Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Boeing Month Ending August 2016 787 Program Numbers

The Month of August was subdued with a production/delivery output of only nine 787's delivered. However, September is front loaded with three or four 787's for the first week which normally is a dormant period of time during each month, as Boeing has exhausted its potential during the end of the prior month. Using the gauge of what’s delivered vs the year completed a simple forecast can be made.  66% of the year has passed with 91 total deliveries. Which is right on pace for achieving 138 Dreamliners to be delivered in 2016.

Fig. 1

The ninety day moving average goal of having delivered twelve a month has been reach with a  12.33 averaged each month. Even though August was a sub goal month the two prior months of fourteen 787 delivered exceeded Boeing guidance. September will make or exceed Boeing guidance of 12 a month.


Program strength is indicated in the below fig 3. The 454 787 delivered over-all establishes wide Body dominance over its rival Airbus. The backlog of 719 provides Boeing with the opportunity for more sales as it out produces and has more availability for production slots as Airbus sorts out its supply chain problems for its A350 Model. It will be another 3-5 years before Airbus matures its production to the level Boeing currently finds itself.


The by model spread is indicative of program strength as the 787-9 has overtaken the 787-8 by far during 2016. 


The below figure indicates Boeing has a leaner production model as only forty 787 are in process at one time. Prior to this Boeing has anywhere from 48-52 787 in the production mode at one time. The year 2016 is showing it has reduced the production process by about 10% body’s in-line at one time thus indicating a smoother and faster build flow.

Fig. 5

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

787 Orders are Fomenting in the Background

Qantas is going for forty-five more Dreamliners in 2017 or there about, China has indicated a lust for the Dreamliner, and a large order for 787-10 is hanging in the cusp from the Middle East. All this spells a 787 bounce after 2016 or remaining during the 2016 order lull for this type.

Customers have suggested orders in the making for this the 787. If all things are optimistically considered Boeing could harvest 200+ more Dreamliners for its books by 2020, thus bringing its over-all total beyond 1300. It’s the magic number for Boeing for reaching a break-even over its 28 Billion money pit.

In reality there will be some lost orders and some surprise orders yet to materialize, but the main thing Boeing has an active back stage changing its outlook. Qantas is looking for a per plane profit for its experimental operational fleet of eight yet to be delivered 787-9's before it jumps into the order bin for Boeing. Can Qantas make money with the 787-9 for its type of routes and customer base? It was noted they canceled the last of its ordered A-380 from a capital and passenger squeezing from financial planners. It is also noted the 787 makes money even with struggling operations such as Air India.

Qantas can't find routes filling the giant A-380 holding Australians and others for vacation. However, they are more likely can fill and fly the 787-9 while making a better profit per seat than the A-380. That is the business model, and yes the few 787-8's it now holds with subsidiary  Jetstar (11), makes Qantas a sizable profit from its 787 wide body segment it currently holds. Time is the play that must be acted out and not by the Boeing 787-9 performance metric it needs as some kind of excuse for not placing an order at this time. Qantas has nothing but time for leveraging an efficient and revamped operation from the former times of lost values. 

The 787-9 will of course seem luxuriant against the Jetstar's 787-8 fleet of eleven. Five years ago Qantas announced it would buy a boatload of 787-9's, such as about 35 of its type. Then it cancelled the lot during August of 2012. By 2015 it wanted a mulligan order delivering in 2017 with its 787-9's.

Australian 2015:
"Four of the fuel-efficient Boeing 787-9s will be delivered in the 2017-2018 financial year, with the next four from 2018-2019."

The order is for eight 787-9's, which are awaiting a Qantas review for the in-service metrics for 787-9 efficiency and what it contributes towards a positive financial bottom line. We all know the outcome of that profitable metric. Only Qantas fails to see what the outcome will be until it flies select routes while introducing this type into its fleet during its replacement with the venerable 747-400.

