Thursday, March 31, 2016

787 1st Quarter Numbers (Updated)

Boeing, during March regained some production pacing for the 787 program with 13 deliveries. This moved the over-all 787 delivered at 393 units for its worldwide fleet. The 787 footprint eclipses the Airbus 16 units for A350's delivered to date. Backlog for Boeing's 787-# slips underneath the A350-# backlog of 761 during the first quarter 2016 as Boeing has reduced the 787 backlog to a standing 746, 787's yet to be built.

Chart 1.

The ninety day moving average had a tepid quarter producing only at a rate of 10 units a month which falls below guidance of 10.667 units a month. However, Boeing has positioned itself for a 12 a month pacing the remainder of the years and should deliver about 35 787's during second quarter 2016.

Chart 2.

Chart 3.

Boeing 787-9's are progressing towards a top position during the next three year as it now has 98 787-9's delivered as shown in Chart 4.

Chart 4.

Production inventory is slightly down over its former 50 + units in process, as it now stands at only 45 units of all types in the works-in-process mode (Chart 5).

Chart 5.

Five Hundred Days Later Airbus Struggles

It's been about five hundred days since the first A350-900 was delivered with Qatar Airlines. The Airbus record shows only 16, A350-900 delivered. During Boeing's first five hundred days it delivered about fifty 787-8's. This of course does not include Boeing's hiatus with battery fire and then shut down. A fair comparison for the two giant framers should go past another hundred days after had Boeing resumed post fire deliveries. This will come in another blog on another day.

Fig 1.

Airbus data does not illustrate a time period "break-out" for every 100 days, where Boeing data is accessible and does so. However, a straight line Airbus approach assumes about 5 units every 100 days until the last period recorded only shows one delivered A350-900. For the sake of illustration, during Airbus' first four hundred and seventy-two production and delivery day period it remains that it only delivered 16, A350-900's. While in a similar span of time, Boeing delivered fifty 787-8's.

It is also important to note, Boeing has a more complex assembly of technology applied to the 787. Airbus gave a technological forbearance and went with the current level of technology proven industry wide. Boeing took higher risks and still produced 50 787's during its first 500 days. Little press is given for the stark contrast between the two production giants.

Upcoming is the segment of Boeing 787 groundings. Where zero 787's were delivered during the 500-600 day time frame. However, Boeing regained its production prowess once the grounding ended and it regained its delivery pace. A complete comparison should include a 700 day delivery set absorbing the grounding and any Airbus improvements or stumbles within its delivery schedule. Even though Airbus is dependent on Zodiac seats for a timely delivery, Airbus is treating this delay as if it were like a Boeing grounding of its delivery schedule. Both air framers have suffered delays and mishap. All things being equal this becomes a measure of resolve over obstacles. Airbus falls on its own omission, "we are being so careful", when in fact they cannot resolve production setbacks.        

Below is an unabashed chart from Wikipedia showing the A350 delivery progress. Even though its un-official, since it does not come from Airbus, it is an excellent thumbnail sketch with all Airbus excuses, included for how Boeing and Airbus both delivered its product during each other's first 500 days in production. Boeing wasn't free of mishap during its first 500 days, therefore this side by side comparison in time suggest how each manufacturer was able to overcome initial start-up woes and Boeing's taller mountain climbed beat the Airbus hill by a wide margin.

Fig 2.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Norwegian Air Will Need To Up Order 787's

Norwegian Air has 787's on the books but not fifty in play for its Gatwick operations. Moving some 787's from other European Norwegian bases will not account for it ever expanding fleet of 787's. The Gatwick nod for Norwegian Air coming into its airport is a done deal. Now Norwegian will need 50 787's for filling its slots. Therefore, more Boeing 787 orders for 2016.

"Norwegian – currently Gatwick’s third largest airline – has announced ambitious plans to locate 50 Boeing 787 Dreamliners to serve global long haul destinations at an expanded Gatwick.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Chicken Little Put on F-35 Oversite

Sputnik and Mina have taken to the oversight of everything problematic concerning the F-35. Examples of this type of journalism is twofold, one is  soliciting clicks for sensational rebukes of the F-35, the other comes from the river denial for anything US made is somehow inferior to Russian made. Sputnik reports about a Chinese hacker stealing F-35 secrets is a Chinese national hero.

Sputnik International: "Su Bin pled guilty to conspiring with others to break into the networks of Boeing and other American defense contractors in a federal court in Los Angeles, California. The hacking took place between October 2008 and March 2014, according to prosecutors." 

