Airbus holds 56% share of backlogs vs Boeing

Jan. 11, 2019, © Leeham News: Airbus trailed Boeing in net orders in 2018 but it still holds a commanding lead in backlog market share.

With the companies reporting their year-end tallies, Airbus has a 56% share of the backlog to Boeing’s 44%.

Airbus carries the day with narrowbody backlog. Its share is 58% to Boeing’s 42%.

Boeing wins the widebody backlog, 53% to 47%, driven by a broader product line, including strong 777F and KC-46A/767-300ERF backlogs.

When the emerging narrowbody airplane programs of China and Russia, and Embraer’s sole entry into the 100-150 seat sector (based on two-class seating), Boeing’s narrowbody share of the backlog drops from 42% to 40%.

Charts are below. Data is based on firm orders only.

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101 Comments on “Airbus holds 56% share of backlogs vs Boeing

  1. Is it possible to give a value to each backlog ?

    I understand that the price for any contract is a very closely guarded secret, but is there a way to get a better understanding after the fact ? e.g. from the airlines and plane makers public accounts.

      • Very interesting. Thanks.

        I see that comparing 737 Max with 320 Neo we get

        $52.3M for a Max
        $51.8M for the Neo

        So on the basis of this alone the backlog for Airbus in NB is much greater than Boeing.

        Sadly the graphs don’t show values for 787 deliveries so we can’t compare that to 330 and 350.

        • Robert,

          I think you failed to scroll down on my Seattle Times story. The graphic we created was a single chart in print, but online we sliced it into three parts. Scroll down for the other two parts that give the widebody data, including 787, A330 and A350.

          • We must be seeing different things. Here is a partial screen shot of what I see, with the 787 total delivered value missing. I thought I might be able to compute it by looking at the grand total and subtracting the others, but the grand total is also missing.

            http://www.oparnica.com/wxyz/gates.gif

        • Robert

          thanks for the follow-up. That’s an unfortunate online-only glitch. The chart that appeared in print in Thursday’s paper has all those numbers. They were printed in white on the blue bar, and somehow that didn’t show online.

          But I can tell you the three missing numbers:
          787 deliveries were valued at $21.2 billion.
          Boeing total deliveries were $60 billion.
          And Boeing total net orders were valued at $66 billion.

          I’ll have the chart fixed online. Thanks for pointing out the glitch.

          • Domonic:

            Thank you for weighing in. Your column is on the top of my Aviation list.

            My 90 year old mother follows it as well as two of my brothers .

            We flew through Seattle back in the days of 24 hour layovers.

        • “I see that comparing 737 Max with 320 Neo we get

          $52.3M for a Max
          $51.8M for the Neo”

          The demand, backlog of the NEO is larger than MAX. The percentage of (uncontested) large A321s is also far bigger than -9s, 10s.

          This seems hard to believe info from ST.

          • The valuations are all from Avitas. The figures you cite above are the averages that emerge from the delivery data. The latest Avitas “blue book” values are as follows:
            A320neo $50.3M and A321neo $56.3M
            MAX 8 $52.3M and MAX 9 $54.3M

            In 2018, Airbus delivered 284 A320neos and 102 A321neos, which is what produced the $20 billion total value.
            Boeing doesn’t break down its MAX deliveries by model, so I have to do a little guesswork. By trial and error, I arrive at a likely mix that matches the announced total list price.
            In the case of the 2018 deliveries, my guessestimate ended up as 241 MAX 8s and just 15 MAX 9s. This produced the $13.4 billion total value.

        • Geez, Airbus still had to give a bigger discount on neos—even with the bribes? (Either the bribes weren’t big enough, and/or didn’t go to the “right people”. LOL)

    • Hello Robert Wilkinson,

      Regarding: “Is it possible to give a value to each backlog ?”

      As a for profit investor, the only method of assigning value to an order backlog that I care about, is a companies demonstrated efficiency in converting order backlog to profit for them and for me. A company that makes $1 million in profit per airplane sold, that has a backlog of 100 airplanes ($100 million of profit when all have been delivered), would quite likely be a more attractive investment to me than a company that had a backlog of 500 airplanes that made $10,000 profit per airplane ($5 million profit when all have been delivered). By this point of view, recent history suggests that each aircraft in backlog at Boeing will generate about twice much profit as each aircraft in backlog at Airbus. See the excerpts below from the 11-5-18 Motley Fool article at the link after the excerpts. Perhaps if I was a government minister charged with finding and funding socialist job projects, I would see it some other way, but I’m not, and I don’t, and I am constantly amazed that there are so many articles, such as this one, that dwell on Airbus orders vs. Boeing orders without getting around to the subject of the much lower efficiency that Airbus has, relative to Boeing, in converting orders to profit.

      “There’s plenty of room for debate about which aerospace giant has the better model lineup and the best future sales prospects. In recent years, Airbus has tended to collect more aircraft orders (although Boeing is poised to win the 2018 order race). As a result, Airbus has a larger order backlog than its American rival.

      However, Boeing leads Airbus by a wide margin in terms of both profitability and cash flow. The two companies’ recently released Q3 earnings reports show that Airbus is still struggling to turn strong order activity into big profits.”

      “Airbus’ profitability has improved significantly in 2018 relative to 2017, but it still lags Boeing by a wide margin. For the first nine months of the year, Airbus’ adjusted operating profit more than doubled to 2.7 billion euros ($3.1 billion) — less than half of the $6.8 billion core operating profit that Boeing achieved.

      The difference in performance is even more stark when looking at free cash flow. Year to date, Airbus’ free cash flow is steeply negative. For the full year, it expects free cash flow (excluding merger and acquisition activity and customer financing) of less than 2.95 billion euros ($3.36 billion), compared to $13 billion or more for Boeing.”

      “Another possibility is that Airbus has been offering deeper discounts than Boeing. While Airbus and Boeing proudly announce every major aircraft order they receive, the pricing of each deal remains a closely guarded secret. Based on the relative profitability of the two aerospace giants, Airbus’ market share gains over the past decade may have come at a high cost.

      It’s certainly possible that as Airbus ramps up output of its newer jet models, its profitability will improve to a level more in line with what Boeing routinely achieves. But until Airbus shows more progress in that direction, investors are probably better off sticking with the proven cash machine: Boeing.”

      https://www.fool.com/investing/2018/11/05/1-way-boeing-is-absolutely-crushing-airbus.aspx

      • Look at cash flow while ignoring accounting methods & you’re in wonderland.

        • And how much is the repay Airbus does to the aid?

          It would be interesting to see if what Airbus would look like if Boeing deferred accounting was used.

          And Airbus has fewer workers and should be more efficient so ????????????????????????

  2. How are you counting the A220 when comparing narrowbody backlogs between Boeing and Airbus? It is a bit of a grey area since it’s been established that Boeing doesn’t currently compete in that market.

    • @Mike: A220-300 competes with 737-700/7 MAX. The industry (Boeing/Airbus) CMO and GMF forecast start at 100 seats, which includes the A220-100 and E195. Hence, they are included in the tables here.

    • @Mike Bohnet

      Just like the smaller A350-1000 competes with the larger 777-9, the smaller A220-300 does indeed compete with the larger 737-7.

      • I think we saw this same contention form Boeing that the 737-900/9 competed with the 321.

        It does not and did not.

        There is a huge different between CLOSET and Competes.

        That means our Passat competes with the Indy Cars. Really? Its the closest we have (should I try to run) but it does not COMPETE!

  3. It would be interesting to see the widebody chart, excluding freighters and military tankers. In other words, only passenger aircraft.

    The Bombardier CRJ and ATR is excluded? Why?

    • @Meg: ATR/Q400 are turboprops; CRJ, E190/175, SSJ, MRJ are below 100 seats and therefore fall squarely in the RJ category. E195 at 122 seats falls within the seat definition of a mainline jet (100+ seats).

      Interesting tidbit: If I have a choice between an E175 (a Scope airplane in the US) and an A320 or 737 on the same routing, I will take the E175 every time for its wide seating. Second choice is A320, last is 737. Unless I’m flying first class, and then it doesn’t matter what airplane I’m on.

      • Meg: NO reason you could not pull out that data and create one or a text version.

        If I can do it anyone can.

          • Sadly not likely to get to fly the E Jets.

            I will agree, nothing like first class, my company did that for unknown reasons back from Asia on a trip.

            747 from Japan to Seattle and a whole row to myself (actually first class was mostly empty, got some good sleep across 3 seats)

            727 from Seattle to Anchorage was not quite that good (grin) but it was nice and with plenty of sleep I got to enjoy what view we had.

          • We are getting 787 Service to Dallas so may get to fly one of those and see it for sure.

      • Boeing got approval from the government of Brazil for the merger. Look forward for the E series sales to rise with Boeing’s sales force.

  4. How strong is the KC-46 backlog?

    Although the USAF has finally accepted and taken ownership of its first KC-46A, the refueling boom appears to be completely FUBAR. Fixing the flawed systems on the boom is expected to take approximately 3-4 years to complete. Hence, the USAF Air Force is withholding $28 million from the final payment on each of the 52 aircraft ordered until Boeing makes the necessary fixes — a hopeless undertaking if the boom design is indeed FUBARed.

    Also, the fact that the USAF is accepting tankers with FUBARed booms, seems to be a growing public relations disaster for Boeing. Case in point; just check out the comment section on this article at the Washington Post (i.e 377 comments and counting):

    Despite flaws, Air Force accepts Boeing’s long-delayed and troubled tanker

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2019/01/10/despite-flaws-air-force-accepts-boeings-long-delayed-troubled-tanker/?utm_term=.d94f00d14ee6

    Boeing is already in breach of the KC-46 contract. They were supposed to deliver 18 tankers by August 2017.

    Boeing must perform on the new KC-46 tanker programme, the US Air Force is warning the company as the aircraft enters its preliminary design review (PDR). Otherwise the service could walk away.

    “We could buy more KC-46s or – make no mistake about it – if Boeing doesn’t perform, we’ll just start another competition,” says Maj Gen Christopher Bogdan, the USAF’s KC-46 programme executive officer.