It’s a reasonable and appropriate business check, however there are already over 400 hundred 787 flying examples around the world answering the Qantas question. The 787, no matter the model type, makes money if you fill the aircraft. That is Qantas real question. Can they fill an airplane for long routes more than it will run the 787 efficiently? The nation’s airline must answer that question as Qantas reformulates its offering. The A-380 is at max usefulness for Qantas in Australia, as there are only so many Australian's who may potentially fly and an unlimited number of passengers from around the world wanting to travel to Australia where the A-380 can't land. 

The test must be made with flying customers no matter the aircraft manufacturer/type providing the aircraft. Australia and its visitors will grow in the Qantas bet. This is just one example of a Boeing customer who has a pending a sizable order.

The second big time operator in search of an aircraft is found in the common suitor for a big frame, Emirates. It is in search of a big aircraft when its main leader, Tim Clark reports:

"Clark says the performance offered by the new-generation widebody twinjets "gives whoever has them great potential". (a reference with a choice between the A-350 and 787-10) 

It’s between Boeing and Airbus of course and the mark is for up to 100 aircraft such as the Boeing 787-10.

Emirates is number crunching its way into nirvana with making its choice. It has already taken two years and no decision has been made. One can only conclude the decision has already been made and it awaits some timing to align with its order. 

A team of accountants know the answer already. In both the aforementioned cases the customer controls the clock. The only concern for Emirates is thrust with its heat and range for the aircraft. The A-350 has better range than the 787-10 but for how many people? The 787-10 has purported enough thrust for hot conditions. But is it limited by certain weight conditions restraining a certain passenger count? Boeing could give the 787-10 more seating space while reducing take-off weight, a common configuration for routes and conditions.

No one is saying. Emirates Tim Clark could be milking the clock for a best offer from either, when in fact it knows what it needs at this time, but is holding its cards close to the vest. My own conclusion is concerning the backlog for either maker or when it can deliver. The race is in the 787-10 development and build spots for either manufacturer. 

Airbus has not solved its production line woes where Emirates would have already pounced into some build slots if it could. It’s waiting for either manufacturer to preposition itself for Emirates time table by completing air frame development (Boeing) or completing production efficiency (Airbus). The forth coming order expects a long range first delivery time by 2020, and beyond, and not necessarily in a continuous stream. 

It is also waiting for a manufacturer presentation of a year by year delivery schedule keeping pace with Emirates growth and replacement needs. Guessing is the best estimate for that answer. I can see Emirates wanting ten aircraft a year for ten years starting in 2020.

Who can even do that at this time after studying respective order books? It can be done only by the order book natural churning where other customers cancel or financial miss-fortunes of an airline delays a delivery order. Could an airline like Emirates fill in after it becomes a risky promise when a framer offers production room? 

Airbus would like to even make ten A-350’s in a half year at this time thus it has clouded up its order book. Advantage goes to Boeing as Emirates waits to see what can be done on the delivery table before it orders.

Boeing bullet points toward winning Bid for the 787-10;

·      Delivery slots

·      Development timing

·      Model fit

Saturday, August 20, 2016

The A350 Is Becoming Late At The Gate

Airbus is seeking making fifty of A-350 during 2016. They have delivered only fifteen to date during 2016. The month of August is a French sacred cow for vacationers on the continent. Airbus is desperate to offer overtime and work to the vacationers at the plant to meet production goals.

Quoting the press, "“It would be a disaster for Airbus to miss its 50-aircraft target. The costs of the A350 programme aren’t coming down and delayed deliveries mean airlines seek compensation, so it’s a double whammy.” 

What's a company to do when escaping the inevitable of sub fifty production? Boeing is making fifty 787's every four months without the desperate call for immense overtime. In real time Airbus hopes to build four A-350's per month but it even fall short of that goal. Its customers who are anxious to get their hands on the A-350's, may 
in turn opt to say, "We ain't going unless its Boeing", and line up with the recent 787 production surge while tapping into the shrinking Boeing 787 backlog, which has shrunk under the stumbling Airbus A-350 backlog.

Overtime is the stated strategy, and then no vacations in the south of France the final penalty. Airbus has long said its supplier chain is the problem where they all of a sudden can put the peddle to the metal and surge forward to fifty by year's end. The suppliers carefully worded its response to Airbus, "we are capable and ready for your production pace". 

