Podcast: 10 Minutes About the A350F and the Impact on Boeing

Aug. 3, 2021, © Leeham News: Airbus last week launched the A350 freighter program. This is the first real challenge to Boeing’s decades-long dominance in the freighter market that poses a real threat.

LNA wrote on April 6 that Boeing’s dominance was under threat. The A350F makes this a reality, along with the ICAO emission standards that take effect in 2027.

Boeing CEO David Calhoun said last week he’s “confident” the long-delayed 777-XF might be the next program launched.

In today’s 10 Minutes About, we discuss these and other topics.

 

Leeham News and Analysis
Leeham News and Analysis
Podcast: 10 Minutes About the A350F and the Impact on Boeing
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160 Comments on “Podcast: 10 Minutes About the A350F and the Impact on Boeing

  1. Interesting comment about BA possibly circumventing the new ICAO rules by putting in a backlog of “puppet orders” for the existing 767F, e.g. from its own leasing arm (Boeing Capital).
    It would certainly fit into Boeing’s reputation for using creative accounting practices…

    • So when are you emailing ICAO to alert them to this possibility?

      🙂

      • Well, as good, law-abiding citizens, we all have a duty to bring such subterfuge to the attention of the relevant authorities, don’t we? 😉

        I suspect that ICAO lawyers will have an appropriate countermeasure if such racketeering actually comes to pass 🙂

    • I didnt understand that TBH. They were talking about *orders* through their own leasing company but that would mean any order placed before 2028 by any client well into the future (10 years into the future?) would also circumvent ICAO, and that just doesnt seem plausible. Now if Boeing actually orders *and* delivers a few extra 767’s or 777’s to their own leasing company that would give them one or two years to deliver / resell to customers, but not much longer then that. So only a stopgap solution with no replacement in sight for the 767 market.

      • if I check the applicable airplanes: https://www.icao.int/Newsroom/Pages/ICAO-Council-adopts-new-CO2-emissions-standard-for-aircraft.aspx

        they are very clear that:
        “Individual non-CO2-certified subsonic jet aeroplanes of greater than 5 700 kg maximum certificated take-off mass for which a certificate of airworthiness was first issued on or after 1 January 2028;”

        so this seems a very hard stop to actual production after jan 1st 2028. If Boeing leasing orders and Boeing produces a few extra before the cutoff data that would be possible, after all they have experience with large inventories nowadays…but that’s *not* what was claimed in the podcast.

        • I can imagine a Boeing lawyer looking at the ICAO rules, also looking at prior jurisprudence regarding regulatory cutoff of production/sales/delivery processes, and then telling Boeing that they could potentially make a meal of it, if desired.
          In law, very few things are black and white — a creative lawyer can always create a grey area.

          • Right, but would you as a customer want to buy a freighter if your ability to utilize it is in a “gray area”?

          • @ JBeeko
            Of course I wouldn’t!
            But since when has BA cared about saddling customers with a problem further down the timeline?
            Look at how it left Air NZ and Norwegian out in the cold w.r.t. their 787 Trent problems.

      • Rekoff:

        If you look at the emissions go around in Europe on diesels, you will see that anything simple is complex. I am not talking the outright cheating but what amounts to legal cheating that meets the letter but violates the intent.

        Calhoun said as much though which mechanism is used is still unknown.

        Its not like the US is alone in that sort of thing.

        Equally military planes are exempt so if Airbus took the next tanker contract they would happily build non compliant aircraft to and for it.

        • “Equally military planes are exempt ..”

          Didn’t you say this a day ago? 🤣
          “US tankers fly under 900 hours a year on average, fuel efficiency is not high on the list”

        • I think the supply chain for Petroleum products starts looking a little weak in 10-15 years. I think it would be wise for the USAF to take a fuel efficient tanker aircraft. How many wells will be caped? How many oil refineries shutdown. We may see battery electric vehicles 60% of sales and the rest fuel miserly pluggable hybrid vehicles that sip fuel and then only on loner trips. In that environment it may not be quite as easy to find fuel as distribution changes.

  2. Calhoun confident 777-XF “will be” launched? According to FlightGlobal, he said only: “I am confident that might be the next of our programmes,” while stressing that “he is not suggesting Boeing has already launched [an ICAO-compliant 777X freighter] or that ‘we have one planned’.” Any greater certainty surely would have been heard more clearly by headline writers…

  3. With regards to the claim they can continue prooduction for (internal?) orders in place before 2028, I checked the relevant ICAO page:
    https://www.icao.int/Newsroom/Pages/ICAO-Council-adopts-new-CO2-emissions-standard-for-aircraft.aspx

    They are very clear that:
    “Individual non-CO2-certified subsonic jet aeroplanes of greater than 5 700 kg maximum certificated take-off mass for which a certificate of airworthiness was first issued on or after 1 January 2028;”

    so this seems a very hard stop to actual production after jan 1st 2028. If Boeing leasing orders and Boeing produces a few extra before the cutoff data that would be possible, after all they have experience with large inventories nowadays…but that’s *not* what was claimed in the podcast.

  4. It seems easier to modify the proven 777-200LRF for meeting 2028 ICAO requirements than shrinking, modifying the heavier, costlier, non certified 777X.

    A 777-8F in competition with A350F and converted 777s and A330s could face a forward loss situation pretty early in the program IMO.

    • Yes, GE should be able to modify the GE90 with GE9X technology to be compliant. Most likely the HPC and burner modules. The GE9X burner should be less of a problem and it might be enough to reblade some stages of the GE90 compressor to sneak under the new emissions limits.
      In other times with GE awash with money they could have upgraded the CF6-80C2 as well for the 767F, but probably the 777-200F might be enough work for Boeing. GE big engine guys need some new work after the GE9X is certified and goes into normal performance-, weight-, cost-, durability- improvements

      • The issue here seems mainly compliance with NOX emissions standards since NOX is regarded as a greenhouse gas.

        The deeper problem will be the CO2 emissions standards which are part of the ICAO standard as well and these effect the operator of the aircraft. They need to keep emissions per unit of cargo or passenger below a limit according to a formulae. That limit will reduce year by year as aviation grows.

        This graph should be studied:
        https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/14/Carbon_Offsetting_and_Reduction_Scheme_for_International_Aviation.png

        By 2040 the curve’s show that emissions need to be about 65% less per aircraft i.e. only 35% but even 2027 the fuel efficiency of aircraft needs to be improved by around 20% and emissions by nearly 50% by a combined use of SAF and efficiency.

        These are immense improvements can only be achieved by a combination of both new airframes and new engines.

        Old aircraft such as MD11, B767 with CF6 engines will need to go and even an up engined B767 will not be adequate. Modern airframes are needed.

        Boeing should develop the B787 into a freighter now.