    “If they don’t give us the 18 airplanes by August of 2017, I have the option to withhold payments (and) I have the option not to approve any of the further production options,” Bogdan says.

    Source: https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/in-focus-boeing-must-deliver-on-kc-46-usaf-says-370719/

    Now, as Boeing is in breach of the contract (i.e for the delays, FUBARed boom etc.), I’d not be surprised if Airbus and Lockheed Martin are seriously looking at the possibility of making an irresistible tanker offer to the USAF. For example, they could;

    1) offer to the USAF the delivery of the first 18 A330 MRTT tankers 3-4 years from now — i.e. at about the same time period as when the USAF is predicting (optimistically?) that the boom on the KC-46 will be fixed;

    2) offer to the USAF a fully combat-proven tanker that would alleviate the USAF’s pain in operating the FUBARed frankentanker.

    3) offer to the USAF a tanker that has maintained high customer satisfaction levels from the six countries that’s currently operating the A330 MRTT (i.e. Australia, France, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates and the UK). Hence, the USAF would be able to finally pick the tanker with the highest reviews, not the cheapest one with the loudest manufacture’s claims. The ongoing KC-46 public relations disaster would likely help to mute Boeing’s senators and congressmen/congresswomen who would be protesting the turn of events;

    4) offer to the USAF a tanker that would let the American taxpayer know that they would be getting a good deal and that they would be getting their money’s worth. This could be done by offering 179 A330-800 MRTTs at the same terms (i.e. inflation adjusted) of that of the final offer price from EADS for the 2011 KC-X competition. A 251 metric tonnes MTOW A330-800 MRTT would burn significantly less fuel — i.e. saving money for the taxpayer — and have a significantly higher fuel off-load capability than the A330-200 MRTT. In fact, the aircraft could be offered with the same rear centre tank that was developed and certified for the A340-500 (i.e. fuel capacity of 19741 litres), meaning that the total fuel capacity would increase from 139,090 litres (246,183 lbs, or 111,667 kg) on an A330-200 MRTT to 158.831 litres (281,123 lbs, or 127,515 kg) on an A330-800MRTT. In contrast the KC-46 can carry 119,946 litres (212,299 lbs, or 96,297 kg) of fuel.

    5) offer to the USAF a tanker that they really need, but that they until now hasn’t known it yet… 😉 Hence, Airbus and LM must prove to the USAF that they can deliver and are the best choice for what the USAF needs.

    It may appear as if even the POTUS won’t be able to help Boeing on what now appears to be a public relations nightmare caused by the FUBARed boom on the KC-46. Even Shanahan would have a hard time defending the KC-46 in the event of the USAF deciding to curtail the acquisition of KC-46s at 52 units (i.e. the number of aircraft that’s on order), as any interference by Shanahan would be viewed as a case of the pot calling the kettle black

    https://www.politico.com/story/2019/01/09/defense-patrick-shanahan-boeing-pentagon-1064203

    • KC-46 backlog is 127.

      So the A330MRT took 5 years (Australia data) to get up to snuff that condemns the much more capable KC-46?

      Airbus is just now adding extras to the A330MRT to try to match what the KC-46 can do out of the box.

      Don’t get me wrong, I think the whole Boeing program is a debacle, but they are taking the hit and that is just fine and deserved.

      I don’t doubt they will recover.

      In the meantime, do you get 52 very capable tankers into service and experience on them or do they just sit there.?

      So lets flip this around.

      Germany has 6 subs and none of them are working

      They have all of 100 Leopard tanks that are combat capable (one US armored Brigade has that many and the US has dozens of Armored Brigades) .

      Clearly Germany wants the glory (jobs) but not the pain of sustaining it. An Army or AF marches on its logistics and support, not what is in the shed doing nothing. It wins on combat power, not parked equipment that is broken

      You might want to channel Custer how it worked out when he fought his last battle with single shots vs multi shot carbines the so called Savages had (he left his Gatlings in stores)

      I would guess Boeing has more KC-46 in production that all the A330MRT ever produced.

      Yep, we have a mess on that tanker, it still can fuel most aircraft just fine, it, and likely like the C17 will become a top of the world aircraft ..

      And when its said and done, you won’t have 10 working and the rest sitting on the ground broke .

      • @TransWorld

        The development and production contract for the KC-30B (i.e five airframes) was at a cost of $1.777 billion. In fact, by selling 5 KC-30Bs to RAAF, Airbus could cover part of the R&D costs in developing the A330 MRTT.

        The RAAF selected the KC-30B in 2004 in preference to the KC 767. The approved cost of Project Air 5402 is $1.777 billion; EADS CASA’s prime contract is worth $1.509 billion. The deliverables under this contract include the five KC-30Bs, a full flight simulator, five years’ initial in-service support and the establishment of a Contractor Support Organisation in Australia.

        http://www.rumourcontrol.com.au/analysis/Project_Air_5402_Aerial_Refuelling_Tanker_backgrounder.pdf

        The additional costs in developing the A330 MRTT was borne by Airbus (EADS) themselves. For example, the development of the Air Refueling Boom System (ARBS) was an Airbus (EADS) self-funded research and development effort

        EADS’ ARBS has undergone a rigorous flight test program, and is now in its final in-flight validation phase. This all-electric fly-by-wire system provides highly accurate, reliable in-flight refueling and is the result of a nearly three year, $100 million EADS self-funded research and development effort. Using a 3D-vision surveillance system, the boom operator can remotely control ARBS operations from the cockpit during air-to-air refueling.

        https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20070222006105/en/EADS-A330-MRTT-Selected-United-Arab-Emirates

        In contrast, Boeing has recieved a $4.9 billion from the USAF in order to develop the KC-46A. The company has now had to pay more than $3.5 billion out of its own pocket, due to cost overruns, beyond the $4.9 billion fixed-price contract it signed with the USAF.

        In contrast to Airbus’ self-funded boom, The KC-46’s refuelling boom is a new version of the boom on Boeing (MacDac) KC-10 tanker’s boom, but it has been modified with the digital fly-by-wire system that was developed for the Italian and Japanese KC-767 tankers — a real frankenboom indeed. 😉

        So, what has the USAF got? A FUBARed boom that may never work properly — barring a complete redesign.

        Meanwhile, Airbus is busy flight trialing automatic refuelling technology on their self-funded boom.

        Airbus Defence and Space has demonstrated automatic air-to-air refueling of a large aircraft. The company’s own A310 development tanker made seven contacts with an approaching A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) owned by the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). Airbus previously demonstrated automatic refueling of a fighter aircraft. The A330 MRTT is designated KC-30A in service by the RAAF.

        Airbus says that the system requires no additional equipment on the receiver and is intended to reduce refueling boom operator workload, improve safety, and optimize the rate of air-to-air refueling (AAR). During the initial approach of the receiver aircraft, the tanker’s Air Refueling Operator (ARO) performs boom control as usual. Innovative passive techniques such as image processing are then used to determine the position of the receiver’s refueling receptacle. When the automated system is activated, a fully automated flight control system flies and maintains the boom aligned with the receiver’s receptacle. The telescopic beam inside the boom can be controlled in a range of ways, including manually by the ARO, a relative distance-keeping mode, or full auto-mode to perform the contact.

        https://www.ainonline.com/aviation-news/defense/2018-07-12/airbus-tankers-mate-automatically-flight

        Hence, Airbus isn’t just adding extras to the A330MRT — on a shoestring budget — they’re doing something that will be hard to match for Boeing with their completely FUBARed frankenboom system on the KC-46 — a frankenboom that apparently cost far more to develop — and paid for by the USAF — than the Airbus (EADS) self-funded boom.

        • Well its done and over isn’t it?

          Or do you want to hear about the billion plugs award Airbus got and walked away with for doing nothing?

          Maybe your time is better spend dealing with current issues and not harping on past ones

          Maybe go back to designing the two engine A380? The world awaits.

          I know, its so unfair, but that is life

        • The boom and pods for tanking in the Boeing contract are subcontracted for development and construction to Cobham ( who are long standing specialists in this area, and have taken over the US supplier Sarjent Fletcher).
          Airbus uses the same contractor to supply booms and pods for its A330MRTT.
          The idea that there is a frankenboom is just silly nonsense, both OEMs are using the same supplier, and yes both have had integration issues.
          “Who you gonna call”‘

          • @Dukeofurl

            You said: “The boom and pods for tanking in the Boeing contract are subcontracted for development and construction to Cobham”.

            That’s not correct. Cobham is only responsible for the wing-mounted refueling pods and the centerline drogue systems. Your misplaced belief, therefore, that both OEMs are using the same supplier for their respective booms that are proprietary developed, is just silly nonsense. However, one of the two proprietary developed booms does appear to be a frankenboom.

            The British defense company Cobham providing in-flight refueling technology for the U.S. Air Force’s KC-46 tanker program has warned of further delay in delivery of refuelling kit as Boeing – the main developer of the program, is withholding payment for its work on the programme.

            Cobham provides the RP-910E-75 Wing Aerial Refueling Pod (WARP) and FR-600-84MDR Centerline Drogue System(CDS) for the KC-46.

            http://www.defenseworld.net/news/23060/Cobham_Warns_Further_Delay_In_USAF_KC_46_Tanker_Program#.XDkaV9XwZeU

            On the A330 MRTT, the Cobham provided fuselage hose and drogue refueling unit can offload fuel at a maximum rate of 600 US gal/min, while the Cobham provided under-wing hose and drogue pods can offload fuel at a maximum rate of 420 US gal/min. In contrast, the Airbus proprietary Aerial Refueling Boom System (ARBS) can offload fuel at a maximum rate of 1200 US gal/min.

            Large probe-equipped aircraft such as the A400M or C295, can be refuelled, at a high fuel offload rate of 1800 kg/min – 600 US gal/min via the Cobham 805E Fuselage Refuelling Unit (FRU).

            The FRU, a removable Hose and Drogue unit, allows refuelling receivers with a different fuel type. This option assures NATO fuel type to be transferred from Wing-Pods, while an alternative fuel type is dispensed from the FRU.