Hacking is a sketchy outcome. Even with the F-35 struggling with its ALIS system fixes clear to next year, the hackers have long since left the "terminal" mic drop (Bam). The F-35 is no longer your big brother's F-35 it has become more like your little brothers F-35. "He is still looking for the batteries not included" The Chinese could have stolen developmental and conceptual engineering data, but does not have concurrent data, which brings forward the F-35 lethality.

The Chinese version of stealth may incorporate design features of the F-35 in a Chinese looking F-35 knock-off. However, the things that make the F-35 scary is not its looks nor its Block I capabilities, but what follows-on in the mad science of the JSF. In 2015 many enhancements were added to the F-35. By 2014 "the Chinese" were caught with the F-35 hacks while it had not reached its full capability. Many proposals were still on the table in 2014. When hacking began in 2008 the F-35 had not found its soul or making the grade it so had desired. Hack away, hack away and hack away all, the F-35 was "the bomb". What was stolen isn't applicable with today's F-35. China go make your...

Chinese J-20 Stealth VTOL
J-20 Stealth Aircraft  

What China has learned is a conceptual purpose from the F-35, which has currently evolved beyond the relevant range of its own J-20 capability. The Chinese engineers have probably achieved a collective appreciation of how far they have to go, and by the time they get there the F-35 will have to go further forward causing some military angst. China needs hackers not in jail, but remaining on the front lines of intellectual theft. Getting caught does not make you a hero it makes you caught and in jail. Access denied! Concurrency confuses the Chinese as well as Lockheed.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Next Round Of 787 Orders Are Simmering Until...

The 787 orders have reached a bottom lull as if it were an inverted bubble about to burst. Several noted slips of the tongue suggest more 787 orders could be announced. One customer has already spoke of more 787 orders in the makings, Norwegian Air and TUI have mentioned they need more wide bodies. China is in need of further expansion from its leading Airlines. Hainan has already filled in with 787-9 orders not noted. The Boeing 787 backlog is rapidly shrinking making a Boeing purchase more likely as it goes for producing twelve 787 a month. The "tea leaves" suggest a market ready to absorb more 787 orders during 2016. So what are the ordering stoppers and shoppers?

Ordering Stoppers:

·      Fuel Prices staying low indefinitely
·      National economy and lower currency valuations (ex: China Market)
·      Outstanding commitments with competitor manufacturer

Ordering Shoppers

·      Profitable 2016 (China/Hainan)
·      An in place working fleet expansion built on the 787 Model.
·      Threat of rising fuel prices
·      Economic soundness (Qantas)
·      Market opportunity remains open (Norwegian Air)
·      Fleet expansion (Air India) 
·      2nd tier airlines (waiting for its ship to come in) ordering has begun.

The above bullet points are the obvious items affecting both buying or not buying the 787 in 2016. Further study could go deeper into causal reasons for both situations determining the 2016 order book for the 787.

When fuel price reaches a low plateau it will trigger the pent up energy for ordering the 787. No longer can airlines wait it out using older less efficient airframes on the low fuel price tide. A constant fuel price norm will force airlines to eventually use up the used inventory of less efficient aircraft where they will be forced to buy the newer more efficient aircraft. 

Airbus has already charted this condition and is taking the opportunity with its A330-900 offering, hoping it snips at the heels of the 787 market. Airbus already sees a "flat fuel price market/fleet renewal condition" as it offers the A330NEO as its answer. If the fuel price climbs steeply, then the 787 will have its highest demand quotient.

The market is in transition from the 2015 dynamics for ordering wide bodied aircraft. The "other factor", such as reduced production backlog, hence available production slots, are ready for the market. The internal profitability factors and fleet opportunity, all contribute towards more 787 orders. The A330NEO is an example of low fuel price opportunity, and the 787 is an example of higher fuel price opportunity, and all other market conditions point towards buying the 787 first and consider other manufacturer types second. 

Market forces will return with having a 787 choice over the A350 member of aircraft. In light of constant low fuel prices there are too many compelling reasons for buying the 787 offsetting the price of fuel at bottom.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Boeing Being Bean, "A Spent Force"

From the "Johnny English" movie fame comes a term from Mr. Bean "I'm a spent force", from his arrogant humility coming out from super-secret agent talk addressing his beautiful counterpart at the door. Is Boeing (being) "a Bean spent force"? They (Boeing) have deadlines for its tanker program with only a year to deliver 18 KC-46 Tankers. The tanker program just started flying its test beds with two more yet to fly for this purpose. It has unanswered solutions from tests fleet discoveries before installing remedies on the first production flow. 

