Thursday, May 1, 2014

The Boeing Report

My kind of news is happening too fast when a corner that Boeing has just rounded comes. Scott Fancher announces a consolidation of fleet design starting from the 787 and everything forwards on all programs. Exciting news from the 787-9 as it goes unnoticed with many tidbits that are churning out of Everett, WA. The dash 9 has achieved lighter weight than planned, as an opposite result than the 787-8's plight during the same point in its development five years ago. The 787-9 has configured a laminar flow design working on its flying copies. Slipping through the air better, cleaning up the drag coefficient. Its better than the 787-8 once again. Remember the 787-8 is 20% more fuel efficient than others in its class.

787-9 Milestones:

  • Lighter
  • More Slippery in Air
  • More passengers
  • Improved lessons learned from the initial -8.
  • Improved Engine technology over five years ago

The improvement on the -9 pumps up the 787-10 as it has an establish goal for 7200 mile range. Expect an Increase from 7200 mile range not from fuel increased on board but from the 787-9 implementations given to the 787-10 for its advancements over the 787-8. These advancements may or may not trickle back to the 787-8. However, it affects every model that Boeing is bringing on as a new model. Expect some new advancement implemented on the 787-10 not currently on the 787-10. Commonality, Consistency, and Continuity are Boeing's 3 C's. It’s easy to sit in on a Boeing management meeting if you use these three words at every meeting, you are a Boeing Rock Star as a Boeing Word Smith.

Read below for your enjoyment as your keep up with the Boeing Renaissance:

Pivotal Period for Boeing as Civil Programs Progress On Cue

Airways News Photo 7/17/2013
Characterizing the Boeing 777X program as “stable” and the 787-9 as “lighter than projected,” Boeing Commercial Airplanes vice president of airplane development Scott Fancher issued an upbeat assessment of virtually all he surveys during press briefings at the company’s Everett, Washington, facilities on Tuesday. Estimates cited by Fancher suggest that aircraft under development right now will account for more than half of the company’s commercial airplane sales over the next two decades, meaning the very future of the Boeing division rests on the successful execution of program goals today and in the coming few years. According to Fancher, the market has already spoken and “loudly” in support of Boeing’s approach and execution.
Now approaching the end of its development and testing program, the 787-9 represents the company’s next big test following an admittedly painful process of entry into service of its smaller sibling, the 787-8. In terms of the 787-9’s flight-test program, Fancher reported “no show stoppers” as Boeing prepares to deliver the first airplane to Air New Zealand this summer.
“Engineering on the 787-9 was released ahead of schedule,” said Fancher. “So the system that we put in place is beginning to make a difference.”
The system to which Fancher referred traces its genesis to the formation about a year and a half ago of the new airplane development organization he heads. “Along with that we brought a single integrated management system to our development efforts, a management system that’s really focused on executing with discipline, developing the talent needed to carry through these developments over the next ten years, and a very consistent management system so that we’re able to translate talent from program to program in order to ensure consistency of execution,” said Fancher.
That consistency, said Fancher, resulted in a lighter-than-expected 787-9 airframe, in part due to items such as a change from what program head Mark Jenks described as a “built up” titanium surround structure originally designed for the 787-8 cockpit windows to a simpler, one-piece aluminum structure for the 787-9.
Meanwhile, the biggest Dreamliner—the 787-10—“is coming along as expected,” drawing orders for 132 units from six customers, all of which Fancher called industry leaders. A “simple” stretch of the 787-9, the 787-10 carries an exceptional level of commonality with its smaller sibling and, in fact, the same exact maximum takeoff weight. “But stretching the airplane still presents us with a challenge for maintaining this commonality,” said Fancher. “And to date we’ve achieved and actually exceeded the degree of commonality we targeted for the airplane.” Not only does that characteristic translate into lower maintenance costs for the customer, explained Fancher, it theoretically means fewer disruptions in Boeing’s production system.
The need for production system efficiency applies especially to the 737 and what will become the 737 Max, as Boeing prepares to raise rates to 47 airplanes a month in 2017, right around the time it starts the transition from the NG to the re-engined narrowbody. Full assembly of the first Max starts later this year, flight testing in 2016 and entry into service during the third quarter of 2017.
Finally, the 777X, scheduled for entry into service in 2020, continues to progress through preliminary design phases as Boeing maintains what Fancher called a very stable configuration. “The airplane that we launched last fall is the airplane we have today, and it’s the airplane that we began offering a year earlier,” said Fancher. “That allows our teams to really focus on the preliminary design phase without a lot of variability, without a lot of churn.”
The 777X, featuring “fourth generation” composite wings and new GE9X engines, will employ the same wing design team that worked on the 787, said Fancher, meaning that many of the same engineers will bring lessons learned from their Dreamliner assignments. “There’s some things that you try in any complicated development program that don’t work out so well, and we’ve learned from those as well and made adjustments to our detailed plans based on those learnings,” he noted.
Apart from GE, Boeing has named only landing gear maker Héroux-Devtek as a supplier for the 777X. Nevertheless, said Fancher, Boeing “is well along” in the process of choosing suppliers. “We have plans for the entire airplane,” he said. “That doesn’t mean we don’t have alternatives we’re considering; we do. That doesn’t mean we won’t be conducting competitions; we will. But we have a game plan, a roadmap, through all of those questions and answers that we need, and we have for quite some time.”