Who’s correct in this problem? Is it a season problem or a long standing production flaw in the Airbus scheme of things? Airbus said they could reach Boeing like production numbers from three years of first delivery back in 2014. Year end is rapidly closing with a paltry fifteen bodies in 2016 so far.

Customers can't plan anything with this Airbus response of so few A-350's and having a larger wide body backlog than Boeing is because Boeing it is making so many. Not only is the A-380 languishing in the market and production line, it appears customers have a way out of its A-350 dilemma from its slow delivery pace by penalizing Airbus. The answer comes back to overtime in the month of August and cancel your vacation plans French workforce. "C'est la gerre", Boeing has been ramping up with a very successful air frame and Airbus is stuck in the French mud and not going south of France just as yet.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Has The 787 Reached The Doldrums In 2016?

If considering all the 787 news in a composite picture the view would indeed make the 787 program seem like it has turned into a sedate like stupor from lack of August production and a lack of sales in a worldwide market place. Only nine 787's are expected from Boeing in August after a robust back to back production numbers of 14 in each of the months June and July.

Image result for doldrums

Orders for the 787 seem to be stagnant and somewhat questionable going forward this fall, signaling a slow year for the 787 sales. Those hoping for a 787 demise such as Airbus may suffer a real disappointment in 2016, as both its production and sales for its A350 become a mere shadow of Boeing's ultimate number for 2016.

Boeing has booked a nominal "net" nineteen 787 for 2016 and incredibly this summer has been a hot summer while thrust reversing are questionable for its 787 engines. The summer continues on heating up while 787 sales languish.

Now the other side of the coin suggests a percolation of sales are about to bubble up and the new issues are just the culmination of a mature program, for which can never shake those types of questions going forward. The program's flight cycles and flying conditions will reveal any issues as time goes forward, while the Boeing data system documents the 787 and the operational end of the puzzle has a built in safety net where systems redundancy, preventive measures, and lessons learned mitigates any harm before a problematic outcome can ever be reached.

Hence the summer doldrums are reached while the 787-10 production footprint is established in Charleston, SC. Then the Everett,WA plant takes the brunt of Boeing's August wide body production capacity for the 787, resulting in the paltry nine 787's expected for delivery during the month.

There are rumors of sales announcements or pending customer approvals while those customers reaches its decisions. If all things are considered it will make the Boeing company the ultimate winner for the 2016 order book totals over its rival, Airbus.

Somebody is going to win an order for 100 wide bodies.  China is not done ordering yet in 2016. There are always the long term customer's who have historically ordered Boeing aircraft, but they have not positioned themselves for pulling the the order trigger. Counting all these suppositions, one could make the air framer a very good year and with only four more months in 2016 to go.

Forecaster look at long range averages and standard deviation factors assigned by seasonality indicators, and then coming up with how many aircraft are needed in a given year, without acknowledging this doldrum period currently in play. It only looks at the overarching data. By combining the rumors and projections together, Boeing has made it to a position of wide body domination and becoming the leading edge in the aviation world.  It may sell its production number in 2016 which is a truly achievable goal.  

Although Boeing has to reach the doldrums at this time in order to meet its goals for the 787-10 production, and then trim its back-log back while not pushing for sales announcements, therefore it allows for customer satisfaction while it places orders its new 787's during the fall of 2016.  

Thursday, August 4, 2016

What's Up With 2016 787 Deliveries.

This report is a status concerning deliveries for Boeing's 787 during 2016. Boeing has delivered YTD Eighty -Seven 787 to its customers. This represent about 12.4 787's average delivery a month over seven months. Using the "All Things 787" data from the delivery column from August 1, 2016 through December 31, 2016 interpolates outward with a 140, 787 number. Boeing has scheduled for delivery, fifty-three more 787's for the remainder of this year. This may result in a 11.66 average per month for the year. Boeing may surprise and push additional 787 through during December as they have done in the past years.

