Migrating advanced processes from Defense to Commercial isn’t a cakewalk for Boeing

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By Scott Hamilton

June 13, 2022, © Leeham News: Boeing’s CEOs, David Calhoun and his predecessors Dennis Muilenburg and Jim McNerney, said repeatedly the next Boeing airplane (NBA) will be as much as about production as it will be about the airplane. In fact, Calhoun says production is key to designing, producing, and delivering a less expensive airplane that will underpin the value proposition going forward.

Engine technology advances might achieve a 10% reduction over today’s CFM LEAP and Pratt & Whitney Geared TurboFan engines. So, advanced design and production is key to the business case for the NBA.

Despite using these advancements on Boeing defense programs (the T-7 Red Hawk trainer and MQ-25 unmanned aerial refueling airplane), assimilating them into commercial airplane development and production has high hurdles.

  • Boeing has had mixed success using advanced technology design and production on its current commercial programs.
  • Regulatory approvals will be challenging.
  • Engines will be 10% better than the LEAP and GTF—but are these the correct comparisons?

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