Pontifications: Deferrals, bankruptcies continue; order recovery far off

By Scott Hamilton

June 22, 2020, © Leeham News: Although more passengers are flowing through airports and airlines are adding back service, airplane order deferrals continue.

Airline bankruptcies do, too.

LEVEL’s short haul operation went into bankruptcy last week. LATAM Argentina ceased operations. Lufthansa said it may seek administration if shareholders don’t agree to the government bailout negotiated by the airline.

New orders dried up. And, so far, there is no telling when there might be some placed.

Boeing announced just a handful of new orders last month. Airbus didn’t announce any orders in May.

Too early to call

It’s still too early to predict when any new orders of consequence may be placed. At least that’s the current thinking at Boeing.

“Airlines are primarily focused on the liquidity and managing their liquidity and managing their employment. Their heads are not in orders right now,” a Boeing official said in an interview with LNA. “Their heads are in survival, up to the point of recovery and then putting plans in place for when you recover, how are you going to go forward? Once you recover, what contingency plans do you have to put in place? What if there’s a relapse before a vaccine hits the street? That’s what people are most focused on. You do have a handful of folks still thinking orders.”

But there are opportunists. Michael O’Leary, chairman of Ryanair, spoke of the possibility of new orders during the prolonged 737 MAX grounding. Whether he’d step up and place an order during the COVID crisis remains to be seen. But it would be in character.

“You do have a number of folks who would come out of the woodwork trying to be opportunistic and buy at the bottom of the cycle because it makes more sense from a buyer standpoint,” the Boeing official said. “Yes, O’Leary is talking to us. There are a number of others talking to us. There were a number of campaigns that had to be put on hold on the Max, where folks are trying to see when that return to service happens before they go forward.”

New bow wave of deliveries

There are deferrals related to the MAX grounding and from COVID. For those companies that made public announcements, deliveries are deferred to 2024 to 2027.

Is there enough information yet for Boeing to project when there will be a new bow wave of deliveries? Previously, deliveries of the MAX fell sharply from 2024.

There are a couple of things we’re dealing with,” the Boeing official said. “One of them is COVID. It’s taken a toll on everybody’s plans and we have to manage to that.

“Another one is the MAX return to service and the uncertainty around that.” (The best estimate now is that the Federal Aviation Administration may recertify MAX in August or September. However, Europe’s EASA timing may be sequential.)

Every month of uncertainty has a knock-on effect for a customer. A large fleet of 737 NGs may have 10 to 20 airplanes per month that are affected.

“They have to make a decision on whether they’re going to return them from lease or they’re going to do their forward sale or they have to do a big maintenance check on them because the fleet plans are timed with those things,” the Boeing official said. “Once you tell them, I can’t deliver it, say in August, I’m going to deliver it in September or October, the two months could be worth a year or two because now he’s going to have to do his maintenance and keep flying them. They can’t defer maintenance anymore.”

Once maintenance is performed, an airline needs to amortize it.

“Now he’s sitting on the asset longer. That’s the kind of stuff that we’re working with every airline. It’s not just demand, it’s also the maintenance events, it’s the forward sales,” the official says.

Not worried about a wave

“We’re not as excited about a bow wave because of the storage that we have,” the official says. Boeing has about 450 MAXes built but stored. “What you’re going to do is just plan a prudent production rate and then rely on your inventory to deal with surge or keep storing them a little longer, whatever is needed to do so that you can match where the demand is. I’m not too excited over the next two years on the single-aisle.”

54 Comments on “Pontifications: Deferrals, bankruptcies continue; order recovery far off

  1. I think the Boeing official would see the single-aisle market coming years slightly different, if he had lean & mean geared fan B220 150 seaters and 4000NM capable 220 seater in his portfolio, instead of the the grounded 737 MAX.

    Everybody is looking brave, but for the next 5-6 years I see the long term Airbus Boeing duopoly disturbed. Which is not good for the industry.

    • The real surprise to me was a Boeing official being quoted. You wouldnt expect
      him/her to be named but normally it would it would be for background only and not direct quotes.
      Surprising times indeed. The re-shuffling at the top ranks has some good outcomes for openness and accessibility already.