A total of one hundred and forty 787's are derived from those scheduled in the queue to be delivered and the 87 already delivered eclipsing the one-hundred and Thirty-eight 787's predicted earlier.

Boeing should reach 140 aircraft of this type delivered, pending customer acceptance during 2016. If it does accomplishment this effort, then Boeing can count its cash potential for wide body transaction for the year as a fairly accurate value.

F-35 IOC What It Means

The F-35 is combat ready for certain applications but not all application found within the War Fighters capable constructs at this time.

Looking from the front line fighters at hill Airbase Utah, or representing this first wing in the nation as "War Capable", come with strings attached with current capability.

Capability Items:

·      Can it go to war and deliver? Yes.
·      It useful in any military operation? Yes.
·      Can it beat adversarial combatants in dog fights at this point in its development? Possibly and maybe?
·      Will it beat adversarial combatants without any conditional limits going forward? Yes It Will.
·      Does it do everything Lockheed originally promised during the construction process? NO!
·      Will it eventually achieve an Air Superiority profile during this concurrent period it has just entered? Yes it will gain the Air Superiority Profile against all adversaries currently in its respective works-in-process!
·      What phase is the F-35 IOC? Phase one, with a new phase added every 24 months with updates, armament and pilot learning curve, as each added capability is applied.

The complainers’ corner:

·      The ejection seat could cause death before this check list item was fixed since last year’s failure announcement!
·      Block 3i is not block 3F and that will come by 2020.
·      Wasn't there an engine fire?
·      The computers did shut down during flight.
·      The F-16 beats the F-35 version 2B whose systems were restricted during testing.
·      It doesn't dog fight as well as 4th generation fighters.
·      The F-35 was not built for dog fighting.
·      Are all weapons systems are not available for the F-35 at this Current time. Yes, complainers are correct.

Having presented a few notes found in the press reports, it is clear that the F-35 coming out of only a Phase I or called IOC, which is a sound foundation for adding all additional promised capabilities, as it will gradually become Superior once pilots figure out its matured capability, which happens to be phase II for the F-35. How can we use the superior sensors interlocking with flying groups combating both land, air, and missile defense systems unless Phase II is accomplished? 

The sum of all its flying parts is far superior to a fourth generation fighters capabilities. Those parts are just now being applied within the air frame where pilots must learn how to use the compliment of its systems available. Dog fighting is like the 10th century jousting of knights with armor, after which the F-35 goes forward into the 21st century with having the pleasure of shooting down that knight before it even knows the F-35 is even within a hundred miles distance. A new era has arrive where rules of engagement are being rewritten after each F-35 reaches an Airbase near your home. What has to be learned with the F-35 supersedes its current capability, and all outlooks from those flying them remain awesome within current aviators’ comments.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

July Closes: Boeing with Dream Production Lines at 14 a Month Pace

July 2016 closes with a strong 787 production performance as the 787 has reach the eighty-second 787 delivered for 2016 by July's end. Boeing is exceeding guidance of Twelve 787 a month as announced earlier in the year for its benchmark during 2016. However, this footrace is leaving Airbus in the dust as it will take three more years before it can even approach the Boeing 787 production pace, at which time Boeing should have already announced a fourteen a month pace for 2017. 

This amounts to approximately 144 dream-liners a year pace (12/mo) for 2016 and another 168 dream-liners (14/mo) during the year in 2017. This does not account for months needed when producing a lower monthly number during a production ramp up. 

The year 2016 will come in under 144 units and is expected to deliver about 138 Dream-Liners this year because of the ramp-up period under produces stated goals of 12 a month. 

Eighty-two YTD Dreamliners is Key Number Below: The 1173 787's ordered is an unconfirmed number, but from press reports this is the number that should be the total orders when Boeing confirms all transactions.

The 787-8 has significantly lower numbers produced each month than the 787-9 during this last quarter. About 71% of the 787-8 ordered have already been delivered, where 23% of the 787-9 have been delivered against what has been ordered. The delivery number per month by percentage reverses in that about out of fourteen 787 delivered in a month totaling 70% are 787-9's and less than 30% total 787-8's delivered each period. 

