Boeing’s Albaugh, others discuss aerospace jobs, related issues

Jim Albaugh, the CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, is also chairman of the Aerospace Industries Association. He and several executives in aerospace plus the CEO of AIA held a press conference in Washington (DC) today to comment on the prospective cuts in the defense budget and the impact overall on aerospace jobs.

The other people are: David Hess, president and CEO of United Technologies (parent of Pratt & Whitney, Sikorsky and other companies) and vice chairman of AIA; Marion Blakey, AIA president and CEO; Charles A. Gray. VP and COO of Frontier Electronic Systems; Dawne Hickton, vice chair, president and CEO of RTI International Metals; and Richard McNeel, chairman, president and CEO of LORD Corp.

Here is a synopsis of their comments:

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Boeing at APEX, Pratt & Whitney’s dilemma

Over at our affiliate, AirInsight, there is a 27 minute video of Randy Tinseth, VP of Marketing at Boeing, making a presentation and our think piece about Pratt & Whitney’s dilemma following the launch of the Boeing 737 MAX.

See both pieces here.

Additional: Aspire Aviation today published a long piece about the 777X. See the story here. Update, Sept. 14: Aeroturbopower comments on the fuel burn analysis for the 777X. Update, 230pm PDT: Jon Ostrower has this article on 777X.

Replacing 757s; Bombardier’s Scott and Delta; pricing engines

AirInsight, in a burst of prolific writing, posted three pieces of note today:

The GE Powerhouse and how it wins deals

Those of us who are intimately familiar with commercial aviation will find this as no news. For those who don’t deal in this business every day, this will provide a better understanding of how deals are won in aviation.

This is the story of the GE Powerhouse and how family ties combine to enable GE Aviation and CFM International to win deals that might otherwise go to competing engines.

None of what we’re about to tell you is to suggest that the GE/CFM engines are inferior (though, obviously, some might dispute this), because they are superb engines. But a telling comment came from CFM’s Sandrine Lacorre, product marketing director, who said at a UBM Aviation conference, “What we can’t do technically, we will do commercially.”

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Odds and Ends, Post-Paris Air Show 2011

Here are our closing views of the PAS:


Boeing did very well at the show. We know the headlines almost universally say Boeing had a bad show (which it didn’t) and was trounced by Airbus (which it was), but people easily overlook comparing Boeing’s performance vs. previous air shows.

Boeing announced more than 140 orders worth some $22bn–about equal to the 2009 Paris Air Show. By anyone’s standards, this ain’t shabby. Boeing often announces low numbers at air shows, claiming it doesn’t hold orders for the shows and Airbus does. We regard this as so much poppycock, because we know customers drive announcements and both Airbus and Boeing hold announcements for air shows at customer requests.

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Odds and Ends at the Paris Air Show, Day 2

Odds and Ends at the Paris Air Show, Day 2


Airbus owned the day again with a bunch of orders, including capturing a Boeing 737 operator, Garuda Indonesia. For the A320neo (In this context, we’re not counting SAS, which already operates A320s.) Up to now, Boeing has been dismissing the sales of the neo as being only to A320 airlines, as well as winning deals on price and asserting the neo only brings the airplane to “parity” with the 737-800. Airbus’ John Leahy, COO-customers, counters that airlines aren’t buying Boeing’s line and are buying the neo because it is more efficient than the 737-800. So, it would seem, lessors are also convinced. ILFC previously ordered the aircraft. Air Lease Corp, CIT Aerospace and GECAS also placed orders.

The ALC order could be considered particularly significant. Its CEO, Steven Udvar-Hazy, previously was cool to the neo and now placed a bet for 50 of them.

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Odds and ends on the final pre-Air Show day

 Odds and Ends from the Paris Air Show

  • While an order or two are expected to come from Qatar Airways’ mercurial CEO Akbar Al-Baker, the buzz here already is that U-Turn Al may yet again live up to his nickname. It’s been widely expected that he would, at long last, order the Bombardier CSeries, but Al-Baker is renowned in aviation circles for embarrassing OEMS. He’s done it to Bombardier, Airbus and Boeing and has flipped-flopped in his praise-criticism-praise for the CSeries and the A320neo. For Boeing, it was a major embarrassment when at the Farnborough Air Show in 2008 Boeing issued a press release announcing Qatar ordered the 777 only to rescind it hours later (even though it was correct) at Al-Baker’s insistence. Neither did he show up for the 787 roll-out even though Qatar’s logo was displayed in the roll-call of tail logos and a chair was reserved with his name on it. While Al-Baker recently trashed-talked the A320neo, word now is that he will place an order for the airplane (with CFM LEAP engines, maybe?) for a new Qatar leasing company. He has been feuding with Pratt & Whitney, and if he by-passes the GTF for the A320neo, this could mean PW hasn’t bent over to his demands—and the CSeries could suffer as a result.

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Boeing 737 re-engine studies very much alive

Boeing officials like to downplay the prospect of re-engining the venerable 737, but studies are very much alive as the company tries to figure out what the market wants and how to respond to the Airbus A320neo.

Boeing has shifted focus on re-engine studies despite already having a solution, officials said during a pre-Paris Air Show media briefing.

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Pre-Paris Air Show discussion and AirInsight preview

AinInsight will host a live pre-Paris Air Show discussion Friday, with guest Richard Aboulafia of the Teal Group. Sign up to participate here.

Also look for AirInsight’s Paris Air Show preview next week. We historically have done air show previews here but this year we’re combining our thoughts with our partners, Ernie Arvai and Addison Schonland at AirInsight. AirInsight will go down the airframe and engine OEMs with our outlook for orders and announcements.

Addison and I will be at the air show, providing daily coverage. I’m also attending the Boeing pre-air show briefings this week (with news embargoed to June 19); and the EADS/Airbus media day June 18, at which there will be an A350 briefing that had been scheduled for May 31 but was postponed to the media day.

Just a hint of AirInsight’s preview next week: we’re expecting Airbus to announced and firm up several hundred orders for the A320neo and more A380 orders; Boeing may have some 747-8I orders ready to announce; Bombardier should have more CSeries orders; CFM will get its first LEAP-X orders on the neo (and these will be large numbers) while Pratt & Whitney will continue to add to the GTF book; Embraer won’t announce a new airplane and neither will Boeing; ATR (an EADS company) will have a nice turbo-prop order; and we expect a major announcement from Rolls-Royce.

Odds and ends: More on DC-7B trip

Here are some more photos from our DC-7B trip. All photos by Scott Hamilton.


This PBY Catalina, a derelict but intact condition, is at the San Juan Airport. Given the loss of a PBY several years ago in a landing accident, could this become a new, restored edition?

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