        • The NOX is no problem for modern engines as they are way lower than limits and replacing and certifying new fuel nozzles and burner liners is doable. The GEAE site shows their new burner test cell in Evendale. The CO2 is much harder as it is a direct function of fuel burn. Hence the GE90-115B would need the GE9X HPC and a bigger fan by approx 4″ with a new fan containment case and most likely a new nacelle and pylon so buying a brand new 777-8F is more logical and sending off your old 777-300ER’s for cargo conversion while replacing them with A350-1000’s flying pax. The 787 is harder to convert with its one piece barrell fuselage that does not like to be cut up and have a huge titnium frame taking the loads from the hole of the cargo door. To design a new aft carbon fuselage with baked in reinforcements for the cargo door frame is costly and you need to convice whoever makes it today to make the investment. Besides the main deck floor frames and their attachment into the fuselage is normally beefed up as well. So much easier to make a freighter from the 777-8/-9 i think. Airbus can just replace one A350 fuselage panel to fit the cargo door but also need to reinforce the floor beams and its attachments. Note that a cargo aircraft still has to have a mini-cabin with toilet, galley and all emergency equipment behind the cockpit that is crash proof from the cago behind it.

  5. I do not know the volume to weight ratio regarding the 767F with new engines, but it would seem that this updated plane with the -400 wing and avionics would have enough going for to meet all new restrictions…

      • From memory, I think the -400 gear is 18″ longer than the -300, so they will at least need that. I would imagine the easiest route would include the -400 wing as well. But I suppose that might throw off FedEx with the larger span.

      • New GEnX engines on a 767-400 may meet the January 1st 2017 ICAO deadline for NOX emissions but it will likely only improve fuel burn of 10% instead of the 20% possible with a modern airframe. The ICAO CORSIA greenhouse gas emissions standards become binding in 2017 as well but are voluntary this year 2021. They require an airline to wind back their emissions to the 2019 level. So any growth between 2019 to 2027 will need to be by upgrading the fleet with the most modern aircraft. Better get started now. Unless lower emissions are achieved by technology a more expensive SAF fuel must be used. Unless both passenger airlines and cargo airlines operate the most modern airframes and engines they will need to compensate with SAF fuel. So if Qatar Freight is operating A350F instead of say A330-200F or B777F not only will their fuel burn be less their fuel will be cheaper per unit.

      • The 747-8 GEnX-2B engines fit, but I probably with increased mass. The certification cost and buying 2 new powerplants including modified instrumentation in the aircraft and new pylon will cost more than a 767BCF converted freighter.

  6. With a freighter development program and potentially NMA and NSA/NFA/NBA, I question where’s the money coming from when B787 is producing at a rate lower than five a month??

        • Thanks for that link. I find it useful to re-read what’s been
          said, with the benefit of hindsight.

          > Leahy joked that doing nothing is something the Boeing board in Chicago will consider, even if the Seattle commercial-airplanes unit wishes otherwise. <

          And, five and a half years later, here we are. Two MAXes did crash in the interim though, so that's a change.

          • BA marketing executive questioned if a small airline like Wizz would be able to take delivery of its huge order of A320neo.

          • Pedro, depends on how they’ve structured the deal.

            If Wizz are to be passing them straight on to a lease company, then taking them is in Wizz’s interests because it gets the order off their books and the cash back from the lease company.

            The lease companies presently seem happy to take A320neos, because they seem them as a valuable long term asset, even if they’re not doing much flying at the moment.

            At least, that’s what I read elsewhere here on Leeham News!

          • @Matthew

            It happened back in early 2016 (see my link above): BA tried to belittle AB’s A321 massive sales success vs. B737 MAX 9.

            Wizz is expanding

            https://www.aerospace-technology.com/comment/wizz-air-expansion-strategy-bright-future/

            https://www.aerotime.aero/27406-wizz-air-opens-base-in-palermo

            https://www.ch-aviation.com/portal/news/103071-wizz-air-eyes-india-africa-expansion-after-pandemic

            They see their A321neo vastly superior than Ryanair’s much touted “game changer”. Lower trip cost per unit, no wonder Mike is scrambling for a bigger jet. In tomorrow’s world where emission counts, Mike loses.

          • The article was written prior to the max10 launch.
            So the board in Chicago did something, but as things stands today the max10 will only hit the market in the same year as the A321XLR and on top of that, they have not decided on the NMA.

          • MAX 10, I believe, doesn’t have the same range as A321neo, nvm LR or XLR. That’s why UA has to split its NB order, no??

          • Wizz is part of Indigo Partners that includes Frontier Airlines and JetSmart. Maybe not so small.

      • Reported in July

        Bloomberg: Singapore Airlines Ltd.’s Indian joint venture expects the last four Dreamliners from its Boeing Co. order to arrive by October 2022, a delay of up to seven months as the U.S. planemaker addresses flaws with the jet and the pandemic weighs on air travel.

      • @Bryce Remember much of the losses suffered by BA due to the grounding of the MAX is non-cash charges, like sales credits gave to customers as compensation. Now, in the next couple of years, when customers take delivery of jets, they are going to use those sales credits as part-payment. BA will therefore continue to suffer a drag in cash inflow (lower cash inflow than profit reported).

    • @ Pedro
      It appears that the glitch is more serious than initially thought/hoped: the Starliner has been removed from the launch pad again.
      “Boeing Starliner Isn’t Going Anywhere, Spaceship Removed From the Launch Pad”

      “It would seem that at least for a while the SpaceX Crew Dragon will remain the only American-made spacecraft to ferry astronauts to and from the International Space Station. This reality came to pass this week, after Boeing somehow managed to fail its second attempt at making the Starliner work.”

      https://www.autoevolution.com/news/boeing-starliner-isn-t-going-anywhere-spaceship-removed-from-the-launch-pad-166601.html

        • WaPo: Boeing still hasn’t figured out how to fix Starliner’s valve problem

          Jul 28
          Boeing CEO: We’re on a good path to recovery

          Oops

    • All three branches of Boeing — Civil Aviation, Defense and Space — now have chronic issues.
      That company just can’t get a break, can it?

  7. Reuters: Garuda Indonesia says agrees with lessor early return of 9 Boeing jets

    • Indeed…I saw that yesterday.
      I don’t think it will be long before Scott will be adding Garuda to his “C***D Misery List”..followed not long thereafter by Malaysia Airlines, and perhaps Thai.

        • Well, why not?
          BA still has lots of MAXs in inventory, so GOL probably got B-Mart’s best “sale of the century” pricing 🙂

          • @Bryce

            So GOL had an order for 100 Max’s, with 100 options, pre-grounding. They took del’y of 11. Was that order 86’ed and the new order of 28 replaces it?

          • @ Frank
            The link seems to indicate that (to date) 34 have been canceled, and now partially replaced by these 28. The table seems to indicate a total order portfolio of 280 MAXs.
            Of course, in view of the accrued delays, any party with MAX on order can still cancel without penalty…so GOL can re-play this “cancel and re-order” ploy if they wish.

          • “””the standard trick now for MAX operators: cancel your original order, and then re-order at a much lower price”””

            Of course, Boeing doesn’t have the money to pay back Pre Delivery Payments.
            They are at the wall now, either they take the shot now or die later.

