Tag Archives: Boeing

Boeing announces fourth quarter deliveries

The Boeing Company announced today major program deliveries across its commercial and defense operations for the fourth quarter of 2020.

“Through the global pandemic, we took meaningful steps to adapt to our new market, transform our business and deliver for our commercial, defense, space and services customers in 2020,” said Greg Smith, Boeing executive vice president of Enterprise Operations and chief financial officer.

“The resumption of 737 MAX deliveries in December was a key milestone as we strengthen safety and quality across our enterprise. We also continued comprehensive inspections of our 787 airplanes to ensure they meet our highest quality standards prior to delivery. While limiting our 787 deliveries for the quarter, these comprehensive inspections represent our focus on safety, quality and transparency, and we’re confident that we’re taking the right steps for our customers and for the long term health of the 787 program. As we continue navigating through the pandemic, we’re working closely with our global customers and monitoring the slow international traffic recovery to align supply with market demand across our widebody programs. In 2021, we’ll continue taking the right actions to enhance our safety culture, preserve liquidity and transform our business for the future.”

Major program deliveries during the fourth quarter were as follows:

Major Programs

4th Quarter
2020

Year-to-
Date 2020

Commercial Airplanes Programs

737

31

43

747

3

5

767

10

30

777

11

26

787

4

53

Total

59

157

Defense, Space & Security Programs

   AH-64 Apache (New)

1

19

   AH-64 Apache (Remanufactured)

8

52

   C-40A

   CH-47 Chinook (New)

8

27

   CH-47 Chinook (Renewed)

3

   F-15 Models

1

4

   F/A-18 Models

6

20

   KC-46 Tanker

4

14

   P-8 Models

6

15

   Commercial and Civil Satellites

   Military Satellites

Note: Delivery information is not considered final until quarterly financial results are issued.

Boeing responds to FAA approval to resume 737 MAX operations

Boeing issued this statement (note: Boeing is no longer using the MAX term in the designation):

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) today rescinded the order that halted commercial operations of Boeing 737-8s and 737-9s. The move will allow airlines that are under the FAA’s jurisdiction, including those in the U.S., to take the steps necessary to resume service and Boeing to begin making deliveries.

“We will never forget the lives lost in the two tragic accidents that led to the decision to suspend operations,” said David Calhoun, chief executive officer of The Boeing Company. “These events and the lessons we have learned as a result have reshaped our company and further focused our attention on our core values of safety, quality and integrity.”

Throughout the past 20 months, Boeing has worked closely with airlines, providing them with detailed recommendations regarding long-term storage and ensuring their input was part of the effort to safely return the airplanes to service.

An Airworthiness Directive issued by the FAA spells out the requirements that must be met before U.S. carriers can resume service, including installing software enhancements, completing wire separation modifications, conducting pilot training and accomplishing thorough de-preservation activities that will ensure the airplanes are ready for service.

“The FAA’s directive is an important milestone,” said Stan Deal, president and chief executive officer of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “We will continue to work with regulators around the world and our customers to return the airplane back into service worldwide.”

In addition to changes made to the airplane and pilot training, Boeing has taken three important steps to strengthen its focus on safety and quality.

  1. Organizational Alignment: More than 50,000 engineers have been brought together in a single organization that includes a new Product & Services Safety unit, unifying safety responsibilities across the company.
  2. Cultural Focus: Engineers have been further empowered to improve safety and quality. The company is identifying, diagnosing and resolving issues with a higher level of transparency and immediacy.
  3. Process Enhancements: By adopting next-generation design processes, the company is enabling greater levels of first-time quality.

Canada takes a different approach for the Boeing 737 MAX

Statement by Minister Garneau on Federal Aviation Administration’s certification of changes to the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft:

“Our government remains committed to keeping Canadians, the travelling public, and the transportation system safe and secure.

“We acknowledge that the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has released an Airworthiness Directive for the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. Through this directive, the FAA is mandating its approved changes made to the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, and confirms it can return to service in U.S. airspace.

“Transport Canada has worked extensively with the FAA and other key certifying authorities, including the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the National Civil Aviation Agency of Brazil (ANAC), as well as the three Canadian operators of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, and their pilot unions throughout the validation process of the aircraft to address all factors necessary toward a safe return to service of the aircraft.

