Pontifications: 737 MAX events remind of Lockheed Electra story

By Scott Hamilton

March 18, 2019, © Leeham News: There’s a saying that history repeats itself.

When it comes to the crisis of the Boeing 737 MAX, I’m reminded of the crisis Lockheed faced in 1959-1960 when the Electra propjet crashed in September and the following March, killing all aboard both airplanes.

The Electra entered service Jan. 12, 1959, with Eastern Airlines. It was considered a pilot’s airplane. Coming off decades of piston engine aircraft and early in the jet age, the Electra was the only airplane that was over-powered, piston or jet. Timing, however, was poor and crashes soon overtook the euphoria.

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Pontifications: Which airplanes are revolutionary or evolutionary?

By Scott Hamilton

Feb. 18, 2019, © Leeham News: Last week’s column about the revolutionary Boeing 747 prompted some Twitter interaction asking what other commercial airplanes might be considered “revolutionary.”

I have my views. Let’s ask readers.

There are also three polls below the jump in addition to the usual comment section. Polling is open for one week.

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Pontifications: The 747 revolutionized air travel

By Scott Hamilton

Feb. 11, 2019, © Leeham News: Few airplanes truly can be called revolutionary. Most are evolutionary.

The Boeing 747 was one of those that falls into the former category.

Just as the Boeing 707 revolutionized air travel, so did the 747.

The spaciousness and, after a period of engine difficulties, the economics put the 747 into a class by itself.

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Boeing’s P8 hits six years in service

The object below the APU outlet is one of many sensors on the Boeing P8-A Poseidon. Source: Scott Hamilton

July 18, 2018 © Leeham News, Farnborough: Boeing’s P8-A Poseidon, the 737-based airplane best known for anti-submarine patrols, entered service with the US Navy six years ago.

Since then, Australia, New Zealand, the UK and Norway are among the countries ordering the airplane and the first Navy P8 entered heavy maintenance here.

Boeing produces the P8 at a 1.5/mo rate, which is full rate.

The Navy ordered 117 P8s, but there is potential to order more.

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Pontifications: Photo essay

By Scott Hamilton

June 11, 2018, (c) Leeham News: In a change of pace, here are a number of photos gathered from recent visits to museums in the US and Canada.

Lockheed L-1049 Constellation of the Airline History Museum of Kansas City Downtown Airport, Photo by Scott Hamilton.

The Lockheed L-1049 Constellation of the Airline History Museum in Kansas City is labeled the Super G, but it actually is an H model, delivered as a passenger/freighter. It was restored to G markings in TWA colors. The airplane was airworthy until 2007, when an engine fire prompted the museum to park the airplane. AHM hopes to restore the airplane to flying operation.

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The Supersonic dilemma

By Bjorn Fehrm

December 20, 2017, ©. Leeham Co: The Super Sonic Transport (SST) has a new spring. Aerion announced its new partner Lockheed Martin Friday and Boom got a new investor in Japan Airlines (JAL) the week before.

The design of a supersonic transport aircraft is exciting and difficult. Yet it isn’t the key challenge. The engine is.

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Suppliers conference in Mobile focuses on US aerospace sector in Southeast

Click on image for an enlarged, crisp view.

Oct. 31, 2017: A new event, the Southeast Aerospace and Defence Conference (SADC) scheduled for June 25-27 in Mobile (AL), will examine the commercial, defense, space and corporate aerospace sectors in the US Southeast.

The conference is organized by Airfinance Journal and Leeham Co., the first joint venture between the two companies.

The US Southeast is a growing aerospace center. Defense and space clusters have decades-long histories in the Southeast. Corporate and commercial clusters are more recent developments, albeit in some cases now well within a second decade.

Airbus’ A320 family Final Assembly Line in Mobile opened in September 2015. The FAL is producing 3.5 A320s per month and will reach its initial target of 4/mo by year end, slightly ahead of schedule. There is land capacity to expand to 8/mo.

Earlier this month, Airbus and Bombardier announced that their new venture will establish an FAL in Mobile.

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Pontifications: Going to space through Mississippi

By Scott Hamilton

Oct. 30, 2017, © Leeham Co., Hancock County (MS): The US Space Shuttle program ended in 2011 and NASA is sending US astronauts to the International Space Station using Russian-made rockets.

But officials want to end reliance on those launch vehicles and are working with US companies to supply the boosters and prepare for a mission to Mars.

Last week, I wrote about Boeing’s efforts to develop the Space Launch System (SLS). I spent the week of Oct. 9 going from Mobile (AL) through the I-10 corridor in Mississippi and ending in New Orleans, gaining a high level understanding of the aerospace footprint in the US Southeast.

The Mississippi portion was arranged by the Mississippi Development Authority. I’ll provide additional reporting in the coming weeks. This week, I focus on NASA’s John C. Stennis Space Center in Hancock County (MS), an hour’s drive east of New Orleans.

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Pontifications: 49 years ago, the first 747 rolled out

By Scott Hamilton

Sept. 30, 2017, © Leeham Co.: Today is the 49th anniversary of the roll-out of the Boeing 747-100.

On Nov. 7, United Airlines operates its last 747 flight. Delta Air Lines ends it 747 service this year. Afterward, there won’t be a single US operator of the passenger model.

The 747 remains in service with US cargo carriers Atlas Air, Kalitta Air, UPS and a few others. Globally, British Airways, Lufthansa and Korean Air Lines are among those flying the passenger model.

Ted Reed, one of the writers of TheStreet.com, asked me earlier this month to give some thoughts about the 747. Below is what I gave him; he excerpted some for his column in Forbes. The focus was on US operators.

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Pontifications: Revisionist history

By Scott Hamilton

Sept. 25, 2017, © Leeham Co.: The US Department of Commerce today is scheduled to release its decision on whether to impose tariffs on each Bombardier CS100 delivered to Delta Air Lines, starting this year. (The public announcement is tomorrow.)

The tariffs will be in two forms: one for dumping the aircraft at prices below that sold in the home market (Canada) and one for “injury” to Boeing.

LNC understands the total could be in the range of $32m per plane. We don’t know if this a correct figure.

Boeing told its investors conference last week it’s pursuing this complaint about Bombardier subsidies to avoid another Airbus emerging and destroying Boeing and the US aerospace industry—an idea included in Boeing’s filings with the US government.

In those filings, Boeing claimed Airbus led to the demise of Lockheed’s commercial aviation business and of McDonnell Douglas.

I think this is a bit of revisionist history.

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