In ninety days Boeing has delivered twelve 787-8's and thirty 787-9's with a ratio of 28% 787-8's, and 71% 787-9's while analyzing its ninety day total from forty-two 787 Dream Liners delivered. This pace alone if projected out to 12 months would equal an annual pace of 168 Dreamliners a year.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

The F-35 Climbs The Hill In Utah

There's Eglin in Florida for the F-35A and Yuma with the F-35B for the Marines. But not least on the list is the real star found with the F-35 program, Hill AFB Utah. What's the difference between the Patuxent River Naval Air Station in Maryland for the Navy and Hill AFB in Utah,­­­­­ and what's the deal about Hill and its F-35A's? First and foremost Patuxent is a formal training and testing center for domestic and foreign participants in the F-35 development program.

and then...
Here is the: Hill AFB F-35 military only score card below:

  • 15 F-35's on location
  • 12 F-35's ready for IOC
  • 21 F-35 Pilots flying daily
  • 488 F-35 sorties completed (probably higher @ posting).
  • 220 F-35 Maintainers (cream of the crop handpicked personnel)
  • 88 consecutive real time field sorties
  • 15 out 16 field Bomb successes with one faulty bomb failure.
  • Undefeated in air to air field combat tests.
What does this all mean? The F-35 is better than what nay sayers can muster against its viability as a superior air command fighter. The critics came from 2015 going against everything F-35. A Hill AFB pilot who since has come from Eglin in 2015 has stated, 

"The plane I flew at Eglin is not even close to the ones I fly at Hill". 

"The Hill aircraft are so much better, more prepared and functional matching up to its current potential, it would be unfair to compare it with the circa 2015 Eglin F-35" (paraphrased quotes). 

Concurrency is demonstrated with the Hill maintenance model. There were several flaws discovered from testing concerning G-force fuel distribution limits and an inherent vulnerability from lighting strikes. Even though this is not all the flaws the F-35 has to overcome, it was a field test for its service members’ maintainers, testing if they could resolve problems on station going beyond its normal maintenance issues while using service maintainers for resolving F-35A upgrades.

The answer came quickly with this "A Team" of maintainers. They prepared twelve F-35's applying updates to the air frame and by solving the G-force fuel problem and then maintainers prepared the F-35 for lighting strikes, per maintenance bulletins (important IOC to-do list item) coming from the manufacturer, Lockheed Martin. Mission was accomplished and it also included computer software up-dates installed on the Hill F-35's for the first dozen fighters. 

Concurrently, the Lockheed Martin production line is installing the Hill AFB proven modifications so that Hill's aircraft number 25 coming to the base maintainers will have all updates for those aforementioned issues it had successfully fixed on station with its first fifteen F-35's.

In June, six prepared F-35A's went to Mountain Home for a week fighting against adversarial F-16 and F-15's.

Those are the USAF premier multi-role fighters defending our nation today. The sad part of this exercise is that these fighter types were flying lost against the F-35 and could not obtain a kill unless a flying accident were even to occur. 

The complainers find little solace in the Mountain Home exercise and they have not opine over the recent Red Flag exercise in Nevada which the F-35 recently participated in. Senator McCain has met his F-35 match and was shot down with his own words, The F-35 is "a scandal and tragedy". It’s more like tricky, slippery and once mastered, unfair to others trying to take it out.

In Utah, the F-35 stands up on the "Hill".

Friday, July 29, 2016

Boeing Smokes 'em If They Got 'em

Guidance and projections on corporate earnings is a tricky place. The old adage smoke'em if you got'em (cigars) is in play when it recognizes cost through write downs against stock valuations during current constant times. The numbers after third quarter make even the squeamish turn its color of green into red. Boeing is making adjustments from both the 787 and 767 Tanker program, pushing its stock around on a year over year basis. Actual numbers are found in its stock valuation as it drops and changes with the financial models that are set-up for future improvements, and as it rapidly approaches a "norming" phase for its family of aircraft. Every type is undergoing a vast changes from the 737 Max to the 787 program with only the 747-8's in a doubtful position. 