          • Any possibility that Gol is now picking up “whitetails” it previously canceled at dirt cheap price?

          • Quite possible.

            2020 report:

            “In the first quarter of 2019, the unexpected grounding of the 737 MAX by regulatory agencies worldwide, including the FAA, the EASA and the ANAC, resulted in seven (7) of Gol’s operational 737 MAX aircraft being grounded, and the non-delivery of 25 737 MAX aircraft scheduled for 2019.”

  8. Well well:
    “DHL Express, the air cargo subsidiary of Deutsche Post AG, has ordered 12 all-electric aircraft to complement its fleet of battery-powered delivery vans and bikes, a move that will reduce emissions from air services. The Eviation Aircraft Ltd.-built freighters, known as Alice models, will be able to carry 2,600 pounds (1,179 kilograms) and have a range of 440 nautical miles..”

    https://fortune.com/2021/08/03/dhl-fleet-electric-planes-net-zero-emissions-eviattion-alice/

    • I like to compare the 9 passenger Eviation Alice to the 6 passenger Otto Celera 500L. The Celera 500L can fly 66% of the passengers on 33% of the power for 10 x the distance. (440nmi versus 4500nmi)

      Neither company is revealing its aircraft weight. Otto claims 18-25mpg so with a range of 4500nmi (5000 miles) one would expect about 600kg of fuel (900kg at most)

      You can see that the Alice is going to need to be a massive aircraft and this weight will make it inefficient.

      • As far as I’m concerned, Alice is an extremely inefficient niche aircraft.
        There are short hops in densely populated areas where it may be useful, and it will appeal to the yups and the greenies because it’s “the in thing”.
        DHL probably ordered it because it polishes up their green agenda.

      • Supersonic flights at an affordable price pairing over 500 dest …
        Super economical aircraft …

        What’s next??

        Back on the ground:

        ” Regarding Otto’s claim that the aircraft has eight times lower fuel consumption (18-25mpg) compared to 2-3mpg for a comparable jet aircraft, the experts were of the opinion that: ‘In the absence of a specified payload, cruise speed and altitude, it is difficult to comment. A factor of eight reduction in fuel burn would require, crudely speaking, a doubling of the aerodynamic efficiency of the airframe, a halving of specific fuel consumption of the powerplant and a halving of the aircraft weight, all at the same time. The most likely way to achieve this would be to compare against a heavy jet aircraft operating a considerable way off its design point.’ ”

        https://www.aerosociety.com/news/going-with-the-flow/

        • The numbers seem to be plausible.
          1 Doubling of aerodynamic efficiency. This could be achieved by
          a/ perfect ‘tear drop’ streamline fuselage made of moulded CFRP. In fact Celelera solid of revolution profile looks like a Tuna Fish viewed from top with the same profile as the P-51 mustang wing with a reflexed tail (like a fish) for pressure recovery. This profile is know to help maintain laminarity.
          b/ smooth skin CFRP fuselage also allows genuine laminarity if it can be kept clean.
          c/ the pusher propeller provides boundary layer suction.
          d/ wing is high aspect ratio CFRP laminar flow.

          2 Halving of sfc. Diesel is 42%-45% efficient and a prop is more efficient than a business jet turbofan. This also reduces fuel load and weight.

          3 CFRP literally is 35% to 50% lighter.

          • From the same article above

            -> Their conclusion was that a 59% drag reduction in drag for the Celera 500 compared to a similar-sized conventional aircraft would be quite a hard task to achieve and not necessary to deliver the stated glide performance. Attributing such a drag reduction to laminar flow was unrealistic: …”: ‘for a drag-optimised aircraft, for which drag is divided equally between friction-induced ‘profile’ drag, which will be reduced by laminar flow, and lift-induced drag, which will not. A 59% profile drag reduction would be a good result for a two-dimensional aerofoil with zero lift-induced drag; once the lift-induced component is taken into account the overall drag reduction is much lower, although the analysis is complicated by the change in optimum lift coefficient and hence operating condition. There are further considerations: first, the impossibility in achieving comparable friction reduction across the more complex wing-fuselage-tail configuration; second, the realities of productionising the aircraft, with the cost of high-tolerance joints (especially under load), here including the currently absent cabin windows; third, the claw-back from in-service degradation (FOD damage to the fuselage underside, given how low-slung it is on the ground, springs to mind). All of these will reduce the laminar flow benefit further.’

            -> Commenting on the design in general, the RAeS aerodynamic experts said: ‘Designs which push laminar flow to the limit tend to suffer from compromises in handling qualities or structural efficiency. Laminar flow is highly susceptible to separation: ‘turbulators’ on glider wings are there for precisely this reason. Another consideration is that, because of the susceptibility to surface degradation described above, laminar flow tends not to be totally reliable in service.

            Is a B787-9 35% to 50% lighter than say an A330-900?? 😂

        • Otto’s claim is very plausible and they do have an aircraft in the air.
          1 Doubling aerodynamic efficiency. This can be achieved by
          a/ laminar flow fuselage. The Celera 500L fuselage is a body of revolution that is tear drop shaped for optimal Cd and profiled according to laws (positive pressure gradient) to maintain laminarity. The smooth skin of the CFRP helps maintain this. The reflexed fish tail is like that of a P-51 wing or a tuna fish to recover pressure.
          b/ advanced laminar wing with the smoothness CFRP can maintain.
          c/ pusher propeller produces boundary layer suction to attach air flow in the tail section.
          2 The RED 03 turbo diesel is likely to be at least twice as efficient as a small turbofan. Thermal efficiency seems at least 42%. This low fuel burn also reduces weight.
          3 CFRP usually reduces structural weight 35% or so but I think it can do more. The standard rule of thumb is that Al is 1.5 times heavier.

  9. Calhoun clearly said that there were a lot of options involved with ICAO so that is no surprise. Stockpiling order might be one, building KC-46 may be another one they can leverage. Of course you can only stockpile so much.

    Equally, they have been looking at a 777XF for some time. They will have the preliminary design work done.

    There is no reason they have to wait for certification of the 777X to proceed. They are in low rate production.

    Equally, while this is a new topic hitting the public, Boeing has known about the ICAO standards since they were formulated.

    I would think a 787F has preliminary work done as well. I can’t imagine there is not a way around the structure aspects.

    • “””they [Boeing] have been looking at a 777XF for some time. They will have the preliminary design work done.
      There is no reason they have to wait for certification of the 777X to proceed.”””

      All Boeing did are self-certs. I already have a laugh …

      A 777XF would need the new software too.

    • “””I would think a 787F has preliminary work done as well. I can’t imagine there is not a way around the structure aspects.”””

      Yes, let them do a 787F and the fuselage gaps will come new on the table. I’m sure EASA is waiting for this.

      I’m sure Boeing knew about the gaps from the start, so they could not fix it for 10 years …

      Boeing is a joke

    • I would think BA knows its product strategy and plans ahead, like a new product for the middle of the market, or alternatively, a pathway forward. What I wish clearly doesn’t match up with reality I see. I digress.