            Those Air-to-Air Refuelling (AAR) systems are controlled from an advanced Fuel Operator Console that is positioned in the cockpit, increasing the safety of the AAR operation by ensuring a timely and synchronized reaction of the flight crew to unexpected events. It also features an Enhanced Vision System, a high definition 2D/3D digital system that enables performing day and night refuelling and can provide high resolution video recording of the refuelling operations.

            https://www.airbus.com/defence/a330mrtt.html

            BTW, here’s a link to an image of the A4ooM being refueled by the Cobham 805E Fuselage Refuelling Unit (FRU) on a RAF A330 MRTT Voyage:

            https://airbus-h.assetsadobe2.com/is/image/content/dam/products-and-solutions/military-aircraft/a400m/MA-12-2014-P-picture-1_final.png?wid=3626&fit=constrain

          • Are you sure the KC-46 boom is supplied by Cobham Mission Systems (which acquired Sargent Fletcher)? I know they supply the centerline drogue system and the drogue systems for the WARPs on the KC-46 as well as for the A330MRTT but their website says nothing about supplying booms for anyone.

        • Frankenboom? How childish of you.

          Elements of the KC-46 boom design is based on the KC-10 boom design. Big deal! If that is your standard for calling something frankenwhatever then I guess the A330 is a frankenplane because much of it’s fuselage structure, including the diameter, is based on the A300.

          I seriously doubt the KC-30A and EADS boom development cost numbers you present. I wonder who had to pay for the 4 years of remediation work that went on between the first delivery to the RAAF in 2011 and the when the KC-30A was finally taken off the “Projects of Concern” list in 2015? The RAAF flew the KC-30A for 4 years without using the boom because they didn’t want to endanger their crews!

          https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/australia-gears-up-for-a330-mrtt-boom-capability-409945
          https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/raaf-kc-30a-uses-boom-to-refuel-wedgetail-413744

          If it cost so much for Boeing to develop the KC-46 and so little for EADS to develop the KC-30 then why was EADS’s bid for the KC-45 during the KC-X competition $3.5B more than Boeing’s winning KC-46 bid of $31.5B.
          Source: http://www.airforcemag.com/MagazineArchive/Documents/2011/June%202011/0611tanker.pdf

          • @Mike Bohnet

            Nice try!

            Frankenwhatever = integrating old things on old things.

            Frankenboom = FUBARed integration of old software on old hardware***.

            A330 MRTT Air Refueling Boom System (ARBS) = integrating new software on new hardware.

            A330 = integrating old fuselage structure and vertical tail plane with all new wing, MLG, horizontal tail plane (etc) and a revolutionary FBW-type cockpit from the (then-new) A320.

            The KC-46’s refuelling boom is a new version of the Boeing KC-10 tanker’s boom, but it has been modified with the digital fly-by-wire system found on Italian and Japanese 767 tanker booms.

            ***“We’re integrating old software on old hardware,” Bogdan says. “That always creates some risk, but I think they’re both known quantities.”

            https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/in-focus-boeing-must-deliver-on-kc-46-usaf-says-370719/

            As for your “serious doubt” on the A330 MRTT R&D costs; is it so hard to comprehend that it was largely a self funded effort? After the 2002 USAF RFI assessment, EADS knew they had to develop an air-refuelling boom in-house if they wanted future bids be taken seriously by the USAF.

            Although Congress had directed the US Air Force to lease tankers from Boeing, the service issued a request for information (RFI) to “determine if competition was practical”. EADS offered the KC-330, based on the A330-200. The USAF says assessment of the RFI results “shows that the EADS offering presents a higher-risk technical approach and a less preferred financial arrangement”.

            The USAF says EADS’ lack of relevant tanker experience and its need to develop an air-refuelling boom and operator station makes theKC-330 significantly higher risk than Boeing’s 767-200ER-based tanker. The US manufacturer is already developing the boom- and drogue-equipped KC-767 for launch customers Italy and Japan. The USAF also says the KC-330’s larger size “does not bring with it a commensurate increase in available air-refuelling offload”. Whereas theKC-767 has a ground footprint 29% larger than the Boeing KC-135E it would replace, the KC-330’s is 81% larger, the service says.

            https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/usaf-rules-out-higher-risk-eads-tanker-proposal-an-145821/

            Again, here’s the $100 million number for the EADS self-funded boom. The quote is from an official EADS press release from February 22, 2007. Of course, as you typically harbour doubts on anything that’s originating with Airbus (EADS) you end up believing what you want to believe.

            EADS’ ARBS has undergone a rigorous flight test program, and is now in its final in-flight validation phase. This all-electric fly-by-wire system provides highly accurate, reliable in-flight refueling and is the result of a nearly three year, $100 million EADS self-funded research and development effort. Using a 3D-vision surveillance system, the boom operator can remotely control ARBS operations from the cockpit during air-to-air refueling.

            https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20070222006105/en/EADS-A330-MRTT-Selected-United-Arab-Emirates

            As for you last point; clearly, Boeing underbid massively. Hence, they shot themselves in the foot by underbidding by about as much as they now have had to pay from the company’s own accounts as a result of the cost overruns. They only had to underbid EADS by more than one percent in order to win the KC-X contract — not 10 percent!

            In contrast to Boeing, EADS didn’t want to lose money on the contract. Clearly, though, they decided to remain in the competition when NG left in order to force Boeing to bid low. If they had won, part of the initial $3.5 billion contract for R&D — with a ceiling of $4.9 billion — was going to be used to pay for the expense of the all new A330 FAL and A330 MRTT tanker conversion facilities in Mobile.

          • And to keep it in perspective, the 767 backlog is good as well.

            That is the base for the KC46 by the way.

            Its a very popular freighter and they can’t build em fast enough.

            So much for getting run out of the air by the A330 and its not even an NEO!

          • OV-099,
            What again is your answer to who paid for the 4 year remediation effort (2011 to 2015) that the RAFF had to endure to get a usable boom on their KC-30’s? I couldn’t find it.

            Just because EADS had a $100M IR&D effort to develop the boom doesn’t mean that is the entire boom development cost. Not even close. All EADS had to do with their boom IR&D program was demonstrate their technology. They didn’t have to work all the bugs out of it, especially since the RAAF and USAF were willing to pay for it. Defense companies don’t spend any more IR&D dollars than necessary, ever, because there is zero incentive. Instead they will spend just the necessary amount in order to show their prospective customers that they have the necessary tech to perform on the development contract. EADS is no different.

            “Of course, as you typically harbour doubts on anything that’s originating with Airbus (EADS) you end up believing what you want to believe.”

            I don’t at all doubt that EADS spent $100M in IR&D funds on developing their refueling boom. What I doubt is the story you’re trying to sell us by finding a few dated articles (way before the development was completed) containing some cost quotes and passing it off as proof of the total KC-30 development cost. Nice try indeed!

            Oh, and frankenboom is even more childish when you dig in your heels to defend it.

          • @Mike Bohnet

            Boeing’s proposed contender for the first round of the KC-X competition was the KC-767AT, a hybrid project derived from the cargo 767-200LRF (Long Range Freighter) still in development, but with the -200ER fuselage used for the Italian and Japanese KC-767s; the wing, landing gear, cargo door and floor of the -300F, as well as flaps and engines of the -400ER; all of which earned it the nickname of “Frankentanker” — a term humorously coined in a cartoon by “anonymous”. J.D. Crowe, the staff cartoonist for the Mobile Register, came with the “Bride of the Frankentanker” (i.e. a KC-777)

            http://old.seattletimes.com/ABPub/zoom/html/2004147566.html

            http://blog.al.com/jdcrowe/2009/06/bride_of_frankentanker.html

            Hence, my humorous term “Frankenboom” follows in that same tradition. It does seem to have hit a nerve with @Mike Bohnet who very likely must have been especially irked by the term “Frankentanker”.

            As for the development costs of the A330 MRTT and its ARBS boom; what type of answer do you want?.

            If you don’t believe that Airbus (EADS) picked up most of the tab for the development costs of the A330 MRTT and the ARBS boom, why don’t you provide links to articles showing that Airbus (EADS) supposedly passed the increase in development costs on to its customers — the burden of proof is upon the claimant.

            Just because Boeing won’t spend any more IR&D dollars than the absolute minimum doesn’t mean that companies like Airbus and SpaceX won’t spend what’s required to successfully complete a strategic undertaking. Developing the ARBS boom was indeed a strategic undertaking on the part of Airbus (EADS).

            Quote: “I don’t at all doubt that EADS spent $100M in IR&D funds on developing their refueling boom. What I doubt is the story you’re trying to sell us by finding a few dated articles (way before the development was completed) containing some cost quotes and passing it off as proof of the total KC-30 development cost. Nice try indeed!

            Here’s a dated article (1 March, 2007) from the Australian Defence Magazine, explaining in detail how much of the fundamental development had been undertaken by the time NG/EADS won the first round of the KC-X competition a year later.

            The ARBS is the product of three year, US$100 million in-house R&D effort by EADS.

            The ARBS uses fly-by-wire flight controls and an automatic load alleviation system that provides a larger refueling envelope and enhanced controllability.

            The RARO station’s 3D-vision surveillance system allows the boom operator to remotely control ARBS operations from the cockpit during air-to-air refueling.

            The Critical Design Review as completed successfully at the end of June last year.

            However, detail design of some elements, especially the Human-Machine Interface associated with the RARO, is still being completed in parallel with the conversion of the aircraft.

            A critical milestone was first flight of the ARBS on a modified Airbus A310 testbed.

            The A310 was selected because it is aerodynamically and structurally very similar to the A330 (and could even be a candidate for conversion into an ARBS-equipped tanker for other customers in the future); minor supplier and technical problems saw the first flight delayed from late-2005 to March 2006.

            The first phase of flight testing, with the boom stowed, was completed in May last year; the second phase began in November and the first flight with the boom actually deployed took place on 30 January.

            During this flight the ARBS successfully completed seven full-extension deployments and recoveries to the stowed position.

            Tests included evaluation of the boom’s operational flight envelope and overall handling characteristics.

            The flight also saw flutter tests at different extended boom lengths and at a variety of aircraft bank angles, reflecting real-world operations and flight conditions.

