Updating the assumptions

If you visited our product-information web pages over the last couple of days, you may have noticed a few minor changes in how we portray the characteristics of our airplanes.

For the first time since the early 1990s, we’ve done an update to our generic seat-count and performance information. With these changes, the generic performance of our products is more aligned with how our customers configure and operate our airplanes.

As you know, every airline lays out the interior of its airplanes differently. Airlines use a wide variety of different seat designs; some choose to have fewer business-class passengers and more economy; others do the opposite. So whenever we speak with a specific customer and show them how our airplanes will perform for them, we use their seating layouts, their seats and their mission rules.

But since we can’t share airline-specific information in the public sphere, we develop generic numbers to explain the performance of our airplanes, numbers that try to give a general picture of how our airplanes are configured and how they perform. For that purpose, we use a single set of rules for our entire fleet.

Most noticeably, airlines are increasingly outfitting their long-haul airplanes in a two-class (business and economy) configuration rather than the old first/business/economy three-class. In fact, more than 90 percent of the 787s we’ve delivered have been two-class.

But even as first class has become less prevalent, business classes have become exponentially better. A seat that was like a living room recliner in 2000 is now a lie-flat bed. That’s been great for business class passengers, but it also means a weight increase of 100 pounds or more per seat.

That weight gain, coupled in a slight uptick in the average weight that airlines allocate for passengers and their luggage, means we’ve made slight adjustments in the average range figures for our products: about 600 nautical miles less on average for twin-aisle airplanes, and 100 or so nautical miles less for our single-aisles.

Despite those number shifts, what’s really important to remember is that there is no change to our airplanes. The capabilities they bring to our customers are still the same. And regardless of which set of rules you use, our airplanes continue to outperform the competition by flying farther, faster and more efficiently.

Seafair flyover

I wanted to share some photos from today’s flyover of the 747-8 Freighter in Seattle Seahawks livery. We were proud to once again sponsor the Boeing Seafair Air Show that took place in the skies over Seattle’s Lake Washington.

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The 747-8 Freighter in Seattle Seahawks livery performs a flyover during Seafair at Lake Washington. All photos from Seafair by Paul Gordon.

Seafair is a summer tradition and we hope everyone enjoyed seeing the Queen of the Skies.

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This is the second 747-8 we’ve painted in Seahawks livery. It rolled out of the paint hangar just a few weeks ago.

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Paint rollout of the latest 747-8 in Seahawks livery. Katie Lomax photos.

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A new life

As part of our efforts to reduce aviation’s environmental impact through the lifecycle of airplanes, the ecoDemonstrator 757 is now in the initial stages of being dismantled and recycled in an environmentally responsible way.

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The ecoDemonstrator Program team celebrates the successful 757 flight tests.

When the airplane wrapped up its flight testing earlier this month, it made one last flight to Moses Lake, Wash. That’s where it will be recycled—giving us a chance to explore more efficient recycling techniques and to get the most value from the airplane’s materials and parts.

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This air to air photo by Boeing’s John D. Parker was taken during flight test. It shows the livery of our customer and ecoDemonstrator 757 partner TUI Group.

Besides removing usable spare parts, we are looking at ways to extract and re-use airplane-grade aluminum to fabricate new airplane parts.

The 757 has already conducted a different recycling project. We 3D-printed an aisle stand in the flight deck using excess carbon fiber from 787 production, an example of how we want to repurpose this high-value material and reduce factory waste.

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In the early phase of the 757’s recycling, useable parts are removed. The engines and the leading edge of the left wing have been removed.

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Rows of seats are carted away.

Before coming to Moses Lake for recycling, this airplane made about 100 flights over several months as our team tested more than 15 technologies. With NASA, the ecoDemonstrator 757 tested bug-phobic coatings on the right wing and Active Flow Control on the vertical tail.

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Lynn Kimsey, professor of entomology at the University of California, Davis, captures bugs near Shreveport Regional Airport in Louisiana as a team from Boeing prepares the 757 ecoDemonstrator for “bug phobic” testing. John Parker photo.

Boeing also tested a Krueger shield to reduce insect contamination on the left wing’s leading edge and electronic windows powered by solar and thermal energy. We also flew with a biofuel blend of US-made green diesel.

Next up, Boeing and Embraer plan to conduct ecoDemonstrator tests with an Embraer airplane in 2016. We look forward to continuing this successful program with environmental benefits far into the future.

300 and counting

It’s been a busy day at both our Everett and North Charleston delivery centers with several 787 deliveries. Earlier today, we reached another program milestone when we delivered the 300th Dreamliner.

To date, nearly 55 million passengers have flown on 787s across the globe. That’s 294,000 revenue departures, 1.5 million revenue flight hours and 659 million revenue miles flown.

Along the way, our airline customers have saved 2.5 billion pounds of fuel. And we certainly appreciate their endorsements of the airplane. Just today, LOT Polish Airlines announced new routes—saying flights operated with the Dreamliner are the most profitable part of their business.

We also continue to welcome new customers to the 787 family. Scoot took its first 787 earlier this year, and Vietnam Airlines will officially receive their first airplane soon.

Congrats to the team on today’s milestone—and thank you customers for putting those airplanes to work.

Building momentum

We came into today’s second quarter earnings with some great momentum. Just yesterday, FedEx ordered 50 more 767 Freighters. It’s the biggest ever single order for the 767 across all models.

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FedEx placed the largest single order ever for the 767.

Also yesterday, EVA Air finalized its order for five 777 Freighters that was originally announced during the Paris Air Show.

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EVA firmed up an order for 777 Freighters this week.

Those two orders are a strong endorsement of our family of freighters, and speak to the success we’re seeing across our entire product lineup this year. In fact, we captured $13 billion of net orders during the second quarter, pushing our backlog to nearly 5,700 aircraft valued at $431 billion.

777 orders and commitments for the year are now at 44, keeping us on track for a successful bridge to the 777X.

On the deliveries side, we saw a record 197 airplanes go out the door in the second quarter, keeping us on track to set a new industry delivery record of between 750 to 755 airplanes by the end of this year.

Other key milestones in the quarter included the start of wing assembly on the first 737 MAX and the completion of Critical Design Review on the 787-10.

As Boeing begins its 100th year, there’s a lot to be excited about. Thanks to all of our customers for their confidence, and congratulations to our entire Boeing team for a strong performance. This video shows some of our other accomplishments in the second quarter.

 

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