Monday, October 31, 2016

October 31, 2016 End Of Month

Program Summary Recap has some notable changes as the 787 order book for 2016 grew to 61 units ordered year to date. Also 117 Dreamliners have been delivered, as it is on pace for about 138 Dreamliners for the year.

Fig. 1

Further doodling analysis reflects a backlog shrinkage at a nominal number of -2 units against orders and delivery since 2011.

90 Day recap of 787 Delivery:

Boeing continues to exceed guidance after another 90 day period paces at almost 12 a month 787's projected goal. Boeing and should reach year ending guidance without pause.  

Fig. 2

Program strength is as follows:

Fig. 3

Program production dichotomy of production and by model.

Fig. 4

Program model in process and delivered production report.

Fig. 5  

Friday, October 28, 2016

Boeing 737 Proof Of Concept Comes After First Delivery

Boeing has a significant amount of work to do assuring the 737 Max is the rising star. After the Airbus A320 NEO debacle several of its important customers are less than happy about its NEO orders, when the roll out show its ugly teething woes. Boeing can recoup the single aisle market once its new single aisle 737 Max starts its commercial operations.  The engine will not fall short on the Max and the innovation treatments will not disappoint its customer base. Airbus already has muffed it with Qatar over its NEO program having a less than optimal engine performance metric during first delivery.

Airbus and its engine suppliers will get it right, but not in time for the Max’s run-out in the first half of 2017. A sign that Boeing has its collective head flying high above the problems below. The unknown customer having first receipt will in no doubt be excited happy, and may order more Boeing 737 Max's in turn.

The effort Airbus made offering multi engine options did not have a conclusive result, and it will pay in the market place for this mishap of engine performance. CFM has been building successful engines since the first 737 classic of almost forty years ago. The current iteration of the CFM designed just for the Max, but is included on the Airbus A320 NEO, is not same engine as the Boeing rendition fitting to the Max's low ground clearance profile.

The A320 could go larger in diameter on its CFM Leap 1-A rendition with 78 inches, and where the Boeing configured CFM Leap 1-B goes for 68.4 inches. The law of jet engine physics is the larger the diameter the better the jet engine performance.

The PW A320 gear driven motor hit an early snag as with all new concepts, but customers like Qatar don't want experimental equipment hanging on its business wings, hence the customer burn. Boeing has become a one trick pony with its CFM engine commitment during the history of the 737 program. Don't fix what works just make it better going forward. The Airbus Company striving to be all things to all customers has dabbled in the innovations realm and it has gained Boeing some valuable real estate back exampled by the recent commitment from Qatar for 60 Max. Qatar's word has always been good, so count one for Boeing in the last minutes of "Airplane Wars", Single Aisle Division.

The question now arises, what has Boeing and CFM wrought in the 68" configured Leap-1B. Heat was a great robber of engine performance and a larger diameter engine mitigates that heat as found in the Leap 1-A engine. However, the proprietary differences begin to mount up when mitigation those heat penalties that are attacking the Leap -1B. Boeing co-partnered with CFM on this one, as it refused to budge on the complete redesign of the 737 for bigger diameter engines. It maintained its airplane stance in the sand and made CFM Build an engine significantly smaller in diameter than the Leap 1-A.

Image result for cfm 1-B

But in doing so, CFM and Boeing had to bring rabbits out of the hat fixing the CFM 1-B while meeting industry performance requirements found with commercial aviation customers. Boeing contributed by bringing over from the 787 project key attributes enhancing the 68.4 limits. Boeing made changes to its engine nacelle coming from the 787 program, and added engine chevrons to its engine exhaust end for sound and aero-dynamics.

Placing the engine forward or backward on the wings would affect performance, so Boeing found the sweet spot for high engine performance and moved it to that spot. The plane balance is critical for flight control and efficiency and Boeing doubled down on engine balance for the aircraft.

Image result for cfm 1-B 

Boeing also made some engine nacelle treatments different than the 737 NG configuration. A person notices when flying a kite that certain things need to be different after first flying attempts are made. It may dip, dive or fly upside down until the kite’s tail or sticks are adjusted. Boeing/CFM with its smaller engine manages the air passing by the wing and engine. They put on some fins in key places on the engine nacelle enhancing movement through the air, mitigating heat build-up, and canceling some drag.

