Wednesday, October 29, 2014

LiftnDrag Scrapbook Feature

United Pilots: We Flew to Chengdu on a Boeing 787 and Loved It: "The Street Headline June 17, 2014"

What professionals say about the 787 from  almost six months ago?

CHENGDU, China ( TheStreet) -- "Dale Harlan, a United (UAL) pilot for 27 years, wanted so badly to fly the Boeing (BA) 787 Dreamliner that he gave up a dream job as a high-seniority 737 captain to fly as a first officer on the new airplane.
That sacrifice got him a spot on a historic flight on June 9, when United Flight 9 became the first non-stop commercial flight ever from North America into the interior of China, perhaps the clearest indication since the 787 began flying for ANA in 2011 that the aircraft's highest and best use is to open new frontiers in air travel.

For the moment, at 6,857 miles, San Francisco/Chengdu is the longest 787 flight to operate non-stop in both directions."
 Its clear professionals will crawl on broken glass on the way to the job just to fly the 787. After 27 years a pilot would give up his capstone position just to fly the 787. That in itself, says something of the flying experience passengers pay for without much acknowledgement, as they board another 787 on a Business Trip. Dale Harlan, later, may have gone on to his career ladder position, but not without first checking out that could be found out with the 787-8. 
However, its still quite a statement to say I'll put promotion aside at this moment and fly the 787 6,857 miles on a super long range flight.
"I wanted to fly this thing," said Harlan, who was a captain for 14 years, as he ticked off some of the airplane's advantages. Among them, lower cabin pressure, higher humidity and reduced noise make the 14-hour Chengdu trip far less grueling for passengers and crew, while technological improvements enable the airplane to fly higher, faster, and more efficiently than predecessor aircraft.
On the first Chengdu flight, "We got to 41,000 feet in 13 minutes," said Andy Raymer, the captain and a 31-year United pilot. "Everybody else is at 32,000, 34,000, 35,000. We're up here by ourselves for now."
Remember this a pilot who does not work for Boeing, but United, its pure 787 exhilaration after flying prior generation aircraft. This enthusiasm extends back to passengers as they transfix on looking out the windows when it rises going above the clouds, as if they are doing a demo climb at Farnsburough during the 2014 Air Show .

"Conceivably, the aircraft could make United a preferred carrier on long-haul flights.
I didn't perceive any advantage on my first 787 flight, United's Houston-Chicago service inaugural, but the benefits were striking when I flew the San Francisco/Chengdu inaugural.
The SFO-CTU flight path took the aircraft north to Alaska and over Russia before it entered Chinese airspace for several hours, an unusual experience for a U.S. crew.  Chinese airspace is almost entirely controlled by the military. Civilian ATC jurisdiction extends only about four miles on either side of the airways.
Weather deviations due to thunderstorms or turbulence are common and usually uncomplicated in the U.S, but a deviation in Chinese airspace requires coordination between civilian and military air traffic control agencies --- which provides one more thing for pilots to think about."

A demonstration of the 787 technology is needed when a foreign carrier flies into China's airspace. China provides a narrow window in its flight path which is governed by the military as reported above. Precision flight paths, albeit storms and other weather when it occurs. The due diligence of the aircraft systems and its flying crew are required.
"None of the Flight 9 pilots had ever flown into Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport, not even on a simulator. However, they studied detailed regional and airport information and engaged in briefings prior to departure and again prior to the final approach. 
Raymer said specific simulator training was unnecessary because Chengdu is a typical modern airport with high quality navigational equipment and long runways. "From a pilot's perspective, it's no different than any other large, up-to-date international airport," he said.
As for the aircraft, Raymer and Harlan and the two other pilots on the first flight -- during the flight, two pilots flew while two others rested -- raved about its advantages."