    • “I would think a 787F has preliminary work done as well. I can’t imagine there is not a way around the structure aspects.”

      Are these facts?? How are they relevant in a rational discussion?

    • Boeing had many QC engineers 10 years ago. Of course they checked the specs of the 787 fuselage joins, the shims, the skin flatness and the gaps. Sure they found that the skin flatness was not good, but they came to the conclusion that bigger shims can compensate for the non skin flatness. So this was ok for Boeing and everything was kept secret.
      Then many QC engineers were fired, of course the expensive ones were fired first and under Muilenburg the pressure on the QC staff increased. When Muilenburg left the rest of the QC staff complained till the secret could no longer kept secret.
      It was reported that they used shims which were bigger then allowed, that there are skin flatness issues. Eight 787 were grounded because it was a safety issue.
      Then Boeing started the open heart surgery. It was reported that they replaced the shims which were too big with smaller shims. Easy to fix this issue, but the skin flatness and the now bigger gap were not mentioned. Boeing was busy with this for over a year. Then they applied to change the inspection certification, which can be used not to repair parts which don’t meet the quality specs and with this new cert they want to fire more QC staff and by the way they mentioned that bigger shims can compensate skin flatness issues.
      Boeing tried to repair the skin flatness and the inexpierenced QC staff came to the same conclusion as 10 years ago, just to use bigger shims. The skin flatness was never touched and the bigger gaps still not mentioned.
      Now we are waiting for the FAA to do their job. Fuselage joins, which don’t meet certified specs and don’t meet certified load calculations, can’t fly.
      Why are we waiting, this is easy to fix, same as using shims not bigger than the maximum allowed size. Just calculate new with rough skin flatness and gaps and reduce the MZFW. I want to see this because the 787 was designed by clowns and oversighted by monkeys.

  10. The A350f sounds like a good idea.
    Can someone explain, why a 64m B777f, a 64m plane with a 65m / 437m² wing,
    can carry 104t (OEW 144t, MTOW 348t)
    while a A350f
    is 70m (so 6m longer) has a 65m / 464m² wing (A35k) with OEW around 150t and MTOW of 316t (A35k) and should only be able to carry more than 90t?

    I know the GE90 is a strong engine, but the RR XWB is a newer generation.
    And the structure of the A350 should be lighter, so why can the longer, more modern plane with a slightly bigger wing carry less weight?

    Overall Boeing has 2 responses. I rate out any Frankenstein moves on the B767, i hope Boeing has learned that from the Max.
    The B787 needs sales, and the production line is not near maximum. So Boeing can find a way around the structure problem and develop a B789 freigther.
    The other option would be the B777x – if they bring the B778, which i doubt, it would be the same size as a A350f with much higher payload options.

    • It may have something to do with the phrase “more than 90t”, don’t you think?
      91t is “more than 90t”…but so is 114t, for example.
      Maybe Faury wants to keep BA guessing.

      • Sash:

        Its a complex set of details involved and as Bjron noted, you have package freighters that tend to bulk out (fill the volume) vs the heavy freight operations that have heavy floor loading.

        The A380F had plenty of bulk (UPS and FedEx ordered it) but it did not have the lift capability for the cost (and two decks to deal with). Other than 5 possible lease that would have gone to DHL carriers, no orders.

        With the 777F Boeing threaded that space that had heavy freight happy and FedEx happy (UPS went with the 747-400 and -8F.

        The 767 was a good fit for that space (UPS and FedEx as well as heavier freight ops)

        Part of the trade off is you make stops (less fuel more payload).

        It would seem the A350F and the 777-XF both have bulk but may not have payload increase beyond the 777F.

        So the freight ops of both types will be getting data from Airbus and Boeing and then assessing how it fits in.

        UPS long term is interesting as there is no more 747-8F for it unless they can get and convert 8I’s.

        Cost of course is also a factor but you would need very close comparison for that to supersede fit into any given system.

        Making a F model is not just a heavier floor beam, your side structure has to support the beam.

        A good question is did Airbus design an F ability into the A350 or do they have to beef up a lot?

        777X-F has been talked about since the start so you can be sure that was accommodated and a standard conversion of known structure done for a long time.

        And then like FedEx, do you move to another new heavy bird (777X-F) or can you get feed stock and do the older 777 passenger conversion they initially were going to do?

        No one knows and until the data starts coming out and commitments come in, its just guessing.

        • I believe the B747-8F is not as economical in comparison with the twins. It’s niche product.

      • “””91t is “more than 90t”…but so is 114t, for example.
        Maybe Faury wants to keep BA guessing.”””

        Could be 🙂
        Last year I did comparisons between 789, 78k, 772 and and A359. I’m not sure if the A359 was only better in fuel burn or in payload too than the 772, Next week I will check again.

        • The 777-200ER has 3% more payload and burns 20% more fuel than the A359. This is the 772ER with 298t MTOW and the A359 with 280t MTOW.
          A freighter would have higher MTOW. The 777F has 348t, 50 t more. The A350F would have less than 39t more. That would increase the Boeing fuel burn more.

          • I believe Airbus found ways to shave a couple percentage off.

    • Are you saying a 6m longer aircraft should be able to carry a heavier load?

      • A 6m longer aircraft with a more modern fuselage, a more modern engine and a slightly larger wing should be able to carry more, yes.

        Unless its structure isn’t made for.

        But i see, with that blunt reply you won’t be able to answer.

        • The MTOW is a function of the wing size and engine thrust. Although the A35k has a larger wing, its engine thrust rating is a good 15% lower than the B777 (97klbf vs 115klbf). So it is no surprise that the A350 carries less. The more modern engine is only lowering the fuel consumption and emissions but doesn’t change its thrust rating.

    • Sash,

      there is only fuel above the MZFW. One way is to replace this fuel with payload and increase the MZFW. The fuel in the wings don’t bother the fuselage structure much and the fuel in the wings is enough for freighters.
      Fuel in the center wing box bothers the fuselage structure, but not much since it’s close to CG, but some payload can be gained. Since the wing box can’t be used for cargo, the payload gain is smaller since it’s not so close to the CG. If payload away from the CG is increased, the structure needs to be able to carry this increased load too.

      • Thx mate, of course,

        the fuel in the wing actually helps the structure with less load with its downforce.

        Univestity to long ago already. And then it’s a lot about structure and thrust, though i don’t know which one is the limting factor in this case.

        • Sash,

          since a freighter would not need so much fuel the MTOW could even be less. The 777F has less MTOW than the 777-300ER too. So the thrust could be even less. The structure needs to be good to carry the additional payload.

        • Airbus already has a weight variant for the A350-1000 with 308t MTOW, 236t MLW and 223t MZFW. Without fuel in the center wing box maybe the MZFW can be increased to 230t, depending on the CFRP fuselage. Then use the wings of the A359 to reduce the empty weight further.
          So a 308t A350F with less payload but much better fuel burn would replace the 348t 777F.