“Transport Canada safety experts continue their independent validation process to determine whether to approve the proposed changes to the aircraft. We expect this process to conclude very soon. However, there will be differences between what the FAA has approved today, and what Canada will require for its operators. These differences will include additional procedures on the flight deck and pre-flight, as well as differences in training.

“The commercial flight restrictions for the operation of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft in Canadian airspace remain in effect and will not be lifted until the department is fully satisfied that all its safety concerns have been addressed, and that enhanced flight crew procedures and training are in place in Canada.”

Poll:

FAA clears the Boeing 737 MAX to return to service

Federal Aviation Administration-FAA issued this statement today:

FAA Administrator Steve Dickson today signed an order (PDF) that paves the way for the Boeing 737 MAX to return to commercial service. Administrator Dicksons action followed a comprehensive and methodical safety review process (PDF) that took 20 months to complete. During that time, FAA employees worked diligently to identify and address the safety issues that played a role in the tragic loss of 346 lives aboard Lion Air Flight 610 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302. Throughout our transparent process, we cooperated closely with our foreign counterparts on every aspect of the return to service. Additionally, Administrator Dickson personally took the recommended pilot training and piloted the Boeing 737 MAX, so he could experience the handling of the aircraft firsthand.

In addition to rescinding the order that grounded the aircraft, the FAA today published an Airworthiness Directive (PDF) specifying design changes that must be made before the aircraft returns to service, issued a Continued Airworthiness Notification to the International Community (CANIC), and published the MAX training requirements. (PDF) These actions do not allow the MAX to return immediately to the skies. The FAA must approve 737 MAX pilot training program revisions for each U.S. airline operating the MAX and will retain its authority to issue airworthiness certificates and export certificates of airworthiness for all new 737 MAX aircraft manufactured since the FAA issued the grounding order. Furthermore, airlines that have parked their MAX aircraft must take required maintenance steps to prepare them to fly again.

The design and certification of this aircraft included an unprecedented level of collaborative and independent reviews by aviation authorities around the world. Those regulators have indicated that Boeing’s design changes, together with the changes to crew procedures and training enhancements, will give them the confidence to validate the aircraft as safe to fly in their respective countries and regions.  Following the return to service, the FAA will continue to work closely with our foreign civil aviation partners to evaluate any potential additional enhancements for the aircraft. The agency also will conduct the same rigorous, continued operational safety oversight of the MAX that we provide for the entire U.S. commercial fleet.

View a video from Administrator Dickson.

Photo: Joe G. Walker.

Boeing to consolidate 787 production in South Carolina in 2021

Boeing made this announcement:

As the airline industry continues to address the impact of COVID-19, The Boeing Company said today it will consolidate production of 787 jets at its facility in North Charleston, S.C., starting in mid-2021, according to the company’s best estimate. The decision comes as the company is strategically taking action to preserve liquidity and reposition certain lines of business in the current global environment to enhance efficiency and improve performance for the long-term.

While Boeing’s versatile 787 family has outperformed other widebody airplanes during the challenging market downturn, its production system has been adjusted to accommodate the current difficult market environment while positioning the 787 family to ramp up production as air travel increases.

“Our team in Puget Sound will continue to focus on efficiently building our 737, 747, 767 and 777 airplane families, and both sites will drive Boeing initiatives to further enhance safety, quality, and operational excellence.”

The company began assembling 787-8 and 787-9 airplanes at its Everett site in 2007, and brought the North Charleston facility on line as a second final assembly line in 2010. However, only the North Charleston site is set up to build the larger 787-10 model. Production of the smaller 787 models will continue in Everett until the program transitions to the previously-announced production rate of six airplanes a month in 2021.

In July, Boeing announced an in-depth study into the feasibility of producing 787s at a single location. The review examined the impacts and benefits to Boeing customers, suppliers, employees and the overall health of the production system. The 787 study is part of an enterprise review underway to reassess all aspects of Boeing’s facility footprint, organizational structure, portfolio and investment mix, and supply chain health and stability.

This analysis confirmed the feasibility and efficiency gains created by consolidation, which enables the company to accelerate improvements and target investments to better support customers.