Now that the 787-9 has flown, most recently to Melbourne Australia by United. The 14:30 hours/min duration with a full load of 252 passengers, has been Boeing's longest route to date. The "for the moment" 787-8 distance was just eclipsed with another "for the moment" 787-9 record. I doubt the 2nd crew pilots were sleeping, they too, wanted to watch just like the passenger were watching. How else would you come down the jetway raving about the experience. 787-9 photo for Melbourne trip


"The 787 is faster than predecessors. Its normal cruise speed is .85 Mach (or 85% of the speed of sound), which equates to 646 miles per hours, while the 777 cruises at .84 Mach. "What sets the B787 apart from the B777 is its ability to cruise as fast as .90 Mach," Harlan said. "On a 14-hour flight, that extra 46 mph will gain you 644 miles, or get you there almost exactly one hour earlier -- all while flying higher, above most bad weather, and using much less fuel than the 777."
Raymer said he is not worried about the 787's early problems with its lithium batteries. "The battery has proven to be extremely dependable since its upgraded design and manufacturing changes," he said. "The redesigned batteries have a stainless steel box around them; it is vented and can withstand high pressure in the very unlikely event of a battery issue."
The cockpit provides enhanced visual indicators, including a "heads up display" that enables pilots to view critical flight information such as altitude and air speed while looking straight ahead, rather than looking down at flight displays on the instrument panels. "I don't have to move my eyes back and forth while landing," Harlan said. Also, five large flat panel screens provide more display area than those in the Boeing 777-200."
If it sounds like a Boeing Advertisement above, its not, its pride talking from a pilot as he recognizes the not subtle differences found on the 787. It makes a pilot better composed with enhanced information at his beck and call. The danger exists that a pilot will lose some of his flying skills when using all the 787 aids as a reliance, and then have a failure during a system problem. However, that can be addressed with a continuous flying/training program that has the pilot's flying skill at center court during annual training refreshers. 

The enhanced systems take the load off the pilot on more complex aircraft flying. The pilot needs  these multi tasking systems in order for safer flying above and over older previous models. 

The Lessons Learned from the A-380 engine explosion, when its first flew from Singapore, has provided an emergency pathway when calamity happens. As both all airline manufacturers and airlines have taken into account multi systems shut down or alarms is "pilot overload." 
"Among the environmental advantages that benefit passengers as well as crew, the 787 is quieter than predecessors, so that "we can speak at a conversational level on the flight deck," Raymer said. The quieter cabin reflects the use of seamless composites in the plane's skin and seamless flight deck windows.

Also, cabin pressure is relatively high, reducing bodily stress; it is maintained at or below 6,000 feet altitude pressure, which is 1,000 to 2,000 feet lower than on comparable aircraft. Lower cabin altitude means higher cabin air pressure.
Additionally, 787 cabin air humidity is kept at 6% or 7% up from predecessors' 2%. Cabin air is supplied by four electric cabin air compressors, rather than by engine bleed air that has been heated to 800 degrees. After a 13-hour flight, "the fatigue is much less, and your ears don't ring," Raymer said."
Written by Ted Reed in Charlotte, N.C. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Virgin Atlantic Reinvents Customer Experience

At the arrival of Virgins Atlantic new 787-9 in Atlanta's airport. Richard Branson had plenty to  quip upon. He realizes airlines must stay relevant without spending the "farm' for relevancy and make customers happy in droves. The two for one ploy is customer efficiency, since its all about the customer which drives ticket sales. It all stems from the customer experience. Today's Richard Branson quote: 

"Our goal was to find ways to become a more efficient company without taking things away from the customer,” he said. “Our next phase, having stabilized the company financially, is to invest in the customer.”

Branson must put Virgin Atlantic into a position where it maximizes the customer experience while making their experience more efficient and having a direct impact on making Virgin Atlantic (VA) more efficient. VA is on to something with this passenger model. It is installing new efficient equipment on its most important routes. The 787-9 is the most efficient aircraft flying, giving the customer the highest travel experience in its ride and space considerations. As stated incessantly before, all the customer creature comforts are in place with larger windows, better air and entertainment systems for the price of one ticket. The customer has a subliminally better travel experience with the 787-9. It goes on with its mood lighting and other amenities as it pulls up to the gate. Branson is halfway there when he purchased the 787. 

VA must now take the passenger further in this dual conquest of airline efficiency and the passenger travel efficiency. He must look to his over-all ground operations. How can VA make it happen while cutting ground cost for the passenger. Many a time I have gone through the trauma of crowds where everyone wants on board, on time! TSA screening is on the passengers watch. Past that point VA owns it. Get its passengers secured and to the gate once past the TSA  gateway. 

