July 8, 2019, © Leeham News: When a company authorizes or sponsors a book about some major event, the book is usually a puff piece meant for the coffee table in reception.
Airbus authorized the book, Airbus: The First 50 Years, but it’s no puff piece. It’s an honest, candid accounting of how the company came to be, navigating through country and corporate politics, face offs with rival Boeing, reporting the insider trading allegations and ending with the as-yet unfinished corruption scandal investigations.
Nicola Clark, the aerospace reporter for the International Herald Tribune, did a superb job up to her usual reporting standards while avoiding the puff pieces that usually come with an authorized book.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.