Monday, December 15, 2014

The Boeing Moon Shot Changed Its Manufacturing Scenario

Before the Boeing Moonshot, Boeing Aircraft were individually crafted aircraft like the 737, 757 and 767. Each with its own unique avionic suite. Airbus pioneered commonality with its family of aircraft. Boeing lacked an industrial common denominator, which would underscore each new model and stop the variability in aircraft building as Airbus had done. The variability between Boeing models and costumers who fly its models for different missions, cost customers training for different aircraft behaviors, additional ground crew with a broader service scope. It meant more cost invested in the service and operation of its fleet.

Boeing needed a moon shot for any hopes of leading its competitor. The 787 was a wild and expensive development ride with little hope of instant financial gratification. It was really banking on its impact for all its airplane programs, and not just making a profit on the 787 model. It was a Strategic Air Command performance or could be said, “SAC”. The 787 was the central core-Sea Change at Boeing. It brought all its resources to bear in on the 787 for the sake of Boeing’s future. Part of this capitalization investment was written-off directly against the 787 project. The future SAC programs are now drawing on the 787 well of technology. These 787 benchmarks are ready for an additional thirty years of Boeing’s Aircraft development.

So far the Max has drawn in its new wing development, engine refinements, and avionics to its aircraft. It has taken lessons learned on plastics forward from the 787 project. Software improvement are included in its electronic flight bags, and a host of other maintenance improving tools. The totality of the Max program can owe its advancements from the 787 project. In that, the cost of the 787 project will share R& D with the follow-on projects.

The 777X has reached a milestone with selecting the GE core module system from the 787 project. It is going with its Michigan operations, supplying the central core architecture; saving hundreds of pounds in wiring, and gaining more efficiency when it operates. It also will borrow wing technology from the 787. Boeing is building an adjunct wing plant next to the current 777 assembly building. A question came to me why the 777X doesn’t use more plastics with an all plastic hull. I can only speculate or get an answer by doing an interview. However, the aluminum used is heavier than the plastic body option, but over-all fuel burn is tackled with a composite picture of aircraft weight, body size and lift and drag ratios. All these items add up in negating the difference between aluminum weight compare to all composite weight. The 777X will beat the all plastic A350-1000 by a “country” mile or more.

The year 2030 is Y1 time for Boeing. Y1 will be defined as a segue way for its family of aircraft. The single aisle, currently flows to the dual aisle with an awkward gap in passengers and range. The 757 and 767 had continuity in its offering. The 787-8 tries reaching down to the 737-900 while competing with the A321 Airbus. It has become an awkward fit at best. Plans are in engineering with an undefined y1 model meeting all the requirements for the market while using the 787 Moon Shot Pot draw down. 

It is an easy projection from this time to say they will come up with new plastic application in the next fifteen years and the evolution of engine will remain with a raging competition. Boeing will come out with a dedicated 200-220 seat super aisle plastic airplane filling the 737-900 to 767 gap. The super aisles is a concept where more space for seats and more aisle space for passenger movement or service access. Rather than WB’d it, as a 18 foot wide interior (787 style) with two aisles, go 15 feet wide and make two aisles with a 2-2-2 layout. The 737 family is about 11.9 wide on the interior.  What makes this work is 35 total rows at 210 seats and giving it a 6,000 mile range. It’s a mini WB with plenty of room. It can hop the Atlantic or cover a continent. Name it the 757 clipper going mach .85 of the speed of sound. This would be a competent family member.

Reference Article: Seeking Alpha

Boeing: What The Boeing Y1 Might Look Like

·       Boeing Y1 will be revolutionary in its market segment.

·       Boeing quality engineering is key to financial success.

·       The Boeing Y1 should regain market share Boeing lost to Airbus over the years.