  My own "Travel Efficiency Experience Fantasy"

The Branson way would have a centrally located "restaurant" for its passengers in each airport terminal guaranteeing its customers timely boarding. The restaurant has a flight desk concierge that will provide a valet service to the boarding gate when the boarding starts. The valet will lead the VA flight party to the gate at the right time. Since spending time and money at restaurant its a win for the passenger as well as for VA. The passengers don't have to spend endless time in the hard and rowed boarding chairs with its endless CNN on caption. It can spend time drinking, eating and enjoying each others company until the valet summons everyone for its flight without impatience and worry.   

Just like restaurants with a waiting list they give you a card that blinks and vibrates, signaling your flight is ready card, just like a table is ready when it blinks. Once you check into the VA restaurant with your flight ticket in hand you are in VA's care. You card light go off and vibrates, you report to the valet station where you will be lead to your gate just a short distance away for boarding. Of course if you like to sit in those hard gate chairs. You can order the the food carry-on in a on Box with a carry handle for your flight included in the price of your ticket, tips not included. A VA "way station" is just one of many concepts that would add value and efficiency to the customer experience, and make added values dollars for the Branson operation. Customers could choose VA over other airlines in order to guarantee its own customer experience.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Vietnam, Boeing's Stone To Turn Over

Airbus has had a clean run though in Vietnam. It has sold about 90% of Vietnam's new aircraft now in service. Quoting Vietnam Net, Boeing exec spills the beans on the stone that needs turning.

"Vice President of Boeing International, Ralph L. "Skip" Boyce, admitted during his working visit to Vietnam last week that Boeing had found it difficult to expand its market share in Vietnam.
The US aircraft manufacturer estimates that Boeing aircraft now account for seven percent of the commercial fleets in Vietnam.
The figure may rise slightly to 10 percent the next year when the national flag air carrier Vietnam Airlines receives more Boeing aircraft."

With 15 787's on the delivery docket and probably 3-4 787-9 delivered in 2015 Boeing is reintroducing itself to Vietnam as a aircraft player. Not only is Vietnam taking new aircraft next year from Boeing, it is manufacturing parts for Boeing.

"MHI Aerospace Vietnam Co., Ltd. (MHIVA), a group company of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, today opened its new manufacturing factory in Hanoi to supply passenger doors for the Boeing 777.
The firm also marked the shipment of its 1,000th inboard flap for the Boeing 737 at the opening ceremony of the new factory."
Vietnam Net  
Vietnam can be the "Front Door" to the Orient, as it is well positioned geographically for North American flights and all of South East Asia. Its a way in, within the region going from China through Thailand enjoying its tourism and business. Vietnam has finally reemerged as a world resource for trade commerce. Boeing must consider partnering with Vietnam through its product line, so Vietnam fully transitions as a competitor, as both its commerce and trade grows. The tourism will piggy-back on the ground swell of an expanding economy. The Dynamic is set for both Vietnam and Boeing.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Number 200 in Waiting For 787 Delivery (Updated)

Notice to all pocket protectors, I-Pads and Bean counters. 787 Number 200 is about to be delivered as 5 are in waiting. Who will claim the honor of 787 # 200 delivered? Here are the candidates. An update will follow when the deed is accomplished. Please weigh in-on who will claim delivery number 200nd.

Ready and waiting for delivery: Hint my money is on QATAR

10/27/2014 its Qatar Airlines  with the 200th 787 delivered.

Line Number Variable Number Serial NumberRegistration/Airline 787 Model

LN207 ZA475 38334 A7-BCP  /  Qatar 787-8

LN215 ZA476 38335 A7-BCQ  /  Qatar 787-8
LN223 ZB168 36402 N19951  /  United 787-9

LN226 ZA590 36110 HS-TQC /  Thai 787-8

LN230 ZA614 35261 C-GHPX /  Air Canada 787-8

Ethiopian Airlines Leverages Its 787 on European/Americas Routes

Ethiopian has its ten 787 reducing its 787 backlog to zero. Now they are  sliding routes into the fold having all its 787 with the last one just delivered. Dublin Ireland and Los Angeles, California is the target. Just look at those windows would you. Its better than the observation deck on the Empire State Building. Ethiopian has 70 years of experience beckoning it with wise decisions.