Image result for johnny english a spent force

Boeing has just started first assembly of the 787-10 in Charleston, SC. Boeing has built and flown the first Max 737-800 test aircraft. It’s also nearing completion of the Everett wing building for the 777X program. How would a "Mr. Bean" handle all these daunting, make or break challenges? Go to the Orient? It remains a Yes and Yes answer to those questions. Having oriental sales and production capability would lift Boeing's wide spread programs moving forward. With a Boeing, Being, "Bean" approach, somehow Boeing’s great aviation convergence will meet by 2018. Boeing has a plan which contains the number eight prolifically throughout its insanely paced catch-up over its rival Airbus. 2018, 787 and Max 8.

In the sport of hockey there are line changes to put the freshest player on the ice gaining a way for superiority over the opposition. A goal is all that is required from any line change.  Boeing has flipped its leadership through a line change at a crucial point for all its programs during the last few months. One VP to Chicago one VP transferred in the Seattle rink. A new CEO here and a new VP there is the line change. However, the problems remain for Boeing. The KC-46 program is at a crucial crossroads for any hope of early profitability. If "being" a little late, it loses hundreds of millions for the Bean counters. There are many risks and unforeseen risks yet to be resolved after tests have begun. There are production woes of no space and no time to build the KC-46 on time.

The Boeing's big wing plant opens this summer at which time, that building starts contributing to the 777X program bottom line. It is a big cash out depository moving into the capital valuation category. Return on the building asset is years away. Who would buy a wing plant if it were for sale anyways? Who would even attempt to buy the World's Largest Building somewhere in the NW rainforests for that matter? Boeing is stuck in Everett and the new line of execs have entered the game taking over the hand that is dealt them. 

Boeing Being Bean In The Orient
Image result for johnny english

737 Max will reach first delivery as projected. The 787-10 will once again prove the 787-9 is not a one off experience. The 777X is coming months late for covering any of its own production Gap from the 300er to the 9X, but when it comes, it will change the market. 

The KC-46 project will reach completion a little late costing Boeing more millions (it's the military stupid) but Boeing big pay day comes later where the military says the 179 tankers are a down payment for its overall tanker fleet renewal. In fact the Military will need another 200 tankers for complete renewal over the next ten years. By then, Boeing will have the corner on the Tanker Market, and that is what they now will spend money towards perfecting.

All in all, Boeing Being Bean is a sound strategy, it has a new line of men and women inserted in the game with fresh legs.

Monday, March 21, 2016

F-35 Repairs Before IOC is Declared

  • Joint Program Office (JPO) and Lockheed programs synced 
  • Declaration Initial Operational Capability (IOC) scheduled for the August 1 to December 31, The AKA, The IOC Window 
  • Work on the latest version of the F-35’s logistics system, the Autonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS) version 2.0.2, could delay IOC by 45 to 60 days, 
  • Block 3i programing is reached, which the Air Force requires for IOC. 
  • Mission data files (MDF) implementation and testing of Block data for operational theatres where the F-35 is deployed
  • P & W engine software syncing with Air Force ALIS
  • Retrofitting F-35A for 9 G operations, 3 of 12 aircraft retrofit completed for the IOC flying tests where 12 are needed by August 1, 2016.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

My Uncle, The P-38 Lightning and The SR-71

Every Family is proud of its member’s accomplishment and valor. The stories remain a hidden resume of nerves, steel and titanium. This is an incomplete story because I don't know all of it by any means, since my Uncle only talked in brief cryptic tones about his accomplishment. If he were alive today he would have a strong opinion about the F-35. Titanium was developed on his watch with his years with Lockheed and the SR-71 program. He started with it after the war in the late 1950's (1964 officially) and finished his career at the SR-71's retirement in 1998. 

Kelly Johnson's the Skunk Works ringleader was the author of the P-38 and the instigator of the SR-71. A distinct connection to Paul Mellinger's career where he wasn't far behind Kelly's next big deal.

Kelly Johnson's P-38 Lightning Circa 1937

My uncle first flew the P-38 Lightning at the onset of World War II against Germany. He also served in the Navy in 1940-41 and asked for a transfer to the Army Air Corps before the Pearl Harbor attack occurred. After my uncle moved to the Army late 1941 before the infamous date of December 7, 1941. His radio man technical skill and aviation enthusiasm made him a sure bet for the Army Air Corps, and then World War II happened and England's wilting front needed aviators.