  2. ““What you’re going to do is just plan a prudent production rate and then rely on your inventory to deal with surge…”

    How viable is this? Aircraft are not really commodities. A Max for Ryan is different from one for United. At a minimum a repaint and a different cabin interior needed. Say 5 million?

    • In 2012, Southwest did an interior redesign of their 737 fleet which cost $165,000 per aircraft. That was for new carpet and upholstery. They kept the same seat frames. Repaint would be another $100,000.

      So I would guess $300K to $500K if the airline is willing to accept the existing seat size, class & arrangement. If the seat frames need to be changed as well, that would easily double the interior cost. This would be on the low end of possible rebranding.

      If the aircraft interior is gutted and rebuilt to a new standard, that could be many millions. Swiss Air recently refurbished the interiors of A340’s for $20 million each. That included all new interior wiring and entertainment systems. This would be on the high end.

      It just depends on what the airlines require.

        • Cost for a 737 repaint is $100,000 to $200,000, depending on surface area covered and number of colors. I thought since these aircraft are new, only the branding would need repainting, so guessed low.

          The UK Voyager is also the UK’s sole A330 MRTT tanker, so much larger and the whole aircraft needs painting. May have other requirements as well. It seems like more of a Trump-style ego-trip.

          • Throwing ion A330MNRT and A340 into the discussion is an apples to banana comparison.

            What is relevant is the repaint and what is acceptable for interior.

            Its still not cheap, though its not a wide body either.

            Its another cost that eats into any balance calc (737MAX is going to be like the 787, never an ROI)

            How many programs keep loosing money before you decide that its not a good idea to run at full speed in ice burg laden waters?

        • probably the UK A330 MRTT will be undergoing a regular maintenance cycle as well and it maybe getting a new VVIP cabin fitout, as part of the cost.
          UK papers are notoriously way off kilter over aviation matters.
          The process isnt mentioned, is it a strip and paint for all the fuselage and tail , or if they wanted a cheaper option using suitable large decals on parts of the plane

          • All I could find is that part of the cost is for the branding design, they have hired a brand consultant. I know that can be expensive, the university here paid about $1M for new brand logos and web site redesign. They also legally booted squatters off the domain name they wanted.

      • Southwest deferred something like 75 planes in the period we’re talking about to 2024 and beyond. Or something like that. It will take only 47, I think, near-term.

        • Running numbers, at 12 a year 737, those have to come out of the built but not delivered group (or as many as they have)

          Ergo, those will not be available for Boeing to sell to someone else.

          We need a spread sheet on numbers build and stashed for which airlines and then see what their current plans are.

      • LLC like Ryan air has very specific single class seating at max density with no recline. Not even a safety info card, that is plastered on the seat in front. The high density may also require activation of additional exits. So United to Ryan Air may be a stretch. United to American may be easier as both have business class with reclining seats and changes to carpeting and upholstery may be sufficient.

    • Years ago many airlines started to order narrowbodies in ILFC config with all their options. Hence having tjat configuration made sell and leasing in/out aircrafts easier.

      • And on the 787 Boeing made more equipment standard, the HUD comes to mind.

        But people push, we in PW really wanted HUD on the 767 but Sundstrand was waffling on future of their product and Flight Dynamics needed more experience (in Boeing’s mind).

  3. MAX re certification is again pushed to the right.
    how can we explain that the first official certification flight has not taken place yet.
    it was imminent ages ago.
    there are probably some unknown unknown…
    and that is for FAA.
    as is said above ,EASA approval may be sequential
    not to speak about the chinese approval , which under present circumstances could be very sequential indeed

    • Dickson was asked about the delay in the Congressional hearing last week. He said that COVID had not been a factor in certification progress, but had been a factor in other regulator’s ability to travel.

      I’m sure Boeing and the FAA would rather get as many on board (no pun intended) as possible for the recertification. It would be worth some delay to avoid a sequential process.

