Odds and Ends: Snookered by Boeing; Superman; Me2Al; Odyssey Airlines

Snookered by Boeing: That’s how one legislator in Washington State put it in the outcry aftermath of Boeing moving engineering jobs out of state despite an $8.7bn set of tax breaks to land the 777X wing production and assembly site here. She went on to say she wouldn’t have voted for the breaks had she known, and she’s so tired of Boeing.

Sound similar to what legislators said after voting for the $3.7bn in tax breaks in 2003 to land the 787 assembly line. Six years later Boeing put 787 Line 2 in Charleston, revealing that the State had failed to add strings to that set of tax breaks to assure all 787 assembly would be done here.

Snookered then and snookered now. What strikes us is that any legislator thought anything different would happen.

Boeing’s job strategy has been very, very clear for years: move engineering, IT and other non-touch labor jobs out of Washington as fast as it can. Move component work out of Washington. And for the 777X assembly work: can you say “robotics”?

IAM 751, the touch-labor union, claimed all along Boeing was snookering membership and the State of Washington and was going to assemble the 777X here anyway, regardless of the contract vote and state incentives (we disagreed, but only McNerney knows for sure).

Washington needs to get used to Boeing moving jobs (hence, our continued refrain of look Beyond Boeing). Aside from Chicago’s long-obvious job transfer plan, robotics and automation will, over time, take an increasingly prominent role in building airplanes. Boeing has been introducing robotics on the 777 Classic line, so expanding this use should be expected.

Superman: This video shows a Boeing 737 being pushed sideways at the gate by strong winds and an icing ramp. The most amazing part of this amazing video is the ramp worker who is trying to stop the airplane. It seems the rampie thinks he can bench press 150,000 lbs.

Me2Al: He’s widely known as U-Turn Al for his propensity to do 180 degrees multiple times on his opinions about airplanes, engines and orders, but now Akbar Al-Baker is becoming Me2Al as well. Long envious of Tim Clark, the president of Emirates Airlines, Al-Baker hooked his wagon to Clark on the 777X last year at the Dubai Air Show, claiming the two carriers negotiated similar specifications at the same time to get a better deal from Boeing.

Now he’s followed Clark’s lead once again, this time jumping on the prospect of the Airbus A380neo.

Odyssey reveals some details: Odyssey Airlines, the business-class start-up carrier that is building its business plan around the Bombardier CSeries, revealed a little bit of its plans in this article. It will have 40 lie-flat seats on the CS100, operate from London City Airport (previously known) and its funding is partially revealed.

Great B-17 Photos: See The Seattle Times montage here.

17 Comments on “Odds and Ends: Snookered by Boeing; Superman; Me2Al; Odyssey Airlines

  1. IMJ, both Etihad and Qatar Airways are Me2 in respect to Emirates and both airlines will in all likelihood operate a sh**load of A380s, a decade hence.

  2. The most amazing part of this amazing video is the ramp worker who is trying to stop the airplane. It seems the rampie thinks he can bench press 150,000 lbs.

    I have to admit that it is silly – but out of sheer reflex I would have tried to do the same thing. 😀

    • he doesn’t have to bench press 150klbs. He has to counter the wind force.
      And not by countering the force via muscle but by acting as a chock.
      With the right shoes this could have worked well. ( It may prove to be a less than brilliant idea though ” : chock with goosebumpy human atttached ;- )

    • He has some effect. The problem is, his shoes don’t have sufficient grip on the ice, and neither do the aircraft tires. It doesn’t look like the winds are that strong.

        • Maybe. I’m from Scotland, where the wind can blow the snow upwards. It would count as a slightly breezy day for us!

        • I cycled around Scotland back in 1992. The countryside was beautiful (hilly as well) and the people friendly. The weather was just fine, it was summer, but I got the distinct impression that it could turn very foul in the winter.

      • Wow! Must be very light on the nose gear. Perhaps they were in the middle of the deplaning process with people still stuck in the back.

  3. Boeing needs to launch a new fuselage in the next two years. Otherwise, they run the risk of their line up becoming obsolete all at once. They have the 787, but the 737 will run its course, and the 777 could be hit or miss.

    • The 777-200ER was IMO a game changer, together with A332 it enabled opening up 250-300 seat flights to/from booming Asia during the last 20 years. The -300ER provider a further growth platform for the same market. High fuel prices and the weak A340-600 helped making it a big success.

      For the 777-9X I’m not sure if it will be another -300ER or another 747-8I. The A350-1000 is in the game. For the extra seats the 777-9X offers a (too?) high price is paid on every flight..

      17 inch seats for 10-15 hour flight just isn’t the accepted standard at all. Despite Boeing claiming so 1000 times, boldly ignoring passenger appreciation figures the airlines can’t ignore.. Check hundreds of recent AA, EK, KLM, AF 777-300ER economy class reviews at http://www.airlinequality.com/: Shock & Awe.

  4. What exactly does QR need the A380neo for though? Considering it doesn’t seem like they’ll operate 10-15 at most, which doesn’t seem like a sizeable fleet, EK I understand.

    • Most A380 operators have fewer examples of the type in their fleets/on order than EK. For that matter – a lot of airlines have fewer 787s on order than EK has A380s. Doesn’t mean that only the ones with the big fleets are interested in the potential improvements that an A380neo would offer.

  5. Looks like the Stanfield crew needs to do a better job of deicing the ramp.

    There is no way a person is going to overcome the large weather-cocking torque around the CG produced by the large vertical tail surface getting blown sideways by the wind. Windsurfing sails are hard enough to hold onto in high winds let alone a surface the size of a 737 vertical tail.

  6. Not much difference between Qatar and Emirates route strategies, so anything that works for Clark will work for Hogan or U-turn, as long as its not too big. I guess Al is looking to the first round of A380 replacement when he talks about an A380 NEO, so split fleets won’t come into it.

  7. It looks like they actually expected it to slide as the fellow trying to hold it ran over to the aircraft just before the baggage conveyor backed away. Obviously the strength of the wind was underestimated.The wind also seems to have overcome the chocks on the main gear. Definitely alot of ice on the ground there. I believe Halifax has had quite a bit of “experience” wiht this kind of weather, especially this year.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *