

    • “Crimea is considered to be a legitimate part of Russia, as it has been since the mid 18th Century”
      And before that it was Turkish for 300 years, should they invade then? No, it is part of Ukraine, a sovereign country.

      Phil:
      “David is indeed correct, the informed opinion is Russia has justified reason for its Crimean stance”
      He is not correct, there is no justification for what has happened, let’s get this straight. It is a punishment for Ukraine turning its back on Russia, while getting rid of the most corrupt regime in its history, which was being propped up by Putin.

      “Quite why Britain marches to the posturing of the US beat is confusing”
      There would be no confusion if you actually understood this in a global context
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Budapest_Memorandum_on_Security_Assurances

      Kiss ‘goodbye’ to persuading any other country (Iran/N Korea, etc) to give up their nuclear weapons because what they will sign is just a f***ing piece of paper.

      “…the actions of a handful of claimed democratic reformists…”
      A handful? Are you serious? In short Phil, you have no idea what you are talking about.

      The big danger in the very near future is an invasion of Ukraine because annexing Crimea does nothing for Putin’s long term goals.

      • I hate to be pedantic, but since you challenged: The Crimea was never part of Turkey, rather the home territory of the Krim Tatars, best known as being the most accomplished slavers of the region, ‘harvesting’ some three million Russians to traders across the east, something which only ended when the Czarinas Elizabeth and Catherine broke the Prekop Line and took the region. Not surprising that the Russians are sensitive to its ownership. And back to planes.

        • Perhaps I was not explicit in what was meant but by being ‘Turkish’ it was mean to be ‘part of the Ottoman Empire’, which it was for 300 years. The russians invaded the region in the war in the 19th century on the pretext of the ethnic russians being persecuted there. I invite you to draw the parallels between that and what they had announced 4 weeks ago. While you are at it, you could examine the reasons put forward by Hitler in annexing Austria in 1938, you will be amazed.

      • Creative interpretation from your side, isn’t it?
        52% are for sanctions.
        down to 27% if it hurts Britain.

        Here in Germany there is a strong rift between what journalists present ( in lock step with US “views” ) and what you can garner from talking to people ( the US shouldn’t dislocate their jaws so much ). the political response is rather lukewarm too ( words, words, words … surprisingly the US doesn’t go beyond words, words, words either.
        I suppose it is a bit of “Georgia on my mind” and that still smarts.

        • I merely report the results of a poll for reference Uwe. No interpretation intended or given.

        • no “65% pro sanctions” in the link you gave : only 52% are for sanctions.
          down to 27% if it hurts Britain.

  10. The situation in Ukraine is primarily INTERNAL. The new team in charge of political affairs (post-Maiden) have clearly stated (1) that the new strength of Ukraine is Democracy, which separatist Crimeans will very soon discover is absent under Russian ruling; and that (2) the political allegiance of border-line economies (Latvia, Lithauen, Estland, Poland, Hungaria … all the way to the recent ASSOCIATE Ukraine itself) to the New Order depends upon how nourishing is the life-line from the West. The events in Crimea clearly emphasize the extent Brussels have neglicted dangerously the Ukrainian dossier. An accelerated integration is the correct solution. West Germany understood correctly and heroically paid the price for integration of East Germany [eg 1 Mark = 1 Ostmark], Ukraine urgently needs ICU oxygen of the Euro to successfully and irreversibly insufflate full adherence to the yet fragile Maiden Democracy. Better pay 500 € per each citizen of Europe (total 100 billion €) for the Ukrainian cause rather than spending the next human generation 2014 – 2035 confronting yet another major geo-political upheaval.

    • The current Ukraine government as interim lacks legitimation for big things.
      ( i.e. and IMHO this government can not validly sign the treaties with the EU
      they have “signed”. Same for the extensive signing away of resources )
      Its leader is linked to right wing ( to put it mildly ) parties, the regional governors
      instated by this government are invariably oligarchs connected to Ms Timochenko.
      One of its first activities was to demote the status of the russian minorities.
      In no time you will see kind of a feudal setup, forget about real democracy.
      Support is mostly from the western poor regions that lack industry. Support for
      Russia in the Eastern Industrial region reaches farther than presented in western media.

      Again the West ( actually mostly the US ) majorly supports authoritarian setups if one looks at this closely.