      He also said that Boeing’s rewrite of the flight control software was extremely ambitious. Initially they felt they could do it in 6 months, that has stretched out to a year, when the 2-3 month software audit is included. He said the FAA is on track for certification within a period of 4 to 6 weeks after the test flights. The major remaining task is approval of the new pilot training.

      After certification, FAA will issue AD’s and FAA inspectors will be involved in the airworthiness certificates for each aircraft.

      As far as EASA, they are participating and have said they will have a follow-on process to the FAA of a month or two. They will likewise be doing airworthiness inspections of individual aircraft.

      For other regulators such as the Chinese, who knows? I suspect that will be a political decision now. They could withhold it altogether.

      • “He also said that Boeing’s rewrite of the flight control software was extremely ambitious. Initially they felt they could do it in 6 months,”

        That was a stance extremely naive from the get go.
        Impossible to achieve. Any competent developer in the domain could have told that to B management.

        • Agreed. But since the rewrite was pushed onto Boeing as an RTS requirement, without having been a factor in the accidents that initiated the grounding, I think they tried to do it as quickly as possible. Which is not really the best approach to writing a flight control system.

          My own view is that it could have been done more safely, reasonably, and with far less cost, if it was required within a given timespan after RTS. That is normally the approach taken for a compliance related development that doesn’t have imminent safety concerns. The MAX did pass the cosmic ray testing requirements in place at certification. This was a new, more stringent requirement.

          But I also think the optics didn’t permit that to happen. It would have been perceived as the regulators bending to Boeing’s needs. So it had to be done this way.

          I think that’s what Dickson was pointing out, the delay in the rewrite is necessary to ensure the safety of a new flight control system being in place at RTS. That in itself presents new risks that were not present before. It wasn’t the best way to proceed but was necessitated by public visibility.

  4. Curious on the Boeing official on the built but not delivered.

    Those are painted and setup for specific airlines, not white tails.

    Those would be obligated to the Airline unless they cancelled and I doubt all of them are cancelled.

    Even if they get them back its a repaint and probably a re-do for the specific setup or equipment (or an even better deal for someone though one offs don’t fit well in a SA fleet).

    O Leery may be a jerk, but he is a smart jerk. If numbers are not there to be delivered though, this may be a swing and a miss as noted with all the factors he may not be in the position the situation would appear (sans MAX crashes and produion at 60 a month)

    And Boeing has another debacle with their hand in the NASA cookie jar (or attempted). Seems like its in their DNA and can’t help themselves.

    • The NASA issue was an outreach by Loverro to Boeing. He encouraged them to submit a proposal for the direct ascent method, which he favored due to the 2024 launch schedule risk of the other proposed unproven methods.

      That in itself was fine, but he also offered advice and feedback to Boeing during the proposal process, which was a breach of ethical conduct. As Loverro said, he did that out of concern for the program schedule. He really wanted the direct ascent method to have a good shot. Boeing was the only vendor proposing that method, at his suggestion.

      The selection criteria were established beforehand and the selection was done by committee. Loverro had no undue influence there, he accepted the screening out of Boeing in the first round, and did not object. Boeing’s proposal did not meet some of the stated goals, and was technically weak as all of their development was on paper. Even SpaceX had exploded a few Starship models. Blue Origin had a mockup and prototype.

      Loverro had no great love for Boeing, he was quite direct with his criticism of Starliner. Far more so than Bridlestine. He insisted on greater oversight and embedding of NASA engineers at Boeing

      Ironically, after Loverro’s departure, Lueders and Bridlestine have both backed away from the 2024 deadline, which is a tacit admission that Loverro’s concerns were valid. It was largely a political goal and never very realistic.

      • Boeing responded.

        Loverro has no business trying to expedite anything in the first place, that is what process and procedures are in place to avoid.

        Its called end justifies the means. That part is on him. Stupidity or arrogance, he got canned. When you decide you can decide, you need to go. firing was spot on.

        Boeing on the other hand not only has an obligation not to respond. To do so is nothing more than corruption. There is an obligation to report a contact they know is illegal. No excuses, they know better.

