By Bjorn Fehrm
November 14, 2018, © Leeham News.: Last week we operated the future Boeing NMA from North American hubs. The aircraft would cover the North American market well but would have limitations when flying to South America. The coverage would be sensitive to where our hub would be, as would European coverage.
Now we finish the series by comparing the NMA to its main alternatives for range and operational economics.
By Bjorn Fehrm
November 8, 2018, © Leeham News.: Last week we flew a Boeing NMA from the Middle East. We found the aircraft would be well suited to serve this market.
Now we finish the coverage part of the series with checking how useful the NMA would be for North American based carriers.
Update, Nov. 6: Boeing said the Wedgetail will be assembled in Renton, as it has in the past. Discussions are underway with the UK to perform final modifications there (similar to how KC-46A tankers move from final assembly to the Everett Modification Center for installation of military equipment). However, no agreement has been reached yet.
Nov. 5, 2018, © Leeham News: A UK defense publication reported late today (US time) that Boeing agreed to final assembly of the 737-based Wedgetail radar and surveillance airplane in the UK.
This marks the first time a 7-Series commercial-based airplane will be assembled outside the US.
The 737 finishing center in China, which opens this year, installs interiors and paints the airplane of finished 737s.
If the report is confirmed by Boeing, this marks a huge strategic and psychological step in how Boeing Commercial Airplanes approaches final assembly in the future.
By Bjorn Fehrm
November 1, 2018, © Leeham News.: Last week we looked at how a Boeing NMA would function as a medium range airliner in the Asia-Pacific.
We now continue with flying the two aircraft variants from Middle East locations, exploring how large an area in Asia, Europe and Africa the aircraft would cover.
By Bjorn Fehrm
October 18, 2018, © Leeham News.: Last week we started an article series which analyzes how useful a Boeing NMA will be for medium to long-haul flights in different markets.
We first went through all the factors which will change the OEM’s nominal range to an operational range. Now we fly the NMA in one of its main markets and look how it fairs.
Oct. 16, 2018, © Leeham News: Puget Sound-area Boeing suppliers are anxiously awaiting an Oct. 30th meeting at the Lynnwood Convention Center. The aerospace giant has invited dozens of suppliers to the meeting.
Attendees have been required to sign non-disclosure forms in advance, though Boeing has been tight-lipped about what exactly it plans to discuss with them. Each company has been limited to sending only two representatives, according to several suppliers attending the meeting.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re a machine shop or a big (tier one supplier), you can only send two people,” said an executive at a Puget Sound-area supplier. The supplier spoke on condition of not being named for fear of losing business with Boeing.
Boeing has indicated that the conference is to discuss sweeping changes to how the terms and structure of its supply chain contracts. But it has revealed few details, according to executives at two suppliers.
“You know it’s bad if they won’t tell you what it’s about,” one of the executives said.
Oct. 15, 2018, © Leeham News: “With your help, we will develop actionable plans to develop the supply chain.”
This was the leading message from the 5th Annual South Carolina Aerospace Conference and Expo, held Tuesday and Wednesday last week in Columbia (SC).
Conference officials also said they are “exploring a national aerospace coalition.”
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The South Carolina Council on Competitive/SC Aerospace already have a Letter of Intent with Washington State’s Aerospace Futures Alliance “for the purpose of advancing the aerospace industry across the US. The LOI will serve as the platform for exploring the creation of a national aerospace Coalition (Coalition) with the objective of strengthening and growing commercial aviation, space, and unmanned aerial systems in the US through a variety of activities.”
By Bjorn Fehrm
October 11, 2018, © Leeham News.: The Boeing NMA is by now reasonably well defined. The passenger capacity is set at 225 seats for the smaller version and 265 seats for the larger. The nominal range is 5,000nm for the smaller version and 4,750nm for the larger NMA.
This is all nominal data. In practice, there will be different operational realities which will decrease these figures. How much and how useful will the final operational NMA be? What will be the economic advantage over the direct competition?
To find out, we will pit the NMA against its direct competition in a series of articles.
Oct. 8, 2018, © Leeham News: As Boeing moves toward more automation, digital twins and 3D printing to streamline manufacturing and reduce costs, behind the scenes another major initiative has been underway for more than a year.
It’s the shift from its decades-old Enterprise Resource Planning system to a new, expanded one called Systems Applications Projects.
ERP manages parts and inventory. SAP is an evolution of ERP, important as Boeing plans to up production of the 737 and 787 and nears a decision whether to launch the New Midmarket Aircraft (NMA).
The transition is complex and will take years to fully accomplish.
Synergizing scores of old processes covering a billion parts, requiring meticulous data entry, is a daunting task. In fact, after running into problems in June, Boeing Commercial Airplanes’ transition has been delayed, reports the aerospace analyst for Cowen & Co.
A glitch in the system can have ramifications that interrupt production and create traveled work that can delay airplane deliveries to customers.
A system that works as it should streamlines delivery of parts and reduces costs for Boeing—and, theoretically, also its suppliers.
It’s a delicate balance where one misidentified entry into the computer can create problems.