Image result for SR-71 Paul Mellinger
   My Uncle Paul Mellinger far left at Beale AFB during his Lockheed assignment.


Paul Mellinger could be pictured here in this flight of Thunder Bolts
Image result for wwII thunderBolt

Lockheed Photo Of Paul Mellinger
Image result for Paul Mellinger P-38

His mission just got started after four years combat pilot and closing as an Army flight instructor in Florida until 1945. Lockheed needed skilled pilots and technical people for building the SR-71 at the Skunk Works garage much light the P-38 Lightning emerged from in 1937. Only 20 operational SR-71 were ever built and his job was to keep it flying during its service years until 1998. Much like the F-35 II Lightning both the P-38 and SR-71 had the spirit of can do under impossible odds of making an exceptional difference in times of war. The P-38 has to change its propeller spin to fly without crashing during an aborted take-off and the SR-71 did speed boat runs on Lake Washington testing hull designs.

The "stories" I got from both aircraft gave me a significant appreciation for overcoming daunting obstacles encountered when making them the most successful aircraft they became. The people who made them made the difference by a long margin. Changes and corrections came from slide rulers and common sense solutions. Today there are computers and more computers who will make the F-35 take both the P-38's and SR-71's DNA forward. The DNA comes from hundreds of thousands of people who contribute to the F-35. When mounting cannons on the F-35 for CAS functions look at the P-38 Lightning's formidable nose with four machine guns and a 20 millimeter cannon. It evaporated advisories in the Pacific with one burst. 

During WWII a rare story recounted where the P-38 came down on a military ammunition train, several burst later up went the munitions under the P-38, blowing my uncle sky high during the pass. A badly damage P-38 leaking oil made it back to England miraculously. The shock and awe of the P-38 gave my uncle a pass home where he trained others for the fight from Florida. He received the Distinguished Flying Cross for sitting in on the fray and masterfully flew the Lightning. My expectations for the Lightning II comes from that same DNA found in WWII from all those pilots who served with courage and honor from the P-38 seat.

Lightning II has much to account for when comparing future heroic encounters but it is built by the right stuff and will learn to change its propeller spin from the people who are now making it fly like the F-35 advisory that is envisioned.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Epic and True Story About the 787

Hook-up your TV to your computer and stream this story it's worth the viewing.

All my favorite aviation experts are included in this documentary. Dominic Gates, Ray Connor and Mike Carriker just to name a few. How the 787 prevails over its competition is from its people.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Killing The Wart Hog Won't Be Easy

The F-35 is staged to replace the much beloved A-10 Warthog. Boots on the ground who currently win hard fought battles with the Warthog. The tank busting Gatling gun with depleted uranium slice up armor as if it were shaved beef in a steamer. The A-10 was built for protecting the pilot. Shoot a silver bullet at it from a ground combatant insures an unrelenting neutralization by the A-10 of said combatant.

The question before the pentagon is what will happen when the A-10 goes to Davis Monthan for rotting in the desert? 

  • Will the F-35 loiter?
  • Can a "silver bullet" bring it down by hitting vitals through its thin skin?
  • Is a 150 million dollar aircraft too great a risk for down and dirty combat?
  • Is caveman warfare a bridge too far for the F-35?
  • Can electronic situational awareness plug the gap suggested by the above questions?  
These questions confound an extremely articulate warbird compared with the bludgeoning A-10 making a battle field pass.

The F-35 cannot do as well as the A-10 in a loitering battlefield but must make up any performing gaps through its own Trickeration. A silver bullet from the ground could damage and cripple the 150 million aircraft from being able to make a difference. Too many lucky shots could drive the F-35 off the field of battle during Close Air Support (CAS).

The F-35 may compete with the A-10 in this role by flying a little higher and relying on its targeting functions from a distance of 1 Kilometers (3,000 ft.) perch while the A-10 is flying from a 300 feet point of attack. 

Since the F-35 does not have a titanium tub wrapping around the pilot while the A-10 does, the F-35 CAS needs to stand-off from a little farther out when encountering light arms such as the fifty caliber machine guns or shoulder held missiles when engaging ground targets. 

The F-35 will not have a whites of your eyes combat sweeps, unless going faster than the A-10 combat speed. The F-35 electronics need to make up the difference when flying much faster than the A-10. That is the F-35 theory that must be tested against the A-10 during its CAS testing.