        • I think Boeing was trying to be responsive to a program manager who controls their NASA funding on other projects, and with whom they were already in hot water. If he asks for something, you’ll try to please him and not refuse.

          I don’t think Boeing intended to submit on lunar landing at all, and that is reflected in the quality of their proposal. They were late and rushed, which is likely why Loverro tried to assist.

          • Responsive? Oh yea.

            That is like someone inside the bank saying here is how to hack the vault and then the person who was given the info hacks the vault.

          • TW, please note the ethical breach was in providing information to Boeing alone. Providing it to all vendors would not have been a breach, you just publish the information for all to see. I’ve done this many times in project procurement, it’s routine to share with all vendors.

            Boeing is not responsible for whether NASA follows their own procurement rules, or is providing information to other vendors. It would be different if Boeing approached NASA and requested special treatment, but the reporting is that they were contacted to improve their proposal.

            Also the information provided pertained to the direct ascent method, which other vendors were not using. So it may not have mattered to them anyway, which is likely why it wasn’t published. Still it was an ethical breach, that should not have happened.

            Bottom, line, no laws were broken and the process completed normally with Boeing being screened out. There was an improper contact made, the person responsible was asked to resign, and did so without objection, and without blaming Boeing or anyone else.

            If you wish to make more of it and insist on nefarious intent, that’s up to you. It’s another example of reductive thinking, you reduce the issue to a form that fits your pre-existing view, and then criticize with absolute certainty that you are right. You don’t realize that you have shaped the problem to ensure your own correctness. But it is apparent to others.

      • Rob,

        You may know the answer to this ?
        SpaceX did an in flight abort test (IFA) on the crew Dragon as well as a pad abort test. Orion I know also did a pad abort test, and an Ascent Abort test. This seems very sensible, make absolutely sure that your spacecraft can abort successfully at max q to keep your crew safe in the event of a major vehicle malfunction.

        Starliner did a pad abort test in November 2019, but I can’t see any reference to any form of abort test at max q ? Did I miss something ? Did they do one, or is there a reason that they don’t have to do one ?

        I’d find it a bit strange that any new human rated spacecraft didn’t have to demonstrate a safe abort at max q.

        A Starship IFA should be quite spectacular.

          • Rob,

            Thanks for the link.

            I wouldn’t have thought that a pad abort test would be more challenging than an IFA wow ?

            I agree with you, I would test it anyway with lives on the line.

          • Jakdak, I looked into this a bit more. The Starliner has a more flattened 3g suborbital trajectory (with second boost phase to reach orbit) as opposed to the Crew Dragon’s 4g orbital trajectory.

            So for Starliner, max Q occurs at around 40 seconds after launch, at subsonic speeds. For Crew Dragon, it occurs almost a minute later at Mach 2.5.

            That may be a factor in the decision to use wind tunnel testing. The IFA conditions for Starliner would be less severe. Both programs have ensured that abort is possible throughout the flight envelope, as required by NASA.

          • Thanks Rob,

            Personally I’d still have tested it.

            Not sure how you accurately simulate the in flight vibrations, and booster pushing against the capsule as it aborts in a simulator.

            If I were responsible for putting people in that capsule, I’d just make absolutely sure, and test it in real world conditions.

            I’m guessing there’s a budgetary aspect to this also, as an engineer you say let’s test IFA, and the bean counters point out that it’s a lot cheaper to test in a wind tunnel. It’s quite different if you have someone who believes in engineering running the company.

            Thanks for the info, it will be interesting to see the crew comments after Boe-CFT.

            The other interesting thing with Boe-CFT is that they will use 3 crew members rather than 2 used in Crew Dragon test because of the delays, Boe-CFT will be a crew rotation mission.

          • I agree, I would rather see a full test. The Boeing EDS relies on doors in the skirt opening to relieve pressure as the abort rockets fire. So a lot of components are involved, as you say.

            I think there is also a cultural difference involved. SpaceX and some of the newer companies are not afraid to blow things up in tests, they say they learn just as much from a failure. The more old-school NASA/Boeing approach is that destruction is a failure to be avoided.

