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Category Archives: Boeing

Boeing responds to the Al Jazeera English documentary on the 787

Boeing logo (medium)

Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) has issued this statement on the Al Jazeera documentary on the 787:

We have not been afforded the opportunity to view the full program, but the promotional trailer and published media reviews suggest that what has been produced is as biased a production as we have seen in some time. It is unfortunate that the producers of this television program appear to have fallen into the trap of distorting facts, relying on claims rejected by courts of law, breathlessly rehashing as “news” stories that have been covered exhaustively in the past and relying on anonymous sources who appear intent only on harming The Boeing Company.

When first contacted by the producers, we accommodated them in order for them to produce a fair and objective report including facilitating factory access, interviews and providing full and open responses to their questions. The 787 is an outstanding airplane delivering value to our customers, but we have also talked candidly in public about its challenging development process. There are no tougher critics about our early performance than Boeing. Unfortunately, the reporting team appears to have chosen to take advantage of our trust and openness and abused their position from the outset by deliberately misrepresenting the purpose, objective and scope of their planned coverage.

This specious production appears to have ignored the factual information provided by Boeing and instead based the majority of its reporting on unnamed sources pursuing their own agendas and a disgruntled former employee engaged in a legal dispute with Boeing. In one instance, the producers resorted to ambush tactics normally seen only in tabloid-style TV news. The anonymous sources the TV program depends on are clearly working with those who seek to harm Boeing and its workers. They appear to have no real interest in truth, safety or better informing the public.

Even on-the-record sources seem to have changed their stories for the producers. For example, former Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA) President Cynthia Cole said this about the 787’s first flight in 2009: “Today’s flight is a testament to the skill, hard work and diligence Boeing employees put in to get this airplane ready to fly,” SPEEA President Cynthia Cole said in a news release. “Boeing returned to engineering, and that’s what made today possible and successful.” Now, she states in the documentary trailer that Boeing “shortchanged the engineering process.”

Instead of an objective view of the 787’s development, viewers and our employees will see a television program that is neither balanced nor accurate in its portrayal of the airplane, our employees, or our suppliers. This program and those involved with it do a disservice to the hard-working men and women of Boeing and our supplier partners who designed and build the 787.

Furthermore, the program presents a false impression of Boeing South Carolina and the quality of work performed there. Airplanes, whether delivered from South Carolina or Washington, meet the highest safety and quality standards that are verified through robust test, verification and inspection processes. Our data of the current 787 fleet in service show parity in the quality and performance of airplanes manufactured in both locations.

Video: The Al Jazeera documentary on the Boeing 787:

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BOC Aviation orders 50 Boeing 737 MAX 8s, 30 Next-Generation 737-800s and two 777-300ERs

BOC Aviation logo

Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) announced today an order by BOC Aviation for 50 737 MAX 8s, 30 Next-Generation 737-800s and two 777-300ERs (Extended Range). The order, valued at $8.8 billion at list prices, is the largest in BOC Aviation’s 20-year history and part of the Singapore-based leasing company’s effort to grow its portfolio of fuel-efficient airplanes.

 

Great Boeing 737 cockpit videos from the 737Channel

As the news is light during the “dog days” of the late summer in the Northern Hemisphere, we thought you would appreciate a diversion. We are always looking for great airline oriented videos (please send us your recommendations). Here is a new one. The 737Channel brings aviation enthusiasts an insight to the airline world from a pilot’s perspective. You can now see what pilots see, as HD footage is captured in real life operations. The above Episode 2 video is a nighttime approach. Below are a few more of the episodes.

Episode 1 video above.  De-icing as seen from the flight deck of a Boeing 737-800.

Episode 3 video above.

Episode 4 video above. Boeing 737-800 ILS CAT II approach to minimums with Autoland.

Episode 5 video above. Flying a Boeing 737-800 from a Caribbean airport to a Canadian snowstorm.

Episode 7 video above. A Boeing 737-800 landing in Jamaica.

Episode 8 video above. Flying a Boeing 737-800 across North America and the Caribbean.

Boeing, South African and SkyNRG partner to produce biofuel from the tobacco plant

Boeing (Chicago and Seattle), South African Airways (SAA) (Johannesburg) and SkyNRG announced they are collaborating to make sustainable aviation biofuel from a new type of tobacco plant. This initiative broadens cooperation between Boeing and SAA to develop renewable jet fuel in ways that support South Africa’s goals for public health as well as economic and rural development.

“It’s an honor for Boeing to work with South African Airways on a pioneering project to make sustainable jet fuel from an energy-rich tobacco plant,” said J. Miguel Santos, managing director for Africa, Boeing International. “South Africa is leading efforts to commercialize a valuable new source of biofuel that can further reduce aviation’s environmental footprint and advance the region’s economy.”

SkyNRG is expanding production of the hybrid plant known as Solaris as an energy crop that farmers could grow instead of traditional tobacco. Test farming of the plants, which are effectively nicotine-free, is underway in South Africa with biofuel production expected from large and small farms in the next few years. Initially, oil from the plant’s seeds will be converted into jet fuel. In coming years, Boeing expects emerging technologies to increase South Africa’s aviation biofuel production from the rest of the plant.

“By using hybrid tobacco, we can leverage knowledge of tobacco growers in South Africa to grow a marketable biofuel crop without encouraging smoking,” said Ian Cruickshank, South African Airways Group Environmental Affairs Specialist. “This is another way that SAA and Boeing are driving development of sustainable biofuel while enhancing our region’s economic opportunity.”

“We strongly believe in the potential of successfully rolling out Solaris in the Southern African region to power sustainable fuels that are also affordable,” said Maarten van Dijk, Chief Technology Officer, SkyNRG.

In October 2013, Boeing and SAA said they would work together to develop a sustainable aviation biofuel supply chain in Southern Africa. As part of that effort, they are working with the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials to position farmers with small plots of land to grow biofuel feedstocks that provide socioeconomic value to communities without harming food supplies, fresh water or land use.

Boeing is the aviation industry’s leader in the development of sustainable aviation biofuel, working with partners in the United States, Europe, China, Middle East, Brazil, Japan, South Africa, Australia and other countries. When produced sustainably, aviation biofuel reduces carbon emissions by 50 to 80 percent compared to petroleum jet fuel through its lifecycle. Airlines have conducted more than 1,500 passenger flights using biofuel since the fuel was approved in 2011.

Copyright Photo: Paul Denton/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-844 ZS-SJU (msn 32644) of South African Airways arrives back at the Johannesburg hub.

South African Airways: AG Slide Show

Boeing to build the new 787-10 in North Charleston, SC

Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) has announced that final assembly of the 787-10, the newest and longest member of the 787 Dreamliner family of airplanes, will take place exclusively in North Charleston, South Carolina.

Boeing will continue to assemble both 787-8s and 787-9s in Everett, Washington, and North Charleston. Design of the 787-10 is underway in Everett, with final assembly of the first 787-10 scheduled to begin in South Carolina in 2017.

“We looked at all our options and found the most efficient and effective solution is to build the 787-10 at Boeing South Carolina,” said Larry Loftis, vice president and general manager, 787 program, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “This will allow us to balance 787 production across the North Charleston and Everett sites as we increase production rates. We’re happy with our growth and success in South Carolina, and the continued success at both sites gives us confidence in our plan going forward.”

The 787-10 will be 18 feet (5.5 meters) longer than the 787-9. With 10 feet (3 meters) of that increase in the midbody section, the 787-10 midbody is too long to be transported efficiently from North Charleston, where systems integration work is performed, to the Everett facility for final assembly. In addition, introducing the 787-10 in North Charleston takes advantage of that facility’s capacity while allowing the Everett facility to continue improving productivity as it focuses on the 787-8 and 787-9.

The 787 production system includes three production lines: two in Everett (including a temporary surge line) and one in South Carolina. The integrated production system currently operates at a production rate of 10 airplanes per month. As announced last year, the 787 production rate will increase to 12 airplanes per month in 2016 and 14 per month by the end of the decade.

The Everett facility will continue to assemble seven airplanes per month, while Boeing South Carolina final assembly will gradually increase from three 787s per month today to five per month in 2016 and seven per month by the end of the decade.

The Boeing 787 Dreamliner family of airplanes offers airlines unmatched fuel efficiencies and environmental performance, while providing a new level of comfort for passengers through the thoughtful application of new technologies. To date, the 787 family has won more than 1,000 orders and more than 165 airplanes have been delivered to 21 customers worldwide.

The 787-10 will leverage 787 technology to provide more passenger and cargo capacity along with unparalleled seat-mile economics in the medium twin-aisle market. Since its launch in June 2013, the 787-10 has won 132 orders from six global customers.

Copyright Photo: Arisara Petersen/AirlinersGallery.com. The Boeing 787-8 production line at North Charleston, SC (CHS).

Boeing 787-10 (Boeing)(LR)

Boeing forecasts rising demand for commercial pilots and technicians

Boeing logo (medium)

Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) is forecasting continued strong growth in demand for commercial aviation pilots and maintenance technicians as the global fleet expands over the next 20 years.

Boeing’s 2014 Pilot and Technician Outlook, released today at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, projects that between 2014 and 2033, the world’s aviation system will require:

533,000 new commercial airline pilots
584,000 new commercial airline maintenance technicians

“The challenge of meeting the global demand for airline professionals cannot be solved by one company or in one region of the world,” said Sherry Carbary, vice president, Boeing Flight Services. “This is a global issue that can only be solved by all of the parties involved—airlines, aircraft and training equipment manufacturers, training delivery organizations, regulatory agencies and educational institutions around the world.”

The 2014 outlook projects continued increases in pilot demand, which is up approximately 7 percent compared to 2013; and in maintenance training, which increased just over 5 percent. Pilot demand in the Asia Pacific region now comprises 41 percent of the world’s need, and the Middle East region saw significant growth since last year’s outlook due to increased airline capacity and orders for wide-body models which require more crew members.

Overall, the global demand is driven by steadily increasing airplane deliveries, particularly wide-body airplanes, and represents a global requirement for about 27,000 new pilots and 29,000 new technicians annually.

Projected demand for new pilots and technicians by global region:

Asia Pacific – 216,000 pilots and 224,000 technicians
Europe – 94,000 pilots and 102,000 technicians
North America – 88,000 pilots and 109,000 technicians
Latin America – 45,000 pilots and 44,000 technicians
Middle East – 55,000 pilots and 62,000 technicians
Africa – 17,000 pilots and 19,000 technicians
Russia and CIS – 18,000 pilots and 24,000 technicians

Boeing rolls out the 5000th Next-Generation 737

5000th NG 737 C-40A U.S. Navy Factory

Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) rolled out the 5000th Next-Generation 737 this week. The airplane is a Boeing C-40A Clipper, a modified 737-700C, that will serve as a transport aircraft for the U.S. Navy.

Utilizing the 737 commercial platform takes advantage of the proven efficiencies, manufacturing processes and performance of the existing Next-Generation 737 production system. Boeing’s P-8 maritime patrol aircraft, Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) and the C-40 are among the 737 military derivatives.

To date, orders stand at 6,804 for Next-Generation 737s and 2,109 for 737 MAXs. Total 737 orders have surpassed 12,000 including Classics and more than 100 orders for military derivatives.

Copyright Photo: Boeing.

Boeing showcases the 787-9 at Farnborough

The 787-9 Dreamliner took to the skies on July 14 with a powerful, yet quiet, performance in front of Farnborough Airshow attendees as it closed out the day’s flying demonstrations.

Video: Boeing.

Boeing issues new details about the cabin features of the new 777x

777X Interior Renderings

Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) has issued this statement on the evolving design features of the 777X:

Boeing announced today at the Farnborough Airshow new details about the innovative passenger experience being created for its newest long-haul twin-aisle airplane – the 777X.