            This year will see the completion of aerodynamic flight testing and qualification of ARBS for uncoupled flight (free flight) and coupled flight (with a receiver).

            A variety of receivers will be used for this flight test program, likely including French Boeing 707 E-3 AWACS aircraft and F-16s from European air forces.

            The RAAF A330 MRTT is being modified into phases in order to remain in step with the ARBS flight test and certification program.

            Phase 1 will see installation of all the structural modifications, including the ARBS, under-wing pods and UARSSI, thought these will remain inoperable at this stage.

            This phase is scheduled for completion in May to allow flight testing to get under way and achieve civil certification; the aircraft has already completed its test readiness review in preparation for ground testing and then flight test.

            The remaining modifications will be completed by the end of 2007, so allowing flight testing and military type certification activities to resume.

            The European Aviation safety Authority (EASA) and Spanish Military Airworthiness Authority, INTA, will be responsible for certification of the aircraft and its military modifications; this process will form part of the RAAF’s own Type Acceptance Test and Evaluation Program.

            This first A330 MRTT was scheduled to delivery to Australia in 2009, and apparently remains on track to achieve this in spite of the delayed start of ARBS flight testing and some re-design work on the RARO station.

            The A310 trials program has thrown up no major problems with the ARBS, and no significant problems elsewhere.

            However, the detail design process has resulted in several enhancements to the ARBS’ visual system and RARO station in order to improve the console ergonomics and the crucial 3-D operator displays.

            These changes were agreed in mid-2006 and will be tested and certified on the A330 itself rather than on the A310, as originally planned.

            The MRTT development and flight test schedule anticipated problems and so contingency plans exist for parallel test and certification activities using both the A310 and A330, if necessary, to achieve the RAAF’s in-service date.

            Final testing of the new tanker with RAAF receiver aircraft will be conducted in Australia during 2009.

            RAAF Customer Acceptance was scheduled to take place at Getafe in late-2008; it’s unclear whether the project will meet this target, but the planned in-service date remains late-2009.

            This milestone will see the completion of qualification testing, issue of a military airworthiness certificate and delivery of the first two aircraft.

            The second and subsequent aircraft will be delivered from Australia – Qantas Defence Systems will modify them at its Brisbane facility; the first of these aircraft will be delivered to Brisbane in mid-2008 and the modifications are expected to take about seven months per aircraft.

            As Prime Contractor, EADS CASA is responsible for sourcing a comprehensive training system for the A330 MRTT and selected CAE Inc last year to supply the full flight and mission simulator, a new training facility and a mission systems trainer under a $46 million contract.

            The simulator is due at Amberley in 2009; CAE also has a five year contract directly from Defence to provide five years’ support for the A330 MRTT training system.

            While the RAAF has become the lead customer for the A330-200 MRTT, which wasn’t its original plan, the element of cost and schedule risk associated with such a position is mitigated considerably by the US Air Force’s KC-X tanker program, for which a request for Proposal (RFP) was issued on 31 January.

            EADS CASA has teamed with Northrop Grumman to bid for this program in competition with Boeing, which is expected to offer tanker variants of its B767 or B777 airliners – the company is already building the KC-767 for Italy and Japan.

            With so much at stake EADS CASA has very motivation to ensure that the RAAF aircraft is completed on time and that it works correctly.

            ADM understands Defence has been assured the company will not divert resources from the Australian program to support the KC-X marketing effort and the UK’s Future Strategic Tanker Aircraft (FSTA) program.

            http://www.australiandefence.com.au/C67520C0-F806-11DD-8DFE0050568C22C9

          • OV-099,
            The burden of proof is indeed on the claimant. You’ve failed in making your case that you started in response to TransWorld that the KC-30 (including the boom) development cost much less than the KC-46 development. The reason for this is that you presented cost data that was published way before the completion of development, but you ignored (purposefully?) a 2 year delivery delay (the Australian Defense Magazine article you quote says the first KC-30 should’ve been delivered in 2009 but it was actually delivered in 2011) and a 4 year remediation project (2011 to 20015) to get the Airbus (EADS) self-funded boom functional enough for RAAF receiver qualification. Someone has to pay for the extra 6 years of work that went on, or do you really think that EADS and the RAAF just sat around twiddling their thumbs the whole time and no one was getting paid to work the problem. Bottom line is that you really don’t have any clue how much the KC-30 and the Airbus (EADS) self-funded boom cost to fully develop and none of the super long quotes you posted gets the job done.

            “Hence, my humorous term “Frankenboom” follows in that same tradition.”

            Oh, so now that’s what you were doing. OK, sure.

    • Lets add in the A400 and how much of a breach they are in?

      The good news for the US is we have a robust KC-135R fleet that is good until 2040.

      It pays to keep your stuff in good shape.

      Or we could talk about the Norwegians who I had considered the premier sea people of the world and sinking a $700 million dollar frigate when it pranged itself on the front of a tanker (going all of 7 knots)

      This is on as modern a warship there is with the latest whiz bang combat and radar systems and they can’t deconflict from a tanker doing 7 knots?

      Maybe the Russian answer is slow boats that bump into your boats?

      It sunk by the way,

      • “Apparently, the Air Force did not specify the lower thrust resistance in the original contract and has now asked Boeing for a design change to meet this requirement. As such, since this is officially a new stipulation, the service has agreed to give the planemaker additional funds on top of the fixed deal to pay for the work.”

        And by the way, LM and Airbus are working on tanker deal to supplement tankers regardless of the KC-46.

        As noted in the past, you need lot of tankers not big ones.

        You can’t tank if you are hauling freight (is that not the A300MRT claim to fame?)

        I have seen one picture of an A-10 that had a serious dent in its nose. No one apparently did studies on the issue and so no data (very important to stealth)

        Boeing will (on their own dime) pay to redo the vision system. Maybe they will buy it from Airbus?

        But is the Airbus system better?

        Stay tuned.

      • @TransWorld

        No, let’s not add in the A400M. In contrast to the 767-derived KC-46 frankentanker and its frankenboom, the A400M was a new clean-sheet development programme. The major mistake that Airbus (EADS) made with respect to the A400M was to sign a fixed-priced contract with the governments of France, Germany, Spain and the UK — instead of a cost-plus contract which is normal for a new clean-sheet developmental effort.

        Contracts such as the KC-46 effort are part of a broader move by the DoD to shift more of the risk to contractors. “To a certain extent this is the future,” he says.

        But this type of fixed-price contract does not work for a new clean-sheet developmental effort. “There is all sorts of mayhem that can be produced by an all-new clean-sheet-of-paper design,” Aboulafia says. “Especially for a combat aircraft where you have three services weighing in.”

        Bogdan agrees: “I wouldn’t tell you that every programme could be like this, because we’re using a commercial derivative airplane.”

        https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/in-focus-boeing-must-deliver-on-kc-46-usaf-says-370719/

        • Airbus consider including the engine development contract as part of the airframe development as the major mistake they made with A400M.
          No one ever does that, civil or military.

          • OV99:

            You really are hung up on Franken arn’t you?

            You know he was an elected represent to the US Congress? Stenator I think .

            Me thinks your photo shopped aircraft are the true Franken planes.

            The good news is the KC46 boom has not fallen off (twice!)

      • Reminds me of the USS Stark 🙁
        Can’t radio in? Lets shut off all the electronic stuff so i can talk to the satellites and back to the pentagon to overcome my own interferences. Ooppss, rats, we got hit by a darn exocet… (and french for all thing!!) but but not it was not supposed to happen!!!
        I have to say the norwegian incident really made me laught. 7 knots?? Like in the Nerdelands where the army has the right to go on strike.

    • you love the term FUBAR, but FUBAR is a huge exaggeration in this case.

      in certain off nominal conditions, the RVS is not as good as the human eye, but in 99% of normal tanking situations it is drastically better. backfitting upgraded cameras and SW to all the 54 currently completed frames is expected to take ~3 years, but meanwhile these frames are able to be used just fine.

      the boom strike “problem” is that the boom strike rate is _no better_ (but also no worse) than the existing tankers, when it was supposed to be better in hopes of doing less damage to stealth coatings than current tankers. the KC-30/a330mrt is also no better than “current” tankers in this respect.

      so far no booms have fallen off KC-46s where about 5 have fallen from KC-30s

      the other boom “issue” is that it is a bit too firm, which they expect to fix with software adjustments to the hydraulic controls within 3 months.

      • @bilbo

        Scraping the skin outside the receptacle area on a stealth aircraft by boom operators on KC-135s and KC-10s is not something that happens very often.

        Looking back at my first few years in the Air Force, I was fortunate enough to refuel the F-117 Nighthawk on several occasions, however it was always during the day time. At night was another story. Daytime refueling with a stealth was stressful enough. Just scraping a stealth with RAM (Radar Absorbent Material) coating outside of the receptacle area meant an ass chewing when you got back to base, not to mention the possible affect it could have on a jet’s stealth capability. Now we were facing refueling the F-117s and “the others” at night, with no lights on, and no communications. Receiver aircraft simply flew to where they knew the tanker would be and got enough fuel to get back to home base so that they could reload and launch again. It was an all out free for all.

        https://foxtrotalpha.jalopnik.com/confessions-of-a-usaf-kc-135-flying-gas-station-boom-op-1578048155

        Quote: “the boom strike “problem” is that the boom strike rate is _no better_ (but also no worse) than the existing tankers, when it was supposed to be better in hopes of doing less damage to stealth coatings than current tankers. the KC-30/a330mrt is also no better than “current” tankers in this respect.”

        Nonsense

        However, Air Force test communities have complained that certain lighting conditions cause the imagery provided to the boom operator to be misleading, contributing to cases where the boomer accidentally scrapes the skin of the receiver aircraft. For aircraft with low-observable coating, such mistakes could result in the loss of stealth and a hefty repair bill.

        Boeing previously maintained it could update its software to fix RVS problems, while the service was more reluctant to put its faith in that proposed solution.

