Podcast: 10 Minutes About Boeing’s Next New Airplane

Dec. 29, 2020, © Leeham News: As Boeing works to return the 737 MAX to service and clear its inventory of ~450 airplanes, it must look to the future.

CEO David Calhoun all but killed the New Midmarket Airplane when he took over from Dennis Muilenburg in January. A full product strategy review would be undertaken, he said.

Boeing always looks at alternatives. In addition to the twin-aisle NMA, Boeing also had a single-aisle airplane under study.

In this episode of 10 Minutes About, LNA discusses what Boeing’s Next New Airplane should be.

Boeing NMA concept, by Leeham News.

Boeing should build 757 replacement in Washington

Commentary

Dec. 22, 2020, © Leeham News: If you get a chance over the next few weeks – in between binge-watching The Queen’s Gambit, putting up the 79 extra feet of Christmas lights you ordered this year and figuring out how to buy surprise Christmas gifts for your spouse when you have a joint Amazon account – you should take 90 minutes to watch this video from our friends at the International Association of Machinists District Lodge 751.

By Bryan Corliss

The Machinists on Dec. 8 hosted (on Zoom, of course) a high-level panel discussion about the state of the aerospace industry and Washington state’s role in it, featuring a whole bunch of Brand-Name People Who are Smarter Than Me(c).

They shared their insights for those of us coffee-drinkers who are trying to read the tea leaves to divine what Boeing’s next moves should be as it tries to get back on its feet – and what the implications are for its home state.

The takeaway:

The problems for Boeing are obvious, and the solutions are pretty clear – but doing the smart thing would require a major cultural shift from an executive team that’s locked into a 1990s vision of how business gets done.

  • Boeing needs a 757 replacement this decade
  • It should get built in Washington state
  • There are concrete – and audacious – steps for the state to take
  • Can GE alum Calhoun change Boeing’s GE culture?

    Buzz about Boeing’s next new airplane returned this month to making a 757 replacement. Boeing photo.

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Senate report reveals FAA retaliation, hostile culture

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By Scott Hamilton

Introduction

Dec. 21, 2020, © Leeham News: The US Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee Friday issued a damning report taking Boeing and the Federal Aviation Administration to task.

A 20-month investigation began in the wake of the two Boeing 737 MAX crashes in October 2018 and March 2019.

The report concluded Boeing inappropriately coached the FAA pilots during recertification simulator training to test fixes to the now-infamous MCAS system.

Details were widely reported last week.

More troubling is the larger picture painted by the Committee of an FAA for years ignoring several US airlines’ safety violations and attempts by FAA inspectors to enforce safety regulations.

Whistleblowers were subject to retaliation, Committee investigators found. The FAA and its parent agency, the Department of Transportation, refused to make FAA employees available for interviews and stonewalled when documents were requested.

The bigger picture of an agency that protects airlines more than the public raises questions of a culture that favors cozy relationships with airlines. Media reports focused on the Boeing-FAA relationship and not the larger issues.

Summary

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HOTR: Narrowbody delivery recovery in 2025

By the Leeham News Team

Dec. 15, 2020, © Leeham News: “We do not expect Airbus or Boeing to get back to planned narrowbody deliveries (adjust for MAX grounding) before 2025, with widebody deliveries taking much longer.”

That’s the view of Bernstein Research in a note published Dec. 14. It is a pessimistic view that belies the hopes of others in the industry.

 

Boeing officials said they hope to deliver about half the ~450 stored MAXes in 2021. Most of the remaining stored aircraft will deliver in 2022. There will be some spillover into 2023, Boeing said.

On this basis, Bernstein’s forecast suggests Boeing will deliver about 208 new-production MAXes in 2021. This computes to a production rate of 17/mo. The current rate is 6/mo, according to a Wall Street analyst. A rate break to 10/mo is expected soon.

In 2022, the Bernstein data suggests Boeing will deliver about 378 new-production MAXes. This is a production rate of about 31/mo. Boeing said it hopes to be at rate 31 in “early 2022.”

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Pontifications: Don’t lose sight of the future, says top Boeing exec

By Scott Hamilton

Dec. 7, 2020, © Leeham News: “It’s really important that we stay in tune with the market dynamics, making the adjustments we need to do and not lose sight of the future. Which is absolutely we are not doing.”