Ethiopian Airlines to launch direct flights to Los Angeles

Research Article link from New Vision Uganda and other Liftndrag/Winging It archives

Not only does it take a gamble with the all new 787 technology, it has started re-consigning routes with both its 777-200 and 787-8. It is a dynamic African Airline that is getting it done without the hoopla of an Air India hyperbole problem. In a recent news article, from Hindustan Times, it was found the A-320 had more operating problems by number in its first year operating in India than the 787 had , which is a far more technological aircraft than the A-320 Indian operated Aircraft. The Indian DGCA Inspector says it is "teething woes", and nothing else that you would expect from a newly introduced aircraft. Boeing is addressing every woe that occurs with a permanent correction, and solving any unforeseen problems it encounters during service and in testing. Its part of the aircraft maturation process.

Dreamliner woes just teething troubles, says regulator

Credit Link above:  HindustanTimes

"The Boeing 787 Dreamliner may have caused a huge headache for Air India (AI) for the constant glitches that have hampered its performance, but it’s still faring better than other jets, according to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).

“Much serious problems were experienced at the time of induction of the Airbus A320 aircraft, which was a novel design feature of late 1980s,” said a presentation made by DGCA officials to the Civil Aviation Safety Advisory Council — a commregulatorittee appointed by the aviation ministry to advise on safety issues.
“As and when innovative design or technology is introduced/upgraded, it needs time to stabilise to address teething problems. B787 engineering issues are expected to stabilise by end-2014 or mid-2015,” according to the DGCA presentation, accessed by HT."

Relative Score Card, LnD report:

A-320 53 glitches in 7 months. 1989-90            787 Dreamliner 58 Glitches in 18 months 2012-2013

"On September 20, 2014, Ethiopian Airlines was revealed as the customer for a firm order for 20 Boeing 737 MAX 8s, the carrier also securing options and purchase rights for a further 15 737 MAX 8s. The order represents the largest single Boeing order from an African carrier in terms of the number of aircraft involved. This computer graphic image shows a Boeing 737 MAX 8 in Ethiopian Airlines’ livery"  (New Vision Uganda Quote October 26, 2014)

Each Boeing purchased has been a careful airline consideration, born not out of whimsy or extra cash on hand, but out of identifying how they will succeed in its vision.

Vision Statement:

"To become the most competitive and leading aviation group in Africa by providing safe, market driven and customer focused passenger and cargo transport, aviation training, flight catering, MRO and ground services by 2025." 

Mission Statement: (The how we do it by...)

  • To become the leading Aviation group in Africa by providing safe and reliable passenger and cargo air transport, Aviation Training, Flight Catering, MRO and Ground Services whose quality and price “value proposition” is always better than its competitors,
  • To ensure being an airline of choice to its customers, employer of choice to its employees and an investment of choice to its Owner,
  • To contribute positively to socio economic development of Ethiopia in particular and the countries to which it operates in general by undertaking its corporate social responsibilities and providing vital global air connectivity,

  • As an airline, safety is our first priority,
  • Ethiopian is a high performance and learning organization with continuous improvements, innovation and knowledge-sharing. We accept change for the growth opportunity it brings and always seek for and apply the best ideas regardless of their source,
  • We recognize and reward employees for their performance and demonstrate integrity, respect to others, candor and team work,
  • Act in an open fashion and be result-oriented, creative and innovative,
  • Adopt Zero tolerance to indifference, inefficiency and bureaucracy,
  • Encourage 360° free flow and sharing of information,
  • Treat our customers the same way we would like to be treated and always look for ways to make it easier for customers to do business with us,
  • We are an equal opportunity employer,
Every potential passenger should read a company's goals and objectives through its Vision/Mission/Values statements. Buy the ticket if you agree with the statements, and measure its worth when sitting in a terminal, boarding and flying with that Airline. Then when arriving, test the Airline, on its Mission and Value statement by asking yourself did they, Ethiopian, achieve those goals and objectives? If they did, it should flow into its vision statement. Every employee should know these statements by heart, and affect their workmanship and service to the customer.

The final test is found on the bottom line of profits. Ethiopian has had a remarkable run on profitability since flying or inducting the 787. Its going long by adding Los Angeles to its routing. It will fill out the African Dream with its new 737 Max coming in a few years. Ethiopian Airlines is a surprise airline for the traveler, as it strives for safety, comfort and service.