      • Got that right Uwe; America never let go of the Cold War. Though it’s still a huge profit center! lol
        Yet I’m optimistic the West overstepped their bounds ie Ukraine. Where’s Fulgencio Batista when we need him? He dressed nice and drove around in Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz’s. He kept the Mob out of formal Cuban government, and only took his bribes at home. Well, palace.
        These newly installed bandits in Ukraine have neither shame..or style…

      • As for legitimacy, please do note that the EU and Ukraine did not sign trade provisions in the association agreement, leaving that element to be addressed after Ukraine’s presidential elections in May.

        As for the situation of the Russian language in Ukraine, please do note that Ukrainians are bilingual and many Ukrainians in Kiev speak Russian rather than Ukrainian at home. Like in the old Soviet days, the Kremlin under Putin has decided that it needs to control national television channels, which most Russians rely on for news, to successfully undertake any major national policy. That propaganda is dividing Ukrainians into groups of Russian- and Ukrainian-speakers, seemingly drawing the conclusion that there are two nations instead of one. The Kremlin has been claiming that they are defending the rights of speakers of Russian in Ukraine and they have used this argument to justify the invasion of Crimea and the electoral theatre of yesterday, a “referendum” in which there was no way to vote against some sort of a union with Russia.

        http://www.politifact.com/punditfact/statements/2014/mar/05/russia-today/russia-backed-american-news-network-offers-its-ow/

        http://www.theguardian.com/world/2012/jul/04/ukrainians-protest-russian-language-law

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russification_of_Ukraine

        So, it’s quite clear that Russia’s actions are illegal under international law. The Crimean assembly that voted to hold the “referendum” was not representative and was held under conditions of Russian military occupation, thus it cannot be certified as meeting international standards for elections. The statistics put out about turnout and outcome are suspicious. The “referendum” completely ignored the opinion of the indigenous population in the Crimea. Crimean Tatars are now fleeing the peninsula for mainland Ukraine. Democracy requires minority rights equally as it does majority rule. Indeed, as democracy is conceived today, the minority’s rights must be protected no matter how singular or alienated that minority is from the majority society; otherwise, the majority’s rights lose their meaning. That holds true, of course, for the rights of the Russian minority in Ukraine as well. Hence, the Russian annexation of Crimea is ambiguous. Crimea had been Russian territory since the late 18th century and was only made a part of Ukraine in 1954, at a time when Russia and Ukraine were part of the same country. Whatever the status of Sunday’s referendum, it seems likely that if Crimeans could vote fairly and freely, a majority would probably accede to Russia. Therefore, if the status of Crimea had been agreed upon by a reasonable time schedule for negotiations, and a referendum that would have met international electoral standards, and without the presence of paramilitaries, Cossacks and regular Russian troops intimidating non-Russians, I’m sure the international community would have had a different opinion of the outcome if it would have been a win-win situation for all parties involved.

        • OV-099; you’re giving far more refined answers to the problems than my spoof on Sin City Havana… though I’m still sorry it was before my time…
          Moving on, your http’s are good and informative. Thanks. Moving on farther, what’s your feelings ie Petrodollar, fracking? There’s a geo ‘expert’ by the name of F William Engdahl, who has some interesting opinions. He claims the world is not running out of oil, but being constantly replaced – in only some places – from the earth’s core. He’s against fracking, claiming it’s short lived, dangerous, and water intense. He calls it a Ponzi scheme, run by Wall Street, and a reason the West is so (recently) interested in Ukraine. Yes, it’s ‘frackable’, but will not pay-off. He claims Chevron & Shell, thirsty for Ukraine contracts, are in fact trying to silently exit US contracts.
          This of course ties to the so-called ‘Petrodollar’, which Kissinger set-up with Saudi Arabia when Nixon left US gold standard. Losing that agreement will not be good for US. Thus, the endless turmoil in the Middle East. But we’re running out of counties to invade, and Ukraine is our last gamble. The irony is the energy stakes in Ukraine are low, losing the Petrodollar, enormous.

        • Well, I agree. Fracking is ridiculously short-sighted and environmentally destructive. Same goes for the conceptual extracting of natural gas from methane hydrates located around continental shelf drop-offs.