Even though I do not know all the engine secrets, the Max in tests shows a 14% over-all improvement than previous models of its type. Boeing claims supremacy over the NEO. The customer will know who is correct in this argument. However, the important point is that Boeing can and should gain significant ground over Airbus A320-NEO in the market place once the 737 Max delivers, because then Boeing can demonstrate its tricked out 68.4 diameter engine as compared with the 78 inch Neo configured airplane currently in service.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Boeing's 747 Other Shoe Drops As UPS Wears It.

Boeing is having a fantastic fall festival of wide bodied orders. First there was Qatar for 30, 787's, then China Southern for another 12, 787's, and finally there is UPS for 14, 747-8F's. In all, the order book grew in October by 56 big bodies having almost a year's worth of production slots filled up, just from the month's worth of billions on Boeing's books.

Boeing's 747 jumbo snags a $5.3 billion lifeline from UPS:

Boeing's October Fest WB Order Totals

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Qantas Weighs 787-9 Options

In theory, an airplane consumes more fuel on a given trip because weight is the single most determiner for flight efficiency. Other than the fact of heading into hurricane force winds or the Jet Stream, those long route runs affect the profitability on any given trip. Qantas is about to receive its first 787-9's and they have trimmed the seat count in order to fly those extended routes in its passenger system. The Qantas advertisers will say more leg room for a more enjoyable passenger experience having a greater seat pitch for each seat. 

A marvelous sentiment held by Qantas when in fact it’s all about weight, efficiency and passenger numbers for the long haul. Qantas would like the most passengers for the longest routes going from Perth to London in 8,960 miles. Note: It’s just under 9,000 miles which the 787-9 was built, but Qantas attacks the promotion as a passenger opportunity with a "We are offering more room" campaign.

FAA says this about average passenger weight:

FAA Weight Averages:

The Federal Aviation Administration sets an average weight per traveler and carry-on luggage to estimate how much weight planes will carry. According to "The New York Times," the average weight assigned to each passenger by the FAA is 200 pounds for men, 179 pounds for women and 76 pounds for children under 13. These estimates include 16 pounds per person of carry-on luggage and averages in the weight of winter and summer clothing.

Not included in this model is the passenger luggage weight for each passenger which can vary from traveler to traveler.

Qantas will be taking delivery with its 787-9's having 236 passengers on its long range 9,000 mile flights instead of having seating with 270 passengers. This gives me another number crunching opportunity for the significance of Qantas cabin configuration of 236 seats.

If an 787-9 with 236 passengers and half are men and the other half women it means the airliner has to pack on 118 men X 200 lbs. and another 118 women weighing 179 lbs. with carry-on for the trip. The subset weight for men equals 23,600 lbs. and for women 21,229 equaling a total of 44,722 passenger pounds including carry-on luggage. Since this a word problem, the changing dynamic is adding 34 more passengers bringing the seating total to 270 passengers, which imposes a significant change of squeezing the smaller seat pitch like 31" vs  the 236 seat configured economy pitch having maybe a 32" pitch found in economy.  

The greater seat load of 270 is 6,443 pounds more with passengers than the Qantas 236 seat configuration. The 36 additional seat adds weight itself and passenger supplies (food) starts declining airplane efficiency in a hurry. It will increase the weight of a 270 seat configured jet by about an additional 1,000 pounds over-all vs the 236 seat 787-9. If you added additional crew members the over-all weight load for 270 seats could rise about 7,500 pounds over the 236 seat 787-9. The 270 seat configured would take more fuel traveling the same distance, thus more added weight at take-off. The increased weights all summed up would cause a 270 seat aircraft each trip to not make money. No luggage weight has been added in for the 236 seat vs 270 seat model for weight cost which add more fuel weight making the 9,000 mile route.

