Oct. 1, 2018, © Leeham Co.: The Choose Washington NMA task force said last week it will release this month recommendations for improving aerospace workforce activities in Washington.
It’s about time.
The task force was appointed by Gov. Jay Inslee to come up with a plan to persuade Boeing to choose Washington as the assembly site for its prospective New Midmarket Airplane, the NMA.
Two studies, one by the Teal Group and the other by Price Waterhouse Cooper, conclude Washington is the best aerospace cluster and location to build the NMA. The conclusions are unsurprising, given the maturity, size and scope of the cluster in Puget Sound (the greater Seattle area). No other place in the country has this level of aerospace activity.
But the reports failed to adequately address the top priority that Boeing has: the need for skilled workers and engineers.
At long last, the NMA council is getting there.
By Bjorn Fehrm
October 1, 2018, © Leeham News.: Boeing and its partner SAAB Thursday won a $9.2bn U.S. Air Force T-X Pilot Training contract. It was a win for its Defense, Space & Security division, yet it will have major implications for Boeing’s Commercial Airplane (BCA) division and the NMA.
The NMA will change the way Boeing develops, produces and supports airliners. The T-X is the pilot for this change.
Sept. 27, 2018, © Leeham News: Boeing hasn’t gone to a production rate of 57/mo for its 737 and studies have long been underway looking at a rate of not only 63/mo but also 70/mo, supply chain sources tell LNC.
Rate 57, up from 52, is scheduled for next July. Sixty-three has long been considered the maximum allowed for the current Renton (WA) factory, the sole location where commercial 737s are assembled.
But Boeing, in yet another step in its drive for more efficiencies, is analyzing how to push 70 airplanes a month through the same facility.
Sept. 24, 2018, © Leeham News: This week we catch up on Odds and Ends.
Boeing has reversed the number of 737s piling up at Renton Airport and Boeing Field and is starting to burn off the “gliders” and other aircraft plagued by traveled work.
Although some aerospace analysts came away from the investors day this month skeptical that Boeing would clear the backlog by year end, barring another hiccup of size, it looks like the company will do so.
Spirit Aerosystems said it had caught up on the delivery of fuselages while Boeing told aerospace analysts at its investors’ day this month that delays were still causing issues.
How does this conflict of information converge?
It’s a matter of sequencing the fuselages back into the system, I’m told.
Sept. 17, 2018, © Leeham News: With the supply chain under major stress and Airbus and Boeing trying to recover from scores of “gliders” sidelined at airports without engines, each company nevertheless continues to study production rate increases for the A320 and 737 families.
Supply chain sources tell LNC Airbus is studying an even higher rate, into the “70s,” at early as 2020—a date that most consider out of the question.
Boeing is known to be considering a rate of 70/mo for its most profitable program.
Today, LNC looks at the A320 scenario. A future post will examine the 737.
Sept. 17, 2018, © Leeham News: The surprise resignation last week by Eric Schulz as Chief Commercial Officer for Airbus re-opened the door for the man who should have been named in the first place, Christian Scherer.
Scherer spent the last two years as CEO of ATR, which is 50% owned by Airbus, but his lineage is pure Airbus.
His father, Gunter, was one of the original Airbus pioneers. He was a flight engineer on the early A300B2 test flights when Airbus was formed. Gunter died in May.
Christian joined Airbus in 1984. Since then, he was Head of Contracts, Leasing Markets and Deputy Head of Sales as well as Head of Strategy and Future Programmes. At Airbus Defence and Space, he headed Marketing & Sales. He was named CEO of ATR in October 2016.
Boeing can’t seem to close the business case on its Middle of the Market airplane, the New Midmarket Aircraft, or NMA.
And Airbus continues to stir the pot with talk of an A321XLR and the ever-present A321neo Plus.
Other than this, everything is fine.
By Bjorn Fehrm
August 23, 2018, © Leeham News.: Last week we examined the areas which limit the capabilities of the Airbus A321LR from addressing a larger part of what is called the Middle of the Market or the NMA segment.
We now discuss the changes Airbus can do which would make an A321XLR cover more of an NMA space.
By Dan Catchpole
August 15, 2018, © Leeham News: If Boeing launches its New Midsize Airplane (NMA or 797), it is expected to use the cleansheet program to force new contract terms on suppliers. And that has some suppliers wondering if it is worth participating in the program at all.
Speaking on background, executives from several suppliers told LNC in recent months that they might not bid on NMA work if it means greater price concessions up front, as well as surrendering lucrative aftermarket sales to Boeing.
Bidding will depend, in part, on whether suppliers can pass cost cuts down to their own suppliers, and if Boeing takes on more risk and development costs to offset lost aftermarket revenue. One exec wondered what it could mean for the company’s engineering capabilities if they have to bid for essentially procurement orders with Boeing holding onto the IP.
By Dan Catchpole
July 25, 2018, © Leeham News: The cash keeps flowing at Boeing. The aerospace giant posted free cash flow of $4.3bn for the second quarter of the year, despite recording $426m in costs related to its delay-ridden KC-46 tanker program.
Boeing continues to work on closing the business case for its New Midsize Airplane (NMA), a business case unlike any the company has done before, Boeing chief executive Dennis Muilenburg said in a conference call with reporters and investment analysts.