Pontifications: Embraer’s China ambitions

March 22, 2021, © Leeham News: Embraer wants to become a big player in China.

By Scott Hamilton

“We see a huge market potential there,” said Arjan Meijer, CEO of Embraer Commercial Aviation, in an interview with Nikkei Asia. The news outlet continued, “The company expects worldwide demand for 5,500 jets with up to 150 seats over the next 10 years. A third of that will come from Asia, with a large part of it from China, Meijer added.”

However, China presents risks and few rewards to companies wishing to gain a significant foothold. This is especially true for commercial aviation companies. China has high ambitions for the commercial aviation industry. Partnering with China in this sector produced more heartbreak than success.

Failed attempts

McDonnell Douglas was perhaps the earliest Western aircraft manufacturer that partnered with China. An MD-80 final assembly line was established in Shanghai in the 1980s. I visited this plant in December 1988. At the time, China was still years behind the West on even the most basic FAL requirements.

Industrial-strength electricity capacity wasn’t available to power the factory without reducing power elsewhere in the city. Rolling brown-outs were the norm then. The FAL was hand-built—there was no automation. McDonnell Douglas sold a few dozen MD-80s to Chinese airlines, which were reluctant to take them because of quality concerns. The MD-90 succeeded the MD-80. Although few were sold—MDC was nearing its end by this time—Delta Air Lines later acquired Chinese-built MD-90s on the secondary market. Boeing closed the line after the 1997 merger with MDC.

Bombardier’s venture into China hoping for quid-pro-quo sales of the Q400 turboprop and C Series was a dismal failure. Bombardier awarded fuselage section contracts for the airplanes to the Shenyang Aircraft Corp. Shenyang’s performance was so poor on the C Series that Bombardier, in foresight, had a backup plan to produce fuselage sections in Montreal. BBD activated this plan for the early production airplanes.

Despite the relationship, no C Series sales were completed with China. Instead, Intellectual Property was shared, benefitting China but not Bombardier.

Even Embraer is no stranger to the risks of doing business in China. An ERJ-145 FAL was established with the hope of selling the small regional jet widely in China. Few sales resulted.

Suppliers worry, too

Western suppliers of aero systems are required to establish joint ventures with local interests in exchange for contracts. But they complain they must do so, and they worry that IP transfer, or outright theft, threatened their products and development. Besides transferring “yesterday’s” technology and beefing up firewalls and defenses against cyberattacks, there is little they can do if they want to do business in China.

Finally, success

Boeing contracted with the Chinese for components on several 7-Series airplanes. But it’s never established an FAL in China. There is a 737 completion center that installs seats and paints airplanes in China, but this is minor work.

Airbus, seeking to break Boeing’s virtual monopoly in sales to China, established several component production centers and, finally, an A320 FAL in Tianjin. Despite the confidence that it had sufficient protections against IP theft, several cyberattacks on the FAL system were reported within the first year. But Airbus’ business ventures, the FAL and an A330 completion center paid off in ways none of the previous efforts did. Airbus is a major supplier of aircraft to China, eventually surpassing Boeing.

Embraer’s ambition

Embraer’s Meijer didn’t indicate to Nikkei that he’s considering locating an E-Jet E2 FAL in China. Instead, he hopes the 190/195 E2, which fit in nicely between the AVIC ARJ21 and the COMAC C919, will be attractive companions with high sales.

But the Chinese are unlikely to settle for being mere buyers. Embraer’s financial difficulties and the chaos created by the failed Boeing joint venture are well known. So is Embraer’s desire to partner with someone to develop a 70-90 seat turboprop, a project with a challenging business case at best.

China no doubt will demand more from Embraer than a completion center or a supplier relationship.

Whether the rewards will be worth the risks and the cost remain to be seen.

205 Comments on “Pontifications: Embraer’s China ambitions

  1. European car manufacturers have more than 30 production facilities in China, and that works just fine. And as the article points out, Airbus has made a success of its FALs in China. So it can be done. The fact that China was a relatively primitive backwater in the 1980s is no longer relevant — things have changed in the meantime.

    China drives a hard bargain when it comes to domestic production, but this is actually a more common practice globally than one might think. Many countries have a “local working requirement” in their patent laws, whereby patent protection will only be granted for a product/process if there is significant industrial activity relating to that product/process within the jurisdiction in question. Examples of such countries include India and Brazil (and, indeed, most developing nations). So, in that respect, China’s demands regarding local production should come as no surprise.


    • With all we know and all we’ve posted and read about lately, I would hazard to guess this is a very slippery slope. Not to go to overboard on the politics of this, but the news cycle last week seemed very much to concur that The New Administration in the meetings with the Chinese, picked up where The Old Administration left off and discussions were not very happy.

      • Biden has a range of war hawks in his team.
        Fully fledged Russia (and China) haters.

        The greater environment hasn’t changed either from Trump to Biden.
        The relation between the US and its aligned part of the world is no longer win/win but forced lose/lose.
        From that you see disengagement.

      • Politics should be avoided in these posts, so as not to (justifiably) incur the wrath of Scott.

        From a purely industrial point of view, it should be realized that China is here to stay. It’s insincere for “western” countries to complain about that, because they themselves created China’s current industrial might via the incessant drive in the past 3 decades to “produce cheaply offshore” (= more dollars profit onshore). The task now is deciding how to live with that. And it should be realized that, even if (certain countries in) “the west” think that China should be industrially boycotted, there are plenty of other countries that are standing in line to do business with China. Pointing fingers about human rights abuses is hollow, because there are other countries that have (very) unclean hands in this regard and that are nevertheless “best buddies” with the US.

        If Embraer sees merit in a JV with China, then good luck to them both. Boeing had its chance and it blew it. The former US administration wanted to pull production out of Mexico, whereas China is doing the opposite and is investing heavily in Mexico. Same story in other countries…including Brazil.

        • Saying China drives a hard bargain is a bit like saying its warm in Death Valley in the Middle of the Summer at noon on a clear day.

          Scott lays it out as factual in that there are constant hack attempts as well as the other methods of “acquiring” IP, processes.

          You are right that China is not longer the 1980 era though that is Scott laying gout the history.

          Private business in China is capable of building quality.

          None of the big companies discuss what goes on though and you don’t tick of the China government by talking about it, clearly they retaliate.

          So doing business in China is a lot like what my Dentist told me, its like dealing with the mafia.

          And cars are not aircraft. China goal is to dominate China aircraft not be a JV or a participant.

          Companies have learned to keep their IP at home.

          Equally Automotive has a great deal of commonality with Military Vehicles of all types (including armor though armor is drive train and then a whole different world but the US used Automotive to make tank in WWII) it all starts with the drive train.

          Equally ship building has a transfer. While warships have specialized systems, a hull is a hull. It no longer armored designs that drive a ship.

          As we saw with Ukraine and the trainer engine, sales and national policy are not separate items.

          Equally national supply chains are being looked at by the world. How vulnerable does any country or grouping want to be to someone else?

          And do national ententes want the very IP they founded lost?

          Whats ironic is a 737MAX completion center in China can’t be used unless you can fly the aircraft to and from it.

  2. @Bryce

    As per comments to the previous post about Embraer, it is only logical that they should turn to China

    In that forlorn phrase China brings everything ‘to the table’

    Mr Hamilton noted they need only follow the well beaten path of Airbus, and of car manufacturers as you added

    The tiny minded short termism and financialism on display by both Boeing and the rest of the US is of no use, even to themselves, and Embraer can be happy they have avoided that quagmire

    What precisely will eventuate is hard to predict with precision, but given China’s requirements, and given their importance in the Brazil economy, plus the quid quo pro they need regarding Huawei….

    …(And) given other geopolitical factors it is otiose to go into (Lula) it looks likely all sides have every incentive to make the deal work

    • Embraer going hat in hand is not a recipe for anything .

      Phrases like All side have incentive to make it work? Really.

      Just like C series incentive to make it work went one way.!

      • @TW

        Throwaway half liner Scorn is not informative

        Look at the situation both with regards to the economics and technical/financial requirements of the companies involved

        Then look as far as the countries’ interests – there are in both cases similar and mutual requirements which provide for a match between companies, backed up by an overall context of trade investment and politics

        • Well Bombardier tried working with China on it’s Cseries.
          Couldn’t deliver on what they were contracted and zero orders from their centralised aircraft ordering system.
          As mentioned Embraer and MD got bitten previously over licensed production and as for Airbus, they can see a rip off copy of their A320 called C919 flying.

          • @DoU

            To put it very simply – that’s what happens when a very large country industrialises very rapidly to become what is already the largest economy in the world predicted to double…etc, plus surrounded by a close continent of very large economies which it may not quite dominate yet, but

            The market power (the geopolitical) is such that small companies and large are impelled or compelled to set up there

            Remember the railways? They were all rip offs from the original, no? Now, check out China’s railways, HSRs, and compare to er….well who ever you want

            Complaining about the past, about IP about anything else you would like to complain about is going nowhere in the face of such a present and future market

            Airbus understands this, Boeing never will, the US will not even try, looks like Brazil has cottoned

          • So, staying with Aircraft of course, what you are saying is, someone steals IP, ho hum. That was last time.

            Then they do it again, again and again. Lets say you have the Mafia that organizes it. Turns it into an industry.

            That is just fine, it was last time and we are so over that.

            Or do you bust the ring and throw the actors in Prison (sort of traditional eh what)

            Or we can call the argument a crock that it is.

            And it does not matter who does it. Some of our erstwhile (or at least so called) allies are notorious for it (won’t mention any names but the capital starts with a P)

            Its the reason we have traffic laws. Sans regulation, eveyr0one decide which side of the road to drive on (well unless you can keep those silly Brits confined to their Island). Chaos.

            Or flip around traffic light colors and some drive with Green for Go and some say Red means you can proceed.

            But yes, companies have a right to expect their government to protect their IP and stop the theft of it.

  3. “The FAL was hand-built—there was no automation. ”

    What was the situation “back at home” ?
    My impression was that the US aircraft industry had not stepped all too far away from WWII production techniques?

    ( and an expectation that the workforce is self-organizing/learning.)

    Euros exporting production to foreign countries usually placed quite the effort into qualifying their local workforce there.

    Start with Volkswagen production sites in SA, MEX, BRA.

    • @ Uwe
      I’m glad you raised that point.
      I did engineering work for a European semiconductor manufacturer that acquired a “marquee” US competitor in 1998. The Europeans were shocked to see that the developers at the US company were still using drawing tables and paper, whereas the European company had *long* before switched over to CAD.

      • Hit and miss, clearly if it was Marque they made it work though long term you loose out if you don’t evolve.

        Airbus was famous for not having integrated its design tools and a huge miss on the A380 wiring. They had not faced up to the fractured mfg system they had. Boeing had already started the full shift to CAD.

        Airbus got the message and changed, Boeing got worse.

        • They had integrated the design, it was all on CAD. The slip up was because of different software versions and thats something everyone has faced at one time or another even when you are with the same business.
          The Windows 10 I’m doing this on now has 40 mill lines of code and they push updates onto you constantly as rather than checking it properly- often the reason some companies like to delay the updates- they feel its update…update ..update.

          • There was this guy who updated the Actel PLD fitter software while I was working on Rosetta/MIRO hardware. I wanted to terminate him.
            We had found all the existing software issues and had functional workarounds. i.e. we had known to be functional software/procedures.
            This guy introduced a bag of unknown issues from unverified patches.

            IMU: the Catia miss match was a known issues.
            afaik they had filtering software set up to get acroos this gap. something went wrong. enemy action?

            apropos: avoid windows. any version.

  4. Airbus sold petty well in China before setting up a FAL. I assume Embraer will do the same as well as some Chinese suppliers will bid on “build to print parts”. The question is how Chinese airspace will prioritize sub 150 seat aircrafts as even 737/A320 get replaced with A330’s on many routes due to congestion. Maybe if the new aircraft is 100% SAF or hydrogen powered they can get good slots allocated while the non-SAF aircrafts has to move aside.
    The turboprop power system can be expensive to maintain with prop, pitch mech, de-ice, control boxes, power gbx and then a gas turbine.

    • Really is two issues

      What is the market and are the Chinese the least bit interested? They have their own Turbo Prop to play with and China controls the buying so they can dictate it, its State directed economy not an open market.