New Boeing jets hold key to more than half of future sales

Reuters) - Boeing Co (BA.N) said it expects to finish flight testing its stretched 787-9 Dreamliner in the next two months and deliver it around mid-year, one of six new jets the world's biggest plane-maker aims to get into service by the end of the decade.
Boeing will start fabricating parts for its 737 MAX jetliner this year, keeping that new development program on course for final assembly to start by mid-2015 and service entry in 2017, company officials said in media briefings made public late on Wednesday.
The company also is "well along" in choosing suppliers for its 777X wide-body jet, due to enter service in 2020, though officials would not elaborate on the extent of selection.
The three jets are part of a major overhaul of Boeing's product lines that is "harvesting" technology and lessons from the its original high-tech 787 Dreamliner and adding efficient new engines to make 737 and 777 models that burn less fuel, fly more easily and provide passengers with more comfort.
Chicago-based Boeing is fiercely competing with new models from European rival Airbus Group NV (AIR.PA) to capture its share of a world jetliner market estimated at $4.8 trillion over the next 20 years.
The three jetliner families will account for more than half of Boeing's commercial plane sales over 20 years, said Scott Fancher, senior vice president for airplane development.
"What we have in work today really is the future of Boeing Commercial Airplanes," he said.
Boeing is redesigning the 777X and 737 MAX cockpits to make them mirror the 787 design, including larger displays and other features, making it easier for pilots to move from one aircraft type to another and reducing airline costs.
Boeing said it will seek a common pilot type certification for the 777-300ER, the 787 and the 777X, allowing pilots to fly all three aircraft with as little as five days of additional training.
Here are capsule summaries of the status of the three programs:
787-9 and 787-10
Boeing said the Hybrid Laminar Flow Control system on the tail fin and horizontal stabilizer of the 787-9 produced "significant" reduction in aerodynamic drag in testing, but the company declined to be specific. Boeing plans to use HLFC on the 787-10 but has not decided if it is worth putting on future 787-8 models, said Ed Petkus, deputy chief project engineer for 787 airplane development.
Fancher said Boeing assembly lines in North Charleston, South Carolina and Everett, Washington, would provide flexibility about where to assemble 787-9 and 787-10s, although he declined to say if North Charleston would build either model.
The 787-10, which is undergoing detailed design, will cost 10 percent less to operate than the Airbus A350-900 on a per-seat basis and will have at least 26 more seats, said Jim Haas, Boeing's director of product marketing.
Airbus said in response that the A350 offers 6 percent better fuel efficiency than the current 787-8.
737 MAX
While still under development, the 737 MAX is "meeting or exceeding our performance targets," including 8 percent lower fuel consumption than the Airbus A320neo on a per-seat basis, when configured with 12 more seats, said Keith Leverkuhn, 737 MAX general manager.
Boeing said it will build the air inlet for the engine itself, capturing what is typically a high profit-margin component. The current supplier of part is United Technologies (UTX.N).
The production will be "highly automated and done in South Carolina," Leverkuhn said.
The Airbus A320neo family was launched nearly a year before the 737 MAX, and has garnered about 58 percent of total single-aisle sales of the two jets. But Boeing says the 737 MAX has outsold its rival since coming to the market, garnering about 55 percent. Currently, Airbus has firm orders for 2,667 A320neos versus 1,939 for the 737 MAX.
Boeing said the 737 MAX will be 14 percent more efficient that its current 737. It said 11 percent of the gain comes from the engine and airframe combination, and the rest from aerodynamic improvements. The jet is due to enter service in the third quarter of 2017, Leverkuhn said.
In designing the MAX, Boeing is trying to retain the jet's high reliability and also make it easy to build, because even as the company introduces the new MAX version, it plans to raise the production rate to 47 a month in 2017 from 42 a month currently.
Design of the 777X, a new version of Boeing's top-selling widebody jet, is "very stable," Fancher said.
The design will try to replicate the low noise, higher humidity and higher cabin pressure of the composite-body 787 in the aluminum fuselage of the 777. Boeing also wants to keep the reliability of the 777.
While Boeing continues to refine the 777X in response to customer requests, the company is "not seeing any major configuration changes that would disrupt the development or put risk on the schedule," he said.
Boeing is trying to get the plane certified under an amended type certificate of the current 777, rather than as a new design. The Wall Street Journal reported late Wednesday that the Federal Aviation Administration said it had agreed to Boeing's request.
Boeing did not respond to a request for comment and FAA could not immediately be reached for comment.
Boeing says the 777-9X will have 10 percent lower cost per seat than the A350-1000, will carry more than 50 more passengers and will have more range.
Boeing is widening the interior of the cabin by about 4 inches (10 centimeters) at passenger level by whittling structural frames in the fuselage. That will allow seats to be about two-tenths of an inch wider in 10-abreast configuration, Haas said.
The 777X may be renamed as the 797 and may get a name like the Dreamliner did. But Haas would not be drawn on what that might be.
(Editing by Christopher Cushing and Stephen Coates)