        To better understand the RVS, the Air Force formed a team that included personnel from Boeing, Air Mobility Command, the Air Force’s acquisition wing and the Human Performance Wing at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, which studied how the imagery from the RVS was perceived and internalized by boom operators. For example, “there is a slight difference between the motion viewed in the RVS versus what is actually occurring in the physical world. All of those things can create a depth compression and curvature effect” where boom operators might overcorrect their movement based on what they are seeing on screen, an Air Force official explained.

        Once the Air Force was able to understand how the RVS distorted imagery under certain conditions, the service was able to more firmly articulate the requirements Boeing must meet for an acceptable RVS, but those parameters will surely entail hardware changes — potentially very extensive ones.

        https://www.defensenews.com/breaking-news/2019/01/10/boeing-delivers-first-kc-46-but-fixes-to-technical-problems-still-years-away/

        As for your claim that “5 booms have fallen from KC-30s”, I’m only aware of two incidents. Perhaps you know more about when and where those other alleged incidents supposedly occurred

        On 19 January 2011, an air refuelling accident occurred between a boom equipped A330 MRTT and a Portuguese Air Force F-16 over the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Portugal. Early reports indicate that the boom broke off at the aft end of the boom near the F-16’s receptacle which caused the boom to recoil into the underside of the A330 MRTT. The boom then became uncontrollable and oscillated until it broke off the boom assembly at the pivot point.[131] Both aircraft were damaged, but landed safely.[132] The A330 MRTT involved was an Airbus test aircraft destined for the RAAF; the air arm issued a statement that the aircraft was operated by an Airbus crew with no Australian personnel on board. At the time of the incident, Airbus had not begun deliveries.[131]

        On 10 September 2012 at approximately 19:30 (CEST), an A330 MRTT’s refuelling boom became detached in flight at an altitude of 27,000 ft in Spanish airspace.[43][133] The boom separated cleanly at a mechanical joint and fell to the ground, while the aircraft landed safely in Getafe.[43][133] There were no injuries caused by the malfunction.[43][133] The incident was the result of a conflict between the backup boom hoist (fitted to the UAE-destined A330 MRTTs) and the primary boom retraction mechanism, and was attributable to the testing being conducted.[43] Airbus later explained that the malfunction was not possible under ordinary operating conditions, and that procedures had been designed to avoid similar incidents in the future.[43] Following the incident, INTA, the Spanish regulatory authority, issued precautionary restrictions to other users of boom-equipped A330s.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Airbus_A330_MRTT

        • Boeing and the USAF currently disagree on the prevalence of the boom scraping problem. The boom strike problem (bashing through a windscreen or denting the skin) is different and way more serious and not a problem that the KC-46 has. From what I’ve read over the last couple years, bilbo is probably correct about the KC-46 boom scraping problem; that it doesn’t happen any more frequently than on previous platforms. I’m also reasonably sure the USAF probably has expectations that the boom scraping frequency on the KC-46 should be less than on existing platforms, also like bilbo asserts.

          The blog post by the KC-135 boom operator says that scraping the skin of a stealth aircraft was serious (they got an ass chewing if they did it), but doesn’t say anything about how often it happened. The Defense News article also says nothing about how often boom scraping occurs, but it does say the RVS issues occur only under certain lighting conditions. I’m wondering why you quoted these articles at all since they don’t really support your counter-points to bilbo’s statement.

          • @Mike Bohnet

            If you’d read the rest of the article you’d probably have noticed this quote:

            “There is something to be said for the new systems, but the KC-135’s old-school direct control and feedback make it more of a precision instrument than its supposedly technologically superior cousins”.

            The fact of the matter is that under certain lighting conditions, and the KC-46 boom operator’s view of refueling will be impaired. Apparently, KC-46 boom operators couldn’t tell during testing if the boom was scraping the receiving aircraft outside the protected area around the refueling receptacle.

            In contrast, a boom operator looking at the receiving aircraft with a direct, unimpeded view from the back of a KC-135 should be able to tell if the boom is scraping the receiving aircraft outside the protected area around the refueling receptacle — no matter what bilbo is saying.

            You do have to keep in mind the ever changing Air Force and our greedy need for new technology when deciding on becoming a Boom. We do have the Boeing KC-46 Pegasus coming online soon and the boom pod, with its huge bay windows facing aft, will eventually be a thing of the past. There was a time when I was at the back of the jet with my Bose headset on and the noise cancellation activated and it was like total peace. So quiet and peaceful looking out the rear of the jet, with nothing on my mind. Then, on other days you would take off, the APU (Auxiliary Power Unit) would catch on fire, and the smoke alone was enough to suffocate you. We would dump 10,000 pounds of fuel while in the overhead pattern above base and land the plane in an emergency. When you fly in machines that are getting up to almost 60 years in age you really never know what the day will bring.

            In the KC-135 the boom is like its own little aircraft, it literally flies through the air with its control surfaces moving at our mechanical command in order to “fly it” into position. On the KC-10 and the new KC-46 the boom is controlled via a fly-by-wire system, where you don’t really have direct feedback from the boom as it moves through the air. This is like flying an F-4 versus an F-22. There is something to be said for the new systems, but the KC-135’s old-school direct control and feedback make it more of a precision instrument than its supposedly technologically superior cousins.

            https://foxtrotalpha.jalopnik.com/confessions-of-a-usaf-kc-135-flying-gas-station-boom-op-1578048155

          • so, OV-999 – tell me how the A33o MRT is any better? it is also zero feedback FBW with an RVS. never been through US refueling trials, how do you know it doesn’t have exactly the same problem?

            what the refueler above is saying is you “feel” through the direct flight controls when you are scraping on the KC-135, but not on the KC-10, so this seems to be a problem with zero feedback FBW booms in general.

            but yeah, keep shovelling….

          • @bilbo

            As of 6 Apr 2018, RAAF’s KC-30A tankers are authorised to refuel the F-16, Tornado, F/A-18, E-7, KC-30, B-1 and the F-35A.*

            As of 19 Dec 2018, RAAF’s KC-30A tankers are authorised to refuel USAF’s F-22A fighters.**

            This is the second time around in this thread that you write something that is demonstrably false. First time around, you inflated the number of boom loss incidents on in-flight refueling testing on A330 MRTTs, from two to five. Clearly, you’re losing even more credibility when you claim that the A330 MRTT “has never been through US refueling trials”.

            Also, has it occurred to you that currently, the ARBS boom on the A330 MRTT might just be better than the Frankenboom on the KC-46, as the USAF appears to have few, if any qualms letting their high-end stealth fighters being refueled by RAAF’s KC-30s.

            Simple net search:

            *** https://www.google.com/search?q=KC-30+F-22
            *** https://www.google.com/search?q=KC-30+F-35

            **19 Dec 2018

            An RAAF Airbus KC-30A multi-role tanker transport (MRTT) has completed refuelling clearance trials with a USAF Lockheed Martin F-22A Raptor fighter, adding another type to the KC-30’s growing list of authorised receiver aircraft.

            The trials were conducted in August and September from California’s Edwards AFB and the nearby Mojave Desert ranges. Eight flights were conducted in total with the F-22 in different load configurations.

            The resultant instructions will allow the F-22 to refuel from the KC-30 in future coalition operations.

            https://www.military.com/video/kc-30a-multi-role-tanker-transport-refuels-f-35a-joint-strike-fighter

            *April 06, 2018

            For the Aussies, their experience in the Middle East with this new air combat package is also about “closing the triangle between NATO, the United States and Australia” in terms of interoperability. Kourelakos says the RAAF has de facto become a key force knitting the coalition together by acquiring clearance to refuel more and more aircraft.

            Today the KC-30A can refuel the F-16, Tornado, F/A-18, E-7, KC-30, B-1 and the F-35A. And at the time of the interview it was acquiring certification for the P-8A. “With the coming of the F-35, we are expanding our work on small receiver operations with fighters”, he noted.

            The goal is to keep expanding the number of aircraft the KC-30A can refuel, strengthening the knot already tying RAAF Air Mobility Group to its coalition counterparts, while being a pioneering force with its new tanker for the other coalition partners flying the A330MRTT. In short, the Aussies are leading by example and forging a new path to innovation by putting new assets, such as the KC-30A, into the hands of the warfighter to ensure that new combat capability gets fielded more rapidly than by the older requirements-led process.

            https://breakingdefense.com/2018/04/aussie-tankers-knit-coalition-forces-together/

            So, in this thread we’ve got the “Three Debunkers” — Unus pro omnibus, omnes pro uno

            @bilbo, who twice write something that is demonstrably false — perhaps out of ignorance or perhaps because he just doesn’t seem to bother making even the most simple net search***, in order to make sure that what he writes is factually correct;

            and @Mike Bohnet, who seems to take @bilbo’s “credible” word for it (over that of the USAF) — that the KC-46 boom strike “problem” is supposedly no worse than the existing USAF tankers — and who don’t seem to realise that if you put at an exclamation mark at the end of a blazing headline, you come across as very angry;

            and @TransWorld, who doesn’t seem to have got the dosage right.

          • OV-099,
            “If you’d read the rest of the article you’d probably have noticed this quote:”

            I read the entire article when you first posted the link, and what do you know, nothing in the article answers whether or not the boom scraping issue is worse with the KC-46 that it is with prior platforms. The article was great, by the way. I enjoy reading first hand accounts of military operations. However, I gather from the article that the author, while being an experienced KC-135 boom operator, does not have any experience operating the KC-10 boom let alone the KC-46 boom, so is in no real position to judge whether or not a fly-by-wire boom is any less of a “precision instrument” than the mechanically controlled boom on the KC-135. Again, a case of a lengthy quote not really supporting your argument.

            “In contrast, a boom operator looking at the receiving aircraft with a direct, unimpeded view from the back of a KC-135 should be able to tell if the boom is scraping the receiving aircraft outside the protected area around the refueling receptacle — no matter what bilbo is saying.”
            Oh really? Under all lighting conditions? Ever heard of glare? And by golly, this happens to be an issue on the KC-46 as well.

            “…as the USAF appears to have few, if any qualms letting their high-end stealth fighters being refueled by RAAF’s KC-30s.”
            Yeah, after the better part of a decades worth of development, I should hope the Airbus (EADS) self-funded boom would be good to go.