      Right now the state dictate is rail and LSA not regional jets and minimum TP.

      While China energy direction is not clear its still massive coal with natural gas switch over going on along with huge dams.

    • All planes* build after WWII are SAF compatible. H2 needs a complicated infrastructure on both airports. If it are windy islands i can see H2 as a solution before it is widespread but small airports on land are not the natural starting points for H2. It is more for trips between airports that have dozens of flights between them

      *) with some small changes

      • Building to print of cause you need to follow regulations, either you comply and work under the OEM’s “Parts Manufacture approval” as they are responsible to audit you or you have qualified for your own “PMA”, (not to be confused with companies having a PMA and producing “copycat” parts by approved “reverse engineering” process without license to the original part designer/manufacturer.)

      • They might work with 100% SAF but are not certified for it yet, some are certified for 50% SAF into the JET-A1 fuel. Boeing, Airbus and the big engine manufacturers work to have them 100% SAF certified by 2030. The question is what fuel additives are needed to avoid bacteria, fungi growth when poorly drained of water and idle for a few months..

      • compatibility tends to be limited by how some gaskets and fuel lines behave under the SAF fuels.
        compare to the “bio”fuels added to petrol, diesel.
        /Then Brazil’s transport was/is strong on running on the 1C and 2C alcohols.

        viscosity, energy per volume are things you have to look at.

        what I haven’t seen yet is GA aircraft running on wood gas 🙂

    • ” as some Chinese suppliers will bid on “build to print parts”.
      in aviation thats out of the question unless they have qualified under stringent
      ( western) aviation certification rules.
      They have struggled with that at the premier chinese factorys so its out of the question for a sub- sub contractor.
      Even looking at the recent Chinese large military airlifter the Xi’an Y-20 , often an indicator of commercial plane capability, shows its a copy.
      They have only admitted to getting Antonov to design the flaps but the whole plane is clearly an updated derivative of the Russian IL-76. The changes seem to be the limit of their capacity, new nose section, changed undercarriage to inline wheels , rear fuselage tailcone and other ‘fairings’ etc. A quick check of the major dimensions shows they are very close as you would expect for a derivative.
      This photo of both types in side view at a Chinese airbase confirms , one is a newer derivative of the other. A rip off copy in other words

  5. If a JV with AVIC secures a launching order for 400, an agreement is reached on a China FAL 3 years after initial production and a significant share of aerostructures is given to Chinese companies, we have a deal.

    Without getting to complicated on the IP of a turbo prop. These guys have a space program, stealth fighters & will soon roll out the H-20. Another turbo prop isn’t so whiz-bang that it’s a real issue.

    I think creating a workable win-win won’t be hard for Arjan. The concept can be a wake up call for other candidates anyway.

    • keesje:

      North Korea as a ICBM program. That does not mean they can build a fighter

      China like Russian focused on their ICBM and then converted it to a general launcher.

      That is a total national focused for a very small number of launches a year.

      It would be interesting to see how that is possible. China did not get tech from the Germans like the US and Russia did.

      But there is something about the narrow focus that seems to be viable for anyone to do it given the resources.

      • Russia siphoned off knowledge from their German rocket scientists and then sent them home.
        continuing on their own.

        The US coopted their Germans for the moon race and the project management.
        After that success at least von Braun was committed to free fall :: NAZI! surprise!

        China interned with the Soviets.

      • Bryce:

        A quip is only as good as the basis for its validity.

        You and I both know the PW issue has nothing to do with China and engines.

        The tech part we can discuss is they want the whole Enchilada and control.

        Unfortunately the reasoning behind it gets deep into political weeds.

        I think I can safely say based on Scotts full up statement of what China is after, do you want to give a directorship the tools to do you in?

        We have a huge issue in regards to regulations, how they are enforced (or not right now) with public exposure. But we also have full open press and NTSB that allows us the chance (not a given) to correct that.

        The flip of course is no public exposure. On a real basis, long term a democracy lives and thrives with its laundry hanging out. Not alwyas pretty, MAX is getting corrected and 787 is getting the attention it needs.

        What we have is not a perfect system, there is no perfect system. Which one you not only prefer but have chosen to live under?

        • “What we have is not a perfect system, there is no perfect system. Which one you not only prefer but have chosen to live under?”

          Deterioration and/or scraped thin margins.

          There must be a reason why we see increased fallout from a combo of design, manufacture and inspection defects/oversights.

          Next question: is it culture specific?

  6. Let’s cut to the chase Comac buys 50% of Embraer commercial, develop a co production in China for the new turboprop (E Series is 20 years old) and access Embraer global maintenance infrastructure for New Turboprop and C919

    One needs to look at China current and future global GDP and rating and the answer is clear one needs to be a player with China Remind me again, when did Boeing get their last China order? 2017! Don’t play don’t get orders

    • Embraer had already gone that route with licensed production of E-145 that didnt work out. China is only interested in the KC-390 from Embraer to replace all the smaller Antonov airlifters they still fly
      Some simple type like a 75 seater TP from the west isnt in their plans , their military has a lock on so much airspace and even commercial corridors are limited . Filling the skies with small TP when there isnt room for the single ailse jets will just cause more congestion. As was previously mentioned existing passenger rail services complemented by high speed rail is their preferred shorter distance travel

      • KC-390 is filled with dozens of IP restricted US technology. Even people with double nationalities in Brazil have to sign several NDAs to access the project and have several restrictions. Therefore, no KC-390 for China in the time being.

        • They want to copy the Kc390 not buy it. Same goes with Ukraine , there was talk of putting the An124 back in production, in China with their money of course.

    • You might want to think what the chase really looks like!

      You also might check on the latest blow up with the EU.

      What I see is our way or the highway with no negotiation at all.

      Brazil has to see where that leave it but I see no daylight at all for Embraer other than getting eaten by the tiger and not bread crumbs left.

      Or they can be practical views that business is business and deal with Boeing down the road. I don’t know that is possible as its also a political issue for Brazil.

      The reality is you can’t divest from politics on much of this. These are not kids toys and it can and does get caught up in politics.

  7. Another way to look at it is, are things getting better in dealing with China or worse on the tech end?

    With the latest trade agreement blowing up between China and the EU its far far worse.

    • @ TW
      Can you enlighten us as regards “the latest trade agreement blowing up between China and the EU”?
      As far as I’m aware, the CAI is still up and running.
      The fact that the EU and China exchanged diplomatic pricks yesterday is typical tit-for-tat diplomatic fencing, and hasn’t led to a negation of trade arrangements.

      And contrary to what you’ve asserted above, I think it’s perfectly possible to discuss China’s commercial/industrial activities without speculating as to what underlies them politically. This worn-out attitude of “put the wagons in a circle — the reds are coming” is a 1950s relic.

      You say above:
      “What I see is our way or the highway with no negotiation at all.”
      That attitude is demonstrated by many countries in many situations, e.g. in the US attitude to Iran, the UK attitude to the Falklands/Malvinas, Turkey’s attitude to Northern Cyprus…why single it out in the case of China’s business agreements?

      Will you quit the politics, before you cause Scott to shut down comments yet again?

      • Bryce:

        I have been around for a long time, what you blow off as a scare I lived through as a reality.

        And you tell me to stop politic before shutdown, when you posted immediately prior several highly charged political issues.

        None of which are Aviation related at all. Each is a lead in to cancelling comments.

        Rather than address the fact that politics are huge in the case we are discussing (regardless of the reason) , it is directly Aviation related and affected you chaff and flare . But having a good IR sensor and milometer radar you can see right through it.

        I am acknowledging the political aspects of it without bringing up the details that are a subject unto themselves as well as linked.

        But if you think the current going on is normal diplomacy, in less than 10 years and very likely under 5, you have a huge surprise coming.

        Best of luck.

        • “But if you think the current going on is normal diplomacy, in less than 10 years and very likely under 5, you have a huge surprise coming. ”

          The US opened the tin of “sweet sanctions”.
          Now everybody and his dog are taking the offered sweets.
          Another casefull of blowback.

          • Those who fail to remember their history (or spin it) doom all to repeat it.

      • @Bryce

        It was possible to think @Rob unacceptable : cheap nationalism is worser

  8. From within the BRICS countries, I think India is Brazil and Embraer’s logical and best partner in maintaining an independent aviation industry. India has nationalist ambitions in many industrial sectors that includes civilian aviation. India is currently on a Made in India drive in its nationalist effort to be self sufficient competitor to China. India has money to invest in large industrial projects such as a India designed and built airliner. I think Embraced should look to companies like TATA and Hindustan to partner in both a turbo prop regional airliner and an 320/737/220 competitor. There is enough Indian demand for such aircraft to form the basis for the two types of aircraft I am proposing.

    • That is an interesting take that has some merit.

      India has made some amazing strides in some areas. Aircraft so far has not been one of them (the never ending Tejas Trainer)

      It certainly would be a real negotiation possibility for JV.

      Why Embraer thinks a FAL in China succeeds when they proved it fails is????

      The need for a new Turbo Prop is so little there is only room for one successful layer with a possibility of DH hanging on with an established product.

      Both India and Africa due to hot and or high and hot are ideal grounds for DH performance (and in some cases routes choice is far more open with the much better engine out ceiling performance a Turbo Prop has to count on in mountainous terrain)

      Drift down on one engine is a reality for jets but its pretty high and they can plan the time of the drift down into the calcs along with air speed (in short you can get to safe terrain).

      A Turbo Prop has less latitude and the ATR has a lot less performance in reserve than the Dash 8.

      FAL in India would be interesting, I believe they have been successful in assembling fighters.

      Best is private firms that have the ability to negotiate and make it work vs imposed by government owned ops.

      • “Best is private firms …”

        Anyone lives long enough would know airframers are part of industrial military complex, backed by states, from U.S., EU to Brazil, Russia etc. The exception may be Bombardier, and I know how that story ends.

        • Pedro:

          I know that is a popular throw out, but Airbus is far more civilian than military.

          Boeing has often been accused of that I know. Clearly there was spin off but they were won contracts vs other defense firms and they supplied stuff that worked (keeping out of politic if it was needed)

          The 727 – 737 and 747 were not military spin off.

          BBD was a civilian policy move much like Airbus (too small to pull it off).

          That does not mean any country is going to ignore the arena.

          But the same was true of the auto industry at one time. Now Chrysler is owned by Fiat.

          No country wants to have its policy controlled by supply or sourcing from another country. The big fights are tech related as that is what undermines where you are.

          The 929 will fail because you have two national entities fighting for control (or maybe more accuracy, one wants its half control and the other wants full control)

          • Correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t the 747 originally designed as a military transport?

          • Not really, Urban Legend area.

            What Boeing did was include some military compatibility to it with the cockpit on top above the nose which could open (there was no F market in those days)

            The 747 was a low wing design that did not lend itself to the form that military was asking for and well proven with C-119/C-123/C-133 and the C-130.

            Engines are too close to the ground with a low wing design, not compatible with the FOD and military fields.

            Now you have to take that with a grain of salt as C-5 and the C-143 operated pretty much exclusivity on big concrete field.

            But, access to the deck is a huge problem with a 747 vs a C-5 type hull form. No lift system will do a tank or a mobile artillery system.

            No ramp and no rolling things on and off quickly. Or dumping off in mid air.

            It had some sales possible for some military ops but that was never the main driver.

            As it was it did have military sales in AF-1 and the Looking Glass Command posts.

    • “”Airbus will make the further 1t MTOW increase on the A220-300 available from the middle of 2021 for line-fit, and it will also be a retrofit option – via a service bulletin – for all previously-produced -300s.
      There is no physical modification, just a “paper change” “”

      Leaves the E195E2 more behind.

      • As I recall, post the C series debacle the E195E2 suddenly gained quite a bit of range.

        Long term I think the main future of the A220 is the 500 variant that allows Airbus to replace the somewhat long in the tooth itself A320 and shift that program full onto the A321.

      • If you think that the airline needs extra range, ok. But for typical mission profiles current E-Jets fly in the world, this extra weight will only increase the 195E2 advantage in the cost per seat, which is already 10% lower than A220-300 for typical under 1000nm flights.
        Also, A220 will struggle even more on shortfield airports. The 195E2 takes off at MTOW in 1250 m runways.