However, for a nominal seat ticket increase for say one hundred dollars per seat for 9,000 miles, would give the passenger more space for the same hours of travel. This opens up another word problem for all people still calculating. A ticket going 9,000 miles may cost $1,000 dollars on average for each seat and to make it simple. A 270 seat Dream-Liner can offer a $900 average per seat. The 236 seat aircraft will generate $236,000 for its journey. The $900 ticket in cramped space with 270 seats generate $243,000 of revenue for the unhappy customers. Increased fuel cost for the flying heavy immediately erodes the additional $7,000 dollars earned with the stuffed airplane.

The airline stands to make much more money with slight seat price adjustments for the long haul on a 787-9 that Qantas proposes. To make the algebra work the formula could look like this. 270x= $236,000. Solution comes out at about $874 per seat for the same revenue on the 236 seats at $1,000. Once more fuel and passenger support costs are added, it would make such a 9,000 mile configuration not feasible for any Airline.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Boeing Plans The GAP Filler For Its Family Of Aircraft

The Great Air-Plane (GAP) is a much debated proposition by Boeing. They have spent millions dithering around the middle in a huddle, on the CAD, and in the field. They have moved a step closer and giving out hints as a means of expressing its matter of when, not if! The stay at home MOM moves to the GAP status if you parse out Boeing "Quotes". She will be well clothed.

"I would say we're a little bit more optimistic today than we have been" about the "middle of the market" plane, Randy Tinseth, vice president of marketing at Boeing Commercial Airplanes, said at a briefing on Boeing's market outlook in Brussels, ahead of Boeing's results report on Wednesday.

An end of year Christmas announcement to kick-off 2017 is apropos. The mystery aircraft is shrouded in secrecy of whether it will be dual aisle or single aisle. The second mystery is its range of maybe 4,000 + miles continental leaper. It would be handy going to Hawaii and the Caribbean anywhere from North America with a Rocky Mountain High address. Such an Airplane will move junketeers from Denver to Hawaii without a care in the world of travel. It would also span nations such as China and Australia without eroding the 787 or 737 market space.
An Atlantic crossing is fashionable with the GAP/MOM Boeing (757?) make-over artist, as its A321-NEO stumbles in the Jetways when the next Great Air-Plane debuts at various concourses in the world of local to everywhere concepts. 

Sunday, October 23, 2016

500th Dreamliner By Christmas?

Boeing can reach its 137th Dreamliner by Christmas 2016. A feasible feat as they are projected to deliver about 138 Dreamliners during 2016. So what's the big deal? It means the possibility exist for the 500th Dreamliner will be delivered to Avianca as a present to both the builder and the customer in 2016.

The Boeing 787 frame count is 476 Dreamliners delivered and in currently in customer hands leaving only twenty-four to go before years end. It is a significant 787 bench mark of the 500th customer air frames in service. When considering past programs and complexity, this bench mark is considerable for any maker for any size of newly developed advanced aircraft. 

It may not be Air France counting the 500th Dreamliner body built, but it certainly should be since its in the heart of Airbus country. This little nuance won't be ignored by Boeing's mega competitor, Airbus of France. The 500th scheduled 787 to be delivered on December 20, 2016 goes to Avianca per All Things 787 Blog and my meager math skills.

September 25, 2011 was the date for first delivered 787-8. When considering an end of this year with the 500th delivery, it will have spanned a time of five years and three months on December 25, 2016. The number crunching neophytes may figure 1918 days since first delivery on an auspicious day, September 25, 2011. 

So Yes, the Boeing significance of number 500 looms large for sentimental and program history. It will not change the Boeing financial picture at all, but it will generate immense bragging rights over its 500th wide body entering the market place. It has been no easy feat as engineering mishaps, and production woes stalled portions of this timeline. However, Boeing over compensated for lost time and uncertain solutions for problems it had encountered. 

Boeing built an abundance of 787's in the last several years erasing the memory of any nightmares it had encountered.

This Christmas tip of the hat goes to number 500 and then take the last week of December off while congratulating Air France and Avianca.


Monday, October 17, 2016

Boeing Leads: as World's Largest With Aircraft Orders and Builds

Image result for Boeing production line
Airbus order summary as of September 30, 2016 Below is Airbus Data

Boeing Data Below is slightly ahead of Airbus with Orders as of October 11, 2016

Its Boeing net 432 vs Airbus net 380 orders.

