The British American Business Council-Pacific Northwest is sponsoring a conference today on the Advanced Technologies for Next Generation Aircraft in Seattle. We’ll have several reports, starting with this one.
Alex Pietsch of the Governor’s Office of Aerospace, kicked off the conference, saying that Boeing employees more than Microsoft, Starbucks and Amazon combined.
“No one should question Wasnhington’s place in aircraft production,” Pietsch said, noting the siting of the 777X assembly and wing production, a rate increase to 52/mo for the 737 and expansion by suppliers.
Thanks to the 777X, Washington will be the only location in the US where composite wings are built, Pietsch said.
Kourosh Hadi senior director of Boeing Airplane Product Development, said that trends in commercial aviation during the next 20 years indicate that single-aisle aircraft and demand remains the “fastest growing, most dynamic segment” in the industry. Traffic demand continues at 4%-5% per year, despite four recessions, two financial recessions, two Gulf Wars and other global factors.
Hadi indicated that “advanced designs” fall within the 2021-2030 timeframe and “future concepts” fall from 2031 and beyond. Advanced designs include advancements in aerodynamics, systems and propulsion. Future designs might include SST and other concepts.
Technology has to add value, Hadi says, for performance, cost, production rates, Cash Airplane Related Operating Costs (CAROC, a common Boeing term) and environmental issues are focus areas.
First flight of the 737-8 MAX is early 2016, with EIS with Southwest Airlines in July 2017.
Hadi said it was “mind-boggling” that Boeing is improving the 777 by 20% with the 777X, a plane he characterized as one of the finest aircraft ever produced.
Flight test of the 777X is slated to begin in 2019, with firm configuration next year and detailed design in 2016 and the production to begin in 2017.