In closing, Ethiopian had a severe fire on its 787 at London-Heathrow Airport. A piece of locator equipment caught fire in the rear crown of the aircraft section near the tail. A catastrophic incident on the 787 carbon fiber structure ensued. Boeing and Ethiopian kept its eye on the vision, and employed never before performed repairs on this type of aircraft. It proved two points for both manufacturer and Operator. 

  • First, it demonstrated a process to repair a huge carbon structure from the manufacturer. 
  • Second, it demonstrated Ethiopians Vision statement was in fact, a true purpose for the airline when it stood by its pledge of flying safely. 

Today the same scorched 787 is performing without any follow-on mishaps as all systems and structures perform according to new airplane 787's. It's quite an example of an airline understanding, and dealing with a crises in an carbon fiber technology. It proved the barrel assembly is reparable in a newly tested exigency situation. 

Vision is achieved with the  completed repair. Its flying safely once again as promised by Ethiopian.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Bears Overview Boeing With Reoccurring 787 Issues

The list on Boeing's reoccurring 787 issues plague the bottom line towards profitability. The 787 program has amassed over 25 billion in charges beyond its original break-even point from program glitches starting with the battery on. You name it Boeing's got it on the 787. Cracked windshields, failing systems, and parts or misapplied fabrications from contributing suppliers in the larger body works; just to name a few. The Boeing 911 crew spares no expense in chasing down those pesky glitches with its oft referred new 787 aircraft.

The cost of "chase down those problems" accumulates to the 25 billion in the hole level as earlier reported on this blog. Boeing strategy is to mitigate everything until perfected. So far they have spent the bank in doing so. The financial set recognizes that Boeing can't just keep delivering 777's and 737's to keep cash pace as it will soon run lean or  exhaust those resources, as it transitions to the MAX and the 777X. Both those new projects will need an infusion of cash in two years, while the 787 sucks the production cash buffers up before those project get rolling. The sketch artist can draw a bleak picture of lost stock value with Boeing's under performing cash flows, as more super glue and technology band-aids are applied to the 787 Hull.

The 787 must fly free of encumbered problems by next spring. The battery should be a hindsight proposition. The "in-service" glitching on the many issues list are starting to slow down as resolutions are installed, but not as part replacement in a re installed part. A better widget is Boeing's salvation faulting parts, not being just another replacement part. The Billions spent in an over-the-top 787 effort is the "all new technology" penalty. Boeing thought it could slough through without any mishap. It didn't, and its paying for it now on the back end and the market Bears have taken notice rolling out its new observations on  Boeing prospects of not halting the 787 financial erosion.

The Bears will soon have its rule over with, concerning the 787. The Bull will play in greener pasture by 2015 and start eroding the 25 Billion cash back log found on Boeing's book, when money making orders are gained.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

United Adjust Order Book For More 787-10's

It was just announced that United/Continental is changing its 787 order book by moving some 787-8's to the 787-10 category. Below are some numbers  from All Things 787 Blog Statistics, which are very reliable, show only one more 787-8 available for delivery. The statement that they will move 787-8's to an order of 787-10s is confusing. As reported below from Reuters link;

"During a conference call with analysts and journalists, the Chicago-based carrier also said it had converted orders for Boeing 787-8 Dreamliners to 787-10 models, a move that defers the delivery date to 2022 and beyond from 2017 to 2018 currently."

United Airlines capacity to rise next year; converts 787 order

"United Airlines said it is looking for used aircraft to adjust capacity and lower its capital expense, and noted it had recently purchased two used 737-700s from a leasing company that it declined to name. (Reporting by Alwyn Scott, Editing by Franklin Paul)"

From the chart below there are no backlog for 787-8's so this mean there are some option aircraft moving to a firmed order number for 787-10's from optioned 787-8's classification or they are taking from outstanding 787-9's not yet delivered which they have in abundance at this time , counting that still has 25 787-9's net yet delivered. Reuters likes to confuse sometimes when not fact checking.