Now you begin to experience the economy of scale when comparing the A-10 with the F-35. The F-35 will fight faster and higher, thus not requiring the cockpit armor where it needs it when not taking a punch from the ground, and a ground combatant would need at least a shoulder fired missile hurled at the F-35 for which it can counter the ground missile better than the A-10 is equipped. 

The tests for the F-35 must involve the realm it will fight in while the A-10 is from another realm of the much lower and slower point of attack. It would not be a fair comparison with the A-10 or the F-35 doing low and low runs. the outcome is obvious who would win. 

Each aircraft is equipped for a different style of fighting, however the battlefield result must show the F-35 is more capable than the A-10 when cleaning up the same battle field using its own optimal capability. 

The measure for the dueling aircraft must tests each aircraft's capability with a summary report pointing out how the aircraft performs and achieves the mission for which both aircraft are being tested.

The F-35 must use all its tricks and techniques to beat the A-10 and not get shot out of the air from its own weakness, or (aka) the taking a hit from the silver bullet in its hull. The test score for both would be a measure of battlefield management from its own capabilities.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Bracketed Airbus Ponders the A350-8000

Airbus thinks to offer a super jumbo Twin engine duo aisle aircraft because it finds itself bracketed by Boeing up and down the Twin Aisle battle. Bracketing fire is an old war term where artillery targeting follows towards an ultimate target with successive rounds walking forward until it destroys its intended goal. One round goes long then one goes short in a sequence until a round lands just right.

Bracketing definition:

(*) A method of adjusting fire in which a bracket is established by obtaining an over and a short along the spotting line, and then successively splitting the bracket in half until a target hit or desired bracket is obtained.

Airbus has found itself in a countering position by reacting against what Boeing has positioned itself, in the duo aisle twin engine battle. The first round by Boeing was the 787-8 and Airbus tried a counter with its A350-800. Boeing production has blown the A350-800 out of the water with only 16 of Airbus A350-800's on the books and none built. Boeing then rolled out the 787-9 bracketing against the Airbus A350-900. It has been been an equal order book match with Airbus, as it hold a slight lead with its A350-900 over the 787-9. Then comes the A350-1000 not yet built against the not yet built 787-10 with similar sales amounts. Boeing has now bracketed Airbus into a corner.

Boeing didn't stop at the 787-10, it proceeded forward with its 777-300ER with a refreshed and updated version for its customers, and then announced the 777-8 and 777-9, while bracketing Airbus further into a dismal position. It now is scrambling on point by considering a second stretch for its A350 family with a A350-8000 consideration, where it will may be announced at the next big airshow in 2016. 

The prototypical thinking by Airbus has finally sunk all its chips on the A350 for saving the dying A380 orders as the 777-9 may undercut the A380 market entirely. Emirates made a huge 777-9 order when it plans on retiring of some of its A380's when it receives the newly minted 777-9's in 2019.

The counter by Airbus is an A350-8000 for saving its own wide body episode from Boeing's long planned bracketing with its family of aircraft. First type dying will be the A380 and then any forlorn attempt by Airbus countermeasure is for making an A350-8000. The 8,000 would not beat the 777-9 but it would beat the 777-8 seat count. However, with a distancing measure, Boeing would win over any A350-8000, but Airbus only wants a place at the table and would concede distance battle to Boeing. There are other obstacles confronting Airbus such as Boeing's patented folding wing.

Boeing long ago planned the war against Airbus and made plans with proprietary design points. Airbus could not match or even use it for engineering a long distance wing. 

An Airbus A350-8000 wing would not be a folding wing. A wing of this type allows its 777's to slot into airports as before they would not have to modify any jet ways. Airbus would have to slot its A350-8000 into the same slots built for its A380 causing a problem with airport congestion, if Airbus reaches any sales orders for its proposal. They would definitely not have a folding wing which would open up all the world routes flown by the 777-300ER and future 777-9's. 

Not having a folding wing could be an Airbus show stopper, as Boeing had to conceive and patent the folding wing, as it knew from studies, it could not change customer airports just because of the 777X family of aircraft large wing configurations. The A350-8000 must have an “airport compliant wing” not limiting where it could dock its aircraft. The A350-8000 becomes a desperate effort by Airbus to save both its A350 family and A380 stand-alone, and that is asking too much out of its one underperforming aircraft and not having a wing to go the distance against the 777-9's entry into service during 2019. 