            You can see NASA struggle with this a bit in their reaction to some SpaceX ideas. But they also seem open to change and the more rapid development cycle. As we’ve seen with Boeing, the old-school methods don’t assure success either.

  5. I’m sure EASA and CAAC will follow FAA certification, when

    – the 737MAX cockpit safety alert system meets 2017 standards
    – the MAX proves to have good stall recovery without MCAS
    – or MCAS is certifified as anti stall system
    – the trim wheels can comfortably be operated by all possible pilots
    – sufficient redundancies are build into air data and flight critical systems
    – everyone involved is properly trained from day 1 of MAX RTS

    It can happen in weeks after FAA re certification.

    • Let’s play a guessing game about the likelihood of this list to be completely checked.
      I bet 100 $ on 0%.

    • Yes, that doen’t sound bad, but
      How many years would that take?

    • CAAC approval could take time!
      LEAP deliveries to COMAC C919 must be confirmed (blackmail by POTUS must stop)
      AND
      FAA certification of C919 must be smooth (more or less synchro with CAAC)
      I bet 100$ that CAAC approval will not happen before mid 2021.

    • Article in Seattle Times this morning about EASA and Canadian requirements to be implemented on the MAX after RTS, but no later than certification of the MAX 10, for which they will be mandatory:

      1. AoA sensor: EASA wants synthetic air data added to the MAX flight control system, so that it can handle simultaneous failure of both AoA sensors without loss of air data reliability. The existing 3rd set of instruments,
      which do not depend on AoA data, are not considered sufficient because they can be used by the pilot but not the flight computers.

      2. Confusing cockpit warnings: EASA wants the MAX to be fully compliant with the 2017 regulations FAR 25.1322 for crew alerting systems, removing the exceptions built into the current MAX certification (as Keesje mentioned above).

      3. Canada wants a shutoff feature for the stick shaker and has proposed special markers (collars) on the circuit breakers to turn off the shaker mechanisms. FAA has objected to pilots using circuit breakers for flight controls, but has agreed to this as an interim solution and has asked Boeing to propose another method.

      Apart from these, the MAX certification may be permitted by all three regulators with modifications to the flight manuals and additional pilot training.

      Certification flights may occur as soon as next Monday. We’ll have to see if more changes come out of that. The wiring separation is also mandatory, as we knew before.

      • “”Certification flights may occur as soon as next Monday. We’ll have to see if more changes come out of that.””

        EASA said they couldn’t flight test MCAS because they were not allowed to enter the US because of Covid-19.

        Seems the MAX will be a domestic bird.

        • Article makes clear that with the above changes, EASA and CAA will certify the MAX within a few weeks of the FAA. That was the purpose of the negotiations,

          Also makes clear that EASA will still conduct their own test flights once they have the engineering upgrade package from Boeing. They have aircraft to test. So it’s possible they may require future joint AD’s, but they would occur after RTS.

          So MAX will be approved for international service. I would expect most regulators to follow the lead of EASA/ FAA. COMAC will be an exception, hard to predict what will happen there.

          • “”Article makes clear””

            I don’t read that.
            What I read is that the FAA will flight test next week.
            EASA and CAA will do their own flight testing when they are allowed to enter the US.
            The results of theese 3 flight tests could be different.

            FAA agreed to the 3 points from EASA and CAA. If the FAA will agree to the flight test results from EASA and CAA too, all 3 might certify together.

            There was no deal for the 3 points vs without flight testing MCAS.
            The FAA has to follow EASA and CAA, otherwise the MAX will be a domestic plane.

            Many people expect that MCAS will not pass flight testing because it might be a stall system. That’s why EASA wants to flight test without MCAS. If EASA won’t test this and follow the FAA, other more strict regulators will test this.
            So EASA can’t forget about flight testing without MCAS.
            FAA need to follow regulations too, otherwise they will be a Third World regulator.

            When I read that EASA wasn’t allowed to enter the US, it was all I needed to know.

            If the FAA wants to be a Third World regulator they can certify a DOMESTIC MAX. The MAX 10 isn’t needed then and the 3 points from EASA and CAA too.