By building on the award-winning passenger-preferred interior of today’s 777 and applying 787 Dreamliner cabin innovations, Boeing will continue its leadership in offering unprecedented levels of comfort for the traveling public and enhanced flexibility for airlines.

Among its advances, the 777X interior will feature:

A cabin altitude of 6,000 feet – comparable to the 787 Dreamliner

Windows that are more than 15 percent larger than the competition and located higher on the fuselage so they’re at eye level for a larger percentage of passengers

Increased ambient light made possible by the larger, newly positioned windows

All-new interior design that allows airlines to customize their cabin architectures by class. This innovation includes an adaptable suite of parts that facilitates choices in overhead ceiling and stow bin configurations, allowing airlines to create the feeling of separate and distinct cabins that meet both airline and passenger needs

A cabin that is 16 inches wider than the competition, allowing airlines a variety of economy class seat widths up to 18 inches wide

Higher cabin humidity, comparable to the 787 Dreamliner

Enhanced air filtration, incorporating the latest filtration technologies to increase passengers’ well-being
Next-generation LED lighting, further enhancing the passenger experience throughout the flight and allowing airlines more branding opportunities

Lower cabin noise, achieved through the new engine nacelle design, new high bypass ratio engines, better insulation and a passenger cabin that doubles the number of air nozzles with lower velocity and less noise

In addition to the advancements announced today, Boeing is continuing to explore new ways to create a better flying experience.

The 777X program has 300 orders and commitments from six customers worldwide. Production is set to begin in 2017, with first delivery targeted for 2020.

Copyright Photos: Boeing.

 

777-9X Images

Boeing announces a new robotic method for building 777 fuselages

Boeing Anacortes Facility

Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) today at the Farnborough Air Show announced that it is in the final phases of testing and production readiness of a new method for building 777 fuselages as part of its ongoing technology investment strategy.

Known as the Fuselage Automated Upright Build, or FAUB, this Advanced Manufacturing technology improves workplace safety and increases product quality. This technology has been in development by Boeing since 2012.

With this new technology, fuselage sections will be built using automated, guided robots that will fasten the panels of the fuselage together, drilling and filling the more than approximately 60,000 fasteners that are today installed by hand.

FAUB offers numerous benefits including an improvement in employee safety. The nature of the drilling and filling work makes it ideal for an automated solution. More than half of all injuries on the 777 program have occurred during the phase of production that is being automated. In addition, the automated system is expected to reduce build times and improve first-time quality of the build process.

“This is the first time such technology will be used by Boeing to manufacture widebody commercial airplanes and the 777 program is leading the way,” said Elizabeth Lund, vice president and general manager, 777 program and Everett site, Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

The 777 program has already begun testing FAUB at a facility in Anacortes, Washington (near Everett). Production readiness preparations are underway and the system will be installed in Everett in a new portion of the main factory that is under construction now. The technology is expected to be implemented in the next few years.

The robotic system, designed for Boeing by KUKA Systems, is the latest in a series of strategic Advanced Manufacturing moves on the 777 program, which have already included new systems for painting wings and other drilling operations.

Copyright Photo: Boeing.

Boeing projects 36,770 new airplanes over the next 20 years

Boeing 777X (Boeing)(LR)

Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) projects a demand for 36,770 new airplanes over the next 20 years, an increase of 4.2 percent from last year’s forecast. The company released its annual Current Market Outlook (CMO) in London, estimating the total value of those new airplanes at $5.2 trillion.

“This market is strong and resilient,” said Randy Tinseth, vice president of Marketing, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “With new and more efficient airplanes entering service, the growth in air travel is being driven by customers who want to fly where they want, when they want.”

Fueling this year’s forecast is the single-aisle market, which is projected to be the fastest growing and most dynamic segment due to the continued emergence of low-cost carriers. 25,680 new airplanes will be needed in this segment, making up 70 percent of the total units in the forecast.

“Based on the overwhelming amount of orders and deliveries, we see the heart of the single-aisle market in the 160-seat range,” said Tinseth. “There’s no question the market is converging to this size, where network flexibility and cost efficiency meet. The Next-Generation 737-800 and new 737 MAX 8 offer our customers the most revenue potential in this mid-sized space.”

Boeing forecasts that 8,600 new airplanes will be needed in the twin-aisle segment, led by small widebody airplanes in the 200 to 300 seat range such as the 787-8 and 787-9 Dreamliner. This year’s forecast reflects a continued shift in demand from very large airplanes to efficient new twin-engine products such as the 787-10 and new 777X.

Boeing New Airplanes Deliveries

Boeing Asia-Pacific Market

Boeing’s Current Market Outlook is the longest running jet forecast and regarded as the most comprehensive analysis of the aviation industry. The full report can be found at www.boeing.com/cmo.

Emirates finalizes its order for 150 Boeing 777Xs

Emirates 777X (Boeing)(LRW)

Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) and Emirates Airline (Dubai) have finalized an order for 150 777Xs, valued at $56 billion at list prices. First announced as a commitment at the 2013 Dubai Airshow, the order by the world’s largest 777 operator was part of the largest product launch in commercial jetliner history.

The order – a combination of 115 777-9Xs and 35 777-8Xs – also includes purchase rights for an additional 50 airplanes that, if exercised, could increase value to approximately $75 billion at list prices.

“With the order for 150 777Xs, Emirates now has 208 Boeing 777s pending delivery, creating and securing jobs across the supply chain,” said Emirates president Sir Tim Clark. “Today Emirates operates more than one in every 10 Boeing 777s aircraft built. We fly 138 of these efficient planes across the globe spanning the USA and Latin America in the west, to New Zealand and Japan in the East. The 777X will offer us operational flexibility in terms of range, more passenger capacity and fuel efficiency, and we look forward to inducting them into our fleet from 2020.”

The 777X will introduce the latest technologies including the most advanced commercial engine ever – the GE9X by GE Aviation – and an all-new high efficiency composite wing that has a longer span than today’s 777. The 777X family includes the 777-8X and the 777-9X, both designed to respond to market needs and customer preferences.

The 777-9X will be 12 percent more fuel efficient than any competing airplane, necessary in today’s competitive environment. The 777-8X is 5 percent more efficient than its competitor at all ranges while providing for new network opportunities.

Design of the 777X is underway and production is set to begin in 2017, with first delivery targeted for 2020. To date, the 777X has accumulated 300 orders and commitments from six customers worldwide.

Image: Boeing.

Emirates: AG Slide Show

Boeing 737 fuselages end up in the Clark Fork River near Superior, Montana, crews will attempt to remove

Boeing 737 fuselages in river

Eyewitness New 12 reports:

“Linda Frost, Montana Rail Link, told CBS-affiliate KPAX 19 cars derailed about 18 miles east of Superior, Montana around 4 p.m Thursday (July 3). Seven of the cars were carrying aircraft components, three cars soybeans, three cars with denatured alcohol and the other seven were empty, Frost said. The aircraft components landed in the Clark Fork River.”

The fuselages were manufactured by Spirt Aerosystems (Wichita) and were headed by train to Boeing’s 737 assembly plant in Renton, WA. The fuselages are a probable insurance write off and will not be used. However someone’s delivery may be affected.

Read the full story: CLICK HERE

July 6 Update: From the The Spokesman-Review in Spokane:

“Crews today (July 6) will attempt to remove three Boeing 737 fuselages that tumbled down a steep embankment and into the Clark Fork River in Western Montana after a train derailed.

Montana Rail Link spokeswoman Lynda Frost said Saturday that it’s unclear the type of challenge involved because it’s the first time the company has faced such a task.

No one was injured when 19 cars from a westbound train derailed Thursday about 10 miles west of Alberton. The cause of the derailment is under investigation.

The train carried six fuselages. Three others also fell off but stayed on land. Frost said Boeing has had workers at the scene assessing the damage.”

Read the full account: CLICK HERE

Photo: Twitter photo by Robotpig.

Boeing reaches a milestone with the 747, delivers the 1,500th 747 built to Lufthansa

 

Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) has delivered the 1,500th 747 to come off the production line to Lufthansa (Frankfurt). The milestone airplane is a 747-8 Intercontinental, the 14th one that Lufthansa will incorporate into its long-haul fleet.

“Reaching this milestone delivery is a testament to the capabilities of the airplane and our commitment to continuous innovation,” said Eric Lindblad, 747 vice president and general manager, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “The new 747-8 is delivering on its promise to our customers, and we continue to look at ways to make it even more efficient in the future.”

The 747 is the first widebody airplane in history to reach the 1,500 milestone. Its iconic shape makes it instantly recognizable, and passengers have consistently voted it their favorite airplane to fly.

At a delivery ceremony yesterday (June 28), a special logo commemorating the 1,500th airplane was revealed for the first time on the pictured 747-830 D-ABYP (msn 37839).

“Lufthansa is honored that the 1,500th 747 will fly with the Lufthansa livery,” said Nico Buchholz, executive vice president, Lufthansa Group Fleet Management. “Lufthansa is an important partner and a valued advisor in developing new commercial airplanes with exceptional economical and ecological performance such as the 747-8. The commemorative logo will be a reminder of our relationship with Boeing, now and into the future.”

Lufthansa is the launch customer of the 747-8 Intercontinental and took delivery of its first airplane in April 2012. The airline has 19 747-8 Intercontinentals on order.

The first Boeing 747-100 entered revenue service on January 22, 1970 with Pan Am on the New York–London route.

Lufthansa German Airlines on March 10, 1970 became the first European airline to take delivery of the Boeing 747-100. The first LH 747, 747-130 D-ABYA (msn 19746), was accepted on this historic day. The Jumbo was introduced into revenue service between Frankfurt and New York (JFK) on April 26, 1970. LH has operated a variant of the 747 for over 44 years.

Lufthansa also issued this statement:

Lufthansa’s 14th Boeing 747-8 landed in Frankfurt on Sunday, June 29, at 9.17 a.m. as scheduled. As well as being the 76th Jumbo that Lufthansa has received from the American manufacturer Boeing in Seattle since the 1970s, the aircraft also represents a veritable milestone in aviation history. This aircraft, whose tail number is D-ABYP (“Yankee Papa”), is the 1,500th Jumbo to be built in the world.

‘It’s an honor for Lufthansa that the anniversary Jumbo will fly in the colors of the Lufthansa crane,’ said Nico Buchholz, Head of Group Fleet Management at Deutsche Lufthansa AG. ‘For decades, Lufthansa has been one of the aircraft manufacturer’s closest advisers – a pioneer when it comes to developing new, environmentally friendly and fuel-efficient aircraft,’ added Buchholz at the handover in Seattle. Lufthansa is expecting to receive a total of 19 aircraft of this type, and will therefore be the world’s largest operator of 747-8s among passenger airlines.

The “Dash 8”, as it is also known, has plenty to offer. By using the latest Jumbo, Lufthansa is taking a further step towards having a “three-liter fleet” (per passenger and 100 kilometers). The aircraft is 15 percent more fuel-efficient than its predecessor model and, as a result, its CO2 emissions are around 15 percent lower. The noise footprint of the Boeing 747-8 is 30 percent smaller compared with the older Boeing 747-400. What started as the first training flight with the new Boeing 747 over the mountains east of Seattle in October 1969 went on to become an icon of the Lufthansa fleet, and, indeed, of commercial aviation as a whole.

