Thursday, October 24, 2013

Hello Dubai and 777X

If I had bags of money and wanted to be a 777-X Launch customer I would want a few notable concessions from Boeing predicated upon Boeing delivering these milestone.

A firm entry into service date (penalty premium for each day late or past due).
A performance milestone that exceeds what is offered per seat in the Mini Jumbo Class.
Commonality  factor with its family of Aircraft. The 777 flies like the 787 or 747.
Performance exceeding the A-350-1000.
No Technology Glitch Testing  while in service. Any 787 rashes do not transfer forward to the 777-X
Ground Operation advancements for effective and efficient cost savings over prior generation.

In other words, before I buy I don't want to sucker -punch myself with my competitor, Airbus. These are obvious points discussed in sales meetings where the sales staff have no control over the development process. The sales staff are soliciting a trust or bond from the customer over things that the sales team have no control over as in the 787 case. The sales team may say, "The 787 will not have any down time and be 99% reliable". Then comes a four month grounding due to a major engineering oversight on battery protection, and quality control from Japan's battery people. Ironically, Japan Airlines reacts out against that four month embarrassing delay, by ordering the Airbus' A-350 in a Boeing fortress.

What sales team is getting sucker punched? Boeing's! The set -up  is monumental and complete. Even though the word glitch has six letters it acts as a four letter "G" bomb at an airport security check. The  customer ask questions like, will there be more glitches? Then the sales team pleads for more snacks or a short lunch break.  Here comes the reality pitch!  Every time you move a progression forward there will be "teething pains, Okay"!

However this 787 progression goes beyond the realm of understanding with customers as they labor with its new aircraft. Software is the life blood of the aircraft, receiving a continuous transfusion of updates as it works through a myriad combination of commands, that may in certain processing flows, have an incomplete code handling a particular unplanned-for circumstance. Light goes on and aircraft is grounded until updated. Solution goes out to all 787 airplanes for module updates. This is no small task as there are millions of lines of code flying the 787 and occasionally it hiccups as a situation may cause a system fault unforeseen in programming.  A process is established for dealing with this type of glitching, which has a rapidly diminishing error event occurance, as code is corrected. The 787 redundancy and safety checks make it a sound aircraft except for pesky lights and error reports.

Back to the 777X sales team, the customer asks,"will there be any 787 like glitching on the 777X" I don't want that kind of risk before we buy?"  "Seattle, we have a problem," retorts the sales team. No fear is implored by the master showman from Seattle. The 777X is bringing forward a tried and proven technology from the 787. A price that has been paid in full during its project. The dividend  extends a solid enhancements package for the 777X,  by its demonstration of design completeness.   What glitch goes on in 787 R&D stays in R&D (its not Vagas Baby all risks adverted). The 777X is coming out clean. All technologies are proven or it won't go on the 777X. Boeing knows what works and what doesn't work. A quantum leap in aviation, greater than anything since the Wright Brothers has been accomplished by Boeing's 787. Boeing is harnessing that proven "leap" into the  777X. Remember how long  the 777-models have been flying and how well they have flown. The best mini jumbo in the world today.  Now we are taking that legacy and fusing it with the 787 advancement and proven technologies into the perfect composite/metal aircraft.

The A-380 does not have composite flight surfaces, the 777X will have composite flight surfaces like the indisputable soaring 787. The A-350 is all  composite surfaces like the 787, but does not have a core technology built in light weight electrical mechanism, it has heavy hydraulics.  The 777X is the best of both worlds, a large passenger heavy for 407 passengers, that fits into every major airport not tasking a port authority to rebuild Jet ways for only a handful of flights a day. The 777 will fit into the same spaces where current wide bodies fit. As the 787 progresses over the next year so will the 777X progress. Eliminating any questionable issue before the 777X is even built. The wing will give efficiency as will the weight loss. Combine the newer GE engine with flight management systems and the 777X will beat the competition in its XWB top end. The 777X is already an XWB without sticking that label on it. It is wider and roomier than an Airbus in that class. That is why so many 777-300 are flying today.  The A-350-1000 may be equal to the older frame, but does not approach the X series forth coming.

Glitches? There will be "no stinking glitches coming forward in the press.
Now you know why I'm not on a sales team. I'll tend to say something I can't back up as in JAL's case. Boy, are they upset!  An A-350, really? Just like Boeing's sales team biffing it on the merits of  unforeseen glitching, the JAL buyers squad, biffed it big, by taking out the girl on the corner. Uhuum, Airbus anyone? Its not a sales team failure its a Boeing failure. The twenty year leap over Airbus by Boeing will be realized by 2020. When Airbus board of directors go, "oops, the 787 is really a great airplane, we biffed it too" As the 777-9 quietly whooshes over-head on final approach in Paris!