  11. With the almost certainty of a A350F, Boeing has the options of a 764F, 787F, 777Fneo, or a 777xF. Is there a bigger market above or below the A350F?

    • Resource constraints at that company (self-inflicted).

      May be no more than a P and D, now.. show us that’s untrue, Boeing.

    • Ted:

      No one really knows. Clearly there is a market above the A350F/777X-F) as the 747-8F sold pretty well (a lot better than the passenger model!)

      Qatar is a rare one off in that they want to replace their F fleet after 10 years. No one else (maybe Emirates) runs that model.

      They would be the last one to use as a benchmark.

      UPS and FedEx are going to be capacity aspect if needed in X number of years (not just pulling some MD-11s out of storage in the desert for Xmas)

      UPS took the last of the 747-8F and may be set for a long time.

      FedEx has juggled 777F with 767F as they suddenly concluded they needed to replace the MD-10 (no idea what went on there, they put a lot of money into the MD-10 modification to match the MD-11)

      Atlas, Cargo Lux are all open question (Cathay Pacific is probably going to disappear and be replaced by China regime owned airlines)

      Also keep in mind what made the F market tight was not more freight shipped but the sudden loss of belly space with flights were whacked. As that belly capacity comes back (or does not) lots of decisions are going to occur around that aspect.

      All we can say is there is a 767F sweet spot, there is a 777F sweet spot and there was a 7478F sweet spot.

      Boeing has a lot on its plate and a 767NEO has been off the table and I am not sure freighters are remotely enough to change that (and a lot of 767 feed stock that is standard conversion)

      Clearly Boeing is looking at the 777X-F, 787F is very uncertain and they need an A321 competitor all in a period of barely breaking even (in total, BCA is still at a loss)

    • An 764F? 777FMax?

      Why?
      The re-engine of the B767 has already been discussed several times, and it never worked out. That plane is an late 70ties design with improvements, and its sucessor is already flying. That’s not even an option.

      Same is true for the B777Fneo – why would you re-engine a plane, that already has a re-engined version available with a brand new wing? I would rule it out.

      Boeings options are:
      1) B777x F – discussable if -8 or -9 or smth in between.

      2) B787F – likley the B789F, if they manage to get the structure working on an freigther.

      3) do nothing and see Airbus fail or suceed.

      Honestly I see a chance Boeing isn’t doing anything, but waiting. Plenty of young WBs are available for conversion.
      Pax flights will return and with it the belly freight cappacity. The demand for natural freighters might be high now, but not in the 25-30 period.
      Afterwards, Boeing might have a new family, MOM and maybe a Max sucessor.

      Doing nothing might be the smartest option, and i’m not sure if Boeing has the capital do go with 1 & 2 or even one of those options and a new development.
      It’s not even sure the A350f will be a sucess, nobody has ordered yet.

      • 3) is an option. If the 773SF is somewhat optimal for the package carriers, new demand will be lower. Also, if they do eventually build a new aircraft with 45K engines and a 130t MTOW, this could be the base for a medium freighter or tanker, albeit 2035 not 2028.

      • @Sash

        You are being cautious and prudent – but for BA ‘doing nothing’ can not be a long term option even much of a short term : do not experienced engineers sales suppliers go elsewhere?

        By all accounts profit margins on existing planes are either close to zero or negative

        All programs seem to be afflicted with multiple problems BA seem incapable of solving

        You say ‘Pax flights will return’ – maybe, maybe not, at the very least it’s extremely unpredictable: the current crisis does not appear to be going away, some say it’s worsening, especially vis à vis airtravel

        Does BA have the capital to do nothing?

      • @Sash

        Further to last

        To say that airtravel pax volumes are unpredictable is to state that there are a number of externalities which proliferate/impact rather more commonly/severely than previously

        Due to comprehensive break down of fragile supply chains (The Crisis) coupled with panick fear psycho unpredictability in human behaviour – + labour and consumption issues (The Crisis) plus economic disruption massive inflation on a large scale, in EUUS at least ( )

        For example – jet fuel shortages at airports

        https://oilprice.com/Latest-Energy-News/World-News/US-Airports-Are-Facing-Serious-Jet-Fuel-Shortages.html

        Climate changers talk of the the need to tax aviation fuel – perhaps this will scare prices up even before imposition

    • Indeed very noteworthy!
      Any pilots / FAA staff / Boeing personnel traveling with it will have to quarantine for at least 14 days: so, unless the Chinese conduct the tests themselves, Boeing will have to wait another few weeks for things to start.

      One wonders whether any extra modifications were made that haven’t been published yet: in this instance, China’s wish is Boeing’s command…

      • Here’s a BNN Bloomberg article on the matter, free of paywalls.

        “While the Max’s validation flight in China would be a milestone, the country’s regulators still could take months to wrap up their work before allowing the plane to resume commercial service. Boeing sent a delegation of around 35 pilots and engineers to the nation last month to meet with regulators and prepare for simulator and flight testing.”

        https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/boeing-737-max-heads-to-china-for-key-test-to-end-flight-ban-1.1636475

        • When did MAX’S FAA certification flight took place? Around July latest year??

          Would CAAC, like FAA, asks BA to revise its flight manuals to include detailed emergency pilot procedures? Why not??

          • Airways Magazine is reporting that the test MAX is “enhanced”. I wonder what that means. Perhaps BA have had to fit a third physical AOA sensor…who knows? Or maybe a measure to provide some form of motorized assistance to address runaway trim? With 40% of the world market at stake, BA will need to dance to China’s tune.

    • Regarding the MAX re-cert flight in China, a Dutch aviation site is indicating that the test aircraft is due to land at Pudong on Aug. 7, with the actual test flight slated for Aug. 11. So the test flight is evidently being carried out by staff who previously went to China and have cleared quarantine.

  12. Bloomberg broke the news as far as I know.

    Have to take the central Pacific island hopping route. Reminds me Pan Am pre-jet age in early 50s. 🤣

    I see CAAC is going to certify the MAX “as soon as” airlines want their deliveries (like Singapore. Wink wink).

    BA stock down over 1%

  13. Fascinating that a 787F is a major engineering difficulty, with the barrel construction. I can see that dropping out of favour pretty quickly as a construction method (well, as quickly as Boeing move on to new designs…).

    Scott described it as a game of chess, with Airbus having more pieces than Boeing. Airbus does seem to have got a lot of moves right, but Boeing has made it very easy for them; like they didn’t realise that a chess game was being played.

    Still, I suppose that’s what happens when you emphasise profits as a metric of the business instead of market share, in an increasing market size.

    • @Matthew BA’s previous strategy was “supposed” to be brilliant: ramped up production rate of NB and WB to unsustainable rate, opening slots for a flood of future orders to come. Oops, apparently no plan B thanks to, I guess, groupthink.

    • I have a feeling that BA was just as “caught off guard” by the announcement of the A350F as it was years ago by the announcement of the A320neo. The knee-jerk reaction (MAX) to the neo was a monumental disaster. What will the reaction to the A350F be? 🤔

    • Mathew:

      I have to go with Bjorn on that one. I can see the A350 Frame and Skin method has a close analog to the aluminum frame and skin.