On March 9, 1970, the then Lufthansa CEO Herbert Culmann took delivery of the first Lufthansa Boeing 747-130 in front of the factory in Everett. The aircraft’s production number was 12 and its Lufthansa registration was D-ABYA. Lufthansa thereby became the second international airline, after Pan Am, and the first European carrier to deploy the Jumbo on scheduled services. The aircraft was host to several major world premières in succession, including the first film shown on board a Jumbo jet. Only twenty months after the maiden flight of the Boeing 747-130, the fourth Lufthansa Jumbo took off on April 2, 1971 as a modified model. Boeing had equipped the 747-200 with larger fuel tanks and a higher take-off weight of 378 tons. This meant that the aircraft had a longer range. Originally intended as a military aircraft, the Jumbo’s career was not limited to carrying passengers. On April 10, 1972, Lufthansa received the world’s first “smiling” Boeing as the launch customer of the cargo version, the Boeing 747-230F. The nose of the aircraft could be opened horizontally, making it possible to load even bulk goods without any problem. On April 19, 1972, the world’s first cargo Jumbo took off, bearing the tail number D-ABYE. This quickly catapulted Lufthansa to number one in airfreight transport.

‘A step towards the 1990s’ is how Lufthansa CEO Heinz Ruhnau described the purchase agreement signed on June 23, 1986 for an initial order of six enhanced Boeing aircraft. Lufthansa had already been involved in the planning of the Boeing 747-100. However, as the first airline to order the “Dash 400” (Boeing 747-400), it now played a key part in the development of the new aircraft, providing many hundreds of suggestions for improvements and more than 20,000 engineer hours. With this aircraft, the modern, digitalized two-man cockpit that Jürgen Weber, the man responsible for aircraft development at Lufthansa Technik in Hamburg at the time and later Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO of Lufthansa AG, and Reinhard Abraham, the former Chief Technical Officer of the Lufthansa Group, had worked to achieve became a reality. Upwards-pointing winglets, new and more economical engines, new materials such as composite materials and aluminium alloys: all of these innovations helped to cut fuel consumption by 24 percent compared with the -200 series.

On 23 May 1989, Lufthansa received the first enhanced Super Jumbo with tail number D-ABVA. The aircraft could cover almost 13,000 kilometers in 16 hours and thus reach nearly every destination in the world. As the new millennium started, the idea was put forth to develop an enhanced version of the Boeing 747-400. And so not only was the Jumbo extended by 5.6 meters, it was also totally redeveloped, including a new wing design and new engines. On May 2, 2012, Lufthansa became the first passenger airline in the world to receive a Boeing 747-8.

Copyright Photo: Bernie Leighton/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-830 D-ABYP with the special “1500th” emblem prepares to depart from Paine Field near Everett yesterday (June 28) on its delivery flight to Frankfurt.

Boeing 747 Slide Show: AG Slide Show

Lufthansa: AG Slide Show

Southwest Airlines selects Boeing’s “Airplane Health Management” program

Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) has announced Southwest Airlines (Dallas) has selected Boeing Airplane Health Management (AHM) to enhance operational efficiency in its maintenance and engineering operations.

Southwest Airlines will use Airplane Health Management to collect and evaluate airplane operations data while the airplane is in flight. This real-time data is used to signal ground operations crews of any potential maintenance issues before the airplane lands, minimizing flight schedule disruptions and maintenance-related delays.

Boeing technical teams will work with Southwest to facilitate initial deployment of the system for its Next-Generation 737s. Southwest is Boeing’s 66th customer for Airplane Health Management.

According to Boeing, “Boeing Airplane Health Management is a powerful, data-driven capability used worldwide by airplane operators and maintenance, repair and overhaul providers (MROs) to proactively manage the serviceability of airplanes and fleets. It is designed to interface with existing airplane systems and communication infrastructure, using state-of-the-art airplane and ground technology to address day-of-operation disruptions, help predict future operations events and prevent unplanned maintenance and schedule interruptions.”

Airplane Health Management is part of an integrated suite of aviation services marketed as the Boeing Edge. These include parts, training, engineering, maintenance and software solutions that increase the efficiency and profitability of airlines and leasing companies.

Southwest Airlines is an all-Boeing carrier and operates the largest 737 fleet of any airline. In 2011, the airline became the launch customer for the 737 MAX.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-7H4 N214WN (msn 32486) in the special “Maryland One” state theme arrives at Los Angeles International Airport.

Southwest Airlines: AG Slide Show

Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner earns FAA and EASA certification

Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) has released this statement:

The Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner has been certified by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) for commercial service. Boeing is now in the final stages of preparing for the first 787-9 delivery to launch customer Air New Zealand.

Boeing started its flight-test program with the 787-9’s first flight in September, 2013.

To earn certification for the 787-9, Boeing undertook a comprehensive test program with five airplanes and more than 1,500 hours of flight testing, plus ground and laboratory testing. Following the rigorous and thorough certification process, the FAA and EASA each granted Boeing an Amended Type Certificate for the 787-9, certifying that the design complies with aviation regulations and is safe and reliable.

The FAA also has granted Boeing an Amended Production Certificate, validating that the Boeing production system can produce 787-9s that conform to the design. EASA accepts FAA oversight of Boeing production certificates, just as the FAA accepts EASA oversight of European manufacturers’ production certificates.

The new 787-9 Dreamliner will complement and extend the super-efficient 787 family. With the fuselage stretched by 20 feet (6 meters) over the 787-8, the 787-9 will fly more passengers and more cargo farther with the same exceptional environmental performance — 20 percent less fuel use and 20 percent fewer emissions than similarly sized airplanes. The 787-9 leverages the visionary design of the 787-8, offering passengers features such as large windows, large stow bins, modern LED lighting, higher humidity, a lower cabin altitude, cleaner air and a smoother ride.

Twenty-six customers around the world have ordered 413 787-9s, accounting for 40 percent of all 787 orders.

Copyright Photo: Joe G. Walker/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 787-9 N789EX (msn 41988) lands at Boeing Field after a test flight.

ALC takes delivery of its first of 15 new Boeing 777-300 ERs

Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) and Air Lease Corporation (ALC) (Los Angeles) celebrated the direct delivery of the first of 15 777-300 ERs (Extended Range) from its existing order pipeline with the manufacturer. This 777-300 ER, the eighth 777 in ALC’s fleet, is one of two delivering to British Airways (London) on long-term lease from the lessor. The second 777-300 ER (777-336 ER G-STBL, msn 42124) for British Airways is scheduled to be delivered from Boeing in July 2014.

The aircraft involved is Boeing 777-336 ER G-STBK (msn 42121), handed over to British Airways on May 28.

ALC logo

Copyright Photo: Karl Cornil/AirlinersGallery.com. Sister ship Boeing 777-36N ER G-STBE (msn 38696) arrives back at the London (Heathrow) base.

British Airways: AG Slide Show

The Boeing 787 is granted extended 330 minutes ETOPS operations by the FAA

Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) has released this statement about extended ETOPS for the 787:

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has approved additional extended operations (ETOPS) for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. The move will allow 787s to be operated up to 330 minutes from a landing field and signals continued confidence in the airplane’s technical capabilities.

Dreamliners have been allowed to operate up to 180 minutes away from a landing field since they were introduced into service in 2011. Granting of the expanded operational permission will allow airlines to introduce additional routes after they meet the proof of capabilities requirements and receive approval from their own regulatory agencies for such operations.

ETOPS operations will make the 787 even more efficient in operations as they enable more direct flight paths, which can save thousands of pounds of fuel and reduce carbon emissions.

More than 1,030 787s have been ordered by 60 customers to date. Boeing has delivered 146 Dreamliners to 19 customers.

Copyright Photo: Steve Bailey/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 787-8 VT-ANC (msn 36274) in Air India colors lands at Boeing’s facility at Paine Field near Everett, Washington. VT-ANC is one of the earlier models and remains undelivered.

Air India: AG Slide Show

NTSB issues recommendations to the FAA for the evaluation and certification of lithium-ion batteries on Boeing 787s

NTSB Safety Recommendation logo

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) (Washington) has issued a series of recommendations related to the evaluation and certification of lithium-ion batteries for use in aircraft systems, as well as the certification of new technology.

The five safety recommendations, all addressed to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) (Washington), are derived from the NTSB’s ongoing investigation of the January 7, 2013, fire event that occurred in a lithium-ion battery on a Boeing 787 that was parked at Boston Logan Airport.

Investigators found that the battery involved in the Boston 787 fire event showed evidence not just of an internal thermal runaway but that “unintended electrical interactions occurred among the cells, the battery case, and the electrical interfaces between the battery and the airplane.”

The 12-page safety recommendation letter said that the processes used in 2006 to support the certification of the lithium-ion battery designed for the 787 were inadequate, in part, because there is no standardized thermal runaway test that’s conducted in the environment and conditions that would most accurately reflect how the battery would perform when installed and operated on an in-service airplane.

Further, the NTSB said that because there is no such standardized thermal runaway test, lithium-ion battery designs on airplanes currently in service might not have adequately accounted for the hazards associated with internal short circuiting.

In its examination of the challenges associated with introducing newer technologies into already complex aircraft systems, the NTSB said that including subject matter experts outside of the aviation industry “could further strengthen the aircraft certification process” by ensuring that both the FAA and the aircraft manufacturer have access to the most current research and information related to the developing technology.

To address all of these issues, the NTSB asked the FAA to do the following:

1. Develop an aircraft-level thermal runaway test to demonstrate safety performance in the presence of an internal short circuit failure
2. Require the above test as part of certification of future aircraft designs
3. Re-evaluate internal short circuit risk for lithium-ion batteries now in-service
4. Develop guidance for thermal runaway test methods
5. Include a panel of independent expert consultants early in the certification process for new technologies installed on aircraft

“The history of commercial aviation is one in which emerging technologies have played a key role in enhancing flight safety,” said NTSB Acting Chairman Christopher A. Hart. “This is why it’s crucial that the process by which these technologies are evaluated and certified is as robust and thorough as possible. These recommendations will take us further in that direction.”

The final report on the January 2013 Boston 787 battery fire investigation is estimated to be completed in the fall.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Read about the original Boston JAL Boeing 787 incident: CLICK HERE

 

Boeing today surpasses 2,000 orders for the new 737 MAX

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Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) celebrated a milestone achievement today (May 20) on the 737 MAX program, surpassing the 2000th order for the super-efficient single-aisle airplane. With the addition of 30 orders from unidentified customers this week, the 737 MAX now has a total of 2,010 orders from 39 customers worldwide, valued at $209 billion at list prices. The 737 MAX also has commitments for more than 250 additional airplanes.

The 737 MAX has reached 2,000 orders faster than any other Boeing airplane in history. This unprecedented demand is fueled by air traffic growth and the need for more fuel-efficient airplanes.

According to Boeing, “the 737 MAX will be 14 percent more fuel-efficient than today’s most efficient Next-Generation 737s – and 20 percent better than the original Next-Generation 737s when they first entered service. The 737 is more fuel efficient than the A320 today and will be more fuel efficient than the A320neo tomorrow. Airlines operating the 737 MAX will see an 8 percent operating cost per seat advantage over the A320neo”.

On track to begin final assembly in mid-2015, the 737 MAX will fly in 2016 and will be delivered to launch customer Southwest Airlines in the third quarter of 2017.

Image: Boeing.

Boeing and Embraer announce a joint research center to advance sustainable aviation biofuel in Brazil

 

Boeing logo (medium)

Boeing and Embraer S.A. today announced that they will open a joint research center to advance a sustainable aviation biofuel industry in Brazil.

Under a memorandum of understanding, the two companies will perform joint biofuel research, as well as fund and coordinate research with Brazilian universities and other institutions. The research will focus on technologies that address gaps in a supply chain for sustainable aviation biofuel in Brazil, such as feedstock production and processing technologies. The companies’ biofuel research center will be located in Sao Jose dos Campos Technology Park.