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Emirates The Game Changer

Somewhere halfway between Boeing and Airbus is Tim Clark of Emirates. He is the real game changer as he mulls over the 787 vs the A350 and spins another plate called the A380NEO. Even though a behemoth, the A380NEO has not been offered as of yet, it may come. Clark has another 65 A380's yet to be delivered, as it is more than halfway through its A380 order book. Some of those early delivered A380's for Emirates are approaching a fleet renewal status during the next five to ten years.

Image result for Emirates Tim Clark

Clark wants to buy more A380's in a NEO package. Airbus does not want to build an A380NEO unless enough demand is made. Tim Clark and Emirates can change the game for Airbus, but can it change the game for Boeing? The current consideration is for more 787-9's and 10's against the A350's and that has a history from Emirates when it canceled 70 A350's. I can't second guess the Clark strategy, even if having any insider tip (I don't), but can use history to infer a preference. The A350-1000 or 8000 is further behind the A350-900 it had already cancelled. Therefore making, the A350-900 or any other WB twin engine from Airbus less likely.

Boeing has finally achieved a smaller production backlog with its 787 than the current A350 backlog, while Boeing is building more 787 each month than Airbus can produce. Boeing needs 787 orders at this time and will price its 787 at a lower cost while matching its need for new sales. Airbus would have a difficult time pricing the A350 low enough until its own productivity increases in three more years. Boeing, in three more years may have a 450 unit, 787 backlog, unless more orders are booked in the interim period. Prices are offered with Boeing's premium customers and will have a special place for any block orders. Boeing will be producing the 787-10 efficiently when an order from Emirates could be assimilated. In this case, Boeing has the marketing high ground and it aims to use it.

Clark has a finite career duration, which may reach an end before he can convince Airbus to gamble its resources on an A380 NEO program. The backlog of classic 380's is shrinking, while its ordering members are keeping an eye out for an opportunity of any booked cancellations, even before they roll off the production floor.   The A380 NEO will go forward if Clark can change Airbus' game, if not, more Boeing 787's will be ordered. An Emirate A350 order suggest the A380 NEO will come to Clark as part of the package. Tim Clark is obsessed with the A380 model and will use the A350 to get it. However, having a "no" A380 NEO order becomes an Emirates/Boeing 787 order.

Recapping Airbus: ...  is counting on its A380. There are 65, A380's in Emirates' backlog. This also represents a significant quantity of all undelivered A380's. Airbus has about 139, A380's in the backlog making Emirates about a 47% backlog stakeholder. This is the lever Clark is pulling and using for a tantalizing 200-A380 unit order. It may convert 25 of its A380 classic backlog into new NEO orders and then add about 175 NEO's to its order book, making it the 200 A380’s Clark wants. This would cost Airbus developing a new program for the world's largest aircraft for which Emirates would be its only customer at this time. If that is the case, the A380 program cannot hide its failure from the NEO program. There are not enough profitable routes existing for this aircraft, a long held Boeing contention. 

The game changing Clark may not succeed in getting his A380's as it may break Airbus' financial back to complete his dream. In which case Boeing may see another 100 787=9's and 787-10's coming its way via the Emirate order book.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Winging It Think Tank Onion Skin Papeer: MIC Report. Part II:

Having a second take regarding MIC or AKA: Military Industrial Complex only addresses the aviation segment, and more specifically The F-35 program. The naysayers are legion concerning the Lightning II. It’s versions A, B, C have ginormous problems calling for its demise. The naysayers are calling for the nuclear option for the programs and demand stopping it in its tracks. My own instincts tell me with even the evidence at hand the F-35 will reach its promise, and doesn’t have to go Mach 2.5 to be effective.

The F-35 idea was not based on traditional emphasis for speed or maneuverability during dogfights, it was the sum of all its parts overwhelming any potential advisory. Those who want sharper turns and faster accelerations have already missed the point for the F-35 concept. Those who cite constant programing failures or its flawed system alignments have also a dependency with regard for instant gratification.

What is behind all this mess? The number one issue is the F-35 complexity of concept. It has a Star Wars theme on a Wright Brothers tradition calling for its scrapping. However, the reality is somewhere in between models A, B, C. The Marines needed something better than the Harrier and they got it first. The Air Force needed it in numbers immediately, and that too has started the production rollout in numbers, but not all was matured by the process as they needed a new term for the press, and it became concurrency. The F-35 will have the latest and best version in the next 35 years, hence the name F-35.