            “and @Mike Bohnet, who seems to take @bilbo’s “credible” word for it (over that of the USAF)”
            Not at all. Everything I’ve claimed is based on what I’ve read about the KC-46 program over the last several years including numerous news articles, GAO reports on the program, both KC-X RFP’s, Boeing statements, and articles about the KC-30 and A330 MRTT.

            “So, in this thread we’ve got the “Three Debunkers””
            Don’t forget yourself, OV-099, the “FUD Spreader”

          • @Mike Bohnet

            Quote: “Oh really? Under all lighting conditions? Ever heard of glare? And by golly, this happens to be an issue on the KC-46 as well.

            The issue here is that lens flare* is affecting the high resolution stereoscopic boom cameras on the KC-46 — glare and low sun angles are known entities for KC-135 and KC-10 boom operators. **

            Humans will never see the same kind of lens flares that you get from a camera. In particular you won’t get the extreme horizontal slashes and chromatic refractions that are associated with ultra-wide HD cameras, such as the KC-46 boom operator’s 185 degree panoramic field of view camera. Camera flares are a result of the light bouncing around inside all the different optical elements in the camera’s lens. Lenses with large numbers of elements such as zooms tend to exhibit greater lens flare, as they contain a relatively large number of interfaces at which internal scattering may occur.

            Although boom operators obviously have binocular vision and depth perception (perspective and aerial perspective, etc.), too much direct glare is still problematic and it obviously affects refueling operations. As pointed out in the link below**;

            “According to the findings low sun angles do cause a problem for boom operators. Respondents stated that low sun angles can be so troublesome that when necessary, in these conditions they will either instruct the tanker pilot to change headings or instruct the receiver pilot to maintain their position until the glare/low sun angle is no longer a problem. “

            It would appear, though, that glare is still less of an issue for a boom operator having a direct, unimpeded view of the receiving aircraft from the back of KC-135, than what is the case for boom operators on the KC-46 when the 185 degree panoramic field of view camera is seriously affected by lens flare.

            *Here’s an article about how lens flare is an issue for drones:

            Robust Aerial Object Tracking in Images with Lens Flare

            Abstract— The goal of integrating drones into the civil airspace requires a technical system which robustly detects, tracks and finally avoids aerial objects. Electro-optical cameras have proven to be an adequate sensor to detect traffic, especially for smaller aircraft, gliders or paragliders. However the very challenging environmental conditions and image artifacts such as lens flares often result in a high number of false detections. Depending on the solar radiation lens flares are very common in aerial images and hard to distinguish from aerial objects on a collision course due to their similar size, shape, brightness and trajectories.

            Lens flares are an artifact occurring in optical lens systems if light is internally reflected or scattered in between the optical elements. This usually happens if a bright light source is within or close to the camera field of view.

            **Here’s a link showing that glare and low sun angles affects both tankers and receiving aircraft:

            8.1.1. Receiver Pilot

            Glare and low sun angles.
            Findings suggest that low sun angles are a problem for receiver pilots. Low sun angles can make it difficult for the receiver pilot to see the necessary references to keep formation or maintain the appropriate refueling envelope.

            8.2.2. Tanker Operator

            Glare and low sun angles.
            According to the findings low sun angles do cause a problem for boom operators. Respondents stated that low sun angles can be so troublesome that when necessary, in these conditions they will either instruct the tanker pilot to change headings or instruct the receiver pilot to maintain their position until the glare/low sun angle is no longer a problem.

            https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/1051415.pdf

            Quote: “However, I gather from the article that the author, while being an experienced KC-135 boom operator, does not have any experience operating the KC-10 boom let alone the KC-46 boom, so is in no real position to judge whether or not a fly-by-wire boom is any less of a “precision instrument” than the mechanically controlled boom on the KC-135. Again, a case of a lengthy quote not really supporting your argument.

            The eye of a KC-135 boom operator is a much better “precision instrument” than a KC-46 185-degree panoramic field-of-view camera that’s seriously impaired by lens flare.

            Quote: ““…as the USAF appears to have few, if any qualms letting their high-end stealth fighters being refueled by RAAF’s KC-30s.
            Yeah, after the better part of a decades worth of development, I should hope the Airbus (EADS) self-funded boom would be good to go.

            The ARBS boom on the KC-30 (A330 MRTT) has been fully operational since 2014. Airbus is even taking aerial refuelling up a notch with the ongoing flight testing of a fully ARBS automatic refuelling mode on the A330 MRTT.

            Quote: “”Don’t forget yourself, OV-099, the “FUD Spreader””

            It’s a fine line between paranoid and stupid — just because Boeing’s advanced FBW refueling boom may look bad for your team doesn’t mean critiquing the Frankenboom is FUD.

            https://www.edvardmunch.org/the-scream.jsp

          • OV-099,
            Your assertion, “The ARBS boom on the KC-30 (A330 MRTT) has been fully operational since 2014.” is demonstrably false.
            From: https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/australia-gears-up-for-a330-mrtt-boom-capability-409945
            “The boom capability will be gradually introduced into service throughout 2015.”

            Also, the first KC-30 trial refueling conducted by the RAAF using the Airbus (EADS) self-funded boom was with the E-7A Wedgetail in 2015, not 2014 as you falsely claim.
            https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/raaf-kc-30a-uses-boom-to-refuel-wedgetail-413744
            Sorry, trial refueling is not fully operational.

            “It would appear, though, that glare is still less of an issue for a boom operator having a direct, unimpeded view of the receiving aircraft from the back of KC-135, than what is the case for boom operators on the KC-46 when the 185 degree panoramic field of view camera is seriously affected by lens flare.”

            So, now the problem with the KC-46 RVS is lens flare? Wow, that makes total sense. Why didn’t you mention that before? It must be pretty cool being in the know and having access to the KC-46 refueling test reports.

            Seriously now, stop making things up. Could lens flare be an issue with the RVS? Yes, it’s possible, but you are just guessing, and grasping for anything that might definitively prove your assertion that the boom scraping issue is much worse on the KC-46 than on previous platforms.

            By the way, lens flare happens in the human eye. Have you ever seen starbursts when driving at night with intense street lights in your field of view?

            “It’s a fine line between paranoid and stupid — just because Boeing’s advanced FBW refueling boom may look bad for your team doesn’t mean critiquing the Frankenboom is FUD.”
            It doesn’t mean it’s not FUD either. You taking the Washington Post comments section seriously still gives me a laugh.

          • @Mike Bohnet

            Quote: »Your assertion, “The ARBS boom on the KC-30 (A330 MRTT) has been fully operational since 2014.” is demonstrably false.”

            That was a typo. Initial Operating Capability (IOC) for the ARBS occurred in 2016.

            BTW, a typographical error is not equal to “demonstrable false”, exaggerated statement/”facts” and/or lying. Nice try, though.

            The tanker has operated the hose and drogue system for some time, but the boom is just now becoming IOC’d.

            The number of aircraft certified has been growing and includes, RAAF Hornets and Super Hornets, USN Hornets and Super Hornets, the French Rafale, the Eurofighter and Tornado (via Voyager certifications), the Harrier and Prowler, the F-35, the Wedgetail, and upon leaving Edwards will have finished C-17 and F-16 clearances as well.

            https://sldinfo.com/2016/05/an-update-on-the-kc-30a-from-edwards-afb-clearing-the-way-for-expanded-operations/

            Quote: ”Also, the first KC-30 trial refueling conducted by the RAAF using the Airbus (EADS) self-funded boom was with the E-7A Wedgetail in 2015, not 2014 as you falsely claim.”

            A typo is not a “false claim”. A false claim is the term used when a person knowingly makes an untrue statement or claim to gain a benefit or reward.*

            It appears as if your anger override your rational thought when you manage to write such nonsense.

            * https://thelawdictionary.org/false-claim/

            Quote: ”So, now the problem with the KC-46 RVS is lens flare? Wow, that makes total sense. Why didn’t you mention that before? It must be pretty cool being in the know and having access to the KC-46 refueling test reports.”

            Yes it is, isn’t it?

            The main culprit is glare at low sun angles. 2D cameras are susceptible to lens flare and the major shortcoming of depth-sensing 3D cameras is the inability to function properly in bright light, especially sunlight. Hence, if you don’t carefully design the 2D/3D imaging system on a refueling boom, you’re likely to run into a lot of problems.
            As the critical 2D/3D imaging system on the KC-46 boom don’t seem to work properly – particular with respect to boom-scraping and the depth-sensing of the boom operators — it’s not unreasonable to conclude that a boom operator having a direct, unimpeded view of the receiving aircraft from the back of KC-135 will have better depth sensing and perception than a KC-46 boom operator who’s relying on an inexact 2D/3D imaging system.

            Quote: ” By the way, lens flare happens in the human eye. Have you ever seen starbursts when driving at night with intense street lights in your field of view?”

            I’ve already stated that “humans will never see the same kind of lens flares that you get from a camera. In particular you won’t get the extreme horizontal slashes and chromatic refractions that are associated with ultra-wide HD cameras, such as the KC-46 boom operator’s 185 degree panoramic field of view camera.”

            Now, most people don’t notice lens flares in their eyeballs as your brain likes to edit them out.

            Quote: ”It doesn’t mean it’s not FUD either.”

            Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt. These three words are the bane of a cheerleader’s existence. He/she will patrol the internet and use the acronym FUD to describe any negativity and criticism that might be swirling around in blogs and which is being directed towards his/her favourite company.

            Unsurprisingly, it may appear though as if you have completely misunderstood the meaning and usage of the term FUD. If anyone is going to use FUD in upcoming USAF tanker competitions, it’s going to be Boeing. Their main tanker customer is the USAF and, once again, they’ll probably be using a deliberate public relations propaganda campaign in order to “frighten” USAF away from considering the alternate A330 MRTT.

            Fear, uncertainty, and doubt (or FUD for short) denotes a deliberate public relations propaganda campaign, most often intended to frighten consumers away from considering alternate products or services.

            https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Fear,_uncertainty_and_doubt

            Quote: ”.You taking the Washington Post comments section seriously still gives me a laugh.”