“Boeing is working aggressively around the world to expand the supply of sustainable aviation biofuel and reduce aviation’s carbon emissions,” said Julie Felgar, managing director of Environmental Strategy and Integration, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “With our joint biofuel research center, Boeing and Embraer are making a strong commitment toward a successful, sustainable aviation biofuel industry in Brazil.”

“Embraer is committed in supporting the development of sustainable biofuels for aviation and the joint efforts with Boeing will undoubtedly contribute to the company continuing to be in the forefront of research in this area,” says Mauro Kern, Executive Vice President, Engineering and Technology, Embraer. “Brazil has tradition in the area of alternative fuels and enormous potential yet to be explored in bioenergy research.”

In 2013, Boeing, Embraer and the Fundacao de Amparo a Pesquisa of the State of Sao Paulo (FAPESP) completed an action plan – Flightpath to Aviation Biofuels in Brazil – that identified gaps in a potential biofuel supply chain. The joint research between Boeing and Embraer will help address those gaps.

When produced sustainably, aviation biofuel emits 50 to 80 percent lower carbon emissions through its lifecycle than petroleum jet fuel. Globally, more than 1,500 passenger flights using biofuel have been conducted since the fuel was approved for use in 2011.

Embraer logo

Boeing reports first quarter net income of $965 million

 

Boeing 787-10 (Boeing)(LR)

The Boeing Company (Chicago and Seattle) reported first quarter revenue increased 8 percent to $20.5 billion on higher commercial volume (Table 1). Core earnings per share (non-GAAP) increased 14 percent* to $1.76 when excluding a benefit of $0.19 per share for the 2012 research and development tax credit recorded in the first quarter of 2013. First quarter 2014 core operating earnings (non-GAAP) increased 12 percent to $2.1 billion and core operating margin (non-GAAP) increased to 10.2 percent reflecting continued strong operating performance. GAAP earnings from operations included previously announced non-cash charges totaling $334 million ($0.29 per share) for retirement plan changes.

Core earnings per share guidance for 2014 increased to between $7.15 and $7.35, from $7.00 to $7.20, to reflect the benefit of a tax settlement to be recognized in the second quarter of 2014. GAAP earnings per share guidance for 2014 is reaffirmed at between $6.10 to $6.30 as the tax settlement benefit was offset by the retirement plan charges. GAAP pension expense guidance for 2014 is now at approximately $3.2 billion, up from $3.1 billion, to reflect the retirement plan charges. The company reaffirmed its 2014 revenue, operating cash flow and deliveries guidance.

Boeing Commercial Airplanes first-quarter revenue increased to $12.7 billion on higher 787 and 737 deliveries. First-quarter operating margin improved to 11.8 percent reflecting the delivery volume and mix and lower period costs partially offset by higher R&D.

During the quarter, the 787 program reached a 10 per month production rate and completed preliminary design review on the 787-10. The company selected the Everett, Washington site as the location for a new composite wing center for the 777X. In April, the 737 program reached a production rate of 42 per month.

Commercial Airplanes booked 235 net orders during the quarter. Backlog remains strong with over 5,100 airplanes valued at $374 billion.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Boeing delivers the 8,000th 737 to United Airlines

Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) yesterday (April 16) delivered the 8,000th 737 to come off the production line to United Airlines (Chicago) as N68821, marking another important milestone for the world’s best-selling airplane. The airplane, a Next-Generation 737-900 ER (Extended Range), features a special logo.

The 737 is the first commercial airplane in history to reach this delivery milestone. The program has a strong backlog with more than 3,700 airplanes on order, including 1,934 orders for the new 737 MAX.

United was the first airline to order and take delivery of the 737-200. Since 1965, United has taken delivery of more than 550 737s and operated nearly every model.

Copyright Photo: Joe G. Walker/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-924 ER N68821 (msn 43535) lands at Boeing Field in Seattle. N68821 has small “8000th 737″ gray titles by the main cabin door.

United Airlines (current): AG Slide Show

Boeing opens 737 Interior Configuration Studio

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Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) has debuted its new 737 Configuration Studio, a new facility where airline customers can choose their jetliner interiors. The 20,000 square-foot (1,900 square-meter) studio is located in Renton, Washington near the factory where 42 737s are produced per month.

Similar to the 787 Dreamliner Gallery, the 737 Configuration Studio provides a private and welcoming showroom environment to assist Next-Generation 737 and 737 MAX customers with the design and configuration of new airplane interiors.

More than two dozen major interior configuration introductions are expected over the next two years. To help 737 customers select among them, the studio presents views of suppliers’ products side by side in one location. Customers can see, touch and experience choices in galleys, seats and in-flight entertainment. They also can select interior colors and decors that highlight and support their brand.

Additionally, customers can use the 737 Boeing Sky Interior light lab (below) to study how fabrics, carpets, drapes and uniforms appear under various light settings. The facility also houses the “new features room,” which provides customers with a glimpse of future technologies.

Copyright Photos: Boeing.

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Boeing announces the launch of the Boeing Business Jet MAX 8 with the first order

737- MAX8 BBJ Artwork

Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) has announced the launch of the Boeing Business Jet (BBJ) MAX family of airplanes after receiving the first order from an undisclosed customer. The order is for a BBJ MAX 8, which is based on the 737 MAX 8 and the newest business jet to join the BBJ family.

BBJ is the market leader in the large cabin, ultra-long-range business jet market and the new BBJ MAX will extend that advantage.

With new CFM International LEAP-1B engines and other aerodynamic improvements including Advanced Technology winglets, the 737 MAX will provide a 14 percent fuel-use improvement compared to today’s most efficient single-aisle airplanes. The fuel-use improvement is even greater at longer ranges typically flown by BBJ customers.

The BBJ MAX 8 will have a range of 6,325 nautical miles (11,713 km), an increase of more than 800 nautical miles (1,482 km) over the BBJ2. It will share the same cabin size with today’s BBJ2, offering customers a 19-foot (5.8 meter) longer cabin and three times the cargo space of today’s BBJ, while improving on its market-leading range capability and maintaining the BBJ advantages of lower cabin altitude, unmatched reliability and outstanding product support around the globe. The BBJ continues to be the leading choice for businesses, corporations and private owners.

The new BBJ family also will include the BBJ MAX 9, based on the 737 MAX 9, and is expected to offer a 6,255 nautical mile (11,584 km) range with an even larger cabin than the BBJ MAX 8. Plans for a BBJ MAX 7 are still being studied.

Development of the 737 MAX is on schedule with firm configuration of the airplane achieved in July 2013. First flight is scheduled in 2016 with deliveries to commercial airline customers beginning in 2017. The 737 MAX has accumulated more than 1,900 orders to date from 37 customers worldwide

The first BBJ MAX will be delivered in 2018 without an interior, and a completion center of the customer’s choosing will install the jet’s VIP interior.

Image: Boeing.

Boeing rolls out the first Next-Generation 737 at the increased rate

The first Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) Next-Generation 737 to be built at the increased rate of 42 airplanes per month rolled out of the factory in Renton, Washington yesterday (march 19). The 737-800 will soon be delivered to Airberlin (Berlin-Tegel) and ultimately leased to Transavia France (Paris).

The airplane will now undergo functional, systems and flight testing over the next three weeks before being delivered.

Market demand remains strong for the Next-Generation 737, the world’s best-selling commercial jetliner. Since 2010, production has risen about 33 percent, from 31.5 to 42 airplanes a month. As previously announced, the production rate is scheduled to increase to 47 airplanes a month in 2017.

Copyright Photo: Boeing.

The FAA and Boeing complete their joint review of the 787’s critical systems

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) have completed a comprehensive review of the 787’s critical systems. The joint review, initiated in January 2013, included an examination of the processes for the design, certification and production of the 787-8. The review’s findings validate the integrity of the airplane’s design and confirm the strength of the processes used to identify and correct issues that emerged before and after the airplane’s certification.

The review concludes that the 787 meets the intended high level of safety expected by the FAA and Boeing. The report includes recommendations aimed at further strengthening the FAA and Boeing’s processes.

“We welcomed the opportunity presented by this joint review of the 787 and its in-service performance,” said Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Ray Conner. “The findings validate our confidence in both the design of the airplane and the disciplined process used to identify and correct in-service issues as they arise. I am grateful for the hard work of the joint review team and for its recommendations, which will allow us to further improve our processes as we move forward.”

The review team outlined four recommended improvements for Boeing. Three of the recommendations focus on improving the flow of information, standards and expectations between the company and its suppliers. Boeing has already taken significant steps to implement these recommendations.

The fourth recommendation encourages Boeing to continue implementing and maturing the gated processes for development programs.

“Gated process” refers to the disciplined criteria followed as a new airplane model is developed. This ensures a sufficient level of maturity is gained before a program proceeds to key milestones such as design completion, production start and entry into service.

Boeing has made a range of improvements to its airplane development processes since the start of the 787 program. These efforts included a restructuring last year to bring all commercial airplane development programs under one umbrella organization.

Copyright Photo: Brandon Farris/AirlinersGallery.com.

Welcome to the AG Slide Show: AG Slide Show

Boeing starts the expansion of the 737 Commercial Delivery Center at Boeing Field

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Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) has kicked off expansion of its 737 Commercial Delivery Center (CDC) at Boeing Field in Seattle. The project more than doubles the space that will be available for customers and groups supporting increased 737 deliveries.

The expanded CDC will be more than 90,000 square feet and include a new three-story building, as well as new delivery and departure areas with three covered jetways. The design features an open, airy look with large windows overlooking the Boeing Field flight line. The CDC expansion is the latest of many investments Boeing is making across the Puget Sound region and in the future of the 737 program.

Production of the 737 is set to increase to 42 airplanes per month in April and to 47 airplanes per month in 2017, an increase in output of nearly 50 percent since 2010. Deliveries of the 737 MAX, with the latest technology CFM International LEAP-1B engines and other efficiency enhancements like Advanced Technology winglets, will also begin in 2017 at the upgraded facility.

Plans are in place to ensure seamless deliveries to 737 customers during construction, which includes the demolition of one building. The CDC expansion is scheduled for completion in mid-2015.

Boeing reports wing “hairline cracks” on 40 new 787s!

Boeing logo

Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) yesterday reported “hairline cracks” on about 40 787s in production according to Reuters. The wings are made by Mitsubishi. The cracks were also discovered on the new 787-9 which could delay the introduction of the new type. No cracks were found on aircraft currently flying with the airlines.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

 

For sale – early “teen” overweight 787s sitting at Everett, Washington – great bargains

Air India 787-8 VT-ANB (07-2nd)(Grd) PAE (ND)(LRW)

Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) according to Bloomberg “is struggling to find buyers for 11 of its earliest 787 Dreamliners valued at $1.1 billion after two airlines dropped orders for the holdover models from the jet’s troubled birth.”

The partially built 787s, now sitting unfinished at Paine Field in Everett, Washington, are known as the “terrible teens” (due to the line numbers). The undelivered aircraft start at line number 10. The “terrible teens” weight more than the current production and flying 787s and will not be able to fly as far if they are finished and delivered to a willing customer looking for a bargain. Most have been parked for around four years according to the report.

Garuda Indonesia is reportedly considering buying the under-performing “terrible teens” according to the report.

The 11 aircraft were originally destined for Lion Air, RwandAir and Transaero Airlines.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Bloomberg originally reported in January 2010 how Boeing was working on trimming the weight of the early 787 Dreamliners.

Read this report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Nick Dean. Most of the “terrible teens” are sitting in a sealed manner like the pictured Air India 787-8  VT-ANB (msn 37274, line number 26) once did. VT-ANB was just delivered to Air India on January 31, 2014.