The production summary is as follows for the year

Boeing has delivered 563 aircraft recorded YTD
Airbus has delivered 462 aircraft recorded YTD

It appears Boeing is in the pole position for World's Largest Commercial Aircraft Builder with about 100 days to go for all the Year Ending surprises added to the books per usual.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Perth To Europe and Melbourne To Dallas Threatens 45 787-9's Options with Qantas

The why's (devil) is in the details. Melbourne and Brisbane airports want to be the first home for 787-9's in the Australian flying habitat with having extended routes going to Dallas Texas. Perth wants the honors going to Europe. Qantas has 45 optioned 787-9's as its targeted expansion and can't start filling the order book until the airports get along with one another. 

Qantas wants and needs to replace its aging 747-400's. The 787-9 is the right size however pride comes before the fall when airports are concerned. The solution is with Qantas and where they will base with its first 787-9's in Australia. The answer should be easy but the word pride and advertising is the sticking point. An easy answer is to have three 787-9's show up in Australia on the same day or in the same week. The first airport that actually can launch a flight wins pride award. The Australian government may offer a lottery for the honors of 787-9 acceptance and take this negotiation off the table and have Perth complete the 787-9 implementation plans as scheduled. Otherwise, Qantas may take its ball and go home if the opposing sides can't get along.  

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Boeing Data Says... 787 Had A Strong 30 Days!!!!

Boeing just updated its YTD orders list on its Web Site. It had a big year in thirty days. Long had it during 2016 it marked a net 19 787 on the books. Since so many 787 plates are spinning in the air it was a time to confuse the readers further with an Winging It exclusive chart of what just has happen with the 787 numbers contained below in a YTD chart.

Fig. 1

What all this means is that you must look at the 2016 column for perspective since the program started delivery about five years ago. The net backlog has only shrunk by thirty-five units since 2012 because of the recent orders. Before last week Boeing had only booked 19 net 787's for the year and had a backlog reduction during 2016, standing at -89 units of book shrinkage. This number compares with a program backlog reduction comparing a  post Qatar and China Southern orders booked compiling a 2016 -47 unit reduction for the year.

The big number is that at the beginning of 2012 Boeing had 767 units of 787 undelivered and now it has only 732 undelivered making and over-all drop in units of only -35 units which describes a healthy program. Boeing does have an opportunity to keep this number static (@-35) until the end of the year, as it will deliver another three dozen 787's before year's end, and it could receive additionally like number of orders before the end of 2016.

The synopsis conclusion, that over four years Boeing has achieved high production at maintaining an almost constant backlog margin, optimizing its program functionality.  

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Emirates Has A Card in Play For Both Builders A & B

Airbus (A) and Boeing (B) each have dogs in the wide-body fight. Airbus is seeking a packaged deal with its A-350-900, 1000, and the 1100 proposal. Boeing is going to the mat with its 787-9 and 787-10. Don't count the 777X out of the equation at this point. Perhaps Emirates stalling on making a decision is waiting for the 777-9X to fly around the world during tests. 

My own belief, this is the "trump" Boeing card which wishes to play hard going against Airbus with a knock-down drag-out fight over time. However, during 2017 is going to be an exciting year for Boeing with its testing of a new family of wide body such as the 777-8X and 777-9X where sometimes is forgotten by aviation watchers from around the journalist world watching for 787 orders. 

When considering the 787-9 and 787-10 against the Airbus A-350 family you must throw in the 777-X's as a Boeing counter offer. Emirates is anxious to watch what the 777-X will do before dropping serious coin into an early order hat. That comes next year so they must keep the suitors of Airplane sales in check a little while longer. The 777X deliveries will start in 2020. A time period which will suite any buyer in hot pursuit of an extreme wide-body going 9,000 miles. 

Distance is a key issue for Boeing as it offers its 787-10's for medium haul. They travel about 6,800 miles on an 10's extended route while the 777-8X or -9X which is designed to go plus 9,000 miles mops up the global market. The choice for Emirates will happen during testing of the 777-9X at Paine Field Everett, Washington.