        • “”But for typical mission profiles current E-Jets fly in the world, this extra weight will only increase the 195E2 advantage in the cost per seat, which is already 10% lower than A220-300 for typical under 1000nm flights””

          There is no extra weight on shorter range. If the 1t increase is only MTOW and not MZFW the 1t will only benefit range.
          For longer range, when payload is used to carry fuel, up to 10 more pax can be carried.

          For 1000nm sectors the 64t A319neo would provide additional benefits from the A320family, if the family is already in the fleet.
          The 64t A319neo burns 3% more fuel but can carry 9% more pax at the same seat pitch, which is 5% less fuel per seat than the 195E2. No need to have Embraer.

          • The A319 Neo is basically a defunct product. Uncompetitive against the 195E2 or 220-300. That simple.

            Get up-to-date cost and performance data.

          • Caerthal,

            try to read.
            The talk was about “1000nm” sectors and the 64t MTOW version of the A319neo vs the 61.5 t MTOW of the 195E2.
            Please come up with the data, I already have a laugh.
            Not easy to compete with “per seat” results against planes with more seats.

        • It’s not extra weight, it’s extra payload.
          As it’s just a paper change , for a cost, it allows say more cargo for medium ranges. It doesn’t seem to mean more fuel as the tanks aren’t increased in volume, so it really means more cargo as maximum range means passengers and their baggage only.
          You need to go back to your numbers and work it out properly

          • It’s not payload if it’s only MTOW.
            IIRC the fuel tanks are big enough. Pax need to be reduced much to fill the tanks completely. So this 1t more MTOW helps.

          • Yep, it makes it a bit more flexible at no cost to mfg.

  9. Possible strategic partners
    – KAI
    – ATR
    – HAL
    – AVIC
    – Collins
    – MHI
    – Kawasaki
    – Lockheed Martin
    – ?

    • Korea is an interesting possible.

      Japan, I think they are done with that stuff.

      LH wants nothign to do with Civie stuff, there is no money there, look at the regional build numbers vs the stacks of thousand of back orders on A320/737. And that is with no competition now.

      Collins has no interest in that area. HAL possible but that is linked to the Indian Government and I don’t see that ending well.

      TATA? That would be workable.

      • Japan isnt ‘done’ with with that stuff. MHI still had a budget of $120 mill for their MRJ/SJ development.
        Plus the whole project is a long term ‘ national taxpayer supported’
        economic ambition- just like the Airbus project was originally.
        Boeing paused development too, doesnt mean they arent going to continue sooner rather later

        • You fail to realize what MHI and Japan goal is.

          Its high tech and in this case MHI has a fighter contract its been allocated.

          The Regional was not and never was going anywhere. The numbers are not there plane (sp intended) and simple.

          A group speak took place and they decided on no evidence other than spin by pundits that scope was going away and there was a big enough market.

          Scope is not going away, 120 million does not buy you anything in the aircraft industry (well maybe a two seat prop trainer) .

          The former BBD holdings will get dumped . Oddly Russia would be a prime suspect if not for sanctions as they need that structure as the MC-21 is being built to certification’s standard (not that anyone is going to buy it outside of Russia)

    • “Investment-grade rated companies use revolving credit facilities as backstop financing, with these facilities remaining undrawn for the most part.”
      Undrawn ….

      ” Brazil’s Embraer said on Thursday it will implement a new staff buyout program, at the same time as the U.S. Export-Import Bank said it had approved a $97.2 million working capital loan guarantee for planemaker’s U.S.-based business jet subsidiary.”

      What ! The Exim bank is doing ‘working capital’ loan guarantees now ( last year).Embraer should just raise its money through normal channels not the ‘state socialism’ of the US ExIm bank

      There s a whole swag of these taxpayer guarantees through federal entities in US , including agriculture and small business, even before covid.

      • Looks like Boeing has to run out for more rainy day fund as previously forecast by CEO and CFO of delivering 787 as early as February fails to materialize and who know how much longer it takes as FAA suddenly woke up and took back the company’s authority to issue AW cert.

        The banks are here to make bucks, they clearly know well who they are dealing with and the risk of default.

        The credit agreement clearly states both the arrangement fee (not cheap!!) and interest charged depend on the company’s credit rating!!

    • Man give me that credit line and I could make some real money with it!

      Boeing, not so much.

      Amazing how much money they could have made just putting money into the stock market in safe returns instead of watching it circle and down the drain.

  10. Looks like Boeing has to run out for more rainy day fund as previously forecast by CEO and CFO of delivering 787 as early as February fails to materialize and who know how much longer it takes as FAA suddenly woke up and took back the company’s authority to issue AW cert.

    The banks are here to make bucks, they clearly know well who they are dealing with and the risk of default.

    The credit agreement clearly states both the arrangement fee (not cheap!!) and interest charged depend on the company’s credit rating!!

    • @Pedro

      BA is borrowing more money probably to pay LUV to take those planes

      This is the perfect opportunity for an airline to make the deal of the century

    • Not a deal of the century if the MAX crashs again and it will crash, it’s only a matter of time. Maybe it will be grounded again since the FAA wants to watch sat data.
      And then, what then … only [Edited] would fly MAX and Southwest would disappear from the landscape and so would Boeing Commercial, they would have to pay back all the pre delivery payments.
      Maybe a 787 will crash first, a former Boeing engineer mentioned already that its time has come.

      • @Leon

        ‘The deal of the century’ : as far as I remember this is a native americanism for a crap shoot

        If it sinks both BA and LUV it’ll prove that both ran the same failed business model

      • @Leon: Tone it down. Your comments contribute nothing to discourse.


  11. A curious report on Reuters regarding Ryanair’s 737-MAX200s :
    “Ryanair expects 16 Boeing 737 MAX deliveries by summer, says CEO”

    “Ryanair said it expected to take delivery of 16 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft before the coming summer season, lower than the previous guidance of up to 24 it had given in February.”

    “Ryanair Group Chief Executive Michael O’Leary told an online news conference on Wednesday that Ryanair expected to receive eight of the MAX aircraft in April, another eight in May and none in June.”


    April starts in 7 days and ends in 37 days. The -8200 isn’t even certified yet, and still O’L expects to receive 8 of them within 5 weeks (at the latest)? There’s a “prototype” still undergoing test flights at Boeing Field:

    Moreover, the promised number of pre-summer deliveries has shrunk from 24 to 16. Why? Is BA too busy trying to dust-up whitetails in time for an upcoming horse auction?

    • Well I believe if you look at the details, Ryan Air has two types of MAX on order.

      And, guidance is just that, what we think at the time. Not exactly Aliens are invading earth stuff. Details change and it is likely not of anything more noteworthy than that.

      China re-cert of the MAX would be.

      And details are Boeing has a few new MAX orders made.

      Or equally, suppliers seem to think 31 a month is not doable.

      Usual ebb and flow of the aerial tides.

      • If it has different doors, then it’s not the same plane.
        Just as the A321 with Cabin Flex doors isn’t the same as a conventional A321.

        It’s disturbing that Boeing still appears to want to call the shots as regards certification timing. Remember how Muilenburg told us on a weekly basis that re-cert of the MAX was going to happen “next month”…and that went on for almost a year? I hope the FAA takes its time on this, just to send a clear message.

        Since it essentially has a “standard” seat pitch of 28″, and thus carries more passengers nominally, I’d expect FAA/EASA at the very least to mandate a new cabin evacuation test.

  12. Gonna try and tiptoe the political line here, with what Scott deems acceptable. A small anecdote:

    Back a few Olympics ago, there was this track and field event, with this guy competing for some Eastern European country, with a name like John Smith. Commentator explained how he did 4 years at ______ State University and was all SEC, but could not make the top 3 of the US Nat’l team, but had a girlfriend from the unnamed country and was living there for years (or married her or something) and was granted citizenship to compete. He was one of the first guys who was doing this.

    Colour commentary guy says something like “Well, we should not be surprised. There are no longer any countries that athletes compete for, there are only shoe companies and endorsement contracts”

    The subject of Jordan and accepting the gold medal with the flap of his jacket covering the Reebok emblem on the US track suit came up, as the watershed moment.

    Corporations act in their own best interests. From sub contacting out the MCAS software to Indian programmers, to throwing some bucks at the decision makers to get a deal closed. The only way they get reined in, is by lawmakers having some oversight.

    Ironically, one of the only places where companies cannot run rampant, is a place like China, which (not judging the moral position of their policies, just calling balls and strikes or LBW for those of you so inclined) keeps a tight leash on how things are done.

    For those who claim the unfairness of IP theft and a call to ‘play by the rules’ – at this level of the game, this is just the price of doing business.

    Anyone remember the SR-71 Blackbird? Cold was recon bird that was the fastest thing in the sky? It’s made mostly of titanium. Guess whose titanium it’s made from? Wanna guess how the US got the titanium from the Soviet Union to make that plane? History is replete with examples of some taking something someone else does not wish to give.

    Yes – those who fail to remember their history are doomed to repeat it. For others, they wish to forget their history so that they can claim the high moral ground.

    China is acting in their own best interests – don’t wanna risk losing out, then don’t deal with them. Simple. No one is forcing Boeing, Airbus, Embraer, Bombardier to do business with them. But greed gets the better of them, as they look at the market and salivate.

    Its their court, it’s their rules. Don’t like the game, don’t play.

    Just because other governments don’t rein in the likes of Walmart from purchasing most of their products overseas, isn’t their fault.

    Just the way it is…

    • The claim about Subcontracting out MCAS software is a red herring.

      Boeing has long subcontracted instruments and avionics to independent companies like Collins and Sperry, even mixing brands. (For example, the 737 Original had Collins Flight Director main flight instrument system supplied with attitude and heading by Sperry gyros, because Sperry made better gyros.)

      With specifications agreed on.

      The claim about MCAS is misleading as well, in that Boeing designed MCAS logic, and ordered it as an addition to the flight control software already produced by Collins.

      Airbus often subcontracts to Thales, it subcontracted a data bus system to Collins for the A380.

      And there are engines, …..

      People blather in speculation and self-serving ignorance.

      • @jkKeith – not sure what you mean about the MCAS programmers.

        Apples and oranges; Boeing doesn’t make gyros or engines, but it certainly had the computer engineering power to write the software for MCAS internally. But they could do it cheaper by subbing it out.

        How’d those agreed upon specifications work for Boeing with the 787? That go well for them?

        Talk about ignoring objective reality. Those same decisions that were made cost BA billions and the meter is still running on them….to this day.

        Not sure why you turned this into a BA vs AB thing – Airbus was mentioned with their penalty of a few billion dollars. Going into China holds the same peril for them, as it does for Boeing.

        But hey – don’t like the message? Attack the messenger. Seems the norm for the current times we live in.

        @Duke – yes. Thank you for reiterating my exact point.

        Corporations go into China with starry eyed expectations, even though the history of doing business with them shows something quite different. China will act in it’s own best interests, over that of the corporations it deals with.

        Sorry results for the companies? From China’s point of view, they couldn’t care less. Didn’t we just have 4 years of ‘America First’? So their position is ‘China First’, not some corporation who tries to maximize shareholder value and executive compensation.

        Ya gotta admit, while their efforts may be less then scrupulous, they certainly do what they deem is in the national best interest. I guess that’s why detractors run them down so much – they’d like their own country to do the same, but when they’re sold out by the corporations, they can only lash out in frustration.

        • @Frank

          You have described the difference between cheap nationalism and the strong version evidenced by China

          US too, once upon a time, displayed powerful and efficient use of strong nationalism

          Now… crying over spilt milk or banging (badly made) war drums

          • Frank:

            It does matter who is stealing IP, it does get into national interests and government protection (more so maybe in the Internet age)

            So you can dismiss it as just the way it is, but economies now rise and fall on the tech base, so no, its not going away as an issue and a legitimate one.

            We are not talking about a copy or one off, this is being done on an industrial scale.

            Any country is going to act if its foundations are undermined.

            One reason China cannot make jet engines of first class caliber is that its not the concept, its how the materials are formed and forged. You can’t reverse engineer that. You have to understand it at the core level, or you have to steal the process with the recipee mix.

            Nothing says you can’t try, equally if you can created a flash fire.

            And in fact long term its a looser. Your infrastructure orients to stealing vs basic materials concepts and science.