“We recognize that production decisions can impact our teammates, industry and our community partners,” said Deal. “We extensively evaluated every aspect of the program and engaged with our stakeholders on how we can best partner moving forward. These efforts will further refine 787 production and enhance the airplane’s value proposition.”

Boeing said it is assessing potential impacts to employment in Everett and North Charleston and will communicate any changes directly to its employees.

 

Boeing licenses Ultraviolet Wand to Healthe, Inc. to counter COVID-19

Boeing entered into a patent and technology license with Florida-based Healthe® Inc. today under which Healthe will manufacture an ultraviolet (UV) wand designed to sanitize airplane interiors. Boeing designed and developed the UV wand as part of the company’s Confident Travel Initiative (CTI) to support customers and enhance the safety and well-being of passengers and crews during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The UV wand is designed to be more effective than similar devices. It quickly disinfects surfaces on an airplane and further strengthens other layers of protection for passengers and crew,” said Mike Delaney, who leads Boeing’s CTI efforts. “Boeing spent six months transforming an idea for the wand into a working model, and Healthe will now take that prototype and make it available to the world at large.”

Healthe will produce and distribute the commercial wand, helping airlines and potentially others combat the coronavirus pandemic. The technology could be available for airlines in late fall. The device is an addition to sanitizing and protective measures already in place, which include the use of high-efficiency particulate air filters that trap more than 99.9% of particulates and prevent them from re-circulating back to the cabin.

“We are proud to be assisting Boeing as they work with their partner airlines to enhance in-cabin plane sanitization efforts. This could also benefit schools, hospitals, offices, wherever pathogens go,” said Abe Morris, Healthe executive chairman. “As we ramp up deployment of our cutting-edge UVC and Far-UVC 222 light solutions across many sectors, this new commercial-grade wand will be another powerful tool in the sanitization arsenal to protect passengers against the spread of harmful viruses.”

The UV wand uses 222 nanometer UVC light. Research indicates 222 nanometer UVC inactivates pathogens effectively.

Using the self-contained apparatus that resembles a carry-on suitcase, crews can pass UV light over high-touch surfaces, sanitizing everywhere the light reaches. The UV wand is particularly effective in compact spaces and sanitizes a flight deck in less than 15 minutes.

As part of CTI, Boeing solicited feedback from multiple industry sources, which aided in quickly validating this technology. Etihad Airways was the first to evaluate the device, and the UV wand was demonstrated on the Etihad 787-10 ecoDemonstrator airplane on Aug. 21.

The mission of Boeing’s Confident Travel Initiative is to be a leader in the global effort to provide passengers and crew a safe, healthy and efficient travel experience.

Boeing receives an order for two 737-800 Boeing Converted Freighters (BCF)

Boeing has made this announcement:

Boeing has announced a firm order from an unidentified customer for two 737-800 Boeing Converted Freighters (BCF), as well as agreements to open additional conversion lines in Guangzhou, China, and Singapore to meet strong market demand.

Based on the popular Next-Generation 737, the 737-800BCF offers operators newer technology, lower fuel consumption and higher reliability than other standard-body freighters. Primarily used to carry express cargo on domestic or short-haul routes, the airplane is capable of carrying up to 23.9 tons (52,800 pounds) and flying up to 2,000 nautical miles (3,750 kilometers).

The 737-800BCF now has 134 orders and commitments.

The new 737-800BCF line at Guangzhou Aircraft Maintenance Engineering Company Limited (GAMECO) is scheduled to open in early 2021, marking the MRO’s second conversion line for the market-leading 737-800BCF. To date, Boeing has delivered 36 737-800BCF to more than 10 operators across four continents.

Boeing will also add a second conversion line for its widebody converted freighter, the 767-300BCF, at ST Engineering’s facility in Singapore. The second line is scheduled to open later this year.

House Final Committee Report on the Boeing 737 MAX

Chair of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and Chair of the Subcommittee on Aviation Rick Larsen (D-WA) one September 16, 2020 released the Committee’s final report on the Boeing 737 MAX. This report, prepared by Majority Staff, lays out the serious flaws and missteps in the design, development, and certification of the aircraft, which entered commercial service in 2017 before suffering two deadly crashes within five months of each other that killed a total of 346 people, including eight Americans.