The forecasts are cast in shadows from vulnerabilities exposed from its KC-46 tanker program costs to its 777X program having some sales uncertainty. Having both the Max and 787-10 stepping forward in the same time slot may certainly arouse some stock pricing angst and will also add to the Boeing risk element for its financials. Hinting at retiring the 747 program is also a signal Boeing is propositioning its next foray into advanced technology by losing the monkey hanging over its head.

In other words Boeing has dumped cost up front so it may proceed forward in a more solid financial position as its new programs come into fruition

Will Boeing Commercial Planes Still Disappoint in 2016?

In spite of the dangers where Boeing is walking through important program inefficiency, the outlook should improve by year end or the Beginning of 2017 as it maintains solid production output and then benefiting  through generating a cash abundance environment for its commercial programs.

F-35 IOC

A difficult time for Boeing is watching Lockheed Martin have its F-35 reach IOC on August 2nd, 2016. The F-35A Air Force version has proven itself against every IOC requirement thrown in its way. The Initial Operational Capability tests launches the Block 2B lot of F-35 aircraft ready for combat going to the Block 3i level completeness. This next level polishes off the code in a combat workman like manner. It will be able to have true situational awareness for the war fighter and its pilots. This is the fifth generation anchor for its capability. A system that can defeat any enemy instead of relying on agility, speed and physical capabilities matching all fourth generation war fighters. Fifth generation fighters will have data resources coming into the war bird from ground, space and air to air realms. 

A touch screech directs the data to optimal results in a millisecond. The early on pilot testers reported using initial software loads could not maximize the aircraft's fighting purpose going against an F-16. The point of that testing demonstrated the aircraft did not have the muscle against the F-16 where its "brains" were not available for the exercise and the F-35 was no match. 

The second concern was coming from the pilot who could not master its aircraft attributes in combat testing. Otherwise "they" did not know how to utilize the aircraft fighting advantage and relied on conventional skills for which the F-35 was not designed for while lacking a show of force during air to air combat schemes. But when updates to systems occured and pilots understood the theory of warfare from an F-35 perspective it became a smug experience of having the superior position over the F-16, F-15, and any other fourth generation war bird. It wasn't even a contest when aerial fights occurred between the fourth and fifth generation fighter.

At Mountain Home AFB there was a week of sorties, bombings and dogfights with the F-35 and the home teams F-15 participating. The F-15 had professional pilots who flew their war fighter at a level of combat readiness. They knew all the tricks of Air to Air combat. 

The test wing from Hill AFB Utah only had combat capable aircraft for short time where its maintainers had just completed F-35 mechanical and software updates to the aircraft from the perspective of in service operations and not from the Lockheed Martin team doing the upgrades.

The report card showed a wow moment. The F-35 completed 88 sorties without a hiccup while the Air Force team from Hill was operating in the field, and it made fifteen of sixteen successful bomb runs. The F-15 team was mopped up by the F-35 even though they were a high level unit from Mountain Home. They aren't talking about what happened because the F-35 is that good when applied appropriately using all its attributes of a fifth generation fighter. It may be that the F-35 is so much better than advertised it is better to let an adversary find out in combat when it becomes too late for them to rethink how to combat the F-35.

The key transition has moved from muscle 4th generation to sensory fifth generation attributes. Even though it can fly mach 1.6 or 1200 MPH is doesn't have to go faster but is needed to go longer. The DOD is looking at a new jet engine that can hyper cruise on long runs. Both P&W (135) and Boeing are involved in designing and making a jet engine that does not need an after burner mode to get the job done when it needs additional speed on long runs.

With all the complexities found within this fighter it is expected more issues will emerge as just another glitch in a long line of glitches. A rational thinker sees a strong foundation from its initial frame which can accommodate a continuous flow of updates added to the frame. The WIP approach on the F-35 has set the bar high and in 10-15 years, more development can be installed on the very first frames currently in operation. IOC is the starting gun sounding off for the race towards the F-35's vision of always getting better.