            Japan broke loose of that with their auto industry. First class materials work and they sold what they built for their own internal use and set world standards doing so.

            But that was encourage not direct or own the endeavor.

            From combustion to materials in equipment the Japanese take second place to no one now.

          • @Gerrard

            You put it very succinctly. They’ve beat them at their own game.

          • @ TW
            The Chinese are well able to invent things — they’ve been doing it for over 3000 years now.
            Some common examples: gunpowder, paper, printing, the compass, the crossbow, the mechanical clock, silk, the seismograph, cast iron,…
            See the links for more.

            Interestingly, cast iron wasn’t “invented” in Europe until more than 2000 years later. And Europeans were only able to develop silk by smuggling (stealing) silkworms and mulberry leaves out of China.

            It’s generally not a good idea to automatically dismiss the acumen and resourcefulness of one’s adversary. A more prudent approach is to sharpen one’s own act.

            @Rob would, at this stage, accuse me of being “pro-China”. But I’m not. Neither am I implicitly anti-China. I’m just acutely aware of the ability of the Chinese to severely disrupt the industrial/technical/scientific status quo in the old world order…and that includes in aviation.




          • @TW

            Let’s say that you are 100% correct – that jet engine processes (as an example) are a national interest and should be protected.

            Fine. GE & PW are US companies – correct? If it is so important, why isn’t that, and every crucial piece of IP technology, banned from being exported to China?

            It’s really simple – they do it with Iran and N Korea. Don’t let US companies deal with China, then.

            The simple answer is that US corporations want access to sell their stuff to China and THEY are the ones really running the show. Sure, some military tech from the likes of LMT and others will never be sent over, but if it’s so important, then it should trump the need to make sales, no?

            China has made it clear now – the price to play in their sandbox is that they will try to steal as much tech as possible.

            If you don’t want that to happen, don’t do business with them, no?

            (but the lure of that billion + market is like moths to a flame, they can’t help themselves, can they?)

            I don’t disagree with you, TW – but either you make your profits for the short term and risk the tech loss, or you don’t do business with them. They’re sharks. Why cry when you get bitten when there’s chum in the water? It’s what they do…

          • Bryce:

            Quit conflating the issue with anti Chinese implied.

            Keep it to the topic of what the theft of IP and industrial espionage that is going on now and with the current government that is behind it.

            There are other sites for history discussions.

          • Frank:

            You did not read what goes into the building of a Jet Engine.

            Many countries can build jet engines. Building one that has modern good SFC, low emissions and longevity is the issue (reliability as wel)

            How a material perform is a complex dance of not just metals and the mix, its how its processed and the mfg setup that achieves that.

            Trying to reverse engineer that is verging on impossible (or take so long that it is impossible from a realistic standpoint).

            Even if an engine is stolen out of the system, you can’t copy the process that made that engine.

            The same with chips. You still have to make a chip not just understand what its in front of you with your electron microscope.

            If you can steel the process to make the chip then you can reverse engineer the design of the chip layout and make it.

            Some stuff you can simply copy.

            But I will give you a real world example[le. My wife wanted a Cast Iron tub, but they don’t make those that fit the space we had.

            We got a composite tub that had cast iron tub characteristic that was wanted (heat retention) .

            But, and the big butt, it was not Rigid like a cast iron tub.

            In that case you can make it work with perfect support, but if you do not, then you wrinkle the metal line as the underlying composite structure yields unlike cast iron.

            In this case it can be managed with correct support (but you damned well better support it or you loose your tub).

            Take that into the real world of Jet Engines and it does not cut it even close.

            Each and every part has its own metallurgy, treatment and its all designed to work with every other part.

            That is why China wanted to take over the Ukraine engine mfg. They had that capability in house (of small jet engines).

            Otherwise you have to work it out for each part in the engine and then try to catch up with tech that keeps advancing (for commercial, an engine that works and has some reasonable frame time can be lived with for military but it can also be costly for spares)

            ps: Russia gave Ukraine the engine mfg and tech back in the days of the Soviet Union as part of the tie the apron strings sort of approach, so they lost it on the breakup.

          • @TW

            Expanding foam under the tub and in the crevices will support the structure where it is needed. I have gutted my property and am renovating 3 floors – one down, 2 to go.

            You have to be careful, however – there is some foam that will expand like nobodies business. If you aren’t sure how much to use, get the cans that are made for windows and doors. They will not warp the structure. ALWAYS WEAR GLOVES when working with expanding foam, that stuff is hell to remove from skin.

            Make sure that you leave an opening at the front end of the tub for access, in case a plumber has to get in there. As well, if you are doing your own tiling, start from the edge of the tub and work upwards – but make sure to leave a gap between the tub and the bottom row of tiles, which should be filled in with caulking. I’ve seen many a tile cracked by people who bring the tiles right down to the edge of the tub, then when the tub shifts slightly with weight, it cracks them.

            Back to aviation;

            Yah – modern jet engines are difficult, if not impossible, to reverse engineer. Poor example. Here’s a better one I have;

            Back in the day when I was doing my degree, prof in an int’l business class was discussing something very similar. IIRC she worked as an exec at a heavy equipment manufacturer who was trying to secure a deal in China (road construction equipment). They went over with a machine to show them how it worked, did some test runs. Chinese were very enthusiastic. They asked her to leave it there for a few weeks so they could ‘test it out’

            Sales director couldn’t agree fast enough, but she vetoed the idea. Marketing dept put up a huge fight, as the next week the competition was shipping in their machine. She was adamant, said no, had the machine packed up and sent home.

            So next week the other guys show up after she has left, do the same thing – but say yes to leaving it there.

            End result? Neither got the sale. The Chinese tore it apart and made their own.

            Moral of the story? All it takes is one company in the know, who – in order to close a deal, says ‘Sure, we’ll give you a peek in the kitchen’. It could be as simple as letting someone have access to some lines of computer code or inviting an exec over to the plant for a look-see.

            This case was awhile ago. Everyone knows what the game with China is. No one can claim ‘they didn’t know’.

          • Frank:

            Yes people stealing ideas from other people has gone on for time immemorial.

            Where it gets rife into issues is both high tech IP and processes and done by Governments (the US ignored piracy on and off for a long time at the perceived national interest.

            Equally you really kick the ant hill and get a reaction then too bad as well. Playing with fire is not a good idea.

            “China will act in it’s own best interests, over that of the corporations it deals with. ”

            China does not do that, its a leadership that decides to do that and in the case of a dictatorship, there are no guide rails.

            Conflating national interest with ego, arrogance and or narcissists is a mistake.

            Previously the US policy was free trade (and yes there has always been some restrictions and hold back and hold outs)

            Creating a world where it escalates into conflict is in no ones interest, the people that get the short end of the stick are the ones below the top (no matter what type of society it is)

            I think any country needs to balance out its interests and how to best work that out.

            None of us needs WWIII breaking out.

            As a country that saw Internment Camps imposed on its population (as well as their property taken) , I can equally say no one should ever have that happen to them.

        • @ Frank
          There appear to be some pretty deep misconceptions flying around about “IP theft”. People would do well to inform themselves a little better on the subject before pointing fingers. Some common misconceptions:
          – There’s no such thing as a worldwide patent: patents have to be applied for on a country-by country basis. If an invention is not the subject of a granted patent in a country, then it’s “free for all” in that country (the legal term is “dedicated to the public”). In the past, many companies didn’t apply for patents in China. Moreover, applying for a patent doesn’t mean that it will be granted: many applicants are surprised by Chinese-language prior art that emerges during the granting procedure. The same applies in Japan and Russia (technically sophisticated countries with complex languages).
          – Even when a patent is granted, its max. term is 20 years from the date of filing. After that, the invention is again “free for all”.
          – The scope of protection afforded by a patent is specified in the claims, which can narrow significantly during the granting procedure. Once again, this narrowing leads to a broadening of what is “dedicated to the public”.
          – Even if an invention is covered by a patent, a third party is perfectly entitled to refine the invention and separately patent that refinement.
          – If a company chooses to keep an invention secret, it runs the risk that another party will independently come up with the same idea — and even patent that idea. This isn’t “theft”.
          – Apart from these instances, information can be stolen by espionage/hacking. The aggrieved party can seek legal redress — but should ideally have had his security in order in the first place.

          Returning to aviation-specific examples: the C919 may be a (substantial) clone of the A320, but is there “IP theft” when the base design is 40 years old? No.

          • @Bryce

            Much Appreciated your description of how patents work

            The process is corrupted by Pharma in what is called I forget what exactly but rather like Disney they plunder existing resources then pirate copyright by filing minute modifications to extend patent shelf life, Peter Pans refusing to grow up

            9 times out of ten it’s this kind of IP that spills the milk and cries

            Does one not read in the prints that China files more new patents per year than the US. are not many US patents from expat Chinese and other Asians?

            Why so much wailing if not for fear the golden eggs are now laid elsewhere

          • @Bryce

            I remember: The Pharma constant patent renewal is called EverGreen

            What a co incidence! That boat is stuck and holding up traffic

          • There is a lot of conflating the real IP issues vs things like Pharma that are out of control in the US.

            To deny Industrial Scale IP theft is not an issue and is to be accepted as normal, hmmm.

            Jumping into patents filed (for every molecule change) is equally bogus.

            Break it down, who, what, where, subject, and then discuss.

            No group has any hold on the advance of science and no one has said they do. Its what known as Chaff and Flare trying to obscure a unsupported contention. In short, lets not channel KAC.

          • What is being missed here is IP vs Patents.

            Patents are ideas (wiht some degree or reality depending on the country)

            The better examples are something like a LOGO. Budweiser comes to mind. Patented in the US and around the world but as I recall not in Germany as there was a Budweiser there already (that acualy made good beer.

            No one patents the IP of make a turbine blade. They may patent the shape and general form (you can;t hide that) but how they make it, hell no.

            Pharma has taken that to the legal extreme and has patented individuals DNA. But anyone can see the DNA.

            And if you read the patent wars, phew, in the end a lot of money spent for nothing.

            The Wright Brothers were famous for their wing warping wars.

            Then Curtis (pretty sure) invented the Aileron and left the Wrights moldering in patent war history.

            Add in a country that sets its system up so that breaking patents is the form and getting them registered is an art and subject to the thumb from up top and away we go.

          • @TW

            In response to this:

            “To deny Industrial Scale IP theft is not an issue and is to be accepted as normal, hmmm.”

            Do you really think that this is something new that has recently come about and has been invented by China? Ever hear of Operation Paperclip?


            The Russians also did it to the US to accelerate their nuclear program


            The US recently paid this guy for info on the Chinese aircraft carrier:


            While you may try to suggest that spying/theft for your country/nat’l security is different then stealing it to accelerate a commercial aircraft program – it all boils down to the same thing;

            The other guy has something you want, he doesn’t want you to have it, so you do whatever it takes to get it.

            Nobodies hands are clean. To suggest otherwise is disingenuous.

            So yah – it is ‘normal’, if everyone is doing it. Wouldn’t you agree?

          • @TW

            Your IP seems to be little more than cultural appropriation in other words

            Patents are clear enough : your savvy and know how can only be subjective ill defined and – obviously – extensible to others

            Can one be said to copy savvy, learn it, adopt it, or re discover it ?

            Either way – that ship has sailed : what is horizoning is a large market economy or group of which is taking the lead in production invention and overall economic and political strength – they will (and have) invent stuff you will….copy..adopt..or most likely just try and buy

          • Frank:

            I seem to have to remind you that Nazi Germany attacked a large number of countries and declared war on the US.

            Operation paper clip was well within any norms off war ever established and indeed, the US policy if not repeating the debacle of WWI has lead to a democrat Japan and Germany.

            So lets get off the fake equivalency stuff.

            Many seem to be arguing that whatever you can do is just fine.

            You might keep in mind that works both ways.

            China recently criticizes the US on its Human rights record. That actually is fine with me, we have a lot that needs criticism .

            We are not locking up masses of a targeted group and while the processes are not fair, they are open and they are subject to correction (no where near perfect)

            I am puzzled as to why the responders simply do not move to China and enjoy the wonders of that society?

          • @TW

            BTW – just to refresh your memory, Operation Paperclip lasted from 1945-1959.



