The home stretch

The numbers speak for themselves. During the third quarter of this year, we delivered 186 commercial airplanes and added 501 net new orders. A new record backlog of more than 5,500 airplanes represents more than 7 years of production at current rates.

This sets us up for what promises to be an exciting race to the finish line of 2014. As we focus on our production rate increases and a smooth transition from the Next-Generation 737 to the 737 MAX, and from the 777 to the 777X, here’s a look back at the highlights from the third quarter in photos—- and in this video.

737

• The 737 MAX 200 is launched, a variant based on the 737 MAX 8 that can accommodate up to 200 seats, with a 100-airplane commitment from Ryanair.

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Michael O’Leary and Boeing Commercial Airplanes President & CEO Ray Conner announce the launch of the 737 MAX 200 in New York City.

• Ethiopian Airlines announces an order for 20 737 MAX 8s, previously unidentified. It is Boeing’s biggest order, by volume, from an African carrier.

• The 5,000th Next-Generation 737 rolls out, a C-40A Clipper for the U.S. Navy based on a modified 737-700C.

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Rollout of the 5,000th Next-Generation 737.

747

• Silk Way Airlines, based in Azerbaijan, takes delivery of two 747-8 Freighters.

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Silk Way Airlines took delivery of its first two 747-8 Freighters. The freighters will allow the Azerbaijan-based airline to carry cargo more efficiently.

• Cargolux, the first operator of the 747-8 Freighter, adds a 10th airplane of that type to its fleet.

• Air China takes the first of seven 747-8 Intercontinentals on order and becomes the first carrier in Asia to operate the passenger version of the jumbo jet.

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Air China’s first 747-8 Intercontinental is unveiled in Beijing.

• Two 747-8s - a Lufthansa Intercontinental and a Silk Way Airlines Freighter - make their first appearance at the Istanbul Airshow.

• A Lufthansa 747-8 Intercontinental in special livery flies the German national soccer team home after their 2014 World Cup win in Brazil.

777

• Emirates Airline finalizes an order for 150 777X airplanes. The order, first announced as a commitment at the 2013 Dubai Airshow, was part of the largest product launch, by value, in commercial airplane history.

• Qatar Airways finalizes an order for 50 777-9Xs, first announced as a commitment when the airplane was launched last November.

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His Excellency Akbar Al Baker, CEO, Qatar Airways and Ray Conner, president and CEO, Boeing Commercial Airplanes, at the 777X order announcement at Farnborough.

• All Nippon Airways finalizes an order for 20 777-9Xs and six 777-300ERs. The order, which also included 787s, was the largest in ANA history in dollar terms.

• Boeing announces details of the 777X interior configuration that build on popular features of the 787 such as larger windows, higher cabin humidity and a more comfortable cabin altitude.

• Emirates, the world’s largest 777 operator, takes delivery of Boeing’s 500th 777-300ER. It’s the 97th 777-300ER in the Emirates fleet.

• China Eastern Airlines, based in Shanghai, takes delivery of the first of 20 777-300ERs it has on order. The carrier plans to use them to replace its fleet of A340-600s and ultimately expand its long-haul network.

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China Eastern debuted its new livery when it took delivery of its first 777-300ER.

787

• Launch customer Air New Zealand celebrates delivery of its first 787-9 Dreamliner.

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First delivery of the 787-9.

• All Nippon Airways becomes the first operator to fly both the 787-8 and 787-9 and finalizes an order for 14 more 787-9s - part of the largest order in the airline’s history in dollar terms.

• The 787-9 makes its air show debut at the Farnborough International Airshow. A YouTube video (embedded below) of the practice routine goes viral, becoming the most-watched Boeing-produced video of all time.

• The Federal Aviation Administration certifies the 787-9 Dreamliner with GE engines for commercial service. Certification of the overall 787-9 design and of 787-9s with Rolls-Royce engines occurred in June.

• United Airlines takes delivery of its first 787-9, becoming the first airline in North America to operate both the 787-8 and 787-9.

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United takes delivery of its first 787-9. The airplane is also the first 787-9 delivered to a North American airline.

• Leasing company Avolon finalizes an order for six 787-9s first announced at the Farnborough International Airshow. The order also included five additional 737 MAX 9s.

• Leasing company CIT Group orders 10 787-9 Dreamliners, bringing its 787 orders to 20, including 16 787-9s.

• Three new airlines began operating the 787: Thai Airways, Royal Jordanian and Xiamen Airlines.

Commercial Aviation Services

• A new Customer Support Operations Center opens in Seal Beach, Calif., to align CAS customer support resources in a single location. By the end of 2015 the center will provide in-service support to operators of the Next-Generation 737, 747, 767 and 777, in addition to support for out-of-production airplane models.

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Our new CAS Operations center opens in Seal Beach.

• To better support customers in Southeast Asia, Boeing and SIA Engineering Company (part of the Singapore Airlines Group) agree to form a joint venture — Boeing Asia Pacific Aviation Services — to provide engineering, spare parts, repair and maintenance services to Boeing airplanes.