          The main reason that we’re not producing much more energy from renewables is mostly due to the fossil-fuel-industry/capitalist/short term-ism that is endemic within our western societies. What we need as a civilization is a dramatic increase in the use of renewable energy sources. In the short term that will, among other things, help to provide heating and electric energy for our homes. In the long term we need something that can replace the coal-fired base-load power plants that’s currently powering most of the world’s industrial base. Space-based solar power (SBSP) might be a much more realistic option if lower cost space transportation systems come online in a not-so-distant future.

          Fracking:

          http://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/health/case_studies/hydrofracking_w.html

          SSBS:

          http://www.jaxa.jp/article/interview/vol53/p2_e.html

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space-based_solar_power

      • Can we trust ‘Russia’ on any treaty ? The difficulty stems from the following identity :
        ‘Russia in 2014’ = ‘autocratic Putin’ (read : ‘=’ : reduces to)
        (ie, the unreckonable, unantagonized prodigy child in the sandbox)

        With the second analogy : ‘prostrate chaperon’ = Brussels (Counsel of Ministers of FA) because of the evident lack of coherence/diligence/FA governance legitimacy of the EU, too complex a machinery to relevantly cope with the Crimean provocation …

        Since March 8th, Putin is moving into Ukraine with his chess bricks (assets and troops), whilst the eyes of Europe are tuned to locating survivors after MH-370 …

        Pure coincidence ?

  11. “I’m guessing you are French, so I will address you in the spirit of Franco-American goodwill.”

    Keesje is Dutch…
    Frenquent Traveller is french…

      • My uncle (father’s brother), a WWII RAF pilot, was shot down over German-controlled territory and was made POW @ Stalag Luft III, wherefrom he escaped (cf “The Great Escape”) and made it to freedom as one of three out of 73. My grand-father (mother’s father) was also made POW (convicted as Resistant to German occupation and deported) … he died in Poland in 1944. Born six years later, I never came around to knowing him …

        No, Scott, sorry but l’m not German … but anyway, today we are all ‘Europeans’ !? Numerable Ukrainians claim also to be ‘Europeans’, why shouldn’t they ? They paid a sufficiently heavy Tribute of lives to Freedom for Europe in WWII, so we are indebted !

        • Did your uncle man lifeboats / help patients in Hawaii too? if not I guess you’re from a cold place.. Btw Ukrainians hated Stalin so much (justified) a lot did dirty work for the Wrong side too. They were screwed/ coleborated with both side. Not hat they had much choice..

  12. I’m Dutch. Lou Macini is a nice guy, godfather appearance, had a chat/ drink with him years ago (my bosses weren’t around) making (sympathizing) jokes about our NWAC friends.

  13. What you once gave, you don’t take back, or at a price !

    Stalin induced famine in the ’30-ies caused death by starvation of 7 million Ukrainians. To make up for the Tragedy, Crimea as a “gift” was less than the “price of blood”. Subsequently, Crimea as an economically independant region has been a negative contributor to Ukraine’s GDP growth, systematically subsidized from national resources. Coonsequently, Crimea as an ASSET has an intrinsic value, in payback to Ukraine for the construction of the modern Crimea.

  14. Going back to your original point, how serious would a Russian titanium embargo be to western aerospace interests? Compared with hydrocarbons it would be a relatively low cost item to sanction, from Russia’s point of view.

  15. So will the sanctions extend to Boeing and Airbus selling aircraft to the Soviet Union–umm–I mean Russia?

  16. Scott, this may be an example of the stretching the odds too far to fit the ends

    Returning to the subject of air cargo, anything that’s more than 64 in [162 cm] tall won’t fit in a wide-body’s belly. If it’s longer than 20 ft [6.1 m] but not higher than 8 ft [2.44 m] the only way to load it may be thru a 747F’s nose door.

    [excluding civil AN-124’s]

    There will always be a need for dedicated wide-body freighters.

    • TEU (aka AGA in ICAO terminology) fit transversely into the A330- or 777-based bi-valved Prandtl-winged dual BWB (concept) ”UltraFreighter” powered with four RR UltraFans. If your profession is to move cargoes, better line up to the normative of that profession, adopting the AGA : in 2013, 200 billion FTK (or 2 %) were moved as non-standard ULD, whereas the remaining 98 % or 10 trillion FTK of the world’s containerized cargo was moved in standard containers. Excellence in Logistics is about adapting the vector to the container normative, not the other way around.

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