The Committee’s 238-page report, which points to repeated and serious failures by both The Boeing Company (Boeing) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), contains five central themes and includes more than six dozen investigative findings. These themes include:

  • Production pressures that jeopardized the safety of the flying public. There was tremendous financial pressure on Boeing and the 737 MAX program to compete with Airbus’ new A320neo aircraft. Among other things, this pressure resulted in extensive efforts to cut costs, maintain the 737 MAX program schedule, and avoid slowing the 737 MAX production line.
  • Faulty Design and Performance Assumptions. Boeing made fundamentally faulty assumptions about critical technologies on the 737 MAX, most notably with MCAS, the software designed to automatically push the airplane’s nose down in certain conditions. Boeing also expected that pilots, who were largely unaware that MCAS existed, would be able to mitigate any potential malfunction.
  • Culture of Concealment. Boeing withheld crucial information from the FAA, its customers, and 737 MAX pilots, including internal test data that revealed it took a Boeing test pilot more than 10 seconds to diagnose and respond to uncommanded MCAS activation in a flight simulator, a condition the pilot described as “catastrophic.” Federal guidelines assume pilots will respond to this condition within four seconds.
  • Conflicted Representation. The FAA’s current oversight structure with respect to Boeing creates inherent conflicts of interest that have jeopardized the safety of the flying public. The report documents multiple instances in which Boeing employees who have been authorized to perform work on behalf of the FAA failed to alert the FAA to potential safety and/or certification issues.
  • Boeing’s Influence Over the FAA’s Oversight Structure. Multiple career FAA officials have documented examples where FAA management overruled a determination of the FAA’s own technical experts at the behest of Boeing. These examples are consistent with results of a recent draft FAA employee “safety culture” survey that showed many FAA employees believed its senior leaders are more concerned with helping industry achieve its goals and are not held accountable for safety-related decisions.

“Our report lays out disturbing revelations about how Boeing—under pressure to compete with Airbus and deliver profits for Wall Street—escaped scrutiny from the FAA, withheld critical information from pilots, and ultimately put planes into service that killed 346 innocent people. What’s particularly infuriating is how Boeing and FAA both gambled with public safety in the critical time period between the two crashes,” Chair DeFazio said. “On behalf of the families of the victims of both crashes, as well as anyone who steps on a plane expecting to arrive at their destination safely, we are making this report public to put a spotlight not only on the broken safety culture at Boeing but also the gaps in the regulatory system at the FAA that allowed this fatally-flawed plane into service. Critically, our report gives Congress a roadmap on the steps we must take to reinforce aviation safety and regulatory transparency, increase Federal oversight, and improve corporate accountability to help ensure the story of the Boeing 737 MAX is never, ever repeated.”

“The Committee’s thorough investigation uncovered errors that are difficult to hear, but necessary to confront about the 737 MAX certification,” Chair Larsen said. “This report, combined with the findings and recommendations from the Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines investigations, National Transportation Safety Board, Joint Authorities Technical Review and other entities, serve as a roadmap for changes to the FAA certification process. The 346 victims of the two tragic crashes and their families, as well as the traveling public rightfully expect Congress to act. As the Committee moves into the next phase of oversight, I will continue to work with Chair DeFazio and my colleagues to address the significant cultural and structural deficiencies identified in the report in order to improve safety.”

Additional information:

At the direction of Chair DeFazio and Subcommittee Chair Larsen, the Committee launched an investigation into the design, development, and certification of the 737 MAX, and related issues, in March 2019, shortly after the second crash involving a Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. As part of the 18-month long investigation, the Committee held five public hearings with more than 20 witnesses; wrote nearly two dozen oversight letters, obtained an estimated 600,000 pages of documents from Boeing, the FAA, and others; received information and insight from former and current employees who contacted the Committee directly through the Committee’s whistleblower link; and interviewed dozens of current and former Boeing and FAA employees.

To access the Final Report, newly released accompanying records, including transcribed interviews of both senior Boeing and FAA officials about the 737 MAX, as well as past statements, hearing video, and more, click here.

Boeing Statement on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Report on 737 MAX

Boeing cooperated fully and extensively with the Committee’s inquiry since it began in early 2019. We have been hard at work strengthening our safety culture and rebuilding trust with our customers, regulators, and the flying public. The passengers and crew on board Lion Air Flight 610 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, as well as their loved ones, continue to be in our thoughts and prayers.