If Boeing validates the 777X concept through various test flights, then Emirates will order a bevy of Boeing Aircraft late 2017. The order made will include the approximations of Boeing types fitting Emirates needs.  As follows a Guesstiment: 20 787-9, 10 787-10, 10 777-8X and finally 15 777-9X which opens up for options of about 50 more wide bodies going forward. Boeing has about 105 wide-bodies in play replacing the 70 cancelled A-350's from 2014.

Emirates will need to hurry as the 787 production window is beginning to fill up with orders from Qatar, China Southern and others for the 787-9's. A move by Emirates may certainly cancel some A-380's in waiting as the Boeing family of aircraft will fill multi segments of Emirates market with right sized aircraft. The Euro -American sector would nicely fit the 787-10 while the Emirates- East Asia market is built for the 787-9. Finally, all circumvention of the globe is left to the 777-X's with 350-400 passengers.  

China Southern Airlines to buy a dozen Dreamliners from Boeing Co.

The month of October has become an order saving month for Boeing another shoe has dropped from Boeing's sales effort where China Southern has ordered 12 more 787-9's. Adding to this total is the 30 Qatar 787-9's ordered last week. In total the 787 order book has grown by 42 787's in October 2016. If I were a betting man Boeing's order book is not done for the year. If you then add the 8 Dreamliners, Pakistan Air has already ordered you could say October was a 50 Dreamliner month.

Seattle Times:

"Boeing finalized an order for a dozen 787-9 Dreamliners from China Southern. The order, worth about $1.7 billion after standard discounts, brings total 787 orders above 1,200 for the first time."

Watch the Boeing Order Book adjustments at the end of October and it will go + 1200 Dreamliners ordered (1,211 by Winging It) from announced customers. Boeing is now 100 orders away from reaching a 1300 Dreamliner order bench mark for breaching the $30 Billion dollar deferred cost account it accrued during the 787’s development. It is great news for investors, now and going forward.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

787 Book To Build Metric An Indicator of Program Health

A "Book to Build" (BB) ratio has relative importance for a programs health. Ideally a ratio of one means for every 787 ordered one is built. A solid number for a mature program. However, successive time periods of one to one or any other ratio may indicate a potential problem or becomes a problem for someone else.

If the backlog is small then a manufacturer would want a slightly larger than one BB ratio until it reaches its ultimate production capability for satisfying customers.

If the BB ratio goes under 1 then the backlog may reduce itself over time where the less than 1(<1) BB then becomes a program weakness. 

Because of extended <1 ratios, its production must decrease, and it will indicate a smaller cash flow going forward. If the backlog becomes so large it discourages ordering, strains supply chains and requires capital investments for plant expansion, then it becomes a management problem. Therefore a +1, 1 or <1 BB ratio becomes somebodies problem over time.

Currently during 2016. the Boeing BB ratio for the 787 is running at about .45 and is <1. A manageable number because of its huge backlog that is already causing customers to wait up to 7 years before receiving its 787's ordered. The delivery wait time becomes another relative number depending on a customer’s needs, capitol, or market impulse. Now at this time there are two or three driving factors affecting BB ratios were a number in itself like .45 is a nebulous, relative, and conditional factor, dependent on multiple seasonal adjustments throwing the whole mess into statistical ball for College graduates living in a cube.

Going back to the Boeing 2016 BB ratio for the 787, the Boeing VP wants senior management to say the BB is right inline with our projections. which in itself, is a nebulous comment because a projection could be a bad or good indicator of things to come. 

Currently, and in Boeing's case, they are in a strong position until the backlog drops below a three year output (of about a 390 backlog) and is in a weak position when the backlog is seven years out (of about a 910 backlog). The Boeing BB can absorb about another two years of a less than "one" BB ratios before big orders are needed during a future production year. 

Airbus is rolling dangerously near problems with its single aisle large backlog creating a low market order absorption capability and its leaner order intake for the A350 program will shrink its backlog at an alarming rate. The Airbus ratios fall close to a perfect storm from lack of wide body orders and too many single aisle orders adjusting its production capacity during the next five years while costing Airbus Euros. Qatar seized a moment for the 60 LOI Max orders because they too are watching ratios and backlog size , and when it needs to order for optimal deals.