Customer Name Customer Code Model Ordered Delivered Undelivered
2012 787-Deliveries 2013 787-8 Deliveries 2014 787-8 Deliveries 2014 787-9 Deliveries
United Air Lines UAL/CAL 787-8   12   11   1
6 2 3
United Air Lines UAL/CAL 787-9 26 1 25 1
United Air Lines UAL/CAL 787-10 27 0 27

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Recogition, Self Awareness, and Boeing Production Increase

Long ago, Boeing made thirty-two 737's a month, and was satisfied with that number. Mean while back at the Airbus barn, they produced near forty of its type for its customers. Boeing gave a big yawn in those days, satisfied with its own play book of 747, 767, and 757 churning out the door.  A main problem existed with the Boeing yawn. The backlog was coming to an end! Boeing needed a "Sea Change" as it was about collapse under the weight of its own lethargy. That change flew in the face of Boeing conventional wisdom. The only big back log was with the 737 and 777 models. Both were cash cows for the company. Boeing needed cash quickly if they were going to turn this company around and beat Airbus. To do so, they needed a new aircraft family, a refreshed 737 Max and a mini Jumbo that would slice up the airline dichotomy with an award winning 777X. Money, Money, and more Money was needed.

The playing cards were on the table and they were just a few to play. A 737 and 777 backlog as the other models were dying. Boeing had to liquidate back log for cash in order to build the 787. It had to increase its order book to survive. Boeing needed a game changer and difference maker. It also needed to recharge its order book. The order is like charging the production battery. But at this point, in 2004, Boeing had to power up that order book with an older offering of aircraft. The 737 NG, a waning 767, and the 777 300-ER. The 747 was slim in the order line and it needed a boost itself with orders.

Orders ultimately equal cash flow and "profits". Excessive cash margins are  relative to profits when delivering airplanes. Boeing needed to install new profit gears like the 787, 747-8i, and 777X. It needed  to reinvent the 737 into the Max. All taking capital investment or cash. It, Boeing needed sales. Two thousand two hundred Max later, Boeing resupplied the order book. Boeing needed deliveries (cash). Hence the forty - two 737's a month. Now its looking at 52 a month. It also went deep into the play book with one hundred 777-300ERs a year, with no help coming from the 747-8i, or a 767 cadre of tankers yet to be accounted for in a tangle of production slots.

Boeing has pulled its lethargic dilemma from 2004, shrinking it's backlog as if pulling itself up from its bootstrap. It has essentially caught Airbus, and made a pass on the fast production track. Not only has Boeing met and exceeded expectation in marketing, but in customer satisfaction, using its hold card from increased production while it still had a back log to draw from. Now its backlog has grown by 14% this year over last year. A remarkable gamble paid off as sales are spurred on from increased delivery.

Customers can now count on receiving product when they need and are ordering with confidence where Boeing will meet its promise. Customers are planning fleet renewal and expansion around that promise of timely delivery. The 737, the littlest engine, that could, is chugging up the hill for Boeing opening doors with new customers. During 2014 it surpasses the NEO 2014 orders at this time. A strong part of the catching and passing process against Airbus. The 777X promise has stemmed the tide against the Airbus A350 Family. The 787 remains a cost pig.

This cost pig marks its line at 22.5 billion in the hole. Boeing says the tide will turn at half past 25 billion, and start a profitability binge. If Boeing is correct then its robust effort on efficiency will pay dividends from the production floor as suppliers as well as builders will hone the cost downward for each 787 made. Boeing is losing money on each 787 delivered at this point. It assumed it would not go past twenty billion sunk, but has already eclipsed the number by more than two billion and will dig a little deeper when it reaches past twenty-five billion sunk. What is Boeing doing to squeeze down towards a profitable 787, is all the predictable actions.

  • Factory design efficiency and production floor renewal
  • Supplier streamlining
  • Boeing recapture from under performing suppliers (bringing some assembly home)
  • The Learning Production Curve is Maximized
All of these points have been enacted since the first 787 flew out from the doors. It's the always improving model.  There is still some inefficiency margin remaining, and it's open for leaning out towards profitability. Boeing is reluctant to increase prices for its customers, but it will have to consider some price adjustments in sales round two. Sales round one sold one thousand or more 787's. Now Boeing has invested a great amount of capital on 787 improvements, and must recall that investment expended on improvements through price adjustments. It's simply stated that the current production craft are better than first delivered aircraft, where the 787 should cost more in the second round of sales after 1,000 units ordered are delivered.