            “Operation Paperclip was a secret US intelligence program in which more than 1,600 German scientists, engineers, and technicians, such as Wernher von Braun and his V-2 rocket team, were taken from Germany to the United States, for U.S. government employment, primarily between 1945 and 1959. ”

            Norms of war, huh? When did WW2 end?

            To the victors go the spoils and two wrongs make a right, after all, I guess. So I’m guessing you are also OK with the Nazi’s looting everybody, when they were on top?

            Ironic that you justify previous actions as a ‘norm’, yet you say:

            “To deny Industrial Scale IP theft is not an issue and is to be accepted as normal, hmmm.”

            So that norm is OK, yet this one isn’t. Even if our side still does it.

            Let’s stay specifically on topic, about my point of view about China – since we are having a dialogue about our points of view.

            Mt stance is that

            1) You know China will try by any means possible to get ahead.

            2) Historically all powerful nations have done this and are still doing it.

            If you know what the nature of the beast is, yet you still get into the cage with him, why are you crying when you get bitten? Because we’re greedy and want to profit from the relationship?

            Also – if you are doing the same thing (I noticed you left out the recent Sun Bo example) doesn’t it make you a hypocrite to point the finger at the other guy?

            Ironic that the canned response of ‘well why don’t you move there’ gets bandied about by some who try to defend the actions of their home nation/corporations.

            I’m calling balls and strikes. You want your team to get a pitch right down the middle of the plate – called a ball. You don’t like it and want me to go referee a soccer game.

            I’m sorry you feel that way. I live in neither country and at the end of the day, have no dog in the fight. But when the place where I live does make a mess, I can look at it and say, “We made a mess.”

            Pride over ones nationality is wonderful, but when it clouds your ability to objectively and dispassionately analyse a situation, you lose sight of the facts of the scenario and respond in knee jerk reactions with dog whistle responses.

            (I’m purposefully staying away from the human rights critique because it is 1) Way off base and 2) I don’t want to raise the ire of one S Hamilton. That’s a whole other kettle of fish…)

            I often wonder too. I wonder why some feel that a critique of policy instantly means a hatred of one’s land? Or should we just blindly accept as gospel truth that whatever policies are enacted are sent from the heavens and to followed like scripture?

            There really is no black and white – just a vastness of grey.

          • @Frank

            Thanks for your admirably well argued and fantastically restrained post about the cheap throwaway nationalism

            I was about to summon up the patience to do so when I thought life’s too short to argue at that level – and I’m sure to err into sarcasm

            But you have shown it may be done with an intelligence which commands respect from all people of reason

          • @Gerrard

            Thank you for your kind comments. Clapping back with sarcasm is often easier, more fun and a lot more satisfying – but at the end of the day, defeats the purpose of discussion; to share ideas.

            If I belittle TW I will only make him defensive and potentially raise the ire of Hamilton. Not something I want to do.

            TW seems to have a good wealth of knowledge and a lot of his posts do have merit. There is value in having him present his point of view, here.

            The problem I have is the ‘us vs them’ argument. Often when you look at it, it is just two sides of the same coin, a reflection in the mirror.

            Thanks again.


    • ” keeps a tight leash on how things are done.”
      Not the experience of most companies who do business there.
      Did you read the summary of the aviation projects by Scott that starry eyed western planes builders thought would be a win win result. Sorry results in all cases even though the company ‘wanted to deal with them’.
      the rest of its was TLDR, its all very well for commentators with patriotic connections but doesnt wash when it comes to aviation.

    • Who knows there are some don’t know what’s been widely publicized: Boeing’s 737 Max Software Outsourced to $9-an-Hour Engineers (of HCL in India)

  13. Unfortunately xenophobia and one-way trade notions are common.

    ‘Take ‘Buy American’ for example, despite half of Boeing’s commercial production is exported. With stupid behaviour like digging up pipe in a US military base in California because it might have been made in Canada. Canada similarly, with the added barrier of ‘culture’ via laws like Canadian Content in entertainment, never mind the Canadian performers who have been well accepted in the US (Lorne Greene and another network TV news anchor, Celine Dion, etc.).

    The US military is under extreme pressure to not buy equipment from even Allies. It did buy Canberra light bombers over US designs, and the Harrier VTOL fighter airplane. But not the Avro Arrow all-weather interceptor. A reason is that procurement is politics – one candidate for POTUS was telling each major plant he visited that he favoured their product.

    Little changes.

    • And the danger of such “buy domestic” approaches is that they can work both ways.
      The old transatlantic relationship has soured bitterly in the last 20 years. Expect to see fewer F35s sold in Europe, and more Gripens, Typhoons and Rafales.

      Turning the table, one can perfectly understand why China would prefer to buy a domestic product rather than import one — particularly from countries that are increasingly adverse to it. I think that other countries and trading blocks are going to increasingly do the same. A significant unraveling of globalization.

    • More evidence that there’s a price to be paid for lecturing China.
      This particular article makes multiple references to H&M, but there are similar actions against Nike, for example.
      I suspect that, with this background, the MAX will be sitting on the ground in China for a looonnng time.

      “H&M faces boycott calls in China for refusing to buy Xinjiang cotton over Uyghur abuse”

      “China vowed retaliatory sanctions after the U.S. and other nations imposed sanctions this week against the country’s ruling Communist Party for what they’ve determined is the genocide of Uyghurs and other minority groups in Xinjiang.
      Now influential groups on Weibo are calling on the government to take action against Western clothing manufacturers.”

      “By Wednesday evening, at least three major Chinese e-commerce platforms — Pinduoduo, Jingdong and Tmall — had removed H&M from search results and withdrawn its products from sale,” the Times reports.
      Meanwhile, two Chinese celebrities who represented H&M announced they’re severing ties with the clothing store over its stance as they are against “attempts to smear China,” which denies the rights abuse allegations, per Bloomberg.


      • You might be getting a bit of your own banning medicine back here by posting on ‘patriotic’ topics that arent aviation related.
        Scott has mentioned numerous time about political themes creeping in which also impact access for others.

        • @ DoU
          That’s a strange interpretation of the post, which relates to purely commercial tit-for-tat: it specifically relates to cotton and clothing, but I broaden it to make reference to the MAX grounding in China. There are no political sermons or analyses, and it chimes well with the “hard bargain” narrative in the article and other posts.

          • Lessor cuts 26 737 MAX jets from orderbook.

            Drip drip drip

          • Bryce:

            Spiral out again, F-35 has nothing to do with anything other than you have to make a choice of stealth vs more numbers.

            The USAF is dumping off on the F-35 because of its sustainment cost and the reality you don’t have to have your whole force stealth.

            The F-35 was a Swiss Army knife that purportedly could do anything from VTOL (nuts) to Air to Air to Close Air support (its junky gun can shoot all of 2 seconds).

            Its a good stealth and network bird, at a huge cost that has nothing to do with mfg costs now. Program is a disaster.

            A mix is quite rational. France will never buy it. UK is as they see the use as is Germany and other countries.

            F-15 and F-18 are not going away. In fact new versions of them have been ordered, originally to fill a gap and now as part of the force structure.

            Europe in the mean time is in a cat and dog fight over a 5th or 6th gen fighter from a low end cheap one for the UK group to a blow up one between France and Germany (programs between those two are made in heaven, reminds me of the Chinese and Russian getting along)

  14. How politics destroys FAA?

    Bloomberg: Trump’s DOT Blocked Safety Rule Deemed Critical in 737 Max Probe

    Only those living in yesteryear would continue to peddle the myth how FAA is the gold standard of safety of the world.

    • @ Pedro
      The FAA re-certified the MAX in November last year, but most of the world has ignored that fact: the MAX is sitting firmly on the ground everywhere except in a handful of countries.
      Moreover, EASA mandated extra modifications to the MAX, regardless of what the FAA thought on the matter.
      The FAA’s reputation is already flushed.

      • @Bryce

        Bloomberg reports that sales of the 787 re kick off Friday

        Is this plausible?

        FAA is fa..ad for sure, can they get it 787 re cert together in time to happy WS?

        • @ Gerrard
          Here’s a link to the Bloomberg content that you allude to.
          I wonder if any arms were twisted?


          “Boeing Co. is poised to resume delivering its 787 Dreamliners this week, ending a five-month halt while the planemaker’s mechanics searched for tiny structural flaws in the carbon-fiber aircraft, said people familiar with the matter.”

          ““We continue to expect to resume delivering 787s by the end of March,” Boeing said in an emailed statement, without providing specific timing. “However, we will continue to take the time necessary and will adjust any delivery plans as needed. We remain in constant and transparent communication with our customers and regulators.””

          “The Federal Aviation Administration told Boeing in a Jan. 11 letter that its inspectors would conduct the final sign-off of four 787s, and potentially more as a “corrective action” to address the production issues. The agency normally deputizes Boeing employees to conduct what it calls Certificates of Airworthiness inspections. ”We do not comment on ongoing certification activities,” the agency”

          • A rare case (hoping its more common now) of the FAA doing its job.

            Dickson wants to keep his job I guess. The fallout is to go to the safe (or right) side.

            787 issues, MAX issues (FOD), P&W debacle on the Fan Blades, the B-17 and gross failure of oversight (the monitoring office for Collings was in Florida and Collings opeated in Connecticut).

            The shame is we have seen first class restored aircraft operations come through Anchorage. Collings as near as I can determine was a Dupont Ops, all paint and not even close to adhering to even normal maint.

            I got an in person tour (interesting story) of a B-25 and the attention to detail was incredible.

          • Bloomberg 21:10 update
            The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration said late Thursday that it cleared two of the four planes on which it had conducted special inspections, and had yet to complete checks of the other two.

          • With regard to resumption of 787 deliveries, I just saw a curious photo in this SimpleFlying article.
            Note that the 2 Qatar 787s in the article’s first photo have no livery, except on the tail — unlike the other aircraft in the picture, which have their full livery.
            Has Qatar cancelled some orders?


          • I still have no idea how you guys bought into the FAA myth you keep bringing up as a so called Gold Standard.

            We in the US have known the FAA is horridly compromised back to the DC-10 days.

            You really need to read and understand history.

            The only gold part was the regs involved in cert of aircraft. Those indeed set world standards

            We hosed up the how we went about implementing them and have needed to fix that for 60 years.

          • From AW:

            ‘ Boeing’s 737 MAX program recovery is hitting its marks as airlines work more of the narrowbody twins back into fleets and deliveries ramp up, but the macro demand picture likely will not support the company’s current production-rate outlook, a Canaccord Genuity analysis said.

            “We believe Boeing will eventually lower its planned MAX production schedule,” ‘

          • Hello Bryce,

            Re:”Note that the 2 Qatar 787s in the article’s first photo have no livery, except on the tail — unlike the other aircraft in the picture, which have their full livery.”

            Aircraft with only the rudder, vertical stabilizer, and other control surfaces painted are a normal sight around jet aircraft factories. The rudder and control surfaces must be precisely balanced to prevent flutter and painting adds enough weight to effect the precise balancing. It is common to install a fully painted and balanced vertical stabilizer on the assembly line then send the aircraft to a non-precision paint shop for the remainder of the painting. I spent a few years living near Seattle and sometimes saw aircraft making first flights from the Boeing factories with only the rudder painted. The video at the link below shows the assembly of a British Airways 787. The plane rolls off the assembly line with the vertical stabilizer painted, the rest of the plane is painted in a paint shop in another building. If one were anticipating the need to do fuselage joint inspections, it might make lots of sense to defer final paint jobs.


            At the link below is a picture of a 737-8 on a test flight with only the rudder and some other control surfaces painted. At peak production, I heard that some MAX’s were flown away from the factory to be painted at other airports .


            See also the link below which has a picture of an A380 on a test flight with an painted vertical stabilizer but with the fuselage unpainted. Here are two excerpts from this link.

            “Granted some airlines prefer to paint their own planes, but we always see planes like the one below, protective coating everywhere but the tail.

            Why’s that?”

            “The paint has to be applied so the manufacturer can balance the rudder after the added weight of the paint.

            That extends to other control surfaces and engine cowls.

            For the vertical stabilizer, the minimum requirement is the rudder, but if the airline’s logo extends to the rudder, then for colors and shapes alignment the whole tail is painted by the manufacturer.”


    • @ Gerrard
      One can only assume that, when it comes to something like a missile, the Pentagon would certainly *not* be content to put up with the “limited ops” that @Rob liked to talk about with regard to the KC-46 lemon.