Boeing to build the 777X wings in Everett, Washington

Boeing 777X (Boeing)(LR)

Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) today announced the selection of its Everett, Washington, site as the location for a new composite wing center for the 777X program. Boeing evaluated criteria that were designed to find the wing fabrication location that would best support the 777X business plan. The new composite wing center will be located north of the Everett factory and will sustain thousands of Puget Sound area jobs for years to come.

Boeing selected the Everett site for 777X final assembly following the International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers (IAM) District 751 approval of an eight-year contract extension earlier this year. As part of the contract extension, the company agreed to fabricate the parts for, and assemble, the 777X composite wings in the Puget Sound region. After studying several options, the company determined that the Everett site will meet its business needs for fabrication and assembly.

The new facility will support fabrication of the 777X composite wings and will be approximately 1 million square feet. Construction on the new facility is scheduled to begin later this year.

Assembly of the composite wings will also take place at the company’s Everett site, with the exact location to be determined in the months ahead.

The 777X builds on today’s passenger-preferred, market-leading 777 and offers more market coverage and revenue capability than the competition. First delivery is targeted for 2020.

Image: Boeing.

Aviation Partners Boeing receives FAA certification for its Split Scimitar Winglets

AVIATION PARTNERS BOEING UNITED AIRLINES 737-800

Aviation Partners Boeing (APB) (Seattle) has announced it has received Supplemental Type Certification (STC) from the FAA for Split Scimitar Winglets to be installed on Boeing 737-800 aircraft. According to the company, “the Split Scimitar Winglet program is the culmination of a five-year design effort using the latest computational fluid dynamic technology to redefine the aerodynamics of the Blended Winglet into an all-new Split Scimitar Winglet. The unique feature of the Split Scimitar Winglet is that it uses the existing Blended Winglet structure, but adds new strengthened spars, aerodynamic scimitar tips, and a large ventral strake.”

APB will develop and certify the Split Scimitar Winglet modification for all of the Boeing 737-700, 800 and 900 series aircraft including Boeing Business Jets.  APB expects to start certification flight testing on the 737-900ER in mid-February achieving certification by late July 2014.

APB’s Split Scimitar Winglet program is the most successful product launch in its history.  Since launching the program early last year, APB has now taken orders and options for 1,461 Split Scimitar Winglet systems. Over the last 10 years, APB has sold more than 7,000 Blended Winglet Systems.  5,300 Blended Winglet Systems are now in service with over 200 airlines in more than 100 countries. APB estimates that Blended Winglets have saved airlines worldwide 4.1 billion gallons of jet fuel to-date thus eliminating over 43 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions.

Aviation Partners Boeing is a Seattle based joint venture of Aviation Partners, Inc. and The Boeing Company.

Copyright Photo: PR Newswire. United Airlines‘ Boeing 737-824 N37277 (msn 31595) is the test and certification airplane. United put the first aircraft with Split Scimitar Winglets into revenue service of February 18, 2014 between the Houston (Bush Intercontinental Airport) hub and Los Angeles as flight UA 1273.

United Airlines: AG Slide Show

Boeing increases the 737 monthly production rate to 42 airplanes

Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) is starting assembly this week of the first Next-Generation 737 to be built at the increased rate of 42 airplanes per month. Since 2010, production of the 737 has increased about 33 percent, from 31.5 to 42 airplanes a month, its highest rate ever.

Early Wednesday morning, mechanics will load initial parts of the spars – internal support structures in the wings – into an automated spar-assembly machine. The spar is the first step in building the wings and marks the start of the assembly of the airplane at the Renton, Washington factory.

The first Next-Generation 737 built at the new rate is scheduled to be delivered in the second quarter. As previously announced, the 737 production rate is scheduled to increase to 47 airplanes a month in 2017.

Read the analysis by Bloomberg Businessweek: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-852 XA-AME (msn 36708) of AeroMexico approaches the runway at Los Angeles International Airport.

AeroMexico: AG Slide Show

Boeing introduces a special Seattle Seahawks Boeing 747-8 logo jet for the Super Bowl

Seahawks-Boeing 747-8F N780BA (14)(Grd) PAE (Boeing)(LR)

Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) yesterday (January 29) revealed a 747-8 Freighter (N770BA) painted in the livery of the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks. The livery commemorates the team’s National Football Conference Championship and upcoming appearance in Super Bowl XLVIII.

Boeing is a sponsor of the Seattle Seahawks and has partnered with the team for more than a decade on programs in the Puget Sound area.

“The Seahawks have been an inspiration to our entire community throughout this incredible season,” said Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Ray Conner. “We’re honored that we could join together two Northwest icons, the Seahawks and the 747, for this special salute from the entire Boeing team.”

This 747-8 is owned by Boeing and currently being used for flight testing. The special livery features the distinctive Seahawks logo and a “12” on the tail to salute the team’s fans. The airplane will make its first flight in its new livery on Thurs., January 30.

“The 747 team is proud that one of our airplanes could be used as a tribute to the Seahawks’ success this season and a rallying cry for the team as they prepare for the Super Bowl,” said Eric Lindblad, vice president and general manager, 747 program, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “The partnerships we have with the Seahawks and others are making a positive difference in the communities where Boeing employees live and work. We join with all Seahawks fans in wishing the team success on Sunday.”

Boeing 747-8 Seahawks Livery Fun Facts

  • Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson’s longest pass this season, 80 yards (240 ft.), was almost the same length as a 747-8 fuselage (243.5 ft.)
  • Russell Wilson threw for 3,357 yards (10,071 ft.) this season, similar to the runway takeoff distance for a 747-8 (10,650 ft.)
  • Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Percy Harvin can dash the full length of the 747-8 main deck, 180 ft., in less than seven seconds
  • Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch can squat with 16 economy seats (30 lbs. per seat)
  • A 747-8 Freighter can carry 121 million Skittles candies, or 302,400 one lb. bags
  • It would take 144 747-8 passenger airplanes (Intercontinentals) to carry all the Seahawks fans in CenturyLink Field (67,000 seats)
  • The 747-8 can cover the length of a football field in one second at takeoff
  • Seahawks fans’ Guinness World Record for crowd noise is approximately 38 times louder than the 747-8 at departure

On January 30 the Boeing Seattle Seahawks 747 took to the skies over Washington in advance of the team’s appearance Sunday in Super Bowl XLVIII.

The airplane’s flight pattern took it past Seattle landmarks including the Space Needle and CenturyLink Field, home of the Seahawks. The 747-8 then flew over Eastern Washington in a pattern that formed the number “12,” a salute to all Seahawks’ fans.

“You may remember that we drew a ‘747’ over the continental United States during 747-8 certification flight testing,” said Boeing 747 chief pilot Mark Feuerstein “Although the ’12’ is smaller in scale, the pride and sense of community behind it make it feel just as big for the entire Boeing team.”

Boeing is a sponsor of the Seattle Seahawks and has partnered with the team for more than a decade on programs in the Puget Sound area.

Copyright Photo: Boeing. Boeing 747-87UF N770BA (msn 37564) pushes out of the paint shop at rainy Paine Field.

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Boeing reports fourth quarter and 2013 financial results and onward guidance

The Boeing Company (Chicago) reported fourth-quarter revenue of $23.8 billion and core earnings per share (non-GAAP) that increased 29 percent* to $1.88, driven by strong performance across the company’s businesses and higher deliveries (Table 1). Fourth-quarter core operating earnings (non-GAAP) of $1.8 billion includes a $406 million non-cash charge to settle A-12 litigation dating back to 1991, retiring a longstanding risk to the company. Excluding the A-12 charge, fourth-quarter 2013 core operating earnings increased 22 percent* to $2.2 billion and core operating margin increased to 9.4 percent*. Core and GAAP earnings per share includes a charge of $0.34 per share related to A-12 partially offset by a benefit of $0.28 per share for a tax regulation change.

Revenue rose 6 percent in the full year to a record $86.6 billion and core earnings per share increased 20 percent* to a record $7.07. Full-year 2013 GAAP earnings per share was $5.96.

Core earnings per share guidance for 2014 is set at between $7.00 and $7.20, while GAAP earnings per share guidance is established at between $6.10 and $6.30. Revenue guidance is between $87.5 and $90.5 billion, including commercial deliveries of between 715 and 725. Operating cash flow before pension contributions* is expected to be approximately $7 billion, while operating cash flow guidance is set at approximately $6.25 billion.

“Strong fourth-quarter results underscored an outstanding full year of core operating performance that drove record revenue and earnings and increased returns to shareholders,” said Boeing Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jim McNerney.

“Our Commercial Airplanes business accelerated delivery of its record backlog by successfully increasing production rates while also achieving important development milestones on the 737 MAX and 787-9 and launching the new 787-10 and 777X models with an unprecedented customer response. Our Defense, Space & Security unit overcame a tough operating environment to record expanded revenue, earnings and margins while executing to our commitments on the KC-46A tanker and developing and delivering important new capabilities to customers, such as the P-8 maritime aircraft and the Inmarsat-5 satellite,” said McNerney.

“For 2014, we remain focused on maintaining our commercial airplanes market leadership, strengthening and repositioning our defense, space and security business and continuing to meet the needs of our customers by improving productivity, executing to development plans and delivering our unmatched portfolio of innovative aerospace products and services.”

Table 2. Cash Flow Fourth Quarter Full Year
(Millions) 2013 2012 2013 2012
Operating Cash Flow Before Pension Contributions* $1,409 $4,204 $9,721 $9,058
      Pension Contributions ($29) ($37) ($1,542) ($1,550)
Operating Cash Flow $1,380 $4,167 $8,179 $7,508
Less Additions to Property, Plant & Equipment ($638) ($495) ($2,098) ($1,703)
Free Cash Flow* $742 $3,672 $6,081 $5,805

Operating cash flow in the quarter was $1.4 billion, reflecting commercial airplane production rates, strong core operating performance and timing of receipts and expenditures (Table 2). During the quarter, the company repurchased 7.6 million shares for $1.0 billion and paid $0.4 billion in dividends, reflecting a 10 percent increase in dividends paid compared to the same period of the prior year. Based on the strong cash generation and outlook, in December, the board of directors authorized an additional $10 billionshare repurchase program and raised the quarterly dividend 50 percent.

Table 3. Cash, Marketable Securities and Debt Balances Quarter-End
(Billions) Q4 13 Q3 13
Cash $9.1 $10.0
Marketable Securities 1 $6.2 $5.9
Total $15.3 $15.9
Debt Balances:
The Boeing Company, net of intercompany loans to BCC $7.0 $7.0
Boeing Capital Corporation, including intercompany loans $2.6 $2.6
Total Consolidated Debt $9.6 $9.6
1 Marketable securities consists primarily of time deposits due within one year classified as “short-term investments.”

Cash and investments in marketable securities totaled $15.3 billion at year-end (Table 3), down from$15.9 billion at the beginning of the quarter. Debt was $9.6 billion, unchanged from the beginning of the quarter.

Total company backlog at year-end was a record $441 billion, up from $415 billion at the beginning of the quarter, and included net orders for the quarter of $48 billion. Backlog is up $51 billion from prior year-end, reflecting $135 billion of net orders in 2013.

Segment Results

Boeing Commercial Airplanes

Table 4.  Fourth Quarter Full Year
($ in Millions) 2013 2012 Chg 2013 2012 Chg
Deliveries 172 165 4% 648 601 8%
Revenues $14.6B $14.1B 4% $52.9B $49.1B 8%
Earnings-Ops $1,506 $1,266 19% $5,795 $4,711 23 %
Opg Margin 10.3% 8.9% 1.4 Pts 10.9% 9.6% 1.3 Pts

Boeing Commercial Airplanes fourth-quarter revenue increased to $14.7 billion and full-year revenue increased to a record $53 billion on higher delivery volume. Fourth-quarter operating margin improved to 10.3 percent and full-year operating margin grew to 10.9 percent on the higher volume, favorable delivery mix and continued strong operating performance (Table 4).

