Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Maybe XWB Isn't All That XWB Next To The 777X, Ray Connor Explains

The Seattle Times has come out with a solid report on the 777X revealing Ray Connors PR assessment of comparing the A350 with the 777x in a  discussion format. I will attempt a brief reply to each of these talking points for your own consideration.

"Boeing Commercial Airplanes chief Ray Conner declared Wednesday that the 787 has “turned the corner,” with the fix for its recent battery problem all but completely implemented and production on track to rise to 10 jets a month by year end.
At Boeing’s annual investor conference, Conner confidently predicted that the 787 and the forthcoming 777X will dominate the widebody jet market against competition from Airbus.
“We’re set to take off here in the next couple of years,” he said."

Conner indicated that both the proposed 777X and 787-10 are close to official launch.
LiftnDrag Observations: (Blue font)

The finally factor has hit the turbo fan, as stated before,  this Blog has all flight plans leading to Paris. Connor is ramping up the anticipation for a big show on schedule with this brief. Keep this brief for your notes so you may compare after the Show is over.

“Momentum on the development programs continues to intensify,” he told the audience of Wall Street analysts at the conference. “We are in a lot more detailed discussions than you guys realize with our customers.”
Conner displayed a product line chart that for the first time publicly confirmed the seating capacity of the proposed 777-8X and 777-9X variants. While the 350-seat 777 -8X will go head -to-head with Airbus’s much-touted A350-1000, the 777-9X — carrying more than 400 passengers — “will be kind of sitting there by itself” with no competitive offering from Airbus, he said."

Airbus has already been alerted to these facts long ago and is spinning its report consistently in grand fashion for its first flight worthy A-350 rendering. The hype needle moves higher for both parties. Customers alike are not hearing the rhetoric, as some kind of follow-on mantra, but are keeping its data sheets churning in computer programs.  Ray Connor is leaking lubricated sentiments about the 7778X and 7779x with a steady precision, pounding the point not in vitriolic cadence of a competitor, but of a self assured gambler with a winning hand. The momentum of 777X and 787-10 programs parallel the PR message. As the statements increase so does the progress towards the tipping point nears. The tipping point is full on details followed by sales commitments from its customers.
"It is widely expected that Boeing will launch the 787-10 — the final and largest member of the Dreamliner jet family — at the Paris Air Show next month and the 777X later in the year.
Conner said the 787-10 likely would have been launched already if not for the three-month grounding of the fleet due to the battery overheating incidents in January.
But he suggested that embarrassing interlude, while “a significant challenge,” is almost over.
“Our team responded in a way that was really phenomenal,” Conner said.
He said retrofitting the new battery systems to the worldwide fleet of 50 jets “is over 90 percent done and we should be completed by next week.”
He said airlines will finally resume their planned 787 scheduled services early next month and Boeing is sticking to its plan to deliver more than 60 Dreamliners by year end.
Speaking at a resort on Kiawah Island, outside Charleston, S.C., Conner said the two 787 fuselage fabrication plants in North Charleston are “starting to really hum,” rolling out mid-body and aft-body Dreamliner sections for the final assembly lines in Washington and South Carolina at the new 7 per month rate.
Earlier this month, the first Dreamliner rolled off the assembly line in Everett at that new production rate, putting in sight the goal of 10 per month by year end.
“The 787 is moving in the right direction,” Conner said. “We’ve had some pretty tough years. We have turned the corner.”
Okay, I can say game on and "let's get ready to rumble" (Las Vegas Boxing Ring Announcer). The 787-10' is good as launched, without saying so. Boeing has an appointment in Paris to say so. That is why I am so excited for the Paris Airshow this year.  Boeing has lined up some impressive declarations for the show. They have worked years to upstage Airbus for this moment. All the pumping up and then holding off at the last is a grand moment for the debutants, 787-10, 777X-8, and 777X-9. The Airbus A-350 is going to fly with as much verboseness as possible from John Leahy, et al. John, enjoy the moment, but your talking to number crunchers, and bean counters trying to squeeze a dime out of a nickel (cadmium battery).  The Euro Billions are at stake in June. A lot of face saving comments will flood the microphone with catchy background music. The public will say with a collective, "wow" or "cool", as it looks at airplane pictures and see the collections of  A350, 777X and 787-10 renderings.

To go beyond 10 a month, the company and its suppliers would all have to make a capital investment in new plant and equipment, said Conner. Boeing is studying that option, but won’t make any decision until it achieves the 10 per month rate, he said.
On 777X, Conner said the larger -9X variant, the one without an Airbus rival, will debut first.
And he said he’s confident the 777-8X will compete well with the A350-1000.
Conner said the -8X will fly further with 20 percent better fuel economy and 15 percent better per-seat operating costs than the current star of Boeing’s widebody line-up, the 777-300ER.
Airbus touts an even bigger efficiency jump for its equivalent sized A350-1000, saying it’s going to be 25 percent more fuel efficient than the 777-300ER.
But Conner disputed that, saying that the 777-8X “operating costs are at least on a par with what we think (Airbus) can do.”
In the question and answer session, Conner offered an unusual glimpse of how political fixing can influence the commercial airliner business.
He cited a couple of previously undisclosed factors that in March helped Airbus win a massive 234-jet narrowbody order from Lion Air of Indonesia, previously an all-Boeing customer.
Conner said that while the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration had balked at giving an operating ticket to Lion Air for a new jet maintenance facility, “it looks like they are going to get a ticket from Europe.”
In addition, he said, a ban on Lion Air flying its jets into European airports, imposed because of a poor safety record for Indonesian aviation generally, has been lifted.
Despite that Airbus win, Conner said the 737 MAX will eventually regain market share in the smaller narrowbody jet market against the A320neo jet family.
Clearly though, Boeing foresees no parity in the widebody jet market, only dominance.
“We’ve got them boxed in on A350 at the top,” Conner said."
Dominic Gates: (206) 464-2963 or

Its a wrap, let's parse through the words. In the Do-over Round:

  • The 777X-9 will debut first
  • The 777X-8 will compete with the A350-10 
  • The 777X-8 will have a 20% fuel improvement over the 777-300-ER
  • The A-350-10 will have a 25% fuel improvement over the 777-300-ER
  • 777-8X “operating costs are at least on a par with what we think (Airbus) can do.”
  • Lion Air Caved In on the A320 over the Boeing offering. Maintenance and new perceptions in play by Europe. Euro Government and Airbus Are getting along.
The rose colored glasses are on in Paris and the Air battles from Airbus's new perceptions and Boeings winning package (hand) will dominate the Paris Airshow kiosks throughout. Airbus needs the A-350 to land safely at the show and Boeing needs to pull its hole cards out to win the hand.