The Navy has to populate the decks of the Gerald R Ford CVN 78, with the version F-35C, so they are waiting for those Block III’s in the developmental concurrent build process while the Ford goes through its yearlong trial pacing, and hopefully joining up with an updated F-35C by 2017. A second carrier following the "Ford" is a forthcoming as CVN 79 in several more years. Time has been made for the F-35C. The Marines have its Harrier replacement and awaits maturation for its F-35B in active duty while it can/will use this supersonic jump jet from off its Marine Expeditionary Forces fleet decks and bases. The Marines have gained a fantastic advantage with an averaged version for the F-35. This ever so complex aircraft is just average at this time. Without ever changing wings, fuselage or any other aerodynamic points, miraculous change will come from within by morphing the F-35 into a thirty year ahead of its time warfighter.

Those F-35 glitches are causing more of a perception problem for the F-35 than having a real "never will be able to resolve the F-35 problem", thus the trashing of the program is demanded. The testing regimen has eliminated hundreds of to-do fixes for the complex fighter. 

If this fighter rolled out problem free in 2010, then the suspicion becomes, then the F-35 must of fallen short of becoming a superior warfighter. Or if the F-35 resembles a continuous series of problems making and meeting its overarching goals, then they have a Superior program always improving. 

The F-35 is not beyond engineering capabilities but well within those capabilities, but it becomes a matter of the longtime process of making the most complex fighter ever built.The F-22, is a very fast and stealthy fighter, laid down the proven mantel the F-35 has taken up. Everything learned from the former is exponential for the latter. 

The F-22 has proven to be unmatched in the world today and to come for the next many years. The F-35 has its reduced speed for long range strike abilities the F-22 can’t match. The F-35 is too tricky to catch and defeat at any speed. The advanced architecture allows an advancement to the aircraft without changing its stealth design or its natural frame avionics. It just becomes better and better as it ages. It’s unfortunate others has missed this point and want to kill it. Even a baby at birth isn’t ready to run in the Olympics.

Part I Link:

Winging It Think Tank Onion Skin Paper: Too critical To Fail Part I

Often the term too big to fail is used by government thinkers when describing the next big bail out. It could be GM, Chrysler or the Financial Markets. They can’t fail because it represent too much of the America’s economy. In another arena is the defense industry, when old thinking will put America at risk and the same notion by government is applied to military acquisition models where it assumes it needs a competition for the best military capability in the world. 

The US government has assumed the role being the Military Industrial Complex’s (MIC) Maestro. In fact, they have weighed its decision-making based on how a losing bid may be affected and incentivize others keeping them from not participating into future competitions, or securing a prospective bidder so it may not drop out from making any future bid submissions.

The Defense Department may lose its objectivity towards selecting new weapons systems, ignoring what would work best. A lost bid participant would become a victim from the Maestro’s nullification process for optimizing MIC while maintaining a bidder's continuos participation. 

Therefore, the natural process of survival of the fittest is no longer a determiner, but instead becomes dependent of the Maestro’s selection process. This weakens the whole MIC process into a Jell-O like state.

Boeing lost the F-35 fight to Lockheed-Martin. Boeing lost the LRSB-21 fight to Northrop, and GE lost several fights to Pratt and Whitney in Both the F-35 and LRSB-21 programs. However, the Government has a concern about both Boeing and GE as the “losing bidders”, but it refers back to the acquisition process as the culprit for these MIC loss bid participants. 

Boeing is moving towards a Jell-O state when it comes military ventures. The commercial side has become its profitable mechanism. 

The Maestro has a difficult time making everyone satisfied.
The balancing action for preserving the flying selection process may cloud Maestro objectivity going forward, as it nurtured ignored subcontractors along, rather than defend America to the best of its ability. Boeing protested the LRSB-21 and the F-35 as the complaining participant. They have a whole Department of Complaints stocked with lawyers and subject matter experts for this function.

It’s part of the cost the Maestro must endure for every award. The LRSB award will have a taxpayer costs associated with Boeing’s protest, albeit it became a no contest unfolding from the Maestro decision making. It’s part of the acquisition process and is expected. In fact Boeing beat in receiving a favorable decision from the Government for its KC-46 tanker project. The Maestro biffed the award process through inappropriate valuations points towards Airbus, a foreign bidder for an American war fighting machine.