·      The recent Qatar order for 30 787-9's is a prime clue for what the market absorption for the 787 has become.

·      The 787 is validated from a strong Qatar (options to order) occurrence who is the most fussy Boeing Customer.

·      In spite of other factors concerning trade deals with US military equipment, it is a strong signal Qatar is still leveraging ordering deals and favoring Boeing with this order. The lesson learned is that Qatar continuous its independence with the mega builders by playing hard to get.

·      Finally, Boeing can now move forward with greater assurance moving its BB ratio closer to 1 as an optimal position while backlog continues to shrink.

SEE... book to build ratios are not complex, if you are a VP and have minions to explain it all, and how it will affect Qatar at the next Middle East Air Show. The bottom line is so much easier than BB ratios.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Does Qatar Know Something We All Don't Know About The Max

Al Baker: “For us to mitigate the risk, we had no alternative but to order the reliable 737 family of aircraft.”

Image result for Qatar orders Boeing

Al Baker is a shrewd and wise business man who does not make knee jerk retaliatory moves towards manufacturers for whom he has great needs towards the fortunes of Qatar Airlines. The recent Letter Of Intent (LOI) for 60 Max aircraft was more than a warning shot over the Airbus bow. It was an unleashing of an offensive effort coming from Al Baker's hip pocket after his former true intentions of making Airbus his premier supplier of Qatar's aircraft. A LOI is a gentleman's agreement with an "if" statement somewhere in that letter. 

Al Baker got Airbus' attention and can salvage something for Boeing if he does view things directed towards doubts with Airbus' capabilities. 

He has expressed the heart of the Airbus disappointment in a not so cryptic terminology. He is not happy with the failure of the A-320's GTF engine from its start-up. The GTF engine theory did not live up to its promise and needed extensive re-work. The A-350 market performance displayed a 90% reliability numbers with its first four Qatar deliveries.

What was not said and is held close the Al Baker’s vest, “what are the A-350 actual efficiency numbers in operation from the desert region?” It can be speculated those numbers too have stunned Al Baker's love of Airbus product. 

Boeing is coming out with an error free 737 Max with a proven engine having a 14% efficiency improvement over former models. Al Baker said so, mentioning what's behind Qatar's intent. They can get the "Max" sooner rather than later with an operationally sound engine for Qatar's desert region. It's kind of a big deal. Boeing can still lose the market battle if they drop "ball" on the goal line. 

But Boeing must prove itself under a single aisle LOI after which Qatar has already ordered 50 confirmed A-320 NEO’s, while waiting for its Airbus deliveries. But... they canceled four A-320's already. Another sign Boeing has a chance and is positioned well to step-in, and steal the charge away from Airbus, which it seems they have already done that little thing.

The spear is pointed towards the customer's operational heart using commonality. Watch the 737 Max-8 test pilot comments, "This avionics display on the Max looks just like the 787,747-8i and 777X displays". Therefore, when a Boeing customer orders across types they are buying pretty much the same commonality for which its pilots, maintenance and passengers will depend on while having a high valued experience both on the bottom line, and just the bottom in the seat.

Qatar has just ordered 40 Boeing wide bodies with intent on 60 737 Max after the first capstone order for 60 777X when it was first announced. In there, somewhere, should be equal opportunity for Airbus, but you can't find it only when reading about four NEO cancellations with Qatar.

When the Boeing's 60 LOI are finalized, then Boeing must deliver on its promise as it has learned a lesson from the Airbus debacle. Al Baker has already read and validated the tests reporting for the Max before it pivoted towards Boeing. He really bought the whole family of aircraft for Qatar as a common aircraft line from Boeing. When locking in on the Boeing wide bodies, Qatar also locked in on the Max. When the Max order is finalized, then look at the Qatar booking options, which would point the way for its future plans. After-all they optioned for 30 787's when they bought the first thirty 787. Now they have just purchased those 30 options because the aircraft just "plane" works well.