      I would think Boeing has been working on it. But as also was noted by a contributer, the floor beam beef up is also not easily done.

      One thing about predictions, they are hard especially about the future.

      As the A330CEOF is in the same boat as the 767F, does Airbus do a A330NEO-F?

      If you don’t have any competition maybe it works this time.

      Widebody traffic comes back at some point, so again as noted, the Freight market was seeing issues and is only good due to the lack of that space not because the F market was growing.

      UPS and FedEx seemed to be doing well in their segment (I don’t know about DHL).

      Certainly lots of 767s to convert.

      Its going to be interesting.

    • A new 787 barrel section for a cargo is surely not insurmountable and probably something Boeing could have ready before any B777-xF.

      I think the CFRP composite fuselages of the B787 and A350 will turn out to have been a mistake. The B-777-9, Airbus A220, Irkut MC-21 seem to do fine with an metal fuselage with composite wing.

      Airbus’s original proposal for the A350 which was essentially an A330 neo with composite wing would likely have been a far better investment. The A350-800 and 900 are good performers and a composite wing would have had no issues matching the B787-8/9 in terms of fuel burn and range. I think S Udvar Hazy pushed them in the direction of the A350 XWB.

      The penalty now is a range of aircraft that can not easily be converted to freighters.

      • It’s entirely possible that BA will just have to abandon the freighter market, in view of its current financial/market/technical situation. After all, we’re only talking about a total of a few hundred aircraft, and BA has much bigger fish to fry. Is it wise to fuss over a nosebleed when you concurrently have a ruptured aorta to deal with?

        Airbus had virtually no share of the freighter market up to now, and yet it managed to do just fine.

        • I was wondering if the move by AB to develop the 350F is less about developing a profitable new model but rather a way to:

          1. push Boeing into developing the 777XF and pulling resources from development of the NBA
          2. a way to retain engineering talent
          3. a way to keep the 350 line busier and the supply chain happy

          If the 350F can accomplish 1-3 then it is a win for AB even if the aircraft only breaks even.

          • I think your point (3) is valid one way or another, and point (2) is also a nice benefit.
            Your point (1) is certainly a possibility. LNA reported in a past article that John Leahy at Airbus had commented previously that a driver behind the intro of the A330neo was to put downward price pressure on the 787 — though it also keeps the A330 line alive (your point (3)). Similarly, the previous Airbus A330 MRRT entry put downward pressure on BA’s KC-46 pricing — thus achieving a strategic advantage for AB (in the form of financial misery for BA) even if AB didn’t win the contract. Against that background, forcing BA’s hand is certainly a possible motive.

          • 1) Further marginalize the business case of 777X
            2) Provide an alternative for those current customers of A350
            3) Make the life of 777XF harder as A350F offers better fuel economy.
            4) No A321XLR competitor in foreseeable future, smooth the path for further dev. of what’s popularly called A322.

            Win win win win.

    • Thanks.

      Posters here tend to look down on “foreign content” made outside of their country. I wonder if it’s because of paranoia or bias.

      AB doesn’t seem to be suffering from manufacturing issues or design/engineering shortcomings, unlike BA’s jets that crashed or being grounded repeatedly.

      -> “Airbus’ increasing investment in China shows its recognition of China’s manufacturing skills and the capacity of the civil aviation industry chain in China,”

      -> Despite disruptions to the aviation industry throughout the pandemic, the manufacturer delivered 99 planes to China in 2020 and 64 in the first half of 2021.

      It plans to increase production of the A220 aircraft, the only model which has seen a stable rate of production throughout the pandemic and in which 15 Chinese firms supply one-third of the airframe.

      • > Posters here tend to look down on “foreign content” made outside of their country. I wonder if it’s because of paranoia or bias. <

        Interesting. I'm one of those old-school types who still thinks
        it would be helpful to my citizenry to have good jobs in
        my country, rather than shipping raw materials halfway around the world from where they're taken; then to Asia for manufacture; then eventually to the West for use
        by now-impoverished "consumers" (that word was carefully
        chosen quite awhile back, I think), which they'll pay for via further-extractive "credit".

        Sounds like a good long-term plan, as we head further into resource depletion..

        Here in the Exceptional Nation the top .1% now own more assets than the bottom 80%. Ain't globalism great, and working for the betterment of all?

        Silly me..

        • The success of B787 depends on expertise of CF making from JP. Without a supplier at a reasonably low cost, could the project become reality?

        • Wikipedia: “The US imported nearly all the bauxite (the only commercial aluminum ore) used in producing primary aluminum. For years, the US has produced less than 1% of the bauxite used to make aluminum.”

          Since U.S. has to import both bauxite and CF, why ship RM halfway around the world? Why make jets in U.S. not overseas? Does it make sense?

        • Agreed, Airbus is selling the crown jewels. Not just mere assembly but design, research and development. Something HP, Apple, IBM have also done.

  14. Uncle Sugar is handing out new “soup kitchen” loans to help Boeing conduct basic transactions:
    “Boeing lands US Exim support with two new loan guarantees”

    “The Export-Import Bank of the United States (US Exim) has rolled out hundreds of millions of dollars in support to manufacturing monolith Boeing, as it works to help the company overcome ongoing challenges in the market.

    Last week, US Exim’s board signed off on a pair of guarantees worth a combined total of more than US$830mn backing the export of Boeing aircraft to Turkish Airlines in Istanbul.

    US Exim will provide 85% cover to the two separate loans, which are expected to support over 4,000 jobs at Boeing’s manufacturing facilities in Washington State and South Carolina, as well as other suppliers across the country.”

    From the second (Wiki) link:
    “EXIM intervenes when private sector lenders are unable or unwilling to provide financing, equipping American businesses with the financing tools necessary to compete for global sales. EXIM’s aim is to promote U.S. goods and services at no cost to U.S. taxpayers, protecting “made in America” products against foreign competition in overseas markets and encouraging the creation of American jobs.”

    https://www.gtreview.com/news/americas/boeing-lands-us-exim-support-with-two-new-loan-guarantees/

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Export%E2%80%93Import_Bank_of_the_United_States

    • @Bryce

      Very interesting : I think Exim has been quite active in the past in this way to help aid and abet BA – but interesting that WS was not prepared to ante up nothing

    • @Bryce

      Now I think of it, wasn’t Exim frequently criticised because they loaned out most to BA, a large company, and very little to others, especially small, as per Exim remit

      Or am I wrong?