During the quarter, the company launched the 777X with 259 orders and commitments. During the year, the 787 program completed first flight of the 787-9, successfully launched the 787-10 and began operating at a 10 per month production rate in final assembly. The 737 program delivered at a record production rate of 38 per month and has won nearly 1,800 firm orders for the 737 MAX since launch. In 2013, a record 648 commercial aircraft were delivered. In January 2014, the company reached an eight-year contract extension through 2024 with the International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers District 751 (IAM).

Commercial Airplanes booked 465 net orders during the quarter and 1,355 during the year. Backlog remains strong with 5,080 airplanes valued at a record $374 billion.

Boeing Defense, Space & Security

Table 5.  Fourth Quarter Full Year
(Dollars in Millions) 2013 2012 Chg 2013 2012 Chg
Revenues
Boeing Military Aircraft $4,395 $4,037 9% $15,936 $16,019 (1)%
Network & Space Systems $2,272 $2,024 12% $8,512 $7,911 8%
Global Services & Support $2,188 $2,282 (4)% $8,749 $8,677 1%
Total BDS Revenues $8,855 $8,343 6% $33,197 $32,607 2%
Earnings from Operations
Boeing Military Aircraft $441 $313 41% $1,465 $1,489 (2)%
Network & Space Systems $233 $138 69% $719 $562 28%
Global Services & Support $280 $300 (7)% $1,051 $1,017 3%
Total BDS Earnings from Ops $954 $751 27% $3,235 $3,068 5%
Operating Margin 10.8% 9.0% 1.8 Pts 9.7% 9.4% 0.3 Pts

Boeing Defense, Space & Security’s fourth-quarter revenue increased 6 percent to $8.9 billion, while operating margin increased to 10.8 percent (Table 5). For the full year, revenue increased 2 percent to$33.2 billion, while operating margin increased to 9.7 percent.

Boeing Military Aircraft (BMA) fourth-quarter revenue increased to $4.4 billion, reflecting higher deliveries. Operating margin increased to 10.0 percent, reflecting the higher deliveries and strong performance. During the quarter, BMA achieved Initial Operating Capability (IOC) on the P-8A Poseidon aircraft.

Network & Space Systems (N&SS) fourth-quarter revenue increased to $2.3 billion, reflecting higher delivery volume and mix, and operating margin increased to 10.3 percent on strong performance. During the quarter, N&SS was awarded a contract for a fourth Inmarsat-5 satellite.

Global Services & Support (GS&S) fourth-quarter revenue was $2.2 billion, reflecting lower volume in integrated logistics. Operating margin was 12.8 percent. During the quarter, GS&S was awarded contracts for the B-52 and B-1 bomber modifications and upgrades.

Backlog at Defense, Space & Security was $67 billion, of which 37 percent represents orders with international customers.

Additional Financial Information

Table 6. Additional Financial Information Fourth Quarter Full Year
(Dollars in Millions) 2013 2012 2013 2012
Revenues
Boeing Capital Corporation $105 $129 $408 $468
Other segment $22 $27 $102 $106
Unallocated items and eliminations $123 ($358) ($65) ($610)
Earnings from Operations
Boeing Capital Corporation $9 ($12) $107 $88
Other segment income/(expense) ($99) $31 ($156) ($186)
Unallocated items and eliminations excluding unallocated pension/postretirement expense ($532) ($200) ($1,105) ($492)
Unallocated pension/postretirement expense ($323) ($212) ($1,314) ($899)
Other income, net $15 $23 $56 $62
Interest and debt expense ($96) ($112) ($386) ($442)
Effective tax rate 14.0% 36.3% 26.4% 34.0%

At quarter-end, Boeing Capital Corporation’s (BCC) net portfolio balance was $3.9 billion down from $4.1 billion at the beginning of the quarter. BCC’s debt-to-equity ratio was 5.0-to-1. Other segment earnings decreased $130 million in the quarter partly due to higher asset impairment expense.

Unallocated items and eliminations excluding unallocated pension/postretirement expense increased in the fourth quarter of 2013 primarily due to a $406 million charge associated with the A-12 settlement. Total pension expense for the fourth quarter was $717 million, up from $576 million in the same period last year. The company’s income tax expense was $201 million in the quarter, compared to $557 million in the same period of the prior year, due to a $212 million benefit recorded in fourth-quarter 2013 for a tax regulation change.

Outlook

The company’s 2014 financial guidance (Table 7) reflects continued strong performance in both businesses.

Table 7. Financial Outlook
(Dollars in Billions, except per share data) 2014
The Boeing Company
Revenue $87.5 – 90.5
Core Earnings Per Share* $7.00 – 7.20
Earnings Per Share $6.10 – 6.30
Operating Cash Flow Before Pension Contributions* ~ $7
Operating Cash Flow 1 ~ $6.25
Boeing Commercial Airplanes
Deliveries 2 715 – 725
Revenue $57.5 – 59.5
Operating Margin ~ 10%
Boeing Defense, Space & Security
Revenue
Boeing Military Aircraft ~ $15
Network & Space Systems ~ $7.7
Global Services & Support ~ $7.8
Total BDS Revenue $30 – 31
Operating Margin
Boeing Military Aircraft ~ 9.5%
Network & Space Systems ~ 8.5%
Global Services & Support ~ 10.5%
Total BDS Operating Margin ~ 9.5%
Boeing Capital Corporation
Portfolio Size Lower
Revenue ~ $0.3
Pre-Tax Earnings ~ $0.05
Research & Development ~ $3.2
Capital Expenditures ~ $2.5
Pension Expense 3 ~ $3.1
Effective Tax Rate 4 ~ 31%
1 After discretionary cash pension contributions of $0.75 billion and assuming new aircraft financings under $0.5 billion
2 Assumes approximately 110 787 deliveries
3 Approximately $1.1 billion is expected to be recorded in unallocated items and eliminations
4 Assumes the extension of the research and development tax credit
* Non-GAAP measures. Complete definitions of Boeing’s non-GAAP measures are on page 7, “Non-GAAP Measures Disclosures.”

Boeing’s 2014 revenue guidance is established at between $87.5 and $90.5 billion. Core earnings per share guidance is set at between $7.00 and $7.20, and earnings per share guidance is expected to be between $6.10 and $6.30. Total company 2014 operating cash flow before pension contributions is expected to be approximately $7 billion, while operating cash flow is expected to be approximately $6.25 billion in 2014, including $0.75 billion of discretionary pension contributions. Total company pension expense in 2014 is expected to be approximately $3.1 billion (of which approximately $2.0 billion is expected to be recorded in core operating earnings and $1.1 billion recorded in unallocated items and eliminations).

Commercial Airplanes’ 2014 deliveries are expected to be between 715 and 725, which includes approximately 110 787 deliveries. Revenue at Commercial Airplanes is expected to be between $57.5 and $59.5 billion with operating margins of approximately 10 percent. Defense, Space & Security’s revenue for 2014 is expected to be between $30 and $31 billion with operating margins of approximately 9.5 percent.

Boeing Capital Corporation expects that its aircraft finance portfolio will continue to decline in 2014, as new aircraft financing of less than $0.5 billion is expected to be lower than normal portfolio runoff through customer payments and depreciation. Boeing’s 2014 R&D forecast is approximately $3.2 billion, and capital expenditures for 2014 are expected to be approximately $2.5 billion. Boeing’s effective tax rate is expected to be approximately 31 percent in 2014, which assumes the extension of the research and development tax credit.

Non-GAAP Measures Disclosures

We supplement the reporting of our financial information determined under U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) with certain non-GAAP financial information. The non-GAAP financial information presented excludes certain significant items that may not be indicative of, or are unrelated to, results from our ongoing business operations. We believe that these non-GAAP measures provide investors with additional insight into the company’s ongoing business performance. These non-GAAP measures should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for the related GAAP measures, and other companies may define such measures differently. We encourage investors to review our financial statements and publicly-filed reports in their entirety and not to rely on any single financial measure. The following definitions are provided:

Core Operating Earnings, Core Operating Margin and Core Earnings Per Share

Core operating earnings is defined as GAAP earnings from operations excluding unallocated pension and post-retirement expense. Core operating margin is defined as core operating earnings expressed as a percentage of revenue. Core earnings per share is defined as GAAP diluted earnings per share excluding the net earnings per share impact of unallocated pension and post-retirement expenseUnallocated pension and post-retirement expense represents the portion of pension and other post-retirement costs that are not recognized by business segments for segment reporting purposes. Management uses core operating earnings, core operating margin and core earnings per share for purposes of evaluating and forecasting underlying business performance. Management believes these core earnings measures provide investors additional insights into operational performance as they exclude unallocated pension and post-retirement costs, which primarily represent costs driven by market factors and costs not allocable to government contracts. A reconciliation between the GAAP and non-GAAP measures is provided on page 14.

Core Operating Margin and the Increase in Core Operating Earnings Excluding A-12 Settlement Charge

The company is disclosing the core operating margin and the increase in core operating earnings in the fourth quarter of 2013 over the fourth quarter of 2012 excluding the A-12 settlement charge in the fourth quarter of 2013. Management believes it is useful to occasionally exclude certain items that are not reflective of underlying performance and that can distort period to period performance comparisons. Management uses similar measures for purposes of evaluating and forecasting underlying business performance. A reconciliation between the GAAP and non-GAAP measures is provided on page 14.

Operating Cash Flow Before Pension Contributions

Operating cash flow before pension contributions is defined as GAAP operating cash flow less pension contributions. Management believes operating cash flow before pension contributions provides additional insights into underlying business performance. Management uses operating cash flow before pension contributions as a measure to assess both business performance and overall liquidity. Table 2 provides a reconciliation between GAAP operating cash flow and operating cash flow before pension contributions.

Free Cash Flow

Free cash flow is defined as GAAP operating cash flow less capital expenditures for property, plant and equipment additions. Management believes free cash flow provides investors with an important perspective on the cash available for shareholders, debt repayment, and acquisitions after making the capital investments required to support ongoing business operations and long term value creation. Free cash flow does not represent the residual cash flow available for discretionary expenditures as it excludes certain mandatory expenditures such as repayment of maturing debt. Management uses free cash flow as a measure to assess both business performance and overall liquidity. Table 2 provides a reconciliation between GAAP operating cash flow and free cash flow.

Copyright Photo: Nick Dean/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-8KZF N50217 (msn 36137) became JA12KZ on delivery.

Boeing rolls out the first 787-8 at the increased production rate, flight track all 787s live with Google Earth

Boeing 787-10 (Boeing)(LR)

Boeing (Chicago) has rolled out the first Boeing 787 Dreamliner built at the rate of 10 airplanes per month. The airplane, a 787-8 and the 155th Dreamliner built, will be delivered to International Lease Finance Corp. for operation by AeroMexico (Mexico City).

The new 10 per month rate is the highest ever for a twin-aisle airplane. The 787 program has now increased its production rate three times in just over a year, including to five airplanes per month in November 2012 and seven per month in May 2013.

Boeing assembles and delivers 787s in two locations: Everett, Washington, and North Charleston, South Carolina.

To date, 115 787s have been delivered to 16 customers. The program has 1,030 total orders from 60 customers worldwide.

This airplane will be the fourth 787 operated by AeroMexico and will be used on the airline’s Mexico City – London Heathrow route.