The Boeing increase production strategy has worked. It built past the naysayers when the backlog started to shrink from increased production numbers. Because of that gamble, customers responded by ordering more aircraft. Boeing gained important cash infusion. It became a counter balance to the 787 program cost. The 747 hangs on by just an order thread. New life for its ilk are found in upcoming freighter orders, and some passenger slots, as airlines seek the sweet spot. If the 747 can find a customer sweet spot, then it will live another twenty years on the delivery block. The 787 becomes a Boeing tool purchased, not only for passenger travel, but as a follow-on play book for succeeding aircraft such as the the Max and 777X. The gamble won from increased production is pollinating Boeing's future aspirations through its many new commercial programs. The production floor has made this all possible, enabling Boeing moving forward with its engineering acumen and for its aviation grand play. 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Boeing Is Shifting To Over Drive

Boeing is not just stopping at 42 737's a month or 100 777's a year, it is going all-the-way with three new big bodied and one single aisle flea flicker pass to the end zone. Its a busy place for Boeing as both production teams and financial execs are scrambling in a mad dash to seize the opportunity in its counter move on Airbus' aspirations. It may leave the European giant flat footed as Boeing scores a triple play. No longer is Boeing just satiated with sitting on its laurels, or it is not looking back on past exploits since the 707, it is moving forward without regard of Marquis of Queens-bury rules in this latest round of pugilistic airplane making actions.

The 777X is no lie as it will surpass the Airbus' 30 years of investment  found with the A350 family. The 787 is going forward by another leap, as its most advanced systems become cherished by flight-line knights of the wrench. They, (the systems) will tell the ground crew which nut needs tightening and when. The much overplayed reports of 787 miscues, mishaps and mistakes are well, just print fodder for publications. Yes they exist, and are problematic. However, part of any process is to make it perfect after millions on lines of code and more millions of parts are played out each time the 787 flies. What is more important is that Boeing expected developmental issue to arise, and they planned for four and five different ways to keep the 787 safe, intact, and flying. That has worked as planned and expected. The most complex jet in the world performs better than anticipated. As it matures, the jet becomes more outstanding. When the A350 is delivered it will still lack behind what Boeing has done for another thirty years. It is big and it is bigger and it leans on biggest when advertising smuck takes over. The 787, Is it what customers want. Some say yes and some say no. That is the nature of business. But the real question is who is better? Not who is the biggest?

Boeing is once again attempting a mini Jumbo make-over and a single aisle renovation. It is developing a tanker which will compete with the A330 tanker ordered by other nations. The military set Boeing up with an older air frame technology, while Airbus is re configuring its A330 frame in an international tanker competition. However, Boeing is bringing forward a 787 like avionics package, improved engine technology and the latest in a military counter measures. It will be a real work horse and not a dolled up commercial airplane dressed in camo colors. Boeing is stuck with changing its wiring scheme in the event of a missile strike or other strike, so it won't take all the electrical out with one well placed hit. Boeing is going back and rewiring the systems all over the KC-46 tanker where you  would have to cut the KC-46 in half to take it down. Because all wiring systems are independent of each other, it will supply avionics, fly-by-wire system and other critical systems with power unless the KC-46 totally explodes.

I hope that by reading this, one will gain an understanding of Boeing's all-hands-on-deck mentality during the current quiet news cycle in aviation. Its not your dad's Boeing! The Boeing work force doesn't have time to ponder about "what if's", because they are doing the "what ifs" now! On every front there is a Max effort to win the day in the manufacturing business. They don't have the GM attitude of, "if we build it they will buy". The Boeing attitude over-all is, "we are in it to win it". Even though not all is perfect in Boeing Land, as labor always continues plying for its needs, Boeing is more focused than it has been during the last fifty years or since the war years, in the 1940's back when Boeing was focused and much smaller. Now they are gigantic and are regaining that focus from its leadership onward down to the floor. If the execs stay focused on stock holders only, they will lose it all. The stock holders will come if they execute well with its amassed technology, work-force and vision. These three components insure the success of Boeing. The investors will come when they have those ingredients. They now have now those ingredients.