Greg Smith, the of Enterprise Operations and chief financial officer for The Boeing Co., added, “We haven’t lost sight of the importance of making investments that are critical to the future of the business. So, when we think about future product strategy, we’re continuing to reprioritize and streamline our R&D investments to CapEx.

“When we were in pursuit around the NMA, we asked the team to step back and reassess the commercial development strategy and determine what family of aircraft to be needed for the future. And that team continues to work and they’re building off the work that we did on NMA.”

Smith made the remarks at last Friday’s Credit Suisse annual conference.

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Ryanair orders 737 MAX, giving boost to Boeing

By Scott Hamilton

Dec. 3, 2020, © Leeham News: Ryanair today announced an order for 75 Boeing 737-8 200 MAXes.

This is the first big order for the airplane since the March 10-13, 2019, grounding. It’s the first since the US Federal Aviation Administration and Brazil’s ANAC lifted their grounding orders last month.

Europe’s EASA plans to lift its grounding order in January. Ryanair, of Ireland, can’t fly the MAX until EASA acts.

The deal is a boost for Boeing and a vote of confidence in the MAX. The global fleet was grounded following the second of two fatal accidents.

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Restoring operations of the 737 MAX

By Bjorn Fehrm

December 1, 2020, ©. Leeham News: Boeing and its customer airlines have 837 MAX airliners that shall get back in the air. After the FAA and ANAC, Brazil’s regulator, have stated the conditions, the work can begin. EASA and Transport Canada will follow with eventual modifications on what needs to be done.

There can be no slip-ups when the 737 MAX flies again. Boeing and the airlines know this; hence there is no room for hurried work or compromises. It will take two years to get the job done, according to Boeing.

Boeing 737 MAX planes stored at Boeing Field. Source: Wikipedia/SounderBruce

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HOTR: Boeing hopes for break in China order drought after electors vote for Biden:

By the Leeham News Team

Nov. 30, 2020, © Leeham News: Boeing hopes the three-year order drought from China may come to an end next month.

The order, according to market intelligence, would be a boost for the slow-selling 777X. It could also mean new orders for the 787. Orders for the latter dropped significantly enough to prompt Boeing’s decision to shutter the Everett 787 production line next year. Production for the 787 will be consolidated in Charleston (SC).

Dec. 14 is when US presidential electors meet to cast their votes for Joe Biden or President Donald Trump, making official the projected winner. Biden won 306 electoral votes to Trump’s 232 in projections by all the major media. With almost all votes counted—and in some cases, recounted—Biden has 51.1% of the vote to Trump’s 47.2%. Biden received 80.1m votes to Trump’s 73.9m. The margin was nearly 6.2m.

China hasn’t ordered a Boeing airplane since 2017. Trump launched a trade war with China that escalated several times. He charged, without evidence, that China interfered with the US presidential election.

Boeing hopes for a major order from China as early as December. Included would be a sorely needed order for the 777X. (Shown: Boeing 777-300ER.) Photo source: Boeing.

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Bjorn’s Corner: 737 MAX ungrounding, ANAC’s and EASA’s decisions

By Bjorn Fehrm

November 27, 2020, ©. Leeham News: After the lifting on the grounding order by the FAA, ANAC (Brazils regulator) followed in the week, and EASA issued its plans for public comment.

What are the differences in the ungrounding conditions, and what are the reasons for any differences?

Figure 1. Circuit Breaker placement for the 737 NG and MAX. Source: Leeham Co. and Flightdeck737.be

 

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Boeing 737 MAX changes beyond MCAS

By Bjorn Fehrm

November 24, 2020, ©. Leeham News: Last week, we went through the core MCAS changes the FAA demanded from Boeing to lift the grounding of the 737 MAX 8 and 9. As the investigation into the MAX crashes deepened, changes were added beyond the core MCAS related changes.

A single sensor failure, like the Angle of Attack failures for Lion Air JT610 and Ethiopian Airlines ET302, triggered a multitude of failure warnings. These warnings absorbed the crew’s concentration, invalidating FAA certification assumptions on crew reaction times for critical trim failures. As a result, the FAA required additional crew alert and procedure changes for the MAX.

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