See the Boeing 787 Dreamliner Dream Pass (a view from the cockpit with pilot commentary): CLICK HERE

Flight Track all Boeing 787s using Flight Tracker and Google Earth: CLICK HERE

Boeing 787 Flight Tracker

Boeing is adding contract workers at the North Charleston, SC Boeing 787 plant

Boeing (Chicago) is adding hundreds of contract workers at its Boeing 787 North Charleston, South Carolina assembly plant to help deal with production problems according to the Wall Street Journal and The Post and Courier.

According to the WSJ, “Boeing is hiring more than 300 contract mechanics and inspectors immediately and could increase that number to between 500 and 1,000, according to three people familiar with the hiring. Those workers would assist the more than 7,000 people Boeing employed at the Charleston plant.”

Read the full report from The Post and Courier: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Arisara Petersen. The production flight line at North Charleston. The Air India 787s are mainly assembled at Charleston.

Boeing to work with Etihad Airways and others to develop a sustainable aviation biofuel in the United Arab Emirates

Boeing (Chicago), Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi), Takreer, Total and the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology today announced they will collaborate on a new initiative to support a sustainable aviation biofuel industry in the United Arab Emirates.

BIOjet Abu Dhabi: Flight Path to Sustainability will engage a broad range of stakeholders to develop a comprehensive framework for a U.A.E. biofuel supply chain. This initiative will focus on research and development and investments in feedstock production and refining capability in the U.A.E. and globally.

Etihad Airways showed the promise of this homegrown effort yesterday with a 45-minute demonstration flight in a Boeing 777 powered in part by U.A.E.-produced sustainable aviation biofuel. The biofuel was partially converted from plants by Total and refined into jet fuel by Takreer, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. (ADNOC). U.A.E. is now among a handful of countries that have produced and flown on their own aviation biofuel, which emits at least 50 percent less carbon dioxide than fossil fuel over its lifecycle.

Boeing and Etihad Airways are also among the founding partners of the Sustainable Bioenergy Research Consortium, hosted by the Masdar Institute in Abu Dhabi. The consortium has been researching and developing salt-tolerant plants that would be raw material for the same refining processes used to produce renewable fuel for the Etihad Airways flight.

The flight and BIOjet Abu Dhabi announcement lead into Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week and the World Future Energy Summit. These activities and Masdar Institute’s aviation biofuel research are aligned with the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030, which seeks to develop sustainable energy sources to diversify the U.A.E. economy and increase workforce opportunities for Emiratis.

Etihad Airways is an airline industry leader in supporting the development of lower-carbon renewable fuels. A member of the Sustainable Aviation Fuel Users Group (SAFUG), the airline operated the Gulf region’s first biofuel flight in January 2011 with a Boeing 777 delivery from Seattle to Abu Dhabi powered by a blend of petroleum-based and certified plant oil-based jet fuel.

Boeing collaborates with airlines, research institutions, governments and other stakeholders to develop sustainable biofuel supply chains around the world, including the United States, Middle East, China,Brazil, Europe and Australia.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Etihad Airways’ Boeing 777-3FX ER A6-ETG (msn 39681) with special “Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 2014 Formula 1″ emblems arrives in Bangkok.

Etihad Airways: AG Slide Show

Boeing starts 777X high-speed wind tunnel tests

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Boeing (Chicago) has announced today that high-speed wind tunnel tests have started for the Boeing 777X. Testing began last week at Boeing’s Transonic Wind Tunnel in Seattle.

Last month, engineers started wind tunnel tests at QinetiQ’s facility in Farnborough, U.K., where testing of the low-speed performance of the airplane continues.

The data will help engineers with the configuration development of the airplane, validate computational fluid dynamics (CFD) predictions and support preliminary loads cycle development.

Subsequent rounds of low-speed and high-speed testing will provide further design refinement and validation of overall airplane performance predictions. Also, wind tunnel tests for noise, icing and propulsion are scheduled in the coming years.

Boeing continues to make progress on the 777X program and is on track to reach firm configuration in 2015. The 777X program has 280 orders and commitments from five customers worldwide.

Copyright Photo: Boeing.

Bloomberg Businessweek: Six Lessons learned from the Boeing-IAM 777X contract negotiations

Boeing logo

Boeing (Chicago), some would say, got what it wanted with the IAM. The new 777X will be built in the Puget Sound area as we have reported. The vote to keep the new airplane in the area passed by a narrow-51-49 percent vote. Boeing threatened to move the project away from the area and was courting offers from 22 states. The tactic worked. The victory for Boeing split the IAM over the issue of pensions versus having a contract and work. Some IAM member have now filed charges of unfair labor practices with the Department of Labor. Bloomberg Businessweek dissects the contract negotiations and the six lessons learned.

Read the full article: CLICK HERE

 

Boeing delivers 648 new airplanes in 2013, a new company record and 1,355 net commercial orders

Boeing (Chicago) set a company record in 2013 for the most commercial airplanes delivered in a single year with 648. The company’s unfilled commercial orders stood at 5,080 at the end of the year – also a new Boeing record.

Boeing also booked 1,531 gross commercial orders in 2013, a new company record and 1,355 net commercial orders in 2013, the second-largest number in company history.

In 2013, three programs set records for deliveries in single year:

  • The 737 program delivered 440 Next-Generation 737s
  • The 777 program delivered 98 airplanes
  • The 787 program delivered 65 Dreamliners, now flying with 16 customers around the world

With the higher production rates achieved in 2013, all three Boeing Commercial Airplanes production sites in Everett and Renton, Washington and North Charleston, South Carolina also delivered a record number of airplanes.

Boeing’s leadership position in the twin-aisle market continued in 2013 with the launch of two new airplane programs. The 777X launched in November at the Dubai Air Show with 259 orders and commitments worth more than $95 billion at list prices. Boeing also launched the 787-10 Dreamliner, the most fuel-efficient jetliner in history, at the Paris Air Show in June.

Orders, deliveries and unfilled orders as of December 31, 2013, by program were as follows:

Family Gross Orders Net Orders Deliveries Unfilled Orders
737 1,208 1,046 440 3,680
747 17 12 24 55
767 2 2 21 49
777 121 113 98 380
787 183 182 65 916
Total 1,531 1,355 648 5,080

Boeing Commercial Airplanes highlights in 2013 included:

  • Boeing Delivers 7,500th 737
  • Boeing, Southwest Airlines Announce Launch of 737 MAX 7
  • Boeing Opens New Everett Delivery Center
  • Boeing Delivers 1,000th Airplane to China
  • Boeing Launches 787-10 Dreamliner
  • Boeing Begins Assembly of 1st KC-46A Tanker Aircraft
  • Boeing Flies First 787-9 Dreamliner
  • Boeing Completes 737 MAX 8 Firm Configuration
  • Boeing to Increase 737 Production Rate in 2017
  • Boeing, GOL Airlines Announce Collaboration to Increase Sustainable Aviation Biofuel Supply in Brazil
  • Boeing 787 Dreamliner Reaches 1,000th Order with Etihad Airways
  • Boeing Launches 777X with Record-Breaking Orders and Commitments
  • Boeing Delivers First 747-8 with Performance-Improved Engines

Copyright Photo: Nick Dean/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-8R7F N747EX (msn 35808) lands at Paine Field near Renton.

Boeing brings the 787-9 to New Zealand, then on to Australia

 

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Boeing (Chicago) has flown the 787-9 Dreamliner to Auckland, home of launch customer Air New Zealand, marking the 787-9’s international debut and longest flight since the robust test program began.

 

The second of three 787-9s dedicated to the flight-test program, ZB002 flew direct from Seattle’s Boeing Field to Auckland International Airport, departing January 3 at 9:55 a.m. local time and landing (shown here) some 13 hours, 49 minutes later. The airplane is scheduled to continue on to Alice Springs,Australia, for testing in hot weather.

 

The 787-9 will complement and extend the super-efficient 787 family. With the fuselage stretched by 20 feet (6 meters) over the 787-8, the 787-9 will fly up to 40 more passengers an additional 300 nautical miles (555 km) with the same exceptional environmental performance — 20 percent less fuel use and 20 percent fewer emissions than similarly sized aircraft. The 787-9 leverages the visionary design of the 787-8, offering passengers features such as large windows, large stow bins, modern LED lighting, higher humidity, a lower cabin altitude, cleaner air and a smoother ride.

 

Boeing is on track to deliver the 787-9 to launch customer Air New Zealand in mid-2014. Twenty-six customers from around the world have ordered 402 787-9s, accounting for 39 percent of all 787 orders.

Copyright Photo: Boeing.

Air New Zealand: AG Slide Show

 

The Boeing 777X will be built in the Puget Sound, Washington area, IAM members approve Boeing’s offer

Lufthansa 777X (Boeing)(LR)

Boeing’s (Chicago) contract extension offer was approved by members of the International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers District 751 (IAM). Under the terms of the eight-year contract extension, the 777X and its composite wing will be built in the Puget Sound area by Boeing employees represented by the IAM. This work includes fuselage build, final assembly and major components fabrication such as interiors and wires.

“Thanks to this vote by our employees, the future of Boeing in the Puget Sound region has never looked brighter,” said Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Ray Conner. “We’re proud to say that together, we’ll build the world’s next great airplane—the 777X and its new wing – right here. This will put our workforce on the cutting edge of composite technology, while sustaining thousands of local jobs for years to come.”

Boeing was considering moving the 777X production out of the Seattle area and was considering offers from many other states.

Seattle-area IAM members to vote on Boeing’s last 777X contract offer on January 3

IAM logo

The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) has issued this short statement:

Members of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) District 751, District W-24 and District 70 will vote January 3, 2014 on a revised proposal from the Boeing Company that would secure 777X production in the Puget Sound area.

Details of the revised offer will be provided by mail to IAM members and their families prior to the January 3 vote. The new proposal contains significant improvements over an earlier offer from Boeing that was rejected by IAM members on November 13, 2013.

The January 3 vote will take place at IAM Local union halls in Seattle, WA, Portland, OR and Wichita, KS, with results announced later that day.

Boeing to build a new training center in Russia, will buy back $10 billion of its stock

Boeing logo

Boeing (Chicago) has announced it will expand its flight and maintenance training capabilities in Russia with a new, state-of-the-art training campus.

The new full-service training facility— set to open in 2015—will be located in the Skolkovo Innovation Center in Moscow. Boeing will work in cooperation with Industrial Investors Group and their subsidiary Transas on the project.

Initial capability will include flight, maintenance and specialty training. Local maintenance training will be available across the spectrum of Boeing aircraft currently in operation, and flight training capability will include locally based instructors.

The new facility will open with four simulator bays, featuring three Next-Generation 737 full-flight simulators and one 777 full-flight simulator. Two of the simulators will be built by Transas. The facility is designed to allow for expansion to accommodate additional training capacity as required by customers.

Groundbreaking on the new training and research campus is scheduled for spring 2014, with training beginning in mid-2015.

The Boeing 2013 Pilot & Technician Outlook estimates that the Commonwealth of Independent States, including Russia, will require 15,200 new commercial airline pilots and 18,000 new technicians over the next two decades, supporting 1,530 new commercial airplanes by 2032. The new training campus in Russia is a significant investment in the region’s aviation safety, and will reduce travel times for airline crews and the costs of sending students for training.

Boeing Flight Services continually examines the global outlook for aviation training, and works to ensure training is available where it’s needed—near customers. In November, ground was broken on a new training facility in Korea. In August, Miami became the hub for pro forma flight training in the Americas— including 787 training —after the placement of additional flight simulators from Seattle. Three new simulators were also announced for the global training network in 2013: a third 787 full-flight simulator in London, and additional 777 and Next-Generation 737 simulators in Singapore.