      • @Bryce

        I know but I used to enjoy the sheer audacity of the corporate PR to explain away the most foolish of failures as all is well in the most perfect of worlds

        It reminded me of late 18th Century France

      • @Bryce: Impressive specs on paper is sufficient to win. It’s all virtual on cyber space. Even @TW defended the lemon saying: “they [Boeing] supplied stuff that worked”!!!

        • Pedro:

          The B-52 is still flying today and being upgraded.

          The 707 is still a viable tanker despite the USAF posturing there is a more than large enough fleet to keep it working, unlike say the DC-10 tankers.

          The KC-135R has new engines (CFM by the way).

          So, tell me it did not work!

          In the mean time, Australia is dumping the Tiger Helicopter because its a piece of junk. Want to tell me who made that ?

          How about we quit flogging that dead horse and focus on things say post 1980?

          • @TW

            Honestly, these are the things that make most of us scratch our heads or wonder in frustration; WTF Happened???

            The B-17. The B-29. The B-52. The KC-135. The 747. The 757 & 767. The 707. The original 737 (to NG). The first stage of the Saturn V. The 777.

            These were world changing aerospace designs that made history and were instrumental in the direction, not only of America, but the entire civilization on the planet….and I’m sure I’m missing some. As a kid, many years ago, I made models of these aircraft and idolized them.

            There are some here that worked for BA (and during the times of some of those programs) – how frustrating must it be to see such a giant of the industry brought to it’s knees like this? (To that – not because someone beat them with know how, but because they did it to themselves, internally)

            The template has always been there; just build a good product and the sales will come.

            I like using sports analogies, because I find they relate to real life in a lot of cases. In this instance it’s the old adage about winning championships;

            It’s hard to get to the top and win that first title. It even harder to stay there.

            The recipe, IMO, would be to invest in engineering and tech to stay ahead of the curve. You don’t gut the things that made you great.

            Now the door has been cracked open and the likes of China are forcing their way through, by hook or by crook.

      • @Scott Hamilton

        The point of my appeal to @Rob was that even corporate PR is to be preferred to cheap nationalism – there is a discernible self interest apparent, whereas cheap nationalism is most worthless to those who shout it loudest

      • But is he still getting paid from BA while he can’t post here? I know you have standards about decorum, decency and following the rules – but a man has to feed his family, no?

        Just imagine if his wife has to wait a week or two before buying those Christian Leboutin’s she’s had her eye on – all because you sat him on the bench for a bit.

        How do you sleep at night? Have you no heart, Mr. H?

        • Any allegation that Rob is paid by Boeing is unsupported and unproven.


          • @Rob would reply in such an instance by saying:
            “Absence of evidence is not the same as evidence of absence”.

            (Don’t get angry…just a little innocent poke).

            I came across this…but I somehow don’t think it’s the same guy 😉

            On a more serious (but *very* cheery) note:
            “Delta customers can soon enjoy a nonstop connection from three U.S. hubs to Iceland, the first destination in Europe to permit entry to fully vaccinated Americans”
            There’ll be three flights a day, starting in May.


          • @Scott Hamilton

            What is interesting is precisely that – unpaid most likely – yet all the more fervent and devoted – a true believer

            It is this absolute faith which reveals more about the Corporate Mindset than any paid lackey could or would

          • I don’t have any issue with a “true believer” for Boeing– or for Airbus, Embraer or anyone else. Nevertheless, Reader Comment Rules need to be observed. I’m not going to referee between True Believers. I am going to enforce Reader Comment Rules when commenters ignore requests and warnings to conform too many times.


          • Its scary how some people can adhere to certain aspects when all the evidence is 100% contradictory to that position.

            but looking in the mirror can be a really hard thing can it not?

          • @TW

            You miss the point – The Corporate PR point of view may be wrong or wrong headed, yet such companies are a large part of the economy : you as every other citizen depends on them

            One can say they are not as efficient as they should be, and are the misguided authors of their own misfortune

            One can complain at their collaboration with China, and tech transfer

            But it is more useful to understand than to dismiss

            Reform is still possible – witness the DoD

          • @Scott Hamilton

            Quite – the true believer conveys not only a more interesting version/defence of the corporate, he lacks a paid lackey’s transigence, but is led by his fervour into bucking your rules, his zeal knows no bounds

          • @Gerrard: careful. You’re over the line on this response.


          • As I said, looking in the mirror is the hardest thing

      • Thank you for that info, Scott H.

        To the commenter below: I disagree about “cheap
        Nationalism” being inferior to Corporatism; I’d much
        rather be governed by trivially-accountable entities
        (i.e. our governments) than by black-box, elite-driven

        • @Bill7

          I did not say inferior, I said more deluded

          Nationalism hits those who suffer most from the results of their nationalism – in effect they are deluded into demanding that which hurts them most

          There is no question of governance here – for those who succeed in fostering/spreading nationalism are the very same corporatists

    • @Bryce

      From the article:

      “As a result, as things stand today, the C919 is largely supported by US suppliers and others based outside China.”

      For those wailing away at how unfair the Chinese are, you have to look no further then this. THESE are the guys who should be getting the wrath. They are selling out for short term profits. The article even says as much:

      “But in 20 years, China will not be so dependent on foreign firms. The country will work quickly to replace foreign-sourced parts with Chinese-manufactured parts. The rise of China’s domestic supply chain will culminate with domestic production of engine systems – look for that to happen by the end of next decade.”

      I’m guessing those guys who are selling to them today, don’t plan to be around in 20 years – so who cares, right? Just as long as I get paid.

      Doing it to themselves…

      • @ Frank
        Just like “we did it to ourselves” for the last 30 years by offshoring more and more production to China, thus creating the monster that we now love to loathe. There’s an analogy (from Tolkien) to the unearthing of the Balrog in Moria by ever-deeper mining for Mithril silver: the desire for short-term wealth unleashes a monster that is difficult to contain.

        The big question is how to deal with this. As you astutely point out above, China has an advantage in having centralized control of what its companies do. In “the west”, on the other hand, there is little that can be done to stop companies from ultimately sinking the ship that’s carrying them.

        It may take a while, but there are meager times ahead for Boeing and Airbus.

        • @Bryce, @Frank

          With respect these comments are in part at least off the point – the essential nature of industrial production is one that is designed for (cheap’n easy) copying

          The shifting of such goodsmaking from one place to another is inevitable as social conditions adapt – production has always been offshored or one could say offhanded by the current market leaders to places which then take over production as well as the capabilities and the inventiveness which accompany the actual making of things

          China’s centralised control is merely a re iteration of the control exercised in 19thC England or America, visible as recently as FDR – short term wealth was always the goal, even if they then were efficient enough to establish long term

          Capitalism can only survive by selling goods to the highest bidder – these companies ‘selling out’ are doing what they must – not to do so would be to attempt to re invent an inefficient version of Stalinism or a return to pre industrial society

          • @ Gerrard
            I agree with you that it’s (more-or-less) inevitable…even China is now offshoring to Mexico.
            Frank’s point (and mine) is that there’s no point whining about spilled milk when the spillage was your own fault. The task at hand is to clean up the milk as best you can — or learn to live with the stain.

            On the subject of “cloning” in aviation, it’s interesting to note the striking similarities between the “western” BAC111, DC9 and Caravelle aircraft. Does anyone wish to explain what (if any) “IP theft” is involved here?

          • “striking similarities between the “western” BAC111, DC9 and Caravelle aircraft. ”
            rear engined aircraft were a thing in that era because of the low power from available jet engines and the better lift from wings without engines on them. Modern business jets follow some of the same configuration for the same reasons.
            Whats not explainable with a more recent entrant in the aviation sector who literally clone some ones elses plane and call it their own…practically the same dimensions is the give away.
            Look at the changed major dimensions of say B737, A320 and MC-21 yet the ‘configuration’ is the same.

            Looking again at high wing turbo prop airliners with 4 x seating, single lobe fuselage
            DHC8 aisle ht 6′ 0″ cabin width 8′ 2″
            ATR72 6′ 3″ , 8 ‘5″
            CN235 6’2″ , 8’ 9″ ( which has a rear loading ramp and higher tail)
            No one there has passed off someones elses plane as their ‘own design’

          • @ DoU

            Golly, if I compare the C919 to the A320, I see a totally different nose shape and different vertical tail fin. The belly fairings are different. The door placement is different. The wing tips are different. The APU exhaust cowling is different. The cockpit is *totally* different. The length and range are different.
            And you label that a “clone”?

          • Hello Dukeofurl,

            Re: “rear engined aircraft were a thing in that era because of the low power from available jet engines and the better lift from wings without engines on them.”

            See below for the story of how the engines on the 737 moved from the tail to the wing according to a senior Boeing engineer who was involved in its design.

            “Finally, Lombardi comes upon the object of the search – the 737-100. This 737-100, however, looks unfamiliar. It sports a T-tail and engines mounted to the aft fuselage, 727-style. It wasn’t immediately detectable, but this aircraft was also narrower than the 727, accommodating only five seats in each row instead of six.

            As he examined the model, Lombardi thought back to his last conversation with Joe Sutter, Boeing’s legendary chief engineer for the 747, who died last August. Sutter will always be remembered as the father of the 747, but he also played an instrumental role in the 737. He came up with the idea of placing the engines under the wings, rather than on the aft fuselage.

            “Joe told me one of things he’s most proud of is… making the 737 right and moving the engines,” Lombardi says. “That took away all of that extra weight for the structure back there that enabled them to widen the fuselage so it could go three-three [abreast] instead of the three-two, which it would have been. That really made a difference with the airplane.”

            More than 13,800 deliveries later, it’s clear that slight change made all the difference. In a few years, the Airbus A320 family may close in on the 737’s order record, but its early contemporaries were left in the dust. The DC-9 and follow-on derivatives totalled 2,438 deliveries over a 40-year production run. BAC and Fokker, once formidable rivals to the 737, each delivered about 240 aircraft. North American dropped the CenturyLiner concept before production.”

            ““In 1972, the 737 had 19 orders [in backlog]. Everything was bad,” Lombardi says. “The order that saved the 737 was the Air Force came in and ordered the T-43.” As those aircraft were delivered through 1974, Boeing found a new market for the original 737 family in Africa. Deliveries of new 737s to African airlines kept the programme alive long enough to witness the deregulation of the US airline industry in 1978. Suddenly, a six-abreast narrowbody aircraft, particularly when fitted with a new class of high-bypass turbofan engines, had a thriving, growing customer base.

            “Recognising the shift in the market, Boeing plucked a struggling engine programme – CFM International’s CFM56 – out of obscurity and installed it on a new family of 737s now referred to as the “Classic” series. In fact, the decision to pair the 737 with the CFM56 would lead to the most successful combination in the history of the jet era. Airbus was quick to recognise a new market with boundless potential, proposing the A320, six-abreast like the 737 but with a slightly wider fuselage and fly-by-wire flight controls.”


          • Bryce those a just superficial changes. Wing tips and nose shape !!
            Thats was exactly my point
            I bet the main undercarriage bay has room for a 4 wheel bogey too.

            The low cost low tech fighter for sale to Africa and Asia the JF-17 Thunder is a modest development of the Russian Mig-21 from the early 60s and even that had the nose intake shifted to side intakes with Grumman help . Cant even create a basic fighter jet from scratch …well they can but dont even try. Thats the part thats hard to understand , but then copying has become a ‘state religion’

          • @ DoU
            You seem to have a *very* broad definition of the concept of a “clone”.
            By that same definition, an SUV is just a “clone” of a sedan.

        • @Bryce: Reality is Corporations rush to empty out America. Latest example initiated by BA, abbetted by contractors.

          “The agreement adds to GKN Aerospace’s extensive portfolio of Boeing EWIS products, with production due to start in 2024. The contract will be delivered from multiple locations across GKN Aerospace’s extensive global footprint, including Langfang in China, and its new state-of-the-art wiring facility in Pune, India.

          GKN Aerospace has supplied EWIS for more than two decades to multiple Boeing aircraft platforms. GKN Aerospace is globally recognised as one of the market and technology leaders in EWIS products.”

          It has nothing to do with China. China is more like the bogeyman prop used by the industrial military complex.