When the US was seeking a “Hummer” pre Gulf wars, it went with a homespun machine maker, and did not go with somebody like Mercedes Benz of Germany. The lesson learned from the KC-46 bid award s that the Maestro must use American offerings when it comes to making its war machines, and it will rely on a balanced award process equalizing the bidder reward so they won't disappear from the government’s manipulations.

The lesson here is that each MIC participant is too big to fail while each bidder must have an equally capable offering with any other bid, allowing the government for keeping the way for the MIC to remain in balance. 

Fortunately, Boeing and GE had an extremely strong private sector businesses with its commercial aviation, and that allowed the government consecutive awards for Lockheed Martin, Pratt & Whitney and Northrop issuing its two richest bid awards without starving out Boeing or GE. The LRSB-21 and F-35 programs were billions, but the 787 and its engines were billions too. The Maestro put MIC on the couch and balanced its complex.

Part II Link:

Monday, March 7, 2016

PAX River F-35 Yearbook

It's time for “Second Line Defense” offering, an F-35 Yearbook. In its 62 page document is presented a clean and positive view for the F-35 during 2015. No negatives or mishaps are reported while it becomes the hope of the program as reported. Having no hull losses in 2015 or epic failures is a clean year in itself.

See bottom of page and open flip reader for full report:

Reading the pages (report link found bottom of page) shows F-35 hopes for the future from 2015 performance. Includes an understanding definition for concurrency.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Liberal Canada Claims A Dependent Status With American F-35.

Why buy the F-35 when USA's borders are adjacent to 90% of Canada's population? On October 1, 2015 the Liberal government claimed itself dependent on American Taxpayers who are paying for the F-35 program. They didn't want the 65 F-35's it had ordered, and prefers a token Fourth Generation Fighter Jet for its own Air Force. Why buy the F-35 when the US is next door, is a liberal sentiment. Let the US Taxpayers pay for our defense. The F-35 is an advanced strike aircraft, and after all who is Canada going to strike?

Canadian Air Force CF-18

Canada will pride itself living on the American Military Complex shadow welfare, by not buying the F-35, since it does not think it needs an advanced Strike capability after being luxuriously situated alongside its high priced neighbors. 

The Justin Trudeau government likes military welfare over warfare. It will eventually not have a competent Air Force that will even match Norway's level (F-35’s) of capability. Why buy the F-35 when our southern neighbors will have so many, and they will defend Canada with the last US dollar wrung from Taxpayers hands?

For every F-35 purchased your pilot has this $400,000 Helmet:

Can this get any uglier from a liberal government? Canada has always desired autonomy from the US sphere of influence, and they could get it soon. Its Zip code is in the Northern Hemisphere, but they have taken a Central American attitude knowing the US will come to its beck and call during any international incursion (A defense treaty with America is cheaper than one F-35). "Why buy the F-35", is the liberal battle cry? Canada would rather manage its Provincial Parks and resorts than defend itself with the next generation of warfighters. America will defend us anyways, calls out Trudeau, even if it gets really sticky. 

So don't buy the F-35 while Canada can enjoy its freedoms with the arm's length security America offers. However, Canada may make a $32.9 million (not sure if in Canadian Dollars) payment to the F-35 program as contracted, keeping alive the idea the F-35 is a possibility and just in case things get sticky by the end of 2016 for what the payment period covers. Russia is equipped well and China is rapidly closing the militarization gap with its fifth generation fighters. Where Canada is only one aerial tanker refueling away from these possible confrontations. But who would want to attack Canada's beautiful Provincial Park system? An F-35 is not needed,eh! 

Trudeau's Foreign Policy statement: "We have old junk (CF-18's) to defend Canada, having a standing TurboTax® software upgrades continuously piped in."

"Eh, what is a CF-18?", as called out from a concerned Hockey fan from far away Calgary? 

Trudeau Policy statement continues with: "It has two jet engines and stuff. It looks like the US version of the F/A-18 Hornet only dumbed down per US military request. It has a Maple leaf painted on the Tail, please look at your brochure for additional information and pictures, and thank you for the question"

Hockey fans replies, "We're good, eh?" 

Trudeau Closes: "Therefore, It's essentially the same Fighter the US will may "retire" after the F-35 becomes operational in greater numbers during the next five to ten years. 

However, with the equipment on hand, Canada could possibly defend itself from adversarial fifth generation fighters coming from China and Russia... maybe? 

When/If "they" attack our Provincial Parks, the US will be pleased to ask for use of our military airfields and defend us anyways. We don't need no stinking F-35 (throat clears), the US has us covered with this year's $32.9 million F-35 program payment."