            Trumpsters seem to get all riled up when anyone mentions the Washington Post. However, the point here was not the paper itself nor the comment section on the newspaper’s website, but rather the unusually large number of comments in WaPo’s comment section on a story about a defence acquisition programme – a story that one would expect would generate a lot of activity on a military technology website, but not on a general news website.

          • OV-099,
            “The main culprit is glare at low sun angles.”
            Just like I said up thread: “Oh really? Under all lighting conditions? Ever heard of glare? And by golly, this happens to be an issue on the KC-46 as well.”
            This begs the question as to why you felt the need to speculate about lens flare.

            From: https://breakingdefense.com/2017/09/kc-46-problems-should-not-add-delays-boeing-cost-rise-bg-shipton
            According to Brig. Gen. Donna Shipton, PEO Tankers, UCOTR could be happening on the KC-46 at a higher rate. “We do think it, potentially, is occurring at a higher rate.”
            “Undetected Contacts Outside Receptacle (UCOTR): Boom contacts outside the receptacle are not being detected by the boom operator. Detection of COTR is required to determine if contact caused damage and to comply with standard air refueling procedures. The Air Force is reviewing historical USAF aerial refueling certification flight test data to determine the frequency of COTR in current operations. The Air Force is planning to begin air refueling testing with the KC-46 starting in October and will carefully test for UCOTR occurrences. Final determination of specification compliance will occur after flight testing is complete.”

            And from: https://theaircurrent.com/aircraft-development/kc-46-delivery-comes-with-an-asterisk-and-a-lesson-for-797
            “The problems in the RVS come in two particular conditions: “Deep shadows cast over the receiver when you’re flying into the sun or low sun angles where the sun is reflecting off of the receiver aircraft into the camera system,” according to Boeing’s Tom Russell, Director of Satellite Systems. Russell was brought over from the company’s space division to fix the system. Boeing delivered a software tweak with the first tanker, but the Air Force said in its January 10 announcement, “We have identified, and Boeing has agreed to fix at its expense, deficiencies discovered in developmental testing of the remote vision system.” The fixes to the RVS are expected to take three to four years to implement.”

            No one associated with the program mentioned that the RVS problem is caused by lens flare. It would be one thing if you were quoting a real expert associated with the program, but since you are speculating, and you’re just some anonymous dude on the internet, I think I’ll go with what the Brig. General said.
            ———-
            “It appears as if your anger override your rational thought when you manage to write such nonsense.”
            The real nonsense is that you seem to be obsessing over exclamation points, hitting nerves, and anger. That says way more about you than it does about me, as you arrogantly seem to think you know more about what is going on in my head than I do. You spout more nonsense when you essentially call me a Boeing cheerleader who “always seems to come in from nowhere and defend Boeing — no matter what” when years of your comments show that you are the most ardent Airbus cheerleader in this forum. Yet you expect that people here will take your typo claim at face value. You’re the one who should be concerned with credibility.
            ———-
            “Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt. These three words are the bane of a cheerleader’s existence. He/she will patrol the internet and use the acronym FUD to describe any negativity and criticism that might be swirling around in blogs and which is being directed towards his/her favourite company.”
            You say that I’m the one who is misunderstanding the meaning and usage of the term FUD. Well, apply what you said in the quote above to the following links and see who emerges as the cheerleader.
            https://leehamnews.com/2010/11/12/another-kc-x-deadline-passes/#comment-4141
            https://leehamnews.com/2013/10/11/odds-and-ends-ana-airbus-and-boeing-era-of-the-jumbo-jet-repo-wars/#comment-28075
            https://leehamnews.com/2014/07/13/farnborough-air-show-july-14-a330-program-analysis/#comment-36617
            https://leehamnews.com/2014/07/13/farnborough-air-show-july-14-a330-program-analysis/#comment-36646
            https://leehamnews.com/2014/07/13/farnborough-air-show-july-14-a330-program-analysis/#comment-36666
            https://leehamnews.com/2018/01/29/pontifications-2018-starts-off-bang/#comment-212415
            https://leehamnews.com/2014/08/24/boeing-on-path-to-surpass-airbus-in-single-aisle-production/#comment-38105
            https://leehamnews.com/2018/06/06/airbus-sees-potential-for-a330neo-sales-boeing-sees-opportunity/#comment-227647
            https://leehamnews.com/2018/06/06/airbus-sees-potential-for-a330neo-sales-boeing-sees-opportunity/#comment-227698
            https://leehamnews.com/2011/06/23/leahy-to-boeing-youre-whistling-past-the-graveyard/#comment-6822
            https://leehamnews.com/2015/09/21/pontifications-dueling-refueling-tankers/#comment-126648
            https://leehamnews.com/2014/08/07/half-time-2014-for-boeing-and-airbus/#comment-37720
            https://leehamnews.com/2017/11/13/dubai-wants-production-guarantee-emirates-a380-order/#comment-205926
            ———
            “Trumpsters seem to get all riled up when anyone mentions the Washington Post”
            What relevance does this have? Are you implying that I’m a “Trumpster” or is this yet another one of your comments where you can’t resist making some kind of political statement? Again, I think this says way more about you than it does me, as you seem to think you know my political views even though, unlike you, I really don’t talk about them much in this forum.

          • Everyone: discussion of the tanker is fine, but knock off the personal insults.

            Hamilton

    • OV-099 – You ask: “How strong is the KC-46 backlog?”
      How strong is any of it? Obviously very many of the near- and not-so-near-term orders will be fulfilled, but how far out can we look with confidence — even less certainty — that these aircraft will be delivered? Even at 2,000 airliners/year, some off those ships are a long way off: how credible are those ‘orders’?

    • OV-099,
      What a crap-load of FUD you present!

      The Flight Global article about USAF threats to switch to the Airbus platform if Boeing fails to perform on the KC-46 program was written back in 2012. The USAF attitude toward the KC-46 has undoubtedly changed since then, as I’ve not seen similar threats reported in the last several years. On the contrary, the reporting I’ve seen seems to indicate the USAF is generally happy with the KC-46 performance except for a couple of very documented and understandable deficiencies.

      Saying the KC-46 boom is FUBAR is ridiculous.
      Try reading: https://www.defensenews.com/breaking-news/2019/01/10/boeing-delivers-first-kc-46-but-fixes-to-technical-problems-still-years-away
      The main remaining problem is with the RVS, not the boom, and only under certain limited conditions that will not prevent the USAF from moving forward with IOT&E (still a failure to meet all the requirements). Boeing will pay for fixing this, not the US taxpayer. However, the US taxpayer will have to pay for the other remaining problem which was caused by the USAF failure to correctly state the boom resistance requirement. There were other problems that were downgraded in importance because Boeing has already engineered and tested the necessary fixes

      As for the public relations disaster, you cite the comments section of the Washington Post?! Thanks for the good laugh… No, really, I’m not kidding, it really did make me laugh! Who in their right mind gives commenters on news or blog articles any credence at all? I’m sure Boeing is quaking in their collective boots over that one.

      The reality is that the USAF is going to start IOT&E in just a few months using everything, including the boom. The KC-46 has already completed receiver certification with 7 aircraft that require boom refueling: F-15, F-16, A-10, B-52 ,C-17, KC-135, and KC-46. That’s before first delivery.

      • While the WP does excellent government article, its expertise in aviation like most papers sucks.

        Domonic Gate with the ST is one of the few that is good, but then its the heart of American Aviation, there is a knowledgeable audience there and they have a darned good reporter for it.

        OV99 just does not get the real world, the possibility of the contract being canceled can be express as Kelvin (as I recall that is -475 F or so)

        He nor anyone else on the outside has a clue what it would take to make a A330MRT equal a KC46 spec.

        We do know it took 5 year for the RAAF A330MRT to get to a much lower standard.

        That does not mean Boeing does not have egg on its face nor do the issues get swept under the rug, it just means Boeing keeps paying.

        As for the bid, we keep hearing how the vaunted A330 has paid for itself so they should be able to sell those for chump change.

        But Boeing under sells them on the 787 on the commercial side.

        In the end we get our 179 for a lot less billions. As a taxpayer, that makes me happy.

        OV99 as a non tax payer does not have his money in this game. And by being foolish, he just makes himself look as foolish as his twin engine A380 was.

        • I think the hilarious tanker selection forced by congress, the tailored additional requirements, fired executives, resulting products, the number of airforces that selected them tell enough. Pork barrel defense project if you ask me.

      • @Mike Bohnet

        The fact of the matter is that Boeing is in breach of contract. They should have delivered 18 operational KC-46s by August 2017. The Flight International article makes it clear that USAF have several options if Boeing doesn’t perform. One option would be to curtail the order at a lower number than expected. Another option would be to put Boeing on notice that the KC-46 programme is not USAF’s only pathway to replacing the fleet of KC-135s by soliciting RFIs like the one that was issued on June 27, 2018 (link below). The teaming up of Airbus and Lockheed Martin to meet what apparently is a growing demand for aerial refueling from the USAF, is obviously a direct result of this RFI announcement.

        Pointing out that UASF has indeed options due to the poor performance of Boeing on the KC-46, has unsurprisingly been countered by an angry response from someone who always seems to come in from nowhere and defend Boeing — no matter what; this time labeling the offense as a “crap-load of FUD”.

        Link to USAF Air Refueling RFI:

        https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity&mode=form&id=8f4fa8e6f335ec8a261d9142731e4ae2&tab=core&_cview=0

        Boeing, apparently, is counting on a total KC-46 production run upwards of 500 airframes — at least according to their paid shill, “Dr” Loren Thompson . Of course, Thompson and Boeing want to build a sense of expectant inevitability that the KC-46 will be the only tanker in operation for USAF for at least the next half century. Obviously, the June 27, 2018 USAF RFI could be viewed as an impediment to the realisation of Thompson’s and Boeing’s goal.