        • @Bryce

          Ok I agree – go round the world spilling your milk and then complaining about it is an adequate description of the pleasures of nationalism

          I’m not convinced of the validity of IP as a concept which can defended or protected in any meaningful way

          Proof? Pharma….

      • > For those wailing away at how unfair the Chinese are, you have to look no further then this. THESE are the guys who should be getting the wrath. <

        Hear, hear, Frank: blaming Bad China! while cynically figuring IBG/YBG.. who sent all our Jobs
        to China, by the way: did super-evil-bad China
        just up and steal them? Asking for a friend..

        • @Bill

          The same kind of guys who start trade wars with China, to appease the base – while at the same time having their ties made there and securing patents for his daughter’s clothing line.

          But charity does start at home. The unwashed masses are encouraged to fight over the talking points, while those same guys do what’s in their best interest.

    • Interesting! The 767 sure was a nice plane, even in Coach.
      Re-engine that fine machine, I say..

      • You know – how much better off would Boeing have been, had they just made a 757 Max and a 767 Max and put a bunch of money into a 737 replacement?

        The decisions we make…

        • A 767 MAX would have (largely) destroyed demand for the 787.
          But you’re right: the 787 has been a stellar failure from a profit and reputational point of view, so the money could have better been spent on upgrading the 767.
          On the upside: the 787 precipitated development of the A350, which is a wonderful aircraft.

          • > On the upside: the 787 precipitated development of the A350, which is a wonderful aircraft.

            Heh! Compare their respective times to EIS, as well as
            operational reliability..

            I would like to see Boeing become a can-do company again-

          • @Bryce

            Let’s play fantasy/what if -land, for a sec:

            1) Boeing accepts Bombardier’s proposition to partner on the C-Series and that becomes their FSA with the -100, -300 & -500 versions

            2) The 757 gets a re-vamp and sits across from the A321Neo line

            3) The 767 gets a re-vamp with ~4,500 nm range, so as to not eat upwards, but nibbling the A330 orders

            4) Boeing keeps more of the 787 in house and makes it the aircraft it ought to have been

            5) The 777 stays the same and trickles out, as demand for the A380, 747 & 777 slowly fades. Cargo version to keep the line running.

            Maybe they update the 757 cockpit to be similar to the C-Series, sidestick and all. Try to get as close to it as possible.

            How tough of a lineup would that have been for Airbus to compete against?

          • @ Frank
            You’re absolutely correct.
            But those would have been the actions of an actual airframer with long-term vision…as opposed to a short-term profit maximizer.

          • There is so much nostalgia for a 757 and 767.

            The 767 would have been under a 787 for market and how much is there?

            The 757 is a lot like the DH vs ATR. ATR cut the engines and absolute minimum and DH went with max performance.

            Reportedly the 757 was complex and costly to build. Not what you would base a future on. That excellent hot and high came at a cost in engines.

            Rather then beat the past, Boeing simply needed a modern version of the 737 to compete with Airbus and did not do it.

            A 767 NEO would be like an Airbus A330NEO, not viable (single aisle market is a different ball game)

          • @TW

            Where to start…

            Apparently, things have changed somewhat. Reuter’s even quote our own Scott:

            Leeham News analyst Scott Hamilton said in a note the coronavirus crisis would “completely upend” product strategies.
            Flightglobal reported in October that Boeing was talking to General Electric about a “767-X” with new engines. But people familiar with the matter said Boeing had instead been studying a costlier plan to add new wings as well.
            A 757 replacement would counter strong sales of the Airbus A321 and allow Boeing to pioneer systems needed in future replacements of all small and medium jets – notably cockpits.


            It’s more then nostalgia.

            Boeing made profits on the 757. They sold 1050 units and they made money. Not sure about the complex and costliness of the program. A link for that would be great.

            Since they first came out, there are newer, more powerful and efficient engines out there. They also have the space under the wings to put the things….how about that!

            Interestingly, and in the vein of this article:

            Ultimately, about half of the aircraft’s components, including the wings, nose section, and empennage, were produced in-house at Boeing facilities with the remainder subcontracted to primarily U.S.-based companies.[36] Fairchild Aircraft made the leading edge slats, Grumman supplied the flaps, and Rockwell International produced the main fuselage


            The big difference between the A330Neo & the A330 Ceo is that there is a 787 with some 1500 orders it is competing against.

            The 767 Max would be competing against what Airbus product?

            One modern narrowbody is not going to do the job against the A220/A321 lineup. And make no mistake – that’s where things are headed; A220-100/300/500 & A321Neo/LR/XLR.

            The NMA/MMA/797 is essentially a new 767, is it not? 225-275 pax with 4-5k range. Whatever you decide to make, out of all the 767 variants, you keep it out of the 787 market niche.

            The point was, ‘what-if’…

            For a lot less money then it will now cost them, they could have had a better product offering of the 3 models of the C-Series (which cost Bombardier $6 billion, peanuts in BA money) A 757 Max, a 767 Max (both of which they are now considering) and the 787.

  15. It’s Official 787 deliveries re start


    « The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration said late Thursday that it cleared two of the four planes on which it had conducted a special review. It hadn’t completed the checks of the other two that are required for the agency to issue airworthiness certificates. The agency typically would have delegated those final inspections to Boeing employees »

  16. On the subject of alleged “IP theft”, here’s an illuminating article from the Financial Times from last year.

    One particularly interesting quote:
    “The rise of the US at the turn of the 19th century was essentially a process of rampant IP theft from the UK, including of textile manufacturing tech.”


    As regards Chinese aviation:
    The first products don’t have to be cutting edge — they just have to work reliably. Making those products more sophisticated is a then follow-on task.

    • Ahhh Weedhopper, you miss the reality.

      Aircraft are not VCR or Smart phones or any of those gadgets you can revamp in a heart beat.

      They are huge long term investments that last for 20+ years.

      What works on the low end of mfg does not work on the high end.

      The US took ideas clearly, they did not steal the build details, you still have to work that out.

      And as I recall there was a war that got fought over those issues.

      And it was not industrialized hacks and espionage. The US realized it was a dead end and opened up their own universities and went to the base of understanding materials science .

      Edison did not copy from anyone. He built a lab and he tested stuff until he found solutions.

      • @Transworld – Edison was notorius for filching or people’s inventions. For example a guy in England called Sir Joseph Swan invented the incandescent light bulb.

        19th Century USA played fast and loose with IPs from Europe until post 1945 when the USA become the dominant world power and was now keen to project IPs it had gathered from around the globe such as Jet engines, Radar, Rocket technologies, electronics etc. The opening of USA universities to attract the best and brightest minds in the world is a post World War 2 phenomena.

        @Bryce and others in forum are correct in their statements. China, like all rising powers is playing the same game with IPs that the USA did in the 19th and first half of the 20th century. Britain did the same thing from 16th Century well into the 20th Century “borrowing” ideas and processes first from their European neighbors and then from the numerous places their imperialist expansion took them.

  17. Robert Lightizer on likely ‘Biden’ admin trade policy, via
    Eamonn Fingleton:

    “How does former U.S. trade representative Robert Lighthizer see the prospects for trade under Joe Biden?

    “I sense Biden will drift away from the two major trade principles of the Trump administration,” Lighthizer told TAC. “Those two principles were China skepticism and a worker-oriented trade policy.”

    “We will be back to talking about ‘dialogue’ again. Whenever the Chinese hear that word, they know we are stupid Americans. That is how they translate the word ‘dialogue.’”..”


    • @Bill7

      Robert Lighthizer, huh?

      The government official who served as the United States Trade Representative from 2017 to 2021 – that guy?

      I wish that guy would make up his mind.


      “Robert E. Lighthizer, President Trump’s trade negotiator, has cautioned against actions that could anger Beijing in an attempt to preserve the U.S.-China trade deal.”

      Despite the slow pace of purchases, Mr. Lighthizer has defended the deal, telling a House committee in June that China was giving “every indication” it would uphold the agreement, in spite of coronavirus. Instead, he reserved his harshest criticism for the World Trade Organization, which he called “a mess” in need of “radical reform,” and the European Union, which he threatened with tariffs if it did not agree to a trade deal on America’s terms.

      Mr. Lighthizer’s shift in tone is notable, given that he built a reputation as a China critic during a long career in Congress, the executive branch and as a Washington trade lawyer. His history of battling China, including pursuing trade cases against the country and opposing its entry into the World Trade Organization, was what first ingratiated him to Mr. Trump, who held a similarly dim view of China’s trade practices.

      But Mr. Lighthizer has recently intervened to shoot down several policy measures that could have threatened China economically, including efforts by U.S. Customs and Border Protection to impose a sweeping ban on cotton and tomatoes from Xinjiang.

      I guess since the other side is in power now and he has become an afterthought, he can go back to bashing them and his previous stance.

      • Thanks for that info and link, Frank. My real question that I did not clearly pose is: will the new admin do anything other
        than talk tough (see Blinken and “Helium-boy” Sullivan in
        Anchorage) while business as usual continues w/ China?

        • @Bill7

          Of course business as usual

          US is all bark and no bite

          • Some might say “boxed in by own typically short-sighted decisions..”

            Seeing Blinky and Sullivan trying to talk tough to
            their Chinese counterparts was *really* cringeworthy;
            maybe even more so than Mr. Pompeo trying the same w/ Russian FM Lavrov not long ago.

            “Yap yap yap, yap yap…” Meanwhile, the rest of the world does take notice.

        • @Bill7

          There are so many strings to that bow, it isn’t even funny. IMO to deal with China, the rest of the western world must act in concert on issues, not piecemeal. This requires a united front, not one that is fractured and testy between allies. That will get better, now.

          An interesting tidbit from Politico


          “Of course, Beijing can’t get what it really wants: unhindered access to the benefits of a deeply interconnected world while rejecting any “interference” into issues the Party considers sensitive. This desire to be simultaneously part of the international system while avoiding accountability to international norms is a long-held fantasy of some PRC leaders.”

          Here’s the thing, though. It’s really tough to take the high moral ground and lecture another nation on what is deemed proper and right in a civilized world – how you need to get your house in order; when at home the roof is leaking and the paint is peeling.

          Yes, there are degrees of transgressions, but for instance – how could the US lecture another nation on democracy when at the same time they restrict voting rights at home? Our party didn’t win? Don’t let them have food and water in line.

          If your neighbor came over to your place and said, “Hey – it’s time for you to mow your lawn” yet he had six inches of grass growing at his place, what would you tell him? “I’ll get right in it, thanks?”

          What if you were the one who held the mortgage to your neighbor’s house and could mess around with his money?

          China holds ~$1.1 trillion of US debt. Second only to Japan. That is a big stick;


          “U.S. debt offers the safest heaven for Chinese forex reserves, which effectively means that China offers loans to the U.S. so that the U.S. can keep buying the goods China produces.

          Hence, as long as China continues to have an export-driven economy with a huge trade surplus with the U.S., it will keep piling up U.S. dollars and U.S. debt. Chinese loans to the U.S., through the purchase of U.S. debt, enable the U.S. to buy Chinese products. It’s a win-win situation for both nations, with both benefiting mutually. China gets a huge market for its products, and the U.S. benefits from the economical prices of Chinese goods. Beyond their well-known political rivalry, both nations (willingly or unwillingly) are locked in a state of inter-dependency from which both benefit, and which is likely to continue.”

          Everything else aside (and no TW, I have no wish to move anywhere) how does the US turn around to China and say, “Hey – you’re doing this wrong. Do it this way. Our way.” when the so called ‘wrong way’ nation lends the ‘right way’ nation over a trillion dollars to keep itself going?

          For every die hard, rah-rah cheerleader shouting “Freedom! We’re the best!” it bears noting that the blasted red commies are backing them, financially. (even though China isn’t really communist, is it, with a growing number of millionaires? Very un-Lenin like.)

          China plays the long game and is very difficult to dictate to. They’ll wait you out.

          Just some food for thought…

  18. There you go — another future customer for Chinese aviation products:
    “Iran, China sign landmark 25-year cooperation agreement”

    “Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said the agreement was a “roadmap” for trade, economic and transportation cooperation, with a “special focus on the private sectors of the two sides”.
    China, Iran’s largest trading partner and a long-standing ally, agreed in 2016 to boost bilateral trade by more than 10 times to $600 billion over a decade.”