In other news, Boeing Chairman, President and Chief Executive Jim McNerney announced Boeing’s board of directors authorized an additional $10 billion for the company’s share repurchase plan and declared that the company’s regular quarterly dividend will increase by approximately 50 percent to 73 cents per share.

The $10 billion repurchase authorization approved today is in addition to the approximately $0.8 billion remaining from the 2007 stock repurchase authorization. Repurchase activity for 2013 is complete and is expected to resume in January 2014.

The timing and volume of repurchases are at the discretion of Boeing management, however it is currently expected that the share repurchases will be made over the next two to three years. Repurchases may be made on the open market or in privately negotiated transactions.

The dividend declared today is payable March 7, 2014, to shareholders of record as of February 14, 2014.

Boeing to expand the North Charleston, South Carolina facility

Boeing (Chicago) announced it will begin construction in the second half of 2014 on a new paint facility on its main campus in North Charleston, South Carolina. The company expects to begin painting fully assembled 787 Dreamliners in South Carolina in mid-2016.

Boeing logo

The approximately 230,000 square-foot (21,368 m2) facility will be used to apply customer liveries to Boeing South Carolina (BSC)-built 787s. Today all BSC-built 787s are flown to Fort Worth, Texas, for final paint and then flown back to South Carolina for customer delivery.

The company also announced it acquired access to a total of 468 acres (189 hectares) in North Charleston, S.C., to protect for potential future growth in South Carolina through a long-term lease with Palmetto Railways, a division of the S.C. Department of Commerce. In addition to the 267 acres (108 hectares) sold by the Charleston County Aviation Authority, another 201 acres (81 hectares) of land in North Charleston were purchased with state bond funds allocated to Boeing. Owned by Palmetto Railways, the land will be leased to Boeing under a long- term lease. The company has an option to purchase all of the 468 acres (189 hectares) at the end of the initial lease term at the end of 2027.

“This expansion makes future growth in North Charleston possible. While we expect to begin the permitting process immediately for this property, we have no specific plans for the land other than where we will locate the new paint facility,” said Jones.

As part of the site expansion, beginning in January 2014, Boeing will construct a new 10,000 square-foot (929.03 m2) fully equipped fire station at its main campus, which is expected to be operational by late 2014. The company will add a second autoclave in 2016 to support aftbody composite fabrication for previously announced 787 program rate increases.

“We’ve been busy here in South Carolina this year,” said Jones. “Our BSC teammates have not only been ramping to rate in component and airplane production, but they’re doing it in the middle of construction zones. Our commitment to South Carolina is visibly demonstrated every day as our growth and expansion continues. I don’t expect that ending anytime soon.”

Since late 2012, Boeing has been expanding its main South Carolina site to create more efficiencies and capabilities in production to meet committed 787 build rates. Under previously announced expansion plans, the company is adding 391,000 square feet (36,325 m2) to its aftbody fabrication and assembly building; 42,000 square feet (3,901.9 m2) to its aft and midbody component paint facility; 67,000 square feet (6,224.5 m2) in office and meeting space to its final assembly building; and a new 94,000 square-foot (8,732.9 m2) Dreamlifter Operations Center, to be completed in the first quarter of 2014. The midbody component assembly facility is undergoing construction to add additional capacity and efficiency on the production floor.

In 2013, Boeing announced plans to establish IT Centers of Excellence and an Engineering Design Center, along with plans to build a new Propulsion facility in South Carolina. In November, Boeing broke ground on the new 220,000 square-foot (2,0439 m2) facility located in Palmetto Commerce Park in North Charleston (Ladson area) that will house its new 737-MAX propulsion assembly work, scheduled to begin in mid-2015.

Boeing is currently considering offers from 22 states for a possible site to build the proposed 777X airplane. South Carolina is probably one of those states. Is Charleston International Airport (CHS) the new Paine Field (PAE)?

Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen/AirlinersGallery.com. The Boeing flight line at CHS and the customer acceptance building.

Boeing issues a new statement concerning failed IAM talks in Puget Sound for the 777X, receives relocation proposals from 22 states

Boeing logo

Boeing (Chicago) has issued this statement concerning the contract extension discussions with the IAM for the Puget Sound (Seattle) area for the new 777X:

Boeing and the International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers District 751 have completed a third day of meetings following an attempt last month to secure a contract extension.

This afternoon, in response to a proposal presented yesterday by the union to secure 777X work in the Puget Sound region, Boeing presented a best and final counterproposal. That offer was rejected by the union leadership.

Boeing’s revised 8-year contract extension would have built on the company’s previous offer with substantial economic improvements. On top of the previous $10,000 signing bonus, employees would have received an additional lump sum bonus of $5,000. Employees also would have received additional dental benefits.

The proposal would have kept in place the current rate in which employees accelerate to the top of the pay scale – commonly referred to as “ZOOM.”

The company would have committed to placing final assembly of the 777X, as well as the fabrication and assembly of the airplane’s composite wing, at a Boeing location in the Puget Sound area. In addition, a separate agreement committing final assembly of the 737 MAX at the Renton, Washington site would have been extended through 2024.

As previously proposed, the long-term contract extension would have included changes to the way members earn future retirement benefits. Employees would keep everything they have accrued under the existing defined benefit plan and earn future benefits under a defined contribution plan with the new Special Company Retirement Contribution, starting November of 2016.

“We entered these discussions to address the concerns we were hearing from our employees,” said Ray Conner, president and CEO, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “We’ve listened to the union leadership and had an open dialogue in hopes of moving toward each other. Unfortunately the offer, which would have ensured this great airplane for the Puget Sound region, was immediately rejected by the union leadership.”

The 777X site selection process has continued in parallel with this week’s IAM meetings. In an overwhelmingly strong response from interested participants, Boeing has received proposals from 22 states, many of which submitted multiple sites for consideration. A total of 54 sites are now being evaluated in the next critical stage of the process.

Who will now build the new 777X?

Boeing 777X Video:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oops! Hint: When you are courting Boeing to stay in Washington State, it is always a good idea to use a photo of a Boeing aircraft (not Airbus)!

The Washington Aerospace Partnership through the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce took out a full-page advertisement in the Wednesday Seattle Times. “The Future of Washington” ad made a pitch to keep the new 777X in Washington State (the machinist union recently voted down the proposed Boeing contract extension). Boeing is now actively looking at other lower-cost locations. There was only one problem with the ad created by an unspecified advertising agency: the ad featured an Airbus aircraft!

Read the full story (with a photo of the ad) from the Boeing Blog of The Seattle Times: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen/AirlinersGallery.com. Note to the advertising agency: This is a Boeing 777, more specifically a 777-346 ER of Japan Airlines. Our worldwide team of photographers know quite well their aircraft and we always strive to get the best shots. We are always standing ready to help any advertising agency with the exact aircraft and the best, most dramatic shots. Contact us.

Meanwhile the issue continues. The machinists are fighting to preserve their pensions. Boeing under the 777X contract extension proposal wanted to freeze the pension benefits. Here is an opinion page article in the New York Times that presents the viewpoint of the Machinist rank and file members: CLICK HERE

Boeing knows in the new world order there is always someone ready to work for less, with less paid benefits and other cities and states (or countries) willing to welcome their lucrative and giant manufacturing program to their location with tax incentives. The cost of labor affects the final selling price. Every politician who wants to stay in office, fights for new jobs. Chicago-based Boeing is probably now factoring in the cost of moving, building new facilities and training new employees (like Airbus is doing in Mobile, Alabama) versus what it will take money-wise to get a new contract extension from the IAM. Although they are separate types of aircraft (wide body versus narrow body), the Seattle area machinists are really now competing against the Mobile area future aircraft assemblers for wages and benefits. They are also competing against future workers in Charleston in the right-to-work South Carolina should Boeing decide to expand that facility for the 777X. In reality, on a global scale, every worker today, doing the same type of work, is competing against a lower paid employee somewhere in the world. It is a global village.

There are tough decisions ahead for both sides.

Boeing flies the third 787-9

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Boeing (Chicago) yesterday (November 19) flew the third 787-9 Dreamliner, the first to be powered by General Electric GEnx engines. The third of three 787-9s dedicated to the test effort, ZB021 joined the fleet some two months from the inaugural flight of the first 787-9.

ZB021 took off from Paine Field in Everett, Washington, at 12:15 p.m. local time and landed 2 hours and 44 minutes later at Seattle’sBoeing Field. Boeing will use ZB021 to test engine performance as well as airplane handling characteristics such as low-speed performance and braking.

The 787-9 test program continues to make great progress. The fleet flies regularly, with the second airplane now in Florida for climatic testing, and has accumulated more than 180 flight hours and more than 60 flights. In addition to the three dedicated airplanes, Boeing also will conduct some testing on two production airplanes, the first of which is in final assembly in Everett. 787-10 development also is on plan.

Boeing is on track to deliver the 787-9 to launch customer Air New Zealand in mid-2014. 26 customers have ordered 396 787-9s, accounting for approximately 40 percent of all 787 orders.

Copyright Photo: Boeing.

Boeing launches the 777X today with orders from Lufthansa, Etihad Airways, Qatar Airways and Emirates

Boeing 777-9X (Boeing)(LR)

Boeing (Chicago) today formally launched the 777X program at the 2013 Dubai Airshow with a record-breaking number of customer orders and commitments for the newest member of its twin-aisle product family. Agreements for 259 airplanes from four customers across Europe and the Middle East provide a strong foundation to support development and production of the airplane.

Representing the largest product launch in commercial jetliner history by dollar value, 777X orders and commitments include Lufthansa with 34 airplanes; Etihad Airways with 25; Qatar Airways with 50 and Emirates with 150 airplanes. The combined value of the agreements is more than $95 billion at list prices.

The 777X builds on the passenger-preferred and market-leading 777, which today commands 55 percent of market share in its category in terms of backlog, and 71 percent of the in-service fleet worldwide. The 777X family includes the 777-8X and the 777-9X, both designed to respond to market needs and customer preferences.

The 777X builds on the best-in-class dispatch reliability from today’s 777, as well as offering more market coverage and revenue capability that surpasses the competition. The 777-8X competes directly with the A350-1000, while the 777-9X is in a class by itself.

Opening new growth opportunities for airlines, the 777-9X offers seating for more than 400 passengers, depending on an airline’s configuration choices. With a range of more than 8,200 nautical miles (15,185 km), the airplane will have the lowest operating cost per seat of any commercial airplane.

The second member of the family, the 777-8X, will be the most flexible jet in the world. The airplane will seat 350 passengers and offer an incredible range capability of more than 9,300 nautical miles (17,220 km). In addition, the airplane will have unmatched takeoff and payload capability compared to the competition.

The 777X introduces the latest technologies in multiple places, including the most advanced commercial engine ever – the GE9X by GE Aviation – and an all-new high-efficiency composite wing that has a longer span than today’s 777. The airplane’s folding, raked wingtip and optimized span deliver greater efficiency, significant fuel savings and complete airport gate compatibility.

Like the 787 Dreamliner which was launched as the 7E7, the 777X will be formally named at a later date. Design of the 777X is underway and suppliers will be named in the coming months. Production is set to begin in 2017, with first delivery targeted for 2020.

Boeing 777X Comparsion Chart

According to Reuters, Boeing will firm up the configuration of the aircraft in 2015 and plans to have a detailed design by 2016.

Production will begin in 2017, with the first test flight scheduled for 2019 and first delivery in 2020.

The Launch Customers:

Emirates 777X (Boeing)(LR)

Etihad 777X (Boeing)(LR)

Lufthansa 777X (Boeing)(LR)

Qatar 777X (Boeing)(LR)

Videos:

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