      • @ Gerrard
        You are right — the ExIm Bank has had its share of controversy: conservatives criticize it for providing “corporate welfare” and liberals criticize it for unduly favoring big corporations. And it is indeed strange that conventional lenders are seemingly not interested in assisting transactions such as that referred to my original post above…perhaps they see a creditworthiness downgrade coming?
        Note the China paragraph in the following link:

        https://www.gtreview.com/news/americas/us-exim-reauthorised-seven-years-focus-challenges-posed-china/

        • @Bryce

          You are correct – it seems as if US is trying to beefup overseas investments due to the success and scale of various China initiatives, notably BRI

          So reviving Exim, previously dead for 5/6 years – who complain that the competition is unfair ‘not playing by the rules’ – no wonder they like BA who also complain ditto

          It is apparent the bank would like other friendly countries to scale up in parallel – something related to Biden’s Build back better plans, which have gotten some Press but not much financing nor traction

          Exim notes that China investments in Africa alone exceed total funds available at Exim – so can not begin to match the China levels of investment in Iran/Irak at 450B plus, probably prefer to bomb them , if they can find any that work

          So while Exim can help BA struggle along in Turkey, it looks unlikely to be able to fund a significant BA export drive into Asia, let alone summon up the resources to challenge China overseas initiatives

          And soon, as you have remarked, all these China initiatives, so far restricted to providing conventional infrastructure, will soon include airplanes at unbeatable prices, packaged in with airports road and rail and sea ports etc etc

          And yes, what happened to WS ?

  15. It looks as if the Airbus delivery tally for July is about 50 planes:

    “Airbus SE delivered about 50 jets in July, according to a person familiar with the matter, with the pace slowing from June when the planemaker rushed to squeeze handovers into the first half.

    The tally would take the company’s total deliveries so far this year to almost 350 aircraft. Airbus, which delivered 77 planes in June, lifted its annual target by 6 per cent to about 600 jets late last month.”

    https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/airbus-is-said-to-deliver-about-50-planes-in-july-as-pace-slows-1.1636819

  16. The issue in the links may be of relevance to the launch of the A350F…though it is a mystery why it is only Qatar that seems to be affected. Al Baker is remaining tight-lipped, but it’s being speculated that the issue has to do with “cosmetic degradation” of the fuselage underneath the paint layer. One would have imagined that Cathay, SIA and/or Lufthansa Technik would have picked up on this if it were a real issue. If it is real, then @William’s comment above (about the “folly” of composite fuselages) comes into the spotlight.

    https://www.key.aero/article/breaking-qatar-airways-grounds-13-a350s-after-identifying-significant-condition

    https://simpleflying.com/qatar-airways-airbus-a350-grounded/

    • Full of sound and fury??

      Reuters May 2021

      The clash over paint quality comes at a sensitive time as Airbus *tries to enforce delivery of dozens of jets built for airlines that either can’t or won’t take delivery* amid a slump in demand because of the coronavirus pandemic.

      Last year Al Baker said the airline would not take deliveries of any aircraft in 2020 or 2021 due to the coronavirus crisis. He later said the airline had reached an agreement with Airbus over delays. Details were not disclosed.

    • Unreal!
      Point (9) [concerning EASA] is noteworthy…though all points are a slap in the face.

  17. Before, Qatar complained that Airbus and Boeing didn’t help much to get through the pandemic and Qatar had to take new aircraft.
    Now Qatar grounded 13 of its 53 A350 “over concerns that the fuselage surface below the paint is degrading at an accelerated rate” (FlightGlobal).
    ”Qatar Airways expects Airbus to have established the root cause and permanently corrected the underlying condition to the satisfaction of Qatar Airways and our regulator before we take delivery of any further A350 aircraft.”
    As if Qatar or its regulator knows anything about how much degrading is allowed.
    Did Qatar ground those 13 which are in storage?

    • Whatever the issue is, Al Baker has been annoyed about it for months.
      He recently took to dissing A380s in a clear jab at Airbus — saying that they were environmentally unfriendly.

      I’m reminded of the tantrum he threw over the PW GTF engines on the A320neo, followed by a “defection” to the MAX, subsequently followed by an upsized order for A321neos.

      Whatever the cause of the present tantrum is, Airbus doesn’t seem to be bothered. It rapidly and thoroughly examined the plane that was undergoing repainting in Shannon…and it evidently didn’t find anything concerning.

      • Airbus is in a position to not need to sell to everyone and especially not to Qatar. If Qatar don’t get new planes others will take their market.
        I would ask them, since they don’t want to take deliveries, if they want to cancel the rest of the A350 order.

        I think there was EU talk recently, not to do business with Qatar.

        • That was some, ahem, unusual language from Qatar. Not privy to the particulars, but my sense is something going
          on other that what’s mentioned.

  18. FAA issues new directive for Boeing 737 Max over potential fire suppression issue

    • More on this issue, which also applies to some other 737s (in addition to all MAX planes):

      “The FAA said planes may have a failed electronic flow control of the air conditioning packs that vent air into the cargo hold from other areas of the plane. The directive prohibits operators from transporting cargo in the cargo hold if airplanes are operating with this condition unless they can verify items are nonflammable and noncombustible.

      The airworthiness directive impacts 663 airplanes registered in the United States and approximately 2,204 worldwide.”

      https://www.cnbc.com/2021/08/05/faa-issues-new-directive-for-boeing-737-max-over-potential-fire-suppression-issue.html

      • Pedro:

        Yep, another AD that applies to other 737s.

        One of those routine ADs that puts a limit on ops until its fixed.

        Aircraft depart with non functioning equipment all the time, as long as its not on the MEL and there is a work around, they are allowed to dispatch (All Aircraft inclusion of Airbus)

        As we continue to see, those hit the headlines because of the wow MAX factor.

        The 787 was the same way, if the biffy backed up it was reported all around the world. Now? You don’t hear anything do you?

        Having facts in the correct context is important to a rational discussion.

        • Indeed!
          Particularly relevant is the “fact” that we keep getting a train of new defects being discovered in an airframe that was claimed to be “the most scrutinuzed plane in history”.
          All of which casts severe doubts on the quality of the alleged “scrutiny”.

          • This seems like a very vanilla AD.

            “You may not load cargo into a hold if the electronic air-con controls are not working because in the case of a fire and halon discharge the air-con unit may blow air into the hold negating the effect of the halon”

            Yes, applied to a lot of aircraft but only if they have defective air-con controls.

            Basically puts the air-con controls onto the MEL if you want to fly cargo.

          • How often passenger flights fly without any baggage in the belly??

        • @TW Strangely, you seem to share the same mentality of BA’s top management after the B737 twin disasters, treating what’s happened to the B787 more about PR/media than safety.

          May be it reflects the general attitude of the public, no wonder BA is still struggling to find the right path forward.

          As I said before, manufactring issues can cost lives. Better look for the root cause than try band-aid solution like occasional in service inspections. See B777 blade failures and WN’s 737 fuselage ruptures.

    • This link puts a somewhat different (and more negative) twist on this move:

      “Boeing is spinning off its HorizonX Ventures arm, along with stakes in about 40 portfolio companies, as the plane maker shrinks its infrastructure for a post-Covid-19 world.

      The Chicago-based plane maker dissolved an internal investing unit, known as NeXt, last autumn as it pared spending and retreated from several ambitious forays launched late last decade before the 737 Max grounding and coronavirus pandemic drained more than $30 billion in cash.