    • Hence my use of the word “future”…
      (1) US sanctions against Iran aren’t likely to last for ever.
      And even if they do:
      (2) China has indicated an accelerated desire to increasingly make all components of the C919 itself. There’ll come a point when it just won’t matter what the US thinks.

      • @Bryce

        Further links of interest –





        A different approach to IP -this China Iran deal goes beyond such petty argumentation

        “These contracts allow for the organisations involved to avoid being top of the U.S.’s list of entities to sanction as and when the new Biden administration decides to adopt that strategy against China. “Providing Iran with the ability to indigenise equipment, technology, materials, and processes, is understood by Beijing to be part of the trade-off for unlimited access to oil and gas fields across the country, as is China’s participation in the development of the more difficult fields alongside the easy pickings in West Karoun and the shared reservoirs with Iraq,” concluded the Iran source.”

        • Its a hoot to read this stuff. Ahmed has got what China wants to steal? Oh right, they already stole the rug patterns (artist high jack is actually an issue that artist know is a lost cause)

          Yes, the China Iran axis is the wave of the future for IP and high tech advances. We are like so doomed.

          And of course the 919 can fly internal Iran as well as, well internal China.

        • @ TW
          (1) Ever heard of oil? Iran has LOTS of it. And, if traded with China, the transaction doesn’t occur in dollars.
          (2) Take a look at where Iran is on the map. Most of the countries around it have a tepid relationship with the US (at best)…and none of them have ungrounded the MAX. When the C919 comes online, there’ll be plenty of countries that will certify it. IranAir could probably service most 6-hour routes to Africa and Asia with it, without ever needing a thumbs-up from the FAA or EASA. Food for thought.

      • @Bryce

        Another link of interest – yet another example of US mismanagement of basic industry and technology and offshoring to China which has left US defenceless

        The article makes the point that it is only by manufacturing that increments improvements and innovations occur

        Please ignore what the cheap nationalists say – this is in fact what they are doing


        Here are a few quotes to illustrate some of the stupidities, but the list is endless

        This is the portrait of a nation committing suicide

        Hickey, like many manufacturers, has watched the rise of China with alarm for decades. “Everyone’s upset about the China 2025 plan,” he told TAC, referencing the current Chinese plan causing alarm among national security thinkers in Washington. “Well there was a China 2020 plan, 2016 plan, 2012 plan.” The United States has, for instance, lost much of its fasteners and casting industries, which are key inputs to virtually every industrial product. It has lost much of its capacity in grain oriented flat-rolled electrical steel, a specialized metal required for highly efficient electrical motors. Aluminum that goes into American aircraft carriers now often comes from China.

        Hickey told a story of how the United States is even losing its submarine fleet. He had a conversation with an admiral in charge of the U.S. sub fleet at the commissioning of the USS Illinois, a Virginia-class attack submarine, who complained that the United States was retiring three worn-out boats a year, but could only build one and a half in that time. The Trump military budget has boosted funding to build two a year, but the United States no longer has the capacity to do high quality castings to build any more than that. The supply chain that could support such surge production should be in the commercial world, but it has been offshored to China. “You can’t run a really high-end casting business on making three submarines a year,” Hickey said. “You just can’t do it.” This shift happened because Wall Street, or “the LBO (leveraged buy-out) guys” as Hickey put it, bought up manufacturing facilities in the 1990s and moved them to China.

        “The middle-class Americans who did the manufacturing work, all that capability, machine tools, knowledge, it just became worthless, driven by the stock price,” he said. “The national ability to produce is a national treasure. If you can’t produce you won’t consume, and you can’t defend yourself.” »

        « In September 2018, the Department of Defense released findings of its analysis into its supply chain. The results highlighted how fragile our ability to supply our own military has become.

        The report listed dozens of militarily significant items and inputs with only one or two domestic producers, or even none at all. Many production facilities are owned by companies that are financially vulnerable and at high risk of being shut down. Some of the risk comes from limited production capability. Mortar tubes, for example, are made on just one production line, and some Marine aircraft parts are made by just one company—one which recently filed for bankruptcy.

        At risk is everything from chaff to flares to high voltage cable, fittings for ships, valves, key inputs for satellites and missiles, and even material for tents. As Americans no longer work in key industrial fields, the engineering and production skills evaporate as the legacy workforce retires.

        Even more unsettling is the reliance on foreign, and often adversarial, manufacturing and supplies. The report found that “China is the single or sole supplier for a number of specialty chemicals used in munitions and missiles…. A sudden and catastrophic loss of supply would disrupt DoD missile, satellite, space launch, and other defense manufacturing programs. In many cases, there are no substitutes readily available.” Other examples of foreign reliance included circuit boards, night vision systems, batteries, and space sensors. »

        « Chinese Premier Deng Xiaoping famously said in 1992 that “The Middle East has oil, China has rare earth,” to underscore the importance of a rare earth strategy he adopted for China. Part of that strategy was to take control of the industry by manipulating the motivations of Wall Street.

        Two of Xiaoping’s sons-in-law approached investment banker Archibald Cox, Jr. in the mid-1990s to use his hedge fund as a front for their companies to buy the U.S. rare-earth magnet enterprise. They were successful, purchasing and then moving the factory, the Indiana jobs, the patents, and the expertise to China. This was not the only big move, as Cox later moved into a $12 million luxury New York residence. The result is remarkably similar to Huawei: the United States has entirely divested of a technology and market it created and dominated just 30 years ago. China has a near-complete monopoly on rare earth elements, and the U.S. military, according to U.S. government studies, is now 100 percent reliant upon China for the resources to produce its advanced weapon systems.

        • @ Gerrard
          Excellent link/quotes, but this music is destined to fall on deaf ears.
          You can see the dismissive reactions here — there’s a lot of sand in the world, so it’s really easy to stick one’s head in it. It seems that many people are stuck in the 50s, and don’t (or won’t) realize that things have changed in the meantime.
          The EU is (slowly) starting to wake up, and is now taking steps to achieve accelerated technical/industrial independence in an increasing number of areas — we’ll just have to see how effective that is. The US, however, is being impeded by denialism and vanity — and unfortunately, if you try to point this out, you’re quickly labelled as being “anti-American”…or you get a childish (and irrelevant) retort along the lines of “yeah, but we were first to walk on the moon”.

          A Bloomberg article that I posted here earlier predicts that, in 10 years, the C919 will have taken the entire Chinese market, and 20% of the world market outside China. It would be very interesting if LNA did an article on what effect such a situation would have on the future of Boeing/Airbus. Is there enough room for 3 big players? Or will one of them go belly-up?

        • @Bryce

          As you point out the Iran China deal is de dollared: this axis serves also for Pakistan and Iraq, and via Iraq through Jordan into Africa, via pipelines and electricity upgrades even into Saudi

          De dollarisation is under way in Africa in similar soft currency deals

          The adult attitude on display by China as to tech transfer; with regard to Iran, is the same as that applied to security and military defence – in co operation with Russia

          Do not worry about knee jerk nationalists crowing about glory days – reality today is they are selling out

          You say ‘unless one goes belly up’ – is not Boeing belly up already yet has not cottoned on?

        • @Bryce

          Two further reports today – one about US fake war threatenings and another about US forlorn trying catch up in rare earths, and the problems of permanent skill loss due to offshoring

          I remember that one of main motivations, excuses, at the time of the offshoring was that rare earth mining was dirty work and bad for the environment, and more recently critics have denied on shoring on the same grounds




        • @Gerrard

          Wow – what an article. But I beg to differ, this isn’t stupidity – it’s greed. China has used the desire for personal enrichment against them. Stupidity was starting a tariff war with them, then having to shovel billions to the farmers to cover their losses.

          This is Gordon Gecko buying stuff up, breaking it apart and selling off the parts for profit.

          Ironically, Wall Street needs a China like stance/control over it to say, “Stop. No, you cannot do that. We need this to stay here.”

        • @Frank

          It seems to me that when you align your ethical/social considerations, climate change and class warfare, to match a limited set of of economic/political/financial priorities, offshoring vital industries to China.. you have stepped over the line from greedy behaviour to ruinous

          It is always said that the US ruling or mercantile class thought that by turning China from a ‘communist’ country into a ‘capitalist’ country they could dominate it politically as well as economically, as well as solve the problem of bringing their own working class to heel

          It turns out they were wrong about China but right enough about reducing their own populations to dependent poodles – massive amounts of the administrative and professional classes in the US are hostile to and incapable of re industrialisation, even down to the basic administration manpower and tech skills required for infrastructure improvements and investments now urgently required

          Witness hysterical ongoing probably endless confusion over the virus ‘measures’

          Ditto IP – smug talk of we can make the complicated stuff the Asians can not is the product of the very same process : for a start the industrial processes were adopted/taken from others, for the second to claim copiable processes as your own is to make them better more efficiently rather than to rent them out : but most of all the lie serves only to infantilise and subserve your own people while depriving them of useful employment

          Disney once for awhile succeeded in copyrighting Peter Pan, as if a successful version of some one else’s successful story granted rights to eternal rent, while closing the book to other versions

    • The pictures show nicely that the A320 has 8 windows in the center fuselage section, whereas the C919 only has 7 windows in its center fuselage section.
      Moreover, the underfloor empty “shaft” traversing the center fuselage section has a totally different shape for both planes.

      Thanks for that very clear illustration of some of the differences 🙂

      • The center barrel length doesnt have to be the same, its usually a function of moving it from the build location to the FAL.
        The point is when you look at the same section for 737 they made different choices around the wing box structural design while CAC have mimicked the A320. Other choices are because of the size of the 6x fuselage seating.
        That photo was mainly about the picklefork saga.
        I cant find a reliable source about the C919 exact interior dimensions but its extremely likely they again ‘mimick’
        Even for wing sweep B737 and A320 are different even though its the airport wing gates that set the maximum span . In aerodynamics theres a set ratio between wing sweep and taper which means the lift distribution is very close to the ideal which is elliptical.
        Im sure C919 has mimicked the A320 again when its wing box is the starting point.

        Airbus and Boeing and MC-21 are different even though they are all 6x.
        In the 4 across design E series, CRJ and MRJ were different sizes . The CRJ which was derived from the Canadair corporate jet overall size still need the floor line lowered and the windows raised.

        I had previously thought the C919 was similar to the A320 but not the same. However after seeing the more recent Y-20 military transport aircraft, often seen as an easier project because it doesnt have the vast issues of civil certification ( Japan has shown that with its recent P-1 and C-2 were fine but the MRJ wasnt up to scratch), I reviewed more evidence and changed my mind.
        The Y-20 is absolutely a copy of the IL-76, with some wing flaps and slats changes – done by Antonov. Yet like the C919 China claims it as ‘all new’. Different fairings doesnt cut it.

        • That’s wonderful that you’ve shared your personal thoughts on the C919 with us…thanks.
          However, continuing to flog a dead horse won’t somehow cause it to stand up.

          • In your case you are blowing a trumpet which you are just given the music for . Do your own analysis rather than following the patriotic song sheet.

  19. For some reason I can’t comment inline, as I’d like to for clarity’s sake.

    Frank said:
    > The NMA/MMA/797 is essentially a new 767, is it not? 225-275 pax with 4-5k range. Whatever you decide to make, out of all the 767 variants, you keep it out of the 787 market niche. <

    What is there to disagree with here?

    The 767 hull is a good one, and fits market need now, as well.
    As has been shown here, the potential gains from a bleeding-edge
    hull are not large at this time.

    Boeing needs to now *show that they can build a decent plane in a timely manner*. Is a FBW 767 w/ modern-day engines not a
    do-able and sensible approach, given all the above?

  20. @ Bill7 (and others)
    Are you commenting from a device with touchscreen?
    If so, even though you initially reply to a given post, it often happens that — in the course of typing your reply — it somehow turns into a generic comment.
    You can correct this. After finishing your comment — but before actually uploading it — check that the header to your comment still says “Reply to *person*” rather than just “Leave a reply”. If it has switched to the latter, then:
    – Scroll back up to the comment to which you wanted to reply, and type “reply”.
    – Scroll back down to your comment window, which will still be open and will still contain your comment.
    – Check that the header now says “Reply to *person*. If it does, then upload it.

    I regularly have this problem when replying from a phone, but never when replying from a PC. I suspect that finger movement near the screen while typing is causing an unintended category switch.

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