            I’m waiting for this Gong Show for over a year.

          • The article says (since confirmed by other reporting):

            “As a result, U.S. sources now expect the Europeans will clear the MAX to fly passengers again within a week or so of the FAA doing so.’

            “Existing U.S. certification requirements don’t mandate the enhancements EASA and Transport Canada are requiring. The FAA’s stance in agreeing that Boeing must nevertheless address the three specific issues raised is aimed at achieving certification harmony among the main aviation regulators.”

            I believe this means the FAA will proceed with certification, with the understanding that the changes above will be required of Boeing, even though they are not mandated by FAA regulations. The FAA has agreed to enforce the EASA/TCCA conditions in exchange for endorsing FAA certification.

            The other regulators will still have the opportunity to test, and also raise issues for possible AD’s after RTS. The agreement doesn’t preclude other requirements, but it does allow mutual certification to occur.

            We knew there had to be some sort of compromise agreement to get the MAX flying again. This appears to be it.

          • So, do those three items get implemented for MAX10 only? Or for all MAX production subsequent to MAX10 certification? Or retrofitted to all previously produced MAX aircraft?

          • Thysi, these changes are required for all MAX airframes. Only the schedule is related to the MAX 10. All airframes must be updated by the time the MAX 10 is certified.

      • Also implicit in Gates. Story is the requirement to RETROFIT ALL HULLS within a couple of years (concurrent with Max 10 certification).
        This is a huge job affecting ~ 1K aircraft. Cost? $$$$$$$ and counting.
        Max will never make any money,

        • I mentioned the modification requirements and timeline in my post. I think Boeing will make far less than expected on initial sales but will make it up in service and support over the lifespan of the aircraft. That is a large part of the profit model.

          Analysts have pointed out that the costs of settlement and compensation have far outweighed the cost of modifying the aircraft. Boeing has other ways of mitigating those costs. At this point they are sunken costs anyway, so Boeing can only look to the future for cost recovery. If they saw it as hopeless, they would end production.

  6. Fascinating discussions on the flight control software. I just figured they were just replacing MCAS. It reminds me a little about the CSeries delays. Bombardier outsourced it, and that might not have been a good idea. I wonder if BA outsourced the original MAX FC software? United Tech was big on outsourcing software that had to be fixed.

    • Boeing’s main contractor for flight control software is Rockwell/Collins. Also for Starliner software and remote vision system on KC-46. Collins was known to have used low-cost offshore resources for coding. They underbid Honeywell, the earlier Boeing contractor.

      However we don’t know that the problems originated for those reasons. Except possibly for the vision system, Collins has a section on their web site devoted to their innovations in that system. So that seems to have been their baby, entirely their development.

      The MRTT vision system was developed by an award-winning firm in Germany, using similar technology. So perhaps the tanker wars made Boeing determined to develop rather than purchase that system.

    • This is just the AD corresponding to the engine protection panel issue, for which Boeing had issued a service bulletin last December. The causes were manufacturing defects. We’ve discussed it here before.

      Boeing pointed out that the engines have other lightning protection measures and the FAA agreed, removing the reference to lightning in the AD. But still the defects have to be addressed, as Boeing originally recommended. This AD confirms that and makes it mandatory for RTS.

  7. Reports today out of Pakistan of widespread pilot fraud, with 1 in 3 PIA pilots having bribed officials and paid others to take their licensing exams. 150 pilots dismissed and another 100 under investigation.

    Also the pilots union (PALPA) has objected to the finding that the pilots were at fault in the PA 8303 crash. They said the investigators were not familiar with the A320 and too quickly ruled out aircraft failure.

    They also placed blame on ATC for not adequately assisting the pilots. The government also put partial blame on ATC for not advising the pilots that the engines had visible signs of damage after the first landing attempt. Also that ATC did not offer an immediate direct return.

  8. Which software change?

    Presumably the change to dual active operation of the computers, not the original whacking back of the MCAS function.

    And Boeing proceeded in fits and starts, rushing too much still.