Multiple committees, experts, and governmental authorities have examined issues related to the MAX, and we have incorporated many of their recommendations, as well as the results of our own internal reviews, into the 737 MAX and the overall airplane design process. The revised design of the MAX has received intensive internal and regulatory review, including more than 375,000 engineering and test hours and 1,300 test flights. Once the FAA and other regulators have determined the MAX can safely return to service, it will be one of the most thoroughly scrutinized aircraft in history, and we have full confidence in its safety. We have also taken steps to bolster safety across our company, consulting outside experts and learning from best practices in other industries. We have set up a new safety organization to enhance and standardize safety practices, restructured our engineering organization to give engineers a stronger voice and a more direct line to share concerns with top management, created a permanent Aerospace Safety Committee of our Board of Directors as well as expanded the role of the Safety Promotion Center.

We have learned many hard lessons as a company from the accidents of Lion Air Flight 610 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, and from the mistakes we have made.  As this report recognizes, we have made fundamental changes to our company as a result, and continue to look for ways to improve. Change is always hard and requires daily commitment, but we as a company are dedicated to doing the work.

For more information on steps Boeing is taking to strengthen safety, visit our 2020 Proxy Statement and our 737 MAX Resources Page.

Boeing and Etihad Airways concluded testing on the ecoDemonstrator program

Boeing and Etihad Airways concluded testing on the aerospace company’s 2020 ecoDemonstrator program last week with a cross-country flight using a 50/50 blend of sustainable and traditional jet fuel.

Flying from Seattle to Boeing’s manufacturing site in South Carolina, Etihad’s newest 787-10 Dreamliner used the maximum sustainable fuel blend permitted for commercial aviation. The transcontinental flight also demonstrated a new way for pilots, air traffic controllers and airline operations centers to communicate simultaneously and optimize routing.

Boeing’s ecoDemonstrator program takes promising technologies out of the lab and tests them in the air to accelerate innovation. This year’s program evaluated four projects to reduce emissions and noise and enhance the safety and health of passengers and crew. All of the 787-10 test flights used a blend of traditional jet fuel and sustainable fuel produced from inedible agricultural wastes to minimize emissions, with the final flight operating at the maximum 50/50 commercial blend.

The fuel from World Energy and supplied to Boeing by EPIC Fuels has been certified by the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials to reduce carbon emissions by more than 75% over the fuel’s life cycle.

The partnership between Boeing and Etihad Airways represents a longstanding collaboration to make flying more sustainable. The two companies were among the founding partners that created the Sustainable Bioenergy Research Consortium in 2010. Based at Khalifa University near Abu Dhabi, the pilot project for a unique desert ecosystem produces sustainable fuel from plants that grow in the desert, irrigated by coastal seawater. Etihad used the initial batch of fuel from the pilot project in January 2019 on a passenger flight from Abu Dhabi to Amsterdam.

In January 2020, Etihad took delivery of its signature green 787-10 using a fuel mix comprising 30% SAF produced by World Energy.

Boeing has been a leader in industry efforts to develop sustainable aviation fuel since before the first test flight on a commercial airliner in 2008. Along with others in the industry, the company worked to gain certification of sustainable fuel for commercial use in 2011 and collaborates around the world to create regional production roadmaps.

For more than a decade, World Energy and EPIC Fuels have produced and supplied SAF to Boeing for flight testing. Boeing offers airlines the option of using sustainable fuel for their airplane delivery flights. The first of these occurred in 2012 with an Etihad 777-300ER delivery flight from Everett, Washington, to Abu Dhabi.

Photo: Boeing.

 

Reuters: Boeing finds a new 787 Dreamliner production problem

From Reuters:

“Boeing Company warned on Tuesday of delays in deliveries of its 787 Dreamliner, as three separate production flaws over the past year hamper efforts to develop an alternative cash cow to its grounded 737 MAX.

In the latest issue, Boeing learned during fabrication of the 787 horizontal stabilizer that some components were clamped with greater force than specified, which could result in improper gap verification and shimming. Boeing identified the problem in February and announced it on Tuesday.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said Tuesday it “is investigating manufacturing flaws affecting certain Boeing 787 jetliners. The agency continues to engage with Boeing.”