      The company had formed HorizonX in 2017, back when it was flush, to invest in early-stage companies or those with transformative aerospace technologies. The portfolio holdings include Virgin Galactic, Sir Richard Branson’s space company.

      Boeing is also transferring the team overseeing its investments to a new venture fund launched by AE Industrial Partners, a private equity firm that specialises in aerospace and defence deals, the companies said.”

      https://www.thenationalnews.com/business/aviation/2021/08/06/boeing-spins-off-venture-capital-arm-to-trim-costs/

      • @Bryce

        I think the move is another step towards BA splitting off segments of business to PE ‘raising cash’ as the article you quote states

        AE is a small PE, but obviously larger PE’s could -say- stake a new plane project as a (semi) autonomous entity

        All this backed by Biden’s Buy American initiatives reproduces on a very small scale what – ahem – another country is doing on a vast scale

  19. Off Topic

    Relevant to a recent thread, about Biden’s proposed Buy American Rule

    A report describing the many grave in efficiences costs overruns and design failures of a whole class of very recently commissioned ships, the LCS class

    After only a very few years of service many are being retired

    They are also found to be inferior and heavily outgunned to the much larger class of ships built by……

    On the plus side this ship disaster has the shining quality of making even Boeing’s KC disaster cart, not to mention rocket, look….well why not …retirable

    https://www.popularmechanics.com/military/navy-ships/a37201509/navy-decommissions-uss-independence/

    • That’s a depressing article.
      Of particular note for those who keep telling us that the problems with the Boeing KC-46 “will eventually get fixed”:

      “The ships, although fairly inexpensive, were only lightly armed and relied on mission modules that spent more than a decade in development; the anti-submarine and minesweeping modules are only now entering service. As a result, many ships in the LCS fleet have spent a half-decade or more armed with nothing more than Mk-110 57-millimeter rapid-fire guns, 30-millimeter cannons, and close-in weapons for defense. “

      • @Bryce

        The ship missile and other warcart disasters over at DoD make the BA KC problems look endemic rather than pandemic, to coin a phrase

        Why not just retire the non flying plane and ….surrender, or is give up a polite way of putting it?

      • Of particular note for those who keep telling us that the problems with the Boeing KC-46 “will eventually get fixed”:

        It’s a pattern.

        Wikipedia: USS Independence
        -> On 9 December 2009, the Navy announced that the ship had completed its first INSURV inspection. The inspection found 2,080 discrepancies, including 39 high-priority deficiencies, but concluded that all could be resolved before the Navy accepts the ship as scheduled. The ship was delivered to the Navy on 17 December 2009, and the service officially accepted it the next day. However, the ship was found to be incomplete and a second round of acceptance trials was scheduled for 2011.

        -> In 2010, the Navy asked for an additional $5.3 million to correct problems found in the sea trials.

        • OK, people, we’re getting off topic too often. This post is not about the US Navy.

          Hamilton

          • I can suggest a site that allows all sorts of response despite the topic

            https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone

            You have to sign up and the comments section is all the way at the bottom so hard to find but it is down there.

            It would be a great place to take those off topic subjects and clear the Leeham Blog for focused Aircraft

          • Great idea, TW 👍
            Do they accept comments on tea drinking rituals on rainy days? ☕
            And is there an anecdote section where commenters can relay various tales of their childhoods and/or exhaustive accounts of how things were done in yesteryear? 🤔
            Hopefully they have a “routing area” where commenters can talk about all the cargo flights refuelling en route over their states. 😎
            How did you discover this Nirvana? 😏

          • @Scott Hamilton

            It was intended as good cheer to point out that of all the DoD disasters it may be that the BA KC is not the very worst

            But perhaps this is cold comfort indeed

  20. Not relating to the A350F, but important vis-à-vis Boeing, and discussed here a few times in the past few weeks:
    FG: “787 delivery delays could prompt penalty free cancellations: Air Lease”

    “Boeing has said it has about 100 undelivered 787s in its inventory.

    “As more and more aircraft hit that 12-month point, where the customer has the right to cancel, it’s going to certainly increase pressure on Boeing to come up with solutions, not to have white tails,” Air Lease executive chair Steven Udvar-Hazy says during the lessor’s second-quarter earnings call on 5 August.

    “There could be situations where we may have to face the reality of giving notice to Boeing to cancel an aircraft,” he adds.”

    *** The second link allows readers to access (an equivalent of) this story without having to go through a paywall.

    https://www.flightglobal.com/airframers/787-delivery-delays-could-prompt-penalty-free-cancellations-air-lease/144986.article

    http://newsclimb.com/787-delivery-delays-could-prompt-penalty-free-cancellations-air-lease-news/

    • “Ron Epstein, the BofA analyst, said during the earnings call that “maybe a third” of Boeing’s undelivered 787s could be subject to “material adverse change” clauses in purchase contracts – the clauses that allow penalty free cancellations.”

      How often posters repeated the claim that undelivered jets are almost equal to cash on hand?? Cash in a bank that won’t pay back when you need it. 🤣

  21. And of general interest to aviation: supply chain issues (associated with the worldwide crisis) are adversely affecting the A321 production line in Hamburg, and the A330 line in Toulouse.

    “Customer Air Lease Corp. said on an analyst call that some A321neo handovers due this year have been pushed back as Airbus struggles with pandemic and supply-chain issues. The lessor added in a filing that the A330neo wide-body has also been affected to a lesser extent.

    “Airbus has advised us to continue to expect several months of delivery delays relating to such aircraft scheduled to deliver through 2022,” the Los Angeles-based firm said in the filing Thursday. “These delays also have impacted airline operations and the profitability of certain airlines.”

    An Airbus spokesman said here’s no systemic delay, though “a few aircraft could be some months behind.” The company said any shortfall can be addressed by the end of the year.”

    https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/airbus-a321-delays-flare-again-as-planemaker-begins-ramp-up-1.1637563

    • @Bryce

      At least AB has come clean with supply chain shortages, some time later than many manufacturers have chosen to

      And they appear to have re secured their supply chain with some lesser damage to production than other companies who have, from GM or is it GE or both same difference on down, had to halt/starve production of some key lines

      BA probably does not know if they have supply chain shortages, given they are producing so few planes

      They had already found their own unique solution before supply chain shortages came up

  22. More on the increasing popularity of P2F conversions:
    The A330 is becoming a popular P2F choice.

    “ATSG has secured rights for 67 freighter conversion slots starting in 2022 through the end of 2025. These slots include Boeing 767-300s, Airbus A321s, besides the Airbus A330 aircraft.

    Twenty A330 slots, acquired by CAM, will run from around mid-2023 through the end of 2025, with the majority likely to be at EFW’s facility in Dresden (DRS). CAM will continue to acquire aircraft to fulfil those slots and may even consider more beyond that, depending on the market, the company said.”

    https://www.stattimes.com/news/atsg-invests-in-airbus-a330-passenger-to-freighter-conversions-air-cargo/

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