    Of course confidence and amount of scrutiny will be inversely related, in this case low and much.

    (Dickson’s remarks not detailed, AFAIK as it is difficult to find the transcript, the link provided by government is just to a Commerce dept web site of top level committees.

    Lots of sub-sub committees perhaps – and why that hearing when Congress has already had some on the subject?)

    (And the scrutiny revealed other problems.)

    • The Dickson hearing was to get feedback on the proposed Senate bill on FAA reauthorization, which would roll back some of the ODA program to previous levels, and provide additional resources to FAA to provide better oversight of Boeing. Appearing before the committee were Dickson and representatives of the Ethiopian accident families.

      The discussion was broad and included the MAX status. It’s archived on C-Span if you want to watch (I use the 1.5 speed setting to save time).

  9. BTW, outsourcing is not intrinsically bad, it may be the best way if you lack inhouse capability (which shouldn’t be the case with RC but they did have internal ethics problems that hurt quality of development work).

    What is essential in or out is rational performance, which comes from leadership values in action. Read the Culture document at BBandT.com for guidance.

    Communication is essential, that is more likely to be difficult with suppliers in countries speaking a different language far away. But bureaucracies have silos without proper communication between. A good manager on one airplane project was putting requirements in that he wouldn’t if he could trust the manager of another department to cover the need – but he judged he couldn’t, so more weight and cost were built in.

  10. BTW Sam and Rob, I think that in the 737 the flight control computers are provided by a company that builds both the hardware and software. Usually with strict specifications and much interaction with Boeing. 787 was in theory more dependent on the supplier but in practice I doubt it was much different.

    A key reason is that suppliers have expertise in the fields they cover. And supplier and airframer learn from each other. For example, Rosemont/BF Goodrich offered Airbus what looks like the same pitot probe as on 707s, its European supplier offered a probe that was not quite as good at de-icing. So after the AF447 disaster the lesser product was turfed. The Rosemont probe had built in experience from 707s having some difficulty with icing, which crews coped with. (In one case, the crew of a Qantas 707 over the South Pacific had to use Doppler to check airspeed, I forget if the cause in that case was cold soaking of tubing for pitot probe or static port or the pitot probe itself.)

    • Funny you mentioned the Rosemont plant. I used to work there. When I drove by there today, the sign said: Collins Aerospace. I know a lot of outsourcing makes sense (cents) but I’m concerned about wings and other proprietary equipment.

  11. Boeing and Airbus are on track to merge,

    THese things are state-owned now. So who cares about the money,

    Boeing and Airbus are on track to merge, because Russsia’s UAC, Embraer and China CRAIC Mitsubihi ar on track to unveil a complete line up of planes. Everything that’s not ready will be cancelled, with resources directed to the lines workinbg well

    It seems that only the Max will survive the massacre. ABoebus will push the A330neo as they upgrade and rework the 787 then, the A350. 777X is a cargo plane. The 350 can be enlarged ito much bigger without losing rheir s**t.

    This is because aircraft will fly at the altitude of MH 370 as it autopiloted towards the south, at 4,000 ft only. The way it was described: the passengers experiencing magnetic pulses, flare radiation, causing their emotions to run amok like some crazy person. As the fumes of lithium ion got bigger, debris was already flying, and whenn it exploded, it was basically a nuclear electric explosion.

    Apparently, what’s above 4,000 ft, is something that causes fright and a quarantine of 14 days to help them recover from the experience. For China domestic alone, they say it’s as if the planes are struggling to fly, there are howling and scary wailing noises, and pockets of vacuum. Takeoffs and landings are now like roller coaster rides.

    I know the newest batch of SIngapore Airlines cabin crew had to prove their ability, by riding the coasters in Universal Sttudios Singapore for 4 times consecutively. If you didn’t hurl up, you’re fine. Aircraft would be cruising at 35,000 feet and it’d be like sudden, and the aircraft goes down to 4,000. I wish I was joking.

    Comac aircraft will be the planes to buy for this.

    The A350 and 787 are designed to be able to be forced into near supersonic speeds, or fly at around 400km.

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