• The Flight Services London Gatwick training campus marks 10 years. During that time, the site grew from four full-flight simulators to seven, including three advanced 787 training devices - the most at any single Boeing Flight Services campus.

• Boeing contracts with General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems to produce the Boeing Tri-band, a new radome, or weather-proof structure, that protects an airplane’s antenna to enable reliable satellite communications.

Sounds of progress

The sounds of progress could be heard everywhere as we broke ground today for the new 777X composite wing center in Everett. With construction equipment blaring away in the background, we celebrated the present and looked toward the future.

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This aerial view above the Everett site shows how much construction is already underway on the 777X composite wing center site.

The 777X wing center will be massive. 1 million square feet, big enough to house 25 football fields. Inside, it will be the home of three autoclaves—some of the largest in the world. When the facility opens in 2016, it will put our employees on the cutting edge of composite technology.

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This artist’s rendering shows the exterior of the future 777X composite wing center.

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This drawing shows the interior of the facility and the three giant autoclaves.

Boeing’s investment of more than $1 billion in construction and outfitting of the building alone proves just how important this airplane is to the company, our employees and the entire Puget Sound region. Here’s a look at today’s celebration in photos.

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Celebrating the groundbreaking in Everett. Katie Lomax photo.

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A time capsule made of composites will be placed on the site of the 777X wing center. It will be filled with special items from Boeing employees and the community— including a photo of the Lombardi trophy from the Seattle Seahawks and a Felix Hernandez bobblehead from the Seattle Mariners.

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BCA President and CEO Ray Conner is surprised with a composite shovel to use for the groundbreaking. Katie Lomax photo.

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Here’s to the future! Katie Lomax photo.

Air to air

I want to share some absolutely gorgeous air to air photographs of an Air Canada 787. The airplane was photographed from a Learjet by Brian Losito, Air Canada’s official photographer, over the Washington coast. Our thanks to Brian and all our friends at Air Canada.

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MAX takes shape

We’ve started fabricating parts for the first 737 MAX. Work has begun at Boeing and supplier facilities to support production of the first flight test airplane in 2015. This is a big milestone for the team as the first airplane literally starts to take shape.

Below you can see the forming of the first fuselage stringer in our Auburn, Wash. fabrication facility.

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The first stringer for the 737 MAX is produced with a Progressive Roll forming machine at Integrated Aero Structures, Auburn, Wash. Oil is used as a lubricant while the part is transformed from flat to formed in a matter of seconds.

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Progressive roll form operator Mark Kain cuts the first 737 MAX fuselage stringer to length.

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After the stringer is formed, trimmed and initial holes punched, Joggle Press operator Rich Harrison prepares the first stringer for the press by brushing on lubricant. The press applies up to 100 tons of pressure to form small “jogs” in the metal according to the engineering drawings.

After forming, the stringers will be shipped to Spirit Aerosystems in Wichita for incorporation into the first 737 MAX fuselage. From there the fuselage will be shipped to our factory in Renton to be built into the first 737 MAX.

The stringers are largely common with the Next-Generation 737 stringers built at the same facility in Auburn. This commonality will ensure our customers get the maximum benefit, while leveraging the design advantage of the Next-Generation 737s.

This commonality benefits the production process as well, helping us ensure the 737 MAX will fit seamlessly into the Renton production system. Below you can see that that we’ve already started the tear down of existing structures in the Renton factory to make room for what we are now calling the Central Line. The first 737 MAXs will be built on this new final assembly line before we mix production of the new airplane in with Next-Generation 737s.

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The construction crew has almost finished demolishing the fuselage systems installation tool that once stood within the blue fencing. This space will be the first position in the new production line we are building in Renton to build the first 737 MAXs and help sustain higher production rates.

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The 737 MAX 8.

The team is doing a great job of keeping everything on track as we look forward to the start of final assembly next year. Enjoy the video below that takes you inside our Auburn facility to see the stringer production process.

Cargo rebound

It’s no secret that the air cargo market has been weak over the past few years. But we’re starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel.

Boeing’s new World Air Cargo Forecast, which I unveiled earlier this week in Seoul, projects that air cargo traffic will grow at an annual rate of 4.7 percent over the next 20 years, with global air freight traffic expected to more than double by 2033. Those are some pretty healthy figures considering where things have been.

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I was joined by members of the Boeing cargo team in Seoul.

In fact, growth has reached 4.4 percent for the first seven months of 2014— compared to no growth during the same period of time a year earlier. If that trend continues, 2014 will be the highest growth year for the air freight industry since 2010,

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Boeing offers freighters for every market, including (from left) the 777, 747-8 and 767 Freighter.

As the market continues to strengthen, our forecast shows carriers will need new, factory-built freighters and our lineup of airplanes—from the 767, to the 747-8 to the 777—- is well positioned to continue carrying more than half of the world’s air cargo traffic. Our freighters continue to bring our current customers value, and we look forward to bringing in new customers are the rebound kicks in.

I’ll leave you with a look at some of the great food we’ve enjoyed during this trip.

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Korean barbecue.

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Cold noodles.

 

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