        The tanker contract that Boeing won in 2011 envisioned building 179 tankers. However, the actual Air Force requirement is for three times that number. The plan in 2011 was that new competitions would be held for the remaining planes. The Air Force now has begun signaling that it might be more cost-effective to recapitalize the entire aerial-refueling fleet with KC-46 and avoid a repetition of the bruising competitions leading to the current program. It’s hard to see how the service could improve significantly on the KC-46 design, and there is no alternative domestic source for a big tanker. Thus Boeing’s total production run for the next-gen tanker might ultimately approach 500 airframes.

        https://www.forbes.com/sites/lorenthompson/2018/06/28/the-big-opportunities-for-boeing-hidden-in-the-air-forces-kc-46-tanker-program/#7dd450d11a1b

        As for the the public relations disaster; the fact that it’s been widely reported that the USAF will accept Boeing’s chronically delayed KC-46 tanker for delivery, despite remaining deficiencies, meaning that there will be years (not months) before the plane is fully operational, certainly doesn’t seem to support the view that this has been a great success story for Boeing.

        • “and there is no alternative domestic source for a big[er] tanker.”

          cough cough …787

        • “Pointing out that UASF has indeed options due to the poor performance of Boeing on the KC-46, has unsurprisingly been countered by an angry response from someone who always seems to come in from nowhere and defend Boeing — no matter what; this time labeling the offense as a “crap-load of FUD”.”

          I’m not angry at all, in fact, I think I stated that I got a good laugh from your post trying to cobble together doom and gloom for the KC-46. I’m just labeling your post for what it is. No one here has claimed that the KC-46 has been a huge success story for Boeing, but it’s not doom and gloom either.

          • OV99 is Better than Sunday foot ball games (US football not the round ball thingy the rest of the world plays)

            When does the I didn’t ask to be born thing come up?

          • @Mike Bohnet

            You did seem rather angry when you wrote: “What a crap-load of FUD you present!” –with an exclamation mark at the end of your emphatic declaration.

            An exclamation mark usually shows strong feeling, such as surprise, anger or joy. Using an exclamation mark when writing is rather like shouting or raising your voice when speaking. Exclamation marks are most commonly used in writing quoted speech. You should avoid using exclamation marks in formal writing, unless absolutely necessary.

            https://www.englishclub.com/writing/punctuation-exclamation-mark.htm

            BTW, calling someone infantile or childish for using a term in a humorous way — such as “Frankenboom” — amounts to nothing more than name-calling.

          • OV99: Mike B just put what most of us feel.

            You got an issue with the KC46 tanker. Got it.

            You have it sunk like the Titanic, its a work in progress and will be fine. So was the A330MRT.

            You state they are in violation, me thinks the USAF is the one that determines that not you. Taxpayers via their Representatives may wight in.

            How much does your country provide for its own defense?

            How about you tell us what country you are from?

            You have proven from you paper airplanes you don’t have a grasp of real world.

          • @Trans World — or “Uncle Fester”, if I may.

            Perhaps, if you would try to get the dosage right you might be refrained from continually posting such an exceedingly large number of fatuous and bizarrely written posts in the comments section of this blog.

            Getting the dosage right also helps in exercising good judgement; for example, by refraining from throwing out insults and one abusive ad hominem attack after another.

          • OV-099,
            Yet again you claim to know what is going on in my head better than I do.
            I was very surprised that someone would use a term like “frankenboom” in this forum and expect to be taken seriously.

    • “Despite flaws, Air Force accepts Boeing’s long-delayed and troubled tanker”
      The reason is: US Air Force does not need a tanker. The need is for a freighter to release the C-17 of parcel services.

      The second RFP was only for a tanker because the smaller 767-200 wouldn’t had any chance against a A330-200 freighter. – 767-300 freigthers sell well because Boeing had to keep the line open and Airbus didn’t had the same problem with A330 at this time. –

      Do you really believe an A330-800neo MRTT for US Air Force may happen under the current US president?

      • @MHalblaub

        Presidents come and go. With the way things are going the KC-46 may only be fully operational long after Trump is gone.

        As I indicated up-thread, it appears that the USAF has already put Boeing on notice that the KC-46 programme is not USAF’s only pathway to replacing the fleet of KC-135s, by soliciting RFIs like the one that was issued on June 27, 2018 (link below). The teaming up of Airbus and Lockheed Martin to meet what apparently is a growing demand for aerial refueling from the USAF, is obviously a direct result of this RFI announcement.

        https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity&mode=form&id=8f4fa8e6f335ec8a261d9142731e4ae2&tab=core&_cview=0

  5. Not mentioned is Airbus share goes down to %54 under the conditions Boeing goes down to %40.

    With Airbus advantage their stock should be really high, instead its Boeing’s.

    Interesting.

  6. In the end, Airbus needs to max (pun intended) their production to higher levels, like a 100 to mash Boeing and take advantage of the backlog.

    Boeing picks up orders as they have more near term flexibility.

    Orders in 2025 are a joke, nice optics but who knows what 2025 brings.

    Two movers will be the 797 and the 737RS.

    If Boeing comes out with a real single aisle game changer, then the world shifts.

    • In the last few years , a number of airliners had un- contained blade failure either on takeoff roll or in the air.
      https://aviation-safety.net/database/events/dblist.php?Event=ACEU
      -and thats not even comprehensive https://airwaysmag.com/airlines/united-airlines-makes-emergency-landing-engine-cover-falls-off/
      https://airwaysmag.com/airlines/delta-flight-atlanta-makes-emergency-landing-newfoundland-engine-trouble/
      Not one was a RR engine but they get all the noise anyway.
      Pratt and GE get the inside running with the FAA over increased maintenance requirements that restrict flight ops.

      • Yep, not one had to replace an entire engine let alone carry over the very parts that were failure prone (or another group of parts in addition to the first group)

        The A350 also had a failure but it seems to be early and may be a one off.

        Of course its not been flying that long and did they carry over that core that is currently a problem that takes a fair number of time to occur?

        If so they can get ahead of the curve and prevent (hopefully) the debacle that currently is in full swing still.

        And you have to wonder when an organization is having severe problems, it fires 4500 people.

        Not only do you loose people, the morale of those left has to be in the toilet as well.

        But what do I know, just an observer. Not one of the high flying brilliant types.

        • Its builds everything from naval nuclear reactors, ship sets and diesel engines. Jet engines built with its partners is only a portion of the business.
          MTU alone has 10,000 employee and the have a separate power systems division Bergen Engines AS , which was until recently a joint venture . Hybrid diesel/battery replacement power packs for passenger rail cars are an interesting new development.
          The CEO had seen overlap in its many divisions

          • Well that is what they say isn’t it? (when they want to make investors happy and not customers)

            Of course we swallow that hook, line and Trent Engine (whole) Grin

  7. To give a more accurate picture of the market share landscape we would have to add in the types of contracts used by the two OEM’s and how these contracts affect order tally’s.

    For instance where Airbus have sold 400+ A320’s to AirAsia an airline with 260 aircraft, Boeing has only sold 280 737’s to Southwest, an airline with 750 aircraft.

    If we throw Ryan Air into the mix and other Boeing 737 customers who are yet to order a replacement NB aircraft, the NB backlog between the two OEM’s would be closer to a 55:45 rather than a 60:40 split.

    If we throw in a 797 the waters become even muddier as we would in essence have the longer ranger versions of the A321 competing with a wide body aircraft competing in a traditional NB space.

    • Don’t the new accounting rules mean nebulous orders are out.
      Southwest tend to keep their planes for a long time and the US market is now pretty saturated. Indonesia not so much.
      You do realise Southwest last year derred delivery of some new 737s on order?
      Seems to indicate they only plan a slow ish uptake

      • I think its some and some and no single aspect rules over others.

        Any single order (SW) is an indicator but you can’t build a data set off one piece of data. AP Roberts will tell you that you need a lot of data. The thing about throwing the maiden in to he Volcano and it quits. Hard on maidens. Well maybe we have to throw in two this time.

        Air Asia is not a good example as they are as nutso as Lion. I believe both have leasing arms now as they ordered far more aircraft than they can use.

        Air Asia has kick their orders down the runway too often to take seriously.

        How far out the delivery is remains very relevant as well.

        As near as I can tell, all slots available are sold to someone so the bottom line is Airbus has an advantage in single aisle but not huge (they make more) and Boeing has an advantage in wide body.

        The 797 will change things.

        The 737RS would be a huge game changer as everyone would have to look at what they have and assess the impact.

        Airbus would have to look at it as well and how to respond and if its a game changer like a TWB that really jumps efficiency, then all bets are off.

        As GE is finding, good product without research into GTF can leave you suddenly in a dead end and by the time you respond, you are way behind like PW was in smaller and is in the larger jet engine area.

        PW though has nothing but upside as it has half the A3220, all of the A220 and all of the new E series.

        It has a chance to wind up on the 929.

      • Rules, as my Road Manager bosss said.

        They get the contract and then they turn the lawyer loose looking for loopholes.

  8. Any B797 / MoM’ster news coming through at the moment?

    The 2019 A-Net debate on where the programme is and what it will contain is very dynamic bordering on the surreal.

    Given the news that has made it out into the public realm the design is a camel with wings / bumblebee with extra drag.

    Finally — BA vs USDoD = Corporate welfare / public sector stupidity.

    Given the situation with the A400 you get the impression that sense goes out the window when Big Aero meets Big Government.

      • As a bumble bee does a bang up job, I would happy to be compared to one.

        Sure its not a hummingbird but which is more valuable?

  9. Do we ever get an understanding of what the discout rate is for each aircraft type?

    Not sure if it reached 50% when MO’L was playing hardball with the B737 after some sort of global issue put the brakes on the economy?

    Different aircraft types will have different discount rates —

    A320 will be higher than the A321 rate.

  10. The narrow body orders from LCC’s in my view is “over cooked”, won’t be surprized if there are significant cancellations/deferrals coming? Can also see more “upgrades” form A320’s to A321’s and possibly A321’s to LR/(XLR’s) that could potentially add value to AB’s narrow body back log.

    On the wide body front AB is exposed by the AirAsiaX 339 order and by EK on the A380, then there is also eminent changes possible on Etihad’s 350 orders. Only time will tell.

  11. who activated the time machine to loop between now and ~~~2010 and drop posts into the now?

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