July 2007 Archives

Halfway mark

Boeing has announced its second quarter 2007 performance results. And the report shows continued strong growth.

For Commercial Airplanes, our backlog grew to a record $208 billion in Q2. We received 360 gross orders and delivered 114 airplanes in the quarter. The backlog is a reflection of the growth we’re experiencing in virtually all of our commercial airplane models. Clearly our product strategy is producing strong results in the market.

As has been the case with the past several quarters, a key piece of information analysts look for during the quarterly earnings report is how we’re doing on the 787 program. And as Boeing CEO Jim McNerney stated this morning, while the Premiere event earlier this month was a great success and a celebration of the team’s progress, we have a lot of work ahead of us.

Since the rollout we’ve continued installation and testing of the systems on the airplane. Final assembly work is underway on airplane number two, and our supplier-partners are working all the way up to airplane number seven at the moment.

It was reported during our earnings announcement that we’ve increased our R&D guidance for 2007. We think this is absolutely the right thing to do to make sure the Dreamliner is delivered as promised. Keeping our commitments to our customers is our number one priority.

We’re targeting the 787 first flight to occur by the end of September and we continue to expect first delivery in May 2008 as planned.

While we continue to manage weight and schedule challenges, and pressures regarding supplier performance, the market response to this airplane remains unprecedented. We have 683 orders from 47 customers, something no other program has achieved at this point in its development.  

Other milestones of the second quarter included the delivery to Lion Air of the first 737-900ER, and the certification of the Dreamlifter Large Cargo Freighter. The 787 Premiere itself took place after the end of Q2, but certainly all of the work and accomplishments on the program in the past quarter led to that successful rollout event a couple of weeks ago.

At the beginning of the year we set the bar pretty high for 2007 and 2008, and we continue on track. BCA projects between 440 and 445 airplane deliveries this year. Airplane deliveries in 2008 are expected to be between 515 and 520 – with delivery of more airplanes expected in 2009 than in 2008.

Still ahead are firm configuration of the 747-8 Intercontinental, and the results of the Air Force tanker competition. Not to mention the start of flight test for the 787.

As we’ve said before here in the blog, it’s a lot to accomplish. And more reason than ever to continue to keep our focus as we move forward.

Wildest dreams

It’s been a blur of activity beginning about six weeks ago with the run-up to Paris, and continuing through some travel in Asia, and of course the Dreamliner Premiere weekend.

But while it’s still all fresh in the mind I wanted to reflect back on the remarkable debut of Boeing’s new airplane.

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Deck the halls of Boeing: the Dreamliner is the most successful new airplane launch in history.

I was one of the lucky ones who got to witness the Dreamliner roll in to the factory on July 8. And as I stood there and looked up at the airplane, I stopped and listened to what people were saying about the new 787.

One of the comments I heard over and over again was about the size of the airplane. “It’s really big,” some people were saying. On the one hand people had their own image of what the airplane would look like - based on all of the computer generated pictures, and facts and figures we’ve seen over the past few years. But it’s another thing altogether to come face to face with the real airplane.

Yes, this is a widebody. And an impressive sight up close.

People were also struck by the size of the engines. At 110” fan diameter, they’re approaching the size of the 777 engines. And these power plants will make the Dreamliner quiet and efficient.

It was something to see all the logos on the airplane - all of the customers in two neat rows along the fuselage. It’s almost unimaginable we’ve achieved such success since launch.

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People marveled at the 787’s wings – thin, sleek, and bird-like.

Under the wings, you couldn’t help but notice how incredibly small the “canoe” fairings are. These are the structures that protect the devices which move the flaps. This neat design helps add to the aerodynamic look of these wings.

I also heard people express surprise at the look of the skin. It was just like any other airplane. And the paint reflected the sunshine that afternoon with glittering brilliance.

Probably some people were walking around the airplane looking very hard for temporary fasteners. I don’t think they could tell one way or another. Not to worry, the real deal will be installed before first flight.

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Just moments before its debut, the Dreamliner rolls toward the future.

Anyway, it really was an unforgettable moment when the hangar doors opened, and the crowd roared. BCA president and CEO Scott Carson called it “a moment of awe and amazement.”

That roar, by the way, was heard from Puget Sound clear across the United States, and over the Atlantic and Pacific, and from our customers, supplier-partners, and employees worldwide as they held parties, breakfasts, and special events, or just watched from their homes.

Yes, the Dreamliner is a new airplane for a new world. As the most successful commercial airplane launch in history, it is validating our strategy in the market – and that’s a huge accomplishment for the Boeing company.

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The 787 Premiere weekend was a perfect time to celebrate the rich history of achievements in commercial aviation with a 7-Series tribute on 7/7/07 - from the 707 to the 777 – at Boeing Field in Seattle.

Have to also mention that Airbus sent us a message of congratulations just before the rollout. It read, in part: “Today is a great day in aviation history. For, whenever such a milestone is reached in our industry, it always is a reflection of hard work by dedicated people inspired by the wonder of flight.”

This short note says to me that in the end it’s not just about competition between Boeing and Airbus. It’s about the remarkable – and very challenging – achievements that our industry as a whole can be proud of every day.

And on that note .. back to work. As Scott Carson said, it’s onward and upward to the next stage of the journey - flight test!

"Rock star"

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In the wings

The first 787 Dreamliner is now ready, and waiting in the wings, just hours away from its Premiere on the world stage. I have to say it’s hard to believe we are finally at this moment.

Hundreds of media from around the globe have converged here in the Seattle area. Thousands of people will witness the debut in person, and tens of millions will be watching from home or from any number of remote site events worldwide.

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The first Dreamliner rolling into the paint hangar.

It’s a moment we’ve anticipated and worked very hard towards for the past several years. And I think everyone at Boeing, and in particular the men and women on the 787 Program, can be very proud of what they’ve accomplished.

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A new airplane gets a lot of TLC.

So I wanted to share with you these latest photos of the Dreamliner in our version of “backstage” - getting ready for the big closeup.

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Just the first of many, many 787 Dreamliners to come.

I’ll talk with you after the Premiere, as we look forward to the next exciting milestones.

On a "roll"

We’re just a couple of days away from what promises to be one of the biggest corporate rollout events anyone has ever seen.

I’ll be there in Everett on Sunday when the 787 Dreamliner makes its Premiere. And I hope you will be too, because with all the viewing options Boeing has made available, virtually anyone on the planet can take part.

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Click above to view the 7-Series videos, and on Sunday to view the Dreamliner Premiere events.

I wanted to also make sure you’ve been checking out the 7-Series videos now playing on our Website. My favorite 7-series airplane, the 757, is featured in today’s video.

By the way, and speaking of “rolls” – or maybe I should say “buns” - not all the news is Dreamliner-related this week. I have to point out that we’re just a little bit proud of one Puget Sound area Boeing employee today.

In the U.S., it’s a 4th of July tradition to eat hot dogs on the holiday, but Erik Denmark is making a name for himself by taking the eating of hot dogs and other foods to extremes.

I suppose it takes a lot of “guts” to do what Erik does. And that’s why he’s “top dog” in our book.

 

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